Chapter 11 : Feliz Navi-dead
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Chapter 11. Feliz Navi-dead
I was sooo comfortable right now.
I was the very epitome of comfort.
Comfortable and I were identical twins skipping along, hand in hand, on a field of flowers.
A calm, serene field where -
- where people snored?
Something wasn't making sense here.
Who is that?
I squinted my eyes, and found the curtains on the bed I was in to be drawn, and this caused the light to be nice and dim in this little -
My head snapped to my side, and there was the culprit.
"Dear God!" I hissed, jumping upright, and was only an inch away from falling out of the four poster bed.
"Hrmmph," was all that came from my bedpartner.
It was Chase.
It was light enough to fully see the muscles and the smooth skin of his chest now. I hadn't really noticed them in the dark the night before.
He had a set of abs that sent an electric buzz from my toes to my ears, and I felt surprised at his level of attractiveness.
I had never before realised how he was, in fact, attractive - like in an I-want-to-rip-those-sheets-off-you sort of way.
Maybe because†I'd never before had the opportunity to study him this closely.
I leaned in further.
The bloke had ridiculously long eyelashes. Guys usually did, I realised now, and felt a stab of jealousy.
They didn't even need eyelashes.†
"You're staring at me, and it's freaking me out."
I gasped, and almost fell out of the bed again.
"You're awake?" I whispered.
"Yeah, your hand is tickling my chest."
Oh, yes. There we go - my hand was, like he said, on top of his chest. And not lying still, mind you - it was caressing him. Almost petting him like an animal.
"Oh, sorry," I muttered and removed my hand. It instantly went cold. Blimey, this man had a seriously high body temperature.
And then we had the most awkward awkward-silence in the history of our friendship.
"So," Chase whispered and swallowed hard. His eyes were open now, but I didn't dare look into them. I fear he'd look straight into my head and see all the things I'd been thinking about when I watched him sleep. The idea was more than enough for redness to flood my cheeks.
Without saying anything more, Chase leaned over to peek between the drapes, and after a few seconds he dared poke his head out. With his eyes out of the way, I couldn't help but continue the grossly vulgar staring I'd engaged in earlier.†
The blanket that'd been covering most of him before, was now crumpled up in Chase's lap. Since he was now sitting, I could see the muscles playing while he moved.
"Never guessed you to be the ogling type," Chase teased.
"That's be because I'm not," I scoffed, tearing my ogling eyes away from this enchanting creature.
"Yeah, right," he snorted with a roll of his eyes. "The lads are asleep."
"Bray isn't here, and neither is Deuce."†
Chase caught the worried look in my eyes, and understood that it had nothing to do with the compromising position we were in.
"Come on, let's go," he urged me, and crept out of his bed. He reached out his hand for me to grab onto if I needed assistance, but I had to be very careful about physical contact with this bloke right now. My hormones were obviously in uproar - so the baby messing with my senses was all to blame for this.
We had just made it to the door out of the boys' dormitory when panic struck.
"Wait!" I hissed at Chase just as he was about to open the door. "I can't go out of here like this!"
"Which other ways would you prefer?" he asked with a hint of a smirk. "We're underground, love, and this is unfortunately the only way out."
My heart was pounding.
What if somebody saw?
Or worse, what if somebody saw and then told Brayder?
He would definitely break up with me. And I'd be left alone to fend for myself.
Well, not completely alone. I had his offspring to keep me company on lonely nights.
This was bad! This was very, very bad!
"Why aren't you moving?" Chase asked, now taking my panic attack seriously. He took my hand, and I didn't have enough control of my body to yank it away. "What, are you nervous?"
"Only to the point of not being able to breathe," I wheezed out between short breaths.
"If someone sees me walking out of here like this, with you - half-naked you - they are going to assume that we..." I refused to finish that sentence. My cheeks would go into a fit of blushing if I did. "Well, he'd ditch me. And you should be worried too."
"Me? Why should I be worried?"
"If Bray finds out about what we did you'd be Feliz Navi-dead."
"But we didn't do anything," he said, but it seemed he told mostly himself.
My mind flashed to the dream-like state where I'd thought Chase had kissed me.
And I'd enjoyed it.
This was all a nightmare!
"Oh, God!" I whimpered, and I began doing what I normally do when I completely freak out - I started bouncing up and down with my hands clasped over my mouth.
Chase looked positively frightened at my seanse, and didn't seem to know what to do.
"Shitty-shit!" I wheezed out at myself, and had begun jumping for real now. It was actually rather noisy now that I thought about it, but I couldn't seem to quit.
"Be quiet!" Chase told me sternly, and tried to stop my jumping by grabbing my shoulders tight and holding me down - it didn't work. "Stop that, or you'll wake them up-"
My eyes widened at the thought, but instead of shutting me up, I began whimpering loudly while wildly hopping about in circles.
"Fuck this," Chase muttered to himself before he grabbed onto my shoulders again. Only this time he did something different entirely.
Within a few seconds after he'd taken a hold of my shoulders, he pulled me close to him and crushed his lips against mine.
Mellow honey flowed in my veins, and I fell limp against Chase's naked chest, submitting myself to the sudden transformation in my body. One of my hands made its way up to his heaving chest, and stayed there, while the other nestled in his soft hair, using it to pull him closer.
Chase's hands were still on my shoulders, but then slowly he let one slide down to my waist and grabbed a fistfull of my t-shirt. Our kiss deepened as he held me even tighter, our mouths opening up to each other, welcoming each other.
All to soon - and just when it got interesting - Chase let go of me and took a little step back.
Reality hit me like a bag of dragon feces.
"Why'd you do that?" I asked in a shaky, uneven whisper.
"To calm. You. Down," he responded, breathing heavily. His chocolate brown eyes delved into my own, and my heart sped up its pace. "Seems like it worked," he added in a whisper.
I nodded slowly, swallowing hard as I tore my eyes away from his. While awkwardly clearing my throat, I told myself sternly not to cry. "Yeah."
My life is even more messed up than Jersey Shore, I thought to myself while slipping unnoticed through the common room, and up to my own dormitory.†
I had kissed Chase Zabini.
I had snogged Chase Zabini.
I had really stepped in deep shit this time. And fallen into it - head first. And got some in my mouth.
"Oh, thank God!" Claire jumped toward me, and caught my arm only to drag me into the room.
