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Expecting Otherwise by majamariamaja
Chapter 9 : Forbidden Fruit Tastes Better
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 14


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lovely ci by the dear KatDaniels here at the site - I urge you to read her stuff!






Chapter 9. Forbidden Fruit Tastes Better







"Ahhh..."†

I was moaning loudly.

"Oh, yeah, right there."

"Uhm, Del," Clover interrupted uncomfortably. "This sounds suspiciously like... something else."

"What?"

"You're making sex-noises."

"No, I am not!" My eyes shot open, and I turned to look at Clover who was sitting behind me, her hands on my tense shoulders.

"Yeah, and if anyone were to hear it..." She let her words trail off, instead raising her eyebrows at me, as if to say 'you know what I mean'.

"What? People would think that we were canoodling? You know, you could do a lot worse, Clover Clearmont," I said in a mock-offended tone. "I'll have you know that I am quite the catch."

"Well, you're not exactly my type," she chuckled, and I rolled my eyes.

"Just because I don't have a thingamajiggy..."

This time Clover really laughed loudly, and I couldn't help but chime in. She found my refusal to say the name of the male genitalia out loud amusing, and always had. I'm sorry, but some things just aren't meant to be said aloud. And that was one of them.

Suddenly the door to the dormitory blasted open, and when Clover and I turned to see what all the commotion was, we instantly groaned.

Ayla(our very own Wednesday Addams) had entered the room before closing the door with a bang, muttering angrily as she stomped off to her bed, glaring at the floor as if it was somehow personally responsible for her dark mood.

Only when she sat her fuming self on her own four-poster bed, did she deign me and Clover a deadly sneer. Her oh-lord-it-can't-have-been-washed-properly-in-ages hair was in the way, but I bet that behind that dirty curtain she was giving us the evil eye.

Neither Clover nor I said a word, we had grown accustomed to ignoring our freak of a dorm mate by now, and just exchanged meaningful looks.

'Wanna get out of here before she blows?' her eyes asked me, hinting towards the exit.

Abso-flogging-lutely,' I responded with my own eyes, and let Clover remove her hands from my aching shoulders and instead help my pregnant self up from the bed.

It didn't even occour to me that Clover and I had just had a completely silent conversation, it happened so often that I rarely noticed it aymore.

And I didn't really need the help to get off my bed, seeing as I wasn't that pregnant yet, but she knew that my back was killing me and I was grateful for the support.

I was trying as hard as I could to dress to not impress. Actually, I'd found out that if I cast this tiny spell on my clothes, they would somewhat hide my pregnant belly. Being the smartest witch my age does have its perks from time to time. But it was limited how much I could alter the boring school robes they forced us to wear, so I was eagerly awaiting the moment where Al would lend me his Invisibility Cloak.

Clover and I walked into the common room, and I actually felt relieved that the rest of our little 'crowd' wasn't present. They could all be out on the Quidditch pitch, or... Chase could be in the library, and Deuce and Bray were actually most likely out in the forest getting buzzed on something illegal...

Clover read my mind. She had a tendency to do that.

"Have you talked to him about it?" she asked as we sat down on the leather couch by the fireplace. I kicked off my shoes and reached out my feet closer to the warmth, wiggling my toes in comfort.

"No."

"I think you should," she pressed, causing me to groan.

"But I hate confrontations!" I complained.

"He can't go around doing that when he's about to be a father now, can he? No, he can't."

"I've just recently realized with him I need to lower my expectations," was my argument. And a very valid one, if you ask me.

"The lower you go, the happier you'll be," she agreed. "But-"

"I know, I know!" I shifted on the couch, causing the leather to squeal. "I'll talk to him."

Clover smiled smugly. I hated it when she was right. The world made a little less sense whenever that happened.

Lucky for me - and my world perspective - it didn't occour very often.

"And, while we're on the subject of you engaging in uncomfortable conversations, might I suggest that you soon initiate one with Mr and Mrs Famous?"

"When will you people get off my back about that?!" I almost screamed, earning me a few odd looks from a couple of third and fourth years. Yeah, like I cared. "I will do it when I do it." Every word was emphasized with a clear growl. "Now, can we please talk about something else?"

"Like what?"

"Anything!"

"Like how your and Bray's relationship is going?"

Blast. Wasn't prepared for that. I thought she would've brought up the subject of another yummy-looking lad, or Deuce's cheekbones, but not this.

"...Not necessarily that particular subject, no."

"His mood swings more than Professor Martinez's hips," Clover said in a serious tone, carving her hazel eyes into mine. "And that's saying something."

"But he's always been very... swingy," I argued.

"Not to this extent."

"Maybe he's just-"

"No."

"But what if-"

"No."

I hate it when she does that...

"I know you hate it when I do that," she sighed, and I rolled my eyes at how well she knew me, "but you need to stop making excuses for him."

