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Coming Back a Swan by Ginny_RED_Potter
Chapter 19 : The Falling Angel
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 46


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(To all of my readers,

I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! But summer is here, I survived my freshman year of college and I am now celebrating by posting a chapter! Originally, I was going to make this MUCH longer but if I am going to do it in a way that makes sense it has to be like this. So, I hope you enjoy! Keep an eye out for more chapters (especially if you read my other stories!) 

Love always, RED)

Chapter 19~ The Falling Angel 

Can't you see I'm dying here?
A shot of broken heart that
is chased with fear
Angels cry when stars collide ~ Angels Cry, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus


~

I read the letter in stunned disbelief. 

 

“What does it say?!”Jocelyn asked anxiously. She had told me to open it and now wanted, understandably to know what it said. They all did. Even Grandmere. 

 

I had to read it a few more times. I couldn’t comprehend it. It made no sense. 

 

“What does it say?!” Bee asked impatiently.

 

I was rendered speechless by my confusion. 

 

“What is it, mon cheri?” Grandmere repeated the question but her voice was all concern.

 

“I have to go to England. He says its urgent and I must come home.”

 

Bee scoffed scornfully. 

 

“He’s ordering me to come back,” I said, anger beginning to build in my chest. “The letter says ‘this is not a request’ and ‘it isn’t optional’.”

 

There was a moment of charged silence in which I seethed and my companions contemplated. Then, Grandmere broke it with words I did not want to hear. 

 

“Then you must go.”

 

 

Up in our room I seethed with rage. I paced back and forth and threw my possessions into my trunk with unnecessary vigor. My friends watched with cautious faces. They knew that I was getting ready to blow. 

 

“Uurrrgha!” I screamed. “I hate this! I hate this! I hate this! I don’t want to go back there! I don’t want to be forced to spend time with them! I just want them to leave me be! I just want them to leave me in peace! Why is it so hard for them to understand that I’m happy here? Why is that such a baffling concept?” I was ranting and I knew it but I couldn’t stop myself. I was being a drama queen but I couldn’t help it. I was a train speeding down the tracks toward a cliff but I couldn’t be stopped.  “Summoning me like I’m a house elf! Expecting me to drop everything at his beck-and-call! UGH!This could not get any worse!” 

 

I saw a dark look pass between my three best friends and stopped dead.

 

“What?” I demanded flatly. Perhaps I’d spoken too soon. “What are you three not telling me?”

 

They looked wide-eyed and totally guilty.

 

“What do you mean?” Leah said, a bit too innocently.

 

At the same time Lynnie said, “We’re not hiding anything from you.”

 

I looked at Bee, who grimaced under my gaze. 

 

“Leah got her latest issue of TeenWitch before we came up here.”

 

“Okay,” I said slowly, carefully. I still wasn’t getting what this had to do with me. “And?”

 

“Well...” She hesitated. 

 

“Brigitte, just tell me,” I said sharply.

 

“Perhaps I should just show you,” she answered before rising from her seat on one of the beds and crossing the room. She approached the desk and picked up the magazine in question. She turned a few pages and then turned back to me. She handed it to me cautiously and I took it just as carefully. 

 

And for the second time this morning, I read in disbelief. I read it several times, staring at the page in even more shock than I’d stared at my dad’s letter. My dad’s letter fit into a schema, my brain could eventually handle it because it fit his personality, his pattern. But this did not fit a schema, this was completely foreign to me. I didn’t know how to process it. 

 

The article that Brigitte had turned to was titled, “HAS OUR PRINCE FOUND HIS PRINCESS?” It read;

 

Sorry ladies, recently the first born son of the Chosen One has been spotted at several 

high profile events with eyes for only one girl. Just last week, he attended her seventeenth birthday bash in France. It seems that James Potter, the “Prince of the Wizarding World” has found his princess, Beauxbatons beauty, Alexa Swan (who was also once linked to the lead singer of the Asphodels, Archer Delray, who just so happened to sing at her previously mentioned birthday bash). 

 

The romance between the two is rumored to have started when they met at King’s Cross this past December. But we at TeenWitch  have done some digging and found a far different love story. Sources have revealed that the fancy started long before this Christmas Holiday. 

 

Before Swan was Beauxbatons’ most lusted after young beauty, she inhabited the same castle that James Potter does. She spent her first three years of magical education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where, sources say, she and James were not only in the same house (Gryffindor) but always spotted in the corridors together. 

 

“Everyone could see that they’d eventually end up together. It was so obvious,” a Ravenclaw girl in the couples’ year insisted. 

This seems to be the unanimous conclusion among both current and former Hogwarts students who remember the two in their early years.

