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Chapter 1: The Exploding Quaffle
Exquisite Chapter Image by Sjoeks @TDA!
I’m not really one all out for being boy obsessed, like Roxanne. Although, I’m not one for being all into school, like Rose. I’m not all that obsessed with Quidditch, like James, either, though I do play it. I like to think I’m sort of a mix between all three, spare most of the first.
Let’s just say I’ve never ever really had it…good with boys. I like to blame it on my skin color, or maybe how I look, or maybe my weight. I always blame it on something or another of my physical characteristics. Lily tells me I really need to stop doing that because it’s like degrading myself by myself. How I always end up needing advice from a girl two years younger than me, I will never know.
What I do know, though, is that none of these things matter at the exact moment.
Because James Potter was literally about to kill me.
“Potter! Don’t you dare! I’m sorry, Merlin, I’ve said so a thousand times!” I shouted, running through corridor after corridor.
“Get back here, right now, Patil! I demand you come back this instant!” He growled, chasing after. He was also just a tad bit faster than I could have ever hoped to be.
“Please, James, I’m begging you!” I got down to my knees, just for dramatic effect.
He froze. My eyebrows furrowed. What?
“You just called me James,” he muttered in realization.
Oh. Snap. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Hmm…
“Please, Potter,” I bluffed, after a short pause. “You’re delusional.” With that, I ran while I had the chance. “Just don’t kill me, please!”
He snapped back, suddenly remembering what his original mission had been.
“Woah!” Scorpius breathed out, catching me while I was full speed running, and hiding behind one of the pillars as James ran right past. “What happened?”
Finally having the excuse to ramble to someone, I went full out. “-and so you see, it was not my fault that the quaffle exploded in Potter’s face and recreated itself!”
The look on his face had been between amusement and incredulousness. “Come on, Maggie. Let’s just go before James takes his rage out on someone else.”
“Scorpius. Save me,” I muttered, seeing James in the Common Room, searching for me.
When he saw me he stormed over, and all of Gryffindor stared at the showdown ready to happen. I shut my eyes, wincing a bit, at how bad he would yell at me.
“Ah, Maggie, my starling, I could kiss you right now, I’m so happy!”
I peeked one eye open to see him smiling ear to ear, crushing me in a bone crushing hug. Woah, wait, what?
“That is the most brilliant idea for the Slytherin match next week! Oh, I swear to Merlin, I could just kiss you right now, you are so brilliant…you know what, what the hell!” With that, he kissed my cheek. I was just frozen to the spot since the beginning.
What in the hell is happening? As he retreated up to his dormitory, he winked and said, “Mags-you’re the best. Brilliant, woman, just brilliant.”
I swear to Merlin, everyone, everyone, was gawking at me. Hell, I would too. I was expecting him to yell at me so badly that I’d rather have asked for a Howler from my mum. And that’s saying something, I mean it.
“I believe you are literally the first person in history to ever explode a quaffle in James Potter’s face and have him kiss you because of it,” Scorpius uttered. At the condescending look I shot him, he put his hands up like he were surrendering, saying, “What? Was it something I said?”
I rolled my eyes and went up the boys’ dormitories. Without even knocking, I went into James’ room, the room he shares with his fellow chaser-Connor McLaggen (utter arse), and one of our beaters-Nick Thomas (actually really nice. He and I can
relate on the rejection basis of dating, so…) and a few others who weren’t on the team.
“Bloody hell, Maggie, knock!” Nick shouted, shoving away some papers as James quickly tossed a book behind his bed. I narrowed my eyes but let it go.
“Oi, Potter, what do you think you’re playing at?” I asked. “What was that stupid stunt you just played down there?”
“What stunt?” he asked, a complete blank look on his face. Huh. He really was this dumb.
I shook my head. “You know what, never mind. But one more thing. If you think you can make the quaffle explode in front of Parkinson’s face, you’ve got another think coming.”
“Why’s that, Patil?” he asked, condescendingly.
