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Balanced Insanity by Avis12
Chapter 7 : G is for Gone
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3


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 Author’s Note:  Okay, first off sorry for the wait. I really wasn't fond of my last chapter (If I ever go back and edit this story that chapter is going to be the first to be re-written) and I realized that I really rushed into submitting that chapter. I made sure not to do that this chapter, It feels like I went through a little slump and now I’m back!! 

 

 Oh and also I didn’t write the Beetle and the Bard, that was all JK Rowling.

 

So this was an obnoxiously long Author’s note. Get reading J  

 

 

Charlotte Present Day

 

            The fact that it was a pleasant sunny day with a light breeze at the cemetery seemed so wrong to Charlotte. It was her Granny’s funeral. The clouds should be black and it should be freezing she thought. Numbly she took her seat and forced her mind away from what was going on.

 

Charlotte Age Five

 

            Warm and snug, Charlotte lay in her bed as Granny read her The Fountain of Fair Fortune for the hundredth time. Even though Charlotte almost knew it by heart, she listened adamantly.

            She fought against her heavy eyelids in order to stay awake until the end. She loved to listen to the soft lull of Granny’s voice. Bedtime stories were Charlotte’s favorite part of the day. Matched only by the hours she spent outside with Alby playing pretend.

            “…the Fountain’s waters carried no enchantment at all.” Granny finished. Charlotte finally allowed her eyes to close. After a couple seconds Granny kissed her on the forehead and walked out of the room.

            Charlotte was asleep before Granny made it downstairs.

 

Charlotte Present Day

 

            Charlotte tuned back into what some old wizard was saying about her Granny. He was the first speaker; the casket hadn’t even been rolled in yet. She couldn’t wait until the funeral was over. She had been thinking a lot about The Fountain of Fair Fortune lately.

            Even though Charlotte knew in her head that the Fountain was fictional, her heart wished that it could be real. She remembered parts of the story, “Pay me the proof of your pain, pay me the fruit of your labors, and pay me the treasure of your past.”

            She knew that she would have no trouble paying the proof of her pain—all she had felt for the past couple of days was pain.

            Paying the fruit of her labors shouldn’t be too hard either and she would give up anything from her past to bring her Granny back.

            “Stop,” she whispered to herself sternly.

She could not let herself fantasize like this.

Nothing could raise the dead.

Al shot her a look from the seat besides her.

            She shook her head at him and he turned back to the old wizard telling stories about her Granny. She didn’t listen though, she had her own memories.

 

Charlotte Age Twelve

 

            “Do you think we’ll see each other over summer?” Charlotte asked her friends on the train back home. Her first year at Hogwarts had ended.

            “Well I reckon we might,” Al said to her. She let out a tinkling laugh and agreed that being neighbors they had a pretty good chance of seeing each other.

            “But really,” She said turning back to Rose, Liam, and Talia, “I’ll see you Rosie (she didn’t mind being called that then) when you visit Al, but am I going to see either of you?” She asked Talia and Liam.

            “You’ll see me in your dreams,” Liam said.

            “Ew!” Charlotte blushed, “yeah right.”

            “Yeah, I am right,” he said, “And I’m going to visit Al so don’t worry you’ll get to see me in person too.”

            “I change my mind,” Charlotte said, “I don’t want to see you over break. Talia, will you visit me?”

            “You bettcha,” She said, “Have Granny write to my mum.”

            “Okay,” Charlotte smiled widely; she had never had a sleepover before. They spent the rest of the ride planning what they would do when they all met up in a couple months.

            When the train stopped they all grabbed their luggage and rushed out of the train. Charlotte lagged a little behind because she was so small and was having trouble pulling her trunk along.

            When Al realized this he doubled back and helped her.

            Finally she was off the train. She scanned the crowd and then she saw her standing next to Mrs. and Mr. Potter. She ran over as fast as her small legs would carry her till she was standing right in front of Granny.

            Letting her luggage fall to the floor, she hugged her. Folded in her Granny’s arms she felt safe and loved.

