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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 28: 27..Love & Loss

Defying Gravity
Chapter 27: Love & Loss

The morning sunlight shone through the crack in his curtains and his eyelids seemed to ignore the fact that they weren’t supposed to let light through. He wanted to turn onto his side, to roll away from the damn light and go back to sleep for another couple of hours, but he couldn’t. Because there was a soft, warm body pressed against him. Curled so closely to him, he was sure he wouldn’t be able to move without waking her.

He didn’t care. He was just happy to be there, with her, curled up in his bed. She had come to him just after one in the morning, he didn’t know how she’d gotten there and she wasn’t offering up the information. She’d woke him up with a kiss and hadn’t stopped kissing him for a long time. He smiled at the memory. She’d fallen onto the bed, curled around him, a fallen asleep.

No talking. It didn’t matter. He didn’t need words to know what she was feeling. They were the same things he was. He was falling in love with her, was probably already in love with her except he’d never been in love and didn’t know what it felt like. But he was pretty sure there was love somewhere.

He felt wet lips on the side of his neck and turned into her face. She pressed a closed-mouthed kiss to his lips and slowly sat up. He’d noticed her attire last night when his hands slipped under her night shirt. That’s it, only a night shirt and knickers. And when she raised her arms above her head in a long stretch, he caught a peek of said knickers. They were dark blue.

“You should probably get me back home,” she said around a yawn and then dropped her arms to her side.

“I love you, Lily.”

He hadn’t really meant to say it, it had just sort of come out. He wanted to take it back, if only because he was only ninety-nine percent sure and because he would’ve wanted it to be special had he ever intended to tell her, but he couldn’t.

She didn’t seem to mind, though. A slow smile spread across her face. Then she got to her knees and crawled up to the head of the bed, leaned down, and kissed him slowly.

“I love you, too, Arnie.”

His heart was pounding, thrill ran through his veins at the news, but instead of jumping around and whooping for joy like he wanted to, he wrapped his arm around her waist and flipped her onto her back, pinned her below him, and proceeded to kiss her senseless.

Twenty minutes later, when they were both breathless and swollen lipped, they lay next to each other, staring up at the ceiling.

“I like the stars,” Lily muttered, referring to the array of stars that were plastered onto the ceiling above the bed. She smoothed a hand over her cloth-covered stomach. Arnie turned his head towards his girlfriend, linking their hands between them.

“I’ve always liked astronomy,” he told her. She turned her head, too.

“I could use a tutor,” she waggled her eyebrows suggestively. He laughed.

“I doubt we’d get any studying done.”

“That’s true.”

They both turned back towards the ceiling and lapsed into a comfortable silence, his thumb tracing circles on her hand. He bit his lip, trying to think of a way to breach the subject, and then he decided to just go with it.

“Not that I’m complaining,” he started, turning his head back and she followed suit, “but why did you show up at my room at one in the morning?”

She shrugged. He gave her a pointed look and she sighed.

“My house is just very depressing right now,” she admitted. “I mean, I don’t want to sound selfish, but everything is about Nat and Al nowadays. James didn’t come home last night, which isn’t so unusual that anyone’s worried, but it hasn’t happened in a while. Then there’s the twins…” she trailed off.

He tucked a stray strand of red hair behind her ear and said, “There’s something wrong with the twins?”

“She’s got some syndrome that pretty much means one of the babies is developing slower than the other. It might die…the smaller one. And Nat’s not allowed to go back to Hogwarts, so now Al is saying he’s not going back to Hogwarts either, and mum doesn’t like that because, I mean, at least one of them needs to finish their education, right? For the babies’ sakes. So they’ve fought about that. And Nat and Al are actually getting along, I saw them cuddling on the sofa last night, and Al was rubbing her belly and talking to the babies telling them it was all going to be okay, and mum was cooing over that, and, okay, I love my brother, I really do. And Nat’s one of my best friends. But there’s only so much of being ignored I can take.” She turned fully onto her side and propped her head in her hand and her elbow on a pillow.

“Did you know that last night mum forgot to call me for supper? I walked into the kitchen and there’s mum, dad, Nat, and Al sitting around the table like one big happy family. I feel like I’m invisible there. I needed to be somewhere where I don’t feel invisible.”

Arnie was silent for a moment, trying to process Lily’s monologue. Nat wasn’t going back to Hogwarts? Al wasn’t going back to Hogwarts? One of their babies might die? Realizing that bringing any of those questions up probably would only result in pain for him – he’s not only heard the legend of the infamous Ginny Weasley bat-bogey hex that was passed down to her daughter, he’d seen it firsthand the previous year when a third year decided to get fresh – so instead he grasped her hand and smiled, bringing the appendage to his lips and kissing each one of her fingertips punctuated with the words, “You are definitely not invisible.”

She smiled at him and opened her mouth to speak when there was a brief knock on the door and then it opened.

