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Chapter 22 : If I Could Only Run
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Charisma Price and Daniel Wilkins
“Charisma!” I opened my eyes, blinking away the blurry figures. I lifted my head from the floor and gasped. Placing my fingers to my head, I felt blood. A small wet cut was there above my eye. “Charisma can you hear me?”
“Nate?” I whispered.
A hand stroked hair from my eyes. “Yeah, it’s me. I’m here.”
I blinked another time and the blurred figures began to come in to view. Dixie sat beside me, her legs tucked under her as she sat with stammered breath. Lily was stood behind the group, smacking a stunned Kyle with all the strength that she could muster. He took every blow without flinching. Lois was stood to the left, holding the arm of Dan, who looked unfazed.
“Kyle.” I stammered in a sob. “Why?”
He shook his head, shaking; it was as if he actually felt remorse. He couldn’t. He has no emotion. He isn’t Kyle. “I don’t know.”
“You’re not Kyle,” I dismissed. “Kyle wouldn’t do that to me – Kyle wouldn’t do that to anyone.”
Dixie stood up, speechless. “And you had the indecency to call her a monster.” She growled. “Charisma is anything but, the complete opposite.”
He stood, still taking the blows from Lily. “Do you think that Ellie is still going to be with you after that?!” She screeched. “You’ve just lost everything.”
He simply shook his head and walked away, with only one simple line. “Just stay away – don’t hurt Evie.”
“Ex…excuse me?” Lily breathed.
“You heard, stay away from her. She may be bad, but she doesn’t deserve what ever you’re thinking of doing to her.” My jaw dropped to the floor as I watched him walk away in silence.
I would have laughed if I thought the situation demanded it, but I seemed unable to produce sound. I realized that he had been looking at my thighs, which were uncovered and showing off a trio of lovely scars. Nate leant over and pulled down the hem of my dress.
When Kyle didn’t turn around and laugh too, claiming the entire thing to be a hilarious joke set up by James I seemed to loose the ability to breathe too. I turned to see Dixie mirroring my expression, but not my emotion.
She turned to me, totally shocked. “What. The. Hell?”
“When I find out, I’ll tell you.” Lily said quietly. Did he honestly think that I would hurt anyone, let alone capable? He could only see the outside of me, the side that produced a growling wolf with teeth – not that I had ever had the ability to do any of that.
“If your Evie bashing can I help too?” Dixie asked, still slightly taken back, trying to lighten the mood.
I had just been stunned by someone I assumed was my best friend. You know the saying about what happens when you assume, I have said it before. It seems I should feel the need to repeat it. The only people that knew were the people that I could trust with my life. Could I trust anyone?
“The both of them are so different. I don’t know what happened.” She said, resuming the panicked tone in her voice. “Neither said a word through dinner, Drew looked at the floor and Kyle – well he’s just bloody lost it!”
“Do you think that they’ve heard something, a rumour maybe?” Lois asked. Speaking for the first time.
I shook my head; words still a hard thing to accomplish. I felt something slide off my head a little; taking the mess I call hair with it, Drew’s hat. It was at that moment I realised why he had given it to me - a parting gift.
He knew, and he couldn’t take it. I didn’t expect any of them too; it’s why they don’t know. He gave me his most beloved possession as a goodbye. A tear fell down my cheek. Drew, I’ve lost Drew. I can’t loose him – my rock.
I felt a pair of hands take hold of mine and pull me up roughly; an ache was pulsing through my shoulders. Instead of carrying me like a pretty princess like Nate would have done, I was made to walk. Dan.
I could hear the shouts behind me; they didn’t understand why he carried me off, neither did I.
“Dan,” Nate asked, taking a few steps to catch up with us. “What are you doing?”
He stopped the both of us, resting his hands on my waist, holding me up straight. I was being a child, but I couldn’t seem to find the strength to accomplish anything. He spoke demandingly, causing Nathan to back off instantly. “Let me talk to her – alone.”
He stepped aside and allowed us to walk. Every now and again, Dan would pick me up and carry me for a few steps before placing me back down. “Charisma,” he growled. “You are not incapable – you are strong. You are not weak. Now run.”
He took hold of my hand and dragged me. I subconsciously listened to his words without realising. My legs carried themselves and through blurred vision, I ran. Down the corridor, we took a right, not stopping for a moment. Ignoring the cries of disturbed teachers, Dan just ran. He took me out to the grounds, through the rain.
