Chapter 10 : J is for Jealousy
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Author’s Note: Enjoy!
Charlotte Present Day
News spread like wild fire through the halls of Hogwarts of Al and Charlotte’s apparent love affair. Charlotte thought the whole thing was bloody ridiculous. It had been two days, two days, and somehow everyone and their hippogriff knew about the new “couple.”
She was in a foul mood. After a particularly boring Charms lesson all she had wanted to do was nip into the kitchens for a spot of tea, but no. On her way to the kitchens she passed a malicious group of fifth year girls. She didn’t know why they weren’t at lunch wit the rest of the bloody school.
The moment she turned the corner she saw them huddled together in the otherwise empty corridor. They were the type of girls that Charlotte loathed. Their hair was either impeccably straight or falling in perfect ringlets all the time. They talked about boys and celebrities nonstop and were as dumb as ogres.
She rolled her eyes and tried passing by them. When one of the girls, Charlotte thought her name was Holly, spotted her she nudged one of the girls standing next to her. This girl turned and looked right at Charlotte.
“Didn’t your mummy ever teach you not to stare?” Charlotte demanded. The girl raised her eyebrows and turned to her friends. Quite pleased with herself, Charlotte kept walking. She didn’t think that the girls would do anything else, but she soon found out she was wrong. The moment she passed by the vicious girls she felt something hit her back.
“Bloody hell!” She yelled and spun around, “What the fuck?”
The girl was giggling and spinning her wand around like a baton. Charlotte didn’t think she just acted on instinct, “Mimble wimble!” She cast the spell on the girl standing in front of her, but for some reason it affected all five of the girls. Charlotte thought the spell might have intensified because she was so angry.
All five girls’ eyes widened significantly as they tried to speak. Charlotte knew they were experiencing the feeling of their tongues curling up, leaving them unable to speak.
Her attention was wavered by the uncomfortable stinging in her lower back. She tugged up her blouse and turned to see an angry red mark imprinted on her skin. She guessed it was a very well placed stinging hex.
Angry and annoyed, Charlotte turned and walked the opposite way of the kitchens. Not even tea and biscuits could cheer her up now. Even though class wasn’t scheduled to start for a few more minutes she headed over to Defense.
On the way over she passed a few more students that glared at her. She thought about hexing them too.
She was very thankful that Teddy’s classroom was open. She let herself in and was surprised to see that he had already come down from his office.
“Hey Teddy,” She said grumpily.
“Charlotte!” He smiled at her, “come see what I have for the lesson today.” He stepped aside and motioned for her to come closer. There was a cage set up next to his desk. Charlotte inched forward nervously, Teddy was known to push the boundaries on what should and shouldn’t be brought into a classroom.
There were three little creatures in the cage, each about a foot tall. She bent down to get a closer look. They were really quite ugly. Their heads were much too big for their bodies and they seemed to be covered in matted, dirty hair.
She lifted her head and grimaced at Teddy.
“Don’t look so grossed out,” he said, “it took me all summer to track these down.”
“What are they?” She asked, glancing back at the little things.
“Pogrebins,” he smiled proudly. Sometimes Teddy reminded Charlotte a lot of Hagrid. She stood straight up and the movement of straightening her back reminded her of the dull stinging that still bothered her.
“Will you take a look at my back?” She asked, “I think someone got me with a stinging hex.” The annoyed tone was back again.
She turned around and lifted her shirt. He got closer and ran his finger over the sore skin, “Ow!” Charlotte complained.
“Yeah that’s a stinger alright,” he said, “who did this to you?”
“I don’t know her name,” Charlotte sighed, “can you heal it?” He muttered the incantation at once.
“That will relieve the pain, but the swelling and the redness will have to go down on its own.”
“What’s going on?” Al’s voice sounded throughout the classroom. Charlotte just straightened up and turned to glare at him. He threw his hands up in the universal “I’m not guilty” way. Charlotte kept glaring.
“Erm,” Teddy cleared his throat, “someone hit Charlotte with a stinging hex. She doesn’t know who did it so I can’t really do anything about it…”
The rest of the class started filing in around Al meaning his response was cut off. He sat down and soon Talia sat right next to him. Charlotte stomped over, knowing she was being dramatic but not caring, and plopped down next to Talia.