"What can I say?" I rhetorically asked. "He's the one I hate to love."

"So you do love him?"

"...That is a very good question," I answered after several seconds of being tongue-tied. "Let me get back to you on that."

"Adella, I think-"

"Let's change the subject," I interrupted, snapping my fingers several times in the air, almost like a musical interlude between conversations. "Are you excited about your sister coming soon?"

"I am, yes!" She jumped onboard my ship of denial easily. "Only three more days now."

"Why is she coming again? I haven't paid too much attention." Actually, I had, but I wanted Clover's busy mouth occupied with saying things that didn't involve telling my parents, Bray or anything pregnancy related.†

Clover squinted her eyes at me. She had the uncanny ability to call me on it whenever I lied, but she seemed to let it slide this time.

"Well," she began after giving me another I-know-what-you're-doing glance. "Beauxbatons start their Christmas holiday a few days earlier than us, and since mum and dad are still off researching or whatever in the Himalayas, she's staying here."

"How old is she now?"

"Almost sixteen, she would have been a fifth year if she went here."

"Why doesn't she?"

Clover shrugged. "Mum and dad told us we could choose, you know, since dad is half french."

"You know what this means, right?" I asked her as I gave her a very grave look, I actually raised my brows and everything. She looked at me funny. "We need to keep her away from Deuce at all costs. How would your sister feel about staying in the girls lavatory for a few days?"

Clover laughed.

"No, seriously," I said, actually managing to not laugh, but I bet my eyes twinkled with mischief. "We would of course bring her food and stuff, and anything else would be right there! How convenient, eh?"

"Have you met my sister?" Clo chuckled. "She doesn't even admit to using the bathroom at all, so good luck getting her to live there."

"Oh, come on, Claire isn't that bad."

"Are you for real? Don't you remember this summer when dad answered her phone and told the lad calling her that she was in the bathroom?"

The memory made me explode out in laughter.†

"Forgot about that," I responded, a grin playing on my lips. "I recall thinking your father let a werewolf into the house, but it proved to only be her screaming. I caught on when the werewolf started cursing."

"Yeah, she does that."

"Mum would always lecture me about how only less intelligent people used profanity because they didn't have a very good vocabulary."†

"Makes sense," Clover said with a nod.

Just then the bell signalled that it was dinner time and the both of us shot up from our seats and walked briskly up to the great hall. It was a hungry sort of walk. I bet Oliver Twist walked like this when he strut up to ask for seconds.






"I don't like this..."

Albus was making an uncomfortable face as he handed me a small bag which I knew contained his beloved Invisibility Cloak.

"We made a deal," I reminded him and grabbed the bag, but Albus had a tight hold on it, his uncouncious refusing to give it away that easily. I tried to rip it out of his iron grip. "Al, let go!"

With a displeased groan he reluctantly released it, and I stumbled a bit backwards.

"I still don't like it."

"Get over yourself, it's not a living thing, it can't die."

Al sent me a grumpy, sulky look at my teasing.

"If you lose it, Del, I will -"

"You'll make my life a living hell? Sorry, but I seriously doubt things can get any worse than they already are," I said in a low and bitter mumble. "No, I take that back... Christmas will be worse."

Al's eyes turned tender as he extended a hand and gave my shoulder a light squeeze.†

"Come on, cousin," he whispered and lifted my chin with the fingers on his other hand. "Chin up. Who could be mad when it's Christmas?"

"My mum."

Al thought about that for a moment. "Aunt Hermione can't be all that bad? I'd be more worried about your dad, to be honest. He'll want Bray's head for this. Or, you know, some other vital body part..."

Without meaning to, I let out a little chuckle. Al released my chin with a smile.

"And you know dad will insist on joining in on the hunt, with uncle Ron not far behind him."

"Yeah, the three of them can never seem to do anything separately, can they?" I laughed and sniffled simultaneously.

Sometimes I forgot that there weren't any real blood relations between me and the Potters and the Weasleys, Heath and I had always been treated like the rest of the family. I even called uncle Ron and aunt Ginny's parents grandpa Art and grannie Molly, just like everyone else did.

And even though I told everyone I hated it, and always made a fuss whenever mum forced me to wear it, I loved the knitted sweaters grannie Molly made for us each year.

She'd have to use a few more balls of yarn for mine this year, though, if she wanted me to fit into it.

"Well, er, I have to get to class, so..." Al said and shuffled his feet, throwing the bag he'd just handed me longing glances, "so, yeah. Be careful, alright?"

I nodded and smiled reassuringly. He didn't see it though, he was too busy sighing and eyeing the bag.

After giving me a quick hug, he walked out of the empty classroom we'd been doing our important business transaction. When I was left alone, I carefully opened the bag, and grinned the moment my fingers met the soft fabric of the Invisibility Cloak.

