Chapter 15 : The Hospital
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“What do you mean you won’t be there for half the bloody day?” James was having a fit since I’d told him I was going to Ryan’s appointment instead of to the Seventh Year Lock-In. “What am I supposed to do?”
“Snog your girlfriend?” I guessed. “I don’t know. Whatever sodding activities there are. I’m sure it’ll be a blast. Just do something and cover for me.”
“Don’t you think Gemma’s going to figure it out when the two of you come back together?” James said. He was sitting on the bathroom sink, wand still pointed at the door from his silencing charm. “It’s not that hard to figure out, you know.”
“We won’t be coming back in together. We’ve got it all worked out. Now mind your own business.” I kept trying to flatten my hair, but it wasn’t working. “Is the tie too much?”
“It’s St.BloodyMungos. Yes it’s too much.”
I kept the tie anyway. I liked ties. “Just let it go. She invited me to go to the appointment and I’m going.”
“They’re just going to talk about boring baby stuff,” James whined. “You have that book. Just read the book, okay? Then you’ll know everything and you can come do the fun lock-in stuff with me. Which you should be doing. Because you’re seventeen and you’re not being any fun.”
I shot him a look. “This isn’t about you, James.”
“It should be,” he muttered.
“It’s not. It’s about Ryan.” I shoved him a bit. “You don’t think her friends think she’s not been fun lately? I’m going to be there for her.”
“What for? She just yells at you anyway.”
I shrugged, thinking about when she pulled me into the pub after Annie had just broken up with me. What she did to Kennel (or had done, rather). Her pulling me from the downward spiral of champagne at the pub.
“She’s not so bad,” I replied, glancing in the mirror again. I looked nervous. “I’ll be back as soon as I can. Just cover for me, okay?”
James rolled his eyes. “Fine. But I’m smuggling liquor in and you can’t stop me.”
“Do what you must.”
I met Ryan in the same empty classroom we’d used before. I arrived just before her and started pacing. I also successfully messed up my hair. She looked annoyed when she closed the door.
“You okay?” I asked.
“Fine. Just have a creature growing inside me and I feel like I could eat an entire farm,” she said conversationally. “Also I’m exhausted so I may just blow off the stupid lock-in later. Even though Gemma will have my head for it.”
It was hard to find a reply to all the pregnancy things. I couldn’t exactly relate.
“Anything I can do?”
“Get me a time-turner?” Ryan said dryly.
“I’ll do my best,” I said and grabbed the bag of floo powder. “After you, love.”
“Call me love one more time and see what happens.” She took the powder and threw it into the fire, not so much as giving me a second glance.
So things were back to normal.
St. Mungos was the same as it always had been. Creepy and clean. I shuffled around awkwardly.
“Weasley.” Ryan turned around from her position at the front of the line, arms folded. “What did you do?”
“Ah. Um. Well.” I smiled sheepishly.
“Just do it,” I said. “I know you’re stubborn and kind of a jerk about it, but just let me, okay? Please don’t make me play the heartbroken card.”
She scrunched up her face like she was about to pull out her wand and hex me into next week. But then Ryan turned, nodded to the receptionist, and received a slip of paper. “Room three-fourteen. Let’s go, Weasley.” She led the way to the elevators, not waiting to see if I would follow.
I’d owled a few days before and requested a better room and I got exactly what I wanted, and then some. I hated the idea of name-dropping, especially given the family I came from, but at times it had its perks. The room was enormous with a beautiful view and large window. There was a bed and three plush chairs beside it, plus all of the baby equipment that confused me.
I took one of the chairs and grabbed a magazine. Ryan sat as close to the edge of the bed as she could. She looked furious.
“Listen Weasley,” she spat, “I’ve already told you I don’t need your help, your money, or your fame.”
“I understand what you told me,” I replied, not looking up from the article, which was boring.
“Then why do you insist on making me look like a fool?”
That time I did look up. “Oh, yes, because helping someone makes them looking like an idiot.”
“I don’t want your charity.”
“I’m not donating to an animal shelter,” I said, rolling my eyes. Though I did donate to animal shelters, I just didn’t mention that to her because it may have made my point look weak. “I told you I’m in this and if there are ways I can help make you comfortable I’m going to do it.”
