I took a swig of my firewhiskey as my eyes distractedly roved the shabby interior of The Leaky Cauldron. I'd been here for at least a few hours, and judging by the darkness outside the windows it was nearing midnight. I'd been here since the huge fight I'd gotten into with my wife, Zoë.
I was sitting at the kitchen table going over the books for the shop, the dishes from dinner washing themselves in the sink nearby.
"Seriously, George?!" Zoë's voice erupted from the bathroom down the hall.
I looked up, my eyes wide as she came storming from the room. "Uh oh." I muttered under my breath.
"Just once, do you think you could maybe get your bloody shirts into the hamper?!" she snapped, holding up one of my button-downs before tossing it onto the table in front of me.
"Huh?" I asked, completely bewildered about where this conversation came from.
"Every. Bloody. Day I walk into that bathroom and your clothes are all over the floor. Do you even try to get them in the hamper or do you just toss them wherever you fancy?" she demanded angrily, a strand of her long, caramel hair falling over her shoulder and trailing down to just past her breasts.
"Wait, what? Are you seriously yelling at me over clothes?" I asked in confusion. Zoë hardly ever got angry about trivial things like laundry. If something I did frustrated her she'd usually mention it to me in a more civilized way, not just straight up yelling.
"Oh, you want me to yell at you for something else?" she ranted, her turquoise eyes flashing. "Alright, how about the fact that you left the toilet seat up last night? When I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night last night, I left the light off so I wouldn't wake you, and I ended up falling into the toilet! So my ass was cold and wet and I bruised my back on the back of the toilet!"
I rubbed my fingers over my forehead, trying to remain calm. I knew she'd had a rough day at work with some of her coworkers, and everything was probably just boiling over. "Look, Zo, I'm sorry for all that, but to be fair I've already apologized profusely for the toilet incident. You can't hold that over my head forever."
"You wanna bet?" she scoffed quietly.
My eyes narrowed up at her and suddenly I couldn't take being her verbal punching bag. Standing to my feet, I looked down at her. "Alright, since you seem so keen on finding things to be mad at me for, how about I put in my own 2 cents? Like the fact that you ate my Mum's leftover chicken I was saving in the fridge for my lunch break yesterday."
"I didn't know you were saving it for that." Zoë argued, "And I made lunch for you and brought it down to the shop."
"Oh, that's right. Because peanut butter sandwiches always trump Mum's roast chicken." I agreed sarcastically.
"Shut up! I already said sorry for that." she snapped.
"And I already said sorry for leaving the toilet seat up." I snapped back before deciding I should leave before I say something I won't be able to take back. Storming out of the kitchen, I passed through the living room and started putting my shoes on.
"Where are you going?" Zoë asked, her voice no longer angry. She sounded worried.
I didn't even spare her a glance. "Out." I answered before stepping out, slamming the door shut, and Apparating away.
I sighed before taking another swig of my firewhiskey. It'd certainly been a long night, that's for sure. Both at the shop, and then whatever that was back at our flat.
As my eyes swept the room again they met another set of eyes from across the room. There was a table of lovely-looking young witches all dressed in rather skimpy clothing. The blonde who I'd made eye contact with batted her eyes and gave a flirty wave. I casually turned my eyes away.
I'm not gonna lie, she looked good. But there was no way I was going there. Zo and I may have had a fight, but I would never cheat on her. I was already tipsy and I wouldn't send the wrong signal to another girl and risk putting myself in a bad situation. Zoë already had all of my love.
I took another big gulp from my nearly empty bottle when I felt someone take the seat next to me. When I put my bottle down and looked, it was the pretty, young witch who was batting her eyes at me earlier.
"Hello, there. My name's Tiffany. What's yours?" she asked sweetly, leaning her elbows on the tabletop with her chin rested in one hand. I felt something bump my knee and glanced down to see that her legs were crossed and her one leg was touching mine. She was in a very short, tight, red dress that left very little to the imagination.
"Sorry, I'm not interested. I've already got a girl at home waiting for me." I answered firmly, drinking the last swig of my firewhiskey.
"Oh, come on. How about you stay for one more drink? We could just talk." she suggested coyly, laying one hand on my arm.
I raised an eyebrow at her. "Nah, I'm good. And I'm sure you'll make some gentleman's night, but I can assure you it's not gonna be mine. I've got somebody at home that I need to get back to." I announced before standing and leaving the pub.
The crisp night air cleared my head and I breathed a sigh of relief. Looking around, I debated what to do next. I wanted to go home, but I didn't know if Zoë was still awake and mad at me. Then again, remembering her voice when I'd left, sounding drained and worried, I felt guilty for just storming off like that. Even though she'd started the fight, I could've handled it better.
An idea popped into my head and I grinned, instantly apparating to a distant park, the same one Zoë had introduced me to about 6 years back when we were still getting to know each other, about a year after the Battle of Hogwarts. I approached the small patch of colorful wildflowers several feet from the path and picked some, making a nice bouquet in my hand. After a brief once-over to determine they looked nice, I nodded and once again apparated, this time just outside the front door of the flat.
I very carefully opened the door and peaked around. It was dark inside, meaning Zoë was probably asleep. A brief glance in the kitchen told me it was going on 1 in the morning, so it made sense she'd be asleep.
I quickly and quietly got a piece of paper and a quill to write down a list I'd been contemplating.
Things I love about you:
When you're thinking hard about something and start playing with a piece of your hair
When I'm sitting on the couch and you walk past and kiss the top of my head
When you dance around the kitchen to the wireless while making dinner (especially if you're in my shirt)
When you surprise me at work
When you make me tea on the mornings you're up before me
When you ask me to tell you stories about Fred because you know it makes me feel better
I could go on, but you get the point and I'm running out of paper. I love you and I love everything about you.
