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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

Summary:





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 26: 25..I Can Wait Forever





Defying Gravity
Chapter 25: I Can Wait Forever (a.k.a. Scorpius’s Plan)




“I don’t believe it,” Kate muttered from across the table. Nat quirked her eyebrow at her friend, briefly looking up from the asparagus spear she’d been pushing around on her plate for the past ten minutes.

Rose, who continued to look particularly glum even though the coming weekend was a Hogsmeade weekend, – the last before Easter holidays – barely shifted her head, which rested in her hand her elbow planted on the table. She sighed dramatically staring sullenly ahead – at the Slytherin table.

Emileigh was – finally – off with Bryce. They were having a special date for their three month anniversary, which consisted of hording the Room of Requirement. Not that anyone else at the table needed it, mind.

Lily paused her reading, using her finger to mark her place mid-page, and Arnie’s gaze slid from his girlfriend to Kate.

At the same time they realized that Kate was staring at something, or someone, and, as a group, their gazes moved from her to where her eyes were trained. Nat sucked in a deep breath, Rose gasped, and Lily may even have growled a little.

Albus walked slowly through the quieting Hall towards the Gryffindor table. He was attracting copious amounts of attention and kept his eyes down. He was paler, thinner, his muggle clothes hanging off of him like they were a size or two too big.

Nat gulped audibly. She wasn’t ready to see him; not like that. Of course she’d seen him since their breakup. In lessons. But they’d been few and far between, and she’d been flanked on either side by Rose and either Kate or Emileigh – sometimes even Lucy – so she hadn’t even had the opportunity to really look at him.

In that moment, her heart ached for him. She’d love nothing more than to take him into her arms – as best she could with her bulging belly – and never let him go.

But she couldn’t.

Not yet, at least.

As Albus neared the table, the hall fell fully silent. The students, as well as the teachers, watched him, waiting for him to make a move.

“It was only a matter of time before the string snapped, she had him wound so tight,” Nat heard an unfamiliar voice say from down the table, but she didn’t bother with responding.

A second later, a sound that resembled a smack to the back of the head echoed through the silence, and Nat smiled a bit. Hugo to the rescue. She didn’t dare take her eyes off of Albus to thank Hugo. She was afraid Albus would disappear.

He reached the end of the table and stopped.

So did Nat’s breathing.

His head rose. Slowly. As if he was deliberately moving in slow motion. Nat’s jaw clenched. Her eyes followed his head.

Then crystal blue met pale green.

Dark blotches lay beneath his dull, sad eyes giving the appearance as if he had two black eyes. The once vivid emerald green had faded into a dull, mossy colour that would look pretty on anyone except Albus. He looked how she felt: defeated.

Nat looked away first, not able to stand the pain etched into his features, and stared down at her vegetables. For the second time that night she felt the sudden, gripping urge to run to him.

She didn’t.

Because the Headmistress chose that moment to push away from the staff table.

The scrape of the heavy chair against the stone floor snapped the spectators out of their trance-like states, and soon enough their curious eyes turned to McGonagall. They watched as she made her way behind the rest of the teachers, whom were also looking at her curiously, and down the short steps or the dais that raised the staff up above the students.

She walked slowly yet deliberately across the front of the hall and down between the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff tables. She didn’t pause, but her sharp glances were enough to turn the heads of some of the younger students.

The Headmistress stopped when she reached Albus. He had seated himself at the very end of the table, the closest student two spaces down from him, and had put one piece of broiled chicken and one spoonful of potatoes onto his plate.

He turned his head slightly towards the Headmistress, who bent towards him and spoke to him in a low voice. There was a flash of gold, reflecting off the candle lights and the full moon in the faux sky above, and Nat realized what was happening.

McGonagall had offered Albus his Prefect badge back.

And he didn’t accept it.

After the quiet exchange, McGonagall turned on her practical heeled shoes and made her way back down the table. She stopped at Arnie and spoke in hushed tones. Arnie accepted the badge, no questions asked.

Then she moved on, to Nat’s surprise, and stopped behind Kate. Kate turned, her brown eyes wide, scared, and stared up at the Headmistress. Nat was within earshot this time and heard the exchange.

