Chapter 1 : Chapter of the First
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I receive an owl from my mother, the contents of which say something along the lines of how I should be having fun, enjoying my teenage years, and making friends. There are many mums out there who have to beg their daughters to stay in. I think my mum is the only ones to tell their child to go out and have fun at parties.
But perhaps I will go out and socialize. Maybe there really is something to this whole friend business. Going to a Gryffindor party is probably not the best way to start off with making friends, but I had no other option. Gryffindor parties are legendary for their alcohol, drunk teenagers, messy common rooms, and occasionally, getting caught by professors. The first years always cleared out of the tower and stayed with a friend in another house in the next day, and I, well, I holed myself up in my room. My only other option however is approaching seventh years at random, which doesn’t sound like a bad idea except for the fact that I will most likely scare them off instead of encourage feelings of friendship.
When the time arrives to get ready for the party, I rather reluctantly put on a plain, short-sleeved blue dress that stops at my knees and shows no cleavage. When I arrive in the Gryffindor common room, music is blasting, people are dancing and a few are sitting around in chairs drinking and talking. Some are drunk, a few are snogging and some are passed out in corners.
The majority, however, seems to be, for the most part, inebriated; Louis Weasley seemed to be having a competition with his cousin Molly to see who could be more extreme while drunk, while a group of fifth years passed by with the brilliant intention of trying to get the Fat Lady drunk. I’m going to enjoy myself from a nice couch, stay out of the way, and then head back up to my dormitory. Making friends is too much effort when surrounded by these clowns.
That’s the plan, but unfortunately it isn't meant to be. I’m sitting all alone, sipping my Butterbeer and watching everyone's control disappear. There are boys standing on tables, making loud speeches and crying over nothing. One girl is lying in a pool of her own throw up, someone who seems to be her friend hurries over and drags her out of her own vomit and leans her up against a wall, and someone has even slipped and fallen in a stranger’s vomit.
The next thing I know, Albus Potter is slumped down on the cushion next to mine. I look at him and raise an eyebrow in question and he flashes me a smile. He’s covered in sweat from his enthusiastic dancing, his eyes are even brighter than usual, and his untidy hair is gleaming with perspiration. In short: he’s absolutely disgusting.
"Any reason in particular why you look like you've just showered in sweat?" I ask, looking him up and down and wrinkling my nose in disgust.
"I’m busy having fun, unlike you. Have you been sitting here doing nothing for the entire night?"
"Just because I'm not drunk or rubbing myself up against someone inappropriately doesn't mean I'm not having fun," I reply, clenching my fists almost instinctively. It’s something that I do whenever people begin to criticize me as a person.
"You have no idea how to have fun properly, do you?" Albus asks me. I scowl at him: at least he isn’t beating around the bush about the fact that I’m boring.
"Of course I do!" I reply indignantly, my face heating up.
"You haven't had an alcoholic drink this entire night!"
"How would you know?"
"I may have been glancing over here occasionally . . . repeatedly . . . a lot," Albus admits, turning red in the face. I glare at him. I'll show him, I'll show him, just wait.
I march to the drink table, grab a full bottle of Firewhiskey and sit down next to Albus again. Without taking my eyes off him, I take a quick shot and almost spit it back out at the taste. He bursts into laughter at my reaction. He tugs the firewhiskey out of my hands and leaves me alone for a minute. Albus returns a moment later with two Butterbeers and the firewhiskey bottle tucked under his arm. For the next few minutes, he shows me how to drink firewhiskey without wanting to spit it out. You take a small sip of Butterbeer and then slowly drink the firewhiskey so that you can get used to the taste.
I’m most likely the worst Gryffindor to ever set foot in this house. I don’t do reckless and impulsive. The amount of times that I’ve done something without thinking it through first can be counted on my fingers. I suppose this is going to have to be added.
