Chapter 16 : Chapter Fifteen: Guests
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Allison and David. I made it, which is why it sucks, but I wanted you to know what I pictured them as. :)
Chapter Fifteen: Guests
When Emmelyn heard what I did, she bought me a cake with ‘Congrats on Growing a Set of Balls!’ written on it in icing. Hayes joked that he sure as hell hoped I hadn’t grown a pair.
It’s the beginning of December now and the snow is falling heavily outside my apartment window (or, I’m assuming it is – the shades are always drawn these days) as I sit on my arse eating a fairly large slice of aforementioned cake and flipping through one of the many parents’ magazines Aunt Ginny has brought me. They’re actually pretty interesting… and downright terrifying.
Honestly would you have ever expected that “What should I do when my toddler blows a hole through the wall?” would be a normal question? Moreover, I definitely would not have thought the answer to be a ten-step process. But, apparently 9.34 out of 10 readers found it helpful, so I’m a tad frightened.
I sighed and flipped the page of the magazine, still balancing the plate of yummy-goodness on my ever-growing belly; I’d be six months along at the end of this month, and I have been told by my lovely best friend that I look as if I swallowed a quaffle.
I punched her in the stomach.
Upon her observation, however, I realized that maybe the article that came out a few weeks ago wasn’t the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Not only are Bitch and the Beast out of my life now, but due to the fact I honestly can no longer hide the fact that I’m pregnant at all, I also don’t have to answer the questions myself. Everyone knows it’s Teddy’s baby and while they point and sometimes take pictures, they already think of me as a whore, so when I flip them off and shout obscenities, they’re generally not that surprised.
Aunt Ginny and my other relatives that are currently speaking to me said I should restrain after that second article came out featuring a lovely picture of me and a certain one of my fingers, but I’m far too fat and too hormonal to give a flying kneazle what the public thinks of me anymore. My back aches, my belly button now looks like an actual button, my potions only take the edge off of the heartburn and stomach aches, and holy hippogriff I don’t think I’ve ever had to pee so many times in a day in my life.
On top of all of this, I’m still banned from work (though that’s probably because I cuss out anyone who looks at me weird… oops), and Hayes still tells me I look beautiful even though I’m roughly the size of the giant squid (seriously, I feel like my stomach grew ten times itself one night about two weeks ago).
I take another bite of cake as I examine the contents of the magazine. I see a mother with long dark brown hair breastfeeding her child and I’m reminded of Allison and her son David who is nearing two months now. She owled me when the first article came out and asked if I’d be up to meet her somewhere soon. Upon realizing that me going in public was a bad idea but wanting to escape her flat, we decided that she’s coming over tomorrow (Sunday). She told me she was bringing casserole. We’re going to be best friends.
As I flip the page again, I notice that my previously huge piece of cake has somehow vanished. I sigh and decide to get up because my back is starting to hurt (surprise!) from sitting in this position too long. After managing to roll myself into standing position, I make my way into the kitchen as I hear a knock on the door.
“Dominique, it’s me!” I hear the muffled voice of my father call from the other side of the door. I wave my wand and the door unlocks. “Come in!”
Grabbing an apple, I waddle into the hallway to see what he wants and freeze in shock when I see more than one face, “Hullo, ‘Nique!” Uncle Ron beams at me from behind a fairly large and beautiful white crib. Uncle George has his back to me and I’m fairly certain Aunt Hermione and Aunt Angelina are still in the hallway behind them.
“Well, this is a surprise,” I tell them, looking down and making sure I was decent. I had on a pair of maternity sweats Angelina had given me and one of Hayes’ large t-shirts. I thanked Merlin that my boobs had been aching enough that morning to force me to put a bra on.
Don’t judge me.
“It shouldn’t be, Baby,” my dad hugs me from the side – a much more effective way nowadays. “You said that Sunday would be a good day for us to bring the nursery stuff over when I asked you on Wednesday.”
“Oh, right,” I flush. Without much to keep track of lately, I tended to forget things like this.
“Well, where should we put this?” Uncle George asks.
“Er – the spare bedroom is just down the hall, first door on the left,” I instruct and they nod before levitating the crib and a changing table away.
“Dominique!” Aunt Hermione gushes, running up and hugging me full on. “It’s been too long,” she steps back and looks me over. “I see you’re getting there, then,” she winks at me.
