Nothing new has happened in the few weeks since my meeting with McGonagall, something I’m grateful for. The last thing I need is for more drama to come into my life. Lily has been at my beck and call, something that I feel horrible about, even though I never asked her to be. Somehow, whenever I think of Lily and how I need her for something, she has a knack for showing up right away.
She’s been helping me decide whether I should put the baby up for adoption or keep it, the old fashioned way. We made a list of pros and cons for each situation. The only problem with pro and con lists is that I’ve ended up having an argument written down on paper which makes the decision about ten times harder. If I keep the baby, at least I’ll know that it’s going to be in good hands, but at the same time, I have nothing to offer a child. I know nothing about taking care of a baby, I don’t have a job to support us with, and I don’t want to have to use anybody else’s money to support my own child. It sounds cold when I say it, but being a seventeen-year-old mum makes it difficult to pursue a career. How am I supposed to provide for a fragile baby when I’m not even independent enough to take care of myself?
I’ve thought long and hard about where to hide my list, because if I leave it in the dorm, someone might find it by accident, but if I leave it in my bag, it might fall out by accident. The only option that I’m left with is shoving it in my bra since no one will go looking for it there.
Since I’ve been around Lily so much, Albus has gotten a bit suspicious as to why his little sister (who doesn’t like most of the girls at school) and the mother of his future child (the child that he still doesn’t know about), are all of a sudden best friends. He never says anything about our sudden friendship, but I know that he’s wondering what exactly is happening by the way that he stares at us whenever we talk together. He’s caught on to the fact that we’re hiding something from him as well because we have a tendency to speak in code about the situation whenever he’s around.
“I still think you should keep the puppy,” Lily says at the feast one night, shoving another forkful of roast in her mouth and chewing enthusiastically. I stare at her in disgust and try to force her to stop eating like an animal with my mind, unfortunately I am not a Legilimens. She continues to chew with her mouth open.
“My God woman, it’s like you were raised by cavemen or something,” I say as I eat a spoonful of my own rice. I grimace: the rice tastes so bland. I manage to force down one more mouthful before giving up. Have the house elves been trying a new way of making rice or something? Because I don’t remember it tasting this way.
“You know what will make this rice taste even better?” I tell Lily, grabbing the yellow bottle to my right and squirting it all over my plate. “Mustard.”
“That’s gross, how can you eat that!” Lily cries, staring at me in horror as I eat my rice covered with mustard. It tastes absolutely delicious. How come I’ve never eaten all of my food with mustard all over it, this is so good!
“Lily, you’ve got to try this,” I say through a mouthful of food.
“No thanks, I think I’ll stick to decent food,” Lily says, grabbing the bowl of mashed potatoes closest to her. We are finishing our dinner and diving into our desserts when Rose shows up, out of breath and dishevelled.
“Lily, I’ve been looking for you!” she yells as she approaches. Rose plops down next to Lily, grabs some chocolate ice cream, and digs in. “Mum wants to know what you wanted for Christmas.” She licks her ice-cream, accidentally smearing some across both her cheeks. “She told me to be subtle and trick you into telling me so that you’ll be surprised when you get what you want on Christmas day, but you know me, I’m not one for beating around the bush. Say, Seraphina, have you gained any weight?” Rose adds, once she catches sight of me. I look down at myself in horror when I hear her statement. Have I gotten fat? Have I gained weight? Oh my God, what if I’m practically bursting out of my clothes and I just don’t know it?!
If Rose thinks I’m fat, that obviously means that I’m showing already. It also means that I’ll most likely have to get some new clothes soon: otherwise I won’t be able to fit myself into the robes that I have right now. Rose is actually doing me a huge favour. It’s better if she notices rather than Albus.
This is the difference between Rose and Albus I notice, while Rose has no problem voicing her observations, Albus will probably just keep quiet about it until I feel comfortable talking about it. But maybe I’m being too easy on him, chances are he won’t even notice that I’ve gained weight until I look like a balloon.
