Chapter 3 : Chapter three: Quidditch torture and a hidden talent
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Disclaimer: I'm not J K Rowling.
The sound of my dorm mates getting ready for the day didn’t wake me up. They are always very noisy, so I must have been very tired. I woke up at 9, feeling thoroughly rested. My first lesson didn’t start before 11.15, so I had plenty of time to get ready.
I took a long shower and spent extra time on my hair and make up. Since I had missed breakfast, I thought that a trip to the kitchens would do me good. Students weren’t really supposed to be in the kitchens, but knowing the Marauders had its privileges.
Thanks to them I knew of many secret passageways, like the one to Honeydukes for example. They had this map called “The Marauder’s Map”, which they had created themselves.
It shows everyone in Hogwarts. Where they are, what they’re doing every minute of every day. It’s absolutely brilliant, but also a bit stalkish. I mean, they always know where I, and many others as well, are.
I walked down the stairs to the almost empty common room. There were only two seventh years who sat in a corner, probably studying.
I really loved our common room. With its comfy couches, cosy red colour and warming fireplace it made me feel at home. I loved sitting in front of the fireplace with my best friends, just talking.
I walked out of the common room and through an empty corridor. This was a rather unusual experience for me, seeing as everyone almost always had breaks at the same time. But the quietness, except for the low-voiced conversations of some of the paintings, made me feel calm.
I arrived at the kitchens and tickled the pear, just like the guys had taught me to do several years ago. As soon as I got in I was surrounded by numerous house elves.
“Miss Crawford” One of them squeaked. “How very nice to see miss again. What can Tilly get miss?”
I smiled at all of the house elves.
“Well, Tilly, Webby, Figg and Tinksy, I must say I have missed you too.”
At this they looked absolutely delighted.
“I had two free periods this morning so I missed breakfast. Could I perhaps get some toast and maybe some cereal?” I continued.
“Yes miss! Tinksy will get you your breakfast!” One of them squeaked and hurried off.
I smiled at them again and walked towards one of the tables. I was very surprised when I saw someone sitting there. When I got closer I realised it was Zach, the Ravenclaw quidditch captain I had met yesterday.
“Well hi Sophia” he said and smiled. “Fancy seeing you here.”
“Yeah, well, I had two free periods this morning and missed breakfast. Do you mind if I sit?”
“No, not at all.” He said, smiling again.
Damn, that boy had a cute smile. I thanked the gods that I had made myself ready before walking to the kitchens, instead of going in my pyjamas.
A house elf came walking with a tray filled with toast and a big bowl of cereal. I thanked her and she bowed before disappearing.
“It’s funny, ‘cause I’m here for the exact same reason as you” Zach told me.
“Really? What classes do you take?”
“Defence against the dark arts, charms, transfiguration, potions, herbology, history of magic and astronomy. What about you?”
“The same, except I take arithmancy instead of herbology. I was never too fond of plants.” I said, and he chuckled.
“Well, herbology is slacky. Like history of magic. But I kinda regret going on with that one” he said, frowning a little.
“Tell me all about it! The subject can actually be rather interesting, but bloody Binns is so boring” I said and sighed.
“Yeah I know. In fifth year I always played hangman with my friend Brandon, but he decided to quit history of magic this year. Can’t blame him though.”
“Well I usually sit with Alisha, but Kiera stole my seat yesterday so I had to sit with Peter Pettigrew. He creeps me out.” I said and shivered from the thought of him.
“Oh yeah, I saw that. I kinda felt sorry for you. He is a bit… different.”
“No really?” I said and he laughed.
I noticed he looked really cute when he smiled, and his laughter was like music in my ears. Ok, maybe I exaggerated a little, but the guy sounded nice when he laughed!
“You know what? Why don’t you sit with me today, and we can play hangman and pass notes to make the lesson go faster.”
He looked at me and smiled that cute lop-sided smile again. His brown eyes were warm and friendly. I couldn’t deny the fact that he was good looking.
At first I was going to say yes to his question, but then it hit me: what if he just asked this to be nice? After all, he sat next to another guy yesterday.
“Is that okay with you?” I asked a bit hesitant. “I mean, you were sitting next to another guy yesterday.”
He just laughed at this.
“Well actually, I was late too and when I came there were only two seats left.”
I mock glared at him and then both of us laughed.
“And” he went on “the choice between Peter and Tyler from Hufflepuff wasn’t a hard one. Sorry you had to sit next to him though” he added and smiled apologetically at me.
“It’s ok. It’s not like it’s your fault anyway.” I said and looked at my watch. “Perhaps we should get going, class starts in 15 minutes.”
“Sounds like a good idea, yeah” he said as he stood up.
He grabbed my book bag and together we began making our way to the lesson.
“Guess who I met in the kitchens today?” I said happily as I sat down next to James at lunch.
