And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming
All the moment and truth in your eyes
When everything feels like the movies,
You bleed just to know you’re alive.
--Goo Goo Dolls “Iris”
When I was fourteen, my parents decided to have a second honeymoon during Christmas, so my siblings and I had to find somewhere else besides home to stay for the holidays.
I, of course, spent it with the Potters and Weasleys at the Burrow. It was definitely one of my favourite holidays. We spent our days playing quidditch and then drinking hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows in the fire. Roxy had brought her boyfriend, and we would spy on them in the tree house, or barge in on them in the bed room.
Because all the kids shared the cottage off of the main house, we would spend our nights playing truth or dare and gossiping.
It was like a giant sleepover, for two weeks straight.
I guess I forgot about how hectic it was because I hadn’t been there in 12 years. Meaning that now there were great-grandchildren running around.
Hugo and I walk into the Burrow and he takes my coat and places it on a heavily inhabited coat rack. I mutter a thank you and step into the chaotic living room and look around.
On the sofa I see Mr. and Mrs. Potter with Charlie Weasley (who I recognize because he was my teacher in Hogwarts) and James and his wife Caroline. On the floor is a little girl and a little boy playing on the ground.
Ron and his brother—George (I can tell by the missing ear)—are laughing with Scorpius Malfoy.
Four little kids run pass me and one trips over my shoe.
“Sorry auntie…” the little boy looks up to see which aunt he tripped over but then quickly realizes he doesn’t know me. Luckily Hugo comes to my rescue.
“How ya doing mate!” he says picking up the little boy into his arms. “This is my good friend Emily.” He says, introducing the little boy to me. “Emily, this is Nate—he’s Freddie’s son.”
“Nice to meet you Emily,” Nate says to me, sticking out his hand. I think it and make a mental note to tell Hugo that we have to teach our little boy manners like this.
Hugo lets Nate back down and I around the room and there are so many children, too many.
“These are all your grandmother’s great-grandchildren?” I ask.
“Yep,” Lily responds, “your bundle of joy is number 19.”
“Alright so Roxy is married to John,” I say.
“Nope, John is married to Molly.” Hugo corrects. “And their children are—“
“Melissa and Josh, now I remember.”
I’m trying to remember everyone’s name as we sit at the dinner table waiting for Molly (senior) to bring the food.
“Roxy is married to Tyler, but they don’t have any children.”
“And Victoire and Teddy have the five kids. Remy, Willie, Lila, Michael and baby Janie.”
“Who’s are the parents of Julia?”
“That’s easy, Nikki and her husband—he’s the only Spanish one here.” I respond. “BUT, he’s not actually Julia’s biological father, he just raised her.”
“Oh, you’re good. What about Josie and Harry?”
“That’s a trick question, Josie is James’ and Harry is Al’s.”
“Yeah and who are they married to?”
“Easy question Weasley, I’m friends with Lily remember?” I respond. “James is married to Caroline and Al is married to Kennley.”
I remember Caroline because she’s a muggle, and she and James started dating when he was in healer school. And of course I remember Al and Kennley, they were “Hogwart’s cutest couple” for two years straight. They had been dating since they were 16.
“Who are Nate’s siblings?” Hugo asks.
“George and er—“ I stop and look around the table. It can’t be Maggie or Anna, because they are James’ and it obviously isn’t Jamie (II) because Kennley is feeding him, and I know that he and Harry are twins. It must be…
“Andy! His little brother is Andy.” I say coming to the conclusion, and just to show off I add, “and their mother is Melanie.”
“And who are you forgetting?” Hugo asked. I look around again and see Lucy and her husband Dave.
“Ciara, Lauren and Kyle are Lucy’s.” I tell him.
“So you’ve got all of them, you should be proud.” Hugo says, serving me some turkey.
Arthur Weasley stands up and everyone looks at him as he raises his glass.
