“Okay Ingrid, you’re going to be just fine.” The muggle nurse whispered soothingly to the woman lying on the hospital bed. The woman looked terrified, couldn’t be any older than 19. 'Shame'
, thought the nurse, 'I see more and more teenage mothers every day'
Ingrid looked up at the nurse, her heartache reflected in her eyes and whispered in a voice laced with pain, “He should be here.”
The day we met, he kissed me. Drunkenly, I couldn’t taste it then, but this was to be the greatest love my life has ever known.
“You got something on your face” he smiled, it was lopsided and I could see this boy was going to be my undoing.
“What?” I asked, putting a smile behind my words and giving him my best flirtatious eyes “My eyes? My nose”
He laughed and I could feel it in my bones. It was a wonderful sound. I knew at that moment I would do almost anything to hear it again.
“I’ll get it.”
He kissed my lips and I could still feel him smiling.
“Honey, the doctor is coming to give you the epidural; we don’t want you to feel a whole lot of pain.”
Ingrid felt herself being turned over and a sharp pressure at the base of her spine. She let a small moan escape from her lips and squeezed her blue eyes shut. The nurse helped her onto her back.
“You’re doing great, love.” She brought a cup of ice chips and fed them to Ingrid in the gentlest way, reminding her of a mother.
Ingrid’s thin fingers wrapped around the nurse’s wrist when it came close her face.
“I hope it looks like him”
I woke to the morning light streaming in from the windows. I lay quiet with my eyes closed remembering last night. The way he led me away from crowd of people celebrating Gryffindor’s latest quidditch victory. The sweetness of our kisses and the way our bodies meshed together in perfect harmony exploring every part of each other like it was the end of the world. We moved desperately. Trying to memorize each other’s bodies so we could hold this perfect night forever in the archives of our memories.
When I opened my eyes I surprised. I was surprised because I expected to feel the heat of shame warm in my cheeks, and regret filling my body. I was surprised because I did feel heat. I felt the heat of a boy lying next to me. One night stands aren’t supposed to end like this. They shouldn’t be as perfect as a night spend with a lover you have known all your life.
He smiled at me and brushed his finger tips from my navel to my breast with a tender hand.
“Good morning, angel.”
“Doctor, we’re losing her.” The nurse gestured wildly to Ingrid, slowly losing consciousness. Ingrid’s hands flew to her belly where she felt her baby fighting wildly to escape her.
“Okay, we need to get her oxygen stat, and I want a blood draw. I wouldn’t be surprised to find some sort of narcotic in her blood. She is too thin.
Just before the darkness at the edge of her vision took her, she whispered a silent prayer, “Please save my baby”
We met in secret.
We both decided that it would be for the best, his ex-girlfriend Angela would make it hard on me, being with him, I mean.
Every night we snuck out and met at the quidditch pitch, in the darkness our skin was translucent as we touched each other, each time as magical as the first.
He saw me cry for the first time on one of those nights.
“What is the matter, love?” he asked me as we lay next to each other, wrapped in each other’s arms like we were the only thing anchoring the other to the earth.
“I think I am falling in love with you.” I whispered into his shoulder, wet with my tears.
He kissed my head, “Don’t ever say that.”
Ingrid woke to rushing doctors and hushed words. She grabbed the doctor’s coat with her weary fingers as he walked past. “Oh, good.” The doctor said as he pried her hand away from his coat, “You’re awake.”
Ingrid tried to speak but there was a tube in her mouth. Knowing there was pain- but too exhausted to know where.
“For a minute there we thought we were going to lose you.” Ingrid watched the kind doctors eyes crinkle above the surgical mask he wore.
She was too tired to nod, too tired to do anything but close her eyes.
“The umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck.” Was the last phrase she heard before the darkness took her again.
He brushed my thick hair away from my neck and kissed it, in that one place that made my heart quiver. He pressed his lips in the place where my necklaces close. The grass of the quidditch pitch was damp with dew and flooded with the two AM darkness that I had grown used to from our meetings here.
“You’re thinking.” He stated, his voice still husky from moments before, when our bodies were entwined.
“I’m always thinking.” I told him, my voice low. I never spoke loudly when we met like this. During the daylight hours it felt like what we had was a dream that I would wake from if I spoke too loudly.
“What are you thinking about?”
I am thinking about how I want you always. I am thinking that I want to hold your hands in the daylight and kiss you after you walk me to class.
I wanted to say these things…but I didn’t. I would have Fred Weasley any way that I could.
I felt my smile on my face and knew it was fake. I think he knew it too, but he would never say so. He liked this relationship built from secrecy.
“Nothing important.” I whispered and kissed his lips, but I left my heart out of it this time, lest it be broken.
