Chapter 30 : It's a Sixth Year Thing
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Charisma and James
“Where the sodding hell did you disappear to?” Dixie asked the next morning, pointing a jammy knife in James’s direction. “Sorry,” she apologized. “That wasn’t supposed to be that threatening, maybe if I had used a spoon.”
Fred wrenched the cutlery from her grasp and put the selection of metal appliances on to his crummy plate. “I think what she means is, James, where the sodding hell did you disappear to? – in the most non-threatening way possible.” He sat down opposite to Dixie, looking a little exhausted for too many reasons to count.
I threw a desperate glance to James sitting only a few heads away, he looked a little sulky. Great, silent and brooding James was back. I was torn, I partially liked this James, he was brooding and dark. If possible, it made him seem sexier than hell. Yet, I missed the jokey James, the loud, out-spoken moron that I fell in love with. If I knew any better, at this moment, he was trying harder than anything to not look in my direction.
He looked up at Fred and shrugged. “Doesn’t matter.”
“Fine! Be that way.” Freddy flouted. “I am going to sit here, and enjoy eating Dixie’s toast.” She tried to pull it away bust wasn’t quick enough. Rolling her eyes she allowed him to eat hers while she took another.
Josh and Albus, who happened to be sitting in the seats next to us stood up and waved a goodbye, leaving nothing but two empty seats between me and James. An easy grin was on Freddy’s face, but not on anyone else’s. James bore a solemn expression, Dixie bordering on confused. I seemed to have none at all.
“Freddy, you’re so evil.” I said stirring my tea. He smiled a toast-y grin and resumed chewing. I picked up my knife to butter my own toast but cautioned myself with my own stupidity. I had dropped the knife landing it with a clatter upon my empty plate. But it didn’t land before slicing my finger tip. “OW!” I cursed, sticking my finger in to my mouth.
James whipped his head around immediately, mid-glare at Kyle and eyed my situation. Freddy leaned over the table and gestured my finger from my mouth, I pointed it too him.
“You silly moo,” he said. Dipping his nap-kin in to his goblet and touching it to my finger. It stung; I seriously doubted that he was drinking what the rest of us were for breakfast.
Dixie snorted. “Charisma, that’s the third time this week.” I looked down to my hands, one healing scab across the back and another along my forth finger. “Sweets, what’s going on with you? Is this like a usual moon thing?”
I shook my head. “No, it’s never happened before.”
“I hate to break it to you, love. But you’re getting clumsy.” Freddy softly said, still clasping his nap-kin around my finger. “For example, since when do you get hit by rogue Bludgers? You’re a pro at dodging them.” I sighed and shrugged. “The other day you fell out of bed – Dixie told me.”
I looked to Dixie. “Really?”
“I woke you up and you climbed back in.” She revealed with a shrug. “You were pretty shattered; I just assumed that you were sort of awake.” I crossed one leg over the other under the table and took a sip of my tea with my free hand clutching the mug with a death grip. I loosened up; scared I was going to smash it. “But there was the other day in Divination, the day that I threw the crystal ball; you knocked yours off of our desk. That’s so unlike you.”
“Maybe you’re loosing it.” Freddy cited, “I mean, it’s not like you haven’t had a good enough reason to – Christ, lighten up. It was just a suggestion.”
I looked to James outraged face, I could see that he wasn’t taking this incredibly well. I blinked and opened my eyes a little wider than usual, a habit that I seemed to be adopting. “Maybe Freddy’s right.” I suggested. “It’s not out of the question. I mean look at all the stuff that’s happened.”
Dixie smiled. “I’ve always wanted an insane friend.”
“I’m not insane.” I smirked, catching James’s eye again. He didn’t smile. “Merlin, James! Smile once in your life. It’s not going to kill you!” I stood up from the table, yanked my finger away from Freddy and stormed out of the hall. I wasn’t in the mood for it.
“He was on the other side of the pitch, after the game.” Lois explained. “Fighting with Avery and arguing with Madame Hooch.”
“Are you serious?” I demanded, throwing the dirty rag down on to the table infront of me. Detention.
