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Chapter 18: A Long Night
Chapter 18 - A Long Night
Sometimes it’s better not to throw up on someone after they tell you they want you to keep your baby – especially if you’re on your way home from a funeral. But since when do I do what’s better?
At least it distracted him, I suppose. I didn’t have to give him a straight answer. I could tell he was trying really hard not to be too repulsed by my sudden vomiting, but his disgust appeared on his face. After all, I did throw up on his fancy leather shoes. It could have been worse. At least it wasn’t projectile vomit that went all over his face. That could have been seriously awkward.
Scorpius cleaned up my mess with his wand, but I felt terrible the entire way home so stayed quiet. He didn’t say anything because he thought I’d just vomit on him again. When we got back to the school, I went straight to my dormitory to have a lie down. That’s where I am now. It’s past dinner time, but luckily the dorm is completely empty. Because I really need time to think about what Scorpius said to me before the whole vomiting fiasco.
He wants to keep the baby. He wants us to be parents. He wants us to do the whole nappy-changing, feeding, bathing, raising thing while we’re still at school? I mean, does he realise what he’s committing himself to? Kids are nice to talk to from a distance of ten metres, but when you have them up close and have to look after them every minute of every day, they’re not so fun. What if he or she got sick? I panic in situations like that. When Hugo got the chicken pox, I rang Mum and told her that Hugo was dead just so she’d hurry up and come home so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. I got a fair bollocking for that one. What if I don’t bond with him or her? What if I end up with a severe case of post-partum depression and end up never wanting him or her?
What if I fail as a mother?
I’m only sixteen. Well, I’m nearly seventeen, but that’s not really the point. My point is that I’m too young for this. I’m not saying that sixteen year olds can’t be good Mum’s – I know they can. What I’m saying is I’m too young for this. My mental age is about seven years old, which granted is much older than James’s or Fred’s, but it’s still pretty young. So when my child actually is seven, my mental age will be fourteen – what fourteen year old has a seven year old kid?!
See, this is just further proof of how not ready I am for this. I can’t even make a valid point without going off on some ridiculous, nonsensical tangent. I miss the old days, the days when I was normal. Okay, so I was never really normal. I mean, apart from the fact that I’ve had a crush on Teddy Lupin since I knew he wasn’t related to me, I used to eat books (like actually tear out the pages and eat them – Mum wasn’t happy. In fairness I was only three or four. Oh lord, what if my kid is a book-eater too?) and I chained myself to the Herbology greenhouses on several occasions, I was still pretty normal. Well, more normal than I am now. Now I’m just an ex-book-eater, I still have a tiny crush on Teddy, I’m pregnant, my parents are breaking/broken up, my brother wears more make-up than I do, my cousins are slowly becoming just as messed up as me and I apparently go around vomiting on my friends. What is wrong with me?
“Where were you all day?”
I didn’t even notice Laura Phelps coming into the dormitory, but she’s throwing her schoolbag down onto the floor beside her bed and brushing her hair. She’s in her usual stuck-up mood, but it seems a bit odd that she actually cares where I was all day.
“Funeral,” I say.
“Oh,” she says, “Sorry.” She doesn’t really sound sorry at all, but I suppose it’s nice of her to say it. It’s not nice for a normal person, but it’s nice of her.
“It’s okay,” I say, “I didn’t know the woman.”
“Then why were you at her funeral?” Laura asked, furrowing her perfectly plucked eyebrows. Why can’t my eyebrows be that perfectly shaped? And my lips that plump? And my cheekbones that sharp? And my hair that straight and dark?
“Friend of a friend,” I say.
“Oh,” she mutters again.
It’s very awkward in here. We’re being civil to one another and it’s just strange – it’s wrong almost. I suppose we’re just feeling sorry for one another. We were both humiliated in front of the entire student population of Hogwarts and although she was the reason I was humiliated in the first place, I guess we have something in common after all.
“Malfoy was looking for you,” she says casually, now applying lip-gloss.
“Mmm,” I mumble. I really don’t want to talk to him – well, I want to talk to him, but not about babies.
“I gave him the password,” she adds.
“You what?” I exclaim, “You gave him the Gryffindor password?”
“Well yeah,” she shrugs, rolling her heavily lined eyes, “I figured it’d be okay considering he’s in our Common Room practically every second of the day.”
This is of course true, but I thought I’d be able to hide from him now that the password’s been changed. Laura gets up from the dressing table and starts rooting in her wardrobe while I’m having a small panic attack. It’ll be okay if I just stay here in the dorm – boys can’t come up to the girls’ dorms.