I was actually a tiny bit disappointed that I had a free period, but decided to try the cloak out anyways, even though there was no need for me to get anywhere. And there were not many students wandering the halls at this time of day either.

It took me some moments to make absolute sure that there was no crevice at all where my body could be seen through the cloak, after which I exited the classroom, my heart pounding excitedly.

I wanted so many times to just laugh gleefully, because the cloak was surely doing an amazing job hiding me. For the first time in forever the few people I snuck past weren't staring at me with contempt or judgement in their eyes, as they normally would have. It was euphoric!

Almost dancing away through the corridors, feeling free and in high spirits, I noticed a group of fifth year girls whispering conspiratorically. Being the nosey eavesdropped that I was, I tiptoed closer to the group and followed them as they walked the hall.

"...still can't believe he hasn't broken it off with her yet."

"I heard he told off that hot latino teacher for picking on her, maybe he's changed?"

"Please, the whole Del and Bray situation is crumbling as we speak, itís only a matter of time before heís going to pull the eject button, if you ask me."

I covered my mouth with my hand, fighting the urge to lash out at this stupid trio of girls. It wasn't until I heard Peeves singing in the corridor that I noticed I'd stopped dead in my tracks, and the moronic females were long gone.

What bitches. I should strangle those gossiping ninnies - I'd be doing the world a favour.

With something between a growl and a sigh, I began to walk again, only this time there was no dancing involved.†

Some odd sounds erupting from inside a broom cupboard forced themselves through the haze that clouded my mind, and I stopped when I recognized a voice on the other side of the locked door.

My suspicions were confirmed when the door just a few moments later was carefully opened and a dark haired boy peeked his head out through the sliver, reassuring himself that nobody was near.†

"It's clear," Deuce whispered to the someone he was hiding in there with, and then stepped all the way out. I wasn't at all surprised to see that his hair was more dishevelled than usual, and his pants were undone. He closed his fly with one hand while using his other hand to tuck in his shirt, smirking the entire time.

Then it happened. The person in there with him exited the narrow cupboard, and my insides immediately tied themselves into a tight knot, and I had difficulty taking breath.

That annoying little cough should have tipped me off, but it wasn't until her mouse-like, dull profile came into full view that I fully realised who it was.

Victoria Darren!

She was trying to comb her messy, but lifeless ginger hair with her fingers while removing excess mascara from under her eyes.

"So," Deuce began in a hoarse voice, turning to the devil of a girl and letting his fingers trail down from her surprisingly full bosom to her hips, "when's your next free period?

"Ah, no," Victoria let out with a laugh while rolling her dead eyes. "This was the last time. It's not happening again - ever. Understand?"

"Okay," Deuce said and shrugged his shoulders indifferently, but with a mischievous twinkle in those strikingly blue eyes. Victoria nodded and was just about to turn her heels and strut away when Deuce called out just loud enough for her to hear, "Until your next free period."

Victoria cast Deuce a quick glance before she walked deceisively away from the scene of the crime.

I waited until the sound of her trademark coughs faded into the distance, and then followed the grinning, self-satisfied Deuce as he began strutting in the opposite direction. When I was sure nobody was in earshot, I tore off the Invisibility Cloak and stuffed in quickly into the bag.

"Deuce Carnitus Zabini!" I cried.

Deuce snapped around with shock in his eyes, and a hand shot up to cover his heart.

"Bloody hell, Adella! You just about gave me a sodding heart attack-"

"What in the name of Buckbeak the hippogriff are you thinking canoodling my nemesis?!"

His chin dropped.

"How did you-

"I saw the pair of you sneaking out of the cupboard just now!" I hissed and pointed behind me with my thumb. "Are you really that thick?! How long has this been going on?"

"I-I, she and, well, we-"

"Speak up, you stuttering imbicile," I called out, earning me an angry glare from Deuce.

"It's none of your business, Malfoy."

"Malfoy-Granger," I corrected him.

"Yes, I care."

I was too angry to be side-tracked by his insulting tone. "Victoria Darren, Deuce? Honestly?!"

"Mind your own business," he spat dismissively just before turning and marching away.

"Oi! Don't you walk away from me, Zabini!" I tried to keep up with his long strides, but my pregnant state refused to let me fulfill my desire to catch up to him.

"Patrificus Totalis!" I hurried to say as I flicked my wand at his back. Deuce's body froze and toppled over as the full-body bind hit him, and I quickly stepped over to him.

"You will answer me," I panted, one hand on my heaving, bulging belly. "Are you ready to have a conversation like a mature person?" Deuce blinked, and I lifted the enchantement with another flick of my wand.

"You should count yourself lucky to be pregnant with my best friend's baby," he growled as he got to his feet.

I didn't respond, I simply glared at him while getting my breathing back to normal.†

"Look," he began in a sigh, running a hand through his already messy hair, "I never really meant for it to happen, we just-"

"Accidentally fell on top of each other naked?"

