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Chapter 8: Bridget Lilion
This chap is for Erin & Lou. For their videos.
Being unable to see did not sit well with me. I was skeptical, letting Angelina lead me through London as my ears tuned in to the cars around me and people shouting about different things like designer handbags and how they were late for four different appointments. It was still raining but I wasn’t wet, keying me in that I had been charmed by my captor.
“If I get killed you’re going to answer to Oliver,” I said loudly and then I frowned. Maybe she wouldn’t have to answer to him. He probably wouldn’t find out until two days after the funeral when he was perusing through the paper. Oliver would shrug and turn on the replay of the World Cup. Which I was going to miss because I would be dead soon.
Angelina did not reply to my comment. “I was going to take you to take your Apparition test, but there isn’t time for that. We can just do side-along for now.”
“That makes me feel wonderful,” I muttered and felt us go behind the building so shade engulfed by body.
“Quit being a complainer,” she said loudly.
“Yeah, because there’s no reason for me to complain at all.”
I rolled my eyes, but then remembered she couldn’t see them. “Have you seen Oliver?” I said suddenly and her grip tightened around my hand.
“I might have.”
Another eye-roll. I had to remember to do it twice after the blindfold was pulled off. Angelina was the best at not answering questions. She gave nothing away and it drove me mad.
“Ready?” she asked.
I shrugged. “If I have to be.”
The air was far warmer when we appeared wherever it was that we were going and there were voices everywhere. I couldn’t make out what a lot of them were saying since they were far off and Angelina said hello to someone a few meters away. She tugged me along and I could feel the grass beneath my feet.
I had a wand. I could just hex the crap out of her.
The voices were coming near and part of me just wanted to sit down on the grass and enjoy the hot temperatures and rainless sky.
“Where are we, twit?” I asked loudly.
“I hate you so much.”
“I would hate me too,” she replied, laughing and tugging me along. I heard some more voices and then the distinct dialect of Russian. Did she take me to Russia? I didn’t speak Russian. Did she? Was it this hot in Russia? I would have to ask Lee.
Bollocks on Lee. He didn’t remember my birthday.
“You put a blindfold on her? You’re cruel, Ang.”
My heart stopped.
Angelina chuckled. “Katie, you’re too nice. I wasn’t going to but she was being a right git so I thought she deserved it.” I felt the fabric loosen around my eyes and I reached up to peel it off.
Not only did my heart not have enough time to start up again, my stomach also dropped as I took in my surroundings.
I was in southern France.
I was at the Quidditch World Cup in southern France.
“Happy birthday!” cried Katie, looking up at me with a wide grin.
I let my eyes take in the entire scene. There was a fire pit a few feet from me, not lit yet, and two beige tents on the other side of that. Katie was trying to get the fire started and George was helping her. Fred sat on the outside of the tent on the left and Lee grinned from the grass nearby. Angelina took a seat beside him and I watched Alicia rush out of the other tent.
“Jane!” she cried, hugging me tight. “Isn’t it crazy? Katie came and got me this morning—I was ready to disown everyone except you after no one said happy birthday to me on Thursday.” She narrowed her eyes in the other direction. “But this—I can’t believe it.”
“But how?” I said breathlessly, taking in the thousands of other tents around us. “How could we possibly get these tickets? Dad couldn’t even get any and he works in the ruddy department.”
I raised a brow. “What?”
“Oliver’s team has a whole private box in the stadium and they told him to invite as many people as he wanted,” she explained. “I’m not sure where he got off to but I saw him when I first got here.”
My body felt numb and I wanted to sink onto the ground and reevaluate everything that went through my mind the previous few days. Oliver had organized the entire thing. Was that why he hadn’t been to visit me? Or was he still irritated but I was his girlfriend so he had to do something for me? What a jerk he was.
“We got you a cake too,” said George. “But we’re saving it until after the match tonight.”
“What if the match goes on for days?” I asked, raising an amused brow.
“Then I’ll send Fred to go get it and we’ll put candles in a mushy cake.”