 

Charlotte Present Day

 

            “Charlotte,” Al got her attention. Everyone was standing up. She stood quickly and looked around. Apparently the ceremony official had stopped talking. The casket encasing her Granny’s body was being carried in. There were six Paul bearers. Harry was the only one she knew. She recognized most of the others from the times they would come for dinner, but they meant nothing to her.

            She looked away; she had no desire to watch this.

            Al was on the right of her and Talia on the left. Next to Talia sat Liam and next to Al was Rose. It was them, along with James and Lily that were allowed to leave school to come today.

            They would return tonight and tomorrow they would begin their second week of classes.

            But it wouldn’t be the same. She looked at the ground and took a few deep breathes. She wasn’t crying, nor did she want to. She was all cried out.

            She fit her small hand in Al’s big one. His fingers curled around hers naturally. His thumb traced soothing patterns on her hand.

            It was Sunday; Charlotte had spent every moment for the last couple days with Al. The only time they were apart was when he had to go to tryouts on Saturday. Even then she went to the stands to watch.

            He was having an off day and Charlotte was pretty sure she knew why. But even though he wasn’t flying his best, he was still better than any other seeker that tried out. Now that she thought about it, flying sounded wonderful right now. 

 

Charlotte Age Ten

 

            “Come on Granny,” Charlotte laughed, “Tell me!”

            “Patience,” Granny snapped, but she turned around so that Charlotte would see that she was smiling.

            Today was Charlotte’s tenth birthday. April 12. She had already opened all of her presents in the living room with Granny this morning. She had gotten a few little things from Granny, an assortment of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes from the Potter family, and her very own copy of The Beetle and the Bard from Al.

            She was already pleased with her birthday when Granny said that she had one last surprise for Charlotte waiting outside. Granny was now leading her up the hill at the edge of their property.

            When they got to the top Charlotte saw that Harry and Al were there.

            “Happy Birthday!” Al yelled.

            “Thanks,” She beamed. Birthdays were the best. Then she noticed the package sitting on the floor. It was long and skinny. She thought she might know what was inside, but she didn’t dare to get her hopes up.

            She looked at her Granny. Go on she mouthed to her. Charlotte fell on the ground and opened the package happily. She had been right, inside was a broomstick, her very own broomstick.

            She couldn’t say anything. Her mouth was hanging wide open in shock. She turned back to Granny.
            “We thought that it was about time you and Al learned how to fly.” She said, “Happy Birthday my sweet girl.”

            Al picked up flying faster than Charlotte, but that was okay. She was having the time of her life. Harry and Granny were both great teachers. After a while Al and Charlotte touched down. Their hair was windswept and their grins were large.

            “Wow,” was all Al said.

            “Yeah,” she replied.

            Harry and Granny laughed at the looks of amazement on Al and Charlotte’s face. “This was my broom,” Granny told Charlotte, “It makes me so happy to see you ride it.”

            “Did you play Quidditch when you were younger?” Charlotte asked.

            “I played for my house team,” She said, “seeker.”

            “Hey dad,” Al said, “You were seeker.”

            “Yeah I was,” said Harry bemused.

            “Who was better?” Al and Charlotte asked at the same exact time.

            “Oh,” Granny said to Al, “Your dad thinks he was better, not that he’ll say it.”

            “Hey,” Harry said indignantly.

            “Oh don’t pretend it’s not true.” Granny said, “You were pretty good.”  

            “Pretty good?” He said even more indignantly.

            “I bet you ten galleons that if I raced you right now you wouldn’t win.” Granny said boldly. Charlotte and Al looked at each other in shock.

            “I’m not going to race you,” He said with a surprised look on his face.

            “Around those far trees and back,” she said firmly. Charlotte handed her the broom and she mounted it swiftly.

            “Here dad,” Al said and handed over his broom, “Go on.”

            “I’m not...” Harry just looked confused but he mounted obediently.

            “Ready, Set, GO!” Granny yelled and soared into the air. Harry took off too and then they were racing. Charlotte and Al were cheering loudly even though they knew they couldn’t hear them.

