Chapter 15 : Good News Isn't Always Good News
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Had I actually ever sat down and made a list of things I would have expected for Scorpius to say to me at any given time ever since I dropped the Baby Bomb, I would have to admit that him saying he had told his parents- his parents- that he they should expect a new member to the Malfoy family would have been at the top of the list. In all capital letters. Bolded. And underlined. About a hundred times.
True, I had wanted him to tell them but that, admittedly, was for my own selfish reasons. If my family had to find out about the little person that would grace the world in a few months then, logically, I wanted him to have to do the same. It didn’t seem fair that I would be the only one with parents going absolutely mental with the knowledge that their child, whom was still in school, was reproducing. And it wasn’t as though the knowledge that I hadn’t gotten pregnant because of a shag had done anything to soften the blow.
My legs felt weak when those words left his mouth, surprise all but knocking me over onto my ass. I started tumbling to the floor but, thankfully, I didn’t get very far. Scorpius reached out and slipped one arm around my middle to keep me from falling over. His eyes stayed on my face, his arm around me until I nodded just a little bit to let him know I felt steady enough to stand on my own.
Everything to do with this pregnancy was going to make me die of embarrassment if nothing else.
“You…” Closing my mouth, my eyebrows drawn together in confusion I looked away from him, shook my head a little bit. “You actually told your parents?”
“I believe that’s been established already but, yes.”
“You told them you’re going to be a father?”
“Um…yes. Why are you asking me a question you’ve already gotten the answer to?”
I didn’t even have the energy to send him a scathing look. “So…you told them they’re going to be grandparents.”
“We’re just going around in circles, Rose.”
“I’m trying to be clear.” Taking a slow, deep breath I looked back over at him, that letter still clutched in my hand though I didn’t dare look at it. I honestly wasn’t sure I wanted to see their reaction firsthand. “Do they know?”
One of his insanely pale eyebrows shot up slightly in question, his head cocked slightly to the side. “Have you gone mental, Rose? How many times are you going to ask the same question? I’ve already told you that I told them the news. So, obviously they know. Did you hit your head or something? Are you losing brain cells?”
“Do they know I’m the mother?” I clarified, my eyes narrowing slightly. Maybe I hadn’t been all that clear but the implication that I was dim was most definitely not appreciated. Yet somehow I hadn’t expected any less.
“Oh.” He nodded slightly in a way that indicated to him that made a lot more sense than me asking for clarification once more that he had given them the news he was going to be a father. Merlin, I would never get used to the idea that I was not only going to be a parent but that the child was his as well. It was all too bizarre.
“Well? Do they know?”
“….yes.” The hesitation did nothing to make me feel better. If anything it made my stomach clench uncomfortably. If the reaction of my parents was any indication then me being the mother was probably an even less welcome bit of information than the news that they were going to be grandparents.
“And, on a scale of one to ten, how upset were they?”
“Well, that depends really.” Scorpius shrugged just a little bit, his head tilting momentarily to the side. “Just because one feels a certain way doesn’t mean that the other one does, necessarily.”
“You’re going to give me a headache. I don’t want to have to ask you a million questions to get a straight answer. So, do us both a favor and just give me complete answers, won’t you?”
Scorpius sighed heavily and shifted his stance a little, crossed his arms over his chest. “Well, my mum is more upset about the idea of becoming a grandparent at this point in time. Because, in her words, she’s too young and I’m too young and all that other generic motherly stuff.”
“And your father?”
“He said, and I quote, that at least Potter isn’t going to be the other grandfather though Weasley is bad enough. He may not hate your parents any longer but he’s not exactly looking for them to be family either. Relative peace isn’t the same as being friends, after all. They might be able to go to the station to see us off without everyone pulling wands and hexing each other but I can’t imagine them ever getting together for a spot of tea.”
