Chapter 4 : Enter James
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A. This is where the story changes. It's James's time, so be warned.
B. I did my reaserch on the ADHD and stuff. Also, one of my best friends has severe ADHD and Dyslexia as well as ADD, so I'm not exaggerating with the severeness of it all.
C. HARRY POTTER IS ONLY MINE WHEN FLUFFY UNICORNS RUN AMOCK AND I CAN EAT RAINBOWS AND BREATH SPARKLES.
Simply magical image by a muffin @ TDA of James, Lily, and Austin
As soon as I saw Charlie leave the party, I had a strange feeling. A premonition, if you will. Good thing I was sober. No one else was. Bloody tossers. Even Rose had fallen under the beautiful Firewhiskey’s spell. I remember the last time I had gotten completely piss drunk; it was on Fred’s birthday. . .
Don’t you love pumpkin pasties? I do. Dammit stupid brain that’s hungry. Blame it on the ADHD. Or ADD, I have both. Dad didn’t think it was possible for a wizard to have attention disorders, or Dyslexia either for that matter. He thought wizards would have found a cure or potion or something of the sort. He was wrong. What could you ever mean, James? Harry Potter is never wrong! Grrrrrrr. . . .
Where was I? Oh right. Charlie.
I had this feeling that something wasn’t right, so I followed her on her quest for butter beer. It was all fine until she was nearly back to the party. She started coughing, but I thought it was the cold that I had, er, indirectly given her(?) coming back. Then I saw the blood. At that moment, I was seriously scared. Like piss-in-my-trousers scared. You see, I may be a wee bit protective of Char. Just a wee bit. All I could think of were all the times I had watched her almost die; most of them involved Quidditch. When I finally snapped out of it Charlie had passed out on the floor. I ran over to her and started calling for help.
“PLEASE! PROFESSORS! COME HERE! ANYONE? SLYTHERIN?! GRYFFINDORS? MERLIN? OZ? CIRCE? DAD? VOLDEMORT? PLEASE, ANYONE!” Immediately there was a ruckus. Apparently Uncle Neville’s office was right above here. I was leaning in towards Charlie, listening for breath. I couldn’t find any. My hand landed in her blood.
“Merlin, James, what was all the-” he saw Charlie. “Oh my god. Get the Headmistress and Mister Thomas. Go.” His voice was serious as he stepped closer to Charlie.
“No. I’m not leaving Charlie.” I said defiantly yet calmly. Is that even possible?
“James.” Professor Longbottom said slowly. “If you want to help, get them. For Charlotte.” I knew the git was right. So I ran to get Mister Thomas first. When I reached the Hospital Wing he was asleep and the doors were locked. Naturally I started pounding my fists on the door screaming instead of unlocking the door like a normal wizard.
“MISTER THOMAS! MISTER THOMAS! THERE’S BEEN AN EMERGENCY! PROFESSOR LONGBOTTOM NEEDS YOU ON THE SEVENTH FLOOR IMMEDIATELY! MISTER THOMAS!” Then the doors blasted open.
“I’m coming, Merlin!” So I sent him to Charlie. I hope he got there fast enough. Then I found the Headmistress’s office. I didn’t know the password. Knowing McGonagall it was a ‘war’ password.
“Albus Dumbledore. Severus Snape. Dobby.” None worked. She didn’t. . .
“Harry Potter.” Bloody hell. This was awkward. I ran up the staircase and found her sitting at her desk at one o’clock in the morning. That’s normal. As normal as the Giant Squid tap dancing in the Great Hall. Would it even fit?
“Professor.” I said quickly. “There’s been an emergency. On the seventh floor, by Professor Longbottom’s office.” Her eyes flashed with concern.
“Who is it?” She asked, knowing only a student could bring this amount of frenzy and fear. I took a deep breath.
“Charlie. Charlie Grace.” She gasped.
“Are Professor Longbottom and Mister Thomas with her?” I looked down at the blood on my hands.
“Yes. Professor, there was so much blood. She was fine this morning-” She cut me off.
“I know, Mr. Potter. I will see her condition. She will probably be transferred to St. Mungo’s. Go back to your dorm.”
