One, two, three, four, five. Six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
It was around four in the morning. I lay in my four poster bed, my hands stretched out above me as I counted my fingers; insomnia was never fun.
Biting my lip, I went over my earlier encounter with Louis again and again in my head. I knew I’d made the right decision, but it was still difficult. Everything was changing, like I’ve always thought I wanted, but now I realized that I wanted things to slow down. That’s why I told him I couldn’t be with him right now, I just hope to Merlin that he’ll still be there for me when I’m ready for him to be.
My thoughts are interrupted by the noise of some scuffling and a soft whimper, “Chase? You awake?”
Rose’s tone scared me, so I get up and rush to her bed immediately, “Of course I’m awake. I’m Chase.”
She was sitting up in her bed, her face ghostly pale with fear, “I’m bleeding.”
“Did you cut yourself?” I was confused.
“No, Chase. I’m bleeding.”
I put together the pieces; Rose was pregnant. And she’s bleeding.
“Oh my gosh. C’mon, we’re going to see Madame Pomfrey,” I take my best friend’s shaking hand and walk her to the infirmary.
Luckily, Madame Pomfrey was up getting a late-night drink of water when we got there.
She asked us what was wrong, at which point we both looked at each other in horror. We would have to tell her the truth, which meant she would probably end up having to tell McGonagall. But this was an emergency.
Rose takes in a deep breath, “Madame Pomfrey, I’m pregnant.”
The nurse’s face immediately softens, “Oh, dearie. How far along?”
“And why have you come to me at four thirty in the morning?”
Rose softly explains, her voice weak and shaky.
After a few more questions and a quick examination, Madame Pomfrey smiles warmly at the pregnant girl who, at the moment, seemed more of a child than anything, “Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal at this stage. Your baby is going to be fine.”
Rose nods and smiles, silent tears rolling down her face, and I give her a hug of relief.
“Do your parents know, darling?” Madame Pomfrey asks.
“Yes,” she wipes away one of her tears, “But Scorpius hasn’t told his. They’re not quite as… accepting as my family.”
“You know I have to tell the Headmistress, it’s my job. I’m sorry if you were hoping to keep it a secret a bit longer.”
“It’s okay. It had to happen eventually.”
The nurse looks at her watch, “It’s about five now, that’s when Minerva usually wakes up. Would you like to go now?”
“Okay, as long as Chase can come. And do you think we could go get Scorpius, too?” Rose was obviously hesitant, more due to nervousness than the rumors of the alleged craziness that ensued whenever the Headmistress and nurse were together.
“Of course, dear.”
We begin to walk out of the infirmary, when I notice something I hadn’t seen on the way in. On a corner bed was a girl with a broken ankle, Madame Pomfrey must’ve thought she was asleep. I squint my eyes to see who it is, and it’s… Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no.
Posey Parkinson-Johnson is lying there, gaping at us, having just heard the entirety of Rose’s pregnancy scandal. I know I quit cussing, but let me tell you, something has definitely just hit the fan. She probably got that broken ankle from those stupid hooker heels. HAH.
“Rose,” I whisper tensely, and motion to Posey with my eyes. Rose had just been regaining her color, but it was gone just as quickly when she realizes that the one person in the school that absolutely hates her, not to mention the biggest gossip in the history of Hogwarts, knows everything. This was definitely bad.
My best friend says nothing, merely looks at the ground as if to focus harder on getting to Scorpius as quickly as possible. I hated this; I hated for her to hurt like this. I hated when she didn’t get to be the silly, happy, adorable girl that is Rose Weasley. And if we’re being quite honest, I had more than an inclination to make sure Posey had more than just a broken ankle. But I know that won’t help anything, since she would just twist the story to make herself seem the martyr.
“That’s a pretty nightgown,” I whisper to Rose, and for a second she smiles.
Rose has one arm intertwined with mine, one with Scorpius, and her head is leaning on his shoulder.
“Well, Miss Weasley, Mr. Malfoy, I can’t say I’m not disappointed in you,” McGonagall looks at them wisely, “However, I also can’t say that you aren’t the two best equipped students here to raise a child so young. The two most intelligent kids to attend this school in a long time, both from well-off families, and both obviously very devoted to each other.”
“Thank you, Professor,” Scorpius gives a humble half smile, “That means a lot from coming from you.”
