Chapter 2 : Once Upon a time
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Once upon a time.
That’s how all the good stories are supposed to start right? And if your story begins with ‘once upon a time’ then the end has to end in ‘happily ever after’.
So just this once let my story start in: Once upon a time. You don’t even need to give me a prince charming, or a furry animal that can talk. Just give me a happily ever after. Fine! Not even: happily, I will settle for just: ever after. Just please universe…. Give me an after.
We never made it to crashing the party. Shit I already forgot this is now a fairy tale. Let me reword: we never made it to the ball.
My brother, I guess we can call him my fairy god-mother, caught me, the princess, fainting.
And I can’t do this. I can’t even pretend my life is a fairy tale because it’s not. I can’t pretend my story starts with ‘once upon a time’. So you want my story world? Why my brother is crying and I can’t stop shaking?
I’d been sitting here at St. Mungos for what felt like hours. A few awkward words are occasionally exchanged, but mostly we just sit in silence.
“Collette.” The healer tries to get my attention, but I am too busy staring at Andrew’s shaking hands.
What a weird action.
Dogs shake. Take for example the Chihuahua; these creatures shake all the time out of fear. But a Chihuahua is the weakest dog on the totem pole. Hence fear is weakness. So why the hell is my brother shaking. My brother is not weak. My brother is my hero, the one that protects me from harm. So why on this sick cruel world is Andrew shaking.
He is weak. He couldn’t protect me now and I needed someone to save me. I need someone to rescue me from what is happening and yet my brother just sits staring at the wall shaking.
“Get out.” The first words I have spoken in an hour and my voice sounds horse from tears that have yet to come. Both Healer Proctor and Andrew look up at my sudden order.
Andrew still just sits there shaking and everything else leaves my mind all I knew is that I wanted him out of this room more then anything else. “I said GET OUT!” A single tear escapes from my left eye, but only one before I am screaming at the top of my lungs, “Get out, get out, GET OUT!”
Healer Proctor lightly puts his hand on my shoulder. “Would you like me to leave Ms. Roberts?” I shake my head no and push his hand off my shoulder.
Without a word Andrew leaves the room, I avoid eye contact with him not wanting to see the pain in my brother’s eyes.
“How long?” My words surprise even me. Did I want to know? Did I want to know how many years until I was… I can’t even think the word. How am I suppose to accept my fate if I can’t even think of the word?
Proctor leans against his desk and runs a hand through his greying hair. His face looks worn and tired. I wondered how many times he has given this speech. How many times he has watched a life be sucked away.
“It is hard to determine Ms. Roberts-“
“Col,” I interrupt, “If you are determining my fate you might at well call me Col.”
He smiles a sad smile before continuing. “Col, you have an amazing gift. There are not many people who can see the future. Being a seer is a gift Ms. Collette you can never forget that.”
My body starts to shake, but not out of fear or anger, but from hysterical laughter. “Ah your right. Who doesn’t want a gift like this.”
Proctor ignores my laughter and proceeded to talk over me. “Collette, no one is arguing that this isn’t fair, it isn’t. But you need to listen to me ok?” I nod my head, though I am not fully listening, my feet were much more interesting. “I’m going to try and put this in a way you will understand… Ok? Your visions are putting stress and built up tension in your body. This is a very common thing that usually ends in insanity or in other cases death… Collette your body is slowly shutting down. Your visions have affected more then just your brain and because of that your organs are going to shut down.”
I wonder what it will feel like to have your body to fail on you… Not being able to depend on your own body to keep you alive. I lift my eyes from my feet; Proctor looks so professional he must do this often.
“Collette. You are dying.”
Ever realize people use your name a lot when giving bad news.
“When your organs fully shut down though is not determined. We have medicine that will help prolong your life. Yet even with the medicine Ms. Roberts- Col, we are talking about a year at the longest… but probably closer to six or seven months.”
“Did you become a Healer because your last name rhymes with doctor? You know like muggles have. I mean doctor Proctor. It has a ring to it. You should consider working with muggles…”
I start to pace the room rambling on about rhyming and how there is no job that rhymes with Roberts.
“Collette is there someone you want with you? Someone we should inform?” I shake my head no. Andrew already knew and my father wouldn’t show up even if I asked.
“Collette I’m going to ask that you come in every two weeks for now on. I’m going to do everything in my power to try and help you. But for now I want you to go back to school and enjoy what time you have left with friends and family. It is up to you if you continue Hogwarts, but I would strongly recommend it. And as for your father, if you’d like I can inform him of your condition or you can tell him.”
“I-I’ll tell him… Christmas break is coming up… I’ll tell him then.”
Without another word Dr. Proctor squeezes my shoulder and walks out of the room.
I probably sat there for half an hour not moving an inch. There is only one word stuck in my head. Months.
I had months to live. Months to whither away from life and those I love. When I finally got the courage to stand up my legs crumble under me and I fall to the cold tiled floor. This is all I was now, a crumpled up mess on the floor. I knew he was there before I even heard the squeak of the door. Andrew kneels beside me and kisses my forehead.
Tears run down his cheeks, and I reach up to wipe his tears away, almost fascinated by the emotion he is feeling.
We sit together for a while holding hands, we don’t need words, just the occasional squeeze of the hand to remind each other we are there for each other. My hands have dry blood from earlier that day.
