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Chapter 2 : Chapter One: Fault
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I’m running late, again, as I throw my long, sleek strawberry blonde hair into a ponytail and head for the fireplace with my bag swung over my shoulder to floo to St. Mungo’s. The only good thing about this morning is that it’s Friday. Meaning that tomorrow I can sleep as late as I want. Or, rather, I can sleep until I wake up with a back cramp or the intense and lovely need to wretch.
When I stop spinning and step out into the intern common room, I see Emmelyn standing approximately three feet in front of me with her arms crossed. I should have known she’d be waiting for me – she has been everyday I’ve been late this week. Meaning all five of them.
“It’s not my fault,” I say. For the fifth time that week. But, honestly, it’s not my fault. It’s this damn baby’s fault for making me so tired that I go to bed early without finishing all my charts. It’s the baby’s fault that I then have to wake up early to finish them but get interrupted around six by a round of puking. Such a wonderful happening means that I have to shower. And after puking a good two times as I’m getting ready (seriously, is it normal to puke this much?), I have to round up all my things then floo to work. Excuse me for not getting all of that done by seven-thirty.
“Let me guess,” she starts irritably, “you slept through your alarm?”
I have to admit that, while I sincerely wish this were the case, she has no reason to assume that it’s not. Back at Hogwarts I was, surprisingly, still a bit less than punctual. However, that was my fault (my hair wasn’t going to fix itself) so when I graduated I’d promised myself that I would get better. That said, I wasn’t planning on getting pregnant. With my sister’s fiancé’s child. Therefore morning sickness was definitely not one of the excuses I’d used during my time at Hogwarts. Or one that I had planned on using until I was at least twenty-five.
“Hardly,” I mutter miserably as I walk past her and throw my bag into my locker. I pull on my intern robe glad that the three months of pregnancy is still not showing enough to earn suspicion – even on my small figure.
“You know that Healer Branton isn’t going to be happy with you if you come in late everyday. We’ve only been interning for about a month and you’re already showing up late as if you own the place. How do you think that looks, Dominique?”
“Not good, Emmelyn, not good, okay?” I turn on her. Lately my temper has been in short check. Not my fault. “I know, alright? I know that I’m fucking everything up but could you please get off my back about it?”
She looks at me with shock written all over her face. Damn. Now I feel guilty. I hate that I can barely keep my temper, or any of my emotions, in check nowadays. I sigh, bring my hands to my temples, and close my eyes. “I’m sorry,” I say softly. “That was out of line.”
“Really?” Emmelyn asks coldly. “It’s not like I covered for you, again, or anything.”
I drop my hands and look at my best mate. Her insanely curly brown hair is frizzing out of her ponytail and her dark green eyes are flashing with anger, but she’s still beautiful. She may not be half-veela but she can always stand next to me and not have her beauty diminished. I’ve always pettily envied her natural, non-magical beauty.
As I look at her, a little voice in my head begs me to just tell her. To just tell her why I’m late and irritable and puking and hungry all the time now. But then a bigger, scarier part of me tells that part to shut up. I still have no clue what I’m going to do about this. I need to have a plan before I tell anyone. Even Emmelyn.
“It’s been a really bad week,” I tell her, half truthfully. The full truth is that it’s been a fucking horrible month – but I don’t want to scare her.
Her face softens at the full out pathetic look I’m giving her and soon she gives in and sighs, “Oh, fine. If I couldn’t deal with you PMS-ing we would have ended our friendship back in third year.”
Oh what I would give to be PMS-ing right now. But I just force a laugh and close my locker before walking out of the common room with Emmelyn. “What’d you tell Healer Branton?” He’s the resident Healer that has to basically watch over us. We report to him.
“That you had to talk to your flat manager about your rent and that he was a muggle so it took longer,” she explains.
“You’re bloody brilliant, you know that?” I tell her.
“Actually, yes,” she smiles.
About three months ago if we’d had this conversation, I would have pushed her playfully or something but I just don’t have the energy right now.
“We’re working in the Spell Damage ward today under Healer Leary,” she tells me as we approach the lift.
