A/N: Sorry this one took quite a while to get out there, but I have my mock exams coming up next week *screeches* and I've been doing my best not to get distracted and procrastinate. It's not really working. On the bright side, this chapter is the longest one yet!
There's an old voice in my head†
that's holding me back
Well tell her that I miss our little talks.
Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men†
The past few days had passed by in a blur of lessons, sleeping and throwing up, and before I knew it, it was Thursday.
The last couple of days had been so difficult because whenever I walked into a room Rose was in, she would ignore me for a while before walking out, without saying a word. This happened a lot, considering we were roommates and had pretty much all of the same classes together.
James was worse. He and Chastity stayed pretty much joined at the hip. (Although, it was more usually the mouth.)
Whenever Chastity would see me in the same room as the two of them, she would glance at me before practically jumping on James and sticking her tongue down his throat. What made it worse was that I knew she just did it to piss me off. Shamefully, it worked.
This seemed to please Chastity. There wasn't a second that went by where I didn't want to smack that smug look off her face. I wonder how pretty she would look with only two teeth?
To top it all off, I looked like shit. My sleeping habits had gotten worse, if that were possible. I was paler than ever, I had terrible bags underneath my eyes as though I had been punched in the face, and even my hair seemed to have lost the luster it had gotten during the first trimester of my pregnancy. Now it was dull, lifeless, and hung in knots down my back.
Sitting in the library trying to study Herbology, I couldn't seem to stop my mind from wandering off. My scan was this Saturday, only two days away. That was two days until I had to tell James.
Although... had I really considered all my options? Who said I had to tell James? I could very easily leave for Mexico in the morning and raise my child as a single mother. I could name him or her Carlos or Juanita and teach them Spanish as a first language. Nobody would ever have to know.†
That plan would be flawless if there wasn't the small problem of Lily. And Rose, for that matter. I could obliviate them, I suppose. But first I should probably learn the obliviation charm...
Albus slapped down in the chair next to me and a cloud of dust swarmed around us from the large stack of books he had slammed against the table.
He smiled brightly at me, and without saying anything, opened up a book and began to read. I sighed, and returned to my Herbology.
Plants, plants, plants, yadda yadda yadda.†
After a while, I stifled a yawn and looked at my watch. Nearly six, so dinner would be being served soon. I closed my book with a thud, not having learnt anything.
The chair scraped loudly against the wooden floor as I stood and looked to Albus. "Dinner'll be starting soon. You coming?" I forced a false smile on my face, although I knew he could see through it.
"Yeah. I just-" Albus stopped talking as the seventh year Slytherin, Niall Nott, entered the deserted library. "Actually, I need to finish this. I'll follow after you, 'kay?" I gave him a small nod and gathered up my book and pieces of parchment and I strolled out of the library.
After dropping my books back to my room, I made my way down to the Great Hall quite quickly. As soon as I entered, I walked automatically to the Gryffindor table to sit down with Ruby and Alex.
Since our fight, Rose left her usual spot beside me at meal times to join Scorpius at the Slytherin table. In return, Albus left the Slytherin table to come sit with us on the Gryffindor side.
"Violet!" I looked up at the sound of my name coming from Alex, who was sitting directly in front of me. "What do you think?" She said, leaning toward me in wait of an answer. I looked between the two of them briefly.
"Um... what was the question again?" I asked, feeling my cheeks warm with embarrassment.
Alex sighed and Ruby rolled her eyes. "Kevin. What do you think? Of him, I mean."
I searched my brain for any sign of recognition at he sound of his name. "The name doesn't ring a bell," I told Alex.
She raised her eyebrows in silent question. "Kevin? The guy I've talked non-stop about?"
"Sorry..." trailed off. Alex closed her eyes for a moment and I got the feeling she was trying to calm herself.
"Look, Violet." She started. "I know you're having a bit of a tough time at the moment, with Rose and James and all, and when you're ready to talk to us you can. But could you maybe try to listen to me every once in a while?" Alex rubbed her temples in frustration.
