Chapter 12 : James' Jolt
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Words cannot express the profound joy I felt when I saw a very tired looking Ellie walked into the Great Hall this afternoon. Despite my worrisome “talk”, if you can call it that, with Lily and my overall attempts to become more mature, I couldn’t control the smile that tugged at my face. I could actually cry with joy, but I won’t, because I’m a man *insert manly sound here*. I elbow Charlotte and she beams when she sees Ellie.
“Ellie!” she screams from across the hall, causing every student to look over at us, and jumps off the bench to bound towards her.
This would be my response too, if I wasn’t trying to control myself. Merlin this is all extremely hard. Charlotte drags Ellie back to our place at the table and I’m able to really look at her.
Do you know the allegory, “The Cave,” by Plato? Basically, a group of prisoners are chained to a cave, watching shadows on a wall for most of their life. One of them gets out of the cave and experiences the blinding beauty of the sun for the first time. Ellie is my sun.
“Potter, how are you?” Ellie asks me, sitting down and filling her plate with vegetables. That’s strange, she’s been on an all-meat diet the few times I’ve eaten with her.
I clear my throat and respond, “I’m well,” I stare at my plate and frown, unable to look at the overwhelming beauty that is Elizabeth Galatian, “Er, how are you feeling?” I ask her, trying to keep my face impassive.
“You’re not smiling,” Ellie states.
I look up in shock, she’s staring at the table, “What?”
She sighs and looks up at me, “You’re always smiling.”
“Is there something wrong with me not smiling?” I question her, my eyebrows raising.
She blushes, “No, that’s not my point.”
“What’s your point?” I deepen my frown even further.
“It’s just surprising,” she mumbles and looks away from me.
“Oh,” is my pitiful response.
Charlotte busies herself with her charms manual and I study the beautiful girl across the table from me. We’ve been relatively friendly towards each other, I’m going to give asking her out another go, “Ellie?” I breathe her name and she looks up at me, “Will you accompany me, as my date, to the quidditch match next Saturday?”
“No, Potter,” her answer cuts me, as it has done every other time.
I wince, about to respond, when Rose comes out of nowhere and hugs Ellie. They exchange words, but I’m not paying attention. Ellie’s words are still echoing in my mind, and they annoy me. Honestly, I don’t get annoyed easily, but there’s something about that exchange that just frustrates me. Maybe it was the surname? No, Ellie has always called me by my surname. . .Charlotte’s looking at me as though I’ve gone insane and it’s not helping in the irritation department of my brain. I’ve got to get out of here, “I’ve got to go, er, do something,” I tell the small group as I get up from my spot at the bench.
“What is that, exactly?” Charlotte asks me a flood of pity filling her eyes.
I rub the back of my neck, “You know. . .nargles.”
“Excuse me?” Rose joins in, confused.
“Nargles,” I repeat, more sure of myself.
Ellie doesn’t look at me, “What about them, Potter?”
The irritation comes back and I grit my teeth, “Everything about them, Galatian.” I turn and walk away.
What is wrong with me? I never snap at people, especially not at Ellie. Everyone knows I love her, I put a claim on her when I was fourteen, mostly to scare of competition, but now. . .I don’t know. I’m just tired of being rejected.
I hear stories of my grandfather, the original James Potter, chasing after my grandmother for years, but how did he do it? How could he take the pain, each and every time she turned him down? I’m not strong enough for this anymore.
I pass the Transfiguration classroom when Albus catches up to me, panting and crying, “J-J-James,” he stutters out and wipes his eyes, “L-L-Lily-”
I pull him into a manly embrace and hold onto him until he stops shaking, “What’s wrong with Lily, Al?” I ask him.
He pulls out of my grasp, takes a big breath, and attempts to explain, but shakes his head, “You have to see it.”
He leads me to the third floor and, sure enough, Lily is sitting on the ground against the wall, clutching her knees and whimpering to herself. Albus breaks down and starts to cry again. Everything is out of control, “How long has she been like this?” I command my little brother to tell me.
“I-I-I don’t kn-n-now. She won’t t-t-talk to me!” More tears flow down his cheeks.