“What’s wrong?” Al leaned over Talia to ask Charlotte. He looked confused and a little amused by her pouting.
“I don’t want to go out with you anymore,” she whispered back.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option.
“Make way for Hogwart’s hottest couple” James sang as he paraded Charlotte and Al down the corridor. He had been ecstatic when Al told them what he and Charlotte had had to do.
“James,” Al reprimanded him, “What the hell are you doing?” He shrugged out from under one of James’s arms and pulled him into an empty classroom. Charlotte, tucked under the other arm, was dragged along with him.
“We didn’t really want this getting out” Al snarled at his brother.
“Like that would happen, “James scoffed, “apparently rumors were already circling around in every house. Slytherins think that Charlotte’s blackmailing Al into it, Ravenclaws think that Charlotte’s in for the name, and the Hufflepuffs think you really are in love.”
“Imagine that,” Charlotte said in a dead voice, “the Slytherins are actually the closest.”
“Well it doesn’t matter,” Al said looking a little bit worriedly at Charlotte, “you can break up with me during breakfast and everything will go back to normal.”
Charlotte thought this was a decent plan.
“Oh no that wont be happening,” James said, his smile growing wider and wider.
“And why is that?” Charlotte asked, the dead voice was back.
“Well, for reasons that shall not be addressed in mixed company, you both owe me one.” James said, “I’m collecting. The two of you can’t break up until after Hogsmede. It’s only five days.”
“Why do you owe him one?” Charlotte asked Al curiously. He shuffled his feet and looked up at the ceiling. It was apparent that he wasn’t going to answer.
Finally he turned to her, “wait, why do you owe him one?”
Charlotte thought of her broken wrist and decided it wasn’t worth repeating the incident, “if you can have your secrets, I can have mine,” she sang.
“Right,” James cut in, “so it’s decided. Stay together until after Hogsmede and then feel free to have a nasty little break up. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must be going.”
James left without another word and the door swung shut behind him. Charlotte and Al looked at each other and shrugged. Neither of them could have expected what was to come.
Charlotte Present Day
Charlotte’s thoughts were interrupted by a crumpled up piece of paper hitting her in the arm and bouncing onto her desk. She opened it with suspicion and winced once she read the single word that was etched into the parchment—SLAG.
She crumpled the paper up and stuffed it into her bag. She looked around the classroom and was certain that Johnny’s best friend Anthony Hannagan looked particularly mischievous.
She didn’t know how much more of the ridicule and judgment she could take. Thankfully, the quidditch game was tomorrow and Hogsmede was the day after. In three days it would be over. She thought this whole experience would have been a lot different if she actually was in love with Al. Then it wouldn’t matter what other people thought because she would have him. She shook her head to clear away those weird thoughts.
“Did that note say what I think it said?” Talia asked.
“Creeping on my messages?”
“Always,” Talia responded, “but that’s not really the issue.”
“Yeah it bloody well did,” Charlotte admitted, “I’m pretty sure it was Anthony.”
“Let’s get him.” Talia said. Charlotte turned to her and saw that Talia was actually really angry despite her joking tone.
“He’s not worth it.”
For once in Charlotte’s life, Defense seemed to drag on and on. While the Pogrebins were certainly intriguing, she wasn’t interested in letting it follow her around until she became deeply depressed.
Thankfully, the day seemed to be going a little bit better for Charlotte. During their free period Charlotte was able to find an empty tree to sit under where nobody could bother her. She absentmindedly rubbed the sore spot on her back while she thought about the fact that her life had taken a complete nosedive.
In the last month or so alone she had lost her Granny, gotten sick again, made out with nine guys, gotten drunk countless times, broken curfew, and ditched class. All the rebellious acts had been done in hopes of making her Granny proud, so then why did she feel so damn empty?
Charlotte resolved that she just wasn’t doing a good enough job at following Granny’s advice.
A few minutes passed and she was surprised that she was quite upset despite the resolution. Angry thoughts polluted her mind. She was mad at Al, she was mad at those dumb girls, she was mad at Anthony, she was mad at James, and she was mad at Granny.
All of a sudden it was too much for her to handle. She stood up and clenched her hands in her hair. She wasn’t having a panic attack, she was furious.
