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Maturity and Maternity by ariellem

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Format: Novel
Chapters: 5
Word Count: 10,658
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Fluff, Humor, Romance
Characters: Arthur, Molly, Percy, George, Ginny, OC, OtherCanon
Pairings: Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Other Pairing

First Published: 12/05/2011
Last Chapter: 06/28/2012
Last Updated: 06/28/2012

Summary:




Banner by the amazing violet ephemera. Betaed by the equally amazing Alopex.

Audrey Pond disagrees with a lot of things; she disagrees with people who use too many commas, she disagrees with her co-worker when he says that she's a spinster, she disagreed with her ex when he suggested they get back together and she disagrees with her pregnancy test when it tells her that she is in fact pregnant.

Most of the time it's the comma people that annoy her.


Chapter 1: Chapter 1
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Chapter image by aphrodite 

 

~*~Prologue~*~


I dipped my quill into the ink and began to write my twelfth letter to Audrey, we had gotten into a fight three weeks ago, and even though I knew she was wrong, I figured it would be in everyone’s best interests if I apologized.

Also, I really missed her.

Dear Audrey, I wrote. I know I said in my last letter that it would be the last one I would ever write to you, but there are some things we should discuss.

Like why hadn’t she written back? She must have gotten all my letters. Hermes was a great owl. Even in his senior stage he was top notch.

Like closure; I’m still in the dark here about why you never flooed or wrote back to me. On a different note, things are going well at work. In fact even if you never answer back, I’m sure I’ll move on. It’s not like I was in love with you or anything. In fact, I have a new secretary called Clara. She’s really nice and makes delicious cookies.

And she’s eighty, but I didn’t bother mentioning that. It’s not like it was important.

I hope you are doing well.

 I couldn’t think of anything else to say, so I signed my name. Love, Percy.

Don’t get the wrong idea, I wasn’t writing love to Audrey because I was in love with her, or that I cared about her…at all. It was just a figure of speech.

“Hermes,” I said, as I tied the note around my owl’s leg, “take this letter to Audrey. You know where she is, right?”

Hermes hooted and gave me a pitiful look before flying off.



~*~ Chapter One~*~

In every book, there are three situations when a girl finds out she’s pregnant. Either it’s a miracle because the girl and her husband have been trying to have kids for years and years, or it’s a disaster and the girl cries and all her wonderful female friends (or gay boy best friend, I’m not picky) comfort her and tell her all about feminism, or it’s a one-night stand and the girl ends up finding out that the one night stand is in fact, the man of her dreams.

In all three cases, everything turns out wonderful: the single mom meets a hot guy and they get married even though she’s like four hundred pounds from the baby, in the marriage one they have a wonderful time deciding whether the baby’s room should be painted pink or rose, and in the one-night stand one they all end up married and perfectly happy.

I would have been fine with any of those situations. But unfortunately, my situation was different. I wasn’t unfertile, nor was I surrounded by wonderful friends.

In fact, the only other person who knew about this little pink stick beside me was Gus, the sixty year-old secretary that worked at my office.

He hadn’t gotten me pregnant, but I had bribed him with my lunch so he’d to get me all my pregnancy tests. All twenty Muggle ones and all sixteen wizarding ones, and although he normally just got coffee he didn’t really complain about getting me the tests.

Thirty five of the tests told me that yes, my one night of pleasure resulted in a living being in my stomach. One test said I was fine.

I was going by that one test. Everything else was faulty.

I walked out of bathroom and gave Gus a meaningful look. He ignored me. He wasn’t a very supportive person.

I coughed loudly and used my head to indicate to the door that led to the outside of the building.

Gus sighed, muttered some things, and followed me out.

When we reached the outdoors, I looked down at Gus, considering he’s part goblin the looking down is actually required.

“I’m not pregnant,” I announced, the cold wind whipping my red hair into my face.

“Good,” said Gus, giving me half smile. “I’m going back inside. It’s freezing.”

I blocked the door. “Aren’t you supposed to ask me if I’m sure?”

Gus sighed and turned around. “Are you sure?” he asked, and then he muttered, “I wish I had earmuffs.”

“Well, here’s the thing,” I said. “Thirty five of the tests you got me said yes—”

Gus gave me a horrified look.

“One said no,” I continued. “So I figured everything else was faulty.”

Gus patted me on the elbow, which with his height was the highest place he could reach.

“Don’t you have any friends to discuss this with?” he asked. “Because I’m freezing my bazookas off.”

I thought to myself, the answer was no. Well, not unless you count the girl that works at the library that I always say hi to. Then there are the puppies in the pet store that I like to talk to about my life.

Then there’s my roommate, but she’s eighty-something and routinely forgets that I live there.

Whenever I normally have a problem I talk to my brother, who always makes me feel better because sometimes he is such a huge loser he can boost up anyone’s ego.

However, I think I’m the new loser in my family.

So no, I really didn’t have any close friends. I really just prefer reading.

“Of course I have friends,” I scoffed. “But you were just there, and I thought you might like to help.”

Gus muttered something that sounded oddly like, “Well, you thought wrong,” but he coughed and said loudly, “Audrey…I don’t even know what to say.”

“Oh, come on,” I said, exasperated. “You must have seen enough sappy, terrible Muggle films with your wife to know what to say when the fictional girl gets pregnant.”

“My wife likes car or broomstick chases,” said Gus, shrugging.

I sighed. “Fine, ask me if I want to keep it.”

“Do you want to keep it?” Gus asked, shoving his hands deep into his pockets.

“Yes,” I answered. “But I don’t want to do it alone.”

In the book with the single mother, all her friends would have crooned that they would help her and that she’d never be alone, but I didn’t have friends. I had Gus.

And he wanted nothing more than to leave me alone and go back to the warm office.

As if to prove my point, Gus spoke up again. “Can I go back inside now?”

“No,” I answered, exasperated. “Now you ask me if I’m ready for such a heavy responsibility.”

“Are you?”

“No.”

“Good man,” said Gus. He patted my elbow again and went for the door. Then before he opened the door, he turned back to look at me.

“Who’s the father?” he asked.

Now he gets the hang of it.

“I don’t know,” I answered.

He looked taken aback, but apparently warmth won over curiosity. “I’ll tell the office you’re taking a personal day.”

“Thanks Gus,” I said, but he didn’t hear me because he had run for the warmth of the office.

I had lied to Gus about the dad part. I knew exactly who the father was. Which was very depressing as we were no longer together. Actually, I had been the one to break it off, and then maybe I ignored all his owls afterwards.

I’m not a bad person.

We had been together for about three months when I decided to…er…do it…with him. He had been rather enthusiastic about the whole thing, more so then I’d expected. Apparently even he enjoys the occasional snog.

