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Defying Gravity by momoe

Format: Novel
Chapters: 26
Word Count: 122,943
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Characters: Harry, Ginny, Teddy, Scorpius, Albus, James (II), Lily (II), Rose, Victoire, OC
Pairings: Other Pairing, Harry/Ginny, Rose/Scorpius, Teddy/Victoire, James/OC

First Published: 04/26/2008
Last Chapter: 12/20/2009
Last Updated: 12/20/2009


Seventh year Gryffindor Prefect, Albus Potter, and his girlfriend, Nat, have found themselves in an unthinkable situation: expecting a baby.  Murphy's Law applied, the next nine months will be filled with hardships starting with a pretty major one: telling the parents.

Chapter 3: 03..Shocks and Spills

Defying Gravity
Chapter 3: Shocks and Spills

“Oh my god,” was the general consensus around the room. The flask slid out of Nat’s hand, and she launched herself in to Albus’ waiting arms. She sobbed in to his chest, and he tried to hold it together for her, but failed. A few tears fell down his cheeks, mostly for his girlfriend, the love of his life, and now, the mother of his child.

“We all need to go,” Rose spoke quietly over Nat’s sobs. The other girls in the room nodded and took a vial reluctantly, more shook up than anything and not having the strength to protest. Before Rose stepped in to the bathroom, she turned to Scorpius.

“Find Lily. She needs to take one, too.”

“Oh god,” Albus sighed, brokenly. He watched his girlfriend slip out of his arms. She crawled on to his bed and hugged a scarlet pillow. He slid on to the scarlet-blanketed bed behind her, spooning her, while her body shook.

Bryce didn’t know what to say. He hated seeing Nat like that. She was his first girlfriend, their fifth year. And she remained a very dear friend of his. To see her so gut-wrenchingly upset hurt him. He felt bad for Albus and Nat, he really did.

Albus watched, over Nat’s shoulder, each girl wait in anticipation. He knew the chance of another girl being up the duff was a long shot with or without the faulty potion. Sex at Hogwarts wasn’t that easy, and even so, these girls were good girls.

He glanced briefly around the room. There were clothes strewn about, along with quills, parchment, and books covering every surface. The candlelight cast orange shadows over everything, but he could still see the worried expressions on his friends’ faces. Instead of dwelling, he turned back to his girlfriend.

“It’s okay,” Albus muttered in to Nat’s ear, smoothing her blonde hair over her shoulder and down her back. “It’ll be okay. You’ll see. We’ll be fine.”

His heart broke to feel her shaking body pressed against his and he knew he couldn’t do anything about it. He held her tight and kept whispering in her ear how much he loved her and that everything was going to be okay. For then, that was all he could do.

Scorpius returned with Lily a moment later, just in time to hear Rose’s flask open. Well, not so much hear as see, because when the cork was removed, a whole lot of nothing came out.

“Oh thank god,” he breathed, rushing to his girlfriend and picking her up, spinning her around. The other two girls opened their flasks to nothing as well.

“Just to be on the safe side,” Rose told Lily comfortingly patting her shoulder. Albus wanted to snap at his sister threateningly, but figured he wasn’t in the best position to do that.

Lucy burst in to the room a minute later, and Rose thrust the final flask at her. Then, Rose turned to the couple laying on the bed. Albus had rolled Nat over so they were facing each other, and he had her head in his hands. He was whispering to her, his thumbs wiping her steady stream of tears away.

Rose had never seen her cousin so affectionate, so loving and caring. It was a surprise to her, this side of Albus. Sure, he really was always more sensitive than his older brother, James, but that wasn’t saying much. James was a Quidditch star, Albus more of the proper, prefect type. Well, until now. Rose grimaced, not looking forward to the conversations that would undoubtedly happen over Christmas once the whole family got wind of this.

Nat sat up, bringing Albus with her. He was attached to her hip, and she was grateful. It was exactly what she needed at that moment, his love and comfort, and the assurance that he wasn’t going to abandon her.

“My parents already love you,” he whispered in to her hair at her protest of the opposite. “They told me this summer. They adore you. My mum thinks you are quite fetching and my dad thinks you have great potential at the ministry.” They had. His mum gushed over her pretty blue eyes.

“Those opinions are going to change once they find out…” she couldn’t even bring herself to say that she was pregnant. She wasn’t naïve enough to think that if she just ignored it, it would go away. But saying it out loud made it more concrete.

Lily came out of the bathroom, her flask ready in her hand. Albus took a deep breath when she opened it and let it out when not a sound came forth. So he would be the only Potter becoming a parent that year. That was comforting…sort of.

As comforting as the fact that his little sister wouldn’t be becoming a parent in nine months was, a sudden sob in his arms reminded him that he would, and he looked down at his girlfriend.

