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Stakes, Tree Bark and Chocolate by ReeBee
Chapter 1 : His Eyes, Expression and Emotion
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 4


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**
For my readers continuing from Summer Storms. This fic also has drama as a genre. It is very dramatic. Even though this is totally not my best work, to be truthful, it's quite abrupt. But it is how I truly imagine the next step In Chelsea and James' relationship.
**


I sat down sighing and sprawled out on my bed. This wasn't working. Everything was wrong! I didn't want for it to be perfect, I just wanted some time alone with him. But alas, I guess that was too much to ask. And yes, I did just say, 'alas'. 

"Seen him lately?" My best mate, Ella asked. I gave her a look, accompanied with an eye roll.

"I guess not then." 

"I don't know what's up with him. One minute, he's following me around like a lost puppy and the next, he's completely forgotten about my existence!"

"A tad dramatic there, Chelsea Bell, even for you!" She added a wink to accompany the thought and lied down next to me, pulling the covers over both of us.

"I just don't know Ells," I said, turning on to my side, "when we got together, I just thought it was going to be perfect."

"And it was! You couldn't stop smiling for the first two months! And it was blatantly obvious James was crazy about you from the number of glances he kept stealing... Sometimes, things change, especially feelings and you can't do anything about that."

"No, you don't understand, nothing's changed. Every time I see him, it's like a fire lights up in me, I know it's cliche, but I blush every time he walks into the room! And when we kiss, I can hear his heart racing, he likes me too, Ells."

"Then what's changed, Chelsea? Maybe you're just imagining things?"

"No. It's not that it's almost like he knows I'm going to be here, no matter what. He's chosen quidditch and his bloody team over me."

"Well, it's his last year, you know his obsession, heck, I swear it's one of the reasons you're crazy about him. But, how long haven't you seen him for?"

"Two weeks, and that too, it was just about fifteen minutes before he had to rush off to a detention."

"The gap's too long, and the meeting's too short. Quidditch's no excuse. No matter how endearing you think his quidditch obsession is, it's not good. At all. He could have at least caught up with you at dinner, but he didn't even do that. Chels, you need to do something."

"I know, Ella. Just give me some time. I don't really know what to do right now, I just need some time to think it all through, before I do something I'll regret. Not to mention, the huge pile of charms homework on my table."

"No joke is going to cover this up, Chels."

"I know! Ella, I know. Like I said, I just need some time."

Sighing, Ella got out of my bed and pulled the covers up to my neck. "Get some sleep." She said, before walking to her own bed, picking up her own homework and walking out the door.

She was right, the first few weeks after I started dating the Gryffindor Quidditch Captain were perfect.


~

I was sitting at the Ravenclaw table for breakfast. It was a week after James Potter and I started dating. I was making a to-do list as I went. I had so much homework, I still remember, after all this time's passed. I had a charms essay, a potions essay, I also had to perfect three non-verbal spells in charms, a transfiguration essay and the latest spell we learnt in transfig. All of these were due in the next few days and I hadn't started.

I was mentally planning when to do what, when a hand slipped around my waist, another rested on my shoulder and a face appeared next to mine, leaning over my other shoulder. Knowing who it was, I eased James off me and spun around on my seat to face him.

"What a surprise, James. In other words, what do you want?" I asked him, raising an eyebrow.

"Do I always need a reason to see my beautiful girlfriend?" He said, and like every other cliched girl, I felt like kissing the arrogant smirk off his face.

"Haha, seriously, what the hell do you want? I mean-" I was cut off by a pair of soft lips on mine.

"I seriously just wanted to see you. I missed you." He said and the serious expression in his eyes caught me off guard. It was as if what he was saying was super simple. 


~

I sighed and turned around to get myself into a more comfortable position. This romantic stuff lasted the end of sixth year and a couple of months of this year, our last year. The holidays in between were filled with overly romantic, detailed letters. Over all, we've been in a relationship for seven months, including the holidays, but the last two were filled with this distance.


~

We had been dating for six months. I also hadn't seen James for the second week of the sixth month. I know, only a week, but I felt empty. I missed the teasing and, not to mention, the snogging.

Ella and I passed him once in the hallways, on my way to class. He had been deep in conversation with Fred Weasley, furrowed eyebrows and everything. And then he looked right at me, but it was like he was seeing right through me, like I wasn't there. I couldn't see what he was thinking either, his eyes were as clear as mud. Therefore, unreadable.

