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Delicate by padfoot4ever

Format: Novel
Chapters: 35
Word Count: 145,821
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Teddy, Scorpius, Albus, James (II), Lily (II), Hugo, Rose, Victoire, OtherCanon
Pairings: Rose/Scorpius, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Teddy/Victoire, OC/OC

First Published: 01/27/2008
Last Chapter: 01/14/2013
Last Updated: 01/14/2013

Summary:
Winner of Dobby Award for Most Addicting Story::Winner of Golden Snitch for Best Next Generation.








Rose ‘Red’ Weasley is pregnant."I’m not old enough to become a mother! I barely know how to tie my shoes!" She's trying to adjust to the news."I’m never leaving this bathroom again."  She’s not taking it well.


Chapter 1: Prologue: The Test
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Hey!
I got this idea a few days ago and I just thought I'd try it out. This is just a taster to see if anyone likes it. So thanks for clicking on the story! I know this is a bit short, but it's just a prologue. The following chapters will be longer (if you like the story that is!).
Please Review! (",)
padfoot4ever







|Prologue: The Test|



One time. 


It was only one time. 


This can not be happening after only one stupid, irresponsible, spur of the moment. 


This is wrong. 


It has to be. 


I tap it with my wand again. 


And that not-so-comforting word appears up again, blue and bulging. 


Positive. 


I throw the small white stick onto the ground in an act of denial and shock. I am sixteen years old – I’m not old enough to become a mother! I barely know how to tie my shoes right for crying out loud!


I pick up the pregnancy test again, tap it with my wand once more, as if expecting it to say “only joking Rose, but we had you going, didn’t we?” 


But it doesn’t. It says the same thing it did the last four times I checked. 


I sit down on the edge of the bath and notice for the first time how much my hands are shaking. I decide that I’m never going to leave this bathroom again. Perhaps I will stay here forever – yes, this bath seems like an ideal place to sleep – and ignore the new life that is apparently growing in my womb. 


Because everyone knows that if you ignore something enough, it will go away. 


I could live on toothpaste and shampoo – although, I doubt that is a good combination for my unborn child. 


MY UNBORN CHILD


WHY AM I BEING SO BLOODY CASUAL??? 


I start to hyperventilate and think that I am most certainly about to die. I am literally shouting at myself in my own head! Maybe I’ll come back as a ghost, like Moaning Myrtle. I could haunt this sixth year Gryffindor girls’ bathroom – Rose Weasley, the pregnant ghost of Gryffindor house. That has a nice ring to it. 


And if I don’t die and do someday decide to leave this bathroom, at least one person is going to die because of my foolishness. 


The first and most obvious victim is Scorpius Malfoy – he’s as good as dead already. Someone has to find out who the father of my baby is, and when they do, Scorpius is going to get one hell of an arse-kicking by my father, my grandfather or one of my many male cousins - and perhaps some of my female ones too. It’s quite likely that James and Al Potter will get to him first. So then I’ll be a single mother. Well actually, I'm pretty much facing that prospect any way.


And of course my parents will have to find out. Mum will either kill me or kick me out of the house. I’ll have to live in some Muggle caravan park with my fatherless baby. And James and Al will be in Azkaban for murder. Lily will go off the wall if they go to prison – the only reason she doesn’t have about twenty guys on the go is because her two older brothers have scared every single bloke in Hogwarts away from her. 


And what about Hugo? Mum and Dad will break up because she kicked me out/killed me and then Hugo will have to live in a hostile environment, leading him to a life of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. He’ll be dead by his fifteenth birthday. 


And Harry and Ginny’s two boys will be in prison and their daughter will be pregnant/STI-ridden/in Azkaban too/dead. That will be the Potter family broken up for sure. 


And my cousin Fred will probably end up in Azkaban if James and Al are there because he likes to follow the crowd. Which means his little sister, Roxanne will join Lily in the brothel they’re going to work in. Which means Aunt Angelina and Uncle George will resort to a life of alcoholism and crime because their son is a convict and their daughter is a prostitute. 


And then Uncle Percy won’t be able to live with the shame that has come with being a Weasley, so will jump of a bridge. Audrey will be left to raise their daughters Molly and Lucy (one of which, I’m sure, will be suffering from severe depression having just lost their father and the majority of their cousins to either suicide, prison, brothels or STD’s) and will go off on a drinking binge with George and Angelina. 


Uncle Charlie will be okay considering he’s in Romania and will have no idea what is going on. 


Finally, Dom will be visiting my trailer park/grave and thus will be disowned for visiting the black sheep of the family. Louis will probably miss his older sister and move in with her in her dingy London flat (which is where she’ll be living after Bill and Fleur disown her for putting flowers on my grave/vegetable patch). Victoire will pretend not to know any of us and run off to, I don’t know, the Lebanon with her boyfriend, Teddy. Then Bill and Fleur will be so upset that all of their children are gone that they’ll try to replace them by having hundreds and hundreds of more kids. 


Then Fleur will get extremely fat and develop a very severe eating disorder, leading to the eventual suicide of Uncle Bill. 


And if Nana Molly and Grandad Arthur survive all of this, I’ll eat my sock. 



Wow, we really should have used a condom. 

 

 








Hope you liked it! Now you know what to do! =)

Edit (06/Sept/2008) - If anyone is confused as to who's who regarding the Next Generation, visit my livejournal for more info. :)

 


Chapter 2: Red Rose
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Thanks to everybody who reviewed the Prologue, I was so surprised and delighted with the response! Here's the first real chapter - it's not the best but I'm just trying to get the story going (you know yourself)! Keep reviewing and thanks again to everyone who put this story in their favourites or reviewed - you guys made my day! (seriously)
By the way, I have a new Meet the Author page so feel free to ask any questions! Enough waffling, here's the chapter! (",)


 





I eventually leave the bathroom after many tears and attempts to prove the damned pregnancy test wrong. I know I have to tell someone and there is only one person that I'd even consider telling – Teddy. He would know just what to do in a crisis situation such as the one I’m having. Although, having said that, he's just as likely to kick Scorpius’ arse as James and Al. 


I suppose technically I should probably tell Scorpius first. 


But something at the back of my mind tells me to keep it from him for as long as possible. After all, we've barely ever spoken. 


Then how, I hear you ask, do I find myself pregnant with his child? 


Well, it’s a mixture of Firewhiskey and revenge. As most pregnancies are.


It’s almost two months ago that James decided to throw a massive party in the Gryffindor common room in aid of his eighteenth birthday. It was the usual business – non-explodable balloons (that people tried to burst anyway), the entire stock of Honeydukes chocolate, Butterbeer, Firewhiskey, food of all sorts from the Hogwarts kitchens and of course, a guest list longer than the last population census. And it wasn’t just Gryffindors either. James’ brother, Al, is in Slytherin so he and all of his friends were invited to the party. The Gryffindor tower password was changed and everyone who was anyone was able to come. 


Among Al’s Slytherin friends was Scorpius Malfoy, who is his best friend - unfortunately. He’s a handsome one, with blonde hair that falls right into his brown eyes. He’s quite tall and is the seeker on the Slytherin Quidditch team. I’m keeper on the Gryffindor team – well, I am for now. I doubt the broom will be able to get off the ground in three months time. 


It’s odd that I may never hear the delightful sound of “Weasley Is Our Queen” echoing from the Quidditch stands when I save a goal ever again. 


Anyway, back to Scorpius. Like I was saying, he's handsome. But he's not irresistibly gorgeous or anything. He gets the odd spot here and there like every teenage boy. Still, he's a damn sight better than some of the mutants Hogwarts has to offer. But Scorpius and I never really got on with one another. It wasn’t that we fought or anything, there was just some sort of mutual dislike between us. This is why I now find myself very shocked to be carrying his spawn. 


Back to James's party. 


Earlier that day, my sort-of-boyfriend Carl had broken up with me in front of the entire school. Yes, the entire school. It didn’t just feel like the entire school. It was the entire school. 


It was in the middle of dinner that Carl stood up from the Ravenclaw table and shouted over to the Gryffindor one: 


“Oi! Rose! I don’t think we should go out anymore!” 


He was a complete prick. James and Al offered to beat him up but I told them to leave it. I hexed him while he was kissing Chastity Finch, a girl in my year, later that day.


Chastity had a nice laugh at that one. She even high fived me. Lovely girl. 


Nobody breaks up with Rose Weasley in front of the whole school. 


Although Carl had indeed received his comeuppance, I was still pissed off when the time came for James’ party. And I sought comfort in the first drunken idiot I found – Malfoy. He spun the usual crap blokes spin about how I was “too good for Carl” and “he doesn’t know how lucky he was” to have me. 


Blah blah blah. 


But for some reason, the lines worked on me. They never worked before, but I was taken-aback that the boy who blatantly ignored me since we were first years was now talking to me, comforting me, flirting with me. And before I knew it, we were kissing. 


And he was a good kisser. I can still remember how good he was – that’s saying something, because I can barely remember what age I am most of the time. 


Then, the next thing I knew, we were in my dormitory, awkwardly tearing each others clothes off. I remember feeling so nervous, but not being able to stop what was happening. It was as if there was an animal instinct part of me completely overshadowing my common sense and reason. At the time, I wasn’t even thinking about the precautions that should be taken before having sex. I mean, I never had sex before. But apparently Malfoy knew what he was doing so I let him take the lead. 


But I regret that now. 


We didn’t speak again after that out of sheer awkwardness. We both agreed not to tell anyone – I think we were both feeling the shame of what had just happened. And so, after that night, we went back to our usual ignoring of each other. 


Of course, that’s going to be significantly harder now that I’m having his baby. 


I sit in the common room reading a book about death. I feel like it's me waiting to succumb to my terrible fate. But dying seems like it would be so much simpler. 


Dom comes in through the portrait hole with her bag slung over her shoulder. She sits down beside me, flicks her strawberry blonde hair back and whips out a packed of Honeydukes’ finest jellies. She points the packet at me, silently offering me one. I shake my head. She sighs and looks at me with the familiar look in her eye – she wants gossip. I sigh back to tell her that I have none. She nods knowingly. She slaps her knee, picks up her bag and stalks off up to the dormitory. 


And I realise that I’ve just had a completely silent conversation with my cousin. 


That happens quite often, come to think of it. 

 

 








It’s been three days and six hours since I took that pregnancy test. In the past three days and six hours, I have cried a total of fifty three times. It really does take just the smallest things to set me off. 


“Hey Red,” says James as we sit in the common room doing homework. 


“Why do you hate me so much?!” I scream and run from the common room, out the portrait hole leaving a very frightened James behind me. 


I walk through the castle, waiting to find someone breaking a small rule so I can punish them. I shine my prefect badge with my sleeve, as if fingerprints will make it less intimidating. 


“Excuse me?” says a small Hufflepuff girl, “I can’t find the North Tower!” 


Perfect. 


“Oh can’t you? Then that’s ten points from Hufflepuff!” 


The girl looks on the verge of tears and I swear to Merlin’s mother if she starts crying I will kick her in the face. She has nothing to be upset about. She runs off covering her face with her hands. 


Yeah, you better run. My mother would be so ashamed of me. I'm not supposed to abuse my power as prefect. Then again, I probably wasn't supposed to sleep with Scorpius Malfoy. I'd say that's what Dad was implying when he told me not to get "too close" to him on my very first day at Hogwarts.


I head downstairs towards the kitchens to give out to the House Elves for being so short when I bump into Al. He looks a bit flustered, but in a happy way. 


“Hey Red,” he grins. 


Why do those stupid black-haired Potter boys insist on calling me that? 


“Don’t mess with me Albus Severus,” I hiss, “I will kill you. That’s a promise.” 


He looks like he believes me. 


“Who rattled your owl cage?” 


I narrow my eyes at him. He grins back annoyingly. 


“Why are you so happy?” I ask harshly. 


“Jenny has agreed to go out with me,” he says cheerfully. 


I stare into his green eyes and shrug as if to say “so?” 


“Cheer up, Red. It’s Christmas!” 


Christmas. 


Bloody Christmas


Does it look like I give a flying Pixie’s arse if it’s Christmas? 


Al reads the look on my face. 


“Come on, we’re going home tomorrow. We get to see Teddy!” 


I suppose that is the only thing that can cheer me up. Teddy Lupin is my number one confidant – I know I could tell him about my pregnancy and he wouldn’t breathe a word to anyone, not even Victoire. And when I’m at home I don’t run the risk of bumping into the father of my child. 


Which is always a plus. 


“And Scorpius is coming to our house for Christmas!” says Al. 


My heart stops beating. 


That’s the end of that. 


“W-why?” 


Al rambles on about Scorpius’ parents going to Brussels…or maybe he said they were arseholes…I’m not really listening. The prospect of having to spend Christmas with Scorpius Malfoy is enough to make anyone pass out. I walk away from Al while he’s in the middle of a sentence and then break into a run towards Flitwick’s office. 


Headmaster Flitwick is sitting behind his desk on what must be three cushions so that he can see out over the top of it – he’s about as small as the House Elves I was about to give out to. But I decide it’s probably best not to give out to the headmaster when you’re looking for a favour. 


“Professor, I was wondering if it’s too late to put my name down to stay at Hogwarts over the holidays?” I ask. 


Flitwick looks up from his notes as if just realising that I am here. 


“Oh, hello Miss Weasley!” 


“Hello,” I say, trying to be polite. 


Flitwick hums away to himself and I repeat the question I’ve just asked. 


“Oh no, I’m afraid you’ll have to return home, Miss Weasley. Unless there’s been some sort of emergency?” 


I can’t think quickly enough so now I am being forced to go home with the rest of my family. Sometimes I wish you were allowed to curse the tiny eyebrows off the school headmaster. 


But we don’t always get what we wish for, do we?

 

 








I get up early the next day and although my trunk is already packed, I do a quick scan of the dorm for anything I may have forgotten. I think about doing another pregnancy test before going home to break the news to Mum and Dad, but I know there’s no point – I’m pregnant for sure. The never-ending vomiting at 6am this morning confirms that. 


I don’t really speak much at breakfast. Nobody seems to notice – James and Fred are talking enough for everyone at the Gryffindor table. 


“Chudley Cannons are way better than Tornados,” James yells at our cousin, food spraying from his mouth – such an attractive family I have. 


“Chudley Cannons are muck!” Fred splutters back, not noticing that there are crumbs in his jet-black hair from where James sprayed his breakfast on him. 


All the other Gryffindors are watching James and Fred arguing about their favourite Quidditch teams – I suppose I have to agree with James, though. Dad has been dressing me in Chudley Cannons’ jerseys since I was born. I’m not allowed to support other teams. 


“Red, you’ll back me on this?” says James, as all attention turns to me. 


I look from James to Fred, their eyes digging into mine. 


“Sorry Fred,” I say, “but I’m a born Cannon. But James, shouldn’t you be a Harpies fan?” 


James goes slightly red but shrugs his shoulders and continues to wolf down his breakfast. Of course he doesn’t support the Holyhead Harpies – they’re an all women’s team. But my Aunt Ginny, James’ mum, used to play on that team before James was born, so you’d sort of expect him to support them. 


But no. 


Because James is a strange individual. 


After breakfast, we make our way down to Hogsmeade Station to catch the Hogwarts Express. I try my best to walk ahead of Al and Scorpius, so Dom runs to catch up with me. 


“Are you running a marathon?” she pants, grabbing onto my arm to slow me down. 


I give her an apologetic look, but I don’t slow down until I reach the train. I have it all planned out in my head – I’ll get a compartment with Dom, Molly, Lucy, Louis, Hugo and Lily and the rest can go somewhere else. Thus, the first step in “Operation-Avoid-Blondie”. 


But unfortunately, it doesn’t work out that way. 


Because nothing seems to be going to plan for me these days. 


The third and fourth years Lily, Louis, Roxanne and Hugo decide to sit in a separate carriage with some of their friends. Lucy is sitting with some of her first year friends. None of my sixth year friends are going home for Christmas, so guess who I end up sharing with?

Al, James, Fred, Dom, Molly and of course, Scorpius. 


At first, it’s not really too awkward. James and Fred are continuing their argument from the breakfast table and Scorpius and Al join in – apparently Al is a Cannons fan and Scorpius is a follower of the Wimbourne Wasps. Dom supports the French team Quiberon Quafflepunchers and Molly doesn’t care for organised sports. Or any kind of sport. She really is so very like her father, Uncle Percy. 


But when the Quidditch talk is over, there’s an unwelcome silence in the compartment. I wish someone would break it as it’s making me uncomfortable. I try and think of something to say to break it, but nothing comes to me. I’m really bad at starting conversations. 


“Pull my finger,” says Fred. 


Okay, perhaps the silence was better. 


It’s dark by the time the Hogwarts Express pulls up at Platform 9 ¾. Dad, Uncle Harry, Aunt Angelina, Uncle Bill and Uncle Percy are there to pick us all up. I run to Dad, giving him a big “I’m-still-your-little-girl-even-though-I’m-pregnant” hug. Hugo barely acknowledges our father – perhaps he’s going through his “too cool for parents” phase. 


Uncle Harry grins at me and I return the smile to my godfather. Little Moody Hugo just glares. 


The whole way home in the car, Dad tries to make conversation with me and Hugo, but his attempts are futile. Hugo deliberately ignores every remark Dad makes at him, while I, in an effort to keep on his good side, mumble every now and again. I figure that when I break the news to my parents about my pregnancy, Dad will be the only thing keeping Mum from murdering me. So I better keep him sweet. 


When we pull up outside our house, I observe that my heart is beating much faster than usual. I know Mum will guess there’s something wrong with me within two minutes of my arrival – she’s very perceptive. I could have a nine year old child and Dad wouldn’t notice, but Mum has a sixth sense and seems to be an excellent mind reader. Maybe she’s an accomplished Legilimens – I make a mental note to ask her. 


She’s sitting at the kitchen table doing some “Important Ministry Work” and when she spots us, she jumps up and hugs Hugo first. He pushes her off and storms upstairs to his bedroom. Mum looks momentarily taken-aback and runs a hand through her chestnut brown hair. She looks at Dad who shrugs as if to say “just leave him”. Mum then turns to me, hugs me and pulls away, but keeps hold of my shoulders. 


“Have you been eating properly Rose?” she asks, “You’re too thin!” 


Not in a few months I won’t be. 


Oops, better not think like that in case she is a Legilimens. 


“Of course, Mum,” I say. She raises an eyebrow at me, but luckily Dad has just said something about work so she turns her attentions to him. 


I sneak out of the kitchen and upstairs to my bedroom. As I’m passing Hugo’s room I hear some very angry death metal music blaring from it. 


Adolescence really is an ugly stage for some people. 


 

 








Thanks for reading! Go ahead - review!
 


Chapter 3: Christmas Complications
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Hi! Thanks so much (again!) for the great reviews, I'm so glad you like the story. This chapter is sort of a filler, not too much happens, but the next chapters will be good so hang on in there and keep your great reviews coming! They make me smile =D
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, only the plot. JK Rowling is the Queen of the Harry Potter world, as we all know! 





I love Christmas Eve – pregnant or not, I am determined that I will enjoy it. Today is not the day that I am going to tell Mum because let’s face it, I have seven months to do that. There’s no point in ruining Christmas. Anyway, this could be my last Christmas (as the chances of Mum killing me are very high) so I might as well make the most of it. 


I get up early and begin to wrap presents. Having a big family has advantages and disadvantages – the main disadvantage is the fact that we’re all so bloody close so I have to buy presents for all of my cousins. I got Victoire a silver necklace – it wasn’t too expensive, but it will match her near-silver hair. I bought Dom a book that she’s been raving about for the past few months, The Catcher in the Rye – it’s a Muggle book. I find that boys are very hard to shop for, so Hugo helped me in picking out a jumper for Louis – I doubt he’ll appreciate it as we all get jumpers from Nana Molly every year anyway. 


I got Molly and Lucy matching bracelets – Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey love when their daughters are matching. I find it pathetic, but if it keeps them happy then who am I to stand in their way? I bought Roxanne some make-up, even though I know Uncle George will go crazy. I got Fred a book called “Number One Quidditch Teams of the 20th Century”. It shows Chudley Cannons to be one of the worst teams of the century – why did Dad pick such a loser team? 


It’s always difficult to shop for the Potter cousins – what do you get the family that has everything? James is not the intellectual reading type – he’s more into practical jokes. But he has everything that Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes ever sold and they can easily outstrip Zonko’s any day. He knows every single passageway out of Hogwarts, he has his father’s invisibility cloak and he has the best broomstick around. So what did I get him? 


A pair of socks


Al was much easier to shop for. As he has an interest in the Muggle world, I got him a mobile phone. It was expensive, but I know he’ll love it. I have one too, even though I can’t use it at Hogwarts. I got Lily a small pair of gold earrings that are in the shape of snitches. Lily is showing some real promise as a Quidditch player. She plays by herself most of the time, but sometimes with me. James and Al know nothing of their sister’s talent, so she usually breaks into their broom shed and goes flying while they’re out. And for some reason, this makes her mum laugh. 


So when all of the presents are wrapped, we go to The Burrow, Nana and Grandad Weasley’s house. It’s pretty much a second home to me (Hogwarts being my first and my actual house being my third). We always go there on Christmas Eve to help with the preparations for the next day. See, all of the family go to the Burrow on Christmas Day, so there’s loads to do. Dad usually complains about having to go and help decorate the house, but Mum forces him to anyway. 


As soon as we walk in the door, I spot a twenty four year old man, today with dark blue hair and his usual magnificent brown eyes – Teddy Lupin. I run to him and he catches me, embracing me in a hug that I’m sure isn’t good for the baby. But right now I don’t care very much – I’m hugging my best friend. 


“Wotcher Rosie! How are you?” he exclaims. 


We break apart and I only now notice that I’m welling up. Teddy looks concerned – he’s noticed I’m crying, but he doesn’t say anything. He just subtly jerks his head towards the living room door. I nod and we go into the empty room. Teddy closes the door and casts Muffliato on the door so nobody in the kitchen can eavesdrop. 


“What’s up Rosie? You look terrible,” he says, sitting down next to me on the chair. 


“Thanks,” I mutter. That’s the last thing I need to hear. 


“You know what I mean. You’re so pale and skinny.” 


“Are you saying I was fat before?” 


“Rosie,” he says warningly, “don’t make me force Veritaserum down your throat – because I’ll do it!” 


Boy do I know he’d do it. He did it before when I wouldn’t tell him the name of the boy I kissed when I was in first year. He’s looking at me now expectantly. 


“I think I might be…erm…you know…” 


He doesn’t know. He raises his eyebrows for me to continue. 


You know…” I repeat, hoping he’ll catch on without me having to say the dreaded words. He shakes his head. 


“No, Rosie, I don’t know.” 


I sigh and wipe the tears that are now streaming down my cheeks away. 


“I think I might be…pregnant,” I whisper the last word. 


Teddy’s brown eyes widen in shock. He doesn’t move for a second and he stares at me in disbelief. I can’t bear to look at him anymore – he’s making me feel really guilty. 


“I didn’t know you had a boyfriend,” he says quietly. 


“I don’t,” I admit and he looks even more surprised. 


“You slept with someone even though he wasn’t your boyfriend?” he asks, looking thoroughly disappointed in me and making me feel like crap. I say nothing. 


“Did…did someone take advantage of you?” asks Teddy, now looking extremely angry. It’s quite touching how concerned he is for me – sometimes I wish it were his baby I’m pregnant with… 


Did I just say that


“No,” I say, feeling more ashamed by the minute. 


“So…whose is it?” 


He looks distraught. I feel sort of sorry for him. 


Wait a second, that’s not right. It should be him feeling sorry for me not the other way around! 


“It doesn’t matter. Promise you won’t tell anyone?” 


“Rosie…” 


“Promise me, Teddy. You can’t tell anybody – I haven’t even told Mum yet. You’re the only person who knows. You can’t even tell Victoire,” I plead. 


He doesn’t look happy at all, but he nods. I realise that I’m shaking, although I’m not quite sure when that started. Teddy notices too and puts his arm around me comfortingly. 


“It’ll be okay, Rosie,” he says soothingly, “I’m here for you.” 


That’s all I wanted to hear. 


Well, maybe not all I wanted to hear…I wouldn’t mind if he’d said something along the lines of: 


I’m here for your, my darling. I’m going to break up with Victoire and help you raise this child, I don’t care who the father is. 


But hey, we can’t have everything. I’m willing to accept his unconditional friendship. 


We go back out to the kitchen, where nobody seems to suspicious of our sudden disappearance. Teddy and I tend to spend a lot of time together when I’m home from Hogwarts anyway. Mum and Dad are helping Nana and Grandad to decorate the house now, while Hugo sits in the corner with his Muggle i-pod in his ears – I’m over the other side of the kitchen and I can hear the music blaring. I swear, that boy is going to go deaf. 


Victoire swishes into the room (that’s the only way I can describe how she moves) and smiles at me and although I know she’s just being nice, I can’t help but want to kill her when she kisses Teddy on the cheek. 


“So what time are Harry and Ginny coming?” asks Mum. 


“Around three I think,” replies Nana. 


Great – the Potters are coming. Which means Scorpius Malfoy's coming. Maybe I can hide out in the attic until they leave. 


“Rose, could you help me with this?” asks Mum, standing on a ladder and fixing up a garland that was draped across the doorframe. 


“Hugo,” Dad calls. Hugo is playing with his Gameboy, his i-pod still up full blast. Darn those Muggle toys. 


“Hugo…Hugo…earth to Hugo Weasley…HUGO!” Dad eventually yells. Hugo jumps and pulls his earphones out, looking most annoyed. 


“It’s like trying to make contact with the dead! Will you come out the back and help me and Grandad with the Christmas lights?” asks Dad. 


Hugo sighs, pushes his chair out and storms out to the garden, slamming the door after him. As he does so, the tinsel hanging from the ceiling falls to the floor, causing Nana to swear loudly – which is saying something, because she rarely swears. 


“I’m so sorry, Molly,” says Mum, flicking her wand at the tinsel and levitating it back up onto the ceiling, “I don’t know what’s gotten into him lately.” 


“I do,” says Nana matter-of-factly, “he’s a thirteen year old Weasley boy.” 


“Do all of them go that way?” I ask. 


No,” Dad answers quickly, “I was never like that!” 


Mum and Nana both snort. I don’t get it. 


“What?” asks Dad, in an offended tone. 


“Ronald Weasley, you were the moodiest thirteen year old in the world!” says Mum. Dad looks like he’s about to retaliate before Mum continues, “When you were thirteen, you stopped talking to me because you thought my cat killed your stupid rat that wasn’t actually a rat! And you stopped talking to me because I was suspicious about Harry’s Firebolt! Don’t tell me you weren’t a moody thirteen year old! You were moody until the day Rose was born!” 


“Why did you stop being moody when I was born?” I ask, grinning. 


“You melted your dad’s heart,” says Mum fondly, “we didn’t think anyone would be able to do that!” 


I smile at Dad – I’m quite touched by that. Dad gives me a one-armed hug and grins at me. 


“Well then we’ll just have to make Hugo into a Daddy and then maybe he’ll soften up,” Victoire jokes. 


“I don’t think so!” says Mum, “I’m not ready to be a Granny just yet!” 


I feel physically sick. Teddy looks really uncomfortable but everyone else laughs. 


Stupid Victoire. 


Dad opens the back door and I hear him shout “alright Harry?” 


“Um, I have to use the bathroom,” I declare and run from the kitchen and up the stairs. I close the door of the bathroom behind me and stand on top of the toilet to look out the window onto the back garden. Harry and Ginny are here, with James, Al, Lily and Scorpius. Lily walks over to Hugo, says something and then walks away looking slightly crestfallen.


Scorpius looks up and I jump down from the toilet, hiding underneath the window frame. I hope to Merlin he hasn’t seen me. Once again I find myself hiding in a bathroom, toying with the idea of living here forever. Seriously, I’m completely unstable – what the hell is my kid going to turn out like? 


“Rose?” 


It’s Lily. She’s knocking on the door – maybe if I stay quiet she’ll go away. 


“Rose, are you okay? I know you’re in there, I saw you looking out the window,” she says. 


I know I can’t hide from her, so I open the door and plant a big fake smile on my face – I probably look unhinged. 


“Hiya Lily, Happy Christmas Eve,” I say in a fake-jolly voice. 


She looks at me sceptically. She’s way too sharp for her own good – she knows there’s something up with me. I notice, however, that there’s a hint of despair in her greeny-brown eyes so I take the opportunity to turn the attention away from my problems. 


“What’s wrong?” I ask. Lily looks down at the floor and shakes her head. “Come on, Lils. I know there’s something up.” 


She looks around and ushers me into the room across from the bathroom, one that used to belong to Aunt Ginny when she was growing up. 


“Can you keep a secret?” she asks. 


“More than you know,” I reply. 


“I like someone,” she whispers, looking around her like a paranoid chicken waiting to be slaughtered. 


“You always like someone,” I say reasonably. 


“I know,” she says, “but usually they like me back. This time…well…he doesn’t.” 


“Who is he?” I ask, “Maybe he does like you and your brothers just scared him away?” 


Lily shakes her head sadly. 


“No, he definitely doesn’t like me,” she says, “and I don’t know what to do. And now he has a new girlfriend.” 


She looks really upset. I kind of want to hug her but I don’t. 


“Who is he?” I ask again. 


“Promise you’ll never tell?” 


“Pixie-swear,” I say, my hand on my heart. 


“It's Scorpius,” she whispers. 


Oh dear...this could get complicated.

Chapter 4: I'm Not You
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Disclaimer - Only own the plot...everyone else was created by JK Rowling. (God bless her for making that family tree!)

Thanks for all the reviews! Best Birthday ever xxx (",)


 




Lily’s looking at me, waiting for some brilliant advice that will help her get through her crush. I suppose she thinks of me as a kind of older sister. And up until recently I considered myself that way too. I mean, Lily and I even look alike. Many people do mistake us for sisters. We both have brown eyes and red hair, though Lily seems to have inherited the Evans’ dark red hair while mine is more of a ripe-tomato colour. We’re equal in height and although Lily is three years my junior, we look around the same age. She always comes to me when she has problems, particularly boy problems, but I sincerely think that this time she has come to the wrong person. 


“Rose, what should I do?” she asks. 


I’m not sure what to tell her. I can’t exactly tell her that Scorpius is ugly – that would be hypocritical and a downright lie. Scorpius Malfoy is easily one of the best looking sixth year boys in Hogwarts. And most younger sisters have crushes on their older brother’s friends. I suppose it’s to be expected that Lily would like Scorpius. I just wish Al’s other friends could be better looking. 


“I…erm…why do you like him?” I ask, because I have absolutely no idea what else to say. Lily looks at me incredulously as if to say ‘do you really have to ask?’ 


“I don’t know,” she cries, “he’s…funny!” 


Really? 


“And handsome!” 


Well, obviously. 


“And he’s really kind – did you know he gives five galleons a month to the starving kids in Africa?” 


Let’s hope he decides to donate to his own kid here in England. 


“And he’s such a good Quidditch player.” 


Then how come we’ve beaten Slytherin in the Quidditch cup for the last three years? 


“And even though he’s a Malfoy, he doesn’t care about blood status. He’s different, Rose.” 


My stomach lurches. I clasp a hand over my mouth and run across to the bathroom. I fall to my knees and throw up into the toilet – this is becoming quite a habit. The horrible sensation and revolting taste is becoming second nature to me these days. Lily rushes in after me, holds my hair back and asks me if I’m okay. Well, there’s one way to get her to stop thinking about Scorpius – throw your guts up. 


“Rose, are you okay?” she asks, a note of panic in her voice. 


“Yeah,” I say. I run the tap and stick my head under it to wash my mouth out. I wipe the tears away from my cheeks and turn back to Lily. “It’s just a tummy bug.” 


Who ever said that morning sickness is just confined to the morning? Lily looks as if she believes my “tummy bug” cover up and brings me back across to the bedroom. 


“Sit down,” she says, “you look really pale.” 


“I’m fine,” I insist. Lily still looks really scared as if I’m about to run across to the bathroom and throw up again. 


A small knock on the door takes Lily’s attentions away from me and she nearly trips over her own feet when she sees who the knocker is – Scorpius. In fact, I nearly trip over my own feet too and I’m sitting down. He looks really uncomfortable and it’s quite obvious that he’s not up here out of choice. He ruffles his blonde hair and clears his throat in a way that clearly says “I’m so uncomfortable that I wish I were dead”. 


“Erm, Lily your Nana is looking for you,” he says. Lily goes red, but acts cool and leaves the room. I get up off the bed, feel a little dizzy and fall back down again. I probably look like a complete weirdo. 


“Are you okay?” he asks. He’s talking to me? Wow, Christmas does strange things to people. 


“I’m fantastic,” I say. My voice is a bit scratchy from the vomiting and I sound as if I’ve been smoking for the last ten years. Attractive, eh? 


“Are you sure?” he says, “You look…” 


“Like shit?” I finish. 


“No,” he says calmly, “you just look a bit pale.” 


Why is he still here? Why hasn’t he left? Why isn’t he avoiding me like he’s done for the last two months? 


“Yeah well…” I trail off. 


He’s standing there with his hands in his pockets, nodding uncomfortably. It looks like he hasn’t shaved in a while, but the stubble on his face is a lot darker than his hair. His eyebrows are darker too…it almost looks like he dyes his hair that light blonde colour. I know he doesn’t though, considering he’s had that same colour hair since first year. He’s wearing a grey hoody inside a black jacket and a pair of very worn out jeans – he looks homeless. His hair is falling right into his eyes; I’m surprised he can see where he’s going. 


“Listen, Rose,” he starts and immediately I can see where this is going. I have to change the subject before we get onto dangerous territory and I end up saying things…well, that I’m not quite ready to say. 


“I have to go,” I say and jump up, ignoring my wooziness. But Scorpius doesn’t stand aside to let me by. He merely looks down at me, his eyes staring fixedly into my own. Wow, he’s tall. 


“Are you going to just avoid me forever?” he says boldly. 


“Move aside,” I say. 


He sighs and looks like he’s going to say something else, but he then steps aside to let me by. I can feel his eyes following me out of the room and I feel most unnerved by it. I rush down the stairs and then catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror in the hallway. Lily and Scorpius weren’t lying when they said I look pale. My skin looks dry and pasty, there are large dark circles under my eyes, whose brown colour seems to have faded as of late. I go into the kitchen and I don’t care if I look like crap – and apparently neither does anyone else. 


Everyone is bustling around the Burrow. Nana’s making five different desserts at the same time for tomorrow; James and Al are listening to the Quidditch international scores on the wireless while helping my Mum to decorate the Christmas tree in the living room; Harry’s out the back with Dad and Hugo putting up the Christmas lights; Teddy’s lighting up the fire in the living room; Victoire’s hanging mistletoe on the ceiling, while singing some ridiculous Christmas carol, much to the dismay of the Potter boys and Dad and Aunt Ginny are arguing like a pair of kids. Actually, they’re a whole lot worse than a pair of kids. 


“Ron! You got to decorate the cake last year!” my forty-one year old aunt shouts at Dad.

“No I didn’t!” Dad screams back, “Mum! Tell her I didn’t!” 


Nana rolls her eyes and shakes her had at the pair of them. 


“Are you two ever going to grow up?” Nana sighs. 


“Mum! You know he got to do it last year!” Ginny protests. 


“Why don’t you both do it?” I say tiredly, feeling like I’m the parent here, not them. 


Dad and Ginny look at me as if they never thought of that before. 


“I knew you inherited the Granger brains,” laughs Harry, coming in from the garden. 


Dad looks offended even though he’s the one who’s always telling me that I inherited Mum’s brains. 


“There you are Scorpius!” Nana exclaims and I whip around to see Scorpius coming into the kitchen from the hallway. Lily goes red and drops the goblet she’s holding. Ginny smirks to herself as Lily dives in under the table to get it. 


Grandad doesn’t look up from his newspaper, but I can see that he looks a bit disgruntled by Scorpius’ entrance. He never really liked Scorpius. Dad said it’s because of the grudge that exists between Grandad and Scorpius’ grandfather, Lucius. He was a Death Eater as far as I remember from listening to Mum and Dad’s conversations. And my parents hated Scorpius’ Dad, Draco, when they were at school. So I suppose it must be a bit strange that this generation of Weasleys/Potters are getting on with the Malfoy family. 


Scorpius slides past me and coughs uncomfortably. He doesn’t acknowledge me and helps Nana with the desserts. I decide that I’m not comfortable in his presence – he’s making me feel even more nauseous. I slip into the living room where James and Al are listening intently to the Quidditch match between England and Portugal. 


“Who’s winning?” I ask. 


They shush me as the commentator cries “And Da Costa has caught the snitch!” They both swear loudly, causing Aunt Ginny to scream at them from the kitchen. 


Bloody Portuguese!” James exclaims, kicking the sofa. Mum sighs and mutters something that sounds very like the word “boys”. 


Usually I’d be very interested in the Quidditch results, but today my brain is elsewhere.

“Bloody hell Rose, you look like crap,” says Al, taking a good look at me, “are you ill?” 


Mum spins around at Al’s words to take a look at me. I hope that the colour has returned to my cheeks, but by the look on Mum’s face, it hasn’t. She jumps down from the stool she was standing on and rushes over to me. 


“I knew there was something wrong with you,” she says, her hand on my forehead, “Did you eat something dodgy? Have you got sick stomach? Headache? Dizziness? Maybe we should bring you to St Mungo’s…RON!” 


“I’m fine, Mum,” I say, “It’s just a bug, I don’t need to go to Mungo’s.” 


Dad wanders leisurely into the sitting room and looks at Mum with a “you called me?” look. 


“Rose isn’t well,” says Mum. 


“I’m fine!” I protest. 


“What’s up, Rosie?” Dad asks, now looking concerned. He does exactly what Mum did and feels my forehead – as if that will answer all of their questions. 


“You don’t have a fever,” says Dad. 


“I know! I’m fine!” 


“Are you sure? Maybe we should take you to St Mungo’s just in case…” says Dad. 


“Would you two stop? You don’t have to take me to St Mungo’s because of a tummy bug!” 


Mum’s eyes widen in realisation, although I don’t know how the hell she’s realised it – she knows I’m pregnant. I don’t know how I know she knows, I just do. 


“Upstairs,” she says firmly. 


I know better than to disagree. Mum marches me upstairs, followed closely by Dad, and into the first room she finds. She shuts the door and spins around to me, her brown eyes looking completely manic. 


They’re looking at me with extreme worry on their faces as if I’m about to announce that I’m dying. Then again, if I were dying, Mum wouldn’t be able to give out to me, right? Actually, knowing my Mum, she’d probably turn that around too and say it was somehow my fault. 


I take a deep breath, ready to spill the news, when Dad interrupts me. 


“Rosie…we know,” he says. 


I stare at them blankly. They look so concerned, but not angry at all. How can they not be angry with me? Why does Mum look ready to hug me? 


Why aren’t they armed with machetes? 


“It’s all our fault,” says Mum, her voice quivering, “we should have talked to you about this type of thing before you went to Hogwarts.” 


I pray to Merlin she’s not about to give me a sex talk – it’s a bit late now Mummy dear. But Dad’s nodding in agreement. Do they really think that I’m pregnant because they didn’t sit me down when I was eleven and explain what sex was? 


“We’ve failed you as parents, Rosie,” says Dad sadly, “but I suppose we never thought that you’d meet these problems. Just because we didn’t in Hogwarts doesn’t mean you won’t.” 


Ew – I really don’t want to know about my parents sexual habits while they were at Hogwarts, thank you very much. 


“Why did you do it, Rose?” Mum asks. 


“Erm…it was just one time…” 


“Yes, but after one time, it’s hard to stop,” says Dad. 


I feel sick – my parents are sex addicts. 


“It only takes one time before you’re hooked,” says Mum. 


Yep, definitely going to throw up again. 


“Tell us Rosie,” says Dad, “who gave it to you?” 


Gave it to me? Oh…dear…Jesus. Parents cannot be able to talk to their kids that way – that has to be at least borderline child abuse. But not even a hint of embarrassment or even amusement crosses either of my parents’ faces. They’re bloody serious. 


“Eh, it was Scorpius Malfoy,” I admit. 


Mum and Dad look livid, but Dad more than Mum. He jumps up off the bed, his face almost as red as his hair and bangs his fist against the wall – even Mum looks scared. 


“That Malfoy git! I always hated that bloody family!” he roars. 


“Ron, calm down,” Mum asserts, but Dad continues to pace the room frantically. 


“It’s not just Scorpius’ fault!” I cry. 


“Rosie, that prat is going around…dealing…of course it’s his fault!” 


What the hell is dealing? These 80’s kids have weird names for sex. 


“We have to stop this before he deals to other girls,” says Mum. 


“Would you please just call it sex?” I yell. 


Dad stops pacing and Mum looks like I’ve just hit her. 


“What on earth are you talking about?” Mum asks breathlessly. 


Oh god. 


Kill me now. 


Seriously, if there ever was a greater time to drop an atomic bomb on this house, now would be it. 


“W-what were you talking about?” I ask meekly. 


“We…I mean…well, your father and I…you’re on drugs, aren’t you?” 


I raise my eyebrows at them. 


Oh, so that’s what they meant by “dealing”. 


“No I’m not!” I say indignantly, “What do you take me for?” 


Mum and Dad look at one another. Dad’s now leaning up against the door, rubbing his beard thoughtfully, yet he looks very stressed and confused. 


“So…what were you going to tell us then if you’re not on drugs?” Dad asks. 


It’s times like these I wish I was on drugs. 


At least they’d be prepared for that. 


“Well…Mum….Dad,” I say slowly, “I’m…erm…pregnant.” 


I never ever thought I’d have to say that sentence. Both of their faces remain expressionless for a few moments, neither daring to talk or even breathe. I look down at my hands and their shaking furiously – I didn’t even notice until now. It feels like about a day has past since I told them at this stage, but they both have that same unresponsive look. 


“Say something,” I say quietly after a few minutes. 


“Tell me you’re joking,” says Mum in a very low voice. I shake my head and sniff. She clasps her hand over her mouth as if she’s going to be sick. She then starts pacing the room because she doesn’t know what else to do. 


“I didn’t think you were seeing Scorpius,” says Mum blankly, sitting down beside me on the bed. I’m feeling a bit uncomfortable now – she’s close enough to choke me. It’s obvious that she doesn’t know what else to say. 


“I – I’m not,” I admit, “It was a s-spur of the moment thing. I w-wasn’t thinking.” 


For some reason, Mum has tears in her eyes too, but not ones of anger. She doesn’t seem angry in the slightest. She seems…scared? I don’t know if that’s the right word. But she’s definitely upset. 


“My poor baby,” she whispers and grabs me into a tight hug. 


Okay, I wasn’t expecting this


She doesn’t let go of me for a while and we sit on the bed, holding each other and crying. I’ve never felt as close and connected with Mum as I do right now. When she finally lets me go, her eyes are all red and puffy. 


Dad doesn’t say anything at all. He’s as pale as a ghost and it looks like he’s about to collapse. Mum gets up and walks over to Dad, putting her hand on his arm, but he pulls away and storms out of the room without even looking at me. 


“Oh dear,” says Mum. 


“He’s not going to kill Scorpius, is he?” I ask fearfully. Mum shakes her head. 


“I don’t know. He’ll probably just go missing for a while,” she says distantly, as if it’s the most normal thing in the world. 


What the hell did I do to deserve this family? 


“What do you mean?” I ask. 


“Well…erm…when your Aunt Ginny got pregnant, Ron went missing for about five hours. And then when I got pregnant, he was so scared of becoming a parent that he went missing for about three days. Your Dad is…well, a fairly simple man. He just needs his space.” 


Seriously, what’s going on? It’s like my parents have been possessed by ghosts – my mum by a ghost that doesn’t seem to mind that her daughter is pregnant and my dad by a ghost that runs away from pregnant people! 


“It’s alright,” she says soothingly. 


And at her words, I start to cry even more. She cradles me again and I feel like I’m a little kid again after falling over and grazing my knee with my mum comforting me, telling me I’m a brave little girl and it’ll be alright. Except this time, it’s not going to be alright. Because grazes heal and scars fade – babies don’t just go away. 


“You’ll have to tell Scorpius,” she says softly, “He has a right to know.” 


I know she’s right. I know I have to tell Scorpius. But the thing is, I don’t really know Scorpius. I have no idea how he’d react to such news. I’ve barely spoken to him sober before. Well, maybe I have at some stage, but I’ve never had a significant conversation with the guy. How can I just walk downstairs and ruin his life on Christmas Eve? 


“You can leave your father and Hugo to me,” says Mum. 


I nod at her and give her a hopefully grateful look. I can tell that she’s still trying to get her head around the news, but she’s being surprisingly cool about it. And believe me, “cool” isn’t a word that’s used to describe Hermione Weasley on a regular basis. 


She gets up to leave, but as she goes to go out the door, she whips back around and the look on her face tells me that the strict, overpowering monster inside her wants to scream its head off at me. Luckily, Mum manages to restrain it and leaves me alone in the bedroom. 




She doesn’t speak to me for the remainder of Christmas Eve. I don’t think she’s angry with me – she’s got this air of disappointment surrounding her now. I haven’t seen her this way since I was about five years old and she and Dad had a massive argument. I have no idea to this day what it was over – all I remember is sitting on the stairs, cradling Hugo in my arms and listening to them screaming at one another. But this time it’s so much worse – I know for sure it’s my fault this time. 


Luckily, Dad doesn’t go missing, but we don’t see him at the Burrow for the rest of the day. He went home after hearing the news, something that I’m very thankful for. I was afraid he’d start yelling at Scorpius and then I’d definitely have to tell him the truth. But he didn’t. We go home and find him sitting alone in the living room, staring into nothingness. 


“Hugo, go to your room,” says Mum. 


“You can’t tell me what to do!” he screams. 


Mum glares at him. “Do you want a bet?” she hisses. Hugo knows he can’t win this argument, so storms up the stairs and slams his bedroom door shut. How I wish I could do the same. 


“Ron,” says Mum gently. 


“Sorry,” Dad says, his voice unusually high, “I just needed to get out of there.” 


Mum nods. I stay quiet and don’t dare to move. 


“How could you be so stupid, Rosie?” Dad asks with a definite note of disappointment in his voice. 


“Dad, I’m sorry.”
 

“Have we taught you nothing?” he says, his voice now getting stronger, “Have we really been such bad parents? Have you ever heard of contraception?” 


“I wasn’t thinking,” I say, my voice shaking. 


“Well that part’s obvious!” he shouts. I’ve never seen him so angry…well, not at me anyway. It feels like there’s a golf ball stuck in my throat and there are tears in my eyes, but I’m determined not to cry. 


“I-” 


“DON’T say you’re sorry again!” 


“Ron, calm down,” says Mum. 


“I WON’T CALM DOWN! You are sixteen years old, Rose! Do you have any idea of the amount of responsibility being a parent is?” he roars. 


“Ron!” Mum cries, “You’re not helping! What’s done is done and we can’t change it!” 


“Yes, we can,” he says, “There are ways.” 


I know what he’s getting at. 


“And you think getting an abortion is the answer?” I ask quietly, as tears stream down my cheeks, “You think that this will all go away if I kill an innocent child?” 


“It’s not a child, it’s a bunch of cells, Rose!” Dad shouts. 


“IT’S NOT A BUNCH OF CELLS!” I scream, “I didn’t want to get pregnant, but now that I am I’m not going to just run from it! I’m taking responsibility. You don’t have the right to tell me what to do just because you’re scared!” 


“You’re taking responsibility?” he laughs bitterly, “Really? So why haven’t you told him yet?” 


“He has a name, you know!” 


“I know,” Dad says resentfully, “and it’s Malfoy.” 


He says the word "Malfoy" as if it's contaminated.


“Grow up, Dad!” I shout, “Just because Grandad hates Lucius Malfoy and you hate Draco Malfoy doesn’t mean I should hate Scorpius too!” 


I’m being slightly hypocritical considering Scorpius and I don’t actually like each other, but this isn’t the time for technicalities. 


“I’m not you!” I continue, “Just like Scorpius isn’t his father!” 


Dad looks livid – I’ve never spoken to him like that before. 


“Don’t take that tone with me,” he says (a classic parent’s line), “I am your father!” 


“Well then start acting like it!” I cry, “I don’t need you to tell me how stupid I am, I already know that much!” 


And I dramatically storm out and upstairs to my bedroom. It feels like every drop of water in my body is being cried out right now. I can hear Mum and Dad shouting at one another downstairs. Mum’s sticking up for me while Dad’s going crazy, shouting at me to come downstairs. I stay where I am. There’s a small knock on the door and Hugo comes in, looking concerned. 


“Are you okay?” he asks uncharacteristically. He comes and sits on my bed and pats me awkwardly on the arm. I love that boy. I sit up and hug him, thankful that he’s left his petty “I’m-a-rebel-death-metal-head-emo” act safely in his bedroom and is acting like an actual brother now. 


“I’m sorry, Hugh,” I say, “It’s my fault they’re fighting.” 


“I know you’re pregnant,” says Hugo. 


Oh. 


“H-how?” 


He shrugs and smiles mischievously, revealing his over-sized front teeth and looking uncannily like Mum. 


“I hear things,” he says, “Uncle George sent me a pair of Extendable Ears in the post a few weeks back.” 


“I’m sorry,” I say again. 


“It’s okay, Rosie. You’re going to be okay. I’ll help you,” he says. I’ve never heard Hugo sound more mature in my whole life. I’m so proud to call him my brother. 


“You’re the best little brother ever,” I say and smile at him. 


“I know,” he says smugly, “I’m pretty brilliant.” 


“And so modest,” I add. 


“That’s me,” he smiles. 


“You won’t…you won’t tell anyone, right?” I ask. 


“Of course I won’t.” 


I really do have the coolest brother in the whole world. He pats my arm one last time (god bless his awkwardness) and leaves me alone in my room again. As he’s going out the door, Mum comes in. Her eyes are red and swollen and she’s sniffing a lot. 


“I’m sorry Mum,” I say and burst into tears. 


“I know,” she says and sits down on the edge of my bed, “you have to stop apologising. It’s not going to change anything.” 


She says it in a despondent way. 


“Where’s Dad?” 


Mum shrugs. “Gone for a walk.” 


“Mum…could we not tell anyone about this yet?” I ask, “Not even the family?” 


“Suit yourself,” she sighs and gets up again. She walks out the door but turns back before she closes it and says, “Merry Christmas, Rose.” 


She then turns off the light and shuts the door. 


Some Christmas.

 

 








Thanks for reading! Please review! Hope you enjoyed it (",)
 


Chapter 5: A Blue Christmas and a Random New Year
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Disclaimer - Everything except for the plot belongs to JK Rowling!






On Christmas morning, I’m shaken awake by none other than Hugo. I momentarily forget what day it is, but when I see him holding a small box wrapped in golden paper, it all comes rushing back to me. It’s Christmas Day and absolutely nothing is as it should be. Dad hates me, Mum and Dad hate each other and I hate pretty much everyone – except for Hugo. That’s a quite a turn around when you think about it. 


Hugo looks sort of distressed, almost like he’s feeling severely sorry for me. I wish he wouldn’t, it’s just weird to have him act like he cares about anything other than his favourite heavy metal band “The Death Metal Eaters”. 


“Happy Christmas,” he says and hands me the small package. 


“Thanks, Hugh,” I smile and open it up. It’s a beautiful charm bracelet, silver, with lots of little charms hanging off it including a dog, a stag and a werewolf – the three Marauders we’ve been told so much about over the years. I hug Hugo tightly. 


“It’s meant to be lucky,” says Hugo, his voice muffled by my tight embrace. 


“It’s beautiful, thank you.” 


Hugo pushes me off and tells me to get up and come downstairs. I decide that I can’t exactly hide out in my room all day, that life goes on and no matter what happens I’m going to be forced to go to The Burrow and face my entire family and Scorpius Malfoy. 


Mum and Dad are both up when I go downstairs, though neither are speaking. Hugo sits by the Christmas tree, opening presents. Even he feels like he doesn’t have the right to be in a strop today. I join him by the tree and open some of my own presents, but my heart’s not in it and neither is Hugo’s. Usually we do this as a family, but Mum and Dad don’t seem too interested. They’re in the kitchen, while we’re in the sitting room, trying to avoid the awkward topic of my pregnancy. 


I can’t take much more of this. I go into the kitchen and Mum and Dad stop fighting under their breaths when I arrive. Mum smiles weakly at me (very weakly) while Dad doesn’t even acknowledge me. 


“Can we just act normal for today?” I ask, “It’s Christmas.” 


Mum nods, but Dad says nothing. 


“Ron,” Mum warns, “she’s right.” 


“Whatever,” he says, strongly resembling Hugo when he’s in a mood. 


“Let’s just try to have a nice Christmas,” says Mum, “we can deal with this another time.” 


Again, Dad says nothing. 


“Ronald!” 


“FINE!” he shouts and storms out of the kitchen. 


“And a Happy Christmas to you too!” I shout after him. 




I’m so happy by the time we arrive at the Burrow. Here, I can escape Dad’s death glares, Mum’s disappointed sighs and Hugo’s sympathetic glances. Mum reassured me before we came that Dad isn’t going to breathe a word to anyone about my pregnancy, so I can relax. Well, relax as much as possible. Which isn’t much these days. 


The Delacour-Weasley’s are already here (it’s much easier to call them by that name because there’s too many Weasley’s), which means I have Dom to talk to. The Johnson-Weasley’s arrive shortly after us, the Smith-Weasley’s a little later (as in Uncle Percy’s lot) and once Uncle Charlie arrives, it’s just a matter of waiting for the Potter’s. 


And they arrive and it’s all kisses and flowers and puppies and fake smiles on my part. Harry gives me a hug and slips me a few galleons along with my Christmas present – he tends to spoil me because I’m his goddaughter. Then again, Teddy’s his godson and I don’t see him slipping Teddy a few galleons. Maybe he did when Teddy was younger. 


Wouldn’t it just be so cute if Harry Potter’s godson and goddaughter were to get married? Or is that a kind of incest? I don’t think it is – I better read up on that. 


“Happy Christmas,” I hear a voice say from behind me. I turn around to face Scorpius, who is towering over me and I’m so shocked that he’s actually speaking to me (again) that all I can do is say “yes”. 


Smooth. 


“Um, I mean, Happy Christmas,” I say stupidly, but I doubt he’s heard me because he and Al shuffle into the sitting room. 


“Happy Christmas, Red!” James shouts at me from the other side of the kitchen and every red head turns to look at him – which is practically everyone. 


“Happy Christmas to all the Reds!” he exclaims. 


It’s quite an enjoyable day up until lunchtime. This is mainly because I’m avoiding Mum and Dad. Dad’s going around with a face like a slapped arse and when people ask him what’s wrong, he makes up something about not feeling well. 


Right now, James and Al are discussing Quidditch tactics with Uncle Charlie. Uncle Charlie was captain of the Gryffindor house team when he was at Hogwarts, so James and Al often go to him for advice on captaining their own teams (Gryffindor and Slytherin obviously). That’s a bit strange considering their own father was also a Quidditch captain and their mum played on a national team. But I suppose kids just don’t like taking advice off their own parents. It’s much cooler to seek advice from a guy who chases dragons for a living. As I half-listen to Uncle Charlie planning out various seeker positions, Dom flounces into the room and throws herself down on the couch beside me. 


“Rose, I have to talk to you,” says Dom and she looks really excited. 


“About what?” 


She grabs my wrist and leads me out into the hall. We sit down on the stairs, and she’s bouncing up and down with excitement. 


“You’ll never guess who I hooked up with,” she grins. 


“Who?” I say, now getting excited too. I’m a sucker for gossip. 


“Guess,” she says. 


“Erm…oh, is it Peter Hannigan?” I ask. 


“Nope!” 


“Simon Longbottom?” 


“Ew, no!” 


“Simon’s a nice guy,” I say, feeling slightly sorry for him because he’s a bit of a weirdo. But Mum makes me be nice to him because his dad is a friend of the family. 


“Keep guessing!” 


“I don’t know…one of the Scamander twins?” 


“Rose, they’re 14! You’re never going to guess!” she says exasperatedly, “Shall I tell you?” 


“Yes please,” I say. 


“Okay…it’s Scorpius!” 


So she’s the girlfriend Lily was talking about then. I’m feeling slightly light-headed now. Do ALL of my female relations fancy him???


“Say something!” Dom exclaims. 


“I…have to…go…somewhere,” I say and run into the kitchen and out the back door. 


I can feel tears in my eyes and I don’t know why. It’s not like I have any right to be upset, not really. It’s not like Scorpius and I are together, or ever were or ever will be. It’s just strange, I suppose. 


This whole damn situation is a mess! Here I am, sitting outside (in the snow, I might add), crying my eyes out over a boy that I don’t even like! It’s as if my emotions have become so fragile lately that the slightest little tip will send me over the edge. I used to be such a level-headed person. I never used to cry over stupid, insignificant details. In fact, the only time I ever really cried was when our dog, Padfoot, died last year. I cried solidly for a week then. 


Thankfully, Dom hasn’t followed me out of the house, but it appears that someone else noticed my quick departure. Teddy is walking over to me, looking very concerned. His eyes are blue today and his hair is blood red, but his facial features are pretty much the same as always. 


“Hiya Rosie,” he says sweetly, sitting down beside me on the snow covered bench. 


“Teddy, why do I bother getting up in the morning?” I groan. 


“What’s happened?” 


“Everything!” I whine, “Mum and Dad know that I’m…you know…and now Dad hates me, Mum’s being all…pensive and weird and stuff, Hugo’s actually being friendly and…and…now Dom is going out with Scorpius!” 


Teddy puts a comforting arm around me, which makes my heart beat about a thousand times faster than what is considered healthy. 


“Rosie, I’m sure your dad doesn’t hate you. He’s probably just upset for you, that’s all. And it’s a good thing that your mum and Hugo are being cool about it, right? And…since when has Dom been going out with Scorpius?” 


“I don’t know. She just told me a few minutes ago. Nothing’s as it should be, Teddy. I’m completely done for.” 


Teddy stays quiet for a few minutes and I can tell that he secretly agrees with me, even if he doesn’t want to say so. My life is over before it’s begun. How sad is that? Even Teddy knows it. Even Dad knows it. 


"Why do you care if Dom is going out with Scorpius?" Teddy asks. 


Then I realise - Teddy doesn't know Scorpius is the father. Darn it. 


"Scorpius is the dad," I say. 


Although Teddy indeed looks a bit taken aback by this new information, he says nothing and I'm thankful for that. 


“Life would be so much simpler if I were to hurl myself off a cliff,” I say, perhaps being a bit dramatic. 


“Look George Bailey, don’t make me pull an “It’s A Wonderful Life” on your ass,” says Teddy. I laugh – that’s my favourite film of all time. Trust Teddy to remember that. 


He brings me back inside when he notices how much I’m shaking. Thankfully, nobody seemed to have noticed that we were gone or else I’d be facing some questioning as to why I was sitting out in the snow, crying. At least I have Teddy – he’s the one star in my cloudy sky. And maybe some day he’ll realise how much of a tool my cousin Victoire is and then he’ll dump her and marry me. 


And maybe some day a bloody Flobberworm will be elected minister for magic. 


“Dinner’s ready!” Nana exclaims and we all cram around the table in the overcrowded kitchen of the Burrow. I now have to avoid Scorpius, Lily and Dom, so I sit in between James and Teddy. It’s quite sickening actually – Teddy and Victoire are holding hands under the table. I suppose I can just talk to James… 


“Pull my finger!” 


Oh god, why was I born into a nut house? Did I do something in a previous life to deserve this? 


Was I HITLER??? 


Fred is laughing hysterically at James’ “pull my finger” joke. Seriously, James is eighteen, I’m starting to think that he could have some serious mental issues. But when I mention this to Uncle Harry, he just laughs it off. Oh well, maybe he’s just in denial. 


Dinner is as amazing as it is every year. There’s enough to feed two armies here – that turkey must have been on steroids or something, you should see the size of it. On top of that, there’s about six different kinds of potato, an entire ham, cranberry sauce, stuffing, vegetables – but guess what? I’m not hungry. In fact, the smell of the gravy is making me feel nauseous. 


“England are out of the Five Nations Quidditch Cup, can you believe it Red?” James says to me, a large dollop of cranberry sauce hanging from the side of his mouth. 


“I think I’m going to vomit,” I cry and run upstairs to the bathroom. As I go, I hear James say, “I know, it’s ridiculous!” 


I hear Mum coming up the stairs and she knocks gently on the door. Before I even tell her to come in, she opens the door. I’m kneeling on the floor beside the toilet, tears streaming down my cheeks. Mum picks me up and sits me on the side of the bath. She conjures up a glass of water, which I take gratefully. 


“I’ve told everyone you have a tummy bug,” says Mum blandly. 


“Thanks,” I say. 


Silence. 


“Mum…does Dad hate me?” I ask. 


“No,” she says, but it’s hard to know if she’s telling the truth, “He’s just in shock.” 


“I’m sorry I’ve ruined Christmas.” 


“Just stop it Rose!” Mum snaps, “Stop with your ridiculous apologies! It’s done now, okay? Saying sorry doesn’t change anything! I’ve tried my best to be understanding and helpful, but I’m at the end of my tether at this stage!” 


I nod and despite myself, I start to cry even more. But Mum doesn’t hug me or even acknowledge my tears, she just sits stiffly beside me on the edge of the bath. After a few minutes, she gets up without saying anything and leaves the bathroom. And I can’t shake that feeling that it’s not just my own life that I’ve ruined. 




The next week makes me want to curl up and die. I spend most of my time in my bedroom doing my homework until eventually I have no more homework left to do so I start studying for my end of year exams. That officially makes me the biggest loser in Hogwarts. But it’s much easier to stay in my room and out of my parents’ way because they just make me feel like I’ve committed some sort of unforgivable crime every time they look at me. 


Dom has called around almost every day this week. Since my incident on Christmas Day, my whole family think I have some sort of illness so they’re all being extra nice to me – that is except for my parents. One of the days Victoire and Teddy came with her and I couldn’t help but wish that Uncle Bill had never met Fleur Delacour. Then neither Teddy nor Scorpius would be dating a Delacour-Weasley (because they wouldn’t exist) and I wouldn’t want to stick my head in the oven every time they swish their long blonde Veela hair in my face. Why did my mum have to be a lousy Muggleborn? There’s nothing special about them. Dom and Victoire’s great grandmother was a Veela, meaning she’s completely gorgeous and nearly every guy in the world wants to go out with her. Teddy’s mum was a metamorphmagus meaning that he’s one too so he can choose his level of handsomeness. What do I have? Oh yes, dry, bushy red hair and a couple of freckles scattered over my nose. Yay, let’s all sing the bloody Dixie. 


On New Years Eve, Mum announces to me and Hugo that we are going to Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny’s for the night. They’re having some big party and are inviting practically everyone they know. Harry and Ginny’s house is massive (I’m talking three floors, not including the attic and the basement). I’ve always loved staying at the Potters’. It’s not even because they’re house is so amazing, it’s because there’s always something fun to do at the Potter house. That’s probably due to the fact that James and Al live there – Harry calls them the new Marauders. They have been known to blow up a bedroom on occasion, which is why Harry no longer lets them stay in the same room, even if there are guests staying over. Al came very close to losing a limb last time. 


We arrive at Chez Potter at around half nine and already the place is packed with people I have never seen before in my life. There are quite a few Hogwarts students here and one teacher, Professor Longbottom. Of course we just call him Neville outside of school. It would just be weird for Hugo to call his own godfather “Professor Longbottom”. There are loads of people from the ministry here too. That’s where Uncle Harry, Mum and Dad work. There’s this one guy, McLaggen, who’s about the same age as Mum and Dad, but nobody seems to like him much, not even Harry and Ginny. Why he’s here is completely beyond me. Maybe it was one of those awkward situations where they were inviting people to the party and McLaggen happened to walk in, so they couldn’t very well tell him not to come. By the dirty looks Dad is shooting him, I’m guessing that’s what happened. McLaggen’s quite drunk at the minute and keeps winking at Mum – I’m positive I saw her gag earlier on. 


Couples are as common as STDs among slutty Hufflepuffs in the Potter house tonight. Teddy and Victoire are being as sickeningly sickening as usual – he hasn’t even spoken to me since I’ve arrived, apart from when he said “Wotcher Rosie!” when I first came in. And now Dom and Scorpius are turning out to be as bad as them. Dom waved at me when I arrived – seriously, she just waved and then went off with Scorpius for the rest of the night. James and Fred are off chatting up McLaggen’s two daughters (who are probably about twenty, so the boys don’t stand a chance), Al’s new girlfriend Jenny Winters is here (a really annoying Ravenclaw who thinks she’s above everyone else) and even Molly has someone to kiss when the clock strikes twelve! Yes, he’s probably about fourteen and yes, he’s got a severe stammer and yes, he’s a squib but hey, it’s better than nothing, right? 


Maybe I should just go buy some cats and spend New Years with them. 


At around a quarter to twelve, my annoyance reaches its peak. It’s that time when the adults (and James and Fred) are all slightly tipsy, people are getting excited about the countdown and the game of charades has begun – in other words, it’s time for me to go and hide out in Al’s room. I don’t bother knocking, but I regret that instantly considering I didn’t know that Scorpius was actually in the room…I forgot he was staying here. How on earth could I have forgotten that? 


“Oh, um, sorry,” I mumble. 


“Oh, it’s okay,” he says, “I was just getting something out of my trunk.” 


I nod awkwardly. He reaches into his trunk and grabs a jumper with the letter “S” on the front and throws it on. It’s obviously one that Nana made for him for Christmas. It’s kind of sad that he actually wears them. I usually give mine to the homeless folk who live down at the riverbank. They have at least twelve Weasley jumpers between them. If only Nana knew. 


“Are you having fun?” he asks. 


“Yeah, it’s a laugh a minute down there,” I say sarcastically. He laughs…well actually, it’s not really a laugh. He kind of tilts his head to the side, smiles and makes a “pfft” noise. It’s a bit strange. 


“So you and Dom then…” I say.
 

Why the hell did I just say that sentence fragment? 


“Erm, yeah,” he says, ruffling his blonde hair, “about that…” 


“Whatever,” I say quickly. I don’t want him to think that I’m in any way bothered by the fact that he’s with my cousin – even though I am. 


“I meant to talk to you about it,” he says, but I know he’s lying. 


“Come off it,” I say, “like we ever talk.”
 

He raises his eyebrows at me. 


“And that’s my fault?” he says heatedly. 


“I never said that.” 


“You implied it,” he mutters. 


“You were the one who ignored me after…” I trail off. He knows what I mean. 


“What?” he says incredulously, “I ignored you? You were the one who said ‘ooh let’s not tell anyone!’” 


“Okay, first of all, I don’t talk like that,” I say in response to his very bad high-pitched impression of me, “and secondly, I thought you were regretting the whole thing considering you were drunk when…it…happened!” 


“Yeah well I regret nothing! I wasn’t that drunk, you know. You make it sound like I never liked you.” 


“Well…erm…” I stutter, “That’s…” 


“Are you saying you regret what happened?” he asks. 


YES. 


Okay, maybe not fully. But the not using protection thing is a big regret! 


He liked me? 


Before I can answer… 


His lips are on mine. How the hell did this happen? Oh Merlin he’s got soft lips! I put my arms around his neck and his hands are placed carefully and lightly on my waist, as if awaiting the right moment to move either up or down. My heart’s racing…he must be able to feel it beating so furiously, our bodies are so close together. He pulls me even closer and the kiss becomes more passion-filled than before. My hand wanders into his blonde hair – it’s so silky and smooth…I wonder what conditioner he uses. 


Not the time, Rose! 


Then, after a few moments, the kiss becomes more relaxed, but it doesn’t stop. We pull away from each other, but only for a second before we’re back to kissing as if our lives depend on it…as if there’s nobody else in the world…as if there aren’t about fifty drunken idiots downstairs playing charades and shouting “Film! Two words!” 


It’s just Scorpius and me…like it was last time. Except…it’s not just Scorpius and me. 


What about Dom? 


I push him off me, our lips are red and swollen and I think we’re both a bit shocked by what’s just happened. 


“What about Dom?” I whisper, my hand clasped over my mouth. I’m horrified at what I’ve just done. His eyes widen in realisation. 


“Rose…I…” 


“Just go,” I say, “before we do something stupid.” 


He looks like he’s going to say something else, but I’m half-thankful, half-disappointed when he leaves without saying another word. But if he’d stayed a moment longer, I know we would have been back kissing like a pair of idiots again. 


And for the life of me, I have no idea why. 


5…4…3…2…1! Happy New Year! 
I sit on Al’s bed, very much alone as the New Year is rung in downstairs. And I wonder if anybody has actually noticed that I’m not there. Apparently someone has because the door of Al’s room opens and in walks… 


Scorpius. 


He didn’t return back downstairs to be with Dom after all. He walks over to Al’s bed, takes my hand and pulls me into standing position. He then bends down and kisses me so deeply that I forget that I even have a cousin called Dom for those few seconds.

“Happy New Year, Rose,” he whispers when we break apart. 


“Go,” I say, feeling my eyes brim with tears, “please.” 


And this time, he really does leave. 







Okay, I'm not 100% happy with this chapter, but its the best I can do for now! I know loads of you are going to kill me for a) ending the chapter there and b) not having Rose tell Scorpius yet. But patience is a virtue! I hope you liked this chapter, please review! 
PS - Thanks to everyone who has reviewed so far, I can't believe the response I'm getting!

Chapter 6: Going Home
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: Everything you recognise belongs to JK Rowling. I made the chapter images...










I’m so glad that tomorrow I will be returning to Hogwarts after the worst Christmas break in history. Sometimes I think that I’m doing so much destruction to my entire family that I should just move to a far off country like...Cuba? Yes, Cuba. Then everyone would be a lot happier. I’d probably even be happier – a single British teenage witch mother living in communist Cuba…what could be better?


I can’t look Dom in the face since New Years Eve. I have this horrible guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach every time she smiles at me or is nice to me. She’s not only my cousin, she’s my best friend and I’ve betrayed her. I know that I’m pregnant with her boyfriend’s kid, but at least I could have told her that that had happened before they were together. Now I really have royally screwed up.


Luckily I haven’t seen Scorpius since the party. According to Al he had to go back to his parents’ house because of some family issues that he didn’t feel like discussing. Oh well, every cloud has a silver lining, right? True, it’s quite a dark cloud and the silver lining is so thin that you can barely see it, but it’s there.


Speaking of family issues, I think my parents are on the verge of killing one another. Not one day has passed in the last week without a shouting match between the two of them. I’m starting to consider doing what Hugo does and blaring my music so loud that it drowns out their furious roars at one another. And they’re not even fighting over my pregnancy anymore. They fight over everything. And it’s obvious that there’s something else at the root of their argument that neither is mentioning.


Right now, I’m in my room packing my trunk for tomorrow. Mum and Dad are screaming as usual, so I’m singing “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie to drown them out. I’m also trying to concentrate on the packing (and of course the lyrics of the song) to take my mind off Scorpius. Because he’s pretty much all I’ve thought about all day and I can’t figure out why. This time two weeks ago, I was fine. I had no impure thoughts about him, I didn’t know I was pregnant, I could talk and laugh and joke with Dom until the cows came home. But now my heart does this little flutter thing when I think of him, but I’m putting that down to heartburn and nothing else.


Why did the fricking cows have to come home?


“GET OUT!”


Oh dear. I haven’t heard Mum scream like that since…well, around ten years ago. I shut up singing and I hear that Hugo has turned off his music. We both open our bedroom doors at the same time and look at one another, mirroring each others look of fright. We creep to the top of the stairs to get a view of what’s going on. Mum and Dad are standing in the hallway. Mum’s face is red and blotchy, Dad looks really angry and they’re both facing each other with their wands drawn.


“Get out of my house,” Mum says steadily.


“This is my house too!” Dad shouts back.


“We’ll see what the lawyers have to say about that,” she hisses.


“The lawyers?” Hugo whispers and I shush him.


“Stop threatening me with the lawyers, Hermione. Do you think that just because you work in the Law Enforcement Department that they’ll let you keep the kids?”


“You’re not fit to be their father!” Mum screams, “Look how you’ve been treating Rose over the past few weeks!”


“It’s not my fault she’s taking after you,” Dad snaps.


I have no idea what he means by that, but Mum looks really offended and slaps Dad so hard across the cheek that she has to cradle her own hand afterwards.


“Violence,” Dad says, rubbing his cheek, “you wait til your ‘lawyers’ hear about this.”


“Shut up,” Mum hisses, “and get out of my house.”


“Stop being so dramatic!”


“GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!”


Her voice echoes around the whole house for a moment, followed by a deafening silence. Dad’s breathing very heavily and he looks like he’s about to start shouting again, but he just storms past Mum and out of the house, slamming the front door so hard behind him that the picture of Mum and Dad on their wedding day falls from the wall and smashes to pieces. Mum looks at the broken picture, turns around and storms into the living room without bothering to fix it.


“What the hell was that?” Hugo whispers to me. I shrug and shake my head.


“I’m going to go talk to her,” I decide and walk down the stairs, half knowing that this is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had, including sleeping with Scorpius Malfoy then refusing to tell him of my pregnancy and then making out with him.


Mum’s sitting on the couch with her face in her hands and sobbing so hard that it sounds as if she can’t breathe properly. It’s hard to know if she’s noticed that I’m in the room or if she’s just ignoring me. I cautiously sit down beside her and wonder if this could possibly be the end of my parents’ marriage. I’ve always known that our family was very far from perfect, like all families. But we always stuck by one another and that alone gave me hope. Now I’m not so sure that Mum and Dad can come through an argument like this one.


“Mum?” I say gently. She jumps and looks very surprised to see me sitting beside her. Apparently she hadn’t noticed my entrance.


“Rose,” she sobs, “go back upstairs.”


I stay where I am. Even though I know she’s ready to lash out at me, I also know that she can’t be alone right now. Part of me wants to ask the endless list of questions that is forming in my brain and another part of me wants to go and find Dad and kick his ass. But I do neither. I go out to the kitchen, which is joined on to the sitting room and make Mum a cup of tea. I don’t know why I’m doing this, it’s just what adults do when they’re upset. It’s as if a cup of tea can solve all the world’s problems. Seriously, why didn’t Uncle Harry and Mum and Dad just sit Voldemort down with a cup of tea all those years ago instead of going through all that Horcrux crap? Things would have been a lot easier. But maybe Voldemort just didn’t like tea.


I’m sort of trailing off the point here.


I make the cup of tea and bring it into Mum. She doesn’t take it so I set it down on the coffee table (on a coaster of course, because if I didn’t she’d probably eat me alive). We both sit in silence. Mum has stopped crying on the outside, but her eyes tell a different story. They show a lot of inner turmoil that is quite clearly suppressed in her and if she doesn’t let it out, she’s going to do herself some serious damage. I scoot closer to her, but she shows no sign of acknowledging my presence. She’s staring distantly towards the fireplace and far beyond it. I have no idea where her mind is at right now.


“I’m sorry,” she says eventually.


“Don’t be sorry,” I say quickly.


She shakes her head and a single tear rolls down her cheek as she sniffs.


“It’s my fault,” she whispers.


“It’s Dad’s fault too!” I exclaim.


Mum shakes her head. I don’t understand what she means by that, but I don’t ask. It’s not like she’d tell me anyway.


“Go to bed,” she says, “please, Rose.”


I don’t argue even though every little part of me wants to. I leave her on her own in the living room, staring absent-mindedly ahead of her but seeing nothing. Hugo’s still sitting on the stairs. I sit down beside him. He looks at me as if he’s looking for some sort of reassurance or comfort from me, but I just shrug and shake my head. He sighs heavily and returns to his bedroom without saying another word.


This Christmas break has just got a whole lot worse.




When I woke up this morning, I forgot about what had happened last night. That is until I saw my trunk packed at the end of my bed and realised that today I am going back to Hogwarts. I love those few seconds in oblivion when you first wake up and forget your own name or what gender you are. It’s a time when you don’t have to worry that your Mum threw your Dad out of the house last night. It’s a glorious few seconds when you don’t even think about the new life growing inside you, or how that life came to be. You don’t even think of the terribly confusing feelings you have for Scorpius Malfoy or the inexplicable guilt you carry around with you for betraying your own cousin.


Unfortunately, those few seconds have to end and when all of these realisations hit you at half nine in the morning, it’s worse than a thousand Firewhiskey hangovers. I drag myself out of bed and get dressed, although I feel a bit weird about leaving Mum in this state. She obviously can’t be on her own while she’s going through so much pain. I hurry down the stairs and plan to contact Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny so they can come and look after Mum while Hugo and I are away. But I don’t have to get in contact with them, because they’re already here.


Well, Uncle Harry is anyway, with James, Al and Lily. Hugo’s eating his breakfast while James and Al are talking in hushed tones. Harry smiles weakly at me when I come into the kitchen.


“Where’s Mum?” is my first question.


“She’s in bed,” says Harry, “she needs some rest.”


I know what that means – she perhaps hit the wine a bit too hard last night. Apparently my cup of tea didn’t solve everything.


“I’m taking you and Hugo to Kings Cross,” Harry continues.


“Where’s my dad?” asks Hugo. James and Al shut up quickly and Harry looks really awkward.


“He’s at your house, isn’t he?” I say before Harry has the chance to answer. The obvious look on James and Al’s faces is a dead give away. And I should have known that Dad would go to his best friend’s and sister’s house. Harry looks like he’s sorry, even though I know he won’t want to take sides in this argument. After all, Mum is his best friend too.


We all climb into Uncle Harry’s car, which has been magically expanded to fit everyone in the back along with all of our trunks, and make our way towards Kings Cross Station. Lily is being unusually quiet and I get the impression that she’s in a bit of a mood.


“Lils, did you remember your wand?” asks Uncle Harry as we turn onto the main road.


“Yeah, do you think I’m completely stupid?” she snaps.


Uncle Harry looks a little afraid of his teenage daughter so he shuts up. Okay, so she’s in a really bad mood. She is picking the pink nail varnish off her nails at such a ferocious rate that I’m pretty sure she’s just going to rip her fingernails off any second now. When we arrive at Kings Cross, we all stumble out of the car, grab our trunks and cross through the barrier to platform 9 and ¾. I wait as Harry hugs each of his children and Hugo before going to hug my godfather myself.


“Look after Mum and Dad,” I say when we’re finished hugging.


“Don’t worry about them, Rosie,” says Harry, “They’ve been fighting for the last twenty years. They’ll come round eventually.”


He smiles at me, ruffles my hair (because he knows how much is annoys me) so I push him playfully before boarding the Hogwarts Express. I wave at him out the door and go to find a compartment with my cousins.


“Rose.”


I turn around to see who has just called my name and my heart momentarily stops beating when I see the tall blonde haired idiot that has been taking over every single one of my thoughts for the last week or so. I wonder would he notice if I just jumped out the window of the now moving train?


“Hi,” I say weakly, “um, I have to go.”


“No,” says Scorpius, “we need to talk.”


“Look, you don’t have to worry, I’m not going to tell Dom about...what happened, okay?”


I make to push past him, but he grabs my hand and drags me into an empty compartment.


“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I hiss. Dom could appear at any second and this kid is acting like a total maniac!


“Just listen, yeah?” he says, closing the door of the compartment.


“Look, if you…try anything…I’ll scream!” I say stupidly. He raises his eyebrows and then grins mischievously at me.


“I’m not going to attack you, Weasley. Calm down,” he says casually, leaning up against the door with his arms folded.


“What do you want?” I snap.


“Geez, would you chill out? Time of the month?”


Hmm, try PREGNANT WITH YOUR CHILD!


“Shut up, Malfoy. I’m not in the mood for you today,” I say.


“You were in the mood for me on New Years,” he says quietly, a really annoying smile on his attractive (yet completely infuriating) face.


You kissed me!” I whisper furiously, “And it was a complete mistake! How could you do it to Dom?”


Yes, I am trying to use him as a scapegoat, but I don’t really care right now.


“How could you do it to her? She’s your cousin! She’s your best friend! She and I are barely even going out,” says Scorpius.


“It didn’t look like that to me,” I say. I hope I don’t sound jealous because I’m not. (Well, maybe I am but he doesn’t need to know that.)


“You’re so annoying, do you know that Weasley?” he says.


“The words “pot”, “kettle” and “black” spring to mind!” I cry, “If I’m so annoying, why don’t you just leave me alone?”


“Because I can’t!” he hisses, “I want to, believe me.”


I have no idea what he’s talking about. He’s looking at me as if he’s waiting for some sort of reply, but I have none.


“I have to go find Al and James,” I say, “get out of my way.”


“That’s it, just run away,” he says angrily.


“That’s rich coming from you! You’re the one who ran home after the New Years Eve party. You’re the one who avoided me after James’ party back in October. So just shut your mouth and look at yourself before you say shit like that to me!”


I push past him and run out of the compartment, still fuming from the heated argument. I find James and Al sitting in a compartment with Dom, Louis, Hugo, Lily, Fred and Roxanne. Where Uncle Percy’s lot are, I have no idea and I don’t much care. I’m not really in the mood to hear Molly going on about her squib boyfriend. Dom jumps up and hugs me when I come into the compartment. Hugo looks at me with his eyebrows raised. I try to ignore him.


“Rose! How are you? Are you feeling better now?” she asks.


“Yeah,” I say, “much better, thanks.”


“Have you seen Scorpius around?” she asks.


“Eh-”


“Alright guys,” I hear Malfoy say from behind me. (Yes, he’s “Malfoy” now. Scorpius is a ridiculous name anyway. And if he insists on calling me “Weasley” then I’ll surname the hell out of him.)


Dom jumps on her boyfriend and gives him a long, deep, stomach-turning kiss. Everyone in the compartment makes gagging faces, but I think mine’s the only one that’s actually real – the rest are joking. James coughs and makes a noise that sounds very much like “get a room”. Dom and Malfoy sit down and Malfoy ends up sitting beside me. Seriously, someone up there must really hate me.


“So are Gryffindor all ready for the match next week?” Al asks in a patronising tone.


“We’re going to kick you’re scrawny Slytherin ass, bro,” says James casually. Malfoy snorts.


“Dream on, Jamsie,” says Malfoy.


“We always kick your asses at Quidditch,” I snap, maybe a bit harshly. Everyone looks at me in a weird way so I shut up.


“That’s before I was captain,” says Al, “things are going to change!”


Damn right they’re going to change. Gryffindor are going to lose their keeper (because let’s face it, I won’t be able to play in a matter of months) and Slytherin are likely to lose their seeker when people find out that I’m pregnant – like I’ve said before, Malfoy’s life is on the line.


“Yeah, but you’re forgetting that we’ve got the best captain in the history of Hogwarts,” says James smugly, “me!”


“Game on, bitch,” says Al. This time he’s the one to get all the weird looks. “Sorry.”


The Quidditch talk continues as the train speeds further north. I’m sitting in between Fred and Malfoy, feeling most uncomfortable. I really have to pee, but I’m going to hold it until we get to the castle because I don’t want to have to stand up and draw attention to myself. Soon the subject of Quidditch changes to romance and I wish that someone would change it back again. Lily’s looking completely poisonous as she watches Dom and Malfoy wrapped around each other. I feel no sympathy for her – at least she doesn’t have to sit beside them.


“You’d well do Laura Phelps,” Fred says and the boys all nod in agreement. Laura Phelps is the epitome of Pandora (as in the chick from the Pandora’s Box myth). She’s beautiful but completely stupid and pure evil. Dom and I share a dormitory with her at Hogwarts. She gets up every morning at about half five to do sit ups (because Merlin forbid she’s get anything other than muscle on her stomach) and then she spends the rest of the time getting ready for class – in other words, doing her long brown hair perfectly and applying make-up. She’s so stupid, it’s actually worrying. I mean, in second year we were learning how to duel and she held her wand back ways, resulting in her own hospitalisation for about two weeks. Stupid isn’t the word for her. And she hates my guts. I’m not quite sure why because let’s face it, I’m lovely.


“How about you, Red?” James asks me, “Who have you got your eye on?”


Oh no. Everyone is looking at me. Maybe I should go pee now. But then Malfoy will think I’m running from the question. Damn, he’s looking at me.


“Erm…nobody,” I say, even though technically I have my eye on two people, both who are out of bounds and going out with a Delacour-Weasley. Why the hell did Uncle Bill have to have kids?


By the time the train reaches Hogsmeade station, I’m extremely warm, my bladder is ready to burst and I feel sick from the travelling. I don’t bother waiting for everyone else before running off the train and boarding the first carriage I see that will take me to the castle. The Scamander twins are in the same carriage as me, discussing some weird, non-existent thing that I’ve never heard of. Lorcan and Lysander Scamander are fourth year Slytherins. Their mum, Luna Scamander, is a really close friend of my parents so I know the twins quite well. I still haven’t got the foggiest what their on about most of the time though.


“Oh, hello Rose,” says Lorcan, “did you have a nice Christmas?”


“Exceptional,” I say sarcastically, but of course the twins don’t pick up on it, “how about you?”


“It was fine,” says Lysander, “Mum got me a book all about Cryptids.”


I don’t bother asking what the hell they are because quite frankly I don’t really care.


“That’s nice,” I say distantly.


“Did you hear about the new Minister for Magic, Roger Davies?” asks Lorcan, “Apparently his great grandfather was half sphinx. I’ve always thought there was something off about him.”


Why won’t this bloody carriage go any faster? The twins are rambling on about Blargles or Nargles or some other random word that I’m fairly sure they just made up off the top of their heads. The carriages finally pull up outside the castle and I wave goodbye to Lorcan and Lysander. Seriously, those boys are the strangest pair I’ve ever met in my life, and I’ve met some strange people.


I’m the first into the castle. It sounds as if dinner is still going on in the Great Hall, but I head straight towards the Gryffindor Tower. I’m running fairly fast (seriously, if I don’t get to a bathroom pronto I’m going to end up soiling the corridors) and I run straight into an over-sized groundskeeper – Hagrid. Don’t get me wrong, I love Hagrid to pieces, but I seriously need to pee right now, so this isn’t the best time.


