Hi! Thanks so much (again!) for the great reviews, I'm so glad you like the story. This chapter is sort of a filler, not too much happens, but the next chapters will be good so hang on in there and keep your great reviews coming! They make me smile =D Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, only the plot. JK Rowling is the Queen of the Harry Potter world, as we all know!
I love Christmas Eve – pregnant or not, I am determined that I will enjoy it. Today is not the day that I am going to tell Mum because let’s face it, I have seven months to do that. There’s no point in ruining Christmas. Anyway, this could be my last Christmas (as the chances of Mum killing me are very high) so I might as well make the most of it.
I get up early and begin to wrap presents. Having a big family has advantages and disadvantages – the main disadvantage is the fact that we’re all so bloody close so I have to buy presents for all of my cousins. I got Victoire a silver necklace – it wasn’t too expensive, but it will match her near-silver hair. I bought Dom a book that she’s been raving about for the past few months, The Catcher in the Rye – it’s a Muggle book. I find that boys are very hard to shop for, so Hugo helped me in picking out a jumper for Louis – I doubt he’ll appreciate it as we all get jumpers from Nana Molly every year anyway.
I got Molly and Lucy matching bracelets – Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey love when their daughters are matching. I find it pathetic, but if it keeps them happy then who am I to stand in their way? I bought Roxanne some make-up, even though I know Uncle George will go crazy. I got Fred a book called “Number One Quidditch Teams of the 20th Century”. It shows Chudley Cannons to be one of the worst teams of the century – why did Dad pick such a loser team?
It’s always difficult to shop for the Potter cousins – what do you get the family that has everything? James is not the intellectual reading type – he’s more into practical jokes. But he has everything that Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes ever sold and they can easily outstrip Zonko’s any day. He knows every single passageway out of Hogwarts, he has his father’s invisibility cloak and he has the best broomstick around. So what did I get him?
A pair of socks.
Al was much easier to shop for. As he has an interest in the Muggle world, I got him a mobile phone. It was expensive, but I know he’ll love it. I have one too, even though I can’t use it at Hogwarts. I got Lily a small pair of gold earrings that are in the shape of snitches. Lily is showing some real promise as a Quidditch player. She plays by herself most of the time, but sometimes with me. James and Al know nothing of their sister’s talent, so she usually breaks into their broom shed and goes flying while they’re out. And for some reason, this makes her mum laugh.
So when all of the presents are wrapped, we go to The Burrow, Nana and Grandad Weasley’s house. It’s pretty much a second home to me (Hogwarts being my first and my actual house being my third). We always go there on Christmas Eve to help with the preparations for the next day. See, all of the family go to the Burrow on Christmas Day, so there’s loads to do. Dad usually complains about having to go and help decorate the house, but Mum forces him to anyway.
As soon as we walk in the door, I spot a twenty four year old man, today with dark blue hair and his usual magnificent brown eyes – Teddy Lupin. I run to him and he catches me, embracing me in a hug that I’m sure isn’t good for the baby. But right now I don’t care very much – I’m hugging my best friend.
“Wotcher Rosie! How are you?” he exclaims.
We break apart and I only now notice that I’m welling up. Teddy looks concerned – he’s noticed I’m crying, but he doesn’t say anything. He just subtly jerks his head towards the living room door. I nod and we go into the empty room. Teddy closes the door and casts Muffliato on the door so nobody in the kitchen can eavesdrop.
“What’s up Rosie? You look terrible,” he says, sitting down next to me on the chair.
“Thanks,” I mutter. That’s the last thing I need to hear.
“You know what I mean. You’re so pale and skinny.”
“Are you saying I was fat before?”
“Rosie,” he says warningly, “don’t make me force Veritaserum down your throat – because I’ll do it!”
Boy do I know he’d do it. He did it before when I wouldn’t tell him the name of the boy I kissed when I was in first year. He’s looking at me now expectantly.
“I think I might be…erm…you know…”
He doesn’t know. He raises his eyebrows for me to continue.
“You know…” I repeat, hoping he’ll catch on without me having to say the dreaded words. He shakes his head.
“No, Rosie, I don’t know.”
I sigh and wipe the tears that are now streaming down my cheeks away.
“I think I might be…pregnant,” I whisper the last word.
Teddy’s brown eyes widen in shock. He doesn’t move for a second and he stares at me in disbelief. I can’t bear to look at him anymore – he’s making me feel really guilty.
“I didn’t know you had a boyfriend,” he says quietly.
“I don’t,” I admit and he looks even more surprised.
“You slept with someone even though he wasn’t your boyfriend?” he asks, looking thoroughly disappointed in me and making me feel like crap. I say nothing.
“Did…did someone take advantage of you?” asks Teddy, now looking extremely angry. It’s quite touching how concerned he is for me – sometimes I wish it were his baby I’m pregnant with…
Did I just say that?
“No,” I say, feeling more ashamed by the minute.
“So…whose is it?”
He looks distraught. I feel sort of sorry for him.
Wait a second, that’s not right. It should be him feeling sorry for me not the other way around!
“It doesn’t matter. Promise you won’t tell anyone?”
“Promise me, Teddy. You can’t tell anybody – I haven’t even told Mum yet. You’re the only person who knows. You can’t even tell Victoire,” I plead.
He doesn’t look happy at all, but he nods. I realise that I’m shaking, although I’m not quite sure when that started. Teddy notices too and puts his arm around me comfortingly.
