Chapter 2 : Chapter II
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‘Go on, Ava, tell us all what you were doing!’ Lian prompted.
‘You really want to hear the details of the shit I just did?’ I said.
‘Um … well –’ Lian said, furrowing her brow.
‘I can’t believe you had to think about that!’ Lily blanched. ‘Dom, you pick the weirdest friends!’
‘Yeah, well at least I’m still –’ Dom retorted, but stopped halfway.
‘I hope you’re not about to say “normal”, Dom, because you’re anything but normal,’ Al snorted.
‘And don’t say virgin either.’ I put in. Dom glared at me.
‘You can talk, Ava,’ she snapped. Then her eyes widened as she realised what she’d just said.
‘What was that, Dom?’ Molly asked. ‘Did you just say Ava isn’t a virgin? Oh, my God! You did! Ava! You – you – who?’
‘What the hell, Dom,’ I said quickly, ‘you don’t go around saying that people aren’t virgins. It’s just rude.’
‘Yeah, well you’re not a virgin. Everyone knows that.’ I said smugly.
‘Yes, yes, anyway, Ava! When did you –’ Lian started.
‘Never! I never did, okay! Are you happy now? Dom’s just being an idiot.’ I snapped. I chanced a glance at James, who was looking quite amused.
‘Aha!’ Hugo screamed, jumping up. ‘You just looked at James! You did it with James, didn’t you?’
‘You’re a fourteen year old boy, Hugo; I don’t need to answer that. And anyway, I’m looking at everyone. Hey, we don’t want to leave out the firstborn son of The Boy Who Lived, right?’ I gave a stupid giggle. Nobody else laughed.
‘Whatever you say, non-virgin girl,’ Hugo said, shrugging.
‘Watch your mouth, you little freak.’ I laughed, poking him in the side. ‘Are you a virgin, Hugo?’
‘I’m a fourteen year old boy, Ava. Do I really need to answer that?’ He smirked at me.
‘Stop twisting my words, just because you’re too dumb to think of your own comebacks, Baby Ron.’ I snorted at him and grinned.
‘Hey, that’s my little brother you’re talking to. But I suppose you’re right.’ Rose said, nodding her head. ‘Anyway, why are we talking about this anyway? If you hadn’t noticed, it’s the Christmas holidays and it’s – oh my bloody Merlin’s freaking bobble hat! It’s snowing!’
Gee, we’re sixteen years old for God’s sake, I think the novelty’s worn off slightly by now.
‘AAAAAAAHHHH!’ James screamed, jumping over me and – get this – putting his feet on my head to vault over to the window.
I guess the novelty hasn’t worn off just yet.
‘Thanks, James,’ I said. ‘I’ve always wanted to know what your foot felt like on my head. You’re such a gentleman.’
Apparently he didn’t hear me. He and Rose were too busy shoving the window open and leaning out to catch the large snowflakes on their tongues. What are they – three?
‘Once it settles we’re going down for a snowball fight.’ Rose announced.
‘But I don’t like the snow,’ Dom said. ‘It makes my hair go funny.’
‘Tough nubs, bitch!’ Rose growled.
‘What a caring cousin you are, Rosie-pie,’ Dom replied, pouting.
To be honest, I didn’t want to go and have a snowball fight either. Usually I’d be all for it, but now … what if something happened to my … blob? What if I fell on my stomach and killed my blob? What would I do then? Ever since I was little I’d always wanted children (that was BEFORE I knew how babies were made!) because I loved looking after my dollies and putting fake nappies on them and giving them fake baby food.
I mean, yeah, I’m seventeen and I’m doing my NEWTs this year, but I couldn’t just kill it like that. It’d be as bad as having an abortion.
‘How long’s it been snowing for?’ I asked.
‘Well –’ Rose peered out the window. ‘We only noticed it now but – holy Hufflepuff, it looks quite deep! Let’s go now!’
‘Now? As in now now?’ Dom asked, fiddling with her hair.
‘What other kind of now is there?’ Rose rolled her eyes. ‘Duh!’
‘Rose, I swear, if you pull that scarf any tighter, you’ll strangle yourself!’ I warned. I pulled at the neck of my own, finding it too tight.
‘And what a shame that would be.’ Dom said sarcastically. She was trying to avoid putting her woolly hat on, but Molly was trying to force her. ‘Get lost, Lily! This is going to ruin my hair that I spent two hours doing this morning but here goes –’ Going ever so slowly, Dom reached up and placed it on her head, but so loose that it fell off when she nodded slightly.