Ingrid’s eyelids fluttered open, she was vaguely aware that there was no more pushing or tugging on her lower half, she gabbed at the hem-line of a passing nurse’s scubs and asked, with her eyes, “Where is my baby.” For tube in the throat made speech impossible.
“Oh, you’re awake.” The nurse smiled down at Ingrid and brushed her bangs away from her face.
“Deary, you’re baby has been taken to the intensive care unit. You’ll be able to see her as soon as your body is up to it.”
Hearing those words, Ingrid struggled to sit up despite the nurse’s protests. Once Ingrid was vertical she attempted to pull the tube out of her mouth, but just as the nurse hit the emergency call button, vertigo hit and Ingrid lay wearily back on the bed.
Two nurses came rushing into the room, responding to the call. “She tried to get up, tried to pull the breathing tube from her mouth.” The first nurse said nervously.
Though Ingrid’s body was resting her eyes were wide awake and alert.
“Oh, really, Mini!” The second nurse said to the first, “She can breathe fine without it, I’m sure!”
The second nurse, whose name tag read, “Kitty” set about to extract the breathing tube.
When Ingrid’s lips were liberated she choked out a meek sounding, “My baby…”
“Of course, dear, of course.” She said patting Ingrid’s hand, “Rosie, will you get me a wheelchair? This young lady needs to see her daughter.
“You weren’t there.”
Fred’s voice was accusing and cut through my sleepy haze.
“You weren’t there.” He repeated, his voice, his words, and his eyes were laced with hurt.
I wanted so badly to trace that jawline that I knew so well with my fingertips. Instead I ignored him.
“So, is it over?” He asked, his voice sounding husky and his breath hot on my ear.
“Is what over, Fred?” I hissed, putting as much venom in my words to sting him and at the same time to mask the breaking of my heart, “There is nothing to end.” I stood up, brushing my hair over my shoulder. As I walked passed him I leaned in close to his ear, “You made sure of that.”
I walked through the great hall, and though every muscle in my body was screaming to go back. I didn’t.
Ingrid looked down at her tiny daughter. She looked so fragile and yet so healthy. Ingrid looked confusedly up at the nurse. “But, what’s wrong with her?”
The nurse’s eyebrows met in the center and anxiety lines crept into the corners of her eyes. “We don’t know how long the cord was wrapped around her neck, there may be some brain damage. Until we’re sure she will have to stay in the ICU.” The nurse answered her, apologetically.
Ingrid placed her finger in her daughter’s palm. She already loved this baby so much. There was a physical ache in her chest when her eyes wandered over the sleeping baby. She had always loved the name Willow, for a daughter. But under the circumstances she couldn’t name this perfect little angel Willow. Willows weep. Ingrid cocked her head, the corners of her mouth turning up when she saw the tuft of ginger hair that sat atop her daughter’s head.
The world was so quiet as she watched her baby sleeping, her arms aching with the need to hold her, and keep her safe. For nine months this gift had grown inside her, and now Ingrid felt empty. Ingrd had grown this baby next to her heart.
“Abigail.” Ingrid whispered to her daughter. Abigail’s translucent eyelids fluttered at the sound of Ingrid’s voice. It was a magical and terrifying feeling. This baby already loved her.
“What’s that dear?” asked the elderly nurse.
“Her name is Abigail.” Ingrid said louder, with more confidence, “It means ‘Joy of the father’”.
“I see, and where is the father?”
Ingrid closed her eyes, “He’s dead. He died in war.”
There was carnage everywhere. I was throwing defensive spells wildly behind my back as I ran for the astronomy tower. I wasn’t fleeing the battle. I just needed…time. I needed to regroup and let my mind fully comprehend what was going on. Everything happened so fast. The death eaters, the screaming.
I closed my eyes when I finally reached the tower and leaned back against the wall. I could feel my hand bleeding. Some crazy woman with wild dark hair had bitten me. When I opened my eyes to assess the damage my heart quivered.
He smiled that beautiful smile and that was all I needed in order to let go, and fall so seamlessly back into what I had walked away from three years ago.
It wasn’t the same. There were no tender caresses. Just a long dormant need coming out in desperate kisses and touches.
No words were spoken. We were just together, as if it was to be our last time.
When we parted ways he kissed me. That same drunken kiss from the first night, and my lips melded seamlessly with his. Like memory foam. Being in his arms was the only place I felt okay. It was like being home.
Two days later Ingrid sat in her wheel chair, waiting for a taxi to take her and Abigail to their new home.
Abigail had pulled though, a true fighter, like her father.
“You send us an update, you hear?” Nurse Kitty called from the curb as the cab driver helped Ingrid into the back seat.
“Of course!” Ingrid called though the open window.
As they drove away Ingrid looked down at her daughter, awake and smiling. Ingrid smiled and kissed her daughter on the forhead.
