“I don’t remember; you’re younger! You still live with yours, do yours knock?”
“There’s a fifty-percent chance that they do,” Fred shrugged.
I smacked him, “Just knock for Merlin’s sake, I want to get this over with.”
Fred shook his head slightly as he stepped forward on the porch and banged on the old, rickety door with such force I was scared it would fall over. “Don’t worry about knocking the door over or anything,” I mutter.
“Hey, you just worry about hiding your uterus and everything will be fine,” Fred snapped, half-joking.
I glared at him and he glared back, clearly not having quite forgiven me. At least he could crack jokes about it – that’s always a good sign. “Not a word, Fred Weasley,” I remind him.
“On my namesake’s grave I swear I will not breathe a word tonight,” he vows just as the door swings open and we turn from each other to smile at Aunt Ginny.
“Fred! Dominique!” my godmother smiled, her brown eyes lighting up as she sees us. I have always been amazed by Aunt Ginny’s natural beauty. She wasn’t half-veela, of course, but, like Emmelyn, she could always stand next to Maman or Victoire or me and not have her beauty diminished one bit. She looked just as good as always tonight, her long fiery hair pulled into a neat ponytail with a light green blouse and jeans.
“Hullo, Aunt Ginny!” Fred grins and, though he is much younger, wraps our aunt into a hug. No one would dare call Aunt Ginny small, mostly for fear of what she would do to them, but she wasn’t build like Aunt Angelina or even Aunt Audrey. While Aunt Audrey was skin and bones and Aunt Angelina was athletically built, Aunt Ginny was somewhere in the middle – strong yet petite. Some weird type of compromise that fit her perfectly. Past her looks, I’d always looked up to Aunt Ginny and I don’t think that it was just because she was my godmother. She was always strong and she grew up with five older brothers and remained sane. That would take some amazing will power; I had a hard time dealing with all my male cousins.
“Dominique – it’s been forever!” Fred moves past her and into the house and I walk up to embrace her. I try to keep some air between us so that she won’t feel my slightly swelled belly, but she strongly crushes me to her. I sigh at my stupid attempt – I should have known that I wasn’t going to get away with that kind of hug around this family.
“Yeah, I’ve been busy,” I tell her as she releases me. I watch her eyes search my face and then run down my body. Uh-oh. In my worrying about my own mother and Grandma Weasley, I’d forgotten to consider Aunt Ginny as a threat. She was definitely capable of deducing just as much as the first two were. As I said, we’d always been pretty close, too, what with her being my godmother and me being her oldest godchild.
“I like your shoes,” she says finally, probably trying to hide the fact she just looked me over. I look down and remember that I’m only wearing my brown flats – yeah, she’s definitely covering up.
“Thanks,” I say anyway as I walk into the living room.
“Everyone is outside,” Aunt Ginny tells me. “Well, everyone that isn’t slaving over all the food it takes to feed this army. Do you want to come in and say hi to Mum or –”
“I don’t want to interrupt,” I say quickly. The longer I put off seeing Grandma Weasley, the better. “I’ll just go outside.”
“Okay, dear,” she said still looking at me strange. I don’t like this, I don’t like this! I thought wildly as I smiled at her and made my way out to the backyard where it was not only darker, but I could hide amongst the young ones who wouldn’t notice anything.
I walk out and see that the men, namely Uncles Harry, Ron, George, and my Dad are already seated lazily at the table discussing something loudly – most likely quidditch. I see that Uncle Percy and Molly are discussing something with Uncle Charlie and I have an internal debate as to whether I should save him or not.
“Dominique!” Lily pulls me out of rescue mode and runs over to me, tackling me into a hug. Though she is only thirteen, she is only about a head shorter than me – tall genes from both the Weasley side and the Potter side, I assume. “I haven’t seen you all summer!”
