Chapter 18: True Love's First Kiss

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CHARLIE FELT  a dark and worrying feeling as his footsteps increased in tempo. He was on his way home from work, uneasily eyeing the storm on the horizon. It was rolling in, fast and most of the dragons had left to shelter in their caves.

He was worried about Charlotte.

He knew how JJ died and if Charlie couldn't look at Hogwarts without wanting to cry, because of Fred, he knew she was suffering. 

He never met JJ and a huge part of him wished he could bring him back to life. Charlotte sometimes had this empty look on her face, something he just knew he had too. It was the look of grief, a deep seated hurt that never leaves.

Not just that, he felt so guilty for leaving her alone after having their fight. He wasn't mad with her, not really.

To be honest, he had found himself being overwhelmed by her presence and being around her constantly. With her being inactive and having no direction, she had been fully focused on him and it was driving him mental. He couldn't blame her, it wasn't her fault, but he found it to be a heavy burden on his shoulders. Never mind being really quite annoying. He felt immensely guilty if he so much as left her to have a pint with his colleagues, something he did maybe twice ever since they came back.

She didn't make him feel guilty or bad for going, in fact, she encouraged him. The guilt was his own fault and something he could not shake.

Just as he turned into the pathway to their home, he stopped when he saw Aoife. She was standing there, staring down at the cobblestone path. Because of the altitude of the sanctuary, the huts were built on a downward slope, so all the paths became steeper as you got closer to the main offices.

Aoife had her arms around her waist, her long hair flying around in the storm winds. Charlie wanted to shout, he was too worried about Charlotte and did not need her to distract him.

"What is it, Aoife? Did Marius send for something?" 

Charlie so wanted to believe in this, knowing that it would be too good to be true.

She untangled her arms and shook her head. She lifted her head and he gasped out loud. She had a huge bruise on her face. He rushed forward and grabbed her arms gently to look her in the eyes. Concern bled from his pores and unbeknownst to him, a victorious feeling swept through Aoife.

"What happened!?" 

He gasped out, his eyes perusing the bruise.

He went to touch her face but she stopped him in a hurry. She winced belatedly, eyeing him carefully but he didn't seem to notice.

"I went to go have drinks with Daniel and Alexandru and they got too drunk. I got in between them and..."

She took in a deep shuddering breath and she felt him tighten his hands on her arms.
She wanted to smile but barely kept it hidden.

"They hit me. It was my fault, I shouldn't have come in between them, but I didn't want it to get worse. I know I shouldn't have come to you, but... I don't have anyone who loves me like you.."

She trailed off, her ice blue eyes on his warm brown ones. She saw the concern and felt a thrill go through her. Then, something shut off in his eyes and he took a step back.

"I am so sorry this happened to you Aoife, but why didn't you go to Marius?"

His question made cold ice go through her blood stream.

"It was off campus.." Her sentence trailed off, as she stared down at the path again.

"That's okay, we can go together. You can report it and I will stand witness to your bruise."

Animus  | Charlie WeasleyRead this story for FREE!