Hey loonies, check out my new one-shot. It's called 'Life in a Motion Picture'. I will give you one guess as to which pairing it's based around. :P
Beautiful Chapter Image by Mistletoe @ tda.
Even in the pouring rain Fred could see my tears, they were clearer than the droplets, purer. This rain was dirty; it came on a bad day.
People say that the weather represents feeling. A wedding, a birthday, a friendship – here comes the sun. Yet, when ever an event happens in your life that doesn’t play out how you wish it to, the rain pours and tends to make the feeling worse. Until now, I never realised why. The water represents my insides, my emotions, my feelings. They’ve gone, washed away, fallen.
The day my father left me in the park, hiding under the climbing frame, the day that James and Evie kissed. These days were plagued by rain. The day that I was told of my parent’s murder – murder, it sounds strange to actually admit it to anyone, let alone myself – that day was not only rain, the thunder came too. I guess it didn’t want to be left out. The lightening didn’t arrive until later, just when I thought everything was lost, I was awoken, by a flash of light.
Rather alike this moment.
“Charisma,” Fred whispered. “Charisma, did you hear anything I just said?”
I was shaken back in to reality by a worried looking set of boys, of who both towered over me with demise. I could merely manage a whisper. “How could he do that to me?”
A tree fell in the distance, struck by lightening. Dan wrapped his arm around my shoulders and picked me up like a princess, running with me towards the castle, Fred not too far behind. In all the moments I wanted to be carried away like I was royalty, now, when I felt nothing, was not the time I wished for it.
I wished for them to leave me in the rain, in the mud, by the lake. So I could get taken in by the weather. So the lightening could strike me, so the thunder could deafen me, so the rain could drown me.
For the first time in my life, I felt nothing. When I lost my parents, at least I felt confusion, remorse. Now, I am numb. I am an embodiment of empty ness, the poster child for freaks. My face will be over the school.
I have known Kyle since I was eleven years old. He has been one of my brothers since I was twelve, and since I was thirteen, he has been the only one of the boys to see me cry, he has been the only one that was true. This year, all has changed. James has seen me cry, I have lost all hope of really having a brother, and he has shown me that he is anything but true.
In our forth year when Drew and I had an argument, Kyle brought us together. When I fell off a wall in second year and scraped my knee, Kyle brought me to the Hospital Wing. When I saw the boy that I love kissing the girl that I strongly dislike, Kyle held me while I cried. When all hell breaks loose and I feel as if I am falling apart, Kyle was the one to curse me and cut my forehead. It hurts.
Daniel placed me on to the floor, letting me land lightly, like a fairy. I pulled down the bottom on my dress, the mud from my hands making to difference to the mud caked on to the cotton. I sniffed and looked up strongly. I wasn’t weak. I’m not weak. I’m a Gryffindor. I turned to Dan.
“You’re right.” I said.
He looked in to my eyes and wiped a trickle of dried blood from my eye. “I usually am.”
“I am not weak.” I stated, more determination in my voice than I had ever heard before. “I am not alone in this. I have people who will like me despite my condition, people who won’t ridicule me. People like Kyle mean nothing if they can not accept it.”
“Are you telling that to me, or are you telling that to yourself?”
I blinked. “Does it matter?”
Fred placed a hand on to my shoulder and pulled a leaf from my wet hair. A drop of rain trickled down his forehead; I leaned forward and wiped it with my thumb. “No, Charisma, it doesn’t matter.”
Even I could see the lie.
“She has to go to the Hospital Wing.” Dan said, knowing it was the Ravenclaw thing to do.
Fred rolled his eyes, blowing a strand of dark hair from his eyes. “Oh yeah, great idea Sherlock.” Dan snorted; he and Fred were never on the good-boy-pals-
lists. “What do we say when Madame B asks how she did it?”
“She fell?” Dan offered with a shrug. “You’ve seen the weather; she could have been out helping Hagrid and got caught by the rain on the way back.”
I felt the need to point out the fact that she
is here. She
is an emotionally scarred and bleeding blonde girl, but she
is standing between the two of them. But I held back, I couldn’t find words. I couldn’t find sound of any kind.
Fred shook his head. “Mr Ravenclaw, this cut is obviously from a hex.” He exhaled. “And I thought Ravenclaw’s were supposed to be the smart ones – if they’re all making suggestions like that then we’re all screwed.”
“Mr Gryffindor, what is that on your face? Is it facial hair?” Dan smirked. “No, it couldn’t be; you haven’t hit puberty yet.”
“You know, ‘Claw, I’m just trying to imagine you with a personality.”
Dan feigned a shock look. “Oh, Merlin. That was a good one; take me to the burns unit.”
“Oh!” Fred questioned sceptically, “We’ve got sarcasm now?” he draped his jacket around my shoulder. It was warm, and blue. It clashed horribly with the blue on my dress, but being the least of my worries at this moment, I didn’t give two tosses. “You know the difference between Ravenclaw and a Cactus plant is that the plant has pricks on the outside.”
Dan grinned ironically; a small haughty noise guffawed from the back of his throat. “I’m sorry, how many times did your parents drop you as a baby?”
Considering that particular line was a formerly used joke between us as friends, I doubt Fred took it in the correct way when it was said by an enemy. “You know, here’s a hint Wilkins.” Fred sneered. “When your girlfriend dumps you the first time, what makes you think she’s going to want to go back out with you for a second time?”
“She did, Weasley.”
Fred shrugged nonchalantly. “Pity date,” he chuckled. Knowing this was the exact line to get to Dan, he used it. But he had more, “Bantering with you is as much fun as playing leapfrog with unicorns, but we really must press on. I have duties to fulfil, cousins to murder.”
“You know, I always wondered why people would bang their heads repeatedly against brick walls,” Dan said. “And then I met you.”
The otherwise silent hallway was awoken by the stamp of Fred’s foot and the laughter or Daniel. They continued to argue as I disappeared down the hallways behind me. Their snide comments and insults soon became a distant bicker that could barley be heard. I took a left at the end of the corridor and knew that I had slipped away unseen.
The school truly was beautiful at night, the sky was darker, the moon was out, and the only sounds were of creatures socializing or the crickets chirping. I knew that tomorrow, I would never view this place in the same way again. It would be a place of hell, of bulling, of torture. It would no longer be my sanctuary, but my wake. I could guarantee that by this time, Lewis had already told the majority of the students of my condition. I just knew it.
