Chapter 3 : Ready or Not
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As Ruby raised her eyebrows knowingly, I heard his footsteps approach behind me, and I felt his hand on my shoulder.
All the other girls greeted him cheerfully and I winced.
I turned around slowly to face James Sirius Potter.
I prayed my face went back to some realm of normality, and I didn't have snot and drool running down it. (You're very welcome for that mental image)
As I turned around and looked up into those gorgeous hazel eyes that I had been avoiding for the past ten weeks, I felt my heart accelerate madly and my knees weaken. James was looking down at me with a worried expression, and some other emotion.
Was it... guilt? Why would he feel guilty? I mentally shook my head. He doesn't feel guilty. I guess it's just my bloody pregnancy emotions messing with my head.
I tried desperately to calm myself down, but I kept hyperventilating like a lunatic.
"Violet," James said again, looking at me very seriously. I should be mad at him. He had been avoiding me just as much as I was avoiding him.
So why is it that all I can think about is jumping at him and tangling my fingers in his gorgeously messy black hair?
He and I actually used to be friends. Before it happened anyway. I knew Rose knew something was going on between us, she knew how I felt about him. She never pushed me into telling her, though. That's why I love her.
"What's the matter?" James asked, carefully watching my face as he waited for my answer.
Right now in my emotional state, I knew I wouldn't be able to look into those amazing eyes without breaking down and telling him everything... even about the baby. His baby. Oh, Merlin.
"I, um... banged by knee? On the... table?" I said, but I sounded very unsure.
I started to inspect the floor as I tried to collect my bearings. I noticed the girls all still standing beside me, even Lily and Missy. I looked at Ruby and she smiled at me sympathetically. If anyone knew about awkward encounters with one-night shags, it was her.
James was still looking at me when I glanced back at him.
"Right.." he said, obviously not believing a word of my lies.
"Um... Yeah. So we had better get going. Things to do and all... So. Yeah." I stammered and walked quickly out of the Great Hall, leaving him standing there with the girls. Not for long though, because almost immediately, I heard the sound of several footsteps behind me and then Rose's warm embrace.
They all walked with me in silence up to Gryffindor tower. Lily gave the fat lady the password, and they all ushered me up to the sixth years dorm.
Lily was in third year unlike the rest of us, but she came in too, which I appreciated. Rose sat me down on my bed, the one closest to the window, and wrapped one arm around me, and the others all climbed onto the bed too. It was then that I truly let go all of the emotion of the two months, all my stress and my worry, and I cried.
I don't mean cried like delicate tears running soundlessly down my face, I mean cried. I threw my head back and I bawled my eyes out, I cried so hard my vision blurred and my nose ran and my mouth hung open, and I wailed loudly about how unfair my life was.
All the girls exchanged worried, disbelieving glances. I noticed Missy scurry off and I felt a flash of anger. How could she abandon me when I needed her?
But she returned from the bathroom clutching piles of tissues, and handed me one. I felt so bad for thinking she would leave me that I cried harder. This continued on for about five minutes and I tried to get a hold of myself, and eventually, I was reduced to a snivelling, embarrassed, tissue-requiring mess.
This time Alex ran to get me the tissues. I smiled at her gratefully as she handed me the wad of tissues and I heard several sighs of relief from the group of girls around me.
"Are you going to tell us what the problem is?" Alex asked softly, positioning herself back on the bed with all my other friends.
"I don't know." I sighed. "I guess I'm just hormonal. Time of the month and all." I lied.
Well not lied-lied. That was partly true, I guess. This would be like a nine-month long hormonal rampage. Everyone seemed to believe me, even Rose. They all reached out and petted me soothingly.
"I know!" Ruby exclaimed. "Why don't we have a sleepover?"
Everyone (excluding Lily) groaned.
"Come on! It'll be fun! We can do each others hair, paint our nails, do different skin treatments and play sleepover games!" she squealed, getting more excited as she went on.
"Sleepover games?" Missy asked questioningly.
"Yeah! Like charades! Or truth or dare!" Ruby exclaimed.
"No." I said seriously. "No truth or dare."
Ruby looked at me sympathetically again, realising her mistake, while everyone else just looked confused.
"I don't understand. How do you play?" Rose asked. She hates not knowing stuff. "We aren't playing it." I said finally.
Ruby nodded. "We don't have to. Sorry" she said, patting my arm again. Now everyone looked really confused.
"The sleepover's a good idea though." I said, hoping to distract everyone. It worked.
