Chapter 7 : Challenges Are Made To Be Accepted, Not Refused
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“You two haven’t snogged yet?!” squealed the voice of Jill, her perky voice contrasting my perpetually crabby morning mood. “I thought you two would be at it like rabbits.”
“Ok, enough with the overly-reproductive animals.” I demanded, hoping that no one heard what Jill was declaring. Quickly, I glanced at my sides to see if any nosy eavesdroppers were taking a little peek into my lovely little life.
Lucky for me, no one really cared.
The Great Hall was as great as any hall could be. The breakfast food was being consumed, and the students resumed their daily chatter. It would all be considered normal if I weren’t being such a paranoid freak today.
Ever since that…day, I haven’t been able to be myself. I’ve been abnormally jumpy at sudden noises, and would scream at abrupt movement. All in all, I’ve turned into a freak.
God, I hate him. How could he do this to me?!
“Emma!” three voices shouted in both of my ears. Jeremy, Ben, and Brad.
“BULLOCKS!” I screeched, clutching the table as though it were a life saver and I was a victim drowning in a maelstrom of utter chaos. The only sound I could hear was the erratic beating of my heart, and the harsh panting of my breath.
Everyone else had turned silent, and were all staring at me as though I had an elephant shooting out of my ass. Typical.
“Don’t blow a gasket, Emma.” Brad mussed my hair (just to spite me) and plopped down next to me. Damn him. “Save all that energy for Samuels.”
“No Brads-a-million,” I replied, eerily sweet to him. “I save that all for you.”
He grinned mischievously, enveloping me with a strong arm around my waist. “Now that you mention it Ems, you and I would make the most attractive babies—”
“Get off me you ponce!” I giggled, slapping his arm away and returning to my breakfast, finally regaining my composure. My heart was finally returning to normal, and my breathing was stabilized.
“Heard the most interesting of stories, though,” Jeremy cut in, his tone conveying he was probably going to say something I most likely didn’t want to hear. How natural. “Snape was having a grand ol’ time with his House captain—you know, Urqhart—and he mentioned something about two very hostile people pressed up against a wall together.”
My heart beat was regaining its cardio-like pattern. Thanks Jeremy, if I die of a heart attack I will personally haunt the hell out of you.
“Now,” Jeremy’s eyes were alight with amusement. “I wonder who those ‘two’ could be.”
“Ooh, a wall?” Bradley sounded with mock-horror. “Emma, what about everything we’ve been through?! Summer loving—”
“Oh, shut up.” I lightly slapped him in the cheek. Stupid blond! “Jeremy, you know better than to listen to Slytherins. Especially Snape.”
Jill kicked me under the seat, throwing me a look that could kill. If only Jill could understand. Personally, I wouldn’t want the entire Ravenclaw team to know about my strange little happenings with Samuels.
They’d all laugh so much you’d think they were happily drunk in a karaoke bar.
Thanks, but no.
“Trust me Stretton,” I continued my lie, my voice oozing complete honesty. “If Samuels had me against a wall, I’d beat him down to the ground.”
“Nice story Dobbs.” A voice suddenly interrupted. “Now, why don’t you be a good little girl and stop telling lies?”
Whatever was left of my heart instantly awoke to rapid thumping. I cursed my body for reacting in such a way at the mere sound of his voice. Foolish body, do you have no self-control!?
“Why don’t you be a good little swine and crawl back to the mud hole?” I countered back in an equally sweet voice. Ain’t I a doll?
“Your charm astounds me, more and more.” Samuels actually laughed, taking a seat right across from me. Great, now I had to face the idiot. My luck was certainly scarce this morning.
“Awww, look!” Jeremy pointed out like an obnoxious girl. “They’re flirting! Ooh la la!”
If I could illegally put the Imperio Curse on Jeremy, I’d make him kill himself in the most painful way possible. Not even joking.
“Shut up, Jeremy!” hissed Jill, slapping the back of his head roughly. He whimpered, and rubbed his head with a pout on his lips.
“Man, you are touchy, woman.” Jeremy complained with mock-pain. “Next time you feel the need to punish me, a spank in the ass will do just fine.”
“Uggh, you’re gross.” Jill replied back. She turned to sip from her goblet, but underneath I saw a secret smile. Interesting, was Jill falling for Jeremy?
I couldn’t possibly see that man being of the sentimental sort, unless you call incessant sexual innuendos ‘loving’.
Jill sensed that I was staring at her, and took that as a completely different message.