I crossed a random crosswalk, realized I had no idea where I was going and swore rather loudly.

Then I realized that I was about a block away from my apartment and all that swearing had not been needed, which was rather embarrassing as I was receiving looks from a stay-at-home dad who was with his young son.

Ah well, like he’s never slipped up.

“Hello love, who are you?” asked Gloria, who was enjoying a game of bridge with her grandson, Herman, who’s also her nurse. She gave me a strange look.

When I moved into Gloria’s apartment I had been expecting a very old fashioned place, but Gloria’s family went and re-did the whole place so it would be easier to find a roommate for her. It’s nothing special, just a couch, a coffee table, some bookshelves, and a small kitchen with a brown two-chair table.

The only that really irks me is the cat wallpaper in the bathroom. I hate that wallpaper.

“She’s your roommate, Nana,” said Herman, patting Gloria on the arm.

“Well, welcome to my home, love. I hope you’ll make yourself comfortable,” said Gloria, giving me a toothless smile.

She routinely forgets to wear her dentures. I think that’s why my half of the rent is so low.

If it wasn’t for Herman, I don’t know what I’d do. It’s hard enough to get a cheap place in London, let alone in the wizarding area, and he’s here every day to introduce Gloria to me. He’s the only person she remembers.

He’s also a wonderful supply of eye candy, what with his gigantic muscles, stunning arms, chocolate skin and gorgeous backside.

“Hello, Audrey,” he said, turning to me as he washed dishes and I used my wand to heat up macaroni. “What’s up?”

“I think Gloria’s pregnant,” I said, trying to be subtle and taking a bite of my food.

Herman gave me a look. “Audrey,” he said slowly, “she’s eighty five.”

“I know,” I said, nodding my head. “But let’s say she is pregnant. What should she do?”

“Audrey, are you pregnant?” asked Herman carefully. I shook my head in reply.

“No, but what would you suggest Gloria do?” I asked.

“Go to St. Mungo’s, tell the father—by the way, Audrey, what happened to that red haired bloke you were seeing?”

I choked on my food. I’d hadn’t thought about my ex’s looks. Great now my child will definitely have red hair. Maybe it’ll also have my height; I’m of medium height so that wouldn’t be too bad. It’ll probably have my pale skin though, and of course my brown eyes.

“Well, that answers the question of who’s the dad,” muttered Herman.

I continued choking; he did nothing to help me.

“St. Mungo’s will tell…Gloria what to do next,” said Herman, rolling his eyes.

“I’ll be sure to help her do that,” I said red faced, nodded, and then I paused. “Do I have to tell the guy?”

Herman looked at me and sighed. I was getting the same vibe from him that I got from Gus.

I am surrounded by unsympathetic males.

“Yes,” he said. “You have to tell the father.”

“It’s not me that’s pregnant,” I reminded him. “It’s Gloria.”

Herman sighed again. “Yes, I’m sorry, I forgot.”

“Well,” I stood up and placed my dish in the sink. “I guess I’ll have to go and tell the guy he’s got a kid. It’s not like Gloria will remember to.”

“Have fun,” said Herman as I shut the door behind me.

Normally I would have apparated, but I was in no hurry to see my ex. None whatsoever.

You know, maybe I should go to St. Mungo’s first, just to see if the baby’s doing all right. I quickly searched my bag for my wallet, and then I remembered that Gus had made me pay for all my pregnancy tests.

My wallet was as clean as a whistle. Whose stupid idea was it to buy all those tests anyway?

Maybe I’ll just get lunch, I’m still rather hungry after all.

Oh yeah, no money.

I sighed, and began walking towards Diagon Alley, where my ex’s flat was located.

 


Chapter 2: Chapter Two
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 I really hate St. Mungo’s; everything’s so white in here. It’s strange that they would choose such a color, because red—blood—shows up best on white.

So why would they all wear white? It’s got to be some kind of thing for some kind of secret society, or maybe it’s because no one else here is dressed in white and they want the medical people to stand out.

I like the secret society better.

Why was I here in St. Mungo’s? That’s a great question to which I have a terribly annoying answer; one of the people that I had been working with had been attacked by his own owl. I told him to treat his owl nicely but he didn’t listen to me.

Now look at where he is; in hospital, and now I have to babysit him. Wonderful, I did enough babysitting when Ginny and Ron were young thank you very much. I’d really rather not do any more.

Let me just state for the record, that pretty much no one listens to me and the majority of the time they regret it. Like that time I told Charlie that taking his sled and trying to slide it down the roof (with him in it) was a stupid idea.

Charlie didn’t listen, and what happened? He got a spanking and a broken leg. Then he tried to punch me because he said I looked ‘smug.’

 I don’t deny it, I probably looked very smug, and why not? After all I had been right.

A healer quickly walked toward me, I tried to stop looking smug and start looking worried, but I don’t think I succeeded because the healer looked at me as if I was creepy.

“He’ll probably lose a retina,” said the healer looking at his clipboard. “Also his right hand was badly pecked at and will need some re-construction.”

I chuckled at the image of the owl pecking the life out of Gerard; it had been pretty funny until we realized how bad of a state he was in.

But even then, no one really liked Gerard so it was still pretty funny.

I quickly disguised my accidental laugh into a cough. “So, he’ll come through then?”

The healer nodded. “But I’d keep him away from owls for a while due to post traumatic disorder.”

That was easy enough, we normally kept owls away from him, but it was more for their PTD then his.

“I’m going back inside, you should stay here for about an hour so we can collect your contact information,” said the healer, he looked at me warily and then took his clipboard and walked away.

As soon as he left I was able to see that beside me, there was another person in this lobby that looked healthy. She was wearing a black suit jacket, with a black skirt, but under that jacket was a brilliant pop of red. It went perfectly with her ginger colored hair.

What confused me about her was not her outfit, but her shoes, which unlike the rest of her clothes weren’t professional, and in fact they were dirty trainers.

As soon as she saw me looking at her she made a beeline straight for me, already I was regretting that I stared at her.

When I saw her from a closer distance, I noticed she was even prettier then I had originally thought. She was shorter then I was, had what looked like brown eyes and nice skin.

Don’t ask me to elaborate my definition of nice skin.

“I’m Audrey Pond,” she said sticking her hand out, I shook it.

“Percy Weasley,” I answered.

“I work for,” I noticed her glance down at her hand where she had probably written her lines. “Finnigan’s Law and Justice.”

I grimaced. Finnigan’s was known for notoriously terrible cases. I wasn’t surprised she was here though, Finnigan was in a wheelchair which meant that he couldn’t chase medic brooms, so he normally sent his poor employees to do the work , I guessed this girl was most probably a secretary.

“So you’re chasing medic brooms looking for cases?” I asked. She nodded in reply.