"Look, I know she's my sister and all that, but I don't have the patience for this. You fix it," she told me, and glared at something I now realised was Clover curled into a ball on her bed.
"Oh, you think she told me, did you?" Claire asked in a shrill voice. "Well, you are wrong." She sent her sister's back an annoyed glance and let out an impatient huff. "You know what? I don't have time for this." She grabbed her own bag along with Clover's. I guess she'd packed for the two of them, being as impatient as she was. "Tell her I'll be waiting downstairs. I'm hung over, I'm hungry, and I refuse to wait for that zombie."
She rushed off, and I groaned.
"Honey," I said tryingly, walking over to the edge of my best friend's bed. "Why are you in the ball of sadness?"
With light steps and careful movements, I lowered myself onto her bed, letting out a grunt as I did.
Being pregnant entitled me to grunt and complain whenever I wished. When I sat down, when I got up, while walking up stairs, walking down stairs. And my favourite, when I put on pants.
"He doesn't remember," Clover said in a fragile, quiet voice. It was fortunate that we were the only people in the room, because I would have had serious trouble hearing her if another person was breathing in here. "He completely forgot."
"Who forgot what?"
Clover curled up even tighter, and nodded.
"I'm sure I'm on your side in this, but I'm not really sure what you're talking about, honey," I admitted.
"You know what happened at the party," Clover whispered. "Between me and Deuce."
"I spent hours blocking out your descriptions last night, but yes, I vaguely remember something about Deuce slobbering over you."
"Yeah," Clover choked, and drew a ragged breath. "But when I saw him this morning at breakfast..."
"What? What did he do?"
"Nothing," she whispered. "Absolutely nothing."
"Well," I rested my hand on my belly, an act I did when I was confused or tired, "then what's the problem?"
"Don't you see?" Clover suddenly pushed herself into a sitting position, and I could clearly see that she'd been crying for hours. "He doesn't even remember! I wasn't worth remembering! I'm just one of those-those, braindead prostitutes that he doesn't give the time of day unless they give him what he wants!"
"No, I'm over it," Clover huffed, getting out of the bed, and rushed to the mirror to fix her makeup.†
"I'm over it, I'm over him," she explained further, and then took a deep breath. "I'll just, you know..." she swallowed hard, and I noticed how her eyes welled up, "get over it."
"No, I don't wanna talk about it anymore. Our portkey's leaving in -" she checked her watch, "- blimey, forty-five minutes! I have to get Claire and go to McGonagall's office."
"Happy Christmas, Del!" Clover said in a rushed matter, and gave me a quick hug. "Write and tell me how badly your parents flipped, alright?"
She didn't even wait for me to respond, and was out of the room in a flash.
Deuce had made my friend cry.
He needed to suffer!
With a bit of strain - and a pair of well-placed grunts - I'd walked upstairs and pushed my way through the flowing stream of kids dragging their baggage. I finally found the twin of the lad I was looking for.
"Oi, Chase!" I called out, and he turned around. I think he blushed when he saw it was me, but I ignored it. "Where's your evil twin?"
Chase pointed to the back of the Great Hall, where I saw Deuce's coal-coloured hair bobbing in the distance. I nodded a thanks before I stormed off.
When I'd waddled close enough, I made my hands into tight fist and threw punches at his back repeatedly. Deuce was caught off guard, and turned around just as I placed a hard kick on his leg.
"Ow!" he exclaimed. "Who kicks people?!"
"Pissed off pregnant people do!" I raged, and wanted to kick him again, but Deuce backed off.
"Only women can get preg-"
"Spare me your bullshit technicalities, Zabini, you-you tosser," I snapped, and pointed my finger at his face. "Quit messing her about!"
"What are you on about?! I don't even-"
I hit him again.
"You may be the stupidest person I've ever met up close!" I yelled before grabbing a goblet from the table and threw it at his head. With a range of sizzling curse words thrown at my back, I marched off.
"Eh, Adella?" My head snapped, and I noticed Kat standing beside me. When I looked at my surroundings it appeared that I'd marched my way all the way back down to the dungeons.
"Oh, Kat, hi."
"Why are you still in your pajamas?"
I was still in my pajamas. Great. That means half the population at this school saw me sporting an oversized tee and slaggy, spotted pajama pants.
I shrugged. I didn't know how to explain.
"So, where have you been? I've been looking everywhere for you. I thought you wanted me to come with you to the-"
"The ultrasound!" I gasped and clasped my hand over my mouth. "Fuck! That was this morning!"
"Yes, it was," Kat said, sighing. "I tried finding you, but..."†
I nodded, and gulped. "Shit."
"Well, I was there when you were supposed to have your appointment, and Madam Pomfrey told me that if I found you, I'd tell you that she would be here until the train left. So we still got about an hour, if you wanna-"
"Let's go!" I got to my feet, but had to pause for a second when my body protested, and my low bloodsugar made me dizzy.
I looked up, blinking to get rid of the spots blurring my vision. "Yeah?"
She gave my attire a sweeping glance, humor glinting in her dark blue eyes. "PJs, remember?"
"Right," I concurred and smiled, grateful for having with me someone who actually had her head screwn on the right way.
I was wrong.
About her head being correctly placed, that is. And here is why:
"I slept with Deuce last night."
"What?" I gasped. Kat looked down at the floor, refusing my meet my demanding glare. "How the hell did this happen, Anderson?!"
She shrugged. "It just sort of did."
"Well, that was...stupid," I spluttered lamely. I wish I could have come up with something a bit more original, but I was too shocked. And pregnant. And yes, that does so count as an excuse. "Like, really, really, stupid."
"I am aware of that," she agreed.
Neither of us said anything for a few moments. Students were stressing about, trying to find everything before the train left. But Kat and I stood perfectly still.
"We should go if you wanna make that appointment," Kat said, breaking the silence.†
I vaguely registered that I got to my dormitory and dressed, and then followed in Kat's shadow to the Hospital Wing. All the way there and during most of the check-up, my head throbbed with this new information Kat had burdened me with.
And I thought nothing could make my day any weirder.
"Well, lookit," Madam Pomfrey mumbled, and studied the screen attached to the ultrasound-equipment.†
She moved her wand from one side of my swelled stomach to the other side, and her eyeballs now threatened to jump out of their sockets. My palms began sweating.
"Miss Adella," she began, turning her head to me, and letting out a long breath. "I have some...interesting news for you."