“Ugh. You’re impossible.”
“Pot calling the kettle,” I said, going back to the article.
We were silent until the nurse came in. She was different from last time, an older woman with flecks of gray in her hair and a kind smile. This infuriated Ryan all the more. She had something against nice people.
For a while they discussed how Ryan was feeling, what symptoms were stronger than others, and what to expect this month. Mostly fatigue and a growing appetite, but the nurse mentioned she’d start growing more rapidly.
Ryan’s eyes moved to the floor.
“You’ve reached the end of your first trimester,” the nurse said with another kind smile. “So if you’ve been waiting until now to tell your family and friends, you can start to do so. Or else they’ll start to notice on their own.” She laughed because it was a joke, but it wasn’t funny to us.
They would start to notice. There were only so many loose-fitting fashionable outfits Ryan could wear before it became obvious. Before she was the victim of rumors and whispering behind hands. I hated the thought of it. That I couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t take responsibility or defend her.
That was a bridge to cross another time.
I lost myself in these thoughts for so long they were broken only by Ryan gasping at the cool gel being pooled on her stomach, which had rounded slightly. Her shirt was pulled up just under where her bra sat and the nurse pushed a contraption against her skin that had a cord leading to a machine behind her.
“Let’s see,” the nurse said, pursing her lips. “Yes, here we are.”
I raised a brow, scooting my chair to better see. There was black and white static and images on the screen, but it reminded me of finger-painting. “What’s that?”
“Your baby,” the nurse said.
I tried unfocusing my eyes but it was just a bunch of blobs. So I went over to the other side of the bed and tried looking from there. Nothing. Just blobs of black and white as the nurse moved it.
That was when a steady beat filled the room, each one like swallowing a gulp of water. Each one loud and soft at the same time. I stared at the screen as the beats became more prominent, lips parted.
“That would be your baby’s heartbeat,” the nurse said and the screen rested on an image. “Right there is the baby, but it isn’t very far along yet.” She pointed to a white bunch of blobs.
That was our baby. Those little blobs with that steady, healthy heartbeat.
Ryan’s hand was in mine and she was squeezing. The girl from before had all but disappeared. Right now her hand was trembling and she was biting down hard on her bottom lip. There were tears in her eyes. The heartbeat still filled the room like an elephant. I squeezed her hand back and leaned down, kissing her forehead like she’d done for me at the inn.
To my surprise, my own tear fell onto her cheek.
This was our baby. Our child. In two more trimesters it was going to be a real boy or girl I could hold in my arms. With a name and a face and features from both of us, but I hoped the kid would get more from Ryan. You couldn’t go wrong with those genes.
I was going to be a father, something I’d never considered for my future, let alone so soon. But it was happening and the baby was safely nestled in Ryan’s stomach. She looked paler than usual, but otherwise still beautiful. Our baby would be lucky to get her features.
The nurse left us alone and the heartbeat faded into silence when she turned off the machine. We cleaned off Ryan’s stomach and she pushed her shirt back down, face red from crying. I had no idea what to say. What words I could use in that moment that wouldn’t make me look like a sap or a fool. Instead, I kept staring at the dark machine.
Ryan moved her hand back into mine. I squeezed and she smiled.
“I hate that you saw me cry,” she whispered. “Don’t tell people I cry.”
“Likewise,” I said, using my free wrist to wipe my eye.
Our plan was carried out with ease. Well, most of it.
The nurse gave us copies of the ultrasound, which Ryan left first to put up in Ravenclaw Tower. I waited another ten minutes before going the opposite direction. I wandered the halls for a while and took a minute in the boy’s restroom to make sure my eyes weren’t red. Once I assumed Ryan was downstairs joining the party, I left and moved swiftly toward the Great Hall.
Only I found someone waiting for me on the marble staircase.
“Like I said before, it is interesting company you keep.” Gregory Zonko was leaning against the handrail clutching a gold pocket watch, complete with the chain. The door to the Great Hall was within his sight. He had to have seen Ryan go in.