“I normally edit his files, actually I’ve even gotten an editing job lined up, I just have to wait for another week,” she said, adding a silent. “Thank Merlin.”

“Well, I’m sorry to tell you that I don’t have a case for your employer,” I said.

“Alright then,” she said. “Nice meeting with you—”

“You want to go out for dinner sometime?” I asked, before I could stop myself.

“What?” asked Audrey, she looked a bit confused.

“I’ll leave you alone forever now,” I said beginning to walk away, she probably thought I was some kind of creep.

“No,” said Audrey quickly, I stopped, just maybe something good would happen to me for a change.
“Did you say dinner?”


I nodded.

“I’d love to.”

~*~*~***~*~*~

I checked the number on the doorway just to make sure that I had gotten the right place. I didn’t need to though; I knew where his place was, just like I knew my own.

After all, you get kind of familiar with a place after you find yourself up the against the door getting the life snogged out of you.

I knocked just once. And I knocked pretty quietly.

Please let him have moved with no contact information.

It’s not that I don’t like the guy. He was pretty nice to me. But how do you tell someone you’re pregnant with their kid? It’s a rather scary thought. I could already feel my palms getting sweaty, and I tapped my right foot, not because I was impatient though, more so from nervousness.

I paced back and forth a bit, just two feet each way. I didn’t want to leave the doorway.

The fictional books are really irresponsible for the way they portray pregnant single people. In books the ex is normally gorgeous, a jerk and everything turns out alright.

My ex is neither. He’s good looking and nice. I’m honestly the jerk in this relationship. And I doubt that anything is going to turn out alright for me.

I knocked again, just in case.

A red haired girl opened the door. She gave me a quizzical look.

“Who are you?”

Oh thank Merlin he’s moved, I stopped holding my breath. No having to rally up courage (I was a Huffelpuff for goodness sakes) and no awkward conversations will happen.

“Is Percy Weasley here?” I asked, just for good measure, now that I looked a bit closer at the red-haired girl I realized she looked a bit like him.

But that has to be my own paranoid mind.

I crossed my fingers behind my back, hoping she’d say ‘he moved and we don’t know how you can contact him.’ Instead she leaned back and yelled, “PERCY!”

She turned back to me. “Who are you?” she asked again.

“Just a friend,” I said hastily, trying to look innocent. “You know, I’ll come back later.”

Oh Merlin, now I knew what was going on, Percy had a new girlfriend. I wanted to throw up, what would that make me? The other woman? I could feel my cheeks getting heated and I wanted to run off.

“Nah,” said the red-haired girl pulling me inside the apartment. “He’ll just be a moment. PERCY!” she yelled again.

Percy’s flat hadn’t changed since the last time I had been there; his fireplace was still there, bits of glittery green dust from the Floo powder were in the cracks of the brick, on the fireplace was a half dead plant that was really just a decoy to keep muggles from finding out the Floo powder hidden in the plant’s pot, on the left side of the fireplace were two bookshelves that were both full with books and on the other side there was a door to his bedroom, it was closed at the moment.

His white couch sat in front of the fireplace and like the rest of the house it was immaculate. Behind me was Percy’s tiny kitchen, I couldn’t see it, but I was willing to bet that he hadn’t replaced those cheap plywood cupboard doors.

Another red-head—this one a male—joined the red-haired girl. “Stop yelling, Ginny,” he said. “Percy’s in the shower.” He then noticed me. “Is this a cousin of ours?”

“I’ve never met her,” said the girl, who was apparently named Ginny. “She’s got the hair, though.”

“Are you Percy’s friends?” I asked hesitantly.

“I’m his brother, George Weasley,” said the boy, giving me a look. “And this is my sister, Ginny.”

Ginny waved and smiled at me.

“Oh, I’m not related to Percy,” I said quickly.

“You’re ginger,” George pointed out.

“So?” I asked horrified. “Your brother and I used to date. We are not related.” I put all my emphasis on the word not.

I did’t even want to think about any possibility of us being related.

“I don’t remember you,” said Ginny, leaning her head to one side. “I remember Penny—she was nice—and I remember Clarissa—”

“She was a bitch,” George inserted.

“But I don’t know you,” finished Ginny.

I shrugged. “I don’t know you either.”

This was actually true, I knew Percy had brothers and sisters, and I had heard of the Weasley family before from the papers, but I had never actually met them.

“What’re you yelling about Ginny?” a familiar voice said from the other room. A moment later, Percy himself walked in. His curly hair was still damp from the shower and his clothes were perfectly clean. He wore the same horn-rimmed glasses—as always. 

“Audrey,” he said catching site of me, he came to a dead stop and almost tripped over his feet as he began stammering over my name, his eyes got huge and he reminded me of a rat caught in the path of the metro system.

Wonderful. This is the affect I have on men.

“Hi, Weasley,” I said, looking at his carpet, where there was not a trace of dirt.

“Come on, Percy, or else Ron will eat all of Mum’s meatballs,” said Ginny, who was bouncing from excitement. Apparently she really loved meatballs.

Percy ignored her. “What are you doing here?” he asked, addressing the question to me.

“I just want…well…needed to talk to you,” I said. “It’s rather—”

“Go on,” said George nodding his head and smirking. “What did Percy do?”

“—private,” I finished.

“Go on to the Burrow you two,” said Percy who had apparently regained his cool. He kept looking at me in a rather unnerving way. “I’ll meet you there.”

“As much as I want Mum’s meatballs before Ron stuffs them into his mouth like a greedy chipmunk,” said Ginny curiously, “I also want to know this…private...matter.”

“I’ll tell you guys later,” said Percy, nodding his head towards the door.

“Not the whole thing,” Ginny protested. “You’ll tell us an edited version, and that version is terrible.”

“It’s not a big deal,” I said. I really just wanted to talk to Percy privately. “It has to do with work.”

“Oh,” said George looking disgusted. “Well. I don’t want to hear about that.”

“Me neither,” said Ginny wrinkling up her nose. “Meet you at the Burrow Percy.”

Percy waved them out the door and then turned to me. “You want some tea?” he asked.

What I really wanted was a strong glass of firewhiskey, but I accepted his offer of tea.

“So,” Percy said taking a seat at his counter. “How are you?”

“I’m…fine,” I answered, taking a seat opposite him. “Just dandy, actually.”

Good grief, why did I say ‘dandy’? What an absurd word. And for the record I was neither fine nor dandy, I was pregnant, what does that tell you?

It should tell you that I’m incredibly cranky.

“That’s good,” Percy fingered his mug nervously, and it almost spilled over. “So did you get my letters?”

What should I do? Be honest, or lie? I decided to tell the truth.

“What letters?” I asked quizzically.

