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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 21: 20..Taking Care of Business

Defying Gravity 
Chapter 20: Taking Care of Business

“We need a plan,” Rose mentioned for the third time that afternoon.

Nat had finally fallen into a restless sleep somewhere around nine that morning, curled up next to Rose, drained of tears and emotion. When she woke up four hours later to the smell of vegetable beef soup and saw three bodies standing over her, the protective arm of her best friend still around her, the only thing she felt was empty.

She sipped the thick, creamy broth, munched on the chunky vegetables, and completely ignored the beef – it was a symptom of the pregnancy, her aversion to beef – all the while keeping her gaze trained down at the quilt beneath her. She couldn’t look up and see eight pitying eyes staring back at her.

Not that she cared much. She couldn’t bring herself to care. She couldn’t bring herself to feel anything at the moment. Nat felt like she was an empty shell of herself.

She wasn’t sure she could move on from this.

After the lunch dishes were cleared away, Kate left to return them to the kitchen and pick up a chocolate cake – Nat couldn’t bring herself to mention that the taste of spongy chocolate made her nauseous – and the group of seventh year Gryffindor girls gathered together, lounging on or near Rose’s bed. Rose spoke first.

“We need a plan.”

The first two times Rose said this, Nat wasn’t paying much attention. She wasn’t lost in her thoughts, she refused to think about anything. Because if she made the mental connection, her thoughts would undoubtedly turn to Albus, she’d see nothing but red, and end up castrating him with her bare hands.

The prick.

The third time Rose said, “We need a plan,” Rose snapped her fingers twice in front of Nat’s face. Nat’s hazy blue gaze snapped to her friend, and Rose smiled softly at her. The red head pushed a lock of Nat’s blonde hair behind her ear and then turned to the other two girls in the room.

“I think we should just tie him up and force Veritaserum down his throat,” Emileigh spat, vindictively. Nat quirked an eyebrow but didn’t open her mouth.

She pulled the quilt from her bed more tightly around her, sitting cross legged on the squishy mattress and listened while her friends offered ways to get a confession out of Albus.

“We can’t do that!” Lucy, ever the voice of reason, nearly shouted. “Veritaserum is illegal! It’s only to be used by specified personnel, namely Aurors and such, not revenge-seeking teenagers.”

“Not revenge-seeking,” Rose tsked, “truth-seeking.”

“So basically,” Emileigh’s jaw clenched and unclenched tightly, “what you’re saying is that we can ‘seek the truth,’ but we can’t break any school rules doing it?”

“That would be ideal,” Lucy replied primly, folding her hands in her lap. She narrowed her eyes at Emileigh’s loud snort, but didn’t say anything.

“Sorry, I’m back,” Kate burst into the room, a large pastry box carried in front of her. “Whew,” she breathed, plopping the box down in front of Nat and producing five forks from the pocket of her jeans. “You’d think all of Gryffindor hadn’t ever seen a pastry box in their lives! Practically the whole house was in the Common Room, and I nearly got trampled bringing in sweets! You’d better enjoy that cake, Natalya.”

Nat fought a grimace. Kate plopped onto the floor near the bed and gaze up to where Rose was laying on her stomach, her head at the foot of the bed, and Nat pulled the quilt even tighter around herself.

“What are we talking about?” Kate pulled the box of cake onto the floor, flipped the lid, and licked her lips. Inside was a chocolate-frosted cake with little pink, blue, and yellow sprinkles. Nat nearly gagged.

“We’re trying to develop a plan of attack, but little miss goody-two-shoes over there won’t let us break the rules.” Emileigh shot a look of contempt at Lucy before sliding over on the floor, picking up a fork, and taking a huge chunk out of the side. Kate began eating on the other side, watching with raised eyebrows as Emileigh…outwardly savoured the bite of cake on her fork.

