Chapter 3: Doctor's visits and Mary Jane
Thursday July 28th, 12:03 pm
There he was in my hands, barely bigger than a small blob. My three months, 2 days old little boy. The picture felt heavy in my hands as I stared at the small circle with no discernible features that would suggest a human form. It was amazing, as I stared at the little spec, that within six months that little spec would become a full-fledged child. My child. Mine and Sirius's child. I could feel tears pricking in my eyes, this was real, this was my child. My little baby boy that I wanted in my arms right now. Now that I'd seen him it was as if I could now feel him. Before nothing felt different but now I knew what was inside of me and it was a part of me, and I could feel him, imagine his heartbeat.
"The baby is perfectly healthy," the doctor's voice broke through. I was still staring at the picture and for the first time since it had been placed in my hands I was able to look away. Sirius was standing next to me, equally in shock that this was actually our child. Cassi had her hands over her mouth, her eyes wide, for once unable to say anything. "A regular heartbeat, normal vitals."
"Did you hear that? Our boy has normal vitals, he's going to be so smart." Sirius said, clearly not knowing what normal vitals meant.
I saw the doctor roll her eyes and scoff at Sirius's comment, her face drawn into a frown. "Is there a problem?" I asked the doctor.
The doctor looked taken aback, "no, not at all." She responded a little snide. "So what are your plans for this baby? Are you keeping it, giving it away?"
"Keeping it," Sirius boasted proudly, rubbing his hand on my stomach.
"Oh," the doctor said shortly.
"Oh?" I questioned, staring the doctor in the eyes. "If you have a problem with this, please feel free to share."
The doctor sighed and started putting away potions, avoiding my eye contact. I thought the subject had been dropped but she then turned to me, "it's just, I've seen many kids your age come through here pregnant and keeping the child. They all have the same doe-eyed, happy look in their eyes because they have no idea what's waiting for them. I just think there are better options, such as adoption, where better-suited parents could care for your baby boy."
"Oi, who the hell do you think you are," Cassi said stepping forward. "Sirius and Avery are more than capable parents. Do you know what they're doing right now? They're fighting in this war to save your pathetic arse. They're fighting, saving lives. What are you doing? Waving around a wand and shoving potions down people's throats and taking pretty pictures."
The doctor's expression tightened and she snapped off her gloves angrily. "Well I'll leave you to get dressed, I'm sure you know where the exit is."
"Bitch," Cassi said once the doctor had left. I looked behind me and squeezed Cassi's hand gratefully. I was always happy to have her around, no matter what situation we were in she always had my back, but I couldn't help but let what the doctor had said get to me. I knew Sirius and I were young, but is that what people are going to think of us as soon as the baby comes? Is everyone going to talk about how we're ill-equipped parents and should have given the baby up for adoption?
"Well I've got to get back to work, my lunch break is almost up," Cassi said hugging me as we left St. Mungo's.
"Thanks for coming."
"Of course! I had to be there for the first viewing of my godson. And don't listen to that twat of a doctor, you two will make fabulous parents!" I gave Cassi an appreciative smile as she disapparated away.
"We better get ready to, we've got an Order meeting tonight." Sirius said, wrapping his arm around my waist and pulling me towards him as we disapparated back to our home.
I threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt hurriedly. I was eager for today, I would be able to let out some of my frustration with dueling. Unfortunately for me, because I'm pregnant I can only shoot spells at Marlene, she can't fight back. Dumbledore doesn't want to risk me missing a spell and injuring the baby. I've assured him time and time again that I am more than capable of protecting myself but he won't give in. I can see Marlene growing tired with only being able to deflect spells and being extra cautious when we go on fake assignments, preparing ourselves for the real thing.
"Are you and Sirius Jr. ready to go?" Sirius asked, popping his head into the bathroom as I brushed my teeth.
"We're not naming him Sirius Jr." I said with finality.
Sirius shrugged and walked over to me, wrapping his arms around my stomach and pulling me towards him. "Fine, James Jr, to spice things up a bit," Sirius said in a voice that made it seem like he was doing me a favor.
"We've got six months to talk about this, James Sirius Black can wait."
"James Sirius," Sirius mused. "I like it! Strong first and middle name."
"That may be the stupidest name I've ever heard," I said rolling my eyes. Sirius looked wounded and was pouting. "Oh don't be a prat Sirius, we need to go, we're going to be late and you know how much of a tyrant Marlene is."
Sirius sighed and used his patronus to alert the Order that we were on our way and grabbed my hand as we apparated. Second later we were in the Shrieking Shack. The Shrieking Shack was our designated area for Order meetings. During the summer Hogsmeade didn't receive nearly as much business as during the school year and only kids would venture to look at it. So, until the school year started this is where we would meet.
Sirius I were one of the last to arrive, we took a seat next to each other at the long table in the upper level of the Shrieking Shack and looked at Dumbledore who was sitting at the end of the table, a look of seriousness on his face. I'd never seen him look so intense before, I could tell he had something to tell us. As I looked around the room I noticed that Marlene and Mary MacDonald were missing, the two were usually here before anyone else.