‘Right Dom!’ Molly picked up the hat and rammed it onto Dom’s head. The stupid part-Veela screamed, clutching at the hair that flowed down her shoulders and sobbing.
‘For Christ’s sake, Dominique!’ Molly yelled. ‘You’re not going to die if your hair isn’t perfect!’
‘You never know, Molly! We might get attacked by zombies who are only repelled by perfect hair.’ Dom said.
‘That doesn’t even make sense! Zombies don’t exist!’
‘This is Hogwarts, Molly dear. Don’t say things like that!’ Dom shuddered. ‘Don’t blame me when we all die because my hair was messed up.’
See, this is why I worry about my mental health.
I slipped on my gloves and did up the buttons on my coat, making sure they protected my stomach.
‘Why are you checking your stomach, Ava?’ Lian asked as she pulled on her thermal socks. ‘Are you pregnant or something?’
Molly stopped trying to wrestle Dom’s hat over her eyes and stared. ‘Well, Ava? Are you pregnant?’
‘No! What is it with you people and all these crazy comments about me being pregnant and having lost my virginity today?’ I demanded. ‘I’m checking I’ve done up all the buttons, stupid.’
‘If you say so.’
I quickly shoved the pregnancy book deeper under my pillow so they wouldn’t see. I was going to tell them soon, hopefully.
‘Right, let’s get down to the grounds! Maybe we can ask Hagrid if he wants to join in!’ Rose squealed. As we were racing down the stairs to the common room, I pictured Hagrid picking up a giant snowball and hurling it at us.
The guys were waiting for us in the common room. I bet all the saw was a flash of red hair that was Rose zooming out of the portrait hole. They caught up with us as we were going through a tapestry for a shortcut.
I didn’t really use shortcuts that much because to be honest, I didn’t trust the castle. Okay, judge me if you want for not trusting a heap of bricks and mortar, but this is Hogwarts. When I was in third year, I took a shortcut not far from here to get to my Charms class and I ended up in the dungeons when I’d taken in the previous day and I was early for class.
Now, Rose and the others rushed down the corridor and disappeared, but when I approached the other tapestry, the floor dipped sharply and I felt myself falling. I could see the floor getting closer – I would fall on my stomach and my blob would die – when suddenly two strong arms grabbed my waist and pulled me upright.
‘Be careful, Ava.’ It was James. ‘We don’t want you falling. Especially on your front, that hurts.’ He had a knowing look in his eyes. I wondered if he knew.
‘James, I –’ I started. I was planning to just come right out and say “I’m pregnant and you’re the father”, but I just ended up staring at him, my mouth opening and closing like a fish.
‘Hurry up, you two!’ Lian had reappeared at the end of the corridor.
‘We’re coming,’ James called. ‘What do you want to tell me?’
I tried to speak but the words didn’t come. I could feel myself getting nervous: my palms got sticky and sweaty under my gloves, the stomach was churning and my neck was getting hot.
So instead of telling him, I did the most stupid thing someone could do in this situation: I leaned forwards, probably intending to kiss him, but then I whacked my forehead against his and ran off.
Avarie de Monte, you are the most stupid girl I’ve ever met! And I’m Avarie de Monte!
No, I can’t blame it on the hormones this time, because this is me. I’d have done this even if I wasn’t pregnant.
‘You were looking very comfortable with James, Ava,’ Lian commented as we caught up with the others. James was trailing a little way behind us, rubbing his forehead and looking confused.
‘Shut up,’ I said.
When we reached the grounds, we found ourselves wading into the knee-deep snow. I was keen to get away from James, who kept calling my name. Not thinking, I jumped forwards, face-first, into the snow. It was harder on impact than I thought it would be, but otherwise it cushioned my fall.
‘Whoa there, girl!’ Dom pulled me up. ‘Be careful. Snow’s harder than you’d expect.’ I scowled at her because James was standing right behind her, looking concerned. I could see a red patch on his forehead. I’m ashamed to say that was me.
‘Hard? Snow’s not hard at all.’ Trying hard to be discreet, I gathered up a load of snow behind my back. ‘What do you say, Dom?’ Before she could figure out what I was about to do, I threw the snowball at her. She was so shocked she fell over backwards.
I didn’t help her up. I laughed and ran (as best as I could) through the snow. Ah, what a good best friend I am!
‘I am so going to get you for that, Ava!’ I heard her scream. I turned, squealed and ducked, just in time. The snowball missed me by inches and slammed straight into Hugo.