 

“They always used to bicker like an old married couple. It was adorable!” said one former Gryffindor who was a few years ahead of the two in school. “I think James was really torn up when she transferred.” 

 

Bright Alexa left James, her friends, and siblings (one older brother and a littler sister) and transferred to Beauxbatons Academy of Magic in France to study under the watchful eye of headmistress, Madame Olympe Maxime, a close family friend. So close, in fact, that Alexa was recently a bridesmaid in her wedding to Hogwarts teacher and (incidentally) close family friend of the Potters’, Professor Rubeus Hagrid. She even sang at the reception and enchanted all by the lovely ballad that was clearly meant for only one. James was also, of course, in attendance and it was noted by one guest that the two were both conspicuously absent for part of the celebration (held at Miss Swan’s grandparent’s chateau). Coincidence? We’ll let you be the judge. 

 

What we do know is that only the best will do for the First Born of the Chosen One. Sources tell us that Alexa Swan is the crème de la crème of Beauxbatons Academy. There she and her three best friends (her cousin, Brigitte Gardiner; Jocelyn de Lancret; and Leah Kline- who is rumored to be dating Derrill of the Asphodels {see sidebar on page 30}) have affectionately been dubbed “Les Anges” meaning “The Angels” in French. A most appropriate nickname for these four stunners. Alexa, herself, is known as “Angelique” (“Angelic”) among the Beauxbatons set. But, we at TeenWitch think that her surname says it even better. “Angelique” has all the beauty and elegance of a swan.  And we’re just as enchanted with this new couple as the rest of the magical world is soon to be. 

 

“What?!” I finally managed to exclaim after the fourth reading. “Are they on crack?! What moronic Ravenclaw said it was ‘obvious’  that James Potter and I were going to be a couple? This is ridiculous!” 

 

I looked up from the article to see my friends with worried, apprehensive looks on their faces. They got even more concerned a minute later because I began to laugh.

 

Ange?” Lynnie said uncharacteristically tentative.

 

“That is so...” Laughter. “That is so.... James Potter and me in...” Fits of laughter. “So ridiculous... Potter and me a...” Peels of laughter. “Love story... preposterous...rubbish” Giggles. “What a load of...” More giggles. “...dragon dung...this rag...” I doubled over and completely collapsed on the floor in uncontrolled, manic laughter. 

 

Ange, are you okay?” Leah asked, her voice sounded worried but I couldn’t see because of the tears streaming from my eyes. 

 

“I’m...” More laughter. “I’m fine...” Giggle fit. “I just...can’t...breathe...” More laughter. 

 

At that, they began to laugh with me. We laughed and laughed, leaning against each other, clutching our sides, until my grandmother knocked on the door. 

 

“Alexa, darling, are you done packing, yet?” She said, voice muffled. “Your father sent another owl saying he expects you to be there before noon.” 

 

I stopped laughing instantly.

 

“I’m not done yet!” I called back, attempting (unsuccessfully) to keep the irritation and anger from my voice. It wasn’t Grandmere’s fault I had to go back, after all. I turned back to my suitcase and began slowly packing again. Noon my ass. I’d be there when I was good and ready. It was bad enough he was ordering me to come back to begin with, he wasn’t going to dictate the time of my arrival to me as well.

 

“So, you’re really not angry about the Potter article?” Brigitte asked. 

 

“No,” I scoffed. “It’s rubbish and it just makes them look like a rag. The Quibbler is more credible.”

 

“I still say that we should NOT let her read Rita Skeeter’s article,” Jocelyn said. 

 

“How d’you know Rita Skeeter wrote an article?” 

 

“Because, her article from the Daily Prophet was syndicated in le Présage,” Brigitte told me. 

 

“Ugh,” I groaned because I had a feeling that her article would not make me laugh. Rita Skeeter was notoriously vicious. “Yeah, I think that one I can go without seeing, thanks.” 

 

“Probably a wise decision,” Leah replied. “It wouldn’t improve your mood. And we don’t want to send you back to your parents in a homicidal rage.” 

 

They laughed but I didn’t. I didn’t want to be sent back at all. 

 

My bad feeling about this summons was increasing by the hour. What could he possibly want? Why would my father, of all people, want me to come back to England? He was far more comfortable having me in France, despite his clear disapproval, it meant he was spared at trying for an actual father-daughter relationship. 

 

I grudgingly stepped into the fireplace at half past noon (no way was I arriving on time, it was bad enough I had to go at all) trying to calm myself. I was unsuccessful. My nostrils flared, my pulse quickened and my jaw locked as I spun round and round. When I arrived, Saundra and my parents were there in the sitting room.

 

“Alright, what is so bloody important that I had to be summoned back here?” I demanded, brushing off my clothes. 

