Chapter 2 : II.
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She looked a right mess throwing on just a bit of lip colour and tripping over herself to put on her shoes. This isn’t just too early, it’s ungodly early, she said to herself as she paused at the end of the stairs to make sure the Gryffindor quidditch team was vacant from the dorms and common room. Sturgis was waiting for her farther down on the fifth floor.
“Tick tock,” he spoke with the ever present tone of a smile playing at his lips. Gen was just as cheeky with her short reply, but smiled to let him know it was all in good fun. There was no doubt Gen needed Stu, he was the brains of the trio. They had grown up across the street together and Gen came learn very quickly how useful he could be as a friend.
“So the plan is, we wait in the bushes, cliché yes, but hear me out,” he started, “We wait for them to start flying at top speeds, you cast the spell to freeze the broom, and Andrews should go flying right off flat onto his face. Should put him out for a good two weeks if we’re lucky, and probably the first match because no one wants to go in with a chaser out of practice.” Greg Andrews was the unfortunate bloke Gen had selected to target. He wasn’t all too good at being a Chaser, and Gen was feeling pretty merciful.
The September air was still hot and muggy, summer still hanging on. The grass was dewy, and Gen couldn’t help but feel completely drenched as she laid on her stomach beneath a voluminous sage bush.
Ungodly early for this shit.
She looked over at Stu whose rapid eye movement and focused gaze gave away his attempts at memorizing the plays the team was running. Gen slapped him upside the head.
“By all means don’t lose your morals because of me.”
“It’s not in the Ravenclaw description to be neither honest nor loyal; you’re the one attacking your own team.”
“Let’s just get this over with.”
It was another five minutes of waiting before the captain, James Potter, started having the team practice diving. The pair sat up a little straighter as best they could in their crouched positions and Gen waited for Stu to give her the signal.
It was a traditional count to three, about another two seconds for impact, and then Gen and Stu were sprinting up to the castle while the team sprinted in the opposite direction to check the pulse of their teammate.
“Brilliant,” Gen managed to pant out, checking over her shoulder to see if they had been seen or even followed. “Ewgh, I think I need a shower.”
“I need saner friends.”
“Cheeky bastard, but that’s why I love you,” she smiled.
“You don’t love me.”
“Oh yes I do. I love you so much that it even makes other girls jealous of the intimate connection we have.”
“Excuse me?” He cocked his eyebrow in confusion. Even he thought 7 o clock on a Saturday morning was too early for a lot of things, Gen’s mind play included.
“A certain someone is definitely checking a certain someone out behind a certain someone. Don’t look back! Just stare deeply into my eyes, yeah that’s right. I going to walk away in a few seconds and in another three you’re going to turn around and have the balls to talk to Tallia who now thinks you’re deep and possibly misunderstood.”
“But I am deep and misunderstood-“
“Ah,” she stopped him holding a finger to his lips. “No talking. Thank me later.” She smirked and walked away, a trying her best to hide the sudden bounce in her step. Just because she broke hearts didn’t mean she couldn’t play cupid too.
She had decided to skip the early breakfast and head back up to the seventh floor to change clothes. The portrait swung open and before Genevieve was halfway through a shrill voice made her jump.
“Miss Leveque what are you doing?”
“You’re such an ass, Caradoc,” Gen said putting her hand over her rapidly beating heart. Caradoc Dearborn was stretched out on the couch in front of the fireplace, dull blonde hair tussled and eyes drooping. He was probably Gen’s oldest friend, having been thrown together at family parties and left alone to play with a babysitter. He was, however, a year above Gen, and thus she had seen very little of him since arriving back at school.
“Where ya been, Doc?”
“Around. It’s an awfully big castle you know.”
Gen smiled a truly genuine smile, one that made the tiny half dimple on her left cheek visible, and sat down next to her friend. “And you’re up awfully early,” she started, hoping it would detour him from asking her the same thing.
“Never went to sleep actually.” Gen raised her eyebrows and followed his lax gaze to another mess of blonde hair lying next to him, hidden in between the cushions.
“Oh, gross!” She cried leaping off the soiled couch.
He laughed. “We we’re studying!”
“You have lipstick on your collar.”
“Aw, damn,” he frowned, noticing the hot pink stain. “Do you have any housewife-y spells that can get this off?” It was her turn to laugh.
“You could always try Em,” she said leaving him to deal with his mess.
Upstairs the girls we’re all asleep, Emmeline included. Gen decided to make a break for the shower before the imminent race for the hot water. Gen stepped in, knowing it would be awhile before any of them awoke, and not feeling like she would save any for them when they did.
She had gotten a solid thirty minutes of shower time before there was a pounding at the door that let her know her time was up. She took another generous fifteen minutes drying off before exiting the steamy room to the glares of her peers and the breaths of her pores. It was the longest she had ever spent in the bathroom shared with five other girls, save for the time she skipped a dumb quidditch match and let herself prune.
It was maybe only 9:30 when she returned to the filling common room with Emmeline and saw a muddy Potter grumbling as he attached what she was sure to be a revised try-outs notice to the bulletin board. She turned her attention back to the rest of the room; more quidditch players were coming back up, some younger early birds were chatting in the arm chairs, and Caradoc was in the same position as she had left him, only his bird had flown the coop.
“Oi!” She called to see if he was awake or if he had passed out again. His brown eyes stared up at her from upside down.
“Well you are quite the sight for sore eyes.”
“Aren’t you ever going to get up?” Emmeline questioned, perching herself carefully on the couch’s arm.
