Chapter 11 : 11. Remember, Remember
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"Something's going on."
I almost choked on my coffee at Em's words, coughing loudly. "What!?"
Em's eyes were narrowed, as she glared at me across the table. "What's with the sudden love for pickles?"
Guiltily, I glanced down at the plate filled with pickles. I swallowed, my eyes shifting from side ot side. I felt like a high-stat criminal, trying to hide from the government, with only my own courage as--
"Are you having an affair with someone?"
For a second, I was speechless. I blinked, then swallowed again, and nodded. "Yeah?"
"REALLY!?" Em cried out, her face suddenly twisting into one of utter excitement. "This - is - wonderful!"
I blinked again, taking a sip of my coffee. "Why?"
"I thought you were one of those immensly depressing people, who never get over themselves, and live forever alone with twelve cats," she went on.
"A spinster?" I said helpfully.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," she said, nodding. "So, who is it?"
Both of us swivelled around, and watched Theo walk in. Em was still grinning excitedly, and I threw a panicky smile in his direction, trying to warn him that Em was in on a roll.
"What's up with my girls?" he said cheerfully, not noticing the look I gave him. Theo's eyes zoomed on the coffee I was drinking, and he suddenly looked utterly mortified. "COFFEE!? YOU'RE DRINKING THAT POISON!?"
Befor ei could even react, he had snatched away my cup, and threw it in the sink. I listened in horror, as the sink swallowed my delicious coffee with a dreadful slurp.
"What the fu--" I began, but I never got to finish my sentence.
"Do you know how unhealthy and dangerous that stuff is!? Do you know what it does to you!?"
Both Em and I stared at him blankly.
"YOU GIRLS SHOULD KNOW BETTER!" Theo boomed.
"God, man, chill--" Em began, but fell silent. "Wait a minute, why--"
She let out a gasp, making me jump. "What, what, what!?" I said, staring at her.
Em pointed at me and Theo, her eyes wider than ever. She covered her mouth with her hand, and gasped again.
"Breathe, woman!" Theo commanded, and Em le tout a shaky breath.
"You two... you two... you two are... are..."
"EM!" Theo and I called out.
Em flinched, and leaned closer to whisper. "Are you two sleeping together?"
"No," I snorted.
"Yes," Theo said at the same time.
We turned to stare at each other, my brows raised. "What?" Em said, voicing our thoughts. "What's... going on?"
"Couple counselling!" Theo announced, grabbing my hand and dragging me out.
"MY PICKLES!" I screamed, as he pulled me with him, leading me directly to the bathroom. He locked the door, and turned to face me with a manic look on his face. "What?" I said, my eyes wide.
"D'you think Em's stupid?" he asked bluntly.
"She has her moments, yes," I said after a moment.
"D'you seriously think she won't notice any change in you - not even after nine months, huh?"
I thought about it. Well, I had kind of considered to just, you know, skip the whole part where I would get enormous, sweaty, unbalanced, hormonal lump of a woman - actually, I had planned to skip the whole 'I am preggers!' part, and just, you know, get it over with?
"Well..." I began, avoiding eye contact.
"It's not going to stay unnoticed, if that's what you're thinking," Theo cut off. "She will notice, Susie. Let me help you!"
I looked up at him, automatically cradling my stomach - which wasn't much to cradle at this point. "Really? She'll notice?"
Theo looked like he wanted to slap me - hard. "Oh Susie..." he groaned instead, falling against the wall, and slowly lowering himself on the bathroom floor.
I watched him for a moment, biting my lip. Slowly, I kneeled in front of him, poking him carefully. "Theo?" I whispered, and waited, until he looked at me. "What should I do?"
Theo seemed just as surprised as I felt. I was never one to ask advice, let alone follow anyone else's advice. The sad part was that I was too aware of my own stubborness.
"What should you do?" Theo repeated, blinking. "Well, you could tell her the truth," he said.
