Chapter 14 : When The Family Knows All
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“The whole family knows.”
“The whole family knows what?”
“That you’re knocked up.”
I turned my head so quickly to look in Lily’s direction that it felt like I pulled a muscle. I wanted her to tell me that she was joking, that she was just waiting to see my reaction. Logically I knew that my family would find out in time- it wasn’t like I could very well hide the baby from them once it was in the world- but I had hoped that it would remain between my immediate family and Lily’s until I was ready to let them all know myself. By then I should have learned not to hope for anything. It never worked out well for me.
Unfortunately Lily didn’t laugh or smile and tell me that the look on my face was hysterical. She made no indication at all that she was joking around when she had said that. Quite to the contrary she looked almost grim with having given me that news, like she truly felt horrible for saying it but had thought I needed to know. “Apparently your father sent everyone an owl about it because he was so worked up over it.”
“How do you know that?”
“Victoire sent me an owl.”
“She finds out I’m pregnant and sends you an owl?”
“Well, she thought you had enough on your plate and that you didn’t need to answer letters from everyone in the bloody family,” Lily informed me, waved her hand at me as though it was the most logical thing. “She says it’s not fair that she’s the one getting married and you’re the one having a baby. She thought she’d be the first one to start the next generation in this family. I think she was trying to make a joke though. Hard to tell in an owl.”
“I forgot all about Vic and Teddy’s wedding,” I groaned, dropped my forehead down onto the desk in front of me. “We’re supposed to be in that wedding, Lily. I’m supposed to be in that wedding. By the time the wedding comes around I’m going to be showing. How am I supposed to fit properly into that dress when I’m going to be gaining weight like a madwoman?”
“You’re not going to balloon, Rose. It’s not like you’ll be practically giving birth. It’s only in a couple of months. You won’t be that far along,” Lily responded in a tone that implied I was being ridiculous. And perhaps I was but it was just one more thing I didn’t really enjoy the idea of worrying about. I had enough problems ahead of me. “Besides, I’m sure Vic will work something out. Have the dress altered to accommodate your baby belly.”
“I know that’s supposed to be comforting but it really isn’t.”
“Well, what do you expect me to say? That you’ll never get bigger? We both know that’s not true. You will get bigger. And the only thing she can do is get the dress altered. She’s not going to postpone the wedding until after the baby is born.”
“I know that,” I replied as I sat back up straight. “I wouldn’t expect her to either. I had just forgotten all about the bloody wedding until you brought it up.”
“That’s understandable, Rosie. You have a lot on your mind right now. Not the least of all being the fact that Leera Zabini is, undoubtedly, waiting for the best moment to drop the baby news bomb.”
Turning to look at her again my eyes narrowed into a glare. “I don’t like you very much right now.”
“Liar. You love me.” Unfortunately she was right.
The truth was that I had absolutely no idea why Leera hadn’t gone and dropped, as Lily liked to put it, the baby news bomb. A part of me, the rather illogical but hopeful part, was thinking that maybe she had decided to keep the information to herself if for no other reason than to look good in Scorpius’ eyes. It had, after all, been two days since my big mouth spilled my little secret to her and she hadn’t said a word to anyone yet.
The logical side of me, however, wouldn’t let me believe that for too long. No, instead it kept on reminding me that she was most likely waiting to spill that bit of information to everyone and their bloody mother when it would hurt me the most. She’d get so much more satisfaction that way.
Sighing in frustration I tossed my quill down onto the table and sat back in my seat, crossed my arms over my chest. “She’s going to make a big event out of telling everyone about this. I just feel it in my bones. She bloody hates me and I have no idea why.”
“Well, it’s not as though she’s mean to everyone-”
“But I have no idea why she’s so fond of making you miserable. But I highly doubt Scorpius stepping in when she was being a rotten prat about your little secret helped matters any. Everyone can see how desperately she wants his attention. Or, rather, how desperately she’d like to get him into bed.”
Lily turned slowly to look over at me, her head cocked very slightly to the side, a slow smile spreading across her face. I didn’t like the smile, the way it made her eyes light up. That only happened when she was about to say something that would undoubtedly make me want to through my heaviest book at her. “Was that bitterness I heard in your voice?” she queried, raised both eyebrows slightly. “Or, dare I ask, jealousy? Do you not like the idea of Scorpius and Leera together?”