“Happy Eas–” Hannah Longbottom pushed into the room and froze, unsure that what she thought she saw was real. Never in her life had she expected to catch her son in bed with a girl, at least not until he was married, much less Lily Potter. “What is going on here?”

Arnie cringed. His mother never got angry, nor did she ever take that tone with him or his sister. It was kind of a shrill, demanding, tone that mothers use when little kids get caught with their hands in the cookie jar. He felt like a child, which was odd for the current situation he was in – having a half dressed girl in his bed.

“What’s all this noise?”

Lily groaned, tugging at the hem of her shirt to cover more of her legs. The last thing she’d intended was for Arnie’s mum to catch her in his room. It was even worse when his father, her professor and Head of House, appeared behind Mrs. Longbottom’s shoulder.

“Oh, my,” was all he said, and then promptly turned red and walked away.

“Mum –” Arnie started, but his mother held up her hand and took a deep breath to gather her composure.

“Lily, if you will follow me downstairs, Arnie, get some clothes on and meet us in the kitchen. You have two minutes.” She waited while Lily swung her legs over the edge of the bed and stood, then turned on her heel and walked into the hall.

Meghan was just coming out of the bathroom, wrapped in a fluffy purple towel with a toothbrush hanging out of her mouth, when Lily stepped out behind Mrs. Longbottom.

She gave Lily a smug look that told her that everyone at Hogwarts would know about this before they returned after break, and then turned and walked down the hall, presumably to her own room.

The kitchen was eerily quiet for the full two minutes. The entire time Lily watched the muscle in Mrs. Longbottom’s jaw clench and unclench. Finally, exactly two minutes after they’d left his bedroom, Arnie walked into the kitchen, directly to Lily, and took her hand.

“Mum, I just want you to know that I love Lily and she loves me, but nothing inappropriate happened last night.”

His mum stared at them for a few long seconds before calling out for his dad to come into the kitchen. When he did, she gestured for the group to follow her. Neville suddenly looked scared, but followed anyway.

Lily followed the Longbottom’s out into the garden, the icy-cold frost-covered grass causing her to slip twice as she wasn’t wearing shoes, the chilly bite in the air nipping at her bare legs.

“Where are we going?” Arnie asked, clutching Lily’s hand as she began to slip again and cursing himself for not insisting that she borrow a pair of sweatpants from his sister so she wouldn’t be half naked in front of his family.

“We are all going to pay a little good morning visit to the Potters,” she said smoothly and then disapparated. Arnie had no choice but to pull Lily to him and, along with his dad, follow suit.

“You and Nat looked pretty cosy this morning,” Harry remarked to his youngest son as he placed a plate of bacon ala Ginny onto the table. His wife swatted him with a spoon before placing a plate of scrambled eggs onto the table and sticking said spoon in the middle of it.

“Ew, mum, dad’s bum-germs!” Albus complained, his face flushing from his father’s comment. What did it matter? Yes, Nat had allowed him to sleep in the spare room with her. Probably because she hadn’t wanted to be alone. The revelation from the previous day was hard on both of them, but he was being positive. It would all be okay.

What’s meant to happen will happen.

He was ecstatic that Nat was allowing him to touch her again. She didn’t flinch when he hugged her, or when they sat in the sitting room the previous night and he’d wanted to feel her belly. That was mostly to make sure that his babies were both still alive, but when he felt them move each in turn, he hadn’t wanted to move.

“You should talk to them,” Nat’d suggested, and he had. He’d told them he was their daddy, and about how much he loved their mum, and that everything was going to be okay. When he’d looked back up at Nat she had tears in her eyes. He’d kissed her cheek and put his arm around her shoulders, keeping his other hand on her stomach.

Later on, he’d helped her up to bed, because stairs were trouble for her. She’d turned to him, a small smile on her face, and asked him to hold her. He’d felt his heart stop for a small second, scared she was going to take it back, but she didn’t, and he’d held her throughout the night.

He didn’t know what was going through her head to make her suddenly warm up to him, but he didn’t mind. He never wanted to deny her anything.

Then his father had poked his head into the room at seven-thirty that morning, because Albus hadn’t been in his own room, and seen the two of them cuddle together in the middle of the big bed. Albus, in totally clichéd fashion, was awake and staring down at a sleeping Nat, playing with a strand of her hair, and didn’t even notice his dad staring. Until he quietly cleared his throat, that is, and Albus reluctantly climbed out of bed allowing her to sleep more.

“We’re getting along,” he finally said after realizing his parents were waiting for a response. “Where’s Lily? Usually she’s the first one at the table.”

“Why don’t you go and wake her,” his mum suggested. No sooner had he stood from the table when the garden door opened and Lily walked inside.

“Lily, what –” Ginny stopped talking when Arnie Longbottom entered behind her, and his parents behind him. She pulled her dressing gown closer to her and turned a confused look towards Harry.

