Chapter 9 : The Jacobs Family
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Chapter Image by JoanneK @ TDA!
I was never afraid of much while I was growing up. I wasn’t afraid of the dark. I wasn’t afraid of the boogyman underneath my bed. I definitely wasn’t afraid of heights. My family taught me to be strong and to fight. It is the Jacobs way. All Jacobs were strong and dominant people. Yet, there is always something I will be terrified. That thing is bringing someone home to my family.
I am extremely close to all my family. No one lived more than fifteen minutes away from each other back in the states. The closest someone got to moving away was when Gabby and Ethan moved to Iowa for three months. She thought it was the end of the world. We used to get together every Sunday and spend the whole day together. We are a small family, but insanely close. All while I was little, my cousins lived in my backyard, quite literally. My grandma lived across the river. Before I moved, Gabby lived about five miles north, while Jenny lived five miles south. I lived down the street from my parents. I’m always a child at heart.
That’s why it was so hard for me to sign with the Falcons. Sure, the money was amazing and I had always wanted to play for a big name team, but it costed me a lot more to leave all that family behind. My sisters were my best friends. My parents were my confidants. My grandmother was my conscience. My nephew was my youth. It was like I had everything right in my tight knit family. Wisconsin didn’t have a million people like most states, so your best friends really did have to be close to your heart.
The thing about bringing someone home to the family is this: they have to be very serious. You cannot bring someone into the Jacob’s household if you have only been dating them for a month. You do not bring someone home who you’ve only had a fling with. Since we are so close, we are very protective. My mom acts like you are attacking her cubs. My dad threatens to take out the shotgun (which he doesn’t own). My sisters bombard you with questions. I admit, I’ve done it too. My nephew asks if you are going to give him a cousin. It gets a bit hectic. It has been a general rule not to introduce a guy to our family unless you are serious about him.
This is why I felt like I was betraying my family. We were more than family, we were friends. You may lie to your family, but you don’t lie to friends. I was having great difficulty finding the right words to say to myself in the mirror. I stared at my reflection. I had been doing it for a good half hour. I could hear the lies pouring from my tongue. They would all see right through me. Carter would kick me in the shin (he did that when he was mad at people).
“Guys, this is James….my boyfriend,” I tried the dramatic pause, but ended up sounding too cliché. I groaned, smacking my head lightly against the mirror. I couldn’t do this. Put me in any other situation than this. I have taken multiple bludgers to the head in my life, but nothing compares to this.
I have never brought a boyfriend home.
I have always been so wrapped up in Quidditch that I never found the need. Back in school, I was a joke to most people. I was the youngest Jacob. I got called Little Jacob by just about everyone. Gabby was the protégée, the smart girl in the family. Jenny was the beauty, the one guys drooled after. When I had entered, people had expected the cream of the crop, but ended up getting dull old Genevieve. Just as dull as my name.
I don’t like to think about school. It brings back bad memories.
I shook my head, running a brush through my hair one more time. Carter may be four, but he still pulled your hair like there was no tomorrow. He thought it was funny. Until I pulled his hair back. I got into too many rows with Jenny about pulling his hair back. Maybe he shouldn’t do it first!
“Gigi?” I heard James call from my doorway. I peeked around my doorway, feeling the panic rise in me. James being here meant my family was arriving soon. Fifteen minutes to be exact.
“I can’t do this,” I said. James saw the panicked expression on my face and sighed. He crossed the room in a few strides and grabbed onto my shoulders, making me face him.
“It’s going to be fine. Your family is going to love me. I’ll be charming and even hit on your mum a bit, yeah?” James said, trying to get a smile out of me. It didn’t work. In fact, it panicked me more.
“Do not hit on my mom! My dad will rip your head off!” I shrieked, collapsing onto my loveseat. This was going to be a disaster. I could already hear my father threatening James with the shotgun (which I must clarify: Does not exist).
“Who am I supposed to hit on, then?” James asked, actually confused by not getting to hit on someone. I groaned into the side of my couch, ready to peel away the expensive leather and crawl in and never come out. Maybe that way I wouldn’t have to deal with this catastrophe that is meeting my family.
