As I lay in bed, I couldn’t help but recall how chaotic the day had gotten after Dad announced that he was leaving Mum. Vic had gone insane, but was kind of proud of him. I was happy to have her more on my side than my mum’s side. Dad was properly introduced to Nate, and declared that Nate was a fantastic guy for sticking by me. When Harry and Ginny had arrived home, they showed him where another guest room was, and then I know that they went to a private room that was commonly used to drink in. I’m sure that Harry and Ginny were trying to comfort Dad. This then resulted in Ron and Hermione coming over as well to join them. I wondered if Louis knew yet…
Now I had everyone on my side except Mum, but I doubted that would ever change. It was just so difficult to believe that my parents were separated, especially after going through the Second War together. I now understood why Roxie was so sad…
I wouldn’t be surprised if Grandad and Grandma Weasley showed up tomorrow. But they’d probably bring lots of food, and I wouldn’t object to that.
However, I would probably be eating my body’s weight in food over the next couple of days. If Grandma Weasley brought food, and she would bring more than enough to last for a year, even with James’s stomach, she would force feed me until I was ready to vomit. Plus, I was planning on going food tasting with Vic. And Vic was showing no signs of knowing what had occurred between me and Teddy.
Things were going good. I could only hope that they would remain that way.
I couldn’t get over how many people were seated around the Potter dining table right now, all chatting mostly about my dad’s announcement. I wasn’t even kidding. We honestly had dad, Vic, Teddy, Nate, Harry, Ginny, James, Ron, Hermione, Roxie, and me.
However, I was avoiding as much of the conversation and gossiping as I possibly could. I sat with a piece of parchment in front of me, and a quill poised to write. Roxie was sitting by me, and quietly asked, “What are you doing?”
I sighed. “I’m supposed to write a letter to Louis, to explain what’s going on at home. Dad said I always had a special way of keeping Louis calm, so he thought that it would be best for me to tell him. But honestly, he’s only been at Hogwarts for a few weeks. This is just going to devastate him, and I don’t want it to affect his first year.”
Roxie nodded. I could feel the sympathy and understanding just pouring out of her pores. “Look, you know that I’m going through the same thing. If you ever want to talk about your parents, my ear is always available.”
I nodded, silently thanking her.
I felt Nate slip an arm around my shoulders. I was happier than ever to have him by my side, along with my family. They were so good about being there for one another when someone was going through a rough patch.
I noticed Rose looking at me from across the table. I furrowed my eyebrows towards her with confusion. Were people going to be randomly watching me over the next few weeks? Keeping her voice low, Rose told me, “I still can’t believe your dad left your mum. But I knew that he’d be on your side eventually. He loves you too much to not be by your side.”
I grabbed a chocolate chip biscuit from a giant plate that was sitting in the middle of the table. Grandma Weasley had delivered them earlier this morning. “It is nice to have him here,” I admitted. “But I would love to have them both.” I took a bite of the biscuit, and though it tasted delicious and the baby was very happy with it, I did not finish the rest of it. “I really shouldn’t be eating this. I have to go food tasting in an hour or so.”
After I said this, I chanced a glance at Teddy and Vic. He was sitting with his arm around her, and she was resting her head on his shoulder. But he kept glancing over at me. I really wished that he would just stop doing that. I didn’t need Vic getting ticked off and joining my mother’s side again. But I was distracted by Nate gently grabbing my chin and touching his lips against mine. Merlin, I loved that man.
As I sat there tasting the newest variation of fish beside my sister, I detected something. And no, it wasn’t that my baby was not fond of the last type of fish I ate. There was an odd air about her. She almost looked like she needed to talk about something, that something was eating her alive inside. She kept chewing her lip, a sure sign that something was wrong. I placed my hand on hers, and she looked up at me. “Vic, is there something wrong? You seem a bit worried.”
Vic pursed her lips. Whatever was going on, she was definitely reluctant to reveal it. “Come on, Vic. I’m your sister. You can talk to me about anything.”
She stayed silent for a moment, glanced around the room to make sure there was no one nearby, and rubbed her eyes. “Teddy’s acting weird. And I mean really weird. I feel like he’s hiding something, but I’ve tried to tell him that he doesn’t need to keep secrets from me. Honestly, after what happened between you and him, I thought he understood that he could talk to me.”
I knew exactly what was wrong. I knew Teddy well enough to know that he hated keeping secrets. Of course, I hated keeping secrets as well, especially from the two people that meant so much to me: my sister and Nate.
I was torn. The good side of me wanted to blurt out the entire story, to beg for forgiveness, and to justify my actions. But the horrible side of me wanted to lie, to avoid any mention of what happened that night.
