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Lady Raven by InkAndParchment
Chapter 1: Prologue
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2nd December 2020
The castle was silent. Not a sound could be heard save for the gentle patter of footsteps on the cold stone floors. She was alone. Or so she thought. In the shadows cast by the grand staircase, someone was watching her. As she began to descend, he noticed how her hair swayed, how her hips swung ever so slightly, how light she was on her feet. He noticed the way she smiled discreetly to herself. How she absentmindedly twirled a strand of her long blonde hair around her finger.
Everyone was asleep at this time. The moon still clung to her place in the sky but the dim light of the sun was starting to creep over the horizon. It was not yet the yellow glow that most people found breath-taking; it was the pale and cold looking blue that preceded it. The girl gathered the folds of the long robe that covered her equally long white nightdress and lifted it to prevent the hem from trailing on the ground. Her feet were bare despite the chill of the stone that surrounded her.
It was her favourite time of day, dawn. It was when the world had not yet woken up and all was still peaceful. She would often wander down to the lake to watch the mist melt from the water as the sun greeted the world once more. In the summer months, she would brave the biting cold that others shied away from and swim with the rising sun. For now though, she was content to just trail her toes in the water and watch as the ripples chased one another over the glassy surface.
The boy that had been hidden in the shadows of the staircase had moved to the shadows of the grand doorway and was once again gazing over at the girl by the water’s edge. A part of him always wanted to call her back, to tell her not to be so foolish and that she might catch a cold in this weather, but he never did. She was too beautiful for him to break her solitude. Besides, she would no doubt question why he was here, at this early hour, and he would have no excuse.
The snow was late to fall this year. The ground was frozen and waiting for its winter blanket as she lay back and gazed up at the sky. It would fall today, she thought to herself. She ran her hands out from her sides, her fingers scrapped against the frozen droplets of dew that clung to the sparse blades of grass still fighting against the elements. December was her favourite month. In December, the world was at peace. To her, it was the most beautiful month in the year.
Behind her the castle began to stir. Students and teachers alike were waking up to start the new day and the challenges they might face. To the girl at the edge of the lake, the joy of a new day was subdued by the feeling of loss that tugged at her heart each time she had to say goodbye to the dawn and turn her back on the lake. As she headed back towards the castle, the boy continued to watch her, making sure the shadows hid him well.
The look that graced her face each time she walked back through the castle doors always gave him the oddest sensation that someone was tugging at his heartstrings. To her, the dawn was the most beautiful thing in the world. To him, she was the most beautiful thing to ever have existed.
Someone once said that gravity could not be held responsible for people falling in love.
As the girl moved towards the staircase to head up to her tower and the still warm bed that was surrounded by the deep blue colours of her house, gravity decided it was time to prove that someone wrong. As she let go of her robes, her foot caught the hem and she began to tumble to the ground, just as gravity intended. But before she collided with the hard stone slabs, a set of arms wrapped around her waist to stop her from falling any further. What they did not realise, was that in the moment they stopped her falling to the ground, they caused her to begin her fall into something far more dangerous than the stone floor that had previously awaited her.
Gravity had made her fall. The arms that had caught her stopped her fall. The serene blue eyes that had met her own pale blue ones caused her to fall in love. So really, gravity was to blame.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it and any thoughts or feelings can be left in the lonely little review box beneath. Also, if you would like to ask the characters questions or just want to see photos ect. from either this or any of my other stories then you can go to my blog, there is a link on my Author's Page.
Chapter 2: The Fall
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3rd December 2020
My heart was racing. I told myself it was the fall. To the ground I mean. His arms were still wrapped around me, holding me just inches from the cold stone floor. My right hand was clutching at the material of his robe in a desperate attempt to stop the fall. Neither of us spoke. Neither of us moved. It was like time had stopped.
His eyes were blue. A deep serene blue, not like my mother’s dark ones but somehow equally beautiful. They reminded me of the sky. The sky just after the dawn. Like the dawn I had just witnessed. They were fixed on mine, staring intently like they were just learning to see. I could not help but stare back. How could anyone break away from such beautiful eyes?
My heart continued to race long after my breathing slowed. We were still locked in each other’s gazes, his arms still wrapped around me. He was so close, I could feel the pounding of his own heart against my chest.
I do not know how long we would have stood there, frozen in time, but fate had other plans.
“Nott?” a voice asked in surprise from somewhere behind me. The boy in whose arms I was resting jolted his head up. Surprise flickered across his face before all expression left it. He lowered me the last remaining inches to the ground and unwound his arms from around me. Then he straightened himself, dusting his robes and walking away without giving me a second glance, leaving me lying on the stone slabs of the Entrance Hall.
I just lay there, unable to move. His eyes were imprinted on my memory and I could not get away from them. It was not until the early rising students began to leave their common rooms and head to the Great Hall that I moved. My limbs were somewhat sore from lying on the cold stone but other than that, I was unharmed. Physically that is.
I tiptoed back to the Ravenclaw Tower unnoticed by the few dreary eyed students I passed. In my dorm, the girls were still sleeping. Slipping out of my robe and under the ruffled sheets, I let the warmth comfort my trembling body. I drifted off to sleep, knowing that I had first period free, and was greeted by dreams of serene blue eyes.
“Mistress Weasley,” a voice squeaked from somewhere to my right. “Mistress Weasley, it is time you be getting up now.” Something tugged at the sheets by my legs and I opened a bleary eye to see Elsa the House Elf looking up at me with orb like eyes. Elsa was a special friend of mine; she had looked after me ever since she found me crying in the corridor outside the kitchen back in First Year. If I was ever homesick or lonely, I would go to her and she would always know how to comfort me. “Good morning Mistress Weasley,” she sang once she realised I was wake. “Elsa has brought you some breakfast as you have missed the morning feast,” she mumbled, holding out a plate of American pancakes drowning in syrup.
“Thanks Elsa,” I smile, pushing myself into a seated position and taking the plate from her. She busies herself with tidying the mess my dorm mates had left this morning. There were five of us altogether: Melody Moon, Tamara Boot, Jen Goldstein, Avery Jones and me. Jen Goldstein was by far the smartest; she was more than capable of achieving Outstandings in all her subjects with little effort at all which infuriated the hot-headed Tamara and not only was she smart, but Jen was also pretty and kind – the envy of almost every girl in the school. She had thick brown hair that framed delicate features and large brown eyes that could make even the cold hearted Slytherins do what she wanted.
