Chapter 24 : Responsibility
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I made a face. “Apparently I’m a bit too small; it doesn’t feel like it though.” I didn’t tell him that the Healer told me to stress less. It would just stress him out and he didn’t need that.
And as if I would be able to ‘stress less’. I would try, but it was pretty stressful being pregnant and dealing with the fact that your parents were arseholes.
“But everything’s fine otherwise?” he asked, closing his eyes and stretching his legs out in front of him.
“Yeah, how was training?” I asked, sitting down next to him running my hands through his hair.
“Tiring, extremely tiring. The Tornadoes are a lot harder on training,” he grumbled.
What he was doing with the Tornadoes/Cannons situation was he was still training hard for the Canons but Robbie, his new coach, just wanted him to start training with the team so he wouldn’t have to adjust at the beginning of the season, he’d fit right in. The Canons didn’t make it into the finals (obviously), so that way James wouldn’t be giving away strategies or anything. Although, the Canons are still training for the games that are going for last place.
“I love it, I really do. I didn’t realise it’d be this hard,” he admitted.
“Once you drop Cannons though, it’s going to be a lot easier, won’t it?” I pointed out.
He shrugged. “Probably. Oh, I saw Malfoy and I think I may have accidentally grabbed his jacket instead of mine. Remind me to take it tomorrow?”
I frowned. “What was Scorpius doing at your work?”
He didn’t reply and I guessed that he’d fallen asleep. I shrugged and called Al to see if we could meet up. He was busy and I knew Rose was working and I was pretty sure Scorpius was busy as well. I decided to call Colleen and she was really excited to hear from me. She wanted to meet up straight away so I quickly scrawled a message on a piece of parchment for James and Flooed to the Leaky Cauldron.
Colleen was waiting eagerly and to my immense surprise Roxy was there as well. “Roxy! Didn’t you just have training?!”
She nodded. “Yeah, why?”
“James is exhausted,” I told her. I shuffled slightly. My feet had started to hurt.
She grinned wickedly and she looked so much like Fred in that moment. I blinked and she explained, “We absolutely belted him. He actually kept it the whole time, just when he stopped he couldn’t move.” She started laughing and I joined in, getting a funny mental image of James sitting down unable to move anywhere. Roxy told me that it was tradition to exhaust the newbie, she actually passed out when they did it to her.
Colleen then led us to some Muggle restaurant just outside of the Leaky and just as we were sitting down, Louis showed up.
“Louis, what are you doing here?” Roxy asked curiously. I looked at him and then I looked at Colleen who was determinedly not staring at him.
He shrugged. “I saw you guys, I thought I’d come and say hello. Is that a crime?” he said nonchalantly.
“Yes,” she answered, grinning at him. “We were catching up, thank you very much. So leave.”
“Really? You want me to leave, Roxy?” She nodded and he turned to me. “Reese?” I nodded as well, grinning and then he turned to Colleen. “Col?”
I’d never heard Colleen being called ‘Col’. She never liked nicknames all that much. Roxy shared a look with me as Colleen – or Col, apparently? – flushed and stumbled over her words. Then Roxy gasped and glared at Louis.
“You didn’t!” He raised his hands above his head in a look of innocence. “Colleen?!” Roxy said through gritted teeth.
I had an inkling of what happened but I didn’t want to say in case it wasn’t right. She fiddled with the end of the tablecloth and mumbled something like, “Mimblewimble.”
Okay, she definitely did.
Roxy glared at Louis and shouted, “I TOLD YOU HANDS OFF MY FRIENDS!” The rest of the café jumped up and spun around to stare at Roxy but she ignored them.
Louis rolled his eyes. “Come off it, you were always with my friends!”
Roxy narrowed her eyes and I sent Colleen a smirk. She blushed and I mouthed, “You sly dog.” She kept quiet but she was fighting a grin. I laughed quietly.
Roxy was about to start yelling again but I kicked her underneath the table. She gave me a glare and I hissed, “We’re in public.”
She looked around her suspiciously and Colleen said, “Don’t you dare try and put a spell on the Muggles. That’s breaking the Statute!”
She deflated and then she asked, “So did you really?” Colleen gave an apologetic smile and she groaned. “Colleen, that’s gross! He’s my cousin; he sleeps with three girls a week!”
Louis rolled his eyes. “I do not. It’s more like five.”
“So what is this then? Like, was it a one-time thing or…?” I asked, leaning forward eagerly.
They both shrugged and Louis muttered, “Definitely wasn’t one time.” Colleen elbowed him and I think Roxy kicked him because he jerked up in his seat.
“Can we not talk about this?” Colleen pleaded, looking mortified. Her face was as red as the Gryffindor common room.
“Please,” Roxy mumbled. “It’s scarring for me.”
Louis and I shared a look but we both shut up about it. We ordered food, and Roxy was still pestering Louis to leave.
Ah, family squabbles.
To Reese and James (but mostly Reese because ew James),
How have you been?! How fat are you now?! Do you look like you’ve stuck a watermelon up your top yet?!