“To family,” he says with a big smile. “And we would like to welcome our newest member, miss Emily Osbourne.”
“Cheers Emily!” Everyone says clinking their glasses together. I feel myself blush as everyone starts eating and smiling at me.
The table is huge, and I have no idea how we’re all fitting at this one table.
“You guys breed like rabbits,” I mutter to myself, before taking a bite of turkey and mashed potatoes. Frank hears me and winks. He used to be the new member until I came.
So far the visit been great, the Weasley’s have always been one of my favourite families.
Soon the food is gone and we all get up to clear the table. All of the Mrs. Weasley’s take the plates and their husbands sit around talking about Quidditch, or the ministry. Then everyone goes into the living room to watch the children open presents. Hugo informed me that usually the adults give their gifts separately, because if not it would take forever.
I watch as everyone opens gifts and it gives me a little bit of a headache. If I’m “part of the family” will I have to buy gifts for every single one of these children? Probably, it’s quite obvious that Hugo doesn’t buy them gifts, so I guess I will have to for the two of us.
What am I talking about? I’m not Hugo’s wife! He can buy his own bloody presents for his nieces and nephews.
Which gets me thinking, what will I do when Hugo is married? I can’t just tag along, being part of the family just because I gave birth to number 19. Knowing the Weasley’s I’ll probably still be invited, and knowing myself I will probably still come. Once you’re in, there’s no getting out. Oh Merlin, why is being part of the Weasley family similar to being in the mafia?
After all of the gift opening, the kids fall asleep while Mr. Potter reads them a story. It takes a while for them to finally settle down, but in less than fifteen minutes, they’re all dead. Then everyone else splits up.
The first generation (Molly and Arthur’s children) starts to talk in the living room along with Teddy and Victoire, and Molly and John. Nikki and Alberto leave, waking up Julia and saying goodbye to everyone. Roxy and Tyler also say goodbye, but the rest of us head outside where we all start to talk.
“So Emily, welcome to the family!” James says happily lifting up his glass. Everyone else toasts to me again, and I can feel the blush coming back up.
“I’m just confused as to why you would sleep with Hugo?” Fred says. Melanie kicks him and Hugo looks angry.
“I’m a little confused as to why I would either,” I respond laughing.
“Do you think it’s going to be a boy or a girl?” Kennley asks.
“Boy,” I say at the same time that Hugo says “girl”.
“It’s a boy,” I clarify.
“Nothing’s certain. We don’t actually know the sex of the baby, Emily is just convinced it’s a boy.”
“Well congratulations,” Caroline says. I know that Caroline and James had Josie out of wedlock, and I can tell she knows how I feel.
“You look great for five months, Em” Al says.
“Yeah when Caroline was five months pregnant, she could barely walk. Remember hun? You’re ankles were the same size as your thighs.” James says.
“Well James, it wasn’t exactly my fault that I was a whale, was it?” Caroline responds briskly.
“No love, not at all.” James knows he’s in trouble. “But you have always been beautiful.”
“Don’t try and fix it.” Caroline says. “But Al is right; pregnancy is very becoming on you.”
“Thank you,” I reply.
“So what are the two of you going to do?” Melanie asks. “Are you moving into Hugo’s new apartment anytime soon.”
“We’re not a couple,” Hugo says.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I just assumed,” poor Melanie looks embarrassed.
“Don’t worry, it’s the usual assumption that people who are having a baby are going out.” I tell her reassuringly.
“Well you guys will make great parents.” She says. I hear Lily and Frank snort.
“What are you trying to say Lily?” Hugo says turning to her angrily.
“Let’s just say neither of you really strike me as the kind of people who like spending their days changing nappies and making baby food.”
I look at her and smile. “That is pretty true.”
“We’d probably rather be doing shots and dancing.” Hugo agreed.
“Excuse me!” I say defensively. “I’m not that much of a party animal!”
“Says the girl who hosted the biggest graduation party Hogwarts ever saw, and complained when only 200 people came.”