Mad Eye was the last to arrive and he looked disgruntled as he took a seat next to Dumbledore. A hush fell over the table and Dumbledore stood up from his seat, looking at all of us intensely.
"Thank you for coming here tonight, let us hope that our efforts will shed some light on dark times such as these. I'm afraid the news I have for you tonight is not good. You may notice we are missing someone tonight at our meeting, it is with great regret that I inform you Mary MacDonald and her family were murdered last night." Dumbledore paused as everyone took in the information. Lily gasped and started silently crying. Mary had been Lily's mentor in the Order. "We have been given a tip that there will be an attack next at the McKinnon house. Marlene and her family are being protected currently but I fear it may not be enough. I'm afraid now is the time that we put our training to work. I will ask all of you tonight to help in protecting Marlene. This war is progressing faster than any of us expected and it's time we start responding.
"As for the plan of getting there and drawing less attention to ourselves some people will be flying and other apparating to safe areas designated around the house. I'm afraid we have no time to spare and we must get moving immediately." The sound of chairs scratching against the floor echoed in the Shrieking Shack. People walked over to Dumbledore to receive their assignment. I waited eagerly in line, excited for my first assignment. Once it was my turn however Dumbledore gave me a weary stare.
"I'm afraid Ms. Muze that you are not in the right state to go on this mission."
"What about Sirius?" I asked, hardly able to believe how limited I was because of this child. I felt stuck, I wanted to do two different things but both of these things would prevent me accomplishing the other.
"Mr. Black will be joining this assignment."
It didn't seem fair. Sure, I was pregnant but this was also Sirius's baby as much as it was mine. I didn't want to go anywhere he wasn't, I didn't want him going out to fight while I was stuck at home waiting. Waiting for good news, for bad news, waiting for something to happen.
I didn't argue the fact, there were more important things to concentrate on so I kissed Sirius goodbye and apparated to our house. The sun was beginning to set and the house was growing dark. Falcon came running up to me and started biting at my ankles and scratching at the floor, that was his signal that he had to go to the bathroom. I looped the leash around Falcon's neck as he bounced around happily in front of me. Outside the little shops started closing and the number of people on the streets started dwindling.
The walk was helping me calm down and stop panicking so much. Sirius and my other friends were on the forefront of my mind but I knew that worrying about it would do nothing except for slow down the time. I kept myself preoccupied by walking into the open stores and looking around. Falcon was happy that he was on such a long walk, usually Sirius and I could only devote ten minutes to walking Falcon for every time he had to go to the bathroom, so this was like a treat for him.
I'd been walking for at least an hour and was hungry. Most little stores were closed but I eventually found a little sandwich spot. It was empty save for one other person aside from me. The guy behind the counter had long knotted hair and a shirt with many colors on it. I had never seen someone dressed like that before and couldn't help but stare at him until he started talking and broke me off.
"Can I help you with anything?" He asked in a slightly dragging voice as he stared at me, a dopey smile on his face. I couldn't help but notice his eyes were extremely bloodshot and he had a weird scent.
"Oh yeah, I'll get a roast beef sandwich on wheat bread please," I ordered, taking out my muggle money. Sirius and I had converted some of our money to muggle money because we lived in a part muggle town and the grocery store near us was muggle owned.
"You're look a little down," the man behind the counter commented. "Rough day?" He asked.
I shrugged and stared at the odd man. "I guess you could say that." I said.
"I think you need a little pick me up." He said, a smile forming on his face.
"A pick me up?" I questioned.
He nodded and dug under the counter, holding a plastic bag in his hand. He leaned towards me and whispered in a low voice so no one else could hear. "I think you need a little herb to help you."
"Herb?" I asked, sure I put herbs on my food on occasion but I've never heard of it helping with your mood before.
"Yes, a special kind of herb. I guarantee a little bit of this and your mood will improve. I want to see a smile on that pretty face of yours."
"What is this herb?" I asked, intrigued by him.
"Let's call it Mary Jane."
"Right," I said trying to rack my brain to see if I've ever heard of it. I'm not the one who cooks so Sirius could be more adept with this kind of thing. "What do you cook with Mary Jane?"
"Brownies, usually. But sometimes people like to put it in peanut butter between two crackers and then stick it in the oven for thirty minutes. It's really up to the person," he finished with a shrug.
"How much is it?"
"Well, I've got beginners stuff that I'm selling for fifteen quid for an eighth, but if you're looking for the good stuff it's forty quid for an eighth."
"That's quite expensive for a cooking ingredient." I mused, "although I could use the perk up. Oh what the hell," I sighed with finality. "Ring me up an eighth of your best Mary Jane and don't forget the sandwich."
The man quickly set to work and put the sandwich and a plastic bag filled with the Mary Jane into a paper bag. He rung me up and handed me over the bag. "Have a great day miss, and come back soon."
After I left the shop I had appareted to Cassi's. Her, Nial and I had decided to make the brownies, agreeing that all of us needed a pick me up. Cassi was as worried as I was about Peter and Nial was growing frustrated with Lelani who was constantly working. Neither of them had heard of Mary Jane before but agreed that if it was supposed to make us happy it couldn't be so bad, and the man behind the counter seemed nice enough.