“It’s weekend I shouldn’t have to. Hey, do you think you could get this off?” He pointed to the stain.
Emmeline rolled her eyes, pulled out her wand, and muttered a little old spell she had learned from her mother that faded the imprint considerably. Gen was distracted with the bulletin board as Potter finally sulked away from it. Merlin, that boy took it to heart. Quidditch, that is. Gen was too sure if he even gave two shits about Andrews. Caradoc had followed her gaze from his position on the couch.
“Oh yeah, Andrews went down today, first practice of the year. Potter was livid.”
“How do you know?”
“It’s not that big of a castle, Gen. We’re you thinking of going out? You totally should.”
“No, no,” she brushed it off, “I’ll probably just hold them back.”
“Don’t be so modest, I’ve seen you play, you’re fantastic.” This was actually quite the compliment coming from him; he had been captain last year, but just sort of up a few weeks in. Oh, the horror. The outrage! Why would such a prodigy quit their beloved sport? “I got bored,” he had explained to his un-amused team and housemates. She grinned.
“Yeah, I just like to hear you say it.”
With that the two set off back down the massive staircases for the second time that morning to start her day. She almost liked being awake this early, it was a nice start for her busy day. She had big plans; eat, maybe flirt with Edmund, start but never finish the massive amount of work she had already been assigned, and nap.
She had managed to check off all of the above on her checklist throughout the day, but the nap she settled into in the late afternoon had lasted until past dinner, and she awoke to her dorm mates settling in for early beauty rest.
“Bollocks, did I really miss dinner?” She looked over to Emmeline, who was perched on her bed scribbling furiously onto what seemed to be the last inch for her Arithmancy essay.
“I had to eat alone it was very embarrassing,” Em teased. Gen smiled wearily.
“Will you come to the kitchens with me? I’m weak,” she pouted and Emmeline sighed.
“I can’t I’m sorry, I’ve still got mounds of work.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the girl I call my best friend.
Rolling her eyes, she slid off her bed and crept down to the common room. There were people drifting off in the midst of studying, others watching an intriguing round of Gobstones. In other words, no one to see her leave past the curfew.
The corridors were pitch black. Gen walked slowly, her wand out, but not illuminated. She kept her hand on the wall, using it as a guide to get her all the way to the kitchens. Her ears were straining, listening for footsteps, breathing, anything that would alert her of a teacher, prefect, or worse. Oh how she wished Stu was on duty tonight. But that would have taken away the fun of sneaking around, adrenaline pumping and the risk of getting caught increasing with every step. She was so caught up in her own thoughts she forgot to pay attention to her other senses and ran smack dab into something hard and warm. A person.
She stood there dumbly, waiting for a lecture, a detention, a stern warning, anything. But nothing ever came. Just the sound of breathing as the two waited for something to happen. Gen was the first to speak.
“What the bloody fuck?”
She had a small smile on her lips, the panic dying down and curiosity setting in. It was dumb now to think that she had thought she was the only person sneaking around at night. Maybe her and her fellow offender could team up, pull off the greatest kitchen heist of the century! Which would prove difficult, because the lovable little elves just gave it all away, made to order.
“Well this is awkward,” came a sweet, low voice in front of her.
“I guess, well, I’ll just be on my way then,” she said, brushing past him, still the in dark. Neither had dared to light their wands now.
“See you around,” her fellow said, and as much as she wanted to let her mind drift to the possibilities of whom it could have been, just a limos out of reach, she willed herself to focus on the task at hand and tried to keep her stomach from growling as she continued to her destination.
It wasn’t until the next morning at breakfast did Emmeline finally paying the right amount of attention to her friend.
“Well, what do you reckon?” She had asked after Gen and retold the story, second by second.
“I don’t know, I just - I don’t know,” Gen resigned, and the girls went back to their breakfast, oblivious to the fact that, halfway down the table, a group of four boys were having the exact same conversation.
Later that day, Gen was standing out on the Quidditch pitch, ready for the try-outs. There wasn’t much competition. Three nervous first years had shown up, some chatty third years, and a group of giggly girls that looked like they had never touched a broom. They swooned oh so inconspicuously as Sirius Black, a chase on the team and Best Looking Guy In School, ambled past, looking like her just rolled out of bed (which he probably had).
And if most boys were rats, then Sirius was a super rat, the king of the rats. Well, Stu wasn’t a rat at all. Caradoc had rat like tendencies, but was always very upfront about that fact that with him a shag was a shag. With a super rat like Sirius Black, he felt the exact same, except he lured girls into thinking he was out for love, and each and every one had a shot, and once they were in they were who he had been looking for, hopelessly devoted to. Except not, he went through girls like tissues, you’d think more people would have caught on by now. Gen had, and she didn’t even blink when he smirked that smarmy smirk that made all the girls’ panties drop. Instead she winked at Edmund over at the goalposts.
Try-outs weren’t very difficult for Gen and she was confident she was in. Her only threat was one of the third years and Gen made a careful note to keep an eye on him. Floating down, she saw Edmund talking to the other beater, Augustan Green. She waved but he wasn’t looking. Meanwhile, Sirius was drifting next to her.
“You looked good out there,” he smirked.
“Uh huh,” she said absent mindedly, still waving to Edmund.
“I said you looked good,” he repeated.
“Oh, thanks,” she brushed off, distracted. “Edmund!” She called and grinned when he finally waved back. She quickly dismounted and ran over to talk to him.
This is was problem for Sirius Black, because girls didn’t just brush Sirius Black off. She must be playing hard to get, which was fine with Sirius, because he was never one to back down a challenge.
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