“Miss Corner, it seems the position of Head Girl is available,” McGonagall looked briefly at Rose, who was staring straight ahead, her back straight as an arrow, jaw clenched in anger. “Would you happen to be interested?”

Kate bit her lip and looked at Rose. Rose turned her eyes to the ceiling. Kate looked a Nat. Nat shrugged, stabbing the last asparagus spear with her fork.

“Well, Miss Corner?” McGonagall looked at her expectantly.

“N-no thank you, ma’am,” she answered, finally.

“No? Are you quite sure?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

McGonagall gave her a contemplative look and then moved down the aisle towards the Hufflepuff table.

Kate let out a breath she hadn’t known she’d been holding.

“You could have accepted, you know,” Rose muttered, finally looking at her friend. She shrugged. “I wouldn’t have cared.”

“You deserved it when you were given it. You still deserve it. It should never have been taken from you in the first place.” Kate took a bite of a roll and shrugged. “Besides, it’s March. School’s out in June. It’d be a four month job, and where’s the fun in that?”

Rose tracked McGonagall with her eyes.

“Albus is gone,” Lily noted, before shutting her book and taking a gulp of water. Nat glanced down the table and, sure enough, the very last spot was empty, devoid of dirty plate and her former boyfriend.

“Did you see him? He looks horrible,” Kate groaned, pushing her plate away.

“He looks like he’s lost about ten pounds. And he’s tall, and was under weight to begin with. I don’t know, you guys. I’m really worried about him.” Lily folded her arms on the table in front of her, and Arnie put his chin on her shoulder and his arm across her back.

“You live with him,” Kate nodded at Arnie, “is he okay?”

Arnie sighed, flicking his head to get the fringe out of his eyes, and nodded. “He’s, uh, well, he’s doing better than he was, I suppose. The daily owls from his mum don’t help, but what’re you going to do? You know he’s the suffer-in-silence type. He kind of…I don’t know…he just sits there, mostly. He’s depressed, Kate, what do you want me to say? He sleeps a lot. He rarely showers. The only time he gets his arse up and moving is when Scorpius is around and forces him to go to lessons or when Bryce comes with news about you,” he angled his head towards Nat.

“News about me?”

“Of course, news about you. What else do you think he’d be keeping tabs on? When Bryce can get some news out of Emileigh he goes straight in and tells Al.”

“So, Al…knows?” Nat gestured to her stomach.

“It was so hard that day, Nat.” Arnie shook his head sadly. “When he found out that you had felt the kiddies move, he was so upset. It about killed him when Bryce told him that Hugo had been one of the first people to feel them.”

“Oh, Al.” Tears were quick to fill Nat’s eyes and spill over, and she brushed them away as best she could.

“I’m not telling you this to try and get you guys back together or anything,” Arnie shook his head, sadly. “But you all saw it for yourself. Albus is in a bad way.”

“Albus,” Lily spoke softly, her eyes on the Slytherin table, “also hasn’t left the Hall.”

Nat’s head whipped around to where Lily was gazing at the Slytherin table. Scorpius sat, his head turned towards a dark object resting on the table. Nat recognized the dark, messy hair of her babies’ daddy, and a sob caught in her throat.

“I can’t,” she spun quickly in her seat, tears making paths down her already streaked face. “I can’t just forget what he did. I just…can’t.”

“No one’s asking you to, sweetie,” Lily patted her hand from the other side of the table.

“Right, Nat. We’re all totally on your side here,” Arnie was quick to agree. “But…just don’t forget that you’re not the only one hurting here, okay?”

“Marsha Harper accepted the Head Girl badge,” Rose cut in, not able to take her angry glare off of McGonagall, whom was retaking her place at the staff table.

“Uh, bigger problems, Rosie. You wanted the job you should’ve accept it. Back to Nat…”

“Does anyone have any paper?”




Tap. Tap. Tap. Pause. Tap. Tap. Shuffle. Tap. Tap. Tap. Pause. Tap. Tap. Shuffle.