“Rose, stop talking rubbish, Seraphina hasn’t gained any weight. I think you need to get your eyes checked or something, dearest cousin of mine,” Lily replies, cool as a cucumber. I’ve gotta hand it to her, she’s a master in the art of lying. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stay that calm when I’m lying to people.
Rose stares at me intently, looks me up and down. She looks at my face and then she concentrates on my stomach. Finally, she looks down and stares at the bowl full of chocolate pudding and cheesecake. She brings her gaze back up to my eyes, pops a gummy worm in her mouth and then calmly says:
“You’re pregnant, aren’t you?”
Bloody hell, what is this?! Am I wearing some sort of sign over my head that’s flashing with the words ‘I’M PREGNANT!’? There is no other rational reason that everyone could be figuring it out this fast. Something has to be giving me away because this is just not possible.
“How on earth did you figure it out?” I cry, almost throwing my arms up in frustration.
“I don’t know, something about you just screamed pregnant, plus your tummy is bulging a little bit and you’re eating cheesecake with chocolate pudding,” Rose says, staring pointedly at my bowl. “And not to brag or anything, but I’ve had quite a bit of experience with pregnant women in our family. Our Aunt Audrey gave birth to twins.”
I pull my dessert towards me protectively and hide it from view by wrapping my arms around it. If people have a problem with the way that I eat my food, they can take it up with the Department of I Don’t Care.
“Out with it then, who’s the father?” Rose asks. It’s incredible how she’s so calm about this. She acts like she almost expected this to happen.
“I’m not telling you who the father is,” I say to Rose. She’ll probably start plotting ways to murder me like Lily did before I interrupted her and explained everything a few weeks ago.
“Oh come on, it’s like I’m going to hunt them down and then drop obvious hints about the situation, or act like I know something that they don’t,” Rose cries. She’s awfully specific for someone who claims that they’ll keep quiet about who the father of my child is. Now I don’t want to tell Rose who it is even more because I’m afraid that she’ll do everything that she just said she wouldn’t. That and she’s attracting the attention of everyone nearby.
“Hello, Albus!” Rose says, smiling at her cousin who’s standing right behind me. He drops his bag onto the bench and takes the seat next to me. He’s missed most of dinner and dessert is going to disappear pretty soon. I have a feeling I’ll catch Albus out of bed when I go patrolling tonight. I’ll just have to insist that the Head Boy and I split up to do our rounds. Hopefully, I won’t come off as suspicious and said Head Boy will agree with me.
“What are you guys talking about?” Albus says, grabbing my bowl of cheesecake and chocolate pudding and eating it. I stare at him in horror and watch as my food slowly disappears.
“Oh, we were just talking about who the fa-I mean, nothing, just discussing Seraphina’s food choices,” Rose says instead after I give a small shake of my head. I tilt my head towards Albus, look down at my stomach and over to him a few times until Rose gets the message. Her eyes widen in understanding and she looks between Albus and I frantically.
I almost groan and slap a hand to my face at how suspicious Rose is acting.
“I told you that was good!” I say to Rose to distract Albus. Rose rolls her eyes at me and drops the topic of the fact that I eat strange things now.
“Is there something that I should know about?” Albus asks, looking between Lily, Rose and I suspiciously. We all say no at the same time, which only makes Albus even warier of us. Thank God I don’t plan on being an Auror when I’m out of school: I’d be horrible at it.
“Rose, can Seraphina and I talk to you?” Lily says, and without waiting for an answer she grabs Rose by the arm and drags her out of the Great Hall with me trailing behind them, wishing I had thought to grab more cheesecake. I expect Lily to stop outside of the Great Hall but she keeps walking past the students walking around the corridor. In no time, we’re standing in front of the Fat Lady and Lily is giving her the password.
Lily doesn’t stop in the common room, even though it’s empty, but instead drags poor Rose –who’s practically falling over herself trying to keep up with Lily– into my dorm. After making sure that none of my other dorm mates are hiding anywhere, Lily shuts the door, locks it and turns to Rose with a businesslike expression on her face.
“How did this happen?” Rose finally bursts out, staring at me with wide eyes. And finally I see the shock that she was masking before.