Tamara Boot on the other hand was the most hot-headed and impulsive girl I had ever met and that was saying something when you were a member of the Weasley family. She had shortly cropped blonde hair and three piercings in her left earlobe that were forever occupied by quirky little silver rings. Her hazel eyes could shoot daggers and would change colour depending on her mood. When they went gold, you knew it was time to run. Whereas Jen was an academic genius, Tamara had the sharpest tongue and could outwit anyone verbally.
Then there was Avery Jones, Tamara’s right hand woman. The two of them were almost inseparable. Like Jen, Avery had brown hair and dark eyes but in place of Jen’s flawless white skin, Avery was a milky caramel colour. She was the shortest girl in the dorm and wore black rimmed glasses that she could somehow make her look both smart and devilish depending on who she was talking to. Although she was not an academic genius like Jen, nor as quick tongued as Tamara, Avery was always the one who knew how to deal with any crisis that arose and if panic broke out, it would be Avery who would take control.
The fourth girl who occupied the bed to my left was Melody Moon. She was odd. Her hair was white-blonde and fell to her waist in a messy array of curls, plaits, ribbons and occasionally feathers. I had never once seen her wear shoes and was convinced she did not own any. It was impossible to hold a conversation with her that lasted over three minutes and yet if you had a question about anything, she would know the answer – sometimes she would even tell you before you asked her which could be freaky if you didn’t know her. Melody did not have any friends but she was perfectly content in her own little world and quite frankly, it was impossible to hate her. Very occasionally, she would turn her large blue eyes on you and stare at you without speaking, at times like this, it felt as if she could see into your very soul.
And then there was me: Dominique Selena Weasley. Like Jen, I had flawless white skin; like Tamara, I was a Chaser on the Ravenclaw Quidditch team; like Avery, I remained calm in a crisis; like Melody, I was a bit of an outsider. My hair was blonde but not white blonde like Melody’s or honey coloured like Tamara’s and fell to just below my shoulders; my eyes were blue and framed with thick but pale lashes and my eyebrows were dark in comparison to my hair. I had one freckle on my left cheek, just above where my dimple would be on the rare occasion that I smiled.
I was average. Nothing interesting ever happened to me.
“Did Mistress enjoy her walk this morning?” Elsa asked, magically straightening Tamara’s sheets. Elsa was the only creature in the world who knew about my morning adventures. I smiled at her before my memory was flooded with a pair of serene blue eyes. “Mistress? Is you okay?” she asked, frowning at me. I simply continued to stare into the nothingness before me. My vision obscured by the vividness of the memory.
Those eyes. Those hauntingly beautiful eyes. I could not recall ever seeing them before. Surely I would have remembered them if I had? My heart began to thump in my chest as I recalled his arms around me, catching me as I fell… But into what? I had not fallen to the ground, of that much, I was certain. So what was I falling into? And more importantly, whose arms were they?
There had been a name. Someone had called his name, hadn’t they? A name. A short name. An unfamiliar name. Why could I not remember his name? I had no idea who he was and I had been given a name which I had forgotten. Why must Merlin play such cruel jokes on us mere mortals? Why was my heart racing so fast?
“Mistress?” Elsa asked again, clearly worried about my sanity. Shaking my head to rid myself of those eyes, I looked down at her and smiled, informing her that my morning walk was delightful. For some reason, I kept the serene blue eyes to myself.
The Great Hall was almost empty as I wondered into it, in search of my best friend. There were a couple of students with their books out, finishing off essays due the next day and I spotted my younger cousin Hugo sitting with some friends on the Hufflepuff table playing a game of Wizard Chess. Finally, my eyes landed on the blonde and unruly hair of my best friend.
“Dominique,” he smiled, beckoning me over once he had spotted me. Moving between the Gryffindor table and the slightly fuller Ravenclaw table, I made my way towards him. I sat down beside him and got out my Potions essay.
“Lorcan… Why is that girl staring at you?” I asked after several moments of silence in which I had noticed a Fourth Year at our table repeatedly glancing at my friend. Lorcan Scamander flicked his eyes in the direction I was indicating and smiled at the girl, who blushed slightly and smiled back.
“That’s Lillianna, she wanted to talk to me about dad’s book,” he shrugged and returned his attention to his almost complete essay.
“You mean, she has actually read your dad’s book?” I asked in surprise. Rolf Scamander was, as one might expect from a man who married Luna Lovegood, somewhat peculiar. He was friendly enough and was always more than welcoming when I came to stay at his house over the holidays but there was always something about him that didn’t quite make sense. I always felt as if I was missing something whenever I spoke to him. Both he and Luna were what society deemed as ‘Wizarding Naturalists’ or Magizoologists. Mr Scamander had written a book several years ago about some obscure creature he had found in the Amazon rainforest and other than Lorcan and I, I was unaware of anyone else who had read it.
“I was shocked too,” he chuckled, dipping his quill in the inkwell. Sighing, I turned my attention to my Potions essay and began writing down the various uses of Strengthening Solution. Lorcan and I worked in silence for just under an hour, occasionally asking the other to explain something we were unsure of. It was a standard evening for us; after all, we were Ravenclaws.
As students began to filter out of the Hall and to their common rooms, no doubt to make use of the little social time that was left before they went to bed, I dotted the last of my ‘i’s and crossed the last of my ‘t’s before charming the ink dry and pulling out a blank bit of parchment. Dipping my quill into the now almost empty inkwell, I frowned, my mind trying to conjure up an image to draw.
As my quill began to trace the ragged edges of the mountains where they cut into the sky, my mind began to wander into the different colours of the morning light that had greeted me this morning. Of course, the ink was black so none of the colours could go into this drawing but I liked to picture them anyway. One colour, however, was more prominent in my mind’s eye than any other. It was an unusual colour and did not fit with the colour scheme I had been imagining. It took me a few moments to place it.
I flicked my eyes up as the memory washed over me once more and they were immediately caught be the same hue of blue I had previously been imagining. Except the real version was far more vivid and I knew that I would never be able to do them justice with the paint that I kept stored in my trunk in my dorm.