I grin at her jab at my hugeness. Why does everyone think it’s cute to call me fat just because I’m pregnant? Not only relatives, either. People at the muggle store do it, my neighbors do it; what do they think, ‘it’s okay to call her fat – she’s pregnant!’
I’m saved from answering by Aunt Angelina and Roxanne. Roxanne leans over for me to take her from her mother and giggles as I sit her on my stomach and she pulls at my messy ponytail. Roxanne and I, we’ve gotten close. Angelina is over here a lot, third only to Aunt Ginny and Emmelyn (well, and Hayes, but he basically lives here now… not that my father needs to know that), and sometimes I can convince her to let me babysit while she runs errands. I like to at least do something to earn that paycheck Uncle George insists upon sending me.
“What have you been doing today?” Aunt Angelina asks.
“Nothing, looking over some of those magazines,” I shrug, leading my guests into the living room. I hear Aunt Hermione shut the door after a minute.
“I pulled the rest of the stuff into the hallway,” she tells my uncles when they reappear from the guest room/nursery.
“Rest of the stuff?” I ask as I gently toss my giggling (and heavy) cousin onto the couch.
“Yes, Dominique,” my dad grins at me. “George and Angelina didn’t need the crib of changing table anymore, but they took me to the place they bought them so I could pick up the matching wardrobe, side table, and rocking chair.”
“Dad!” I gasp in shock and irritation. “You aren’t supposed to be spending that much money on me!”
“Hush, Dominique,” he waves a hand at me, grinning so widely you can barely make out his scars. “I’m allowed to spend whatever I want on my daughter and first granddaughter.”
“You already do too much!” I whine, feeling tears well up. Damnit. I hate crying, especially in front of an audience.
“Oh, don’t cry, love,” his voice softens and he takes me in his arms. I notice that Aunts Hermione and Angelina seem to want to look at the new nursery all of a sudden.
“I hate being the family charity case,” I sniff.
“Honey, please stop,” he rubs circles on my back like he used to do when I was a little girl. “We know that this is hard for you, especially with who the father is and now the media, and we all just want to help.”
“Not all,” I point out. “Does Maman know what you’re doing?”
He’s quiet and I know I’ve gotten him. “Yes, she knows, and while she may not approve at present, she will soon realize that she’s being ridiculous.”
I groan and pull away from him, “I don’t want to cause a fight between you two, too!”
“It’s just a disagreement, don’t worry. She’s just being stubborn, like your sister. I’ve always said you and Louis were more like me while Victiore seems to take after your mother.”
“Yeah, they both hate me now,” I sigh, lowering my self into a chair.
“Your mother does not hate you, and you know that,” Dad says sternly. “Just like I do not hate your sister. We both love both of you very much, we just happen to be divided at present. This family has gotten through worst things than this, and I’m sure everything will work out.”
I roll my eyes at him, “I think you’re a bit too optimistic, Dad.”
“I think that you need to realize that there are a bunch of people who love you and support you and come to terms with the fact that we aren’t letting this beautiful baby have anything less than a perfect life,” he grins lopsidedly at me and I am struck by the resemblance of him and my brother.
And, really, I have to grin too. “Thanks, Daddy.”
“No problem, Baby,” he walks over to me. “Now come look at the nursery.” he helps me up and we walk down the hall.
“I’m thinking that most of this furniture has to go, but I think it will all fit in the attic now that the crib and table are gone,” Aunt Angelina was saying as she held Roxanne’s hands and allowed her to jump on the old twin bed.
“Yeah, we can take that today if you want, ‘Nique,” Uncle George noticed my entrance.
“That would be so great,” I grinned at him. “You guys are too good to me.”
“None of that, now,” Uncle Ron walks over and throws and arm over my shoulders. “Gin wanted to come and see this, but she had to cover a match today,” Aunt Hermione told me. “She wants to see the room again with the furniture before we take you out shopping for paint and sheets.”
“Paint and sheets?” my mouth drops. “I call paying!” I announce to the laughter of my relatives. “I’m serious!”
“If you don’t let me pay for it, I’ll never let you see my baby,” I threaten.
“Okay, okay!” Aunt Hermione grins, knowing my threat is completely empty. But, still, I need to be impendent in some areas or I’ll not know what to do when the baby actually comes. I won’t have them buying me diapers and formula for however long.
The six of us sit in the tiny room and talk about color schemes (the men rolling their eyes half of the time) for a while before Roxanne announced that she was hungry.