“Do you want the sarcastic version, the scientific version or just the story of how I ended up like this?” I ask.
“Alright then, real version it is,” I say, and take a seat on my bed with my legs crossed. I don’t put in too many details when I tell the story but I do tell Rose that it had something to do with being drunk and stupid and I finish off with the fact that I still haven’t told Albus. Sweet Mother of Christ, how am I going to bring this up in random conversation with Albus? I can’t very well sit him down and go, “well, I’m carrying your spawn and you better deal with it!”
“Seraphina, I may not know you personally but I do know what type of person that you are and how you act and this just doesn’t seem like something you would do. Why did you get drunk anyway? You’re always so against parties and alcohol. I’d think you’d rather break all of the bones in your body before getting drunk and acting stupid,” Rose says, looking confused. She’s the only one who’s asked me why I decided to drink, even Lily didn’t question it. “And don’t give me some crap about how your mum told you to go out and be social.”
“I just . . . I hate people telling me that I can’t do something because I’m not good enough, or smart enough, or pretty enough, or because I’m too uptight. Every time someone tells me I can’t do something, because I don’t have what it takes, I have this urge to prove them wrong, I have to prove them wrong. It’s like I have to show that I’m good enough,” I say all in one breath, fists clenched by my side. I hate this, I hate that I have opened up to Rose and Lily like this. I have spent years making sure that everyone knows as little about me as possible, only to break that promise right now. “I don’t know how to explain it really; this is the best that I can come up with. But, the point is, when Albus said that I didn’t know how to have fun or implied that I couldn’t let loose, I wanted to prove that he was wrong. And even though he never said anything about me never drinking, I’m pretty sure that that is what he was getting at.”
“Damn,” Lily whispers. She’s looking at me as if I’ve gotten a whole lot more complicated and like there’s a layer to me that she’s never seen before. I don’t think it’s really sunk into Lily before that I am an actual human girl and not a pregnant robot.
“I just never realized that you had insecurities like every other girl here,” Lily says. What does she mean insecurities, I’m not insecure. At least, I don’t think I’m insecure.
“I mean that you’re obviously afraid of the fact that you’ll never be good enough so you’re constantly showing people that you are,” Lily adds when she sees my confused expression. “I just always thought of you as Seraphina, you’re one of the strongest people I know. It has never occurred to me that you had a weak part to you because you never show it to the world.”
“Lily, you barely know me,” I point out.
“Okay, well from what I’ve seen of you from the last few years, you looked tough. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you get frustrated or annoyed or flustered, you always seem to have everything under control and you’re never overwhelmed when everyone else is.”
“That’s because I’m organized and everyone else is not,” I reply. It seems that we’ve moved on from my therapy session and onto a less serious topic.
“So what are you going to do about Albus? Are you going to keep the bab-” Rose asks, but Lily slaps a hand over her mouth as the door opens and one of my roommates walks in. She stares at us in confusion and walks around us to get whatever she needs, she grabs a textbook and then bolts out of the room again, slamming the door behind her. I relax and turn back to Rose; I finally shrug and reply,
“I can honestly say that I have no idea,” I finally answer. This is one of the only times that I don’t know what to do. There have been very few times in my life where I’ve been stuck in a situation with no solution.
“You could always, oh, I don’t know, tell him,” Lily says.
“Albus is a good person Seraphina, he’s not going to run for the hills if you tell him that you’re pregnant,” Rose says, putting her arms around me. “Even when we were kids and one of us accidentally broke something, everyone else would run and hide, but Albus always stayed behind to clean up the mess and tell an adult, it’s just who he is. I’m sure he’s going to support you no matter what decision you make.”
And for some reason, that makes me feel better. It’s almost as if some kind of worry is taken off of my shoulders at Rose’s words. But I can’t help but feel that sticking around to support your pregnant friend is a lot more responsibility than cleaning up broken furniture.
