Chapter 2 : The Second Chapter
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chapter image by inspector. @ tda
There's really no easy way to tell someone he’s the father of your child. There's no easy way of making the situation any less awkward once the words are out. It's just this whole time of awkwardness where both of you stand next to each other and try not to make eye contact because things are that awkward. Or so I would imagine, I’ve never actually been in this type of situation before.
I’m having trouble avoiding Albus; Professor Verona and Flitwick insisted on partnering up the two of us. In Charms I completely ignore Albus whenever he attempts to speak with me, and by the time that Transfiguration comes around, he’s caught on to the fact that I’m not going to acknowledge his existence and the two of us are working in stony silence. I get the feeling that Albus wants me to say something and is disappointed by the fact that I keep quiet. I attempt to hide my face behind my short hair and keep my eyes peeled on the mouse we are turning into a turnip.
On the Wednesday after my trip to the hospital wing I have a free period before I have to go to Potions, a free period which I spend trying to find a place to hide from the rest of the Hogwarts population. I’ve almost reached a corner when I spot a head of untidy black hair coming towards me, and, panicking, turn down the first corridor that I lay eyes on. Avoiding Albus is harder than it seems; we have the same classes and we're in the same house, after all. He always seems to know where I am, something I find unsettling and creepy.
Thinking I've evaded Albus yet again, I continue down the hallway. This is what I do when I want to escape the noise in the common room, which often reaches my dorm. The paintings that hang all over Hogwarts absolutely fascinate me. All of these people hanging on the walls containing so much knowledge and yet no one talks to them, no one takes notice of them. The beautiful landscape before it was destroyed and torn down for industrial purposes.
Appearing as if from nowhere, a hand shoots out of a nearby alcove and grabs my arm, pulling me into a classroom, the door is shut behind me. My first instinct is to scream, but a hand is blocking my mouth.
My immediate thoughts are serial killer! Rapist! but a familiar voice makes me freeze. It isn't a serial killer or a rapist: it's someone much, much worse. I thought I was doing a good job of avoiding Albus, but apparently he has succeeded in capturing me.
"It's me, Albus." His hand leaves my mouth and I whip around to glare at him.
"Are you insane," I snap angrily. What is wrong with him? In what world is kidnapping someone a good idea! It's the dumbest thing he's ever done. There are other ways to get me to talk to him, and cornering me in the common room would've been a good way of accomplishing this without being so creepy and giving me such a fright. Though to be fair, I have been avoiding him like the plague whenever he’s in sight.
"I wanted to talk to you," Albus says sheepishly.
"So kidnapping me is the solution to that."
"You've been avoiding me. How am I supposed to talk to you when you run the opposite way every time you see me?" Drat. I thought he hadn't noticed. He's more observant than he lets on, which might be a problem for me. If he's observant, then how am I going to keep my pregnancy hidden from him?
"I have not been avoiding you," I lie.
"Right, you just like to walk down deserted corridors." It's not like it’s something that I don’t do often, like I said before, if the common room is too loud then I usually end up wandering around the castle looking for peace and quiet.
"Yes, I do!"
"Phina, why have you been avoiding me?" Well let's see, I'm pregnant with your child, I'm supposed to tell you so that Madam Pomfrey can speak to the both of us and if I don't, then she'll tell you herself.
"I haven't been evading you," I insist. Albus raises an eyebrow at me. "Okay, so maybe I have been. How'd you figure it out?"
"Seraphina," I interrupt.
"Right, sorry, Seraphina, we've been going to the same school for seven years, we've been in the same house for seven years, hell, we've even had the same classes for seven years. I've known you even before we came to Hogwarts." Yes, Albus, but then we stopped being friends so you can't claim to know me anymore.
"I'd be a bit of a moron if I didn’t notice one of my classmates, who hasn’t had a problem with me before, all of a sudden start running away from me as soon as she lays eyes on me."
Who says I don't have a problem with you, Albus? Does he honestly think I could forget how he ditched me when we were little? It sounds childish of me to hold a grudge for something that happened when I was a child but I’ve never been able to forgive Albus for what he did.
"I congratulate you on your advanced observation skills," I respond dryly.
"Why?" Albus asks, completely ignoring my previous statement.
"I can't tell you," I reply, cringing at how pathetic that sounds. From the scowl on Albus' face, he agrees with me.
"So, you're avoiding me, but you can't tell me?" Well yes, even though technically I'm supposed to tell him - but Albus doesn't need to know that.
"Are you joking?"
"I never joke." According to other people, I've never been any good at humour. Making jokes just isn't my forte. Sometimes I'll make them accidentally, but when I'm trying to be funny, it never works out.
"You are one of a kind," Albus says, running his hands through his hair in frustration. Is that a compliment? I think I've just been insulted. Maybe it is a compliment . . . oh who cares!
I don't understand why Albus is frustrated: it isn't as if he's the one carrying a child that he's going to be pushing out of his . . . manly bits.
See, I'm not being difficult at all, so why is he frustrated?
"Well, if you ever decide to share your reasons, I’m relatively easy to find,” Albus says. I open my mouth to say something but he continues speaking. “Can we be friends again?" Albus asks. Friends? I haven’t had a friend in a while: I don't know what friends do. Besides, we've jumped past starting as acquaintances and then becoming friends. Friends don't sleep with each other, friends don't get friends pregnant. Of course, we weren't friends on that night, but still.
