Chapter 17 : Racing Pregnant Girls, Toilets and Making Friends
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Puffing and panting, I chase after Rose. She’s about ten metres ahead of me and isn’t even panting and she’s pregnant. That should tell you something about my fitness: a pregnant woman can run faster than me.
We’re currently pegging it to Hogsmeade Station to catch the Hogwarts Express back to Kings Cross. We’re going back home for Christmas. Well, I’m not technically. I’m going back to the Potters for Christmas. Which I’m totally not nervous about.
Of course not.
OKAY! So maybe I’m pooing my pants a little over the prospect. I really shouldn’t be- I mean, I’ve met Harry and Ginny a millions times, and I’ve spent Christmas there a few times too. I’m on first name terms with them and Hermione and Ron for Merlin’s sake!
Then again, back then I wasn’t dating one of The Potter’s sons.
This should be awkward.
“KATRINA GET A FUCKING MOVE ON. IF YOU MAKE ME MISS THIS TRAIN, I SWEAR TO MERLIN I WILL KILL YOU IN THE MOST PAINFUL WAYS YOU CAN POSSIBLY THINK OF!” thunders Rose.
See, most people would think these were the hormones kicking in, for the pregnancy. But oh no, this is how Rose talks to me on a daily basis. It’s a nice little best friends thing connection we have.
Slightly scared, I run at full pelt, constantly focusing on my feet so I don’t fall, my trunk already on the train. I finally catch up with her and we run side by side towards Hogsmeade Station. We’re late. And the train leaves in, oh, two minutes.
I blame Rose. She was the one who threw a paddy just before we were meant to leave (she suddenly realised that she was going to have to tell her parents about her pregnancy in the next two weeks). Took my last of my Honeydukes’ chocolate and my teddy to calm her down. And it’s not my fucking fault when I try to run, I fall.
Now, you’re probably thinking, how does a girl with no hand-eye coordination play Quidditch? Well, I fall over on the ground.
I don’t in the sky.
Finally, we’re there and the train hasn’t left and we’re actually getting on it and I’m having a panic and asthma attack while Rose leaps on, not even breathing heavily.
We find the others quickly. The boys had taken our trunks after Rose’s first “I’m-pregnant-I-shouldn’t-have-to-carry-anything” rant.
So much for feminism.
We sit with James and Fred. Dom is somewhere snogging a random Hufflepuff, and Lily is with Roxanne and her other friends. What’s-his-name, James’ mate is sat with James and Fred, playing Exploding Snap. Scorpius quickly joins us (to James’ disgust). We sit, chatting about random things, meaningless talk. About half way through the journey, I realise I’m bursting for the loo. I nip out, promising the boys some sweets and Rose half the trolley and run down the corridor.
I’ve always loved peering in the doors, seeing what people were doing. I see Lily and Roxanne and the Scamander twins chatting cheerfully, a copy of The Quibbler resting on Lysander’s knee. I see some other familiar faces and wave at them absentmindedly, bursting for the toilet.
I finally reach the loo and found the door turned to engaged. Bugger.
I wait outside the loo for a few minutes, thinking they’d just got there before me. I can certainly hear someone in there- I can hear movement I wait five minutes and still no-one comes out. Impatient, I rap on the door.
Okay, this is getting ridiculous. I am honest to Merlin about to pee my effing pants, and no-one is coming out. Someone is in there and they are being slow.
“HELLO?!” I call, rapping on the door again. A muffled mutter comes through the cracks in the door:
“Fuck off. We’re doing something in here!”
I can feel my bladder ache with the effort of holding the stupid pee in, and I lose the remaining patience. I reach into my pocket and pull out my wand. I can use it, see, because they can’t track who’s using the magic on the train- too many people. Plus, there’s no strict rules against it on the train- no muggles around!
I direct the wand at the door and murmur, “Alohamora!” under my breath. Immediately, the door swings open.
And two people stumble out of it.
I leap backwards, shocked, staring at the couple.
The boy has only his undies on and the girl has her top unbuttoned. Slightly disgusted, I peer at them.
“What on earth were you thinking- WAIT OHMYGOD DOM?!” I yell, recognizing the girl. The boy is Harrison Smith, Hufflepuff, and in my year. He’s beetroot red, and hops around trying to pull up his trousers. Dom stands up gracefully, not phased, and buttons up her top, smoothing out the creases.
“MERLIN, Dom! What the fuck were you doing?!” I hiss. She looks at me patronizingly.
“What do you think we were doing, Kati? Transfiguration homework?” she tells me, with a condescending expression. Harrison is two years younger than Dom and only just sixteen. I shake my head in disgust.