“It is getting towards lunch time,” Aunt Angelina sighed. “We’d better get going so you can get back to your peaceful day.”
“You know I love having company,” I grin at her. “But yes, don’t let the little one starve on my behalf.”
Aunt Hermione and Uncle Ron say they have to be going, too, but when Aunt Hermione says that she put some of her homemade onion soup in the fridge for me Uncle Ron asks if they can stay, earning him a hit around the head from his wife.
“There’s more at home, love,” she rolls her eyes as he rubs his head sheepishly.
Dad leaves too, after we both enjoy some soup together, him talking about his great aunts who ‘never got a namesake.’ As subtle as that was, I don’t think I’ll be naming my daughter after Great-Great Aunt Hildra.
At around three in the afternoon, I’m finally left in the silence of my own home. I flick my wand so the dishes clean themselves before disappearing into the cabinet, and collapse back onto the couch, ready to take a well-deserved nap when the fire roars and out steps my handsome boyfriend. I smile at him from my position sprawled out on my side on the couch, “I just got rid of everyone else and you show up.” I sigh.
“Oh, I’m terribly sorry. I could leave, you know. I just have to grab all of my clothes that seemed to have made their way here over the past few weeks…” he grins back and walks around the coffee table to kneel by my head. “You look tired,” he remarks before pecking me on the lips.
“I’m pregnant, I’m always tired,” I whisper to him, wanting him to kiss me again.
“You look especially tired,” he reiterates.
“That’s why I was about to take a nap.”
“Well don’t let me stop you,” he mutters before kissing my mouth right on the corner before trailing kisses up my jaw line and down my neck. I shivered as each spot his lips met left my skin tingling.
“You have a very effective method of stopping me, actually,” I all but moan.
He laughs gruffly before pulling back. I’m suddenly very cold. I frown at him. “How about I will join you in this nap if you think you can make it all the way to the bedroom? I have been on shift since three this morning and could definitely use some sleep.”
“But with you beside me I won’t want to sleep,” I pout playfully as he helps me up.
“Then you can tell me about all these people that apparently just left – were you haven’t a party without me?” he asks, smirking.
“That’s not what I want to do, either,” I whine as he pulls me close.
“Oh, well then I’m confused,” he says, putting on a perfect confused face, his blue eyes shining. I run my hand through his black curls and sigh, “You’re a tease.”
I roll my eyes and he leans down and kisses me as if to prove his point. My mind goes blissfully blank and for a minute I don’t think about how tired I am or how much my back hurts. All that is running through my mind is that this is the most brilliant man on the planet and he’s kissing me and I want more of him and how can I get closer?
He pulls away too soon, as always, and I sigh. He could never pull away from me and it would be too soon. “Let’s get you in bed,” he smiles.
“That’s what I like to hear!” I grin mischievously, knowing that us having sex would probably be harder than I can imagine with my uterus in the way.
Hayes rolls his eyes, “You need a nap, love.” He slips his hand in mine and kisses it. “Maybe later,” he winks and I feel like I can’t breathe.
And, as soon as we’re laying in bed together and my head is resting on his bare chest, I wish that I didn’t have a fat stomach so that I could make love to my boyfriend, who really is too good for me.
The next day, Hayes was off of work, but left around noon anyway saying he had to take care of some family business. I knew he probably planned it for the afternoon seeing as Allison was coming over around three and bringing me dinner; he hated leaving me alone for long periods of time, thinking I was going to collapse or get attacked or something equally crazy. It was slightly mental, but I appreciated it nonetheless. I took to straightening up the flat after he left but before Allison arrived.
As I waved my wand to force clothes into the dirty hamper, I wondered vaguely how pregnant muggle women managed to clean if they had to bend over all of the time. I came to the conclusion that if it weren’t for magic, I’d make Emmelyn clean my flat.
After the flat was presentable, I took a shower and actually tried to look nice for the first time in a few days. I didn’t go as far as shaving my legs (as that would have required bending over), but I did brush my hair out and apply a bit of make up. I was just pulling a nice pregnancy blouse (this one from Aunt Ginny) over the banded waistband of my maternity jeans (an article of clothing I’d actually bought myself) when I heard a faint knock on the door.
