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Chapter 2: Celebrations, Sulking and More Detention
He caught it. It had been dangerous to dive for the quaffle from so far away, the risk of falling from his broomstick seemed to outweigh the chance of catching it, but he hadn't cared about that at the time. Gryffindor had been almost brutal with their passes, their hard work in practice paying off, the atmosphere the crowd brought with them was addicting, and the adrenaline rush that consumed him was enough for him to dive.
And he caught it.
Which meant that, even though Albus Potter got the snitch, Ravenclaw was ahead by ten points; the House Cup was theirs. They had won.
Bertie regained his balance and lowered himself to the ground with the rest of his team. Sweat fell down his face and he used the sleeve of his uniform to wipe it away. As much as Bertie loved Quidditch, he couldn't wait to get out of his gear; it was so hot. House members swarmed the pitch, gathering around his team as they all patted him on the back and took his hand, congratulating him. It was the most attention Bertie had ever been given since arriving at Hogwarts six years ago; he felt a little overwhelmed.
The crowds parted little by little, enough for Albus to come over and throw his arm around the Aussie's shoulders. "I can't believe you actually did it," he said, awed. "I saw you just before I found the snitch; you actually dived for it! Why?"
"Does it matter?" Bertie asked, laughing. "We won."
"I'm sure there'll be a party in your honour because of this," Albus told him. "Beating Gryffindor is a rare moment," he joked.
They stopped outside of the Ravenclaw changing rooms, occasionally waving to people passing by who wish more congratulations, and Albus rubbed his ears, pretending that the team's cheering was too loud. "I'm not sure it's in my honour, but Ewan did say that if we were to win we'd have to celebrate," he replied, nodding to Ravenclaw's captain. "I bet everyone will be invited."
"Just tell me where," Albus said as he walked away to his own team's changing room.
Bertie walked in and started to remove his uniform as he reached the bench with his bag. He smiled as his team resumed to pat him on the back, slightly uncomfortable. Ewan put his arm around Bertie's neck and pulled him to him in a one-armed hug, the first hug of any kind since they had joined the team together in second year. "We're celebrating thanks to you, Will! When Potter went for the snitch the first time, I thought we were done for. But that disappeared and you caught the quaffle! Can you imagine what would have happened if you'd missed?"
Bertie rolled his eyes at the captain's running commentary of the game and answered his question. "If they had caught the snitch, we would have drawn."
"Oh, God," another player called out. "That sounds worse than losing."
"Especially since the game lasted long enough already," a player on his right said. "I wonder what would have happened if we'd have drawn on points; I don't think I've ever seen that in a game, you know."
Bertie took his towel from his bag, along with his clean clothes, and made his way to the shower. "Well, thank God you don't need to think about it; we won, just celebrate!"
He turned his back on their laughter and entered the shower the furthest away from them. Bertie let the water cascade down his back, washing away all the sweat, dirt and hard work that had been put into that final game, and thought about the summer.
Good bye homework, hello surfing!
Yes, that was what he wanted; the sea, the sun, home. And he would tolerate his mother to have it. Well, he would if he had to; Bertie was always out and even if he did stay home, she was never in. "Blessings," he muttered, getting out slowly.
The rest of his team were in the showers when he got back to his bench and he dried and dressed himself with no messing from them. His first day on the team, the older kids hid his clothes while he was still in the shower because he was the last. He shuddered at the memory, not wanting to relive it. It wasn't what actually happened to him, no, it wasn't like he was a specific target; they were always playing pranks on team members. And besides, he'd walked around the beach in a towel, so it hadn't bothered him. No, it was because Rose Weasley had caught him. Of all the people to catch him walking around the Quidditch grounds in only a towel looking for his clothes, it just had to be her. And she was only there because she'd promised to wait for Albus, who was waiting for James.
Bertie always became a stuttering mess when she was around and he was always caught in awkward situations. He looked up at the sky as he made his way to the school.
Someone up there must really hate me.
At least in Australia that couldn't happen.
"Bert! Bertie!" Bertie stopped and turned, waved when he recognized Albus and waited for him to catch up. "So, did you find out about the party?"
Bertie smacked his palm to his head. "No, I was too busy trying to get them to stop thinking about the fact that if I had missed, we'd have drawn. I completely forgot to ask Ewan."
"Oh, that's fine," Albus promised. "You'll find out in your common room, right? Then you can just let me know."
"Will do," Bertie laughed. They talked enthusiastically about the game with ease; most of the students were still outside enjoying the sunshine, their last few days before they left for the summer, the game still in their minds; the hallways were mostly empty. Albus waved goodbye once they reached Ravenclaw tower and continued on his way to Gryffindor.
