"I'm sorry, Ms. Rousseau, if it is an emergency, he is showing this property to a gentleman right now. If you wish to wait for him..."
I snatch the parchment from her hand, my fingers tightening and crumpling around it as I recognize the address. L'imbécile avide et gros! Furious now, I turn on my heels and walk from the office, the door slamming behind me, cutting off the woman's weak apologies. It doesn't take long to find a Portkey station. I show them my Auror identification to get priority and I Apparate to Laurence Pountney Hill. The front door is open and I enter it, uninvited and uncaring. I glance around the spacious foyer and when I hear voices coming from down the hall, I walk briskly, my anger at Pimpletom pushing me. I enter the
sitting room and come to abrupt halt as I watch Pimpletom greedily watching a man bent over one of the antique tables, his quill scribbling away. It's not that this man is quite obviously signing a contract that stuns me into silence...it's that--
"Thank you, Mr. Worthington. I think you and the Missus will enjoy the property very much!" Pimpletom lifts the parchment, the contracts to the house, and rolls them up before slipping them into his leather case. "Feel free to..." He trails off, his beady eyes widening as he spots me in the room. "Ah! M-Ms. Rousseau...."
I want to hit him, to kick him in his petites boules saggy and then I want to pull out my wand and curse him right through the tall windows. Instead I cross the room, noting the surprise on Whizzy's face as he places the quill on the table. I ignore him and focus on my former realtor. "Is this how you conduct your business, Pimpletom? Making promises to a client while you search for a larger commission behind their back?"
"My darling, until the final contracts are signed, all offers are subject to change," he tries to explain and I see the sweat beading on his forehead as he clutches his briefcase that probably holds a sizable commission. Furious, I round on Whizzy.
"This is low, Randall, even for you. Are you truly that spiteful?"
"Regardless of what you may think, Aveline, I was unaware of your interest in this property. Myron did inform me of a former offer, but he did not mention who the buyer was."
"You expect me to believe you?" I ask angrily, pausing when I turn to see Pimpletom moving cautiously to the door.
"It seems you two need to speak in private, so I'll ah, just let myself out." He scurries from view like the plump little rat that he is and I grit my teeth and focus once more on Whizzy. Whizzy sighs and slips his hands into his trouser pockets.
"If you had been a bit more tactful I am sure Myron could have found you an equitable property."
"Je pourrais m'inquiéter moins d'une propriété équitable! Comment commode qui la maison que je veux acheter est outre des mercis du marché à vous ! Vous loathesome, gardon égoïste et rancunier!"
(I could care less about an equitable property! How convenient that the house I want to purchase is off the market thanks to you! You loathesome, selfish, spiteful roach!)
Whizzy lifts an eyebrow, his lips pursed thoughtfully. "I'm a bit rusty on my French...did you say something about a roach?"
I want to scream in frustration, but instead I whirl on my heel and start to storm toward the door. Whizzy's hand on my shoulder stops me and his touch on my shoulder throws me off before I push his hand away. Though his eyes seem sincere, my defenses stay up as he steps back from me. "I promise you, Aveline, that I did not know you were interested in purchasing this home. But in our divorce you acquired nine of my properties across the country. Are you looking to own half of the United Kingdom?"
"I don't want your properties," I spit. "I want a home of my own, not one that every time I walk into it it would...." Remind me of you. Changing tactics immediately, I sigh and rub my temple. "It just seems too coincidental that you happen to be the wizard buying the home I wanted."
"How convenient for you. A perfect way to see me again, right Avie?"
Looking up, I feel my brows furrow in confusion. "Excuse me?"
His smirk resurfaces, deepening the dimple in his left cheek. "You love me still, and you cannot seem to stay away from me. You seek me out constantly. Is Charlie aware of your lingering infatuation?"
Surprised, I stare at him for a moment, my arms falling to my sides. "You honestly believe I'm going out of my way to run into you? To see you?"
"The grotto, hurting my mother, this house..." He ticks off a few small, irrelevant things from his memory and I'm almost appalled by his smug nature.
"I would never intentionally hurt Olive just to see you, you pompous, self absorbed--"
"Bastard," I hiss. "Take the house, I don't care. You've already tainted it for me simply by being here." When I turn to leave again, I hear Whizzy's voice call after me.
"Your generosity is appreciated, Ms. Rousseau. Dorrie and I will enjoying raising our child here when he is born."
A Bludger suddenly slammed into my stomach, stealing my breath. Or perhaps two Bludgers...or a dozen. I want to keep walking, to pretend I didn't hear those words, but I did. Against my better judgement, I turn toward him and see him standing in front of the tall window, hands casually tucked in his pockets. "Tonks is pregnant?"
"About a month along," he replies, his back still facing me. "I believe our child was conceived on Valentine's Day. The most romantic day of the year."
You've got to be kidding me. The absurdity of it nearly brings laughter to my lips and tears to my eyes. This was no coincidence...it couldn't be. The Goddesses knew this would be the perfect punishment for my misdeeds, the perfect twist of a knife still embedded deep inside of me.
"Congratulations," I tell him. I didn't know what else to say. I never truly believed that Whizzy would ever forgive me. The Grotto proved as much and I was happy moving on with my life with Charlie, but yet...knowing he and Tonks were going to have a family simply slammed that final nail home. Dizzy, I turn toward a chair and slip into it while my vision cleared.
"Is it truly that shocking that I would have a child with the woman I love, Aveline?"
"No, I'm not shocked."
"You are pale."
"Yes." I chuckle softly and shake my head as I inhale to calm myself. "It seems I am afflicted with the same illness as your precious Dorrie." My statement hangs in the air between us and while Whizzy absorbs it, I take that moment to breathe in again and relax.