Chapter 14 : Pre-Moon Cycle
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Ginny Weasley dribbled her tea back in to the mug. “You … him, love him?”
I handed her a napkin so she could dry her chin, she took it but didn’t make any advance towards her face. “I think so.”
“Well-” she said in a slightly delirious manner, dabbing at her lips. “-thank fuck for that.”
I politely intervened her pathetic attempt at a happy dance. “Excuse me?”
Pushing aside my confusion she laughed. “Sweetie, after five years, I’m just glad that you’ve finally come to your senses.”
“I … don’t get it?” I said stupidly. “You’re not upset that I am falling in love with your son?”
Her expression went to a twist of confusion and shock. “Wolfy, upset is the last emotion that I would feel. I have been waiting for this day for so long.”
I continued to stare at her like she was insane. “Did you order vodka in your tea?”
“Charisma Price, you and James are so close, you two could start dating and there would be a difference in how close you are, with the exception of kissing and sex, it would make no difference.”
I was taken back. “Mrs Potter, did you just imply that you want me to have sex with your son?”
“Well, not exactly,” she backtracked, but the look on her face didn’t exactly say that she meant it. “I love you like my daughter, you’d be a daughter-in-law that I would be grateful to have; you and James would be very happy together.”
Only a few seconds had passed and she was already not-very-subtly hinting at marriage. “I’m not so sure he’d see it like that.”
“Yes, well; he’s not the brightest is he?” she said through gritted teeth. “How did this all happen, anyway? The last time I saw you both together you were as you always have been, and now – James and you aren’t speaking, he’s dating a bitch and you’re both utterly miserable.”
I wanted to deny the fact that we were both miserable; I don’t want to be and I’m sure that James is anything but. Yet I couldn’t stop the story that came tumbling from my mouth.
Ginny leant over the table like a young girl eager for gossip while I showed no signs of stopping. It began a few weeks before the Halloween Ball, I spoke about everything from Scorpius’ inputs to my kiss with Nathan. I was a machine with a broken ‘off’ switch.
“I got so jealous, all of the time,” I whined, my head falling in to my hands in slight despair. A pounding began again; it felt like someone was kicking me from the inside of my head. “Every time I saw the- them,” I stammered, rubbing at my forehead. “I just wanted to cry or to throw up. It wasn’t what I was used to.”
Placing her mug back on to the table, she placed her hand over mine and looked at my forehead. “Are you alright? We can go home if you’d like; I forgot what time of the month it was.”
“I’m okay, thank you. If I’m being honest, I feel calmer here than I do back at the house.” I admitted and she nodded understandingly. “I didn’t even realise that I liked James in the way that I do until Lily told me, and she wasn’t very subtle about it either.”
“That’s my daughter,” Ginny chuckled. “I’m not the type of mother to throw my kids in to the spotlight; they do that themselves, but James is a very good looking boy – I’m not sure which of us as parents he got that from,” she winked. “I always adored the fact that you’ve never seemed to notice the way that he looks.”
I snorted. “I guess things change.”
“You don’t feel the way you do because he’s got a mischievous smile or a brooding personality that makes me want to batter him; you love him because he’s thoughtful, if not a little bit naïve. You’re the perfect balance to his outgoing nature.”
“He’s being an idiot,” I said slowly. “I don’t see how I can balance that out.”
Ginny sighed. “The way that I see it, James needs to hear all of this; he’ll understand.”
“No he won’t!” I exclaimed, slamming my feet on to the floor and bolting upright in my seat. “He’ll run away screaming; Fred told me back in November that, that would be his reaction?”
“Fred still thinks that babies are brought by stalks,” Ginny told me, “You’re honestly going to listen to him?”
I nodded enthusiastically. “Freddy knows everything; he may not be the brightest pixie in the pack, but he’s brilliant at reading people. He said early last year that Rosie and Scorpius would get together, and look at them now – unfortunately he still seems oddly ignorant towards Dixie’s feelings-“
“Rose and Scorpius?” Ginny questioned through wide eyes. “I’ll be making sure to make fun of that one.”
“I’ll help,” I offered though a forced smile and bit down on to my tongue.
