It takes quite a while for Draco and me to get Crabbe and Goyle to calm down after hearing our news, and then a while longer to explain everything to them. Once they've finally been subdued, Draco tells them how we'll need their help in the coming months to keep the entire school from finding out about the pregnancy and engagement, and describes their roles in maintaining said secrecy. Finally, and much to my dismay, Draco makes his friends swear an Unbreakable Vow to protect me and not to tell anyone what they know.
After all this has been accomplished, Draco and I decide to go down to the Great Hall for lunch before we miss it, having already missed breakfast due to being in the Room of Requirement since very early this morning. Knowing, however, that us being seen together right now would definitely cause some sort of mischief since I haven't had a chance to tell my friends about mine and Draco's relationship yet, I insist that we go to lunch separately.
I can tell that Draco doesn't like the idea, and I get the feeling that he's afraid that once I'm away from him, I'll change my mind about being with him as I've done in the past. I know, however, that this time is different; I can feel that things have finally changed, both between us and within myself. I give Draco a kiss and assure him that I'm not running away this time, and I insist to him I'd prefer to go to lunch with him as well. I tell him that although I'm ready for the entire world to know that we're together, I'm going to have to break the news to my friends delicately, and for the time being, us not being seen together is for the best. Seeming somewhat reassured and convinced, he reluctantly agrees.
We decide to leave the Room of Requirement separately, so as not to raise questions among our peers just yet and give me a chance to tell my friends before they find out the hard way. Draco gives me a quick kiss on the cheek and allows me to leave first, while he, Crabbe and Goyle remain the Room of Requirement to allow me enough time to reach the Great Hall.
As I step through the enormous double doors that lead back into the corridor, I feel an enormous smile spread across my face, though I'm unsure why. Feeling as though I'm walking on clouds, I begin the descent from the seventh floor still wearing that same smile. I'm full to bursting with excitement, and as I reach the second floor I realize that this excitement was caused by Draco.
Knowing that my friends will immediately be suspicious if they see me grinning like the Cheshire Cat, I decide to make a pit stop in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom to release some of my pent-up excitement before I start boiling over. I make my way down the second floor corridor, and when I enter the girls' bathroom I peek underneath each stall door to be sure I'm alone. I'm happy to find that not even Moaning Myrtle is in the bathroom at the moment, and feel that I have enough privacy to let out my excitement in whatever way I wish.
I immediately let out a squeal of delight before bringing my hands to my face and covering my mouth, surprised at just how loud my squeal was. Still smiling so much that it's making my face hurt, I stand in the same spot for a moment, just considering the events of the past few hours. A thousand thrilling thoughts rush through my head in a pattern-less blur as a heavy snow begins to fall inside the bathroom, and I fear my brain may soon explode from all the activity.
I'm dating Draco Malfoy , I think to myself. Then, still finding that statement to be unbelievably good, I repeat the phrase out loud with much more enthusiasm.
"I'M DATING DRACO MALFOY!" I half-state, half-scream.
I gasp and cover my mouth with my hands at the sound of my scream reverberating off the blue bathroom walls, laughing at myself for being so childishly excited. Other thoughts continue to swarm around my brain, one occasionally standing out a little more than the others, such as the thought that we've decided to keep the baby, and the thoughts that we're going to get married and be a family.
Unfortunately, bad thoughts make their way into my mind along with the good ones. When I realize this is happening, however, I refuse to let those worries overtake me and push those thoughts as far from my consciousness as possible, replacing them with more excited ramblings. Then, remembering that I need to be in the Great Hall before Draco and his friends enter, I take a few deep breaths in, stop the snow that's been falling in the bathroom for the past few moments, and make a serious effort at straightening my face into a look of relaxed concentration. Then, before I get too excited again, I leave the bathroom and walk the rest of the way down to the Great Hall.
As I walk into the crowded and chatter-filled room, I notice that my friends are already seated and talking, having apparently finished their meals. I walk up and take my usual seat, pretending not to notice when all conversation between them stops as I approach.
"Hi everyone!" I say cheerfully.
