Chapter 1 : Pineapple Juice
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P.S. As of 11/20, this chapter has been edited by my wonderful editor, Sweet Decadence. Thanks sweetie! You are too fabulous!
“Five more minutes!”
Bam. Crash. Soar. Score! The roar of the victorious crowd.
“Ms. King, did you hear me? Only four more minutes before the test is over! You haven’t even started!” I was awoken by a disturbingly loud screech. My eyes were misty from my daydream and I stared down at the blank parchment before me. Snappin’ turtles. My Transfiguration test. I hadn’t even started. I was toast.
“And … time’s up!” Professor O’Maley announced, her heavy Scottish accent ringing through the classroom.
She snatched my paper up just as I scribbled my name down. With a muffled thud, my large head of blonde snakes hit the desk. I was roasted, toasted, and stick a toothpick in me-done. My parents would be beyond disappointed. Enough to guilt trip me to the grave, then personally dig my own grave before throwing me in alive with a pit of gerbils. A fate much worse than death. I shuddered thinking of the disgusting rodents. Their tiny claws and whiskers touching my skin.
“So how’d you do?” Riley asked me as we wandered back to class.
“Brilliant … just brilliant.”
“You spent an awful long time just staring out the windows at the Qudditch pitch. You must have finished early.”
“Err … about that-” Riley stopped in the middle of the hallway causing a traffic jam behind her. Several disgruntled students passed us as she stared me down.
“You didn’t!” she screeched. With a sad nod, I confirmed the truth. “Rudella Pearl King …” she started, her voice rising and her face turning a dangerous shade of violent red. I cringed at the sound of my full name.
“I really didn’t mean to this time. I swear,” trying to stress how sorry I was.
“I have every right NOT to speak to you ever again.”
I nodded sadly as she began back toward the Gryffindor tower. I was personally done for. Al was going to kill me. I preferred that almost to Riley’s silent treatment. Ice Queen’s freeze outs were a fate worst than a bikini in an Ice Age.
“Al’s going to kill you,” Riley muttered confirming my thoughts.
She muttered the password as we entered into the Common Room, stalked past me at a furiously fast rate, and slammed the 6th year dormitory door once she stomped up the stairs. Everyone in the Common Room winced with impact as the door’s boom echoed through the comfortable, scarlet room. Al immediately sought out the source of the noise before dragging his emerald eyes across the room to find me standing ashamed at the entrance to the Common Room. Two Fifth year girls pushed past me rudely, and I didn’t even mutter a retort. Al’s face immediately became one of the confusion as he shuffled over to me.
“Hey R.P,” he murmured before dropping to give me a high five. I miserably attempted to meet it, but missed his hand by a mile. His lanky body towered over mine as he searched my eyes for some source of information. Finally, he sighed running his hand through his already messy raven hair. “What happened?”
“Transfiguration,” I answered after a long moment. He thought for a moment before he looked back down to me.
“Test … today- right?” he asked hesitantly. I nodded before plopping down in an armchair. Al pushed me over and sat next to me, squishing me awkwardly into the arm of the chair. “You want to tell me before I hear it from Riles?”
“I…” I attempted to answer, but my throat was dry. I swallowed again. “I didn’t finish it.” Al furrowed his brow.
“And why not?” he questioned, his voice neutral. Al’s normally playful voice was dangerously somber. I’d do anything to change that.
‘Almost anything,’ I added mentally as I thought of the gerbils. I physically shuddered at the thought.
“R.P?” he asked again, concern flooding his warm voice. He brought me out of my daydream.
“I was daydreaming … about Quidditch,” I meekly answered.
Al sighed and dropped his head into his hands in his lap. I twitched my thumbs on the seam of my skirt as I awaited his response. Would he get mad and yell like Riley? Or the silent treatment or even more typical Al Potter and lecture me on the importance of my grades? I sadly awaited my fate. I fidgeted in my seat and leaned against the armchair more comfortably as I turned to face Al. My legs draped over the opposite arm as his did the same next to my head and torso.
“R.P. if you don’t pass Transfiguration, all you’ll be doing is daydreaming about Quidditch,” he answered simply, his hand reassuringly finding mine.
