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Missing by Courtney Dark
Chapter 4 : Me
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 10

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Another perfect chapter image by phoenixn @TDA


In my dream I am standing on a tiny rock, in the middle of the Black Lake.

The icy cold water is spraying up against the rock, slapping against my bare feet. There's a strong breeze in the air, which is scraping against my numb cheek. The sky is dark, and I look around, hoping to see help, but there is no-one else around.

“Hello?” I call out uncertainly into the night. “Can anybody hear me?”

For a moment, there is no answer.

Then suddenly, out of nowhere, Rebecca appears, clothed in black. She is standing right in front of me, on the water, without really being there at all.

I open my mouth to speak to her, but no sound comes out. Rebecca starts to laugh - a high-pitched, dangerous, cruel laugh that makes every hair on my body stand on end.

And then suddenly Rebecca vanishes, and in her place stands a tall, beautiful blonde girl, wearing a white dress that is flapping in the wind.


She takes a step towards me. “You’re not me, Charlie Parker,” she says, and her voice comes out as a gurgling hiss. “You never will be.”

“I don’t want to be you!” I shout, finding my voice at last, but it is too late. Tori has disappeared, leaving only a lingering, maniacal laugh…

Wake up!” someone is saying in my ear.

I groan, and roll over.

Wake up!” they say again - or should I say spit? Because I can feel droplets of water dripping into my ear.


I turn over again, open my eyes and get the shock of my life.

“HOLY ROTTEN TOMATO!” I scream, jolting wide awake and sitting up in bed, as I see Aine’s face peering down at me.

I rub my eyes frantically, and see Aine smirking at me. “Holy rotten tomato? I don’t think I’ve heard that one before.”

“You almost gave me heart failure,” I mutter, still rubbing at my eyes.

“Well, it’s time to get up, new girl,” Aine says cheerfully, and I realise she’s already dressed in her school uniform. The ducklings and the psychopath are nowhere to be seen.

Aine must have seen me looking around the room, because she grins. “Don’t worry, Rebecca’s already gone down to breakfast with Clementine and Lavender. She’s not that bad, you know.”

I give her a look, but she just chuckles. “Come on, lazy. We’ve got an assembly to get to.”

I frown at her as I clamber out of bed with surprising agility.

That’s a lie.

I’m about as agile as a hippopotamus.

In fact, I’m so agile that I literally fall out of bed and land on my arse.

So classy, Charlie.

“We have an assembly?” I ask, as Aine sniggers at me. Humph. And here I was, thinking she was nice.

“Headmistress McGonagall announced it last night at dinner. Of course,” says Aine, smiling at me cheekily. “You weren’t there, so you couldn’t know about it.”

“Right,” I say, grabbing my neatly folded uniform from my suitcase.

“Lucky you’ve got me, isn’t it?” Aine continues in a sing-song voice, perching on the end of her bed. “Now hurry up and get changed. I’ve already had one detention this year, I don’t really want another.”

I hurry into the bathroom, and quickly strip out of my cupcake pyjamas - don’t say a word - in favour of the dull uniform. I button up my blouse, try to tug the skirt down a bit lower (I’m very self-conscious of revealing too much skin) and fasten my robes.

I look at myself in the mirror and immediately wish I hadn’t. My hair is an absolute nightmare. I try, and fail to comb my fingers through it, but quickly give up and rejoin Aine in the dorm.

“Come on then, you,” she says, grabbing my arm. “Let’s see what old McGonagall has to say for herself.”

And so I enter the Great Hall for the first time.

I’ve read about it in Hogwarts: A History, of course. I remember combing through every page of that book when I was eleven, trying to memorise chapters, setting pop quizzes for myself…

Shut up. I was loner, okay? It’s not against the law to give yourself pop quizzes!

I remember reading that sometimes at night; the ceiling is bewitched to look like the night sky.