It was nearing eight o’clock, the last of the students would be returning to their common rooms. All that would be left is the prefects, the teachers and those few that liked to break the rules, aka, James.
I was prepared to see my best friend once more, to tell him what I thought of him, his girlfriend and his whole damn idea of what friendship means. In the back of my head, I already had a speech, it was all planned. It was as if it had been there for years. I guess, subconsciously, I had always expected this to happen.
I expected students to return straight to their common rooms, for only the naughtier ones to be out at this time. Which is why, I wasn’t initially surprised when I came face to face with a blonde Slytherin, my head height, and a look of concern on his face.
“Charisma!” Scorpius enveloped me in to a hug, trapping my arms against my body. “Everyone’s gone mental about you love, Rosie wouldn’t tell me why.” I simply sniffed and wrapped my arms around his neck. “What’s happened?”
I knew that James would never intentionally hurt me, but I also knew that Scorpius wouldn’t see it like that. In his eyes, James would be the causer of pain, and I would be the victim. I was always the innocent one in his eyes, the one in need of a friend. To state the obvious, the majority of the time, I was.
He pushed me away to arms length. His eyes widened at the small cut above my eye, the one that would most likely linger - just what I needed; another scar. He licked his thumb and wiped around the cut lightly. “Charisma?”
“James,” I whispered. Thinking up a reasonable sounding excuse wasn’t an ability I obtained at this moment. My entire mind could muster…
Death = Bad
Flower = Pretty
It stopped at that. Thinking anything whatsoever was something I lacked. I could feel the buzz that circulated my brain. It was as if tiny fairies were in my head, playing ring-around-the-roses at 70mph. I may puke.
Scorpius was instantly furious, cutting of any chance I had at redemption. “Potter? He did this to you?” His voice touched a pitch so low I released any hold I had on the boy. “I’ll kill him.”
“It wasn’t James.” I whispered; the loudest sound I could muster. “He told people, about …” I stopped there, finding the word that I could say seemed hard. I couldn’t be blunt; neither could I say the truth out loud. I just can’t. Instead, I said this, “The moon.”
“He did what?”
A tear fell, trickling a line of dew, rosy dew. I let it fall. “He told Evie that I am a wolf.”
Scorpius struggle to find words, he struggled to do anything. He and James were the two few that had seen my antics. Fred had, and he could not defend me. He had no reason. This is why he is arguing with my friend, having left me in a corridor. I don’t know what I did, and I am sure if Fred hadn’t interrupted, I would have found out too.
“And he said what?”
I pouted my lips. “I don’t know.”
“I didn’t ask.”
“Was there a particular reason why?” he asked.
“I couldn’t find the words.” My voice turned to a sob, my breath became ragged. “I still can’t find words.”
Scorpius’s hand found my cheek, he brushed aside my hair. “Sweetheart,” He breathed, one again taking me in to his arms. He shhh-ed me quietly, as I let tears silently fall. Not a sound made its way from my lips. No more than two trickled down my cheek and made its way to my chin, they fell and Scorpius stopped breathing.
“Charisma,” he muttered. “I want you to walk past me, towards the Slytherin Common room, the trap door on the right down to the dungeons. Blaize is waiting there, stay with him.”
He planted a kiss on my forehead. “Just don’t look behind you.”
My breath caught as I recognised the voice, a boy crying my name. The deep voice rang through the corridor, seemingly louder than I remembered it ever being before. I could only envision the black hair and worried expression that was plastered over his face as he ran. Possibly glasses on his face, probably not. His shirt would be un-tucked, as always, his sleeves rolled up on his sweater vest and his tie loosened to reveal a single button undone at the top. This was James Potter. The way I want to remember him. My friend, not a traitor.
“Charisma,” Scorpius warned. I recognised the tone. It was the same one that James used before an argument, his ‘protective’ voice. Scorpius thought James was going to hurt me. I couldn’t make my self defend him. Did I think he was going to hurt me too? “We will talk about the cut on your head when I return, now go.”
I blinked once, my teeth brushing my bottom lip as I chewed it nervously. “Thank you.”
“Charisma.” The desperation didn’t come from Scorpius. This corridor seemed eternally long as I walked past Scorpius – a hand on my back in the form of a helpful push – and listened to James cry. I took two simple steps and stopped. I couldn’t move from the spot. I turned my head momentarily to see the boys. Scorpius had pushed himself infront of James, pushing him back with difficulty.
He took a single look at my face and stopped, all attempts at the struggle they had both created had stopped to a halt. He fell a little limp in Scorpius’s arms. His expression crumpled in to something I didn’t recognise, devastation perhaps, maybe guilt. All I knew is that his eyes were red. He wanted to be strong. But he was breaking.
He raised his hand, trying to reach my cheek, I didn’t move forward, nor did I move away. Scorpius grabbed his arm and twisted it behind his back. “I just want to hold her.” James yelled, his voice certainly louder than before, it dropped to nothing more than a whisper. “Please.”
The dramatic change in noise sent a flock of bats flying from the clock tower above us and in to the night sky. Their squeaks and disturbance could be heard for miles. He had seen my cut, my face, my expression. All I could manage was pain, hurt, misery. Not a smile. For the first time in my life. It was James who had ripped me of my smile. And that killed me a little inside.
“Did I do that?”
I shook my head, Scorpius’s grip was slipping. “Kyle did.” I couldn’t retain my voice from wavering. It broke at the end, but no more tears fell. Never again would they fall. Never again. “Some people are still a little prejudiced.”
I took his silence as the moment to run. Once again, accepting what I shall be doing for eternity, I went as fast as I could. Ignoring his cries, I yanked open the small wooden door and climbed down the stairs at such a pace, ‘fell’ might have been a more appropriate word.
I was caught at the bottom by a pair of strong arms. “Charisma?” I reacted to my name that seemed to have been said more today than in any other.
I looked up at Blaize, his dark eyes bore in to mine as he placed me on to the floor. Unlike Scorpius, Blaize was the same height as me, most of the boys towered over me, looking down on me, where I belong. Zabini was ridiculed by most. He was loudmouthed and misunderstood. He wasn’t scary like Scorpius; neither did he have the guts that the Potters obtained. He was the child of a death eater, the son of a traitor. He looked me in the eye and smiled. He didn’t feel pity, he didn’t feel amusement, nor did he feel sympathy. He wouldn’t treat me like a patient that needed protecting. He would treat me as an equal.
