LAST TIME.... “I daresay yes,” I muttered. “So I am now the lonely sheep or something. Well, me and Lee. And he lets me know it every chance he gets.”
Roger laughed and balanced his cheek on his shoulder, his eyes surveying mine. “That leaves the pair of us then.”
“All alone in this big school of sodding couples,” I said with a simper, sitting up as he did so, both in our own awkward bubble. “At least Fred and Ang are back together…they were really starting to—”
Then Roger grabbed my shoulders, pulled me to him, and kissed me.
I didn’t know what to do, but I didn’t want to stop it. For a whole minute we sat there, snogging by the lake while normal, boring people were inside eating dinner. Who could eat potatoes at a time like this?
He was right, I think. Our relationship was wonderful so many odd months back. Sure, we didn’t know everything about each other, but we broke up over a silly misunderstanding. And stupid Oliver Wood, just feeding the fire against us. It seemed as if from the first moment I talked to Roger in the Entrance Hall that Oliver was against us being together. Well too sodding bad, Wood. You lose.
Why was I thinking about stupid Wood?
Roger broke the kiss and stared at me, his hand still on my cheek. I peered back and caught my own reflection in his eyes. I looked shy and anxious. He smiled.
“I’m sorry,” he said softly, removing his hand and glancing down between us. “That was bang out of order. I shouldn’t go around snogging girls that aren’t my girlfriend…”
I raised a brow. “That’s right, Mr. Davies. I think that was highly inappropriate. It is cause for me to force you to check over my Transfiguration homework due in two days.”
Roger smirked. “The horror!” he cried and I giggled. “I suppose I can be forced into it. It’s my fault after all…” Our eyes met again and he stole a quick peck on my lips.
“Roger! Now you’ll have to check my Charms!”
He stole another.
“Keep this up and you’ll be checking my homework for the rest of the year.”
“Would you make me?” he asked, kissing my cheek and then placing tiny kisses along my jaw bone. “For each one? I think these,” he paused and placed a few more kisses on my nose “only count as a quarter of an assignment. If I’m going to do this I’m going to get my kisses worth on it.”
I grinned, snickering slightly. “Oh, all right, but still. At the rate you’re going I won’t ever have to do homework.”
“So you want me to continue?” Roger winked and pulled me in for another several-minute-long snog that left me a little more shaken than before.
My heart was beating particularly fast as I stared at him after he had broken the kiss. We were both lying in the sand, my back now covered in dirt, and I placed my chin on his chest. “What does this mean?” I asked softly into the darkness.
Roger made a face. “What do you want it to mean?”
“What do you mean, what do I want it to mean? Why is this so complicated?” I groaned loudly, listening to the rapid beat of his heart against my skin.
“I know what I want it to mean,” he said slowly, eyes on mine. “I want us again. I want you, Jane. I want us to be together.”
“Roger, I don’t know…” I said, biting my lip.
“You don’t know what? If you have feelings for me? Pfft, I don’t buy that one at all. You can’t kiss like that if you don’t have feelings for someone.” He raised his eyebrows at me. “Come off it, Jane. It may not be love, but I’m not asking you to marry me. I’m asking you to give me another chance.” He ran his fingers through my hair and I closed my eyes for a moment, thinking.
Who was I kidding, thinking? I was still overwrought by that kiss. It was something else.
“Even though Ravenclaw is about to be playing Gryffindor? Do you think that will come between us?” I smiled.
“Of course not. Our relationship has never been based around Quidditch—it comes up because I don’t see how you could support the Harpies with their dirty-shot Chaser, but it’s never been about Quidditch and you know it.” Roger smirked.
“All right,” I said finally, listening to the budding tree branches around me. “Let’s give it another shot. But if another misunderstanding breaks us up—we’re leaving it go.”
Roger chuckled and kissed me on the forehead. “Deal.” He yawned and stretched. “Now. How do we tell dear Wood?”
I snorted. “I’m not telling him anything right now considering he’s furious with me for being honest with him.” Shrugging, I stood up and we began to make our way back to the castle. “But that isn’t an altogether new concept, is it?”
Roger shook his head. “I’m sure he’ll be thrilled for us. So will Mandy.”