How the hell did Scorpius get up to my dorm back in October? I was much too inebriated that night to even think about it. Laura changes into a black skirt and red top and puts on her very expensive pair of leather boots – it’s her date outfit. I wonder which poor soul it is with this time. As long as it’s none of my relatives, I don’t care.
Laura sweeps out of the dorm, leaving a very sickening sweet smell after her. I pull the curtains around my four poster closed and stretch out across my bed and start rubbing the bump.
“You’re so lucky,” I sigh, “You’re in there, safe and warm and surrounded by gooey crap – you don’t have to worry about anything, do you? Well except for kicking the bejesus out of my insides and, I don’t know, keeping the old womb clean.” I feel a small kick – maybe it can hear me. “Do you want me to be your Mum?” I ask it, “Do you really want to be born into the Weasley family, possibly the strangest one around? I mean, Nana Molly – well, I suppose she’s your Great Nana – has this stupid obsession with feeding people until they are on the brink of explosion. Great Grandad Arthur and Al Potter are completely obsessed with Muggles. Grandad's already left all of his plug collection to Al in his will. And James has the brain of a five year old. Your grandparents are split up over some ridiculous little kiss. And don’t even get me started on Great Uncle Percy.
“And you’re a Malfoy too, can’t forget that. Your grandfather doesn’t want me to have you, but I don’t think I should listen to him.” I’m crying now and I hardly take any notice. “But your dad wants you. And part of me wants you too. I know you’ve only been in there a few months, but I’ve gotten used to you. I don’t even know what gender you are and already I feel as if we’ve bonded.” I pause and feel another small kick. “I mean, I know what foods you like – you seem to be craving leeks this week. You’re a strange kid. Why can’t you just like curry? I’d kill for a curry, but every time I get a whiff of it, I practically throw up – actually, sometimes I do throw up.”
I wipe the tears away impatiently. “How can I do this? How can I bring you into where Mummies and Daddies are just ‘friends’? It’s not fair. It’s not fair on any of us.”
I wake up at 2am, having fallen asleep at around five o’clock. I’m still in my clothes, so I get up and change into my Chudley Cannons pyjamas. Dom, Chas and Laura are all fast asleep, but now that I’m awake, I don’t feel tired at all. As I toss and turn in my bed, I decide that I’m really just wasting time lying here, so I get up and throw on a pair of thick socks and a jumper – I’m going for a walk. James’s invisibility cloak would come in very handy right now.
I creep up to the seventh year boys’ dormitory, making a mental note in my head to ask Malfoy how on earth he managed to get up to my dorm the night of James’s birthday without being hurled backwards by that old spell that’s been there since before Nana Molly was at Hogwarts. The six seventh years are snoring to the high heavens. Harry Latimer’s face is down on his pillow, and I don’t exactly know how he’s managing to breathe. Fred’s tongue is hanging out like a dog’s, leaving a large wet patch on his pillow. Mark’s curtains are pulled around his four poster and Harry Jacobs is making odd grunting noises while punching the air around him. Yes, there are two Harry’s in seventh year. Actually, there are fifteen Harry’s altogether in Hogwarts, five Ron’s and three Hermione’s. Their names became very popular after WW2. (As in Wizarding War 2, not World War 2). Seán Finnegan is grinning stupidly – and he’s wearing spotty pyjamas. How cute.
James’s foot is out from underneath his covers and he’s displaying his yellow boxers to the entire dorm – not a pretty sight, though I can imagine the amount of girls who’d want to see it. I just feel repulsed. They all seem pretty dead to the world, so I creep over to James’s trunk at the end of his bed. I know I’m taking my life into my own hands looking through this thing. It’s very dark, so I can’t really see what I’m doing, and I’ve left my wand back in my dormitory. There’s some wet stuff, some pointy stuff, some powdery stuff, but I question nothing – it could be anything, knowing James. I finally pull the invisibility cloak out of the trunk and throw it over myself. With one last look at Seán’s purple spotty pyjamas, I leave the dorm.
Hogwarts is very peaceful at night, as long as you’re not caught out of your dorm. There are sleeping ghosts just hovering in the strangest of places, random snores coming from portraits, and even the staircases don’t change as often – they’re tired too. I kind of wish I’d put on shoes though – the concrete floors are pretty cold. I walk around until three o’clock, thinking. I’m not even thinking about important things like the baby or Scorpius or my parents. I’m thinking of Chudley Cannons and how they’ll have a better team next year when Johansson joins. I’m remembering that time Dad took me and Hugo to see Chudley Cannons play the Tornados and we won by seventy points. I was about nine at the time. Mum didn’t come. She never really liked Quidditch. Hugo doesn’t like Quidditch either, but I suppose he didn’t want to miss out. Then we came home and Dad was tucking Hugo in, and Mum was reading me a story (although I was perfectly capable of doing so myself), and there came an enormous yelp from Hugo’s bedroom and he and Dad raced out into the hallway.