Nothing could get weirder?
Well, I guess I was wrong again.
I felt sick. I am not exaggerating when I say that I needed to bite my own tongue to refrain from throwing up.
And Dad's driving skills - or lack of them - did not help.
"Whoops," Dad muttered when he just narrowly avoided rear-ending the car in front of us. "Well, that was close."
"You think?" I hissed between clenched teeth. My tongue had begun bleeding, which lead me to the decision to stop biting it. I'm smart, I know. Brightest in my year, as a matter of fact. First one to skip a year. Yeah. Be jealous, bitches.
Blimey, I get weird when I'm pregnant.
"You okay back there, darling?" Dad asked in a concerned voice and looked back at me via the mirror. I could see Heath's head in the front seat twitching nervously. "You look like something a vegetarian would throw up."
"Cheers, Dad," I growled, and refused to answer his question. I was not about to tell him I was pregnant here in the backseat of his muggle car. And since there was a good chance of Dad driving the three of us(Mum was still at the Ministry) into certain death, I decided to shut up for now.†
If it hadn't been for Heath - who got sick from side-along apparition - we could've been home by now. I mean, I love him, but this trip in death on wheels could've been avoided if it hadn't been for his sensitive stomach.
"So, Del," Dad began conversationally, "what's with the baggy clothes?"
I tugged on the large sweater I had magically altered to almost completely disguise my freakish belly, and crossed my arms over my chest to hide my trembling hands.
"Nothing," I shot. "Why? Can't I wear what I want now?"
"Whoa, chillax, little Del. I was just asking," Dad said, and I rolled my eyes. Dad's attempt at speaking 'hip'(his word, not mine) was frightfully embarrassing. "You know, making some conversation."
"I'm sorry," I mumbled, and let out a long breath. "I'm just tired, I guess."
"Wild party last night, huh?" Dad inquired, letting out a short laugh and winking at my reflection in his mirror. "Ah, I remember those Christmas parties in the Slytherin common room fondly."
"You used to party, Dad?" Heath asked, and I wanted to kiss my little brother for diverting Dad's attention away from me.
I officially forgive your stomach, Heathcliffe.
"Ehm, y-yes," Dad stuttered, fiddling randomely with some buttons on the dashboard. I doubt that would be good for the car. "But not until I was of age, mind you. And neither will you if you value your life."
Heathcliffe snorted. "Like you'd ever punish me."
"No, I wouldn't," Dad agreed, but then turned to Heath with a smirk. Dad always smirked, it was his thing. "But your mother would."†
Heathcliffe thought about that for a moment, and then slowly nooded. Knowing that our father was right about this one thing.
Another reason for me to look forward to telling her she'll be a grandmother soon.
Thank the lord for her still being at the office.
"Oh, we're invited to Grannie Molly and Grandpa Art's later," Dad told us, at which I groaned. I was not at all ready to face my whole family. They were like a small country. A country with a lot of different opinions, which incidentally lead to a lot of quarreling.
Like that time James shoved carrots up Al's nostrils, or when Aunt Fleur broke Grannie Molly's record player and screamed in french.
Now, I don't speak french, but I am fairly certain that she was not exchanging pleasantries with my grandmother.
"What? You love going to the Burrow!" Dad exclaimed. With a quick glance at me through the mirror, I could see he'd furrowed his brows.†
"I do, but..." I trailed off. What could I possibly say? 'Oh, father, I don't really want to go because I tend to have my morning sickness in the evening.'
No. Not gonna happen.
"She's stressed out because she hasn't finished getting everyone their Christmas presents yet," Heath cut in, just in time to stop Dad from asking me another question I would have to answer vaguely.
I seriously loved that little man.
"Oh, well, not to worry!" Dad chirped, but I could see he was still suspicious about me. "We'll just sign your name on the gifts from your mother and I."
I nodded, grateful.
The rest of the way there, Heath kept Dad busy, while I used the time to freak out. The need to jump up and down in sheer terror was itching in my toes, and I repeatedly kicked myself in the shin as a distraction.
When we finally got home, I ran up the wide staircase as fast I could in my condition, and locked myself in my room. Only then did I allow myself a few minutes of panic activated jumping.
A knock on my bedroom door made my heart get stuck in my throat, and I was shaking as I stumbled toward it.
"W-Who is it?" I stuttered, one hand on my stomach as if trying to push it flat.
"Heath," said the young voice on the other side. "Let me in."
I did as he told, and the minute my little brother walked through the door, he closed it and threw his arms around me.
"Whoah!" I lost off my footing for a second. "Are you okay, little man?"†
"Yeah," he mumbled, but didn't let me go. I wrapped my arms around him too, and for a while all we did was hug.†
"Your stomach makes it hard to hug you properly," Heath complained, and wiggled about to get a better hold on me. This made me laugh.
"Yes, it's getting bigger by the second," I told him, at which he leaned away and instead put his hands on my belly.
"You've done a good job hiding it," he noted, brows furrowing and giving him a look that made him seem several years older. I didn't like that look. "You can hardly see it."
Did he sound disappointed?
"You wanna see?" I asked him, and he looked up at me with huge, bright blue eyes.
"Can I?" he whispered.
As an answer, I lifted up the sweater covering my surprisingly large belly.
"Bloody hell!" Heath exclaimed, and I looked at him sternly.
"Language," I warned.
"Sorry." But he didn't seem sorry at all, he was too invested in staring at how my belly button had begun peeking outward. "Does it hurt?"
"It looks freaky."
"Oh, it is," I agreed.
"Blimey..." He gently touched the tight skin of my stomach, and almost jumped three feet in the air when something in there began stirring. "What was that?!"
A chuckle escaped me, and I grinned down at my brother's half fascinated, half scared expression.
"It's moving," I explained. "That happens alot."
"It's like something out of a sci-fi movie," he whispered to himself, and put his palm back on the place he'd felt the movement.
But our moment of peace would be cut short.
"Adella?" I heard my mother shouting, and I could hear her footsteps coming up the stairs. "Heathcliffe?"
Heath and I exchanged panicked glances, and I quickly put my sweater back down while Heath bounced over to the computer on my desk.
And just as Mum entered my bedroom, she found a brother and his sister messing around on the computer. Very normal.
"Darlings!" Mum squealed, and rushed over to give us both a hug.