Damn Al for being famous.
Damn those girls for making her back hurt.
Damn Anthony for calling her a slag.
Damn James for making her pretend to be with Al.
Damn Granny for dying.
In a moment of rage she pulled back her arm and punched the tree…twice. The resulting pain was almost a blessing to Charlotte. Her knuckles were scraped and bloody. She sank down and let a few tears escape. Eventually she leaned her head back on the tree and rested her eyes. She was always tired these days seeing as she rarely slept through the night.
When she woke up she was completely disoriented. She had slumped over in her sleep and, to her dismay; her face had wound up on the hard ground. She slowly lifted herself up and groaned. Sleeping funky like that had already done a number on her back and neck.
She looked around and was surprised to see that there was nobody else outside and that it was pretty dark out. Realizing that she must have slept through potions, she got up and made her way towards the great hall. She assumed it was already dinner time.
Thankfully, supper seemed to have just begun so there were crowds of people filing into the great hall. She just blended in amongst them so as not to be spotted and targeted again.
The only empty seat was by Al, so she just gritted her teeth and sat down. “Hey guys,” she said in what she hoped was a normal voice.
“Where were you in potions?” Talia demanded, “You ditched me! I had to do the whole entire potion on my own.”
“Sorry,” Charlotte said, “I feel asleep outside.”
“Yeah I can tell,” Al smiled at her, “You have grass in your hair.” He brushed her hair lightly with his hand and then held up a blade of grass to prove his point. She couldn’t help but smile with him. But then she remembered that she was mad at him and she turned away.
Al noticed and frowned. Liam tried to diffuse the tension, “So a dementor, a house elf, and a centaur walk into a bar… not the time?” He asked after everyone shot him a death glare.
“Oscar and I are going out on Sunday,” Rose broke the silence. Immediately everyone put on their smiles and said that that was great.
Charlotte took advantage of the distraction and filled up her plate. She was starving. About to take her first bite, Charlotte was interrupted when she was bumped into. Her fork went flying out of her hand.
She took a deep breath and turned around. Valerie Finnegan was standing right behind her. “I am so sorry,” she said in her stupid, nasally voice.
“Yeah I’m sure you are.” Charlotte said.
Valerie smirked at her and then reached across Charlotte to pat Al’s hand, “great job in potions today! Don’t you just love being the best in the class?”
Al moved his hand out from under hers, “yeah. It was, erm, really cool.”
“Well I’ll see you all later!” She said and then skipped off to the Slytherin table. She turned back and met eyes with Charlotte once she was there. Charlotte was surprised by the malice in them.
“That bitch,” Talia said conversationally. Al nodded; it was no secret that he couldn’t stand her. Charlotte picked up her fork and took a bite of her steak and kidney pie. Almost instantly her stomach turned.
She barely had enough time to turn around before she was puking her guts up all over the floor. A groan escaped from her lips.
“Charlotte?!” Al exclaimed. He immediately reached over and pulled her hair back. She felt her stomach churn and she threw up again.
She could almost feel the eyes of everyone in the dinning hall on her. She heard laughing and could imagine everyone pointing. Her face felt sweaty and her palms were really clammy.
She didn’t have time to focus on this though because she was already throwing up again. It was one of the worst feelings in the world.
As if she was at one side of a long tunnel and Al was at the other she heard him mutter the vanishing spell. It took a lot of effort, but she reached out and grabbed his hand. When he realized that she was trying to stand up, he jumped up and pulled her to a standing position.
She swayed and was sick all over the floor again. People around her were yelling in disgust and trying to move away from her. This time Talia vanished the vomit. Charlotte tried walking towards the door, but she was extremely weak and she thought the movement might make her puke again.
Once again, Al deciphered what Charlotte was trying to do and he helped her by gently picking her up. The rocking movement was making her want to throw up again, but she clamped her lips together and told herself to hold on until they were away from all the judgmental students.
The moment the door closed behind them, she twisted violently so she fell out of his arms and then threw up again. By now there was nothing else for her to throw up, so stomach acid just flowed from her mouth.
“Ack!” Charlotte spit to try and remove the acrid taste from her mouth.
“We have to get you to the hospital wing,” Al said after vanishing it, “can you walk?”