“Alrigh’ Rosie? How was yer Christmas?”


“It was great,” I lie, “um, Hagrid, d’you mind-”


“How’s yer Mum n’ Dad? I haven’ seen ‘em in ages,” he smiles fondly at the thought of them.


Instead of replying in a sardonic way by saying “on the brink of divorce, but hangin’ in there,” I just say, “They’re great, but d’you mind if-”


“Seems like on’y yesterday they were yer age, fightin’ and arguin’ all the time!”


“Not much has changed then,” I say darkly, but Hagrid laughs because he thinks I’m joking. I’m now dancing from side to side to try and stop myself thinking about my overburdened bladder. Hagrid probably thinks I’m on drugs – just like Mum and Dad thought I was. Do I really give off that vibe?


“It’s funny how time flies, isn’ it?” says Hagrid, “Can’t believe yer nearly seventeen, Rosie! I remember when Ron and Hermione first told me they were gettin’ married! ‘Course we all saw it comin’, those two were made for each other, weren’ they?”


If only you knew, Hagrid my friend.


“Em, Hagrid, d’you mind if I-”


“Hagrid!”


James, Al and Lily come running up the stairs to greet Hagrid.


“How’s me favourite godson?” Hagrid beams at Al. I take this opportunity to run like the wind up to the Gryffindor tower. I drop my luggage in the common room and run up to the sixth year girls’ dormitory and over to the bathroom. But the bloody door is locked! I knock on it endlessly until eventually it opens to reveal a very annoyed Laura Phelps.


“Where’s the wire?” she says coolly.


“It’s where’s the fire, not where’s the wire,” I say, marvelling at her stupidity. I run into the bathroom and slam the door behind me.


Having fully relieved myself, I come back out of the bathroom. Laura is sitting on her bed, reading a book (a picture book no doubt) but she looks up when she hears the door of the bathroom opening.


“So you’re back then,” she says.


“Aren’t you very observant?” I reply mockingly.


She rolls her eyes and she has that familiar look on her face that tells me that she’s trying to think up a good insult for me. Then after about five minutes…


“You better not lose us that match against Slytherin on Saturday,” she says.


“Laura, we haven’t lost a match to Slytherin since I joined the team,” I tell her.


“Whatever,” she says and slams her book (which I can see is called “Modern Witch Fashion”) shut and sweeps out of the dorm. 


I know everyone is entitled to be stupid, but that girl abuses the privilege.








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Chapter 7: Letters From My Godmother
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If I thought getting back into the routine of school would help me to take my mind off the mess that is my life, I was much mistaken. I can’t stop thinking about Mum and Dad and the fact that the last time I saw Mum she was on the brink of self-destruction. I can’t shake the feeling that something terrible is going to happen and there’ll be nothing I can do because I’m stuck here at Hogwarts. It’s funny, when I’m at home I want to be at Hogwarts and when I’m at Hogwarts I want to be at home. Life is strange. 


On the first day back, my breakfast was interrupted by a letter from my Aunt Ginny. 


Rose,
Your Mum has told me everything about your pregnancy. I know your parents are taking the news badly, but I want you to know that I’m here for you, okay? I’m not going to pull a Ron and go mental on you. I know what it’s like to be under the protective cover of Ron Weasley, and it’s not fun. I’m your godmother, honey and you can talk to me about these things. It’s my job not to lash out at you, but just remember your parents are probably just freaking out about the prospect of becoming grandparents.
I hope you’re keeping your strength up. Drink lots of water, make sure to eat breakfast and take in lots of folic acid and calcium. It’s most important that you look after your health, for the baby’s sake if not for your own. Don’t stress too much over schoolwork, it’s not good for the baby. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes at this letter, but someone needs to give you advice! I remember running to Mum every ten minutes while I was pregnant with James asking her questions. If you have any questions at all, just owl me.
Harry and I are the only ones who know, so you don’t have to worry about getting earfuls from your Nana or Grandad or any other family members for that matter. Take care of yourself, it’s very important that you do. The first three months are the most critical. I think you need to go and see Madam Pomfrey as soon as possible and tell her about your condition. She’ll keep it confidential. I’ll come up to see you very soon and we can have a word with Professor Flitwick.
Harry sends his love. Don’t worry about your Mum and Dad, we’re sorting them out.
Love,
Aunt Ginny 


Why can’t Harry and Ginny be my parents? Then again, if it was Lily who was my age and pregnant, I doubt they’d be so calm. In fact, I’m pretty sure Ginny would go into “Ron Weasley” mode and pull a freaker. Harry would probably suppress his emotions for a few months until eventually the anger would burst out of him and he’d end up killing someone or living in a home somewhere off the coast of Australia. So maybe it’s a good thing I’m not their daughter. 


But I’m glad that I have Aunt Ginny to talk to because since I came back to Hogwarts, I’ve been scared out of my mind. I keep having these dreams where I’m going into labour early in my dorm and I’m screaming at the top of my voice, but nobody can hear me. I know I’m only a few weeks in, but I guess I can’t help but have fears that something is going to go wrong. So on Monday afternoon, I take Ginny’s advice and go to see Madam Pomfrey in the Hospital Wing. 


Madam Pomfrey is an elderly woman, so I’m really nervous that she’ll be really old-fashioned about this and try to shun me from the castle. The Hospital Wing is empty (thankfully) when I arrive and Madam Pomfrey is sitting in her office. I knock on the door and walk in. 


“Madam Pomfrey?” I say timidly 


“Yes? Weasley, isn’t it?” 


I nod. 


“I don’t know how many times I’ve seen your parents in here. What can I do for you?” she asks. 


“Well, the thing is…” I start, “I’m sort of…with child.” 


Yes, that’s how I put it. I was going to say "I have a bun in the oven" but then I decided against it. She looks sort of shocked and for a minute I think she’s going to start shouting at me, but she just stands up and walks over to me. 


“I see,” she says, “how far along?” 


“Since October,” I say. 


“Are you eating healthily? You look undernourished,” she says, “You’ll need a pre-natal tonic. And you’ll need to have your scan soon…how’s Wednesday morning?” 


“Um, yeah, that sounds good,” I say, sort of taken aback that she's so cool about it.
 

“And I suggest you bring someone with you,” she says. 


Yeah, not going to happen, Poppy. I nod anyway. 


“Thank you,” I say and get up to leave. 


“Miss Weasley, if you need anything at all don’t hesitate to come to me. I’ll keep this entirely confidential.” 


I smile at her and leave the Hospital Wing. That’s one thing crossed of my list of things to do. Suddenly, I have the urge to eat a big cheese burger smothered in peanut butter. I don’t even like peanut butter. I run down to dinner and take a seat beside Chastity Finch, another sixth year Gryffindor. 


“Hey Rose, where were you?” she asks. 


“Oh, I just had to get a book,” I lie. I pile my plate with about four full spoonfuls of mashed potato, two pork chops, carrots, broccoli…I don’t even eat vegetables, but they smell really nice today. I then reach for the mushrooms, but I feel sick by the sight of them…what’s going on? Mushrooms don’t even smell like anything and I can smell them so clearly it’s as if Chastity has bathed herself in them. 


“Are you okay? You’ve gone really white,” says Chastity. 


“Yeah, I’m fine,” I say. I look at my plate piled high with food and I realise that I’m not at all hungry. 


“Are you going to eat all that?” she asks incredulously. 


“Erm, no,” I say, “I think my eyes are bigger than my stomach…d’you know what, I’ll see you later.” 


And without touching my dinner, I get up and leave the Great Hall. James, Fred and their friends are just coming in having finished their last class of the day. One of their friends winks at me and I feel repulsed. That guy must have got a severe beating with the ugly stick, I’m telling you. 


“Red!” James exclaims, “Quidditch practice at seven. Don’t forget!” 


“Oh, yeah,” I say. I completely forgot. 


I run up to the dorm, grab a pen and a piece of paper and write a letter to Aunt Ginny. She told me to write if I had any questions, right? 


Aunt Ginny,
Thanks so much for your letter. It made me feel a whole lot better to know that there’s someone out there I can talk to. I went to Madam Pomfrey today. She gave me some sort of tonic to help me keep my strength up. I have my first scan on Wednesday morning, so that should be interesting! She said I should bring someone with me, but I’m not quite sure who.
Anyway, you said to write if I have any questions and I have one – is it okay to fly when you’re pregnant? We have a big match against Slytherin on Saturday and James is having practice every night this week. I wasn’t quite sure whether to go through with it or make up some excuse.
Thanks again. You’re a life saver. How are Mum and Dad? Have they killed each other yet? Send Uncle Harry my love.
Love,
Rose 


I go to the Owlery to send the letter and then head to the Quidditch pitch for practice. Since I still don’t really know whether I should be flying or not, I fly very slowly and carefully towards the goalposts and float in mid air without making any sudden movements. I’m doing quite well as the chasers shoot the quaffle at me – I’ve only missed three so far and that’s only because I won’t dive to catch it. James shouts like crazy every time I miss one, but I try my best not to listen to him. 


After practice, I throw my broom into the broom shed and am then cornered by James. He looks really angry. 


“Red! What the hell was that?” he shouts. 


“Shut it, Jay, I’m not in the mood,” I moan. 


“I won’t shut it! We have to win this match to still be in with the chance to win the cup! For Merlin’s sake, Red! I thought you cared! Do you really want Al and Malfoy to win?” 


“Al’s your brother,” I say, “Why are you so determined to be better than him all the time?” 


“I just don’t want Slytherin to take the cup. What the hell’s the matter with you?” 


“Leave me alone!” I scream and storm away from him, ignoring his shouts. Dom is still in the changing rooms when I go in and she’s got a ridiculous smile on her face. She doesn’t even notice my foul humour. 


“Hiya Rose,” she smiles, “good practice, wasn’t it?” 


“I wouldn’t say that to Potter,” I say darkly. She looks a bit taken aback that I’m calling our own cousin by his surname, but I don’t really care. She just shrugs and continues smiling anyway. 


“I’m meeting Scorpius now,” she says giddily. It’s obvious that she’s been bursting to tell me this. 


“Oh…how’s that going?” I ask. Please tell me you hate his guts… 

“Fantastic,” she swoons, “Rose, I think…I think I love him!” 


Oh no. 


This isn’t happening. Dom can’t be in love with him. Dom doesn’t fall in love. She just dates guys for a few weeks, breaks up with them and moves on. Love doesn’t come into the equation. 


“Oh…are you sure?” I ask. 


“I can’t stop thinking about him,” she says and her whole face lights up as she talks about him, “it’s like when I’m with him, I’m happier than I’ve ever been! And when I’m not with him, I miss him so much, my heart aches for him.” 


Pass me the bucket. 


“Rose,” she whispers, “I’m thinking of sleeping with him.” 


I’m taking a drink of water as she tells me this and I end up choking on it and coughing uncontrollably. 


“W-w-what?” I cough. 


“Come on, Rose. Everyone’s doing it. And I really do think that I love him,” she says, looking a bit put off by my reaction. 


“But you haven’t been with him long, have you? And it’s Malfoy…I mean, let’s face it, he’s been around,” I say. I’m such a hypocrite. I deserve the death penalty. 


“You can’t tell anybody I told you this, okay?” she whispers, “You know how he’s had loads of girlfriends?” 


I nod – Malfoy’s list of girlfriends is longer than a basilisk. 


“Well, according to him, he’s only ever slept with one person,” she says. 


I glare at her in shock, but she’s just glowing at the thought of him. 


“Apparently he was a virgin up until a few months ago, can you believe that?” 


I shake my head and whisper “no”. 


“Oh, I have to go,” says Dom, checking her watch. She winks at me and skips happily out of the changing room. 


Okay, I have such a wide range of emotions running through me right now. I didn’t think one person could feel all of this at once. I’m insanely angry at James for shouting at me after practice; I’m jealous that Dom is going to meet Malfoy; I’m confused about my feelings for Malfoy; I’m nauseous from the pregnancy; I’m surprised that Malfoy was a virgin when we slept together; I’m shocked that I was his first; I’m worried about my parents’ relationship and I’m a little hungry to tell the truth. 


I head back to the castle, not even looking where I’m going because I have so much on my mind. I end up bumping into Lily on the way back to the castle. Actually, I nearly trip over her because she’s sitting on the steps leading up to the door of the castle. 


“Lils? What are you doing out here, it’s freezing,” I say. She doesn’t say anything so I sit down beside her. She’s shaking with the cold and there are tears running down her cheeks. 


“Lily? What’s the matter?” I ask. 


“Why did he have to choose Dom?” she sobs, “Why her?” 


“I don’t know,” I mumble. 


I throw an arm around her to comfort her, but I’m not sure if I’m doing much good to her. I suppose I just need some comforting too. I bring her inside out of the cold and upstairs to the common room – big mistake. Dom and Malfoy are curled up on the couch by the fire, kissing. Lily’s lip quivers at the sight of them and she runs upstairs to her dormitory, slamming the door behind her. The noise of the door makes Dom and Malfoy jump apart. 


“Is she okay?” asks Dom. 


“She’s fine,” I lie, “she’s just in a bit of a mood…what’s he doing in here? Slytherins aren’t supposed to be in the Gryffindor tower.” 


I conveniently leave out the fact that Malfoy was in my dormitory around two and a half months ago. I’m in total prefect mode now…and I just don’t want to have to endure a night with the two of them. 


“Okay, I’m going,” says Malfoy. 


“You don’t have to go!” says Dom, “Rosie’s just in a bad mood after practice.” 


“I’m not in a bad mood!” I cry angrily. 


“Clearly,” Malfoy mutters. 


“Oh shut up, Malfoy and go crawl back into the hole you came from!” 


Hey, I’m pregnant, I have the right to be a bitch. 


“Rose!” Dom exclaims. 


Malfoy’s grinning. He knows it’s getting to me, him being with Dom. I’m glaring at him with a look so fierce that it could match that of Nana Molly’s or Aunt Ginny’s. 


“I’ll see you later, Dom,” he says and kisses her. I fold my arms and look at the floor. He winks at me when Dom isn’t looking and leaves the common room. I hate him. 


“Rose, what the hell was that?” 


“He’s not supposed to be here!” 


“How many times have you had boys from other houses in the common room? Remember Carl Blunt? He was a Ravenclaw!” 


“Just drop it, Dom,” I say, rubbing my forehead. She sighs and climbs out the portrait hole after Malfoy. I don’t bother pointing out that it’s after curfew; I just hope that the Head Boy or Girl catches her and gives her detention. 


On Tuesday morning I get another letter from Aunt Ginny. She’s really got this whole confidant thing down. 


Rose,
I’m glad you took my advice and went to see Madam Pomfrey. Make sure you go to her if you have any of the slightest queries or if you feel a bit off.
As for the flying thing, it shouldn’t be a problem for the first few months. Obviously when you start getting bigger it won’t be safe for you to fly, but you should be able to play the match on Saturday without any problems. I didn’t have to resign from the Holyhead Harpies until I was four months pregnant with James and it had no effect on him. 


I look over at James who is sitting a few seats down from me at the breakfast table. He and his friend, Mark have a bet on to see how many Rice Crispies James can fit up his nose at one time.

No effect? Aunt Ginny is in serious denial about her first born.

As for the scan, make sure you bring someone with you. I wish I could come, but I can’t get off work. Maybe you could bring Dom or even Lily? Or you could even tell the father, whoever he is. Anyway, let me know how it goes.
Your mum and dad still aren’t on speaking terms, I’m afraid, but they’ve both calmed down considerably.
Take care of yourself,
Love
Aunt Ginny 


I spend the rest of the day wondering who the hell I could take with me to my scan tomorrow. I’m glad Mum didn’t tell Aunt Ginny that it’s Malfoy’s baby I’m pregnant with. The less people who know the better. 


Quidditch practice goes a lot better tonight than it did last night. I’m not so worried about flying after receiving Aunt Ginny’s letter, so I’m a whole lot better and save every single shot. Although at one stage I’m pretty sure Dom hits a bludger my way on purpose. 


“Dom! What are you playing at?” James shouts at her. 


“Sorry,” she mumbles, but she doesn’t look sorry at all. 


After an hour of practice, we’re all too cold and tired to carry on so James calls it quits. In the changing room, Dom is like a bull. She’s really angry because of what I said to Malfoy last night. 


“Really Rose, could you have embarrassed me any more?” she cries. 


“Sorry,” I say, even though I’m not, “I was just in a mood.” 


“Will you at least apologise to him?” 


I stare at her in shock trying to figure out if she’s joking. 


“Apologise?” I stutter. I rarely apologise, even when I know I’m in the wrong. I’m the most stubborn person in the world – Dom should know that by now! 


“Fine,” she says angrily, grabs her bag and heads towards the door. I hold her back. 


“Okay! I’ll apologise,” I say. 


“Thank you,” she says and calms down considerably. 


I pick up my bag and walk back to the castle with Dom. Unfortunately, Al and Malfoy are in the entrance hall heading towards the Slytherin dungeons when we come in. Dom runs to Malfoy and I trail very grudgingly behind her. This is going to be the most humiliating thing I’ve ever had to do. 


“Hey Red,” says Al, obviously glad that I’ve showed up so he doesn’t have to endure Malfoy and Dom and their sickening cuteness on his own. I smile weakly at him. 


“Rose has something to say to you, Scorpy,” says Dom. 


Scorpy? Is she serious? 


“Oh really?” 


He has that incredibly annoying mischievous twinkle in his eye and the edges of his mouth are twitching as he’s trying to suppress his grin. I’d love nothing more than to curse him right now. 


“Sorry,” I mumble inaudibly. 


“What?” Malfoy asks, “I didn’t catch that.” 


I’m going to kick him in the ghoulies. 


“I said sorry,” I say clearly, “about yesterday.” 


And he just can’t help letting that grin shine through. He’s so smug I just want to punch him in the face. 


“I appreciate your apology, Weasley,” he says, “you really hurt me yesterday.” 


I’m going to hit him…I’m going to hit him… 


“I’m going to go now,” I say. 


“Bye now,” he calls after me in a very fake nice voice. I swear, it is taking every morsel of strength in my body not to turn around and hit him. 


I storm furiously up the stairs, but I bump headfirst into a very pretty girl with curly brown hair and a face that shows how innocent and nice she is – don’t you just hate people like that? 


“Oh, Rose I’m so sorry!” 


It’s Jenny Winters, Al’s new girlfriend. I'm still undecided if I like her or not.


I suppose it’s nice that she and Al are going out. He’s liked her since second year but he never plucked up the courage to talk to her. That’s where the Potter brothers differ tremendously. When James likes a girl, he pesters her for a while until she agrees to go out with him. That usually doesn’t take long considering nearly every girl who isn’t related to James in Hogwarts fancy him. Honestly, I have no idea why. Al on the other hand is very shy and introvert when it comes to the opposite sex. He’s had girlfriends before, but they’re usually very outgoing girls who only wanted to be with him because of the status that comes with his surname. So I guess you can understand why I’m quite protective over Al, much in the same way he’s protective over me. 


“Hi, Jenny isn’t it?” I say, even though I know perfectly well who she is. 


“Yeah,” she says excitedly, “I’m Al’s…girlfriend.” 


She blushes as she says the word “girlfriend”. It’s obvious that she never considered herself as one of those to Al before. She looks happy though – happy in a nerdy kind of way. I’ve only just noticed now how small she is. Obviously I knew she was small but I thought that was just compared to Al, but she’s a good head shorter than me. 


“Are you alright?” she asks. She’s obviously noticed that I’m like a baboon with nappy rash after having to apologise to Malfoy. 


“Erm, yeah,” I lie, “I just had a bad Quidditch practice.” 


“Oh, Al will be just delighted to hear that! All he ever does is go on about how he’s going to beat Gryffindor on Saturday,” she says and rolls her eyes fondly. I force a laugh. I’m really not in the mood to pretend to be nice. 


“Um, Rose? I…this is going to sound a bit strange…but I understand if you feel protective over Al – I mean, you two are almost like brother and sister…but I just want you to know that – well, I really like him.” 


The poor girl looks like she’s about to die of embarrassment at saying these words. Wow, she must really feel intimidated by me. 


“That’s good to hear,” I say and nod uncomfortably. 


“And also,” she continues, “it would be cool if you and I could be friends?” 


It’s always an uncomfortable situation when someone asks you to be their friend. Usually friends are made subconsciously – one second you’re sitting in the Three Broomsticks talking to some randomer after a few too many Firewhiskeys and the next you have a friend for life without even realising how the hell you got there. Petite curly haired Ravenclaws don’t just approach you in the corridor and ask to be your friend. 


“Um, yeah, sure,” I say, with absolutely no intention of following through with it. 


A genuine smile spreads over her pretty face and she looks positively delighted at my response. I wonder will she feel like she wants to be my friend when she finds out I’m pregnant. I suppose when it comes out I’ll find out who my real friends are. 


“Great!” she exclaims enthusiastically, causing me to back away slightly, “I have to go do some homework now. It was great talking to you, Rose.” 


“You too,” I say. 


She smiles and skips off down the corridor. Don’t you just hate nice people? 


No, I don’t mean nice people – that probably sounds a bit hostile. But you know those people who are ALWAYS happy and you just wish they’d get struck down with Dragon Pox so they’d just STOP SMILING. Those are the kind of people I can’t stand. Then again, I can’t stand many people these days. 




On Wednesday morning I wake up extra early. My scan is at half past seven and I still have nobody to go with. I don’t even consider asking Dom because then I’d have to tell her about the whole being impregnated by her boyfriend thing. And let’s face it, that would just be a bit awkward. And I can’t do as Aunt Ginny suggested and tell Lily because then I’d have to tell her about being impregnated by the guy she loves and again that would be a pretty uncomfortable conversation to have. 


Hugo is in the Common Room when I come downstairs. It doesn’t look like he’s slept much. He’s obviously thinking about Mum and Dad even more than I am. He’s got bags under his eyes and even though he’s yawning, it’s obvious that he’s not able to sleep. 


“Morning Hugh,” I say. 


“Morning,” he grunts. 


Then it comes to me. 


“Um, Hugh? I have this scan thing now in the Hospital Wing…Madam Pomfrey says I should bring someone with me. But the thing is, nobody at Hogwarts actually knows about my – erm – situation…so…would you come with me?” 


Hugo looks like he’s considering it for a second and then he shrugs and nods. 


“If it’ll get me off class.” 


It won’t, but I don’t tell him that. We go to the Hospital Wing together and thankfully it is empty again. Madam Pomfrey ushers me in and tells me to lie down on the bed farthest away from the door. 


“This should only take a few moments,” she says. She sets up this big white screen at the front of my bed and then draws the curtains around us. Hugo sits beside me looking very uncomfortable, but I’m glad he’s here. Madam Pomfrey takes a bottle of blue potion, dips a cotton swab into it and then rubs it across my tummy. If I’m being honest here, it tickles. I hate when stuff tickles your tummy, because then you get a fit of uncontrollable giggles and everyone thinks you have weird issues. So I try my best not to laugh. 


Madam Pomfrey takes her wand and rubs it over my stomach while muttering some inaudible incantation. The picture comes up on the white screen at the end of my bed. While Madam Pomfrey points out the kid, I fake a smile and some “oooh”’s because I have absolutely no idea what I’m supposed to be looking at here. It’s just a load of blurry lines to me. Madam Pomfrey flicks her wand at the screen and it shrinks to the size of a postcard. 


“Here’s the picture of your first scan,” she smiles and hands it to me. 


“Thank you,” I say, “it’s…um…beautiful.” 


She smiles again and then returns to her office. 


“What were we supposed to be looking at?” Hugo asks quietly. I shrug at him. 


“No idea.”











A/N - Please Review and let me know what you think so far!

Chapter 8: Gimme A Break!
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  Hi! Thanks to everyone who has reviewed (as usual!) I love you all! Don't forget you can check out my Meet The Author page too (",) I really enjoyed writing this chapter so I hope you like it! As usual, all characters belong to JK Rowling....                    

                             








For some unknown reason, I carry the scan picture around with me for the rest of the week. I got a copy of it and sent it to Aunt Ginny, but I doubt Mum or Dad will want to see it. After all, it’s the reason they’re fighting, isn’t it? I keep the picture tucked safely away in the pocket of my robes and take it out at every bathroom break or even when I get a moment to myself, just to have a look. I’m not sure who it looks like just yet…I’m thinking it strongly resembles some sort of nut. And let’s face it, there are plenty of nuts in my family. 


Hey, I made a funny! 


It’s a pity I crack such brilliant jokes in my head and not out loud. I suppose the world will never know of my amazing sense of humour and will forever see me as an angry pregnant redhead. 


There’s no Quidditch practice on Wednesday evening because Al booked the pitch for Slytherin to practice. I’m so thankful for that because I have a heap of work to catch up on. So after dinner I head to the library like the little nerd I am. 


The library is completely empty except for that weird seventh year Hufflepuff guy, John Lawson who’s always there. We call him “Library Man” and Dom and I even made up a whole comic strip about him back in first year. He was a superhero who wore a tank top with the initials “LM” on the front. He had special powers to read books extra fast, with the help of his trusted side kicks, Book Girl and Literature Lad. I know we were bigger freaks for actually making the comic strip. 


I nod politely to Library Man on the way past him and his grip tightens on his book as he nods back – it’s as if he’s scared I’m going to steal his book. I’m barely in the library ten minutes when Dom runs in noisily, earning death glares from the librarian and extremely frightened glances from Library Man. He’s quite a sissy for a superhero. 


“Rose! You’ll never guess who’s getting married!” Dom pants having clearly ran the whole way to the library. 


If she says her and Malfoy, I’m going to cry. 


“Who?” 


She throws a letter down on the table in front of me. 


“Ted and Victoire!” 


What? Okay, now I seriously wish it were her and Malfoy instead. There’s just no way Teddy’s getting married. He’s supposed to be dumping her for me! This wasn’t in the plans! True, he hasn’t quite worked out his feelings for me yet, but it’s only a matter of time…MARRIED? Is he serious? Why didn’t he tell me? Why did I have to hear it from Dom? Teddy and I tell each other everything! 


I’m going to faint. 


Dom looks so excited at the prospect of her older sister getting married. I try my best to look happy too, but I catch sight of myself in the mirror across the way and the strained smile on my face makes me look constipated. 


“That’s great,” I say quietly, but I make it seem like I’m only being quiet because we’re in the library. 


“I know!” she says loudly, causing Library Man to look over in shock, “Isn’t it? And I’m going to be bridesmaid!” She shoves the letter at me again, forcing me to read it. 


Dominique,
How’s life at Hogwarts these days? I miss you and Lou since you guys went back, but you’ll never guess what’s happened…Teddy proposed to me! Last night, he took me out to a very nice restaurant in Diagon Alley – champagne, oysters and all of that – and then he got down on one knee and everything! You should see the ring, Dom it’s gorgeous!
Of course I’ll want you to be bridesmaid! We haven’t decided on a date yet but we were thinking maybe summer of next year. We want to get married in France somewhere, maybe at Grandmere and Grandpere’s country home. Nana and Grandad Weasley are so happy for us because Teddy will finally be an official member of the family. Teddy wants Uncle Harry to be Best Man, he’s asked him already!
Anyway, I just thought I’d write and tell you before Mum and Dad have the chance to. I’m sure you can expect their letter in the mail any day now!
Take care,
Victoire 


“Isn’t it romantic?” she sighs. 


“Um, yeah,” I say, my voice trembling. Oh Merlin, I’m going to start crying right here in the library. I think it’s time for Library Man to swoop in and save me from this mess. I look over at said Library Man – he’s peeking over the top of his book to see what’s going on with us and when he sees me looking, he disappears behind it again. 


“I’m going to go reply to her,” Dom says, “I’ll see you later!” 


She bounces out of the library, unaware of the devastation she has just left in her wake. I close over my school books, reach into my bag and dig out a piece of parchment and a quill and start writing furiously. 


Ted,
Dom tells me you’re getting married. My letter must have gotten lost in the post. Or I must have been mistaken when I thought we were friends who told each other everything before telling anyone else. I let you know possibly the biggest news I’ll ever have in my life first. Obviously I don’t deserve the same treatment as you do, but I’m not quite sure why. You’re no better than me, Ted. You might think you are because I’m some knocked up kid, but you’re not. At least I know who my friends are.
Have a great wedding. I hope you’re happy.
Rose 


Yes, it’s immature. Yes, he’ll hate me for sending it. But I don’t care anymore. I’m so furious right now that I’m not exactly thinking straight. I rush to the Owlery, grab the first unsuspecting bird, tie the letter to its leg and throw it out the window. I slide down the wall of the Owlery and curl myself up into a little ball and start crying uncontrollably. It’s like every little emotion I’ve been keeping inside for the past few weeks is rushing out in a pool of tears right now. This engagement has pushed me over the edge completely. 


But I can’t even curl up in a ball on the floor of the Owlery and cry my eyes out in peace. The door creaks open and – oh dear Jesus, of all the Owleries in all the schools in all the world, he has to walk into this one… 


Why are you on the floor, Weasley?” Malfoy asks. 


“Go away,” I sob. 


“Jesus, are you crying?” he says, a note of amusement in his voice. 


“Go away!” I shout. 


He doesn’t. He slides down the wall beside me and sits there for a few minutes in silence. I wish he’d leave. I hate crying in front of people. It makes me seem weak. 


“So are you going to tell me what’s up?” he asks after a while. 


“Why would I tell you?” I mumble rudely. 


“Because by the looks of things, I’m the only person who cares that you’re sitting in a smelly Owlery crying your eyes out,” he says simply. 


“I’m not crying my eyes out,” I say indignantly. 


“Sure,” he says sarcastically, “if you say so.” 


“Just shut up,” I snap, “and get down off your high horse. You’re not at brilliant as you think you are.” 


“Moody are we?” he says, laughing slightly. He doesn’t seem offended that I’ve just snapped at him. That annoys me. 


“Why are you here?” I ask impatiently. 


“I was looking for Dom, if you must know. She said she was coming up here to send a letter to her sister.” 


“Oh,” I say. 


I have to admit, I’m kind of disappointed to hear that. I don’t know why but I got it into my head that he came here purposely to see me… 


Not that I care or anything. It’s just it would be nice if someone cared. Even if it was only Malfoy. 


“Would you rather I wasn’t?” 


“Wasn’t what?” 


“Looking for Dom.” 


I let out a burst of fake laughter. 


“Look for who you like, it’s none of my business!” 


“What’s your problem, Weasley?” he shoots, “Why are you so bloody complicated?” 


“I have no idea what you’re on about,” I say. 


“Really? Okay, we sleep together and then you tell me not to tell anyone about it and then ignore me for two months! Then we make out on New Years Eve and again you push me away-” 


“Hmm, you’d think you’d have taken the hint by now!” I exclaim. 


“Don’t give me that,” he says, “I know you like me.” 


“You’re going out with Dom!” I cry, “Why do you want me to like you?” 


“Because I like you!” 


“So then why the hell are you going out with Dom?” I yell. 


“I don’t know!” 


Silence rings around the room except for an odd hoot here and there from the owls. Why do I always find myself in awkward situations with Malfoy? I wish he’d stop looking at me. I have no idea what to say to him. 


“Look, I understand if you don’t want to hurt Dom, but...I’m not happy with her,” he admits, “I…I just can’t get you off my mind, it’s driving me mad! I can’t even stand you...you're just about the most annoying girl in Hogwarts!” 


“Yeah, well I can’t stand you either,” I reply childishly. 


“Why can’t we just-” 


“Don’t say it,” I say, “just leave it, Malfoy. You don’t like me. You don’t even know me. There are things about me…if you found them out, you would not like me. I mean it.” 


“Try me,” he says. 


I pause. 


This is it. I’m going to have to tell him everything. He can do what he likes when he finds out, I don’t care. I just have to tell him. How the hell am I going to do this? I suppose I could do it in a funny way like scream “you the daddy!” in his face to lighten the mood, but I’m not sure he’d appreciate that. I guess I could try building him up for it. Maybe ask him if he likes kids? Or show him the picture of the scan and say “remind you of anyone?” 


Okay, breathe Rose. You can do this. You told your parents! Telling Malfoy should be a doddle! Oh god, I wish he wouldn’t look at me like that. 


“Okay,” I say steadily, “the thing is-” 


“Hi guys!” 


Wow, Dom, thanks for picking the WORST MOMENT IN HISTORY to walk into the Owlery! Even Malfoy can’t mask his disappointment at seeing her. 


“What are you doing sitting on the floor?” she asks. 


“Nothing,” I say quickly, “I was just leaving.” 



I do my best to avoid Malfoy all of Thursday and Friday and by Friday evening, I’m feeling much better about everything. Yes, I’m still upset that Teddy not only didn’t inform me of his decision to marry Victoire, but he has also yet to reply to my very angry letter. But I’ve tried my best not to think about it. I find the less I think about stuff, the less scared and upset I am. Take for example the Quidditch match against Slytherin tomorrow. I only think about it when James is shouting at me to get a good night’s sleep tonight and be in top form for the game tomorrow. Then I feel like throwing up in the corridor. 


I walk with Chastity to Transfiguration on Friday afternoon because I’m pretty sure Dom is off somewhere with Malfoy. The corridors are buzzing with people talking about the Quidditch match and their plans for the weekend. It seems a lot more crowded than usual. I try my best to push my way through the crowd to get to Transfiguration on time. Professor Chang hates it when we’re late. 


“Hey Rose!” 


Oh crap, it’s Laura Phelps. What the hell does she want? 


“You dropped this,” she says. She’s holding a small piece of paper with a really unnerving smirk on her face. I grab it off her, expecting it to be some sort of immature picture of me falling of a broomstick…but it’s not. 


It’s my scan. 


“Th-that’s not mine,” I lie quickly. 


“I saw it fall out of your pocket,” she says smugly, “it’s cute. Looks just like you.” 


I look around me quickly to make sure nobody is listening to us. 


“You can’t tell anyone,” I plead quietly, but I feel this is the only way I can go now, “seriously, I’m not joking Laura.” 


“Of course I won’t tell anyone,” she says, but she says it in a really fake way and she’s still smirking, “Tell me, who’s the dad?” 


I storm away from her angrily and run to Transfiguration. She won’t tell anyone. If I truly believe that, then why the hell am I panicking so much? No, she won’t tell. And even if she did, who’d believe her? People see me as the Gryffindor prefect with good grades. Teachers always say how like Mum I am. (Then again, Mum always goes on about how I’m “so like [your] Dad” when I do something stupid. This is quite often.) And the likes of the great, clever, obedient, nerdy, bushy-haired Hermione Granger Weasley would never have found herself in this situation. She never failed anything, so how could she have failed her daughter? 


Chang scowls at me for being late, so I hurry to my seat beside Dom. Thankfully she hasn’t decided to ditch me for her precious boyfriend in the classes we have with Slytherin – yet. I can barely concentrate on whatever it is we’re supposed to be doing. Laura Phelps comes into class late, but she makes up some stupid excuse about not feeling well so Chang doesn’t even give out to her! Life isn’t fair. Al and Malfoy are sitting across the way from us, so I try my best to keep my eyes fixed to the blackboard until the bell eventually goes. Dom says goodbye to me quickly and then runs over to Malfoy. Thanks cuz. You’re the best. Then again, I can’t really talk, can I? I mean, am I cheating with her boyfriend? Who knows? All I know is that I’m the worst cousin in the world. 


“You coming to dinner, Red?” asks Al, who has also been abandoned by his best friend. 


“Do you really have to call me that?” I say exasperatedly, walking out of the classroom with him. 


“You don’t mind when James calls you Red!” 


“I do mind. But he’s older than me and has been calling me Red since he learned to talk. You just seem to be copying him,” I explain. 


“True. But if it annoys you, it works for me,” he shrugs. 


I punch his arm. 


“Hey, you’re pretty strong for such a short person,” he says, rubbing his arm. 


“I’m not that short!” I protest, because I’m not, “You’re just really tall.” 


James is already at dinner when we get down. Dom is sitting at the Slytherin table with Malfoy, so Al makes a gagging face and sits at the Gryffindor table with us instead. 


“Oi! No Slytherin spies!” James protests at the sight of Al. 


“Like I’d want to spy on you,” Al says coolly, “I don’t need tips from Gryffindor, thank you very much.” 


And so the sibling and house rivalry begins. It must be strange for James and Al to be captains of possibly the two most conflicting houses in Hogwarts. It’s weird how they still manage to remain on friendly terms with each other, even when we kick Slytherins asses in matches. Hugo and I have a hard enough time getting along and we’re in the same house! 


“Hey Albie.” 


Jenny Winters comes over from the Ravenclaw table to the Gryffindor one to sit with Al, who she calls “Albie” apparently. But Al doesn’t seem to mind. Love can do weird things to people. But I still think “Scorpy” is worse. Al wraps his arms around her waist and they just sit there being all cute and sickening. I look over at the Slytherin table and Dom and Malfoy seem to be mirroring their actions. Puke. 


I become extremely unnerved by the arrival of Laura Phelps to the dinner table. She’s still wearing that completely insufferable grin that makes me just want to slap her, but I know I can’t. She has complete power over me and even she knows it. 


“Laura!” James exclaims, “How are you this fine January morning?” 


He ruffles his ebony hair as he always does whenever he’s trying to impress girls and looks at Laura with those huge brown eyes that look so much like Ginny’s its scary. As I watch James flirt shamelessly with Laura Phelps, I notice the group of third year girls sitting way down the table glaring jealously at Laura with stares that could kill. Maybe I could get my cousin’s fan club to kill her and then I won’t have anything to worry about.

As soon as I’m finished dinner, I get up to leave without drawing any attention to myself by saying goodbye to people. But Laura notices my departure, even though she’s completely enthralled by my idiot of a cousin at this stage. 


“Leaving already?” she says sweetly. 


“Um, yeah,” I mumble, “I have a lot of homework.” 


“Oh, well don’t stress yourself out too much. You’d want to take it easy…in your condition.” 


I’m going to wipe the smug grin off her pretty little face! James, how can you like such an insufferable little bitch? Anyway, the joke’s on her because nobody seems to have noticed her snide comment. How do you do an obliviating charm again? I’m going to go look that up and then knock every memory that girl ever had out of her already almost empty head. 


When I arrive in my dormitory, there is an owl tapping on the window with a letter tied to its leg. I rush to open the window and untie the letter from the very grumpy owl’s leg – I guess it hasn’t forgotten about how I threw it out of the window of the Owlery. 


Rosie,
I knew you’d be like this. Victoire was just really excited so she said she had to write to Dom. I was going to tell you first, but I’ve been really busy – I thought you’d understand that. You know I don’t think of you as some “knocked up kid” as you put it. You’re one of my closest friends. Stop acting so childish about this. I didn’t act like that when you told me you were pregnant. And believe me, there were a lot of things that I wanted to say then but I didn’t because I knew you didn’t need to hear them, just like I didn’t need to hear all your bitchy comments in your last letter. I’m engaged, this is supposed to be one of the happiest times in my life. Don’t ruin it for me.
I hope you’re looking after yourself because clearly you don’t need or want me to look after you.
Ted
 


I tear the letter into little pieces and incinerate them with my wand. That’s what I think of that stupid letter. If he doesn’t want to “look after” me, I don’t give a damn. I have plenty of people to confide in, I don’t need him. He thinks he’s so much better than me and if he thinks I’m childish then that’s his tough luck. And too busy? What the hell is that about? We’re never too busy for each other! He’s too busy to tell me he’s engaged? 


I’m not writing back to that. It’s not as if he’d care if I did. I crawl into bed, not really caring what time it is and stare angrily up at the top of my four poster bed. There’s a really old picture up there of Mum, Dad and Uncle Harry from when they were in first or second year. They look so happy, grinning and waving out of the picture without a care in the world. Isn’t it strange how even though Voldemort was still alive back then, life was happier for Mum and Dad than it is now? 



I wake on the morning of the Slytherin versus Gryffindor Quidditch match with that familiar feeling of dread and anxiety in the pit of my stomach. It’s early – I can’t see my alarm clock, but considering it’s still dark out, I’m guessing we’re into the wee hours of the morning. I don’t even try to go back to sleep, because I know it’s just a waste of time and energy – after all I did fall asleep at around seven o’clock yesterday evening. Instead, I get up and wander around the common room for a few hours, trying to get my mind around the forthcoming match. 


I’m about to play a game of Quidditch, even though I’m pregnant. That can’t be good, can it? I mean, I know Ginny said it was okay to fly, but I still don’t think playing Quidditch is good for a girl in my condition. But I can’t back out now – James would kill me (thus killing the kid anyway) if I didn’t show, Slytherin would win and Malfoy and Al would be strutting around Hogwarts like they own the place – I can’t let that happen. No child of mine will bring that kind of suffering upon the world. 


So at eight o’clock, I leave the common room and head for breakfast. I’m not particularly hungry, but I know I’ll have to eat something to keep my strength up. I nibble on a piece of toast for a few minutes and then abandon the idea completely. I’m starting to feel really queasy (as usual). But this time, it’s from nerves. James looks just as nervous as I do, but he still manages to wolf down his breakfast – he’s just a lot quieter than usual as he does so. 


After breakfast, we head for the Gryffindor changing rooms. The Slytherins yell at us on the way out the door, but I try not to pass any remarks. James sticks up his middle finger at them, provoking even more insults to be thrown our way. 


“Rose!” 


I turn around and see Laura Phelps running towards me. What the hell does she want? 


“Good look in the match today,” she says and winks at James who’s standing behind me. 


“Oh, um, thanks,” I mutter. 


“It should be…informative.” 


“What are you on about?” I whisper furiously. 


She holds up my picture of the scan. 


“I made a copy,” she grins, “and I’m going to tell everyone.” 


“Why?” I cry, my heart racing in panic. 


“Because you're a bitch,” she says simply, "and I hate you. And I think the students of Hogwarts should see their prefect for who she really is...a rotten little slut."


She winks at me and skips happily out of the Great Hall. I’m panicking more now than I did when I first found out that I was pregnant. Oh my god, she’s going to tell everyone. Laura Phelps is a manipulative bitch and will take great pleasure in spreading the glorious news that Rose Weasley, Gryffindor Prefect is pregnant. I think I should just run away from Hogwarts and never come back. 


“Red! Hurry up!” James calls from outside the Great Hall. 


Okay, I’m going to play this match and then run away from Hogwarts. I’ll be remembered as that Gryffindor Quidditch Keeper who won a match against Slytherin before disappearing off the face of the earth forever. I’ll steal James’ invisibility cloak and live under there forever more. And no, I don’t think I’m being drastic in the slightest! 


James gives his usual pep talk, but I’m not listening as I pull on my Quidditch robes. I wonder where Laura is now – how many people has she told already? I can bet my left leg that she’s told Chastity Finch, who I quite like – she won’t want to know me now. Dom is sitting across from me, her Beater bat in her hand and she smiles encouragingly at me. She is going to absolutely hate my guts once she finds out. 


“It’s time,” says James, picking up his broom. We all do the same and follow him out of the changing room and onto the Quidditch pitch. 


Flying truly is the most wonderful feeling in the world, but right now, as I soar the pitch, I can’t even concentrate on the complete euphoric sensation that only comes from flying a broom. My eyes are scanning the crowd for Laura Phelps – but of course, I can’t see her considering nearly every student in Hogwarts is here to see the match. I take my place by the goalposts. The quaffle is released, the commentator's voice fills the stadium…the game is on. 


“Welcome to what is predicted to be the best match of the Quidditch season – Slytherin versus Gryffindor! The Slytherin team is looking outstanding this year! Captained by Albus Potter, chaser, Slytherin are favoured to win the match with Scorpius Malfoy as seeker, Lorcan and Lysander Scamander as Beaters, Henrietta Flint as Keeper and Jason Bates and Kyle Montague as chasers! Gryffindor, captained by none other than Albus Potter’s own brother, James, have built a strong team this year too! Potter is playing in the position of seeker, Rose Weasley as keeper, Dominique and Fred Weasley as Beaters and Simon Longbottom, Seán Finnegan and Fiona Jordan as chasers! 
“Both Potters are flying exceptionally well today. Gryffindor are in possession of the quaffle – Longbottom passes to Finnegan, back to Longbottom…he shoots…saved by Henrietta Flint! Potter…erm, I mean, Slytherin Potter is in possession now, he passes to Bates…passes to Montague and…ouch! He’s hit by a bludger from Dominique Weasley! Gryffindor have the quaffle! Jordan swerves a bludger hit by one of the Scamander’s…not sure which one…he passes the quaffle to Longbottom who drops it! Caught by Fiona Jordan who shoots and…SCORE FOR GRYFFINOR!

“The score is 10-0 to Gryffindor! Malfoy and Potter…as in Gryffindor Potter…circle the pitch but there has been no sign as of yet of the golden snitch! Slytherin are in possession…Bates passes the quaffle to Montague…passes to Potter…as in Slytherin Potter…he shoots...SCORE FOR SLYTHERIN! What a score! Rose Weasley looks as if she’s off on another planet! The score is level, 10-10!” 
I didn’t even notice Al coming towards me with the quaffle until it was too late. 


“WAKE UP RED!” James shouts from above me. Scorpius looks at me as if to say, what the hell are you doing? 


Suddenly, the commentators voice changes. It had been a sixth year Hufflepuff, Gregory McPhilips who was commentating, as he does for all the matches, but now a girl’s voice fills the stadium. 


“Sorry folks, Gregory has taken a short bathroom break,” the voice says sweetly…it’s a familiar voice too. 


I look over to the commentators stand – Gregory is there, tapping his wand off his neck and moving his mouth, but no words are coming. He looks terribly confused as to why someone has just taken over his job. 


“Albus Potter passes the quaffle to…someone…and they pass it to…one of those guys in green…who get hit by one of those black balls…that looks really sore…one of the guys in red have the quaffle…or maybe that’s a girl…I don’t know…oh, the green guys have it again! They pass it…pass it again…green people still have it…they go to shoot…go easy on Rose, guys, she’s PREGNANT! Oops, did I say that out loud? Sorry Rosie.” 

And all of a sudden I realise whose voice has been filling the entire Quidditch stadium…Laura Phelps. The entire stadium has gone quiet. The game has been suspended in mid air. People are still trying to work out what has been said and I feel so faint that I think I’m going to fall off my broom. To prevent that happening, I speed towards the ground, jump off my broom and run into the Gryffindor changing rooms and into a bathroom cubicle to cry my eyes out. I’m pretty sure people outside are still trying to figure out what the hell is going on. 


Laura’s voice can no longer be heard and Gregory is back commentating. 


“Sorry about that,” he says uncomfortably, “Slytherin are in possession of the quaffle. Albus Potter drops the quaffle, speeds to the ground and runs off the pitch followed closely by James Potter! Fred and Dominique Weasley follow and…Slytherin seeker, Malfoy has also abandoned the game!” 


I hear them bursting into the changing rooms. It’s Al and James first and they’re shouting at each other, both out of breath from the match. 


“Of course it’s not true!” Al pants, “It’s just that Phelps bitch making up stuff!” 


“Red!” James calls, “Red, are you in here?” 


I don’t say anything, but my uncontrollable sniffing gives me away. Al knocks gently on the door. 


“Rose,” he says, knowing that this is a time for using my actual name, “come on out. Nobody believes her.” 


“Yeah,” says James indignantly, “she’s a gossiping cow!” 


It’s nice that James chooses me over girls he fancies. But I’m still not coming out...ever.


I hear the door fly open again. 


“Where is she?” I hear Dom cry. 


“D’you want me to go hex that Phelps idiot?” asks Fred. 


“Rose!” Dom calls. 


I can’t face her. I can’t face any of them right now. I wish they’d all just go away so I can deal with this myself. But it doesn’t seem like any of them are going anywhere. It’s like they’re waiting for conformation from me that Laura Phelps is lying. I wish with all of my heart that I could just walk out of this bathroom cubicle with a big smile on my face saying, yes Fred, you may hex that Phelps idiot. But I can’t to it anymore. I can’t lie to the family that I have spent almost every day of my life with anymore. The last few weeks have been so hard and it’s time to let them know. 


I open the door slowly and their whispering ceases as I come into view. I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror across the way. My hair looks a fright from the flying, my face is red and blotchy and my eyes are swollen and puffy. I look absolutely awful. They’re all looking at me expectantly. 


“Rose, nobody believes her,” says Dom softly, “we know you’re not pregnant. I mean, that’s ridiculous!” 


The others nod in agreement. This is even harder than having to tell my parents about it. The door of the changing room opens again and Malfoy runs in, out of breath. He’s looking around at everyone, but his stare fixes on me in the end, just like everyone else’s. 


“What’s going on?” Malfoy asks. 


“It’s nothing,” says Dom, “come on, Rose. Come back out and finish the game.” 


“I can’t,” I sob. 


“Of course you can,” she says, “like I said, nobody believes Laura!” 


“Well they should!” I cry. 


There’s a stunned silence filling the changing room now. Everyone looks terribly confused except for Malfoy who has a look of utter shock on his face. 


“What are you on about, Rose?” asks Fred gently. 


“She’s not lying,” I say quietly. 


I know what you're thinking...I'm pure evil for leaving you hangin'! But hey, at least she's come clean! Please don't kill me....(",)

Chapter 9: Parents Dispute
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Disclaimer - You know the drill

 





Sometimes I wish was an animagus. Like right now, for instance. If I could turn into a bug or a bird or even a mouse, I could run out of this dressing room and live forever as an animal. Life would be simpler, wouldn’t it? You mate with hundreds of different partners and nobody cares whether they’ve been with your cousins or not, because the chances are the thing you’re mating with is probably your distant cousin anyway. But do you care? No, because you’re a bloody insect and have no idea what a cousin is. And if I were an animal and pregnant, I’d probably just end up eating my baby when it’s born. Problem solved. 


But unfortunately I am a human witch, trapped inside this Gryffindor dressing room with Fred, James, Al, Dom and Malfoy staring at me with looks of pure astonishment on their faces. I can’t even run out the door because they’re blocking it. And even if I did run outside, there’d be hundreds of students laughing and pointing at me as if I were some sort of freak. 


James is the first to recover from my bombshell. He coughs uncomfortably, runs his hand through his jet black hair (as he always does) and shifts on his feet for a while. 


“H-how?” he asks incredulously. 


“Would you like me to draw you a diagram?” I snap angrily. 


What a ridiculous question. 


“No, I mean...who’s the father?” 


Al, Fred and Dom nod and Malfoy looks really hopeful that I’m about to say some random name. But I don’t say any name. I just keep looking at Malfoy, as if trying to tell him subliminally that it’s his baby. But he just stares back determinedly because he won’t believe it until I say it. 


“Hold on a second,” says Al, “why are you looking at him?” 


Al is looking between Malfoy and me in extreme confusion. Dom starts laughing, but it’s too high-pitched and nervous to be credible as a real laugh. 


“You’re joking,” she laughs, “this is one of your weird jokes, isn’t it Rose? It’s like that time you ran around dressed as a Dementor at Nana and Grandad’s wedding anniversary…we just don’t get it, right?” 


Again, I say nothing and look down at my feet because I can’t look at Malfoy any longer. 


“Rose!” she demands, “Tell me you’re joking.” 


I shake my head sadly. Oh why did it have to happen like this? 


Him?” cries Fred, pointing at Malfoy. 


“You’re not serious, Red,” James joins in. 


I’m barely even listening to them any more. Dom has gone completely silent and Malfoy is speechless. I feel like I’m going to break down in tears any minute. 


“How could you be so stupid, Rose?” Al cries, sounding just like Dad. 


“Just shut up!” I scream, “I don’t need you saying this shit to me, Al!” 


Al, James and Fred all turn to Malfoy now. He’s gone a hell of a lot paler than he usually is. He actually looks like he’s about to faint. 


“You slept with my cousin?” Al says quietly, but we can hear the definite anger in his steady voice. 


“I – I erm…” 


James and Fred draw their wands and point them at him, but they lower them ever so slightly when the door bursts open and in walks Coach Wood and Professor Chang. Wood looks really angry while Chang looks like she’s about to cry - but then again, she always looks like that. 


“What the hell’s going on? Why are half the Gryffindor team in here? Malfoy, you shouldn’t be in the Gryffindor changing room!” Wood barks. 


“Potter, Weasley, lower your wands,” Chang orders. 


The do, but grudgingly so. Neither takes their eyes off Malfoy for one second. 


“Rose, come with me,” says Chang before walking briskly out of the changing room. 


“Oi! Wait a second! What about the match?” I hear Wood calling as I follow Chang out the door. That man really doesn’t have a sensitive bone in his body. Chang is walking so fast that I have to practically run to keep up with her. Thankfully when we reach the school the corridors are empty due to the fact that almost every student in Hogwarts is at the Quidditch stadium trying to process what the hell is going on. Chang leads me up to the Headmaster’s office. As soon as we walk in the door, I’m pulled into a tight embrace by- 


“Aunt Ginny?” I exclaim. 


“Professor Flitwick contacted me when he couldn’t get through to your parents – don’t worry about them, they’re fine – what happened?” 


Flitwick makes me sit down on the chair in front of his desk and explain everything. At first I’m too distraught to even think straight, but by the time I’m finished explaining the situation, Flitwick looks surprised, Chang indifferent and Ginny shocked to hear who the father of my baby is. Well I couldn’t leave that detail out could I? 


“It’s alright Miss Weasley,” says Flitwick kindly, “you’re not the first Hogwarts student to get pregnant and I doubt you’ll be the last.” 


Hmm, there’s a relief. Now how about erasing every student in Hogwarts’ memory? 


“Have you been to see Madam Pomfrey?” he asks. 


“Yes, on Wednesday.” 


“And you’ve spoken with the Malfoys?” 


Come again? The Malfoys? 


Plural


Does he really expect me to sit down with not only Scorpius, but Draco and Astoria Malfoy and explain the situation? Hmm, maybe I could invite my parents and Mum could punch Draco in the face again, like she apparently did in her third year. That wouldn’t be awkward at all. In about five years I’ll be telling my kid the story of how “Grandma punched Grandpa in the face”. 


Scratch that, how “Grandma punched both your Grandpa’s in the face”. My mother really isn’t as charming as she makes herself out to be. I’m surprised I’ve turned out so normal with parents like mine. 


Yes, I consider a pregnant sixteen year old who talks to herself in her head and considers spending her life (or afterlife) haunting toilets as perfectly normal, thank you very much.
 

As Flitwick rambles on about something else, I tune out completely. It doesn’t look like Professor Chang is listening to him either. She’s looking – no, glaring – at Aunt Ginny with the utmost contempt. I can see that Ginny’s trying her best to look interested in what Flitwick’s saying, but she keeps glancing over at Chang out of the corner of her eye. And I recognise that look. It’s the same look she gives James when he does something really bad like the time he blew up the garden shed or tried to make Al play with a time turner when he was about seven. It’s that look she gives when she’s really annoyed about something or someone. 


Before I can even begin to wonder why Ginny and Chang are shooting each other death glares, a woman in her forties appears in the fireplace behind Flitwick’s desk. He jumps in fright but when he turns around to see who it is, he relaxes. 


“Oh, it’s you Mrs Weasley,” he says kindly. 


It’s Auntie Audrey, but what she’s doing here is a mystery to me. 


“Hello Professor. Ginny, I hope you don’t mind me tagging along,” she says, “Rose, I’ve heard about your – erm – little problem.” 


I’ve always noticed that when Auntie Audrey talks about something she considers to be shameful or beneath her, she uses the word “little” to describe it as if to undermine it. For instance when ever she talks to Uncle George about “Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes” she calls it “your little joke shop”, something that pisses George off to no end. She’s just as annoying as Uncle Percy, if not more. She’s not exactly the most striking woman. Yes, she’s good looking in a very conventional sense, but I have the sneaking suspicion that she was born without a personality. She never wears her mousy coloured hair down but always tied back in a tight knot. She wears this awful red lipstick all of the time and constantly has the appearance of someone who has just been tremendously insulted or has a very bad smell under her nose. In my opinion, she’s a stuck up know-it-all with delusions of grandeur and I’m not the only one in the family who thinks so. I know for a fact she’s Nana Molly’s least favourite daughter in law. Mum tries her best to be nice to her, but Dad isn’t able to stay in the same room as her for more than five minutes without cracking up. And I’ve once heard Uncle Harry say she’s his Aunt Petunia in witch form…whatever that means. 


“What are you doing here?” I ask, trying not to sound rude, but I don’t think it’s worked. 


“Well I heard about your situation –” 


“Wait, how the hell did you hear?” I exclaim. I know she won’t take kindly to my use of the word “hell” but I really don’t give a damn right now. 


“Well I was at the Potters’ when Ginny received the message from the Headmaster –” 


“Audrey,” Ginny chips in, “I told you I could handle this myself.” 


“Yes, yes I know but there’s strength in numbers! Two heads are better than one! Many hands make light work!” 


“Yes, we get the picture,” I say gloomily. She’s the last person I want or need here right now. I don’t need her looking down her nose at me as if I’m some sort of insect. That’s exactly how she’s looking at me right now. 


There’s a knock at the door and in walks Wood followed closely by Malfoy, looking very shocked and angry indeed. I feel Ginny tense up beside me and she grabs my hand for support because she knows I’m going to need it now more than ever. And although I really appreciate all she’s done for me, I think I really need Mum. 


“Right,” Wood starts, “does someone want to explain to me why one of the most important Quidditch matches of the season has been abandoned in mid air?” 


“Wood,” Chang hisses, “do you ever think of anything other than bloody Quidditch?” 


Wood goes to protest, but Flitwick puts up a tiny hand to stop him. Despite his size, Flitwick has the power to shut even Coach Wood up with just the raise of a hand. Apparently size doesn’t matter. 


“I think a rematch is in order, Wood,” says Flitwick, “please announce that the game has been cancelled.” 


Wood looks livid but he doesn’t argue. He storms out of the office and slams the door behind him like some sort of moody teenager. Ginny and I are sitting in front of Flitwick with our backs to Malfoy, who seems to be incapable of speech right now. Auntie Audrey is checking her reflection in the mirror beside the portrait of Professor Dumbledore. I’m almost certain I saw him roll his eyes at her. 


“Mr Malfoy, have a seat,” says Flitwick, conjuring up a chair right beside mine. Thanks, sir. 


Malfoy slowly walks over to the chair and slumps onto it, deliberately avoiding my glances. He’s determined not to look at me at all. I suppose I can’t blame him – I’d hate me too if I were him. 


“This is obviously a very sensitive topic,” Flitwick starts, but again he is interrupted by two people walking out of the fireplace behind his desk. I recognise the red haired man followed closely by the bushy-haired woman – my parents. They’re blatantly ignoring each other, much in the same way Malfoy is ignoring me. 


“Ron! Hermione!” Ginny exclaims. I have to admit I’m just as shocked as her that they’ve actually showed up, never mind together. 


Dad looks like he wants to jump on Malfoy and strangle him to death. 


“We’ve only just got the news…we were in Hogsmeade when the owl found us,” says Mum. What on earth were they doing in Hogsmeade? 


Mum sits down on one of the chairs Flitwick has conjured up. She looks awful. I know it’s only been a week since I’ve seen her, but it looks like she hasn’t even brushed her hair since then, never mind washed it and she has dark circles under her eyes like you wouldn’t believe. Dad doesn’t look much better. His beard is extremely scruffy looking – Mum’s always on at him to shave it off but right now it looks like he’s never shaved in his life. His hair obviously hasn’t been washed or brushed either – honestly, what did I do to deserve such stinking parents? 


And I mean literally stinking. 


“Now that we’re all settled,” Flitwick starts again, “there are some issues that need to be –” 


And the noise of roaring flames from the fireplace behind him once again interrupts his pending speech. 


“Oh for the love of Merlin!” he squeaks and jumps around to see who it is. 


First out of the fireplace is a tall, thin woman with black hair and very dark eyes. Her pale skin and red lips make her look like a vampire of some sort, but when she smiles at me, she looks friendly enough. Then I realise that she’s not actually smiling at me – she’s smiling at Malfoy. 


“Scorpius, sweetheart, what’s going on?” the woman asks, swooping down and kissing him on the cheek. Scorpius pushes her off and rubs his cheek. 


“You shouldn’t have come, Mum,” he mumbles. 


That’s Scorpius’ mother? I’ve never seen her before as it’s usually Malfoy’s Dad who drops him to Kings Cross every September. Scorpius really doesn’t look anything like his mother, except maybe for their dark eyes. Otherwise, it would be hard to tell they were even related. 


A man appears out of the fireplace a few seconds later and I instantly recognise him as Draco Malfoy. Dad looks fit for murder right now. Behind his very long, shaggy red hair I can see his blue eyes narrowing in disgust at the arrival of Mr Malfoy. And by the looks of things, Mr Malfoy feels the exact same way about him. Draco is practically bald and the little hair he has left is a lighter blonde colour than his son’s. 


“Mr and Mrs Malfoy,” says Flitwick conjuring up even more chairs. Seriously, there are more chairs here than in a bloody furniture shop. 


“It’s getting quite crowded in here,” says Ginny, noticing the obvious tension that has been building up with every new arrival to the office, “Audrey, perhaps you and I should go back to my house…” 


“Hmm? Oh, yes,” says Audrey distantly, fixing her eyebrows in the mirror. She obviously hasn’t even noticed that my parents and the Malfoys are here. 


Ginny smiles encouragingly at me, grabs Auntie Audrey by the arm and drags her over to the fireplace. She grabs a handful of Floo Powder and says “Woodgate House” and disappears into the fire. Audrey does the same before mouthing “Owl Me” to Mum, who is barely even looking. 


“Anyway, as I was saying,” Flitwick continues, “the –” 


“Scorpius,” Draco drawls, as if Flitwick hadn’t been speaking at all. Flitwick jumps off his chair, sighs heavily and stalks out of his office as if admitting defeat. It seems that nobody else has noticed. Wow, we’ve managed to drive the headmaster out of his own office. 


“What the hell is going on here?” Draco shoots at his son. Malfoy shrugs. His head is resting on his hand and he’s staring intently at the floor. 


“Don’t ignore me,” Draco hisses, “What have you done this time?” 


“Draco,” Mrs Malfoy says softly, but her husband shushes her. 


“Look, we know it’s serious – we’ve gotten owls home before but we never expected to be called in urgently! You must have really screwed up this time!” Draco says, his voice getting stronger and louder with each word. 


“That’s all I am, isn’t it? A big screw up,” Scorpius mutters. 


“Don’t even try to worm your way out of this one!” Draco shouts, “Tell us what you’ve done!” 


“I apparently got her pregnant!” Scorpius shouts, pointing at me but still not looking at me. I can’t pretend that that didn’t hurt. 


Oh no, Draco’s going to start on me…how do you do a stunning spell again? 


“What?” Draco whispers in disgust. Mrs Malfoy and Draco are now looking from me to Scorpius. 


“Her?” Draco shouts, “A Weasley? You got a Weasley pregnant?” 


Dad stands up suddenly. He’s much taller than Draco, but he doesn’t seem intimidated. 


“Shut up, Malfoy,” Dad snaps. 


“I was wondering when you were going to speak up, Weasley,” Draco sneers, “Finally grew a back bone?” 


“I’ll smack you into next week if you don’t shut your mouth,” Dad hisses. Mum stands up and tries to calm Dad down, but he shrugs her off. Draco does the same to his wife, Astoria. 


“This is all your fault, Weasel,” says Draco, “you’re jumped up little slut won’t ruin my son’s chance of getting a job at the ministry.” 


Dad lunges at Draco, but Scorpius gets there before him and punches his father so hard that he falls to the ground with a thud. Astoria gasps and clasps her hands over her mouth. 


Don’t – talk – about – her – like – that,” Scorpius hisses. 


Draco stares up at his son, his eyes filled with shock and anger. Nobody speaks for a moment – even Mum and Dad forget their petty squabbling and look at each other in shock. Astoria looks so ashamed of her husband and son that I almost feel sorry for her. 


“I gave you everything,” Draco murmurs, wiping the blood off his nose, “You’re nothing but an ungrateful, spoiled little brat!” 


“Whose fault is that? Your Death Eater father spoiled you just like my Death Eater father spoiled me!” Scorpius shouts. 


Wow, tension. 


Seriously, I can almost see it. 


Scorpius, with one last contemptuous look at Draco, storms out of the office, slamming the door behind him. Astoria runs to Draco and fixes his nose with the wave of her wand. Draco pulls himself up off the ground and turns to me and my parents, with blood still on his chin and shirt. 


“I promise you,” he says darkly, “that my boy will have nothing to do with her –” he points at me, “– or her sprog. That’s a guarantee.” 


And he disappears into the fire without another word. 


“I…I’m so sorry,” Astoria Malfoy says to me and Mum, “he…he’s just…” 


She trails off. Mum nods understandingly and Astoria follows Draco into the fire. So they’re just abandoning their son at a time like this? Wow, and I thought my parents were bad. At least they stayed to talk it out with me. Then again, I didn’t break one of their noses. 


And now, somehow, it’s just me, Mum and Dad left in Flitwick’s office. Mum rushes to me and embraces me as if we haven’t seen each other in months. 


“Oh Rose, we thought something awful had happened when we got the letter. I’m so glad you’re alright.” 


“Alright?” I exclaim, “You think I’m alright? Laura Phelps announced to the entire school that I’m pregnant and you think I’m alright?” 


Dad coughs uncomfortably. None of us say anything for a few minutes. 


“So…” I start, “have you two made up then?” 


Mum frowns and Dad looks at the floor, his ears flushing red. I’ll take that as a no. 


“Listen sweetheart,” says Mum, “we understand that you’re under a lot of stress at the moment and we’re so sorry to put even more on you…it doesn’t mean that we don’t love you –” 


“You’re getting a divorce?!” I splutter. 


Mum and Dad look at each other uncomfortably. 


“Um,” Dad starts, “we’re just…taking a break.” 


Oh how very Ross and Rachel. 


“I’m staying in Hogsmeade for a while,” says Mum, “so I can be near you if you need me. Your father was just helping me move when we got your letter.” 


“And what about you?” I ask Dad, “Do you not want to be near me?” 


“Don’t start, Rose,” says Dad tiredly. I hate the way he doesn’t call me “Rosie” anymore. It’s like he’s accepted that I’ve grown up prematurely. 


I run from the office with tears brewing in my eyes without saying another word to them. My life can’t get much worse than this. I can’t bring a child into such a dysfunctional, broken family like the one I’m being forced to live with. Both its grandfathers will hate it – what kind of environment is that for a child? I can’t do this. I was fooling myself when I thought I could. 


I run and run through the corridors. People are pointing and whispering about me – it feels like my first day in Hogwarts when people would point at Al, Dom and I because we were related to Harry Potter. Except this is so much worse. I’m the laughing stock of the entire school. 


I’m running really fast now and my vision is blurred because I’m crying so much. I don’t even know where I’m going at this stage. I eventually reach an empty corridor and sit in a corner because I feel like if I run any further, I’m going to collapse. I wish I had James’ invisibility cloak right now. I hear a cough. 


And here he is, standing right in front of me, a completely sombre look on his face – that stupid, Scottish, blonde-haired, attractive git. He’s leaning up against the wall opposite to me and slides down it onto the ground so we’re at eye level. 


“Why didn’t you tell me?” Malfoy asks quietly. 


“I don’t know,” I shrug, “I didn’t know how.” 


“Did you not think I had the right to know?” he says angrily. 


“When the hell was I supposed to say it?” I snap, “While you were snogging Dom?” 


“How about when I was snogging YOU?” 


“Just leave it, Malfoy,” I sigh, “you have nothing to worry about anyway.” 


“I’m going to become a father and I have nothing to be worried about?” he says incredulously. 


“You don’t,” I say, “because you’re not going to be a father.” 


He looks very confused and tilts his head to the side in a way that I find quite cute. Oh well, I can’t exactly think like that anymore. I’ve officially messed up any chance I ever had with him. 


“I’m giving it up for adoption.” 

 

 






Again, I will plead with you to NOT hate me!! Just so you know I am a Ron/Hermione shipper all the way (I dont like Draco/Hermione, but I've read a few good ones) and if you do love Draco, sorry I made him such a b.........brat. Anyway, thanks for reading, please review! Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter, I hope I didnt keep you waiting too long for this one!  AND thank you to anyone who recommended my story in the HPFF forums! AND thanks for reading, reviewing, favouriting my story, or all three! Wow, this is a long A/N...anyway, I won't keep you from your REVIEWING! 
Slán!
padfoot4ever


 


Chapter 10: Chocolate, Cupboards and Memories
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A/N - The part in Italics is a flashback - but I think you'd figure that one out by just reading it! As usual, I own nothing...everything belongs to JK Rowling!
                          


I need to stop crying. Crying isn’t going to solve anything. Then again, sitting in a broom cupboard eating my bodyweight in chocolate isn’t going to solve anything either, but here I am anyway. They say chocolate and sex are on the same brain level for girls and that girls are supposed to get as much pleasure from chocolate as they do from sex. I can tell you, if I could go back to James’ birthday party, I’d eat so much chocolate that I would just look pregnant, rather than actually having sex. Chocolate is much more pleasurable anyway. Chocolate doesn’t knock you up and then go off with your cousin. Chocolate doesn’t shoot you cheeky grins in the hallways because it knows you secretly like it. Chocolate doesn’t judge you. It’s just there for you when you need it, crying “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat me”. And when you do, you don’t have to feel guilty, because it’s what the chocolate wanted. 


What the hell am I even talking about? 


Anyway, I’ve decided to hide out in this broom cupboard so I can have a think. What better place is there? Mum and Dad have gone home – well, Mum’s gone to wherever she’s staying in Hogsmeade and Dad’s gone back home, I presume. I didn’t say goodbye to them, I just peaked out of the broom cupboard (which is in the entrance hall) and I saw them leave. I don’t know if I’m glad to see the back of them or if I want them to come back and sort out their problems. Or is it too late? 


It’s so annoying. I wish I knew what it was that caused them to go so psychotic the night before we came back to Hogwarts. It can’t be my pregnancy alone. I mean, if it were, why did they both show up to the school? Oh I don’t know, it’s all so confusing. Maybe something happened – maybe Dad cheated on Mum! Maybe that’s why she threw him out of the house. But Dad’s not the cheating kind…is he? Anyway, who’d have him? Personally, I wonder how the hell Mum ended up with him. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Dad (most of the time), but he’s an overgrown kid. He’s worse than Hugo most of the time! Mum’s so methodical and mature all the time. They’re complete opposites. It’s a wonder they even survived nineteen years of marriage. 


I don’t know what to do. A year ago I never would have expected that I, Rose Weasley, complete nerd and prefect, would be facing issues like my parents divorcing or an unplanned pregnancy. I was so exam-orientated. My whole life was studying for the OWLs. But they came and went and then I found that I had nothing to do anymore. Of course there was always Quidditch, but even that gets boring after a while. Even boys didn’t interest me – not really. I mean, there was Carl the Ravenclaw who broke up with me in front of the whole school, but I was more upset because of the humiliation rather than actually losing him. The only boy I ever really had eyes for was Teddy. 


I need Teddy now more than ever…but he hates me just like Dad does. Why did I have to be so bloody childish about the engagement? I should be happy for Teddy and Victoire. He loves her so much – what guy wouldn’t? She’s even more beautiful than her Mum or Dom (both of whom are so stunning they make me look like a troll whenever I stand beside them). She has no flaws at all. Even Nana Molly and Grandad love her the most because she’s their first grandchild. Nana and Grandad Granger don’t favour me for being their first grandchild, which I find completely unfair. 


“I don’t want to hear it, Malfoy,” I hear a voice hissing from outside the broom cupboard. I push open the door, only slightly, and peek out into the entrance hall. Dom and Malfoy are standing by the front doors of the castle. Dom’s face is very red and she hasn’t changed out of her Quidditch robes yet and Malfoy (also dressed in his Quidditch attire) looks just as pale as he did when I told him that I want to put our baby up for adoption. 


“Dom, you have to believe me –” 


“Why should I believe anything you say?” she shrieks, her voice echoing around the hall. 


“I told you I’m sorry!” Malfoy says exasperatedly. 


“Sorry?” she cries, “You’re sorry? Don’t you think “sorry” is a little bit trivial for this situation? You got my cousin – my best friend – pregnant! And you think that “sorry” is going to cover it? You’re pathetic, Malfoy!” 


“It was before I was with you,” Malfoy says loudly, “we agreed not to tell anyone. I didn’t even know she was pregnant!” 


“How could you ask me out after you slept with Rose? You’re sick! Did you even like her? Or were you just using her?” 


Oh dear. 


Right now, I’m not sure if I want him to say he loves every bit of me or he just wanted sex. I suppose part of me just wants to kick him in the groin and the other part (very small part) wants him to hug me and say everything is okay. 


“I…” Malfoy starts, “I was drunk. Of course I must have liked her at the time…but now, I like you, Dom.” 


That little ferret! Only the other day he was saying how he isn’t happy with Dom and how much he likes me! Kick him in the goods, Dom! 


“Well it’s a bit late now,” she says, and I can hear that she’s crying in her voice, “You’re going to have a baby.” 


“No we’re not,” says Malfoy, “Rose wants to put it up for adoption.” 


It’s hard to tell how he feels about that. His facial expressions are hard and emotionless and his voice is monotonic. Guys are so hard to read. 


Dom glares at him for a moment and her facial expression softens into a sad grimace. 


“B-but I don’t understand,” says Dom, “Rose wouldn’t do that.” 


How would she know? It’s not like we ever discuss that kind of stuff. 


“She wouldn’t!” Dom insists, “You’re making her, aren’t you?” 


“No!” Malfoy protests, “It was all her idea! I only just found out, I haven’t had time to get my head around it!” 


They stay quiet for a few minutes. 


“Is it true you punched your dad?” Dom asks so quietly that I can barely hear her. 


“Yeah,” Malfoy says nonchalantly, “so?” 


“Why did you hit him?” 


Malfoy stays quiet. 


“He said something about Rose?” Dom presses, “You were standing up for her?” 


He nods. What an idiot! Why can’t he just lie? He seems to be an expert at that. 


“You like her,” says Dom, “I knew it.” 


“Dom –” 


“I’m going to bed,” she sighs, “I’ll talk to you when I’ve calmed down. Right now all I want to do is hex you into oblivion.” 


She storms off up the stairs. Malfoy is left in the entrance hall and kicks the front doors in rage. I’ve never seen him so angry. In fact, I never really see him as anything other than calm and collected. Maybe I should go and calm him down…or does he want to hear it from me? I mean, I’m the one who lied to him. But apparently my brain and my legs aren’t really working in partnership today because I seem to be walking out of the broom cupboard and over to him. How odd. 


“How long have you been in there?” Malfoy shoots when he spots me. 


“About four hours,” I shrug, “I needed to think.” 


“…In a broom cupboard?” Malfoy asks, eyebrows raised. 


“What better place?” 


He’s looking at me as if I’m a crazy woman. I suppose I sort of am a crazy woman. Well I can hardly be described as sane now can I? 


“So…” Malfoy says awkwardly. 


“Why did you just lie your bollocks off to Dom just now?” I ask bluntly. 


“I didn’t!” he protests. 


“You told me that you aren’t happy with her. Or was that all talk? I suppose you regret saying all that crap about liking me now that I’m damaged goods.” 


“Weasley, you really are the most annoying person in the world!” he cries, “I wish I never slept with you!” 


“The feeling’s mutual! You weren’t even that good!” 


That hit him hard. He pauses for a few seconds because he doesn’t know what to say. I try to hold back laughter. 


“Whatever,” he shoots back, “it’s not like you’d know!” 


“What?” I cry. 


“Dom told me you were a virgin!” 


“Yeah, well she told me you were a virgin too!” I cry. 


“Well…” Malfoy stutters, “Good! That rules out the STD risk!” 


I stare at him for a second before we both burst out laughing. I’m serious, our laughs are echoing around the entire entrance hall. It’s like we don’t know what else to do. The situation actually can’t get any worse so we’re just laughing! This is not how I expected it to go down. I tell a guy I’m pregnant and we have a good laugh about it! I'm pregnant...but sure at least we don't have chlamydia!

“You’re an idiot,” I laugh. 


“We’re both idiots,” Malfoy admits and I nod my head in agreement. 


“What are we going to do?” I ask, still chuckling, with tears streaming down my face - but whether they're tears of sadness or laughter I'm not quite sure. I think it's both.

“I thought you wanted adoption?” he asks. 


“I…I don’t know what I want.” 


“Let’s not decide tonight,” says Malfoy softly, “Let’s just…sleep on it.” 


I’ve been sleeping on it for the last few weeks. It’s time to wake up. 


“Why did we do it?” I sigh, “What were we thinking?” 


Malfoy shrugs. I shrug. I reminisce. 


**

The party was already underway when I returned to the Common Room after jinxing Carl Blunt, my ex-boyfriend. I was in no mood for the festivities, but as soon as James saw me, he bounced over to me, an extra Firewhiskey in his hand. 


“Have a drink!” 


“I’m underage,” I protested. 


“It’s my birthday!” said James, as if that justified underage drinking. 


“So? I’m only sixteen!” 


“You never loosen up, Red,” slurred James, “You’ll drive yourself into an early grave with the amount of work you do.” 


I rolled my eyes at him and grudgingly downed the Firewhiskey to prove a point. 


“There! I can loosen up!” 


He looked impressed. 


“Nice work, Red!” 


He bounced off again to talk to a dark-haired seventh year who was sitting alone in the corner of the Common Room. I, of course, was still completely embarrassed by what had happened at dinner and I felt as if everyone was talking about how I’d been dumped so publicly by Carl. I poured myself another Firewhiskey, drank it quickly and poured another one. 


“Steady on, girl,” I heard Al say from behind me, “How many have you had?” 


“Three,” I said, holding up two fingers. 


He took the glass off me and set it down. 


“You never drink! Have you any idea how strong that stuff is?”
 

“As strong as your face!” I spluttered. Al raised an eyebrow. 


“You look like Harry Potter,” I said. 


“Yeah, you’d think he was my dad or something,” said Al sarcastically, “Maybe you should go and lie down.” 


“No! I want to dance!” I said, even though nobody else was. 


“You’re going to embarrass yourself!” Al protested. 


“If the girl wants to dance, let the girl dance!” said Malfoy, who had just appeared beside Al, draping an arm around his shoulders. He looked very handsome, wearing a black shirt and black jeans. 


“Why are James’ parties always full of drunken idiots?” Al sighed. 


“Loosen up Al!” I laughed. 


“Yeah, loosen up, Potter!” Malfoy agreed in his endearing Scottish accent, “Why can’t you be more like Rose?” 


“Yeah!” I exclaimed, “Or more like Scorpassus here?” 


“Yeah!” said Malfoy excitedly. 


Al rolled his eyes and left the two of us by the drinks table. 


“You’re cool when you’re drunk,” Malfoy slurred. 


“D'you know what's cooler...funk!" I exclaimed. 


“You’re dead right there!” Malfoy agreed seriously. 


“There’s nothing better than funk,” I said, bopping to the music. 


“I agree,” said Malfoy, “I completely agree.” 


“Play that funky music, white boy!” I yelled at him. 


“Okay!” 


He just stood there and shrugged. We both burst out laughing for no apparent reason. 


“We’re talking quite a lot of bullshit,” I observed. 


“It’s quality bullshit, m’lady,” said Malfoy. 


“I need to sit down,” I decided, as I was very dizzy indeed. We walked over to the couches by the fire and chased a few first years out of them. Malfoy threw himself down beside me and slouched down so we were at the same eye-level. 


“You have brown eyes,” Malfoy observed. 


“So do you,” I said. 


“High five for brown eyes!” 


We didn’t high five in the end – our co-ordination was way off and we gave up after seven tries and six accidental slaps on the face. 


“You never spoke to me before,” I said. 


“I did!” he insisted, “In first year, I said hi when Al introduced me to you! And I think I said excuse me at one stage when I needed to get by you.” 


“But we never SPOKE before…like an actual conversation…with your big Scottish accent,” I slurred. 


“What are we having now?” he asked, “and I can’t help my Scottish accent, given that I’m Scottish!” 


“I suppose you’re right. So what’s your favourite farmyard animal then?” I asked. 


“A one-legged duck, definitely,” he said, not smiling, but his eyes shone with sarcasm, “How about you?” 


“Pigs,” I said, “because it’s a fun word to say!” 


“PIGS!” Malfoy shouted, and a couple of fourth years looked over in shock, “Oh, not you…” 


The night went on like that, full of completely pointless banter. Soon the Common Room had cleared out completely, or people had just fallen asleep on the floor of it. I wasn’t sure what time it was, but it had to be well after two o’clock. Dom was passed out on one of the armchairs, Chastity Finch was on the floor beside her and Laura Phelps was sprawled across a table beside the window. But Malfoy and I were still wide awake, playing a game of “I Never” with an almost empty bottle of Firewhiskey. 


“I never…had a sexual fantasy about a teacher!” I said. Malfoy grinned coyly and took a gulp of the drink. 


“Ew! Which one?” I laughed. 


“Chang,” he grinned. 


“Chang? No way!” 


“Okay, my turn!” he said, “I never…kissed a cousin’s mate.” 


I didn’t take a drink, seeing as I’d never kissed one of my cousin’s friends. 


“Want to change that?” he grinned. 


My heart flipped over in my chest at his words. His hair was lying flat on his head at this stage of the evening, making him look sexier than ever. What red blooded female wouldn’t kiss him? I leaned in, both our heads turning left, and our lips were touching, softly at first. Then I felt his tongue caressing my lips, as if knocking to see if they could come in. I opened my lips obligingly. I wasn’t exactly experienced in the area of boys, but I could tell that he was good – really good. One of his hands was resting on my waist while the other was cupping my face gently. My heart was going crazy – it was a feeling I’d never felt before. My hand flew to his and I lead him upstairs to my empty dormitory. 


We lay down on my bed and continued our passion-filled kissing session. For some reason, I knew exactly what I was doing. Maybe it was the Firewhiskey. Maybe it was the surge of lust I was experiencing. Whatever it was, I felt the moment opportune to unbutton Malfoy’s black shirt while he unzipped my jeans. I didn’t even realise how much I was shaking, but Malfoy did. 


“We don’t have to –” he whispered, but I put a finger over his lips. 


“I want to,” I whispered back…
 


**

“Um, Weasley?” Malfoy asks, pulling me out of my day dream. 


“Hmm?” 


“You’ve been staring into space for the last five minutes,” he says worriedly. 


“I…I better go,” I say, “Goodnight, Malfoy.” 


I run upstairs and all the way up to the Gryffindor Tower, the memories of James’ birthday still fresh in my mind. It’s got my heart racing even thinking about it. I didn’t even think I’d remember that much, but if I strain my mind, I can still remember his touch – it made me tremble. But that’s lust, one of the seven deadly sins. And I’m pretty sure “being a lying, cheating bitch to your cousin” is in there too. 


Speaking of which, Dom is sitting on her own in the dorm when I return. She’s crying into her pillow, but she stops and looks up when I come in. At first I think she’s reaching for her wand to hex me, but she just reaches for a tissue and wipes her eyes. 


“You’re back then,” she says in a very shaky voice. 


“Look, Dom, I’m so s–” 


Don’t say you’re sorry because I really don’t care,” she says. Her eyes are red and puffy, just as I’m sure mine are. 


“How could you not tell me?” she sobs, “I thought we were supposed to be more than just cousins, Rose. We’re best friends.” 


“I know,” I say, feeling so guilty I think I’m going to cry, “I should have told you…but Malfoy and I didn’t feel the need to tell anyone because we were so drunk when it happened. It was just a one night stand.” 


“Yeah, and look what the result of it is.” 


I nod gravely. 


“I wanted to tell you that I was pregnant, I really did.” 


“Then why didn’t you? It’s not like you didn’t have the chance. We share a dormitory! We saw each other every day over Christmas!” she cries. 


“I know,” I say, “but I was trying to get my head around it before I told people. And then by the time I was ready to tell you, you told me that you were going out with Mal- um, Scorpius.” 


“You could have told me,” she says quietly, “I would have understood.” 


Yeah, right – she would have understood just as much as Dad did. 


“I’m sorry, Dom, I really am,” I say. 


“Do you like him? Scorpius?” 


Her blue eyes are digging into mine, searching for the truth. I doubt she’ll find it if I can’t even find it in myself. 


“It was just a one night stand,” I say, “I can barely even remember it.” 


That’s such a lie. 


“But Rose, you always said your first time would be special…what made you do it? You’ve always been so sensible,” says Dom, shaking her head. 


“Firewhiskey,” I say, “and I was upset that Carl had humiliated me in front of everyone. It was out of comfort I did it, not out of love – or even like for that matter.” 


Dom sighed heavily and started biting on her thumbnail. 


“It doesn’t matter anyway,” she says, “it’s not like I can be with Malfoy now.” 


I breathe in. This is something I have to do. 


“Look, Dom, Malfoy likes you, not me,” I say, running over to her bed and sitting down beside her, “I’m giving the baby up for adoption – in a few months, this will all be over with. Malfoy’s done nothing wrong, okay? So…so be happy, Dom. Don’t let my stupid mistakes ruin your life as well as mine.” 


She looks at me sceptically and then she nods. 


“Perhaps you’re right,” she whispers unsurely, “Maybe I shouldn’t break up with him.”
 

Part of me feels saddened to hear this. Part of me feels guilty that I’ve just told my cousin a huge lie. 


And another part of me feels that I’ve just made the second biggest mistake of my life. 

A/N - Okay, I know it's moving really slowly - I was going to include this in the last chapter, but it was too long! Anyway, it'll start moving faster soon, I promise! I have 15 chapters written so far, so that's why I'm updating so quickly! Thanks for all of your kind reviews (",)

Chapter 11: It Can't Get Any Worse...Right?
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Yes, there is my pathetic attempt at a Scorpius chapter image - seriously, it's hard to find pictures of blonde blokes! And then to put their heads on Draco Malfoy's body! Anyhoo, here's Chapter 11 - more a/n at the bottom.