“I don’t know what you mean,” I said. “Jealous you can’t hang out with the seventh years? Want help crashing the party?” I moved past him on the stairs.
“Was Annie not the only one seeing someone else?” Zonko asked.
I turned faster than I wanted to.
“Yes, I know about that. Not that it’s a secret. The school has been buzzing about it. I see I’ve struck a nerve.”
“What happened between Annie and I is just that,” I said. “So stay out of it.”
“What’s between you and Ryan Davies, hmm? She’s not exactly your type – the innocent flower.”
“Ryan and I are Prefects,” I said shortly. “We do little better than tolerate each other, and that’s putting it nicely.” At least I was honest. “So stop trying to dig up shit that isn’t there because you’re scared.”
“You wish I was scared.”
“You really need to work on your trash talk,” I said, shaking my head and walking into the Great Hall. The last thing I wanted was Gregory Zonko getting in my head. I didn’t have time for him.
I’d just heard my kid’s heartbeat, seen a white blob that I guess was said kid, and I had a lock-in to attend all while pretending I had just been upstairs not feeling well for a few hours.
How was I going to do that?
Carefully. Very. Carefully.
The lock-in was just as huge as we’d all imagined it to be over the years. Every seventh year was there. Crowds of students leaked from activities to an area decked out in plush sleeping bags to the giant buffet of food. The stars above were shining bright, lighting the space and laughter was coming from everywhere. Music was playing. Rune was dancing and Molly was being led around, face ablaze.
I found James next to the punch bowl, which I rightly assumed had already been spiked.
“I’m a Prefect, you know,” I said, showing up at his shoulder and making him jump.
“This is an abomination,” he replied. “The punch was terrible and tasted like sugar. Don’t worry. I fixed it. I should get an award, really.”
“You just want to pass your old man in awards,” I said. “Fat chance with your reputation.”
“I just enhance the rules, is all.”
I shook my head and looked around.
“How’d it go?” James asked softly.
“Well. Better than I thought.”
“Actually, no.” My eyes scanned the crowd, but I still didn’t see Ryan.
“Care for a glass of punch?” James asked. “The new and improved punch?”
“Better not.” If something happened, I shouldn’t be intoxicated for it. Besides, the last thing I needed was to get piss drunk and have Andrew show up wanting to discuss things in a civilized way. Which would then result in me punching him in the face and getting detention … and a strict lecture from a professor about how that is not behavior worthy of a Prefect.
It was better I stuck to the lemonade, which is what I did.
“How’s the party so far?” I asked as Ollie joined us.
“Great,” she said. “So are you ever going to speak to Annie again?”
“Ols,” James hissed. “Bad time.”
I shook my head. “It’s fine, mate. It’s fine.” It wasn’t, but I could pretend. I focused on Ollie for a moment. She was friends with Annie and it must have been difficult for her to bounce back and forth between her boyfriend and her friends. “I’m sure I will. Though she hasn’t exactly made an effort.”
“She’s terrified to speak to you.”
“Why? Because she was talking to someone else at the time?” I said bitterly.
“That’s not fair, Fred.”
“Is it not? Tell me, did she ever let you in on what it’s like to snog a bloke while you’re dating another bloke? Oh, and both of them don’t get along. Let’s write a romance novel about this, shall we? A big love triangle except one person is oblivious and stupid and also made to look like a fool.” I paused. “You knew about it, didn’t you? The whole thing?”
“Fred,” Ollie said, shaking her head. “I didn’t know. I didn’t know they were seeing each other.”
“Let’s just say I’m moving on and if that is the kind of person Annie wants to be with, then fine.”
“What do you mean by kind of person? There is nothing wrong with Andrew.”
I snorted. “I have no idea how you don’t see it, but to each his own.”
“See what?” Ollie pressed. James was looking uncomfortable.
“See how much of a complete and utter tool he is,” I snapped. “Using people. Turning people against each other. Threatening people. He’s a bloody wolf in sheep’s clothes. Or a Slytherin in red and gold. Can’t you see it?”
“You’re mental,” Ollie said. “You’re just jealous.”
