Chapter 27 - Intervention
This magician man is crap. Mum says I’m not allowed use that word but I hear her use it all the time so I think I should be allowed use it too. She always says my Grandad Ron’s cooking is crap. But I think this magician is more crapper than my Grandad Ron’s cooking.
Mum and my Dad are gone somewhere but I don’t know where. Daisy is here. She looks sad. She probably thinks that the magician is crap too. She is standing up to look him and so are the rest of the grownups. I’m sitting beside my friend Mia and my other friend Jason. I know them both from school.
I don’t want to sit down anymore so I get up and go to Daisy and ask where Mum and my Dad have gone. She says she doesn’t know either. She asks me if I’m having fun. I tell her the magician is crap and she tells me I shouldn’t use that word. I lived with Daisy for a few weeks until I got sick and Mum took me home again. I like Daisy. She doesn’t give out as much as Mum. But Mum plays Quidditch with me sometimes and she lets Ollie come in the house so I prefer Mum.
My birthday party is on in my Nana Hermione and Grandad Ron’s house. Nana Astoria and Grandad Draco aren’t here but Mum says I am going to their house soon for dinner instead. They are my Dad’s Mum and Dad. Mum says Grandad Draco is a miserable old fart. I told Grandad Draco that and he looked how Uncle Hugo looked the time me and Remus switched his pumpkin juice with lemon juice. I love Grandad Draco.
I ask my Auntie Jenny where Mum and my Dad are and she doesn’t know either. My Auntie Jenny isn’t really my Auntie because my Auntie has to be Mum’s or my Dad’s sister and she’s not. But I call her Auntie anyway.
Mum reads a book to me about a detective who solves miss-trees. I have to be a detective to find out where Mum and my Dad have gone. I ask my friend Mia to be my helper because all good detectives have helpers. Mia likes the crap magician but, and she doesn’t want to stop looking him. And my cousin Remus is sitting on his mum’s knee asleep. So I ask my Uncle Al.
“Uncle Al, I have to be detective because I don’t know where Mum and my Dad went and Mia won’t be my helper because she’s looking the magician –”
“Watching the magician, mate,” Uncle Al says.
“Yeah, she’s watching him but he’s crap. Will you help me find Mum and my Dad?” I ask my Uncle Al.
My Uncle Al says he’ll help me and that I shouldn’t say crap and he asks my Auntie Jenny if she’s saw them but I tell him I asked her already and she didn’t know either.
“Where’s my Uncle James?” I ask. We have to find my Uncle James too. Mum always says I’m more match-or than Uncle James but I dunno what match-or means.
My Uncle Al takes out his phone and rings somebody but I don’t know who.
“Hello?......Where are you?....Well is he there?.....You what?.....What’s she doing there?....Are you serious?.....Look, Rose, Aidan’s looking for you and Scorp.....yeah, I’ll tell him.....Just find him, Rose. Check the Burrow.....Right, see you in a while. Keep me posted.”
“Where’s Mum and my Dad?” I ask my Uncle Al again because now I know he was talking to Mum on the phone because he called her Rose and that’s Mum’s other name. Everybody calls her Rose but only I’m allowed to call her Mum. And only my Uncle James is allowed to call her Red because she gets angry. Mum gets angry loads.
“Your Dad will be here in a minute, mate,” Uncle Al tells me. “Your Mum’s being a detective too.”
I’m about to ask my Uncle Al what Mum is detectiving, but then my Dad comes in and I don’t have to because I can just ask my Dad. Even though my Dad doesn’t live with Mum he always knows what she’s doing because he’s always talking to her. And when he doesn’t talk to her he talks to me about her. And sometimes Daisy asks him not to talk about her so much but I don’t know why because I like talking about Mum.
“Hello Trouble,” my Dad says to me and picks me up. My Dad is really high up so I can see everyone when he picks me up.
“Why is Mum being a detective?!” I ask him. “Uncle Al says that Mum is being a detective and why isn’t Uncle James here yet Dad?”
“You ask a lot of questions,” my Dad says. “Your Mum just likes being a detective, doesn’t she? She likes knowing everything. Like if you’ve got your homework done or if you’ve brushed your teeth.”
Mum always looks me brushing my teeth because she doesn’t thought I’ll do it if she isn’t looking.
“The magician is crap,” I tell my Dad.
“Yeah, he is a bit crap alright,” Dad nods and puts me down. He looks at my Uncle Al and shakes his head then, looking all serious like the priest does when Nana Hermione makes us go to the Church. Then they go into Nana Hermione and Grandad Ron’s study room because there’s nobody else in there. I’m going to be the detective and find out what they’re saying. They don’t see me when I peek in the door.
