Chapter 20 : Chapter Twenty
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James sat on the edge of my bed, reaching to hold my hand. My parents were outside with the doctors talking, I had instructed all of the healers not to tell them that I only a few more days to live. Not that the healers really believed I was going to die anyways, it was nice that they didn’t want to give up, but they needed to come back to reality. I was going to die, and I was strangely okay with that.
As for James, my parents sent to Hogwarts a few hours ago and he flooed down here immediately, I highly doubt that Professor Longbottom even gave him permission. He proabaly just took the Gryffindor fire place, honestly, they should seal that up.
I hadn’t said anything since he had gotten there, we just sat in silence. Simply sitting here, for the last half an hour. It was James who eventually broke the still and uncomfortable silence, “What happened? What are you not telling me?”
“Something happened, when I died for a little bit there.” Well, that sounded weird. Really, I should stop being so casual about my death. Merlin, the fact that I can say that is completely bonkers.
“What is it, what happened?” He questioned, his eyes were full of fear. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. In movies, the boy is always strong for the girl or the people without cancer are strong for those with cancer. I guess a girl can’t rely on movies for reality. Damn you, Hollywood. Damn you and your fucking romantic comedies.
“James, this is going to sound absolutely mad.”
“You always sound mad.”
I smiled a bit, at least he could still joke. “I suppose I do. This time is different though. While I was...dead, I went somewhere.”
“Aspen, you were here the entire time. I think the doctors would have noticed if you vanished from thin air or walked out the bleeding front door.”
“Not like that, I wasn’t physically there, it was like my mind and my soul and my...being, they were all there.” He nodded for me to continue. “Do you know the story of when your dad saw Dumbledore after his death?”
“Sure, he tells it every time he gets drunk.”
“Well, it was like that. But I was home, everything looked the day it did when I met you, but it was all clean and white and polished. And there were people there, people that have been dead for a long time. Like my Aunt Isabella and Uncle Trevor and Fred Weasley the first and your grandparents and my old hospital roommate. They were all there, and they told me I had a choice. To either stay there with them, or to come back down to earth.”
“I am still not seeing the problem here, Aspen.”
I sighed, “There was a catch. If I came back, the longest I would have to live is five days. So, within the next five days, I’m going to die James.”
He stared at me, his eyes filling with tears. It hurt me so much to see him so broken. This isn’t how it is supposed to be, life as a teenager. I’m supposed to go out and party and drink and cry over my boyfriend breaking up with me. What I wouldn’t give to have that life.
Those girls, the ones in movies, their biggest worry was if their hair wasn’t curled the right way. Their lives were easy. Their days were sleeping, eating, school, homework and friends. My days were spent fighting a losing battle.
“No.” He said forcefully. So much it almost scared me.
“What do you mean, James?” I questioned, confused.
“I mean no.”
“James, you can’t change this. I am going to die, and I’m okay with that. As long as my family and friends are with me.”
“NO!” He yelled, “I’m not letting you just die, I’m not going to let you just give up like that, Aspen.”
“IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN!” I screamed back, “I know you are scared, I’m bloody terrified. But I don’t want us to pretend like everything is going to be all flowers and bunnies and sunshine and crap! That is not the real world. Please just expect this is what fate has in store for me and no matter what either of us do we can’t change it. I’m going to die, James. So you better damn well accept it.”
“I’m not ready to let you go of you, little A. We are supposed to have more time than this.” He took my hand and held it in between his own. “We’re going to get married, and have five kids, three boys and two girls. They are all going to be in Gryffindor. And we are going to be happy. That’s the way it should happen. Our last moments weren’t supposed to be in a hospital.”
I grabbed his hands. “James, no one planned this. Yet, regardless of what we feel or think or do or try, I am going to die. Here, in this hospital. Within five days. But I am okay with it. Because at least when I go, I know I was loved. By my parents, by my brothers, by my friends and by you. Most of all, I was loved by you.”
“I don’t want you to go.” I nodded slowly, understanding.
“I know James. But you have to promise me something.”
“What? What is it?”