“Well it’s got to be a hot guy or else you wouldn’t have asked us.” Alisha said smirking.
“Who was it?” she then asked.
“Zach.” I answered and grinned.
“Zach?” Sirius said frowning. “As in Zachary Carter?”
“Well yeah, how many others are there?” I said and rolled my eyes.
“Oh my god Soph, he is so hot!” Alisha exclaimed. “Details. Now!”
“No, please. Spare me” Sirius said, rolling his eyes. “I do not want to hear about his snogging technique.”
“Snogging techniques?” James, who hadn’t listened because he was staring at Lily, said. “Who has snogged who?”
“Sophia snogged Zach!” Sirius said and glared at me.
“WHAT?” James yelled.
The people around us fell silent for a moment but continued their chatting when they realised that it wasn’t anything interesting.
“No you idiots I didn’t! I just met him in the kitchens this morning and we talked. Nothing else.”
They were always like this; jumping to conclusions. I couldn’t even talk to a guy without them preaching about what guys are really after.
“God you guys are such over-protective gits sometimes.” I said and glared at them. “I’m going to arithmancy now” I continued and stood up.
“I’ll go with you!” Lily said and shot a nasty glare at James before she left the table.
Of course, Lily wouldn’t miss a chance to be angry with him. I turned around just before I left the Great hall and saw James and Sirius looking completely bewildered.
Like I said, they had always been over-protective. I hadn’t cared much about it before, but now it was starting to bug me. I mean, I was 16 years old for Merlin's sake! I wanted to be able to date a guy without the two of them chasing him away. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if many guys were too afraid to ask me out just because of them.
Sirius was the worst. He seemed to think of me as a stupid little girl who couldn’t take care of herself. Even James wasn’t as bad as him. Remus didn’t bug me at all. I guess he was more mature and understanding.
I was still angry with them when the last lesson started, which was Defence against the dark arts. I sat down next to Remus (whom I wasn’t mad at since he hadn’t said anything), and ignored James and Sirius completely. It worked just fine at first, but then I felt something hit my head. It was a note, and I immediately recognized Sirius’ elegant handwriting.
Hey Soph, why are you angry with us? I mean, we were just joking about Zach earlier.
No they weren’t. I sighed and picked up my quill.
The thing is Sirius, you weren’t. I don’t want to talk about this right now. Just leave me alone.
And surprisingly, he did. Usually he would interrogate me until I talked to him. Remus saw the note and sighed. I looked at him and saw that he understood. Hopefully he could talk to them, because they never listened to me when I tried to talk about this subject.
The next day I had forgiven the guys. Well, almost anyway. I didn’t feel like fighting with them. After all, they were my best friends. I just ignored the matter for now. James was like a three year old on Christmas day. Wanna know why? It was time for quidditch tryouts.
Now, why would anyone hold tryouts the first week? I asked James that question.
“Well isn’t it obvious? We need to get practises started as soon as possible"
He had rolled his eyes when he answered, as if he thought I was stupid for even asking. A bit quidditch obsessed that one, don’t you think?
After dinner I walked to the pitch together with our keeper, Lucas Farman and his twin brother Joey, who was our second beater. They were in their seventh year, and two of the funniest persons I knew. They could always make me laugh.
Our team really was like a family. I could talk to all of the guys on the team about almost anything, and they were always there for me. Still, I hoped that at least one of the new players would be a girl, so I didn’t have to change and shower alone.
The only spots we needed this year were two chasers. When we arrived at the pitch we saw about 15 people who wanted to try out. A group of giggling girls stood with brooms in their hands and stared at James and Sirius, who were preparing for the try outs.
It was clear that they weren’t interested in quidditch at all. They were only there for the guys, which showed that they were desperate. But I wasn’t surprised. Sirius' and James' "fan girls" did almost anything to be noticed.
It was kind of sick that so many girls were so interested in them. Sure, they were good looking, but it was just too much. Girls stared at them in the corridors and giggled when they walked past. Some tried to get their attention by unbuttoning several buttons on their shirts or by shortening their skirts to a minimum length. It was sad, really.
After a very long hour of torture we finally had our new chasers, Freddie Allum and Mandy Johnson. Both of them were fifth years. Most of the people who had tried out were really bad. Some of them couldn’t even fly. It was horrible to watch.
My task had been to divide the people into groups. That had been easier said than done, seeing as many of them had ignored me completely. They had been too busy ogling the guys.
I couldn’t wait to get back to the castle, but James’ voice interrupted me before I could head back.
“Oi! Sophia! Where do you think you’re going? We have to have a small team talk and introduce ourselves to our new members! Everyone to the changing rooms!”
I groaned and followed him. This ‘small’ team talk lasted for half an hour, with James going on and on about the importance of unity.
