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Chapter 11: Interrogations and Interests
GOSH, I'M SO SORRY.
I''VE BEEN GONE FOR MONTHS. MONTHS!!!
I've just gotten back my lovely laptop (!!!) (i missed this babe) and have FINALLY finished this chapter (my longest chapter so far!) i've had the worst case of lazy-procrastinating-unmotivated-laptopless-writer-itis. but never fear, I've just watched the bachelorette season finale and have a sudden urge to write scenes bursting with awkward sexual tension! Enjoy! xox Jilly
oops- Sherlock Holmes belongs to the wonderful imagination of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!
I walked into the Great Hall with my head held high, prepared to deny the shit out of last night.
“Morning!” said Dom, way to brightly, especially for someone who had just stayed up all night.
“Morning,” responded the half-asleep assortment of Quidditch players that I call friends. I surveyed the table and almost sighed in relief. They all looked too hung over and sleepy to function, much less harass me about last night. Freddy might have been drooling on Ryan’s shoulder, and it looked like Nick had collapsed from exhaustion, casually drowning in his cornflakes.
Dom and I exchanged glances. She’d obviously come to the same conclusions as me. Dom, Rose and I sat down and began to eat. Many awkward silences ensued. Rose and Dom tried filling the gaps with equally awkward conversation, but to no avail. I just sat there silently.
“We don’t have Quidditch today,” Al said groggily while I spread some jam on a piece of toast.
“That’s right Al; what a lovely observation.” I said politely.
He shot up from the table in shock and pointed an incredulous finger at me. Who knew the sound of my voice could trigger such a reaction?
“How long—how long have you been sitting there?”
“Uhh, as long as it takes to eat two pieces of toast and some bacon?”
“But—you—ohhh we have so much to talk about!” He spluttered. Al turned to the team. “WAKE. UP!” he shouted at them. They emerged from various states of stupor.
“Whuzzgoinon?” Finn asked groggily.
“The princess has come to join us,” Al snarled.
Finn jumped up from his seat with a sudden burst of energy, glaring evilly at me. “C’mon, El.” He grabbed my wrist and I was dragged from the Great Hall. The rest of the team followed. I flashed Dom a glance. SOS! SOS! I pleaded with my eyes. She shrugged helplessly. I was at the mercy of the Quidditch boys.
They brought me to the locker room, where I was tied to a chair like a criminal facing interrogation. The boys circled around me like a pack of wolves.
Wolves can smell fear, you know.
Shut up, brain; that was just a simile. There aren’t any real wolves.
“Lovely night, last night, wasn’t it?” began Nick.
“Oh yes,” I replied calmly. “Full moon and everything. Great for the werewolf community.” I added, wolves still on my mind. I fidgeted with my bonds, wondering how quickly I could wriggle my wrists out and snatch my wand from Ryan if I had to make an escape.
“Great for exclusive upperclassmen parties too, wouldn’t you say?” Nick prompted again.
I gulped deny everything, I reminded myself. “Er, I suppose so.”
Al stepped out of the circle and bent down to be eye level with me. “El, you know what we’re talking about. You were at the party. Heck, you were the one who invited us to come! Did you or did you not willingly kiss Chase Davies while you were there?”
I nodded my head slightly. So much for denying everything.
Sam jumped up and pointed an incriminating finger at me. “She admits it! HA!”
Finn sighed and muttered, “Of all people, why Davies?”
“Why not?” I retorted. “I’m perfectly free to kiss whomever I want!”
“Kiss, sure; date, no.” Ryan elaborated. “We should’ve told you this earlier, but Davies is the Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain.”
No shit, Sherlock. I opened my mouth to unleash a delightfully sarcastic reply, but Finn held up a hand to stop me.
Ryan continued, “So he’s off limits.”
“What do you mean, ‘he’s off limits?’” I asked.
“We told you; he’s the captain.” Finn repeated.
“But why—“ I trailed off, finally seeing this situation from the guys’ eyes. They were feeling protective towards me; that much was obvious. They were also afraid that I was making a bad decision, and that I might give away team secrets to the enemy. And, whether they wanted to admit it or not, they were a bit jealous and didn’t want to loose me.
“Oh,” I said quietly. I decided to voice my thoughts on the matter. “Um… honestly? You guys don’t have much to worry about when it comes to Chase and me. He only kissed me once, and I think that he might’ve been to drunk to remember much.” I smiled, and then plowed on. “And even if we do start dating, I won’t stop spending time with my best friends and teammates! So there’s no need for death threats or kidnapping or interrogations or anything. Promise. I can handle this myself.”
“She’s got a point, you know.” Sam said at last.
“Yeah, we shouldn’t be too worried, right?” Nick commented.
“You have our blessing,” Finn laughed.
“Great,” I beamed. “Now can you untie me, please? I want to finish my breakfast.”
“You made it out alive!” Dom cheered when I reentered the Great Hall.
“Yeah, it worked out fine,” I said. I could tell that Dom wanted the whole story, but the gossip diva would have to wait. My toast was calling my name.