I smiled at him, careful not to show teeth (because that would look desperate). But, I still received the same zombie expression. I passed him but still nothing.

Letting out a sigh, Ella turned around and did what I wanted to do.

"Oi! Romeo! Want to say something?" Ella yelled, thank god there was no one else in the hall. James and Fred turned around abruptly.

"Chels! Where did you come from?" He went to kiss me but I turned my face sideways so that his lips met my cheek.

"I came from the place that you are currently going to. Actually I just passed you."

"Oh, sorry, love. I was just discussing quidditch, you know, the match with Hufflepuff is coming up."

"And let me guess, you just HAVE to win this match, right? Because it's your last year and you just MUST win every freaking match."

"You go girl!" I heard Ella mutter under her breath.

"Come on, Chels, don't be like that."

"Then what do want to me to do, James? Let quidditch take over your life? It's unhealthy!"

"Whatever quidditch is, I'm pretty sure that this isn't about it." His temper flaring. James always used to tell me that when I was angry, it was like glass piercing him. I always usefully tease him about his way with words, how poetic he was. But, no matter how hard I tried, I could never picture because I've never felt it. I suddenly knew what he meant, his words had the same effect as stakes to a vampire's heart.

"What the hell are you talking about? Just come out with it! I don't need your crappy poetics right now, James!" The stakes from his eyes dug deeper as his glare intensified.

"I'm pretty sure you know, Chels. You may be stubborn and oblivious, but you are a Ravenclaw. You know, I'd never pictured you as the clingy, jealous type." Even though he'd stopped yelling, somehow, I felt the stakes rip out of my body and go right back in again. The use of the nickname gave an extra cold edge to the statement. He was mocking me.

"Funny, 'cause, I've always pictured you as the substitute-quidditch-as-girlfriend type." I matched his cold tones and felt Ella's hand on my arm.

"Eugh! All you girls! Everything has to be about you, all of the fucking time!" He spat.

"You sexist pig," I pushed my wand against his chest, "just because your pulling out the big boy words, it doesn't make you any cooler, Potter."

He matched my actions and the size of stakes suddenly multiplied by ten. Not to mention the tension in the air. Fred, who was watching on with wide eyes and a slack jaw, grabbed James' arms and tried to pull him back.

"Leave him, Weasley, I can take him." I sneered and Ells matched Fred's actions with me.

"Don't you dare talk to him like that!" James spat and, if looks could kill, I would be dead, buried and already decomposed.

"Whatever, you aren't worth it anyway." I pulled back my wand and walked away abuptly, tears already pooling in my eyes. I didn't let one of them drop.

I could feel the stakes still focused on my back.

"Maybe, we're wrong, mate. Don't let her go because of a bloody argument." I heard Fred say.

"She won't go. I'll figure it out later." I looked back to meet his defeated glare. Even though I knew it wouldn't happen, I wanted him to say something, to come after me, like in all those romance books I read. But, it was another disappointment. Fred looked worried and I dejectedly let Ella pull me around the corner.

We didn't make up and talk it out. James found me a couple of days later during breakfast.

He came and stood behind me. I knew he was there, after all, why else would Ella shut up so abruptly?

"Ready to go?" He'd said smoothly, as if nothing had happened. I snapped my head to him, glaring. But I could feel my glare soften as I saw the nervous look in his eyes.

"Where?"

"Chels, I made a mistake, come on," he lightly tugged my arm, "let's go to Charms."

"I was going to walk with Ella."

"Past tense, I see."

"You gutless idiot, not one apology. Whatever, come on then! "

And that was that. No apology from either side, no anything. But everything went back to normal, even though Ells still remained doubtful, I knew James and I forgot about the whole matter.


~

That was that. After that, James always made sure to always see me at least once in three days. Until now, that is. Ells was right, I needed my sleep, that is, if I was going to complete those essays in the morning.

I never really thought that I would ever see 4:30 am, willingly, that is. But I guess there was an advantage to being up at this ungodly hour; there was literally no competition for the bathroom. I glanced at the five other beds around me. Particularly noticing Ells sleeping so...gracefully. One arm and one leg draped over the side of the bed and a small...um....stream of drool leaked onto the pillow. She also had a very attractive bed head.

