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Shattered by iLuna17
Chapter 21 : The Aftermath
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 6

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A/N: I don't own HP. Sorry for the wait. 5000+ words, though.

I hesitantly opened my eyes, expecting to see the same dark cellar. Instead, I was greeted with all white. I groaned, remembering what had happened. I had lost a duel to him. (The shame!) Also, I found that my shoulder and my leg felt like they were on fire, blinding me a bit. (but it could just be the white) When everything cleared, I realized that there were restraints around my entire body, so the only thing I could move more than a centimeter was my head, and that the healers were bustling around. I groaned; this wasn’t going to end well.

After an hour of pointless questions, me refusing to take any potions, (how could I trust any of them after him? Would you?), and the healers forcibly injecting the potions into me, (I hate the bloody restraints. Here’s a hint: struggling won’t help. Believe me, I tried.) the swarm of healers finally left the ward, and my family entered. I had never been so happy to see them in my life. (Partly because I hadn’t seen them in a month, and partly because it meant the healers were gone and it meant this wasn’t just another trick from him)

I know I’m a horrible person. There’s no need to remind me.

“Morning, Sleeping Beauty,” Al said, and I saw that he had a long, still present (and a little nasty) burn up his forearm. (he always rolled up his sweatshirt sleeves) And when I saw Lily, I realized she had a cut, with wiz-stitches on her forehead. It must have been deep.

Immediately my face creased, but Lily rolled her eyes, letting me know she was fine. In fact, she was smiling from ear to ear. Which is very hard to come by with her. Moody little tyke.

“What happened?” I asked Dad immediately, and everyone sighed audibly. I wasn’t going to be distracted. Not until after I knew exactly what had happened.

“I was hoping they drugged you enough to be loopy . . .” Lily muttered, and I laughed. None of that loopy ‘pain killer’ medicine had ever worked on me. Which is probably why I was gritting my teeth against the now fully potent pain in my leg and shoulder. My head was slightly fuzzy, though, probably an after affect of whatever potion they had me under. Or just gave me.

“Did they fix his nose?” I asked, trying to appear natural, and my dad smiled slightly. I could tell he was still really worried, though, and was eyeing my now clenched fists. I couldn’t imagine why he would be worried; he only thought I was dead for a month when really a psychotic Healer was torturing me in his cellar, and now I was restrained in a hospital bed with pain so bad I wanted to scream.

Why should he be worried about me?

“Nice right hook, and we let him keep it as a souvenir,” he complimented.

“You’ll have plenty of those,” Al muttered, but I was just happy my leg was pointing the right direction. Even though it hurt even worse than when it was twisted. . .

“So when can I leave?” I asked, straining to smile. I wanted bloody out of there; I didn’t care if I had to crawl out on my hands and knees. Mum and Dad glanced at each other instinctively, which was never a good sign.

“Er . . .” Mum said, looking around. “Maybe tomorrow, but they need to keep you under observation. They need to see if the Cruciatus Curse has affected you in any way,” she explained, looking sympathetic. I, however, just groaned, while Al laughed. I guess they didn’t realize what I was hiding. Good. (If they knew I wasn’t perfectly fine and begging to leave … Mum and Dad would never leave me alone)

“They’ll be begging him to leave by tomorrow. He won’t be able to bloody sit still in about thirty seconds,” Al said lightly, but Dad shot him a look. This made my temper flare slightly; I wasn’t a baby. But it died down almost instantly; I knew he was just worried . . . Mum, too. And it still hurt. (Just pointing it out) The strange thing was, my lungs didn’t. They must have fixed them while I was out for however long I was.

“And what’s with the freaky metal things?” Lily asked, referring to the bands. I was surprised she didn’t already know; she was usually quite perceptive. (and most of the time I hated her for it)

“They want to keep him from moving around a lot until they know the full effects of the Cruciatus Curse,” Dad told her, while I tried to test the movement of my leg and shoulder. It didn’t work. (which is probably a good thing)

“Makes me even more glad I got him in the face,” I responded grimly. No matter how much I would deny it in the future, I was glad to see my family. Especially after living in hell for a month . . .

