I stumbled back, eyes widening. What? I can’t have heard correctly. I felt little Micaela reach up and grab my hand, my mother appeared at my shoulder.
‘James, we were going to tell you, you came so fast,’ she whispered. I looked at her, tears poured down her cheeks.
‘She- she doesn’t- nothing,’ I choked out, ‘she remembers nothing?’
Silence greeted my ears.
I looked around the room to see every Weasley/Potter here, all the cousins, aunts, uncles. I saw Albus, he didn’t care everyone was watching him cry, Rose had her arms around him; her eyes were blotchy and red. Fred wasn’t looking at me, he had his back turned.
‘I don’t understand,’ I heard Lily say, mortified, ‘why don’t I remember.’ My eyes met hers, I saw tears threatening to escape. I reached out to her. Placing my hand on the edge of her bed, everyone was watching intently, Nana Molly was crying loudly in a corner. ‘Why don’t I remember,’ Lily repeated.
‘I don’t know,’ I murmured, my voice broke at the end of the sentence. I forced a lump back down my throat, Lily wouldn’t see me cry, even if she didn’t remember anything.
Lily brushed the tips of her fingers against mine, ‘I want to remember.’
I wouldn’t break, not with everyone here. I couldn’t break! Please no!
‘Please,’ she cried, ‘someone tell me why I don’t remember.’
That was it, the first tear escaped, I knew there would be more, I turned away from her and leant against my mum. I felt my shoulders shaking. My entire family was there. My entire family saw me break.
~ ~ ~
Lily had hurt her brain when she fell, she had hit her head in an awkward position, luckily enough, she remembered a lot of the things she had learnt in school, she could rattle off spells and ingredients to certain potions but put a family member in front of her and ask who it was she would be stumped.
I think mum was most broken by it, she sat by Lily’s bed, numb, even long after the rest of the family had been shooed home. She looked like she wanted to cry, but there were no tears.
Dad was brilliant, he sat by Lily, he told her about herself and about our family (though I was pretty sure that would take a lot more explaining than an hour), somethings things didn’t change; she still loved green and wanted to eat pancakes. He was the one who told the rest of the family to go home, she wouldn’t want to be too overwhelmed. He even told Al and I to bog off, in slightly less rude words, so we did, we went out to the cafe in St Mungo’s and ordered pumpkin juice.
I took out my phone and was relieved to see there was signal, then dialled in Holly’s number and waited for it to ring.
‘Hello,’ Holly’s voice sounded as she picked up after the fifth ring.
‘Hey Holly?’ I said back, Albus looked at me weird but I didn’t care, ‘it’s James!’
‘Oh James, wow I didn’t think you’d call that quick,’ she laughed, sounding a little breathless.
‘Look is it okay for you to talk or are you busy?’ I asked softly.
‘James, what would I be busy doing at four in the morning?’ she joked, ‘what’s wrong?’
‘It’s my sister,’ I filled her in, ‘she woke up.’
‘Oh that’s fantastic,’ she said, she was talking quite quietly, I didn’t know if it was because she didn’t want to disturb anyone or if it was because she had bad reception.
‘No, it’s not, she doesn’t remember anything!’
‘Oh James,’ she whispered, mortified, her tone had really changed, ‘I’m so sorry, oh my gosh, shame, oh wow, I’m really, really sorry, is there anything I can do?’
‘Doubt it,’ I muttered.
‘Do you want me to come to the hospital?’
‘No,’ I replied quickly, ‘I mean, well, it’s far out of town and all!’ I insisted.
‘Are you sure?’
‘Positive.’ Then my eyes settled on my dad coming through the door, tucked in his hand was Lily’s and she stood beside him nervously, shifting her weight back and forth between her feet. ‘Holly, I have to go, I’ll call you tomorrow sometime!’
‘No problem James, and I’m really sorry to hear about your sister, I hope everything’s ok!’ she said. ‘But look, don’t worry, everything will work out in the end, be yourself!’
I hung up and Al began to mouth who was that, but I shook my head and nodded towards Lily and my Dad walking towards us. Dad sat down at our table and Al smiled meekly, I only stared at Lily.
‘Hey Lils,’ she looked up and met my eyes with a shy smile, ah what the heck I thought to myself, ‘I’m your brother, James,’ then I flashed a grin at Al and smiled, adding, ‘your favourite brother!’
Lily giggled a little, ‘Hi,’ she whispered.
‘And this is Albus,’ I continued, gesturing to Al, ‘we call him Al and he’s a bit dim, excuse him, and you always take my side in arguments ok!’
‘James,’ my father said sternly, but I could see he was smiling.
Albus leant forward across the table and smirked, ‘actually,’ he said, ‘you always take my side, you’re brilliant at Quidditch, you’re in Gryffindor because you’re the bravest girl I’ve ever met, we call you Lillers, or Lils, you call me Albie or Al. And you call James, Jam, you kept a Diary but I’ve never read it, and you are beautiful,’ he stood up and kissed her forehead, ‘I’m going home but I’ll see you first thing... well I would say tomorrow but technically that’s today!’
‘James, I’m going down to check on your mother, call me if there are any problems.’ Dad nodded to the phone in my hand and then turned to Lily, ‘I’ll be back soon ok sweetie.’
Lily nodded, suddenly looking around very nervously, she began biting her nails too, a habit I thought she had given up years ago. I reached over and held her wrist fast.
‘You don’t bite your nails anymore,’ I whispered. She looked down at her perfectly rounded nails and sighed.
‘Right,’ she said, ‘what else don’t I know?’
‘Well, what do you think you should know... I mean, I could go home later and find your diary for you to read, but I could probably fill you in on some stuff?’