I frowned, shaking my head. "Why bring up the past again?"
"It might help?" he suggested.
"No," I said firmly. "Anything else?"
Theo thought about it for a moment, then shrugged. "Can't come up with anything helpful right now, sorry."
I grimaced, and stood up. "I might as well get to work, then," I muttered.
"Mr R hasn't said anything yet?" Theo asked, as I helped him back on his feet again.
"Nope," I sighed. "It's a very awkward silence, you know..."
"I would assume so!" he snorted, as we walked out.
Only to find Em waiting for us outside the door.
"I never would have thought," was all she said, before she stormed out.
Both of us watched as she left the apartment, short of words. "I thought she was all happy about it!" Theo muttered.
"It's a girl thing," I said shortly.
I stared at the clock, my entire body tense.
"Five more minutes," I muttered to myself, leaning forward in my seat, as I watched the clock tick forward at a snail-pace. "Daaaaaaaaaamn..."
I looked up, my eyes wide, as Mr R popped his head out from his office. "Yes, sir?" I said, my voice high-pitched.
"A word," he said, disappearing again.
I groaned, before standing up. I walked - well, dragged my feet - over to the door, and had a short mental battle with myself, before I entered. I made my way to his desk, and waited until he turned aorund in his chair. I almost felt amused, when he looked surprised to see me there - even if he was the one who had asked me to come in.
"Yes, sir?" I said, pursing my lips tightly together.
"Is there anything you need to tell me?" he asked, his deep voice making shivers run down my spine, as he peered at me.
Nothing, except that you're my dad, I thought bitterly, feeling a curt smile appear on my face.
"Nope," I said, popping the 'p'. "Nada."
"Very well," he said, sighing. I almost expected him to ask me leave, but instead, he pushed forward a file across the desk. I looked down at it, feeling almost angry. Did he seriously plan to give me more work, since I refused to tell him the goriest detail of what was going on in my uterus - which was quite a lot, to be honest. "I want you to have a look at this."
I looked down at the file with raised brows without making a gesture to even opening it. Slowly, I reached for it, and continued to stare at it. It looked old and smudged, almost as if it had been through hell and back - twice. It felt fragile, as if it would fall apart any second. I stole a glance at Mr R, who looked at me without blinking. Awkwardly, I opened the file, expecting some boring document to read and correct.
Instead, I found a picture of mama and dad... with a baby.
Silently, I turned to the next page, and found more baby pictures - all of me. I flipped another page, more violently this time. Me, me, me, me, me - at every page, I saw pictures of me at different ages popping out like ghosts. I felt tears burn my eyes, as I reached the last picture; it was taken on the day when all of us - the Marauders, Lily, Chuck, Vick, Val and I - had returned from Hogwarts, newly graduated, and full of hopes for the future. It had been taken at King's Cross by Mrs P - she had found a passion for photography, and insisted on taking one of us. In the picture, we all looked happy. James and Lily, Remus and Val, Chuck and Vicky - and last but not least - Sirius and I. It felt like looking at a stranger, someone else than me. I hadn't seen that stupid grin on my face in ages. In fact, I wasn't sure how to smile like that anymore. It was one of those grins I had seen in ads for insurance companies, who acclaimed to create a safe life for you. I watched all of us laugh in the picture, with Sirius' arms around me. He was hugging me from behind, swaying slightly from side ot side. I watched him whisper something in my ear, and I felt a small smile on my face.
His words still echoed in my ear; Remember this moment, Susie Q.... I love you.
I had rolled my eyes at his cheesy line, but he had just laughed it off.
Slowly, I closed the file, and looked up at Mr R - my dad. "Why... how... do you have... this?"
"Susan," he sighed, rubbing his forehead. "I don't know how... how to say this. When to say this. But... I... I'm your father."
A/N: Short but sweet - NOT! Well, it is short, of which I am TRULY VERY sorry - will update soon with better stuff xD
- Lily xxx
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