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                Dear Isobel,

    Well, I can’t say I’m not shocked and disappointed about what you just mailed me. Do you even have a boyfriend? Isobel, you’re smarter than that- there’s birth control everywhere, why didn’t you take any?  There is no undoing what’s already done, so we may as well prepare best we can; have you told mum? Gone to St. Mungos? Made any future arrangements whatsoever?

 

I’m currently in Canada right now, so it will take a week or so for a new letter to reach me. I love you.

Devin

 

                Well. I suppose that that’s the best case scenario, seeing as he hasn’t done anything rash or dangerous for the entire country of Canada. I reread the letter a few times before folding it up and putting it in my skirt pocket. I haven’t made any plans at all- I’ve thought about it, but always put it off. What the hell am I going to do?

                I take out a fresh sheet of parchment.

                Dear Devin,

I haven’t made any plans, gone to St. Mungos, told mum and only have the 40 Galleons I earned over the summer in my Gringotts account. I figured I’d drop out of Hogwarts when the baby was born, the due date will probably be around June 28th. So I’m officially screwed. And the dad of the freaking kid has a girlfriend everyone loves, because she’s so nice, so he’s not going to care at all about the baby. And get this- he’s a guy I’ve absolutely hated and now I just hate him even more and everything is completely FUCKED UP so I’m kissing the whole life I had planned for myself GOODBYE and

                I put my pen down. I writing on the paper is jagged from the stone windowsill I’ve been writing on. I crumple up the letter and toss it out the window. Ranting out all my problems and sending them to Devin will not help the state of things. I slide off the stone windowsill. I really need that nap I was planning on taking, I feel like shit.

                I stroll down the corridor and up the stairs. Maybe I don’t have a plan now, but I will soon. Very soon.

 

~*~

 

                “I got a letter from Devin,” I whisper to Alicia, sliding down onto the futon. I’ve just gotten to the library, where I’ve been studying lately- it’s so much more quiet than the common room, so much more private. Alicia looks up from her long paper and pushes it aside.

                “What did he say?”

                “That he’s disappointed. And that he thinks I should tell mum.”

                Alicia twists her quill around in her fingers. “Maybe you should tell your mum. You know, for pregnancy tips and such.”

                “She’d be pissed.”

                “She’d get over it.”

                I sigh and take out my Charms essay. “I’m so tired of having to get through my classes and deal with my symptoms all at the same time. Whatever. Ever pregnant woman has gotten through this, and I can to, you know?”

                “No,” Alicia says mildly. “I don’t know. But a Healer will. And I’m sure your mum will too.”

                I pick up my muggle pen and continue my essay. I think I will go to a Healer. We have a Hogsmeade visit this Saturday, so I’ll go then. And maybe get some baby books.

                There. The starting of my own plan.

 

~*~

 

                The shower’s steaming hot streams of water feel amazing on my back. Today’s classes, as I expected, were dreadful. My grades have been suffering, and on top of trying not to pay attention to all my pregnancy symptoms and pay attention, Maeve was being annoying all through our classes.

                “Isobeeeeeeel,” she had whined, poking me in the back. “Why won’t you talk to me?”

                “Because I don’t feel good,” I snapped, twisting away from her sharp nails.

                “I just want to know why you’re wearing Lish’s shirt. Baby bumps don’t show if you’re only like, a couple months along, right?”

                I had cringed. I’d been hoping she wouldn’t pick up on the fact I was wearing a bigger shirt to try to hide the thickness of my stomach. I glance at my stomach in the shower. I still don’t know why the hell it has a slight bump, as I’m only two and a half months along. Don’t babies only start to show at like, four months?

                I turn off the water, open the shower curtain and wrap a fluffy towel around me. It’s only Monday. I decided to buy a pregnancy book on Saturday and drop by St. Mungos so I can get a couple prescriptions and stuff. I need some kind of guidance here, Alicia was right. Still, if someone saw me buying a book, that would start some rumors I really don’t want to have started.

                I run a brush through my hair. My hair looks yellow when it’s wet. I wrinkle my nose. I wish I could be one of those girls who look beautiful no matter what they’re doing- swimming, running, laughing, crying, dancing… I always end up looking meek and mild when I dance. And red and sweaty when I run. Pink and blotchy when I cry, completely pale when I laugh.

                I pull on an oversized t-shirt and silky long pants. Angie looks beautiful no matter what she’s doing. Maybe that’s why everyone likes her so much, why she’s so confident all the time. I wonder what she’d do if she found out her boyfriend got me pregnant? Pass out, I suppose. She looks like a weakling.

                What is wrong with me? I’ve never been malicious. Or resentful, for that matter. But something about her hanging off him this morning made me feel sort of protective. Not of him, I guess, but of the baby- I don’t want my child to have a second mother, a weird custody agreement.

                I’m blaming it on pregnancy hormones.

                I guess, from what I’ve been thinking today, that I’ve ruled out adoption. I never really liked the idea anyway, you know? I don’t have anything against adopted people, but… what if the child resented me for the rest of my life? And what if it hurts too much to give the baby away?

                I stroll into the common room, squeezing my hair dry with the towel. The radio is playing some muggle showtune, one my brother and I used to listen to when we were kids. I hum it lightly, giving my hair a final squeeze. Someone coughs loudly behind me. Oh, shit- Alicia.

                “Hey,” Alicia says, standing from the overstuffed blue loveseat. “What took you so long? It’s 2:30 in the morning, you’ve been gone since eleven o’clock.”

                Shit. I glance at the large clock- sure enough, it’s past two.

                “Maeve went to bed, almost everyone else is asleep or in their dorms,” Alicia takes my toiletry bag from my hand. “Seriously, Isobel. You’re not eating right. You’re not sleeping right. You haven’t taken any folic acid pills or seen a doctor or had an ultrasound…” she shakes her head. “This is dangerous, Isobel. For you and your baby.”

                “I’m doing okay, ‘Lish. Under the circumstances, I’d say I’m kicking ass. And I’ll probably go to the hospital on Saturday, so…”

                “Probably? No, Isobel, you’re not ‘kicking ass!’” she raises her voice at me. “You haven’t told anyone but me, Maeve and your brother! Your mum doesn’t know, the hospital doesn’t know, the father doesn’t know! All you’ve done that I can see is sit around moping and hoping for some magical stork to come and take your baby away! You need a plan. Babies don’t deliver themselves, they don’t eat for themselves, they don’t sleep for themselves. They don’t find an adoptive family for themselves either.” She looks me up and down. “I’m not saying you need to put the baby up for adoption, I’m just saying that if you can’t take proper care of yourself or your unborn child, then you put both your lives in danger!”

                “I’m fine,” I snap, grabbing the bag out of her slightly pudgy hands. “I’m going to bed. If I can do that without being scrutinized, that is.” I storm towards the stairs. Alicia follows, but doesn’t say a word. I feel a little guilty for barking at her, but satisfied at the same time. My jumbled emotions feel relieved.

                I sink into my bed, falling asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.

 

~*~

 

A/N: I’m not as pleased as I could be with this chapter, but I got done what needed to get done. Please don’t stop reading because of this terrible chapter, things get SOOOO much better! There are a few things I need to address now…

First, for those of you wondering why this has a Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme rating, it is not something that’s to come, it’s because this is a teen pregnancy story. Second, for anyone who’s confused, the general date of the story at this time is December 14th, a Monday. And third is the news I am very happy to tell you about; I have a new novel out! The only downside to this is that the new chapters for Table for Four will be slowing down, seeing as I have to write for two stories. Just thought you should know why updates won’t be as frequent;)

Please rate and Review!

 

               

               

               
 
 
 

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