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Expecting Otherwise by majamariamaja
Chapter 24 : Mr Wrong, Mr Right
 
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Fantastic CI by misericorde.@TDA!





Chapter 24. Mr Wrong, Mr Right








There was only one person I really needed right now. And he didn't even go to Hogwarts.

James Potter.

So after writing my cousin(he's not really my cousin but I have, and always will think of him as one, so get over it) a very depressing letter, he offered to meet me at the next trip to Hogsmeade. I was elated. Well, as elated as an almost nine month pregnant, seventeen-year-old, depressed, publically dumped and humiliated, lied to, un-friended girl could be.

Blimey. My life really was a mess. I didn't exaggerate when I said my life would win an Oscar.

I bet some country musician would be all over this if I told him my story.

So I was walking on my own, trekking through the snow, on the road down to Hogsmeade village. I was alone, but it didn't really bother me.

Deuce was with Jade, Clover was still ignoring me for keeping her out of the loop, I hadn't even seen Chase since he confronted me two days ago, Heath was too young to go to Hogsmeade, and Tristan couldn't get out of counselling until two.

I was now two days away from the nine-month mark. Two days. And my due date was in one week. One single, meager, lonesome, tiny week. That's only seven days. 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7!

Not a whole lot.

But, since it's twins, apparently I could go a bit over the time. Especially sine it was my first pregnancy(and hopefully last) as well. But I didn't really know how to feel about that, to be honest. I sort of wanted them to come out of there. I was getting sick and tired of carrying around all the extra weight, dreading the birth, rummaging my brain for every bloody detail from those birthing-books. And I gotta tell you, being close to nine months pregnant was no picnic!

Leg cramps, back ache, feet swelling, crying sprees, hair loss(yeah, that one's was a bitch), ribs being pushed to the limit, stretchmarks all over my stomach, the wobbly-walk, getting out of breath if I walked more than five minutes, heart-burn, being hot and sweaty all the bloody time.

Well, safe to say, I couldn't wait for it to be over.

But then again, when it was over, it was the whole getting-them-out-of-my-hoo-ha scenario. And I wasn't particularly fond of that.

Not only did I have to give birth to them, and walk like a cowboy for the rest of my life, but there was that one tiny hiccup... The hiccup that I would then have the sole responsibility for two people.

I was so going to mess them up.

It took me about an hour to get to the village(though it only took about fifteen minutes for non-pregnant people), and by the time I got there I was about to collapse.

But then -

"Del!"

I turned around right at the moment someone tackled me, throwing their arms around me and almost lifting me off the ground in a tight bear hug.

"Blimey," exclaimed James when he let go of me, "you're huge!"

I rolled my eyes.

"No, really? I hadn't noticed," I said sardonically.

"Hermione talks about you all the time, and keeps saying how big you've gotten, but I never imagined this!" He pointed so "discreetly" at my humongous mid-section.

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that. Mum had been up at the castle checking up on me now and again. No big deal. It was always rather boring, really. She was always on my case about not eating more vegetables and reciting things from her pregnancy with me and Heath. I mean, I know she was trying to be helpful, but there's only so much of Mum's reminiscence a poor girl could take without falling asleep. Which also happened very frequently nowadays.

I couldn't tell how many times it'd happened lately with Tristan. He didn't take it personally though.

Anyways, back to James Potter's rudeness.

I squinted my eyes at him, but the lad just chuckled.

"Come now, Blondie," he said as he lay his hand around my shoulder. "Let's eat!"

My stomach made an unattractive rumbling noise. As if the mention of impending carbohydrates made the twins growl like cave people.

We went into the Three Broomsticks, sat down at a table in the back(after navigating through a sea of people that wanted James' autograph) and I finally put my feet up on another chair. James smiled, and went back to the bar to order us some grub. When he came back a few minutes later he was holding two plates of fish and chips.

Oh, how I loved that boy.

"So," he said, breaking the silence that had ensued after I'd started shuffling food into my trap, "from the sound of your letter, things aren'tgoing so well."

Well, duh, I wanted to say, but I didn't. Instead I swallowed the third load of peas in my mouth, and nodded. (Might as listen to Mum sooner than later. Besides, the peas being drowned in butter did help getting them down.)