Grinning, and slightly nervous at not knowing fully what to expect, I opened the door about a minute later (yes, it did take me that long to get to the door). Allison looked a lot like I had looked yesterday; she had her now mid-back length hair pulled back into a pony tail with multiple pieces sticking out, was wearing some tight black sweatpants and a t-shirt. She looked exhausted, her brown eyes framed with bags, but she smiled at me, casserole in one hand and a baby carrier draped with a blanket in the other, “You should take as many showers and put on as much makeup as you can now,” she joked as I took the casserole from her. “Because after you have that baby, both become foreign to you.”
I laughed with her, “At least you can wear those clothes,” I told her. “What I’d give to look like that in sweatpants and wear a shirt that hugged curves other than the ones around my stomach would be a good amount.”
“Shut up, Dominique, you look brilliant,” she said. “Now talk in a low voice because I swear to Merlin if you wake David from his nap, you’re the one that will have to calm him down.” I led her to the living room and gestured for her to sit down while I put the casserole in the kitchen.
When I returned, David’s carrier was sitting in a chair over in the far corner of the room and Allison had her head laid on the back of the couch and her eyes closed. “I feel bad dragging you out of your flat when you could have been sleeping,” I said sheepishly as I offered her a bottle of water and sat down beside her.
She opened her eyes and rolled her head to look at me, “God, don’t be. I haven’t been out of there in so long. Just being in a clean room is making me all giddy.”
I laughed with her, “Well don’t think that it’s always like this, I just picked up the flat today. And yesterday, I looked a lot like you do.”
“Are you getting to the point where you weigh activities on a pro-con list: how much do I want to do this versus how much will I have to move to do so?”
“I think I hit that point about two weeks ago. I swear this baby grew huge overnight,” I sighed.
“I was the same way,” Allison laughs. “I was calling Alex – Dave’s dad – and making him bring me food almost every other night. He wasn’t too happy about that.” she reminisces.
“Does he help you with David now?” I ask before I can catch myself. “Oh Merlin, that was an extremely personal ques-”
Allison laughs again, “I don’t mind,” she tells me. “Not from you, at least. My parents, yes, but you’re in the same boat, right? Well, actually you’re probably worse off,” she allows before I can interject. “Alex is around some now. He got a new job off in Romania, though, so he’s not much help, honestly. He sends money almost every week, though.” I’m quiet for a moment and she looks at me. “He’s not a bad person – he loves David, he’s just not ‘dad’ material.”
I nod, “From what I can see, you’re doing a good job, though.”
She grins, knowing I haven’t seen her do much of anything, “Thanks. So, have you heard from the Bastard since the article?”
I shake my head, “Nope.” I tell her. “But I think it’s better this way, my family is great and Hayes is too much.”
“Oohh, yes. Tell me about the hunky boyfriend! Is he here?” she asks, her eyes widening.
“No, he had family business to deal with and since you were coming over he didn’t feel as bad leaving,” I explain, blushing.
“Good, I look like shit,” Allison sighs. “But that’s so cute. Tell me all about him!”
I told her all about how we met right after I met her, and our first date, and everything after. I was just about to describe the awful Halloween dinner when we heard a cry from the baby seat in the corner, “Oh, that’s David,” Allison sighed, her face full of exhaustion, but also something else…
She sprinted up and brought the whole seat over, removing the blanket for the first time and taking out her son before his cries got too loud, “He’s gorgeous, Allison! He looks just like you,” I gushed as soon as I saw him. He was a pudgy baby, but in an adorable way. He had a thin layer of hair that was much lighter than Allison’s, and his eyes were a deep blue color, but there was something in his face that looked exactly like his mother.
“Thanks,” she grinned and after popping a pacifier into his mouth, bounced David in her arms gently until he stopped crying. He finally settled to looking up at his mother and the ceiling. “He’s really not a fussy baby; I got lucky.” she told me, but I barely heard her.
The scene in front of me was mesmerizing. The protective way she held David to her, tight but not too tight; the way she knew exactly what to do to calm him down; the way David seemed content in the arms of his mother… the whole scene was just precious and amazing and made me wonder if I would ever be able to be as good of a mother as Allison obviously was.
I heard her chuckle, “Don’t worry, it comes naturally.” I looked at her in shock. “You had that how-in-the-world-am-I-going-to-do-that? face; I used to look at my sister with that face when I was pregnant. She’s twelve years older than me and has three kids, the youngest is two.”
I laughed with her, “I am so scared I’ll be hopeless at this whole mothering thing!”