Emileigh closed her eyes, enjoying the explosion of sugary-flavour on her tongue, the sponginess of the chocolate cake, the creamy chocolate frosting, the crunch of the sprinkles…she licked her lips after she swallowed and then opened her eyes to find her friends looking at her with interest.

“What?” she shrugged, setting the fork down and scooting away from the cake. “Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had a simple carbohydrate?”

“Seems like years,” Rose smirked.

“Probably has been,” said Emileigh, then she turned back to Kate. “Any suggestions. On the plan, I mean, not my carb intake.”

Kate laughed then said, “I’m not sure I’m too worried about your carb intake, there, Em. But the whole ‘plan’ thing…if we want to catch him in the act…why not follow him?”

“Follow him?” Nat spoke for the first time, her dull eyes wide. Follow him. Why hadn’t someone else thought of that? It was so simple!

“Yeah, follow him.”

“Yeah, like five girls sneaking around behind Albus Potter is even a little inconspicuous,” Emileigh snorted, her eyes trained on the chocolate cake. She licked her lips.

“I think I could help you with that,” a soft voice came from the doorway. Five heads turned to find Lily standing there, in the same clothes she’d been wearing the previous night, but her hair was limp and messy, her eyes dull, and there were black tear tracks down her face where she’d forgotten to use the waterproof mascara.

“Lily, what’s wrong?” Lucy spoke first. She seemed eagerly protective of her cousin.

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“How could you help?” Rose asked gently, steering them away from what was obviously a touchy subject. Nat remembered that Lily was planning on seducing Arnie last night. That apparently hadn’t gone well.

“Simple. I’ve got my dad’s invisibility cloak.”

Four girls gaped at her, while Rose nodded, remembering. Kate’s eyes were bugging out of her head. “How did your dad manage to get an invisibility cloak?”

With new charms and spells being invented every day, you’d think that invisibility items would become more and more common. After the Final Battle at Hogwarts, though, the Ministry of Magic had begun putting tight restrictions on exactly who could produce such items, what shops could sell them, and even began regulating who could buy them. The new ones even had special tracking charms on them to make sure they were never in the wrong hands.

It was rare to come across an invisibility product without such charm, and a one in a billion chance that it would happen at Hogwarts.

“It was his father’s,” Lily shrugged, sliding onto the bed next to Nat, putting her arm around her, and putting her head on her shoulder. “What are we following Albus for?”

“To prove that he’s cheating on Nat,” Rose replied.

“Good,” Lily nodded firmly. The way she saw it, either they would find that Albus truly was cheating on Nat - the bastard – or they could come to the conclusion that it’s all in Rose’s head and that she should apologize to everyone, including Scorpius. “And James has the map, and that’ll make it even easier.”

“I already asked James to borrow it. He hasn’t responded to me.”

“He’ll give it to me, I’m sure. I’ve got some blackmail material, anyway.”

“Why Lily Potter, I never pictured you the blackmailing type.”

Lily shrugged. “Last I knew, the map was tucked into the back of the bottom drawer of James’s desk, so if worse comes to worse, I’ll knick it during Easter hols.”

“We’d rather not wait that long.”

“Which is why I’ll write to James write now and ask for the map.”

“Um, excuse me,” Emileigh cleared her throat loudly, cutting off the conversation between the cousins, “I don’t want to ruin this cute, interesting little two-way conversation you’ve got going on, but could one of you please tell us what the hell this map is that you’re talking about?” Emileigh spoke what she, Lucy, Kate, and Nat were all thinking.

Rose smiled sheepishly. “The Marauder’s Map was invented by –”

“No need for all the particulars, hun, just tell us why we need it so bad,” Kate smiled.

“It’s a map of Hogwarts,” Lily said simply, falling to the floor to enjoy a bite of cake.

“It shows where every single student, teacher, staff, and ghost inside the grounds is at any given moment,” Rose said smugly.

“Whoa,” Nat muttered.

“My grandfather helped invent it,” Lily said before shoving a forkful of chocolaty goodness into her mouth.