“I bet she will.” I paused, opening the door to the Entrance Hall. “Like I said, though. I can knock her around a bit if you want. I’ve got some fight in me.”
“Believe me, you don’t have to convince me of that,” he said with a smile.
There was a crowd of people leaving dinner. Angelina passed with a raised eyebrow but I shot her a look and she kept walking up the staircase. Katie and George were behind her (I could have sworn I heard a whoop out of the Weasley) and we had to push past Lee to make it back inside the Great Hall to eat the dinner both Roger and I missed.
He decided to eat with me at the Gryffindor table (so I didn’t have to beat up Mandy, which I so wanted to do, especially because of the ridiculously dumbstruck expression she was wearing when we walked in laughing together) so we sat at the end of the table and dug in, me grabbing more potatoes and some butter.
“Hey, Jane,” Fred said, grinning at me as he walked down the table. “Hiya, Davies. How goes it?”
“Not too bad, Fred, right?”
Roger smiled. “Not too bad at all. Weather’s pretty nice tonight.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” Fred patted me on the head. “Nice seeing you.” He walked off toward the door.
“I’ve always liked Fred,” Roger said. “A nice bloke and fair Quidditch player. Good guy.”
I smiled warmly. “Fred and George have always gotten me through the hard times,” I said, thinking back to the fond memories I had of the boys—and the rubbish ones. Especially the comments about my legs. I needed to shrink or something.
“Roger Davies, huh? He’s so dishy, I’m surprised he’d take you back.”
I nearly spit my half-chewed potatoes all over her.
Libby was standing behind me, her weight settled on one leg and her nose stuck up in the air like a poodle (it didn’t help that she was wearing a disgustingly pink cardigan with her hair in a tight knot).
“No, no, Libby,” Roger said with a smile. “Jane took me back. I was the one that made the mistake.”
“I find that difficult to believe,” she said pompously. “Jane always makes mistakes—thinking Oliver actually liked her and all that. She’s not pretty enough for that, really…poor thing. Thinks she has the looks.”
I continued to chew. Professor McGonagall was at the head table and I would rather procrastinate my nights away than sit in detention. Still, though, my hand gripped my wand under the table.
“I’d see Madam Pomfrey, though, Libby,” Roger said coolly, snickering a bit. “Isn’t it a bit obvious that Jane has always gotten more attention than you? Or is this just one of those feel-bad-for-me-because-the-Quidditch-captain-didn’t-love-me things? Because if it is, by all means, continue.”
She gaped at Roger. “You think you’re so cool, Roger Davies! Let me tell you—”
Libby was suddenly shoved to the ground and my eyes flew up. Ellis was standing there with his fourth year girlfriend.
“Whoops!” he cried. “Sorry, Libs. I got a little carried away demonstrating my latest snitch catch—you okay?”
She looked as if she was going to cry. Even her hair was now in disarray. “I’m fine, Dan.” Libby hoisted herself up (Ellis’s girlfriend was now outright laughing) and she straightened her cardigan. She shot a nasty look at Roger and then a few daggers at me before marching off to the Entrance Hall.
“If that was an attack it was really poorly planned,” Roger said, sounding bored. “She’s really lost her touch I think.”
“Sorry about that,” Ellis said, leaning down to where we were sitting. “I could tell the pair of you were having a lot of fun in that conversation.” He smirked and pulled away, leading his girlfriend out the doors.
I laughed. “Dan Ellis doing something for me.” I paused. “I’m floored.”
Roger placed his hand on mine. “Maybe things are really changing for you, Jane. What’s next?”
It came from behind me, though I knew who it was before I turned. Oliver Wood was standing nearby. I had hoped he would be gone already and wouldn’t see Roger and me eating as a newly-reformed couple, but my hopes were slaughtered by a Keeper (and not Alicia).
I rolled my eyes. “I thought you weren’t speaking to me.”
“This warrants different behavior.” Oliver motioned to Roger’s hand on top of mine. “When did this happen? When Davies somehow obtained a love potion? Perry, are you acting on your own accord?”
“Of course I am, Wood. Now shut up and go away.”
Oliver folded his arms. “Davies, I thought better of you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Roger growled.
“After what happened at Christmas.” He raised a brow.
