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Chapter 3 : We all fall down
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“Malcolm Port is talking about Freya putting on weight again,” Horatio commented in a low voice to Louis as they sat in Potions.
Louis was chopping up a rat’s tail in front of him, as the cauldron bubbled next to him. Louis’s face hardened as he cut the tail faster, Horatio noticed that his hands were shaking.
“Calm down, Louis,” Horatio muttered, grabbing for the knife handle gently before Louis could hurt himself; he placed it down on the side as Louis tried to take calming breaths. Louis felt like his blood was boiling as much as the potion next to him and he tried to stop himself from walking over to Malcolm and yelling at him. He didn’t need to bring more attention to both him and Freya, especially with the rumours that were beginning to spiral out of control around the school.
The past few weeks back at school hadn’t gone as smoothly as both Louis and Freya had hoped it would. All plans of hiding their problem had gone to pot; it seemed that the Hogwarts population wasn’t as stupid or naive as they had previously thought. Louis knew that it wouldn’t be a secret forever and he was stupid for going along with Freya’s plans to not tell anyone.
Freya’s growing weight seemed to be a much talked about subject for the sixth year population of Hogwarts, especially as she had a small frame, and people were beginning to notice that she was heard throwing up from time to time. There’s only so many times that she could blame the food that she was eating, which Louis had informed her, but like most things Louis said to her at the moment, it had fallen on deaf ears.
Freya was now, what Louis and Horatio worked out to be either three or four months pregnant, they couldn’t be sure at all. Freya didn’t seem to want to try to work out the date, clamming up whenever Louis tried to bring up the subject to her. Freya in this time had begun showing, which was to be expected, Louis remembered how much weight his Aunts had put on when they were pregnant and he knew it wouldn’t be long before others noticed. Especially if Horatio had noticed Freya’s weight gain weeks ago, Horatio wasn't known for noticing that much going on in front of him. Freya still seemed to be in a small state of denial about it all.
Freya had managed to hide her growing bump quite well by keeping her robes around her, her arms folded as she sat hunched over slightly. But, there were some things that she needed help with, such as her stealing some of Louis’s own school shirts so that they would be baggier on her, then her now too small school shirts were, they were already tight before they had gone home for the holidays and were now unable to even be done up on her. People had of course noticed that she was wearing Louis’ shirts, and were quick to talk.
Freya had spent hours sat with Louis and Horatio, which was a surprise, in the library. Researching ways to make her clothes a few sizes bigger than they were, so she could wear them comfortably, or in the case of Louis and a reluctant Horatio trying to find books explaining anything about pregnancy. Freya wasn’t interested in those ones, caring more about her appearance. To Louis’ annoyance, there seemed to be no books that could help him, the school seemed to have no need to stock such books. Still Freya refused to tell anyone or ask for help, and Louis was tired of bringing it up every time he saw her, Freya was becoming moodier and more emotional as each day passed, and Louis didn’t know whether he was coming or going with her.
The only times she didn’t yell at him, or cry constantly, was when he gave her the chocolate frogs that his mother had been sending him to try and cheer him up. Freya seemed to be craving them as well as and mash potatoes and gravy.
The rumours of a possible pregnancy had begun at the start of the week; Freya, who had taken to changing in the dormitory bathroom in the mornings, had forgotten to lock the door. Her friend had walked in on her as she was doing up her school shirt buttons and had glanced down at Freya’s growing stomach, before muttering an apology and rushing from the room.
Freya had come to Louis in tears that day, causing him to skip a few lessons so he could sit with her and calm her down. Not knowing how he could make it all better and feeling useless.
They had been so stupid for thinking it would be easy to hide this.
It was now Friday and the rumours had seemed to spread like wildfire. No one had come up to either him or Freya directly, but he could still hear them whispering about them and stare at them in the corridors and during lessons. The friend that had walked in on Freya that day had asked Freya whether she was pregnant, Freya had denied it. Even though Louis had pleaded with Freya to tell someone so that she wasn’t keeping all of this to herself, but she refused to. It was this ‘friend’ that had started spreading the gossip.
The rumours, of course, weren’t help by the fact that Freya had rushed from the Great Hall last night to throw up when they had gammon for dinner. People had noticed when Louis slipped out of the room to be with her and make sure that she was okay. He could feel their eyes on him when he had returned after Freya had told him to go back to dinner.
