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Chapter 22 : Of in Sickness and in Health
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James Potter and Georgie Blythe
My lips lifted in to a small smile as I spotted Josh at the end of the corridor. He was sat in our arch way on the ground floor. His legs were stretched out infront of him, leaning on the wall opposite; his gaze was drifted out on to the grounds. He didn’t see me as I approached. It was no secret that Josh was in need of a haircut, but there was nothing that could be done at this moment, it fell carelessly in to his eyes.
I tucked a loose hair behind my ear and hugged my books to my chest. I stood next to his tall figure and alerted him to my presence with a pop of my bubble gum. It was Droobles, the gum that I had been longing for. I blew a large purple bubble before he jabbed his finger in to the end and popped it.
I peeled the sticky substance left behind off of my chin and frowned. Knocking his feet off of the ledge I sat down with a sigh. I ignored the question of why he was skipping class to the back of my mind – I was doing the same things, after all. It evaded me for a single moment before I realised that Josh was a Ravenclaw, he would never skip class willingly.
However why would anyone want to go to Langley’s class willingly? It’s Friday morning, the end of the week, Russ is still in bed. I had direct orders to return to the Common Room and wake him up before second period. Lazy bugger.
I easily assumed that Josh’s reason for not being in class was similar to mine; I didn’t want to deal with Langley. It had been a long week and I was in no frame of mind to deal with his mocking demeanour and accusing words. Despite the fact that McGonagall wasn’t the happiest person in the world with me at this moment, I was sure that she could understand that.
“Morning,” I greeted with ease.
“Morning,” he replied, eyes not leaving the grassy area infront of him. I could see nothing interesting about it.
I raised a light brow, my smile faltering. I heaved out a sigh. “We have both reached the same conclusion.”
“And what would that be?”
“The life of a Pureblood sucks – in more way that one.” I scrunched up my nose and mentally listed all the suck-y reasons that I could accumulate in my head. The list was extraordinarily long.
Josh didn’t move his gaze. “It causes so many problems.” He said angrily. “Langley’s jeering doesn’t help either.”
“What did he say to you?” I asked curiously.
He picked up one of my books and flicked through it nonchalantly. “Once you left, Avery pointed out to him that I was a pureblood too, that you and I were close.”
“Oh Merlin, Josh I am so sorry.”
He pushed my books off of the arch way in a quick burst of anger before his hands grasped for his head. “You know, sometimes I just don’t even think it’s worth it.”
I gave no immediate reaction. His eyebrows knotted in confusion and he looked back out towards the grounds. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
He shrugged helplessly. “I don’t know.” I tried to say an intended ‘Oh’ but the sound never made it past my lips. Josh looked entirely serious. “I guess sometimes I just wonder what it would really be like…to follow in my parents footsteps.”
“Are you being serious?!” I exclaimed a little louder than necessary. “Josh what is going on that that supposedly-big-brain of yours?!”
He shook his head. “I don’t know.” He leant his head back on to the stone wall, smacking it a little harder than he probably wanted to…or not. I mimicked his action and rubbed my palms up and down my black tailored three quarter length shorts. “I just think that sometimes it would be easier, even if I’m only faking.”
“Don’t give in to the pressure. I didn’t-“
“Yeah, and now you’re wanted by the Death Eaters of France, your brother is in St Johns and you’re not talking to your father.” He snapped. “I don’t want that to happen to me!”
I sighed quietly; even he knew that it was unnecessary to point out the hole that I had dug. “Josh, it won’t happen to you. Do you want to know why it won’t happen to you?” He didn’t look away from the quad area. “It’s because you’re stronger than I am. Even if you got yourself in to a big, fat and messy…mess,” even I had to knot my brows at this point. “You would be able to get yourself out of it.”
A small smile appeared on his face. “Or maybe I would join you,” he teased, his angry demeanour suddenly fading. “Maybe we could run away together.”
“We could be out laws.” I suggested.
His smile grew in to a smirk. “We could live on a farm in Canada.” He said a little rhetorically. “They speak French there right.”
