Chapter 9 : Ella the Deformed Umbrella
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I grinned up at Uncle Charlie sheepishly, and he beamed in response, seating himself in between me and Char, right on top of our card game.
‘Good to see you again Jam,’ Uncle Charlie said, then he turned to Char, ‘and missy here you get more gorgeous every time I see you.’ He took her hand and kissed it, winking. Her cheeks flushed the same colour as her hair.
The exploding pack of snap cards chose that moment to go off in a bang, singeing Uncle Charlie’s rear end and sending him leaping off across the room.
It took ten minutes of Mums voice, everything from sympathetic to screaming at her older brother to get him to stop blubbing like a baby.
The girls found it hilarious, Char rolled around laughing for a good five minutes and Lily and Rory were still giggling at the sight of Uncle Charlie’s karky trousers burnt to a crisp, revealing a pair of luminous pink boxers. I reached over and with one hand covered Aurora’s eyes, and the other covered Charla’s.
‘Oh grow up Charlie, you’ve worked with Dragons, surely a pack of playing cards is nothing like a dragon burn?’
Uncle Charlie pouted ridiculously then disappeared upstairs to find a new pair of clean clothes. As soon as he was gone, me and Char looked at each other and fell into another fit of incontrollable laughter.
‘Such kids,’ Mum sighed, ‘the pair of you.’
‘What,’ I called after her, ‘you were the one who told me I never grew up past five years old!’
When Charlie reappeared he declared he had something to show me and Char, he lead us up the stair case, right to the very top floor and into the very last bedroom.
As he opened the door my eyes fuzzed over.
‘Holy Smokes,’ I coughed, breathing in a lungful of Smoke. Uncle Charlie pulled out a little electric fan that Muggle’s use and switched it on, blowing away some of the whirling white stuff that filled up the room, then fought his way to the opposite end of the room and threw open the window.
‘What do you keep in here?’ Charla choked, fanning the air in front of her face.
‘That’s what I wanted to show you, she’s around here somewhere.’ He scanned the room, until finally his eyes settled on a curled up... thing, that looked somewhat like a deformed umbrella clutched to the ceiling fan. The thing unfolded and dropped to the floor, lifting its strange head and looking at us with big brown eyes.
‘Hey Ella.’ Uncle Charlie cooed, holding out a hand to the baby dragon. It coughed and spluttered out a lungful of smoke right into Uncle Charlie’s face.
‘Oh she’s a real Charmer,’ I said sarcastically.
‘She’s adorable!’ Char got down on her knees and stroked the end of Ella’s wings, the dragon snuggled up to her like a cuddly toy.
The world’s gone mad!
‘Do me a favour, tell Hagrid you met her and that she’s the daughter of Norberta.’ Uncle Charlie said, lifting the baby dragon into his arms.
‘Why did you want to us to meet her?’ I asked suspiciously.
‘Oh didn’t Ginny tell you?’ He grinned again, yet looking a little less confident. ‘You’re babysitting her.’
‘WHAT!?’ I yelled.
‘Seriously!’ Charla beamed, reaching to take out the dragon.
‘So you will?’ Uncle Charlie asked hopefully.
‘NO BLOODY WAY!’ I responded.
‘Of course.’ Charla declared, to which Uncle Charlie responded enthusiastically. ‘Fantastic!’
Oh my Days I hate women.
~ ~ ~
‘Hey Ella,’ I had gone up to the bedroom I had been sharing with Char and found her sitting on the end of my bed, chewing up her already very dead teddy bear that had lost a leg and both its eyes.
Turns out babysitting Baby Monster for the holiday wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. We found out Ella was sick with some rare Dragony disease which meant she couldn’t breathe fire, only smoke, so obviously we were at no risk of being cooked.
Though I wasn’t completely convinced.
Charla was completely in love with the baby dragon, and was quite happy for Ella to perch on her shoulder like a parrot as she fed her with countless baby bottles of milk.
Ok Ella was pretty cute, especially when she breathed smoke in Uncle Charlie’s face, though he wasn’t there that often because he had work to do.
Mum and Dad left regularly, I only hoped they were going into work and not into some secluded area of the woods, (cue nasty mental images, EWWW). Rory and Lily saw fit to travel into the little village where apparently a ‘fit guy’ lived with his family, I would be sure to hex him when I saw him.