She shook her head. “After you had been Bludger-ed, Wood took you off to the Hospital Wing. James said that he would catch up. Dixie stayed with him, but she didn’t look too happy about it. It took only seconds before Avery and Potter had to be pried apart. Pruitt stood between them, brave soldier that one; I wouldn’t have. That was why I was cowering in a corner.”
I snorted. “So why did they do it? Fight?”
“Not a clue, my guess is that he said something about you; that usually ruffles Potters feathers. But the venom of their words could be heard, even from where I was standing.” She brushed her hair from her eyes with her fingers. “The words ‘Cancelled match’ and ‘insane’ were directed towards Madame Hooch, but viler and harsher words were used on each other.”
I sighed and attempted to remember James’s good qualities. I realized that he was doing what he was for me. But a part of me withed that he would leave it. I knew when James was happy, and when he was faking happy. At this moment, he was faking happy.
It was harder than I thought it would be to act normal, especially around James. I knew when I came back to Hogwarts that I wouldn’t be totally happy, after all, I had expected the rumors and the ridicule. What I hadn’t expected was for James to be in a similar state than I. Upon asking Dixie the reason, she could come up with no more than ‘He knows more on how you’re feeling than you think’. How cryptic is that, especially when she accompanies it with a quick jog in the other direction.
I smiled at Lois and she rolled her eyes. “Boys, I tell you. They’re all trouble.” She was positively beaming as Dan entered the room once again, James not too far behind him.
It was a complete coincidence how the four of us ended up in detention together. But it worked. Or it seemed to.
Lois and I were still in trouble for icing Evie, she had dobbed me in to, saying that I started it. I thought it incredibly unfair how she received only one detention for her troubles, where as we received six. Dan was in here for hexing a fifth year, not sure why. But what I don’t know can’t hurt me.
James’s case was a little more interesting. He was still in trouble for his original prank, add that to the large amount of duals and fights that he had found himself in lately and you have a large number of over lapping detentions. Then you add the extra trouble he got for winning all of those duals, plus the few hexes he cast along the way. One more thing; assaulting a teacher; Madame Hooch had assured McGonagall that her black eye was a small price to pay for the lessons that ‘those strapping young lads’ learnt that day of the match. But our Headmistress still thought the act unthinkable. Avery served his time and got out as soon as he could.
Dan took the rag from Lois and began polishing the trophy that she was holding. “You two finished early?” Lois asked, smiling at James.
He gave a quiet nod and slipped in to the chair next to me. “Yeah, McGonagall told us to help you ladies finish up here, and then we can go.” Dan said, knocking Lois with his elbow.
“So you’re our knights’ in shining armor, eh?”
Dan pushed out his lips in thought. “I guess so.” Lois smacked his in the chest with a rolled up rag. “Call me Hercules!”
“Call you, bastard.” James muttered from beside me. I chose to ignore it and handed him a rag. He looked at me expectantly and I dropped it. He didn’t catch it, it fell that inch or two to the table.
The other two looked away and began their own conversation. James was being difficult. “What has gotten in to you?” I hissed. He didn’t reply. “Look, Potter. I realise that you’re upset with me, disappointed in me or whatever. But don’t take it out on others by being a total prick!”
“You know, I think that is the first time in either of our lives that you have called me a prick.”
“Don’t expect it to be the last if you keep acting like this.” He looked a little taken back. I had called him ‘Potter’ and ‘prick’ all in the same sentence. I doubt that he was ever expecting it.
“I’m that bad, huh?” His casual tone made my stomach churn uncomfortably.
I could only reply to him with watery eyes. His eyebrows flickered in response. He wasn’t going to be the reason I cried, not again. There are only so many tears allowed to be used on a guy. James had finished all of his a long time ago. Lois and Dan babble on, considering all the possibilities why Lois’s sister, Julie, had made it in to Slytherin instead of Ravenclaw. Their voices became background chatter as I stole another look at James.
My eyes absorbed everything. This would be it, after this, I was moving on. From his ruffled hair to his chiseled face. He would play Quidditch all yea and not do a thing about it, his hair was slightly lightened at the ends and his skin was rough. His lip was slightly jutted out as he returned my confused stare.
He had always been to god damn beautiful for his own good. He used his looks to get away with more than was thought imaginable, but before this year, they had never affected me. Now I knew how they felt, all those poor little fan girls that fainted at his wink, all those teachers that he had charmed out of punishment. Every girl that he had fooled I to thinking that they were special. Had he ever used that charm on me? Probably. Had I fallen for it? Even more likely.
