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The Sorrowful Life of Jade McAfee by Ashley Lovegood
Chapter 12 : We Wish You A Merry Christmas
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 1


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 Seeing James in the kitchens was not my idea of a good start to my morning.  The whole reason I had opted to eat breakfast in there was so I wouldn’t have to see him!

Because I knew what he would say.  Oh, Jade, last night was a drunken mistake, and we shouldn’t let it happen again.  Friends?

That’s why I decided to beat him to the punch, no matter how much it hurt.

At first, I was totally freaked out by what had happened.  He was my best friend! Obviously, he had only wanted to snog me because of the slightly whoreish costume that I was wearing.  He was drunk, and a guy, after all. No matter how much I wanted that kiss to mean for him all that it did for me, it didn’t.  And I’d have to accept that.

And accept how awkward things would be from here on out, because I was completely head-over-heels in love with James Sirius Potter.

 

To say that things were awkward would be a severe understatement.

James and I tried to act like everything was normal between us, but we hardly touched each other anymore, and never looked each other in the eye.  It was miserable.  I missed my best friend.  And it was my fault that I lost him.  I should have never kissed that perfect boy.

Much to my dismay, when Christmas holidays rolled around, my family went to the Burrow with the rest of the Potter/Weasley clan.  So I would be thrown together with James.  And cue, the most awkward Christmas in the history of the world.

When my parents and I arrived on the front steps of the Burrow on Christmas Eve, I knew that the next two weeks were going to be my own personal Hell.  Especially since my parents were leaving for Quidditch tours on Boxing Day, leaving me with the Potters until we headed back to Hogwarts.  It was the same things we did every year, but this year was different.

We stepped inside, and the house was already bustling with activity.  Dom, Fleur and Bill were sitting in the living room, talking to Percy and Audrey about their boring business at the Ministry, their daughters Molly and Lucy rolling their eyes nearby.  Teddy and Victoire were talking to Charlie, and Vic was rubbing her five-months-pregnant belly.  George and Angelina were slow dancing in the hallway to an old Celestina Warbeck song.  However, two parts of this family were running noticeably late: The Granger-Weasleys and the Potters.

But before I could contemplate this for too long, two distractions in the form of Roxanne and Fred Weasley ran up to me shrieking “Merry Christmas!” It was funny to see the two of them together.  No matter how much they would deny it, they really were very close.  Sure, they had the whole sibling rivalry thing going on, but they were best friends.

“Hey, guys,” I laughed, being pulled into their Molly Weasley-like bone-crushingly tight hug. “Merry Christmas!”

“Dylan should be here any minute,” Freddie said excitedly. One fraction of his three-part bromance was on his way! But as for the third part…

“Where are the Potters?” I couldn’t help myself from asking.

“Oh, they got here a while ago with Uncle Ron, Aunt Hermione, Hugo, and Rose,” Roxy said dismissively. “They’re outside; Uncle Ron, Uncle Harry, and Aunt Ginny are forcing them to play a game of family Quidditch.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at that.  Of course Ginny would make them play Quidditch, not to mention Harry and Ron.

“Of course…” I muttered.  This was really the family Christmas that I was accustomed to.  Both of my parents were only children, and both sets of my grandparents preferred to go on holiday around this time of the year rather than actually visiting with us.  I didn’t really mind, though.  My grandparents were painfully boring.  And hated Quidditch! How that was possible with pro Quidditch players for children, I had no idea.

Just then, I was spared from my thoughts when none other than the Finnigan family walked through the front door.

“Jade!” Seamus called, wrapping me in a hug.  He really was a nice man.  “How’ve you been, love?”

“I’ve been great!” I lied.  “How’ve you been?”

“Ahh, ya know, the usual. Work is work, food is good, and sex is better.”  That one earned him a slap on the shoulder from Cho, his wife, but she was laughing, so all was well.

“Jade, dear!” she said, wrapping me in a motherly hug.  She was really nice as well.  I just loved their family.

Dylan simply ruffled my hair and said, “Hey, Jaders,” causing me to roll my eyes.  He looked around for a second, and seemed to realize that an important member of our crew was missing. Well, important to him, as I hadn’t spoken to this member in months.  “Where’s James?”  Then he saw the look on my face, mumbled “Never mind,” and looked away awkwardly.

None of my friends knew what had happened with James and me.  I mean, they all wondered and asked, but neither of us told them anything.  We weren’t exactly angry with each other, or in a fight… We just didn’t speak.  And it sucked.  I missed my best friend.  Dylan and Piper didn’t even know what had happened, and they arranged the whole affair.  They were just too drunk to remember what had happened when the morning after Halloween came around.

Just then, a loud crashing noise shook me from my thoughts.

