Chapter 32 : Shock
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“Did you need a glass of water?” Louis asked me, holding me by my shoulders. I nodded and sobbed. I was still in shock.
He smoothed down my hair and scurried to the kitchen. I took a deep breath and suddenly there were a box of tissues in front of me. I blew my nose noisily and wiped my eyes. Louis came back with a glass of water and I thanked him quietly. He just smiled sympathetically at me and sat down next to me again.
I drank some water feeling my head clear a little bit. He rubbed my arm again and waited for me to start speaking. I looked at him and felt myself start crying again. I blubbered at how it was unfair and that this didn’t happen in real life. He listened and refilled my water and waved the tissues away with his wand.
After I finished blubbering, I took another deep breath. Oh heartburn, please go away, I pleaded. All the crying was not good for the heartburn I already suffered from.
Louis said, “I know, it’s hard. It’s probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever go through.”
I wiped my cheeks. “Why? Why did this have to happen?” I said pathetically, my voice quivering. He hugged me again and I felt myself break down again.
“Reese, I know how you feel. I’m an Unspeakable; we get things like this a lot. And it will only get better with time. But we’re all here for you. None of us are going anywhere.”
“You’ve been through this?” I asked meekly. “Why didn’t you ever say anything on it?”
He shrugged. “Well, I’m not really meant to speak about my work at all.”
I nodded in understanding. “Nothing’s ever going to happen to you, though?” I asked worriedly. Right now, Louis was one of the best friends I could ever have. He was annoying but at times like this he was just so incredible and I realised why I’d always loved him, in a purely platonic way. He was just a really good person.
He shook his head. “No, of course not. I’m too good.”
I gave a weak chuckle and hugged him again. “Thank you for being here,” I said.
He said, “Any time.” Although he squeezed a bit too hard and made the baby press on my bladder so I fidgeted. “You okay?” he asked, breaking away.
I nodded. “Yeah, I’m just going to use the loo.” He helped me up and I made my way to the toilet. When I washed my hands I looked in the mirror. My eyes were extremely red and puffy. I was quite pale but my cheeks and nose were bright red. I splashed a bit of cold water on my face and patted it softly with a towel. I took another deep breath, trying to get rid of the indigestion. It didn’t work so I had a bit of the potion the healer recommended. I was trying to stay calm and not stressed, knowing that it wouldn’t help with the baby.
Nor did it help that I kept having Braxton Hicks, literally all the time. But that was neither here nor there.
I smoothed my hair down and tied it back into a ponytail. I took another deep breath and left the bathroom where James and Louis were talking. I assumed they were talking about me because as soon as James saw me he came over to me and wrapped me in a hug. “I’m so sorry, Reese,” he murmured, kissing the top of my head.
Tears welled up in my eyes again. I said weakly, “Louis, can you close the door before Lionel –” I saw a ginger streak rush through the house and Louis chased after it.
“– runs out,” I finished. James chuckled and then looked at me seriously.
“Are you okay?” I shook my head. I wouldn’t be okay, not for a while. He didn’t respond but just hugged me again, which I was grateful for. As much as Louis was a great hugger, he wasn’t James.
I sat back down and James changed into a pair of trackies and a Weasley jumper. Luckily there were showers in his change rooms so he never came home stinking of sweat.
He sat down next to me and I told him what happened. I knew Louis would have told him but I just wanted to tell him. He listened though, holding my hand all throughout my explanation.
Louis then came in holding Lionel. “Oh, thank you so much,” I said gratefully. He kicked the door closed with a little too much force before dropping him. Normally I would scold him but I wasn’t in the mood.
“S’alright,” he grunted, flexing his arms. “How heavy is that thing?”
“He’s a fatty,” James said flatly. I giggled and he smiled at me. He looked cautiously between us and said gently, “So, when’s the funeral?”
I gasped. I didn’t know. I looked to Louis and he said, “The ninth. Just at a church up the road. I wrote it down, hold on.” He went to the kitchen and grabbed a spare bit of parchment that had his scribblings on.