It wasn’t something that he did on purpose. This was the reason I felt a little unhappy for him. He couldn’t control who liked him. He couldn’t control that people liked his looks. He was prepared for any of it. Just like I wasn’t.
“Please don’t cry.” He asked in a small voice. It didn’t seem like it belonged to James Potter. “Every time that I try to make things better, you cry. I don’t like it when you do.”
I turned away quickly and folded my arms over my chest. “Well it isn’t really too nice for me either.”
James’s eyes were wider than normal as he non-verbally stared down Daniel. Sometimes I felt like a puppet bystander who can’t control anything that anyone does. I picked back up the trophy infront of me and cursed as I knocked it off of the table, catching my finger on the sharp, cold metal edge. It fell to the floor with a loud clang; it alone was enough to attract the attention of Lo and Dan.
James pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and copied Freddy’s actions from earlier. He had no alcohol in a goblet so he wet the handkerchief with water charmed from his wand. Delicately, he wrapped it around my finger, using more care than Fred had before.
“Charisma,” Lois asked. “Are you alright?”
“Oh, no I’m fine. I’m sorry for… er… I’m just being really clumsy lately.” I tried not to look at any one in the room; my eyes fell instead upon my black fabric shoes. Three thin lace lines strapped through the holes before they were tied in to a messy bow. I used the two rabbits go in a burrow method, like I always have done.
The boys however, seemed completely oblivious to either my stutter or Lois’s concern. Instead all their energy was focused on glaring at each other. “What is your problem, Potter?” Dan asked. “I have been nothing but nice to you, and yet all you seem to want to do is rip out my insides.”
“Dan!” I breathed a little higher than necessary.
“No, Charisma!” His smile was a little too smug for my taste. “I have held it back for months, but I really want to know now. What have I done to make you so angry.” James’s expression didn’t change. “Is it because of Nate? Because he kissed Charisma before you got the chance?”
“Daniel!” Lois exclaimed, more than a little shocked.
“Is it because I was the one that carried her off after you blabbed, and had the chance to fix the mistake yourself-“
“Dan, that’s enough.”
“Or was it because of your pride? Your, poor, poor Gryffindor pride was ruined by-“ He was cut off by a letter.
Not a letter of the alphabet.
Actually, by a number of them.
James’s line of defense was a letter. From his trouser pocket, he had pulled a piece of rolled parchment, no bigger than my bleeding finger. Dan was silenced. He actually had no words. Neither did anyone else in the room. Not until James threw it down on to the table and spat the words ‘Read it.’
Dan did as he was told, hesitantly, he picked up the letter and gave it a once over. Then again. He read it a third time. Lois and I shared a confused glance as she stayed deadly still in a standing position. Her robes were thrown carelessly over the crook of her arm. She showed no intention of moving them.
Dan pulled the letter away from his eyes. “You can’t be serious.”
“Actually, that’s my middle name.”
Impatiently, I took the letter that was thrust under my eye line by a shaking hand. Dan was shaking, not by illness or by temperature, he was furious. I recognized the unreadable scrawl almost instantly; Teddy.
“This is the time for jokes, Potter.”
I looked up at James who swallowed with irritation towards Daniel. Antagonizing, he sighed. I looked back to the letter.
Jimmy-boy, my brother, my favorite little god-cousin.
How are you these days? I wrote back as quickly as I could. You letter-tone seemed urgent, is that even possible, an urgent letter tone?
It was at this point that I stopped to smile. Only Teddy would start off an urgent letter with a crack about James’s tone.
Everyone is alright here, Victoire threatened to hex me if I took out her precious father for celebrating again. ‘He’s an old man Teddy, he can’t handle what you do what you lads do now a days’. Lysander didn’t get shouted at…and he came home with a black eye!
Aunt H and Uncle Ron were at your dad’s this week, something about a disagreement between Rose, Al and Scorpius. You know anything? I’m always behind on the Gossip. I must know these things James; I also doubt that anyone else is going to fill me in, maybe Louis. But let’s face it, it’s too lazy. He always just adds on to the end of your letters with a quick ‘hello’ just to let us all know that he is still alive. Give him my love back for the last sentence he added on to your last letter.
