Chapter 10 : Hope
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A/N: Hey :) So I was really happy with the reaction the last chapter got... I'm super sorry for that cliffy. (okay, I'm not really that sorry.)
ANYWHO, I'm in the middle of my Christmas exams at the moment (Maths on Friday, eeep) but I'm trying to keep up with my schedule as much as I can. Thanks to everyone who has reviewed and added to your favourites, I genuinely squeal when I see them, so keep them up :)
"My day will come
I know someday
I'll be the only one"
Hope - the Descendents
James looked up as I approached him and I saw him visibly swallow. As I came to stand in front of him, I realised even in my high heels he was still quite a bit taller than me.
I looked up into his brown eyes and I smiled at him. I felt my heart rate increase considerably when he returned my smile. "You look beautiful." He said, and I felt my face warm with a blush. "So do you." I replied automatically, but my blush deepened when I realised what I had said. "Erm, I mean... you look good, too, I guess." I tried awkwardly to rectify the situation.
James smirked at me. "So you think I'm beautiful, huh?" He teased, and I felt as though my face was on fire. "Er.. No. I mean, yes. No. I guess." I stammered. James chuckled and I realised if I was going to tell him, I would have to do it now. Quickly. Like ripping off a plaster, just like I told Madam Pomfrey. So I cut him off.
"Look, James," I began, and James smile fell, confused by my suddenly serious tone. "There's something I need to talk to you about."
James brow furrowed and he looked me in the eyes. "Shoot." he said.
I shook my head. "Not here." He looked worried and was about to say something when he was interrupted again, this time, by his mother.
"James! I told you to wait by the door and greet guests on their way in!" She exclaimed. "Where have you been all evening? I am very disappointed in you, young man!" Ginny lectured. I noticed her long evening dress was teal coloured, and she wore her red hair back in a french twist, revealing the earrings I had gotten her for Christmas. I noted with pleasure that they matched her dress perfectly.
James gaze flickered to me. "Now isn't the best time, Mum." James looked very uncomfortable.
"What do you mean, now isn't the best time? Last time I checked, James Sirius Potter, I was your mother, not the other way around!" Ginny was looking furious.
James bit his lip. (Oh Merlin he looks so hot when he does that) "Mum, I'm in the middle of a conversation." He indicated towards me, and Ginny turned to me, appearing to just realise I was there. "Violet! You look amazing!" She exclaimed, and I smiled. "You too. Love the earrings." I grinned at her and she pretended to be flattered. "Oh, these things? They were a gift!" She clasped her hand to her chest dramatically. "Well whoever gave them to you must have wonderful taste!" I giggled.
Ginny giggled back at me and James was looking at us with an incredulous expression. I looked at him and pursed my lips. "We can talk later." I muttered to him. His eyes flashed to Ginny. "Are you sure?" He whispered back to me, and I nodded. "It can wait."
James looked at me reluctantly and nodded. He turned to Ginny and held out his arm. "Shall we, mother?" He joked, and Ginny laughed. "We shall, son." Together they exited the grand hall arm in arm.
I walked back to the table, disappointed, but also a little relieved he didn't know yet. Lily looked up at me worriedly. I shook my head slightly, so only she would see.
Lily released a loud sigh, loud enough for Ruby to question her if she was okay. Lily smiled and shrugged her off, saying she just had a headache.
I sat down in the chair I had previously vacated, and nobody said anything to me about my short conversation with James. Rose didn't relax her hawk-like stance, until Albus and Scorpius entered the room ten minutes later. She turned bright red and let out a squeak.
We were the only two left at our table, as Lily left to say hello to another third year she saw enter the room, Hermione and Ginny were standing off to the side of the dance floor talking to two other women in evening dresses and Ruby had abandoned us to dance with a group of guys in seventh year, after running her tongue across her teeth, adjusting her dress and winking at us suggestively.
Al looked up at me from where he stood with Scorpius by the door and raised his hand to give me a small wave. I smiled at him, then looked intensely at Scorpius, then did the same to Rose, (who was trying to hide behind a napkin) before turning to Al again and giving him a look that I hoped he would understand meant let's get these two fools together.
He seemed to understand me. He turned to Scorpius and said something, giving him a nudge towards our table. Scorpius shook his head violently and went to run out of the ballroom but Al caught him by the arm and started to drag him over.
I smirked and turned to Rose who hadn't noticed them approaching yet. (Too busy trying to figure out a way to hide under her chair without drawing attention to herself, probably) I nudged her knee with mine and cocked my chin to Scorpius when she looked up.