“How are you lot? You know, when I said I was taking you all down with me, I didn’t mean it literally,” I asked after no one responded.

“Pretty well. I still can’t believe Albus let Lily take part in his dimwitted scheme,” my mother scoffed, while I laughed. The tables were turning; usually it was me she was disappointed in. (cue evil laugh)

“Did the golden child finally get . . . scolded?” I asked, with mock horror, while Al turned bright red. “So, Lils, what did you hit him with to let you go? Confundus? Bat-Bogey hex?” I asked, knowing Al would never have let her go otherwise. He’s too bloody protective. (Aren’t I hypocritical today?)

“Actually, I blasted him a good ten metres with a simple stunner,” she replied, and our parents looked impressed, before quickly masking it. “And it’s not like you two can be talking about dimwitted schemes,” Lily added to our parents, and they avoided her piercing gaze.

I have never been more proud than my little sister.

“James, love, pick your jaw up off the floor,” she commented, but she was still smiling. Suddenly a thought came to me, not a good one. No one had answered when I asked how was everyone else. They were trying to distract me.

“What happened to her?” I asked bluntly, and my family immediately avoided my gaze. “What happened to Charlie?” I pressed, but no one would answer. Suddenly the door to the ward opened, and in slipped the person I was desperate to see. (I just couldn’t tell my family that)

“James,” Charlie greeted breathlessly, “I’m fine,” she said calmly to me. “See?” Charlie spun around once as if to prove she was there. (she tripped, but that doesn’t matter) She was perfectly fine, hardly a scratch on her. If this was a bad teenage drama, I would have cried I was so happy. But I was a Potter. I was manly. If I had said this out loud Al would have just shot that belief down. (which is why I didn’t)

“I think I’m going to go get some tea,” Lily said suddenly. “Do you want to come with me, Al? Mum and Dad?” Lily gave them a pointed look. Our parents still looked reluctant, but I sent her a ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’ look, but she kept her face cool and indifferent. I knew what she was trying to do, and so did everyone else, but that didn’t matter. I wanted to be alone with Charlie. She would tell me . . . I hope.

“I’ll be fine. It’s not like I’m going anywhere,” I added helpfully, and though they looked worried, they left.

As soon as they were gone, I told her to come closer, as she was hovering near the door. (did I mention I hated having stupid restraints? It’s not like I’m a criminal or something.)

“What are . . .” Charlie started slightly bemusedly, gesturing to the restraints. Her hair was a complete mess and there were bags under her eyes. She obviously hadn’t slept at all, or at least very little. Was that what I’d looked like before?

“Apparently because the Healer was Crucio-happy, they have to ‘assess if I’ll have any lasting damage’,” I explained, and Charlie laughed.

“But you really think it’s because even just being awake is agonizingly painful?” Charlie asked, and I looked away. How did she know?

In truth, it’s probably because Charlie knew me too well; she can read exactly what was behind the sarcasm. I don’t know when she got the ability to do that, but I bet it was since she learned the full story. Before that she just acted too bloody confused to know stuff like this. And like a lost puppy when I lost my temper.

“What is going through your head?” she asked confusedly, pulling up a chair. I had forgotten I’d let my mind wander. In the cellar, my mind had shut off. The only thing that remained was instinct and survival. Everything else had disappeared.

“Random nonsense,” I replied casually, but I was on edge. Luckily, Charlie didn’t press.

“Tell me something I don’t know,” she replied just as casually. Charlie was smiling, like she was in awe of everything around her.

“How’d you get your hair to look like that? It must have taken you hours,” I said dramatically, wanting to ruffle it. I was really starting to resent Bob. (Yes, I’d name the restraints)

“Try sleeping in the hospital for a week,” she replied, yawning.

