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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 8: 08..Skipping Stones

Defying Gravity
Chapter 8: Skipping Stones

“Very good, Love, come to daddy,” he heard his voice and saw a toddler standing a metre in front of him, chubby hands clutching the cushion of the sofa, holding herself up.  She was looking at him sideways, a big smile on her face.  There were four teeth in her tiny mouth.

The baby giggled happily and took a shaky step sideways, letting go of the couch with one hand and then grabbing it a little further down, before letting go with the other hand and moving it closer to the first.  She repeated that and he spread his arms open wider.

Finally she came to the end of her couch, a few steps away from him.  She stood still for a moment, looking up at her father through big, green eyes.  Her dark hair was piled on top of her head, a red polka dotted bow clip holding it there.

He smiled and nodded encouragingly.  She giggled and, shakily, lifted her foot and moved it forward a bit.  First her left, and then her right, hand let go of the couch.  She took two steps on wobbly legs and promptly fell on her butt.

Instead of beginning to wail, as he’d prepared himself for, she giggled at the sound her nappy made hitting the carpet.  Then, the toddler rolled onto her knees, pulled herself in a crawl the rest of the way to her daddy, and plopped herself in his lap.

She stood in his lap and reached up to his face.  A second later, his vision was fuzzy as she pulled his glasses away from his eyes.  He blinked to get used to the change, and suddenly his face was full of blonde hair instead of smiling into the happy face of the baby girl.

His grip tightened around the blonde’s waist and he sighed, content, as he snuggled deeper into the pillows.

“Al,” she whispered, her voice husky from sleep, and he smiled into her hair.  Goodness, he loved her.

“Yes, Love,” he whispered back, and she rolled over in his arms.  Her eyes were still closed, her curls wild around her head.  She had major bed head in the morning.  The crystal blues blinked open.

“We’re gonna have a baby.”

Her bottom lip quivered as she said it, and he kissed her forehead, hugging her to his chest.  The previous night, Teddy had informed him on a few aspects of pregnancy that were Albus’ responsibility.  Such as keeping her happy when she gets too emotional, rubbing her feet or back when they ache, not to mention the randy-ness that comes in the next trimester, whatever that was.

“Yes, we are,” he agreed, forcing her chin up to face him, and he smiled down at her.  “And she’s going to have my eyes and your nose and your lips and your smile and your personality—”

“Pretty much a miniature me with your eyes, eh?” She winked at him and he grinned at her boldness.

“Yep,” he smiled, remembering the dream he’d just awoken from.  “And my hair…or dark hair, at least.”  His hand slid from her waist down to cup her abdomen.  He slid his hand underneath the cotton tee shirt and stroked his fingers over the taut flesh of her belly.

“Mmm,” she moaned, falling over onto her back.  He continued rubbing circles over her stomach and her eyes slid close, a smile of content on her face.  “That feels nice.”  After a moment, she stopped his hand and laced her fingers with his.  She rolled back on to her side and looked up at him through her lashes.

He was reminded of another part of his conversation with Teddy the previous night.  They were in the kitchen doing the dishes by hand while their women did a bit of female bonding (which consisted of going through all of Victoire’s old maternity clothes).

Teddy’d offered to help them.  Financially.  And the blush that flooded Albus’ face at the invitation rivalled that of his Uncle Ron’s when he got really angry or really embarrassed.  His mind flitted to his brother; he politely declined and made a mental note to look for a job.

“Are you happy?” Nat wondered suddenly, snapping Albus out of his thoughts.  He didn’t even have to wonder.  Worried?  Yes.  Scared shitless?  Definitely.  Happy?

“With you?  Always.” 

James Potter rubbed his brown eyes tiredly and gazed up at the first floor window warily.  The sun was just breaking over the snow capped trees of the forest lining the Potter household and he knew his mum would be up soon to begin what would come to be the worst Christmas Eve in the history of Christmas Eves.  The freshly fallen snow crunched under his snow boots as he swayed tiredly.  He hoisted his rucksack higher onto his shoulder, turning his eyes towards his surroundings.

The window to the left of his, a homemade sun catcher shadowed against the glass, belonged to Albus.  James let out a breath.  He was going to be an uncle.  He glanced down at his hands and then back at the window.

It was times like these he wished his coach hadn’t made him quit smoking.