“Great,” I sigh. I hate the Spell Damage ward. It’s mostly made up of parents freaking out because their kid has sprouted an extra arm or something. What I was studying to specialize in was the magical creature injury ward. But they insisted we give everything a try so I was stuck dealing with kids that couldn’t keep their magic to themselves. Fantastic.
“Oh,” Emmelyn says as the doors clank closed. “A few of the other interns were talking this morning – while you were still sleeping – and invited us out for drinks tonight at Three Broomsticks. Term starts Sunday for Hogwarts so this is one of the last Friday nights we’ll be able to go without awkwardly running into old teachers.”
Term starts Sunday?! My stomach sinks. That means that Fred has to go back to school and I won’t see him for forever. Actually, I haven’t seen him in forever. At least two weeks (again, not my fault). Of all my family, I am definitely closest to Fred. He’s a year younger than me but, opposed to all beliefs, having Uncle George and Aunt Angelina raise him has made him much more mature. Don’t get me wrong, Fred is hilarious and completely crazy at times – another thing he gets from being raised by Uncle George – but he also has a lot to take on that most kids don’t.
Dad says that Uncle George and my late Uncle Fred used to be completely insane but that losing his twin really sobered up Uncle George. He’s still completely insane and by far the funniest of my Dad’s brothers (meaning he’s the most intentionally funny – Uncle Ron can be funny when he doesn’t try) but anyone can tell that there’s something missing. And for a few weeks a year – around holidays and his birthday and the anniversary of the opening of Weasley Wizard Wheezes – Fred has to step up and take on some of the responsibilities with Roxanne and just in general.
Mainly, I can talk to Fred about anything. I don’t know who I trust more Fred or Emmelyn. Maybe Fred, but only because he’s family and understands the complete madness of our clan. Or because I’ve known him since he was born – I even get along with him better than my own sister. Even before I was pregnant with my sister’s fiancé’s child, I mean.
I really do love my sister. I swear. We’ve just always rubbed each other the wrong way. It’s like there is an unspoken competition with us, I guess. But she’s probably my third best friend, the order being Fred, Emmelyn, then her. We began to grow apart when we started Hogwarts.
Thus, my train of thought circles back to Hogwarts. I decide that I’m visiting Fred tomorrow before he leaves. I need to write and tell him.
“Dominique? Hello? Still with me?” Emmelyn waves her hand in front of my face.
“What? Yeah,” I shake my head. “Sorry, I’m just thinking that I need to see Fred before he has to go back to school.”
“Oh, Fred,” Emmelyn drops her hand and pushes to the front of the lift. I follow her, my eyebrows creased. I thought she liked Fred. We always used to hang out – the three of us – at Hogwarts and she never protested. They’d always gotten along great, in fact.
“Emmelyn, what aren’t you telling me?” I ask her suspiciously.
She doesn’t look at me but I see her cheeks flush a bit pink. Did I miss something?
“This is our floor,” she says as the doors open and she all but bolts out of the lift. Not fair. I can barely keep up with her. Being pregnant sucks. And I’m only three months in.
“Emmelyn Kendall Baggí, you get back here right now and tell me whatever you aren’t telling me,” I demand. A few patients turn to look at me, as I may have said this loudly across a busy corridor, but I don’t care. She stops walking and waits for me to catch up. I try not to think about how she might have to be doing this a lot in about three more months as I round on her. “Go.”
She sighs and can’t quite look me in the eye. It reminds me painfully of the time last summer I’d spent the weekend at her house and had… oh bloody hell. The time I had kissed her older brother. Well, he’d kissed me but still. “Are you… and Fred…”
“I’m sorry we didn’t tell you!” She looks at me and blurts out. I might have to sit down. “Dominique, it’s only been a few weeks and we didn’t want to jinx it and we didn’t want you to freak out. We didn’t know if it would even work,” she begins to explain.
I feel nauseous; but its not because my best mate and favorite cousin were secretly dating for the last few weeks. While this news is pretty shocking and does piss me off, morning sickness could have definitely picked a better time. Emmelyn will think I’m overreacting. I hold up one finger and dash around the corner to the nearest loo to wretch my guts out.