“Good answer.” I took a moment to peek into the tents, one filled with seafoam green blankets and pillows and a tiny kitchenette and the other with navy blue. “Are we doing the girls and guys thing?”
“Yeah,” said Katie, “we can’t have Ang and Fred waking everyone up in the middle of the night.”
“Sick,” I muttered. “I didn’t want that image.” I looked away from the winking Fred and took a seat next to Lee. “I really thought you lot forgot about me.”
“That’s ridiculous,” said Angelina. “I felt the worst for Oliver, though. We had to literally watch his door to make sure he didn’t go and see you.”
“Why?” I gaped at her. I had suffered for a week thinking he loathed me and they were standing guard to make sure?
“Because he would have given it away,” she explained. “He’s no good at keeping secrets. We had to make sure this was a surprise.”
“So he took it well then?”
She snorted. “If by well you mean he got George with a pretty good hex on the back and almost threw the coffee table through the door, then yeah. But we didn’t let him. He said something about wanting to make things right, but things are always right with you two anyway so I didn’t think it mattered.”
Alicia rolled her eyes. “So basically they had no idea the two of you had a fight before he left my place.”
Angelina gasped. “What? Oh, shit!”
I nodded. “Yeah, so I spent the whole week thinking he hated me.”
“How could I ever hate you?”
I spun around and Oliver was leaning against a nearby tree with his arms folded. His Tornadoes t-shirt was clinging to his chest and he had that Quidditch player smirk plastered to his face. I could hardly imagine him almost throwing a coffee table through a door. But it made me happy.
I stood up and faced him, my hands squarely on my hips and his eyebrow raised skillfully. Then I hit him hard on the chest and he staggered a bit, gaping at me.
“What was that for?” he cried, rubbing the spot.
“I just spent an entire week sulking around my flat because of you,” I said, irritated. Then I kissed him hard and pushed him back against the tree.
“What a weird couple,” I heard Fred say from the fire pit.
Oliver smiled into the kiss and broke it a few seconds later. “You heard them. They wouldn’t let me leave. Apparently they thought I wouldn’t be able to keep a secret. I don’t know what gave them that idea.” He blinked a bit and I lost myself in his eyes.
Katie snorted from behind us. “One kiss from you, Jane, and an inquiry about your birthday and he would have handed you everything about today. You’d make him feel guilty.”
“Do you feel guilty?” I asked him.
He nodded a bit. “I wanted to see you.”
“I waited for you,” I said quietly. “It was stupid, but I waited for you to come in the middle of the night like you did before.”
“I tried,” he said. “Fred was watching those nights though and he set traps. Stupid git.”
I chuckled and hugged him, burying my face in his chest to sooth where I hit him. “I thought you were so angry you didn’t want to talk to me.”
“I was for a couple days,” he said slowly. “But then I realized how crazy the whole situation was. I wanted to say sorry. So. I’m sorry.”
I smiled. “I’m sorry too. It’s your job even if I don’t like being away from you for so long.”
“Did anyone see this coming last fall?” George asked in amusement. “Somewhere between the screaming at team meetings and hexing in the hallway I missed this coming.”
“At one point I was convinced they’d kill each other off,” said Katie with a grin.
“Don’t give up on that,” Oliver said slyly and led me over to the unsuccessful fire. “What’s going on with this anyway? I thought you lot would have it up and running like at the retreat.”
“Can you not conjure up those memories please?” asked Angelina.
“So it went well?” said Lee.
I rolled my eyes. “You’d better watch it or Ang will force you to go to our retreat as a reserve.”
“So you’ll have one?” Oliver asked her.
“If my team falls apart,” Angelina replied, smiling. “Or maybe just to torture them. I can pair up Jane and Ellis again. That will be quite the sight.”
“I told you I won’t be the reserve next year,” I said definitely, kicking a rock closer to the pit. “I’m not going to have someone go after Ellis so I have to get up on a broom again.”
“Afraid you’ll get another offer?” asked Fred.
“Shut it, Jane,” Angelina said quickly. “You’re already on the list as a reserve. We’re not holding Seeker trials at all to get one so you’ll just have to hope Ellis stays nice and healthy.”