 

When I got no reply, I looked up to see my parents on one side of the room, each standing with their arms crossed across their chests and eyebrows knit together, and Saundra on the other sitting on the couch with much the same body language. Her chin stuck out stubbornly, as if she was defying someone but that would mean-

 

A few seconds too late, it dawned on me that I had just interrupted a very rare situation. Saundra and my parents were arguing. And, by the looks of it, they were currently at an impasse. 

 

Upon my arrival, Saundra looked at the fireplace and the disgust that crossed her face made something inside me ache. 

 

“Oh, of course, by all means, call the golden child home!” She exclaimed in outrage, rising to her feet. “As if we didn’t have enough drama! Heaven forbid the angel miss all the fun!” And with that, she turned on her heel and stormed from the room. 

 

The three of us stared after her for a moment, me in shock and my parents in something like resignation. 

 

“What was that all about?” I ask, breaking the silence. Completely forgetting that I was also supposed to be angry about being here to begin with.

 

They looked at me and my stomach sunk into my shoes. It was bad. 

 

Whatever they’d brought me here for, it was bad. I was not going to like it. 

 

I was about to dart head-first back into the fireplace before they could give me this news that I was not going to like but they were too fast.

 

“Sit down, Alexa,” my father ordered gravely.

 

I raised an eyebrow at him.

 

He sighed irritatedly and barked, “please.” 

 

I shrugged, that was about as good as it was going to get, and sat down in the seat my sister had just vacated. My heart was beating so fast that I could feel the pulsing in my temples. I braced myself for the unhappiness that their news would bring, what I did not brace myself for was the next sentence out of my father’s mouth. 

 

“Your mother and I have decided that it would be good for you and good for your sister if you returned to Hogwarts for your final year.” 

 

BAM. 

 

Just like that my world did a back flip. It blew up and froze over and then blew up again. 

 

‘Your mother and I have decided that it would be good for you and good for your sister if you returned to Hogwarts for your final year.‘       

‘Your mother and I have decided that it would be good for you and good for your sister if you returned to Hogwarts for your final year.‘      

 ‘Your mother and I have decided that it would be good for you and good for your sister if you returned to Hogwarts for your final year.

 

RETURNTOHOGWARTSFORYOURFINALYEAR!         

 

My body processed the statement before my mind did. Without orders to do so, it stood and grabbed my bags then ran to the fireplace, shouting the name of my destination before they could stop me. 

 

I was in too much shock to be nauseous like any other time using Floo Powder, it wasn’t until I’d stopped spinning and stepped out onto the hearth that I had my breakdown. I collapsed on the rug and began to sob, alerting my friends and Grandmere to my return. In nanoseconds, they’d converged on me, hugging me and uttering words of comfort that I did not hear. 

 

They stayed up all night trying to calm my hysterics when, finally, around dawn, I had cried myself dry and fallen asleep. I slept a lot over the next few days, perhaps my mind was using it as a defense mechanism. Shutting down my brain to help me cope with the inevitable. And, while I was sleeping, the rest of my family was arguing. 

 

In between long naps, I gathered information from Brigitte. She informed me that the reason my parents wanted me back at Hogwarts with Saundra, was that Saundra didn’t want to go back there at all. When my mother had suggested to her that she attend Beauxbaton with me in the coming year, she vehemently refused that option as well. My father also opposed this, apparently saying that he didn’t want to teach his children that running away from their problems was okay.  And that’s when he came up with his own option. I would return with Saundra to Hogwarts and we’d both face our problems with the place (“whatever they may be” said my father) head on, together. Right, that was likely. 

 

But, evidently, he had dug his heels in on the issue. My mother, Grandmere, and (shockingly) Michael argued that it was hardly fair to rip me from Beauxbaton when I was entering my seventh year just because Saundra was having problems. My father and Granddad, however, were firmly convinced that this was the only fair solution. Despite this fact, Saundra was insisting that she was not going back to school, no matter what they did and most especially if I was going with her.  

 

I didn’t bother arguing. They couldn’t make me go back if I didn’t cooperate. They couldn’t force me to do anything if I didn’t budge. I was NOT going back to Hogwarts. I remained firmly set on this for the next two weeks. While the rest of them argued, I planned how to evade capture. I was not going to go quietly. They were not going to take me alive. I was staying in France if it took every ounce of my will and determination to do so. I was confidently and fully prepared for my parents to come to the chateau and attempt to drag me back to England kicking and screaming. I was fully prepared to outsmart them when they did. I was fully prepared to escape them and end up back at Beauxbatons for my seventh year. 

 

What I wasn’t prepared for was what actually happened

 

I woke up midmorning with the rest of them (a rarity these days) and we went downstairs to eat breakfast together. We were raving over my Grandmere’s excellent cooking and I was actually laughing with my friends (another rarity in recent weeks) when we heard a swoosh. And, to the shock of the room at large, out of the fireplace stepped my brother, Michael. 