Roger stared, his eyes narrowed. “Cut it out, Wood. Jane and I are back together and we’re happy. We broke up over a misunderstanding.”
“It doesn’t matter, Roger,” I said quickly. “He doesn’t need to know—and he probably wouldn’t believe you anyway considering he has a knack for not believing the truth.”
Oliver laughed loudly. “This is insane—broke up over a misunderstanding? Are you bloody kidding me? Not only are you a prat, Davies, you’re a stupid one at that. Do you know how many days Perry was up in her room crying—she told me she was dying so she didn’t have to go to the twins’ party.” He raised a brow. “Do you know how many times I wanted to tell her?”
I stared. “Tell me what?”
“Wood, come on, don’t start this rubbish,” Roger said, rolling his eyes. “This isn’t the time.” He glanced around at the people staring from the Hufflepuff table behind us. “Or the place.”
“Tell me what?” I repeated. “Roger? What’s going on?”
“You should tell her, Davies,” Oliver teased. “Aren’t relationships about honesty?”
“TELL ME WHAT?!” I cried, nearly jumping to my feet.
“Wood,” Roger growled, standing and staring Oliver down. “Let me tell her myself. Not here—you’ll make it sound like something stupid—like something I did on purpose—”
“Didn’t you, Davies?” joked Oliver, laughing loudly so that other faces turned our way. My cheeks were scarlet by now. “I’ll let you in on a secret, Perry,” he said and Roger groaned, sinking back into his seat. “On Christmas when I kicked your little boyfriend here out of the Astronomy Tower, I was so peeved he ended up yelling at you because he was the one in the tower snogging that Mandy girl.”
“He was—he was snogging Mandy?” My head whipped around to Roger. “You did what?”
“I had to kick them out of course—considering you were about to walk up the stairs.”
“Why didn’t you tell me before now?”
“That’s ENOUGH,” yelled Roger. He was on his feet again. “I won’t let you give Jane the wrong idea about me just because you’re pissed we’re back together.” His hands were shaking. “Yeah, he walked in on Mandy kissing ME. I was teaching her a particularly difficult Charm so I told her to hold her wand a certain way and she lunged herself at me—you saw that too, Wood—and then I shoved her away. I told her to stop kissing me because I had a girlfriend. You were there for that.” He nodded to Oliver. “And then you walked out of the shadows pretending you were about to hold something over my head.”
“Still!” I shouted. “Why didn’t either of you tell me—Roger, you could have told me to head off Wood. And Wood—why didn’t you tell me? You hate Roger.”
Oliver’s eyes fell to the floor.
“Because I told him you didn’t need it,” Roger said with a knowing expression. “I told him you’d take it the wrong way and since Mandy wasn’t anything but an idiot, it was irrelevant—that was before I saw the wine by the way. But he didn’t tell you—well, that’s because I threatened him a bit.”
He shook his head. “No, no, not with anything dangerous—though now that my secret’s out from Wood, I suppose his should be out…”
“I told her because she deserved to know you were snogging other women!” Oliver shouted, his face flushing.
I gaped at him. “If he didn’t like Mandy and you actually saw him push her away, how does that even make sense?”
Roger frowned and crossed his arms. “I didn’t want to do this,” he said, obviously enjoying the fact that he could openly torture his enemy in front of everyone, “but I guess it’s only fair that I tell the entire hall that you applied for three reserve teams with try-outs and got rejected by every single one because you weren’t good enough.”
There were gasps—hell, I had one of them. I had no idea and it was obvious Oliver wanted to keep it that way. His face was red and his hands were balled into fists.
“Davies, I told you not to tell anyone that.”
“I told you I would tell if you told Jane about the stupid snogging!” Roger shot back.
I groaned. “Okay, look. This is ridiculous.”
“I agree,” said Oliver loudly. “Jesus fucking Christ, Jane! He’s an idiot! He’s using you!”
“Oh, not this crap again,” I cried, my temper flaring up. “Roger isn’t using me, Wood. He explained everything to me. We’re back together again. He doesn’t want to know the secrets of the Gryffindor Quidditch team or how we balance on our brooms or any of that stupid rubbish!”
“How can you see through everyone except him?” Oliver shouted.
