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Chapter 4: Wedding Frustration And Cherry Toxication
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Wedding Frustration And Cherry Toxication
Flying on a carpet is not at all complicated as everybody makes it out to be. It's actually more simple than flying on a broom. When you fly on a carpet, you don't feel pain in certain areas, nor do you have the need to clench to a piece of wood. You just sit back and enjoy. Thank Merlin, I'm good at apparating so I don't need to resolve to such untrustworthy measures all the time.
And what's even more brilliant about this particular carpet ride is the fact that people are watching me and admiring my courage. I don't really understand their fascination. But who cares? They love me. Is a reason really that necessary?
"It's nice. Being famous. Isn't it?"
I jump up at the voice and almost fall down. I can hear people gasping, afraid for my life.
I turn to his annoying face. "James! I could've died!"
But he ignores my feelings and is persistent to share his. "Tatum, I need you."
I freeze. He gazes at me with that broken look in his dark eyes, the gold shining through just slightly. This got me. Every. Single. Time.
But not now. 'Cause this time my evil side, blinded by pure hatred, emerges from deep inside of me. "Well, too bad, because I don't need you."
And I push him out of the carpet,not thinking clearly.
When I realize what I've done, though, it's too late.
I look down, panic overtaking my body and scream at the top of my lungs. "James!"
Something hits me hard in the head and I close my eyes, the pain killing me. When I open them again, I find that I'm no longer on my enchanted carpet but in my flat, with Ash hovering over my body, a curious expression on her face.
I lift myself up, still fuzzy from the dream.
But one memory is still very clear. "I killed James Potter!"
Ash snorts. "Sorry to shatter your fantasy, but unless you apparated to his apartment this morning, there's no chance you did such a thing."
She trows me a copy of some trashy celebrity magazine with James and a girl gracing the cover of this morning. And it so happens that her name is non other than Vanessa.
"Oh." I blink at the picture of them sharing a smooch, my insides twisting. "Well, that's good to know."
No, it's not.
I stare at the distance for a while. "I need to see my life couch again."
Ash sighs frustrated. "It's called a psychologist, Tatum. No point in denying that you desperately need one."
Ash Accioes the magazine back possessively while I pout. "And by the way, if you don't get ready in five minutes, you'll be late again."
I jump to my feet and start my already traditional fuss over my over sleeping and lack of clothes to wear. I catch Ash rolling her eyes numerous of times. Well excuse me, Miss Perfect. Like she's never late! ...
Ok, she isn't. But that's not the point, anyway. Wait. What was the point again? Oh, nevermind.
The fuss ends in me dressing into an uber ugly yellow skirt and a white jumper.
I glance at Ash.
She sighs. "What now?"
"I guess I have no time to eat?"
"No!" She garbs a pillow and trows it at me again with force. It hits me right in the face.
"What was that for?"
"I don't know!" She yells back. "You make me do meaningless things, Kenward! Now move it, for Merlin's sake!"
I smirk. She frowns. I'm positive she's wondering about my devil's plan. I'm an evil genius, after all. I point my wand to the kitchen, a silent Accio breakfast following quickly. In the meantime, Ash doesn't respond quite in the way I expected her to. Instead, she's smiling back at me, her hands crossed in a smart arse kind of way. What the...
And... crash. Or does is sound like splash more? I use my free hand to try and get the strawberry pie (with cream) off my face. When I succeed it's only to be met with a hysterical Ash, almost rolling on the floor from laughter. It's only been ten days since her last charmed pie hit me in between the eyes. I guess it was still too early to let my guards down again.
After tucking my wand away, I apparate as quickly and gracefully as I can. I'm not in the mood to be mocked. Not that I ever am. But do I have a choice? I mean, those pies are really something else (When they're actually on my plate. Not my face.). I can't help it!
I walk into the 'Daily Prophet' with the hope that I'm clean and I stride down the hall as proudly as I can manage. Since, you know, I just had a killer dream (Literally.) and a circus clown episode. But I smile to myself. 'Cause... Finally. I'm home.
My ever-seeing journalist eye spots Mr Wood talking to an elderly lady with peculiar glasses in the hallway. They seem to be on their way to her office, wherever that might be.