“RONALD BILIUS WEASLEY, STOP TORMENTING YOUR SISTER!” I heard Mrs. Weasley scream.  I turned around, and laughed out loud at the sight that met me.  Ron had bewitched his broom so it was bonking Ginny on the head repeatedly.  After a while, it seemed that Ginny’d had enough, so she whipped out her wand and shot a nasty Bat-Bogey hex at him.  She never did lose her touch, that one.

Cleaning himself off, Ron muttered, “Sorry, Mum.” Harry, Ginny, and Hermione looked on, trying to stifle their giggles.  It really was hilarious.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that if they were inside, then the kids would be headed in as well.  Kids meaning James.  I missed him so much.  I even bought him a Christmas present that year, although that was more out of habit than anything else.  But still, no matter what had happened between us, I knew that I would always love James Sirius Potter.  He was my best friend, even though he had sort of involuntarily hurt me.

When he walked inside the small house, his cousins and siblings flanking him, it hit me just how in love with that boy I was.  He turned his head,  laughing, allowing his unruly raven hair to be flopped around.  His freckles seemed to dance across his nose when he was happy, like he was on that day.  His brown eyes had a beautiful sparkle.  However, when he saw me, a shadow crossed his face.  His eyes ceased to sparkle.  His freckles ceased to dance.  I was forcibly reminded that James did not feel the same way about me, and I was pushed back into the tough reality of my situation.

Lily and Rose ran up to me, squealing.  I hugged the both of them close to me.  They really were like the sisters I never had.  Then it was Al’s turn, and I tackled him in a giant bear hug.  Hugo, I ruffled his hair and pulled him in for a little hug.  The parents all praised me, saying how tall I’d gotten, how fast I’m growing up, et cetera.  The only person left for me to greet was James.  I decided that since it was Christmas, I would try to put all of the hurt behind me.  I went up to him and smiled.  Just as I was about to wish him a happy Christmas, he stalked off to be with Freddie and Dylan, leaving me with the girls, shocked and upset.

People continued to pour into the tiny house.  Professor Longbottom and his wife, Luna came by.  They were both so sweet.  It was a little strange to see Longbottom at family functions, but he really was a sweet man.  The Jordan family also stopped by.  Seeing Chris was nice, that boy was always hilarious.  The Thomas family arrived, their triplets Betsy, Bernadette, and Bridgette running around like mad.  They really were adorable.  Soon enough, the little house was practically bursting.

I just relaxed and tried to enjoy myself, while pointedly ignoring the furtive glances that James was sending in my direction.

Mrs. Weasley made a delicious feast, as she always does.  When everyone had eaten, t was time to go to bed.  As per our tradition, the girls all stayed in one room, and the boys all stayed in another.  Even though Mrs. Weasley trusted us, she was still rather old-fashioned, and preferred to keep us separated.

When I was lying in the air bed on the floor of the bedroom, all I could think of was a gorgeous pair of brown eyes, and how I needed to get them out of my head.

Fucking James Potter.

 

I jolted awake to an excited Lily Potter bouncing on my bed.

“WAKE UP, BITCH!” she screamed at me. “WE HAVE PRESENTS!”

That made me jump out of bed right away.  Presents were the best!

The first thing I opened was the sweater that Mrs. Weasley knitted for me every year.  She really was adorable, like my surrogate grandmother.  This year, the sweater was  deep red, with embroidery of a Bludger and two Beaters’ bats.  I pulled it over my head, tied my hair in a messy top-knot, and continued.

I got some perfume from Ginny and Harry, clothes from Mum and Dad, some WWW merchandise from George and Angelina, a book about the history of Quidditch from Ron and Hermione, an adorable beret from Bill and Fleur, and some boring book about the Ministry from Percy and Audrey.  All of the parents’ gifts were sweet, but now it was time to move on to the fun part: the kids’ presents.

Nikki sent me some gorgeous stationary, and when I investigated it closer, I realized that it was bewitched so the designs moved and changed.  Piper gave me a locket with a picture of me, Nikki, and herself, with the inscription Love you, Jaders! Merry Christmas! Freddie got me (surprise, surprise), more Wheezes merch.  Dylan gave me quite the collection of Honeydukes products.  From Lily, I got a pack of Bertie Botts and a bracelet.  Rosie and Roxy went in together to buy me the new handbag that I had been eyeing in Hogsmeade for months.  Al gave me a copy of Hogwarts, a History, which made me chuckle, because just a few weeks before, we were talking about Hermione’s sick obsession with that book. Dom gave me some clothes, which were always welcome coming from her, she had great style.  Vic and Teddy gave me some chocolate frogs and a gift voucher for a spa in Diagon Alley.  Audrey and Lucy got me a huge box of Honeydukes sweets together. Strangely enough, however, they all had the same note. Talk to James.