At long last I stood up. I was inches from Oliver, my eyes narrowed. “Why can’t you let me be happy? What is it with you—don’t be stupid with me, Wood! You’ve been horrible since the first time Roger and I started dating just because you hate him! You just can’t let anyone be happy, can you? Once you’re single and miserable and getting drunk in your dormitory and—and—” My voice faltered for a moment as I thought about the kiss on Oliver’s bed. “—and snogging—then everyone else has to be miserable too! Is that it? You’re not the happiest bloke in the joint so no one else can be?” I was inches from his face. “I can’t believe that after I am finally happy you would try and take that away from me.”
“Perry, he’s a prat. What he did to you!”
“It was a misunderstanding.”
“It was rubbish. He tore you apart.” Oliver looked neither threatening nor angry anymore. His voice was calm as he stared right back at me.
“We talked about it,” I snapped.
“Oh, because talking makes everything okay.” He rolled his eyes obviously.
My hands immediately went to fists. “Wood, go make someone else’s life miserable! I hear Alicia will be back early tomorrow morning—get a jump start on that!” I cried, taking out my wand. “Stay.Out.Of.My.Happiness.” I pointed it at him and he, startled, jumped back.
“Perry, put it down,” Oliver said and Roger leapt up.
“Jane!” he said. “McGonagall’s looking! Let him be. He’s just jealous.”
“Of what?” Oliver spat. His ears were turning red.
“Of someone else being bleeding happy! Go find yourself another girlfriend that worships the ground you walk on—it’s obvious you can’t get a real woman.” Roger grabbed my hand and I lowered my wand. He slipped his other arm around my waist and pulled me out of the Great Hall. Whispers broke out the second we left the table.
“I can’t believe him!” I breathed, tears forming in my eyes. The thing was, I wasn’t sure if they were tears of anger or not. That should have been obvious, but it wasn’t.
“I’m not surprised,” muttered Roger as we climbed the stairs. “Somehow I knew he would bring that up. Just wants to have a one-up.”
“I wish you would have told me, though,” I said slowly. “I know you didn’t have time to do so—with us breaking up and then us just getting together by the lake…I just didn’t like being ambushed in front of everyone else with Wood questioning my boyfriend’s faithfulness and my boyfriend having a go at my captain’s Quidditch future.” I groaned. “What a pile of rubbish.”
Roger squeezed my side. “It’ll get better. Alicia will be back tomorrow and then everyone can stop gossiping about you and start asking questions about whether or not Alicia hooked up with four blokes or six while she was away.”
“I hope it’s six for her sake,” I said and smiled. “Maybe that will get her to shut up for a while.”
“Wait…we’re talking about the same Alicia right?”
I poked him in the ribs.
The train was right on schedule the next morning. Of course, the girls and I were there an hour early because they insisted on leaving so I could talk about my beach-snog with Roger without other people overhearing and Angelina was particularly curious about Oliver blowing up in the Great Hall and me pulling my wand on him. Katie nearly fell over when I told her about Oliver’s failure at getting a reserve job for three different teams.
“But he’s so good!” she raved as we entered Hogsmeade.
“Apparently not,” I said, making a face.
They were, unlike Oliver, happy for me. Angelina embraced me for a full minute before I could breathe again and Katie did some sort of a happy dance that I thought was worthy of the twins.
We passed Lee Jordan near Zonkos and continued on to the train station chattering about how Roger had been upset about me the entire time and how the flowers smelled so great in our room and why couldn’t George get his head out of his arse and buy Katie some daisies.
Once the train did arrive, however, we stopped talking about our twisted lives (mine especially) and watched the different doors for any sign of our roommate.
My head flew to the left and there was Alicia—looking completely unchanged from a week ago except she was wearing a “Brazil International” t-shirt with a green logo. She was pretty much bouncing up and down, running at us, and engulfed us all in an inappropriately enormous hug.
I smiled warmly at her. “So you had the time of your life then?”
She nodded, laughing.
“Where’s your luggage—we’ll help you carry it,” said Angelina, peering around. “I’ve got dibs on the light one though because I had to carry that heavy one last time.”
“It’s not my fault you left your wand in the dormitory,” muttered Katie, smirking.
Alicia, however, was starting to turn red and simpering.
