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Chapter 27 : Tiny Bundles Of Joy
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Why did I laugh? I was like shaking with laughter, and it kinda hurt too, considering I'd just given birth.
By the look on Chase's face, he did not find the situation very amusing.
Neither did my mother. After two minutes of the shocked silence that followed Chase's ridiculous question, Mum had awkwardly excused herself. It was now only Chase and myself in the room, and the babies were in the other room with Hr Laurie and Pomfrey.
Great, I'd just started gasping for air.
And that turned into hyperventilation.
Which then turned into hysteria.
"You can't be serious," I wheezed. But his face was nothing but serious.
"Why not?!" I repeated in a squeal.
"Yeah?" was his only response, and he stared into my watering eyes.
"But-but, "I stammered. "How can you ask me that? I am an emotional mess right now, and to be quite frank, I can't be trusted with a proposal of this magnitude. Not that I , even in a calmer state, would be even close to ready for something like that. What are you, mad?"
"You finished?" he asked when I stopped the tirade for a moment to catch my breath.
"No. No, I'm not," I told him and sat up, but winced when I did. Chase's hands shot out to assist me, but I pulled away. "We are teenagers, Chase! We're not ready for this sort of commitment!"
"Well, I am certainly not!" I sqealed. "I'm barely ready to commit to my own children, and I even had several months to process this. You just blurt out a question and expect an answer right away; it's not fair! A girl needs time, mate!"
"Mate?" Chase cocked his eyebrow at me, but then shook his head. "I won't tell you I'm sorry for asking you, because I'm not. I'm in love with you. I want to be there for you, and for your kids. I want to help. To be their, I dunno, a dad for them. Kids need a father figure."
For a second, I tried to imagine my life without Dad, and I sighed. The thought was unbearable. Chase noticed how his argument had hit home with me, fully knowing I was a daddy's girl, and he perked up. He put his hand on one of my clenched fists.
"I'm not expecting an answer right away," he informed me, and I looked up at him with sceptical eyes. "I don't. I know it's a lot. But please, don't leave me hanging for nine months." I smiled grudgingly at his attempt to make a joke.
"And we wouldn't even have to get married for a long time! It's only an engagement. Nothing's definite, nothing's set in stone."
I thought about that.
"I forgot how good you are at this," I muttered.
"Making me see your point, convincing me..."
"So, does this mean -"
"It means," I interrupted him, "that I'm... thinking about it."
"That's all I wanted." Chase beamed down at me.
"So, guys, are you ready to meet your godson?"
Clover burst into tears, but managed to nod. She and Deuce was finally allowed in, being the ones last in line to see the babies. Mum, Dad and Heath had been the first group to 'ooh' and 'aah', then there was Lily, Ronnie and Al - and finally, my best friends were allowed in the room.
I both cursed and thanked Madam Pomfrey for only allowing a few visitors at a time. I was so tired now, and was glad that there weren't a lot of people around me at the same time.
"Oh, my god!" Clo exclaimed under her breath as not to wake the baby being put in her arms. "He's perfect!" Deuce inched closer and looked down at the infant's face.
"He's bald," he noted.
Chase rolled his eyes. "He's a baby."
"Still." Deuce shrugged, but I could see the soft smile on his face, and the look of awe in his eyes. "I can't believe you made him. He's so awesome."
"Thanks for the reverse compliment, Deuce. Appreciate it," I said dryly.
"Can I hold him now?" Deuce asked and tried to pry the baby out of Clo's arms.
"Absolutely not!" Clo hissed and turned away. "I just got him!"
"Adella!" Deuce whined. "Clover won't let me hold the baby!"
"Just wait a minute, and then it'll be your turn," I promised him, and grinned at his disappointed expression.
"Not fair. She's hogging him - he's my godson too, you know," Deuce mumbled under his breath, scowling at Clo who was cooing down at the baby.
"You can hold the girl?" Chase suggested, and carried the pink bundle over to his brother.
"That's right - there are two of them!" Deuce exclaimed. "Hah! Suck it, Clearmont." Clo turned her head and stuck out her tongue before returning her attention to her godson.
