Chapter 18 : Chapter 17: Bombshell
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Chapter 17: Bombshell
I didn't hear from the matron again until the next morning. Breakfast had flown past in a haze of toast crumbs and hushed chatter about the subject we were surely talking into the ground –me. Even from where I currently sat in the common room, enjoying having no lessons until the afternoon, the gang were still bouncing ideas off each other in quiet voices, though the common room was empty - only our year had Friday morning off timetable.
"We could tell them for you Rose." James offered, roping me into the conversation. I looked down to where he sat warming himself by the fire with Albus, Becky and Scorpius. Sarah looked at me out of the corner of her eyes from her seat on the sofa next to me and Dom watched from the nearest armchair.
"James, I appreciate the offer, but it would be best if I told my parents myself." I sighed, imagining that James would probably break the news through interpretive dance. All of them had offered at least twice, and the conversation and topic itself were wearing thin on my last nerve.
Almost as thin as one of Chelsea Oxford's tiny shirts. Even in the depths of despair I can make myself laugh at her. God I hate her. I wish I could just take my pencil and drive it right through her thick skull and kill the one brain cell I can hear rattling around up there when she walks…
"Rose!?" Dom said, snapping me out of my psychopathic daydream.
"You're holding your pencil like a sword and grinding your teeth like an old sheep." Dom said conversationally. I quickly set my would-be weapon down.
"And there's an owl at the window" Albus said, looking up from his book, 'Potions for Professionals.' It seemed he too had grown tired of the 'OH MY GOD, ROSE'S LIFE IS SO DRAMATIC' conversation.
Sarah got up from her chair, still in her dressing gown, and ambled over to the window to let the eagle-owl hop in. He stuck his leg out and Sarah untied a small envelope from it. As soon as she had done so, he hopped out of the window and flew away. Sarah shut out the bitterly cold air and came over to me, handing me the letter before snuggling back down in her space on the sofa in her fluffy dressing gown. Everyone watched me as I ripped the envelope carefully apart and teased the letter out. It read;
You have an appointment booked with the chief midwife at St. Mungos for your overdue scan on Monday 14th of November. You shall travel via floo from my office in the Hospital Wing, with up to five escorts from there at 10.55am in order to meet your appointment at 11am. If any of this is inconvenient, do not hesitate to come and see me or write a letter of reply.
Madame A. Pettifoot.
I passed Sarah the letter to read aloud to the others while I drank in its message. I would see my baby… my tiny, (probably) human baby, in three days on a scan picture. I am not ready for this. Not nearly ready…
It was soon decided that Scorpius, Sarah and James would accompany me to the scan – too many people coming would raise serious questions. However, Amy and Chelsea had reacted by throwing a little shit-fit over having their boyfriends unstuck from them for more than two seconds.
"I'm going with Rose, James and Sarah to a hospital appointment on Monday." Scorpius told Chelsea over dinner on Saturday.
We had allowed her onto the Gryffindor dining table for once and Dom was eyeing her menacingly while Becky was beadily keeping an eye on her from her seat between Rich and Albus.
"No." Chelsea said flatly, ladling herself some boiled potatoes with a small smile.
"It wasn't a question, it was a statement." Sarah said, from my side, frowning at her.
"This conversation doesn't concern you, honey." Amy said in sickly sweet tones, batting her eyelashes at Sarah, who set down her fork. Amy is just as smart as she looks. That is to say that she is as thick as cold shit.
"I think it does, honey." Sarah bit back sarcastically, "Scorpius is my mate and he can do whatever he wants to."
"I don't think so. He promised to spend the night with me, didn't you? You said you were going to take a walk in the grounds with me after lessons." Chelsea said to Scorpius, who looked thoroughly confused at being told what to do.
"I said once I'd done my Herbology paper I'd meet you outside the greenhouses on the way to dinner, if that constitutes as spending the night with you…" Scorpius said uncertainly.
"Well the appointment is in the morning. So it won't affect that." Dom said, finishing her ravioli and staring Chelsea down.