I laugh and hug her back, “I know, Lils, I’ve been so busy with my new job.” Lily and I have always been pretty close. I know that she’s closest to Rose and maybe Hugo because of the age thing, but I see her as the little sister that I don’t have. When she and Hugo were born Victoire and I loved playing with them. She would always take Hugo because he was bigger and harder for me, then only five years old, to handle. That combined with the fact that Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny were more friendly with Dad and Maman than Aunt Hermione and Uncle Ron were and the fact that she was my godmother was enough to ensure the bond between me and their little girl.
“That’s no excuse,” Lily scolds me. I laugh, if only she knew. “I have some big secret news to tell you, but if you’re just going to laugh maybe I won’t.” she teases.
“Secret, huh?” I ask. “Who else knows?”
“Just Rosie and Abbey,” Lily smiled slyly. Abbey Pryce was her best friend at Hogwarts, “Oh, and Renton, of course.”
“Renton?” I asked, eyebrows raised.
Lily nodded and pulled me away from the middle of the patio, “You promise you won’t tell anyone? James and Al would kill him and Dad would blow his top.”
I nodded, interested as to what my baby cousin had to tell me. She smiled again and flushed, “Renton is going to be a fourth year at Hogwarts, he’s in Ravenclaw, and his family just moved in next door to us. We’ve hung out all summer, usually with Al and sometimes James, but just yesterday we were outside by the river and Al and James had to go in to do their chores and,” she paused and flushed more looking up at me. I smiled, knowing that she was going to say, “and he kissed me!” she practically squealed.
I laughed and hugged her, “That’s so exciting, Lily! Are you two dating, then?”
“Shh,” she hushed me looking around me to see if anyone was listening, “not really. But he said he really liked me.” Her face matched her hair now. Aw, her first little boyfriend. Maybe I should warn her to not have sex until she was about forty-seven… actually, I think I’ll leave that to Uncle Harry and her brothers.
“I’m so happy for you! What does he look like?” I asked, feeling like a schoolgirl again. Here I was, eighteen and pregnant, gushing with my thirteen year old cousin over her first kiss. I was going to hold onto my youth with an iron fist, damnit.
“You trying to hide from us over there, Dominique?” calls a voice from behind me. I turn, smiling, to face James.
“Of course not, I was just having a private conference with your sister,” I wink at Lily and she nods promising to tell me the rest later as we walk over to join the rest of the cousins (save Molly who is still torturing… I mean talking to Uncle Charlie.)
I walk over and stand by Fred, hugging Louis and James on my way over there. “Where’s Victoire and Teddy?” Rose asks walking over from where she was playing with Roxanne.
I feel the color drain from my face and I look at my shoes. How discrete, I can practically hear Fred thinking at me. I take a deep breath, “I don’t know, I just got here. I haven’t seen them in a while.” I say looking up and flipping my hair over my shoulder.
“They are coming, right?” Hugo speaks up. “I want to see Teddy; he owes me money, his team lost.”
“Yeah, Dad said that he was coming; I don’t know about Victoire, though.”
“Maman’s making her come,” Louis speaks up. “I’d bet my wand. She was in a foul mood the other day and then I heard she practically threatened your life.” He nods towards me.
“How’d you hear that?”
“Fred told me,” Louis answers. I look to Fred, “Emmelyn told me,” he smiles.
“No secrets in this family,” James laughs. “You should know that by now, ‘Nique.”
Fred skillfully turns his snort into a cough and I have to work to stop myself from glaring at him. I am thankfully saved from commenting on that as Aunt Ginny and Aunt Hermione walk out, “Food’s ready everyone sit down.”
Aunt Angelina follows closely behind them and scoops Roxanne off of the floor where she was playing with Crookshanks, Aunt Hermione’s cat that usually stays at the Burrow because it likes to chase the gnomes. As all the Potter’s and Weasley’s migrate towards the way-too-big-to-be-normal table, Fred chuckles beside me for no apparent reason. I look up at him quizzically and sit down. He just shakes his head in a way that makes me nervous then sits between me and James. I look to my left, expecting to see Lily or Rose then topple out of my chair when a man with light blue hair and brown eyes smiles down at me, “Wocher, Dominique!”