Anyway, I’m writing this letter because I’m sitting in Divination bored as hell. Hugo’s sleeping next to me and on the other side of the room Lorcan is trying to summon Satan.
It’s quite entertaining actually.
Yeah, this is just a bit of random gibberish because Trelawney’s trying to make Lorcan stop dancing and chanting some song. She’s following him, squawking and he’s screaming, “SATAN WILL ARRIVE THROUGH YOU, PROFESSOR!”
Half the class is laughing and the other half is huddled in a corner surrounded by salt. I don’t think they realised Lorcan smoked something at lunch, even though he reeks and could probably stink up all of Hogwarts.
This is why I’m dating Lysander.
To be fair, Lysander is just as weird, but he’s quirky weird. Lorcan is just psycho weird.
Oops, now Trelawney’s looking at me and Hugo. Hugo is snoring, and—
A large line went through the parchment and I flipped it over, laughing as I continued to read it.
…Sorry about that. Lorcan jumped on Hugo and caused me to stop writing. Anywho, I can’t wait to see you all at Christmas and laugh at how fat you are.
P.S. Tell Al to stop sending me weird pictures of cats. The owl is going to pass out from exhaustion soon.
P.P.S. Tell James I said happy birthday, old man.
I shook my head at Lily’s letter and started to write back.
Erm, glad to see you’re enjoying Hogwarts, I guess? None of my classes were ever like that… but then again, I did subjects that you actually needed to learn in. Divination is just you guys making up stuff about death because that always gets you an O.
Also, I feel extremely fat. I could probably pass with two watermelons in my shirt, but for some strange reason my Healer said I was looking a bit small… but still everything was good so I guess I shouldn’t complain.
But I am not small, I resemble a baby whale. If I went to the beach (not that I would, it’s getting bloody cold for November!), I’m pretty sure mother whales would come up to me thinking I was their calf! (I think a baby whale is called a calf.)
Anyway, I’ll tell James you said happy birthday and I’ll ask Al about the pictures.
Have fun! See you soon!
I quickly re-read it and then rolled it up to tie it back on the owl’s leg. Her owl, Speckles, was sitting on the kitchen bench, pecking at a bit of spare toast. I grumbled and put the letter on its’ leg before letting it fly out.
I closed the window so the cold air wouldn’t come in. I then pulled out some cleaning potions and cleaned where the owl had been. I didn’t fancy catching a disease from the owl. Then I decided, just for the sake of it, I’d clean the whole apartment.
I had brooms (not James’ Firebolt though, if I used that to clean the apartment I’m pretty sure he would decapitate me) sweeping the different rooms and I was cleaning the dishes. When I finished that, and dried them too, I made my way into the laundry and did several sets of clothes. I hung them up on a little clothesline we kept and then I decided to iron the clothes that hadn’t been ironed in a few days.
It was nice having the apartment to myself, even though I was cleaning. However, it gave me a sense of satisfaction to see all the clothes wrinkle free, the floors spotless, until I realised I needed to dust the Magi-Telly, and I made a face. I may have liked to clean all other aspects of the apartment but I absolutely hated dusting.
I knew I could use magic but once I tried that at Hogwarts and nearly lit Lionel on fire.
With a sigh, I pulled out the Magic Wipes and started wiping the TV down. When I’d finished, I threw the now-grey wipe out and stared at it satisfaction. The black border was so shiny, I could actually see myself quite clearly in it.
Lionel started meowing so I picked him up and walked around with him, just giving him a cuddle. He snuggled up to my neck and fell asleep and I held him tightly, as he was keeping me warm.
I decided to put him on my bed and clean our room, just for the sake of it. Even though I hated cleaning at first, I really liked doing it now; it just gave me such a satisfaction seeing the house cleaned because of my efforts. I saw Scorpius’ jacket so I just put it on the top of mine and James’ coat, making a mental note to remind James to return it.
I made the bed, careful not to jostle Lionel too much and then organised both of our wardrobes. When I finished, I looked around the room in satisfaction and then walked towards the bathroom to clean that as well. I used magic for this room, because I really didn’t like cleaning the bathroom – it just made my nose go all funny.
I sat down and started to watch a movie, just because I could and everyone I knew was busy today. With work and other grown-up things like that. It kind of sucked that I didn’t work. I got quite bored sitting at home. As I was watching the movie, the baby kicked sharply and I realised something that was pretty crucial.
Where would the baby sleep/live when he or she finally arrives?! We didn’t have a spare room, when I stayed here last time; I just transfigured the couch to a bed and slept there. Well, the first night because the second night I stayed in James’ bed – resulting in my situation now.
I started getting worried about it and then I felt a twinge in my stomach. Immediately, I tried to calm myself down and not get too stressed about it, it couldn’t be good for me.
And I wouldn’t want to be in the hospital for James’ birthday tomorrow.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door and I heaved myself off the couch, my feet aching, to answer it.
I opened the door and Rose was leaning against the doorframe with a smirk. “Hey there, Reese.”