“Ollie,” James said, moving into the space between Ollie and myself. “This isn’t the place for this. If you’re going to treat him like this after he just had his heart ripped out by a complete toolbox, then fine. But not here you’re not.”
“You don’t get to speak to me like that, James Potter.” Ollie narrowed her eyes. “You can join him in being jealous. Annie and I are just fine spending the lock-in with Andrew. He’s much better company than you dreary lot anyway.”
“Yeah, you’d think that considering he wants in your bloody pants to get on the Quidditch team,” James shot back.
“You’re both MENTAL.” Ollie flipped us off and moved into the crowd to find Andrew and Annie. What a ring to that.
James turned and looked at me. “He’s going to steal both of them, isn’t he?”
“He’s damn well trying,” I said, frowning. “I’m sorry, mate. I didn’t mean for things to get heated. Ollie’s a good girl. I don’t like things like that going on without her knowing what’s really happening.”
“She’s stubborn,” James replied. He was looking at the place she’d disappeared in the crowd. “You don’t think he’ll turn her against me, do you?”
“Of course not,” I said, but I wasn’t sure. I think he knew. I lowered my voice. “Did you see Davies come in?”
He shook his head. “I thought you came in first. Haven’t seen her yet.”
Both of us began looking around, but we couldn’t find her. Gemma was doing fun incantations for a crowd of admirers in the corner, probably more for her amusement than theirs. She looked to the door a few times.
Ryan hadn’t arrived yet.
But how could Zonko know it was Ryan? When did he see her?
Where the hell was Ryan Davies?
“James, I have to find her,” I whispered.
“But the punch.”
“I have to find her,” I repeated, eyes still scanning the crowd. “If she’s not here then something happened. Gemma was expecting her. Something’s wrong.”
“Like what? She’s a tough girl.”
“You don’t understand. She is a tough girl, so if she’s not here something is way wrong.” My palms were sweating. The crowd was getting closer to the refreshments table. Andrew Parise had his arms draped lazily over both Annie and Ollie as they watched a movie projected on one of the walls above a fireplace.
“You want me to come?” James said. “My girlfriend went to flirt with a wanna-be reserve so I’m free.”
I looked over at him and actually let out a breath. The one I’d been holding without realizing. “Yeah,” I said. “I’d like you to come.” I had been so used to doing things alone over the last couple months I forgot what it was like to have James by my side. We’d done everything together and this should be no exception. Frames.
Hopefully Ryan was just upstairs trying to decide which outfit sucked less. Then I’d blame it on James and we could join the party.
But something told me Gregory Zonko had a hand in this.
Zonko wasn’t in the hallway when we made it out. It was empty and far too quiet for my liking. There was no sign of Ryan.
We tore up the stairs, knowing the first place we had to check was Ravenclaw Tower. I wanted to tell Gemma to get her to let us in, but she’d know it was me. She’d know everything was me and then she’d probably want to kill me for it. Then she would and nothing would get accomplished.
We didn’t meet anyone except China, who had to go get her pet goat (don’t ask) before making her way to the lock-in. She smiled sweetly and asked if we’d be returning. I said yes and kept running.
“She wants you,” James said, out of breath.
There was no sign of Ryan anywhere. She wasn’t walking down the stairs or leaning against a wall looking snarky. I stuck my head in the library just in case, but it was the same old librarian wondering why Freddie Weasley was in a library. I didn’t bother answering and instead kept moving up to the Tower.
Before thinking, I started slamming my fist on the door to the Ravenclaw common room. It hurt like hell, but I was in a panic. I didn’t know where she was. What had happened to her. She was fine just a little bit ago at the hospital. They would have seen if something was wrong. Right?
A small, auburn-haired girl pulled open the door and stared at me with a gobsmacked expression. “Who are you?”
“Fred Weasley,” I replied, out of breath. The right side of my hand was covered in blood from the wall.
“What’re you doing here?”
I stopped. I couldn’t say Ryan. I couldn’t say why I needed to see her. I choked, out of words.
“Roxanne,” James said from beside me. “We need to see his sister, Roxanne Weasley. It’s an emergency.”
The girl looked down at his bloody hand and must have decided it was an emergency because she called for Rox. It was only a moment before my sister was at the door, looking stunned.
