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Chapter 30 : Desperate Times
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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…”
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.
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! (",)
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