I flush a little. Not because I have a thing for older, married, hot (Well, I have to give him that.) men. But because I've always wanted to interview him. Well, not always, but since I got into the whole Quidditch journalism thing. Oliver Wood may just be my prize to win in this job.
I finally get to our office, all chirpy and enthusiastic to start.
Just when I'm at arranging my notebooks in rainbow colors, James storms in, frantic. He waves his wand around the room, casting numerous spells. After taking a deep breath, he sits opposite me. I raise an eyebrow at him.
"Crazy fan girls." He explains smiling with relief, sure that he's now safe.
I sigh and return to sorting my belongings into the desk. With one thought standing out in my mind. When exactly will I go completely crazy? Because I will, there's no doubt about it. If James keeps acting like this and his fangirls keep popping up everywhere he goes.
Maybe I should really visit my life couch again. Merlin knows I could use some advice. It's been a long time, after all.
The Summer Of 2023
I sat on the chair-couch-like-thingy, looking around with doubt. The room was almost pitch black, a red light shining over it. Old books were stuffed into the corners and the two chairs had colorful buttons sewed into them. A life sized bear was staring at me with his blank eyes from beside the table. Ok. And she's supposed to tell me I'm crazy? Hell no!
A wacky looking woman strolled into the room, her eyes running over her notes. I hoped she was just a lost assistant. Or a pizza delivery lady. What? I was kind of hungry!
"Miss... Kenward?" She asked, finally glancing at me.
I wished she didn't, though. Her eyes had this scary shade of gray that made me want to run for my life. Way, way far from her.
"Yes." I muttered.
She smiled in response. It didn't make things easier. She had quite a loony smile.
"I'm Mrs Bolt." With that, she quickly took one of the stools and sat down in front of me.
Way too close. I thought I stopped breathing for a second there.
"Don't tell me. You're heartbroken?"
I blinked, my mouth open. How did she...
"How did you...?"
"My girl." She smiled again.
This time it seemed warm and comforting. And maybe just a little bit sad, too.
"I've seen enough heartbreak in my life to be able to recognize it from miles away."
In that moment, I forgot about how crazy she seemed to be at first. I just knew I could trust her. Plus, she was my dad's second girlfriend. That should count for something, right? Not that I trust dad's love choices. I mean, I love mum. But she's kind of a loon, too. Well, to be fair, we all are. Even if just a little.
It was that summer that Mrs Bolt and I started a strong friendship. The summer I hurt the most. The summer I decided to hate James and destroy him. It was also the summer before the one when I fantasized about strangling my boss, Blossom White. Ok, not really. Maybe just breaking those atrociously pink nails of hers.
... Like I said, we all have our... days. Nothing unusual.
It takes me a while but I finally realize that James's been staring at me.
Damnit. I'm still flushing!
"Nothing, just..." He tilts his head to the side slightly in that cute way of his. "It feels wrong being here when there are people out there that actually want this job. Just like you."
I try not to, but I still smile, positively surprised by James' conscious waking up suddenly.
"That's actually nice of you."
He smiles back, but then remembers something else. "Oh, by the way, you're meeting Rose after work. You're finally going dress shopping."
I gape at him. Well, it was extremely short lived. R.I.P. James, the nice and considerate guy. James 'I always have my way!', welcome back.
"But I didn't even agree to that!"
"Don't worry. Rose's fashion sense has evolved since Hogwarts. You won't end up being named 'The worst dressed wedding guest'. That will, again, be Mr Lovegood." He nods his head at me, reassuring.
"No, James! I meant, I didn't agree to go to the wedding itself!"
James snorts. "Of course you did."
I shake my head. "No. I didn't."
"Yes you did." He assures me again.
He frowns. "Then, who told me she'd gladly accompany Rose and buy a dress with her?"
He suddenly shuts up, becoming quite pale. "Oh. I'll need to talk to Vanessa."
Great. Just bring up Vanessa now, too. I missed hearing about her.
"Blimey, being drunk hasn't done good things for me lately."
I roll my eyes at his stupidity. 'Cause... really?
"Besides," I add. "Your brother Albus surely declined to go with me."
"Al?" James laughs." He's the least problematic. I think he's finally realizing he's getting old."
