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Chapter 15 : It'll Be Funky Tonight.
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Breathing Chapter 15:
It'll Be Funky Tonight.
I told James what Splinters told me. He didn’t seem to be very fussed which worried me slightly. He told me not to worry but I don’t think he realised that Splinters was serious about it. He didn’t see his face. And I did keep worrying until James decided that a walk in the grounds would be a good idea. A nice, freezing cold idea, but never the less. We kept warm.
But he didn’t give it another thought. He was too busy planning the upcoming Quidditch match against Hufflepuff to really care about anything else. In fact, I barely saw him these days. I’d been giving practice a miss because it made me too uncomfortable to be near Splinters. Well, the way he looked at me, which was rare because he seemed to be staunchly avoiding doing so, was unnerving.
“Splinters is acting weird.” Becky confided in me one evening after the team had staggered upstairs “he’s all gloomy all the time!”
I just nodded sympathetically like I didn’t know.
It’s quite sad because I know he’s a nice guy normally. He was insanely sweet to me before this happened. But I didn’t say anything to Becky. She’s his best mate, so I don’t think she could take my side over his. I certainly wouldn’t take hers over James, unless James did something like…oh I don’t know, murder?
But forget that for now, because James and I were locked away in the astronomy tower. But don’t get carried away. We were in the middle of astronomy the class, so were reduced to making googly eyes at one another.
“Now,” Professor Sinistra said in her soothing, therapist’s voice “if you look closely and regularly, you will see Mars and Venus as they move in and out of alignment within the next three years. It is the first time this has happened in four hundred years.”
While I noted this on my chart without concentrating, something hit my hand. I looked down. A paper ball was sitting on my lap. I glanced at the professor nervously but she was fixated on her telescope. I unfolded it.
Pay attention and stop daydreaming about me!
How very sweet. Not to mention how very pointless. I recognised the handwriting. I looked in James’ direction. He was pretending to be very interested in the goings on of Mars and Venus and if I hadn’t seen the little grin he was trying to suppress; I wouldn’t have known for certain that he had written it.
I wrote beneath his line:
Same to you Jayjay.
And chucked it back at him. It landed in his lap perfectly and soundlessly. He scowled when he what I had written. I could already tell what his reply would be, and sure enough when I un-scrunched the paper this time, I saw don’t call me Jayjay you evil bint.
Now usually being called a bint would have upset me, but since it was James and since he obviously didn’t really think I was a bint I took it as a compliment. Still, I gave him a sneer, which he smirked at.
Once Professor Sinistra had deemed the lesson finished (because there is not a set ending time for her lessons unfortunately) we left with the rest of the class, but kicked around for a while until we were the last ones there. Then he surprised me.
“I think we should tell people.” He said. I looked at him sharply. He was looking right back at me, looking for my approval.
“Yes. I do, Charlie, I don’t especially like pretending I don’t want to bloody be near you all the time!” He said in a very passionate voice. It made me shiver.
“Have you considered how Demeter will take it?” I asked him. He rolled his eyes.
“Yes, I have actually and we broke up nearly a month ago! She’s not a nice person but she’s not one to hold a grudge Charlotte.” He hissed, keeping his voice low because even I could see he was close to shouting at me.
“Alright. We’ll tell people.” I said, biting my lip. He looked at me funny.
“You don’t want to,” he said in a resigned voice. I grabbed his hand.
“No, it’s not that. I just don’t want any drama.” I said, trying to reassure him. He smiled at me.
“There’s always going to be drama Char. I think it’s time you got used to living outside the library.” He said, an evil grin spreading across his face. I gasped in mock-horror and smacked him lightly on the arm.
“How very dare you!” I said, in my best Derek impression. He jumped away from me before I could do anything else, giggling like a girl. Then he turned tail and ran away from me, still giggling. I ran after him, trying not to laugh myself stupid.
“My God James, how girly is your laugh?” I said, as I caught up with him, flinging myself onto his back.
“My God Char, how heavy are you?” he said. I slapped the top of his head gently.
“My God James how slow do you run?” I shot back in a falsetto just to irk him. He let go of my legs so I slipped to the floor. I landed on my feet, biting my lip because maybe I had gone too far, when he turned round with a very intense look in his eyes.
Then before I had time to tell him I was sorry, he kissed me surprisingly lightly on the lips. This nice, innocent kissing became more heated, hot kissing, as we stumbled backwards so I was pressed against the wall. His hands snuck inside my robes, under my jumper and I could feel his hot hand on my back. Usually I would have freaked out about being in such an open space, but it was 3 in the morning (thank you Professor Sinistra) and our chances of being interrupted were decidedly narrow. Besides, my hands were in his hair and quite happily too.
And even if anyone had happened upon us, I don’t think that it would have disturbed us. James was kissing my neck and in between trying to get him to stop kissing me there and kiss me on the mouth, because I just knew I would end up with a hickey, I was kissing him back just as furiously.
“James.” I said breathlessly. He stopped kissing my collar bone and looked at me quizzically “stop kissing my shoulder for ten seconds.” And I kissed him hard on the mouth again. It was an end-kiss. And he knew it.
And somehow we were lucky enough not to get caught by anyone, even though we walked back to the common room, thoroughly dishevelled and talking far too loudly for it to be sensible.
I didn’t care, really, because when we got back inside the common room after waking the fat lady out of her snooze, he asked me “so, public or private?” and I smiled, and said “please Jay, let’s keep it private for a while.”
He nodded, even though he looked a bit disappointed. But I smiled apologetically, kissed him swiftly and dashed upstairs to my dormitory.