“How come I’ve never heard of it?” Lucy wondered aloud.

“Your father was kind of a pompous prick back then – dad’s words, not mine – and probably wasn’t made privy to the information. After the war, I guess it was just kept in the Potter family,” Rose lowered her hands from where they raised in the air defensively back down to her lap.

“Hmm, so this map shows where every person is at any given moment inside the castle?”

“And most of the grounds, too,” Lily nodded, going back for her fourth bite. “So not only can we find out what Al is doing, but we can see if he’s sneaking around with that dirty, skanky, slut bitch Meghan Longbottom.”

As soon as Nat recovered from Lily’s vocabulary usage, she asked, “How soon can we get the map?” All eyes turned to Lily, who was aiming her fork at the cake for a fifth bite.

“I’ll send James a note,” Lily went forward for another bite, but Kate slapped Lily’s hand away. Lily looked up at Kate angrily and then sighed. “Fine, I’ll do it now.”

“In the mean time,” Rose started, making sure that Lily had a piece of parchment and a quill before turning back to her friends, “we could all keep an eye on Albus. I mean, watch who he talks to, his schedule…”

“Maybe you should do something about the amount of rounds you’re assigning him,” Kate suggested as she stood, brushed off the seat of her trousers, and bent to pick up the cake. She had every intention of hiding the rest from Lily.

“That might look a tad suspicious.” Emileigh stood as well, reaching up to fluff her hair while looking in the mirror across the room.

“We just need to keep a close watch on him,” Rose replied. Then she turned and looked pointedly at Lucy. “All of us. And without being seen.” Lucy sighed loudly.

“If I get detention…”

“You won’t,” Emileigh assured her. “We’re not doing anything wrong. Yet…”

Lily stretched the next morning, her arms raised high above her head and her toes touching the footboard at the bottom of her bed. She just couldn’t find the energy to get out of bed. She’d already missed half of breakfast, but she didn’t much care.

She hadn’t showered since Saturday afternoon before the shit of a night that should’ve been the best night of her life. She could feel a layer of dirt that covered her body and grimaced. Her hair was nice and greasy and could use a wash as well.

Reluctantly, she rolled out of bed and gathered her things for a shower. She padded across the cold stones to the communal shower the fifth and sixth year girls shared – it was down some steps, halfway between each of their dormitories. Only seventh years had their own bathroom.

She quickly shed her pyjamas and stepped under the hot spray, allowing the hot water to scald her body. She felt it deep in her aching bones. She tried hard to concentrate on the pain of her reddening skin, but found other things penetrating her mind.

Lily didn’t know how she would face him.

Thinking back to the Valentine’s Day night that she’d planned and the one that had unfolded before her, her already red cheeks reddened even further. She should be embarrassed; it was a horrifying situation.

She’d met Arnie in the Great Hall for supper, and then led him to an abandoned classroom on the sixth floor – one they hadn’t christened yet. It was a well-known fact that the sixth floor was the least patrolled, but with her brother patrolling she didn’t really want to take any chances. So she placed an incredibly strong locking charm on the door and then turned, capturing Arnie’s lips with hers.

Lily winced, remembering the event in horrid detail. The wandering hands, the deep, meaningful kisses, then the sudden abandonment. They’d fought. Bad. He wanted to tell Albus about their relationship. He was tired of hiding. He wanted to hold her hand in the corridors. He wanted to sit with her at meals without people getting suspicious. He wanted her.

And yet something was holding her back. She couldn’t give herself to him. So she told him a blatant lie. She wanted to keep their relationship secret. She wasn’t ashamed of him; she just didn’t want everyone to know.

He took it as her being ashamed of him and stormed off. He must be brilliant to get through such a locking charm. He’d left and he wasn’t in the Common Room when she got back.

But there was a singles party going on.

She’d found the most attractive boy there, a bloke by the name of Jared Wood – Bryce’s little brother – and began flirting shamelessly with him. He was attractive, sandy brown hair cropped close to his head, big brown eyes…but he was very skinny and tall, and he had an acne problem.

