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Chapter 3 : Forgetting James Potter
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You know those times when you are not sure what you are supposed to do? Do you run? Do you laugh? Do you cry? Do you crack a joke? Me, I always pick the ladder. I have an awkward habit of making a joke in a horrible situation. I have always been situationally awkward. Yet there are some moments when you’re at a loss for words. There’s some times when not even a simple ‘Bollucks’ will be sufficient. There are some bombs that are dropped that not even I can come up with sufficient words to fit the situation.
That’s why I stood in front of James, mouth agape and nothing coming out. I wasn’t even quite sure I was breathing to be honest. I was frozen to my spot on the couch. James was staring at me, waiting patiently (which wasn’t a strong suit for him) for my reaction. I didn’t know how to react. Maybe if I stayed still enough, he would think he had put me into a shock and he would leave and never come back. Maybe I didn’t have to have a reaction at all.
But I did. Horrible as it was, I had put myself in this situation. If it wasn’t for me and my heavy drinking and scandalous (yeah, me scandalous, good joke) ways, James wouldn’t have ever spoke to me again after the reunion. But no, I had to push it. I had to take him back to my loft. I had to snog him silly. I had to shag him. Bloody hell, I had really made a mess here. Bigger than the mess I had made blowing up my cauldron during OWLs. This couldn’t match anything I’ve ever blown up (and believe me, I’ve blown up a lot).
Let’s recap, shall we?
James Potter had just proclaimed his love for me while we were sitting on my filthy, disgusting excuse for a sofa. Normally women all around the globe would be ecstatic to hear this from him. Merlin, I should be excited to hear this from him. We had dated for countless years. We were the ones that people had voted ‘cutest couple’. We were the ones who were supposed to have a happily ever after. Yet James was married to someone that was very much not me. She was gorgeous and well put together and very aristocratic. Not to mention she was blonde. I had to dye my hair to get it to look like hers and even then it wasn’t close enough.
“This can’t be happening.” I mumbled. James took that as his queue to jump in with all of his explanations that he had mulled over.
“I know, it’s ridiculous. It’s absurd even. I’m married! It doesn’t even make sense to me…” He dragged a hand through his hair out of habit. I bit down on my lower lip, starting the incessant chewing that was the hardest of all habits to break.
James Potter was probably harder of a habit to break, honestly.
“You cant…” I suddenly felt very frustrated as I picked up a newspaper and smacked him good and hard in the arm with it. He looked taken back as I continuously unleashed my built up anger on his arm with the paper. He yelled in protest, but I didn’t relent.
“You’re-a-PRICK!” I shouted between smacks.
“Vi! Ouch-knock it-OI!—Knock it off!” He ripped the paper from my hands and smacked me lightly on the head with it. I wanted to leap at him and steal it back, but my mind immediately wandered to a very sensual scene of us tussling around…then snogging…then doing more than snogging.
Oh you get the picture.
“I deserve an explanation…and not just ‘it sort of happened’, that’s a load of bollucks. I expect a full blown explanation, James Sirius Potter!” I took my ‘I mean business’ tone with him. He sighed, but knew that I really did mean business.
See, that’s why you have to have one of those tones.
“Okay…but you have to listen to the full story. No interrupting.” He gave me a stern look. How could I not interrupt? What if I had questions?
“No buts. You listen.” He demanded. And like that, my lips were sealed. He sighed, leaning back on my sofa and staring at the ceiling as I could see the little cogs in his mind begin to rewind.
“It all happened right after…well, you know.” James gave me a quick glance. I looked down at my hands. Right after I turned down his proposal. “I went drinking a lot. I mean a lot. I would wake up in strange places…well, anyways…Veronica was a barmaid at the Leaky Cauldron. Honestly, she took very good care of me. Let me stay in the spare bedroom above the bar a fair amount of times. Then one night I woke up and she was next to me…naked.”
I immediately cringed. I didn’t want to imagine James sleeping with anyone. Though, I can’t talk. We had just shagged not too long ago. Three days, twenty hours and fourty-two minutes since he had walked out of my flat after shagging….but again, who’s counting?
“I didn’t know how to react. I tried to do the polite let down, but I apparently the night before I kept…I kept calling her Vi and saying…saying how much I needed her…” He gave me an extremely guilty look. “I offered to take her out to coffee. She seemed like a nice enough girl, but I didn’t contact her after that...”
“Then how did you two-?” I began to ask, but he raised his eyebrows at me, which immediately shut me up.
“A month later I was in training and my agent told me that some girl named Veronica needed to speak with me and that it was urgent. Having no idea who it was, I told her to kick her out. She then proceeded to come storming in and…well…she sort of announced to the whole team that she was pregnant with my child.” I stayed silent when he paused to look at me. He was waiting for my reaction. I took the immediate opening.