When you carry a live person in your belly, then you can judge me.

“I wrote you a couple of letters after you broke up with me,” Percy explained.

A couple? More like five hundred.

“I did not receive them,” I said, blinking and shaking my head. “I’m sure they were really nice.”

Actually, they were really sweet. Why did this have to happen to me?

“Hermes is getting a bit old,” said Percy, looking over affectionately at his owl. “Maybe he just got the address wrong.”

Hermes glared back at us; apparently offended, he then ruffled his feathers and turned around so all we could see was his backside.

Lovely bird.

“So, how have you been?” I asked. I was trying to wait for the right time to say it, hopefully the right time would never come.

“I’ve been doing well,” said Percy, and awkward silence grew before Percy prompted. “You said you had something important to say.”

I nodded and took a long sip of my tea. He patiently waited.

When my cup was empty, I put it down.

“Percy,” I began, “do you remember the time we…er…um…this is a rather delicate thing.”

Percy looked confused. The boy is oblivious. I was trying to say it carefully; I know how he can blush.

“That time we,” I wrapped a bit of my hair around my finger.

“Broke up?” asked Percy. He looked rather confused.

“No, when we had sex,” I said, raising my hand to cover my burning face.

I could already tell that Percy’s face would be the color of a bright tomato.

“And?” asked Percy.

“I’m pregnant,” I finished. “It’s definitely yours.”

Percy looked very shocked, and then a small grin grew on his face.

“How long have you known?”

“Just this morning,” I said hesitantly, keeping an eye on him.

“You’re pregnant?”

I nodded.

“It’s mine?”

 I gave him an exasperated look.

“Wow,” said Percy, he smiled again, a genuine smile. “Wow.”

 


Chapter 3: Chapter Three
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 “So,” I asked, stuffing my hands into my pants pockets. “Where do you want to go?”

For a spring evening it was really kind of cold, I had taken Audrey out but last minute the restaurant had shut down due to the fact that the owner’s kid’s pet rat was running around and they wanted to catch it before someone called the health inspector.

“We could walk,” I suggested, lamely, I really hoped she didn’t take that suggestion because I was almost turning blue here.

“We could,” Audrey nodded her head, and I wanted to hit myself for saying such a stupid thing. “But it’s really too cold for that.”

I relaxed, and tried to keep my mouth shut so Audrey didn’t hear my teeth playing like castanets.

“Where’s your apartment?” she asked, smiling at me as if she had something up her sleeve.

“My apartment?” I asked, why the heck would she want to go there? “It’s up the street, we could walk there if you like.”

My god, why do I keep suggesting that we walk places? Do I want myself to die from pneumonia? Do I enjoy freezing my body parts off?

“Or we could just apparate there,” said Audrey lazily. Thank Merlin for Audrey, she’s so incredibly intelligent. I don’t know about you but I’m freezing.

“So am I,” I said. She gave me a strange look.

“Alright,” she said taking my hand. “Let’s head back to your place.”

~*~***~*~


What made me think that coming over to Percy’s family’s house would be okay? I just told Percy I was pregnant going over to his family’s house and enduring their strange questions and comments sounds horrifying. And sure, there was the promise of meatballs and other wonderful foods, but I should be a bit harder to bribe, don’t you think?

After all, I am an editor. I get bribes every day, many in the form of money, some in the form of sexual favors.

I’ve never accepted one, mainly because all the wrong people were making the offers.

However, I still can’t believe I accepted Percy’s offer to come over to his parents’ house for dinner. I had wanted to discuss the baby, but after I told Percy that I was pregnant, he told me that his mum was probably wondering where he was and that if I wanted, I could come over for dinner.

That has to be the lamest subject change I’ve ever heard. I know everything there is to know about excuses, subject changes and avoiding responsibility. Believe me, Percy was avoiding responsibility.

Well too bad. He’s not actually the one carrying the child. Grow a pair Weasley; you’re going to need them for the next few years.

I tried to tell him that we should really discuss the child now, but all he said was that he didn’t want his siblings telling his mum that he was alone with a girl in his apartment and then he asked again  if I wanted to come over to dinner.

Personally, I felt that he should have gotten a priorities straightened out. In my opinion, the the fact that I was pregnant took precedence over his mum’s worries and any family obligations.

But here I am, squeezed between a gorgeous blonde haired woman—who I’m pretty sure is either at least part Veela or has had work done, because those looks aren’t natural—and Percy Weasley. I feel like that time I tried to trick myself into thinking that I could wear a size five skirt—I’m a size ten, but that’s not really anyone’s business.

Turns out oxygen is not optional, I almost passed out in that skirt. I feel this tightly squeezed at this table right now.

So far, I’d counted ten people and a good many of them were red heads. I assumed that anyone that who wasn’t ginger was either a friend or related to Percy by marriage. I knew the Weasleys were a large family, but now I had just grasped how large they really were.

Wait, an eleventh just walked in. Holy Cheeri Owls that can’t be Harry Potter.

Wait. No. It is.

If only I could get a book deal from this man.

“Hello, Gin,” said Harry. He bent down to give Ginny a kiss on the cheek, but she turned around and gave him her lips. He then turned completely red and took a seat beside her.

I squeaked. They were so cute. A book about their love would sell millions of copies.

“So, Audrey,” said Mrs. Weasley as she spooned more than a healthy amount of potatoes onto my plate. “How do you and Percy know each other?”

It was rather obvious that Mrs. Weasley was fishing for information. I’m sure she would have had kittens if she knew that we had dated. I could also tell that Ginny was impatient for her potatoes because she kept fidgeting.

“We’re colleagues.”

“We’re dating.”

That last one was Percy’s, and he said it at the same time as I said colleagues. Cripes.

Percy and I gave each other looks, and the rest of his family exchanged amused glances.

“So Percy, that must be awkward,” said a man with a ponytail and an earring. Actually, what was really awkward was this man’s ponytail. I had guessed he was around twenty-nine, and yet he was dressing like he was seventeen.

The Veela at my right clearly thought the same thing, because she kept glaring at it as if she wanted nothing more than to find a pair of clippers and hack it off.

“It’s fine, whatever,” said Percy, who was now sounding very flustered.

“Yeah, but not even friends,” chuckled a shorter red haired boy. That was Ron Weasley, another potential book deal that would generate millions. I could tell that he was implying that Percy had yet to find a girlfriend.

I wonder if Hermione Granger will be here too.

As if on cue, a bushy-haired witch walked in.  “Hello everyone,” she said as she took a next to Ron. “Sorry I’m late.”

“Hello, Hermione,” said Percy in a very obvious attempt to switch the focus of the dinner conversation. “How was work?”

“Work was wonderful, thank you very much,” said Hermione. As she looked towards Percy, she noticed me. “Oh, who are you?”