Harry was eyeing Arnie with suspicion, so she turned to Albus. Albus just stood with his eyebrows raised and his arms folded over his chest.

“Hannah, Neville, what’s this all about?”

“May we sit?” Hannah gestured to the empty chairs at the table, and Ginny nodded quickly.

“Of course. Tea? Coffee?”

“Nothing for me, thanks,” Hannah answered and slid smoothly onto a wooden chair. Neville shook his head and dropped into the chair beside her, looking extremely uncomfortable, and Lily and Arnie stayed standing but put some space between them.

“I’m sorry to barge in on your Easter morning breakfast,” Hannah started, folding her hands in front of her. “But it seems we have a bit of a…situation.”

“What’s going on?” Ginny turned to Lily, ignoring her husband, who’d stood and put as much distance between himself and Arnie as possible, moving to the other side of the kitchen next to Albus, as if anticipating the answer to that question.

“Do you want to tell them, Arnold Frank?” When he wasn’t forthcoming, she turned to Ginny. “I found your daughter in my son’s bed this morning.”

Ginny was shocked. Lily had never shown an ounce of rebellion, nor had she ever mentioned having a boyfriend, much less a family friend. Harry looked as if he was having a hard time keeping himself from throttling Arnie. Albus gave his dorm mate a stony look.

After a moment of silence, Lily looked at her mother. “Nothing happened, mum, honest.”

Ginny’s mind whirled with things she wanted to say to her daughter, things she knew she’d regret once her anger dissipated, so instead she pressed a hand to her forehead and looked at her only daughter.

“Go to your room, Lily, we will talk about this later.”

“Oh no,” Hannah jumped up, startling everyone in the room including her husband. “We have to talk about this now. Who knows if this was the first time? Who knows what the two of them have been doing? That girl needs some discipline and I will not leave here until I know that this situation is being taken care of properly.”

“Excuse me?” Ginny’s voice was deathly quiet, and every Potter in the room took an unconscious step back. “Are you insinuating that I am a bad mother? Are you saying that I don’t know how to discipline my own child?” Hannah didn’t answer, just raised her chin in defiance. “We have been friends for a long time, Hannah. Are you really sure you want to cross that line?”

They stared at each other for a long moment. Then Hannah stood, motioned for Neville to follow her, and took Arnie’s arm. “Let’s go,” she mumbled before mostly dragging her family from the house.

Ginny, who was seething and shaking in anger, turned to her daughter, shot her a dangerous look, and said, “Go to your room. Now.”

Lily obliged, and Albus was only a second behind. No way in hell he wanted to be in that kitchen at that moment. He just wished he’d had the foresight to take the plate of bacon with him.

Kylie felt something wet pressed against her neck, and when it disappeared she thought nothing of it. She was slipping back into sleep when it happened again at a spot a little lower. The second time there was a tiny bit of suction added to the wetness, and pinpricks of pleasure shot through her. Just the same, though, it disappeared, and she sighed in disappointment.

“Wake up, Sleeping Beauty.” The air from the breath of the masculine voice tickled her ear and she slowly opened one eye.

James’ face was right in front of her, split with a smile, brown eyes twinkling. She returned the smile and stretched, enjoying the pull of her rested muscles. She hadn’t slept this well in a while. It was, undoubtedly, because of the fact that James was helping her research and that he was, well, there. There was definitely something between them. She could feel it. If only he weren’t still married…

“What time is it?” she mumbled, pushing the thought of his dying wife out of her head.

“Just after noon,” he answered, pressing a cup of coffee into her palm. She smiled gratefully and sipped.

“Wow, I slept for a long time.”

“Not as long as last night, but a good amount.”

They sat in silence, sipping coffee and shooting smiles at each other like a couple of love sick teenagers. The thought gripped her heart. Love. She was most definitely in love with him. But, still, he was m – no, she wouldn’t think about it anymore. She put her feelings for him into a box and shut it away. Once his marriage was over, maybe, but until then…it was depressing to be waiting for a woman to die before she could get her man. Okay, Kylie, she thought, think of something else.

But good thing, she didn’t have to.

“Come to Easter dinner with me,” James said, his chocolaty gaze catching hers and her breath hitched. “Please,” he added, smiling sheepishly.

“James, I…I can’t.” She regretted it, she truly did.


“Because you’re still married.” Kylie hadn’t meant to bring it up, but she did, and she didn’t feel sorry for it. She wasn’t the type of woman to go running around with a married man whether the marriage was legitimate or not.

“That never seemed to bother you before,” he frowned into his coffee cup. She sighed.

“I just…I just can’t be the other woman. I’m sorry.”

“Okay,” he nodded, understanding, “come with me as a friend.”

She bit her lip and shook her head. “I can’t. I should stay and keep looking.”

