Chapter 31 : Unprepared
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Lionel was meowing for food (of course) so I fed him and started making my own breakfast/lunch (it was eleven; we’d gotten home at four in the morning). I texted Jordan a ‘happy new year’ to which I got this in return:
tjadks <2 havrf s goid nrw ydr tpl!’
Granted I sent it to her at about one in the morning so I was guessing she was drunk when she replied. I didn’t know why her phone just didn’t correct it though! Autocorrect was my saviour.
By the time I’d finished eating my brunch James came stumbling out of the bedroom, his eyes extremely red.
“I feel like shit,” he moaned sinking into a chair and putting his head on the table.
I pat his head and said, “Good morning to you too.” He just grunted in reply. Love you too, James.
Ah well, I’d been with James long enough to know that he was an arse when he was hung-over.
I put my plate in the sink and it made a loud clang! James groaned and I giggled and apologised. I put a hand on his back and asked, “Do you want anything to eat?”
He gagged and I just pat his head down. He was sweaty, even though it was like minus five billion degrees. I still didn’t understand how he couldn’t feel the cold. At all!
I left him so I could go to the bathroom. This baby was just sitting on my bladder all the time now. But there were only three weeks and one day to go now, and I was so thankful for that. I was sure I would miss being pregnant, but it was so painful and I just wanted my baby. I really, really, really just wanted to hold my little baby, rather than carry it in my uterus.
After I relieved myself, I grabbed a small vial of Hangover Potion and pushed it towards him. He hadn’t even realised I’d put it in front of him.
I poked him and realised he was asleep on the kitchen counter.
I could be nice and let him sleep and when he woke up he could have the potion.
I could bang two pots together.
OPTION NUMBER TWO THANK YOU.
Yes, I was a bitch but no I don’t care. He would recover once he took the potion. Don’t look at me like that.
I was about to grab the pots but then my phone beeped and startled Lionel so much he climbed up James’ leg, digging his claws on. He yelped and shook his leg, Lionel flying off almost comically.
Except I wasn’t happy.
“You nearly hurt, Lionel!” I scolded, rushing to pick him up. He whimpered and nuzzled into my neck. “Poor baby, did James scare you?” He meowed sadly back at me. I glared at James.
“He crawled UP MY FUCKING LEG WITH HIS CLAWS!” he said, gripping onto his thigh. He pulled down his pyjamas to show me the scratches that Lionel made. He then pulled them back up and rubbed his temples, wincing.
“Potion’s next to you,” I said, still cuddling my Lionel.
He grunted and swallowed it, grimacing the whole time. “Eurgh, thanks for getting it,” he said gratefully. Colour was slowly regaining in his cheeks. “But fuck, my leg hurts.” He winced and hissed as he brushed the scratches.
“Dittany is in the bathroom. I’m sure it’ll be okay soon,” I said, rolling my eyes. Men were so dramatic. They got a small cut and suddenly it was the biggest thing in the whole wide world.
But if women complained about the same thing, then we were either PMSing or on our period. Because apparently we don’t have mood swings unless we’re violently bleeding or about to start violently bleeding.
James made his way to the bathroom and got the dittany to apply to his leg and I let Lionel go (he was squirming) and checked my phone.
It was just beeping to let me know that my battery had nearly run out.
All that for my phone’s sucky battery.
James emerged from the bathroom, looking much happier. He grinned at me and started making his breakfast. “So, what are we going to do today?”
I shrugged. “Dunno. If everything wasn’t closed I’d suggest that we start looking for baby stuff. Because, well, in twenty two days I’ll be popping out this kid and we probably won’t have much time to shop and stuff.”
He looked thoughtful as he turned over his eggs. “But everything is closed,” he said.
I made a face. “Yeah. But we’ve got forms that we’ve got to fill in. For St Mungos,” I added at his look of confusion. He shrugged and nodded and I summoned the forms I’d been given at my last appointment.
“Name,” I said. “Larissa Anastasia Rizzo. Attendants.” I looked at James and ticked the box partner. “You’re going to be right there, you know that?” I said as I wrote his name down.
He scoffed, “Yes I know that. I kinda want to be there, you know, first born child and all that.”
I laughed and said, “Do I want anyone else in there though?”
He shrugged and sat down next to me, scarfing down his food. “That’s up to you. Do you want my mum in there?”
I made a face. “I think I’d find it a bit awkward. I love her, but I don’t want her to see anything down there… She shouldn’t be subjected to such horrors.” James choked on his food and I looked at the next question asking if I wanted to bring music, have dimmed lights, wear my own clothes during the process or take pictures.
No. No. No. I do not want to see my child coming out of me. Not only will that be terrifying but I don’t want my first sight of my baby to be halfway out of some bloody canal.