Albus turned on his heel and continued pacing in front of his trunk in the seventh year dormitory. He knew that attending dinner the previous night had been a bad idea, but he had to see for himself that she was alright.

He’d attended exactly three classes in the time since he and Nat’d had their fight and he unwillingly became her ex-boyfriend. Each attendance had one purpose and one purpose only: to make sure Nat was okay.

She’d been spending a lot of time with his cousin lately, and Albus was not okay with it. What was that little prick thinking? Hugo’d had a crush on Nat for as long as Albus had been dating her, but he wouldn’t make a move on a pregnant girl, would he? Not to mention the fact that she’s pregnant with his cousin’s twins.

Beyond that, though, Albus was glad that someone was there for her. Rose couldn’t be around all the time. And, yes, even though the whole situation was pretty much Rose’s doing, Albus was really the one to blame.

He’d been kicking himself for days for not telling Nat about his job at the Leaky Cauldron sooner. If he had, this whole mess could have been avoided and he could’ve been engaged by now.

Albus slumped onto his trunk and put his head in his hands.

No. He had no one to blame but himself. If he’d seen what Rose had told Scorpius who’d told him what she’d seen, Albus wouldn’t have hesitated to kick his own arse.

But it wasn’t even like that. He’d never cheat on Nat, especially not with Meghan Longbottom. No. He’d learned his lesson with her a long time ago. She was not someone he could ever be emotionally attached to. She was an okay friend, and she’d listened when he became near clinically depressed at the predicament he’d subjected not only himself, but Nat and his family to.

But kissing her would be like kissing his sister. No, worse than his sister. It’d be like kissing a hairy, bad breathed, dry lipped version of his sister, aka: the most disgusting thing on the planet to kiss.

Albus was no longer worried about the money; he hadn’t been since the first interest statement on the loan he’d gotten from his brother had come in before New Years. Only a week in a high-interest account and he’d made bank. James was right, his financial advisor was very good and James’s money was in good hands. Albus’s older brother’s great grandkids could still be living off the money James was making, even if James retired right this moment. After only a season’s playing.

Albus’d taken the job for two reasons. The first reason was a given: to get a good job, he needed work experience. No person in their right mind would hire someone straight out of school for the money that it would take to keep two babies fed, clothed, and sheltered. Not without a little experience, no matter who that person’s father was. He didn’t want to live off of his family forever, and, though he hadn’t thought much about it before that early December day, he needed a career to support his family.

The second reason he took the job was because he fully intended on marrying Nat, and, when the time came to pop the question, he wanted to be able to tell her that he spent his hard earned money, not his brother’s or his father’s, on the perfect ring for her. She’d said she didn’t want him to feel obligated to ask her to marry him because of the babies. He didn’t. He loved her and wanted to be with her. Forever.

Then he went and fucked it up.

He had to fix it. He just had to. But he had a feeling that a simple ‘I’m sorry’ wasn’t going to cut it.

He wanted to talk to her. He needed to see her. Up close and personal. Face to face. He had a dozen things he wanted to say, and at the top of the list was “I’m sorry.”

Albus paused. A muffled noise made its way into the dormitory through the half opened door, and then came a low growl. Suddenly shouts roared a rousing round of, “Fight! Fight!”

Albus was rolling his eyes and muttering about ‘childish antics’ when there was noise of thundering steps on the stairs and a short, blonde second year burst into the room, panting, his blue eyes wide and scared.

“M-Mr. Potter, your friend the S-Slytherin is downstairs b-beating up my brother.”

“Shit,” Albus muttered under his breath as he pushed past the little boy and took the stairs down two at a time. He entered the common room to find three sixth years holding Scorpius back as he struggled to break free from them and lunge at the boy across the room. Scorpius didn’t look too bad, his lower lip beginning to swell a tad.

The other boy, a taller version of the second year who’d come to find Albus, was being held back by a couple of fifth and sixth years also, but didn’t seem to be putting up much of a fight. They seemed to be holding the boy up. His eyes were slightly unfocused and blood gushed from his nose down the front of his robes. Albus recognized him – mostly from his robes and the badge pinned to them – as Marvin Wells, sixth year prefect.