After taking a shower and taking a photo of Ella, I made my way down stairs at around 6 am. After finishing my essays, around 7 am, I decided to escape the morning crowd and go to breakfast early.

I was just nearing the Great Hall, when I saw a crowd of red approaching at the corners of my eyes. The red clad Gryffindor Quidditch Team were walking towards the Entrance Hall. My spirits lifted almost immediately. Today was such a good day, I had even satisfactorily finished both essays. I couldn't just wait around for him to come talk to me after two weeks, if I had to make the first move, I would.

"James!" I exclaimed.

He turned around with an irritable expression, that didn't soften when he met my gaze. "Can we talk later, Chels? Team needs more work." I couldn't help but notice the sour expressions of the other team members. But of course, nothing could ruin my good mood, in other words, I was a complete idiot.

"Aw, come on Jamsie! I haven't talked to you in weeks! I just want to say hi!" I said, and went to kiss him, but he backed away, running into Fred in the process. Fred looked scared. While, the irritation on James' face reached a maximum.

"Well, you've said it. Now, I have stuff to do."

"As always." I muttered, mistake number two.

"What the hell do you mean? Do I have to obsess over you all the time?"

"No...all I'm asking you to do is pay a bit more attention to me."

"What? Princess Chelsea has to have someone follow her around all the time?"

"God, here come the sexist comments again, someone's irritable today. Damn it! There goes my good mood. You know, James, I don't want to do this right now, maybe I can try to salvage the remnants of my good mood. Let's argue this out somewhere and sometime else." I said, casting a wary look at the rest of the team.

"No. I'm sick of this. You always acting as if I'm always to blame. Of course, Miss Perfect Ravenclaw would never be in the wrong."

"James I told you, I don't want to do this." I turned and tried to walk away. But a hand tightly clamped around my wrist and turned me around. I couldn't help but notice that after I turned around, his grip loosened, as if he didn't want to hurt me. But, the stakes were still present, as strong as ever.

"Who the hell are you to say when to quit talking? We should take equal responsibility in a relationship, stop trying to take over my life."

Okay, he was pushing me too much.

"What the bloody hell James?! I was just talking! What is up with the sudden yelling?! Just because you think your masculinity is in question, just because you sodding think that I'm starting to wear the pants in the relationship, stop freaking arguing! I do not need the short end of your temper!"

"You bloody control freak!" Okay, that hurt like hell. He'd never gone that far and even before it came, I knew the outcome of this argument. "Who said we were arguing? We are just talking about your possessiveness. You are the most troublesome of all the sodding girls I've dated, the worst part, you aren't even worth the bloody trouble!"

I wished that he would've just ended the relationship there, at the 'control freak' comment. This hurt, if he had ended it at that one comment, I could have dreamt that I meant something to him, at least when we dated.

"You seemed to disagree when you were practically stalking me earlier in the year! Not to mention, I'm pretty sure the stalkerish-ness was a sign of possessiveness! And if I'm so much damn trouble, why don't you just go snog a fan girl, Potter! And just one look at your teammates faces should tell you that even thy know that this is so much more than a sodding argument!"

"I can have whoever I want! I might just go do that! Why the hell should I bother with you?!" His voice echoed off the marble staircase and floor.

"I'm pretty sure you've mentioned that about million times already! No other comebacks, Potter? You know what? You were just another arrogant Gryffindor anyway. If your fan girls matter so much! Go snog one of them and ask her to be your girlfriend. We are so freaking over, Potter!"

"Good! Finally, I can continue with my life instead of following around a petty Ravenclaw! My 'fan girls' are probably a better snog anyway!"

"Go rot in hell, Potter!" I turned and walked away, for the last time.

"Definitely, I don't want to go to heaven, if your prissy arse is going there!"

"Oh, piss off!"

"Great comeback, Bell!"

This time, I didn't try to hold my tears back. They rolled down my cheeks in salty streams. If I made a move to wipe them, Potter might see and he'd know I was crying, therefore, he would've won, so I just let them roll down. I suddenly felt a hand wrap around my arm and my hope swelled. But deflated just as suddenly when I heard the voice.

"Chelsea, please! He didn't mean it!" The voice of Fred Weasley pleaded.

"Sure." I said, pulled my arm out of his grip and continued walking.

"Chelsea-"

"Weasley!! Get your sorry arse back here! Or laps!" James' voice was filled with a million little splinters.

"Chelsea-"

"Go, Fred." I walked away, leaving a shell shocked Gryffindor team.