But I needn't have worried. Heath quickly stepped into Mum's open arms, and I had to settle for half a hug, where Mum had no chance of feeling my bump.
"Oh, I've missed you so!" she said and showered our faces with kisses. "Are you all right? How is school, Heath? And, Del, how is Clover and- Oh, I am just so happy to have you back home!"
It took some time to get out of Mum's loving clutches, but when we did, she instead directed her keen eye on me.
"Del, are you ill?" she asked me, with her eyes - identical to mine - squinted in suspicion. "You look a bit...peaky."
"Dad said she looked like something a vegetarian threw up," Heath tattled, at which Mum rolled her eyes.
"Always had a way with words, your father," she mumbled, and then gave me another look. "You tell me if you need anything, alright? Medicine, an extra pillow, food - whatever. Okay?"
I nodded, and tried to conjure up a smile to reassure her that I was fine.
It did not help.
But she didn't say anything else. In fact, she changed the subject altogether, and instead engaged in a long discussion with Heath about his hair.
I let out a long breath when they exited my room bickering like cats and dogs.
But I knew the evening wasn't over yet.
"Dad?" Heath came rushing down the stairs and into the living room where Dad and I watched the telly. Mum was taking her sweet time getting ready for our visit to Grannie Molly and Grandpa Art, and we were all bored senseless.†
"Yeah, mate?" Dad answered without taking his eyes off the screen.
"Can I borrow your broom?"
"No, not until you do what your mother asked." It sounded as though he was programmed to say this.
"But, Dad," Heath whined and his shoulders slumped. "I don't want to cut my hair!"
"Too bad. You're not borrowing the broom until you do."
"Unfair!" Heath stomped his foot, and I had to hide a smile. "Jesus had long hair, and nobody made him cut it."
"Yep, and Jesus used his legs."
A snorting laugh escaped my lips, and Heath glared at me.
"Come on, Dad!" he plead. "Let me borrow the broom for just a minute! Mum won't even know-"
"Your mother knows everything," Dad retorted, and I am very sure he's telling the truth.
"Pleeeease," Heath dragged the word until it resembled a lament.
"You know, Heath, the first word you ever said was 'no', and now you act as though you've never heard it. It's a good word," Dad told him. He proceeded to recite the word repeatedly with an attempt at a poetic grace to make a point, "No. No. No. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
Dad growled impatiently, his son working on his last nerve. "Well, you will not sit your arse on my broom until you tidy up that mop on your head."
Heath's electric blue eyes met Dad's for a moment, and they were suddenly engaging in an unofficial staring contest. After about thirty seconds of this, Heath let out a grunt, and Dad's eyes sparkled like diamonds while he smirked in a very self-satisfied way.
"Fine," Heath spat.
"There's a good lad," Dad breathed victoriously, and then pointed his wand in the general direction of his son. Before I knew it, Heath's hair had been shortened, and was finely combed.
Heath ran to look at himself in the mirror in the hallway.
"I look like a complete tosser!" I heard him complain out loud. "Ronnie's going to make fun of me."
"Yes, she will," Dad mumbled just loud enough for me to hear, and I grinned at this.
Dad flicked through the channels like a madman until he threw the remote control into my lap, giving up. After watching me put on some show about skimpy girls competing to be models, Dad seemed to regret his decision and lunged for the remote, but I was quicker.
"Come on, Del," he whined, just as Heath had done not a mere moment ago. "Give back the remote."
"No, I wanna watch this."
"But I don't!"
"Too bad," I told him, directing the smirk I'd inheritet from him at his frustrated face. His eyes flickered from the skinny girls on the screen, to the remote in my hand.
For a short moment the only sounds in the room were the huge clock on the wall and the girls on the telly cussing each other out. Out of nowhere, with a primal roar, my father did something resembling a Karate Kid-move, and came dangerously close to grabbing the remote.
Oh, it's on!
What followed was a fight of life and death for the right to the clicker, and just as I was about to bite Dad's forearm to scare him off, Mum entered the room. Dad and I immediately froze.
She just blinked.
"Did Heath cut his hair?" she asked.
Dad nodded, spitting some of my hair out of his mouth.
Being so young when he had me made us almost equally mature, and we engaged in the odd battle now and again. Mostly what started it was things like who had the better taste in music, whose turn it was to clear the table, or(like this time) what to watch on the telly. He was really more of a brother.
When Mum walked past us to put on her coat, Dad and I releashed our death grips on each other.
But I was still the one with the remote. I won.
"Loser," I said under my breath, which earned me a glare from Dad.
"You're lucky your mother walked in," he hissed. "I was just about to go into ninja mode."
I rolled my eyes at this.
"Whatever you need to tell yourself, Dad," I said with another Draco Malfoy-worthy smirk.
"Smirk stealer," he muttered, and helped me to my feet.
"Let's get going!" Mum called from the front door. "And please be normal when we get there," she added when we assembled in front of her.
"Why?" I asked, putting on my coat, but neglecting to zip it up. My stomach may be hidden under a layer of magic, but I hadn't put the same spell on my coat. "Nobody else will."
Mum thought about that for a moment, and then sighed in defeat. "Well...let's just go."
The drive to the Burrow took about a half hour, and I wanted to thank some higher power for making my mother do the driving this time. But that didn't stop Dad from commenting and giving Mum tips on how to use the stick shift. Mum indulged him by not even responding to his remarks, but instead gave the vague "Mhm" and "Oh" where appropriate.
When I got out of the car this time, I did not feel like kissing the ground and thanking some higher power for allowing me to live through the drive.
As we walked toward the crooked, old house which only stood upright due to a great amount of magic, I took a deep breath. I was about to enter the lion's den, the aligator's pit, the-
Well, you get the drift.
The double doors were open, serving as the only supply of fresh air, and I trodded through the layer of snow to make way toward them.
Just as I poked my head in through the doors, a tall bloke ran toward me, wrapped his arms around my body and lifted me up from the floor in a great, big embrace.
"Blimey," James - one of my favourite people on this earth - chuckled after putting me back on the ground, "you've packed on a few pounds, haven't you?"
"Still quite the charmer I see, Jamie," I retorted, but couldn't help but smile as his face grinned down at me.
James hadn't inherited either the Weasley's red hair, nor Uncle Harry's green eyes. And he'd grown a beard since the last time I saw him, which made him look even less like a Potter/Weasley kid.