“This room is too stuffy, I need to walk around, I feel like someone’s going to walk in on us any second” I say and head for the door. Without saying a word, Rose and Lily file out behind me and we make our way down to the common room and out of the portrait hole. The three of us walk around deserted corridors. I can hear the loud voices of students below us as they run to wherever they’re needed but this is an area near the common room that is generally ignored by almost everyone. There’s not much here, no classroom, only painting after painting crowding the walls.
“Seraphina, what are you going to do about the baby? Are you going to keep it or set it up for adoption?” Rose asks as we take a seat on a window ledge.
“I don’t know, both decisions are going to have effects on me,” I reply, leaning my head on the wall behind me. We sit there quietly: none of us know what to say, and really, what is there to say?
“You know who would be able to help you with this decision?” Lily asks, breaking the silence. I have a feeling that I know what her answer is going to be to that question.
“Albus, he is the baby’s father after all and as someone who contributed to making the fetus currently living inside of you I think he has a responsibility to help.”
Unfortunately, she’s right. I can’t make any decision without input from Albus. He should at least have some say in what is going to happen and if I make a choice about the baby without him, I’ll feel guilty about it. What if he decides that he wants nothing to do with me though? What if he gets so freaked out that he doesn’t want anything to do with me and I’m left to deal with this alone?
My thoughts must be showing on my face because Rose says, “If you’re worried about Albus ditching you after you give him the big news, then you’re not as smart as I think you are, Seraphina. If you know anything about Albus, you should know that he doesn’t abandon those he cares about, no matter what happens.”
Rose is right as well, I may not know Albus that well, or for as long as his family and relatives have, but I do know that he’s not one to simply ditch his friends or family if things get tough with them. Albus isn’t one of those people, he’ll probably want to help me out in any way that he can.
“Seraphina, I know that you probably want to kill me by now for asking this but I’m serious this time, when are you going to tell Albus that you are pregnant. You can’t just keep putting this off, one way or another you’ve got to tell him, and either way, the results will be the same. You might as well get it over with as soon as possible.”
“I’ll tell him, I will,” I add, when I see the skeptical look on Lily’s face. “I’ll tell him before we leave for Christmas break.”
I plan on telling Albus before Christmas break - that much I’m certain of. I can try and put this off as much as I want, but I’d be an idiot to not tell him before we leave for holidays. At least if I tell him now he’ll have time to think over everything during break and decide what he wants to say to me and stuff. Yeah, this is definitely for the best. After I tell Albus there’s only my parents left to inform. If I keep this up, my parents won’t know about me being pregnant until I’m actually at St. Mungo’s.
We sit in silence again and look out the window at the school ground and watch as it gets darker outside as time passes on. Moonlight comes through the window and lights up our dark corridor, casting shadows everywhere. The torches in the hallways cast scary shadows of everything.
I feel so calm, everything is so peaceful. For once, I’m not surrounded by people and there are no loud noises. It feels like nothing can disturb the peace here. It’s nice. I never thought I’d say this, but I enjoy having someone to talk to. I like the fact that I’m sitting here with Lily, who I can now call a friend, and Rose, who seems to be on the way to being my friend.
That’s got a nice sound, doesn’t it? There’s something nagging at me though, I feel like I should be somewhere, like I should remember something, but for the life of me I can’t think about what it is. I feel so sleepy that I can’t be bothered to care about where I’m supposed to be.
I’ve almost drifted off to sleep right where I’m sitting when Lily’s voice rouses me, “Don’t you have patrols tonight with the Head Boy?”
I groan when I realize that she is in fact right and Wesley Fisher, the most annoying soul to ever grace this planet, and, unfortunately, my current partner in Head business, is probably waiting for me to show up as we speak. Tonight of all nights I have to patrol the castle when what I really want to do is sleep. I jump off of the ledge, rub my eyes to get the sleep out and make my way down to the doors of the Great Hall to meet up with Wesley. Lily and Rose go the opposite direction and make their way up to Gryffindor Tower so that they won’t get caught outside after curfew.
This is going to be a long night.
thank you to my lovely beta Lululuna who is helping me with this story it's improved so much with your help. anyway, enjoy!