Chapter 11 : Heroes or Ghosts
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So this chapter was actually meant to be in two, but I decided to drop some irrelevant points and join the two chapters together, so now things are picking up. I hope you all had a great Christmas, or whatever it is you celebrate, and I hope you have a safe and happy new year. :)
"Or am I just too cynical for my own good?
too scared to say,
we'll get there if we should"
Heroes or Ghosts - The Coronas.
When I woke up the next morning, Rose was still snoring loudly in my ear with her arm wrapped around me and her face buried in my hair. I realised after a second that the reason I had awoken so suddenly was because the bed was shaking.
I looked up to see Fred, who was jumping in between us on the bed, and James leaning against the door frame watching, clearly amused.
"What the fu-" I was interrupted mid-sentence by a loud crash as Rose fell out the other side of the bed. Her hair was wild, frizzy and sticking up in every direction as she looked around from her place on the floor.
Her bewildered expression was enough to make me burst out laughing, along with Fred who had to stop jumping and lay on his back on the bed, wheezing for air.
I stood up and made my side of the bed as Rose, too, stood and tried to regain some dignity by combing through her hair with her fingers and holding her nose high in the air.
Fred whistled. "Sorry ladies, wouldn't have disturbed you if I had known you were busy." He said, grinning mischievously.
"What do you mean?" Rose asked, stretching her arms to the ceiling and yawning. James smirked, deciding to join in on the conversation.
"You two, in bed together, in very little clothing." He winked at me and I realised I was only in my underwear and a big t-shirt, and Fred was now staring pretty intensely at my revealed legs.
Rose smacked him over the head. "Stop perving at Violet. She's mine." Rose joked and I grinned. "That's right." I smacked my lips. I felt a familiar lurch in my stomach and walked calmly to the en suite muttering a small "Excuse me."
James was glaring at Fred for some reason, but I found I had other things on my mind as I shut the door behind me and leant over the toilet bowl, emptying my stomach quietly. I flushed the toilet and walked slowly to the sink and washed my hands and brushed my teeth. Morning sickness had become such a normal part of my morning routine, it was now as regular as having breakfast.
When I returned, Rose was alone in her room, seemingly more awake than she was a few minutes ago, "Good morning!" she sang. I raised one eyebrow at her good mood.
"Scorp and Al are coming over today, and Fred and James are here! And, er-" She grimaced, "James invited Chastity."
That is the only word to describe New Years day.
Scorpius, Rose, Fred, Albus, James, Chastity, Me.
Rose greeted Scorpius with a kiss, and blushed a fiery red when everyone whistled and cat-called. Scorpius simply pulled her tighter to him, smiling proudly.
Fred and Albus started playing an insane game of muggle Monopoly, which was so complicated even Rose couldn't keep up with the rules they had invented. (Not that she cared. She just sat on the couch curled up in Scorpius' arms.)
I sat on an armchair in the corner of the room and watched Fred and Albus get increasingly competitive as the played their game, stopping every so often to argue over the rules.
James sat on the couch next to Rose and Scorpius, but there was quite a space between himself and the couple. A space which I could have probably filled, had I not felt extremely awkward sitting beside the unknown father of my unborn child.
The Weasley doorbell rang after about a half an hour and James jumped up and left the room, calling, "I'll get it." I clenched my jaw and secured the mask, steeling myself to act politely. After all, I didn't know the girl at all. She could be perfectly nice.
James entered the room holding hands with Chastity. She pulled him to the couch and curled up into him when he sat down and everyone was silent as she hadn't said anything. James cleared his throat.
"So Chas, this is everyone. Everyone, Chas." We all chorused 'Hello Chastity." (I may have replaced 'Chastity' with 'whore' but I said it under my breath so nobody heard me.)
Chastity nodded at us before tilting her chin up to James and crushing her mouth to his. Taken by surprise, James fumbled a little, hitting his head off the side of the couch. Chastity didn't stop, though. She started to pull him into a lying position on the couch, leaning closer and closer towards Rose and Scorpius.
Together, Rose and Scorpius both stood and moved to the floor beside where I was sitting, both wearing matching looks of disgust on their faces.
Everyone was looking at them with the same expression. Even Albus stopped yelling at Fred about getting out of jail for free to mirror our horror. They were going at it like the world was ending, and James showed no signs of pulling away.
Afraid my tender stomach was going to be sick, I stood and walked towards the kitchen. As I searched through the cupboards, I found myself craving lemon flavoured biscuits. Of course, they had none. Just my luck.
