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Chapter 7: Lean On Me
A/N: Sorry this update took longer than usual :( Sadly, school is back in session and I have crap loads of homework... Luckily, I am a huge procrastinator, so even though my updates won't be as frequent as before, the will still be very often :D
With that said, read on!
I'm right up the road
I'll share your load
If you just call me
Lean On Me - Bill Withers
Oh. Dear. Merlin.
How could she know? I didn't tell anyone! Nobody knew! I kept this strictly to myself! I didn't tell a single soul, not even Rose! My very best friend!
What do I say?
Deny, deny, deny!
I looked at Lily who was still looking at me, waiting for an answer. I suddenly realised that I was taking much longer than was socially acceptable to answer her.
Well if I didn't look suspicious before, I sure did now!
"A-Are you calling me fat?" I giggled maniacally, trying to push it off as a joke, but even I could hear the cracking in my voice.
"Violet." Lily looked at me sternly. For someone two years my junior she looked surprisingly scary. "I am not calling you fat."
I knew that she wouldn't figure out I was pregnant due to my size. There wasn't any physical evidence I was having a baby, stomach-wise, except a bump so slight you could pass it off as having a big dinner.
"What would make you think I'm pregnant?" I asked calmly, being sure to keep steady eye contact. Lily released a sigh and shrugged. "You've been so weird lately. I don't think I've ever seen you cry before, and you were totally sobbing in the great hall for no reason! Also, when you were flooing, you kept your hands wrapped around yourself, like you were protecting your stomach. And you were eating gherkins with your mashed potatoes, which is just plain disgusting." Lily made a face at the thought of my eccentric food choices. "Plus, you were just sick, and-"
"Okay, okay, I think I get it." I snapped, holding up both my hands.
"Tell me the truth." Lily said, her eyes staring into mine so intently I felt like she could see straight through me. I could feel all kinds of emotions swirling around in my head. Frankly I was sick of hiding it, but there was no way I was ready to tell James. I could barely look the guy in the face. How could I raise a child with him?
It occurred to me then that even though Lily had figured out I was pregnant, she would have no idea who the father was, and honestly I really needed someone to confide in.
So I broke down.
The wall I had put up against her crumbled apart and I let my emotions bubble to the surface. With a sob, I sat down on the edge of the bath and held my head in my hands and began to cry. I felt Lily sit beside me and wrap her arm around me comfortingly. She gently shushed me and made cooing noises, trying to soothe me.
"So it's true, then?" Lily asked, biting her lip, slowly rocking me back and forth. I nodded, still unable to form words through my tears. She made a small "Aw" sound and continued to comfort me.
I looked at her through my tears. "I'm not a slut, you know" Lily looked shocked and hugged me tighter. "I know you aren't a slut, Vi!" she murmured soothingly.
"I've only done it once, I swear" I felt the need to explain myself. I really liked Lily and I didn't want her to think less of me.
"Violet, I am absolutely not doubting you!" Lily insisted.
After another few minutes of comfortable silence in which Lily looked deep in thought, Lily looked at me strangely again. "What?" I asked, feeling confused. Lily giggled. "I forgot it takes two to make a baby..." She trailed off. I rolled my eyes at her, but I knew what she was getting at. "Who's the father?" Lily inquired, leaning forward in interest.
I simply shook my head, indicating I didn't want to talk about it. "Lily, he doesn't even know yet..." I said and she sighed. "I understand, I guess. I would hate to hear I was having a baby from a random person." Lily smiled at me.
I felt so relieved having someone to talk to about all of this. I patted Lily's shoulder and blew out a huge breath. "We should probably go back and wake the others. It is Christmas, after all." I added, as Lily jumped up and grinned. "I almost forgot!" she squealed excitedly and pulled me into a hug.
I buried my head in her wild mane of hair and closed my eyes. "You can't tell anyone, Lily. I'm not ready." I felt her hand rub circles around my back in a comforting gesture. "I know. I'm here for you. If you need anything. Seriously." My eyes filled with tears at her kindness as she pulled away from me. She reached up and wiped an escaped tear away and smiled at me a final time before dashing out of the toilet towards the living room.
I rolled my eyes at her retreating figure as she burst into the room full of sleeping teenagers. "Merry Christmas, one and all!" She cried. I followed her into the room as she grabbed a pillow and began whacking everyone's sleeping face in turn.
This action was met with plenty of moans and a few "Fuck off's" and one "Is she kidding? She's kidding right?" from a very disgruntled looking Fred.
I saw James sitting up groggily, wiping his eyes and ruffling his hair. How can anyone look so hot after just waking up?
