Chapter 9 : Realisation
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Suddenly, and without warning, James stormed out of the room. His parents then followed suit, as did Al, but he appeared to go in the opposite direction of his parents and James when he left the office solemnly. For a while the room was silent. No-one knew what to say and the stillness was only broken when Professor McGonagall finally spoke again: “Scorpius, would you mind leaving Viola and I alone to talk?” she said quietly. Scorpius nodded and proceeded to leave, saying that he’d wait for me outside. As the door closed behind him I couldn’t help but feel scared and yet relieved; a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders, but now my father hated me. Professor McGonagall sat down opposite me behind her desk and looked at me for a moment before speaking once more.
“Miss Malfoy, I sincerely hope you understand the consequences that your actions have caused because we now have a pretty messy situation on our hands.” She said sternly.
“Yes, I know. And I’m sorry, I never meant for this to happen.”
“No, no of course you didn’t,” she said, sighing, “Here, have a chocolate newt.” She said, passing me a bowl of small lizard-shaped chocolates. Upon the first bite I felt immediately better as the warmth of the chocolate fused into my senses. I supposed that Professor McGonagall had given me the chocolate with the intention to perk me up a little. Out of the corner of my eye I could see her looking at me, examining the bags under my eyes and lack of makeup. I’d been having sleepless nights recently over how to tell James and my parents and just the baby in general. Life wasn’t exactly fun.
“So, how long were you planning to keep this a secret from Mr Potter?” said McGonagall.
“Well actually, I wasn’t really planning on keeping it a secret at all; I just couldn’t ever find the right time nor pluck up the courage to tell him.” I said wearily.
“Miss Malfoy, you do realise that the press are going to have a field day when this gets out?”
Oh merlin. I hadn’t thought about that. I didn’t want journalists following me everywhere and printing pictures of my baby in the Daily Prophet! “Er… yeah, of course.” I said, trying to act as if I’d given it some thought.
“Hmm,” she replied suspiciously,” Well anyway, it is pretty much inevitable that the press are going to try to make you into the ‘bad guy’, but I must insist that you don’t let it get to you. As the headmistress, I will do my best to help you during these difficult times Miss Malfoy, but I urge you to think wisely about any decisions you make about this baby’s future.”
“What do you mean, Professor?”
“Well, if Mr Potter decides that he wants to support his child, then let him. But if he doesn’t, then just remember that there is no need to disallow your child from seeing him just because you don’t want to.”
I thought for a moment. Of course I was going to act within the baby’s best interests, but what if James really did decided not to support me? It’s exactly great for a child to grow up with a father, but then again it’s not really that much better if they just get occasional visits from him. But at least the baby would have its mother. And its uncle, Scorpius. Maybe even Al and Lily if they were feeling up to it.
“Of course, Professor.” I replied quietly.
“Before you go, have you had any check-ups or scans?”
“Er, yes. I had a scan a couple of months ago. I think I’m due another in about a month’s time.”
“Okay, well you can always arrange one with Madam Pomfrey; I will alert her and the other teachers of your situation. They were always going to find out from idle gossip anyway, Miss Malfoy.” She added, seeing my look of horror.
As I left her office I bumped into Scorpius who was leaning against a wall, thinking deeply from the looks of it. His head abruptly turned when I walked out of McGonagall’s office.
“Hey, Vi.” He said morosely.
“Hey. Thanks for waiting,” I replied, “I’m so sorry you had to get caught up in the middle of this, I would understand if you decided to take Dad’s side on this one.” I said, although without really meaning it.
“What? Are you serious? Why the hell would I take Dad’s side? Listen Vi, I’m here for you, okay? Even if James isn’t.”
“He never said that.”
“Yeah but… look Vi, I know how a bloke’s mind works, especially with a bloke like James. I can bet you that he is going to try to ignore you as much as possible as he probably doesn’t know what the hell to do right now. He’s going to be torn between supporting this baby and ignoring its existence and I can almost guarantee that he’s not going to find it easy to make that decision. I mean, he’s grown up with a large family, he’s going to want to look after his kid but also, as he’s a teenage boy, he’s going to want to have independence from his family for once.
Scorpius was right. James had decided to completely ignore me. I first noticed it after I woke up the next morning having gone to bed early, ignoring all the pitying stares and malicious glares of fellow Slytherins as I made my way to the dormitory. I got up pretty early as I didn’t want to have to face my dorm-mates and Joanna and Becca. I also didn’t want to have to sleep in any longer as I’d been having nightmares all night where my Dad had thrown me out onto the streets and told me I had to live with Voldemort (a scary although interesting plot twist I guess). I walked up to the Great Hall and only saw a few people there; one of which was James who had obviously had the same idea to go to breakfast early and avoid everyone. I noticed him trying to subtly watch me as I sat down. Thankfully there were only two other people at the Slytherin table, and they were first-years so I knew they weren’t going to give me any hassle.
I quickly finished my toast with jam and marmalade (it was a weird craving I had been having) and left to go to Transfiguration; my first lesson. I sat waiting in the classroom for about an hour, but I didn’t mind as I deliberately wanted to avoid the rush of pupils going form breakfast to their first lessons. As the class filed into the room I could hear many whispers, but I just tried to ignore them. Finally, Becca and Joanna arrived and sat on either side of me.
“Vi… is it true?” asked Becca, whispering so that only Joanna and I could hear.
“Erm, yeah?” I said, scared of what they’d think of me, but instead of chastising me, I suddenly received a rather unexpected hug from them both.
“Oh Vi. How ever did you get yourself into such a pickle?” said Joanna with a feeble smile on her face.
