Chapter 8 : Invisibility
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This chapter is dedicated to EVERY SINGLE ONE of my reviewers. Thank you to the utmost extreme extent. *tips invisible hat*
“Okay, guys, let’s run through this without any mistakes!” I yell out as I walk into the changing rooms.
“Hey, Potter!” a voice calls, causing me to turn.
“Why are we doing this exactly?” Terri Hartfeld questions as the rest of the team looks up.
“Because, on Sunday, we need to be as well-prepared as possible.”
“But, why would we need to be skilled in changing?”
“Cuz Potter needs to give his pep-talk. And God only knows how long that could take,” Steven Vince put in, making me look over at him.
“Thank you, Steve. Look, guys, you need to be able to change quickly so we can go over a few last minutes things and so, as Steve so kindly put it, I can get my pep-talk over with. This is my last year here and I want it to be good. You all know Sunday’s game is huge. I mean, sure, we’ve versed Slytherin twice before, but this game is going to decide who is in first. After that, we can glide right through Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. Yeah, we’ve got a few weaknesses against them that we need to work on, but Slytherin is our main target at the current moment. Speaking of all this, I have a practice schedule for the week,” I say, motioning towards Remus. He immediately stands up and hands a pile of papers to me. “Pass them around.”
“James! We can’t have practice every single night!” Victoria Aviey cries as she skims the schedule.
“Not every night. Just tonight, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The Slytherins wanted Tuesday and Friday.”
“You are insane, did you know that?” Terri says, glaring at me.
“Guys, this is…”
“We know!” my team choruses, some groaning in protest.
“Okay, look, I’ll shut up for now. But, I want you all at every single practice. And I stress that. Every single one. as for now, we gotta hit the field and kill a couple hours. Let’s go!” Although frustrated, my team trudges outdoors into the drizzling rain.
"James,” Vicky chatters as she walks into the cold changing rooms.
“I know, I know, there’s snow no the ground. But, hey, we’ve played in blizzards before. This is nothing. Change into your uniforms and let’s go. There are a few spectators. We gotta put on a good practice.”
“Hey, Prongs!” Sirius calls only minutes later as we are mounting our brooms.
“Evans is in the stands. And she’s got her wittle boyfriend with her,” Sirius coos, grinning evilly.
“Shut up, Padfoot, and get in the air,” I command, glaring at him. Sirius only chuckles, but obeys anyway. Once everyone is in the air and around me, I look up at them. “Okay, we’re going to have a sort of practice game. We’ll do girls against boys cuz I know there’s an even number of different players. How does that sound?” The girls cheered softly as the guys grin and slap hands. “Just a few changes, though. And to make sure everything is clear. Vicky, you play goal for the other team. Jayde, you play Chaser while Terri, you play Beater and Seeker. Guys, listen closely. Moony, obviously, goal, Padfoot, Beater, Steve, Chaser, and I’ll be Seeker with Chaser on the side. Terri, if you want, you can handle the Quaffle too. Sound good?”
“Awesome. Let’s go!” Sirius says, flying off towards the far goalposts. All the guys immediately follow him.
“Hey, I’ve got an idea,” Jayde says as she touches ground.
“What?” I question, opening the chest.
“How about you side with us for today? Let the guys get a piece of your skills. They’ve never had to deal with you before. It’ll be wicked. You can bang them around.”
“Hmm, that is a good idea. Hold on. I’ll tell them. Can you release the stuff on my signal?”
“Yeah, sure.” Jayde only grins and waves toward the girls. They instantly begin cheering. Almost as soon as I tell the guys the bad news, they start protesting.
“Look, I think it’d be a good idea. You can finally know what it’s like to get crushed.”
“You know, for that statement, we are so gonna kick your ass!” Steve yells out as Sirius pretends to lunge at me.
“Whatever. One of you pick a seeker. See ya,” is all is ay as I head over towards the giggling girls. If only none of them liked me.
“Hey, Jayde, this is so cool. I can’t believe you’ve never thought of having James on our team before,” I hear Vicky whisper as Remus flies to retrieve yet another scored goal. The score is currently 170 to 130, us.
“Girls, you need to pay attention to the game, not on the guy on your team. Got it?” I say, turning around to face Jayde, Terri, and Vicky. But, suddenly, Jayde has disappeared and is chasing Sirius towards the goal. She slams into him, sending him and the Quaffle flying. I dive underneath her, catch the Quaffle, and then start towards Remus again. As if on instinct, I see a flutter of gold and wings in the corner of my eye and immediately let the Quaffle slip from my hands, turning as I do. Terri hurries to catch it as I speed upward.