"Tell me what happened."

And that was the Abracadabra to my Aladdin's cave. I told him about everything - not leaving anything out.

Chase and I kissing, Bray dumping me, Chase punching him, being depressed, Chase ignoring me, Chase and I making up, Kat's confession, more depression, Deuce and Chase's semi-whispered conversation, hating my life, Tristan's confession, becoming Tristan's girlfriend, being confused, Chase's confession, Chase officially "un-friending" me, having a break-down, Heath comforting me, Clover ignoring me, and how damn confused I was about it all.

Now that I thought about it, I'd endured a lot of confessions lately, hadn't I?

"Basically," I summed up, "my life is a complete and utter mess."

"I'll have to agree with you on that one," James admitted, eyesbrows contracting in worry.

"That's it?" I asked. "That's all you have to say?"

"No," James answered.

"Then please speak up," I commanded and then started devouring the meal before me.

"Forget this Kat person, what's done is done and there's nothing you can change about it; Bray is an arse, so just try to get over him as fast as possible, if he comes crawling back then we'll cross that imaginary bridge when we come to it; Clover will get over herself, so just ignore her back; Tristan is a good guy, so let him down easy; admit you love this Chase-fellow, because, let's face it, you do."

"Beg your pardon?"

"Which part are you confused about now?" he inquired, quirking a brow.

"The let's-be-real-you-love-Chase part," I said in an angry whisper, leaning over the table so only he would hear me. There were students all around, snooping, trying to get more gossip. And since James Potter was here as well, they were circling us like we were their next meal.

"But you do," he stated matter-of-factly, digging into his plate for the first time. I was almost finished.

"As a friend, yes -"

"No," he interrupted.

"Are you saying I'm lying?"

"No, I'm saying you're in denial."

"That-that's just ridiculous," I lied. It wasn't ridiculous. Not at all. I was notoriously known as the girl in constant denial.

"We both know it isn't."

"Nevertheless! The fact that I may or may not be in denial has nothing to do with the fact that I -"

"It has everything to do with the fact."

"And how, may I ask, have you come to this conclusion?" I questioned, folding my arms on top of my belly.

"You speak about him as a boyfriend. Not a friend. You're more worried about losing him than you were about losing Bray - and he's the father of your kids! You had a mental break-down when Chase said he didn't love you anymore, and you're breaking out in hives in his absense." He nodded to my arm, which I was scratching like an obsessed person.

"It-it's a pregnancy thing," I said, hoping that it was correct.

James just stared at me. I hated when he did that. He had these eyes that could pry secrets out of anyone. Veritaserum wasn't needed when he just looked at you long enough.

"Stop being stupid, Del," James almost commanded me. I gasped.

"I'm not stupid!"

"Yes, you are. You can't even tell your own feelings, for Merlin's sake!"

"Can too!"

"Not."

"Yes!"

"Nope."

"You're the stupid one here, James Sirius," I hissed. He hated when people used his middle name. I mean, he was proud of being named after the two most notorious pranksters of Hogwarts, and known heroes and stuff - but it really was a strange compilation of names.

"And why's that?" He frowned.

"I know I'm sad about losing Chase as a friend. And standing there listening to him going on about not loving me anymore, that he's given up on me... Well, it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I miss him. I really do, but that doesn't mean that I -"

"Everyone's always said you've inherited Hermione's brains," interrupted James, "so please, for the love of Hagrid's left arsecheek, just sit for a moment and think. Don't deny - think. Really think. Use those brains of yours."

And after being offended by that for a second, I did as he told me.

What I learned from this made my skin crawl.

"Oh, bloody hell!" I bellowed, and was punished with a kick from one of the twins.

"There you are," said James and threw a chip into his mouth.

"But-but we're completely wrong for each other!" I put my elbows on the table and buried my face in my hands. "I can't be in love with my best friend, I it just can't be."

"Didn't you say he was usually the only one who could cheer you up? Even on your bad days?"

They were all bad days.

"Yes, but -"

"And wasn't he the first one to know about your pregnancy, and supported you all along?"

"Well, yeah -"

"Then please tell me again how wrong you are for each other."

I opened and closed my mouth like a dumbfounded fish.

On another note, could fish be dumbfounded?