“A week?” I exclaimed, and in my attempted jerked motion I had set off a new wave of pain through my leg. But I hadn’t slept that long . . . had I? I couldn’t . . .

“Yes, Sleeping Beauty. The Healers said you had about four months of sleep to catch up on, so they kept you under. And the level of pain they estimated you were in,” she said, frowning, glancing from my face, now gritted against the pain, to my leg. “How’s your leg?” It was casual, but there was an underlying tone of worry. I’m surprised I heard anything she said; I was focusing on regularizing my breathing and working to unclench my fists.

“You try sleeping when there’s a psychopath right above you, knowing he could kill you in your sleep,” I muttered. “And my leg’s fine. I don’t feel anything. You should have gone home, I’m sure my mum offered. And threatened to stun you and cart you off herself,” I lied, after realizing Charlie had probably adopted my sleeping habits for a week.

“She did … and actually she said she would get Fred and Austin to physically haul me off, but I couldn’t leave you.” There was a faint smile on her face, but then it disappeared. “And obviously you wouldn’t be in any pain after you broke your leg in twenty places,” she retorted, raising an eyebrow. “They had to remove the pieces of bone, then grow another,” Charlie informed me.

“I hate your damn facts,” I replied, but there was something on the back of my mind. Questions being avoided, even by Charlie. What had happened? What didn’t they want me to know?

“What happened?” I asked in a low voice. If anyone would tell me, it’d be Charlie. She glanced to the door, then looked back. Her eyes, ever the billboard, were filled with worry.

“Are you sure? I don’t think they’d-” she started nervously.

“I’m not a mental patient, Charlie. I’ll be fine,” I assured her softly. She nodded.

“In truth, most people are fine. They’re all either at home for the weekend or at Hogwarts. There’s only . . .” but Charlie trailed off, while wringing the end of her shirt nervously.

“What?” I pressed. I hated being kept in the dark. Something big had happened, and I needed to know what. And somehow I knew Charlie would be the only one to tell me.

“She . . . she’s . . .” Charlie started, tears streaming down her face. I couldn’t bear to see her cry.

“Come up here,” I said softly. She shook her head. “It’s okay. Come here,” I said again, and she crawled up, and from the position Bob had me in, she fit perfectly in my arm. I (somewhat) held her, not even minding she was partly on my leg. My mind had shut the pain off, letting me focus solely on what was happening with Charlie. She was the most upset I’d ever seen her.

“It’s Ellie. She’s … she’s dead, James,” Charlie said, her face in my shirt. My breath disappeared, and I’m sure I stiffened under her.

Ellie couldn’t be dead. She was just there, just being sarcastic and grinning like a loon (even though we were in a bloody cellar). She wasn’t dead. She couldn’t be.

“No,” I whispered, but Charlie just nodded. “No, no, no, no, no.”

“She saved my life.” Charlie’s voice was almost inaudible, and suddenly it all came back. The spell, the fight. Charlie.

“I really just want to hug you right now,” I admitted, and she laughed a little. “Pesky Bob,” I muttered, and she picked her head up.

“What?” I had successfully changed the subject, and the tears momentarily stopped. I smiled faintly; I couldn’t stand watching her cry. So I would distract her … it’s the path my family had chose, and it kind of worked, so I decided to try it.

“I named the restraints Bob in my mind. I hate that name, and I hate them, so . . .” I explained, and she laughed.

“Oh, James,” she replied, her eyes still wet. “God, you two were so alike. Such loons.” I guess that tactic didn’t work …

“She’s in a better place,” I told her. I really just wanted to enfold her, to be able to wrap her in my arms and never let go. I had almost lost her twice. I wasn’t ever letting go again. (You know, if I could actually move my arms to hold her)

“That’s what people said about you,” she whispered. “But I could never believe it. Because all I wanted was for you to be . . .” Charlie paused. “I sound so thick and clichéd right now.”