The droplet’s hit my face. The scene seemed to travel in slow motion. Not a word was said, but every weightless drop that touched my skin felt like a weight crashing down. Every step I took felt like one more step away from reality. The reality I have to face when I return. I couldn’t take it. The weight was more than I could bear, I fell to the ground, letting go of Dan’s hand. He bore no expression as he turned. His grip was more than enough for me as he dragged me for no more than a second.
“Charisma!” He shouted. “You are not weak! Get up!”
“I can’t!” I cried, digging my knees in to the mud. “I can’t.”
He bent down, looking around the empty grounds quickly before touching my skin lightly. “You are the strongest one I know. I brought you out here so the rain can clear your mind. Don’t do this to me.”
I looked to his determined expression with one of my own, despair. “You know.” I accused.
“I’ve always known.” He amended, pulling me up and guiding me to a tree. I found the ability to move my limbs. “Charisma, you’re a Gryffindor for a reason. You wouldn’t have been placed there if you couldn’t handle this.” I took a deep breath and sat down under the old oak – the water evaded this certain spot.
He ran a shaking hand through his hair; an attempt to keep it together. For me. For him. He crossed his legs and faced me slowly.
“I was seven when my brother was attacked.” He explained. Dan looked for an expression on my face; there wasn’t one, not to see. “A new era of werewolves is rising. A group of followers for Fenrir Greyback had been watching my brother, Simon. They attacked him on the way home from Kings Cross.”
I had nothing to say, so I simply looked up at him through my eyes. They were no longer teary, but they hurt, stung. He sat down on to the floor, and mirrored my position but a little to the right. The rain poured around us, our little sheltered patch from the rain was only damp. I sniffed. He resumed.
“For months, my parents locked him in the basement, but it didn’t work. He grew too big. The Ministry wouldn’t put us under protection, at this time; they didn’t know about the group, they simply thought that it was an attack gone wrong. Simon fought the urges, but the transformations were harsh.” He couldn’t look me in the eye, so instead he looked at my scars. They were on display, but I didn’t feel the need to cover them up. “I saw it once, Dad put him in the shed outback – they had reinforced it, made the wood stronger – I was only nine, I thought it would be cool, seeing my brother turn in to a mythological beast, so I ran out to the shed and looked through the window.”
“What happened?” I asked, a little louder than usual to be heard over the rain.
He took a deep breath and licked his lips. “Dad found me,” Three words, so simple, and yet, so unexpected. “I didn’t know what to do, the second the moon came up, I regretted it. Simon was making the shed wobble, it began to rain and then a lightening storm hit. It was like a scene from a horror movie.” There was a long pause of silence. I looked at my bare feet, I had, had no time to put on shoes when Lily and I ran from the Common Room. I had thought no need for them. That seemed like days ago, not simply hours. “Dad brought me back in to the house and sat me in the kitchen. He explained everything. I hadn’t a clue until then what was really happening.”
“I remember a few weeks later when the flashing lights shone through the window. The muggle police had been called. A few of the neighbours had heard the growls and the screaming and the crashes, they were scared. A week later, Dad moved us across the country, about four months after that, the same thing happened again.” Dan ripped up a fist full of grass. “I spent all my time looking for a cure; the only thing I wanted was for us to be a normal family again. Mum couldn’t take it after a year or so – she left.” My mouth was open a little, my breathing so quiet it was barely inaudible.
“Dad acted like he didn’t care, but he did. Simon and I could see it. He’s never been the same since, he’s never dated another woman, he’s never said the words ‘I love you’, not to anyone. I thought for a long time that I was a disappointment to him, that he didn’t want either Simon or me as sons. It was then that I found Wolfsbane, a reference to it anyway.” A small smile appeared on to his face. “I showed the potion to my brother, it’s tricky. It took us forever to master it, but after months of trying, it finally worked.”
I was speechless; I finally was hearing something that actually made sense. “You have Wolfsbane?”
He reached in to his pocket and pulled out a small vile, it was a dark blue, it looked dangerous. “The Potions teacher lets me use his office once a month to make it; I send it off to Simon, and now. I give it to you.”
He looked to me, I didn’t blink. My eyes welled up with tears. “Dan, you’ve just saved me.” He nodded once. “You have just saved my life.”