Mum and I went to see what all the commotion was about – I’ve never seen Dad and Hugo look so pale. Mum started to panic, she thought there was something seriously wrong. Hugo started to cry, and Dad was on the verge of tears.
“S-s-s…” Dad stuttered and gulped.
“What is it Ron?” Mum asked in panic, gripping Dad’s hand while I tried to calm Hugo down.
“Her-Hermione…there’s a s-s-sp-”
“Spider!” Hugo cried, shaking violently.
Mum looked at me and we both rolled our eyes, then burst out laughing at the spectacle before us. It appeared that Mum and I wore the trousers at home. It’s still quite true. Hugo and Dad are still completely arachnophobic – it’s up to me and Mum to be the knights in shining armour, I’m afraid. I miss those days. I wonder what Dad does now if he sees a spider. He probably calls Harry or something – the wimp.
I finally reach the entrance hall after traipsing around the other floors. I’m not really sure where to go from here, so I start towards the staircase that leads down to the dungeons. I might as well, seeing as I’ve explored everywhere else. When I come to the bottom, I walk along the very dark corridor that’s only lit by two or three lanterns. The dungeons really are quite creepy. I walk past the Potions classroom to the very end of the corridor where the portrait is to the entrance of the Slytherin common room. I know the password, as Al and Scorpius generally trade it for the Gryffindor one. I slip off the invisibility cloak and the portrait jerks awake.
“Parseltongue,” I say. The portrait doesn’t even acknowledge the fact that I’m not a Slytherin, but swings open to let me inside. I’ve been in the Slytherin common room before. It’s situated under the lake, and in my opinion it’s very cold and boring. I much prefer the Gryffindor one, but then again, I’m biased. My feet seem to know where they’re going, as I don’t even stop to look around the common room. I head up the staircase that is very similar to the one in the Gryffindor tower, until I get to a door that says ‘Sixth Year Boys’’. I push open the door as quietly as I can.
Parkinson’s bed is the first on the right, with the large lump of an oaf barely visible under his covers. Briggs is beside his, but Briggs is so small, I can hardly tell if he’s there or not. Al’s is across the other side of the room. He looks remarkably like James when he’s sleeping, as he hasn’t got his glasses on – and oh Merlin, he’s wearing the same boxers. Aunt Ginny must have bought a family pack. Honestly, it’s very difficult to tell the difference between the Potter boys when they’re sleeping. Obviously if Al just opened his eyes, the startling greenness would give it away.
The curtains are closed around Scorpius’ bed, which is just to the left. I pull them open ever so slightly, just so I can peek inside. I’m becoming increasingly stalker-like, but I doubt he’d mind. After all, what’s an odd stalk here and there between friends? Scorpius looks very serious when he’s asleep. His blonde hair is covering one of his eyes, and he’s frowning. I brush his hair from his face very gently, but apparently he’s a light sleeper, because he begins to stir. I don’t even bother moving, or putting on the cloak. I just stay where I am. One of his eyes opens somewhat, but then closes again. I can tell he’s half-awake.
“Wot’chu doin here?” he mumbles groggily. I can’t help but smile.
“I was bored,” I admit in a whisper.
He raises an eyebrow and half-smirks. “It’s the middle of the night.”
“Nothing gets past you,” I whisper mockingly.
He moves over to the far side of his bed and takes my hand, indicating for me to get in beside him. I crawl in, partly because I’m cold and partly because I’m tired. He pulls some of the covers over me, and I close the curtains around his bed again. When I turn to face him, his eyes are closed, but I don’t think he’s asleep.
“Scorpius?” I whisper.
“Mmm?” he grunts.
I notice that he hasn’t let go of my hand – it feels nice.
“I think we should keep the baby too.”
He slips his hand that’s not holding mine ever so gently around my waist in a sort of awkward hug, and keeps it there. I cuddle in closer to him – because I’m cold, obviously – and close my eyes.
I wake up early the next morning, before everyone else. Actually it’s only around two hours ago that I went to sleep. Scorpius looks just like he did before I fell asleep. He’s still wearing that serious, frowning expression and he’s still holding my hand. He looks very different when he’s sleeping – he looks quite innocent. Like a little choir boy. I gently slip my hand away from his and very slowly climb out of the bed. Now would be a really bad time for Al to wake up – there would be blood. Luckily he’s out cold, so I slip on the invisibility cloak and head out the door. One last look at Scorpius tells me that he hasn’t yet noticed my departure.