Louis was thankful that Potions was his last lesson for the day. He was meant to be preparing a potion with Horatio, but this new development had Louis literally shaking with anger. It took a lot to piss off Louis, and Malcolm had been constantly trying to overstep the line. Lately Louis seemed to be constantly on the edge of losing it, knowing that anything could have pushed him over it.
“Louis,” Horatio muttered to Louis, taking a quick glance around the classroom, no one was paying them any attention. “Don’t let him get a reaction out of you.”
Louis was almost seeing red; he knew he shouldn’t be angry as it would ruin things for everyone, but it had been so hard to keep a lid on everything that he was almost at boiling point. He was having trouble sleeping from worrying too much; quite often he had taken to the Hospital wing to ask for something to help him sleep, which earned quite a few looks from the Healer. His father was sending him letters asking what was wrong with him, it had been noticed in his letters back that Louis was holding something back; his father said that they should meet on the next Hogsmeade trip to discuss what was wrong and Louis knew he wouldn’t be able to hide it anymore.
Louis knew he wouldn’t be able to hold it in any longer, he was trying to help Freya see sense but was not getting through to her.
“Hey Louis, if Freya is pregnant, would it even be yours?” came the final straw from across the room.
Louis moved his hand to his wand that was lying on the desk in front of him; gripping hold of it tightly, he tried as hard as he could to ignore the voice of Malcolm Port, as he heard laughter coming from a few people. Horatio gripped hold of Louis’s arm, but Louis wrenched it away from him in anger.
“Why don’t you shut your mouth, Port?” Horatio growled over at the tall, chubby lad a few desks away from them. “Before I come over there and shut it for you.”
Louis wished that they would all be quiet; he glanced up at their teacher, Professor Hartridge and noticed that he was busy writing their homework up on one of the boards at the front of the class, to notice what was going on in his own classroom.
So far, none of the teachers had heard any of the rumours that Louis knew of, and he knew that if he responded to any of the questions or the taunts that they would be found out, and as much as he wanted the teachers help, he was too afraid of what would happen to him and Freya. If Malcolm continued talking, Louis knew that it wouldn’t be long until someone else found out.
Malcolm let out a laugh as his friends all hissed words about how Freya was two-timing Louis. Louis tried to calm himself down as Horatio whispered at Louis not to respond to them, his eyes flickering around to the other occupants in the room; they were starting to get the attention of most of the other students.
“Don’t rise to it,” Horatio told Louis, who had begun shaking again. Although Louis couldn’t tell if that was aimed at Louis or if Horatio was speaking to himself, Horatio was normally very quick to anger.
Louis was trying his hardest to believe the mantra now going through his head, 'don’t rise to it, and don’t respond to it.’
Sometimes, Louis noticed, some things just have to be responded to. Like the next thing that came out of Malcolm’s mouth.
“I heard she’s been sleeping around with every guy that speaks to her, wouldn’t surprise me if she was pregnant. She is the Hogwarts ‘broomstick’ after all.”
Louis was over at Malcolm’s desk before Horatio could stop him; Louis grabbed the collar of Malcolm’s robes and pulled him forwards. “How dare you say something like that, you don’t know fuck all.”
Malcolm stopped laughing as he looked into Louis’s face, “I’m only saying what others are thinking mate.”
Louis let out a growl as he threw Malcolm to the floor, there were yells around the classroom as Louis tried to punch him, but a quick spell from the teacher stopped him from actually doing any damage. Louis found himself frozen in mid air as the teacher yelled at them in anger.
“What on earth is the meaning of this?” Professor Hartridge scolded. “In all my years of teaching I have never heard such vulgarity coming from a set of sixth years.”
“I’m only saying what’s true,” Malcolm claimed, as he stood up and backed away from Louis, who was still frozen. Professor Hartridge waved his wand and Louis unfroze, he stumbled slightly to stay upright, Horatio grabbing his arm to steady him and hold him back.
“Maybe you should keep a closer eye on your class, Sir,” Horatio said darkly. “That way you might have been able to stop this sooner.”
Professor Hartridge turned to give Horatio a hard look. “Detention tonight, Mr. Demarcus. Now, you two, I’m taking both of you to the Headmaster’s office right now; I will not tolerate such rumours and unruly behaviour in my class.” Professor Hartridge pointed to the door for Louis and Malcolm to leave.
