Chapter 13 : Cookies
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“Chillax, Reesie. I’ll be out in a minute.”
“I DON’T HAVE A MINUTE! JUST HURRY UP!”
I got sick of this and pulled my wand out and blasted the door open. “GET OUT BEFORE I PEE ON YOU!”
Fred squealed and ran out and I flicked my wand at the door to lock itself at the same time it repaired itself.
After I had relieved myself, I walked back out to where Fred was sitting. “Wow, Reese. You couldn’t have waited?”
Anger washed over me and I had to resist throwing something heavy at him. I snarled, “I have a baby sitting on my bladder!” Fred looked blank so I gritted my teeth and said, “So no. I couldn’t wait.”
“Now, Pregasaurus, I’m sure it isn’t that bad—”
I heard Louis whisper, “Good going, mate. You just angered it.”
My eye twitched. “Not that bad? NOT THAT FUCKING BAD?!” I screeched. My hormones were fine, thank you very much!
James came up behind me and said, “Reese, just calm down. You don’t need to get angry.”
I hissed, “Let me be a bitch or I cut your balls off.” James blinked and tried to rub my arm but I pushed him off. I walked into our room and seethed silently.
Maybe I should tell you why I was angry. It was my Dad’s birthday, so even though I didn’t want to talk to him, I felt that I should try and make up and what better day on his birthday?
What I didn’t think of was my evil psycho bitch mother.
So, I called home, waited for someone to answer and evil-psycho-bitch-mother or ‘EPBM’ for short, answered. Here’s how it roughly went:
“Hello, Rizzo residence,” EPBM chirped.
“Er… Hi. Could I please speak to Dad—I mean Chris!”
“Larissa?” EPBM said coldly.
“Yeah?” I squeaked.
EPBM didn’t reply but then I heard the dial tone.
So, not only was I pissed off that I didn’t get to try and make amends with Dad, EPBM was a real twat to me.
Lionel meowed from James’ side of the bed and I picked him up and gave him a cuddle. For some reason, he seemed to like James’ things. He was always sitting in his spot, his side of the bed, his wardrobe. He would even sometimes sit in his shoes. Of course he didn’t fit because he was so tubby, but it was cute anyway.
As soon as I picked him up, I started crying. I hated the way my mother was treating me and that she wouldn’t even try to hear me out. I hated that my dad hadn’t tried to contact me. I hated that Blake was still in Sri Lanka so I couldn’t talk to him. I hated peeing every five seconds. I hated getting fatter every day. I hated how my hormones were all over the place and at the moment, I just hated everything.
Lionel struggled and slid out of my grasp. “Come back, please! Love me!” I reached for him again but my bump got in the way.
I sighed and laid down on the bed, wiping my eyes.
“Bloody – fucking – you stupid cat! Let me kick you, you little shit!”
James came into the bedroom and saw me. “Are you okay?” I shook my head and James clambered over to me, ignoring Lionel’s hiss. I wrapped my arms around his torso. “What’s wrong?” he asked softly.
I took a shaky breath. “I called my parents’ house today. But my evil-psycho-bitch-mother answered and then she hung up on me.”
James hugged me and kissed the top of my head. “I don’t know if everything will be fixed,” he said after a long pause, “but Reese—” He looked at me directly in the eye; “—no matter what, I’ll be here for you. And so will the rest of my family, you know that right?”
I looked away and he brought me in closer. I nuzzled my head in his collarbone and cried. He was too good for me. “I’m sorry for being mean earlier,” I sniffled.
“It’s okay.” He rubbed my arms and I tightened my grip on him. James was one of the only stable things in my life right now.
After I had finally stopped crying I said, “I’m going to shower. I feel bad now. I just took you away from Fred and Louis.”
James shrugged. “It isn’t like they were even paying attention to me. They’re probably still watching the Quidditch match and haven’t realised I disappeared.”
I smiled and grabbed some clothes so I could change into. James walked back out to watch the game and I walked to the bathroom and had a hot shower.
After I was scrubbed clean, I walked out of the bathroom to see Rose sitting at the breakfast bar. “Hey, Rose.” I smiled at her.
“Hey, Reese!” She grinned. “Did you want to go out for lunch or something?”
I shrugged. “Sure. Why not? I’ll just get changed into something more decent.” Rose nodded and I quickly ducked into my room to get changed. I put on a baggy top so my bump was still pretty much hidden. I couldn’t get the buttons done on the shorts so I performed a quick expansion charm on them.
I was so fat.
I waved bye to the guys (with an apology but Fred just waved it off) and walked out with Rose. “So, where are we going?” I asked.