“I was too, trust me,” she nods. “It’s not easy by any stretch of imagination, that’s for sure. But you’ll know what to do when the time comes, I promise.”
I nodded, but was still looking at David in amazement. He looked so big – the last time I had seen him he was a day old! “Do you want to hold him?” Allison asked.
“Er – I don’t know about that,” I said immediately. “What if I… I don’t know, drop him?” I finished sheepishly.
Allison laughed aloud at that, “You won’t, here,” and she held David out to me. “Just support his head, he’s still too little to hold it up – yes, like that…” and suddenly, he was in my arms. I had him balanced with his head in the crook of my left arm and my right had wrapped under him, holding his head in a double-protection cradle. It was slightly awkward at first, but with Allison’s instruction he suddenly… fit.
“See, you’re a natural!” she smiled at me. “I think he likes you, he usually throws a fit when someone other than me holds him, it drives my sister and parents mad.”
I was smiling like a fool, and I rubbed my right hand over his little hair before registering what she was saying, “You gave me your son thinking that he would start crying again?” I asked her.
“You needed practice,” she winked. “And I hold him too much, anyway.”
I shook my head at her before looking back at her son. He was staring at me with his deep blue eyes and reaching up for my long hair. “He’s so precious,” I told her.
“Isn’t he?” she grinned at us. “He’s perfect.”
“He really is,” I told her, feeling his head and then running my finger over his puffy cheek. His skin was so soft. He smelt like baby. I suddenly wanted to hold my own daughter so much that my chest ached.
“You want your baby now?” she said again, making my jay drop. “You really need to stop that, it’s getting scary.”
She laughed again, “You can read your face like a book, Dominique. And I remember that feeling when I would see other mothers with their babies. It was weird, though,” she said, leaning back, thinking. “I wasn’t even super-excited about David until I would hold another baby, or really, until I saw him. I saw him, Dominique, and I swear I fell in love. I can’t imagine life without him.”
I was tearing up again, but I didn’t’ care. “I hope I love my daughter as much as you love him.”
“You will,” Allison said, completely sure. “And daughter?”
I nodded and she closed her eyes, “Ah, she’s going to be gorgeous, just like her mother.”
I grinned at her, “She is going to be gorgeous – and thanks. For everything, really.”
She turned to look at me, and then made a face, before looking at me evilly, “Dominique, I think it’s time you learned to change a diaper.”
The casserole was delicious and Allison and David were great company; however, as the clock struck seven-thirty, Allison said they had to go. David’s bedtime was eight, and he needed a bath. We made plans to see each other soon – actually meaning them this time – and she left me alone.
I was going to look over one of the name books I’d gotten the other day, but as soon as I curled up on the couch I remembered the deluxe chocolate cake that the muggle place down the street had and after that I was a goner.
I already looked decent, actually I looked on hell of a lot better than I usually looked when I went to said muggle restaurant, so I slipped on my heavy coat, boots (with difficulty), and set off.
It was snowing and there was already a good six inches on the ground when I stepped outside of my apartment building. I hugged my coat tighter and walked carefully, knowing that if I fell I might not be able to get back up. It was only two blocks to the restaurant, but the dark and the cold made it seem longer. People stared as they usually did, but it wasn’t nearly as bad because I was in muggle London.
Finally, I stepped into the restaurant, a nice place that I always forgot the name of, and walked up to the desk. I opened my mouth to ask for an order to go but the lady, who had waited on me and Hayes many times before, smiled at me, “I was wondering where you were when Hayes showed up with that other woman.” she grinned, looking relieved. “I’m so glad you showed up – I knew he didn’t look like the type to cheat.”
We stood there in silence for a minute before, “Excuse me?” I adopted a look a basilisk would be jealous of.
A/N: Hey guys! It's my spring break right now, so I've been writing like crazy. I have half of the next ACS chapter finished, so that should be updated after this one. I know this chapter focuses a lot on how pregnant Dominique is right now, but seirously, six months is almost there. Google it if you don't believe me. She'd be huge, espeically for her little frame. Also, tell me if you would like for me to continue the chapter image thing as I can, it didn't take that long (mainly, because I'm not htat good at it...) but I don't know, maybe you guys like it.
Anyway, please tell me what you think. I was really happy with the amount of reviews i got on the last chapter, which is why I decided to update this story first. See, I promise they make a difference, and they make my day happier!
Thanks so much, guys!
over and outt.
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