"I see Lady Ha-Ha's in town," Deuce said dryly. "And no. We're just having fun, it's not serious or anything."

"Phew," I feigned relief, "then everything's just a-okay then!" I glared at him some more.

He didn't answer, and we just stared at each other in silence. I could see how he wanted to run away again by the restless way he was shifting his weight from one leg to another.

"Why'd you do it?" I inquired angrily when I understood that he wasn't about to break the silence anytime soon, nor the staring contest we'd apparently engaged in(and the intensity of the blueness in his eyes made me uncomfortable). "You know that if anyone finds out about this, she will be kicked out of that little "abstinence is the way" club, right?"

I know I hated that girl with an intensity that could burn down this very castle, but I didn't really want to ruin her - and if this got out it would definitely do just that.

Blimey, how this pregnancy had changed my outlook on life was extraordinary...

A flash of something twinkled wickedly in Deuce's eyes. It lasted for only a brief second, but it was enough to leave me a bit worried. I furrowed my brows.

"What are you up to, Deuce?"

"Nothing! Can't a bloke have sex with the president of the abstinence club without getting interrogated?"

"No."

There was a moment of silence.

"This conversation is over," he said as he turned around and left for the second time.

"Not if I keep talking!"

I was just about to lift my wand to stun him again, but Deuce pointed his own wand over his shoulder without looking, and I heard him calmly uttering "Expelliarmus." My wand flew out of my hand and scattered to the floor a few metres away.

"Damn you, Deuce!" I called after him as I wobbled over to pick up the wand. "You should know better than to make a pregnant woman bend down!"

If he heard me, he didn't show it, he just continued marching away from me, now trying to flatten his hair.

"Good luck in your next life as a dung beetle!" I cried as he rounded a corner and left my sight.

That's Deuce for you. You spend your time thinking he can't get any worse, but then bam!, he starts smushing our enemy...






Three days later, and I still hadn't come to grips with the fact that one of my best friends were doing Victoria Darren. Who, on top of everything, was none other than mine and Clover's arch nemesis.

I hadn't told her yet... And knowing myself, I'd probably wait until I was on my deathbed. If I could I wouldn't have told my parents about me having a baby until said baby could tell them him- or herself.

When Deuce and I had our usual classes together, I couldn't bring myself to meet his gaze. I bet he took my refusal to look him in the eye as a cold shoulder, when I was actually really just plain awkward, but I really couldn't give any less of a shit about what he thought.

"Oh, dear God," I whined at my reflection in the mirror, a grumpy frown scrunching up my face as I studied my horrendously altered body, "this should be outlawed."

I turned to the side and I couldn't help but let my chin drop at the sight of my body's profile, having no clothes on apart from a pair of knickers. My breasts were three or four times the size as normal, and were so tender that I was dreading the moment when I had to put on a bra and exit the bathroom. The door was locked, and seeing as it was quite early on this saturday morning, nobody else was up. I quite enjoyed this time alone, where I could stare at my ever-growing belly with fascination and horror.

With a short, annoyed sigh I succombed to my grumbling, hungry stomach and put on some comfortable and magically enhanced clothes before leaving the bathroom. I tiptoed through the dormitory, letting out a giggle at the sleeping figure of Clover who was laying with her bum raised very high up in the air and chewing on own her hair. I picked up the bag where the Invisibility Cloak was beckoning me to wear it before carefully stepping toward the exit.

"You're up early."†

I snapped around just as I was about to open the door out to the common room.

"Katja?" I whispered as I noticed her sitting up in a curled position on her bed. "I-I didn't know anyone else was awake."

"Couldn't sleep," she told me in a low whisper.

I pointed to the door behind me, signalling for her to follow me out to the common room. She gave a nod before crawling out of the bed and followed me. We walked down the stairs from the dormitories and sat down on a vacated leather couch.

"What's going on?"

Katja pulled her feet up on the couch and leaned her chin upon her knees.

"It's nothing really," she mumbled, but I knew she didn't mean it, "I just miss my family, that's all."

Now, I have to specify; I am not a toucher. I don't generally hug people, and I hate when they touch me. Heathcliffe, Clover and Chase are basically the only exeptions. I can actually enjoy their hugs, but never have I willingly touched a person I've known for less than a year.

And Brayder of course! ... Who in their right mind forgets their boyfriend? Well, I was pregnant. I was allowed to be out of my mind.

Anyways, that's why I was more than a little surprised when my hand moved on it's own accord and found Katja's shoulder before giving it a light squeeze.

It took me a few seconds to realise what I'd just done and my eyes widened. I wanted to remove my hand at that moment, rip it off her t-shirt covered shoulder as if scolded, but I couldn't very well do that now without offending her. And she looked so sad...

"Only another few days left now, though," I tried in a cheerful tone, smiling when she turned her dark blue eyes to me.