Ginny pushed her hair from her face and handed me a napkin. “Charisma, your nose.”
I took it gratefully and pressed the papery napkin to my skin; it came away with a red splodge. I closed my eyes and sighed deeply, trying to keep myself calm. “Can we please go?”
“Of course,” she agreed, pushing her chair back and standing out. “These nosebleeds are new – do you think they’re caused by stress? I mean, I’ve never seen you so distressed around the time of a full moon before.”
Swallowing and resisting the urge to sniff I shrugged. “I’m not sure, just consider it part of my pre-moon cycle, I guess.”
Despite trying my best to hide it, as Ginny opened the door I am sure she saw me biting back tears.
“I love this area!” Lily exclaimed, diving on to the snow covered floor of the main Hogsmeade road. She rolled over and began to make a snow angel.
Ginny rolled her eyes at her daughter and pulled her up from the snow. “You’re going to catch a cold.”
“Aren’t you going to ask why I love it?” Lily questioned.
“Does it involve a boy?” her mother asked in a way that heavily suggested that she didn’t care.
Lily shook her head. “No, well unless you’re counting the by standers.” She pointed to the floor. “I was stood right here when Evie got punched in the face by the one and only Charisma Price!”
“This is where you smacked her?” Ginny questioned and brushed off my guilty expression. “Can I please just point out that the people living in that house would have had a really good view of it all?”
I followed the point of her finger to a large window that overlooked the street and Rose rolled her eyes. “Very mature, Aunt Ginny.”
“Rosie, darling, I didn’t have an easy childhood-“
“Oh no,” Lily moaned. “Mum, please spare me; if you tell another war story, or anything that includes growing up with your brothers, I may be forced to run and throw myself off of that steep hill over there.”
Ginny raised a brow and turned to me and Rose. “Am I boring? Is this what it has come to? I’m the boring Mum. I am the boring Mother, the ones their children are embarrassed of.”
“I love you,” Rose tried to rectify. “I don’t think you’re boring.”
“Don’t try to suck up, Ro.” Ginny told her niece. “But Lily, to add to your point, if you’re going to be that dramatic – if James doesn’t break up with the she-devil (yes, we have encouraged Ginny to call her that too) and one of you three don’t do anything, I will be forced to commit murder.”
“Mum, are you saying that you want us three to break them up?” Lily asked with a mischievous grin plastered across her face. “Because that is something that I will be willing to do.”
Her mother nodded her head. “That is bad parenting, I would never directly suggest something like that.”
“Mum you’re nodding your head, you’re completely contradicting yourself,” Lily said earning a smack from Rose as a result.
“Besides,” Ginny winked at me. “I can only hope that he’s bringing someone else home for Christmas next year.”
Lily groaned as Rosie stepped in to the fireplace as we reached the front of the queue. “You told Mum?”
Soot fell from the roof of the fireplace on to Rose’s shoulder at the pitch of Lily’s voice, “You know that Aunt Ginny can’t keep a secret to save her life.”
“I will have you know that I kept secrets against Voldermort, during the war. I was one of the best!”
“Again with the war stories,” Lily sighed.
The wizard behind us in the queue interrupted our conversation to complain about us taking our time; there was a large queue behind us. He was tapping his foot impatiently until he realised that the woman in front of him was in fact Ginny Potter. At this point he seemed to lose all bodily movement and looked as if he had been given all his Christmas presents at once.
I knew for a fact that Ginny dislike the attention she got, almost as much as Harry. But there were perks – like this moment, when we were left alone without so much as a single complaint.
Ginny laid her hand on to my shoulder as Rose returned home, “I won’t tell a soul, I promise.”
“I know that you won’t,” I said as Lily took a handful of floo powder. “I’m simply going to try and ignore him; see how he likes it.”
“I don’t know whether to congratulate you on staning up to him, or roll my eyes at your immaturity.” She admitted before pushing me in to the fireplace next and handing me the bowl of powder. “Now, hurry up; with no offence intended, I want to get you, Teddy and James as far away from the house as possible before the moon comes up.”