I looked down at my empty plate. I hadn't felt much like eating lately. Usually when I did, I threw it up within a few minutes. "I'm sorry. I've just... I've been dealing with some stuff." I pulled at the end of my messy ponytail and kept my eyes on the plate in front of me.
I heard Alex sigh and I looked up at her wide, hazel doe eyes. "I know. And we've tried to be understanding, but you won't let us. Something is obviously going on and I've tried giving you space, but it's hard. Whatever it is, I know you'll tell us when you're ready, but it's clearly taken a toll on you. You haven't been looking in best spirits lately so I-"
"Basically, you look like shit, Violet." Ruby blurted out. I scowled at her and rubbed a hand over my face. "Thanks." I spat.
I pushed my plate away, rested my forehead on the wooden table and let out a groan. "I'm sorry, okay? I just need to work through a few things. I promise I'll listen to you." I said, keeping my face pressed against the table.
I heard Ruby chuckle and without raising my head, I made a very rude hand gesture.
I only lifted my head when I felt the pressure of someone sitting down on the bench next to me. I looked up to see Al, who was reaching across the table immediately to grab a chicken leg off a platter in the middle of the table.
Alex, Ruby and Al fell into comfortable conversation, while I sat back and let their chatter fade into mindless buzzing as I let my thoughts wander.
Two days. My scan was in two days time. I wasn't stupid. I knew I couldn't put off telling people for much longer. It was getting harder and harder to hide my growing waistline. I looked like I had enjoyed far too many pies over the last few weeks.
I also knew James had a right to know, but until he detached himself from Chastity's face, I was a bit reluctant to discuss the fact his life would be over in about five months. This reluctance was only made worse by Rose's reaction to my news. My best friend wasn't speaking to me, how would my one night stand deal with it?
My mind was once again interrupted by a tap on my shoulder. Damn it, could I not have two minutes to ponder the end of my life as I know it?
I turned my head around and was shocked to see Rose standing behind me, looking extremely awkward. "Can I have a word?" She asked a she fiddled with the rose pendant around her neck that I had gotten her for her fourteenth birthday.
I swallowed and nodded, and followed her from the table to the large oak doors leading from the Great Hall to the Entrance Hall. We walked together down the corridor of classrooms in silence before entering the one farthest away from the hall.
The room was freezing cold and covered in dust, so I wrapped my arms around myself in a vain attempt to preserve some body heat. I stood by the door while Rose walked further into the classroom and sat down on the teacher's desk.†
Rose sighed and looked up at me for the first time. "I'm a raging bitch, aren't I?"
I almost burst into laughter, but I managed to restrain it slightly, so it came out as a snort. "A bit." I gave her a half-hearted smile, and she looked at me for a moment, before suddenly she burst into tears.
I stood still in surprise for a second before rushing across the abandoned classroom to wrap my best friend in a hug. Rose was shaking as tears streamed for her eyes. She buried her face in my shoulder and let out a wail. "I'm so, so so-orry!" Her voice was wavy with hysteria and I tried to calm her down, giving her shoulder reassuring pats.
"Don't worry about it." I murmured as I stroked her hair. This only seemed to upset her more as she pushed me away and looked up at me through wet, blood-shot eyes.
"Don't worry about it?" She wiped her cheek in an attempt to dry it off, but as soon as it was clear, new tears took it's place. "Don't worry about it?!"
Rose pulled away from me and began pacing back and forth. "Violet, do not be nice to me! I yelled at you for being a bad friend, and I turned around and abandoned you when you needed me most! I'm the bad friend here. You have no idea how ashamed I am of myself. I can't imagine going through what you're going through. Being threatened, losing your best friend-" Rose let out a sob and I looked at the ground uncomfortably trying to blink away me tears. Rose took a shuddering breath.
"And a baby, on top of everything else. I'm a terrible person... I should have seen this sooner. You've been so emotional lately and I didn't even think twice as to why." Rose's eyes were still streaming tears as she finished her speech.