As Aine and I enter the Great Hall, I look up at the ceiling, but right now it just looks like the aforementioned - a ceiling.  The four house tables are heaving with breakfast foods - piles of buttered toast, vats of porridge, fresh fruit, bacon, sausages, eggs, juice and, for some reason, something that looks suspiciously like haggis.

My mouth is watering.

No, you idiot, not at the haggis. For the record, my mother forced me to eat that foul stuff once. I vomited all over her best china.

“Come and sit down,” says Aine, hooking her fingers through my arm.

She leads me to the table on the far left, which is already crowded with students, cramming food into their mouths. My eyes are immediately drawn to Rebecca, who is sitting sullenly by herself, at the end of the table, nearest the platform where the teachers are all sitting.

Aine smiles at me gently, and leads me away from psychotic bitch from hell.

Yikes. Did I really just say that? Bad Charlie. Now I sound like a dog…

Which is fitting, because a female dog is a bitch, and that’s exactly what I’m being.

Shut up brain.

“AINE!” Mickey shouts loudly, and about half the students in the Great Hall look up to see what the commotion is.

If I was Aine, I would be all blushing and embarrassed, but Aine just grins, and allows Mickey to sweep her up into a hug and smooch her in front of the entire population of Hogwarts.

“You look so hot today,” Mickey states loudly as he puts Aine down.

“You too, babe,” Aine says, equally as loudly, ignoring the looks she’s getting.

Wow. They are one eccentric couple.

Mickey smiles at me. “And there’s the new girl!” he says. “Come and meet my friends.”

I follow Mickey and Aine back to the table where Mickey was sitting. Aine squeezes in next to him, and makes room for me next to her.

“New girl, I would like to introduce you to Fred and James,” says Mickey, gesturing flamboyantly towards the two boys sitting directly opposite. One of them, Fred, grins and waves cheerily at me. James, who for some reason seems vaguely familiar, doesn’t even look up, just keeps staring moodily at his bacon.


Who understands them?

Mickey and Aine start being all sickeningly cute - holding hands and whispering stuff in each other’s ears - so I start loading my plate with food, to avoid the awkwardness.

I fail. I still feel awkward. Or maybe that’s just me.

“So,” says Fred suddenly. I look up, and see that he is still grinning. “Where did you move here from?”

“What?” I say stupidly.

Argh! Why am I so embarrassing? I’d bang my head repetitively against the table, but then I’d probably look even stupider.

Fred shoves a ketchup-covered sausage into his mouth. The sauce and grease drips all down his chin, but he either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care.

“Which school did you come from?” he asks. “You’re not foreign are you? Is that why you don’t seem to talk very much?”

Hmm…foreign. Now that would be a good way to avoid socialising too much.

I can pull off a pretty good Italian accent, actually. You just add ‘a’ onto the end of everything. For example, if you’re saying ‘good’, you just say ‘good-a’. Works a treat.

“No, I was home schooled,” I say.

Boring, boring old Charlie. 

I am a disappointment to the human race.

“Cool!” grins Fred, much to my surprise. “Last year there was this new girl in our year, who’d just transferred from Beauxbatons. Her name was…”

He trails off, and I realise he’s staring at the boy - James - who is sitting next to him, and who has suddenly started clenching his knife and fork very tightly.

I hope he hasn’t suddenly decided to go on a murderous rampage and stab the person sitting directly across him in the chest.vBecause that person would be me. And then I’d have a very large hole in my basooma’s.

“I know,” I say quickly. “Tori Heron. She slept in my dorm.”

Fred looks like he’s about to say something, but he is cut off by Headmistress McGonagall suddenly clinking her goblet with her spoon very loudly. The talking, laughter and general noise of the Great Hall dies down at once, and McGonagall gets to her feet.

“Good morning,” she says, in quick, precise tones. “I’m sure you are all wondering why I have called this assembly this morning. We are to discuss a student whom I’m sure many of you have heard of. As you know, Victoria Heron went missing at the end of last year.”