"Can't she go with Rose and you two stay here? Why does Rose need chaperones anyway?" Amy whined at James, pointing at Sarah.
"'She' has a name." Sarah said, scowling at James, who looked apologetic.
"Plus, I'm sat right here." I said, pushing my barely-touched dinner away and looking at Amy. Her hair was scraped up into a high ponytail and her face was caked in makeup. Perhaps some men find her attractive, but I couldn't help imagining that she slept in a kennel.
"Come on Scorpius, find your balls." Dom said dryly, tucking into the treacle tart that had appeared on the table. This seemed to annoy Scorpius, but thankfully he took it out on Chelsea.
"Look Chels, I'm going, you can't tell me what to do. Rose wants me there."
"Why do you need so many escorts Rose?" She asked, eyes narrowing.
"Keep your nose out of my business or I'll turn it purple like I did in forth year." I said casually, enjoying the ice-cream I was engulfing in chocolate sauce.
"Oooh. Touchy subject is it?" Chelsea asked, eyebrows raised and looking at Amy like she'd struck gold. I quickly realised my mistake.
"I got bitten by an aqua-viper in the lake a few days ago and it's starting to really hurt. These three are coming because James was there when it happened, Scorpius took me to the hospital wing and Sarah saw the wound the next day. Happy now?" I snapped, just before filling my gob with an overwhelming amount of chocolate ice-cream with chocolate chips and just a hint of chocolate sauce. Just a hint.
"Very. Thank you." Chelsea smiled, though I could still see the ice in her eyes. I finished the final shovelful of my ice cream in one mouthful and stood up.
"I'm going up to do some research in the library." I said thickly, before excusing myself and leaving the table. I was just past the threshold of the empty doorway towards the library when I heard my name being called.
"Oh Rosieee?" A girly voice trilled. There were some footsteps and then Chelsea appeared behind me.
"You dropped your quill on the way out." She said, carefully handing it back to me and flashing her expensively-manicured hands.
"Right. Cheers." I said, turning my back on her. However, she grabbed my arm at the elbow and stood behind me to whisper in my ear. I couldn't move out of shock and the pain from her surprisingly tight grip on my arm.
"I will get you out of Scorpius' life for good, you bitch. His money is mine now. And if I manage to get any dirt on you, Weasley, rest assured that I will use it to break you." Chelsea hissed in my ear in a quiet, deadly voice.
Within seconds she had released me and swiftly clicked away in her ridiculous heels.
Great… An enemy. Just what I needed.
The rest of the weekend passed in a blur, and I chose not to tell anyone about the incident between me and Chelsea. I found myself in the matron's office at five to 11, Sarah, James and Scorpius in tow. The matron had written a note to our professors explaining that we would miss second and third lessons due to the appointment, which was 'of a sensitive nature'.
"Right Miss Weasley, you know the drill." Madame Pettifoot said, leading me to the ornate fireplace.
"I would like to speak to you personally after the appointment please. I have excused you from your forth lesson today for that purpose." She said, staring at me through her glasses. I nodded and turned towards the fire.
I had spoken barely at all this morning due to shock and nerves. It felt like I was walking around in a bubble… no one could penetrate it but at the same time, I couldn't get out. I couldn't believe I was practically already a mother. All thoughts of adoption, abortion and suicide (I did consider it in one of my darkest hours) were far from my mind by this point. I had got myself into the mess, albeit not alone, but I would have to suffer the consequences. I could not end this new life… I knew I couldn't. For reasons other than just the risk of media knowledge… I knew it would haunt me for the rest of my days if I did. Adoption would be almost worse… I couldn't carry a life inside me for 9 months and then just hand it to somebody else when the really tough bit started. It wouldn't be right… Everyone would already love it by then.
This train of thought led me all the way through the floo and I found myself in a pristine, white office.
"Miss Weasley, a pleasure to meet you." A beaming woman in a long, white overcoat said, extending her hand.
"Mr Malfoy, Mr Potter, Miss Addams." She said, shaking all of our hands in turn, still smiling dazzlingly. I didn't ask how she knew all of our names… we were all famous in this world.
