Chapter 1 : 11:59
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Especially when she knew he loved her, just not as much as a full man would. A man that wasn’t so broken and hurt as he was.
She was livid at how casually he told people that he’d be a father to both friends and family, how she could never measure up to her ‘perfect’ sister entombed by death, and how he loved aforementioned sister more than he could ever love her. It caused both a yearning and an aching that she didn’t know how to assuage. She loved him, but sometimes love simply wasn’t enough. One had to fight to stay in a relationship, but she felt that she was the only one that ever fought. This wasn’t something he had ever wanted in the first place.
However, this didn’t make it any easier to cope. It meant she did all the fighting, she did eighty percent of the loving while he did twenty, she did all the yearning and aching, and she was the one that was left lonely and cold.
Of course, she had adored her sister and wanted her to still be living. Yet that wasn’t an option, and she had hoped upon hope that he could one day see that. Evidently, he was blind to this knowledge. He came in and out of the house smelling of roses and lilacs (both of which she was allergic to) most nights. She knew that he had been visiting her sister’s grave, as if trying to will her back from death.
If she could control whom death took she would have died in her sister’s stead. Anything would be better than this stale, flimsy shade of romance devoid of spontaneity and joy.
Yet she knew that if the stars fell from the sky, she would die defending him if she had to. He knew that he wouldn’t return the sentiment. He would simply try to reacquaint himself with her sister in the afterlife. That thought brought bitter bile to the back of her throat. She wished that he could love her half as much as he had loved her elder sister. Yet his eyes contained little to none of the adulation they had when he had gazed upon Victoire, and his smile wasn’t half as sunny. It was as if half of the clouds had been empty. And always would be. In his irises, at least. She liked to have a more optimistic view.
Yet as of late, she noticed that his pessimism had seeped through to her. She could only hope that it wouldn’t taint and injure the new innocent life they had created together. She couldn’t imagine how terrible a life might be if one knew one’s parents weren’t ‘in love’ so to speak.
She looked down at her swollen belly. She wished that she could leave, she knew that he wouldn’t be crestfallen, but for some unexplainable reason her heart wouldn’t let her do so. Her mind was screaming at her that she was a fool for staying, but she knew that there was no place she’d rather be but in his arms. Even if that notion wasn’t fully reciprocated.
He loved her, yet not nearly enough.
However, when friends and family asked her how things were going she slipped that fake smile into place and told them that everything was fine. Yet nothing was fine. She felt like she was going to crumble and burn like Rome. She would fall into the deepest pit of oblivion and no one would ever find her again. That’s what she feared, but this fear went on unvoiced. She knew the painful chasms silence could cause, yet she could not open her rosemary lips to dispel such information to people who cared so much for her.
In short, she was trapped and it was in a prison of her own devising. She should have been smarter. She should have known that he hadn’t married her out of any romantic notion, but out of a sense of duty to her sister. She knew that love wasn’t an entitlement, but she thought she was entitled to a bit of bliss. Why couldn’t she be happy? Victoire had been.
To Teddy, though, no one could hold a candle to her sister. Not even the closest in genetic material, not even her own flesh and blood.
Yet she hadn’t been oblivious. She had seen the way that Teddy had kissed her sister on the platform all those years ago. That was of a love that spoke volumes, one that was supposed to go on forever.
She was becoming discontent, and she wondered why it had taken so long. This love was like a poison that was slowly killing her. If she had any sense, at all, she would get out while she still could. Yet she found that she could not.
Tears fell down her cheeks in salty streaks like rain. She wished that she could hate him, but she could not. Even if he robbed her of her happiness, her sanity, and her virginity. She couldn’t loathe him as much as she despised the idea of him. She clenched her teeth tightly together. He wanted a boy so badly, just to spite him, she hoped it was a girl. A girl that looked exactly like her so that he would be forced to acknowledge her for once.
She was his wife for Merlin’s sake. Not that he gave a flying hippogriff about that! She raked her hands through her long blonde tresses. What in Merlin’s name was she doing? He didn’t love her and he never would. Yet she sat here every night hoping that somehow his adoration for her would increase. It was disgusting.
