Chapter 12 : Smashed Pictures
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Dad’s always told me that I have my grandfather’s ears; a knack for trouble and apparently hearing things that will get me in to it. My hearing is perfect, yet that didn’t stop me from repeating over and over to myself that I’d heard wrongly, almost considering it my new mantra.
Turning away from the door I came face to face with Albus. He smirked and looked me up and down with a look of amusement. It was always a touch confusing to me how we looked so different, yet still so much like our father at the same time.
“Eaves dropping again, Jay?” he questioned.
I resisted the urge to hex him for his mocking tone and instead snapped at him, leaving him speechless. “Mum was right; it never does you any good.”
It worried me that having only listened for a few moments I caught something that intimate, what was the rest of their conversation like? They’ve been in there for over an hour.
Things seemed to fall in to place; we’re not as close as we were. I have known it for a while, but I’ve never wanted to admit it. Every time the thought came to me I would push it back; Charisma is the one person that I don’t want to lose. The letter she didn’t want me to see, sneaking around with fucking-Harper – the Hogsmeade piggy back rides.
How much is she keeping from me?
After storming up to my bedroom and slamming the door shut behind me, I regretted the fact that I had turned down the option of a lock on the door all of those years ago when it was offered by the contractor. Privacy wasn’t something I had craved at the age of seven.
My eye caught the picture on my bedside table. It was an old photo, taken by Elle’s camera when she was obsessed with taking pictures. I had a large cut on my arm – covered up of course - and Charisma had two scratches down the left side of her face. It was only days after the full moon and I was still in the phase of trying to figure out how to deal with her.
What she became when the moon came out was a monster; she wasn’t my best friend. But the way that she looks at you, she breaks sometimes and vulnerability shines through. She will turn back in to who she is for simply a moment and cry; and that is why is hurts so much – to see her in such dismay over something so devious.
Yet, despite it all, we stood in front of the camera, both tired, both ill and pale, with smiles on our faces and only happiness in our eyes. I knocked it from the table, letting it smash against the wall and fall to the floor.
I thought I would feel something as I watched it break. But there was nothing, no sadness, no smile, no envy. Nothing. I walking to my window and opened it. Evie’s voice became louder and louder as she approached my room; she was calling my name.
I grabbed my broom and flew.
Damn Teddy Lupin and his damn inspirational speeches. We left the kitchen and I couldn’t help but automatically look for James; he wasn’t there. I looked over at Lily who shrugged and pointed towards the stairs. I thought about going up, but Evie was sitting on the sofa, so he was on his own. I pondered the thought that it was strange, but then considered that if he had sent his dearly beloved away, he probably wanted to be alone.
Lily got up from sitting in front of Albus on the floor, handed him her girly fashion magazine and happily walked over to us.
“Hiya, Teddy.” She gave her god-brother a quick hug. I had forgotten that we had cut ourselves off from the rest of the house as quickly as we had.
With his usual cheeky grin he ruffled her hair. “Hello, Lillers.”
Jumping straight to the case she asked, “What were you talking about in the kitchen?”
Teddy and I shared a knowing look.
“Well, after planning your death,” Teddy listed off on his long fingers. “We then discussed the probability of running away together and producing many wolf-like and soddingly-poor deformed children.”
“And the probably came to?” Lily questioned. Teddy answered ‘high’ as I claimed the opposite. “Okay then, shall we discuss these ‘deformed children’ of yours? Am I godmother?”
“They’ll be deformed alright, especially with you as the godmother,” Evie muttered, yet just loud enough for us to hear. “Are you sure you want to put them through that?”
Lily retaliated by sticking her tongue out. I put my hand over her mouth and turned her back to Teddy and myself. She grinned as if she had just won the most challenging argument she was yet to face. Evie sneered and went upstairs, for a reason that I’m sure didn’t involve jumping out of the window – much to my dismay.
“The evil girlfriend, I take it?” Teddy inquired with possibly a little too much volume.
“Teddy Lupin.” Harry scolded, looking up from what I had counted as his third mug of tea in two hours. “Don’t talk about our guests that way.”
Ted apologised with a sheepish grin before visibly squirming. “Hold on, Wolfy, is that the one that you punched in the face?”
Lily and I visibly cringed while Albus seemed to make gestures to Teddy that read a mixture of ‘backtrack’ and ‘shut-up’.