“Well, this came for you while you were getting kidnapped,” Dom said, pointing to a barn owl standing patiently in the remains of Nick’s cornflakes. A scrap of parchment was clasped in its beak.
I took the letter. It read:
Henry Douglas here. I’m one of Chase’s friends—we met at the party last night, remember?
I thought back to the string of people that I’d met, associating Henry with a pair of hipster glasses. Huh. I kept reading:
Anyway, as my best mate is too hung over to hold his quill at the moment, I’m writing to tell you that Chase wants to meet in Hogsmeade for tutoring on Tuesday instead of just in the library.
Have a nice weekend!
“Are you sure you don’t want to wear anything nicer than that to your date?” Dom asked Tuesday afternoon.
I glanced down at my outfit—jeans, black high-tops, and Finn’s Gryffindor Quidditch sweatshirt that I’d borrowed after practice yesterday. It wasn’t that much of a fashion disaster.
“It’s not even a date,” I reminded Dom. “I’m tutoring him.”
“Sure,” she said, rolling her eyes. “Have fun ‘studying’, then.”
I grabbed my textbooks and notes, and set off for Hogsmeade.
I met up with Chase in the Three Broomsticks (creative location, I know). I’d already made up my mind to act like nothing had happened last week, so I just smiled and waved ‘hello’ as usual when I slid into the booth with him.
We had a tutoring session just like usual. I taught him, we did homework, I checked his essays. There was even a little bit of flirty banter here and there. But it was like Friday night never happened to Chase. Maybe it didn’t matter to him. Maybe he didn’t remember. All I knew was that I was a bit disappointed—I’d expected him at least to say something.
It wasn’t until we were packing up that something (to quote Dom) “dramalicious” happened.
“Same time next week?” I asked, still laughing about a particularly amusing joke involving a witch, a leprechaun, and a vampire walking into a bar.
“It’s a date.”
Date. He used the word “date.”
Shut up. You’re psychoanalyzing again.
We wove our way out of the crowded bar. Chase paused to hold open the door. I slid under his arm, but a crotchety old warlock slammed into me on my way out, and I slammed into Chase. I lost my balance, and the next thing I knew, Chase had let go of the door to steady me, the textbooks tumbled from my hands, and he was kissing me.
“Ooh! How romantic!” Dominique squealed. “Except for the ‘crotchety old warlock’ bit. Eugh.”
Rose socked her on the arm. “Shut up! She isn’t done telling us what happened!”
I was sitting at the dinner table, recounting my tutoring session from that afternoon for Dom and Rose.
“There’s like 30 more seconds to the story Dom.” I said. “Calm. Down.” I glared at them to be quiet, then continued:
“I’m just your tutor,” I said lamely when we’d broken apart and had set off down main street, Chase’s arm around my shoulders. Snowflakes had started to tumble from the sky.
“Nah,” he said, “You’re definitely more than that.”
“Girlfriend?” I asked tentatively.
Please, say yes. Please, say yes.
“EEEE!” Dom couldn’t contain herself any longer. “It’s just so cute!”
“So you’re official, then?” Rose inquired. I nodded happily, unable to stop the goofy grin spreading across my face.
“What’s official, and why is Ella grinning like the Cheshire Cat?” Finn asked, joining our little dinner party. “Nice sweatshirt, by the way, sweetheart; the flecks of mud really bring out your eyes.”
“Chase and Ella are official!” Dom announced. I could already tell that she was going to make it a personal mission of hers to share this news with everybody.
“Splendid!” Finn replied with a hint of mockery in his voice. He began to think up all of the possible combinations of our names. “Chella, Elase, Lavvies, Davine.” He ticked them off on his fingers as he went. “I’ll have to consult with the twins, they’ll know which one will be the best for rhymes in songs. We’ll tell the rest of the team after dinner—a Galleon says Al will be livid when we share the news.”
I laughed half-heartedly. For some reason I had this sinking feeling that dating Chase was going to have some negative effects on my friendships with the boys.
“Gee, can’t wait, Finnie.”
Dating Chase was lovely. He was the perfect boyfriend— we walked together in the hallways, exchanged flirtatious words and quick kisses during morning break, and our tutoring sessions quickly lost most of their academic importance and turned into weekly dates.
On the darker side, whenever I was near Chase I morphed into a mushy-gushy lovesick girly-girl, (to the delight of Dom and repulsion of my teammates, though they’d never admit it), and I was full of self-loathing every time a high-pitched laugh burst from my mouth.
Fast forward a week of two to a late evening Quidditch practice in early December. A nasty mix of rain and snow was falling, covering the seven of us in slush and chilling us to the bone. I was supposed to be catching the Snitch, but my fingers were so stiff and numb that I could barely hold my broom, much less the Snitch.
Oh, if only I hadn’t left my wand in the locker room—I could cast a quick warming charm and actually accomplish something besides freezing my butt off a hundred feet off the ground.
“That’s a wrap!” Al shouted.