I finally reach the Gryffindor tower, and I have to wake the Fat Lady to get inside. Believe me, contrary to popular belief, fat people aren’t always jolly. Especially if you wake them up early.
“Have you any idea what time it is?” she grumbles angrily, “Waking me from my beauty sleep!”
“No amount of sleep in the world is going to make you beautiful,” I can’t help myself retorting.
“How very dare you! Children today have absolutely no morals! Insulting their elders –”
“You’re a portrait!”
“– and having pre-marital relations with Slytherin boys! The shame!”
“Hobbledehoy,” I mumble.
“Hobbledehoys the lot of them!” she shrieks, but opens up to let me inside when she realises that I’ve just given her the password. I rush up to the boys’ dormitory to return James’s cloak. Everyone is still sleeping, thank Merlin, and I throw the cloak carelessly back into James’s trunk. I doubt he’ll notice anyway. As I go to creep out the door, I notice someone else doing the exact same.
“Dom?” I whisper fiercely. She jumps and turns around before she can open the door.
“Rose, you scared the shit out of me,” she whispers back, “What are you doing here?”
Oh fuck, this really isn’t good. What am I supposed to say?
“I was just going for a walk,” I say stupidly.
“In the seventh year boys’ room?” Dom asks, her eyebrows raised.
“Well what are you doing here?” I whisper angrily.
She looks exactly how I feel – like she really doesn’t want to talk about it. I know she’s spent the night with Mark, and I think somewhere deep down, she knows I was with Scorpius.
“Let’s just get out of here,” I whisper. Seán Finnegan has started to stir. We tiptoe out of the dormitory and rush back towards our own.
“You spent the night with him?” I hiss as soon as we reach the common room, “Have I taught you nothing?!”
“I didn’t have sex with him!” she hissed back, “And even if I did, I’d have the common sense to use protection!”
“Oh because you’re always so sensible and responsible!” I reply sarcastically.
“That’s a bit rich coming from the pregnant sixteen year old,” snarls Dom, “What were you doing with James’s invisibility cloak anyway?”
This is where my lack of talent in the lying department really kicks me up the arse. I can feel my ears going pink, like they always do when I’m trying to keep a secret, or nervous, or angry, or embarrassed – so pretty much all the time.
“You were with Scorpius,” says Dom, “I might have known. Wow, you really don’t waste time – we broke up yesterday.”
“Yes, after you cheated on him for a month!” I hiss angrily. How dare she lecture me!
“Well can you blame me?” she cries in exasperation, “He was clearly in love with you!”
I try to laugh this off. What actually happens is actually a sort of splutter, in which I accidentally swallow some saliva, which goes down the wrong way and I end up coughing for a straight minute. Smooth.
“You’re crazy,” I shake my head, “You’ve got multiple screws loose, Dom, you should really get that seen to –”
“I don’t resent you for it, Rose,” she continues, “I should have seen it coming. I suppose I was just in denial. I thought he was the one. But he wasn’t – Mark is.”
“Dom, seriously, Scorpius is not in love with me,” I assure her, “I mean, we’re just friends, I promise –”
“Rosie, do you really think he’d have slept with you if he didn’t love you?”
“Yes,” I splutter, “He’s a bloke!”
“He’s not like normal blokes,” says Dom angrily, “Believe me, I know. I was with him for three months and not once did he try it on with me.”
“Well maybe the whole thing about fathering a child the last time he had sex was a bit of a turn off,” I point out.
Dom raises her eyebrows. “Whatever you say. Look, I don’t care if you were with Scorpius or not. You’re meant to be with him anyway.”
“I am not!” I argue, “We are friends! That’s all!”
“You’re going to be parents,” she says, “You aren’t just friends.”
“You and Mark should just get married,” I mutter indignantly.
“You’re too stubborn for your own good,” Dom sighs and makes her way to the staircase leading up to the girls’ dormitories, “I’m going to catch some sleep before class.”
I don’t follow her up, as I really don’t feel like listening to her making up wacky theories about Scorpius being in love with me. That’s so ridiculous – can’t a boy and girl create a child and stay friends too? Okay, maybe not.
I lie down on the couch in the common room, but with no intention of sleeping. If I fall asleep now, I won’t wake up until lunchtime tomorrow. And true, I could probably get away with it on the ‘I had morning sickness’ excuse – which granted is a lot better than James’s ‘I had a severe case of ‘Boogie Fever’’ excuse – but I don’t fancy missing Transfiguration. I notice a letter lying on the coffee table beside the couch, and out of sheer boredom, I pick it up to examine it. There’s no name on the envelope, so I open it up to check who it’s for.