“I’ll bring your stuff, I’ll come up to the office and wait for you,” Horatio whispered to Louis, dropping his grip on him as Louis turned to look at him, Horatio could see the fear that had filled Louis’s face. He knew that everything was going to come out now.
“Please warn Freya, tell her that I’m sorry.” Louis whispered back urgently.
“That means now, Mr. Weasley!” Professor Hartridge snapped.
Horatio nodded at Louis, before Louis walked out of the room with the Professor, Malcolm having already left the room.
Gathering everything up quickly, Horatio rushed from the classroom, trying to think of what lesson Freya had at this moment and cursing himself for getting a detention with the potions teacher later.
“Which of you would like to explain to me what has just happened in Professor Hartridge’s classroom?” Professor Flitwick asked, looking over his glasses at the two students that had taken a seat in front of his desk.
Louis kept his eyes focused on his hands in front of him. How could he explain what happened without revealing the truth? He bet that Malcolm wouldn’t hesitate to say everything, including a few lies added.
“Louis and I had a disagreement that’s all.” Malcolm gave a shrug; Louis looked up at Malcolm with a frown, wondering why he wasn’t trying to get Louis into trouble when he had been happy to spread the rumours in the Potions classroom.
“Mr. Weasley,” Professor Flitwick said, causing Louis to look at him, “would you care to elaborate on what Mr. Port has told us.”
“It was nothing, sir.”
The Headmaster looked at them for a moment before he asked both of the boys to leave the room so he could have a quiet word with Professor Hartridge. Louis felt nerves take over him at these words and he had the overwhelming urge to throw up, he stood shakily and followed Malcolm out of the room. Once it closed behind him, he couldn’t resist the urge to put his ear to it, but sadly he wasn’t able to hear a word of what was going on inside.
“Is it true, then?” Malcolm asked Louis, who ignored him.“Look, I deserve to know, especially after lying in there for you.”
Louis turned to look at him incredulously. “You’re the reason I was in there in the first place.”
Malcolm gave a shrug, before shoving his hands into his trouser pockets. “So is it true?”
“Just leave me alone,” Louis muttered, turning back to go to press his ear to the door, but it had been opened by his Potions professor. He regarded Louis with a quick look before turning to Malcolm.
“Malcolm, the headmaster is going to be in touch with your punishment, I am to escort you back to the lesson. Louis, the headmaster would like another word with you in the office.”
Louis gave a shaky nod, watching as Malcolm left with the professor, before he took a deep breath and entered the office.
“Mr. Weasley, would you like to take a seat?” Professor Flitwick said seriously, pointing at the seat Louis had previously occupied.
Louis took a seat, careful to avoid the Headmaster’s eyes, he looked down at his hands clasping in front of him and tried to keep his nerves under control. This was it, everything was over.
“Professor Hartridge has informed me of what Mr. Port said in the Potions classroom.”
Louis fiddled with his fingers, not knowing what else to do; he wondered if Horatio had managed to tell Freya, he wondered what she was thinking, how scared she was.
“Would you care to say anything about the rumours that have started to go around the school about you and Miss Jackson?”
Louis gave a sigh as he still refused to look up at the headmaster, what could he say to make things better? How could he have been so stupid to think that the teachers wouldn’t find out about everything?
Louis finally looked up at the Headmaster. “I’m... I’m sorry.”
Professor Flitwick gave a nod before he ran a hand over his weary face; Louis's words and the look on his face told the Headmaster that the rumours were true. “I’ve asked that Professor Hartridge send someone to get Miss Jackson from her lesson and bring her to my office.”
Louis gave a nod as he put his head in his hands, trying his best to think about how to ask the Headmaster not to expel them both, that it was a mistake. Beg him not to punish them more than Louis was punishing himself, and trying so hard not to cry with relief that he didn't have to hide everything anymore.
“I also have no choice but to send a Floo to both yours and Miss Jackson’s parents asking them to both come up to the school.”
Louis gave another nod, as much as he hated the fact that everything had been found out this way, he was glad that now someone else knew. Now Freya and the baby could be looked after, he just hoped that his family and Freya didn’t hate him.
But, he knew that was almost impossible, he wasn't sure if he was ready for the look of disappointment that would be on his father’s face when he realised just how much Louis had ruined everything.
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