I could hear conversation picking back up in the living room as I sat on the countertop, wondering where I could find some lemon flavoured biscuits. An idea popped into my head and I stood up, and returned to shuffling through the cupboards, extracting flour, butter, milk and eggs.
I took out a huge bowl, and took my hair which had hung down my back, wavy, thanks to the braided up-do, and pulled it into a twisted bun.
I was mixing the butter and the sugar together when I felt someone watching me. Judging by the warm tingle that spread from my fingers to my toes, I think I knew who it was.
"I didn't know you were into baking." A masculine voice teased. I rolled my eyes, but didn't turn around to face him. "Detached yourself from your girlfriend's face, I see?" I mocked, adding the eggs to my mixture.
James pretended to gasp. "Do I detect a hint of jealousy, Beale?" I wasn't even looking at him but I could practically see the smirk on his face.
My cheeks flamed. "Hardly, Potter." I shot back, continuing to stir my batter. All was silent for a moment, before I felt him standing directly behind me. He was as close as he could possibly get without touching me, and I felt shivers run down my back. I could feel his breath blowing on my neck. I stiffened and stopped stirring.
"Are you sure about that, Violet?" He whispered in my ear. I shuddered with pleasure internally, but on the outside clenched my jaw.
I knew being alone with him wouldn't last long. This was pretty much my last chance to tell him I was pregnant. I grit my teeth and sighed.
"Look, James, the thing is-" I was interrupted when James threw a handful of flour in my hair. I twirled around swiftly and looked at him for the first time.
"What. The. Hell." I growled, grabbing a handful of flour from the bowl I had laid out, and chucked it in his face. He gasped and started coughing, his entire face white.
He wiped his eyes clean and narrowed them playfully. "You are so dead." He threatened and I squealed, running around the kitchen island to get away from him.
He chased after me, and I held him off by throwing more flour at him. He growled and grabbed some sugar and poured it down my shirt.
Giggling, I ran back to the middle of the kitchen and grabbed an egg from the fridge. James slowed, raising his hands in surrender. "You wouldn't." He glared at me, and I tapped my chin, pretending to be deep in thought. "Wouldn't I?" I teased, casually passing the egg between my hands.
He took a step back and I grinned, chucking the egg at him, hitting him right in the face. He let out a strangled moan and wiped his eyes. He stayed utterly still for a moment, before raising an eyebrow. "Right." He said calmly, before charging at me.
Caught by surprise, I didn't start running in time. Grabbing me from behind, James wrapped his arms around me and dragged me towards the kitchen island where all the ingredients were laid out. I struggled against his vice-like grip and let out a few screams, making futile attempts to get away.
James stopped and suddenly released me. I looked at him in confusion and opened my mouth to ask him what was wrong when I saw where he was looking.
Standing in the doorway was Chastity Everlynch, glaring at us so hard I thought her gaze might burn through my skull. I took a tentative step away from James, brushing some excess flour from my red shirt. I could only imagine how ridiculous we looked, covered in flour and sugar, with egg dripping from James' chin.
"Um..." I penetrated the silence. Chastity turned to me and gave me the deadliest look I had ever received and I immediately shut up.
She looked to James and placed a forced smile on her face. "Babe, you should go in to your friends. They sent me to get you to sort out some argument about their little game." She waved her hand as if it was all beneath her. "I'll help Violet clean up." She added, the disgust showing on her face as she said my name like it were a bad word.
James nodded quickly and brushed past her and out of the room. She grabbed his arm before he left and kissed him full on the mouth, keeping her eyes open and looking at me the whole time. I shifted from one foot to the other uncomfortably.
Chastity released him and walked into the kitchen towards me. James headed into the sitting room and Chastity turned to me and I began talking. "Do you know any clean up spells? Sorry, I would do it myself but I'm underage so I-"
Chastity held up her hand to stop me from talking. "Listen, bitch." she growled so venomously I took a step back. "Excuse me?" I asked, surprised. Chastity extracted her wand and pointed it at my throat.
"James is mine." She declared. "If I see you flirt, speak or even look at my man ever again, you will not live to tell the tale, do you understand me?" She threatened, pushing her wand into my neck to the point of pain.
I nodded numbly, too terrified to answer her back. "Good." she sneered. She turned and strutted out of the kitchen, waving her wand as she walked, the mess of the kitchen instantly righting itself.