The curious looks I receive from Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny let me know that their conversation was about me, and that they're all wondering where I've been all morning. Thankfully however, none of my friends express this question verbally, and I begin filling my plate eagerly, suddenly ravenous.
As I'm eating, I feel a pair of eyes on my back, alerting me to the fact that Draco, Crabbe and Goyle have just entered the Great Hall. It takes every ounce of restraint I have not to squeal again, and I concentrate on finishing my food as a way of distracting myself. When I've finished eating I place my fork on my plate delicately and dab at my mouth with my napkin. I can't help but feel the four pairs of prying eyes on me as I do so, and it makes me terribly nervous. I immediately feel the need to get away from my friends before they start barraging me with questions, and I decide that I'll go have a seat near the Black Lake and try to clear my head.
I look up at Hermione as I quietly say, "I'm going to go practice my powers," because I realize that if anyone will understand my rushing away from lunch to do homework, it's her. She gives me a quick nod in response, and I turn and get to my feet quickly. Before I can escape, however, Harry stops me.
"Would you like for me to come with you?" he asks hopefully. I have to restrain myself to keep from cringing in response, and immediately begin concocting an excuse. Thankfully, Hermione steps in and saves the day.
"Harry, Jayde needs peace and quiet while she's practicing," she says in a matter-of-fact tone. Though seeming somewhat rejected at Hermione's answer, Harry looks up at me for a final confirmation.
"I'm afraid she's right, Harry," I reply to the question his eyes are asking me. "I'm sorry." I flash him a reassuring smile in the hopes of cheering him up, and by the smile that Harry returns to me, I can tell it's worked. Thankful to have averted that crisis, I start walking hurriedly away to avoid any further questions.
Though there's no more urgency once I've escaped the Great Hall, I keep walking at a fast pace and don't slow down until I've reached the Black Lake. I sit down carefully, cross my legs, and decide that I actually will practice for my next lesson with Professor Snape. As I begin to practice, however, I start to shiver and realize how very cold it is outside; I didn't think to bring my cloak with me. Just as I press my hands down onto the cold ground and make to push myself up to go inside and grab my cloak, someone slides their hands in front of my eyes.
I smile when I realize that the pair of hands before my eyes is masculine, for I know there's only one boy in the whole school that this could possibly be. "Hello, Draco," I say before placing my hands atop his and removing them from my eyes. I look up to the right to find Draco smiling down at me with his two cronies right behind him, and he leans down and kisses my cheek softly.
"Hello beautiful," he says sweetly, his soft grey eyes shining down at me.
"How did you know where I was?" I ask, furrowing my eyebrows in curiosity.
"I didn't," he replies. "I was on my way up to the Owlery to write to my parents and saw you sitting there. By the way, you left this in the Room of Requirement earlier."
At this, Draco reaches down into his cloak and pulls out my disguised pregnancy book, which I take from him graciously.
"So what're you doing?" he asks.
Having completely forgotten about being cold in his proximity, I explain to Draco that I'm practicing my weather-control abilities, and he immediately asks, "Can I watch?"
Thrilled that he wants to spend so much time with me now, I quickly say "Yes, but you have to promise not to distract me."
Draco doesn't respond to this question, and I assume that he's silently agreeing with my terms. He walks off to the right a short distance and takes a seat, followed closely by Crabbe and Goyle.
Though having an audience – especially having Draco as my audience – makes me a bit nervous, I try to focus on my homework assignment from Professor Snape, and attempt to form a ball of fire in my hands by using the sun's rays. Draco, however, is making this feat impossible. He's leaned back and propped himself up on his hands, and is staring at me. Feeling his eyes upon me causes my heart to flutter with nervousness and excitement, and instead of a ball of fire forming in the palm of my hand, a ball of snow develops. This causes me to giggle and blush, which distracts me even further and causes light flurries of snow to fall from the sky.
"Your staring is distracting me!" I exclaim a moment later in a half-joking and half-serious manner.
"I'm sorry, love," he apologizes, but then he also chuckles quietly, trying to mask the fact that he finds this funny. I try to concentrate on the task a few more times, but each try produces the same result due to Draco's staring, though I've indicated to him several times now how hard he's making this for me. Finally, after the fourth time I've made a ball of snow instead of a ball of fire, I decide to teach Draco a lesson. I cast him a playful look and then, without warning, get to my feet and throw the snowball I've formed at him, hitting him square in the face. I burst into a raucous fit of laughter at his stunned expression, but I can't help but notice that Crabbe and Goyle look a bit frightened.