“You didn’t tell the ‘rents that did you?” Teddy asked slowly yet he already knew the answer.
I shook my head and placed my hand on his shoulder. "No, Ted, No we didn't."
“Sweetie, you punched her?” Ginny asked with slight disbelief as she placed a light hand on to my shoulder, quite literally shoving her godson out of the way with a force that caused him to topple over the sofa.
Albus stood up and tried to calm the look on his father’s face. “She deserved it; she called Lily a whore, Dad.”
“Thanks Al.” Lily said looking furious.
It was as if Albus had expected any other reaction that the one he got. His father’s eyes narrowed, “She did what?”
“It right after she called Wolfy things such as a conniving little bitch and a whole array of colourful names,” Lily worsened, pushing her brother back on to the couch. “I can handle myself, Dad.”
Albus kicked his sister in the shins. “She is the she-devil. You should hear the things that she says to us, especially Charisma.” Albus turned away from his rant to his parents and then turned to me. “Chic, she treats you like dirt and you let her.”
I scoffed. “Well when she’s around, James is happy, and that’s all that I care about. I can put up with the stuff that she says to me.”
“What like the stuff that she said to you on the last day of term?” Albus carried on.
“How do you know about that?” I asked, slightly astonished. “Scorpius promised he wouldn’t say anything.”
Albus shook his head, shaking his glasses that were perched on the bridge of his nose. “No. He promised you that he wouldn’t tell Lily, he never promised keeping his mouth shut to anyone else.”
“Bloody Slytherins,” I practically hissed under my breath.
“Wait what did she say?” Lily crossly asked “I’m feeling incredibly left out right now. Why and what am I not being told?”
“She was just being evil,” I said in a sorry attempt to calm her down. “You would have eaten her.”
“That’s what we want Chic, how many times do I have to tell you, we want her to leave, DEATH TO LEWIS!” She stated, stepping forward towards me like she was at ends with the world.
I stood aside and let her charge straight past me and send mocking signals of murder up the staircase towards Evie and James. “See, see what you did Teddy?”
“Lily Potter,” Ginny scolded, swatting her youngest child with her famous hand. Never say that about anyone, I thought that I raised you better.”
Harry guided me towards the sofa and sat down next to me, forcing his godson on to the chair opposite. “Charisma, you hit her?”
“It wasn’t exactly Charisma that hit her.” Albus admitted. “She was recovering from a full moon and, well, you can guess the rest.”
“Oh, sweetie.” Ginny took me in to her arms, taking the seat on my other side.
“I felt so guilty.” I admitted as I collapsed in to the sofa cushions.
“Yeah; you even apologized for it, after all of the horrid things that she has done to you.” Lily moaned.
I pulled away from the motherly hug that I adored so much. “It was the right thing to do.”
“The right thing to do, you heard what she said to us, in front of everyone at Hogsmeade no less.”
“Lily, it wasn’t everyone at Hogsmeade. It was a handful of students.” Albus tried to reason.
“Yeah, and a bunch of first years.” Lily muttered under her breath, “and with her language.”
“You told Fred to sleep with a helmet!”
I let out a frustrated cry. “Look, the bottom line here is that James is happy with the tramp as a girlfriend, and we should be happy for him. So will everyone just suck it up and deal with it?!”
I heard Harry lightly chuckle to my left. “Wolfy, I’ve never seen you take charge before.”
“Yeah well, I bet you never thought that I would smack James’s girlfriend either.” I replied. “Can we please drop it, I already feel guilty enough as it is.”
“Of course, honey.” Ginny agrred. “I honestly can’t believe that my son’s girlfriend is like that, maybe if he saw it.”
“Oh, he’s seen it.” Albus said. “He was there when she got hit, he just keeps on missing the threats that Lewis is throwing around.”
“Threats?” Harry echoed.
“It’s nothing; please can we just move on, nothing will happen while we are here.” I said.
“It’s not here I’m worried about.” Ginny admitted begrudgingly. “I will move on if it is what you want; I know you can all handle yourselves. But I’m not being nice to her.”
Lily fell back in to the arm chair, pushing Teddy forward an inch or two. “You rock, mum.”
“I hear that you have good aim.” Teddy brought back up again.
“Teddy!” was the cry of unison, some in a groan others in a shout – and Lily’s light hearted laugh.
