Chapter 23 : Weariness
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And I think I was the one in the most need of alcohol. Seriously.
We were all quiet and then Louis started laughing extremely loudly. “I’m sorry but when did anyone ever call you ‘Angel Boy’?” he choked out.
I nearly spat my drink out and James turned bright red and scowled at Louis. Rose just looked at us, grinning with her straw in between her teeth.
“I forgot about that, but seriously, when?” I asked him, grinning.
He scowled. “Fred made it up when he was drunk and he told some reporters waiting for us once. I thought they forgot about it.”
Rose and I burst out into laughter and Louis frowned. “How come I didn’t know about this?”
“I made sure no one told you because you’d never let me live it down,” he answered, taking a drink from his beer.
Louis smirked and said, “Don’t worry, Angel Boy, I won’t ever repeat it again.”
James just rolled his eyes and flopped into a chair. Rose giggled and said, “Tomorrow at your press conference you should wear some angel wings and a halo, just to take the piss.”
Louis actually spat out his drink (and then waved his wand to clean it up once I’d glared at him) but James frowned as he thought about it. “I forgot about that whole thing actually,” he muttered. I looked towards him and he asked lightly, “What are the odds of them asking me anything to do with the Tornadoes?”
I laughed lightly and then Louis shrugged. “Just keep referring back to Quidditch. Just say, ‘Oh I thought this was about Quidditch, not my personal life if you excuse me I’d rather jab my eyeballs out with a fork’ and then leave.”
James snorted. We were quiet for a few moments and then Rose turned to me and asked gently, “Wait, so what happened between you and your dad?”
I swallowed nervously. “Well, he came over a few days ago begging me to hear him out. I kept refusing but then I decided to just go with it. Then we organised to have lunch together, to try and start making it better. ‘It’ being the whole fiasco that’s been going on for eight years,” I grumbled. “And so I went today, and then he never turned up. I called him and put on a fake voice – Mum would’ve just hung the phone up if she heard my voice and he talked to me – but I couldn’t say anything so I just hung up on him and called James.” My voice cracked at the end and I saw Rose give me a sympathetic look.
“I’m so sorry, Reese,” she whispered, clasping my hand tightly.
“Not your fault,” I said, trying to discreetly wipe my eyes. I was just sick of him doing this to me.
“If he came over again, what would you do?” Louis asked.
I grimaced. “Shut the door in his face, again. But this time I wouldn’t open it, I would just leave him alone.”
It went quiet again and then Louis said, “I just don’t understand it! Like, he goes through all the effort and then ditches out?”
I shrugged morosely. “He’s just a dickhead.”
James gave me a small smile and then Lionel jumped up on Louis’ lap causing him to upturn his drink and pour it all over himself and then we were alright.
I put on a dress and started to brush my hair. I hardly ever brushed my hair before, because it would usually get rid of the curl and thus made it very frizzy, like Rose’s hair which I didn’t fancy having, to be quite honest.
But now, because it had started getting straighter and straighter, I needed to brush it and it was so tiresome. It was annoying to not be able to just wake up and leave without worrying about your hair. Because if it was frizzy, I’d tie it up and if it wasn’t, I’d leave it down because it looked good. Now, I had to actually be conscious of what my hair looked like. Especially today.
James had ended up calling his agent to try and sort out the mess and surprisingly, she was actually helpful. She said that we should have James do one about his Tornadoes offer and after, we’d talk about our personal lives.
Suddenly, she was actually doing her job and when James hung up, he was also surprised. Maybe someone told her she was a shit agent and needed to get her act together.
Anyway, so we were getting ready and I kept making sure I looked my best. Because I knew, I just knew we’d end up in another magazine or something of the likes.
James came into our room, still on the phone to Nadine, probably. He was biting his lip and looking for his shirt, so I waved it at him and he sent me a grateful smile before taking the shirt from me and walking back out of the room.
I quickly applied some make-up, just a bit heavier than what I normally did so I could try and look a little better than what I usually did.
