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Pineapple Juice by LovelyMioneWeasley
Chapter 2 : Mashed potatoes, The Kinks, and 'That's-what-she-said'
 
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I don't write for the popularity, but I hope this is working.  I have actually tried really hard on this chapter and had great fun.  Hope you enjoy!
-Lindsey xxoxx
P.S (I do not own Harry Potter.  Just the original characters.)
Thanks Sweet Decadence for the sweet edited chapter! (11/20)



I sighed as I stared up at the ceiling.  It was a Thursday morning and I knew I probably had less than twenty minutes before I’d hear Riley rustling and getting ready.  Rose would surpass us all and sleep in late if no one woke her.  Hannah and Caroline would shuffle awake with groans of the early morning sometime after Riley.  Riley could just simply get up and turn it on like a robot.  The rest of us lacked that talent or at least my roommates thought I did.  Since first coming to Hogwarts, my body had began to program itself to wake up with thirty plus minutes of time before I actually had to be up and moving to get to breakfast and eventually class on time.  On weekends, all of that went haywire and I could sleep in until 1.  But Monday through Friday, my body awoke me for this meditation time where I thought and just laid there.  No one knew about me time: not Rose, Albus, or even Riley.  It was my secret.  One of the few that I just simply kept to myself.

I rolled over onto my side and thought of how comfortable I’d gotten.  Comfortable- penguin’s feet, how I hated that word.  It was a word that terrified me and warmed me all the same.  Pre-Lola, I had gotten comfortable enough thinking that I would have my Qudditch spot secured for me.  I was sure that I had begun to sort out exactly how to address the Albus situation, and perhaps even if I had feeling for James or not.  But now because I had gotten comfortable, a curveball had been thrown my way.  I had been one of ten pins hit down by the giant, rolling bowling ball of life.  And after soaring through the air, the impact of the landing was hitting me.  Hard.  Sighing, I figured it was time to get up, maybe even early today.  I’d blame it on the pineapple juice and the weird effects it’d had on my dreams.  A lie- but a sufficient one at that.

“Morning,” I yawned, as I fake stretched and searched for my slippers.  The stone floor was cold in the middle of January.  Riley stood up from putting on her school socks and gave a half-grunt.  Apparently, the pineapple juice had thrown us all off.

“Why you are up early this morning and slightly perky at that?” Riley mumbled, as she shed her comfortable flannel pajamas in opt for a skirt.  I too shed my pajamas and changed quickly.  My hair was a nest of blonde curls from sleeping on it wet so I attempted to brush it and pull it up into a ponytail.  Very typical of me.  At least I was still functioning somewhat normal.
 
“Guess what?” Caroline’s slurred morning voice announced.  Riley and I turned to her mid-morning routine and she smiled lazily.  “Scott’s asked me to be his girlfriend.”  There was a general roar of congratulations from sleepy 16 year olds.  Scott Hampton has had a dragon-sized crush on Caroline since First Year when she dumped steaming pumpkin pie onto his lap at the Welcoming Feast.  One can say that it was a long time coming.  Pineapple juice had been good for one of us at least.
          
“So, what are the challenges today?” I asked Riley as she gathered her school things into her bag.  She gave a small smile.

“You come up with two and I come up with two?” she suggested.  I grinned and nodded. 

We played a daily game to see who could be the first to make an undetermined number of legit references in casual conversations to topics we’d picked out at the beginning of the day.  Al still found great amusement and tried to keep tally of who’d won what.  Riley and I had made it a competition last year, but we gave up instead finding fun in the eccentric topics we could pick.  Al had become official judge on naming our references legit or not.

“One to a British ‘60s success story of a band and the fact that male seahorses carry the babies around,” I finally murmured.  Riley quirked an eyebrow as a challenge and I indeed returned her hairy quirk. 