She shrugged. “Do you want to see my new apartment first?”
I grinned and nodded. Rose was saying every detail about it (literally, it was like she hadn’t stopped to breathe) and I stopped her, “Rose! I’m about to see it! I don’t need to hear how the white walls sometimes blend in with Scorp’s hair!”
“It actually blends in, though!” she said excitedly.
“I know you’re excited, but I’m about to see it, so I have to have some surprise,” I told her with a grin.
“Oh, fine then. So how have you been? James said you were upset before?”
I sighed. “It’s just crap with my parents. It’s not a huge deal.”
She smiled sadly at me and gave me a hug. “I’ll always be here though, Reese. So you won’t need to worry!”
I smiled at her and said, “You are the bestest friend I could ever have, Rose, you know that right?”
“Of course.” She flicked her hair back and pouted dramatically.
I rolled my eyes good-naturedly and she started bouncing up and down. “This is it! This is it! Come on, come on!”
“Stop repeating everything you say,” I said, giggling.
“Because it’s strange.”
“It’s for emphasis. EMPHASIS!”
I shook my head and laughed. “Come on then, I want to see!” She nodded and her braid slapped me in the face. “Wow, thanks Rose.”
“Huh?” Rose asked being the real lady she is.
“Your braid slapped me in the face,” I told her.
“Not my fault that my braid hates you. I’ve tried calming it down but that thing has a mind of its own.”
I laughed and she led me to the door and buzzed on a button. “Hello?” an unfamiliar voice called out.
“Hi, Mrs Smithy. It’s me, Rose. I was just wondering if I could come up and show my friend the apartment. She’s helping me with the interior design.”
“Yes of course, dear, come right on up.” There was a beep and the door sprung open.
“I’m helping you with the interior design?” I asked.
Instead of making up an excuse like I thought she would, she simply said, “Yes.”
I shrugged and after about fourteen flights of stairs (the elevator was broken), she knocked on the door. I struggled to catch my breath and when Rose shot me an amused look I defended myself. “Hey, I have an extra person in me. It’s harder for me to keep up my fitness, thank you very much!”
She rolled her eyes and the door open to reveal a small old lady.
She was officially my hero. She could walk those fourteen flights and she looked like she was about ninety.
Rose smiled at her. “I’m sorry for interrupting Mrs Smithy, I just wanted to show my friend the apartment.”
“It’s okay, dear. I made some cookies, would you two like some?” She smiled sweetly. She was in the stereotypical matching nana clothes. She had pale pink pants on with a pale pink blouse and the pearls around her neck.
She also had adorable white slippers.
“If it’s not too much of a bother,” Rose said.
“Of course it isn’t! Come in, come in!” She ushered us in and I looked around. It was quite a big apartment and had quite a nice view.
“So who’s your friend, Rose?” she asked.
“Oh, I’m so sorry! I forgot to introduce you!” Rose slapped a hand to her forehead, “Mrs Smithy, this is Reese. Reese, Mrs Smithy.”
I smiled warmly. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“And you too, dear. Now let me go get those cookies!” She shuffled off and I turned to Rose.
“My aspiration in life is to become a sweet grandmother like her.”
“I know, right? She’s like the cutest old lady, I’ve ever met!”
I grinned at her and continued look around the apartment. “It’s a nice place,” I told her. “And the walls are really white. We should’ve invited Scorp over so we can watch how his hair blended in.”
Rose laughed. “It’s actually so funny. But we were thinking of painting the rooms all different colours when we move in. The white is too boring.”
“Make sure you do the colours of the rainbow! It can be a gay-friendly home.” I grinned.
Rose rolled her eyes and Mrs Smithy hobbled over to us with a plate of cookies. My stomach growled and I so desperately wanted to eat one.
“Oh no, maybe I should have mentioned! These are peanut butter cookies, are either of you two allergic?”
It was official. This was the coolest grandma ever.
I shook my head and Rose grinned. “No, we definitely aren’t.”
“Oh, that’s good. My grandchildren didn’t like these cookies and I had made so many!”
Didn’t like them?!
What child doesn’t like peanut butter cookies?! My child better like peanut butter cookies. But I think it was pretty obvious it already does. It was all I seemed to eat these days.
She sat us down at a table and said to Rose, “Are you excited about moving in yet?”
Rose had her mouth full of cookie, so I answered. “Yes, she is. It’s all she ever talks about actually.”
She went bright red and swallowed the last of her cookie. Mrs Smithy grinned. “Can’t wait to get away from your parents I presume?”
She nodded slightly. “Well, yes, I mean – I’ve been living with them for eighteen years. I need to move out eventually.”