Across the Hall was the only remaining student besides Lorcan and I. His dark hair hung softly before his serene blue eyes and there was a shadow of stubble across his chin. His pale skin contrasted with his otherwise dark colouring and I could not help but think how he was practically the definition of a tall, dark, handsome stranger. And he was looking straight at me.
“Dominique?” Lorcan asked, a frown evident in his voice. “Are you okay? What’s the matter?”
“Who is he?” I whisper, trying not to move my lips for fear the mysterious, blue eyed stranger would read my question on them. I could not break our gaze though; he had a hold over me that I did not understand. A part of me knew that I should be afraid but I could not help but be intrigued.
“Over there… On the Slytherin table?” I murmured again.
“Him? The guy with black hair? I have no idea,” Lorcan shrugged, knocking my arm and sending my still poised quill scrawling across my parchment. Finally breaking his gaze, I lowered my eyes to see that what had begun as the mountains I could see from the edge of the lake had turned into the features of the stranger’s face, especially his eyes. There was just something so captivating about them.
I looked up from my crude drawing to Lorcan who was giving me a slightly amused look. He said nothing however, shaking his head so that his blonde hair fell in front of his eyes before packing up his books and essays and swinging his legs over the bench to stand up. I followed his lead, resisting the almost overwhelming urge to look back at the Slytherin table and towards those transfixing, serene blue eyes, and stood up, packing away my own things and trying to ignore the squeezing sensation in my chest.
We made our way to the Ravenclaw Tower in silence, both evidently lost in our own thoughts. The corridors were deserted but memories followed me, memories of those eyes. I could not help but think they were still watching me despite the fact we had long ago walked out of eye sight of the remaining inhabitant of the Great Hall.
Those eyes. I knew then that no matter what happened, I would always remember those eyes, even if I were never to see them again. Because it was those eyes that I had fallen into only that morning; those eyes that had caught me as I tripped; those eyes that had haunted my dreams… I could not yet put a name to those eyes but to whomever they belonged, they had seemingly unwittingly become an irrevocable part of my life.
I was falling… I just wasn’t sure what it was that I was falling into.
Hello, sorry this has taken so long and that it's a bit disjointed but I just needed to finish it so I could post it for you and start to really get into the story. Let me know what you think and thanks for reading,
Chapter 3: The Cup
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4th December 2020
That night, I dreamt of those eyes just like I had that morning. They were the only thing my mind could see, they consumed my thoughts and I found myself constantly searching for them in the crowd of students mulling through the corridors. Lorcan could tell there was something up but he never questioned me. I am not sure if he just did not want to pry or if he did not really want to know.
Sometimes, when I least expected it, I would spot someone with that same dark hair and shadowed features but when I looked harder, they were not the same features that surrounded those eyes. It was not until we were seated in the Great Hall for dinner that I was finally able to sink into that serene blueness. When our eyes locked, everything around us seemed to fade away. It was like someone had cast a silencing charm over the entire Great Hall. It was like no one existed but the two of us. My heart was hammering unreasonably in my chest. How was it possible for someone I had never spoken a single word to, to become such an anchor in my world so fast? I had fallen into his arms yesterday morning and here I was, searching out his eyes amongst the hundreds… He had become some sort of fixed point, some sort of gravitational centre.
“Witches and Wizards of Hogwarts,” Professor Osman, the headmaster, bellowed across the chatter of the students. Had the occasion not been so unusual, I probably would not have noticed, as it was however, we hardly ever heard from our headmaster before a feast unless it was the beginning or end of term. As it was neither, I was somewhat surprised and found myself forcing my gaze away from those blue eyes and towards our eccentric headmaster… but not before I caught Lorcan giving me an odd look.
“Not long ago, we witnessed the first two Quidditch matches of the year and we will shortly be able to enjoy the next…” he continued with a grin. As Captain of Ravenclaw Quidditch team, my attention was immediately grasped and thoughts of those serene eyes were pushed to the back of my mind. But not altogether forgotten. “However, this year, as well as the Inter-House Cup, we shall be witnesses – or in some cases, participants – to more of our beloved sport!”
A ripple of whispers echo across the crowded Hall. I glanced away briefly and my eyes skimmed the students. Some were whispering to their friends, other were perched on the edge of their bench waiting desperately for the headmaster to continue, some, like myself, were looking around the Hall to see if anyone else knew what the headmaster was talking about and one particular set of eyes, which I had absentmindedly returned my gaze too, was still fixed on me. My stomach lurched and I felt a blush crawl into my cheeks as I looked away in embarrassment. He was probably wondering why I was staring at him so much.
“It is my greatest pleasure to announce that Hogwarts will be participating and indeed hosting the first ever Quidditch Schools Cup,” Professor Osman beamed. My eyes widened and I turned to Lorcan.
“A Quidditch Schools Cup,” I hissed. He just gave me an amused smile as an answer and I returned my attention to the headmaster as he continues.
“The Quidditch Schools Cup is a new way for Magical Schools across the world to gather and play their favourite sport. It will consist of eight schools and shall be held here in March–” he was cut off by another round of whispers. I found myself imitating some of the other students by leaning towards the front of the Hall expectantly. “I shall be needing to speak to the Quidditch Captains, so if they could make their way to my office after dinner, that would be splendid. For more information, sheets have been posted in your common rooms but other than that, dig in,” he beamed again as food finally appeared on the tables. I, however, had lost my appetite.
“A Quidditch Tournament? At Hogwarts?” I gasped in amazement. Lorcan chuckled and shot him a threatening glare. “How are you not excited about this?” I hissed. “You do realise that this will mean we will have foreign students staying here, at Hogwarts?” That seemed to grab his attention as he looked up from his pumpkin juice.
“I wonder which schools will be participating,” Jen muttered to the table in general from her seat across from Lorcan.
“Dominique is Quidditch Captain,” Tamara stated somewhat darkly. It was no secret that she begrudged me that title. “We’ll just have to ask her when she comes back from Ossie’s office.”
“Please don’t call Osman ‘Ossie’ Tamara,” Lorcan sneered. If there was one person who Lorcan never seemed to get on with, it was Tamara Boot. I suppose they had clashing personalities to begin with but Lorcan seemed to be more offended by the fact she dislike me because I was Captain than I ever was.
