Chapter 9: Blaised

Maybe its a sign of weakness
When I dont know what to say
Maybe I just wouldnt know
What to do with my strength anyway
Have we become a habit
Do we distort the facts
Now theres no looking forward
Now theres no turning back
When you say

We Belong By Pat Benatar

Blaise was not having a good day. Today was supposed to be a fun little trip to Hogsmeade with Armani, alone. She had been basically ignoring him for weeks now, and she really had little excuse to do so. He had always been friends with people Armani didn't necessarily speak with, like Pansy for instance. So for her to stay so far away from him because he was on speaking terms with Draco was odd, and very disappointing.

He would never admit this to anyone, not even if he was tortured, but he enjoyed Armani's company. She was always interested in what he had to say, understanding, always took his advice, and could even tell that Armani needed him in a way. He was always attracted to girls whom had no self preservation. His only problem was that she needed Draco more than him, which made absolute sense. He had kindly brushed off his feelings for her, and they had remained close friends ever since. To this day, he saw Armaniska Kensington as a little sister, even though she was technically two months older than him. He was even surprised to find that Draco, who seemed to need Armani just as much as she needed him, had easily let go of Armani (about a month after she left) for Pansy Parkinson.

He had nothing against Parkinson. They were both friends, but that was about as far as it went. Pansy was a little too self-involved for his tastes, and she tended to leak any rumor she heard, merely because she could. Sometimes, those rumors would include him. She was a bit two-faced.

So when Armani had returned after Winter Holiday's, Blaise was very surprised to see that Draco was still with Pansy. He had assumed that Draco would have dropped Pansy like a hat for Armani.

For as long as Blaise could remember, Draco had been a bit of a toss pot. He had a way of making stupid moves and blaming the end result on other people. Blaise and Draco normally got on pretty well together, but never had he ever thought he would one day side with Draco. Back in September, on the very day that Armani had gotten the letter from her father that he would be at Hogwarts at half past nine to pick her up and go into hiding, Blaise had run into Armani leaving the Headmaster's office.

She'd confided in him, like she always had, while practically running to the Slytherin common room. Blaise thought it was stupid of her to even consider her father's plan. Running from the Dark Lord? He was insane to think he could! Plus, she had a much better chance of surviving by staying at Hogwarts, with Draco. She would be protected by her comradeship with the Malfoy family, but she wasn't sure she would be. Blaise had fought with her for the first time in the history of their friendship. And for once, she didn't listen to him. It was disheartening and he rarely ever thought about it now that it was over, but sometimes it would creep up on him. It was weird to think that even then she had been pregnant, and he hadn't even known, not that he could have known. She hadn't known herself after all.

It had been a nice return to normal to have Armani back in the school, and to see a smile on August's face the last few months, even if Armani had been ignoring him for a few weeks.

Somehow, Blaise had convinced Armani to join him at Hogsmeade, and he wasn't too put off by Draco joining them at the Three Broomsticks. It still gave him time alone with Armani after all. She'd seemed really happy for once as they walked, which was not something Armani had been since returning to Hogwarts. She had not guessed who his new obsession was, which should have seemed obvious to her. Wasn't he always asking, or checking up on her best friend enough for her to notice? He seemed to think he was asking quite a lot, but then again, Armani was a bit distracted momentarily by other situations. It was easy to see why she hadn't been able to guess who it was.

Then, they had gotten to the Three Broomsticks. All was fine, today seemed like it was going to be really relaxing, but Draco had to be a sod and ruin everything. What could have possibly possessed him to bring Pansy along? He knew Armani and Pansy were not friends, as much as we had tried to get them to be. It never worked.

He snapped. He, Blaise Zabini, had been known for his discretion and calm manner of being, had snapped. He knew that he was going to break a promise to Armani, but he couldn't let Draco play stupid childish games with her while she was in her position. He also found something fun about seeing the way Draco's eyes seemed to betray his real hurt when he had claimed Armani as his girlfriend. Of course, Blaise had to also add that she was pregnant, especially when Draco had practically called her a whore. He was surprised when she had bolted for the door. She had been winning the fight after all, or at least, Draco was losing. Then Draco had followed, so Blaise went after them both, knowing that a running pregnant woman never ended well. He was not surprised to see her passed out when he found them both.