“The winner must successfully reference a lacrosse black hole.  Also known as a ball hog.  But you must use the term ‘black hole.’  And a reference to Marlene Dietrich, the famous 1940’s American movie actress,” Riley decided.

“You prove to be a worthy foe,” I said, imitating a Sumo wrestler as I spread my legs out far.  Suddenly, I plowed into Riley knocking her onto her bed.  She laughed and pushed me onto the floor before stepping on my hip and balancing above.  “OW OW! TRUCE, TRUCE!  CHEESE CURDS! GET OFF YOU BIG LUMP OF MASHED POTATOES!” I screamed before she finally stepped off of me.  She grinned before helping me.

“Lump of mashed potatoes?” she asked.

“Big lump,” I corrected her, earning a dirty look from her.  We gathered our stuff and left our roommates to finish getting ready and get Rose up.

“Oh, by the way, I got a new magazine,” Riley informed me excitedly before pulling it out of her backpack.  I groaned.  Riley was a sensible girl that did her homework, cheered apporiately for Gryffindor Qudditch, and was generally a normal person by my standards.  However, Riley’s only connection to girl world was magazines.  She immersed herself in the girly stories; the articles about makeup; the horoscopes; and her personal favorites, the quizzes.  “It’s the jumbo quiz issue and there is a huge profiling quiz that I really want you to take.  It identifies your famous heartthrob match,” she added, giggling.  I sighed.  It was only times like now that I had to put up with Riley.  Normally, her company was invited.

The problem with me was that I had not been raised or had been given the genetics to live in girl world.  Until I was eleven and found the passionate, completing sport that is Qudditch, I’d been a football nut going crazy over the World Cup every year.  I was a passionate, die-hard England fanatic that broke things and threw tantrums even as a ten-year-old.  My parents tried to diagnose me, but it was simply something that I was crazy about.  I hated playing with dolls and my parents brought me to counselor after counselor that all found the same conclusion: she simply had different interests than most girls.  I played out in nature playing make believe cops and robbers with the neighborhood kids until my letter came in the mail.  It began to make sense because my magic had broken windows, my dad’s car, and killed the neighbor’s cat.  All by complete accident and in unexplainable situations.  It reassured and even excited me, but concerned my purely scientific parents.  They were both nonmagical and proved to like it that way.  Hogwarts, Qudditch, and the years that followed my First Year were filed away into a separate part of me once I returned home. 

“Morning guys!” a perky voice chirped awaking me from my happy reverie.  

Riley and I both snapped our heads to see Lola sitting in an armchair a magazine in her lap.  She wore the required Gryffindor outfit, but she was a slim girl that could make it look like it belonged on the catwalk instead of the hallways of Hogwarts.  Huh … catwalk-wonder where they came up with that.  Cats didn’t walk on the runway; humans did.  So why not call it a humanwalk?  Or better yet a modelwalk?  A sharp stab in my side interrupted my thoughts and I looked to Riley who was gritting her teeth at me looking towards Lola who was watching me curiously.  Her brown wavy hair was piled atop her head in a fashionable way making her look just as good as she had last night when she wore it down.  Her makeup was simple and clean, not painted on like most of the modelesque girls of Hogwarts.  Her tan skin was flawless and free of imperfections or zits except for a cute freckle on her cheek that looked more like a fashionable mole.  I sighed because I hated the girls that could wake up perky and cute.  It was against the laws of nature.

“Morning,” Riley replied with a fake smile and forced cheery voice.

“Wait-Riley, right?” Lola asked, pointing to Riley.  Riley nodded with cutesy bob of her head.  I stifled my laughter.  “And you are …?” Lola asked with curious eyes and a wide, friendly smile.

“R.P,” I answered a half-genuine smile on my face. 

“R.P?  Does that stand for something?” Lola asked in a dumb voice.  I inwardly sighed.

“I’d tell you, but I’d have to kill you,” I joked with a menacing smile on my face.  Lola looked at me confused and Riley stiffened next to me in response to my joke.