“Cito Circumvenio? You’re joking,” says Uncle Al. I don’t know what that means but it must be bad because they both look like priests now.
“Wish I was,” says my Dad. “Rose is furious. Laura’s helping her find him.”
“What the fuck was Laura doing there?”
Uncle Al said a bold word!!
“They’ve been hooking up for months now,” says my Dad. I don’t know what hooking up means but it could be something to do with fishing because my Gran-Grandad Arthur went fishing before and he hooked a fish. Maybe my Uncle James went fishing with Mum’s friend Laura. “She’s known for weeks.”
“And she didn’t think to tell us? There’s something fishy going on.” I knew they went fishing!!! “Scorp, if he gets found out that’s the end of his career. And it’s not like he’s got good NEWTs to fall back on. Or OWLs for that matter.”
My Uncle Percy has an owl called Timothy.
“Honestly, I think that’s the least of his worries,” says my Dad, “Because when Rose finds him, she will kill him. And I’m not even joking.”
I hope Mum doesn’t kill my Uncle James. She always says she’s going to but then she doesn’t. But you’d never know.
When Sybill Trelawney made a prediction that one person must die at the hand of another, for neither can live while the other survives, she must have been talking about James Potter and me.
Because I’ve always known I’d be the one to kill him, ever since he spell-o-taped me to the hen house at The Burrow when I was three.
We’re at The Burrow now, but it looks dead. About as dead as James Potter is going to be when I find him. And about as dead as Laura is going to be if she doesn’t find him in the next ten seconds.
“How many times do I have to say I’m sorry?” Laura sighs.
“Sorry?” I hiss venomously as we enter my grandparents’ house. “It’s not like you accidentally broke my teapot, Laura. You’ve known for weeks that James has been taking that Potion and you kept it to yourself. He could have died. He could be dead.” I can feel myself choking up. “And all you can say is sorry?”
At least she has the decency to look remotely ashamed of herself; it would be a first.
“James!” I call. No response. “Homenum revelio!”
There’s nobody here.
“Where to now?” Laura asks meekly.
I round on her quickly. “Why are you asking me? You’re his partner in crime, you should know all the Potion-junkie hangouts!”
“I tried to make him stop!” she says for the thousandth time. “I really thought I could handle it myself!”
“Then you’re even more stupid than I thought!” I shout. “Right, I’m going to the Potters’ house. You can piss off home, I don’t need you.” I’m being irrational, I know. But I’m worried.
“Oh don’t get all high and mighty, Rose, you’re the one who’s been too wrapped up in your Scorpius-obsessed world to even notice what’s been going on with James anyway!”
“Well if you had just told me from the beginning we wouldn’t be in this mess now!”
We both take deep breaths. I can’t believe I was ever stupid enough to believe that Laura Phelps was anything but a cold-hearted bitch. The same cold-hearted bitch who revealed to the entire Hogwarts castle that I was pregnant. The one to whom James gave her comeuppance. She deserved it. She deserves everything she gets.
“I’m going to check the Leaky Cauldron, you go to the Potters’,” says Laura and disapparates before I can tell her to crawl up her own arse and die.
When I arrive at the Potters’ house, I let myself in with the spare key I have. I search downstairs before heading up to James’s old bedroom, which hasn’t changed one bit since James was in fourth year at Hogwarts. There’s still a large ‘enter at your own risk’ sign on the door and inside there is posters of the Chudley Cannons and the wizard rapper 50 Sickles, whose songs include ‘Snitch Bitch’, ‘Smack my Witch Up’, ‘Ho-crux’ and ‘Wands Don’t Kill People, Wizards Do’.
And there, curled up in a ball on his Chudley Cannons covered bed, is James.
And surprisingly, all urges to kill him completely fade away. He looks small and pathetic. He looks defeated. He’s not the person he once was, and he hasn’t been that person for a long time.
“James?” I call softly. He’s awake. He’s just staring at his walls, shaking. “Can I come in?” He nods.
I can feel tears in my eyes as I sit down on his bed and put my arm around him. “Oh James, what have you done to yourself?” I sniff.
“I’m f-fine...” he insists.
“What have you taken?”
I see the bottle of Cito Circumvenio on his bedside locker. “Laura’s told me everything,” I say simply.
James says nothing for a while, but then I hear him sniffing into his pillow. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him cry. It’s heartbreaking.
“I’m sorry, Red,” he mumbles. “Please, don’t tell anyone.”
“Please, Red. Please.”