I’m very proud of you for what you did – it took courage, and that’s the reason you were made a Gryffindor. I told you it was a good idea, didn’t I? That Weasley girl needed to be taken down a peg or two. She thinks she can just live off her parents’ successes – you did the right thing telling the school about her pregnancy.
Don’t feel bad, darling. Believe me when I say you made the right choice. And you’re going out with that boy you’ve always liked now, aren’t you? James? I’m so proud of you – Harry Potter’s son! Well done! Make sure you put make-up on in the mornings. You don’t want him looking elsewhere now do you? And keep going with your sit-ups every morning and night. And stay away from any fatty foods, or anything with too much carbohydrate. You don’t need to get any larger than you are.
This is sick. This is the sickest thing I’ve ever read. Surely this can’t be real. There’s no way Laura Phelps’s mother could say this shit to her own daughter, there’s just no way. What kind of person says that? She thinks Laura is fat? I must be gravely obese then, because Laura Phelps is unbelievably skinny. She’s been brainwashed to hate me. She was told to humiliate me in front of everyone. By her mother. That woman shouldn’t be allowed to have children.
I sit in the common room, rereading the letter and thinking about Laura until half six. Even as I return to the dormitory to get ready for the day, I can’t help but think about her – what if she isn’t really the person she makes herself out to be? Or the person her mother has morphed her into? What if she has that basic human decency in her that her mother seems to lack? What if I was wrong about her?
I shower and get changed into my uniform, just as Chas, Dom and Laura start to stir. Dom looks shattered as she trudges to the bathroom before Chas has the chance to. Chas just lies back down on her bed and falls straight back to sleep. Laura checks her watch, looks a little shocked at the time and throws herself onto the floor. She’s doing sit-ups. Usually I would inwardly criticise her for being so vain, but now I just feel sorry for her. I can’t imagine my own mother having so much power over me. Maybe my parents aren’t so bad.
Dom and I head off to Transfiguration together, forgetting about the conversation we had earlier on. Al and Scorpius are there before us, which is very rare – they’re usually late. Al looks really tired, but Scorpius looks a bit anxious. He’s looking at me strangely…I feel like I’ve done something wrong.
“Um, Rose, can I talk to you for a second?” he asks.
Oh no. He’s regretting everything. He doesn’t want to keep our baby at all. He’s going to tell me that he didn’t mean any of it, it was just some stupid, cruel joke –
“Okay, this is going to sound a bit weird,” he starts.
A bit weird? Try brutally nasty and harsh!
“But did you…” he trails off and looks around to make sure Dom and Al aren’t listening, then says in a whisper, “Were you in my dorm last night?”
Holy shit he doesn’t remember. How could he not remember? Do many girls randomly visit his dormitory at three in the morning and climb into bed with him? This is so embarrassing.
“You don’t remember,” I sigh, more to myself than to him.
“Of course I remember,” he says, “I…I just wasn’t sure if it was a dream or something. It seemed a bit strange, that’s all.”
“Yes, well I’m a strange person,” I say, “I just felt like a midnight walk.”
“It was well past midnight.”
“Yes, well some things can’t wait until morning,” I shrug. He nods, and I immediately know that he remembers everything.
“So…we’re keeping it then?” he asks carefully.
“If you want,” I shrug. It’s as if we’re discussing the decision to play a game of Quidditch, not raising a kid. “But…you have to understand that this isn’t going to be easy –”
“I know –”
“And there’ll be a lot of pressure –”
“I’m fine with that.”
“And babies cry and crap all the time –”
“So does Briggs, I’m used to it,” Scorpius shrugs.
“And they cost a lot of money –”
“I have a job,” he cuts across me.
“And – you have a job?” I ask, slightly taken aback. Since when does he have a job?
“Yeah, I got it back in January when…you know, the news came out. I work in Dervish and Banges in Hogsmeade every Saturday and some evenings. And I know I don’t really have that much money,” he sort of blushes, “But it should be enough.”
“You got a job back in January?” I accidentally shout, causing Al and Dom to look over, “S-so you knew from then that you wanted to keep the baby?”
“Sure,” he shrugs, “I just had to wait for you to figure it out too.”
A/N - I knew I'd get bored of studying! So here it is, chapter 18 and what most of you have been hoping for has come true - she's keeping the baby! Happy? Sad? Disappointed? Extatic? Hungry? Tell me! I appreciate all reviews!
By the way, there'll be more to come on Laura Phelps in further chapters and of course the Ron/Hermione situation. The next chapter might be a while (hopefully not too long) cos I still have four more exams to do and I don't have it prewritten. Thanks for reading!! (",)