Charla decided not to return to Godric’s Hollow, or spend the rest of the holiday with us, which is what had been planned. Instead she went to America to spend some time with her mum. But I didn’t think it would matter because I would see her again on January the fifth, and I would apologize for whatever and we could pretend it never happened.
Or that was the plan.
But I should learn to stop making plans because they never work, in this case, on the day of January fifth, I came out in nasty yellowing boils everywhere and was admitted to St Mungo’s hospital with a serious case of Dragon Pox.
I’ve heard the older you are when you get Dragon Pox, the worse its effect, I never had it when I was a child like Albus and Lily and all the rest of my cousins did when they were young, so I was forced to remain in hospital for over a month. Partly because during the time I was at St Mungo’s I fell down a flight of steps and broke an ankle and a wrist (I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I am a genius and the luckiest guy alive.) and because I was on medication for Dragon Pox I couldn’t take a bloody spell for fixing bones.
I know what you’re thinking; poor James, just been rejected by his best friend and now ill with broken bones. Well, continue thinking that, it makes me feel better!
I half expected to have Char visited, and every day she didn’t I told myself she would be busy with work, it was true I only saw Dominique and Fred once during my stay at St Mungo’s, and Albus visited only two or three times. But still.
I convinced myself it didn’t matter and that I would straighten everything out when I got back to Hogwarts, it wasn’t a hope, it was a promise to myself.
I was released from hospital on the tenth of February, irritated because I’d missed a Quidditch match, in which we still won with Dominique standing in for me just like I asked, and irritated because I missed Charla so much my insides hurt.
It made me miss her more when I realised I hadn’t spoken to her for almost two months. Not a word.
I spent three days at home and took a Portkey to Hogwarts on the thirteenth. It was Friday the thirteen. Just my luck. Or, unluck... I suppose...
‘Good evening Mr. Potter,’ Professor McGonagall looked up from her desk with a strangely warm smile. From the times I’ve been in here before I always got the impression she didn’t like me... maybe I did blow up one too many cauldrons...
‘Hey Miss,’ I greeted, nodding my head.
‘I trust you’ve recovered well,’ she asked.
I nodded, ‘Yeah thanks.’
‘Well you must have a lot to catch up on, you’ll find your things in your room,’ I was dismissed. I dashed for the door and did not pause for a break until I reached the Great Hall, it was about time for the end of dinner and the first few people were beginning to trickle back to their dorms.
I chose not to enter, I’d end up causing a scene walking in late and I’d already eaten, if I was hungry later I would detour to the Kitchens. So I sat on a bench and waited.
Five minutes passed and I caught sight of Dominique, Fred and Roisia, all coming out of the hall; Charlie scuffing along behind them. Sisi was the first to catch sight of me, her face lit up and she ran forwards, barging through a little crowd of second years. I stood up and took three strides to reach her and return her hug. She felt like she was going to break in my arms, but I kept my word with Char and didn’t say a thing about her eating disorder.
‘Oh my god James, Dragon Pox? We were so worried,’ she jabbered, ‘and you missed Quidditch, but don’t worry we won, and you’re better so it’s fine and-’
‘Sisi, let him breathe a minute,’ Dominique laughed as she and Fred were next to reach me. ‘Hey James.’ Dom kissed both my cheeks and stepped back a little Fred and I just grinned at each other and pumped fists.
Then my eyes settled of Charla.
If it was possible, she looked more Beautiful, her hair was arranged neatly, no doubt courtesy of Dom, now they were friends again, and her cheeks a little pink from the cool evening.
For several long seconds we just stared at each other, neither of us tearing away. I think either everyone had left the Entrance Hall, or had stopped talking because it got deathly quiet.
‘Awkward,’ Fred said quietly, but because everything was so silent it rang out like a bell.
There were a few nervous laughs and people resumed conversation, I didn’t stop staring at Char. ‘We need to talk,’ I said.
Nobody made any notion to move, so I repeated it, ‘Char, seriously, we need to talk.’
‘Right,’ Sisi giggled, ‘talk, yes, you do, Fred, Dom, let’s go!’ She grabbed both of them by the elbows and pulled them away, all three glancing back many times over their shoulders.
‘Come on,’ I said, leading the way up three flights of stairs until we stood in the once forbidden and now abandoned third floor corridor, there was a broom closet here somewhere, I knew that, but it would be a bit inappropriate.
‘Char, I...’ I trailed off a little, I hadn’t even thought of what I was going to say.
‘You what James?’ she snapped.
‘I’M SORRY,’ I yelled, ok that was not a good thing, I wasn’t supposed to be yelling, it caught Char off guard too, ‘I’m sorry that I kissed you, but we’ve been best friends the day we were born, are you really gonna tell me you didn’t expect this?’
Silence, so I continued.
‘Yes Charla, I’m bloody in love with you, but if you don’t love me, so what? You’re my best friend and even if that’s all you’re ever going to be then whatever because I’m not going to lose you, ever.’
Silence again. I didn’t know what to do, but I lowered my voice.