They both carried Armani up to the Hospital Wing.

"Merlin, another student?" asked Madame Pomfrey as they brought Armani in. "Well, place her in the bed next to the other Slytherin girl."

"The other Slytherin girl?" Blaise asked as he placed Armani on the bed.

Draco started to take her shoes off, while Blaise was suddenly distracted as he glanced down at the Slytherin girl looking bruised and pale lying curled up in a ball in her sheets. "August." He said a bit breathlessly.

"Poor girl was found last night outside the library. No one knows how she got hurt, or who she was with when it happened." Madame Pomfrey said bustling around Armani. She started mumbling about conditions at Hogwarts, but abruptly stopped when she recognized Armani.

"What happened to her?" Pomfrey was asking now, a bit suspicious of the boys and of having not one, but two Slytherin girls out cold in her wing.

"She'd been a bit stressed out," Blaise said glaring at Draco. "She had given up on listening to us yell at each other, and ran from the Three Broomsticks. Not very good for her considering…"

All three of them finished the sentence. "She's pregnant."

"Well, not to worry. She should be fine. You two better leave so I can get her something. She needs the rest, however."

Blaise kept himself in check, and forced himself not to take August's hand, but instead to walk out of the Hospital Wing.

He had a pretty good idea at how August ended up knocked out outside of the library. She had been with Maven last night, he was sure of it, and he was going to have a word with the boy.

He'd believed August's lies about her bruises for too long. He knew she was not a clumsy person, he should have known better, but at least he knew how to correct it all.

A few hours later found Blaise heading back toward the Hospital Wing, where he would visit with Draco whenever he could, looking like a good best friend should, but really worrying about the girl in the bed opposite her.

I didn't open up my eyes. I knew I was awake, but it was too bright in the room for me to even consider opening my eyes. I just wanted to go back to sleep and let the bright room disappear; unfortunately I couldn't seem to fall back asleep. I sighed and tried to put my arms under my head. For some reason, I couldn't move my right arm though. I sneaked one eye open and saw a flash of bright blonde hair. I sighed again.

I would give anything not to have to answer any questions right now. My stomach felt nauseous, and my back was killing me, but I could take both if it meant that Draco wouldn't say a word.

"Armani." A voice called.

"Oh great." I thought and opened my eyes to find that Draco's head was planted in his arms, and that his voice was not the one that had called my name.

"Blaise?" I asked, but had to turn my head in the other direction. Blaise made a hand gesture that asked for silence as he lifted the hand he was holding. I looked to see who it belonged to, and recognized August's straightened black hair. I frowned, and wondered what August was doing there.

I tried to recall all that I remembered. I got to the point where I had fainted, but couldn't recollect anything about August. "Gee, I am such a great friend." I reflected.

"What happened?" I asked timidly.

"You fainted." Blaise answered shortly.

"I got that much." I said and gestured to August.

"Let's just say, she isn't with Maven anymore." Blaise's eyes gleamed with hatred, and I felt the need to back off.

My mind clicked to the conversation we had before Hogsmeade.

"Another Slytherin girl, eh?" I said with a smug tone. Blaise rolled his eyes for the second time since I had met him.

"Who did you think it was?" Blaise asked coyly, and I stifled a laugh.

"Would you believe I thought it was me?" I said, knowing how conceded I sounded.

"I would." Blaise answered. "At one point it was."

I furrowed my brow.

"When?" I said a little too loudly. Draco's head lifted off the cot. He looked completely drained.

"Morning," I said softly and noted how Blaise moved the hanging sheet between the beds so I could no longer see him or August.

"You're awake." Draco said drowsily.

"Back at you." I smiled. Draco returned it, and I had a moment of memory. That smile, that morning filled smile I had seen once before back at his house last summer. Somehow, I had gotten to see it again.

"You're pregnant." He mumbled.

"And it's half your fault." I replied. I wondered if he thought he had dreamt it all.

"So, I hadn't dreamt it all."

Sometimes I had to wonder if I was really thinking this stuff, or hearing others thoughts.

"No, unfortunately in a month you will have a son." I said and blanched. I had meant to keep that part a secret, I didn't even tell Blaise. I could only imagine him smirking behind the separating sheet.