McGonagall continues talking, but I don’t even hear her.


That’s what she said.

Tori Heron went missing at the end of last year. She didn’t drop out, didn’t change schools. She went missing.

God, I feel like such an idiot. Even more of one than usual, and that is saying something. No wonder Rebecca was acting all freaky, and spazzing out at me for touching Tori’s stuff. Tori was probably her best friend and now…now she’s gone. Could be anywhere.

I feel ashamed for the way I acted, for the rude thoughts I had about both Rebecca and Tori. I’m a horrible person.

I should be locked up.

Just not in Azkaban coz dementors scare me.

What? I don’t want my first kiss to be from a dementor, thank you very much.

I turn back to McGonagall, who is still speaking. “…would like to welcome Rebecca Kale, a close friend of Victoria’s to talk to you all.”

There is a round of applause, and I watch Rebecca walking up to the raised platform, and standing at the podium. She takes a deep breath, and stares around at us all.

“Hi,” she says, and I am surprised at how calm she sounds. “So…we all know Tori is missing, but that does not mean she is dead. I know Tori is out there somewhere, and it is so important that we don’t give up on her.” She stops talking for a moment, and takes another deep breath. “One moment Tori was here and the next…she wasn’t. I know a lot of you have probably given up hope but I haven’t.” She says this very fiercely, and my hands go unconsciously to my neck, where she tried to strangle me yesterday. "Thank you,” she says abruptly, before stepping away from the podium, and hurrying back to the seats.

All around me, I hear many people whispering to each other in sympathy.

Poor Rebecca, they’re saying, poor Tori.

I realise the only reason a place opened up for me here at Hogwarts, is because Tori went missing.

Why did McGonagall not warn me about this?

A simple, “Oh, by the way, Charlie, the girl whose spot you’re taking went missing last year, and could possibly be dead. Just though I’d let you know’ would have sufficed.

I’m a simple gal. I don’t ask for much.

Thanks, Headmistress.

Aine taps me lightly on the shoulder. She’s looking all sympathetic again. “Time to go to class,” she says. “What do you have first?”

I quickly pull my timetable out of the pocket I shoved it into. It’s already all crumpled and dog eared. I take such good care of my property! I should be given an award. I could hang it on my wall, over all those pictures of Tori. Except I can’t, because she’s missing, and that would be weird.

I shouldn’t be allowed to think.

“I have Care of Magical Creatures,” I say.

“Yay!” says Fred, in very feminine tones, grinning all over his face. “That’s what I have, too!”

He really is the happiest guy I’ve ever met. I like it.

“So what do you think of Hogwarts so far?” Fred asks me, as we head, arm in arm, down to the bottom of the Hogwarts grounds where the gamekeeper, Hagrid, teaches Care of Magical Creatures.

Oh, and by the way, I did not voluntarily link arms with Fred.  My motto is ‘Don’t touch people.’

Wow. That is a sad motto.

I shrug.

Fred looks at me. “That’s your answer? A shrug?”

“I don’t really like talking.”

Fred gasps melodramatically. “Don’t like talking!” he screams in horror. “What kind of sane person could possibly hate talking?”

“Maybe I’m not sane,” I suggest.

Obviously. My motto is ‘don’t touch people.’

“Well, you’re in luck, new girl,” grins Fred. “Because talking happens to be one of my favourite activities.”

Oh boy. Maybe I should mention to him that I don’t really like socialising. But he seems happy chattering away to himself, so what the heck?

We’ve reached the bottom of the Hogwarts grounds now, and join a small cluster of students standing at the edge of a small hut, right on the outskirts of a forest.

The Forbidden Forest. I read about it in Hogwarts: A History.

Don’t judge. It’s actually a really good book.

Anyway, apparently all sorts of dangerous creatures lurk inside it - werewolves and the like.

Suddenly, the largest man I’ve ever seen in my life comes stomping out of the little hut, carrying a large bucket in one hand. I ogle at him with wide eyes. He’s not going to…eat us, is he?