 “A colleague of Percy’s, apparently,” snickered Ron.

“How lovely,” Hermione said. She clearly did not get the joke. “So where do you work in the Ministry?”

“I don’t work in the Ministry, actually,” I answered. “I work in publishing, for the firm Wands Crossed. I read manuscripts and then if I like them, I suggest them to my boss. If he gives the go ahead, I’ll start editing it, grammar and the like.”

If I could get a book deal from Granger I would get a raise, I could move out of my flat, at the very least I’d be able to hire an exterminator for all those mice that nibble my toes in the middle of the night (what am I to those mice? A cupcake?).

“So you and Percy don’t even work together?” asked Ginny, jolting me out of my fantasy. She looked confused. “But you told us you had to discuss business.”

Cripes.

“Yes, the Ministry is thinking of collaborating for a book,” said Percy quickly.

 I clearly underestimated this man’s ability to think up excuses.

“Kinglsey allowed that?” asked Harry, who sounded very skeptical, I honestly couldn’t blame him; that sounded like a very boring book.

But I played along and nodded my head as Percy continued talking.

“Well, actually, it’s only a few people so far,” explained Percy. “When we have the right backing, we’ll show it to him. I was just talking to Audrey to see how much it would cost.”

I looked over at him admiringly. Smooth, Weasley, very smooth.

“How long have you known Audrey?” asked Mr. Weasley.

“Well, we met, about three, maybe four months ago—”

“It was three,” I interjected.

“All right then,” said Percy. “And then we didn’t talk for a month, and now…well…we’re talking.”

Mr. Weasley raised an eyebrow. I panicked. He knows, and now he knows that I know that he knows about him knowing about me.

Shit.

“Did you guys date at all during those three months?” Mr. Weasley asked offhandedly, pretending that this was just casual conversation.

“Yes.”

“No.”

The last one was Percy’s, and it was said at the exact same time as I said ‘yes’. That boy is really going to meet an early death.

Everyone exchanged amused glance—again. I glared at Percy.

“I mean…yes,” stammered Percy.

“All right,” said Mr. Weasley as he leaned back in his chair and nodded. “That would explain it.”

I did not ask him what it would explain. He and I both knew what he meant. Instead, I shoved an unhealthy amount of potatoes into my mouth.

These are very delicious was what I was thinking when I almost choked at George’s next question.

“Would explain what Dad?” he asked between mouthfuls of meatballs, as Percy thumped my back.

“Nothing interesting,” said Mr. Weasley shaking his head. “Now eat your meatballs.”

I could tell that everyone else at the table was trying to figure out what Mr. Weasley had meant. Please Merlin, let them be stupid enough to not get it until I leave.

“So Perce, what’s in this book?” asked Harry Potter. I couldn’t stop staring at him; I could hardly believe the savior of the wizarding world was eating sprouts right across from me.

And he just called the father of my child Perce. That’s got to be an annoying nickname considering it sounds like a woman’s handbag.

“Just different people’s stories,” Percy explained. “It’ll help the community understand different positions and why they’re needed.”

“Please tell me there won’t be a section on cauldron butts,” snickered George.

“It’s an important issue,” said Percy coolly.

“Anyway, I think the term is cauldron bottoms,” I interjected. I was pretty sure that if George was making butt jokes then he wouldn’t figure out I was pregnant.

However, Ginny and the blonde who was sitting beside me were still deep in thought about what it was that Mr. Weasley had said.

 “Calm down on the meatballs,” said a boy with a ponytail as I took another serving.

Don’t comment on my meatball intake; after all you’re the one who looks like a Stubby Boardman wanna-be, really, would it kill you to cut that hair of yours?

“Why?” asked Percy defensively. “Because you’d like thirds?”

“Don’t get so defensive over your…colleague, Percy,” the man said, giving Percy a weird look.

 The blonde girl shouted something in French and pointed at me.

“You know,” I said, taking my bag and the plate of meatballs, “I should be going. Thanks for the lovely dinner. Mrs. Weasley; I’ll return the plate—”

“YOU’RE PREGNANT!” Ginny yelled, jumping to her feet and pointing at me. “YOU’RE PREGNANT WITH PERCY’S KID!”

Well, she clearly does not know the meaning of private discussions at a more appropriate time.

“That might not have been something to shout,” said Hermione as she calmly continued to eat her food.

The entire family turned to me. A smile was growing on both Ponytail-man’s, Ginny’s, Ron’s and George’s face. Mrs. Weasley looked to be in shock and Harry Potter just looked skeptical.

“Percy?” he asked, now just looking amused. “But…how could Percy—no offence meant, Percy—but how could Percy get someone pregnant?”

Apparently someone doesn’t know much about the Birds and the Bees, and I’m not going to be the one to explain it to him.

 “She jumped him, obviously,” said Ron, giving Harry a look as if the answer had been obvious. Must have been desperate or something.

I glared at him. I am not and never have been desperate—alright, maybe—no, not the point. I was not desperate when I was with Percy.

“Language Ron,” said Mr. Weasley mildly, he seemed more amused than anything.

“Excuse me?” I interrupted; I gave Ron a withering look. “I did not, jump him. He’s perfectly capable of doing his own jumping.”

Actually, Ron Weasley was sort of right, I had initiated it. But Percy responded pretty quickly. It wasn’t like I’d forced him into bed.

Percy just stared at the ceiling, and I got the feeling that he was fervently praying for this to be a dream.

“Well, you are pregnant, aren’t you?” Ginny asked point-blank, turning to me.

I sighed. “I might be pregnant.”

 Percy was still ignoring the entire conversation. Lovely. This man is the father of my child, and he can’t help me out.

“Might?” asked Mrs. Weasley, looking at me curiously.

“I took a couple of tests. Some said yes, one said no, so I’m not sure.”

“You ezz pregnant,” said the French in heavily accented English.  She shook her head. “Believe I.”

My word, she just butchered that whole sentence. The grammar Nazi inside me was screaming.

“Oh! I’ll go owl the family healer,” said Mrs. Weasley quickly. “I’ll make an appointment for you,, probably for tomorrow. Is that all right, dear?”

I was quite petrified at this point, so all I could do was nod.

“So you’re definitely keeping the child?” asked Mr. Weasley, he was as calm as…calm things.

Percy and I exchanged looks (he had finally unglued his eyes from the ceiling), and still looking at him I nodded slowly. “Yeah, why not?” I said.

“Great, now we now have wedding party,” said Ginny, licking her lips. “I’ve been dying for some fancy cake.”

Really, the priorities of this family are ridiculous.

“Me too,” said Ron, nodding. Hermione rolled her eyes fondly.