"Yeah," she smiled back, "you're right. I don't know why I'm overreacting... Maybe I'm getting my period or something."

"Well, that's one of the benefits of being pregnant. No periods for nine months."

"You rarely hear the argument for teenage pregnancy," Katja teased, and I wanted to pat myself on the back for managing to cheer her up.

Adella - 1, Depression - 0.

I felt it was okay now to remove my hand, and put it safely in my lap, giving a sigh as I did.

"So," I began, "what are your plans for Christmas?"

Katja shrugged her shoulders. "Have dinner with the parental units, swap gifts, eat a ridiculous amount of food..."

"Sounds a right sight better than mine," I mumbled and found myself jealous. Me, Adella Malfoy-Granger, jealous of Katja Anderson - what had the world come to?

"How so?"

"I plan on being slaughtered by my parents," I told her in a monotone voice, "or be the cause of my baby's father's untimely death. Either one of those, really."

"You're overreacting." She nudged me, thinking I was joking. I just looked at her. "Oh, come off it! Besides, you shouldn't stress, it's not good for the baby."

I suddenly remembered something Madam Pomfrey told me at my last checkup, and got an interesting idea.

"Would you like to come with me to my first real sonogram next week? It's on the day we leave, actually. Will you?" I asked her, at which she grinned.†

"Of course I will! But what about Clover? Won't she be...mad?"

"Well, she is leaving on the morning I'm having the sonogram, so she won't be here. And Bray is probably going to be hung over, you know, since it's the day after the Slytherin Christmas party and all that. And Heath is-"

"Who's Heath?"

"My little brother," I answered, smiling proudly at the mention of his name." He's a first year."

"You're lucky," she sighed with a vulnerable look on her face, "I don't have any siblings. It's just me."

How does one respond to that? There was a loaded silence.

"But yeah," I said while clearing my throat, "he's a bit too young to accompany me. So will you come?"

"Definitely," she said, grinning. "I won't really have anything better to do. People tend to avoid me..."

Gee, this was uncomfortable. Because I knew why. Back in second year someone started a rumor that Katja had a highly contagious case of dragon pox, and after that she was popularly known as Dragonbreath Kat. And that someone...was me. Ever since the rumor people very suddenly stopped talking to her, and after a while it became normal to simply avoid the blue eyed brunette. Well, she didn't exactly help matters when she went through her "I'm boycotting deoderant of any kind" phase. But when it all came down to it, I was the original reason to her downfall.

I feel bad now.

I need to redeem myself!

"Hey, Kat," I said and she looked up from the floor, "how would you like to come over some time at Christmas?"

"Are you serious?" she asked in shock, her big eyes getting even bigger.

"Yeah, absolutely. We can have like a girls night, a sleepover. What do you say?"

"I've never really been to a sleepover before," she pondered aloud. I wish she hadn't.†

"Well, there's a first time for everything," I told her. This conversation was awkward. At first glance this girl seemed very standoffish and sour, but she was really very insecure. It was unnerving.

"That's true," she smiled. She was pretty when she smiled, she should do it more often. "All right! Let's have a sleepover."

"Superb!" I have never said 'superb' in all my life. I was horrendously bad at these types of situations.

Kat sensed my being awkward and smirked.

"You don't have to do this, you know," she told me, giving me a knowing look.

"What do you mean? I want to."

"I know you were the one who started the Dragonbreath Kat phenomenon, so is you're doing this because you feel guilty-"

"I'm not!" I lied.†"And you know?" I gulped, expecting the worse.

"Yes, I'm not stupid. Contrary to popular belief."

"Oh," was all I could say. And it wasn't even a word! More of a defeated, uncomfortable sound people use when they're out of a plausible response.

A long moment passed where I couldn't look Kat in the eye.

"I'm sorry," I mumbled, I'd be surprised if she even heard me.

"I's okay. I forgave you a long time ago."

My head snapped up and I squinted at the brunette to my left.

"What are you, a saint?"

Kat let out a laugh, and I noticed that her smile was slightly devious.

"Definitely not!" she said, that strange smile still lingering on her lips, "but I'm not one for holding grudges."

"Yeah," I breathed out, still skeptical. "Well, anyways, I'm hungry as hell. Wanna go upstairs and feed me?"

"Nah." She got to her feet and helped me to do the same. "I think I'll go back up and try to get some more sleep."

With another strange smile I couldn't really decipher, she turned around and went back upstairs.

Definitely the strangest conversation I've had in a while.





"Adella!"

I looked up from where I had been hypnotized by my self-stirring cup of tea, finding a very angry Clover marching through the Great Hall with a blonde, petite girl being dragged behind her.

"You will never guess what just happened!" she roared - earning us some strange looks from other breakfast-eaters - as she placed her fuming self in front of me.

"Hi, Claire," I greeted the tiny blonde standing behind Clover.

