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Breathing by flyaway
Chapter 11 : What a Circus!
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 25

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This chapter is plit bewteen James and Charlotte, describing the same time period from their separate points of view.  So no one get's all 'This has already happened' on me.  :)

Charlotte Phillips

I didn’t know where to go.  I was upset and angry and I’ve recently discovered that my brain doesn’t function so well when that happens.  I was completely torn.  I wanted to punch Demeter in the face, scream at her until she left.  But I wanted to tell James I was sorry, because I…oh did I love him?  I didn’t know.  I don’t know what love feels like. 

I found myself in the library not long after my exit from the Common Room.  God knows how I got there, but my feet seem to know the way on their own.  I didn’t know whether that was a good thing or not. 

But I managed to find the chair at the back of the library, where no one sits because the only books near it are the ones that are so old they can’t be used in lessons because they still tell you that Goblins are still at war with wizards even though they haven’t been for over two hundred years.  It was a miracle the books were still in tact but I suppose a mixture of magic and being left alone had saved them. 

I shook my head, pulling my knees to my chin and hugging them while I tried to force my thoughts into some kind of order that made sense. 

Was James blind?  Was he so stupid he couldn’t see past Demeter’s bloody looks and see that inside she was an utterly conniving, completely horrible bitch.  I’d wondered more that once over the past few weeks whether she had been plying him with amortentia but I knew she wasn’t clever enough for that. 

I froze, listening.  There were footsteps coming my way.  They were clacking, like pointy high heels made on wooden floors.  Demeter had arrived.  She was standing several bookshelves ahead of me, where I remembered seeing a Hufflepuff sixth year. 

I decided to eavesdrop. 

“Dem, what’s wrong?” the Hufflepuff was saying. 

“It’s James!” Demeter shrieked and I rolled my eyes “Or at least, his friend.”

I sat up, suddenly interested and throwing caution to the wind, stood up and crept the three shelves distance so there was one shelf separating Demeter and her friend from me. 

“The girl”?

“Yes.  The girl.”

I heard Demeter throw herself into a chair angrily. 

“Spill.” Said the friend. 

Demeter didn’t need telling twice.  She broke into this tirade of abuse, which frankly, was so obscene I don’t want to repeat it.  But she ended it with “that stupid seventh year bitch is trying to steal my boyfriend!  I mean, if she could just accept that he loves me then I’m sure we’d manage to get along.”

“So what are you going to do about it?” the friend asked. 

“I want to find James.” Demeter said “but the bastard has disappeared.  Probably to find her.”

Fuck.  Fuckadoodledoo. 

That means he’s left her so he can find me.  And if he is coming to find me then I was in trouble.  Fuck.  He’s going to be so mad.  Who was I kidding?  Of course he’s going to choose her!  She’s such a slag; she’s probably given it up in a broom cupboard.  I mean, what boy would turn a shag down so he can stick with his stupid, bad-tempered quidditch-hating mate?   I had to hide.  I had to hide like the mature seventeen year old that I was. 

Oh fucker. 


James Potter

Merlin.  I’m speechless.  Utterly and completely out of words.  I don’t really know what just happened, because my brain is still trying to process it.  All I can think right now is that I have never, ever seen anything quite like that in my life. 

There was shouting, a hell of a lot of shouting.  And canaries.  I have never seen Charlie get that angry.  Not even with Demeter.  Never.  She never loses her temper.  But I suppose things are a bit different now.  She’s been so strange this week.  I always thought out friendship was infallible, literally unchangeable but in the last few weeks it’s changed too much.  I miss her. 

I escorted Demeter to the hospital wing, because she had a ‘nasty gash’ on her cheek from one of Charlie’s violent canaries.  She complained about ‘that bitch’ the whole way and to be honest, I was finding it difficult to see anything nice about her by then.  I was struggling to see why I’d been going out with her for a month.  Sure enough she was sweet as sugar when we were alone, but whenever someone like Charlie, who could challenge her she turned into a monster. 

She was clutching the tiny scratch that ‘might scar’ and making me help her down seven flights of stairs to the ruddy hospital wing.  Over dramatics were never a plus with me, and that has not changed. 