I looked up at the clock. Five minutes. When the hell did the clock move that fast?!
I jumped up from my seat, straightening out anything I could find. I straightened my jersey on the wall, making sure it sat perfectly in the center. I placed the cookies Meme had made for me out on the counter. I had even charmed the apartment to smell like the cookies. I had made my bed so that you could bounce a quarter off of it perfectly. Every dish and every corner of my flat was sparkling.
Damn it. Merlin, zap me out of here, will you?
“Can I have a cookie?” James asked, staring down at the plate of cookies and nearly getting his drool on them.
“No!” I slapped his hand away before he could grab one. He pulled back, looking extremely offended at me.
“What’s got your wand in such a big knot?” James mumbled. I frowned at him, choosing not to answer. He could be pretty thick some times.
Then came the noise I was waiting for all day. The chime of the doorbell. I looked at the clock. Spot on two o’clock. How that happened, I’ll never know. Jacobs were never on time. This meant business. I paled, unable to move my feet towards the door. It chimed again, this time slightly more urgent.
“Want me to get it?” James asked, mouth full of cookies. I shook my head, uprooting myself from my spot. I slowly made my way towards the door.
“If my dad tells you he’s got a shotgun, dismiss it,” I said, taking one last look at James to see him spit out all the cookies in a violent cough.
“What?!” He shrieked before I pulled open the door.
I was greeted by a very loud shriek. Then suddenly, I was blinded. It took me a second to realize I had a sister attached to me, her hair threatening to suffocate me. Leave it to Jenny to get hair extensions in the month that I’m gone. She pulled away from me and I got a good look at her.
Her long brown hair reached her mid back. She had thick streaks of blonde in it that must be new. Her brown eyes glowed as she looked at me from behind her thick eyelashes. Her small beauty mark was still right below her eye. Right where I remembered it. She had always been fit, but she looked like she had lost another five pounds. She looked good.
I saw my other sister, Gabby, behind her. Her red hair looked like it hadn’t grown since the last time I had seen her. It rest on her shoulders, straight as a pin needle. Freckles still looked like they had been attacking her face. Her thick rimmed glasses slid down her nose a little bit, but she pushed them up and smiled at me, showing off perfectly straight white teeth. Her clothes were a lot more modest than Jenny’s. They were polar opposites.
My mom was with them, a bright grin on her face when she met my eyes. Her brown curly hair bounced on her shoulders as she enveloped me in a hug. I was met with the familiar scent of back home and nearly cried right on spot. She pulled back, the corner of her hazel eyes wrinkling as she smiled yet again. She was almost 55. She was strong though, I knew that much from the years.
Grandma was with them as well. Her dark brown hair was set on top of her head, barely a grey in sight. She had prominent wrinkles in her face and even more when she spotted me. Her skin was tan from being out in the sun, working on her large yard. For 87, she acted like she was 50. She owned her own house and insisted on doing all the yard work on her acre property. I recall apparating there a few times to make sure she was okay.
“Look at you, living in the lap of luxury!” Gabby said, stepping around me and into my apartment. I flushed slightly as the other three made their way in. They nearly all gasped in shock at the mere size of the place. We never had much money in my family, so this was a big step up from that.
“The Falcons own the whole complex,” I explained. No one seemed to be paying attention, but rather staring around at the nice furniture and the sky light. I even had a perfect view. Not that I’m bragging. Because I’m not.
“The boys are checking into the hotel. Thought they’d give you some air,” Mom explained, coming forward and wrapping her arms around me again. “I missed you,” she whispered into my hair.
“I missed you too,” I whispered back. She pulled away, smiling down at me.
“What’s that smell?” Grandma asked, sniffing the air. It seemed to draw everyone’s attention as they all turned towards the kitchen.
“Oh, I made some cookies!” I informed them, moving towards the spacious kitchen. When we entered it, I gasped upon finding James holding the plate with just crumbs left on it.
“Oh! Erm…hi,” James mumbled, crumbs flying from his mouth.
“James!” I scolded, grabbing the plate out of his hands and smacking his shoulder.
“Ouch!” He protested.
