A/N: This is gonna be another short chapter, it's just basically a filler because they're getting settled into the villa and everything. Plus, we get introduced to another important character in this chapter! And we learn a bit more about Elle... awww :(
Disclaimer: Anything you recognise does not belong to me. *sigh*
another wonderful chapter image by clowder@TDA!
“Hey, you must be James’ new fiancée.” - Courtney Simpson
Something was pressing heavily down on my neck as Lily’s hammering on the door roused me. When my eyes peeled open I could see why, James’ arm was strewn across my neck, effectively pinning me to the bed. He was lying on his front with his head facing the other way and the rest of his body was spread eagle on the bed, leaving me with only a fraction of the bed left. I slowly, and carefully, lifted his arm off me and froze when suddenly James rolled towards me and pulled me to his chest like I was a giant teddy bear which meant my nose and cheek was smushed against his bare chest.
“I’m not coming in because you both might be naked but… GET UP!” Lily shouted, knocking harder on the door.
“James… get off!” I tried to move the solid wall of muscle away from me but he just pulled tighter and I was stuck.
“That’s it! I’m coming in!” the door smacked open, followed by loud laughter.
“I’d really appreciate it if you could get him off me so I could breathe.” I wheezed as James had decided he was going to lie on his front again and pulled me with him. He was fucking heavy!
“Just tickle him… he usually moves fast, like he’s being attacked.” She laughed before closing the door. I didn’t know where I was supposed to tickle him so I just poked him really hard in the sides and he shrieked like a little girl, rolled off me and onto the floor. I bet my laughter could be heard from outer space. James’ head appeared, rather grumpily, over the edge of the bed as I rolled around laughing until tears were coming out my eyes.
“Not funny!” he huffed, standing up and crossing his arms.
“Oh, it so was.” I said through my laughter but stopped when I saw James’ expression. He launched at me across the bed but I escaped just before he reached me, I heard a thud and ran out the room into the kitchen where everyone was sat “Good morning.” I smiled, a little out-of-breath.
“I take it you tickled him then?” Lily raised an eyebrow at me as I nodded. James came running in a few seconds later and seeing that everyone was here and he’d get ganged up on if he got me back, he sat down in his seat next to me and luckily, he was wearing a top.
“Finally, you’re up!” Ginny scolded, “We’re having breakfast and you’re both going to get dressed and then we’re going.” She explained as James glared at me but I smiled innocently, eating my food. I was finished before James so I excused myself and went to get dressed, panicking a little when the door opened but relaxing when it was Lily.
“So, what are you going to wear today?” she asked. She was wearing a beautiful summery halter-neck dress with red/pink roses all over it and she looked absolutely adorable.
“Probably some jeans and a cardigan,” I shrugged, “What?” I asked when she stared at me like I’d just announced that I was going to join the Death Eaters and be the next re-incarnate of Lord Voldemort.
“We’re going to the South of Spain! You can’t wear jeans and a cardigan!” she gasped, rooting in my suitcase for one of the dresses that we bought in the charity shop, “Wear this with these.” She thrust the dress and a pair of sandals in my arms before shutting my suitcase again.
“Fine.” I rolled my eyes before heading into the bathroom and getting dressed, leaving my hair down and flowing wavy down to my waist. The dress was so cute and I loved it, the way it just floated down to my knees and the straps were thick enough to cover up the top half of my tattoo. My back wasn’t visible either which I was more than ecstatic about because that meant no-one could see my scar.
“Guys, are you ready? We need to go so we can catch the Portkey.” Harry’s voice called up the stairs and I exited the bathroom to where Lily and James were sat on his bed. They both looked up and smiled, however, Lily’s was genuine, and James’ was obviously fake because his sister was here. We walked down the stairs with Lily in front and James walking beside me, holding my hand. James had levitated our suitcases down the stairs earlier and everyone grabbed hold of their own handles and placed their hands on the plastic container on the table.
“We all ready?” Harry asked as it glowed blue and it felt like we were being pulled by a hook to wherever we were going. We landed with a huff in front of a beautiful villa under a blazing sun and I was glad that I wasn’t wearing jeans and a cardigan.
“Harry, don’t forget to put that Portkey somewhere a muggle won’t find it. We don’t want any incidents.” Ginny said, pulling her sunglasses on her face to block out the sun. Looking around, everyone else had sunglasses, except me and I felt stupid for not thinking I’d need them.
“Where exactly in the South of Spain are we?” I asked as I followed everyone else inside to the foyer. It was just as beautiful as the outside, the floor was decked out in polished marble with columns holding up two separate staircases that looked like they’d come straight out of a fairytale movie and one circular table in the middle with a giant pot of pink and blue flowers in the middle. To the left were a mahogany door and an archway that I could see straight into, it was the kitchen, which looked just as massive as the foyer. To the right was another two doors, one of which Lily went straight into.