Lily didn’t seem to mind then, as Arnie entered the Common Room alone. She leaned over and gave Jared a passionate kiss. She would regret it later when Jared tried to feel her up around midnight, but at the moment her and Arnie’s eyes met, the flash of pain in his made her feel good.

Merlin, she’s evil.

She finished her shower and dressed in time to only be ten minutes late for Herbology, which was a miracle because she’d had to run all the way from Gryffindor Tower on the seventh floor, through the snow to the greenhouses.

She was met with a familiar piercing blue gaze and her eyes widened. What was he doing there? Wasn’t he supposed to be in class?

Probably not. Knowing her luck, this was probably his free period and he was helping out his father. Kate had been right those months ago. He was attached to his plants – and his father.

And yet, as Lily stood there, staring at the boy she had vowed to give herself – all of herself – to, she felt a tug at her heart. Her stomach clenched. She wanted to throw herself at him, tell him what a bitch she was, that they could go public with their relationship, Albus and his problems be damned.

Then his eyes slid into a cold, calculated look and she sighed. She’d screwed up, she was aware of that. She turned her gaze to the full classroom, the only empty seat next to Jared Wood. She groaned and rolled her eyes, sure that he’d – Jared – planned it that way.

She should’ve just gone to sit next to him, took notes, participated in whatever lesson Professor Longbottom had planned, and then try to catch Arnie after class to talk to him before he went off into his own little world.

Instead, she gave Arnie one last quick glance, mouthed ‘I’m sorry,’ turned on her heel, and left the greenhouse.

“Miss Potter!” she heard the professor yell just as the door snapped closed. She sighed; she’d undoubtedly get detention for that. But hopefully Arnie caught the meaning of that little display – that what’d happened between her and Jared was a fluke, a mistake – and he’d at least talk to her.

She headed back towards the castle, deciding she’d be better off telling her parents of her blatant ditch before Professor Longbottom did.

“Crouch,” Rose hissed, annoyed, as Lucy crept behind her in a semi-bent position. They were following Albus and Meghan down a dimly lit corridor on the first floor, pausing for the prefects to check an abandoned classroom.

They’d been tagging Albus and Meghan for nearly an hour and Rose felt like her calves were on fire from walking in the same position. She rolled her eyes, annoyed, at Lucy, who refused to hunker down anymore.

“Our feet are showing,” Rose whispered to her cousin, her frustration mounting.

“It’s dark,” Lucy whispered back. “They can’t see us anyway.”

Rose spun on her foot, her body so low to the ground she could feel her trainers digging into her butt. “If they were paying attention, which, fortunately for us they are not, then they would be able to make out the noisy wooden shoes you insisted on wearing-”

“Hey! They’re comfy!”

“-and the orange trousers you had to wear!”

“They’re fun!”

“They’re obvious!” Rose turned her head to make sure she could still see Albus before rounding on her cousin once more. “I said black, tight black clothes. Black shoes.”

“You also said no talking,” Lucy hissed back, finally lowering herself closer to the floor so that the edges of the cloak grazed stone.

“Whatever,” Rose mumbled before turning and starting forward.

“Hey!” Lucy suddenly yelled, and Rose felt the cool, silvery material against her back. She looked up to see Albus and Meghan turn around and point their wands at Lucy.

“Luce?” Albus’s tone conveyed his surprise. They walked towards her and Rose flattened herself against the wall to keep from being trampled and discovered. “Do you realize it’s past curfew?”

“Of course I do,” Lucy snapped at her cousin, suddenly feeling foolish in her blinding trousers and wooden shoes. “I’m not an idiot, you know.”

“Were you following us?” Meghan said, accusingly, giving her a snotty look.

Lucy snorted. “Ha! When are you going to realize that the whole world doesn’t revolve around you, Meghan Longbottom?”