"Here," Chase whispered and carefully lifted the baby and put it into Deuce's embrace. "Now, put your arms like -"
"Chill, bro. I can handle this," Deuce interrupted, but didn't look away from the little creature now nestled in his arms. My heart gave a jolt when I saw the astonished emotion on the lad's face. The baby let out a content creak, and Deuce grinned wildly at her.
"Look, she's smiling!" he called out, and walked over to show us. It wasn't a smile, but I didn't burst his bubble. "I think she likes me."
"She's just relieved to be the least mature in the room anymore," Chase jabbed, but it fell on deaf ears. Deuce was consumed by the small being he was holding.
"She's so tiny," he murmured. "I feel like a troll compared to her."
"Well, their IQs are about the same, so he's sort of right, " Chase whispered jokingly so only I could hear, and I giggled.
"So very very tiny," Deuce repeated, and then sniffled quietly.
"Are those tears?" I asked in shock as I stared at Deuce.
"They're awesome, manly pain tears!" Deuce retorted quickly and blinked furiously while he turned away from us. "They're not emotional..."
Chase and I exchanged amused glances, and out of the blue Chase bent down and kissed the top of my head. My stomach tingled, and I smiled up at him.
I really had the most amazing boyfriend.
Oh, brain, you ruin everything.
"Have you named them yet?" Clo asked and brought me out of my inner struggles.
I sighed. "Not yet," I admitted. "It's hard, this naming business."
"What about Deuce? Deuce is a nice name."
"It also means 'poop'," I said. "So, no."
"I like classical names, like... Jane, or Charlotte or Elizabeth, or -"
"Any of these names from books or their authors?" I asked my blonde friend, and suppressed a smile.
"Well, your brother's named after one of the most popular fictional men in history," Clo responded to my question. "So, shush."
"When I was born, dad said that if I were a boy, he wanted to name me Scorpius," I told them and chuckled. "Mom refu-"
"That. Is. Awesome," I heard both Chase and Deuce burst out simultaneously.
"It was a joke. It's a horrible name," I laughed.
"No, it isn't," Deuce argued, and his brother nodded. "And since it's my godson, I believe I have some say in the matter. And I say he shall henceforth be known as Scorpius!"
"Hear hear!" Chase chanted.
"No." I sat up. "My son will not be named Scorpius. It's too... Eccentric."
"Your father's name is Draco, and you have a brother whose name is a synonym for 'tragic love story'," Deuce argued dryly. "S don't come here with 'eccentric'. Scorpius is awesome compared to those names. It's manly and shit."
"Manly and shit?" I repeated with raised eyebrows. "Nice argument. I totally want to call my son that now."
"Good, so it's settled."
"Blimey, Deuce - I was being sarcastic!"
Deuce ignored me and turned to Clover.
"Wanna switch it up? I wanna hold Socrpius now."
"His name isn't Scorpius!" I cried and had the urge to throw my pillow at him. But I was afraid I'd hit the baby instead, and plus, I'd lose the only comfort I had.
"Sure," Clover said, and after Chase helped them make the transaction, they were staring happily down at another baby-face.
"Clover, you too?" I asked tiredly.
She shrugged. "I'd prefer something more romantic, but what are you going to do."
"If it were up to you he'd be called Casanova or D'Artagnan." Deuce sent Clover a mocking smile. But, to my surprise, Clover only smiled back. And to make matters weirder, their gaze interlocked and lasted several seconds more than appropriate.
When they noticed both me and Chase staring at them, they quickly coughed and looked away.
"And what about the girl?" Clover asked, trying to distract us from the fact that she was blushing.
"Scorpia," was Deuce's quick responce.
"Over my dead body," I growled.
"Lizzie?" Deuce then suggested with a twinkle of humor in his eyes.
"Why that name?" I asked with a voice lathered in scepticism.
"Scorpius and Lizzy, scorpion and lizard - you get it?"
My eyes shot lightening.
"Thin ice, mate," Chase warned. "From now on, only serious suggestions, alright?"
"Who says I wasn't seri-?"
