She had been pacing in her room for about an hour now. She couldn’t stop, her feet needed to move as her anxiety rose in her chest, and she felt fear rushing through her mind as she let every scenario play through her mind. Every possible scenario for the “crime” she’d committed, and none of the scenarios ended well.
She wasn’t sure what she was going to do and where she was going to turn. She knew she really only had one option, and that was to go and visit her brother, but just disappearing from her house in the middle of the night would surely cause suspicions to rise. Her mother was extremely protective and watched her like a hawk, but that’s why she had to leave.
She grabbed her purse, attempting to wipe her eye makeup streaks off of her cheeks and then she quietly slipped down the stairs and towards the door. If she was quiet enough maybe her mother wouldn’t notice she was gone, and she could surely be back by morning. Well, unless what she thought was true - then she’d have to change her name and leave the country.
She took a step outside and then called her broom to her, which was normally resting in the garden shed. It flew out and she caught it in her hand and then took off into the night as she headed towards London and to her older brother’s flat. She wished her eyes would stop tearing up, though. It was making flying difficult, to say the least. What a bother.
She landed safely in a darkened area of the street, glancing around as she hid her broom and then she hurried across the street and pounded on flat #12, trying desperately to wipe any more remnants of her eyeliner and mascara off of her cheeks.
The door opened and her brother was standing there in his boxers and a t-shirt, but he looked wide awake. His hair was tousled and he definitely had a bright red hickey on his neck. She couldn’t help but roll her eyes, despite the fact that she was very happy for him and the happiness he had found in his life.
“Ceres?” he said in surprise. She knew he’d be surprised, because technically fifteen year olds shouldn’t be walking around London streets alone at night, and on top of that she could rarely escape the locked tower that she lived in while her mother held the keys.
She sniffled. “Are you going to invite me in?” she asked, her voice smaller than usual, which would surely arise concern. Ceres honestly hated that she sounded so sad and choked up because she didn’t like to be a bother and she didn’t like people to be concerned about her.
“What? Oh! Yes, of course. Come in,” Curtis said as he put his hand on her shoulder and guided her in, closing the door behind them. She looked up and saw Wesley leaning out of the door to their room, his hair was tousled as well and he looked all bright eyed and lovey dovey, at least until he realized who their visitor was. That seemed to sober up the two love drunk fools pretty quickly.
“Cece?” Wesley said as he walked over, glancing at Curtis in his confusion. “Are you quite all right?”
“No,” she said honestly as she brushed some of her hair behind her ear. “Curtis, I’m really scared. I had no one else to turn to.”
Curtis’ brow furrowed and he walked her over to the dining room set and offered for her to take a seat, and then he promptly sat down as well. Wesley walked into the kitchen, seeming to recognize that it was his duty to prepare tea for them. “What are you scared of?” Curtis asked, genuine concern written all over his face. It made Ceres want to cry even more.
She chewed her lower lip, staring down at the table. “I’m...I’m late,” she said, nearly losing her voice in the process. She didn’t want Curtis to be ashamed of her. If Curtis was ashamed of her, who would she have left?
“Late?” Curtis said, and then his eyes widened. “Oh my god, Cece, you mean-”
“Yeah,” she spoke up quickly and then she looked down again. “It’s been a few days and I’m usually...like...I don’t know, I’m never late.”
Wesley walked over with two cups of tea and set them down and then he sat down on the other side of her. “Did you take a pregnancy test?” he asked gently.
“No. No, I’m too scared and I couldn’t do it at home, you know? Mum would find it,” Ceres sighed heavily and covered her face with her hands. “And her fifteen year old daughter isn’t supposed to be having sex.”
She felt Curtis’ hand on her back, rubbing it gently and trying to comfort her. It was comforting, but it wasn’t going to erase the problem. “Ceres, it’s okay. You’re a teenager now, it’s only natural that you’re curious and you’re going to….I mean, I wish I didn’t have to know, to be honest, but I’m here for you. I’m always here for you.” then he got up and he walked towards the bedroom. “Wesley, will you stay with her? I’m going down to the corner shop to pick up a test for her.”
“I could do it, if you like,” Wesley said as he got up, too. “You stay here with your sister. She needs you.” then he walked into the bedroom, disappearing within, and Curtis nodded and walked back over and sat down next to her again.
“So. Who is this boy that has caught your interest?” he asked gently as he watched her.
Ceres glanced up at him, grateful to see there was no judgment in his eyes. She leaned back a bit and shrugged. “He goes to Hogwarts,” she said softly. “He was cute and he liked me, so I just kinda thought...well, I wanted to.”
“You did, huh?” Curtis smiled and stroked her hair gently and then hugged her. “I’m happy for you, Cece, but did you use all possible methods of protection?”