I narrowed my eyes at her and a little hiss might have come out.
I watched Fred poke the fire with his wand. It erupted slightly and everyone’s eyes focused on the flames while Oliver put an arm around me.
“I can’t believe we’re here,” I whispered as the sky darkened around us. “The Quidditch World Cup.” I released the breath I had been holding and smiled. “This is insane.”
“You know how insane it is?” said Katie with a smile on her face. “So insane that you have to wear birthday sashes during the game.”
Alicia shook her head heavily. “Oh, no. Nope. That isn’t going to happen.” She looked to Lee for support but then saw him pull two bright pink sashes from behind his back that each had silver glittery letters spelling out the words, Birthday Girl.
I groaned. “I don’t do sashes.”
“That’s good,” said Angelina, “because we brought tiaras too.” They were large and plastic with fake jewels lining them. She stuck one on my head. It was itchy and annoying and I frowned, trying to think up a hex to use on her for revenge.
But for now, I was at the Quidditch World Cup. In southern France.
Because of my boyfriend and rubbish friends.
Lee draped the sash over me and Fred put a pot over the growing fire to make something to eat. I let my mind wander for a bit and buried my head in Oliver’s shoulder.
It was perfect, just being in the warm, dry air with my friends. In a way, it reminded me of the June air at Hogwarts, all of us sitting out by the lake with smiles and sand making its way onto our clothes. The only thing different is that we were surrounded by people we didn’t know.
That was a good thing. It meant no Libby.
Or Mandy. Or Dan Ellis. Or Roger.
“Want anything, Jane?” Fred asked.
I shook my head. “Dad fixed me cold pizza for breakfast.”
“That sounds horrible,” said Katie.
“I requested it.” I beamed.
“You would.” Oliver smoothed out my hair and reached for an apple.
We relaxed next to the tents for a while, talking about the odds of the teams and Oliver strategically mentioned that the Harpies were not in the Cup final. I punched him. After the sky began to darken we zipped everything into the tents and made our way up the grassy hill toward the stadium. It wasn’t too far away, shielded in a large forest on the other side of the camp site, but my feet still hurt by the time we entered the trees. Uncomfortable shoes were a bad idea.
Not that I knew what I needed when Ang captured me.
The stadium was enormous. I couldn’t see the top from where we went in and there were thousands of people crowding to get into a door. I brushed my fingers along the metal outside out of the stadium and beamed. Even though I was still in the stupid sash and tiara, it was worth it. I could rock them for a while and then set them on fire when no one was looking.
The Puddlemere box was higher up in the center of the stadium. I could tell right away it probably cost a lot since there was a long white table filled with food there was no way I could pronounce and silk-covered chairs near the large opening to the game. It was crowded, but the space was big so I followed Oliver through the people and we set our things on a grouping of chairs to the left side.
I turned and saw a large man with dark hair and blue eyes walking toward us. He had on a Magpies shirt and a “C” taped there awkwardly.
“Vanter. Good to see you, mate,” Oliver said, shaking the man’s hand. “This is my girlfriend, Jane, and most of my old Quidditch team from school.” He introduced everyone with a smile. “Everyone, this is James Vanter, Captain and Seeker or Puddlemere United.”
Vanter grinned and shook everyone’s hands. “I’ll have you lot know he hasn’t stopped acting like a Captain.”
“No surprise,” said Angelina.
“Sometimes I have to remind him who’s the boss, but he has great input so sometimes it doesn’t matter.” Vanter chuckled. “Johnson and Maxwell just got here a bit ago and there’s Denters walking through the door so I’ll talk to you later, Wood. Nice meeting you all.”
After that we met the three Chasers for Puddlmere, Johnson, Maxwell, and Hauer. Hauer was the only woman on the team, but she made her presence known laughing loudly and picking on Maxwell. Johnson was also new to the team, called up from the reserves, as were both Beaters Denters and Stewart.