"James, you're almost eleven months older than him." I remind him.
"Exactly! I'm so far ahead, he feels ashamed at his failures." He beams.
I shake my head in disbelief.
James then decides to pull the big guns out. His sad eyes.
I. Hate. Him.
"So, will you go to the wedding, then?"
"Why do you insist so much, anyway?"
I don't know what I'm expecting he'll say... Or maybe I do too well.
He shrugs, a genuine smile spreading over his handsome features. "Al's my brother. And Rose is like my sister. I just want them to be happy."
The worst part is that I know he's being honest.
Seriously? Can he make things any harder for me?
He smiles again.
Apparently, he can.
It seems that James Potter will always be just a little bit enigmatic to me.
I sigh frustrated at my lack of will. "Fine! I'll go."
"Great!" He beams. "Rose will pick you up at the entrance hall."
Did I say this morning that I'm an evil genius? Try James Potter. He's the devil!
* * *
Just as promised, Rose shows up at the entrance hall. She looks effortlessly breathtaking, her red coat flowing out of her wavy her and her eyes brighter than ever. She smiles warmly at me.
I take her hand and nod, trying to not think of anything. Especially not about how easy it is for James to manipulate me. It scares the crap out of me!
And so we apparate away to... Diagon Alley, which looks colorful and live in return. Mums with little children are strolling down the road, their Fast-changing-balloons bouncing in the air. I suppose it's a WWW invention. They dig the whole childish angle these days. Young couples holding hands, lovingly gushing about their lives together. Even the rare goblins that are probably rushing to their work places, being in the afternoon shift, seem rather joyful.
It all just makes it even harder for me to feel bad at all.
"We're going to 'Padma's'." Rose explains on the way. "It's the best and most suitable place, trust me. I wouldn't want to drag you out all day."
She turns to me and grins.
I smile poorly in return. "Thanks."
Rose suddenly stops. I almost run into her, not realizing this.
"You didn't agree to go, did you?"
Did I really sound that poor?
"I-" But nothing else comes out.
Come on, Tatum! You're a Slytherin! You should be cunning and-and... stuff.
"Merlin! James can be such an idiot!" Rose yells, attracting quite a bit of attention.
"No!" I stop her madness.
Gosh, she's still got the worst temper.
"I want-I want to go."
She inspects me, unsure. "Really?"
"Yes! I mean, why not? I'll get the scoop. That's priceless."
Well, it really is.
Rose's frown slowly turns into a smile again. "Great! Then let's go shopping!"
Thank Merlin she's not that hard to convince.
Mrs Padma is actually a quite lovely lady. No, it has nothing to do with the fact that she said that I have a nice figure. I'm not that desperate. No matter what Ash says!
The store is medium in space and bright orange in color. It hurts my eyes pretty badly, but I say nothing. Even so, it's stuffed with people. Of course, mostly women. Two of them are even arguing over an unique piece of clothing at the corner. Cue yelling and... interesting choice of words.
I blink at them. But since Mrs Padma is ignoring them hard, I try to do the same. She picks out a strapless red dress for me, assuring me that the knee length would 'suit me perfectly'. I believe her. I mean, do I look like I know better than her? Didn't think so.
I go to the changing room, Rose and Mrs Padma following me and chatting outside.
"So, Rose... Only two more weeks. Are you excited?"
"Oh, yes! I can't wait! Scorpius is just... perfect. Everything is perfect."
My heart sinks.
I'm not jealous, really. I just... Ok, I want that, too. How come I don't get to have it? What's wrong with me?!
... Ok. Don't answer.
"Well, good luck at still thinking that ten years into your marriage." Mrs Padma answers.
Rose laughs. "Oh, come on. I've seen you and Mr Thomas. You look like a pair of teenagers."
I step outside, impatient. And a little sick of the happy love talk. A mystery to me, really. Well, if you don't count Gail. And I don't. Breaking up during our interview with Cormac McLaggen (As the hottest single guy under forty.) could probably imply that it wasn't an all too healthy relationship.
"Wow, Tatum. You look beautiful." Rose gasps.
"Thanks." I reply gratefully.
"It looks perfect on you." Mrs Padma agrees. "So is this the one then?"
The one... I force a fake smile that's hurting my face slightly.