“Say it again to my face, prick,” Scorpius spat at the sixth year as he struggled against the people holding him back. Marvin, obviously unable to answer, slumped against a tall girl who was helping to hold him up and closed his eyes.

“Don’t let him go to sleep!” Albus cried, pushing past people to get to him. “He could have a concussion. Merlin, mate, what did he do to deserve this?”

“He…uh…said some stuff,” Scorpius, appearing to come out of his anger-infused haze, shook off his captors, who gave up quite easily when they realized the action was over, and rubbed the back of his neck.

“Come on Marv, wake up,” Albus slapped to boy lightly on the face. His blue eyes fluttered open for a second before closing slowly. “Shit, we have to get him to the infirmary.”

“Fuck,” Scorpius sighed as he watched Albus pull the boy to his feet and throw an arm around him. Albus took the boy’s right arm and pulled it across his shoulders for leverage.

“A little help?” Albus asked no one in particular. Scorpius stepped forward. As it seemed, none of Marvin’s friends protested much, and Scorpius helped get an unconscious Marvin out of the portrait hole.

“What in Merlin’s name were you thinking?” Albus asked angrily as Scorpius helped him get Marvin down a flight of stairs. “You could have killed him! What could he have said to warrant a beating like that?”

“He said he slept with Rose,” Scorpius muttered, shaking his head sadly as they made it down another staircase. Albus thought seriously about laughing.

“Come on, Scorp, don’t you know how ridiculous that is? Rose has been so distraught over your breakup I doubt she’d even look at another guy, especially Marvin, the only person nerdier than Lucy. Now, if you told me Lucy slept with the guy, that I could believe.”

“You’ve been cooped up in your room for how long? How the hell do you know what Rose has been doing? Hell, ten minutes ago I didn’t even think she was…you know, at that point.”

“Point?”

“You know, after a breakup, when you feel the need to fill the void. It happens to everyone.”

“Happened to you?” Albus began to sweat with the exertion of carrying Marvin through the corridors. He frowned. He hadn’t used to tire that easily. Looking into his friend’s face, Albus thought he saw a flicker of something – regret? – before Scorpius’s face was once again masked with anger.

“You know it hasn’t. I’m beginning to think that I might be there, though. Who do you think I should pick? I’m thinking your friend, Kate. She’s kind of spunky. She’ll resist at first, but then I’ll charm her…”

“One, she doesn’t do casual relationships. Two, why not do a Hufflepuff? They seem pretty easy. And three, I know you’re hurting Scorp, maybe it’s not such a good idea to think about now.”

“Hell yes, I’m hurt! It hasn’t been that long! We were together for years, Al, years. Maybe not officially, but we knew. And then she just…with Marvin Wells? That’s who she picks to replace me?”

“Would it make a difference if it was someone from the Quidditch Team? You know, someone who you could match equally rather than pulverize in a fight?”

“No,” Scorpius admitted glumly.

“Besides, how do you know he wasn’t just jerkin’ your chain? Maybe he was lying.”

Scorpius shook his head. “No. He at least saw her naked.”

“How do you know?”

“He knew details,” Scorpius stressed, solemnly.

“What kind of details?” Albus stopped walking partly to hear what Scorpius had to say while talking to him face-to-face and partly because he needed a break from carrying the little twerp.

“Are you sure you want to know?”

“May as well.”

“Because you may not like the information I’m about to impart on –”

“Scorpius!”

“He knew that, well, that Rose has a tattoo.”

“Rose has a tattoo?” Albus’s eyes widened.

“Yep, she got it on a dare over the summer.” Scorpius smirked.

“So she’s got a tattoo? Big deal. How does that prove that he slept with her?”

“Saw her naked,” he muttered through clenched teeth, as if the thought of Rose sleeping with someone else was upsetting enough to make him want to put his fist through the stone wall, or Marvin’s head, which was conveniently next to said fist.

“Fine,” Albus relented with a smile, “how does that prove that Marvin Wells saw Rose Weasley naked?”

“Because, that tattoo is in a place that most people don’t go around flaunting every day.”

