Chapter 29: Facing Feelings
“Your parents are on their way, Miss Weasley. They will be here at ten o clock via floo powder.” Professor Hart explained before turning and leaving the girls dormitory.
Lily, Sarah, Becky and Dom were all sat on my bed with me, Sarah was rubbing my back soothingly and Lily was holding my hand and her eyes were wide as saucers. Becky was gently feeding me Honeydukes chocolate to calm me and Dom hurried out of the portrait hole as soon as the professor left, saying she was going to gather the boys. James burst into our dorm in his dog form almost immediately and jumped on the bed. He gave me the equivalent of a dog hug and I began to cry into his fur. To his credit, he neither transformed back into a human nor made a joke. He just sat there, his little dog heart beating against his ribs like a drum.
“Rose…” Scorpius breathed as soon as he and Albus bounded into the room and transfigured back into their human forms. I was off the bed in a second and I threw myself into his arms, sobbing like a nutter.
Quietly, Sarah ushered everyone out of the room and left Scorpius and me alone.
“…I hate being pregnant! None of my clothes fit properly, my parents are on their way here, I’ve not got a boyfriend and your bitch of a girlfriend just publically announced my pregnancy through a worldwide medium! It’s just so hard!” I moaned, squeezing myself roughly against him and sobbing my little heart out on his nice-smelling hoodie.
“Well you’re very pretty and you are pressing up against me…” Scorpius smirked, although he sounded shell-shocked. I smacked him on the arm.
“You know that’s not what I meant!” I said, glaring fiercely through tears at him. He just smirked. Shut up with the smirking you stupid smirky smirker.
“It could have been worse. She could have told everyone who the father is.” He replied seriously.
I nodded slowly. I suppose that is an upside…
“Who is the father, Rosie?”
There’s the downside.
“You’re going to have to tell everyone who he is. You can start with all of us,” Scorpius reasoned, innocently still believing that everyone else was as in the dark as he was. I wiped my tears slowly.
I had to tell him. Finally, this was it.
“Sit down, Scorpius.” I said quietly. He looked at me inquisitively. I sat down next to him and took his hand.
“Back in September… that night we spent together…” I said. His eyes darted quickly between mine. They were wide and scared. Neither of us said anything for a long time, though his grip on my hand was so tight it was almost painful.
“Mine.” He said after five minutes of silence, quiet tears falling easily down my face.
“…Yours…” I replied. His face hardened and a muscle in his jaw worked furiously, as if he were biting back words.
Biting them back didn’t help for long before he exploded.
“Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you tell me the second you found out? Why did you let me think it was Freddie’s… that you’d been sleeping with him! WHY did you let me think you had been sleeping with other people… why let me even entertain the idea that it could be someone else’s?!” He asked suddenly, getting to his feet and throwing my hand back at me.
He made the very points I had been torturing myself with ever since I found out. I should have told him… I should have told him…
I just sobbed silently and gazed up at him.
“I didn’t think it was really h-happening to me…” I wept imploringly. I wanted him to hug me again.
I’m so selfish. I am stupid and careless and selfish and right now I am the very worst person walking the Earth.
“You let me come to the scan… you let me see it… you made a decision to keep it without consulting me first… without respecting me enough to ask my opinion!” He shouted. He was looking horrified as he remembered more things.
“You’d want to – get rid – of it?” I sobbed, barely comprehensible. He looked down at me, shocked at the question.
“Don’t start, Rose! Don’t act like I should be acting like a father already… you just dumped this on me!” He snapped, before another thought struck him. “Does anyone know it’s mine?!” He asked, very slowly, looking down at me.
He had a dangerous glint in his eyes… he knew he’d caught me.
“Everyone.” I said almost inaudibly, not meeting his gaze. There was no point lying – he’d know if I was. He paced some more, opened his mouth a few times and closed it again, before he stormed from the room, and from sight.
Staring into the cauldron full of firewood beside the hearth in my common room, I hardly noticed a manicured hand passing something under my nose. I recognised it instantly as that
copy of the Daily Owl.
“Hello daddy.” Chelsea said in her poisonous voice. A venomous but humourless giggle came from behind her and without even looking up I knew it was Amy.
“How did you find out?” I asked numbly as she walked around to stand in front of me.
Her face was smug, and her hair and makeup were perfect. She must have woken up early to look presentable to gloat all day today. The thought that she’d been so calculating and so vicious shocked me to my core. I’d never met anyone so vindictive. She pointed over to the corner of the common room, where I recognised Freddie, who was sat, staring blankly into space.
“Veritaserum.” Chelsea said, raising a groomed eyebrow. “Turns out Amy is very good at potions.” She added, looking unflatteringly surprised. Amy herself looked grumpy as ever, arms folded as she looked around the room almost furtively. She looked almost….scared.