“You’re hearing things, Lily.”
“No, I don’t think that I am.”
“I don’t give a damn about who Malfoy shags,” I insisted, unfolded my arms briefly so I could make a decisive swipe across the air to emphasize my point. “He could shag the whole bloody school and I wouldn’t bat an eyelash.”
“But?” she prompted, her expression never changing. She was pushing the love that afternoon. She honestly and truly was.
“What I don’t like is the fact that if Leera has her way? She’ll end up being my child’s technical stepmother. Can you imagine that? That’s just too disturbing for words. And if, Merlin forbid, Scorpius grew a brain and decided that he wanted to be a part of this child’s life? Then she would be a part of its life, too. She’d try to corrupt my child, Lily.”
“That’s a bit overdramatic, don’t you think?”
“Hardly. She’s pure evil and you know it. I wouldn’t be surprised if she tried to teach my child all manner of horrid things.”
“Rose, you’re not even close to ready to give birth and you already have the child old enough to learn anything. Not to mention you’re marrying off Scorpius and Leera. Try to take a breath before you start sounding too mental, alright?”
“I bloody hate my life.”
“Once again- overdramatic.”
“Once again- not helpful.” Gathering up my things I shoved them hastily into my bag and hoisted the strap over my shoulder. “Now I’m going to have horrid images of Leera being my child’s stepmother and I’ll get absolutely no work done. Might as well head back up to the common room and write to Vic. Ask her if she wants to reconsider my being in the wedding given my current condition.”
“You know she won’t want to do that.”
“Well, I’d like to let her know I’m open to the option. She might not want to merely because she doesn’t want to hurt my feelings.”
Lily gave me a look as though she thought I was either being utterly ridiculous or I was going completely and utterly insane. It was hard to tell which but I also didn’t want to stick around to figure out which one it was. I just wanted to get out of the library and back to the dormitory. Until my condition was known by the entire school at least it would be more peaceful there, calming.
But, as it always seemed to go for me, what I wanted to have happen and what actually happened were entirely different things. Because I wasn’t even half of the way down the hall back towards the dormitory before I heard footsteps approaching me and out of the corner of my eye saw someone stepping in line to walk next to me. When Scorpius became my shadow was beyond me but it was beginning to get extremely frustrating.
“Are you feeling better today?”
“Is there a reason that you’re talking to me right now?”
“I’m asking you if you’re feeling better. I think that reason explains itself, don’t you?”
“Since when are you concerned?”
“Did you forget I got your cousin for you when you ran off like that the other day? If I didn’t care, at least a little bit, then why would I have even bothered to do that? You were sick, after all. I’m just asking if today is any better for you.”
“I had morning sickness,” I replied in a heated whisper, trying desperately to keep my voice down so that no one else would overhear me and find out about the impending baby. “Which really needs to be renamed because it doesn’t just come in the morning. It comes any time it feels like it. It’s going to happen quite a bit early on in the pregnancy. So, no, I might not be ready to vomit all over again but I definitely will again.”
Scorpius stopped walking and held up his hands as though fending off a blow. “I didn’t know that asking you if you were alright would mean I’d get a lecture on the side effects of pregnancy. I didn’t think that asking you how you were would mean I’d practically get yelled at. If I had I would have just kept walking.”
“Maybe you should have done that in the first place.”
For handful of seconds he just looked at me like he was trying to decide just how serious I was being about the whole thing and then he let out a harsh laugh, turned his attention away from me and threw his hands up in frustration, ran a hand through his hair. “I just can’t win with you. No matter what I say, no matter what I do you still get angry. What is it going to take for you to stop treating me like a leper every time I talk to you?”
“You made it very clear from the very first day that you want nothing to do with this whole situation. What did you expect? That you could be nice for one second and that would make me happy? That I’d be a ray of sunshine around you? Bloody hell, Malfoy. I have enough to handle right now without trying to understand the back and forth that you’re doing here. You’re going to give me bloody whiplash at this rate. Either stay out things entirely or be involved entirely. It’s not fair for you to play games like this, to pick and choose when you’re going to be nice to me, when you’re going to be alright with the situation.”
