Chapter 1 : Beginnings and Endings
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Venus Howards was pacing the room absently, thoughts whirling in her head constantly. Her forehead was sweaty, her dark hair sticking to it. She didn’t know what she was going to do, and was scared to death. She went to the dustbin desperately, picked up the pregnancy test again and tapped it with her wand for the third time. It made an odd, loud piping sound and showed green lines. Venus sighed as she dropped it again and sat down with her head in her hands. Fear crept into her heart as she thought about the consequences of her mistake. She knew her mother was going to kill her.
Jane Howards, her mother, was a former Death Eater but was never caught by the ministry. She had taught Venus to respect the Dark Lord and hate the Potter family. She was all ready to make life impossible for the Weasleys and the Potters but all her careful plans were undone from the moment she saw James Potter. He was so handsome… and the way he smiled at her on the Hogwarts Express, when she asked him if she could sit there… how she had known he was James Potter after Professor McGonagall called his name at the Sorting… her reaction to the mention of the name… she smiled subconsciously as the memories came to her.
She could still remember how angry she was with herself after realizing that she’d actually made friends with James Potter. She hadn’t even said a hello to him for weeks, ignoring his cheery waves at her. Kate- her best friend- had told her many times that she should just listen to her heart instead of her mother and Venus knew what she wanted. The friendship of two months and then they had kissed on the dark Astronomy tower under James’s invisibility cloak. And then- Venus sighed- the night of Christmas when they were alone and James had taken her to his dormitory… the warmth of his hands, the smell of him, the feeling of his lips on hers…
“Is that you, V?” a familiar voice made Venus come back to reality. Her best friend- Kate Merdge- was standing at the bathroom door, staring at her. She seemed to have noticed that Venus had spent quite a long time in the bathroom from the way she looked at her. Venus let out a sigh and shook her head anxiously.
“Yup,” she managed to say through her shaking lips after a minute or two. She could feel that her cheeks were hot and probably red too.
Kate walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind her and made her best friend stand up. For Kate, Venus was like an open book. She could never hide anything from her for a long time.
“What’s wrong?” she asked softly, placing her hand on Venus’s shoulder soothingly. Venus took a long, quivering breath before she spoke.
“Kate, I’ve made a terrible mistake.”
Kate’s grip on her shoulder became tighter, her eyes widened with surprise and her voice began to shake.
“Don’t tell me you’ve broke up with James Potter!” she demanded.
Venus lifted her friend’s hand away from her shoulder and said,
“No, it’s not that,” she murmured, trying to gather her courage. “it’s just-“
But Kate had already moved away from her, to the dustbin that stood there. Her jaw dropped when she gaped inside it.
“Venus-Howards,” she said slowly with disbelief, “you-have-slept-with- James-Potter and- now-you-are-pregnant.”
“It was just one time, Kate,” Venus protested anxiously, “We didn’t mean to-“
“You didn’t mean to?” said Kate in a strange shocked way. “Venus, you stayed here for Christmas for the first time and so did James! This was well-planned.”
Venus clapped her hands on her ears, making Kate stop. She knew it was well-planned, but consequently they had taken all the right precautions.
“I know, but we did use a charm as a protection,” explained Venus, “James found it in a book and he seemed quite sure about it.”
Kate rolled her eyes.
“Those kind of spells are highly dangerous, don’t you get that? How could you trust some spell you didn’t even know?”
Venus had no answer. She just shrugged.
“I don’t know what to do now.” she confessed shakily.
Kate took a deep breath and patted her on the back sympathetically. It wasn’t the right time to yell at her friend.
“V, you have to talk to your parents.”
“Well, you can at least talk to James, can’t you?” she asked. “You could use the empty classroom at the corridor just behind the Great Hall.”
Venus opened her mouth and closed it again. She just had to let him know. It wasn’t fair to keep him in dark. He was the father of her future child and it all was mostly his mistake. He had persuaded her by swearing that the spell worked after all. But then a horrible thought came to her.