“You have a kid?!” I screeched. I felt more disgusted than I had before he showed up. I had not only slept with a husband, I had slept with a father. Nothing could get worse.
“No, no! Just let me tell you!” James protested.
“Well, quit pausing and giving me openings to say things!” I said back, letting my heart rate calm back down slightly.
“Right, I’m going to say everything in one breath, huh? Is that what you propose?” James asked me. I sighed, rolling my eyes.
“Fine. Well, she moved into my flat after that. Couldn’t have that horrible of an image that I can’t even father my own child. We got….close. She made me forget about you a bit. Only for a little while. Then one day while I was at practice I got a phone call that she was in the hospital. She had lost the baby.” James looked down into his hands. I didn’t know how to comfort him. I patted his knee awkwardly. He sighed at the memory, but continued. “She was depressed. Wouldn’t get out of bed, wouldn’t go anywhere, and wouldn’t eat anything. It was a horrible experience for her. My family would come and check on her so often whenever I wasn’t a round, but we really couldn’t do much more for her.
“I really couldn’t have her there anymore. She was a memory of what had happened. There wasn’t strong feelings. The only thing connecting us was that baby and after it was gone…well, it was like I was back to my old sad self too. I came home from practice about a month or so after the incident and she was crying on the floor next to my dresser. I ran over to her, except they weren’t sad tears anymore…they were happy ones. She was holding my grandmother’s ring…the one I had proposed to you with. I had forgotten I put it in my dresser drawer.”
I remembered it. The beautiful, large diamond centered by other small diamonds all in a large circle. I thick silver band embedded with more diamonds held everything together. It was breathtaking. It used to be his father’s mother’s ring. Then his mothers. Then they gave it to the oldest child: James. It wasn’t meant for Veronica. It was meant for me.
“This bloody healer stuff does not get any easier as time goes on, let me tell you!” I sighed in frustration, slamming my fists down into a book. There were countless books and notes laying all around me as I tried to cram for the med final. I was so close I could taste it. I just needed to get through this last test and I was home free.
“Let me take you out to dinner. Get your mind off of all of this.” James cooed in my ear.
“Tempting, but I need to study. I need to pass.” I told him, nudging him away from where he was trying to nibble on my neck. He sighed, jumping over the couch and onto the notes that I had next to me. I sighed, giving him a dirty look, but continued studying.
“How about a walk? Short and to the point, yeah?” He tried again. I rolled my eyes.
“James, I can’t. You know how important this is to me.” I told him, burying my nose back in the book.
“You know how important you are to me, right?” James asked. I glanced at him out of the corner of my eye.
“Yeah. Where are you going with this?” I asked him. He took the book out of my hands and set it behind him. I groaned and went to grab it but he stopped me.
“Come on James, if I don’t pass I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself!” I growled in frustration. He smiled, grabbing my arms. Probably because I was just about to strangle him. I was pretty close at this point.
“I can tell you one thing you can do, pass or fail.” He drawled. I rolled my eyes. I hated James’s little games he liked to play.
“And what’s that?” I asked, sitting back and crossing my arms. He held up one finger, digging deep into the shorts he was wearing. He came out with a small black box. I blinked a few times, not quite believing what I was seeing.
“Well, you can marry me, for starters,” He said, popping the small box open and revealing his Grandmother’s shining engagement ring.
I quickly pushed the memory from my mind. I didn’t want to think about it. I needed to focus on right now. I don’t admit I’m wrong very often, but that was one of the situations I was wrong in. Yeah, I know, me wrong? How in the world could that happen? Add stress, a healing final, and James Potter asking me to marry him. Then afterwards, when I could have fixed it, when I could have apologized, my pride took over and by then it was too late.
“She had been in such a dark place and I just couldn’t bring her back to it. I was going to wait to tell her the truth….then suddenly she was telling everyone and announcing it to the world that we were engaged…” James ran a hand through his hair at the memory. I watched him carefully. “My parents were so proud of me…everyone was. It wasn’t like it mattered anymore, you were gone. She made me forget. It seemed sort of logical after I convinced myself about it. So we got married. I really did convince myrself that I loved her, but then when I saw you at the reunion, it all hit me again. There was nothing stronger than the passion we had for one another. In a round about way, yeah, I do love Veronica, but it is not the same love I hold for you.”
In a messed up way, what he was saying made sense. I didn’t have to like it to know what he meant. I remembered what it was like after the break up. The denial. The pain. The emptiness. It was sort of like I had nothing to live for at that point. My whole world had come crashing down on me when it had happened. Yet I still felt bad. Knowing why James had married Veronica didn’t justify what he did by any means. It didn’t make any of it all right.
