Click here to read content notes for this story.

Even now, weeks later, she thought she could still feel it. She wasn't sure what was worse, the cramping-- which, Bellatrix had informed her, only lasts for six hours, and anything she felt afterwards was all in her head-- or the ghostly flutters low in her abdomen. She had only felt him once, before, but now she felt him all the time. She wondered if babies could be ghosts.

She had been so sure that she was getting away with it. Her sisters knew that she was using a glamour, but she'd let a copy of "Cosmetic Charms For All Occasions" fall out of her bag in the Slytherin common room one day and they'd assumed she was covering up a spot, or trying to make her breasts look bigger. She'd come in for a lot of teasing, but it was worth it as long as it kept attention off of more important secrets. Cissa had always been a tale-bearer, and Bellatrix had taken the Black pureblood mania to new extremes since she'd left school and started seeing Rodolphus Lestrange the year before. She had been terrified of what would happen if either of them had realized that she was even talking to a Mud-- a Muggleborn, let alone in love with one, but by the time term was over, she had thought the hardest part was over.

She should have realized that her sisters wouldn't give up that easily once they'd sensed a mystery. She should have done what Ted wanted, and run away and got married the Muggle way over the spring hols, but she had wanted so badly to finish school, to take her NEWTs. She'd had it all planned out. She was supposed to be visiting her Aunt Walpurga at Grimmauld Place a few weeks after term; she'd been planning to send an owl saying she'd been delayed and slip away to Muggle London. They would have had the marriage consummated every way known to Muggle and Wizard law by the time anyone realized she was gone. She had been sure she could fool her parents; they'd have no reason to pay much attention to her with Cissa eager to talk about her budding flirtation with the Malfoy heir and Bellatrix full of Lestrange family gossip and pureblood politics.

She could still hear the house-elves sobbing as they held her down, while her mother poured the potion down her throat.

She apparated six times in close succession, then rode a Muggle cab halfway across London before asking the driver to let her off at the next Underground station. Ted had taught her all about the tube, and she had a little map that she had charmed to look like a blank bit of parchment that her mother hadn't found when she'd been tearing through her things. She thought her parents would probably have people watching Ted's house, but she didn't think he'd told anyone but her about the Muggle shop where he'd be working during the day. If they knew...

A bell jangled as she pushed the door shut behind her.

"Just a moment," called a voice from the back, and it was Ted, he was all right, her father hadn't found him yet. Her breath caught in her throat as he emerged, carrying a large box. "Just let me-- Andie?" He dropped the box with a thud and ran to her, taking in her splotchy face, her hastily-transfigured Muggle clothes, the way she was clutching her stomach with the arm that wasn't holding her bag. "God, Andie, what happened?"

"We have to go," she said, grabbing at his arm. "Ted, we have to go right now," and he looked into her eyes and nodded, once, and took her hand. It wasn't until France, three days later, that it was safe to bury her face in his shoulder and cry.


Send Feedback

Go Back to Laura's Fiction






Content Note: Character forced to terminate a pregnancy against her will