"We can try," I say slowly, unsure of what I'm doing. I can't believe I’m agreeing to be his friend. I seem to be full of bad choices this year. First going to the party, drinking and getting pregnant, and now this. My seventh year at Hogwarts is just going to be jolly fun, don't you think?
Albus grins happily, and before I know what's happening, his arms are wrapped around me in an awkward hug. I stiffen when he touches me, my arms going rigid at my side. Human contact is a big no-no for me; which is funny considering I'm pregnant. I'm never going to stop using and bringing up the whole "I'm pregnant" thing. It's a valid excuse for most things, which will come in handy when I'll be trying to weasel my way out of Head Girl duties that I don’t want to do.
I pat Albus' back awkwardly after a few moments of me standing there like a stiff board and we stay like this for a few seconds which feel like an eternity. Things can't possibly get any worse.
Oh, but they can.
Just when the hug is stretching to an indecent amount of time, one of Albus' friends burst into the room. Joy of joys, let's just include more people into this, why don't we!
"AHA, I knew you had a thing for Albus," his friend exclaims, blue eyes bright with excitement. I recognize him as the tall, blonde one who is always tagging along after the middle Potter. I’ve never bothered to learn his name. I push Albus away from me and feel myself turning red. Blushing isn't something that happens to me very often but when it does, the situation deserves it.
"Give me some credit, my taste isn't this bad," I say, patting my clothes down. Albus glares at me but I shrug, unconcerned. I think I've just been rude, I'm pretty sure I have. I just can't seem to get this whole "being nice" thing to work for me. "Never said that I have to be nice to you, Potter. And who the hell are you, anyway?" I turn to the boy who just burst into the room.
"Lysander, Lysander Scamander," the boy says, grinning at me and holding out his hand. I stare at it with a blank expression: am I supposed to shake it or something? What do I do with this offered hand? I reach out and grab his hand as if it's infected and shake it slowly, cringing at the amount of sweat that’s on it, before dropping it and wiping my hand on my robes.
"I thought that was a given," Albus says, bringing my attention to him again. Am I supposed to already know that I need to be nice in a friendship? How am I supposed to know that! I haven't had friends since I was nine, I don't know what's socially acceptable or any of that stuff!
I can already tell that this friendship is off to a good start.
"Thought wrong, excuse me," I say, pushing past Lysander. I'm almost late for Potions and I need to be on my way. This little chat is heartwarming and everything but now, I must face reality and get back to my studying and making sure that I'm the best Head Girl this school has ever seen. That's not going so well: how many Head Girl's have gotten pregnant while at school? Probably not very many is my guess.
How am I going to tell Albus that I'm pregnant with his child? Especially now that he's my friend, there's got to be books written about this sort of thing happening, right?
Just when I think that the day can't get any worse and I can't possibly get any more humiliated, it does. A second year marches into my Potions class and announces, quite loudly, that Madam Pomfrey needs to see me about my condition.
It sounds as if I'm dying of the bubonic plague or a head tumor.
I blush bright red and stare at my shoes as I leave the dungeons and speed walk to the Hospital Wing. I slam the door shut and look around the room to make sure no one is here with me. It appears empty. Good. I don't need anybody telling the entire school about this.
"You wanted to see me, Madam Pomfrey?" I say, as the old matron walks out of her office and makes her way towards me with surprising speed for someone her age.
"Yes dear, I was wondering if you had told Mr. Potter about his child." About that . . . would it be horrible of me to ask if I can have a week or two to tell Albus about this? No, I have to do this properly, I have to take responsibility, I can't just ask for time extensions just because I don't want to do something.
"I haven't yet, but I will!" I say, once I see the look of disappointment on Madam Pomfrey's face. I just can't wait to tell Albus about this, and can’t help but imagine his face when he's informed that he's having a baby. I just hope he doesn't pass out on the floor in shock, I won't know what to do if he does go unconscious. I’ll probably just give him a few slaps to the face to see if he wakes up.
"Soon, Ms Doyle. I need to see the both of you, tell him soon," Madam Pomfrey says sternly before leaving me alone to worry. She's left no room for argument on the matter. I have to tell him or I have a feeling Madam Pomfrey will tell him.
"You're pregnant with Albus' baby?" a voice says. I jump, startled. I look around at who's in the room with me and almost fall over when I see a girl with brilliant red hair. I thought there was no one in here: apparently I'm not good at searching.
"L-Lily," I manage to gasp out. This is Lily Potter, Albus' sister; she’s got bright red hair, brown eyes and a look of fury on her face that can instill fear even in the bravest man on earth. She knows I'm pregnant. I really don't want to be on the end of one of her hexes. Not only will it not be great for my health, but imagine what would happen to the baby.
What have I ever done to deserve this from the world? Why must karma take out its anger on me? I've never hurt anybody in my life! Well, since it's out in the open, I might as well explain everything I can to Lily as best as possible. It's like ripping off a band-aid.
Except, this time, the pain lasts for nine months instead of a few seconds.
A/N: this was beta'd by the lovely Jenna (aka Lululuna) so I'd like to thank her for being such an amazing beta and pointing out things that I'd never even thought of. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated as usual!
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