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Disclaimer: Any towns, schools, characters and hospitals you recognize from the Harry Potter series do not belong to me.

               

                “Bitch!” Maeve says angrily, throwing her book bag onto the overstuffed blue couch. “We’re witches, for Merlin’s sake. We don’t need to learn a whole new fucking language!”

                Alicia rifles through her papers. “I’m sure you’ll change your mind when we meet some cute French guy and you realize you can’t ask him on a date. Then you’ll be hopping for the opportunity to get back in class.”

                “I know, but why now?” Maeve whines. “We’re in our sixth year! To be perfectly honest, I don’t give a fuck about classes anyway. I can work as a candy stripper in St. Mungos after we graduate- you know, keep Isobel company while she tends to old and dying people.”

                “Don’t you mean candy striper?” I ask, flipping through the pages of What Language Will YOU Take?.

                “Nope. I mean candy stripper,” she winks mischievously. Alicia rolls her eyes and glances around, as if to make sure no one heard her.

                “I’m taking Spanish,” Maeve announces loudly.

                “You didn’t even look at your brochures.”

                “I don’t need to. Spanish is more sexy than France. And it’s a better beach destination.”

                “Well, I’m taking French,” Alicia sniffs. “Et toi, Isobel?”

                “French,” I reply. “I think my mum was French or something. Like, four hundred years back.”

                Maeve stands abruptly, her eyes fixed on her gold watch. “I have somewhere to go,” she says quickly, slinging her back over her shoulder. “And I need to take a shower first. I’ll see you later on.”

                “When?” Alicia asks, craning her neck over the back of the chair as Maeve struts off.

                “I don’t know, eleven?” Maeve snaps. “I’m sure you’ll both get on without me just fine.”

                Alicia sinks back in her chair, looking somewhat annoyed. “Why the hell does she always do that?”

                “Do what?” I ask innocently. Lately I’ve been feeling like there’s something going on between Alicia and Maeve, some mutual annoyance.

                “You know, not even bother planning out any of her classes, just doing what she thinks cute boys will be doing? And leaving without telling us where she’s going, just walking off with some snippy comment? It’s just… annoying.”

                “Um, I guess,” I say awkwardly, shifting on the couch.

                Alicia glances at me sideways. “Do you think she’s going to hook up with someone?”

                “It’s not even dinner yet.”

                “I know, but… it’s never too early for Maeve.”

                I shrug. “I don’t really care.”

                Alicia sighs. “I don’t really either, I guess. She’s been with guys for years now, but… I’m just afraid one of these days she’s going to end up pregnant.”

                My blood freezes. “P-Pregnant? Why would you say that?”

                She picks at her nail polish. “Because it just seems like something she would do, you know? Get drunk and forget to bring condoms or whatever. Then she’d really be screwed up for life. She doesn’t even care about the guys she ‘gets with,’ she just does it for fun. She’s our best friend, Isobel. I worry about her.”

                “And what would you do if she did come back pregnant?” I try to look as nonchalant as possible.

                “I wouldn’t exactly be surprised, or happy, but… I’d help her, you know? And claim godmother rights.”

                “Oh,” I say quietly. I’m really tired of feeling sorry for myself. “Alicia, there’s… there’s something I have to tell you.”

                “What?” she asks, sifting through the brochures.

                “Can you look at me first?” I feel sick to my stomach. I knew it would be hard telling someone.

                Alicia puts the shiny papers down. “What?”

                I shift uncomfortably in my seat. “You know how we went to that party in September?”

                “What about it?”

                “I sort of… slept with someone.”

                Alicia’s mouth drops open. “Who?”

                I shake my head. “It doesn’t matter. But then I started… feeling sick. And growing. And I wondered if…” I swallow. My mouth feels dry. “I wondered if I was going to have a baby. So the next time we went to Hogsmeade, I bought… a pregnancy test. And my results said I was pregnant,” I give her a weak smile. Alicia is staring at me blankly.