This is how it starts: from there, things get blurry and loud. The drinks have some kind of effect on me and I find myself laughing at jokes that aren't funny. A hag, a witch, and a centaur walk into a bar . . . and then Albus bursts out in giggles and forgets to finish the joke. My words become slurred and I'm pretty sure at some point, I lean up against Albus and smack a kiss on his lips.
"I've never been drunk before!" I exclaim loudly. Albus grins stupidly – he’s quite drunk as well. I don’t know if it’s his first time being drunk but at the moment I don’t care in the least.
"Well, you have now," Albus’s words are slurred as well, making it more difficult for me to decipher what he says. I giggle for no reason and rest my head on his shoulder. This is all that I remember. From then on things are blurry and at some point in the night I forget everything that happens. I know that I definitely make out with Albus and things go on like that for a little bit. The next thing I know, I’m in being up in a dormitory that is not my own: clothes are thrown on the floor and my memory ends. The rest remains this big huge blank in my brain.
I nurture a raging headache the next day and the minute I get up, I rush to the loo to throw up the contents of my stomach. It isn’t that shocking to me, it’s a ritual that I’ve seen my roommates do many times. Once I stop throwing up, I leave the bathroom and look around the room, and the overlarge shirt that I’m wearing in confusion. This isn’t my room. I don’t own this many copies of Quidditch through the Ages, my dorm mates don’t leave clothing all over the floor, and I most certainly do not have ripped up school textbooks covering the area around my bed. I definitely do not own such a large and baggy shirt. But which bed have I just come from?
I spot my clothes on the floor in front of Albus's bed. I tiptoe over to his bed, grab my clothes and put them on as quietly as I possibly can. I need to get out of here as fast and as quietly as possible. Unfortunately, Albus decides to wake up while I button up my shirt. He gives a loud groan and I slap my hand over his mouth. His eyes widen when he sees my face hovering above his own. I put a finger to my lips and he nods. He understands that he is not to utter one sound, or else I will hurt him.
I go back to dressing myself, and then sneak out.
That is the last I saw of Albus for a while. I still need to talk to him about what happened.
The result of my stupid decision is that I may or may not be pregnant with Albus Potter's child. This is, of course, just a guess, but after continuously throwing up for a week, I'm pretty that I am correct.
But today is the day that I talk to him. Two months is a little late, but hey, better late than never. There’s no rush to get ready for breakfast, I’m usually the first one up and out of the dormitory in the morning. It is not a habit that I particularly enjoy -there’s nothing all that enchanting about watching the sun rise- but unless I wish to arrive to class late every morning because of my dorm mates, then waking up earlier than everyone is my only option.
I take the stairs to the common room quickly and spot Albus making for the portrait hole with his group of friends laughing at a joke Colin made. This is my chance and so I take it.
"Potter!" I yell, hurrying into the common room.
"Oooh, Albus is in trouble with the Head Girl," another of his friends says. He’s tall, and blond, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him before around Hogwarts. The stupidity emanating from them is practically suffocating.
"Is your name Potter? No? I didn't think so," I snap. "Follow me, Potter." Without waiting to see if he's following, I walk out of the common room and lead him into an empty classroom. He stands there nervously and fidgets. I roll my eyes -I'm not that scary. It isn't as if I'm going to hurt him or anything.
"About what happened that night at the party. Nobody ever hears of it, understand? If you tell anyone, I will erase their memory and kill you, understand?"
"Yes, don't tell anybody, got it," Albus replies with a glare and pursed lips.
"You know how I am, and everyone else knows how I am. I'm ashamed that I slept with someone, and it isn't in my plan for my entire life." If possible, Albus looks even more offended. I've just made this worse, haven't I? I'm not good with people. I can keep order and get a job done but when it comes to talking to people, I'm horrid.
"I suppose though, that you being my drunken one night stand is better than having a one night stand with anybody else. At least it was you and not someone disgusting." Albus' face softens and he nods in understanding.
"This is just between you and I, nobody else will know," he assures me.
"Thank you," I say and head for the door. I leave him there in the empty classroom and make my way to breakfast.
