When They Have 'The Talk'
None of these characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter belong to me; I’m just using them to hopefully write an entertaining story.Author's Note:
I’ve gone over this chapter again and again, tweaking it here and there. It’s gotten to the point where I think I’ll just post it and if there’s anything else I need to edit, I’m sure I can still do it later. In reward for your patience, it’s the longest chapter yet, but then again there was a lot to be covered in this chapter and I came up with the idea of introducing a little bit of Neville in this chapter, I love Neville :)
*****Chapter Ten – When They Have ‘The Talk’
Neville Longbottom was running late for dinner. He’d been working hard on finishing the Transfiguration essay that was already overdue, which Professor McGonagall was none too pleased about and had warned him that they would lose house points or he would have detention if he didn’t have it finished before tomorrow’s class. The Gryffindor Common Room was now deserted, everyone had gone down to the Great Hall already, leaving him in a frantic rush to get this essay finished and on McGonagall’s desk by the end of the evening.
He sat in the corner of the room on the couch in front of the fireplace, books arbitrarily spread across both the couch and the table in front of him, as well as the one he was currently reading from laid across his lap. In mid-sentence, he heard movement by the portrait hole and looked up, seeing Ginny Weasley appear in the room, and he immediately noticed that she was quite visibly upset.
As she walked across the Common Room, she looked over and noticed Neville for the first time, pausing with unease because she obviously was expecting everyone to be down at dinner by now. Her eyes were red-rimmed and there was a look of such dejection on her features.
“Ginny,” Neville began, pushing the book off his lap and standing up. “Is everything alright?”
She hesitated for a moment, and then finally managed in a weak voice. “Harry, Ron and Hermione are back.”
“Really?” Neville asked with surprise, thinking that this was great news but then was even more confused as to Ginny’s current emotional state. “I thought you’d be much happier to see your brother, and Harry, for that matter.”
Her eyes glistened with tears, and Neville took a few unsure steps towards her. “I... I just hate it when you think someone is a friend and then, then...”
The tears that were threatening to start again had well and truly resumed by this point. Neville stood there awkwardly for a moment, before deciding to approach the distraught girl and put a nervous arm around her in an attempt to comfort. He pulled away after a moment, went over to couches and cleared them of all his text books, then led her to sit down.If Ron, Harry and Hermione are back, then why is she so upset?
Neville thought, as he sat there quietly, giving her the opportunity to speak up if she wanted to.
After a few moments, when Ginny’s tears settled slightly, Neville gave her a handkerchief. “Did they get back just now?”
Ginny sniffed and nodded from behind the handkerchief.
Neville noticed that the redhead looked like she was about to say something, but thought twice before she began, so he thought he’d give her some encouragement. “Well...if you feel like talking... you can always tell me all about it.”
Ginny gave a brief, appreciative smile, before the solemn look returned. “I don’t even know where to start,” she said pausing, as if considering whether or not she should tell him.
Neville simply shrugged. “You don’t have to tell me anything if you’d like, I just thought if it’ll make you feel better...”
Ginny knew how trustworthy Neville was to his friends, and she really did feel like she needed someone to talk to about everything, so she began to spill on everything that had been happening the past few months. “Well... you know how I’ve become good friends with Dawn...”
After a somewhat awkward walk up through the castle attempting to make small talk, both teens avoiding the topic of conversation they were anxious of discussing, Harry led Dawn up to the Astronomy Tower to have a conversation away from the hustle and bustle of downstairs. Dawn looked around in amazement when they entered the tower, walking to the outside curving edge of the tower and taking in the amazing views.
“Wow, I haven’t been up here before, Hagrid should add this to his guided tour - it’s beautiful!” she exclaimed as she peered over the edge and down towards the front of the castle, which was covered with a beautiful blanket of white snow, and then to the night sky that was clear with the stars sparkling up above.
Harry nodded pensively from behind. “Yes, it’s a great place to just come and ponder things.”
“And for other activities, I’m sure,” Dawn said before she could stop herself, quickly turning red as soon as the words had left her mouth.
Harry said nothing, a flush also creeping up his cheeks.
Dawn turned and leant against the stonework battlements. “Harry...” she paused nervously. “I can tell that we’ve both being doing our best to avoid being the first to bring it up. But I just wanted to say... about that night,“ she pulled out a familiar piece of parchment from her pocket.