"Hello," she replied, slightly out of breath.

"You alright?"

"Yeah, but I feel like my boobs are trying to kill me with all the running and whatnot."

"I know how you feel, I-"

"Can we please just focus for a sec!" Clover interrupted, causing her younger sister to make a face at her back. I tried to compose myself, not wanting to laugh right now. Clover would throw a fit if I did.

"You will never guess what just happened!" she repeated herself, and I prepared myself to feign interest.

"I'm not guessing," I told her, failing in my attempt to appear intrigued.

"Just as well, you suck at it," Clover rambled. "Someone just asked Claire out. Like, the second she walked through the door!"

"That true?" I asked the partly hidden Claire, to which she answered by grinning and nodding. "Nice."

"No!" Clover cried. "No, not nice!"

"What? Are you mad she broke your record or something?" I asked in a bored voice, going back to staring at my cup of tea, but having no intention of drinking it.

Clover scoffed. "I am not jealous!"

"Then what's with all the commotion?"

"It was Deuce."

That made my head snap up and my chin drop. Clover nodded in a frantic fashion, glad to finally have my full attention.

"Wha- How?!" I was getting worked up. "How is that even possible?"

"That man is an evil genius," she growled and sat down, grabbing a piece of toast and proceeding to rip it in half. "He even got her to say yes."

"Well, I didn't know he was such a bad guy!" Claire defended herself, letting down her bag and followed Clover's example by sitting down. "I was waiting for you in the hall when he approached me, and he seemed very charming, and funny, and he-"

"Is the biggest man-whore on this earth," I finished for her.

"Exactly!" Clover agreed, shoving one half of the toast in her mouth. "That's why I forbid you to see him."

"You what?!"†

Oh, no. Clover had awakened the beast. If it hadn't been for my being almost six months pregnant, I would have snuck out of their prescence, but this belly limited my sneaking to more of a clumsy tiptoeing.

"You can't tell me what I can and cannot do!"

"The hell I can!"

"No! You're not my mother!"

"As if you'd listen to mum either," Clover snorted, at which I could see Claire actually agreed, but was too proud to say so. "Besides, he's two years older than you, Claire, and one of the most obnoxious, sexist men who ever lived," Clover argued, "I'm just trying to look out for you!"

"I don't care!" Claire's face was turning red, that's how angry she was. And we're talking about a very pale girl here. "A nice, smoking hot bloke comes up to me and asks me out, and whether I go or not is definitely, one hundred percent up to nobody but me!"

"You can't go on that date!" I noticed Clover's voice had turned desperate.

"Watch me," Claire hissed and got to her feet in one swift movement. I couldn't even remember how it felt to move about 'swiftly'.

"You have lost your mind!"

"Yes, and I don't miss it!"

With that she grabbed her bag, threw her long, blonde hair out of her face and marched out. Clover turned to me and growled.

"So-"

"No talking!" Clover interrupted me, and I swear she hissed.

Out of the corner of my eye, behind Clover's back, I noticed Claire trying to get my attention. Not daring to break Clover's 'no talking' command, I carefully stood up and walked over to the red-faced teenager.

With a slightly embarassed look in her eyes, she beckoned me over to her.

"Where exactly am I marching off to?" she whispered.

I couldn't help but laugh.

"I'll show you," I told her while grinning.

I swear, the whole way down to our common room in the dungeons, Claire was catching the eye of every single guy we passed(I know for a fact that Duncan Ellis is as gay as the dragon is tall, so he doesn't count), and I can honestly say that it got old pretty quickly.

"Forget it, Carlisle!" I told Carlisle Carrington, but he still stared at Claire as we passed him, almost drooling at the sight of her. Honestly, one would think she was part Veela. "Girls with arses like hers don't go for guys with faces like yours."

That made him glower at me before turning his spotty excuse for a face away from the pair of us. Claire literally bounced, basking in the attention like a puppy.

"I love that there are blokes going here!" she chirped, unbuttoning her coat and throwing it over the bag she was carrying. "Being with girls every hour of every day is quite exhausting. They're no fun, either. Only drama all the time!"

"Well, we have our share of drama..." I mumbled.

"Oh yeah, Clo told me about you being knocked up. I guess that's a risk we at Beauxbatons needn't worry about," she said casually, not even glancing down at my belly. I forgot how much I liked that Claire.

Another bloke stopped mid-step, his eyes widening. He nudged his friend in the ribs at which the friend let out an annoyed "What'd you do that for?!", at which he answered by pointing at the blonde beauty walking beside me. The friend obviously forgot all about being injured and focused solely upon the fleeting way Claire was moving alongside me. I bet the teachers at Beauxbatons taught their students how to walk like that...