“She was joking,” Riley explained, feigning patience that I knew I didn’t have.  Lola laughed in response, almost a forced laugh and Riley gave me a look.

“Oh, you must be Rudella.  Albus and James told me loads about you,” Lola practically sang after she finished laughing.

“They talked about me?” I blurted out.

“You know Albus and James?” Riley asked at the same time.  Lola blinked twice in response before a smile respread across her face.

“Yeah, my dad is in the Ministry.  A top Auror type and we met the Potters at Christmas when we found out that Dad was getting transferred here for a job.  And at the Christmas party, Al and James began to tell me about Hogwarts and Qudditch.  That’s how you came up, Rudella.  James was raving on about you,” Lola muttered off.  She continued to babble on, but I was caught up with the idea of James talking about me.  It would have made sense to talk about me in passing for the Qudditch team, and for Albus to ‘rave’ on about me.  She piqued my curiosity.  She took a moment to breathe and my stomach chose then to growl rather loudly.  She smiled and motioned for us to walk down to the Great Hall.  Riley continued to politely listen.  I began to focus myself back into the conversation.  “Oh, and Rudella, Albus told me all about your love of Qudditch.  Of course, James had mentioned it too.  You’re a Chaser, right?”  I caught the question and smiled.

“Yeah, I’m a Chaser.  Qudditch just kind of happens to be the love of my life,” I added, with a grin.  Lola smiled in return.  We sat down on the bench and began to load our plates.

“I understand.  I never thought I’d like flying or Qudditch.  I’ve never been a real sports girl.  But … Qudditch.  It’s like breathtaking, like a great picture or something.  Chasing and talking about Qudditch were about all I could fit in with school and public appearances,” Lola sighed with a content smile on her face.

“So Lola, that is a very interesting name,” Riley commented, trying to pry her way back into our conversation.

“Like from the Kinks,” I asked, cocking my head to one side like a lost puppy dog in the freezing rain.

“Not fair!” Riley burst.

“First one of the day and totally legit,” I mimicked in a whiny but victorious voice.

“What are we fighting about so early?” A pleasant voice asked from behind me.  Al dropped in next to me and I socked his arm lightly.

“Game has begun and R.P. is already beating Riley!” I announced, hitting the air victoriously in a cocky manner.

“What was the reference supposed to be?” Al asked as he stole a sausage link off of my plate.  I stuck my tongue out him to have him only pinch my cheek in return.

“A ‘60s British band success story, pregger male seahorses, “black holes” in lacrosse, and Marlene Dietrich,” Riley answered before shoveling some oatmeal into her mouth.  Al nodded.

“Legit,” Al said passingly.  I yelped with excitement and high fived Al.

“Wait, pregger seahorses? Game? The Kinks?” Lola asked confused.  I continued with a victory dance and Riley pouted into her breakfast plate.  I prayed that Al would ignore her, but of course, Albus Severus Potter was far too nice for that.

“Riley and R.P. have been playing this game against each other every day since like 3rd year.  They have to make references to the most obscure topics,” Al explained patiently.

“Pregnant seahorses,” I chimed in with a chipper voice.  Score one for the Sweatband Turtles!
“You know, Lola, the song about the transvestite by the Kinks.”  Lola shook her head.

“Great song,” Riley added with a mock serious voice.  I chuckled, as did Al.  Lola was a little slow on the uptake of some of these things.  Al opened his mouth to explain to Lola, but a loud yell beat him.

“ALBUS SEVERUS!  HUGO WEASLEY! SCORPIUS HYPERION!” a very red, very angry Rose yelled from the entrance to the Great Hall.  Al grabbed a piece of toast and bacon before slipping down to duck from view.

“Gotta run,” Al muttered.

“What’d you do?” I asked, getting up to go confront Rose.  Riley stood up with me.