So no to all of that.
Props? People use props when they go through labour? Where’s the old fashioned choice of sitting on the bed and pushing it out without the use of stools/bars/pools?
Pain relief. Ah. What do I do here? Do I go through it naturally or do I dose up on the numbing potion?
“James, should I use the numbing potion?” I asked him.
He shrugged, looking at the form with curiosity. “You know it says that apparently I can ‘catch’ the baby?” he asked, looking very confused. “What does that even mean?” He looked at me.
I threw my hands in the air. “I don’t know! Do I just throw it to you like a Quaffle? What the hell is ‘catching’ a baby? THESE FORMS DON’T MAKE SENSE!”
James patted my shoulder and said, “We’ll just fill out what we can and I don’t know… ask someone later? Or leave it blank?”
“I don’t know what to do! I feel like I’m so underprepared!” I wailed. “Like should I take the potion or not?” James shrugged and told me it was my choice. Which it was, because I was the one who was going to push it out.
BUT I DIDN’T KNOW.
There weren’t any risks, but I was still unsure. Mostly I was unsure because in the past I liked (‘liked’ is used relatively, it wasn’t actually like that) hurting myself, and I was scared if I went through it naturally I’d relapse.
I know that they’re completely different circumstances but still. I relapsed in sixth year because of something so minor I could hardly remember it.
James then pinched me and I yelped and smacked him at the back of his head. “What the hell was that for, prat?! That really hurt!”
He laughed. “I did it so you could test your pain threshold. If that hurt, I’m pretty sure that birth would hurt a lot more and last a lot longer.”
“Ah, I knew there was a reason I kept you around.” I laughed and kissed his cheek. He grinned at me. “So I think I will be taking the potion. Next question!”
I looked at the question with an odd look. Apparently there was more than one position to have a baby. What is going on? I didn’t remember reading about that in the books! I quickly summoned them and flicked through the pages.
Nope. Right here, under ‘BIRTH POSITIONS’. I must have missed it or forgotten about it. I sighed and started looking through the book for each position, so I could make the best decision.
Oh man, planning a birth was hard. But going through it would probably be even harder.
I was meeting Jordan for a quick lunch the day after New Year’s. Which meant I was exactly three weeks away from giving birth.
DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND HOW TERRIFYING THAT IS?! I WILL BE PUSHING A FULLY-GROWN BABY OUT IN THREE WEEKS.
I pushed (WHICH IS WHAT I’LL BE DOING IN THREE WEEKS, GAH) the thought to the back of my mind as I plopped myself down next to Jordan. She grinned and gave me a hug, shuffling over. “It’s so great to see you!” she said happily.
“It’s good to see you too,” I said. “How was your New Years?”
“Amazing. It was the best night of my life, definitely! I’ve never had that much fun in my whole life! How was yours?”
“It was good. Whenever one of my best mates gets drunk, he gets this really strong British accent so it gave me a bit of a laugh.” She laughed and I asked, “So what was so amazing about this night?”
She shook her head. “I don’t know. It was just an amazing night. I just had so much fun. I was drunk, but not so drunk I can’t remember any of it.”
“Drunk enough to send this, though?” I laughed, showing her the text. “Don’t you have autocorrect?”
She giggled and said, “No. I don’t like autocorrect. It’s screwed up a lot of my texts in the past so I don’t trust it. Maybe I should use it when I get drunk.” We laughed and then a waitress came by and asked what we wanted. “A vegetarian lasagne, please,” Jordan asked politely. She jotted it down and turned to me.
“Erm, can I have the soup of the day, the pumpkin?” She nodded and grinned at us before taking our menus and trotting away. “So, New Year’s Eve?” I prompted, continuing our earlier conversation.
She filled me in on how it was a great night and that she caught up with old friends and she just felt so alive. “I don’t know how to explain it. But I really feel like this New Year’s was memorable. The whole time I had a massive grin on my face and hardly any guys said gross things towards me – I mean, I had a few cheesy pick-up lines but they were complete sweethearts – and no one was so drunk that they were throwing up or anything gross like that. I didn’t even have a kiss at midnight but I didn’t care because I was watching the fireworks and having a minor epiphany about myself.”
“That’s good for you!” I said.
She grinned. “Yeah, it is. I’m just going to do things for myself now, y’know? I should give up on trying to make everyone happy because it’s never going to work and I need to keep myself happy. This is going to be a good year; I can feel it.”
