Chapter 1 : All the Same
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“My god, Katie, what the hell are you doing?” Alicia groaned, pulling the covers back up over her face. “It’s barely five, and it’s cold. Go away.”
The blonde chaser tapped her foot impatiently, arms crossed. “Isn’t it a bit sad that I’ve been up for a half-hour and you two can’t get your pitiful selves out of bed? Just be thankful that I chased Oliver out of here.” She attempted to glare at the two girls, then sighed and sat down on her bed.
Angelina grumbled loudly, pulling on her robes. “You know that you enjoyed Wood being in here,” she yawned, giving a sleepy grin to Katie. “Don’t lie.”
Katie muttered something intelligible and flushed a rather bright shade of pink. “Did not.”
The brunette pushed herself into a sitting position, mouth wide open. “Katie!” she squealed, ignoring sleepy grunts from the two other sixth-year girls, who had been sleeping until a few mere moments ago. “Why didn’t you tell us?”
She scowled, crossing her arms. “Because I knew that the two of you were going to act like this. You’d better not say anything to anybody, especially Oliver. If you do…”
“Fine, fine,” Alicia muttered. “With the way that this is going, Harry and I are going to be the only two dateless people on the Gryffindor team.” She gave a half-laugh. “And he’s got that seeker girl from Ravenclaw. So it’ll be me all by my lonesome self.” Despite her grinning, Alicia couldn’t help but think how true that was. She wasn’t as easy going as Angelina, nor as pretty as Katie (despite what Katie might say), and had never had a real boyfriend. Of course, there had been plenty of one-week snog type relationships, she thought with a grin, but never anything more than that.
Angelina laughed. “You could always ask Harry for a date, you know. You’re older than Cho is, and you could steal him away.”
“Or better yet, Colin Creevey,” Katie joked, and then ducked a pillow thrown from Alicia’s direction. “You’ve gone out with plenty guys. Give the rest of us less attractive people a chance, will you?”
Alicia laughed, not knowing what an effect Angelina’s entirely innocent comment would have on her.
“Calm down, Oliver,” Alicia reassured the Quidditch captain, his fingers drumming on the table more loudly than the rain on the ceiling. “We don’t mind a bit of rain.” There was a sinking in the pit of her stomach- there was no doubt that this was more than just “a bit” of rain.
Harry nodded, and Alicia felt a small smile beginning to twitch at the corners of her mouth. God, he had such great eyes… She could almost feel herself falling into them.
“Stupid,” she muttered to herself, the realization of what she had just done dawning on her. After all, she was three years above Harry. ‘Barely over two,’ a voice reminded her. “Stupid.”
The rain pelted down as the team made their way to the pitch in their once-scarlet uniforms. Darkened with the rain, they were now a deep blood red. Alicia shivered. She wasn’t one for omens and such, but it seemed foreboding somehow.
The wind struck with so much force that Alicia stumbled, wrenching herself erect when she realized that she was about to bump into Harry. He was dealing with the rain, except for his glasses, which seemed to be fogging up.
Wood and Diggory shook hands, Diggory grinning, and Oliver just barely managing a nod. “Mount your brooms!”
Alicia kicked off hard from the ground, trying desperately to keep her Nimbus 2001 straight. Katie took possession of the Quaffle first, shooting up the field. Alicia and Angelina were just slightly to her back and side, Katie dropping the Quaffle when a bludger came dangerously close to hitting her. Alicia grabbed it easily, and zoomed towards the goals, recalling the timing that she needed.
She threw the Quaffle back towards Katie at the last moment, but the wind caused her throw to be off-center. Luckily, Angelina was able to grab the ball and put it through the left hoop.
The game and the storm raged on with equal ferocity, the score moving to 80-20 as the sky darkened.
“Time out!” Wood yelled when Hufflepuff put their third shot through. Alicia and Katie were the first two on the ground, and quickly scrambled under proffered umbrellas. Harry was the last one down, and Alicia despaired when she saw his glasses- she doubted that he could see anything at all.
A frizzy haired Gryffindor girl- Granger, Alicia thought- appeared out of the dark behind Harry. She’d better not… Alicia shook her head. Stupid. “Give me your glasses, quick!” The girl muttered a charm, then handed them back to Harry. “They’ll repel rainwater.”
Alicia’s stomach twisted as Harry smiled back at the girl, then remounted his broom, the team kicking off in unison.
Almost as soon as play resumed, Angelina put another shot through the Hufflepuff goals- 90 to 30.
“Harry, behind you!” Alicia turned her broom around at Wood’s voice, and saw Harry and Diggory zooming towards a tiny glint of gold.