Instead of being annoyed and throwing a load of snowballs back at his cousin like I would have done, Hugo cheered and yelled,
‘Let’s get this party started!’
All hell broke loose. I had to stay down in order not to get pummelled by snowballs flying in from all directions. I tunnelled my way through the snow to get to a place behind a huge bush where I made a little hollow to store the snowballs in. I jumped out from behind the bush to throw a snowball or two at someone, then jump back to my hiding place.
I thought this was a very good tactic until Lily discovered I was the Masked Snowball Thrower and they all came charging round to ‘punish’ me. This punishment included snow down my coat, snow in my mouth, and even up my trousers.
‘Ew! Ava, you’ve wet yourself!’ Lian giggled, pointing.
‘That was your idea, you bitch!’ I laughed, launching myself at her. Lian was extremely ticklish, so I knew how to get her.
‘Stop! Stop it!’ Lian screamed with hysterical laughter.
I finally stopped tickling her sides and got up. ‘You get the message now, Lian?’
‘I get it! Don’t attack me again, please!’ Lian begged.
‘I’m not making any promises,’ I grinned at her and offered her my hand. She took it and got up.
‘You’re out of control, Ava! Someone needs to sort you out!’ She meant it as a joke, but someone – James – put his arms around my waist and lifted me clean off the ground, carrying me away.
‘She’s right, de Monte. You’re not telling me something.’ He’d taken me out of earshot of everyone else. They were too busy resuming World War Three to notice. ‘What aren’t you telling me, Ava?’ His brown eyes bore right into mine.
‘Nothing. I mean – I’m not hiding anything from you.’ I insisted. He raised an eyebrow.
‘Are you sure?’
‘I’m sure. Seriously.’
He let go of me and I ran off without a backwards glance. Why didn’t I tell him? My stomach felt weird, like the blob inside me was telling me off for not telling its father.
By the time we’d all decided to go back inside, I was wet, tired and hungry. It was nearly lunchtime, so we got changed and headed down to the Hall. Lian, Molly and Rose got changed before Dom and I did and went down to wait.
‘Dom,’ I muttered. ‘I guess I should tell you who it is …’
‘Well, finally! Who is it?’
‘Um … James.’
‘JAMES?! What the hell, Ava! You did … it with my cousin? That’s a really disturbing mental image!’ Dom shuddered. ‘Well, I guess … hey, if you two get married, we’ll be related! Sort of!’
‘Ava,’ Dom said as we were making our way down to lunch. We were traveling in a pack – the Wotters, Wang and de Monte. She’d pulled me to the back. ‘Have you told him yet?’
‘No,’ I said. ‘Not yet.’
‘Why the hell not?’ Dom hissed. ‘I saw you talking to him earlier. What was that about?’
I shrugged. ‘Seriously, it’s not just “Hey, I’m pregnant and you’re the father!” It’s a lot scarier than that. You do know what an impact a child can make on your life? I’ve heard of really clever witches and wizards in the past who became a parent at our age and they couldn’t get jobs because they were young parents!’
‘Yeah, yeah – look, I don’t care! You are pregnant with the child of my cousin’s father and he needs to know NOW!’ She said the last word loud, and the Wotters and Lian looked round.
‘Who needs to know what now?’ Al asked.
‘Nothing. None of your business,’ Dom snapped. Dom was usually this crabby, so they all shrugged at the same time (which looked very weird from where I was standing) and carried on down the stairs. ‘Listen, Ava, do you want me to tell him?’
‘Well, if you’re not going to get a wriggle on, I’m going to have to. When are you going to tell him – when you’re in labour?!’
‘I’m not going to tell him when I’m in labour!’ Suddenly I realized we’d been talking louder than whispers and the Wotters and Lian stopped and stared.
‘Why would you go into labour, Ava?’ Lily asked. ‘Hold on – are you pregnant?’
‘No! What is it with you people today?’ I demanded. I pushed past them. As I passed James, he tried to grab my arm, but I yanked it out of his reach and continued down the stairs.
I turned around. It was Lian. ‘Oh. Hi. Where are the others?’
‘They’ve gone down to dinner. Are you okay?’
‘Why aren’t you with them?’
‘Because I’m with you. Are you okay?’ she repeated. Instead of going to the Great Hall, I charged my way down the third-floor corridor and past a tapestry into a deserted corridor. I thought nobody was following me, but apparently I was wrong.
‘I’m fine,’ I quickly wiped away the tears that were threatening to fall.