‘Um ok,’ I felt her foot tapping under the table, seeming a little taken aback and she spoke very softly, ‘uh... what’s my favourite food?’
‘Pancakes,’ I replied instantly, ‘and we used to make pancakes every Sunday morning, me and you, when we were home from Hogwarts.’
‘Am I a good cook?’
‘Sort of, you can follow a recipe when you have to but mum usually cooks!’ I said.
‘I’m in my third year of Hogwarts right?’ she said slowly.
‘Yeah, you remember,’ my face brightened but hers fell.
‘No, dad told me...’ she sighed, ‘do I really always take your side in arguments.’
‘Yes!’ I said firmly, the paused, ‘well... most of the time.’ Lily managed a little giggle again, and began asking questions a little more confidently. ‘Actually you really take whoever’s side, you follow your own beliefs.’
‘Do I have any pets?’
‘Yup, you have a Pygmy Puff named Mr Fluffs and you use my owl Bob, because I barely ever write letters.’ I responded.
‘Do I get on well with our family,’ she asked, ‘I mean there were so many of them...’
‘You get on well with Hugo, he’s your age and he’s quite tall and moody looking.’ I said, tapping my fingers against my cell phone. ‘his sister, Rose, is in the same year as Albus, they’re best friends but you get on very well with Rose too.’ Then I stopped to add, ‘I don’t think you have any problems with any of our family really... you’re quite a likeable kid!’
‘Ok... am I popular at school?’
‘Too popular,’ I snorted, ‘too popular for your own good Lillers!’ She looked happy at this though, clearly the love of being in the limelight hadn’t changed with her accident.
‘Do I have a boyfriend,’ she asked a little nervously.
‘No,’ I insisted firmly... I was pretty sure Char told me they broke up anyway.
‘What’s my favourite subject?’
‘Last time I asked you, it was Charms, but you’re clever and you don’t fail any of the subjects.’
‘How about my best friend? Is it Hugo?’ she asked, her foot stopped tapping and she looked at me very seriously.
‘Nope, your best friend now is probably a girl called Aurora Wood, we call her Rory though,’ I unlocked my phone and scrolled down through the photos and came across one showing Lily and Rory, quite recently. It was from Romania, they were mid hug and the background showed the mountainous scenery.’
‘She’s pretty,’ Lily murmured quietly, ‘is she nice, do you like her.’
‘She’s lovely,’ I assured my sister, ‘nicest girl you’ll ever meet! Also, her sister Charla, is-’
‘Here to come and visit you,’ Charla finished, standing over me, I hadn’t even noticed her arrival. I jumped up to greet her, brushing my lips against hers. ‘I heard everything from Fred,’ she explained briefly then turned to Lily.
‘Hi Lily,’ she smiled, ‘I’m Charla Wood, your brothers best friend and girlfriend,’ she sat herself down at our table beside us.
‘So... you’re the sister of my best friend?’ Lily confirmed.
‘Yeah,’ Charla said a little breathlessly.
‘And you’re supposed to be in France.’
‘Yeah,’ she nodded again, ‘but I came back early because of this,’ she gestured around us, ‘Sisi texted this morning.’ She added, turning to me. Giving Sisi a phone had been my idea, seen as Dominique, Fred, Char and I had one and other wise keeping in touch over the holiday was harder than it should be. See, Muggles did have some good ideas!
‘Oh yeah,’ I nodded.
‘You went to visit her last night?’ She looked a little confused.
‘And I promise to tell you all about it later,’ I said firmly, jerking my head slightly towards Lily.
‘You can tell her now, I’m feeling a little tired, I think I might go back to sleep!’
‘Sure Lillers,’ I stood up with her, taking her hand in mine and walking with her towards the exit, mouthing over my shoulder to Charla, two minutes.
I honestly did take only two minutes, then was back at my seat with Char, her looking at me eyebrows raised, ‘so about this midnight visit to Roisia?’
‘It’s because I’ve been a crap friend,’ I blurted out without stopping myself, ‘I wanted to apologize to her because of everything...’
‘You can say that again,’ Char muttered.
‘Hey,’ I protested , ‘you’re supposed to be on my side?’
‘I have on your side,’ Charlie sighed, patting my hand, ‘but James, now don’t explode on me, but you’ve been a little out of it recently and you could have been a better friend these past few weeks.’
I thought about exploding, and then I remembered Holly, what she had told me about Charla’s situation probably being a lot worse than mine.
‘Yeah,’ I huffed, ‘I’m really sorry Charlie.’
‘James,’ She whispered, that sounded really ominous... she wasn’t going to be angry with me was she? ‘It’s ok, I completely understand, and I forgive you, put me in that situation and I would have been the exact same.’ She put her hand over mine and leant across the very small metal table, ‘I’m sorry about everything that’s happened to and I hope I can help.’
I breathed a silent sigh of relief, she wasn’t angry, she was even sorry for me! ‘Char you don’t need to be sorry, none of this was your fault-’
‘But maybe I could have been a better friend too, to Fred and Sisi, and they you wouldn’t have needed to be so worried.’
I stood up and took her hand, ‘yeah, but I don’t care, we’re going to fix things and get that happily ever after.’ I led her to the door, ‘you deserve that happily ever after!’
‘Thank you,’ she whispered softly. ‘Let’s go home!’
So fixing things, as you could tell their lives were a little broken don’t you think. Poor James and all his girl worries. Hope you enjoyed the Chapter there was a little James/Char moment which was much needed and, remember anything recognisable is not mine and I will not take credit for it, especially Harry Potter which belongs to JK Rowling. Please leave a review!~Char