Chapter 3 : A Snog, An Imagination Journal, & A Chanting Mob
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“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” groaned Tegan as we hid behind a couch in the common room.
“Shush,” I whispered. “I lost my only pair of Extra-Extendable Ears, so we’re really going to have to listen up to be able to hear them.”
Tegan rolled her eyes incredibly loudly. Her shiny, olive eyes… “Why do I agree to help you?” she muttered.
“Cos you lurve me,” I grinned maniacally and gave her a great, awkward hug as we were schlumped against the floor and the back of the couch.
She sighed and didn’t relax her body. “I really need to get some non-Gryffie friends,” she said. “You lot are completely mental. Mostly you, I guess.”
I quickly let go of her when I heard J.D.’s smooth voice. “You want to sit here?”
Then I heard a quick giggle, clearly coming from Rose. “Sure.”
I couldn’t move into a position where I could see then without giving myself up, so I just stayed there, crouched behind the couch with an annoyed Tegan.
“Rosie,” piped up J.D. again (probably holding her hand…the ponce), “I’ve fancied you ever since last year, to tell you the truth. But I didn’t have the courage to tell you how I felt.”
“Fricking wanker!” I exclaimed quietly. “He shagged Sarah McLaggen for half the bloody summer!”
“Keep the outbursts to a minimum, you nit!” snapped Tegan quietly.
“I’ve fancied you for quite a while myself, J.D.,” said Rose sweetly. “But I never thought that you’d even look my way, considering that you’re best mates with James, and James is my cousin.”
“How could I not look, Rose?” said J.D., laying on the charm. “You’re beautiful…”
“Translation,” I interjected at a volume only Tegan could hear, “well-endowed.”
“Translation: really well-endowed.”
“Translation: not a dull prude, ergo more likely to put out.”
“…and most importantly, you’re sweet,” finished J.D., probably grinning like mad.
“Which everyone knows is a codeword for well-endowed,” I mumbled.
“Shut it, you’re making it difficult for me to hear,” whispered Tegan.
“Aw, J.D.,” said Rose.
“No! Don’t fall for it! He’s just a horny chauvinist deep down. That’s all J. Dizzle will ever be!” I declared softly.
“Rose,” said J.D. very carefully, “will you be my girlfriend?”
No Rosie, I thought, tell the schmuck you’ve actually been itching to join a convent…
“Of course, J.D.,” said Rose happily. Horrible, nauseating kissing sounds ensued.
“Quickly Tegan!” I said, not caring about whether or not I was whispering.
“What?” she asked. “You haven’t told me the details of your grand master plan yet. I doubt you've even finished it!”
“Here’s the plan,” I growled at her impropriety and pulled her up to standing. Right next to the couch where J.D. and Rose were snogging, I grabbed Tegan’s waist and slammed my lips against hers. She tried to jerk her head back but I moved my hand to keep it in place, and she quickly gave up the struggle and stood there, limp and unmoving, as I pecked at her face.
“J.S.?” I heard J.D. ask, grateful that I could finally stop torturing Tegan.
“Why, hallo old chap,” I said courteously, turning to face my seated best mate and cousin. “Oops. Did I interrupt an important moment with a snogging session of my own?”
Tegan crossed her arms and glared at me, while J.D. looked startled and Rose chuckled quietly.
“I’m so, so sorry,” I said bombastically. “Hey, you two ought to get going on your homework, yeah? J.D., the Transfiguration essay isn’t going to write itself before tomorrow!”
Before either member of the lovely couple could respond, Tegan violently grabbed my arm and dragged me towards the boys’ stair.
“You’re essentially a sociopath!” she spat as we walked up the stone steps. “Granted, not as bad as that Voldemort fellow must’ve been, but you’re a bloody fool! Why can’t you just be happy for your best mate?”
Tegan finally let go of me when she shoved me into my dormitory. As a digression, Tegan gives the sickest Indian burns you’ve ever seen. She’s got such weirdly strong hands and fingers you’ve got red lines on your wrist for days.
“It’s my state of nature!” I argued. “I meddle in business I have no business in! I can’t help it! It’s a fricking addiction! I should start on some sort of multi-step program!”
“You’re not addicted to interfering in people’s lives!” exclaimed Tegan, as if the notion were ridiculous. “You’re completely mad, however.” She had collapsed on my bed, while I sat on Micah’s desk.
“I’m sorry for kissing you without your permission, if that’s why you’re mad,” I conceded. “It was just the first thing I could think of.” Because I’m constantly thinking of kissing you, I thought.
She was sprawled on the bed, arms like an eagle’s and legs looking very, very long beyond her uniform skirt.
“Whatever,” she sighed, breathing heavily. “Dramatic gestures just come with the package when you’re friends with James Potter.”
I loosened my scarlet and gold tie, which was too much like a noose. When I graduate, I refuse to take a job that entails wearing a tie.