“Steve! He’s going for the Snitch! Quick!” Sirius screams as I rocket upwards. The Snitch leaves my sight momentarily until I catch it again soaring downwards. I continued going up a little longer and then make a sharp turn and crash towards the ground. Only seconds later and I’m floating triumphantly with the Snitch in my hand. Instantly, Jayde, Terri, and Vicky come flying towards me. I am engulfed in a hug as the guys all start muttering amongst themselves. No bad words are exchanged, just handshakes and mumbled ‘good games’…
I let the doors to the changing rooms shut behind me as I close my eyes and take in a deep breath. As soon as the wood connects, my team immediately huddles up in front of me, getting in their assigned positions. Sirius, Remus, and Steve are kneeling while Jayde, Terri, and Vicky are sitting behind them. “Not working. Sit around,” I say, opening my eyes even slower than I let them shut. “Huge, guys. That’s what this game is. It decides who goes in first and we deserve it. We have been working our butts off since the beginning of the year, but mostly this past week. I know we can beat them we just need to stay ahead with goals and let me do the end work. Stay concentrated, keep it clean, no harsh words, and try not to get hurt. I have Bon and Johnny as back-ups, but I really don’t want to have to use them. All said and done, are we ready?”
“Yeah,” I hear just slightly said aloud.
“I can’t hear you! Are we ready?”
“Yes!” they say louder this time, just starting to feel the emphasis.
“Are we ready?” I am practically screaming now.
“Yes!” they holler, jumping up.
“Who are we versing?” I yell.
“Slytherin!” they scream.
“What’s the cost?” I put my hand out.
“First place!” One by one, they put their hands on top of mine.
“And what are we gong to do?”
“Beat them senseless!”
“ARE WE READY?”
“ONE, TWO, THREE…”
Although jumpy and ready to get out there, as soon as we arrive at the doors that open up to the thunderous stadium, my team gathers around me. We drape our arms over each shoulders and bow our heads as I close my eyes and breathe in. Exhale.
“Dear God, let our game be successful. This time is full of players willing to fight until the end and they deserve the prize. They have worked endlessly and hard for so long and they need something so that they don’t keep yelling at me for ridiculous practices.” I pause to let everyone let out a soft laugh before I continue. “Allow them to play a great game and win like no other win.” I am about to pull away when Sirius speaks up.
“And let James know that he is most of the reason we are here today.”
“Let him know that he has drilled us until we were sore and it is most likely going to pay off,” Jayde continues.
“Let him know that he has prepared us to our best ability even down to speed-changing,” Terri puts in.
“Let him know that he is one of the best leaders out there and there is no way we are going to fail under his guidance,” Remus says.
“Let him know that his team is ready to make him proud and prove him a good coach,” Vicky adds.
“And let him know that there is no way in hell we are going to let those slimeballs beat us. Especially with such an amazing seeker,” Steve finishes.
“One, two, three…” Sirius begins.
“Gryffindor!” we cheer, separating.
“Thanks, guy, that meant a lot,” I say, smiling sincerely.
“Hey, Potter, you deserved it. Most definitely,” Terri says, grinning.
I only nod, wait a few more seconds, and then grin myself. “Okay, team! Let’s go!”
“Gry-fin-dor! Gry-fin-dor! Gry-fin-dor!” I am practically basking in the chanting, letting it all soak in as the bright sunlight almost blinds me. It is a perfect day for Quidditch match. Although chilly and somewhat still snowy, the sun is shining and there is just enough wind to help out a little. The screaming and noise is so loud, but, suddenly, I can’t hear any of that. My breathing has slowed to an almost abnormal pace as I slowly inhale and exhale. I can feel myself taking in everything, but all I can hear now is the beating of my own heart and the distant voices of others. It’s time…
“This is one heated match, ladies and gentlemen! 140 to 180, Slytherin in the lead! Can Gryffindor get them back?” Jodi, the commentator, yells out, watching every move. “Oh, and look at that! Vince with the Quaffle! Ouch! Bludger to the stomach by Goyle! He looks okay! Shit! Oh, wait! Sorry, Professor, won’t happen again! Is he okay? Potter, might want to check your player! Vince has just received a second bludger to the back by Crabbe! It looks serious!”
The ref furiously blows her whistle as Steve doubles over on his broom. I fly over quickly, the girls trailing behind me. “Hey, you okay?” I question, putting a hand on his back. He nods as the ref mutters a quick healing spell. She pulls aside Bellatrix Black and I, speaks with us briefly, and then flies away. The crowd awaits her decision as she writes something down on a small card. When she finishes, she puts up two fingers and the Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, and Hufflepuffs go wild. I throw my fist in the air while hugging Steve at the same time.