“The quidditch team is like your family. Families fight sometimes, yeah, but they stick together.” At this, I saw Sirius scowling. “It is of great importance that we are a team, a unity, a family…”
“James!” I yelled. “We’ve heard that like ten times, so can we please end this ‘team talk’?”
“No.” He said, and just continued.
That bitch! Sirius was right; James as captain was not something to be happy about.
After another thirty minutes we were finally on our way back to the castle. I walked together with Sirius, and we were already complaining about the new captain.
“Honestly, I didn’t think he was going to be this bad!” I said. “He’s freakin obsessed. We need to get Lily to like him, so that he’ll have something else in his head.”
Sirius looked thoughtful and then said “You know what? That’s actually not a bad idea.”
Was he crazy? That task would be impossible!
“Sirius, are you mad? Lily hates James! There’s no way she’s going to fall in love with him just like that!”
“Well if you and I play cupid, then it could work!” he said, looking eager.
“No way Sirius. I’m not in on this. You’re going to have to do this alone.” I said and he pouted.
“Don’t pout like a three year old.”
He stopped pouting, but instead made his puppy-dog face. That face is irresistible, and he knew that. It was his secret weapon.
“Sirius stop that!” I said which only made it worse. “Ugh. I’ll think about it, okay?”
“Yay!” He cheered, grabbed my arm and started skipping towards the common room. I laughed and skipped with him.
We sat on the couches next to the fireplace when Alisha sighed loudly.
“Guys, I’m bored!”
I rolled my eyes. Alisha was always bored. I swear, the girl had problems. But it was also a good thing, because things seldom got boring with Alisha. She always had funny ideas of what to do.
“Why don’t we play truth or dare?” James said, wiggling his eyebrows.
“Nah, I’m too tired for that.” I said. “Why don’t we just play some kind of ’20 questions’ game?”
“Sounds boooring” Alisha said in a monotone voice.
“Well, what if everyone writes down three unusual things about themselves, and then we put the cards in a pile. Then we try to guess who has written it?” Peter suggested.
I stared at him. Did he really just come up with an idea? An idea that actually was good? Perhaps he wasn't as slow as I thought.
“That actually sounds like fun!” James said.
“But it has to be things the others don’t know” Lily said.
Everybody started writing and I thought about what I could write. What was unusual about me? I was kind of plain, really. But there had to be something. Suddenly a memory popped up.
I wrote ‘my hair once got stuck in a mixer’ and chuckled a little. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, but I laughed at my stupidness. I saw that many of the others were ready and wrote down the other two things quickly.
Sirius was the first one to pick a card.
”I once had two stick insects called Dumbledore and Bludger” he read.
We all laughed. Sirius looked at us suspiciously. I looked at the others, but no one showed a sign of the card being theirs.
“I’m guessing James, since you are both quidditch obsessed and bonkers.” Sirius said and smirked.
James looked surprised. “How did you know?!” He asked bewildered.
“Like he said James” I said. “Only you would be crazy enough to have stick insects as pets and give them those crazy names.”
I smirked at him and he huffed.
“Next card please” he said.
I leant forward and picked a card.
“I once got a D on a charms test.” I said and immediately thought of Peter.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if it had happened to him. But, would he be stupid enough to write it? I didn’t think so. After all, we were supposed to write down things the others didn’t know, and I’m sure the other guys would’ve known about this.
Then it could be either Remus or Lily, because both of them have good grades and would probably be too embarrassed to tell anyone if they got a D.
Actually, I think Remus would tell someone. Which left… “Lily.”
She gasped, confirming my suspicion. All the other looked surprised.
“When?” Alisha asked.
“Fourth year” Lily said blushing.
“Why?” I asked.
“Well I had been fighting with Sev and didn’t study and… could we go on to the next card?”
Lily had been friends with this greasy Slytherin guy called Severus Snape. They lived in the same neighbourhood. He’s a complete git if you ask me. He’s really into the dark arts and always complained about Lily being friends with us. I guess he had hoped she would be in Slytherin too.
They often fought about this subject, her being friends with us and him being friends with guys who were really into dark arts. In fifth year he called her a mudblood, and that was the end of their relationship. Lily was really sad at first, but then she realised she was better off without him. Still, it was a touchy subject.
Alisha grabbed a card and read “I can play guitar and I sing well too.”
Everybody looked puzzled. This wasn’t what people usually kept as a secret; still we didn’t know someone who could play guitar. This person must have kept it for himself or herself though. I could see that all of us were wondering who it was.
My first guess was Remus; he looked a bit like the musical type of guy. James wouldn’t have the patience to learn it, and I doubt Peter or Sirius would be interested. If it was any of the girls I think I would have known about it.
“Well it must be Remus” Alisha finally said. I guess she thought like me.
“Sorry Alisha, but it’s not me” He said.
I saw Lily’s eyes widen with surprise; obviously she had thought it was Remus too. If it wasn’t Remus, then who could it be?
