Chapter 9 : Comfort

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CHARLOTTE SIGHED, the warmth from the sun and coffee warming her cold body. Charlie's room wasn't as warm as the rest of the house and the blankets had fallen off her during her restless sleep. It may be summer but England was known for it's unpredictable weather.

She had struggled to contain her panic the last two days. Of course, she didn't want to hurt her new husband but she wasn't ready to be married yet. It wasn't the worst problem in the world, especially because of Charlie, but what had significantly worsened her situation came in the form of a letter from her brother, Jackson.

He was out of Azkaban.

She shuddered to herself, her fear making her body cold again. She swallowed and pushed away the fear, her situation now was a little more pertinent than her ex-fiancé.

She watched the red head speaking with his parents, disapproving looks on their faces. He seemed disgruntled but that vanished when his mother pointed towards her. He looked at her and his face closed up, his emotions gone from his face.

It made her sad to think something had happened to him that caused him to close off like that. He never used to do that, his emotions were always obvious on his face. Especially in front of her.

The last 9 years had scarred him too.

He walked over to her, nerves settling into her stomach. The sun made his copper hair, making her think of that evening. It made her wince, the phantom pain in her back searing through her. Charlie now had a concerned look on his face, hurrying over to her. Her knees had buckled and she had collapsed onto the hard stairs. Her coffee was spilled on the ground in front of her.

"Hippogriff, are you okay?" Charlie sank to his knees in front of her.

His thumbs ran over her face, coming away wet with her traitorous tears.

She tried to push him away, not wanting him to see her broken like this. He didn't move, his muscular body a wall against her feeble strength.

"What's wrong?" He sat down next to her, pulling her closer to him.

"Your knees are full of coffee." Her giggle was wet, a way to distract herself from the pain.

He looked down and a reluctant chuckle emitted from him.

"I didn't even notice. I was too concerned about you." His arm snaked around her back and she winced, the pain heightened with the casual contact.

"Merlin." He pulled his body and arm away, now staring at her in caring confusion.

"I'm sorry, it hurts." She whimpered, the pain now starting to filter out of her body.

"Your scar?" He asked, confusion flitting across his face.

Every time she thought of that night, the pain came back. It was phantom pain and the Healers told her it was only a psychological pain but it was an agonizing feeling.

"Yes, it's not real physical pain according to the Healers. Just my mind playing tricks on me. I'm better now, it doesn't hurt anymore." She replied, the pain now gone.

He frowned and hesitantly moved back to sit next to her. The two looked up as they heard labored breathing and panting, the older couple running towards the two.

"Are you okay dear?" Mrs. Weasley panted, coming to a stop in front of the couple, "We just saw you collapse."

Mr. Weasley arrived behind her, a concerned on his face.

"Why did you two run over here?" Charlie asked, amusement in his tone.

Charlotte couldn't help but feel loved at the fearful look on her parent in-law's faces.

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