I shook my head, amazed at her cruelty and stood up in a daze not unlike Freddie’s. I had to write to my mother – she didn’t get the Daily Owl but I’d rather she found out from me rather than anyone else.
“I take it we’re over then?” She called maliciously after my retreating back. “And I was so looking forward to playing step-mum to her little ginger brat!” She added sweetly with a smile. I stopped dead and spun on my heel.
“Rose is daft and dopey and sometimes downright mental… She’s fierce and proud and protective... She can be dense and selfish and bitchy, but she loves harder than anyone I know… And she’s worth a thousand of you,” I growled stepping towards her.
And with that I was gone, heading to the owlery to write the most difficult letter of my life.
“They’ll be here in five minutes, Rose,” Professor Hart assured me, checking her watch.
My parents were already ten minutes late. Sarah squeezed my hand. At about two in the morning she had awoken, feeling fine, but the Matron wouldn’t let her leave until half seven. She passed me a third tissue. I blew my nose and we waited some more until I saw the fire spring to life. My stomach churned and the desire to run away was the strongest feeling I have ever felt in my life. Adrenaline coursed through my veins and my hands began to shake as my father, dressed in his normal work clothes with tousled hair and a scrunched up copy of The Daily Owl balled in his fist stepped into the room. A muscle was working in his jaw as he refused to look at me and my mother popped into existence and stepped out behind him, tear-tracks silver on her face. Hart motioned for them to take a seat opposite where me and Sarah sat, still shaking with nerves and what felt like a strong urge to vomit.
“What. Is. This.” Dad asked through gritted teeth, thrusting the paper in front of me. He made it somehow not a question but an accusation. Mum laid a hand on his but he shook it off and smoothed out the newspaper.
“Says your pregnant, Rosie. It says my little girl is pregnant,” Dad continued in a growl I’d never heard, finally looking me in the eyes. His exterior was stony and angry but his eyes were filled with disappointment and sadness.
Tears pooled in my eyes… it seems all I do nowadays is cry.
“It’s true… it’s true,” I sobbed over and over again. Mum sniffed back her own tears and got up hurriedly from her chair to hug me. She clutched me to her chest and rocked me as my body wracked with sobs, soundless and heartfelt.
“How did this happen?” Dad asked exasperatedly, softening slightly in spite of himself as he watched our embrace.
“Shh…shh,” Mum comforted me. “Sometimes these things happen,” she said quietly to my father, who dropped his head in his hands and rubbed his temples. He appeared to have done all his shouting at mum this morning before he came, and all that was left was confusion and sadness.
Somehow, this was worse than if he had shouted at me.
I choked my breath back as dad said something to Professor Hart.
“W-what?” I asked as Hart shook her head.
“I said bring Freddie to me. He should be here to explain his part in this,” Dad said, stabbing his finger into the table to emphasise the ‘here’.
“He has no part in this,” I admitted. Sarah grabbed my hand tightly again as mum sat back down next to dad.
“I thought that might be why you’d broken up?” Mum said gently. I shook my head.
“Who am I killing then?” Dad asked, bewildered.
“Nobody, Ronald,” Mum said firmly, taking dad’s hand. This time he squeezed it back instead of shrugging it off.
“I think what you father is trying to ask is… who the other significant party in this predicament is,” Mum said, rubbing dad’s back to calm him down from his murderous rampage.
“Yes. Who?” He asked doggedly.
“Scorpius,” I replied. There’s no point lying about it now.
I watched the blood drain from his face as he turned to my mother, the same shock mirrored in her face. It only intensified when the fire burst into life once more and a familiar figure stepped forward.
“I trust you’ve seen this?” Dad asked loudly, standing up to eye level with Mr Malfoy.
Astoria stepped from the fire, her hair matted and tousled as if she’d just risen from bed, or hadn’t had any time to run a comb through her hair. Like my own mother she had tear tracks down her face and was clutching a copy of the offending paper in her shaking hand.
“Sit down Mr. Weasley, please.” Professor Hart said firmly.
Dad dropped back into his seat, exhausted, and Hart conjured three more chairs. I allowed myself blankly to wonder who the third was for until a faint knock on the door revealed Scorpius, pale as a sheet and shaking with shock. Draco’s angry eyes were boring holes into Scorpius’ as he crossed the room. His mother pulled him into a hug, weeping through wide eyes with what appeared more like shock than anything else. Dad eyed him stonily the whole time, but didn’t say a word.
“I will bring him back later. We would like to speak to our son at home,” Draco stated, his jaw clenched. Hart looked reluctant but seemed to realise there was no point fighting it, and nodded stiffly.