“Dom…” I sigh, trailing off after realising it’s not worth it- nothing I say will make a difference. I push her away playfully and nod curtly at Harrison before locking myself in the loo. I relieve myself quickly, my hands not quite dry when I burst back out.
Who knows what they were up to in there before I interrupted.
I shudder at the thought.
I hurry down the train, not spotting the Sweet Trolley anywhere- she must be at a different carriage at the other end- and don’t stop. That is, until I hear someone call my name. I turn and see Al waving, eyes shining.
“Hey Rena!” he calls again, beaming. I smile back and stroll back towards him.
“Hey Bus,” I reply, smiling easily.
“Listen,” he begins, scratching his head awkwardly, “You mentioned getting to know Sarah the other day. And I watch to patch everything up. So would you mind meeting her, you know, properly?”
“I- er… Well, I dunno Bus… See, I was supposed to get some sweets for the others and get back A.S.A.P…” I reply, desperately thinking of an excuse. I’m not ready to meet the she-devil.
His face falls, and his hand swings awkwardly by his side. “I… Oh, of course. I get it.”
I can’t hurt Al again.
Especially not with that killer puppy-dog face he’s got plastered across his face pouting at me.
“Well… They can wait!” I clap my hands together, “Let’s meet this Sarah then!”
He beams and pulls me into a hug. I inhale that wonderful scent- but it’s still tainted with the horrible deodorant…
“Thanks Rena! It means a lot!” he cries when we break apart. I smile back weakly.
He pulls me by my arm back to his compartment. I peer inside it before we enter and see Sarah sprawled across a seat, absorbed in a book.
A true Ravenclaw.
And my sort of person.
Damn. I wanted her to be a bitch.
As soon as she hears the compartment door slide open she sits up and brushes her hair out of her face.
“Oh hey, Katrina!” she beams. She looks genuinely happy to see me.
“Hey Sarah,” I smile, not quite as enthusiastically. She pulls me into an eager hug.
“Shall I call you Katrina then? It’s just that I know you like Kat, but I feel that’s a little personal and I might scare you off if I get too friendly!” she laughs, a sound that is similar to the tinkling of bells.
Bloody elegant twat.
AND I BLOODY LAUGH WITH HER.
“I know you hate Kati, right? And only your family and Al are allowed to call you Rena… So I guess Katrina?” she continues, smiling at me still.
I grin back and nod. “Katrina is good.” I wonder how she knows so much about me…
“Oi Al!” someone yells outside the compartment, claiming Al’s attention. He leans out to talk to the caller.
Sarah leans forward and whispers quickly, “I bet you’re wondering how I know all this, right?”
I shrug, “I suppose.”
She smiles again, “I hope I’m not scaring you! It’s just that, I know how much you mean to Al. I could see him hurting when you weren’t talking. And I really like Al,” she bites the inside of her cheek anxiously, “So I wanted to get to know you and stuff. That way I could become friends with you… It’ll make Al happy too.”
I nod, understanding.
“I don’t mean that I’m only befriending you to win over Al!” she adds hastily and I laugh too.
“I know you weren’t.”
“You’re a lovely person, obviously. And I like you anyways, it’s just that…” she trails off, obviously worried she’s offended me.
“I understand, Sarah. I get it! Don’t worry,” I grin impishly at her.
Double bollocks. I’m being nice to her. Without making an effort. And she’s worried about offending me.
She’s not an evil Death Eater. Bugger. That was my last hope.
Sarah indicates to the seats and flops back into her space. I perch next to her awkwardly. She seems like the sort of girl that can make conversation, but I’m not much of a conversationalist.
At least, not with stupid twats who have stolen Al.
Glancing around the compartment for something to do, I spot her book. Pride and Prejudice.
“You’re reading Jane Austen?” I say, surprise tinting my tone. Not many wizards know of the old author. Actually, not many muggles remember her nowadays. Rose and I are obsessed- her mum, Hermione, read it to her, and was incredibly happy to find me- another fanatic. Of course, posh people and old people still list her novels as “Classics” that “will last forever”, but less and less people read her novels.
It’s sad really.
As a bookworm myself, I’ve read most of her novels. I picked the old, battered copy of Pride and Prejudice from my mum’s book shelf as a child and fell in love with it. I’m one of the few Austen fans.
“Yes! I love it,” Sarah exclaims warmly. “My mum’s a muggle, see. She’s a little older than most parents- 57, she was 41 when she had me- and she loves Jane Austen. She used to read it to me when I was little.”
I grin back. “Really? I thought I was the only teen who still reads her stuff! Been reading her since I could read!”
Sarah nods and beams back happily, “I loved the way the words sounded, y’know? They just flow and sound almost magical!”
“You get sucked into this whole new world…” I murmur, wistfully.
“A world where manners are actually still important and love is so much more beautiful…” she smiles, staring into space.