“You’ll see I’m sure,” Al said roughly, a roguish grin on his face.  Al lost his total awkward teenage image as soon as he picked on family.  It was rather entertaining.  I saw a pale blonde head stand up from the Slytherin table and go to the Entrance Hall.  Rose immediately followed him and the three of us ambled over to them quickly.

“I cannot believe you.  You are a prefect, a role model, a good student, and for all others’ sakes my friend and boyfriend,” Rose hissed to Scorpius, her face famous Weasley red.  I exchanged looks with Riley and Al.

“What’s going on?” Riley asked carefully.  It was then I noticed Rose’s outfit.  The skirt she wore was a bit short and loose on her.  The shirt was a bit snug on her modest size boobs and her shoes looked large.

“Rose, where are your clothes?” I questioned bluntly.  Rose turned to me with her death glare.

“And you two were supposed to wake me up!” Rose screeched, pointing to Riley and me.  We backed off immediately.

“Rose, calm down.  It was a simple prank.  Besides, it was nothing tragic,” Scorpius drawled, his arm comfortingly on Rose’s.  Rose waved him off sharply.

“Simple prank?  My undergarments, shirts, skirts, shoes, and tie are in the BLACK LAKE!” Rose screamed in complete rage.  I placed one hand on a pressure point on her back and Rose’s muscles immediately turned to jelly.

“Explain before I remove my fingers,” I snapped toward Scorpius and Albus.

“That’s what she said!” Hugo gleefully chuckled.  We all turned to him giving him death glares.  I motioned Riley over and she replaced my hand on Rose’s back.  They spoke quietly about schoolwork as I guided the three boys over away from her.

“Spill. Now.  You have five seconds,” I growled, angry to be missing breakfast.

“Okay, Potter and I were simply taking Rose’s clothes to distract her so she’d be late.  I have a surprise for Rose,” Scorpius explained.  “Then, genius Weasley over there took it a step further.”

“Why’d you help Scorpius?” I asked, prodding Al in the chest.  He flinched.

“’Cause he explained what he was trying to do.  He needed help to cart all of Rose’s clothes out plus he needed access to the Gryffindor rooms,” Al whimpered.  

“Why not just ask me or Riley to distract Rose this morning?  That would have been so much easier,” I directed my questioning back to Scorpius.  The blonde stared at me for a moment.

“You make that seem like a simple solution,” he admitted sheepishly.  I growled stamping my foot.

“And you call yourself cunning,” I groaned.  I turned to Hugo and grabbed one arm.  I twisted it around his back and crushed it into him.  He whined in pain immediately.  I fixed my grip and made it tighter.  “Explain now,” I growled.

“Okay, okay.  Rose has been a royal princess pain in the arse all summer so it was payback.  That’s it.  It took simple magic and I can easily get it back,” he grunted.  I released his arm and he gingerly rubbed the pain out.

“Right.  Well, if you continue to be royal baboon balls for brains then I will have to sick Rose onto you three,” I threatened.  Al and Hugo immediately looked horrified.  Scorpius looked nervous, but he refused to show much emotion anyway.  He preferred cool and collected.  I left the three idiots to join Riley and Rose.  I smiled gently.

“Hannah’s shoes, Riley’s skirt, and your shirt,” Rose explained sheepishly with an embarrassed smile.

“Well, considering I’m nowhere near as endowed then you; Riley is shorter and thicker than you; and that Hannah has huge feet-bad choices.  You should have taken my extra shoes- we have the same shoe size.  Hannah’s skirt because she is thin like you and tall.  And Riley is as well endowed as you so her shirt.  Quick, let’s fix this,” I muttered, rolling my eyes.  Rose sighed.

“I was just in a rush to get out.  I know cosmetic charms to alter the clothes and shoes so they fit better.  Thanks though, R.P. and Riley,” she smiled gently and performed the charms.  The clothes fit better immediately.  Her steps were surer as we retrieved food from the Great Hall before heading to double Potions.  