James stood suddenly, jostling the bed, and spun to her. “You know, I never got that vibe from you, but it’s suddenly becoming clear to me. You don’t want to be seen with me? Fine. You don’t want to be my girlfriend? Okay, I’ll get over it. But don’t lead me on,” he spoke forcefully. Then he stood and stalked out of the room, leaving Kylie gaping.

She had no clue what had just happened. One minute she’s thinking love and the next he’s saying she’s leading him on and walking out on her.

“James!” she yelled, and was pushing the covers off her to stand when he stalked back in the room, a file folder clutched in his hands. He tossed it on the bed where her feet just were and she recognized Braden’s file.

“Braden Helmick has Leukemia. The potions you’re giving him are killing him.”

That was all he said before he left. Left Kylie there, staring in astonishment, at the file, at where he just was. She bit her lip, unsure of whether she should go after him, the man she loved, or contemplate the file. What if he’d been right? What if the potions she’d prescribed, the meds she’d put that six year old boy on, were killing him?

She flipped open the file and was surprised to see neat, precise notes in a manly script, about Leukemia, Dronoxapan – the potion that she’d prescribed for Braden, and his symptoms.

She read the notes, reread the notes, and twenty minutes later, was showered, dressed, and heading to St. Mungo’s, already on her mobile to her father.

She had a little boy to save.

Nat was enjoying her day. It had been quiet in the house all morning. Apparently Lily and Ginny’d had some big row and now neither of them was speaking to each other and Lily was banished to her room. Ginny had stayed in the kitchen and was banging around pots and pans, but, lucky for the foresight, Harry had already put a silencing spell around the doors to the kitchen so that the noise was blocked.

So Nat was enjoying her quiet Easter Sunday. Until…

“I slept with Scorpius.”

Whatever Nat had been expecting of her best friend when she arrived at the Potter’s for Easter dinner, it hadn’t been that. She’d been anticipating this moment, and she’d wanted to be the first to speak. Nat’d decided the easiest way to break the news was to blurt out her condition so she didn’t have to process it and string it into an eloquent sentence. Now it didn’t matter, because Rose had beaten her to the punch.

“Um…wow…okay…” she paused from the catalogue she was flipping through – she’d just circled an adorable teddy bear bedding set – and looked up at her friend. Rose looked exhausted, as if she hadn’t slept in a week, and was worrying her hands. She was dressed in her Sunday best, though, a must for Easter dinner. Her sundress was the only shade of pink that didn’t clash with her hair, and her white strappy heels looked new. Nat felt frumpy in a light blue dress that, she felt, made her look like a giant blue whale.

Beyond the doorway in which Rose was standing, Nat could hear the clatter of pots and pans in the kitchen along with more voices, so she knew that Rose’s family must have arrived as well.

Rose walked into the sunlit room and slumped onto the sofa beside Nat.

“I’m such a slut,” she muttered, allowing her head to fall into her hands.

“No you’re not,” Nat automatically responded, moving to rub her friend’s back.

“I don’t know what it is about him. I should hate him, you know? He broke my heart!”

Nat really didn’t want to see Rose cry. With the way her hormones were raging lately, all it would take would be one tear from Rose and Nat would be bawling like a baby. Luckily Rose seemed to compose herself before she started crying; then she just looked angry.

“If he doesn’t want to be with me, then why does he keep coming to me? Why does he save me from making a fool of myself and then kiss me senseless or shag me stupid? He told me he loved me, did you know that? More than once! Then he said we couldn’t be together! Well why the hell not?”

“You know, you can hear your ranting from the hall,” Lily walked into the room in a ruffely black skirt, short enough for her father to be worried, and white long sleeved blouse, firmly shutting the door behind her.

“Ugh!” Rose cried, throwing her arms in the air and then sitting back against the couch, folding her arms across her stomach.

Nat sighed, tossing the catalogue onto the side table and turning towards Rose. She shouldn’t tell her about it now, but there really wasn’t much time. Nat wanted to be the one to tell Rose she wouldn’t be going back to Hogwarts and she needed to do it then, before someone else did. She opened her mouth and started to speak, when Lily fell onto the sofa perpendicular to them and sighed. Loudly.

“Nice sneakers, they really go with your outfit,” Rose said sarcastically, nodding to the black trainers on Lily’s feet.

“Bugger off! Aren’t you going to ask me what’s wrong?” Lily threw her arm over the back of the overstuffed sofa and looked expectantly towards her cousin and Nat.

“I’ve got my own troubles,” Rose mumbled.

“I got caught with Arnie.” Lily knew that would get their attention, and, sure enough, Rose sat up quickly and Nat’s eyes widened.

“What happened?” Rose demanded.