A wistful silence falls upon us.
“Not to mention the pretty frocks!” I laugh, breaking the dream-like trance we fell into.
“Of course! How could anyone forget the frocks?” Sarah smirks, giggling with me.
“Where are you up to?” I ask her, genuinely interested.
“Oh, she’s just met the Colonel…” Sarah begins explaining, and immediately I’m drawn into the conversation.
After about fifteen minutes, Al saunters back into the compartment and stops short. He’d hoped Sarah and I would get on, but didn’t expect this. We’re sitting right next to each other, completely absorbed in our conversation.
“Um, hey-” Al begins, looking vaguely bemused.
“Piss off Al, we’re talking here!” Sarah interrupts him, a smile playing across her lips.
“Oh right, sorry,” Albus murmurs, awkwardly sitting across from us. Sarah picks up our conversation again and we continue chatting away.
Albus looks at us the rest of the time I’m there, half amused, half shocked. When we have about half an hour of the journey left, I get up and stretch.
“I suppose I should be getting back to the others. They’ll be thinking I’m dead. In fact, I will be dead- I didn’t get the lads the sweets I promised!” I laugh, and Sarah chuckles with me. She gets up and gives me a brief hug.
“It was really nice meeting you!” She trills happily.
I grin back, “It was nice to meet you too.”
And the worst part? I meant it.
FUCKING HELL MERLIN! WHY’D YOU MAKE AL’S GIRLFRIEND SO FUCKING NICE AND LIKEABLE?!
Al leaps up and gives me a long hug, and whispers in my ear quietly, “Thanks.”
I smile, and break away before turning and leaving the compartment. I walk back to my original compartment, a spring in my step, though I’m irritated slightly.
Why’d I have to like her?
More importantly, why’d she have to like Pride and Prejudice?!
I head back to the compartment, brooding slightly but still with a grin slapped across my face. James pulls open the door and glares at me. But before he can say anything, Rose pushes past him.
“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?” she screeches, in a very Nana Molly like voice.
I sigh and roll my eyes. “I went to the loo, and found Dom shagging a random guy, and then I went and hung with Albus and Sarah-”
I’m interrupted by a huge gasp at the last part. I love how they don’t react to the fact that their cousin is shagging a random bloke, but I spent quality time with my (ex)best friend and his girlfriend.
James looks shocked and slightly angry. I sigh again. “Look, I told you that I made it up with Albus, and he wanted to patch things up completely and meet his girlfriend. Is that so wrong?”
James shakes his head stiffly, then recovers, his face becoming expressionless. “Of course not.” I can see his anger in his eyes- he’s angry that I, the reason the family fell out in the first place- has forgiven him without consulting with them.
James smiles, but doesn’t meet his eyes. “I’m going to meet some other mates if that’s okay. You coming Fred?” he says, his voice expressionless. Fred leaps up and follows him, flashing me a quick grin and going cross-eyed. That’s Fred.
James doesn’t kiss me as he leaves.
I try not to let it bother me.
Rose grabs my arm and pulls me into the compartment.
“You’re not angry, are-”
“No, no. You never could hold a grudge. And I knew you’d made it up with him. I suppose I’ll talk to him soon, I only fell out because he dumped you and Scorpius for Sarah…” she interrupts impatiently. Scorpius is looking at us slightly confused, and interested.
“Well?” he says pointedly.
“Well what?” I ask, confused.
“What is she like?” Rose says, tapping her foot edgily.
I fumble with my top, irritably. “She’s fucking lovely.”
Rose and Scorpius gawp at me. “Seriously?” Rose cries.
I nod sadly, “She’s really nice. She was reading Pride and Prejudice, Rose.”
If possible, Rose’s mouth hangs even wider. “No way…”
“And she seemed genuinely happy to meet me. She was fucking lovely. And I really liked her!” I concluded glumly.
Scorpius leans back, defeated. “Damn,” he says, “I was hoping she’d threaten you or something and then we could break them up.”
I shake my head, “No, she’s really nice. And she seems devoted to Al, and Al seems completely obsessed with her…” As I mutter the words, my stomach twists uncomfortably and my mouth runs dry.
Scorpius sighs and mutters darkly, “I still think she’s a cyborg.”
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing you recognise, especially not the Jane Austen references or her books. They’re Jane Austen’s books. Not mine- as much as I’d like them to be! :) And Jane Austen belongs to herself, I just used her as a reference :D
A/N Next chapter will be Rose telling her parents! More drama :) Thanks for reading, please review! I’ve had real trouble writing this and chapter 19- not for any particular reason! Just can’t think of anything for that :D Also got two plot bunnies that are itching for me to write about! So, thanks for bearing with.
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