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Chapter 31 : Chapter 30: Intervening
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Chapter 30: Intervening
Two weeks passed painfully. Scorpius hadn't spoken to me since I had last seen him, which made the four subjects we shared together impossibly awkward. Hugo and Lily were spending a lot of time together – Hugo had offered several times to break every bone in Scorpius' body, but I had calmly explained that it wasn't his fault he didn't want to talk to me, but mine.
Chelsea had been suspended from school for a month and was apparently getting her work sent home, but according to a letter Amy read loudly over dinner one night it was 'totally worth it.'
I had to stop both Sarah and Lily from slapping her right then.
Teddy, Aunt Ginny and Aunt Fleur, Nana and even Astoria had sent me owls over the days that followed the news. I had cried at every single one, and replied to none, until a fortnight to the day after the news broke. I had a scan booked that afternoon, and so that Saturday morning I walked in solitude to the Owlery and found a bench to sit on overlooking the grounds and got out the crumpled letters I had been keeping in my robes pocket for three days.
Victoire says congratulations. I know it doesn't look like it now, but soon the bad times will be over and you'll have your own little baby. She says she's already had the alterations done on your bridesmaids dress sketch to make sure it's a good, stretchy material. She says she'll send it to you over the Easter holidays.
Lots of love,
It was easy to put quill to parchment for this one;
"Dear Teddy & Victoire,
Thanks, I am getting through it on my own at the moment as Scorpius is avoiding me, but life can only get better.
It's good news about the dress.
Aunt Ginny, Fleur and Nana had written a letter together, and the gist of it was that I could contact them any time I wanted to talk. It took three reads to gather even that, through my tears. Aunt Ginny offered to meet me in Hogsmeade today, and so I sent her a quick note saying it would be later on in the day as I had a scan. Astoria's was the last note I opened to re-read;
"My darling girl,
I will be coming into Hogsmeade next weekend. I was wondering if you'd like to meet me in the Three Broomsticks for a coffee and a chat. No reply necessary, but I will be there at half past four onwards. If you decide to come, it would mean a lot to me, but you obviously have a lot going on at the moment.
Curiosity overpowered nerves, and it was this cocktail of emotion that drove me to pull out some parchment and scrawl;
Next Saturday, half past four, Hogsmeade. I'll be there.
I went to my scan alone, out of choice, and saw my baby again, this time bigger and more active. When I cried this time, it was out of misery tinged with awe at the little baby. My bump was swelling so that unless I had my baggy robes on, it could be seen in all my clothes. I suppose it was par for the course, as I was almost four months gone by now. Ginny hadn't said much but hugged me a lot and gave me a boxful of maternity clothes that nana had made for her when she was pregnant, and one baggy shirt with a red rose Nana had made especially for me. It made me cry again.
"Dom, are you ready?" A familiar voice drifted over to where I sat at teatime later on.
I looked up to see Steve from the Quidditch team, who was stood holding his hand out for my cousin. They departed after a small, shy smile quite out of character for Dom.
"Are they dating?!" I asked, confused. Becky smiled and nodded.
"They've been meeting up in secret for weeks now apparently. Even I didn't know!" She said, shaking her head but smiling.
I raised my eyebrows, shocked at myself. I had been so self absorbed recently, I didn't have a clue what was going on. I had been more preoccupied with the fact that Scorpius would rather sit and eat on the same table as Amy than me.
Doesn't really get much worse than that.
It was another week before Scorpius spoke to me and even then it was not out of his choice, but rather in my defence…
"Fat cow!" Chelsea hissed as Becky and I passed her on our way to Herbology. I ignored the comment, emotionally exhausted as I was. Becky opened her mouth, her face reddening, but it was Scorpius who spoke up.
"Chelsea, just fuck off. You've done enough damage," he snapped as he and Albus caught up with me. Chelsea flounced off and Albus and Becky turned the corner towards the greenhouses after a quick glance at us while Scorpius and I slowed down and turned to each other.
"I'm so – sorry," I choked, tears spilling down my face. My eyes had barely recovered from the last time I had burst into tears (James had given me the last piece of his chocolate bar, and was quite alarmed at the waterworks.)
"I'm sorry for doing this to us… first we sleep together and I pretend it didn't mean anything, and then I date Freddie when I know you wouldn't like it… then I end up pregnant and don't tell you it's yours!" I howled, shaking with tears and falling backwards into the wall to support myself. Scorpius looked just as alarmed as James did earlier and patted me awkwardly on the shoulder.