"I'll take it."
As we land on the frisky air, I take a deep breath in. Gratefully, it calms me down.
I should be able to act better. I'm usually so good at it. I don't know what it is with this bloody day.
"Are you all right?"
I turn to see Rose watching me, hesitation dancing in her eyes.
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"You're a little pale." She informs me. "Why don't we have a cup of tea together?"
I shrug. I guess a cup of tea never did anyone harm, did it?
What was I thinking? Of course a cup of tea can't harm anyone. That is, anyone but me.
We enter the Leaky Cauldron, Rose happily strolling to Hannah Longbottom, the pleasant wife of our Herbology teacher at Hogwarts, Neville Longbottom. Or Neville Lovelybuttocks, as we liked to call him. What? He had a nice backside.
While they're blissfully chatting (About the upcoming wedding, I'm sure.), I sit down to wait for the waitress. And that is exactly where the chain of awfully stupid events of that day starts to unfold.
Number one. The waitress forgets to bring ANY sugar so I can put it in my tea. I know, I know, I'm being picky. But seriously? Isn't that her job? It's not like I said I wanted a gold-colored, bubble-gum-tasting, vanilla-smelling overflow in it or something like that. Merlin!
Number two. A guy actually bends down on his knee and proposes to his girlfriend. Right bloody next to me! Rose is in happy tears, beaming at the couple, while I'm glaring at the gorgeous ring. The guy makes this overly sweet speech about how he wanted to propose to her in the same place he realized he loved her.
Bleh, I want to puke.
And third... Wow, I'm actually not feeling that well. For real.
Rose turns around to me and gasps.
"Ok, Rose, I know I'm pale. It's not that..."
"Merlin, Tatum! You're swelling up!"
And then I realize. I look at my tea which has the color of a flaming red...
"Is this tea by any chance a cherry one?" I ask the waitress, already gasping for air.
"Y-yes... W-why?" She stutters.
I don't get to answer as I fall on the floor like a cut tree.
* * *
Ouch. The bloody light is just too light. It hurts my bloody eyes.
"Don't worry. It's just a side effect. It'll wear out really fast."
Did I actually say that out loud?
I open my eyes. And there it is. The most emerald pair of eyes looking back at me. I stare at the slightly amused smile for a second, until I register where I am and who I'm gaping at.
"Albus Potter?" I mutter, feeling a tad out of place (Try that a lot. Last thing I know, I was at the dark and too stuffed Leaky.).
I also then remember James' words-'Not even my brother Albus, the ultimate Healer could help...'
Oh, so I'm at St. Mungos?
He nods his head, the thick black hair getting in his eyes a little.
Did I say that out loud, too?
"You should lay back down." He smiles.
I then realize that I've been nearing his face and lifting my whole body from the bed. Whoa... When did that happen?
I decide to listen to him this time around, but still protest verbally. "I'm fine."
"You're allergic to cherry."
"It was nothing."
He spins around to give me a serious 'Don't argue with me.' look. So I shut up immediately. He scares me a tad. Well, all the Weasleys and Potters do.
I look around instead. The room is spacious and maybe the white just adds to it. An empty bed is resting on my right and at the left is a little red headed girl just staring at me.
"You have crazy hair." She says in that annoyingly honest way children always do.
I gasp. "Well, you... You have..."
"Honestly." Albus cuts in. "You're going to argue with a child? An ill child by that?"
I shut up again but am tempted to break the silence as the girl sticks her tongue out at me.
"Wait..." I realize. "I'm in the children's department? Really?"
Albus breaks into a short laughter. "No. Jade here just likes to sneak out of her bed and come here to chat with me."
I stare at the monster child. She smiles back evilly. She's good. So little, yet so astute. I'm smelling a Slytherin here.
"I'm sure she's a delightful company."
Albus walks to me again and hands me a glass with some weird red liquor in it.
"Isn't it obvious?" He teases.
I sigh and snatch the glass, pouring the awful thing into my mouth.
I make a face. "Disgusting."
Jade shakes her head at me. What?
"That means I made it just the way it's supposed to be. Good."
I disagree by frowning, then look around the room again. "Why am I the only one here?"
"Well, we had some emergency cases this morning but nothing too much, really."
