CHAPTER 55: Pregnancy TroublesMature

Alice spent most of the next few days sleeping in the lounge chair in Snape's living room.  She'd start off reading but she couldn't help drifting off to sleep. 

Severus sat beside her and just stare in amazement at how beautiful she was when she slept.  Or sometimes he'd rub her belly and talk to the baby.  He wondered what it would be like.  What House would it be sorted into?  What would its skills be?  Would it be a son or a daughter?  He'd hoped the baby would look like Alice, for he didn't particularly remember what he'd looked like as a child, just that he'd been skrawny and poorly dressed.  But he remembered that Alice had been beautiful, he'd loved her since before they went to Hogwarts.  He'd always thought she looked like nothing he'd ever seen before, like an angel.

She stirred a bit in her sleep and curled over onto her side.  Severus stroked her belly.  The baby was growing every day.  He wondered how Alice could even stand or walk with how big her belly was getting.  The rest of her was still very petite, like she'd always been.  She'd always looked underfed for as long as he could remember. 

He remembered when they were fourth years and she decided she was fat and wanted to be anorexic.  She wasn't fat at all, she was one of the thinnest people he'd ever met.  She went nearly three months eating nothing, drinking only water, using stupid energy charms she'd read in a magazine to keep her awake.  She was so skinny, he remembered.  It made him sad to see her like that...a walking skeleton with skin and hair.  And even her hair wasn't her normal hair; it was frizzier and if you ran your fingers through it, it would come out in clumps.  Her blue eyes that had always seemed so bright even seemed faded and grey.  Her big, dimpled cheeks were gone, and her cheekbones jutted out of her face akwardly. 

One day she'd fainted in Herbology.  She fainted quite frequently, but this time they couldn't wake her.  Severus was told to carry her to the hospital wing.  He'd seen how skinny she was, how frail and weak...but nothing could've prepared him for this.  When he scooped her up in his arms, it was like nothing was there.  He even thought for a moment that he hadn't picked her up properly and she'd slipped back down to the floor.  But no, there she was, in his arms.  This anorexia needed to stop.  At the hospital wing he'd given her some chocolate and convinced her to eat again.  It took her the rest of the year to gain back all the weight she'd lost.  She started out at 115lbs, and at her skinniest she was only 75.

Snape looked back at Alice in his armchair.  He didn't like to think about things like that.

There was a knock on the door.  Snape wondered if it was Wormtail.  He wasn't home when they left Hogwarts, though Snape hadn't really thought about or cared where he was.

Snape opened the door and sure enough, Wormtail stood on his doorstep.

"Where've you been lurking, Wormtail?"

"The Dark Lord requested me to tell you of -- "

"Of the meeting this evening," Snape finished.  "I am aware."

"Oh," said Wormtail.  He walked past Snape into the living room and looked around at nothing in particular.

"Do come in," Snape muttered sarcastically to himself.

"What's this?" Wormtail hissed.  "Pregnant...The Dark Lord will not be pleased...She can't fight if she's got a baby on her hands now can she...?"

"You are not one to say what the Dark Lord will and will not be pleased with," said Snape, though he knew Voldemort wouldn't be happy with Alice's pregnancy.

Alice woke up with Wormtail looming over her, touching her belly.  Her instinctive reaction came before she could think about it and she punched him in the face.

Wormtail stumbled back, stunned and rubbing his nose.  Severus burst out laughing and had to lean on a bookshelf near the door.  Alice began to laugh, too, and Wormtail scurried upstairs.

"We'll be going to see the Dark Lord and the other Death Eaters," said Snape, holding out his arm for Alice.  She took his arm and they disapparated.  Snape made sure to focus especially whenever he apparated with Alice because if she splinched, she could lose the baby, and that would be devastating.

They appeared on outside the abandoned building the Death Eaters met at.  Snape held Alice protectively as the walked, her face partially obscured by the black laced cloak she wore.

He walked with Alice to the large hall where the other Death Eaters sat waiting.

"Hello SSeveruss. we've been waiting for your arrival," said Voldemort, dragging out the S's so he sounded like a snake.  Alice wasn't offended that he hadn't noticed her; she was actually glad.  She would rather be unnoticed by him.  But of course, when she moved away from Sev and sat down, he noticed her.

"Alice," he said in his serpentine voice, "I hadn't noticed you, hiding from me in SSeveruss' armss.  You look...different," he said, toying with her.  "Different from when we ssaw eachother lasst.  You and SSeveruss getting irresssponssible?"

"Are you refferring to me being pregnant, my Lord?" asked Alice.  It wasn't a question, it was obvious what he meant.  She just wanted to cut to the chase.

"Yess," he hissed.  "Pregnant.  SSeveruss iss the father, correct?"

"Yes, my Lord," lied Alice.

"Not lying to your masster, are we?"

"No, my Lord," said Alice trying to close her mind.  It was no use...she was never very good at Occulemency.

"You know SSeveruss iss not the father, sso why don't you tell uss who isss?"

"I -- really, that's...personal, I'd rather not -- "

Voldemort waved his wand through the air casually.  "SSeveruss knowss he iss not the father then, doessn't he?"

"Yes, my Lord," said Alice.  "He's known."

"I happen to have ssome Veritassserum...but let'ss not make that neccisssary."  He looked at Sev, a hungry look in his eyes.

"Draco," she muttered.  "It's Draco."

"Draco..." he said eerily.  Draco, who had been staring at the floor until now, snapped his head upright.

"What?" he said alarmed.  "I'm the father?"

If he weren't the most powerful and dangerous dark sorcerer in the world, Alice thought she might've punched Voldemort in the face.

"Yes, but I really think this is unimportant at the moment," said Alice.  There was no arguing with her.  Her tone was absolute.

"Very well then," said Voldemort, pleased with himself, having made someone's life more difficult.  "Let'ss get on with discussssing out infiltration of the minisstry."

The End

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