Chapter 9 : Dates and breakdowns (James)
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It’s a strange thing—knowing you’re going to die.
I sigh and lean my head back against the wall. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die.
I’m going to die. I’m going to die.
I work hard for a moment, trying not to cry. I’m not a small child. James, I say to myself, don’t be a baby. You… You still have time…
I sniffle, and wipe angrily at the tears that have begun to drip slowly down my face. And then, shaking my head and giving up, I sink to the floor, resting my head on my knees as I curl them up to my chest.
“You’re being ridiculous,” I say to myself, trying desperately to calm myself down. It’s not working.
I let out a slight whimper as I pull my knees tighter to my chest. Tears fill my eyes. I’m going to die.
And there’s really nothing we can do.
“Fuck. James what are you doing?” I grumble to myself, putting my head in my hands. This isn’t working. I’m losing it. What the hell?
Scorpius’s words from that night—which was really probably only two weeks ago, even though it feels like an eternity has passed—flash back into my mind. “Don’t say that. If you give up hope, you have nothing left. Hope is what keeps you alive.”
Hope. It seems like such a foolish thing sometimes. How can just hoping, wishing something would work actually do anything?
How can hope help you survive?
But it does. I know it does. Because if you don’t have hope, you don’t have anything. If I gave up hope there would be nothing for me to hold on to. There would be no point of trying to live. With a sigh I push myself off the ground.
It’s going to be okay.
I might live.
I knock on the door, and she’s there, smiling up at me. Her long blonde hair falls down her back, her deep gray eyes glittering. The blue top she’s wearing sets off her pale skin, and she seems like an angel in the star light.
But that smile… My heart does a small tip-tap dance in my chest as I see it.
Damn. This girl. She makes me feel like putty. One smile and I’ve already turned to mush. Great.
“Amelia,” I hear myself say quietly.
“James,” she returns, biting her lip to stop another huge smile from breaking free. I draw in a slightly tortured breath.
I take that back… I think weakly. The smile is way better than her biting her lip.
“So,” she says, interrupting our silence, “where are we going?”
I take her hand, and, winking at her, apparate us to Diagon alley. She sighs happily when she sees where we are.
“I haven’t been here in nearly five years,” she says with a laugh.
“Really?” I ask, turning to look at her. “Why not?”
She shrugs. “I don’t see a reason too unless you work here, you know? It’s usually so crowded.”
I bite my lip, but then finally say, “Well… If you want to go somewhere else…”
“Oh, no!” She gasps, looking slightly embarrassed. “There’s… It’s… Well… I… I… James…”
“Yes?” I ask, looking down at her with amusement.
She mock scowls at me. “Stop being such a gentleman. You’re leaving me tongue-tied.”
“Would you rather I shove you into that puddle back there, then?” I question, barely able to contain a laugh. “Would that help?”
She sighs and admits, “Probably not.”
I laugh this time, and so does she. After a moment I ask, “Where do you want to go?” as I make a vague gesture around the alley with my hands.
She glances around and says, “The Leaky Cauldron.”
“Seriously?” I demand, turning to look at her as I raise an eyebrow. “You want to go in there? On a date?”
She looks up at me, barely hiding a smile. “Why not? It brings back some memories.” A slight giggle escapes her lips, “It shouldn’t be too crowded.” She starts over and then glances back at me and adds, “And besides, you can always have the best time just doing simple things.”
“Alright then,” I agree, taking her hand and leading her in the direction. We enter and sit down at a small table in the corner.
“How did you meet Scorpius?” I ask her curiously, taking in a nervous breath. Scorpius is a safe topic. As weird as he is sometimes, he’s a great guy. And talking about him won’t lead to anything embarrassing. Hopefully.
“We started working at St. Mungos around the same time,” she says, her soft voice seeming to fill the air. “I never really paid much attention to him until one day his mother—Astoria, she came in to talk to him.”
“I’ve never met her before,” I admit, watching the way she plays with her hair, only half paying attention to her story.
Amelia bites her lip again (damnit) and after a hesitation says, “She’s a little… Eccentric, I suppose.”
“How so?” I question, trying to resist the urge to lean over and kiss her. She needs to stop biting her lip.
It’s killing me.
“Truly?” Amelia asks with a laugh. “She thinks she can control Scorpius’s life. She’s trying to get him to date this girl—Emma Zabini. He keeps telling her no. I think Draco is trying to get her to stop, but… I dunno.”
“You know Scorpius’s father?” I ask, surprised, fully listening now, even though I’m still watching the way her eyes sparkle, the way she moves.
How does this girl have me so mesmerized?
“We’ve met a few times,” she admits. “He’s a nice guy. I just think… He wasn’t always the best father, and sometimes Scorpius is a little bitter about that. Draco mentioned it. He always said it made him sad that he wasn’t closer to Scorpius.”
I nod slowly and she goes back to her story. “Anyways, Astoria was yelling at Scorpius—something about Emma, I don’t remember—and he looked so humiliated and upset that I couldn’t not doing anything. I couldn’t just sit there and watch him anymore. So, I stood up, and as I’m the receptionist, I told Astoria that she was bothering the patients, and asked her if she could kindly leave the building.”