I could hear him talking, but I couldn’t hear the exact words he was saying. I just laid back down on the bed and rubbed my belly as the baby kicked.
I was nervous for this, but I knew I shouldn’t have been. Seriously, what was the worst they could do?
I was sitting next to James and my legs started to jiggle up and down nervously. I didn’t notice it until James put his hand on my thigh and murmured, “Calm down, it’s going to be fine.”
I looked up into his dark brown eyes and nodded slightly. I stopped shaking my leg but instead picked at my nail polish. James was still staring at me in concern and I gave him a quick, half-smile to reassure him that I would be fine.
I never liked to speak in public – especially about my personal life so this was completely out of my comfort zone. James looked quite calm and I tried to take that as a hint that it wouldn’t be too bad.
People stared filing in and whispering in anticipation. Oh god, I felt so sick. I just hope that I won’t throw up everywhere. I hardly ate any breakfast in fear that I’d be sick all over everyone.
After most people had sat down, Nadine stood up and said, “My client will only answer questions about Quidditch for the first half, you’ll be able to ask him about his personal life afterwards.”
The coach of the Tornadoes, Robbie, nodded and gestured for the questions to begin. I bit the inside of my lip and people started firing questions to James. He answered them professionally with the coach occasionally providing his input. I tuned out until I heard, “I have a question for Miss Rizzo?”
I jerked up and said, “Yes?”
“How do you feel about Mr Potter’s transfer to the Tornadoes?” the young blonde witch asked, her quill nearly digging through her notebook.
“I’m happy for him, it’s what he wants and I fully support him,” I said with a smile. People quickly wrote that down and another question was sent my way.
“Do you think Potter was signed because his cousin is on the team?” I blinked confusedly.
“No, I don’t think so, I—” I started but Robbie interrupted me.
“That’s more of a question for me. Potter wasn’t picked because his cousin was on the team and she sweet-talked me. No, he was picked because he plays fantastically with my chasers and it would be better for the team if we sign him on. I made him try out like any other player and he wasn’t signed because of his last name and/or his connections of big names in the Wizarding world. He was picked purely because of his talent.”
It was silent except for the scratching of the quills. No one asked another question and Nadine stood up. “Is that all Quidditch-related questions you have?”
Everyone looked side-to-side and one young, very enthusiastic guy put his hand up. “Are you excited to play for Tornadoes, Mr Potter?!”
James grinned. “Very, it’s going to be great playing with Roxy again and all the other players are very welcoming. I will miss Canons though,” he tacked on the end.
I smiled and looked at him. He smiled at me before turning back to the crowd. After the Quidditch magazine reporters left, they started on the personal questions.
Question after question: what was my due date (“End of January, that’s all I’m saying.”), whether we were having a boy or girl (“We’re actually keeping it a surprise.”), what names we’d picked out (“We aren’t too sure yet, but we do have a list.” “Can we hear some of the names?” “No.”), who the godparents were (“We’re still discussing.”), and so many more.
“Miss Rizzo, were you aware at the estimated time of conception Potter was dating somebody else?” a reporter flung at me.
I blushed and tried not to think of the way they must have thought all of this through. “Um, no.” There was an outbreak of whispering and James frowned.
“I wasn’t dating Nina. We went on one date in March and remained friends,” he said. I tried not to let my irritation that James was friends with a very tall, and very pretty model.
She was also thin.
So, basically everything I wasn’t.
“Were you two in a relationship then?” somebody asked and my thoughts of tall, thin models disappeared as I focused on the crowd of people in front of me. Yep, there was that nausea again.
I looked at James and let him answer it in fear if I opened my mouth I would be extremely sick. He’d had a lot of practice with these things. “No, but we are now.” Another outbreak of whispering. I discretely took a sip of water as they scribbled that down furiously.
“Miss Rizzo?” I turned my head to the noise and saw a small red-headed witch looking eagerly up at me. “Is it true that you refuse to speak to your parents?”