“What happened?” she said. “Is it Dad?”
I felt horrible for making her think something happened to Dad. And then I felt horrible because in her mind, that was the only reason I could be coming to see her. But that was something to worry about another day. Another day when being a shit brother could occupy my mind instead of Ryan.
“I need you to trust me,” I whispered, leaning down. The blood was falling in spots around us.
“What?” Rox said, her brow raising. “Fred, what’s going on?”
“I need you to trust me,” I repeated, still out of breath. “I need you to take me upstairs, but to the seventh years’ dormitory.”
“What the bloody fuck for?” she asked. “What are you up to? Are you stealing knickers?”
I paused for a moment. “Why in the world would I be—?”
James shook his head. “Look, Rox. There could be something seriously wrong up there and please can you take us because it might be a matter of life and death. Or at least serious enough for us to be here even though you haven’t spoken to me in the better part of three years.” He took a breath. “Even though I’m the coolest cousin.”
Rox stared between the two of us. “Come on. Don’t cause any problems.” She turned and led the way across the common room.
We followed obediently and I wrapped my hand in my shirt to stop the bleeding.
Rox turned to make sure we were there and then moved up the staircase to the right. She passed several doors before we arrived at the one I recognized to be Ryan’s. I didn’t let myself think about her lingerie collection. I couldn’t. “You need me to escort you?” my sister asked.
“Thank you,” I replied, looking at her. “And thank you for being at the hospital.”
“Mum and Dad asked me,” she said.
“Godric you are fucking impossible,” James said loudly. “I’m going to hug Lily later. Remind me to do that, okay?” He nudged me. “Let’s go see if she’s okay.”
“If who’s okay?” Rox asked.
I shook my head. “Thank you for coming to the hospital,” I repeated and shoved the door open. James closed it behind him.
The room was empty. All of the beds were pristinely made and nothing appeared out of place. Shit. She wasn’t here. Something had happened to her between her room and the lock-in. She was somewhere in the castle.
James was looking around her bed, but nothing caught his eye. “Light’s on,” he said, nodding to the bedside stand.
I stared for a moment and then realized the bathroom door was closed. There was a light coming from under it.
I ran for it, pulling the door open so hard it hit the wall and bounced off, slamming into my shoulder. The room was lit and the sink water was running. The soap dispenser was on its side and I could smell lilacs.
That was when I saw her.
Sprawled out on the ground was an unconscious Ryan Davis, her form limp and unresponsive. She looked pale, lips parted. Her body was twisted at odd angles.
“Ryan?” I said, falling to my knees beside her. James ran and grabbed a pillow and placed it gently under her head. I had her hand in mine. She was cool and clammy. “Ry? Can you hear me?”
She didn’t respond. I didn’t know what to do.
I wasn’t a Healer. I was just a boy. A student who had done some crazy things that had led me to being here at this moment. Someone who wasn’t remotely qualified to know what was wrong with her.
“Ryan?” I repeated, touching her cheek with my palm. “Ryan. Wake up. RYAN.” I shook her a little, but her head just lolled to the other side.
I felt for her pulse. It was there. She was breathing.
“We need the nurse,” I said. I knew Ryan would hate me for it, but as she was lying unconscious on a bathroom floor it was me who needed to make the call. “James. The nurse. Now.”
James was gone before I finished the sentence. The door slammed.
I pulled Ryan into my arms, terrified. I didn’t know what had happened. What was wrong with her. She couldn’t tell me. I rocked back and forth, smoothing her hair between my fingers. She breathed on, steadily, and I could just barely feel her heart beat. It reminded me of earlier. The baby’s heartbeat. Everything was so simple and so complicated only a couple hours ago.
I kissed the top of Ryan’s head. She wasn’t waking up. She wasn’t responding. She wasn’t squeezing my hand after I’d squeezed hers.
“Please wake up,” I whispered. “You can’t do this. You can’t just not wake up.” My heart was hammering in comparison to hers.