I couldn’t knock the feeling of absolute embarrassment; the Potters knew of the shameful antic that I had hoped I could simply forget about.
Then it came.
Evie charged down the stairs. “He’s gone!”
“What, Lewis? Who’s gone?” Albus said calmly, holding his hands to her, trying to calm her as if she were a rogue animal at the zoo.
“James, he’s gone,”
“Gone where?” I asked dimly.
“The market … in the name of Circe you really aren’t the bright crayon are you?” she let out a bitter laugh. “I don’t know where he went; he didn’t exactly leave a note. His window is open, his broom and missing and he’s smashed a picture – bloody school boy tantrum.”
Ginny’s expression was one of disapproval; she was used to James dossing off and skipping out for days on end; he always came back. But even I had to admit that it was strange that he’s smashed a picture; he loves pictures. He calls them ‘captured memories’, strangle insightful for a boy whose chosen the devil as a girlfriend.
“What picture?” I asked.
Eive scoffed. “Does it matter?”
“Yes,” I pressed.
“It’s the one of you and him, where you really need a bath; I get that you were both young at the time, but honestly, is it so hard just to wash? You look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards.” At the sound of Harry clearing his throat, Evie sighed. “It’s not a moving picture; it’s a muggle one.”
The wolf picture.
Then it hit.
Childish, I realise.
Yet upon hearing Evie approaching, I realised that I didn’t want to speak to her, or deal with her, at all. But the factor that astounded me is how much I wanted to hike up my socks and just run away – something I’m sure that Godric Gryffindor himself would be completely ashamed of.
Throwing aside my pride I condemned myself to trouble and made my way over to Freddy’s by way of broomstick – not exactly a short trip.
It all seems so unreal; Charisma isn’t someone that I have ever considered in any other way but platonic. Anxiety will haunt me forever, I’m sure. She makes my decisions for me, sorts out the problems that I cause; she’s always the one to pull me back when I go too far. It made sense – as much as I hoped that it wouldn’t.
Ice attacked against my face, cutting against my skin; not a pleasant feeling, about as pleasant as I was feeling. The wind rapidly tore through my hair pulling it in to any direction that it felt like. Maybe I should listen to Mum; I need a haircut.
Landing on Uncle George’s front lawn I tore up the grass beneath my feet – Fred did it frequently at our house, I considered it pay back. Knocking on the front door it was quickly wrenched open by Aunt Angelina, George’s teenage crush. Behind her, Roxy, Fred’s little sister, was sat on the couch, seemingly unable to tare her face away from the television.
“James, darling; we’re we expecting you here?” despite asking she hurried me inside and pulled my wet jacket off of me and hung it over the radiator. “It’s all been a bit hectic lately; George thinks he’s made a new product for the shop, but in reality all he does it blow up the fuse box every time he turns it on.”
Angelina had encouraged her family to live in a muggle environment; hence the appliances – much to George’s demise. Still, to this day, he knew nothing of the muggle world. Despite the house being muggle in the way it’s built, it’s out of the way of the local area, allowing the home-made Quidditch Pitch in the back garden accessible at any time of the day.
“That’s Uncle George for you,” I replied dryly.
She pulled her wand from her cardigan pocket and dried my hair with a simple flick – I’m sure she’s used to doing correction spells; she lives with both Fred and George.
As if to demonstrate her point, the lights in the house went down and were instantly followed by two digital clocks, the TV and a distressed cry from Rox.
“George!” Angelina cried.
After the crash of something falling over and the opening of a door, George shouted back, “Sorry, love. It won’t happen again! I’ll just go and find the flick switch!”
With her eyes closed, and a wary expression on her face Angelina turned back to me. “He’s said that four times already, tonight. The boys are in Freddy’s room. Dinner will be ready in half an hour if you wish to stay – and if the oven still works.”
I nodded my thanks with a brave smile and charged up the stairs towards Fred’s room. Without waiting for an entry grant I pushed open the door and found the boys sitting by the light of a homemade fireball, suspended in the air of burning newspaper. It had seemed they’d given up on the electricity and turned to magic for light.
“Knock much?!” Fred bantered, throwing a non-active Quaffle in my direction.
Catching it, I threw it back and closed the door in a huff.
“What’s got your knickers in a twist?” Kyle asked nosily, shoving Drew off of the desk chair and sitting on it himself.
