Chapter 2 : Running from James
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“Now this, Bellalyse, is your room. I’ll leave you here to unpack. If you want anything, I’ll be in the kitchen.” Ginny said, smiling at me one last time before she left.
I really like it when she smiles at me.
I turned and looked at the room and promptly felt my jaw hit the floor. There were big windows looking out over the backyard and the forest beyond that, a lovely plush carpet that reminded me of soft grass, except softer, a queen-sized bed that was just begging to be jumped on, a door that was cracked open to reveal a private bathroom, and another door that was open to give me a view of a closet that was about the size of my old bedroom. I stepped away from my bags and walked around the room, feeling as though I was in a five-star hotel and I would regret this very much in the morning because of the astronomical cost.
But I was staying her for free. And this people did not strike me as the crazy-sociopath-type, either. I did not feel like getting my switchblade out and sleeping with it under my pillow. (Okay, yes, I do have a switchblade. But my neighborhood wasn’t exactly the best. Basically, if you walked alone, you were armed.)
I examined a beautiful black-and-white photograph of what looked like the Scottish moors, with an ancient castle smack-dab in the middle. God, whoever decorated this room has got to be a professional. Seriously. The color scheme reminds me of walking through a forest after rain, when the mist is starting to rise. There’s a desk and a flat screen TV and a leather La-Z-Boy and bookshelves and… I honestly feel as though this room is personalized to me, and only me.
But who cares? It’s completely awesome, anyways!
I glanced down at my soaked clothes and sighed. Fantastic. Two teenage blokes and one middle-aged man just saw me in my see-through white shirt. Which I happen to be wearing over a red, lacy bra. Oh, that’s just wonderful.
NOT BELLALYSE’S POV:
When the Ginny Potter ran upstairs in her beautiful house in Godric’s Hollow, she knew her family did not expect her to tell them that there was a teenage Muggle girl who had run away from home sitting in their kitchen, and that this girl was going to stay with them. She knew that they did not want to let her stay with them, mostly because it meant that they would not be able to use magic while she was with them and also because they weren’t too excited at the prospect of sharing their home, even if it was plenty big for six people.
She was pretty sure that Harry changed his mind when she told him about Bellalyse’s circumstances. He was the kind of person who just had to help people. She knew Lily changed her mind when she saw Bellalyse sitting at the counter drenched with rainwater. She figured that Al changed his mind when he saw her blue-green-gray eyes that seemed to reflect a little bit of pain whenever you looked into them. And she could only hope that James didn’t change his mind when she turned so that he could see her bra and what it exposed through her white (and soaked through) shirt.
But whatever the reason, Ginny’s family had accepted Bellalyse, and Ginny knew in her heart that this was the right thing.
“Magic is real.”
“Magic. You know, wizards, witches, wands, spells, shit like that.”
“Are you high?”
“No. I’m serious. I’m a wizard.”
“You’re a what now?”
“A wizard. I go to a school for wizards and witches and they teach us about magic and how to use it.”
“Oh, and I suppose centaurs and giants and goblins are real, too?”
“Okay, assuming you’re telling me the truth, would you care to explain why, exactly, you are telling me this now?”
“You need to know. People don’t like a magic family letting a Muggle live with them.”
“What, am in danger?”
“Well, yes, actually.”
“Jesus. I feel like I’m in a fucking action movie.”
I woke with a start, blinking in shock as my dream rushed back to me. I lay in bed, frowning. Ever since I had run away, I’d been having odd dreams like that. Weird dreams. And the strangest thing about them was that whatever I dreamed, it happened. For example, the night before I met Ginny, I dreamed that it happened.
However, this dream is just taking it a bit too far. I mean, honestly? Magic? What next? Maybe a can see the fucking future?
I rolled out of bed, stretching and yawning as I walked into the bathroom. I glanced in the mirror and sighed. My red hair was tangled and messy, my green-blue-grey eyes bleary. I turned around and looked at the massive shower. A slow grin unfurled over my face. I stripped and stepped into it, turning the water on with a delicious sense of apprehension.