It didn't take long for Bertie to figure out the riddle and he made his way to his dorm. He planned in sleeping until his dorm mates got back and they kept him up, then he would ask Ewan about the party and write to Albus. Bertie threw his bag underneath his bed, jumped on top and got comfortable.
"Good plan," he muttered, closing his eyes.
Bertie climbed the last set of stairs to the seven floor, hoping Albus was already there waiting for him, since it wouldn't take him very long. Bertie had sent him a note about the party about an hour before it was said to start, barely five minutes after Ewan had gotten in, and, because Albus was helping his sister, Lily, they had agreed to meet an hour after the party started. The celebration would be in full swing by the time they got there, which was just how Bertie liked it; no awkward silences with people who came early, no sticking out in the crowds, no chance of causing a noticeable scene or have anyone be able to spot when he made a fool of himself.
It wasn't Bertie's fault it always happened to him; it was just bad luck, nothing more.
Bad luck he could do without; Albus said Rose was coming to the party.
He groaned thinking about it and turned the corner to the Room of Requirement. He waved when Albus spotted him and stopped in front of him, both staring at the wall. Albus must have noticed his nervousness, because he clapped him on the back reassuringly. "Don't worry, Bertie. I mean, what are the odds of Rose spending than five minutes in our company?"
"It takes less than thirty seconds for me to lose the ability to speak, less than a minute for me to look like an idiot and less than two for me to do something so stupid she has to leave." Bertie turned to face his best friend. "That's why she never spends more than five minutes in our company."
Albus didn't say anything for a while; he seemed to be seriously reviewing Bertie's words in his head. Just as the wall became a door, Albus nodded. "Yeah, you're right."
Throwing his so-called-best friend's hand off his shoulder, Bertie made his way into the room and to the party. "Real nice." Albus burst out laughing. "You are such a jerk, I hate you."
Anything else Bertie might have said was drowned out by the incredibly loud party music, people laughing and dancing, everyone was celebrating and Bertie just closed his mouth and went straight to the refreshments table. He picked up bottle after bottle, putting them down again and frowning. "Not it. Not it. Not that one. Eww. Ah ha," he called out, lifting it up and showing it to Albus with an almost triumphant grin on his face, and then he poured it into a glass. "Now we're talking."
"I don't get your obsession with that," Albus said, pulling a face. He made himself a glass of pumpkin juice. "It's just sugar."
"As all good things are," Bertie grinned, taking a drink. "How you can't like Pepsi, I will never know."
Albus laughed at his words, picked up a marshmallow and threw it in the air, catching it in his mouth. They both knew that they were about as close as best friends could become, no one ever really saw them hang out with anyone else, but if someone ever asked them who they would consider a friend, they would always say Ewan. He always knew exactly how to get what he wanted and what his friends wanted, hence the Pepsi for him and the marshmallows for Albus. He changed the subject to Ewan. "I still don't know how he does it. How does he get all of this to school, especially in such a short time?"
Albus popped another marshmallow into his mouth, moved closer and as soon as he'd swallowed it, shouted down his ear so Bertie could hear him. "He's awesome!" Bertie jumped back, rubbing his ear, which caused Albus to start laughing again. "Come on, Albert, his mum's one of the school governors and his dad owns a chain of sweet stores, one of which is in Hogsmeade. It's sounds fairly easy for him to get all this in a short amount of time; he probably asked his mum beforehand if he could celebrate if Ravenclaw won and his dad made sure everything was prepared. We'd probably be celebrating anyway, whether you won or not."
"Yeah, that sounds like Ewan."
"What sounds like Ewan?" They both turned to the new voice, Albus' hand on his heart as if the voice had scared him. Bertie hid his smirk behind his glass.
"Don't do that!" Albus shouted. "You almost gave me a heart attack. Where the hell did you come from?"
Ewan smirked and stood between the friends, bringing them closer together, and discreetly pointed to a young girl they recognized from Divination; Carly, Bertie only remembered her first name. "I came from the dance floor, I'm going to get my friend and myself a drink and then I'm going back to the dance floor." Ewan narrowed his eyes, pretending to be thinking of something. "We might go to my room."
Bertie almost choked on his drink, understanding the boy's meaning, and groaned; he didn't want to spend the night sleeping on the couch. "You're an animal."
"No, I'm a teenage boy," he grinned. He grabbed the drinks he came for and saluted them. "And I'm going back to the dance floor. And all of this," he opened his arms to the party, with a grin that could put the Cheshire Cat to shame, "is your fault, Quidditch star. Oh," Ewan put both glasses carefully in one hand and dug into his pocket, pulling out a blue and silver bag. He threw the bag into Bertie's eager hands. "A deal's a deal."
As soon as he was gone, Albus moved forward, lifting the bag to see the name. He shook his head, scoffing. "You have got to stop making deals for Oreos."