Looking down at the letter in my hand I suddenly wanted it as far away from me as possible. It was ridiculous and I knew that. The letter itself was harmless and getting rid of it wouldn’t change anything but physical proof that his parents were as unhappy as mine, proof that they knew the situation was a little too much at the moment. Everything was beginning to be too much.
“Well, what did you expect? That they’d want to throw a bloody party in celebration?”
“Of course not. It’s just not comforting to have both of us have parents that are less than thrilled. Or, rather, entirely unhappy about who the other grandparents are.”
“Well, there’s nothing we can do about it. It isn’t like we can make our parents suddenly like each other more. Old habits die hard.”
“Why couldn’t someone else, anyone else be the father of my child?” Closing my eyes wearily I leaned back against the wall, all but slammed my head against it in frustration. Life would have been a great deal easier if the father of my child at least wasn’t the child of someone my parents hated. So, so much easier.
“Well, gee. Thank you for that ringing endorsement.”
“Oh, let’s be honest, Malfoy.” Opening my eyes I settled back against the wall again as comfortably as I could, cocked my head very slightly to the side. “If you had a choice in the matter? I have no doubt you wouldn’t pick me to be the mother of your child any more than I’d pick you to be the father of mine.”
For a couple of seconds Scorpius said nothing but then he cocked his head very slightly to the side in something that was akin to a shrugging motion. “Well, I can honestly say there are people out there that would definitely make worse mothers than you. So, the situation is pretty horrible, yes, but it could be much worse. So, I can honestly say I’m alright with it.”
“How can you be alright when our parents are horrified? Your parents would probably rather gargle glass than have me birth the next Malfoy.”
“Honestly, Weasley. You’re extremely dramatic. But regardless- so what? My parents don’t have to like you. And your parents don’t have to like me. And you know, you’re really a frustrating person. First you were upset I wasn’t doing enough and that your parents knew about this when mine didn’t. Now you’re upset that my parents do know. I really can’t win with you.”
“I’m not upset you told them,” I clarified, lifted up the hand still holding that stupid letter and waving off that idea rather easily. “I just wish our parents didn’t hate each other so much. It would make the whole situation so much easier. I wouldn’t have to worry that your parents would give me the dirtiest look ever any time that they had to see me.”
“Wait.” Lifting up my hand I pointed at him with one finger, the others still wrapped tightly around that stupid little piece of parchment. “Why did you decide to tell them anyway? I thought you wanted nothing to do with the whole situation. You’re going to give me whiplash going back and forth like this.”
“I thought you’d be glad I decided to let them know about the baby. Again, no matter what I do it never seems to make you happy. I’m actually preparing for you to scream at the top of your lungs again at any moment.”
I wanted to be able to say that I didn’t yell at him but it would have been a lie. The truth was that I had been doing quite a bit of yelling at him over the last few weeks. But in my defense it was because I was stressed out with everything that had been going on, I was worried that I was going to be going through things alone. And the fact that he seemed like he wanted nothing more than to pretend that none of it was happening, that he had nothing to do with the impending child. So, of course I had been yelling at him. But it honestly helped me with the stress of everything.
“You’re avoiding the question,” I said after a moment, considered crossing my arms over my chest but realized that with everything I was holding it was impossible. “Why did you suddenly decide to let your parents know about this mess that…?” I hated what I was going to say next so I had to stop, to bite my tongue and basically force myself to say it even though it was the truth. “This mess that I got us into.”
“Would you accept ‘I don’t know’ as an answer by any chance?”
“No. No, I wouldn’t accept that as an answer. So, you might want to come up with a better answer for me than that.”
Scorpius let out a heavy sigh and folded his arms over his chest the way I had wanted to, shook his head just a little bit to move the hair off of his forehead. Looking away from me he bit ran his tongue along his bottom lip and stayed silent for a few moments. Whether it was because he was truly frustrated or because he was trying to gather his thoughts was beyond me.