Roughly thirty minutes later, I stepped (reluctantly) out of the shower. I will never be able to think of showers the same again. That. Was. Bliss. I can die happy now.
I wrapped a fluffy towel around myself and stepped back into my room, chucking my t-shirt and dirty knickers in the corner. Hey, I ain’t the neatest, and I’ll admit it.
I quickly got dressed, selecting a clean pair of jeans and a soft sweater from my vast collection.
And by vast collection I mean that I have almost no clothes. I never did have that many, and I left a lot of them back at that place.
I walked downstairs slowly, taking my time so that I could admire all the high-end decorating. This house was truly beautiful. When I reached the kitchen, I stared at the clock on the wall for a minute, uncomprehending. It was six thirty in the morning. And, if my memory served me correctly, it was a Saturday.
What the hell is wrong with me.
I sat down hard on a stool and held my head in my hands, trying very hard to keep from sobbing. Because I know why I got up so early. It’s been ingrained in me throughout my life. I get up early every damn day so that I can get my work done. I do homework and housework and I clean and cook and go to school and get back and do the same thing.
All for my parents. All for those…things that ripped me apart for seventeen years. All for two people that used me like a tool and disregarded me when I was of no use to them anymore.
I gritted my teeth, holding back tears. Why should I cry for them? They never loved me. I doubted they ever even wanted me.
“Hey.” I looked up in surprise and saw Lily, Ginny’s obnoxious daughter.
I sucked in a deep breath, doing my best to hold myself together.
“Hi.” I said, wincing at the raw sound of my voice.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
I pondered the question. Nobody had ever asked me something like that before. They just assumed I was always fine because I never complained, never once showed a sign of wanting to break down crying like a little girl who misses her mommy.
Even though that’s exactly what I wanted to do for about seventy-five percent of my life.
Of course, most of the assholes in my life didn’t even give a shit to begin with. They wouldn’t care less if I slit my wrists right in front of them, much less if I professed my desire for them to be the shoulder to cry on.
“I don’t know. I’m really confused right now.” I whispered, not even knowing if Lily could hear me.
Evidentially she could, because she nodded and walked over to the fridge. “You want something to eat?” she asked, glancing back at me as she opened the door.
“Yeah, sure. What do you have?”
“Um…a lot. Here, take a look.” I got up and walked over to her, looking over her shoulder and into the huge fridge, which was packed with enough food for a small army, let alone a family of five. Well, I suppose it’s six now.
“Hey, do you have flour?” I asked, taking a quick inventory of the ingredients inside.
“Yeah. What do you want to make?”
Lily tipped back her head and laughed. “Oh, that’s perfect! Man, the boys will love you if you do that.”
“Cool. I guess I might as well get on their good terms now, rather than have to deal with two uncooperative teenage boys who are hell-bent on having their revenge on me for invading their massive house and not making them pancakes at six thirty on a Saturday morning in the middle of summer.”
Lily laughed more, her brown eyes crinkling up at the corners. “Hey, you’re all right, you know that?”
“Well, I had more of the term ‘down-right awesome’ in mind, but ‘all right’ works too, I suppose.”
Lily then proceeded to bend over at the waist and spend the next few minutes laughing her arse off.
When she was done, she stood up, leaning against the counter and wiping her eyes, still smiling and occasionally chuckling.
“So, pancakes.” She said.
“Yeah. Pancakes. I take it we should make enough for about twenty people?”
“Yep. About that many. Maybe even a few extra.”
“Do I smell pancakes?”
Lily and I exchanged knowing looks and turned around to face a very eager-looking Albus.
“Yes, you do.” We chorused.
Lily’s pretty awesome. She’s also a damn good cook.
“Oh.” Albus looked at me in surprise. “Right. You’re here.”
“Al!” Lily said, apparently outraged at his lack of manners.
“Sorry, sorry! Didn’t mean to offend you,…”
“Bellalyse. You can call me Bella, or Bell, or Lys. Or Bellalyse. Or ‘Your Majesty’. ‘Your Grace’ isn’t out of the question, either.”