“Scorpius say’s ‘hi’.” I mumbled.
He smirked and nudged me in the side. Pointing to a nearby tapestry, he asked, “Scorp said this might happen, Common Room?” I closed my eyes, nodded, and attempted to block the shouting that could be heard from above. Blaize poked my cheek. “It’s easier if you don’t listen.” He said. “It doesn’t hurt as much.”
“I will go to the Common Room now please.” I said, my gaze not lifting from the floor. He linked his arm with mine and walked me down the corridor. The fumes from the Potion classrooms ridiculed one another in my head. They battled, with every other feeling for the main possession of my mind. I felt light headed as he pulled me along.
Our lonely stroll was interrupted by the door in the stone ceiling once more being opened. It was a bigger bang than before, more strength than I could have mustered. Scorpius jumped down, avoiding every step and landing gracefully on the floor before running towards the two of us. Blaize took this as a sign to run; pulling me along with him he said “Basilisk” and slipped behind the painting, tugging me with him. I turned to take one last look behind me and saw James, running towards the tapestry.
I was running from him. And he wouldn’t catch me. Not this time.
I opened my eyes, letting the small gap above me be my only lifeline to the world as the stinging in my iris’s occurred. The bubbles above me closed off, my breath stopped and panicked. I sat up in the water, sending sloshes of it over the rims of the bath. The bubbles surrounded me, enveloping my aching body, soothing it, caring for it, caring for me. I considered momentarily lying back down, letting the water take me as I am. Not coming back up for air. Taking my last breath now and never coming back up.
But then I realised I was over reacting; so people will find out that I was attacked by a werewolf, so they will know I have no idea that I do on one night a month. They will no longer think that I have a really bad period that affects me in so many ways, but they will instead think that I am a monster. I will still have friends that will not betray me. Lily, she will never leave my side. Nate, Daniel, Lois, they will not turn away. The Potters; they have stuck with me through thick and thin. I will not be alone.
I couldn’t face seeing James. What would I say, what would I do? How could I look him in the eye ever again? His handsome face obscured my thoughts, allowing me to think only one thing. Him. I want to live him, breathe him, be him. But at this moment, besides all that, I want to kill him, claw out parts of his flesh and feed them to Hippogriffs.
I knew that when people figured out my secret, it would only be a hop, skip and a jump away before they figured out Teddy. He has the same symptoms as I, the same reactions. We are identical. I suddenly realised how hard it is to be him. People at Hogwarts knew of his lycanthropy. It must have been his living hell, yet he talks of his Hogwarts days fondly, the best of his life. However, they all include Victoire, every story.
I guess all it takes is love. But mine isn’t requited. That’s quite an important factor.
I shuddered and stood up from the bubbles, grabbing a green towel from the rack by the bath. I wrapped it tightly around my bust, it reached from my chest to my thighs. It wasn’t exactly the most modest of all towels, although neither was it completely obscene. I took another, a smaller one, and dried my face. I pulled on underwear soundlessly, running my fingers over the waistband of Scorpius’s trousers. I happen to recognise them as the pyjamas Rose wore last summer, a fact that I would surly keep to myself. Unlike some of the Potters, I can keep my mouth shut.
I swiftly pulled a yellow T-shirt over my head. I’m sure this was from many years ago; a small hole was torn under the arm as it pulled tightly across my chest. Catching my reflection in the mirror was the hardest part, a year ago; I wouldn’t have believed that I was looking at me.
I took a cautious step closer to my reflection, rubbing the condensation from the mirror. My handprint left behind a circular, swirly pattern. I raised my left brow, considering that my right was currently unmovable without re-opening the cut. Bags surrounded my eyes, while my cheeks were flushed pink. My hair fell, wet and limp, lifeless. I saw tattered skin as my face, swollen pink lips and expressionless eyes. I chewed on my lip nervously, ignoring the snide voices I could hear in my head. I turned from the mirror with a sniff, I felt as if my wind pipe had closed, as if breathing was impossible. I was choking, drowning.
Never before had I had trouble meeting my reflection, now seemed to be a different story. It was silly, stupid, but it seemed an impossible task.
Throughout the past few months, Evie has tortured me. She calls me ugly, helpless, friendless. She would smack me, pull my hair and laugh when I entered a room. For to long have I dealt with her insults and her criticism, and, let’s face it, her bullying. It’s going to end now.
She knows that I have wolf’s blood in my veins. She knows that I am upset. But what she doesn’t know is that I am willing to stop at nothing to get my own way. It’s the full moon is in two days, and I’m done.
I walked the halls of the castle, my warm feet contrasting with the cold spark of the concrete floor. I lightly pulled on the grey the sweatpants that Scorpius had leant me, they were a little too big, but they hitched in just below the knee. A small green snake logo was just below the pocket, on the right leg. The yellow t-shirt was snug; it tightened over my chest and reached just below my belly button. I wished right now more than anything that I had my blue pyjamas, the ones with the teddy bears on them.
I past a painting, one of the few that happened to be awake at this ungodly hour, like me; I couldn’t sleep.
I had tossed and turned for hour upon hour before giving up. Scorpius had rolled over in the bed and stolen what little amount of the covers that I had. I had sat up instantly and realized that the reality of me sleeping at this hour was unrealistic at best. So I walked away.
Disappearing seemed to be working well for me at the moment; just walking off without a trace. It seemed to make James worry. But I couldn’t help but ponder if that was a good thing. I wanted him to worry, to know what he had done to me. But then, guilt would consume me; tell me that I am in the wrong.
I shook that feeling aside and resumed to walk through the darkness. The Prefects have gone to bed, this only proved how alone I really was. I wasn’t even important enough to be caught by one of them.
I slowed my pace, skimming the soles of my feet along the floor as I shoved my hands in to the pockets of the trousers. To my self I murmured;
A pocket full of Posies
My favourite nursery rhyme; I always ignored its ethnic meaning, yet somehow, the dark demeanour of this particular rhyme seemed to fit the situation. I was plagued by a curse. If I hadn’t been humming myself off to my own world, a place of clouds and fairies, a place of happiness and joy, I may have heard the approaching footsteps.