“You kept the note?” Harry interrupted in surprise.
Dawn nodded. “Yep, I just always carried it with me but I think that is because I wanted you to know I was sorry too... I’m, I-I’d never done anything like that before, that’s more my sister’s thing. But as soon as we kissed, something-“
“Took over?” Harry interjected, to which Dawn nodded and then he seemed like a weight was lifted off his chest. “I’m so glad it wasn’t just me... I didn’t want you to think that I took advantage of you or anything, after we’d done all that talking, I-I did really like you, Dawn,” he finished quietly, gazing over in the distance.
“Well, you might not like me after this,” Dawn had muttered to herself, but considering how quiet it was in the tower, Harry had heard her and frowned slightly.
All of a sudden, Dawn realised how cold it was and moved out of the cold air and back to stand with Harry, definitely not being suitably rugged up to stand outside in the bitter winter weather for too long.
“Listen, Harry,” she said shyly, trying to muster up some courage. “This is probably gonna be one of the hardest conversations I’m ever gonna have, although it’s probably gonna to be just as hard when I have to talk to Buffy - that’s my sister, by the way. Anyway, I knew that this was gonna happen at some point, but I'm freaking out now that I’m actually here... Sorry, I’m procrastinating - I babble when I’m nervous.”
Harry smiled at her, albeit it a little confused by her long monologue. “It’s okay, Dawn. Take your time.”
“Oh god,” she said quietly, just as she thought she was about to start hyperventilating. “Maybe I’ll just show you... obviously I’m not a witch, so I need you to remove a spell that’s cast on me – it was a concealment spell, I think." She tried to remember what Ginny had used. "Uh, something like Abscondo Grividum
Harry frowned, wondering who and why someone would have cast a spell on Dawn. “Sounds like it could be Absconditus Gravidum.
Dawn nodded quickly. “Yes, that sounds about right.”
“Alright, stand still for a moment,” Harry ordered, retrieving his wand and moving to stand a few steps away. “Purgo incantamentum!
The sparks from his wand shot out and whizzed around Dawn for a moment, like a mini-tornado. When the spell was finished, Harry was quick to notice a slightly different Dawn standing in front of him, his eyes immediately being drawn towards a noticeable bump on her stomach.
Now that he was able to see her properly, Dawn was able to find the words she’d been struggling with. “Uh, I’m pregnant...”
The words seemed to hang in the sudden silence. Although Harry thought he’d noticed something down in the Entrance Hall earlier, he hadn’t even really considered what he was now seeing to be a real possibility; but now he felt like he’d been hit with a Petrificus Totalus spell as he looked at Dawn. He was sure he probably looked quite shell-shocked from Dawn’s perspective, and then his head began to spin slightly and he found himself fumbling towards the nearest bench against the internal tower wall. He almost expected, and hoped, for this to be another one of those crazy dreams.
Seeing Harry in his silent state of shock, Dawn felt it necessary to fill the void of silence. “Please don’t freak out on me! I mean, I know you wanna - believe me
, I know how you’re feeling right now.”
Harry looked up at her, his face as white as a ghost, attempting to talk a couple of times before he managed two weak words. “H-how long?”
“How long have I known?” Dawn asked but didn’t expect Harry was able to answer so she continued on, as she sat down next to him. “Well, it’s been just over five months since we... and I’ve known for about three or four... I only realised when Remus rocked up on our doorstep one day and then overheard him going on about this prophecy...”
Dawn didn’t get to finish what she was saying; she stopped when Harry looked like he remembered something and reached in his pocket to pull out a piece of parchment.
“What’s that?” she asked him.
He started to unfold it. “Lupin... gave me this prophecy before... I-I haven’t read it.”
“Oh,” Dawn answered, subconsciously putting her hand on her stomach. Harry noticed this out of the corner of his eye, sending him into another spiral of panic, seeing this somehow made it all the more real. “You’ll wanna read that.”
Dawn just silently watched his expressions as he finally read through the prophecy, feeling sorry for Harry that he was only finding out about all of this now and it was being dumped on him in one big hit. The same thing kinda happened to you, though,
a voice told her.