Albus stared at me in shock for about a minute, and then he grinned and said, “I’m Albus. You can call me Al, though. ‘Excellence’ would be fine, too.”
“Well, then, Excellence”, I said, sweeping a low bow to him. “Would you care for some pancakes?”
“Are there blueberries in them, Your Grace?” he asked, bowing in response.
“Why, yes, there are, Excellence.”
“In that case, Your Grace, I shall be forced to have some.”
I smiled and heaped seven pancakes on a plate, doused it in syrup, and then handed it to him. I watched as he got a dreamy look on his face and his eyes glazed over. He walked over to the bar and sat down with the air of a blissfully happy drunk. And then he attacked the pancakes with reckless abandon, shoving them down his gullet as though he hadn’t seen food in months. I grimaced and turned quickly away from the gruesome spectacle.
“Hello, girls. Al. Is that pancakes I smell?” I turned around and saw Harry standing in the door to the kitchen, carefully avoiding looking at his son eating.
“Yes.” We both said.
Lily got a plate ready for Harry and set it down on the bar, smiling widely at her dad as he sat down for his meal.
Dammit. Why do I have to be constantly reminded to the pathetic state of my “family”?
“Who cooked breakfast?” I looked up and saw Ginny standing in the kitchen, her hair messy, having obviously just gotten out of bed.
“We did.” Lily and I said at the same time as Al – excuse me, Excellence – and Harry said, “They did.”
Although, they both had full mouths at the time, so it came out sounding like, “Bey kid.”
Ginny wrinkled up her noise in disgust at that, and then turned to us and said, “I suppose you’re just going to give these…warthogs food but not me, hmm?”
Lily and I grinned and I got a plate ready for her, handing it to her as she made her way over to the bar. Excellence and Harry gave her affronted looks as she sat, probably for her calling them warthogs. It’s totally true, though, so I don’t what they’re going about looking all wounded for.
“Hey, Bellalyse, would you mind going and waking up James? His room is to the left of yours.” I glanced over at Ginny and grimaced slightly. I had accidentally looked at Excellence. Excellence finishing off his seventh pancake in about five minutes.
“Yeah, sure, Ginny.” I said, and left the kitchen, taking my own time walking up the stairs and to my room. Room…doom…heh. They rhyme.
I reached the door to James’ room, which conveniently had a sign on it that said, “James’s room, do not come in unless you wish to die a painful death!”
I ignored it and opened the door and walked in. I looked around and saw possibly one of the messiest rooms I’ve ever had the misfortune of seeing. Aside from my own room, that is. The bed in the center was huge, big enough to sleep four people, let alone one teenage boy. I approached the bed, navigating around piles of clothes, dirty dishes, books, and, oddly enough, an old broomstick. When I reached the bed, I saw James sprawled in the middle of it, sheets and blankets twisted around him or thrown to the side.
He was also shirtless. Fantastic.
I attempted to reach over and poke his shoulder, but realized my arm was simply not long enough. Yes, that’s how big his bed was. So I was forced to get on his bed and inch my way over to the sleeping boy. And then I could successfully poke his shoulder. Which I did. Several times.
“Oi! James!” I said, right in his ear.
“James! Wake up!” this time I yelled it. Right in his ear.
I snapped my fingers in his ear, poked his shoulder again, tried very hard to not stare at his godlike abs (but failed miserably), and then closed my own eyes and shook my head slightly in order to regain focus. Now, picture this situation: here I am, kneeling over a (shirtless) teenage boy. In his bed. Whilst we’re alone in his bedroom. And the rest of his family is downstairs, presumably eating pancakes like they’ve just survived a seven month famine.
What comes to mind? Yes? Well, I’m thinking about the exact same thing.
I looked down at his innocent, sleeping face and decided that drastic times call for drastic measures. And trust me, a shirtless, sleeping bloke is very drastic.
So I slapped him across the face.