After a grueling double Potions that was only grueling because I was stuck with the idiot Hufflepuff girl, Jenna Banks, I left my friends and headed toward the library for my free period.  As I headed away from the dungeons where Potions was held, I ran into James.  He gave a brief bye to his friends before crossing the hall and pulling me aside.

“Captain,” I greeted cheerfully.  A quick smile found James’ lips.

“R.P., meet me tonight at 7 in the Common Room for tutoring,” he commanded, not leaving room for me to object.  Typical Captain style.

“What if I have something to do?” I asked, innocently fully aware I had nothing else to do but other homework.

“What do you do beside Qudditch, goof off with friends, and school?” James retorted his eyebrow quirked.  I sighed and eyed him.  I really needed to pick up an extra hobby or two.  I wasn’t that predictable, was I?  “And in that order most times,” he added with a mischievous grin.  It was times like now that I seriously was glad that James proved to have another side.  The most I saw of him was the serious, determined but fair Captain.  He proved to be a leader like his father and mother.  

“Fine, fine.  Like I’d want to spend my night with you, but I’ll do it anyway,” I said dramatically trying to egg him on.  His smile disappeared, but a twinkle of amusement in his hazel eyes appeared in its place.  It was a wonder that I sometimes forgot that him and Albus were brothers.  They were incredibly similar at times and yet so different.  Albus was tall and lanky with a thin build like his father.  With a mop of crazy raven hair that always askew and emerald eyes, he was the mirrored image of his father and grandfather, according to Al.  Al was a chaser that was intelligent and normally quiet.  He was observant, but also incredibly talkative and outgoing with his close friends.  His silly side was much more endearing and evident than that of his brother especially when Al was trying to cheer someone up.  James was much more mysterious and quiet, contemplative almost.  James had a stocky build of a Beater, which he was.  He was more filled out and shorter than his 6’1” brother.  James was not much shorter at 5’10”, but it was noticeable.  James also worked harder at his studies and Qudditch, proving to be ambitious and determined with everything he did.  James also notoriously dated more than his brother, Al.  Al had had like three girlfriends and maybe two more dates than that.  James changed girlfriends like he changed his socks.  He was a rumored fantastic kisser, but he showed no PDA with any girlfriend.  They barely held hands in public, but he led a guarded life since his father was the Harry Potter.  James had straight brown hair that had appeared unusual in his family line.  His eyes were a murky hazel-green color, but his gaze was steely.  James, however, was subtly clever and mischievous.  He was fair and believed in justice for all like his father.

“Fine,” he said shortly.  “I’ll remember this during practice on Saturday,” he added with a sly grin.  My heart stopped and I hurried after him.

“It was just a joke, yeah?  A joke between friends?” I prodded nervously.  His purposeful stride stopped and he turned to me.  His eyes held an unusual emotion to them as he watched me.  He licked his lips quickly before studying me for a moment.  A warm smile spread on his face in a moment though.

“Yes, R.P.- friends.”  I gave a triumphant smile and clapped his shoulder.

“Fantastic!  See you at 7,” I called as I took off toward the library.  I needed to study and I was sure that James needed to get to class.  It was good to know that the eldest Potters held me in friendship status because they were both fiddletastic.

My free period passed quickly as most of my friends remained in class (either Ancient Runes or Muggle Studies) and lunch passed after that.  The only poor moment came with the report from Al that Riley had successfully used the Marlene Dietrich and black holes reference.  I had to use the male seahorse one to even tie up the game.  Sudden death would be fun though.  So, determined, I headed to Charms with Al, Riley, and Rose.  Lola had appeared in double Potions with us and I was sure she’d be in Charms as well, but I asked Al if he knew what she wanted to focus on.  He thought it was healing, but he couldn’t be sure.  I, personally, wanted to be a Qudditch player than writer like Al’s mom, but I had to have something to fall back on so I’d chosen Auror simply because I was a bit of an adrenaline junkie.  Fighting bad guys would be only second to soaring through the air.  We piled into Charms taking our normal respective seats.  Al, Rose, and Scorpius sat in that respective order in front of Riley and I.  Normally, our third seat remained empty, but Lola sat down next to Riley.  The two began a conversation before class started and I mentally cursed before listening to Rose, Al, and Scorpius.

