Unfortunately, when I wake up the next morning, the queasiness in my stomach is still there, confirming that everything that happened yesterday was indeed true; I’m almost eight weeks pregnant with Draco’s baby. I spend my entire day in my room alone, mostly crying. I think of Draco, I think of my situation, and I try to think of a way to avoid having to approach Draco with this horrible news once I get back to Hogwarts.
The rest of the break flies by in this exact same manner, and the night before my return to Hogwarts I spend several hours begging Ms. Fitzpatrick not to make me return. None of my pleas work, however, and before I know it I’m saying goodbye to Ms. Fitzpatrick bitterly and disapparating with Mrs. McGreggor again, promising the former that I’ll take care of myself and write to her as often as possible. And just a few moments later I say goodbye to Mrs. McGreggor on Platform 9 ¾, with the agreement that Mrs. McGreggor will be coming to Hogwarts later this evening to have a meeting with the staff about my… condition.
I board the Hogwarts Express, feeling very much condemned. I don’t see any of my friends, which actually pleases me… I want to be alone; I’m afraid my friends will know something’s amiss if they see me. I find a compartment by myself, and I nearly jump out of my seat when I see Draco and his cronies walk past the compartment door a few moments later. My stomach twists into a thousand knots and I seriously feel as though I’m going to vomit, but somewhere in the midst of all this chaos, an idea occurs to me.
Instead of being nervous about this until I tell Draco what’s going on, why don’t I just go ahead and spill the beans right now? I think to myself. I could catch up with him before he reaches the front of the train to sit with the other prefects. I contemplate this idea for a few moments and then suddenly find myself leaving my compartment and walking down the crowded train corridor, without even realizing I’ve done so.
I see Draco a short distance ahead, standing outside the door to his compartment, and nearly consider turning around, but I keep walking in his direction. A billion thoughts run through my head as I get nearer to him, none of them good. What if he still doesn’t want to talk to me? What if he thinks I’m lying? I keep walking forward, with all these thoughts running a continuous loop. Before I know it or am even ready for it, I’m standing right beside Draco, who is looking off in the opposite direction.
Not knowing what to say, I stand there silently for a moment before speaking. “Um… Malfoy?” I finally say, barely louder than a whisper. Draco immediately turns his head, looking for whoever called his name. When he sees me standing right beside him his eyebrows furrow slightly and he seems quite a bit surprised.
“Newsome?” he replies with a nod of his head. My stomach churning and my heart beating rapidly, I stare up into Draco’s beautiful grey eyes, almost getting lost within their depths. Then, realizing I’m staring, I try to focus on the matter at hand.
“I… uh… I was wondering if we could… talk,” I stutter.
“Yeah… sure,” Draco replies. His eyes widen in response to my question and a hopeful look crosses his face, but then quickly disappears. Apparently remembering that he’s supposed to be mad at me, Draco crosses his arms and presses his lips together in a fine line. “I mean, I suppose… if we must,” he corrects.
“Okay,” I reply quietly, “but we shouldn’t talk here… can we talk in private?”
“Yeah, okay,” Draco replies, looking extremely confused. Then he nods his head towards his compartment, indicating that’s where we should go, and places his hand on the handle, pulling the door open. Before he’s got it open far enough for me to enter, however, we both hear a loud squeal from somewhere off in the distance. The noise makes both Draco and I jump involuntarily, and Draco’s hand accidentally releases the compartment door and it slams shut.
Turning to find the source of the noise, I’m horrified to see Pansy Parkinson walking down the corridor towards us. She appears to be walking directly towards me for a moment, but when she gets close enough she walks right up behind Draco and wraps her arms around his neck, flinging herself upon him. I watch in disgust as she places her lips on his cheek and says loudly, “Dray-Dray! Oh, I’ve missed you so much!” I nearly faint at the realization… Malfoy and Parkinson are dating!
I feel jealousy building up inside me once more, but at this point my sadness is even greater. During Pansy’s entire display, Draco’s eyes remained fixed upon me. When Pansy notices that her man’s eyes aren’t looking at her, she follows his gaze to determine what he’s staring at. When she notices me standing there, she speaks. “Newsome? What are you doing here?” she asks coldly. I open my mouth to speak, but Draco answers for me.
“She was just saying she needs to talk to me about something,” he tells her quietly.
“Oh, well - let’s hear it then!” Pansy says loudly. “Anything you have to say to my Draco can be said in front of me.” I stare at Pansy in terror and begin shifting my eyes back and forth between her and Draco without speaking. Pansy grows annoyed with my continued silence very quickly and speaks again. “Well, what is it?” she asks with an angry tone in her voice.
“N… nothing,” I reply quickly. “It doesn’t matter anymore.” After all, I think to myself, how am I supposed to tell Malfoy he’s the father of my unborn child with his girlfriend standing right there? He’ll think I’m just trying to split the two of them up!