“It isn’t right. You can’t just not respond to me. Like you’re ignoring me. I’ll have you know that’s not how things work around here. I’m a Gryffindor and you can’t just ignore me because you don’t like it.” I leaned my forehead onto her head, closing my eyes so tight white dots danced before me. “You’re not allowed to leave now. Not after you’ve been there up until now.”
I felt the familiar sting behind me eyes as we sat on the bathroom floor. “The truth is,” I said. “I don’t know what I’d do.”
The door opened and James ran in with the nurse at his heels. I cleared my throat before I choked.
“What happened?” she asked, pulling a few things out of her bag I didn’t recognize.
“I bloody told you,” James hissed, clutching his chest. “I need to work out more.”
“She’s not responding,” I said. “We found her up here. On the floor.”
“What were you doing up here?” she asked, checking Ryan’s pulse and vitals. She took a vial from her bag and unstoppered it.
“Checking on her.”
“For what reason?” She forced the clear liquid down Ryan’s throat.
James and I exchanged looks, but said nothing. It was complicated.
As requested I placed Ryan back down on the pillow as the nurse worked to revive her. I sat to her left, legs under me, rocking back and forth. I was terrified. Ryan looked innocent for once. Not furious with me for whatever I was suspected to have done this time.
“Oh,” the nurse said, leaning back after a moment and letting out a sigh.
“What? What is it?”
“This young lady is pregnant,” the nurse said and considering we didn’t gasp she sighed again. “And you knew. Brilliant. Is there anything else you’d like to tell me?”
“She’s sassy,” James said. “Sometimes I don’t like her at all.” He paused. “By sometimes, I mean all the bloody time. She’s impossible.”
“Are one of you responsible for this girl?” she asked, moving some hair from her brow.
“I am,” I said. It was the first time I’d really said it out loud to someone other than James or my father. I was admitting it.
“She’s suffering from pregnancy anemia,” the nurse explained, frowning. “The hospital must not have checked her iron levels properly. It appears she’d fainted. I gave her some iron and folic acid supplements, but it’ll have to be monitored at each checkup from now on.”
“So what’s that mean?” I asked stupidly.
“When pregnant women have anemia they get weak and faint,” said the nurse. “Miss Davies did exactly that. She’ll be all right, though she should stay in the hospital wing overnight just to be sure.”
“Ryan wouldn’t like that,” I blurted.
“And tell me, what would Ryan like?” The nurse did not sound amused.
“Her own bed. And a book. And ice cream. Ice cream is her favorite.” I bit my lip. James was watching me far too intensely.
“The best I can do for you is allow you to stay overnight with her and bring the book and ice cream.” The nurse stood and conjoured a stretcher. She fixed her hair and levitated Ryan onto it. “Though it’s good you boys had the good sense to check on her. It shouldn’t go unchecked. Anemia is dangerous.”
I watched the nurse remove her from the room and I rinsed my hand under the faucet. I couldn’t go out right after. People would be suspicious. It was going to be harder and harder for people not to be suspicious.
“Fred,” James said softly. “That was crazy.”
“I know,” I said.
“You think she’s going to be okay?”
“I hope so,” I said. “I really hope so.”
“How long before people start noticing?”
“Not long enough,” I replied, standing and moving into the hallway.
Unfortunately, my sister was waiting, looking both furious and concerned. It was a trait she shared only with my mother.
“What happened?” she barked.
“Nothing,” I replied. My hand still stung.
“I just saw Ryan Davies carried out of here by the nurse,” she said. “You’re telling me what happened.”
“I can’t,” I said. “I can’t right now, okay? I just can’t.” I was drained. Exhausted and on the verge of tears, something that was not common for me.
Rox took hold of my shoulders and shoved me against the wall. My head slammed into the stone. “You’re telling me what you did in there, Fred, or I’ll owling Dad.”
“Dad knows,” I said simply. “And I’ll tell you all about what I did in there the second you start explaining why you bloody fucking replaced me with Scorpius Malfoy. Or do you not want to open that can of worms?”
“Are you daft? What’re you on about?”
“You. Scorpius Malfoy. You haven’t spoken to me on more than holidays since we started school. Don’t play dumb with me, Roxanne.”
She stared, but said nothing.