I nodded and we talked about both of our nights, swapping stories and giggling like two pre-teen girls. Jordan was a great person (to me; some of the stories she told me seemed like she was the bitch in high school most people hated. But I guess I was in no way to judge) and I was so glad to be able to reconnect with her. It was nice having Rose, Al, Roxy and Scorp but they were all intermingled and knew everyone’s business and it was such a breather to have an outsider friend like Jordan. I don’t think I’ll be losing touch with her again. She meant too much to me and I loved having a friend in the Muggle world.
We then talked about our childhood, laughing at what we used to do to our teachers. We were always a cheeky pair but because we were two little girls we usually got away with it all.
It was wonderful.
Too soon, she had to leave to see her mother and I had to leave to go to Rose’s apartment. She finally had a bit of time free so she asked me to come over and I was taking the chance immediately. I hardly ever saw her anymore!
I hugged Jordan tightly and said, “I’ll see you on the seventh?”
She nodded and said, “Yes! Make sure you don’t wash your hair!” I nodded and she grinned down at me. It was strange seeing her be so much taller than me. We used to be around the same height.
“I won’t,” I promised. “Bye!”
I was just about to walk the other direction and into a cab when she grabbed my hand. “I’m really glad you’re back in my life, Larissa Rizzo. I’ve missed you more than you could imagine.”
I went to reply but she gave me a quick wave before running off, her long hair flying behind her.
I was nearly crying. I’d missed her so much as well. I hopped in the cab and said Rose’s address in a small voice. By the time I’d gotten there, I felt much better. Before I could even walk into the building however, Rose was standing at the door.
“Hey! We can finally catch up, oh my God!” She pulled me into a hug. I hugged her back and laughed at her affection. “Except, we kind of have to go to the Burrow. Nana just owled me saying she needed help with the oven’s heating charms. So do you mind if we go there first?”
“No of course not! Catch a cab?” She nodded and stated nattering about work. I listened intently because some stories were absolutely hilarious.
We finally arrived and Rose paid for the cab (even though I tried to argue but she wouldn’t listen to me and practically shoved me out the taxi). We walked in and I heard a few voices.
Had Mrs Weasley invited everyone over to fix her oven?
I walked into the living room where there were a lot of red haired women. They all grinned at me and said, “SURPRISE!”
“What’s going on?” I asked confusedly, looking at Rose who was grinning mischievously.
Lily said, “It’s your baby shower! I know it’s a bit late but this was the only day that worked for everyone!”
I looked around and saw all little baby things and my eyes welled up. “Guys, you shouldn’t have!” They immediately protested and I said, “Thank you, though. You’re too sweet!”
So I was forced to sit down and they all huddled around me and we talked about the baby (what else?) and the foreseeable future.
Mrs Weasley made delicious little cupcakes, with both pink and blue icing. I swear I ate like three hundred of them. It was terrible but they tasted so damn good.
We played games, like the guessing game but everyone thought I was going to be having a boy. Apparently the way my stomach looked meant that I was having a boy. Pfft.
“I dunno, I’m getting a pretty strong girly feeling,” I said, which was mostly true. I still had no idea what gender my little peanut was, but I felt ‘girly’ more often. “Isn’t a mother’s instinct always right?”
Fleur laughed. “Oh, no. When I was pregnant with Dominique I was certain I was ‘aving a boy, I even ‘ad Bill to paint zee walls blue. I was very surprised when I was wrong.” Her accent was barely distinguishable anymore, but sometimes it was hard to understand her.
“Thanks, Maman,” Dom said, rolling her eyes.
She laughed and smoothed down Dom’s hair. “But eet was a good surprise. Don’t worry.”
Angelina said, “When I was pregnant with Fred, the healer told us we were having a girl. So everything was pink basically and then when Fred popped out and was a boy, well we had a lot of –”
“Wait, Fred was meant to be a girl?!” Roxy interjected with a big grin. Angelina laughed, nodding and Roxy snickered loudly.
Oh, it was so much fun being around the Weasley women.
After the baby shower, I went home and placed all the stuff in the spare room. Well, it wasn’t really a spare room because it would soon be the nursery. HOW EXCITING?! It made me grin every time I thought about it.
I think because the New Year had begun, it just felt like everything was going so much faster. There were three weeks until I had my little baby in my arms. I was terrified but so excited.
I showed James when he got home and he grinned. He knew all about it and that was why we never went shopping. Apparently his mum and nana bribed him with cake.
I laughed and then showed him the onesie Roxy got. It was a little Tornadoes one with matching socks. It was so cute I actually cried when I first saw it. The little socks tipped me over the edge. They were just so cute!