"You dopey creature," He said with a sigh, the ghost of a smile on his face as he shook his head. I sniffed and wiped my face on my sleeve.
"Rose. It isn't your fault. We should have been more careful," he added seriously, his hand still on my shoulder as he looked into my eyes. I nodded.
"You mean it shouldn't have happened?" I asked, curious. I finally admitted to myself that I was scared to hear the answer, and how hurt I would be if he thought it was a total slip-up.
"I'm glad it happened." He touched my cheek tentatively, "just because it was an accident doesn't mean it was a mistake," he sighed.
"That's all I can say about it today," he added honestly. I nodded slowly, tears drying. I understood perfectly that he wasn't about to ignore me for weeks then spill his heart to me.
"Emotions don't work like that, as I well know," I thought drily as he led me into the classroom.
As we all filed out of Herbology an hour later, I was stopped by Professor Longbottom.
"Here, Rose. It's from Hannah," he said kindly, pushing a tiny baby outfit towards me. It had a little green dragon on it and a Quaffle beside it. I took it gently and pushed it into my bag. I smiled up at him.
"Thanks Uncle Neville," I said, pushing tears back as I turned and found somebody else waiting to see me.
"Rose, can I talk to you?" He asked as we walked out of the classroom and found ourselves in the now-deserted corridor.
"Of course," I said, leaning against the wall behind me.
"She spiked my drinks with vast amounts of Veritaserum; you have to understand that I would never have told anybody anything, especially not Chelsea!" He pleaded. I nodded.
"I know. It isn't your fault. Thank you," I said, resting a hand upon his shoulder assuringly.
He looked like he would like to plead his case some more, but just nodded stiffly, with a tiny smile and, turning away, walked the opposite direction. I turned the corner and almost ran headlong into Scorpius, who was stood around it, apparently eavesdropping.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to overhear, I was just waiting to walk you to the hall," he said sheepishly. I nodded with a slight smile and reached into my pocket, grabbing a copy of the baby picture I had received last week. I pushed it into his hand and he looked at it, slowly drinking in everything about it.
"Bigger..." Was all he said, breathlessly, looking at me nervously. He pocketed the picture and we walked towards the Great Hall. As we did so, his hand found mine and our fingers intertwined.
"Thanks for coming, Rose," Astoria pulled a chair out for me before sitting down herself. I just nodded and she pushed her hair out of her eyes, passing me a large cup of hot chocolate and sipping her own.
"Have you heard from your parents?" She asked gently after a few moments. I shook my head.
"Mum sent me a note the other day saying that dad was busying himself at the ministry and with the pub, but it was starting to sink in. She's going to write a longer letter soon," I replied, hoping it was true. I had been having nightmares about dad disowning me for weeks… months, actually. Astoria nodded with a strained smile.
"When's your next scan?" She asked in the same gentle voice. I pulled out another copy of the scan picture wordlessly and passed it to her over the table. She let out a little 'oh' of surprise and stroked the photograph subconsciously. She made to pass it back to me but I shook my head.
"I've got loads of them – think the midwife was a bit surprised when I asked for ten copies," I said, forcing a little laugh. She smiled slightly and looked at it again.
"My next scan is the 22nd of January. I was a few weeks overdue for my scans so I've been trying to catch up ever since," I explained. Astoria nodded and pocketed the picture.
"May I come with you next time?" She asked shakily, as if she'd just worked up the nerve to ask.
"Of course," I said, taken aback. She smiled in relief.
"Who else has a copy then?" She asked.
"I sent mum and dad one, but they haven't replied yet. One went to Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry, another to Teddy Lupin, Nana and Granddad got one, Bill and Fleur got another…"I tailed off, counting some off my fingers. "I've got one, obviously. You have one now too… oh and Scorpius has one," I finished, studying her face.
"I'm so glad he's talking to you again. I hadn't heard from anyone since last month until your cousin Albus sent me a letter updating us the other day," She explained, her eyes sad. I internally wondered why Albus was in Slytherin, thoughtful as he was.
"We started talking again the other day," I clarified. "Though I totally understand why he wasn't beforehand," I added quickly, taking a sip of my cooling hot chocolate. Astoria made a jerky movement and grabbed my hand over the table in her cool one and looked into my eyes with her own grey-blue ones.