            Harry was a brilliant flyer obviously, but Granny surprised them with the grace with which she flew. Up in the air you couldn’t tell that she was so…old.

            Neither of them could tell who was winning, but it looked really close. In no time they were flying back towards them. They were going so fast that it seemed like they might crash into Al and Charlotte.

            The two of them watched in amazement as they touched down…at the exact same time.

            “TIE” Charlotte yelled.

            “Pay up,” Granny smiled smugly at Harry.

            “What?” he said, “we tied.”

            “Yes,” she said patiently, “the bet wasn’t that I would win, it was that you wouldn’t win. Technically, you didn’t win.”

            Merlin, Charlotte thought. Her Granny was so cool.

 

Charlotte Present Day

 

            Apparently another stranger to her was speaking. She realized that she was sitting down, she didn’t remember doing that. Her hand was still in Al’s. She noticed that Talia’s hand was on her knee. That was comforting.

            She wondered how much longer she would have to be here.

 

Charlotte Age Thirteen

 

            Charlotte and Granny were having tea in the living room. Granny was looking out the big window, but Charlotte was looking at her. Charlotte had just been released from St. Mungos earlier that day.

            “Charlotte,” Granny said, not taking her eyes off the window, “Stop looking at me like that. I’m not leaving you.”

            Charlotte forced her eyes away, “Sorry,” she whispered. She tapped her foot against the floor four times.

 

Charlotte Present Day

           

            Granny lied. She thought bitterly, she did leave. They were standing up again. Charlotte forced herself to watch as the tomb was lowered into the ground. A cloud cover settled over them and everything darkened. Charlotte thought this was appropriate. She didn’t see how the sun could possibly ever shine again.

            A little voice in her head said she was being a little melodramatic. Whatever, Charlotte thought; this is what I’m feeling.

            The funeral was over. Almost immediately after she moved away from her seat she was swarmed upon.

            An elderly woman she had never seen gave her a hug, “Your Grandma loved you,” she said through her tears.

            “Thank you,” Charlotte said politely even though she couldn’t keep the coolness out of her voice. Charlotte already knew that her Granny loved her.

            All she wanted to do was walk over to the grave and say goodbye. She started walking when she was intercepted by an old man, “I’m Gregory,” he said solemnly. He seemed really intent on telling her that he and Granny dated for a while back in the day. Charlotte was uncomfortable and wanted to walk away, but the man had a surprisingly strong grip on her arm.

            Thankfully Talia came over, “Sorry sir, I need to talk to Charlotte.” She said and then pulled Charlotte away by the arm.

            “Thank you,” Charlotte said to her friend, “I did not need to know about my Granny’s sex life.”

            “You know,” Talia said an evil grin on her face, “I bet she was a real hot mama.”

            “Ew, Tally!” Charlotte said. Then she realized that she was laughing a little. Talia realized this too because she was smiling warmly at her.

            “Atta girl.”

            “Thanks, Talia,” Charlotte said, “I’ll meet up with you in a little while.”

            She walked towards the grave dodging the people that wanted to talk to her. Finally she made it to the grave. She looked around and was thankful to notice that she was on her own.

            She knelt down and put a hand on the dirt. “I’ll miss you Granny. I hope you’re having an amazing time wherever you are. Go crazy Granny, I’ll see you again some day.”

            She let one tear fall down her cheek for her. She watched as, as if in slow motion, it fell off her chin and hit the dirt.

            Under the ground was her Granny’s body, but she wasn’t there…not really. She was gone.

           

            She sat there for a while. She just let her eyes close and breathed deeply. She imagined Al’s chest rising and falling as he breathed in and out. She matched her breathing to the image in her head.

            She was aware of someone sitting next to her. Looking sideways she realized it was Liam.

            Neither of them said anything. After a while she leaned her head on his shoulder. He wrapped an arm around her in a brotherly fashion. Then Rose sat on her other side and held her hand. After that Talia and Al joined them.