                “You’re pregnant?” Alicia looks shellshocked. Pretty much how I felt when I realized I got knocked up.

                “Yeah.”

                “Have you been to a doctor? You know, to be absolutely sure?”

                I shake my head. “But I am. I took the test in October, and my symptoms just get worse every day.”

                “Oh my god, Isobel,” Alicia leans back against the couch, rubbing her forehead. “Am I the only one you’ve told?”

                “Maybe.”

                “Isobel,” Alicia slides over to sit closer to me. “This is more serious than you realize!”

                “No, I think I figured out by now that I’m fucked for life.”

                “No, you don’t get it. It all makes sense! Why you’ve been sick, why you eat at weird times, why you started crying when you got a bad grade in Potions the other day, why you got a bad grade in the first place…” I cringe. Stupid hormones.

                “I have things under control,” I try to say it reassuringly, but it comes out shaky.

                “But you haven’t gone to a doctor yet. Or told your mum. Wait, did you tell the father?”

                “Um, no,” I laugh awkwardly. “He kind of… well, we don’t actually… like him? Drunken mistake,” I add quickly when I see the expression on her face. “The point is, I will tell him. Just not right now.”

                “I can’t believe this,” she says numbly.

                “Neither can I.”

                “Are we going to tell Maeve?”

                “I suppose we have to.”

                We sit without speaking for a moment. Alicia looks like she’s going to cry. It’s a good thing she’s not the one having the baby. She looks over at me, her pinky nail in her mouth like she always does when she thinks.

                “Do you want to get icecream in the kitchens?”

                I nod. Since when has icecream not solved anything?

 

~*~

 

                It’s about 9:20 when Maeve comes down to the kitchens, wiping at her eyes.

                “What the hell are you two doing down her?” she asks, quickly wiping a streak of mascara away.

                “Hungry,” Alicia says coolly. “I thought you wouldn’t be back until later.”

                “It didn’t go well. I’ll tell you later. We ended up not eating, so I came down here, only to find you and…” she walks over to where we’re sitting. “An entire gallon of icecream gone.”

                “Well, when you’re eating for three you tend to want more,” Alicia gives me a sidelong glance. I kick her. Maeve gives us a weird look.

                “Isobel told me something after you went to take a shower,” Alicia sighs.

                “Oh?” Maeve questions, sitting down next to us.

                “She’s a little… pregnant?”

                There’s a very loud silence- and then Maeve bursts out laughing. “Good one,” she chortles. “You know, you could have just told me you were mad I snapped at you earlier, you didn’t need to try and freak me out.”

                “I’m serious, Maeve,” I whisper. “I’m having a baby.” The tears are starting to well up in my eyes. Why does everything in my life have to be awkward? It’s like one of those piece of crap films where everything goes wrong but the girl ends up happy in the end even though she’s homeless, pregnant, jobless and loveless. Except I’ll probably end up worse than that and without happiness.

                Alicia hands me a tissue. I wave it away. “It was at that party we went to. I got drunk and…”

                Maeve’s face falls. “You’re really not kidding now, are you?” We shake our heads.

                “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you sooner, but I was afraid that-“

                “Holy shit, Isobel!” Maeve jumps up. “You’re pregnant and you’re apologizing? It’s not me who had sex. You don’t need to say anything to me.”

                “Why are you mad?”

                “I’m not,” she snaps. “I’m in shocked. I’m shocked that it’s not me who’s having to tell you guys this.” Alicia and I look at each other, than back at Maeve, who looks like she’s going to burst out laughing. “Well, I guess I don’t need to worry about that anymore!”

                Maeve plunks down on her seat again. “What are you going to do?”

                I shrug. “I haven’t decided yet.”

                “Abortion is out of the question then?”

                “It was never in the question. It’s not the baby’s fault, I can’t kill an innocent child.”

                “What about adoption?”