I start to wonder if perhaps my little prank has upset Draco, but then he quickly jumps to his feet with a devilish grin on his face. Somehow automatically knowing what's coming, I turn and start running away from Draco as fast as I can, laughing the whole time; I'm unsure of how he's planning on getting me back for the snowball-to-the-face trick. As he's taller and isn't carrying around any extra baby-weight, however, Draco's faster than me and catches up quickly. He wraps his left arm around my waist and sweeps me off my feet with his right arm in one swift, smooth motion.
Still laughing, I tell him, "Put me down!"
"Nope," he says with a mock tone of anger. "You threw a snowball at me, so now I'm afraid I've got to throw you in the Black Lake with the Giant Squid, dear. It's simple cause and effect." Knowing that Draco's not serious, I start laughing even harder. Apparently, however, Draco's not done scaring me yet. He carries me over to the edge of the lake and leans forward. Then he jerks his arms upward quickly, but doesn't release me. Terrified of being tossed into the freezing waters, I wrap my arms around his neck tightly and close my eyes in fear.
"No Draco, don't!" I yell in horror, causing him to laugh heartily.
"That horrified face you just made was adorable," he says with a grin. When I don't respond, his expression becomes a more serious one. "You really thought I was going to throw you in?" he asks with his eyebrows raised. When I nod my head, he gives me a reassuring smile in response. "You know I won't throw you in, love," he says. "You're carrying my child."
I make a face of mock surprise and gasp in response. "Oh? Is that the only reason?" I ask, which causes him to burst out laughing once more.
"No," he says seriously, with a smile still playing on the edges of his handsome face. "I'm not going to do anything that might cause you to break up with me," he says, "but I am going to need a kiss before I let you down."
With that, I immediately lean in and press my lips against his, and though I'd originally only intended for this kiss to be a quick peck, it turns into a mini snog-fest. When the two of us finally finish kissing a moment later, Draco eases me out of his arms and back onto my own two feet, but as he does so his eyebrows furrow.
"You've got goosebumps," he says while rubbing my left arm. "Are you cold?"
Oh yeah, I'm cold, I remind myself, having completely forgotten about it once again. I look up at him and nod my head in response, and the next thing I know, Draco's unfastened his cloak, removed it, and wrapped it around my shoulders.
"Better?" he asks a moment later.
Smiling and amazed at his chivalry, I nod my head in response and say "Thank you" quietly.
"You're welcome, love," he says with a grin, "but maybe you should get inside now... I don't want you to get sick."
Realizing he's right, I nod my head once more and quietly say, "Okay." When I start removing his cloak to hand it back to him, however, he tells me to keep it on for now, that he'll get it back from me later. Then Draco kisses my forehead and sends me on my way back to the castle as he and his friends continue the rest of the journey up to the Owlery.
Once inside, I start making my way up to the Gryffindor tower, unable to think of anything else to do at the moment. Instead of sitting in the common room when I arrive, however, I walk up to my dormitory and flop down on my red-clad four-poster, re-thinking the day's events once more. As I'm laying there, my stomach starts to feel fluttery. I place my hand upon it, wondering if the baby's just as excited as I am.
Then suddenly, I hear the sound of footsteps approaching and move my hand away as quickly as possible. Seconds later, Hermione walks through our dormitory door, followed closely by Ginny. I start to feel wary as soon as I see them, but smile up at them nonetheless.
"Jayde, Ginny and I were wondering if we could talk to you," Hermione says plainly.
Oh no, I think, here come the questions .
"Sure," I reply before swinging my legs off to the right side of my bed and sitting up. As soon as I'm in a seated position, Ginny walks over and takes a seat at my right side, and Hermione does the same on my left. Since Hermione's the one who spoke to me a moment ago, I turn my head to the left to look at her, preparing for the start of what I'm sure will be a long and stressful conversation. Hermione opens her mouth to speak to me, but then she looks off slightly to my left, seeming thoroughly confused. My eyebrows furrow and I immediately wonder what's caught her attention that's so confusing, but I don't have to wonder for long.