I can’t stop myself from laughing. “And how did she take that?”
“Badly,” Amelia says with a nod. “She kind of cussed at me and then stormed out of the building. That was when I first started talking to Scorpius.” She smiles that stunning smile of hers. “I can’t imagine life without him now. He’s like the older brother I never had.”
I smile at that. “Yeah. He’s a great guy. I can’t imagine life without him.”
There is a short silence for a moment as we just watch each other.
“So…” Amelia asks, a teasing smile on her face. “Violet Martin?”
I groan. “Yeah. I know.”
“When did you two start dating?” She asks curiously, but I hear something else in her tone that I can’t quite place.
I look at her in confusion but then tell her, “It was… We started dating a few years after we got out of Hogwarts—I met her at the minister’s ball.”
“Oh, that stupid thing,” Amelia grumbles. “I never get invited.”
I shake my head slightly. “Don’t worry, you’re not missing much. It awful. Anyhow, we started dating. She was… Really nice and sweet. Or, at least I thought. I asked her to marry me last year.”
“Violet Potter,” she tries out, ignoring my shudder. “Doesn’t sound that good,” she tells me, smirking slightly.
“Oh my,” I say, raising an eyebrow. “Don’t tell me Scorpius is rubbing off on you.”
She giggles again. “Merlin, I hope not. He’s a sweetheart, but really, the smirking… Too much.”
I chuckle. “Most definitely,” I agree, all the while in my head I’m thinking: Amelia Potter. Doesn’t sound bad. Then, James, what the hell are you thinking?
We order and eat, still talking together about small things when she asks, “What about your family?”
I blink, glancing at her. “What… What about them?”
She shrugs and says, “I’ve never met any of them. What are they like?”
“Well… Lily, she’s my younger sister, she’s… A strange one really, one moment she’s crazy and insane and the next she’s completely calm and collected. You never know what’s going on with her. My dad… he’s great. He’s always there, I suppose. I can’t imagine life without him. He loves my mum so much. And my mum loves him just as much too. She… She’s brilliant. And funny. Sharp. I love her. And then there’s Al.” There is a long pause here while I try to think of words to describe the place my brother holds in my heart. “I think Al’s the one person that I couldn’t live without. He’s my brother, and he’s always been one of my closest friends. He’s truly the nicest person I’ve ever met in my life. He always puts other before him. I love him. He’s the best brother I could ever ask for.”
Amelia smiles softly at me. “I hope I meet them one day,” she says, her eyes sparkling. After a moment I realize how much she looks like Scorpius. Shaking my head to rid myself of this thought I tell her, “They’d like you.”
“Would they?” she asks, surprised.
I blink at her and nod. “Of course,” I say. “How could they not?”
She blushes, which of course, makes me realize what just slipped out of my mouth, and I feel my face heat up slightly too.
“Well… Thank you,” she whispers softly.
Goddamnit, where did my charming self go? I can usually sweep girls off their feet with one sentence. But no. Not with her. With Amelia I’m all awkward and tongue-tied, confused and flustered.
We sit in silence for a little while as we finish eating and I pay. I glance down at my watch. “It’s not too late,” I say hopefully as I realize that I don’t want her to leave yet. Well, I don’t ever want her to leave, but that’s a different story. “We can go do something else for a little while.”
“Like what?” she asks, glancing at me.
I shrug. “Walk around. Talk. We could go back to my place and watch a movie… Your choice.”
She glances up at me and says, “A movie doesn’t seem sound so bad. I’m a little tired.”
“Oh,” I say, slightly disappointed. Of course I’m going to do the gentlemanly thing now. “Well, I can take you home if you want.”
She looks up at me and shakes her head furiously. “No,” she says. “I don’t want to go home yet.”
“Er…” I shake my head, trying not to look too ridiculously happy. “Alright.”
I smile at her and we leave the Leaky Cauldron. I apparate her to my house and ask as we step inside, “What movies do you like?”
“Do you have any muggle movies?” she questions curiously.
I wave my hand to a shelf on the wall and say, “They’re all over there.”
She starts over and I follow behind. She runs her hand along the movie cases, and I can’t help but wonder how soft her hands are. I bite my lip and then slowly reach my hand forward and touch her hair gently.
She doesn’t seem to notice.
Merlin. I think. Her hair is really soft.
Biting my lip, I let my hand fall back down to my side as she turns to look at me. She pulls a movie off the shelf and smiles softly at me. “I love this movie,” she says, showing me a movie I didn’t even know I had.
“The Notebook?” I question. “I’ve never seen that one before. My mum must have given it to me.”
“Really?” Amelia questions playfully. “Then why do you have Titanic, Gone with the wind, Pearl Harbor, and Notting Hill in here too? Don’t tell me you watch all of these.”
“No,” I say quickly, shaking my head.
She picks up another one. “This seems more your style. Though still surprising.”