“Where’s your luggage?” Angelina repeated slowly. “You didn’t leave it, did you?”
“No. Well,” she said coyly, “here’s the thing…”
“That never starts a good story,” said Katie.
“Wrong,” Alicia continued. “When I was there I met Bastian. Now, before you flip your hair curlers, he’s a real sweetheart and he’s going to be staying in Hogsmeade for the week since we have a visit next weekend…and of course he’ll come up to the castle and visit and all that.” She was positively glowing.
“Bastian?” I said slowly, tightening my lips. “That name sounds familiar. Is it a popular name Brazil?”
“In a manner of speaking, yes,” Alicia said, staring behind her. “You might have heard of him though—from what I hear he’s a bit of a heartthrob there.”
“Not—not—” I stammered, stepping back.
My nonexistent words were shoved back into my throat, however, when Angelina and Katie gasped, signaling the correctness of what I was about to say. I stared, watching a figure emerge from the crowd with Katie’s luggage out in front of him and his wand pointed lazily at it.
Bastian Ricci, the new Brazilian Seeker called up from the minors. The hunky, new Brazilian Seeker. With delicious lips. And dark hair. And a bronze tan. And murky brown eyes. And well-formed bicep muscles. I smiled.
“Bastian, there you are!” Alicia said with a wicked grin. “Girls, this is Bastian Ricci. Bastian, this is Angelina, Katie, and Jane.”
Bastian grinned and I knew immediately why Alicia fancied him. He had that smile—that I’m-an-amazing-sexy-Quidditch-bloke-and-you-want-me smile. He set the luggage gently on the ground with a flick of his wand and extended his hand so that each of us could shake it. Bastian had a firm grip and I nodded to him just as I caught Alicia in the background bouncing up and down on her heels.
“Do you need to check into the inn first?” asked Angelina as we made our way out of the train station.
Bastian shook his head. “No. My things are being sent from Rio de Janeiro. They’ll be here later on—I want to see this castle ‘Licia talks about so much.” He had a thick Portuguese accent but spoke wonderful English.
“So how do you like the spotlight of the International league?” I asked him, thinking about the huge spread he had in Quidditch Weekly.
“It’s different,” replied Bastian. “In the minors we had loads of people in the city where we were stationed—but now it’s the world. I was just in the Quidditch magazine this month too and now there are women trying to get me to sign parts of their bodies I’d rather not say.” He chuckled. “It’s fun, though. So far I’ve been able to catch the snitch so they’re pretty happy.”
I nodded. “I bet. I hope they’re the same way if you slip up—but if they’re loyal fans you’ll be fine.”
He grinned and took Alicia’s hand in his own as we walked up the grassy slopes toward Hogwarts.
“How did the two of you meet?” asked Angelina, walking quickly to keep up with the over-excited Alicia.
“Interestingly enough,” Alicia said with a chortle, “it was during a pick-up game. Oliver’s friend Max said I was on the list—which is when I found out you put me in as Keeper—and Bastian was on the other team. I thought it was funny because there was a goggle of girls down in the stands giggling and since I was trying to be a Keeper for the first time in my life, I kept throwing them nasty looks.”
“So there she was,” continued Bastian, smiling, “up there trying to save a Quaffle—badly, might I add—and I happened to fly a little too close to her while she was concentrating.” I could see Alicia’s face begin to color. “So she looked up at me and told me to sod off because she was trying to play Quidditch and apparently I was trying to knock her off her broom instead of doing my job of actually Seeking.”
“I might have lost my temper after the fourth Quaffle went through,” muttered Alicia.
“But after that,” said Bastian, “I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. I had my Chasers screaming at me—her team ended up winning because every time I looked for the snitch my eyes would just wander back over to ‘Licia and the screwed up face she made every time she tried to save one.” He chuckled. “But afterward I asked her for a drink—she didn’t realize who I was until three people asked for my autograph halfway into coffee and I liked that.” I watched him squeeze her hand.
“That’s so cute!” cried Katie, clasping her hands together. “And romantic! Oh, Alicia, I knew you’d find someone eventually.”
Alicia shot her a scathing look.
“That means, for once, we all have boyfriends,” said Angelina slowly, grinning.