She turned so red her face and hair appeared to mix together and she went to stand up. I hooked my arm into her the crook of her elbow and pulled her back to her chair.
I leant to her ear and hissed, "Stop messing about! You like him, he is clearly infatuated with you, so for the love of Merlin, SIT. DOWN." Rose looked embarrassed momentarily, then nodded her head, resigned. I sighed. "I only say this because you're my best friend." I whispered, more friendly than before. Rose looked at me and gave me a light smile. All was silent for a moment before she burst, "Do you really think he's infatuated with me?" She asked excitedly.
I opened was about to reply but shut my mouth promptly when I saw Albus drag Scorpius to the chair beside Rose. He pushed Scorpius down and muttered something in his ear. Scorpius flushed slightly and nodded.
Albus looked triumphant and sat down in the chair next to me. "You look fabulous." Al said to me and I thanked him and returned the compliment. He and I fell into a comfortable conversation about Quidditch, even though I didn't play.
It wasn't because I didn't like the sport, but because of my total lack of coordination. Al was keeper for the Slytherin team, and he informed me that he would pummel Gryffindor for the House Cup, just like last year. I was laughing at this when I saw Rose and Scorpius were talking quietly, slowly leaning closer to one another as they talked.
Al noticed this too and gave me a self-satisfied smirk. "Let's get out of their hair." He whispered and held out his arm to me. I took it gladly and we slipped away from the table quietly and walked to the dance floor.
The dance floor was full of dancing couples, but the floor was so big, there was plenty of room to move around. The band was playing a beautiful song that I recognised, but I couldn't put my finger on where I had heard it before. Albus placed his right and on my waist and took my right hand with his left, and we started to move around in a circle.
Although the song was slow and Albus' hand was on my waist, I knew there was nothing romantic about the gesture, and it wasn't awkward either. Somehow I still felt comfortable. Al looked over to Rose and Scorpius, who were now so close together you couldn't fit a book between them. He gave me a small high-five and I laughed.
I saw Ron from across the room shooting them dirty looks, but I saw Hermione murmuring softly to him, trying to calm him down. I giggled at them and turned back to Albus, who winked at me, seeing them too. "It seems as though our genius plan is working!" He exclaimed. I laughed as he let out a dramatic, evil laugh. "Muahahaha!" He cackled.
I was about to do the same when James re-entered the room. I closed my eyes and steeled my nerves. Now or never I thought to myself, as I tried to ignore the knot in my stomach.
I turned to Al to excuse myself, but before I could get the words out, I saw Chastity Everlynch enter the room, wearing a black strapless dress that shimmered in the light.
Chastity was a seventh year Slytherin at Hogwarts. She was tall, with blonde hair and blue eyes, flawless skin and a tiny waist. She was totally beautiful.
But this was not why I couldn't get any words out. I couldn't speak, because as she entered the room after James, she hooked her arm into his elbow and walked with him to the table next to mine, and sat down in the chair next to him.
I stood there, my mouth gaping open like a goldfish. Albus noticed I had stopped moving and looked at me with concerned eyes. "Vi? Are you okay?" He questioned. I mentally smacked some sense into myself.
I forced a smile at Albus and continued dancing like nothing was wrong. I had my mask in place and I wasn't going to let it slip. I saw Rose and Scorpius get up and start dancing out of the corner of my eye and I gave Albus a pleased grin, which he returned.
I let my eyes roam the room, taking in all the guests. Hugo was talking to an old woman in a wheelchair with a sour expression on his face. Hermione was now dancing with Ron, who still kept a protective eye on his daughter who was laughing at something Scorpius had said. I saw Ruby leave the room with an arm wrapped around a good looking tall man. She caught my eye and winked at me. I stifled a snort. Albus followed my line of vision and he, too, snorted at a tipsy Ruby stumbling out of the room on the arm of a stranger.
The song ended and another melody filled the air almost immediately. Albus and I continued dancing as if the change hadn't happened. "Who was that?" Albus asked curiously. I snapped my eyes up from watching Fred Weasley who was dancing with a pretty brunette. Fred had quite the womanizing reputation, so I couldn't help but feel bad for the poor girl.
"Huh?" I asked, fighting off the urge to look at James and Chastity. Albus looked towards the door which Ruby had just disappeared out of. "The guy with Ruby." Al clarified, and I shrugged. "No idea. As long as he has a pulse, Ruby will shag him." Albus smirked and twirled me around.