"But, okay, best case scenario: I tell him that I...you know, and we get together... What if it doesn't work out?"

"But what if it does?"

I thought about that for a second, and then this whole new image of how my life could be flashed before my eyes. I saw Chase holding my hand, kissing me, smiling down at me. I saw him cradling a baby in his arms after helping me through the most trying and painful experience of my life. I saw us together, walking in a park somewhere, him pushing the pram and talking about the most trivial of things.

I saw myself being completely and utterly happy.

"Holy poo on toast..." I muttered under my breath.

There was still this gnawing thought in my head that said Chase and I was wrong for each other, even though I couldn't put my finger on it.

But then I remembered something I'd read in a book once:

"Someday you'll meet a guy that's completely wrong for you in all the right ways."

And then I realised that I'd already met him. Five years ago.

And his name was Chase Zabini.

And he was the most amazing person I knew.

"You need to tell Tristan," said the lad whom had just successfully burst my happy-bubble.

"Bugger!" I hissed. I knew he was right.

I whined and put my forehead on the tabletop.

"Do I have to?" I asked in a sulky voice.

"Sort of."

"Can't I just ignore him until he takes the hint?" I asked hopefully, face still pressed against the comfortably cool table.

"I think he deserves more than that. At least that's what I've gathered from how you've spoken of him. You said he was the very epitome of 'nice', if I recall correctly."

That's right. I had said that. And I wasn't lying either - he really was the epitome of 'nice'.

Now that I thought about it, Tristan was way more wrong for me than Chase was. I was absolutely as far away from nice as a person could possibly get - I was a Slytherin, after all. And he was always charming - which I only was in my wildest dreams.

Plus, Chase had like four years on him. He'd seem me through it all. Good times and bad, in sickness and in health -

Woah. Sounding dangerously like a marriage vow there. I need to calm my tits.

"But how do I -?"

"Della!"

Oh, for fuck's sake!

"Judging by your facial expression, I'd wager that would be Tristan right behind me," James said, mildly amused.

"Correctamundo," I breathed, and forced a smile when Tristan's beaming face approached us.

"Bloody freezing out there, isn't it? Sorry for making you wait, by the way, but I was caught up with -" Tristan conversed, but then he saw I was with someone. "Oh, hello."

"Hey," James turned around, "you must be Tristan. Del was just telling me about you."

"Really? Nothing too bad, I hope?" Tristan seemed a bit nervous, but he still smiled widely. Now that I thought about it, he smiled too much. Don't get me wrong, it was a gorgeous smile, he just... I dunno. Ignore what I'm saying. I'm not really thinking straight.

Actually, I've never thought straight.

"On the contrary," James assured him, and smiled back at the blonde, blue eyed lad. I think it was impossible to resist one of Tristan's smiles. It was just a natural reaction to those pearly whites of his. "I'm James, by the way." He put out his hand and Tristan shook it. "Have a seat."

He did. He slid down beside me(which neglected me of my improvised foot-stool), and kissed my cheek. It seemed so easy to him. It was as if being sweet to me was as complicated as putting one foot ahead of the other.

"I have to be off," James announced after witnessing my badly covered discomfort. "But write to me later, yeah?"

I nodded. "Bye." And after kissing the top of my head, he left. I was on my own now. Thrown into the lion's den, being fed to the wolves, pushed onto a gladiator's arena.

"May I have one of your chips?" Tristan inquired politely.

Politeness. Another difference between us. The list kept growing.

I nodded to him as well. I was less capable of conversation with each passing day.

After spending some time chatting about nothing of importance - where I spent most of the time giving one-syllable responses and nodding a lot - Tristan took my hand and we walked out of the crowded bar.

We walked in a semi-comfortable silence, and I reveled in the cold caress of the winter air.

Our trek came to a halt in front of the Shrieking Shack, where he proceeded to kiss me. I used to enjoy his kisses, but now I answered them most indifferently. He didn't seem to notice this.

I might as well bite the bullet.

Unless the earth wanted to open up and swallow me whole? No? Fine. I guess I had to be brave for once...

That's so not how Slytherins roll.

"Ehm, Tristan?" I said, clearing my throat as he began kissing my neck. "I wanted to ask you... Where do you see this going?"