He hadn’t felt the nearly weightless stick of gold between his fingers since the day he signed his contract with the Montrose Magpies, a team that had once had the reputation of being the top Quidditch team in British and Irish history, but was currently in a “rebuilding year.”  A rebuilding decade was more like it.  He hadn’t felt the burning of nicotine entering his lungs in nine months.

James smirked.

Nine months of vigorous training.  Nine months of living on his own.  Nine months of being a star.  It rarely happened, a person right out of school becoming the star Chaser for a legendary team.  Being the first born of Quidditch prodigies Ginny and Harry Potter had benefits.  In nine months he had become famous as the person solely responsible for the ‘Pies’ big comeback. 

In that same amount of time, his niece or nephew would grow and be welcomed into this world.  This crazy world where James’ parents were unsupportive, his nerdy brother gets laid, and everyone had secrets.

And everyone did have secrets.  His brother’s was out of the bag.  His parents were hiding something as well.  He’d never known his mother to blow her top like she had, and he’d done some pretty stupid things in his time.  Not to mention his own secret that was about to make Christmas even more eventful.

Oh yes, even more shit was about to hit the proverbial fan.

He really needed a cigarette. 

Instead, he sucked in another deep breath.  The smell of morning dew and snow assaulted his nostrils and, as he blew out the breath a cloud of steam from his warm breath meeting cold air billowed in front of him.

He stuffed his hands into his pockets, kicking at the snow in front of him.  He loved being outside in the snow.  When he was a kid, he’d spend hours at a time building snow men and having snowball fights with his cousins, only to be dragged inside by his mother before he got frostbite.  Which is why he was just standing there now, in the below freezing temperatures, his winter cloak tucked snugly around him.  There was some sort of calming solace in the early winter morning.

Something distinctly virgin, untouched.  

The sun broke over the tops of the trees and James decided it was probably time to sneak inside.  He’d taken every precaution he could have.  He locked his door from the inside.  He put pillows in his bed where his body was supposed to be.  He’d deceived his already-fragile parents.  All for an overnight to his favourite room at the Leaky Cauldron.

It had been really hard for him to leave Her.

He sighed one last time, securing his rucksack, which contained a change of clothes and his toothbrush, on his shoulder.  Then, he crouched down and dug in the snow, found the box he was looking for, and pulled out his dad’s old FireboltXX. The first broom Harry Potter had purchased after the Blood Wars; an antique.

With heavy skill but lack of enthusiasm, he slid onto the broomstick and rose up to his window.  The window was held open by James’ old Potions textbook, and he slid the window the rest of the way up and scrambled inside, allowing the broom to fall back into the snow.

He collapsed face-first onto the bed and closed his eyes, ready to allow sleep to overcome him when his dad announced five minutes until breakfast from the other side of the door.

James groaned into his pillow.  It was going to be a long day.  

She sighed for the tenth time, waving her wand and muttering a spell under her breath while pointing at the offending garment.  Then she gave a frustrated cry and threw her wand on the ground.  Tears welled in her crystal eyes and she pressed the heels of her hands against them to stop the tears.

Nat removed her hands from her face and found brown smudges on her palms.  Just what she needed.  More time to reapply makeup.  She threw her hands in the air and let the tears flow, slumping onto the edge of the bed.  Her shoulders shook with her sobs.

“Hey,” Albus walked in to the room, frowning.  He tossed the magazine he’d been carrying towards the head of the bed and sat next to his girlfriend, pulling her flush against his chest.

She cried into his white tee shirt and he stroked her hair, allowing her tears to soak in to the cotton material.  She pulled back a moment later, brushing tears off her cheeks.  He reached up to help her, and she smiled softly at him.

“Sorry,” she said with a thick voice.  He smiled and shrugged.

“I’m getting used to it.  Are you going to tell me what that was all about?” he said, thumbing a tear off her cheek.  She sighed, her eyes welling up once more.

“Everything is just so off!” she cried suddenly, jumping off the bed and grabbing up the garment she’d been waving her wand at.  It was a red skirt, and she waggled it at him.   “My magic is off!  I can’t do anything!  Even the simplest of alterations!  I can’t even lengthen a damn skirt!”

“I can—”

“And I cry at everything!” She continued ranting as if he hadn’t even spoken.  “I just can’t stop.  I cry when I’m happy, which is in short supply lately.  I cry when I’m sad…”

“Hormones,” Albus muttered and immediately knew it was the wrong thing to say when Nat began smacking him with the skirt in her hand.  

“Ow!” he held up his arms to shield his face.

“I’ll show you hormones!”