My jaw dropped and James turned to me in alarm. “I’d rather not say,” I managed.
“Why?” she pressed.
Nadine stood up. “Miss Rizzo has stated that she doesn’t want to discuss her family life, please respect her wishes. Go on.” She sat back down and I sent her a grateful smile.
“Is it true that your parents kicked you out?”
I felt violated; these people knew everything about me that I had worked so hard to keep it quiet. I murmured, “No comment.” I felt James’ hand on the small of my back and I felt a little better.
“Did you or did you not arrange to meet up with your father and he bailed?” another asked.
I recoiled and then Nadine stood up again and snapped, “My client has clearly said she doesn’t want to talk about her family life. Respect it.”
The room was quiet for a bit, save the scratching. Then the same over-excited boy stuck his hand up. “Are you excited to have the baby?!”
I laughed. “Yeah, very. Even though it’s a pretty scary thing to be dealing with, I can’t wait to have my baby in my arms,” I said, my hand subconsciously going to my stomach. It was basically a reflex now.
“And you Mr Potter?” the same boy asked, his eyes shining.
He grinned at me. “Yeah, it’s heaps exciting.”
Another person put their hand up. “What were both of your first thoughts when you found out?”
I thought about it. “Well, I was halfway through my N.E.W.Ts and I was already stressed. But when I found out I was pregnant, I kind of went numb. I didn’t know whether I was meant to be happy or scared.” I heard someone laugh in the crowd.
James spoke then, “I didn’t believe it at first but then my dad knocked some sense into me.”
People perked up at the mention of Harry. “What was the famous Harry Potter’s reaction?”
I looked to James. He was the one who spoke to him straight after. James took a deep breath. “He was shocked at first but he told us he would support us completely and now both my parents are very excited to have their first grandchild.”
Another round of muttering and then someone screamed, “HOW WAS THE SEX?!”
I went bright red and James choked on the water he had been drinking. The middle-aged lady got dragged outside and I felt so embarrassed. She really crossed a line. James was coughing and I smacked him on the back.
“Next question,” Nadine barked, but I could tell she was trying not to laugh. Robbie, who had left after the Quidditch questions and was now standing at the side, was laughing so hard, tears were streaming from his eyes.
“HOW WAS HIS STAMINA?!” the same lady came barging in, shrieking. Again, she was forced out and I thought I heard, “HOW BIG?!”
I just opened and closed my mouth like a goldfish. Some people just didn’t know where to draw the line for Pete’s sake.
After that fiasco, we decided to end it and when James and I were in a taxi, we could finally talk about it.
“That wasn’t so bad,” James said lightly.
I laughed. “Yeah, but that crazy lady. Isn’t that a bit creepy?”
He shrugged. “I guess. But let’s say you had to answer those—”
“We’re here,” the driver said gruffly, cutting off the remainder of James’ question. I gave James a look and he shot me a smirk. I just shook my head and got out of the car, letting James pay the guy. I waited for James and we walked back to the apartment together.
“Seriously, though, what would you say if you had to answer those questions?” James pressed, looking at me cheekily.
I sent him a smirk back. “No comment.”
I heard a “pah” but I ignored it and opened the door to get into more comfy clothes. Dresses were a nightmare. You couldn’t sit the way you wanted because people would look up your skirt and/or judge you for not sitting like a lady even though it hurt to sit cross-legged and all conservatively.
I changed into trackies and saw James making afternoon tea. My stomach growled and I said to him, “Your child is starving.”
“Must get it from you,” he said, not turning around.
I threw a peanut shell at him and he laughed. “Rude.”
He just laughed again and said, “Out of curiosity, how many guys have you slept with?”
My smile dropped abruptly. “Why?”
He shrugged. “I’m just curious.”
“How many girls have you slept with?” I shot back, narrowing my eyes. I didn’t know whether I wanted to hear the answer.
He sighed. “I’m just curious, Reese.”
I bit my lip. “One.”
“Who?” he asked.
