Chapter 1 : Some Little Mermaid
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My newest one-shot. I hope everyone enjoys it. It's Next-Gen and the main character is James II, if anyone is confused.
This is for maliiia.'s Silent Challenge over at The Golden Snitches.
This will be made into a novel and it will start with James meeting Lia.
I hope you like it. Please let me know if it's worth the trouble.
When I met Lia Corner, she was an amusing toy to everyone. When she was eleven and boarded the Hogwarts Express, I remember she was three compartments down from me. She made the trip on her own. Actually, she was always on her own, never in the company of anyone else. It wasn't that she was freaky or anything because - believe me - she wasn't. She always had this angelic feature about her, something that made her seem like a shy girl waiting to do something against the rules. We just thought she was shy, so we let her be.
She was sorted into Ravenclaw and I Gryffindor. I didn't know anything of her, albeit her name, nor did I make any attempt to change that. I had my cousins and my own friends. Hell, I was too excited to finally be at the Hogwarts my parents were always talking about, and I was overwhelmed by the number of kids who thought I was the coolest thing since pumpkin juice because I was Harry Potter's kid. I'm also ashamed to admit that I took on the groupies and fan girls in a much too cocky manner.
Don't worry - I wasn't ever one of those who conceited kids who jinxed kids in the hallways for fun. I did different things though, I did like to have my mischief, but we'll get into that later.
When Lia entered my Charms class and automatically began to use silent charms, I realized being shy wasn't the case. Not only that, but tiny 'ole Flitwick even gave her special attention. Soon enough, the nasty jokes about her turned into cruel rumors, but somehow her father, Michael Corner - whom my mother had dated for a brief amount of time during her period at Hogwarts - had managed to keep the truth about her a secret.
Around Hogwarts, she seemed to have no one, but there were whispers about the few kind kids who gave their sympathy to Lia and claimed to be her friend.
Truthfully, I never paid much attention to her until my own little brother, Albus, whose ass I don't regret kicking right then and there, began tormenting her and whatever disability she had. It wasn't until the middle of my seventh year when that happened. After that, I tried to make up for my brother's actions, and I learned the truth behind Lia's silence. She was a mute. Had been since birth and always would be. She hadn't made a single sound her entire life.
I felt for her. I held sympathy for her beyond imagination and we began to silently teach each other the things no one else could. She taught me sign language. She became my friend and, eventually, something more.
That was how I came to stand here on this very day, staring at myself in the mirror.
My heart is throbbing and my lungs feel like that have been tied into an unreleasable knot. I can't breathe, and I don't know what the reason is - maybe I'm excited, maybe I'm nervous, maybe I'm second guessing.
I pull down my black blazer and try once more to settle my untameable jet black hair, the hair I inherited from the Potter men. When I was eight and my brother Al five, Al tried to dye his red hair black because he was paranoid about not being a real Potter man. He did it somehow without anyone noticing, but it went horribly wrong, and his hair was green for months. Mum was furious.
I grumble at my uncooperative hair, and my father strolls in through the door to my bedroom. He is dressed in khaki slacks and a nice maroon, button down shirt. Dad always hated ties. He smiles at me and comes to stand by my side. I gaze at our appearances in the full length mirror, tilting my head to the side and measuring myself up to my father, Harry Potter.
Dad was always short. I stand a few inches taller than him, our hair the same, our smiles the same. I have my mother's nose and my grandfather's eyes. Other than that, we are the same. The corners of his thin lips tug up into a proud smile. One of his hands sneaks up to my shoulder and gives it a gentle squeeze.
With that little squeeze, I know what he is thinking, what he is saying. He's proud of me. The tears in his eyes illuminate that emotion perfectly. I smile back and pat his hand lightly. Our small exchange of actions is enough to cover a thousand words, enough to say what we're thinking and let it all out.
He's proud, that much is clear.
He fades from my bedroom with a smile swipe at his eyes. When he's gone, my shoulders fall and I sigh. I lean against the mirror in my bedroom and slide down, not worried in the least if I may put creases into my pants. Lia would freak - her wedding has to be perfect - but she would forgive me eventually.
I love Lia. I do. I find a happiness in her that makes my heart acellerate until I think I may faint. I feel like I have a place in life when I'm with her. But what am I missing? What is lacking from my relationship with her? Are there more downs than there are benefits?
When I was young and imagined myself getting married, I envisioned the woman I would be marrying. She would have red hair maybe - I could mimic the woman my father and grandfather found before me - or she would be brown haired. I always fancied the brunettes. She would have striking blue eyes with the face of an angel, and her voice...I wanted her voice to put me to sleep. That woman was nothing more than a dream, a fairy tale.
I'm not trying to say that Lia isn't a dream. She is. In her own special way. But I always imagined hearing the woman I would marry saying those two words: I do. I imagined her shouting yes to my question when I proposed, I imagined her telling me she loved me every night, I imagined her whispering or shouting she was pregnant with my child when the time came.
I never - not once - imagined this outcome. A woman who couldn't reply with a joyful yes, a woman who couldn't say I do, a woman who couldn't tell me she loved me, a woman who couldn't ever say she was carrying my child. A woman whose voice I would never hear. A woman who could only speak to me by spelling out her speech through hand signals and sign language.
