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The Last Few Steps by Cirque Du Freak
Chapter 1 : ek~
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3


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AN: I think it goes without saying that this shouldn't be taken seriously, but I'm saying it anyway - this really shouldn't be taken seriously.

I would like to thank MC_HK, TenthWeasleyWriter, and my full time beta Josette_Phoenix for being wonderful and improving this above and beyond!





BY &lifecontinues @ TDA




When I started a relationship with Harry Glasscook I knew what I was getting into. I knew that eventually he would go back to Newcastle with that, frankly, awful woman, and I knew that I would sit here at the end of the day with Dad, Farhad, Jamilah and Teddy all singing ‘I told you so’.

The only problem was that I didn’t imagine this day to come so quickly and suddenly. And I certainly didn’t imagine her to come along into my house and give birth in my living room.

That foul woman decided it was absolutely necessary to have an all-out row in my bloody living room with Harry and I. And then only when she paused to scream in anger and during a contraction (however this little detail was not mentioned at the time, damn her) and basically pee all over my beautiful fluffy rich red carpet that I begged my father for (I am still paying him back for that carpet – no joke, I have bi-monthly instalments), it was only then that she finally decided that it was a good time to mention that she had been in labour all day long.

It was currently 6PM and she had been having false labour over the past two weeks and it was only then she decided to tell us that she has been peeing fluid everywhere sporadically for the whole day. (I remember hoping with every ounce of my being that she hadn’t made a mess in the front garden – it took an age to get it looking that nice. She made a mess anyway.)

 This outrage was cut rather short considering after that scream of anger/a particularly bad contraction, other particularly bad contractions followed and were growing every two minutes. Seeing as she was too far along to be transferred to St Mungo’s and despite the fact that we flagged down two Healers that came over in 15 minutes, she still had her baby in my living room. She walked all over the tiles in the bathroom and the kitchen and the cream carpet in the living room and my nice fluffy carpet in the best room of the house and then she had her IT (up until that point anyway) on my nice long, beautiful and lusciously spacious leather sofa.

Needless to say, I was not pleased.

However, I sucked up my anger, and disappointment, and heartbreak (Harry was willingly leaving me for this woman and yes I understand it’s for the baby, but does he have to be so responsible and nicey-nicey about this whole thing? I have horrible taste in men) and cleaned all the crap up that she had left behind. The soggy tissues on the wooden coffee table she had used whilst crying at me during labour will give me nightmares for weeks.

I was hoping for some peace after that, to regain some sort of semblance of normalness in my life and maybe even wallow for a day or a weekend before going back to work and wishing death upon myself every time Victoire Weasley glanced at me. That wasn’t going to happen when Harry had to go find a flat, negotiate a price, move all the stuff up there, do it up ready for Chutney and baby Pepper, and only then could they get lost.

And I really needed them to get lost. Harry and I had broken up as soon as Pepper was born and even though Chutney had her flat, she was without all of her other friends (who had inevitably had babies up north) and needed ‘help’. “Help” meaning that she needed to shove her child into my face and coo over how much it took after her great-grandmother who was a ‘stunner in her time’, and how she had Harry’s nose or chin or some sort of appendage even though, really, she just looked like any other baby – swollen, red and small.

After my suggestion of Confunding the landlord into giving them a reasonable price for the flat they were considering, they were now finally in the process of moving away. Far, far away. I didn’t think I could bear the pathetic looks Harry kept giving me every time he Apparated into my house. It was sad and heart-wrenching at first, but after three (almost four) weeks and I was getting really tired of looking at him and his mock sympathy, or whatever it was. He had made his decision and I just really wanted him out of my life now.

I was suspicious at first, considering it was taking absolute yonks to get them out, and Chutney kept moaning about not being able to Floo or Apparate yet and even though I explained – with diagrams –  what an aeroplane was and how they could be there in about forty-five minutes. They claimed not to understand the function of passport control and luggage issues and other rubbish that was clearly explained and finally settled on a Muggle train.

It was now a case of getting their stuff out and getting them away from me, my family and the best room in the house.

*


Nisha! I need Pepper’s bottle warmed up!” The shriek is familiar and piercing like a needle going into one’s skin. It makes you want to actually stab yourself or make your head combust in the hope you’ll never hear such an awful voice ever again.

Why can’t you do it yourself?” I screech back from my bedroom.

Because! I’m changing her nappy and you’re useless at every other task to do with babies!

She needs to go, and she needs to take her it with her.

It’s not my fault you got knocked up at twenty-five and have to know how to care for a baby!”

Honestly, my level of work and concentration has plummeted ever since she’s been here doing my nut in – Teddy is not going to like the fact that I’ve replaced ‘Nash’s new fashion line this spring founded, by Victoire Weasley’ with ‘Dragon Skrewt’s new and life-threatening sting –  coming out to a store near you!’ for this horrible press release I have to do. Or maybe he will if he’s having a ‘bad ex-wife day’.

And it’s not my fault you can’t do anything useful except push a few buttons on a Muggle machine!” she screams at the top of her lungs.

I suck in my cheeks and blow air through my nose.

CHUP KAR KE BATO, OKAY? I AM TRYING TO HAVE A NAP!” my dad’s voice suddenly breaks between ours and for once I am thankful for his interruptions in my life.

Silence befalls the house as even Chutney (who isn’t an ounce Pakistani and definitely doesn’t know Urdu) understands exactly what that means and the tone it is in. I smile grimly before backspacing on my magically altered laptop, courtesy of Lupin Publications, and continue to compliment Victoire’s taste in clothing and this new designer’s rags.