"Well, right now I'm heading for your earlobe, but if you care to reroute me, I'm open to suggestions."

"And you're doing a great job at that, but... I sort of have to, erm, talk to you for a bit." My voice shook, my hands shook, my entire body shook.

Tristan pulled away and looked at me with those kind, trusting eyes. "Anything the matter?"

"That depends..." I dragged, and cleared my throat again. My eyes were drawn to my ever-captivating shoelaces.

They were grey.

Fascinating, eh?

"Depends on what?"

"If you think of me breaking up with you is a bad thing or not," I rushed to say.

"Pardon?"

See?! Even when I was breaking up with him he was polite! I would curse the hell out of me if I were him. Yeah, we're definitely wrong for each other.

"I sort of have feelings for someone else," I told him truthfully. He deserved to know.

Now that I was admitting it out loud, it felt good. It felt right.

"It's Chase." It wasn't a question.

I didn't know how to respond.

"I was wondering how long it would take for you to realise it," Tristan continued. "I knew this -" he pointed at the two of us, "- wouldn't last for ever."

"Then why did you -?"

"Go after you anyway?" he finished and then shrugged. "You're a nice girl, Della. I liked you a lot. And I suppose I needed to get it out of my system, even though I knew it was doomed to fail. But what if, and all that, you know?"

Boy, did I know...

"So," I said, looking into his eyes, trying to decipher his words, "you're not in love with me?"

Tristan smiled.

Who smiles during a break-up?!

I releat myself: That boy smiled too much.

"I only told you I thought I loved you. I never really said it."

I pondered at this. He was right. He hadn't professed his love, I only thought he did. Wow. How self-centered was I?

"I think we're better off as friends," he said. Stealing what I was thinking of saying.

"Hey, that's my line!" I joked.

Tristan chuckled.

Blimey, this break-up business wasn't as hard as it was cracked up to be.

"Do you promise?" I asked him, now back to being serious. Tristan took my hand and squeezed it.

"Who else will listen to me go on and on about Disneyland?"

That was when I pulled him close and hugged him.

"Of course I promise, Della," he whispered into my ear. When he pulled away he grabbed ahold of my shoulders and looked me deep in the eyes. "Now," he began in an intense whisper, a wicked smile playing on his lips, "go get your man."

This time, I really grinned. I even giggled, that's how delirious I was!

And I didn't stop grinning all the way up to the castle, even though I'd basically run the whole way there. Well, maybe 'run' was a bit of an overstatement, since I was incapable of speeding, but you get the gist.

While wheezing like a dying elephant, I stumbled through the front door and looked around frantically for a familiar face.

That was when I caught sight of Deuce.

"Hey, Deuce!" I called, and he turned around. He looked positively dreadful, and I momentarily forgot what I was going to ask him. "Blimey, what's up with you? You look like shit!"

"Jade and I broke up," he told me point blank.

"What? Why?" I sat us down on a nearby bench, holding Deuce's large hand in mine. "I thought you two were going strong."

"That was before she told me she only started going out with me to make Bray jealous."

"What's that now?" I was more than a little confused at the sound of this little detail.

"According to her, they'd been sleeping together and whatnot ever since the Christmas party. She used me to make him realise he liked her. Which he didn't of course..."

Well, now you know what it's like being used. So what did we learn here? I wanted to say to him, but I didn't. He didn't need me rubbing it in right now. I'd save it for later.

Wait a second, I'd just discovered Bray'd been cheating on me with Jade, and I was acting shockingly cavalier about it.

Well, I never loved him, so what was the point of caring what he'd done? There was no need to overreact.

Wow. Was I growing up?

Pff. Doubtful.

"So you broke up with her?"

"No. She broke up with me actually," he admitted. "Said she didn't need me anymore, now that it didn't look like Bray would return. Which he won't. He's off in Paris, having a jolly good time practicing with the Magnifique Messers' reserve team."

So that's where he'd been hiding out. France! Playing professional Quidditch, to top it all of.

"Well, that rules out him from my life, doesn't it?" I said with a sardonic chuckle. "And to think for a while there I thought he could change... Well, I know he didn't care about me, but -"

"Del, Bray cared about you - just in his own special way," Deuce told me. I snorted loudly. "He did!"