“I can’t, Professor, I need to know-”
“-that Miss Grace is fine. Please, someone will inform you via fireplace as soon as we have determined how serious the situation is.” Then she strode out of her office, leaving me standing there. I looked at the portraits.
“James, you really should listen to you Headmistress.” That was Albus’s first namesake.
“But he won’t, because you Potters are all the same, and-” That was Albus’s second. He had the worst name in the history of Hogwarts, with Scorpius Hyperion coming in with a close second.
“-in my time the children would obey or else.” The wonderful Phineas Nigellus Black, everyone. I didn’t want to be insulted so I stormed out of the office. I continued my fit all the way to Gryffindor Tower. I was thinking about everything; if she died, she died hating me. That fight. . . .
When I reached the tower, no one had realized anything was wrong. Except for Lils and Al, they had realized my disappearance. Dad taught us to look out for each other. At least he did something right.
“Where the hell have you been?” Lily had been sipping a glass of punch. Most likely spiked. She knew it as well, and I actually hoped it would have been enough to loosen her up. No luck, though, as Lily was still as sober and angry as hell.
“Did you fight with Charlie again? You really need to lay off her-” Thanks, Al. I know I’m a git to her, but it’s her fault. She’s too bloody reckless. Someone needs to pull her off the ledge.
“No. We didn’t fight.” My voice was hollow. “Something’s wrong. With Charlie. I had a feeling, and-”
“What the hell did you do?” My brother also had the overprotective tendencies my father had passed on to us.
“It wasn’t me. Something didn’t feel right so I followed her. She didn’t know, but as she was heading back to the tower she started coughing.”
“So?” Lily inquired. “She’s been coughing all day.”
“This was different. It was like a fit; then I saw the blood. She was coughing up blood.” Lily gasped. Albus lept up. Luckily the drunken tossers around us didn’t notice.
“Is she okay?” His eyes were wide with fear and concern.
“I don’t know. By the time I realized she was bleeding she had fainted. I screamed and Longbottom came. Then he sent me to get Mister Thomas and the Headmistress.” I sighed.
“WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T KNOW!” Albus yelled. This drew the attention of the party goers.
“I’m sorry, Al. Longbottom and McGonagall didn’t tell me a thing.” I laughed bitterly. “I bet Dad will know soon. And the evil Nana. But it’s not like she’ll care.” I laughed again. “Has she ever? She’ll probably blame it on Charlie’s clumsiness.”
“She has to care about her. She’s her grandmother.” Oh sweet, naïve Lily. She really doesn’t know. At least she’s passing Charms. . .
“And we’ve lost him.” Thanks, Al.
“You really need to control it, or get some more potions, or something. It’s getting worse.”
“OF COURSE IT’S GETTING BLOODY WORSE! IT DOES EVERY TIME I’M STRESSED, PISSED, OR SCARED! RIGHT NOW I’M ALL THREE!” I yelled. By now the party had stopped completely.
“Don’t take it out on her!” Albus yelled. He had dad’s temper and mum’s combined. He really got the short end of the stick when it comes to genetics. I just happened to be a freak. He took a deep breath and reigned in the beast. “If you do that again I’ll make you read. To the entire party.” He smiled evilly. Yep. My brother is officially a Slytherin.
“What’s going on?” Scorpius asked, hearing our little conversation. Rose appeared to have sobered up. How is that possible? She was bloody drunk an hour ago. “Charm. Invented it over the summer.” Thanks, Scorpius. I would have got there eventually.
“Oi! You lot! Go to bed! Party’s over!” Cue jeers. “NOW OR I WILL GO TELL THE HEADMISTRESS!” That cleared ‘em out. Scorpius and Rose sat down on the couch next to Lily and Albus.
“I think she may be unavailable at the moment.” Albus copied my bitter laugh. Damn dad’s genes.
“Why? What happened? Where’s Charlie?” Rose sounded frantic.
“Charlie? What?” Austin slurred. Scorpius sighed and waved his wand. Austin fell down the stairs, dragging the rest of the team with him. I sighed. Then I told them my story. They took it well. Merlin, I’m getting Char’s sarcasm.
“Is she alright?”