"Oh." She stopped and faced me again. "If you tell anyone about this, you will wake up in the morning with all your hair cut off. Am I clear?" She asked me coldly.
Again, I nodded, too shocked to speak. And with that, she gave me one last death glare before storming out of the kitchen, leaving me stuck to the spot.
Over the next few days leading up to our return to Hogwarts, I made sure to keep as far away from James as I could. The look in Chastity's eyes when she held her wand to my throat, so full of hatred, I had absolutely no doubt she would follow through with her threat if I spoke to James.
Rose and I spent most of our time with Scorpius, since the two of them couldn't seem to get enough of one another since they began dating. They had yet to tell their parents that they were together, and Rose told me she wanted to keep that way for as long as she could.
Even though the war had changed so much about blood purity and family status, even house rivalry, it hadn't changed the way Ron Weasley felt about Draco Malfoy. He tolerated his son at the Burrow because he was Albus's friend, but if he knew Rose or Hugo were to became close to him, he would probably have a fit.
I hadn't seen Lily since New Years Eve. I hadn't sought her out because I knew she would pressure me to tell James, although I didn't blame her. If I had a brother and some girl told me he got her pregnant, I would want her to tell him as soon as possible. But I couldn't. Especially after Chastity's threat.
If she thought running around the kitchen with James was bad, how would she feel about me carrying his child?
I don't think she'd be too happy.
Rose obviously knew something was up. I could even tell I was much quieter since that morning in the kitchen. After Chastity left the kitchen, I continued baking alone, ate a few of my biscuits (Damn they were good) and then faked a headache (not a total lie) and went back up to my bedroom at the Weasley's.
Now on the Hogwarts express, Rose and Scorpius are sat close together with their fingers intertwined while Albus and I sit on the opposite side, playing a game of Exploding snap on the space of the seat between us. I was staring determinedly at the pile of cards between Albus and myself and Rose and Scorpius leant closer together, whispering quietly.
I glared at them. Why was everyone all loved up? Why is everyone getting exactly what they want? Rose and Scorpius, Hugo and his girlfriend, Lily and Lorcan, even Alex and that tall dark stranger... and James and Chastity.
I was just thinking these thoughts when the door to the compartment opened and in stepped James. My heart sped up and I got butterflies in my stomach, before I saw Chastity step in behind him.
James gave me a smile, but I kept my face impassive and pulled my gaze away from deep brown eyes and stared intensely at Albus and our game. I heard Chastity clear her throat, and I looked up at her. She was not clearing her throat at me, thank Merlin, but at James, who was still standing in the doorway of the compartment, unmoving, a look of confusion on his face.
James' expression snapped so quickly that I didn't have enough time to read him, but I could swear for a second he almost looked hurt. I shook my head and continued slapping cards down onto the pile in front of me as James finally moved from the doorway to sit down beside me on the seat.
Chastity fierce glare and I stopped throwing my cards down to look at James. He gave me one of his signature crooked smiles that made my insides melt, but I refused to return it as I usually would. My eyes flickered to Chastity who had sat down next to Rose and Scorpius. She gave me a threatening look and I looked down at my knees.
"You should probably sit with Chastity." I muttered, looking between the two of them nervously. I saw Rose out of the corner of my eye, giving me a weird look, but I didn't return it.
James looked stunned for a second and let out a forced laugh. "You don't want me to sit beside you?" He asked, and I bit my lip. He had no idea how much I wanted to sit beside him. I looked to Chastity, who was fingering her wand, and giving me a smug look. She shook her head subtly, not once breaking eye contact.
"Er... no. I don't." I stammered. James looked at me for a moment, his expression unreadable. Suddenly, he looked furious. He glared at me with so much hatred, I shuffled further away from him on the seat.
"Fine then." He said as he stood up swiftly and took Chastity's hand and stormed out of the compartment, but not before Chastity had the time to give me an arrogant wink.
As soon as the compartment door shut with a bang, I found myself biting back tears. I could not, would not allow myself to cry in front of my friends. I swallow harshly and blinked furiously as Rose let out a deep breath.
"What. The. Fuck?" She spat, her anger staining each word. I glanced up at her and saw her entire face slowly turning as red and her eyes flashed with anger.
I clenched my fist, digging my nails into the palm of my hand, until I was pretty sure I broke skin. "I- I'm sorry, Rose... I didn't mean-" I stuttered, but stopped when I realised I was about to cry. Rose's angry eyes flashed to me and I noticed Scorpius shift uncomfortably in his seat, as he shot me a concerned glance.