“It’s okay. I know what you were trying to say,” I assured her. Charlie looked at me, her eyes swirling with deep, pure sorrow.She took a deep breath.

“It gets worse. About Ellie. Her mum hated her . . . and hated her dad. She was with Dabney, and when he offered to ‘tame’ Ellie for her mum, she said yes. That’s how she got the cuts, the words,” she told me, and I swallowed. I didn’t understand how you could hate your own child, and do that to them. To cause them pain …

“Where is she?” I asked, though it sounded more like a growl, even to me. “Who is she?”

“She’s at the Ministry. I think her name’s Lavender or Lilac or something,” she said, and I could move my head enough to kiss her forehead.

“And her dad?” I asked. My dad liked Seamus, they're old friends from Hogwarts or something.

“He’s at home. The funeral’s in a few days. She has two older sisters, and an older brother. They’re … they’re not taking it well,” she admitted. “They had me show him to her … to her room. He was crying when he saw what had happened … her arm, her back. Her dad just broke down and sobbed. They all did,” she admitted, the tears flowing once more.

“She’s better where she is now. She’s not in pain,” I told her. “Besides, you know what she would say.” Charlie laughed for a second, but her face was still serious.

“You didn’t see them. Or everyone one else; Maddy, Rhys, even Albus. Knowing where she is doesn’t change how everyone feels. The grief is still there, it’s still suffocating, and it always will be,” she told me, but I shook my head.

“It doesn’t have to swallow us whole. We can remember, but … you know what she’d say,” I said softly, resting my head (the one thing I could move) on hers.

“Thank you,” she whispered. Then she turned so our faces were mere centimeters apart, and kissed me softly. It tasted sweet and pure, filled with all the sadness and confusion we were both feeling.

“Don’t let Ginny catch you like that,” a voice said out of nowhere, and I saw Charlie’s face turn red, while I felt mine burn. There’s only one person who would say that.

“Teddy,” I greeted, with a slight twinge of annoyance. Charlie slipped off the bed and back into her chair.

“Oh don’t mind me. I wouldn’t want to interrupt anything. I’m just here to see my supposedly dead cousin who’s actually alive,” he said sarcastically.

“You’re going to have four kids, mate. You can’t talk,” I replied, grinning.

“Touché, Jamie,” he admitted, sitting down. “What’s with the strang bling? Oh, yeah, and Vic says that you need to get better, and to stop being a brave idiot. I think the pregnancy hormones are starting to get to her. But she was seriously worried. Everyone was,” he warned, his face turning serious.

“I’m fine, Teddy,” I said exasperatedly. “If they’d bloody release me I’d be perfect.”

“Mhm hmh,” Charlie said, raising an eyebrow. “Somehow I doubt that.”

“I like her,” Teddy said immediately, and Charlie blushed again. “So if I do … this-” Teddy moved to slap my leg and I immediately jerked, releasing yet another wave of pain. “Point proven.” I glared, but of course that didn’t bother Teddy. “I am also here to remind you that you’re not off the hook, dear godbrother. I am still your-” I cut him off with a groan. “-therapist.”

“I hate the word,” I muttered.

“No, you hate having to need one, and being reminded of it in front of your girlfriend,” Teddy corrected, not missing a beat. I glared again; it didn’t faze him one bit. “I’ll still be talking with you once a week.” I groaned again. Teddy clapped his hands together. “Now that that’s over with, who wants to explain to me what I just walked into?”

“What did you just walk into?” My dad asked critically, apparently back from ‘tea’. Charlie and I flushed once more. Suddenly, my mum’s and sister’s eyes opened wide. They looked at each other, before grinning. Al looked questioningly at Charlie, while my dad was just clueless.

“Nothing,” I answered quickly, at the same time Charlie did. Teddy smirked.

“Wotcher, Teddy,” Lily greeted, smiling insanely widely as she flounced over. She hugged him, but I knew that was just a cover to whisper in his ear.