Oh, also tell Freddy that I have a new shipment of flying teacups for him. They drive the parents mental. I tried it out on Gran and she nearly had a heart attack.
Dom ain’t too happy with you at the moment. She seems to have become rather attached to lil’ bit while she was here that weekend. I’m sure it’s because she was Dom’s doll. She was brave. A right Gryffindor. No one ever become’s Dom’s doll willingly.
Basically, while at Saint Mungo’s the other day (the Lysander getting a black eye thing, Aunt Fleur thought we should get him checked out. We assured her that it was Bill’s 53rd birthday and that it was natural for at least one of us to get in to a fight. But noooooo, the girls had to go and be mushy and crap and take him to the Hospital. Dom likes it though. She thinks it looks manly.) We met Simon Wilkins.
It was so awkward!
I sorta dragged Xander away (in the manliest way possible) while he and Dom hung back. He was in there for some sort of treatment. Apparently he hasn’t been reacting to his Wolfsbane in the same way lately. Something about being really clumsy afterwards. Not feeling too much pain and shit. Oh there was also a thing about mood swings – but I was sure that he always had them. Vic kicked me, as if she knew I was going to say something, psychic that one – but finally emotions. He said something about how they change so quickly, about how he doesn’t feel the same way for too long. It took him months to figure it out.
It wasn’t until I heard this that I realized that there must be something in the Wolfsbane going around. I mean, I fell down the stairs the other day! I’m six foot something-or-other, since when do I fall down stairs? I ended up walking around Saint Mungo’s before falling over a chair and walking out with a matching bruise on my face to Big-L. We looked like a pair of right muckers!
I hitched up a breath and tried to carry on reading. James’s couldn’t be insinuating this. He was taking this stupid House rivalry too far!
Vic thinks that I am really pathetic. On the other hand, she is kinda right. I am trying out a new look on my hair this week – blue, it matches my eyes. I am not gay.
Owl me a House Elf if you get bored. It will pop back up soon enough. Auntie H says that she hopes that you have an elevating time at old Hoggy-Hoggy-Hogwarts. Well, she didn’t say Hoggy-Hoggy-Hogwarts, she just said ‘school’, but I thought that Hoggy-Hoggy-Hogwartswas much cooler.
As a PS, tell Charisma that she left her spotty dress in my living room, along with about a foot of her hair! PSS, love you all. (Especially the blondie)
Teddy. Your older bro, incase you forget.
I allowed my heart to beat for several minutes before immediately vowing to make sure to write to Teddy about his eye.
Behind the paper, I saw Lois roll her eyes. I looked up at James, my mouth open a snatch. “What does Teddy mean?”
“Teddy hasn’t been very well Charisma, since he took the Wolfsbane.” Dan looked horrified; Lois didn’t look too good either. “To be perfectly honest, neither have you.”
“Did you take it to then?” I snapped. “Because I don’t think that you’ve been exactly normal lately.”
“Fair point.” He agreed. “But I think I have an effing good reason, love.” Any opportunity for a smile disappeared at this point. “You ran off, leaving me at school, worrying with no warning – it’s not you, Charisma, you don’t run away from things, you face them; you’ve always faced them. Then before I had any chance to properly apologize, you said that you forgive me…but let’s face it, you haven’t forgiven me. You’re never going to forgive me. I can deal with that.” My cheeks flushed pink. “But what I can’t deal with is your immaturity about it. Why would you sink to the level of turning my ex-girlfriend to ice? Where has this attitude of your suddenly come from? Who are you, because to be honest, I don’t really know anymore!”
“Who am I?” I echoed. “Who am I? I am Charisma Price, that’s the damned hell who I am. But now I have to ask you, who are you? Because the James Potter that I fell - became friends with all those years ago disappeared the moment Lewis stepped in to his life.” I ignored the looking of growing anger in his featured as bent over to pick the trophy from the floor. “What gave you the right to tell Evie? I realise that it was a mistake, and that you didn’t exactly say it directly. But what made you even think of bringing anything remotely like it at that moment?”
He released an aggravated sigh, his height suddenly towering over me. Dan grabbed hold of his collar and pulled him back. “No!” I shouted. “Dan, you don’t get to touch him! You’re next to be shouted at so stand the frick still!” He released James go as if he were on fire.