There's no point in frightening Albus by telling him that I'm most likely pregnant with his child, not when it isn't official. The news would just scare the poor bloke. I'll go and see Madam Pomfrey today once lessons are done and get her to take a look at me.
I could just as well have the stomach flu.
I sit by myself at the Gryffindor table. I don't necessarily have friends: sure, I get along with my dorm mates but they're my dorm mates, we aren't close and there is no way that I would tell any of them my secrets. Not that I have that many secrets, anyway.
Besides, everyone gave up on making friends with me after I ignored all friendly advances towards me in first year. It became clear to people that school was my best friend and it was going to be the only thing I focused on.
Since the day I arrived at Hogwarts, my one and only thought was "get Head Girl". Over the years, I did my best to be the best at everything. I studied weeks before the date of a test, handed in homework the day after it was assigned, even if there was three weeks left til the deadline. People had learned that if they wanted a good grade then to stick with me as a partner because I'd take the work off their hands and earn us an O.
The fact that people take advantage of me doesn’t bother me in the slightest. By the time my last year of Hogwarts is over, I’m still unlikely to know all of my classmates by name.
I get through the classes of my day as usual: there is no sign on my face of the panic and worry that I'm feeling, which is just as well. I don’t need strangers guessing why I'm sweating in my robes. Once lunch arrives, I head down to the Great Hall and eat my usual meal of mashed potatoes, chicken, and tomato salad.
I prop up Hogwarts: a History against some plates and read through it for leisure while everyone else around me talks loudly about who knows what about whom. I have made a rule for myself that there is no schoolwork allowed while I am eating, and the only way to get around that rule is to read while I eat. It doesn't matter what, but I need to read something: sitting and doing nothing has never been an option for me.
My afternoon classes pass painfully slow and for once in my life, I'm not paying attention or taking notes, I simply stare off into space and sleep with my eyes open. In History of Magic it's not a problem because Professor Binns doesn't notice anyone and goes on with his lecture, but Transfiguration is a whole different story. Professor McGonagall has eyes like a hawk: she sees everything. She pulls me aside at the end of her class and asks me if anything is wrong.
I say no.
She gives me a skeptical look and suggests that I see Madam Pomfrey to make sure I'm alright. I was planning on seeing Madam Pomfrey anyway. Once classes are over and everyone is in the common room, I leave my dorm, head into the common room and step outside the portrait hole without looking behind me. Bad decision.
"Seraphina! Wait up! Where are you going?" Albus Potter yells after me. I stare at him, unable to understand what's going on.
"I'm going to the Hospital Wing to see Madam Pomfrey," I reply.
"I'll go with you -"
"NO! You can't go with me!" a look of hurt comes onto Albus's face but he hides it a second later.
"Come on, I'll go down with you, that way you won't be alone-" We haven’t spoken to each other in years, why is he all of a sudden offering to escort me to the hospital wing? Does he think that I’m going to get lost on my way there?
"Potter, I said no, I don't want you to go down to the Hospital Wing with me, I don't want you to come with me and see Madam Pomfrey. I want you to go back into the common room and leave me be," I snap, completely ignoring the hurt look that's he’s not bothering to hide this time.
"Fine," Albus spits out before walking past me. Did he not just hear what I told him to do?
"Potter, I said you can't go to the Hospital Wing with me-"
"I'm not going with you! I'm going to the kitchens!" he replies angrily. I should apologize, shouldn't I? Oh, who cares.
I continue on my way to the Hospital Wing in a bad mood. Bloody Albus Potter and his unwanted help. Why does he have to be so damn nice? I don't need his niceness: I may be carrying his spawn, but that's about as far as our relationship will ever go.
No, I can't think like this.
I am not carrying Albus Potter's spawn, I am not pregnant, I simply have the stomach flu. I am not pregnant. If I believe it enough then it might actually be true. What am I saying! Of course it's true. There is no way that I, Seraphina Doyle, am pregnant. I simply don't get pregnant, that isn't how I work.