"I seriously doubt that, and you know what? I don't care anymore! I am over him, I'm actually better off without him. And I know my kids will be too."

"You know he was the one who told me to shag Victoria Darren, right?"

I choked on my own spit. Yes, that is possible.

"She was mean to you, so he told me to shag her, make her feel wanted, and then reject her. He also wanted me to publically announce it too, but..."

"But what?" I urged.

"I dunno, I sort of felt bad for her. I mean, I know she's a bitch to you and Clo, but that would have destroyed her. I don't want to be the reason for destroying someone's life."

And there he did it again. Ladies and gentlemen, this was one of those rare times where Deuce Zabini proved he was more than a meat-head. It happened only once in a blue moon, but it did happen.

"Especially after that whole Kat situation," he continued, and exhaled deeply.

"But back to Vicious Vicky," I said, ignoring the mention of Kat's name, "you said Bray put you up to it?"

"Yeah, it was sort of his way to say he cared about you. He had a funny way of showing it, I know," he added after catching my weary expression.

"Then why did he leave me?"

"Oh, he'd stopped caring by then," Deuce told me. Insensitive jerk. "That's just how he is. But he did care for a little while."

I sighed. My stomach grumbled. Deuce took notice of this, and asked me if I was hungry. The question was mostly rhetorical, so he got up before I'd even answered him.

We'd been sitting on our usual seats and snacking on some porridge(that was all Deuce, I'd never define porridge as a snack) and crisps for some time, chatting about whatever friends chat about, when I suddenly remembered what the hell I'd run all the way up to the castle to do.

"What's up?" Deuce asked. "You have a crazy look in your eyes. It's creeping me out."

I realised I'd been staring at him, and shook my head.

"Where's Clo?" I asked him, my voice suddenly sounding desperate. I'd wasted so much time talking about Deuce's stupid problems! My problems were way more important! (I wasn't joking when I said I was self-centered.)

"Out doing something with someone, I suppose," was his weary answer, and he squinted his eyes at me. "You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm alright." I was basically panting now, and Deuce looked at me as if I'd escaped from Bedlam. (It was this old mental institution, it got shut down like over a hundred years ago though... Don't really know why I brought it up.)

"You sure?"

"I wouldn't normally confide in, ehm...you, le manwhore, but I need to get this off my chest like right now," I breathed out quickly, tapping my fingers on the table.

"Wow. I just stepped up on the friendship scale, didn't I?" He smiled hopefully.

"Don't get too comfortable up there," I said, adjusting my position on the bench so I was facing him.

"Hey -"

"Listen!" He fell quiet, and gestured with his hand for me to continue. "Thank you. All right, okay. I-I think I'll just come out and say it. I'll just, you know, spit it out."

"Like, today, or..?"

I took a deep breath. Here goes.

"I think I'm in love with your brother."

Deuce choked loudly on his porridge. How that was even possible was beyond me.

"What?" he squeaked. "Is that really appropriate?"

"You know the word 'appropriate'?" He looked offended at that, but didn't say anything. I think he was still shocked by my confession.

It was about time I made one too!

"So," I said, breaking the silence, "do you know where he is?"

"Well, yeah." Deuce seemed to decide something on the spot, and I looked at him questioningly. "And I'll take you there."

"Where is he?"

"The Quidditch pitch," he told me. And my shoulders slumped. I was too beat to go all the way down there now!

But Deuce seemed to be prepared for this reaction, and grinned.

"Don't worry, you won't have to walk," he said. And this time I squinted my eyes.

"And how do you propose I'll get there?"

"By broom." He grinned now. I shivered. I never liked brooms. "I told you I'd take you there, didn't I?"

I suppose one had to do crazy things for love.



---------
A/N:

How do you think Chase is going to react to Adella just showing up and professing her love? Is he going to accept her, or has he(like he said in the previous chapter) let her go?

And what about Tristan and Del's break-up? I don't think anyone's too sad about that, seeing as most of you never wanted them together at all in the first place xD

Now that Deuce told Del about Jade and Bray - have you changed your opinion about any of them? What about the part with Victoria?

I loved writing this chapter! It was so eventful :D

And I love you, dear readers ^^

*Maria


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