“Just remember, I will have to discuss this with your parents. Both of your parents, together. This is a big deal. I’m glad you came to me, though.”
There’s a silence for a while, and I notice Professor McGonagall and Madame Pomfrey looking at me, and then at each other, and then nudging each other like school girls.
“Umm… What?” I ask, really unsure of what’s going on.
“You ask her,” Madame Pomfrey whispers and giggles.
McGonagall shakes her head, also giggling, “No, no, you ask her!”
“Ok, ok,” the nurse looks at me with big eyes, “Minerva and I are very… plugged into the gossip around the school. And, well, we were just wondering…”
The Headmistress interrupts her impatiently, “Who’s a better kisser, Louis Weasley or Danny Boot? Or is Albus Potter a contender?”
The fu—I mean, what?? This was… odd to say the least.
“Uhmm… Louis, I guess?” I feel obliged to answer the question.
“I knew it! In your face, Poppy!” McGonagall does a victory dance. SERIOUSLY, WHAT IS GOING ON?
Grumbling, Madame Pomfrey slips the Headmistress a sickle, “I figured it was the Boot boy since she kissed him on her own, the second time that is. With Louis, the only time she kissed him was when she was poisoned by the Scamander boy; the other two times he kissed her.”
I feel slightly extremely terrified right now, “One of those kisses occurred like, twelve hours ago! How do you guys know all this?”
“I am Headmistress. I know all,” McGonagall is still giggling, “Oh Merlin, Poppy, I can’t believe you bet against someone who’s part veela!”
“Don’t you know anything, Minnie? Being a veela has nothing to do with how well they kiss!” Pomfrey rolls her eyes dramatically.
“Regardless, Louis is a Weasley. Don’t you remember what Molly told us that one time? I mean, WOW! Who knew?” once again they erupt into giggles, this time playfully slapping each other.
I guess they’ve gotten a little… different in their old age. *cough*.
“Oh, Minnie,” the nurse catches her breath and lowers her voice as if it would stop me from being able to hear her, “We still need to ask Louis about Chase versus Macey Ackerly. Although I think we both know how that one’s going to turn out,” she leans over and whispers to Rose and Scorpius as if I were half deaf, “We had to flip a coin to see who had to be on the side of the bet going for Neville’s kid.”
We stare at the two old women, all three of us kind of horrified, until finally Scorpius speaks up, “Yeah… Well, we’re going to go sleep now. It being Saturday, and us being teenagers and all… We sleep a lot, so it’s, it’s a valid excuse.”
I roll my eyes. He really sucked at getting us out of things.
We somehow manage to escape the room, and Scorpius starts to laugh a bit, “I knew there was a reason Teddy told me to run if I ever saw the two of them together!”
“Why were they betting against me?” I pout, “I have fancy lips! I swear! I could easily be a better kisser than Macey Ackerly!”
“Danny says you’re okay,” Scorp smiles reassuringly.
“Well, nobody’s perfect.”
I pout some more. Did Louis think I was only an okay kisser?
My pouting immediately stops when I notice Rose’s somber expression, “Rose? Are you alright?”
“Yeah,” She whispers monotonously, “I’m fine.”
Scorpius and I exchange a look, and I ask if she wants some ice cream.
Lip quivering, she nods.
“I’m going to go wake Louis, the house elves love him,” I leave the couple and half-jog to the common room, and then up the stairs to the boy’s dormitory.
The faintest rays of the sunrise stream weakly through the window, lighting Louis up just enough so I can see him sprawled out on his back, dead asleep.
I go up and nudge him, “Louis, wake up.”
He stretches and half opens his eyes, “Chase? I thought I was awake, how am I still dreaming?”
I sigh impatiently, “Stop being adorable and get the dickens up!”
“Dickens? Huh? What time is it?” he sits up dreamily, rubbing his eyes.
“Doesn’t matter. You need to get up and get Rose some ice cream. Peanut butter, too. She had a scare with the baby.”
Louis is suddenly very awake, “Is the baby okay? Is she okay?”
“Yes, it was a false alarm, but now McGonagall knows. And so does Posey.”
“Just let me get dressed real quick,” he throws aside the covers and gets up, and, of course, he sleeps in his boxers. Curse that six-pack.
“Holy fu—I mean, uhm, please put a shirt on. I’m trying to boycott your body, here,” I give him my Are you kidding me? face.