“I don’t know if I can explain it,” he admitted after a moment, slowly looked back at me. “It wasn’t one thing that made me write to them. I guess I just thought it was time to let them know. But I can’t tell you more than that.”
It wasn’t a satisfying answer, not even close to one but it didn’t seem like pushing him to give me a better answer seemed to be pretty ridiculous and very pointless in that moment. I wanted a better answer, wanted to know more, had the desire to understand exactly what it was that had been going through his head at the time. But logically I wouldn’t ever truly know what was going through his head or anyone’s head but my own. And sometimes I wasn’t entirely sure about my own mind. At least not with the way things had been going for me by then.
“So…what does that mean for us? When it comes to the baby, I mean. Does this mean you’re going to be there for the baby? Or are you just going to say you’re the father?”
“Well, if we’re going to be technical, I’m not just saying I’m the father. Because of your silly little spell I am the father.”
“Don’t be super literal with me.”
“As though you’re not super literal with me.”
“If you just bicker with me I’m going to end up with a headache again and probably end up sick again. And this time I doubt I’ll make it to the restroom in time so you’ll probably end up cleaning vomit off of your shoes.”
“Well, that’s a lovely mental image.” Scorpius crinkled up his nose slightly as though the thought of that disturbed him greatly. I couldn’t blame him though for that one. I knew plenty of people who would vomit themselves once someone else around them did. Whether that was the case with him or not was beyond me but I wouldn’t blame him at all if he got uncomfortable with seeing me vomit. Especially if I was vomiting all over him.
“Well, it’s not my fault, Malfoy. I’m pregnant. Morning sickness comes with the territory. And with morning sickness can come headaches. And with both morning sickness and headaches can come vomiting. So you can’t say that I’m not giving you fair warning.”
“Doesn’t make it any more pleasant of a mental image, Weasley.”
Even if he did have a bit of a point about that I still didn’t appreciate him pointing that out. There weren’t many things that I appreciated about him when it came to what was going on since I found out I was pregnant. Of course, it wasn’t as though I had ever been close to him or anything of the like so there wasn’t much I appreciated about him before then. Still, getting angry and blowing up at him wasn’t going to help. Especially if I lost control of the volume of my voice and drew the attention of other students. The less people that knew about the situation the better it would be for me.
“Look,” I breathed out after a moment, reached up with the hand that still had that letter clutched inside of it to tuck some of my hair back from my face. “I know I wanted you to do something. To, I don’t know, step up in some way. And I’m not saying I don’t appreciate that you did it. But no one else can know. The people who know already? They’re the only ones who can know.”
His pale eyebrows furrowed as he cocked his head, his posture changing just a little bit as though he couldn’t bring himself to feel relaxed at that moment. “I feel like I’m missing a giant part of the picture right now. Mind filling in the blanks?”
“It’s bad enough that Leera knows I’m pregnant. And she hates me. She’s going to spill it when it best fits her needs to do so. I know it and you know it, too. You might want to say I’m just being dramatic but she can and will tell everyone. Just to make my life even more frustratingly insane than it already is right now. But if she finds out you are the father? Merlin, Malfoy. She will do everything in her power to make my life a living nightmare, to make sure that I would rather leave the school than finish out my time here with her around.”
“Not that I deny she’s hardly your biggest fan but what makes you think that it would be worse for you if she were to find out I’m the father of the baby?”
“Are you bloody kidding me? It couldn’t be more obvious that she wants to shag you senseless. And you honestly do nothing to discourage her.”
Either what I had said amused him in some way or it made him feel very cocky because the corners of his mouth turned up slightly into a smirk, his head cocking slightly to the side while he watched me, adjusted his stance a little so he looked more relaxed. “I wasn’t aware I was supposed to discourage her.”