I knock on the door to the infirmary and wait for Madam Pomfrey to open the door. A few minutes later, her old and wrinkled face sticks out and she looks at me tiredly. I feel bad for disturbing her like this.
"Madam Pomfrey, I need your help -"
"Isn't it a bit late to be coming to the Hospital Wing?"
"Not really, no, people come here with injuries and illnesses all the time-"
"I meant for you Seraphina, you never come down here to see if you're sick unless someone forces you to." Well excuse me for not liking the hospital. I wasn't aware it was such a crime.
"Anyway, I need you to help me with something. Nobody else can hear about this. It's very important."
"Alright, come in," she says, letting me through the door. I stand before her and twist my fingers nervously. How do I go about telling Madam Pomfrey that I might be pregnant? There really is no way to put it other than the blunt truth, now, is there? What's the point of leaving out details? The more she knows, the more Madam Pomfrey will be of help to me. If I'm pregnant that is, something I highly doubt is actually true. Most likely it's just my imagination running wild. Or, maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better.
"Madam Pomfrey, I think I might be pregnant," I blurt out without warning. She raises her eyebrows at me.
"You think, don't you know?"
"Well, no, that's why I'm here, to know for sure."
"Follow me, Ms Doyle," Madam Pomfrey says, leading me to a more private part of the Hospital Wing. She takes out her wand, orders me to lift my shirt, points it at my stomach, and then mutters a spell. I look down to see what's happening and stare in awe as my stomach turns gold before fading back to normal.
I'm hoping the gold means I'm not pregnant.
"I'm sorry, but I'm afraid you are pregnant." I'm sorry, what did she just say?
"That can't be possible, try that again." She tries again but my stomach glows gold before fading back to normal again.
"This can't be possible, do it again."
"Ms Doyle -"
"Do. It. Again," I say through gritted teeth.
"Ms Doyle, you are pregnant, it does not matter how many times I do this spell. You are pregnant."
Oh no, Oh no, Oh God, this can't be happening. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I am Seraphina Doyle, I do not get pregnant, that isn't how it works. Oh good Lord what am I going to do! I need to sit down otherwise I'm sure to pass out.
I sit on a cot and blankly stare at the wall opposite. I'm numb, I cannot feel anything, this cannot be happening. Maybe this is just a horrible dream and I'll wake up to the loud laughter of my dorm mates. I can tell that Madam Pomfrey is curious to know how exactly I came to be pregnant. I give her the answer before the question leaves her lips. What's the point of hiding it? The more she knows the more helpful Madam Pomfrey will be to me.
"I got a letter from my mother saying that I should do teenage things, go to parties and have some alcohol, she was worried that I spend too much time studying. I thought about it and gave it a try, one thing led to another and before I knew it, I woke up in someone else's bed. I swear, I never meant for anything to go that far, I had just planned on sitting on a couch and watching everyone, I'd never planned on anything to happen!" I add this last part when I see the look of disappointment on Madam Pomfrey's face.
"Sometimes Ms Doyle, not everything goes according to plan. Who's the father?"
"Albus Potter," I whisper. Madam Pomfrey's eyebrows disappear into her hair. She seems quite shocked that Harry Potter's second son would get someone pregnant. She's probably not the only one: it's hard to imagine Albus Potter, of all people, getting someone pregnant. He seems so sweet and innocent. You'd expect something like this from James Potter but not Albus.
"You know that he has to be told about this, Ms Doyle, don't you?"
"Yes, I know, I'll tell him, I promise, I just need time to process this myself and then I'll tell him." Madam Pomfrey nods and leaves me alone. I'm free to leave the Hospital Wing whenever I please but I stay where I am for a few more minutes.
Sweet Merlin, how am I going to tell this to Albus?
a/n: This chapter is 500% better now that it has been beta'd by the ever so brilliant and wonderful Lululuna and I cannot find the words to express just how grateful I am to her for helping me beta this story and she's just amazing.
Basically, thank you for betaing the story for me. Anywya, if you ever so wish, reviews would be lovely and I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts!
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