Chuckling, he walks over to his dresser and puts on some clothes. I have very bittersweet feelings about this.
“With Scorpius, by the kitchen waiting for us.”
As we walk through the corridors, he looks down at me with a sly smile, “Y’know, last time we walked somewhere together, we held hands.”
“Last time we walked somewhere together, I had just snogged your brains out. A little bit different, yes?” I stubbornly reply. He obviously did not plan on making this easy for me.
“Well, there’s a broom closet right over there, if that’s what you mean,” he really seems to enjoy antagonizing me.
“Ugh, I am SO done with broom closets. I mean, how cliché is that, anyways?”
“Almost as cliché as falling for your best friend.”
At this I have no snarky reply; I can only stare at the ground and try not to let him see me blush.
He sighs, “Chase, I get why you don’t want us to happen just yet. But I’ve felt this way for far too long; I wasn’t kidding when I said I wouldn’t quit. So you might as well just give up now and let me kiss your face off.”
“No! I have to do this, for myself. I told you why. Maybe I should just start highlighting my unattractive qualities, so that you’ll stay away for a little while.”
Louis snorts, “Good luck with that. I love your unattractive qualities.”
“Grah! Stop it! Just stop being so gosh darn cute!” I stop and turn to face him, “If you say one more sweet comment I will dye my hair!”
“No! Fine, you got me this time,” he crosses his arms and pouts, but then begins to stifle a smirk, “I can’t say anything sweet, but can I say something spicy?”
I throw my arms up and start walking again, “Louis Weasley, you will be the death of me!”
He chuckles and we continue to walk until Scorpius sees us, “Merlin, Louis, what’d you do to Chase? She looks half insane.”
“I’m charming,” Louis smiles cutely, “Also she saw me shirtless.”
“And she’s still boycotting? Damn, Chase, even I might consider giving into that six-pack!” Scorpius giggles like Minnie and Poppy.
I shake my head, “How did you ever get my best friend pregnant? Speaking of which, Rose, honey, how are you doing?”
Rose, who’s on the ground leaning back against the wall, shows no emotion, “Fine. I’m fine. Just get me some ice cream.”
“I’m on it,” Louis flashes a confident grin and strolls through the kitchen door. About two minutes later, he comes out with a bowl of ice cream for each of us, Rose’s much larger and covered in whipped cream than the rest, “I got us all ice cream. Here, Chase, to help you cool down a bit,” he winks.
“I WAS NOT THINKING ABOUT YOU IN YOUR BOXERS,” I shout.
“Actually, I meant cool down from being angry at me. But that works too.”
I glare at the veela boy, “You’re really getting on my nerves.”
“I promise I’ll stop if you just agree to be my long-term girlfriend! That’s all I ask.”
Rose laughs between spoonfuls, “This is adorable,” she looks over at The Impregnator, “When do you think they’ll get married?”
“At this rate? I say that by next month Louis will be the one we’ll call The Impregnator.”
“Does no one believe that I can resist Louis?” I groan.
They all look at each other, and then at me.
“I AM AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN. I WILL SHOW YOU ALL!” I pick up my ice cream and run away.
Sighing, I throw away the paper bowl I’d finished eating Louis’s stupid ice cream out of and head up the stairs to the dorm.
I open the door and find—James and Maylin on my bed kissing. I did not need this.
“I thought you guys said you were done with this,” I groan, “Your random fits of kissing are too much for one person to handle!”
“Sorry, Chase,” James drags his lips away from Maylin’s, “You’re the only one that knows.”
“Yeah!” she agrees, “Where else were we supposed to go for a snog this early in the morning?”
“You wouldn’t have to go anywhere to snog if you would, oh I don’t know, stop keeping it a secret?”
“Don’t worry,” he smiles confidently, “This is our last time doing this. We promised each other!”
“YOU. SAY. THAT. EVERY. TIME,” this was not helping my already sour mood.
Maylin shakes her head, “We mean it! We both love the freedom of being able to get with whoever we want, whenever we want. Besides, we’re way too good of friends to snog anymore. It’s just weird, y’know?”
“Where have I heard this before?” I mockingly scratch my head, “Oh, yeah, I remember. That’s something like what you said the last time. And the time before that.”
She rolls her eyes and begins to tie her raven-black hair up into a bun, “So we gave in a couple of times. We’re seventh years now, far too mature to let it happen again.”