“Okay guys, next Quidditch game what are the plans?....” she started conversation with all the chasers, and instantly alienated Samuels and me.
All of the Chasers enthusiastically shared their opinions and ideas, and Jill smirked with triumph. She got what she wanted.
Samuels and I to have some alone time.
God save us all.
“Do you normally gawk like an idiot during breakfast?” a voice broke in, and with dread, I realized it was Samuels. He was staring at me with those dark, knowing eyes. As though he thought smoldering gazes like such made me weak at the knees—pffft, yeah right.
“Did anyone ever tell you that you bitch like a girl?” I questioned back, my voice toned by mock surprise. “Just like my little sister.”
“Interesting,” he murmured, reaching for his goblet. Before he took a sip, he let his gaze rest on me. “I feel closer to you already.”
I did not even understand what he was trying to get at, but my cheeks burned nonetheless. Indifferently, I scoffed and rested my head in the palm of my hand. “Gag me.”
It was meant to sound like an insult. It was said in a bitchy tone.
So if that was the case, why the hell was he secretly grinning? He thought that I didn’t notice—but oh, I noticed. In fact, I notice many of his little quirks.
Ugh, Emma, get a hold on yourself.
I felt the need to insult him again—just to spite him for confusing me—until I felt the air grow murkier. Oh no.
The lights may have darkened ominously, and my movements became wary—for feared I might anger the beast approaching.
I could already hear the clichéd Jaws tune, humming horrifyingly in my mind…
Simultaneously, all of my teammates’ spines stiffened. I just slumped into my seat, hoping to remain inconspicuous. It didn’t work out too well.
“Good morning, ladies.” A derogatory greeting sang in the air, while flipping his fluffy brown hair in the process. I swore, I felt an annoying breeze produced from it.
“Oi?!” Jeremy sat up with his arms in the air, as though he were trying to convey his masculinity.
“Oh, forgive me Stretton.” Davies sarcastically said with an obnoxious sneer. Ugly bastard—well, not really. He’s actually quite delicious…ew damn him!
Davies. I cringed, sensing he was behind me and probably fluffing up his already voluminous, Herbal Essence hair. There were three things in life I’ve always been sure of: I hated Samuels, I hated Davies, and I hated boys whose hairs were prettier than mine.
“Sit like a lady, won’t you Dobbs?” Davies scolded, noting my deliberately slouching position. “I won’t have one of my players looking like a hunchback on the field.”
Grrr. How can his parents live with themselves for producing such a monster?
“You’d know all about sitting like a lady, wouldn’t you,” I muttered viciously with a stubborn grimace on my face.
“What was that, Dobbs?” Davies asked, not sure if he heard me correctly. I heard someone near by snort.
“Oh, nothing.” I smiled wickedly at him while rising upright from my “hunchback” position. Honestly, how this man charms women I do not know.
I tried my hardest not to be a bitch towards the captain, but it was extremely difficult. The boy was seriously just asking for it.
In response to my innocent little smile, Davies threw me a quizzical look, and then gave up in exasperation to terrorize the rest of the team. I couldn’t tell if my grin of triumph was obvious, but the sly chuckle I heard from across the table verified it.
Samuels tried hiding his smile with a discreet hand, his unfathomable eyes continued to give me the look.
It wasn’t quite a look of adoration (gag me), nor even one of mockery. I couldn’t even figure out if it was a blend of the two or not. But I was certain that if I couldn’t even tell what kind of look a member of the opposite sex was giving me, then something was definitely wrong with me.
Was I giving him a look? I couldn’t even control my facial expressions when such a funny feeling erupted in my stomach. The only thing I knew was that I was grinning at him, and he was grinning back at me.
“Awwww! Look at them!” a voice hollered, presumably Jeremy’s. “Precious!”
I suddenly broke eye contact with Samuels and glared at Jeremy. You better find a good hiding place, Stretton. You’re going to need it…
“Oh, how quaint,” Davies raised an amused (yet evil…and perfectly plucked) brow. “Didn’t know I was becoming Hogwarts Matchmaker.”
For a second, I did a double take. Didn’t Snape say something along those lines as well? I couldn’t tell if it was déjà vu, or just eerily prophetic.
“Don’t worry, you’re not.” Samuels said to him while studying me with a slight head tilt, his eyes always unreadable. Oh God, what on earth could he be thinking!?
My eyes were fixed on him, as though doing that would help me read his thoughts. I used to just not even care what he said. Now I was having internal arguments about his every thought.
Hate him. More.