Oh and as always, I own nothing but the plot and crappy chapter images!
            

                              

CHAPTER 11 - It can't get any worse...right?










“Is it true?” 


“Who’s the father??” 


“Rose Weasley? As in the Gryffindor nerd?” 


“There’s no way you’re pregnant – who’d sleep with you?!” 


These are some of the nicer whispers that have been following me around since Saturday. On Sunday I stayed shut behind the curtains of my four poster bed, but Monday morning came too soon and I had to emerge from my pit. That, and I was hungry. Avoiding everyone, I found myself drifting from class to class, keeping my head down and concentrating on my studies. None of the teachers asked me any questions or made me perform any spells all day – in fact, according to them, I’m practically invisible. Of course the stupid students of Hogwarts couldn’t see it like that. I haven’t gotten such strange stares since second year when I chained myself to the Herbology Greenhouses for two days straight. (You see, I was trying to stop the unfair treatment of Mandrakes, and I remembered Mum set up the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare when she was at Hogwarts, so I decided to set up my own society. It was called the Society for the Promotion of Extra Rights for Mandrakes – or S.P.E.R.M. I used to wear S.P.E.R.M badges and everything, but people used to stare at me and laugh like I was an alien or something. I’m not really sure why.) 


Anyway, today is Tuesday and although I’m used to the malicious whispers that are circulating, they still make me angry. None made me as angry as the one Laura Phelps whispered to her Hufflepuff friend. And as a result of it, James and I have detention tonight. It’s her own fault she now has horns growing out of her thick head – she was the one who announced to the entire school that I’m pregnant. She was the one who called me “Malfoy’s Little Slut” in the corridor. Malfoy’s Little Slut. That has to be the most horrible thing anyone has ever called me. It’s hardly surprising that James hexed her before I had the chance to. All I did was throw my half eaten banana at her. 


At eight o’clock, we head to Professor Longbottom’s office. It’s obvious he feels a bit bad about giving us detention because he knows us so well, but it’s also in his job as head of Gryffindor house not to play favourites. He makes us go through discipline files from the past sixty years and make sure they’re all in order – seriously, why doesn’t he just make us watch paint dry? It would be so much more interesting. James and I work in silence, sorting out detention slips into different files. I’m still absolutely fuming after what Phelps said to me and I’m fantasising about chopping her hair off and forcing her to eat it. 


“Um, Red, are you okay?” James asks as I shove random pieces of paper into folders. 


“I’m fine,” I snap, “I’m absolutely brilliant. Couldn’t be better.” 


“You just put Henry Lawson’s detention slip into Michael Patterson’s file,” James points out. 


“Does it look like I care?” I hiss. 


Silence. 


I continue throwing detention slips into random files without even looking at what I’m doing. See, every student who has ever had detention in the last sixty years has a file in the discipline cabinet. That’s a lot of students. We have to make sure each detention slip is under the right name. It’s so boring, I want to cry. 


“How’s Al taking the news?” I ask after a few minutes. 


We both know that Al has a very bad temper when provoked. He’s even worse than James at times. And the look on his face on Saturday clearly stated that he was furious…but not with me, with Malfoy. I haven’t really had the chance to discuss it with him since the news came out. 


“He’s…” James starts, “he’s dealing with it in his own individual way.” 


That can’t be good. 


“Maybe I should go and talk to him,” I suggest. 


“That’s probably not a good idea,” says James quickly, “give him time to cool off. He’s still pretty angry with…well, you know, the fact you slept with his best friend. I mean, it is kind of weird…” 


“Why is it weird?” 


“Because Scorpius and Al are like brothers…sometimes I think they’re more like brothers than me and Al.” 


“That’s not true,” I say. 


“I don’t know…since he came to Hogwarts, he’s felt like Scorpius was his family because they’re both Slytherins. But you’re like our sister, Red. You always have been. We’re closer with you than with any of the others…I guess Al is just really protective of you. We both are. Believe me, if you’d slept with my best friend, I’d kick his arse from here to Australia!” 


I laugh a little. James is so very like Uncle Harry sometimes. Even the way he looks now…I don’t know, it’s the way he grins or something. Even though people always say he looks like Aunt Ginny (except for his raven black hair obviously), I can definitely see a resemblance between James and his Dad. Maybe not as much of a resemblance as Harry shares with Al, but almost. He’s got that devilish Potter charm mixed with a Weasley’s sense of mischief – he’s a menace in other words, but everyone loves him.

“He’ll get over it,” says James reassuringly, “as will all the brain-dead idiots who glare at you in the corridors.” 


“Thanks, Jay,” I say. 


We continue to work in silence again. After about an hour, I’m seriously contemplating jumping out of the window of this office, which is on the sixth floor. That is until I reached a file marked “Sirius Black” and another right beside it marked “James Potter”. They were by far the two biggest files in the whole cabinet. I can’t help but smile to myself. I open Sirius Black’s folder. 


Name: Sirius Black
Date: 7th September 1971
Year: 1
House: Gryffindor
Punishment: Cleaning the Potions Dungeons
Given By: Professor H Slughorn
Supervised By: Professor H Slughorn
Reason for Detention: Mr Black was purposely adding the wrong ingredients to James Potter’s Potion and such careless behaviour resulted in the loss of Mr Potter’s eyebrows. 



I couldn’t help but laugh. I opened James Potter’s file and found a similar slip. 


Name: James Potter
Date: 7th September 1971
Year: 1
House: Gryffindor
Punishment: Cleaning the Potions Dungeons
Given By: Professor H Slughorn
Supervised By: Professor H Slughorn
Reason for Detention: Mr Potter was purposely adding the wrong ingredients to Sirius Black’s Potion, and now Mr Black can only speak Troll and Gobbledegook. His knowledge of the English language will need to be restored. 


“Have you seen this?” I laughed and passed James the files. He laughed loudly as he read the punishments that the two men he’s named after had to endure during their time at Hogwarts. I could see James’ brown eyes shine in admiration for them. We had fun reading through James Potter Senior and Sirius Black’s detention slips – they’d been in detention more than three hundred times during their seven years at Hogwarts. It seems they got detention at least once a month during fifth, sixth and seventh year for breaking curfew. 


“I wonder how Dad’s such a do-gooder with the father he had,” says James, flicking through his grandfather’s file. 


“I wouldn’t say he’s that much of a do-gooder,” I grin, pulling out a file marked ‘Harry Potter’. James grins back and grabs the file. 


“Ooh, bribery!” he laughs, “Woah, he got loads of detentions in 5th year from some person called Professor D J Umbridge…wonder what he did to deserve those…” 


I notice a file marked ‘Hermione Granger”. It’s only a small file but still, I didn’t think Mum ever got a detention before. 


James and I had great fun searching through the detention files looking up different punishments our parents, aunts and uncles had experienced. It’s funny, but we couldn’t find one belonging to Uncle Percy. Uncle George and his late twin, Fred have files the same size as Sirius Black and James Potter. Even Aunt Ginny had a fair few detentions in her day. Dad’s file was about the same size as Uncle Harry’s, which was a fairly decent size, even if it wasn’t as big as Sirius Black’s or James Potter’s. 


After another hour, Professor Longbottom comes back and tells us we can leave. I leave Neville’s office feeling much better than I did when I went in. I see him smiling to himself as I leave – it’s as if he wanted to show me that I’m not the first person in my family to make a mistake. A big part of me wants to go back and hug him, but that would be completely inappropriate. So I just break down in tears instead – as you do. 


“Jesus Christ, Red, what’s wrong?” James cries. 


“N-N-Neville is just so s-s-sweet!” I sob. James raises his eyebrow wondering how the hell I can think the man who just had us in detention for two hours could be “sweet”. I can’t even stop myself from crying…seriously, what’s happening to me? Since I found out I’m pregnant all I do is bawl like a baby – well, maybe ‘baby’ is a bit of an ironic word to use. But you get my drift. 




On Wednesday, I visit Madam Pomfrey in the hospital wing. On the way there, five people point at me, six snigger, one says “is it really true?” and a group of Slytherin girls call me a slut. Really, it could be worse. They could have poked my eyes out with rusty nails. Madam Pomfrey is attending to a first year boy with swollen up fingers – it looks like an injury from some sort of weird plant from Herbology. I wait until she is finished before approaching her myself. 


“Miss Weasley,” she says kindly, clearly feeling sorry for me, “what can I do for you?” 


“Um,” I start, “can I talk to you in your office?” 


She leads me inside and sits me down on a very comfy red velvet chair. She looks at me expectantly. 


“I was wondering if you knew anything about adoption?” I ask. 


Madam Pomfrey raises her eyebrows at me. If she starts trying to change my mind, I’m going to scream at her. I’ll probably end up in the mental ward at St Mungo’s, but I suppose I’d be amongst my own kind then. At least they won’t call me a slut and stare at me like I’m from another planet. Honestly, it’s like I’m the first person to get pregnant in the history of womankind. 


“Adoption?” Madam Pomfrey asks sceptically, “Are you sure you’ve thought this through?” 


“I’ve thought about nothing else,” I say truthfully, “I was just wondering how I’d go about it.” 


Madam Pomfrey starts rooting through the drawer in her desk and pulls out a few pamphlets. She hands them to me. The first says “So You’re Pregnant”, the second “Pregnancy – Your Choices” and the third “The Joys of Motherhood”. I’m going to throw up on this woman’s desk if she even mentions the words “joy” and “motherhood” in the same sentence. Do I look joyful?? 


“You have options, Rose and I’m glad you’re considering them all,” says Pomfrey kindly, “but don’t let what an idiotic bunch of kids say to you in the corridors affect your choice. This is your son or daughter we’re talking about.” 


“No it isn’t,” I say quietly, “and it never was. I’m just carrying it. Biology means nothing when it comes to parenting. I’m not a mother.” 


Madam Pomfrey looks almost disappointed to hear me saying this. But it’s the truth. I’m not a mother. In fact, I barely even like children. I remember when Auntie Audrey had Lucy – I was around five or six at the time so everybody expected me, as a little girl, to be completely fawning over her. But unfortunately, I seem to have taken after Dad in more ways than just the hair department. I’m extremely awkward around kids, not to mention the fact that I was a very boyish five year old because I spent most of my time with James, Fred, Al or Teddy. Babies just never interested me. 


I take the pamphlets with me and leave the Hospital Wing with the full intention of finding a quiet classroom to do my homework in, away from the gossip and the unwelcome attention. But it seems like every student in Hogwarts is roaming the corridors trying to get a good look at The Pregnant Weasley Girl. Hufflepuffs, Slytherins, Ravenclaws and Gryffindors all stop to stare at me in the corridor. The anger is boiling up inside me until eventually – I crack. 


“Why don’t you just take a fucking picture, it lasts longer!” I scream. Everyone stops whispering. Some girls giggle to one another at my outburst and the boys look downright scared. I feel someone grab my arm and lead me away from the very silent, yet very crowded corridor. 


It’s Al. 


He pulls me into the empty Transfiguration classroom and I’m now in floods of tears. It doesn’t feel like I’m ever going to stop. When I see Laura Phelps I’m going to take pleasure in pulling each and every strand of hair out of her empty head! 


“Don’t cry, Rose,” Al says, in a would-be soothing voice. 


“My life is over, Al, how can I NOT cry?” I yell. 


“Just calm down! It’s not the end of the world…it’s just those vultures feeding on the little bit of gossip in their boring lives,” says Al calmly. 


“You wouldn’t be saying that if you were the one who was facing the prospect of becoming a parent!” I cry. 


I completely break down. Al catches me before I crumble into a heap on the floor and hugs me tightly. It feels a bit strange – Al never hugs me. He’s not really into hugs. But now he’s hugging me in a very big-brotherly, protective way – it’s the way I wish Dad would have hugged me when he found out. 


“You’ll be fine, Rosie,” he says, “You’ll be just fine.” 


“Thanks Al,” I mutter, even though I don’t particularly believe him. 


“So, um…how’s….how’s Malfoy?” I ask nervously. 


Al stops hugging me and he looks really angry. I have a temper to match his so if he starts shouting, at least I can stand up for myself – I just really hope it doesn’t come to that. Al shakes his head. 


“Don’t talk about him,” he says. 


“It’s hard not to,” I say, “I’m kind of carrying his spawn.” 


“You have such a way with words,” says Al sarcastically. 


“Al, don’t be angry with him. He’s your best friend…what we did was stupid and irresponsible and we’re paying for it now. It was my fault just as much as it was his. I think he’s going to need you now more than ever.” 


Al stays quiet for a minute, but then his facial expressions soften. 


“Sorry,” he mumbles, “it’s just…you’re practically my sister, you know? It’s strange.” 


“Imagine how strange it’d be if he slept with your real sister,” I say, trying to lighten the mood. Al’s eyes widen in shock and he looks like he’s about to puke. 


“Don’t…ever…say…that…again,” he says in disgust. 


“Sorry,” I say, half-smirking. Al shudders. 


“Thanks for not shunning me from your life,” I say, “and for not killing Malfoy and ending up in Azkaban and starting a big chain-reaction of self-destruction throughout our entire family.” 


Al looks sort of confused but he nods anyway. 


“Don’t worry about it, Rose,” he smiles, “everything’s going to be okay.” 


He winks and leaves me alone in the classroom. Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve such a great family – other times, I feel like they’re a curse bestowed upon me at birth. I’ve really screwed things up with them this time though. I’ve broken Mum and Dad up, I’m pretty sure Dom is angry with me, Grandad Arthur probably wants me hung, drawn and quartered for sleeping with a Malfoy, and Lily… 


Bollocks. 


I completely forgot about poor Lily! She and Dom have probably made a voodoo doll and are sticking pins into it right now. I don’t really blame them. I’m the world’s biggest bitch. I’ve been avoiding the Gryffindor common room every day this week. I spend most of my time in the library and go back to the dormitory really late when everyone is asleep just so I can avoid the awkwardness. I really don’t want to talk to Lily and as for Dom…well, has she dumped Malfoy or not? Do I care if she has? 


I return to the Gryffindor Common Room after my talk with Al to face the music. I’m going to have to eventually. Molly is there, as are Fred, James, Lily…and Dom. Dom doesn’t even look up from her book as I walk in, but I know she’s seen me out of the corner of her eye because her face has just visibly tensed up. Lily is trying her best not to look upset, but she’s failing terribly. James smiles at me encouragingly and Fred just looks really awkward. It’s Molly who speaks first. 


“Rose…why didn’t you tell us?” she asks. 


“Just leave it, Molly,” I say tiredly. 


“We’re your cousins!” she says, “You can tell us, you know. Especially me…I’m a prefect.” 


She really is so like her stupid mother, Auntie Audrey. 


“Shut up, Molly,” I snap, “Just because you’re a bloody prefect doesn’t mean you have all the answers! I’m a prefect too, remember?” 


She looks shocked, but I don’t care, I just storm past her and up to my dormitory. Luckily the dorm is empty. If Laura Phelps was here, I probably would have cursed her into a vegetable. I lie down on my bed and close the curtains around it and start to read the pamphlets. I don’t actually see the point in reading them. My mind is made up – I’m giving the kid up for adoption. 



When Friday finally comes, the news of my pregnancy is still fresh in people’s minds, but they don’t stare at me as much. Dom hasn’t said a word to me and Lily leaves a room whenever I enter it. So to avoid all the awkwardness, I go to the library on Friday evening to do some homework – I’m just that sad. But on the way down to the library, I bump into Jenny Winters. 


“Hi Rose,” she says kindly, “How are you?” 


“I’m fine,” I lie, “You?” 


“Can’t complain,” she smiles, “Um…I heard about your situation.” 


Of course she bloody did. You’d have to be deaf not to. 


“Yeah,” I say awkwardly, “you probably think I’m a stupid slut too then.” 


“No!” she exclaims, “No, not at all! We all make mistakes! Anyone who calls you a slut is a damn liar and you shouldn’t listen to them, Rose!” 


Hey, I’m starting to like this chick. 


“Thanks,” I say. 


“I’m serious. Don’t put yourself down. You’re being very brave doing what you’re doing, I think. If it were me, I’d probably do something mental like lock myself in a bathroom or contemplate fleeing the country,” she laughs. 


Oh Jenny, what you don’t know. 


I fake a laugh. 


“If you need anyone to talk to, you can talk to me,” she says, “I don’t judge.” 


“Thank you,” I smile at her, “You know, apart from my Aunt Ginny, you’re the only person who’s said that to me.” 


“Well…what are friends for?” 


Friends? 


I wouldn’t know what they’re for, considering I don’t have any. But if Jenny is willing to talk to me in public, I guess I can’t complain. And anyway, she seems nice enough… 


At least she’s not plotting to kill me. That’s always nice to have in a friend. 


I’m happy returning to the common room knowing that I have at least one person out there who cares about me. But my good mood is soon squandered when I see Lily sitting alone by the fire, her red head buried in a book. She looks up and glares at me when I come in. I’m so not in the mood for this. 


“Lily, will you please just yell at me and have it over with?” I say exasperatedly. 


“What do you want me to say? You’re a liar and that’s that.” 


“A liar?” I cry, “Okay, here’s some home truths for you – Scorpius Malfoy is over three years older than you! He’s going out with Dom! He’s never going to like you Lily so just move on!” 


Oh crap. 


Why did I just say that? Why do I have to say EVERYTHING I think? Lily looks angry – she looks just like Uncle Harry does when he’s angry. And believe me, you don’t want to get on the wrong side of Uncle Harry like James did when he tried to use the Cruciatus curse on Al once. That wasn’t pretty. 


“You’re nothing but a bitch, Rose! I used to think you were one of the more tolerable members of the family – I was clearly mistaken!” 


She slams her book closed and runs up to her dormitory, almost knocking Dom over in the process, who is on her way down. 


“What the hell was that?” asks Dom. I shake my head and flop down onto the chair. I wish I could just disappear forever. 


“I just thought I’d let you know,” says Dom, “Malfoy and I are still together…we’re not breaking up.” 


My heart plummets to the floor – I wish it wouldn’t. 


“That’s great,” I say, forcing a smile, “I’m glad you’re working things out.” 


“Good,” she says, “I hope you’re okay with this…because we really like each other.” 


I nod. “Of course I’m okay with it.” 


She smiles weakly and leaves the common room, probably off to meet the man of the hour. If I become any faker than I am now I’m going to turn into a bloody Barbie doll. I mean, seriously – “Of course I don’t mind that you, my best friend and cousin, are going out with Scorpius Malfoy, father of my child, the first person I ever had sex with, the guy I have extremely mixed feelings for, the guy who makes my heart race faster than it does around Teddy Lupin…and of course I don’t mind if you whack me over the head with a broomstick…because believe me, it would hurt less.” 




A/N - Okay, I know this chapter is a bit confusing, but Rose's head is a bit all over the place at the minute. To all of you who are now shouting at your computer screens saying "Don't let her give it up for adoption!!" I ask you to have patience with me and Rose...she doesnt really know what she wants at the minute. Her life's gone a bit mental - as you can see! This chapter was basically just finishing off everyones reactions - we've seen pretty much everyone's reactions at this stage, right? So it's going to start getting better soon, I promise!

Thanks so much to everyone who has reviewed. I can't believe I got up to 500! Its crazy! I really dont deserve all the praise you're giving but I just can't thank you all enough! You're the best! Oh and also thank you to the validators who work so hard AND take so much abuse on April Fools Day (c'mon, it was funny!)

On a darker note,
Obviously, I love each and every one of you for reading and reviewing this story and I’m so glad you like it. BUT – someone copied my story. Someone literally copied it word for word to a different site, and tried to pass it off as their own. Needless to say, I was very upset to see this, given the fact that I wrote it and she was getting the credit for it. I never thought I’d have to say this, but PLEASE do not copy my stuff. I thought that was obvious. Thank you to everyone who has shown their support  (Niki014 among others - I cant remember who else posted messages on the other site, but thanks to you too!) – I’m just so angry at the minute. The other person had only two chapters of MY story posted, so that in itself is proof that it’s my story, not hers. Luckily it was removed, so I dont have to worry. But yeah, no more plaigirism - it's not nice!

Thanks again to everybody who reads, enjoys and doesn’t copy stories! (which is the majority of you!)

padfoot4ever x (",)
P.S - I like reviews!


Chapter 12: Learning to Live Again
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Chapter 12 - Learning to Live Again



Dear Teddy,
How are the wedding plans going? I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since we’ve spoken. I’ve really missed talking to you and I’m so sorry for my behaviour when I found out about your engagement – how about we call a truce? This silence between us is driving me crazy. I can’t take both you and Dad ignoring me.
I don’t know if you’ve heard about the goings-on here at Hogwarts. In case you haven’t, I’ll fill you in. 


Firstly, as I’m sure you know, the entire school knows I’m pregnant. That of course includes Malfoy who has been avoiding me ever since I told him I’m putting the baby up for adoption. Not only that, but he and Dom are still going stronger than ever, something I find a bit strange, but I guess I’m okay with it if she’s happy. 


Mum’s living in Hogsmeade at the minute. She pops up to the school every now and again, but I try to hide from her as much as possible out of the fear she’ll try and force folic acid tablets down my throat again – these Muggle remedies are just too much for one girl to bear! But I suppose it’s nice to know that she cares. It’s more than I can say for Dad. I haven’t seen nor heard from him since he was called into the school just after the news of my pregnancy came out. It’s as if he’s disowned me now, and I’m pretty much guessing that’s why he and Mum have split up. I find myself listening to ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ by Madonna more and more these days. I’m so close to insanity, I can practically touch it! 


It seems like in the last few weeks I’ve become closer with James and Al than I’d ever thought possible. Of course Lily is absolutely fuming as a result – she hates me because she has a crush on Malfoy and I kind of accidentally told her that he’d never like her…my bad. I feel sort of bad that Al and Malfoy aren’t as close as they once were. In the classes where Gryffindor and Slytherin are together, Al sits with me while Dom sits with Malfoy, because we’re all too awkward around each other. It’s awful – who knew a couple of minutes of sex would lead to such trouble? (Yes, I said a couple of minutes). 


I’ve left the Quidditch team and am not playing the rematch against Slytherin, whenever that’ll be. Some fifth year bloke is the reserve keeper so he’ll be taking my place. I can tell he’s really nervous – he goes really pale any time anybody mentions it to him. But I know he’ll do just fine on the day…because if he doesn’t, James will probably kill him. 


Anyway, I’ve just realised that the majority of this letter is pointless small talk. I wish I knew what to say to make things right between us – I miss talking to you, Ted. I hope we can go back to how we were before I decided to be an immature idiot and complain that you didn’t tell me first about your engagement. Friends? 


Say hi to Victoire for me,
Love,
Rosie


Isn’t it funny how time flies when you’re having fun? Well, maybe “having fun” is a bit of an overstatement – time flies when your mind is so preoccupied with school, pregnancy, confusion and tension that you barely even notice that January has already slipped away and February is in full swing. That is until James Potter decides to remind me of the time of year. 


“It’s almost Valentine’s Day!” says James, jumping down beside me on the couch in the common room while I’m trying to read my Potions homework, “Who are you giving your love to this year, Redness?” 


“I’m sure there are just thousands of men queuing up outside the Gryffindor Tower right now to date the Moby Dick of Hogwarts,” I say bitterly. 


“Who’s Moby Dick?” 


“The whale…you’ve never read Moby Dick?” I sigh. 


“Clearly not,” James grins. 


“Honestly, do you even know how to read?” 


“Of course…but Mummy helps me with the big boy words.” 


I smile weakly and return to reading my Potions book. James grabs it off me and snaps it shut, to my annoyance. 


“You’re overworking yourself,” says James, “and Mum told me to make sure you relax…so how do you feel about a Valentine’s Day Party?” 


“I feel that the last party you threw resulted in a drunken night of sex with Scorpius Malfoy and an unwanted pregnancy – I think I’ll pass on the party, thanks.” 


James makes a disgusted face at the mention of ‘a drunken night of sex with Scorpius Malfoy’. 


“Come on Red, it’ll be fun. I’ll make sure Phelps doesn’t get an invite,” he pleads. 


“This is her common room too, you know,” I argue. 


“Well…we won’t have it here then. How about in the Room of Requirement?” 


“Do what you want,” I sigh, “but just don’t involve me. Can I have my Potions book back now?” 


“C’mon, you never want to have fun anymore. I remember a time when you’d come raiding the kitchens with me and Matthews and leaving flaming bags of Hippogriff poo outside Flitwick’s office…what happened to you?” 


“Firstly,” I say, “the flaming bag of poo was YOUR idea, not mine, I just happened to be there. And if you remember correctly, I was telling you not to go through with it –” 


“Yeah, but you laughed when we did!” 


“Secondly,” I continue, disregarding what he's just said, “I only went raiding the kitchens with you and Mark Matthews twice –” 


“Three times,” James corrects me. 


“Whatever…you make it sound like I was some sort of prankster mastermind!” 


“Look, all I’m saying is you don’t have to sit in the common room with your head stuck in a book every Friday night just because you’re pregnant – come and have some fun while you still can,” says James. 


The boy has a good point. In a few months time I’ll be so heavy that I’ll barely be able to get up the stairs to the Gryffindor Tower, never mind go to one of James’ not-so-well-planned parties. 


“Why do you want to plan a Valentine’s Day party anyway?” I ask, “Who are you trying to impress?” 


James grins at me and taps his nose. 


“Ask no questions and I’ll tell you no lies. By the way, I’m going to need your help for the planning.” 


“Why me?” I groan. 


“Because you’re the only one for the job. And it’ll take your mind of a certain blonde haired git.” 


“My mind’s not on a certain blonde git!” I protest and feel myself blushing. 


James raises his eyebrows. 


“Okay,” he says, but it’s obvious that he doesn’t believe me at all. 


“Oh be quiet,” I snap, “I’ll plan your stupid party. But that doesn’t mean I’m coming.” 


“You’re a legend, Red Weasley, d’you know that?” he says, ruffling my hair in the same way Uncle Harry does. 


“You do realise my name is Rose don’t you?” 


“Red suits you better,” James shrugs, “I’m gonna love you and leave you dear cousin, I have some, erm, homework to do.” 


He may as well have just said he’s flying to Mars on a unicorn because that would be more believable. I pick up my Potions book again and go back to reading about Shrinking Solutions but I’m once again interrupted. This time it’s by Mark Matthews, James’ friend. 


“Hi Rose,” he says, “whatcha up to?” 


“Reading,” I say coldly, “obviously.” 


I don’t mean to be so cold but these days it seems like everyone is pissing me off. Mark doesn’t seem to notice my coldness and sits down where James has only just vacated. When I was in second year, I probably would have killed to have THE Mark Matthews sitting beside me, looking at me with those bright blue eyes – right now I just wish he’d go away. 


“So how are you anyway? I mean with the whole being preggers thing?” 


I swear if that boy says “preggers” again I’m going to whack him over the face with this very thick book. Although, he does have a very handsome face…it’d be a shame to ruin it. Maybe I’ll just break his arm or something. 


“I’m okay,” I shrug, “you know, hanging in there.” 


“Cool,” says Mark, “I was just wondering…do you want to come to Hogsmeade with me on Saturday?” 


Okay, I was NOT expecting that. Seriously, who asks a pregnant girl on a date? That’s a bit weird, right? The twelve year old girl inside me is screaming at me to say yes. I suppose I half want to say yes. Mark is definitely good-looking, with his sky blue eyes and light brown hair that frames his face perfectly…but still, is it not weird to date when you’re pregnant? Isn’t there some rule against it? 


“Okay,” I say, “that sounds fun.” 


Am I just completely incapable of saying no


*

Saturday is both Valentine’s Day and the trip to Hogsmeade so on Friday evening I start planning James’ party. James always has me plan his parties because he’s completely dim when it comes to organisation. He just takes care of the invites. I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to organising events. It’s obvious that James knew organising a party would take my mind off the woes in my life because when I’m organising something, I pretty much do nothing else. 


I go to the library with my folder to start planning. (Yes, I have a folder – so what?) Okay, first things first – themes. I think the theme is pretty obvious for this party. Pink! Seeing as it’s Valentine’s Day, everyone, including the boys, must wear pink. I’m especially glad I’m not going now – pink clashes horribly with my hair. I’m glad this party is going to be in the Room of Requirement – it will make the decorating much simpler. I’m thinking love-heart shaped balloons at every table (of which there will be about twenty, white, with pink roses as centrepieces) and soppy love songs playing the whole time. It’s going to be a classy party…that is until James’ friends get there and spike the pink punch and burst all of the lovely balloons. But I don’t care as long as I have fun planning! 


“Hiya Rose,” I hear a voice say. It’s Jenny. 


“Hey Jenny, I’m just planning James’ Valentine’s Day party,” I tell her. 


“Ooh, can I help?” she says excitedly and sits down beside me, “Al just invited me to it. Are you coming?” 


“I don’t think so,” I say, “I’m not really up for a party.” 


Jenny nods. 


“I understand,” she says, “but it might do you some good to have some fun.” She looks at my plans so far. “Wow, this looks really great! Did you come up with all of this yourself?” 


“Yeah,” I say, “I live to plan! Well, except for pregnancies obviously…” 


Jenny laughs nervously. I really have to stop making people uncomfortable. 


“Anyway, do you have an ideas?” I ask. 


“Hmm…how about a game of spin the bottle?” she asks. 


“Spin the bottle?” I say blankly, “We’re not twelve.” 


“I know,” Jenny giggles, “but it’d be fun! It’s Valentine’s Day after all.” 


“Maybe…I’m sure people would go for it when they’re drunk,” I say reasonably, “Good idea, Jen. Any more?” 


Jenny and I have become quite good friends in the weeks after everyone in Hogwarts found out I’m pregnant. It’s probably because Dom spends practically all of her time with Malfoy and even when she’s not with him, there’s such awkwardness between us. I don’t think our friendship will ever be the same again. Lily hasn’t even spoken to me since I lashed out at her – I suppose I don’t really blame her. I was such a bitch. But Jenny seems to have stood by me. I don’t know why…maybe it’s because she’s with Al and wants to keep on his good side. Either way, I appreciate her friendship. She’s much cooler than I originally thought. 


“How about Speed Dating for the single people?” 


“Jenny Winters, you’re a bloody genius.” 





On Saturday morning, I get up pretty late and head downstairs to breakfast. Al is sitting at the Gryffindor table and Dom is at the Slytherin one – this is something that happens most mornings now. Al doesn’t really want to be in Malfoy’s company anymore. When James and Mark Matthews come downstairs to breakfast, I start to feel really nervous. I haven’t been on a date in ages. I’m suddenly completely self-conscious and wondering if I look alright. I’m wearing a pair of jeans (which are getting really tight now) and a blue jumper – okay, I look like a bloody forty year old, but whatever. 


“Hi Rose, are you ready to go?” asks Mark. I nod – oh dear, I feel so bloody nervous. 


“I’m still not sure if I’m cool with this, Matthews,” says James to Mark, “I mean, she’s my little cousin.” 


“Little?” I scoff, “I’m only eighteen months younger than you!” 


James mumbles something incoherent and still looks a bit annoyed. Al’s eyes keep darting from me to Mark – what is it with these Potter boys? Why do they have to play the bloody hero all the time? Don’t they understand that I’m a big girl and can look after myself? 


I get a letter in the morning post. At first I’m excited that it could be a letter from Teddy, but the handwriting is too big and curly to be his. 


Rose,
I heard that there is a Hogsmeade trip today and I was wondering if you’d stop by my place around lunchtime? I’d love to see you and there’s some things we need to talk about.
I hope you’re well,
Love,
Mum
 


It’s a bit short notice, but I know I have to go. Hey, maybe I can get her to tell me why the hell she and Dad are getting divorced. Doubtful, but it’s worth a try. Mark and I don’t bother waiting for everyone else before heading off to Hogsmeade together. It’s not awkward between us because we’ve been friends for so long. Well, not “friends” per say, but he hangs out with James quite a bit so I’ve talked to him loads. 


The only time it gets really awkward is when we’re on our way to Honeydukes and we bump into Dom and Malfoy. They’re holding hands and I can feel my eyes narrowing of their own accord. Oh god, they’re stopping to talk, even though I know neither of them want to. It’s like they have this obligation to be courteous to the pregnant woman. 


“Hi Rose,” says Dom uncomfortably. 


“Hi Dom,” I say, “Hullo Malfoy.” 


“Hi,” Malfoy mumbles and looks at Mark. Then silence for a few seconds. 


“Hi,” says Mark, trying to break the tension. 


“So…are you two…” says Dom looking from me to Mark expectantly. 


“Oh no!” I say quickly, “No we’re not together.” 


I’ve said that kind of harshly. I hope Mark doesn’t take it the wrong way. Malfoy’s glaring at Mark, who is looking at his feet uncomfortably. I just want the ground to open and swallow me up – is that too much to ask? 


I check my watch and realise, to my relief, that it’s almost one o’clock. 


“Erm, I have to go to Mum’s,” I say, “I’ll catch up with you in Zonko’s later, Mark.” 


Before anyone can say any more, I hurry off down the street. I’m not completely sure where Mum’s place is. She told me it was past the Hog’s Head, but when I get there, I see no place that could possibly be up to Mum’s standards. All of the buildings are very dilapidated – definitely not Mum’s cup of tea. I can’t imagine what she’d be doing living around here. 


“Rose!” 


I see her waving at me from one of the side streets between the Hog’s Head and the entrance to the Shrieking Shack. As I draw nearer to her I can see that the huge smile she has plastered onto her face is extremely fake. She pulls me into a tight embrace and I get that familiar Talcum Powder smell that I always associate with my Mum. It’s always so comforting. 


“I was afraid you wouldn’t come,” she says. 


“Erm…where exactly do you live?” I ask, looking around. 


“Follow me.” 


She leads me down the side street until we come to a rusted metal door. She takes an equally rusted key out of her pocket and after a lot of pushing, she finally gets it to turn in the lock. A couple of rats run out the door as it opens, making me squeak in shock. Mum jumps slightly, but she looks used to it. 


“This is where you live?” I say, not bothering to mask the disgust in my voice. 


We go up about a thousand flights of stairs before we come to another door with the number 40 on it. Again it takes a few pushes to get the door open. It opens into a very small and dusty living room with no furniture, only boxes. Off the living room, I can see a small room that I suppose is meant to be the kitchen – it has a cooker and that’s it. The place is dark and murky – even James would call it a dump, and his bedroom resembles nothing more than a pigsty. Actually, that’s an insult to pigs. 


“I know it’s not exactly a palace,” says Mum. 


“Not a palace?!” I exclaim, “Define palace?!” 


“Oh don’t exaggerate,” she sighs, walking into the ‘kitchen’. For once in my life, I’m NOT exaggerating. This place is damp, dark and it has a really funny smell…and not in a good way. I’m pretty sure something died here. 


“Cup of tea?” Mum asks. 


“Erm…no thank you,” I say. I can’t imagine what I’d have to drink out of. I’m surprised the place even has running water. 


“So Mum,” I say carefully, “why did you want to meet me?” 


“Can’t a mother meet up with her daughter on a Saturday afternoon without having to explain herself?” Mum asks, coming back out from the ‘kitchen’ to the ‘living room’. I raise my eyebrows at her. 


“So are you just going to keep me and Hugh in the dark forever then?” I ask, cutting to the point – there’s not point in beating around the bush. 


“Rose…don’t start,” says Mum exasperatedly, “if you must know, I’ve asked you here to talk about your – erm, situation.” 


“I wish people would stop calling it that! The “little problem”, the “situation” – not saying the word doesn’t make it any less real – I’m pregnant!” I cry. 


“Yes,” says Mum, “I know. And we need to talk about it because we’ve been avoiding it for so long.” 


She’s been avoiding it more like. It’s hard for me to avoid it when every snot-nosed idiot at Hogwarts likes to remind me about it between classes. But of course Mum wouldn’t know about that, would she? 


“I’ve been thinking,” Mum continues, “the baby is due in July, yes?” 


“Yeah.” 


“Well…you could have the baby and then take a year out from Hogwarts. You could do seventh year with Molly! Then the baby could stay here with me because it’ll be that bit older –” 


“Woah, hold up a second,” I interrupt her, “firstly, there’s no way any child on the planet could possibly live in this place – it’s a tip! Secondly…who says I’m keeping the baby?” 


“You’re not keeping it?” says Mum, disregarding what I’ve said about her new lodgings. 


“I’m giving it up for adoption,” I say, “and I’m doing seventh year with Al and Dom. I’m going to get my life back on track.” 


She doesn’t say anything for a few moments, but she doesn’t look pleased. 


“When did you decide this?” she asks quietly. 


“Around the same time you and Dad decided you’re getting divorced,” I reply. 


“We never said divorced –” 


“Then why are you living in a dustbin, Mum? Why aren’t you back home with Dad?” 


“Your father and I…we have some issues that need to be discussed. And he’s not exactly open about his feelings. There’s not much I can do if he won’t communicate.” 


“So it’s all his fault?” I say, “Mum, did Dad cheat on you?” 


Mum shakes her head, but I’m not sure if I believe her or not. 


“It was something that happened a long time ago,” she says, “It’s in the past. Let’s not talk about it.” 


“But if it’s what’s breaking you and Dad up –” 


“We’re not breaking up,” Mum insists, “We’re just on a break – there’s a difference.” 


I sigh. 


“You’re unbelievable,” I spit, “I can’t believe that I was naïve enough to believe that I’d get some real answers by coming here. I’m going.” 


“Don’t go, please,” Mum begs. 


“I have to meet someone,” I say, even though I told Mark I’d meet him at two and it’s now only half one, “I’ll see you, Mum.” 


I leave her in her ‘flat’ or whatever the hell you’d call that place and hurry back to the mainstreet of Hogsmeade. I see Hugo coming out of Dervish and Banges with some of his friends. When he sees me rushing towards him, he tells his friends to go on without him, that he’ll catch up. 


“What’s wrong?” he asks. Now that I’m closer to him, I see that he’s wearing a t-shirt with the band “Death Metal Eaters” on the front and a picture of the Dark Mark – and oh Merlin, he’s wearing eye-liner. 


“What the hell are you wearing?” I say, forgetting about our dilemma, “Oh man, are you wearing make-up?” 


“What do you want?” he says angrily. 


“Have you seen Mum's place yet?,” I ask him, “I think she and Dad are breaking up for good.” 


Hugo shrugs. 


“Like I care,” he says, “They’re a pair of idiots anyway.” 


“I know they are,” I say, “but I just thought you’d like to know. Stupid of me to think you’d actually care about anything other than straightening your hair.” 


“I cared when you got knocked up, didn’t I?” he shoots. 


“Do you want a medal for caring about your sister?” I snap, “You’re such an ungrateful little git!” 


“Whatever,” he says, trying to be cool, “I’m going to get my eyebrow pierced – later, ho.” 


Who the hell says “later, ho”? 


“Hugo Harry Weasley, get the hell back here!” I shout as he walks away from me and towards his friends. 


“Problems?” 


Mark appears beside me. He’s obviously seen me screaming like a mad woman down the street. 


“Sometimes I wish I were an orphan,” I sigh. 


Mark throws a very big brotherly arm around my shoulders and gives me a squeeze before dragging me to a small café called “Patil Pastries”. 


“So Mark,” I say as I dig into the chocolate chip muffin he so kindly bought for me, “why did you ask me to come to Hogsmeade?” 


“I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you,” he grins. 


“Come on,” I smile, “we’ve known each other for six years, we’ve gone kitchen-raiding together, snuck out at night countless times –” 


“Okay, okay,” he gives in, “if I tell you, you have to swear not to get angry and…kill your cousin, okay?” 


“Which cousin? Believe me, I’m capable of killing all of them.” 


“Well…don’t take this the wrong way, Rose. I think you’re one of the coolest girls I’ve ever met – I mean, you’re smart and funny…you’re just a total legend, you know?” 


“I know,” I say, “quit buttering me up.” 


“Okay…it’s just…since that Laura Phelps bitch announced to the school that you’re up the spout–” 


“Thanks for putting it so delicately.” 


“– well, James has noticed that you’ve been a bit depressed.” 


A bit depressed? That’s the understatement of the millennium.
 

“Go on,” I say, getting increasingly worried by the second. 


“And he asked me if I’d take you to Hogsmeade.” 


“He TOLD you to ask me out?” I cry, causing many people to turn around and look at us, “I’m going to wring his little neck!” 


“He only asked me to do it so you’d feel…” 


“So I’d feel what? Like I’m not the biggest freak in Hogwarts?” 


Oh no, I think I can feel tears coming. 


“You’re not the biggest freak in Hogwarts,” says Mark, “what about that Ravenclaw bloke who eats his own hair?” 


“Okay, so I’m the second biggest freak after Hairy Joe –” 


“And what about that Hufflepuff who takes her pet rabbit for walks on a leash around the lake?” 


“Right, I’m the third biggest –” 


“And that cross-eyed Slytherin who talks to walls?” 


“Okay!” I exclaim, “I’m in the top ten biggest freaks in Hogwarts!” 


Mark counts silently on his fingers. 


“I’d say top twenty,” he says and I throw a bit of my muffin at him. 


“James just wanted you to feel as special as you are, Rose,” says Mark. 


“By making his friends ask me out on pity dates?” 


“Come on, you’re having fun aren’t you?” he says. 


“I suppose.” 


“And you got to make Malfoy jealous…” 


“Yeah – wait, what?” I exclaim. 


Mark sips his coffee innocently and then smiles knowingly at me. 


“I was not trying to make Malfoy jealous!” 


“Sure,” says Mark sarcastically, “But whether you were trying or not doesn’t matter – the bloke was jealous.” 


“No he wasn’t!” 


“Well I’ve never gotten more evil glares than I did from him earlier on today,” says Mark, “If looks could kill, Malfoy would be in Azkaban.” 


I don’t say anything. What can I possibly say back to that? 


“Look, we’re friends, right?” he says and I nod, “So you can talk to me about stuff. Stop moping about like the mother of all sorrows and have some fun! Come to this Valentine’s Day party you’re planning.” 


“No chance,” I say. 


“Why not?” 


“Because it’ll be couple central and I’ll look like a complete idiot!” I exclaim. 


“So? You can come with me – as friends of course,” he adds quickly, “and anyway, maybe I need you to make someone jealous.” 


“Who do you want to make jealous?” I ask excitedly. 


“Ask no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.” 


I hate when they say that. 










A/N - The Valentine's party will be in the next chapter. More Scorpius/Rose contact comin' up! Keep on reviewing, they make me happy! (",)

Chapter 13: The Cherub's Wrath
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 Amazing chapter image by earthfarie - thanks a million times!

                          

Chapter 12 - The Cherub's Wrath
 

 












I return to Hogwarts before everyone else so I can set up for James’ party. Jenny tags along, nattering away about Al, the party, her dress for the party, the necklace Al got her for Valentine’s Day and so on. I nod politely, but I’m not really listening. My mind is on Mum and her crumby flat, on Dad and the fact that he’s a bastard, and on Hugo and his new piercing – can that kid get any weirder? Not exactly positive thoughts, I know. But nothing in my life seems positive these days. 


I get my ‘Organisation Folder’ from the dormitory and read through the party plans a few times. We then head to the Room of Requirement. I concentrate hard on the exact details of the party as I walk past the wall three times, my eyes screwed up in deliberation. Jenny’s so excited as the door appears on the wall – it’s obvious that she’s never been in the Room of Requirement before. See, that’s the great thing about having James Potter as a cousin – I know every single corner of this castle inside out and backways. 


The room is just how I imagined it to be. It’s smaller than the one we held the Christmas party in back in third year, but there are less people coming to this one – every single person in Hogwarts was at the Christmas one. It’s not surprising we were caught. James got detention for an entire month after that. There are about twenty white tables, each with four chairs around them. The chairs have pink cushions and there are pink love heart shaped balloons at each table. The walls are draped with pink and red materials and banners that say “Happy Valentines Day!” 


At the back of the room, there’s a huge space on the floor, with red cushions placed on the floor in a circle for spin the bottle. Along the back wall, there are ten small tables, with chairs either side for Speed Dating. There are speakers on the walls playing music from Merlin knows where. 


“This is amazing!” Jenny gasps. 


“D’you think so?” I ask nervously, “It’s not too much?” 


“Rose, it’s brilliant! You thought of all of this yourself?” 


“You helped,” I say modestly. 


“Oh please,” she says, “this is all you! Are you sure you’re not going to come?” 


“Well…” I say, “I might…” 


“Oh my god! Someone asked you, didn’t they?” she cries, and starts jumping around excitedly. She’s like a puppy. 


“It’s only Mark,” I say nonchalantly. 


“Mark Matthews? Oh Rose, he’s so hot!” she says very uncharacteristically. 


“Okay, steady on girl, you do remember a little someone called Albus Potter don’t you?” 


“Al knows I love him,” she shrugs and then clasps a hand over her mouth as if she really didn’t mean to say that. 


“You what?” I laugh at her embarrassment. 


“I can’t believe I said that out loud,” she says and covers her very red face in her hands, “please don’t tell him!” 


“I won’t,” I say, still laughing, “but just so you know, I think he feels the same.” 


She looks up and she can’t suppress her smile. 


“R-really?” 


“Sure,” I shrug, straightening the centrepiece on one of the tables, “He’s liked you since second year. Don’t get all soppy with me…I can’t really deal with emotions and such.” 


“Oh Rose, do you really think he loves me?” she smiles, her eyes filling with tears of joy. 


“What did I just say?” 


“No,” she says shaking her head, “No, he doesn’t love me. Why would he?” 


Is this girl serious? 


“Because you’re this petite, curly haired Ravenclaw who doesn’t have any flaws at all and is just about the nicest person in Hogwarts,” I say, “and boys like nice girls like you.” 


“Do you think so?” 


“Believe me, as one of the not nice girls, I know these things.” 


“You’re nice,” she says, but she doesn’t seem too sure. 


“Quit kissing my ass just because you’re going out with my cousin…I know I’m not nice, and I’m pretty cool with it,” I say. 


“Okay…but you’re not not nice, if you get me.” 


I don’t, but I nod anyway. 


Dom isn’t back from Hogsmeade by the time I return to the dormitory, but Chastity and Laura are there. They stop talking when I come in. Chastity smiles kindly at me, and Laura shoots me a malevolent glare. 


“Hi Rose,” says Chastity, “are you coming to the party tonight?” 


“Of course she’s not,” Laura answers for me, “Who’d want to go with her? She’s pregnant!” 


“Shut up, Laura,” Chastity sighs. 


“I am going actually,” I say proudly, “with Mark Matthews.” 


The look on Laura’s face is priceless. Her mouth actually drops open in shock. 


“That’s great!” says Chastity. 


“What?” Laura splutters, “How the hell did you get Mark Matthews to bring you? Did you get pregnant with his kid too?” 


“I know this must be big news to you,” I say in a patronizing tone, “but you can’t get pregnant while you’re pregnant.” 


It takes her a few seconds to process this. 


“Whatever, you’re a slut.” 


“You don’t have to be pregnant to be a slut,” I say. 


“Yeah, otherwise you’d have about fifty kids, Laura,” says Chastity. I laugh and high-five her. 


“Whatever bitches,” she spits, “You’re just a pair of losers anyway. And I don’t care if you’re going with Mark Matthews…I’m going with James Potter.” 


She sweeps out of the dormitory, slamming the door behind her. 


“She’s lying, right?” I ask Chastity, who looks down at her hands, “Chas, tell me she’s lying!” 


“Erm, he asked her yesterday,” she says quickly. 


“WHAT? After he jinxed her in the hallway? After everything she’s done?” 


“I know,” says Chastity, “I thought it was a bit strange too.” 


“I’m going to kill that little git!” I scream and storm out of the dormitory. I run down the stairs and then across to the boys’ dormitories. When I reach the door that says “Seventh Years” I storm in without knocking. Mark and Fred are there and they both jump in surprise when they see me. 


“WHERE IS HE?” I yell. 


“Where’s who?” asks Fred looking a bit frightened. 


“Where the HELL is Potter?” 


They both point to the bathroom door. 


“Potter!” I scream, banging on the door, “Cover yourself up, I’m coming in!” 


I burst open the door. James is at the sink, shaving, with nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. I grab him by his wet hair and drag him out of the bathroom. He’s screaming like a girl while trying to keep his towel on and Fred and Mark are in stitches laughing. 


“What the hell?” he screams. 


“Laura Phelps?” I yell, “LAURA PHELPS? Of all the girls in Hogwarts, you chose HER?” 


“Ah,” says James, his head sort of twisted around because I still have a hold of his hair, “See, the thing about that is – AH!” 


I pull his hair harder because he isn’t in enough pain. 


“I surrender!” he cries, “Please! Don’t make me take off my towel and use it as a white flag!” 


I let go of his hair. 


“You’re a backstabbing little git, d’you know that Potter?” 


“Red, c’mon, it’s not like I’m asking her to marry me.” 


“You KNOW how much I hate her, James!” 


“Things change!” he cries, “I’m sorry you feel that way about her…” 


“Just shut up!” I cry, smacking the back of his head, “I can’t believe I actually planned your stupid ass party for you! You’re a selfish prick and you always have been!” 


I storm out of the dormitory and back up to my own. It seems that between the time it took to go to the boys’ dorm, drag my cousin out of the bathroom, scream my head off at him and then return to my own dorm, Dom returned from Hogsmeade. I’m in tears of pure anger at this stage. 


“What happened?” asks Dom worriedly. 


“James Potter happened!” I cry, “Can you believe he’s going to the Valentines party with Phelps?” 


“No way!” Dom gasps, “But…James hates her!” 


“That’s what I thought too but apparently not!” 


I fall down onto my bed and cover my face in my hands. 


“It’s just James being James,” says Dom reasonably, “You know what he’s like.” 


“Men are idiots,” I sigh. 


“Amen to that, sister.” 


Dom and I get ready for the party together and it feels like old times again. We talk, we laugh, but there’s still the Malfoy issue which is standing like a big elephant in the room. But neither of us bring it up – it’s probably better this way. I wear my newest pair of black jeans – they’re not really that new, I got them last summer. I don’t really like shopping. There’s considerably tighter on me now than they used to be. My pink t-shirt clings to me around the stomach area especially – how could I have not noticed how fat I’m getting? 


“Maybe this party was a bad idea,” I say, looking at my reflection in the mirror. 


“You look great, Rose,” says Dom. That’s easy for her to say. She looks absolutely amazing in her denim mini-skirt and pink string top…she makes me want to cry. She’s so tall – I’d say she’s pushing 5’ 11 – and slim and her hair flows so silkily down her back. I have to do about six different straightening spells on mine before it even looks half way presentable. 


I rummage through my wardrobe looking for some other item of pink clothing, but I have nothing so I’m forced to wear this skin tight t-shirt. I throw my light pink cardigan on over it. Mark’s waiting for me in the Common Room when I come down, wearing a pair of jeans and a pink t-shirt that says “Frankie Says Relax” on the front. 


“Nice t-shirt,” I say mockingly. 


“Hey, it’s nicer than your boring old plain one,” he says, pointing at my dark pink, skin tight t-shirt. 


We head over to the Room of Requirement without waiting for James. If we’d have waited, I would have been responsible for the death of my cousin. The room is almost full by the time we arrive. The first person I spot is Malfoy. He’s wearing a pair of denim jeans, a pink shirt, untucked, with a black blazer over it. And as much as I hate to admit it, he looks hot. 


“Put your eyes back in your head,” says Mark, “You’re making it way too obvious!” 


“Making what obvious?” I ask innocently. 


“That you want to give Malfoy another good shag right here in the Room of Requirement!” 


That earns Mark a very hard smack upside the head. I spot Jenny and Al at one of the tables. Jenny’s wearing a very cute pink dress while Al, like Malfoy, is wearing a pink shirt. It’s a very pale pink – in fact, it’s practically white. Jenny jumps up and hugs me and Al nods in acknowledgement. 


“You’ll never believe who James is bringing,” I say. 


“Laura Phelps?” says Al, “Yeah, I know.” 


“And you didn’t try to stop him?” I cry 


“Since when does he listen to me?” Al says, cowering beneath my wrath. 


“I swear, if that boy lives to see nineteen, it’ll be a bloody miracle!” 


The room is filling up quickly. James must have invited every single student in school, including the Slytherins. I see Lily with Roxanne over the opposite side of the room. I catch Lily’s eye and smile weakly at her, but she turns away in disgust. Apparently she’s never going to forgive me. Dom drags a very disgruntled looking Malfoy out onto the dance floor and he very reluctantly obliges. I look away to try to tame the jealous monster inside me. 


“How about a dance?” Mark asks, but it’s more like a demand than a question. 


“I hate dancing,” I tell him, “I can’t do it!” 


“So?” he says, “You want to make your man jealous don’t you?” 


“He’s not my man!” I protest, “And I don’t want to make anyone jealous!” 


“Sure you don’t!” 


He grabs my hand and drags me onto the dance floor. We end up having a lot of fun trying to dance. Luckily it’s a fast song and we’re both as bad as each other – people have to jump for their lives as we flail our arms and legs about. But we’re laughing until our sides hurt anyway. At one point I see Dom laughing at us too, but Malfoy just looks his usual emotionless self. That boy annoys me. 


As quickly as the fast song changes to a slow one, Mark twirls me around and sends me flying straight into someone while he grabs Dom’s hand and starts slow dancing with her. She laughs and doesn’t object. And because the universe absolutely hates me, the person Mark pushed me towards just happened to be Malfoy. He looks really uncomfortable – seriously, he looks like he wants to jinx himself. But then he sees Dom and Mark dancing so he just shrugs and grabs my hand…and we’re dancing. 


“So…” I say uncomfortably. I’m so bad in situations that are in any way emotional, romantic or sensitive. 


“Um, yeah.” 


And apparently Malfoy is no better. 


So we dance in silence. And it’s fine at first. I try my best not to think too much about what’s happening and avoid looking at Mark because he keeps grinning annoyingly at me. But then Malfoy decides to break the silence and ruins our peaceful swaying. 


“Do you not find it weird to be dating while you’re pregnant?” he asks in a casual tone. 


“Do you not find it weird that the guy I’m supposedly dating is dancing with your girlfriend?” I shoot back. 


“So you’re not dating him then?” 


“What’s it to you?” I snarl, “It’s none of your damn business. If you’re allowed to date then so am I!” 


“It was just a question, Weasley.” 


“And like I said, it’s none of your damn business, Malfoy, so keep your questions to yourself.” 


“Just shut up and dance,” he sighs. 


“Don’t tell me what to do!” I say indignantly, but he ignores me and tightens his grip around my waist. 


“I don’t know why I bother with you, Rose Weasley,” he sighs. 


“You don’t bother with me,” I say coldly, “You don’t give a tiny rat’s arse what’s going on in my life.” 


“Well it’s hard when you are constantly pushing me away and running from me in the corridors.” 


“Yeah, when you want to talk about you and me and Dom and the whole bloody love triangle of doom,” I whisper furiously so Dom won’t hear, “Have you ever asked me about my morning sickness? Have you ever asked to see the first scan picture? Have you noticed that I look and feel like a bloody whale these days? No, of course not, because you’re too wrapped up in your own world and your own pathetic little love life!”

“Y-you have a scan picture?” 


“Yes,” I say and pull away from him, “but I doubt you’ll want to see it – after all, it’s what’s putting your chance of getting a job in the Ministry, isn’t it? My ‘sprog’? Don’t worry about a thing, Malfoy, as long as you have your cushy little life, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You’re a selfish git, d’you know that? A typical bloody Slytherin.” 


He looks stunned at my vicious outburst, but I storm away from him before he can say any more. Al and Jenny are out on the dance floor now so I can’t talk to her; Dom and Mark are still dancing together; James and Laura are snogging in a corner (I hope they choke on each other’s saliva); Molly is chatting away to some bloke over at the Speed Dating tables; Lucy is playing spin the bottle with the other first and second years. Roxanne is dancing with Lysander Scamander, while Lily sits at a table by herself with her arms folded. Hugo and his emo/Goth/whatever the hell they are friends are even pairing off to dance with one another, which includes Dom’s younger brother, Louis, who has ended up with a rather large fifth year girl and doesn’t look too happy about it. I’m not even sure where Fred is, but I’m pretty sure he and James are responsible for the group of drunken fourth years in the corner – they spiked the non-alcoholic Butterbeer again. 


I leave the Room of Requirement, wondering why the hell I went there in the first place. Before I turn the corner to head towards the Gryffindor tower, I hear a very nervous voice and pause to listen. 


“H-h-hi Lily…no…Lily! How are you? No…there you are Lily!...Miss Potter, how are you this fine Valentine’s Day?” 


I’d recognise that vague, wistful voice anywhere, although it’s a lot more uptight than what I’m accustomed to. I round the corner. 


“Hello Lorcan,” I say. 


Lorcan Scamander jumps and quickly turns away from the wall he was talking to. He blushes furiously – it’s very odd to see him blushing. But I suppose Lorcan has always been the shyer of the Scamander twins. He’s not as upfront, yet spaced out, as his mum, Luna and his brother, Lysander. Lorcan is more like his Dad, Rolf. 


“Hello Rose,” he says quickly, “Lovely day – erm, I mean night, isn’t it? Are you enjoying the party? Or were you enjoying the party I should say, as you’re clearly not at the party anymore…hmm, interesting time of year, Valentine’s Day. I hear the cherubs are being extra nasty this year – did you know that, contrary to popular belief, cherubs are not the loving, romantic creatures we make them out to be, rather evil beings who shoot flamed arrows –” 


“Lorcan!” I exclaim as he stops to take a breath, “Enough!” 


He coughs uncomfortably. 


“Why are you not at the party?” I ask him. 


“I don’t know,” he shrugs, “everyone else seems to be pairing up – it’s not like I have anyone to pair up with.” 


I wish he wouldn’t say stuff like that. It makes me feel really uncomfortable. 


“Well…Lily’s all by herself too. Maybe you could dance with her?” I suggest and he goes a deep shade of scarlet and mumbles something inaudible. 


“Come on,” I say encouragingly, “I’m sure she’d love to dance with you.” 


“I…I don’t think so,” he says, “I think I’ll just have an early night.” 


“But it’s only nine thirty,” I point out. 


“Ah yes, I better return to the common room before the Night Nargles awaken,” he says. 


“Lorcan, how many times have I told you that there is no such thing as Nargles, Night Nargles, Christmas Nargles or St Patrick’s Day Nargles,” I say exasperatedly. 


“Mother says –” 


“Whatever,” I say, not wanting to hear exactly what Luna Scamander said because I’d be here all night, “Just come back inside and have some fun. There are no Valentine’s Day Nargles, right?” I try to joke. 


“No, but the traditional “Cupid” associated with Valentine’s Day is a cherub and like I was saying, this year the cherubs are being extra nasty…” 


The boy goes off on another rant, so I take him by the arm and steer him back to the Room of Requirement. Lily is still sitting alone at her table, biting her nails. 


“Go and keep her company,” I say, “She looks bored.” 


Lorcan nods, takes a deep breath and walks over to Lily. I watch as he points to the seat beside her, she shrugs and he sits down on it. After a few minutes she seems to have warmed up to him because they’re chatting and laughing away. On the other hand, Dom and Mark have stopped dancing and she’s back dancing with Malfoy. James is sitting at a table with Al and Jenny and his arm draped around Laura Phelps. I feel so betrayed seeing Al and Jenny sitting at the same table as that bitch that I can almost feel my blood boiling and my ears reddening in anger. Why do things like this always happen to me? Why can’t I be the one dancing or cuddling with some boy? Why do I have to be the one to pay for my mistakes, when everyone else seems to get away unscathed? 


All of my natural Granger-ness leaves me and I’m left with nothing but Weasley rashness. I march over to Mark, who is at a table pouring himself a Firewhiskey, grab his head and kiss him fiercely on the lips. Then, after a few moments, I break away and run from the room – but not before I notice Malfoy frowning at me. 





Mark was in shock. He followed me out of the Room of Requirement looking very flustered indeed, something that is most unusual for him. 


“That wasn’t part of the plan,” he stated. 


“I know,” I said, “I was improvising.” 


“Right,” he nodded, “So…that was…just…improvisation?” 


“Exactly.” 


“Well just so you know, it worked very well,” Mark smirked, “Malfoy looks fit for murder.”

“I hope he does murder someone and then ends up in Azkaban where all the bloody Malfoys belong!” I said, sounding exactly like Dad. Mark looked shocked by my outburst, but we both knew I didn’t mean it. 


“But…I think James is going to kill me,” Mark added, looking genuinely worried. 


“If I don’t kill him first,” I muttered, “I’m just so sick of them all.” 


Mark pulled me into a hug, and I was so glad that there was no awkwardness between us after I forced myself on him. I have to say, it was a very bad time for Malfoy, Al and Jenny to walk out of the Room of Requirement, but they did. Mark and I broke apart quickly, but it was too late. Malfoy was looking a bit put out, while Al and Jenny just rushed back inside. Mark decided that Malfoy and I needed time alone (even though that was the last thing I wanted), so he left too. 


“That was a pretty pathetic attempt to make me jealous, Weasley,” said Malfoy nonchalantly. 


“Well it’s a good thing I wasn’t trying to make you jealous then,” I lied. 


He grinned annoyingly. 


“I’m sure,” he nodded, “Did you know you’re a terrible liar?” 


“Did you know you’re a terrible kisser?” I shot back childishly. 


“Good comeback,” he said sarcastically, “I suppose that’s why I have a girlfriend and you’re throwing yourself at your cousin’s friend to make people jealous.” 


“You’re a bastard,” I snapped, “Just go curl up and die, do us all a favour!” 


“Ooh, getting a bit hormonal?” 


“I used to think Dad was wrong about you,” I said, “but now I can really see how you truly are the son of Draco Malfoy and the grandson of Lucius Malfoy. It actually hurts me that I’m half responsible for bringing another Malfoy into the world.” 


I know I got personal – maybe I even went a bit far. 


“It’s better than being the daughter of a Mudblood and a Weasley,” he muttered, but he looked like he instantly regretted it. It was way too far. 


“Look, Rose, I –” 


“How the hell is Al friends with such an idiot as you?” I shot, “My Mum may be what you call a ‘Mudblood’, but at least she wasn’t a Death Eater who killed innocent people. Are you proud of who your father is?” 


“I didn’t mean –” 


“Just piss off,” I snapped and stormed off. 


So now I’m in my dormitory, plotting the death of Malfoy and James. Well, maybe not their deaths – but I definitely want to put them in the hospital wing for at least a week. My thoughts are distracted by a tapping on my window. It’s an owl with a letter tied to its leg. I throw open the window, untie the letter and let the owl fly back out towards the Owlery. 


Rosie,
You don’t know how great it is to hear from you. Harry told me about what happened with that Laura Phelps girl – if I was there I’d give her a good hex. I know you have my old Standard Book of Spells book, so turn to page 77 (I think) and I wrote a pretty good hex that makes people grow beards in ten seconds – try it, it’s amazing!
About this adoption thing – are you sure you’ve thought this through? I mean, you’re obviously going to be a bit emotional and all that, so don’t make any rash decisions. You don’t want to do something you’re going to regret. You’ve always been sensible, Rosie, I know you’ll make the right decision.
I’m really sorry about your parents by the way. Harry and Ginny are trying their best to get them to talk. I don’t think it’s the end for Ron and Hermione – they’re just going through a rough patch. And just so you know, your dad does NOT hate you. I know he’s acting like a spoiled child, but he’ll come round, I promise.
I’m glad you and Al and James are sticking together, but don’t exclude Dom and Scorpius. They’re probably taking this just as hard as everyone else. It must be strange for Dom to have her cousin pregnant with her boyfriend’s baby! Don’t kill me, but I don’t think you guys should fall out over this. As for Lily, she just has a schoolgirl crush – she’ll grow out of that.
I’m so glad you were the bigger person and wrote to me. Let’s not fight anymore, okay? By the way, Vic wants you to be a bridesmaid at the wedding (which is in April – I know it’s so soon, but that’s a whole other story). I’d love it if you were.
Write soon Rosie,
Love,
Teddy



I read and reread the letter over and over. I have him back. I know he’s getting married, but I’m having a baby, so I guess we’re even. I don’t care when the wedding is, because having a married Teddy is a damn sight better than having no Teddy at all. I realise now that I was being selfish when I sent that stupid first letter to Ted – I should have been happy for him, like a real friend. I realise now how he felt because I treated him the same way Lily is treating me – like a stupid schoolgirl with a crush. 


Scorpius POV 


I don’t bother waiting for Al before heading back to the dungeons. Not that he’d actually want to walk with me anyway. I’m thinking he’ll keep giving me the silent treatment for another two weeks or so – that’s enough time to forgive me for sleeping with his cousin, right? 


His cousin. 


What is her problem anyway? She thinks she’s the shit, when really she’s just a sarcastic little…little…I don’t know what she is. Well, one thing I know is that she’s pregnant and it’s my fault. 


I really didn’t see that one coming. Now I find myself up shit creek without a paddle. My life is finished. Every time I think of the fact that Rose Weasley is pregnant by me, I feel so scared that I think I’m going to pass out. 


I shouldn’t have done it. 


Done what, I hear you ask? Well, a number of things I suppose. I shouldn’t have gotten drunk and slept with Rose Weasley for one. True, I’ve liked her since first year, but really, getting a girl drunk and pregnant is not the way to go about pursuing her. But I’ve always done things the awkward way. I mean, I asked Dom Weasley out to make Rose jealous – that one came right back to kick me up the arse. 


I’ve always been so smug and confident around girls. I suppose arrogance is to be expected from a Malfoy. But who knew the bloody Karma police were on patrol? I don’t think I’ve ever done anything so bad to deserve all of this. True, my grandfather killed loads of innocent people and my dad tried to kill Albus Dumbledore. And sure my Great Aunt Bellatrix was a psychopathic killer who murdered her own cousin, Sirius Black. And maybe my family have been pureblood, power-driven weirdo’s for the last few centuries, but technically I didn’t do all that stuff. 


I did use Dominique Weasley though. It’s not that I don’t like her – I mean, her great grandmother was a freaking Veela after all. She’s one of the most gorgeous girls in school, even if she does have werewolfish tendencies (it’s not good to kiss her at the full moon, I learned the hard way). But there’s something about Rose that makes me go a bit crazy when I’m around her. She’s different from all the other girls. She says what she thinks and doesn’t give a damn what people say back. That’s what I’ve always liked about her. And it’s also what drives me ‘round the fucking twist. 


I fall back onto my bed in my dormitory. It’s bloody freezing in here, but it’s always freezing in the Slytherin dungeons. It’s like they think we’ve got all this pure blood to keep us warm so we don’t need HEAT or anything. Salazar Slytherin was a bit of a plank when I think about it. I maintain that the only reason I’m in Slytherin is because apparently Slytherins are “ambitious”. (And cunning and evil and sadistic bastards, but we’ll forget those parts). That’s the reason Al Potter is a Slytherin too. We know what we want, and we’re willing to work to get it. 


I want Rose. I want her to stop being so bloody immature and to stop talking about this adoption crap. I want her to stop kissing Mark Matthews, the git. I don’t care how friggin’ dreamy he is! I mean, if I were a girl or gay, I’d WELL go for Matthews, but alas I find myself with an attraction towards girls. And I'm a bloke. I'm fairly sure.

I’m telling myself that the only reason Weasley was kissing Matthews was because she was trying to make me jealous, but she seemed pretty persistent that she doesn’t like me. 


Al returns to the dormitory shortly after me. I suppose he was walking Jenny to the Ravenclaw tower. I would have walked Dom to the Gryffindor tower, only she had James and Fred to walk with, so I assumed she wouldn’t want me tagging along. He sort of grunts as a greeting and then pulls off his clothes and jumps into bed without another word. 


“Fun night?” I ask cautiously, praying that he’ll talk back. 


“Yeah, ‘suppose,” he grunts. 


Then there’s silence for a few minutes. I know he’s not asleep because he’s not snoring. None of the other two guys, Briggs and Parkinson are back yet. They’re okay guys, I guess. Briggs is a bit stupid, but he’s pretty cool. Parkinson is the son of Pansy Parkinson, a pug-like woman who never married so we take great pleasure in screaming “Your mum’s a slut!” at him. It’s really funny, he goes so red he actually looks like a tomato – no joke. Anyway, his mother is a slut. She’s had at least twenty boyfriends in the last two years. And she used to be a stripper.


“Al,” I start, “…if you were a girl or gay, would you do Mark Matthews?” 


Al pauses for a second and then bursts out laughing. 


“Scorp, you get weirder by the day,” he sighs, “but yeah, I so would. Although having said that, you wouldn’t kick that Gryffindor bloke Jason Sloper out of bed on a cold night.” 


“Too true,” I agree. 


We stay quiet for another few minutes. 


“Sorry, mate,” I say. 


“I know,” he says back stiffly. Don’t you just hate awkward apologies? “Let’s forget it…water under the bridge, yeah?” 


“Water under the bridge,” I repeat. 


Except it isn’t really water under the bridge. If I just slept with Rose then we could say ‘water under the bridge, no harm done’. But the harm has been done and there is no bridge. 


“How about Kyle Boot?” Al asks. 


“Too muscular,” I reply, “He might crush you when he hugs you.” 


“Yeah,” Al agrees, “And he’s so popular, he’s likely to cheat.” 


“What you want is the likes of Jason Patterson in Hufflepuff,” I say. 


“Yeah!” Al agrees, “He’s got those really blue eyes.” 


“Yeah, and he’s a brilliant Beater!” 


“He wouldn’t cheat.” 


“Never.” 


“Scorp?” 


“Yes Al?” 


“I think we left our dignity back in the Room of Requirement.” 


“Mate, I was just thinking the same.”


Rose POV

Everyone gets up late the day after the Valentine’s Day party. Most people are grinning stupidly, but I float around with an extremely stern look on my face, as if daring someone to mess with me so I can scream my head off at them. I stay in the common room doing homework for most of the day and blatantly ignore James and Laura Phelps. I think James is ignoring me too come to think of it - I think he's mad that I kissed Mark. Dom is out with Malfoy for most of the day, not that I care or anything after his display yesterday and the fact that he called my Mum a Mudblood. Idiot. 


“Um, Rose?” 


Lily appears beside my desk and I look up from my Potions essay for the first time in about an hour. She looks a bit nervous and she’s twisting her long hair around on her index finger. 


“Hi,” I say, surprised that she’s talking to me and not glaring evilly at me. 


“Can I?” she asks, pointing to the chair beside me. I pull it out and pat it and she sits down, smiling. I missed her. 


“What can I do for you?” 


“I just want to say I’m sorry,” Lily sighs, “I know I’ve been so immature about Scorpius. It’s not like you did anything wrong.” 


“I’m sorry for what I said,” I say, “I was a bitch. Friends?” 


“Friends,” she grins her father’s grin, “and…thanks for talking to Lorcan…” 


She blushes furiously. 


“No problem,” I wink, “he’s a good guy. He just needs a nudge in the right direction.” 


“Yeah…he is a good guy,” she says distantly. 


“Who knew one of the Scamander twins would cause the indestructible Lily Potter to blush,” I grin. 


“I’m not blushing!” she protests and blushes even more. 


*


For the next few days, Lily and I are on better terms than ever before. Although I’m still not talking to James (nor is he talking to me), Dom and I are back to being best friends and even Al seems in a better mood. Life has become a lot more bearable. Dom is really supportive of my pregnancy and even wanted to see my scan picture. She said ‘aww’ when I showed it to her, but I doubt she could see much more than Hugo or I could. I’m thinking she may be secretly plotting my death – seriously, who could be that happy for someone who’s having a baby with their boyfriend? 


Hugo, however, is becoming completely insufferable, as most brothers are. He’s dyed his light brown hair to jet black and not only does he have his eyebrow pierced, but he also has his lip done too. And now he’s saying that as soon as he turns seventeen, he’s getting a tattoo of the dark mark on his wrist. Honestly, that boy is so clueless sometimes. I don’t think he gets that the dark mark is a sign of all the suffering our parents and grandparents went through, but more of a fashion statement. Then again, James went to the last Halloween party dressed as Voldemort. They’re both as stupid as each other. 


So it seems that reconciliation is in the air. I think the biggest surprise came after Transfiguration on the Monday after the Valentine’s Day party. Malfoy held back after class and Dom hurried off to Herbology without waiting for me. He looked a bit sheepish and out of pure stubbornness, I walked straight past him, with my head held high. Malfoy followed me out of the classroom and had to run to keep up with my fast pace. 


“Weasley, hold up!” 


I kept walking. 


“Come on, would you at least talk to me?” he pleaded. 


“Why, so you can just insult me and my family again?” I shot, breaking my vow of silence. 


“Look, I’m sorry. We both said things we didn’t mean.” 


“I meant them,” I snapped, “You’re an arrogant, idiotic, selfish –” 


“Yeah, so you’ve said,” he interrupted me, “But can’t we just start again?” 


I stopped walking so suddenly that a small first year walking behind me crashed into me and fell backwards. Malfoy grinned and helped her up, and she rushed down the corridor blushing furiously. I glared at him. 


“You have to stop frowning, your face will end up stuck that way,” Malfoy smirked. 


“Shut up.” 


“Okay, seriously, I think we have to stop this…whatever this is. We can’t be at each others throats the whole time.” 


“Why not? I’m pretty okay with hating you,” I snapped. 


“I’m sorry about what I said about your mum,” he shrugged, “But being an arsehole sort of runs in the Malfoy bloodline in the same way red hair runs in the Weasley one.” 


“So you’re telling me this kid,” I pointed at my stomach, “Is going to be a red-headed arsehole?” 


“It could be a blonde,” he shrugged, “But the point is, I didn’t mean what I said. And I think we should be friends.” 


I raised my eyebrows. 


“You really think we can be friends?” I asked sceptically. 


“I think we should try,” he shrugged. 


I surveyed him for a moment, trying to figure out if he was being serious or having me on. He seemed genuine. I held out my hand. 


“Alright, friends,” I said. 


“Friends,” he smiled, shaking my outstretched hand. 

 

 








A/N – See, lots of Rose/Scorpius communication! They’re friends now! And this was a long chapter too (over 6,000 words), so you can’t complain, right? I hoped you liked the Scorpius POV, I had to put it in to show that he's not a heartless git who doesn't care about Rose - he's a boy. 
Anyhoo, thanks so much for reading, please drop a little (or big, I don’t mind) review, it’d be much appreciated. And you have to admit, I’m becoming much better at answering them now! And if anyone does have a question, you can check out my Meet the Author page – I’ll answer any questions you have! (Except if they’re to do with the meaning of life or trigonometry – they’re not my strong points!)
padfoot4ever (",)

 


Chapter 14: Ask Your Mother
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Chapter 14 - Ask Your Mother

 

 








Being friends with Malfoy turns out to be easier than I’d first anticipated. I’ve controlled my feelings (whatever they were) for him and I can stand to be around him and Dom now. Al and Malfoy appear to be friends again and Dom and Jenny seemed to get on pretty well when I introduced them. My life would be close to perfect if my stupid parents could just swallow their pride and talk to one another. Oh, and if James broke up with Laura Phelps – they’ve been dating for two weeks now, meaning I haven’t spoken to him in two weeks. But I suppose I can’t have everything. 


Today is the rematch between Gryffindor and Slytherin. Wood was going crazy that it took so long for the match to be rescheduled. Most of the team members had detentions or apparition classes or extra Herbology or Hogsmeade trips on all of the Saturdays since January, so now, on the first of March, the match is finally taking place. James picked some fifth year boy to replace me as keeper. It’s weird to be going to watch a Quidditch match where Gryffindor are playing. I feel sort of left out. Although I don’t feel half as left out as Laura Phelps must feel – she’s been banned from every Quidditch match from now until the end of her seventh year. 


Jenny sits with me and Lily in the Gryffindor stands. Jenny and Lily clap wildly when the Slytherin team fly out onto the pitch. At first I’m confused as to why Lily, a Gryffindor, is clapping and then I see Lorcan Scamander doing a lap of the pitch with his beater bat in his hand. Jenny’s smiling and clapping at Al, who’s still on the ground. The Gryffindor team fly out and James and Al shake hands before taking off into the air. After a few moments, it’s difficult to see who anyone is – they’re all just green and red blurs. 


"Welcome students to what should be an exciting rematch between Gryffindor and Slytherin! The first match in January was called off due to - erm - keeper issues...but, erm, anyway, here we are, Saturday, March 1st for what's tipped to be the best match of the season -"


Crap!” I exclaim and Lily and Jenny jump at my sudden outburst, "It's March 1st?!"


“Rose, are you okay?” Lily looks really worried. 


“It’s Dad’s birthday!” I slap myself on the forehead, “I completely forgot! I’ll be right back!” 


I rush away before they say anything. When I leave the Quidditch stadium, I contemplate going to the Owlery to send him a letter, but I know it would never reach him in time. I head back to the school, and run up to the Gryffindor tower. I grab the emergency stash of Floo Powder I have in my trunk and floo my head to my house. Our living room comes into view – and Merlin, it’s messier than ever. There are empty beer cans scattered all over the place, discarded pizza boxes and bits of unfinished food all over the floor – Mum would have a fit if she saw the place. Then again, this place looks like bloody Buckingham palace compared to what Mum’s living in. 


Dad himself is asleep in the armchair, snoring to the high heavens. His hair obviously hasn’t had a cut since I last saw him, because it now falls right into his eyes and flicks out at the back. He looks absolutely pathetic. 


“Dad?” I call. 


He doesn’t even stir. 


“Dad?” I say louder. 


Nothing. 


“DAD?” 


He couldn’t be…dead? 


No, since when do dead people snore


“RONALD WEASLEY!” I shout, sounding very much like Mum. 


“My-nee?” he stutters as he jumps up. He looks wildly around him for a moment until he sees my head sticking out of the fireplace. 


“Rose,” he yawns, “Are you alright?” 


“I’m fine.” 


“Why are you flooing me at this time?” he looks at his watch. 


“You mean twelve in the afternoon?” I roll my eyes, “I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday.” 


He looks confused for a moment. 


“My birthday’s not til Saturday,” he says. 


“It is Saturday.” 


“Oh right,” he says awkwardly, “Erm…thanks.” 


There’s awkwardness for a few moments. Dad starts rubbing his forehead and it’s clear he has one hell of a hangover. 


“Dad, this place is a mess,” I say softly. 


“No, it’s just a bit –” 


“It’s a dump!” I insist, “And the place Mum is staying in is even worse! Would you two please just talk?” 


“I have nothing to say to her,” he says childishly. 


I sigh heavily. 


“Will you at least tell me why you two are fighting? Is…is it my fault?” I can’t stop my voice from shaking. 


Dad’s face softens considerably. He sits down on the rug by the fireplace. 


“Rose, it’s not your fault,” he says, “Don’t ever think that. This has nothing to do with you or Hugo.” 


“Well then what is it?” I cry. Dad shakes his shaggy head. 


“It’s complicated.” 


“I’m a big girl, I think I’ll be able to understand.” 


“It’s…” he trails off, “Just…just ask your mother.” 


Great, the ‘ask your mother’ excuse. Why do fathers always think that that will get them out of everything? 


“Did you cheat on her?” I shoot angrily, “Is that why?” 


Dad’s blue eyes narrow. 


“Oh so it’s my fault?” he cries, “It’s always my fault! Maybe your mum isn’t as squeaky clean as she makes herself out to be! Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe, she was the one who cheated on me?” 


I stare at him in shock. He is not serious. There’s just no way my Mum… 


Would she? 


“Surely you can’t be serious?” 


“I am serious,” he frowns and pauses before adding, “And don’t call me Shirley.” 


When I was a kid, Dad and I used to watch the movie “Airplane!” every Christmas and that was one of our favourite lines from it. Dad grins and makes my heart feel so much lighter. 


“I have to go,” I tell him, “I’m so sorry I doubted you.” 


“It’s okay,” he says, “And Rose?...I’m sorry for being…you know…the worst Dad in the world.” 


“You’re the best Dad,” I smile, “You’ll always be the best Dad to me.” 


I pull my head back out of the fire. Now filled with a new anger towards my mother, I run from the common room to the statue of the humpback witch that guards the secret passageway to Hogsmeade. James told me about it way back in my first year. At least that little idiot is good for something, even if it is just breaking the rules. I tap the statue with my wand and say “Dissendium”. The statue opens up, as it always does, and I climb down into the passageway. 


When I finally reach Honeydukes cellar, I try my best to creep out of the shop without being noticed. I make my way to the top of the main street in Hogsmeade and then down the little laneway where I know my mother’s supposed ‘flat’ is situated. I point my wand at the old rusted door of the block of flats. 


Alohomora!” 


What’s the point in using pleasantries such as knocking first when I know I’m about to kill my mother anyway? As I run up the many flights of stairs, I meet a hag who scowls at me for no apparent reason – it’s probably because I’m young and don’t have a massive wart growing on my eyelid like she does. Anyway, that’s besides the point. I reach Mum’s flat and bang on the door like a mad woman. Mum answers looking very angry at first, but then smiles when she sees it’s me. 


“Rose! This is a pleasant surprise! I didn’t know you had a Hogsmeade trip today –” 


I storm past her into the flat and for a moment I forget why I’m here. The flat looks completely different. Firstly, it’s about three times bigger than it was and is now fully furnished with leather couches and a television. The kitchen is as big as the one at home and there’s a bedroom beside the living room that definitely wasn’t there the last time I was here – with an ensuite. Mum must have done some serious work to this place with DIY spells. 


“Do you like it?” she asks excitedly, “It took me ages but –” 


“Did you cheat on Dad?” I interrupt her. 


I really want her to say no. I want her to say that Dad’s making it up, that there’s some other stupid reason that they’re fighting. 


“Look, Rosie –” 


“I’ll take that as a yes,” I snap. 


“Just sit down,” she orders, and I do as she says. She sits on the couch (the very comfortable couch, I might add) and faces me. 


“So, did you cheat on him?” I ask again. 


“You make it sound like I was having some illicit affair,” she shakes her head, “It was nothing.” 


“It sounds like it was something!” I say angrily. 


“It was before you were born, honey,” Mum says, as if that makes it okay. 


“What did you do?” 


Mum sighs and runs a hand through her bushy brown hair. 


“I never thought I’d have to talk about this again,” she says, defeated, “It was after your father and I got engaged –” 


“You cheated while you were engaged?!” 


“Let me tell the story, Rose!” 


I shut up. 


“Anyway, we’d just gotten engaged and we were…I don’t know…we were going through a rough patch, shall we say. It wasn’t anything serious. We just had loads of little fights over the smallest of things. Then your Aunt Ginny invited us to a party at one of her team mate’s houses – you know, from the Holyhead Harpies – so Ron and I went. We’d just had another little fight over Merlin knows what and I was in an exceptionally bad mood with him by the time we arrived at the party. 


“He hung around with Harry the whole time – who, of course took Ron’s side as he always does – and I was left on my own because Ginny had to talk to all of her team mates too. So I decided that for the first time in my life I would drown my sorrows. That was a bad idea, especially because I wasn’t used to drinking –” 


“Tell me about it,” I mutter. 


“But then I ended up meeting an old, erm, friend who I hadn’t seen in years. He was a friend of one of the Harpies and he was a Quidditch player too…Viktor Krum.” 


“Isn’t he that really crap Bulgarian player?” I ask. 


“He isn’t crap,” says Mum, “That’s just something your father made up. In fact, Ron used to be quite the fan of Viktor before…” 


“Before what?” 


“Well…let’s just say I had a – erm – thing with him back in my fourth year.” 


Mum had a thing with Viktor Krum? She’s blushing now. 


“Anyway, Ron’s ex was at this party too, Lavender Brown. He was flirting with her to make me jealous. So I, in my intoxicated state, sort of…” 


“Sort of what?” I ask worriedly. 


“I…kissed Viktor.” 


“And?” 


“And that’s it!” she says. 


A kiss? 


One kiss? 


That happened about eighteen years ago? 


That’s what’s breaking up my family? 


“And Dad knows it was just the one kiss?” I ask her. 


“Yes, but he keeps throwing it back in my face! That’s why I got so angry with him, Rosie. He was using it against me again…he tries to make me feel guilty and I just can’t deal with it anymore! I’m not going back to him until he grows up!” 


I stay quiet for a few moments. I can’t believe how childish both of my parents are being – I mean, Mum kisses some Bulgarian bloke once before Mum and Dad were even married and now they’re divorcing? I’ve never heard anything more ridiculous in my life! (Apart from James dating Phelps.) 


“Mum…you shouldn’t have done it,” I say, “But it’s in the past now. Can’t you just talk to Dad? I mean you must have something you can throw back at him that could cancel out the kiss?” 


Trust my parents to break up over something so pathetic. Why do they have to be so bloody stubborn? Mum doesn’t say anything. 


“Do you still love Dad?” I ask her, sort of afraid of her answer. 


“I’ve loved your Dad since I was twelve,” she admits, “I’m hardly going to stop now, thirty years later.” 


“And he still loves you,” I tell her, “You should see the state of him, he’s a bloody mess, Mum. Please just talk to him.” 


“But he’s the one who –” 


“I don’t care!” I cry, “I just can’t take your bickering anymore! Please try to fix it – for me and Hugo?” 


I stay to have lunch with Mum and then head back towards the school. It’s quite a long walk from Hogsmeade to the castle and I’ve never really noticed it until today. It’s half past one by the time I reach the castle and the Quidditch match is well over. I don’t meet anyone I know the whole way up to the Gryffindor tower, so I have no idea who has won until I go in through the portrait hole.


The common room is empty except for James, Al and Lorcan Scamander. How odd. Lorcan is sitting on the couch while James and Al are on footstools opposite him with very grave looks on their faces. They haven’t noticed my arrival. 


“So what exactly are your intentions with Lily then?” Al asks, sounding very intimidating. 


“I – I – I…” poor Lorcan isn’t able to string a sentence together. 


“Don’t waste our time, Scamander,” says James, “Do you plan on messing her about?” 


“Yeah, because we don’t take kindly to people who mess our little sister about, do we James?” Al says. 


“No, we don’t,” says James, “In fact, the last guy who messed Lily about hasn’t been seen in quite some time.” 