Have you ever coughed so hard blood came out?
Yeah, not a pretty thought. I remember so vividly heading to crash the party with the guys. I’d been starting to regret going to crash their victory party; I mean that is a bit cruel right? They didn’t deserve it… and with the guilt coursing through my body I started to drag my feet.
Andrew, James and Fred didn’t even notice me starting to chicken out. I don’t know why I bothered with them sometimes; they just treat me like the younger sister all the time. All they do is yell at boys that talk to me and give me wet willy’s. They were only one year older than me for crying out loud!
They were all joking around; all three boys tipsy from whatever James had managed to sneak them. Someone had said a stupid joke and they were all laughing hysterically when everything started to get blurry.
It felt like a vision, but different… all I wanted to do was sit down, somehow I got to a wall and started sliding down it. My head pounded and all I could hear was a high pitch buzzing noise in my ears. I think my eyes were shut, either way everything was pitch black. My throat burned as I coughed into my hands. I could taste blood from my raw throat coming out with each burst of air.
But none of that mattered. There was a blinding hot pain in my left temple. As if someone had branded my brain. I was crying from pain, and it was only then that the boys turned around to notice me. But before they could reach me the most amazing thing happened, the pain went away… but that came at the price of blacking out.
Andrew squeezes my hand pulling me out of my memories, but this time he doesn’t loosen his grip.
“I love you Col.,” It sounds final. And it hurts. As if I am dying right now, at this very moment.
“Can I go to bed now…” Andrew doesn’t respond, the tears that have fallen are finally dried on his face and now he just looks solemn.
The amount of medication and potions they give me barely fits in both Andrew’s and my arms. With it came a pamphlet. ‘What to expect in your final months.’
I just want to go home…
Andrew carries me to bed and tucks me in careful not to wake any of the boys in the dorm (we are in his dorm since he can’t walk up the girls stairs without them turning into a slide).
Usually here is where I would insert some witty comment about how boys are slobs, but I feel hollow. No room for laughter, sarcasm or even my wit. Just sorrow with a dash of angst.
There is the loud snoring of Fred from the bed over, or maybe it was James, as Andrew shuts off the lights. “I’ll be back in a little while,” He mutters as he walks out the door.
I stare at the ceiling for a long time that night. It is pitch dark, but somehow I have convinced myself all the answers to my questions are on that ceiling.
I want to sleep, but at the same time shouldn’t I be taking advantage of every waking moment I have left? I want Andrew to tell me what to do like he normally does. Yet it is three in the freaking morning and he was still ‘out’. He has no right to leave me to mend to his own emotional problems! I mean I should be the one going ‘out’ for the night, not him.
Another snore stops my angry glaring at the ceiling. That is James. I can tell because even in sleep his snores are arrogant.
My hands are shaking; I am not sure if it was from self-pity, fear or anger, but what ever the emotion is all I know is that if I stare at this quite, stupid wall for one more second I will have to strangle the next person I see. The floorboards creak under my bare feet as I start to pace back and forth.
I crack my knuckles as I walk debating on who I should tell. I can imagine the conversations now. ‘Oh hey Albus! Remember how we promised to move in together after graduation with Rose and Scorpius? Yeah, rent may be a bit higher since it will now just be the three of you. Surprise! I’m dying!’ I can’t tell them… It’s just not something I can bring up. Plus why should I let them suffer all this time waiting for me to kick the bucket. What about the day I die, they can find out then! That sounds so much easier. It is concluded no one will ever need to know that in a few months I’ll be vamoose, no more, vanished, six feet-
James sits up in his bed, I should have noticed the snoring had stopped. From the small crescent of the moon shining through the window I can see his puzzled expression. I must look like a deer in the headlights. But there is something else I notice along with his expression James Sirius Potter is shirtless and ripped. Sweet Merlin quidditch does amazing things to the male anatomy.
I have made a lot of regrets in my life, many I’ll never be able to take back, but tonight regrets are suppose to be made. Soon there will be no more time to make regrets, and what will my life be if I don’t make a few stupid mistakes here and there.
Well this is one of them…
My feet take control of me turning me into a temptress. And believe me Collette Roberts is the farthest thing from a temptress, but at this moment while I push James against his bed one could believe I have done this for years.
James has been with a thousand girls, he gets a new one each week. So why tonight can’t I just be another girl.
As I kiss his collarbone and his stubbly jaw I become just another girl. I wasn’t the ‘girl who was dying’, but ‘a girl getting with James’ and that made me just one of hundreds.
James has a shocked expression, but I know he won’t say no to me, “Cols, you’re Andrew’s sister. This isn’t right! It’s a mistake.”
I kiss his lips to quiet him. There is no spark, or tingly sensation it is just two people’s lips touching. And that’s all I need right now.
I shut the curtains around us as I swing my leg around him. “Tonight is a night for mistakes.”
I did not lose my virginity that night to James Potter, we kissed and fooled around, but that was all. I spent the night ignoring what I would have to face in the morning. But as he nips at my neck and holds me tight I realize this was the beginning of the end and I was lying in bed with the horn dog of Hogwarts.
Once upon a time…
A/N: A real quick thank you to ScorpiusRose17 for all the extra help she gave me with this chapter! Please leave me a review on how I’m doing! I love to hear your guys feedback!
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