The thing I loved about them is they seemed so much like our own Gryffindor team. Well, their Gryffindor team. I wasn’t going to be a part of that anymore. They joked and called each other out, laughing loudly and grabbing drinks from the well-stocked bar. I spent a while chatting with Liam Denters about his time at Hogwarts so many years ago. Apparently he was kicked off the Quidditch team in Hufflepuff because he got in a fight with Madam Hooch about the out-of-bounds rule and he told me to owl him if I ever wanted to chat about the industry or get into a game for free.
Before the game we took our seats in the front, food on plates and drinks in our hands. I had water, but the rest of the group had firewhiskey and various other beverages that would turn this night into a giggle-fest.
I watched Angelina take a big drink of her firewhiskey and I took the moment to look around at the stadium. There were faces everywhere and half of the stands filled with black and white while the other half with sky blue. I got slowly to my feet as a few announcements were being made and crept into the box bathroom.
I took off the sash and set it on the fake marble counter and then put the tiara down next to it. Then I tried to set it on fire.
Then it didn’t work.
I groaned. Leave it to my friends to cast anti-flame jinxes on a silly birthday sash. Apparently they knew what I was going to try. Irritated, I made my way back into the box and took my seat next to Oliver. He was on his second drink and I wasn’t surprised.
The teams were out on the field and the crowd went wild. I could hardly hear myself think, watching the Tornadoes slap each other’s hands and one of the refs dragging the trunk of Quidditch balls out onto the pitch. The buzz of excitement leaked into my ears and Alicia squeezed my shoulder.
Happy birthday indeed.
It was not questionable these teams deserved to be in the World Cup. From the moment they kicked off and the Magpies took the Quaffle, I could hardly tell where the action was. There was a serious of motion blurs and every once in a while someone would fall sideways, clutching their broom, because they were hit by a Bludger. The Keepers were ridiculously fast, making dive saves and kicking things out of the way while the Seekers swerved all over the pitch.
I should have kept my eye on them for next year.
What rubbish was that? I wasn’t going to be the Seeker next year.
If Ellis got hurt so help me Merlin I would hurt him all over again.
I watched the Tornadoes score yet another goal and Oliver clutched my hand tight. I thought about it for a moment—the fact that I had gotten and refused an offer to play for the reserve team of the Tutshill Tornadoes. Was I daft? The team had such a long history of winning and I could have been a part of it. The only problem was I didn’t like playing Quidditch and I still had a hard time flying. I wondered why I was offered a contract. It wasn’t as if that catch was something spectacular. I fell too.
They shouldn’t want a Seeker that fell after a Snitch catch.
Even though Oliver did.
I squeezed his hand in return, trying to keep my concentration on the game. From the front of the box I could see into the boxes to the left and right of the Puddlmere one. To the left there was a group of people in suits with black ties. No one was talking, which was an extreme difference to our box where everyone was chattering away about Beater positioning and sponsor names. I couldn’t see the left box too well since it was far away, but it was decorated in a lush green with the Brazilian flag draped over the side of the box.
“Alicia,” I said, trying to draw her attention to me. “What’s your favorite color?”
She raised a brow at me and rolled her eyes. Her sash looked a little singed.
That plan was a failure.
“I can’t believe how many people are here,” said Katie, rocking back and forth in her seat. “And teams—do all of the teams have boxes, Oliver?”
He nodded. “Usually they do to show support, though I heard the Finches might boycott because they thought they had an unfair penalty call during that final game with the Tornadoes.” Oliver shrugged. “But usually, yeah.”
“It sure seems like it,” said Angelina, “especially since Brazil is right next to us.”
Stupid, stupid Ang.
Alicia’s face went a delicate shade of red and I watched Lee’s fists tighten. I was sure this was a subject that would always wield those results.
I glanced toward the other box to see Bastian leaning out with a pair of high-tech binoculars, watching the action. He was smiling, looking dishy and Brazilian. Alicia tensed up. Lee put an arm around her. I chuckled to myself.
Angelina leaned over to me. “Do we know why he left yet?” she whispered.
I shrugged. “I don’t think we’ll ever know.”
“I just told him it was his time to leave.”
My head whipped around. Oliver smiled. “Wait, you did it?”