I leaned against the door frame watching with amusement as everyone sat up grumpily. I noticed Molly combing her fingers through her frizzy hair and wiping the sleep out of her eyes while giving Scorpius what I guess she thought was a seductive smirk, but in actual fact, made her look extremely constipated.
Scorpius nodded politely at her, but I saw his eyes flicker towards Rose, who was now standing up, as excited as Lily at the idea of gifts. I swear those two will be the death of me. Far too much enthusiasm for their own good.
I smiled at both of them despite myself and crossed the room to Rose and gave her a hug.
"Happy Christmas, babe!" Rose exclaimed, squeezing me tightly. I breathed in her familiar scent of vanilla and roses and muttered a quiet, "You too."
A little while later, we all gathered in a circle next to the tree and Lily and Rose ran between the circle and the tree, carefully examining each package and dumping it in front of the person to whom it belonged. Rose warned us that if anyone attempted to open their presents before we were all in the circle, she would hex their hair off.
I noticed James comb his hair with his fingers, terrified. He had no doubt Rose would stick to her word. Rose wasn't scared of using a bit of underage magic. It was one of the many reasons we were best friends. If you looked in from the outside, you would see a simple, yet attractive curly haired red head with great grades and a book obsession. However, if you knew her personally, you would find she actually had a huge heart, and a fierce streak you wouldn't want to mess with.
When the two of them had finished stripping the bottom of the tree of all its gifts, they both joined us in the circle. They Rose squeezed in to the left of me and Lily sat on my other side, giving my knee a reassuring pat.
Rose announced that we should each open our gifts one person at a time, going around the circle clock-wise, so everyone would get to see the other person's reaction to their gift.
Rose started, opening each of her presents one at a time, thanking everyone. She opened my gift last, and genuinely squealed with delight when she saw a tiny purple pygmy puff sitting in the box. I had punched a few air holes in the top and I only wrapped it last night. Thankfully, he was asleep in the little bed of cotton wool I had made him, as he had been when I wrapped him. I also got her a bunch of books from Flourish and Blotts that she stacked up into a pile to read later.
Picking presents for Rose was easy. She stable, predictable. I got presents for everyone in the Potter/Weasley clan, even the few members I wasn't very close to. I thought it was only polite since I pretty much crashed all their family gatherings. It was quite easy to buy presents for the people I knew well, and for the others, I played it safe with gift cards or socks.
Don't look at me like that. Socks are very practical.
I knew I had to get James a gift as well. I didn't want to get him anything too personal, but I also didn't want it to look like I didn't put any thought into it, either.
While thinking of possible gifts for him, my mind kept wandering back to that night in the Three Broomsticks.
After James and I kept snogging for a good ten minutes, James began kissing my neck, and I couldn't believe what was happening. James Potter, my crush of the last year was kissing me.
Insert fangirl squeal here.
I noticed some old men sitting in a booth leering at us. I winced and looked away from them. Maybe this was getting a bit too heated for public.
I pushed James away from me and he stared at me with those puppy dog eyes. He looked hurt. I felt my heart break a little bit. "We should probably go back to Hogwarts." I had to yell to be heard over the chatter of students. My head was already starting to ache.
I leaned up to James and pressed my lips to his ear. "We could be alone..." I still had to raise my voice slightly to be heard. When I pulled away I saw his eyes light up like it was Christmas and he grabbed my hand.
"I know a shortcut!" He exclaimed. He waved goodbye to Fred who was sitting with a group of guys. He smirked and nodded at him. I caught Ruby's eye as James led me out the door of the crowded bar, her face totally shocked. I shrugged at her and she rolled her eyes, shook her head and smiled at me.
James led me to Honeydukes, the really old sweet shop. I was confused as to why we were in a practically empty shop, but James didn't stop moving. He led me somewhere dark and we walked for a while before emerging out of a statue somewhere in Hogwarts, although I can't remember which one exactly.
James grabbed my hand again and pulled me over his shoulder and into his dorm. I have no recollection of walking from the statue to the common room.
James laid me down on his bed and kissed me lightly. He removed his grey wool button-down coat and threw it over a chair. James let out an unexpected groan. I asked him what was wrong, even though speaking made my head throb.
"I forgot my scarf!" He exclaimed, ran his hand through his messy hair. I stood up from the bed and swayed over to him kissed him again. "Forget about the scarf" I whispered. He kissed me back, but pulled away after a few seconds. "But it was my Gryffindor scarf!" James moaned. I kissed him again and pulled off my top revealing my lacy bra.
James let out a moan and I whispered "Forget about the scarf." again. This time he smiled and nodded and began kissing me passionately once again.
Everything that happened beyond that point is pretty hazy, but I remember enough to be sure of what happened. All I know for sure is I woke up in his bed the next morning, the curtains drawn around us, with the worst headache of my life. I snuck out of that room as fast as I possibly could, and we haven't even glanced in each other's direction since then.