When I reached breakfast, Ella was already there. She shot a worried expression at my red, puffy eyes and placed her hand on my arm.

"We're over, Ells. I ended it and he didn't even argue. "

"Chels-"

"I don't want to talk about it."

James didn't come into breakfast that morning, and neither did most of the Potter-Weasley clan. I received many other curious glances due to my eyes, but Ella managed to keep anyone from questioning me. For the whole day, I didn't pay attention to anyone and just wallowed in my own sorrows.

Once everyone heard the news, I got many pity looks and whispers behind hands. There were also many many worried glances from the Potter-Weasley clan (all except one, anyone guess who?) and my friends alike.

At night, Ells came into my bed again, just like the previous night. This time she cradled my head against her chest, put a Muffliato around my bed and let me cry. I also managed to tell Ella exactly what he said through many sobs, his words were still etched into me.

I slept a very deep sleep and Ella never left me through the night.


~

I saw James the next day, he looked terrible, in such a clichéd way. But the non-cliche part was that he was still functioning, not staring blankly out the window. Even though he had bags, he was engaged in what looked like a very funny conversation with Finn Winters. Winters laughed, punched James on the arm and then abruptly stopped. I saw his lips move to ask a question that caused James' face to fall. He must have mumbled an answer back because I didn't see his lips move at all. James turned around to his cereal and Winters looked worried.

As if he sensed something, James snapped his head to the door and met my stare. That whole section of the Gryffindor table fell silent, including Fred, Winters, most of the Potter-Weasleys and sadly, James' fan girls.

His eyes, expression and emotion, or lack thereof, scared me. The first word that came to mind was tree bark, he was just there and looked like he didn't care at all. But I saw misery behind that, he regretted what he did. But I didn't know whether he regretted the fight or being with me in the first place.

But the tree bark over took misery and he didn't do anything, just sat there. I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding and looked to my left at Ella, who looked at me with wide eyes. I momentarily looked at the ground, James' words coming back to haunt me. But I had to show face, so, I held my head high, grabbed Ella's arm and walked over to the Ravenclaw table.

It seemed like the whole school collectively let out their held breaths. But only Ella and I knew the grip that I had on her was one of desperation.


~

A few days passed, James appeared to be just fine. He laughed, he pranked, he talked, he also flirted quite a bit. Ella tried to hide this from me, but I saw anyway. Each flirty comment to a fan girl was another stake to the heart. But one thing didn't change, the tree bark was still constantly there in his eyes, no matter what he did, his eyes didn't twinkle with mischief as they did before. They were as plain as, well, tree bark. I never saw that misery in his eyes again.

I wasn't that lucky. I put on a brave face and got on with life. Never shed any more tears. But I kept working and cut off all my social ties, except Ella of course. I stayed quiet, sat at the back of the class and talked only a few sparse words to Ella. But the thing is, Ella kept disappearing somewhere, she almost was MIA at least once a day. So, I put all my concentration on my school work, as soon as I got it, instead of my usual procastination. After all, there wasn't anyone to procastinate for, it's not like I could go spend the evening on James' lap. I went to sleep earlier and got up later, trying to fill the time that would have normally been spent with James or gushing or complaining about James to Ella. And no, I wasn't a cliche, I didn't do terrible at the essays I completed during this time. I still did quite well, I was a Ravenclaw, after all. The only thing that changed with me was my social life, not to mention, my newly lengthened beauty sleep time.

I was walking outside with the team for quidditch training as the Gryffindor team walked out of the locker rooms. I made the mistake of looking into Fred's eyes, seeing bucket loads of worry (a very rare occurrence for one of the infamous pranksters). I looked away. I was near the entrance to the locker rooms, when a hand clamped around my arm, pulling me face to face with the eyes I knew so well.

Lily Potter looked at me, with her brother's heartbreaking eyes. Currently they were filled with worry. God what the hell was up with these Potter-Weasleys and worry! Or maybe it was just this situation.

"James wasn't there at training today. Our match is in two days." She said calmly.

I was surprised, James would rather die than miss training. And I guess it must have shown in my eyes because she continued.

"He left a sheet with Freddie with the drills we needed to do. He hasn't missed training...ever. He even snuck out of the hospital wing in his fifth year. Even though he had his arm in a cast, he still attended. And he would never miss training when the match is three weeks away, let alone two days!! And he's captain!"