Fred, laughing hysterically, helps me back into my chair. I don’t have time to glare at him because Teddy is staring at me as if I’m completely mental. “You scared me,” I manage to say.
He smiles weakly, “Sorry,” he says. “Where’ve you been lately?”
“Busy,” I tell him as the adults (well, the older adults) begin to magic food onto the table.
“Busy, for almost two months?” he asks quietly. I look over and see Victoire on his other side talking to Maman over the table. “Victoire said she hadn’t heard from you, either.”
“I have a job now, you know,” I say into my plate, not looking at him.
“I know, I know,” he says, still quieter. “I… I just…” he pauses and his hair changes color to a dark blue, almost black color. “we’re okay, right?” he asks. “I don’t want my future sister-in-law to hate me or… well, I don’t want this to be awkward for the rest of our lives.”
Maybe if you’d thought about that before you knocked me up… I stab at a carrot on my plate. Fred looks over to me, then to Teddy, and I feel the muscles in his arm flex. I kicked him under the table, mentally telling him to calm down. I most definitely did not want a fight to break out in the middle of dinner.
“Dominique?” Teddy asks again.
I roll my eyes and look at him, “I…” I’m fine. Why can’t I say those two words; that lie. I’ve been saying it for the past two months and now I decide to choke on it? “It’s –”
Again, my mouth will not form the words I want it to. What is this?
“- isn’t that right, Teddy?” we both snap out of our little staring contest and look to my sister. She looks a bit confused as to what we were talking about so seriously, but she ignores that and repeats herself. “I was just telling Maman that we had narrowed it down to two different dates.”
“Oh, the wedding, yeah,” Teddy nods. Victoire smiles her perfect smile at him and he looks mesmerized. He kisses her on the top of the head then begins to talk of the wedding with Uncle Harry, who is sitting next to Maman across the table.
“Fucking two-faced bastard,” I hear Fred mutter beside me. I turn to face him, my hair swinging around wildly. “He is not. We just made a mistake. It’s not like I expected him to be in love with me. I most definitely do not love him like that,” I hiss.
“I still don’t get how he can sit there with her knowing that he messed you about not two months ago.”
“We were drunk,” I said to him for what seemed like the four-hundredth time.
“I don’t care,” Fred shakes his head. “He’s still a bastard.”
“I’m just as much to blame as he is.”
“You’re youn –”
“What are you two whispering about over there?” James demands.
“How Fred is dating my best mate,” I say immediately.
“Oh,” James looks to Fred (who’s blushing) and smiles. “Congratulations on that, by the way, mate. Emmelyn is fine!” Fred nods and they exchange a high-five.
“Oh, Merlin,” I mutter shaking my head and turning back to my food. I push it around my plate and wonder if Grandma Weasley has any Nutella for these carrots… mmm.
We decide to take a break to clean up before dessert is served and, being one of the oldest women that didn’t cook, I offered the help clean up. The mothers would never trust that job to their husbands alone, so Victoire and I volunteer, as do Fred and Teddy. Uncle Harry, Uncle Ron, and Dad are among those that are helping us; Uncle Percy volunteered but we told him it wasn’t necessary and Uncle George was shooting off some fireworks for the younger kids.
My back was killing me and I was beginning to feel a bit worn out, probably due to the fact that I’d been standing and performing magic all night without eating much because nothing that was on the table seemed to appeal to me. The meat was a bit well done for my taste (and Teddy’s, too, I noticed) and after eating a few carrots they began to repulse me. However, the cake that Grandma Weasley made for dessert was calling my name – chocolate all the way through, just the way us Weasley/Potter kids were raised to like.