“After I am gone, you will live a happy and good life. Not just for you, but for me. Live life for the both of us James.”
He nodded, “Of course Aspen. Anything for you.” He climbed into my bed and wrapped his arms around me, like we were back at Hogwarts. In his arms, I felt safe, like everything bad in my life just melted away. Together, I felt as if we were perfection. Aspen Powells and James Potter, we could take on the world together.
“Are you afraid?” James whispered in my ear after a few minutes.
I nodded, “Of course. I’m bloody terrified. But I’ve accepted it more or less. I mostly afraid to leave you all behind and what will happen after I’m gone.”
“Don’t worry about us, Aspen. Even though that is so you. I hate to say it, but it’s not like any of us are dying.”
James wrapped his arms around me and kissed the top of my head, and we lay there for a while. In moments like these, we didn’t need words. The silence said everything for us, we could read each other so clearly, we knew if there was something wrong with the other. That is what I loved so much about our relationship.
“Do you want to go on a date with me?” James whispered in my ear, making shivers run down my spine. I don’t think there will ever be a time when I get used to that. At least I hope not.
I turned around to face him, staring into his brown eyes. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, I want to take you out. On a real proper date, were we dress up all fancy and we get reservations somewhere. Like adults. So, I’ll ask you again, Aspen Powells will you go out on a date with me?”
“Of course.” I smiled, “But I doubt they are going to let me out of the walls of this hospital.”
He grinned that grin that makes me think he is up to something.
“Don’t worry about it. I already have an idea. I’ll pick you up at seven.” And with that, he kissed me lightly and left the room.
I threw myself back into bed, what was I going to wear?
Half an hour later, November showed up with a blue dress from my closet. I had sent her an owl telling her that James had asked me on a date and she sent an owl back telling me that she was going to pick the lock in my house, get the cutest dress she could find in my closet and meet me at St. Mungo’s to help me get ready. The girl was crazy, no wonder I love her so much.
“Why do you think he is taking you on a date?” Nov asked as she braided my brown hair to the side.
“I honestly have no idea. We don’t really go out on too many dates. I mean, we have before, but we do it really rarely. When we go to hogsmede, we basically hang out with all of our friends. Alone time can come rare when you are in the same social group.”
“Well, speaking of James and your relationship, how are wedding plans coming?”
“Good. Mum and Ginny are handling almost all of it. Since James and I are busy with school and fighting cancer.” I couldn’t see her face, but I knew Nov cracked a smile. She was the only person I could joke with cancer about and not have them feel uncomfortable.
“What day is it again?”
“April seventh, you’re coming right?”
She laughed, “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” I was so happy, talking about the wedding with November and thinking about the flowers I was going to carry down the ail. Incase your wondering, it’s going to be light blue hydrangeas and light pink lilies. My two favorite flowers. It seemed almost normal. Until I realized.
I was going to die soon. I wasn’t going to make it to my wedding. All of this talk, it wouldn’t matter. My aunt Susie was never going to design my white dress and scold me for fidgeting. Wedding invites would turn into funeral invites. It never really hit me until now. I knew I was dying, but somehow I didn’t know I wasn’t going to walk down the ail with my father.
Nov didn’t even know that I was going to die, so she didn’t know any better than to talk about the wedding. “It’s almost seven.”
“Merlin, you’re right. Are you ready?”
I looked into a mirror she had brought. I wore a navy colored dress that floated down to my ankles, my hair in a perfect braid, and some subtle makeup. It was perfect for my last date with James. One of the last times that we would be alone together.
There was a knock on the door, and I swirled around. James was leaning against the door frame in true cocky ass hole fashion. I laughed when I saw him, he was wearing a tux. He seemed almost out of place in it.
His jaw dropped when he saw me. I’m not kidding, it literally dropped. “Whoa.” He whispered.
“Like what you see?” I teased.
“Yeah.” He said, most likely without thinking. “I, I mean...wow.” I grinned and bit my lower lip. I felt so beautiful right now. I wasn’t even disgusted that James was practically undressing me with his eyes.