“Naughty Rosie,” Albus muttered and Scorpius glared at him.

“Yuck it up, jerk-off. Just imagine how it’ll feel when it’s Nat’s first guy after you.”

Albus stopped laughing to glare at his friend.

“Yeah, you don’t like it either.” Scorpius shook his head, sadly. “It’s too late for me and Rose, but it’s not too late for you and Nat. Not yet. Wait too much longer, though, mate, and it will be.”

“What should I do?” Albus asked, a new feeling flooding over him at Scorpius’s inspiring words.

“Talking to her would be a good start.”

“She won’t listen to me.”

“Beg,” Scorpius shrugged. “Beg for a chance to be heard out. And keep begging until you annoy her so much she gives in. Tell her you’ll wait for her, until she’s ready to talk, and the ‘giving in’ may come sooner. But do something. Don’t mope like you Potters are known for. Be proactive.”

“Wow,” Albus muttered, shaking his head and smiling slightly. “For someone who just took a huge hit to the ego you sure are full of advice.”

Scorpius shrugged. “This talk has been a long time in coming. It just sucks that it was under these circumstances,” he motioned to Marvin, still unconscious, and they shared a laugh.

“Let’s get this little bugger to the infirmary so I can go find my woman.”

Scorpius took hold of his legs and Albus grabbed his arms. Five minutes later they were walking in to the hospital wing. Albus was walking backwards and failed to notice the group of people until he heard a gasp.

He turned and dropped Marvin’s arms, causing his head to bang against the stone floor. It landed with a thud, which would normally have made him wince, but he was distracted.

On a bed near the end of the centre aisle was Nat, surrounded by friends, all of whom were staring at him in disbelief. And then Lucy shrieked.

“Marvin!”

She ran down the centre aisle and dropped to her knees next to the boy’s head. She took his head and placed it on her lap, running a consoling hand down his cheek before glaring up at her cousin and his friend.

“What the hell did you do to him?”

Albus, though curious and confused, ignored her and confidently made his way up the aisle to where Nat was laying in the middle of white, starched sheets.

“Can I talk to Nat alone, please?” he asked as he neared the group, not able to take his eyes off of Nat’s face to see the reaction of the people around her. Bryce dragged Emileigh away and Kate followed. Rose and Hugo stood their ground on either side of the bed. “I’m going to say this with or without them here, Nat.”

“Just go. I’ll be right over here, you can keep watch,” she reassured Rose. “Just no listening in!”

Rose, reluctantly, walked away after a long, drawn out pause, and Hugo followed her equally as reluctant.

Finally Nat’s eyes met his and Albus sighed with relief. Under the hurt and confusion that he saw in their crystal blue depths, the sparkle that defined Nat’s happiness was still there.

They still had a chance.

“I’m going to your house for Easter,” Nat blurted out. Then her cheeks flamed and she broke their gaze. “If that’s why you’re here, if you’re mum’s nagging finally got to you…well, I’m going. I owled her last night after supper.”

“That’s great.” Albus was pleasantly surprised; he thought he was going to have to make up excuses or miss Easter himself. “But that’s not why I wanted to talk to you.” His voice was steady and calm, a feat for his heart was racing and his stomach was in knots.

“Oh.”

Albus sat on the edge of the bed and reached for Nat’s hand, but she jerked it back at the last minute. Fear raced through him for a moment, but he shook it off and folded his hands on top of his leg.

“I suppose I deserve that.” He thought he heard an unladylike snort behind him, but ignored Rose and focused on Nat, who was biting her lip and looking away. “I love you, Nat.”

“Albus –”

“Please, let me finish. You may think you know what I’m going to say, but you don’t. You think I’m going to ask you to get back together with me, but I’m not.”

“You’re not?” Shock? Hurt? He didn’t have time to process the emotion in her voice or else he’d lose his nerve and forget what he’d wanted to say.