How very un-Lucy.

“Bravery isn’t very becoming of you, Weasley,” Meghan stepped forward, threateningly.

“I’m in Gryffindor, aren’t I?” Lucy hissed through her teeth.

Albus, quickly becoming aware that this could very well escalate into a cat fight – and was astonished…Lucy! – stepped forward, putting himself between the two girls and nearly crushing Rose’s toes in the process.

“Lucy, go to your dormitory.”

“You’re not going to take points?” Meghan cried, outraged. “After the way she talked to us!”

“We’ve got to finish rounds, Meg.” They seemed to communicate with their eyes, Rose thought she saw Albus gesture down the hall with his emeralds, but she couldn’t be sure in the harsh lighting.

“Just go, Luce. I’d hate to report you.” Both Lucy and Rose watched, then, as Albus turned and led Meghan away, his hand at the small of her back.

“Whoa,” Rose breathed, her eyes glued to his hand.

As soon as they rounded the corner, Lucy stepped sideways to where she’d hoped Rose would be, and grasped around for the cloak. A second later she found it and Rose’s shelter was pulled away.

She didn’t seem to notice, though. Her brown eyes were glued to where Albus had led Meghan away.

“This is bad,” Rose told her cousin, finally glancing over to see Lucy’s face red – or what looked to be red – in anger.

“You almost got me detention,” Lucy hissed.

“Didn’t you see!” Rose stage whispered to her cousin. “The way he was touching her…”

“The nickname…Meg,” Lucy shivered as if she’d just seen a spider.

“I’m not quite sure it’s a fling anymore. I think it’s more than just him screwing around behind Nat’s back.”

“You mean–”

“I think they’re in a relationship.”

James reread the note from his sister one more time before shaking his head and tossing it onto the desk. Lily thought Albus was in trouble? Impossible. Trouble is what James would be in if his parents found out that he’d sent the Marauder’s Map off to Hogwarts for Lily to get into trouble with.

James wasn’t perfect in school. Aside from being Quidditch Captain for his last two years, he didn’t really have much going for him. His grades were abysmal, that was for sure. He barely scrapped by on the skin of his teeth during OWLs, there were very few classes he was allowed to even take.

Albus was always the perfect little snot, good grades, so-so at Quidditch (okay to play with when he was a last resort, but nowhere near good enough for the team at Hogwarts), got minimum detentions…the perfect child.

Lily started out like a mini-Albus and had slowly started turning into James the third. Once their parents cottoned on to this, and the fact that the Marauder’s Map was part of the reason Lily rarely got caught, they’d made James promise to keep it locked up at home, only allowing him to use it in case of an emergency.

Then again, this was the third time in as many days that he’d received a note from Lily pleading with him to send her the map. And what if Albus really was in trouble – not that there was much more that boy could do to piss off his parents more?

Then James shrugged. He was turning over a new leaf, introducing a new James Sirius Potter to the wizarding world. Why not let Lily have her fun? He had his share at Hogwarts.

James quickly penned a short note, a brief, “You owe me, squirt,” attached the letter and the map to the leg of the school owl that had delivered the note from Lily, and sent it on its way.

His good deed done for the day, he shrugged on his cloak and headed for the pub. He was going to get his drink on.

Thursday came all too soon for Nat. The next day was her monthly visit from Mediwitch Christensen and she was afraid that she’d gained too much weight for the month. She’d already broken into the box of maternity clothes that Victoire had sent with her to Hogwarts, and she was only going to get bigger.

She’d just slid onto the bench for a late breakfast when her friends suddenly surrounded her. She looked up, shocked, into Rose’s smiling face.

“What?” she asked suddenly.

“We got it.” Rose replied simply.

“Got what?”

“We got the map!”

A/N: I hope you enjoyed this filler chapter.  I'll try and have the next chapter up really soon.  It's what you've all been waiting for.  And because I'm mean, I think I'll start it in James's POV.  *insert evil cackle here*