“For the last time, Lily Luna Potter, he’s not naming his child Apple!” My mum exclaimed, while Teddy chortled, probably from a combination of that and what Lily had just told him.

“Apple?” he choked out. “I think I might have to suggest that to Vic.”

“She’ll have your head,” Al warned darkly.

“True. I wonder what Pippa and Andie would say . . . Remus would smile and agree, but I think they’d either squeal or call it stupid,” he mused.

“You’re not naming your child Apple, Ted,” my dad said exasperatedly.

“Says the bloke who named all of his kids after at least one dead person,” Teddy commented, and my dad’s face reddened.

“It’s not a bloody fruit, though!” he exclaimed. Teddy laughed.

“I’m not serious, Merlin. You need to keep your blood pressure down, Harry. It’s not good for you,” he said. He was never fazed by anything. It’s infuriating at times, but other times bloody wicked.

(this would be one of those times)

“You’re going to have four kids, Teddy. You need to grow up,” my mum replied.

“He wasn’t acting immature. Just snarky,” Lily defended him. Those two had the weirdest relationship . . . he was ten years older than her, yet they were closer (metaphorically) than me and Charlie were when Teddy had walked in.

“I have to tend to agree with her,” I inputted, and Al nodded. My mum rolled her eyes. Just then, a sharp burst of pain came from out of the blow. My muscles were spazzing against the restraints, and I couldn’t control it. Mostly I’d been able to suppress the pain, but now I had to grit my teeth and tense up to keep from screaming. I wasn’t sure how long I would last; everything was blurring together and the voices were becoming more and more distant.

“James!” Charlie’s voice said from a mile away. “I’m getting a healer!” All I felt was pain. I didn’t cry out, but grit my teeth harder. I managed to shake my head through it all, but that was it. It was already fading.

“Go get one! Harry!” My mum called from far away, and I vaguely remember the pain reaching a point to where it was blinding.

“Bloody hell,” Teddy swore, moving in front of me. I recognized the turquoise blur. “Charlie’s getting a Healer, James,” he told me. “Hang on.”

“No . . . I’m fine,” I gasped out, but the pain was too great. I was going to faint; I knew it. But I fought it. I could feel the tears in my eyes, probably streaming down my face. The metal digging into my arms, trying to use that pain to lessen the one from my shoulder. And my leg. Trying to steady it.

“You’re bloody well not! Charlie’s almost here … hang on!” Al exclaimed. I tried to tell him I was fine, blindly looking for his voice through the blurs, but I was losing the fight.

“Fine . ..” I gasped out, but before I knew it ... I was gone.

But so was the pain.


Charlie couldn’t believe what had happened. James was alive, and would be perfectly fine once the bones were healed, (for some unknown reason she didn’t think the Skelegrow was working) and then suddenly he was literally spazzing, the metal restraints cutting into him. Charlie knew some was because of the flailing limbs, but she saw James digging his wrists into them, trying to calm the uncontrollable limbs. At first, his eyes had been wide with fear, until he’d shut them tight, using all of his focus on trying to stop it. After Charlie had left, then returned with the (rather young) Healer, James’s face was eerily calm, his eyes closed peacefully, but his limbs still thrashed. The Healer immediately released the bonds, then ordered that no one was to do anything until it stopped. Then he simply injected a muscle relaxant, and slowly James calmed. He was unconscious, which was probably much better than being awake. If he was in pain before . . . Charlie couldn’t imagine now.

Charlie could still see James gripping the sides of the bed, his muscles popping as he tried to control it. Until he lost control of even his arms . . .

Suddenly, a muffled sob escaped Lily, who was buried in Teddy’s chest. The Healer summoned two potions, one a familiar anesthetic, the other an unrecognizable deep purple. He turned instinctively to the sound, looking solemn.

“What . . . what was that?” she asked, crying. The Healer turned to Harry and Ginny.