The house reverberated in a deafening silence that was enough to make her ill. She wished that she were still working. This maternity leave made her face ideas and concepts that she would rather leave untouched. It forced her to linger on the truth that had been staring her in the face for years. Six years after their marriage, this was their first child. He had been trying from day one with Victoire. She shook her head. She could not dislike her sister for this, this wasn’t her sister’s fault.
Poor Victoire. She had given him three stillborn babies, four miscarriages, and still he persisted on having children with her. Bill insisted that he would kill her if he didn’t stop, but did he listen? No, Teddy never listened to anyone. He was the master of his own domain.
The Healer’s said that her sister had died of a broken heart, she thought that she might just do the same. Although, for different reasons than her darling sibling.
She paced the room, eyes bulging when she felt her water break. Of course, it had to be the moment he came home from work.
“Dominique?” Teddy asked.
“My water broke,” she grumbled, looking irritable. She could never bite her tongue like Victoire and keep the scathing comments back. She could never be calm and composed like Victoire could even when everything was going wrong. “I need to go to the hospital,” she went on, as Teddy stared at her with a nonplussed expression. What was wrong with him? How moronic could he be?! Victoire had gone through this three times, surely he knew what to do now. One should very well hope.
“Right,” he said, as Dominique glared daggers at him. “I knew that. Come on, Dom.”
She winced. ‘Dom’. It was so impersonal. It wasn’t ‘love’, ‘princess’, ‘doll’, or ‘darling’ as he called Victoire. It was simply the shortening of her first name. This was enough to make tears spurt forth from her eyes.
“I know it’s painful, we’ll get you there,” he said, gently. He set an arm around her shoulder and apparated with her to St. Benard’s hospital. It was a Wizarding Hospital forty miles away from St. Mungo’s and was much like a muggle hospital except that it only catered to witches and wizards. “My wife’s water broke,” Teddy told the Mediwitch at the front desk. “Her name’s Dominique Lupin.”
“All right,” the Mediwitch nodded, as if bored. “Room two forty nine is open, and Healer Sedwick will be over in a moment with bedding, all right?” As the words left her lips, the Healer in question sauntered toward them.
Dominique thought she looked a lot like Aunt Hermione, yet prettier. Her long brown hair was trying to spill forth from her ponytail, but thus far it looked as if it had been unsuccessful.
“All right, dear, just lay down here. Everything will be just fine. Remember your breathing exercises?” She nodded. “Good, breathe deeply. In and out. In and out. Good girl, keep going. You can do this.”
Eight hours later after agonizing pain, sweating bullets, and breathing heavily, she was finally done. She laid back against the soft comfort of the pillows. Something seemed wrong, though. They had taken the baby, and they had already placed her in her father’s arms. Shouldn’t the child be in her arms?
It was growing colder and blacker. It was so cold. Why couldn’t they turn the heater on? Shouldn’t she be of primary concern?
“What time is it?” she found herself asking. Her voice sounded ages away. While this made her slightly nervous, there was nothing she could do about this. She wondered why she was asking what time it was when she felt chilled. Clearly there was a lack of oxygen to her brain.
“Midnight,” a Healer answered.
Lies. She had seen a glimpse of Teddy’s watch. It was eleven something. “No, what time is it, exactly?” Dominique demanded.
“Eleven fifty nine,” an all too familiar voice came.
Dominique turned to see a blinding vision. In all the darkness, she stood out against the sea of black, and shone like a beacon. It was a tall and beautiful blonde with wisps of blonde hair flying free from underneath a make-shift bonnet. The lady’s long azure robes complimented the woman’s piercing blue eyes. “Victoire?”
Eleven fifty nine. It was the hour that she died.
After all her anguish, she had met the same end as her sister. Although, with a different result. She didn’t know what it was like to see herself laying there and yet envision herself walking to her sister at the same time. It was odd to see herself disembodied.
“Am I dead?” she asked. Intuitively, however, she knew the answer.
Victoire nodded. “I’m afraid that you are, Dominique. Come with me. I will show you the way to the light.” Her sister extended her hand to her, clearly wanting her to take it.
Dominique wanted to stay behind to watch her baby girl and Teddy, but she knew that they would endure without her, and she had really missed her sister. She, instead, reached for her sister’s hand. “I’ve missed you.”