“Yeah,” he said half-heartedly, still facing the game. I watched his eyes dart back and forth between the Chasers and I couldn’t believe he could follow it. “That’s why I was outside when you came out. I just told him it wasn’t worth it. That she fancied Lee too much. I told him what sort of girl she was. He understood, took it a bit hard, but I don’t blame him. He had no chance. Which is weird considering what he had to offer.” He smiled again and let out a “whoop” as the Tornadoes scored.
I gaped at him, my mind going back to meeting him outside after I overheard Lee and Alicia. “I think I like you more and more every day.”
“I think you should.” He smirked. I hit him playfully.
“Oliver, I’m so glad you made it!”
Oliver turned and so did I. My jaw nearly hit the floor as I saw a tall blond woman with red heels and a matching smile. She couldn’t have been much older than Oliver and she leaned down to give him an enormous hug. I scowled.
“How are you, Bridget?” He smiled and offered her the empty seat on the other side of him.
“I’m doing great—not too happy about this game so far though since the Magpies are down, but what can you do?” She beamed and her teeth were very straight and white and for some reason I wanted to punch them all out.
Who was I kidding? I knew exactly why I wanted to punch them all out.
Oliver chuckled. “Oh, Bridget, this is my girlfriend, Jane. Jane, this is Bridget. She’s the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lilion, the owners of Puddlemere United.”
I nodded. “Nice to meet you,” I said, my mouth forcing it out.
Surprisingly, she gave me the same unfriendly glare and nodded. “Pleasure.”
What a twit! I watched her immediately turn her attention back to Oliver, gushing over his every word. What was she playing at? Did she think she could just move in for the kill?
“Who’s that?” whispered Ang curiously.
“Owner’s daughter. Little slut,” I replied quietly, irritated. Angelina chuckled.
“Who knew Jane Perry could be so jealous?”
I narrowed my eyes at her. “You’re done talking. I’m not jealous. I don’t get jealous. I have Oliver. She doesn’t. There isn’t anything to be jealous about.” I folded my arms and tried to focus my attention on the game. Instead, all I could hear was the blond girl.
“I can’t believe I missed practice the other day,” she said exasperatedly. “I was getting my hair done and simply lost track of time. I bet you did wonderfully though.”
“I usually do.” Oliver smiled.
“You’re never modest at all, Oliver Wood.” She giggled.
I thought about throwing up.
“No reason to be.” Oliver rested his chin on his hands and continued to watch.
Part of me wished I was wearing a fancy dress just to prove that I was better than her. Not that a fancy dress would have proved anything, but most of the male eyes on the box were on her. Oliver’s probably would have been too if it wasn’t for me.
I had great legs you know!
“Oh, Oliver, you’re so silly.”
Silly. What a twit. Did anyone even use that word anymore?
I was letting her get the better of me. I needed to ignore her. Oliver was talking to her again about Puddlemere practice times and I tried to ignore them without clenching my fists but it was harder than I thought. She was so upbeat and excited. Oliver was smiling at her. I was sulking. I shouldn’t have sulked. That wasn’t me.
Instead, I stood up as a time-out was called and walked into the hallway outside of the box. It was pretty empty except for a few people carrying food trays to different boxes and the door to the Brazilian box was propped open. I decided to stay far away from it. Instead, I sunk against the wall.
I was being dramatic. I wasn’t even mad at Oliver. He hadn’t done anything wrong. I just didn’t want to see Bridget in her red heels and her red lipstick. I wasn’t sure he saw me left. That didn’t matter. It was a Quidditch game. It was my birthday. It was—
It was Roger Davies.
A/N: How does everyone like the Bridget chappie image? She's a keeper, huh?
Anyway, this chapter was fun to write simply because everyone was hanging out at the Quidditch World Cup. What's cooler than that? What's that? Oliver shirtless? Ohhh, well you have a point. I hope you all enjoyed this chapter and the disgusting cliffie I just left it on (sorry for that, I'm a cliffie addict).
So please let me know what you think, mostly becuase I'm eager to hear what you lot think about Roger showing up out of the blue.