I opened up my mouth to talk again, but Mr. Weasley spoke before I could. “Ginny, Ron, calm down, don’t rush the poor girl.”

“Well, doesn’t she like cake?” asked George, confused.

“I like vanilla cake,” said Ginny, as if someone had been asking her.

“I’m sure she does, but that’s not the point,” said a dark-skinned girl with braids who had been sitting next to George.

“Well, why else would you get married?” asked George. He quickly received a smack on the back of the head from the girl.

“Because you love the person, and you want to spend the rest of your life with them.”

“Or you got them pregnant,” Harry pointed out, and the family nodded in agreement.

“Well, hopefully if you got that girl pregnant you have some love for her…or the girl has some love for you.”

“You know,” I said, standing up. I felt dizzy and remembered that this was the reason why I avoided family reunions. “I have to get going. It’s pretty late.”

“I’ll Apparate you,” said Percy as he quickly tried to stand up.

“No need,” I said, putting my hand on his shoulder and pushing him back down into his seat. He could deal with his family’s questions for once. “I’m fine. Do you mind if I use your fireplace though, Mr. Weasley?”

He indicated to the green flower pot.

 “Oh, dear!” said Mrs. Weasley, running towards me as I made my way for the fireplace. “The healer said that he could see you at one o’clock tomorrow. Just go to St. Mungo’s and tell them your appointment is under the name Molly Weasley.”

I nodded, “Thanks, Mrs. Weasley,” I choked out.

I was pretty sure she had said something that sounded like pudding, but I didn’t hear because I had stepped into the fireplace too soon.

I would have liked to have had pudding.

I landed on the fluffy throw rug in front of the couch where Herman was reading his grandmother a book titled Moby Dick.

“Hello dear, who are you?” asked Gloria.

I didn’t bother answering. I just headed for the kitchen as Herman explained who I was to his grandmother.

“There’s leftover food in the refrigerator,” he called.

“Not hungry,” I called back, quickly pouring myself a glass of water and almost falling over as I sat down on one of Gloria’s uncomfortable plastic chairs.

“Did you meet with him?” asked Herman as he entered the kitchen. He also poured himself some water.

I nodded.

“I take it that it didn’t go well,” said Herman. He was leaning against the sink.

I shook my head. “His family wants to know when the wedding is.”

“And that’s a bad thing?” asked Herman hesitantly.

I nodded.

Herman muttered something about nuts, and how he should get paid double his salary for having to work with one.

Good luck with that one, Herman.

 

 


Chapter 4: Chapter Four
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 Normality. Is that so much to ask for? I was so desperate for something normal, for something I was accustomed to, that I had decided to go to work.



Work.

There I sat in my three by four foot cubicle, trying not to think about how I was going to fit into this place when I was huge. I was reading over a cookbook.

It wasn’t a bad cookbook, but some of the pictures of food were making me nauseous, the turkey recipes especially.

I took out my red marker and jotted down some things on the right side of the page, and then someone knocked on the side of my cubicle. We don’t actually have doors on these things, but it’s just nice to knock.

“Gus! Hi!” I said, excitedly. He instantly began to look scared. “You have my coffee! Great!”

Gus gave me a concerned look and hesitantly passed me one of those disposable paper coffee cups that I knew would contain my usual morning cup of warm coffee.

However, when I looked down into the cup, all I saw was something that seemed to resemble gray swamp water.

“Gus,” I said quizzically, still staring into the cup. “I think you gave me Alice’s tea. I normally have coffee.”

“Not anymore, you don’t, Gus answered in a matter-a-fact tone. “I talked to my wife, and she said that coffee was on the do-not-eat list.”

Now he decides to become a caring co-worker.

“I asked Alice, and she said you could use her tea until you get your own,” Gus continued, ignoring my look of disbelief.

“You didn’t tell her, did you?” I asked carefully, looking behind him to make sure none of my co-workers were standing behind him.

“Oh, don’t worry, Auds,” said a voice from the cubicle on my right. I jumped in my chair. “I won’t tell anyone.”

Auds. How juvenile.

I looked up to see Alice’s face over the top of my cubicle. Well, it was more like half of her face, just the nose and up. She’s not a very tall person.

Alice is a forty-something woman who normally edits all the do-it-yourself spell books. Our boss is very skeptical about her, chiefly because she’s a squib and can’t test the spells to make sure they work right. He’s tried giving others the do-it-yourself books, but no one likes them.

“Please don’t, Alice,” I said, my tone of voice sounding too much like begging for my liking. “I want this place to be the one place unaffected with my whole”—I made random circular hand gestures—“situation.”

“Well, it won’t be for long,” scoffed Alice. “How do you think you’re going to fit into that cubicle when you get huge?”

I groaned and put my face in my hands, my elbows resting on my desk. Gus patted me awkwardly on the arm and moved the cup of tea towards me.

I don’t even like tea.

“Honestly,” Alice continued. “You might as well just tell everyone now. I know Karen already knows.”

Because you told her.

“I mean, I may have told her, but it’s not like anyone was surprised.”

~*~***~*~

“And then apparently Karen told one of her friends and—I’m sorry, what was your question?”

“Can you sign this?” the healer asked me, calmly holding a clipboard out toward me. Evidently, I wasn’t the first hysterical woman she’d seen.

“Sure.”  I took the clipboard and quill and returned to my seat, which coincidently was right beside a magazine rack displaying a bunch of parenting magazines.

The gaze from eyes of the chubby babies on the cover bore into my mind.

I’m a private person. It’s not like I’m ashamed of being pregnant, but I hate the idea of my entire workplace yelling congratulations to my face and then behind my back discussing whether or not I was a wayward girl because they had nothing else to do.

Ignoring the magazines covered with cute children, I instead took out one of the manuscripts I had been assigned. This one was more of a vampire-horror novel. I was rather lucky to be suggested for this book. The author was an unknown, but very interesting.

Actually the writing was so good I didn’t notice that Percy had come in and sat down next to me until he cleared his throat.

I looked up, and the first thing I noticed was that he was still wearing those bloody bow-ties. Then sanity took over.

“What are you doing over here?” I asked, neatly marking the manuscript with a paperclip.

“Mum told me you’d be here for your appointment,” Percy replied.  He leaned forward, and his hands melded together. “Look, I wanted to ask you something.”

“Go ahead,” I said hesitantly, hoping he wasn’t going to ask me for a paternity test or something completely insane because he was denial that he was, in fact, a parent.

“I know that you can’t be happy about this,” Percy started saying.

He can never cut to the quaffle; he always has to warm up before he gets to the point. I patiently waited.

“And personally, I feel it would be best for the child if we—”

I nodded. Here came the paternity test question.

“—got married,” finished Percy.