“Mr. and Mrs. Potter,” the Healer started, but he wasn’t smiling. “I know we promised James could leave tomorrow, and I’m extremely sorry … but we had to put James back under. He wasn’t healed enough, and he had an allergic reaction to the Skelegrow, which affected his nerves as well as re-shattered the bones. He’ll be fine, though, and we’re positive this … episode … had nothing to do with the Cruciatus Curse. Actually, it seems to have not left any effects, which is excellent. But has that ever happened before? Has he reacted to Skelegrow before?” he asked. He sounded sincere and grave, and worry and sadness were etched into each line of his creased face. Everyone relaxed, though, once they realized James would be okay. The Healer hung his head and turned to leave. Teddy wouldn’t have that, though.

“Isaac!” Teddy exclaimed, and the Healer snapped around. “I’ve never seen you so depressed, mate. We all knew James would eventually muck this up,” Teddy received looks of annoyance from almost everyone, “oh, shut it. You lot know it’s true. It’s James. I’ve never met anyone who’s allergic to Skelegrow before.” Al and Lily shrugged, and nodded. “But, seriously, mate. You’re always the happy one ‘round here … ‘get well soon’ and whatnot. Always were in Hogwarts . . .”

“Teddy,” the healer replied through gritted teeth. “This is serious.”

“I know,” Teddy replied, unfazed. He did looked slightly worried, though. “But you weren’t even this serious even immediately after you finished treating him the first time. And that took you hours, whereas this took seconds.”

“I’m a little stressed, mate. My patient, and your godbrother, just had a seizure. After ...” he replied, ruffling his hair, but trailing off after glancing at the Potters. Teddy nodded, as if in deep thought.

“He’ll bounce right back. May I remind you it’s James we’re dealing with. Kept for a month in the cellar and still managed to duel, and almost beat, Dabney,” Teddy shrugged. “I heard you had to forcibly inject the eejit because he didn’t trust anyone, though.” Then Teddy’s face changed. “You and Alyssa should come ‘round this week, Vic has been into baking lately. Better than last time there was another Lupin on the way. . . she got into tae kwon do,” he replied, and Isaac cracked a smile. Charlie was incredibly confused, but none of the Potters were fazed.

“I will. Now, Mr. and Mrs. Potter … has he ever had a reaction to Skelegrow before?” he asked, but even Harry and Ginny looked slightly amused at the display.

“Please, Isaac, we’ve asked you not to call us that. We’ve known you since you for years, for Merlin’s sake. And James has never had Skelegrow. He’s never broken anything this severe before,” Ginny replied, frowning at the end. “How will he regrow the bones, then?”

“There’s other spells and potions. We’ll wake him up in a day or two, but he’ll be fully healed by then. He’ll be released a day or two after that … just to be sure,” Isaac the Healer replied. “He won’t have any lasting damage.” Now he was smiling, but very faintly. Charlie recognized him; he was the healer who had let her sneak the Potters into the ward. And apparently Teddy Lupin’s best mate.

“See … no need to be so bloody depressing. We don’t need another Albus,” Teddy said, leaning back in the chair. Al didn’t even look offended, but yet again, he hadn’t really been talking this week. He had slept at home for a few hours one day, but the rest of the time he had waited outside of James’s room, looking through the window at his motionless brother. Watching the bruises slowly fade. Charlie had sat next to him the entire time.

“Teddy, I will ask you to leave, you know,” Isaac replied exasperatedly.

“Nah, you wouldn’t. I’m your best mate,” he replied, grinning cheekily.

“Feel free to kick him out any time. Bloke needs to learn somehow,” Harry commented, but he was smiling. Charlie guessed he was just happy James was going to be fine. (And alive).

“Will that ever happen again?” Al asked, his eyes hard as stone. Charlie knew something was wrong. He hadn’t said more than two words to her as they kept vigil.

“No. It shouldn’t,” Isaac replied, meeting his gaze. Teddy surveyed the scene with severe interest, his face creased at Albus.