“Bloody hell Dominique, don’t you think that you are being a bit dramatic. Honestly,” Emmelyn says from the other side of the door. Merlin, this is embarrassing.
A few minutes later, after I’m done and my mouth is rinsed out, I prepare myself for the worst and walk out of the loo. I was a Gryffindor and they do not hide from their best mates in the bathroom of their workplace.
For the second time today I see her standing with her arms crossed about three feet from me. Only, unlike first thing this morning, she’s blushing a bit this time. Well, she’s dating her best mates younger cousin so she has a good reason to.
“The word ‘overreaction’ comes to mind,” she says blushing more probably out of anger and embarrassment. Join the party.
“I wasn’t barfing because of you getting it on with my little cousin,” I remark snidely as we begin walking to the room we are supposed to report to. See, this is the great thing about a best mate – no matter what the other did, we’re still going to be there. I’m still walking right beside the girl that betrayed me by not filling me in on this significant detail in her life. That annoying voice comes back.
“Okay, then, what was it,” she asks some of the anger replaced with concern.
This is where it gets tricky. Usually I can excuse myself to the bathroom discreetly at work when the urge to vomit comes, or at least duck behind a curtain and only scare a patient. I’m going to kill my mother for passing on the morning sickness genes; Grandma Weasley and Aunt Ginny had very minimal sickness during their pregnancies – so I’ve heard – though Mere has told us multiple times about how sick she was with each of us.
I don’t say anything while I contemplate a good answer. I’ve already used ‘stomach bug’ twice, ‘must have been my dinner’ three times, and ‘sometimes apparating does this’ once to cover for the six times I’ve been caught in the past two months.
“Well?” Emmelyn asks. “Are you okay? Do you need to see a healer?” she sounds really concerned now. Great.
I shake my head and open my mouth to retort when someone shouts our names, “Weasley, Baggí you’re with Healer Leary today – room 1205.” I turn and see Healer Branton walking towards us. “How was your meeting?” he asks me.
“It was fine, we reached an agreement,” I smile.
“Good to hear,” he nods. “Now get to business and don’t be late again!” And I thought that I had mood swings.
“Yes, Sir,” I nod and grab Emmelyn’s arm. Luckily we were standing near our room so Emmelyn couldn’t question me before we entered room 1205. I knocked twice, ignoring the glare I’m sure my friend was giving me, then entered. Healer Leary was at the far side of the room attending to one of the five patients in the room. I walked past a small boy with one of Uncle George’s fake wands-turned-rubber chicken up his nose and his annoyed looking dad, a girl of about seven who had a tentacle sprouting from the top of her head and her freaked-out looking parents, two angry-looking five year old twins who were now connected by their arms, looked nervously to the bed that was enclosed by a purple curtain then finally reached Healer Leary.
She was examining a small girl with long blonde curls. The girl’s parents watched nervously even though nothing was visibly wrong with her except she happened to be the palest child I’ve ever seen. With extreme curiosity I approached them, “Healer Leary, we were told we would be with you today?”
All four of the people in the room turned to look at Emmelyn and I and I immediately found out what was wrong with the girl. The whites of her eyes were blood red and when she smiled at me, so were her teeth. I felt my breath catch and noticed that Emmelyn’s had too. My friend’s angry posture evaporated.
Healer Leary kept her cool even though I was sure I looked horrified. I composed myself as she spoke, “Yes, of course,” she greeted then turned to the girls parents. “Mr. and Mrs. Reece, this is Dominique Weasley and Emmelyn Baggí.” As I could have predicted, they turned to look at me with slight interest. I’m used to this – part of growing up after your whole family practically helps defeat the most evil wizard ever. Thankfully I don’t hold their attention long, apparently having your kid looking like a demon is more cumbersome than meeting a Weasley. Thank Merlin. “They are interns here at St. Mungo’s, you don’t mind if they sit in and offer opinions on your daughter’s case do you?”
The Reece’s shake their head and their daughter smiles up at me again. “Hi!” she says, her voice about ten times deeper than I would guess what normal. Scary.
“Er – hi,” I manage to say.