                The tears that had dried burn hot in my eyes again. “I don’t want to be that mom,” my voice cracks out. “The one who is young, goofy, irresponsible and gave up her kid! The one that goes to visit on the weekends but ends up acting like a kid herself! The one the child dreads seeing!” I take a deep breath. “But I’m not really sure what choice I have. I don’t know how to take care of a baby. I don’t know how I’d pay for daycare when working at minimum wage, I don’t know how I’d ever be able to be a mum.”

                “We’d help,” Alicia says softly. “And I’m sure Mr. Baby Daddy will too.”

 

~*~

 
 

Last year when we didn’t have any homework or OWL studying, Alicia, Maeve and I would always eat breakfast down by the lake on Saturday mornings with a bunch of other girls from our year. We would gossip, braid hair, complain about the workload we were getting, chat about boyfriends… it was great. We’d do it every Saturday of Spring- provided we had nice weather.

                But now, even though it’s a beautiful Saturday morning, instead of that lovely muffin eating haven on the grounds, I’m trying to not throw up all over my bed. Lovely change, right?

                I groan and roll over. Maeve has left her gold watch on her bedside table. I sit up and take a few deep breaths in hope that the nausea will fade. No such luck. I choke back the bile rising in my throat. I hate being pregnant. I’ve only known for about a week, and every day that I go by with headaches, heartburn, sour stomach and exhaustion is literally hell. I can’t even focus in my classes anymore, all my attention goes to staying awake.

                I lean back on the bead board of my bed. How long until others catch on about me being knocked up? I’ve managed not to toss my cookies in public since that day in the Great Hall, and my breasts, sore though they may be, have definitely stopped swelling. Still, I can’t hide the other symptoms forever, and a “nasty virus” won’t sell to even the most gullible first year when I get a baby bump. Ah, well. I probably have a few good weeks left before I need to tell someone. I ease up out of my bed, stroll over to the vanity table and pull my hair into a loose messy bun. People always used to say I looked like an angel, with my white blonde hair. But that was when I was what, three years old?  My mum would always say I’d have adorable children with white blonde hair like mine, and they would have the same compliment.

                Hah. Right. Blonde is a recessive trait. With my luck, my baby will end up with black hair like its dad.

                My baby. The phrase sounds so alien, so unnatural. So fond. Am I fond of my baby? Am I looking forward to it being born, to quitting school, to looking a disappointment on my family’s faces? No, it’s not an ideal situation, but deep down, I suppose I do love my child.

                Warts and all, right?

                I sigh. Last night I told Alicia I was pregnant. And then we told Maeve. And then we discussed the options. Yet I feel like there’s someone else I should be telling other than my friends- like ym family? I don’t know.

                Really. These hormones are getting way out of control. So is my life- I haven’t really gotten anywhere by telling Alicia and Maeve I got knocked up. Maybe I shouldn’t keep the baby after all.

I open my trunk. I hadn’t looked into adoption when I went to Hogsmeade the other day, though I had thought about it. I would feel loss when I gave my baby away- and I’d still have to face all the downs that came with teen pregnancy.

                I pull on a tight fitting jumper and jeans. Damn, I feel fat. There’s so much I don’t know about being pregnant, other than the basic signs- morning sickness, bigger breasts, no period, weird hunger pangs. What if I end up doing something wrong, eating something I shouldn’t, and end up screwing up the baby?

                I groan. I need a pamphlet, a brochure, a do-it-yourself guide. I could probably get one at St. Mungos next time I go to Hogsmeade, but I can’t apparate yet… and besides, that would require letting some adult know I was going to have a baby, and then mum would find out, and that would not be good.

                I sit down at the desk. It’s cluttered with old papers, broken quills, candy wrappers and ink stains. My stomach lurches at the sight of a half eaten chocolate bar. Why can’t the girls clean up after themselves? I miss our other roommate, Sarah, who had to take sick leave just a few weeks ago. From what I’ve heard, her virus is better now and she can take visitors. Maybe I’ll go see her at St. Mungos, bring her the desk and beg her to tidy it up. She’s the only one in our dorm who actually cares about whether or not things get thrown out or put away.