*


It is a horrifically early time on Monday morning that I walk into the terrifying tall building that is Lupin Publications and into Teddy’s plush office. He’s obviously not here yet, judging by the state his desk is in (too neat to be reasonable, considering he makes a mess of it throughout the course of the day and then tells me to clean it up). I set down the press release in the middle of it and walk straight back out towards my desk.

This desk has been with me for around ten months now and is like a second home to me – the tea mug and assorted chocolates that are hidden underneath the desk and the generic happy family picture that looks back at me every moment I’m there, even if I do not. I thank the Lord that I don’t have such an open area like any of the other assistants and have a side office to myself. Teddy’s office is further away and separate from all the magazines and editors around the building – right on the top floor. This also means that he has the nicest office, which has a clear glass circle in the middle of it so that he may gaze upon whatever new spot I have on the side of my face for the day.

It is just now when I’m about to sit down on my beautifully sculptured swivel chair that a piece of paper shoots down the letter shoot wired around the whole building.

I sit down anyway, push off my table towards the shoot, and quickly open it up, grabbing the letter and lazily swinging it so it’s half open still. Opening the letter, I recognise Victoire’s loopy handwriting, which reads her need to have a copy of the press release (no doubt because she’s mentioned in it almost more than the new  up and coming designer and she wants to frame it, or perhaps change the whole thing just because she knows I re-wrote a lot of it).

I still comply and it is 7.30AM by the time I have revised Teddy’s schedule for the week once more, including all lunches and snack times and other boring details, as well as sent copious owls and memos to a ton of other contacts around the building. It’s a busy life being the head of a publication company’s assistant. There is tons of monotonous rubbish that Teddy can’t be bothered to deal with, but then I’m paid a considerable amount so I guess that makes up for it. I have also broken the record of being the only assistant Teddy has not slept with, which helps being in this job field, considering he needs someone reliable, and I wear the title with pride.

Although,  I wasn’t sure whether this was a good thing or not at the beginning. I decided to protect my innocence anyway by shouting very loudly with multiple doors open on a very busy day that I am a ‘beauteous and innocent virgin who shouldn’t be taken advantage of and I don’t care who knows it’. His hair went a fluorescent pink and he shut up in his office for the rest of the day after that. It is fun to say that I now have a little more leverage in our very strange relationship that can be described as friendship but has equally gone into the realms of weirdness and questionable.

I think knowing each other before I became his assistant helped – being a liaison between him and The Daily Prophet, both of whom are not fond of each other. I think they’re still a bit miffed that I went off with Teddy, but then they weren’t getting me very far in the world of publishing and so far I’ve done a lot more with Teddy with his inserts and countless magazines than I had done being at The Prophet for two and a half miserable years. My name is littered everywhere and I am slowly growing to become a better writer, and that is important. Journalism isn’t quite my thing, but I love to write and experience is experience and I need a day job. This is the best there was.

My daydreaming soon comes to an end when, with a flourish of navy robes, the main man himself walks in thundering around like he usually does, although today he seems to be in a much better mood than usual.

“What’s wrong with you?” I asks quickly, standing up to take his briefcase and coat from him to put in the closet adjacent to my desk.

“Well, that’s a nice thing to say when I’m happy,” he swiftly says in return; he is used to my quips by now and it is like water off a duck’s feathers. I was not quite so well received when I had decided to be myself straight from the get-go – that stunt caused a lot of worried looks and a suggestion to visit the well-known and best therapist around: Alicia Spinnet.

“You shouldn’t be so happy when I am so miserable – do you not care about me at all?” I call out to him whilst I hang his coat, grab his schedule and briefcase and place both on his desk just as he settles down.

“I care very little about whatshisface and that woman who’s apparently named after spicy yoghurt. How are you then?” he replies, opening up his briefcase, taking out folders from it and setting his wand on its placeholder on the side of his desk draws.

“Ugh, exhausted. Her damn baby cried the whole night and then she ordered me around to do random rubbish and I couldn’t argue with everyone being able to sleep like a log, could I?”

“Hm...”

“And then Harry decided to pop in the middle of the night right on top of me, which of course woke up Jamilah. So when she came down there’s Chutney shrieking, Pepper crying and us two having an argument at four o’clock in the morning,” I rattle off the vague details as I lean against the desk and watch Teddy looking up at me incredulously.

“What was worse was that dad got up at five AM and had a right go at all of us and then turned all old-fashioned on us and said to Harry that he shouldn’t so much as glance at me when I’m wearing my night clothes and shooed me upstairs and kicked Harry and Chutney out. He then added afterwards that if they needed babysitting only then would either of them be allowed in the house. Fan-bloody-tastic work if you ask me!”

“Your dad sounds like he was royally pissed,” Teddy snorts and picks up his schedule book after appropriately making his desk messy with pens and paper and parchment and quills all over it. “Good thing they’re gone, they were right arseholes. Can’t believe they were around for that long.”

“I’m ecstatic,” I say with a grin. “I swear my hormone levels have been up and down all over the place lately. Now I can sit at home and eat ice cream in my pyjamas, and not care about Harry Glasscook any longer!”

“Great, now you can piss off and get me a croissant and coffee now that they’re out of your hair, and your pyjamas.”

“Prick,” I sniff at him and turn to walk out, but not before I hear him say: “Remind me to ask what frisky pyjamas your dad was worried about later!”

“SHAN’T! DON’T MAKE ME BRING UP MY INNOCENT VIRGINITY AGAIN!” I shriek whilst passing a particularly startled looking James Potter, and grinning widely at him. This will the beginning of a lovely week.



P.S. Chup kar ke bato - shut up and sit down.




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