James said, “I have the test match that day…” I looked to him and he said, “I can’t miss it, you know that.” I nodded numbly. I wanted to go, but I didn’t want to go alone. “I’m so sorry,” he apologised.
“Not your fault,” I said dully. The room was silent, save Lionel purring from his food bowl, until Louis broke it.
“Do you want me to go with you? I’m pretty sure I have the day off,” he offered. “You shouldn’t go alone.”
I looked to James and he shrugged. “I’m fine with it, it’s up to you,” he said.
“Is that too much to ask?” I looked at Louis. He shook his head and scoffed but before he could fully reply I said, “Thank you so much.”
“No worries,” he said easily. “I’ll come round in the morning and we’ll catch a cab or something. Anyway, I better be off. Take care of yourself, and see you soon, James.” He waved at us before disapparating on the spot.
I looked over to James and he kissed my forehead. “It’s going to be okay, Reese.”
If only I could believe that.
The next few days I felt like I was in a dream. I just drifted everywhere, not taking in anything. I was still in shock. James tried to be there as much as he could but even though he didn’t really have training, he had a lot of meetings so he wasn’t around much. Ginny came around a lot, she knew what I was going through but I still felt dazed. Rose, Al and Scorpius came over for a bit in their lunch break. Roxy came home with James once to hug me the whole time.
I was constantly exhausted (although that may have been the pregnancy) but I just wanted it to be the ninth already. I wanted to be able to get some closure. That was all I really wanted.
The night before the funeral – it still pained me to say that. I still hadn’t wrapped my head around that I would be going to my friend’s funeral and watch her be buried – I didn’t sleep. I tried to keep my tossing and turning to a minimum for James’ sake. It was three in the morning and I heaved myself out of bed to walk around to try and lower the pain in my hips. The baby had dropped so much and it just hurt to do anything.
I ended up lying down on the couch and summoning a few blankets. I found that I was really comfortable, mainly because of all the pillows, so I just fell asleep there.
I woke up before James, mostly because I needed to pee. It was nearly seven though so I decided to just have a shower and start getting ready.
At about eight, James woke up, preparing himself. He made his special ‘pre-match’ breakfast which was very health conscious. It amazed me how much thought athletes put into their diet. I knew they would, but I didn’t realise that they measure it to the exact ounce. They did some equations or something to work out the perfect amount for James, and then Roxy would have a different amount but it would suit her needs. Like girls need more iron in their diet. It was sometimes difficult to work out because they didn’t know how long the match would last, as it could be half an hour or it could be twelve. There was no telling so they often had to guess or they called time-outs to let them have some supplements or something. So they wouldn’t pass out on the field.
I was really shocked when James explained it to me. I thought they just turned up and played. Technically, he wasn’t meant to drink on New Year’s but because he knows he won’t be drinking at least until the baby is born (in case I go into early labour or something), he decided to take advantage of the New Year. He just had to make sure he recovered extra quick, and dose himself up on different potions.
I just had a bit of toast and peanut butter as James went to have a shower. He was always in ‘the mood’ on a game day, so he could concentrate more. It was a bit odd to deal with at first, but now I just know not to interrupt him when he’s concentrating. He once said to me, “There could be an explosion in the crowd and I wouldn’t realise, all I focus on is the game.”
So that was interesting.
Louis walked in without knocking and was in a plain Muggle suit. He looked a bit uncomfortable but smiled at me nonetheless. “You okay?”
I shrugged. “I’m… scared. I still feel like this isn’t real. I still can’t wrap my head around it.”
He nodded and helped himself to a bottle of water. James then came out of the shower and said, “I need to head off. You’ll be okay?”
I nodded and kissed him. “Yes, don’t worry about me. Louis will look after me. Just play your best, that’s all they can ask for.” He nodded, waved to Louis and disapparated.
Louis said, “Should we get going now?”