Bertie opened the bag, let out a childish giggle and brought one out. "Never." He popped it into his mouth.
"Oh, Oreos, can I have one?" Bertie choked on the biscuit, recognizing the voice instantly, and he looked up slowly. "Hey, guys."
Albus greeted his cousin with enthusiasm, asking her if she was enjoying the party. Bertie just nodded, inwardly cursing himself over and over for getting tongue-tied. Again. He didn't understand why it was so hard just to say hi. When she turned to him, he opened his mouth, ready to speak, then closed it again and held out the bag instead. "So, I can have one?" She asked. Bertie nodded and she took and Oreo from the bag. "Thanks, Albert. I was worried you'd say no; Al told me you don't share Oreos."
Bertie looked down to the bag and stuffed his hand in, pretending to busy himself with getting one. "U-Usually true," he stammered a little and hoped she didn't notice.
"It means he likes you," Albus added, smirking. He groaned and tried to hide a grimace when Bertie stood on his foot.
Bertie winced at the smile she gave; either she didn't believe her cousin and just wanted him to shut up or she did believe him and wanted him to shut up even more because she didn't feel the same and would prefer no one spoke about it because she didn't know how to tell him that she didn't feel the same. Either way, he felt like crap. He shoved an Oreo in his mouth then proceeded to wash it down with more pop.
“Oh, hey, it’s Chris,” Rose called out, causing Bertie to choke on that Oreo, too, only it was worse than before. Rose turned around. “Is he okay?”
Albus hit his back repeatedly with his fist until Bertie calmed down and he moved out the way. “I’m fine,” he muttered. “It just went down the wrong hole, that’s all.”
“I should go. I’ll see you later.” He grimaced when saw Chris waving Rose over and took her hand, saying something to make her laugh.
“Oh, look, it’s Chris,” Bertie called in a high-pitched voice. “I hate Chris.”
Albus scoffed, punched him in the arm as a distraction and stole an Oreo. “You only hate him because she likes him.”
Bertie gave him a look that said his friend didn’t understand. “I consider that a perfectly valid reason.”
“You sound more and more like Ron every day.”
“He has the right idea.”
“He would say the exact same thing about you,” Albus argued.
“That’s where you’re wrong, everybody loves me,” Bertie countered. “At least, they do when they find out about my family.” Albus shook his head, a knowing smile on his face; he had heard the story too many times to feel pity for his friend. Bertie didn’t even feel pity, he just ignored it. “Hey, what’s Malfoy up to?” He pointed his out and they watched as the blond made his way to the other side of the room and stop at James Potter’s side. James, who had still been sulking a little over losing, broke into a huge grin and pushed Scorpius back to the door, while he made his way to stage where the music was.
“I have no idea, but if he’s talking to my brother, it isn’t good,” Albus muttered.
“Hey! Guys! Over here!” They watched everyone turn their heads to listen to James, who had decided to make his voice louder with a spell and shout over the music instead of turning off. The speech obviously wasn’t going to last long. James extended his arm and pointed to Scorpius. “I give you real drinks!”
Bertie laughed at the look on Albus' face and his choice of words and made his way over. “You’re brother does come in handy.”
“What?” He shrugged. “I’m depressed and no one here is under the age of seventeen; I think we should enjoy it. We drink and we dance, Al.” He frowned and corrected himself. “We’ll drink and I’ll dance. You’re rubbish.”
Time got away from them. People enjoyed the night, no one wanted to leave. It seemed to have turned into an all-night thing. And that was perfectly fine with Bertie. He spent the night dancing with anyone and everyone who were willing to dance with. This happened to be a lot of people, though he vaguely wondered if it was because he won the game. He decided that it really didn’t matter. Albus gave up after an hour, content to just sit to the side and talk with the others. Dancing was not his strong point. He just didn’t know how Bertie did it; he could go in for hours and feel nothing. It was the mornings he didn’t look forward to.
The party was a hit and everyone was enjoying themselves. Until about 3 o’clock in the morning.
Malfoy ran across the room again, only this time he didn’t go to James; he went straight to the stage. “Teachers are on their way. It’s time to go.”
The chaos was overwhelming; Malfoy stayed on the stage to escape the masses of teenagers trying to escape. Albus soon joined him. Bertie was pushed and pulled from every direction until he ended up on the floor, his hand clutching his head. By the time the teachers had made their way through the door, everyone had left through the back door and were on their way to their dorms. Including Ewan, Bertie realised when he sat up slowly. One of the teachers, he couldn’t remember who, helped him to his knees and he thanked them quietly.
“You four again?”
Four? Again? Bertie scanned the room; himself, Albus, Scorpius… Rose. He hadn’t seen her before.
A/N: Yay for the second chapter of Bertie story, because we all love Bertie.
Next chapter: Deja Vu and Summer Plans...