"Just, just stop," Chase warned, seeing how I was glaring at his brother.
"How about, Chamelia? You know, chameleon." Deuce grinned, finding himself awfully amusing.
"Out," I commanded in a deep voice.
"Pardon?" Deuce looked surprised.
"Out," I said again. "Out, now."
"Erm, I think what my girlfriend means to say, is that she's tired and can't have any more visitors today," Chase covered up quickly. He walked over to his brother and after a bit of bickering, got Scorpius out of his hands and -
Oh, no! I called him Scorpius!
Bloody hell, now even I was calling him that.
Well, I supposed I would like it eventually...
"Fine," Deuce growled and looked longingly at the baby while Chase put him in one of the cribs beside my bed. "I'll go. But I'll be back tomorrow. Mark my words." And with those parting words, we walked off dramatically.
Chase sighed and rubbed his eyes before letting out a long yawn. He was tired.
"Chase, go to the dorm and get some sleep," I told my exhausted-looking boyfriend with a soft smile.
"No, I'm not tired," he lied, but the dark circles under his eyes spoke volumes. "I want t be here with you and the babies and -"
"We'll be fine," I assured him. "And you can come right back here when you've gotten some rest. Okay? I don't want to hear anything else. Now, go."
Chase seemed stuck for a moment. One one hand he wanted to be with me and take care of my every need, and on the other hand he really needed to lie down.
"I don't want to tell you twice," I warned sternly.
"A-alright," he finally succumbed. "But I won't be long." He leaned over and kissed me sweetly on the lips and whispering 'I love you' before he grudgingly left the room with slow steps.
"So," Clo began after the door closed behind my boyfriend. "How was it? You know, giving birth?"
"It was... Vast stretches of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror," I said honestly. "Basically."
"Doesn't sound too bad," Clover managed to say, and I barked out a laugh.
"You remember the time you got stung by a bee? You thought you'd die," I reminded her.
"You're being dramatic."
"No, you actually said 'Adella, these might be my last words to you... I'm dying. And so young...' And then you fainted."
Clover just rolled her eyes.
"I'd rather get fifty bee-stings than go through labour again," I said darkly, and a shiver went down my spine at the thought of reliving it.
A little sound from the crib beside me caught my attention, and I found little Scorpius having spit up. I dug up a clean cloth and dried it away. "Clo, could you get me a wet cloth? Scorpius spit up."
"Of course." She put the baby girl - with no name yet - down in the other crib, and walked down to the sink at the end of the room and came back with a damp cloth. I reached out my hand, but Clo didn't give it to me. "Let me do it."
I watched her carefully clean the tiny face with extreme precision, and made cooing sounds as she did. But I was startled at what she did next.
"What the hell are you doing?" I asked, with wide eyes.
But she didn't answer. Clover was busy smelling the cloth she'd just used to wipe my son's face.
"This couldn't get any weirder," I muttered to myself with a grimace.
"I'm keeping this," Clover said in a distant voice.
And after folding the dirty cloth and tucking it into her pocket, Clover remembered that I existed and smiled at me. I grimaced back, not yet over the fact that my best friend was intent on saving some of my son's spit.
"What?" she asked indignantly when she noted my expression.
"You need a hobby," I told her. "You are not planning on saving my baby's first dirty diaper too, are you?"
"He's my godson," she replied and stuck her nose in the air.
Yeah, as if that justified her being disgusting.
"He's my son and you don't see me holding onto his fluids."
"I bet you saved a part of his umbilical cord," Clover replied, and I grimaced even more.
"Absolutely not!" I sqwawked. "That's sick, who does that?"
Clover realised she was in the wrong in this scenario and just shrugged her shoulders. Her attention returned to the little baby boy, and I swear, she was memorizing his every feature.
"I'm exhausted," I complained and closed my eyes while leaning back against the pillow that was propped up behind me.
"Yeah, labour can have that effect on people," Clo added.
"Har, har." I yawned, and I scooted down so that I was lying outstretched on the bed, but I couldn't get comfortable. "I miss my old four-poster..."