I picked Ella up and perched her on my shoulder, where she clung to my shirt. I don’t know how she avoided scratching us with her killer claws but somehow she managed.
‘Where’s Char?’ I asked, scratching Ella under her chin, ‘hmm.’
I paused and listened catching the sound of soft whispers. I walked out the room and down the corridor, listening at each door until the voices were louder.
I burst through and she sat on the bed there, tears running down her cheeks, her phone clasped in her hand. ‘James?’ she said shocked, hastily wiping away tears.
‘Charlie what’s wrong,’ I panicked, putting Ella down and sitting beside her, wrapping my arms around her. ‘Char?’
‘James,’ she buried her head into my neck, ‘it’s Sisi...’
‘What?’ I looked at her, pushing her away slightly so I could see her, ‘what’s wrong.’
'Have you noticed she's very thin?' Char looked up at me, tears filled her eyes.
'Well sure, but she's a naturally slim person Char...' I tried, but somehow the tension got to me and more tears slid downn Charla's face.
'I spoke to her on the phone just now...She’s anorexic...’ Charla sobbed.
For several moment’s I sat stunned. Roisia was the nicest girl I’d ever met, she was kind and pretty and she never said a mean thing to anyone.
‘She doesn’t eat anything James,’ Char whispered, ‘and and I don’t know what to do anymore...’
'Let me call her,' I demanded, making a grab for Charla's phone, which seemed to make her more distressed.
'No!' she yelled, holding the phone tight to her chest, 'no please, James you can't!'
'Charlie this is serious,' I insisted.
'I know,' she looked down at her feet.
'If you don't give me the phone, I'm apparating there!' I threatened.
'Please James, for me, just pretend I didn't tell you,' she whispered.
I hugged Charla again, ‘We’ll work it out,’ I promised. Truth was I had no idea how to be a friend to someone who was starving themselves.
~ ~ ~
Aside from spending time worrying about Sisi, I was still pretty thrilled at how my holiday was going, I spent it all with my best friend and our random Dragon pet, right up until the very last day that we were staying in Romania (Christmas Eve), when Uncle Charlie left us with a pouch of Galleons as a ‘thank you’ and a note saying he had taken Ella into work and we had the day to ourselves.
‘Morning Sunshine,’ Char grinned as I slumped onto a chair in the dining room fully dressed, she was just finishing up on a piece of toast and orange juice. ‘You’re dad said he’s gone into work and he’ll see you at the Burrow later and your mum has gone into the Dragon Centre with your Uncle.’
‘You been lonely,’ I asked, yawning and rubbing my eyes.
She laughed and dusted off her hands, ‘not really but I’m going for a walk, maybe see if I can find Lily and Rory while you have breakfast, see you.’ She blew me a kiss as she danced out the door and I heard her singing again as she passed under the open window. I knew she wasn’t going to find Lily and her sister, but instead to a little pond of crystal clear water that we had discovered a few days previously. She loved it there; she’d told me it made her feel like she was in a world where it was just me and her.
I think I’d like a world just me and Charla.
Tap tap tap.
‘Eugh bloody bird disturbing my daydream.’ I snapped, throwing a bottle over my shoulder in the general direction of the window.
Tap tap tap.
Why was it even tapping the window was open!
Tap tap tap.
I spun round ‘SHUT UP!’ I yelled, the owl merely ruffled it’s feathers and stuck out its leg. Two heavy, important looking letters were tied to it. Curiosity got the better of me; I walked over and read the names.
They looked very formal, and very important... a little worriedly, I untied them and ripped open mine, skimming over the letters, reading aloud softly.
‘ “James Potter, pleased to inform, blah blah blah, Excellence in Quidditch blah blah blah, Quidditch Training, July 17th to August 17th, Tornadoes Quidditch team, signed Roderick Plumpton, manager and coach.”’ I froze, my hands fumbled over Char’s and it read the same. Something inside me woke up as if only just realising the meaning of the letters, then I jumped up and punched the air, and tore off through the forest, not even stopping to close the back door.
I reached Charla quicker than I thought was possible, threw my arms around her and span her round wildly.
‘James!’ She screeched. I put her down and kissed her head, pressing her letter into her hands.
I watched intently as her eyes travelled over the words, once, twice, three times over.
‘James!’ she whispered, ‘we did it!’ She started jumping up and down, elated, ‘oh my god, we did it James!’ she cried.
