Chapter 12 : Arrangements
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Sorry I haven’t kept in contact with you since I last saw you but it took me a while to get over the shock of everything. I’ve seen various news articles about you and the Potter boys and I hope you’re all right. Anyway, as I’m sure you’re aware, Christmas is fast approaching and I want you to know that you are still very much welcome at home, despite your father’s reaction to your news. I might also add that I think it would be a good idea if you brought James around for a day so that we can get to know him better (even your father has agreed- albeit reluctantly- to this, if you can believe it!). Let me know if this is okay with you and I hope to see you soon,
It was a lot to take in but in my head I agreed with her; my parents really did need to get to know James properly and inviting him over was probably the best thing for it.
“Who’s it from, Vi?” asked Al, peering over whilst sipping from his morning orange juice.
“My mother.” I said, slightly shocked.
“WHAT?!” exclaimed Al, Scorpius, Jo and Becca simultaneously.
“What does she want?” asked Scorpius.
“Well, she’s basically just saying that I’m still welcome at Christmas and that I-” I said, pausing.
“That you what?” inquired Becca.
“-That I invite James over at some point so my parents can get to know him better.”
“Are you serious?” asked Al, looking surprised and perhaps even jealous.
“Unfortunately.” I replied bluntly.
“Makes sense, though, I mean, Mum and Dad barely know James and he’s going to be the father of their first grandchild.” Said Scorpius thoughtfully.
“So? It’s not like he’s actually going to do anything about it!” exclaimed Al angrily.
“Al, please, James is having a rough time at the moment, just give him a rest.Besides, I can always have you over during the holidays at some point too.” I said.
“No, it’s fine. In fact, tell you what- why don’t you come over to ours one day? Boxing day maybe? Then you can meet the family.”
“Er, okay, but I’ll have to ask my parents first.” I replied to Al, who now looked much happier. I, however, was feeling rather intimidated by the prospect of meeting the whole Weasley/Potter clan; what would they think of me, especially after all the rubbish that the Daily Prophet had been spurting out about me almost every day? Worried, I pushed the thought to the back of my mind and continued to eat as the conversation turned to Quidditch and the current League champions; Puddlemere United and I began to pen a reply to my Mum:
Thanks for getting in contact with me, I can understand why you hadn’t been sending me any letters but nevertheless it made me feel a little sad and I hope you aren’t taking any of the Daily Prophet’s articles about me seriously, as they’re making most of their ‘information’ up. I’d be delighted to come home for Christmas and I’ll invite James over, maybe on Christmas Eve? Also, would it be okay if I spent time with James’ family on Boxing Day as Al invited me I’m sure they’d like to get to know me better too. I hope you and Dad are well,
It was now the final weekend before we were due to break up for the Christmas holidays and excitement was in the air, as were several copious amounts of floating mistletoe. Professor McGonagall had given Al and I permission to leave the school grounds to have my sixth-month scan as Madam Pomfrey didn’t have experience in pre-natal care. McGonagall was at first puzzled as to why I was taking Al rather than his brother, but I soon explained James’ apparent lack of interest in my pregnancy.
Al and I walked down to Hogsmeade on the briskly cold Saturday morning and he held out his wand in the street to summon the Knight Bus. We decided that in my pregnant state, it might be unsafe to travel by apparition, port keys or the floo network, nevermind broomsticks. The conductor was a tall and lanky middle-aged man with a small stubble and a strong cockney accent:
“Welcome to the-"
“Yes, yes, we know.” I said snappily, in response to a gangly young man who I presumed was the conductor.
“Come on then, hop on! Where abouts are you looking to go?”
“Alright then, you’ll be the third stop after Mrs Birch and Mr Walter.” He said, directing us to a seat. He looked suspiciously at Al before saying, “You’re that son of ‘Harry Potter, you are!” he said excitedly.
“Erm, yes, yes I am.” Said Al, rather taken aback.
“Cor, blimey, wait till my Mum hears about this- first Harry Potter himself and now his son!”
“When did my Dad come on here?” asked Al curiously, before we all suddenly jolted forwards as the bus sprang into life. It was a very violent ride but Al and the conductor still managed conversation somehow.
“Oh, well, quite a while, back you see. Back when ‘e were still a lad. Small, scrawny fing, he was; you look a lot like him.”
“Gee, thanks.” Said Al sarcastically, remaining quiet for the rest of the journey. I guess being called small and scrawny isn’t exactly a compliment. Our first stop was in a small village somewhere in Yorkshire, surrounded by the Dales and complete with several houses covered in limestone and a pub which appeared to be packed full of oblivious muggles watching a football match. Then, we were off again until we reached Mr Walter’s stop; a large,rainy, industrial town in Lancashire which was overshadowed by a large Victorian mill.