“Don’t worry,” Fred whispers in my ear, and I jump a mile. “Hagrid looks dangerous, but he wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

As if to confirm this, Hagrid’s hairy face suddenly splits into a beam, and he waves cheerily at Fred.

“Hey Hagrid!” Fred calls out.

“How’s yer Uncle Charlie?” Hagrid asks. “Still workin’ with dragons?”

Fred nods. “Yeah. Dad told me he almost got his hand bitten off by a Hungarian Horntail the other day.”

Hagrid chuckles. Personally, I don’t see what’s so funny about almost getting your hand bitten off by a dragon.

“What are we doing today, Hagrid?” Fred asks, pointing at the bucket.

“Oh,” says Hagrid, looking at the bucket as though he’d forgotten about it. “I’ve gotta little treat for yeh all today, ‘cos it’s our firs’ lesson an’ all. Everyone follow me!”

I chew the inside of my cheek nervously, as we all follow Hagrid towards the Forbidden Forest.  We weren’t actually going in there, were we?

“I wonder what Hagrid’s got to show us,” muses Fred, and he suddenly grins at me. “Blimey, maybe he’s got a dragon!”

Is it just me, or does he sound waaay too excited at the prospect of having a dragon on school property? Has he forgotten all about old Uncle Charlie already?

To my relief, we veer away from the Forbidden Forest and end up in a small, shaded meadow around the back of Hagrid’s little house. And standing in the middle of the meadow are three of the weirdest looking things I have ever seen in my life.

And that, my friends, is including the baby photo I saw of myself, where mum decided to dress me in a carrot costume.

The…things…have the head of a giant eagle, the body of a horse and look like they want to eat me. Not a good combination.

“What the shit are those!” I say loudly, surprising myself.

Well done, Charlie. You talked. Unfortunately you managed to swear at the same time, but hey. It’s a start.

Hagrid looks at me, and frowns. “An’ yeh must be the new girl,” he says, nodding his head. “Welcome to the class!”

I duck my head, embarrassed. Everyone has turned round to stare at me. I don’t like being stared at. It makes me feel…exposed.

Have a mentioned I’m not a people-person?

“These, are Hippogriffs,” Hagrid says fondly.

Fondly? How can you possibly be fond of something with claws that sharp?

“Yeh may remember me showin’ yeh some Hippogriffs in yer third year. These ones are a lot bigger, an’ a lot harder to tame. As a matter o’ fact, experts are the on’y ones who are meant’a try it.”

I stare at him in horror. I consider myself a pretty outgoing person. Don’t look at me like that, I am outgoing…just not in the traditional sense. But anyway, if only experts are meant to tame these…these hippogriffs, then why the hell is Hagrid bringing them anywhere near us?

“Now!” says Hagrid, clapping his hands together. “If yeh all split into three groups, then yeh can practise on a sep’rite Hippogriff. Ready? Off yeh go!”

Fred suddenly grabs my hand. “Come on!” he says, his eyes bright with enthusiasm. “Let’s go bow to some hippogriffs.”

Bow? Bow? That does not sound good.

After Care of Magical Creatures is over, I look at my timetable and realise I have Divination.


How in the name of Merlin’s most saggy grandpa undies did I get landed with that? I absolutely hate Divination - it was always my worst subject - a load of old tosh if you ask me.

Fred doesn’t take Divination, but he points me in the right direction.

Glad to be alone at last, I go huffing and puffing up waaay to many flights of stairs until I finally come to the Divination tower. An open trapdoor leads to the classroom, so I hesitantly climb up the ladder that leads to it, and find myself in what seems to be an old fashioned tea shop.

It is unlike any other classroom. Instead of hard chairs and desks, the room is crowded with squashy looking armchairs, beanbags and small round tables that each have a crystal ball on them. There is a roaring fire in the corner, which is crackling away, making the room very hot and sticky. I can’t see a teacher, but there are already several other students sitting around the tables, murmuring secretively to each other. None of them look up as I come in, so I sit alone at a little table in the corner.