Albus had bee-lined for the stairs, anticipating the upcoming argument. Not long after Harry had followed his sons lead. Lily sat, perched on the arm of the sofa, her mother’s fingers through her unused belt loops, holding her back.
“You what?” she screeched in a pitch that could call all nearby dogs to the house.
“Lily, the neighbours!” Standing up, still with her hand holding down her erratic daughter, Ginny turned to look at her son. “James, you cannot be serious?”
James sighed and let his head fall in to his hands, looking slightly hopeless. “Please don’t get at me; Evie and I have a date – that’s all. Charisma can handle this one on her own, she’s got Teddy, and she’s not a baby!”
“She has no control, James-Sirius! Grow a backbone and admit that she needs you; we don’t know what she might do, or where she might end up!” Ginny argued, her anger subsided into slight embarrassment as she realised that I was in fact stood nearby; she was used to speaking about me like I wasn’t here, considering the antics of late.
A slight guilty expression flashed across his face, but only for a moment. “I don’t own her Mum, she’s not my job.”
“James Potter, you could have at least told us before. Blimey if I ev-“Ginny shouted, talking a step towards her son.
My hands felt limp in my pockets as I came to stand behind James, “He’s right; he doesn’t own me; I’m not his to protect. We can’t make him do anything.”
“Thank you.” James sighed, his slightly pleading look met with my blank one. “At least Charisma understands.”
Ron and Hermione took that moment to enter through the door, possibly having held back having heard the shouting; I wouldn’t have come in if it were me out there. Rose and Hugo followed through, the latter seemingly unaware of the tension in the room and walking up the stairs. I noticed that Al and Harry were sat at the top, Albus slightly annoyed at his cousin for blowing their cover.
Evie was waiting outside; she was having none of it. Selfish bint.
Rose ran straight over to Lily and pounced on her, not allowing any movement. I am unsure whether she had sussed that her cousin may need to be held down and did the honours, or simply through a welcoming greeting.
I shook my head and lowered my voice, making sure that it was only James that my words would grasp the attention of. “But I don’t understand. I’m being a good friend as it blindingly obvious that you don’t want to be around me, be it this time of the month or any other. I don’t know what has gotten in to your head lately but I will stand by you, heck knows that you don’t deserve it!”
“Wolfy, wait,” he called out to me as I walked towards the front door. I took the knob in my hand twisted it in its loose lock, unable to open it for a moment. “Just wait for sec-“
“Charisma, where are you going?” Rose asked, sitting up with her hand firmly on Lily’s shoulder.
I opened the backdoor and pointed out to the sky in the garden, at the moon. “It’s that time of the month.”
I loved the moon, but I hate what it does to me. The moon is so free, but it makes me so trapped. Rose raced from the nearby sofa and grabbed my arm, as if to tell me to stay, but she then noticed the proximity of my 2nd worst enemy.
From how height of it, I would guess that I had about an hour or so before it rises and I loose all memory. I never want to find out what happens when I change.
Lily nodded her head before racing over to tackle her brother to the floor and Rose released my arm, letting me go.
I waited until I was a few minutes away from the house, before letting the tears fall, but there were none. Lately, he was not worth my tears.
It’s still uncertain to me how my brother can be such a massive dick. He would twist around the words in that sentence to make it atomically egotistical, but still my sentence stays the same.
He’s always been a little self-centred, but this is taking the micky. Charisma needs him, it may not be what he wanted it to be, but she still needs him to stand by her side. He can’t simply walk away from that, and behind honest, I didn’t ever think that he would.
As soon as she left, he stormed over to the front door and slammed it behind him, pushing Lily off of him and leaving her on the floor. I knew she spoke to him; she had her ‘serious’ face on as the others were arguing.
“Charisma has courage, I’ll give her that.” Dad told me and Hugh in an undertone.
Hugo snorted, “Courage doesn’t even cover it, Uncle Harry.”
I heard Mum trying to sort out Lily, telling her to get up off of the floor, followed by Rose’s demanding voice, trying to get out of my little sister her version of what’s gone on – Lily’s versions are always the best to hear. They’re completely biased, exaggerated and usually shine James in a terrible light, which at the moment, he didn’t need any assistance in obtaining.