“Charisma. I didn’t tell Evie that you were a wolf.” He said slowly. “I brought up how I wanted to spend the full moons with you, and she put the pieces together. We have been over this. Lewis isn’t all looks.”
“She doesn’t have much of them either.” Lois muttered from a meter away. Noticing that this wasn’t the time to interfere, she stepped back.
I glared at James as he shushed me with a piercing stare. “I admit that I had no right to even mention the moons to her. But you have no right to expect me to be there every moon. Do you have any idea what it’s like for me?”
“No, James!” I shouted through the snot and tears. I was the epitome of attractive. “No I don’t! Because you won’t tell me!”
He violently shuddered and held my forearms, keeping me still. “I can’t tell you, love. I don’t think that I physically could. You are my entire world and I couldn’t loose you.”
“Loose me?” I repeated. “James, trust me, I am not an easy person to loose.”
A small smile appeared on his face, his eyes brimmed with tears. I had never seen him cry. I had never seen him come anywhere close. He didn’t though. I knew that he wouldn’t. “Charisma, if I told you what you did. You wouldn’t look at me in the same way. You would be so upset. I just can’t do that to you.” He let go of my arms and turned his head to Dan. “And you, Wilkins! Where do you get off trying to tell her what she does! Have you ever seen it?”
“My brother is a werewolf, Potter. You know that! It was in that letter from your God-brother.”
“You knew?” I whispered.
He shook his head. “I knew of the whole Simon-era thing through Dom, but I didn’t know the whole story until Teddy and I put the pieces together a couple of months ago. You were always lurking around, Wilkins, even when Charisma didn’t notice you.”
“She has the right to know what she does!” He shouted, throwing a trophy through the glass of the cabinet.
“And you think that you had the right to tell her?”
Lois pulled them apart. “This has gone on far enough!” she shouted. “The two of you, get a grip.” A breath seemed to be taken by everyone in the room. A little more broken glass fell. “Charisma,” her tone was suddenly calm. “Do you want to know?”
“Yes.” I whispered. I think that I actually saw James die a little. “But not now.”
“What?” Dan shouted at the same time that James began to breathe again.
“I want to know, but not now.” Lois nodded as I spoke. “The condition is that I want James to tell me, and I want him to tell me when he wants to.”
“See,” she said quietly, silencing the beginning of an uproar. “Charisma is a person; you should have both asked her about this before jumping to any conclusions.”
“I am so sorry,” James begged. His voice was pained, his eyes weren’t much better. “Charisma, I didn’t want any of this. I didn’t want you to have any idea. Everything was so much better when you didn’t know a thing.” He wiped away a tear that fell from my eye. I wasn’t crying for him. I was crying through frustration.
“Daniel,” I whispered. James took a step back. He looked a little hurt. “What did you do to the Wolfsbane?”
“Think about what you’re accusing me of here.” James simply raised a brow. “I didn’t do anything-“ he stated, arms folded in authority “-to yours.”
James squared him up. “What do you mean by that – what did you do to my cousins?”
“Worried are we?” He cooed. I placed my hand on James’s shoulder; he seemed to step back a little. “Potter, my brother is incredibly dangerous. I put sleeping pills in his Wolfsbane so that it weakens his wolf state – sleeping pills react differently to how you would think. He knows that I do it, it was his idea. The side affects are just that, a side affect. He has to live with them, and he knows that.”
“Then how did I get them?” I asked. My voice has finally found itself again.
He shrugged. “I have no clue. I label them all, you know that.”
“I know. Mine had ‘Charisma’ on it; the ‘I’ was dotted with a smiley face.”
Dan pulled his hands from his trouser pockets and sat down at the table. “I have no idea how you got the side affect.” James didn’t look convinced. “Some people have an allergic reaction to th-“
“An allergic reaction?” James spat. “Are you kidding me?”
“No, I’m not Potter.” Daniel’s tone wasn’t much nicer. “I was going to suggest that it might have been the case if it was only affecting the one, and if that were the case, I would have edited the potion to make it work for them. However seeing as it affected them both…I just don’t know.”