"He probably just slept in," she gave me a look, so I continued, "have you seen his bags lately?"

"So? It isn't like him. And I'm pretty sure you and I both know why he has the bags and who it's because of."

I looked away, her eyes were killing me.

"What do you want me to do, Lily?"

She continued, as if I hadn't said a word.

"Fred said that he hardly got out of bed in the morning. Freddie and Finn have to pour water on him every morning."

"He's probably just tired."

"Yeah, because of the fact that he's up all night think of you and what you two had. And don't tell me he's fine, you must have seen through the act, I know you know him well enough to."

"Nothing. We had nothing. He said so himself. As you know, you were there."

"Come on! It's James, most of the stuff that comes out of his mouth is crap!"

"I don't want to get into another argument with a Potter."

"That's the problem. You don't want an argument. But it's not an argument if you don't want it to be, it can just be a talk. James just wanted to talk about what you were saying. But it came out completely wrong. He didn't want an argument, but he said it in a completely hurtful, stupid way. But he wanted to talk, he didn't want you to get mad."

"So, it's my fault now?"

"The Potters have a stupid gene that everything meaningful they say comes out wrong. What I just said, is a good example of that. I meant, James had no right to do what he did. Ignore you for two weeks because of a freaking sport, that's bloody idiotic! Not to mention, calling you a control freak and all those terrible comments. But all I'm saying is that he didn't mean what he said in the way that you think he did. James didn't want to fight with you before quidditch. That's why he didn't want to talk with you in the first place. He thought it was going to end in a fight. He wanted to explain everything to you properly, when he had the time. But he was winded up, so he snapped and didn't let you walk away from the argument. After all, everyone know's about his temper."


"Why the hell couldn't he have let me go and talked to me after quidditch?"

"Because he plays like crap."

"What?"

"When he's fighting with you, like that first time, he can't play at all. Last training, yesterday, he got only one goal in! ONE! James sodding Potter, getting only one goal in is unheard of! ...Except when he's fighting with his girlfriend."

"Ex-girlfriend" I added.

"He didn't mean a thing he said. You know that. Oh, he totally knows you're trouble, but, he also knows you're worth it. He didn't tell you, but he was absolutely in love with you! You had him hooked! He told us himself"

My doubt must have showed on my face.

"Fine! You don't believe me? Come with me."

Lily grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the locker rooms. It was strong, determined grip, like when James used to drag me up to the Astronomy Tower for late night snog sessions. God, I missed him.

She led me into the Gryffindor Locker Rooms and straight to a locker.

"James' locker." Lily said. It had a combination lock on it.

"The combination? Try your birth date then his." Lily said. And I did. I keyed in 2-7 then 0-4 and pulled. It opened.

"And if you open it," she pulled the door open and I felt my jaw go slack. There was a photo of us on the door. I laughed and waved with a smiling James, who had his arm around my waist. I realised how much I actually missed him when my heart very obviously ached. And below the photo was a napkin. That's what set me off.

I reached out and touched it, reliving that moment all over again. Lily looked at me curiously.

"From our first date," my voice was barely a whisper, "I jokingly said to him that he should keep this forever in memory of the awesome first date we had. I remember telling him to look at it and relive the moment when a fan girl threw herself at him, so he would remember how good a snog I was. He didn't need it, he was so faithful. But...he kept it anyway."

I kept staring at it, remembering James and how he'd acted like a perfect gentleman on that date. And when we were walking back, how he'd lent me his coat because I was cold. But so was he, so, I ended up snuggled up in his arms with his coat around both of us.

"I think I love him." I whispered.

"No past tense?"

"No."

"So we can count on winning the match this Saturday?"

"I still need time."

"I know, I'm not forcing anything. Take your time, I just wanted to make sure you had all the evidence before you did something even more drastic. I'll see you around then." She walked away.

"Lily?"

"Yeah?"

"Thanks."

"No problem, no girl wants her brother to go crazy,  I mean, he even let a guy who visibly flirted with me, get away without one hex!"

I chuckled politely. "See you around." 

~

It was the morning of the Gryffindor versus Slytherin quidditch match and I still hadn't talked to James. The opportunity had never came up and his words still stung like hell. But I forced myself out of the social purgatory I had been in. The only thing missing was James.

"Chels!!!" Ells exclaimed, running through the door, it was forty minutes till the start of the match.