She hugged him back. “I mean, yeah. I thought we did,” she sighed, closing her eyes. “Mum is going to murder me, Curt. She’s just going to murder me and bury me in the backyard.”
Curtis chuckled lightly and then he leaned back and got up quickly to grab a couple tissues and he handed them to her. He waved to Wesley as he left the flat to go to the corner shop, but then he turned his attention back to her. “She doesn’t have to know about this,” he said gently. “She doesn’t speak with me anymore, so obviously she’s not going to find out from me.”
“But what if I am pregnant?” Ceres asked, her voice barely audible. She didn’t want to be. She was too young. She wanted to be a mum someday, but not for like...years. Not until she was Curtis’ age, or at least until she was married.
Curtis rubbed the back of his neck. “I don’t know. How about we just wait until we find out? We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” he assured her.
She sighed and leaned against him. “I wish dad was here, you know,” she muttered. “I wish I had someone at home I could confide in.”
Curtis nodded and then wrapped his arm around her shoulders. “I know,” he said softly. “I wish he was here, too. And I’m sorry you’re stuck at home with someone who doesn’t understand you, but I’m here. I’m always here. I’ll even pick you up if you ever need to escape the house, you know?”
Ceres felt her face begin to scrunch again, tears welling up and forcing their way out of her eyes. She tried hard to keep a straight face, to not go into hysterics about all of this, but she was honestly so scared. She knew what her mother was capable of, she knew her mother would just as easily disown her or ship her off to some finishing school a million miles away. And she didn’t want her mother to hate her, no matter how obnoxious her mother was. Her mother was the only parent she had and the only one she really remembered. She couldn’t lose her, too.
“Thanks,” she said as she tried to swallow her tears and then she just closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths. She had to calm down, this might all be nothing. “I’m really sorry for interrupting you and Wesley.”
Curtis waved his hand. “We spend all our evenings like this. You’re hardly an interruption. I’m glad you came to me,” he said as he smiled a bit. “Don’t feel bad, okay? Wesley doesn’t mind, either.”
“Okay,” she said with a small smile, and then a moment later Wesley walked through the door with the pregnancy test in a small bag.
“Here we are,” he said as he walked over and then handed it to her. “You’ll be all right, Ceres. We’re going to be here for you.”
Ceres smiled a bit, taking the bag and then rising to her feet and heading towards the bathroom. She glanced back once more at Curtis and Wesley and she saw them talking quietly, and she saw the concern on Curtis’ face. Then Wesley wrapped his arms around him and brought him in for a hug, and she hated herself for upsetting Curtis like this. She sighed and then slipped into the bathroom and she spent a good five minutes just staring at the bag and being unable to move.
“Please don’t be positive,” she whispered.
She heard a knock on the bathroom door after probably twenty minutes. She was finished, she’d taken the test, but she refused to look at it and she was just sitting there with her terrible thoughts. What kind of mother would she be? Would she even get the chance to be one? Would she put the baby up for adoption? How could she hide her pregnancy from her mother? What the hell was she going to do? She didn’t want to be one. She didn’t know what to do.
“Cece? Are you all right?” Curtis’ voice filtered through the door.
“I’m fine,” she said. “I just can’t look.”
“Open the door, Ceres. We’ll help you,” Wesley added.
She sighed heavily and then reached over and unlocked the door and picked up the pregnancy test. She walked out of the bathroom and then she looked at the two of them. “I’m scared,” she said. She felt like she was a broken record, but those words were the truest to her feelings.
“I know,” Curtis said with a small nod as he put his hand on her shoulder. “Would you like me to look at it? I can tell you.”
Ceres felt like her stomach was starting to churn violently and then she nodded and looked down, holding the test out to him. She was starting to feel like she couldn’t breathe and my god, why was it taking a decade for Curtis to read the damn thing? Maybe he was trying to protect her from the inevitable, maybe he didn’t want to say, ‘guess what, you’re pregnant’. Oh my god, she was going to die, because she literally felt like her lungs had just collapsed on her.
“It’s negative,” Wesley spoke up.
She looked up quickly, and she saw Curtis looking rather sheepish. “I’ve never had to read one before, sorry. I couldn’t figure out what it meant,” he said.
“I have seven other sisters, I’ve seen these before,” Wesley smiled and then he hugged Ceres and she hugged him back, relief washing over her entire body and her lungs expanded again. She could breathe. “Everything’s okay. You’re not going to be a mum. Not today, anyway.”
Ceres felt like she might cry again, but this was so embarrassing. Surely Wesley was going to think she was some kind of basket case at this point. Then she pulled back from the hug and she saw Curtis smiling at her. “I’m so sorry,” she said softly. “I’ve really been a bother tonight, haven’t I?”