Alicia raised a brow. “Three of us do,” she said. “Unless—Jane, you don’t, do you?”
I blushed. “Roger and I are back together.”
She stopped walking. “Sodding WHAT?”
I held up a hand. “I’ll explain later—Bastian, look! There’s Hogwarts!”
For a moment the five of us stood at the bottom of a hill looking up at the immense castle that was Hogwarts. We were quiet and the breeze was cold (poor Bastian, hailing from such a warm climate), but it was nice and peaceful for the first time in a long time.
Like it always was with new people, dinner was twenty-questions. We sat Bastian at the end of the Gryffindor table with the lot of us and immediately Fred and George flanked him and the questioning began. Bastian, however, looked as if he was quite enjoying it and even answered questions about if he balances with his right leg or left. Soon Lee was over there asking about his past and money questions but Oliver shoved him out of the way. Even though I wanted nothing more than to sock Oliver in the face, for him to come so close to an International star while still at Hogwarts was a pretty good opportunity for him.
“The Brazilian Seeker?” Roger whispered in my ear. “Alicia has pretty high standards.”
I smiled and forced Angelina to scoot over so he could sit down. “It sure seems like it, doesn’t it? I’ve still got to explain to her about us—I’ll do that later tonight. She nearly had a cow when I told her earlier.”
“I don’t blame her—her last memory of me was probably you screaming about how you wanted to decapitate me,” he said fondly, patting me on the head.
“It was castrate actually,” I said.
He made a face. “You’re a horrible woman, Jane Perry.”
“So you all play Quidditch?” Bastian said from a few seats down. “I’ve never met so many people all at once—all going professional?”
The twins shook their heads and Fred chuckled. “Not us, mate. We’re opening a joke shop. Lee’s going to work for us too. We might make him our personal lackey though.”
“With an apron,” added George. “A pink one. It’ll bring out the color in his eyes.”
Bastian laughed along with everyone else, but Lee stood up and left the table, abandoning his dinner that he had managed to put in an awkward pile with his fork.
“Lee isn’t going professional,” said Fred with a grin. “He’s one hell of a commentator though. We should have him commentating what the customers do in the store!”
“Wicked idea—and he goes, he reaches, his hand LANDS ON THE HAIR SOLUTION! GOAL FOR THE BALD BLOKE!” George nearly fell to the floor laughing with his twin.
Alicia shot Ang and Katie a look that said very plainly, why do you date them?
During the first day back from break, I was forced into attending Quidditch practice with the rest of the team. Ellis actually suggested it, though I did no more than fly low to the ground while everyone else did drills and then I did some sprints that made me so sore I wanted to knock Wood in the head with my school broom. At least I only fell four times.
After explaining to Alicia about the Roger situation, she was quite supportive of my choice to get back together with him.
“It was just a stupid mistake then,” she had said as we made our way down to the pitch. “How silly, though, right? All that drama for a little misunderstanding and a stupid fifth year.” She snorted. “We should do something to Mandy.”
I shook my head. “We don’t need to do anything to her,” I said quickly, trying not to give Alicia any time to formulate a plan. “I’ve done enough my getting back together with Roger.”
“Still,” she said, pulling open the locker room doors. “I’d like to make her squirm a bit.”
Rolling my eyes, I tied back my hair. “No way. Leave her. She’s a toad.”
“Bleeding hurry up!” cried Oliver. “I haven’t got all day for the pair of you to talk about Brazilian Bon-Bon and Dung-Head Davies!”
Alicia snorted. “I don’t know, Oliver. Last night it sounded like you wanted to get a private room with Bastian and talk a little more than Quidditch.” She giggled loudly and we heard the distinct sound of Oliver chucking a piece of chalk at the board.
We spent quite a bit of time with Bastian over the next couple of days. Between classes we showed him around the castle and ate lunch out by the lake with loads of quilts to keep us warm. Roger joined us several times, putting in his own Quidditch knowledge. The pair of them got on extremely well, especially when Fred and George went off on one of their rants about my legs or Lee’s new apron.
He also spent a lot of quality alone time with Alicia, which the girls and I agreed was really good for her.
