33. Legacies

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It was becoming harder and harder and harder for me to deny the fact that I was in some serious trouble

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It was becoming harder and harder and harder for me to deny the fact that I was in some serious trouble. Over the past few weeks I  had to start using a concealment spell in order to start hiding the beginnings of a distended stomach, which only meant Henry had been right about my accelerated pregnancy.....

....which meant time was running out.

Without George and Fred there to take my mind off the haunting thoughts that now plagued me every waking minute, I was forced to deal with all the emotional baggage I was carrying all by myself. Harry seemed to have his own set of issues, with Ron and Hermione worried about his well-being as well as Umbridge making is life a living hell now that she had the reigns in hand at Hogwarts.

Not that I was better off in any way.

Perhaps the opposite was true. Where Harry was openly defiant towards the Ministry Official, I was forced to watch in silent disapproval as Umbridge wove her web of power around the school. I probably hated her as much as Harry did, but I managed to keep a low profile, despite Dolores's many attempts of catching me off guard during the DADA classes I had to spend in her company. I couldn't risk the health of my baby by defying her and risk getting caught in whatever system of punishment she was currently establishing for those who refused to obey by her iron regime. I'd already almost had a miscarriage, and my many sleepless nights and deteriorating health were not exactly helping my case. My body was fighting itself, it seemed, consuming me from the inside out as the child in my womb fought for its existence. 

Which left me with little options. I'd been unable to spend much time in the company of Severus, and I was still trying to figure out if that was intentional or not. I'd been avoiding him a little, I suppose, feeling guilt creep up on me whenever I saw him looking at me in a certain way. It appeared that we'd reached some sort of uneasy truce, one in which Severus trusted me enough to want me around on occasions instead of our eternal bickering. And yet, I couldn't bear the thought of looking at him, knowing that our child was growing inside me at that very moment. I should have told him. But I'd made my choice, and there was no going back now. Not after all I'd sacrificed to keep it a secret. He was already risking his life as a double agent for Dumbledore, and didn't need all the distractions and complications that came with my pregnancy.

And that in turn meant I was on my own. 

Without Albus at Hogwarts I had only Minerva to turn to, and I couldn't tell her the whole truth either. I was afraid of seeing the judgement, the pity, in her eyes if she happened to find out the truth. I was scared of losing one of the few friends I'd made over the past few years. Not to mention I had to keep  up the ruse of being a student at Hogwarts, which meant no sneaking around after curfew unless it was absolutely necessary. With the Ministry keeping such a close eye on the occurrences taking place at Hogwarts, there was no telling what would happen if people found out who I really was. 

I was starting to feel trapped, closed off, without any remaining options, and the thought was terrifying. I'd never felt so alone, and I cursed myself for having gotten into such a situation. I was over two centuries old dammit! How did it get so far? When had I become this pathetic hopeless person?

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