“What if he refuses to take the responsibility?” she said suspiciously, but Kate groaned.
“You know he won’t do anything like that.”
“Okay, fine then,” said Venus, shoving the sticky hair away from her forehead. She had to do it. She gathered all the courage she had and walked to the door, like a warrior or something.
“He’s in the Great Hall, I just saw him.” Informed Kate as Venus opened the bathroom door and stepped out. She just nodded and strode away, leaving Kate there.
When Venus entered the Great Hall, James was sitting at the Gryffindor table with his friends and cousins, sipping pumpkin juice from a goblet. Rose was probably telling him something funny, as he was laughing so loudly that it could be heard from the entrance of the Great Hall. Knowing that the laughter is soon going to die, she braced herself and went to him. When she reached the table, both James and Rose turned to see her. James waved at her cheerily and Rose grinned, but Venus couldn’t respond. It was like she had forgotten how to smile.
“James, we need to talk.” She said firmly.
James frowned at her, the goblet of pumpkin juice still in his hands. He hadn’t seen her so serious in the past two years. He turned his head to shoot a questioning look at Rose, but she quickly turned her head and became absorbed in a conversation with Albus, who was sitting beside her. Some girls from Gryffindor, who were dying for some news to gossip about, were eyeing them from their chairs.
“Merlin, you look damn serious, V,” he puzzled, “what’s wrong?”
“Not here, James,” she said sharply, gesturing at the girls with her eyes.
James rose from his seat and walked out of the Great Hall without asking further questions. She really looked very solemn and he knew he had done something horrible. Venus led him into the empty classroom Kate had suggested, closing the door behind her. She made him sit on a bench and she sat beside him.
“Go ahead,” he said, staring at her with curiosity. Venus took a deep breath.
“James, I think I’m- I’m pregnant.” She said briskly in a low voice. James gave a loud yelp and rose from his seat.
“Venus, that’s not possible!” he said loudly, “We- we used the charm, didn’t we?”
“Are you sure about the charm?” she queried, pushing him back on the bench, “I mean, what if it was fake or made up or something?”
James waved the thought off eagerly.
“No, it was bound to be correct. I found it in a book full of naughty things that I bought in Diagon Alley. It’s not that reliable, but the other things I tried worked.”
Venus would’ve asked him what exactly had worked, but it wasn’t the right time to discuss it. She couldn’t say anything, so she just shrugged. A teardrop rolled down her cheek slowly.
“Well, let’s not talk about the charm,” said James softly, putting his arms around her, “we need to decide what to do. First of all, we have to let our parents know.”
“Have you totally lost it?” sobbed Venus on his shoulders, “My mother will banish me from her kingdom! I mean our house!”
He smiled a little and pulled her closer to him.
“Then you can come and live with me.”
A weak laugh escaped Venus’s mouth as he kissed her on the cheek tenderly. Everything seemed better now. James was so… nice.
“I love you,” she said.
“I love you, too,” he responded and they embraced.
A loud voice made them jump away from each other. Kate entered the room, excited than ever and ran towards them.
“Kate! Are you-“
“Venus Howards!” Kate interrupted her angry remark, “You are such a headcase! Can’t you read the instructions properly before using a pregnancy test?”
“What are you talking about?” she asked.
“Venus, the pregnancy test showed green lines,” she said.
“So, green lines mean, it’s negative!” she caught her shoulders and shook her with excitement.
James and Venus stared at her for a long time with surprise and then began to laugh. The strained atmosphere was filled with happiness, as they laughed and talked. Venus couldn’t believe it was all for nothing. She glanced at James and Kate with satisfaction. Now she was sure she wouldn’t even risk making a mistake like that until she was married.
“I hope I could tell the same news to James after years,” she thought, “and then we’d all be happy.”
You should make sure before you declare. Sometimes, that helps you face the truth.
Hi! I've edited this story out and I've added some details about the relationship of Venus and James. It has a backstory now because of the lovely reviewers that suggested the change. =]
If you've read this, please let me know what you think about this!
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