He allowed himself a glance in my direction and I could have sworn his eyes softened at my pitiful face, drooping shoulders and puffy eyes. Astoria led her son into the fire, and he did not look at me before he spun away. She stepped in next and held a shaking hand of goodbye up to me and my mother, as we both watched her. My mother grabbed Draco’s wrist as he passed her and he looked down at her, allowing worry to briefly cross his face before he smoothed his robes, and his expression, and spun out of sight.
Never before had I seen fireworks like the ones only my father could spout when angered. My mother sat in the corner, chin resting on her hands, staring blankly at the wall.
“How could you be so bloody stupid!?” He shouted after breaking most of the glass vases in our dining room.
“I doubt it was planned, darling…” My mother countered timidly, looking at me with nothing but disappointment in her eyes. Tears were spilling from my own, uncontrollably.
“What the hell has Hogwarts become…? The closest that school ever came to teenage pregnancies was kissing in the hallways!” My father asked himself more than anyone else, looking astounded and throwing his hands up in exasperation.
“Out of all the bloody girls you could have chosen to get in a mess, it had to be her didn’t it?” He growled at me, falling heavily into a chair.
“Ron will have your bollocks for this, you know that? We worked so hard to make the past up to them!” He added, rubbing his temples.
“What would my father say, Scorpius!?” Dad added rhetorically.
“What, you mean the same man who pronounced ‘muggleborn’ with the same general tones as ‘cockroach’?” I thought bitterly.
“I didn’t – it wasn’t… we…” I had no more words.
“I have no defence,” I said simply, tears drying on my face, thankful that nobody at school could see me at my weakest moment… crying.
“What are you going to do?” Mum asked calmly. Dad looked up at me.
“She has to keep it. It wouldn’t be safe anywhere else – it’d be the most famous baby for fifteen years.” I replied.
“I see you’ve had time to think about it! How long have you known?!” Dad barked.
“I’ve known she was pregnant since before Christmas… I found out it was mine this morning,” I said heavily, pulling out a chair and sitting down tentatively. My mother let out a little gasp of surprise.
“Why didn’t she tell you?” She asked quietly, looking bewildered.
“I think she was scared,” I answered, but really, I just don’t know. I wonder why she didn’t trust me enough to take me out of this black hole… away from my endless questions and my blind rage. I wonder why she didn’t come to me like I had always wished she would and I could hold her and sort everything out before this point. I had never been needed by anyone in my life… not really… but I need Rose. I just wish she needed me as much. I looked up at my parents as they took in this news.
Mum’s face had softened in compassion and my father was staring into the corner of the room.
“I need some time to let this sink in.” Dad said after a moment, dismissing me.
I just stared at him. I knew it was unreasonable, and I knew it was childish, and selfish and unrealistic, but I just wanted him to squeeze my shoulder and tell me it was all right. I wanted someone to tell me I didn’t have to go through this on my own… someone to help me with the sudden weight on my shoulders. Rose has had months to prepare herself for telling her parents… I’ve had the hour that it took to send my mother an owl with a copy of The Daily Owl and a letter.
I wish she’d had the courage to tell me, to put me out of the misery of thinking she was going to be having Freddie’s perfect baby. The idea of them staying together, a happy little family, was enough to stop me sleeping at night. The knowledge that with every night they spent together she was probably falling in love with him all over again put me into such a jealous rage that it was hard to concentrate on anything.
Later, maybe I’d be happy in a backwards way, that it was me, not him, who was going to be tied into her life forever.
But not yet.
“Are you going to kick me out?” I asked my mother quietly once she had led my silently to my room and we sat down on my bed together. I knew my dad was horrendously angry and I knew how disappointed mum was in me, probably beyond words.
“Of course not. I’m not happy about what you’ve done. And by ‘you’ I mean you and Rose together. But I will never kick you out.”
“You’re within your rights to. I won’t hate you for it,” I said even more quietly. I was trying to be fair on her and dad, but my mother pulled me into a cradling hug.
“I’m going to tell you a story, Scorpius,” Mum said. I waited patiently, breathing in her faint motherly perfume.
“When I fell pregnant, your dad insisted on marrying on me, and for a long time I wondered whether we were only together because of you and what having a baby out of wedlock would do to his reputation. But one night we were talking and he said that having you made him face responsibility and face the fact that he loved me. He said it pushed him into realising his feelings. And maybe, just maybe, your baby will do the same for you and Rose,” Mum said slowly.
Her insight was incredible – either that or it was obvious how I felt for Rose, and I doubted that.
She kissed me on the head and walked silently from my room and I lay down and stared at my bedroom ceiling. I had already realised my strong feelings for Rose. Could she face hers for me too?