I took a cookie and munched on it. Mrs Smithy and Rose kept talking about the apartment when she turned to me. “So are you an interior designer, then?”
“No, I’m not actually. I’m just interested in it.” I made up that last bit but who needed to know that?
“Oh, so what do you do then?” she asked in interest, offering another cookie.
“Currently, I’m not doing anything, but—” I glanced at Rose who mouthed the word ‘muggle’. “—but, I’m thinking of working at a recreational sport centre.”
I just borrowed the job that Blake has. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.
“Oh, that sounds interesting. Do you have any idea where you want to go?”
“I was looking into Willesdon,” I told her, silently thanking Blake for having a simple job.
“Ah, how interesting. I’m sure you’ll have a great time, my son used to work there.” She smiled at me gently.
I smiled back at her and Rose said, “Would I be able to show Reese the rooms, Mrs Smithy?”
“Of course you can, dear, follow me.” She lead us to the main bedroom.
Again the walls were so white and Rose whispered to me, “I’m thinking of painting this room a pale green?”
I nodded. “That would look so good!”
After we had looked at all the other rooms, we decided to leave but not before Mrs Smithy gave us a big plate of cookies. We tried to protest but she insisted.
It would have been rude to refuse.
When we walked back out to the park, I said, “That lady was the sweetest lady I have ever met!”
“Oh I know! She’s just so kind!” Rose agreed.
We headed back to my apartment and Rose asked, “So, Reese, what are we going to do for your birthday?”
I slapped my hand to my forehead, “I completely forgot! I don’t know… I guess I’ll just go out to dinner or something?”
Rose rolled her eyes. “No way am I letting you just go to dinner, we should throw a party!”
“And what will I do? I can’t drink,” I said, putting a hand to my stomach. “I kind of have this thing inside me that will get very sick if I drink and I kinda don’t want to do that because I’m rather fond of it.”
“Damn. I remember when we were fourteen or something, you planned on getting completely smashed at your eighteenth. I mean, you achieved that on your seventeenth and all but…”
My seventeenth birthday was very interesting. We decided to wait until we got to Hogwarts to throw an actual party and the result was disastrous. I vaguely remember me starting a food fight when I was only in my bra and undies. Not my most shining moment, but hey – I was very drunk. Oh, and Al got so hammered, he tried to ride a thestral into the castle naked.
Rose and Scorpius went ‘missing’ after the first hour so I didn’t even want to think about what they were doing.
“And you were saying you wanted to go to Muggle nightclubs.”
“But we ended up doing that, didn’t we? Louis just charmed all our IDs to make it so we were eighteen,” I said, remembering the multiple times we’d all gone out as a big group. It was so fun, and I may or may not have done some things I regretted. Example: snogged a complete stranger who I still do not know the name of.
“Yeah, we did. Oh god, remember that one time when Fred tried to pick up that tranny?” Rose snorted.
“Oh my god, yes! Then when he – or she – spoke, Fred was like, ‘No! You can’t have a deeper voice than me!’”
“And Louis was dared to try and pick up a guy?”
“I still can’t believe he succeeded. Roxy was always good at picking up guys, I remember. Fred’s reaction in the morning was always hilarious.” I grinned whenever Roxy would try to usher a guy out of the house without George or Angelina knowing. Fred would turn this ugly purple-y colour whenever he caught her. But he never ratted her out to his parents.
“Now that I think about it, Roxy has never been really a prude. She’s always with some guy or another,” Rose said thoughtfully.
I thought about it and realised she was right. Roxy had been with so many guys. But people at school always labelled her a prude. She didn’t care because she preferred that over slut, but now I’d just realised the irony.
We walked back into the apartment and saw Louis holding Lionel up singing, “You’re a lion! In your own way! Be a lion!”
Lionel was hissing at him and trying to gnaw at his hands.
“What are you doing to my cat?” I asked dangerously.
Louis turned to me with a mischievous grin. “I’m telling him to be a lion!”
“I’m no cat whisperer, but I think I can safely say that Lionel doesn’t like that,” I told him.
Louis rolled his eyes and dropped Lionel, who ran straight under the couch, hissing and spitting. “I think that cat doesn’t like anyone,” Fred observed.
“No, he likes me,” Rose said. “He just doesn’t like you guys because you’re all prats to him.”
“We take offence to that, Rosie,” James said. Rose rolled her eyes and he looked at the cookies in her hands in interest. “Are those for us?”
Louis and Fred perked up and they advanced towards us. Rose backed up. “No! They’re for me and Reese! Mrs Smithy—”
She didn’t finish her sentence because Louis jumped on her. “I’M GETTING THOSE COOKIES IF IT’S THE LAST THING I DO, ROSE!”