Finally, we reached London and the disguised St Mungo’s was soon in sight. We left the bus, thanking Stan and the driver, and proceeded to make our way into the hospital. As soon as we arrived at the reception desk, we were greeted with countless stares and scorns; we had been a hot-topic in the news recently so it came as no surprise.
Thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long to be seen by our Healer and we walked into her room excitedly.
“Good morning, I’m Healer Grisham. You must be Miss Malfoy, and of course, Mr Potter! I must say, you look exactly like your father, Albus!” she said cheerily, disgruntling Al. “Now, Miss Malfoy, if you’d like to lie down on the bed for me then that would be fantastic.” She said as I made myself semi-comfortable on the strange hospital bed.
Healer Grisham then cast a spell over my stomach, making it tingle slightly before an image suddenly materialised before my eyes. It was my baby; my child. It had grown so much since I had last seen it on that small, muggle screen just three months previously. I felt a fuzzy feeling as I heard the baby’s heartbeat surround the room. Al looked at the image wide-mouthed in wonder before his mouth curled into a smile. It was all too much for my emotions and I suddenly burst into tears of joy. “Damn you, hormones!” I said jokily.
“Your baby seems to be perfectly healthy, Miss Malfoy” smiled Healer Grisham, “would you like to know its gender?”
I glanced over to Al who thought for a second before nodding and saying “Why not?!”
“Okay then, sure.” I said excitedly.
“Congratulations, Miss Malfoy, it’s a boy.” She said happily. Suddenly a new wave of excitement ran through me. I was going to have a beautiful baby boy! I couldn’t believe how real everything now seemed. Al looked happy too:
“I was kind of hoping it was a boy, actually.” He said after we left the room.
“Really? How come?” I asked curiously.
“I don’t know really, I guess I just feel that I can probably be more of a help to you with the baby being a boy. I mean, I don’t know a thing about girls, but I’m an expert with boys, obviously.”
“Good point. I just hope he doesn’t turn out to have the same personality as James. Maybe if he spends lots of time with you then we can avoid that.” I said concernedly. Don’t get me wrong, James could be nice when he wanted to be, but I couldn’t help but feel that he was a little immature.
“Yeah, I guess so.” Said Al in response to me as he hailed for the Knight Bus again.
When we arrived back at Hogwarts at lunch time, Scorpius, Jo and Becca were all buzzing to hear how the scan went. Al and I walked over to the Slytherin table and showed them a picture we’d gotten from the scan.
“Oh wow, that’s incredible, guys!” said Scorpius, “I’m going to be an uncle! This is so exciting!” he said. His girlfriend, Rose, who was sitting next to him (even though she’s in Gryffindor) seemed equally as excited.
“Hey Scorp, do you know what this means?” she asked him.
“That I’m going to be an uncle?” he said nonplussed.
“No, silly, we’re going to be practically related!”
“Well, this baby’s dad is James who is my cousin and this baby’s mum is obviously Vi who’s your sister, so we’re kind of going to be related!” she said, looking strangely happy.
Scorpius shrugged and continued looking at the picture.
“Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention, it’s a boy.” I said joyfully.
“Seriously?! That’s great, Vi!” said Scorpius, “Now I can be a cool uncle and take my nephew out to dinosaur exhibitions and stuff!” he said excitedly.
“Hmm, we’ll see about that.” I said. Suddenly, I noticed someone approaching the Slytherin table- James.
“What do you want?” asked Al maliciously.
“Well, I heard that you had your latest scan today Vi, and I just wanted to make sure that everything’s all right.”
“Oh… well thanks for asking. And the baby’s still fine. It’s a boy by the way.”
“Really?! That’s brilliant!” he said, smiling for what seemed like the first time in weeks.
“Yeah, here’s a picture, see?” I said, passing him another copy of the photograph.
“Blimey, wow.” He said, before passing the picture back to me, “That’s amazing.” He said, looking dazed.
“Oh and by the way, would you like to come over to my house on Christmas Eve for dinner or something as my parents would like to get to know you better. Also bearing in mind the fact that Al has invited me to spend time with your family on Boxing Day.”
“Oh has he? Well then, okay, sure. Let me know what time.” He said, looking slightly annoyed with Al but also apprehensive; but I wasn’t surprised considering how my father had treated him. James then left to return to the Gryffindor table, taking Rose with him.
“You never know, Vi, perhaps he will get his act together for this kid.” Said Becca, receiving a look from Al for her words. Maybe she was right, maybe she was wrong; who was I to judge- it was up to James after all.
The beginning of Stan Shunpike's speech is from 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix', page 463 by J.K. Rowling.
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