“Dan!” She shouted. “There has to be a reason. Have you seen my hands?” I asked. “I don’t want to go around with cuts all over them forever, people will think wrong of me.”
“Since when do you care what people think of you?” He asked me.
“Since I have spent the past few weeks being called a mongrel and a mangy mutt by people that I thought were pretty decent human beings.” I admitted. “I can’t take being shouted at.” James stepped forward; he knew that I wasn’t lying.
“What the hell have you done, Potter?” Dan queried. “Before you came back in to her life, she couldn’t have cared less about her looks and her appearance to others. She was just herself.” James became suddenly infuriated. “You’ve brainwashed her…she will do anything that you say because she is in love with you but that doesn’t mean that you can abuse it.” Oh my god! My mouth dropped and my face fell, my other worst-kept-secret-ever was just shouted out. Why do my boyfriends keep doing this to me?
Fortunately, it didn’t seem to register in James’s head. Let’s face it; he’s not that good with taking in information straight away. He needs time to process things. It probably went in one ear and straight out the other. “Listen here Wilkins, think about what you just said. You’re being a dick! Now tell me what happened to by baby girls Wolfsbane!”
“I told you, Potter! I don’t know!”
It wasn’t my voice, nor was it James. I took my hand off of James’s shoulder as he turned to Lois. She was standing quietly in the corner. She looked ashamed. “Do share, Hearsum.”
“Lois?” I couldn’t contain my shock. Apparently neither could Dan as he looked straight to his girlfriend with an expression that I didn’t recognize.
She swallowed air. “Last week, when you played that prank on Nate, buried all of his clothes in the Forbidden Forest, he wanted to get you back.” I didn’t know he had done that to Nate. Nathan is deathly afraid of spiders; he hates going in to the forest on his own. “He asked me what irked you the most lately. I remembered when I had mixed up a few of your potions by mistake in fifth year.”
“We went up to your room while you were at dinner early – we saw you on our way in, Charisma. One of the first day’s back from the holidays.” I nodded in remembrance. It was the day that James broke up with Evie, the day my secret came out. “You have a row of blue and purple potions above your bed next to your blue and purple potions for class. We switched some of the tags on it around.”
“No wonder my Draught in class didn’t work.” He acknowledged. “I had poured in Wolfsbane rather than the correct elixir.”
“I am so, so sorry.” She said through a sniff. “We just thought we were playing a harmless joke. If either of us had known what they were!”
“But Nathan does know,” Dan spat. “He has known about Simon for years.”
I sniffed and James pulled me in to a caring hug. For a moment, it was the two of us, back in third year, mucking around with the guys. But then I snapped back to reality and realized that it was a caring hug. It was a pity hug. “Then why would he do it? I doubt that he simply forgot.”
“I have no idea.” Dan said his voice was barely above a whisper. “Nate doesn’t do bad things intentionally, it’s against his nature. Plus he didn’t know that Charisma was going to take the Wolfsbane.”
James sighed; I was still tucked under his arm. “I want to carve Harpers eyes out with a spoon, but it does seem out of character for him.”
“I make five potions.” Dan said slowly. “Three with the sleeping pills in them – Simon tends to loose things, I reckon that he can’t loose three vials-, and two without – incase anything goes wrong with the originals and I need to add the pills again. I had given the two that I assumed without to Charisma, and you’re God-Brother, Teddy. I guess it was just purely bad luck that all three ended up with the pills.”
“Or not.” I whispered.
“Charisma, love. Come one, you know that Harper wouldn’t do anything intentionally to you.” I was expressionless; each of his words pierced my heat more and more. I didn’t want James to be the one telling me and Nate wouldn’t hurt me. The tables have turned violently, what have I become?
With a simple nod I pulled away from James. “If you don’t mind, I would like to take a walk.” I waited for no reaction before turning away and heading down the corridor.
It was the end of the corridor before I knew where I was. The seventh floor. I had made it back to the Common Room without realizing it. A few more steps and I would be free from everyone – apart from my roommates, but let’s face it. They’re not going to say mush when I crawl in to a ball and make snoring sounds.
I heard footsteps. A flash of red. Auburn. It was Rose’s hair. I would recognize it from a mile away.
“Rosie!” I called down the corridor, running after her when she didn’t stop.