Fred held Rose’s body down, who was putting up a very good fight, James had her legs, and Louis looked for the cookies, but before he could grab them, I plucked them out of Rose’s hands.
“HAH!” Rose yelled. “YOU CAN’T ATTACK HER!”
“Watch me!” Louis cried.
I panicked and ran away, jinxing Louis at the same time.
“That’s so unfair! Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can just weasel your way out of it!” Louis sulked.
“I was going to share anyway, but because you’re being a sook, I don’t think I will,” I told him. He pouted but I stood my ground. “No.”
“Oh come on! I’m a bloody sex-bomb, which means I should be rewarded with cookies!”
“…What?” all three of us chorused.
He just shrugged and lunged for the cookies. Although, I was prepared for this and twirled to hide behind James, which was a bad idea because he then stole the cookies.
Rose sighed, “Fine. Have the cookies then!”
They grinned and demolished the cookies.
And I have procreated with one of them.
Blake came back from Sri Lanka yesterday so I decided to give him a ring. After four rings, he answered, “Aloha.”
“Really? That’s how you answer your phone? ‘Aloha’?”
“Yup, it’s my new way of greeting. Why’d you call anyway?”
“Aren’t you happy to hear your sister’s still alive and wants to actually meet up with you for lunch?” I said dryly.
“Meet up for lunch then?”
“Thought you’d never ask.”
“Aw, you know me. I’m always surprising my favourite sister.”
“I’m your only sister you dolt.”
“Details. Anyway, where do you want to meet up?”
“Foxcroft?” I suggested a cute little café that Blake and I used to go to all the time.
“Sure, see you in ten minutes?” I agreed and he then hung up. Luckily the apartment was about a ten minute walk from the café so with a quick bye to James I left to meet my brother.
When I finally arrived, Blake was waiting for me at a table. I ran over to him to give him a hug.
“Seriously, what’s with the new greeting?” I said, rolling my eyes.
“You’re just jealous you didn't think of it,” he shot, sticking his tongue out at me. Ah, my twenty five year old brother, people.
“Oh yeah, I’m super jealous,” I said sarcastically, grinning at him. He grinned back.
When we sat down at the table, a waiter came with two menus. As soon as he left Blake fired a million questions at me: “Have you told James? Is he cool with it? What’s happening with Mum and Dad? Are you ke—”
I cut him off, “Blake! I can’t answer thirty questions at once! Okay, the first one first. Yes, I told James. The first day was a bit confusing and he was angry with me for a bit—” I left out the reason why he was angry, Blake didn’t need to know that. I quickly talked over Blake because he looked annoyed that James was angry at me, “—but he’s fine now. It was just the first few hours. About Mum and Dad: they haven’t tried to contact me and nor have I. Before you say it,” I said, noticing Blake open his mouth to speak, “I know that I need to get everything together but if you saw the way Mum looked at me, you wouldn’t be rushing to forgive her.”
Blake was silent and looked really worried. I reassured him, “Don’t worry though, it might get sorted out in the future, but right now… If they don’t want to talk to me, then that’s fine. Oh and I should mention that James and I are dating so we’re going to try and do this together.”
Blake looked conflicted. It was like he was happy I wasn’t going to be alone in this but annoyed at me having a boyfriend.
I continued, “And yeah, I’m gonna keep the baby. I know that it’s going to be super hard and stressful, but I think James and I can make this work. And—” Good grief this was a long explanation. “—I’m living with James right now. He told me I could stay there and we could raise the kid together.
“But I don’t know. It’s moving really fast and it’s kinda freaking me out. I mean, yeah I could get a job, but by the time I can actually get a job, it will be in three or four years and that means I'd have to live with James for that long. What if we break up? What if he decides he doesn't want to raise the baby anymore? Blake, I’m scared. I’m really scared.”
I think that was the first time I actually voiced my thoughts out loud. I took a deep breath and waited for Blake to answer. He was silent, looking at me thoughtfully but as he was about to say something, the waiter interrupted and asked for our orders. I quickly ordered a sandwich and waited patiently for Blake to answer.
“Okay… I’m not going to lie. You guys are moving so fast! Yeah, I know having a baby is going to mean everything’s going to go fast but seriously, you guys are like faster than the speed of light! Maybe for the first few months when the baby arrives live with James but move out when it’s older and you know how to handle it better.”
I bit my lip and pointed out, “Yeah, but I won’t have a place to live and I’ll need a job, but by the time I save up enough, it’ll be ages.”