“Last I heard of him, he was still in the burns ward in St Mungo’s,” says Al. 


Like James and Al could ever put anyone in St Mungo’s. Lorcan looks absolutely terrified. 


“I w-won’t mess her about,” Lorcan stutters. 


“You better not,” James says darkly, “Because you do remember who our father is, don’t you?” 


“Harry Potter, the bloke who defeated the darkest wizard of all time,” Al says, as if Lorcan doesn’t know. 


“Faced a Hungarian Horntail,” James adds. 


“And about a hundred Dementors at once,” says Al. 


“A little pipsqueak like you should be no trouble to him at all,” says James. 


I roll my eyes – like Uncle Harry would ever hurt Lorcan Scamander. Lorcan’s mother is one of Harry’s best friends! 


“And our mum is an accomplished caster of the Bat-Bogey Hex,” says Al. 


“Our uncle is half-werewolf.” 


“Not to mention Teddy,” Al adds. 


Lorcan is trembling. 


“Good one Al – Teddy’s half-werewolf too.” 


“Yeah, so between Uncle Bill and Teddy, you’ve got yourself a full werewolf!” 


“So,” James says, “If you even dream about hurting Lily in any way at all, you better watch your back.” 


Lorcan nods, still shaking madly. 


“I won’t hurt her,” he says, “I promise.” 


“We know you won’t,” says James, “You’re a good guy. We just have to give you this warning. It’s our duty as Lily’s older brothers.” 


“Don’t make us have to repeat it,” says Al, standing up. James still has his red Quidditch robes on and Al and Lorcan are in their green ones. 


“Hi guys,” I say, and each of them jump at my ‘sudden’ arrival, “Giving Lorcan here the usual talking to?” 


I say it sarcastically – which is so unlike me. 


“Didn’t hear you come in, Red,” says James, but I ignore him as I’m still angry at the fact that he’s with Laura. 


“Lorcan, don’t worry about these idiots,” I tell him, “Their barks are much worse than their bites.” 


I think the word “bites” makes Lorcan even more frightened. He smiles nervously and then runs from the common room – poor bloke. 


“You two have to stop with the protective older brother role,” I snap, “Lily will murder you if she finds out.” 


“Yeah, like she could hurt us,” Al scoffs. 


“Your mother isn’t the only one who’s an accomplished caster of the Bat-Bogey Hex,” I snap and the two boys look slightly nervous at this revelation. “So tell me…who won?”

Al’s face splits into a wide grin while James scowls miserably. 


“Slytherin – obviously!” Al says smugly, “You two Gryffindor losers are welcome to come to the party in the dungeons.” 


“I’d rather eat Dudley Dursley’s old sock, thanks,” says James bitterly. 


Al makes an L sign with his thumb and index finger before disappearing out of the portrait hole. James and I are left alone in the common room, and scowl at each other before going up to our dormitories. Dom is getting changed in mine and she looks fit to kill. 


“I heard about the match,” I say. 


“Ten points!” she exclaims, “Ten bloody points in the difference! If our keeper had only looked at what he was supposed to be doing instead of checking out Fiona Jordan then we might have won! Scorpius is never going to let me live this one down!” 


I smile sympathetically at her, but I too am absolutely gutted that we didn’t win the match. We never lose to Slytherin. In fact, Gryffindor haven’t lost a match since James became captain in his fifth year. 


The Slytherin party spreads from the dungeons as the day progresses. It seems that they’re celebrating the fact that they finally beat Gryffindor after almost six years of losing to them. At dinner, the Slytherins decorate the Great Hall with green banners (you’d swear it was the final or something!) and chant ridiculous songs, while praising Al as if he’s their god. 


Potter Potter Potter!
Oi! Oi! Oi!
 


Oh how very original. James looks fit for murder and is even more disgusted at the fact that Lily is over with Lorcan at the Slytherin table. Dom is sitting beside me and she looks just as angry as James – she hasn’t spoken to Malfoy at all. 


Go on the boys in green, go on the boys in green… 

“If they don’t shut up right now,” Dom mutters, “I’m going to cast an Avada Kedavra curse over at the Slytherin table and I don’t give a toss who it hits!” 


“I think we should just plant a bomb – you know, wipe out the whole lot of them,” I say. 


Potter is our King!
Potter is our King!
He always shoots the Quaffle in
Potter is our King!
 


“That’s my song!” I protest, disgusted at the fact that the Slytherins stole it. 


“Actually, it’s your Dad’s song,” James said, “And the Slytherins are the ones who made it up – obviously it was intended to insult him.” 


Slytherin rule!
Gryffindor are tools!
Malfoy went and caught the snitch
And Jamesy is a little b-
 


James throws his Astronomy book at a large seventh year Slytherin and it hits him right between the eyes – legend. 


2, 4, 6, 8
Who do we appreciate?
Not the lions!
Not the lions!
They’re so crap they’ll never win
Cos we are SLYTHERIN! 

“We bloody well beat them every other time we play them!” I exclaim. 


Dom has a very firm grip on her fork and she looks like she’s going to throw it any moment now. That’s if I don’t get there first. 


“Come on,” I say, “Let’s go back to the common room.” 


One legend Potter
There’s only one legend Potter
One legend Potter!
There’s only one legend Potter…
 


Dom, James and I leave the Great Hall before we’re even finished our dinner. The Slytherins chant and jeer as James leaves the hall, but before leaving, he flicks his wands at the Slytherin posters. They previously read things like “Serpent Success!” and “Slytherin are the best”. They now read “Serpents are shits” and “Slytherin is scum”. I know he shouldn’t have given them the satisfaction, but it’s pretty funny that nobody can change the banners back. 


James and I forget our petty squabbling for a while as we unite in the hatred of all things Slytherin. Dom is equally angry. 


“Smug bastards!” James cries, kicking the armchair in the common room, “I’m ashamed to say my brother is their captain!” 


“I hate them,” Dom practically screams, “I hate the whole lot of them!” 


“I know,” I agree, “I mean, they win one lousy match one time –”
 

“By ten miserable little points!” James exclaims. 


“By ten points!” I continue, “And they’re acting as if they own the school!” 


Dom slumps down onto the armchair that James has just kicked and I sit cross-legged on the floor by the fire. We all have similar looks of disgust on our faces. 


“If you think of it logically,” I say after a few minutes, “We’re still in with a good chance of winning.” 


“No we’re not,” says James miserably. 


“We are!” I insist, “If Slytherin lose to Ravenclaw in the next match and we beat Hufflepuff –” 


“Yeah, but we won’t beat Hufflepuff,” says James. 


“That’s a very defeatist attitude!” I say angrily. 


“He means…we can’t win without you, Rose,” says Dom. 


“What? Of course you can win without me!” I exclaim, “I was only a keeper – and a bad one at that!” 


“You were a great keeper – one of our best players,” says James seriously, “Carmichael is rubbish in comparison. He’s the reason we lost the stupid match.” 


We fall silent again. I can’t help but feel like I’m partly responsible for Gryffindor’s defeat. 


“Well then you know what you have to do, Jay,” I say and he looks at me expectantly, “Get Slytherin’s keeper pregnant.” 


Dom makes a disgusted face. 


“You have seen Henrietta Flint haven’t you Rose?” Dom asks in repulsion, half-laughing. 


“There’s one who must have been dropped on her face as a baby,” says James. 


“Seriously,” I laugh, “I do know someone who is a good keeper, even if she’s never played on a team before.” 


“Who?” asks James. 


“Lily.” 


James and Dom look at each other sceptically. 


“Lily?” James scoffs, eyebrows raised, “As in my little sister?” 


“Okay, I know she may not show it, but she’s a good player,” I insist, “I’m telling you, when we were kids we used to play with Dad and Uncle Harry the whole time – she’s better than me even.” 


James considers this. 


“She won’t do it,” says Dom. 


“Why wouldn’t she?” 


“She won’t even go to try-outs,” she says, “I’ve asked her to try out loads of times.” 


“That’s because she’s scared that James and Fred will make fun of her,” I tell her, “I’ll make sure she’s at the next practice.” 


We hear voices coming through the portrait hole and Lily is the first to come in to view, holding hands with Lorcan. Dom and I smirk at each other, but James is frowning. Lorcan looks absolutely terrified at James’s death glare. Then James’s face turns from angry to disgusted in a second when Lorcan and Lily and followed in by Al and Malfoy, draped in green scarves and still wearing their green Quidditch robes. 


“Lily,” James calls, “Come here a minute.” 


He looks angry, but not half as angry as Lily will be if he makes a show of her. She lets go of a very nervous looking Lorcan’s hand and walks over to James. 


“What the hell are they doing here?” James hisses at her. 


“You mean our brother, his best friend and our close family friend?” she asks coolly. 


“I mean,” he whispers furiously, “dirty, scumbag Slytherins!” 


Oh dear – that was the wrong thing to say. 


“You are unbelievable!” Lily hisses back, “Those scumbags were your friends up until you lost a stupid Quidditch match!” 


“Now Lily, Quidditch isn’t stupid – let’s not say things we don’t mean,” I say reasonably. She shoots me a fiery look to match her mothers so I shut up. 


“Stop being such a sore loser,” Lily snaps at James, “It’s just a game!” 


“You don’t deserve the name Potter!” James yells, jumping up from his seat. 


“Oh and you do?” she screeches, “You’re an idiot, James! Dad’s been telling us since we first came to Hogwarts how Slytherins and Gryffindors should get along or else another war could result – and here you are trying to keep old prejudices alive! You make me SICK!” 


Al and Malfoy stop chanting “Go on the boys in green” at Lily’s scream. Lorcan looks like he’s about to pass out. He’s obviously learned the ‘never piss Lily Potter off’ rule. Malfoy goes to sit on the arm of Dom’s chair and puts his arm around her, but she shrugs him away – apparently Quidditch comes before love. I try to suppress a laugh, but I can tell that there’s a smirk on my face. Malfoy just looks annoyed. 


Lily storms out of the common room, followed closely by Lorcan. Al is laughing like a maniac (I have the slight suspicion that he’s drunk. Albus Severus Potter has never been drunk, as far as I know, especially not at four o’clock in the day). 


“There’s no way she’s coming onto our team!” James roars at the portrait hole, even though Lily’s gone. James shoots Al and Malfoy a very dirty glare and storms up to his dormitory, slamming the door behind him. 


“Some people are bad losers,” Al says, sitting down in the chair that James has just vacated. 


“Some people are even worse winners,” I reply. 


“What about that time Gryffindor won the cup –” 


“Which time?” I interrupt, “We’ve won the cup quite a bit.” 


“Last year,” Al continues, “You lot didn’t shut up about it for a month, and you made every single Slytherin’s bowl of Cheerios spell out ‘Salazar was a puff’ and ‘Slytherins fly like Muggles’.” 


“That was pretty funny,” Dom laughs and I nod in agreement. 


“Don’t worry, we’ll do the same again this year,” I grin. 


And it’s true – I’m not going to let Slytherin win. If I hear another Slytherin chant, I’m going to go insane in the membrane. 


We are the champions my friend
And we’ll keep on flying ‘til the end…
 

Eurgh. 
 

 












A/N - Okay, so I'm only about 40% happy with this chapter. I know not much happens, but I need to address issues such as the Ron/Hermione thing and the Quidditch rematch - can't just forget 'em can I? (",) Anyhoo, I know all of ye love a bit of Rose/Scorp contact and there wasnt much in this chapter (hell, there wasn't any!) but in following chapters there's more. I don't know if you liked or hated this chapter - I'm pretty indifferent towards it. And I've noticed a LOT of people hate Dom, but I hope you start liking her soon and realise that she's not going out with Scorpius to annoy Rose (they're best friends after all), she just likes him. Well, who wouldn't? Thanks so much for your reviews (over 700 - my jaw dropped like this :O and stayed that way)! And because you've all been total legends, here's a preview of the next chapter: 
“What’s wrong?” he asks, glaring at my stomach, which I’m still clutching, “Is it the baby? Holy shit, are you having it now?”

I roll my eyes, grab his hand and place it on my stomach.

“Can you feel it?” I ask excitedly.

He shrugs and looks at me as if I’m a crazy person.

“Erm, Weasley, what am I supposed to be – whoa! Was that…was…did it just kick?” 

So there ya go, I hope that keeps you going 'til the next chapter is validated. (",)
padfoot4ever x


'We Are The Champions' is by Queen: I didn't write that chant, as I'm sure y'all know!
 


Chapter 15: My Father's Daughter
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]



Chapter 15 - My Father's Daughter





It seems like every day is the same – the early morning vomit, breakfast, mid-morning vomit, class, late morning vomit, class, lunch, class, dinner, possible vomit (depending on what was for dinner), homework, study, early evening cry, homework, mid-evening cry, relax in Common Room, bed, midnight cry and sleep. Well, that’s the basic schedule. It changes now and again. 


A week after the Slytherin – Gryffindor match, the Slytherins are still singing their ridiculous victory chants. Dom, who is even more impatient than I am, put two sixth years Parkinson and Briggs in the Hospital Wing on Wednesday for singing “Weasley is our King” (except they changed it to ‘Weasley is a Minger’…they’re about as smart as a sack of Gobstones). So Dom now has detention, which she still maintains is worth it. 


Today is Saturday and while Dom is in the Hospital Wing cleaning bedpans (poor girl), Lily and Lorcan have gone for a stroll around the lake and Al and Jenny have become study partners. It’s day of the sickening couples, methinks. I, however, am chilling out in the Common Room with my feet up on the coffee table reading a book called “Predicting the Sex” – it’s a kind of Divination book that helps you predict what sex your baby’s going to be, among other stuff. It’s a load of crap really. 


Step One: Tea Leaves 


I look into my cup – my tea leaves appear to be making the shape of a brown blob-like object. That means...the baby will have brown eyes. Wow, genius – I couldn’t have figured that one out on my own considering both of the kid’s parents have brown eyes.

Step Two: Palm Reading 


Apparently I have to count the amount of lines on my index finger and on my thumb on my right hand and then divide that by the number of fingers I have (excluding thumbs) on my left hand. Who the hell comes up with this stuff? Okay, I got five.  

0-4 – The child will inherit its paternal grandmother’s hair
5-9 – The child will inherit its father’s hair
10-14 – The child will inherit its maternal grandfather’s hair
15-19 – The child will inherit its mother’s hair
 


Right, so according to this book, I have a brown-eyed, blonde haired child. 
 

Step Three: Touch and Temper 


Place your hands on the base of the bump and sing this song. 


And then there’s a very long Latin song that goes on for three – no, four – pages. Well bugger this for a game of soldiers. I place my hands at the base of my ever-growing bump and start to sing (well, more like try to decipher what the hell the words are and how to pronounce them). 


“A-tru dom-in-ay…ma-in-ci-poh,” I start and trail off. 


And then I feel a really weird feeling. I mean, really weird. It’s like…it’s almost as if the baby is – 


Oh dear Merlin, my baby is kicking! And there’s nobody else in the Common Room to feel this! 


I run from the Gryffindor tower, clutching my stomach, not wanting to miss a single kick. I decide to rush to the Hospital Wing so Dom can feel this. The bloody corridors are empty too because everyone is either outside or in their common rooms. When I reach the fourth floor, I spot someone – finally. 


“Malfoy!” I call, “Malfoy quick!” 


Malfoy, who is with a group of friends, turns around and spots me, clutching my stomach on the staircase. His face changes from calm to frantic in a split-second. He runs over to me. 


“What’s wrong?” he asks, glaring at my stomach, which I’m still clutching, “Is it the baby? Holy shit, are you having it now?” 


I roll my eyes, grab his hand and place it on my stomach. 


“Can you feel it?” I ask excitedly. 


He shrugs and looks at me as if I’m a crazy person. 


“Erm, Weasley, what am I supposed to be – whoa! Was that…was…did it just kick?” 


Malfoy looks like a little kid at Christmas. He has a stupid lopsided grin plastered onto his face as he looks at my tummy as if it’s the most amazing thing he’s ever seen in his whole life. He starts bouncing up and down excitedly, looking around for someone to show this to, just like I was a few minutes ago. 


“It stopped,” he says, and his face falls. 


“It can’t kick all the time,” I tell him, “If it did I think I’d just throw myself off the Astronomy tower!” 


“That was so cool,” he says, as if he’d just seen a very spectacular game of Quidditch.

“I know.” 


Malfoy takes his hands away from my no longer moving stomach, still grinning widely. He seems more excited about this than I do. 


“Make sure you tell me the next time that happens,” he says seriously. 


“You do realise that babies kick a lot, right?” 


He nods excitedly. 


“I know, but –” 


“It’s kicking again!” 


Malfoy puts his hands on my stomach again. 


“See, I told you they kick a lot.”




The baby didn’t kick much for the rest of the day, but I didn’t really mind. I was still excited from the other kicks. I was so excited that I didn’t even care about the dirty and mocking stares that I still got whenever I walked down the corridors. 


But then I remembered. 


I’m giving it up for adoption. I thought this would be easier. I mean, I’m hardly ready to become a parent – adoption is the fairest thing, isn’t it? Every time I even think of giving the baby away, I get this horrible feeling deep in my heart, as if it’s telling me that I’m doing the wrong thing. 


I need to talk to Mum. 


I hurry off to Flitwick’s office to ask for permission to go to Hogsmeade. I mean, as a prefect, I really shouldn’t be just heading out to Hogsmeade whenever I feel like it. I should be setting a good example. However, if Flitwick refuses to let me go to Hogsmeade, I’m going to have to sneak out. It’s in my blood. 


After ten minutes of convincing Flitwick that it really is an emergency, he lets me go to visit Mum. I go the normal way as opposed to the secret underground passage that leads me to Honeydukes. I’m practically out of breath by the time I reach Mum’s flat and after climbing up the many flights of stairs, I’m almost sure I’m going to pass out. I should really do more exercise. 


I knock on her door, but after five minutes of knocking and waiting, I realise she’s not in. Defeated, I trudge down the stairs again. Now who am I supposed to talk to? Bloody mothers – they’re good for absolutely nothing. When I leave the building, I think about heading to Honeydukes to pick up a couple of tonnes of chocolate, but then I remember that I promised Flitwick I’d go straight back to the school. 


On the way up the street, I end up walking straight into someone because I wasn’t looking where I was going. Typical me. 


“Watch where you’re going!” the man snarls. 


It’s Draco Malfoy


“Sorry,” I mumble. 


“Oh, it’s you,” he says, “I’ve been meaning to speak with you.” 


Oh yes, me too Mr Malfoy. Tell me, how’s the wife? 


“Oh?” 


“Not here,” he mutters and looks around, “The Three Broomsticks.” 


I don’t know why, but I follow him into the Three Broomsticks. The place is fairly empty except for a couple of warlocks sitting in the corner. He points to a table and I sit at it as he goes up to the bar. I have to say this is the weirdest date I’ve ever been on. Draco returns to the table with a Firewhiskey for himself and a Butterbeer for me. I look at it with a raised eyebrow and then focus my sceptic gaze on him. 


“With all due respect,” I start with absolutely no respect evident in my voice, “What is it you want?” 


“I just wanted to see how you’re – erm – doing,” he says, clearly lying through his teeth, “You are carrying my grandchild after all.” 


“Yes, but I thought you wanted nothing to do with me or my ‘sprog’? It’d ruin your precious little boy’s chances of getting a job at the ministry, right? Merlin forbid your father being a Death Eater had already done that,” I say sarcastically. 


Draco’s eyes narrow. 


“You truly are your father’s daughter,” he hisses, as if what he said is an insult. 


“Yes, and proud of it,” I say calmly. 


He leans back on his chair and takes a sip of his Firewhiskey. I haven’t touched my Butterbeer. Rule number one of being a Weasley – never trust a Malfoy. 


“I can help you,” Draco continues after a few moments. 


“Help me with what?” 


“Your financial issues,” he says. 


“I don’t need, nor do I want your money,” I spit. 


“You haven’t heard me out, Miss Weasley,” he says. 


I pause and then sigh impatiently. 


“I’m listening.” 


“I can offer you a way out of your predicament,” he says calmly, “Have you ever heard of the healer Blaise Zabini?” 


I nod – Dad mentioned him in passing a few times with nothing more than disgust in his voice. But I’ve also heard he’s quite a good healer. 


“He’s the best healer of his day,” Draco goes on, “And he’s also a personal friend of mine.” 


“Congratulations,” I mutter. 


“He can help you.” 


“Help me do what?” I sigh, getting a bit sick of this conversation. 


“All it takes is one simple spell and it’ll be as if that mistake –” he points to my stomach “never happened.” 


I study his face for a moment. Is he joking? He has to be joking. 


“Think about it,” he says, “You can get your life back together. You’re sixteen, am I right? You’re hardly more than a child yourself.” 


I frowned at him. 


“Unless I’m misinformed,” I say coldly, “Weren’t you a Death Eater, plotting the death of Albus Dumbledore at my age? A little baby seems trivial compared to that.” 


“You shouldn’t believe everything Daddy and Uncle Harry tell you,” he says in a patronising tone. 


“Why not?” I ask, “It’s true, isn’t it? My dad wasn’t lying when he said you were a cowardly little ferret.” 


He twitches at the word ‘ferret’. 


“You should consider my offer,” he says, ignoring my last comment, “I’m willing to offer you a lot of money.” 


“You’re willing to pay to have your grandchild killed? Wow, that’s low even for you Mr Malfoy,” I say. 


“It’s not a child,” he says, “Not yet.” 


“It kicked this morning,” I say defiantly, “Your son seemed pretty excited about it. I’m sure you felt the same way the first time Scorpius kicked.” 


He takes another sip of Firewhiskey. 


“I was ready for a child,” he says, “I was married and in love. You, on the other hand, are carrying the baby of your cousin’s boyfriend. Do you really think Scorpius wants it?”

“Well this morning –” 


“He may have gotten excited when he felt a couple of insignificant kicks,” Draco scoffs, “But he has no idea what being a father entails.” 


“And you do?” I ask heatedly, “Is that why your own son felt the need to break your nose and spend Christmas with us?” 


“Scorpius has always been a bit of a firebrand,” he shrugs, “But he’ll grow out of it. My poor boy has a romantic view of the world. He doesn’t realise what you keeping this baby would mean for him. All he sees is a little version of himself that he can teach Quidditch to.” 


“What’s wrong with that?” 


“He’ll get bored of it once he realises that kids drain every bit of energy from you,” says Draco, “Not to mention the amount of money it costs to raise them. Do you really think it’s fair putting that sort of financial strain on your parents?” 


I never really thought of the financial end of things. When Dad was growing up, money was always a problem for his family. According to him, Draco Malfoy used to sneer him for it the whole time. Now he finally is financially stable it wouldn’t be fair for me to throw this burden on the family. We’d be struggling to make ends meet, just like Nana Molly and Grandad Arthur were when my Dad and his siblings were growing up. 


“I’m willing to offer you compensation, Rose,” says Draco, “How does a thousand Galleons sound?” 


They sound very nice. But that would probably be the most immoral thing in the world! Accepting money from a former Death Eater to have an abortion? Why don’t I just go outside and burn a bunch of puppies and laugh at the homeless? 


“I don’t know,” I say unsurely. 


“You don’t honestly want to keep that baby do you? I can’t imagine your father wants you to keep it…it’s half-Malfoy.” 


“And you don’t want it because it’s half-Weasley,” I say. 


“Malfoys and Weasleys will never be friends, no matter how much your generation think they will,” says Draco. 


“I’m sorry Mr Malfoy, but I have to go,” I say and jump up from the table, leaving my Butterbeer untouched. I hurry out of The Three Broomsticks, but Draco follows me out and grabs my arm. 


“Think about my offer, Weasley,” he hisses, “Don’t make the biggest mistake of your life.” 


“Let go of me,” I snap. 


Rosie?” 


Malfoy lets go of my arm quickly and I turn around to identify the owner of the voice. It’s him – today sporting jet black hair and bright blue eyes. It’s Teddy. I can’t help but let a smile wash over my face. He’s not looking at me though; he’s glaring at Draco Malfoy.
 

“What do you want, Malfoy?” Teddy shoots, frowning. 


“I was just having a word with Rose here,” says Draco, “It’s none of your business, Lupin.” 


“I think you’ll find it is my business,” says Teddy, “And if you lay one finger on her again, I’ll rearrange your face, got it?” 


Oh be still my racing heart! 


“You’d want to watch yourself,” says Draco, “You wouldn’t want to end up the same way as dear old Remus and Tonks now would you?” 


Teddy grabs Draco by the scruff of the neck and pushes him against the wall of The Three Broomsticks. 


“Get lost, Malfoy,” Teddy spits, “You pathetic little excuse for a man.” 


Teddy shoves him and then lets go. Draco turns to me. 


“My offer still stands,” he says, “Think about it – don’t be as stupid as the rest of your family.” 


With that, he turns on the spot and disapparates. I run to Teddy who is ready to embrace me in a hug. 


“What are you doing here?” I ask when we break apart, grinning up at him. 


“I came to see you, actually,” he says, “And I thought I might drop in on Aunt Hermione too. Christ you’re getting big!” 


“She’s not home,” I say and slap him on the arm for the ‘big’ comment, “That’s why I’m here. Then I got sidetracked by Malfoy.” 


“What did he want anyway?” Teddy asks, now walking towards the school. 


“He wanted me to have an abortion. He says Blaise Zabini can do it with one spell…and he offered me a thousand Galleons to do it,” I say. 


“I hope you told him where to shove it,” Teddy says angrily, “I’d love to give him a good thump in the face.” 


“It seems like that’s everyone’s ambition in life – Mum and Scorpius for example,” I say. 


“Scorpius hit him? I always knew I liked that bloke.” 


When we reach the school, we head to the Great Hall for dinner. Everyone’s head turns at the sight of Teddy. I can see some of the girls – including Laura Phelps, who’s sitting beside James – eyeing him with interest. Who can blame them? He is by far the best looking guy in the room. 


“Ted! What’re you doing here, mate?” James stands up and shakes his hand, grinning from ear to ear. I scowl at him – I may have united with him against the Slytherins and their idiotic chants, but I still hate him for going out with Laura. Al rushes over from the Slytherin table to greet Teddy, followed closely by Louis from the Ravenclaw one and Lucy from Hufflepuff. It’s a Weasley reunion. 


We eat dinner with Teddy and Dom arrives in half way through looking very disgruntled. 


“That stupid fuckwit Madam Pomfrey made me re-clean the stupid Hospital Wing because some arse of a first year came in and threw up all over the floor! I’m suing, I swear to Merlin, I’m taking this place to the cleaners – Teddy, what are you doing here?” she rants. 


“Alright future sis-in-law? I hear you were in detention,” Teddy grins at her. 


“Don’t get me started,” she growls – see, that’s her werewolf tendencies coming out in her. 


“We won’t,” says Fred dully. 


“So why are you here then, Ted?” asks Dom, piling her plate high with food and wolfing it down savagely. 


“I’m delivering wedding invites,” he says and pulls a pile of invitations out of his pocket. 


“Wow, she’s got you on a tight leash,” Al laughs, “Sending you all the way up here!” 


“I wanted to see you guys too,” Teddy admits, “And I was going to deliver Hermione’s, but she’s not home. So here you are.” 


He hands invitations around to James, Al, Lily, Hugo, Roxanne, Fred, Lucy, Molly and finally me.



Bill and Fleur Weasley cordially invite
Miss Rose Weasley plus guest
To celebrate the marriage of their daughter
Victoire Apolline Weasley
To
Ted Remus Lupin
On April 20th 2023
Ceremony and reception at Chez Delacour
RSVP 

“Chez Delacour?” I read, “Where’s that?” 


“It’s my grandparents’ house,” says Dom, “It’s just outside Paris.” 


“Yeah, Vic decided it’d be best to have it there – you know, it’d be warmer,” says Teddy. 


“It’s the day after my birthday!” I grin. 


“Really?” Teddy says in mock surprise, “Because you never remind us of it.” 


“Yeah, it’s not like you have a calendar counting down the days beside your bed or anything,” Dom joins in. 


“Well if wit were shit you’d all have diarrhoea,” I say tetchily. 


“Rose, you really do say the most vulgar things at times,” says Al, shaking his head. 





Teddy leaves shortly after dinner. He hugs everyone, but I notice that he hugs me the longest. When we break apart, he pulls me to the side so we can talk. 


“Look, Rose,” he says, “Are you seriously considering giving your kid up for adoption?”

I sigh heavily. 


“I don’t know anymore,” I admit, “I mean, I can’t put this financial strain on Mum and Dad –” 


“Bullshit,” says Teddy, “They’re loaded and you know it.” 


“Well, Malfoy doesn’t want a kid –” 


“Are you sure about that?” Teddy asks, “It seems like if he didn’t want it, it’d be him making you get rid of it, not Draco Malfoy.” 


I look down at the ground. The glow from Teddy’s ocean blue eyes is blinding me. 


“Rosie, you’ll be a great Mum,” says Teddy softly. 


I can’t stop myself snorting at that. 


“Are you serious? Are we forgetting the time I babysat Lucy and she ended up with those mysterious burns? Or the time I deliberately locked Hugo in the broom cupboard at home and Mum and Dad called the police because they thought he’d run away? Or the time I was minding that Muggle couple’s kid and I ended up in a heap on the floor, tearing my own hair out? I was in St Mungo’s for a week, Teddy – a week.”

“Okay, point taken,” Teddy nods, “But you’ll be great when the time comes. I promise. Just don’t do something you’re not totally sure of.” 


“What if I’m not great, Ted? What if I turn out to be a completely rubbish mother and as a result my kid will suffer? Like, what if he or she becomes the next Voldemort? I mean, it is half Malfoy, they hardly have the best records –” 


“Rose, have I ever told you that you over-think things way too much?” 


“I do not,” I say stubbornly. 


“I’m not going to argue,” says Teddy, “Just take care of yourself, yeah? I’ll write to you soon.” 


I give him one last hug and he leaves. Sometimes I wish my brain would just stop thinking, even just for an hour or so. I don’t want to think about what Draco Malfoy offered or what Teddy’s telling me to do. I don’t even want to think about the fact that my baby kicked, because I get an awfully guilty feeling every time I do. I just want to sleep. 


I head back up to the Gryffindor tower. I decide to take the shortcut through the tapestry instead of traipsing the whole way up the stairs. I pause just outside the tapestry when I hear voices from inside. Everyone knows it’s the Snogging Spot, so you’re always bound to get some juicy gossip if you linger outside it – and only sad people like me do. 


“Someone’s going to hear us!” I hear a girl’s voice giggle softly. 


“No-one comes this way anymore,” a boy’s voice says. 


“What if we’re caught?” 


“So? It’s about time we were,” says the boy. 


“Don’t start this again, Mark,” she says. 


Mark? Mark Matthews? This just got a whole lot juicier! 


“C’mon Dom it’s been a month,” says Mark. 


Holy Hippogriffs! Dom! I knew I recognised that voice! 


“I know,” she says sadly, “It’s just –” 


“What?” 


“I can’t do it to Scorp,” she says. 


“Seems to me you’re already doing it do him,” says Mark angrily, “Or am I just a bit of fun you can meet behind the tapestry any time you like?” 


“Don’t be stupid,” Dom says, “It’s just…I don’t know if I can just dump him. I mean, we’ve been together for three and a half months.” 


“Yeah, and you’ve been with me for one of them,” says Mark, “You’re obviously not happy with him.” 


I hear her sigh heavily. 


“Look, Dom,” Mark pauses, “I love you.” 


I’m starting to think that this isn’t a conversation I should be hearing, but my feet appear to be stuck to the floor. 


“Really?” 


“I’ve always loved you,” says Mark, “Since I was in third year and you were in second.” 


“I love you too,” Dom whispers. 


I don’t mean to point out the obvious or anything, but Dom is with Malfoy! What the hell is she playing at? I turn and run the long way up to the Gryffindor common room where I find James and Laura Phelps snogging on one of the armchairs. My mind is too preoccupied to even jinx them so I run up to my dormitory and wait for Dom to come back. 


We have some serious talking to do.





A/N - Little cliffe for ye! It's not a big'un, so you can't be too angry! Just to answer a few questions that are poppin' up - a lot of people are confused as to how far along Rose is. This chapter is set a week after Ron's birthday (March 1), so it's March 8. Rose got pregnant on James's birthday, which was October 14. (By the way, I just made up loads of the Next Generation birthdays - JKR hasn't confirmed them). So she is roughly five months pregnant at the minute. The baby is due in July (as mentioned in an earlier chapter). Also, Scorpius hasn't been kicked out by Draco - the reason he stayed at the Potters for Christmas was because his parents were away (see chapter 2, I think). He and Draco aren't on good terms at the minute, and although Draco seems like an irrational so-and-so right now, he does love his son deep down and only wants what he thinks is best. 
Thanks so much for all the reviews! The reason my updates are so quick is that I had these chapters pre-written for ages and also the queue is quite short at the minute! 
Happy May!
padfoot4ever(",)
P.S - Many of you guessed the Mark/Dom thing - kudos! Or perhaps I'm just getting predictable in my old age...


Chapter 16: Secrets and Cigarettes
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                                                   Chapter 16 - Secrets and Cigarettes


Dom didn’t return to the dormitory until after I’d fallen asleep and when I woke up, she was already gone down to breakfast. It’s almost as if she’s avoiding me. I’m quite thankful for that – I mean, what do I even say to her? I’m contemplating talking to Mark about this, but that may not be such a good idea either. After all, I wasn’t supposed to be listening to that conversation. I may just erase my own memory, make everything simpler. 


The Common Room is empty except for Lily and Lorcan. It seems Lorcan spends more time up here than he does in the Slytherin dungeons. I smile and wave on my way past them, but I don’t stop to chat as I make my way out of the portrait hole and down to breakfast. Everyone in the Great Hall seems to have their attention focused on the Gryffindor table – on my cousin, in fact. James is standing – yes, standing – on the Gryffindor table, looking very annoyingly smug. That can’t be hygienic – Merlin only knows where those feet have been. 


“Oi! Listen up!” he yells to everyone around him, though he needn’t have bothered because everyone’s attentions are on him anyway, “I have an announcement to make!” 


He reaches down and pulls Laura Phelps by the hand and lifts her up onto the table beside him. I finger my wand in my pocket, because I swear to Merlin if he proposes, I’m going to jinx the pair of them. Laura is glowing and looks extremely excited. 


“Laura,” he declares, “I’m dumping you!” 


The colour drains from her pretty face and her mouth drops open in shock, as does mine. Some girls cheer, some guys howl, but mostly people are laughing. Laura jumps down from the table, hides her face in her hands and runs from the Great Hall. James looks extremely proud of himself. He then jumps down from the table, high-fives a couple of people and bounces over to me, grinning. 


“Hey Red!” he exclaims, “Are you proud of me? This was the plan all along. I’m getting her back for being such a b–” 


I slap him, hard, across the face. 


“You evil little bollocks!” I shriek, “How could you do that to her?” 


“I thought you hated her!” James cries, rubbing his now red cheek. 


“I’m not her biggest fan,” I admit, “Of course she was a bitch for what she did to me. But I know what it feels like to be dumped in front of the whole school and it’s not fun, James! I wouldn’t wish it on anyone! Do you have to be so bloody thoughtless all the time?” 


I storm out of the Great Hall, ignoring James’s shouts. I rush back upstairs to the common room, where Lily and Lorcan are now snogging and don’t even notice me running by them. Laura is in the dormitory, as I suspected she would be. She shoots me a malicious glare as soon as I walk in. 


“Get out of here!” she cries. She’s flopped onto her bed and there are tears running down her face – and I feel sorry for her. I know I shouldn’t feel sorry for her after everything she’s done. She’s a two faced, scheming little bitch who hangs out with those stupid slutty seventh years who say ‘O…M…G’ after every single sentence and try to flirt with Professor Davies. I should really be trying to eradicate the likes of her, but no. I’m feeling sorry for her. 


“Laura I –” 


“I have to hand it to you Weasley,” she interrupts me, “You’re a lot more evil than I gave you credit for. Who knew you could play dirty?” 


“You think I was in on that?” I exclaim, “Laura, I had no idea what his plan was!” 


Laura scoffs. 


“Yeah right. You’ve hated me ever since I told everyone you’re pregnant.” 


“Actually I hated you long before that,” I admit coldly, “But I still wouldn’t do it to you. I know what it’s like to be humiliated in front of the whole school. It’s not nice, is it?” 


She raises an eyebrow. 


“Why are you here?” she asks suspiciously. 


“I wanted to make sure you’re okay,” I shrug, “We’re not all as cold-hearted as you, you know.” 


“But you hate me,” she says. 


“And you hate me,” I reply, “But I don’t hate you enough to humiliate you in front of the whole school. That’s the difference between us.” 


She pauses for a moment and then adds: 


“And I have nicer hair.” 


She can never resist getting a dig in. I have to say, she looks sort of guilty. I turn around and leave her in the dorm without saying another word to her. I go to the library to do some homework and don’t even bother getting breakfast. I’ll pop down to the kitchens later on. I get started on my Ancient Runes essay that has to be in for tomorrow. As soon as I put the quill to the parchment, Malfoy slides down onto the chair beside mine. Suddenly my heart is pounding furiously – I feel so guilty in his presence. Should I tell him? I know it’s not my place but – 


“Hey Fatty,” he grins. I frown at him. 


“You should know better than to call a pregnant girl ‘Fatty’, Blondie. I’ll sit on you,” I threaten. 


“Please don’t, I quite like my legs,” he says and I punch him on the arm. 


“Someone’s in a mood,” he observes, rubbing his arm, “I’m the second bloke you’ve punched today and it’s only eleven.” 


“James deserved it,” I scowl. 


“If you say so,” Malfoy shrugs, “I thought you didn’t like Laura since she so brutally blurted out about Kiefer –” 


“Who or what the hell is Kiefer?” I ask. 


“Kiefer!” he says, pointing to my stomach, “The baby!” 


“That baby is not going to be called Kiefer!” I exclaim loudly, and earn some dirty glares from the librarian. 


“Kiefer’s a pretty funky name, Weasley, you have to admit,” he grins. 


“Kiefer Weasley…no, definitely not,” I say. 


“How about Kiefer Malfoy?” 


“That’s even worse,” I laugh. 


“Fine, have you any suggestions?” 


I shake my head. 


“Malfoy…you know I’m not even sure if I’m going to keep it,” I say softly. 


“I know,” he says sadly, “But…just so you know…I’ll be there if you do.” 


That’s not what your father said. 


“I’m just so confused,” I admit, “I don’t know what to do.” 


Malfoy places his chin down on his folded arms on the table and sighs heavily, causing his floppy blonde hair to flicker out of his face and back down again. I begin my Ancient Runes essay and Malfoy stays where he is. I almost wish he’d go – the longer he stays the more obliged I am to tell him what I heard between Mark and Dom. 


After a while, he pulls some books out of his bag and starts on his own homework. This isn’t unusual for us. Ever since we decided to be friends instead of enemies turned lovers turned enemies again, we tend to meet up in the library to study. We don’t really plan it that way, it just happens. I help him with his Transfiguration (which he’s crap at) and he helps me with Charms (even though I need no help – I’m Hermione Weasley’s daughter after all). 


“I think I’m going to go find Dom,” he whispers after about an hour. I nod, trying to keep a guilty look off my face. He packs up his stuff and pats me on the shoulder before striding off out of the library. A small groan escapes me and I start banging my forehead gently off the table. 


“Are you alright?” I hear a timid, yet prim voice from behind me. I slowly lift my head up and turn around to see who’s there. It’s John Lawson – or ‘Library Man’ – and he looks supremely worried. I can’t really blame him. I’ve officially passed the mental line. In fact, I can’t even see the mental line because it’s so far behind me. He’s standing there with his book clasped tightly in his hands, his shirt buttoned the full way up and yellow tie tied perfectly. His light brown hair is brushed to the side with a very clear parting, his square glasses are sliding down his large, pointed nose and he’s blinking rapidly. It’s a sad day when Library Man is asking if I’m okay. 


“Oh yes,” I assure him, “I’m fine.” 


He pushes his glasses up and blinks again. 


“You – you were banging your head off the table,” he says, as if I didn’t know. 


“Yes,” I say, “I was just thinking.” 


He raises his eyebrows and instead of reassuring him, this information seems to disturb him more. 


“Was that Slytherin boy bothering you?” he asks. 


Now it’s my turn to raise my eyebrows. Is this kid for real? Has he been living under a rock for the last two months? Surely he knows that I’m carrying the child of ‘that Slytherin boy’? 


“No,” I say, “that was just Malfoy.” 


“I saw you hit him,” says Library Man, “I just thought –” 


“Oh no, I was just joking,” I say. This bloke has serious problems. 


“I see,” he nods, “That’s good. I was wondering if you could help me.” 


I signal for him to take a seat beside me and he reluctantly and awkwardly does so. He sets his book down and wrings his hands nervously. 


“What can I do for you?” I ask. 


“W-well…I was wondering if your cousin was single,” he says quickly. 


I raise my eyebrows. How on earth does Dom get so many blokes? (Oh yes, she’s part Veela – that’d explain it). 


“You mean Dom? Well she’s actually seeing someone,” I say. Actually, she’s seeing two people, so maybe she’d like a third. 


“No I don’t mean her,” he says. 


“Oh…Lily?” I ask, thinking that she’s way too young for this guy – he’s a seventh year after all. 


“N-no.” 


“Roxie?” 


“No –” 


James?” 


“It’s your other cousin. With the red hair.” 


Yes, that narrows it down. 


“You don’t mean…Molly?” I ask, in such shock that I don’t even bother masking my surprise. His eyes light up and he nods, while blushing. I don’t know why I didn’t think of her – I suppose I always thought of Percy’s lot as being very asexual. I mean, I know Molly was dating a squib a while back, but I still just don’t ever imagine people liking her. I don’t even like her and I’m related to her. She’s just about the most annoying person in the world. 


“Of course she’s single!” I can’t help but splutter. It takes all of my mental strength not to say ‘why wouldn’t she be?’ 


“Splendid,” he smiles nervously. Only someone who likes Molly would ever say the word ‘splendid’ while not taking the piss. With that, he gives me a short nod and retreats back to his table in the corner of the library, where I’m fairly sure he was born. That was one of the strangest experiences I’ve ever had in this library. 


I pack up my stuff, out of the fear that one more person is going to corner me and ask about one of my cousins’ relationship statuses. I’m sick of being the matchmaker all of the time. Do I look warm and approachable? Because, honestly, that’s not the vibe I’m going for. I leave the library very confused and most of my homework isn’t even started yet. I meet Dom on the way to the Great Hall for lunch. She grins and waves me over, so I don’t think there’s any chance that I can run away without her noticing. 


“Where’ve you been all day?” she asks nonchalantly, as if she’s not cheating on her boyfriend with Mark Matthews. 


“Knitting!” I exclaim and she looks at me as if I’m gone completely mental. 


“You’ve been…knitting,” says Dom, eyebrows raised. 


“No,” I say, my voice more high pitched than usual, “Just…I forgot…I need to go somewhere.” 


I take off in the opposite direction towards the front doors of the castle. I decide to go for a walk around the grounds. I consider going down to Hagrid’s, but I don’t particularly want to talk to anyone. I just have to figure out what I’m going to do about this Dom/Mark/Malfoy love triangle. Well, really, it’s none of my business, right? It’s up to Dom to choose between the two. I can just continue on as normal and pretend I never heard anything. And maybe in twenty years time when it all comes out I’ll just forget it ever happened. Yes, that sounds like a good plan. 


There’s one place in the grounds that I love to sit and think at – The Memorial Statue. It’s a massive phoenix statue that was erected by the lake a year after the Second Wizarding War ended and it displays the name of everyone who died in the first and second war. I wander over to the statue, which stands around thirty feet in the air, and trace my fingers over the names until I find the name ‘Fred Weasley – OOTP’. I sit down on front of the statue and curl up to keep warm. Underneath Fred’s name are “Remus J Lupin” and “Nymphadora Tonks-Lupin” – Ted’s parents. Then at the bottom of all of the names is “Harry Potter – The Boy Who Saved.” Harry’s always hated the fact that they put his name on the stone – he insists that he didn’t defeat Voldemort, that Voldemort’s selfishness and hatred proved to be his own undoing. The man’s too modest for his own good. I think he needs therapy. 


I don’t know how long I spend staring at the statue and reading the many names that are engraved in gold onto it. I do this quite often, so I practically know the order of names. I always smile at ‘Dobby the House Elf’ because I remember how much trouble Mum, Dad and Harry went to to get Dobby’s name on there. I suppose it’s only fair. House Elves are living beings just like the rest of us. His name was only added a few years ago. I’m so entranced by the statue that I barely even notice someone sit down beside me. 


“Are you not freezing your bollocks off out here?” Mark asks. 


I look at him, narrow my eyes, and turn back to the statue. 


“Did I do something wrong?” he asks, looking confused. 


“You know you did,” I say quietly. 


“Erm – sorry Rosie but you’ve lost me,” he says. 


“I can’t believe you’re denying it,” I whisper, letting out a bitter laugh. 


“Denying what? I haven’t the foggiest –” 


“You and Dom!” I exclaim, “That’s what I’m talking about!” 


Mark’s eyes widen. He opens his mouth to say something, but closes it again. 


“She told you?” 


“No,” I say, “I heard you. Now I know why you wanted me to be with Malfoy so much.” 


“Rosie, that’s not why –” 


“A couple of months ago, I probably would have been delighted at this you know,” I admit, feeling sort of ashamed, “But now I’m just disgusted – with both of you! Malfoy’s not a bad person and he likes Dom…what did he ever do to you? What did he do to deserve this?” 


Mark has the decency to look ashamed and doesn’t meet my gaze. He just stares up at the phoenix memorial statue. 


“I’m not trying to get back at Malfoy for anything,” he said gravely, “It’s just – I’ve always liked Dom, y’know? And she’s happier with me – she’s not supposed to be with him.” 


“I don’t think that’s your place to judge!” I say furiously, “Why did you have to go and meddle in their relationship?” 


Yes, this is the pot calling the kettle black – after all, Malfoy and I kissed back at New Years. But that was nothing. It was a spur of the moment thing and we’re completely past that now. It’s not like we were having some sort of illicit affair or anything. I still have the moral high ground. 


“I’ve asked her to tell him,” says Mark, “But she says she doesn’t want to hurt him.” 


“Don’t you think it’ll hurt him more the longer this goes on?” I press, “He has the right to know. You’re making a fool out of him. He’s my friend –” 


“Please,” Mark scoffs, “Don’t give me the ‘friend’ routine. Malfoy’s not your friend."


“What’s that supposed to mean?” I ask in outrage. 


“It means that you and Malfoy can pretend for as long as you like that you’re ‘just friends’, but no matter what you’ll never change the fact that you’re pregnant with his child, Rosie. You’ll always have that connection. And that’s why Dom and Malfoy will never be right for each other.” 


I pull myself up off the ground (which is no easy feat when you’re pregnant) and storm off towards the castle ignoring Mark as he calls after me. It’s a bad time to find Hugo outside smoking with his friends – a really bad time. But he’s there, smoking away, trying to look cool. I march up to him and grab him by his newly pierced ear. 


“HUGO!” I scream. 


He looks absolutely mortified, but scared at the same time. 


“Detention, all of you,” I exclaim and extinguish the cigarettes with my wand, “And I’m telling Mum.” 


Hugo’s eyes widen, but he doesn’t want to lose face in front of his friends. 


“Seriously Rose, you can’t tell Mum,” he says under his breath to me, “You just can’t. She’ll kill me.” 


“Good! You’re an idiot!” 


“Aw leave poor Psycho alone,” says one of Hugo’s friends. He’s a fat bloke with pink hair and he’s missing a front tooth – charming I’m sure. And he, apparently, calls my brother ‘Psycho’. What ever happened to little Hugo who used to love playing Quidditch with Dad and sitting on Mum’s knee as she brushed his hair? When did that Hugo become a black-haired, over-pierced ‘Psycho’


“Get back to your common rooms, now,” I exclaim. I then notice a slightly short Ravenclaw at the back of the group. He’s the only one who has maintained his natural blonde hair colour – it’s Louis. 


“You’re not getting away that easy!” I scream when I see him try to creep away. 


“I wasn’t smoking!” he insists, “I was just –” 


“What’s that then?” I ask, pointing to his pocket that’s clearly bulging with a rectangular shaped box, “Empty your pockets now.” 


He empties his pockets of the box of cigarettes, a few dungbombs and his wand. Louis was always so quiet. What happens to these Weasley boys when they hit fourteen? 


“They’re not mine,” he says quickly, “Please don’t tell Dom. She’ll beat me!"


“You’re lucky I haven’t beaten you Louis Weasley!” I exclaim and he looks positively frightened. I confiscate the cigarettes and the dungbombs off Louis and tell him to get back to his Common Room. I then point my wand at the rest of the group who are making their way back towards the castle. 


“Accio cigarettes!” I exclaim and five boxes of Muggle cigarettes come flying towards me. They all shoot me dirty glares, but none of them have the nerve to say anything. 


“Wow, I’m glad you never caught me smoking in third year,” I hear a voice say from behind me, “You’re a hard ass.” 


I turn around to see Malfoy grinning down at me, clearly amused by the spectacle that has just taken place. 


“My brother is such a – a – a –” 


“Fuckwit? Yeah, we all are at that age. He probably won’t grow out of it ‘til he’s well into his twenties,” says Malfoy shrugging. 


“At least you never died your hair black and pierced your lip!” I cry, starting to walk back towards the school. 


“I could never do that to the hair,” he says, running his hand through it, “And how do you know I never got a piercing?” 


I look up at him and raise my eyebrows. 


You got a piercing?” 


“Sure – but it’s not in a place I generally display to the public,” he winks. 


“Oh Merlin, that’s disgusting!” I exclaim, showing my repulsion on my face. 


“Now now Miss Weasley you’ve got a dirty mind,” he laughs, “It wasn’t there. But it’s good to know that’s the first place you think of!” 


I blush furiously and he just laughs at me and throws a friendly arm around my shoulders. 


“So…where did you get pierced?” I ask, though I’m not sure if I really want to know. 


“Well – me and Al decided that we were going to get something pierced back in third year – we wanted to do something rebellious,” he says, grinning, “So we made a pact that if one of us was going to do it, the other would have to too in the exact same place.” 


“So Al has a piercing too?” I ask in astonishment, “Does Aunt Ginny know?” 


“I doubt it,” says Malfoy, “Unless he goes around showing his mum his nipples.” 


“Wait – you got your nipples pierced?!” I cry. 


“Nipple, singular,” says Malfoy holding up one finger, “Getting them both done would just be plain stupid.” 


I don’t really know what to say to that. I thought I would have noticed if Malfoy had a nipple piercing – but then again, he may not have been wearing it the night we – 


Okay, this is just weird. I don’t really want to think about it. 


“You Slytherins are freaks,” I sigh, shaking my head. 


“Oh c’mon you must have done something like that at one stage?” he grins. 


“I can safely say that I never got a piercing anywhere except for my ears!” I exclaim. 


“Yeah…but you did chain yourself to the Herbology greenhouses and wore badges you made yourself,” he says. 


“That was for a good cause! S.P.E.R.M! The Society for the Promotion of Extra Rights for Mandrakes!” 


We reach the door of the castle and Malfoy opens it for me and allows me in first. And Dom’s coming out of the Great Hall with James and Al. Oh fuck this is going to be awkward. She comes over to us and slips an arm around Malfoy’s waist. What a two-faced little – 


“Where have you been all day?” she asks Malfoy. 


“Around,” he shrugs mysteriously. Dom raises her eyebrow and even I’m intrigued. “No need to look so suspicious ladies, it’s all legit. I’m gonna have to buzz off now – lots to do.” 


He winks at me and gives Dom a kiss on the cheek before heading off to the Slytherin dungeons. Dom doesn’t really make much of it and turns to me. 


“He’s always disappearing off,” says Dom, “Especially at weekends. I don’t know where he goes. I’ve even had James check the Marauder’s Map, but he’s never on it…So how did the knitting go?” she asks, trailing off. 


“Oh you know…pointy,” I say stupidly, “Erm, Dom, I think we need to talk.” 


“Do we have to do it now? I have a Transfiguration essay and a potions assignment to do, not to mention Herbology –” 


“I know about you and Mark.”


 

 










A/N - This chapter was going to be way longer, but I cut it in half to make it into two chapters! Thanks for reading, I'd appreciate any feedback, and thanks so much to all my readers and reviewers (when it got to over 1,000 I nearly cried!) you all rock! 
(",)

 


Chapter 17: Boys Don't Cry
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Chapter 17: Boys Don't Cry


At first Dom doesn’t say anything and lets absolutely no reaction appear on her face. She’s just looking at me, as if trying to figure out what on earth I’m talking about. I have to admit, she’s a good actress. 


“Mark who?” is her first question. 


I raise my eyebrows at her. 


“Mark Matthews – how many Mark’s have you said ‘I love you’ to?” 


“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Rosie,” she says, but I can see that she’s worried, “I really have to go –” 


“Dom!” I call as she makes to walk away, “I heard you with him last night! I’m not completely thick!” 


She stops walking and turns around to face me. 


“Let’s not talk about this here,” she whispers furiously. 


“Where would you suggest?” I whisper back, equally furious, “Because we are going to talk about this.” 


She sighs and rolls her eyes, as if this is all my problem and I’m dumping it on her. Sometimes she really reminds me of her mother. 


“The dorm,” she says curtly. 


Now,” I reply. 


She storms off up the stairs without waiting for me. I don’t think she gets that I can’t walk quite as fast as I once could, due to the fact that I’m hauling around an extra ten pounds. So I make my way up the staircase towards the Gryffindor Tower by myself. As I’m passing the tapestry that I heard Mark and Dom in last night, I consider taking the short cut. I pull back the tapestry and instantly regret my decision. Jenny and Al are there, kissing as if their lives depend on it. Jenny goes red and pushes Al away when she sees me. Al looks slightly uncomfortable too. 


“Oh Christ, get a room would you?” I say, disgusted. 


“It’s not like we were in the middle of the Great Hall,” Al argues, looking extremely pissed at me. 


“Did Dom come this way?” 


“Does it look like she came this way?” he growls in frustration, his arm still around Jenny’s waist. 


“Oh well sorry,” I say sarcastically and let the tapestry fall back into place before continuing on back up the stairs. Honestly, why do my entire family feel the need to fornicate behind that stupid tapestry? 


I trudge up the stairs, finally reaching the Gryffindor tower ten minutes later. Dom’s in the dormitory, looking impatient by the time I arrive up. I’m completely breathless, but no need to worry – it’s not like I’m pregnant or anything. 


“Right, so go ahead,” says Dom angrily, “Tell me I’m stupid. Tell me I’m a bitch.” 


You’re a stupid bitch. 


“I’m not going to call you a bitch,” I say, “It’s not my place. But you do realise what you’re doing isn’t right don’t you?” 


Dom sighs and flops down onto her bed, and buries her face in her hands. 


“I don’t know what to do, Rosie,” she says, “I thought…I thought I loved Scorpius,” she shakes her head, “But then at the Valentine’s party he just kept on staring at you…and then I wasn’t sure…and then I was dancing with Mark and it felt so right, you know?” 


“Who kept on staring?” I ask, because she’s not making a whole lot of sense. 


“And then after the party Scorpius disappeared off to his dormitory without walking me back to mine,” she continues as if she hasn’t heard me, “I was so angry that he’d just gone off without even saying goodnight. So then I walked back with James and Fred and Mark…and we stayed up talking in the Common Room…and it just sort of happened. I completely fell for him. But then Scorpius came and apologised the next day and I couldn’t just dump him. He was going through such a hard time, what with that big fight you two had.” 


So this is my fault? 


“I’m not saying this is your fault or anything,” she hurries to say, “What should I do, Rosie?” 


“I don’t know,” I say, “Do you love Malfoy?” 


She shakes her head and whispers ‘no’. 


“And do you love Mark?” 


She nods solemnly. 


“Then you know what to do,” I say matter-of-factly, “It’s only fair that you break up with Malfoy.” 


“But I don’t want to hurt him,” she says. Sometimes that girl’s too sensitive for her own good. She’s got to be more ruthless. 


“He’s a big boy,” I say, “He’ll get over it. It’s better in the long run.” 


She contemplates this and then nods. I’m glad she hasn’t started crying, that could be awkward. 


“Should I do it now?” she asks. 


“Are you up to it?” 


“I think so. What should I say?” 


Is she honestly asking me how to break up with one of my friends? No no, is she honestly asking me how to break up with the father of my kid? This is pretty messed up. 


“Tell him the truth?” I suggest, but I’m not sure if that’s the best idea. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Dom nods again and then gets up, fixes her hair in the mirror and leaves the dormitory to find Malfoy. As she’s going out the door, Chastity is coming in. 


“What’s up with Dom?” she asks. 


“Boy trouble,” I say. 


“She should join the club,” says Chas, kicking off her shoes, “I’ve just broken up with Derek.”
 

I have absolutely no idea who Derek is. Chas tends to have many boyfriends and I can never really keep up with them. 


“Oh, sorry,” I say, hoping that I sound sympathetic enough to come off as genuine. 


“It’s okay,” she says, “It wasn’t a bad break up really. I don’t think we were going anywhere. So what was that with James and Laura this morning?” 


I shrug and suddenly become very angry. “James is a socially-retarded imbecile with shit for brains and is completely thick when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. He honestly thought it would make me happy to see Laura Phelps humiliated in front of the whole school.” 


“Weren’t you just a little happy to see her get her comeuppance?” asks Chas, “I know I was.” 


“It wasn’t fair what he did,” I say, “I mean, if he’d just called her fat or spread some rumour it wouldn’t have been as bad. But he messed with her emotions – that’s fucked up, Chas. That could damage her more than some stupid hex.” 


“Rose, you should be made a saint,” says Chas seriously. 


“Oh yes, I should be up for sainthood any day now,” I say sarcastically. 


“I’m serious! I mean, you deal with so much – you’re so brave. And you don’t even mind that Dom is going out with Scorpius. I think I’d be really weird with it if it were me. And now you’re sticking up for Laura,” she finishes. 


“I’m not sticking up for her,” I say, “I’m sticking up for girls everywhere who’ve had their hearts broken by insensitive pricks like Carl and James! We both know that’s never pleasant. I’m not trying to be a Saint, Chas. I can just feel her pain, that’s all.” 


Chas nods, but I can tell she still doesn’t really understand my logic. I suppose I don’t really blame her – I don’t understand my logic either. It’s just how I feel. I never considered James to be a particularly vengeful person. Obviously I was wrong about him. I don’t know him as well as I thought I did. 


When Dom doesn’t return after two hours, I decide to go looking for her. I’m scared that maybe Malfoy has gone to find Mark and turned him into a cockroach. The entrance hall is empty, as it’s almost curfew. There’s no sign of Dom, Malfoy or blood – so I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. It’s times like this I could really do with James’s map (called ‘The Marauders Map’ – he stole it from his dad) so I could see where she is. But then I hear a noise from inside the broom cupboard – the same broom cupboard I hid in after everyone found out about my pregnancy – and my instinct tells me to have a peek inside. I just hope to Merlin I don’t find yet another family member canoodling in here. But there’s only one person in there – and it’s Malfoy. 


“Malfoy?” I say gently. He looks up at me. Luckily he’s not crying. He just looks a bit annoyed. I go inside and shut the door behind me and sit down on the box that holds all of the spare Quidditch balls. Malfoy’s on the floor opposite me. “What are you doing in here?” 


“Just having a think,” he says, “I hear it’s a good place for that kind of thing.” 


“Are you alright?” I ask. I don’t want him to know that I know about Dom and Mark. That would just be humiliating for him. 


“Dom and I broke up,” he sighs. 


“I’m really sorry,” I say. 


He nods and half smiles, as if to thank me for the sympathy. 


“I don’t know why she did it.” 


Oh fuck. 


She didn’t tell him. 


Do I tell him? Or do I leave it? Is it any of my business? Oh bollocks I’m not good in situations like these. I say nothing. 


“Did she say anything to you?” 


Fuckiddy fuck. How can I lie now? 


“Eh…I have to…I have to bathe…my rabbit,” I say. 


“She did say something!” says Malfoy eagerly, “What did she say?” 


“I can’t tell you,” I say quietly, “it’s not my place.” 


He’s looking at me with those huge, brown puppy dog eyes – if my kid inherits those eyes, it’s going to be pretty hard to say ‘no’ to them. I have to look away, but I can’t. Those eyes are too mesmerising. 


“Don’t look at me like that!” I protest. A small smile spreads over his lips and I can almost feel myself crumbling. “I’m warning you, Malfoy.” 


He’s now grinning and places his chin on my shoulder and looks up at me innocently. Damn him.


“I can’t tell you!” I say, looking away from him, “It’s none of my business!” 


“But you know something,” he says, now kneeling up and taking my hands in his, “C’mon, I have the right to know!” 


“Yes, but I don’t have the right to tell you,” I say sadly, “You’ll have to ask Dom.” 


Malfoy stays quiet for a moment and now looks like he’s thinking. 


“Is there someone else?” he asks. 


I stay quiet, hopefully remaining expressionless. 


“There is someone else!” Malfoy exclaims, “Who is it?” 


“I should go finish my homework,” I say quickly, standing up and making a beeline for the door. Malfoy’s quicker and stands up too, blocking the door. 


“Please tell me,” he begs, “I thought we were friends.” 


Wow, he really knows how to play dirty. I continue frowning at him anyway. 


“We are friends,” I say indignantly, “But I still think you should ask Dom.” 


“It’s Mark Matthews, isn’t it?” he says. 


HOW did he do that??? Can he read my mind? 


“I knew it,” he says, looking sort of bitterly proud of himself for figuring it out. Again I remain silent. “It’s okay,” he says, “I sort of had my suspicions anyway. And it’s not like my record’s squeaky clean either.”
 

I half-blush at this, but luckily it’s dark in here so he doesn’t notice. 


“If you don’t care,” I start, “Then why are you hiding out in here?"


I hadn’t noticed it before, but now I do because I’m standing so close to him – his eyes are all red.


“It’s nothing to do with Dom,” he says, “That’s been rocky for ages. I suppose I’m happy for her that she’s found someone who loves her.” 


“So why have you been crying?” 


“I have not been crying,” he says stubbornly, “Boys don’t cry.” 


“Yes they do,” I argue, “I’ve seen Al and James cry tonnes of times." 


I raise my eyebrows at him as if to say – I know something’s up, so quit the bullshit and just tell me. That’s quite hard to say with just the twitch of your eyebrows, but apparently it’s worked. 


“My neighbour died,” he says. 


I don’t honestly see how this is a sad affair, because if my neighbour died I’d probably go dance on his grave. Okay, I know that sounds mean, but believe me this bloke is like an ex-Death Eater turned neo-Nazi who likes to creep into our garden, steal Hugo’s footballs (we never leave the Quidditch balls out in case Muggles see them – like this Death Eater Nazi) and then bursts them right in front of us. Well, he did that when we were younger and actually played with footballs. Now he just runs in, tramples on Mum’s agapanthuses and then blames it on his “children” (which he doesn’t even have). The man is a psycho – I mean, he spent ten years in prison for arson. I rarely get a good night’s sleep when I’m at home out of the fear that Mr Death Eater Nazi will douse the house in petrol and set it alight. So I really can’t see why Malfoy’s upset that his neighbour died. Then again, maybe he has normal neighbours. 


“Oh, I’m sorry,” I say sensitively, “Were you close with him? Or her?” 


“Yeah,” he nods, “Mrs Halpin was one of those women you called ‘Auntie’ even though she wasn’t actually related to you. Are you like that with any of your neighbours?” 


Oh yes, Uncle Death Eater Arsonist next door – like a second father. 


“No,” I admit, “But I’d always consider Mrs Tonks like my Aunt, even though she’s not.” 


“Yeah, Mrs Halpin was like that. She’s a Muggle, but she used to babysit me while Mum and Dad were at work. And I was friends with her grandson too, before I came to Hogwarts. So this is pretty shit that she died.” 


I’ve always noticed that when boys are trying to be sympathetic, they make a complete balls of it. Like the time Al was dumped in third year and James just said ‘aw, that’s pretty shit’ – or when my dog died and they said ‘yeah, that’s a bit nasty’. I mean, it’s ‘pretty shit’ that she died – it’s not sad, it’s not heartbreaking, it’s not emotional…it’s pretty shit. 


“So are you going to go to the funeral then?” I ask gently. 


“I suppose. It’s not far from here anyway. The chapel is about an hour away from Hogsmeade,” he says gloomily. 


“D’you…do you need some company?” I offer. 


“You don’t have to…” 


“I’m coming,” I insist, “Nobody should have to go to a funeral alone. When is it?” 


“Tomorrow,” he mutters. 


“Alright, tomorrow it is. We’ll just have to clear it with Neville, I’m sure he’ll be fine,” I say matter-of-factly, “Now c’mon, let’s get out of here before we start some rumours.” 


Malfoy opens the door and lets me out first. 


“You’re pregnant with my kid,” he says, “What other rumours could be started?” 


“True.”

** 


I get up early the next day, and while Laura, Chas and Dom put on their school uniforms, I pull my black dressrobes out of my wardrobe to get ready for the funeral. They need some altering around the stomach area, but I can do that with a flick of my wand (like I’ve done with all my other clothes). Malfoy and I got permission from Neville last night, and he arranged for one of the school carriages to bring us to the funeral and back today. I pull my hair back into a modest braid and check my reflection in the full-sized mirror – yes, I look depressed enough. 


I head down to breakfast with the others, avoiding James out of the fear that I’ll strangle him. I haven’t thrown up at all today, so I don’t risk eating breakfast – I’m sure the grieving family wouldn’t appreciate me throwing up in the church. Everybody heads off to class and I meet Malfoy out in the entrance hall. He’s wearing a simple black suit with a white shirt and black tie. Then I realise something – we’re going to a Muggle funeral and I’m wearing dressrobes. How stupid can you get? 


“Fuck, I completely forgot it’s a Muggle funeral!” I cry as soon as I see him. He smiles amusedly and flicks his wand lazily at me. My dressrobes turn into a knee-length black skirt and a black jumper that hides my bump nicely. Wow, Malfoy should be a fashion designer. “Thanks,” I grin sheepishly. 


“No problem,” he replies, “Look, are you sure you want to come? I mean, it’s a funeral. You don’t have to –” 


“What are friends for?” I say and link his arm, “C’mon, the carriage will be waiting.” 


The carriage is waiting just outside the front doors. It’s not being pulled by the usual Thestrals, but by a regular horse. I suppose Muggles would just find it a bit weird to see a carriage being pulled of its own accord. Malfoy opens the door of the carriage and helps me inside. I’m finding it hard to be elegant in doing so, because I’m so bloody fat. Malfoy climbs in after me and throws himself down on the seat beside me, and puts his feet up on the seat opposite us. He looks really depressed. I need to do something to cheer him up. 


“Pull my finger?” I suggest. People always seem to laugh when Fred and James do it. Malfoy just looks at me as if I’m crazy. “Sorry. I just wanted to cheer you up. I personally hate ‘pull my finger’, but I thought guys liked it. Apparently not. Sorry.” 


“You don’t have to cheer me up. I’m not upset,” he insists. 


“Well then you’re not human,” I reply, “You have to be upset. It’s only natural.” 


He nods gloomily. I link his arm again and put my head on his shoulder to show him I’m here. And I can tell he appreciates it by the way he rests his head on mine. We remain silent for the rest of the journey. 


** 


I’ve only ever been to one funeral. I suppose I’m lucky in that way. But the one funeral I’ve ever been to made me realise just how wonderful life is, even if it does deal you a bad hand every now and again, and it should be valued. I was ten years old when Courtney Longbottom was knocked down by a car, and killed instantly. I’ll never forget Neville’s face at the funeral. I’ve never seen a living person look so dead. He just stared blankly into nothingness, hearing nothing, seeing nothing. His wife had died. Simon, who was only eight at the time, had lost his mother and I couldn’t even begin to imagine how that felt. My family might drive me up the walls at the best of times, but I couldn’t imagine life without them. Poor little Simon just sat beside Courtney’s coffin and cried the entire time. James, Al and I tried talking to him, but it was no use. He couldn’t talk. 


That was a Muggle funeral too, as Courtney wasn’t a witch. Neville had met her while he was travelling across Europe just after he finished seventh year. According to Mum, he was researching plants of some sort for Herbology – that seems like the kind of crazy thing Neville would do. Courtney was British, but Neville met her in Austria. Even though Courtney died over six years ago, I can still remember her so well. She was a livewire and very daring, almost the complete opposite of Neville. But they suited each other so well. Her death happened so suddenly that it took months for it to sink in with everybody – that is everybody except for Simon. He knew that he’d lost his mother instantly. 


When Malfoy and I enter the church, holding hands (in a completely platonic way), the first thing I see is the coffin on front of the alter. I suddenly become engulfed with remorse, even though I don’t know this woman at all. I suppose I’m just reminded of Courtney – and of Uncle Fred, and Remus and Tonks and everyone else who’ve died. Maybe that’s the point of funerals. They make you reflect on the sad things and appreciate the little things. Malfoy and I take our seats towards the back of the church. The sermon goes on for about three-quarters of an hour, but I’m not sure if Malfoy’s even listening. He just looks at his feet the whole way through. There’s not many people here – in fact, I’d say there’s about thirty, tops. When the sermon ends, four men in suits lift up the coffin, and everyone falls in line behind it to come out of the church. I take Malfoy by the hand and lead him out too – at this stage, I’m wondering if he even knows what’s going on. 


Malfoy and I are the last two out of the church. Mrs Halpin is being buried in the graveyard on the church grounds. After the priest has said his bit and the coffin is lowered into the ground, people start to leave until finally there’s only me, Malfoy and another boy of our age there. The boy isn’t quite as tall as Malfoy, with dark brown hair and a rounded face. He’s not crying, but his face is screwed up in concentration. He then blesses himself and goes to walk away. 


“Darren,” Malfoy calls and the boy turns around. His face breaks into a sort of bittersweet smile as he recognises Malfoy. 


“Scorpius Malfoy,” the boy says and walks over to us. They shake hands and grin at each other. I’m guessing this is the grandson Scorpius said he was friends with. Wait – did I just say Scorpius? “How’ve you been? Man, I wouldn’t recognise you!” 


“I’ve been good,” says Malfoy, “I’m sorry about your Gran.” 


The boy named Darren nods gravely. “Thanks. She’s been sick for a while though. I suppose she’s in a better place now, right?” Malfoy nods soberly. “So who’s this?” Darren’s looking at me now – his eyes wander to my stomach and give it a sceptic look before wandering back up to my face again. 


“Oh, sorry, Rose Weasley,” I smile and shake his hand. Darren’s eyes widen, as if he recognises me. I sincerely hope he doesn’t because I’m fairly sure I’ve never met this guy in my life. 


“Rose Weasley?” he laughs, “The Rose Weasley?” He looks at Scorpius as he says this, who is now going scarlet for some reason. “Are you two together then?” 


“Oh no,” I say quickly, “We’re just mates.” 


“Yeah, just mates,” Scorpius – or Malfoy, whatever – confirms. 


“Right,” he says, but he grins knowingly at Scorpius, who looks away, “I better go, Mum’s waiting in the car. Look, mate, drop us a line next summer. We’ve loads of catching up to do. Nice meeting you Rose Weasley.” 


“You too,” I say, though I’m not quite sure if it has been nice meeting him. 


“Bye Darren,” Scorpius calls, “Bye Mrs Halpin,” he adds, looking down into the grave. He conjures up a flower with his wand (he’s so lucky he’s seventeen) and lays it beside the tombstone. 


“Do you want a minute?” I ask and he nods. I walk over to the carriage and climb inside. Less than a minute later, I’m joined by Scorpius and the horse starts trudging back to Hogwarts. He looks slightly more at peace now than he did on the way here. We’re sitting opposite each other this time and I’m now staring at him inquisitively, with one very annoying question on my brain. 


“Why does Darren know me?” I ask and Scorpius goes red again for some reason. He mumbles some inaudible words and then looks out the window of the carriage. I prod his leg with my foot. “C’mon, how does he know me? Have I met him before?” 


“Not that I know of,” says Scorpius. He’s really not giving away anything. 


“Tell me!” I whinge. 


“I…might have mentioned you once or twice in conversation, that’s all,” he says dismissively. 


“But you said you hadn’t seen him since you started Hogwarts,” I point out. 


“I have seen him,” says Scorpius, “Over the summer and that. We just drifted apart because we went to different schools for most of the year. I haven’t spoken to him since the summer after second year.” 


“So what were you saying about me? It must have been pretty bad if he remembers me that well,” I press. 


“Miss Weasley, you really are very pushy,” says Scorpius, half-smiling. 


“I know,” I say, “What did you tell him?” 


Scorpius rolls his eyes, sighs and looks at me and I immediately know he’s cracked. 


“Nothing bad,” he says, “Just…stuff.” 


“Like what stuff?” 


“Like…okay…I might have had a teensy weensy little crush on you back in first year,” Scorpius says quickly. I can’t help but grin at this. He had a crush on me? Over Dom? Why do I feel oddly triumphant? “Stop your grinning!” he protests. 


“That’s so cute,” I laugh, “You had a teensy weensy little crush!” I prod his leg with my foot again and he’s looking really embarrassed. 


“I bet you’ve fancied me before,” he says, trying and failing to be cool. 


“Yeah right,” I lie, “In your teensy weensy first year dreams!” He makes a face at me and turns to look out the window again, pretending to be in a bad mood. “Aw, have I touched a nerve?” 


“At least I’ve never had a crush on a member of ABBA.” 


How could he know that? 


“How do you know that?” I cry. 


“You do remember our little game of ‘I Never’ back at James’s birthday, don’t you?” he grins. 


“Honestly, there’s very little I remember about James’s birthday,” I admit, “But I do remember bits of that game – your crush on Professor Chang for instance! That’s gross, she dated my Uncle Harry!” 


“She’s got nice tits!” he insisted. 


“She’s a teacher!” I cry in disgust. 


“So? Teachers are people too,” he shrugs and takes a packet of mini chocolate frogs out of his pocket, “Want one? You didn’t have any breakfast.” 


I take one of them and then flick the wrapper at his head. “How do you know I’ve had no breakfast?” 


“I’m very observant,” he says and pops a chocolate into his mouth, “I know your every move.” 


“My own personal stalker,” I say, “I’m so flattered.” 


We stay in comfortable silence for most of the journey after this. Every now and again I can see Malfoy looking a bit depressed, but there’s nothing that I can think of that could possibly cheer him up. I reach into my handbag to see if I have anything at all that could make him laugh or even smile and then I see it – the picture of my first scan. I’ve never shown it to him. Would he even like to see it? I suppose there’s only one way to find out. 


“Um, Scorpius?” I say, finding his name to be a bit strange to say, as I’m so used to calling him ‘Malfoy’. He looks at me, mildly surprised at the way in which I’ve addressed him. “Eh…here.” I hand him the picture. His face remains expressionless for a few seconds and then he starts smiling. 


“This…is the scan?” he asks, looking a bit frightened. I cross over to the seat beside him and look in on it with him. It’s a little tattered at this stage. 


“Yep, that’s it,” I say, “See, it has your nose.” 


He raises an eyebrow at me and returns to looking at it. He looks absolutely fascinated. “This is the coolest thing ever,” he says, “I mean…I don’t really see it, but it’s still amazing.” 


“Keep it,” I decide. 


“Really?” he asks. 


“Yeah, keep it. I’m sorry I haven’t shown it to you before now,” I say. 


“Doesn’t matter,” he says in barely more than a whisper, “Rose, let’s keep the baby.” 












A/N - Yay, the queue reopened! Hope you liked the chapter (lots of R/S communication, oui?) I'm not sure when the next one will be up. I'm starting my exams Wednesday 4th June (but let's not go there!) so I probably won't be updating until I'm finished (June 19th - but I have a week break in the middle so if I get fed up studying I'll post it!)
I've also started another Next Gen story, which is going pretty well (its a Teddy/Victoire), but I don't know if I'll put it up or not...ah decisions decisions! Anyhoo, thanks so much for all the reviews and reads and favourites and EVERYTHING! You all rock (",)
Slán!
padfoot4ever



Chapter 18: A Long Night
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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. 


Hang on. 


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. 


“G’night Rose.” 


“Goodnight.” 





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?” 


“I –” 


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. 


“I was…” 


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. 


Laura,
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.
Love,
Mum
 


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!! (",)


Chapter 19: An April Fools Prank Gone Horribly, Horribly Wrong
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An April Fool’s Prank Gone Horribly, Horribly Wrong
A/N – prepare for some drama! And perhaps some tragedy? 

 

 






“He’s clearly in love with you!” 


I awake with a start. This is the fourth night in a row I’ve had the same dream of Dom uttering those words. Although it was over two weeks ago, I can’t get them out of my head. I mean, what if there was a bit of truth in them? Is Scorpius Malfoy really in love with me? It’s all so confusing. I’ve been trying so hard to look for signs that he could have more than friendly feelings towards me, but so far he’s shown nothing. Well, unless you count the other day when we were hanging out in the common room and he let me have the last Jaffa Cake. I’m not sure that counts, considering he’d eaten around six of them before that. And sometimes he catches me looking at him, searching for hints, and he looks really freaked out and leaves the room. 


As if to add insult to injury, the situation with my parents has reached crisis point. On Saturday there was a trip to Hogsmeade, so Mum wanted to meet with me for tea and whatever else normal mothers and daughters do. I can tell you what normal mothers don’t do is meet up with their daughters to ask their opinion about who she should bring to a wedding – as a date. I’m serious, my once sensible mother has lost her mind. 


“You’re bringing a date?” I cried in the middle of Patil Pasties, accidentally spilling my boiling hot tea all over my knees – thus adding more injury to insult and injury. 


“I can’t go alone,” she shrugged, sipping her own tea, “It’s a wedding.” 


“I’m going alone!” I argued, “And anyway, you won’t be alone! Dad’s going to be there!”

Mum rolled her eyes. “I can guarantee you your father is going to bring his own date just to annoy me,” said Mum darkly, “I’m not going to be sitting on my own like a loner. So I was thinking I’d bring Cormac.” 


“McLaggen?” I asked, disgusted, “Mum he’s married!” 


“Divorced,” Mum corrected me. 


“And you hate him!” 


She didn’t argue that one. 


“You’re just bringing him to piss Dad off,” I said angrily. 


“Language, Rosie,” she warned. 


“Don’t ‘language, Rosie’ me!” I was now sort of shouting, “This is just like Aunt Ginny told me! You did this in your sixth year!” 


“He did it first!” she claimed childishly, “And anyway, I’m not just doing this to annoy your father! I need company too you know!” 


“Well as you pointed out,” I muttered through gritted teeth, “It’s a wedding. You’re not going be the only person there!” 


I know she didn’t listen to me. She just changed the subject back to my pregnancy by asking when my next ultrasound will be. 


“I had one last week,” I told her bitterly, “Thanks for taking an interest in my life.” 


“I am interested!” she protested, and I knew I was being a bit unreasonable saying she wasn’t. She comes up to the school practically every day and I get mail from her and Dad all the time asking how I’m doing. It’s completely my fault that I didn’t tell her about the ultrasound. I didn’t tell anyone. Everything’s fine, I don’t see the point in exciting people over some picture that you can’t even see. I told Scorpius afterwards, and he seemed a bit annoyed that I hadn’t brought him along. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to let him come to St Mungo’s while the gynaecologist looks up my you-know-what. 


Oh yeah, Madam Pomfrey recommended I go to St Mungo’s for checkups rather than to the hospital wing because the healers are more experienced with that kind of thing than she is. It’s no big deal, I suppose. 


“I’m keeping it,” I told Mum, “The baby, I mean.” 


She looked surprised, but in a good or bad way I wasn’t sure. She, like everyone, had adjusted to the idea that I was going to put the child up for adoption. We’d even started contacting adoption agencies and looking through official documents. 


“Are you sure you’re ready for this?” Mum asked, furrowing her eyebrows. 


“No,” I replied, “But I’m going to give it a try. And Scorpius has a job, so we’ll have some money coming in –” 


“Rosie, your dad and I have money,” Mum cut in, “And Draco Malfoy has been boasting since he was eleven that he has money, so you and Scorpius shouldn’t have to worry about the financial end of things.” 


“Scorpius hasn’t spoken to his dad since January,” I said, “I think Draco has disowned him.” 


Mum looked even more surprised at this. “That doesn’t sound like the Draco Malfoy I once knew and hated,” said Mum, “Family was always something very important to him.” 


“Pureblood family,” I corrected her, “This baby isn’t pureblood, so maybe he just doesn’t consider it family.” 


“Oh all of that pureblood rubbish doesn’t matter to anybody anymore, not even Malfoy!” said Mum impatiently, “I’m sure he’ll see sense sooner or later. And even if he doesn’t, we’ll be here for you. The Weasleys never leave a member in the lurch.” 


Maybe sometimes it isn’t the curse of Merlin to be a Weasley. We might have flaming red hair, freckles and a certain love of Muggles, but there’s no breaking us up. Well, unless it’s Mum and Dad of course. 





“Rose, have you seen this?” Dom throws down a large book on front of me and she looks extremely annoyed. I pull the book towards me and realise that it is in fact a very thick magazine called ‘Witch Weddings’. There are about fifty post-it notes sticking from it, some of them green and some pink. 


“You’re getting married?” I ask in confusion. Quite frankly I think it’s a bit soon for her and Mark to be thinking of this, but if they’re happy – 


“Victoire sent it,” says Dom darkly, “They’re bridesmaid’s dresses.” My stomach plummets to the ground. I’d almost forgotten about the looming Lupin/Weasley wedding, which is now less than a month away. Well I hadn’t forgotten that there was going to be a family wedding after the conversation with Mum, but I sort of forgot that it’s Teddy, my Teddy, getting married and I’m going to be a bloody bloated bridesmaid! 


“The green ones are the ones she sort of likes,” says Dom, opening up the magazine at the first green post-it, “And the pink ones are the ones she really likes.” 


“What are the blue ones then?” I ask, noticing the odd blue one speckled between a mass of pink and green. 


“They’re ones that she likes, but they may not suit our colouring,” says Dom, rolling her eyes, “She’s turned into a complete Bridezilla, Rose. The Incredible Hulk doesn’t hold a friggin’ candle to her.” 


“That one’s nice,” I point to a knee-length olive green dress. 


“It’s not marked,” says Dom, “Let’s not tick her off, eh? Because you won’t like her when she’s angry…” 


“Yes, and perhaps green is a bit too Hulk-ish.” 


We spend about an hour looking through Witch Weddings and finally agree on a baby blue dress that’ll probably not even come up past my knee caps considering how fat I am. Dom scribbled a letter to Victoire, indicating which dress we liked and then tied the letter and the heavy magazine to a poor, unsuspecting school owl. 





March slips away quickly and soon April is upon us before we can say “piss off James and Fred – aren’t you a bit old for April Fools?” But apparently they aren’t too old at all, because on the morning of April first, every single Slytherin’s hair turns a luminous pink colour as soon as they drink their Pumpkin Juice. I can’t help but snort at the look on Scorpius’ face when he realises his hair is pink. Al doesn’t actually notice until he checks his reflection in his spoon – and by the looks of things, the Scamander twins don’t notice any difference whatsoever. I’m serious, they don’t come weirder than Lorcan and Lysander. Fred and James aren’t doing great jobs of looking innocent.
 

“No offence boys,” I say, “But that was a pretty pathetic prank. I mean, this is your last year. I’m a bit disappointed in you.” 


Their faces drop at the realisation that this is indeed their last year to play a prank on the entire student population. 


“Freddie, methinks we need to skive off Charms to plan,” says James looking genuinely concerned. Fred nods in agreement. 


“No,” I say, “You’re seventh years, you have the NEWTs in a few months! You’re not skipping charms!” 


“Relax Hermione,” says James rolling his eyes, “It’s not like we’ll miss anything important by bunking off one class.” 


“Oh, so this is the first time you’ve skived off charms?” I ask, resentful that he’s just compared me to my mother. James and Fred ignore me and go back to eating their breakfast. It seems that Scorpius, Al and about five others have realised that it was just a simple colour switching spell used on the pumpkin juice and have changed their hair back to the original colour. The rest of the Slytherins are still panicking. I see Scorpius and Al looking at Fred and James with very wily expressions – they’re plotting revenge. And I for one am not getting involved – those Slytherins are cunning folk. 


The petty pranks continue for the rest of the day. Some younger Slytherins can still be seen roaming the corridors with shocking pink hair, having not mastered colour-switching spells yet, and apparently having not befriended anyone who has. 


As the day progresses, I find it increasingly harder not to become involved in the Battle of the April Fools Pranks. Everywhere I look, someone is plotting. In Charms, Al and Scorpius are sitting in the corner with a large sheet of parchment on front of them with lots of very complicated diagrams drawn. Professor McFaceLikeTheBackOfaHippogriff doesn’t notice of course, as he’s generally oblivious to anything that doesn’t involve him looking into a mirror. By lunchtime James and Fred have gotten Mark and Seán Finnegan on board for their war against the Slytherins. Lily is doing her nut because she’s forever trying to promote Slytherin-Gryffindor unity. The girl is too ambitious. 


But eventually I get sucked in. I just can’t resist a prank. I join James in the common room after dinner to help him plot. So far his ideas, to put it mildly, are not worth a fiddler’s fart. 


1. Start a rumour that Albus S. Potter is the Heir of Slytherin 


“James, that’s the lamest, stupidest idea I’ve ever heard,” I say bluntly. 


“No it’s not,” James argues, “Those Slytherin idiots will believe anything!” 


“But anyone with half a brain, or an IQ of over five points knows that Voldemort was the last Heir of Salazar Slytherin,” I say, “Now I know that an IQ of five points is high to the likes of you Jay, but –” 


“Just keep reading!” he snaps. 