But I was loyal above all else. While I may not have been loyal to Vic or Nate that night, I knew that I could be loyal to her now, that I had to be loyal to her now. I felt sick to my stomach.
“I actually know what’s bothering Teddy.”
Vic looked genuinely shocked. “How do you know? Did he tell you about it? Why would he tell you and not his fiancée?”
I was very aware of how large my tongue felt inside of my mouth, and how dry my lips and throat had become. But this was the moment of truth, quite literally. She needed to know the truth.
“I only know what he’s hiding from you because I was there when it happened. I’m part of the secret that he’s hiding from you, that we’re hiding from you.” I could tell that Vic had her suspicions now, but she didn’t look angry. I was grateful for this, because it made it a bit easier to say this. “The night of Rose and Scorpius’ wedding, Teddy and I slept together.”
It was painful to watch the emotions travel through her face. First, there was pure disbelief and shock. Then, acceptance set in and she looked devastated. But then, she looked furious and deeply betrayed.
“Vic, I know you may not be thinking it right now, but Teddy loves—” I tried to tell her, but she slapped me.
“I thought I could trust you. You are my sister. I thought that you could keep your hands off of my Teddy, especially since you have Nate!” she ranted. She continued to go on and on, but I sat there silently, accepting it because I had it coming. But the words she was saying cut deep into my soul, and I felt worse than ever for betraying her. I couldn’t lose her support.
“Vic, I’m sorry about this.” I muttered quietly, pulling out my wand. “Obliviate!”
Vic immediately stopped talking, and had a dazed look in her eyes. I knew it had worked. Vic no longer knew that Teddy had been acting weird, or that he had cheated on her with me. I felt guilty for doing it, but I couldn’t stand the thought of losing my sister again.
Merlin, please forgive me.
When I arrived home, I found that the dining room was now empty of everyone except James, who appeared to be working incredibly hard on something in front of him. It was a rarity to see James work, let alone work so hard.
“What are you doing? Shouldn’t you be out chasing some ladies or some Quaffles?” I smirked, sitting down next to him. My body was overwhelmed with relief to be sitting down. I was no longer able to stand up for long amounts of time.
He tossed a glare my way before setting his quill down. “For your information, I happen to be filling out a form for the Auror Training Program. It needs to be sent to the Ministry by next week if I want to be considered.”
“Aww, does wittle Jamesie want to be just like his daddy?”
James simply looked at me for a moment before turning back to his form. “Ha ha, very funny. But honestly, I always admired my dad and what he does to help keep the Wizarding World safe.”
I observed him, and saw that he was being serious. “I think it’s great that you want to be just like Harry. It doesn’t surprise me. I just thought that you wanted to pursue a career in professional Quidditch.”
James nodded. “I used to, but over the last couple of years, my ambitions have changed. I want to contribute something besides my dashing good looks and my talent with a Quaffle.”
I felt a small smile appear. At least the egotistical James was still there a little bit. But when did he mature so much? “So I’m guessing that this new James won’t get plowed next week during his birthday party?”
He gave me a small grin. “Who said I wouldn’t ever get plowed again? I just won’t do it very often. Besides, a birthday is a good reason to go crazy.”
I ruffled his hair before deciding to retreat to my bedroom. I really wanted to just relax in my own sanctuary. The guilt of wiping my sister’s memory was really eating away at me.
To take my mind off of things, I grabbed a book off of my nightstand. It was by my favorite Wizarding author, Eugene Harrison. He wrote mystery novels, and I loved that he made the plots be in the Wizarding World. He had a flair for writing, and his books could always suck me into the story like a black hole.
I vaguely heard the front door downstairs open up, and just assumed that it was one of its current residents. I let my mind wander for a minute to the occupants of this house, and just how much room Harry and Ginny had here to comfortably accommodate everyone. But the disappearance of the small child drew me back into the novel’s world.
However, the sudden presence of a certain person that gave off an uninviting aura made me regret not locking my door. Without looking up from my book, I asked in a monotone voice, “What do you want, Teddy? I’m busy.” I jumped when he suddenly tore the book out of my hands and threw it down onto the ground. “What is your problem?”
Teddy looked livid. “My problem? My problem is that my fiancée came home after spending time with you, and I saw the look in her eyes. Her memory had been wiped, and you were the last person to see her. So what happened?”
I stayed silent for a minute, trying to carefully phrase my words. “I love my sister, and you know that, so I wouldn’t have wiped her memory if it hadn’t been for a damn good reason.”
“And just what is this reason?”