“Listen, Rose, we are really sorry about this morning,” Al began. 

“It was really Hugo’s fault your clothes ended up at the bottom of the Lake especially in January,” Scor cut in, immediately blaming Hugo.  Typical Slytherin.

“Whatever.  I’m over it,” Rose huffed typically.  She was super smart like her mom, according again to Al, but she had a short fuse and even shorter patience span.  Rose was still the most compassionate, caring person I knew.  Scorpius leaned in toward Rose and whispered something gentle into her ear before kissing the side of her head near her ear affectionately.  Scorpius may have been cunning and a bit self-centered, but he treated Rose with proper affection and attention most of the time.  He was one of the few boys that proved to be a halfway decent boyfriend at 16.  He tended to dwell on Rose for a bit longer than necessary, but Rose deserved the attention.  Al respectively looked away as they talked quietly.  His eyes caught mine as I watched the three.  I gave him a quick wink and raised my eyebrows suggestively toward Rose and Scorpius.  Al opened his mouth, released his tongue, and made a gagging motion while pointing his finger in his mouth.  I gave an appreciative giggle and he gave a quick grin.

“Hey Al?” Rose asked recapturing Al’s attention with her question.  “Will you help me with the Runes homework tonight?  I think I got it, but I don’t want to mess up,” Rose admitted nervously, biting her lower lip.  Al gave a quick nod and Rose’s face lit up with a gentle smile.  She thanked him and turned back toward Scorpius her gingerbread colored hair swinging against her back.  Rose was unusually pretty with a longer nose, deep ocean blue eyes, and curly hair.  The large, comfy chair of the Charms room swallowed her slim figure as well.  Rose was truthfully one of the prettiest girls I knew especially when she smiled.  It was probably because she was one of my closer friends.

“Class!” a loud voice happily echoed capturing our attention and ceasing any chatter.  The lesson begun with the direction of Professor Lockley who proved to be a competent and fun Professor.  His lessons were accurately prepared and functionally fun.  Professor O’Maley could seriously learn a lesson about her lessons from Professor Lockley.  Professor began to teach us a new shielding spell and the hand movement was particularly hard.  So he split us into our tables to work on the hand motion and try to successfully cast the shielding spell.

“Tristi,” Riley tried flicking her wrist but casting nothing.  I watched as Al and Rose both tried unsuccessfully casting it.  I watched Professor Lockley show another student and I precisely watched his wrist movement.  “It’s quite an odd shape,” Riley commented as she watched him as well.  I caught her blue eyes and nodded.

“Kind of like a seahorse,” Rose added chiming in.

“Did you know that male seahorses are the ones that get pregnant and carry the babies?”  Riley and I attempted to say at the same time, only I successfully finishing first.  

“JINX!” I screamed as Riley gasped for breath.  We both whipped our heads toward Al awaiting his decision.  Al stared nervously at us.

“Legit win to … R.P.,” Al answered with a tinge of question in his voice.  I punched the air with victory and Riley let out a frustrated groan.

“You only picked her because you love her,” Riley spat with obvious anger before getting up and joining another table with a Ravenclaw friend of hers.  ‘Great log of bologna,’ I cursed in my head.  Perfect set-up for an awkward moment.  Al turned back around and avoided looking at me as I shot a look toward Riley.  She already looked guilty at her random outburst.  Riley never meant any harm; she just accidentally did it anyway.  As I continued to attempt the charm, a shield spell suddenly shot up in front of me.

