Chapter 3 : The Chapter After Number Two
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"You're pregnant with my brother's kid?" Lily asks me again, as if I'm a moron. I still say nothing, but manage to nod my head slowly, my eyes still wide.
It's a known fact that Lily Potter hates all of the girls who fawn over her brother and everything that those girls do to get his attention. She probably thinks that I'm one of those girls and that I've finally managed to snare the famous Albus Potter. I need to tell her that she's completely wrong; I need to tell her that I'm not like those girls.
Though judging by the look on her face, the chances of improving her opinion of me are really quite low. She looks as if she's going to murder me with her yellow-gloved hands or at the very least hex me really badly. Again, I remind myself that hexing a pregnant woman is not healthy for the baby or even the woman herself. Let's hope that Lily doesn't blast me out of the common room and into the seventeenth century where I would be shamed, shunned, and forced to embroider a scarlet A on the front of my robes.
"L-Lily, I'm not -"
"Finally managed to snag Albus now, have you?" Lily spits out angrily, making her way towards me. "Finally weaseled your way into the family by having his child. Of course he'll want to help you, it's in his nature. I can certainly see why you’re Head Girl; you’re quite clever aren’t you?"
"It's not like that -"
"So what did you do, slip him a love potion? Get him drunk?"
"Well, we were both drunk."
"And so you took advantage of him -"
"Will you shut up and let me say something," I finally snap. It's bad enough that she's assuming the worst about me, but I'm getting annoyed with the fact that I'm not allowed to finish a sentence. Lily stares at me with wide eyes. I can see that she’s not used to being told to shut up – her siblings and cousins are probably the only ones that can get away with telling her to shut her mouth. There's a first time for everything.
"Did you just tell me to shut up?" Her voice rises after each word, her hands curled so tightly that I’m afraid she’s going to pummel me in the face at any second.
"Yes, I did, is there a problem with that?” I demand, my voice sounding a lot stronger than I actually feel. “I thought you would want to know exactly how this came about instead of simply assuming that I’m like those creepy girls who follow Albus around. I don't have any interest in dating Albus, if that's what you're wondering, and I have no interest in getting into his pants . . . at least, anymore than I already have." I take one step at a time towards her. My legs seem to have a mind of their own because I can come up with no other reason as to why I am currently approaching an absolutely livid teenage girl.
"Fine, explain it then," Lily says, gesturing with her hand for me to continue.
“I decided to go to at least one Gryffindor party before my time at Hogwarts ended, plus my mother was harping on about it, so I decided to go to the stupid party just to shut her up. Anyway, I get to the party and your charming brother shows up drunk out of his mind and says that I don't know how to have fun. So, to prove him wrong, I drank an entire bottle of Firewhiskey, with some Butterbeer in between as suggested by Albus and . . . things happened from there."
Lily snorts. "Wow, smart idea, drinking an entire bottle of Firewhiskey."
"It wasn't my best moment but yes, it was indeed stupid,” I say, grinding my teeth. “And I shouldn't have gotten so offended for being called boring by someone who I don't know very well. Are you satisfied with the story, your highness?"
"If it was any other girl, I wouldn't believe them. But because it's you and you don’t sound particularly stupid, I'll take your word for it. Does my brother know about this?" Lily asks.
"Are you planning on telling him?"
"Of course I am!"
"I don't know when, whenever the time is right."
"You'll tell him right now then," Lily says, walking around me and opening the door to the corridor. Does she not trust me when I say that I'll tell Albus, does she think that I'm lying? She would be pretty stupid to think I'm lying about something like that, telling the father that he’s going to be a parent is the smart and logical thing to do, because no matter what I may think, I won't be able to raise this child on my own.
"I'm not telling him right now, Lily," I say, refusing to move from my spot.
"Yes, you are," she says grabbing me by the arm and pulling me out of the hospital wing and down the corridor against my will. I try to twist my arm out of her grip but am unsuccessful. For someone so young and small, Lily has a really strong grip. No matter how much I try to slow us down, Lily keeps going.
I ignore the looks that students in the hall give us as she tugs me along, and try to think of what to do.
"Lily, how do you even know where Albus is?" I ask, panting, as I stumble down the moving stairs after her. It has not occurred to her that some of us can't scurry down stairs as fast as she can, especially in my condition.
All of the moving portraits raise their eyebrows and yell at us to slow down before we break our necks. Students hurry to get out of our way as quickly as possible, papers, textbooks, and even wands flying in the air, the wands letting off sparks.
"I have his timetable memorized just in case I need him. He should have just finished his morning Potions class, right after Potions is lunch and where does everybody eat lunch? In the Great Hall," she says, turning down another corridor sharply and making me bang my left shoulder against the corner, hard. I hiss in pain and rub my shoulder to see if it makes the ache go away.