I glared at him, but made my way to sit down on the single bed (I can’t sit on that tiny bunk bed!). “I have multiple reasons, Potter, want me to list them all? Well for one thing, only I know how to do it and you can’t do it without me, so tough luck. Second, even if you miraculously managed to convince me to do it, I couldn’t, because I don’t even know how I did it. Blimey, I was aiming for your hair! It was meant to chop off all your hair and make you bald! At least…for a week. I must’ve mixed up the letters to the spell or something,” I began muttering the end. “Anyways, that’s why I’m not a beater,” I snorted. “I’m also pretty sure it’s illegal in real Quidditch to tamper with the equipment in any way, so here we’d be jeopardizing losing the match, which you would never do, Potter. And lastly, Potter, in case you’ve forgotten, this is the Slytherin versus Gryffindor match. If we piss them off, they’re going to kill us. Not to mention the fact that they’re already planning on slaughtering us, literally and send us all to the Hospital Wing with serious injuries. And I’m not even joking or anything, Scorpius told me all of it. We can’t afford to piss them off,” I finished my speech.
“Holy shit, Patil, I didn’t mean for you to tell me all of the reasons!” Potter growled, rubbing his temples.
McLaggen and Nick stared at me in shock, however. Nick was the first to recover. “Mate…she’s right, though. We need to plan a couple new strategies, to make sure we don’t really die out there next Saturday.”
James bit his lip, looking he was internally debating hard. “Alright,” he finally agreed. “Practice tomorrow morning, 5 am to 8 am. Patil, tell Lily and Finnegan, I’ll tell Fred.”
I shot him a dirty look. Just before leaving, I said, “Would it kill you to ever call anyone by anything other than their last names if they’re not your family?”
“Oh shut up!” he shouted loud enough for me to hear through the closed door.
“I can’t believe my douche of a brother,” Lily groaned on and on as we made our way to the pitch the following morning. “I have bags under my eyes. Bags, Maggie, BAGS. I LOOK LIKE A ZOMBIE.”
“Lily,” I awkwardly patted her head. “You beautiful child…er…you are…very much better looking than a zombie…er…”
“You’re not very good at this, are you?” Lily asked.
“No, sorry,” I admitted as James burst out laughing.
“I actually caught every bit of that conversation!” He laughed again, like it was just that amusing before becoming suddenly serious.
“Alright, team! It’s become a serious issue that Slytherin is going to seriously, as Maggie likes to put it, slaughter us in the match next week, so we all have to be on our toppest guard. I want-”
“Potter, toppest isn’t a word,” I interrupted.
“Patil, interrupt me one more time and you run ten laps.”
Hmph. Jerk. “Anyway, I want you to-”
“Wait, Potter, you said ‘one more time’. That technically isn’t grammatically correct since one more time implies I’d interrupted before that too, which I hadn’t.”
“TEN LAPS, PATIL! NOW!” he roared.
“Jeez, calm your tits,” I muttered.
Just as I began my first lap, he roared again, apparently having heard my tiny comment. “TWENTY LAPS, PATIL.”
That absolute fucking jerk.
“Potter, please,” I breathed in heavily. I was on my nineteenth lap. “Please I’m begging…just…” I breathed again, my chest heaving. I felt so dizzy. I mean, have you seen the size of this pitch?! It’s fucking big. And I mean big. “James, please…just…one minute.” With that, I finally collapsed. In front of James Potter, in the middle of a practice. God dammit.
“Oh, I could just kill you now, James.”
“I didn’t know she had asthma! Would you quit hitting me with that book, Lily?”
“No! You absolute horrific pig headed arse!”
“Could ya’ all shut up?” I groggily asked, groaned at the pain in my chest.
“You’re awake!” Lily smiled, hugging me. “Where’s your pump? Don’t tell me you left it in the Common Room.”
I gave her an iffy smile. “Maggie! You’re supposed to keep it with you all the time!”
“Yeah? And in which pocket, oh genius?”
“I’ll sew in a pocket or something, and Rose can help me make a zipper or something,” she shrugged.
“What time is it?” I suddenly asked.
“6:38,” James mumbled. I blew out a breath of relief.
“Great! Let’s go, we have to practice,” I stood up. Nick and Fred gave me stare down hard looks. “Stop looking at me like that, I’m fine. Let’s go.”
“If you say so,” Fred murmured, lightly, as we all mounted off our brooms.
“Block as many as you can!” McLaggen shouted to me.
“Fred’ll be throwing bludgers at you, I’m gonna block ‘em, alright?” Nick commanded.
“Got it!” I shouted to them.
God, my voice would be hoarse by the end of this.