“Why don’t you understand that this isn’t much easier on me than it is on you?” he replied in a heated whisper, reached out and laid his arm on mine. He all but tugged me into a more secluded area of the hallway, seemingly for privacy though I wasn’t really sure what was on his mind. His face wasn’t revealing anything in that moment and when I couldn’t get a halfway decent read on facial expressions it was frustrating to say the very least. And a bit intimidating.
“This was all just thrown at me, Weasley. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t do anything to cause this. If anyone is the bad guy here it’s you. Yes, you’re dealing with a lot. I won’t deny that. I’d have to be an idiot to deny that. But you’re in this situation because you were such a prat that you did that spell. But I’m trying to be nice. I’m trying to be sympathetic. But no matter what I say or do? You just give me this unyielding attitude. Can’t you, for just one bloody second, think about the fact that I’m not in a good place either?”
“I don’t have the luxury to spend time worrying about you. That sounds selfish but I’m dealing with more than just your attitude towards things. I have my family and Leera knowing about the situation I’m in. And I have to worry about my cousin’s bloody wedding which I don’t even want to go to anymore given the circumstances. So, I’m sorry, Malfoy. But this whiplash you’re giving me on top of everything else? It’s far too much. So until you decide where you stand in all of this? Where you really stand? Just stick to yourself.”
Scorpius opened his mouth to say something but whatever it was, I didn’t want to hear it. In that moment I was just tired and frustrated and wanted to go back to my dorm. So even though I knew he wanted to say something to me in return, wanted to reply to me, I just shoved my way past him and hurried off down the hall to get back to my dorm.
Talking with him was really beginning to cause massive headaches every single time.
Whether it was because of what I said or because he decided on his own to stay away from me I didn’t have to deal with Scorpius Malfoy for several days. Maybe he had realized how unfair he was being. Maybe he just decided he didn’t want to risk having me scold him in the middle of the hallway again. In the end it didn’t matter why he had stopped coming around me. I was just glad that he wasn’t going back and forth between not wanting to be involved in the pregnancy at all and being nice to me. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I was spending most of my spare time in the Gryffindor common room either. And he couldn’t very well follow me in there. It was the main advantage of being in different houses.
My letter to Victoire had merely been a way to make sure she understood that I was sorry for the inconvenience my pregnancy would cause when it came to finalizing plans for the wedding. While it wasn’t as though I had intended for any of that to happen I also knew that planning the wedding couldn’t be easy for her. It was probably stressful as anything. And making last minute changes because of me couldn’t have helped manners any.
What she would have to say about that, what she would do when she read that letter was a bit beyond me. Knowing my cousin she would try to assure me that everything was going to be alright, that I didn’t have to worry too much about things. Because, in so many ways, Victoire was perfect, sometimes sickeningly so. But she was always very genuine about it, never put on a false front just to make people feel better. And she cared about her family. That much was undeniable.
Hugo hadn’t really said much to me about, well, anything involving the pregnancy since that lovely little trip back home where they all found out the truth of the matter. I wasn’t sure if it was because he didn’t know what to say or because he just didn’t know how to handle the whole situation. Not that I could blame him for that. It was, however, becoming a little strange having my little brother walk on eggshells around me.
But that was why when he came over to me in the common room and put a bottle down in front of me while I was reading it startled me. After doing little more than acknowledging me for quite a bit of time I hadn’t expected him to go up to me quite so easily.
My eyes moved to the bottle he had placed on the table and then up to his face, my eyebrows furrowing slightly in confusion. “What’s this?”
Hugo shrugged a little bit, tucked his hands into his pockets and took a seat on the couch to the side of the one I was on. “Lily told me you’ve been feeling sick. Because of, well, your condition. It’s a potion. To help with it. I don’t know how well it’ll work or how it tastes but…if it helps…”
“I understand. Thank you, Hugo. Really.” Whether or not the potion proved to be useful wasn’t the point at all. The point was that he had thought to get it for me. It was the first time since we had gotten back to school that he acknowledged the pregnancy in any way. It was a start and for that I was thankful. Having Lily there for me during everything was nice enough but it was also nice to have my brother be there in some way.
