Chapter 22 : Build-Up
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I sighed and put the pen down to look at him. “My brother’s wedding has to be put off for another month so I’m doing all the invitations to send out to the guests to notify them of the sudden change.”
He looked confused. “Huh?”
I sighed again and explained the fiasco Blake and Zoe had gotten themselves into. When I finished explaining I smiled and asked sweetly, “Do you mind getting me a glass of water?”
“Can’t you just summon it?” he asked, flopping into the chair next to me, grinning cheekily.
I huffed. “No. Get me some water before I hex you.”
“Why can’t you summon it?” Good grief he was an annoying bugger.
I grumbled, “Because my wand is on my dresser in my room. Get me some water, please.”
He sighed heavily. “Fine, only because I’m one of the greatest friends you’ll ever have.”
I looked at him in interest. “We’re friends?” I said jokingly, but the glare may have ruined that.
He faked a look of hurt. “Wow, Reese, wow. I’m not going to get water—”
“No, no, no!” I said hurriedly. “We’re best friends, Louis! Please get me some water, O Great One!” I pleaded. He laughed, ruffled my hair and went to get my water. “Thank you!” I called out to him, picking my pen up again.
He came back and set my glass of water in front of me. “Thanks,” I said after I’d taken a sip.
He replied easily, “No worries.” He was looking at an invitation in front of him. Shouldn’t he be at work or something? It was eleven in the morning…
I asked, “Wait, aren’t you meant to be at work?”
He shrugged. “Maybe I am at work,” he said mysteriously.
I narrowed my eyes. “It’s rather annoying that you work in the Department of Mysteries. You’re frustrating enough without all the cryptic answers about your job.”
He laughed and I said, “Anyway, James is at practice/work/whatever he likes to call it if you’re wondering.”
Louis nodded. “Yeah, I thought so when he didn’t answer the door and instead heard a grumpy, ‘Come in.’”
I threw an envelope at him. “Either help me or go away. I’ve got 400 invitations to do.” He whistled lowly but before he could add anything I said, “I’m pretty sure Teddy and Victoire had double that or something though.”
He nodded his head. “Yeah, probably. Here I’ll help you; I have my wand so that will make it considerably easier.”
I smiled at him and said, “Thanks. So what’s been new in your life?”
He shrugged. “Had a few one-night stands, nothing different.”
I threw another envelope at him. “No. I don’t want to hear that. Go away,” I groaned. I didn’t understand his need to brag about how many people he’d slept with. I was happier not knowing.
He just grinned at me and waved his wand so all the invitations slid themselves into an envelope.
I narrowed my eyes and started to write all the names, slowly and neatly, grumbling the whole time.
“Okay, okay, okay,” I kept saying. “Okay. Okay. O-kay.”
James rolled his eyes. “Reese, it’s going to be o – fine.”
“Easy for you to say! You aren’t about to go through this!” I snapped. James just shook his head and continued eating his breakfast.
So, I was going to lunch with my dad today.
And I was quite nervous.
I fidgeted and James said, “Just postpone it if you’re too nervous.”
I ran my hands through his hair and he smiled lazily at me. “I could but that would kinda be slack.”
James snorted. “And he was anything but slack to you!”
“True,” I agreed, “but I feel like I have to do this. Let’s say this kid for some reason never talks to you, which will never ever happen,” I added sternly and James nodded and gestured me for me to continue, “Wouldn’t you want him or her to try and make an effort to talk to you?”
He paused. “I guess. But I’ll never treat—”
“I know,” I cut him off, “I know you’ll never treat our baby like that but you can kinda see his point, right?” He nodded and I said, “If I wasn’t pregnant I probably wouldn’t give him the time of the day but because I am, I can kinda see his point.”
James laughed. “If you weren’t pregnant this wouldn’t even be happening.”
I grinned. “Yeah, I guess so. Anyway, I’m gonna get going. I’ll see you later?” He nodded and I gave him a kiss.
