Chapter 13 : The Millionth First Date
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During storms when we were young, Char and I would run outside and dance in the rain... well ok it was more like jumping up and down and saying we were dancing because we had no idea how to dance but I guess this reminded us of those times.
And you know, there’s something about the way the little village looked during the rain that made it that little bit more enchanting... ok well if I sound too much like a girly magazine, please stop me, I wouldn’t want to embarrass myself.
So we ran down the streets, Char’s hair, soaking wet, flew out behind her. It was really pretty, it looked like fire as it whipped around her face in the wind. When we were really and truly soaked to the bone, we gave up running, and walked, arms wrapped around each other.
‘You look pretty,’ I told her, kissing the top of her head.
‘I’m soaking wet,’ she raised her eyebrows but she gave a twitch of a smile.
‘I don’t care,’ I pulled her into the doorway of the Three Broomsticks, ‘you still look pretty.’ I held open the door for her.
‘Come on,’ she sighed, entering the pub, ‘I’m thirsty.
We made our way to a table in the corner, and as we did my hand found hers and our fingers intertwined. It felt so right, like the spaces between my fingers were right where hers fit, perfectly.
‘Pumpkin juice?’ I asked, depositing her on a table and getting ready to go order.
‘You know me too well,’ she shook her head and laughed.
‘Pumpkin juice it is.’
Of course I knew here too well, I knew that she preferred Pumpkin Juice to Butterbeer, and Chocolate Frogs to Marshmellow Mice. I knew she like big glasses, not small ones and she preferred the table in the corner, rather than right in the middle.
‘So Char, I was wondering, how’s Sisi doing?’ I asked her, returning to the table with our drinks and pushing hers towards her.
‘Oh, you know, the same.’
‘You never tell me what “the same” is!’ I smiled a wry smile and looked up at her from under my eyelashes.
‘She’s still skin and bones and barely eats anything.’ She said, tapping her fingernail against the glass, ‘she’s a little worried about Fred, you know with he’s not been so confident in himself lately and I think she sort of wishes things had worked out between them but they didn’t so... well you know.’
I nodded, taking a sip of my drink, ‘what about your family Char, you never really told me where the problems were.’
‘My mother wants full custody of us,’ she said very simply.
‘But she lives in America?’ I protested.
‘There are Witches schools there,’ Char mumbled. ‘And my dad was sued by the Ministry for theft, so I don’t know what will happen there!’
‘Why didn’t you tell me any of this?’ I asked, stunned.
‘I don’t want to talk about it James, not even to you!’
‘Look Char, I’m sorry, ok!’ I whispered.
She smiled a goofy, lopsided smile, ‘s’ok James, we’ll get through, let’s just change the subject, we’re on a “date” remember.’ She used her fingers to mime quotation marks.
And that was it, we dropped the entire matter of her family and of Roisia’s problems.
We left the Three Broomsticks about an hour later and walked down the row of little shops, I could hear Char’s teeth chattering.
‘You’re cold,’ I whispered, wrapping an arm around her, ‘you need my jacket?’
‘Nope, I’m good,’ she smiled, I gave her the jacket anyway and she took it gladly, then allowed me to wrap my arm around her and lead her further down the street, asking her which shops she would like to go into.
‘James, even if it’s a date with you I don’t want to spend it in a joke shop,’ she teased wrinkling her nose in disgust, dragging me away from the display window of Uncle George’s Hogsmeade branch of Weasley Wizard Wheezes.
‘Aw come on Charlie,’ I begged, ‘just a quick look, they’ve got some new stuff in.’
‘You wanted this date,’ she rolled her eyes, ‘I could just leave.’
I grabbed her hand and didn’t let go as we continued on, ‘you, missy, aren’t going anywhere!’
‘I read a book!’ Charla tells me spontaneously as we go down a little path to the left.
‘Oooh, really?’ I joked, ‘I didn’t know you could read!’
‘Just up and let me finish,’ Charlie laughed, ‘it was about a Muggle girl who was captured by an evil wizard and taken hostage, and a Wizard boy saves her and they live happily ever after, like, forever.’
‘It sounds charming,’ I tell her.
‘You didn’t let me finish,’ she chided, ‘I was going to ask, do you think we’ll get a happily ever after?’
‘Who, me and you?’
‘Yeah, well... and Dom and Fred and Sisi and...’ she trailed off, ‘do you think we will or do you think we’ll get to the end of Hogwarts and never see each other again.’