“Hey!” The duo turned and saw Victoire standing in the doorway, Jade on her hip, her tiny fist in her mouth.  “What on Earth is going on here?”

And then Nat burst in to tears again.

Rose brushed her red hair away from her face, her tired brown eyes sparkling in the mirror of her vanity table.  She leaned forward against the brass frame and studied a spot on her face.  Her eyes grew wide and she let out a loud ‘euww!’ before pushing away from the table and standing up.  She stepped quickly across the room, nearly tripping on her long skirt, and found the solution she needed.

She slammed back onto the stool in front of the vanity, squeezed a drop of the solution onto her index finger, and smoothed it over the bump on her chin.  She hated being an oily-faced teenager who got pimples, and she hated even more that there was not a solution strong enough to keep them away.

The directions said the zit would be ‘zapped away’ in just five minutes, so Rose sat back and studied herself in the mirror.  Her hair was now secured at the top of her head with a flower clip she’d gotten last Christmas.  Her green jumper was low cut just enough to be decent for a family occasion, and the sleeves flared like a bell at her wrists.  The black skirt reached her ankles and she knew she would be tripping over it all night.

Rose leaned closer to the mirror.  The offending bump seemed to be shrinking.  She was glad.  There was nothing more embarrassing than having a pimply face in a family full of smoothed-skinned people.  And to top that, Rose had more freckles than any member of her family.

Her face was so freckled, her skin looked tan.  Scorpius had once tried to count only the freckles on her nose, but had quickly lost count.  That may have had more to do with the proximity of her lips, but it still counted.

After a few more moments of waiting, the pimple had deflated to only a pink mark on her chin, a mark that make up could surely cover.  Five minutes later, Rose applied a thin layer of ‘Perme-Gloss Lip Cover’ and smacked her lips together loudly.  She stood, picked up her formal winter cloak from her quilt-covered bed, and opened the door to her room…

Running smack into Scorpius, who quickly pushed her back inside, closed the door, and flipped their places so her back was against the door and he was pressed snugly against her.

Before she could ask him why he was there, his lips covered hers in a passionate kiss that curled her toes in her spikey-heeled boots and left her breathless.  His tongue flicked her freshly painted lips, which parted to allow him entrance.  Her hands found their own way to his hair, her cloak dropping to the floor, and his hands had her waist in a vice grip.

This continued for minutes: lips sliding over lips, tongues duelling.  It seemed like it had been forever since they’d been together like this, when it had actually only been a day or two.  Rose loved the feeling of his hard, Quidditch toned body pressed against hers.  Her hand slid from his shoulder to the hard pectoral muscles beneath his crisp white shirt.  Her fingers flitted to the buttons of said shirt as if they had a mind of their own, but she managed to control them and pushed Scorpius away with one hand.

The Slytherin took a step back to put distance between them so he wouldn’t pounce on her.  Their breathing was shallow, and he was looking at her through hooded grey eyes.  She licked her lips, and he watched her pink tongue dart out of her mouth and slide across the juicy plane of the bottom lip.  He groaned inwardly and forced his eyes closed and his hands into his trouser pockets.

“You’re killing me, Rose,” his whisper came out strangled and she laughed softly.

“What was that all about?” She reached out and straightened his shirt.  With her heels on, the top of her head reached his lip line, and he leaned forward and brushed a gentle kiss against her forehead.

“Just missed you, I guess.”

“You saw me at lunch,” she reminded him, sliding her arms around his waist.

“Your dad is following me everywhere,” he whispered against her ear, following her lead and pulling her close against his body.  “We haven’t had any time alone.”  He pressed his pelvis against her stomach, telling her exactly what that alone time would be used for, and she laughed softly.

Ever since her dad had found them in a compromising situation two days before, Ron had been following Scorpius around, refusing to trust that he would stay out of Rose’s room, or any room with a door that closed, if they were alone.

“He doesn’t trust me,” Scorpius told Rose.

“He did catch us in a…compromising situation…” She laughed.

“I didn’t do anything wrong!”

“Love, you had your hand up my shirt and were working the snap on my bra.  If he hadn’t come in–”

“I wouldn’t be so sexually frustrated right now,” Scorpius groaned, his head falling against her shoulder.  Rose laughed softly, her hand running through his hair in a consoling gesture.  “I really wish you wouldn’t laugh about this,” he bit out.

“Oh come on, it’s a little bit funny.”