We all fall down.
I sat down between Dixie and Lily; collapsing myself in to the thick cushions of the Gryffindor sofas. Dixie was twiddling her fingers while Lily greeted me with a glare. A pile of books were on the table infront of me, everything from DADA textbooks to Twelfth Night
by Shakespeare. I heaved a sigh and joined Dixie in knocking my thumbs repeatedly together.
“So,” I said in a pitiful attempt to break the silence. “Who is that designed for?” I asked Lily, gesturing to the spell she was writing. She would never put that much effort in to one unless it was designed for a specific reason. Spell writing wasn’t as complex as it sounded. It took a lot of chain-thought. It was a rarity if it worked, but Lily seemed to have a knack for them.
“This spell is going to make Kyle Sanford feel a little … uncomfortable.” She muttered, a mischievous glint in her eyes, her cheeks a little paler than normal.
I twisted the bracelet on my wrist. “Should I be scared?”
“Not unless your name is Kyle Sanford.”
I resisted the urge to ask what it did. I knew her strength and love for the bogey bat hex and only feared what this spell could be (the last one that she made gave you the ability to turn people in to goats just by the simple art of blinking). I also pondered the reason as to why the sudden dislike of Kyle, why they wanted his blood instead of Lewis’s. Speaking of Lewis, she hasn’t left the bathroom; she has locked herself in it; which was typical, because I really needed to use to loo.
Suddenly, a quill was thrown to the other end of the room with desirable force. “What the buggar-y are we doing?” Lily cussed, throwing a pillow towards the fire, it hit the guard, crashing it in to the flames, and landed on the floor with a thump. “We shouldn’t be sitting here, literally twiddling our thumbs; we should be out there, looking for her!”
Dixie scoffed. “You heard James; she’s in the Slytherin Common Room.” She turned towards me. “It’s your boyfriend who kidnapped her, why don’t you go and get her back?”
“Don’t you blame Scorpius,” I hissed menacingly. She could blame who ever the hell she wanted to, but the fact that it was his
name that came from her mouth really ticked me off.
“Well then who do I blame?” She asked, a slight crack to her voice, “James for not running fast enough?”
“No,” Lily said, throwing her parchment on to the table. “Blame, James for not keeping his bloody mouth shut.”
Dixie stopped tracing the circles on the sofa momentarily. “While we’re on this subject, does someone want to tell me what he said?”
“No,” we answered in unison. Fred was asleep in the nearby arm chair; a little drewl came from his mouth, down his chin. Dixie got up from the sofa and walked to him. With a swish from her wand, the saliva was gone.
She tucked her wand back in to her boot and sat on the arm of the chair. “I get that its Charisma’s secret and such, but I feel as her best friend I should know.”
“It’s not that we don’t want to tell you,” I tried. It was a sad attempt to ease her obvious hurt. She felt betrayed that Charisma wouldn’t tell her something this big, after six years. “It’s just that-“
“-We don’t want to tell you.”
I rolled my eyes. “Lily, you’re not helping.” Dixie had looked back to the floor. “Dix, it’s just. Charisma is so embarrassed by this. It took her years to be able to say it out loud.” Dixie’s warm brown eyes met mine. “I think that if you find out, Charisma should have the right to tell you herself.”
She nodded once, “Thanks Rosie. That explanation had a lot more tact than Little Miss Potter over there.”
The look on Lily’s face said it all, her eyes glinted with anger. “Have you got something to say to me Pruitt?”
I tugged on Lily’s jeans, pulling her back on to the sofa. “Lily, let’s not do this now.”
“Why not?” She begged. “James did!”
“And James is currently in the Hospital Wing!” I cried. The answer would have been perfect, if my voice had not cracked on the last syllable. Lily stopped struggling against me and sat still instead. She showed no affection, nor did she show anger.
Between the three of us, not too much emotion was being displayed.
Upon staggering back from the Slytherin Common Room, to say that James was angry was an understatement. He stormed through the portrait hole, taking down a tapestry as he did; it still lay limp in the corner of the room. No one had the energy, or the desire, to re-hang it. When I put myself between him and the boys’ dormitories in an attempt to clam him down, he only roughly pushed me aside. The attempt seemed somewhat of a joke at this point.
There was shouting, a lot of shouting, then some crying, and then a lot of crashing. I sat on the bottom step, held by Elle as she rubbed my back. The throw of punches could be heard from above. The seventh year boys’ dorms seemed a dangerous place. Between the fire of curses and spells, the punches seemed meaningless. I am sure that, at a point, James had used one or two that were Dark Magic. But that I wouldn’t repeat.
Before long Kyle tumbled down the stairs. ‘Tumbled’ didn’t really cover it. He fell, hitting every step on the way down, before getting his leg caught in the trick step and smacking the back of his head on the wall behind him.
Ellie pulled me up abruptly, dragging us both a few steps back from the stairs and screaming a little. She ran towards Kyle, afraid to touch him. When she did, he gasped a little, spewing out a little blood from his jaw.
Considering that besides a selective few, dis-including me, knew what was actually going on. All that I viewed was an act of brutal force being pursued by my favourite cousin. James staggered down the stairs, his shoulder un-naturally bent forward. He lifted his wand to Kyle and sneered something. Something that was harsh enough to send tears down Elle’s pale cheeks.
I knew that I should have walked forward, stepped in. but I knew that if something was bad enough to send James in to this state, Kyle probably deserved the pain he was going through. So I did nothing, I merely watched James threaten his friend, speak words that seemed in-human to me.
It was only when Elle let out a loud sob that James blinked. His eyes shot from Kyle to Ellie, changing from furious to helpless in a millisecond. Elle was alike Charisma, sweet and somewhat innocent. He knew that if that were he lying on the floor, for the sake of Charisma, he would want that person to stop. You could see it in his expression.
James lowered his wand and shook his head violently, stepping over a distraught Kyle, walked through the Common Room and through the portrait hole, but not before muttering an apology to me. ‘Sorry for pushing you Rosie’ he had said, as if that was the most important thing to apologize for at that moment. From where James had stood, in his place was Drew; the youngest of their group, though he was anything but a baby. He and Kyle were the closest, so to see an expression of that hatred on his face shocked not only me, but most likely anyone with feelings.