I could feel my eyes widening and felt a giant relief. I wanted to yell yes. After all, I’d at least have someone to help me out with everything, and I might even be able to continue my work.

But then I remembered there was a reason why we had broken up. And did I really want to bring a child into the mess that would be our relationship?

“No, Percy,” I said as I shook my head, my eyes stared at my hands. “It’s not right.”

I was very proud of myself. Why? Because I thought of Percy before I thought of myself. Here he was trying to do the right thing, and I alleviated him of that responsibility. He could be free to marry someone who hadn’t treated him like dirt.

Although if he thinks he’s getting out of child support, he is dead wrong.

“No, it is,” Percy insisted. “I got you into this…err…delicate situation, so I’m going to get you out.”

I sighed and patted his shoulder. “That’s very nice of you, Percy, but I’m declining.”

“Listen, Audrey—”

“If it’s about your family, Percy, I’ll explain everything to them.” It was the least I could do.

Percy muttered, “Yeah, like that will help with Mum,” sarcastically. I leaned back and was re-opening my book when he spoke again.

“So that’s it then?”

“No, because if you think you’re off limits with the bills and everything, then you are a stupid man,” I said, looking up from the page.

“No,” said Percy hurriedly as he turned red. “Of course not.”

I went back to reading my book, my face also red, while Percy wrung his hands nervously.

“So,” Percy began uncomfortably. “What are you reading?”

I lifted the manuscript up so he could see the words Night Massacre written on it. He coughed uncomfortably.

“That’s very anti-vampire,” he said uncomfortably.

“It’s actually pro-vampire but anti-government. It’s really good, actually,” I said without looking up.

I’m pretty sure that’s what killed the conversation for the rest of the time that we were there. That was a stupid thing to say, Pond.

~*~*~**~*~*~

“Congratulations, Ms. Pond, you are having a healthy baby. He was a tall chubby man with a walrus mustache, a deep voice and a warm demeanor.

 “How is it growing?”  I asked.

“Quite normal for one month. As I said, the child is healthy,” said the healer, marking some things on the clipboard. “I’ll need to see you month by month for a while.”

I nodded again. “So, do I just leave?”

“In a minute,” said the healer. “I just need to write you a prescription for prenatal vitamins and everything else you’ll need. You haven’t had any weird symptoms have you? Nothing out of the ordinary?”

I shook my head.

“All right.” He finished writing on his clipboard and passed me the some sheets of paper. “These are for you.”

I looked at the sheets. One had notes for prescriptions, and the other had two lists on it.  The first was a relatively short list of books.  The other was a much longer list of foods.

The books list was easy; it was obvious they were books for a pregnant mother. One of them read ‘So You’re Having a Baby.’ Another one said, ‘You and Your Magic Child.’ The only one that made me nervous was one titled ‘Magic Symptoms and Muggles.

“What’s the last one mean?” I asked.

“Oh, nothing much. When the magic starts developing in the child, the mother might experience some weird things, such as strange colored vomit and blood, fire breathing, floating—”

“In mid-air?” I asked, horrified.

“Where else would one float?” asked the healer mildly. He could be calm about this; he wasn’t the one who would be defying gravity in front of Muggles. “However, it doesn’t normally kick in until the sixth month, so I wouldn’t worry.”

Of course you wouldn’t worry. It wasn’t happening to you.

“Have my assistant give you the list of foods you can eat when you go out,” said the Healer.

“You mean,” I looked down at the long list of foods on the side of the paper, “I can’t eat any of this stuff?”

“Nope, and there’s more on the back,” said the Healer. “Owl me if you ever need help.”

I left the room and read over the list of foods I couldn’t eat while his assistant composed a list of foods that were the healthiest for me.

As I went toward the waiting room I read over that list. Here’s what it said.

1. Two to four servings of protein (meat, fish, poultry, cheese, tofu, eggs, or nut-grain-bean-dairy mixtures).

2. One quart of milk (whole, skim or buttermilk) or milk equivalents (yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese).

3. One to two vitamin C rich foods: whole potatoes, grapefruit, orange, melon, green pepper, cabbage, strawberries, fruit, and orange juice.

4. A yellow or orange fruit or vegetable.

5. Four to five slices of whole-grain bread, pancakes, tortillas, cornbread, or a serving of whole grain pasta or cereal. Use wheat germ or brewers’ yeast to fortify other foods.

6. Butter, fortified margarine, or vegetable oil.

7. Six to seven glasses of liquid: either fruit or vegetable juice, also water and herbal teas. Avoid sugar-sweetened juices, sodas, caffeine, and alcohol.

8. For snack: dried fruits, nuts, pumpkin seeds (or sunflowers), and popcorn.

I am so not going for this. Not unless I can cover it all in hot sauce is there any way I will eat something called germ. Also, I live on coffee and sugar. How the hell am I supposed to get any work done without it?

As I entered the waiting room, I saw Percy was still sitting there. He looked nervous as hell. He was even slouching, and his head was in hands.

“Percy?” I said.

He looked up guiltily, and I realized why. His entire family was sitting around him.


Chapter 5: Chapter Five
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 The words emergency, abort, and SOS ran through my mind, and the urge to put my usual emergency plan into play— the one where I fake food poisoning and leave for the bathroom and stay in there for an indefinite amount of time—was very strong. What was Weasley thinking? That he could just invite his entire—



Then I caught a look at Percy’s face, and he too looked like a rat caught in the path of a stampeding hippogriff.  

“Audrey, dear!” said Mrs. Weasley. She rushed towards me and engulfed me in a bone-crushing hug.  I didn’t have a clue how I was supposed to respond, so I patted her back gingerly. “I thought I’d bring some of the family over to support you.

By some of the family she meant a very bored looking George, a Ginny who looked like she had to go to bathroom because she couldn’t stop fidgeting, and a stocky looking red-head who I guessed was another member of the infinitely large Weasley family.

“Now, what did the healer say?” Mrs. Weasley said as she let go of me, she was beaming for some reason.

“The baby is fine,” I said, although I addressed Percy—who was starting to turn an unnerving shade of green—and not his mother when I said this. “Very healthy. Some of the green faded away, and you could see a small smile growing on Percy’s lips, but he still wouldn’t look me in the eye.

Don’t any of them have work? I remembered reading some Prophet article about George Weasley owning his store and Ginny Weasley playing for some Quidditch team. Now that I thought about, why wasn’t Percy at work either?

“Why aren’t you at work?” I whispered to Percy while Mrs. Weasley rushed off to speak to the healer, apparently they were old family friends.

“Well, I wanted to see you,” said Percy carefully. “And Mum made everyone else who didn’t have work come with her, it’s Sunday so Ginny doesn’t have practice and George can let his friend run the shop.”