“Why not?” she snarled.
“Because it is unbelievably childish,” he replied with the look of an adult dealing with a difficult child. “And because that is not his name.”
“Oh I’m sorry Mr High and Mighty,” Tamara snapped.
“Anyway…” Avery butted in. It was usually either Avery or myself that had to interrupt these little spats between Tamara and my best friend. “Has anyone got any ideas? We could place bets on it?”
“Miss Jones,” Lorcan sighed. “As a Prefect, I cannot condone such behaviour as betting.”
“You forget Mr Scamander that Jen here is a Prefect too,” Tamara practically growled.
“Indeed I had not forgotten but I doubt that Jenifer would condone such behaviour either so in this case, Miss Boot, your usual ally is on my side.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Tamara snorted. “Of course Jen is on my side.”
“Actually T, I’m with Lorcan on this one,” Jen shrugged sheepishly. It was dangerous ground, upsetting Tamara. Predictably, Tamara’s face turned a furious red colour and her hazel eyes lit up. However, instead of ranting at Jen about her loyalties, Tamara simply glared at her and turned to her food, jabbing at her potatoes in a way that made them squirm.
An awkward silence descended over our section of the table as we each turned to our food. It took only a second for my mind to go into overdrive. Hogwarts was hosting a Quidditch Schools Cup. Foreign schools would be sending students here. We would be putting forward a team.
“Do you reckon Durmstrang will be taking part?” Avery mused, pulling us from our thoughts.
“Probably, they have a record of being good a Quidditch,” Jen shrugged. “Why?”
“I have a pen pal who goes there… It would be cool if he came,” she explained.
“You mean Drake Krum?” Tamara asked, curiosity forcing her out of her massacre of the potatoes. “I would hardly call him your pen pal,” she smirked. “More like your se–” Avery cut her off with an elbow in the ribs. “Hey!” she protested.
“Maybe Beauxbatons will participate,” Jen suggested, steering the conversation away from what was clearly a private part of Avery’s life. “They have some nice looking boys, or so I’ve heard.”
“I thought this was about Quidditch, not finding a mate,” Lorcan muttered at his plate.
“A mate? We’re not cavemen anymore Lorcan,” Jen giggled. Lorcan just narrowed his eyes at her. She stuck her tongue out. They got on quite well. “What other schools though?” Jen turned the conversation back to the tournament. She was rather good at manipulating conversation.
“Probably some from out of Europe,” Avery returned to the conversation after whispering furiously to Tamara who was just smirking. “Maybe that one from Japan?”
“Isn’t there one in China too?” added Jen.
“There’s one in a lot of countries Jen,” Tamara rolled her eyes.
“Just trying to contribute,” Jen huffed.
By the time I had eaten all the food on my plate, the girls were still trying to figure out what schools would be participating. Although much to Lorcan’s disgust, they were more focused on whether the boys from those schools would be attractive then whether they would be good at Quidditch.
“I’ll see you later,” I murmured to Lorcan as I got up. He just nodded glumly, clearly unamused at being left alone with my gossiping dorm mates. Most days, I wondered how we even ended up sitting near them at all as it always managed to end up with Lorcan and Tamara bickering.
“Meet me in the common room,” he pleaded.
“You leaving Weasley?” Tamara asked. “I’ll be expecting a full account when you get back to the dorms… And please, we are more important than Loopy over here,” she gestured vaguely at Lorcan. I just rolled my eyes at Lorcan when she looked away and he chuckled into his goblet.
Before the Entrance to the Headmaster’s office, I could make out two figures. It was my cousin, James Potter, who was in his Sixth Year and Captain of the Gryffindor team and a girl named Quinn Sedgwick who was the Slytherin Captain. Compared to these two, Tamara and Lorcan were best friends.
Even before I came to Hogwarts, I had heard all about Quinn Sedgwick from my cousin’s endless rants about her. Personally, I never understood why he hated her so much. I mean, she was a Slytherin, but she wasn’t a bad Slytherin. Sure, she pulled pranks on Gryffindors all the time and on the Quidditch pitch, you did not want to get near her. But other than that, I had never seen her do anything spiteful or cruel. In fact, I had noticed that she was one of the few people James’ sister, Lily, ever spoke to.
Lily Potter had been the second and last of us Weasley cousins to be sorted into Slytherin, the first being Lucy Weasley, and had taken it the least well. She had become isolated and introvert and in my eyes, someone like Quinn Sedgwick, who looked after her, was a good person.
However, James thought otherwise and had no inhibitions about making this known to the world. It was not uncommon to find them trying to kill the other in the hallways. In fact, it was far more uncommon to see them in the same place without trying to take the other down. So you can understand my surprise when I realised that the two of them were sitting on either side of the hallway outside Osman’s office, in silence. Both looking anywhere but at the other.
“Hello James,” I murmured when I felt it would be impolite not to make my presence known.
“Dominique,” he nodded, looking up at me. “You alright?” he asked as I sat down on the floor beside him.
“Adequate,” I replied, trying to ignore the tension hovering in the air. “Yourself?” I asked out of politeness, certain that whatever his response would be, it would not be the truth judging by the fact that Quinn Sedgwick was sitting across from us. Thankfully, he was spared having to making up a reply by the arrival of the Hufflepuff Captain, Arabella Rivers.
“Why am I the only male Captain,” James muttered quietly as Arabella bounded over to us. She was an enthusiastic little thing that, like me, had become Captain last year despite having older members in her team (namely her older, twin brothers who played as Beaters).
“Hello Arabella,” I smiled and she grinned back, waving despite the fact I was only a meter away from her. “Excited?” I asked, causing James to snort.
“Of course! Aren’t you? A Quidditch Schools Cup! And it’s being held here!” she squealed. Her statement was followed by a momentary silence that, had it not been interrupted by Professor Osman, could have become rather awkward as Quinn Sedgwick had not even glanced up since my arrival and Arabella seemed unaware of the tension in the air.