“This is Avery, she’s four years old,” Healer Leary began telling us. “This morning she was upstairs playing with some neighborhood muggle girls her age when Mrs. Reece said she heard screams, a crack, then glass breaking. She ran upstairs to find a mirror shattered and her daughter like this. The muggle girls said they saw a flash of red light bounce off the mirror and hit Avery.” She explains as the little girl kicks swings her feet over the edge of the cot. “The muggles have had their memories modified, of course.”
I stand there in shock like a dumb person while Emmelyn clears her throat and jumps into action, “Red light can be a variety of spells, did the muggles see – or do you remember, Avery – if the light was more pink like your shirt or red like your Daddy’s?”
The four year old looks from her own shirt to her dad’s then points to her dad’s shirt. Healer Leary nods, “We’ve already heard that the spell cast a dark blood-red light. Avery has said that she made the light come from her insides – which we assume means she felt the magic originating and thus had some control. She said that she was mad at one of the muggle girls because she wouldn’t let her play the mother in their game of house.”
“Does she say there is any pain?” I finally find my voice, only to ask the most obvious question.
“She feels fine,” Healer Leary says. “But we don’t know if the spell will effect her mind as it is obviously effecting her body.”
Bloody hell, they are scared that the spell is slowly turning the girl into some type of demon. Avery’s mother was just down the hall for a few minutes and this four year old got into this much trouble? I feel sick again as I realize how dangerous toddlers are to themselves – and to others! Those muggle girls could have been killed. My hand finds my stomach. There is no way I can be responsible for a child! How did any children reach adulthood? What about this thing growing in my stomach right now? How in hell was I supposed to keep this thing alive – given that I can even give birth to it? This little girl, was probably not a huge mistake, has both of her parents, and even with that she’s slowly going evil all in a few hours!
There is no way… Before my thought was even completed, everything went blissfully dark.
“She was sick this morning in the bathroom. I thought maybe she had had a bad breakfast or something.”
I feel a cold finger poke my eyelid. Then I realize that I’m lying down with my eyes closed. What…?
“Avery, don’t poke her!” I hear a higher voice scold. The pressure from the finger disappears and I slowly blink awake.
“Weasley, are you okay?” I hear Healer Leary ask.
“What?” I ask, sitting up slowly.
“You fall asleep!” says the slowly-becoming-demon child. Mr. Reece grabs Avery and herds his small family around the curtain to give us some privacy. Could this day get any worse?
“You passed out,” Emmelyn says then chews on her bottom lip.
“I’m fine, I must have locked my knees or something,” I look around and realize that I’m on the kid’s cot.
“And you threw up this morning,” Emmelyn says.
I give her a dirty look for outing me. “I think that you need to go see a Healer,” Healer Leary says. I’m tempted to just tell them what’s wrong with me, but I don’t have the energy. Why was I so tired all of the time. Even when she was pregnant Aunt Angelina wasn’t this tired. Maybe there was something wrong with me.
I shake my head, “Really I don’t think –”
“Stun Baggí,” Healer Leary orders.
“What?” we both ask.
“Just do it. Stand still, Baggí.”
“Okay…” Emmelyn turns to look at me.
“This is not going to –”
“Weasley, now.” Healer Leary cuts across my protest.
I take my wand from my pocket, “Stupify!”
I get ready to see her freeze – and she does… for a whole second. What?
“Baggí, please assist Weasley to the fifth floor,” Healer Leary orders.
Shit! That’s where the new clinic is.
“No, really, I don’t need to –”
“You either go now, or I’ll tell you my diagnosis for what is wrong with you,” Healer Leary threatens. “I think that you know what it is and that you are being extremely irresponsible for not seeing a Healer before this.”
Alright. Now I’m getting a bit angry. I have no connection to Healer Leary yet here she may or may not know that I’m pregnant and is threatening outing me and telling me that I’m irresponsible for not seeing a healer? I know I’m pregnant what do I need to see a healer for? I scowl at her.
“What’s wrong with her?” Emmelyn asks.
“None of your business!” I say.
“Is so my business, you’re my best mate!”
“You didn’t think it was my business that you were dating my cousin,” I counter.