I signed my name at the bottom and read it over one more time before deciding it was good. I placed the wildflowers in a vase with water. They were her favorite kind of flower because they were colorful and wild and didn't 'conform to society's expectations', whatever she meant by that.
I carried both the flowers and the note down the hall and silently cracked our bedroom door open.
Zoë was asleep in the middle of our bed, the moonlight from the window illuminating her hair and face and making her look like an angel. Unfortunately, it also lit up the tearstains trailing down her cheeks.
My chest tightened as I slowly entered the room and approached the bed. I carefully placed the vase on the bedside table, so it'd be the first thing she saw when she woke up. Then, I carefully put the list in the flowers in plain view so she could see it.
When that was all set, I looked down at my wife's sleeping face. She looked mostly peaceful, apart from the small frown pulling her lips down. Usually when she slept, her lips were tilted up in a very small smile.
Kneeling down beside the bed, I stared at her face for a moment before placing a gentle kiss to her forehead. After a few moments, I pulled back and left the room, falling into an uncomfortable sleep on the living room couch.
I was woken up by my nose twitching at the mouthwatering smell of food. It seemed to get closer and closer until I felt something touch my side. Whatever I was sleeping on dipped near my waist.
Blinking my eyes open, I looked up at see my favorite sight in the world. My beautiful wife wearing one of my T-shirts and holding a plate of food. A slow smile spread over my face as I met her eyes.
"Morning." she whispered, releasing the plate with one hand to reach forward and brush my ginger hair from my forehead.
"Morning." I mumbled back, taking her hand from my hair and kissing her knuckles. I blinked and remembered the last conversation we'd had. "How'd you sleep?" I asked carefully, moving her hand to hold it on my chest.
She looked down sheepishly. "Not the best, but that's my own fault, I suppose." she answered with a shrug. She tilted her head and smiled at me. "Thank you for the flowers, by the way. They're beautiful."
I grinned. "You're welcome."
"I made you breakfast." she continued, lifting the plate she'd been holding. It had two sausages, toast, and an omelet with what looked like bacon, cheese, tomatoes, and mushrooms. My favorite breakfast.
I pushed myself up with my elbows and sat back against the arm of the couch before taking the plate from her. "Thank you. It looks delicious."
She smiled, still looking sheepish. That didn't seem like her, but I suppose we were still a bit awkward.
I noticed there was a napkin sitting on the side of the plate and grabbed it so I could put it on my lap. However, when I started unfolding it I saw writing. Turning the napkin, a smile spread over my lips as I read my lovely wife's handwriting.
Things I love about you:
The twinkle in your eyes when you're planning some new prank or joke
You know just how to make me smile when I'm sad
You're passionate about things you care about
You love your family
When you play with my hair
Your clothes are comfy and you don't mind when I borrow them
Your ginger hair
Hearing stories about you and Fred when you were little
I could go on, but I just want to say I'm sorry for going off on you last night. You didn't deserve it and I really do love you, even if it didn't sound like it last night.
My smile softened when I read the last line. I lifted my eyes and met Zoe's. She gave a relieved smile in return.
"I really am sorry, George." she whispered, her eyes starting to glisten.
My brow furrowed in concern. Setting the plate and napkin on the coffee table before pulling her into my side, my arm around her shoulders and back. "Love, what's wrong? I've never seen you this emotional before."
She chuckled, reaching up to swipe the tears from her cheeks. "Sorry." She turned and rested her head on my shoulder, scooting closer to my side. She peaked her eyes up at me and bit her lip for a moment before continuing on a sort of tangent. "I went to visit Ginny and Harry after you left."
I tilted my head in confusion. "Um,…okaaaay?"
That was somewhat concerning. Zoë and my sister had become very close friends when we started dating, and it was slightly scary. Ginny had been rubbing off on Zoë right from the start, and I was sometimes scared for my wellbeing. Who knows what my crazy sister was teaching my girlfriend/wife?! Ginny had also been made Zoe's maid of honor at our wedding a few years ago, and from the sound of it Ginny was planning on asking Zoe to be the Godmother of her and Harry's second child, due in about four months, in 2006. Hermione was the Godmother of James, their firstborn.
Zoë nodded, looking down at her hands in her lap. "And, um,…when I told her what happened she suggested something…and, uh…" she trailed off and sighed.
"Zo, what is going on?" I asked patiently, using my free hand to take hers.
She looked up at me. "I'm…pregnant." she admitted quietly.
I stared down at her, my eyes searching her turquoise ones for any signs of this being a sick joke to get revenge on me. "Really?" I asked quietly.
She smiled shakily at me and nodded her head. "Yeah. Ginny knows the spell to check and she suspected I was so…yeah. I'm pregnant. Her and Harry are the only ones who know and they won't tell until we're ready, but…yep. I'm pregnant." she admitted awkwardly, resting her hand subconsciously on her still-flat stomach.
My eyes flicked down to stare at her small hand resting on her tummy. Without thinking, I lifted my hand and gently rested it over hers. My brain couldn't wrap around the fact that there was a little person growing inside there, half me and half Zoë.
"Wow." I breathed in amazement, leaning my head against Zoë's as we both stared down at her tummy.
"So, I guess this explains why I've been so irritable lately, but I'm still very sorry." Zoë announced randomly.
I chuckled, turning my head so I could kiss the top of her head. "You're more than forgiven, Love. Bloody hell, we're going to be parents." I murmured, still in shock.
"If he or she is anything like you, we're screwed." she murmured thoughtfully. I grinned.
Just a random idea that popped into my head when I was driving home from school and the song 'Honey, I'm Good' by Andy Grammer came on the radio.