“We’re in Malaga, it’s right on the coast.” James was the only who answered, taking my suitcase off me and walking up the staircase to our left. I followed him hastily taking in the sheer size, it was absolutely massive. Al, Harry and Ginny walked up the other staircase.
“Oh right…” I muttered distractedly.
“This is usually Mum and Dad’s side of the house but they are giving it to us to, you know, give us some ‘privacy’,” he blushed a little, “That’s the master bedroom, we have a separate bathroom and closet and that’s our balcony down the end.” He pointed to each room but I was distracted again by our view. It showed that the villa was right on the coastline and if I walked down the stairs from the balcony, then it would only be a short distance until I was on the beach.
“Wow! This place is amazing!” I whispered, not wanting to disturb the quietness and ignoring James’ ‘privacy’ jibe until I registered something, “Hang on… we get a whole wing to ourselves?” my mouth slackened.
“Well, yeah… they’re staying in my usual room next to Al’s so we’ll be up here alone.” He shrugged, opening the bedroom door and chucking our suitcases on the bed.
“Okay… this is so weird.” I gasped as James started unpacking, taking his clothes and putting them in the room opposite the bedroom.
“Thanks again for doing this.” He said gratefully, his voice drifted from loud to quiet as he walked back and forth.
“It’s a free holiday! I can’t complain!” I smiled widely, still stood on the balcony.
“Have you never been to Spain before?” he stood next to me, arching an eyebrow.
“Well…” I blushed, “I’ve never really been abroad before.” Because my Dad friggin’ hates me so I can’t go on holiday with him and my family have just never had enough money in general for all five of us.
“Oh… right.” Was all he said and we stood in silence.
“Guys! Where are you?” Al’s voice called from somewhere behind us.
“On the balcony.” James shouted back and Al soon appeared.
“Dad said I could choose where we go first.” He looked like he was about to piss himself in excitement.
“Oh great… we’re gonna be wondering around museums, ancient ruins and trekking up mountains for the rest of the day.” James sighed, rolling his eyes but I was genuinely interested in the whole history… I’d never been abroad before, if you can’t tell.
“I don’t mind, I’d love to see the whole place.” I smiled at Al who beamed back at me.
“See? And I thought we’d go to the Church of Santiago, then La Concepcion and then Museo de Malaga last. Obviously we’ll be having lunch and stuff in between but Dad said we have to have breakfast here first.” He explained as we walked back down the staircase into the massive kitchen/dining room now that I could see it properly. The majority of the kitchen was open as the walls were practically all made out of windows with a massive island in the middle with six stools, to the left was a dining room table with 12 seats around it.
“Settled in well?” Harry asked, holding the Daily Prophet in his hands on one of the bar stools.
“Yeah, thank you so much for everything.” I smiled nervously as Ginny came bustling in.
“What does everyone want?” she asked to all of us.
“It’s no problem,” he smiled as I sat next to him, “Oh, I’ll just have an English breakfast love.” He smiled affectionately at his wife.
“Can I have an omelette?” Lily asked.
“Same as Dad.” Al stated.
“I want pancakes.” James pouted childishly.
“I can’t make everyone different things!” Ginny threw her hands up, “Pick one thing.” And that led to all the kids arguing about what the best breakfast was. Ginny looked like she was about to pull her hair out.
“I can help you… I’m not bad at making pancakes.” I offered standing up and making my way to the stove and everyone quieted instantly.
“Would you be a dear?” she hugged me and I just shrugged, getting out the butter, milk, eggs, flour and the salt, “Thank you so much!”
“I can try making the omelette as well but it probably won’t be very good.” I laughed nervously at Lily.
“Thank you so much!” and she got to work making Harry, Al and her breakfast. After much sweating and swearing (on my part), I placed the plates in front of Lily and James nervously. The omelette really went better than expected but not as good as it could have if Ginny or Charity had made it, I really wasn’t a natural born cook. However, I was very proud of my pancakes because I added some chocolate and blueberries.
“Mmmm… that’s so good! Thank you Elle!” Lily said gratefully through a mouth of food.
“I agree… best pancakes in the world.” James beamed, wolfing down the whole thing and kissing me on the cheek.
“Thanks.” I blushed but decided to eat my food slower than him because it looked like he hadn’t eaten for months.
“Where are we going first?” I asked Al who was waiting eagerly for everyone to finish eating.