“Al, a moment,” he said suddenly, and Al glared at him. The emeralds were a dull and steely. “Don’t worry, chap.” Al didn’t lighten up.

“Albus,” his mother warned. He didn’t even look at her, he just left. Teddy gave Harry and Ginny a meaningful look, before following. After he left they looked at each other meaningfully, and Lily sighed.

“Living with my family is like playing that Muggle game, Whack-A-Mole. As soon as one thing is taken care of, another pops up. Ah, well. Might as well go get some tea …”

Lily was playing a dangerous game. But Charlie knew the risk was worth it.

“I’ll come, too,” she said immediately, and they both started to leave.

“Absolutely not, Lily Luna Potter. You, too, Charlotte,” Ginny said forcefully, and Lily swore under her breath.

“It’s no wonder you two weren’t Slytherins. You’re about as subtle as a rampaging elephant,” Harry said, shaking his head.

“Just one? We’re getting better. Last time he said it was a heard,” Lily commented, high-fiving Charlie.

“You lot need to grow up,” Ginny said, shaking her head. But she was smiling.

“I wonder what Teddy’s up to, though,” Isaac commented, frowning at where he had left with Al. Charlie knew something was wrong, and he had acted very weirdly this week. Very … dark. And Charlie realized no one had asked him what was wrong, or why. It was all about James. And Ellie. And Maddy. And Rhys. And Charlie. No one had cared how he felt or how he was doing. He had been there for his brother every step of the way, and Charlie knew he hadn’t coped well after James’s death. She could only imagine the mix of emotions swirling around inside him.

“I believe that Charlie has just figured out the mystery of my moody brother,” Lily commented, studying Charlie’s face.

“Which one?” Harry asked, and everyone smiled slightly at that. Lily replied with a simple hiss.

“That’s what I thought,” Ginny started. “Whoever figures out James deserves an Order of Merlin.”

“Are you supposed to say that about your own child?” Lily commented, folding her tiny arms. Ginny just smiled.

“Of course I am. Just like how Al needs to stop being all dark and ‘misunderstood’, because it’s bloody annoying and he’s moody all the time. And you, Lily dear, need to stop being so much like your godmum. I mean you are named after her, but Merlin knows I can only take so much talk of nargles and fairies before I want hex someone,” she said casually. It was times like these Charlie loved Ginny Potter. “Charlie, love, you may want to pick your jaw up from the floor sometime soon.”

“Sorry, Ginny,” Charlie apologized, but Ginny simply waved it off. Then Charlie glanced at the door; she was worried for Al. “I wonder when they’re coming back in …” Charlie bit her lip.

“I dunno. Despite, well, being Teddy, Teddy’s actually really good at this kind of thing. He’ll straighten Al out. The only one who actually confused him was James,” Harry commented, gesturing vaguely. Charlie glanced at James again, but saw he was sleeping peacefully. He was going to be all right. She breathed a little sigh of relief at that. Charlie sat down next to him, and took his hand, trying to will him to get better by her touch. If she would have turned around, she would have seen Lily smirking, Ginny smiling sweetly, and Harry looking more than a little confused.

Suddenly, the door to the ward opened, and Al and Teddy walked back in. Al simply sat down next to Charlie, who turned to him.

“You alright?” she asked, her voice barely audible.

“Yeah. Now I am,” he replied, smiling slightly, his voice just as low. “You?”

“Yeah.” Charlie glanced at James, before returning the smile. And for once it was genuine. “I’m more than fine. I’m perfect.”

A/N: *hides behind wall as tomatoes are thrown* I'm so sorry this took so long ... but RL has swallowed me up. And just a pre-warning, next week is the musical and then a week or so after that is the class trip. So... not exactly sure when I'll have time to write/post the EPILOGUE.

But wasn't that last line cute? When do you lot think the epilogue will take place?

Gotta go- Science test that needs to be studied for. Thanks, and please review!


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