“Look,” he started and then stopped, fidgeted a bit in his seat, took his hands out of his pockets and mussed up his hair with one of them and then stuck them both back in. “I know I haven’t really been, you know, great about all of this but…I just…” Pausing again he leaned forward, dropped his voice a little bit so that only the two of us could hear what was being said. “It’s a lot to process. And I’m not sure I’m really ready to be an uncle yet, you know?”
“Well, if it makes you feel any better? I’m not sure I’m ready to be a mother either. But, I don’t think anyone is ever quite ready to be a parent. Or an uncle. We just make the best of the hand we end up dealt. But…I understand. If you need time then that’s fine. But…just don’t forget to be my brother, okay? It’s hard to go through things without my family. So, even if it’s just to talk about stupid things? Talk to me a little, okay?”
Hugo smiled, just a little bit, just enough to let me know that he heard me and nodded his head just a little bit. “I can do that.” Maybe thinks wouldn’t change very much between the two of us, maybe he would still avoid me for the most part but at the very least he heard what I had to say about it, at least he understood that I wanted to have some kind of a relationship with my brother.
He nodded slightly towards the potion, a silent reminder to me that he thought I should use it when things were getting difficult for me in the morning sickness department and stood up from the couch, made his way back over towards his friends.
The truth was that I hadn’t really considered how my condition would directly affect my family. Before being reminded about Victoire’s wedding I hadn’t considered it at all. Instead I just realized how much my life would change in the end. But the truth was that everyone in my family would be affected in some way.
My parents would, of course, become grandparents. My brother would become an uncle. My cousins would see the start of the next generation of the family. My aunts and uncles would have to add the word “great” before their titles in reference to the baby. It was so easy to forget just how many lives were going to change once that baby was born. Focusing on the way my life was going to change had just been easy and logical. It came naturally. Maybe that was pathetic or foolish or selfish but it came so much easier than thinking about other people and their lives changing.
The potion might prove handy later on but in that moment I, thankfully, didn’t have any use for it.
“Hey, Rosie.” Lily skipped her way over to the couch and leaned over the back of it, put her hands on my shoulders, leaned down so her mouth was next to my ear to get my attention. “Someone’s waiting for you outside of the portrait.”
“Why don’t you go out and see?”
“Why do I feel like you just don’t want to tell me who it is?”
“Just go see for yourself.” Hands still on my shoulders she shook me very slightly for emphasis and then released me so she could run upstairs towards the dormitory. It felt like she was playing games with me but I couldn’t really say what her intentions were. Sometimes I didn’t understand her at all.
Sighing heavily I closed my book up and gathered it to my chest and picked up the bottle my brother had given me in my hand. If anyone else got a hold of it they could have probably figured out what was inside of it rather easily. And there would be no keeping a secret after that.
Making my way through the crowd of people in the common room I made my way out of the portrait and almost slammed right into a body standing so close to the portrait opening that it was a wonder I had any space to climb out of it.
Tilting my head up my eyes met a familiar pale set of eyes, eyes I had been enjoying not being around very, very much. Seeing him there was the last thing that I wanted. And in all honesty I could have strangled Lily for thinking that I would want to see him for even a second. Normally she had a much better grasp on how I felt about things. But in that moment I wanted to go back into the common room and slap her.
“What are you doing here, Malfoy?”
“I wanted to show you this.” Without a moment’s hesitation he held out a folded piece of parchment to me, cocked his head very slightly to the side as he waited for me to take it from him. “Well? Go ahead and take it.”
“What is it?”
“Take it and see for yourself.”
“Tell me or I won’t take it.” What was with people refusing to let me know what was going on that day? It was like they were all trying to drive me absolutely mad.
Scorpius heaved a heavy sigh as though I were asking him to do something rather difficult or, at the very least, rather ridiculous. In my opinion it was neither. But we agreed on very little so that wasn’t surprising to me. “You’re so bloody stubborn.”
“And so are you.”
He reached out and took a hold of my free hand, put the folded up piece of parchment into it. “It’s my parent’s response to the letter I sent to let them know that they were going to be grandparents.”
I wasn’t sure what it felt like when you were pretty positive you were about to faint but in that moment? It seemed like I might.
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