"I know you have a big family to talk to, but Scorpius doesn't. Lucius and Narcissa and my parents are dead and I have no contact with Daphne, my sister. Draco has no siblings. All he has is me and Draco, and all of you – his friends. Please look after each other – there is nothing more important than family and friendship… and love," she said imploringly.
I nodded and she patted my hand before withdrawing it and checking her watch.
"You'd better get back up to school, darling," she added, looking outside at the sky, which was quickly darkening.
"Don't forget, I'll meet you at the hospital on the 22nd," she said, wishing me goodbye two minutes later as we stood outside in the chilly wind. I nodded and she drew me into a quick hug, where I awkwardly patted her on the shoulder.
And then she was gone.
Later that week I found myself in the most boring Potions theory lessons ever. Sarah, Becky, Dom and I sat on a table of four while the others had been moved around the room to stop us from talking. A group of boys were in front, ladding about and turning round to smirk at us every so often, or whenever Professor Middleton left the room to inventory the store cabinet.
"Hey sexy," one of the lads said appraisingly, turning around when the professor left again. Sarah looked up, quill tucked behind her ear and her face screwed up in concentration. She relaxed.
"Hi Davy, what's up?" She asked, stretching backwards in her chair, arms up in the air. A few male heads turned and she smiled politely at a few, causing some to blush.
"Just wanted to know what you were doing tonight?" Davy replied, curling his hands around hers and looking at her through his eyelashes intensely. Swoooon!
"Well I'm going to take a bath, put on some of my lingerie and do a private photo shoot," Sarah said, gazing at Davy intently (was it just me who could hear her voice dripping with sarcasm?) and smirking at their intertwined fingers. About six lads in the vicinity turned around, grinning and raising their eyebrows.
"It doesn't have to be private y'know…" A boy that I didn't know the name of said, turning around and gazing keenly at my friend. Becky raised her eyebrows from Sarah's other side.
"I'm a dab hand with camera equipment; I could give you some help…" Said a sandy-haired Gryffindor from a few tables to the left of us, looking straight through an affronted Becky at Sarah. James, who was sat at the front of the class with Scorpius, Danny and Albus, looked over and frowned at the crowd gathering around our table, his quill gripped in his hand.
"Lads…" She said weakly and in utter disbelief.
"My real name's Will, but you can call me Rocky. Remember it gorgeous, I'll make you scream it later," a tall, gorgeous blonde boy said, slinking over to our table. I had never seen the Quidditch commentator up close, but I wish I had. Becky and I looked up at him open mouthed, but he had eyes only for Sarah as he knelt down in front of her.
"I'm pretty sure you won't," Sarah said, holding his gaze with her own iron one. Becky gave her a stony look that said 'you brought this on yourself.'
"You're right. I was too forward. How about a walk around the Lake tonight?" 'Rocky' said, holding his hands up and beaming at Sarah innocently.
"Look darlin', you don't want to go with him… just spend time with me for a bit, eh?" The other boy in front of us said, frowning at Rocky and directing his own gaze at Sarah, who looked stunned.
"Boys don't get sarcasm!" She hissed to me out of the corner of her mouth to me.
"Was that a yes?" The boy asked me, turning his smile towards me.
"I –but – hahahaha…" I said feebly, blushing horribly.
Obviously I'm not used to talking to hot blokes.
"Look I know you've got to be stupid, but do you have to be that stupid?! She was joking! Piss off!" Becky snapped fiercely at the lads now crowding around our table. A few looked taken aback and Sarah turned to look at her.
"What? You weren't doing anything about them!" Becky said crossly. Sarah flushed deep red; a sure sign of trouble but before she could retort, Becky had swept her things up and stormed from the classroom. A fuming Sarah turned to me and Dom.
"What the hell was that all about?"
Honestly? I didn't know.
"She's mad for Albus, and she's developed a bit of a complex about female competition and since Sarah pretty much epitomises it, she's target number one." Dom explained bluntly later when we both had a free period.
"A complex?" I asked with a snort.
"Well, yeah. Anyone with eyes knows there isn't a competition when Sarah's in the picture," Dom said as she painted her nails alarmingly clashing colours. I must have still looked unconvinced.