"Who's James with?" I asked innocently, like I didn't know. Albus looked over to his brother.
"Um... Chastity something, I think? She's in my house." I nodded and continued looking intently anywhere but at James. "I didn't know they were going out." I said nonchalantly, and Albus shook his head.
"They're not. Chastity arrived with her parents while James was greeting guests on their way in. She practically threw herself at him." Albus chuckled. "Why do you care so much anyway?" He winked at me.
I blushed. "I don't! I was just curious! I couldn't care less really." I stammered. Albus smiled at me and winked again. "Your secret's safe with me." He whispered and I shook my head, but didn't say anything.
As the song came to a close, I risked a look at James. Chastity was still sitting beside him, talking away. He was fiddling with his collar, something he does when he's bored, I noted with pleasure. She was boring him. I supressed a giggle as I clapped with all the other guests a the song ended.
Just as Albus took my hand again, James looked at me. He gave me a crooked smile as Chastity chattered away at him. I saw Jame's gaze trail down my arm to where my hand was attached to his brothers. His smile faded and a crease between his eyebrows appeared.
I didn't get a chance to think too much of it before Albus led me back to our table, which Lily had now returned to. Sitting on her right was another third year, Lorcan Scamander. Lily blushed lightly as we joined her, and I couldn't help but feel we had interrupted something.
Lily gave me a stern look. I knew what she was getting at. It was almost eleven o'clock and I had yet to tell James anything. I glanced over at him again and saw Chastity leaning toward him, giving him an eyeful of cleavage. Slut.
I looked back at Lily pleadingly and she crossed her arms and pursed her lips. It was strange how we always ended up having these silent conversations. Albus was talking to Lorcan. 'Talking' was a bit of a loose term, though. 'Grilling' would be more appropriate. I even think I heard him say, "What are your intentions towards my sister?" just like one of those Mafia movies.
Lorcan looked increasingly uncomfortable, so Lily stepped in telling Albus to cut it out.
The next hour went by very slowly. It was full of stolen glances at James and Chastity, who alternated between dancing and talking to each other. I ignored the stabs of petty jealousy that hit me in the stomach every time I saw James laugh, or say something to her.
After a while, Lily stopped trying to convince me to talk to him, and instead gave my sympathetic looks and encouraging pats on my knee.
After a while, Rose and Scorpius sat down with us after dancing for about seven songs in a row. Harry came over to us at about half eleven and asked us if we were enjoying our evening, and we all responded enthusiastically, although it was very forced on my part.
Yes, Harry Potter, I am having a lovely time at this ball in an uncomfortable dress and sore high heels with an aching back and sweaty face, because of the fact I just turned four months pregnant with a baby. All of this is not helped by the fact that said baby's father is your son, who has no idea this baby exists, and is happily chatting away with the biggest slut in Hogwarts. (okay, so maybe I had no evidence to back that up, but I just had a feeling.)
As the clock inched closer to midnight, I knew my time was running out. I kept working up the courage to go and talk to James, but the idea of interrupting his little chat with Chastity made me chicken out at the last second. I have no idea why the bloody sorting hat though I belonged in Gryffindor.
Ruby rejoined us at ten minutes to midnight, her hair and makeup perfectly retouched. She winked at Rose and I, and Rose rolled her eyes at me when Ruby looked away. I giggled and crossed my eyes at her.
James and Chastity continued flirting, and I kept watching, waiting for her to get the idea that he wasn't interested and back off, so I could jump in and talk to him. Unfortunately, it never happened.
As the seconds ticked down to midnight, I resigned myself to the fact I would have to talk to James after the New Year rang out. As the entire ballroom counted down, I smiled as I looked at all my friends surrounding me.
Scorpius took Rose's hand.
Ruby tucked a stray hair behind her ear.
Lily blushed as Lorcan leaned towards her.
Albus shifted in his seat and looked across the room at Niall Nott, a seventh year Ravenclaw.
I looked over at James and Chastity.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The room exploded with cheers and fireworks went off in the night sky above us.
Scorpius leaned in and kissed Rose gently on the mouth.
Lorcan pecked Lily on the cheek.
Ruby took a swig from a silver flask she had hidden in her clutch.
Albus leaned in and kissed my cheek.
And Chastity crashed her lips against James'.
He stayed still for a moment, eyes open, eyebrows raised in surprise, before shrugging and closing his eyes, wrapping an arm around her waist, and pulling her closer.
I felt as though my blood had gone cold. I could feel my hands visibly shaking, so I casually tucked them under my legs. I pressed my mouth into a straight line as I watched him attempt to eat her face off.