"What?" She exclaimed. "You think I'm pissed at you?" Her voice rose several decibels and cringed away, fighting the urge to cover my ears.
"Well... yeah." I said quietly, looking at my knees. I felt Al place a comforting hand on my shoulder. I saw Rose stand up suddenly out of the corner of my eye.
"I saw the looks she gave you, Violet! What the fuck was that about?" She demanded, sitting down beside me and wrapping an arm around my shoulder.
I felt my stomach settle in relief and rested my head on her shoulder. "You're not mad at me?" I asked. She shook her head, but she still still felt stiff with anger.
She pulled away from me and looked me in the eyes. "What's going on, Violet?" She asked solemnly. I shook my head and felt a one of the tears that had built up escape out of the corner of my eye as I thought of Chastity's threat.
"Vi?" Rose asked quietly. I shook my head and closed my eyes, another small tear escaping. I swatted it away, ashamed of myself.
"I can't tell you." I mumbled and Rose looked furious.
"What happened? Did James do something? Did Chastity do something?" Rose looked angrier than I had ever seen her.
I cleared my throat. "Chastity may have mentioned I wasn't allowed speak to James..." I muttered hesitantly. As soon as I did, I regretted it.
"She what?!" Rose screeched. I heard Albus, too, let out a squawk of protest. Scorpius kept quiet, but his grey eyes hardened.
"That bitch!" Rose yelled. "Who the fuck does she think she is? I'll fucking murder her! Where does she get off telling you to ignore one of your best friends?!" Rose cried.
Rose must really be furious if she was swearing this much.
I shook my head. "I'd hardly say we were best friends, Rose..." I tried to calm her down, but she wasn't listening.
"Violet, you have been crushing on that boy for the past year!" Rose stood, waving her arms around like a mad woman. I heard Scorpius' sharp intake of breath at this revelation, but Albus stayed quiet, this piece of news nothing new to him.
"Merlin, Rose! Announce it to the whole carriage, why don't you?" I frowned at her but her gaze didn't falter.
"That bitch should not be banning you from talking to James. I'm going to go have a word with her." Rose said through gritted teeth. She turned on her heel and made her way to the door of the compartment.
"No!" I yelled, running at her and pulling her back down roughly to sit beside me. She flopped back in her seat and looked at me in surprise.
"Why not?" She demanded. Albus and Scorpius watched in silence. Albus's green eyes were glazed over in fury and Scorpius had a look of determination in his eyes that I didn't like.
"You can't tell her I told you!" I insisted with a shudder. "They'll break up soon and it can go back to normal. If she knew I told you..." I trailed off. Albus sat back down beside me and pulled me into a comforting hug.
Rose bit her lip and let out a big breath. "Okay," She muttered, but I could still see the anger in her eyes. "But if she threatens you again, you tell me." Rose demanded.
Rose grabbed my chin and pulled my face towards hers so she could look me in the eye. "Promise me." She said sternly. I looked into her light brown eyes and nodded again.
"I promise." I said seriously. Her eyes were searching mine. I felt the tears starting to fill up again. but I didn't let them fall.
I hated this. Rose was my best friend. My very best friend in the entire world. My studious, level-headed, loyal, neurotic, beautiful best friend, and I was keeping possibly the biggest secret I will ever have from her.
I blinked back my tears quickly and took a shaky breath. "Albus? Scorpius?" I asked as I turned away from Rose to face them. "I need to speak to Rose alone. Would you mind giving us some privacy?" I asked formally.
They both shot me concerned glances but nodded and stood.
"Oh, and boys?" I said, and they stopped to turn and face me. "The deal I made with Rose goes for you two, too. No confronting Chastity, no telling James. Am I clear?" I demanded in an authoritative tone. Both boys nodded their head slowly.
"And Scor?" I mumbled, looking to the floor. "Yes?" He said gently. I felt a blush spread on my cheeks. "Keep the information you learnt today a secret, please." I muttered.
"Got it." He chuckled and I blushed even harder.
I looked up to see Rose lean up and give him a kiss before he left the compartment. Rose and Scorpius looked dreamily into each others eyes and Al rolled his eyes at me and I giggled.
Scorpius and Al turned again to leave but I stopped them again when I sighed and said, "Find Lily and tell her to come here as soon as she can."
"Lily? Why Lily?" Rose asked confusedly once we were left along together. I shook my head. "You'll understand soon enough. Please, just wait, for now." I said with a smile, reaching out and holding her warm hand. She nodded, biting her lip.