An hour later we had made the brownies and it had been forty five minutes since we had eaten them. So far I wasn't feeling anything and wondered if I had been ripped off.
"Do you think we put too little in it?" I asked Cassi and Nial as we lounged in the living room, Falcon curled up next to me sleeping.
"We put in half the bag, I feel like that should be enough. Did the man say how much you needed to put in?" Cassi asked.
I shook my head, "he didn't mention it." I pushed up from the couch and stood up. "I have to go to the loo, I'll be right back." I walked over to the bathroom and sat down. As I was going to the bathroom suddenly I felt like my body was moving slowly. I was recognizing everything I did with great detail. When I ripped some toilet paper off I could feel the bits of fabric of tissue moving against my fingers. I zipped up my pants and walked over to the mirror, I looked the same but something felt different.
Oh Merlin, what if I'm being imperiused! I should lock myself in this bathroom and never come out! I may kill Cassi and Nial and no one will ever forgive me and...and...and...why is suddenly everything so funny? Imperiused? What if someone imperiused me to pants everyone. How hilarious would that be to see Dumbledore's knickers?
I finally convinced myself I wasn't being imperiused and unlocked the bathroom, chuckling as I went along. I moved my hands along the wall as I walked, my entire body was tingling and everything my body touched would make me jolt. It felt like tiny ants were walking over my body and that I could feel the blood circulating. When I walked into the living room I saw Cassi, she was rubbing a blanket on her face, her eyes were closed and it sounded like she was making a purring noise. Nial was sitting in front of the fire staring at the flames, seemingly unaware of everything going on around him.
Cassi looked up and saw me. She jumped from her seat and immediately rushed over to me. "Feel this, isn't this the softest thing you've ever felt in your life?" She asked rubbing the blanket against my face.
The fabric moved against my face, I imagined that this is what a shore felt like when waves lapped up against it. I would do anything to be a grain of sand right now.
"We need marshmallows," Nial said, not removing his eyes from the fire. "I want to roast some marshmallows."
"Marshmallows," Cassi repeated before dropping the blanket and running into the kitchen. I heard the pantry door fly open and she started rummaging around.
I picked up the blanket from the floor and wrapped my body in it and laid down on the couch. I rolled around in the blanket, loving the way it moved against my bare skin. Next to me Falcon thought I was playing a game and started rolling around on the ground too, mimicking me. The situation was hilarious and I started laughing for what felt like forever. My eyes were watering and my stomach hurt, my face was red as I gasped for breath. I wanted to stop laughing but I just couldn't stop.
Cassi came storming out of the kitchen with her arm full of food. "We don't have marshmallows but we have chips, and lots of them!" She said proudly pouring the contents onto the table.
I immediately grabbed a bag of cheetos, tearing open the bag and digging into the food. I was disappointed however when I realized my taste buds had stopped working at the current moment. I continued to eat though because even though I couldn't taste the cheetos I knew from previous experience with eating them that they tasted delicious.
For the next twenty minutes I concentrated on nothing but my bag of cheetos. I found out that if I breathed in through my nose I would be able to taste the cheesy goodness for a moment. I kept doing this until I accidentally snorted some cheese dust and had an uncontrollable sneezing fit.
A pop sounded in Cassi's living room and I was so taken off guard I jumped in my seat and threw the bag of cheetos behind me.
"Bloody hell Avery," Sirius whispered. He looked so serious, like his name. Sirius the serious man. "I came home and you weren't there, no note or anything."
"Oh don't fret Sirius the serious man, I'm okay. See!" I said holding out my arms. "You don't need to worry my pretty little pony."
Sirius was looking at me strange, why was he looking at me strange? I was perfectly fine, happy in fact. He should be happy for me that I'm happy and we'll be one big happy circle. "What's wrong with you? Are you drunk? You know you can't drink while you're pregnant."
"I'm not pregnant silly boy." I said laughing.
"Yeah silly boy," Cassi chimed in. "We're just happy. Is it a crime to suddenly be happy? If so take me to Azkaban for an illegal amount of happiness!"
"Did you take a potion or something?" Sirius asked, looking aggravated.
"No, not a potion." I said slyly, he would have to guess. That or tickle me, I'm pretty sure I couldn't handle being tickled right now.
"Oh bloody hell Avery tell me."
"Fine," I said giving in. "It's a special cooking herb."
Sirius looked at all of us and then to my scattered cheetos on the ground and then back to me. Suddenly he burst out laughing and I was wondering if our happiness finally rubbed off on him. "Bloody hell Avery, you're high as a kite."
"No I'm not, I'm on the ground."
My comment only caused Sirius to laugh harder, so hard he was doubled over and crying. I didn't know how to react so I decided to join in on laughing with him.
A/N: Hey everyone! So weird place to end it I know, but there's more to go from this moment and the chapter would've been way too long so I had to break it up. What did you think? I thought this story needed some comic relief. I want to thank everyone for the support on my sequel! I was worried that the slightly darker turn would turn away some of my lovely readers but you have all been incredibly supportive and amazing! I love you all : )