“Have you cheated on her before?” I asked him. A part of me knew his answer before he even said it, but I needed to know he hadn’t turned in to some scum for a man.
“Of course not. You’re the first.” James whispered. I sighed in relief, but a part of me still felt a pang at his words. I was a homewrecker. I was the woman that could break up their marriage. I would be plastered all over newspapers and gossip magazines as the person who ruined the ‘marriage of a lifetime’ (Witch Weekly’s words, not mine).
“It can’t happen again.” I mumbled. “Maybe it’s best if we don’t communicate, if we don’t see each other. We should go back to how it was...how it was before.”
“What? No. It won’t happen again, but Vi…I can’t have you out of my life. I just got you back.” James stared at me, his eyes pleading, but I looked down. I knew, just like he did, that we wouldn’t be able to control ourselves.
“That isn’t going to happen. It’s not right. It’s not fair to Veronica.” I told him. I felt a lump in my throat. After all this time of wondering the ‘what if’s, there would be no more.
At least now we knew.
“You’re right.” James nodded, getting up from the couch. “I should probably go. She’s going to wonder where I was.”
I followed, getting up and walking behind him as we made our way to the door. It felt so final. It felt like this was really it for James and me. I felt tears spring to the back of my eyes but I immediately blinked them away. No way in hell would James Potter see me cry over him. I’d do it when he was gone and I didn’t have to open the door to my brother. James opened the door himself. Good. I don’t think I would have been able to do it.
He turned back and looked at me. He had a very pained expression on his face. He wasn’t sure what to do. Neither was I. Do I hug him? Do I kiss his cheek? Do I shake his hand? Nothing seemed quite appropriate. It was like ending a relationship I’ve had forever in one single swoop. He grabbed my hands within both of his and brought them up to his lips. A small smile peeked its way onto my cheeks. James Sirius Potter. Always the charmer.
“You deserve the best, Vi. Don’t settle for less.” James said damn near silently, yet I heard it. I felt the tears well up in my eyes and he turned to leave and with a loud POP he was gone.
I felt like wallowing in self pity. How pathetic can one person be in a lifetime? Did I use up all my good luck back in school? I think I did. I think all of this was reality coming to yell at me and say “Hey, you had a pretty good life before you messed it all up. Now I’m coming to bite you in the arse.” Not to mention I had a killer hang over from feeling sorry for myself last night and going through two large bottles of wine.
I felt like I should be wearing sunglasses and pretending to be a vampire. Trust me; a lot of the bimbos that come in to St. Mungo’s would believe that I was really one. Maybe that would turn them away. Nevertheless, there was always a steady to heavy flow of people who thought they were ill, or the dumb ones who blew something up and in turn blew a part of themselves off. Pam was taking her hour and a half long break (which was a hour too long) per usual. Right around rush hour.
“But I’m really sick!” A teen girl said to me, holding her stomach and pretending to double over. I had seen it numerous times. The faking illnesses to either get free potions or to see Dream Boat Bennett. Either way, I was never fooled by them.
“I’ll let you in on a little secret here, okay? Stomach pains don’t get you the kind of potions you’re looking for. You’d get a potion to make you less constipated and that is about it. Also, Healer Bennett is not on the emergency floor. Healer Goolstouf, the one with the really big mustache and cold hands, would be your healer.” I told her. She immediately straightened up and walked away from me, eyes narrowed. “That’s what I thought. Next!”
“Hi.” A woman with a rather large, pregnant belly said, a grimace set on her face as she held it. “I think I’m in labor.”
I immediately stood up, rushing around my desk and putting her into a wheel chair. I pushed the buzzer on the wall, signaling for a Med Nurse to come and get her. She smiled gratefully at me. There was just something about a pregnant woman that you couldn’t be mad at. You could easily ignore your bad attitude towards people who were in line before them and be able to smile right at their belly. They were bringing life into this world. I glanced around and noticed she was by herself.
“Do you need me to call someone? Husband? Boyfriend? Or…err.. someone?” I tried for her. She smiled at me.
“No thank you, my husband is on his way. He was at Quidditch practice.” She explained.
And then suddenly I could see Veronica sitting in her spot, holding her stomach and giving me the same innocent, sweet smile. She was telling me that James was on his way to be with her for the birth of their child. Something they had both created together. A little of her and a little of him all splashed into one. I felt sick. The med nurse came and grabbed her, but it didn’t get rid of the feeling. I wanted to throw up. I wanted to pass out.
Something to get rid of this huge, horrible feeling in my stomach.