In the meantime, a whole range of emotions hit Harry as he read the parchment; fear, dread, anger, regret were just a few of them. He never knew he could feel so many emotions at once, the whole experience just made him feel like he was going to explode if anyone were to drop any more news on him, no matter how insignificant.
Once he was finished, he scrunched up the parchment into a ball and threw it across the tower in frustration and brought his hands up to cover his face. “W-who else knows?”
Dawn had been expecting the next question to have something to do with why she was called ‘the Key’ in the prophecy, however when he didn’t ask about, she assumed it was because there were a million questions in the forefront of his mind right about now. She told herself she would have to explain her background to him sometime later on, hoping desperately that that wouldn’t push him over the edge.
“Remus knows, of course. When he found out that I was the other one in the prophecy, he kept an eye on me for protection and followed me when I snuck away from my sister to find out if I was pregnant for sure. I told him I didn’t want anyone else to know, especially until I could tell you, and so he’s really been pulling out all the stops to find you these past couple of months.... Oh, and then Giles accidentally found out a week ago,” Dawn noticed Harry’s blank look. “You’ll probably meet him later, he’s kinda like a father figure, used to be my sister’s Watcher... but I’ll go into all that later.”
Harry felt himself nodding, unsure of what else to do or say. He then watched as Dawn’s face twisted into one of horror, something she had forgotten had suddenly come to mind. Now it was Dawn’s turn to freak out, and she jumped up from the seat and brought her hands up to her face in anguish. “Oh my god, I totally forgot about Ginny! What am I gonna say to her?”
“G-Ginny k-knows?” Harry spluttered out with wide eyes.
Dawn’s eyes began to water as she paced the one spot so much that Harry thought she just might wear the stone floor down. “I’m a horrible, horrible person, Harry! Ginny was becoming my friend and I lied to her, I-I couldn’t deal with the truth. Instead of facing anything, all I’ve done is just lie and lie and then run away from it... I’m just hurting all the people I care about – I could see how hurt Giles was when he found out... I-“
Just as the tears were beginning to fall, Harry had finally broken out of his trance and stood up to grab her by both arms, stopping her from pacing. “I understand exactly where you’re coming from. Don’t torture yourself about it, Dawn, it really doesn’t get you anywhere – I know, I’ve done plenty of it, especially these last few months,” Dawn frowned slightly. “... What happened with Ginny?”
He could see her slump slightly at this question, as she sighed, wiped her cheeks and moved to sit down again. “We became friends after she found me puking my guts out one day – remind me to blame you for all of that when the time is right,” she said in an attempt to lighten the mood. “Anyway, she found out why I was throwing up and she was really nice about everything but I didn’t know about you guys until a few days ago, I swear.”
“But you didn’t tell her I’m-,“ he paused momentarily, rethinking his choice of words to something he was ready to say. “Tell her it was me.”
Dawn shook her head hesitantly, feeling another round of tears coming on. “No, but I’ve had a few opportunities and she had the right to know,” she took a deep breath, finding the courage to make eye contact with him. “She said she still loves you... and I just couldn’t tell her, I knew she would hate me. But I’ve made it worse though, she probably hates me more now – she saw us down in Entrance Hall and how we knew each other; she would’ve put it all together.”
Harry had sighed loudly and then silently turned to look at the sky, so Dawn couldn’t make out his features or read his current emotions. A voice in the back of her head wondered if he was thinking about Ginny at that particular moment in time. When he stood there for several moments without saying anything, she finally stood up and backing up towards the staircase.
“You know what?” she said quietly, taking backwards steps. “I’ve overloaded you with too much for one evening, I-I’m gonna go.”
Harry had turned to reply but by the time he had, Dawn had already disappeared down the stairs. He looked back up the at the different constellations, he’d had so many feelings rushing through him in such a short amount of time that he was almost starting to feel numb by it all.
Dawn was already in tears again as she made her way down the winding staircase, whilst feeling like a weight had lifted of her somewhat, she felt like the weight had already been replaced by new fears and emotions.What was I thinking?
she mentally scolded herself. That it would instantly be happy families when I told him?
Maybe part of her did actually believe that things would just work themselves out easily, but now she definitely wasn’t fooled by any stupid delusions. She saw the way Harry had reacted, particularly when she told him about what happened with Ginny, he’d managed to find the words alright when she was brought up in the conversation. He’s probably still in love with her, too. You’re just a floozy he slept with and now there’s a stupid prophecy and baby involved. You’re just in the way.