“Charlie!” They were all along the same lines. Except Austin’s, his was special/
“And you suddenly give a flipping bat bogey?” He was really close to her. Much like Rose. But there’s was different. Rose and Char told each other most everything; those two just joked around. Most of the time during my practice.
“Yes. I always have. The root of our fights were my ability to care. I started screaming when she started to try to kill herself through Quidditch. Then it escalated. I lost my temper this year because sixth year is bloody difficult. Especially for me.”
“Still. You hurt her. A lot. More than you think you did.”
“I’m still scared for her! I’m the one who saw the blood coming out of her mouth! I saw her lying on the floor!” I yelled.
“Fine. This isn’t about you. It’s about Charlie. Now, why the hell was she coughing up blood? I thought she was taking medicine for a cold?”
“A cold. Not a sickness like that.” Albus replied. We sat there in silence, staring at the door. Waiting for news. For hours we just kept vigil, and before we knew it the sun was up. No one moved. Few slept. We just sat there, swallowed by our memories. Or in the case of me, attempting to think about her but my mind kept on getting in the way. Suddenly a magical memo came shooting through the window towards me. It was from Longbottom. Everyone immediately sat up, or in the case of Rose and Scorpius, attempted to sit up while laying together on the couch.
“What’s it say?” Albus asked nervously. I was so nervous. What if she had died?
“Er. . .
“That’s bear, James.” Thanks, Al. He knows I can’t read under normal circumstances!
“I bear bad news. Harley-”
“Then you bloody read it! It’s obvious that I can’t!”
“Fine. Charlie is in a coma. It appears she has been infected with an unfamiliar poison. The healers are struggling to find a cure. The good news is that the poison is slow-moving; but if the healers cannot figure it out within a month Charlotte will slowly die. Charms and potions are keeping her breathing stable and are bringing her fluids. Your father is heading the investigation to find her poisoner. Think about who could’ve done this; he will have to question you as you were the one who found her. He will also question her friends. Send your best wishes to Charlie. You will be able to see her soon. I’m sorry. Uncle Neville.”
“Oh my god. Charlie might die!”
“Who could have done it!”
“She always ate with us!”
“I DON’T BLOODY KNOW DO I!” I shouted. Then I started mumbling. “Yet again I don’t even know how to read.” Too bad Al heard it.
“That’s nothing new.” Really, Al? Was it not enough that when you were five you were reading books that were twice as hard as the books I was attempting to read at six? Was it not enough that you get almost all O’s, or that you got Dad’s seeking talent? That you can pay attention to something for more than, I dunno, .00000000000001 seconds!
“James. Al was trying to joke, so just let it be.” Lily loves that really ancient muggle band; the Beetles or bugs or something of that sort. She liked to work their song titles into everyday life.
“Sorry, mate. This isn’t about you or I. It’s about Charlie.” He was right.
“I’m sorry, too.”
“Awwwww. . .” Rose, I am going to kill you.
“Do you think it was a potion or something? Hers and mine was slightly toxic the other day. . .” Thanks, Scorpius.
“No. Longbottom said she was poisoned. As in intentional. By someone.” Lily shrugged.
“Might have been aiming for one of us Wealsey-Potters. She was rather close to the family through Quidditch.” Sensitive. Wonder where she gets that from? Where do people get that from? Is there a magical planet where unicorns decide what type or person you are?
“We lost him. Again.” That jerked me back.
“Why would someone do that? Dad’s a bloody hero. It’s not like he’s Draco Malfoy or something. . . no offense Scorpius.” Now he shrugged.
“None taken. He lost all my respect when he let my grandfather disown me for being a Gryffindor. Father thought it was ‘bloody brilliant’, but was too scared to stand up to his daddy.” I had never known that about Scorpy. Damn Slytherins. Wait, isn’t Al one? How is he in here?
“Al! How are you in here? You’re a Slytherin!” He rolled his eyes.
“Same way as I do every time I hang out up here. Which is most of the time. I enter through the portrait. It’s quite easy to sweet talk the lady to let you in.” Sneaky Slytherin.