I don’t answer him for a while, but keep my arm firmly around his shoulders and cuddle him. I’ve always considered James my brother. I’m closer to him than I am to Hugo. The only time I really keep in touch with Hugo is when I have to, which sounds awful. I do love him very much, but James, Al and I bonded as children in a way Hugo and I never did. And because I love James so much, I decide to lie.
“I won’t tell anyone,” I say.
I summon a cup of tea and make James drink it, and it settles him for a while. He drifts off to sleep and I tuck him into bed, allowing myself to cry for him.
It’s time for action now. I can’t let this slide. I can’t ignore this. I can’t not tell anyone.
I apparate back to Mum and Dad’s house. Many of Aidan’s friends have gone home, as have quite a few of the family. Aidan’s party barely even entered my head from the second Scorpius and I left almost two hours ago.
Aidan starts babbling on about how I’ve been a detective or something. He’s a bit obsessed with detectives since I read him a Sherlock Holmes story not long ago. I tell him that’s nice but I need to talk to Al and Lily.
“Stop ignoring me!” Aidan yells. “It’s my birthday!”
“As if we could forget,” says Hugo who takes Aidan off to get a drink. He must know I’m on a mission and have absolutely no time to be a mother right now.
I gather Uncle Harry, Aunt Ginny, Mum, Dad, Al, Jenny and Lily together to let them know the situation. Telling someone that their son, or brother, needs rehab has to be one of the hardest things to do. That and listening to Molly. We leave for the Potters’ house straight away, but before I disapparate, Scorpius catches me demanding to know what’s going on.
“Leave Aidan with Hugo,” I tell him, “I think you should come along for this.”
“For what?” Scorpius asks.
Mum, Dad, the Potters and Scorpius agree to wait downstairs while I go and wake James. He’s exactly as I left him, and I dread waking him. I dread what is going to happen when I bring him downstairs and he realises I’ve completely betrayed him. I don’t care. This is for his own good.
“James,” I whisper, shaking him gently. He grunts in protest.
“Don't wanna go class,” he mumbles incoherently. I smile. The old James is definitely still in there.
“James, wake up.”
He opens his eyes. I’ve never seen him look this ill. Compared to the James of six months ago, he’s practically unrecognisable.
“Alright, Red?” he greets me the same way he always does.
“Yeah, I’m alright. You up for coming downstairs?” I ask.
“What for?” he groans.
“I...I’ve made some dinner,” I lie.
“You have to eat, James,” I tell him. “You’re so thin.”
“You sound like Nana Molly.”
“Well then humour me. Just eat a little bit. Please?”
James sighs and rolls over. “Fine,” he groans.
I help him out of the bed, still stunned by his now skeletal form. He is shaking again, but I think the last of the potion is wearing off because he’s moving quite slowly, which is the opposite effect of the dreaded Cito Circumvenio. I lead him into the dining room, where everyone is assembled. Harry has his arm around Ginny, both looking terrified. Lily has clearly been crying, and Al is standing with his arms folded. Al looks so young compared to James now. They used to be so alike – now it is difficult to even tell they’re brothers. Jenny and my parents are standing back from the Potter family.
“Oh, didn’t realise you were all home,” James says, obviously trying to act normal. He hasn’t copped my betrayal yet. Oh James, why are you always so slow? “Um...everything ok?”
It’s not often you’d see Aunt Ginny crying, but she’s unable to hold back tears any longer. It makes everybody visibly uncomfortable and it panics James straight away.
“What’s wrong? Is someone dead?” James asks immediately.
“No, son. Everyone’s fine,” Uncle Harry assures him.
“Everyone is not fine, Harry,” Ginny snaps, her anger now infiltrating her upset. “We know, James. We know about your...problem.”
James’s body language immediately gets very hostile and defensive. He folds his arms and backs away from the family, but I’m now standing behind him so he can’t go very far. He spins around and looks at me, looking furiously angry. He’s finally copped on.
“I don’t have a problem,” he spits, even though he as much as admitted he had to me upstairs not an hour ago.
“James...” I look at him pleadingly. “I’m sorry, but I had to –”
“You didn’t have to do anything! You should’ve kept your mouth shut like you promised!”
“James,” Al steps in, “We’re not thick. You’ve changed so much in the last couple of months –”
“Oh shut up Albus,” James rounds on him now. “Should I be flattered that you actually took your head out of your arse long enough to notice what’s going on with anyone else?”
“James!” Ginny cries angrily.
“I’m not the only one with secrets though, am I? None of you are any better. Did you know that Al got Jenny pregnant before they were married?”
Oh god. Why did he have to bring that up? If Jenny wasn’t crying before, she definitely is now. Harry and Ginny temporarily forget James’s issues and turn to their youngest son in shock. Not that people getting pregnant outside of wedlock is an actual shock in this family, but at least a bit of a surprise.