            Talia sat next to Liam and reached over him to hold Charlotte’s other hand. Al sat behind Charlotte and kept a hand on the small of her back.

            They were all united in that moment. And Charlotte knew that she was connected to her friends in a new way. Times like these made Charlotte thankful even in the darkest of times.

 

Charlotte Age Fifteen

 

            They had just finished their last OWL and the gang was sitting in Hagrid’s pumpkin patch.

            “We’re done.” Charlotte breathed out. She was actually sitting on a pumpkin that was so large she could sit on top of it and rest against the stem.

            Now that Hagrid could legally use magic again the pumpkins were enormous.

            “We’re done,” Rose said distractedly. They all knew that she was going over every test in her head.

            “WE’RE DONE!” Talia suddenly yelled jumping on top of a pumpkin and pumping her fist in the air. Talia hated exams the most out of everyone.

            Soon they were all standing on top of the pumpkins chanting “We’re done, we’re done!” They were dancing around and making complete fools of themselves, but none of them cared.

 

Charlotte Age Twelve

 

            During their second year they all decided to stay at Hogwarts for Christmas. So on Christmas morning they all hauled their piles of presents from the foot of their beds to the common room.

            They all sat in front of the fire together. They took turns opening presents. Liam was singing “God Rest, Ye Merry Hippogriffs” at the top of his lungs. Talia was running down to the kitchen to get them all Hot Chocolate (she had a secret recipe and it was bloody amazing), Al was making it snow on them with his wand, Rose was nearly crying over all the books she had gotten, and Charlotte was in the middle of it all truly happy.

 

Charlotte Age Thirteen

 

            “GO AL!” Charlotte yelled again. Her voice was literally cracking by then. It was Al’s first quidditch match. She was in the stands with Talia, Rose and Liam. They made a huge banner for him and were shouting themselves hoarse.

            Suddenly he was swerving around the other team’s seeker (a sixth year) and shot across the field. He made dodging bludgers and other players look easy. The other seeker looked like he might be catching up to him.

            Charlotte couldn’t watch. She made herself focus on Al. She squinted and just made out Al’s fingers closing over a shimmering gold ball. Al had caught the snitch. “YES!” She screamed. She was so happy for him that it felt like her face might split in half from grinning.

            She and the others ran down to the pitch and sought out Al. Once they caught sight of him in the crowd they rushed towards him. Liam got there first and clapped Al on the back. Talia’s long legs got her there next she flung herself at both of the boys wrapping her arms around each of their necks.

            Charlotte was just fast enough to get there before Rose. She ran around them and jumped on Al’s back.

            “Good game!” She yelled in his ear and wrapped her arms around his neck. Then Rose was there and she jumped down. They all did a massive group hug, in the moment it seemed absolutely necessary.

            On their way back to the Gryffindor tower Charlotte jumped onto Al’s back again. “Gryffindor seeker everyone!” She yelled in the hallways. She used one hand to hold on and the other to point at him, “He’ll be signing autographs in the common room, a galleon a piece!”

            “Charlie!” He said exasperated. But she looked down and noticed that he was silently laughing.

            “What? You don’t want me using you to get rich?”

 

Charlotte Present Day

 

            The moment was shattered by someone’s voice saying, “Charlotte?”

            The sound of the woman’s voice puzzled Charlotte. She almost thought that she had heard it when she was very young. She couldn’t put the voice to a name or face though.

            She stood up, breaking away from all her friends, and slowly turned around. She didn’t think she had ever seen the woman before. However, she couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something about her.

            She took in her blonde hair, a shade darker than Charlotte’s. Her nose was almost a replica of Charlotte’s small angular one. And lastly, her eyes, the exact same shade of grey that Charlotte’s were.

            “Mum?”

 

 

Author’s Note: Cliff hanger! So Charlotte’s mother is back? Wow. Reviews literally are my number one source of  inspiration. So please…review!

 

Important: Can somebody help me with the banner thing? I really don’t know the first thing about getting one.

 

See you later sweet p’tater

 

Avis12 


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