And when Harry was telling her to stop beating herself up and had said ‘I’ve done plenty of it, especially these last few months’, Dawn wondered what he meant by that. Did that mean that he’d spent all this time regretting what had happened back at the hotel that night? All these conflicting thoughts and emotions just made her want to run away from everything and she seriously started considering what might happen if she secretly left Hogwarts and disappeared - would Voldemort find out everything, track her down and kill both her and the baby?
She only got as far as the bottom of the stairs leading back up to the Astronomy Tower when she realised a little problem she hadn’t thought of when she’d fled moments earlier - the concealing spell, she had her stomach on display for everyone to see. She stopped in the corridor and stomped her foot in frustration, debating for a second on whether she could just turn back around. But true to her recent form, she decided she couldn’t face Harry again tonight and so that wasn’t an option right now.
She looked down at her stomach for a moment, placing a hand gently over it. “If we get through all of this, I am going to make sure when you’re older just how much trouble you’ve put me through.”
Although this could have been said in a nasty way, she actually said this with a hint of affection, starting to feel a strange connection forming with the infant developing in her womb. A few months back, she wouldn’t have really been able to imagine it happening but now she realised it was only a matter of time before it happened. Of course, it was easier to feel the connection when she didn’t have the spell concealing it all day, every day.
She then felt that same sensation in her abdomen that she’d felt earlier that evening, it got her attention instantly because it was distinctly different from when the baby moved; it was more like a tingling sensation. She watched in bafflement as a soft glow appeared, almost as if coming from inside her stomach, and then she noticed that it suddenly it looked as though she had the concealing spell disguising her abdomen again. There was no sign of her baby bump, although she could still feel it there.
She stumbled back against the corridor wall for support, just starting down at her torso in complete amazement. Did the baby just do magic from inside the womb!? What the hell have I got myself into...
Even though the prophecy described that the child they created would be powerful, it now began to dawn on her just what she was in for. First, she was pretty sure the baby had led her earlier that evening down towards the Entrance Hall where Harry was, and now it had somehow re-cast the concealing spell from inside the womb.
Dawn felt drained by all of it, standing there with a hand on her stomach for several moments before she pushed herself off the wall and continued down the corridor, just longing to fall into bed and sleep for days.
The alarm that Neville had felt earlier had probably increased two-fold, he’d spent quite some time just comforting or listening to Ginny until she eventually made her way up to her dormitory, with a defeated look on her face. Whilst he wanted take the time to contemplate the revelations Ginny had revealed to him in her distressed state, this now meant that he was even further behind time on his Transfigurations essay.
He had only managed a couple more inches writing on his parchment when the Portrait Hole opened up once more. However, this time the brunette American, who he’d gotten to know a little bit over the past couple of months, came through and like her predecessor, she too looked quite upset. Having talked with Ginny, Neville had a pretty good idea at why she was upset but felt it wasn’t really his place to bring it up.
“Hiya, Dawn,” Neville greeted quietly. “Are you, are you alright?”
“Oh... Hi, Neville!” Dawn answered with a fake cheeriness when she noticed him. “... I thought everyone was down at dinner.”
He pointed to his essay on the table with an awkward smile. “Just finishing this before McGonagall kills me...”
Dawn wrapped her arms around herself, shifting on her feet. “I was just headed upstairs – been really tired today,” she paused. “Listen, if anyone happens comes looking for me... would it be possible for you to tell them that I’m not feeling well and to wait until morning?”
“Of course,” Neville replied with a sympathetic smile, not unnoticed by Dawn.
“Thanks,” she muttered and headed for the stairs.
“Dawn,” Neville called, so she momentarily turned back around. “You’ll be o- I mean, I hope you feel better tomorrow.”
Dawn’s eyes widened slightly, thinking there was something there in his tone and something knowing in his eyes, however she quickly shook the thought away and threw in another fake-smile before racing up to the dormitories.