“What a decision! Two penalties! Let’s go, Terri! Score!” Terri concentrates, throws, and, unfortunately, Bellatrix catches it. “Go for the second!” Jodi yells out. There is a breath-holding suspense before… “And she scores! Bringing Gryffindor up to 150 against 180! They’re looking good! Oh, and starting again so soon! Black throws it to Black! Damn, that’s confusing! Ha! Take that! Hartfeld continues her revenge and steals the Quaffle back! Go, Terri, go! I’m sorry, Professor, I can’t help it if I want Gryffindor to win,” Jodi adds in an undertone as McGonagall is heard in the background yelling at her.
Suddenly, Jodi screams as does everyone except the Slytherins. “Hartfeld passes to Vince who… oh my God! He passes to Matthews! Is that even legal? Apparently, cuz the ref isn’t doing anything! Matthews passes to Aviey who passes back to Vince! No! Parkinson gets the ball! Passes to Jonis! Yes! Black hits a bludger right at Tom! And she does it again! The Quaffle goes to Matthews who zooms down the field! She passes it to Hartfeld who passes is back to Matthews who… YES! SHE SCORES! THAT MAKES IT 160 TO 180, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! WOOHOO!” Jodi pauses as the stadium quiets. “Hey! No fighting!” she suddenly yells out as the ref comes soaring towards the two boys.
“Steve! What did I say?” I yell, flying over.
“Malfoy, Vince, penalty!”
“It wasn’t me! He jumped on me! I was flying back to James to tell him something!” Steve yells.
“That was so not his fault!” Terri exclaims as she too flies over.
“I swear, Steve wasn’t doing anything. He was in the middle of saying something to me as he was heading over to James,” Jayde puts in.
“Malfoy, there are too many testimonies. Keep your team under control or you’ll be forced to forfeit the game to Gryffindor.”
“And her decision is…” Jodi starts. “PENALTY AGAINST SLYTHERIN! C’MON, TERRI, YOU CAN DO IT!” The game continues on like this until Jodi suddenly switches her talking right in the middle of one of her screaming fits. “He did not just do that! Jonis steals it from Aviey and… is that the Snitch?” As if on cue, the whole crowd silences and stares at me. Malfoy is coming upon me, obviously noticing the Snitch that I have just seen only seconds before. “Go, James, go!” Jodi screams, finally breaking the silence. The entire crowd goes wild, three quarters of it cheering for me. Until now, I have heard most of what’s going on, but, as I fly faster and harder toward the Snitch, everything fades out. As it was before the game, the only thin I can hear is the beating of my own heart. Not even distant voices are heard. My mind is completely blank and I have only one though: catch that Snitch. And I do.
It is not hard, save for the ending. I have just caught the Snitch and am about to turn around when Lucius collides unintentionally with me and two bludgers are sent crashing into us. Everything immediately goes black…
Slowly, I open my eyes to find everything blurry. My head is throbbing painfully whilst my entire body is shaking and feels like it’s having millions of needles stuck into it. I reach over to get my glasses when I first see the bandage wrapped around my wrist. It doesn’t look serious, so I only assume it’s sprained or something. But, just as I start to turn my head, the pain explodes and I slip into unconsciousness again…
“He had a minor concussion, but I have managed to fix that. I would advise, however, that his wrist stay in a splint for a little while.” I try to shake the sleepiness from my head as I try to identify the voices near me. The first one is the nurse and the second is…
“And his neck?” McGonagall.
“It was pretty serious. Although he didn’t mean it, Lucius hit James at a very highly accelerated speed. James’ neck snapped back and then he was in the back with a bludger.”
“But what is going to happen?”
“I can easily fix it. It’s nothing serious enough to send him to Mungo’s, although it could be. Luckily, the impact was not too strong and Dumbledore was able to fix him up slightly before he brought him to me. He was immediately cared for and I’m pretty sure he’ll be fine in a couple weeks. Of course, his neck is going to be sore for most of the rest of the year.”
“So, he’s in no real danger?”
“We’ll have to see when he wakes up.”
“Good. I’ll grab his glasses.” I slowly blink my eyes open, letting everything slide out of focus. Professor McGonagall slips my glasses on as I blink a few more times. “How are you feeling?” she questions, looking down at me.
“He may not be able to speak. His vocal cords may have been affected,” Madame Pomfrey says as I open my mouth to respond.