I don’t mind.  I like my solitude. I’m like a sloth, in that respect.

Hang on a second…did I just call myself a sloth?

I think I have a serious mental problem.

Most people don’t go round insulting themselves.

“Greetings, children,” says a dreamy voice suddenly, and I look up to see a youngish woman standing in front of us, her hands clasped together under her chin.

I fight the urge not to laugh.

It’s hard.

This woman looks like she’s only in her early twenties, but she’s wearing the most ridiculous costume - ahem, clothing I have ever seen. Her long, bushy hair is piled into a knot on top of her head, which is held up with her wand, her clinking bangles go all the way up her arms and her swirling skirts are a very vivid shade of purple.

“For those who do not remember, my name is Professor Moon,” she says, staring up into the heavens. It really seems like she’s talking to herself, rather than anyone else.

“Today we will be continuing our study of the crystal ball,” she continues, closing her eyes slightly. “So if you would please get into pairs, take out your copies of The Inner Eye by Sybill Trelawney and turn to page 54.”

My heart sinks.

Get into pairs.” The very words I was dreading to hear. What idiot would want to pair up with me: the boring, bookish, replacement of Tori Heron?

I look around the classroom. The only people I recognise are Clementine and Lavender, but they of course are already paired up, and are both bent over their crystal ball, giggling excitedly. I’ve decided I can’t stand people who giggle. Even the word is stupid.


What kind if idiot came up with that?

“Can I join you?”

I look up to see Mickey and Fred’s friend hovering over me, looking sullen. What was his name again, I’ve forgotten?

Oh, right. James.

I didn’t even notice he was here, though that seems to be the way he likes it. I get the feeling he doesn’t like people noticing him all that much.

“Of course,” I say.

Go Charlie! I actually sound like a normal person!

James frowns at me. “Sorry?”

I frown right back at him. “What?”

“You just said something.”

“No I didn’t.”

“Yes you did.”




“You just said ‘I actually sound like a normal person.’”

I feel my cheeks going red. Did I seriously just say that aloud?

God, I’m an idiot.

“It must have been your imagination,” I say. “I rarely speak.”

To my surprise, James grins at me. I frown at him. That grin has reminded me of something…where have I seen this boy before? Apart from at breakfast, I mean.

Professor Moon suddenly claps her hands together impatiently. “Come on now, hurry up everyone!” she says. “Books out please!”

James begins rummaging in his bag, and draws out a very battered copy of the book. I suddenly realise I haven’t brought mine. I didn’t bother to unpack any of my schoolbooks. They’re still sitting in my suitcase in the dorm.

“Do you mind if I share your book?” I ask. “I forgot mine.”

James shrugs, and pushes it over to me. “You ever see anything in the crystal ball?” he asks.

I shake my head. “No. I hate Divination.”

James chuckles, and I look at him in surprise.

“Sorry,” he says. “Its just I hate it too.”

“Then why did you take it?”

He shrugs. “I dunno. I didn’t really care about what subjects I got this year.”

Great attitude, my friend. Not that he’s my friend or anything, coz he isn’t.

I start rifling through James’ book, trying to find the right page. He’s already doodled all over the edges of the paper.

“You’re the new girl, aren’t you?” says James suddenly. I look up at him, and see a very strange expression on his face. “You were at breakfast.”

“Wow, I’m impressed,” I say. “You actually remember me!”

To be honest, I’m more impressed with myself that I am with him. I’m actually contributing to this conversation! Go me!

“Why wouldn’t I remember you?” James asks. “You have a face that’s hard to forget.”

And there I go. Blushing again.

Why am I blushing? It’s not like James complimented me or anything. I mean, yes, generally when someone tells you that you have a face that’s hard to forget, it’s meant as a compliment, but James might not be familiar with the rule. He might have meant that I’m so ugly he couldn’t possibly forget me. Or that the gross pimple on my nose is so obvious, he couldn’t get it out of his mind.