“Aw, but my quirks and strange habits are part of the charm, yeah?” I asked hopefully, noticing that her legs were oh so slightly apart and that if I tilted my head to the left, I might actually get a look at her knickers…
“You’re a weird kid, James,” said Tegan so bluntly that it sounded strange coming from such a pretty girl. “You gossip more than any girl I know, and only seem to take any real joy in pulling stupid pranks and playing Quidditch, and you write in your dodgy little diary with the unicorn on the cover every bloody night.”
“It’s my Imagination Journal,” I clarified, continuing to ever so slowly move my noggin leftwards. “And it was my grandfather James the First’s, I’ll have you know, so I’d appreciate it if you don’t insult the book that holds all of my hopes and dreams.”
Tegan rolled her brilliantly shining eyes. “You make that damn diary sound so interesting, I think I’d like to get a look at it.”
Keep going, you’re almost there, I told my head. Now my entire top half was leaning off Micah’s desk.
“No, it’s quite boring, actually,” I said crisply, feeling my balance wobble as I could almost see up her skirt.
“I’ll be the judge of that!” grinned Tegan, jumping up and moving to my nightstand.
Nooo! the more randy half of my brain screamed. But then the more proper half of the brain joined in a chorus Nooo! as I fell straight off the desk and landed on the hard floor with an “Oomph!”
“Here it is,” smirked Tegan, clasping my pink journal. “A simple Alohomora should open it right up.”
I jumped from the floor and bounded over to her. “Private thoughts, private thoughts!”
She shrieked and laughed as I tried to grab it from her, then engulfed her as she held it teasingly out of my reach. I swiped at it and she pulled it close to her chest. I had to choice put to pick her up, throw her over my shoulder, and refuse to let her down until I got my Imagination Journal back!
“Aie!” exclaimed Tegan as I easily threw her long, lean body over my shoulder. “Lemme go!”
“Drop the book!” I ordered.
I heard the flipping of pages. “Ooh, here’s an entry from two days ago: Why is J.D. such a sucky best mate? I mean, frick, he’s always like, ‘Merlin, your cousin has amazing boobs.’ What am I supposed to say to that?? I mean, come on!! Oh, trusty Imagination Journal, please guide me on my crusade against this heinous relationship! Give me guidance when I am lost, strength when I am weak, and a paper bag to be sick in if I ever walk in on them snogging…oomph!”
I dropped Tegan (over the bed, so she wouldn’t hit the floor) and grabbed my Imagination Journal. “I don’t want you reading it!” I exclaimed.
She seemed taken aback and regretful. “I’m sorry, James,” said Tegan slowly. “I was just joking around. That’s what Gryffies do, yeah? Joke around?”
I helped her up and looked at her seriously. “It’s fine. Just never do it again.”
Tegan apologized again, excused herself, and left. I sat on my bed, looked regretfully at my Imagination Journal, and opened it to the latest entry.
Dear Imagination Journal, I had written the previous night, I don’t know if journals have best friends, or can fancy girl journals, but I was wondering if you could help me sort out my nonsensical feelings.
I know I’ve written to you about my Gryffie friend Tegan hundreds of times, of how we prank Slytherins together and train for Quidditch together and go to class together and copy each other’s homework and occasionally have leg-wrestling contests, but something very strange happened at the beginning of this year.
Let’s say you have a best mate journal, who theoretically is a girl journal. But then, one horrible day, you realize that your best mate journal has a really big, shiny lock on the cover and sexy, crispy white pages inside. What would you do, Imagination Journal?
This happened to me with Tegan, and I don’t know how to proceed. I can’t just tell her how I feel, cos what if it’s just physical nonsense? She’s my fricking Seeker, and the best fricking Seeker in school. Plus, and possibly more importantly, she’s one of my best mates. What if I tell her I think she’s quite fit and she’s revolted, quits the squad, and won’t be my mate anymore?
Oh, wise Imagination Journal, I do not know how to proceed. I trust that with your noble guidance, I will be able to plan a course to action to resolve this situation. In addition to my incomplete plan to keep Rose and J.D. as far away from each other as possible.
James Sirius Potter
I coughed as loudly as a herd of rampaging crups, but all the bloody Gryffie hopefuls just kept on chattering inanely. Tryouts are over, people! I’m tryin’ to tell you which ones I’ve cut!
My next cough was more akin in volume to the stampede of a herd of thestrals, yet the din persisted.
“Hellooo?” I piped meekly, a wee bit timid in front of a crowd of forty social Gryffindors clad in Quidditch gear.
Panicking at their insolence (and perhaps my newly discovered lack of authority), I trotted over to my cousin Freddie, who was chatting up a blonde girl in our year.
