Chapter 4 : Deep Thoughts in an Awkward Potions Lesson
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By seven, everyone in the dorm was awake and going down to breakfast, which I had decided to skip after the previous days’ rather embarrassing incident at dinner.
“Vi, aren’t you coming to breakfast with us?” asked Becca.
“No, not today, I’m still feeling unwell from last night.” I said. I had told my dorm-mates that I had caught a stomach bug off my mum and thankfully they all believed me.
“Oh, ok, are you going to be alright then Vi? Do you want us to stay here with you in case you’re ill again?” asked Joanna.
“No, it’s alright, I’ll be fine. Besides, I don’t want to pass the bug on to either of you two or anyone else for that matter.”
“Ok then, well we’ll see you in Potions then,” Replied Becca “Come on Jo, let’s go.” And they departed the room.
Suddenly, I remembered something. ‘Crap!’ I thought. I had Potions with James! And I would have to sit next to him due to Professor Slughorn’s extremely inconvenient seating arrangement. ‘What was he thinking when he decided to place a Potter and a Malfoy next to each other?’ I thought bitterly.
An hour later I was walking along the dungeon corridor to the Potions classroom. Dread poured through me as I envisaged the awkwardness that awaited me as soon as I would enter the classroom. I just hoped against hope that Slughorn had changed his seating plan for this year, but unfortunately he hadn’t.
“Ah, Miss Malfoy! Please, take a seat.” Said Slughorn gleefully.
“Where abouts, Sir?”
“Oh, in your usual place!”
Bloody hell. Why oh why oh why did I have to sit next to him? As I walked up to the desk James lowered his head in an attempt to ignore my existence, so I did the same. For the first twenty minutes of potion-making we were completely silent, that was until James accidentally dropped a handful of doxy wings on my robes.
“James!” I said angrily.
“Oh my God, I’m so sorry Vi, I didn’t mean to!”
Suddenly, we both awkwardly exchanged eye contact and then simultaneously looked away. Then, five minutes later, James spoke again:
“Vi. Why do you keep ignoring me?”
“Well that’s a bit hypocritical, isn’t it?”
“I’m only ignoring you because you’re ignoring me!”
“Oh, shut up James.”
“Look, Vi, I know you’re probably feeling guilty about ,” he coughed, “that night so I just wanted to say that I’m sorry and that I think we should just move on and pretend it never happened.”
Well that was easy for him to say! He wasn’t the one who was pregnant. He wasn’t the one who was going to have to give birth and look after a baby in seven months’ time. But then I thought: ‘just because he’s not the one who’s going to give birth, doesn’t mean who won’t have to look after the kid.’ I sighed to myself. Should I tell James about the baby? His baby? Would he stick around or would he run a mile at the thought of being a teenage father? My mind seemed to agree with the latter, but maybe I was being inconsiderate and underestimating James’ ability to be a mature adult.
“Mmm.” I replied, absorbed in my thoughts.
James looked puzzled for a second and then said: “By the way Vi, are you alright? It’s just that your friend Becca told me you were ill yesterday and that’s why you ran out of the great hall at dinner.”
“Um yeah, my mum had a stomach bug just before the start of term so I think that I must’ve gotten it off her.”
“Oh right. Well I hope you feel better soon. Stomach bugs are horrible, I remember when I was six I got one and I was throwing up for two weeks on end. But then Lil’ got it so that was funny.” He chuckled.
Ok so maybe he didn’t have the ability to be mature, but then again, neither does any other 17-year-old boy. However, I admit I was quite impressed at his discreet approach to the whole sleeping together thing. James has been known to shout about any girl he’s gotten off with at a party, but for some reason he didn’t seem to want to do that anymore, thank goodness.
The rest of the Potions lesson went by reasonably quickly as James decided to tell me about the time when his dad freed my grandad’s old house elf, Dobby. He seemed to think it would annoy me but to be honest, the whole Malfoy thing didn’t mean much to me. It was just a name, I didn’t care about Slytherin superiority or Pureblood tradition and even if I did then it wouldn’t matter as I was still carrying a half-blood baby. Of course, James descended from two major pure-blood families; the Potters and the Weasleys (not to mention the Blacks and many other ambiguous family ties), but James’ grandmother was muggle-born (a filthy word to my father) and therefore made James half-blood. In a way I was glad that I was breaking the Malfoy tradition. It had been hard enough coming to Hogwarts with my pureblood Malfoy status, not that anyone had a problem with my blood status, but the fact that it was common knowledge that my family hated half-bloods and muggle-borns didn’t help with the already preconceived ideas that people had about me. Hopefully my child wouldn’t have to put up with all the prejudice that surrounded the family.
This got me thinking, what surname was I going to give to my baby? Potter? Malfoy? Or perhaps a poncy double-barrelled name? It was all so overwhelming. I didn’t even know whether I was going to keep this baby or not and if I did I didn’t know how I’d be able to give it a normal life, what with James constantly being in the media spotlight (which is understandable seeing as he’s the first-born child of Harry Potter) and with the fact that practically the whole wizarding world knew about the long line of disputes between the Potters and the Malfoys (not forgetting the Weasleys of course).
The rest of the day went by quite smoothly, apart from the odd temporary feelings of sickness in the pit of my stomach in the middle of lessons, but thankfully I was able to get through the whole day without being sick again. That was until after dinner. Skipping breakfast and eating a miniscule lunch had left me extremely hungry, meaning that I stupidly decided to pig-out on everything in sight on the dinner table. Everyone watched as I piled tomato ketchup on top of my mint and pistachio ice-cream, an interesting craving I had been experiencing all day. “Er Vi, are you alright?” asked Al.
“Yep, just hungry.” I said, looking up at the almost carbon-copy of James. Suddenly I realised, Al was going to be an uncle. An uncle to the baby growing inside me, as was Scorpius (not to mention Lily being an aunt!), Bloody hell! I had never really thought about the effects this baby could have on not only my family but James’ too. Of course I knew that the endless tensions between the two families would only worsen, but I had never really considered how James’ family, especially Al, might take this. I suddenly felt extremely guilty and I had no idea why. I needed to get away so I excused myself and left the hall. Feeling slightly sick, I trudged down to the girls’ toilets in the dungeons (I would have gone to the toilets on the second floor but I didn’t want to have to face Moaning Myrtle again). The vomiting wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been in the morning, but it was still a horrible ordeal to have to go through.
As I wrapped myself up in my bedding later that night, I engrossed myself into my thoughts. I knew I had to tell James, it was his right to know, but I just didn’t know how or when to approach him. I contemplated the thought of telling my mother and father. I cringed at the thought of mum’s disappointed face and dad’s disgusted one. I knew that there was no chance in hell of them understanding. ‘Why if they won’t support me?’ I thought worriedly. Would my parents really be shallow enough to abandon their own flesh and blood just because of one stupid, stupid mistake? It was hard to predict as my parents were unpredictable people, but if there was one thing I did know, it was that there was no way I was going to come out of this situation unscathed.
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