He sighed and stepped over Elle, using Kyle’s leg as leverage for the trick step. “I’ll make sure that he gets to the Hospital Wing.” It was only as he left that I noticed a forming bruise on his left cheek. It was at that moment that I had gone to get Lily from her dorm. She was shaky, pale; the opposite of her mocking and strong demeanour that she usually paraded around. Dixie sat on the end of her bed, her form not much of an improvement.
Within a few minutes, Fred had pulled Kyle from the step and brought him to the Hospital Wing. He didn’t want to stay with Kyle, I could see that. He, besides James, was the only one of us to have seen Charisma since Kyle’s attack. I could only imagine how she was.
It’s not a secret that she is easily hurt. A simple word is all it takes to put her down. This year, everything’s gone to pot. First there was Evie, then Nate, then her parents, then James and now this. Although when I asked her how she deals with it, she said eight words. Those eight words have stuck with me for months. I can’t get them out of my head.
What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
For Charisma to say such words; things must be bad. A small suspicion at the back of my head said that she wasn’t going to take this in the manner that we all expected her to, a little crying here and there and then she would move on, forgive James and things would go back to normal. That’s what’s happened so far.
This time something was different. I know it. This time she isn’t going to give up easily. She’s a Gryffindor for a reason – and I think that Evie Lewis is going to find out why she was placed in to the House of Red and Gold.
I turned to the sound of my name. Lily was sat next to me while Dixie was on the table infront. “Rosie, darling, are you ok?” Dixie asked. “You blanked out for a minute there.”
I shook my head in realization, shaking all bad thoughts from my mind. “I’m fine thank you.” I said. “There’s just something that I need to do.”
I walked towards the boys dormitories. Taking two steps at a time I headed for James’s dorm. It was empty, he and Kyle were in the Hospital Wing, Fred in the chair downstairs – Drew had never come back. I assumed he was either still with James, making sure that neither one of them committed murder during the night with Ellie. That or he was wondering the castle aimlessly. Drew could be rather sentimental when he tried.
I went straight to James’s trunk, flicked open the latch and pulled open the lid. I rummaged through the crap, pushing aside clothes and pieces of old parchment. Finally I found what I was looking for; the invisibility cloak.
“Take a seat Charisma,” Professor McGonagall said, gesturing to one of the two that were placed perfectly infront of her desk. I stared at them for a moment, deciding which to take. The one closest to me would give me a full view of the window over the grounds, the one furthest away would keep me trapped in a corner. Somehow, I felt safer in the corner. “Miss Price?”
It took me no more than a moment to realize that I had been standing still, staring at chairs. I blinked and sent her a fake smile. She knew it wasn’t real; she knew as well as me. I nodded once, taking my smile back, replacing it by chewing nervously on my lip. I stepped forward, pushing the first chair back carefully and taking the one in the corner. It was a hard chair, wooden and with an emerald coloured cover.
I considered, as I obeyed the Professor’s suggestion, the reasons that I might be brought here. Surly the rumour couldn’t have reached the teachers by now.
I took the pause of silence to scope the room; its unusual circular walls were intriguing. Tall windows were instead of the right wall, thin black lines made smaller squares on the glass. I recognised the portrait of Albus Dumbledore, the greatest Wizard of all time. James spent his third year referring to his as much as possible. 'He’s too great to be forgotten'
, he would say. Of course, even he knew that Albus Dumbledore would never be forgotten. Not even if the man himself wanted it.
McGonagall raised a brow quizzically before shrugging. “Miss Price,” she sighed, her serious face suddenly seeming a little less harsh, nonchalant even. “After the horrific incident during your first year, you and Mr Potter assured me that you would be able to take care of this ‘condition’ yourselves.” I nodded, she spoke as if questioning me. I resisted the urge to cry out, to over turn the desk and walk out.
Instead I said “yes.” I took a deep breath. “And we can. I can.”
McGonagall’s thin lips slid in to a smile. “Everyone needs somebody.”
“You’re lying.” She said. Leaning forward, she leant her elbows on to her desk. “I would like to know the reason behind the sudden brush off of Mr Potter.”
“I was sure that you already knew.” I whispered, my voice barley audible.
Her glasses fell forward on her nose. “I do,” she admitted. I crinkled my nose, a little taken back by her abruptness. “I just wondered if you would be willing to tell me.”
I didn’t answer.
“Charisma,” I quickly realised that the nonchalant expression on her face wasn’t nonchalant in the slightest, it was actually pity.
I blew my hair from my eyes, it was in a messy pile, set on the top of my head in a bun; set with a hair band. “I don’t need you to feel sorry for me Professor.”
“It’s a good thing that I don’t then isn’t it.” My feet slid from underneath me and hit the floor; this was not the reaction that I was expecting from a teacher, let alone out Headmistress, my head of house. “I know you Miss Price, you may think that I don’t, but I do.” A grey hair fell from beneath her lopsided hat. “You are a strong minded, courageous sixteen year old girl. You also happen to be a Gryffindor.” I looked down to the Slytherin bottoms that I was wearing and quickly averted my gaze. “It’s completely out of the question to think that for a single moment that you can’t handle it.”
At this moment, I would have worried that I was loosing it. I was loosing all grips to reality. The wolf was a monster, it was hard to control and would surly consume me; if not now, then later.
“And why do you think that I would even consider that?”
With a small smirk she spoke, “Do you refer to that fact that you are lying through your teeth now, or due to the incidents that happened earlier today?” I looked to the floor. “If something is going on Miss Price, I wish for you to tell me now.”
Her voice was caring, an annoyance if anything. I longed for her voice to be demanding, mean. At least in that scenario, I would have a reason to be upset with her. The kindness in her voice sent me back in to reality. I have no reason to be upset at her, nor to my friends. They have done nothing but be there for me. I have done nothing but hurt them and run away, like a coward. I’m not a coward.
Despite the early hour, the curtains to the windows were draw far, giving the occupants of the room the perfect view of the grounds. In the shadows, two students ran across the green. McGonagall watched them carefully before turning her attention back to me. She knew that there were students out; she also knew that they would be safe. I wasn’t let loose until tomorrow night.