"Why do I have to tell him now?" I whine, sounding childish.
"I'm guessing you didn't just find out that you were pregnant with his child yesterday, judging by your conversation with Madam Pomfrey; you’ve known about this for a while. If you haven't told him in three days then you're most likely trying to put off telling him for as long as you can. Madam Pomfrey has already threatened to tell Albus about his child if you don't, and if she hasn't then she most likely will."
"How do you know all of that?" I ask in bewilderment. I haven't said anything at all and Lily has just assumed -and quite correctly I might add- that I'm putting off telling Albus. She could be a detective.
"It's not that hard really, anyway, since you're putting off telling Albus about his child, I'll be forcing you to tell him now. I'm sorry if my rubber gloves are giving your arm burns," Lily adds, running down the stairs. She shouldn't be apologizing for giving my arm burns; she should be apologizing for the hair that she's most likely ripped out of my arm with those yellow gloves of hers.
I shudder when I think about the things that those gloves have most likely touched and the germs and sickness all over me now. I’m going to take a shower as soon as I can escape the monster that is Lily Potter.
"Lily, let's think this through. Why don’t we tell Albus when the entire school isn't present?”
"Because then you'll avoid me and I won't be able to find you again so that I can force you to tell Albus." Despite what I may think of the other Potter children, my judgment on Lily has been wrong. She is far from the spoiled, innocent girl that I thought she was. She’s absolutely ruthless.
Lily drags me into the Great Hall and navigates her way to the Gryffindor table. We attract stares as we make our way but I can't really blame people. It's not every day they see Lily Potter wearing rubber gloves and dragging the Head Girl behind her. I search around in my head for anything else that might change Lily's mind from forcing me to confess my secret right now. But before I can say anything, Lily has already tapped Albus on the shoulder and he's turning around to face us.
"Albus, Seraphina has something to tell you," Lily says.
"No, actually, I don't," I say through gritted teeth as Lily's grip on my arm tightens.
"Yes, you do."
"No, I do not and even if I did, I wouldn't choose to declare something so life-altering in front of the entire school, since the entire school doesn't need to know," I mutter, glaring at Lily.
"Well, maybe if you'd already told the life-altering news, then you wouldn't be in this situation. And besides, the whole school is going to figure it out anyway. Stupid as some people in this school may be, they're not all idiots."
"I'm sorry for not being able to pop out that news into regular conversation, it's not exactly a subject that comes up very often and I would rather the school figure it out on their own."
"Hold on," Albus interrupts, "let me get this straight. You have news to tell me but you don't want to. And I'm assuming that Lily dragged you here to tell me from her detention otherwise she wouldn't be holding your arm."
"No, that's not it at all, you're imagining things."
"You're imagining things."
"Fine," Albus sighs, "hypothetically speaking then, you have something you need to tell me that will apparently change my life but you don't want to and Lily is forcing you to confess but you're not going to no matter how much Lily tries to force this confession out of you.”
The few students who stop to listen to our conversation exchange looks of confusion with one another as they try to figure out what exactly Albus and I are talking about. Albus’ friends look between the two of us as if watching a Quaffle being passed back and forth, their food completely forgotten on their plates. I can feel everyone around leaning towards Albus and I in an attempt to hear as much of our conversation as possible.
"Hypothetically speaking, that would be correct."
"Oh for God's sake, Seraphina!" Lily explodes. "Albus, what Seraphina is trying to tell you is that -"
"Lily needs a tampon!" I blurt out really loudly. “She’s got quite the heavy flow and if the house-elves have to clean up another pair of her ruined, bloody robes they’re going to go on strike . . .” The Gryffindor and Hufflepuff tables go quiet and turn to look at me. The sudden absence of noise attracts even more attention than my outburst and now students from the Ravenclaw and Slytherin tables are turning to see what’s going on as well. Lily is gaping at me with her mouth open and Albus has a look on his face saying he didn't need to know any of that.
I panicked. I hadn't meant to yell out that Lily needed a tampon, it just slipped out. I couldn't let Lily announce to everyone that I'm pregnant and I needed something to say. What exactly have I done? My stupid brain couldn't come up with a better excuse.
"What?!" Lily and Albus say at the same time.
"Lily needs a tampon right now -"
"No, I don't!" Lily says shrilly, turning red in the face.
"Why are you coming to find me if Lily needs a tampon?" Albus says with a disgusted look on his face.
"I don't need a tampon!"
"She thought you might be experimenting with some to see if they could be used in a prank," I say, thinking quickly, "and she wondered if you had any to spare for her. But she didn't want to ask so here I am."