I remember hating to be in aunt Fleur or her daughters, Victoire and Dominique's, prescence, for they really were part Veela. A memory of Vic and Dom teasing me for not being as pretty as they were when I was seven came to mind, and I snorted. They were both out of Hogwarts by now though, and Vic was even married. His name was Teddy Lupin, and he is uncle Harry's godson. He's a metamorphmagus, so I can never really be sure what the lad looks like, and that's why I most of the time just assume that the 'new guy' at family dinners is none other than a morphed version of Teddy. It's easy to tell now though, seeing as he and Vic are constantly exchanging saliva in some corner.

Point is, I haven't felt this overlooked and ugly since those days when Vic and Dom went to Hogwarts, and I didn't like it. But at least I wasn't attracting too much unwanted, negative attention to myself now that I was the grey blob beside this fairy princess. If she wasn't one of the coolest people I knew, I would definitely hate her. Sometimes I wish I could...

Once safely inside the common room, I left Claire to get settled in on a spare bed Headmistress McGonagall had conjured up in between my own and Clover's. My stomach was grumbling again - even though I just had breakfast - and since I didn't have the willpower to refuse my stomach anything, I walked back to the Great Hall. Clover had refused to join me, too stubborn to forgive her sister for meddling in her lovelife just yet.†

I had just about sat down and grabbed an apple when Clover caught my arm and pulled me after her. I lost the apple too.

"Are you off your head?" I panted as she dragged me through the entrance hall and outside into the snowy December morning.

"We're having a little chat with Mr Playboy," she explained in a tone that made me shut up. She was scary when she was mad.

Deuce, Bray and Chase were on the Quidditch pitch along with the rest of the Slytherin team, practicing, and that was where Clover was taking me at full speed.

We didn't exchange a word during the eight minutes it took us to get there, and my breathing had turned shallow.

"Must - rest - now!" I panted, leaning over with my hands on my knees.

"But we-"

"But we don't want me to give birth out here, do we?!" I hissed in between breaths. Clover seemed to accept this, but didn't grant me much more than about thirty seconds before we were off again.

"Deuce Carnitus Zabini!" she called out in her loudest, most intimidating voice, making me cover my ears. This was the second time in under a week that he was being full-named. Calling someone by their whole name always meant trouble. I think it's something we learn as children - I know I did.

Deuce stopped mid-air, a beater's bat in one hand, a grip on his broom with the other. The cold breeze ruffled his hair, and he looked bewildered down at the two of us. He didn't move, probably thinking that it was a better idea to stay up in the air rather than risk Clover hitting him upside the head.†

It was probably for the best.

"What'd I do?" he called back down to her. He looked over at me, silently asking if I'd told her about the Victoria Darren situation.

"Get down here this instant!"

"We're in the middle of practice, can't you-"

"DEUCE CARNITUS!" she was screaming now. It even caused a vain to pop out on her neck, and her face to turn an unflattering shade of maroon. "GET DOWN - NOW!"

Deuce exchanged glances with Bray, who just shrugged his shoulders with an entertained look on his rugged face. I always thought he looked so good up in the air with the wind playing with his dark hair, the cold weather and exercise painting his cheeks pink.

I was dragged back to earth when I heard Clover cursing at Deuce, who had now landed a few steps away from the raging blonde, as she ran to him, grabbed his broom and began beating him with it.

"What the hell!" he yelled, holding his hands up to cover his face. "Not the face, not the face!"

There was a moment of wicked thiumph glinting in Clover's hazel eyes before she mustered all the strength she hand and hit his stomach with the end of the broom.

Chase was now down on the ground as well, prying Deuce's broom out of Clover's fingers and pulling her away from his brother, even though I swear I saw him grinning for a second.

"You can't date my sister!" she called out to Deuce, who was now lying on the snow covered ground, clutching his stomach.

"What are you on about?!" he choked out.

"That pretty blonde you asked out this morning is Clover's younger sister," I explained, to which I heard Bray laughing. It was the first thing I'd said to Deuce in days, but it went unnoticed by everyone but me and the idiot himself.†

Brayder was still on his broom, surrounded by the rest of the team who were admiring the scene from above, chuckling.

"So?" Deuce wheezed.

"So?" Clover shrieked and fought against Chase's tight grip on her. "So?! I'll give you 'so', you maggot! Chase, let me go!"

"Even though I'd love to see you beat the living daylights out of my tosser of a twin," Chase began in a strained voice, I guess Clover was stronger than she looked like, "I can't let you kill him until after the march against Hufflepuff."

Clover stopped fighting for a second, panting. Her breath made fog in the air for a few moments, and then she suddenly shifted, as if she all of a sudden understood that this was a fight she couldn't win.

"You have to be a gentleman!" she told Deuce sternly while pointing a reprimanding finger at him. I could see that Deuce's body visibly relaxed, and Chase loosened his grip on Clo slowly. "My little sister is a classy girl, and if you don't treat her right, I'm gonna kick you in your private area so hard you'll sing soprano for a week. And then-"

"How about I don't say the f-word?" Deuce suggested as he got to his feet with a grunt.