I’m reminded of this morning when I tried to talk to her, she didn’t completely ignore me, but she wasn’t in this catatonic state. I turn to Albus and grab his shoulders, “Listen, calm down. I need you to go and fetch Headmistress McGonagall, okay?”
He nods his head and I release him.
As he runs for her office, I kneel down next to Lily. Her whimpers have turned into soft mutters, “I didn’t know. . .I didn’t know. . .” She begins to rock back and forth in her fetal position. Panic twists my stomach and I become nauseous, but I push it down. I need to be strong.
“Lily?” I whisper to the broken girl.
She winces, but is otherwise unaffected by my presence.
Tears sting and threaten to fill my eyes. No! I will be strong, “Damn it, Lily. Look at me!”
She whimpers and turns to me, “Go away,” she mutters.
I grab onto her and pull her into a tight hug. She sobs into my robes as McGonagall and Albus run towards us.
“What is the meaning of this?” McGonagall asks, observing our embrace.
Albus crouches down next to us and kisses Lily on the top of her head. I look up at our Headmistress, Lily still in my arms, “Could you get my father?”
She shifts from foot to foot, “I’m not sure I could reach him, James. He’s a busy man.”
“Just try?” I plead with her. She nods and leaves us.
Albus wraps his arms around Lily too, and we stay in this position until we feel that Lily has stopped shaking. We release her, but she doesn’t look or talk to us, instead, she pulls at her messy hair and stares at the ground.
I look at Albus, his eyes are blood-shot, tears and snot are caked onto his face. I ruffle his messy hair and he smiles, “She’s going to be okay.”
We look at her, her hair, usually straightened to perfection, is clinging to her face in a tangled mess. Her robes are wrinkled and covered in dirt from lying on the ground. All this is troublesome, but it’s her eyes that really put us on edge. They’re filled with so much emotion.
“Yeah,” I agree with Albus, “Dad will take care of her.”
McGonagall sprints to us, my mother trailing behind her with a worried look on her face. When they reach us, she doesn’t hesitate to sit next to Lily and engulf her into her arms.
After a moment of silence, my mother looks at me, “James, what happened?”
“We don’t know. Where’s Dad?” My dad has a way with Lily that no one else in our family understands. There’s something about a father-daughter relationship that is stronger than any other kind of relation.
She frowns, “He’s stuck with Minister Shacklebolt putting revisions on the Lupin Acts.”
Lily moans underneath Mom’s arms and pulls herself from them, “Lily?” My mom calls to her, hurt.
Lily doesn’t answer, but, instead, proceeds to hurl on the tile in front of her.
McGonagall cleans the mess with a flick of her wand, “I suggest we go to Madam Pomfrey’s expert care.”
Lily screams and begins to sob again. We all stare at her in shock. We need to get my father here. Now.
“If he is not coming to us, then we will go to him,” I stand up and haul Lily over my shoulder. She falls against me, limp like a noodle. I walk towards the Headmistress’ office, not bothering to look to see if anyone followed. When I reach the office, I wait for McGonagall to catch up and say the password.
“Potter, we cannot disturb your father,” she warns, saying the password and leading us to her office.
I go to her fireplace and stand in front of it, “He’ll get over it.”
She seems torn with the decision, but my mother comes to our rescue, “Minerva, just do it.”
McGonagall nods her head and grabs her floo powder from inside the desk, “Send me a letter on the outcomes of the visit.”
What is wrong with James? He wasn’t smiling, laughing, chuckling, snorting, winking, or any verb like that that I usually associate with him. I miss him.
Weird enough, I haven’t seen the Potters since yesterday afternoon. Charlotte and Anthony are already in Hogsmeade with a blonde Ravenclaw girl for a double date. It seems as though I have missed a lot since my short departure.
“Hey Ellie, what is your opinion on cat sovereignty?” Scorpius asks me. I’m sitting at the Slytherin table with him and my brother.
“Why cat sovereignty?” I ask him.
Leo rolls his eyes at me in a playful manner, “Ellie, cats have rights too.”