“It’s a different kind of French, but what’s one more language to add to my little group.”
He raised his eyebrows and kicked his foot up on to the stone infront of him, he sarcastically bobbed his head. “You speak two languages, Georgie, one of which you don’t understand very well.”
“I understand it now!” I protested. “I told you that during my second month here! It’s been six months of constant English.” He rolled his eyes at my words. “I get it.”
“Fine, you win this time.” He threw his hands up in surrender. “But I will not let you forget this, I will bring it up constantly and starting tomorrow, I will speak in overly-formed sentences to prove my point.”
“Bring it on!”
For a moment we stared at one another, a staring contest for the greats. I broke away and Josh looked triumphant. He ran a hand through his dark brown hair and looked back out to the court yard.
“Is it pathetic that I’m feeling a little better?” he asked. “I think it was the staring contest.”
I laughed quietly under my breath. “They are pretty fun – can I tell you something?”
“If you want.”
“It will bring your mood down.” I admitted truthfully. “I just, I can only tell Molly so much with her understanding. I think that you’ll … get it, better?”
He tore his regretful gaze away from watching the grass grow and looked at me hazily. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I said. “When I left DADA yesterday, I went to France.”
His eyes widened. “You went to France?! Are you crazy?” His voice echoed down the empty corridors, awakening a nearby painting from its mid-morning nap. “Georgie, that’s incredibly dangerous, you could have been killed!”
“But I wasn’t!”
He shook his head. “You’re insane you know that? When most people get escorted from class by a prefect, it’s because they’ve misbehaved and having to see the Headmistress, not to travel abroad for a matter of hours.” He lectured.
“Minutes actually.” I corrected.
Josh rolled his eyes. “So go on, tell me of this adventure.”
“I went to see Kellan.” Those words seemed to stop his short. He was still facing away but I could see his expression changed. “I got a letter two days ago it told me the urgency of Kellan’s condition – I needed to see him Josh.”
“Surprisingly, I actually do understand.” He was still looking at the floor. “What did he say?”
I shrugged and licked my lips subtly. “He told me that he loved me, that he missed me, and that he wanted to protect me.”
“The expected stuff.”
“Yeah,” I agreed. “But between what he said and the letter I received from Damon, the Death Eaters are getting desperate. They’re recruiting sloppily.”
“Meaning?” he asked.
“Meaning, that they are desperate to get more people since the end of the Elite, despite the fact that it wouldn’t really have affected their number’s it has knocked their confidence.”
“They have confidence,” he muttered mainly to himself. “Who would have thought?”
I smiled thinly and dismissed his comment. “It’s good that Damon isn’t all bad.”
“It’s good that we have someone on the inside,” he said solemnly. “Even Harry Potter himself knows that someone on the other side is needed.”
“Harry Potter isn’t stupid.” I acknowledged. “Neither is Damon, Harry knows that he isn’t serving completely under the orders of Lestrange.”
“No, Damon follows you,” Josh said. “Don’t try and deny it, Georgie. You may have him following what Harry Potter says, but really, Aalis will follow you.”
I sighed. I knew that he was right, no matter how much I didn’t want it. “At least he will always be there.”
“What are you going to do after school, after we leave?”
I shrugged. “If I’m perfectly honest Josh, I don’t want to think about it.”
“You have to, Georgie.”
“Well what if I don’t want to?!” I snapped. “Josh, I have always had my future planned out for me! When I left it behind I stopped looking in to my past and in to my future, it’s all about the present. I just need to get through it.”
He shook his head. “You need to look forward.”
“To see what?!” My voice didn’t falter, but it didn’t lower either. “To see my death? Because if I’m perfectly honest, Josh, I don’t think that I am going to last that long. I don’t want to see that.”
There was a pause of silence, neither of us said anything. It seemed like neither of us breathed.
“You’d do anything for Kellan wouldn’t you?”
I nodded. “Yeah I would. At least, I think I would.” The fact that I was unsure unnerved me. “When I first came here, the answer would have been definitely, but now…things are different.”
“What kinda things?”