"So, it's a bad day for you."
Albus sizes me steadily. "On the contrary, it's a good one."
He's a peculiar one.
I wonder if he still has that coat with him. And if he sneaks out when life becomes too much to handle. I'd love to have one. Not that my life is eventful in the way that I would ever require one, of course.
It's then that I remember something's missing. Or rather, someone.
"She, um... " Suddenly, he becomes slightly nervous. Which makes me nervous. Albus looks like the reasonably composed type. This is not looking good for me.
"She had an episode... earlier. She kind of freaked out when you fainted."
"What did she do?" I utter, afraid for my well being.
Albus picks his wand and slides the curtain, that's been hiding the other beds, with it.
I gasp. Dozens of presents are laying on the rest of the empty white sheets.
Jade squeals and goes to rip them open without asking. Hey, I know she's just a sick child. But still. It's a little rude.
"Oh, Merlin." I shake my head.
"She may have also fled to..."
"What..." I look at him in despair.
He hesitates. "Gather the whole family to see you."
That's when we hear a loud thud in front of the door.
"Ouch, Fred! What the fuck?! Learn how to apparate properly or, I swear, I'll hex you so bad you won't know what hit you!"
"Lily!" The older voice says, clearly shocked.
"Come on, Ginny. It's not like you were any better."
"Ron! Ginny, he didn't mean it like that."
"So you haz to meddle in everyzing, Hermione?"
"I'm not meddling! He's my husband! And Ginny's my sister in law!"
"Yes, Hermione. Thank you for those never heard of before facts."
"Oh, come on, Angelina! You too?"
"Will you all just shut up! I'm getting married!"
"Oh, trust us, we know." Says the annoyed voice, obviously through greeted teeth.
"You also almost let a person suffocate to her death." Adds another one, a little more immature.
"I did not!"
"Bloody hell, I always fall for that one." Concludes the male voice miserably.
I turn to Albus in pure fear.
He smiles, his eyebrows raised in amusement. "Good luck handling the crazy."
I seriously, desperately, scared-for-my-own-life need a drink. I'm sure there's some legit liquor in that potion cabinet of his. If not...
I. Hate. You. James Sirius Potter.
P. S. Someone tell my family I loved them deeply and that I will never forget them. Ever. Thank you.
Oh! And don't forget to kill James The Piggish Pig Of All Pigs for me. Why did I ever feel guilty about dream-killing him anyway?
apparently straight from her death sheets.
P. S. P. S. No, I am most definitively not being over dramatic. Trust me.
Ok, ok. If you insist.
The twentieth of July, 2025
"Merlin, Tatum, stop pulling your dress down."
I glared at the tall female, smoking her last cigarette like her life depended on it. You know, like sucking it and all.
Her nicotine drive was not damaged even by the fact that we were hiding in a bush. A very uncomfortable bush by that.
"Mind your own business, Ava."
"You will never get anywhere with an attitude like that."
I smirked. "Just watch me."
"Jill!" Marc ran toward me breathless, following a loud shriek coming from the ballroom of the house in front of us.
"Apparently Mr Weasley had a small argument with the Minister and his wife said that he's a stubborn arse!"
"What are you waiting for, Jill?! We have to move! I have my camera!" The boy looked like he'd piss right there from all the excitement. "Boss will love us forever!"
I started running with him, almost knocking myself down when my dress decided to stay in the bush without my body in it.
"You do realize that Mr Weasley and his wife always yell stupid things at each other and then kiss afterwards? Like, the whole night. That's what I've heard, anyways."
"Jill, do you realize that we need this job?" He glared at me.
I thought about it.
Then shrugged. "Meh. What the heck."
I regret to this day that I stumbled upon the fight-love scene of Mr and Mrs Weasley in the Minister's ballroom. It was the scariest thing I've seen in my entire young life.
So, I'll say this only once again. Trust me. When it comes to the Weasley-Potter clan... it's always a better choice to stay away than not to.
But as my suckish luck likes to toy with me, I have no choice. Or, you know, I would have. If I'd just say 'no' to James once in a while.
Nooo... it's just my Karma.
A/N: Sooo, how did you like it? :D Tell me in a review!
Thanks for reading!