OK. Most people like Quidditch. Harvey and me though, not so much, I mean, it’s all right, I don’t mind watching it every now and then (as it’s pretty much compulsorary to watch the matches.) But, I’m not obsessed with it, and, before you ask, the reason I was watching the tryouts was more to do with who was trying out.
Yes, you guessed it. The love of my life, the one, the only Dora Lupin.
She had been too jittery to eat that morning, so I’d come out with her to give her some toast afterwards, and to support her, of course. Harvey had grunted that he was recovering from his date, I asked him how sleeping helped. He said sleeping always helped. Personally I don’t quite see that, but each to their own.
She wasn’t trying out yet, in fact, the chasers were last to go up in the air, and needless to say I could see this wasn’t helping her.
I was somewhat surprised, though, when I heard a greeting of:
“Hey there, little brother!” I turned to see Lysander and, oh joy of joys, Leon.
“Two minutes,” I reminded him,
“Still smaller,” he responded.
I ignored this, “What are you doing here?”
“Checking out the competition, titch.” Leon and Lysander were both on the quidditch team, still, did I mention that these were the Ravenclaw tryouts.
“Yeah, well, doesn’t surprise me. Of course you would be scared of us, Lice, we are going to win this year.” Hey, just because I’m not a quidditch fanatic doesn’t mean I can’t join in with the “friendly” banter between the houses.
“What a great comeback Sandy, I really don’t know how you think of them.”
“Anyway, what are you doing here, you don’t even like quidditch.”
I jabbed a thumb towards the pitch, “I’m giving moral support,”
“Ah, right, Dora.” Then he turned to Leon, “See if I were you, I’d be worried about them,”
Leon laughed, “Next you’ll be telling me to watch out for Harvey too.”
Now, I know Harvey and me aren’t the greatest catches in the world, but still.
“Thanks,” I said, sarcastically.
“Hey, no offence, mate.” Mate? He has got to be kidding.
“None taken,” I lied. Idiot. Then again I’m biased.
Luckily I was saved the chore of actually having to pretend I didn’t hate the ground he walked on, by the fact that Dora took off into the air. So I had an excuse to turn to the pitch, she looked so happy to be up in the air again. Her hair flying out behind her, she performed brilliantly (Of course) and was let back on to the team easily.
She looked up into the stands, saw me and waved. I waved back, gesturing to the toast I had wrapped in napkins, she grinned. Then noticed Leon standing behind me, she looked surprised, but then she waved to him as well. Damn him.
“So you’re on the team, then?” I said to her when she came up, she nodded happily. “See, I told you!”
If ever you get any chocolate out, it is a miracle if Harvey is not there in three seconds flat. We were celebrating Dora’s success with some well-deserved chocolate, alright, I hadn’t actually done anything, but everyone knows that leaving your friends alone with chocolate is just cruel.
Harvey was clearly operating on this basis too.
“Oh Merlin,” Said Dora when she saw him, “How is it that you can smell a chocolate being opened at ten feet away?”
“When I was seven I asked for a super power, that was what I got. And it’s more than ten feet.”
“Impressive,” I nodded.
“Well, what super powers have you got?”
“I am happy to say, none as lame as that one,”
“Anyway,” He said, choosing to ignore my last comment, “Dora, you know how you’re my best friend… ever-”
“Hey!” I said, mock-outraged.
Dora offered him the box, “Yay!”
“Simple things for simple minds,”
“I don’t see you turning them down.”
“Lorcan,” Dora said.
“I think Harvey may have just beaten you in an argument.”
She tore it open, and then breathed a sigh of relief as she read what was inside.
At my questioning look her broad grin became even wider, “The baby’s fine,”
“That’s great!” I said, meaning it. I gave her a hug (Platonic, more’s the pity) just as Harvey came down. I eventually abandoned him this morning; he seemed particularly defiant to get up. He gave me a knowing look and I glared at him, Harvey is not the subtlest person in the universe and I was sure that Dora had caught the look. Merlin she smelt good as I hugged her…
Off-topic, but whatever.
Anyway, after that particular excitement of the morning we set off for care-of-magical-creatures. As we were making our way down to Hagrid’s hut I asked Dora when her first quidditch match was.
“This weekend, actually.”
I was surprised at this, “You’re kidding,”
“I know, it’s totally ridiculous, which is why we’re practising every evening this week.”
“I’m sorry, I have to say it, and you choose to do this… why, again?”
“Oh, Lorcan,” She laughed, “I love quidditch, you know that. And, well I feel safe up there.”
“You feel safe suspended in the air on a thin bit of wood,” I said sceptically, “OK, now I know you’re crazy.”
“Oh, Lorcan, I thought you always knew that.”
We arrived at Hagrid’s hut to find him standing outside chivvying the whole class somewhere else.
“OK, follow me into the Forbidden forest, will yeh?”
We all followed him into, shall I say this again, the FORBIDDEN forest.
Hagrid led us into a clearing; it was only then that I noticed he was carrying a huge carcass that may, or may not, have actually been an animal at one point.
“Yeh abou’ to see summat real special,” He told us all proudly, “Well some of yeh, anyway.” I still didn’t get it.
He whistled twice, a high piercing whistle, a whistle I didn’t know our jaded teacher was capable of making and threw the carcass on the ground.
Then the Thestrals came out.
It was probably the first time I had felt upset about a care-of-magical-creatures lesson.
See, even though I know it’s wrong and it is seriously not their fault, I hate these creatures. They’re a constant reminder that, oh yeah, I saw someone die. Lucky me.
Most other people were looking around confused, after all they couldn’t see anything, could they? Dora nudged me, as the animals started to eat the meat. She was about to ask me something, I was sure when one girl shrieked,
“What is eating it!”
Hagrid smiled happily, have I mentioned that he is a very strange man?
“I though’ tha’d be yeh reaction, hands up who can see ‘em.”
I reluctantly raised my arm; a slightly freaked out looking Hufflepuff did the same thing.
“What are you seeing?” Asked Dora, genuinely puzzled.
I was saved the trouble of having to answer by Hagrid, “Thestrals!” He smiled round at most people’s baffled expressions. “The only people who can see ‘em are people who have seen death.”
“Oh,” Dora breathed beside me, finally understanding. See, she and Harvey are the only two people (apart from Mum, Dad and Lysander) who know about my Grandfather, when I found out why I could see Thestrals (from Mum) I felt I had to tell them to show them I wasn’t crazy. Plus, it felt kind of right to tell them.
They’re my best friends, after all.
As Hagrid started telling everyone about the Thestrals, stuff I already knew and didn’t need to be told again. Dora put a comforting arm around my shoulders, I mentally thanked her, because it was exactly the same thing she had done when I had told her in first year, the exact thing I needed, then and now.
It still felt the same too, because I suppose even in first year, I already knew she was going to be more than a friend to me. Even if I didn’t recognise it at the time. I felt Harvey give me a comforting pat on the shoulder, as well and as the leant in around me, protecting and comforting me, I felt safe.
A/N So, so, so sorry that it took such a long time, I’ve had to deal with going to a new school, and had slight writers block, but I’m back! And if you can find it in your heart to review the grey box is right underneath this…