Scorpius gave her a look that said he wasn’t buying it, but then he cracked a smile and took her hand.  He kissed her knuckles gently before turning over her hand and kissing her palm.  Then he placed a kiss against the inside of her wrist, pushed her sleeve up, and trailed kisses all the way up to her elbow, all the while his grey eyes locked with her brown ones.

“Okay,” she shivered as he pressed a kiss on the skin at the inside of her elbow.  His head rose and he smiled.

“Okay, what?”  It was his turn to grin as she took a shaky breath to control herself.

“Okay, come to my room tonight after my parents are asleep.”  He pressed a quick kiss to her lips and stepped away from her to compose himself.  “And Scorpius?  Bring your wand.”

He would have laughed out loud if there hadn’t been a knock on her door a second later.  Instinctively he dove for the bed, and managed to scramble beneath it before the door opened and Rose’s dad stuck his head in.

“Almost ready?” Ron asked.  Rose made a strangled nose in the back of her throat that she managed to turn into an ‘um hmm.’  “Good.  Have you seen Malfoy?  He wasn’t in his room.”

“Oh,” Rose felt her face flush and commanded her eyes not to stray towards the bed.  She never had been really good at lying to her father.  “Um, I think he was still primping in the downstairs loo.”

She saw her father roll his eyes and prayed he wouldn’t make a nasty comment about her boyfriend.  Apparently no one was answering prayers on Christmas Eve, because her father snorted.  Then, to add insult to injury, said, “You sure picked a good one, Rose Bud.  Takes more time to get ready then a bloody girl,” before disappearing down the hall.

Rose had nearly turned around when she felt Scorpius brush past her.  She caught his wrist and looked into angry grey eyes.  “Primping?” was all he said before following her father down the stairs.

She frowned deeply, wondering how she was going to fix that one.

Albus pushed open the front door of the Burrow and nearly dragged Nat inside behind him.  She looked around warily, her blue eyes wide, and she took a cautious step back, pressing her back firmly against the door.

He could feel his temper flare at his girlfriend and, as he shrugged off his cloak, did his best to tamp it down.  Nat had changed clothes four times before deciding on the exact skirt she’d been trying to lengthen earlier in the day.  Then she couldn’t find shoes to match, and decided to wear trousers instead.  And then she found the shoes she’d wanted to wear just as they were ready to leave and had to start the dressing process all over, causing them to be forty-five minutes late.

He knew the dinner would not start without them.  But Albus had wanted to beat all of his cousins there so that the attention would not be all on the two of them when they arrived.  The news of Nat’s pregnancy had undoubtedly made its way through the various grape vines of each family, and Albus was nervous for the reactions.

He’d never really been close with his Uncle Bill, who worked at Gringotts Wizarding Bank, or his Uncle Charlie, who had moved back to Romania after the war.  Uncle Percy had always been around, and the two shared good conversations once Albus grew up enough to have grown up conversations.  No way would Uncle Percy lower his projected intelligence to have a intellectual discussion with a twelve year old.  After Albus had gotten his prefect badge was about the time he and Uncle Percy connected.

Which left Uncle George: the man, the legend.  And Uncle Ron.  George would slap him on the back, probably fill him full of firewhiskey for a ‘job well done.’  Uncle Ron would be thankful that it wasn’t one of his children in Albus’ situation.

Albus glanced sideways and saw Nat shrugging out of her cloak, her eyes dancing around nervously, taking in the crowded foyer that had been added on after the Blood Wars.  There were rubber-soled boots lining one wall of the small room; an overflowing coat rack told Albus most of his family had arrived already.

He leaned forward and pressed a kiss against Nat’s forehead, brushing stray curls behind her ear.  She looked up and smiled nervously, and then smoothed down her skirt.  Albus groaned inwardly at the thought of her bringing up the damn skirt again.

She opened her mouth to speak, but Albus place a finger over her lips.  “The skirt looks fine.  The blouse looks great.  Your hair is shiny, as always.  You know most of my family anyway, so there’s nothing to worry about.  If you don’t want to talk to my mum, there’ll be plenty of other people to talk to.”

When he was done with his speech, he moved his finger and pressed a kiss against her lips.  “I love you,” she whispered and he kissed her forehead again.

“Love you, too, babe.  Let’s get this over with so Father Christmas will bring us something good!”

They stepped out of the foyer and were immediately bombarded by Rose, who snatched up Nat’s hand and dragged her up the stairs.  Albus shook his head to himself and sat on the settee next to Scorpius, whose head was resting against the back of the couch, his eyes closed.