I leant forward and rested my chin on to my palm. With a big sigh I looked the opposite way to Josh. “I have friends, close friends, shockingly I have better grades. And I have James...oh god.”
It was at this moment just how much I realised I needed James, just how much I wanted to be with him. I realised just how much I didn’t want to do this without him. James was my rock.
“What’s oh god?” he questioned.
My expression lightened a little bit and I spoke with a slight hilarity. “I can’t do this without him. Without James by my side, I don’t think that I could make it through – I need him, possibly a lot more than he needs me. I am a mess lately, and it’s since we stopped talking.”
“You love James,” he said simply. I looked past his casual expression and I saw confusion. “It’s obvious.”
I shook my head dismissively. “I haven’t known him long enough.”
“It’s not about the amount of time you spend with someone, G.” He said harshly. “You can fall in love within minutes; it’s just a matter of knowing about it, of being able to understand it.”
“You say it all as if it’s so simple.”
He scratched his chin. “Love is never simple, not for a minute.”
I closed my eyes. “I guess it’s not. What about you and Hollie? You two were perfect.”
“Exactly,” he said. “The optimum word in the sentence being ‘were’, we’re not anymore.”
I snorted at his expression. “Now it’s my turn, you are definitely making this more complicated than it has to be.”
“In what way?”
I punched his arm in a playful manner. “Just walk up to Hollie and tell her you’re sorry, tell her that there is nothing that matters more in the world to you, than her.”
“Then what’s stopping you?”
Josh was alike me in many ways, we have the same idea about education, the same ethics on love and life. But it wasn’t until this moment that I realised just how similar we actually are.
“Nothing,” my expression fell to realisation. “Nothing is stopping me.” I shook my head and laughed a little to myself. Standing up I flung my arms around his shoulder and gripped tightly. “Thank you, Josh-y. Thank you so much.”
“I’m glad that I could help.” He muttered darkly.
I took a deep breath before heading off with a last sentence to Josh. “If you are going to talk to Hollie, don’t lie to her.”
He shook his head. “I wouldn’t dream of it, G.”
The Gryffindor Common Room was a beautiful place. The room was rounded; hence it’s position in a tower, with many doors. The main Portrait faced east, the door way through which I was entering. Directly infront of me was an open space, an old worn rug placed on the floor, messy from passing students.
On the full north side of the dorm, there were windows that covered the wall, at this moment the shut curtains blocked the view of the grounds and the dusty windows blocked the room from the rain. On the south side was a strong brick wall, covered in moving paintings, each one with a story to tell.
I passed the red couch and studding students, go figure, and ran up to the boys’ dorms. The day had passed and James had been no where to be seen. When I had returned at second period to wake Russell, James was asleep – apparently ill. Freddy had said that he had the February flu.
The full on sniffles with a hint of sick.
The thing that amazed me to no end was this nagging feeling in my gut. While Molly and Hollie were desperate to stay away, I felt the need to be there. Russell and the lads wanted nothing to do with the sick boy, but I wanted to care for him. I wanted to stroke his hair as he fell asleep and make sure he didn’t cough himself to death.
The previously mentioned fact of the beauty of the boys’ dorms can be completely eradicated at a single glance to the shame that is known as the Seventh Years Boys’ dorm. It was an absolute state. Molly once mentioned the smell; I simply just hold my nose.
I ran my fingers over the carvings in the door, each of the boys in the dorm would carve their names in to it to stay there forever, I quickly wondered what would ever happen if the door ran out of space. Dashing that thought, I knocked quietly on the door.
There was a moment of silence before a cough could be heard through the door. “Come in,” it was James. I opened the door quietly and stepped in. “Molly if you’re here to make fun of me again then I swear I’ll-“
He was lying down in his bed, the duvet pulled up tight to his neck. He was facing the other way; his bed was the furthest away from the door and furthest away from the bathroom. It was however closest to the biggest window in the room, the one that happened to be open a crack. The rain poured down hard, droplets flying in through the window, then came the howling of the wind.
I shut the door behind me an instinctively wandered over to the window and shut it. I turned back to James, arms folded.