"The ladies ain't complaining," he teased and winked at me. I rolled my eyes at this. But I knew it was true. Witch Weekly had even ranked him as number one on their 'Sexiest Wizards of the Decade'-list. Dad came in tenth. It made his year.
"I'm sure they will when they see that beard," I mocked, pulling on his facial hair. "Seriously, mate, you look like a hobo."
James barked out a laugh, and I grinned. His laugh was truly infectious. Uncle Harry always said that James' laugh reminded him of his departed godfather, Sirius Black, which was appropriate seeing as James was named after the man.
"Hey, quit hogging my favourite cousin!" a girl's voice interrupted, and I turned around to see a very redhaired girl whose green-ish eyes twinkled with the promise of a prank in the nearby future.
"Ronnie," I greeted and gave her a hug.
"How are you?" Ronnie asked suggestively, and I looked nervously around to see if anyone else noticed. Nobody did. Having a rather large family meant that your words were often drowned out by a lot of noise.
James had walked off, and was now discussing something with Al, and I knew that it would later turn into another session of sibling rivalry. I couldn't help but wonder which vegetable they'd stick up each other's noses this time.
Mum was helping Auntie Ginny, Grannie Molly and some woman I hadn't seen before with the food, and Dad, Grandpa Art, Uncle Harry, Uncle Ron and Uncle George were off doing whatever. Probably slacking off somewhere, trying to get out of helping.
I gave Ronnie a curt nod, mentally ordering her not to put me on the spot like that again.
My attention went back to the new woman, and I heard Ronnie letting out a furious growl.
"Ugly, isn't she?" she hissed between clenched teeth while sitting down with an attitude that proved she was(even though she'd kill me if I ever told her) a normal, hormonal teenage girl.
I looked at the woman. She wasn't the shiniest apple in the tree, but she wasn't ugly. Her face was round with pink, healthy cheeks, a friendly smile and green, kind eyes. Her mousy brown hair was boring - and some leave-in conditioner was much needed - but it was carefully put up in a relaxed bun.
"I wouldn't say ugl-"
"Yes, she is!"
I returned my eyes to my sulky cousin, and got the intense impression that Ronnie had a personal vandetta agains this plain woman.
"What's really going on here?" I asked her, sitting down beside her on a wobbly chair. If this broke I promised myself to lay off the cupcakes.
Now, Adella, that's just crazy talk!
Yes, brain, you're right.
"We have an intruder in our house, that's what's going on," she said grimly.
I waited for her to elaborate.
"She's Dad's girlfriend." She spat out the last word as though saying it out loud gave her an uncurable disease.
"Oh," was all I could say in response to this.†
"She's bloody annoying," Ronnie continued, not caring about my lack of consoling words. Well, Ronnie would've probably punched me if I got mushy anyways, so maybe it was for the best. Growing up without a mother really fucked up her sensitive side. "And she's a terrible cook."
"Worse that your dad?" I said with a laugh. Ronnie was not amused.
"She burned the mac&cheese," she told me in a sober voice. "I was gonna make it myself 'cause I felt like a bite when I got home today, but she had to insist on doing it." She paused, squinting her eyes at the woman in question. "I bet she's trying to poison me," she suspiciously told me.
"What?" I laughed.
"I'm serious. But I'm onto her... if she's trying to get me out of the picture so she can have Dad all to herself she's got another thing coming!"
Ronnie was panting, resembling a wild animal ready to pounce on its prey.
"I highly doubt she's trying to kill you," I reasoned with her.
"Her name is Arbella Trickson," she said as though this was proof enough. "Arabella Trickson, Bellatrix? You see? Even her name oozes evil."
I had nothing to say to this. And I highly doubt that Ronnie would even listen to me if I did - she was too busy sending murdering glares at poor Arabella Trickson.
"Yeah," I got awkwardly to my feet, choking my getting-up grunt with some trouble, "so, I'm gonna go see what the rest of the crowd is up to."
Ronnie's expression remained unchanged. Her eyes were glued to the woman she was suspicious of trying to kill her, watching her every move. If I could guess, I would say Ronnie was plotting her own way of finishing off this 'intruder'.
Walking off was easier said than done. Yes, they had extended and fixed up the place, but it never seemed to be able to hold as many people as it should.†
I stumbled my way through the crowd, tried to sneak past Aunt Audrey and Uncle Percy without having to talk to the boring couple, and came frightfully close to having to chat to their annoying daughters, Molly and Lucy.†
I stopped to exchange a few pleasantries with Aunt Fleur and Uncle Bill, but quickly put my feet to work when I noticed Dominique(who was wearing a dress way too provocative for a family get-together) and Louis coming our way. I didn't really mind the boy, but my dislike of his sister was too strong to ignore, so I bolted.
Blinded by the pride of escaping Dom's carefully manicured clutches, I bumped right into Victoire and someone I guessed to be Teddy(he had bright green hair with red streaks today, probably done for the occation). They didn't even react. Just kept on snogging as if I hadn't crashed right into them and pushed them further into the corner.
I found Aunt Angelina in front of the fireplace, hanging up all their stockings, and Roxanne(who still hadn't come to the age where doing stuff with your mum is pure death) happily lent a helping hand.
Fred had by now joined my other male cousins, and they were huddled on the floor, discussing something fiercely. Heath was with them, and I had the urge to warn him about being too close to the Potter boys when around medium-sized vegetables. But with no veggies in sight I decided against it.
I had by now seen all my cousins but one; Lily.
But I could guess where she was.
And as I thought, I found her perched on Uncle Ron's lap, braiding his hair and putting tiny pieces of popcorn in his bright red beard.
"Hey, Lils," I said, while trying to walk normally over to her and most of the men of the family. I hope I succeeded.
"Adella!" she cried, bounced off her favourite uncle's lap and gave me a big hug. Her arms didn't reach all the way around me, but I hope it went unnoticed. She gave my belly a very quick peck too, and my eyes flicked to scan the men in the room. Not a strange look from any one of them. Phew!
"Hi, Curly." That was my Uncle Harry. Yeah, he had the tendency to annoy me with stupid nicknames. They changed constantly. Actually, 'Curly' wasn't his worst one, I could live with 'Curly'.
"Hello," I said and returned my uncle's smile, "how are we doing on that bald spot? Still there?"
Uncle Harry turned to Dad, who sat in a plumpy chair opposite him.