However, James was still ignoring me.  I had his present, an expensive wristwatch with a Quidditch setting, so he could measure how fast he was flying at any given time, as well as keep track of how many goals had been scored, saved, dropped, et cetera.  There was even a setting to see how long it took the Snitch to be caught, and how many Bludgers the Beaters hit in a given game.  It had everything, and I really thought that he would like it.  I decided just to give it to him when I saw him. He was still my best friend, after all.

Then, I saw something else on my bed, distracting me from my thoughts.  It was a note.

Jade-

Meet me in our place so I can give you your gift.  Meet at nine?

The note made me smile. It didn’t need a signature for me to know who it was from, and the sender knew that.  James hadn’t forgotten about me, after all.

I turned and looked at the clock, jolting when I realized the time.  It was already five to nine!  I jumped up, brushed my teeth quickly, grabbed James’s gift, and headed out to our meeting place, not even taking notice of the monstrosity that I was wearing.

Our place was beautiful.  It was a hidden pond at the Burrow that James and I had discovered when we were ten years old.  No one else knew about, we never told anyone that we had found it.  James and I happened upon it one hot summer day, when we were playing one-on-one Quidditch.  He was beating me into a pulp, of course.  I have never claimed to be a Chaser! Anyway, after one particularly forceful goal on James’s side, the Quaffle soared into the trees.  He went into the little grove to retrieve it, and was absolutely amazed by what he had found.  Our own pond.  The sparkling waterfall pounded into the still pond, the grass around the water a lush, beautiful green color.  We decided right then and there, that this would be Our Place.

When I arrived, James was already there waiting for me.  He smiled tentatively, and I smiled back.

“Merry Christmas, Jade,” he said, looking straight into my eyes.  I felt my knees grow weak for a second, so I discreetly grabbed a tree branch to steady myself.

“Merry Christmas, James,” I breathed.  He walked toward me, and I soon became acutely aware of how close we were.  If I just leaned in a little bit-

No.  He was my best mate.

But I was hopelessly in love with him.

Needing a distraction, I shoved his present at him.  He gave me a bit of an apprehensive look, and then proceeded to open the gift.  When he saw it, his eyes grew wide with joy and surprise.

“It’s-“

“Just the one you wanted, I know,” I said, giving him a little wink.  He hugged me close, and I breathed in his distinct scent.  I loved it.  I loved him.

“Thanks, Jaders.” Hearing him use my nickname made me smile.  “Your turn!” he shouted after a few moments of comfortable silence.  He held up a shoddily wrapped gift toward me.

 “You always were a shitty wrapper, huh?” I laughed, grabbing the present from him.

Almost a against his will, he let out a little chuckle. “Yeah, well, Potter men don’t wrap presents.  Now just open it already.”

With one last snicker, I did as I was told.

When it was opened, my breath was stolen from me.  It was a photo album, filled with memories from all of our lives.  On the cover page, it was entitled Jade and James 2014-Forever.

I flipped through the pages.  There were pictures of us in nappies, toddling around and giggling at the camera.  Pictures of us at Hogwarts, alone and with the rest of the gang.  Pictures of us at Our Place, and other spots at the Burrow.  However, through all of these photos, one tiny picture in the corner of a page caught my eye.  It was a picture of us kissing.  The only kiss that we had ever shared.

I looked up at him, my eyes full of tears and whispered, “Thank you.”  I had never meant those words so much before in my life. 

My love for James swelled inside of me, and I couldn’t handle it anymore.  So I kissed him.  Right then and there, in the middle of Our Place, snow falling in flurries all around us. And he kissed me back, placing his hands at my waist.  It was even better than the first time.  It was perfect.

We were perfect.

After what could have been several years, James and I broke apart and stared at each other.  But instead of the shock and appall that I expected to see in his eyes, I saw pure joy.  And that made me very happy

“Jade,” he breathed.  “I think that I have fallen madly in love with you.”

I stared at him, shocked for a moment.  Then, a giant grin spread across my face, threatening to split it in half.

“I love you too, James.”

With that, he grabbed me, kissing me harder than I had ever been kissed before.  He cast a warming charm on the snow, and we fell down into it, me unbuttoning his shirt, and him pulling my jumper over my head.  It was there, in Our Place, where our two bodies and souls became one.

Authors Note

Disclaimer: None of this is mine.

WHOOOO! More Jade/James action in this chapter! I personally love this one, it’s probably my favorite in the whole story so far. And sorry about that last little part, if it was awkward at  all.  I’ve never really written a scene like that before.  So, what lies ahead for Jade and James? What about Nikki and Freddie?  Please keep reviewing!


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