"Look at her, Ro. Where looks are involved she brings a gun to a knife fight. We've all got a bit of a complex about her!" She rolled her eyes though she smiled.
"I've never felt threatened," I lied, shrugging. She only made me feel slightly more insecure than usual…
"You have to admit that we all have our little labels in this group," Dom said, looking at me with her piercing eyes.
"You're the smart girl, Sarah's the beauty, I'm the loudmouth and Becky's the sweet one who nobody really noticed because she was with Rich for so long that boys forgot her. James is the clown, Albus is the bookworm and Scorpius is the brooding blonde Malfoy," she explained. "We've all got our place."
"Yeah, but that's not all we are. I mean we've all got flaws. I'm pregnant for god's sake, Sarah's got too quick a temper, you had crazy jealousy issues when it came to Sean and Becky is really insecure – I mean, remember when she tried to lengthen her legs with magic and grew tentacles? James can be oversensitive, Albus is calculating, Scorpius is a coward with girls," I argued.
"We've all got our shit. Becky has a chip on her shoulder though – she forgets that we all have flaws. I mean, you and Scorpius finally have an okay relationship about the baby, I've gone official with Steve, Sarah has her pick of Danny and James and Albus is fancied by half of the school. She feels like she's being left behind," she said. I suddenly had a thought.
"We could hold an intervention," I said, with a lopsided grin. "Could be a laugh… We all take ourselves too seriously sometimes. We should stand up and admit our flaws!" I said with a grin, laying my legs out over Dom's lap. She looked up and gave a bark-like laugh.
"Yeah…why the hell not?!"
Later that night, we cleared the common room by using mainly fear and bribes and brought in the lads. It was going to be perfectly executed.
All of us had our little roles. Albus was reading a book, Sarah was plucking her eyebrows, Dom was ranting to James about anybody she could think of, Scorpius was sat, watching us all in semi darkness and James was pissing about with a tea towel while listening to Dom's loud-mouth opinions and singing under his breath in a high-pitched voice. I was doing some homework and Becky was sat in the middle, watching all of us individually, not knowing what the hell was going on.
Suddenly, as arranged, James took offence at something Dom said and sat down in a huff. Albus closed his book and surveyed us all with a scheming look on his face, head resting on his fingers, Sarah started a heated (and staged) argument with Dom, and I started rubbing my stomach and humming a lullaby. Scorpius got up and walked over to the furthest corner of the room and crouched in it, covering his head with his arms.
"That's it, you've all gone mental! What the hell is going on?!" Becky yelled, holding her hands up in a 'stop' motion and looking worried.
"I'm temperamental," Sarah explained with a shrug, sitting down.
"I'm a loudmouth and my jealousy is out of control half the time," Dom said next.
"I'm sensitive but I cover it up with stupidity and jokes," James said, crossing his eyes.
"I'm smart but pregnant," I piped up.
"I'm cagey with my feelings but secretly girls scare me," Scorpius said with a stammer, standing up and walking back into the midst of the rest of us.
"I'm bookish but pretty calculating," Albus admitted.
"I'm confused…" Becky admitted, looking round at all of us.
"We all have flaws, Beck," I explained, "we are all insecure and scared and have ugliness in us. We are human," I added.
"I'm a massive fatty – I eat way too much crap. The only reason I'm not a size 20 is because of Quidditch," Sarah offered up.
"Yeah, and I am a total fuckwit when it comes to feelings," I added.
"I don't understand girls. I just want to read half the time…" Albus admitted awkwardly.
"I'm obsessive and it overshadows other important things. I'm insanely jealous," James said.
"I don't know what to say… ever," Scorpius offered, looking around nervously.
"And I can be vain and bossy," Dom shrugged. "But we love each other because of and despite of all these things," She said. Becky nodded slowly and looked around at us.
"What is this then?" She asked. I sat up straighter and crossed my legs.
"An intervention!" I replied.
"But…what are you intervening?" She asked, looking at us like we were all mad.
"None of us should take ourselves too seriously," Scorpius shrugged.
"Life's too short and there are too many bitches in it making us insecure without feeling that way ourselves," Sarah said with a smile.
Becky smiled back.
"Fine. Thanks you guys." She said, pulling Dom and James into a hug.
We all piled in and I realised Astoria was right – there's nothing more important than family and friendship and love. And despite everything, I am the luckiest girl in the world because I have them all.
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