“Ah,” Professor Osman bellowed. “My Captains I see! Come in! Come in!” he gestured to the ugly stone gargoyle that was the entrance to his office. “Jitterbug,” he sang happily and the gargoyle came alive. “Come on, come on, we don’t have all day,” he laughed and hurried us into his office. As always, the spectacular view that greeted us took my breath away for a moment.
The headmaster’s office was constantly changing and altering but the one constant, hiding the ceiling from view, was a remarkable silk web that housed a collection of floating glass orbs that were lit from inside as well as a host of tiny, giggling fairies. It was a truly magnificent sight.
“So I’m sure you are all bursting with curiosity,” he chuckled. “Please, take a seat,” he gestured wildly with his hands and we all looked around for a seat in the clutter that had taken up residence in his office. I finally found a rickety old stool under a couple of books, Arabella sunk into what appeared to be a beanbag of sorts, leaving James and Quinn Sedgwick to sit awkwardly on the uncomfortably small leather sofa to my right. I could not decide who looked more uncomfortable. Or more embarrassed.
“Osman,” a woman grinned as she appeared in the doorway.
“Ah, Alicia my dear,” he beamed in response. “You all know Madame Jordan?” Osman asked, somewhat unnecessarily, she was after all, our flying instructor and Quidditch referee. “Madame Jordan shall be assisting us with this event, which she is delighted about,” he beamed again. “Anyway, she can explain things much better than I can so I’ll leave it to her.”
“Right,” Madame Jordan began. “The Quidditch Schools Cup is basically just a Quidditch tournament between eight Wizarding Schools. Hogwarts will be hosting but the other schools will be sending their teams to stay for the duration and portkeys will be organized for some of their other students to come and watch the matches.
“Hogwarts will be putting forward one team,” she explained. “A Captain will be selected and they will be responsible for selecting a team of Hogwarts’ finest. I will be able to help and assist your training session etcetera but at the end of the day, it is Hogwarts’ team, not mine.
“The rules are the same as usual but due to safety regulations, the team must compromise of students in Fifth Year or above–”
“What?” Quinn Sedgwick interjected. “Some of our best players are younger than that!” I know immediately she is referring to Lily, who is the Slytherin Seeker but only a Second Year.
“I’m sorry,” Madame Jordan replied sadly. “Those are the rules. Now clearly, as you four are all Chasers, one of you will not be able to be on the actual team but I suggest that you elect that person to be Captain as they will already be experienced.” I looked around at the others, I had not thought about that and clearly neither had they. “Players do not necessarily have to come from the House teams but it would be my suggestion that they are as they will already be familiar with playing for an audience. I’ve scheduled try-out for Saturday morning and I expect you all to be there, hopefully with a Captain already selected, and we have set up a common room of sort for you and the eventual team to discuss things rather than in the changing rooms. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask,” she smiled.
“Which schools are participating,” Quinn Sedgwick and I asked simultaneously. Osman and Madame Jordan both chuckled.
“Durmstrang, Beauxbatons, Salem, Mahoutokoro, El Dorado, Madagascar and St Petersburg,” she said the last one with a slight grimace. “There’s more information in these files,” she pulled out four identical files and handed them to us. I flicked through to find it contains the rules, participating schools and the schedule for games. “Now I’ll let you get back to your Houses which are probably full of questions and I’ll see you tomorrow for try-outs and then I’ll be able to show the entire team to your new common room, I’ll send you a message about time and place but for now, that is it,” she smiled again and I could tell she was almost as excited about this Cup as the students were.
“So…” Lorcan began. We had escaped the havoc of the Ravenclaw common room once I had answered all their questions and were currently sitting in our favourite alcove in a deserted corridor.
“So…?” I repeated when he did not continue.
“Any idea who will be Captain?” he asked at last, although I do not think that was what was originally on his mind.
“No idea,” I shrugged. “It’ll either be me, James, Sedgwick or Arabella.”
“My bets are on Arabella. If it is either James or Sedgwick then there is no point in even entering as they will constantly be at each other’s throats and you are too good a Chaser not to play,” he teased.
“Arabella is good too,” I argued but knew it was pointless. Once Lorcan had decided on something it would take an awful lot to change his mind. “And surely if neither James nor Sedgwick is Captain that will mean they are both going to be on the team?”
“Yes but that might give them more incentive to cooperate than if one of them is bossing the other round,” Lorcan argued. “Besides, they are both so good it would be a waste not to have them on the team.”
“I wonder who else will be on the team then.”
“Well try-outs are tomorrow so it’s not like you have long to wait,” he chuckled.
“Are you going to try out?” While Lorcan wasn’t a part of the House team, I had seen him play Quidditch countless times at family get-togethers over the years and knew he had a wicked Beater’s arm.
“Against the River twins? Certainly not!” he laughed. Arabella’s brothers where, in all honesty, the best Beaters Hogwarts had seen since the War. “Besides, I would rather watch.”
“You’ll come to the try-outs tomorrow?”
5th December 2020
As I had predicted, the first snow fell two days ago. However, it was not until late last night that the snow really began to build and make up for lost time. There was a thick white blanket on the ground which I had to trudge through to get to the Quidditch pitch and the snow was making orientation somewhat difficult. Lorcan had kept to his word and was braving the cold to come and watch the try-outs but I could tell he was already regretting his decision as he pulled the collar of his cloak up against the biting wind.
I could see several other people fighting against the still falling snow but their figures were too distorted to be able to tell who they were. Today was the big day. Today was the selection of the Hogwarts School Team. The very first Hogwarts School Team. I must confess, I was a little underwhelmed as the snow was greatly detracting from the enjoyment.
“I always knew there was a reason I loved Madame Jordan,” Lorcan muttered beside me and I glanced up in surprise to see what he was talking about. In front of us, the Quidditch pitch gleamed bright and green. There was not a flake of snow falling within it and for several hundred meters above it as far as I could tell. She had enchanted the atmosphere to that it was nothing but a slightly crispy autumn day. I could not help but agree with Lorcan.
Inside, the stadium was alive with spectators as well as potential players. I could make out red robes, yellow robes, blue robes and even a selection of green robes. I bid goodbye to Lorcan who tried to ruffle my hair and wished me luck before heading over to where my cousin was engaged in a shouting match with Slytherin’s Captain. I knew their unusual silence from yesterday would not last long.
“Dominique!” a voice called and I looked over to see Arabella bounding over to me.