“You’re pregnant?” Ginny asks a sobbing Jenny.
“I was,” Jenny whispers. “I miscarried.”
I know it’s our first family intervention and everything, but we certainly are making a right cock-up of it. Al shakes his head at his mother and mumbles “not now”. Our focus is back on James. We’ll deal with secret pregnancies and miscarriages another day.
“This is about you,” I remind him. “We’re just trying to help you! There’s a really good facility not far from St Mungo’s that deals with addiction, we can get you in there –”
“Just shut up, Rose!” he yells. “Keep your fucking nose out!”
For twenty three years I’ve been trying to get James to stop calling me ‘Red’. Now that he has, I feel like crying. I wasn’t quite sure he knew what my name actually was. Apparently he does.
I feel Mum take my arm gently and she leads me over to stand with her and Dad, away from the Potter family. It’s up to them to deal with him now. At the end of the day, I’m nothing more than his cousin.
It takes Harry to disarm James, Ginny to lock the door and Jenny to beg and plead for James to sit down at the dining room table and listen to what we have to say. There’s absolutely no talking to him. He’s like an eleven year old boy being called to the headmaster’s office and refusing to listen to the lectures being directed at him. He just folds his arms and doesn’t make eye contact with anyone.
There’s plenty of tears on everyone’s part. We all get our say too, even Mum and Dad who point out that nobody need ever know about James’s problem if he just gets help for it now; the Quidditch Association wouldn’t even have to find out if we were discreet. I warn him of the dangers that the potion can do to your reproductive system – I absolutely made it up of course. His own family try to make him see how much he is hurting them by doing this to himself.
But none of it is sinking in with him.
When somebody rings the doorbell of the Potter house, we all choose to ignore it. That is until it rings five more times and I unlock the door of the dining room to go and find out who it is and tell them to piss off.
And it’s the person I’ve already told to piss off once today.
“Is he here?” Laura asks in exasperation.
That felt nice.
She rolls her eyes and pushes past me in the door. But she only gets three steps in before I grab her arm tightly to stop her.
“Get off,” she snaps.
“I swear to Merlin, Laura, I’ll kill you with my bare hands,” I threaten. “Get the hell out of here, you’ve done enough damage.”
“I need to speak to him. I need to know he’s alright.”
“Of course he’s not alright!” I hiss. “Thanks to you.”
She escapes my grasp and marches straight in on the family intervention that’s taking place in the dining room. Everybody looks rather confused by her arrival, and Jenny looks just as angry as I feel. She’s always hated Laura. And she’s always been dead right to do so. I don’t know why I ever doubted her.
“Do you mind, we’re in the middle of something!” Jenny snaps at Laura, who gives her a filthy glare in return.
She practically ignores everyone else, and sits down at the dining room table beside James, who doesn’t look at all surprised by her appearance.
“James,” she says in a low voice that’s almost threatening, “Look at me.” He doesn’t. He continues to look angrily down at the floor with his arms folded. “Now, Potter.”
Slowly, he shifts his gaze to her, continuing to frown and making himself look about ten years older than he is. She takes his hand, an action that makes me feel very uncomfortable, but I can’t seem to look away. Since when do those two idiots know how to be tender?
“You need to listen to me,” says Laura. “You need help.”
“No I d-”
“You do,” she insists, as if we haven’t tried this already. “I need to help you.”
That seems like an odd choice of phrasing.
“You helped me,” she continues. “Back at Hogwarts. You saved me, now I need to save you.”
James studies her for a minute. The rest of us are sort of made redundant by the few things Laura has said; James is actually considering her words. What does she have that the rest of us don’t?
Oh yes, a history of potion abuse. I thought I was messed up.
“I can’t go to rehab,” James whispers, tears welling up in his eyes. “I’ll lose everything.”
“No you won’t,” Laura shakes her head. “Nobody needs to know about it. It’s completely confidential...and I’ll come and see you every day.”
“We all will, if you want,” Jenny interjects.
And so James reluctantly agrees to let us help him. Jenny and I pack up some things for him while Harry and Ginny take James to their car to drive him to the rehabilitation centre; he’s too weak for apparition.
We watch the car drive out of sight and then turn to each other, not really knowing what to do or say. I look at Laura.
“Thank you,” I say. She nods in reply.
A/N: I know, it's been aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages!!! Please don't give out to me, I've had a very busy time of it! This chapter was very hard to write. I hope you liked Aidan's POV. And before some people say that a 6 year old couldn't write and spell like that (particularly a dyslexic one), remember he's just thinking those things, not writing them. Reviews always appreciated!!! Love you all x