“Have we come at a bad time, Ginny?” Aunt Hermione asked, turning to glare at Uncle Ron; he probably made a stupid remark, one that would have him told of later. He’s quite famous for them.
Exhaustedly, Mum sighed. “Not at all, Hermione. What are the three of you sat up there for?”
Dad shot up in to standing like a rocket upon realising that she was in fact, speaking to us. Slight fear overcame his features; still, after all these years, Mum wears the pants in this relationship.
“Nothing, dear.” He rectified, pulling both Hugo and I up from the carpeted stairs and gesturing us down in to the living room.
Brushing it off, Mum gave Dad a ‘we’ll talk about this later’ look before turning to me. “Al, owl your cousin Fred; I guess he’s looking after Charisma tonight, bless her; she must be so mortified.”
“He won’t do it,” I told her, hoping that the anger that flooded through her wouldn’t overflow to me. Her face was almost as red as her hair. “Fred’s terrified.”
“Oh, he’s terrified is he?” she inquired. “He’s not afraid of anything, that boy is a bloody trooper. He’s too bloody stupid and courageous for his own good-“
“He looked after Charisma one year, joint duty with James; Wolfy broke his arm. It’s a long story; it involved blood and something to do with an appearing window and cutlery set-“ Lily explained, completely misinterpreting Mum’s look of horror for one of interest. “-I can tell you if you want; Fred gave me every detail.”
Rose practically laughed. “We’re fine, thank you. I’ll owl Scorpius.”
“You bloody well wont,” Uncle Rob told his daughter, an unusual air of authority in his tone, yet completely laced with childish grudges.
“He’s done it before, Uncle Ron.” I informed him. “The last time that James buggered off; plus he’s probably closer to Charisma than anyone in this room; don’t rectify it Lily, you know it’s true.”
Harry rose from the couch, expression ready to kill. “James has missed the moon before?”
“Yeah, another date with the ice-princess.” Hugo joined in. Hugo knew everything about everyone, it’s oddly fascinating.
The look that grew upon Uncle Ron’s face was a mix of emotions that I couldn’t recognise. He still held a grudge against the Malfoys, but I knew for a fact that Aunt Hermione often went for after-work drinks with Scorpius’ Mum; they work in the same building. Dad has explained to me before that Uncle Ron can’t help but think that a leopard can’t change its spots, and that Scorpius is exactly like his father. Besides, Ron would never look after Charisma himself; he thinks it’s a tad inappropriate for him to jump in when there are people more suited to the job; like James.
“Please, Daddy,” Rosie begged, her eyes popping to the size of dinner plates; a move I knew from her well. I know for a fact that it makes James oddly proud of her when she uses it. “He’s the only one who can. Al is too short, plus there’s nothing of him, Lily won’t know what she’s doing and I’m hardly capable. Plus, having done it before, Scorpius is experienced in it and it’s hardly appropriate for one of you to do it; Charisma would be absolutely humiliated if she found out that she had lost it in front of one of you.”
James would always refuse to tell us what happens. The only thing he will say is that it gets violent sometimes and that she says what she thinks of everyone - on that note it’s probably best that James doesn’t look after her this time round.
“So, am I getting Scorp or does anyone have any better ideas?” Rose asked, knowing that this would result with a trip to her boyfriend.
“Charisma!” I called, slowly making my way through the forest, making sure my feet didn’t crack any twigs. “Chic!”
A cynical laugh came from behind the trees, like an awoken creature in the middle of the night. I smacked a branch from my line of vision and tripped over a root; so much for being quiet. Charisma soundlessly moved throughout the trees, her only give away; her hair. Her eyes are black, a slight amber addition. It’s like she’s possessed.
I pushed myself up from the floor and tip-toed through the wood a little more, a pathetic attempt to keep up with Charisma.
The moment that James approached me near to the beginning of the year and asked me to do this; I knew that it would be a mistake. He actually proposed to beg. He gave me a warning; but I guess if he had told me the full extent of what Charisma did, I would have never agreed. Then Rose asked me as well – I’m guessing that James didn’t tell them. But he’d never leave Charisma on her own without protection for the moon. He wouldn’t dream of it.