"Do you hear what your daughter's saying to me?" he asked, trying to sound appalled but failed when he couldn't stop grinning.
"I do," Dad nodded, "and she's got a point. Is it still there, or have you finally managed to convince Hermione to fix it for you?"
Uncle Harry fell back into the cusions of the sofa, and gave a sulky grunt.
"Your wife isn't cooperating," he said sourly, rubbing the top of his head and sending Dad's full head of hair a nasty look, "she keeps feeding me this bullshit- Sorry, Lils, that was a bad word, don't tell your mother - about how growing older is a 'beautiful and natural thing'."
"That's because the woman hasn't got one bloody line or wrinkle on her face, so it's easy for her to say," Uncle Ron added, and I turned my attention to the oddly groomed man. "That's why I grew this beard, you know. A lad needs to look his best, and wrinkles aren't attractive."
"Yeah, about that," I laughed, "you're looking exeptionally good today, Uncle Ron. I must say, the popcorn really brings out your eyes."
Dad, Uncle Harry and Uncle George laughed. Grandpa Art was asleep. And he was snoring. Nobody cared, though. Lily blushed as Uncle Ron gave her a wide smile.
"Well, I have this wonderful new stylist," he said, winking at Lily, at which she giggled. The girl turned five years old again when she was around Uncle Ron. I don't know why, but it was utterly adorable.
"Maybe she could help you with a combover, Harry," Dad teased, and Uncle Harry glared at him.†
"I have to go take a leak," he announced sourly.†While getting to his feet and leaving the room he repeated Dad's words in a high-pitched mumble to himself, causing us all to laugh. I thought it'd wake up Grandpa, but it didn't.
Moments later, Aunt Ginny poked her head in the room.†"Harry?"
"Not here," Uncle George told her, earning him an I'm-not-blind-you-git look, but she didn't say it out loud. I'm wagering it was because of Lily.
"Well, where is he?"
"Harry, as it turns out," Uncle Ron began, "ate my last Chocolate Frog. So I killed him." He looked at his younger sister with big, innocent eyes and cocked his head to the side. "Do you think that was wrong?"
Aunt Ginny bit her lip, and I could see it cost her a great deal to hold back a rude response, but she shook it off and instead turned her attention to the room as a whole.
"Mum's serving dinner in a minute, so let's-"
"Oh, yeah!" Uncle Ron jumped to his feet.†
"- go..." she finished in a mumble.
It's funny; Uncle Ron always complains about his knees hurting - and blaming Uncle Harry for driving him too hard at work - but every time there was food involved he bounced up like a jack-in-the-box.
"Christmas, mate," he said matter-of-factly to his older brother. "Not a good holiday to be my pants."
"Is there ever a good holiday to be your pants, Ron?" Aunt Ginny shot in. I guess she'd reached the amount of annoyance she could endure, and now had to let some of it out.
When Arabella cooks, I joked in my head, reminded of Ronnie's little story about Uncle Ron's new girlfriend.
"That was mean, Ginny!" Uncle Ron snapped. "I haven't done anything-"
"Ho-ho-hold up a second!"†
I turned around and found my grandfather gingerly getting to his feet.
"I will not have the two of you bickering at Christmas, am I making myself clear?" Aunt Ginny and Uncle Ron nodded with their heads bent down in shame. "Good. Now let's go enjoy the wonderful meal your mother has prepared, all right?"
Without moving, I watched them all get to their feet and begin to leave the room. When Grandpa Art was out of earshot I saw Dad giving Uncle Ron a mocking smile.
"Now, be a good boy, Won-Won, or Daddy won't give you your allowence," he teased with a smirk. Uncle Ron shot daggers at him†before pushing Dad violently out through the doorway and followed closely after.
Ginny and I were now the only ones left in the room, and she was staring after her family, shaking her head and making 'tsk, tsk' sounds.
It wasn't until I let out a groan while putting my hands on my back for a little support, that her focus was directed at me. I quickly let my hands fall to my side. My heart fluttered like a bird's wings when she walked slowly over to me, her eyes not on my face, but on my stomach.
"Y-Yes?" I gulped, trying to suck my belly in.
"Why do you seem bigger?"
"Ehm, it's just this dress," I spluttered, not daring to look into her eyes, "it makes me look-"
"What I find curious, though, is that it all seems to have gotten to your stomach-region," she keenly observed. "Why's that?"
The silence that followed was insanely loaded, and I couldn't bring myself to break it. I was afraid the room would explode if I did, and then the whole house would surely crash to the ground. For, seriously, how much could this house really take?
With tears falling down my cheeks I finally looked up into Aunt Ginny's warm, brown eyes. A single nod was all the answer I could give, but it was enough, and Aunt Ginny lunged forward to embrace me in her arms.
"It'll be okay," she comforted me as my shoulders began shaking with contained sobs. "It's gonna be okay."
And I really, really wanted to believe her.
I hadn't been able to sleep at all last night. Not a second. I didn't even close my eyes, exept for the occational blink. I bet I looked fabulous.
"Morning!" Dad barged in, chirping like a bird. Literally, a bird. Whistling, flapping his arms like wings - the whole shabang. Mum said he got like this after watching all the childrens movies she'd grown up with, that he'd never seen. He thought he could sing along with animals now, and whenever we passed a Willow tree, he sat down under it and began chatting. The man is weird. How that man was ever accepted into the Death Eaters' circle of horror was beyond me.
"Merry Christmas Eve day!" he sang and opened the blinds in my room, the light hurt my eyes. I let out a shrill hissing noise. If he was going to be a bird, I'd be a cat. Let's see who'll win this.
"Dad, don't you have anything better to do?" I croaked huskily. I did not have the most attractive morning voice. Or breath. Or hair. Actually, to sum it up, no part of me is attractive in the morning. And not getting a wink of sleep probably doesn't help, does it?
"Better than being with my beautiful family on this beautiful Christm- ?"
"If you don't leave my room in less than five seconds I'll start talking about periods," I warned. His eyes widened, and then he shot out of the room like a Nimbus 2005. He wasn't fast enough to be compared to a Firebolt.
The period, all men's kryptonite. And I did not feel at all bad about using it to my advantage. Dad was creepily happy at Christmas, and he needed to be turned down a peg or five.
This left me alone again, and I was perfectly happy with that. No, let me rephrase that; I was perfectly content. I wasn't happy. How could I be happy? I had to tell my parents about them becoming grandparents at the age of forty in the nearby future.