"Take a seat please." She said, and we all sat down in the white, plastic, uncomfortable seats opposite her desk.
"My name is Sister Ann Weathers, but please call me Ann. I am the acting head of the midwifery department here at St Mungos." She explained.
"I will just give you this form to fill out and then you can pop next door to have the scan." She said, handing me a piece of parchment and a white quill and smiling her way out of the room.
I looked at Sarah, James and Scorpius and then down at the form. It was the basics, name, date of birth, etc etc. I had never injured myself badly enough to need to come into St. Mungos so their records needed updated since my birth ones I suppose.
"Right. Come on you guys, let's go and get scanned." I said. We all filed out of the room and into the dazzlingly clean ward full of private rooms. Fancy. We entered the nearest room and closed the door behind us.
"Thank you." Sister Ann said as she took the form from my outstretched hand. A nurse I had only just noticed stepped forward and took the form to a filing cabinet (also white) in the corner.
"Right Rose, I'm just going to put this screen up and ask you to put this on" Sister Ann said, handing me a blue garment and drawing the screen around me.
I unfolded it to discover a kind of cropped top. I took my baggy red shirt off and slipped the cropped top over my bra to reveal my stomach. I glanced in a mirror opposite me and noticed that I was beginning to put on weight. Not just around my stomach, just in general. My thighs looked shapelier in my jeans, my breasts overflowed all my bras and my arse was growing to a size of such astronomical proportions that it was a wonder that it hadn't yet eclipsed the sun. Well, maybe it wasn't that bad. I wasn't fat, and I had never been thin. But there was definitely a bit of chub around the midriff. I sighed, knowing that I'd better get bloody used to it.
"I'm ready" I said after a few more seconds lamenting my hips, which seemed to be heading south for winter.
Sister Ann drew back the screen and Scorpius' face came into view first. He looked uncomfortable and out of place. Although that might be because there are pictures of vaginas and wombs covering every wall. James was cradling a plastic baby he had obviously plucked from the adjacent (and now empty) model of a womb on the table next to him. Sarah smiled encouragingly at me, taking the baby from James without looking and putting it on the table. Ann gestured for me to lie on the bed on the other side of the room.
"Right. As you probably know, only two people are allowed in the room at the time of the scan." Sister Ann said to me as she fluffed up the pillow under my back.
"I'll go" Sarah said quickly, knowing that James was family and should stay and Scorpius should see his child for the first time too, unbeknownst to him of course.
"No, please no..." I said quickly. I was beginning to panic, my palms sweating and my heart racing. My friends came over to me and Sarah took one of my clammy hands. James placed a hand on my shoulder and Scorpius' fingers entwined with mine.
"Can't you bend the rules? She's really nervous," James asked in his most charming voice, giving the midwife his famously adorable puppy-dog eyes. The young midwife and even younger nurse looked at each other uncertainly. James gave the nurse a cheeky wink. She blushed. Was it me or did Sarah's grip on my hand just tighten?
"I'm sure we can make an allowance. She is very young." The nurse said, looking at me in what she assumed was a kind way, and not like a patronising bitch.
"That's rich. What are you here for anyway, are you on a school trip?" I muttered darkly under my breath. Only Scorpius heard me and the corners of his mouth twitched upwards in a stifled smile.
"Okay Rose. They can all stay. But I can't guarantee the same thing for next time." Sister Ann said, looking at me seriously. I nodded.
"Right. The procedure here is that we give you a potion which will make your stomach see through. We can then have a real look at the baby on this screen and see how it reacts to touch through your tummy." She said, pointing to a large flat-screen next to my bed and smiling. I nodded again, words having failed me. She handed me a little, blue glass bottle.
"Drink it all, it takes about five minutes to kick in, so we'll return then." Ann said, smiling kindly and exiting the room, the nurse in tow.
I gulped down the minty liquid and Sarah, Scorpius and James pulled some chairs towards the bed.
