Chapter 19 : Of Summer Spells
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‘Good morning to you too,’ she grinned, pushing up on her toes and pressing her lips against mine. I lifted her off her feet and span her round before gently putting her back down again.
‘How was France?’ I linked my fingers through hers as we set off down the driveway. She had gone back to France after we had finished the training camp with the Tornadoes, which had been the most amazing experience ever, and we had all got tickets to the first game of the season that would take place soon enough.
‘T’was alright, but I missed you,’ she leant against me and I slipped my arm around her waist.
‘Good,’ I pressed my lips to her soft blonde hair, ‘I missed you too!’
‘I’m guessing you have plans for today?’ she asked curiously as we reached the end of the street. I chuckled in response.
‘Of course I do,’ I wrapped my arms tight around her and whispered in her ear, ‘hold your breath.’
Side along apparition was pretty easy once you got the hang of it; mum wouldn’t let me practise with Lily but I often dragged Albus along to random destinations with me, never once getting us splinched.
This time we ended up in Muggle London in a little side alley that no one looked down.
Now I know what you’re thinking, what’s a Wizard doing in Muggle London when we’ve got Diagon Alley... well, I prefer Muggle Music and I quite like the chocolate cake at the Muggle cafe just down the road from here. Also, though Wizarding land is our territory, it’s nice, believe it or not, to have a break from all the magic. Sometimes the magic aura feels like its suffocating you and you need a breath of fresh, non magic-y air.
‘Muggle London,’ Char asked sceptically I laughed and tilted her chin up so I could kiss her.
‘Of course,’ I teased, ‘you know you want chocolate cake!’
Succumbing to the temptations of the deliciously amazing Chocolate Cake in a little cafe decorated with dark furniture Char followed me there and took the seat in the far corner of the small place and ordered for both of us.
‘So how has your holiday been,’ Char asked, leaning across the table.
‘I thought you were gonna tell me about France,’ I raised an eyebrow and wrapped a hand around hers.
‘You’ve been to France,’ she brushed the comment aside and pressed on, ‘what have you been doing.’
‘Well,’ I began, ‘I’ve spent a lot of time with Lily...’ I filled her in on what had been going on since we finished Quidditch Camp:
Lily had had memories of her life before the accident three times, once she woke up and started telling us about the time when we were little at the Burrow and Al fell out a window, (Al wasn’t pleased that this was her first memory.) The next time I had been working with Fred at the Joke shop and got a call from her; she was asking if it was true that when we were kids we had a puffskein named Bunny, and the third time she had suddenly remembered a snippet of our holiday in Romania and Christmas and my incident with Charla. Other than that, we told her a lot about her life anyways, and she asked questions frequently.
I had spent a lot of time at the Joke Shop too; Uncle George had created a batch of new things and they were being released that week. Fred, Roxanne and I had volunteered to stack stuff on shelves during the week the shop was closed, as it was annually.
Lastly, I had visited Sisi almost every other day. I spent hours at a time at her house, we never did very much besides talk, sometimes we played the occasional two on one Quidditch Match when Sophie felt like it, and every meal time I persuaded her to eat something, even if it was just a salad.
By a week before we left to return for a final week of Hogwarts, she would eat a small meal a day without needing persuasion and, two more tiny meals if Sophie and I pestered her a lot. I know it wasn’t much progress but at least she wasn’t still starving herself and we could talk about all her problems, even the ones including her thinking she was in love with Freddie, who remained completely oblivious.
‘Sounds like you’ve been busy?’ Char asked, as I handed a bunch of coins to the waitress for our cakes and we got up to leave.
‘Of course I have,’ I grinned, ‘I’m not really the type to just stay at home and do nothing am I?’
‘No,’ she sighed, then she perked up a little, ‘so, about this summer ball...’
Of course I knew the topic would come up sooner or later but I couldn’t help gasping in exasperation. It was all anyone had been talking about for the past few days.
The Summer ball was hosted at the Potter household every year, a tradition that had been going on since forever. It was a really formal event; as in like all the girls dressed up in long floaty dresses and all the guys wore dress robes. There were snacks and drinks there too, which really was the only reason I willingly turned up every year.
‘Come on Charlie,’ I grinned, paying for our snack and pulling her towards the door, ‘you call talk about it with Dom while you’re there, I’m sure she will be thrilled, and she’ll want to make sure you look gorgeous when I see you tonight.’
I kissed her nose.
‘Yeah, yeah,’ she laughed, ‘I suppose you’re right.’
‘I’m always right!’
The reason we had met this morning was to see each other before the ball, I would be dropping Char off at Shell Cottage, Dom’s house, as I made my way home. This evening I would pick her up from Dom’s a little early because she liked to help finish decorating, but that would only be once she had finished her hours of making herself look more beautiful than she already was, which was probably what Dominique had planned.
‘I better get you to my cousins,’ I grinned down at her, caressing her cheek lightly.
‘I can apparated alone,’ she blushed as I pulled her into yet another alley way, these things were so convenient!
‘It’s not a problem,’ I gripped her sides and before she could protest again we were being squeezed through a tight tube and we stumbled out over the beach a short way away from Shell Cottage.
Char took a deep breath and sighed, leaning against me, ‘everything ok?’ I asked, tilting her head upwards so I could see her eyes.
‘Yeah,’ she breathed.
For several moments I stared at her, her smooth skin sprinkled with a few freckles over her nose, then my lips crashed down on hers and she responded with equal enthusiasm, wrapping her arms around my neck and winding her fingers through my hair. I hitched her up to take away her shortness and she wrapped her legs around my torso.