“No I haven’t.” he disagreed. “You had the power to do that yourself all along.”
I swallowed. “No, I was drowning. I could feel myself slipping under, all the time. But I feel as if I’ve come up for air, as if I can finally breathe again.” I laughed through the tears, letting my feet squelch in the mud through my holey tights. “How can I ever repay you?”
“Consider it an apology gift.”
“What for?” I realise that he may not have been as nice as he could all the time, but it was nothing to be apologetic for.
He shrugged. “I knew that you were a wolf – or at least partly. When you know what you’re looking for, werewolves very easy to spot. When you needed someone to look after you on the full moon, when James wouldn’t, you ended up asking Malfoy for help. I could have offered my services.”
I shook my head. “How did you know about that?”
“Charisma, love, you and the others were practically shouting it around the library.” I closed my eyes and bit my lip. “It’s okay; nobody knew what you were talking about.” I nodded once in thanks. “You got Stupefy-ed?” he asked, looking at my scars. “When my brothers friends found out, they were split. Half of them tortured him, tied him to one of the flag poles by the Quidditch Pitch and left him there – the other half got him down. He was hexed, cursed, yelled at. He had a girlfriend; she was one of the few who didn’t judge him.”
“What happened?” I asked. “Are they still together?”
He shook his head. “She realized that she didn’t love him in that way. I believe that she is, many years later, still with her best friend. But she and Simon never had an argument. They realized that they were more like brother and sister.” I laughed ironically, he did too. “Charisma, the good ones will stay with you, they’re the ones worth keeping.”
“Nate?” I asked. “Does he know?”
Dan nodded and I scoffed. “Don’t be upset, Chic, he doesn’t care. He figured it out before Christmas and asked me. I didn’t breathe a word. But he knows, and he couldn’t care less.”
“Dan, I’m not a full werewolf. Just part.”
“And sometimes that makes it worse.” He said, moving a little closer. “There are different degrees of the attack. If the werewolf is young, their attack will always be more painful. If they are old, it will take more to turn you, it will be long and slow, but if they are born with the curse. That is the one to watch out for; it will always end in pain.” I sighed with my eyes closed; I couldn’t look at him right now. I couldn’t face anyone. “Which one were you?” At my silence his eyes widened. “Oh god.”
“It’s okay,” I amended. “I stay in human form.”
“But you loose your mind.” He stated, his voice strong. “Charisma, do you have any idea what you do on that night.”
I shook my head for what seemed like the thousandth time. I stuttered out my answer. “James doesn’t tell me, he says tha-“
“That you don’t need to know? That you’re not that bad.” He looked like he was in pain. “Sweetheart, you have no idea what you do. You are so much worse than the average wolf. They just ravage and kill things. You, you –“
My voice turned to a nervous whisper, I need this. After years of not knowing, I need this. “What do I do? Dan, I need to know!”
He sighed and opened his mouth. Anything he was about to say was interrupted by Fred. “CHARISMA!” He called, running through the rain, tripping over once as he did. He reached us under the tree, pulled me up and pulled me in to his arms.
“I’m glad I found you, before Kyle and Drew could.” He said, his breath was ragged. “I’ve been running around for over an hour.”
“It’s too late.” Dan said, getting up too. “Kyle stunned her with Stupefy; I took her out here to get her away.”
Fred looked as if he were about to cry. “Fred,” I whined quietly. “What’s going on?”
“It’s James.” He said. His tone was as quiet and as serious as mine. I felt my heart stop as he spoke his name. James was who I needed; I needed to be with the one that I trust, the one that I love. “He let it slip. It’s out.”
AN; Did any of you expect Dan to come in to the picture like this? Did anyone suspect anything like that? I hope that you all enjoyed it. Don’t forget to review on this chapter.
I have to make a small apology for the Stupefy spell. I copied the spelling off of an internet site because I didn’t have time to find it in the books. But you can’t trust the internet…as I have so learned. However, most of you found it pretty funny. So instead, I give you comedy. XD
A small snippet of chapter 23;
I entered this school skipping, with my hair tied neatly with a bow, a lollypop in my mouth and a smile. I never looked back.
The next chapter is possibly the longest yet. The one after that is pretty long too, so in short. I hope they make up for the last few incredibly short chapters that I have posted. Over and Out.
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