"Have you told the father yet then? Whoever he is." Scorpius said after a minute, not looking at me. He sounded snide. James glared at him from the other side of me in warning.
"I just thought he would be here if he knew..." Scorpius added unwittingly after catching sight of James.
Is it just me who can practically taste the irony?
"He doesn't know yet." I said, hoping to end the conversation. Scorpius opened his mouth to say something potentially even more awkward.
"Well done for standing up to Chelsea, Scor" Sarah said quickly, cutting him off.
"I- oh, thanks. Well she can't expect to tell me what to do. I wouldn't dream of telling her what to do." He said, frowning in confusion. He opened his mouth to add something but James let out a strange strangled sound from next to me.
"I can see… oh my god, is that the foetus?" He said, half horrified, half awed. I stared down at my stomach and gasped. It was like there was a window in my belly… I was staring at a tiny, weenie, teacup human surrounded by all my organs moving away doing their own little thing.
"It's amazing isn't it?" The midwife said. She and the nurse had returned without making a sound. The four of us looked up, mouths agape.
"That's… that's my… my…" I stuttered.
Tears were welling up in my eyes. The nurse placed a connector on my tummy and the flat-screen lit up. There it was - a zoomed-in picture of my tiny little baby. The tears overflowed and I looked across to Sarah, who was looking tearful too. She squeezed my hand and a big tear splashed onto her shirt. She wiped her own tears away, frustrated and smiled at me, though tears were forming again in her eyes.
"Its… amazing" Scorpius breathed from next to me and I turned to him. He had an odd, peaceful look on his face. He seemed dazed. I looked up at James and he had his hands on Sarah's shoulders, looking down on her with pure love in his eyes, though she couldn't see it.
"Look at you lot, all gooey eyed!" Ann said with a sweet smile. We all broke out of our emotions and Sarah and I dried our eyes.
I looked down at my stomach with wide eyes. There I saw my incy wincey baby, all it's limbs curled into its body, its head looking strangely big compared to the rest of it. It's head was facing me, like it was giving me a tiny, internal hug. The nurse pressed on my stomach while the midwife watched the screen.
"Congratulations Rose, your baby is growing well and looks healthy. We will schedule you an appointment in another 6 weeks to check up on you again." Ann said, patting my hand. The window to my stomach was fading already and the screen went black.
"That's it?" I asked croakily. "I thought it would take longer than that." I said.
"Well the potion lasts for about twenty minutes." The nurse said to me as she unstuck the connector from my stomach.
Twenty minutes? It seemed like just seconds I had spent looking at my baby. The others seemed shocked too.
"It didn't seem that long." James said.
"It never does." The nurse and midwife looked at each other, smiling serenely.
"That's why we have this photograph ready for you." The nurse said, taking a piece of paper out of the flat screen and handing it to me.
There was my baby, in full colour, moving ever so slightly every now and again. Fresh tears welled up and the nurse smiled down on me. I internally apologised for thinking she was a patronising bitch earlier.
"Thank you… thank you so much." I said five minutes later as we all shook hands in Sister Ann's office.
"I look forward to seeing you soon. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns and I'll be sure to reply as soon as possible." Ann said to me reassuringly as James disappeared in the floo.
"Thanks again. See you soon!" I said as I took the floo powder in my hands and whooshed back to Hogwarts through the fireplace.
"Take a seat please Rose" Madame Pettifoot said, gesturing to the singular chair in front of her. I did as instructed and sat down. The others had gone to their forth lesson and I was alone and starving here in the hospital wing.
"So Miss Weasley," She began, "I just wanted to see how you are. It can't be easy to be famous, pregnant and seventeen." She said, offering me a cheese and ham sandwich, which I gladly accepted.
"I'm ok." I lied, wolfing down my sandwich in seconds.
"Well you aren't. But I am offering you a meeting with me on a one-to-one basis with me every few weeks or so, just to talk to someone about your situation. I assume your family doesn't know?" She said shrewdly.
"No they don't know. And as for the sessions I don't know. Can I get back to you? I've had a very overwhelming day…" I tailed off, feeling the weight of my baby's picture in my pocket. I wanted to take it out and gaze at it again.