“Didn’t it just happen? Like right now? Like wouldn’t you still be smashing face if I hadn’t just walked in? Merlin, you two are perfect for each other,” I sigh and sit down on my bed next to them.
“You usually don’t get THIS mad about this kind of thing, and Louis wasn’t in his bed when I woke up,” James sits criss-cross applesauce and looks me in the eye, “Tough stuff?”
I lean back on my pillow and sigh, “People don’t respect me.”
“What are you talking about?” Maylin lies on her stomach and props her chin on her fists, “Everyone respects you!”
“Everyone except the important people! The Headmistress, the school nurse, The Impregnator, my best friend, and, worst of all, Louis!”
Now James rolls his eyes, “Stop being a drama queen, Chase. Scorpius idolizes you, Rose depends on you, and do you really think Louis would ever want to date a girl he didn’t respect? And let me tell you, he definitely wants to date you. He’s my best friend; many hours of my life have been wasted listening to him discuss the subject. So suck it up and get your shit together!”
Sitting there, I’m left in total shock. I just got told off by James Sirius Potter, “Wow. You’re—you’re right. When did I become such a baby?”
“Louis’s beauty hath made you effeminate,”* Maylin smiles sweetly.
James flashes her a grin, “And in your temper soften'd valour's steel!”*
I groan, “Sweet baked potatoes, only you two would be quoting Shakespeare right now. Darn weirdoes. This was a bad week to quit cussing.”
“Ahh, no wonder you’re so grumpy,” he muses, “You’re going through withdrawal.”
“I’m not going through withdrawal, you banana slug! Okay, maybe I am. Help me, guys!” I sigh and throw my hands over my face.
“Go for a snog with Louis,” they agree, “Always releases tension for us.”
“Did you not hear the part where I was complaining about nobody having faith in the fact that I can stay away from him? I mean, for Merlin’s sake, just this morning I saw him with no shirt on and still managed to resist! James, you’ve seen his abs.”
“You’re dedicated, I’ll tell you that,” he nods.
Maylin sighs sassily, “Just keep it a secret! It’s worked for us for four years now.”
“No offense, guys,” I try to put it softly, “But the last thing I want is for Louis and I to be as messed up as the two of you.”
“But we like being messed up!” James argues, “It works for us.”
“We’re already messed up enough. Let’s not add to the damage.”
Throwing her hands up, Maylin sighs exasperatedly, “And you say we’re the stubborn ones!”
“Not wanting to jump into a relationship with a newly discovered love interest that’s also your best friend is not the same as denying since second year that you have feelings for the one person on earth willing to put up with you! At least I admit that I would like to date Louis someday!”
James shrugs, “I guess we’re all just lost causes.”
After about twenty minutes more of arguing with James and Maylin about their dysfunctional situation, Rose comes into the dorm.
“Sorry, Chase,” she sighs, “I should have defended you back there.”
I shrug, “I’m over it. Besides, you were going through a tough time.”
We hug it out, and she looks at James and Maylin suspiciously, “Why are you guys on Chase’s bed?”
“She was upset,” James smoothly lies, “We followed her up here to comfort her.”
“Chase wanted the two most endearingly insensitive people at Hogwarts to comfort her? When it comes to emotions, I don’t think you guys can do much more than quote classic literature.”
“Oh, no, Rose. Please don’t insult them. They’re going to bring out Fitzgerald,” they knew that Rose was the only one that really got annoyed by their creepily in-sync quoting, and enjoyed bugging her with it.
I knew it was too late the second James opened his mouth, “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one…”**
“Just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had,”** Maylin finishes off with a giggle.
Rose and I give each other a look. There was something seriously wrong with them.
James suddenly hops up, “Maylin!”
She hops up too, “What?”
“It’s seven o’clock!”
“You have a breakfast date with Timmy Greensfield! You can’t be late, what will he think?”
Maylin smiles and gives him a peck on the cheek, “Thanks, Jamesie! What would I do without you?” and leaves.
Once she’s gone, James looks and us and grins, “Isn’t having friends great?”
A/N: Same as usual: Please review, preferably with quotes, favorites, thoughts, predictions, constructive criticisms. It really helps me continue the story so PLEASE! :D
*Quote from The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, the play by William Shakespeare.
**Quote from The Great Gatsby, the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.