“Oh and Reese,” he added, “I’m having a press conference tomorrow about me moving to the Tornadoes at the end of the season. You can come if you want?”
I made a face. “Nah, I’ll be okay. See you soon, hopefully!” He grinned at me and I walked outside to my impending doom.
I was sitting at the table nervously drumming my hands against the table. I had already been five minutes late but he wasn’t there yet. I was sure we organised this day, I checked my phone nearly seven times.
I decided I couldn’t wait any longer for him to come, so I ordered a burger. I could see the waiter looking at me in sympathy and I felt a flash of annoyance. I knew that he meant it in a nice way but I couldn’t help but want to kick him where the sun doesn’t shine.
I finished my burger and nearly an hour had passed by. I sat there, nearly in tears and I decided to call my lousy father.
The phone rang four times before going to the voice mail. I called home and my mother picked up on the first ring. “Hello?”
I made my voice deeper (so she wouldn’t know it was me and hang up) and asked, “Is Christopher Rizzo there?”
“Yes he is, hold on for a few seconds, I’ll get him for you,” she chirped.
I felt my blood run cold. I didn’t dare to believe it until I heard, “Hello?” I didn’t respond and tears pricked at my eyes. “Anyone there?”
I hung up and left some money on the table before running out of the restaurant, crying. I called James up.
“Reese?” he said in surprise. I’d told him I would probably make my dad pay for a taxi and food, but since I paid for my own food, I knew that I wouldn’t have enough money for the fare.
I sniffled, “My dad didn’t show up. Can you come pick me up?”
I heard him drop something and then a hiss from Lionel. “I’ll be there in a sec.” I thanked him and quickly told him the address so he could find me.
I sat down on a bench and let myself cry, ignoring the looks from other people. How could he do this to me? He made such an effort to talk to me and to explain why he treated me like shit and then he did this to me?!
I wrapped my arms around myself when James came out of a taxi, running to me. He wrapped me in a hug and murmured, “I’m so sorry, Reese.”
“It’s not your fault,” I mumbled, wrapping my arms around his neck and getting as close as I possibly could to him.
He tightened his grip on me and kissed the side of my head. “Let’s go home, we’ll talk about it there.” I nodded and wiped my eyes, getting in the taxi. I looked at the guy and realised it was the same one who took me here strangely enough. It sucked not having your own car, it would be even more frustrating when the baby arrived.
He didn’t acknowledge me but then James jumped in next to me and I asked, “Do you think we should get a car?”
He shrugged. “Nah, I mean we’d hardly use it, we usually walk or…” he drifted off and I knew where he was getting at. We usually used Wizarding transportation.
“But when the baby comes, won’t it be harder? And they can’t—” I broke off, raising my eyebrows and mouthing the word ‘Apparate’.
James nodded. “Yeah, I guess. Why are you thinking about this, Reese?” I could tell he assumed we’d be talking about what happened at the restaurant. I would have talked about it, but I wanted to wash my face and get into comfortable clothes before opening that can of worms.
I shrugged dully. “Well I was thinking it would be easier for us if we had a car or something.”
James looked thoughtful but then we arrived in front of the apartment complex. “Thank you,” I said, getting out of the car. James paid him some money and then also got out, coming over to my side to help me out. It was starting to get really hard to move now. We were quiet the whole way up to our flat and when we walked in I said to James, “I’m getting out of this dress and into trackies. I’ll be back.” He nodded again and I walked to our room, getting changed as quickly as I could.
I was really upset – don’t get me wrong, I was feeling like absolute shit – but I didn’t want to cry anymore. I was just never going to speak to my parents again. Both of them. They both sucked.
When I got changed, I put the dress back in the wardrobe and sat down on the couch next to James.
“Reese, are you okay?” James asked tentatively after I hadn’t said anything for a few minutes.
I felt my eyes water again. “I don’t know,” I said pathetically, “I’m upset, but I think I just don’t ever want to see them again. Was he out of his mind or something? I mean, maybe if he was having second-thoughts about this he could have told me instead of leaving me there and looking like a fool,” I grumbled.