‘You don’t look fine. I’ve known you six years, Ava. I think I’d know when something’s up.’ Lian might be crazy and high, but she was really wise.
I took a shaky breath. ‘Okay. I guess I should tell you now. I’m –’
‘Pregnant, I know.’
‘What? How did you know that? Was it Dom?’ I growled.
‘No. I found the book.’
‘It was under my pillow. Did you –’
‘No, no. I’m not that nosy. It must’ve fallen out. I went up there a few weeks ago, when you were all down in the common room. It was on the floor, but I figured you didn’t want anyone to know, so I shoved it back under your pillow.’ Lian sighed. She twisted her black hair around her finger. I remembered the time, it was a few weeks ago, actually, when she went up there to look for her jumper, because she was cold, and coming back down with a shocked look on her face. ‘Who’s the father?’
‘James Potter? As in – Dom’s cousin? As in Al’s brother?’
‘Noo – the other James we know.’ I said sarcastically.
‘Don’t get snappy with me, young lady. I don’t care if you are a hormonal pregnant seventeen-year-old.’ Lian laughed. ‘Come on. Let’s go down to dinner. You can hold my hand if you want to.’
‘Um … no thanks. I might be a hormonal pregnant seventeen-year-old, but I’m not Hugo, who needs to hold his sister’s hand every once in a while.’ I snorted.
When we arrived in the Hall, the others were settled down. Most of them already had food on their plates. I slid in beside Dom and Lian plonked herself opposite me, forcing her way between James and Al.
‘Wow, look at me,’ she said, ‘I’m sitting beside two hot Potter boys!’
‘We love you too, Lian,’ Al said fondly, patting her arm.
I piled my plate with food, which wasn’t normal for me. Usually I ate the tiniest portions and everyone criticized me for it. But seeing as I was going to get big, I needed a reason before I told everyone I was pregnant. And what better way than to tell everyone I was fat?
‘I told Lian,’ I mumbled to Dom.
‘Well, that’s one less person to tell during labour.’ Dom sniggered. I kicked her under the table.
‘I think I’ll tell Molly tonight. And then there are my parents. Damn. I didn’t think of them.’ I nibbled my fingernails. ‘I suppose I’ll send a letter to them, or –’
‘Ava, you prat! You can’t tell your parents something like that by letter! Look, you’ve got to tell McGonagall, or Dumbledore, or at least Madam Pomfrey. They have to let you tell them face to face.’ Dom scolded. ‘Do you want me to come with you?’
‘Alright then. I’ll go to the hospital wing after lunch, and then I’ll see if I can find McGonagall …’ I made the mistake of looking up at Lian, intending to whisper my plan to her, but instead my eyes flickered towards James, who was giving me a weird look. He knew. He definitely knew. The look on his face said it all. Then he looked down at his plate and became very interested in his food.
Dom finished her lunch and waited for me to gobble down my mountain of food. Once I’d sipped down the last few drops of my pumpkin juice and eaten the last morsel, we got up from the table.
‘Where are you two going?’ Molly asked.
‘Oh, just … somewhere,’ Dom said vaguely. ‘It’s none of your business!’ She grabbed my arm and dragged me out of the Hall. ‘Hospital wing?’
I nodded. We took three shortcuts and were there in five minutes. Feeling anxious, I pushed the doors open. Madam Pomfrey (Junior) was nowhere in sight. I shuffled over to her office door and knocked. Dom was close behind me.
The door swung open and the matron stood there looking irritable. ‘Miss de Monte, Miss Weasley. What is it? Are you feeling ill?’ She pressed a hand to my forehead.
‘No, no,’ I said, quickly stepping away. ‘I’m, um, sort of – pregnant,’ I mumbled to myself.
‘What was that?’
‘Miss de Monte! Really? I’d have put you down as a more sensible one when it comes to – I mean, how far along are you?’
‘A couple of months, I think. I’m getting morning sickness.’
‘That’s quite expected. There’s a bed over there – sit yourself down on it and I’ll be right over.’ Dom and I walked over to the bed. I sat down and started picking at my pink nail varnish.
‘Maybe she’ll tell McGonagall for us,’ Dom said.
‘Hopefully. I don’t want to see what she’ll do to me. Flay me alive, probably.’ I laughed quietly as Madam Pomfrey came towards us, holding a large vial of clear liquid.
‘This is a Sickness Solution. It should help ease the morning sickness. How many of your friends have you told?’
‘Only Dom, Lian and Rose. No one else knows,’ I said, looking at my knees.
‘Even the father?’ I shook my head. ‘Who, may I ask, is it?’