“There was nothing potentially dangerous about that!”
“Enough!” Healer Bitchface (yes, that is my new name for her) whispers harshly. “You need to see a healer, you are not as fine as you think you are.” Isn’t that the truth? Metaphorically, though. Physically I’m fine. She must think something completely off. “You two can bicker all the way upstairs. Or up the lift,” she adds looking at me. I have a strong urge to stick my tongue out at her. I blame being one of the oldest cousins – the younger ones influence me.
I slide off the cot and stand up. My head spins and I grab the cot again to steady myself. “There was a reason I asked Baggí to assist you,” Healer Bitchface sighs. I scowl again but allow Emmelyn to slip her arm around my waist and guide me away from Healer Bitchface.
As soon as we exit room 1205, Emmelyn begins quizzing me, “What’s wrong with you?”
“Dominique Nymphadora Weasley, I swear to Merlin if you don’t tell me I will hex you which may or may not make your illness worse!”
It would. Maybe she should push me down the stairs. That might rid me of the problem altogether.
I don’t want that. I considered my options during the first month after I found out and decided that eliminating the problem was not an option. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I couldn’t punish this baby inside me for my stupid, drunken escapade with my sister’s fiancé. Merlin that sounds so bad!
“You can’t hex me,” I grumble.
“Why not?” she pries and she pushes the button to call the lift.
“Because you love me?” I try. She glares at me. Damnit.
“I’ll tell you when we get into a private room, okay? But you can’t tell anyone, Em, you can’t!” I feel tears coming to my eyes – damn this pregnancy!
“Calm down, Dominique!” Emmelyn looks scared. Can’t blame her. It usually takes a lot to make me cry. “I won’t tell anyone…” she pauses and gasps, “do you have an STD?” she whispers.
It’s not a disease but it’s definitely transmitted sexually. “Not a disease, Emmelyn.” I say in a monotone. I bring my hand to my stomach.
She stares at my stomach, eyes wide, and almost lets go of me. “No!” she gasps. “I thought you were still a virgin!” she practically yells. As the lift doors creak open. I guess this day could get worse. All the Healers and patients stare at me. I wish I could just drop dead.
I smile at the crowd as she blushes and helps me in. We are silent the whole ride. We are silent until the door to my private room in the clinic closes. Then she turns on me, “What the bloody hell, Dominique! How long have you known? Why didn’t you tell me?” she starts. I lie back on the cot and put my hand over my eyes. I’m beginning to get a headache.
“About two months, okay? I didn’t tell you because I have no sodding clue what the hell I’m going to do!”
She’s silent for a minute then says, “Are you going to tell Chandler?”
“Why would I do that?” I move my hand and look at her in confusion before I realize that I just screwed myself over… again. I just told her that Chandler wasn’t the father. Well I did realize about a month ago that I couldn’t pretend it was his for one huge reason: we’d never had sex. As soon as he found out that I was saying it was his (and believe me, with my male cousins and uncles – he would) he would say that he was still a virgin and make my pregnancy with his child an immaculate conception.
Her face shows pure shock. Again. I’m getting good at this.
“What the hell, Dominique?” she whispered. “You had sex with someone else and you didn’t tell me? Are we even friends?”
I sit up, “I couldn’t, Em,” I say, tears pooling again. “I can’t tell anyone!”
“Why not?” she asks walking closer to me. “Who’s the father?”
Tears are pouring down my cheeks now. I don’t even try to wipe them away. It seems as if time has really come to confess my awful sin. To admit to it; to make it absolutely real. I look up at my friend’s innocent green eyes, “Teddy Lupin,” I croak.
Emmelyn takes one more step, no judgment in her eyes, just an extreme amount of caring, and wraps me in a hug.
As I sob onto her shoulder I realize that this is all my fault.
A/N: Hey, guys! Thanks for all the awesome feedback on the prologue! I'm really glad that you guys like this story/idea. I'm trying to update as fast as I can what with school and the waiting line thing, so stick with me. You guys are awesome. Please review and tell me what you think!
Pulling from an old note:
use the transitive property, people, and REVIEW! haha. thanks, you guys rock.
over and outt.
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