I guess he knew that they would ask me this time too; especially considering that he called and asked what I was doing tonight. I though he was trying to ask me out at first; he then scoffed when I told him that I was proudly with Rose.
“Charisma.” I whispered. “Chic, love?”
A low growl came from behind me; my groan louder than expected when she tackled me to the floor. She carried quite a force around this time of the month. Then I suppose; so does Lily, but hers is just found in her gob. What the hell is wrong with these Potter women?
I rolled over and held her arms still. She struggled out of my grip, screeching like she was pleading for insanity. A tear fell from her eye and she began laughing hysterically. So many emotions in one person, is it even possible?
She wrapped her legs around my waist and leant over my head grabbing handfuls of dirt within her hands.
My breath caught. “Love? What are you doing?”
She sat bolt upright before shooting off in to the other direction towards something in the trees. Her long hair rugged in the cool, crisp wind. It was somewhat cold tonight, hence my jacket and gloves, Charisma, on the other hand, found it fit weather for the attire of her under top and boxers. She had managed to loose her clothes a while back; but I picked them up, as instructed by James, and had to put them back on when she finally passed out.
I swiftly ran through the forest, following the short lived tracks of my charge. I didn’t worry for a second of what might be in said forest, only worrying to find Charisma.
I’ve already lost her once; she came running back over an hour later draped with mud and leaves. For the next twenty minutes I had been thinking of a suitable lie to cover it is anyone asked. I stopped running when I came to an opening in the trees before making a noise, as if calling a cat, at the blonde figure infront of me.
Her top was ripped a little and her hair a mess, I’m pretty sure she had ripped some out at a point; there was a patch at the base of her hair line where the skin was raw and dotted with blood. The right cheek of her pants had ridden up a little. She turned around slowly.
“Such a shame.” She chimed, staring me down with dark eyes. Her soft, bell like voice suddenly the type that would haunt my dreams. “A boy of such proportion and blood shouldn’t be here, not in a forest.”
I stayed silent.
Her tone turned from patronising to wonder. She walked around slowly in the opening, her step light. “But of course I’m not in a forest, ‘I’m never in a forest. I’m in heaven, aren’t I James?”
I bit my tongue.
“Because to be feeling this, I must be dead, obviously dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead!” She screamed before laughing. It was then I realised. I all made sense, the screaming, the laughing. She was in pain. “But you’re not James. You’re never James. I call for him but he never comes. He doesn’t love me; he hasn’t loved me for a while. He left me here, with you. You love me?”
I nodded slowly. “Yes Charisma, I love you.”
She ran to me quickly, quicker than I could have imagined. “You can not possibly, for I am human, only human.” She continued to speak something; I’m sure from what I understood a manner of it was indeed in Latin.
She mentioned love, she mentioned loneliness, she mentioned pain and then I’m sure she mentioned spoons. But I may have the wrong translation. But one thing is for sure. She is Charisma Price. The only person that she is able to communicate through to this monster is James. It is the only person that thing recognises. She mentions him constantly; calling me James, saying she loves me.
Blood began to slowly fall from her right ear. I squinted a little as I noticed a change. Her body language. She was suddenly terrified.
“SCORPIUS! SCORP!” She screamed, sinking down to the floor, blood pored from her ears and she clawed the side of her face. “SCORPIUS PLEASE!” She sobbed. “HELP ME PLEASE!” her eyes were not black, but her usual shocking shade of blue.
That wasn’t the wolf. That was Charisma.
I ran to her, taking her hands. “Charisma, I’m here, love it’s alright, I’m here. I love you, I do love you.”
Then it came again, the laughter, the sound only fit for horror movies, only suitable for people who have no heart. For I had a heart, and it had broken.
An; I hope that you enjoyed this! This is everything that is shown on what Charisma does; your imagination works wonders when you’re only given a little of a bigger picture. Enjoy!
So what did you think? I realize that James is being horrid, but over the next 2 chapters (I think) all is explained.
Thanks to everyone that reviewed within the day for the next chapter – that was amazing. Oh, and to those who told me how they imagine Charisma. They were all so different having originated from the same descriptions. It was brilliant.
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