I moved out of her grip. “Until you want to talk about that, you can stay in the dark and keep pretending your brother is blond.” I moved down and couple stairs and then turned. She was standing in the same place. “Thank you for letting me up. You may have just saved a life.” I tipped my head and followed James out and down toward the hospital wing.
This time I didn’t give two shits if Gregory Zonko saw where I was or who I was seeing. The important part was Ryan was safe, the baby was healthy, and I had finally told Roxanne at least part of how I felt.
Ryan woke late into the evening. The color was back in her cheeks and she looked much better. The thin blankets were pulled around her and I’d taken a book from her collection and placed it on her bedside stand.
“We have to stop meeting like this,” she mumbled, wiping sweat from her brow.
“Better than the Prefect’s bathroom,” I said. I had been sitting in the chair beside her bed for hours scanning the newspaper. James had long ago gone back to the lock-in which had by then locked its doors.
I didn’t mind not being there, especially with the words exchanged with Ollie and the thought of seeing Annie having such a good time with Parise. And the potential for seeing Rune and Molly snogging.
“What happened?” Ryan was starting to register where she was. “I remember putting the ultrasound picture in my trunk and going into the bathroom to wash my hands because they had soot on them from the fire. Then here. And you’re here. You’re always here.” She shook her head, but stopped and closed her eyes for a minute.
So I explained what had happened. I even added in what Zonko had said, since I now assumed he somehow saw the two of us leaving the classroom. He could have been bluffing, of course, but as much as he’d seen, I doubted that. I even told her about Roxanne.
“I don’t get why your sister has such a problem with you,” she said. “She’s friendly enough in the Tower. It’s almost annoying, really. As much snark as you say she has I figured I’d get on better with her than I do. Probably because of that twit Scorpius. He is such a tool.”
Finally. That was refreshing, at any rate.
“Anemia, huh?” Ryan said after a brief pause. “Well, if it’s not one thing, it’s certainly another. I bet I gave you a good scare.”
I thought back to the parts I conveniently left out of the story. Pulling her into my arms. Being terrified. What I said to her in the bathroom.
“It wasn’t nice,” I said. “Don’t scare me like that again unless you warn me first.”
“I’ll do my best.” Ryan smiled a little and moved her eyes to the ceiling. “Thanks. For coming looking for me. I guess.”
I laughed. “You’re welcome. I guess.”
“I wish I didn’t owe you so much shit, Weasley. It’s annoying. I don’t like owing people. So stop.”
“What did you just say to me?”
“Yes, I told the bed-ridden pregnant girl to shut up,” I said with a grin. “What’re you going to do about it?”
“I have my wand.” She looked at her table. At the book. “Where’s my wand?”
I withdrew it from my pocket. “This?”
“Weasley. I will hunt you down and kick you in the mouth.”
“No, you won’t.” I grinned. “You’re fragile and I have your wand. So sit there and shut up about owing me. You don’t owe me. I owe you.”
“For bloody what?”
“I’m taking responsibility,” I replied, standing and stretching out my back. “The nurse knows you’re pregnant and that I’m the father. It’s confidential, of course, but I thought I’d tell you. You want me to take off while you sleep?”
“People are going to find out,” Ryan said. “Zonko is going to find out. Then everyone is going to find out.”
“Then we’ll meet them in battle,” I said with a smile. “So get some rest and feel better because if you faint on me again you never know what I’ll do. I might try and be a Healer and revive you.”
“If you try that true love’s kiss bullshit I will knee you,” she muttered.
“Don’t get me the opportunity.” I winked and left her to her book (after placing her wand back on the chair) and to get some rest. She needed it. Hell, so did I.
Sleep sounded amazing. That night I was actually glad to have the dormitory all to myself. No Mox playing dolls with chess pieces of Andrew making snarky girlfriend-stealing remarks. Just me and some blankets and the window cracked so it smelled like winter in the Tower.
A/N: I hope all of you enjoyed that chapter! Lots of feels, on my part at least. One of my favorites to write. Things are going to start picking up with the plot from here as a spiral begins.
Thank you again for all of the kind words and reviews! It means a lot to me.
UP NEXT: A shopping trip, a leak, and Fred confronts Zonko.
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