"That's a good deal. I would take that deal," Chase shot in.

Apparently Clover agreed to this condition, showing it by turning her heel and waltzing away. Stepping into the prints in the snow we made on our way here, leaving me without a care.

"Ehm..." I shuddered, not really knowing whether I should follow Clo or not. My eyes shifted from Clover's back to where Deuce and Chase were mounting their brooms again. Maybe if I waited for a few minutes, just to let Clover cool off... I laughed at my choice of words. I, for one, was certainly cool enough, and a shiver ran up and down my spine, causing me to wrap my arms around myself.

While I was contemplating following my fuming friend or remaining out here in the cold, someone swooped down beside me and put something warm around my cold shoulders.

"Can't let little Krum or Gwendolyn be cold now, can we?" Brayder's voice told me tenderly, his face leaned in close to mine even though he was still hovering above ground.†

"Famous Quidditch players, I presume?" I giggled, and loved how his hand was lingering on one of my shoulders.

"Of course - that kid will be the best player in this century, I just know it."

I didn't get to respond, he gave me a quick kiss before I felt him flying away, up in the air, making a whisp of air stroke my neck.

With Brayder's Quidditch robes around my shoulders, I turned to look at him before making my way through the snow and up to the castle.

Maybe things were looking up after all.






"Oh, who's this?" Victoria Darren's shrieking voice made the three of us - Clover, Claire and I - to stop in our tracks.†

Clover and I instantly grit our teeth as we turned around to give her our pre-rehersed evil eye.

Luckily, Clover didn't notice how I shuddered as I met Victoria's dead eyes, getting mental pictures that would certainly scar me for life.

"Who is she?" Victoria repeated as she nodded towards Claire, putting her hands on her narrow hips, and her two followers mirrored her stance. "Your stunt-double?"

The hyenas laughed amongst themselves, and Claire was clearly confused, not knowing how these girls were evil incarnate.

"N-No," Claire corrected Victoria, and she continued before we could stop her, "I'm Clover's sister, and I'm staying here for a few days because-"

"I didn't ask for your life story," Victoria the Wicked interrupted and made a sign for her possť to follow her as she started leaving. "Goodbye, Clover. Goodbye, Emergency-Clover. And you too, Fatty." She nodded to us before turning her nose in the air and strutting away.

Clover sent death glares at Victoria's back, and Claire just stood there with her mouth hanging open.

"What's her problem?!" she exclaimed, not yet used to Victoria's viciousness. "What a salope!"

Clover nodded in agreement. "You said it, sister." Clover caught the confused look on my face and added, "Means 'bitch'."

"Oh, yeah, definitely," I agreed as well, at which Claire responded by grinning. She'd never admit it, but she really looked up to her older sister, as the expression on her face now clearly showed.

Shaking off the meeting with Belzebub's illegitimate daughters(one of them which was apparently a scarlet woman as well), we continued walking from the Great Hall where the three of us had been to dinner. The lads had been out all day on the Quidditch pitch, training for the match against Hufflepuff as though their lives depended on it. From what I'd heard, Hufflepuff's new Keeper was rumored to be the best the school had ever seen - which is odd, because Hufflepuff had through all the years had the tendency to...well, suck.

Even I knew that. But the lads wouldn't take any chances.

"Hey, Claire," I heard someone calling the second the three of us walked into our common room. Deuce, Chase and Bray were sprawled across any piece of furniture they could fit on top of.

The person whose voice had just called out Clover's sister's name was a seemingly lifeless Deuce, who was now struggling to stand up on his feet.

Clover took a blushing Claire by the arm and shoved her up the stairs to the dormitory, and it's lucky she did - Deuce would just have her up against a wall sooner the more time they spent together.

"You know it's no use in keeping her away from me, right? It being forbidden makes this all the more exciting," Deuce said, grinned sleepily before collapsing onto the nearest couch, almost crashing on top of his brother and immediately began snoring.

In their sleeping state I couldn't help but find them strangely adorable and innocent, something which I knew I'd take back the very minute they woke up and opened their mouthes.

I carefully walked over to Bray and gave him a soft kiss on his smooth forehead, before trutting up to join the blonde sisters who were undoubtedly quarrelling at this moment.

I was right.


----

A/N: I know - not one of my best chapters. I basically had to force it out of me, because I haven't really had neither inspiration nor time to write for the longest time. And that isn't fair to you!

Please tell me what you think, darlings! :) Any favourite parts or anything - don't hesitate to tell! :D

On another note, guess who had a chat and shook hands with none other than Rupert Grint at a VIP-party for "Into The White" here in Oslo? If your guess is "Maria aka. majamariamaja", then you guessed right! :D WoopWoop!

Yes, I am aware of how sinfully lucky I am.

*Maria


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