“Well that’s good to hear,” Davies dismissed in a rude tone. Actually, every tone this boy voiced sounded insulting. Was it a speech impediment? “Actually Beaters, I need you both. So once you’re done sipping your milk and crumpets, we can head on out.”
Simultaneously, Samuels and I stood from our seats, as if trying to beat the other in a standing contest. The rest of the team eagerly stood up as well.
“When I mean ‘Beaters’, I mean exactly so.” Davies enunciated, staring down at his teammates. The rest of the team still had delightful glints in their eyes. Oh God.
“But I’m in the mood for a blood-fest this morning!” Ben whined, his hands pressed together in a begging formation.
“I’m just in the mood for when all those petty arguments turn into quite randy—”
“Go stick it up your ass, Jeremy.” I moaned. Would he just grow up?!
“Teach him, Ems!” Brad laughed, high-fiving Ben in the process. I didn’t even bother to close my gaping mouth. I was seriously still in shock that these were my teammates and not some aliens from a foreign, sex-filled galaxy.
“Ok, enough!” Davies hands flew into the air as a traffic guard’s does when he’s directing traffic. “Samuels, Dobbs—outside with me. Billings—knock some maturity into your teammates.”
“With pleasure.” Jill smiled deviously, evilly.
“Well if that’s the case, you can knock anything into me anytime.” Jeremy winked at her while nudging her slightly in the elbow. Suddenly, her cheeks briefly flushed. Yup, she’s definitely crushing.
“Let’s go.” Davies ordered, leaving the table and expecting Samuels and I to follow like little puppies. Regretfully, we did.
With Davies a couple steps ahead, Samuels and I walked side-by-side. It must’ve been a strange sight, because many people were starting to point. The only thing that I could actually hear was a crash of thunder from outside, perfect weather to convey my angry self.
“GO FOR IT, SAMUELS!” a voice echoed loudly in the Hall right as we exited through the doors.
Note to self: next time you see Jeremy, must bring bat.
“Where are we going?” I asked aloud, confused by the fact that Davies was leading us to the outside of Hogwarts.
“Quidditch field.” He answered tersely.
“Why?” Samuels questioned, his voice just as confused as mine.
“Because I said so.” Davies sang annoyingly. Yes, that definitely clears everything up, you psycho.
It was probably another pathetic task he wanted us to do. A pathetic task that would test our worthiness of “captainship”. Honestly, if Davies regards himself as a worthy captain, then he’s definitely mayor of freakin’ Opposite World.
We walked outside on the grass, the sky cloudy above us. There was a slight chill that caused me to shiver. What did Davies want us to do? Change the weather?
Maybe he wanted us to mow the field, or some other pointless chore. What a ponce—
Or wait, maybe this was when he’d reveal his final decision. Could it be possible that he was actually going to tell us who he had chosen to be captain? I grew eager with the idea, and entered the field with enthusiastic curiosity.
Davies led us up the stairs so that we climbed on the wooden bleachers. It was so strange to see the view from a spectator’s point rather than a player. Everything was smaller in comparison, but you could see everything.
As the wind blew against my face, I distantly wondered if Samuels felt the same way. His pondering expression led me to believe so.
“Dobbs and Samuels!” Davies called from the highest bleacher, his eyes filled with manic excitement. Something in my intuition warned me that he was about to tell us something inhumane. “I called you two up here to race!”
Suddenly, a peal of thunder clapped against the skies.
Davies smirked, bending down to retrieve two objects before handing them to us. Our brooms.
"Excuse me?!” It was a much better response than my impulsive cry of 'What the hell you divvy bastard?'. At times such as this, pissing off the nearly retired Captain would not be such a grand thing. Kissing his ass was yet another thing not easily done.
“You heard me, Dobbs,” Davies professionally ordered, probably hoping to resemble a tight-ass drill sergeant. In my opinion, and it is a very colorful opinion indeed, the stupid ponce was a flippin, despotic pillock with—“You and Samuels, a race around all of Hogwarts.”
“Davies,” Samuels entered in, and I couldn’t have been more relieved to hear his disgruntled tone. “It’s about to thunder and lightning out there. It’s not safe.”
Davies turned with a flash of power in his eyes, dismissing that there was a storm just brewing outside within the dark, threatening clouds. “Do you think I got Captain by playing it safe?”
Actually, no, I wanted to shout. You got Captain by playing it dirty with the last one.
But I didn’t; I just kept my mouth shut like a good girl. Smacking Davies with the tip of my broom never seemed so tempting, but I doubt I’d land the spot if I did. Right now, the bequeathing of Captainship wasn’t about strength or agility; it was more about self-restraint.