I caught her arm and pulled her back, she had heard me fully well. “What?”
I was taken back by her tone. Selflessly, I brushed it off and gave her a worried smile. “How are you? I haven’t seen you in a while. I just want to know how you are?”
“Because you’re like my little sister.”
I knew this was the wrong response the moment it left my lips. “Oh, and big sisters sleep with their little sisters boyfriends do they?”
“No, they don’t.” I snapped. “Which is why I didn’t.”
She rolled her eyes. “Look, Charisma. I didn’t believe a word of it…not until Scorpius stopped denying it.”
“Are you serious?” I asked. “That’s why you’re mad?”
She nodded, as if it was the simplest reason in the world. “Why else?”
I sighed a sigh of relief. “Rose, I thought that you hated me because I split.”
“What?” She cried, “Charisma, I was annoyed at you. But I could never hate you – no matter what you do.”
I smiled a small smile. I knew that Rose was always a difficult one to crack, but I would do it if it was the last thing that I would do. It was irrational of her to believe such rumors.
“Rose, Scorpius stopped denying the rumors because he felt no need to justify himself to you.” I explained. “You love each other, right?”
She nodded. “I love him so much it actually hurts.”
“Then go for it,” I advised. “Do the thing that makes you crazy. Jump while you have the chance.” She actually looked a little put out. “Sweetie, I am so sorry for the trouble that I put you though. What I put you all through, it was horrible and pathetic and cowardly of me. I didn’t mean to start any rumors. If I had just sucked it all up and faced James like I should have, then none of this would have happened.”
I couldn’t dispose of the nagging feeling that plagued the back of my mind. Dom and Vic spoke of ‘The Sixth Year Curse’ in the Potter family.
Ginny and Harry found love for each other and got together in Harry’s sixth year, they had to break up, but they returned to each other in Ginny’s sixth year. Ron and Hermione were an exception, but Harry told Dom that they realized that they fancied each other in their sixth years.
James Potter the first and Lily Evans went out in their sixth year and possibly their family before that. Arthur and Molly met in their sixth year, alike Cedrella and Septimus.
It’s a charm that lasts for centuries. The nagging feeling was telling me that they were wrong to go for it now. That waiting a year would be the correct thing to do. But I have defied all the rules lately.
They should break them. After all, they are Rose and Scorpius. They found love despite their families’ hatred and disagreements. They’re a modern day Romeo and Juliet – without the messy ending. Scorpius knows that I would spank him to hell and back if he ever even considered attempting anything of the sort.
I stood in the middle of the Quidditch Pitch. Still. Arms folded. Eyes closed.
The rain had just stopped falling so the grass was wet with dew and water. It glistened when caught with the right light. My eyelashes had droplets upon them too, but they weren’t from the rain.
I mentally stared at the surroundings around me, I knew them too well. I didn’t need to open my eyes. In a match, a small third year would be in the front row of every stand, wanting to get to the front. They will wave their arms psychotically, hoping to get noticed by a passing player. I let a cold breeze run over my skin. I shivered, but I didn’t feel the cold.
The cold is too far away. All my feelings are too far away. Everyone. I feel nothing.
I was stood on soil, a fitting location where I can dig a whole for my heart, throw it in, cover it back up and be done with it all. My heart is a useless instrument. It had broken a long time ago.
Until my heart was gone, I will continue to shudder, to feel, to hurt.
I want it to stop.
I want this feeling, this throb of agony in my chest, to stop, for once in almost a year, just for it to stop.
A presence rounded the corner and stopped. I heard the footsteps. They skidded to a halt. When I had done, the mud and puddles splattered the hem of my school trousers. The presence didn’t move, simply stood all those meters away in the entrance and watched.
I would have heard the squelching of the mud under their feet. But I didn’t.
I felt a tear drop roll down my cheek. I wasn’t crying for the pain now, I wasn’t crying for him. I was out of tears for that. Now, I was crying due to an overload of mortification. How did I react to the moon? I must have been awful. Scorpius told me after Christmas that James had a good reason for leaving me, I couldn’t figure it out. I just can’t see it.
I had walked from the Detention room almost two hours ago. James, I had left behind. I had also left my jumper; I assumed somebody would pick it up for me. What I didn’t assume was for the bitter cold and the rain. But now the ground smelt fresh, it wasn’t the dusty warm ground that plagued the summer. It was damp and soggy, new.