“Thank goodness!” I sighed.
“Dibs on the overstuffed recliner next to the fire in the Common Room!” Finn yelled as he streaked to the ground. I laughed and followed him down.
Back at ground level, we had to squelch our way through an ankle deep sea of slush to reach the castle. Sam’s left cleat was sucked right off of his foot at least seven times over the course of the journey. “God damn,” he grumbled every time, smashing his frozen toes back in. “I hate winter.”
Finally we reached the castle. Unfortunately, the cold stone walls and centuries old heating system did little to warm up our frigid frames.
We were walking past a portrait of an insane knight (“Stand up and fight, you yellow-bellied dogs!”), slush dripping off of our sodden robes with every step, when a wheezy voice growled from behind us at the other end of the corridor. “Mrs. Norris the Second, do you know how long this mess will take to mop up? Ohh, when I find the students responsible for these tracks I’ll—“
We stopped dead in our tracks. “Filch.” Freddy whispered. “Shit, shit, shit.”
“Scurvy cur,” added the portrait.
“Divide, conquer, and run for it!” Al shouted. He seized my hand and dragged me through a door pretending to be a wall. We barreled down corridors, smashed through doors, and leapt up staircases, trying to escape the grouchy old caretaker. The whole time we heard his shuffling footsteps pursuing us. Man, who knew that oldie could run so fast?
“Quick! In here!” I panted, shoving Al into a tapestry that concealed a niche. We were squashed in, our bodies mashed into each other. We held our breath and listened as Filch shuffled past our hiding place and around the corner. The footsteps died away.
“Now that was close!” I said.
“A little too close,” Al added. “But you must admit, it was fun.”
“Yeah, I suppose, if running from death by detention is your kind of thing.”
We peeled ourselves out of our tapestry hiding place and began the long walk back to our dorms. About halfway up a never-ending spiral staircase, Al stopped and said, “Let’s head down to the kitchens. I’m in desperate need of a hot bowl of soup. You in?”
“It’s like you read my mind.”
We about-faced and sped off to the kitchens as fast as our frosty legs would carry us. At last we reached the still-life painting of a fruit basket. Al reached up, stroked the pear with a long forefinger, and the portrait swung forward, revealing the majestic Hogwarts kitchens in all of their glory.
“Praise Merlin!” I exclaimed. Warmth radiated from the gleaming kitchens, sending a shiver of warmth down my shivering spine.
We were guided by a sea of overexcited house elves to a little wooden table in a cozy nook next to a crackling fireplace. Before we could even open our mouths, an enormous array of simmering savory soups were plunked onto the table.
Al let out a low whistle. “The Hogwarts house elves never cease to amaze.”
All I could say was, “Wow.” I surveyed the soupy selection. “I dare you to try that purple one.” I pointed to a violet colored broth sitting next to a bowl of good ol’ chicken noodle.
“Challenge accepted,” Al replied, gulping a spoonful of the mystery soup. He smacked his lips. “Tastes like… blackberries, kind of. It’s strange, but good.”
“Lemme try that.” I snatched the spoon from his fingers and dunked it in the bowl. “Mmm, that is good! I was expecting troll snot or something.”
Al laughed and took another mouthful.
We took two spoons to the tableful of soups. Most of the soups were ordinary, like French onion, minestrone, and black bean, but some were strange, like the one that tasted like butterbeer and blueberries.
“So...” Al said, casting about for a subject to speak on. “How’s life, Ella Levine?”
“Just swell, Al Potter. A bit on the romantic side, but otherwise it’s just normal.”
“A bit?” he scoffed.
I slurped up a long noodle. “Okay, a lot. Same mildly crazy, Quidditch-junkie Ella though.”
“I suppose, though my charmingly insane friend has been spending a lot of time with her boyfriend, who happens to be the Ravenclaw Quidditch captain.”
I narrowed my eyes. “You think Chase isn’t dating me for the right reasons? That he’s only pretending to like me as a part of some extravagant, Quidditch-related scheme? That—“
“Shh, Ella, no.” Al said hastily, stopping my hands from reaching my wand by grasping them in his own. “I’m just reminding you to be careful. Just…” he paused, trying to find the right words. “Just promise me that you won’t forget about the team, and to keep your eyes open.”
REVIEW!?! PLEASE!?! (i'm review deprived :( you feel guilty now, don't you?) (go on, just type a quick one!)
and in case you need help coming up with something to comment, try one of these: tell me about ...
what you liked/disliked about the interrogation (hahahaha)
your thoughts on Chase and Ella (that could be a whole essay, i swear.),
your reaction to the Filch bit (favorite HP ref? ex- Sir Cadogan returns!)
things that it's hard to do when you are cold and stuck on a broomstick.
your favorite type of soup. (stew vs. soup? piping hot or lukewarm? homemade or storebought?) (hahaha this prompt is so odd.) (i crack myself up sometimes)
I really don't care what it is. just type out some pretty words.
MUCH LOVE, JILLYBEANS