“I snuck over to his house last night. I needed to see him; needed to get away from here. We just cuddled and snogged a bit, but do mum and dad believe me? No! I’m grounded practically ‘til Christmas, and dad’s looking at me all disappointed-like, and Mrs. Longbottom freaked out. She’s always liked me, I thought, and now I’m some sort of scarlet woman out to defile her precious son or something like that! We haven’t even had sex yet, not really…I mean, does oral really even count? I just needed some attention,” she paused dramatically and threw her arm across her forehead before continuing. 

“Mum had the talk with me, again. She’s all, ‘you’re still on the contraceptive potion, right?’ and I’m all, ‘please, mum, like I wouldn’t! But I’m not even having sex!’ and then she’s all ‘What’s gotten in to you lately, Lily?’ and I’m like, ‘Nothing!’ and she’s like, ‘Sneaking out in the middle of the night to see a boy is not like you!’ and then I get the ‘You’re only fifteen and he’s seventeen,’ speech from dad, who can’t bear to look at me and now I feel like I disappointed them even though I really didn’t do anything wrong!”

“Aunt Ginny will get over it, everything will blow over, and you can still see Arnie at Hogwarts, right? It’s not that big a deal.”

“Gah!” Lily cried out in frustration and stomped out of the room just as the doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it,” said Albus, who had been just coming into the room to gather the girls to go to the Burrow, as Lily completely ignored the door and stomped down the hall.

With great difficulty, Nat hoisted herself off the couch and followed Rose out into the foyer. Rose stopped suddenly and Nat ran into her back, the momentum pushing Rose forwards a bit, but she didn’t even notice.

At the door, talking to Albus, was Scorpius Malfoy.

Albus shoved something into his pocket and turned to find the girls looking between him and Scorpius. Scorpius cleared his throat and opened his mouth to speak, but before he could, Rose saw a hand wrap around Scorpius’s bicep and a very female body step from behind him.

“Scorpy, aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend? Oh! Friends,” she added the end when she noticed Nat and Rose standing in the foyer looking at her.

“Yes, Scorpy,” Rose spat, her face beginning to change to a bright shade of red, “aren’t you going to introduce us?” She sized the other girl up and felt her self confidence go down a notch or three. The girl, who looked to be about seventeen as well, had long, curly blonde hair, pale, nearly translucent skin, and big brown eyes. She had long legs and, Rose thought glumly, a very nice rack. That tight body was squeezed into an equally tight, short white dress and her perfect legs led to delicate ankles and nicely arched feet tipped in bright red polish and encased in strappy red sandals with impossibly high heels. And still the top of her head came to Scorpius’s shoulder.

Scorpius looked uncomfortable, like he wanted to climb under a rock and hide for a while, to make everyone go away. Instead he took a deep breath and wrapped his arm around the beauty, resting his hand on her hip.

“This is Bridget Prescott. Bridget, this is Albus, his girlfriend, Nat, and his cousin Rose.”

Rose clenched her teeth but didn’t comment on the ‘his cousin’ part, and instead, plastered a smile on her face. The smile ended up looking like a grimace, and showed too much teeth, but you couldn’t win them all.

“How long have you and Scorpius been dating, Bridget?” She said the name a little harder than she meant to, but Bridget didn’t seem to mind. Bridget giggled, putting her left arm over Scorpius shoulder, and looked at him adoringly.

“We met at the New Years Day ball my parents hosted and it was love at first sight, wasn’t it, Scorpy?”

Rose was holding back a retching noise when Bridget’s hand moved and the sunlight caught on a huge stone on her left ring finger. The diamond was almost the width of the girl’s skinny finger and Rose’s breath caught in her throat.

The act must’ve made a noise, because Bridget’s gaze slid to where Rose was looking and giggled, bringing her hand out in front of her as if to show the ring off to the girls.

“Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s a Malfoy family heirloom. Scorpius proposed the day before we went back to school. I go to Beauxbatons, you see, and it was just so romantic. He got down on one knee and everything.”

Rose hadn’t heard anything after “Scorpius proposed.” Blood was rushing past her ears and she couldn’t hear, couldn’t think. She wanted to jump across to Scorpius and pummel him with her fists. She wanted to curse his balls off. She wanted to throw up.

Instead she turned and walked out of the room, into the kitchen, and to her mum.

Harry, Ginny, and Ron were all seated at the table, while Hermione was stirring a pot of something at the stove, and they were having a conversation about what happened with Lily that morning. Rose walked right up to her mum and wrapped her arms around her waist.

“Mummy,” she whimpered before she dissolved into tears right there in front of everyone.

“Rose?” Hermione asked, shocked to find her daughter crying against her shoulder. Rose hadn’t come to her, crying and seemingly needing help, since she was thirteen and gotten her heart broken – and pushed in the mud – by the boy down the lane. “What’s wrong, baby?”

“I h-hate him!” She moved her head away from her mother’s bony shoulder enough to say before collapsing back against her.

“Who?” Ron demanded from the table, though he had a bad feeling he already knew.