“To the Church of Santiago first.” He replied happily. Once everyone was finished, Harry locked up the villa and we apparated. The church was as I expected with it looking quite old on a cobbled street. We spent a few hours in there with me taking pictures of basically everything whilst James laughed at me, it was so interesting to learn about the whole Church and I spent more time with Al than James in there. Next was La Concepcion which was just a massive garden with hundreds of flowers and different activities that you could do. James laughed at me for wanting to make a flower out of tissue paper but I bet that he couldn’t make one and his little face of concentration as he put the finished touches made everyone laugh. He then placed it behind my ear, making sure the colour of the fake-flower matched the blue pattern on my dress.
“Where now?” I asked, excited about seeing more places in Malaga.
“I’m starving… can we have a break please? I need food!” James moaned, clutching his stomach.
“We passed a cool looking café back there, we can go there?” Harry pointed over his shoulder whilst using his other hand to hold Ginny’s. It was really cute. James, however, wasn’t even playing the part very well, he wouldn’t hold my hand or put his arm around my waist or kiss me at all, actually. It was starting to get suspicious and I didn’t have any sunglasses to hide my glares at him.
“Need I remind you that we’re engaged…” I hissed at him when everyone had turned back round to head to the café.
“Excuse me?” he raised his eyebrows in shock.
“I’m not sure whether you are aware but newly engaged couples are meant to be more touchy-feely, aren’t they?” I hissed again. He glared hard at me before he suddenly crashed his lips to mine, wrapping his arms around my waist tight and lifting me slightly so I was on my tiptoes. He didn’t even seem to care that we were in the middle of the street so people had to move around us.
“Touchy-feely enough for you?” he asked when he pulled away, still glaring at me.
“God, learn to control your mood swings James… I don’t even have to be here.” I glared just as moodily back at him. Instead of softening up, he grabbed my hand and dragged us after his family and I plastered a smile on my face when we reached them. Stupid, lucky James for being able to wear sunglasses. Harry managed to swing us a table by the window and before I sat down in my seat, James pulled me into his lap, kissing the exposed part of my shoulder occasionally. Whilst Ginny ordered us a few sandwiches and some lemonade, I could feel James’ lips brushing against my neck and his hot breath trickled down my arms.
“Oh my God! James?! I thought I recognised you, I forgot you always used to come here every year. Small world.” I recognised that voice so I looked up to the slim blonde woman stood by our table. The Potter’s faces turned impassive behind their sunglasses to James’ ex-girlfriend stood next to her new fiancé, a massive shining rock stuck on her finger.
“Courtney, hello.” James smiled a little but it just looked like he was in pain.
“Hey, you must be James’ new fiancée.” She smiled genuinely at me but it was just the way she said ‘new’ that made my skin prickle.
“Yeah, my name’s Elle.” I smiled back at her, subtly showing off my engagement ring too.
“It’s so lovely to meet you after reading about you in the magazines, they can be harsh right?” she laughed an adorable giggle and I wanted to punch her in the face, I sounded like I was choking on oxygen when I laughed.
“Yeah, I try not to think too much about it.” I shrugged in response, trying to feign ignorance.
“How rude of me, let me introduce you to my fiancé, Alfonso Nieves.” She presented him in front of us and I took in the tanned young man stood there with a smirk on his face. He had typical dark hair, was wearing a tank top that showed off his tattoo right on his bicep and a lip piercing.
“Hola!” he shook each of our hands and kissed the girls’ hands, lingering a bit on mine.
“Anyway, we must be off now but I’d love to have a double date with you two sometimes. Maybe tomorrow night?” she looked at the two of us hopefully.
“Sure, tomorrow night sounds good.” I nodded my head and she left. James’ vice-like grip loosened as soon as she was gone and I think I was going to have bruises on my waist tomorrow.
“Why the hell did you agree to that?” he hissed in my ear once we’d left and headed towards a car. I started panicking.
“I can’t get in that car… I can’t…” I shook my head as I started hyperventilating. James looked completely lost as he watched me panic, “I’m sorry… I would much rather apparate… I just can’t g-get in that car…”
“It’s okay… calm down, I’ll apparate you to the site. Everyone else get in the car.” Ginny rushed forward, shoving the shocked faced Potter’s into the car, including James.
“I’m sorry… sorry.” I mumbled embarrassingly, wiping away the tears and calming myself down as the car drove off.
“It’s okay, just tell me when you’re ready and we can go.” She rubbed her hand up and down my back soothingly. It took a few minutes before I realised that I didn’t have to get into a car and I grabbed Ginny’s arm, apparating to the checkpoint.
“It’s okay, she’s fine.” I heard Ginny say to Harry, who was looking at me in concern.
“What was that?” James was immediately by my side, placing an arm around my waist to look like a concerned fiancé.
“It’s… nothing.” I mumbled, following an excited Al on the dusty path on the mountains. We walked in silence with Al pointing things out as we walked along and by the time that we were finished, I was absolutely beat.