So when it came around to James' turn, he opened my gift first, although I don't think he knew it was from me at first. He carefully opened the card attached to the gift, which said simply, 'To James, From Violet.'
He glanced up at me before her tore open the gold ribbon and red wrapping paper. He laid them aside and lifted the large, shallow, black box to reveal a red and gold stripped Gryffindor scarf. I had 'James' embroidered onto the end of it in gold thread.
He removed the scarf and wrapped it around his neck several times, over his pyjamas. James let out a laugh, obviously remembering that night. I let out a giggle at his reaction and everyone went quiet and turned to me.
All was silent for a moment before James too burst into laughter. I joined him, giggling hysterically. James and I just sat there, at opposite sides of the circle, laughing our asses off. Everyone stayed silent watching us in surprise.
Everyone's shocked reaction made me laugh harder. They knew James and I hadn't really been speaking properly in a while, so I'm sure this was quite weird for them to watch. I was on my hands and knees, pounding the floor with my fist, tears of laughter streaming down my face.
Lily looked at me incredulously and muttered something under her breath that sounded like "Hormones."
I punched her lightly in the arm but didn't stop my laughter. I noticed James lying on his back, laughing so hard his face had turned a deep shade of red.
I crawled across the circle as he sat up, still chuckling. He saw me approaching and looked a bit frightened. I rolled my eyes as I reached him, and pulled him into a hug. I felt his body tense up in surprise as I wrapped my arms around his neck. "Friends?" I muttered in his ear.
"Friends." he sighed, pulling me closer.
I loved all of my gifts. Rose got me the cutest amethyst gemstone hanging from a gold chain. It was only a few shades lighter than my eyes. After I had opened it, Rose told me how when she saw it, it instantly reminded her of me.
My eyes threatened to tear up at her thoughtfulness as I engulfed her in a bear hug.
James had gotten me an adorable bracelet with a crystal dangling from it. When I opened it, I smiled widely. The stone was my favourite colour, a bright turquoise.
When I told James this fact, he smiled awkwardly, and muttered a small "I know." and he blushed slightly. I noticed Fred smirk knowingly at me, and I wrinkled my eyebrows in confusion.
James then explained to me that I had already told him my favourite colour, my confusion deepened. After a moment of silence, realisation struck me. I told him that night.
When I let out a 'Ooh' and I felt my face flush. James turned just as red as me and I gave him a one-armed hug from beside him, where he had squeezed in after our reconciliation. I thanked him anyway and gave him a nervous smile.
Nobody seemed to notice this awkward encounter as everyone began chatting amongst themselves about their different presents.
When all the adults emerged much later in the morning, all us teenagers were lounging around the Burrow, wearing our jumpers from Nana Weasley. I gave Harry and Ginny their gifts as soon as they both emerged from upstairs (together, of course) It's very rare to see one of them without the other.
Al, James and Lily all grimaced when Harry pecked Ginny on the cheek. I smiled. I thought it was lovely.
Harry laughed at my gift of a hairbrush and comb set. I teased him about his messy hair (which James had inherited) even though I actually liked their hair. Harry had become such a father figure to me over the past years that I felt so comfortable joking with him.
After I was released from Harry's fatherly hug, I handed Ginny her gift, wrapped in pink tissue paper and a pearl-white ribbon. She opened it carefully, totally opposite from the way James had.
Ginny gasped in surprise when she opened the the present to reveal two delicate silver tear drop earrings, with accents of teal running through the design. When I saw these in a muggle shop in London with Rose last week, I immediately thought of Ginny, and how the teal would compliment her red hair beautifully.
Her gasp startled me though, and I began to ramble nervously. "Oh Merlin, you don't like them, do you? I'm so sorry Ginny, I know they aren't magical or anything but I saw these and I just thought of you, and how great the would go with your hair. Oh no... You can exchange them if you want! Here, I'll take them back to the shop for you and get you something else. Is there anything you want? I know it's Christmas but I'm sure there must be at least one shop open toda-" My insane rambling was cut short by Ginny pulling me close and hugging me gently, which was a change from her usual bone-crushers.
"They're fabulous, sweetie. I absolutely love them. I just can't get over how thoughtful you are!" Ginny muttered into my hair, which was still braided over my shoulder as it had been since this morning.
She squeezed me gently one final time, before releasing me and pecking me on the cheek. My eyes welled up with tears yet again, just as the door to the kitchen burst open with a bang.