He squeezed it gently as I numbly nodded. It wasn’t like I didn’t try at Transfiguration. Professor O’Boring just couldn’t keep my attention. At all. Then again, I wasn’t even close to being as disciplined or focused as any of my friends. Al, Riley, and not nearly as focused as Rose or Scorpius.
“Do you want me to tutor you?” Al asked finally, breaking my daydreams again. For the first time all afternoon, a huge smile swept across my face.
“Would you?” I squeaked. Al grimaced at the squeak.
“As long as you promise to never do that again,” he said severely.
I leaned forward and immediately hugged him. In a series of twists and somersaults, we ended up a tangle on the floor. My legs squishing his face and my arms around his legs with my face pressed against the red carpet next to his left thigh. His lips pressed against my unshaven calf as he gracefully mumbled, “Off.” I scrambled to my feet and helped my lanky best friend up.
“Gross, you need to shave and pronto R.P. Is that what it is like to hug me when I have five o’clock shadow?” I shrugged and nodded in general agreement and he shuddered.
“It’s no fun, is it?”
“I promise to never do that to you or Riley again.”
“I’ll hold you to that.”
An hour or two after a delicious dinner, bikini tanning in an Ice Age, and Al’s attempt at tutoring me that ended up in a Quidditch heated discussion, I found myself stumbling through the ground in my comfortable sweat pants and an old t-shirt with my broom in tow. Even though it had been the source of my possible failure, I couldn’t be mad at the most beautiful place in the world. The Quidditch Pitch was my Garden of Eden. The only temptation was the quaffle, the hoops, and a perfect sunny but chilly day. Before Hogwarts, I hadn’t known the heaven that was Quidditch and flying. Being raised muggle had excluded me from even tasting the sweet wind of flying until my first lesson in First Year. I had been the first one in the air and soaring even beating Al and Scorpius. With time, my weak, frail body had been trained into the fit body of a Chaser. I had proudly been on the Gryffindor team since Third Year and held my position with honor. I was the first to practice and last to leave. Often times, Captain James Potter had to pull me off the Pitch by my hair.
“Rudella,” a deep voice called to my left. I turned immediately, my blonde rope-like hair whipping in the wind in response.
“Captain,” I acknowledged as I placed my beloved broom down on the ground and began to stretch.
“What is the rumor flying around about you failing your Transfiguration test?” he asked, his tone serious and pressing.
“See … I didn’t exactly fail.” I paused and met the curious expression of James. “I didn’t exactly start.”
A heavy sigh was emitted by my captain. Was it only the Potter family that enjoyed sighing so much? Or was it just the children? Did the famous Harry Potter and Ginny Potter sigh as much as their two boys? If so I swear, they should make an Olympic team of sighing and they would totally win gold. I could just see it- famous Harry “the Sigh” Potter with his wife Ginny “Heavy Breathing” Potter and children James, Albus, and Lily. They would wear matching leotards of emerald green to match Harry and Albus’s eyes while complimenting Ginny and Lily’s hair. James could look good in anything.
“… if you don’t pass the next test, O’Maley said she’d have no choice but to fail you. That means no Qudditch and no Cup for Gryffindor.” I continued to daydream about the acrobatic routine of the Weasleys as James knocked on my head. “Hello? Anyone home?” he asked, amused by the sight of me. I shook my head and stared blankly at him. “You didn’t hear a word I just said, did you?”
“The answer to that one, Captain, would be an assured ‘nope’,” I answered brightly.
He sighed before sitting next to me. He turned me to face him and gripped my shoulders in a firm manner.
“Ru, you need to ace that test. And I’m willing to take whatever desperate measures that means. Including benching you until you take me and Transfiguration seriously.” I gaped at him.
“But … what good would that do?” I questioned in a small voice.
“This team could handle Ravenclaw without you, Kings. But Slytherin isn’t even a choice. We need you for the cup final. And I’ve already asked Al to step off from tutoring you,” James explained.
“But why?” I asked, clearly confused.
“Because Al can’t focus around you, Ru. It’s obvious he fancies you… and I need you to have a tutor that you will listen to and will coach you seriously.”
“Who do you propose on such short notice then?”