It didn't take Lily long to burst into our compartment. "Violet! For the love of Merlin, why are- Oh." Lily stopped her short rant abruptly. "Hey Rose." Lily twisted her fingers together awkwardly and shifted from one foot to the other.
Rose furrowed her brow. "What's going on?" Lily looked at me, unsure, and I swallowed.
"Rose... I need to tell you something." I began, trying to seem calm. "Lily, come here please." I said, gesturing to the free space on the seat to my left. Lily obediently sat down and took my left hand, understanding what I was doing. My right hand remained in Rose's.
I took a deep shaky breath and squeezed Rose's hand tightly. "I love you, Rose. You're my best friend. Ever since first year when I first met you, I knew we would be close, and we have been. And you know, I would be there for you no matter what. And I'd like to think you would be the same for me." I said, my voice rising in pitch toward the end. I glanced at Lily who gave me a sympathetic smile and rubbed her free hand up and down my arm.
Rose had a look of pure confusion on her face. As I was about to begin again, her expression cleared, almost as if a cloud was lifted. A sudden expression of realisation spread over her features and she gasped.
"Oh Merlin!" She cried. I winced, awaiting her lecture. "You two are a couple, aren't you?!" She exclaimed. The entire compartment was silent for about two heartbeats before Lily and I started laughing.
I laughed so hard I got a stitch in my side and had tears running down my face. I glanced at Lily and saw she was in a similar position, bent double and gasping for air.
After about two full minutes of hysterical laughter, I sat up straight and wiped my eyes with my sleeve, still giggling. Lily took my hand again, and I smiled at her.
I turned back to Rose. "Rose... You have no idea how wrong you are." I grinned weakly and reclaimed her hand. I cleared my throat and took a deep breath.
Just do it. C'mon, I thought you were a Gryffindor!
"Ro, I'm pregnant."
The entire carriage fell into silence. I looked at Rose carefully. Her mouth was hanging open and her eyes were wide with surprise. I glanced at Lily quickly, and she returned my concerned gaze.
"Rose... Are you okay?" I asked carefully, waving a hand in front of her stunned face.
She snapped her mouth closed and readjusted her position on the seat. "I don't- I... How did you- who did you- pregnant..?" She mumbled incoherently, her voice sounded hoarse.
"Rose I know this is a shock..." I started, but Rose interrupted me. "A shock? You said you were a virgin!" Rose exclaimed. I still had a hold of her hand, and I squeezed it.
"Last time we talked about it, I was." I sighed. Rose continued staring at me, mouth agape. "Who?" She inquired simply. I shook my head at her.
"I want to tell him first. I would prefer he hear it from me." Rose looked crestfallen.
"What's with all the secrets, Violet? I thought we were best friends! Best friends tell each other things!" Rose said angrily, snatching her hand away from mine.
"Rose..." I looked desperately to Lily, but she remained silent, a sorrowful expression on her face.
"Don't 'Rose' me! I cannot believe you! You go off and have sex with some random guy, and end up pregnant, and yet you don't even tell your best friend?" Rose was now standing, her eyes were full of fury. I felt tears begin to run down my cheeks again as I reached out to her.
"Rose... Please don't-"
"Why is Lily here?" Rose demanded, pointing at her cousin. I looked between the two of them and wiped my tear-stained cheeks. I began to explain. "Lily was the first person to find out. She-"
"Lily?" Rose interrupted, yet again. "You tell Lily, over your best friend of almost six years? This is unbelievable!" Rose cried, waving her arms in disbelief.
"It's not like that, Rose!" I insisted, standing up so we were eye to eye. Rose's own eyes filled with tears and she glared at me. She held up her hand to stop me from speaking.
"Don't. Just don't. I can't believe- I just..." Rose looked totally lost. She turned around and pushed open the compartment door. She looked back at me one last time before exiting the compartment, slamming the door behind her.
It was then that I broke down in sobs. Why was my life such a mess? I'm a pregnant teenager, my child's father hates me, my child's potential step mother is a raging bitch and I just lost my best friend in the entire world.
As Lily enveloped me in a hug and I wailed my eyes out into her warm shoulder, I could not believe how much of a mess I had made of my life.
A/N: ...Well, at least Rose knows now, right? I'm sorry things are so grim at the moment, but after all, this story is in the angst category. This is part is kind of the rock bottom point, but things will get better eventually, I promise.
Thank you for reading, please review!
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