Curtis frowned and then shook his head and leaned over to give her head a kiss. “I’m very glad you came to me. You’re never a bother. I want you to come over whenever you feel scared, Ceres. This is a safe place,” he said. “Isn’t that right, Wesley?”
“Quite right,” Wesley said with a smile. “But now you can sleep easier, hm?”
“Much easier,” Ceres said with a smile as she wiped a stray tear from the corner of her eye. “Thank you.”
Curtis chuckled a bit and then he glanced around. “Well, it’s still quite late. I think you should stay over here, if you have no objections. We have a nice guest room and we promise not to make any noise.” he eyed Wesley, and Wesley gave him a sad puppy look, but then chuckled. They had their own language, it was amusing. What a disgusting couple. (in the nicest possible way, of course.)
“No, I better not,” Ceres said as she shook her head a bit. “Mum will send out a search party if I’m not in my bed before she wakes.”
“Well, at the very least I am going to apparate you home,” Curtis insisted and then he hurried into his room to change into some jeans and a jumper.
“You better tell your boyfriend to be more careful,” Wesley said with a wink. “Can’t have you all frightened like this anymore, can we?”
“You’re right,” Ceres agreed with a firm nod. “But he’s not really my boyfriend, you know? It’s not like I’m going to keep him. I just thought he was cute.”
Wesley chuckled and nodded. “Well, good for you, but make sure all of your boys behave for you. That’s all. You don’t need this kind of stress every time,” he said. He was really gentle and kind and Ceres appreciated it. It was like having another good big brother to look up to, except he was all pretty to look at as well. Not that her real brother wasn’t pretty, but I mean. Come on. Wesley was /pretty/.
“You bet,” Ceres said with a nod. “They’re going to do exactly what I say.”
“That’s my sister,” Curtis said as he walked out of the room, adjusting the neckline of his jumper as he walked. “She knows what’s best for her.”
Ceres smiled and then took Curtis’ hand so that they could apparate. “Yeah, I do. Thank you very much,” she said with a nod. She felt ten million times better now that she knew, but she’d certainly learned her lesson. She was not going to leave anything to chance now. She was going to make sure she was thoroughly protected from pregnancy, until she wanted to get pregnant. Which wouldn’t be for a good long time.
Wesley smiled and waved. “Say hi to your mum for me,” he said with his cheeky, dimpled smile.
Ceres rolled her eyes and then chuckled a bit and waved back to him, and then they were whizzing out of the flat and towards the manor that was quite a ways into the countryside of Midlands, England. They landed promptly outside of the driveway to the house and then Curtis let go of her hand and smiled a bit.
“This is where we part ways,” he said as he stuck his hands into his jean pockets. “Sleep well, little sis.”
“I will now,” Ceres said with a small nod. “I can’t thank you enough-”
“Ceres, you don’t have to thank me at all,” Curtis said with a small smile. “I’m just doing exactly what I want to do. Help you out and be there for you when you need me. I might not live at home anymore, but I’ll always be within your reach. Okay?”
Ceres smiled, feeling her eyes well up again. God, would these tears never stop? Today had been an overwhelming and emotional day, yes, but all of this nonsense needed to stop. “Thank you,” she said, trying not to sound tearful. “I better head in.”
“Yes, I suppose you must,” he said. “Good night. Visit again some time.” then he smiled and he disappeared a moment later, heading back to his flat and the warm embrace of the love of his life. Ah, she envied him sometimes.
She turned and hurried up the driveway and quietly opened the door, sneaking into the house as she was often accustomed to. No matter how much her mother kept the tower locked, Ceres had her ways of escaping. I mean, how else would she have a pregnancy scare during the Summer when school was out? Because she knew how to find her boy, that’s how. He wasn’t far from here, actually.
She headed up to her room, using a spell to silence her footsteps, and then she was in the safety of her room and she flopped down on her bed. She sighed with relief and then she rolled over and grabbed her magical journal, which she used specifically to contact her beaus during the Summer and all that, and she quickly sent him a message that she was okay but she had some serious talking to do with him about them being safer and all that. She knew he’d listen to her, because all her beaus listened, or else they weren’t worth her time. That was her basic rule.
Then she got up and quickly changed into her nightgown, letting her hair down, and then she laid down on her bed. Relaxation and relief washed over her again as she realized she was really going to be okay and she wasn’t going to be abandoned or thrown out of the house or sent anywhere, but this was the wake up call that she needed. She was glad that Curtis and Wesley had been there for her, too, because she might have had a breakdown without them, to be honest. And if her mother had caught any whiff of this, well it would have all been over.
She smiled as she rolled over, pulling her warm comforter over her shoulder and closing her eyes. She was so thankful that she was still a regular fifteen year old, and nothing had changed.
She’d make sure it stayed that way, too.