“Hello,” I nodded.
“Hey, I’ve decided that I want to be Captain,” she beamed. I stared at her blankly. “I mean I know Potter and Sedgwick think that one of them should be Captain but to be honest, they are both so good and so are you and well, I think I would get too nervous with so many people watching, I would much rather just be a Captain. I promise I will listen to all your suggestions of course,” she grinned.
“Uh… okay,” I stuttered in shock. I had not been expecting that.
“Thanks,” she grinned before turning to the other two House Captains. “Oi, you two,” she shouted. “Stop bickering and listen to your Captain!” she ordered and they both immediately stopped arguing to stare at her. I could not help but think that she was going to make a rather good Captain.
“What?” James asked dumbly after a moment of silence.
“Arabella has offered to be Captain,” I explained.
“Oh,” frowned Sedgwick, glancing at James with an unreadable expression.
“Yes, I have,” Arabella practically shouted. She was rather authoritative considering both James and Sedgwick were in the year above her. “And now that you two will be working together as a team,” she stressed. “I expect you to stop arguing or whatever the minute you set foot on this pitch.”
“Oh,” they said simultaneously, clearly taken aback by being bossed around by a Fifth Year. “Okay.” I had to supress a snort as they both looked at each other in horror. They almost sounded like twins the way they spoke in time.
“So have you four decided on a Captain?” Madame Jordan joined us.
“Arabella,” I nodded at the eager Hufflepuff.
“Oh good,” Madame Jordan looked somewhat relieved. “Well Miss Rivers, shall we get this try-out started?” Arabella nodded and turned to the ever growing crowd.
“Right!” she shouted over the noise. “If you’re just here to watch, please go to the stalls!” Over half of the crowd dispersed into stands while the others timidly shuffled towards Arabella. Well, some more timidly than others. “Now I’m really sorry but the Chaser positions have been filled by our Captains,” she informed them and was received with a slight groan as several people shuffled away. I can still remember Tamara’s face when I told her. She had been livid.
“Now if you are trying out for Seeker, stand over there,” Arabella gestured in the direction of the Gryffindor stands. “If you’re trying out for Beaters, stand over there,” she pointed to the Ravenclaw stands. “And potential Keepers, over there,” she indicated at the yellow hangings of the Hufflepuff stands. “Seekers and Beaters, take a seat, I want to find my Keeper first,” she called.
As the crowd by the Hufflepuff stands shuffled on their feet and my eyes were drawn to a figure standing calmly at the back of the group. He was tall and well built; his hair was dark and when my eyes finally moved to his face, my heart twisted almost painfully. There were those all too familiar yet unidentified serene blue eyes. And they were trying out for Keeper.
Hello there, sorry about the wait. So here it is, the second chapter, it lays the groundwork for the majority of the rest of the story and you get to see some new (or not so new if you've read my other stories) faces. Hope you enjoyed it and I love hearing your thoughts in a little review. Thanks for reading and if you're interested you can visit my blog, there is a link on my author's page. Thank again,
Chapter 4: The Team
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5th December 2020
I could not believe my stupidity. The countless times I had attempted to get a Quaffle past him washed over me like ice cold water. He was the Slytherin Keeper. His name still escaped me but the memories of all the games I had played against him flickered through my mind with dizzying speed. I suppose I had been too preoccupied with getting the Quaffle past his remarkably agile hands to notice his eyes before but it still seemed incredulous that I had not recognised him. After all, even if I had never noticed his eyes before, surely I would have remembered the haunted look on his face, or the way he stood almost a head above most other people, or the darkness of his ruffled hair… He was not exactly an inconspicuous figure.
As if sensing my stare, his beautiful eyes flickered up to meet mine and my heart pulsated quickly. The world always seemed to melt away every time our eyes locked and it was with a start that Arabella pulled me from the secret world our gaze seemed to create.
“Dominique? Did you even hear me?” she asked. The blush that crept into my cheeks confirmed her suspicions. “I said: I want you to take turns with the others,” she indicated vaguely at James and Sedgwick, “to throw Quaffles at the prospective Keepers. Okay?” I nodded and summoned my broom, jumping swiftly into the air as it reached me.
There were seven potential Keepers, the four House Keepers and some other hopefuls who were just desperate to be on Hogwarts’ first Quidditch Team. Arabella ordered them to form a line but it was not until the Hufflepuff Keeper, first in line, mounted his broom that Arabella remembered the age rule Madame Jordan had told us about. I resisted a smirk as my cousin Hugo is banished from the pitch, looking furious.
Arabella sent the hopefuls up first, leaving the three remaining Captains until the end. A few of them possessed some decent Keeping skills but none were anything remarkable. Two of them were simply horrendous and Arabella had to swiftly crush their dreams as they could barely fly. The Gryffindor Keeper, a Sixth Year named Emily Edwards, was up next and as James, Sedgwick and I launched Quaffle after Quaffle at her, she successfully managed to defend each one and it was not until my charming cousin and his nemesis joined in a moment of astounding cooperation that they managed to get pass her otherwise decent defence.
Swooping down to throw the Quaffle at our next potential Keeper, I expected to be faced with the familiar figure of Sven Haywood, the Ravenclaw Keeper, but was instead greeted with the sudden sight of two blue eyes. Even up here, several hundred meters from the ground, his place on the first Hogwarts’ Quidditch team depending on the next few minutes, he still managed to retain that unparalleled serenity to his beautiful eyes.
Later, I wondered how I managed to hold my nerve as I flew at him, my heart hammering for reasons beyond the physical requirement of my activities. The first Quaffle was angled with such perfection that it would have passed even Sven and yet the speed at which he caught it surprised even him. After that, the Quaffles continued to come at him, I flew harder, faster and more diversely than I had with any of the other potential Keeper but each and every shot was blocked by the man with serene blue eyes and I knew instinctively that he would be on the team.
Eventually, Arabella called us down. The noise of the stadium shocked me as my focus faded and I returned to the ground. Finally, it was Sven’s turn. Last year had been a disaster for Ravenclaw when it came to Keepers; we had made our way through four of them until Lorcan forced Sven to try out. Sven Haywood was in our year and clearly he and Lorcan had been playing Quidditch in their free time as Sven was unusually talented. I had never been more grateful to Lorcan than the day he introduced me to Sven’s skills. However, even Sven could not rival the proficiency of the Slytherin Keeper.