Meanwhile, Neville sat there thoughtfully for a moment, remembering back to what Ginny had said earlier. He knew Ginny generally was a straight-to-the-point, honest person, and she’d said that she was so upset because she’d known for a while that Dawn was pregnant, but only just realised downstairs that Harry was the father, and that Dawn had kept this from her. But due to the absurdity of this, he’d it laughed off at first, thinking that Ginny was trying to pull a very elaborate joke. He definitely had his valid reasons for thinking this; Dawn had been at Hogwarts a few months and Harry had been away with Ron and Hermione, so he didn’t see how they could have met at all for this to happen.
He soon realised that Ginny wasn’t trying to take a leaf out of Fred and George’s book and sat there awkwardly, just listening, because he certainly had no idea what else to do in this situation. Any lingering doubts about if what Ginny had told him was true had vanished the second he’d seen Dawn come into the Common Room looking so troubled.
Neville shook his head in an attempt to clear his mind and try to refocus on the task at hand; he really needed to finish this essay! However, when he picked up his book again and tried, he felt like he’d read the same line about fifteen times. He pinched the bridge of his nose, feeling a stress headache coming on. He resigned himself to the fact that this wasn’t exactly going to be his best work anyway, so he decided that he would just get quill to parchment and churn out this essay, even if it was a load of dragon dung.
He was only another two-and-a-half inches away from reaching McGonagall’s assigned parchment length, when he was interrupted for a third time in one evening. Unlike the previous two times, however, he felt like he was really on a roll with this essay so he didn’t look up to see who it was, plus he knew that dinner would be over by now and assumed it would just be the Gryffindors returning to the Common Room.
He heard a single set of footsteps travel across the room and in his peripheral vision he noticed someone with a very familiar head of jet-black hair, causing him to tear his attention away from his essay to greet his friend, whom he hadn’t seen in quite some time.
“Harry!” he called out, jumping up from his seat.
Harry looked dazed, as if he’d brought him out of daydream, turning to look at Neville with a look in his eyes that made him think that he was still kind of in a stupor, like part of him was absent. “Uh. Hello, Neville... good to see you.”
Neville was about to strike up a conversation with his former dormmate, when without any word Harry turned and continued up the stairs to the boys’ dormitories. Normally Neville would probably be offended by being disregarded by a friend, especially one that he hadn’t seen in a while; however the news Ginny had shared with him jumped back into his head.
Poor bugger, Neville thought as he watched him go.
If he paid someone a hundred Galleons to listen to the story of what he had witnessed in the space of just an hour or two, they probably would have told him that he belonged in St. Mungos with his parents. He could see the humour in the situation too, if he’d finished his essay on time, he wouldn’t have been here to witness everything. As he stared over at the staircase, he heard people appear behind him, talking and laughing.
When he swung around he was greeted by the other two friends he hadn’t seen since the end of Sixth Year. “Ron, Hermione! It’s so good to see you; I was beginning to think I’d never see happy people again...”
Ron and Hermione, who’d been smiling when they first saw him, looked at each other with confusion. Shrugging, Ron gave him a pat on the back as if to say ‘great to see you, mate’.
Hermione gave him a hug. “Hello Neville. You weren’t down at the Great Hall with everyone else... well almost everyone else, neither Harry nor Ginny were down at dinner either.”
“Just finishing a Transfiguration essay before McGonagall has my head,” Neville answered a little too quickly, not going unnoticed by Hermione, as pointing towards his study area. “How’s life been away from Hogwarts?”
“Well actually, I really missed those long study sessions in the library,” Hermione said with a warm-hearted smile. “...Wait a minute - did Harry or Ginny come through here while everyone was at dinner?”
Neville nodded tentatively, whilst Ron thought deep about something before speaking up. “Didn’t you say before that you never thought you’d see happy people again? Were you talking about Harry or Ginny?”
Neville fidgeted nervously, nearly feeling like he was being interrogated but he knew that what Ginny had shared with him wasn’t his secret to tell. “Everyone who has come through here tonight during dinner has seemed a little down, that’s all I meant.”
Ron and Hermione shared another look. “We should go check on them,” Ron suggested to Hermione and then gave Neville another friendly pat on the back. “Well, we better let you finish that essay and we’ll have to catch up properly tomorrow.”
Neville smiled as he watched Ron go up the staircase to the boys’ dormitories and Hermione up the girls’ staircase, no doubt to find Harry and Ginny. Once they were out of sight, he walked over to a nearby empty couch and practically collapsed on his back with his arms stretched out at his sides. That’s it,
he thought to himself with mental exhaustion. I am never having a late essay again.