“I…I wasn’t saying that you had to discourage her,” I argued, frowning slightly as I looked at him. It wasn’t like I had any right to ask him to discourage Leera. Being the father of my child didn’t mean I had any claim on him. He could flirt with or shag any woman he wanted to. And I wasn’t about to tell him otherwise. “I’m just saying that she wants to shag your brains out and since you don’t discourage her it makes her desire stronger. So if she knew that you were the father of my child when she wants you in more ways than one? She’d rip all of my bloody hair right out of my head. And truthfully I would like to keep my hair exactly where it is.”
“You talk like she has a claim on me.”
“Well, she sure seems to think that she does whether you agree or not. The only reason she stopped bothering me in the hall is because you got involved. And she didn’t want to look bad in your eyes. So the fact that I’m carrying your child? That’s just going to make her want to kill me. Perhaps after the baby came so your child wouldn’t be killed since that would probably make her look bad in your eyes, but she’d still kill me.”
“Weasley, has anyone ever told you that you’re quite dramatic?”
“Normally this would be me just being dramatic but right now? There’s absolutely no dramatics involved. Never underestimate the dangers of a determined, enamored woman. They can do some insane, monstrous things.”
“Weasley, when people inevitably find out that I’m the one that fathered your child- even if they don’t find out the bizarre circumstances surrounding it, I promise I will protect you from mean, scary Leera. Okay?”
“Smartass.” Reaching out with the hand holding the parchment I slapped his upper arm. “Pick on me all you want but the fact is? I know I’m right about her. She’s mean, manipulative and she absolutely hates me. Which means she could very well go crazy on me if she knows I’m going to birth your child. I think she’ll be even more upset about me being the mother of your offspring than your parents are.”
“I doubt that…”
“Her father didn’t exactly like my parents either, you know. I’m sure that he told her plenty of stories which colored her against my family. You should know her father hated my parents when they were in school. After all, he was friends with your father. Not best friend, or so I heard, but still friends.”
“Oh, they still are,” he replied easily, shrugged his shoulders just a tiny bit. “Mum likes to throw parties, mostly with pureblood families though there aren’t very many of them left. She likes to invite family friends and the like. And Leera’s family comes over quite a bit. She and her older brother. I spent quite a bit of time around them growing up. So, in all honesty I think I might know more about what she’s like and what she’s capable of than you do.”
“She’s probably all sugar and sweetness with you. If for no other reason than to make you like her more.”
“You make it sound like all women are devious.”
“Not all of them are but it’s safe to say that a good amount of them can be. Especially when it comes to getting something that they want. Or, in this case, someone.”
“Well, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this.”
“Look, just promise me you’ll do your best not to let her find out? I’m sure everyone will know once the baby is born but I want to finish out this pregnancy with as little stress as possible. Stress isn’t good for a pregnancy, after all.”
“Something tells me that you stress yourself out more than anyone else could ever stress you out,” he quipped with a slight chuckle.
“Could you be serious for just a moment please?”
“I am being serious. You really need to learn to calm down, Weasley. The more you worry? The more stress you’re likely to cause yourself. Look at you. You can’t even be happy when you finally get what you want. You wanted me to accept my part in all of this, to tell my parents about the baby and I did. And that still didn’t do any good. You couldn’t even pretend to be happy that I finally told them.”
“I have other things on my mind besides that,” I murmured after a moment, glanced slightly towards the entrance to the common room. It was so very close and yet somehow seemed so very far away. “I’m just tired. And a little stressed out over other things, too. So I just…I want to get some rest, okay? We can talk tomorrow or the day after or whenever.”
Scorpius opened his mouth like he was going to protest to that but closed it back up with a heavy sigh. “Sure,” he agreed after a moment, nodded his head just a little bit. “Sure, we’ll talk later.” He motioned very slightly towards the entrance to the common room as though indicating that I could go ahead and head back in.
Hand still gripping the parchment tightly I lifted it up and waved at him slightly to say goodbye and then made my way back over to the portrait.
Sleep probably wasn’t going to help me at all where stress was involved but in that moment it most definitely couldn’t hurt.
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