Anyway, I was so tired that I would have liked nothing more than to sit down and watch the fireworks, but Aunt Ginny had been looking at me weird all night. She must have inherited her mother’s eye for spotting something out of the norm. Luckily, I had avoided having to hug and/or talk to Maman or Grandma Weasley while standing. The conversations we had at dinner seemed to suffice and they had other things to worry about than if I looked like I’d gained weight. My godmother, on the other hand, had children that could feed themselves but weren’t getting married so she was all eyes on me.
All of the dishes were finally inside and Dad waved his wand and began supervising them as they cleaned themselves. I sighed and leaned against the wall to watch Victoire magic the already-clean dishes away, Teddy watch Victoire doing that, and Uncles Harry and Ron have a make-shift sword fight with two carving knifes. I don’t think that they will ever grow up.
Before long, the dishes are finished and everyone head back outside. I thought I was the last to exit the kitchen, but someone grabs my arms and pulls me back in. My heart almost stopped as my mind jumped to Teddy first, but then my rational side caught up and realized that the hand gripping me was too soft and too small to be his. It was my sister.
I turned to face her, “Yeah?”
“Are you okay?” she asks me, actual concern in her eyes. Oh, hell.
I smile as best I can, “I’m fine,” I say. I can say it to her! I think.
“Are you sure?” she looks unconvinced.
“Positive. Now, what are the two dates you have to pick between?” I ask, knowing that if I change the subject back to her she’ll drop this one.
“Oh! Well, we want a spring-ish wedding so we were thinking somewhere around February or March. That way its not too buggy but not incredibly cold, you know? So we’ve narrowed it down to –”
Aw, and it’s also the same time that I’ll be delivering your fiancé’s baby!
“Are you sure you don’t want to do it sooner? Maybe November or December?” Any time but the same bloody moment I’ll be ready to pop!
“We’re sure,” Victoire says slowly. “Do you have something to do in the spring?” she asks.
“Er – maybe,” I say looking away from her. “But I mean I don’t have to be there. I don’t want to ruin your wedding date…”
“No!” Victoire practically screams. “You’re the maid of honour!”
I’m what? “I am?”
“What? Of course you are! I already asked you, didn’t I?” Victoire says winking her forehead trying to remember. She most definitely did not ask me.
“Er – I don’t think so,” I say.
“Oh,” she seems unfazed by this. “Well, you’ll do it won’t you?”
I stare at her blankly; I don’t know how to answer this, honestly. I would love to be her maid of honour, it’s just the small fact that I’ll be the size of a blimp with her soon-to-be husband’s child inside of me during her wedding…
“You would seriously consider not being your own sister’s maid of honour on her wedding day?” Victoire asks, incredulously, her voice getting louder.
“No, no,” I say putting my hands on her shoulders to calm her. “I… I’d love to, really.” I assure her. She seems to calm down, I gulp, “It’s just that this er… thing I have in early March…”
“What’s more important than my wedding, Dominique?” Victoire says and I can tell that she’s getting really upset about this. Well, I can’t really blame her but I can’t really explain myself, either. She shrugs off my hands and I just stand there, staring at my beautiful, older sister that I have betrayed so badly. “We’re sisters, for Merlin’s sake. I know that we were never as close as you and Emmelyn, but we grew up together doesn’t that count for anything? So tell me, what is it that is keeping you from being right beside me on the most important day of my life?”
She’s close to tears and, hell, with my emotions all out of whack I probably am too. “I… I can’t, Victoire. I –”
“Just… stop. I’ll just get someone else to do it, then. Since you’re being a right bitch about it,” she said and pushes past me leaving me in the kitchen with only my tremendous pile of guilt to keep me company.
I couldn’t stand to be here anymore. I had to get away. I looked out of the window onto the patio and saw everyone was preoccupied with the fireworks. Then I saw Teddy and Victoire, Victoire seeming to cry onto Teddy’s shoulder. I felt so bad that I almost puke. I step back from the window and turn on the spot, I caught a glimpse of Aunt Ginny staring through the window before I was squeezed so tightly I couldn’t breathe then a second later landed in the kitchen of my flat.