‘I know right, forget Albus being better, we got training with TORNADOES!’ I hugged her again and lifted her off her feet.
‘I knew you’d get it!’ she said, stepping up onto a rock that sat right at the edge of the pond so she reached my own height.
Gently, I took the letters and dropped them on the grassy floor behind me, and then, still smiling, I moved forward as if to wrap my arms around Char, but, taking and opportunity to catch her by surprised I began to tickle her so she fell backwards landed in the pond with a resounding splash.
‘James Sirius Potter you are an arse!’ Charla screeched, pushing her soaking curls off of her face. I would have been very worried if she wasn’t grinning as much as I was. ‘You pig,’ she hurtled towards me, and would have knocked me flat if I hadn’t grabbed her wrists.
‘You’re cute when you’re angry!’ I grinned down at her and she stuck her tongue out at me, and then looked down to observe herself. She was wearing jeans and a white tank top... and now very see-through white tank top and a bright blue bra.
‘Not a good day to wear a bright bra hey,’ I kept smiling like a maniac, keeping my eyes locked on hers, trying desperately not to stare at her chest. It wasn’t like I hadn’t seen her in her underwear before but this was slightly different, we weren’t kids anymore, and I was pretty sure she was blushing brighter than her red hair.
‘Screw you,’ she scowled, fighting off a smile. ‘And I left my wand at the house,’ she moaned. ‘I want to dry myself, let me borrow yours.’
She gave me her best smile but I only raised my eyebrows.
‘Not when I have a view like this Charlie!’ I joked.
Char’s eyes widened and her mouth formed a small O, using all her strength she shoved my chest hard so I stumbled backwards and turned to run.
‘You are so dead, James!’ she yelled, I could hear her laugh carrying over to the tree that I had ducked behind, right beside the pond. It took her less than thirty seconds to find me so I hoisted her up again and span her round so her shrieks bounced off the mountains. Reaching the end of the pond, I released her and she went splashing down, what I didn’t realise was she still had hold of my shirt so I toppled in on top of her, sucking in a mouthful of the crystal blue and ice cold mountain stream.
‘AHH, COLD!’ I yelped, dancing up and down, I could have sworn I felt ice blocks, bumbling past my legs.
‘Serves you right,’ Charla cackled, flicking her hair back with a smug look, I could see her avoiding looking at my stomach where my shirt clung to my (not to boast or anything, wink wink) six pack that I earned from long hours Quidditch training.
I stripped off my shirt and chucked it so it landed in a lump beside the Quidditch letter, my heart leapt again at the sight of them.
‘Enjoying the view,’ I said, I couldn’t peal the grin off my face as I looked down into Chars brilliant green eyes... well, pretended to look into her eyes while really my eyes flicked a little lower.
‘Ah, seen it all before, Jim Jam,’ she stuck her nose into the air but a blush crept back into her cheeks.
‘Lies,’ I breathed, slipping a hand through hers and pulling her closer. Her breath caught, I could hear it, but her smile was still glued to her cheeks.
‘Whatever James,’ she whispered. We stood still, up to our waists in water.
Our eyes locked, and I moved closer to her, winding an arm around her waist so her lips were only an inch away from mine, then, scared either I would chicken out or she would, I pressed my lips down on hers and kissed her like I should have done before.
Momentarily she was frozen, which worried me, but then her muscles relaxed and her freezing hands moved up to cup my face. I breathed a sigh of relief against her lips that she hadn’t pulled away, she tasted like bubblegum lipgloss and chocolate buttons... she tasted nice. It felt nice.
After what felt like forever we broke apart, my forehead rested on hers and I ran my hand through her knotted hair.
She lifted her head, and I looked up at her. My heart sank when I didn’t see a smile but a shocked and confused expression written all over her face.
‘Charla, I...’ but before I could finish, she had turned and ran, sloshing through the pond, and out of sight.
Well there is a bit of Char/James which I’m sure everyone’s been expecting. I wrote and rewrote this chapter seven times, I hope you are satisfied with this one besides the sort of depressing ending, really sorry for that but it was planned like that from the beginning! Also sorry about the way Sisi's problem came out, i edited and rewrote and don't know how to improve and I need it to be here. Still trying to improve but don't know how far I'll get.
Anyways as per usual, the world of Harry Potter was created by JK Rowling and anything recognisable isn’t mine. Hope you enjoyed and please leave a review with your thoughts.
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