“Sc-Scorpius is en-engaged!”

“What?” Ginny jumped up from the table.

“H-he got en-engaged while we were s-still dating!” Rose wailed. Her knees shook and suddenly, as if the reality of the spoken words finally hit her, her legs gave out on her and she slumped against the counter. Her mum caught her before she could hit the floor, and while Ginny helped Hermione get Rose settled into a chair, none of them saw Ron and Harry storm out of the room.

“That little tosser ran off,” Ron told them, his voice stony, as he walked back into the kitchen a moment later, Harry in tow behind him, and Albus, helping a waddling Nat, trailing behind them.

Hermione sat at the table, Rose gathered to her, rocking back and forth.

Hugo walked into the kitchen a moment later, a fist full of flowers from his Aunt Ginny’s garden for his grandmother in his hand, and was faced with angry and sympathetic expressions on his family’s faces and Rose, tears trickling out of her eyes, being rocked and soothed by his mother.

“I feel like I missed something…yes, I definitely missed something...”

“Well that evening was…interesting,” Ginny commented to her husband, watching her eldest sulkily climb the stairs to his room. He’d arrived at the Burrow late, smelling of cigarette smoke and looking depressed. He didn’t drink a drop of liquor at dinner, though, and that was saying something considering how much he’d been drinking since Jennifer left. Ginny wished he wouldn’t smoke so much.

“Interesting…try horrible. James is sullen and depressed again, Lily won’t talk to either of us…the only good thing is that Al and Nat seem to be doing better.” Harry slumped into a chair at the kitchen table while loosening his tie.

Ginny smiled, sliding onto the table in front of him and reaching up to help with his tie. When it hung free, she took the collar of his dress shirt and used it to pull him to her. She gave him a long, slow kiss that had him gripping her waist, and pulling her closer. She slid off the table and onto his lap, straddling him.

She felt like a teenager again, his hands gripping her bum, the possibility of getting caught only making the snog hotter, turning her on more. His hands slid down her thighs, inching their way underneath her skirt, pushing it up…

His fingertips just grazed the edge of her lace knickers when the doorbell rang. “Ignore them,” he murmured against her mouth, standing up with her and propping her on the edge of the table. She smiled against his lips and hurriedly tugged his shirt out of the waistband of his trousers. She was unbuttoning his shirt when the doorbell rang again.

Sighing, she pushed him away, giggling when he pouted, and scooted off the table. “Meet me upstairs,” she waggled her eyebrows at him and then padded barefoot to the front door.

She opened the door to a pretty brunette dressed all in pale yellow with a dark gray jumper clutched against her. The woman had a smile on her face that only faltered a little when she laid eyes on Ginny.

“Ahm, is, uh, is James home?”

Ginny eyed her up and down, and then knew. Call it mother’s intuition, call it whatever, but she knew that this woman was in love with her son.

“Come in,” she moved out of the way and the woman stepped into the foyer. “I’m Ginny, James’s mother. Harry!” out of the corner of her eye she saw her husband walking towards the stairs from the kitchen, carrying what suspiciously looked to be a can of whipped cream and a jar of chocolate sauce, and eyes twinkling, asked him to tell James he had a visitor.

“I’m Kylie,” the girl spoke once Harry, who’d turned bright red at being caught with the dessert items in the presence of the visitor, disappeared up the stairs.

“Kylie?” James’ voice came from the staircase and Ginny took that as her cue to leave.

“Hi,” Kylie whispered shyly. In the back of her mind she wondered if Ginny could be trusted not to eavesdrop. Then again, with the items her husband had been carrying, it seemed he would be keeping his wife quite occupied that night.

“What are you doing here?”

Was he angry? She couldn’t tell. “I just wanted to say thanks, and you were right. Not about everything. I’ve never used you nor intended to lead you on. Things are very complicated in your life, James. I just…but you were right. About Braden. He has Leukemia. The treatment…” she broke off, unable to vocalize the fact that she had just nearly killed the little boy she’d been trying to save.

He took her hand and led her into the sitting room and onto the comfy, overstuffed sofa. “I almost killed him,” she whispered, putting her head in her hands. Not the time for a pity party, she reasoned, she turned to him. “I have feelings for you, James. Strong feelings. Honestly, I’ve never felt anything like what I feel for you.”

“But,” he said, because he could feel it hanging in the air after her statement.

“But you’re married. And, as morbid as it is, our relationship can’t go anywhere until you’re not married. I know you’re not going to divorce her, and I don’t believe you should. That’s why it’s morbid. Because in order for us to happen, your wife has to die. I’m in the business of saving lives…I just can’t believe I’m actually wishing for someone to die.” She closed her eyes in shame and so she didn’t have to see the expression on his face.