"Oh Rose..." I soothed softly, reaching a hand forward to rest on her shoulder and stop her incessant pacing. †"You are not a bad friend. You were just in shock, that's all."
Rose looked at me through tear-filled eyes, "I've really missed talking to you. I'll make it up to you, I swear. You don't have to tell me who the father is, if you don't want to. From now on, I'm totally here for you. Consider me your child's second parent."
I brushed away the tears escaping from my eyes and pulled Rose into yet another hug. "I'd like that very much, Rose." I murmured into her shoulder.
Rose tightened her hold on me as we both tried to stop crying.
(I swear I never used to cry. Pregnancy is turning me into a total wuss.)
Rose pulled away and wiped her eyes with her sleeve and took a deep breath through her nose. "We really need to stop doing that." Rose chuckled as she threw an arm over my shoulder and we exited the classroom together.
I rolled my eyes and wrapped my arm around her waist, glad to have my very best friend back again.
I woke up the next morning with a feeling if impending doom in the pit of my stomach.
It was Friday. My scan was tomorrow.
I couldn't keep this from James anymore. Whether he is dating Chastity or not, I will tell him today. Even if we aren't speaking at the moment. He needs to know.
Rose and I were the only two left in our room, after the other girls had left for breakfast. She sat perched on her bed, her eyes followed me, clearly amused, as I flew around the room with a toothbrush sticking out of my mouth, one arm in my shirt, one leg in a pair of tights, and hopping around trying to zip up the side of my now far too tight school skirt.
"Don't help or anything!" I snapped at Rose, who grinned before crossing the room and grabbing hold of the side of my skirt. I took a deep breath and stayed very still as Rose grabbed the zipper with her right hand, and steadied herself by resting her left hand on my hip.
She struggled with the zip for a few moments before she gave up and let go. We both released the breath we had been holding and I began to feel tears pricking the back of my eyes.
"Why won't it zip up?" I cried, angrily stepping out of the traitorous skirt and giving it a kick for good measure.
"Because you're having a baby," Rose bent down and picked up the skirt and folded it quickly. "You know, your baby is already the size of an apple."
I stopped re-buttoning my shirt and turned to Rose. "What?" I said. Rose looked up from Alex's trunk where she was searching for something.
"Your baby is about the size of a small apple now." She repeated.
I rested a hand on my slightly bulging stomach. "Really?" The feeling of annoyance at not being able to fit into my skirt was replaced with a feeling of pride.
My baby was growing all by themselves! How smart was that?
"How do you know that?" I questioned Rose as she pulled out a scrap of black material from Alex's trunk with a triumphant "Aha!"
Rose tossed the fabric at me and I caught it with both hands. "I did some reading. After our fight on the train I snuck into the restricted section and found a few pregnancy books." Rose sat back down on her bed as she spoke and I realised the piece of clothing she had thrown at me was Alex's spare school skirt.
I slipped it on over my now-adjusted tights and buttoned it up at the waist. It was very snug, but miraculously, it fit. Luckily Alex was a bit more on the chubby side. I hoped she wouldn't mind me borrowing her skirt.
"Why did you do that?" I asked Rose as I shrugged on a grey cardigan over my shirt, trying to ignore the straining of the buttons across my stomach.
Rose stood and handed me my tie and robes and she started walking towards the door. "I was worried about you. I was annoyed you hadn't told me first, but you were still my best friend." Rose said as we walked together down the girl's staircase.
I gave her a grateful smile as we walked out of the common room and down the stone hallway. We made it down to the great hall quite quickly and walked through the open oak doors.
As we got closer to our table, I stopped in my tracks when I realised there were more people in our area then there would normally be.
Rose continued to walk on, not realising I had frozen. She turned to the side as if to say something, but stopped when she noticed she was walking alone.
She whipped her head around a few times, obviously trying to see where I had vanished to. When she turned around and saw me standing there, she walked back to where I was frozen.
"Vi? What's wrong?" Rose asked, before I saw panic set in to her features. "Oh Merlin, is there something wrong with the baby?"