“Okay!” Arabella yelled over the mutterings of the gathered crowd, stilling them instantly. “Firstly, thank you all very much for your cooperation and patience today,” she smiled, “and thank you for trying out. The House Captains and I will discuss our options and Professor Osman has requested we announce the Hogwarts’ team during dinner so I hope to see you all there,” she smiled again in clear dismissal and people began filtering out.
I headed over to where James and Lorcan were chatting as Lorcan packed away an essay he had been working on during the try-outs. As I reached them, I glanced back over my shoulder and my attention was once again commandeered by those beautiful eyes. The Slytherin Keeper nodded in our direction before disappearing off the pitch.
“Dominique?” James prodded me in the side. “Stop spacing out, you’re becoming as bad as Melody Moon,” he teased, rolling his eyes at my behaviour.
“There is nothing wrong with Melody, James,” I sighed. “Come on, we’ve got to go and discuss the candidates with Arabella and Sedgwick.” Tugging on his robes, I bid goodbye to Lorcan and head for the two girls perched in the stands of the Hufflepuff section. Arabella had rolls of parchment fluttering about her on which she had made notes on all potential candidates while Sedgwick was looking at her with undisguised amusement.
“Potter, Weasley,” Arabella nodded, clearly in the mood for business. “What should we go over first then: Beaters, Seekers or Keepers?” she asked the group in general.
“Beaters,” Sedgwick sighed when neither James nor I responded.
“Okay, so for the Beater position we have Pippa Higgs, Pete and Poppy White, Jason and Ethan Rivers, Fred Weasley, Cassandra Jordan from the House Teams, then George Wickstead, Warren Davenport, Avery Jones and Anna Thomas.”
“Davenport was no good,” James chipped in instantly, earning himself a glare from Sedgwick as Davenport was a member of her House.
“Neither was Thomas,” she retaliated.
“Wickstead had a good arm,” James supported his friend.
“But Jones’ was better,” Sedgwick counters.
“They were both good but I was thinking it might be better in the long run if we pick two people from the House teams who already play with each other, then we don’t run the risk of them not being able to really work together. They need to connect so it makes sense to pick two people who already have that connection,” I interrupted.
“Definitely,” Arabella is quick to agree. “Which means we are left with either the White twins, Weasley and Jordan or the River twins as Ben Higgs is too young to play so the Higgs siblings are out,” she explains.
“Do your brothers mind being Captained by you?” James frowned.
“They’ll deal with it if they have to,” she shrugged. “I’ve been their Captain for over a year already so they’re already used to it.”
“Well Weasley and Jordan are dating and if that goes pear shaped it could have a very bad effect on the team,” Sedgwick intersected.
“They’ve been dating for a while now, I don’t think that would be a problem,” James rebutted, defending his cousin.
“I don’t think it would be a problem either but it is a possibility James,” I sigh.
“Besides they don’t have the sort of connection that a set of twins would.”
“Are you implying that only twins can make decent Beaters?” James snapped.
“No I’m just saying that they already have a connection even off the pitch,” Sedgwick rolled her eyes. “After all, my Beaters do tend to be better than yours,” she smirked.
“Enough,” ordered Arabella. “If you two can’t behave I’m going to hold Chaser try-outs as well!”
“I think the River twins would be best option,” I supply.
“So do I,” James agreed – probably only to go against Sedgwick.
“Do you have a problem with that?” Arabella raised her eyebrows challengingly at the brunette who reluctantly shook her head. “Then that’s settled, the River twins will be Beaters. Now… a Seeker. None of them are from the House teams as they are all too young to participate,” she muttered with a slight scowl. “So we’re going to have to pick someone else.”
“Olivia,” James quipped.
“Hull,” Sedgwick said simultaneously. Arabella and I quirked eyebrows are her; Allison Hull had a renowned temper. She was also a Gryffindor.
“Are you going to go against everything I say?” James hissed, shooting daggers at Sedgwick.
“I will agree with you only when you say something I actually agree with…” she sneered.
“How can you claim Hull is a better Seeker than Olivia?” James protested.
“Because Hull has more fire in her than Olivia.”
“No she doesn’t!”
“Come off it… Olivia Crowley acts like she’s carved from stone! I’ve never seen her express any kind of emotion. At least we know Hull is human,” Sedgwick sneered. The silence following her statement is more than a little uncomfortable. James looks as if wants to curse Sedgwick into oblivion. Even Arabella looks shocked that she went so far… After all, Olivia Crowley was James’ girlfriend.
“Fine,” he shrugged at last.
“Are you sure James? Olivia is a great player,” I muttered sympathetically. Not that I particularly wanted her on the team.
“She’s right. Hull has more drive. Hull cares,” he sneered sarcastically. Arabella looked to me and I could do nothing but shrug. When it came to talent, Crowley and Hull were equals and while Olivia Crowley was in my house and I should be supporting her… She was such a stuck up, high maintenance bitch.
“We did agree it would be best not to have a couple on the team,” I muttered, trying to come up with a reason not to have Crowley on the team. What James saw in her I will forever wonder at.
“Right okay…” Arabella murmured into the heavy silence. Sedgwick’s face was stony. James’ was disinterested. “Keeper? We’ve got Sven Haywood, Jasper Nott and Emily Edwards from the House teams and to be honest I think one of them is our best bet.”
“Nott saved the most goals,” James shrugged. Sedgwick had the decency to look mildly surprised that he was complimenting a member of her team. “Emily is new, she doesn’t have the guts for this.”
“And Haywood? He was pretty decent,” Sedgwick queried.
“Either one,” James shrugged. Arabella turned to me. My heart was pounding a little louder than necessary. I knew I should stick up for my team but in all honesty, Nott was better. Anything else about him was irrelevant.
So I simply said: “Sven is new; Nott saved more goals.”
“Nott it is,” Arabella nodded, writing his name in her scrawled handwriting bellow the other new team members. “Looks like we have our team then.”
“Yeah,” I smiled slightly. Sedgwick was too busy staring at James who was refusing to look anywhere near her direction. “Should we wait until dinner or should we tell them before hand?”