‘Please, tell me you forgive me... or just say something...’ nothing, ‘please.’
‘James,’ she started, she didn’t look at me, ‘remember when we were five and we were playing Hide and Seek, and for hours I hid in your attic and you never found me, you looked like you were going to cry when I jumped out and scared you, I told you then, you would never lose me, I was always going to be there for you.’ She paused, she looked like she was going to cry now, ‘why did you have to change it, why couldn’t we have stayed best friends, what was wrong with that?’
‘Nothing Char, but I’ve said I’m sorry and if friends is all you want then fine, but please don’t be angry with me,’ I begged.
‘Why not?’ She snapped haughtily.
‘Because,’ I reasoned, ‘tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a day that’s always been for just us, and whether you like it or not I’m spending it with you!’
Silence again, she was getting good at this keeping quiet thing. I was just about to talk again when she spoke.
‘You said so yourself, Valentine’s Day is for pansies.’ She protested feebly.
‘Guess I’m a pansy then.’
‘I love you Jam,’ she said, throwing her arms around my neck. I wasn’t about to ask what kind of love she meant because for now, I wasn’t going to ruin the moment.
‘Good,’ I muttered.
But as we were walking back to the Common Room, I said chuckling. ‘So what do you wanna do on that date tomorrow?’ I joked.
‘Not a date,’ she growled, ‘not a date.’
But at least she would be spending it with me.
I guess Friday the Thirteenth isn’t bad luck for all of us.
~ ~ ~
So we spent Valentine’s Day together, sure it wasn’t a date, but I was convinced I would persuade her to go on a date with me eventually. I mean, my Granddad (James Potter the first (awesome bloke)) persuaded my grandmother Lily to go out with him eventually and look what happened, they lived happily ever after with a lovely kid... ok well actually they died when their kid was a baby and their kid grew and a defeated Lord Voldemort and had two irritating children and one amazing one but I think we’re veering off track here, the point is; if I ask Charla to go out with me enough times she’ll agree... right?
It started the morning of Valentine’s Day.
Turns out Fred and Sisi were spending the day together “as friends”, since neither of them had dates, and Dominique was out in Hogsmeade with her latest victim. Poor Guy.
Hogwarts don’t really go big on Valentines, I heard Beauxbatons have a ball as a celebration and everything but we were just fortunate enough to have it on a Saturday which meant no school and I could spend the day with Charla.
I arrived at breakfast before her, loading my plate with eggs and toast, she arrived with Sisi as I was mid way through eating. I think Fred choked on his food when he saw his “Friend”. Roisia did look pretty stunning, she was wearing skinny jeans and a like pink floral top, there was also a daisy pushed behind her ear.
Char was wearing jeans too, and a tank top, her favourite white one, and her bright red Gryffie Quidditch hoodie. I would have choked on my food if I had any in my mouth. No one should look good in a Quidditch hoodie.
‘Close your mouth Fred, you’ll catch flies,’ Char leant across the table, pressing together Freddie’s jaws.
‘What lovely manners you have,’ Sisi laughed, taking a seat.
‘Right,’ I looked at Char, who was also sitting. ‘What did you want to do on that date today?’
‘Not a date Potter,’ she chimed.
‘Ooh, last name threats!’ I teased, ‘well how about you agree to go on a date with me.’
‘Dream on,’ she laughed.
Damn it, that was a bit of a fail wasn’t it.
I think I asked her three more times that day, other than her telling me to save my stupidity for a blonde bimbo when I asked her to go out with me for the third time, it was a pretty good not-date!
‘Hey Charlie,’ I grinned, joining her for lunch.
‘James,’ she said warily. She probably knew what was coming.
‘So I was thinking,’ I said slyly, ‘that if you went on ONE date with me...’
She looked up from her meal and cut me off, ‘No James, I won’t.’
I asked her several more times that week, once by potions, twice in the Gryffie common room, once when I found her in the kitchens. Once, getting the idea from Dominique’s evil prank at the beginning of the year, I erected a banner at dinner declaring that she had to go out with me or else. She snorted at that one and set fire to it with a flick of her wand. In all fairness no one got hurt. I began asking her more often, for weeks I begged her to go on ‘One Date,’ I realised that the more I asked, and the more she declined, the more it hurt just to forget about it. But she constantly refused, until one morning in March, walking down to breakfast she stopped me.
‘Look, James,’ she said, ‘this is getting ridiculous.’
‘I know,’ I sighed, ‘why won’t you go on a bloody date with me?’
‘Because I said no,’ she said, ‘did you really think it would change after the first one hundred times.’
‘I like you,’ I mumbled quietly.
‘I know James,’ she whispered, ‘and I love you, but not like that, what’s it going to take to get you to stop asking me out?’
So, well as you can see, it’s a tiny bit of a filler chapter, it’s not my favourite but whatever, the next one is the one I had the most fun writing. So you have something to look forward too. As per usual, nothing belongs to me, especially not Harry Potter which was created by JK Rowling.
Also as per usual I hope you enjoyed and please let me know what you think in the form of a review, it’s nice to hear your thoughts.
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