‘You’re going to live with me after Hogwarts,’ I reminded her, ‘you promised when we were seven!’
‘I’m being serious!’ she insisted, shoving my shoulder. ‘Will we have a happily ever after fairytale ending?’
I paused, not really knowing what to say, and then I replied;
‘Yeah, I think we will Char – I think everyone gets their fairytale ending... in the end.’
She was silent for several long seconds, ‘let’s go back to school, we can hang out there for a bit!’
‘Ok,’ I tucked my hand back in hers then asked her quietly, ‘are you scared.’
‘The future, we have NEWTs and everything and then before you know it we’ll be finished with Hogwarts and not really know where we’re going next.’
‘I’m not scared,’ she replied, ‘I have you!’
~ ~ ~
Though I suspect neither of us counted on spontaneous paddling in the Black Lake, or a race through the safer parts of the Forbidden Forest. Nor had we expected to have tea with Hagrid and his Grawp or watch the sun set behind the castle from the beach of the Lake.
‘Char, thanks for today,’ I said, sitting up and patting her hand, she flinched a little but really what did I expect. ‘It really meant a lot.’
‘Thanks for making me come,’ she laughed, taking my hand up and squeezing it tight.
‘Well, Charlie, It was the best first date I’ve ever been on,’ I kissed her cheek, she didn’t flinch that time.
‘It doesn’t really count as a first date,’ she replied.
‘Why ever not?’ I asked, mock aghast.
‘Because, we’ve been out so many times, we had our first date when we were like five... this was just the only time either of us had any romantic feelings about it. This was the millionth first date.’
There were a few moments silence as we watched Hogwartians return to the school. In the crowd I caught sight of Fred and Sisi, recognised by their clothes.
‘Do my eyes deceive me or are they holding hands?’ I laughed.
‘ ‘Bout time,’ Charla mumbled very audibly. ‘She’s been in love with him for ages.’
‘You never told me!’ I pouted.
‘You never told me you loved me,’ she countered.
‘I told you ever day,’ I reminded her. ‘You just never realised.’
‘No,’ she said, ‘I didn’t.’
My heart jumped when I realised she hadn’t let go of my hand yet. ‘Why do you love me?’ Char whispered.
‘Why don’t you love me?’ I returned.
That was odd.
‘Char?’ I looked at her, her cheeks tinted pink. ‘Charla, you don’t love me that way do you?’
‘I do love you,’ she whispered, ‘for a long time, James, I’ve been completely in love with you.’ She buried her face in her hands. I sat stunned, too stunned to realise I had moved my hand to the small of her back and shuffled closer to her.
‘Then why?’ I asked, ‘were you so angry I kissed you?’
‘Because,’ she said, her voice slightly muffled because her head was still her in hands, ‘what if it went wrong James, what if you realised you didn’t love me that much after all, what if we broke up and I did lose you? I couldn’t break like that with all the problems happening in my family.’
‘Look at me,’ I demanded, she didn’t, ‘look, Char,’ put a finger under her chin and turned her face towards me, her eyes were wide and scared. ‘I love you now! And that’s all that matters.’
Hesitantly I moved closer, scared for the same results as last time, but when my face we less than millimetres away from hers, she reached up, pulling me towards her. Our lips met, I tasted her bubblegum lipgloss. It was like our first kiss, only better.
I wound my arms around her waist, she ran her hands through my hair, one cupping the back of my neck. I moved around, pressing myself against her, manoeuvring us until we were both on our feet, then picked her up, lifted her off her feet, because she was just too short to bend that far over. Never once did our lips leave each other.
We broke apart finally, and she leant her head against my chest, her fist clenched around a handful of my shirt. I was elated to see she was smiling this time.
She looked at me, took a deep breath and said, ‘thanks for reminding me why I love you.’
‘Why do you love me,’ I asked curiously.
‘Because your mine,’ she breathed.
I pressed my lips against hers and decided; the fireworks that exploded when we kissed. They were prettiest of all.
Ooooh, squeeaalll! Finally! So who’s please??? I certainly am, finally happy that I got this chapter out, couldn’t wait to write it!! Ok firstly, did I spell Hagrid’s half brothers name right (Gwarp? Grawp? I never know which it is!) Secondly, I hope you remember Harry Potter is in fact JK Rowling’s and she created him and I own nothing that you could possibly recognise (including a line from Owl Cities song Vanilla Twilight, yup, that belongs to him!) , thirdly I really hoped you were as happy with this chapter as I was, please leave a review telling me what you think!
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