It was freezing. The wind was blowing a gale, and the smell of snow was very sharp in the air. But we are good friends and good Gryffindors and as such were sitting on an uncomfortable wooden bench in the Quidditch stands. Above us, streaks of red and streaks of yellow shot around the pitch like balls in a pinball machine. I could see James yelling at Bludgers to knock Dick head Davis off his broom. It made me angry when James ignored the manoeuvres I had no painstakingly created, but I didn’t care when Gryffindor were getting beat like they were. Down by 120. If the Puffers nabbed the snitch now we were toast and James would never forgive himself.
He was already feeling inadequate because in Defence the day before he hadn’t managed to conjure a patronus. I know he feels immense pressure to keep up with his parents but Merlin; he’s just as good. He needs to stop worrying. He never told me he felt like that, but I could see it in his eyes when my blob of white turned into something that could easily be anything from a horse to a cat and back again. But to his credit he hadn’t mentioned telling anyone about us yet. And Splinters didn’t seem to feel like breaking the news to Demeter quite yet, but I had the funny feeling that we were balancing on a knife-edge.
“AND THAT’S POTTER FOR GRYFFINDOR! 40-120! If Becky catches the snitch now, they could win!”
I could see Becky circling the pitch, and I could tell she was panicking. She would be the hate figure of the house and she knew it. It wasn’t fair, but it was true.
Then, Jamison, the Hufflepuff seeker dived. The whole stadium froze and there was a collective intake of breath. Beside me, Rose gasped, hands over her mouth in horror. Then I saw it. He was faking. One of them funny things that James knows the name of. Hey, don’t look at me like that. I hate Quidditch remember?
Ok fine. I don’t hate it, I just can’t play it.
Anyway. I could see the snitch. It was hovering above Dickhead Davis. Becky, on the other hand, hadn’t seen it. Then Jamison pulled out of his dive and gave her the finger. I was shocked. I knew that Jamison wasn’t a nice boy, even though I didn’t know him personally, but it was fairly out of order.
Madame Hooch saw, blew the whistle and called penalty. After a bit of swearing from Jamison and some threats from Bludgers and Splinters, James moved up to take the penalty for Gryffindor. The crowd exploded. Cheering from Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, even a couple of brave Slytherins. Then, everyone shut up. James was flying fast, the quaffle in his hand. He threw it. It curved an arc, before flying right over Dickhead Davis’ head into the middle hoop.
I made my throat go hoarse from cheering so much. But it wasn’t over yet.
“TEN POINTS TO GRYFFINDOR!” the commentator, a small ravenclaw was shouting, “come on Potter! Win for the love of Merlin!”
I laughed at that, but not fully because I was concentrating on the match.
Becky dived. She had seen the snitch. She had seen it! And she was a bloody fast flier so she was damned near certain of catching it! But Jamison dived too, and he flies like a demon. I held my breath.
“Char…” It was Rose.
“In a second Ro.” I told her, not looking away from the pitch as the two seekers flew neck and neck.
“No, Char.” She said, tugging on my sleeve like a child. I turned to face her. “What?” I snapped. She flushed “sorry Ro, what was it you wanted?”
“Malfoy asked me to be his girlfriend. Publicly.” She said in a tiny voice. I didn’t say anything. I guessed she must have been building up to this all day. I stared at her. I could see she was obviously terrified how everyone would react. She was scared, and it was plain on her face.
“GRYFFINDOR WIN!” screamed the ravenclaw commentator. I jerked back to the match to see Becky with the snitch in her hand. Then Bludgers lifted her onto his shoulders as she punch the air, screaming in victory.
I’d missed it. I turned back to Rose, only to see that she wasn’t there. She’d left.
I hoped I would see her at the celebratory party, because I felt guilty for not immediately pledging my support.
I set off back to the castle alone.
The common room was heaving by the time I got back. People from all Houses (not Hufflepuff, though; they aren’t thick) were filling our common room to bursting point. There was party food, banners with the Gryffindor lion, and some cracking music. But most of all there was a boy standing right at the centre of the room, who I was dying to just run up to, jump on and give him a nice big kiss. I couldn’t though. Because we were a secret. I saw Demeter Vane in the corner, chatting to her friends. To her credit, she didn’t even react when she saw me. Splinters gave me the evil eye from the stairs, where he was standing with Bludgers and Becky, who waved.
To my surprise, I saw Rose and Scorpius. To be honest, they just looked like they were having an earnest discussion but she was awfully close to him. She looked up just as I passed and I smiled in what I hoped was an approving way. She looked relieved.
I kept moving through the crowds. If Rose and Scorpius, who were a modern day version of Romeo and Juliet, could handle a public relationship regardless of anyone else’s feelings then it couldn’t be impossible to stop being a secret.
If they could do it, we could do it. And yeah, Lily might hate me, and Demeter might want to slap me until her hand fell off, but that was nothing compared to what Rose’s family was going to think.
James turned round when I pushed into the clearing. He grinned at me. I smiled back and then I hugged him, all the while my heart was thundering like a jackhammer.
“Well done.” I said, as I pulled back a fraction so I could look at his face. We remained like that for a few seconds.
“What?” he asked, one eyebrow rose dramatically under his floppy hair. I smiled.
“How’s this for public?” I asked, before stretching up on my tiptoes and kissing him firmly, in front of everybody in the room.
Well well. What does everybody think? I hope that was good enough :) I adore hearing from you guys, so please, please review and tell me your thoughts, ask questions or anything :) Oh and what does everyone think of the new banner?
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