“I think it’s time we go back for dinner, yes?” Ginny brushed a long strand of hair over her shoulder, fanning her face a little, “I’m sure we could all do with a few drinks.” She smiled at me and I blushed. We apparated back to the villa, Harry unlocked it and I walked straight up to the bedroom and starting unpacking in the closet on my half to occupy my mind with something.
“Are you going to explain what the mini panic-attack was back then?” James appeared at the doorway, leaning against the door frame with his arms crossed.
“Nope.” I answered monotonously, opening up one of the drawers to quickly stuff the underwear things in under some of my other clothes.
“Whatever.” He finally said after staring at me for a while and walked off back downstairs. I looked down at my phone, wondering whether I should call Charity and explain.
“Hello? Elle, what’s up?” my fingers had decided before I could comprehend and I found myself walking down the steps on the balcony and onto the beach, kicking my sandals off and holding them in my hand.
“Charity… I had another attack today.” It was all I needed to say.
“Oh Elle!” her comforting voice was enough to make me cry, “What happened?”
“We were going to a mountain thing and they wanted to get in a car to take us there,” I explained remembering the panic and flashbacks, “I couldn’t do it Charity, I started panicking and I made a right fool of myself in front of everyone.” I whined.
“Well, at least James was with you,” I stayed quiet, “James does know right? He does, doesn’t he?”
“Not really…” I trailed off, kicking the warm sand beneath my feet.
“Elle! You’ve been dating him for two years, you’re getting married to him! He deserves to know!” she shouted down the phone and I took it lying down.
“I know.” I sighed.
“I visited her today. With Dad.” She said after I stayed silent.
“How is she?” I asked, torturing myself.
“She’s the same, not really a good sign but at least she’s no-.” I cut her off because I knew what she was going to say,
“Elle, please tell James… I’ll talk to you later. I need to finish making tea. Bye. Love you.”
“Love you too.” And she hung up. I slipped my phone back into my bra where it had been all day.
“You coming back inside?” Lily asked behind me and I jumped a little. When I turned around to face her, she was holding a big glass of red wine for me.
“Yeah, sorry… thanks.” I took the offered glass off her and took a big gulp.
“If you don’t mind my asking, who were you on the phone to?”
“My sister, Charity.” I answered.
“Oh right, do you have any other sisters?” she asked as we walked back in. The question drew a blank, do I answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’?
“Yes… her name’s Norah.” I said quietly.
“How old is she?” she seemed full of questions all of a sudden.
“She’s 22 years old, only a year younger than me.” I gulped another sip of wine.
“That’s cool… I wish I could have sisters. I’m stuck being the only girl, except Mum but she doesn’t count, and it’s so annoying. I can’t talk to Mum about my problems because it’s embarrassing, you know?” She looked at me. Well, not really Lily because I don’t have a Mum.
“You can always talk to me, if you’d like?” I turned to her genuinely offering her my listening ear. I liked Lily, just because she was like a younger sister to me.
“Thanks, I appreciate it.” She smiled and sat down in her seat around the dining room table. I sat down next to James, who grabbed my hand instantly. The dinner passed slowly and in relative silence before everyone stood up and went their separate ways, I just stayed up on the balcony in our wing of the villa.
“Elle… you should sleep, you’re probably exhausted from the jet lag.” James sighed behind me. I agreed, getting into the same pyjamas that I had worn from the night before.
“Nice pyjamas.” He scoffed as he watched me slip into bed.
“At least I’m wearing some.” I rolled my eyes, grateful for the distraction.
“Hey! I’m wearing pyjamas pants!”
“You’re not wearing a top though.” I pointed out.
“Given that we’re pretending and I don’t have to keep up pretences when we’re alone, I’ll wear what I like to bed and you better keep your mouth shut about it or I will…” he drifted off from his mimicking of me as he realised I didn’t have male genitalia.
“You will what?” I smirked, happy that I had something over him until his face glinted with amusement.
“Or I’ll do this.” He then proceeded to pounce on me and tickle me as payback from this morning.
“Okay! Stop!” I said through my laughter. My arms flailed wildly, trying to push him away from me until my elbow came into contact with something solid, “OW!”
“You elbowed me in the face!” James stared at me in shock, holding his nose.
“It’s your own fault for tickling me!” I stuck my tongue out.
“You elbowed me in the face!” he repeated as if he couldn’t believe what he was saying.
“I could knee you in the groin again if you don’t shut up and let me sleep.” I threatened.
I laughed again as his hands shot from his nose and protected his groin area.
“I don’t think they’ve recovered from last night.” He winced in pain.
“Don’t tempt me.” I mumbled into my pillow.
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