Something fell in the pit of her stomach, and she looked down, gasping. At least a hundred cloaked figured were standing on the ground. The cold from the rain seemed to increase, and…
“Oh my god!” she cried, the wind whipping the words out of her mouth. Harry was slipping off of his broomstick, falling…
Dumbledore ran out onto the field, and pointed his wand at Harry, who slowed before he hit the ground. Alicia felt numb, and could do nothing but stare at the black-haired boy who lay on the ground…
“You’ve got to be joking,” Alicia muttered to Katie at the sight of the small boy with the messy black hair. “He doesn’t look like he could even manage to hold onto the snitch whenever he caught it- and he’s never flown before. How good can he be?”
Katie shrugged. “Give him a chance. You never know- Oliver says that he’s as good as Charlie Weasley, and we could definitely use someone like that.”
“Whatever.” Alicia tossed her ponytail over her shoulder, noting that it resulted in a few glances from the Hufflepuff table. Good, she thought. Some of the boys were noticing- some of the more attractive boys.
“If you would spend more time on Quidditch and less on how you look, you’d probably be the best player on the team,” Angelina chided, shoveling food into her mouth.
Alicia rolled her eyes. “Easy for you to say. You roll out of bed and look gorgeous. Plus, Fred doesn’t care what you look like, and you’re the best chaser on the team. Some of us have to work for it.”
Angelina didn’t laugh at that. Instead, she turned to face Alicia full in the face, eyes almost brimming with… Pity? Alicia scoffed- she didn’t need pity. “If I ever look better than you, it’s because I don’t care what I look like. You’re so pretty, Alicia, but you worry about how you look too much. I doubt Harry over there cares how he looks.”
“Yeah, because he’s already famous enough,” Alicia joked. Katie laughed hollowly, trying to restore the relaxed air to the group. Alicia shifted nervously in her seat, wishing for a way out. “I’ve got to get to Muggle Studies.”
“See you there,” Katie offered with a smile.
Alicia cast one last look at the scrawny black-haired boy before heading out of the Great Hall. She’s give him a chance.
Granger was crying again. Alicia fought against the urge, the sight of his limp body almost enough to send her into wails. He looked so pale, so lifeless… “Oh my god,” she whispered quietly.
There was a huge hole in her heart now. One that she never thought would be there- especially not because of some third-year boy. The others were all showing distress in some way, but Alicia knew that what they felt was nothing compared to what she was going through.
She couldn’t bring herself to look at Harry’s face. His eyes were always so alive, so full of confidence. Now she was sure that they would be blank, empty. How could God- if there was a God- create eyes as wonderful as Harry’s and then take them away in some cruel twist of fate?
“Alicia?” George’s hand was on her shoulder, and she turned to face him. “Are you okay? You’re shaking.”
“My god, George, he’s dead, how can you ask if I’m okay when he’s dead?” The words would have been a scream if Alicia had enough energy to scream them. Instead, they came out a tear-filled whisper.
Dumbledore’s magic stretcher hovered over the bed, setting Harry on the bed before disappearing. The only noise in the room was Granger’s sobs, and a few hushed words between Dumbledore to Madam Pomfrey. “…Not dead…”
Those were the only words that Alicia heard, and she wasn’t sure if anyone else heard them. He had to be dead- he had just fallen off of his broomstick onto the ground; he had been carried to the hospital wing on a magic stretcher. She couldn’t let herself believe for one moment that he wasn’t dead. He was gone, and that was all that there was to it. He was gone, taking a giant piece of her heart with him.
“Did you say he’s not dead?” she finally dared to breathe. “Is he going to die? He can’t die, oh my god, he can’t die.” Madam Pomfrey forced some chocolate into Alicia’s hand, and she pushed it away. “Answer me, please.”
“Miss Spinnet, Mister Potter is going to live,” Dumbledore said in that oddly calm voice of his. Odd, because just a few minutes ago his face had been a mask of fury and rage at the dementors.
Granger broke into fresh sobs- ones of relief that Alicia felt like mimicking. “He’s going to be okay,” she whispered quietly to herself.
“Lucky the ground was so soft,” George finally offered, Harry’s shallow breaths slowly gaining rhythm and depth.
“Didn’t even break his glasses,” Angelina added, taking deep breaths. “Don’t know how that happened.”
Harry’s eyelids fluttered, and Alicia could feel her heart doing the exact same thing. “What happened?” he finally managed to ask. “When is there going to be a rematch?”
Alicia felt tears well up in her eyes. He’d just fallen a hundred feet onto the ground, and he was worried about a rematch. Just like Oliver would have been. “You don’t mean we…”
As the group went into an explanation of what had happened when Harry fell, followed by how they would manage to win the cup, Alicia contented herself with staring at Harry. She reveled in the fact that he was still alive, still breathing, still Harry.
He had ripped out a piece of her heart when he had fallen to the ground. Now they knew that he would be fine, and the pain had subsided. But it hadn’t stopped completely- she’d given him a piece of her heart, all of the love that she could possess. He didn’t even know it yet, she realized. He probably never would.
But it was his, all the same.