“It’ll be okay, Rosie,” he says soothingly, “I’m here for you.”
That’s all I wanted to hear.
Well, maybe not all I wanted to hear…I wouldn’t mind if he’d said something along the lines of:
I’m here for your, my darling. I’m going to break up with Victoire and help you raise this child, I don’t care who the father is.
But hey, we can’t have everything. I’m willing to accept his unconditional friendship.
We go back out to the kitchen, where nobody seems to suspicious of our sudden disappearance. Teddy and I tend to spend a lot of time together when I’m home from Hogwarts anyway. Mum and Dad are helping Nana and Grandad to decorate the house now, while Hugo sits in the corner with his Muggle i-pod in his ears – I’m over the other side of the kitchen and I can hear the music blaring. I swear, that boy is going to go deaf.
Victoire swishes into the room (that’s the only way I can describe how she moves) and smiles at me and although I know she’s just being nice, I can’t help but want to kill her when she kisses Teddy on the cheek.
“So what time are Harry and Ginny coming?” asks Mum.
“Around three I think,” replies Nana.
Great – the Potters are coming. Which means Scorpius Malfoy's coming. Maybe I can hide out in the attic until they leave.
“Rose, could you help me with this?” asks Mum, standing on a ladder and fixing up a garland that was draped across the doorframe.
“Hugo,” Dad calls. Hugo is playing with his Gameboy, his i-pod still up full blast. Darn those Muggle toys.
“Hugo…Hugo…earth to Hugo Weasley…HUGO!” Dad eventually yells. Hugo jumps and pulls his earphones out, looking most annoyed.
“It’s like trying to make contact with the dead! Will you come out the back and help me and Grandad with the Christmas lights?” asks Dad.
Hugo sighs, pushes his chair out and storms out to the garden, slamming the door after him. As he does so, the tinsel hanging from the ceiling falls to the floor, causing Nana to swear loudly – which is saying something, because she rarely swears.
“I’m so sorry, Molly,” says Mum, flicking her wand at the tinsel and levitating it back up onto the ceiling, “I don’t know what’s gotten into him lately.”
“I do,” says Nana matter-of-factly, “he’s a thirteen year old Weasley boy.”
“Do all of them go that way?” I ask.
“No,” Dad answers quickly, “I was never like that!”
Mum and Nana both snort. I don’t get it.
“What?” asks Dad, in an offended tone.
“Ronald Weasley, you were the moodiest thirteen year old in the world!” says Mum. Dad looks like he’s about to retaliate before Mum continues, “When you were thirteen, you stopped talking to me because you thought my cat killed your stupid rat that wasn’t actually a rat! And you stopped talking to me because I was suspicious about Harry’s Firebolt! Don’t tell me you weren’t a moody thirteen year old! You were moody until the day Rose was born!”
“Why did you stop being moody when I was born?” I ask, grinning.
“You melted your dad’s heart,” says Mum fondly, “we didn’t think anyone would be able to do that!”
I smile at Dad – I’m quite touched by that. Dad gives me a one-armed hug and grins at me.
“Well then we’ll just have to make Hugo into a Daddy and then maybe he’ll soften up,” Victoire jokes.
“I don’t think so!” says Mum, “I’m not ready to be a Granny just yet!”
I feel physically sick. Teddy looks really uncomfortable but everyone else laughs.
Dad opens the back door and I hear him shout “alright Harry?”
“Um, I have to use the bathroom,” I declare and run from the kitchen and up the stairs. I close the door of the bathroom behind me and stand on top of the toilet to look out the window onto the back garden. Harry and Ginny are here, with James, Al, Lily and Scorpius. Lily walks over to Hugo, says something and then walks away looking slightly crestfallen.
Scorpius looks up and I jump down from the toilet, hiding underneath the window frame. I hope to Merlin he hasn’t seen me. Once again I find myself hiding in a bathroom, toying with the idea of living here forever. Seriously, I’m completely unstable – what the hell is my kid going to turn out like?
It’s Lily. She’s knocking on the door – maybe if I stay quiet she’ll go away.
“Rose, are you okay? I know you’re in there, I saw you looking out the window,” she says.
I know I can’t hide from her, so I open the door and plant a big fake smile on my face – I probably look unhinged.
“Hiya Lily, Happy Christmas Eve,” I say in a fake-jolly voice.
She looks at me sceptically. She’s way too sharp for her own good – she knows there’s something up with me. I notice, however, that there’s a hint of despair in her greeny-brown eyes so I take the opportunity to turn the attention away from my problems.
“What’s wrong?” I ask. Lily looks down at the floor and shakes her head. “Come on, Lils. I know there’s something up.”
She looks around and ushers me into the room across from the bathroom, one that used to belong to Aunt Ginny when she was growing up.
“Can you keep a secret?” she asks.
“More than you know,” I reply.
“I like someone,” she whispers, looking around her like a paranoid chicken waiting to be slaughtered.
“You always like someone,” I say reasonably.
“I know,” she says, “but usually they like me back. This time…well…he doesn’t.”
“Who is he?” I ask, “Maybe he does like you and your brothers just scared him away?”
Lily shakes her head sadly.
“No, he definitely doesn’t like me,” she says, “and I don’t know what to do. And now he has a new girlfriend.”
She looks really upset. I kind of want to hug her but I don’t.