“She was so horrible to me Jamsie!  I can’t believe her!” Demeter kept saying.  My head was throbbing and I just wanted her to shut her stupid mouth so I could think for half a second.  And Jamsie?  Why hadn’t I bothered to tell her that I hate nicknames?  My sister called me Jimmy and I turned her teddy bear into a spider when I was about eight and I was going through my erratic magic phase.  For some reason my Mum had been very, very angry with my uncles Ron and George.  I never asked why. 

Jamsie was worse than Jimmy.  Why was Demeter allowed to call me it? 

I sat outside the hospital wing while the newly reinstated Madam Pomfrey sorted her out and calmed her down.  She had shooed me away after Demeter had refused to stop clinging to my arm and ordered me to leave lest she would hex me. 

I left. 

So now I was sitting on a little wooden bench, with my head propped on my hands and the image of Charlie running from the Common Room in my head, on repeat.  I will admit that I was furious, but even now I couldn’t decide whether it was directed at Charlie herself or Demeter.  Infact, I couldn’t even decide whether I wanted to find Charlotte and apologise to her, or shout at her for being so nasty. 

Demeter was nasty too, I reminded myself. 

I let out a frustrated sigh. 


With a jump, I noticed Becky McOwen walking towards me.  She looked quite concerned. 

“Hey Beck,” I said wearily, making room on the bench.  She sat down next to me. 

“So what’s wrong?  Charlie attack Demeter again?” she asked.  Clearly she hadn’t heard about what had just happened. 

“You could say that.”

Becky smiled a little and then to my surprise said “good on her.” 


“James, I know she’s your girlfriend and everything but she’s a right skank.” The matter-of-fact tone was even more surprising than her words.  I can’t say I hadn’t been expecting something along those lines though. 

“But…I…does everyone feel like that?”

“Not everyone, but James, you can’t tell me you haven’t noticed.  She’s not a very nice person.”

“Well…I admit I wouldn’t have thought that Charlie was the kind of person who hexes people for fun…but I-” I trailed off as Becky rolled her eyes. 

“James, why do you think Demeter is so threatened by Charlotte?” Becky asked bluntly.  I gaped at her. 

“She isn’t threatened!” I spluttered but even as I said it I knew it was a lie. 

“James, wake up.  Demeter thinks Charlotte is out to steal you from her.  Think about it James, it isn’t such a farfetched idea.”

I thought about it.  And I couldn’t stop the sense of hope that maybe she was trying to steal me.  For the first time I let myself think about it. 

“And don’t ask me if she actually is, because I don’t know.” Becky said, just as I was about to ask that very question. 

I groaned, knowing that I was about to admit it to her but once again, she beat me to it.

“Do you fancy Charlotte, James?”

I stared at her, dumbfounded, even though I was about to tell her anyway, because to hear it made it feel real.  “Fuck.”

“You do…” Becky was smiling but softly.  Not triumphant or smug.  All I could think was fuck. 

“Fine!  Maybe I do, but what should I do about it?  Demeter might have said some horrid things but Charlie’s just as guilty.  She’s been pretty brutal towards Dem anyway.” I said and I could have sworn Becky rolled her eyes again “and I don’t know why!” 

“Maybe you should ask her yourself.” She suggested. 

“I can’t just leave Demeter.” I said, frowning “She’s really upset you know.”

“Oh for Merlin’s sake you complete fuckwit, you need to speak to Charlie yourself.” Becky said, clearly frustrated “and for the love of all that is holy, let her explain herself.”

And then Becky stood up and walked away, her long hair dancing down her back.  I leant back on the bench, cracking my head on the stonewall in the process.  With a grunt of ‘oh fuck’, which gained me a dirty look from a passing first year, who I glared at.  Stupid fucking Slytherins.  I was angry.  Really angry.  I didn’t know why.  I did know, however, that I had to find Charlotte.  Now. 

But I had to wait for Demeter first.  I stared at the wall opposite me, where there was nothing but a dusty suit of armour, which looked at me and said, “What are you looking at?”