The light in the room came from an array of candles, a few lanterns and a few lights that were pinned to the wall, not to mention the blazing fire. However, the main source of light came from outside. The moon was especially bright tonight; it would draw me in. Every time I threatened to look towards the sky, I would feel its pull. So instead I stared to the floor. I met the Professors gaze with a sense of acknowledgement.
My hands fell to the arms of the chair in a mixture of desperation and anger. I felt it was time to answer. I didn’t speak with desperation, but with a cool monotone. “But you’ve just admitted that you already know what’s wrong.”
“Well I would like to hear it from you.”
I sniffed unintentionally. “I sincerely doubt that you want to hear what I have to say.”
She pushed her glasses back up to her nose, as I let my fringe fall in to my eyes. “I’m listening aren’t I?”
I looked around the room sadly. My eyes stopped when I held a gaze with professor Dumbledore. It was as if he looked at me with curiosity, courage. He showed no pity. He understood. He looked, almost serene. I met eyes with McGonagall once again before sighing and sheepishly dropping my gaze to the floor. I couldn’t show that even the simple art of thinking hurt me, let alone thinking of him.
This entire situation seemed unreal, and yet, at the same time, so true.
I looked down to my hands that were clasped together in my lap. In my mind, the speech was planned. I would say everything from how I made the mistake of trusting James, to how I am leaving Hogwarts to go and live in a hole. Instead, I swallowed. The words were too hard to find.
“He betrayed me.”
She didn’t flinch when I shivered, neither did she comfort me. She sat back in her chair and magically conjured a tissue before sending it flying towards me with a flick of her wand. She sighed and tapped her fingers on the edge of her chair. Once again leaning forward; she could never stay in one place for too long.
I took a slow breath, calming myself. My tear ducts were empty. You were only allowed so many tears per boy, per situation. Let’s face it; I had used mine up many months ago.
I couldn’t tell what the Professor was thinking. Her eyes were narrow, but that was usual. I was sure that she could tell if I lied. So I decided there was no point. Her stare has a little to much intrigue to be normal.
I bit my lip as McGonagall smiled an unusually gentle smile. “I’m sure that betraying you wasn’t Mr Potter’s intention.”
“He told his trollop of a girlfriend that I am a werewolf.” I sneered, a snarl appearing on my lips. This was the first time I had admitted it out loud.
“Were you there?” She replied, stopping for a moment of thoughtful pause. She took my silence as the correct ‘no’. “Then I am sure that you do not have the full story.”
The truthful edge to her voice cut like a knife. I knew that my line of defence wasn’t working. She was right; I didn’t have the full story. I only knew what Fred had told me, a few simple words.
I took another breath and tried to stop it from shaking. “I may not have the full story,” I said. “But I don’t need to know what is going to be over the school tomorrow.”
“And what might that be?” Her voice sounded intrigued.
“Rumours,” I suggested with a shrug. “The fact that I am a monster.”
For a moment I thought the pity from the Professors face had disappeared, but I was mistaken. It had returned. Her brows furrowed as she looked me up and down, taking in my posture. I felt discouraged, abandoned. Nothing is going to make this right. Not unless we meddle with time; since the war, it’s been forbidden.
McGonagall looked up with a thoughtful glare. “Miss Price, I feel no need to correct you on that statement.” I felt my heart drop. The least she could do was try to convince me otherwise. “If you, in any way, consider yourself a monster, then you are. You are only what you make of yourself.” My eyes found nothing but the thick rug beneath my chair. “In my opinion, you’re the complete opposite.”
“I didn’t ask for your opinion.”
“Then you can forget my last comment.” For a moment, I was sure I saw a flicker of humour creep its way on to her features. While I had been listening to her comments, I hadn’t forgotten the consequences, the words that were being spoken outside of these walls. The moment the door opened; there would be crowds of students waiting with pitch forks. I know it. But, McGonagall took this moment of silence to speak up once more, asking me a question that I had never once considered. “Why do you think you were placed in Gryffindor, Charisma?”
I took too long to reply. So she spoke again. “If you honestly don’t have the faintest idea, then you certainly aren’t the girl that I thought you were.”
“Then tell me.” I demanded, anger parading itself on the tip of my tongue. “Tell me why I am all great and powerful. Why you think that I deserve to be in the house of lions.”
A small smile of McGonagall’s triumph faded. “It’s not my place to say.” Doubt filled my mind, unpleasantly mixing with fear. If she didn’t know the reason, how could anyone. “If you would excuse me for a moment,” she said. She screeched back her chair and walked towards the stairs, my eyes followed her up until she descended the last one. She was going to leave me here?
Minutes passed, not even a creak came from the floor above, not a stir in the castle. I looked back to the eerie grounds, hoping to catch sight of the two students that had run in to the Forbidden Forest merely ten minutes ago. As no sign of them returned, I began to get impatient.
Under different circumstances, patience was always at the top of my list, but today I had, had enough. Patience could screw itself. It’s not worth it. I stood up from the chair, my bare feet feeling the roughness of the rug. The red and gold patterns were mildly faded, the edges frayed. If Professor McGonagall thought it polite to leave me on my own, brooding, in an empty room of the castle, I shall find it polite to walk out. My destination is still unknown; I pondered walking to the grounds, seeing if I could locate the young students. That was until something caught my eye.
On the top shelf, to my left, was the Sorting Hat. It was clean, compared to the dusty shelf it sat upon. Small singes were seared in to its edges from the Battle of Hogwarts back in 1997, along side crinkles that would easily be fixed with a simple spell, or an iron. I remembered its kindness, its ability to be annoyingly cryptic, but then again, somehow still understanding.
At age eleven, I was small, undeveloped and a little mental, more so than now. My blonde locks were tightly curled, tighter than ever seen before. They did not lie unruly; they spun tightly, like corkscrews and reached my shoulders. My robes were a little too long. “You’ll grow in to them” my father said, the typical words of a typical parent. It was that morning that he had dropped me off at the station and handed me my ticket. With a small wave and a light kiss on the cheek, he was off, and I was on my own. Little did I know, that was the last kiss that I would ever receive from that man.
I walked through the platforms, ignoring the
aww’s and ‘
how adorable’s’ that I received from the older generations. I tried even harder to block out the ‘where are her parents’. It was a question that, even I, would have liked to know the answer.