“She made you come down here too didn’t she?” I asked, giving Percy a look.

“Of course she didn’t,” said Percy, who was determined not to make eye contact, he patted my knee once and I glared at his hand as he quickly moved it back.

“Really?” I asked disbelieving.

“Fine, she told me to go down and see you,” said Percy in a rushed manner, I nodded, I already knew it. “But I would have come down anyway.”

“Looks like your boys really can swim,” said the stocky red-head, who had been sitting next to Percy this entire time and had most likely heard the conversation. He sounded as if he approved of the whole situation. I checked to make sure that Mrs. Weasley wasn’t in hearing vicinity.

“Well,” said Percy.  He shrugged, and I could see a smirk grow on his face.

“She jumped you, right?” asked the bulky red-head. Now the smirk was on his face, and Percy’s ears were growing bright red. George grinned distractedly from over at his seat, his eyes were on his mother and he was probably wondering if he could get up and leave without her finding out. Ginny on the other hand was eating one of the packet of saltines that the Welcome Witch had provided. She looked utterly bored.

 “Oh, Audrey!” said Percy, in an obvious attempt to change the conversation. He quickly stood up and indicated to the bulky red-head that he should do the same. “This is my brother, Charlie. He’s visiting from Romania. Works with dragons there.”

Charlie Weasley was definitely good-looking, and not like Bill Weasley was good-looking. Whereas Bill looked like he was pining for the old rock and roll days, Charlie looked more rugged. He was shorter the Percy, but was much more muscular and had several burn marks on his arms.

“Dragons are very…fiery,” I said, shaking Charlie’s hand and knowing full well how stupid I sounded.

Charlie gave me an indulgent smile. Percy looked at our still joined hands pointedly and looked as though he was going to make a comment. I felt the need to tell him he was being an idiot.

But we both behaved and sucked it up.

“And for your information, I did not jump him. He is perfectly capable of doing his own jumping,” I stated as I withdrew my hand, I could hear Mrs. Weasley inviting the Healer over for lunch and was looking for my own escape route before I too was invited.

“Defensive, aren’t we?” George asked, mocking me. “Did he touch a nerve?”

“Can we stop calling it jumping?” Ginny Weasley asked from where she sat. I was surprised she hadn’t said anything before now. “I keep thinking of kangaroos.”

~*~***~*~

“And that was when I made up some excuse that I cannot remember and Apparated home,” I said as I shifted through the refrigerator contents. Herman normally kept an array of leftover frozen meals around.

“He proposed?” Herman asked. He had been standing in the kitchen by the refrigerator and had been giving me looks of complete exasperation the entire time I had been telling him the story. I had been avoiding this question ever since he asked me what had happened.

“Yes,” I said, shrugging. “But it’s not like he meant it or anything.”

“Why else would he say it?” asked Herman, passing me an unopened packet of crisps.

“I don’t know,” I said, sitting down at the table and opening my crisps. “Maybe because I’m pregnant Herman and so his mum won’t get on his case.”

“Why didn’t you say yes?” Herman was monotone at this point, which was never a good thing.

“Because we broke up for a reason.  Let’s say we did get married, I had the kid, it worked out for a couple of years, and then we divorced. The child would know a full family, and then it would be taken away from it!”

“You’re acting like a hyper anime character,” said Herman calmly. “Now stop waving your hands around.  You’re not Italian, you’re Irish.”

“I like anime,” I said, glaring at my crisps and missing the old days where my days off were filled by watching trash telly. “And I’m only Irish on my mother’s side. My father is Scottish.”

“I meant to ask, why did you and Percy break up?” Herman asked curiously.

“I’m seeing him tonight. His mum invited me over for dinner again. It’s like she wants to keep an eye on me and make sure I don’t run away or something,” I said, placing enough crisps in my mouth to avoid answering his question and it dissuade any one he might ask next. .

“So why didn’t you go back to work after your appointment?” Herman asked. Normally he’ll pester me until I give him a straightforward answer, but apparently he had decided to give me a break today. You love work and I don’t want you to eat all my grandmother’s food.

“I’m pretty sure Alice has blabbed to everyone about…you know who.”

“I saw him last night, you know,” said Gloria, walking into the kitchen and getting herself a glass of milk. Her dentures were missing again.

“Who, Grandma?” asked Herman, giving his grandmother a confused look.

“You Know Who,” said Gloria in a matter-a-fact manner, she took a sip of her milk. “He went into the supermarket and got himself some chocolate ice cream.”

I looked over at Herman and raised an eyebrow.

“I called the Auror department and was on hold for almost the entire night,” continued Gloria. Herman and I exchanged looks. This was not the first time Gloria had thought she had called the auror department for seeing someone that had died a long time ago. Last time she claimed she had seen Merlin walking up and down the street in a fuzzy pink onesie.

Sometimes when Herman and I aren’t around she’ll go down to the payphone and just talk randomly into the phone. It would be fine except she’s a loud talker and the muggles get confused when they hear things like ‘eye of newt.’

You can’t call the Auror Department, I said slowly, arching my eyebrow and giving Herman a confused look. At least the topic of conversation was off of me though. “And we don’t have a phone system.”

I should know I always spend about five dollars in change when I have to call my mother.

“Audrey,” said Herman he guided Gloria to the seat beside me and then he began to look through the medicine cabinet, probably for Gloria’s sleeping pills, “you just can’t spend the rest of your life feeling sorry for yourself.”

I disagreed wholeheartedly with him but said nothing.

“Anyway, as I remember your past romantic life, it doesn’t seem that you’ll be too lucky in the future finding a better person then Percy. Didn’t your last boyfriend cheat on you with another guy?”

“Hank was bi-sexual. I knew that when I started dating him,” I mumbled, looking into the empty crisp packet and hoping it contained some of my pride.

“I believe when I asked you what Hank’s boyfriend was like, you said he was the hottest piece of arse you ever saw,” Herman persisted as if he hadn’t even heard my previous statement.

Pride and dignity, where art thou? Not in a packet of crisps, that’s for sure. Maybe in a container of macaroni and cheese.

“I was in shock,” I protested.

And I will not lie, his butt was gorgeous. I could totally see why Hank would prefer him.

“Also just recently, I heard you say something about going to a gay bar to pick up another boyfriend,” Herman continued. He certainly likes poking at open wounds doesn’t he? That was like two weeks ago.

I didn’t even bother trying to defend myself. Although I will say that gay bars are better than regular bars. They have way better music and are much more hygienic then the Hog’s Head.

“Go get dressed for dinner, Audrey,” said Herman, “and start thinking like a woman who’s about to be a single mother, not a girl who doesn’t have any obligations but her job.”

Ouch, that was harsh.

“Also, your mother sent you a letter.”

 

 


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