James wrapped an arm around me and I leant into him, feeling a lump in my throat. “It just hurts,” I said, my voice wobbly, “he’s meant to be the guy that always looks out for me and makes sure that no one ever hurts me.” The tears escaped but I ignored them and kept talking. “And he’s the one who’s always hurting me, and it’s just so unfair. Why me? I mean, I wouldn’t even wish this on my worst enemy, no one should feel this way. No one should ever feel like their parents don’t give a shit about them because that’s the worst damn feeling in the whole world.”
James still didn’t say anything but I was glad. I just wanted to let it all out now. He’d gotten me started and I wasn’t going to stop until I’d finished. “Why does he have to be such a dickhead though? They absolutely dote on Blake – not that I hate Blake for that, that’s their problem – and then they treat me like dog shit on the bottom of their shoe. It just isn’t fair, it isn’t fair at all. And it’s times like these that I think would have been better if I died when I was fifteen.”
James finally said something, “Don’t you ever say that again, Reese. I don’t want to ever hear that again. You’re one of the best people I know. You are so strong, and you can get through this. You have to get through this, if not for me but for our baby. Just think, in less than three months—”
“Oh my god. It is less than three months. That’s absolutely terrifying,” I mumbled, thinking of how short that sounded when said out loud. I felt like I was going to puke from the nerves (or morning sickness).
James smiled but continued, “We’ll have a perfect little baby that you’ll love more than anything in the world. You don’t want to do the same to the baby to what your parents did to you, do you?” I shook my head and wiped my tears away, sniffling. “I’m always going to be here for you. I don’t want you to ever forget that. I’m not going to let anything bad happen to you or the baby, do you hear me?
I nodded slightly and he smashed his lips against mine. “I love you, don’t ever forget that. And I probably always will.”
I felt tears well up in my eyes again and I whispered, “I love you too. You’re amazing, James.” He held me in a tight hug and I let myself cry for a bit. I wasn’t sure if they were happy tears or sad tears but he didn’t comment but he just held me, being there for me.
Something my parents were unable to do.
I had still been crying when we heard a knock on the door. James answered it and then Rose walked in.
“Oh, Reese! I’m so sorry, I don’t know why that would have happened!” she said as soon as she saw I was crying. She wrapped me in a hug and I was momentarily confused.
“Wait, how do you know?” I asked confusedly. I looked at James and he shrugged.
“It wasn’t me, I was with you the whole time,” he said. Rose looked at the both of us.
“I read about it,” she said slowly.
I stared at her in horror. “Where?!”
“Witch Weekly,” she said, looking at us in confusion. James and I looked at each other in shock.
“How?! It only happened a few hours ago!” I protested.
Rose looked even more confused. “Wait, what are you guys talking about?”
James answered, “Reese’s dad stood her up when he was trying to fix everything up between them.” I nodded and Rose’s eyebrows shot up.
“WHAT?!” she shrieked. “HE STOOD YOU UP?!”
I nodded. “Yeah, and it only happened now. What the hell are you talking about?!”
She paled. “Oh shit. You guys don’t know.” Her eyes had widened a considerable amount by now.
I rolled my eyes. “Of course we don’t know. Do you want to explain to me what happened?!” I said in frustration.
She buried her head in her hands and moaned something unintelligible. “Here,” she muttered, rummaging through her bag. She pulled out a copy of Witch Weekly and on the front cover was James and I walking hand-in-hand with the title, “OLDEST POTTER WITH MYSTERIOUS PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND?” I realised it was the photo when we went out to lunch the other day.
And the girl that I thought was familiar; it all came rushing back to me. She was the worker at the Leaky Cauldron. She must have tipped someone off. I noticed that she’d been writing down things furiously.
What a dumb whore.