2. Cast anti-flight charms on all of the Slytherin’s broomsticks 

“Firstly,” I say, “They don’t have practice today, so they wouldn’t notice until Saturday, in which case it won’t be a proper April Fool’s joke. And secondly, that’s just plain vandalism.” 


“You’re a pain in my arse, Weasley,” James mumbled. 


3. Smear glue on all of the toilet seats in the Slytherin dungeon 


“That’s the first relatively good idea you’ve had,” I say, “But it’s still dumb and childish.”

4. Peg water-balloons at them 


“How dignified,” I roll my eyes, “Seriously, this is all you have? Al and Scorpius have diagrams.” 


“Fred!” James yells, and Fred comes stumbling down the stairs from the dormitories, “How is it that you have the Prank Mastermind for a father and you’re still crap at this?” 


“I don’t know,” Fred shrugs, “I’m too lazy to be a Mastermind.” 


“James,” I say logically, “You were named after the two best pranksters this school has ever seen. Surely you can come up with something better than gluing the Slytherins to their toilets and pegging water balloons at them.” 


“Well what bright ideas do you have then, Red?” says James indignantly. 


“I don’t have any,” I shrug, “I was named after a dentist.” 


“I’ve got it!” James exclaims, “I’ve got the perfect prank! Red, can you get Jenny in on this?” 


Oh dear, this can’t be good. 


“Why do you need Jenny?” I ask fearfully. 


“We’re going to make Al think she’s cheating on him!” says James excitedly, and Fred high-fives him for thinking of such a ‘good’ plan. I’ve never heard anything more ridiculous. "With me!"


“No way,” I say, “Absolutely no way! You can’t just mess with someone’s emotions like that, even you two wouldn’t sink that low!” 


“Wouldn’t we?” Fred grins. 


“And anyway, Jenny will never go along with it,” I continue, “She’s not going to help you hurt her boyfriend!” 


“Wouldn’t she?” Fred grins again. 


“Shut up!” I exclaim, “I’m not helping you do this!” 


“Fine,” says Fred. 


“We don’t need her help or your help anyway,” James agrees, and the two saunter out the portrait hole. What a pair of idiots. 





Wanting to avoid any April Fools hoaxes, I decide to stay in my dormitory reading Chas’s copy of Witch Weekly. Every now and again, my eyes tear away from the article ‘Charm Your Way To Bigger Boobs’ (not that I want to, it’s just interesting to know these things) to Laura’s bed. She’s got make-up and face creams of all sorts on her bedside locker, and I’ve noticed over the last few weeks that her Mum sends her new stuff nearly every day. I’d call her spoiled if I didn’t know what a bitch of a mother she has. I’ve tried being nicer to Laura, I really have, but she doesn’t seem to want to know. I’m still the cousin of the bastard who broke her heart in front of the whole school after all. 


At six-thirty, I leave the Gryffindor Tower and head downstairs to dinner. I don’t know what I’m expecting to find. Perhaps the decapitated body of a Gryffindor thrown across the Slytherin table. Or maybe a naked Slytherin held hostage in a cage over the Gryffindor table. When I reach the Great Hall, I find a very different scenario. 


Al and James are standing in the middle of the hall, their wands drawn and both sporting injuries. Al’s lip is bleeding and his glasses are broken, while James has a large gash down the side of his face. Both are absolutely fuming. 


“You’re a bastard!” Al shouts, “A worthless piece of shit on the bottom of my shoe! LEVICORPUS!” 


As James is hung in mid-air by his ankles, teachers run from the top table down to investigate the scene. I notice now that Jenny is sitting at the Gryffindor table with her head in her hands, crying. 


“What the hell is going on here?” I scream, but nobody seems to notice with all the commotion. Mark runs at Al, his wand drawn, but Scorpius steps in front of him and shoots him back fiercely with a stunning spell. Now it’s Dom’s turn to get involved. 


“Oi! Leave him alone!” she roars at Scorpius, drawing her wand, “Talk about a bad loser!” 


“Loser?” Scorpius shouts furiously, “I’m not the loser here, darling!” 


“You’re a cheating bastard!” Al is now shouting at his still air-suspended brother, “I HOPE YOU ROT IN HELL!” 


“Let him down!” I scream, on the brink of tears. James’s face is now turning purple. Thankfully, Al lets him down and James falls with a crash onto the floor. James picks up his wand, points it at Al and shouts ‘Expelliarmus!’ Al’s wand flies out of his hand into James’s. 


“What are you going to do now, little brother?” James grins maliciously, but still looks very disgruntled from being hung upside down. 


“KILL YOU WITH MY BARE HANDS!” Al lunges at James, pushing him to the floor and clutching at his neck. The teachers can’t seem to get through the large crowd of students surrounding the scene. James unintentionally drops the wands as Al continues to choke him. 


“Scorpius!” I scream and he stops pointing his wand at Mark and turns to me, “DO SOMETHING!” 


Scorpius looks around frantically for a moment, then sends up red sparks with his wand. At first this seems like a stupid, pointless exercise, but it seems to have gotten everyone’s attentions, including Al’s. Seán and Fred pull Al back off James, who is coughing frantically. 


“Everybody just calm the fuck down!” Scorpius yells, and the hall falls silent. 


The teachers push their way through the crowd of students. 


“POTTERS!” 


I’ve never seen Flitwick look so angry. His face is gone blue with anger. 


He’s like a little Smurf. 


“My office, NOW! Rose, Dominique and Matthews, you too!” Flitwick yells at us, “And you Malfoy!” 


We all follow Flitwick up to his office in silence. James and Al are both badly beaten, but are still trying to get at each other. Scorpius is holding Al back, while Mark is doing his best to keep James under control. James keeps muttering something like ‘can’t take a joke’. Flitwick slams the door of his office behind him. 


“What has gotten into you two?” Flitwick yells. I’ve never been more afraid of the man in my whole life, “Such reckless and careless behaviour! Fighting like a pair of animals! You two are brothers!” 


“He’s no brother of mine,” Al fumes, “He’s nothing but a f–” 


“Enough!” Flitwick stops him, “I’m afraid I’ve had to call your parents in.” 


Oh fuck. This really isn’t good. James and Al look equally horrified, and even Dom looks slightly frightened. It’s never good to get on the wrong side of Ginny Potter. In fact, life isn’t worth living if you’re on the wrong side of Ginny Potter. And as if they knew their names have been mentioned, we hear voices outside the door of Flitwick’s office and a short knock. 


“Ginny calm down –” 


“DO NOT TELL ME TO CALM DOWN, HARRY POTTER!” Oh dear, she's using full names.


“Come in,” Flitwick calls. 


The office door bursts open, and Aunt Ginny is the first in. Her face is almost as red as her hair. Harry follows her, looking more disappointed than anything. 


“Where are they?” Ginny growls, then makes a beeline for James, who is closest to her, “JAMES SIRIUS POTTER! This is the last straw! You’ve really crossed the line this time – FIGHTING WITH YOUR BROTHER?!” 


“HE STARTED IT!” James shouts back. James and Ginny were always pretty similar when it came to tempers, so an argument between the two is never pretty. 


“Okay, let’s all just calm down,” Harry starts, but Ginny blatantly ignores him. 


“SIT DOWN!” Ginny screams and then turns to Al, “BOTH OF YOU!” 


Dom, Mark, Scorpius and I watch on as Ginny sits her two sons down on the chairs on front of Flitwick’s desk. It’s like a government interrogation – except about a million times worse. Ginny takes a few deep breaths to calm herself down. 


“Why,” she starts through gritted teeth, “Were you two fighting like a pair of Muggles? What on earth possessed you?” 


“He started it,” James mumbles again. 


“He cheated with Jenny!” Al shouts. Harry frowns at James in disappointment. 


“James, is that true?” he asks. Wow, it’s so much worse when it’s Harry. 


“No it’s not true!” James spits, “He’s the backstabbing Slytherin of the family, not me!” 


“Stop that NOW,” Ginny snaps. 


“Why the fuck did you say that she was cheating then?” Al hisses. 


“Language!” Ginny cries, but Al ignores her. 


“It was an April Fool’s joke, you prat,” James shot back, “Like I’d go near her.” 


“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Al roars, jumping up from his seat and pointing his wand at James’s head. 


“Al!” Ginny cries, now looking more frightened than anything else. 


"It means that she's a fucking troll in a dress!" James roared back. 


Harry lunges forward to separate the two boys, but he’s not quick enough. 


Avada Kedavra!” Al shouts, and with a flash of green light, James’ body falls to the floor, still and lifeless, like a piece of wood. 


A high-pitched scream escapes my mouth, as Ginny and Harry rush to James’s side and Scorpius lets out a very undignified exclamation of ‘fucking hell!’ 


“Al what the hell have you done?!” Dom cries, shaking wildly. All colour has been drained from Harry’s face. He’s unable to move, as am I. Dom breaks down in tears on Mark, who’s expression is so shocked, he looks like he’s about to keel over. 


“Al…you – you killed him,” Scorpius whispers with so much disgust in his tone that his voice is barely recognisable. Al has dropped his wand and looks equally shocked as the rest of us. I feel like I’m having an outer body experience. There’s just no way…James can’t be…he just can’t… 


“James?” Ginny whispers to her lifeless son, feeling for a pulse, “James darling, wake up.” 


Nothing. He’s completely stiff. And just as I feel like I’m about to break down, Scorpius hugs me. This can’t be true. Al wouldn’t kill James. Not for Jenny. Not for anyone. 


“I’ll murder you, Potter!” Mark shouts, running at Al, “I’ll wring your little –” 


“Let’s not have two murders here today, folks,” James grins, opening his eyes. Al grins down at him, and offers him a hand to help him up. 


“Are you telling me…” I start. 


“No way,” Dom half-laughs, but she’s still crying at the same time. 


“You have to admit, we had you going,” James smirks, “Nice work, little brother.” 


“You too, Slightly Older brother,” Al grins back, “No one pulls a prank like the Potter boys.” 


Harry looks like he’s trying to smile, but anger seems to have taken over that urge. But hell hath no fury like a Ginny Potter scorned. She picks up a copy of the Daily Prophet from Flitwick’s desk and starts beating her two sons around the head with it. 


“YOU INCONSIDERATE LITTLE IDIOTS!” she screams, “YOU STUPID, THOUGHTLESS –” 


It goes on like this for a while, but Al and James are still laughing. Scorpius seems to find this hilarious too, and even I have to admit it – 


Nobody pulls a prank like the Potter boys. 





The best April Fools prank to ever hit Hogwarts had serious consequences for both James and Al. Firstly, they got detention – from their mother. She threatened Flitwick into putting them into detention until the end of the year, so now every Sunday they have to help the House Elves to clean the entire school. Secondly, I nearly killed the pair of them, as did everyone else who actually thought that James had been murdered. Scorpius and Dom are on very bad terms now over the ‘fight’ that happened in the Great Hall, because although the fight was fake, they both said things they really meant. 


James has become something of a legend, although Fred and Mark were sort of pissed off that he hadn’t let them in on the joke. It seemed that James and Al had been planning their prank for the last few months. 


“See, the spell Al cast was Avada Kedav-er-a,” James explained when I asked how he survived Al’s killing curse, “The killing curse is Avada Kedavra. Avada Kedav-er-a only knocks a person out for a few seconds, giving them a few symptoms of death, but not actually killing them. Pretty clever eh?” 


I have to admit that it was pretty clever, even if Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry didn’t think so. However, Al doesn’t seem as proud of the prank as James. 


Jenny dumped him. 


I think I was more gutted than him when I found out, although she had every reason to do it. See, Jenny wasn’t in on the prank either and as it was pretty much based around her, it was her feelings that were hurt the most. Al accused her of cheating with James in front of the whole school, and apparently made it seem very believable. Jenny went a bit crazy and said something about him ‘using’ her for his practical jokes. 


“I’m the laughing stock of the school,” she sobbed, as we sat in the library doing homework last night, “Everybody thinks I cheated on him.” 


“No they don’t,” I tried to soothe her, even though I’d heard a few people spreading rumours about Jenny playing the two Potters at the same time, “And anyway, they’ll forget about it soon enough.” 


“I won’t,” she said angrily, “I’ll never forget it.” 


As we sat in silence, and I tried my best to think of something to say to cheer her up (that wasn’t ‘pull my finger’), Scorpius came over to our table and sat across from us. As he was not in on the prank, Jenny didn’t really mind his intrusion, but I could tell she didn’t really want him there, especially considering he’s Al’s best friend. 


“Eh, Jenny?” he started, “Al’s really sorry, you know.” 


I glared at him angrily with my don’t-mention-Al-in-front-of-her-can’t-you-see-how-upset-she-is look, and he just shrugged at me as if to say ‘What am I supposed to say?!’ 


“I don’t give a shit!” she screeched, and the librarian glared at her angrily before pressing her finger very tightly up to her lips. My mouth and Scorpius’ mouth both dropped open in shock – Jenny Winters said a swear word! 


“Look,” Scorpius whispered reasonably, “I know he was a total jackass for what he did, but in fairness, it was probably James’ idea.” 


“That’s true,” I agreed, “James just really wanted a prank that would go down in history!” 


“I don’t care,” said Jenny, grabbing her books and standing up, “I can’t believe you’re taking his side, Rose.” 


“I’m not taking anyone’s side!” I said helplessly, “I’m just trying –” 


“Well don’t!” she yelled and marched out of the library. It was probably a good thing she left, because the librarian had grabbed the sweeping brush and was running very rapidly towards her with it. 


And suddenly, Scorpius and I were left alone. 


He’s clearly in love with you! 


“No!” I whispered to myself to get those stupid thoughts out of my head. 


“No what?” Scorpius asked looking very confused. 

"N-nothing, just...no..."

I trailed off, realising that I wasn't making a whole lot of sense, as usual. Scorpius looked kind of scared, again indicating that he is not in love with me and that Dom was wrong.




I sit in Herbology listening to Neville – sorry, Professor Longbottom – drone on about some plant that I really don’t give a toss about. I only start half-listening when he remembers that he hasn’t taken attendance yet and begins calling names. 


“Laura Phelps,” he calls. 


Everyone looks around for Laura, but it suddenly occurs to me that she hasn’t been in class all day. The last time I saw her was this morning when she was doing her usual fifty sit-ups before breakfast. I can barely even stand up, never mind do sit-ups. I start to worry about her, even though I know I shouldn’t considering she’s still technically my arch-nemesis. Neville just shrugs, marks her absent and moves on with the class. 


“Excuse me sir,” I ask, my hand flying into the air, “May I go to the bathroom?” 


He lets me, as all teachers do considering I have a kid pressing on my bladder 24/7 and I rush back from the greenhouses up to the castle. I do go to the bathrooms, the ones on the second floor, because I just can’t hold it any longer. I generally avoid this bathroom for the same reason everyone else has for the last seventy years – Moaning Myrtle. 


After I’ve relieved myself, Myrtle herself appears from a cubicle near the end of the bathroom. She’s looking very pleased with herself, which makes me feel very unnerved. 


“Afternoon, Myrtle,” I say politely while washing my hands at the sink beside the one that leads into the Chamber of Secrets. This bathroom gives me the heebie jeebies. 


“You’ll never guess what!” she screams in delight, “I’m soon going to have a friend to haunt these bathrooms with!” 


“Nearly Headless Nick decided to marry you then, eh?” I joke, but as she cackles even more, I get the feeling that this really can’t be good. 


“Nope!” she cries, floating over the cubicle down the end, “But I think this one,” she points into it, “Is on her way out!” 


I rush down to the cubicle to see what the hell Myrtle is on about – and there she is. Laura is lying face down on the damp floor, with an empty potion bottle in her left hand. 


“Oh shit.”

 

 












A/N – Dun dun dun! What will happen next? Well, I know what will happen, but you don’t…sorry bout that! You’ll have to tune in next time!
Sorry about the exponentially long wait (ok, it wasn’t THAT long), but here is the perhaps overly-dramatic chapter 19. Luckily my exams are OVER and I have nothing better to do now than write and write! Yay! So chapter updates should be a little quicker, depending on the queue. Thanks so much for reviewing! I love them! They got me through my exams! And we’re at 50,000 views! Wow! That’s amazing, oui? That’s like really 100,000 because you guys have two eyes…well maybe some of you don’t…anyway, I’m really bad at maths. Man, I go on a bit. I’ll shut up now.  Oh, also, I apologise for any mistakes I might have made...I have a feeling there could be a few in this chapter. Sorry!

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Chapter 20: The Hospital Wing
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Chapter 20: The Hospital Wing




“Ding dong the witch is dead!” Myrtle sings out, her banshee-like voice echoing around the bathroom. 


“Laura,” I say, trying to keep the panic out of my voice, “Laura, can you hear me?” 


With great difficulty, I kneel down onto the ground and turn her over very gently. She’s so pale and freezing cold. I’m starting to think that Myrtle might be right. 


“Wake up, Laura,” I panic, “Please wake up…” 


Myrtle cackles loudly. “She’s dead!” 


“Shut up!” I shout, “And go get some help!” 


“I will not be spoken to like that in my bathroom!” she shrieks and flies through the wall to spread the joyous news that she will soon have a new roommate to terrorise the full-bladdered girls of Hogwarts with. 


I don’t even have my wand, I left it in my bag back in the greenhouse. Not that I’d even know what to do if I did have my wand. 


“Please, Laura, please wake up!” I plead. I pull myself up off the ground, rush to the sink, fill a glass with water and pour it over her. She doesn’t move. I can’t feel a pulse. I run to the door of the bathroom, but the hallways are practically empty because everyone is in class. That is except for the one person in the school who doesn’t feel the need to go to class anymore. 


James!” I cry, as I spot my cousin flying around the corridor on a scooter. Seriously, that’s what he does when he should be in Potions. I don’t even know where the hell he got a scooter. 


“Alright Red!” he grins, speeding past me on the Muggle toy. 


“James you have to help me!” I’m crying now from the panic and starting to get cramps in my stomach. He jumps off the scooter, which keeps going and crashes straight into the suit of armour at the end of the corridor, but James ignores it and runs towards me. 


“Are you alright?” he asks, now looking just as panicked as me. 


“It’s Laura,” I tell him and he frowns, “Come on!” 


“I can’t go in there!” he says, outraged, “Of all the girls’ places I’ve been, the second floor bathroom is one I’ve never wanted to visit, thanks.” 


“James, NOW!” I shout, and try to ignore the pain that’s now becoming worse. James reluctantly follows me into the bathroom and his brown eyes widen in shock when he sees Laura’s motionless body lying at the end cubicle. 


“Fuck, what happened?” he gasps and picks up the bottle that’s still in Laura’s hand, “Slimming Solution?” 


I hadn’t even read the label. 


“We have to get her to the hospital wing,” I say, my voice strained because of the cramp in my stomach. James picks Laura up with absolutely no trouble at all – it’s as if she doesn’t weigh anything. 


“Shit, she’s way too light,” says James, hurrying to the door of the bathroom, “How the hell did she get hold of Slimming Solution?” 


I shrug and rush after him up the stairs towards the hospital wing. 


“Laura,” James says softly as he half-runs, “C’mon Laura talk to me…” 


The hospital wing is empty when we arrive. Madam Pomfrey rushes from her office as James lays Laura down on the first bed he finds. 


“What on earth?” 


“She’s overdosed,” I explain, breathing heavily like those antenatal books told me to, “on Slimming Solution.” 


“How long ago?” asks Madam Pomfrey looking extremely worried. 


“I don’t know! I found her around – ouch – around ten minutes ago,” I say, doubling over in pain. 


“Red, what’s the matter?” asks James, putting an arm around my shoulders. 


“N-nothing,” I say, “I’m fine. Will she be okay?” 


Madam Pomfrey is muttering some weird incantation at Laura, then runs to the medicine cabinet. She takes out a bottle of purple coloured potion and feeds it to Laura, then feels for a pulse. 


“Potter,” Pomfrey demands, “Fetch the headmaster.” 


James takes a look at me, and I nod indicating that I’m okay and that he should go. He runs from the hospital. 


“Is she alright?” I cry, “She’s not –” 


“No,” says Madam Pomfrey, not allowing me to say the dreaded 'd' word, “But almost.” 


She’s rushing around, feeding Laura various potions and casting random spells, and it all becomes a sort of blur. The blinding pain is making it difficult to breathe. Madam Pomfrey is saying something to me, but it is as if I’m under the water, her voice is so blurred. I can’t stand anymore…I’m falling… 


And everything goes dark. 





“There are simply too many of you!” I hear Madam Pomfrey cry, “Half of you will have to leave!” 


“I’m not going anywhere,” Hugo says stubbornly, “She’s my sister.” 


“Yeah, well she’s our cousin,” says James and about five ‘yeah!’s follow his outburst. 


“She’s carrying my kid!” Scorpius cries. 


“Well…she’s…erm…she’s my friend!” I hear Hagrid boom. 


“She’s my friend too!” Jenny sobs, “And the last thing I did was shout at her!” 


“Well then that’s Jenny gone,” says Fred, “Right, who else has shouted at her recently?” 


“Shut up, Fred,” I hear Roxie sigh at her older brother. 


“I think we should all stay,” says Molly. 


“I agree Dolly-Molly.” Oh mercy – Library Man is here. And he’s calling my cousin ‘Dolly-Molly’. 


“You can’t all stay!” Madam Pomfrey sighs, half-knowing she’s been defeated. 


“Well there’s thirteen of us,” says Dom, “And only one of you.” 


I open my eyes, and sure enough there are thirteen people surrounding my bed, though Hagrid’s presence makes it seem like more. James, Al, Hugo and Lily are on the left side of my bed and Scorpius, Jenny and Dom are on the other side. Hagrid is down the bottom with Roxie, Fred, Molly, Library Man and Louis. 


“Is Laura okay?” I ask immediately. 


Apparently nobody realised that I have awoken because they all stop arguing immediately at the sound of my voice and turn around to face me. Hugo looks extremely pale and worried, and actually looks like my little brother rather than the freaky not-even-a-Goth thing he’s turned into over the last few months. Hagrid smiles widely at me, Dom breathes a sigh of relief, James winks, but nobody looks worse than Scorpius. I bet I don’t even look worse than him. Although he’s a naturally pale person, he looks just as pale as poor Laura did when I found her on the floor of the bathroom. How long ago was that? 


“Rosie!” Hagrid grins, “How’re yeh feelin’?” 


“I’m fine,” I say impatiently, “How’s Laura?” 


Everybody looks at each other uncomfortably, but it is James who answers. 


“She’s in a heavy coma,” he says, “They took her to St Mungo’s a few hours ago.” 


“Will she be alright?” I ask fearfully. 


“They don’t know,” James shrugs, “But if you hadn’t found her when you did, she’d certainly be dead by now.” 


This does absolutely nothing to comfort me. 


“It wasn’t her fault…” I whisper to myself, and feel tears pouring down my cheeks and a fresh anger towards Laura’s mother. 


“Are you okay?” Scorpius asks, “Poppy says that the baby’s fine, it was just a little distressed because of all the stress you were under.” 


Then silence. None of us know what to say. 


“D’you know what’s a great name for a boy?” James says, totally ruining the mood and changing the subject, “If it’s a boy, I mean…James Sirius. Or maybe Sirius James, whichever way you want to put it, it’s your kid I suppose…” 


“Oh please, Fred Arthur is way better,” Fred scoffs. 


“I think if you just steer clear of Albus Severus and Scorpius Hyperion you should be okay,” Dom winks. 


“We do have God awful names,” Scorpius shrugs at Al. 


“Amen to that,” Al agrees solemnly. I can’t help but notice that he’s saying everything in that solemn tone and I haven’t actually seen him smile in days. Then again, I haven’t seen Jenny smile in days either. 


Slowly my visitors start to leave. The first to go is Hagrid, as he has a Care of Magical Creatures class to teach. The James and Fred go off to ‘study’, which I know can’t be good. Molly and Library Man also say they’re going to study, which I know is actually true, as neither of them know how to do anything else. Also, Library Man has been out of his habitat for over an hour – he must be coming out in a rash or something. Lily, Hugo, Louis and Roxie all leave, as classes are about to begin. Scorpius, Dom, Al and Jenny all have free periods, so they stay for a while. At one time I’d have felt like a fifth wheel in this situation, but now we’re just five single people. 


“I have to go do some Transfiguration homework,” Dom announces after a few awkward minutes. She and Malfoy still aren’t on speaking terms after the fight on April Fools’ Day. “Chang will go nuts if I don’t hand up that essay soon. I’ll see you later, Rosie.” 


She hugs me and leaves, half nodding to Al and Jenny but completely ignoring Scorpius. He doesn’t seem to care. 


“I think I should go too,” says Jenny, looking at the ground, “I hope you feel better, Rose.” 


She gets up to leave, and Al jumps up to follow her. Scorpius and I exchange a glance, both of us knowing that this isn’t going to end up good. My bed is quite near to the door, so we can hear everything. 


“Jen, wait,” Al pleads, “C’mon we need to talk!” 


“What’s there to talk about?” Jenny cries, sounding very upset indeed. 


“Should we be listening to this?” Scorpius asks quietly, but I shush him very quickly. Gossip is gossip no matter what way you look at it. 


“I’m sorry, it was just a –” 


“Joke?” she scoffs, “That’s all it was to you? You were willing to jeopardise everything we have for a stupid joke?” 


“Hey, my grandfather would have been proud of that joke!” Al argues. 


“Well as long as the late James Potter is proud that his grandson is an insensitive little wart!” Jenny shrieks. 


“Woah, harsh,” Scorpius whispers. 


“Oh come on, Jenny lighten up a bit!” Al shouts, now getting angry rather than apologetic, “It was a bloody joke! It’s not like I actually accused you of cheating!” 


“You made a fool of me in front of everybody!” she cries, “Did you even think about how I might feel?” 


“You just can’t take a joke!” Al shoots, “I’m not going to waste my time on some uptight –” 


Easy now, Al. 


“boring –” 


Taking it a bit far… 


“stuck-up –” 


Even Scorpius gasps at that one. 


“sanctimonious Ravenclaw!” 


“Bad one,” Scorpius groans, shaking his head. 


“Well I wouldn’t dare ask you to waste your time, Potter! But let me just say, that although you think that you’re the friggin’ cat’s pyjamas, believe me, you’re not and just because you’re living off Daddy’s fame here at Hogwarts, that doesn’t give you the right to judge others! You’re worse than your brother!” 


Then we hear her march away without another word, and Al isn’t quick enough to think of a comeback. When he re-enters the hospital wing, Scorpius starts clapping very slowly, a clap that’s absolutely dripping with sarcasm. 


“Nicely done mate,” he says, “You really know how to win ‘em over, don’t you?” 


“Shut up,” Al groans, “I’m going back to the dungeons. See you later.” 


Scorpius and I are left in silence. 


“Wow, my drama seems kind of trivial now,” I say, breaking the silence. 


“That Al can be a right bitch when he wants,” says Scorpius. 


“The sad thing is that they do love each other,” I sigh, “They’re just too stubborn to work it out.” 


Just like my parents. 


“Right I’m afraid I’m gonna have to make like a banana and split,” says Scorpius, making an attempt to be cool, but failing miserably. “Don’t look at me like that, that phrase was very cool back –” 


“In the stone age?” 


“Ha ha,” he says sarcastically, “I’ll come back after work, okay? Poppy said you’ll probably be out tomorrow. Don’t stress over anything or I’ll kill you.” 


“That’s reassuring.” 


He bends down and for a second I think he’s about to kiss me. 


He’s clearly in love with you! 


But instead he goes for a hug, which is good enough for me, I suppose. 


“You take good care of little Alfonsis,” he grins on the way out, “Or Bjork, depending on what sex it is!”


“Yeah, we’ll work on the names later,” I call after him as he walks out the door. 




Two hours later, I find myself stressed once more and shouting at the matron. 


“Please Madam Pomfrey!” I beg. 


“Absolutely not! You are in no condition to go to London –” 


“But I need to see that she’s okay!” I protest. 


“She will be transferred back here once the Healers have given her the proper treatment, I assure you! She’ll probably be back tomorrow, you can see her then,” said Madam Pomfrey, forcing me back into my bed. 


“S-so once they give her the treatment she’ll be okay?” I ask hopefully. 


She avoids my eyes and her face softens slightly. “I hope so.” 


That’s not very reassuring. When she has made sure that I’m not about to do a runner out the window, Madam Pomfrey returns to her office. As if the day can’t possibly get any worse, Mum comes rushing in the door of the hospital wing, followed closely by Dad. 


“Rosie! We just heard,” Mum cries, hugging me, “Are you alright?” 


“I’m fine –” 


“I brought you some grapes,” says Dad awkwardly, setting a plastic bag full of grapes down on my bedside locker. I can’t help but smile at the gesture, but Mum rolls her eyes. 


“How did you know I was here?” I ask. 


“I met Scorpius in the village,” Mum explains. 


Note to self: kill Scorpius Malfoy. Dad’s face visibly darkens at the mention of Scorpius’ name, and I’m fairly sure mine has. I will kill him for telling them I’m in here. As if they don’t have their own problems. 


“Rose, you’re stressing too much,” says Mum, “I knew this would happen. Is it your studies?” 


My eyes meet Dad’s and we both look away. He knows as well as I do that my studies are the last thing on my mind. Maybe back when my life wasn’t dominated by pregnancy and drama I would have been stressed out by my studies, but these days if I stressed about my school work on top of everything else, I’d keel over. I already have keeled over and that’s without the school work! 


“It’s not my studies,” I admit. 


“Then what is it?” 


And that’s it. I, in my very delicate state, explode. 


“I don’t know,” I shout, “Try the fact that everyone in the school is talking about me! Or maybe that Dom is putting crazy ideas in my head, meaning I haven’t slept properly in over two weeks! Or maybe it’s because my parents have split up and you, MUM are acting like a child, inviting a date to Victoire’s wedding! Or perhaps the fact that I found one of my class-mates half dead on the bathroom floor after OD-ing on Slimming Solution because she’s being bullied by her psychotic mother! Take your pick!” 


“What’s all this shouting?” Madam Pomfrey comes rushing out of her office looking fit to kill, “Oh, hello there.” Mum and Dad smile uncomfortably at her. “Miss Weasley, what have I told you about getting worked up?” 


“Sorry,” I mumble. Madam Pomfrey nods and then returns to her office, clearly sorry that she interrupted the little dispute. 


“You’re bringing a date to the wedding?” Dad hisses at Mum, breaking the awkward silence. That is what stood out from my little speech? Not the fact that I found a girl half-dead in the bathroom? Nice one, Dad. 


“Not here, Ron,” Mum shot back, narrowing her brown eyes at him. 


“That’s it, start arguing, that’s just what I need,” I snap. 


They don’t speak of Mum’s ‘date’ anymore and change the subject completely, as if they’re actually interested in the fact that Laura Phelps is on her death bed. The thought of it gives me the creeps. I mean, she’s my age. In fact, she’s younger than me by about two months. How frightening is that? 


Mum and Dad leave after about an hour. They leave separately, of course, each of them taking separate directions once they walk out the door of the hospital wing. Sometimes I think that maybe it’s going to take another great catastrophe, like the Battle of Hogwarts, to get them together again. 


Like he promised, Scorpius returns to the hospital wing after work. It’s about half ten and he has to sneak in while Madam Pomfrey is in her office. If she catches him she’ll probably end up beating him around the heat with a broomstick. She seems like the type. 


“Are you feeling okay?” Scorpius whispers loudly so Madam Pomfrey won’t hear. He sits himself down on the chair beside my bed and puts his feet up on the bed, leaving a whole pile of dirt on the sheets. How can one person have that much dirt on the bottom of their trainers? 


“Can’t complain,” I shrug, “I’m just so bored.” 


“Yeah, I know the feeling,” Scorpius nods, “I sold three quills today. In six hours.” 


“You told my mum about me being in here,” I suddenly remember, frowning. 


“Yeah,” he says calmly, “She asked how you were, I wasn’t going to lie.” 


“It’s not like you’ve never lied before!” I hiss angrily, “She and Dad came to see me today!” 


“I don’t know why you’re getting so pissed off,” he frowns, “Most people would be happy to have parents who actually give a shit.” 


“Oh here we go with the ‘my parents don’t love me’ spiel,” I scoff, getting angry, but I’m not quite sure why. No, I do know why! He had absolutely no right to tell Mum that I fainted! It’s not even a big deal! 


“Well you’re clearly in a fantastic mood,” Scorpius rolls his eyes, “Maybe I should come back when you’re not so hormonal.” 


“That’s just perfect!” I cry, not bothering to keep my voice down anymore, as I can feel tears brewing in my eyes. “You can just piss off whenever things get tough! It’s not like I can get a break from pregnancy and just come back later!” 


“Jesus Christ Rose, what do you want me to say?” he asks, looking sort of scared now. 


“Nothing,” I snap, “I don’t want you to say anything because you’ll just end up putting your big –” I kick his right foot off the bed, “manky –” and then his left, “foot in it!” 


We hear the door of Pomfrey’s office opening, and Scorpius quickly dives under my bed. At first I think she’s going to start giving out to me for shouting, but apparently she hasn’t noticed the noise we were making – okay, I was making. Instead, she rushes to the door and pulls it open. There are two men waiting outside, and I’m pretending to be asleep with one eye open. The two men are carrying a stretcher and on it, I realise, is Laura. Although it’s dark in here, I can see just how thin and frail she looks. The men lay her gently on the bed across from mine. 


“How is she?” Madam Pomfrey asks one of the men. 


“She’s still out,” he replies, with absolutely no trace of hope in his voice, “It’s just a matter of waiting now.” 


“What are her chances?” Pomfrey asks sounding very frightened indeed. 


“About fifty-fifty,” says the man gravely. 


The two men leave shortly afterwards, and Madam Pomfrey closes the curtains around Laura’s bed. She then sighs heavily and turns to my bed, as I shut my eyes quickly. 


“Mr Malfoy,” she says calmly, “I find the chairs to be far more comfortable than under the beds.” I feel myself going red. “But suit yourself.” 





When I wake up the next morning, the curtains around Laura’s bed have been opened. She looks absolutely awful and deathly pale. There is a woman sitting beside her bed, flicking through a magazine with a very bored look on her face. She’s got very long, dark hair, and is probably around Mum’s age, though she looks younger. She looks as if she’s performed a few anti-aging charms on herself. She’s wearing a lot of make-up too and far too much eye-liner around her already dark eyes. She looks sort of like Laura, though Laura is far prettier. I then realise – this is the demon mother. 


“Mrs Phelps?” Madam Pomfrey bustles over to her, “Would you like a cup of tea?” 


“No thanks, Poppy,” she says, “I should probably be going soon. It doesn’t look like there’s going to be any change here today.” 


As soon as the words are out of her mouth, the doors of the hospital wing open and a very small, fat, balding man comes rushing in and over to Laura’s bed. He, unlike Mrs Phelps, looks genuinely worried. 


“I’ve only just heard!” he cries frantically, with a hint of anger in his voice, “Your sister told me! How could you not tell me, Helen?” 


“Oh grow up, William,” Mrs Phelps says nastily, “It’s not like you even care about my daughter.” 


Our daughter!” Mr Phelps snaps, “And how dare you accuse me of not caring! It’s your fault she’s in here!” 


“My fault?” Mrs Phelps shrieks, “You’re the one who only sees her every other weekend during the summer!” 


“Because you won’t let me see her!” Mr Phelps roars, “Now look what she’s done!” 


“You think it’s my fault she’s tried to top herself?” Mrs Phelps scoffs. 


“It is your fault!” I can’t help myself shouting. Mr and Mrs Phelps stop arguing with one another and turn to face me. Why can I never keep my big mouth shut? 


“Um, who are you?” asks Mr Phelps, but not unkindly. He clearly approves of my sudden outburst at his wife – or his ex-wife, by the sounds of things. 


“I know who she is,” Mrs Phelps turns her nose up at me, “She’s that Weasley girl.” 


“A Weasley?” says Mr Phelps, now smiling, “Are you really? You know, my father used to work in the same department as your grandfather –” 


“Oh yes, you and Arthur Weasley would get on like a house on fire, wouldn’t you?” spat Mrs Phelps, “Muggle-loving vermin!” 


“Shut up!” I hiss at her, “Don't you dare talk about my Grandad like that!” 


“Just ignore her, dear,” says Mr Phelps helplessly. 


“And you,” she glares at me, “With your Mudblood mother and blood traitor father! Look at what a fabulous job they did of raising you.” She glares at my stomach blatantly. 


“Well look at the fabulous job you did of raising your own daughter!” I say, pointing at the lifeless Laura, “She’s in a coma because of you! I know that you were the one who told her to tell the entire school that I’m pregnant. I used to think she was just a bitch, but now I can see that she’s actually turned out surprisingly normal with a mother like you!” 


“How dare you –” 


“You don’t deserve to have kids!” I shout, “You’re a hazard!” 


She looks extremely offended, but she isn’t quick enough to make a comeback. 


“I think you better leave, Helen,” says Mr Phelps angrily, “Before I do something I might regret.” 


Madam Pomfrey nods. Mrs Phelps shoots all of us a very poisonous look and without even acknowledging her daughter, heads towards the door of the hospital wing. 


“Oh, and one more thing,” I call after her, “That whole Mudblood, blood traitor thing is very last century. Voldemort’s dead. Get over it.” 


It’s times like this I wish I had a house elf who could follow me around and shout ‘you go girl!’ when I win arguments in such a stylish fashion. 


Maybe James would do it if I asked nicely...





A/N - This chapter seems quite short, but the next few will be better hopefully! I've begun writing the Teddy-Victoire wedding and it's coming along nicely. It should be around chapter 23 or so. As usual, thank you to everyone who has reviewed and favourited this story, it really really makes my day when you do! And if you like this story, you can check out my other Next Gen story on my author's page. It's called Heartbeats. It's the story that isn't this one. (Sarcastic? Me? Never.) Also if you're bored you can check out my Meet The Author page! So yeah, keep reviewing! Thank you so much! 
(",)
padfoot4ever


Chapter 21: Preparations
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Chapter 21: Preparations

McMahon of Hufflepuff speeds along after the snitch, but James’s Firebolt seems to be too fast for him. James, showing all of the skill he inherited from his dad and Grandad before him, takes a sharp turn right, veering totally off course from where the snitch is. McMahon looks around, curiosity getting the best of him, to see just what the hell James is doing. It does seem rather ridiculous – even I can see the bloody snitch! As soon as McMahon takes his eye off the snitch, James turns again and speeds off in a completely different direction – the snitch has now changed course and James is heading right for it. McMahon’s broom isn’t able to turn as fast as James’ Firebolt, and by the time he gets back on course again, James has caught the little golden ball. I can hear the Gryffindor screams from all the way over here. 


Yes, I’m watching the Gryffindor versus Hufflepuff match with a pair of omnioculars from the hospital wing. Although I was discharged a few days ago, Madam Pomfrey insists that going to see a Quidditch match would excite me too much and wouldn’t be good for the baby. So I’ve decided to come and see the still unconscious Laura instead. Her mother hasn’t, to my knowledge, returned to see her since I lashed out in zed-snapping fashion. Her father stops by every now and again, and he seems decent enough. 


Yet there has been no change in her since she was brought back from St Mungo’s. I visit every day, something that really confuses Chas. 


“But Laura hates you,” she says bluntly every time she hears of me visiting the hospital. 


“I know.” 


“And you hate her.” 


“I don’t understand her, that’s all.” 


And it’s true – I don’t understand her. I used to think she was such a one-sided person, dumb, shallow and vindictive. Now I realise that there is more to her, that it’s not her fault she is the way she is. I’m sure that some of her father’s decency must have been passed on to her somehow. I don’t think she hates me, not really. 


Minutes after the Quidditch match has ended, James comes to the hospital wing. He’s come a few times, but he can hardly stand to look at Laura’s lifeless body. James is a joker, and in a situation that lacks even the basic essence of humour, he feels extremely awkward. It’s just how he is. Again, I used to think James was a one-dimensional person, but perhaps he’s deeper than he lets on. 


“You should see Garrison,” he says, shaking his sweaty head, sitting down on the chair beside mine, “We wiped him off the pitch. Dom hit a bludger right at him, he won’t be walking straight for weeks!” 


“I know, I saw,” I say disapprovingly, “Garrison’s not that bad.” 


Lance Garrison is a very haughty seventh year Hufflepuff, and captain and keeper on the Quidditch team. There has always been an ongoing feud between him and James, ever since they both became captains in their fourth years. Although Garrison does appear to be very narcissistic and a bit of an arse, he’s not the worst. Dom hates him because he’s always coming on to her and touching her leg. Something tells me that this isn’t the first hit from a bludger he's gotten from her. 


“So…how is she?” James asks uncomfortably, ruffling his black hair. 


“No change,” I shrug. 


He nods, as if he’d expected me to say that. He’s fiddling with the golden snitch he’s just caught, and looking down at his hands because I know he doesn’t want to look at Laura. She looks so gaunt and thin. She’s frightening. 


“Red, do you think this is my fault?” 


And just like that he has voiced exactly what I’ve known has been running through his brain. Of course he’s going to be consumed with guilt – the girl he publicly dumped and humiliated has tried to kill herself. 


“Honestly, James,” I say carefully, “I don’t think what you did to her exactly helped the situation.” James flinches as I say this. “But I really think this goes deeper than you. Believe it or not, you’re not the centre of the universe.” 


And for the first time in his life, James Potter is glad to hear these words. We leave the hospital wing after another half an hour, and walk back to the common room in silence. I know he still feels guilty, but there’s nothing I can say or do to comfort him now. He does snigger, however, when we walk past a group of Hufflepuffs who are helping Lance Garrison upstairs to the hospital wing – walking seems like a fairly difficult task to him right now. 


People congratulate James on the fantastic win as soon as he climbs in the portrait hole. I notice Lily sitting on the armchair beside the fire, reading, and not really caring about the Quidditch result, even though she was on the team. I managed to convince her this morning to play in my old position as keeper, and she agreed as long as it was only temporary – temporary meaning one game and one game only. Although she’s a great player, she is forever trying to promote house unity. The girl is a dreamer. 


I feel a poke on the back and turn around to see Scorpius grinning at me. 


“Why are you grinning?” I frown. 


“Can’t a guy grin nowadays?” 


“No,” I say, “Not if it’s you. You’ve done something.” 


“I haven’t,” he insists, looking offended. 


“You’re thinking of doing something.” 


“I’m not,” he says, though less honestly. 


“Why are you grinning?” I ask again, getting frustrated. 


“Guess where I’m going?” he asks. 


“Hell?” 


“Your cousin’s wedding!” he says happily, “Ted just sent me an invitation.” 


“So hell in other words,” I mutter darkly. 


I didn’t mean to say that. I should be acting happy, shouldn’t I? But it’s hard when the one person you’ve loved and confided in your whole life is marrying your cousin. In fact, it’s so hard, I’m thinking I might just go on a pilgrimage to Lourdes or something so I can get out of it. I’m sure they’ll welcome the pregnant witch with open arms. 


I wonder why on earth Teddy sent Scorpius an invite. They hardly even know each other. Yes, technically they are second cousins, but just because their grandmothers are sisters does not mean that Scorpius has to come to his stupid wedding!


“You seem excited,” he says sarcastically, “I thought you’d be –” 


“Happy? Yes, I am happy,” I say quickly, “Ecstatic, I can’t think of anything better. I’m going for a lie down now.” 


I rush upstairs to my dormitory, but am shocked to realise that Scorpius is somehow able to follow me. How the hell does he do it? 


“How the hell do you do it?” I yell. 


“Do what?” 


“Get up here!” 


We’ve reached the dormitory now, and the ancient boy-repelling charms haven’t worked at all. 


“Well it was pretty easy. See I have these things called legs, they’re kind of handy when you want to get places –” 


“Don't get cheeky with me, Scorpius Malfoy!” I cry, sounding so very like Nana Molly. “Boys aren’t supposed to be able to come up here!” 


“Well the stairs are hardly going to turn into a slide with a pregnant girl going up them, now are they?” says Scorpius logically. I suppose I never really thought about it like that. Is he really smarter than me? 


“Yeah…well…” I struggle, “Well I wasn’t pregnant the last time you were up here!” 


“No, but you wanted me to come up here,” he says, “And that breaks the enchantment.” 


That’s bullshit! So boys can actually go up to the dorms if the girls want them to? What’s the point of the bloody spell then? 


“It’s in case of an emergency,” says Scorpius, reading the look on my face, “Let’s say you were in trouble up in the dorm and screaming for help and you wanted a bloke to come and help you, they’d be able to.” 


I suppose it sort of makes sense – but the enchantment should be able to tell whether a girl is actually in trouble or is just about to get into trouble. It would save me a lot of heartburn. 


“So are you going to leave now?” I frown. 


He frowns back. So I continue frowning. And it’s just one big frown-a-thon. 


“Why are you dreading Teddy and Victoire’s wedding so much?” he asks. 


“I’m not,” I protest, “I can’t wait. I’m counting down the days, see?” I point to the calendar beside my bed, which has the days marked off until the 19th, which has a huge red circle around it. 


“Those are the days ‘til your birthday,” he says, “The wedding is the 20th.” How does he know when my birthday is? I don’t know when his is. Well, I know it’s in November some time… 


Then I see I have marked on my calendar ‘My 17th birthday!’ in very large writing. So that’s how he knows. 


“Why wouldn’t I be looking forward to the wedding?” I ask angrily, “My drunken grandmother singing ‘A Cauldron Full Of Hot, Strong Love’ to my equally drunk grandfather; my mum snogging some randomer so she’ll make my dad – who hasn’t shaved in about six months – jealous; my aunts and uncles dancing like idiots; James getting off with every relation of Aunt Fleur’s he can find; Al brooding over his relationship with Jenny; me, walking up the aisle, on front of a part-Veela and beside a part-Veela wearing a dress that’s going to make me look even more like a blimp than I already do!” 


“But –” 


“Not to mention the fact that the dress is going to take me about an hour to get into because it’s so tight, and I’ll have to pee every five minutes, so I’ll just be spending the entire time in the bloody bathroom!” 


That’s not even mentioning the fact that I’ve been desperately in love with Teddy Lupin since I could open my eyes. 


He’s still frowning suspiciously. “Right.” 


“What’s that supposed to mean?” I snap. 


“Nothing,” he sighs, giving me a weird look that makes me feel a bit guilty, “I’m going now.” 


He strolls out of the dorm, hands in pockets, and down the stairs, which turn into the slide and make him fall on his arse at the bottom. Although he lets out a loud ‘bollocks!’, I don’t really find the situation that amusing. That look he just gave me is far too strange… 





“We’re in trouble,” Dom announces, looking extremely worried as she takes her place at the table for dinner. She turns around and indicates to Al, Louis and Lucy to come over to the Gryffindor table for a family discussion. The fact that she is including even her little brother (who she rarely gets on with) in this makes me realise that this is indeed serious. “This just came in the evening post.” 


She puts a letter down on the table, and we all crowd around to read it. 


Dear grandchildren!
I am writing to let you all know about the arrangements for how we are travelling to France for the Lupin-Weasley wedding next week! I’m sure you’re all very excited about the wedding, but I have organised something that is going to make it even more exciting! 
Oh dear. This can't be good. 

We are travelling Muggle-style! You’ll all be coming home from Hogwarts for the Easter holidays on Saturday, April 15th (or this Saturday!), so we will be flying to France on Tuesday the 18th. And by flying I mean on an airplane! Yes, a real one! I have the flight booked and everything, so you needn’t worry about a thing.
Uncle Bill and Aunt Fleur will be travelling to France by Portkey tomorrow, so Dominique and Louis, you will be staying here at The Burrow until it is time to go. Hermione, Percy, Audrey, George, Angelina, Harry and Ginny will also be travelling by Portkey earlier to help the Delacours prepare for the wedding.
Looking forward to seeing you all!
Love,
Grandad
 


“We’re screwed,” says Fred.


“An airplane?” says Al excitedly, looking happier than I’ve seen him in days, “Brilliant! Mum never lets us go on airplanes, always says Portkeys are way easier…” 


“Portkeys are way easier,” says Dom worriedly, “These bloody Muggle contraptions aren’t safe at all.” 


“I always knew that man would be the death of me,” says James, “Playing with his stupid Muggle toys –” 


“Oh come on!” says Al, “It’s going to be fun! A real airplane!” 


He’s just another Arthur Weasley in the making, that Al Potter. 


“As opposed to the fake airplane we thought we’d be going on…” says Molly, rolling her eyes at Al. 


“Holy shit, lads,” James gasps, and throws an arm around Molly, “Molzer made a funny!” 


Molly doesn’t even scold him for calling her ‘Molzer’, but looks quite proud of herself. 


Hugo and I aren’t that apprehensive. Mum’s brought us on an airplane before a few times, though Dad hates Muggle flying. The Potters have never been on a plane before, as Ginny and Harry always insist on using Portkeys instead. Even Harry, who was raised by Muggles, hasn’t been on one. 


My cousins continue talking about the Muggle flying issue as if they’ve been asked to make some sort of suicide pact. It really is quite funny. 


“Did you ever see that Muggle film Air Force One?” asks James darkly, “You know where the Russian is trying to kill the president on the plane, so they hijack it and it CRASHES into the sea?” 


“Firstly,” I sigh, “That was a fictional film. Secondly,  I don’t think the President is going to be on the same flight as us.” 


“Anything could happen!” James cries, and everyone else seems to look just as worried as him. The boy watches too much TV when he’s at my house. 





For the next few days, Scorpius avoids me like the plague and I have no idea why. I didn’t do anything, I don’t think, unless he has somehow found out that I suspect him of being in love with me. Except I don’t suspect that anymore because his dodging seems to spell out otherwise. 


I spend quite a bit of time with Jenny, as she’s looking much worse than I’ve ever seen her look in my life. Her curly hair seems limp and lifeless. She’s pale and has dark circles around her eyes. She hasn’t slept in days. Whenever I bring up anything to do with Al, she changes the subject completely. I’ve even tried inviting her to the wedding, but she refuses to come. And I don’t think it’s the whole ‘airplane’ thing putting her off. She’s a Muggleborn after all, and has been on one before. 


The Friday before we’re due to go home for the Easter holidays, I decide to go and see Laura in the hospital wing. To my surprise and to my immense relief, I find her sitting up in her bed, still looking deathly pale and skinny, but alive. 


“Hi,” I say timidly. She looks at me, nods, but doesn’t say anything. “Um, d’you mind?” I indicate to the seat beside her bed, and she shrugs as if to say she doesn’t care. I sit down on the chair and we both wait in silence. “So…how are you?” I ask after a few awkward moments. 


“Alright,” she says. Her voice is very quiet and a bit husky. “They’re making me see a therapist. As if the students of Hogwarts didn’t think I was mental enough already.” She doesn’t say it in a joking way, but in more of an angry way. 


“They don’t think you’re mental,” I say, even though that’s not strictly true. I know I definitely heard Peeves and Moaning Myrtle singing a song entitled ‘Loony Laura’. It’s probably best not to mention that to her. 


“You were the one who found me,” she says. It’s not a question. 


“Yes.” 


“Thanks I suppose,” she says, though she’s looking out the window as she says it and doesn’t sound like she actually means it. 


“J-James helped,” I say carefully. Her eyes narrow but she says nothing. “Listen, Laura, I found that letter from your Mum…” 


Her head whips around and she glares at me angrily, and I immediately know I’ve made a huge mistake. 


“You went through my things?” she snaps. 


“No!” I cry, “No of course not! I found it in the common room!” 


“And you read it? Even though it was addressed to me?” 


“Well…” I start, a hundred different excuses rushing through my mind, “The – the letter had the initials ‘LP’ on it…s-so I thought it belonged to Lily…as in Lily Potter…so I opened it to make sure it was hers…” It’s a pretty valid excuse, if sort of lame. “I’m sorry.” 


“You should be,” she hisses, “That was my letter, you had no right to –” 


“No,” I say, “I’m not sorry I read the letter, I’m sorry about your mother. I realise now why you felt that you needed to destroy my reputation so badly.” 


“You destroyed your reputation all by yourself by sleeping with that Malfoy!” she snaps.

“Maybe,” I frown, “But it’s not like you’ve never slept with anyone. I made one little mistake, Laura. I know your mum has placed you on some sort of pedestal and you feel like you need to live up to the standards she’s set for you, but you don’t!” 


“You don’t know shit, Weasley,” she spits. 


“I know that your mother is the reason you tried to top yourself! You shouldn’t listen to her, you’re better than her!” 


“Just go away,” says Laura, “And quit pretending like you care. I don’t need your help.” 


Deciding that there’s nothing I can do to get through to her, I leave the hospital wing and return to the dormitory. Chas and Dom are up there already, Chas painting her nails and Dom packing her trunk for tomorrow. 


“Stupid effing wedding,” Dom mutters to herself, “Pain in my arse…” 


“Laura’s awake,” I announce. 


Chas stops painting and Dom looks up from her trunk. 


“How is she?” Dom asks. 


“She’s okay,” I shrug, “Physically. Psychologically, I’m not so sure.” 


We sit in silence for a while, contemplating the situation. It’s too grave for us to even be able to relate to. Although we all complain about our lives, they could be so much worse. I know that my family love me, even if they are a bunch of idiots most of the time. I know that although my parents bicker non-stop, they love each other deep down. I know that Mum and Dad will never look at each other the way Mr and Mrs Phelps do. I might be pregnant, but it’s a damn sight better than what Laura is. 





“Are you sure you don’t want to come?” I ask Jenny for the thousandth time at breakfast the next day, minutes before we’re due to leave. 


“I’m sure,” she says sadly, her eyes wandering over to the Slytherin table. As soon as Al looks up from his cereal, she turns away again.


At half ten, we head out to the carriages that will take us to Hogsmeade station. We take up two whole carriages on the Hogwarts Express - me, Dom, Mark (who Dom is bringing to keep her sane), Louis, Molly, Lucy, Fred, Roxie, Hugo, James, Al, Lily and Scorpius, who is still ignoring me. Well, he’s not so much ignoring me as giving me the cold shoulder. What the hell did I do?? We also take Simon Longbottom, Lorcan and Lysander in to our compartment, who are all coming to the wedding too, though not on the airplane (or 'death trap' as James calls it). 


I try to make conversation with Scorpius the whole way home, but my attempts are greeted with nothing but monosyllabic answers as he stares at the ground, biting his nails. I’m relieved when we finally reach King’s Cross. Dad’s there, but Mum isn’t. I’m presuming she’s still in Hogsmeade, or perhaps she’s gone to France already. Nana and Grandad are there to collect Dom, Louis and Mark and bring them back to The Burrow. Uncle George is there and Uncles Percy and Harry too. 


Hugo and I follow Dad out to the car, and Hugo races to get the front seat before I can – the git. Dad chats the whole way home, as if we’re a completely normal family and as if Mum is just going to be there when we get home, ready to greet us with a huge hug and kiss. Of course she isn’t, though the house is significantly cleaner than it was the last time I saw it, which was on Dad’s birthday. Hugo races upstairs as soon as we’re in the door, probably to listen to music, but I stay downstairs to talk to Dad. 


“So how’ve you been?” I ask as he flicks on the kettle with his wand. I’ve also noticed that he’s trimmed his beard and brushed his red hair. He looks a lot better than the last time I saw him. 


“Not bad,” he says, “You know, surviving. I was thinking of getting a dog.” 


Is he really going to get a dog to replace Mum? Why doesn’t he just call it Hermione and have us refer to it as ‘mother’? 


“Cool,” I nod. 


He places a mug of tea down on front of me. “I think the more important issue is how you’ve been, Rosie.” 


He’s done it. He’s called me ‘Rosie’. He hasn’t called me that since before he found out about my pregnancy. He’s accepting it, finally. I throw my arms around him and hug him tightly. 


“I’m fantastic,” I say honestly. 

 

 

 

 










A/N –
Hi peeps!
Firstly a huuuuge THANK YOU for all of your reviews! Over 1800! How cr-azy is that?? Especially because my lil story is only 6 months old…seriously, you make this story what it is. I couldn’t do it without you!
Secondly, apologies for the sometimes longer than usual waits, but I’m also updating Heartbeats, and the length of the validation queue isn’t my responsibility. The validators work their hair off to validate as many stories as possible. So you gotta be patient I’m afraid! (And keep an eye out for all the bald validators – they’re the ones who work the hardest.)
Thirdly, I apologise that this chapter is quite filler-y but I haven’t had a filler chapter in a while and it was sort of needed.
Fourthly, I’ve recently found out that Neville actually married Hannah Abbott after Hogwarts – so my story is becoming less canon-y! But I didn’t know that back when I wrote about Courtney, so no shouting at me, okaysies?
Fifthly (yes, there is a fifthly), I want to thank everyone who nominated me for a Dobby. It was more flattering than being nominated for an Oscar. I mean that. I really can’t thank you enough!
Sixthly (yes, there is also a sixthly…man this is one long author’s note), a lot of people have been asking why their Feeds say I have updated when there clearly isn’t a new chapter – basically when I submit a chapter for validation, it says I added a new chapter, even if it’s not validated yet. It’s basically just your Feeds psyching you out. When this happens, point your finger at the computer screen and say ‘bold Feeds!’…It won’t change anything, but it’ll give the people in the same room as you a good laugh.
Finally, because you’re all such legends, here’s a preview of the next chapter. Peace out! (“,)


While going through security, Grandad is so amazed by all of the electronic Muggle contraptions that he walks through the security system without taking his change out of his pocket. The security guard eyes the sickles and knuts with suspicion and runs them through the machine four times before giving them back.

“They’re probably just checking I don’t have a bomb built in to one of the coins,” says Grandad loudly to Dom and me.

What an idiot.

Now I can see where the rest of us got our stupidity from.

Trust my grandfather to yell the word ‘bomb’ in the security area of Heathrow airport.

“STAY WHERE YOU ARE! PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR, OR WE’LL TAKE IT AS A SIGN OF AGGRESSION!”

P.S – Drop an ol’ review if you’re feeling inclined!
 
 
 


Chapter 22: Happy Birthday, Rosie
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 22 - Happy Birthday, Rosie






“Line up, Weasleys!” Grandad commands, “And Potters, of course,” he adds, looking at James, Al and Lily, “And erm, Mark and Scorpius.” 


He has us all lined up in the yard of The Burrow, ten minutes before we’re due to leave for the airport. Tensions are running high. James has packed armbands in his hand luggage should the plane crash into the sea. 


“Ron!” Grandad demands, “Get in line!” 


“But Dad –” 


“Now!” 


Dad joins the line looking very disgruntled that even at forty-three, his father can still boss him around. Nana Molly has already been made line up beside her grandchildren and is looking very fed up. 


“Okay Weasleys – er, and Potters and Scorpius and Mark – I must lay down some ground rules,” he walks along the line, slapping his wand against the palm of his hand, as if he’s an army commandant and we’re his soldiers, “In a few minutes, we will be leaving for the airport. Therefore, I must ask you not to refer to magic at all. We will be amongst Muggles and must not arouse suspicions. Is that clear?” 


There are a few weak ‘yeah’s and ‘alright’s, but then Grandad frowns. 


“I said, is that clear?!” he barks.


“Yes Grandad,” we all chime, while Nana Molly and Dad look at each other, annoyed, and Scorpius and Mark look a bit uncomfortable. Trust Grandad to act like a total lunatic while we have company. 


“Secondly, we are to stay together! We are not to lose each other! Okay?” 


“Yes Grandad.” 


“Arthur, is this really necessary?” Nana Molly sighs. 


“Indeed it is, Molly! This trip must go off without a hitch! Now the bus should be leaving in about a half an hour, I feel it’s best if we sit in alphabetical order…” 


“You must be joking,” James scoffs, “Have you completely lost it, Grandad?” 


Before Grandad has the chance to reply, there’s a loud pop and Uncle Charlie appears in the garden. 


“Sorry I’m late,” he grins, clearly unfazed by the fact that Grandad is glaring at him angrily, “Got held up at work.” Uncle Charlie has been working in Wales for a few weeks instead of Romania, so he’s decided to fly to France with us too. 


“You’ve missed the rules –” 


“They’re the same as always I’m presuming?” Charlie sighs, “No magic around Muggles and keep together? I’m fifty years old, Dad, I’m not a kid anymore.” 


We have to walk to the edge of town to get the bus, as a Muggle bus driver wouldn’t have a clue where Ottery St Catchpole is – it’s a magical town after all. We probably look so stupid, all seventeen of us, walking through the Muggle countryside. When we reach the bus stop, so many people are staring at us, wondering what’s going on. We should have t-shirts reading ‘Weasley Family Holiday!’ because we really can’t get more pathetic. 


I end up sitting alone on the way to the airport, even though Dad offered to sit next to me. I told him to sit with Charlie. Al and Scorpius, James and Fred, Molly and Lucy, Dom and Mark, Roxie and Louis, Hugo and Lily and Nana and Grandad all sit together and I am left by myself in a seat at the back of the bus. I think I prefer it this way. 


I’m so relieved by the time we reach Heathrow airport – Grandad has started singing that song “Everywhere we go-o (everywhere we go-o), people always ask us (people always ask us), who we a-are” etcetera…it’s quite embarrassing, even though there’s no one else on the bus except for us. And the poor bus driver, of course. 


Dad takes my bags into the airport for me and we all crowd around the check-in desk, where the poor woman behind the desk has no idea what awaits her. The airport is packed with Muggles rushing around with suitcases, couples running to each other hugging, people saying goodbye. Oh, and seventeen magical people. 


“Good afternoon!” Grandad cries in excitement to the woman at the check-in desk, “We would like to get onto this airplane, please!” He points to the flight number on the ticket. 


“Will you be checking in bags today, sir?” the woman asks in a bored voice. 


“Yes, we certainly will!” 


His enthusiasm is water off a duck’s back to this woman. Al is glancing around the airport happily, almost as excited as Grandad is. However the rest of my cousins, and even Dad, seem really nervous. 


“Did you pack this bag yourself, sir?” the woman asks, fixing a tag to Grandad’s bag. 


“Yes, well, the wife helped,” he grins pleasantly, and the woman looks at Nana to confirm this. 


“Yes, yes, we’ve packed all of these bags ourselves,” says Nana, apparently having more common sense about the Muggle world than Grandad. The woman checks everyone’s passports, checks in all of the bags and tells us which gate we are to board from. It’s all fairly simple, but Grandad looks like she’s speaking a completely different language to him. “Have you anything sharp in your hand luggage?” 


“No, well unless you count…” Grandad pulls out his wand, thus violating Weasley Family Holiday’s second rule. Charlie smacks himself on the forehead, while Dad shakes his head in embarrassment. 


“You can’t bring your erm – stick – onto the flight. It can be classified as dangerous.” 


And she doesn’t even know what we could do with one of those things. 


“Okay gang!” Grandad announces, “All sticks into the suitcases!” The woman looks every shocked to see seventeen ‘sticks’ being shoved into Nana Molly’s suitcase, which is the only one that hasn’t been put onto the conveyor belt yet. “We’re, erm, we’re stick collectors,” says Grandad lamely. 


“I can’t believe this,” James whispers furiously to me, “They’re taking our wands? What happens if we need them?” 


“We won’t need them,” I sigh, “Relax, James, it’s not a big deal. Security is really tight with these Muggles.” 


“But why?” James frowns. 


“So the Russians won’t try to kill the President again,” I say sarcastically, but the look on James’ face tells me that he actually believes me. 


While going through security, Grandad is so amazed by all of the electronic Muggle contraptions that he walks through the security system without taking his change out of his pocket. The security guard eyes the sickles and knuts with suspicion and runs them through the machine four times before giving them back. 


“They’re probably just checking I don’t have a bomb built in to one of the coins,” says Grandad loudly to Dom and me. 


What an idiot. 


Now I can see where the rest of us got our stupidity from. 


Trust my grandfather to yell the word ‘bomb’ in the security area of Heathrow airport. 


“STAY WHERE YOU ARE! PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR, OR WE’LL TAKE IT AS A SIGN OF AGGRESSION!” 


As I predicted, five armed security guards run towards Grandad and seize him, while the bomb disposal unit surround the area. A loud siren sounds and a cool, calm voice comes over the intercom. 


“Please remain calm and vacate the building at your nearest emergency exit. This is not a drill.” 


Nice work, Grandad. Nice work. 





Two hours later all flights from Heathrow airport have been grounded and Grandad is being questioned in a small room in an office away from the airport. They are only letting people back in to the airport now after a quick evacuation, and the authorities are still questioning not only Grandad, but the rest of us too. 


“I don’t even know what a b-bomb is!” I can hear Lucy crying from the next room, and then a man shouts “Don't play stupid with me!” 


“She’s a twelve year old kid,” Dad mutters furiously, “As if she’d know anything about a fucking b–” 


“Don't say it,” I warn before Nana Molly has the chance. 


I find a pay phone and call Mum in France on her mobile. She’s really not going to believe this. 


“Hello?” 


“Mum? It’s Rose.” 


“Rose? I thought you’d be on the plane by now,” she says and I can almost hear her checking her watch. 


“Yeah, well we would be if Grandad hadn’t been arrested by the airport authorities for shouting bomb,” I whisper that word, “In the middle of security.” 


“You’re joking me,” she says bluntly. 


“Nope, all flights from Heathrow airport have been grounded thanks to my genius of a grandfather. They’ve questioned us all, we just have to find out what they’re going to do with Grandad.” 


“This is so typical!” she cries. 


Okay, I can see how we’re a pretty messed up family, but being arrested and interrogated and suspected of being terrorists really isn’t that typical for us. 


“So we probably won’t be flying out for another while,” I say, “It could be tomorrow.” 


“Tomorrow?” Mum gasps, “Victoire will go mental when she hears that! The rehearsal is tomorrow!” 


“Yeah, well, we’ll be lucky to make it at all at this rate. Oh, I have to go,” I say when I see Grandad coming out of the office, followed by a detective, “I’ll talk to you soon.” 


Nana Molly stands up and runs to hug Grandad and Dad stares at the detective. 


“Look, mate,” Dad starts, “My dad has never been on a plane before – he’s never even been to an airport before –” 


“I know,” says the detective, “I figured that one out when he asked what a runway was. But you’d want to watch what you say. After 9/11 and everything.” 


Everyone who hasn’t taken Muggle Studies – that is, everyone except me and Al – look very confused as to what 9/11 is. 


“But like I was saying, all I meant was that I didn’t have a –” 


“Thank you, officer!” Nana Molly interrupts Grandad before he digs himself into a deeper hole. 


We head back to the airport, finally, only to realise that flights are departing again and ours has already taken off. Our bags are on the flight that has departed (except for Grandad’s, which was taken away and destroyed – thank Merlin we didn’t put our wands in his suitcase), so now we have to buy tickets for the next flight to Paris, which doesn’t take off until four o’clock in the morning. 


So we hang around the airport. I ring Mum and let her know the change in plans, and she’s just relieved to hear that we’re not all in some Muggle prison. We find seats near a window, and Al and Grandad have a great time watching planes take off. James falls asleep sprawled across four plastic chairs, while Lily joins Al and Grandad at the window, for lack of something better to do. Nana Molly, Lucy, Roxie and other Molly head off to the shops for a look around, though none of them have any Muggle money left due to the fact we all had to buy new tickets. Dom rests her head on Mark’s shoulder and they fall asleep sitting upright. Scorpius sits with his arms folded, staring out the window. Fred, Louis and Uncle Charlie are sitting across from me, Dad and Hugo, and keep checking their watches every ten minutes. 


I drift off into an uneasy, light sleep, until I feel Dad poking me, saying it’s time to board. I take a seat on the plane in between Dom and Lily, on front of James, Mark and Fred, though we’re all too tired to speak to one another. However, as the plane is taking off, Grandad and Al (who are sitting on front of us with a very disgruntled Nana Molly) gasp and cheer in delight. 


“Amazing!” Grandad cries, “Absolutely magnificent!” 


*

Teddy, Bill, George, Harry and Percy are waiting at the airport when we finally arrive in Paris. We have to go to the Lost Luggage area to claim our baggage, and I can hear the sighs of relief as everyone retrieves their wands from Nana Molly’s bag. 


“Rosie,” I hear Dad call, as I pick up my wand from amongst the pile. Mine is the smallest of them all, so it’s fairly easy to tell which it is. Dad is standing by the door of the Lost Luggage area and hands me a small box with a ribbon tied on top. “Happy Birthday.” 


It’s my birthday! I completely forgot about it! Well, that’s what your grandfather being accused of terrorism does to a person. I open the box and inside there is a very expensive looking gold watch. 


“Wow,” I gasp, “Dad it’s beautiful. Thank you so much!” 


“You’re welcome,” he grins, “Wow, my Rosie is an adult now!” 


You think he’d have said that when he found out I was pregnant. It’s probably best not to bring it up. 


“Hey Birthday Girl!” Teddy smiles, throwing an arm around my shoulders, “I have your present back at the house.” 


More and more people are now realising that it is in fact my seventeenth birthday and I’m hearing lots of unenthusiastic ‘Happy Birthday’s’ being wished. It’s after five in the morning, I don’t expect anything else. 


Dad, Hugo, Lily and I go in the car with Harry, while everyone else divides up between Percy, Teddy, George and Bill. It’s a long drive to the Delacour house, but the roads are quiet because of the time of day it is. Harry laughs as we retell the story of Grandad’s arrest, and I suppose it is sort of funny now. It’ll probably seem funnier by next week. 


Even though my eyes are hanging out of my head with tiredness, I still notice just how beautiful the Delacour house is. It’s after eight in the morning by the time we arrive and the house is now buzzing. There is a huge marquee set up in the back garden of the mansion, and I can see Mum and a few others moving tables and chairs into it. Madame and Monsieur Delacour, Aunt Fleur’s parents, greet us all with kisses on both cheeks and then lead us upstairs to our bedrooms. I don’t really take in any of my surroundings, but fall down onto my very comfortable bed and fall asleep. 





I wake up to the sound of a yelling Victoire. 


“DOM, I’M GOING TO MURDER YOU!” 


Oh dear, that can’t be good. 


“Oh shut up, Vic! I’m so sick of this goddamn wedding!” I hear Dom yell back. 


“Girls!” Fleur warns. 


“Mum, she ruins everything!” Victoire cries, “This is supposed to be my day –” 


“No, tomorrow is supposed to be your day,” Dom snaps back, “Today, in case you’ve forgotten, is Rose’s day!” 


“Well then stop ruining Rose’s day!” Victoire shot back. 


“I’M NOT RUINING ANYONE’S DAY!” 


I check my new gold watch from Dad – it’s after two in the afternoon. I get up off the bed and take in my surroundings for a moment. The bedroom is twice as big as my one at home. I feel like I’m messing it up by just standing in it. The carpets, the walls, the bed and the wardrobes are all cream – and completely spotless at that. Nothing is out of place. There’s a portrait on the wall opposite the bed of Aunt Fleur and her sister, Gabrielle, but it’s not moving. 


I open the door of the bedroom and guess that Victoire and Dom are probably on the floor below this one. I walk down the stairs, but manage to pass by the room they are in without them noticing. I walk down another flight of stairs and reach the ground floor. The kitchen is at the back of the house and this seems to be where everyone (except for Victoire and Dom) has congregated. 


“Rose!” Mum cries upon seeing me, “Happy Birthday!” 


She hands me a small box, similar to the one Dad gave me at the airport. I open it to discover – a silver watch, just as beautiful as the gold one Dad gave me. Shit. 


“What’s this?” Mum asks, taking hold of my wrist and examining the other watch. 


“Erm…D-Dad got it for me…” 


I feel so guilty, though I’m not sure why I’m the one who should be feeling guilty. Mum looks hurt. And Dad, who is over the other side of the kitchen, taking in the scene, looks hurt too. 


“Oh,” says Mum weakly, “Maybe I should take this one back…” 


“No!” I cry, trying to find the silver lining somewhere, “I can wear your watch when I’m wearing silver jewellery and Dad’s when I’m wearing gold! I love them both!” 


Please, please don’t make me choose one. 


Mum half-smiles and nods. Dad looks away as if he hasn’t been listening. Teddy smiles encouragingly and winks. How could this situation get any more awkward? 


“So, I have this weird growth on my ass,” James starts, trying to break the tension. 


There – that’s how it gets more awkward. 


I wander out into the garden unnoticed after a few minutes. Well, apparently I have been noticed by one, because Teddy follows me out. He has a knack for doing that. 


“Rosie,” he smiles, “I have your present here.” 


He gives me yet another small box. “If this is another bloody watch –” 


“It’s not,” he laughs. 


It’s a necklace. It’s gold with a small sapphire stone and it must have cost a fortune. 


“It’s beautiful,” I admit, “But Christ, Ted, it must have cost an arm and a leg!” 


“Nothing’s too expensive for my favourite Weasley!” he grins and I raise my eyebrows at him, “Victoire’s not included, she’s almost a Lupin,” he adds quickly. It kind of feels nice that Teddy prefers me to Dom, his own future sister-in-law. However, him referring to Victoire as ‘almost a Lupin’ sort of makes me…sad? I don’t know, it’s strange anyway. After all those times I wrote ‘Mrs Rose Lupin’ all over my diary as a kid, it’s weird that it’s my cousin who will be becoming ‘Mrs Victoire Lupin’. But hopefully my day will come too and I’ll become… 


The words ‘Mrs Rose Malfoy’ shoot across my brain, and I shake my head vigorously at the thought of them. Fat chance of me marrying the bloke who won’t even speak to me! Not that I’d even want to marry Scorpius anyway, and even if by some divine miracle I did marry him, I probably wouldn’t take his name. Nobody wants to be a Malfoy. 


Teddy and I stay outside for a while longer, away from the madness. We can still vaguely hear Dom and Victoire screaming at each other. 


“Apparently Dom hates her bridesmaid dress,” Teddy explains, “So Victoire is going a little bit crazy now asking why the hell she circled it in the catalogue if she didn’t like it.”

“Oh,” I say. I don’t really care what the dress is like. I’m going to look stupid in it anyway. “Oh! Baby’s kicking!” 


“D’you mind?” Teddy asks, putting his hand on the bump to feel the kicks, “Wow. That’s bloody amazing, Rose.” 


“It’s bloody annoying,” I sigh, “It tends to kick at the most inappropriate times. During Potions class is its favourite!” 


“Maybe it’s wishing you a happy birthday?” he suggests. 


“Don't be such a cheese bag,” I smack him gently over the blue head, “It’s hungry for a jam and onion sandwich!” 


“Jam and onion?” Teddy asks, looking totally disgusted. 


“Don't you judge me, Lupin!” 


“Well, I think we can probably arrange a jam and onion sandwich…” 


He throws an arm around my shoulders and leads me inside. On the way in, I notice Scorpius looking out the window, scowling. What’s that boy’s problem? 


The rehearsal dinner turns into a birthday/rehearsal dinner. Nana Molly and Mum bake a huge cake, and Madame Delacour and Fleur prepare a delicious meal as everyone crowds around the enormous dining room table. Dom presents me with a whole new make-up set that I know was very expensive. James and Al give me a brand new broomstick (“for after you’ve popped!”). Bill and Fleur give me a lovely pair of silver earrings. Percy and Audrey give me the most interesting of gifts – a book voucher. I smile politely anyway. George and Angelina give me a whole supply of WonderWitch products from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. Uncle Charlie gives me thirty galleons (which are very much appreciated). Hugo gives me a book all about the Chudley Cannons. Finally, Harry and Ginny give me a bracelet and money (60 galleons). They give it to me in private and I know they are giving it to me to help out with the baby. I try to give some of it back, but they’re having none of it. 


I get chocolates and sweets from the others and all in all, it’s a pretty pleasant evening. Even Victoire and Dom have stopped arguing, though they’re barely speaking to one another. However, the time comes to make speeches and I feel the urge to vomit. Victoire goes first, describing how she and Teddy have been in love since they were little children, and Teddy’s speech is pretty much the same, only he adds in ‘Happy Birthday to Rose’ at the end. Thanks, Ted. Rip out my heart and wish me a Happy Birthday. 


We’re all very tired by the time the meal ends, especially poor old Grandad. I slump back up the stairs towards the bedroom I fell asleep in earlier on, but I hear Mum and Dad in the hall on the way up, so stop to listen. 


“That was a nice watch you got her,” says Mum, with no hint of aggression or sarcasm in her voice, “She seems to really like it.” 


“She likes yours too,” says Dad uncomfortably, “She…she can like them both equally, you know.” 


“I know,” says Mum, “It just seems like a bit of a waste. We could have gotten her a gold and silver watch, instead of getting her two different ones.” 


“Mmm,” Dad grunts, “We could have.” 


Is this conversation going somewhere? Or is the watch a metaphor for their relationship? Or are my parents smoking pot? 


“Goodnight, Ron,” says Mum. 


“G’night, Hermione,” Dad replies. 


I rush upstairs, smiling to myself. They are finally on civil terms. Mum hasn’t brought a date to the wedding. They don’t seem to want to kill each other anymore. 


“You seem happy,” says a voice – Scorpius’ voice – from I’m not quite sure where. He then walks out of the bedroom opposite to the one I’m staying in. 


“Oh, you’re talking to me now then?” I snap angrily. 


“I bet I can guess why you’re so happy,” he says bitterly. 


“Apart from the fact it’s my birthday? Oh, by the way, thanks for wishing me a happy one, really means a lot,” I say sarcastically, because of course he hasn’t uttered two words to me all day. 


“Happy Birthday,” he says, though not in a pleasant way. 


“What’s your problem?” I spit, “Why are you so…so…weird? What the hell did I do to you to make you stop liking – I mean, talking to me.” 


“I think the question is what I did to make you stop liking me,” he mutters. 


“What are you on about?” Doesn’t he realise that I do like him? 


“I like you Rose,” he says, “I’ve told you that before, but you never listen. I've passed thousands of hints, but you're totally clueless! I really like you. Maybe I even love you, I don’t know.” 


Well that took the wind out of my sails. 


“But I suppose I can’t help that,” he shrugs, “I suppose I can’t help loving you any more than you can help loving Teddy.” 


My heart stops. How the hell could he know that? Surely I’m not that obvious! I’ve done a pretty good job of hiding it over the last seventeen years! How could he have figured it out? 


“I…I don’t know what you m-mean…” I say lamely. 


“I think you do,” he says, and then turns back into his bedroom. “Goodnight.” 


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – bollocks.






A/N - Thanks for reading! Thanks for all of your reviews! Thanks for all of your Dobby nominations! You have made my life! Hope you liked the chapter, the wedding is approaching! Please review, thanks so much! (",)
padfoot4ever


Chapter 23: A Day To Remember
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Chapter 23: A Day To Remember






I stare up at the suspiciously overly-white ceiling of the Delacours’ sixth spare bedroom, which I’m sharing with Dom and Lily, wondering if I’m ever going to fall asleep. I can see the whiteness very clearly now because the sun is coming up, but I’m yet to get one wink of sleep. I don’t even feel tired. Every time I look at my watch – or should I say, watches (I have them both on, one on my right arm and one on my left) – I find that another ten minutes have passed, then another twenty until eventually it’s seven o’clock. I feel sort of light-headed due to hunger and lack of sleep, but I just keep staring and staring at that white ceiling until eventually I decide to roll out of the bed and go for a walk. 


I pull on an old pair of jeans that I have magically expanded and a plain white t-shirt and don’t even bother putting on shoes. It seems when you’re in the depths of depression and tiredness, shoes are fairly trivial items of clothing to remember to put on. I use the word depression – I’m not exactly depressed. You’d think I would be. You’d think that after everything that has happened in the last six months I’d be glued to my bed, not talking to anyone and painting emotional pictures of teenage girls crying, or occupied uteruses with angst-y captions like ‘Life is for Losers’. I’m not depressed. Well, not in the emo-ish way one would expect. I’m angry, confused and upset all at once, but depression can sometimes lead to a person not eating. And no force in this world could ever stop me from eating. It’s something to do with being a Weasley. 


The house is peaceful and quiet, but it won’t be for much longer. Victoire is staying here on the top floor of the house, while Teddy is on the middle floor. Teddy is to go down for breakfast at twenty-five past nine, sharp, and then eat outside in the garden so that Victoire can come down for breakfast in the dining room at half nine. It’s so that they won’t see each other before the wedding, but I still find it kind of unfair that Teddy has to be banished to the garden on his wedding day. Then again, it is Victoire’s grandparents’ house. I suppose what she says goes. 


I creep down the stairs as carefully as a semi-heavily pregnant person can creep. I hear distinct snoring coming from the room Dad is sharing with Uncle Charlie and it reminds me of better times when Mum used to cast silencing charms on Dad during the night to make him shut up. Then I hear noises from downstairs and begin to wonder who the hell has gotten up earlier than me. 


I hear a man’s voice coming from the kitchen, but it’s unfamiliar. It’s definitely none of my uncles. I tiptoe down to the hall and grab the first sharp object I find – an umbrella – and brandish it as my only weapon as I make my way towards the kitchen. It’s a pity I didn’t think to carry my wand on me. I’m not used to the whole concept that I’m allowed to use magic outside of Hogwarts now. 


“Did you get the camera?” the man’s voice asks. I throw open the door of the kitchen. 


“Don't move! I have a weapon and I’m not afraid to use it!” I cry. There are four people standing in the kitchen – a family of four, to be exact. The Scamanders. Lorcan drops his bag in shock, Lysander stares at me with a very relaxed expression, Rolf jumps and spins around to face me and Luna smiles dreamily. 


“Hello Rose,” says Luna, apparently not caring that I’ve just shouted at her and threatened her with an umbrella. I must look like a complete psycho. Here I am, pointing a perfectly harmless umbrella at close friends of the family while wearing two watches. Then again, I shouldn’t honestly be too worried about looking weird in front of the Scamanders. 


“H-hello,” I manage to stutter. I put the umbrella down, as Lorcan is beginning to look quite nervous. 


“We’re not late, are we?” asks Rolf, Luna’s husband, picking up Lorcan’s bag and setting it down on the table. He then proceeds to go through it, looking for what I presume is the camera. 


“Erm, no,” I say, “The wedding doesn’t start until this afternoon.” 


“Oh,” says Luna, “Well then why don’t we all apparate to the beach and collect seashells?” 


Although Rolf looks very excited at this prospect, Lorcan and Lysander look less than enthused. Having to endure the horrible sensation of side-along apparition just so they can collect seashells with their parents probably isn’t their idea of fun. Fishing in a Grindylow infested lake would be more their type of thing. 


“Erm, why don’t you two go to the beach,” I suggest, “and I can show Lorcan and Lysander around…” 


So I end up walking around the Delacour’s massive Parisian summer home (yes, it’s not their actual house, they usually live in Marseilles. I thought the Potters were rich…) showing Lorcan and Lysander every last corner, while Luna and Rolf head to the beach. It’s very dull. And I’m not exactly the world’s greatest tour guide. 


“There’s a bedroom,” I say monotonously, “And another…and another…there’s a bathroom…and another bedroom…and another…” 


I don’t know if they’re just putting it on, but they actually look interested. 


“Do you two actually care about what I’m saying?” I yawn. I haven’t slept or eaten, yet here I am showing two teenage boys around a French country house. 


“Not really,” Lysander admits, “But we’re used to pretending like we care about what people are saying.” 


“It comes with living with our mum,” Lorcan adds. 


Before I can respond to that, the door of the bedroom I’m sharing with Dom and Lily opens and Lily walks out, yawning and rubbing her eyes. She’s wearing her pyjamas and her red hair is extremely messed up. Lily’s not a morning person, so I’m guessing she’s just going to the bathroom or something – 


“AH!” she screams when she sees me and – oh yeah, her boyfriend. “W-what are you doing here?” We’re not quite sure who she’s screaming at, as her hair is covering her face. 


“Lily be quiet!” I warn, “You’ll wake Victoire!” 


Or worse, Scorpius. 


The door of the room Scorpius and Al are staying in opens. I’m ready to sprint into my own bedroom, but luckily it’s just Al, his black hair equally as messy as his sister’s. 


“What’s all the screaming?” he asks groggily, “Alright Scamanders? Aren’t you a bit early?” 


I shoo everyone downstairs so that we don’t run the risk of bumping into You-Know-Who (not that You-Know-Who). Lily returns to bed, clearly not caring that her boyfriend is here. Sleep before love and all that. Lorcan and Lysander head straight for the garden, probably to check out what weird magical creatures they can find out there. I doubt they’ll find anything. Maybe a Spiky-Backed-Garden-Ball (otherwise known as a hedgehog). 


Al and I sit at the small table in the kitchen. He looks terrible. His green eyes aren’t half as energetic as usual and he looks like he hasn’t slept at all. Three guesses what’s bothering him. 


“You don’t look good, Al,” I say, trying to make that sound as un-insulting (I know it’s not a word) as possible. He grunts in reply and stares out the glass sliding doors beyond where Lorcan and Lysander are climbing the massive oak tree. “This is about Jenny, isn’t it?” 


“No,” he says far too quickly. 


“You’re a really bad liar,” I say. 


“I don’t care about her,” Al lies, “I just don’t feel well.” 


“Lovesick?” 


“Shut up!” he snaps childishly. 


“Al if you still like her –” 


“I don’t.” 


“Just if you do, maybe you should tell her. I’m sure she’s hurting just as much as you are.” 


He continues to frown out the window. “I’m going for a walk,” he says and wanders off outside. I stay in the kitchen, watching Lorcan picking stuff up off the lawn and putting them in his pocket while Lysander hangs upside down from the oak tree. Seriously, he’s fourteen. 


I end up drifting off at the kitchen table and am rudely awoken at nine o’clock by Nana Molly, Andromeda Tonks and Apolline Delacour rushing into the kitchen to start breakfast. 


“Rose! What are you doing asleep down here?” Nana Molly asks, but doesn’t bother waiting for an answer, “Will you set the table in the dining room please? Are those the Scamander twins on top of the shed?” 


I grab the cutlery and grudgingly head into the dining room to set the table. I’m actually tired now, and I feel that if I did have the chance to lie down again I’d probably fall straight asleep. Fat chance of that happening now. And this isn’t like setting your normal six-seater table – we’re talking thirty. It’s like a conference table. 