"Yes!" she exclaimed, and again everyone groaned, except for me and Lily.
"Right! Let's get cracking! Lily! You go to your dorm and convince your friends to cover for you. Get your pyjamas! The pinker the better! And you!" Ruby screeched, pointing at Missy. "You take a the pillows from the beds and arrange them on the floor. Rose! You're in charge of snac-"
"Wait." Lily said quietly. We all looked at her and waited for her to speak. "I'm coming?" She asked.
"Of course, you muppet! Why wouldn't you?" Ruby exclaimed. Lily grinned so widely I thought her face would split.
"Right so. Off you go." Ruby commanded.
Lily dashed from the room as Rose continued to chuck commands at us. Rose went down to the kitchens to get us loads of junk food, Missy took all the pillows/cushions/blankets in the room and arranged them on the ground. Alex got everyone's makeup out from their area of their room and created a pile beside the circle of pillows.
Wasn't really a pile, more like a mountain.
I just sat on my bed while Ruby barked orders at everyone. Except for me, that is. I think she realises that my crying had nothing to do with my time of the month. Of course she has no idea about the baby, but I bet she thinks this is about him. James.
I wonder what the baby will look like? Of course it's hair will be dark, black like James or dark brown like mine and my mother's. In fact James' father has black hair too.
What if it inherits James' mother's hair? Ginny Weasley? I don't think I would mind having a red head. In fact, I think I would be cute. Rose has red hair.
Rose. It's only just occurred to me that she is related to the baby. James is her cousin after all. In fact, Lily is James' sister.
That makes her my baby's aunt.
She entered the room wearing pink flannel pyjamas covered in yellow ducks.
I felt my heart warm at the sight of her.
She's my baby's aunt.
I smiled at her and she smiled back. She'd better be one of those aunts who spoil their nieces and nephews.
A few hours later and we're all sitting in a circle laughing and chatting and doing each other's hair and makeup.
Lily is sitting behind me styling my hair into some sort of complicated braid. I feel so much lighter after my cry. I'm chatting away with Rose who is sitting opposite me painting Ruby's toenails a bright shade of scarlet. She always paints her nails with magic, so she's making a right mess of doing them the muggle way.
Somehow the conversation is steered back to the Christmas holidays. There's only another week and a half until we leave for the break.
Rose's family is so huge, so she's only allowed to bring one friend over ever year. She's brought me every year, since first year.
So when I told her I wouldn't be joining her this year, she immediately knew something was up. "What do you mean you aren't coming? Of course you are! It's tradition!" Rose demanded.
"I have loads of work I need to get done! And studying! The quiet of the castle is the best place to get it all done!" I cried.
Rose looked like she didn't believe me at all. "But it'll be fun! We'll get to see Lils almost every day!" Rose said, smiling at her cousin.
Rose had no idea that avoiding the Potter family was exactly why I didn't want to go. Every time I imagine the look on James' face after I tell him about his unborn child makes me want to run away and hide under a rock.
"Is it because of me?" Rose asked quietly, staring hard down at her knees.
"What?!" I exclaimed. "Why would it have anything to do with you?" I asked.
"I don't know, Vi... You just seem so distant lately. I feel like you're keeping things from me and I don't understand why. I feel like you don't want to be my best friend anymore." Rose's eyes filled with tears.
The entire circle had gone silent to listen in on our conversation.
"Oh Rose! No no no! Of course not! I love you to bits and you know it!" I insisted, throwing myself across the circle at my red-headed friend.
I was very gentle though. Much gentler than I would have been ten weeks ago.
I wrapped her in my arms and strangely, we both began to sob.
I swear, I never cry, but lately I have been an emotional wreck. Roddy must be slipping something in my pumpkin juice. (By the way, Roddy is the head house-elf in the Hogwarts kitchens. There isn't just some bloke named Roddy following me around looking for chances to spike my drinks.)
After a minute or two, Rose and I looked up at each other and grinned, wiping away our tears.
"So you're coming then?" Rose inquired hopefully. I let out a long sigh. I suppose I just keep on avoiding Potter as much as possible.
"I guess so."
Rose squealed and hugged me again. Everyone jumped on top of us and hugged us both. I removed myself from the heap of girls on the floor, afraid someone might hit me in the stomach by accident. I stood there watching all my friends rolling around giggling and I felt so happy.
Then I realised what I had agreed to.
A/N: Thank you so much to those who have reviewed! Reading them really makes my day, keep 'em coming! :) I would love to hear more of your opinions!
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