“Why did you eat all the damn cookies?” I asked him. He looked like he had just been caught stealing his parent’s wand.
“Oh don’t be so hard on the boy. It’s not like we actually believe you made them,” Grandma said. I gasped at her announcement, seeing her smiling at me oh-so-sweetly.
“Yeah, you suck at cooking,” Gabby said, smiling at me as I turned my glare on her. James snorted from behind me.
“Well, at least they know too,” He said as I turned my glare on him as well.
“Is it make fun of Gigi day?” I asked. They all nodded at me.
“So you must be James,” Jenny proclaimed, coming forward and shaking James’s hand. James’s face immediately reddened as he nodded at her, losing his words. I smirked at this. Jenny was the kind of girl that guys had librarian fantasies about. If you wanted the blatantly gorgeous sister, you looked at Gabby.
“Can’t say we’re super excited to meet you. Had to read about you in the papers,” Gabby said, sending me a scolding look. I nearly buckled under the pressure, ready to burst out what we really were, but bit my tongue and gave my best innocent smile.
“You get famous and forget all about the little people,” Jenny said, sighing dramatically. Gabby laughed, wrapping an arm around my shoulders. Though she was a few inches shorter than me, she still managed to do it.
“So what are your intentions with our dear little sister?” Gabby asked, staring straight at James, her face suddenly becoming serious. Mom laughed, moving away from the group and beginning to look around the apartment. Grandma followed her lead, not wanting to get involved in the sister interrogation.
“W-what?” James asked, backing himself up into my marble counter. I could see the look on his face. He wasn’t prepared for this. Sure, he probably had received countless threats from brothers, but never had he received the mind-fucking from a Jacobs girl. I winced for him.
“Are you serious about her?” Jenny re-worded Gabby’s question, coming up on my other side and crossing her arms.
“What kind of question is that?” James asked, looking at me for help. I shrugged at him. This was the one time I couldn’t help him.
“An easy one. We haven’t even gotten started yet, Potter,” Gabby said, smirking at him. James’s face paled upon hearing her words. I saw his adam’s apple bob.
“You see, this is our baby sister,” Jenny started, taking a step forward. I groaned as Gabby dropped her arm from around my shoulders and followed Jenny forward towards James in a menacing way.
“We protect her no matter what,” Gabby added, glaring at James for effect. It worked. I could practically see the sweat beating down his face. He was trapped, cornered. He had no place to run.
“If that means getting rid of miniscule Quidditch players, so be it,” Jenny said, flicking her hand for effect. I swear I heard James whimper.
“We’re Americans. We’re ruthless,” Gabby whispered, now so close to James that she could probably see the flecks of green I saw in his eyes. I shook the thought from my head.
“Got it?” Jenny asked. James nodded so quickly that I thought his head was going to snap off.
“Okay girls, knock it off,” Mom said, coming out of my bedroom. She turned to me and sighed. You know the sigh when you know your parents are disappointed in you? Yeah, it was that kind of sigh.
“What?” I asked her. Had she found something in my room that she shouldn’t have? Oh god, please don’t tell me she went in my bottom drawer.
“Gigi, we know.” Mom said. I frowned at her. I kind of figured they all knew about my bottom drawer. Hell, every adult girl had a ‘bottom drawer’ (don’t look at me like that, you know it’s true).
“You know what?” James asked, spinning around Jenny and Gabby and coming to my side. I saw him sigh in relief.
“We know you two are faking it,” Mom said, smiling at the pair of us. Gabby and Jenny bursted out laughing behind us, nearly doubling over onto the floor.
“Did you see his face?!” Jenny asked through fits of giggles.
“He looked like he was going to piss himself!” Gabby added, peeling over.
“Wait, how did you know?” I asked, rounding on my mom.
“It’s not like you’re the best liar, Gigi,” Jenny said, wiping the tears away from her eyes. James seemed to relax, hopping up onto my counter.
“Plus, we knew that if you were that serious about a guy that you’d let us meet him that it had to be a joke,” Gabby added. I frowned at this.
“You’ve never let us meet any of your boyfriends, honey,” Mom said, wrapping an arm around me.
That’s because I’ve never had a serious one.