“You’re not Molly,” he said slowly, if anything slight apprehension in his voice.
I shook my head with a small smile, a slight pout to it. He looked hurt; he was hurting because of me, because of my presence. I can’t stand that, to know that I am the reason he is hurting. I had let the door shut noisily behind me; in the same manner that Molly enters a room, it must have been the deciding factor as to who I was.
James sighed slightly at noticing it was me but he didn’t move from his bed, to turn away. He did budge over a little though, for me to sit down. I took it gently and sat down slowly, kicking off my loosely laced shoes. James sat up a little, stretching as he did. The duvet slipped away and it took me no more than a quick moment to notice that he was shirtless. Despite the amount of times I had seen his chest; it still managed to render me speechless.
“No, I’m not. You don’t look so good.”
I felt like a little girl when I reached out for his hand, he laced his finger through mine and began to lightly trace circles on my hand with his thumb. His skin was hot, his face flushed.
He was silent for almost a full minute before turning back to me. Still he didn’t say a word. I took the lead in this.
“I lied to you,” my voice was an absolute give away for the state of my emotion. “You have every right to be mad. I didn’t want to face what I had done, what I wanted to do. But then Taggert came back; she knows exactly what to say to make me mad and I just kept loosing it.” I looked him quickly in the eye before staring away; I couldn’t do it. “I am a horrible, horrible person….and if you don’t mind I’m going to leave now, to go and die in a hole.”
As I stood up from the bed his hand didn’t let go of mine, if anything it held tighter.
He shook his head. I quickly considered the next words out of his mouth, ‘don’t go and die in a hole, burning to death is better, it’s longer and more painful’. If not that, then ‘No, go and jump off of a cliff’, don’t damage the hole.
But he said nothing of the sort.
“It’s just…that wasn’t the Georgie that I know,” he said. His voice sounded raspy, low. “The G that I wanted to be with was loving, quiet and kind…maybe just a little sarcastic.” He laughed under his breath but it turned in to a cough. “She wasn’t rude, she wasn’t mean – even to people that she didn’t like - and she certainly didn’t raise an army of Death Eaters.”
I furrowed my brows and looked in to his eyes, searching for something that I could relate to. “What is that supposed to mean.”
“Nothing bad, I promise,” he denied, leaning forward and grabbing hold of my shoulders. He gave a sniff and looked at me through swollen eyes, he really was ill. “It just means that you didn’t give me any time to process it before you went and took down someone that no one has ever been able to before. It just shocked me.”
“And you decided to fix this by not talking to me?” I questioned quietly. “Aren’t you the clever boy?”
“There!” He said. “That’s what I mean.”
I raised a brow, his thumb stopped moving but his grip didn’t loosen on my hand. “What did I do?”
“Your sarcasm,” he breathed. “I miss it, the jokey stuff, not the I’m-going-to-shout-at-you stuff.”
“I’ve never shouted at you,” I said almost inaudibly. “Not once.”
He shook his head. “I know. You’ve never treated me with anything but love and kindness.” He took a deep breath. A little cough. A subtle look to the floor. Sneaky. “If I’m honest, when I saw the way that you absolutely killed Taggert, it was a little bit of a turn on.”
“Are you being serious?”
He snorted a little and wiped his spare hand across his head. “I swear on my little sister’s life.”
“Merlin,” I cursed, sitting back on to his bed. “I didn’t think that you were one of those guys.”
“One of what?”
I threw my hands up in to the air for a split moment in a desperate thought, “One of those, kinky, ‘oh please fight with another girl, its hawt! And then afterwards it can turn in to a threesome’.”
“Georgie!” He exclaimed in a shocked manner. His hands grasped my waist and he pulled me close. It seemed that his weary demeanor and fever didn’t affect his strength too much. “That’s outrageous.”
“But you can’t say that the thought has never crossed your mind.” I put my fingers to his face and I pushed it away and began to playfully struggle. “Leave me alone; I don’t want your sicky germs.”
