Merida trudged down to breakfast, her eyes red from crying and her hair a knotted mess. She ignored the shocked looks she was getting and served herself a plate. They would pass it off as a nightmare over Cedric, she was sure. So long as one of them figured out the true reason she was crying Merida didn't care what they thought.

"Merida? Er — are you alright?"

She shrugged, not meeting her brother's concerned gaze. She wasn't alright and knew it. She was still experiencing morning sickness, had just been torn away from her love, and the only person who could help her was her loves enemy. She wondered if that was her fault. Had her leaving caused him to follow the path that led to her parents deaths and war?

Guilt gripped h before she reluctantly shoved it behind her occlumency shields. She'd had no control over his actions. She could hold no guilt over something he had done of his own will. She was not at fault and had no reason to feel such crushing guilt.

She curled one arm around her stomach. The glamour charms she'd been wearing ever since her stomach started to expand kept others from being aware of her condition. Merida had only told Walburga, who had taken her to see a private healer. Now, Merida knew she would need to speak with Madam Pomfrey. In this time, she would be due during December.

"Merry? Merida?"

Merida glanced up and caught her brothers gaze. The concern there made her swallow thickly. What would Harry think? Would he be happy for her? If she could bring back her love, would he accept it? Or would he hate her because she loved their greatest enemy?

She wished Dumbledore was there. He had always been good at giving advice when she needed it. Even if he could drive her up the wall with his blasted riddles — she always knew Dumbledore would be happy to see her.

"Yes, Harry?" She asked quietly.

"Nightmare?" He inquired softly.

She nodded. It was easier that way. Harry couldn't know, not yet. Maybe after the baby was born. Her heart thudded at the thought. He was going to hate her. She knew it. They were all going to think she betrayed them.

She pushed her plate away abruptly and bolted from the room, stomach churning. Morning sickness. She hated it with a vengeance. It was becoming the bane of her existence.

Over the course of the next few weeks, everyone in Number 12 could tell that something was wrong with Merida. She was subdued, often coming to dinner or breakfast with red eyes. The bags beneath them from lack of sleep seemed to darken as time passed instead of fading. They all worried, but none of them could find her to attempt to find out what was wrong. She hid herself away in her room, only coming out to eat.

Then one day, Merida came into the drawing room. They were all gathered there, talking quietly. Merida appeared in the doorway. Her hair was a mess, her emerald eyes were bloodshot. Her shoulders slumped like she carried the weight of the world.

She made her way to her brother's side. She curled up beside him, her fingers knotting in his shirt. Her wrapped an arm around her. No one said anything when she joined the conversations, speaking softly.

From that point on she seemed to gather strength. Her eyes stopped showing signs of crying and she caught up on her sleep. When Harry was cleared at the ministry she celebrated with the others. When Hermione and Ron were made prefects, Merida congratulated them and told them she had enough to worry about without having the honor of being a prefect.

Her smiles grew more genuine. But there were moments — small seconds — when they noticed her confusion over events. They'd mention something small that was happening in the world and she'd look confused, like she couldn't remember it or it was new to her. Sometimes, she spoke about events from fifty years ago as if she was there.

Her bother thought it was odd. He watched her reactions, studied the way she acted. Odd, he'd think. She's acting odd. He kept his suspicions to himself, but he worried. Between the new locket around her neck and the new clothes that she seemed to have, he knew something was up. But she brushed off any questions, told the others she'd bought the clothes with the Dursley's. And when she looked at him pleadingly, silently begging him not to tell, he kept his silence. He trusted his sister and Merida would tell him eventually.