I felt a pang swing across my chest, but brushed it off. I was in the company of my family. I wasn’t going to let minuscule things like that effect me. I had better things to worry about when I was younger. It’s why I am a Quidditch player and not a house wife.
Suddenly, my front door swung open and I heard the chatter of male voices. I turned, seeing my father come into view. His thick mustache looked exactly the same as I remembered. His black hair, flecked with greys in it looked like it had gotten more grey than before. His brown eyes sparkled when he saw me, but narrowed when he spotted James.
I saw Ethan next to him, his jolly smile making me laugh a little. He was perfect for Gabby. He was already balding at 32, but it worked for him. His thick glasses framed his round face. He was already getting a bit of a 50’s belly, but Gabby and Ethan were always older than their age. It made sense that they would be aging faster.
Before I could get it all in, I saw Carter sprinting towards me. He was taller than I remembered, even though it has only been a month. His blonde hair hit me in the face when I engulfed him in a hug. He smelt like sugar and juice. The perfect little kid mix. He squeezed me, nearly pulling the air straight out of me, but it was alright. I’d let him squeeze the air out of me any day.
“Auntie Gigi!” Carter squealed in my ear. I didn’t want to set him down, but I did. “Look! I’m just like you!”
I looked down at the shirt he was gesturing to and noticed my number on it and the Falcon logo in the corner. The black and silver gleamed on his chest. He spun around to reveal my name in large letters on his back. I grinned with pride at him.
“You’re going to be wearing your own jersey one day, little man,” I told him. He beamed up at me. I looked towards my dad for his common acknowledgement of that fact, but he was staring at James, a stone look on his face. James seemed to just realize that my father was trying to give him the death glare and sank beneath his stare.
“You know,” my dad started, narrowing his eyes further on James, “I have a shotgun. I’m not afraid to use it.”
“She’s doing brilliantly, Brenda,” I heard Sally say. I swung my bag over my shoulder, pushing the locker room door open. My mom and Sally were right outside of the doors, chatting absent-mindedly.
“I’ve seen, Sally,” Mom told her, turning to me with a big smile. “You’re amazing, Gigi.”
I smiled at her, letting her wrap her arm around me. I felt comfortable and safe with my mom’s arms wrapped around me. I felt like a little kid again, but in a good way. I felt like nothing could touch me. She smelt like a little bit of smoke, but it was something I was used to. Mom started smoking before I was even born. She always smoked away from us all, keeping the smell just on herself.
“James has no potential whatsoever?” Mom asked me hopefully. I thought back to when James and I had had sex. I thought back to the banquet and when he had kissed me. I felt the familiar flutter in my stomach when I thought back to James in general.
“Nope.” I answered. Before Mom could badger me more, I saw Gabby and Jenny up ahead, caring multiple bags in their arms. They had bright smiles on both of their faces.
“You will not believe how many things we got for free by just saying we are Gigi’s sisters!” Jenny exclaimed, branishing the shopping bags around.
“Gigi, I think you should just become the leader of the world. That way everything will be free for us,” Gabby said, smirking at me. Gabby is evil on the inside, I’m telling you. She hides beneath a kind exterior.
“I would not live in a world that Gigi ran,” I heard from behind me. Just then I heard the locker room doors slam shut and out walked Adam and Matt. Adam grinned at the sight of my sisters.
“Now who are you fine ladies?” Adam drawled, stepping far too close to my sisters. The three of us shared a very similar look.
“They’re my sisters, Adam. Off limits.” I explained. Adam narrowed his eyes on me. He seemed to be contemplating something very serious as his eyes moved from Gabby, then Jenny, then to me.
“Mrs. J?” Adam asked, turning towards my mom. She raised her eyebrows at him. “You made some hot children.”
“Adam!” I yelled, smacking him around the head. He cringed, backing up away from me.
“Well, you two have been with Gigi for quite some time. Her and James would make a cute couple, right?” Mom asked, turning towards Adam and Matt. Matt’s eyes widened when Mom said this and Adam looked utterly confused. Mom obviously thought the whole team knew the truth.
“But they are a couple,” Adam said slowly, looking at my mom like she was a hippogriff.