Nat’s bottom lip trembled; tears fled down her face. Her face was red and blotchy. Her nose was running. Her hands clutched at his jumper in fists. She looked like a lost little girl, clinging on to something familiar.

So he lay there, Nat in his arms, while all of his friends murmured words and left hurriedly. He watched the tears slowly falling down her cheeks, biting his lip to hold back his own flood of emotions, until, some time later, her grip on his sweater loosened, her breathing deepened, and she had fallen asleep.

Albus gently tugged his jumper out of her grasp and slid off of the bed. He needed to get out of there, to have some time alone to think and vent and cry himself. He needed some place to not have to worry about his masculinity and be frustrated and upset without it imposing on Nat.

He knew he shouldn’t have just left her there, alone, in the seventh year boys’ dormitory, on his bed. That wasn’t smart at all and he knew that. But he did it. The note he wrote wasn’t nearly adequate and he hoped she would understand when she woke.

He wandered through the castle. He got curious glances from people milling about after dinner and before curfew, with his head down and hands stuffed in his trousers, mumbling to himself, but he didn’t care.

Albus made his way up to the Astronomy tower. He took the steps two at a time, suddenly feeling like he was suffocating in the stifling heat of the castle, and burst through the door at the top.

On the observation deck, he was greeted with the cold, dry night air and he gulped it in to his lungs like a man starved. He pressed his hands against the wall and leaned forward, his forehead touching cold stone. The night was an average bitter cold December evening, but he didn’t feel the cold. Albus turned, slowly, so he was facing the night sky.

With a choked sob, he slid to the ground.

Nat’s crystal blue eyes blinked open. It felt like someone had glued them shut and she reached up and found a thick layer of crust where there had still been tears when she’d fallen asleep. She scrubbed her hands over her face and yawned.

She closed her eyes and rolled over, pressing her face in to the squishy pillow beneath her head. She took a deep, cleansing breath, and her eyes shot open. The scent was woodsy mixed with musky, rather than the flowery scent of her perfume that she usually smelled on her pillow.

Memories of the day washed over her and she sat up straight. She was in the boys’ dormitory. Alone. Well, technically not alone, because she could see someone lounging on a bed across the room, and someone on the bed next to that one, tossing a Quaffel up in the air and catching it, but she was alone.

“Where’s Albus?” Nat asked the boys in the room. Their faces were in the shadows of their canopies in the dull firelight, so she didn’t know of their identities.

“We don’t know,” the one closest to her answered with a high squeaky voice, as if he’d been startled. He cleared his throat before saying, “He wasn’t here when we got back from dinner.”

A feeling of abandonment flitted through her, only to be squashed by a wave of nausea and before she realized what was happening, she’d hopped off of the bed and ran in to the loo.

The water of the shower was running as she shoved open the door and threw herself in to the nearest cubicle, spilling her lunch in to the toilet. She retched until she didn’t have anything left in her, and then she sat back. Tears formed in the corners of her eyes, and fell before she could squash them down.

The shower stopped, and she stood, not wanting to cause any more trouble than she already had. Nat walked quietly out of the loo, past the two faceless boys out of the dormitory, and down the stairs. She didn’t stop in the common room when Rose called for her, and continued up the stairs to her own dormitory. She climbed on to her bed, put up the strongest Imperturbable charm she could muster, and collapsed in to tears.

Albus’ teeth chattered noisily. He hadn’t worn a cloak and had been on the observation deck for quite a while. He ran a hand through his unruly hair and stared at the clear, starry night sky with a sense of detachment. The earlier sense of frantic panic had given way to the cool detached feeling he was having. Albus wondered if he was in shock.

There was no way around it: in less than nine months, he would be a father.

His parents were going to go mental. Plain and simple. They would rave about how he was raised better, should know better, and have been more responsible. But, over time, they would grow to accept it. He just prayed that Nat was nowhere near them when they started screaming.

Nat’s dad was a whole different story all together. It was tragic when her mum had packed up and left the two of them right before her second year. That was the year she and Albus had become such good friends, because he spent nearly all of first term comforting her because of that silly woman.

And then when she went home for Christmas and came back with a whole new set of problems and insecurities, he was there for her then. Her mum left with out a second glance and her dad, having had the whole term to mull it over, blamed Nat. He took it out on her, too. He was verbally abusive to say the least. But he never hit her, for that Albus was glad. Because her dad may have found himself hurting if he had.

The door banged open, and a familiar shape stepped out, her head of curly red hair swivelling about madly until her brown eyes fell on Albus. Then, Rose stomped to him and slapped his arm. Hard.

”What was that for?” He yelled, standing up roughly, teeth still chattering slightly.