More and more people start coming down for breakfast. The first down are Mum, Angelina, Ginny and Audrey who help with the cooking, while George and Percy sit at the table, waiting to be served. 


“Oi!” I snap at them, “Your breakfast isn’t going to just grow legs and walk over to you. Go help!” 


They look very frightened of me and jump to it, and I distinctly hear George say “sorry Mum,” in a sarcastic voice. 


“I heard that!” 


At twenty five past nine sharp Teddy appears in the kitchen looking blissfully happy and I feel a mixture of jealousy and guilt at the sight of him. Of course we barely have a chance to exchange two words, as Nana Molly and Mrs Tonks grab him and banish him out to the garden. Harry, being the caring godfather (and Best Man) he is, joins him out there. Five minutes later exactly, Victoire comes downstairs for breakfast. Personally, I think they’re taking these silly superstitions a bit too far. 


“Morning all!” Victoire calls happily. Plenty of people smile and beam at her, but Dom throws herself down on the chair beside me and starts shovelling sausages into her mouth. How the hell does she stay so skinny? 


“If I die before this day is out, promise me you’ll bury my wand with me,” says Dom darkly. She seems just about as keen on this wedding as I am, though I’m guessing for different reasons. “Have you seen our dresses yet?” 


“No,” I say, now feeling sort of frightened. Surely they can’t be that bad. However, I don’t have the chance to ask her just how bad they are, because Scorpius enters the room. It seems strange that there can be so much awkwardness and tension in one room, even though only two people in the room can feel it. I’m presuming he’s feeling awkward, as he won’t even look at me. He just sits down beside Al (who still isn’t talking to anyone) and they both sit there looking extremely moody. Already I can tell this isn't going to be a fun day. 


Luna and Rolf arrive back at the house in the middle of breakfast, Luna wearing a new necklace she has fashioned from seashells. Rolf is carrying a rather large bag of more seashells. They’re a strange couple, our Rolf and Luna. However, now that there are so many people in the dining room, nobody finds it strange that Scorpius and I aren’t speaking. 


At a quarter past ten, James (the last to wake up) arrives down for breakfast, by which stage Nana Molly, Fleur and Madame Delacour have whipped away all off the food. James isn’t even dressed – he’s wearing his boxers and a pair of white socks. It’s not a very pretty sight I can tell you. 


“Oh Christ,” Dom mumbles and immediately covers her eyes. 


“Try sharing a dorm with him,” says Fred darkly, and Mark nods in agreement. 


“James, do you have to embarrass us everywhere we go?” Ginny snaps angrily, “Could you not even put on a pair of jeans?!” 


“Chillax Mum,” he yawns, scratching his bare stomach, as if he has fleas or something, “What’s for breakfast?” 


“Breakfast was at half nine!” says Nana, bustling into the dining room, pointing her wand at the table and making it clean itself, “It’s now ten-seventeen! Time to start getting ready!” 


“What? But the wedding isn’t ‘til this after –” 


“Upstairs now, James!” Ginny demands, “And for the love of God put on some clothes!” 


Ginny chases her eldest son up the stairs, and he shouts and swears the whole way about how he’s starving hungry and this can be considered child abuse, denying him a basic human right. 


“I’ll show you child abuse if you don’t get up those stairs James Potter!” Ginny screams at him and we hear him run faster. Seriously, that woman is terrifying. 


After breakfast, Nana Molly begins assigning jobs to everyone. 


“Victoire, go upstairs so Teddy can come inside; George, Percy, Charlie and Ron, begin setting up the chairs in the marquee; Rose and Dominique, go upstairs with Victoire and start getting ready; Louis, Hugo, Lily, Roxanne and Lucy, help Andromeda with the food; Audrey, Angelina, Hermione and Ginny, finish the decorating; Fred, Mark, Scorpius, Albus and James – whenever he decides to grace us with his presence! – make sure the yard is clean and then help setting up the chairs! Jump to it everyone! Oh, Luna and Rolf, will you come with me, I need you to de-gnome the garden…” 


We all know better than to disobey a direct order, so we, in Nana Molly’s words, ‘jump to it’ immediately. Dom and I follow a very hyper Victoire up the stairs to the third floor and into her room. On the way up we pass James’s room, where Ginny is pulling a t-shirt over his head. 


“I can dress myself, I’m eighteen!” he’s shouting. 


“Obviously you can’t dress yourself!” she shouts back, “Hurry up! You have to help set up!” 


“But I’m hungry –” 


“You should have gotten up earlier!” 


Victoire’s room is even more extravagant than the one I’m sharing with Dom and Lily. It’s about three times as big, with a balcony and baby pink walls. There are random paintings of the countryside, and some pictures of Aunt Fleur’s family dotted around the place. Victoire’s dress is hanging up on the door leading out to the balcony and I have to admit, it’s beautiful. She’s going to look like a princess – and I’m going to look like a blimp. Such is life. 


We have our showers; Dom first, then me and then Victoire. By the time we’re finished, Victoire’s friend Dina has arrived. She’s a bridesmaid too, and there’s a lot of squealing and hugging on their part. Dom and I make gagging faces at one another. Dom’s face looks even sourer when Victoire takes the bridesmaid dresses out of the wardrobe. 


They aren’t as bad as I expected from Dom’s reaction. They’re quite frilly and a vivid electric blue colour. Okay, so they’re quite horrid. And they’re as wide as tents. I know I’m fat, but Dom and Dina are a pair of matchsticks. 


The hairdresser, the make-up artist and the dressmaker arrive shortly after Dina. I’m starting to think James and Al got the better end of the deal, cleaning up outside. The hairdresser, Mavis, pulls at my unmanageable hair for about half an hour until she eventually tames it into a loose up-style thingy on the back of my head. It’s nice, I suppose. 


Then, the rather fat lady called Stephanie attacks me with the make-up brush, putting the same electric blue colour of the dresses on my eyelids. Then she throws some blusher on my cheeks, as if they aren’t red enough. I officially look like a prostitute. Or, as Nana calls them, ‘Scarlet Women’. 


Dom doesn’t look quite as bad, as she can pull off the blue better than I can. We then slip into our marquee-sized dresses. The dressmaker, Timothy, merely flicks his wand at us and all of a sudden the dresses don’t look quite as bad as we first thought. It’s a strapless gown, with the waistline coming into a small ‘V’ at the centre front, and the skirt falls to below our knees. The skirt has a sort of handkerchief style hemline with four points, and all in all it doesn’t look too bad. Well, it looks a lot better on Dom, as mine is quite strained around the stomach area. 


Thankfully when we are finally done up to the nines, the stylists turn to Victoire to torture her for a while. Dom and I sit down by the window, which is overlooking the back garden and watch as Nana Molly chases James around making him do work as he complains loudly about not having had any breakfast. 


“So what’s the deal with you and Scorpius then?” Dom asks quietly, but that doesn’t make the question any less blunt. 


“Erm…” I try to think of something sarcastic to say, as I usually do in situations like these, “Well we’re having a baby…” 


“Yeah yeah,” Dom sighs impatiently, “Stupid sarcastic Rose remark, blah blah blah, but could I please get an actual answer before the year is out?” 


My sarcastic remarks are not stupid. 


“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Dominique,” I say, using her full name as revenge for her calling my incredibly witty and clever sarcastic remarks ‘stupid’. 


“Yes you do,” she rolls her eyes, “You haven’t said two words to each other since we got here. You could cut the tension with a knife at breakfast.” 


I slump back on the chair (until Victoire screams at me not to crease up the dress, so I sit back up again) and shrug. 


“He thinks I like…someone else.” 


Your about-to-be brother-in-law. 


Dom’s eyes widen at this and she seems genuinely shocked. 


“Who?” she asks in disbelief. 


“I…I don’t know,” I say, deciding that telling her about my seventeen year long crush on Teddy on the morning of his wedding probably isn’t the best of ideas, “He just has it in his head.” 


“Well…do you like someone else?” 


I pause for a moment before answering. 


“Rose!” Victoire calls, as the hairdresser pulls the rollers out of her hair, “Could you please go and check how the marquee is looking? It better be nearly ready…” 


She seems stressed so I agree. At least it delays me from answering Dom’s question. 


I trudge down the stairs, catching glances of myself in the huge mirrors on the walls – perhaps the electric blue eye shadow is a bit too much. Oh well, I suppose I can put up with it for one day. 


The back garden is mayhem. People are beginning to take their seats inside the marquee, but Nana Molly and Mrs Tonks aren’t even changed yet – they’re still in dressing gowns, shouting orders. 


“James!” Nana Molly growls, “STOP PICKING AT THE WEDDING CAKE!” 


“But I’m hungry!” he moans, as Ginny drags him away from the food table. Al is sitting right at the back, as far away from the altar as physically possible, completely disregarding all of Victoire’s carefully planned seating charts. Luckily for him, Ginny is too busy tying James’s Dickie-bow to notice him. However, Mrs Tonks appears to have noticed and drags him up to the third row to sit beside Lily. He looks extremely pissed off, I have to say. 


Teddy is already sitting at the front beside Uncle Harry. As soon as Auntie Fleur’s third or fourth cousins decide where to sit (and as soon as Mrs Tonks and Nana change into their dressrobes), the wedding is ready to begin. I scan the marquee for Scorpius, and notice him sitting up beside Al with his arms folded. I feel such a forceful pang of guilt in my heart at the sight of him that I can almost feel tears in my eyes. So, to avoid the embarrassment of having mascara and electric blue eyeshadow streaming down my face, I return to the house to tell Victoire that everything is ready. 


“Are they ready?” Victoire asks – well, snaps – as soon as I re-enter the bedroom. She looks so elegant in her dress, with her blonde hair curled and falling just past her shoulders, her veil placed carefully on top of her head and her make-up done to perfection. She is perfection. She looks like someone who should be on an ad for some really seductive wine. Or maybe for Milk Tray. 


“Everything’s ready,” I assure her. 


Uncle Bill arrives at the door to escort his daughter downstairs, telling her just how beautiful she looks. 


“Notice he didn’t mention how beautiful I look,” Dom mutters bitterly to me as we make our way downstairs, “Then again, I look like a bloody Scarlet Woman.” 


“Call them prostitutes,” I mumble back, “You sound like my dad.” 


Standing outside the marquee, I can hear Auntie Fleur crying from inside, reminiscing of her own wedding. Her sobs can be heard over the stringed quartet (cliché? – no, of course not) as I make my way up the aisle after Dominique and in front of Victoire’s friend, Dina. I find that my eyes are fixed on nobody but Scorpius. He hasn’t even looked up from the fingernails he’s been chewing. I almost trip at one stage from lack of attention. 


“Be careful!” Dina hisses from behind. Resisting the urge to stick up my middle finger at her, I concentrate on walking and not falling over. Because apart from the fact that it would be deathly mortifying, it really wouldn’t be good for my baby. 


What feels like ten thousand miles later, we arrive at the top of the aisle where a very old French wizard is standing, smiling at us. He’s the one who’s going to marry them – he makes me sick. Who would willingly choose a job where they have to attend weddings every other week? I’d rather work as an undertaker, thank you very much. 


All in all, the ceremony is quite boring. I don’t even pay attention to what is happening, but steal glances at Scorpius, wondering if he’s ever going to look at me the way he used to. Will we ever laugh at random students who walk down the corridors singing “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round The Mountain” again? Will we ever just hang out in the library in complete silence, but complete comfort again? Will he ever consider me as anything more than the girl who broke his heart and had his baby? 


I see his eyes flicker to me for a split second, but then they wander to another girl. She’s older than me I would think, maybe nineteen or twenty. And she’s certainly prettier than me. I’m fairly sure she’s some distant relative of Auntie Fleur’s, which means she has Veela blood running through her veins. 


The ceremony ends without me even realising it. However, there are then thousands upon thousands of pictures to be taken outside, so it’s at least another hour before I’m finally set free. Dom looks equally as pissed off as I do. 


“Stupid sodding pictures,” Dom mumbles as she rushes over to a waiter and grabs a glass of champagne. She grabs another and offers it to me. 


“I’m pregnant, remember,” I say, somewhat bitterly. 


“Oh yeah,” she says, looking at my bulging stomach, “Maybe you did get the worse end of the deal.” 


I glance around for Scorpius, but he’s nowhere to be seen. James has already delved into the buffet, while Al seems more interested in getting drunk – even though he isn’t even seventeen yet. 


“Al,” I say angrily, as he downs a glass of champagne in one as if it was water, “Steady on, yeah?” 


“You can’t tell me what to do,” he growls. 


“No, but I know someone who can,” I say, nodding towards Aunt Ginny. 


“Whatever,” he grabs another glass of champagne, “She doesn’t scare me.” 


Yeah, right. And I hear the Pope is a Jew. 


“Al, I really think you need to slow down…” I try again. 


You slow down,” he says stupidly. 


“Excuse me, sir,” the waiter says as Al makes to take another glass of champagne from his tray, “May I see your ID please?” 


“Of course,” says Al, without a hint of anxiety, and hands him a small card. The waiter seems pretty satisfied with it and hands it back, allowing Al to take yet another drink. I glance at the card. Of course – it’s James’s. Apparently the waiter didn’t notice the difference in eye colour. “See you later, I’m going for a walk.” 


He grabs a full bottle of champagne on the way out of the marquee. Everyone is beginning to sit down to dinner, so I decide it’s best to just leave Al to his own devices and go eat something. 


Except I can’t eat. My guilt has made me lose my appetite completely. Also, the fact that James is sitting beside me, lobbing every bit of food within his reach into him, has completely turned me off. 


And then the dancing begins. As Teddy and Victoire take to the floor, I notice just how happy he looks. He’s glowing. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him look happier in his entire life. He has eyes for one person and one person only – Victoire. I used to wish he’d look at me like that. Now, if Scorpius looked at me with even half the love Teddy’s showing for Victoire, I could die a happy woman. 


And then I realise it. 


I don’t love Teddy Lupin. 


Well I love him, of course I do, but I’m not in love with him – not by a long shot. Perhaps over the years I’ve just gotten used to fancying him and I’ve never really given anyone else a chance because of my unhealthy obsession. But today I haven’t really looked at him at all. I haven’t pined for him, or even felt upset about his marriage. Was it all just lust? 


As I look at him now I know that I am definitely not in love with him. I admire him, I look up to him, I respect him, I love him as my best friend in the world. But Merlin, if I was Mrs Teddy Lupin right now, I’m not sure I’d be very happy.


“Care for a dance, Rose?” 


One of Teddy’s mates, Evan, is standing in front of me, his hand outstretched. He’s one of the groomsmen, and it’s sort of my obligation to dance with him now. Is there any chance I could get out of this without looking like a spoilsport? 


“Go on, Rosie!” Dad encourages, sitting at the next table beside Mum, George and Angelina. 


Great. 


This sodding dance can’t end soon enough. 


I need to find him. I need to tell him… 


What the hell am I supposed to tell him? I’m so bad at confrontation. And knowing me I’ll probably end up verbally abusing him or something. 


“Are you alright?” Evan asks me as we sway uncomfortably on the dance floor. 


“Yes, I’m fine,” I say, and as soon as the music ends I break away from him immediately, “Thanks for the dance.” 


I run to the table where Dom is sitting with James, Fred and Mark and grab her by the arm. 


“No,” I say to her firmly. 


“I beg your pardon?” 


“No,” I repeat, “I don’t like anyone else!” 


It takes Dom a moment to figure out just what the hell I’m talking about. “Oh, right,” she says, “That’s good.” 


“Have you seen Scorpius?” I ask frantically. 


“Not since…” she trails off. 


“Not since when?” I snap. 


She shifts uncomfortably. “Not since I saw him chatting to one of my distant cousins outside a while ago.” 


I know which one it is. It’s the one he was looking at during the ceremony. Instead of getting upset about this, I go the other way – insanely angry. 


“Oh no she doesn’t,” I growl to myself, “I saw him first…” 


I storm out of the marquee, like someone with a mission. Scorpius isn’t outside, but the girl I know he’s been chatting with is. It takes all of my will power not to take out my wand and curse her pretty blonde head off. I approach her with such force and confidence that she raises her eyebrows at me in a very cynical and patronising way. 


“Excuse me,” I smile sweetly to her, “You know the boy you were talking to? With the blonde hair?” 


“Scorpeeus?” she asks. 


“That’s the one,” I say, “See this?” I point to my stomach, “It’s his. So don’t even bother trying.” 


“Zat is ‘is baybee?” she nods to my stomach. 


“Yes indeed it is,” I say, “And also, he has an extremely obsessive foot fetish, I really don’t think you want to get involved with the likes of him.” 


She looks a little frightened and then stalks off with one of her friends. Okay, maybe tarnishing his reputation isn’t the way to go about telling him how I feel. Screw it, I’m not losing him to another Veela. 


I storm around the garden like a complete lunatic, looking for Scorpius. I find Lorcan and Lily sitting up a tree, snogging, while Lysander plays with a pygmy puff he got Merlin knows where underneath it. I then find something a bit more shocking a bit further down the garden. 


Al, kissing the girl I’ve just told off for flirting with the father of my child. 


There are some sentences that, when you’re around six or seven, you think you’ll never have to say, and believe me, that’s one of them. 


What the hell is he playing at? I’m so glad poor Jenny decided not to come to the wedding after all. 


“Oi! Potter!” I yell at him, and the girl breaks away from him. She frowns at me as if to say ‘you again!’ and I suppose I can’t really blame her. 


“What d’you want?” Al grumbles, clearly intoxicated. 


“Where’s Malfoy?” I decide that reasoning with him in this state would be as pointless as selling ice to an Eskimo, so I just cut to the chase. 


“I dunno, probably in the loo,” he shrugs. 


Of course! I never thought of checking there! I rush to the house to find that there’s a pretty long queue outside the downstairs bathroom. But then again, Scorpius is more likely to be in his ensuite bathroom. So I rush upstairs to his room. 


Not bothering to knock (as I’m pretty fired up at this stage) I storm straight through his bedroom and into his bathroom – again, without knocking. Thank Merlin for small mercies, he’s in the process of washing his hands and looks extremely startled as I burst in the door. 


Of all the ways to tell someone you love them, this has to be the least romantic. 


“C-can I help you?” he stutters. 


“You listen up, Malfoy,” I snap, not really quite sure why I’m so angry, “You just listen! You can’t just tell me you love me and then ignore me all day! I’ll have you know that I’m not in love with Teddy –” 


“Yeah, right,” he mumbles. 


“Do not interrupt me!” I yell, and he looks a little frightened. This really isn’t going well. “I am NOT in love with Teddy, I might have thought I was once, but I’m NOT. I know my heart far better than you do.” 


He looks down at his shoes. 


“S-so,” I struggle, “Y-you just get your facts right before you start preaching, alright?” I poke him on the shoulder. I am getting physically abusive while trying to express my love for someone. I’m not joking when I say I need therapy. 


“So what are the facts then?” he frowns at me. 


“The facts are…” I trail off, “T-the facts are…w-well, I don’t really know what the facts are!” 


Yeah, I’m actually coming out with this. Maybe I’ll wake up in a minute. 


“Well then what are you doing bursting in on me in the crapper?!” he yells. 


“I LOVE YOU, YOU IDIOT!” 


I should be a love poet, don’t you think? 


He looks quite shocked. Okay, he looks extremely shocked. So I do what any other completely insane girl who bursts into a guy’s bathroom to tell him how she feels would do. 


I kiss him. Finally. 
 

 











A/N – Do I hear the distant sighs of relief? Do I hear some cries of ‘HOW COULD YOU LEAVE IT THERE?’?
I hope you liked the chapter, it’s taken me ages to write. I kept getting writer’s block, but I’ve gotten over that now! Sorry that there was no Ron/Hermione contact (but a brief mention that they were sitting beside each other, see?!), but I think the Rosius contact made up for it?
Another huuuge THANK YOU for the Dobby nominations, it’s so overwhelming!
Also, if anyone’s interested, I got my exam results, 5 As and 2 Bs, woo! College, here I come! My A in English was because of this site. I did no revision otherwise! So thank you HPFF! And as always, thank you loyal readers and reviewers.

 


Chapter 24: The Perfect Idiot
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Chapter 24 - The Perfect Idiot

 




Time seems to stand still as I wait for him to kiss me back. My heart is pounding furiously, and I know that if he doesn’t respond within the next two seconds I’m going to end up exploding with embarrassment. So two very long seconds pass and nothing happens. It’s like kissing a corpse. Oh Merlin – have I read the signs wrong? How the hell have I done that? A bloke knocks you up, tells you he likes you on several occasions, says he loves you, is willing to help you raise your child…you’d think he’d be up for a bit of a snog but no. Apparently not. 


I pull away from him. It’s obvious he never closed his eyes during the very awkward five second kiss, because it looks like they’re about to pop out of their sockets in shock. His arms are hanging limply by his side, showing no willingness to wrap themselves around me in the passionate embrace I was expecting. Once again, he’s like a corpse. I wonder is he dead? Could I cross necrophilia off my list of things to do before I die? Or add it to my list and then cross it off? Because let’s face it, nobody aims to get on a dead body. It’s just one of those things… 


Stop it, Rose. Think about normal things for once in your life. And look, Scorpius is now scratching his head uncomfortably, meaning that he’s not a corpse and is in fact still alive. He clears his throat and then looks down at the floor. 


“If you could say something that’d be spiffing,” I break the silence. See, a normal person would just run from the room in shame, dig a hole in the back garden and live there for all eternity. And don’t get me wrong, I’m going to do that, but not before I manage to embarrass myself to the furthest possible extent. 


He opens his mouth to say something but then closes it again. Then he frowns and starts biting on his bottom lip like he always does when he’s frustrated. 


“You know, anything at all would be fine,” I push, “Just so I know that you haven’t completely lost the ability to speak.” 


I should turn and run, I know I should. I want to, believe me. But I suppose I want to know why the hell he didn’t kiss me back more. 


A minute passes. In that space of time he’s cleared his throat nine times, ran a hand through his hair, almost chewed his bottom lip right off and stumbled sideways. And then: 


“You don’t mean it,” he says. 


Wow, for a bloke who got mostly Os in his OWLs, he’s fairly thick. 


“Yes, you’re right, I just climbed three flights of stairs in the most uncomfortable dress ever and burst in on you in the loo for a laugh,” I snap. Thicko. If I wasn’t in love with the bloke, I’d probably kill him. In fact, I haven’t ruled out that possibility. 


“I don’t believe you,” he says quietly and now looks kind of angry. 


“Why?” I ask, confused. Is he calling me a liar? Who the hell lies about stuff like this? 


“Because you always do this!” he growls bitterly and turns away from me, “You act like you like me –” 


“I do like you!” I snap angrily, “D’you think I’m the kind of girl who’ll sleep with someone I don’t even like?” 


“I don’t know anymore!” he snaps back. 


Ouch


I withdraw my wand from the horrible little electric blue purse and point it straight at his forehead. I’m really bad at this love rigmarole, aren’t I? 


“I didn’t mean it like that…” he says nervously, looking at my wand very apprehensively. 


“How did you mean it then Malfoy?” I hiss. 


I have him backed into the wall, so there’s no escaping. 


“I mean you liked Ted when you slept with me! You would have preferred if it was his kid you were having!” There’s a definite shake in his voice. 


“I had a crush – big deal! You were the one who asked Dom out afterwards! And actually, I would have preferred not to be having anyone’s kid, but we don’t always get what we want!” I lower my wand, deciding he’s not worth the trouble. 


How could I be so stupid? Of course he’s still angry. Why did I think that one little kiss would make him forget the fact that I’ve harboured secret feelings for Teddy Lupin for as long as I can remember? 


“Surely you’ve had one big crush,” I try to reason with him, “Everyone has them, they don’t mean anything!” 


“Yeah, I had one,” he scowls, “On you.” 


I don’t like his use of the past tense there. I wander out of the bathroom and back into his bedroom, and sit down on Al’s bed. I know it’s Al’s because his favourite ‘Spiderman’ pyjamas are thrown on the bed. He got them when he was about four (he was mad into Muggles back then even, especially Muggle superheroes) and instead of throwing them out when they got too small, he made Aunt Ginny magically expand them. And now, almost thirteen years later, he still wears them. Sad, eh? 


Scorpius follows me into the bedroom and leans up against the wall opposite me with his hands in his pockets. He stares at the ceiling, clearly as lost for words as I am. I try not to think about how handsome he looks in his black dressrobes, but it’s hard. I’m glad he doesn’t wear them all the time or else I’d never get anything done. 


“You said last night you love me,” I point out over a few minutes. He doesn’t look down from the ceiling, but furrows his eyebrows. 


“I said I might,” he corrects me. 


“Oh you might,” I snap angrily, “Well excuse me for getting the wrong end of the stick! You tell everyone you love them, then? You’re a proper modern-day Jesus aren’t you?”

Then he makes a face, like he’s mocking me. What a bastard. 


“Right,” I snap, and jump up off the bed (well, at least in my head I like to think that’s how it looks – in actual fact, I have to pull myself up with one hand on my back to stop myself falling over), “If you’re going to act like a big baby –” bad choice of word, I know, “then I’ll just leave you to it!” 


As I make my way towards the door, he grabs my hand and looks at me despairingly and clearly confused. I’m sure I look the exact same. We just look at each other for a moment, neither of us knowing what to say or do. Fortunately – or unfortunately, I’m not quite sure – Al stumbles into the bedroom, blind drunk. Scorpius drops my hand. 


“Al, mate?” he approaches him with some caution, “Are you alright?” 


Al says nothing and keeps his mouth firmly shut. He looks like he’s about to – 


“Holy shit, Al!” 


Yep, he throws up all over the Delacours beautiful cream fluffy carpet. Aunt Ginny is going to have to reconsider who the more menacing son is, I think. Al doesn’t seem to care, but throws himself down on Scorpius’ bed, as it’s closer to him, and starts groaning in pain. Scorpius looks absolutely disgusted. He didn’t look that horrified the time I threw up on him, but I suppose that was sort of his fault. 


“If you think I’m cleaning that up, you’ve got another thing coming, Potter!” Scorpius scowls, “How much did you have anyway?” 


Al mumbles something incoherent and rubs his temples. He looks awful, he really does. 


“Sleep it off, Al,” I advise, “I’ll come back to check on you in a few hours, yeah?” 


He mumbles again, so I take that as a ‘yes, thank you Rose’. I point my wand at Al’s ‘mess’ and clear it up with a vanishing charm, and then leave him alone in his room. Scorpius follows me out. 


“Look, Rose –” 


“Leave it,” I say shortly, “Just forget the whole thing. I’m going back downstairs, the speeches should be soon.” 


I don’t know how we’re supposed to forget the whole thing, but he doesn’t say any more and follows me back down the stairs. It’s a pity there aren’t two staircases so we wouldn’t have to be so close to each other after this embarrassing incident. Suddenly the Delacour’s house doesn’t seem so big anymore. 


Downstairs, I rush to the table where James, Fred, Mark, Dom, Louis and Lily are sitting and pretend as best I can that I didn’t just go temporarily insane. Everyone seems to be sitting, waiting patiently for the speeches to begin. Dom looks at me with curiosity, but I look away. I don’t feel like explaining myself right now. Scorpius, having nowhere else to sit, also sits at this table, but luckily he’s the opposite side. 


“What’s going on?” Dom asks me quietly, “DON’T say that it’s a wedding or I will kill you,” she adds. The girl is a mind reader. 


“Nothing’s going on, everything is dandy,” I reply. Can I just say, that’s the first time I’ve ever said ‘dandy’…and is very likely to be the last. Even Dom raises her eyebrows at the use of this new word. She doesn’t say any more though, as Uncle Bill stands up to deliver his father of the bride speech. 


“Hello…everyone,” Uncle Bill starts nervously and clears his throat, “I just want to say a few words…” It’s clear he doesn’t want to say a few words, but his wife is making him say them. “I’ve known Teddy his whole life; he’s like a second son to me and Fleur. So when we heard that our little Vic was going to marry him, we couldn’t have been more delighted.” Fleur smiles and nods in agreement. “I remember when they were little kids…” 


And so it begins – the reminiscing, the embarrassing stories, how they were made for each other from day one. I tune out and play with a crease on my dress. Every now and again, people laugh and either Ted or Victoire go very red. And although it sounds very selfish, all I can think about it how my heart is broken. That sounds so cheesy, doesn’t it? I didn’t think heartbroken was a real feeling. I thought it was just one of those words bad authors used when they couldn’t think of a better word for ‘sad’. But I actually feel as if Scorpius has reached down my throat, pulled out my heart, ripped it in half and thrown it back down for good measure. And believe me, it hurts. 


“So if you’d all join me in raising a glass – to Teddy and Victoire.” 



SCORPIUS POV 
To Teddy and Victoire!” everyone echoes. 


Of all the weddings I’ve been to, this one wins the award for the worst. I have absolutely no idea why I came here. How could I have possibly thought that this would be fun? Don’t get me wrong, I like a good wedding. When my Aunt Daphne got married it was all cheesy dance moves and party poppers. Here, I am yet to see even one Rock The Boat or Cha-Cha Slide or even The Macarena, and you’d think those would be a given at any wedding. Then again, this is a wizard’s wedding, and my Aunt married a Muggle – and let’s face it, those Muggles have the best cheesy music. 


No, this wedding – to put it mildly – is about as fun as a piss-up in a nunnery. 


As Mr Potter takes to the floor to make his speech, Dom stands up and says she’s going to the bathroom. On her way past me, she grabs my shoulder, digging her long nails into me and whispers into my ear “follow me, now.” 


Does she want me back? Because she has another thing coming if she thinks I – 


Now!” she hisses. 


Deciding that nothing can be worse than listening to these speeches, I follow her. This must look strange, but Mark doesn’t seem to think so. Then again he’s just a dumbass idiot with nothing between the ears – 


Stop. You don’t hate Mark. You hate Dom, remember? 


I follow her out of the marquee and she rounds on me, fuming. What is it with Weasley girls making angry sexual advances towards me today? 


“You are an idiot!” she barks, and slaps me upside the head. 


Ow! What the hell was that for?!” 


Apparently she’s not making sexual advances. Instead she’s trying to kill me. 


“For you being a total prat!” she smacks me again. 


“Ow!” 


I back away from her – my whole life is flashing before my eyes.


“You are so stupid, d’you know that? You are the stupidest idiot I’ve ever come across in my whole life!” 


“Woah! Slow down, Dom, where the hell is this coming from?” I cry, frankly terrified of her. 


“What did you do to her?” she spits, her reddish-blonde hair coming loose from its…whatever the hell it’s tied into, “What did you do to Rose?” 


Steering away from the more sarcastic ‘got her pregnant, but I thought you knew that’, I reply, “I have no idea what you’re on about.” For that, I earn another wallop. 


“I’m not stupid,” she snaps, “One second she’s looking all over for you, wanting to tell you how she feels and the next you’re sitting at opposite ends of the table stealing guilty glances at each other. What did you do to her?!” 


“I didn’t do anything!” I cry, and technically I’m not lying. She kissed me and I, like a perfect idiot, did absolutely nothing. I just stood there. The more I think about it, the more stupid I think I must have looked. “I didn’t do anything,” I repeat. 


“Wait…what?” Dom glares at me, “What does that mean?” 


“It means…” This is embarrassing. “…she kissed me and I just stood there.”
 

Dom looks at me, eyes widened in shock. Then – 


SMACK! 


Right across the back of the head.


“Jesus Dom, stop doing that! I don’t want to hit a girl!” I yell, rubbing my very sore head. 


“You are an idiot!” she repeats angrily, “Are you telling me that the girl you’ve been pining for, for Merlin knows how long, kissed you and you rejected her?” 


Yep, that’s about the extent of it. 


“I –” 


“No,” she interrupts before I even get started, “Don't even bother making excuses. You’re the world’s biggest plank, you know that? Don't you think she’s been through enough in the last few months?” 


“I know –” 


“Then why are you doing this? Do you Malfoys just strive to be bigger shitheads than the generations before you? Because Scorp, you’re doing a pretty good job of it!” 


“I got scared!” I admit. I wish I hadn’t said that – I sound like such a Fruit. “I – I mean, it’s all a bit much, you know? I’m going to be a father in a few months, and I’m just…what if it doesn’t work?” 


She sighs and sits down on one of the garden chairs. “Sit,” she demands, pointing to the chair opposite her, “now.” 


I sit, because I’m afraid she’ll beat me again if I don’t. 


“Do you think this is working for you? You and Rose being ‘just friends’ I mean. Do you think it’ll make having the baby easier?” she asks. 


“I dunno,” I mumble. 


“If the baby wasn’t in the equation – let’s say Rose never got pregnant. Would you want to be with her?” Dom presses. 


Yes, I would. She’s Rose.

“I’ll take your silence as ‘yes’,” says Dom, “So what are you waiting for?” 


I don’t know. 


“I fucked up,” I admit. 


“Yes, you did,” Dom agrees, “Take me through it from the start. What did Rose say to you?” 


“Eh…” I think back, “I think her exact words were ‘I love you, you idiot’…or something along those lines.” 


“You do realise that that’s as affectionate as Rose Weasley is ever going to get, don’t you?” Dom says, “I mean, that’s like reciting a bloody Shakespeare sonnet in her language. Rose doesn’t do romance.” 


“I’ve noticed.” 


Dom shakes her head. “You really are an idiot. I can’t believe you rejected her.” 


“I’m sorry, could you please rub some more salt into the wound? It feels good.” 


“You have to apologise,” says Dom seriously, “Even if you don’t want to be with her, you have to apologise for being such a prick about it. And for Merlin’s sake let her down gently, if you’re going to let her down at all. Just stop messing her about.” 


I nod. Dom gets up to go back into the marquee, where the wedding that I’ve totally forgotten about is still going on. 


“Dom,” I call before she goes back in, and she turns around to face me, “I’m sorry I messed you about. And…I’m glad you found Mark.” 


Okay, maybe I’m going a bit far. I’m not that glad. I’m still a tad pissed off that she cheated on me for a month, even though I was/am sort of in love with her cousin. Still, cheating is bad form. (That kiss with Rose on New Years Eve doesn’t count…what happens on New Years Eve doesn’t count in day-to-day life, everyone knows that.) 


“I’m sorry if I hurt you,” she replies, “And I don’t mean with the slaps.” 


Yeah, I think they hurt way more than the cheating thing. I’m positive I can feel a bump forming on my head. She goes back inside, and I think we’ve just made a mutual agreement to be friends. Or not enemies, at least. 


I go back inside, and now one of Teddy’s groomsmen is talking away about one time he and Teddy were so ‘shit-faced’ on holiday in Spain – yeah, Victoire’s not looking happy at all. Rose is playing with a strand of her hair, clearly bored. 


“Come outside with me,” I whisper to her, so I won’t interrupt Mr. I-Was-So-Wasted in the middle of his speech. She takes a look up at the stage, decides that she can take no more of these speeches and nods. 


Once outside, I take a deep breath. This is it – the moment of truth. Do I let her down gently, or do I give this a chance? She looks pretty angry – maybe she doesn’t want to give it a chance anymore. Not that I blame her. I was a real prick. 


“Are you alright?” is my first question, and it’s a stupid one. 


“I’m just dandy, thanks,” Rose replies, arms folded. 


“Dandy?” I scoff. 


“It’s my word of the day,” she snaps, “Have you a problem with that?” 


“Nope,” I say quickly, “No problem.” 


“Is that all you wanted?” she frowns, “To see if I’m alright?” 


“N-no…” I admit, “Look, I’m sorry for being a prick and a plank and an idiot and…” I try to think of the other things Dom called me, “and a shithead –” 


“Don't forget wanker,” Rose adds. 


“That too,” I agree, “I…sort of had a bit of a panic attack, I think. This is all becoming so real and I’m afraid I’m going to fuck it up.” 


“You already have fucked it up,” she points out logically, “You can’t really do any worse.” 


“I’m sorry,” I say again, “I really am.” 


Rose nods, but doesn’t stop frowning. “So what happens now?” 


I don’t really know what happens now. I don’t know what to do, or what to say. All I know is I love her and I want to be with her. Right, here goes, I’m just going to do it. Bite the bullet. Nip it in the bud. Throw the baby out with the bathwater (that one doesn’t fit, but I can’t think of any more clichés). I take her hand first, to indicate what I’m about to do. See, if I just plonk a kiss on her lips, she might end up popping that baby out on me three months early in shock. Okay, she knows what I’m about to do because she’s sort of reaching up. So I bend down to her level. Then I kiss her, after all these years of waiting, I kiss her and it feels right. For once. 

 

 









A/N - A bit cheesy, I know! Firstly I'm sorry for the wait, and I know that this chapter was kind of short, but I hope you liked it! I figured it couldn't just take one chapter for Rose and Scorp to get together, I'd have to drag it out a bit! Let me know what you think of the Scorpius POV because I'm not sure if I like it or not...
Secondly, THANK YOU to everyone who voted for Delicate in the Dobby Awards - as I'm sure you know, it won Most Addicting Story. So yeah, THANK YOU again! It made me so happy! I don't have a speech prepared so I'd just like to thank God and the Academy...

 


Chapter 25: Blissfully Perfect? Not Likely.
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Chapter 25 - Blissfully Perfect? Not Likely. 








I wake up at around eleven the next morning. That’s early, considering it was half four when we all managed to get to bed. At first I think last night was just a dream. How can everything have gone from insanely complicated to blissfully perfect in one day? Okay, maybe not everything is blissfully perfect, but almost. 


I am Scorpius Malfoy’s girlfriend. 


I never thought I’d say that. When Dad told me on my first day of first year not to get ‘too close’ to him, I thought ‘as if!’ Back then he was a scrawny little Draco-Clone with a pointy face – sort of like a rat. He was like that for a few years – then in fourth year he started getting girlfriends. It sort of came as a shock – he was only fourteen after all. But he no longer had the pointy face thing going on…he’d sort of filled out. He became less like his dad and more like his mum. Well, I think he’s more like his mum, apart from the fact that she has jet black hair and he has snowy blonde. Then he took the growth spurt and he was just a completely different person than the one Dad had warned me not to get ‘too close’ to. 


And now I am his girlfriend. 


So, deciding that I’m too happy to possibly sleep any more, I get out of bed and take a long, hot shower, reflecting on just how perfect life has become. I will no longer focus on the negatives. Cynical, sarcastic, pessimistic Rose Weasley is no more – I officially love life. The glass is half-full, the Hippogriff is half-bird, James is a half-wit…and I am in love! 


So, to celebrate, today I sing ‘I’m So Excited’ at the top of my voice – I’m not worried about waking the entire house. They drank and danced so much last night that I don’t expect to see them until at least mid-afternoon. After I’m full sure that I’ve used every drop of hot water in the house, I hop (well, you know) out of the shower and get dressed. Lily is still conked out in her bed – she didn’t come in until well after six o’clock this morning, having spent the night wandering around the countryside with Lorcan. I can’t see Dom’s face as her mass of strawberry blonde hair is covering it, but her loud snoring tells me that she’s still fast asleep. She tried to bring Mark back to the room last night, but Uncle Bill caught her. Those scars all over his face make him look way more intimidating than he actually is, so Mark didn’t dare try and sneak in after he’d left, much to Dom’s disappointment. 


I leave the bedroom quietly, and as I close the door gently, the door of Al and Scorpius’ room opens. At first I’m excited at the prospect of seeing my boyfriend – my boyfriend – but then I’m disappointed when I see it’s just my stupid cousin. My stupid, extremely hung-over cousin. 


“Morning Albus!” I grin at him. He’s not wearing his glasses, so he squints at me and runs a hand through his very messy black hair. He looks like a dog’s dinner. 


“Red,” he greets me back as retaliation for me using his full name. 


“Where are your glasses?” 


He holds them up – they are broken in two. 


“How on earth did you manage that one?” I scoff. 


“Slept on ‘em,” he grumbles. 


“So fix them,” I shrug. We learned the bloody Reparo charm back in first year. 


“I can’t,” he says, “I’m still sixteen, remember?” 


Oh yeah. I forgot that. 


“Sure you’re only a baby,” I grin patronizingly and flick my wand at his glasses. He grumbles a ‘thank you’ (or at least that’s what I take it as) and we walk down the stairs to breakfast. A few people are up before us – Nana, Mum, Ginny, Percy, Harry and Fleur – but most are still in bed. Mum, although she went to bed as late as the rest of us, doesn’t really look any worse for wear. Percy, on the other hand, looks as if he hasn’t gotten a wink of sleep at all. 


“…honestly! He is forty-five years old, when is he going to grow up?” Uncle Percy scowls, wiping his glasses on his shirt, “You know, he’s just like Uncle Bilius.” 


He can only be talking about one person. 


“Oh lighten up, Perce,” Ginny sighs at her older brother, “George was only having a laugh.” 


“A laugh?” Percy cries, “You call putting six mice into my bed and stuffing my pockets full of gravy a laugh? I don’t think Audrey will ever get over the shock…and I didn’t hear anyone laughing!” 


“I did,” Harry mumbles under his breath, and Mum has to pretend to be looking for something in the cupboard so Percy won’t see her giggling. 


“Everything has to be a joke with him, doesn’t it? You know, I think he’s worse than Uncle Bilius was, when he has a few drinks in him!” 


Percy says ‘Uncle Bilius’ as if it’s an insult, but I know perfectly well that George would only be too delighted to be compared to his late uncle. Bilius died way before I was born, but Dad’s face always shines with admiration whenever he talks about him. ‘Life and soul of any party’, Dad always says. He’s especially proud that he was named after him. 


“Good morning, dears,” Nana Molly greets me and Al tiredly, just noticing that we’ve entered the kitchen. 


“Morning Nana,” I smile back at her. Why can’t I stop smiling? It’s as if my mouth is stuck like this. Apparently Ginny has noticed, because she grins at me knowingly. I say knowingly – of course she knows the reason for my smiles. I was dancing with the said ‘reason’ all night! Al throws himself down on a chair at the table and begins scoffing his face with food, reminding me very much of his older brother. 


“You disappeared very early last night,” Ginny frowns at Al suspiciously. 


“I was tired,” he snaps grumpily. Seriously, the resemblance between Al and James is becoming uncanny. Apparently Ginny is starting to think so too. 


“Albus Severus Potter, you reek of drink!” she hisses, “Are you hung over?” 


“I’m not hung over!” Al protests angrily. 


“Al, watch your tone,” Harry warns. Oh Potters, please don’t ruin my good mood… 


“Don't you start on me and all!” Al complains gruffly. Yep, that’s it. He’s pissed Harry off good and proper. Well done, Al, well done. 


“I’ll start on you all I like, I’m your father!” Harry snaps, “I don’t mind you having a drink or two –” 


“Or seven,” I can’t stop myself from saying. This earns me a very dirty glare from Al. 


“– but you come down here like – like – like…” 


“A baboon with nappy rash!” Ginny finishes for her husband. 


“Exactly!” Harry continues, “You’ve put everyone in bad humour!” 


Hark! Do I hear my parents giving out to someone who isn’t me?!” James appears in the kitchen, thankfully fully dressed, and smiling happily. James always takes great joy in seeing his parents give out to Al ‘The Golden Boy’. 


“Thin ice, James, very thin ice,” I warn him quietly, and even he knows when to stop. Al stays quiet, and we don’t talk about his state of intoxication any further, but I know that when Harry and Ginny get him home, he’s in for a serious lecture. 


I help Mum to clean around the house after breakfast, and she seems very suspicious as to why I’m helping. Can’t a girl clean up without facing a bloody inquisition? 


“Do you want something?” she asks sceptically. 


“No!” 


“Did you do something?” 


“No!” 


“Are you dying?” 


“No –” 


“Am I dying?” 


“Mum!” I stop her, “Nobody’s dying, I just thought I’d give you a hand!” 


This is the last time I ever try to do something nice. 


No – you’re positive Rose, remember? No more cynicism. 


“Are you almost packed?” Mum asks, “Because we’ll be leaving in around an hour and a half or so –” 


“Of course I’m almost packed…” 


That’s a downright lie, but it doesn’t look as if Mum has noticed. In fact, she’s stopped drying the plate she was holding and is staring fixedly at something behind me. I whip around to see– 


Dad. 


And he’s shaved his beard right off. He looks about ten years younger without it, I have to say, and apparently Mum’s noticed too. 


“Morning,” Dad coughs uncomfortably. 


“Afternoon,” I greet him back. Mum’s cheeks have turned bright pink. She turns around and continues drying the dishes, almost dropping the plate she’s holding. She’s blushing. The man she’s been married to for almost twenty years enters a room and she blushes. And guess what? Dad’s blushing too. 


“Looking good without the beard, Dad!” I grin at him, just to make Mum more uncomfortable. This is fun. 


“Yeah, erm, thanks,” he mumbles, “Have you packed?” 


Bloody parents and their bloody packing. I throw the tea towel at Dad, indicating that he should be the one helping Mum to do the dishes, not poor old pregnant me. Then I wander off up the stairs to pack. On the way I meet practically everyone. First is Monsieur Delacour in the hallway, smiling happily and wishing me a good morning, though it’s almost one in the afternoon. Then Lily and Dom stroll down the stairs, both of them still in their pyjamas, yawning. They barely notice me. Then I meet Roxie on the staircase, followed by Fred and Mark, then Uncle George, Aunt Angelina and the whole Scamander family. When I finally reach my own floor, there’s only one person left on it (apart from the newlyweds, of course). 


“Afternoon.” 


Scorpius comes out of his room, yawning and stretching like everyone else. He strolls over to me and embraces me in the best hug I’ve had since…well, last night. 


“Afternoon,” I grin back, “You’re up awfully late.” 


“I know,” he says, his forehead touching mine and his arms still wrapped around my waist, “Some girl kept me up all night dancing.” 


“She sounds extraordinary,” I say. 


“She is,” he replies, “A bit bigheaded…” 


I shove him. “That’s big talk coming from a Malfoy!” 


“Have you packed?” he grins. 


“What is it with everyone and their stupid packing?” I sigh, to myself more than to him.
 

“Come on, I’ll help,” he offers and steers me into my room. Even Dom and Lily have their stuff packed. My stuff seems to be thrown everywhere. I don’t even see why I have so much, considering we’ve only been here a few days. 


Scorpius does most of my packing, as bending over is quite challenging for me at the moment. We just end up talking about nothing in particular, but I can’t help but feel like it’s one of the best conversations I’ve ever had. Even after we’ve (well, he’s) finished packing, we just lie on the bed and chat some more. See, my life is perfect. Not even Grandad getting arrested for suspected terrorism could ruin this. 


“Oh, I almost forgot…” Scorpius pulls out a small box wrapped in purple paper from his pocket and hands it to me. 


“What’s this?” 


“It’s your birthday present,” he says simply. Oh yes. My birthday. That feels like months ago. “It’s not much,” he says nervously, “I didn’t really know what you’d like…” 


I open the box and find a ring on a white gold necklace inside. The ring has a single purple stone in the middle and it’s breathtaking. 


“I just thought it was…nice,” he says lamely. 


“It’s amazing, thank you so much,” I whisper to him and kiss him. I then take off the necklace that Teddy gave me and replace it with Scorpius’. And I know somewhere deep down that I’m not likely to take this one off any time soon. 





“Alright Weasleys! Let’s go through this once more!” 


Grandad has us all lined up in the garden once more, except this time it’s the Delacour’s garden. There are less of us travelling home by plane this time, luckily. Al, James, Lily, Hugo, Scorpius and I are going with Mum, Dad, Charlie, Nana and Grandad on the plane, while everyone else is taking a portkey. Although I’m entering my third trimester now I feel safer flying than I would taking a portkey. 


“What do we not say in the airport?” Grandad asks. 


“Bomb,” we all answer automatically. 


“Dad, we’re really not the ones you should be warning,” Dad sighs. 


After twenty minutes of a lecture on the importance of being quiet in the airport, we set off home. We say goodbye to Teddy and Victoire, who will be setting off to Greece on their honeymoon in a few hours, and then Harry drives us to the airport. The car, needless to say, has been expanded significantly. 


This time (luckily) there are no hitches at the airport. Grandad keeps quiet, and the plane isn’t even delayed. See, my life is perfect! Al sits with me and Scorpius on the flight home, but hardly says anything for the first half an hour. He doesn’t even join in with Grandad’s yells of joy as the plane takes off. He just sits there, staring at the safety instructions printed on the seat in front of him, not looking up when the air hostess starts doing what Grandad calls her ‘funny little dance’ – in other words, the safety demonstration. 


“Isn’t she funny, Lily?” Grandad chimes loudly as the air hostess points to the emergency exits. Lily tries to hide her face as the air hostess shoots them very dirty glares. 


When the seatbelt sign has been turned off, Al gets up to go to the loo, leaving me and Scorpius alone to scheme. 


“It’s Jenny,” says Scorpius simply, “She's what's depressing him. Of course it is. What else could it be?” 


“I know it’s Jenny, Einstein,” I roll my eyes at him, “But the question is how do we cheer him up? How do we make him get over her?” 


“We can’t make him,” says Scorpius, and I know he’s right. I hate when he’s right. “Who says he has to get over her? What if we got them back together?” 


“Good luck with that,” I snort, “The chances of Jenny taking him back at this stage are as likely as Dumbledore taking up line dancing.” 


“Dumbledore’s dead…” 


“Exactly,” I conclude. Then I remember – I’m supposed to be Miss Optimistic now. “No! You’re right! We can get them back together!” 


“You changed your mind awfully quickly,” says Scorpius suspiciously, knowing fine well that I don’t usually give in this easily. And that’s probably the first time I’ve ever said ‘you’re right’ to anyone in my entire life. See, love changes people. 


“Don't be so pessimistic, Scorp,” I tell him, making him raise his eyebrows even further. 


I’m the pessimistic one?” 


“Shh! He’s coming back!” 


Al doesn’t notice that we’ve immediately stopped talking. He just goes back to staring at the seat on front of him, expressionless. 





Scorpius, it’s decided, is going to stay at our house for the remainder of the break. Dad insists that he has to stay in the spare room (because if he stays in my room I might, you know, get pregnant or something). Mum comes back to the house with us after we’ve dropped the Potters off on the way home from the airport. She insists it’s ‘just for a minute’ as she comes in, though. Still, it’s nice to have the family back together again. Even Hugo seems that little bit happier. 


We leave Mum and Dad to talk in the kitchen. Hugo shuts himself up in his bedroom, and Scorpius and I sit in the lounge, plotting ways to reunite Al and Jenny again. At first we just sit in silence, thinking. If I’m being totally honest, I’m not sure if I see them getting back together at all. I know that’s very defeatist, considering my new mood, but honesty is the best policy. 


“Maybe we could, you know, tell Jenny that Al really wants her back,” Scorpius suggests. Seriously, after twenty minutes of silent thinking, that’s the best he can come up with. Pathetic. 


“Al’s not even admitting that he wants her back, so that’s not going to work,” I tell him, “Besides, Jenny’s not going to listen to us – least of all you.” 


“Why not me?” Scorpius asks, offended. 


“Because she doesn’t know you for one,” I say logically, “All she knows is that you’re Al’s best friend. Of course you’re going to be on his side. And I’m his cousin, so it’s the same with me. We can’t make it seem like we’re picking sides.” 


He looks as if he’s trying to think up a good argument, but he knows I’m right. So he goes back to intense thinking. He’s cute when he thinks. It’s a pity he doesn’t do it often enough. Stupid, non-thinking Slytherins. 


“I know!” Scorpius jumps after a few moments, grinning, “We could tell Al that Jenny wants him back!” 


“That’s not going to work!” I argue, feeling all of my newfound optimism slipping away slowly, “She’s never going to admit she wants him back. Then he’ll find out she doesn’t want him and it’ll just be one big bloody massacre! And you know who’ll be slap bang in the middle of it?” 


“We will,” says Scorpius sadly, realising that his two best ideas have just been completely shot down. So we sit in silence for a few minutes more. I’m not even thinking about Al and Jenny, really. I’m just looking at that one bit of blonde hair at the back of Scorp’s head – it sticks out more than the rest of it. It’s sort of annoying. I feel like slicking it back with hair gel. Of course then he’d just look exactly like his father and we don’t want that… 


“D’you know what we could do,” Scorpius says after a few more minutes. 


“Enlighten me.” 


“We could forget about Al and Jenny…” already done, “And just kiss?” 


Sounds good to me. 


** 


Mum goes back to her apartment late. Dad told her she could have their room and that he’d take the couch, but she insisted that she had ‘things to do’ and left. I can see he’s upset by this, but he doesn’t say anything. They were getting on so well today. I could see Mum blushing when Dad would smile at her, and he’d blush at her blushing! They’re like a pair of teenagers. No, they’re worse than teenagers! I’m a teenager and at least I face up to my feelings and just go for it! Bloody hell, when are they ever going to grow up? 


Dad goes up to bed after Mum leaves, wishing me and Scorpius a good night (though he says it rather coldly to Scorpius). I then show Scorpius to the spare room, which is right beside Hugo’s. 


“Good luck trying to get a good night’s sleep,” I tell him, “The Idiot plays his crappy music well into the wee hours of the morning.” 


“That’s okay,” Scorpius shrugs, “My dad listens to a lot of Country and Bluegrass. Metal makes a nice change.” 


All of a sudden I get a mental picture of Draco Malfoy wearing a straw hat and dungarees, playing a banjo. Officially the second freakiest thing I’ve ever seen, right after Laura Phelps’ mother. I wonder how Laura is… 


I kiss Scorpius goodnight and creep into my own room, hoping that I don’t wake Dad up, even though I know he’s not going to be able to sleep. Despite Hugo’s very loud music, he has a lot on his mind (though luckily he now has less on his face). I have to say he looks a bit strange without the beard. In the pictures of my first birthday he has a bit of stubble – by the time the baby pictures of Hugo came around, he had a fully grown beard. It’s just weird to see him without it now. His hair is still quite long, though. Male-patterned baldness usually skips a generation, so I’m guessing that Hugo’s going to end up like Grandad when he gets older. Luckily, Lucius Malfoy still has a full head of white hair, while Draco is balding, meaning that if my theory is correct, Scorpius won’t go bald! Yay! So if I have a boy, will he or will he not suffer male-patterned baldness? This is too confusing. I’m going to stop thinking about it. 





The next few days are spent planning and catching up on schoolwork, which has been completely piled on. I have to write a Transfiguration essay, two Potions assignments, a Herbology Essay and a Charms essay. The Easter holidays are never fun. They’re especially not fun this year, when I have to make a birth plan as well as doing all of my homework. And I thought OWL year was hard. 


On the Friday before we head back to Hogwarts, Scorpius and I sit down to discuss our plan. At first it goes just about as successfully as the ‘Getting Al and Jenny back together’ plan. We just sit in silence, thinking. 


“Okay, so I’m due on July 17th,” I say, and Scorpius scribbles down the date on a piece of parchment, as if we’re doing a project or something. 


“Right, July 17th,” Scorpius repeats. 


“The chances are it’s going to be late. First borns are usually a week or so overdue,” I say. He scribbles down ‘overdue’. I’m so lucky to have him, don’t you think? (Oops, I forgot, less sarcasm). 


“So if you want…maybe you could stay here the week before the due date? Just in case?” I suggest. 


“Erm…yeah,” he says, looking a bit nervous. He’s getting scared because we’re talking about the due date. We’re going past the pregnancy part and moving on to the next stage, and that scares the shit out of him. I know this because it scares the shit out of me too. 


“Healer Thorne is going to deliver the baby,” I tell him, “And I’m going to have a natural birth – none of those dodgy potions and such. That’s how Mum had Hugo and me, and we turned out just fine.” 


Okay, maybe that’s an overstatement. 


“A natural birth?” Scorpius looks very distressed at the thought, as if he’s the one who’s going to have to squeeze the thing out. “Won’t that…hurt?” 


“No, of course not,” I frown, “It’ll be like having a squishy pillow come out my –” 


“Okay! A natural birth, if that’s what you want!” 


He scribbles down ‘natural birth’, as if we might forget if he doesn’t. He then starts tapping the quill off the table, waiting for me to tell him what happens next. The hard part. 


“I’m quitting Hogwarts,” I say definitely. 


He drops the quill and glares at me in disbelief. But it’s okay – I’ve prepared myself for the reaction. 


“You can’t quit Hogwarts!” he cries, “I can deal with the natural birth thing, but you can’t –” 


“Why can’t I?” I ask angrily, “What other choice do I have? Do you expect me to go and sit the NEWTs with a baby on my hip? It’s not practical! You knew it’d come to this!” 


He opens his mouth and then closes it again. It’s like he’s trying to think of another solution, but there isn’t one. I can’t do seventh year with a baby. Not even considering the stress I’d be under, where would he or she live? How could I look after her or him properly? 


“I’ll quit Hogwarts,” Scorpius says after a few minutes, and puts up a hand to shush me as I go to protest, “It makes more sense! You’re better than me at school anyway, you’ll get better grades –” 


“Scorpius –” 


“Let me finish! I have a job, I don’t need NEWTs –” 


“Scorpius! I want to quit,” I tell him, “I’ll go back and take my NEWTs when the baby is older, but I can’t do them next year.” 


Scorpius goes to argue back when Mum apparates loudly into the living room, looking very disgruntled. The crack makes us both jump, and Scorpius accidentally knocks the quill and parchment off the table. Dad comes running down the stairs to see what the noise was, followed closely by Hugo. 


“What the – Hermione?” 


Mum turns to Dad, and I notice for the first time that her eyes are all red and puffy. 


“R-Ron!” she sniffs, “Oh Ron!” 


“Hermione, what’s wrong?” Dad asks, panicked, “Sit down!” He sits her onto the couch. Hugo looks at me, with a very scared expression. He looks exactly how I feel. 


“Mum?” Hugo presses. 


“M-my dad,” she sobs, “H-he just had a heart attack.” 


“Grandad? Is he alright?” I ask, fearing her answer. 


“H-he…he’s dead.” 


With that, she collapses into Dad’s arms and cries even more. Blissfully perfect? My life? No, I don’t think so.








A/N - Of course I couldn't have a purely happy chappie - what do you take me for?!
Some filler parts, some important plot parts here! There are so many issues to address, and its hard to do so in one chapter without it seeming choppy, so I'm sorry for the choppiness! But there's the Al-and-Jenny issue, the baby issue, the Ron-and-Hermione issue...so many issues, so little time! But a quick update, don't ya think? I submitted it for validation the same day Chapter 24 went up! Also, Delicate recently got over 100,000 views! A SUCCESS! So thank you all for reading, you make my life! Drop a review please!
padfoot4ever


Chapter 26: We Don't Do Things The Normal Way
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Chapter 26 - We Don't Do Things The Normal Way

Granny Jane and Grandad Hubert’s house always smelled of Shepherd’s Pie, almost to a point where it was sickening. See, Granny Jane always loved cooking and Grandad Hubert always loved Shepherd’s Pie, so really they had to be the most compatible couple in my entire family – except for maybe Percy and Audrey, whose haughtiness and good hygiene seem to have been matched in hell. When we were children, Hugo and I, we used to visit Granny Jane and Grandad Hubert on Saturday mornings, before we’d head to The Burrow for a day of crazy fun with our cousins. And every Saturday morning, Granny Jane would be making Shepherd’s Pie for that evening’s dinner, while Grandad Hubert would stuff us to the high heavens with healthy ‘Tooth kind’ snacks. 


Today, the smell of Shepherd’s Pie is faded, but not absent, in the Granger house when Mum, Dad, Hugo, Scorpius and I go to see my grieving Grandmother. The house is as neat and tidy as ever, and I can’t help but admire Granny Jane for that – even after her husband has passed away, she still has the energy to dust, polish and vacuum. I haven’t been to the house since last summer, and I feel dreadfully guilty for it. I haven’t seen Grandad Hubert since August – I can’t even remember what the last thing I said to him was. Grandad Arthur I see all the time; in fact, I see all of my Weasley family all the time. But since I have no cousins, Aunts or Uncles on the Granger side, I rarely spend time with them. I know it sounds awful, but that’s just how it is. 


And although the Granger side is indeed small, I can’t help but marvel at the amount of photographs Granny and Grandad have up on the walls. Most of them are of Hugo and me – a picture of Mum holding me in the hospital after I was born, with Dad looking very proud beside her; my first birthday, with me on Dad’s knee and his arm around Mum (whose hair was significantly shorter and bushier back then); a picture of me holding Hugo just after he was born, my hair tied into two big red bunches; Hugo’s first birthday, random family pictures of the four of us – and then of course there are pictures of Mum as a baby, a toddler, her first day of Muggle primary school, her first day of Hogwarts (which sits right beside my first day of Hogwarts, with me standing beside Al and Dom, grinning), Mum holding her OWL results in what looks like the kitchen of The Burrow, Mum holding her NEWT results, and Mum’s wedding day. 


Granny Jane is sitting in the chair by the window when we arrive, gazing out and half-smiling, as if remembering a better time in her life. It doesn’t look as if she’s been crying at all, and I marvel at her strength. Dad looks a bit afraid following Mum into the living room, because he’s always maintained that Granny Jane never liked him, though Mum tells him to stop being so ridiculous every time he brings this up. Still, she has that look in her eye that says that Dad might just be right in his assumptions. 


“Mum?” 


Granny Jane jumps at the sound of Mum’s voice, and I inwardly congratulate my mother for almost giving her mother a heart-attack, just after her father died of one. In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve given up on the optimism thing. I’ve come to realise that one thing in my life can’t possibly be going well unless another aspect is going right down the toilet. The happy thing didn’t last long, did it? 


Dad sticks the kettle on, while Mum sits down beside Granny Jane, and Scorpius, Hugo and I hover around not quite knowing what to do. What are you supposed to say in situations like this? Hugo and I are upset and grieving, but our grief seems pretty trivial compared to what Granny Jane and Mum must be feeling. We could say ‘I’m so sorry for your loss’, but technically it’s our loss too. Scorpius looks extremely uncomfortable too, and I suppose he has every right to be considering this is the first time he’s meeting my maternal grandmother. 


It’s awkward. Hugo and I hug Granny Jane and she greets Scorpius pleasantly, and he replies with a mumbled ‘sorry for your loss’. She seems to be coping quite well. Mum is still sobbing silently. Dad has his arm around her shoulders, comforting her.  It’s pathetic that it has to be a tragedy to bring them together, but I suppose it’s better than nothing. 


“Rose, I think you should all go to The Burrow. We have a lot to talk about,” Mum sniffs at me and I know better than to disagree with her. She gives me the Muggle money for a taxi, as Granny Jane’s fireplace isn’t hooked up to the Floo Network, and we set off. 


The journey isn’t very long – about half an hour. But these bloody taxi drivers must be thieves of some sort because I nearly had a fit when he told me the price. Stupid Muggles. Now I can see why Death Eaters don’t like them. (Okay, that sounded bad – I’m glad nobody reads my thoughts). 


I throw the money at the taxi driver, who is looking at The Burrow interestedly. 


“Some work of architecture there!” he says, somewhat sarcastically, pointing at the old house that looks like it could fall over at any second. Of course it won’t, as it’s held up by magic, but this Muggle is too thick to realise it. 


“Thanks for the lift,” says Scorpius, practically pushing me out of the taxi before I start shouting at the driver. 


“Idiot,” I hiss as he drives away. 


Nana and Grandad are in the kitchen when we let ourselves in, Nana cooking, cleaning and knitting all at once and Grandad reading the newspaper at the table. It’s a pretty average day in the Weasley house. They look only mildly surprised to see us. 


“Hello kids,” Grandad greets us, not acknowledging that two of us are in fact legal adults and Hugo…well, he wouldn’t take kindly to being called a ‘kid’. “To what do we owe this pleasure?” 


“Grandad Hubert died,” Hugo announces bluntly. 


Nana drops the ladle she was using to stir the soup. Grandad folds over the newspaper and stares at us, waiting for an explanation. Scorpius shifts uncomfortably. 


“What? When?” Nana Molly gasps. 


“Last night,” I say, “He had a heart attack.” 


“Who had a heart attack?” 


Ginny appears out of the fireplace, followed by Harry, James, Al and Lily. 


“…have no idea what’s wrong with you these days!” Harry’s saying to Lily. 


“I told you it’s nothing, leave me alone!” Lily snaps at Harry, with tears in her eyes, “You don’t know anything!” She storms into the living room, mumbling to herself. 


“Lily! Come back here!” Harry shouts, but she just slams the door, “Al, go talk to her, she listens to you –” 


“I have to do everything!” Al hisses angrily and follows Lily into the living room. Harry sighs and runs a hand through his black-and-grey hair and turns to James, as if waiting for him to start yelling too. James, however, just grins at his dad. 


“Well isn’t this a nice turn of the tables?” James grins smugly, “Now I’m the good one.” 


Ginny rolls her eyes, looking completely ashamed of her family, and then turns back to me. 


“Rosie? Who had a heart attack?” 


“My Grandad. He died last night,” I tell her. James stops grinning. Harry stops frowning at the living room door. Ginny gasps and clasps a hand to her mouth. 


“Oh Rose, Hugo, I’m so sorry,” Ginny sighs and hugs us both, “How’s your Mum? Does your Dad know?” 


“Yeah, he’s at Granny’s house with Mum now,” says Hugo. Ginny and Harry look at each other in surprise. They obviously didn’t see that one coming. 


“We should go over there,” says Ginny to Harry, “Hermione needs us.” 


“She has Ron –” Harry starts. 


“Harry, she needs us.” 


Harry nods. “Right.” 


“We’ll be back in an hour,” says Ginny and with that they apparate away. 


Nana Molly immediately starts baking a loaf of brown bread, saying she’ll bring it over to Granny Jane’s later on this evening, while Grandad goes on and on about how awful it is that Grandad Hubert is dead. James nods his head towards the living room, and Hugo, Scorpius and I follow him. 


Al and Lily are sitting on the sofa, arms crossed and frowning, and for two siblings that look absolutely nothing alike, the resemblance is quite striking. 


“What’s wrong with you two?” I ask. Two pairs of angry eyes, one pair green the other greeny-brown, glare back at me. I really need to learn to keep quiet. 


“Don't even try,” James advises, “My little sibbies have been dumped, haven’t they?” 


“It was your fault I was dumped!” Al growls at him. 


“I have not been dumped!” Lily replies angrily at the same time. 


“Lorcan dumped you?” I ask. I didn’t see that one coming. These Potters really can’t hold down a relationship. 


“No!” Lily cries. 


“But he’s going to,” James taunts, “And I don’t really blame him to be honest.” 


“Why?” Hugo, Scorpius and I all say at the same time. It’s kind of sad that a small bit of gossip is what helps us forget our grandfather’s death, but we’re all ears. 


“Well,” James answers for Lily, “My darling little sister here kissed another boy. Ah the dramatic life of a fourteen year old.” 


“I’m almost fifteen,” she snaps back. 


“Lily, you kissed another boy?” I gasp, “Who?” 


“Lysander Scamander,” James grins, clearly enjoying this whole situation. 


“Seriously?” Scorpius gasps and everyone turns to look at him. He generally doesn’t say much when he’s in big groups and he definitely isn’t one for gossiping. “Sorry, but…wow, you kissed your boyfriend’s twin brother?” 


“How very ‘Eastenders’ of you,” says Hugo, and everyone now stares at him, “What? Mum watches it.” 


“Lily? Did you really kiss Lysander?” I ask her, not daring to believe this until I hear it from her. 


“I can’t believe you lot! Just leave me alone! You’re not exactly the best people for giving relationship advice! You two are having a baby –” she points at me and Scorpius, “you dumped a girl in front of the entire school causing her to OD and almost die –” she snaps at James, “you snogged our Auntie’s third cousin at a wedding even though you’re still in love with Jenny –” she hisses at Al, and then turns to Hugo, “and you…you wear too much eyeliner!” 


She storms out of the living room and marches up the stairs, leaving a completely silent living room behind her. 


“She kissed Lysander?” I repeat after a few seconds. 


“I know,” James grins, “Like I said, I’m the good one now.” 


“Shut up,” Al mumbles and then turns to me, “Did I hear someone died?” 


I explain to him about Grandad’s heart attack and he offers his condolences. I hate this so much, the forced politeness and sympathy. It’s not us. We take the piss out of each other and that’s just how it’s supposed to be. 


“Come on, let’s go do something fun,” says James, trying to lighten the mood. 


“What do you have in mind?”





Ten minutes later I’m watching a two a-side Quidditch match, Scorpius and Hugo against James and Al. Two a-side Quidditch generally involves two chasers and two keepers, so it’s really not that exciting, especially when you’re only watching it. Hugo, it turns out, isn’t a bad keeper, as he’s blocked nearly every goal Al’s shot his way. A few minutes into the game Lily comes outside and sits down on the grass beside me, looking completely miserable. 


“I’m sorry about your grandfather,” she says, “Nana Molly just told me.” 


“It’s okay,” I shrug, “He was old…for a Muggle.” 


Lily nods. 


“So this Lysander thing then…” I start. 


“Do we have to talk about this?” she whines, “It was a mistake, I didn’t mean for it to happen.” 


“What, did you think he was Lorcan or something?” I ask. It’s a fair question because I often get them confused. 


“No, of course not!” Lily cries, “Lorcan and Lysander are completely different. For a start, Lysander’s taller and a bit fatter too. And Lysander’s eyes are darker than Lorcan’s. And Lorcan’s voice hasn’t completely broken yet. And Lysander is a Lovegood through and through while Lorcan is quite serious about everything. They’re as different as day and –” 


“Afternoon? Lily, why did you kiss him?” 


Lily shrugs miserably. “I don’t know,” she admits, “I’ve been with Lorcan for two months now and I’m only fourteen! I never wanted a serious relationship or anything. I suppose I just wanted a change…” 


“Right,” I say, “So a change for you means your boyfriend’s identical twin brother?” She shoots me a dirty look. “Does Lorcan know you kissed Lysander?” 


“No,” she admits, “It only happened last week.” 


“Last week?” I cry, “At the wedding?! How could this have happened a week ago without me knowing?” 


“Rose, don’t make me feel worse than I already do,” she sighs, “You were just so happy with Scorpius and you haven’t been happy in so long…I couldn’t just dump this on you. This is my problem. I’m the one who likes her boyfriend’s twin brother.” 


“Wait a second,” I stop her, “You like him? Lil, I thought it was a mistake!” 


“It was a mistake! I didn’t mean that…” 


She stops talking as the four boys land, Scorpius and Hugo high-fiving each other and grinning. Al looks even more sour than usual, and James looks surprisingly happy for someone who has clearly lost the game. 


“This boy,” James throws an arm around Hugo’s shoulders, “This fine boy here is my new keeper!” 


“What?” everyone else, including Hugo, asks at the same time. 


“Didn’t you see him up there?” James asks excitedly, “He’s bloody brilliant! We’re going to kick arse in the final, you wait and see! Lads,” he turns to Scorpius and Al, “Be afraid. Be very afraid. Well, that’s if you actually make it to the final. You still have to beat Ravenclaw –” 


“We’ll beat Ravenclaw,” Al snaps. 


“So Hugo, my dear young cousin, will you be the new keeper?” 


“Erm…yeah, I suppose…” he says unsurely, “But what if I’m no good in a real match? I mean, this is only a two a-side…” 


“Confidence is all you need, you’ll do brilliantly,” says James proudly. 


“Thank Merlin,” Lily mutters, “At least I don’t have to do it anymore.” 


We all head back into the house for dinner. Mum, Dad, Harry and Ginny are all there. Mum has finally stopped crying, but her eyes are still red, and it appears that Dad is glued to her side. 


“…the funeral is going to be on Saturday,” says Mum, “Mum just wants to get it over with.” 


“Saturday,” Nana Molly repeats, “We’ll be there. Will you stay for dinner?” 


“I should get back to the flat,” says Mum tiredly, “I didn’t sleep much last night.” 


“What?” Dad scoffs, “The flat? I don’t think so.” 


Mum raises her eyebrows at him. “You don’t?” 


“No! Hermione…I want you to come home.” 


Oh it’s such a photo moment. I wish I brought the camera. I could scream with happiness only I don’t want to ruin the mood. Grandad ushers us all into the next room to give my parents some privacy, but then it’s just a scramble towards the door to eavesdrop. 


“Y-you want me to come home?” Mum echoes. 


“Hermione, these past few months have been awful,” says Dad, “I’ve never been more miserable in my whole life. I know I’ve been the worst husband in the universe –” 


“Oh Ron –” 


“No, I have. And…and I’m really sorry about everything I said. And I’m sorry that I didn’t say that I’m sorry before now. And I’m sorry I got Rosie a watch for her birthday. And I’m sorry that I didn’t dance with you at the wedding. And I’m sorry –” 


He stops talking, and then there’s a scramble towards the keyhole to see what’s happening. Grandad gets there first. 


“They’re kissing! She’s kissed him!” he whispers frantically to the rest of us. 


“Move! Let me see!” I cry, while I hear Hugo gagging. “They are kissing!” 


“Oh thank heavens,” Nana Molly sighs, “They need each other.” 


I couldn’t have put it better myself. 





Saturday comes quickly and before we know it, Scorpius and I are heading off to the second funeral in a month. That’s sort of a depressing thought. Dad drives us all to the church and it almost feels as if Mum and Dad never went on a break at all. They’ve even gotten back to their petty bickering. 


“Ron, it’s the next right.” 


“I know it’s the next right!” 


“Well then indicate!” 


“I was going to!” 


“I’m just reminding you –” 


“I don’t need reminding –” 


“Ron! Now you’ve missed the turn!” 


“Damn!” 


When we finally arrive at the church, Nana Molly, Grandad Arthur and the five Potters are standing outside. Harry and Ginny are talking to Granny Jane, while James and Al look quite strange in black Muggle suits. Dom and Uncle Bill are here too, as well as Uncle George, Fred and Uncle Percy. Each of my Uncles offer Mum their condolences.

“You know, we’ve been to more funerals than restaurants together,” I observe as Scorpius and I walk into the church together. 


“Yeah, but we got pregnant before liking each other,” Scorpius reminds me, “We don’t exactly do things the normal way.” 


The funeral is the usual business – sad music, depressing prayers and speeches, muffled sobbing. I cry a little, but I sort of wish I’d cry more. I suppose I just wish I was closer with Grandad Hubert. I can see a few of my distant relatives scattered around the place, but all in all I’m just not that close with the Granger side of the family. Even Mum admits that she’s not that close with her own cousins or Aunts or Uncles. She’s far closer with Dad’s family than her own. 


After the coffin has been taken away for cremation, we leave the church and everyone stands outside, talking. Mum’s hand has been shook about fifty thousand times at this stage. She doesn’t even look upset anymore, just completely shattered. 


Dom, Al, James, Fred and Lily approach me while Mum is stuck talking to Great-Auntie Phyllis. 


“Rosie I’m so sorry,” says Dom and hugs me, “Are you alright?” 


“I’m fine,” I admit, “But I’m looking forward to going back to Hogwarts tomorrow.” 


“Join the club,” Fred agrees. However, Al and Lily look as if the last thing they want to do is go back to Hogwarts. Despite the fact that my grandfather has just died, I’m still so bloody relieved that I no longer have to deal with relationship problems. 


“Feel like going to the pub?” asks James, pointing to a small tavern across the road that most of the people from the funeral seem to be heading towards, “Isn’t that what people do after funerals?” 


“Sounds good to me,” I smile. 


We head across the road, and Al holds me back for a moment to let the others go in ahead of us. 


“Rose, I need your help,” he says and being this close to him I notice the dark circles under his eyes. He hasn’t slept in ages. “I want Jenny back.” 


“There’s a surprise,” I say sarcastically. 


“Will you help me?” 


I nod. And then I hug him. “Get some sleep, Al.” 


I must get Scorpius to crack out the old quill and parchment. We have some planning to do. 






A/N - Okay, so it's been a while, I know. I'm sorry! But you all know the problems HPFF has been experiencing as of late, so please don't hurt me! As you can see the amount of reviews on this story has been halved because of the technical difficulties, so I'd really appreicate it if everyone made a special effort to review. It would make me so happy!
What also makes me happy is the fact that this story has made it to the Best of HPFF. It's number 10 in the most favourited stories. YAY! So thank you to everyone who has favourited Delicate, you are legends!
And finally - I got Trusted Author status! DOUBLE YAY! Expect faster updates people! (But not TOO fast...I'm quite busy at the minute!)
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EDIT (8th Oct.) - P.S - If you're going to be super nice and rereview my other chapters, please remember, no spamming! (This is posting non-reviews (i.e gibberish that nobody understands), copying and pasting the same review for every chapter and so on...) Thanks so much people!


Chapter 27: The Hitch In The Plan
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 27 - The Hitch In The Plan

From the moment I woke up this morning, I knew this wasn’t going to be a good day. When I opened my eyes and looked at my watch, I noticed it was just gone a quarter past ten. On any other Sunday morning I’d just think ‘excellent, three more hours sleep’, but not today. 


“ROSE! GET UP NOW!” I heard Mum screeching in the door at me. Why did she have to come home again? “We’re leaving in five minutes!” 


That made me jump. I hopped out of bed and threw on the first pair of magically expanded jeans I could find on, and a very baggy t-shirt. I supposed I’d change later on the train (which is where I am now, however I haven’t changed yet). I started flinging everything I could find into my trunk and ran to the bathroom to brush my teeth. It’s so typical that on the morning we’re due to go back to Hogwarts, everybody oversleeps. 


Dad drove us to the station, and we arrived with less than a minute to go before the Hogwarts Express left. We crossed through the barrier to see James, Al and Lily being shoved onto the train by Aunt Ginny and we followed them, waving goodbye to Dad and Ginny. There were no empty compartments, so guess what? 


We – as in Scorpius, Hugo, James, Al, Lily and myself – have to share a compartment with the Scamander twins. If I wasn’t such a nice and considerate cousin, I’d laugh at Lily’s misfortune. Dom joins us in the compartment soon after, having spent quite enough time with Mark, who's sitting in a compartment with a bunch of random Hufflepuffs.


It’s very awkward. Apparently Lorcan is the only one who doesn’t know about what happened, because he seems as blissfully weird as always. Lily isn’t even pretending to know what he’s talking about as she usually does, but stares down at her feet. Lysander is doing the same. Really, it’s Lysander who should be feeling ashamed of himself. What kind of bloke cops off with his twin brother’s girlfriend? I swear, my life wasn’t half as dramatic when I was in fourth year. 


Eventually Lily mutters that she’s going to go find Roxie, and Lysander says he’s going to talk to his friend, Phil. I’ve never heard of a Phil, but nobody asks any questions. Then Hugo drops out to find his scary emo-Goth-chain smoking friends. Then Lorcan, realising he’s been left with just sixth and seventh years, makes no excuse and just leaves the compartment. 


“Well that was awkward,” James states, putting his feet up on the seat that Lorcan has just vacated. “Who’d have thought our little sister to be the school broom?” 


“James!” Al growls, “That is Lily you’re talking about.” 


“I know, but really –” 


“Just shut up!” 


“Are you two ever going to stop arguing?” I sigh. 


“Are you two ever going to start arguing?” Al shoots back, looking at me and Scorpius. We look at each other. 


“What are you on about?” asks Scorpius. 


“We argue!” I protest. 


“All the time!” Scorpius agrees. 


James and Al look at each other and smile knowingly. I don’t like that smile one bit. Scorpius and I argue all the time! We didn’t talk for days before the wedding. We always argue. I mean, we argue even more than my parents do. 


“Since you two got together, you haven’t argued once,” says James triumphantly. 


"It's true," Dom agrees.


Scorpius and I open our mouths to retaliate, but neither of us can think of anything to say. Now that I think about it, we haven’t argued since we got together. Surely we’re not that disgustingly perfectly cute couple that never argues with one another? I mean, we don’t even have petty, fun arguments. How can this be happening? I live to argue! 


Could I be actually content with life? This is awful – I don’t like it one bit. 


And judging by the look on Scorpius’s face, neither does he. 


"You're fat!" he throws childishly at me. I roll my eyes and ignore him.


“We argue,” I repeat. 


“When was the last time you argued?” Al asks smugly. 


“When…” I trail off. I have nothing. 


“When Rose said she was leaving Hogwarts,” says Scorpius. Al and James glare at me. 


“Thanks Scorp,” I mumble. 


“You’re leaving Hogwarts?” Al splutters. 


“Why? Why would you leave Hogwarts? You’re the brains of the family!” 


“I don’t know,” I spit at James, “Maybe because of this?” I point to my bulging tummy. How can boys be so brain-numbingly stupid? Do they expect me to set up a cot in the Gryffindor dormitories and bring the kid to Transfiguration? It’s not practical! “I have it all figured out. I’m going to study from home and take my NEWTs a year later than planned.” 


“But…you can’t just not do your seventh year!” James cries. 


“My dad didn’t do his seventh year and neither did yours,” I point out, “They had other obligations. And so do I.” 


They have nothing to say back. 


“It’ll be okay,” I smile, “It might not be what everybody expected of me, but I think it’s the right thing to do.” 


“But…couldn’t you live in your mum’s apartment in Hogsmeade?” Al asks, “You could hire a nanny during the day and you could see the baby in the evenings!” 


“Okay, first of all, I don’t crap out money,” I say bluntly, “And secondly, I want to be the one looking after my baby, at least for the first few months.” 


"You're right," says Dom after a few moments of contemplating what I've said.


James and Al look helplessly at each other, knowing they’re not going to talk me out of this one. I think deep down they know I’m right too. 





Dinner is just about ready by the time we arrive back at the castle. It feels like we’ve been away for months – I only now realise how much I’ve missed the place. So much has happened in the last few weeks, it’s like another lifetime ago when Scorpius and I were still playing confusing mind games with each other and I was worrying about my parents’ relationship. 


When we reach the Great Hall, I rush over to the Ravenclaw table to say hello to Jenny.

“Rose!” she hugs me happily. I have to say, it takes me by surprise how happy she is. I’ve gotten used to her being all depressed over Al. “How are you? How was the wedding? Wow, you’ve gotten bigger in the last two weeks!” 


“The wedding was good,” I shrug, “Scorpius and I…we…sort of…” 


“You got together, didn’t you?!” she squeals in delight, “Oh I’m so happy for you! I knew it was going to happen!” 


“You did?” Apparently I’m the only one who didn’t see it coming. Even Al and James weren’t surprised when they found out. 


“Of course I did! I have some news too.” 


She wants Al back. I can feel it. This getting Al and Jenny back together plan is going to be easier than I first suspected. 


“I’m going out with Robert Hitch,” she smiles happily. 


I stare at her blankly. My heart drops.


“You know Robert Hitch?” she asks. 


Of course I know him. Everybody knows him. Not only is he the captain of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team, but he’s Head Boy too. And he’s just about the nicest bloke you’ll ever meet in your life. Seriously, even I, the most pessimistic girl ever, can’t think of something bad to say about him. He’s one of those people that you hate the idea of because they’re so completely perfect, but when to actually talk to them you can’t help but conform and completely fall in love with them. He’s really funny and attractive and the annoying thing is that there is absolutely nothing annoying about him. 


Al doesn’t stand a chance. 


“Um, yeah, I know him,” I say, “That’s great, Jen.” 


What else can I say? Dump your perfect boyfriend and get back together with my angry, spoiled brat of a cousin who isn’t even half as good-looking as said perfect boyfriend? I don’t think so. 


“I know,” she blushes, “He’s really…nice.” 


Of course he is. He is ‘nice’ personified. This is not good. But maybe deep down she loves Al more. Maybe she’s just using Robert to get back at him. 


“And he’s been training really hard for the match on Saturday,” she says fondly, “I reckon we’ll have no trouble beating Slytherin.” 


Or maybe she really does hate Al. 


“So…you and Al then…” I start. 


“I’m over that,” she shrugs, “I’ve given up caring. It took too much out of me. I have Robert now.” 


Yep – Al really doesn’t stand a chance. 





Robert Hitch?” Al spits, “Robert arse-kisser Hitch? Are you for fucking real?” 


Al is pacing up and down the Slytherin common room, while Scorpius and I sit beside each other in silence. 


“Isn’t he gay?” asks James, sitting on the ground eating a packet of Every Flavour Beans. 


“Apparently not,” Scorpius shrugs. 


“Robert Hitch?” Al repeats, still pacing, “No, there’s just no way she’s with him. I mean, he’s so....so....so –” 


“Gay?” James finishes for him. 


“Actually, he’s smart, funny, athletic and sensitive. He’s what every girl wants,” I shrug, “I mean, he’s Head Boy and Quidditch Captain. And his family are quite wealthy –” 


“We have money!” Al snaps. 


“And he’s bloody gorgeous,” I finish. Scorpius looks at me, eyebrows raised. “Don't give me that look, you know you would if you were a girl.” 


“That’s just weird,” Scorpius scoffs, “I mean, how would I know who I’d do if I were a girl? That’s just wrong. Just shut up.” He and Al look at each other nervously. Weird. 


“Al, will you please sit down, you’re making me dizzy,” I say tiredly. Al ignores me completely and continues to pace the common room. 


“We have to beat them,” he says, “We have to beat them on Saturday.” 


“Even if you do beat Ravenclaw –” 


“When,” Scorpius corrects me, “When we beat Ravenclaw.” 


If you beat Ravenclaw,” I look at him sharply, “That doesn’t mean Jenny’s going to all of a sudden want you back, Al. She’s into much more than Quidditch skill.” 


“We have to beat them,” Al insists, “Scorp, round up the team, we’re training.” 


“What, now?” Scorpius asks, “It’s ten o’clock at night. It’s past curfew.” 


“Fine! Then half five tomorrow morning! Sharp!” 


“Rather you than me, mate,” James grins at Scorpius. 


James and I head back to the Gryffindor common room when Scorpius and Al head to bed, wanting to catch as much sleep as possible before their morning practice. Laura Phelps is in the common room when we arrive back, wearing pyjama bottoms and a rather large jumper, while reading – a very rare occurrence for Laura. James looks very guilty at the sight of her, mumbles something, and rushes upstairs to his dormitory. 


“Hello Laura,” I say. She looks up from her book and says nothing. It’s hard to tell if she’s still angry with me or not. “How was your break?” 