“No. Not yet,” she seemed to visibly relax at the addition and he continued, feeling like a weight was lifting off his shoulders as he spoke the words. “I love you, Nat. And I know I made a mistake. A bunch of mistakes. Mistakes that aren’t forgivable with a simple apology and a promise, because it seems that my promises have come to mean shit. With good reason.” He took a breath and cupped her chin with one hand, bringing her face towards his. “You don’t trust me, and that’s understandable. I’ll do whatever it takes for however long it takes for you to trust me again, so we can get back to being the happy couple we were. We’ll take it slow. Go back to when we were friends. Best friends. Whatever you need.”

“You want to be friends?” Nat asked, eyes narrowed, and the first thought that ran across Albus’s mind was, ‘she doesn’t want to be my friend?’

“Remember you’ve got my babies growing inside of you, Natalya.” He placed his hand on her bulging belly. His eyes grew wide when he felt a tiny flutter against his hand.

“That’s Snoogy.”

“Snoogy?”

“Well we couldn’t keep calling them ‘baby one’ and ‘baby two’ and I didn’t want to ruin the surprise by finding out their sex so Rose and Emily helped me pick out nicknames. This one’s Snoogy,” she covered his hand and moved it to the other side of her belly, “and this one’s Snorky.”

“Snoogy and Snorky?” he grinned at her. “It’s kind of cute.”

“So you want to be friends?” She bit her lip and their eyes met.

“For now.”

“And what if I don’t want to be friends?”

“I’ll wait for you to be ready to be friends, and will pick up from there. And just so you know, I can wait forever. I will wait forever. You’re worth the wait.”

“Why don’t you want to get back together?”

“I do, Nat, more than anything. I want to just put all of this behind us and get back to how it used to be.” He pushed a strand of hair that had escaped from her ponytail behind her ear. “But I can see that you don’t trust me anymore. As much as it kills me, that’s not an ending point for me. I’ll wait as long as it takes for you to be ready.”

“And what if it’s years?”

“I’ll wait.”

“Are you sure?”

“Besides my love for you, I’ve never been surer of anything in my life.”

She seemed to contemplate this for a moment before a slow smile graced her lips.

“Why now?”

Albus made a nodding motion towards the entry to the infirmary. “It would kill me if you slept with Marvin Wells.”

Nat leaned over to look around him and laughed. The sound was like music to his ears.

“Where did that come from?”

He leaned as close as he dared and whispered, conspiratorially, “Rose slept with Marvin Wells.”

“Nu uh.”

“Yeah, Scorpius said he had proof. Rose has a tattoo in an unmentionable place and Marvin knew about it.”

“Oh, dear.” Nat brought her hand to her mouth to cover her laughs.

“What?” he looked at her, confused.

“It seems you have been duped, Al,” she shrugged apologetically, but she didn’t seem sorry.

“What?”

Rose didn’t sleep with Marvin, Lucy did. Rose doesn’t have a tattoo, Lucy does. It’s a heart, it’s really tiny, and it’s on the inside of her right thigh. You can see it if you see her in her swimming suit.”

Albus turned toward the group of people milling about by the door pretending not to eavesdrop. Sure enough, Marvin and Lucy were leaning against the wall near the door, holding hands and speaking softly. Marvin’s face was clean, and he didn’t have a mark on him, which meant either Lucy had patched him up really well or his wounds were fake.

“Well I’ll be,” he muttered to himself and turned back to Nat only to get a hand shoved in his face.

“Friends?” Nat questioned, softly.

“Friends,” he agreed, shaking her hand shortly before her fingers unclenched and he dropped them.

“And you’ll wait?”

“As long as it takes.”

“No girlfriends on the side? No more sneaking around with Meghan?”

“I know my promises don’t mean much right now, but I promise.”

“Okay.”

“And, just so you know, I can wait forever.”

“Albus, it’s been too long, dear.”

He turned on the bed and saw their mediwitch, Darlene Christensen, coming towards them with a grim look on her face and it dawned on Albus that he hadn’t bothered to ask Nat why she was in the Hospital Wing in the first place. By the looks of things, though, it was a check-up.

He frowned; it had only been two weeks since the last one.

“Hello, Healer Christensen. How are things?”

“Not good, I’m afraid.”

“Oh?”

“Albus, Natalya…it looks like I have got some bad news.”

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