"Did Madam Pomfrey say anything about when you can be up and about again?"
"No, not really," I answered, and then let out a long sigh. "But I doubt that I will be able to run about the castle anytime soon. Besides, I can't attend classes and stay with you guys up in the dorm now, can I?"
"Well, why not?"
I cocked a sardonic eyebrow, but still with my eyes closed. "Would you like it if you were woken up by screams in the middle of the night, or if I had to pull out a boob in the middle of transfiguration to feed my starving infants?"
"Now she's got it..."
"Blimey," Clo muttered and I opened my eyes only to find Clover staring at me with watery eyes. "I never thought about that. I-I mean... Where are you gonna go? Will you leave Hogwarts now?"
I swallowed hard. I'd pushed away these thoughts whenever they'd popped into my head for the past months. The idea of leaving Hogwarts and all of my friends made my heart throb. Hogwarts was my home. Well, my second home, at least.
"Oh, Del!" Clover exclaimed, and I felt her hurling her body on top of me, and grasping my closest limb - which incidentally was my foot. She was holding onto it for dear life and started sobbing.
"Wha-what am I su-su-supposed to do without youuuu," she cried dramatically and dragged out the last word like the end note of a song.
I was caught off guard by this scene, and couldn't really respond. What could I say?
"But," I tried, and had to take a break in order to swallow the lump in my throat, "but it doesn't mean we won't see each other anymore. We'll met again in the summer, and -"
"That's too long!" Clover continued to cry and sniffle, and I had to look away. "That's months from now. I'm gonna miss you so much," she looked at the cribs and the babies sleeping in them, "all of you!" And then another tirade of sobs.
I managed to refrain from crying with her by doing what I do best - denying the situation. I wasn't going anywhere. Not yet, anyway. So I comforted Clover the best I could, and after a bit of persuasion, I got her to stop hyperventilating. She was still crying though, and still saying how she wouldn't survive without me close to her.
I needed to get her mind off of it.
And I knew exactly how.
"Chase asked me to marry him," I blurted out. Clover's face froze in a very unfortunate expression of grief; her face looked like a sad clown had been out on a rainy day.
"Wh-what?" she stammered weakly.
"Chase Zabini proposed to me," I rephrased, and the transformation on Clo's face was so sudden that I almost chuckled.
"He did what?" she asked in shock. "Where? When?"
"Right after I'd squeezed these two out," I told her and pointed lazily at the cribs.
"Well... What did you say?"
"I said," I coughed, "I said I needed to think about it."
"Think about it? What is there to think about? You love each other, don't you?"
"Yes, but -"
"And you want him to be a part of your life in the future?"
"Absolutely, but how -"
"And you want him to be involved in Scorpius and Scarlett's lives as well, yeah?"
"Of course, but - wait... Scarlett?"
"Oh, sorry, I just... Well, I named her in my head while holding her. She just, I dunno, looked like a Scarlett, that's all."
"Scarlett..." I tried out how the name rolled of my tongue. "Scarlett and Scorpius. You know what? I think I like it."
"Really?" Clover beamed.
I looked at the baby girl at my side and nodded to myself. "Yes. I've made up my mind."
Clover squealed happily, and then bent down to kiss little Scarlett's head.
"I hope you realise that you just named your daughter after one of the most known heroines of all time," she mumbled under her breath, not looking directly at me.
"What? I did?"
"Gone With The Wind," she then explained further and hid a crooked smile. "Scarlett O'Hara."
Well, here it is. The next chapter. Again, I'm so sorry about the wait, but yeah...life happens, you know.
Anyways, I really hope you like this uneventful chapter. I had to force myself to write this time too, and it's starting to get annoying to always have to push myself to continue writing... Blaaaah. Well, I promise you that I will stick it out and finish this story!
And I have to say, we are getting close the finishing line - and it's about time. I've been writing this story for a very long time now.
Thanks to my devoted readers who are still sticking with me, and thanks to the new readers who have been kind enough to start reading this little story of mine.
Ps: 'Gone with the Wind' is a novel written by Margaret Mitchell.
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