“Where the hell have you been?” she said shrilly, in a voice that reminded him much too much of his Aunt Hermione.

“Here. Thinking. Where have you been?”

“Trying to get your girlfriend to come out from behind her curtains. Trying to convince her that you did not run out on her. Trying to convince her that you still love her. Trying to convince her that you are not going to break her heart,” she spat at him. She looked like she was trying to use her arms as wings, the way she was flapping around. “Now, please tell me why I had to do that instead of you telling her yourself?” She tapped her toe, hands on her hips just like her mum, waiting for an answer.

“She’s not the only one who had a fucking bomb explode in their face, today, Rose!” He shouted suddenly, his hands gripping his hair so hard it’s a wonder he didn’t pull it all out. “I needed time. Alone. To think. About what the hell I’m gonna do. I’m too young to be a dad, Rose. I’ll be eighteen. I don’t have a job, I don’t have any money saved up – ”

“Stop being such a fucking coward, Albus Severus,” she spat, venomously. “You know she has problems with people leaving her, abandoning her. First her mum, then her dad, and now you?”

“Don’t you compare me to them!”

“You’re just the same. Walk away at a time she needs you most of all.”

“I’m not walking away!”

“She doesn’t know that, Al! You were just gone. What was she supposed to think?”

”I left a note!” As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he realized how stupid and lame he sounded.

So did Rose, and she gave him a haughty gaze. “A note? The mother of your child and you left her a note?”

“Just saying I needed to think and I told her where I’d be,” said Albus, defensively. He crossed his arms over his chest and glared at his cousin.

“Well she didn’t get it. And she got sick again. Arnold was in the shower when it happened, but she left before he could make sure she was okay. Put up the most powerful imperturbable I’ve ever seen.”

Albus was silent. He rubbed his eyes tiredly, and then looked back up at Rose. She had an expression of pity on her face, which normally would’ve made him scowl, but he felt he deserved it at that moment.

“I’ve mucked things up already, haven’t I?”

Rose snorted. “I’d say you mucked things up when you started sleeping with her without using the contraceptive charm.”

“She was on the potion!” Rose’s eyes widened.

”That reminds me,” she bit her lip thoughtfully. “Payment for the next cycle of birth control potion is due before Christmas break. If she doesn’t renew, Madame Grady will suspect something. She may even go to the Headmistress.”

“So then Nat can pay and then not use it. Maybe we could sell it. Start saving up money for baby clothes.” At Rose’s wide-eyed expression he sniggered. “I was joking, Rosie.” She slapped his arm. Hard. He briefly wondered when she had gotten so strong.

“Don’t say that to Nat. You mustn’t upset her, Al. She’s extremely sensitive right now, and her hormones are out of whack and she’s emotional and…she’s just not herself.”
“What do I do to make it right?”

“Talking to her would be a start.”

That was easier said than done. He had walked back to the common room with Rose and sat on the couch, hoping Rose could get her to come down and talk to him. She hadn’t.

He ended up falling asleep on the couch facing the fire between the girls’ and the boys’ dormitories. Albus tossed and turned on the old, lumpy couch, and when he woke up early Sunday morning to a third year girl standing over him, he’d grunted loudly and scared her away.

He refused to move from his post, however, and vowed he wouldn’t until Nat came down to talk to him. Rose brought him breakfast and lunch on her way to take food up to Nat, only to get turned away.

“She’s been sick all morning,” Rose whispered to him quietly. The common room was full of students studying and spending their final Sunday before holiday with their friends and she didn’t want to be overheard. “She can’t keep anything down. The smell of Lucy’s shampoo is setting her off, too. It’s coconut.”

“Tell Luce to get rid of it,” he shouted, causing a few first years that were playing Extreme Exploding Snap by the fire to jump. Albus ignored them, his gaze on the girls’ staircase.

“She has. She’s going to be using mine for the rest of term until she can get more.” She stopped, hesitant to go on, and Albus turned to her. “What are you going to do, Al?”

“Is she up? Awake? Are the wards around her bed down?”

“Yes, yes,” Rose nodded, “she’s studying for final exams with Emileigh and Kate.”

Albus bit his lip, his gaze lifting to the ceiling. He nodded his head, as if contemplating something, and then stood abruptly and ran up the boys’ staircase.

He returned a moment later, a Firebolt 360 broomstick in his hands. He leaned close to Rose and whispered something in her ear before he took off out the portrait hole.

Rose stood and walked up the stairs to the girls’ dormitory. She pushed open the door, entered, and closed it. Emileigh and Kate were reading aloud out of a Herbology textbook, and Nat was laying on her bed, on her stomach, face towards the foot of the bed, head propped up by both hands, listening to them read.