Without waiting to see what Pansy’s reaction will be, I turn and start walking away from the couple. Confused, hurt, and slightly dizzy, I nearly stumble as I walk down the crowded corridor once more. Trying to stabilize myself, I stop walking and place my hand on the glass of a nearby compartment door, waiting for my dizzy spell to stop. I notice the sky outside beginning to darken, and I hear Draco’s voice call out to me.
“Newsome?” he calls loudly. Then, somehow managing to pry himself from his girlfriend’s death grip, he walks forward and turns so that he’s facing me. “Newsome, are you all right?” he asks with concern. My breathing labored, I quickly gaze up into his eyes for a moment before looking down at the train’s floor.
“I’m… I’m fine,” I whisper between breaths.
“No… no, you’re not,” is Draco’s only response. In an effort to prove that I’m okay, I start walking towards the back of the train once more, but only manage to make two steps forward before nearly falling flat on my face. Still directly in front of me, Draco catches me and holds me up, causing that electric current to flow between our bodies once more. Draco pays it no mind, however, and continues to support my weight. I hear Draco start speaking once more, and I look up into his eyes weakly but am unsure of what he says; darkness overtakes my eyes and my body goes limp as I pass out.
I wake in the hospital wing at Hogwarts, completely confused. I’m unsure of how I got here or what happened after I fainted on the train. Before I open my eyes I hear several people talking quietly, and judging by the voices I know that one of the people is Mrs. McGreggor, and at least two of the others are Professors Dumbledore and Snape. A moment later, two female voices interrupt the conversation, alerting me to Madame Pomfrey’s and Professor McGonagall’s presences. It’s no surprise to me what they’re talking about - my condition.
I open my eyes slowly, allowing my eyes to adjust to the light in the room, and I find all the staff at Hogwarts looking down on me with concern. Professor Slughorn has an embarrassed and ashamed look on his face. In all honesty, all this staring makes me feel like a museum exhibit: The Girl Who Got Pregnant At Sixteen. “Ah, Miss Newsome,” Professor Dumbledore begins, “it’s good to see you awake.” I look up at the professor silently, and he continues. “I’m afraid I have a few questions to ask you,” he says quietly. “Do you feel up to answering them?”
“I won’t know until I hear them,” I reply truthfully.
“Very well,” Dumbledore replies. “As I’m sure you’ve deduced, Mrs. McGreggor has told us about your situation. I understand that this term will be a very difficult one for you, and I want you to know that you have the full support of the entire staff. If you should need anything, just let us know.”
“Thank you,” I reply quietly.
“Now, Miss Newsome,” Dumbledore says, “Mrs. McGreggor informed us about the other activities that took place the night of Professor Slughorn’s party, and I’ve assured her that nothing like that will happen again. I’ve informed Professor Slughorn that there will be no more parties at Hogwarts this year. In order to take the necessary precautions, however, I’m afraid I must ask you… who is your child’s father?”
I open my mouth to protest to this question, but there’s no need; Mrs. McGreggor steps in and saves the day. “Don’t answer that, Jayde,” she says loudly. “Dumbledore,” she continues, “Jayde hasn’t had a chance to tell the young man about the situation yet. Once she has done so, she will inform you of his identity, but not a moment sooner.”
Though I can tell the staff members don’t agree with this statement, Dumbledore stares at me intently before answering. “Very well,” he says finally.
“Now I want it clear,” Mrs. McGreggor continues, “none but the staff are to know about Jayde’s pregnancy. She’ll already be going through enough stress, and I won’t have the students here teasing her and putting her through even more.”
“I completely agree,” Madam Pomfrey interjects. “I’ve spoken with Mrs. Taylor, the Healer Jayde saw at St. Mungo’s, and she’s indicated to me that this is already a high-risk pregnancy because of Jayde’s abilities. We’ll need to make things as easy as we can for her. Mrs. Taylor’s sent me Jayde’s charts and I shall be performing Jayde’s examinations while she remains at Hogwarts.” I look over to see Mrs. McGreggor nodding her head in response.
“And I’ll still be providing Jayde with her daily dose of the Nimbimagus potion,” Professor Snape says loudly, “but I’m afraid that taking more than just the one dose could harm the child. From now on, Jayde, if you get upset, you’ll simply have to control yourself… I won’t be able to give you another dose. Speaking of which, here’s your dose for today.”
Great! I think to myself as Professor Snape gets to his feet and hands me a vial of my Nimbimagus potion. Could this get any worse? Mrs. McGreggor interrupts my thought process a moment later with a question of her own, as I gulp down my potion and return the vial to Professor Snape’s waiting hand.
“Dumbledore,” she begins, “you still haven’t answered my question. Exactly how did Jayde wind up in the hospital wing on her first day back at Hogwarts?” Dumbledore opens his mouth to respond, but I quickly intervene on his behalf.