“She’ll stop ruddy complaining about being single,” muttered Angelina Thursday evening after Alicia had failed to turn up at one in the morning. “I was getting sick of it—I was about to ask Flint if he would just take her on a date already.”
“That could have been potentially interesting,” said Katie, smirking into the mirror. “I might have to tell George and see what he can make of it.”
“So you can sit and listen to him go on a tangent about how Flint would grunt at Alicia in response to whether or not a certain outfit made her look fat?” I asked and Katie smiled.
“Speaking of Hogwarts boys,” she said with a glimmer in her eye, “how is dear Roger?”
“Lovely,” I replied. I could feel the heat on my cheeks.
“You’ve been spending a lot of time together too you know,” said Angelina, brushing out her hair and sliding under the blankets. “I’ve seen you two coming out of empty classrooms three times.” She giggled.
Okay, now my face was red. “We were—inspecting,” I said quickly.
“Inspecting the inside of each other’s mouths is more likely,” said Katie as she blew out a candle.
I was glad it was dark. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I replied with a chuckle. My head fell back against the pillow and I sighed. Things were going great with Roger. We spent plenty of time together—talking, laughing, and sharing various foods like strawberries and pudding. And all right, snogging. Inspecting. Whatever.
Just as I started to drift off, the door was whipped open and Alicia swaggered in with a large grin on her face.
“About bleeding time!” cried Katie. “How am I supposed to go to sleep with you still gone and my mind EMPTY of juicy details?” She lit a candle with her wand.
Alicia was positively beaming. “Bastian and I went for a stroll through the village and ended up having a romantic midnight dinner out by the lake.”
“Wasn’t it cold?” asked Ang.
“No.” Even though it was dark I could see the color rise on Alicia’s face.
“You really must like him,” I said with a smirk.
“I do. I really like him,” she said, leaping onto her bed. “He’s coming up here for lunch tomorrow and said he’d help us practice on the pitch for a while if we wanted.”
“That sounds great,” said Katie, sitting up in bed. “So he’s here for a week? What will you do after that?”
Alicia frowned and leaned back against her pillow. “We haven’t talked about that yet. Obviously Brazil is a little far…and we still have another year of school after this…no, I’m not quite sure yet. I was asking around and Lee gave me an exact distance. I thought it was funny.” She made a face. “I’m not sure what we’ll do. He had this week off because of the league All-Star game, but after next Monday he’ll have to go back to practicing every day and being a busy talented Quidditch star.” She sighed.
I rolled over. “Good luck with that.”
The morning came far too early for my liking (as it did every day) and even warm toast and chilled orange juice couldn’t force me into a good mood while sitting at the Gryffindor table. Lucky for me, Roger chose to come plop next to me so I didn’t hex George for making up a song about the flavor of conditioner I own.
The owl post made its way into the hall and I watched Roger’s barn owl drop a Daily Prophet onto his lap. He flipped it open and snickered at an article while I put jam on my toast. Alicia was a few seats away, her head lopsided in her eggs, and Angelina was trying to prod her awake.
That was when my toast flew up onto my robes and I was then grape-flavored. A large package had landed in front of me from an owl I recognized to be my father’s. It was a burly screech owl named Lyon.
I stared at the package, raising a brow, as Lyon helped himself to my uneaten croissant. Realizing there was a note (and that several people were now staring because Alicia had been nailed in the head by the package), I hurried to open it.
How could you keep me in the dark for so long? In all of those letters you’ve written me this year you simply forgot to mention you made the reserve Seeker for the Gryffindor House Team? Jane, that’s amazing! I’m so proud of you! I actually heard it in passing a few days ago so I decided to take it upon myself to fix your school-broom situation. Even if you never play, at least all the other houses will be jealous of your new Nimbus.
I groaned. I didn’t want a broom. I didn’t want to fly. I didn’t want a huge friggen’ delivery in the middle of breakfast while I was trying to eat. Irritated, I stuffed the toast in my mouth, grabbed the package, and marched out of the Great Hall.
It wasn’t like I purposely kept my dad out of it—I just didn’t want to get his hopes up. In every letter I sent every other week I just conveniently forgot to mention my position as reserve Seeker. It didn’t help that Ellis was the Seeker anyway and he didn’t take two minutes to catch the bleeding snitch. The next thing my dad would think is signing me up for Harpies try-outs.