“I say the more the merrier, in regards to cat voters!” Scorpius shouts and pounds the table with his fist. It seems this sort of scene happens a lot, because nobody bothers to look over at us. He pouts at his lack of audience, but shrugs it off and turns to Leo, “Hey mate, we should go to Hogsmeade soon. I think Albus beat us there.”
“I don’t really want to go to Hogsmeade this time around,” Leo responds, staring at his breakfast that, I note, has hardly been touched.
Scorpius and I glance at each other before responding, “Er, Leo?” I call for his attention, but he continues to poke around with his food, “You love Hogsmeade.”
“Yeah, mate. What’s going on?” Scorpius adds.
Leo sighs and pushes away from the table, “I’m not feeling very well. I think I’ll go to bed.” He gets up from his seat and walks out of the Great Hall.
Scorpius’ mouth drops open as he stares at Leo’s departing back. He turns to me and points to where Leo left, “What the hell was that?”
“How am I supposed to know?” I respond.
He points at me and glares, “You’re his sister!”
I huff, “We’ve been over this, Malfoy. You’re basically his brother.”
He throws his hands up in defeat, “What am I supposed to do now?”
“Go to Hogsmeade?” I suggest.
He shakes his head, “I don’t want to go alone.”
“I could go with you,” I shrug and fork broccoli into my mouth.
He looks at me gratefully, “Okay, it’s a date!”
I choke on my piece of broccoli and he stares at me in pure amusement, “I was joking, Galatian.”
“Oh Merlin, I was worried,” I gasp, my chest hurting from my choking fit.
“Why is that? I think I could take James,” he jokes with a wink.
I blush and clear my throat, “That’s obviously not why I was worried.”
“You’re blushing!” he giggles, “Wait. . .you don’t actually like James, do you?”
“What? No, don’t be ridiculous,” I mutter, combing my hair with my hand.
“No way. Not only are you as poor of a liar as Leo, but you fancy the socks off of the eldest Potter! Do you know what this means? Leo owes me five galleons!”
“What?” I ask, exasperated and, frankly, humiliated.
He shrugs, “We bet on whether you actually liked James or not.”
I stare at him before clearing my throat, “Really? What made you think that I did?”
“Oh I didn’t think you did. I just like taking risks,” he winks and claps his hands.
I shake my head in frustration. Scorpius knows I like James. All hell will break loose, I’m sure of it, “Can we just go to Hogsmeade?” I plead with him. I need to get chocolate. A bunch of chocolate.
“Sure. I need to grab some money from my dormitory though.” We get up and leave the Great Hall for the dungeons. Scorpius is whistling and smiling to himself.
“Er, Scorpius? You can’t tell anybody.” I stop walking and grab his arm.
He laughs, “Come on Ellie, this is the biggest thing to come along since Leo could fit twenty pumpkin pastries in his mouth.”
I plead with him, “Scorpius, please! You don’t understand, I need you to not say anything.”
He looks down at me, his smile wavering, “Ellie, how long have you liked him?”
I close my eyes, “Long enough. Please just promise me that you won’t say anything to anyone. Especially not Leo.”
“Okay,” I open my eyes and see him shifting from foot to foot in discomfort, “I promise.”
I beam and hug the kid. He pats my back awkwardly, “Really?” I sigh into his chest.
“Do you want me to make an unbreakable vow or something?” he grumbles.
“Not this time around,” I pull away from him and smile.
We start walking again and Scorpius scratches the back of his neck, “He’s not a bad person, Ellie. I can’t see why you won’t just date the poor bloke.”
I sigh, about to respond, when we hear giggling from a broom closet. Scorpius’ face immediately brightens and he begins to jump around like a toddler, “Scorpius? What are you doing?” I call after him as he bounds to the closet.
“Don’t pull an Albus, Ellie!” he shouts over his shoulder before throwing the broom cupboard door open.
Rose and her fellow fifth year Gryffindor, Daniel Thomas, fall out of the cupboard.
Thanks for taking the time to read this much :D. The plot is thickening...please review and tell me how you feel about the Potter love. - soapman333
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