"What the hell-"

"Finn Winters and Lily Potter are outside the entrance to the common room, yelling for you. Chels-"

I had already sprinted out before she finished. That's even I realised how much he cared, I mean, any later and he was cutting close to missing the game. Missing a game that would decide whether the team were in a final, for me! All my doubt vanished and I realised, once again, that he really loved me.

I eventually exited the common room in a sprint, only to find a distressed looking Fred and Lily.

Seeing me, Lily exclaimed, "James isn't getting out of bed! He thinks a reserve will do better than him and refuses to play!"

"Damn. I'm going now."

"Amortentia!" Winters yelled, his voice booming in the quiet corridor.

"What?!"

"The password, the password's Amortentia!"

Panting, I finally reached The seventh year Gryffindor boys dormitories. Needless to say, I received many confused and curious looks.

James lay on his bed, his back to me and to Fred, who sat on James' bed. Fred immediately perked up when he saw me. I put a finger to my lips, motioning him to be quiet and took his seat on James' bed. Freddie left.

I put my hand lightly on James' arm. He jerked and abruptly turned around to face me. His eyes widened and the tree bark in his eyes vanished immediately and all that was left was a kind sparkle. Warm and soothing.

"Chels-" he started but I cut him off with a kiss. I realised how much I missed this. He instantly kissed me back, it was soft, needing and desperate, as if I would vanish instantly.

"I know, James, I know, Lily told me everything. We'll talk later, you have a quidditch match. Go get ready."

"No. I'm never putting quidditch in front of my girlfriend again. We are talking now." But there was no arrogance, it was just a statement.

"Okay, I'm-"

"Sorry" he cut me off, "I need to say it first, I didn't mean anything I said. I was so pissed. The truth is, I'm not used to this. I've never been in such a serious relationship, where I lo-, like someone so much. I don't know what else to say, I'm sorry. Please forgive me."

"No, James, it was my fault too. I shouldn't have overreacted. I know you didn't mean it, I mightn't have before, but Lily talked some sense into me. And I never was insecure about your fan girls, I'm sorry I had to bring that up, I just wanted to wind you up."

"I'm sorry for ignoring you for two weeks and putting quidditch in front of my girlfriend."

"I'm sorry for not understanding the meaning of quidditch in your life."

"Nothing, it means nothing compared to you."

"James?"

"Yeah?"

"Lily showed me your locker in the quidditch locker rooms."

"Oh, you saw the inside then?"

"Yeah. I know the combination and what you have on the inside of the door."

"Damn it, how the hell does Lily know everything?!"

"Sorry... I didn't realise you didn't want me to see it."

"Don't be absurd! Of course I wanted you to see it, I just wanted to show it to you myself." That caused a grin to plaster itself on my face. Seeing my grin, James smirked. His eyes were now like chocolate, comforting, sweet and smooth.

"You kept it...the napkin."

"How could I not, especially after my love told me to?"

"Your love? Who is this girl?" I teased.

"A kind, beautiful, way too easily forgiving, sweet, witty, most annoying Ravenclaw."

"You flirt!" I kissed him and this time, he wrapped his arms around my waist and held me there. I took this time to notice that he was wearing nothing but boxers. I could feel his torso glued to mine and I could feel the muscles in his arms. I couldn't help but run my fingers down his back, I felt the goosebumps. He pulled away and raised an eyebrow.

I whacked him with a pillow.

"Get dressed! You have a quidditch match to attend!" I picked up the quidditch robes someone had (very helpfully) left on the dresser and threw it to him.

I turned bed around dutifully, but I felt two arms snake around my waist and pull me close. I also felt kisses trail from the top of my neck to my collarbones. I pushed my face against his.

"Oi! We sent you here to cheer him up! Not for a pre-match shag!" Fred, oh-so-gracefully yelled. Turning red, I snapped my head to the door. Ella, Lily, Fred and Finn stood there, all with raised eyebrows.

"Get dressed" I muttered to James and basically sprinted out the door. I head cheers behind me. And a "shut up!" Obviously from James.


~

Gryffindor won (obviously!). I was at the victory match and was dancing with James, when Fred made an announcement.

"Ok ok! Gryffindor! Listen up! We want to thank our captain James Potter, and more importantly, his gorgeous girlfriend, Chelsea Bell for this amazing win!" I turned red as many people stared at James and I. Fred continued, "After all, if it weren't for her, James would still be moping around in his room! So, ladies, get ready to catch that special guy...here come the slow songs!" The statement was the cause of many girly cheers.