“I’ll never let anyone hurt you.” She whispered to Abigail.
I didn’t compute the information when I saw seven redheads bent over crying. I saw Fred push his way to the center, where George was laying, eyes blank the ghost of a smile still on his lips.
“Oh, Fred.” I cried, rushing over to console him. When Fred looked up, his eyes were wet, rimmed with red and also confused.
That’s when I saw it. Fred was missing an ear. But it wasn’t Fred, the man I thought was Fred was his twin brother. And then I understood. It felt like all the air had been sucked from the room and gravity was now using all of its force to crush me.
“Who are you?” George asked.
I felt like I had just been slapped. Surely Fred would have told his twin about me. They were together every second. But he hadn’t…
I felt sick. And once again I left Fred Weasley. But this time, I ran.
“Shhh, baby.” Ingrid whispered sleepily to her tiny baby. Abigail was crying, and seemingly inconsolable. Ingrid had tried feeding her, changing her, and burping her. Slipping into her role as a mother as easily as slipping into a hot bath.
Ingrid paced the room, rocking Abigail gently from side to side. Ingrid wasn’t frustrated, like she had heard new mothers tend to get. Instead she felt like crying along with her baby. Each new wail pierced Ingrid’s heart like broken glass. Her baby was sad and there seemed to be nothing that Ingrid could do about it.
And suddenly, the pacing stopped. Ingrid reached into her bedside drawer and pulled out her wand. Unused for many years. She sent up a silent prayer that she still knew how to use it, and made tiny fireworks appear from the tip of her wand. Abigail stopped mid-cry and started to laugh. It was the same laugh that had drawn Ingrid to Fred that fateful day three years ago.
“Someday, remind me to tell you about your father.” She whispered as she made stars float down around her daughter’s head. But even then, without thinking about it, Ingrid knew that one day, she would take Abigail to Fred’s family’s house. She would wait until the wound wasn’t so fresh, but she wouldn’t wait long enough for Abigail to remember, in case of rejection.
Looking at her daughter laugh Fred’s laugh, though. She couldn’t see how anyone could reject her. She was the most perfect baby ever. Ingrid sat down on the edge of her bed and continued to entertain Abigail Weasley with fits of magic. While Abigail Weasley entertained her mother by being magical in and of herself.
I knelt down on the dewy grass in front of a tombstone.
1.4.1978 – 2.5.1998
Beloved son, brother, and friend
May angels lead you in
“Hello again. I’m pregnant, Fred. And I hate you for what you did to me. But I also love you…it’s not fair.
Three months ago, at your funeral, Angela Johnson, your… girlfriend stood up to make a teary speech. I was in the back, no one even knew I was there, because they don’t know who I am.
I should have known. Why else would you want to keep what we had a secret?
Anyway…I came here to tell you that I hate you. And I love you. And I always will, because you left me something. You left me a living breathing piece of you to hold forever.
Abigail was pulling at Ingrid’s necklace while she trudged up the long driveway to the burrow. Abigail was two now, and smart as a whip. She knew something important was happening, and was to nervous to be put down so she could toddle to the door herself. Like she did when visiting so many of Ingrid’s friends.
“It’s okay, bug.” Ingrid told her as she adjusted her daughter on her hip, steeling herself to knock on the door. Abigail reached out and touched her mother’s outstretched wrist. Giving Ingrid the courage she needed.
“One second!” Came a muffled voice from inside. Ingrid could hear the clanging of forks and knives and conversation. It must be breakfast.
“Hello, what can I do for y-“ Before her stood George, and he was staring at Abigail the same way that Ingrid was staring at him.
“Hello.” She said, when she finally regained her composure, “I am Ingrid Wells, and this is Abigail Weasley.” George’s eyes snapped back to Ingrid, disbelief evident. He didn’t look angry though, so Ingrid powered on, “If you have a moment, there are some things I would like to tell you.”
George snapped his mouth shut and smiled at Ingrid, “Of course, come on in, grab a plate and a seat.” But when George didn’t move, Ingrid looked warily at him, “I’m…I’m sorry, but…could I?” He asked stretching his arms out.
Abigail smiled and reached toward George. Ingrid laughed and placed her daughter in her uncle’s worthy arms.
“Right, now come on.” He stepped aside to let Ingrid pass, “Hey, we have some guests, and trust me. You’re going to want to know them.” George said to the rest of the family as he kicked the door shut behind him.
This is my first one-shot. I started it around the end of Christmas break and it sort of took a back seat to my other two stories. I’m glad that I finally finished it because…even though it’s a one-shot, it still feels pretty amazing to have a “Completed Story” under my belt.
Anyway, as always, if you read please leave a review. I thrive on your feedback.