I snapped out of my trance and shushed her. "Keep your bloody voice down!" I snapped, looking around to see if anyone had heard. Thankfully, nobody seemed to have noticed us yet.
"Well, what's the matter then?" She inquired.
I shook my head. "Nothing. Come on." Together we walked up to the table and I swallowed hard as we were greeted by everyone. Except for two people. Two people who shouldn't be there.
James and Chastity.
Steeling my resolve, I nodded. This is it. After breakfast, I will be telling James.†
As we sat down, I saw understanding lit up in Rose's eyes. She shot Chastity a glare and sat down next to me on the bench where I had joined Albus.
The chatter continued on, except for Rose and James who stayed as I silent as I was.
Chastity was very involved in the conversation, interrupting people and blurting out random snide comments in her nasally voice. Every time the conversation went in a different direction, she would try to steer it back around until she was the centre of attention again.
When she spoke, she took large bites from an apple, making me wince and press a protective hand to my stomach.
As I sat there, a wonderful smell began to invade my nostrils. I looked searchingly up and down the table, looking for the source. Seeing nothing of interest, I sniffed the air. Deciding to follow the scent, I stood and walked towards the direction of the smell, leading me straight to the Ravenclaw table.
There, in the middle of the table, sat a stack of glorious golden pancakes, piled high on top of one another, beautiful steam rising from the top, and running syrup dripping down the side. Swallowing the excess saliva in my mouth, I turned to look at the group of Ravenclaws sitting in front of the pancakes.†
"Do you mind?" I asked, pointing towards the platter. They all looked up at me in confusion, but nodded. Grinning, I picked up the entire platter and went back to the Gryffindor table.†
As I got closer, I heard Fred speaking.
"...She was gorgeous, I tell you. Got hardly any sleep at all the entire summer." Fred boasted, puffing out his chest in pride.
It was immediately obvious to me that Fred was talking about the mysterious blonde he had spent his summer with while he was over in Romania visiting his Uncle Charlie. The blonde who he bragged about constantly ever since he returned.
I sat down at the table, and instead of putting a few of the pancakes onto a plate for myself, I dove straight into the huge platter with a knife and fork, ignoring the looks I was getting from everyone around me.
"She had amazing legs." Fred sighed resting his hand under his chin. "Alas, it was not meant to be." Fred lay a hand over his forehead dramatically, earning him a giggle from Rose and Ruby.
Deciding the pancakes were missing something, I picked up a can of whipped cream and squirted it all over the top of the pile.
James rolled his eyes "Please give it a rest, Freddie. I'm sick of listening to you go on about 'Ikea' or whatever her name is."
Fred glared at him. "You're just jealous! I bet you get hardly any action."
Stabbing at the pancakes with a fork, I tried not to laugh. James Potter should not be getting any action. At all. Just look at the consequences!
Chastity laid a hand on James' chest and gave him a sickly sweet smile. "He gets just plenty, thank you very much." She said snootily.
It just so happened that I had just take a huge forkful of pancake when Chastity spoke. Out of surprise, I took in a large breath of air, and managed to get a bit of pancake accidentally stuck in my throat.
Bright red in the face, I coughed and hacked away as Rose patted me on the back to try and help me remove the lodged piece of food from my oesophagus.
When I finally composed myself and looked up, I saw several amused faces looking back at me. Except one.
"Gross!" Chastity sneered, wiping down her face as if I had spat on her, even though she sat furthest away from me.
I cleared my throat and pressed my lips into a line. Chastity sniffed. "Maybe you shouldn't be eating so much, Violet. It's no wonder you're choking on the amount of food you try to shove down your throat."
Ruby, Rose and Albus all jumped to my defense. "Excuse you?" Ruby demanded, pointing a finger at Chastity.
Chastity scoffed and flicked her hair over her shoulder. "Well, it's not like it's breaking news or anything. It's clear to everyone that Violet's been looking very heavy lately."
Everyone was stunned at her random insult. Even James looked shocked. "Chastity!" He said, in a what the hell kind of voice.