Charlotte nodded even though she felt like she was going to throw up again.
He helped her get to her feet and then they were making their way slowly to the hospital wing. Charlotte threw up twice more on the way. She felt too weak and sick to even wonder why this was happening to her.
“What in Dumbledore’s name happened to her?” Daisy Pomfrey cried out when Al halfway dragged Charlotte through the door. She immediately rushed over to Charlotte and laid her hand on her forehead, “you aren’t running a fever, why are you in such a state?”
Madame Pomfrey’s question was answered when Charlotte slumped over the side of Al’s arm and threw up more bile.
“What the hell is the matter with her?” Al asked the matron. Charlotte still hadn’t righted herself; she just stayed folded over Al’s arm. He picked her up again and put her in the closest bed.
“Did you eat something funny for lunch?” Madame Pomfrey asked Charlotte. Clearing her throat, Charlotte croaked out that she didn’t eat lunch. Her voice sounded so frail and so strained that Al cringed. He smoothed back her sweaty hair from her forehead. In front of his eyes her face turned green again and she turned away from him to puke into the silver basin that Daisy had just provided.
“Oh honey,” Daisy crooned, “try this, it might help.” She tipped the contents of a small vial down Charlotte’s throat. After making the effort to swallow, Charlotte waited for the relief that the potion should bring. Instead her stomach churned worse than ever and she dry heaved and gagged again. Madame Pomfrey’s eyebrows creased together, something that rarely happened.
“Shouldn’t that have done something?” Al demanded.
“Well, actually, yes.” Daisy looked confused, “I don’t know what could be causing this…” Charlotte’s stomach lurched again.
Exhausted, Charlotte leaned back on her pillows. The human body wasn’t designed to endure this much. She ached everywhere, her mouth was dry, her head was pounding, and her stomach still felt queasy. She didn’t feel good.
“She’s really pale,” Al said, putting his hand on her face. Charlotte could tell, even in her state, that he was very uncomfortable and worried.
“Yes, I don’t like her color much.” Daisy agreed, “But by all means that potion should have done the trick.”
“I don’t understand,” Al took his hand away from Charlotte’s face and started pacing the length of the room, “she hasn’t eaten anything since breakfast so what could have caused her to suddenly start vomiting out of nowhere?” He paused for a second, “that’s it!” Without another word he rushed out of the hospital wing.
“Where’s that boy off to?” Daisy muttered.
Charlotte started to respond, but she was cut off by the sudden wave of nausea and resulting sickness. She was so tired that rinsing her mouth out seemed to take too much out of her. She closed her eyes. It felt like little to no time had passed before Al was shaking her awake and trying to get her to eat something.
She shook her head and turned her head away.
“Eat this Charlotte it will help,” Al said earnestly, “I promise.” With great effort, she turned her head back to him and eyed the orange candy in his hand. Recognition dawned on her and she took the chew into her hand.
It was the second half of a Puking Pastille. After forcing herself to swallow the candy, Charlotte sighed in relief. Her stomach felt eons better. “Good thinking,” she rasped out to Al.
“I didn’t think it would actually work,” he admitted and laughed a little bit.
“Can I sleep in my own room?” Charlotte asked the matron.
“No honey, I’m sorry. All that throwing up will have made you extremely dehydrated. I wouldn’t be surprised if you passed out from getting up to use the restroom, let alone walking all the way back up to the Gryffindor tower.”
“Fine,” Charlotte was too exhausted to argue with Daisy, “Will you stay with me?” She murmured after letting her eyes droop closed.
“Nope I think I’ll go back to my room, hang out with the guys, and maybe play a little exploding snap.” She hit him lightly on the arm, “of course I’ll stay.”
She scooted over to one side as best as she could, “get in.”
With Al right next to her she was finally able to get comfortable. She pressed her face into his chest and fell right asleep.
For the first time in a long time she slept through the whole night.
Author’s Note: Wow. That chapter certainly took me a long time to upload! Sorry about that. I didn’t envision my life getting as hectic as it recently did. Good news is I’ve gotten back into this story. Time for some more questions: Who is your favorite character? Who is your least favorite character? Why does James want Charlotte and Al to pretend to be together? Feel free to let me know your thoughts in a review!
Time to go buffalo,