“Me.” I stared at him for a long time before dropping my gaze to the soft grass of Hogwarts. “He really cares about you, you know? He has a weird way of showing it, but in Al terms, he’d do anything for you. As a friend and otherwise.”
I nodded numbly. “I know.”
He stared at me. “And he’s my brother and I want to know if you plan on doing anything about it,” he gruffly demanded after a long moment. I looked into his hazel eyes. Obvious loyalty glinted back at me.
“Rule number one,” I began as I straddled my broom. “Teammates don’t date fellow teammates. It’s just much of a distraction and shatters the unity of a team.” With that I flew off leaving thoughts of Transfiguration, Al, and my Captain in the dust.
As I flew around the pitch, I watched James’ dark hair disappear back toward the building and I safely maneuvered through the air commanding my broom to do sharp turns and work out my muscles. Eventually, I’d worked up a healthy pant and thin layer of sweat before I headed back inside. I had already finished my homework for the evening. Or at least what I was going to do of it. I struggled back to the Common Room. Heaving by now, I rasped the password to open the portrait to reveal an unknown site.
‘Palm trees? Cheesy beach music? Scent of sun tan lotion? ’I thought. Stepping through, I gaped at a mosaic of reds, blue, greens, and other tropical colors that adorned partygoers and the Common Room. I smelt something particularly fruity as well. Everyone chatted happily while some of my friends attempted to hula dance? It was a strange dream gone awry. And that was when I saw, an unfamiliar face talking to Albus. Riley came over to me bearing an unknown drink in a red cup.
“What’s going on?” I managed to stutter out while I continued to gap at my beautiful English Common Room become tropically tacky.
“New girl,” Riley muttered, taking a sip from her cup before making a face. “Still gross,” she murmured.
“Then why are you drinking it?” I asked, shocked at my brunette best friend. She sighed … I began to sense a recurring theme.
“Because it’s rude if I don’t,” she snapped, taking another disgusted sip.
“What is it?”
“Lola.” I stared at her puzzled.
“Lola?” I echoed my voice vague of certainty.
“Oh no, that’s new girl. New from America. Hawaii to be exact. She’s tan, fit, intelligent and worse of all, nice,” Riley explained bitterly.
“Why is that bad?” I asked, ignoring the fact that Riley hated competition already for the brainaic award.
“Because she’s also annoying fantastic at Qudditch, according the ‘O Gracious Captain of Gryffindor’,” Riley explained, drowning more of liquid into her mouth. She wiped her face viciously, staring at the cup with a twist of horror and satisfaction.
“What spot does she play?” I managed to whisper in horror. I watched Lola lift her head back and laugh as she talked with James, Albus, and the majority of the Qudditch team.
“Chaser,” Riley said sadly. She looked at me in sympathy and patted my shoulder.
“Blasted brilliance,” I muttered, kicking the couch now turned hammock. ‘What was up with these awful, cliquéd decorations?’ I thought miserably.
“Want some?” she asked offering me the red cup. I picked it up and sniffed it, a delicious sniff wafting up to my nose.
“What is it?” I asked, already taking a sip. It was sweet and innocent. Completely like Lola whom I couldn’t help but already hate. She honestly hadn’t done anything and it only made me project my guilt into anger toward her more. Oh how my psychologist parents would be proud of me now …
I stared at the disgusting cup in my hands before taking another sip like Riley.
“Perfect. Now, I hate pineapples and their juice. They never had a chance,” I spat, shaking my head before taking another sip. Riley downed hers before crumpling up the cup and tossing it on the floor and shooting an angered laser charm at it.
“Agreed. Definitely agreed,” she growled, stamping her cup further into the carpet all while staring at into while it vanished into oblivion. At least Riley still loved me and Lola had distracted her from the Transfiguration test incident. Always a silver lining if you looked for it.
“Let’s go to bed. I am in dire need of some sort of cleaning stall and some sort of comfortable rock to doze upon,” I groaned, interlocking my arms with Riley. She gave me a tender smile before we headed up stairs.
“You’re in luck! They’ve invented this crazy thing called beds to sleep on! And shower stalls for those who seriously reek. Like yourself,” she answered most informingly. She unlocked her arm after the comment before dashing up the stairs. I laughed at her and chased her up, thoughts of bad beach decorations, Lola, and pineapple juice forgotten.