When Ron entered the seventh year’s dormitory, he took a moment to appreciate how good it felt to be back and noticed that Hagrid had made sure what belongings they had with them had been brought up to their old dormitories. He then heard movement coming from over on Harry’s old bed, where the curtains were haphazardly drawn.
“Harry, is that you over there?” Ron called out.
He heard a sharp intake of breath. “I’m not really in the mood to talk right now, Ron. I wouldn’t mind being left alone for a while.”
Hearing the seriousness in his best friend’s voice didn’t make him turn away, if anything it made him more concerned and so he took the steps over towards the bed, until he could see Harry. He was sitting up against the wall at the top of his bed with knees bent up and his hands up and covering his face.
“Harry... what’s wrong?” he asked; he would have said he looked as though his parents had just died, but realised that would definitely be a poor choice of analogies.
Harry threw down his arms in frustration, revealing two very blood-shot eyes. “Listen, Ron. I wasn’t kidding; can you please just leave me the bloody hell alone for a while?”
Ron was extremely alarmed, wondering what had happened to bring on this sudden dramatic change in his friend’s behaviour.
He put up his hands defensively. “Okay, okay... just trying to be a good friend.”
Ron thought he heard Harry mumble “Well a good friend would have gone the first time.”
He shook his head angrily, thinking that he didn’t deserve to be snapped at when all he was trying to do is see if Harry was alright.
“Fine, have it your way,” he said storming out of the dorm and slamming the door behind him. He almost bowled over Hermione in the hallway outside, grabbing her shoulders to steady her.
“Whoa, what’s going on?” she asked in a hushed voice, nodding towards the door. “Harry didn’t want to talk?”
Ron shook his head, anger still radiating off him, as he began to lead her down the hallway. “That would be the understatement of the year... I’ve never seen Harry like that before; he was in an even fouler mood than when Sirius died. Thought he might actually hex me if I stayed in there any longer... I was just trying to help!”
They got down to the Common Room, in the past ten minutes it had already really filled up with Gryffindors, so Hermione led Ron out through the Portrait Hole in an attempt to gain some privacy.
“How was Ginny?” Ron inquired once they were safely in the outside corridor.
“She was asleep... well at least pretending to be, she obviously didn’t want to talk either,” Hermione answered, pausing in thought for a moment. “Something is seriously wrong here, Ron. First, Lupin shows up so adamant that we return here to Hogwarts and now there is something really wrong with both Ginny and Harry.”
Ron shrugged. “They may not even be connected, Hermione. I mean, I know Ginny was pretty shattered about the break-up, maybe the two of them had a spat.”
Hermione was quick to shake her head. “No, I don’t think it’s that... I actually think it has something to do with that American girl, Dawn.”
“The one from the Entrance Hall earlier? What made you come to that conclusion?” Ron asked sceptically with raised eyebrows.
“Well, I saw the way Harry reac-“ Hermione began but was cut off by Lupin walking hurriedly towards them.
“Ron, Hermione,” Lupin called out, only then did they notice that he had another man trailing him. “This is Mr. Rupert Giles, who’s visiting here with the slayers.”
Ron and Hermione both smiled and muttered “Nice to meet you”, before Lupin quickly interjected, looking like there wasn’t much time for pleasantries. “Have either of you seen Harry recently?”
“Or Dawn for that matter,” the older man, they’d just been introduced to also added.
Ron and Hermione briefly shared a look, Hermione looked at him as if to say ‘See, I was onto something!’.
“Actually, Ron and I were just discussing how Harry has been acting strangely; Ron was just telling me that Harry has shut himself up in the seventh years’ dormitory...We’re extremely concerned,” Hermione answered.
At hearing this, Lupin had already taken a few steps towards the Fat Lady’s portrait. “Just give him some time; Harry is just adjusting to some rather important news and I’m sure he will discuss it with both of you when he’s had time to digest it properly. However, being aware of the current situation, I will try my best to see if I can talk to him.”
Ron noticed that Hermione was about to open her mouth to ask a question, in fact he was sure she had a million questions, as did he, however Lupin beat her to the punch.
“I’m sorry, Hermione,” Lupin said. “I will have to discuss this further with you later on.”