I'd been thinking about it all night, and come to grips with the fact that I actually had to tell them. No, I had not fully acknowledged that I had to do that until now, all right?
I heard a soft tap on my door, and I dried away the silent tears that'd started falling. "Go away," I called out. "I'm naked, don't come in."
"Ew," I heard a young voice mumble.
"Heath, is it you?"
"Oh, come in," I said after clearing my throat.
"Ehm, I-I'd rather not," he stuttered awkwardly. I rolled my eyes as I sat upright in my bed.
"I'm not naked," I assured him.
He was hesitating.
"You think I can't tell the difference? Get in here."
My door opened with a creak, and in came Heath dressed in his Star Wars-pajama set, and his hair all messy. A relieved smile spread across his sweet face when he found me fully dressed in my own nightwear.
He stepped over to my bed and sat down on the edge. "Dad woke you too?"
"No, Chirpy McAnnoying did," I grunted, punching the pillow into a more comfortable shape. Several years of doing this had turned the pillow into an unrecognizable lumpy thing, but I loved it. Mum once tried to throw it away and buy me a new one. That was a fight she did not win.
"That's nothing," Heath sighed, "he came into my room singing 'Tomorrow' in Spanish. At least I think it was 'Tomorrow'... When did he learn Spanish?"
I shrugged my shoulders. I'd learned long ago that questioning my parents' weirdness only caused more questions, so I just let them do their thing. Some of Mum's weird things were alphabetizing books, dental hygiene and houseelves. There's a lot more, but I'm just easing you in.
"Have you been crying?" Heath asked me. I turned my gaze away from his eyes, and directed it instead to the Quaffle-sized bump where my stomach used to be located.
"Are you telling them today?"†
"It's not that easy," I explained. "How do I possibly start that conversation?"
"You don't need to start a conversation," he rationalized. "You just need to say it. Like, 'Mum, Dad, I'm pregnant.' See?"
"That was weird," I said slowly. "You saying that was just...wrong."
Heath rolled his eyes, and I could now see how alike we were. The sight let loose a pair of fresh tears, and Heath immediately put his hand on top of mine.
"Want me to be there when..." He didn't have to finish his sentence. I smiled at him, but shook my head.
"Unfortunately, this is one of the things I have to do on my own."
Heath understood. He gave my hand an awkward pat, and then exited my room. The space suddenly felt so empty after he left, and I spent a solid ten minutes ugly-crying into the lump of a pillow, feeling so very sorry for myself.
I managed to drag my arse out of the bed before noon, but I refused to waste any calories trying to get out of my pajama pants and into something more appropriate.
Depression makes you neglect many things, pants included. I remember that week after Dad heard his little sister, Sophia, had gotten a boyfriend and was going to move to Sweden with him. Honestly I think he overreacted, but I guess he was the protective kind. But sulking around in his pink and yellow-striped boxers might be taking it a tad too far.
Dear Merlin, that was an uncomfortable seven days.
I now exercised my right to parade around(or sit firmly in one place until nature's calls forced me to get up) in tattered, old slacks while staring at the telly. The whole living room sparkled with Christmas decorations, and it bore the look of Santa Claus haing thrown up all over the place.
"Hello, love," Dad sang. The man had a nice voice, but he could seriously tone it down a few notches. "What are we watching?"
I hadn't really been paying any attention to the images on the screen, causing me to have no response to Dad's question, so I just shrugged. My lack of words made Dad turn and focus on my face. Hi scrunched his nose, looking confused.
"Are you okay? Your face is all puffy," he noted.
"Da-ad!" I exclaimed, dividing the word into two whining syllables.
"Not bad puffy," he said, trying to reel himself in.
"Oh, right, you mean the good puffy." I was dangerously close to wailing and thrashing about like a four-year-old, but I swallowed the childish urges and turned my face away from my father's openly dumbfounded expression.
"Brownie!" he called out behind him, never taking his eyes off his now crying daughter. By the way, that was his nickname for my Mum. Don't ask.
"Dear Merlin, Draco! Just let her have the remote!" Mum responded from the kitchen in an annoyed voice.†
"It's something else this time," he told her. I could hear her sighing, followed by impatient steps growing closer. Mum stopped dead in her tracks when she saw me crying on the couch, my fingers fiddling nervously with the pillow I'd put on my lap as a disguise.
"See?" Dad pointed at me, and I cast him a dirty glance through the tears. "She's...leaking."
It looked like Mum counted to ten in her head to refrain from snapping at her husband, and then focused on me. I wish she'd counted to a hundred... I was not ready yet.
"What's this, sweetheart?" Mum inquired softly, the crease between her eyebrows(the crease she'd passed on to her son) making its appearance.
This was it. This was the moment.
Please, please, please, Merlin - open up this floor and let me fall into the pits of Tartaros.
Mum undoubtedly saw the fearful, yet pleading look in my eyes and sat down on the chair opposite the couch Dad and I were perched on.†
After forcing myself to draw a deep breath, I swallowed the massive lump in my throat that prevented words from forming.
"Mum, Dad... I-I have to tell you something," I said shakily. A very loaded silence followed, and I couldn't seem to break it. Something was holding me back. My own cowardice, that's what.
"Get to the point, Del," Dad told me impatiently as he flicked off the telly.
"Draco, don't interrupt her," Mum snapped and swatted Dad's arm. She turned to me, position showing me that she was ready for whatever was about to happen. I seriously doubted that. "Please continue, darling."
"Brayder and I had sex," I rushed.
"Pardon?" This was apparently not what Mum had braced herself for.
"I don't think I want to hear this-"
"Blondie, shut your cakehole for once. This is obviously important to our daughter," Mum interrupted Dad's uncomfortable mumble. "Ehm, when did this happen, Del?"
"Right before summer vacation," I admitted, and blinked the tears out of my eyes. This was it. Here I go... "And that's not all. I-I.. I'm.. I am, I'm sort of, ehm. I-"
Mum gasped. "No. No!" Her hands shakily went up to cover her open mouth, before she whispered, "Oh, please don't say what I think you're going to say."
"Huh?" Dad looked very confused from his now crying wife, to his sobbing daughter. "What's going on here? Am I missing something?"
"I'm so sorry, Mum." I'd be surprised if she even understood the choked words. "I never meant for it to happen, it just did."