“Freddie!” I squeaked, tapping his shoulder. “They’re not listening and I want to read the squad list and it’s nearly seven and my stomach’s rumbling, and I hope that they have chicken pot pie in the Great Hall for dinner, I really love any sort of pie—”
Fred whipped his head round to look at me. “James, we voted you cap’n. If you can’t silence a bunch of untalented Gryffie wannabes, then how’re you gonna lead us into battle?”
“Wannabe?” gasped the blonde girl behind him. “You think I tried out just to be in your stupid club?”
“No Miranda, what I meant is that every other person here is a wannabe. You’re brilliant at Seeking,” said Fred smoothly.
“Freddie!” I whined. “I have to get them to quiet down! The pie could be getting cold!”
Fred groaned. “Potter, we voted you in despite the very vocal lobby from Micah in his own support.”
“Micah just has an inferiority complex that causes him to grope at leadership positions,” I said analytically. “He didn’t really want to be cap’n.”
Fred rolled his brown eyes. “Point is: you should be able to do this. Take control, James! Be a man! Search deep down inside you for a drop of testosterone!”
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, and shrieked, “Freddie, I order you to silence the swinish multitudes!”
Fred just laughed. “Hopeless, James. You’re hopeless.”
“But that’s why you all love me so,” I grinned.
Freddie cleared his throat and bellowed, “OI, you lot currently squatting on the Quidditch pitch! Mister James Potter here, cap’n of the legendary Gryffies, has got a rather important announcement that I think you’ll find relevant!”
I stepped up beside him and shook his hand. “Thank you, Fred.”
He saluted me. “For you, cousin and cap’n.”
I cleared my own throat and attempted to sound as authoritative as I could. “Hi,” I began. “Um, I gave my talk before the tryouts began, how Quidditch is more than just a sport to Gryffindor House and if you were selected, you’d have to uphold the honor and dignity that being a member of the Gryffies entails. I also wanted to thank all forty some odd of you for trying out, because the squad can only get stronger with more and more talented flyers trying out. Unfortunately, we’ve only got room for seven, as dictated by the Department of Magical Games and Sports, so I figure I’ll call out these names. I just want to say that I’m really sorry for cutting you, if I cut you, but as cap’n it’s my responsibility to build the strongest team possible.
“Chasers: Micah Horowitz, James Potter, Arlie Shacklebolt. Beaters: John Dorian Nott, Fred Weasley. Keeper: Mattie Thomas. Seeker: Tegan Llewellyn.
“Okay, that’s it. Thanks again for coming out, and if you didn’t make it, I wish you all the best for next year’s tryouts, and come support us in our battle against Slytherin!”
“I hate cutting people,” I muttered, poking my chicken potpie with my fork at dinner later than evening. We Gryffies, the original seven, were sitting together in the Great Hall later that evening.
Micah gulped down a swig of pumpkin juice and exhaled loudly. “Cap’n, you had to do it. I mean, unquestionably, the seven of us were the seven best flyers out there. Yeah?”
Arlie carefully cut her chicken, slowly brought it to her mouth, and methodically chewed it. “Micah’s right. It’s always unpleasant being cap’n, James. I suppose that’s why so many of them go mental. Most of you weren’t on the team when Lorelai Lin-Wood was cap’n, but she was a monster. We had a perfect season, though.”
I rested my head in my hands. “My dad was cap’n. And so was my granddad, apparently. I can’t muck this up.”
J.D. took a break from shoveling pie into his mouth to pat me on the back. “You’re gonna do great, mate,” he said, mouth full of food. “You’re the best flyer amongst us, and how hard could it be to transition from player to cap’n?”
“And you’re our cap’n elect,” added Fred, he too speaking with his mouth full. “We voted for ya cos we have faith in ya.”
“But if you’re nervous about calling plays and stuff,” mumbled Tegan, her mouth as filled as J.D.’s and Fred’s, “my great-uncle Dai left me a bunch of Quidditch playbooks in his will, after he was eaten by that chimera. I could have my mam send them to you, if you like.”
I kipped up. “That would be great, Teg. Thanks!”
“We’re gonna show those Slytherins moves they hain’t ever seen before!” declared Mattie.
“What team?” shouted J.D.
“Gryffindor!” we Gryffies chanted back.
“What team?” bellowed J.D. again.
“GRYFFINDOR!” This time the entirety of the Gryffindor table yelled back.
“Whose house?” I shouted.
“GODRIC!” came the reply.
“What team?” yelled J.D.
“GRYFFINDOR!” our house replied.
“Whose house?” I yelled.
“GODRIC!” was the thunderous reply.
“What team?” shouted J.D.
“GRYFFINDOR!” our 250 housemates yelled, much to the dismay of the members of the three other houses currently dining.
But who cares about them? We’re Gryffies!
A/N: Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who’s read this far! And a bigger THANK YOU to you fantastic reviewers! You have no idea how much I appreciate your kind and constructive comments! Writing this story is such a joy, and I love sharing it with you all. Aw, I’m so corny ;)
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