Pushing himself up off of the floor and sitting by the fire ball, Drew gave it a prod and looked me up and down. “Of course he’s not alright, chaps; can’t you see he’s in mid-cycle PMS?”
Ignoring their light laughter I sat down on the end of Freddy’s bed and pushed the Quaffle from his hands. “You know didn’t you? You all knew.”
“Be specific, mate.” Fred requested. “I know a lot of things, not sure about these two though. They’re not the bright crayons in the bo-“
“I resent that!” Drew replied. “I’m smarticle!”
He crossed his eyes and poked the fireball once again; embers fell down to the dirty carpet. I sighed. “About Charisma, you knew about … it.”
“It must be serious,” Drew summarised. “He used the full name.”
Kyle stradled the chair and twisted his wand between his nimble fingers. “Know what? Did she finally muster the guts to tell you about Nate?”
My brows furrowed and I felt my mind reel. “What about him?”
Running my hands over my damp jeans I felt Fred’s gaze on me, I wandered if the look read ‘don’t get my bed wet, you twat’ or something similar, but it wasn’t; it was a look of absolute confusion.
He shared a looked with both Kyle and Drew before they all went back to trying to make themselves comically busy. It was obvious they weren’t supposed to tell me, or possibly know themselves.
“What happened with Harper?” I asked again, a firmer tone to my voice.
My absolute demise for that bloke wasn’t something I hid; it was open gossip. I found him needy, annoying and somewhat pathetic. He was a prefect and stuck by every rule that was ever written about the school – I’m sure he’d even stick by Umbridges rules if they were re-instated. It wasn’t just that he was the Captain of the opposing team; there were other reasons too, perfectly valid reasons.
Coming to the end of my tether I didn’t mean for my voice to break as I begged, “Tell me.”
“Circe, no need to cry about it.” Drew teased, leaning back on to his hands. “They were out one day talking about thestrals and shit when they decided to suck face. I’m not jealous, Kyle.”
I noticed the look of absolute disbelief on Kyle’s features. “Thestrals and shit?” he echoed. “Not only should I inject a sarcastic remark here about your lack of subtlety, but also about what an interesting conversation you make it seem they were having beforehand to lead to snogging.”
They continued to argue in their usual ways while Freddy stayed remotely quiet. See, I know the fact that Chaisma has never kissed any one before, this would have been her first kiss – but I couldn’t help but wonder, if she’d kept this from me, what else has she kept? I tell her everything, but she doesn’t seem as attached to me as she used to be.
I narrowed my eyes at the two arguing boys. “What the fuck?” I practically breathed, pushing myself off of the bed and joining Drew on the floor.
“Dixie told me that Charisma was really confused about it.” He said.
Kyle shook his head. “Yeah, but after ranting about women’s rights for half an hour, Ellie told me that it was a good kiss.”
“Okay,” I replied. I wanted to feel relieved, somewhat, but I couldn’t help but feel a little screwed over.
Freddy leaned forward off of his bed and almost pushed off the duvet in the single movement. “What are you talking about?”
“Yeah, Potter we thought you’d kill the bastard. That’s why nobody told you.”
I shook my head and chewed on the inside of my cheek for a moment, trying to read the headline on the burning paper. “Yesterday I probably would have – but I overheard Charisma and Teddy talking in the kitchen today.”
“You used extendable ears didn’t you?” Freddy questions, I shook my head and so he tried again. “Then you had your ear pressed up against the door.”
“That’s beside the point,” I dismissed. “She and Ted were talking about how she liked me.”
“Obviously,” Drew sounded out. “She’s been your best friend for almost six years now; if she didn’t like you, she wouldn’t have stayed.”
“Not like that,” I rectified sharply. “I mean in a way that isn’t platonic, in the way that I like Evie.”
Fred snorted. “Honestly, I don’t think that Charisma could ever like you in the way that you like Evie.”
“Exactly,” I agreed, but he looked a little apprehensive before muttering something that sounded like ‘for a shag’. I chose to ignore it.
After a short pause, where Uncle George had apparently turned the house lights back on as Roxy’s cried to delight could be heard from the kitchen, Kyle spoke again. “And?”
“And what, man?” I questioned. “That was big news for a while, I thought Charisma was in love with me for a while there – had me bloody worried. But my heart attack has been put on hold since now I know she likes Harper, which we will have to do something about by the way. I can’t believe that you haven’t already-“
“So, you don’t like her at all, then?” Freddy interrupted. “At all in that way?”