I mutely nodded and we made our way to wait for a taxi. It was odd, I only felt numbness. We arrived and the place was already nearly full. I still wasn’t crying, because it just felt like it wasn’t real. We snagged a spot in the back where I could leave if it was too much and still be inconspicuous.
At the front of the church there were countless photos of Jordan and I noticed her hair had gone through many different changes. There were her baby photos of her black hair, then to a brown, then black again and it stayed like that until she seemed to be about thirteen or fourteen where it went a violent red. Then it seemed to go to brown, then black with pink streaks and then it ended up being a purple colour. Then it was blonde again, just like it was when I saw her a week ago.
I bit my lip as I realised it had already been a week since I’d seen her. A week since it had been the last time I’d ever get to see her.
Her big smile in the biggest photo seemed out of place. Everyone was so upset and in the photo, she was glowing. Her front tooth was a bit crooked and I felt like kicking myself for not noticing that before. I studied the photo, wishing I’d been able to study the real one instead.
I looked away to stop the tears from falling. I took a deep breath and looked around the dark church. Most people were dressed in black or grey and everything felt so bleak and drained of life.
I saw her parents sitting together and her mum had a constant stream of tears. Her dad just looked shattered. They still looked the same as what they did eight years ago, but only much older now that they’re only daughter had died.
I squeezed my eyes shut. I didn’t want to see them grieving. Louis just patted my back.
Too soon, we were told to stand up. I held my breath and I saw a few of her family members holding her coffin. I wrapped my arms around myself and cried harder than ever before as they walked past. I shook, getting goose pimples, knowing she was in there. Not breathing. Unresponsive.
Tears streamed down my face and everyone in the church was exactly the same. Her mum was hunched over and gasping for breath while her dad held her and cried.
It was terrible.
All the men that had carried her wiped their eyes and sat in the front couple of pews. The minister looked solemn as he indicated for us to sit down. Louis passed a tissue to me and I wiped my eyes, whimpering.
Jordan’s cousins said a eulogy and I wanted to crawl in a corner and sob. It was the worst feeling in the world. Louis had a steady stream of tissues (I think he was conjuring them, though) but I was incredibly grateful. He then slipped a bottle of water to me, (I had no idea where he got that from) and I just gave him a watery smile. He patted my hand and faced the front again, where her friend from high school was saying something. She was saying something in broken English, but I focused on keeping myself as calm as I could possibly be.
It felt like forever by the time we were told to go to the cemetery. The same males that carried her in carried her back out. Louis squeezed my shoulders and we waited until we were allowed to leave. The front pews emptied first and slowly we could walk out. The whole atmosphere of the church was so dull. I felt exhausted, like I’d been hit in the head. It didn’t help I kept having fake contractions and getting kicked. I just wanted to sleep.
I started shaking as I saw them put Jordan in the car. Louis held onto me and I said, “I can’t go to the cemetery, it’s too hard.” I wiped my eyes and he held me tighter.
“It’s okay, not everyone can do that. I’ll take you home; it’s going to be alright.”
But it wasn’t. It wasn’t ever going to be alright because my friend was dead.
As soon as we returned home, I got into more comfortable clothing. I told Louis, “You can go back to your place if you want.” I stretched out against the couch, putting a pillow under my belly. The kid was kicking me hard.
He shook his head and sat down in the armchair next to me. “No, I’m not going to leave you alone. Not until James comes back.” I smiled tiredly at him and he asked, “What did you want to do?”
Honestly, I just wanted to sleep. But I thought it would be rude to say that, especially since he’d been there for me all morning. Instead I said, “Do you just want to watch a movie?”
He nodded and picked up a movie that he knew was only humour. But I fell asleep before he put the disc in the player.
When I woke up, there was a blanket around me and it was extremely dark. There was a smell of cooking and I looked to the kitchen where James was making something.
I yawned. “How was the match?”