“I was expecting 300.” I mutter, reminiscing on our days at Hogwarts. Ugh, I really am becoming one of those losers who only had a life in Hogwarts.
“Well that’s not me any more, I have a good job and I can be a great mother to this child. He’ll love me!” I say, I don’t know if I’m trying to convince the Weasleys or myself.
“I hope she loves me, too.” Hugo says.
“It’s going to be a boy Hugo.” I say for the hundredth time.
I invited Hugo to come over on Christmas night to meet my family. He told me that was when all of his cousin’s families spent time apart with the other sides of their family, but since he wasn’t married, he had nothing to do.
The next morning, I went over to my parents’ house to spend with my family. Usually I would sleep over on Christmas Eve, but that was when I used to spend Christmas Eve eating cookies and singing carols with my nieces and nephews.
“Emily?” I hear a voice shriek when I walk into the house. I look up to see my little sister Natalie standing at the top of the stairs.
“NATALIE!” I screamed happily as she came running down and into my arms. Natalie was supposedly doing an excursion in Australia, and we had very little communication seeing as my owl couldn’t fly that far and a long-distance owl cost too much for the both of us.
“What are you doing here? I thought you were going to stay in Australia for another year? Wasn’t it too expensive to come home for just the holiday?” I ranted.
“I’ve decided to stay for a while, I wanted to be here for the birth of my niece or nephew,” she said putting her hand on my stomach that was currently an obtrusion in our hug.
“Well it will be a while!” I said, “I still have four months left!”
“Good, then I have time to hang out with you before you forget what its like to have fun.”
We walk into the kitchen where my mother is making omelettes.
“Merry Christmas Mum!” I say happily.
“Merry Christmas dear! How was last night?” She says sweetly, but doesn’t take her eyes off of my stomach.
“Great, they were so welcoming. It nice being with the whole Weasley family.”
“That’s wonderful dear, but don’t try to intrude.” She says. She’s picking a fight, and I’m not going to give it to her.
“I’m not mum.”
I hear someone coming tumbling down the stairs and I know its my brother Simon. He is what’s called a “reborn muggle” meaning that he no longer uses magic. He will receive owls though and use them to send replies back but besides that he has no contact with the magic world. I think he has his wand hidden in the floor board under his bed, but just for emergencies.
“Merry Christmas family!” he shouts happily at all of us and then wraps his arms around me.
“Good to see you again Simon!” I say. He also lives in London, but seeing as I don’t spend much time in the muggle area, I hardly ever see him.
“Congratulations, sis! I’m happy for you!” He replies while looking at my stomach.
Suddenly the door opens and three children run in.
“Look what Father Christmas brought me!” Tom says zipping in on a toy broom.
“I got a ModernWitch doll!” Sophie screams while shoving a doll in our faces.
“I got a real broom!” Bobby says excitedly. He doesn’t have it with him, so I’m guessing Charlotte didn’t let him bring it.
“Wow!” My mum says. “Well he left some things off here too, you ought to go check!”
Tom and Sophie run into the other room where the Christmas tree is but Bobby lags behind.
“Father Christmas doesn’t exist,” he says. Charlotte rolls her eyes and pushes him in the direction of the living room. We all follow and I sit down on the ground with the children while they open gifts. I open a share amount from Charlotte and Robert, Simon, Natalie and mum and dad.
Charlotte and Robert (more like just Charlotte) got me a set of gold bangles with dangling charms off of them. Simon got me a book on muggle photography (of course) and Natalie gave me things from Australia, like jewellery and cups that were made in some remote town that nobody ever heard of. My parents gave me practical things, like bibs and jumpers and books. They even gave me three boxes of nappies.
Afterward we all sat at the table and ate. The children ended quickly and decided to watch a movie on the telly—a treat they couldn’t enjoy at home.