Blake rolled his eyes and said, “Lar, just live with me and Zoe! It’s not a big deal! You’re my baby sister, I’m meant to give you a place to live if you need one!”
“Yes, but Blake, you’re going to be married soon. And then you’re going to move out, far away from London and I feel as if I should be near James. It’s his kid too,” I said. I would love to move in with Blake, but it was too much to ask from him.
“Can’t he… what’s it called? Appearating?” he asked, his eyebrows knitting in confusion.
I corrected automatically, “Apparating. Anyway, it would be easier if he’s five minutes away, not one hour away. And you and Zoe will want some alone time. I’ll just be intruding.”
I could tell Blake didn’t like my suggestion, but he knew I was right. James needed to be close for this to work. After our meals arrived he said triumphantly, “Aha! I got it! You can take my old apartment when Zoe and I move out!” He took a bite of his sandwich and grinned at me happily.
I swallowed my own food, and pointed out, “And what about the rent? Think it’ll just disappear without a trace?”
Blake shrugged and said, “I’ll pay for you.”
“You can’t do that! You’ll have a mortgage and it will be way too hard for you.” I didn’t say it out loud, but Blake’s job didn’t have a high pay, there was no way he could have afforded it. “No. I’ll stay with James for the time being and if something happens I’ll come to your place. Then I’ll find an apartment and get a job. I was planning to get a job anyway.”
Blake chewed thoughtfully and I took another bite out of my sandwich, waiting for him to answer. When he swallowed he said, “Look, I’m really not happy with this, and how fast it’s going, but you aren’t going to budge. But I’ll be here for you, Larry!” He grinned at me and I felt a returning smile tug at my cheeks.
“I seriously love you, Blake. You’re the greatest brother ever!”
He said smugly, “I know.” He ruffled his fringe up and I laughed as we continued to eat our lunch in peace. He talked about Sri Lanka and I told him about N.E.W.T results. However, another subject was brought up.
“Look, I know you don’t want to talk to them, but seriously. You need to talk to Mum and Dad.”
I immediately felt guilty. Blake was probably caught in the middle and I never wanted that. These were my issues, not his.
I bit my lip and said, “Let me deal with them. You don’t need to get involved in this. I won’t be offended if you choose to take their side. As long as you talk to me, I’ll stay sane.”
I could tell he wanted to keep talking about it but he said, “When have you ever been sane?” I made a noise of indignation and he held up his hands in surrender. “Don’t freak! Let’s get going?” I nodded and he stood up.
I got up and followed him out of the café. When he turned to me, he poked my stomach and said, “You’re starting to show, Larry.”
I scowled and, slapping his hand away, said, “You’re a git y’know that?”
He grinned. “But you love me.”
“False. I’ll love you if you give me a lift back.”
He pretended to think about it and said in a tone that suggested it was a massive task, “Fine… Only because I’m the best brother.”
I rolled my eyes and ruffled his light brown hair. We hardly looked alike. I looked like my dad and he looked like Mum. Although he got the green eyes from Dad.
I think that was why he actually acted human.
I got in the passenger seat and when Blake started driving he asked me, “What are you doing for your birthday?”
“Dunno yet.” I shrugged. “I’ll probably end up going to the Burrow.”
“We could always do something?” he suggested.
“Sure, I’ll call you when I find out more details.”
He nodded. “Great. So what have you been up to lately?”
I shrugged again and we engaged in mindless chatter. I’d missed my brother. I’d always been able to depend on him. Hopefully that wouldn’t change.
When Blake dropped me off I gave him the biggest hug in the world. When I pulled away, he frowned and started wiping my face. I didn’t even notice I started crying. He asked softly, “What’s wrong?”
“Blake, what if Mum and Dad actually hate me? I can’t go the rest of my life with them hating me. I have no idea what to do,” I said thickly.
Blake said in a consoling voice, “Don’t worry, they don’t hate you.”
“I was awful to them. They’ll never forgive me.” I started to sob, holding onto Blake tightly.
“Don’t worry, Larry, they don’t hate you,” he assured me.
“How could you know that?” I said, looking down and wiping my eyes.
He shifted uncomfortably. “I went over yesterday?”
I looked up hopefully. “Don’t be ashamed! Are you serious though? They don’t hate me?” I found it a bit hard to believe, but maybe there was a silver lining here somewhere.
He smiled in relief. “Yeah, Dad misses you a lot.”
My heart sank. Dad misses you a lot. Not Mum and Dad, only Dad. I felt my face crumple and Blake hugged me even tighter. “She’ll come round eventually.”
I didn’t believe him, but I still had a shred of hope that he was right.
lyrics are from Be a Lion by the Wiz Cast
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