“Excuse me? My son needs to be seen!” A large woman said behind me. I turned and was greeted with a small toddler with an elephant’s trunk coming from his arm.
“Fantastic.” I mumbled, returning to my chair. Well, I suppose you get what you ask for.
Two hours later I went on my own break, going down to the small staff lunch room in the basement. It would probably be a good idea to pick up smoking at the rate my job was going. They pile so much on the receptionist that you think they’d pay us a little bit better. The break room was empty and for that I was grateful. I didn’t need to hear the nurses silently cursing the healers or the house keepers mumbling about how dirty everyone was here. Just some nice good old silence to my self.
I unwrapped my tuna sandwich and did not even get to take a bite before the door swung open and two interns came waltzing through the door, giggling loudly to one another. They flopped down at the table opposite me, both still holding med charts with a smoothie in their other hands. I recognized one from the other day, Healer Bennett’s intern. She glanced at me and her nose immediately went in the air. Interns always thought they were superior to anyone that was near them. I probably would be the same way if I had become one.
“And then Keith—he told me to call him that—told me that I had real potential! Do you believe that?!” The girl giggled to her friend. I rolled my eyes. She probably couldn’t even read what the chart in front of her said.
“You’re so lucky to have Healer Bennett!” her friend squealed, flipping her strawberry blonde girls out of her eyes.
“Some of us are just privileged.” The girl said, batting her freakishly long eyelashes. I snorted into my sandwich. This girl was a real treat. “Did you have something to say, receptionist?”
I looked up from my sandwich to see them both staring at me, lips pursed and eyebrows almost gone with how high up they had them raised. I glanced around the room to see if anyone else was here. Nope. Just us. Great. I was outnumbered. I sighed, setting my sandwich down and dusting the crumbs off of my hands before I was ready to fully stand my ground.
“You aren’t allowed to bring charts in here. Against hospital rules.” I told her curtly. She let out a high pitched laugh.
“You think I have to follow those stupid rules? They’re in place for people like you.” She hissed.
“People like me?” I asked her.
“The help.” She explained. I wanted to laugh in her face. I wanted to pour my tea on her face and watch the makeup wash right off. I wanted to strangle her, honestly.
But that was when I glanced down at her chart and saw her notes all over it. Some things were crossed off, some things had large question marks next to them and some looked like she had run out of space. I quirked an eyebrow at her and then nodded towards the chart. She glanced down at it, flushed, then covered it with her arms immediately embarrassed about her inability to figure out what was wrong with her patient.
“I’ll tell you what. If you can tell me exactly what is wrong with that patient in your file, then I will back off. Hell, I will bring you lunch every day….but if you can’t, then you shut your bloody mouth and you do not come near me again.” I growled at her. She blinked a few times, took my challenge with a grimace.
“Fine! He’s got… uhm…” she began to flip through her notes. I could see her fingers shaking slightly. She flipped to the last page and her eyes lit up. “He’s got some sort of… dragon pox mutation!”
Her friend looked so proud of her. I rolled my eyes, getting up and sitting in front of the pair of them. I took the chart from her and immediately began to scan what was already blatantly obvious about said patient. Purple pustules, heavy sweating, fatigue….I glanced up from the chart at their both smirking faces and shook my head at the pair. How stupid could they honestly be? How could they have passed med school?
“Dragon pox? Really? Let me explain to you why you should just walk out of his hospital immediately and never come back. One, he is purple, not green. Two, he does not have a fever. Three, he doesn’t have dragon pox. Not even close.” I explained to her. They both let their jaw drop at me. ;
“What do you suggest it is then, Red?” the girl hissed, narrowing her eyes like I wasn’t going to get it.
“It’s spattergroit, you twit!” I yelled at her. Before I had a chance to gloat in her face or register the shocked expressions on their faces, I heard a very loud, obnoxious cough from behind me.
Turning slowly, I saw Healer Bennett standing behind me, his eyebrows raised and staring straight down at the three of us. He held no expression on his face. He didn’t look upset….but he didn’t look happy with the situation. Charts weren’t allowed in the break room. They weren’t even allowed off their designated wing. He knew I knew that. He also knew that I was not a Healer and was not to diagnose anything.
Hopefully he also learned that his intern was really a twit.
“Price, a word?” He asked me, grabbing the chart and walking swiftly out of the room, without an answer from me.
Great. Twits always seem to get me in trouble.
Author's Note: So, you like, you don't like? My theory is: if you read it, write a review. Even if it is to tell me I suck at life and should stop writing because I absolutely have no talent. If you're reading this, REVIEW IT. Just saying. Anyways, don't think this is the end of James/Vi. This is only the beginning, loves.
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