“I told my mother I wish her dead,” she says blandly, as if she were saying something like ‘oh, I just visited my grandmother’, “And my counsellor thinks I’m anorexic. It was fantastic.” 


Hmm, Laura Phelps does sarcasm. You learn something new every day. 


“My grandfather died,” I shrug. 


“Well then we’ll call it even,” she says dryly. She does humour too, apparently. I sit down on the couch and wait for her to speak again. I’m always afraid I’ll say the wrong thing. 


“Thanks,” she says finally, after minutes of silence, “For shouting at my mother, I mean. Dad told me what you said to her. Not many people have the guts to stand up to my mother.” 


“Any time,” I smile back, “It was fun.” 


“I’m moving in with my dad this summer,” she tells me, though I have no idea why. On some level, I’m still quite sure she hates me. But maybe she just needs someone to say all this to who isn’t some professional who’s being paid to listen. Maybe she needs a friend. “I told Mother I never want to see her again. She didn’t seem too broken up about it.” 


“I’m sorry, Laura.” 


She shrugs as if to say ‘it’s no big deal’. Then there’s some more silence, but it’s not awkward. I just know she needs some time to say everything she wants to say. 


“And…Rose, I’m sorry,” she says in little more than a whisper, “I’m so sorry I told everyone about your pregnancy. I was such a bitch and I suppose…I was jealous of you.” 


Jealous? Of me? Why would anyone be jealous of me


“You’ve got such a great family who really care about you,” she goes on, as if she knows what I was asking myself, “And you’re smart and you’re a prefect and you’ve got so many friends. I suppose when I found out that you were pregnant, I just wanted to take you down a notch.” 


“Well…you saved me from telling everyone. Although it would have been nice if Scorpius hadn’t found out like that,” I say, jokingly. She looks guilty, but smiles. “Don't worry about it, Laura. It’s all in the past now.” 





“I’m dying,” Scorpius moans, “I’m actually dying. If our child is a boy, name him after me.” 


He places his head onto the Gryffindor table at dinner on Monday evening and proceeds to moan loudly. 


“Scorp, even if you do die, I will never curse our child with your name,” I say honestly. 


“That’s good to know,” he says, though his voice is muffled because his head is buried in the table. 


In fact, the entire Slytherin Quidditch team look just as shattered as Scorpius. The Scamander twins are actually falling asleep at the Slytherin table, Henrietta Flint is completely windswept, Kyle Montague’s lip is bleeding and he’s covered in muck and Jason Bates looks as if he’s been crying. Al, however, looks completely energetic and psychotic at the same time. The Slytherins were training from half five this morning until nine, then from three until half seven. 


“I was thinking we could get another hour in before curfew,” says Al, wolfing down his dinner. Scorpius lifts his head off the table and glares at his best friend. 


“No,” he growls firmly, “There is no way. I will kill you Albus Severus Potter, I promise you that. Just no.” 


“Come on, Malfoy! There’s no ‘I’ in team!” 


“Don't try my patience, Potter,” he retorts, “You’ve gone insane. You made Jason cry!” 


“Jason’s a wimp,” Al shrugs. 


“You whacked him over the head with your broomstick!” Scorpius cries. 


“Well he shouldn’t have been talking during the game plan, should he?!” 


“Okay boys, calm down,” I try to soothe the situation. Any chance of actually soothing the situation goes firmly out the window, however, when Jenny and her new boyfriend Robert enter the Great Hall, hand-in-hand. Scorpius and I look at each other, knowing this can’t be good. 


Al gets up from the table and marches over to them, and Scorpius and I jump up straight away to stop him from embarrassing himself. Robert puts his arm around Jenny’s waist at the Ravenclaw table, and appears oblivious to the fact that Al is staring straight at him. Jenny cops on to the fact and stares right back. 


“Can we help you?” she asks coolly. I have to admire her composure. I’d be hiding under the table if it were me. Robert now looks up too and smiles politely. 


“Hello Albus,” he greets, “Hi Rose, Scorpius.” 


“Hi,” I smile back. See, he even remembers my name and I’m only a prefect. Oh wait, there’s the ‘only-pregnant-girl-in-Hogwarts’ thing too…but I’m fairly sure he knew my name before that. He’s Robert Hitch – he knows everything. 


“So Rob,” Al starts casually, “I hear you’re gay.” 


He doesn’t say it quietly either. Whispers break out all around the Great Hall – Robert Hitch is gay? 
“Al!” I cry, “Robert, I’m so sorry, Al’s just a bit –” 


Robert puts his hand up to say it’s okay, but he has gone quite red. I could kill Al right now. 


“Come on Al,” Scorpius tries to lead him back to the Gryffindor table where we were all eating dinner, but Al stays put. 


“Can’t say I’m surprised, really,” says Al. 


“Not that there’s anything wrong with being gay,” says Robert, very dignified, “But I’m not. In fact, Jenny here is my girlfriend. But they do say that people accuse others of being gay may be trying to compensate for their own homosexuality. Not that I’m implying anything, of course,” he adds quickly when he sees Al getting angry, “I’m just merely stating a fact. Nice talking to you, Albus.” 


Jenny smiles at Robert and kisses him, and Al storms back over to the Gryffindor table, grabs his bag and leaves the Great Hall. 


“I’m so sorry about that,” I say helplessly to Jenny and Robert. Scorpius and I follow Al out of the Great Hall and find him sitting on the steps leading down to the Slytherin common room. I’ve never seen him look so angry. 


“We have to beat them,” he hisses, “We have to beat that smug bastard.” 





Over the coming days, Scorpius and I hardly have two seconds to spend together. Every spare second he has is spent training and working in the shop, while I spend most of my time sleeping, throwing up, doing homework and reading books on giving birth. The only time we actually have together is during Transfiguration class, and even then Professor Chang gives out to us for talking. And on the rare occasion that we do get a word in edgeways during Transfiguration, Al drags Scorpius away to show him some more game plans. I can safely say that my dear cousin Albus Potter has turned into a Slytherin fascist. It’s funny, I always thought it’d have been Lily to become the dictator of the Potter family. 


I spend time catching up with Jenny, and it seems that all she talks about now is Robert. I don’t mind listening to her – after all, she listened to my problems for long enough – but the thing is, she doesn’t seem angry with Al anymore. In fact, she doesn’t seem to care about him at all. It’s as if he’s dead to her. Every time I try to bring him up, she greets the mention of his name with an indifferent nod and changes the subject completely. 


By Friday evening, Scorpius is ready to die of exhaustion. He hides out in the Gryffindor common room, jumping every time the portrait hole opens in case it’s Al coming to hunt him down. 


“I can’t take it anymore!” he whines. I rub his arm comfortingly, trying my best not to laugh. “The sooner we get him back with Jenny, the better. He was much more mellow back then.”

“Scorp, we’re not getting him back with Jenny,” I say, “She has Robert now. She’s happy.” 


He looks at me incredulously. “What? All that planning for nothing? Is your whole family just insane or what? We have to get them back together! They’re Al and Jenny!”
 

“No, now it’s Robert and Jenny,” I tell him firmly. 


“We could split them up!” 


“Don’t be so evil!” I scold him, “Jenny is happy and if Al really likes her then he’ll accept that he’s not the one who can make her happy. He blew his chance with her by being an insensitive idiot.” 


Scorpius looks like I just told him Christmas is cancelled. “So you’re telling me that Nazi-Al is here to stay?” 


“I’m afraid so,” I shrug, “There’s nothing we can do about it.” 


“We could start a rumour,” Scorpius grins. 


“No.” 


“That Robert –” 


“I said no!” 


“is actually –” 


“Scorpius!” 


“a hermaphrodite!” 


“Scorpius…I think you need some sleep.” 


“I love you,” he says randomly. It’s a little bit unexpected after the hermaphrodite talk, but it makes my heart do a summersault anyway. 


“Where did that come from?” 


“I realise I haven’t said it much recently,” he shrugs and puts an arm around me, “I wouldn’t want you forgetting.” 


“You know, sometimes I think that you’re just a stupid idiot who talks about genderless Ravenclaws and complains about his Nazi-like friends,” I observe and cuddle closer to him, “But then you have to go and prove me wrong.” 


“I’m good at that,” he grins back. 






A/N - Hey folks! A quick update, eh? Thanks so much to everyone who has re-reviewed my story and to everyone who reviewed the last chapter. It cheered me up greatly so I hope you continue giving me your feedback! I hope you liked this chapter, it was a bit more light-hearted than the last few. And for all of you who are about to cry 'but I love Al-and-Jenny!', I'm sorry, but everything can't be perfect! But never fear, there'll be more crazy-Al-ness coming your way in the next chapter when Slytherin take on Ravenclaw in the Qudditch cup semi-finals! Do I hear people shouting for Slytherin?! There's a first time for everything!
And sorry for that little fluffy bit at the end...it had to be done!
Please review!
padfoot4ever (",)



Chapter 28: No More Mister Niceton
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Chapter 28 - No More Mister Niceton
Al looks awful on the morning of the Quidditch match. He’s got circles under his eyes so dark it looks as if someone’s punched him. His hair is even messier than usual, sticking up every which way and it looks as if he hasn't washed it all week. He’s drank so much pumpkin juice, he’s now shaking from the sugar rush. He is sitting at the Slytherin table this morning to show a sense of team spirit, and he’s glaring over at the Ravenclaws with more contempt than he's ever shown for any other Hogwarts house.


I have to say, the Ravenclaws look far better than the Slytherins. They look like they’ve gotten a good night’s sleep and are smiling and joking happily with each other. Robert and Jenny are sitting together, stealing a few kisses from each other that I’d think were sort of cute if I didn’t feel so much for my cousin. Even the Hufflepuffs are sporting blue and silver today – the Hufflepuffs are notorious for supporting the Ravenclaws no matter what. Usually the Gryffindors are notorious for supporting whatever team is opposing the Slytherins – and there are quite a few Gryffindors wearing the Ravenclaw colours – but the Weasley/Potter family are all supporting Slytherin today. On top of the fact that Al is the captain of the team, we’d like Slytherin to win because it’d make for a much better final. 


I join the boys at the Slytherin table this morning. Al isn’t eating breakfast, but is mumbling incoherent things while staring at his toast. Henrietta Flint, an intolerable tree of a girl and also the keeper on the Slytherin team, looks worse than I’ve ever seen her. She’s deathly pale and her eyes are all puffed up, as if she’s spent the night crying rather than sleeping. 


“What’s wrong with Flint?” I ask Scorpius, who also looks worse for wear. He glances over at her, looking up from his bowl of cereal for the first time. 


“Al called her fat,” Scorpius shrugs, “She was eating a Cauldron Cake during practice last night.” 


“He called her fat? I thought James was the prick of the Potter family.”
 

“After this week, Al has definitely out-pricked him,” says Scorpius bitterly. I rub his arm comfortingly, but I really don’t think I’m helping. 


A whole hour before the match is due to begin, Al rounds up the Slytherin team and drags them down to the stadium for a ‘pre-match pep talk’. I head back over towards the Gryffindor table, but stop when I hear someone calling my name. 


“Rose!” 


It’s Jenny. She’s beckoning me over to sit with her and Robert at the Ravenclaw table – the enemy. Knowing I can’t just ignore her, I reluctantly go and sit beside her. 


“Are you excited about the match?” she beams, “I can’t wait. Robert’s been training so hard all week. You’ll be going for Ravenclaw, of course?” 


Usually, I would say yes. Two months ago, when she was going out with Al and I wasn’t going out with Scorpius, I might have said yes, of course. 


“Yes, of course!” I lie through my teeth. Because I’m not going for Robert. I’m going for Al. 


“That’s good to hear!” Robert smiles. He is so very handsome when he smiles. Al has quite a crooked smile, sort of lopsided and goofy. It’s definitely not as charming as Robert’s. Like I’ve said before – Al doesn’t stand a chance. “So Rose, how far in are you in your pregnancy? My older sister’s pregnant too, she’s only three months in.” 


I sort of feel like he’s getting a bit personal now. Okay, plenty of people ask how far I am in, it’s what people ask pregnant women when they have absolutely no idea what to say. But I’ve only spoken to Robert a handful of times. But instead of replying ‘none of your business’, I answer, “Seven months, almost.” 


“Wow, you won’t find it coming!” he smiles. Why does he have to be so nice about everything? And Jenny is so nice too. They’re a horrible couple – they’re the Nicetons. And they’ll live in a nice little cottage and have nice little children with nice smiles and Jenny’s nice curly hair. They’ll have a cat and a dog, both as well behaved as their nice little children, and Robert will put a tyre swing in the back garden for Jenny Jr. and Robert Jr. to swing on. And they’ll have a nice little sign in the front garden saying ‘Welcome to the Nicetons!’ It will be unimaginably creepy. 


Jenny needs an idiot like Al to balance her out, just like Al needs a Niceton like Jenny to make him stop acting like a total wanker. 


At a quarter to eleven, we all make our way down to the Quidditch pitch. I can’t help but wonder if the Slytherin team are still alive after Al’s one hour pep talk, so I decide to sneak into the changing rooms to see. The team are changed and sitting around in a circle as Al drones on and on about ‘Slytherin honour’ and being ‘in it to win it’. Everyone is listening intently – probably terrified that he’ll hit them over the head with a broomstick if they don’t listen – except for Scorpius. He’s asleep, and clearly not afraid of Al. 


“…so as I’ve said, by the thirteenth minute, Lysander you’re looking to knock Hitch off his broom. Lorcan, should Lysander’s bludger go awry, you will then take over knocking Hitch off his broom –” 


“But shouldn’t we try and knock the seeker off first?” Lorcan asks logically. 


“No! Hitch first and then the seeker! If I see either of you trying to knock the seeker down while Hitch is still in the air –” 


“Al, we’ve been through this a hundred times,” Scorpius groans, his eyes still closed, “You hate Hitch, we get the picture.” 


“I don’t care about Hitch! It’ll just be easier to score without a keeper there –” 


“You mean it’ll be easier for you to score Jenny if he’s not there,” Scorpius mumbles. Al glares at him angrily, but doesn’t hit him with his broom. He clearly doesn’t pick on people bigger than him. 


“Are you all ready then?” I ask and everyone turns to look at me. Apparently nobody noticed me come in. Even Scorpius opens his eyes and then comes over to me, with a grateful look on his face. He has an excuse not to listen to Al now. 


“Weasley! What are you doing here? Don't break my seeker’s concentration!” Al snaps angrily. 


“I’ve just come to wish you all luck,” I say, “And your seeker’s concentration was broken probably around an hour ago, Potter.” 


“She speaks the truth,” Scorpius shrugs at him. 


Wood knocks on the door of the changing room and shouts ‘one minute!’ The team starts to line up at the door, Al taking his position at the front as captain. He looks nervous now, but determined at the same time. 


“Good luck,” I whisper to Scorpius and give him a quick kiss, “Please try to keep Al from murdering Robert Hitch.” 


“I’ll do my best,” he squeezes my hand, grabs his broom and lines up with the rest of the team. Wood’s whistle blows for the first time, and the team flies out, save for Al, who has to walk out and shake the opposing team captain’s hand. 


Deciding that my feet are far too sore to walk the whole way up to the stands, I sit on the sideline and watch the match from there. It’s not exactly the most practical way of watching a Quidditch match, and my neck will hurt after the first five minutes or so, but it beats walking. 


Robert emerges from the changing room opposite and he and Al meet in the middle of the pitch. Robert smiles at Al politely, and the sad thing is that it’s actually a genuine smile. I don’t think I need to say that Al definitely doesn’t return the pleasantry. He shakes Robert’s hand so briefly, they barely even touched. He then mounts his broom and kicks off before Robert has the chance to beat him to it. 


Gregory McPhilips’s voice echoes around the stadium as he starts to announce the name of the players. Although he’s a Hufflepuff, it’s very clear that he’s rooting for Ravenclaw the whole way. 


“…Ravenclaw have an absolutely brilliant team this year, captained by Robert Hitch, who is also the Head Boy as I’m sure you all know!” 


From all the way down here I can see Al glaring at him. 


“Albus Potter has put out a good enough Slytherin team this year, having beaten Gryffindor in the last match, but I wonder will it be good enough to defeat the Ravenclaws? Potter versus Hitch – I know who my gold’s on!” 


I see Al stick his middle finger up at McPhilips, which earns him a very dirty glare from Wood. Wood is, and always has been, very anti-Slytherin. 


“The Quaffle is released, and the game has begun! Albus Potter catches the Quaffle, Slytherin are in possession…” 

Al clings to the quaffle and flies towards the goalposts where Robert is hovering. He’s up so high, he’s barely more than a speck to me now. Montague and Bates are following Al, but he shows no intention of passing the quaffle. Lorcan is beating bludgers away from Al, while Lysander is aiming them at Hitch, as instructed. The two Ravenclaw beaters have their hands full trying to protect their keeper that they barely even notice when Al scores the first point of the game. 


“10-0 to Slytherin! Potter may be a good chaser, but he does realise this is a team sport, doesn’t he?” 


Scorpius is hovering around the sides looking for the snitch, but there’s been no sign of it yet. After another ten minutes, he looks positively bored. Al has scored another two goals, while Bates and Montague have yet to even touch the quaffle. Ravenclaw have scored a goal and are lagging twenty points behind. 


“30-10 to Slytherin, this match is turning out to be quite a nail-biter! Ravenclaw are in possession! Boot passes to Dawson…those Slytherin beaters seem hell bent on getting Hitch out of this game…Dawson scores! 30-20 to Slytherin!” 


I can see Al shouting something at Henrietta Flint, but when a bludger hits him in the back and very nearly knocks him out of the air, that puts an end to that. He whirls around, clearly wanting to shout as his two beaters now, but they have other ideas. 


You see, Lorcan and Lysander aren’t using their beater bats to hit bludgers anymore. No, they’re using them to hit each other


“Wow, folks, what do we have here? The Scamander twins are bringing their domestic tiffs onto the Quidditch pitch!” 


Wood blows his whistle and calls a time out. The two teams land, Lorcan and Lysander still beating each other with their bats, and Al is shouting bloody murder at them. 


I haven’t been to a Quidditch match this interesting since…oh yeah, since Laura Phelps told everyone I was pregnant. I think this sort of overshadows that though. 


WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?!” Al yells. He throws down his broomstick and tries to pry them apart. I pull myself up off the ground and head over to them to see what’s going on. 


“Stupid git!” Lorcan shouts at Lysander, trying to whack him with his bat, but Scorpius is holding him back while Al has a firm grip on Lysander. 


“It was just one time!” Lysander shouts back. 


Oh no. Did Lysander really just tell Lorcan that he kissed his girlfriend during what could possibly be the most important match of Al’s life? Well if Al wasn’t going to kill him for kissing Lily before, he sure will now. 


“She’s my girlfriend! You’re a backstabbing little –” 


“You knew I liked her when you got together with her!” Lysander yells, still struggling to escape Al’s grip, “You’re the backstabber here!” 


“How dare you!” 


“WHAT IS GOING ON?!” 


Professor Fargo, the head of Slytherin house, has stormed on to the pitch. He’s a very tall man, probably in his mid sixties, with white fluffy hair and a very red face. He face looks far redder than I’ve ever seen it right now. Wood is flying around, shouting obscenities and not helping the situation one little bit. 


Then, seconds later, Lily and Jenny run onto the pitch, Lily clearly having guessed what’s happening. She’s a braver girl than I’ll ever be. If I were in her situation I’d…well, I’d probably lock myself in a bathroom. That sounds like something I’d do.
 

“Lily!” Lorcan and Lysander exclaim at the same time. 


“Oh no,” she mumbles. Then, to make matters even worse, Robert comes over. Al maintains his grip on Lysander, but I can tell he’d love nothing more than to smack Robert senseless. 


“So what’s happening?” Robert asks. 


“None of your business,” Al spits at him. It’s funny, I wanted to spit the exact same thing at him earlier on. 


“Lorcan, I’m so sorry!” Lily cries, “I didn’t want you to find out like this, but it was just one kiss!” 


Lorcan looks heartbroken. I feel for him. 


“Wait a second,” Robert scoffs, “This is your problem? The reason our match had to be suspended was because of you?” Lily looks at him with some serious attitude. Robert clearly hasn’t learned that you do not piss Lily Potter off. “Look, why don’t you deal with your stupid little problems off the pitch –” Smack


Al lets go of Lysander and punches Robert right in the face. 


Nobody talks to my sister like that!” 


Jenny screams, but nobody takes any notice because all hell breaks loose. Robert dives at Al, and the two scramble about punching and kicking; Scorpius lets go of Lorcan to try and drag Robert off Al, meaning that Lorcan and Lysander go back to beating each other with their beater bats; the whole Ravenclaw team gather round to watch the fights, but none of them think to try and break it up. Professor Fargo is shouting at the Scamanders, but he might as well be shouting at a brick wall for all the notice they’re taking. 


Wood lands and blows his whistle. Montague and Bates manage to pry the Scamander twins away from each other, but Scorpius is having a job breaking up the Robert-Al fiasco. 


Stop!” Jenny shouts, and immediately Robert and Al stop fighting. Al has blood dripping from his lip and his nose, and he has a very red eye, which I’m sure will be black by tomorrow. Robert looks no better. The Scamander twins look even worse – never underestimate the power of a beater bat. 


I wish I had the camera. 


“Detention!” Fargo shouts, “All four of you!” 


“Potter, Scamanders and Hitch – you’re out!” Wood cries and blows his whistle for effect. 


“What?!” the four shout. 


“You – are – out!” Wood repeats, “Suspended for the rest of the match!” 


“But then we only have four players!” Al cries. 


“I DON’T CARE, POTTER!” 


“Wow, this could’ve gone better, eh?” I whisper to Jenny. She looks at me darkly. “Too soon to joke? Alrighty then.” 


Montague, Bates, Flint and Scorpius mount their brooms. They are all that is left of the broken Slytherin team. The Ravenclaws have only lost a keeper and look very smug now. 


“You have to catch the snitch,” Al pleads with Scorpius, “You have to catch it. Avoid bludgers at all costs, and catch the god damn snitch as soon as you possibly can, mate.” 


Scorpius nods at him, now looking just as determined as Al. Wood blows his whistle and the six Ravenclaws and four Slytherins take off back into the air. 


“Are you alright?” I ask Al, but he doesn’t hear me. He walks straight by me and over to Jenny. 


“Jen, I’m sorry –” 


She doesn’t even look at him, but rushes over to Robert. The two then walk into the changing rooms, leaving a very crushed Al behind. Lily runs off the pitch away from the bickering Scamander twins. 


“Slytherin are left with only four players! I think we’ll be looking at the worst defeat in years here today people!” 

And it looks like McPhilips is right. Scorpius does his best to avoid the abundance of bludgers, but Montague is knocked out within the first two minutes. Bates scores three more goals, but when Henrietta Flint is knocked out by a bludger to the head, Ravenclaw make a serious comeback, scoring seven goals in under two minutes. Slytherin now have two players against six. The Ravenclaw beaters, now that they’ve knocked out the keeper, are set on knocking out Scorpius. Luckily he’s a fast flier, and a good one too, so he dodges them all. 


“120-60 to Ravenclaw, Bates is doing his best to avoid those bludgers, but those Ravenclaw chasers are just too much for him! Score for Ravenclaw! 130-60!” 


“Come on, Scorpius!” Al cries from beside me, nearly tearing his hair out. 


“150-60! Slytherin have been scored on more times than Al Potter’s sister!” 


“I’m going to kill that little bastard!” Al shouts.


“Ow! It was just a joke, Merlin! OW!!” 


It looks as if James has jinxed McPhilips from the stands. Sometimes I really love that boy. 


“Christ, my head! Right, it’s 210 – 60, Ravenclaw are certain to win this match hands down! Bates is in possession, he dives to avoid a bludger and – oh! Scorpius Malfoy has taken a bludger for his team mate! Bates scores! 210 – 70!” 

Scorpius is clinging to his broom, but manages to pull himself on to it again. He wipes away the blood pouring from his nose and dives towards the ground – he’s seen the snitch. He dives down and down and down… 


“Scorpius Malfoy has caught the snitch!” 

He lands on the ground with a thump. 


“Slytherin win 220 – 210! The second game this season they’ve won by just ten points! And with just two players! My my, you have to give it to them, those Slytherins have style!” 


I rush to Scorpius, but everyone else gets there before me because they’re not almost seven months pregnant with a rather large baby and they can run. Al pulls Scorpius to his feet and then jumps on him in a huge hug. The rest of the team run to him and ruffle his hair, and after Al has finished hugging Scorpius he turns to Jason Bates and hugs him too. 


“You were outstanding, mate, outstanding!” Al shouts and claps him on the back, “Party in the Slytherin common room!” 


It’s a pity Robert has gone back to the changing rooms. I can tell Al really wants to rub this in his face. 




Before the party can begin in the common room, the entire Slytherin team must first visit the hospital wing. Henrietta Flint was transported here straight away when she received a bludger to the head, and she’s currently unconscious in one of the beds. The Scamander twins both have head injuries, and Madame Pomfrey gives them a long lecture on how they shouldn't fight as well as healing potions. Montague has a broken arm, but is alright apart from that. Al is beaten black and blue, but is still extremely optimistic. Scorpius has a broken nose and a sprained arm from his bash from the bludger. Jason Bates is the only one who doesn’t need medical attention. 


“A spectacular win!” Al says for about the fiftieth time, “Two players against six! Scorpius, my friend, you’ll go down in history!” 


“Let’s not count our dragons before they’ve hatched, little brother.” James is standing at the door of the hospital wing, grinning at the scene around him. 


“We’ll beat you in the final,” Al says confidently, “No sweat.” 


“Not with our new not-so-secret weapon, Hugo Weasley you won’t!” James retorts and jumps onto Al’s bed. He flicks Al’s clearly sore eyebrow, earning him a punch on the arm. 


“Are you alright?” I ask Scorpius. 


“I’m fine for the billionth time,” he sighs, “It’s just a sprain.” 


“And a broken nose,” I remind him. 


“I’m fine,” he smiles and assures me. His smile is much nicer than Robert’s, I notice. “I actually have to go to work in ten minutes, though, so I won’t be able to make the party…” 


Al’s face falls completely. “But you’re the star player! Man of the match! Seeker of the century! You can’t not come!” 


“I have to work,” Scorpius shrugs, “But I’m sure the party will still be going on by the time I get back.” 


“It’ll be going on ‘til next year,” I mumble. 


I feel bad. The reason Scorpius has to work is because I’m pregnant. He can’t just go and be a normal teenager with the rest of his friends and celebrate his victory. 


“I’ll be back by half six,” he assures Al, and then gets up to leave. Madam Pomfrey starts fussing over him, but eventually lets him go. 


Al, James and I head back to the Slytherin common room where the party is already under way. Everybody cheers for Al and he’s dragged away as soon as we climb in the portrait hole. The awful chanting and shouting becomes too much to bear after a few minutes, so I tell James that I’m going back to the Gryffindor tower. There I find Lily curled up in a ball in the corner, crying. 


“Lily?” I say gently, bending down awkwardly. It’s hard to bend with a bump. She notices this so stands up and sits on the couch with me. “Are you alright?” 


“I messed everything up,” she sobs, “I didn’t mean to. I didn’t want them to fight. They’re twin brothers, after all and that bond should be stronger and closer than anything I’ll ever have with anyone.” 


“I know,” I soothe, “But they’ll get over it. Blood’s thicker than water and all that.” 


“I broke up with Lorcan,” she sniffs, “I don’t want to come between him and Lysander anymore. I don’t think they’ll be speaking to me for some time.” 


I hug her and comfort her for a while, not really saying anything. I mean, what do you say? She’s the one in the wrong here, so anything honest that I’d say would just hurt her feelings. After a few minutes of sobbing to me, she goes up to her dormitory. Shortly afterwards, Dom comes bouncing into the common room. 


“What a match!” she exclaims, “I can’t wait for the final now! Why aren’t you down in Slytherin? The party just got crazy, Jason Bates is doing a striptease! I just came up to grab my camera!” 


“I’ll head down a little bit later,” I tell her, “I’m a bit tired.” 


She rushes up to the dormitory and rushes back, with the camera and what looks like a letter in her hand. 


“This came for you earlier on,” she hands me the letter. “I’ll see you later?” 


I nod at her. It’s not actually a letter, it’s a postcard from Teddy and Victoire. 


Rosie,
Greetings from Greece! The weather is amazing here, we’ve spent nearly every single day on the beach! The hotel is fantastic, the food is superb and the people are so friendly.
Now to more important things – I hope you’re looking after yourself. I heard your Grandad died, I’m so sorry. (Not your average postcard, you can tell!) I’ll talk to you more when I get back.
Hoping you are well
Love,
Teddy and Victoire (The Lupins!)
 


I smile and tuck it into my pocket. It's clear that it's not actually from Teddy and Vitcoire, but just from Teddy. I almost forgot about Teddy and Victoire with everything that’s happened in the last few weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing Ted again, though that probably won’t be until the summer at this rate. 


I head back down to the Slytherin dungeon after a while. This striptease thing sounds interesting. The common room is even more packed than when I left, and people are actually burning Ravenclaw flags. Then I notice, to my surprise, Scorpius sitting on an armchair in the corner. 


“I thought you had to work?” 


He looks up, looking a little surprised to see me here. 


“They let me go,” he mumbles. 


My heart drops. “They let you go? Why?” 


“Said they weren’t getting enough business to keep me on,” he shrugs, “But it’s okay, Rose.” 


“How is it okay?” I cry, “We have no money!” 


“I’ve taken care of it!” 


I do not like the sound of that. That’s dodgy loan shark talk right there. I raise a suspicious eyebrow. 


“I’ve asked my dad for the money.” 


Those dodgy loan sharks suddenly sound much more appealing. 








A/N - I know, another quick update! Also, I answered many people's questions on how far along Rose is - almost 7 months. And I haven't forgotten about Draco, don't worry! I really enjoyed writing this chapter, especially the Quidditch match, so please review! And to those who have been asking about a sequel, I give you one word: perhaps! And I HAVE decided on the gender of the baby and on the name already. I've had them planned since the start, really.
Thanks for reading!
padfoot4ever


Chapter 29: Becoming Parents
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 29 - Becoming Parents

Dom looks shocked. Actually, Dom looks frightened and shocked. Actually, she looks frightened, shocked and confused at the state of the dormitory, and more importantly, the state of the person sitting in the middle of it tearing up pictures – me. 


It’s not that I have a very large amount of pictures of him. I have around ten. Well, I had around ten, but now I’ve torn them all up and the remains are strewn across the floor. And I’ve poured three bottles of pumpkin juice over them, just to make sure they’re destroyed. 


“Eh…” Dom starts, “What…why…what…” 


“My child has no father,” I hiss and tear up the last picture, one that was just taken yesterday of me and him. It was a stupid picture anyway. I looked fat in it. I know I am fat, but still, I don’t exactly want photographic proof of it. 


“What…why…what…b-but why?” 


Dom sits down on the floor beside me and pries the teddy bear Scorpius got for me out of my hands before there’s a serious massacre. 


“Rose, what the hell is going on?” she asks. 


“He believed his Dad over me!” I cry, “He believed his bloody father over me!” 


“You’ve lost me,” says Dom blankly. 


“Alright…” I fume, “Okay…so Malfoy lost his job today and so, being the genius he is, asked his father for money…” 


“You asked your father for money?” I spat, “As in Draco Malfoy?” 


“How many fathers do I have?” he replied sardonically. 


“How could you ask your father for money, Scorpius? I…I could have asked my parents! You could have gotten another job. I could get a job! James could become a male prostitute! There are a thousand different things we could have done to get money! Robbing Gringotts sounds more appealing than going to your father –” 


“Your parents are doing enough,” he cut me off, “Mr and Mrs Potter have given you money, the baby is going to be living with your parents – I want my family to contribute something too.” 


“Your family,” I scoffed, “I’ve had quite enough of your bloody family!” 


He looked at me darkly. I’ve never seen him give a look so dirty to anyone in my whole life. 


“What does that mean?” he asked defensively. 


“It means –” 


“Why is your family’s money worth more than mine? Why is your family so much better, eh?” he spat. 


“My family weren’t Death Eaters!” I snapped, but instantly regretted it. I knew I shouldn’t have brought that up. Digging up the past, especially where our families are concerned, is never a good idea. 


“And it all comes out,” he said in a low voice, “You think you’re better than me. You think your family’s better than mine.” He looked so disgusted with me, I started to feel sick. 


“Your dear old father tried to bribe me to have an abortion, did you know that?”
He looked at me intensely. No expression appeared across his face as he contemplated what I’d just told him. 


“You’re lying,” he decided after a few minutes. 


“What?” I cried, “You think I’m lying? Why the hell would I lie about this?!” 


“Because you’re determined to hate my family!” he shouted, pacing around his dormitory. We had retreated to his dormitory to discuss this issue, but I could still hear the Slytherin victory party going on below us. “You’ve been raised to think that my family is evil, that my dad is a wanker –” 


“Your dad
is a wanker,” I told him, “It’s a fact.” 


“And you’re dad’s a saint is he? Saint Potter’s- Sidekick Ron Weasley?” 


“My dad may not be perfect but he’s a damn sight more moral than yours! And I never realised you had such issues with my family!” 


“Well I never realised you had issues with mine either,” Scorpius shot back. 


We looked at each other for a moment, neither of us quite knowing what to say. 


“I suppose your wanker father was right about one thing,” I whispered after a minute, “Malfoys and Weasleys will never be friends.” 


He glared back. “Too right.” 


“You know what,” I pulled myself up off his bed, where I had been sitting, “Forget the money. Tell your father to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. And you can stick this fatherhood thing too. I can do this on my own.” 


“Don't be stupid,” Scorpius snapped, “You can’t possibly do this alone.” 


“I’d much rather do this alone than raise my child a Malfoy. I’d hate for her or him to become as ignorant and wicked as the rest of you.” 


“As opposed to being poor and thick like a Weasley,” he shot back. I slapped him. And it hurt my hand. 


“You are a clone of your father,” I fought the lump in my throat, “And I suppose I was thick to think you were any different.” 
It doesn’t look as if Dom’s mouth is ever going to shut. 


“He really said that?” she gasps. 


“He’s a wanker,” I pull the teddy bear back off Dom and chop its head off, “He’s a bloody wanker, just like every other Malfoy in the history of time.” 


“Rose, did Draco Malfoy really try to bribe you to have an abortion?” 


I explain everything to her. I should have explained it to her when it happened, but she was still with Scorpius back then and it was harder to talk to her about it. She listens without interrupting for five minutes straight, and when I’m finished she agrees with me that all Malfoys are wankers. 


“I just hope this baby is a girl,” I say, “The asshole gene seems to be far more prominent in males.” 


A knock on the door disrupts me from destroying everything I own that reminds me of Scorpius Malfoy, and Dom gets up to answer it. It’s a first year girl looking quite nervous to be knocking on the door of the sixth year girls’ room, as any normal first year would be. 


“Professor Flitwick wants to see Rose Weasley,” she says robotically and then turns and runs down the stairs. 


“What does he want?” I moan, “I hate people.” 


“Come on, I’ll walk with you,” says Dom and helps me up off the floor. I mumble to myself the whole way to the office, silently plotting ways to leave the country and raise my child as a Weasley. If he or she asks who his or her father is, I’ll tell them the stork brought them and never explain the biology of human reproduction. Sorted. 


When we reach Flitwick’s office, Dom hugs me and tells me she’ll wait outside. I knock, but don’t bother waiting for a response before going inside. And there, sitting across from Flitwick, is the man himself. The antichrist. The father. Draco Malfoy. Excuse me while I throw up. 


“Miss Weasley, you have a visitor,” says Flitwick. 


“Voldemort?” I ask and Mr Malfoy turns around to face me, “Oh, excuse me Mr Malfoy, I thought you were someone else.” 


“My son told me you had a sense of humour,” says Mr Malfoy, but he doesn’t look as if he’s found the slightest bit of humour in what I’ve said. 


“Your son is an idiot,” I tell him, “You should be very proud, he’s taking after your side of the family.” 


“I’ll just give you a moment,” says Flitwick, clearly not wanting to scold one of his angry pregnant students, and leaves his office. Again. 


“I understand you need some money,” Mr Malfoy starts. 


“And how many people would you like me to kill for it?” I ask smartly, “If you want to leave a list with me I can have it done by Monday. We’ll say a galleon per person? Two for children?” 


“I’m here to apologise to you,” he says, though not very sincerely. Still, it’s quite a step. I didn’t know he knew words as big as ‘apologise’. “I panicked when I found out the news, like any normal parent would.” 


“Mr Malfoy, I really think you have some twisted ideas on what classifies as ‘normal parenting’.” 


“What I mean to say is,” he continues through gritted teeth, “I am sorry for what I said to you. And I would like to offer you some money as nothing more than a goodwill gesture.” 


“I’ll tell you where you can stick your goodwill gesture –” 


The door of the office opens and Scorpius walks in, looking especially moody. It takes all the strength I have in me not to pick up the little ornament of a pixie that’s on Flitwick’s desk and peg it at his head. 


“What’re you doing here?” Scorpius asks his father. 


“You said you needed my help,” Mr Malfoy replies, “And you know I’ll always be there for you, son, even if I don’t always show it.” 


Scorpius nods uncomfortably, and Mr Malfoy looks even more uncomfortable. 


“Well, I know this little moment would bring tears to a turnip and everything,” I say flatly, “But I really don’t know what this has to do with me. I don’t want anything more to do with your family.” 


“Well I don’t want anything more to do with you either,” says Scorpius, “But that baby happens to be my family too, so we’re stuck.” 


“Stop pretending like you care –” 


“It’s my baby, of course I care!” 


“You don’t care about anything except your stupid hair!” 


“That’s the most ridiculous argument ever!” 


“Stop!” Mr Malfoy cries and stands between us. 


“I’m so sick of both of you,” I spit, “Mr Malfoy, tell your son about your little plan. Go on, tell him. Then I can rub it in his face that his father actually is pure evil.” 


Mr Malfoy bows his head, at least having the decency to look ashamed. Scorpius stares at him and I wonder if he’s going to punch him again, because that was fun the last time. 


“I’m sorry,” he says, “I offered to take care of the situation. It was months ago, I’ve changed my mind –” 


“Wait, so you tried to bribe Rose to have an abortion?” Scorpius asks, “Are you for fucking real?” 


Before a shouting-slash-boxing match can ensue, I leave the office, slamming the door behind me. Personally, I hope they kill each other. I tell Dom everything on the way back to the common room, and she puts a comforting arm around my shoulder. But I don’t need a hug – I need to kill something. 





I spend the whole next day doing homework. Although the professors don’t really expect me to do as much work as everyone else, I try to anyway. Scorpius doesn’t come looking for me once and when I go down to the Great Hall for dinner, he doesn’t even look up from his plate. I thought he might be rushing over to me to apologise, but apparently not. Maybe too much has been said. Why does happiness have to be so short-lived in my life? Can’t anything go right for me? 


On Monday I drift from class to class, not really paying attention to anything. Dom is at my side the whole time and doesn’t even acknowledge Mark whenever he tries to talk to her. She knows I need her, especially now that Jenny is spending every waking second with Robert. 


This confuses Al to no end. 


“We won the match! Why would she want to go out with a loser?” he keeps repeating. 


“Because he has a nice arse,” I shoot. A low blow, but I don’t care. 


Nobody asks me any questions as to why Scorpius and I aren’t speaking either. I have a sneaking suspicion that Dom has passed the word around not to mention the ‘S’ word to me. I sort of want to know what happened between him and his father, but I don’t want to speak to him about it. Or about anything for that matter. 


But by Thursday, I can no longer take the silence. I approach him in the library, though I’m not quite sure if I want a reunion or a shouting match. I’m probably more likely to get the latter. 


He looks up from his Astronomy book and looks surprised to see me. I’m not exactly one for making the first move after all. 


“Why haven’t you apologised yet?” I whisper. 


“You said you were sick of me,” he whispers back, “I thought you might hit me again if I tried.” 


“Did you talk to your dad?” 


“Yeah. Turns out you were right – he is a wanker.” 


“I think we momentarily fulfilled every child’s worst nightmare and became our parents,” I say, “Promise me we’ll never do that again.” 


He takes my hand in his. “I promise.” 


"So we can forget everything we said?" 


"It's forgotten," he says firmly.


And although we've reunited, I can't help but notice that neither of us has apologised for what we said. Maybe that's because neither of us are truly sorry. 

I knew the Malfoy-Weasley thing would get in the way. It always does.











A/N - I know, not the best chapter and unbelievably short. I'll try to post the next one soon to make up for it, but I'd still appreciate if you'd review! And this isn't the last we'll see of Draco, and for all you Draco-fans, you can see I haven't made him completely evil. For those who are asking how many chapters the story is going to be, I'd say between 35 and 38. So there's not too long to go now! 
Once again: review!
Thanks for reading!



Chapter 30: Desperate Times
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Chapter 30 - Desperate Times

As the weeks progress, the weather seems to be becoming warmer and warmer. The Seers are telling us to expect one of the hottest summers in ten years. It’s so typical that the one year I happen to be pregnant we get the hottest May ever. I spend most of my time complaining about the weather, but I think everyone has stopped listening to me and are enjoying the good weather. Even Jenny has stopped listening, and it takes quite a bit for her to tune out.


“I’m sweating! Are you sweating? I’m sweating,” I moan, while sitting out on the grass in the Transfiguration courtyard. Jenny sighs and flicks over a page in her book.


“It’s not that hot,” she replies calmly.


“Are you pregnant?” I snap, “No, you’re not.”


“You’re right, I’m sorry,” she says caringly. Why won’t she argue with me? Why won’t anyone argue with me? Even James backs down when I try to start fights with him these days. It’s so annoying. Maybe I’ll go find some real friends who will fight back.


Robert arrives and sits down beside Jenny, looking handsome and charming as always. Nice people are annoying me even more than usual these days, so this bloke better watch himself.


“Hello Rose, how are you?”


What a prick.


“Fine,” I snap shortly.


“Rose is a bit emotional today,” Jenny explains.


“What are you talking about, Winters?” I growl.


“I’m not going to argue with you,” Jenny sighs. I fold my arms and turn away from her, but I’m positive I just saw her roll her eyes.


I leave after a few minutes of vomit-inducing Jenny-and-Robert-bonding-time and head off to find the father of my child. He’s the one person who’s guaranteed to argue with me. He’s even more easily pissed off than I am. I find him coming out of the library, walking with Henrietta Flint from the Slytherin Quidditch team. He says something and she laughs. And even though she looks like she’s been hit in the face by a broomstick, she’s still skinny and this angers me. Suddenly I want to cry and skin something alive at the same time. The sooner I have this baby, the safer the wizarding world will be. Voldemort doesn’t hold a candle to me.


“Talking to Henrietta Flint, I see?” I hiss and grab Scorpius by the arm. I drag him into a corner.


“Yes…” he says, “What’s your point?”


“So do you love her then? Are you going to get her pregnant too? Maybe marry her and live in a disgusting little cottage in some stupid Muggle village? Do you think you’ll get a dog? It’s not like I care. Our kid will be much better looking than the thing you’d have with her! It might be skinnier, but at least ours will have a personality!”


I think he’s too shocked to fight back. His mouth has literally dropped open. Then he bursts out laughing.


“Don't you laugh at me, Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy! I will eat your eyeballs! I will eat them raw!” I’m not sounding as threatening as I hoped I would, because he’s still laughing. “ARGUE BACK!”


“I’m not allowed to argue with you anymore, Rosie,” he laughs, “Lily’s warned us all about pissing you off.”


I’m going to kill that Lily one.


“Well you’re not doing a very good job! Why didn’t you just have sex with Flint right in front of me?”


I may be overreacting here.


“I’m not going to argue with you,” says Scorpius firmly, “Come on, let’s go to dinner so I can eye up Henrietta again.” I elbow him in the side, but agree to dinner. I’m so hungry I could eat a small hippogriff.


“So what happened with you and your dad then?”


“I’m not going to argue with you,” he repeats.


I’ve been shooting this question at him for the last few weeks, but he’s never given me an answer and the asking of this question always results in an argument. He usually just answers ‘nothing for you to worry about’, which leads me to believe that there is something for me to worry about. But today it’s burgers for dinner, so I sort of forget about Draco Malfoy. That man makes me lose my appetite.


We sit down beside Al, who pretends he hasn’t been pining over Jenny and Robert who are cuddling at the Ravenclaw table. He turns to Scorpius.


“Training starts tomorrow,” he says, “Nine o’clock.”


“Sounds like a great way to spend my Saturday,” Scorpius mumbles.


“We have to train if we want to beat Gryffindor,” says Al simply. I can’t help but notice he doesn’t seem half as determined to win the final as he was to beat Ravenclaw. However, the final is two weeks from now and Gryffindor have already started training. I know James had Hugo out training before class this morning.


“Slytherin are rubbish anyway,” I provoke.


“We’re not going to argue with you,” says Al.


“I have the worst family ever,” I mumble.


After dinner, Al, Scorpius and I decide to head back to the Gryffindor common room. We end up taking a different route than usual because the staircase changes on the way, and the corridor we walk down is completely deserted. Well, that is except for one person. It so happens that Robert Hitch is taking the exact same corridor to the Ravenclaw tower.


“Oh look, it’s the loser,” Al sniggers. You’d think he’d take the high road, but no.


“I’m not the loser, mate,” Robert retaliates. And he says it in a really bitchy way. Why can’t people start on me?


“Say that again, Hitch,” Al snarls and walks right up to Robert. There’s about an inch in difference in their height. Robert shoves Al.


“Back off, Potter,” he snaps, “Don't make me kick your arse again.”


“Don't shove me, loser!” Al shoves him back, “And I believe it was me kicking your arse!”


“Better comebacks, mate,” Scorpius whispers to him.


“Stay away from my girlfriend,” Robert frowns and shoves Al again, “She doesn’t want you.”


“She’s only with you to get back at me,” Al shoves him harder.


“Keep telling yourself that,” Robert scoffs.


“You’re not good enough for her,” Al practically shouts, “You act all nice and noble, but you’re just as big a bollocks as the rest of us! At least I’m honest about it!”


“Just give it up, Potter! She is never going to want you! You’re a pathetic little scrounger! The only reason she went out with you in the first place is because of who your father is. Although I have to say her taste has greatly improved since then – I can’t imagine why anyone would want to associate with Harry Potter. Everyone knows he’s just a big –”


We never get to find out just exactly what Uncle Harry is, because Al punches Robert in the nose and knocks him to the ground. It’s a good thing Al did it – I was just about to do the same thing.


“At least my dad’s worked an honest day’s work in his life! What does your dad do again? Oh yeah, that’s it, he lives off the Ministry–”


Robert jumps to his feet and runs at Al, knocks him to the ground and punches him repeatedly.


“Stop!” I scream.


Scorpius tries to pull Robert off Al, but he shoves him back and hits him in the face. He continues to punch Al, who has stopped fighting back, leading me to believe that he’s unconscious.


“Robert, STOP IT!” I shout, “You’ll kill him!”


Robert comes to his senses and stops hitting Al’s bloody face. He stares down at him in shock at what he’s done. Al is lying completely still with blood pouring from his nose and mouth.


“Oh my god, I’m so sorry,” he gasps, “A-Albus? Are you –”


“Get away from him!” Scorpius roars, “Fuck off back to your dormitory!”


I’ve never seen him shout like that. It’s kind of sexy. Okay, snap back to the issue at hand – your cousin is practically dying.


Robert runs down the corridor as instructed, Al’s blood still on his hands. Scorpius throws one of Al’s arms over his shoulder.


“Come on, hospital wing,” he orders and I follow him.


Luckily Al has come around by the time we reach the door of the hospital wing and stops us from bringing him inside.


“Where is he?” Al asks weakly, “I’ll kill the little bastard.”


“You won’t go killing anyone!” I cry, now realising that I’m actually crying, “We have to get you to the hospital!”


“I’m alright,” he says gruffly, even though he’s anything but alright. He shrugs us away and starts walking on his own. His face is completely covered with blood, but he insists that he doesn’t want to go to the hospital wing and have Madame Pomfrey ask questions. So we have no choice but to bring him to the Gryffindor tower as originally planned. There, I clean the blood from his face. His eyebrow is cut, his eye is puffed, his got several bruises forming and his lip is swollen. I’ve definitely changed my mind about Robert Hitch – he’s a psycho.


Lily gasps in shock when she comes into the common room and sees the state of her older brother.


“Al! I told you not to piss Rose off!” she yells.


“I didn’t do this!” I protest.


“It was –”


“No one,” Al interrupts Scorpius, “It doesn’t matter.”


*


“What the hell happened to your cousin?” Jenny asks me the very next day. Apparently Al’s plan of not making a big deal of his injuries has gone awry. Everyone in the school has noticed. How could they not? His bruises have gotten even worse since yesterday.


I’ve also noticed how Jenny won’t even say Al’s name anymore, but refers to him as ‘your cousin’.


“Are you talking about Molly? We all think she was dropped on her head as a baby, but Auntie Audrey denies it,” I say.


“You know who I’m talking about,” Jenny frowns, “I’m not stupid. Robert came back to the common room covered in blood last night.”


“Maybe he walked into the same door Al did?” I suggest.


“They were fighting again?” she sighs angrily, “Why can’t Al just let it go!”


“He has let it go!” I tell her, “In case you haven’t noticed, it’s him who’s ended up with a swollen face, not Robert. And it’s Robert who has you. So maybe you should just give Al a break.”


“I can’t forget what he did,” she starts, but trails off when Al wanders into the Great Hall looking extremely pathetic and depressed.


“Don't you think he’s paid for what he did?” I ask.


Jenny says nothing, but looks at Al with sympathy. She hasn’t really looked at him since they broke up almost two months ago. I beckon him over to sit with us, and because Jenny actually feels sorry for him, she doesn’t protest.


“Afternoon,” he mumbles glumly and sits down beside me, “Why do people keep staring?”


“Have you looked in a mirror today?” I ask him. He sighs and begins eating his soup quietly. Then Jenny snaps.


“Why do you get yourself into these things, Al?” she starts, “You always end up doing something stupid, don’t you? Those bruises won’t go down for weeks, you know! Why can’t you just let things go? You’ve always been so stubborn, that’s your problem –”


“Miss Winters, I believe you’re taking the words out of my mouth,” Professor Chang appears behind Jenny, who goes red with embarrassment. Al, on the other hand, looks delighted. Because even though Jenny has been giving out to him, she’s acknowledged his existence for the first time in weeks.


“Potter, who did this to you?” Chang asks firmly.


Al looks from Jenny to Professor Chang. “Nobody,” he says. Chang raises an eyebrow.


“So you did this to yourself?” she asks sarcastically.


“Eh…yeah. I’m a very violent sleeper,” he says stupidly.


Although Professor Chang doesn’t believe a word Al is saying, there’s nothing she can do to prove that he didn’t do it to himself, so she walks back to the teacher’s table.

“Why didn’t you say it was Robert?” Jenny asks in awe.


“Wouldn’t want him to lose his Head Boy position this close to graduating, would I?” he shrugs indifferently and then leaves the table. I have to admire him at times like these. And I can’t help but notice that Jenny’s admiring him to.


“I have to go,” I tell her, “I’ll talk to you later!”


I rush to the Slytherin common room, where I find Scorpius playing Wizard’s Chess with a seventh year boy, whose name I’m not quite sure of. I shoo the boy away and turn to Scorpius excitedly.


“Our plan’s working!” I cry.


“What plan?” he asks.


“The plan to get Al and Jenny back together!”


“But…” he looks confused, “We don’t have a plan to get them back together.”


“Well our lack of plan is working then! Jenny is talking to him!”


“Has she dumped the dickhead?”


“Well…no, not yet,” I say, “But it’s only a matter of time! She seemed really angry when she found out he beat up Al –”


“Well she should be, the bloke’s a psychopath.”


“I’m telling you, give it five years or so, they’ll be getting married!” I cry happily.


“I think you might be getting a bit ahead of yourself…”


*


“Red!”


James runs towards me and bounces onto the sofa, looking as if all his Christmases have come at once.


“I am so glad your parents had sex all those years ago!” he cries and everybody in the Gryffindor common room stare at him.


Of all the stupid things James has ever said in his life, that is definitely the most disturbing. Why can’t he just say something like ‘I’m so glad you were born’? See, this is the kind of thing that makes me think James might be mentally unstable. Why won’t Harry and Ginny just listen to me? Their son needs help.


“That came out wrong,” he admits, “But what I mean to say is – your brother is the greatest keeper ever!”


Okay, here is the argument I’ve been looking for.


“My brother? My brother? What about me, eh? Wasn’t I a good keeper? Or is it just a male thing – only boys can be really good keepers!” I snap.


“R-Red, you know I think you were an amazing keeper,” he says nervously and backs away from me rapidly, “I just mean he’s the greatest one since you –”


“That’s not what you meant, James!”


“Lily says I’m not allowed argue with you!” he cries and runs up the stairs to his dormitory before he can get himself into trouble.


Kick.


This baby really picks her or his moments to start kicking the hell out of me. It’s usually when I’m down. I know it’s a good thing that the baby kicks, but really, you’d think it would get sick of it after a while. Then again, there can’t really be that much to do in a womb other than kick up your heels every now and again.


Suddenly, I’m completely overcome with the urge to cry, so instead of suppressing my feelings, I burst into tears. There’s a first year over in the corner doing her homework who is looking at me as if I’m completely insane. She picks up her books and moves into the corner furthest away from me to continue working without my uncontrollable sobbing interrupting her. A fifth year boy is pretending like he’s not staring by holding up the newspaper over his face, but I can see his eyes peering out over the top. Even though it’s been five months since everyone has found out, they still can’t help but stare at the pregnant girl. I suppose it’s only natural. But it’s also humiliating. Deciding I can’t take their glares anymore, I go upstairs to the dormitory with every intention of sleeping.


Laura is sitting on her bed painting her nails, and nods a greeting to me.


“What’s wrong?” she asks, not looking up from her nails.


“Why do people keep staring at me?” I whine, “Well, I know why they keep staring at me, but you’d think they’d just get over it! I’m not the first person to get pregnant at Hogwarts.”


“Yeah, but you’re the first with famous parents to do it,” she shrugs, and begins painting her toenails now that her fingers are done, “People love gossip. And like it or not, you’re still the best source of gossip in the school. Even better than the Albus Potter-Jenny Winters-Robert Hitch love triangle.”


Is my pregnancy scandal really better than The Triangle?


“It’s always the quiet ones, eh? That Jenny Winters, you’d swear butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. Who would’ve thought she’d turn out to be just as big a slut as the rest of the Ravenclaws?”


Laura may not be as big of an asshole as I first perceived her to be, but I have to admit, the girl’s a bitch.


“Jenny’s not a slut,” I tell her, “You should get to know her, I think you’d like her.”


That’s a lie. Jenny is the complete opposite to Laura. I think if Laura spent more than ten minutes in her presence she’d probably kill her. I love Jenny to bits, but she’s a nice girl and Laura is not a nice girl. Laura prides herself on the fact that she’s not a nice girl. Laura looks at me and raises her eyebrows as if to stress this point.


“Okay, you’d hate her,” I admit, “But she’s not a slut.”


“Right,” says Laura, “Me neither.”


She smiles mischievously at me and then heads into the bathroom to wipe the excess nail varnish off her skin. I then realise that I’ve stopped crying, and I can’t even remember why I started in the first place.


*

Friday morning, during double potions, a third year Hufflepuff comes into the classroom and tells the teacher that Professor Flitwick is looking for me. Wondering what the hell I could have possibly done this time to get into trouble, I head off for the Headmaster’s office. Sometimes I think I should just set up shop there considering the amount of time I spend in the blasted place. The Hufflepuff tells me that the password is ‘House Elf’ and then leaves me to face the music alone.


I knock on the door of the office. Maybe my favourite sort-of-but-not-really-Father-in-Law will be standing in there with more propositions to screw up my relationship with Scorpius, but he’s not – instead there’s a tall woman with dark hair and dark eyes, who I’m sure I’ve seen before, I just can’t remember where. She looks sort of severe, but when she smiles at me, the smile definitely holds a certain amount of warmth.


“Rose,” the lady smiles, “Lovely to see you again. You’re looking well.”


I hate when people tell me I’m looking well, because they always leave out the one word I know for a fact they’re thinking – ‘you’re looking well…considering.’


“I’m Astoria Malfoy.”


Of course she is. I’m just that unfortunate. Why didn’t she just bring Lucius and Narcissa, and maybe Great-Granny and second cousin Malfoy?


“We didn’t really get to speak the last time we met,” she goes on. Yes, that’s because your son laid your husband out on the floor of Flitwick’s office. “I was just wondering how you were doing?”


“I’m doing okay,” I shrug. I don’t really know what else to say. She seems like a nice lady, but I’m not exactly the best judge of character. I thought Robert Hitch was a nice bloke before he nearly killed my cousin.


“Please, sit down,” Astoria gestures to a chair and I gladly take it. She sits across from me and smiles again. “I know my husband came to see you a few weeks ago. I’m not quite sure what went on, but all I know is that Scorpius hasn’t been speaking to him since then.”


I say nothing. I don’t want to rat Draco out to his wife, especially if he really is sorry, but nor do I want to defend him in any way. To be honest, I just want to keep out of it.


“And also,” Astoria continues, “I know that Scorpius took the money we offered him.”


“He what?!” I can’t stop myself from shouting.


“D-didn’t he tell you?” she asks nervously.


“No, he didn’t tell me,” I mutter angrily.


“Please don’t get worked up about it,” says Astoria, “We were only trying to help you, to take responsibility. We haven’t exactly been very involved in the pregnancy and…well, I’d like to contribute. We all make mistakes, Rose.”


I’m barely listening to her, but imagining Scorpius’s head on a plate. How could he do this? He knows what his father did! If I wasn’t pregnant, I’d march right out of this office and kick him so hard up the arse...



Then again, if I wasn’t pregnant, none of this would be happening.


“Draco’s not perfect and neither is Scorpius,” Astoria sighs, “And they tend to act before they think about the consequences.”


“Clearly,” I say, pointing to my bump.


“Here.” She reaches into her handbag and pulls out a small red and green knitted hat, “I made this for the baby. Call it a peace offering?”


I take the small hat and feel those dreaded tears welling up in my eyes again. Why do about fifty new emotions suddenly arrive when you get pregnant? As if the uncontrollable bladder isn’t bad enough.


“Thank you, Mrs Malfoy.”


“Call me Astoria. And Rose, if you need anything at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I know you have your own family,” she adds quickly, “But I want you to know I’m here. Not all Malfoys are idiots – just the general majority.”


She smiles at me again and I return it for the first time. She leaves the office through the fireplace, and I decide that maybe just this once, I’m not going to argue with Scorpius over this. Because everyone knows that desperate times call for desperate measures.









A/N - Happy Halloween everybody! Not a particularly scary chapter...unless you count a teenage pregnancy as scary. Hope you liked it, I know it was sort of a filler but there was some good stuff in there too (I hope...). I can't believe I have 30 chapters posted! How crazy is that?! Please review, thank you all so much! (",)


Chapter 31: Victory and Defeat
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Chapter 31 - Victory and Defeat


Tension. Fear. Hunger. Dread. Anxiety. 


These are all the emotions I can see on my little brother’s face, and I’m sure he’s feeling a lot more on the inside. I have never seen him look more nervous in my whole life. He looks smaller than usual in his oversized Quidditch gear and I don’t think James is helping to calm Hugo’s nerves one little bit. 


“We have to win this one,” he keeps repeating as he scoffs down his breakfast, “This is my last chance to take home the cup. We have to win this one!” 


Hugo goes very white at James’s words and I doubt he even knows that there is food on the plate in front of him. He’s staring into the distance and his mind is about a million miles away from the Great Hall. Luckily he hasn’t put on any eyeliner today, nor has he gelled his hair down onto his face so it covers his eyes. It’s in its normal wild state today and he looks like his old self, save for the fact that his hair is still black and not its natural brown. 


When James has eaten six sausages and three eggs, and Merlin knows what else, he gets up from the table and visits each team member individually to go over the plan once more. He starts with Fiona Jordan, a fifth year chaser who is sitting at the far end of the Gryffindor table and I see her roll her eyes as she spots him coming towards her. 


“Lads, let’s get out of here,” Seán Finnegan whispers to Fred, Dom, Hugo and Simon Longbottom, “He’s going to start on us next.” 


Dom, Fred and Simon jump up and rush out of the hall after Seán, but Hugo stays put. I don’t think he’s heard a word Seán said. 


“Hugh, you’ll be fine,” I try to reassure him, “It’s really not that scary once you’re out there.” 


“I’m going to drop the Quaffle,” Hugo whispers so that only I can hear him, “I’m not going to save anything. I’m going to make the team lose and James’ll kill me.” 


“He won’t kill you,” I lie, “Hugo, you’re a great keeper.” 


“No I’m not,” he says, “I inherited Mum’s Quidditch skill, you got Dad’s. It’s not fair, you got all the good genes – the Weasley Quidditch skill, the Granger brains –” 


“The Malfoy child?” I add, “The red bushy hair? The innate disability to keep my thoughts to myself? Hugo Harry Weasley, stop putting yourself down. It’s not a Quidditch problem you have, it’s a confidence one.” I’m starting to sound just like my mother. Kill me now. “And it’ll be Al’s goals you’ll be trying to block. You’ve played him hundreds of times at The Burrow. Just imagine you’re at Nana and Grandad’s, with just the family watching.” 


“Except it won’t be the family,” says Hugo miserably, “It’ll be the entire school.” 


“Well…half this school is our bloody family anyway.” 


“Good luck today, Hugo!” Professor Longbottom grins at him on the way past the table, “You’ll make us all proud!” 


And thanks to dear old Neville, all of my hard work has gone down the toilet – Hugo is back to being as pale as Nearly Headless Nick and staring into the distance. 


James drags Hugo down to the stadium at a quarter to eleven, and the atmosphere is building already all around the school. It seems everybody has divided between red and green. It’s difficult to tell who is a Ravenclaw or a Hufflepuff because they’ve changed into the colours of the house they’ll be supporting. I spot Jenny and Robert in the crowd, Jenny wearing a green scarf and looking very sour beside Robert, who appears to be supporting Gryffindor. They aren’t holding hands – they’re not even acknowledging each other. 


“You’re supporting Slytherin?” I gasp with mock disgust when I reach her, “I thought you had better taste, Miss Winters!” 


“So did I,” I hear Robert mumble and he walks on ahead of us. Jenny glares after him angrily. 


“Have I missed something here?” I ask. Jenny shakes her head. 


“You’re in a better mood today,” she observes. There’s nothing like Quidditch to put an almost eight month pregnant girl in a good mood. But Merlin help those Slytherins should they beat Gryffindor. 


“I can’t say the same for you,” I frown, “Did you and Robert have an argument?” 


“You could say that,” she shrugs. 


Jenny sits with Roxanne, Lily and I in the Gryffindor stand during the match – and she’s just about the only person wearing green – and doesn’t even look for Robert. I can’t help but be happy that they’ve had a falling-out. Jenny deserves so much better than him, even though he does seem sorry for what he did to Al. He keeps coming up to me and Scorpius and apologising, but he has yet to say sorry to Al. 


The cheers are deafening as the two teams fly out from the changing rooms, and I see James get Al in a headlock instead of shaking his hand like the two captains usually do. Al shoves him away, ruffles James’s hair and mounts his broom. I don’t know if the baby can sense the excitement, but she or he is kicking like crazy. 


Ouch. That kick hurt. This baby is definitely grounded when it’s born. 


“And so here we are again at the most exciting Quidditch game of the year – the final!” Gregory McPhilips starts his usual commentary, “Two teams, two Potters, two Scamanders – let’s just hope they won’t start beating the crap out of each other too early into the game…” 


Lorcan and Lysander look awkward at this and look away from each other. Lily looks mortified. As far as I know, the Scamanders have decided to forget that anything happened – though neither of them have spoken to Lily since the last match – but it’s sort of hard to do that when someone brings it up in front of the whole school. 


“It’s Hugo Weasley’s debut as Gryffindor Keeper – a nice match he chose to start!” 


Even from here I can see how nervous Hugo looks. I’m not surprised – I feel just as nervous. After a few minutes, the baby kicks again. 


“…Albus Potter makes the shot and – it’s saved! Saved by Hugo Weasley!” 


James flies over to Hugo and hugs him in mid-air. He then proceeds to take off his t-shirt – he’s playing in a red Gryffindor t-shirt as it’s too warm to wear the full uniform – and swing it around over his head. And then he throws it into a crowd of boo-ing Slytherins. Like I’ve said before, James is a strange individual. 


After fifteen minutes the score is 20-10 to Gryffindor. Hugo has saved six goals and only let in one. I’m getting stomach cramps every five minutes or so, but am trying to act casual. But then one extra-painful cramp causes me to yelp in pain and I can take it no more. 


“Rose, what’s wrong?” Lily asks in alarm, and Jenny looks very panicked. Roxanne tears her eyes away from the match (just at the point when her brother, Fred, aims a bludger right at Henrietta Flint) and looks at me too. 


“I think I’m in labour,” I gasp, angry that I’m only just realising it. I start to breathe heavily like they taught me to do in those waste-of-time-or-so-I-thought antenatal classes Mum made me go to a few weeks ago. I sort of wish I’d listened to them now.

“Y-you can’t be in labour!” Lily gasps, “It’s only the 7th of June! You’re not due until mid-July!” 


“Shall I open my legs so you can tell the baby that?” I snap, “It’s coming, I can feel it!” 


Jenny, Roxanne and Lily jump to their feet immediately. Lily and Roxanne hold my arms while Roxie goes ahead, shouting ‘pregnant woman, coming through!’ Jenny keeps telling me to breathe, as if I won’t unless she tells me to. Lily’s still adamant that it’s too soon for the baby to come, and there is just no way that this can be possible. 


“Well unless the baby has a little penknife in there and is ripping apart my insides, it’s happening!” I cry at her. 


When we reach the hospital wing, Madame Pomfrey remains calm as we explain the situation to her. She sits me down on one of the beds and tells me to relax. 


“When was your last contraction?” she asks. 


“Four and a half minutes ago,” Lily answers for me, looking at her watch, “And it lasted one minute and twelve seconds.” 


Madame Pomfrey runs her wand over my stomach and mutters incantations I’ve never heard of before. 


“Alright, what you’ve been experiencing are Braxton Hicks contractions – ‘false labour’ in other words,” she tells me after a few moments, “It’s nothing to worry about, plenty of women get them. The baby is not coming – not today anyway.” 


“Nothing to worry about?” Jenny gasps, “How can you say that it’s nothing to worry about? I thought...I thought…” 


“I thought she was going to pop right there in the Quidditch stadium!” Roxie cries. 


“You did the right thing by bringing her here,” Madame Pomfrey assures them, “Rose, if you ever experience any serious pain, do not hesitate to come to me.” 


I calm down when her words sink in. I’m not in labour. My baby is not coming today. I’m not about to become a mother. I can’t help but feel intensely relieved. I mean, how could I become a mother today? I’ve just been dealing with the pregnancy – I haven’t even thought of how I’m going to feel when this child actually comes into the world. I’ve not mentally prepared myself just yet, considering I have at least another month to do it. 


Madame Pomfrey lets us go back to the Quidditch match after a few minutes (though I’m really not in the mood for it anymore), but when we draw near to the entrance hall, everybody else is coming back in. Apparently the match is over. 


“Who won?” Roxie squeals, “I can’t believe we missed it!” 


It’s hard to tell who won because everyone is chatting excitedly to each other. I’m guessing they’re all either Ravenclaws or Hufflepuffs, because nobody seems too happy or too depressed. Jenny grabs the first person who passes us, a rather short, fat boy, and demands to know who won the match. 


“Weren’t you there?” the boy asked, his voice clearly breaking. 


“Would she be asking if she was there, Henry?” Roxie snaps, “Who won the bloody match?!” 


“G-Gryffindor!” 


I’d join Roxie and Lily in cheering, only I’m afraid I’ll go into false labour again. Who knows what could set it off? Instead I just grin widely and feel so overwhelmingly relieved that James will not be murdering my little brother today. Jenny looks a bit disappointed. 


“A- I mean, the Slytherins will be so upset,” she says sadly. Lily looks at her incredulously. “W-what?” Jenny stumbles, “I’m just saying…nobody likes to lose…Rose, aren’t you sorry that Scorpius lost?” 


“No,” I scoff, “Where is he so I can rub it in his face?” 


As hundreds of students swarm back into the school, we take refuge in the Gryffindor Tower, which is completely empty except for Laura, who is playing a game of Wizard’s Chess with a House Elf. The House Elf panics when he sees us come in, so he disappears straight away, as if we’re about to take off our clothes and throw them at him. They’re such strange little creatures. I’m not quite sure why Mum loves them so much. 


“I was winning,” Laura frowns at us, “That House Elf was going to pay me six galleons if I won.” 


“You were going to take gold from a House Elf?” Jenny asks her, “That’s awful! That’s a whole week’s wages for those poor elves!” Laura looks at Jenny and raises one eyebrow at her. I try to raise one eyebrow too, but I can’t. It’s not that I want to raise my eyebrow at Jenny, I’d just like to be able to do it. I probably look weird now, because Roxie is looking at me very strangely. 


“Look Julie, fair’s fair. If he’d won, I’d have given him the six galleons.” 


“It’s Jenny, actually,” she frowns at Laura, “And why weren’t you at the Quidditch match?” 


Oh why, Jenny? Why must you ask these questions? Why must we dig up the past? 


“I’ve been banned from all Quidditch matches, remember?” Laura says, with half a bitter smile. 


“Oh I remember now,” says Jenny, “Well it’s not like you didn’t deserve it.” 


Just keep digging, Jen. This hole isn’t quite deep enough yet. Luckily Laura just shoots her a very bitchy look, but doesn’t retaliate because James has just run into the common room, waving a red and gold flag around and shouting. Laura rolls her eyes and heads up to the dormitory, not wanting to remain in the presence of the boy who broke her heart in front of the entire world. 


“WE WON!” James screams, as if we couldn’t have guessed, “You should’ve seen Al, he looks like he’s going to cry! WE WON! WE WON!” 


I wish I could have seen it. I always enjoy a good Quidditch match and I’ve never missed a final before. I suppose this is just another big change in my life – I have no more time for Quidditch. 


“Caught the snitch before Scorp even had time to chase it! Red, I hope your kid inherits its uncle’s seeking abilities!” James grins, pointing to himself. 


“Eh, James? You do realise you’re not going to be the baby’s uncle, don’t you?” Lily says. 


James stares at her blankly. “Yes…I’m not stupid, Lily.” Lily raises her eyebrows at me. “Anyway, the party starts at eight tonight – be there or be circles!” 


As if we don’t have enough parties in this common room, James always organises a massive get-together every year Gryffindor win the Quidditch Cup. It’s going to be even bigger than his birthday party, though I do hope the outcome is much less severe for me. At least I won’t be drinking at this one. 


I decide to spend the day catching up on homework, but I find it very hard to concentrate because every time the baby kicks, I’m afraid I’m going into labour. On top of that, I hardly even have a minute to myself because Lily, Roxie and Jenny keep popping in to see if I’m alright. I appreciate their support and everything, but really, a girl needs a minute to herself if she wants to write two ft of parchment on Amortentia. When I’m about half way through the essay, Lily dashes into the dormitory (where I’m doing my homework, thinking I won’t be disturbed here) breathless. 


“Scorpius is looking for you!” she gasps, “He’s really worried.” 


“Why is he really worried?” I frown at her. 


“Well…” she begins and looks down at the floor, “I may have let it slip that…you had contractions during the match…” 


“Lily!” 


I could strangle her right now. For a girl who was telling everybody not to piss me off, she’s being quite the hypocrite. I go down to the common room, which has already been decorated with red and gold banners, and find Scorpius waiting anxiously at the bottom of the stairs. 


“What happened? Are you alright? Lily said you went into labour –” 


“False labour,” I frown, “I’m fine, it was just Braxton Hicks contractions. They’re very common, apparently.” 


“Are you sure?” he presses, “Why didn’t you call me?” 


I glare at him, wondering how someone so book-smart could be so stupid. “You were playing a Quidditch match, what was I supposed to do? Hold up a sign saying ‘Scorpius, I’m having your baby!’?” 


“No…but you had all day to tell me,” he argues, “You never want to involve me in anything!” 


“Don't start now,” I sigh tiredly, “I didn’t see the point in telling you, it was a false alarm.” 


“You didn’t see the point?” he scoffs, “Christ, Rose I do my best to look out for you but you’re just so…” 


“So what?” I ask angrily. 


“So bloody delicate all the time!” he shouts, “Everything I do you take it up the wrong way! I just can’t win with you!” 


“Stop being so dramatic,” I hiss, because people are now starting to look at us, “I can’t believe you’re being so childish about this.” 


“I’m not the one being childish. I can’t believe you didn’t think to tell me –” 


“Don't start on me, Scorpius!” I warn him, “I’m not the only one keeping secrets here!” He looks at me, as if he doesn’t know what I’m talking about. “I know you took the money from your dad.” 


“And why the hell do you think I did that?” 


“I know, to help! You’re like a broken record these days! I’ve told you, I can do this myself!” 


“Fine,” he says in a low voice, “Do it yourself.” And with one last pitiful look, he turns around and leaves the common room. 


What the hell just happened? Did Scorpius just dump me? Me, his eight month pregnant girlfriend? I stand, rooted to the floor for about five minutes, staring at the spot he was just standing in. I feel Lily’s hand on my arm, but I barely even notice her there. I feel like someone’s cast Petrificus Totalus on me, because I can’t move. 


“Rose?” Lily says my name softly, “Come on, let’s go back upstairs.” 


I can feel everybody looking at me, but I don’t care. Lily tugs my arm a little bit harder and I let her lead me upstairs to my dormitory. She sits me down on my bed and waits for me to say something. I’m not quite sure what to say. 


“Are you alright?” Lily asks after a few minutes, “I’m sure he didn’t mean it. He was just angry and frightened because of what happened…” 


“Lily, could I be alone for a while please?” I ask her. She nods, rubs my arm and leaves. I tell myself I’m not going to get upset about this. I know I’m not going to cry, because I don’t feel sad – I feel angry. I want to throw something at someone. I want to scream at the top of my lungs. I want to grab Professor Flitwick and drop-kick him through the Quidditch posts. But instead I breathe. I breathe in and out for a few minutes. I count to ten about a billion times. Because I can’t get angry anymore, not if I don’t want to stress out the baby. 


I stay in the dormitory all through dinner. Nobody comes to see me – I presume Lily has told them I want my space. I mull it all over in my brain and come to the conclusion I’d hoped I’d never come to, but always suspected I would. 


At around half seven, I hear the victory party get underway in the common room below me, but I’m really not in the mood for celebrating. Another person not really in the mood for celebrating is Jenny, so she comes up to the dormitory to be my misery’s company. 


“I heard what happened,” is the first thing she says to me, “Why are men such pigs?” 


I shrug. I don’t really want to get into a ‘women’s lib, burn our bras’ kind of situation here, but I completely agree with her. The baby kicks at this too – there, I’m convinced it’s a man-hating girl, or else a boy protesting. 


“I want to dump Robert,” she announces. 


I momentarily forget all about my men troubles and go back to concentrating on hers. This is just about the only thing in the world that can cheer me up. I’m so happy to hear this I could do the Hippogriff step. The Hippogriff-step is quite a complex dance move that should only be attempted by very drunk grandmothers on a Friday night – it involves a lot of flapping your arms and bobbing your head, while running around in a circle. It’s definitely not a safe dance for pregnant women to do. 


“Well then do it!” I cry, “He’s an arse!” 


“He’s not that bad,” she tries to defend, “…okay, he’s a complete arse. But I can’t dump him.” 


“Why not?” 


“Well…I’ve never dumped anyone before,” she shrugs, “I don’t know how to do it.” 


“May I remind you of Albus Potter? You dumped him fairly quickly,” I point out, “Why don’t you get him pregnant and then tell him to raise the child himself? That’s always a great way to dump someone.” So maybe I haven’t completely forgotten about my boy troubles. 


“I’m sure Scorpius didn’t mean it,” says Jenny softly, “I saw him in the common room, he looks terrible.” 


“Well he’s a Slytherin at a Gryffindor victory party, he should look terrible,” I say, “And we’re not talking about Scorpius, we’re talking about Robert. Just tell him you don’t want to be with him anymore. It’s simple.” 


She sighs heavily and shakes her head in despair. “You know what this calls for?” she asks and I shrug, “It calls for a sleepover.” 


“I haven’t had a sleepover since third year,” I tell her, “And I’m really not in the mood…”

“It’s perfect! You’ve been through so much today. Dom will be here, and I can ask Lily to come too! Do you want Molly there?” 


“Okay first of all, we’re not having a sleepover,” I say firmly, “And secondly, if we were having a sleepover, why on earth would you invite Monster Molly?” 


“Okay, no Molly,” says Jenny excitedly, “We’ll steal some food from the party and bitch about boys!” 


“You’re forgetting Chas and Laura sleep here too,” I point out. 


“I like Chas,” Jenny shrugs, “And Laura…well, she’ll be outnumbered, won’t she? This is just what you need, Rose! Please, say yes!” 


“Fine…” I start, “Fine. We’ll have a sleepover –” 


“Yes!” 


“If you dump Robert tonight.” 


Her face falls. “Tonight?” 


“Tonight.” 


“Fine,” she sighs, “Then I’m inviting Molly!” 


She leaves the dormitory and I decide to follow her down. I’m going to have to face him sometime, and if Jenny can face Robert, I can face Scorpius. The common room is completely packed. Al is here, which is brave of him considering he’s the captain of the losing team. He appears to be having a good time too. 


“You look surprisingly upbeat,” I say as I approach him. 


“Can’t win them all,” he shrugs, “And anyway, I’m going to win it next year.” 


I can tell that after his victory in the last match, Al feels as if he’s won anyway. He pours himself another drink of Butterbeer – since his bad drinking experience at Ted’s wedding, he’s been avoiding the dreaded alcohol – and looks very content. I have to say, he’s a very good loser. 


I notice Robert Hitch walk past us and he says nothing to Al, which I’m thankful for. The last thing we need is a brawl in the common room. Al’s bruises from the last ones haven’t disappeared yet. 


“Hitch,” Al calls. 


Apparently I spoke too soon. 


Robert turns around and faces Al. For a moment neither of them say anything and everyone turns around to have a good look at what’s going to happen next. I can see James over the opposite side of the common room, surrounded by girls, but looking over, ready to jump in in the event of a scrap. 


Then, to everyone’s shock, Al extends a hand. 


“Truce?” 


Robert looks at his hand, nods and shakes it. He then skulks away, clearly ashamed that Al is the bigger man here. I’ve never been more proud of my cousin. 


“It had to be done,” Al shrugs at me when he sees the shocked look on my face. I can see Jenny looking at him in the same way. 


“Well…I’m proud of you, Al,” I grin, “I didn’t know you Slytherins could be so forgiving.” 


Al grins back at me, but then looks at Robert again, who is now being approached by Jenny. He looks sad to see them together, but also as if he’s accepted it. 


“She’s dumping him tonight, you know,” I say. 


“Oh, really?” he asks, trying his best to sound casual. 


“You can grin if you like.” 


And because he’s just not that good of a liar, he grins. 


*

Scorpius does not look in the party mood, so why he is sitting on the couch by the fireplace is completely beyond me. Perhaps he thought he’d lose face if he didn’t show up. I sit down beside him. This couch is the one we played the game of ‘I Never’ on almost eight months ago. This is the couch we had our first kiss on. This is the couch that started our journey into the dormitory and ultimately into parenthood. 


“I don’t want to fight,” I start the conversation. 


“Neither do I,” he agrees. 


“It seems like it’s all we do these days.” 


He nods. He knows exactly what I do, and apparently he’s accepted it, but it’s going to be me who has to say it. 


“I think we fought less when we were…just friends,” I say, trying not to choke up. This is harder than I thought. 


“I love you, Rose,” he looks at me, “But it’s just too hard.” 


“And I love you too,” I tell him and take his hand, “I really do. But I think we just need to concentrate on the baby for now.” 


He nods and puts his arm around me and we just sit there in each others arms for a while. I end up crying, even though I promised myself I wouldn’t. 


“I’m sorry for what I said earlier,” he says quietly, “You’re not alone in this.” 


“I know I’m not,” I reply, “I think I’m going to go to bed. It’s been a long day.” 


“Right,” he says and helps me to get up. Then he pulls me into the most heartfelt hug I’ve ever experienced. It makes me cry even more, but silently. I wipe my tears away as we embrace. 


“I’m sorry,” I whisper. 


“I’m sorry too.” 


*

Jenny is in the dormitory when I arrive there, with a copious amount of sweets and drinks surrounding her. She’s changed into her pyjamas already and she looks extremely happy with herself. 


“I did it!” she squeals happily, “I broke up with Robert! And he took it quite well, actually. I mean, he seemed a bit upset, but that’ll pass.” 


“That’s great, Jen,” I smile, but my heart’s not in it. 


“And I saw you talking to Scorpius! I told you that you two would work it out.” 


I can’t bring myself to tell her what happened. Before I even have the chance to say anything, Lily and Molly burst in with the duvets and pillows off their beds. Apparently Jenny wasn’t bluffing when she said she’d invite Molly. If I survive this night, it’ll be a miracle. 


I go into the bathroom to wipe my face before anyone notices I’ve been crying. I have to be strong. This is what’s best, and both Scorpius and I know it. But I’ve never been less in the mood for a sleepover in my life. I change into my extra-baggy Chudley Cannon’s t-shirt and my expanded pyjama bottoms, take a few deep breaths, and go back out to Lily, Molly and Jenny. Laura, apparently sick of the party, has arrived up now and looks very confused as to why Lily and Molly have their bedclothes in our dormitory. 


“We’re having a man-beating session,” I explain to her, “You in?” 


She looks at me sceptically. “Man-beating you say? I’m always in.” I grin at her and she grins back. I can’t believe I used to hate the girl. She’s such a bitch – my kind of person. It’s not really that she’s changed, it’s more that I’m on her good side now. She changes into her pyjamas and brings her bedclothes down onto the floor, ready to join in the festivities. 


“I didn’t know this meeting was to complain about men,” says Molly. Only Molly could call a sleepover a ‘meeting’. “My boyfriend is very efficient I’ll have you know!” 


“Efficient, eh?” Laura grins mischievously, “Molly Weasley, you dark horse, I didn’t think you’d be shagging a bloke with the Cautionary Tale for a cousin.” 


“Thanks,” I say sarcastically. 


“That’s not what I meant,” Molly says firmly. 


“She’s just messing with you, Molly,” I laugh, “How is L – I mean, John.” I nearly called him ‘Library Man’. 


“He’s fine, thank you,” she says haughtily. 


Efficient,” Laura sniggers. 


“Leave her alone, Laura,” Jenny warns. 


“Oh here comes Julie to the rescue,” says Laura in a mocking tone, “When she’s not saving House Elves, she’s coming to the defence of Molly Weasley. Aren’t you just the bees knees?” 


“It’s Jenny,” Jenny spits, even though Laura knows her name perfectly well, “And do you have to be a bitch the whole time?” 


“Do you have to be a goodie two-shoes the whole time?” Laura sneers. 


“Okay, girls, let’s just forget it –” Lily starts. 


“Goodie two-shoes? I’ll hex you through that wall and we’ll see who’s the goodie two-shoes!” Jenny draws her wand. Laura draws hers too, but I can’t imagine Laura will win if the two of them duel it out. Laura’s not exactly the smartest of girls and Jenny is a Ravenclaw and knows a great deal more than her. 


“Seriously, put your wands away,” Lily insists. Molly’s looking on in interest – she clearly wants a showdown. 


“Make me,” Laura snaps. 


“Scorpius and I have agreed to just be friends,” I blurt out. Jenny and Laura lower their wands and look at me in shock, and Molly actually gasps. Well, at least it prevented Laura being hexed through the wall. 


“B-but why?” Lily asks, “I thought you two would just make up like you always do!” 


“It just…it wasn’t working,” I say and I can feel the tears coming again, “Can we not talk about this, on second thought? Go back to pointing your wands at each other.” 


The girls stay silent for a few minutes. They look just as upset as I feel, which I find quite surprising because I didn’t think they cared whether I was with Scorpius or not. I thought Lily would be secretly happy considering she used to fancy him, but she looks the most upset. I don’t think I’d be that upset if Teddy and Victoire broke up. In fact, the thought kind of makes me smile on the inside. We all have our guilty pleasures, right? Then again, if it actually happened I might feel completely different. 


Dom and Chas come stumbling into the dormitory, clearly intoxicated and giggling. 


“Oh, sleepover!” Dom cries when she sees us sat in a circle on the ground. She runs over and plops down beside me. The smell of alcohol off her is almost making me drunk. “Rosie-Posie! You’re my favourite cousin. No offence Lily and…Molly, what the fuck are you doing here?” 


There’s nothing like a drunk Dom to lift the tension. 


“I was invited, I’ll have you know,” says Molly, sitting up straighter. 


“Right…well, there’s a first time for everything!” 


We fill Dom and Chas in on our man-beating sleepover, even though there’s not a whole lot of man-beating going on. In fact there’s more angry glaring between Jenny and Laura than anything else. But we settle into it after a few minutes and it turns out that it’s Molly who kicks the whole thing off. 


“I don’t like it when John wants to kiss when I’m trying to read,” she announces and the rest of us burst out laughing. “It’s distracting!” 


“Oh Molly, he’s so lucky to have you,” Lily laughs. 


“No, I get where she’s coming from,” says Dom, half-seriously, “I hate it when Mark tries to open my bra when I’m trying to do an essay.” 


We all look at her blankly. “So you really have no idea where she’s coming from then,” says Chas, “No, what I hate is when blokes scream out Quidditch scores during sex…like when they…you know…and then they shout ‘it’s the snitch for 150 points’!” 


This time none of us laugh. We’re all so disturbed, it’s as if we’ll never laugh again. We’d have more fun with a Dementor in the room. 