So here I stand, in the middle of the Quidditch Pitch, on a cold late, January evening in a thin white school shirt rolled up to my elbows and a loose tie. My fabric shoes were dominated with mud and would repel the strongest of cleaning charms. But I didn’t care. I don’t care.
“You’re going to catch your death out here.”
I laughed. It was a harsh, rare laugh that quickly transformed in to tears. I caught them in my hands and wiped them down the front of my trousers.
James wrapped his robes around my shoulders, first the material and then his scarf. I stood still. His fingers brushed against my cheek as I opened my eyes slowly. His touch was as light as a butterfly against my skin.
He didn’t move away as I sniffed, instead he moved closer. His warmth attacked my chill. I hadn’t noticed that my hand had touched his chest until I heard his sharp intake of breath.
He looked at me; his hand fell from my face and instead grasped my shoulder, pulling me a step towards him. A small smile appeared upon his face. It was a small one, but I caught it.
He brought his smile to my face. I love it when he smiles. While his smirk was what he paraded around like a King, his smile made him seem human. This smile didn’t taunt me, instead it drew me in.
Until this moment, I had not realized just how much I had been waiting. He leant closer to me resting his forehead against mine. I took a sharp breath as he chuckled.
Our lips met in a moment. Our hands rose from fabric to skin, fingers entwining with each others as one of my hands tangled in his hair. It travelled down to his cheek; I pressed my palm against it. He removed his lips from mine, only to place a small kiss on the centre of my palm before grasping me roughly by the shoulders and pulling me closer.
I laughed as we kissed again. I ran a hand through his hair and smiled as his fingers traced the waistband of my trousers. The cold that I felt had expanded inside me, turning to warmth and firing through me. Everywhere he touched, everywhere he kissed brunt with a passion that was unknown to me.
The newly falling rain didn’t ruin the moment. It fell around us but didn’t matter. It was a world away, cleaning the stones of the school and making the forest weep. My tears that fell washed in with the rain. They were no longer tears of humiliation.
I fell deeper, falling in to him like the rain. I couldn’t miss his swollen lips, or mine for that matter. Not when he pulled away. I almost whined with displeasure. For months that had been my fantasy, this moment had been one of dreams. I was ready to beg him to pinch me, to wake me up.
I couldn’t run from the memory, not now. Now James was my lifeline. I listened as the rain fell and battered the benches and grass around me.
“Charisma,” he breathed, resting his cheek against mine. I uttered a giddy prayer to god. “I am so sorry. I didn’t mean any of i-“
“Don’t be.” My words hindered with the rain as he pulled on his cloak, pulling me back to him and in for another kiss.
AN: So there it was, the moment that the majority of you have been waiting for! Was it at all how you had imagined? Did you like it? How would you have done it, any differently?
I had thought about the idea of having her not end up with James. I had thought about her getting over her ‘crush/love’ and ending up with someone else, but I just couldn’t do it in the end. But the thought had seriously come to my mind. I also considered the amount of you that may set a lynch mob on me if I didn’t give them this ending!
How many of you doubted Dan? I know that a few did come on, own up! Did any of your expect that?! It couldn’t all go smoothly I Wolfsbane! Things never go along happily without any problems.
What did you think about the letter from Teddy, he really hasn’t grown up at all, has he? :P
Sorry about any confusion with the new banner. What do you all think? It’s by the same person, the wonderful (sol) (previously Sunny) over at The Dark Arts. I love it! But I know that some people preferred the old one, the whole originality thing, you know. But I love them both – (sol) is just brilliant!
The next chapter is called The Entrance Way “Hey, guys…uh, well. This is really awkward, isn’t it?”
Scorpius nodded once or twice. “Do I want to know what’s going on? Or should I just take the piss and walk away, forgetting this ever happened?”
“Language.” I muttered in to James’s chest, I heard Scorpius laugh.
“Caught in an incriminating position and still she has the comments.”
I’ll give you one guess as to what happened :P it was one of my favorite scenes to write in this story! But my very favorite is the one that ends the next chapter. Are you all excited?
Officially there are 34 chapters. I thought that I would just give you the update!
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