“Adam, aren’t you supposed to be studying the playbook? Big game’s tomorrow!” Matt said, guiding Adam away from the group. He glanced back at me, to which I gave him a thumbs up.
“Not everybody knows we aren’t a real couple, Mom,” I told her, making my way to the apparition site.
“Well, maybe you should be a real couple. I see the way he looks at you, Gigi. Plus, it wouldn’t kill you to get over whats-his-face,” Mom said. I cringed upon her words. She knew his name. I damn well knew she knew his name. I knew she meant well, but the sting still hurt.
“Leave it be, Mom,” I mumbled, turning towards Gabby and Jenny to save me. Both of them were giving me the ‘I’m-sorry-but-I’m-not-helping-you’ look. Thanks sisters.
“It was three years ago, Gigi!” Mom protested my words. I closed my eyes, sighing. I didn’t want to think about three years ago. It had taken me this long to just push it out of my head.
“I know,” I said, staring down at my feet. Only a few more steps and we’d be in the apparition center. I wouldn’t have to hear about this much longer.
“Genevieve, I think we need to talk about this,” Mom said, grabbing my arm and causing me to stop. I felt anger flair inside of me. That was the last thing I wanted to do was talk about this. About him.
“No, I think we don’t, Mom.” I hissed, glaring at her. She sighed and I saw the expression on her face change to that of pity.
“It is time to get over it. I think James would be perfect for that. I’ve seen pictures of him with a new girl, anyways.” I felt he familiar pang again, straight in the middle of my chest. I had avoided any article that had his name on it. So no, I didn’t see him with a new girl.
“Mom, drop it. Drop it now.” I growled. She didn’t seem afraid at all. In fact, she sighed, not letting go of my arm.
“Tyler wasn’t the one for you. I think James could be!”
“Mom! Knock it off!” I shouted, yanking my arm out of her grip.
“You’re being irrational!” She shouted back at me.
“Why? Because I don’t want to marry James?!”
“Because you are not getting over Tyler!”
“And you think James is the answer to that or something?”
“Well he’s not! Even if I was hung up on Tyler, I definitely would not go to James to get over him!” I shouted, stomping my foot like a child. My mom stopped, staring over my shoulder. Her eyes were slightly wide.
That was when I knew we had a larger audience than I had anticipated. I turned on my heel immediately to see James staring at my back, his face stone hard. Next to him was Barry, staring at me with wide eyes. The room was silent. To some, it looked like I was a huge bitch. To others, it looked like I had just crushed my boyfriend’s heart. To me, it looked like I had just really pissed off James Potter.
“James, I-“ I started, getting ready to explain my irrational shouting with my mom.
“Tyler?” He asked, breaking his silence. His face remained neutral.
“Uhm, yeah?” I wasn’t quite sure what he was looking for.
“As in Tyler Gates. The Cannon’s star chaser.” He said. I nodded slowly, not wanting to admit it myself.
“You dated him?” Barry asked, gasping in shock.
“She was engaged to him,” Gabby answered. There was an audible gasp around the small corridor we were all in. James didn’t move. I wasn’t sure if he was even breathing. I didn’t want to fucking think about it and here they were making me relive the worst parts of my life.
“He is American,” Sally added. I barely was focused on her words. My eyes were locked with James’s. I refused to move before he did.
“I have to go,” James said, finally breaking the stare we had. He pushed passed everyone, running down the corridor towards the apparition area.
“James, wait!” I said, sprinting after him. I didn’t know why, but I had to make it right. Whatever it was. When I made it there, all I got to see was the look on his face. That was what made my heart stop. The down turned face and the eyes that shot me the most loathing look I have ever seen. James Potter hated me. I let him apparate away, feeling the familiar sting in my chest, but this time not because I was bringing up the past. I was bringing up the present. Something just as bad.
Author's Note: So? Worth the wait? Did you enjoy meeting the Jacobs? They are an interesting group, I'm telling you. You'll see more of them as time goes on, trust me. They will be here for a few weeks in the story. And you will understand who Tyler Gates is too! He is quite the character, let me tell you. Anyways, review and tell me how you liked this chapter!
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