"Of course you can. Do owl me when you have less on your mind, Rose." She said kindly, indicating towards the door.
I thanked her and rushed to my common room in a sort of daze. By the time I had got there, Sarah and James were in the sofa by the fire, having finished for the day as I had. I was expecting to have had forth lesson, as I had a free for fifth, but that was obviously cancelled without my knowledge.
"Hey Rose" Sarah greeted me, subconsciously scooting away from James. When they are together they tend to get closer… in their hearts they aren't meant to be apart, and they know it deep down.
"Hi guys" I said "She just wanted to basically offer me counselling every few weeks. I dunno whether I'll take her up on it yet. Might be helpful" I shrugged, sitting by James.
"Can we see the picture again?" Sarah asked after a few seconds, obviously not being able to help herself any longer. My mouth twitched up – I was aching to see it too.
"Course." I said, sliding it out of my pocket and bringing it into the light so James and Sarah could both look at it.
"What's that?" A familiar voice said from behind me. We all jumped and turned to see Lily leaning over the back of the sofa, smiling. James chucked the photo at me with all the skill of a Seeker and I stuffed it down the front of my shirt.
"Nothing." We said in unison.
"Didn't look like nothing. Looked almost like a baby!" Lily said, laughing as though it were a joke. She caught sight of my face, which must have looked panicked as hell. The laughter slid from her face slowly. She came round to stand in front of us.
"Can I have a look Rose?" She asked softly, holding her hand out. We stared at her.
"Lils…" James said weakly. She ignored him.
"Please, Ro?" She asked, big brown eyes wide, "I'd like to see it."
I looked at James and Sarah, terrified, and slowly took out my picture and handed it to Lily. She stared at it for many minutes and sat cross legged on the floor suddenly as if her legs could no longer hold her.
"Is it yours? Are you pregnant Rosie?!" Lily asked in a hushed voice, shocked. We all looked at each other.
"Yes. It's mine and I am." I admitted in a whisper.
"Oh my god." She said, setting the photo down. I clamped a hand over my stomach and stroked the soft material of my top for comfort.
"W-when? And how? And who…who is the father?!" She asked, in the same quiet voice.
"I went for my overdue 6 week scan today. I am about eight weeks pregnant, so almost two months now. It wasn't planned, and nobody in my family knows… Lily, please don't tell anybody" I said pleadingly, managing to dodge out the 'who's the daddy' question.
"Of course I won't!" She said, horrified at the idea of blabbing. "How many people know?" She asked after a second. I did some quick maths inside my head.
"Excluding the matron, midwife and nurse, six people." I said.
"So, Sarah and James, Scorpius, Dominique, Becky and Albus?" She asked.
"So both my brothers have known, but not me?" She said, looking at James.
"Why didn't you tell me?" She asked him, hurt.
"It wasn't my place, Lils." He insisted earnestly. Lily looked hurt and annoyed for a minute more.
"Of course it wasn't," she said, looking understanding, "But not even Hugo knows?"
"No, nobody but you lot know." I said desperately.
I felt like pulling my hair out – Lily knowing was stressing me out for some reason… perhaps because I hadn't been prepared to drop a bombshell on another family member today. It seems that every day the truth slips from my fingers a little bit more, and somebody else has to find out.
"Hey Lil, how about me and you go up to my dormitory and have a Butterbeer and some Honeydukes and you can ask me all the questions, yeah? Rose has had a really stressful day." Sarah said kindly, jumping to my rescue once again.
Lily looked at me as if working out how stressed I was. It didn't take long for her to see that I was considerably frazzled.
"Okay Sare." She nodded, looking up at her sister-at-heart. Sarah helped her to her feet and Lily passed me the photograph and I relaxed into my seat.
"See you in a bit you two," Sarah said, her arm around a shell-shocked Lily as they climbed the steps to our dormitory. I raised a hand to show I had heard her and looked at James, knowing how tired and upset I looked. I don't know how much more of this I can take.
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