I turned, rolling my eyes. “Yeah, Wood. Broomstick.”
“From who? Dodger?” He had his arms folded, leaning on a statue a few feet from me.
“No. From my dad.” I turned back toward the marble staircase, eager to put as much space between us as possible.
“Pretty nice gift. What kind is it?”
“Nimbus,” I said halfheartedly, beginning to walk up the stairs.
“Going to take it out at practice?”
“If I have to,” I snapped, reaching the top.
“Perry,” he said quickly.
I sighed, pivoting on the spot and glancing at him. “What, Wood?”
“Dodger’s a right git, you know that.”
I rolled my eyes. I didn’t need this right now. Not after receiving an irritating gift from a concerned Dad who got tipped off somehow. Not after being completely furious with the man standing in front of me.
I pulled out my wand. “Get away from me, Wood.”
“You’re being stupid!” he shouted and I didn’t expect it. “He’s just going to hurt you! He wanted you back just because—because—”
“I’m sick of your shit, Wood!” I cried, wand still raised. “Stupefy!”
Oliver fell to the ground with a loud thud and I stared at him for a minute. He looked almost concerned, but I didn’t care. I didn’t care about him. I was finally happy—who was he to mess it up? Sighing, my gaze went to the ceiling of the Entrance Hall. It was so peaceful out there without the thundering of feet on the marble staircase.
Just before a jet of light hit me, I fell to the floor to dodge it. Oliver was up again, his wand pointed at me and a look of fury upon his face.
“What did you—what was that?” I cried, dropping the broom and pointing my wand at him again. “Expelliarmus!”
Oliver shielded himself quickly and jumped to the side.
“Jane!” Roger was running out of the Great Hall, standing almost directly between us. “What’re you—I heard you shouting out here. What’s going on?”
“I’m—going—to—sodding—kill—him!” I shouted, running up a few more stairs to dodge a curse coming at me. The bat-bogey curse flew back at him. I frowned, seeing Oliver duck. He was too athletic for his own good.
“Jane, stop it! You’re losing your head—McGonagall is right inside!” Roger pleaded.
I didn’t care. All I wanted to do was hurt Oliver Wood as bad as he was hurting me. For spilling my secret to everyone at a team meeting. For bringing up my father. For not telling me about Roger in the Astronomy Tower. For trying to interrupt my happiness. For kissing me like he meant it and then not remembering a damn thing! I wanted to hurt him so bad that my hands were shaking as I shot a stunning spell at him. My eyes were watering, tears mixed with sweat as I shouted the incantation.
“Jane, calm down and—WOOD DON’T YOU POINT THAT THING AT MY GIRLFRIEND!”
The spell hit Roger right in the chest, sending him flying backward.
It was McGonagall. She stood behind the shocked Roger, looking extremely annoyed and disappointed.
“Professor, I,” I began stupidly, picking up my broom in humiliation.
“I don’t want to hear it,” she replied. “You’ll receive a notice of the date and time of the detention. Now please, no more cursing each other in the halls. Mr. Davies, could you escort her upstairs please?”
Roger rushed over, limping slightly, and grabbed my arm. “Jane, that was so stupid—why did you have to sink back to his level?”
Instead of answering, I turned my head to see Oliver still standing in the Entrance Hall.
“I did what I thought was right,” he said. I didn’t know if he was referring to the fight earlier or the hexing seconds ago.
“Yet you were wrong,” I snapped, walking up a few more stairs with Roger guiding me.
He bit his lip. “Tell your dad to watch the All Star game this weekend—his favorite players are playing for the west.” With a brief nod, he walked into the Great Hall sporting a bruise to the jawbone.
A/N: Hey! Soooo that was chapter 19 so you can start firing the harpoons if you see fit. I wanted to say a few things though: Thanks SO much for the reviews during the review-a-thon. I caught right back up to where I was and got even more. I have been SO inspired to write this story! I have actually just finished chapter 22 though I have to do edits and insert several plot thingies. Thank you so much for all of the favorites & reviews and heartfelt responses. You guys are the BEST.
Favorite quotes? I know there were a lot of Roger/Oliver lines in this one. They love each other, don't they??