"So she asks you to ask her brother if he has any tampons for her . . . "
This is going brilliantly.
"Shut up," the youngest Potter says through gritted teeth. I send an apologetic smile at the red-faced, fist-clenching girl.
" So this is the life-altering news you were going to tell me?"
"Er, yes? Not having a tampon is an extremely risky situation for a girl, especially when..." I ramble, nodding my head as I make things worse.
"Lily," Albus says, turning to his little sister who seems to be resisting the urge to strangle me. "If you need, er, tampons, maybe you should owl mum instead of asking your male brother if he has any. Or ask, I don’t know, one of the hundreds of girls in this school, like Seraphina.” He turns to me, green eyes wide with concern. “Are you okay, Seraphina?"
"I'm fine," I hurriedly reply. Why is he asking me if I'm feeling okay, is something showing? My face might have gone a little white when he mentioned borrowing a tampon from me – I’m not going to need them until the summer, when my baby is due. My baby, oh Merlin… Maybe it's because I'm trying to mouth "I'm sorry" to Lily. Or maybe it's just Albus being Albus and he's just worried about me.
"I'll go owl mum about those . . . tampons right now . . . and maybe some new robes just in case. Seraphina, do you want to come help me deliver the letter?"
"No, I think I'll stay here," I say, inching towards Albus.
"Too bad, you don't have a choice." Lily grabs my arm again and drags me out of the Great Hall. I turn to Albus and mouth "Help me!" before he disappears from view and Lily and I are in the corridor alone again. I'm about to start running because I think she's going to bash my head against the wall but Lily starts talking before I can bolt.
"You just had to yell out that I needed a tampon to the entire school didn't you!" Lily says, slapping me with the rubber gloves that she’s taken off. Lovely, I’m being covered in more germs and sickness. “And the only thing that you thought would’ve made the situation better was by telling the entire school that I have a heavy bloody flow?!”
"Well, sorry, you were -OW- going to tell the entire -OW! Would you stop that, it hurts! You were going to tell the entire bloody school that I'm pregnant." I rub my stinging biceps and glare at Lily whose chest is heaving with anger.
"Why did you say that I was on my period of all things?!" Lily finally exclaims after a few minutes. Her face is slowly going back to its original colour and she's shoved her gloves back on.
"It was the first thing that popped out of my mouth, alright!"
"But of all things -"
"Lily, you know how uncomfortable you feel right now?" I interrupt her. I look her straight in the eye as she nods and wanders up a random staircase.
"That's exactly how I would feel if you had just blurted to the entire school that I'm with child," I say, following her up towards a flight of tricky stairs. We wait for them to stop moving and then continue walking. "I would be so humiliated right now. You feel embarrassed, right?"
Lily nods her head, trailing her fingers along the banister. I catch my breath for a moment, and then continue talking. "That's exactly how I would've felt. Not only that, but I'd also be judged by people as the idiot Head Girl who can't control herself. I'd probably want to hit you just like you were slapping me with those gloves just now. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I would have hit you in the face."
"I'm so sorry Seraphina, I didn't think of how you would feel. I just wanted Albus to know the truth, I didn't actually think what effect it would have on you," Lily says, stopping outside of the hospital wing door and turning to me. She brushes a piece of red hair behind her ear, where a strand snags on one of her three earlobe studs.
"When I say that I'm going to tell him, I mean it. I'm not going to hide this from Albus just because I don't want to inform him – he needs to know. It would be cowardly and that's not how Gryffindor’s are." I give her a small smile. Lily’s face splits into a huge grin before throwing her arms around my middle and hugging me tightly.
I stand stiffly with my arms raised at my sides, unsure of what to do. I've never had people willingly hug me before so this is new for me. After a few moments of Lily still hugging me, I pat her back awkwardly. Lily finally releases me and turns towards the door, twisting the handle and sliding her body inside.
"See you later, Seraphina. And you better tell Albus that you're pregnant," Lily says, then disappears into the hospital wing and leaves me standing there alone.
I slowly make my way back down to the Great Hall thinking of what just happened in the past half hour or so. My behavior seems strange, even to me. Never once in my life have I ever panicked for what to say and never have I ever been put in a situation where I didn’t have time to properly think about my reaction. This afternoon was certainly a strange one.
I don't know if the pregnancy is responsible, but something is changing. My first six years at Hogwarts were nowhere near as interesting as these past few days have been.
a/n: so, I've finally managed to finish this chapter after accidentally deleting it and freaking out. special thanks to my lovely beta Jenna/Lululuna for looking this over and pointing out what needed to be fixed!
Reviews are always lovely, and so is feedback! I hope you enjoyed the chapter!
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