“Rose! I thought you were working?” I said, giving her a hug. We broke apart and she was grinning widely.
She shook her head. “I got let off for the day. So I thought I could come over and catch up with you, I haven’t talked to you in forever!”
I grinned at her and let her in. She blinked and asked in surprise, “Did you clean?”
“Yup.” I nodded. “Spent the whole day cleaning, I was just in a real cleaning mood this morning.”
“And you never wanted to clean our dorm, God,” she admonished. I gave her an innocent smile and she grinned back. “But it looks good! Good work, Reese, you’re finally becoming an adult.”
I made a face. “Ugh, that means I’m old. Do you want anything to eat or drink?”
Rose scoffed, “We’re all old, Reese. And tea, please.”
I made my way to the kitchen and put the kettle on boil. I grabbed a glass of water for me and Rose started to natter on about work.
But I listened intently because some of her stories were hilarious.
“So, this mother walks in looking very flustered and she says, ‘Hi, erm, my son’s had a little accident in the waiting room, his father took him to the restroom but I just need your help.’ So I go over to the waiting room to clean up, what I thought would be pee, but the whole room is covered in this purple goo and everyone looks so angry and Wendy, the Welcome Witch, is directing people to various Healers to get them cleaned up so I asked the mother what happened and she said he sneezed and because of some curse he put on himself with a wand he found, it caused all this purple goo to come out. Then the dad brings out the boy and he’s about two years old and like just under my knee cap. I don’t know where the goo came from but it was disgusting but weirdly funny,” Rose said, laughing.
I laughed and brought the tea to her and sat down opposite her. “I don’t know if I should be telling you all this, really,” she said thoughtfully. “Oh well. When it’s serious things I know to keep my mouth shut.”
“Do you ever get people from school coming in for weird things?” I asked. “Or is that breaking the confidentiality thing?”
Rose shook her head. “Nah, I don’t really get that many people from school mostly because I work in the places with either really old or really young people.” I nodded and she explained how whenever she came in, the patients would grin and become so much happier. I smiled thinking about it. Rose was a perpetually happy person, she really did brighten anyone’s day up.
We talked and caught up with each other for ages. I explained the whole Colleen and Louis thing to her and she nearly spat her tea out.
“SHE SLEPT WITH HIM?!” she shrieked, wiping her chin where she did dribble a spot of tea.
I nodded, smirking. “YES! And more than once because he said so. I think it might be one of those friends with benefits kind of thing though, because I asked her about it later and she told me she didn’t want a relationship because she’s had a few dates with some other guy.”
Rose choked on her biscuit. “HUH?!”
I nodded. “I think now that she’s more confident, she’s going on a lot more dates and putting herself out there more. I just hope she’s being careful.”
Rose shrugged. “What’s the worst that could happen? She’s smart.”
I made a face. “Yeah, but I don’t want her to end up like my cousin, Lauren. She went a bit crazy with boys because she went to an all-girls school and then she ended up drunk like every week and wouldn’t get home till like seven at night and now she basically has no friends and going nowhere in life. And when I used to go to the family get togethers and stuff, she’d sit there with a scowl and on her phone the whole time. If I went now, she’d probably call me a slut outright. Or she could end up pregnant, which is a lot of stress. Or worse. I just hope that she’s being wary.” I then clapped a hand to my mouth.
“I just sounded like a mother!” I said, terrified of this realisation.
Rose snorted. “Well, that’s a good thing isn’t it? Because you know, the baby that’s kind of causing this strange change in you.”
I frowned. “What do you mean?”
Rose sighed. “Reese, lately you’ve changed so much. But it’s all in a good way! You stuck up to your family, you’ve started to take responsibility and you even cleaned! It’s great, but it’s sometimes strange not seeing the crazy Reese who got smashed at every party.” Wasn’t it great that that was what I was known for?
I felt myself go red. “Thanks, I guess?”
Rose laughed. “It’s a compliment, don’t worry! I’m still trying to wrap my head around it, though.”
I laughed and then Rose said, “Do you want to go out and get afternoon tea?”
I nodded and said, “Sure, just let me get my coat, it’s starting to get really cold, lately.” She nodded and put her mug in the sink as I heaved myself up to find my coat.
I walked in the newly cleaned room and saw Lionel stretched out on the bed, looking very content in his sleep. I found the pile of coats and started going through them. I finally found mine under James’ and I pulled it off the pile and something fell out of the pocket.
A velvet navy box was lying innocently on the floor, staring up at me.
I frowned and bent over (with a LOT of difficulty I might add) to pick it up. I finally got it and straightened up, feeling the baby kick me sharply, followed by a dull pain.
I opened the box up tentatively and my jaw slackened when I realised what it was.
It was an engagement ring.
also: I've been writing an English essay for the past two weeks so sorry if my writing doesn't sound like a story or I used words that most people don't usually use. Literally, every time I write/talk I try and make it more sophisticated before remembering I don't do things like that. :p
Thanks for reading, please review on your thoughts! :)
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