“No,” I snorted. “I never could, it would be awkward – like me falling for Lily. A bit sick.”
It seemed that I’d said something in an alien language as the three of them once again shared looked of confusion. Drew looked as if he’d been sucking on something sour while Kyle picked at the holes in his jeans.
“Fred, if you ask me that again-“ I threatened with no consequence. “Seriously what’s wrong with everyone tonight?”
Sorting out his duvet, Freddy sighed. “I don’t know, I guess, we’ve just always-“
“We just thought that, well-” Kyle took over after Fred stopped blabbering. “-you would, well, like her … more.”
“We all thought that you want to father Charisma’s children.”
“Not that far, Drew.” Fred fixed in a low voice.
Kyle stood up from the desk chair and sat down next to Freddy on the bed. “I guess we’ve just always thought that the two of you would end up together in the end – the power couple.”
“Even the parent’s think it,” Freddy said before I had the chance to state my case and rectify their assumptions. “Your mum was making jokes with mine last summer about planning your wedding – Teddy offered to take her down the aisle, Dad said that you might want him as your best man, but I said that I’ve got that position. I have right?”
In the midst of the darkened room I was sure that he could see my slightly disgusted expression. “Don’t you think that, that is a little off point?”
“Actually, I think it’s dead on.” He replied. “I’m the best man right?”
Shaking my head I gave an exasperated sigh. “Think what you like; I don’t love Wolfy, and that’s all I need to know.”
“Shall we have pink napkins or blue?” Fred chimed in a voice that was raised several octaves to impersonate who I am sure was my mother.
I got up to leave but stopped at the door way. “If she likes Harper – the bastard – what was she talking about with Teddy?”
“You know her and Ted,” Freddy stated with a grin. “Last year I walked in on them discussing what would happen if a Hippogriff decided to mate with a penguin and what danger rating the Ministry would give the offspring. Then they began to role play the meeting that would have taken place.”
“They are a bit odd,” Kyle agreed. “I’ve never actually met Teddy, but he seems like a top-bloke.”
I nodded in agreement; Teddy was the older brother that I never had, a top-bloke he most certainly was. “Freddy,” I began. “What was the thing that you knew ages ago, about Charisma? Just after she punched Evie – you said-“
“Oh, yeah.” He recalled, cutting me off. A habit I hoped he wasn’t picking up. “I’m not telling you.”
“Fred, it’s really important.”
He shook his head. “No, James, it’s not. It’s her privacy. Dixie told me in confidence and I’m not letting on. You’re going to have to find out for yourself. And if you’re not going to stay for dinner, at least let Mum know.”
“To be honest, mate,” Kyle began, looking out of his bedroom towards the room where George was on the other side of the odd-shaped house. “I don’t think that she’s ever going to get the oven working; the electricity’s down again.”
“I’m ordering a pizza.” Freddy settled. “Has anyone seen the transmit-communication device?”
“You mean your phone?” Drew questioned, at Fred’s eager nod he pointed towards the windowsill. “It’s over there.”
I stood next to Kyle and leant against the window frame. “Do you think that Charisma will even remember; she’s pretty forgetful.”
“Trust me,” he pressed. “She won’t forget this one.”
“You know about it?”
He let out a short laugh. “Jay, she didn’t need to verbalise it for me to figure it out.”
It was difficult to think straight thoughts without lacing them with obscenities and rude words. James was gone, and I wanted to cry.
“Where on earth could he be?” Ginny complained. “And don’t you dare say anywhere Teddy Lupin, I’m not in the mood. It’s been hours; we should call my brothers.”
Harry laughed gently. “You don’t need to call the search party yet, Gin; telling your family he’s missing would be similar to calling out S.W.A.T; he probably just wandered off for a bit.”
“You’re right,” she settled for with a deep breath. “He’s probably just having a bad day.”
“Him, having a bad day? Mum seriously-“ Lily moaned from her casual position on the sofa. “Look at what he’s caused us; that is what I would call a bad day.”
“Lily Luna Potter-” Her mother scolded. “-you are completely correct, in the name of Circe; he is dead when he walks through that door.”
A triumphant grin grew on her features as she picked back up her magazine with an approving nod as her parents walked in to the kitchen, Harry comforting his wife.
“You’re pretty smug right now, aren’t you?”