When I officially felt attracted to her and realized it when I was down by the black lake with her, I wished for her voice to magically appear. I wished she was just like that Ariel princess who exchanged her voice to be a human for three days and, when she kissed that prince Eric, her voice would return. I wished she was Ariel. But I had kissed her and there was still no voice to be heard. There had been silence except for the drumming of our breathing and our hearts.
But then I realized that was all right. Having her with me was enough, having that feeling she gave me in my heart was enough.
I love, Lia. I do. There are just so many disadvantages to our relationship. Perhaps they are worth it. I had to know.
That was why I rose from my feet right then and there. I ran from my bedroom and down the hall into my sister Lily's. Our wedding was to be held in the backyard, and while the preparations for the wedding were under way, Lia and I had been separately preparing ourselves for our big day.
I catch the back of her curly head before she spins around to view her visitor. Her face went from ecstatic to horrified. She waved her hands around her face, shielding herself from my view, and went to hide from me. I let the door slide shut and I raced to snatch her before she locked herself in the bathroom.
She beat at my chest, her mouth moving, but no sound coming from it. I know she would have been shouting if she could. I calm her, running my fingers through her curls as she settles against me. I take in her beauty. Her brunette hair is thriving with her energetic curls and clips in the shape of butterflies decorated with diamonds are fruitful in her hair. They bring out the glossy blues in her eyes. Her make-up is thin as usual, and this pleases me. She knows I hate it the more make-up she wears.
A silver, butterfly necklace bordered with diamonds hangs from her neck the perfect distance from her throat to the lace of her strapless dress. It is white, bordered with intricate designs of lace and beads. She sparkles when she turns, the sun glinting off of it. She is beautiful. Her veil of lace trails along behind her, clipped into her hair with a large diamond clip. On one of her thin, pale wrists is the bracelet I gave her when I was nineteen for her birthday. It is a silver chain with one single charm, a heart that reads:
I embrace her and bury myself into her sweet scent and warm skin. She struggles in my grasp and still disapproves of my being here. When she is in my arms, all thoughts and doubts about my life with her fade. She is what I want.
She brings me back to to the earth, to my embrace with her, by slapping my chest and pulling away so she can speak to me in her language. Her hands move fast, skilled. I still have trouble keeping up with her speed even though I could spell and read sign language fluently for four years now. What are you doing in here? Get out. It is bad luck to see me before the wedding, she spells.
I smile and kiss her forehead. Her hands drop to her side and I shake my head, tucking back a fly away curl. I close my mouth and use her own language to reply to her. My hands are slower, less skilled, but still move at a fast pace, too fast that my family still can't keep up. To hell with tradition. I needed to see you. To tell you I love you and I wouldn't be anywhere else on this day.
She blushes and smiles, buries her face into my chest to hide her silent giggle. She releases a heavy breath against my neck and I know she has forgotten tradition too. The hair on the back of my neck stands up. We separate once more to speak in our own way. Her hands are once again at a lighting pace. Just don't let anyone catch you in here.
Typical response of her. She was never the rule breaker, always the rule follower. We are polar opposites in that field, but they always said opposites attract, right? I smile and begin to spell as slowly as I could muster, for I wanted to be sweet, but I wanted to spit out the three truest words I ever could. I love you.
She raises onto her tip toes and her arms sneak around my neck. She pulls my head down and we absorb ourselves in a silent kiss. In that kiss, I know she doesn't need to spell it out for me. She loves me too.
When we draw apart, Lia faces me like there is something missing between us. We both know what it is. Anguish and pain washes over both of our faces and she folds her arms across her chest and sits on Lily's bed in her depression, twiddling with her thumbs in her lap.
I kneel down in front of her and take her hands into my own. Her skin is smoother than satin, and her tiny hands fit perfectly in mine, like I am meant to be here with her, I am the blanket that keeps her warm.
I draw my hands from hers and spell slowly, hopefully. Speak to me.
She opens her mouth, and I can tell she is trying, but no sound emerges. Not even a gurgle. Not even a sigh. I don't know what I was hoping for. Well, I do. I was looking for a miracle, but that didn't come. All it was was a hope. Her blue eyes swell with her tears and she sniffs, doing her damnedest to hold back her tears.
I feel awful. I've made her cry. I jump up onto the bed and take her into my arms. I rock her back and forth as her shoulders heave with her absent sobs. Her hands move fast, spelling over and over. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I catch them in my own and shake my head. Stop this.
She sniffs and nods. After a few moments of apologetic silence, her hands move slow this time. Why me, James?
I cup her cheeks and turn her gaze towards me. She wipes at her runny eyes and her lips tremble with her confusion and sadness. I smile, for she is perfect and she is mine. I kiss her slowly and passionately. I run my hand down her cheek, down her lacy dress. I want to kiss her until the sun melts against the horizon. I want to kiss her until time has reached its end.
I kiss her harder, kiss her softer, kiss her in every way possible. There are no words for this moment.
Because she knows why her.
I love Lia. I do.