I wasn’t surprised, even though it really isn’t everyday that an empty metal case speaks to you.  It was a slightly better experience than speaking to the depressed gargoyle on the fourth floor though. 

Eventually Pomfrey came out and told me I could take Demeter back up to the Common Room.  She emerged, a plaster over the tiny graze in her cheek and a face the colour of ketchup.  She was obviously still fuming. 

“Now, Miss Vane, there really isn’t anything wrong with you.  I suggest you return to your class.”

“I have a free period.” Demeter told her snottily. 

She grabbed my arm as soon as Pomfrey had released her and returned to her office. 

Before she could say anything, I wriggled my arm free from her hands and told her “Dem, I have to do something ‘Kay?  Will you manage to get up to the commons without me?”

A shadow of hurt, and then anger crossed her face.  “Fine.” She snapped, before stalking off in the direction of the staircases. 

I went towards the Great Hall, which was where I guessed I would find Rose and Lily who had escaped from the tower after the show in the commons.  I was right, and I found my sister and my cousin sitting at the top of the Gryffindor table with my brother Al. 

I sat down next to them and Lily snorted. 

“Here he comes, Mr Oblivious himself.” She said.  I rolled my eyes at her. 

“Hey James.  Demeter all fixed up?” Rose asked me very sarcastically.  Albus disguised a laugh with a coughing fit.  I glared at them all. 

“What’s up with you lot?” I asked defensively, not happy with my family’s reactions. 

“We just don’t think our…souls can resist being sucked out any longer.” Lily said slowly, her mouth twitching with a smirk she must have been fighting with everything she had. 

Rose smiled under her hair at a joke I wasn’t privy to, and I felt myself getting even more frustrated. 

“What are you talking about?” I asked loudly, pointing at them, accusing them.  Albus rolled his eyes. 

“Get a clue you moron,” he snapped, with uncharacteristic briskness.  I blinked. 

I stared at them, and felt strangely left out.  They were my closest family and yet they were all sitting, thinking the same thing and not telling me what the hell they were on about. 

“Fine!” I snapped, “Just tell me where Charlotte is.”

“We don’t know.” Rose said. 

“Yeah, why would we know?  Last time we saw her was when she dashed out of the common room in tears because of your precious Dementor.” Lily said, again using Demeter’s hated nickname.  I felt my face burn in shame. 

“James, go and find her, please.” Albus conceded. 

I rolled my eyes and pushed away from them with a groan of anger and hurried out of the hall.  My brother was nothing like me, but because of that he understood things much better.  Normally it didn’t matter all that much, but today I really could have used that.  I had to find Charlotte.  I had no idea what I was going to say to her, or even how I would feel when I did.  Whether I should be angry or upset or apologetic. 

For some reason, my head was all muddled. 

I sat down outside the Great Hall, behind the statue. 

Where the hell was she?  As I sat wondering, I heard voices coming towards me.  Two people, a girl and a boy by the sounds of it. 

Then a giggle, and a breathy ‘David’.  I realised who it was and wished that Charlie were here too.  Yvaine Lennox and David Bleach.  He’d given in.  She was giggling and he was…well I didn’t want to know. 

“Let’s go to the owlery.  It’s so private.” She whispered.  He laughed quietly. 

“No, the bell’s about to go.  It’ll be flooded with first years sending letters to their mummies and daddies.”

I didn’t listen to the rest of the conversation because a thought had struck me.  Where else was so out of the way?  Where else would she hide? 

I got up, and pushed past the two of them, who were now engaged in a game of tonsil tennis, and ignoring their ‘hey!’ ran from the school as fast as I could without falling over the stones on the pathway. 

I knew where she was. 

I quickly turned the corner and climbed the steps two at a time and walked into the tower room, where there was no roof and rows and rows of owls. 

So what, two updates in three days?  You have to love me now.  Seriously.  I apologise for the last few paragraphs.  They're a bit muddled, but it should reflect his thought process.  I hope that's what it does. 

i was itching to get this out, so here you are.  Now i'm off to bed.  Dont forget to review! 

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