“I.. I don’t know. It just happened… Lily’s party…” I muttered, trying to hold back tears.
“But why didn’t you tell us sooner? We could have helped you, Vi.” Said Becca.
“I guess I just didn’t know how.” There was a short pause before Becca spoke again:
“Is it true about James and Al too?”
“What? That Al supposedly loves me and that James is this baby’s dad?”
“Well… yeah.” Replied Becca hesitantly.
“It’s true.” I replied drearily
“Oh dear, this is a messy situation…” said Joanna before being interrupted by Professor McGonagall’s arrival into the lesson.
“You think I don’t know that already?” I whispered back.
It was amazing to know that Becca and Joanna weren’t mad at me. They’d promised to help me with whatever would happen which gave me a massive sense of relief. However, not everything that day went okay. My last lesson was Potions. With James. Oh merlin, kill me now.
I walked into the Potions classroom to find only a few other people there. I received the odd stare here and there but throughout the day I had gotten used to it and, even though I hated it, I had brought it upon myself. People slowly started drifting into the classroom until finally James arrived looking tired and worn out; his hair had lost its shine and his eyes looked glassy. I knew that he had been having a tough day too; I’d seen people shouting abuse at him during lunch and I’d also heard that he had broken up with his girlfriend, Claire. I almost felt sorry for him, but I had to remind myself that I was in a very similar situation.
He walked to the chair next to me and slumped down awkwardly, looking at the floor. Many people in the class were staring at us and exchanging whispers until Professor Slughorn finally gave out instructions for a new Potion; an Ageing Potion. James and I silently set to work on it for the first ten minutes of the lesson until James finally spoke:
“My uncles once made one of these in their sixth year.” He said awkwardly, obviously trying to diffuse the tension.
“Oh right. Did they do Potions?” I asked, although not really all that interested.
“I don’t know, but they made it so they could enter the Triwizard Tournament. Didn’t work of course, but it was worth a try.”
“Hmm.” I murmured, not knowing what else to say. There was another awkward silence as James tried not only to avoid my eye contact but also Claire’s (she was sitting two rows in front) until he spoke again, but this time very quietly:
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” I froze. I was totally not expecting that. I didn’t want to have to talk about this now, not here!
“I… I didn’t know how.” I said weakly.
“You didn’t know how? He asked condescendingly.
“James, you’ve got to understand that I was scared to death of not only what you’d say but also what my family would say too!”
“Well then why did you tell Al?” he asked, looking genuinely hurt and confused, but I could tell he was trying to hide it.
“I didn’t.” I said truthfully.
“Yes you did, he told me!”
“No James, he figured it out for himself.” I replied straightly.
“What do you mean?”
“He saw a photo from my scan and realised what it meant.”
“He re- wait, you had a scan?”
“Yeah, a couple of months ago.”
“Oh,” he said, it was hard to read his facial expressions, “Do you still have the photo?” he asked, looking hopeful.
“Er, yeah.” I said, pulling it out from my inner robe pocket. I handed it over to him and he looked at is with an amazed but slightly scared expression on his face.
“Oh wow,” he said, gaping, “So it’s okay then? There’s nothing wrong, right?” he inquired.
“Nope, everything’s fine so far.” James smiled slightly before handing the photo back to me.
“Look Vi, there’s something I need to get off my chest.” He said after a pause.
“What?” I asked.
“I’m really really scared, Vi, and I don’t know if I can do this.” He said, looking sad.
“Look James, we’re both in the same situation here. I’m scared out of my mind right now, I’m the one carrying this baby, remember? I know you’re shocked and worried but please, please don’t make any hasty decisions which you might forget, for the baby’s sake.” He looked at me oddly before turning back to the Potion and remaining silent for the rest of the lesson. I didn’t know what else to say to him. I wanted him to stay and support the baby but I also didn’t want to feel as if I was tying him down against his wishes.
At the end of the lesson, just as we were leaving the classroom, Claire, who was smirking, handed James a copy of the Daily Prophet before walking off. I saw James go white as he read the paper’s headline so I peered over to have a look:
‘ELDEST POTTER BOY GETS FELLOW HOGWARTS STUDENT AND FAMILY RIVAL PREGNANT AT 17’
The first couple of lines read:
James Potter, 17, the eldest child of the famous Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley, has brought shame upon his family today as it was revealed that he is having a baby with Viola Malfoy, also 17, the daughter of Harry Potter’s biggest school enemy, Draco Malfoy. It is known that they are not in a relationship and that Miss Malfoy is actually the love-interest of Potter’s younger brother, Albus,16.
“Oh merlin. How did they find out?” I said, eyeing James, who looked like he was going to be sick.
“I don’t know.” He said, looking incredibly pale before walking brusquely out of the dungeons. I suddenly felt tears forming in my eyes as I stood alone in that corridor. The fact that we’d made front-page news scared the life out of me. And then my thoughts reverted back to my Dad. Would I ever be allowed home again? Would he even want to see me anymore? Although he has many faults, I did love him and it hurt so much that he had abandoned me like that yesterday and that he hadn’t even bothered to comfort me. I felt the same hurt when I thought of Mum. She hadn’t even made the effort to stand up to my Dad. She couldn’t even stand up for me, her own daughter in her time of need. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I leaned against a wall, banging my fists on his as I slid down into a ball, sobbing. Everything seemed so much more real now that people knew about the baby and it scared me, scared me beyond belief. I was still technically a kid myself, how could I look after my own, especially when my support network was so far incredibly limited. I continued to cry, wishing the pain and worries would go away, but they didn’t.
A/N: Sorry this is a bit a of a 'filler chapter', but I wanted to give the characters a bit of a rest after the last couple of chapters! :)
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