"How come I still don't know what's going on here?!" Dad burst out, throwing his hands in the air. "What did you do?" he asked me, and then turned to Mum. "Brownie, what did she do?"
Neither one of us had enough air in our lungs to answer Dad, so he was left in the dark for now, looking very frustrated. Mum's expression, on the other hand, was conpletely unreadable.
"Mum, please, say something," I begged. "Anything."
"I-I.." she began. "I think I need something to drink." Mum got to her feet in one swift move, but I grabbed her wrist and turned desperate.†
"I'm so sorry, I know that what I did was stupid, but please, please don't leave," I heard myself pleading. "Do anything else. Scream, yell, reprimand me in any way you see fit - I deserve it, but don't leave me."
"Can one of you please tell me what's going on?" Dad demanded in a stern and calm voice I'd never heard him use before.
When I knew Mum wouldn't leave, I slowly let go of her bracelet covered wrist and turned my teary eyes to Dad, sobs threatening to choke me if I didn't release them soon. "I'm pregnant."
"YOU'RE WHAT?!" he roared, jumping from the couch.
"I heard you! I-I just... I need to sit down." He sat down. "No, I have to get up." He jumped up again. "I've got to get up and kick some teenage boyfriend arse! Where is he?!"
"He's probably at home with his family, eating pudding," he sneered into thin air. "Well, how dares he think that he can just knock up my daughter and then eat pudding as if nothing's happened?! That slithering bastard! I knew you getting sorted into Slytherin would end badly, and-"
"Oh, don't you worry, dear, your dad is going to sort this out. Don't trouble your pretty, little, pregnant head," he told me, patting my head a little too harshly, causing my teeth to clatter. "You know what? I'm going over there," he proclaimed, running to get his shoes on. "I'm going to teach that snivelling boy a lesson he'll never forget! I'll round up the lads, I bet Harry and Ron will want a piece of this action."
"No, Dad! You can't-" I started desperately.
"The hell I can!" he yelled, skipping into his shoes and not bothering to tie them.
"All right, fine!" he spat. "But you know what I will do? I'll call his parents. Oh, yes I will," he raised his eyebrows as he nodded frantically, and then ran to find his cell phone. Dad started pressing the buttons on the phone furiously but then seemed to realise that he didn't have any idea what their number was. "What's their phone number?"
"They don't have a phone," I explained to him, and had to press my lips together to keep from smiling at Dad's expression.
"They don't have a- This is the 21st century, people!" he informed an invisible audience. "I wish that the sodding Wizarding world would just get their heads out of their arses long enough to realise that they're not in the middle-ages anymore!" He shoved his mobile into his pocket with a growl. "Well then, give me their address, I'll write them a letter, like-like some sort of medieval chump."
"Dad, please just sit down and talk to me," I whispered. And something in my voice must've told him that it was time to be serious for a second, so he reluctantly sat down. "Mum, I wish that you would also-"
"Let her be," he said gently, probably knowing his wife's reaction pattern.
"Okay... I'm so sorry, Dad. About all this. Please believe that."
"I-I just don't see how this-this thing could've happened..." he stammered and ran his hand through his blonde hair.
"Well, ehm, a few months ago, about six to be exact, me and Brayder started having-"
Dad drowned out the rest of my sentence by humming loudly to himself, his hands covering his ears. He didn't stop this before he saw I wasn't talking anymore.†
"I know how it works!" Dad hissed, breathing rapidly. "But why in the name of Hagrids left arsecheek did you go and do that for, Adella?! And unprotected! Because you sure didn't use any contraceptives, I bet. I mean, are you stupid? Were you drunk?" Dad's face transformed, going from frustrated to hopeful. "Oh, please say that you were drunk out of your right mind and didn't willingly do such a-an idiotic act. Please, please."
I refused to lie. If I was going to tell them the truth, I would tell them the whole truth, and not blame it on alcohol.†
"I wasn't drunk on any of the occations, and as a matter of fact we did use a condom every time. Anyways, I was ready to take the next step - we both were, and-"
"The next step?" Dad shrieked in an unmasculine way. "You've just hurled yourself down the whole sodding stairs, Adella! Do you have any idea what you've gotten yourself into?!"
"Yes!" I screamed back at him, getting worked up. He looked me deep in the eye, prying the truth out of me. "No. But I thought that you, being my parents, would help me fill in the blanks."
No response. All Dad did was get to his feet again, this time to start pacing angrily back and forth. Mum was his total opposite, not having moved since she stood up several minutes ago. It looked as though someone had Patrificul Totalis'd her.
"You have no idea how scared I am," I pressed out in a thick voice, tasting the salty tears running into my mouth. "I'm terrified. And I need your support and love now more than ever before, because without you..." I paused, letting out a sob. "I really don't know how I'm supposed to do this."
Dad's pace slowed down, his eyes finding mine.
"Of course you do have our love, Adella, nothing could ever change that," he told me sternly, and I felt my heart give a jolt. "But this..." He let out a tortured breath, and instead turning to his statue of a wife.
"Love?" he said tryingly, taking a step toward her. "Do you want a glass of juice? A cookie?... Some marijuana?"
"Yeah," Mum answered in a ragged mumble. "Vodka would be nice."
"Ehm, honey, are you sure that alcohol is the best-"
"VODKA!" she yelled, and gave my father and me a start.
"Coming right up." He did a weird half-jog, half-bounce into the kitchen, and left me alone with my mother.
"Oh. And, ehm, there's more," I breathed out in a voice that was tainted by the nerves I was struggling with.
I had still not come to grips with what I was about to say, it was still so unreal to me. Almost too bizarre to be taken seriously.
Mum turned to me, her brown eyes wondering what in the hell I would say now.
It felt strange to say, very surreal. Two people were growing inside me. Two, not one.
Mum seemed to think the exact same thing. Then, with a whipping movement that I'm afraid would give her a serious neck injury, she turned her head to the kitchen.
"How's that vodka coming, Malfoy?!"
I wish I could have joined her.
This is a very long chapter as well - sorry! I hope I didn't bore you guys to death. But at least she finally told them! How did you find that? Believable? Lame?
Oh, and what about the twist at the end there? Twins! I, for one, am so excited!! I've been dropping hints like a crazy person, but I hope I sill managed to surprised some of you ^^
Thanks for reading! Please write your throughts on this in that little box at the end of the page :)
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