“Emily dear, do you remember Brandon Miller from next door?” My mother says casually as we sit in silence eating our omelettes.
Natalie and my mouth both drop at the same time. “How could we not remember Brandon, he was drop dead gorgeous mum!” I say.
“Well his mother was telling me about him the other day.” She continues, “He’s a healer now, making a lot of money but he’s lonely.”
“I could keep him company,” Natalie suggests with a wink. My mother ignores her and keeps talking.
“I told Mrs. Miller about your situation and she told Brandon and he would love to meet you tonight at the party!”
My situation? As in my pregnancy? Oh boy, mum is asking for it.
“I’m bringing Hugo though, mum. Besides, its not exactly the best time for me to start dating.” I say slowly.
I gesture to my stomach.
“But that’s what is so wonderful! Brandon is willing to go out with you even though you’re a single mother!”
Oh boy, I’ve been trying to be civil but I can’t take it anymore.
“Are you trying to say I’m a hag now because I’ve become a single mother? Are you trying to tell me that you need to set me up because if not nobody will ever take me?”
“That’s not what I’m saying,” my mother retaliates, “Brandon can give you a good life—“
“I can give myself a good life thank you very much! I’m doing just fine with money and so is Hugo so we can definitely afford this baby!” I screech. The rest of our family watch with interest as our faces turn red and we look like we’re about to explode.
“That boy cannot raise a baby, especially when he hasn’t even grown up himself. Brandon would make a wonderful father!”
“Except no matter what Brandon does, whether it be teaching him how to play Quidditch, or how to swim, or buy him his first wand, he will not be his father! Brandon Miller is not the father of my child, why does he have the right to raise him ?!”
“Just try thinking rationally Emily!”
“I am thinking rationally!” I scream, “Why is it so irrational that I want the father of my child to help me raise it rather than some man who my mother wants me to date because he has a lot of money?”
“You’re not in love with the father, that’s why!”
“I’m not in love with Brandon either!” With that I stand up and grab all of my presents.
“It was nice spending time with you, but I’m leaving. I can’t take any more of this!”
“I’ll go out with him, mum.” I hear Natalie say as I run out the door.
Have you ever gotten so riled up that you have imaginary fights with someone? Like you imagine them saying something and then in your mind you tell them everything that has ever bothered you about them?
Well I’ve been doing that all day with my mother. I sit on the sofa eating some muggle candy Simon introduced me to called sour-patch kids. On my way home I had a major craving for them so I stopped by some convenience store and bought over 10 packs. I watch movies and cry in every single one of them, even the ones that weren’t sad—like Pride and Prejudice. Damn hormones.
In fact, I’m so wrapped up in myself that I forget to tell Hugo that we aren’t going to my parent’s house that night so when he shows up at my flat I’m in my pyjamas with my hair in a messy knot.
“I wish you had told me it was casual,” he jokes.
“We’re not going Hugo, I got in a huge fight with my mother and we’re not talking right now.” I say miserably.
“You need someone to talk to?” I can tell that he’s just being nice, because he hates dealing with crying and emotions.
“No Hugo, its alright.” I reply, even though I really just want to fall onto his lap and tell him everything. I go close the door but he stops it.
“Can I still hang out with you? If not I’m just going to be alone and bored at home.”
I nod and let him in. He walks in and goes to the kitchen, as if he’s right at home. I watch him make himself a cup of hot chocolate and then he hands it to me.
“So what’s on your mind?” He says.
“Nothing Hugo, really, I’m fine.”
“You’ve always been a crap liar Osbourne.” He says smiling.
And that’s when I break down.
A/N: hope you liked it! So even though I’ve decided to abandon average, I’m going to do little short stories about each character, so be looking out for those!
Please let me know what you thought of Emily and her mother’s showdown, or just what you thought of the chapter in general! I love all the positive feedback I’m getting. I’m sorry I haven’t updated with a chapter recently, but I’m out of school now so all of that will change!