Shadows Of The Past
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters they belong to JK Rowling and Warner Bros Studio.
Katie glared at him from across the table then she brought her hand up to her head and starting rubbing it, she felt a headache starting to build.
"You are not here. You are simply a figment of my imagination" she muttered quickly. The man merely laughed then turned to Katie with a hurt expression on his face.
"And here was me thinking that you would be pleased to see me after I followed you all this way" he said amused.
She rolled her eyes at his comment and folded her arms, glaring at him again. Suddenly the barman appeared with their drinks and he set them down on the table in front of the couple. Katie smiled at the young man and turned to thank him. The man only nodded to him as he walked away from their table back to the bar. Katie watched the barman head back towards the bar before she leaned over the table to address the man,
"You were not meant to follow me at all. That's why I left without leaving a note or saying goodbye. You were not supposed to find me" she snapped.
The man raised an eyebrow when he heard those words and his mouth twitched into a small smile.
"Ouch. After everything we have been through together. That's how you thank me" he quipped back, casting his eyes down at the table.
Katie instantly felt guilty about how harsh she must have sounded to him. He was right, he had helped her and when she thought over it now he had become her closest friend.
She realised that he was the only friend that she had now. None of her other friends kept in touch and after a few months and they had all simply drifted apart. All her friends had been concerned about her at first but when she refused to tell them where she was or answer any of their questions apart from the fact that she was fine they had simply given up on her. Tomorrow night would be the first time in three years that she would see everyone since the day she had walked away.
Instantly and without thinking she reached across the table and took his hand in hers. She squeezed it, hoping that this slight touch would make him look at her.
"I'm sorry" she whispered softly. His brown eyes immediately met hers and she saw the all too familiar merriment behind them. He had been playing with her she suddenly realised and she had stupidly fallen for it. She quickly lifted her hand from his as if his touch had burned her.
"What are you doing here" she asked sharply.
He smiled at her with an impish grin and she was instantly reminded of the Weasley twins. They might be family but they could hardly be more different from him. The twins constantly acted like clowns where he had a more serious side to him than his younger brothers. His brown eyes were sparkling and in that moment he reminded her so much of her old friends.
"Lucas and Brad gave me some time off for the holidays and I think the more important question Kate is what are you doing here. I thought that you said you were not going to bother with the reunion" he shot back at her.
Despite that she was mad at him; Katie could not stop herself from smiling slightly when he used his nickname for her. She sighed loudly knowing that he had her cornered. Katie had lied to him when she said that she had no thoughts about the reunion after the invitation had arrived. The truth was she had not stopped thinking about it after she had read it. She could not stop herself thinking about him and those thoughts had slowly started to consume her daily life even if she had acted differently on the outside.
At the time when she had told him that she had no intention of going to it, he had dropped the subject and never mentioned the upcoming reunion mindful of her feelings and the memories it must have dragged up. She looked over at him and saw the determined look in his brown eyes and she knew that he would not let the topic drop so easily this time.
Katie also knew that this subject could not be avoided. She had hurt him deeply when she had simply packed up and left without a word she realised that now but at the time she had thought shamefully she had only been thinking about herself and her own feelings. She had not stopped for a moment to think about how he would feel when he realised she was gone.
An awkward silence settled over the table and they looked at everything but each other.
"Nice to know you kept the watch. At least that means something to you unlike me" he said harshly. She flinched like he had slapped her, those words cut through her like a knife. Katie lifted her eyes to look over at him.
"Charlie…" She began but she could not say anything else. The words would not come out. Her mouth had dried up and in her head, all the excuses she had come up with sounded pathetic.
After a few minutes of tense silence, he glanced at her, her eyes once more downcast staring at the table. He reached over and pulled his butterbeer towards him. He took a few sips of it before setting it down on the table once more.
"I am coming with you" he stated.
She looked over at him shocked at his words.
"What will everyone say if we just show up together" she protested, trying to find a way out of this potential disastrous situation that she had now found herself in.
She frowned at him trying to figure out his motive for doing this but she could not think of why he had volunteered to do this with her.
"Your brothers will be there with Angelina and Alicia. The rest of your family might be there as well. Are you trying to cause trouble? She asked him.
Charlie just shrugged at her then he leaned towards her.
"It is hardly my fault that my brothers decided to lie to their wives about knowing your whereabouts. I never told them to lie and neither did you" he stated calmly.
Katie stared at him for once completely speechless. She gripped her butterbeer, tightly in her right hand. Slowly she took a long sip of it, letting the warm liquid run down her parched throat. Charlie watched her as she drank, smiling slightly. He knew she was determined to avoid this topic but he was not going to let her get away with it this time. He had to force her into facing reality despite how hard that might be for her.
She was his friend, his best friend and he cared about her much more than she realised. He did not want her to carry on with this hopeless fantasy of hers. He thought that she had began to move on and for a brief moment he had considered letting her know how he felt but then that damned reunion invitation had arrived. He knew that as soon as she had read it that his chance of telling her had gone up in smoke.
He had seen the way her eyes lit up as she read the letter as she savoured each word. The only time he had seen her look like that was on the quidditch field when they had a short practice game. They had challenged the Romanian dragon keepers to a match. He thought back to that warm sunny afternoon as soon as she grabbed the quaffle in her arms, she simply came alive, he had never seen her so happy and full of life during her stay. After some time they had eventually won the game and he had ran over to her and without thinking he had picked her up and had started twirling her in the air.
The excitement had gotten the better of both of them for a brief moment and when he lowered her back down, they had been so close to each other. He had felt her breath on his neck and he brushed a hair from her face without thinking. Suddenly he had an idea about just kissing her, he only had to lean down a little but before he could act on that crazy thought, Lucas and Brad had jumped between them and the thought was forgotten.