My hands slipped up to her waist, feeling her bare skin, she giggled slightly, probably because she was so unbelievably ticklish and she smiled into the kiss.
‘Come on,’ I whispered, pulling back enough to talk before she grabbed my face and brought it to hers again, ‘we have a makeover to get you to.’
‘I don’t want a makeover,’ she mumbled against my lips. I laughed and pulled away a little, setting her straight on her feet again.
‘You don’t need one either,’ I laughed, ‘but you were the one who promised Dom.’
‘Don’t care,’ she pouted ridiculously, her arms still around my neck made it easier for her to pull me back down for a kiss.
‘Oh because that’s really what I wanted to see on my beach today,’ I heard Dom drawl sarcastically from a few meters away. Upon hearing this Charlie and I broke apart and turned to see my cousin.
Her curls were knotted on the top of her head, some falling loose around her face, and she was wearing a tight tank top and shorts. ‘Charlie, we have a lot to do today sweetie,’ she called, raising an eyebrow, ‘so I suggest you let the imbecile go home and we get to work.’
Char pouted again and I spoke up, ‘nice to see you too Domi,’ I grinned, ‘see you Char,’ I kissed Char’s forehead one last time then back away to disapparated; the last thing I saw was Char running up the little hill to tackle Dom in a hug.
~ ~ ~
You know, I hate parties, I really do. Especially ones where we have to dress up and look fancy, but, since Grimmauld Place had been made over and extended it really was the perfect place for events like this. Technically, we lived in Godric’s Hollow, but dad was still in possession of his Godfathers house so we went there whenever there were parties or social events because it was bigger and more roomy. Lily even had a bedroom full of dresses there. Not to mention Aunty Audrey loved parties and was always asking us to host them.
I do like Aunty Audrey, she’s a lot nicer that Uncle Percy, and Molly and Lucy aren’t so bad either, but parties... eugh.
Mum and Dad had transformed the house though, with Lily and my help, so that the ball room was spotless and nicely decorated, lined with tables of cakes and snacks, courtesy of Nana Molly, and a bar manned by Uncle Charlie who was visiting for the weekend. The glass wall at the far end of the room gave off a view of the balcony just outside, which Albus had decorated with fairy lights, and hanging jars full of actual fairies he had caught outside The Burrow, it did look pretty cool I must admit, and Lily seemed pleased with it.
I sat now with her in her bedroom, watching her flick through racks of dresses.
‘I didn’t even know I owned all of this rubbish,’ she muttered, tossing a red dress onto the bed beside a green one that was already sitting there.
‘You love dresses,’ I laughed, she rolled her eyes but couldn’t disagree, ‘it’s nearly eight, I should go pick up Char,’ I said, waving to her as she held up the two dresses on the bed, comparing them, I don’t think she even heard me.
‘James,’ I heard my mother calling from downstairs, ‘James, come down here a moment.’
I left Lily’s dressing room, running down a couple of flights of steps and finding my way to where my mum was in the kitchen, helping Nana Molly layout sandwich’s on a glass plate. Nana smiled at me warmly as I entered but mum looked as though she was going to burst with anxiety.
‘You alright,’ I looked at her a little worriedly as she pressed her palm to her head.
‘I’m fine,’ she managed a tiny smile but waved me away when I stepped closer, ‘Charla’s here, she’s in the sitting room, is Lily managing with her dresses, does she need help?’
‘She’s fine, but Char can help her...’ I said, slightly confused, I thought I had agreed to pick Char.
Though I wasn’t going to ask my mum any questions; I left the room, sensing that my mother’s stress levels were rising rapidly and I would be more likely to keep my life if I wasn’t with her.
I wandered into the Ball Room where instantly I found Char bouncing on the balls of her feet anxiously, she ran into my arms the moment I arrived.
‘Char,’ I laughed uncertainly, ‘what’s going on, I thought I was picking you up?’
‘I went home to pick up Rory and I’ll tell you everything later but please, not now,’ she whispered, I was taken aback by her hushed voice.
‘Um, ok, well you look beautiful.’ I said, pushing a curl out of her eyes.
She really did, she was wearing a soft green dress that swished around her ankles, it was some strapless thing with a tight bodice showing off her figure nicely – very nicely – stitched with golden flowers around the waist. Her hair was pulled back into some intricate design that I, being a very manly man, could not describe, other than that she had used a butterfly clasp that was decorated with small pieces of coloured glass.
‘Thank you,’ Char sighed, leaning against my chest, pressing her hands against the dress robes I was already wearing. ‘But if you think I look beautiful, look at Sisi.’
It was then I noticed we were not alone in the room, and that Roisia had been looking at photographs on the wall of the Order of the Phoenix, an association that my dad had been it, though at the sound of her name she turned around.
Her own dress fanned out a little as she spun, it was royal blue with cream underneath it, also strapless. Her hair had been left loose so it spun with her, but she’d obviously used some kind of potion on it because it remained silky smooth. Admittedly she looked a little thin, but she was still gorgeous.
‘Wow, Sisi,’ I grinned, pulling her in for a hug, ‘you look brilliant.’
She looked as though she was going to speak when my mum’s voice sounded again, ‘Guests will be arriving any minute, if you aren’t busy we could use some extra help.’
We all snapped to it.
And so I leave you wondering, now what happened when Char went hope to pick Rory up? What do you think? JK Rowling owns all of Harry Potter and anything recognisable isn’t mine. Please, please leave a review letting me know what you think!
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