“I think it’s Petie here” James said and smirked.
Peter turned all red and stuttered “N-no... It’s not me.”
“And it it’s not you either James?” Alisha asked. He shook his head. “Then it must be…”
“…Sirius?” Lily concluded.
He grinned. “Took you long enough to find out.”
“But..:” Alisha started. “How did you learn it?”
I understood why she was asking. I mean, how many pureblood families have guitars lying around?
“I found one in the attic. I have absolutely no idea why we had one, but I brought it down. And surprisingly my family didn’t freak out when I played, so I played a lot.” He said and shrugged. “And I guess I kinda learned fast.”
Everyone looked at him in amazement. Never had I thought that Sirius Black of all people would be the musical one.
“Can you play something for us?” I asked, excitedly. “I would love to hear it.”
“Yeah! And can you sing too?” Alisha said. Sirius stared at us like we were crazy.
“No way in hell. That would be too embarrassing” he then said.
I tried to imitate his puppy-dog face. “Please, Sirius.”
At this his expression softened a bit. “You know us all so well so I don’t think it would be embarrassing” I went on.
“Well…” He started. “I guess I could play a little. But not sing.”
“Yes!” Alisha exclaimed. “We can borrow Hannah’s guitar. I’m sure she won’t mind.”
She ran up the stairs to our dormitory, and we didn’t have to wait long before she came down with a guitar.
Sirius looked a bit nervous when he took the guitar from her. I gave him an encouraging smile, and he smiled back. Then he started to play. Everyone looked at him in astonishment. He was really good.
When he had finished he looked up at us, as if asking for our opinions. Alisha was of course the first one to speak.
“That was bloody great Sirius! Why didn’t you tell us about this earlier?”
“Yeah Sirius” Peter said. “It was great!”
I swear I saw Sirius blushing, but he quickly covered it up. “Yeah, well it’s me. What did you expect?”
We didn’t continue with the game after that. I guess we were too tired. Remus and Peter went up to their dormitory, and so did Lily. Then James and Alisha also went to bed, so only me and Sirius were left.
“Well, this week surely has been special.” I said.
Sirius smiled and put his arm around my shoulder. “It’s Hogwarts. Nothing is normal here” he said.
“True. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
“Couldn’t have said it better myself” he smiled. “You know, the annual Gryffindor ‘welcome back’ party is tomorrow.”
“Oh right! I had forgotten about that. That should be fun” I said and grinned.
“Well duh, it always is when the Marauders are hosting the party” he said and smirked.
“I guess you’re right.” I said and leaned against him. “You know, you played really the guitar really well. I’d love to hear you sing.”
“Well, I didn’t feel comfortable singing in front of everyone.” He said and shifted slightly.
“I understand. But maybe you could sing something for me, now?” I said, and tried to do the puppy-face thing. He laughed.
“You’re learning the puppy-face I see.” He laughed again. “Well, I can’t resist that cute face, can I?”
He stood up and grabbed the guitar, and sat down on the couch opposite me. I recognized the song the second he started to play.
If I could, then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high, or down low
I'll go wherever you will go
He looked into my eyes as he sang. I sat there, breathless. He sang beautifully. The song suited his voice perfectly. And he sang the song to me. When he finished the last chord we just sat there, both of us quiet, and looked into each others eyes. I found myself getting caught in his stormy grey eyes.
Suddenly I became aware of the situation and snapped myself out of it. I blushed and saw him looking at me intently. All of a sudden everything felt awkward. But I couldn’t just leave without saying anything.
“That was beautiful, Sirius, it really was.” I said and smiled.
“Thanks Soph” he said, still watching me intently.
“Well, I think I’m going to bed.” I stood up and hugged him. “Good night Sirius” I whispered in his ear.
“Night Sophia” he whispered back.
I lay in my bed, trying not to think about the awkward moment that had occurred earlier. I couldn’t understand why it felt so weird. I mean, Sirius and I were just friends. We didn’t feel that way about each other. But why had he been staring at me like that? I thought about it for a while but didn’t come up with a good answer. Maybe he got emotional by singing. Maybe he got caught up in the moment. Just like I did.
AN: And that was it. Hope you liked it!
Some comments on this:
- As you might have recognized, the description of the Marauder's map is stolen from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I thought Fred and George described it so good, so I simply borrowed the line.
- The whole 'hair getting stuck in mixer thing' is actually true, no matter how unlikely it sounds. I was young and wanted to listen to the mixer. Stupid, I know.
- I know it sounds unlikely that Sirius was allowed to play the guitar. But I thought that playing an instrument would be considered something good in a pureblood family, especially for Sirius, so that he wouldn't cause any trouble for his parents.
EDIT: I changed the song. I thought this one suited better. It's "Wherever you will go" by the Calling.
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