James and I then went through all the clothes and blankets and towels and socks and shoes and toys and…
Wow, babies really needed a lot of stuff. Now that I was actually looking at it, there would have been no way James and I would have been able to afford it. We had to pay for rent (which was expensive, especially in this economy), pay for food, taxis (because we now live far away from everyone, the rides were a lot more money), and then there were other things that just sucked up everything. If James hadn’t earned as much as he did, there would be no way we could pay for anything. And I was no bloody help because I basically had a negative amount of money, so that just sucked.
We decided to go shopping tomorrow for the cribs and prams and the big things. After Lily was about five or six, apparently everyone gave their baby stuff away. Which was fair enough, because no one had babies anymore but I wish they didn’t. It was pretty selfish of me to think that but as 18 and 20 year old soon-to-be parents, we didn’t exactly have money flowing everywhere. Oh well.
I ended up deciding to wash all the clothes, mainly because there wasn’t much I could do.
Ah, the life of a pregnant teenager without a job was so exciting.
I was in the shower when I heard a, “Hello? Anybody home?”
I called out, “In a minute!” Then they replied but I didn’t hear what they said. I just rushed to get out and put clothes on. I tied the towel around my head and saw Louis waiting in the middle of the room.
“Hey, what are you doing here?” I asked.
He shrugged. “I’ve nothing to do. Where’s James? He’s on holidays, isn’t he?”
I shook my head. “Nah, he’s got training for that match. I think it’s on the ninth? I know it’s five days away, so yeah. The ninth. Anyway, it’s only a test match or something, but it’s technically the first game he’s going to play with the Tornadoes so there’s a lot of pressure at the moment. Aren’t you meant to be working?”
He grinned at me. “Maybe I am working.”
I rolled my eyes and walked back into the bathroom. “I’m just going to comb and dry my hair. Feel free to get a drink or something.” He wasn’t listening but had already started raiding the fridge.
I started combing my hair when I heard the phone ring. I called out to Louis, “Can you get that?”
There was a muffled reply but then the phone stopped ringing abruptly. I pulled my wand out and dried my hair carefully. I remember in fourth year Roxy tried to dry Colleen’s hair with her wand ad ended up lighting it on fire. Colleen was mortified and spent the whole night crying. We tried getting her to the hospital wing but she didn’t want to leave the dorm so then Rose had to steal the Cloak off Al and it was quite a massive drama.
Louis knocked on the door softly and looked at me with the phone still pressed against his ear. He looked uncharacteristically sombre. “What’s wrong?” I mouthed, putting my wand down.
“Mhm, I’ll let her know. Thank you.” He hung up and said, “You might want to sit down for this, Reese.”
My heart started to race. “What? What’s happening?” My mouth went dry as Louis patted the seat next to him. “This isn’t another prank like New Year’s Eve, is it?” I asked, my voice squeaking.
He shook his head. “Just, that was Mary Bell, your friend –”
“Jordan’s mum? What on earth was she doing calling me?” I asked confusedly. I was still scared but I tried to keep myself calm because I didn’t want anything happening to me or my baby.
He nodded. He expelled a breath and said gently, “She was just saying – she said… Okay there isn’t an easy way to say this. But Jordan was in a car accident.” I gasped and put my hands to my mouth.
“Is she –”
Tears welled in my eyes when I realised Louis wasn’t answering. He looked at me sadly. “She was killed instantly, I’m so sorry, Reese.” I stared at him and he said, “She lost control of the car and hit a tree…”
I stared at him for a long time and then fat tears dropped into my lap. He pulled me into a hug and I cried into his shirt.
This couldn’t be true. I only just reconnected with her. I only just got to see her again. She couldn’t have been taken away from me.
He tightened his arms around me and I sobbed. I couldn’t believe it was true, Jordan, my best friend from primary was…
No. She couldn’t be.
I couldn’t bear to think like that. She couldn’t have gone. No. That doesn’t happen in real life. Your friends don’t die in real life. That only happens in stories far away from you. It just doesn’t happen. I only saw her two days ago, she was perfectly fine! She wanted to have a great year…
I choked and clutched onto Louis tighter. I was so thankful he was here. I don’t even know how I’d react if it was just me alone.
I still couldn’t fathom it. My friend, who I had only just reconnected with, had been killed.
Dead. Not breathing. Heart no longer pumping. Blood no longer pulsing. Dead. Killed. Accident.
I had a brutal image of her in the car surrounded by her own blood with glass shattered everywhere and shuddered a gasp. Louis just rubbed my back.
I wouldn’t hear her laugh again. I wouldn’t get her badly spelt texts anymore. I wouldn’t be able to be a part of her future life. I would never get to meet her friends from her high school. I wouldn’t get to show her my baby. I wouldn’t see her long hair flying out behind her as she ran. I wouldn’t get to introduce her to James.
I wouldn’t ever talk to her again. Just when I had her back.
It was just too much to handle.
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