“Yes you do,” he groaned as he licked the side of my cheek. “Besides, while I was with you, that thought has never crossed my mind. You’re all I need.”
I was torn between three emotions. The first one being absolute disgust; he had just licked my cheek. I wiped my hand down it, hard, before rubbing my palm against his duvet. He chuckled. The next emotion was that struggling emotion of appreciation. It seemed that James had forgiven me – it seemed that our argument had actually been for nothing. The third being slight embarrassment.
His leant his nose against my neck and rested his head heavily against my shoulder. I ran a gentle hand through his hair and smiled. “You’re a sick, sick grown boy.” I settled for. “Let’s talk later.”
But still he didn’t let go.
“Georgie, I’m so sorry.”
“You have nothing to apologise for,” I said.
He shook his head. “But I do. I could have just told you how I felt about it, that I was scared. I was scared for you and I didn’t know how to deal with that. You seem so at ease with it all.”
I didn’t know how to tell him that I was falling apart at the seams, every day it gets harder and harder to stay together.
James pulled our interlocked hands to his chin and rested on them. “I just don’t know what I would do without you. I’ve never experienced this before, not with anyone.”
Whether it was to demonstrate my point, or simply to clear his lungs and throat James let out a heavy cough, one so big that it racked his body. He leant away from me, turning in the other direction as he did, coughing on to the floor, his other hand covering his mouth. I held on to the same hand that I had been and rubbed his back affectionately.
He swatted it away, “I don’t need taken care of. I’m not a little girl.”
“Everyone needs to be taken care of when they’re sick,” I said. My eyes looked over him, “even six foot tall, broad Quidditch Players.”
He managed a grin, “Even when they’re acting foolishly, selfishly?”
“Especially when they’re acting like a prat.”
His eyes widened, “that’s where you’re supposed to deny it!”
“Why would I try deny what’s true?” I asked with a grin, and ran my hands through his hair. He pouted.
I wondered for an antagonizing moment if what James still felt angry, if he still felt annoyed. I took a deep breath and pushed myself to sit up straight. Something in my expression must have scared him somewhat; he cocked his head to the side slightly, in to my palm. I stroked his cheek with my thumb affectionately.
I felt no way to communicate this with words, the actions that that I would have to do would be in no way suitable for his current health. Instead I closed the gap between us, his hand still in mine, the other tightly on my waist.
“James, I don’t know how to be the perfect girlfriend. I don’t know how to do things without messing up. I don’t know if I’ll be here for long, after Hogwarts…well, I don’t know what’s going to happen the-“
“Who’s got this in to your head?” he asked as if the words were causing him a slight pain. “Georgie, nothing’s going to happen to you, most of all because I won’t let it. You’re a complete loon who drives me absolutely insane, but that’s perfect for me. You’re my loon, my perfect girlfriend.”
I couldn’t help the smile that was growing on to my features. I composed myself enough to answer. “James, I think that I love you a little.”
He blinked twice, trying to understand my words. “Shame,” he said sincerely. I felt a wash of confusion and rejection charge through me. It made me ache. He whispered these words, the next six words that changed it all. “Because I love you a lot.” And then he kissed me quick. A quick, germy kiss, but I didn’t care. He was kissing me. He was mine again.
AN: A quicker update from me! I’m getting better! :D At least, I hope I am.
So there you go, Georgie and James have made up again. I couldn’t keep them apart for too long. And she and Josh have bonded a little more, what do you all make of that?
I will update soon with the next chapter! It’s called Of Owls and Admittance
Molly looked up, glaring at her friend through teary eyes and caught hold of my arm. “Georgie, please don’t read that paper.”
“Why can’t I read it?” I asked with a forced ease.
Molly released the grip on to my arm and took a bite out of a freshly buttered piece of toast. No one but me seemed to have noticed her teary expression.
Rory’s ears perked up a little and he stopped chewing. “Just let her read it, Mol. It’s better that she finds out with us then … well, not with us.”
There you go, another preview. Those little things seem to go down well :D I hope that you all enjoy the next chapter. What do you think is in the paper that they don’t want Georgie to see?
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