“James, I love you. Please, please don’t make this harder –”

“Kylie!” Her eyes snapped to his at the sternness of his tone and she only then realized that at some point she’d risen from the couch. He stood then, forced her to look at him with a finger under her chin, and then kissed her nose.

“I got an owl today, after I left your flat. Jennifer passed away this morning.”

“So you’re not…”


“Oh my goodness.” Shocked, she was overwhelmed with two emotions, joy and sadness. Joy that she could have a chance at being with James, and sadness for the life lost. She wished it could’ve been another way.


“Oh my –” he sealed his lips over hers in a slow, closed mouth kiss, and then pulled her against his body, burying his face in her hair.

“Will you stay with me tonight? I don’t want to be alone.”

The vulnerability in his voice nearly broke her heart, and she nodded against his chest. Kylie realized that he didn’t love Jennifer, but he still had a connection to her. Someone close to him just died. And she loved him. Of course she was going to stay with him.

He led her by the hand up the stairs, a beautiful, hand carved, wooden staircase, and down a short hall to a bedroom. The room was a little messy, with Quidditch paraphernalia and clothes strewn about. But really, what else could you expect from a boy of twenty?

He gave her some clothes to wear as pyjamas and let her use the loo first. While she was in there, he quickly changed the sheets on the bed so at least those were clean. When she was finished, he took his turn, and walked out to find her under the top sheet wearing a white tee shirt with ‘England’ in black block letters across the chest.

It was erotic to say the least.

He climbed in next to her and spooned himself behind her. He liked the smell of her hair, florally-coconut, and buried his face in it. He wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her flush against his chest. They fit together perfectly, like two pieces of a puzzle, and his heart thudded in his chest.

“I love you, too,” he whispered, but she was already asleep.

“Can you believe Scorpius is engaged? Did you know?” It was a fair question, Nat reasoned, Albus being Scorpius’s best friend and all.

They entered the house alone, his parents, Lily, and James would be along soon, and headed for the stairs.

“I had no idea, honest! I can’t believe it’s been four months and he never told me.” Albus did feel put out by that fact. Best mates told each other stuff, right? Maybe he was just too caught up in his own situation, but, he realized, he never had talked to Scorpius about his breakup with Rose aside from their talk while dragging a fakely pummelled Marvin Wells to the Infirmary.

“And to think, he was engaged and still sleeping with Rose. What a bastard.” Albus nodded his agreement, realizing that if Nat generalized this situation, then it was only a step backwards for them as a couple. Not that he could ever do anything like that to her, but her realizing that it was physically possible for a man to do that to a woman would be a step in the wrong direction.

“No kidding,” she mumbled, slightly out of breath from the stairs.

Albus led Nat to the spare bedroom, kissing her forehead as a goodnight when it was clear he wasn’t going to be invited to stay again. It had been one hell of a day, that’s for sure, and she looked half dead on her feet. He made sure she was okay and then kept moving down the hall to his own bedroom.

He had just dropped his trousers and boxers, standing naked in his room and reaching for a towel, ready for a shower, when the door swung open and Nat stepped in wearing a short nightdress that clung to her expanding stomach and chest.

“Shit,” he muttered, hurriedly pulling up his boxers as Nat stood there, giggling into her hand.

“Sorry, I was just hoping we could…talk. It’s been so crazy lately…” she gestured aimlessly with her hand and he nodded knowingly, his embarrassment gone completely. It wasn’t like she’d never seen him in his birthday suit before.

“Sure!” he answered quickly. “We could go down to the sitting room or –”

“Maybe we could stay here,” she gestured towards the bed. “You know, in case I get so exhausted that I just fall asleep. It would be a pain in the behind for you to have to carry me up the stairs.”

“I’d do it,” he told her honestly.

“I know you would,” she answered, smiling.

She moved to the bed, the black sheets covered in a dark red comforter, and pulled the bedding back. She climbed beneath the covers like she belonged there, and settled herself in, tucking blankets around her.

Albus watched her making herself comfortable in his bed and felt a pang on longing. He wished this would happen every night. But he had to wait until she was ready; it was only right after the things he’d done, or, more accurately, the way he’d gone about doing them.

Deciding the shower was less important than talking to Nat, he climbed onto the bed next to her, turning sideways slightly so that they were facing each other, and pulling the comforter up to his hips.

“So, what did you want to talk about?”

She sighed and Albus’s heart plummeted. “What don’t we need to talk about?” she finally said. Then, to his astonishment, she reached into the top of her nightdress and pulled out a folded piece of parchment from beneath her breast. “I made a list.”

“Rose is rubbing off on you,” he muttered, and didn’t necessarily mean that as a bad thing. Nat shrugged.

“Okay, first, this whole me not going back to Hogwarts thing, I’m okay with it. But you should go back. Finish your –”

“Nope,” he interrupted her. “It’s non-negotiable.”