Everyone at our table were watching them in silence, and I avoided the looks I knew Ruby, Rose, Lily and Albus were shooting me. I bit back my tears, totally forbidding myself from crying. I blinked furiously and straightened up my back and tucked a strand of hair behind my ear.
I forced my eyes away from the father of my child and the whore with her tongue down his throat, and looked at Rose. Scorpius had his arm wrapped around her and I could tell she was ecstatic, finally kissing him after months of pining for him.
I could tell I was ruining her moment. She was so obviously worried about me, which was preventing her from being happy. So I took a deep breath and replaced my mask of cool indifference and gave her a smile and suggestive wink.
She breathed a sigh of relief and looked at Scorpius, who leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers in such a strangely intimate fashion that I had to look away.
After a while everyone began talking again. I looked at everyone except Lily, the only one who knew the truth. James and Chastity left the room arm and arm shortly after midnight and I again blinked away stupid tears.
When the clock turned to half past twelve, Ron and Hermione found Rose and I and told us we were leaving. Rose gripped my arm supportively as we left the Potter house, kissing Harry and Ginny goodbye as we left.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Rose whispered in my ear as we staggered across the grass to the apparition point.
Ruby's father (a very important Ministry official) was at the party too, so Ruby decided to go home with him. It was just Rose and I walked along with Ron and Hermione leading the way, with Hugo bringing up the rear.
"Talk about what?" I asked innocently, batting my eyelashes at her. She rolled her eyes. "Don't be cute. You saw James trying to lick out Everlynch's tonsils just as much as I did." I forced a laugh and shook my head. "Like I care..." I said offhandedly.
Rose looked at me sternly. "You have have had crush on that boy for, what, almost a whole year now?" I bit my lip. "Not that I understand why, personally." She added and I giggled. "James has had girlfriends before. Nothing is different now." I lied.
Of course everything was different now. Never before was there a possibility that one his girlfriends could end up being a stepmother to my child.
Oh my Merlin, I hadn't actually thought about that before. Chastity Everlynch, my child's stepmother? I bet the baby will like her better than me. Would the baby call her Mum? I bet the baby will ignore me completely and only want to be in her other mother's slim, tanned arms.
I can just see it now. Oh dear lord, my own child hates me! I feel anger swell inside of me. That bitch is stealing my baby from me! Not only is she a slut, she's a home wrecker! A big, fat home wrecker! Just wait 'til I get my hands on-
My train of thought is interrupted by the uncomfortable squeezing sensation of apparition. Ron or Hermione must have taken a hold of me while I wasn't paying attention.
Rose and I stumble up to her room and she immediately took off her jewellery and chucked her purse on the floor.
"What about you, eh?" I asked, sitting on her bed and prying my swollen feet from my shoes. Rose twisted around and undid the zipper at the side of her dress, and stepped out of it, only wearing a nude-coloured slip and stockings.
I saw her blush before she turned away from me and walked towards her wardrobe to hang up her gown.
"I don't know what you're talking about." She muttered and I grinned "Sure you don't." I teased as I pulled my dress over my head. "Oh Scropius, ooh how I love the way your muscles ripple in the moonlight! You have the loveliest grey eyes that look into my soooul. Oh I am so glad you are mine, you big hunk-" Rose turned and chucked a pillow at me.
I smirked as I rifled through her chest of drawers and pulled out a large t-shirt and pulled it on over my underwear. Rose put on a pair of flannel pyjamas as I walked to her en suite. Looking in the mirror, I sighed and pulled the many hair pins from my complicated hairstyle. My hair fell in waves down the length of my back and sighed with relief now that the pressure had been released from my head.
Rose walked in beside me and started brushing her teeth. When she had finished, I took her toothbrush from her hand and brushed my own teeth. She rolled her eyes, but didn't stop me.
She climbed into her double bed first, and I followed in after her. She looked over at me and smiled. "So I suppose you're sleeping here tonight then?" She said. I nodded and lay down. I heard her snort as she turned on her side and closed her eyes.
In what felt like seconds, I heard her snores fill the room. Merlin, they were loud.
And it was as I lay there, looking up at the ceiling, that I finally let the tears I had been fighting all night come.
Sorry, it had to be done. It can't be that easy. I know quite a few people will be upset that she didn't tell him, but we're working up to it, I promise.
I need some opinions, though. Do you think this storyline is moving too slowly? Let me know :) Thanks for reading.
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