He grinned. “We won. I got two goals, Roxy had to play because Carter got knocked off his broom, Coach wasn’t happy about that, and got eight goals. I think Coach wants to put Roxy on permanently. She’s bloody good. Matt got two but one was a penalty shot. The other seeker wasn’t even close to the snitch so Aaron got it easily. Lara had a great game as well. So yeah, no one should be doubting me or Roxy right now. I felt bad because I basically stole her spot but she’s glad I did because that means we’re going to play together rather than replacing each other. How are you?” he asked.
I shrugged. “Tired. Sore. The usual.”
He nodded and asked gently, “How was the funeral?”
“Awful. There were so many people there and it was just heartbreaking. The worst part was when her male friends – or family, I wasn’t too sure – carried her coffin. I couldn’t go to the burial. It was too hard,” I said, my voice breaking.
James tapped the stove with his wand and sat down next to me. “Yeah, Louis told me. Come here.” He hugged me and I shifted so I could be comfortable in his arms. “It’s going to get better.”
People kept saying that but I felt like it never would.
How could it? Jordan was dead.
The next two weeks passed in a blur. James and I got all the other necessities we needed. Then, too soon, it was the day before my due date.
I was in so much pain. All the time. I kept getting those bloody Braxton Hicks and the baby had dropped so much, it hurt whenever I moved a fraction. Also, whenever the baby kicked, it felt like my ribs were about to crack.
This baby was ready to come out, but it just wasn’t happening. I was trying all sorts of methods but they didn’t work.
It was terrible.
I felt a lot better, emotionally, after I visited Jordan’s grave. I went with James and although it was hard, I felt a lot more at peace with the whole ordeal. I put down daisies near the place where her headstone would go.
I still missed her though.
James and I were talking in our bed, just like an old married couple – which we could become, or not. I didn’t really care. I haven’t changed my thoughts on marriage at all. Nope. Not at all. Getting married didn’t mean anything to me. It wasn’t important. Don’t look at me like that.
Anyway, we were talking about names and the godfather. “James, have you chosen who you want the godfather to be?” I asked, rubbing my stomach.
“Well, I haven’t officially asked him but I was thinking Louis? He’s my best mate, and he looked after you really well, when…”
“Yeah,” I said, nodding. “If you want him to be the godfather, then that’s awesome. So names? Sasha for a girl, Ryan for a boy?”
“Didn’t we decide that weeks ago?” he asked.
“Yeah, but I was just making sure that you wanted those ones. Because once we have the baby we can’t really change it if we get sick of it.” I laughed. “And are we going to do middle names?”
He said, “If you want to, it isn’t that important, is it?”
I made a face. “I don’t know. I just feel like we should name it after your parents or something.”
Honestly, I wanted to try and incorporate Jordan in there somehow but I wasn’t too sure if I wanted that completely. I didn’t want to say anything, because I felt like calling it after it’s’ grandparents was more important.
James said, “I don’t really mind if you want to name it after my parents, or after someone else.” He looked at me shrewdly. I think he knew what I was trying to ask.
I bit my lip and stayed silent, thinking. I decided to just bite the bullet. “Is it okay if we try and put the name Jordan in there?” I asked quietly. “It’s unisex and I just feel…”
James looked at me gently. “Yeah, of course. As a middle name, right? Because as much as I like that name, I do like the other two better.”
“Oh, I know. I don’t think I could handle it if the kid’s first name was ‘Jordan’. It’s still a bit raw,” I said.
“Understandable. So if it’s a boy, he’s going to be called Ryan Jordan Potter; and if it’s a girl, Sasha Jordan Potter?” I nodded and he said, “I like those names. They sound good.” He kissed me and said, “But only one more day!”
“Hopefully,” I said. I had a feeling that the baby wouldn’t leave me for a while.
James just rubbed my stomach, feeling the baby kick. I winced. It seriously hurt every time he or she kicked against me. And all these bloody fake contractions. I knew they weren’t real contractions because they were so bloody irregular and stopped hurting if I shifted a bit. It apparently just meant I was getting close to pushing the baby out.
But I wanted it to be closer, dammit. Why must it be so bloody painful?
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