"Jayde," she begins with a hint of surprise in her tone, "why are you wearing a Slytherin's cloak?"
A tidal wave of panic immediately washes over me, and I'm certain that same panic is evident on my face. I had completely forgotten I was wearing Draco's cloak, but of course someone as observant as Hermione would notice it.
"O- Oh," I stutter, unable to mask my surprise. "I, um... I went outside to practice earlier, but forgot my cloak. A boy in Slytherin noticed I was cold and let me borrow his." I mentally cringe at this answer, hoping it won't raise more questions. But of course, it does.
"What Slytherin boy?" Ginny asks incredulously, drawing my attention to her.
"Um... Malfoy," I reply matter-of-factly, as though there's nothing unusual about my response.
"Malfoy?" Hermione asks suspiciously. "Why in Merlin's name would Malfoy lend you his cloak?"
"Because I was cold," I reply, again trying to act as though there's nothing unusual going on.
"And why would it matter to Malfoy whether or not you're cold?" Ginny asks pointedly.
I find myself unable to look at either girl as I consider my answer to this question, and quickly decide that telling the truth is the best approach to take; I know my friends would be very upset if I lied to their faces. That thought, however, doesn't make it any easier to find the courage to do what I have to do.
"Because we're sort of... um... dating," I reply, barely louder than a whisper, staring at the floor the whole while. From Ginny's reaction, you'd think I had just told her I’d killed someone.
"What the hell do you mean, you're dating Malfoy?" she yells as she jumps off the bed, making me cringe. "He's supposed to be dating Parkinson!"
"They, um... they broke up," I quietly answer, deciding that stretching the truth is the only way I can make the girls understand the situation.
"So?" Ginny yells again, "What's that supposed to mean? They broke up, so now you're required to date him or something?"
"N- No," I answer, finally daring to look up at her. As I do so, I can't help but think that Ron's right when he says nobody wants to see Ginny when she's upset. "I... I ran into him this morning, and he asked me... and I said yes." At this point, I turn to look at Hermione, who has remained silent this whole time; I want to gauge her reaction to the news. I find her staring at me with her jaw dropped, clearly too shocked to speak.
"Why on Earth would you agree to date Malfoy?" Ginny roars, causing me to look up at her once more. "You hate him! He's a complete arse to you and all your friends, Hermione and myself included!"
At this point, Hermione finds her voice and uses it to attempt to calm Ginny down. "Look, Gin," she says, "all this yelling is getting us nowhere. Why don't you just calm down, have a seat, and let Jayde explain."
"Fine," Ginny snaps, taking a seat beside me once more and crossing her arms in disgust. "I can't wait to hear this."
Ashamed and feeling my face get hot, I look down at the floor and find myself unable to speak, though I know my friends are waiting.
"Go on, Jayde," Hermione says a moment later. "Tell us what happened."
Positive that nothing I say will make one bit of difference, I slowly begin to wonder exactly which parts of Draco’s and my strange story I should tell my friends. Deciding to go with the simplest answer, I simply tell them that I've liked Draco since the first time I saw him, and that this morning he confessed to liking me as well. I tell them that Draco was very sweet this morning, and that he told me he'd love to have a chance with me. I leave out, of course, the fact that we've already slept together, the fact that I'm having his child, and the fact that we're sort of engaged.
As I knew it would, my answer leaves my friends' curiosities unsatisfied, but fortunately for me they're both so dumbfounded that they no longer want to discuss the issue.
"What about Harry?" Hermione asks when I've finished speaking. "I thought you liked him."
"I do – as a friend," I reply.
"You know damned well that's not what she means," Ginny interrupts, suddenly furious again. "You know Harry wants to go out with you... he'll be crushed when he finds out you're dating the foul git, and Hermione and I shouldn't have to be the ones to deal with the mess you've created. You're going to have to tell him yourself."
Feeling more and more horrible by the second, I nod my head in response. "I'll tell him tonight," I reply with a gulp. "Just after dinner."