“I fainted on the train,” I interject, causing Mrs. McGreggor and everyone else to look in my direction once more. “But I don’t remember anything after that,” I continue. At this Mrs. McGreggor turns to Dumbledore once more, obviously willing him to tell her what happened. Dumbledore obliges a moment later.
“One of the seventh-year prefects alerted the school to Jayde’s condition, and apparated from the train to Hogsmeade with Jayde in tow. Professor Rubeus Hagrid met him and brought Jayde up to the castle,” he informs us. I’m already fairly sure which prefect brought me up to the school, but Mrs. McGreggor is curious.
“Which student was it?” she asks. “I’d like to thank them for looking after Jayde, and I’m sure she would as well.”
“Draco Malfoy, of Slytherin House,” Professor Snape replies with a satisfied-looking grin on his face. I panic internally when he says this and hope Mrs. McGreggor doesn’t make the connection between Draco and my pregnancy, but she’s unfortunately a very keen woman.
“Draco Malfoy?” she asks coldly.
“Indeed,” Professor Dumbledore replies. Mrs. McGreggor casts an angry look my way and I stare at her in response, silently begging her through my eyes not to tell the professors that he’s my child’s father. I cast a quick glance in the direction of Professor Snape, who has a puzzled look on his face.
Also noticing the awkward silence and the way Mrs. McGreggor and I are staring at each other, Professor McGonagall interrupts. “Is there a problem?” she asks, her confusion evident in her tone of voice.
“No, there’s no problem at all,” Mrs. McGreggor replies through gritted teeth, turning to look at her.
Great, I think, if she keeps acting that way, they’ll all figure out Draco’s the father on their own! To my immense shock and satisfaction, however, Professor Dumbledore stands up immediately, excusing himself and the rest of the professors from the room.
“I suppose the two of you have a bit of talking to do,” he says politely, “so we’ll leave you to it. Dinner’s already being served in the Great Hall; the two of you may come up whenever you feel ready.”
“Oh, I can’t possibly stay for dinner,” Mrs. McGreggor replies, “but thank you anyway, Albus. I won’t keep Jayde long.”
“Very well,” Dumbledore replies as he and the last of the teachers make their way out of the Hospital Wing.
As soon as the door is closed, Mrs. McGreggor starts interrogating me. “What happened?” she asks.
“I was trying to tell him,” I begin quietly without looking into her eyes.
“And did you?” she asks.
“No,” I reply quickly, “I was about to, but then his girlfriend walked up.” There’s a sinking feeling in my stomach and a bad taste in my mouth as I refer to Pansy as Draco’s “girlfriend”. Then, without warning, I start crying like a two-year-old and bury my face in my hands.
“Oh, Jayde,” Mrs. McGreggor says softly, rising from her seat to come wrap me in a warm hug. “I know this makes things even worse for you,” she whispers in my ear as she continues to hug me, “but you’ve still got to tell him… and the sooner, the better.”
“I know,” I reply, removing my hands from my face and leaning back to face her as I wipe my eyes and try to calm myself. “It just… hurt so much to see them together; it felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest,” I continue.
“And it always feels that way when someone we really love hurts us,” Mrs. McGreggor replies as she releases me and looks down into my eyes. Then, seeing the look of shock on my face, she continues. “And yes, I said that you love him, because you do,” she says meaningfully. “I know you’re still in denial about it and I hate to be so blunt, but part of the problem here is that you need to learn how to deal with your feelings, and that will be much easier once you admit what your feelings are. I don’t expect you to all of a sudden agree that you love him, but at least think about what I’ve said, okay?”
“Okay,” I reply as I nod my head in response.
“Good,” she says with a smile. “Now, I’ve got to get back to Dunamase,” she continues, “but you should go up and get a bite to eat. And then try to get some rest.”
“Okay,” I reply once more.
Mrs. McGreggor says, “Come along dear, I’ll walk you up to the Great Hall.”
“Um… I think I’m just going to sit here for another moment, if that’s okay,” I reply.
“All right,” she says quietly. Then she pulls me into another long hug before releasing me and heading towards the hospital doors. “Goodbye, Jayde,” she says.
“Bye,” I say in response, and without another word Mrs. McGreggor opens the doors and steps out of view, closing the doors behind her.
I remain seated on the bed for another moment, contemplating everything that’s just happened. Then, realizing that I’m actually quite hungry, I slowly push myself up off the bed and begin making my way down the aisle between the two rows of hospital beds, just as Mrs. McGreggor did a few moments ago. I slowly pull the doors open when I reach them, secretly wishing that Draco would be standing there waiting to see if I’m okay. The corridor is completely empty, however, causing me to curse Draco under my breath for not being concerned with my well-being. I take a deep breath in and sigh deeply before taking my first step out of the hospital and beginning the long trip to the Great Hall.