I walk into the living room, looking around desperately for something to distract me. I see my charts on the coffee table and walk over to them. Picking them up, I start my work early for almost the first time ever.
Crack! Not an hour later, I jump three feet off the couch and my charts fly everywhere someone rudely apparates directly into my kitchen. Probably some family member checking on me. Hell, it’s probably Aunt Ginny here about to demand to know what is up with me.
“In the living room,” I call as I sit back down and lean my head back, trying to act as sick and tired as I feel.
“Not feel well,” a rough voice asks me angrily. “Or do you like to piss people off then run away?”
I spin around and stand up as this unexpected voice accuses me, “Teddy?” I ask, “What the fuck are you doing in my flat?”
“I’m here to find out what the hell your problem is,” he says walking around the couch to properly tower over me. His hair is red but his eyes are still the deep brown they usually are.
“If you would explain to me what in the name of Merlin you are talking about, maybe I’ll be able to tell you!” I fire back.
“I’m talking about how you won’t be my fiancée’s, your own sister’s, maid of honour because you have something else planned that is more important than our wedding!”
Oh, no. He is not here to accuse me of things that he doesn’t know anything about! “You will not walk into my flat and start accusing me of things without knowing the whole story,” I say as calmly as I can. Which, albeit, is not calmly at all.
He runs his hand through his hair – a habit he likely picked up from Uncle Harry, “What more is there to this story, Dominique? We had drunken sex one night when we were both devastated – it was a mistake! I thought we moved on! And even if you haven’t gotten past it and are angry or whatever with me, you don’t have to take that out on Victoire. She didn’t do anything; don’t punish her for our mistake!”
I stood staring at him in shock. Did he seriously think that I wasn’t being her maid of honour because I was holding a grudge on him? If he’s that conceited, then maybe he and Victoire really are perfect for each other! I shake my head and turn away from him walking around the coffee table to the other side of the room, trying to control myself. It’s not working; my fists are shaking terribly so I fold them across my chest. Then I give up on that and run a hand through my own hair so roughly some of it pulls out. I spin on him, still not calm, “Is that seriously what you think?” I ask him, “that I’m taking this out on her and that’s why I won’t be the maid of honour?” I laugh. It’s so ridiculous!
“Well,” he says, his voice no more controlled than mine. “If it’s not that, what is it then? Are you jealous?”
“JEALOUS?” I explode, marching towards him. That’s just too much, my Weasley temper can no longer be held in. “I don’t know who the hell you think you are, Teddy Lupin, but –”
“Who I think I am?” he yells back. “You’re the one who is holding a grudge on their sister for something that is your fault!”
“My fault?” I growl.
“Well, I guess it was both of our faults,” Teddy quickly amends. “But that’s still no reason to be jealous of Victiore. I love her, Dominique –”
And that is just too much. If he thinks I’m bloody in love with him, he’s got another thing coming. “I’m not jealous and I do not love you.” I spit as I turn and walk away from him again, trying to control myself.
“If that’s true,” he says slowly anger coating his every word, “then why the hell are you being such a bitch to your sister –”
“I CAN’T BE HER MAID OF HONOUR BECAUSE MARCH IS ABOUT THE TIME I’LL BE DELIEVERING OUR BABY!” I finally burst; spinning around so fast that my hair hits me hard in the face. My brain catches up with my mouth and I stand there, red faced and pissed off, thinking that there had to have been a better way to tell him.
A/N: Dun dun dunnnn. Haha. Well, more and more people find out each chapter don't they? Poor Dominique, yeah? Everyone's finding out and she still has no clue what she's going to do. I want to THANK YOU guys for all the awesome feedback/reviews. They make me sooo happy. And I'm awed by the number of people that favorited this story. That always makes me feel really loved. So please, please, PLEASE keep reviewing and i promise that one, i'll answer, and two, i'll keep updating!
You guys rock, thanks SO MUCH.
over and outt.
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