                I pick up the least broken quill I can find and start to doodle hearts on a piece of parchment. They remind me of James. Not because there’s any romance between us, but because he’s the father of my baby. And he has no idea that he is. I grew up without a dad- do I really want to have my child grow up without one either?

                Dear Merlin, this is tangled. I’ve known for days and haven’t sorted out one thing. How much longer can I go on by myself? I need to tell someone. I stop doodling and begin searching through the messy desk. That’s it. I’m going to tell someone. There has to be at least one fresh piece of parchment here. Maeve’s muggle catalogs, empty ink bottles, old Herbology assignment, How To Fancy Your Man: A Teen’s Guide to Romance (can’t wait to watch someone squirm when I ask about that), assorted papers with random notes… damn. No such luck.

                I pick up a half used piece of parchment. Better than a mail order, I suppose.

 

Dear Devin,

                There. That’s a good start.

I’m having a great time this year. I cross that out- no sense in lying. I’ll start with the obvious. As you can see, I’m writing on an old piece of paper Maeve used to draw her initials. Sorry about that, I can’t find any clean paper and don’t want to go downstairs because I feel really sick. The understatement of the year. I wish it were a stomach bug or something, but it’s not. How the fuck do I put this? “Oh, by the way, I’m pregnant! Love you!” sounds a little stupid. I lean forward and scribble Love, Isobel at the bottom of the page, grab a package, load the parchment inside and write Devin Olivier on the top. I then cross to the room to my trunk, dig to the bottom and pull out a little white object. My pregnancy test.

                Fairly easy way to tell him without writing it, yes?

                I drop the stick in the box. Dear Merlin, I hope he takes this the right way.

 

~*~

 

                “…and so, then I was telling him he was lucky I even talked to him in the first place, but he just had that I’m-so-much-better-than-you look on his face. I fucking hate people like that, one’s who think everyone loves them and they’re awesome when everyone thinks they’re the losers they are. God, why the hell did I even make out with him in the first place?” Maeve groans, banging her head on the armrest of her chair. Neither Alicia nor I know who the hell she’s talking about, but all the same we assume she’ll never care about it again.

                “You made out with him because you’re a slut,” Alicia says calmly. “Either that or romantically challenged.”

                “Slut sounds more appealing than that,” Maeve makes a face. Alicia just rolls her eyes and continues her letter to her parents. It’s kind of sad how hard she tried to impress them.

                I glance over her shoulder and catch a few glimpses of what she’s writing. Her cursive is pretty loopy and messy, even worse than Maeve’s.

Dear Mum and Dad,

I’m having a fantastic time here at school. I’ve been doing so well, I think I might be head girl next year. In Arithmancy, my partner for the translation project (Christian McKullers) was in…

                “Why do you talk to your parents like you’re at a job interview?” I ask.

                “I don’t,” Alicia says quickly, folding up her letter. “And I’d appreciate it if you didn’t read my… personal things.” She gets up and leaves the common room, a little huff cloud surrounding her.

                “She needs to expand,” Maeve sighs. “She does the same thing every day. She needs a boy. Or two.”

                I roll my eyes. “You really are a slut, hm?”

                “Romantically challenged,” Maeve corrects loftily, flouncing after Alicia. “That’s the politically correct term.”

 

~*~

A/N: Well, that chapter was a little longer than I thought it would be, about 3,000 words. Ah, well. I’m looking forward to seeing James in the next chapter, aren’t you?

 

Terribly sorry if I bored everyone with the woes of a pregnant teen this time, I hope the next one is a bit more, erm, action packed. I’m not totally happy with the end of the chapter, but it becomes important later on… Please rate and review!

 
 

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