She tried pitifully to hide her smile as I muttered the words to her. “You’re joking, right? The great James Potter is finally going to be punished. I’m loving every second and I am going to milk it for all it’s worth.”
“Well, that’s childish.” Evie mumbled from the other sofa.
Lily’s smile suddenly looked forced. ““I’m sorry Lewis, have you got something to say”
“No.” she answered shortly, filing her nails and not taking her eyes off of the tips – not even to return Lily’s grin.
Ginny pretended that she didn’t just see her daughter pull rude gestures and faces towards their guest at that point, and Lily didn’t seem to care that her actions hadn’t gone unnoticed by her mother.
“Lily,” I warned. “Don’t be mean.”
“Listen to the hippie.” Evie said smugly. “Pull that face again and I’ll remove it.”
It seemed that she had seen Lily after all. “Make a threat like that again and I’ll toss you out on the street you tit.”
“What did you call me?”
Teddy sighed from the armchair, still not having moved from earlier in the day – ‘he’s seventeen, he’s probably just gone for a sulk over something’, his words not mine. He has refused to do anything about it – and spoke up, “She called you a tit, Circe woman, get your ears checked.”
Evie dropped her nail file and rushed to pick it back up again. “Excuse me?”
“If I have to repeat Teddy’s point then I’m only reiterating it,” Lily snapped haughtily – big words for a fourteen year old. “Or is it just that we need to slow down their argument, so someone of your intellect can handle.”
“If I wasn’t in your house right now, you wouldn’t even be able to imagine that things that I to do to you.”
“And you have the audacity to call me childish and pathetic,” I began. “Can we please drop this, all of us – Teddy you’re twenty six, it’s not alright to join forces in an argument with a fourteen year old. We need to find James. He could be in trouble.”
Lily sighed. “He’ll be alright Chic; I should have known that you were worried underneath your smile. He’s James Potter, he’s an arrogant twat, but he can handle practically anything.”
“And how exactly do you think that he’s going to react when he finds out that his little sister, God-brother and best friend were treating his girlfriend the way that they are, because as usual, Charisma you’ve joined in the back on an argument, standing tall behind your other – braver - friends.”
Teddy bit down on to his lip. “Can you punch her again please?”
“But not hit my face this time,” Evie teased. “I don’t know how good your aim is, but I want to look alright in Christmas photos.”
“She had nice aim last time,” Lily retorted spitefully. “Besides, your features are already messed up enough anyway to break the camera lens without Chic’s help.”
“And we’ve resulted to ‘ugly’ remarks,” I said to no one in particular.
Evie sneered. “You’re just jealous that my face is prettier than yours you, you, ginger ... freak!”
“You’re in a family house that is filled with gingers,” Teddy pointed out, changing his hair to the same colour of Lily’s in his metamorphic state. “Be careful what you say – because if Lily doesn’t, I may be soon forced to kick you out myself.”
“You wouldn’t do that.” She hissed confidently.
Lily giggled menacingly, reminding me of something from a horror story. “Do you want to test that theory? Something to take in to consideration, he doesn’t sleep here. I do. I can walk in to your room at any point and cast unimaginable hexes upon your sleeping figure.”
“You may be able to play on James’ naivity and convince him you’re not completely satanic.” Teddy practically growled. “I, however on the other hand am not convinced; that should worry you.”
“What are you going to talk me to death?” Evie snapped, folding her arms.
“Not quite.” Teddy laughed darkly. His eyes were darkening, and I could tell whether it was him changing them himself, or the impending wolf. “But I can certainly tell you that I am scary at certain types of the month.”
Evie scoffed. “What the hell is that supposed to mean, your menstrual cycle? Are you going to scare me with major PMS attacks?”
“Wait a week and I’ll eat you.” Teddy growled.
Lily kept her arms folded over her chest and glared at Lewis. “You wanna test that theory too?”
In slight confusion over Teddy’s words, and frustration that she wasn’t going to win this argument, or any more in the near future, she shut her arms tightly against her sides and stormed up the stairs screeching like a banshee.
There was a moment of silence before the three of us shrugged and slumped back on to the sofa.
Walking back in to the living room from the kitchen, Ginny narrowed her eyes. “What on earth was that?”
“The devil has been defeated.” Lily threw her arms up above her head in joy.