“But Al –”

“No. I’m sorry, Nat, I’d do anything to make you happy. Except that. I’m not leaving you with my parents, alone and pregnant. That’s not how I was raised. I’ve already made some bad choices when it comes to you, all of which started New Years Eve,” he said quickly when a sad look crossed her face. He didn’t want her to think that dating her, sleeping with her, knocking her up, had been a bad choice (although the latter could’ve waited a few years). “What happens if you get sick? What happens if this procedure tomorrow doesn’t work and you have to get that muggle one done? What happens if the babies come early, before the term ends? You expect me to sit around Hogwarts with my thumb up my arse while you’re here, doing all the hard stuff? I’ve missed enough of this already. I’m sorry, and I love you, but no. Next topic.”

He was surprised, incredibly surprised, when she leaned forward as best she could and kissed him square on the mouth. She hadn’t kissed him in months, and he’d missed it so.

She sat back and looked back at her list. “We’ve talked about it briefly in our relationship, and I know you’ve always wanted to be an Auror like your father. That takes three years of schooling with no pay. In order to be able to support ourselves, even with this little nest egg you’ve got set aside from James and his talented investor, we’re both going to have to work. That means child care, interviews, we’ll have to take our NEWTs…”

“Dad says we can take the NEWTs whenever we want to, we just have to go to the Ministry. I figured by Christmas we’d both have taken them. If you think about it, Nat, we’re only missing two months. We could probably take them now and both pass. As for being an Auror, well, that’s always something to think about, but I’m going to start looking for a job tomorrow. If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen, Nel. You’ve just got to believe.”

“And me?”

“You’ve always been a great writer. I know you wanted to do research…”

“I’ve been thinking about taking a job at the Prophet. Your mum says they’re always looking for good writers, and I can do freelance stuff and write from home, that way I can still look after the babies…” she trailed off, biting her lip and looking down, rubbing her hand over her stomach. “Oh, Merlin, Al…we’re going to be parents.”

He threw his arm around her and hugged her to him so they were hip to hip. “I know.” He kissed her forehead and laid his head atop hers. In the background, he heard the doorbell ring, but ignored it and kept his attention focused on Nat.

“What are we going to do? Where are we going to live? How are we going to get through this?”

There were no tears, surprisingly, and Albus took her hands in his.

“We’ll get through this together, Nel. I’m here every step of the way, I promise. Mum and Dad want us to stay here, at least for a little while, until we’ve got a steady income and can handle ourselves. We will get through this, Nat. We’ll have to take it one day at a time, but we will get through this. We are not the first people to have babies at such a young age and we won’t be the last; if they can do it, we sure as hell can. You’re the strongest woman I know, Nat. That’s part of the reason I love you so much.”

“Oh, Albus! I love you, too. Shit,” she wiped away two stray tears and then turned as well as she could to look straight at him. “I know I’ve been a shitty person the last few months. I mean, with the whole break-up thing and not trusting you…”

“I did a stupid thing.”

“No,” she said severely. She reached up and cupped his face in her hands. “You did an incredibly sweet, romantic thing and I was a bitch to you. Darlene…what she said yesterday…about the, uh, mirror thing, where I have symptoms that aren’t common in pregnancy…depression, excessively emotional…I mean, maybe that’s why I took it so hard. No, I know that’s why I took it so hard. I look back at how I acted and I know…that’s not me. That’s not who I am. I’m not paranoid; I don’t jump to conclusions. I rarely make irrational decisions. And I made the most irrational one by breaking up with you. I deprived you of your chance to go to scans, to feel the twins when they moved for the first time, to be there holding my hair back while I puked up my breakfast the final time I had morning sickness. And I will never forgive myself for that; you’ll never get that back.

“I don’t like Meghan and that’ll never change, but I trust you. You know that. Just because I don’t trust that slutty, boyfriend-stealing…I trust you and I love you and I really can’t imagine doing this, hell even living, without you. These past…months…have been pure torture and I never want to be without you again. I don’t want to be just friends. I don’t want to be with anyone else and I couldn’t stand the thought of you being with another girl.”

She paused, wiped away more tears, and took a shaky breath.

“Albus, will you marry me?”

A/N: OMG, right? I know; me, too. It wasn’t how I planned it, but that’s just how it goes. My fingers had a mind of their own and I was just the catalyst…

So in case the last part was confusing, the James/Kylie scene at the end and the Nat/Albus scene at the very end were going on simultaneously. Nat/Albus got back to the house first from Easter dinner, but, for obvious reasons, I wanted their part at the end.

I’m thinking it’ll probably be 3 more chapters and an Epilogue. Then the sequel. I’ve been having DREAMS about the sequel; I’m so stoked to write it! I’m going to try really, really hard to have this story done by Halloween, but no promises.

Love it?  Hate it?  Questions? Predictions?  Reviews are welcome and very much appreciated!


P.S. I'm loving this new layout, how about you?