“Girls,” Rose got their attention. “Do you think I could speak with Nat privately?”

”Sure. The loo’s right there,” Kate pointed the door to the bathroom, but closed the book in front of her. “That’s okay. We’re heading down to dinner. Meet us in the library later, Rose?” Rose nodded and Kate turned to Nat. “You’re more than welcome to join us.”

“Thanks,” Nat sat back, her legs crossed in front of her, and shrugged. “I’m kind of tired. This week is going to be long, so I’m probably just going to head to bed.”

Kate nodded, albeit reluctantly, and linked arms with Emileigh, practically having to drag her out of the room. Nat looked up at Rose once they were gone, and Rose smiled. She then backed out of the room herself.

Nat stood up slowly, her eyes scrunching up in confusion at Rose’s odd behaviour, when there was a tap on the window near Kate’s bed. The tap became a little more insistent, and Nat walked over to the window.

She drew the shade, and there was Albus Potter, floating in front of the window. He smiled at her, and gestured for her to open the window. Tears sprang to her eyes and she shook her head. She walked over to her trunk and sat on it, turning her gaze back to him.

Her mouth fell open when she saw him climbing in through the window, straight on to the bedside table beneath it. The chill the open window brought in caused her to shiver, and, noticing it, Albus snapped the window closed.

”What about the wards?” she asked when she could finally find her voice. “No boys in the girls’ dormitories.”

Albus shrugged. “Just can’t touch the floor,” he muttered, jumping straight on to Kate’s neatly made bed. “Are you going to help me?” he had climbed onto Kate’s trunk, which was a giant step away from Nat’s, and held out a hand to her.

“What do you want, Albus?” He winced. She never called him Albus. Not even when they had first become friends. It was always Al, or Alby, or, after they started dating, Love.

“To apologize for being a git last night,” he answered. When she didn’t say anything, he continued. “I shouldn’t have just left you there asleep on my bed.”

“You shouldn’t have left me at all,” she muttered, crossing her arms and legs on the trunk.

“I just needed some time to think. Yesterday was…shocking. I mean, I know you, Nel,” she smiled at his use of his nickname for her: her initials. “You took that potion every single day at breakfast. I saw you. So, really, I fucked up. And that kills me that all of this is my fault.”

“You didn’t fuck up, Al. This was both of our doings. It takes two people to make a baby. I should’ve paid more attention to the lecture that Grady gave us, or the disclaimer on the release form for that damn potion.”

“I had to think about how I’m going to support us. I’m going to have to get a job. A good one, too, not helping out at the joke shop every few days for spending money like during the summer. An actual good-paying, forty hour a week job. That includes benefits.”

“Alby, there’s plenty of time to think about that later. We need to figure out how we’re going to tell our parents first. Or, for me, parent.” She paused there and tears filled her eyes. “He’s going to kill me, Al. Literally. With his bare hands, I’m sure of it.”

“He’s not going to kill you,” Albus said soothingly, or as soothingly as he could without being able to touch her. “Can you help me out here?” She cracked a smile, and grabbed his outstretched hand. On the count of three, she pulled him with all her might, and he bounced on to her bed.

She cuddled up next to him, snuggling in to his arms and resting her head on his chest. “You know I wouldn’t let anything happen to you, right?” She nodded, and her hair tickled his chin.

“But if you’re not there, how can you be so sure?” She bit her lip, a tear sliding slowly down her cheek. “When I told him I was going to spend most of this past summer with you and he couldn’t stop me because I was of age, he called me every bad name in the book. Whore, slag, bitch…”

“He didn’t touch you, though, did he?” She shook her head, the wool of his jumper rubbing against her cheek.

“No, but you were there, too.”

Albus sighed. He really hadn’t wanted Nat to be around when he told his parents, mostly because he didn’t want her to think less of them once they flew off the handle, but it was becoming more and more clear that they weren’t going to be getting around that without Nat being left alone with her dad. And in all honesty, Albus didn’t trust the man not to hurt her.

“The night before Christmas Eve, you and your dad can come over for dinner.” Nat’s eyebrows shot up and he sighed. “Well, you were coming on Christmas Eve anyway, what’s a few extra hours? And your dad wouldn’t do anything with my parents there…”

“So I’m just supposed to pretend that I’m not—you know—for two days?”

“It’s the only way I can make sure that you’re safe without missing some of our family traditions. My mum would kill me if I wasn’t there to help pick out our tree, or decorate it, or decorate the house, and then come home and tell her she’s going to be a Grandmum.”

“I’m going to need to see a Healer,” she muttered, clutching Albus tighter to her. “I don’t have any money, Al.”

“Don’t worry about money, Nel. We’ll figure something out.”