“Be nice. She can make your life hell if she wants.” Lily had called her fat when she was lecturing her about being out past curfew. She had been out because I had accidentally put her in the hospital wing trying to summon a cushion in her hand. I don’t know how I conjured flames, I swear!
“Yet again. . . BLAME JAMES!” This was it. Albus is going to die. Would he prefer off the Astronomy Tower or a simple Avada Kedavra?
“It’s not my fault! Do you think I wanted to set the cushion on fire? Do you think I want to fail every single class? Do you think I like it when the teachers are constantly testing my attention span by making me read? Do you think I enjoy it when the teacher tells me good job when I actually get an A!” I was mad. I was sick of being made fun of.
“Sorry. Sorry.” He mumbled.
“That’s right.” I’m still really pissed. Can you tell?
“That was uncalled for.” Thanks, mum. “That, too.” Did I say that out loud? “Yes, you did.”
“I didn’t say that last bit out loud!” I argued.
“You’re right. I could just tell what you were thinking. You’re very easy to read, James.” Go join Al on my hit list. Yes, right below him. What? Char was on the top? Move her off and put her on top of the friends list. WHAT DO YOU MEAN SHE DIED! NO! NO!
“What the hell!”
“It looks like he’s about to faint!”
“Not him, too!”
“Then what the hell was that!”
“Just a . . . thought.”
“EVERYONE RUN! JAMES IS THINKING!” Rose punched Albus in the arm. She is now off my hit list. So is Charlie. . .
“Seriously, James. You need the potion.” Not this again! I don’t want it! I’m sixteen, almost seventeen! I’ll be a legal adult. I can’t rely on calming draughts and muggle medicine for the rest of my life.
“No. I’m sixteen. They can’t make me.” Al sighed.
“Do you like failing?”
“I’d prefer it to being drugged.”
“Not this again. . .”
“CAN SOMEONE TELL US WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?” This was Austin Wood. Brilliant keeper, by the way.
“I’m sorry, Austin. This should be about Charlie, not my problems with my family.”
“There’s nothing we can do for her right now. We just want to know what’s going on with you. ‘Cause it could affect the game, you know?” Distracting himself from Charlie.
“You guys really don’t know?” Al asked. “I’d think he’d at least tell his team. You’re his life.” It’s true. I can’t get anywhere with my grades, they’re all I got.
“KNOW WHAT?!” They really were mad. I sighed.
“Ever since I was little, I was different. Not because of magic, because I struggled. In primary school my teachers would always have to remind me over and over to pay attention. I just couldn’t. Then we started to learn to read. I couldn’t. My dad really didn’t believe it was possible; he wasn’t like that and neither was mum. But my ‘Uncle’ Dudley was. That’s why he did so poorly in school. He was ADHD and Dyslexic like I am. But I also have ADD, which I think came from my grandmum Lily. Come to think of it; I think that may have been where Dudley got it from as well.”
“What is. . . ADHD? Is it a disease?” The Wotters in the room laughed.
“Nope. ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It means I can’t sit still, I’m really impulsive, and I can’t pay attention for the life of me. Dyslexia means I have trouble reading words. They get mixed up and that’s why I saw the wrong words in the letter.”
“We never knew.”
“That’s why you were so frustrated.”
“What does it mean?”
“It means I have a lot of trouble learning. Dyslexia also affects spelling, therefore I’m not good at essays. When we have to read the textbooks I get Rose to help me.”
“How come we’ve never heard of it?”
“It’s more common in Muggles. My grandmum was a Muggleborn and my dad thinks she had it and that’s how Dudley and I got it.”
“Ok.” There was an awkward silence.
“So. . . . Charlie.”
“Do you think we’ll hear from them soon?”
“Probably. People will be up soon.” Just then, my dad’s head appeared in the fire.
“Go to Minerva’s office. She’ll let you, Al, Rose, Austin, Scorpius, and possibly Lily visit. The rest of you should get some sleep. You’ll be able to see her later.” His eyes had dark circles under them and he looked worn down.
We practically ran out of the portrait hole. McGonagall didn’t even bother talking to us. She just let us go. When we arrived in St. Mungo’s we raced up to Charlie’s ward.
I stopped dead in my tracks seeing my Charlie in that state.
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