He frowned; he had no idea why he was thinking of that day now. The game had been months ago and he did not like to dwell on it. Katie reached over and gripped his hand again, jerking him out of his thoughts. His brown eyes connected with hers and he felt the now constant spark of electricity that he got everytime he looked at her. He shivered slightly, raking a hair through his long straggled red hair. He took a deep breath.
"Be honest with yourself Katie and me for once. You could not care less about everyone else's reactions. You only care about his" he said softly.
She remained silent letting him vent, she knew he would feel better after it and she had grown used to it by now.
"You are not over him no matter how hard you protest that you are" he said gently. She looked down at the table ashamed, knowing that she could not deny his claim even now. He took in a sharp breath thinking back to the letter, he had received last week after she had left.
It had been a letter from Fred and George which had surprised him at first but the contents of the letter shocked him even more.
"You ended things Katie. It has been three years do you honestly think he has simply been waiting around for you to walk back into his life" he stated angrily. Charlie knew that as soon as the words left his mouth he had just made a huge mistake but he could not take them back.
Her eyes snapped to his instantly and he saw a fire blazing from them directed solely at him. He usually liked seeing her like this but right now all he felt was guilt.
He saw the hurt reflected in her beautiful brown eyes caused by his cutting words. Suddenly she grabbed the three items and roughly stuffed them back into the satchel then getting to her feet, she ran out of the Leaky Cauldron. Immediately he cursed himself, he called her name but she gave no indication that she had heard. He got quickly to his feet and began searching through his pockets for some galleons. Finally finding some, he threw them down on the table and went after her.
As soon as he exited the Leaky Cauldron he regretted his choice of clothing. He was now that used to Romania's good weather that he forgot how harsh it could be here especially in the winter months. He pulled the collar of his jacket up to protect his neck from the bitterly cold December wind. It did not take him long to find her as he knew where she had gone. The one place in Hogsmeade that had meant something to her and still held a special place in her heart. She had told him about it many times.
His heart broke at the sight in front of him. She was standing completely still, her body racking with muffled sobs. He approached her warily; she instantly turned around when she heard his footsteps. His heart shattered into a million pieces when he stared at her face. She seemed so small to him in that moment like a helpless child. Her mascara had streaked down her face and there were a dozen lines on her face due to the water of her tears.
He cursed himself again; he alone had been the cause of this. It was his own stupid fault, he was supposed to be her friend but all he had done today was hurt her. He crept closer to her and her eyes followed him silently. Slowly and carefully he wrapped his arms around her, he stiffened for a brief moment expecting some sort of violent outburst from her but none came.
Katie went completely still when he wrapped his arms around her. It felt strange to be in his arms after what had just happened between them but then her resolve cracked and she leaned in ever so slightly, melted into his strong arms. Then suddenly she began crying again this time directly into his chest. He reached down and tenderly began to wipe the streaked lines from her face.
"I am so sorry Katie. I can be a real git at times" he said quietly, staring into her eyes begging for her forgiveness.
She smiled at him softly and looked up at him.
"A family trait I think" she calmly stated, finally getting her breathing under control. His face broke out into a grin and he nodded agreeing with her.
"Yes it definitely runs in the family at times" he said thinking of all his brothers.
He stared back into her eyes once more.
"I am really sorry Katie" he repeated again, he shuffled his feet ashamed of his actions towards his friend.
Suddenly she hit him in the stomach winding him. Caught off guard and wincing in pain he leaned over. She grinned at him when after a few moments he righted himself once more.
"That was for upsetting me. Now stop beating yourself up about it. I understand what you were trying to say even if I am not fully ready to accept it yet" she said softly, brushing a few strands of hair from her face.
"I know you are simply trying to be a good friend" she finished, smiling at him again.
The complete trust that shone in her eyes hit him like a ton of bricks and a wave of guilt rushed through him.
Just tell her a small voice in the back of his mind whispered.
He opened his mouth intending to be honest with her but he could not find the right words. They stood in the cold in complete silence just holding each other neither wanting to break the hold or caring about anything else around them.
"Are we okay now Katie" he asked her nervously.
"Of course we are charcoal" she teased. Charlie laughed when he heard his nickname slip from her lips which told him they were indeed back to normal.
She had given him the nickname after a rather regrettable incident with a particularly nasty horntail where he had almost been baked alive. Luckily Katie, Lucas and Brad had managed to pull him from the pen before his untimely demise. A lot of the other dragonkeepers had overheard her nickname for him and had taken to using it.
After he had gotten completely fed up with it only the threat of physical bodily harm had stopped the other dragonkeepers relentless teasing and now she was the only one that used that old nickname for him. Charlie had to admit that he did not mind the nickname at all when it came from her lips.
Suddenly she began to hug him and he immediately hugged her back. She reached up and pulled his hat back down to cover the front of his head. Her fingers lingered for a brief moment but all too soon the moment was broken.
"Thank you" he murmured as she stepped out of his arms.
"I have a plan regarding the reunion. Do you want to go back in" he asked gesturing back in the direction of the Leaky Cauldron. He was momentarily unsure of the reply he would get.
He waited with bated breath expecting the worst but then slowly she nodded. Katie began to walk back to the Leaky Cauldron and he quickly caught up with her. They reached the Cauldron in moments; when they had reached the door he gradually put his arm back around her guiding her back inside.
Author Note: Here is Chapter Two, I hope you all enjoyed it and that it has cleared up some questions that you may have had from the first chapter. I am really enjoying writing this fic. This week's prompt for the competition was to use two certain words from a small list and I chose Fire and Water. Please read and review as I love hearing your comments. Dra