“I’ve been better,” I whisper, proving her wrong.
“That’s for sure. So, how much did you hear?”
“Since the concussion part. How is Malfoy?”
“He didn’t suffer as much, but his arm is broken and he sprained a few back muscles. Otherwise, nothing much happened.”
“He had a small concussion too. You should be fine, Mr. Potter, don’t worry,” Pomfrey says, smiling encouragingly.
“Yeah, sure. Umm, Professor, where are Sirius and Remus?”
“Madame Pomfrey sent them out a few minutes ago, but I’m sure they’re still outside the door, trying to eavesdrop, so I‘ll go get them.
McGonagall opens the door to the Hospital Wing, allowing Sirius and Remus to come back in, both instantly rushing over to me. “Are you okay?” Remus immediately asks.
“I’ve seen better days,” I say, making them nod.
“Lily came by earlier,” Sirius says, looking down.
“She said she was really worried about Lucius. Although, she did leave after she made sure he was okay, which was only a few minutes, and then came over and sat by your side for, like, ever. You know, I think you were right about Malfoy. He doesn’t really care for Evans that much. He is just using her.”
“Told you so. She’s just too stubborn to listen. So, what did she do exactly?”
“What? Do you think I was spying or something? Jeez. I’m not that obnoxious.”
“Okay, Padfoot, what did she do?”
“Right. Umm,” Sirius looks around to make sure no one is listening before he continues in a whisper. “She went over to Malfoy while he was pretending to be asleep, made sure he was okay, and then came over here. Hesitantly, she sat down by your side, in a chair of course, patted me, and then, you are never going to believed this, she slipped her hand into yours. She sat there in silences, her hand in yours, just staring at you. She was sort of crying off and on, so I’m assuming she felt really bad and she was really worried about you. As she was leaving, she kneels down in front of me as if she was going to continue patting me, and starts to whispering to me. She goes, “Look, if he wakes up, don’t tell him I was here. He’s really mad at me right now and I would rather he didn’t have any more reason to be.” You didn’t tell her, did you, cuz I’d have to kill you if you did.”
“No, I never told her. I don’t know how she’d know. Moony?”
“No idea. Then again, you guys slip up sometimes and call him Snuffles instead of Padfoot. Not to mention she knows the secret behind Moony.”
“True. Maybe she just worked it out and guessed upon the conclusion.”
“She probably assumes you can change too, she just can’t figure it out,” Remus adds as I nod.
“Guys, I’m getting tired. I think I’m gonna go to sleep again.”
“Okay. I’ll take your glasses,” Sirius says, removing my glasses as he does.
“We might not be here when you wake up,” Remus says, smiling as I let my eyes close and slip off into the dream world again…
*sighs* That was a good chapter. Minus all the injuries, I like the Quidditch stuff again. I haven’t done that in a while, so it felt good to revisit it. Speaking of Quidditch, I have both the Gryffindor and Slytherin teams all made up. I’ll probably do Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff later, but not now. So, here’s the line-up:
James Potter – seeker, captain
Remus Lupin – keeper
Sirius Black – beater
Jayde Matthews – beater
Steve Vince – chaser
Terri Hartfeld – chaser
Vicky Aviey – chaser
Bon Olsen – back-up chaser/beater
Johnny Treven – back-up chaser/beater
Lucius Malfoy – seeker, captain
Bellatrix Black – keeper
Crabbe – beater
Goyle – beater
Regulus Black – chaser
Lindsay Parkinson – chaser
Tom Jonis – chaser
So, that’s the whole dillio. Hope it’s good enough for you. Just so there’s not much confusion for further Quidditch matches. Okay, now I’ve got to make my big, little speech type thingy.
I had three long paragraphs and then a PS planned out, but I’ve decided to rid myself of that long Author’s Note. It was basically a little background on the starting of this story and a bunch of thank yous. Tons of them. All for my reviewers. You guys rock. But, after much contemplating and decision-making and thinking and all this other crap (staring at the computer for an endless amount of minutes :)), I’ve come up with a new prognosis for this story. Simply… it’s not over.
That’s right. “Broken” is going to remain a single and there will be no “Abandoned” and “Shattered”. I dunno what came over me, but I had this idea to keep “Broken” as its own and make the other two stories part two and three for “Broken”. So, cheer, scream, clap, freak out, whatever. This story is NEVER going to end. It’s one of my favorites and I am most certainly looking forward to many, many long chapters ahead.
Thank you so much. *puts on hat from beginning back on and bows*
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