“What, are you two not up to it?” Davies challenged, his voice bewildered with mock concern. He authoritatively folded his arms over his chest. My hand quivered with the need to slap something ridiculously. “Both of you, with potential to take Captain, are actually scared?”
He said the word scared in the manner of how some people say diseased. Was he actually questioning our worth as Captain? Our skill? All just to make us race around Hogwarts like some flippin car derby?! By the power hungry look of pride that adorned Davies’s face, it was safe to declare that our “beloved” Captain was bonkers.
“Davies,” Samuels’s voice was stern, clashing with the crash of thunder that so conveniently sounded from outside. “There’s a storm out there. We’ll get caught, and most likely—”
“Did I not make myself clear, Samuels?” Davies imperious voice rose. “Or do you want Dobbs here to get an automatic win?”
My heart did a flip for joy; words have never sounded so sweet.
Samuels pressed his lips into a hard line. He was conflicted (as usual) between the choice of safety and Captainship. As nauseating as Davies was being, I couldn’t help but think that this task was easy.
A race around Hogwarts? Cake. Cake with the filling, icing, and whatever else froofy crap we put on top. And since Samuels seemed a little hesitant to the challenge, the position was as good as mine. Cue maniacal laughter.
“I’ll do it.” I didn’t want to sound too eager. Bullocks, being a kiss ass was unbearable.
“Bravo Dobbs.” Davies commended with a brisk nod. Pride welled up in my chest, but I refused to let it show on my face. I didn’t want Davies to think he could evoke pleasure with the words he said….okay, that sounded awkward.
In an instant, I felt an instant whoosh of air rise, causing a grimace to overcome my face. Samuels, scared sod that he was earlier, was now suddenly up to the challenge. He was on his broom, hovering in the air, suddenly unhesitant.
Bloody hell! Stop stealing my glory, prick!
Davies watched with a satisfied grin as I hovered readily in the air on my broom, just waiting for the go. I was fed up with him; his tasks for differentiating who would be Captain seemed almost like a cruel, sadistic way to torture us.
Evil sound effects were even setting the mood for Davies; crashes of thunders were heard violently in the distance.
I refused to show hesitancy; the grip on my broom tightening with eagerness. Competitively, my eyes flitted over to Samuels, who was looking back at me, a casual smirk on his face. He refused to show fear, trying to mimic me.
Out of nowhere, Davies conjured up a magical GO-scarf (I know, what the hell?). His methods of torture had to be exactly precise, right down to the most trivial aspects of it.
The wind started to pick up in a rush, sending my dark hair blowing against my face. Competition ran through my veins, the same kind during a Quidditch match. The refusal to lose was embedded in my mind, because after this, automatic Captainship would be rewarded.
As the wind rippled rapidly, Davies waved the scarf high in the air, whipping himself violently in the face in the process. Seriously, a simple “GO!” would do.
This time, when I looked at Samuels my mouth wasn’t set into its customary scowl of utter disgust. It was formed into one of my ever-angelic ‘Time-to-destroy-you’ smiles.
Dear Impressively Patient Readers Who Amaze Me With Their Support Even Though I’m A Rotten Updater,
Honestly, thank you so much guys! I love reading your reviews, but feel like crap because I update like a snail. I’m so sorry, but I hope you liked the chapter;) As a gift to you all, here is a preview of the next chapter! (which, I might add, is one of my favorite chapters=D)
PS: Favorite quotes? Characters? Any thoughts? Would love to hear them;)
“Put me down, bastard!” I must have looked like an idiot, flailing helplessly in his arms. I couldn’t take anymore of this: his smarmy hands on my body, the closeness of our faces, his unreadable face expressions. I had enough. “I swear Samuels, if you don’t release me, I will—”
“Oh, this will be a good one.”
“I will dismember your organs, one by one!”
“I will beat you so hard that the next generation of mini-Samuels will not exist!”
“I will unleash a swarm of eager first years on yo—”
“EMMA! SHUT UP!”
Abruptly, he stared at me lividly, his dark eyes fierce and passionate with fire. His stare pulled me in, drawing me closer. I immediately shut up, because so many wrong things had occurred at one moment.
1.) He had called me Emma, for the first time that I had known him. 2.) His eyes were blazing, pulling my gaze in. 3.) His burning hand started to gently slide up to palm my cheek.
And lastly 4.), I did not wrench my face away; I was trapped.
Your Obedient Servant,
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