I started playing with my fingers, deliberately avoiding his eyes. “She said that you had been acting weird lately. You have to understand, the guilt was eating me away, Teddy! I couldn’t stand hiding it from her! But I couldn’t lose my sister’s support…”
Realization dawned on his face. And then it changed to a mix of anger and relief. “What were you thinking? I can’t believe you told her about what happened that night!”
“I’m sorry. But she needed to know! And you clearly weren’t man enough to own up to what happened, so I did.”
I think I touched a nerve. Teddy’s skin color now had a red tint, his hair was fiery red, and his eyes were an icy blue, colder than Antarctica. Knowing a metamorphagus was quite cool most of the time, but it was times like this that his ability terrified me.
“I didn’t tell her because I wanted to protect her, because I didn’t want to ruin the relationship again!”
“I’m sorry that you can’t accept that we had sex, again, because if you had, you would’ve come to your senses and admitted the truth to her!”
Teddy was clenching his fists, and I knew that he wanted to throttle me. “But the fact that you told her made things even more complicated!”
“Would you rather I not wiped her memory? I couldn’t stand keeping it a secret anymore, and I know that I was selfish, but I wanted to have my cake and eat it too! Be happy that I did what I did, because I saved our asses and I cleared my conscious.”
“You’re saying that you don’t feel guilty about wiping Vic’s memory?”
“Of course I feel guilty! But it’s not eating my insides away like it was before.”
I’m not sure what I said, but some word triggered a calming agent in Teddy’s body because I saw him return to his normal appearance. “I’m sorry for yelling at you, and I’m sorry for the way I acted when I showed up here.” I nodded, not replying. “And you’re right. I should’ve told Vic what happened. I kept it a secret because I didn’t want to lose her, but I didn’t want to lose you either.”
I had been looking out of my window until he said that, and then my head snapped around at him. “What do you mean?”
“If I told Vic what happened, and she decided to stay with me by some odd chance, do you think she’d ever let us spend any time together? You and I both know that she’d never let us out of her sight again, and I couldn’t stand the thought of that.” I knew what he was going to say next, and part of me wished that he wouldn’t say it. “I’m in love with you.”
I covered my eyes, shaking my head. “I can’t listen to this! You won’t leave my sister, and I don’t understand why if you love me as much as you say you do!” I stopped talking for a moment, and regained my breath and calm demeanor. “I’m in love with you too, that’s why it hurts me so much to be in this unhealthy relationship. So please leave.”
Teddy stood there for a moment while looking me over. I could tell that he was debating it. But then he silently nodded, and disappeared with a crack. I sat down on my bed, not wanting to deal with anyone else tonight. I just wanted to be alone with my growing baby. But tonight was just not going to be my night. My door opened again. It was Nate.
I immediately knew that something was wrong by the blank expression on his face. I couldn’t remember a single time that he didn’t greet me with a smile, a hug, and a kiss. But he stood there in the doorway just looking at me.
“Nate, what’s wrong?” I asked, and I tried to get up, but I no longer had the energy to heave my heavy body off of the bed. As I looked Nate over, the answer suddenly hit me. “How much did you hear?”
Nate licked his lips, still displaying a blank expression. “I heard everything.”
My stomach sank, and fear welled up inside of me. “Oh Merlin, Nate, I never wanted you to know. I’ve been trying to stop it, and I’ve been successful for quite awhile. I haven’t done anything with Teddy is awhile!” He still looked at me with that blank expression. It was infuriating while at the same time fear-instilling. “Please, Nate, say something! I’m sorry! I love you, and I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to lose you.”
Nate opened his mouth like he was going to say something, but he just closed it again and turned around. “Wait!” I shouted, heaving myself off of my bed. Keeping Nate was more important than my comfort. “Where are you going?”
“I’m leaving, Dom. I can barely even look at you right now.” He said in a cold voice. It chilled my blood. And then he started down the stairs.
I hurried after him as fast as my pregnant body would allow me, ignoring the odd look that I was getting from James. Nate opened the front door and walked out. I stood in the doorway, and I felt compelled to say, “Nate, please, I love you! I know what I did was wrong, but I don’t want to lose you.”
Nate stopped. That right there shocked me. But what he said next shocked me even more. “I need to be with someone that can give her entire heart to me. It’s selfish, but that’s the way it needs to be. You and Teddy clearly love each other, and I hope that you two find happiness.”
I felt like a part of me was collapsing. As I watched him walk away and eventually Disapparate, salty droplets of water caressed my cheeks. I didn’t bother to wipe them away.
A/N: Please refrain from throwing the rotten fruit at me. I promise that this is not the last that you'll see of Nate.