“Is she gone?” The Slytherin asked, keeping his eyes closed.

“Yep.  Took Nat up stairs.”  Scorpius opened first one eye and then the other.  “You want to tell me what they’re going to talk about?”

“Rose thinks I’m mad at her?” Scorpius shrugged nonchalantly.

“And you’re not?” Albus guessed.  Scorpius snorted and recounted the events in Rose’s room.  “She’s going to kill you once she finds out you weren’t really mad at her.”

“She saved both of are behinds, Al.  ‘Course I’m not mad!  Doesn’t mean I’m not going to get whatever I can out of the deal.”

“You are such a Slytherin.”

“Brilliant?  Charming?”

“Cunning. Devious.”

“I’ll take what I can get.”

“And then he just looked at me with this hurt look on his face and said, ‘primping?’ and left,” Rose recounted her story to Nat.  They were in a first floor bedroom that had belonged to Albus’ mum, sitting on a bed with a faded blue quilt and not much else.

“Do you think this skirt is to short?” Nat asked, glancing down at her bare knees.

Rose took in the red pleated skirt for a moment before she gestured Nat to stand.  She did, and the red head squatted down and pressed her finger against the skin from Nat’s knee to the hem of her skirt.

“According to my mum, no.  She says if you press your thumb against your knee, your skirt should hit somewhere on your pointer finger, not above.  And you’ve got about a knuckle breathing room, so you’re good.”

Nat raised her eyebrows at Rose, who shrugged sheepishly and smiled.  “Back to the Scorpy thing.  What should I do?”

“Grovel,” Nat answered automatically, pulling the hem of her skirt down in spite of Rose’s opinion.  “Apologize,” she added distractedly, now pulling the top of her black jumper up to hide more of her cleavage.  “I have to go change!”

“No, you look super cute.  You haven’t even gained any weight yet.”

“That’s because I throw up everything I eat.”  She patted her stomach awkwardly, before fluffing her curls and readjusting the black headband behind her fringe.

“That should pass eventually.”

The teenagers whipped around to find Ginny Potter standing in the doorway, looking worse for the wear.  She wore a bright red dress, but that was about the only thing bright about her.  Even her hair looked dull.  And she looked tired.  Exhausted, really.

“Dinner’s almost ready.  We’re just waiting for James to show up.”

“I thought he was living at home over hols until training starts back up,” Rose mentioned perkily, trying to keep the conversation between the two women vying for Albus’s attention light.

“He had some last minute Christmas shopping to do.  He’s supposed to be bringing us all a surprise.”

Downstairs the roar of the floo caught their attention and the three went quickly down the stairs to see what the commotion was.  Nat was last down the stairs, hanging on to the rail near the bottom as a wave of dizziness passed over her.  She shook her head shake it off, and tears stung the corners of her eyes from the pain.

She took the last step and slowly entered the magically widened kitchen where a slew of people stood around a magically enlarged table all looking in the direction of the fireplace.

Standing there was James, a nervous smile on his face, with a woman on his arm.  From head to toe she looked like a goddess, with perfect curly dark blonde hair, perfect almond shaped brown eyes, perfect round breasts encased in a perfect fitting black cocktail dress, all the way down to perfect knee-high boots that looked like they cost as much as the newest Firebolt model brooms.

“James?” Ginny asked in way of explanation, and James nodded.  He cleared his throat and took the stranger’s hand in his.

“Mum,” he nodded to Ginny before his eyes sought and found Harry’s in the crowd of family, “Dad, everyone…” he cleared his throat, wiping his sweaty palms on crisply pressed black trousers.  “This is Jennifer.”

A mummer of ‘hello’ rang out throughout the room, all eyes on the couple before them.  Call it mother’s intuition, but Ginny sensed that wasn’t the end and stepped forward, eyeing her son warily.

“James?” she said again, more suspicious, her eyes narrowing on Jennifer’s left hand.  A large, princess cut diamond balanced on a ring of pure gold.

“Yeah, um…” James gulped again, and dropped her hand to wipe both of his on his trousers.  “You see, Jennifer’s…she’s, well…she’s my wife.”

Albus literally saw the tension leave his brother’s body as his secret was out, then glanced sideways at his mum.  Her face was as red as her dress, her hands were clinched…she looked like she was about to pass out.

But the body that hit the floor was not his mum’s.

It was Nat’s.