I slapped my forehead. “Who do you think, you nitwit?”
“What? I thought you meant one other guy! I thought you slept with Alex Goldstein in seventh year, though?” Alex was a guy that shared dorms with Louis. He was my boyfriend for seven months. I regretted that.
I shook my head but James frowned. “Well, he went around and told everyone you slept with him,” James said.
I looked at him. “What?!” James shrugged and checked on the omelette he was making. “I came close, but I never actually did. Like, you know how when you go to jump in a pool you dip your toes in before jumping fully in?” James nodded. “Well, he just dipped his toes in.”
He burst out laughing. “That so counts, Reese.”
I scowled. “No, it doesn’t!”
He nodded. “It does, that’s basically every guy’s first time. Come on.”
“Was it like that for you?” I teased.
He grinned. “Hey, I was fifteen. Leave me alone.”
“FIFTEEN?!” I shrieked. He jerked backwards in surprise. “Slut,” I said.
“Are you forgetting that I went out with Amber for three years?” Suddenly, I remembered. He had this girlfriend, Amber, for ages. She was so sweet; the whole Weasley clan was gutted when they broke up. Although, James and her still talk occasionally but I couldn’t really get jealous of her, she was just too adorable to hate.
“So,” I started but then I got cut off when James handed me the omelette. “Hold that thought, I want to eat.”
He grinned and dug into his own omelette. It was basically Heaven in my mouth. “James, this is amazing,” I moaned.
He smiled at me and said smugly, “I know.”
“Did your Nan teach you how to cook like this?” He nodded and I said, “Well, you’ll need to teach our kid how to cook so then I’ll hardly ever have to cook.”
He started laughing but I ignored him and continued to eat. When I put my plate in the sink, I turned to him. “So how many girls have you slept with?” I raised my eyebrows and he stared at me suspiciously.
“Don’t get mad, okay?”
I started to get worried. I nodded and he said, “Eleven.”
My eyes bugged out of my head. “Including me?”
“Including you.” He nodded. I looked at him in shock.
“You’re a little slut, aren’t you?” He rolled his eyes and dragged me to him. “You don’t have any disease right?” I asked him, grinning.
“Oh, I have loads. I’ve got diseases roaming all over my body and you probably do too,” he answered sarcastically.
I reached up and fiddled with his hair. “Am I the only one you’ve gotten pregnant?”
He said sadly, “No, I’ve got three other children. I suppose I should have mentioned that to you.”
I pretended to sigh. “Yeah, you should have. Am I the only one you forgot to use protection?”
He nodded, serious this time. “Yeah, only you. Because you’re sah special.”
I gave him a kiss. “I am special, thank you very much.”
“And I have strong swimmers.”
I choked and broke away from him, desperate for water. “What the hell is wrong with you?” I asked, after I’d taken a big gulp of water.
“It’s true though,” he said, shrugging nonchalantly.
The baby kicked me and I put his hand on my belly. “Well, is that why this baby is really strong? Future kung-fu master, I think?”
“Of course,” he scoffed. “Potter kids master everything, even at foetus level.”
I laughed again and wrapped my arms around him, getting as close as I could possibly get. “You’re the greatest guy I know,” I said, kissing him quickly.
“You’re the greatest girl I know,” he responded, winking at me. “Much better than the other ten.”
“Way to ruin a moment.”
disclaimer: totally stole the pool analogy from How I Met Your Mother (I can't remember if it goes exactly like that, but that's where I got the idea from ahaha) and that's owned by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays (geniuses they are)
I have to admit, I had a LOT of Jarissa (THANKS TO POTTERFAN310 FOR THAT SHIP NAME - SHE MENTIONED IT LIKE 5MILLION YEARS AGO BUT I KEPT FORGETTING TO PUT IT IN MY A/N! I finally remembered ahaha :p) feels in this chapter, they're just adorable aren't they? :'D
Anyways, hope you all enjoyed and thanks for reading! Please review on your thoughts! :D
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