“I was going to go and see Madame Jordan, do you want to come? We can ask her.”
“Sure,” I agreed, desperate to escape the tense atmosphere that had built up between the two other Chasers. Arabella glanced over at them to see if they were coming as well but neither gave any sign of even hearing her.
“So have you decided on the team yet?” Lorcan pried as I flicked through a dusty copy of Transfiguration Through The Centuries. Nodding absentmindedly, I jotted down ideas on why human transfiguration could be potentially dangerous. There were many. “Are you going to tell me?” he inquired.
“Not allowed,” I mumbled around the tip of my quill. Chewing quills was unbelievably disgusting but I just couldn’t seem to stop. Bad habits die hard.
“But it’s me,” he pestered.
“And what makes you different from any other student at Hogwarts?” I queried, making him pull an unattractive face. “We’re- or rather, Arabella is announcing the team at dinner. I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait another… twenty-two minutes.”
“Just give me a clue then… is the Seeker male or female?”
“Lorcan: I. Am. Not. Allowed. To. Tell. You.”
“You’re so boring.”
“As a Prefect, you should respect the fact I am obeying the rules,” I teased but it did little to alleviate his sulky expression. “Cheer up, if it makes you feel any better, the people we’ve selected don’t even know yet. Madame Jordan didn’t want us to tell them in case they got cocky and told other people.”
“Do you think any of them would?”
“I think two of them probably would, one of them might and one of them I have absolutely no idea about,” I answered honestly. There was no way the River twins would be able to keep themselves from boasting to the whole school. Unless of course Arabella threatened to remove them from the team.
“Right, so your cousin’s girlfriend isn’t on the team,” Lorcan stated matter-of-factly.
“What makes you say that?” I frowned.
“Well she is such a blabber mouth, there would be no way she could keep it quiet. I bet that caused a bust up between James and Sedgwick.” My sour face confirmed his suspicions. “I wonder if throwing those two together so much will finally help them realise that all their pent up anger at each other is really just vast amounts of sexual tension?”
“Lorcan!” I exclaimed, earning myself a glare from the librarian. “Are you insane,” I hissed in a lower decibel.
“Oh come on,” he rolled his eyes. “You can’t honestly tell me you haven’t realised they are attracted to each other. All those endlessly ‘glaring’ competitions, any excuse to get up and personal in each other’s faces… Come on Dominique, it’s obvious!” he laughed. “They’re obsessed with each other. Everything they do has something to do with the other. If they hated each other enough to be that obsessed, one of them would be in Azkaban by now while the other would be six feet under!”
“They’re not-” I shuddered at the thought.
“They are both too blind to actually realise it themselves so no, they haven’t done it yet.”
“Lorcan!” I hissed at him again.
“What?” he hissed back.
“You’ve actually gone insane,” I decided. “There is no way those two are attracted to each other in any other sense than they want to ring the other’s neck.”
“Fine, don’t believe me but I reserve the right to say I told you so when they do get together.”
“You’ll be reserving that right for the rest of your life.”
“You want to bet on it?” his grin was suspiciously mischievous.
“Twenty galleons?” he gasped. “That feels like daylight robbery!”
“Are you that afraid to lose?” I sneered.
“No, I’m just a little hesitant to take that sort of money from a poor helpless little girl.”
“When do you want to call the bet in?”
“When they leave Hogwarts.”
“You had better start saving,” I held out my hand for him to shake on it and he did so with a slight shake of his head. “Now come on, I’m hungry.”
The Great Hall was buzzing with students from all Houses discussing the announcement of the first Hogwarts Quidditch Team. On the far side of the Hall, someone on the Hufflepuff table had managed to get a hold of some of my uncle’s fireworks which were reigniting ever few minutes and showering the River twins with compliments. Arabella was trying to look unimpressed but it was evident she was trying not to laugh along with her housemates.
People on my table were already discussing the potential problems that would face the selected players and the contemplating how James and Sedgwick’s volatile relationship may have negative facts on the rest of the team. Olivia Crowley looked like she was sucking on a slightly sourer lemon than usual.
The Gryffindors were being very vocal in praising Allison Hull for getting the spot of Seeker… to a point where Osman himself had to tell them to settle down. James was trying to look happy whilst his girlfriend was glaring daggers at him from a few seats down from me.
Subdued as usual, the Slytherins were congratulating the new Hogwarts Keeper with handshakes and the occasional slap on the back. Jasper Nott received the congratulations with practiced ease but occasionally his attention wavered and he glanced over at the Ravenclaw table, as if searching for someone.
“Crowley looks like she might knife someone in a minute,” Lorcan murmured in my ear, his breath tickling my ear and making me laugh slightly. “Even Tamara can understand why you didn’t put her on the team.”
“James was the only one who wanted to,” I replied honestly.
“So whose idea was Hull?”
“That’s the surprising part: Sedgwick’s.”
“What? Quinn Sedgwick nominated a Gryffindor?” he repeated in surprise. “Didn’t any Slytherins try-out?”
“A couple, one of them was quite good and I was surprised she didn’t pick him to be honest but she was really against Crowley. Said she looked like she was carved from stone and something along the lines of her barely being human, I think.”
“I told you,” he smirked.
“Told me what?”
“That they’re attracted to each other. She didn’t want James’ girlfriend on the team and was willing to sacrifice a member of her own House to prevent her from taking that spot.”
“She hardly sacrificed him, she just didn’t recommend him.”
“Yeah because technically Crowley is a better player than him and had it been anyone else, she would have gone with her own housemate but she couldn’t take that risk so she picked Hull who is equally as talented as Crowley. She just had to hope that you and Arabella agreed with her.”
“Lorcan, you are incredible…” I sighed. “Never have a met someone who believed their own bullshit the way you do.”
“You’ll see I’m right,” he smiled smugly.
“Whatever,” I laughed, glancing over at the Slytherin table to see a pair of usually serene blue eyes glaring furiously over at me.
Hello, I have no excuse for taking so long so to any of those who have been waiting for this to be updated, I am so, so sorry. I really hope that I can update much quicker this time but I'm not going to promise anything as I have no idea where my life is going at the moment. So anyway, I hope you enjoy this and let me know what you think,