Madam Pomfrey made a tutting noise, like she expected this of him. ‘Well, if you don’t want anyone to know, I can put this in a normal water bottle for you to pass off as water. That way you don’t need to tell them if you’re not ready.’
‘Thank you, Madam Pomfrey,’ I said. She summoned a water bottle and flicked her wand at the vial. The stopper came out and the Sickness Solution poured itself into the bottle. It bubbled and fizzed before settling down and looking innocent like water usually does.
‘Take it every night before you go to bed and you shouldn’t be sick when you wake up,’ she told me.
‘Thank you,’ I repeated.
‘Come back when it’s finished and I’ll give you some more. I’ll give you a scan in two weeks, if you like.’
‘Yes, please. Is Sunday alright?’
‘Of course. Do you want me to tell Professor McGonagall?’
‘Um … no, thank you. I’d rather tell her myself.’
‘Be careful then,’ she warned. ‘Off you go now.’
I picked up the water bottle, thanked her one last time and left with Dom.
‘Are you crazy?’ Dom demanded once we’d left. ‘Why did you tell her not to tell McGonagall?’
‘I figured she might burst into the common room with everyone there and say like “Ava de Monte, you’re pregnant?!” and everyone would be mad at me for not telling them first.’ I shrugged. ‘Come on, she’s probably in her office.’
‘I suggest you tell everyone as soon as possible, Ava,’ Professor McGonagall said. Instead of being mad and angry, her eyes filled with concern. I also noticed the use of my first name, which she never did.
‘I will, I promise.’ I said. Dom was standing behind the chair I was sat on. I stood up. ‘Thanks for understanding.’
The professor nodded and smiled wearily at me. We left the office.
‘Back to the common room? I guess you’d better tell Molly, at least.’ Dom said.
‘Yes. What are we going to tell everyone when I leave tomorrow?’ I said, my eyes widening.
Professor McGonagall had agreed that I should tell my parents face-to-face. I was to leave for my parents’ house tomorrow. Instead of going by train, which would take hours, I was to go to Professor McGonagall’s office at exactly ten o’ clock tomorrow morning to take an arranged Portkey to their house. They’d been sent a letter so they’d know about my arrival. I was going to spend two days with them before coming back to Hogwarts.
Dom and I went back up to the common room. She told the Fat Lady the password and we climbed through.
‘Where have you two been?’ Al raised an eyebrow at us.
‘None of your business,’ Dom growled, shooting him the finger.
‘Where’s Molly?’ I asked. She wasn’t in the common room.
‘In the dorms, I think,’ Lily said. ‘Why?’
Dom shot me an ominous look. ‘No reason,’ I said. Ignoring the weird looks I was getting, I walked quickly across the common room and up the stairs to the dorm.
‘Molly?’ I said quietly. She was rummaging through her trunk.
‘Oh, hi, Ava,’ she said, turning round. ‘You okay?’
‘Yeah. Look, there’s something I need to tell you …’ I sat down on my bed. Molly frowned at me.
‘What is it?’
‘You know everyone’s been going on about me being pregnant …’ Molly nodded, signalling me to continue. ‘I am.’
‘WHAT?! How many of them know?’
‘Only Dom, Rose, Lian and you. I’ve not even told James yet – he’s the father.’
‘James is the father?’ Molly growled. ‘Oh jeez … that’s a lot to take in … you’re going to have my first niece or nephew. Hopefully it’s a girl.’
I laughed. ‘We’ll see. But don’t tell anyone, please.’
‘It’s okay,’ Molly said, smiling at me. ‘I won’t.’ She wandered around the dorm, muttering, ‘Pregnant … Ava’s pregnant … James is the father … what the hell?’
I was glad she took it so well. So far nobody got mad at me for being pregnant, and none of James’s cousins turned me into a slug or something. The Weasley Women are very famous for that.
Molly gave me a hug. ‘How far along are you?’
I pulled my trunk out from under my bed and started shoving things in it. ‘Two months. I’m going home tomorrow so I can tell my parents about it, but I’ll be back in two days.’
‘But … what are you going to tell everyone?’
‘I’m going to have to tell them the truth.’
It’s going to be tricky. But hopefully I’ll survive.
AN: Hello :) First of all, thanks for reading this. I hope you enjoyed it! It’s a little longer than the first one, but hopefully it didn’t bore you. So what do you think of the chapter? Did you like it? Didn’t you? Tell me what you think ’cause that review box is starving. Hopefully the next chapter will be up soon! xxx
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