“You look amazing, Aspen.”
“Thanks.” I grabbed my midnight blue clutch from off my bed.
He offered me his arm, and I linked it with mine. “Bye, and make sure to have her home by ten, James!” Nov grinned and he laughed. “No, I’m actually serious. If she’s not in by ten, the nurses will have a fit.”
“Okay, thanks Nov.” I said, waving to her as we left.
We were almost to the elevator when someone called, “Oi! Where do you two think you’re going?” I turned to see Nurse Ratchet. She was on the burly side and had hair that looked like it belonged in the fifties. She was the strictest, meanest nurse in the whole of St. Mungo’s. Nov and I called her Nurse Hulk. I know it’s not exactly nice, but to be honest she really deserved it.
“Oh.” James said, looking startled. “Um, I was just taking Aspen out for a date.”
Nurse Hulk scoffed, “I don’t think so. Miss Powells is to remain within hospital boundaries. No exceptions, especially not a silly little date.”
“We will be in the grounds.”
She narrowed her eyes. My hands began to sweat a little, she had a way of making you so scared of her. “Where?” Nurse Hulk questioned. “I highly doubt that you will be going to the cafeteria. Not with the way you’re dressed.”
James stepped closer to her and whispered something to her. She huffed and waved us away. “What did you say to her?” I asked as we stepped inside the lift and James pressed a button.
“Just told her where we are going.” He told me, stuffing his hands in his pockets.
“And where are we going?”
The elevator stopped and the doors opened. I gasped, James was too much. There was a row of candles of either side of the elevator, leading to a table with two chairs under the stars. “Oh James.” I turned around and kissed him passionately.
My lips melted into his and we stood there in the elevator, snogging our hearts out. Finally, I pulled away for air, “I bloody love you.”
He grinned, “So I’ve heard.” James offered me his hand, “Shall we?”
I laughed and took his hand, we walked to the table, and like a true gentlemen he pulled my chair out for me. There was a plate of spaghetti in front of me and James raised his champagne flute of butter beer into the air. “To your fight.” He said simply.
“To my fight.” I smiled and we clinked glasses.
A little while later, about half way through dinner James said, “There are some scouts coming to the final, in May.”
“You’ve already heard about them?” He nodded, “Seems a little early. It’s only February.”
“Just for a bit longer. This year has gone by so fast.”
“Tell me about it. Seems like it will be gone in the blink of an eye. I suppose for me it will.”
“Do you mind if we don’t talk about that?” James asked sheepishly. “It’s just, I want to have a normal night. With a little piazzas.” He motioned to the lights and candles and the violin in the corner playing it’s self.
“Did you just say ‘piazzas’?” I asked.
“Yes, indeed I did. Have a problem with that?”
I threw my head back laughing, “You, James Potter, are a dork.” He grinned and leaned over the table to kiss me.
“Wow, look at that!” He pointed into the sky and I whipped my head around. Searching for something. Yet there was nothing, oh what did he do. I turned around to see James tucking something into his jacket pocket.
I took a sip of my drink, staring at him the whole time. He just sat there and grinned like the complete prat he is. Not to say I don’t love him. I do, but that doesn’t make him any less of a prat.
“Look into your glass Aspen.” I furrowed my eyebrows together and looked into the gold champagne flute. The butter beer, instead of being a nice yellow looked like one of my potions gone wrong, now a violent shade of hot pink.
“James Potter, what the hell did you do?”
Author’s Note: AH! So many cliff hangs lately! I’m also sorry it’s so short, I need to work on that. The next chapter should be more than four thousand words I think, that’s good right? Also, the Nurse Hulk thing wasn’t meant to offend anyone and I’m sorry if i did. Anything you recognize isn’t mine. I would love it if you left me a review in the nifty little box down below, it really only takes a few seconds and it makes me SO happy. Now, I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone on this site the writes fan fiction, even if you don’t get a ton of reviews. Because you are all amazing for taking your personal time and writing amazing stories for everyone here, free of charge. LOL, I guess that’s kind of a shout out to myself too. :) Until next time,
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