“Well done, Mr. Malfoy!” Lockley gasped clapping slightly.  “Ten points to Slytherin!  Now, who can tell me what makes this spell different from others.  Several hands shot up, but several retreated immediately following it.   “Ah, yes, Miss Weasley.”

“It was invented during the Second War, sir, for the purpose of being able to cast it as a defensive while still being able to shoot spells on the offensive.  The wizard or witch simply casts it and has to split their focus to hold the spell and continue to duel,” Rose rattled off.

“Ah, correct, Miss Weasley!  Five points to Gryffindor!” Lockley confirmed, nodding toward Rose.  I saw Scorpius’s hand drop to squeeze Rose’s knee encouragingly.  Rose took his hand in her own and squeezed it affectionately.  She kept his hand in hers as it sat on her lap.  They were really a dream team despite their obvious faults.  “But what you must understand from Miss Weasley’s explanation is that very few wizards and witches can do such tasks.  It makes for a very strong shield spell while you run as well."

Class was soon dismissed afterward and we all left to hang out in the dormitory before dinner.  Dinnertime came very soon and passed quickly.  I surprised myself and did all my homework minus reading before I even had to meet James for Transfiguration tutoring.  It made me feel a lot better.  Also, I realized that Lola was here to replace me as Chaser and I was just waiting for the speech to come.  “R.P., you are a great Chaser, but … or now I don’t have to waste my tutoring you because…”  I sighed and nervously kicked my duvet as I lay in my bed.  I had ten minutes before I had to meet James. 

“Ru?” a quiet voice to my left asked me.  I turned over to look at Riley.  Her light brown hair was pulled back into a loose bun with choppy, shorter pieces falling out.  Riley was shorter than I at nearly 5’4” and was the thickest of us in the dorm.  Hannah and Caroline never ate so it was their choice to be thin, but I knew that Rose and I ate more than Riley and just stayed skinny.  I worked off most of what I ate, and Rose had the biggest metabolism I’d ever seen.  Riley was average weight at heaviest though and was curvy.  She was pretty in her own accord with nice eyes and a simple heart face with a great smile.  Unfortunately, Riley chose to wear robes too big and skirts too long with her hair pulled back away from her face.  She also tended to not smile most of the time.  Not a scowl, but a passive look of concentration as she studied and worked.  Right now, however, she looked guilty and nervous.  Probably about what had happened with Al.

“Ri, I forgive you.  Always, and it isn’t me you should worry about.  It’s Al,” I answered emotionless.

“R.P., what’s wrong?” Riley asked me, sitting on my bed and moving my legs over.  Her face eyed me.

“Lola is bound to replace me.  Even if I was Captain, I’d do it.  She’s available to play and smart.  Pretty, too.  Besides, James wouldn’t have to waste precious time tutoring me,” I grumbled with a frown.

“Oh, Ru, he won’t do it.  If anything, James Potter is fair and just.  He’d tutor you even if he replaced you.  He’d want you academically ready for when he left, ya know?”

“Riley, I’m going down,” I muttered, still in a foul mood and not wanting to take it out on Riley.  Riley was the only best friend I’d ever known.  She was kind and serious, but still kooky enough to deal with me.  I never understood how someone as sane as her dealt with me, but she did with a smile.  As I entered the Common Room, I saw Al over in a corner hunched over a table working on a piece of parchment.  It was early yet before I met James so I headed toward him.

“Al?” I asked tentatively.  His head snapped up and her looked at me, his cheeks flushing.  “Al, listen … Riley is really sorry.  You know she is.  She lets things slip as much as you or I.  Just forgive her, please,” I begged slightly.

“What’s the other name for the Freezing spell?” Al inquired, his eyes blazing holes with laser vision into his parchment (okay, not really –LAME!).  He obviously ignored my small rant. 

Suctos frizus?” I answered insecurely.  He nodded with a smile and continued with his essay, choosing to completely ignore me for now.