When I reached Platform nine and three quarters, I was loosing control of the trolley, I was hardly taller than the silver handlebars itself, no more than a head height. It wasn’t until my third year that I had a growing spurt. It resulted in me ramming the wheels in to the back of a tall boy’s legs. His dark skin and teasing smile was what greeted me, after he had peeled himself from the front of my luggage. He introduced himself as ‘Freddy’ and called over his father. I was a little startled at first to the tall man with one ear, but it was merely minutes before he had picked up my luggage, put it on the train and introduced me to his wife, Angelina. Their daughter Roxy was holding on to her mother tightly and refusing to say goodbye to her brother. Oh, how things changed.
Only minutes after that, Fred had tried to push me on the train, literally shoving me against the step. I held on to the handle bars of the door, stepped up and tripped, landing on the raven haired boy who would, within seconds, turn out to be my best friend.
A train ride later, having been stuffed with sweets, discussed everything possible about ourselves and possibly insulted a group of third year Slytherins, we were at Hogwarts, riding in boats across the Black Lake. While they discussed the Gryffindor House, I stroked a tentacle of the Giant Squid. I’m pretty sure, after I named it Derrick, was the moment when James decided that we would forever be inseparable. Until sixth year, that is.
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.
My name was called to be sorted soon after. Professor Longbottom – funny man – had just sorted James, Freddy stood happily behind me. Leaning back and forth rhythmically from the soles to the tips of his shoes. Like he wished, James Potter had been sorted in to Gryffindor. Freddy was sure to follow him. Me, I wanted to be a Hufflepuff. I was desperate to be a loyal, patient, caring Puffie.
“Charisma Price.” Professor Longbottom called, giving me a caring smile as I hesitantly approached the three legged stool. I jumped up on to the wooden seat, swinging my legs back and forth as my toes wouldn’t touch the ground.
“Hmmm, what do we have here?” The Sorting Hat pondered. “A Price? I haven’t seen one of you in a few generations.”
‘My father went to Durmstrang’ I silently thought. The hat chuckled quietly.
“Durmstrang,” the Hat muttered. “Terribly associated with blood status over there. Nothing like Hogwarts.”
‘Do you speak with irony?’ I asked, only to hear its laugh once again.
“Smart, I see. But not Ravenclaw material.” I frowned a little; I was a little disgruntled in wonder. Had the hat just called me dumb? “Do trust me when I say, on your behalf, it is a compliment. It means that your competitive drive isn’t as high as others, easy to get along with. You’re kind,” it said. “But not sly, nor too cunning. But you will make sacrifices.”
I looked to the floor. I had only lost Granny a few years previously, she was my everything. I would spend my days with her, when Mum and Dad were too busy with something else, aka, everyday. “Strong willed.” It said again. “You deal with your emotions privately; you’re not one to share your problems unless the situation demands it.”
‘I … I guess not’ I stammered. I felt cold, as he still hadn’t even mentioned a possible house I could fit in to. Only one that I would be rejected from. What if I wouldn’t fit in, what if there had been a mistake and I had to leave and go home … to that!
The Sorting Hat assured me that I was entirely wrong and went on with a speech. He quickly eliminated Slytherin, quicker than he had crossed out Ravenclaw. This left only two Houses. Hufflepuff and Gryffindor. Huffelpuff, Huffelpuff, Huffelpuff. I chanted in my head quietly.
“I wonder which house you wish to choose.” It teased, a small jolliness to his voice. “I think that you will fit perfectly. So on that note, HUF-“
‘What’s wrong?’ I asked, concerned. ‘Are you alright, Mr. Hat? Why did you stop?’
It drew a deep breath, “That, was … unexpected.” It said, a small amount of disappointment consuming its demeanour.
My head swam; he couldn’t be insinuating that Hufflepuff was no more. ‘You can’t take Huffelpuff away from me’ I said quietly, in a sad voice. I couldn’t loose another thing.
“You’ll thank me for this one day, Miss Price.” It said in a monotone. “You’re strong, independent, it’s just so upsetting that it has to happen to you.”
‘What?’ I questioned. ‘What has to happen to me?’
“GRYFFINDOR!” It shouted, and life as I knew it, began.
I felt cold, sitting in McGonagall’s office and staring at the Sorting hat. It had been almost six years since I had seen it. Not once did I even consider why it hadn’t placed me in Huffelpuff. It was this moment I realised. The wolf, once again, this monster inside of me has ripped me from another decision. It changed my life in more than once way.
I walked towards it slowly. Unlike me, it slept soundlessly, only occasionally releasing the odd snore. It guffawed as I made my last step and awoke, “Charisma,” it questioned sleepily. “You’ve grown.”
I gave a solemn nod, “Yes. It has been over six years; I would assume that I have.”
“You’ve also accumulated an attitude, I see.” It muttered. “You were always a surprising one.” Giving a single blink, it carried on. “Almost a Hufflepuff, if I remember correctly. But I made the switch just in time. Never before have I had to do that to a student.”
“Because, no other student has given me the characteristics, or prospects that you did. I have never felt a need to.”
With a sigh I shook my head. “I mean, why you made the switch. You saw something,” I remembered, “And you changed your mind.” The hat looked confused. “I could have dealt with my ‘condition’ in Hufflepuff.”
My throat was dry, making my voice hoarse. Yet, the hat seemed of perfect health. “Miss Price, do you think that I put you in Gryffindor because of your curse?”
So even the hat saw it as a curse. “Yes, why else?”
“I thought that you would have figured it out by now.”
I looked up, my forehead furrowed painfully. “You can’t be insinuating this.”
“Oh but child,” it said as I struggled to make connections in my mind. “I am.”
It couldn’t be; another thing that he has managed to ruin. “You moved my house because of James Potter. Because you saw him and I making friends, a house wouldn’t have separated that, we were friends already!”
I felt cold, as if there was nothing else this boy could do. “I didn’t change your house because of that, Miss Price.” He said, looking sympathetic as I blinked away hot, dry tears that threatened to spill from my eyes. “When I looked in to your mind, I saw more than a friendship.” I swallowed. Was he about to speak the words that I have been waiting to hear? “You and James aren’t just friends. You’re bound together with a bond that is stronger than you could have ever imagined.”
“Oh, let me guess.” I mocked. “Love. That complex emotion just makes everything so much better.”