“Not many people seem to remember my name,” I say instead.

James smiles lightly. “That’s because you’re…you’re…” he trails off uncertainly, and his dark, almond shaped eyes, which are a nice hazely colour go oddly blank.

I’m what?

James seems to have sort of zoned out, so I take the moment to get a good look at him. I realise he is very good looking. I’m glad I didn’t realise this before. If I had, I’d have been too embarrassed to talk to him.

James suddenly clears his throat loudly. “I suppose we’d better get on with all this rubbish, then,” he says.

I nod. “You’re probably right.”

I stare into the crystal ball, straining my eyes to see…something.

Nope. All I see is grey fog.

“See anything?” James murmurs.

“Nope,” I sigh. “What about you? Any predictions?”

James suddenly puts on a girlish, mystical sort of voice, “I predict that it is going to be foggy tonight, resulting in me being forced to cancel Quidditch tryouts tomorrow,” he says, waving his fingers like he’s about to perform a magic trick.

I let out a snort of laughter. “See all that in the crystal ball, do you?”

James grins at me. “Don’t be jealous. It’s just one of my many natural talents. I was born good.”

He starts to laugh, and I smile at him, but inside I am thinking hard.

This boy is one big mystery. One minute he is all quiet and sullen, the next friendly, then he is distant and now…now he is cracking lame jokes and laughing his head off.


“Mr Potter!” says Professor Moon suddenly, and I look around, expecting to see Albus. But then I remember he’s in the year below.

Then I see Professor Moon coming towards James and I, and realise what the mistake was.

“My last name is Parker, actually Professor, not Potter,” I correct her with a smile.

Both Professor Moon and James look at me funny.

“Actually, Miss Parker, I was talking to Mr Potter here,” says Professor Moon, gesturing at James.

“Can I help you, Professor?” James asks, smiling innocently.

James’ last name is Potter? Like Albus Potter? So…he’s the famous Harry Potter’s other son? Weird, I always got the impression he was older, for some reason. I had no idea he was still at school!

Woah. I’ve only been at school for two days, and I’ve already talked to both the Potter boys.

I’m on a role!

Professor Moon moves away, and James raises an eyebrow at me.

“You’re Harry Potter’s son,” I state.

“Really? Am I? I never knew! Thanks for enlightening me!”

I roll my eyes. “You know what I mean.”

James sighs. “Sorry. It’s just…sometimes I hate being associated with the name ‘Potter’. I mean, my dad’s great and all, but I feel like I’ll always be in his shadow. The moment I say my name, people automatically want to be my friend, you know?”

I nod quickly, feeling embarrassed. “I understand. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to pry.”

He shakes his head. “No, it’s okay. You’re new around here; it’s not your fault.”

There’s a short silence between us, and I chew my lip nervously, thinking of something to say.

Hang on…why am I thinking of something to say?

I hate talking!

This boy is having a bad effect on me!

“Albus is your brother, right?” I find myself saying. Merlin, is that really the best I could come up with? “Albus Potter?”

Strangely enough, James has suddenly gone all stiff and rigid. His jaw has tightened, his back is stiff and his hands are clenched tightly together on the table top. “Have you met him?” he asks stiltedly.

I whistle.

No, obviously I don’t really whistle, you numbskull! I was meaning figuratively.


Those brothers must have some serious family issues.

“I talked to him at the party down be the lake last night.”

Now I come to think of it, I don’t remember seeing James there. I wonder what he was doing…

“Listen to me very carefully,” says James, leaning in towards me, and I am surprised at the seriousness of his tone. “You stay away from Albus, do you hear me? Don’t let him put any…any ideas into your head. He’s bad news. Do you understand?”

I nod. “I understand.”