“Jesus Christ!” he yelled, sitting up with a start. I yelped and fell backwards, landing flat on my back (but fortunately still on the Russia-sized bed). James stared at me. I stared at him. He stared back. It was just generally one big stare-fest.
“Umm…” I mumbled, glancing around and trying desperately to think of an excuse as to why I had just slapped someone I barely knew across the face.
Oh, wait, that’s right! His mother told me to.
Well, she didn’t tell me to slap him.
Psh, details! Who needs ‘em?
“Did you just slap me?” he asked, looking at me with an expression that, if I was reading it right, was more curious than angry.
“Yeah. Your mum told me to wake you up. There are pancakes downstairs”, I said.
Well, this is awkward.
“So…what was your name again?”
Great icebreaker, James. Way to make it even more awkward.
“Bellalyse Owens. You can call me Bella, Bell, Lys, ‘Your Majesty’, or ‘My Lady’.”
James snorted and fell back so he was lying next to me. “Hey, you’re not half bad, you know that?”
“Yeah, I know that. Your whole family’s been telling me the exact same thing.” I said, rolling my eyes.
“Bellalyse Owens. So, you ran away from home.” He stated, turning around to face me. “Why?”
I looked at him, pondering the question. I wasn’t quite sure if I even fully understood why I had left. Like I said, I’m very impulsive when I’m angry. Once I got angry at one of my teachers and I actually bitch slapped her across the face. But don’t judge! Nobody liked her anyways, and I’m usually not that violent.
…says the girl who just a slapped a bloke to wake him up.
“What, did your parents, like, hurt you?” he asked, frowning slightly. His eyes flicked down my body, though I knew as well as he did that if they had abused me, my clothes would have covered all bruises that weren’t on my face.
He also spent a bit too much time looking at my chest and lips. Oh, yes, you’re definitely worried about my health, aren’t you?
“Physically, no. Emotionally, yes.”
“Oh yeah? How so?” I raised an eyebrow at him as he stared blatantly at my lips and boobs, alternating between the two. I wonder why he was even bothering to pretend like he was listening?
“Really? Really? Are all you blokes the same? Do you all think with your dicks, or is it just the guys I know?”
He smirked. I rolled my eyes again. “Listen, if you want to snog someone, go out and pick up some girl. I’m sure there are plenty poor, smitten birds in this village. I’ve got a bit going in my life right now, and making a snog buddy out of the guy I’m actually living with would just make things worse.”
“Who said I wanted to make a snog buddy out of you? I was kind of just planning on a snog right now to wake up with.”
Oh, God. Looks like this family isn’t entirely made of awesome. “That’s disgusting.” I said, matter-of-factly. “And, trust me, I’m not interested.”
“Oh, really? I’m pretty sure you just admitted that you thought was attractive.”
“Well, I’m not blind. Yes, you’re attractive. That doesn’t mean I want to snog you, though.”
“Love, you’re in bed with me. I’m pretty sure that means something.”
“Yes, it does. It means that I was trying to be nice to your mum, who kind of saved my ass, by doing her a favor. It also means that you should get a smaller bed.”
“Ah, but if it was smaller, then I wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself fully.”
“Ew. Don’t talk about your sex life. That’s just nasty.”
“Oh, I think you like it.”
“You’re an idiot.”
“Hey, I know, how about this. If you kiss me, then I’ll get up. If you don’t, then I won’t get up and you’ll have to let down Ginny.”
I sighed. And then watched his eyes flick back down to my chest, which had just expanded. Bleurgh. He’s disgusting. Even worse than Excellence eating.
“Alright then, fine.” He smirked victoriously. And then I pecked him on the check, rolled off the bed, and, cackling madly, sprinted out of his room and into my own, where I collapsed on the – sorry, my – bed, laughing in slightly breathless manner.
Oh, this is going to be a long day, I can tell.
Hey, you know what foreshadowing is, right? Well, it kind of makes an appearance in this chapter. Hint, hint.
Reviews please! Favorite quotes and guesses on what’s going to happen next would also be lovely.
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