 

There was a long silence during which most of us looked from Michael to Leah and back and the two of them just stared back into each others’ eyes. Then, Grandmere cleared her throat and the two seemed to snap out of their trance. Michael tore his eyes from Leah and spoke, and what he said surprised everyone. 

 

“Allie, can I speak to you?”

 

I blinked back at him in confusion. 

 

“Alone?” He prodded. “Please?” 

 

I shook my head, trying to get the cloud surrounding my comprehension to dissipate. I rose and,with a quick glance back at a crestfallen Leah, proceeded to lead Michael out of the chateau, into the garden. 

 

We walked in silence for several more minutes before he finally realized I was waiting him to speak. He had after all been the one who had interrupted my morning and said he needed to talk to me.

 

“So, I know the last time we talked we both said some things,” he began. “Some things we didn’t really mean.”

 

I remained silent. Waiting.


“And I just wanted to let you know that I don’t blame what happened to Saundra on you,” he went on, looking down at his shoes. “But, she’s having an incredibly hard time right now.”

 

“I know,” I replied defensively.

 

“I know you do. And that’s what makes this so hard to say...” he went silent. 

 

“What?” I said after a moment. “What is hard to say?” 

 

“I-I think you should go back to Hogwarts.” 

 

Silence. Deafening silence. 

 

“B-but-” I sputtered in confusion. 

 

“I know,” he says. “I know that I’ve been fighting Dad on it with Mum and Grandmere but I talked to Saundra last night-”

 

“She doesn’t want me there either,” I cut across him, a bit venomously. 

 

“I know that, too. But I think you should go just the same.” He told me. “Yeah, she doesn’t want you there. But she needs you. She doesn’t want to admit it but she needs you. I can’t help her the way you can.” 

 

“Michael, I can’t help her at all,” I tell him in disbelief. “She’ll barely speak to me.” 

 

“You can help her. You have no idea how much you can help her, just by being there.”

 

“She. Doesn’t. Want. Me. There.” I repeated through gritted teeth. 

 

He sighed. “Will you promise me that you’ll just think about it?” 

 

His eyes pleaded with me and, despite the fact that I was mad at him just half an hour before, I couldn’t say no to those eyes.

 

I huffed in irritation. “Fine. I’ll THINK about it,” I lied. 

 

“Thanks, Allie.” He grinned at me, leaned down and kissed my cheek then gave me a hug. 

 

“Yeah, yeah,” I replied flatly with no intention of actually giving it a second thought. 

 

 

However, that night, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I couldn’t turn my mind off. My brothers words echoed in my head, making it impossible to sleep. 

 

She doesn’t want you there. But she needs you. She doesn’t want to admit it but she needs you.

 

You can help her. You have no idea how much you can help her, just by being there.

 

But how? How could I possibly help someone who does want my help? 

 

You have no idea how much you can help her, just by being there.

 

I huffed in frustration, punching my pillow into a new formation and turning onto my side. Saundra didn’t want me there, why was I actually taking this seriously? What did Michael know? He was probably just looking for an excuse to see Leah. 

 

Of course! 

 

Michael had just been looking for an excuse to see Leah! Why else would he come all the way to France to convince me to do something he’d been arguing against to my father? Why would he try to make me go back to Hogwarts when he was the one who had helped me leave to begin with? Stupid git, messing with my head just because he wanted to see his ex-girlfriend rather than growing a pair and just talking to her. 

 

Gosh, it was probably because of that stupid article that mentioned her and Derrill. Rita Skeeter probably followed suit and harped on their fake relationship just as much as she had harped on my supposed romance. My stupid brother had actually believed that twit. Ugh!

 

Cursing my brother’s stupidity and renewing my vow never to go back to Hogwarts, I finally went to sleep in peace.

 

***

 

When I woke, my peace was shattered. 

 

As much as I wanted to believe that Michael’s motives for coming to the chateau were completely selfish, I knew my brother better than that. He would not dangle both of his sisters’ futures over the edge of a cliff just for a glimpse of a girl. Any girl. Even Leah. 

 

She doesn’t want you there. But she needs you.

 

The words seeped under my skin and into my bloodstream like audible poison. I sighed and felt a heavy sense of dread settle back into the pit of my stomach. My heart seemed to freeze and then shatter in my chest, leaving it hallow. 

 

Michael wouldn’t lie about something like that, something so serious. I knew my big brother and he was as noble as his house at Hogwarts suggested. With this certain revelation, I began to cry silently because I knew what I had to do. 

 

I wasn’t dangling at the edge of the cliff any longer. I was falling off of the edge. 


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