“King!” a booming voice called from the other side of the Common Room.  I saw Captain standing there with a blank expression.  I saw Al look up from the corner of my eye and his tender eyes flashed with jealousy.  I sighed.  Al seriously liked me and I was still undecided which annoyed a bunch of people.  Candlesticks.

“Coming!” I sang annoyed.  I stomped across the room and left through the Portrait hole with a smirking James following me.

“So how was your day?” he began, conversationally.  I turned to look at him with what I’m sure was a look of confusion.  Captain didn’t pointlessly chat.  Every statement and conversation had a point whether it be serious or teasing.  He grinned more at the look on my face.  I turned in the hall and stopped looking at him.

“Look, Captain, it occurred to me after we talked.  No need to try to let me down easy.  I know I’m off the team so why don’t you find a better use of your time than tutoring the hopeless,” I rambled heatedly.  I turned to stomp off before a warm hand grabbed my wrist.

“R.P.?” he shockingly called.  I stopped staring at the wall.  He whipped me around and pinned me there with his intense eyes.

“What?”

“What are you talking about?” he chuckled, shaking his head.  I deeply breathed before letting it out like an angered bull.

“Lola, Potter. Lola,” I snapped.  He stared at me for a moment before calculating it all in my head.

“As a Captain that follows the rules-at least most of the time- I pride myself as being fair and tough.  Regulations call that I can’t replace a team member unless of a grade drop or injury during the middle of a season,” he rambled off, his eyes watching me.

“Exactly,” I fought back.  “I am basically failed and now you have a new star Chaser,” I spat bitterly.  I felt like I had put eighty warheads on my tongue at once.

“No because I don’t want a new Chaser.  I want my old star Chaser.  That’s why I’m tutoring you,” he explained to me like a parent to child.  I pulled my wrist from his warm, comforting hand.  I dropped my eyes and my expression softened as well as my resolve.

“James, you need to think what’s best for the team.  You are Captain and you need to act like one,” I gently said.  My voice was thick of emotion.  He took a step closer to me raising my eyes to stop staring at his shoes.  His hand left my chin, but his eyes again pinned me like a statue.

“Rudella, listen to me-you are the Chaser I want.  You are who I need on that team.  Despite your insane antics, you focus all of us.  We are a team.  One living, breathing unit.  I don’t leave a member of my team left behind if I can help it,” James commanded.  I teared up a little at the beauty of the speech.  Anything Qudditch made me a bit emotional though. 

“Really?” I whispered hopeful.  He nodded before guiding me to the old Transfiguration room.  He opened the door and I found a few objects lying around.

“I talked to Professor O’Maley who thought my tutoring you was brilliant,” James muttered.  “Now, transform the cup into a book,” he commanded pointing to a chipped old teacup.  I stared at him before his eyes glared through me, forcing me to concentrate and look down.  That night I performed more Transfiguration than I’d done in my six years at Hogwarts.  Three-fourths of my spells didn’t work, but James reassured me that it was a practical error.  Simple review would solve it, he assured.  I sighed with content and hope.  Maybe I wasn’t toast.  Maybe I’d be okay after all.  James and I walked in silence back toward the tower.  As we turned a corner, we heard a thump come from inside a classroom.  James pulled out his wand and signaled me to the same.  We crept toward the door, preparing ourselves to attack.  James pulled open the door and I saw more white than I’d ever wanted to see.  Rose sat atop a desk with her shirt unbuttoned and her legs around a half-clothed Scorpius Malfoy.

“GROSS!” I screamed, shielding my eyes.  Rose stared at us with large deer eyes as she scrambled to rebutton her shirt.  Malfoy grabbed his undershirt and threw it on immediately.  I snuck a peak toward James who had gained a stony expression. 

“Malfoy you’re-” James began in a growl before he was cut off.

“What’s going on here?” another female voice asked.  I cringed.  Sweet Binns’ ghost!


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