Hours later, James strode in to the house, slamming the door behind him which caused a picture frame to shake and fall from the wall. Without a word to anyone he walked straight up to Al’s room and barricaded the door behind him – the last place that Evie would think to look.
“Looks like I’m sleeping on the couch tonight,” Albus sighed. He collected a clean duvet cover from the airing cupboard and handed me a pillow case.
I replaced the cover on the pillow that James had been using and turned to Al as he struggled with the duvet cover. “I’m sorry, Al.”
“Don’t be, it’s not your fault he’s BEING AN ARSE!” he shouted up the stairs, sure his brother could hear him.
Lily and the parents said goodnight and ignored Al’s complaining, climbing up the stairs to bed. “I just can’t help but feel like it’s my fault; it’s the picture of the two of us that he smashed.”
“Maybe he knocked it off of his bed side table when he stormed out?” Albus tried. “But honestly, what could you have done to him?”
I had tried speaking to James earlier on, knocking on the door and saying it was me, but his response was to completely ignore me. I tried telling myself that he was asleep, but I knew that he wasn’t.
Harry and Ginny are worried; he won’t tell anyone what happened, where he was, or what went wrong.
Of course, Evie blamed the entire thing on me, but I hadn’t expected anything less.
Teddy went home about an hour ago, with only a hug goodbye and a reminder of the upcoming moon – the eve of Christmas Eve.
“Are you going to be okay down here?” I asked; I know that Al has a fear of the dark. “I can take the sofa if you’d like.”
“Ask me that one more time, I’m going to smack you. Now go to bed.” He finalised with a point to the staircase.
As I reached Lily’s room, I took notice of Al’s, which is opposite.
I turned towards it and swore under my breath. The worst he could do was tell me to go away. He wasn’t asleep; James hated sleep. He always fought it, only actually closing his eyes when they fell shut from exhaustion.
Knocking on the door, I received a ‘go away’ in reply, and felt that it was a little ironic.
Pushing open the door, scraping the chair along the ground that he had used to hold it closed. “If you really wanted to keep me out, you should have used the wardrobe instead.”
“Charisma, please. I want to be alone.”
I gave him a comforting smile. “No one wants to be alone.”
“I do.” He snapped shortly.
Al’s room was much different to James’. Al’s was plain, a white wash on the walls with two large band posters pinned to the plaster. His furniture was white too, but the objects around the room stated so much about him – a microscope, picture frames filled with smiling family, two stuffed toys and too many books to count. This contrasted greatly to the state of James’ room, which rendered you unable to see the floor.
Taking a seat on the end of Al’s bed, I looked at James figure as he lay with his face flat against the pillow. “You’re not going to tell me where you went are you?”
“No,” he muttered.
“Or what’s going on?”
Again the muffled sound was a grunt, “No.”
“Will you tell me anything?”
He pushed himself up off from the pillow in a press-up position and turned his head towards me. “No, Charisma, I’m not going to tell you anything. If you’re going to stay, can you just forget it?”
I watched as he turned around and lay his head back against Al’s pillow, looking up at the ceiling. Albus had placed glow in the dark stars against it as a young boy – something to help fight against the dark. James always thought they were stupid, but I considered them pretty.
“Did I offend you, in some way?” I pressed.
He sighed and flopped his arms back against the sheets. I wanted to badly to hold his hand as he murmured, “I thought we were dropping this.”
“Is this about Evie? Because if you think that the two of us not getting along is my fault I can try harder, I promise-“
“It’s not about Evie.”
For the first time since I walked in the room, he looked at me. Through dark eyes I wasn’t sure if he was able to see anything clearly. The expression he gave me, I could barely stand it. “Just tell me what happen-“
“Did something happen, between you and Harper?”
I am sure I returned the look he gave me. Not to mention the fact that his question caught me off guard. I was sure that my reply didn’t sound as casual as I had hoped, because after I had said it I walked from the room, slamming the door behind me.
“Why should I answer your questions when you don’t answer mine?”
An; Ooh, spiteful. What did you think? Did James and Charisma deserve everything they got? Did Drew, Fred and Kyle speak honest words? Does Aunt Angelina give good advice that you should remember for reasons that I can not yet mention?
I personally thought that Teddy rocks; the fact that he threatened Evie with the full moon was a moment of slightly disturbing and totally inappropriate awesomeness on his part? Maybe? Yes? No? you tell me.
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