“Chas, who the hell are you sleeping with?” 


“Y-you’ve never been with a guy –” 


“Nope, we haven’t, moving on,” says Jenny quickly. 


“I used to like it when James would sort of cup my face in his hand when we’d kiss,” says Laura and this is surprisingly sensitive for her. 


“Al used to do that all the time!” Jenny cries. 


“And did he have his ‘I want to kiss now’ face?” Laura asks excitedly. 


“Oh my god,” Jenny laughs and then makes a weird face. 


“That’s it!” Laura bursts out laughing. 


It's odd the things people bond over.


Lily puts her fingers in her ears. “They are my brothers, you know!” 


“Come on then, Lily, it’s your turn,” I tell her. 


She looks at Laura and Jenny in disgust and then thinks about what she’s going to say. “I like it when a boy randomly kisses you when you’re least expecting it. I like the spontaneous type.” 


“So is this Lorcan or Lysander you’re talking about?” Dom grins and Lily throws a pillow at her. “It had to be said!” 


Nobody says anything for a few minutes. It’s as if we’re all thinking of what we love and hate the most about our boyfriends – or should I say, ex-boyfriends. 


“It was Fred, by the way,” says Chas to break the silence. We all look at her. 


“Y-you don’t mean the Quidditch scores bloke do you?” I ask, suddenly feeling sick. Chas grins naughtily. I’ll never be able to look at Fred ever again. 


But I have to say, a bit of girly banter really is the best medicine for a broken heart. It doesn’t mend it completely, but it helps it on the way - at least for a little while. 










A/N: Lower your wands! Do not hex me! I'm sorry but it had to be done! I got kind of upset writing the break-up scene, which is weird because I've never really felt upset over a story before! Well, not one that I've written anyway. Please review, I really appreciate feedback, favourite quotes etc...
Also, I have a new Lily/James one-shot if you'd like to check it out. 
Thanks for reading! (",)


Chapter 32: The End Of An Era
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Chapter 32 - The End Of An Era

“Red, I need your help!” 


It’s never, ever a good thing when James Potter needs my help. Whether it’s wanting to know exactly how one places a constipating curse on someone, or what the password is to Flitwick’s office so that he can spray-paint ‘Munchkin’ on the sleeping Headmaster for a dare (that was in fourth year – twenty seven first years ran around after Flitwick the next day singing ‘Follow the yellow brick road’. James got twenty-seven detentions – one for each first year), helping James always turns out bad. However, this time he looks far more desperate than usual, so despite my better judgement, I listen to what he has to say. 


“I haven’t started studying for Potions yet,” he tells me, “Tell me, how hard is it?” 


I stare at him blankly. “By ‘it’ do you mean the entire NEWT course?” He nods frantically. “Well, it’s hard enough that there’s no way in hell you’ll ever get it all learned before tomorrow. You do realise your exam is tomorrow don’t you?” 


“Right…” he says, “So you’re telling me I need to fly on a Thestral to the Ministry of Magic, steal a time-turner and go back in time?” 


“No, that’s not what I’m saying,” I sigh. 


“But our parents got to do it!” James whines. 


“If our parents jumped off a dragon would you do it?” 


“Our parents did jump off a dragon…” 


“I don’t care!” I snap, “The point is you are not flying to the Ministry, you are not going back in time and you are not jumping off a dragon!” 


He looks like he’s about to shout at me, but instead he takes a deep breath, runs a hand through his hair and sits down beside me. I can almost hear his brain counting to ten. 


“Red, I know you’re good at Potions, can you please help me?” he pleads. 


“My notes are upstairs in my bag,” I sigh tiredly, “But I only have half of the course done, so you’re on your own for everything you’ve covered in seventh year.” I can’t believe how irresponsible that boy is. Who starts studying for their Potions NEWT the night before the exam? I have half a mind to give him a good kick up the backside. 


James makes Lily run upstairs to fetch my notes and he begins studying like he’s never studied before. Actually, come to think of it, he has never studied before. 


“I’m going for a walk,” I tell him, but he barely even hears me because he’s concentrating on the notes so hard. His nose is practically touching the parchment. 


I’ve taken to going for short walks recently because I find that if I sit in the one place for too long I get woefully bad cramps in my legs. Also, if I sit listening to James too long I get a woefully bad pain in my head. So I mosey out of the common room and down the grand staircase, looking for something to do or someone to talk to. I see Dom and Mark sitting on a random sofa on the third floor. She’s trying to calm him down about his Potions NEWT tomorrow, so I decide not to interrupt them. 


Further on down the stairs, I run into Jenny, who is obviously coming from the library after studying for the end of year exams, which will be starting next week. I wish I cared more about them, but every time I go to study, I end up feeling frustrated and tired, so I just fall asleep. I know I’ll have to pass them if I ever want to sit my NEWTs in the future, but right now I’m more worried about becoming a mother than anything else. 


“Been studying?” I ask her. 


“Er…yes, sort of,” she shrugs and then blushes a bit. What’s so embarrassing about studying? Why on earth would a Ravenclaw be ashamed of doing a spot of revision? It’s all they do. 


“What, were you studying naked or something?” I ask. 


“I – I was just helping Albus with his Defence studying,” she says quickly. I think she used his full name in the hope that I wouldn’t know who she’s talking about. 


“Oh Albus,” I nod, “As in Albus Potter? As in my cousin, Al? As in the boy you don’t want to get back together with…” 


“I was just helping him out!” she protests, “It didn’t mean anything!” 


“Jen, you know as well as I do that Al is one of the best in the year when it comes to Defence Against the Dark Arts. Tell me, what you were really doing –” 


“Spoken to Scorpius lately?” she cuts me off and completely changes the subject. I hate when she does that. 


“Yes, I had dinner with him today, actually,” I say proudly. Everyone seems to think that Scorpius and I are unable to do this ‘just friends’ thing. They’re wrong. In fact, Scorpius and I are spending even more time together now than we did when we were going out. And we’re even better friends. 


“Rose,” Jenny sighs, now walking back down the direction she came with me, “I don’t see why you two broke up. Give it a week and you’ll be back together again.” 


“No we won’t,” I tell her firmly, “Maybe in five years we’ll be ready for a relationship and a baby, but right now we have a lot of growing up to do. We have to concentrate on little Delilah.” I give her the same speech every time she asks why Scorpius and I broke up. It’s getting old now. 


“Delilah?” she curls up her nose, “You’re still sure it’s a girl?” 


“Positive,” I tell her, “Well, Scorpius reckons it’s a boy, but I just have a girly feeling about it.” 


“James reckons it’s a boy too,” Jenny informs me, “He’s been going around making bets on it. Al put six galleons on it being a girl, I think I’ll put a couple of galleons on it too, if you think it’s a girl…” 


It’s nice to know that people are making money off my situation. 


“But promise you won’t call her Delilah?” Jenny pleads, “Delilah Weasley just doesn’t sound right.” 


I take out my notepad and scribble ‘Delilah’ off my list of baby names. One down, three hundred and forty six to go. 





I must be the only person not feeling the stress of exams. Molly has gone completely insane over her OWLs. She has quills sticking out of her hair, she has notes all over the place and she’s going around reciting different definitions and incantations. The really sad thing is that this time last year I was exactly the same. I even drew up timetables for Al and Dom so they’d study too. If I hadn’t, Al wouldn’t have done half as well as he did and Dom…well, she wouldn’t have passed at all. And I didn’t get as much as a ‘thank you’ from Aunt Ginny or Uncle Bill. I practically raised their kids and I get no recognition. When Harry and Dad heard about my timetable-ing, they both paled and looked slightly disturbed by it. Mum told me not to mind them, that what I did was both thoughtful and practical. And I agreed with her, and I still do. 


But I really hope I wasn’t as bad as Molly. She looks physically ill. And even though she’s never scored anything less than an ‘Exceeds Expectations’ in any subject, she’s rushing around telling everyone she’s going to fail. I think everyone’s stopped listening to her, especially the seventh years who are just about ready to gag her. Seán Finnegan has his hands over his ears and is whispering the dates of the first ‘End the Discrimination of Werewolves’ protests and Harry Latimer is pacing up and down the steps to the dormitories spelling ‘Grindelwald’, just in case he forgets. 


Even the sixth years are going a bit OTT. Jason O’Keefe is lying under the sofa, trying to recall the names of all the Death Eaters who fought in the war. Even Dom is studying and I didn’t even make her a timetable this year. I’m reading over some Charms notes, but I’m not stressing. I think I’ve finally realised that there are some things more important in life than exams. I can almost feel my past self smacking me across the head for thinking that. 


When a little yellow memo flies towards me, I grab it immediately and before reading it I can tell who it’s from. 


Walk? 

That’s all it says. I close over my Charms notes and leave the common room again. Nobody notices me leave – they’re all far too engrossed in their studying. I sort of pity them. I walk all the way down to the entrance hall, where Scorpius is waiting for me, as I knew he would be. We go for walks together and talk about random things that we never really spoke about before. It’s as if we’re more comfortable around each other now. 


“Did you manage to drag yourself away from studying then?” he asks. 


“I wasn’t studying,” I tell him, “I can’t seem to get into it this year.” 


He holds the front door of the school open for me and I head out into the warm night before him. “I know what you mean,” he agrees, “It seems sort of unimportant now, doesn’t it?” 


We walk in silence for a while. It’s not uncomfortable, nor is it relaxed. It just doesn’t seem right to speak. 


“Let’s go to Hagrid’s,” I suggest after a while. I haven’t spoken to Hagrid in so long. I mean, obviously I see him around school, but I haven’t actually had a good conversation with him since I found out I’m pregnant. Al sees him a lot more than I do. I suppose he and Al are just closer, being godfather-and-son. I used to go and see him a lot in my earlier years at Hogwarts, but it seems like everything has changed this year, even my relationship with Hagrid. 


He answers the door and grins widely when he sees it’s me. 


“Rosie! Scorpius! Great ter see yeh!” he booms and ushers me and Scorpius inside. There is a strange smell of raw meat from inside Hagrid’s cabin and I can see that Scorpius has picked up on it too because he’s screwed up his nose. Then I notice his very large dog, Hamlet, in the corner chewing on a raw piece of steak. The smell is making me feel sick, but I try to ignore it. “Can I get yeh a cup o’ tea?” 


“I’m off tea, actually,” I tell him, “Water would be nice, though.” 


Scorpius takes a cup of tea politely and Hagrid planks a huge bucket-sized glass of water down on front of me. I don’t dare touch the queen cakes he’s laid out on a plate – I’ve had quite enough experience of Hagrid’s baking. He has a heart of gold, but the man can’t cook. 


“I was talkin’ to yer Mum just the other day, Rosie,” Hagrid starts, “She was sayin’ how exited she and yer Dad are ‘bout becomin’ grandparents. ‘Magine! Ron and Hermione becomin’ grandparents!” 


Hagrid loves to reminisce about the days Mum, Dad and Uncle Harry were at Hogwarts. I think he still thinks of them as kids my age, not as parents and grandparents. I’ve always loved listening to Hagrid tell stories about my parents when they were at Hogwarts. He tends to let slip the minor details that Mum and Dad ‘forget’ when they’re telling the same story. Like the fact that my Mum lost fifty points for Gryffindor in her first year. 


“And Harry too, and Neville Longbottom! One hundred an’ fifty points they lost altogether for Gryffindor. Poor Harry had a rough time of it – had to serve detention with me, the whole lotta them! Yer Dad too, Scorpius! All caught out of bed late, they were. But they earned the points back in the end. Dumbledore gave ‘em back at the end of year feast. Great man, Dumbledore, great man.” 


I’ve heard the story before, but I never knew that Mum lost fifty points. Scorpius says he’s heard the story too, but he heard that it was ‘all Potter’s fault’ that his father lost the points for Slytherin. 


“I got yeh somethin’,” says Hagrid and starts routing around in a cupboard, “I know I shouldn’ be givin’ yeh this before the baby’s born, but I couldn’ resist!” 


It’s a little solid silver teddy bear ornament. It’s the kind of thing you’d keep forever and always remember the day you got it. 


“Hagrid, it’s perfect,” I tell him and hug him, “I’m so sorry I haven’t been down to see you more –” 


“Nonsense!” Hagrid waves his hand, “I know yeh have more on yer mind than visitin’ me! You just concentrate on that baby o’ yours! Can’t wait ter see him!” 


“Him?” I glare at Scorpius. 


“Told you, it’s a boy,” says Scorpius smugly. 


“The only reason I say it’s a boy it ‘cause James Potter was down here just today makin’ me bet it’s a girl! I figured he knew somethin’ I don’t!” Hagrid chuckles. 


“He knows nothing,” I say firmly, “He’s just guessing.” 


Hagrid makes us go back up the school soon afterwards because he doesn’t want us wandering around in the dark. Plus, he reminds us, we should be studying for our exams, which start tomorrow. As if I could forget. 


Scorpius walks me the whole way back up to the Gryffindor tower and with one last friendly hug, he goes back to Slytherin. See, we have this friendship business down to a fine art. The common room is empty, except for James, who is still studying Transfiguration notes. I thought he’d learned his lesson after the Potions exam, but apparently he hasn’t studied for any of his exams. 


Plonker. 


*

James is going to lose a lot of money if this baby is a girl. He has bets on with anyone who has the slightest feeling that I could be having a girl because he is so sure it’s a boy. Since he finished his NEWTs, he has been going around to practically everyone in the school, even the teachers, making them place bets. Fred was a little unsure when James approached him. 


“I don’t know, James…I mean, what are the chances it’s a girl?” he asked unsurely. 


“Well Fred, it’s pretty much fifty-fifty,” James sneered. Fred, so he wouldn’t feel stupid, placed a bet. Six galleons that it’s a girl. I’d congratulate him on his good decision, only I still can’t look at him after the ‘Quidditch Scores’ revelation. 


I bet twenty galleons that it’s a girl, because I don’t want to miss out on the action. I might as well make a profit from this. I’ve heard a rumour that Professor Davies has a bet on with Professor Chang that it’s a boy, but I’m not sure if that’s true. Even Saint Lily Potter is betting it’s a girl. Hogwarts has been turned into a Casino. 


On the last day before we go home for the summer holidays, the atmosphere is very relaxed around the school. All exams are finished and we don’t have to worry about the results for three weeks. They used to give out the results before the holidays back when we were in first and second year, but they stopped when they realised that students just wanted to forget those stupid exams once they’re done. So now we get them around the end of July, the same time the OWL and NEWT results come out. 


Because it’s such a beautiful day, we decide to have a picnic out in the grounds – there’s a whole crowd of us. All of the Weasley clan – including the Potters – are here, and Laura, Chas, Mark, Scorpius and Jenny have popped along too. Even Lucy comes, and she rarely acknowledges us as her family, considering she’s a lone Hufflepuff. She just sits with Molly and they have some sisterly-bonding, mainly because nobody else is talking to them. Hugo, I’ve noticed, hasn’t worn weird Goth-like makeup since the Quidditch match and he’s even cut his hair. And when a group of girls his age walk past giggling amongst themselves, I see him sit up a little straighter and he looks very smug. My little Hugo’s growing up. 


“So Rose, have you picked godparents yet?” Molly asks and suddenly the whole group goes quiet. I could hit her for bringing it up. Although Scorpius and I have talked about it, it’s hardly appropriate to announce it without asking them first. And I wasn’t planning on asking them until after the baby’s born. 


“Well, we haven’t asked them yet,” says Scorpius uncomfortably, “But we were hoping Hugo and Jenny?” 


There are a few ‘aww’s, and Hugo looks very surprised indeed. Jenny bursts into tears and grabs Hugo into a big hug. When she lets go of him, his ears are so red it’s as if someone’s set fire to them. 


“Y-you want me to be the godfather?” Hugo asks me quietly as everyone else starts chatting amongst themselves, “I…I’m really honoured…but what if I muck it up?” 


“Hugh, you won’t have to do anything,” I assure him, “It’s just…you were there for me when you first found out. You’re just about the only person who didn’t completely freak out when you heard. And you came to my first scan, and you’ll be the baby’s only uncle…if you don’t want to do it I can ask someone else –” 


“No!” he says quickly, “The job’s mine! Thanks Rose…you know, you’re not that bad, as far as older sisters go.” 


“Well you’re not that bad as far as annoying little brothers go either,” I assure him and give him a dead arm like I used to when we were kids, “It could be worse – you could’ve gotten Molly.” 


We look over at Molly, who is giving out to Lucy for eating a bar of chocolate. 


“It’s so bad for your skin! And you’ll get fat – do you want to get fat, Lucy?! I’m just looking out for you, don’t give me that look!” 


“Yeah, you’re definitely not that bad,” Hugo decides. 


“Rose…I don’t know what to say!” Jenny sobs happily, “I’m so honoured. I’m going to be the best godmother since Cinderella’s! I promise!” 


We all pack up our trunks before heading down to the end of year feast. It’s sort of surreal to think that I’ll never be coming back here again. This is my last ever end of year feast. This is my last night sleeping in a Hogwarts dormitory. I’ll never go to another class, or to another Gryffindor common room party. I’ll never play Quidditch in the stadium again. I’ll never put on the uniform again. Technically I’m no longer a Gryffindor. I’m going to be erased from existence, as far as this school goes. My name won’t be on the list of graduates next year…it’ll be like I never went here. 


I go down to the feast before I start to cry, because if I start, I’ll never stop. I’ll end up a pathetic mess, on the floor of the dormitory, clinging to the foot of the bed. Or, alternatively, I’ll lock myself in the bathroom again, have the baby there and live on a diet of toothpaste and shampoo as I originally planned. 


The feast is quite extraordinary. Flitwick has gotten rid of the four main tables and everyone is sitting on the floor eating. It’s impossible to tell who is in which house because everyone is mingled together. It’s just like lunchtime with everyone sitting around together, eating and laughing. And I’m going to enjoy it because really, this is my last chance to be a seventeen year old kid. 


I take a spot on the floor beside Scorpius, who is having a heated debate with one of his dorm mates, Briggs about Quidditch. 


“Wimbourne Wasps are brilliant, I tell you,” Scorpius is practically shouting, “Tell me one player on the Chudley Cannons that’s better than Uliack…” 


“How about James Potter?” 


James is standing over us, grinning and holding a piece of paper in his hand. Al jumps up from the floor and grabs the piece of paper off James and reads it quickly. Then he jumps on James and gets him in a headlock – in a happy kind of way. The way stupid boys do when they’re happy. 


“YOU GOT IN?!” Al cries, “I fucking knew you could! Have you told Dad?!” 


“I only just got the letter!” James laughs and pushes Al off him, “Ladies and Gentlemen, you are looking at Chudley Cannons new reserve seeker!” 


“Chudley Cannons?!” I cry, “You’re going to be their seeker? I didn’t know you went to try outs!” 


“I kept it under wraps,” says James as many more people now start to crowd around him, “I didn’t want to say anything in case…” 


He’s cut off by the swarm of people coming up to him, congratulating him. Al seems just as excited as James is. 


“My brother! A Cannon!” he cries. 


“That’s great,” Jenny says to him kindly. She’s only just arrived and is getting the gist of what’s happening. 


“Great? It’s…it’s…” Al struggles to describe just how brilliant this news is. So instead he just grabs her and kisses her square on the lips. “That’s how great…actually, nothing’s that great.” 


Some people have now turned their attentions away from James to look at Al and Jenny. Jenny’s staring at Al in shock. It’s difficult to tell if she’s happy about this or if she’s going to smack him across the face. It could go either way. 


She kisses him. Thank God. I can’t quite take any more of their nonsense. 


“Oi! Al!” James calls, “Way to steal my thunder!” 


The feast is the best I’ve ever tasted, but maybe that’s just because I know it’s the last one I’ll ever have. Or maybe it’s because we’re all finally happy. I don’t know what makes me happiest – the fact that James is going to be a Chudley Cannon, or the fact that Neville announced to us during dinner that he’s being made Head of Gryffindor next year, or that Al’s been tipped off by Neville that he’s going to be made Head Boy, or knowing that Jenny and Al are finally back together again. Or maybe it’s just a mix of everything. 


I have to admit that despite the fact that I was twice humiliated in front of the school, my parents broke up and reconciled, I lost my grandfather, I got pregnant and I broke up with Scorpius Malfoy, this year had to be the best one I’ve had. And tomorrow, it’s all over. 









A/N - I can really feel the story starting to wrap up now. It's weird that it's nearly all over with! But don't worry, it's not quite finished yet, there's still a few more chapters to go! I know people are upset about Rose and Scorpius breaking up, but to cheer you up, I am planning an epilogue and/or a sequel, so all is not lost! They're seventeen year olds, they really don't want to be in a serious relationship AND have a baby. 
I just want to say thank you so much to everybody who has reviewed, and I really hope you'll keep it up until the end because as I've said, there's not much more to go. Also, anyone care to take a guess? Is Rose right in thinking it's a girl? Or is James right in thinking it's a boy? Or are NEITHER right? (Yeah, I don't know how either...)
Thanks again, Ladies and Gents, and have a nice day!
padfoot4ever (",)


Chapter 33: A Spot Of Discomfort
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Chapter 33: A Spot Of Discomfort

“Mum, is it really as sore as they say, having a baby?” I asked my mother. We had just been to see baby Lucy in the hospital, and Auntie Audrey looked as if someone had hit her over the head with a greasy frying pan while performing the Cruciatus Curse on her. 


“No,” said Mum flatly, “It’s worse.” 


“She’s exaggerating,” Dad assured me. 


“Excuse me!” Mum rounded on Dad, her eyes now bulging, “When you have pushed two watermelons out of your you-know-what then you can say I’m exaggerating!!” 


“I don’t have a you-know-what…” 


Dad never did know when to shut up. 


“EXACTLY! Rose, when I was eighteen years old, I was tortured under the Cruciatus Curse by Bellatrix Lestrange, and I can safely say that it was like a day in a beauty spa compared to labour! You’ll know someday when you’re older…” 


I keep having this same recurring nightmare of a conversation I had with my Mum when I was around five or six. Ever since I came home from Hogwarts – a whole two days ago – I keep thinking I’m going to go into labour any minute, even though I still have two weeks until my due date. These nightmares aren’t even the worst of them. Last night I dreamt that I accidentally left my baby on top of the Hogwarts Express and then it started moving, but Scorpius caught the baby just before it fell off. This leads me to think that Scorpius is going to be a better parent than me. The worst nightmare I’ve had so far is where I go into labour, the Healer tells me to push and then starts screaming like a madman that it’s an antichrist! It’s not a baby at all! 


So now I’ve stopped sleeping. 


Scorpius is at home in Scotland at the minute. He’ll be coming to stay here next week, just in case the baby comes early, or just in case I need anything. He’s a good friend, that Scorpius. I wonder how I’ll break it to him if this kid is the antichrist – maybe I’ll just leave it on top of a train if that’s the case. 


I’ve been reading up on stuff like this, actually. Apparently there was this woman who abandoned her baby in a park, but she wasn’t charged for it because of postpartum depression. Another lady actually transfigured her child into a goat, and again she wasn’t sent to Azkaban. 


“Hello!” Aunt Ginny’s voice echoes around the empty house. Mum and Dad are at work, so I generally get around thirty thousand visitors a day checking up on me. Even Hugo checks in from time to time, taking time out from his busy schedule of doing nothing. 


“In the living room!” I call and Ginny bustles in with a basket of fruit and muffins. She’s such a Nana Molly. 


“How are you feeling? Are you comfortable? Do you want anything?” She starts fluffing the cushions behind my back and then summons me a glass of water. It’s literally been ten minutes since Uncle Harry was here doing the same thing. These people really worry too much. 


“I’m fine,” I say, “Look at this – a woman almost murdered her two year old son with the Avada Kedavra curse, but was not sentenced due to a case of postpartum depression. Two years later!” 


“D’you think you’d still get off eighteen years later?” Ginny asks, “James is driving me up the wall with this new Quidditch contract. All of a sudden it’s as if his NEWTs don’t matter! He doesn’t even care about the results!” 


This probably isn’t the best time to tell her that he studied for all of his exams the night before. Yes, she’s definitely better off not knowing. 


“Ginny, what if I get postpartum depression?” I whisper fearfully, “It says here that up to 25% of women suffer from it.” 


Ginny looks at me sympathetically. “Love, it’s possible,” she says, “But if it happens, we’re all going to be here to help you through it. And there’s a 75% chance you won’t get it, isn’t there? Look on the bright side.” 


Looking on the bright side really isn’t my thing. Ginny can see that I’m still not comforted by this. 


“Can I let you in on a secret?” Ginny asks, and sits down on the couch beside me, “And this is something that absolutely nobody in the world – except for Harry – knows. Your parents don’t even know about this.” 


“Of course. I won’t breathe a word.” 


She takes a deep breath. 


“I could barely even look at James when we first brought him home from the hospital,” she tells me, “Every time he’d start crying, I’d completely ignore him. I used to wonder how the hell my mother put up with seven children; I couldn’t even deal with one. Harry used to tend to his feeding, his changing – everything. And I’d barely even hold him. Only when the family were around would I pretend that everything was okay, but once they’d leave, it was all up to Harry again. I felt so worthless – even Phlegm…er, I mean, Fleur picked up on motherhood way quicker than I did.” 


“How long did you feel like that?” I ask, now even more terrified than ever. If it can happen to someone as strong as Ginny, it could easily happen to me. I’m emotionally unstable at the best of times. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Ginny cry. 


“It lasted about three weeks. But then one day I looked at him, and I mean really looked at him,” she smiles, “And the depression just sort of faded away. I was lucky I suppose that it did go away. I know I go on about how much I want to kill James sometimes –” I raise my eyebrows at her. “– okay, all the time, but I couldn’t love that boy more.” It looks as if she hasn’t spoken about this in a long time. “Sometimes I think he feels closer to Harry because of it…sometimes I think he can sense that I couldn’t love him for the first few weeks of his life.” 


“Ginny,” I say softly, “James is a Mummy’s boy. He might pretend otherwise, but he is.”

Ginny smiles at me. “I hope you know that I’ll be here if you do ever feel down about it. And also…could you not tell James about this?” 


“Of course I won’t!” I cry, “I won’t ever tell a soul!” 


When Ginny leaves, I throw away the article about postpartum depression, deciding that the more I think I’ll get it, the greater chance I have of getting it. I’m starting to enjoy having a quiet house to myself when – 


“Yoo-hoo!” 


There is only one member of my family who would use a phrase like ‘yoo-hoo’. One highly unwelcome member. 


“Rose, you are glowing!” Auntie Audrey beams as she marches into the living room with a tub of soup in her hands, “I’ve brought you mushroom soup with extra mushrooms!” 


I hate mushrooms. 


“Thanks Auntie Audrey,” I say politely, “I’ll have some a little bit later –” 


“There’s going to be a small get-together at The Potters’ this evening,” she says, “To celebrate James’s little Quidditch thing.” There she goes with the use of the word ‘little’ to undermine everything, as usual. I’d hardly call being seeker of the Chudley Cannons ‘little’ myself. “You don’t have to come, if you don’t want to. It’ll just be the family, so if you want to give it a miss everyone will understand –” 


“No, I’ll be there,” I tell her, “I wouldn’t miss it.” 


“Great! I’ll pencil you in!” She takes a little notepad out of her handbag and scribbles my name down. 


You’re organising this?” I’m a little surprised. Audrey generally doesn’t like to get involved with the Weasley side of the family. And she’s never had much time for James. 


“Yes, well James was going to do it himself, but I thought I’d help out instead!” 


Okay, it’s true that James couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery, but I really don’t see why Audrey needs to pencil the names of family members in for a family get-together. Oh well, I am in no condition to try and ponder the brain-workings of Auntie Audrey. 


“Wait a second, does Ginny know about this?” I ask suspiciously. It seems odd that she didn’t mention it just now. 


“No, no she’ll be fine with it,” Audrey brushes off my question, “I must dash, darling, lovely to see you! Percy will be stopping by later on!” 


Oh joy – Uncle Percy. Before Audrey is even out the door, Teddy floos into the room. There is really no chance of peace and quiet around here. 


“Bye Audrey,” Teddy calls as she rushes out the door. She ignores him. “Wotcher Rosie.” 


“Hi Teddy,” I grin. He sits down beside me to hug me so I don’t have to get up. “Do you all have strict orders to check up on me or something?” 


“Well…yes,” he admits, “Lily made up a schedule. Want to see?” 


He pulls a bit of parchment out of his pocket. 


Dad (Harry), Mum (Ginny), Audrey, Teddy, George, Bill, Victoire, Dom, Nana, Mrs Tonks, Fleur, Percy, Fred, Grandad, Me (Lily), Roxie, Angelina.

“Wait…is this for the week?” 


“No, it’s just for today,” Teddy admits. 


“You’re telling me I have…” I count them, “Thirteen more visitors for today? And that’s not even including Mum, Dad and Hugo! Teddy, I’m going to go insane!” 


Teddy jumps up, grabs a piece of paper and starts scribbling. When he’s done he throws it down on the coffee table and extends a hand to help me up. “C’mon, we’re going out.” 


I glance down at the note. 


George, Bill, Vic, Dom, Mrs Weasley, Nan, Fleur, Percy, Fred, Mr Weasley, Lily, Roxie and Angelina,
I’ve taken Rose out for the day. No need to check up on her, she’s fine.
Ted. 


“Where are we going?” I ask as Teddy grabs my coat. 


“I don’t know,” he shrugs, “Anywhere.”

*

We end up at the Muggle Arcades in town playing vintage pacman for most of the day like we used to do when we were younger. I get plenty of stares. I suppose they don’t get many heavily pregnant women in here playing pacman with the bloke they used to be in love with. Afterwards I get such a craving for ice-cream, so we go to one of those American-style diners that seem to have opened everywhere recently, where they serve the best ice-cream sundaes ever. It has all these pissed-off looking waitresses on skates dressed up in stereotypical American diner uniforms, but then they come to take your order with their bored south-London accents and it sort of kills the atmosphere. 


“We should do this more often,” I say as we sit and scoff our ice-creams, “We should play arcade games and eat ice-cream more.” 


“We should,” Teddy agrees, “Only you’re about to become a mother…” 


“I’ll get someone to babysit,” I shrug. 


“…and in about seven months, I’m going to be a father.” 


I drop my spoon. Then my jaw. He grins at me, but I can’t say anything. I just stare at him for what has to be at least two minutes straight. 


“Teddy!” I gasp when I finally find my voice, “That’s fantastic!” 


“I know!” he says excitedly, “We haven’t told anybody yet because it’s still early days – but I just had to tell you.” 


“This is the best news since…since...sliced bread!” I don’t really get that saying, because I’m not sure what’s so great about sliced bread, but it seems fitting here. “Congratulations!” Why the hell am I more excited about Teddy’s child than my own? It’s probably something to do with the fact that I don’t have to give birth to his (despite the fact that months ago I was more than willing to do so). 


“I’m so excited, Rosie,” he grins, “I mean, I’m scared shitless –” 


“Hey, welcome to the club.” 


“But I’m going to be a dad! I’m going to have a family!” 


I’ve never seen Teddy Lupin so excited, and I can understand it. He’s never had a normal family – you know, two parents and kids. He’s going to have that finally and I couldn’t be happier for him…and for Victoire too, I suppose. I can’t believe Dom’s going to be an Aunt and Louis an Uncle! We’re all growing up – and it’s terrifying. 


It’s getting dark by the time I arrive home. Mum and Dad are home from work and are getting ready for James’s celebratory get-together at the Potters’. 


“Did you have a nice time with Teddy today?” Mum asks, putting in her earrings. 


“Yeah, it was just like old times,” I smile, “Er, Mum?” 


“Yes dear?” 


“Is…is having a baby really as sore as they say?” I ask the same question I asked when I was five. 


“No, it’s really not that bad,” she says, but she avoids my eyes as she says it, “You should really get ready to go, Rose.” 


“Well…I’ve heard that it’s worse than the Cruciatus Curse.” 


“That’s nonsense. Who on earth told you that?” she says nervously. 


“You did!” 


She sighs and finally makes eye contact. “Honestly, it’s just about the most painful thing you’ll ever have to do. But you know it’s only going to last around fifteen to twenty-five hours, so –” 


“F-fifteen to twenty-five?” I stutter, “I thought it’d just be…I don’t know, four?” 


“Four?!” she laughs, “Yeah, maybe on your ninth it’ll be four. It’s always going to take longer with the first.” She sees the look of pure terror on my face. “Relax, you’ll do just fine. Try not to think about it.” 


“How long were you in labour when you were having me?” I ask. I can’t not think about this. I’ll be doing this in two weeks. 


“Oh I don’t know,” she shrugs, “Around six hours…plus another thirty…” 


“Thirty-six hours?!” I cry, “That’s a whole day and a whole night and the whole bloody next day! THIRTY-SIX HOURS?!” So that’s why I was grounded so much as a child… 


“Rose, don’t worry about it. Once it’s all over, you’ll forget about the pain and have a beautiful little baby…” 


I’m not listening anymore. Thirty six hours. How can anyone survive that much pain? Why do I want a natural birth? Why did Mum have another baby after being in labour for thirty-six hours the first time? I keep asking myself these questions on the way to the Potters’ house, and I can barely even hear Dad’s random ramblings about how broomsticks aren’t half as reliable as they were in his day. 


“…my old Cleansweep was a good broom – not as fast as the Firebolt, mind, but steady and reliable. The flying charm still hasn’t worn off. I hear the new Nimbus only has a two-year guarantee…” 


I will be pushing a person out of me in less than two weeks and all he can talk about is broomsticks. I know it’s fitting, given the circumstances, but I mean – thirty-six hours of non-stop labour! That has to be illegal, doesn’t it? I mean, after say eight hours shouldn’t the Healer have to just pull it out? 


“…now Harry’s Firebolt is still going strong, much stronger than the Firebolt 360. Absolute scam, if you ask me. They think they can put a fancy neck on a crappy broom and people will fall for it – well not me!” 


I don’t know exactly how the Healer would pull it out – maybe using an ‘Accio’ charm? Or maybe if I just pointed my wand down there and cried ‘Accio!’ the baby would just shoot out! I know it’d be sore at first, but it’d be like pulling off a plaster – painful, but quick. Maybe I’ll try it later when we’ve come home from the party. If I do it now, Dad might give out to me for getting blood all over his new car. 


“…I hear the new Cleansweep 3000 is supposed to be superb. Hugo, if you get all ‘O’s in your OWLs, I’ll get you a Cleansweep –” 


“Dad, I’m not doing my OWLs for another two years…” 


Or maybe I won’t have to go through any pain at all – maybe I’ll be the first woman in history not to feel any pain while having a baby. There’s a first time for everything, after all. It could happen. Maybe the baby will just walk out, smiling happily. There will be no blood or pain or placenta. Everything will be coming up kittens. 


“…you know, the Chudley Cannon’s problem is their broomsticks – they all use Firebolt 360s! Maybe I’ll suggest to James that they should switch to Cleansweeps…”

I need to stop thinking about it. I can almost feel the pain by thinking about it. But by the time we pull up in the Potters’ driveway, the thoughts of giving birth are pushed out of my head. There is a red carpet leading up to the front door, where a very large wizard is standing with a clipboard, letting people inside. There seems to be a lot of people queuing up too – I thought this was only supposed to be family? 


“What on earth is all this?” Mum wonders aloud as we all climb out of the car. We make our way up the red carpet (skipping everyone else) to the house we’ve been in as many times as our own. The large wizard holds up a hand to stop us from going in.

“Names?” 


“This is my sister’s house, mate,” Dad snaps, “Let us in.” 


“Nobody gets in unless they’re on the list,” the wizard says roughly. 


“We’re the Weasley family,” Mum sighs tiredly. Can’t he tell by mine and Dad’s red hair? 


“Which ones? I got Bill, Charlie, George, Percy and families down,” he looks at the clipboard. 


“Ron! Ron Weasley!” Dad complains, “Why aren’t we on the list?! I’m only bloody godfather to the bloke the party is for…” 


“Ron, calm down – look, here comes Harry!” Mum cries and starts waving frantically so Uncle Harry will see us. Harry rushes to the door. 


“Let them in!” Harry demands, looking very stressed. 


“They aren’t on the list!” the wizard insists, “I’m under strict instructions –” 


“This is my house!” Harry bellows, “Let them in!” 


The wizard steps aside and lets the four of us in. The house is completely crowded with people I’ve never seen before in my life, sipping some random pink drink and chatting. ‘Just family’ my arse. 


“I have no idea what’s going on,” Harry exclaims, “I come home from work and there’s loads of random people in my house! Audrey has a lot of explaining to do…” 


“Audrey invited all these people?” I ask. 


“Yeah,” says Harry darkly, “They’re all ‘VIP’s apparently. See him?” he points to a tall, bald wizard talking to two women, who giggle at something he says, “He’s the head of the Quidditch Association of Britain. And she –” he points to a middle-aged woman dressed in very fancy red dressrobes, “is tipped to be the next Minister for Magic. And he –” 


“Oh my God!” Dad cries, “Harry, that’s Dragomir Gorgovitch! He’s manager of the Cannons! He’s one of the worst players the Cannons have ever had!” 


It’s true too. Gorgovitch holds the record for the most Quaffle drops in a season. He only became manager because nobody else wanted the job. Why are we even celebrating the fact that James is on the worst Quidditch team in the league? 


“I know, and the team are here too,” says Harry, but he doesn’t sound too happy about it, “I think Ginny’s about to burst a blood vessel – I wouldn’t want to be Audrey right now.” 


“Why would anyone want to be Aunt Audrey?” says Hugo. 


I can’t believe the Chudley Cannons are here. They might be a bunch of losers, but there are some really good-looking ones. I know I’m almost nine months pregnant and everything, but still, a girl can dream. I break away from my family and go in search of some gorgeous, but terrible, Quidditch players. Instead I find a very frightened looking Jenny standing in a corner of the kitchen, sipping pumpkin juice. 


“Rose!” she cries when she sees me, “Thank God! I don’t know anyone here! It took me ages to get in because my name wasn't on the list...but I didn't know there was a party on, Al just invited me here! He went to get a drink and he hasn’t come back…how are you feeling?” 


“I’m fine,” I reply quickly, “Have you seen Ollie Uliack? He’s gorgeous…” 


“Who’s Ollie U-” 


“He’s keeper of the Chudley Cannons! He’s only blocked four goals all season, but he has the nicest eyes…” 


“Rose, focus,” Jenny snaps her fingers, “I am terrified.” 


I know that the fact that the house is full of complete strangers is sort of intimidating, but I wouldn’t go so far as to use the word ‘terrified’. “Er…why?” 


“Because!” she cries frantically, “I am meeting Al’s parents for the first time tonight!” Oh, I forgot about that. “And it’s not just like meeting normal parents! It’s Harry Potter! I can’t just be like ‘oh, hello Mr Potter, we learned about you in History of Magic!’” 


“Calm down,” I try, “Uncle Harry’s very down-to-earth, and Aunt Ginny is lovely –” 


“AUDREY!” Ginny’s voice bellows throughout the kitchen, “I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!” 


Wow, talk about bad timing. 


Jenny goes very white and takes another drink of her pumpkin juice. Al runs into the kitchen after Ginny and holds her back as she goes to lunge at Auntie Audrey, who is chatting to an important-looking man. 


“Audrey! How could you invite all these people to my house without consulting me or Harry?!” 


“Darling, you have to stop being so selfish,” says Audrey, “This night is about James and his achievement –” 


James isn’t even here!” Ginny yells, “This isn’t about James! This is about you wanting to impress the Ministry so you can get promoted!” 


“Oh Ginny, don’t be ridiculous –” 


“GET THESE PEOPLE OUT OF MY HOUSE!” 


“Mum, relax,” Al tells her quietly, “We’ll deal with her tomorrow – you just have to calm down…” 


Al’s always been good at calming people. Ginny visibly relaxes, but the dirty look she is shooting at Audrey doesn’t soften. Audrey leaves the kitchen, thankfully having the common sense to do so, and Ginny starts to breathe deeply to calm herself down. 


“Er, Mum, this is Jenny…” 


If Jenny was terrified before, I can’t possibly imagine how she feels now. She has experienced the wrath of Ginny Potter. It could have been worse – she could have experienced Harry’s wrath. 


“Oh, Jenny, lovely to finally meet you,” says Ginny politely. I think Jenny is sort of shocked as to how quickly Ginny’s temper has changed. It is sort of spectacular how she does it. 


“Lovely to meet you too Mrs Potter,” says Jenny. She’s good at this meeting the parents stuff. I can’t say my meetings with Scorpius’s parents went as well… 


“Please – call me Ginny, dear, Mrs Potter makes me sound old…” 


Jenny and Aunt Ginny chat away for a few minutes and Al and I look on in interest. They seem to have a lot in common…it’s kind of weird. They even say some things at the exact same time. And they’re laughing at all the same things. 


“They have a lot in common,” I say quietly to Al, who is apparently trying to ignore the fact and just grunts in reply, “If you think about it, their names even sound the same…they say that some blokes tend to go for women exactly like their mothers…” Al’s eyes widen in the shock of the realisation that his mother and his girlfriend are basically the same person. “Well, I’m off to find Dom!” I try not to laugh at the look on Al’s face as I walk off. 


I can’t find Dom, but I do spot Ollie Uliack talking to a rather pretty girl in the living room, and I try my best not to feel insanely jealous. After a few minutes, the word has spread that Audrey completely staged this whole party for her own benefit and when people discover that James isn’t even here, everyone starts to leave. Audrey is standing at the door, begging Ministry officials not to leave. Something tells me that this has done more damage than good for her career. Oh well, I don’t think I’ll lose sleep over it. 


“Rose, we’re leaving,” Hugo appears beside me to tell me, “Mum and Dad reckon we should go before Aunt Ginny goes off again…” 





The next day Dad stays home from work with me. I appreciate his efforts and everything, but he’s going a bit over the top. I don’t even have two minutes alone to read my book because he keeps checking in to see if I’m alright. I know he’s just worried, but it does get annoying. I’ve read that the last few weeks of pregnancy are the most uncomfortable, and it’s true, especially considering it’s the middle of summer. It’s so warm, Dad has loads of fans turned on around the house and all of the windows thrown open. 


On top of that, the baby is kicking non-stop, which I know is a good sign but is still really uncomfortable and it's starting to hurt. At lunchtime, Teddy stops in to see how I’m doing. I’m sprawled out on the sofa at this stage with a cold facecloth on my forehead. 


“You two really have to stop worrying about me,” I tell Dad and Teddy firmly, “I’m not going to go into labour for another two weeks! At least! Mum says the first is always late!” 


“You can’t blame us for worrying, Rosie,” Teddy grins, “You’d be the same –” 


“Yes, you’re right, I’m always fussing over you two when you’re pregnant.” 


“Nine months pregnant and still has her sense of humour – that’s my girl!” Dad says proudly, “How would you like some of Dad’s Homemade Pancakes? You know I’m the pancake master.” 


Dad’s Homemade Pancakes do sound tempting. “Have we got ice-cream to put in the middle?” 


“We certainly do!” says Dad enthusiastically, “Teddy my boy, I’m about to show you how to make pancakes like a pro!” 


Dad and Teddy run into the kitchen to make the pancakes. At least I get a few minutes to myself. I return to my book – 


Ouch


Was that a contraction? Where is my book on labour? I need my book! I can’t just jump to conclusions…it probably wasn’t a contraction. It didn’t feel like anything was contracting…no, it was nothing. These weird little pains can happen towards the end. It’s probably just another little Braxton Hicks-y thing. I go back to reading my book. 


Ouch! Fuck, that was worse. And it hasn’t gone away like the last one – okay, just breathe. Do not panic. Remember what that weird woman with the dreadlocks taught you…in through the nose and out through the mouth…good…it’s gone. Thank god. See, nothing to worry about. 


“The trick is to beat the eggs properly…it’s all in the wrist…” I can hear Dad telling Teddy, “Put some oil in the frying pan…” 


Everything is normal. It’s just another normal Wednesday afternoon. Back to my book – maybe I’ll get through more than two pages this time. 


OUCH. I let out a little yelp at this one. Why are these pains so close together? And why are they so much worse than what they were this morning? I mean, the ones this morning were nothing to worry about. They weren’t contractions, were they? They were just routine pains that you have to deal with in life - like James Potter. They’re nothing serious. 


Oh Merlin. Am I really that thick? I’m in labour and I didn’t even know! 


“D-Dad?” I call, “Teddy?” 


Dad runs into the living room, wearing Mum’s pink apron and holding a bowl full of pancake batter and Teddy runs in after him holding the frying pan. 


“What is it, Rosie? Are you alright?” 


Ouch


“I…I think it’s time.” 




A/N - It's time! After 33 chapters it is time! I feel this chapter is very fitting and coincidental considering my cousin went into labour today - I'm still waiting to hear if it's a girl or a boy! Hope you enjoyed the chapter, I'm off to wait by the phone! (",) PLEASE review!

NOTE: To those who are about to say 'Hermione was 17 when she was tortured by Bellatrix' I reply - no, she was 18. Hermione turned 18 that September, just as she turned 12 in September of first year. And to those who said Rose shouldn't be 17 and in sixth year, remember that you must be eleven on September 1st to start Hogwarts, so she would have turned 17 in her sixth year, just like Ron did in his sixth year (see HBP). It's all about the maths!  


Chapter 34: Blood, Sweat and Tears
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Chapter 34 - Blood, Sweat and Tears





“Get the bag! And my keys! Where’s Hermione? GET HERMIONE!” 


“Bag…bag…BAG! Found the bag! Where are the keys…THERE! Keys! H-Hermione?! She’s at work, Ron – SHE’S AT WORK!” 


“Hermione!” Dad cries, “I can’t do this without Hermione!” 


“Just breathe, Ron, it’ll be alright…in…and out…and in…that’s good…” Teddy says in soothing tones as Dad breathes deeply, the wooden spoon and bowl of pancake batter still in his arms. 


Are they for real? 


“When you two have quite finished,” I snap, “I’m going to go have a baby.” I pull myself up off the couch.


“R-right!” Dad drops the bowl all over the carpet, “Let’s do this!” 


I walk myself out to the car while Teddy and Dad panic some more. The contractions aren’t even that bad yet, so I really can’t see what the fuss is about. Dad is on his phone to Mum shouting at her to meet us at St Mungo's. Teddy and Dad climb into the car after me and as soon as Dad pulls himself together enough to put the keys in the ignition, we set off for St Mungo’s. 


“It’ll be okay…it’ll be fine,” says Teddy nervously over and over again, “You’ll do just fine, Rose. You’ll be grand…” 


“Teddy, calm down,” I say, annoyed, “You’re making me nervous.” 


Teddy gives me an apologetic look, but it doesn’t stop him from worrying. 


“WHY AREN’T YOU MOVING?!” Dad screams at the car in front as soon as the lights go green, “WHAT BLOODY SHADE OF GREEN ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!” 


Another contraction. It’s worse than the others. I grab Teddy’s hand and squeeze for dear life. 


“I don’t understand…” Dad says frantically, “Did your waters even break?” 


I think about it – I can’t really remember. I mean, I don’t remember wetting myself. It’s not exactly the kind of thing you’d forget. But then there was that funny popping feeling I got when I was in the bath last night…I thought that was just the bath's jets acting up. And I did start getting the occasional cramp after that, sort of like period cramps. I didn't really think much of them though.


“I think so,” I say. Am I the first person in the history of women not to feel her waters break? 


“Why didn’t you tell us?!” Dad cries, “Your waters broke and you didn’t even –” 


“Dad! Stop! I didn’t even realise they broke until now! OW! Can you drive this thing any faster?!” 


Dad starts beeping the horn every time we slow down even a little bit. Teddy is so pale it looks like he’s going to pass out. What’s he going to be like when it’s his own child?

Which reminds me. Scorpius. 


“Scorpius!” I cry, “Someone has to get in contact with Scorpius!” 


“What’s his number?” Teddy asks, grabbing Dad’s phone. 


“He doesn’t have a phone! Write him a speed-letter, floo him, I don’t care just GET HIM HERE!” 


When we finally arrive at the hospital, Dad abandons the car on double yellow lines and helps me inside. Teddy grabs the bag in one hand and I now notice that he’s still holding the frying pan. Good God men really are useless in crisis situations. 


“BABY! There’s a baby coming!” Dad shouts dramatically to the woman behind the receptionist’s desk. A passing Healer stops and looks at me. 


“What’s your name?” she asks kindly. 


“Rose Weasley,” I breathe, clutching my stomach as another contraction stabs me. 


“How close are your contractions?” she asks and I tell her about five to ten minutes between each. She brings me down to the newly constructed maternity ward, which is on the first floor. There was never a maternity ward in St Mungo's before because it was always a hospital for magical injuries, not universal ones. But some witches can’t control their magic while having babies and more often than not they end up accidentally cursing the Muggle doctor delivering the baby. The Ministry found that it was too much paperwork obliviating every midwife’s memory every time a witch gave birth, so they just funded a new maternity ward in St Mungo’s. 


Dad and Teddy wait outside while I change into the hospital gown and when they come back in, I take a good look at them for the first time. Dad is still wearing Mum’s pink apron, with the wooden spoon tucked into the pocket. Teddy has yet to let go of the oily frying pan and is covered with pancake batter. I’m in labour, and I feel I look better than them. 


“Did one of you contact Scorpius?” I ask frantically. He has to be here. I need him. I’m just not going to push if he isn’t here. 


“I’m on it,” says Teddy decisively and rushes from the room. 


I sit up on the bed, waiting for the next contraction. That’s all it is now. A waiting game. Dad paces up and down beside the bed, asking if I’m alright, if I need anything. So to make him feel like he’s useful, I ask him to get me a glass of water, even though I’m not thirsty. The Healer comes into the ward, which is semi-private, to ask me a few more questions. 


“I’m Josie Thorne by the way,” she adds kindly, “You’re only three centimetres dilated at the minute – can I ask, have your waters broken yet?” 


“Er…I’m not sure…” I tell her honestly, “They might have last night.” I can tell she’s never gotten that answer before. She just nods and then leaves me alone. I’m scared to be alone. I’ve never been scared to be alone in my entire life, but right now, I need someone. Anyone. I’d settle for Auntie Audrey at this rate! 


Yoo-hoo!” 


Oh shit. Why did I have to go and say that? I didn’t mean it. I take it back! 


Auntie Audrey is here. What the hell is she doing here? I am going to throw something sharp and if it hits her, then I cannot be held liable! 


“Hello dear!” she greets me, “I met your mother rushing out of the Ministry, so I just thought I’d pop along and see how you’re doing.” 


“I’d really prefer if you weren’t here Auntie Audrey,” I say, disregarding any manners my mother has taught me over the last seventeen years. 


“The girls and Percy will be along soon too!” she informs me. Oh why me? Any other normal family would just wait until the baby is actually born to come and visit, but no, Audrey has to be here to see the full shebang. 


“Please Audrey – OW!” I moan at another sharp pain and breathe in and out. 


“Now, aren’t you glad I’m here?” Audrey starts fluffing the pillows behind my back, “I felt hardly anything when I was having Molly and Lucy you know.” 


Yeah, that’s because she took every potion and cast every spell before she went into labour. I’d rather my baby didn’t come out all drugged up. And I distinctly remember the look on Audrey’s face after she had Lucy – it’s the only time I’ve ever seen the woman tired. Oh Scorpius, where are you? Luckily, Dad comes back just as Audrey is about to volunteer her services as a birthing partner and asks her to wait outside. 


“Your Mum will be here soon,” Dad reassures me, placing the glass of water down on the table beside my bed. “You’re doing really well, love.” 


I don’t feel like I am. Every time I get a contraction it feels like payback for nine months of missed menstrual cramps. I’m scared that something’s going to go wrong too. 


“The Healer says I’m only three centimetres dilated,” I tell Dad, “I have to get up to ten.”

At that moment, Mum runs into the ward, followed by Ginny, Jenny and Dom, all of whom must have been informed of my labour by Auntie Audrey. I’m so relieved Mum’s here. Apart from Scorpius, she’s the only person I really want here. 


“Holy crap, you’re having a baby!” Dom cries, “I mean…I knew you were having one…but you’re really having one!” 


“Yeah thanks Dom, I needed reminding,” I scowl, and cry out again at another contraction. 


“James, Al and Lily are here,” Jenny informs me, “And Percy and the girls just arrived too. And I think Victoire said she’ll be coming later.” 


“Fred and Roxanne have just arrived,” says Dom, poking her head out the door. 


I don’t care who’s here! This pain is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before in my life, and I’ve been to thirty-seven Chudley Cannon games, all of which they lost by one hundred points or more. The contractions are becoming more drawn out too, and I can’t stop the tears coming now. Dad ushers everyone except for Ginny and Mum out of the room, and then he leaves, saying he’ll pop back in a while to see if I need anything. I think he feels uncomfortable – I can’t say I blame him. 


“Where’s Scorpius?!” I cry out. 


“Teddy’s trying his best to get hold of him,” says Mum sympathetically, “He’s apparated up to Scotland, but he isn’t entirely sure where the Malfoy house is so it could take a while, Al's given him directions…” 


“He needs to hurry! I need him, Mum! I know I said I didn’t but I do! I need him right now!” 


Mum and Ginny regard each other worriedly. 


An hour later, there is still no sign of Scorpius and these contractions have become so much worse than I could ever have imagined possible. Each one I consider punishment. 


That one is for pulling Hugo’s hair when he was three, just to make him cry. 


That one is for kissing Scorpius on New Years Eve while he was still with Dom. 


That one is for not telling Dom about it. 


That one is for jinxing Carl-the-Ravenclaw. 


That one is for being such a bitch to Scorpius. 


That one is for breaking up with Scorpius, even though we still love each other. 


That one is for abusing my prefect power to take points from Hufflepuff, just so we could win the house cup last year. 


“Mum, why won’t it stop?!” I cry, pacing around the room. I find the pain eases ever so slightly if I don’t stay in the one place for too long. Ginny rubs my back and tells me to keep breathing, that I’m doing great, but if I hear that one more time I’m going to punch someone’s lights out. “WHERE IS SCORPIUS?!” 


HERMIONE'S POV 


Seeing my daughter like this is almost worse than going through it myself. I wish I could switch places with her. She’s only seventeen, after all. I still think of her as my little baby girl, and it doesn’t feel so long ago that I was giving birth to her. At least I had Ron there. 


“Mum, I’m sorry but FUCK! THIS HURTS!” 


I really do wish she wouldn’t swear, but I’m not about to give out to her for it. She gets it from Ron, the swearing, and usually I’d lecture her on how it’s not lady-like to swear like that, but I reckon I’ll be on the receiving end of one of her death glares if I say a word. And I suppose she did apologise first. She gets most things from Ron – her obstinacy, her bravery, her complete disregard for everything I say. She may look like me, despite the hair colour, but sometimes I wonder if any of my personality at all shines through in her. 


“The book says that walking around is supposed to make it better! Why isn’t it better?!”

Okay, so perhaps she gets some things from me, like the disappointment felt when a book lets you down. 


“I’m going to check if they’ve had any luck finding Scorpius,” I tell Rose and Ginny nods at me, indicating that she’s okay to be left alone with her. 


In the waiting room I find – well, everyone. This family really doesn’t miss a trick. My Mum is here too, I presume Molly or Arthur must have told her, because I didn’t. Actually, come to think of it, I’m not quite sure who told Molly and Arthur. Or Bill and Fleur, or George and Angelina, but they’re all here, waiting. They look at me hopefully. 


“Nothing yet, she has another while to go,” I tell them. The last time the healer came in she told us Rose is only four and a half centimetres dilated, the poor thing. “Has anybody heard from Teddy or Scorpius?” 


“He found the Malfoys’ place, but Scorpius wasn’t home. Apparently the maid said he was out playing football with some Muggle called Darren,” Albus explains. The maid? I always knew the Malfoys were rich, but I didn’t realise they had a maid! Oh well, at least it isn’t a House Elf. I have no idea who this Darren person is. 


“So where is Teddy now?” I ask. 


“He’s having a look around the area for him,” Albus says, “But I doubt he’ll find anything.” 


This is bad. But I suppose Scorpius, like the rest of us, wasn’t expecting the baby for at least another week, so he wouldn’t be on his guard. I go back into the ward, where Rose is groaning, obviously having another bad contraction. I hate to be the barer of bad news. 


“Teddy can’t find Scorpius,” I tell her, “He’s apparently out playing football with some Darren chap.” 


“B-but, Scorpius has to be here!” Rose cries. Her face is very red and she has tears streaming down her face. It kills me to see her like this. Oh God, if you’re up there, can’t you just let me swap places with her? She shouldn’t have to go through all of this pain! “Wait a second…Darren?” Rose looks at me hopefully. 


“Yes, I think that’s what Al said…” 


“Darren lives next door!” she cries, “Well, his Grandmother did. Have Teddy check the house next to the Malfoys’! Darren could still live there!” 


I rush back out of the ward to contact Teddy before Rose completely loses it. 


TEDDY'S POV 


There are no football pitches in this area. Not one. I’ve asked a few of the locals, and they all said that there’s nothing for miles around. One bloke did mention ‘The Field’, a local hangout for the kids, but when I went to ‘The Field’ I only found a few homeless guys and a stray dog. I have Ron’s phone on me and I keep getting text messages from Al telling me to hurry up and find him. 


I head back up to the Malfoy house and decide to just wait outside in case Scorpius should return home. Today has been quite the eye-opener for me. As soon as Victoire hits seven months, I’m never letting her out of my sight. I don’t want to miss anything when she goes into labour. But then again, labour isn’t the magical thing everyone thinks it is. I’ve never seen Rose, the strongest girl I know, cry out like that. James used to give her Indian Burns all the time when they were kids and she would just stare him right in the face and not give any reaction. 


I have to find him. He can’t miss the birth of his child! It’s true that I’ve never seen eye-to-eye with my so-called second cousin, but I wouldn’t want him to miss this. I’ve always felt like Scorpius never liked me. There’s no love lost really, because I’ve never had time for the Malfoys, but I often wonder why he doesn’t like me but still likes the Weasleys and the Potters. I can’t imagine what it is I’ve done to him, but I don’t really care too much either. 


I wait for hours for Scorpius to return, hoping and praying that Rose hasn't given birth yet. Where the hell could he be? Ron’s phone beeps and I realise I’ve gotten a text message from Al. My heart starts racing, thinking it'll be a message saying 'Rose had baby. Come back now.' But it isn't.


CHECK HOUSE NEXT 2 MALFOYS. 


I run up the path to the house next door to the Malfoys, which is significantly smaller, but much more homely. I knock on the door, but there is no reply. So I knock again and again. And then I notice the doorbell so I ring that too. I then hear some noise from inside the house, so I know there’s someone home. So I keep knocking and ringing the doorbell until finally someone answers the door. A bloke around Rose’s age answers looking at me as if I’m some mental bloke trying to sell him something or make him join a cult. 


“I’m looking for Scorpius Malfoy, is he here?” I ask frantically. This is my last hope. 


“Teddy? What’re you doing here?” Scorpius appears behind the guy who answered the door, looking confused and a little pissed off. I don’t care. It’s not the time to get hung up on why he seems to have it in for me. His baby is being born. 


“Rose is in labour.” 


His expression changes as quick as lightning to completely terrified. I know how he feels. 


I…I think it’s time. I will never forget those words as long as I live and how scared I felt upon hearing them. 


“Darren, I have to go,” says Scorpius quickly. 


“Go!” The bloke called Darren practically pushes him out the door. 


“When did this happen?” Scorpius demands as we run down the path and over to his house where we can apparate safely. 


“About two hours ago, but she says she’s been having mild contractions since last night,” I inform him. 


Scorpius stops running and glares at me, so I stop running too and face him. Here we go, this will somehow be my fault. 


“Since last night? And nobody thought to tell me?” he shoots. 


“What d’you think I’m doing?” I growl. I’m not prepared to take any shit from him. “Look Scorpius, she didn’t even know she was having contractions last night, and she’s only really started having them for the last two hours. I’ve been here the whole time looking for you because you weren’t on standby waiting to be contacted!” 


“This is my fault now?!” Scorpius shouts, “She’s not due for two weeks! Should I just be waiting by the fire?!” 


“YES YOU SHOULD!” I yell. Rose deserves better than this plank. “I was ‘round at her house every day making sure she was okay!” 


“Well aren’t you just Mister Perfect?” says Scorpius nastily, “Why don’t you just go be there for her then? I’m obviously not needed – she’d probably prefer have you there anyway!” 


“Don't be a prat,” I snap, “You’re that kid’s father. But if you’re not up to it, I’ll step in because Rose is one of my best friends. She’s practically my sister! And if you abandon her now, I swear to Merlin I’ll break both your legs.” And I mean it too. 


“Sister?” he snorts, “Yeah, right.” 


Just what is he implying? That Rose and I are somehow to be considered more than friends? Talk about sick-minded. 


“What’re you saying, Malfoy?” 


“I’m saying that she’s in love with you! And she always has been in love with you! So excuse me for feeling like a bit of a third wheel!” 


Okay, this is awkward. Of course Rose isn’t in love with me. She’s like my little sister, the little sister I’ve always wanted. I feel connected to her unlike any other member of the Weasley family, even Victoire. I love Rose, but I’m not in love with her. That’s just wrong. And I’m sure she’s not in love with me. Maybe she had a silly crush at some stage. We’ve all had them. I used to fancy Hermione (it was a weird phase). But if Scorpius thinks that I’m the one she’s in love with, then he’s more stupid than I thought. 


“Shut up,” I say, “You don’t have a clue, do you? If she’s in love with me, then why did she make me come and look for you? Why is she in St Mungo’s crying out for you? Rose is strong enough to have that baby by herself, but she wants you there. And if you miss it, she’ll never forgive you, I’ll never forgive you and you’ll never forgive yourself. Now come on, we’re going to St Mungo’s.” 


He doesn’t say anything. I think he knows I’m right. 


ROSE'S POV 


Shit. Double Shit. Triple Shit. Quadruple Shit with bells on.


Why does this hurt so much? Nearly three hours later and I’ve run out of bad things I’ve done in life that I need to be punished so severely. And believe me, I’m no saint. 


“Mum it hurts!” I cry stupidly, and I half expect her to say ‘well, duh’. But she doesn’t. She just looks at me as if she can feel my pain vicariously, so I hold her hand, partly for me and partly for her. Won’t these contractions ever end? Will it ever be time to push? And where the hell is Scorpius? 


Why did I sleep with him? No good can come from sleeping with the enemy. None whatsoever. And giving birth to a Malfoy baby is probably going to be even sorer than giving birth to a regular baby, what with it being pure evil and everything. Because that’s what Scorpius Malfoy is – pure evil. He did this to me! And he isn’t even here to see the result of his handiwork! If this baby’s a boy, I’m calling him Lucifer. 


The door opens and in walks Healer Josie Thorne, all sweetness and light, ready to tell me how many centimetres I’m dilated. I thought I liked her – now I realise that I hold nothing more than pure and raw hatred for the woman. I sit up onto the bed for the first time since I realised that standing hurts less. She feels my cervix. 


“Eight and a half,” she smiles, “You’re almost there.” 


I don’t know if she expects me to sing the Dixie or something at this news, but she definitely thinks I should be happy. I want to spit in her face, but that might be going to extremes. She leaves again, telling us she’ll be back in about twenty minutes. 


“Not long now,” Mum says reassuringly, “It’ll all be over soon.” 


“I need it to be over now!” I cry, “Accio! Try the Accio charm! It’ll just fly right out! Placenta and all!” 


“Darling, I don’t think it works that way,” says Mum, while Ginny bites her lip to stop herself from laughing. It could work. I wonder has anybody every tried it? You can’t know until you’ve tried. 


“Where’s my wand?” I demand. 


“You left it at home,” says Mum. 


“And they don’t allow mother’s to carry their wands in the ward,” says Ginny, “Who knows who they’d kill if they had it on them.” 


I have a list of at least twenty people who would be dead at this stage, including the insensitive cleaner who walked in when Hr. Thorne was checking how many centimetres dilated I was about an hour ago. And of course Hr. Thorne herself would be long gone. 


“How did you two go and have more children after this?” I cry out in pain. 


“Ron wanted a boy,” Mum shrugs. 


“Harry wanted a girl,” says Ginny, “Third time lucky.” 


Well I don’t give a flying Pixie’s arse if Scorpius wants a boy, if this baby is a girl then she can have a bloody sex change – I am never doing this again! Nana Molly did this seven times – seven! And twice in one day! She is superwoman. I’ve never had more respect for her than I do now. She pops her head in from time to time along with Granny Jane, but they don’t stay long because Thorne keeps ushering people out. 


Forty minutes later, Healer Thorne tells me I’m ten centimetres dilated. It’s time to push. 


“I’m not ready to push!” I cry, even though back at eight I was more than ready, “I need Scorpius! I can’t push yet!” 


“Rose, you can’t put this off,” says Mum, “Scorpius will be here!” 


“You don’t know that!” I cry, tears now streaming down my cheeks and not just from the pain. Scorpius has to be here. 


Just then the door bursts open and Scorpius is there, doubled over with his hands on his knees, trying to catch his breath. 


“R-Rose…I…just…heard…so…sorry…” he gasps and grabs my hand. 


“Its…okay…you’re…here…now,” I gasp back, trying to catch my own breath. 


“I’ll leave,” says Ginny and gives Scorpius her seat. She pats him on the shoulder on her way out the door. 


“Maybe I should go too –” 


“No!” I cut Mum off, “Mum…I need you!” 


She takes my other hand. Now I can push. 


SCORPIUS'S POV

This is surreal. This cannot be happening, not now. It’s too early. I don’t even have time to process this when – 


“Okay Rose, I need you to push now.” 


I can do this. I can help her push. Deep breaths. I’ll be fine. Be strong. Be strong like Rose. 


She doesn’t scream at all as she pushes the first time, sweat pouring down her face and her red hair more out-of-control than I’ve ever seen it. I’ve never been more in love with her than I am now. 


“I can’t do it!” she cries after the first push, “It’s too sore, I can’t do it!” 


“Yes you can,” I say quietly into her ear, “You can do it, I know you can.” 


“No, I can’t,” she sobs. 


“The baby is crowning, Rose, you need to push!” says the Healer urgently. 


“I can’t push…I can’t p-push…” 


Then it comes to me. I know how to get her through this! It’s too simple! 


“Yeah, you’re right, you can’t push.” 


She looks at me, and I can see her Mum looking at me in complete shock. Even the Healer looks up at me. They all think I’m nuts. 


“What did you say?” Rose spits. I must be nuts to be saying this to a woman who’s giving birth. 


“You can’t do it,” I shrug, “I bet you ten galleons you can’t do it. You’re too much of a softie. Just think – even your Aunt Audrey could do it.” 


That just about does it. Rose pushes. And she screams. And she pushes some more. 


“That’s it Rose!” the Healer cries, “We have a head! Keep pushing!” 


My baby has a head. There’s a relief. I steal a glance down at my child coming into the world and immediately wish I hadn’t. There’s so much blood – it’s disgusting. Rose is lucky she doesn’t have to look at it. I better not mention that to her. 


“C’mon Rose, one more big push,” I tell her, “Prove me wrong, babe.” 


She pushes as hard as she possibly can, yelling, moaning, swearing, sweating and then – 


Cries of a newborn fill the whole ward. Rose flops down onto her pillow, totally and completely exhausted and drenched in sweat. Hermione bursts into tears and kisses her daughter on the forehead, while Rose whispers "I told you I could do it..."


“Congratulations,” the Healer smiles and holds up the baby, “It’s a boy.” 


Wow. 






A/N: Fast update? I think so! And congrats to those who guessed the sex - it was always gonna be a boy I'm afraid! I have first and middle names picked out too. There will be two more chapters and then it's all over! *wipes tear* And thank you so much for all of your reviews! I really REALLY appreciate them all! We're back up to the number of reviews this story had before the site crash, so I just want to thank you so much for that! So I'll ask you again: please review the chapter! It was so hard to write, I never knew how I was going to go about it, so I thought the changes of POV might bring something new and fresh...or maybe it's been done before, I'm not sure. I've never read a fic where someone gives birth. Anyhoo, please review this chapter and tell me how I did. I love you all! Happy 21-days-til-Christmas! (",)
P.S - My cousin had a boy too :)


Chapter 35: Call Me Mum
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Chapter 35 - Call Me Mum


I flop back onto the bed in complete exhaustion, tears rolling down my face and beads of sweat pouring out of me. The unimaginable pain that I’ve become accustomed to at this stage has eased considerably, but is by no means gone, and I have the feeling that I’ll never be able to sit on a broom ever again. Actually, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to sit on a chair again. Mum kisses my forehead, telling me she’s so proud of me. Scorpius’s eyes are focused on the baby – my baby – Healer Thorne is holding up and it looks as if he’s stopped breathing completely. 


“Congratulations,” says Healer Thorne, “It’s a boy.” 


A boy – I have a son. And he has ten fingers and ten toes, and he looks (and sounds) completely healthy. Healer Thorne lets Scorpius cut the cord, cleans him and wraps him in a white blanket and hands him to me. He’s so tiny. Thorne says he’s a big baby, especially one who came early – he’s nine pounds. But he’s so, so tiny. I’m afraid I’m going to break him. Am I even holding him right? He’s not crying anymore and his eyes are closed. How can a person be so small, yet be the cause of so much pain? His cries ease after a few moments, when he has adjusted to life outside my uterus. 


“Hello baby boy,” I whisper to him. I wonder if he recognises my voice. Maybe if I was more sarcastic and shouted at James for a while he’d feel more at home. I mean, he must have heard all the times I swore while I was pregnant. Shit, speaking of James – I owe him twenty galleons. 


“He’s…he’s brilliant,” Scorpius gasps in awe. I’m in awe too. I thought Scorpius might be able to come up with a better adjective for his newborn son than ‘brilliant’, but I suppose that’s a fairly accurate word for him. He is brilliant. 


“He’s just beautiful,” Mum sniffs, leaning in to have a good look at him, “He looks just like you, Scorpius.” She’s just saying that to be nice. All newborn babies look basically the same. Still Scorpius beams with pride at her words. 


“Can I hold him?” Scorpius asks nervously. I pass him over, supporting his head. Scorpius looks so awkward holding him, and completely scared shitless. It’s exactly how I feel. After the placenta is delivered and after the Healer clears up everything with a wave of her wand, Mum goes out to tell the family about the new addition. The Healer puts a little blue hat on the baby’s head, smiles at us and then leaves us alone. 


“He looks like a seeker, doesn’t he?” says Scorpius, now looking much more comfortable holding him, “He’ll be the best seeker the Wimbourne Wasps ever saw! He’ll change the face of Quidditch.” 


“He’s a minute old, don’t you think you’re getting a bit ahead of yourself?” I yawn, my eyes half-closing. 


I don’t think I’ve ever been so exhausted in my life. James made me run twenty laps of the Quidditch pitch in fifth year with a bag full of bricks on my back in the blazing heat and I wasn’t even half as tired. It’s a struggle to even keep my eyes open, and I’m almost jealous of the baby sleeping soundly in Scorpius’s arms. 


“You did great, Rose,” I can hear Scorpius’s saying, “I don’t know how you did it.” 


I don’t know how I did it either. 


*

I open my eyes and realise that I’ve slept right through until morning, having fallen asleep at eight o’clock last night. As far as I remember Dad, Mum and Hugo were in here, but I think everyone else went home. Well, everyone else except for Scorpius. He’s asleep in the armchair beside my bed. It’s nine o’clock and the baby is still sleeping too. Maybe it’s not true what people say. Maybe babies don’t cry all through the night. Or maybe my baby is just perfect. 


Scorpius’s arm slips off the chair and he awakes suddenly, looking around him to see where he is. 


“Oh, you’re awake,” he says groggily. 


“Yeah,” I reply, though it doesn’t feel like I’m awake. It feels like I’m stuck in the middle of a strange dream, still trying to decide whether it’s going to turn out to be good or whether it’ll be my worst nightmare. 


“The Healer said to give you this if you have any pain,” he hands me a vial of blue potion. I take it, as I’m beginning to feel pain as soon as I sit up. 


“The Healer was in here?” 


“Yeah, she came in when the baby woke up the first time,” Scorpius yawns. 


“He woke up?” I don’t remember him waking up. Surely I would have heard him. I can’t be that terrible a mother that I don’t even hear my own baby when he cries. 


“About three times, you were out like a light,” says Scorpius, “He wasn’t too loud anyway. Rose, don’t look like that.” 


“Like what?” 


“Like you think you’re a bad Mum because you didn’t wake up.” 


He is a mind reader. He has to be. I do not have an ‘I think I’m a bad mother’ look. But what if Scorpius wasn’t here? What if the baby was in actual distress and I didn’t even wake up because I’m too bloody lazy? 


“You know, we can’t keep referring to him as ‘The Baby’,” says Scorpius, “I was thinking of some names…what do you think of –” 


“Look if you want to call it Draco or Jubbah or Taurus or some weird Malfoy name, I’m going to need a seriously big bribe –” 


“No actually –” 


“And we’re not calling him Lucius, because then all the other children will call him ‘Lucy’,” I tell him firmly. 


“I don’t want to call him Lucius!” 


“You know, I could get used to Draco after a while, I reckon. We could call him ‘Drake’. But I really don’t think Dad’s going to be happy about it –” 


“Rose, what do you think of Aidan?” he interrupts me. 


“Aidan who?” 


“Aidan Weasley,” he says. Who the hell is Aidan Weasley? Do I know an Aidan Weasley? Scorpius points at the baby. 


“You mean as a name?” I ask stupidly. 


“Well…yeah.” 


“I…I like it,” I say. This has to be one of the first things we’ve ever agreed on, “Aidan Weasley…Aidan Ronald Weasley.” I like that name. No, I love the name. Aidan. I can’t imagine calling him anything else now that Scorpius has said it. 


As if he knows we’re talking about him, Aidan Ronald Weasley awakens and begins crying. Scorpius picks him up and hands him to me. He looks like such a Dad already, and I feel like a complete amateur. 


“Why won’t he stop crying?” I ask, “Why doesn’t he like me?” 


“Give him a minute,” says Scorpius, “Maybe he’s hungry. The Healer fed him some specially formulated milk last night, but she said that…you know…” he scratches his head uncomfortably, “She said it’s best if you breastfeed.” 


Breastfeed? Why didn’t I think of things like this? Of course he’s going to want to eat, and of course I’m expected to breastfeed. I’m a mother now. This is what mothers do. But how can I just whip my breast out with Scorpius sitting right there? I’ve read that you’re supposed to breastfeed about half an hour after the baby is born, but I just feel asleep. I’m completely negligent. What if he doesn’t latch on now? What if he never latches on because I was too tired to feed him? 


“I’m just going to go to the loo,” Scorpius decides. Apparently he’s picked up on how uncomfortable I am. 


“Hello Aidan,” I say to my baby, who has sort of stopped crying but is still whinging a bit, “Are you hungry? If you are you can…I don’t know, you can blink twice.” He looks at me and goes quiet, as if trying to figure out what on earth I’m talking about. Right. Okay. Let’s do this. 


I open the buttons of my hospital gown and wait. I don’t know if he’s supposed to latch on himself or if I’m supposed to push his head in or something. So I just hold him there. He continues looking up at me. 


“Come on, Aidan. It’ll be easier for both of us if you just do it.” 


He shows no indication that he’s going to do it. He’s disobedient already and he isn’t even a day old. 


“Please Aidan, please,” I sob, “I’m sorry I didn’t do it yesterday, but I was tired. You know how it is – I’m sorry! I’ll never sleep again if you just do it! Please don’t hate me, pet. I love you, just –” 


He’s doing it! See, I can be persuasive! This feels so strange, but so – rewarding? I don’t know if that’s the right word. I am feeding another human being! And not like how the House Elves feed the students of Hogwarts – I’m physically producing the food and the nutrients. Another human is completely dependent on me for their survival, and although it is scary, I’m doing it! I’m feeding him! 


Scorpius knocks on the door before coming back in. Now I really don’t care what he sees. 


“He’s doing it! He latched on, Scorpius, he’s eating…or drinking or whatever it’s called!” 


“Really? That’s fantastic! You know, I still can’t believe he’s here.” Scorpius sits back down on the armchair and closes his eyes. Come to think of it, he probably hasn’t slept much if the baby – I mean, Aidan – woke up three times last night. I can’t quite believe he’s here either. I suppose I just got so used to being pregnant. It’s a bit hard to adjust to life without the huge bulging stomach, although there is still a significant amount of fat there that wasn’t there before. 


Aidan goes back to sleep after he’s been fed. I have a shower and feel much more refreshed now that I don’t smell like sweat and my hair isn’t as greasy as a bag of chips. The Healer comes in shortly afterwards and tells me I can go home after lunch.

“After lunch? Isn’t that a bit soon?” I ask her. 


“No, it’s fairly standard,” she replies. 


“But…what if something happens to Aidan? What if he stops breathing…or what if…what if…” 


“Miss Weasley,” she smiles, “It’s completely normal to feel this way. If you have any questions, you can contact us at any time.” 


Stupid sadist Healers don’t even care about my baby. All they want to do is free up the bed for the next poor pregnant woman who has to go through the torture of giving birth.

“It’s safe to use the floo system as long as you keep the baby held very closely to your body. We have special floo powder you can use, you won’t go quite as rapidly as with normal floo powder…” 


At one o’clock I floo home, while Scorpius apparates on ahead. Apparently you can’t bring babies on side-along apparition until they’re more than twelve weeks, so I have to bring Aidan. Flooing so slowly is a strange experience. I can see into people’s living rooms through their fireplaces. Most of them are empty, but the odd few have people reading on their sofas and cleaning and one rather disturbing living room has two people going at it right there on the floor. I don’t really like this slow Flooing thing. I hold Aidan close to my body as instructed and wait until I see Scorpius. After what has to be at least ten minutes of passing random fireplaces, I spot Scorpius and Hugo and step out. Usually I’d go flying into the living room spreading soot all around the place, but today I can actually step out. 


“You’re here!” Mum cries, running into the living room from the kitchen. I barely have time to dust myself off when Dad runs in from the kitchen too. “We were going to go to the hospital just now but then Scorpius came and said you were on your way already. How’s my grandson today?” Mum takes Aidan off me and starts cooing at him, as people do at babies. Dad looks in at him over her shoulder. 


“He’s amazing, isn’t he?” Dad whispers in awe, “Oh, look what I got him!” He grabs a bag from beside the sofa and takes a bright orange baby grow out of it, with the Chudley Cannons logo stitched on the front. “Isn’t it brilliant?!” 


“Can I hold him now?” asks Hugo, “I didn’t get to hold him yesterday.” 


“Go ahead,” I tell him. 


“Mind his head now, Hugo,” Mum warns and hands Aidan over, “Do you have a name for this little man yet?” 


I thought Scorpius might have told them already, but I’m glad he hasn’t. He looks at me, indicating that he knows that I want to tell them even though he was the one who came up with the name. 


“Yes…this is Aidan Ronald Weasley,” I tell them proudly. 


“Aidan’s a cool name,” says Hugo, “Aidan, I’m your Uncle Hugo. You can call me Psycho.” 


My child has no chance of being normal. 


“Ronald? You really…you really named him Aidan Ronald?” Dad asks in shock. 


“Well, yeah,” I shrug, “He was never going to have any other middle name.” 


“Unless he was a girl,” says Scorpius logically. 


Dad looks honestly touched by this revelation. I think I can see tears in his eyes. 


“Uh, I’m just going to the bathroom,” he says in a shaky voice. Mum rolls her eyes. 


“I think Aidan is a lovely name,” says Mum, “It really suits him.” 


I want to tell her about the breastfeeding, but I don’t want to creep Hugo out, so I decide to leave that until later. Mum tells me to sit down and put my feet up while she fixes up some lunch. Scorpius decides to help her, trying to get on the good side of his could-be future mother-in-law. 


Or not. I don’t care. 


I put Aidan down for a nap before we all dig in to some of Mum’s delicious quiche, followed by those pancakes Dad promised me before I went into labour. The whole situation is still a bit surreal to me. I don’t think it has sunk in yet. Even the fact that Scorpius Malfoy is sitting at our kitchen table eating lunch with us is a bit strange for me, even though he’s stayed here before plenty of times. 


“Mr and Mrs Weasley,” Scorpius begins. 


“Please, call us Ron and Hermione,” says Mum and Dad looks at her as if he would much prefer to be referred to as ‘Mr Weasley’, especially by a Malfoy. Mum scowls back at him. 


“A-Alright…” Scorpius looks equally discomforted by this, “Well, I was just wondering if it’d be alright if my parents stopped by later on. They haven’t seen the baby yet and –” 


“That’s fine, Scorpius,” says Mum kindly, and she kicks Dad under the table when he drops his fork in shock. Scorpius pretends not to notice. “I’m sure you’ll be getting plenty of visitors today…” 


Mum’s not joking either. We’re getting more visitors than I got the day before I went into labour. Of course the Auntie Audrey Clan are the first to drop in as soon as they find out I’m home, but they – as in Audrey and Molly – are quite disappointed to find that Aidan is fast asleep. Percy and Lucy don’t really seem to mind. Percy is busy telling Dad all about the changes being made to the Department of Mysteries next year, and Dad has yawned about twenty-six times since the conversation started. 


Jenny, Al and Dom stop in soon after Percy and Audrey leave. I’m happy to see them, but this visitor business is quite tiring, and even though I got thirteen hours of sleep last night, I’m still exhausted. 


“Rose, he’s so gorgeous,” Jenny sniffs, holding her godson for the first time. 


“Yeah, it’s hard to believe you two could make something so beautiful,” Dom sneers, “Nice work Mr Malfoy.” 


“Cheers Dom,” says Scorpius sarcastically. Dom throws her arm around his neck and ruffles his hair playfully. I feel a split-second long flash of jealousy, but shake it away. Dom is with Mark. She and Scorpius broke up. They are just being playful mates. Although when they actually got past the hating each other phase I’m not sure. And anyway, even if they weren’t just friends, if they were something more, I would have absolutely no right to be jealous. Scorpius and I broke up for a reason. Jenny looks at me and I feel like she can see what I’m thinking. She shakes her head as if trying to tell me to stop being so ridiculous. 


“I can’t believe he’s yours,” says Al, “I mean, it was just last year you, James and Mark were lighting bags of Hippogriff dung –” 


“Shh!” I hiss, “My Mum’s in the kitchen!” 


“Come on, you’ve just had a baby, how innocent does she think you are?” asks Dom. 


Teddy and Victoire arrive soon after, both of them looking quite terrified by the very idea of having a baby of their own. Of course I’m the only one who knows they’re pregnant, so I can’t exactly say anything. When Teddy, Victoire, Jenny, Al and Dom leave, Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny arrive. 


“Ginny…I just want to say thank you so much for being there for me yesterday,” I tell her in private while everyone else is fussing over Aidan. 


“Oh please, it was nothing,” Ginny waves her hand, “You seem to be doing well so far.” 


“I feel like crying every twenty minutes or so,” I admit, “And I’m constantly worrying that there’s something wrong with him. Is that normal?” 


“Yes, it’s normal,” she assures me. 


“When will that go away?” 


“When it does, I’ll let you know,” she winks. 


When the doorbell rings for what feels like the millionth time today, Mum goes to answer it while Ginny and Harry take loads of pictures of Aidan. Dad has taken loads too and sent about fifty to Uncle Charlie in Romania. I feel sorry for the poor owl that has to carry them the whole way. 


“Scorpius,” says Mum, “Your parents are here.” She steps aside and allows Draco and Astoria Malfoy into the living room. Dad and Uncle Harry look at one another sceptically. I knew this was going to be awkward, but it’s unbearable already. Luckily Aidan awakens and breaks the tension – thank God for that child. 


“He needs his nappy changed,” I announce, for lack of anything better to say. 


“I’ll do it!” Dad, Harry, Ginny and Scorpius all say at the same time, each one of them looking for an excuse to escape the tension. That’s how bad it is – we’d prefer change a nappy. 


“No, it’s alright, I’ll do it,” I say and rush from the room upstairs to my bedroom. He doesn’t actually need his nappy changed, but he does look hungry again. I’ve tried breastfeeding a few times today, but he hasn’t latched on since this morning. This time, however, he does. He seems content afterwards, and more alert than ever before. He is looking around my room with his big grey eyes that I’m quite sure are going to turn brown in the next few months, just like I’m sure his very dark hair is going to brighten up. I had jet black hair too when I was born, apparently, just like James apparently was blonde as a toddler. 


“Are you ready to meet your grandparents, Aidan?” I ask him, “Now if you get a slightly evil vibe from Grandad Draco, that’s completely normal and just something you’ll have to get used to. And if he ever tries to bribe you to…I don’t know…abort your child, just say no. Oh, and say no to drugs.” I feel it’s never too soon to teach a child these things. “And Granny Astoria is quite a lovely lady, but she’s not as nice as Nana Hermione, alright?” He continues staring at me. Maybe he understands me. “Oh, and in case I haven’t introduced myself already – Rose Weasley. But you can call me Mum.” 


I bring Aidan back downstairs to face the Malfoys. I feel like a negligent mother, subjecting him to Draco Malfoy at such a young age, but I suppose there’s nothing I can do about it. Well, I could always run out the front door and hide in a ditch until they leave. But then I’m fairly sure social services would take him away from me. And I wouldn’t blame them, not in the slightest. 


Everyone is sitting in silence in the living room. Mum has made tea for Draco and Astoria and I can see that this is just about the strangest situation they’ve ever been in. Dad and Harry seem to be in some sort of staring competition with Draco, while Astoria looks at the family pictures hanging around the room. 


“There you are!” exclaims Mum, not at all masking the relief in her voice when she sees me walking into the room. Scorpius looks just about ready to die. 


“Sorry about that,” I say. 


“Not at all,” Astoria smiles, standing up to have a good look at Aidan, “Oh he’s just perfect! Draco, look at him, isn’t he perfect?” 


Draco looks at him and says nothing. At first I think he’s going to just ignore the f