Hermione looked slightly frustrated, as Lupin recited the password for the Fat Lady, opening up the Portrait Hole. As he went to enter through, Hermione noticed that Rupert Giles was still lingering back, not sure of whether to follow his companion.
“Oh,” Hermione added. “I saw Dawn up there in the girls’ dormitories only a few minutes ago.”
“Thank you,” he said quickly, before following Lupin into the Gryffindor Common Room.
Harry heard a knock on the dormitory door, wondering who it could be but really hoped that they would just turn around and go away. He knew it wasn’t Ron, who he was quite sure wasn’t very happy with the treatment he’d given him before, and as soon as the redhead had left in a huff, Harry began to feel guilty for taking out his anger out on his best friend. That was something he would have to add to the long list of things he would have to deal with later - it was beginning to be an extremely long list.
Lost in his thoughts, he’d ignored the knocking, hoping that his lack of response would be a hint to whoever it was on the other side of the door. Then there was a second knock.
“Harry,” he immediately recognised Lupin’s muffled voice. “Can I please come in?”
Harry sighed loudly, knowing he couldn’t send the man away the same way he’d done Ron. “Fine, come in then.”
He didn’t bother moving to greet the man, he actually felt quite incapable of moving from his huddled up position since he moved into it moments after he’d entered the dorm. He heard Lupin cross the threshold and walk across to stand at the foot of his bed.
“So, Harry,” Lupin began uncomfortably, deciding to seat himself at the bottom corner of the bed. “You’ve obviously spoken to Dawn and read the prophecy by now?”
Harry didn’t reply, however the question was more rhetorical at the stage anyway, Lupin just had to take one look at the state of Harry and know that he’d discovered both pieces of life-changing news.
Lupin cleared his throat nervously. “Harry, I know this difficult but-“
” Harry interrupted, incredulously with a hint of sarcasm, speaking through his hands. “Difficult
doesn’t even begin to describe it... I-I’m too young, I’m only seventeen for Merlin’s sake and-“
“Dawn’s been going through the exact same thing,” Lupin pointed out, a hint of annoyance breaking through the usually calm exterior. “And has had to do so for the past five months, and although she is an incredible young woman, now she needs you there,” he took a deep breath, lowering his voice down a tone. “I understand that you need your time to get your head around it, but take some comfort in the fact that it doesn’t matter how old you are, all those fears and panic of an expectant parent are always there. And that is speaking from experience.”
“Experience?” Harry asked, lifting his head to finally make proper eye contact with the older man for the first time. “Is Tonks-“
“Pregnant, yes,” Lupin pre-empted. “And quite far along, too. I didn’t get to share the news with you before you had to disappear from the attack on Bill and Fleur’s wedding.”
Harry looked slightly more relaxed from when Lupin had first entered. “Then congratulations, I guess... I know that you’d make a great father to him or her.”
Lupin got up and walked over to beside Harry, placing a hand on his shoulder. “So will you, Harry, albeit a little earlier than you thought you would. Just give it all time.”
Harry appreciated that Lupin had confidence in him, but he still had trouble trying to imagine it, it certainly wasn’t something that he’d ever thought about, especially not in these circumstances either. Feeling slightly better, he pushed himself up off the bed and walked over to gaze out of the dorm’s window.
“Lupin, what about the prophecy?”
“I’ve tried my best to keep anyone from discovering the prophecy, even from members of the Order, I thought this best for Dawn and the baby’s protection... although I believe it’s only a matter of time before the secret gets out, despite my best efforts,” Lupin explained. “However, we can all be thankful that Dawn is here at Hogwarts, one of the safest places she can be right now.”
Harry dropped his head. “You know what the worst thing about the prophecy is?” Lupin remained silent, allowing Harry the opportunity to vent his troubles. “I’ve spent the past sixteen years with a life that has constantly been affected by a stupid, sodding prophecy. Just when I think it couldn’t make my life any worse, I lose another person I care about... so now there’s another prophecy and I-I,” Harry’s voice wavered. “I don’t want what’s happened to me to happen to anyone else, let alone my own kid.”
Lupin nodded sympathetically. “But think of it this way, Harry. Even if your child’s life was severely impacted by this prophecy, at least it will have a father who understands what it’s like.”