Chastity shrugged. "All I'm saying is that she needs to cut down on her carb intake."
I shot Chastity a glare as I slowly stood from my seat. "I do not need to cut down on my carb intake, thank you very much."
It was when I straightened from this position that it happened.
The second last button on the cardigan I was wearing came away with an audible 'pop' and skittered across the oak dining table, coming to a stop directly in front of Chastity's plate, as though for inspection.
I turned bright red as Chastity clicked her tongue and picked up the shiny button between her thumb and index finger. She brought the button closer to her face and inspected it before looking up at me. "Clearly."
I let out a huff and spun on my heel and began to walk away from the table. Rose followed after me, reaching out to touch my arm, but I shook my head. "I'm just going back to the common room, Rose. Just... let me be alone for a while, okay?"†
Rose nodded in understanding and went back to the table, as I marched out of the hall with the little dignity I had left.
After a few minutes of walking around the corridors, I started mentally smacking myself. I was meant to tell James about the baby after breakfast! What the hell was I doing, running away just because of a few mean comments from Chastity?
I took a deep breath and decided to turn around and head back to the Great Hall. As I turned, I found myself banging straight into a five-foot tall red head.
"Lily?" I asked in surprise.
Lily gave me a serious look before waving her hand in a 'follow me' gesture and stalking off down the corridor. Breathing a sigh of relief at not having to go and talk to James immediately, I gave a small shrug before following after Lily to the direction of the common room.
When we reached the Fat Lady, Lily called out the password and climbed through the portrait hole. Following behind her obediently, we both entered the empty common room in silence.
Lily stood in the middle of the room with her hands on her hips as she gave me a reprimanding stare. Even though I was two years older than Lily, she still somehow managed to seem much older and wiser than I was.
She released a deep breath and pinched her nose. "Violet." She said seriously. "Enough is enough. You need to cut the crap and just tell the truth."
My eyes widened and I looked around me quickly to make sure that we were truly alone. Seeing what I was doing, Lily shook her head. "Everyone is at breakfast. I followed you from the Great Hall."
I nodded slowly before swallowing and closing my eyes. "I know. I bloody well know. Do you think this is easy, Lily? Having the burden of potentially ruining someone's life on your shoulders? Never mind the fact that this is James Potter we're talking about. His dad is Harry Potter, for Merlin's sake! Do you realise how big this will be? Everyone will know! Everyone will be talking about it! This isn't something I can just blurt out!" I defended.
"I am well aware of who James' father is, since he is my brother." Lily clenched her jaw. "I'm not an idiot, Violet. I knew this wouldn't be an easy thing to say. Which was fine a few weeks ago! But your scan is tomorrow. It's not like you're getting any smaller." Lily eyed the small bulge of stomach peeking out from behind the popped button of my cardigan.
"Thanks." I murmured sarcastically as I pulled the cardigan tighter around myself. Lily rolled her eyes. "You know what I mean."
Rubbing a hand over my face, I thought over everything.
Why was I being such an idiot? The longer I left this, the worse the repercussions would be. When was I finally going to work up the courage to tell James? When I was in labour? On the baby's tenth birthday? On their graduation?
One thing was for sure, I needed to tell James. As soon a possible. Before he heard it from Professor McGonagall tomorrow.
"Alright." I sighed. "Okay. I can do this." Releasing a deep breath, I looked to Lily for confirmation. She nodded briskly, a proud smile on her face.
"You can do this." She agreed.
Here we go.
Closing my eyes briefly, my determination set in. I turned to walk towards the portrait hole, but just as I reached it, it swung open and hit against the wall with a bang.
Wincing at the sharp sound, I looked up to see who the intruder was. As soon as I saw them, my blood ran cold. Chastity.
Chastity alone was scary enough, but nothing frightened me more than the expression on her face. The pure, unadulterated hatred and fury. I'm sure if she were a cartoon, smoke would be pouring from her ears.