“What is it?” I ask, tilting my head at her. She shows it to me. “Ghost? Okay, I’ll admit it. I have watched that one. It’s not bad.”
She giggles slightly and then pulls more off of the shelf. “Love actually? Pride and Prejudice? What the hell, James?”
I shrug helplessly. “You’d be amazed how many female cousins use my flat to watch movies all the time.”
She laughs, a sound that makes my heart stutter, and I ask her, “Well, which one do you want to watch?”
She picks a new one up off the shelf. “Sweet home Alabama,” she says with a smile. “This is such a cute movie.”
“Well then put it in,” I say, gesturing to the television. She smiles and I settle down on the couch. After a moment she joins me and sits down beside me, and I lean over and flick the lights off. I can barely pay attention to the movie—even though it doesn’t seem half bad. She’s so close to me. I shake my head and finally say softly to myself knowing that it’s true, even though I might not have known it before now, “I’ve liked you ever since I first saw you at that dance.”
She turns to look up at me and I realize she heard me. I blush, but a smile plays at her lips. “I liked you when we were in Hogwarts,” she admits, leaving me staring at her in astonishment.
“Why—why didn’t you say anything?” I ask, staring at her.
She laughs. “I tried to talk to you during my fourth year. You patted me on the head and said ‘Ah, first years are always so cute.’”
I feel myself blush. “I didn’t,” I say making a face. “Please tell me I didn’t.”
She smirks. “You did.”
“Oh, Merlin,” I turn even more red. “That’s awful.”
She laughs but then becomes serious again. “I think… I think I was really fooling myself with Julian. I suppose I’ve always liked you.”
“I must’ve been blind,” I mutter.
She glances up at me.
I can’t help it anymore.
The only thought that flashes through my mind is: Scorpius is going to kill me. And then I lean down and kiss her.
Instantly, I seem to forget where I am, what I was doing… The only thing that matters is her.
My hands run through her hair and then move down to her waist, and she winds her arms around my neck. After who knows how long of snogging, we end up twisting so that we’re lying down on the couch, her on top of me. The changing scenes of the movie are making the lighting of the room flash strangely, but I don’t care. The only thing I can see is her. “Mmhhm, James,” she mumbles softly against my lips, and my heart beat speeds up as I lean closer pulling her into another passionate kiss. Somehow, my shirt has fallen to the ground. We snog for a while more, her hands on me, mine on her, before I pull back.
We watch each other for a moment, our breathing labored before I say, “Uh… Wow,” in a completely dazed voice.
She lets out a breathless laugh.
After a moment she glances back at the clock and says reluctantly, “I… I should go.”
She stands up and turns to leave. I stretch myself out on the couch and call after her, “Amelia.”
She turns back to look at me, running a hand through her disheveled blonde hair, her grey eyes dancing. Her eyes watch me carefully, asking, What is it?
“A date on Wednesday?” I ask hopefully, trying to be casual. She beams at me.
“Of course,” she says with a smile, and before she leaves she blows a kiss at me. She turns from the room and I hear the door click shut behind her.
I sigh happily as I lean back against the couch, unable to stop a smile from lighting my face.
Which is, of course, when Scorpius shows up.
“Ah, ah, ah,” he says when he sees me, throwing his hands up in front of his face. “Jeez, James, put a shirt on.”
“Oh, that’s rich coming from you,” I tease him playfully as I pick my shirt up off of the floor.
“Touché,” he agrees, still not moving his hands from in front of his face. I roll my eyes and sit up.
“You can look now, you know.”
He sets his hands down and blinks at me. Then, with sparkling eyes he asks, “How’d it go?”
I smile. “Great. We…” Suddenly, I break off as it occurs to me that mentioning that I snogged Amelia to Scorpius might not be the best thing.
Scorpius’s eyes widen as I trail off. “You… What?” He asks. “James…” a threatening tone fills his voice.
“Fine,” I say. “We snogged. For a while.” I sigh happily.
Raising an eyebrow and shaking his head he says, “If she were dating anyone else I would clobber them, but it’s you, so I guess I have to be okay with it.”
I smirk up at him and after a moment he shakes his head disapprovingly and smirks right back.
“You aren’t really disappointed in my smirking skills?” I demand. “Really?”
“Really,” he says, his voice light and playful. “I thought I taught you better than this, James…”
I laugh, and so does he. And we spend the rest of the night talking, laughing, and I can’t help but thinking back to Hogwarts where it was like this every night.
No worries, just fun and play.
Things aren’t like that now. I don’t have as much time as I did then.
But I still have hope.
And that's the best thing I can ask for.
A/N: Well, we are officialy half way through this story. :) I can't believe it!
I don't have any plans for a sequel for this one, but I have been entertaining the idea of writing a prequel that takes place from the beginning of their Hogwarts years up until Scorpius leaves to go to Muggle school. Any opinions on that would be lovely. :)
Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed James's POV, because he was really a pain in the arse to write for that first half. Then when Amelia showed up it was okay, but I miss Scoprius, so he'll be back next chapter.
I'll try to get chapter ten up as soon as posisble. I'd love a review. ;)
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