"Lily, love!" Ginny smiled at her daughter, but still held my hand with such motherly care. I wanted to burst into tears. Soon, everyone was bound to find out I was pregnant (I mean, come on, it's not like I'm shrinking) and then the baby's true parentage would be revealed, Ginny would hate me for ruining her son's life and never speak to me again.
Lily smiled warmly at her mother, which was a change from the usual eye-rolling. I guess the Christmas spirit was really affecting her.
"I was just looking for Violet. I couldn't see her anywhere and I was just wondering what she was up to..." Lily trailed off and turned her gaze to me and gave me a worried smile.
Her concern touched me, and I felt so grateful to have her looking out for me. I smiled reassuringly back at her. "I'm fine, Lils"
Lily opened her mouth as if she was about to say something, but she was interrupted by a loud banging and a blur of red and green come storming into the kitchen and began waving a wand around and muttering incantations.
I watched in amazement as Nana Molly charmed the dishes to dance through the air and begin polishing themselves, as the vegetables magically separated, as though someone invisible were standing there chopping them.
Nana Molly gave all of us a self-satisfied smirk as she continued to conduct the items in the kitchen as though they were an orchestra.
She did this every year when she prepared Christmas dinner, but it still managed to amaze me every time. I have yet to meet anyone who could do any household spell half as well as Nana Molly.
Harry grinned at her and taking Ginny's hand, they departed from the kitchen together, muttering something about getting everyone's presents.
Lily walked over to me and wrapped a protective arm around me, and although she was a good head and a half shorter than me, she felt just like a big sister.
"Thanks for your gift, Lils. I love them." I said as I fingered the red mittens I was wearing on both hands. Lily laughed. "Stop thanking me!" She exclaimed cheerfully.
"It's not just the mittens that I'm thankful for" I said, tightening my grip on Lily.
She smiled brightly at me, but eyed Nana Molly wearily. Nana Molly didn't seem to be paying any attention to us, too busy preparing the Christmas dinner/feast.
"Follow me" Lily muttered under her breath, walking quietly out the back door into the snow. I walked after her obediently. Nana Molly beamed at me as I walked past her towards the door. I smiled back at her just as widely. I love Nana Molly.
Lily was only a few seconds in front of me and turned around to face me when a smile emerged on her face.
I didn't get a chance to complete my sentence, as a huge snowball came flying at me and whacked me in the back of the head.
I shuddered as the ice slid down the back of my pyjama shirt. I swung around to see James and Fred snickering hysterically, fully clothed in boots and padded jackets.
"No fair!" I squealed as I bent down to pick up a bundle of snow in my mitten-covered hands.
"Shit! Run, run, run!" I heard Rose scream to the two boys from the doorway to the garden. She knew how seriously I took snow ball fights. I clasped the ball of snow in my hands and I concentrated extremely hard. Slowly I raised my arm. James had taken Rose's advice and had sprinted off to attack Lily.
Fred however, was a less quick on his feet.
I aimed for Fred's retreating figure and threw. The ball hit him square on the back of the head. I burst out laughing at the look of shock on his face as he turned to face me.
I giggled again and began sprinting off in the direction of Lily, who was now on James' back, trying desperately to cover his eyes with her small hands. James was laughing, gently trying to get her off. I know for a fact if it were anyone but his little sister clinging to him, they would be on the ground with their face stuffed in the snow, but James was so gentle with his baby sister.
Taking advantage of this position, I grabbed a handful of snow and threw it straight into James' face.
"Who did that?!" James bellowed, still trying to release Lily's tight grip. Lily and I screamed with laughter. I noticed Rose and Albus had joined in, along with Roxanne and Louis. Together they all were attacking Fred.
Apparently this was war.
After we had been running around in the garden for almost an hour, Lily and I were completely soaked and shivering, given the fact that we were wearing only our pyjamas, and mittens, in my case.
Anxious to go dry off and warm up, I dragged Rose inside with me, and Lily, who was just as wet as I was, saw this and obviously thought it was a good idea, and ran after us into the house. We walked through the kitchen into the living room, where all the adults were sitting around chatting.
They all looked at us with shocked expressions on their faces. George Weasley burst out laughing at the sight if us and all the adults began to smile. Rose laughed along with them, comfortable in her heavy coat and woolen scarf.
I smiled at them sheepishly and Lily left the living room, heading upstairs to go and get ready for dinner. I noticed all the adults were wearing Nana Molly's knitted jumpers with each of their initials added on.
Although Ron was looking rather grumpy, pulling uncomfortably at the hem of his maroon jumper.
"Er... so we'll be going then!" I said cheerfully, inserting my arm into the crook of Rose's elbow, and pulled her up the rickety stairs to get ready for dinner.
A/N: Sooo... James and Violet are friends now. Thoughts? Predictions? Reviews make me happy! :)
Thanks for reading,