I looked up to the hat, my brow furrowing painfully. I didn’t want to be having this conversation. “You’ve hit the nail on the head; maybe I shouldn’t have been so eager to rule out Ravenclaw.”
“So you wanted to rule it out?”
“Don’t be difficult.” It ordered, a slight annoyance to its tone. “I appreciate your circumstances are a little different than others, Miss Price, but can you honestly tell me now, that if I gave you the option. You would switch houses. Right here, right now?”
I could only give it silence.
“You couldn’t leave Mr Potter,” it stated. “As much as you hate to admit it, you need him just as much as he needs you.” Inside my mind I was beginning to get a little hysterical. “If you were placed in to Hufflepuff, you wouldn’t be the person that you are now. You may not have the curse, you may not have to deal with the moon every month, you may not have gotten so close to James, therefore, you wouldn’t have felt heartbreak-“
“-but I wouldn’t give it up for the world.” I finished. “I love him so much,” I breathed. “It’s a, practise my signature with his name kind of love, but right now all I want to do is rip out chucks of his flesh and stamp on him.”
I blinked away an empty tear and looked in to the eyes of the hat. “I may not know much,” it said “for I am merely a hat. But isn’t that was love is? Feeling every emotion so forcefully that you think your insides are going to break. As if you feel nothing but the things your partner and you to, as if you’re going to explode. Anger, lust, passion and hate; they’re all a part of love. Along with kindness, loyalty, redemption and forgiveness. Remember that young one.”
“Thank you.” I nodded.
My head swam; I turned on the rug, twisting on the ball of my foot. “You were put in to Gryffindor because you’re loyal, strong and kind. You would do anything for that damn boy. That is what makes you who you are. It’s also the reason he was placed, as he would do the same for you. For you to doubt the reason that you were place, well maybe you’re not the Gryffindor that I thought you were.”
“Maybe I’m not.” I challenged.
Our conversation was interrupted by the creak of a footstep from the floor above. “I can assure you, Miss Price that you are.” Professor McGonagall said from the balcony above. I looked up to her, locking her gaze with mine. “Maybe it’s Mr Potter that needs to be hearing this, not me, nor the Sorting Hat.”
My voice was suddenly hoarse once more, words seemed lost. “I’m scared.”
“Of what?” The professor demanded. “If anything, Mr Potter should be the one with the fear; I saw the look in your eye as the hat questioned your placement. You want to be in the house of lions more than you want anything in the world. You just haven’t justified it to yourself yet.”
It was minutes before I spoke again, I couldn’t find the words. After much thinking, I came up with something. “I think I can make it to the Tower. Thank you for your hospitality.”
“Oh, but he’s not in the Gryffindor Common Room, Charisma.” Once more, my brows knitted together. For once, James wasn’t in the tower? This was highly unlikely. “You underestimate the power of his feelings for you. Your disappearance has put much strain on your friends.” I closed my eyes and hung my head slightly in shame. I hadn’t once considered what this would be doing to them. “Mr Potter is in the Hospital Wing.”
A small smirk grew on her lips. “He and Mr Sanford, I believe.” She said. Her words were spoken with care. Each one was selected carefully. I could see the choosing chase across her eyes. “From what I can gather, there was a disagreement in the Common Room.”
I stumbled across words; the only thing coming from my mouth was the odd splutter. “I need to get to the Hospital Wing.”
“Before you leave,” The Headmistress said as I laid a hand on the knob of the door. My exit was surprisingly quick. “I would like you to tell me how you feel.”
“Is this therapy?” I asked, a slight acid to my tone. I looked to her; upon noticing her upward gaze and slight uninterested in the subject, I could see this was anything but. “I feel like I want to die in a hole.”
She blinked rapidly before reaching for a parchment and paper. “I can safely say that one, Mr Lupin would certainly disagree with you.”
I snorted. “Teddy doesn’t need to get involved.”
“I’m not saying he should.” She said as her quill rapidly scribbled over the parchment. Her writing was messier than I had expected, little scrawls lead in slanted lines, not one was straight nor neat. “It’s just a safety precaution. I would advise you to leave Hogwarts for the weekend. Come back on Monday. Just take a break from the whispers and the rumours.”
“I’m fine thank you, I wish to stay.”
“Then allow me to re-phrase.” She applied; her quill still rapidly scrawling. “You will stay with Mr Lupin for three days and arrive back at Hogwarts on Monday evening. This means that you will be away for the moon.” Was she sending me away for me, or for the other students? “If you are so eager to stay at school, you shall be ready to begin classes on Tuesday?” Ignoring my look of protest, she spoke quickly, un-allowing me to breathe in another word. “The last time a student was openly accused of being a werewolf, it’s wasn’t all sweets and rainbows.”
She stopped writing, her quill solidly still within her grip. “You know of him?”
I nodded, pulling the t-shirt down over my midriff. “He’s Dan’s brother.”
“I did wonder if Mr Wilkins would have spoken to you.” She pondered. I wasn’t entirely sure if it were to me, or to herself. My gaze averted to Dumbledore, he stirred in his painting. “I would assume that he would keep you away from the whispers. I recommend that you stick with him.”
I smiled to myself and folded my arms. “I already did.”
Her eyes looked to me above the rims of her glasses. “Then it looks like you’re on the right track.”
AN; Hiya guys; to my loyal, loving readers! :P
I hope that you enjoyed Chapter 23. I know that the lengths of the past few have been absolutely rubbish. But I hope that this 21 paged chapter makes up for it! See that – I even threw in the number of pages that I wrote, subtle, huh? Kidding. XD
Ok, so a while back I said that this story was nearing an end – I read the ending, it sucked. I am sure that many of you would have hunted me down and tortured me until I wrote a better ending, so I have spent the past three or so weeks trying to rectify it. I have done it! 35 chapters’ ladies and gentlemen! I only have three and a half more to write.
Question; what do you think is going to happen next? Is she going to spend her time away with Teddy? Or somebody else? Is she even going to take this time away?
Preview of the next chapter. 27 pages :P I am getting better, eh? The update after this should be quite quick.
“All in all, Charisma,” Lily sighed. “Evie’s yours for the tormenting.”
Dixie smiled coyly. “So many choices, so little time.”
Over and Out. XD