James swore loudly and then there was another urgent knock on the door. He opened it and Louis came striding in, looking furious. “I’m guessing you saw it,” James said bitterly.
He nodded, slowly turning red. “Have you read what they said in there?! It’s absolutely disgusting.”
He shook his head and I said, “No because we only saw it like half a second ago.” Louis looked at Rose and they both shared a look of absolute fury.
Louis sighed. “Well you better read it. It’s got some pretty awful stuff in there but I think you should know what’s in there.”
I opened the page and saw a very long article on it. James read the article with his head over my shoulder:
As we all know, James Potter is quite a catch. Amazing Quidditch player, amazing looks and the son of the Saviour of the Wizarding World. He’s had a lot to live up to and he’s successfully done it. Bright future of Quidditch ahead of him, being able to get any girl he wants.
But is that true?
We’ve spotted Potter walking hand-in-hand with a very pregnant girl. The mystery girl, Larissa ‘Reece’ Rizzo, seems to be a friend of the family’s.
“She’s always with the Weasleys and Potters,” one source tells us, “but I don’t know if they even like her. They’re probably just being friends with her because she’s pathetic and feel sorry for her. I mean, none of her family talks to her, but I wouldn’t either she’s quite a b***h.”
From this description here, it is evident Rizzo is not a nice person nor should the famous Weasley/Potters be around her. And she’s pregnant. And she’s telling everyone that the baby is James Potter’s.
“It’s all made up, really,” another source said, “she used to sleep around all the time. She probably hasn’t even slept with him and he’s just being nice.”
So is this baby really James Potter’s? We’ve looked back at the estimated time of the conception and Potter and Rizzo had any contact with each other. He was seeing a model, Nina Veselvov, at the time so either he cheated on her or the baby isn’t really his.
We’re guessing the latter. James Potter, sometimes nicknamed, ‘Angel Boy’ because of his adoringly sweet personality would never be involved with a trouble-maker girl like this.
But there’s more!
Sources say that she was spotted with Louis Weasley; Potter’s cousin and best friend. She has been spotted with him multiple times and he is frequently talking about her, according to some sources we’ve found. “He never shuts up about her; it’s a bit suspicious really.”
Maybe this is the scandal we’ve all been waiting for within the famously large family. Is it really James Potter’s baby? Is it Louis Weasley’s baby? Or is ‘Reece’ just in it for the fame and money?
I stared at in horror and then looked up at James, then Louis. “We’re friends! Is that something I’m not allowed?!” I fumed. I could feel my face going very red and I just wanted to kick something and yell and scream my lungs out. Life was so unfair.
Louis said sarcastically, “Of course not. We’re secret lovers going behind James’ back. Gosh, how could you forget that?!”
James snorted and then I glanced at the awful article again. My blood started to boil.
“Oh. My. God.” I let out a scream of frustration.
“They spelt my name wrong! You’d think if they were spouting this ridiculous stuff they’d at least get my name right! It’s R-E-E-S-E not R-E-E-C-E! That’s the boys’ version!”
“Really, that’s what you care about?” James asked dryly.
I rolled my eyes. “Of course not, I can’t believe they’d say this stuff about me! I never did anything wrong!” I said angrily. I would have stood up and paced but my feet hurt and it took me an age to get up anyway. I was metaphorically pacing and throwing plates at the wall.
Rose said soothingly, “We know, honey. And we all know the truth, we know you’re with James and that you and Louis are only friends, and we know that it’s James’ baby, not anyone else’s. Isn’t that what really matters?”
I let her words sink in and then reluctantly nodded. “Yeah, I guess so. I’m just a bit angry.”
“Understandable,” Louis said.
I felt a surge of rage wash over me and then a sense of exhaustion.
Why did it always have to be me?
okay disclaimer I'm never going to be a journalist and nor do I want to be, so don't judge the bad article thingy. :p
Okay any thoughts on what happened in this chapter? It was a pretty big one if I say so myself!
Thanks for reading, please review on thoughts/opinions! :D
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