I rolled my eyes and went to get drinks, thinking James would hate slow dancing, but James pulled me back into his chest. I naturally put my arms around his neck and he put his hands on my waist. I turned my head to the drinks table, still not changing my position with James, just to see Lily, Fred, Finn and Ella with huge grins on their faces, obviously staring and not even trying to hide it. I noticed Ells was standing next to Fred, his arm on the table, very very close to her waist. I raised an eyebrow at her and smirked, she turned red.

When I looked back to James, the intensity of his gaze sent shivers down my spine. I didn't look away, we just stared into each others eyes and swayed to the music. For the first time, I didn't care about what everyone else was thinking. After a few minutes, I broke the silence.

"James, I want to tell you something I should've said when you talked to me this morning."

"Yeah?"

"Yep. You were going to tell me that you've never been in love with anyone like this. Not like, which is what you said." He turned slightly red, and a nervous look was in his eyes. "I just wanted to say, I love you too." He smiled and his shoulders relaxed again.

James inhaled deeply and said, "I love you. Normally, that comes before the 'I love you too'"

"Well, we can try it again?"

With a chuckle, he said, "I love you and that's never going to change, Chels."

"I love you too, James."

He bent down and kissed me deeply.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," Fred yelled and threw an arm around Ella, who instantly turned red, "The Captain has pulled out the love card! Wish them luck! Sorry ladies, the Captain is no longer available." Cue many sobbing fan girls.

"Actually, Ladies and Gentleman, the most awesome prankster isn't that available either," we all shot Fred a what-the-hell look, "Ella Rose Dawson, will you join me at Hogsmeade on Saturday?"

"...Yes!" Ells practically squealed after a momentary pause. I raised my eyebrows at this. A beaming Freddie bent down and kissed her nose.

Making my way through the crowd (dragging James along with me), I finally reached Ella. "Since when?!?!" I squealed (literally).

"I've fancied him since you told me what he did to try and stop the break up. I didn't know he had a sensitive side and... I saw him a lot during the break up. We were planning to get you both together, guess we didn't need to, after all. And he was talking to me right now and this morning before the match. Also, frankly, I think I'm drunk." Guess that explained her unanswered absences, she was meeting with Freddie.

"Hey! No changing the answer!" Freddie said, and I saw a surprising sliver of insecurity in his expression.

"Wouldn't dream of it, Freddie!" She kissed him on the cheek. Yep, she was definitely drunk.

"Were we ever like that?" I heard James mutter. This earned him a whack on the arm from me. He smirked.

"When the hell did you make this decision Fred?" James asked, his voice laden with surprise.

"Always thought she was hot, didn't know she could be funny or sassy, when I found out, I thought, why not? No need for the look, Bell, I won't hurt her. I just want to get to know her more."

Rolling his eyes at the sappiness, James pulled me out to dance again. 

~

Our daughter, Katie, and our son, Oliver, always asks us about two particular photos (well, Katie does, Oliver is mostly disgusted). They found them in James' drawer in his office.

The first one of me spinning around with my arms up in the air. I look absolutely exhilarated. Katie and James say that they see lightening in my eyes, Oliver says I look like I'm five years old. After all, he's only twelve. Katie, on the other hand, is fifteen and crazy about all things romance.

The second one is of James with me in his arms, bridal style. He's spinning me around and watching me squeal, love obvious in his eyes. And then, he bends down and kisses me. That's the picture Katie loves the most. Oliver wrinkles up his nose in disgust at the kissing scene.

Those two photos are from the night of the party. James also still has that napkin, he won't tell me where though. Even now, I can still remember that date, our first one, vividly. The first time I saw chocolate in his eyes. The first time I realised I never wanted that expression to change when James looked at me, and, it never did.


**
A/N: the character of Ella is dedicated to two of my best friends, Ellie and Veda. This fic is also dedicated to Harry and Ginny for requesting a sequel.

Hoped you guys like it!! I would absolutely love reviews!!! How did I go? Loved it? Hated it? Please leave me your thoughts!!

Xoxo,
ReeBee

Edited- 29/11/13: Flow and typos. Though, sorry guys, the writing is really bad and I dont think that one edit's  going to change that... :)




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