"You little BITCH!" She cried a she stormed into the common room. How she got the Gryffindor password, I don't know. I didn't really have time to think it over as the furious girl started to approach me like a lion stalking it's prey.†
Slowly backing up, I raised my hands in an 'I'm unarmed' gesture. Even though my wand was tucked into my pocket, I wasn't about to aggravate her further my pointing it at her.
"Chastity?" Lily asked innocently, looking between the two of us in confusion and alarm. Of course. Lily had barely spent more than two minutes with the girl, she had no idea of what she was capable of, or the threat she had given me.
Looking slowly to Lily, I gave her a fake reassuring smile, which I'm sure looked totally forced. "Lils, I think you should step outside for a while."
Lily shook her head and was about to say something when Chastity cut her off as she whipped out her wand and pointed it at her. "Nobody goes anywhere, do you hear me?" she demanded.
Shocked at her loud voice, I nodded shakily and I saw Lily do the same.†
"I'm sure you know why I'm here." She spat, taking a threatening step toward me. Automatically, I took a step back and fought off my natural instinct to pull my wand out.
It isn't just you anymore, Violet. Think of the baby. Your baby. Do not make Chastity feel threatened. You do not, under any circumstances, want her to attack.
I nervously swallowed. "I have no idea why you're here, Chastity."
She scoffed. "Bullshit. Of course you know why I'm here." She hissed angrily, taking yet another step toward me. When I reversed another step, I ended up backed up against a set of bookshelves.
The fear in my stomach swelled and swirled around as I realised she had me cornered. "I honestly don't." I said.
Chastity let out a scream of frustration. "You know exactly why, you little slut! James dumped me. Because of you."
My eyebrows rose in surprise. "Because of me?" I squeaked.
"Yes, you ignorant little pig. Because I was 'rude' to you!" She exclaimed angrily, still holding the wand at me. "I warned you to stay away from him! I asked you very nicely. How do you repay me? By convincing my boyfriend to break up with me!" Chastity's voice was steadily getting louder, and I was gradually growing more fearful.
"Don't worry. We'll be okay. It will be alright. She won't hurt us," I thought comfortingly towards the baby.
"I didn't convince him to break up with you! I haven't even spoken to him!" I cried, desperately trying to get her to believe me.
"Stop LYING!" She shouted furiously.
Before I could reply, the portrait hole was thrown open again to reveal Rose and James, both red and panting from exertion. James's eyes flickered from Lily, to Chastity, then finally, to me.
When our eyes met, I tried frantically to get him to see all the sorrow and guilt I felt.
"Violet." He whispered, fear lacing through his features.
Chastity let out a cackle. "Look who's come to join the party!" She exclaimed. James eyes never left mine, his eyes seeming to be holding an expression of utter pain.
I could feel Rose watching me anxiously, but I couldn't seem to tear my eyes away from James. My mind raced with all the regrets and secrets I had kept as panic began to take over.
"It's about time you got what you deserved, Violet Beale." Chastity said threateningly.
James eyes flickered towards her, and he tried to reach forward. "Chas..."†
"No! Don't you dare defend her James!" Chastity yelled, interrupting him.
Her blazing eyes turned to me. "You. This is all your fault! I warned you! I fucking warned you to stay away from my James!" Her fury seemed to be radiating from her as she lifted her arm, which was shaking with rage, to point her wand directly at my heart.
I took a deep breath as her expression suddenly changed to be shockingly calm. "Now you have to pay." She said serenely.
A bright flash of light emitted from the end of her wand and hit me square in the chest and I felt the pain of a million blades slice through my entire body as I was thrown backwards.
In the distance I heard a blood-curdling scream. It could have belonged to me, but I wasn't entirely sure.
Time seemed to move in slow motion as I felt myself slam into the bookshelves behind me and I heard the pounding of books falling to the floor, and felt agony rip throughout my entire body.
Various shouts and screams filled my ears as I landed to the floor with a loud crack.
Then everything went black.
A/N: ...Uh oh.†
Thoughts? Predictions? Criticism? I wanna hear it! Please review :)
'Till next time,