Pfft. I don’t understand at all, but this situation is getting a little too intense for my liking. I wonder why James thinks Albus is bad news. When I talked to him last night, he seemed perfectly nice.

James leans back from the table, looking very relieved. “Good,” he says. “That’s good.”

“Good,” I say.

“Good,” he says.


I don’t really know where to go from here to be honest.

As I’ve probably mentioned before, I’m not the best conversationalist.

I’m walking back down the stairs (sigh - but at least I’ll be able to eat heaps of chocolate and not get fat while here) towards the Great Hall for lunch, when the ducklings suddenly come bounding up to me.

“Er…” I say, in typical Charlie Parker fashion, as they link arms with me and continue to walk.

“We saw you talking to James Potter in Divination,” says duckling one in a quiet, mysterious sort of voice.

“Yes, we saw you talking to James Potter in Divination,” duckling two repeats.

There was really no need for that little repeat thing. I know I was talking to James in Divination. I don’t need to be told twice.

“I don’t think you should talk to James Potter,” says duckling one - okay, I really need to stop calling them that - seriously.

“No you shouldn’t,” says duckl…twin two. “He’s off limits.”

Umm…excuse me? I’m at perfect liberty to talk to whoever I like, thank you very much! Or is talking against the law now?

If it was, it probably wouldn’t be too big of a deal.

I’d be a perfectly satisfied mute.

“He’s totally off limits,” agrees twin one.

Okay, I think I’ve got this. I think twin one is Clementine, and twin two is Lavender. But they’re pretty much the same person, so it doesn’t really seem to matter.

“Why is he off limits?” I ask, because they probably won’t stop talking till I say something.

The twins look at each other.

“Because he belongs to her,” says Clementine with big eyes, as though I should understand what the hell she’s talking about.

“Belongs to who?” I ask, blinking stupidly.

Tori,” the twins chorus, as though it should have been obvious.

“Tori and James are totally in love,” Clementine sighs.

Totally,” agrees Lavender.

For some reason, I feel my heart sinking as everything clicks into place. Of course Tori and James were an item - how did I not see it before? And that’s where I recognised James from - the photos on Tori’s - sorry, my wall. How could I have been so stupid?

No wonder he was acting so…weird.

He’s probably still grieving Tori, who’s as good as dead.

“Tori and James are the perfect couple,” Clementine continues, and I really wish she’d just stop. “They look so cute together.”

“Which means you can’t have him,” says Lavender, looking at me. “He’s in love with Tori. Not you. You’re not Tori.”

Jeez, thanks for the reminder.

“I don’t want James,” I say, feeling irritated, though part of me wonders whether what I’m saying is true. Why did I feel so disappointed when I realised James was - is Tori’s boyfriend? “We were just talking.”

Clementine and Lavender look at each other again.

Okay, I’m sorry, but they really need to stop doing that. It’s making me feel nervous.

“You shouldn’t talk to him anymore,” Clementine says sternly. “You should stay away from him. You probably remind him of Tori. You’re the new girl, just like she was. He doesn’t need reminding of that.”

“Look,” I say, feeling very angry now. “I don’t fancy James…”

“Good,” says Clementine. “We’re only looking out for you. We just don’t want you to get hurt.”

Do they seriously expect me to believe that?

“Yes, we don’t want you to get hurt,” echoes Lavender. “And when Tori comes back…”

If Tori comes back,” Clementine corrects, looking down at her feet.

“Yes, if Tori comes back then she and James will be together again. Do you understand?”

Both girls are looking at me so earnestly, it would be hard not to say anything else. They both seem a bit stupid, but I think they have their hearts in the right place.

I nod. “Yes,” I say. “I understand.”

Authors Note: So...Charlies point of view again! And she's finally met James! And found out that Tori's missing...

On that note, what do you think will happen when Charlie and Rebecca 'meet again?' Why did James warn Charlie to stay away from Albus?

The next chapter is from Tori's point of view again, so some more of your questions about her might be answered...

Please keep reading and reviewing!



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