Chapter 2 : Hatred Behind The Scenes
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I hesitate for a second as I realize he’s expecting me to follow him around the corner and out of sight. While I know Wood really isn’t much of a threat, I’m still nervous as I have seen him go over the top a couple times before and it’s never very pretty. Then again, the most he’s gotten from me is sarcasm, so he really has not reason to be pissed off.
With a sigh, I send a single glance back at the girls, waving them to continue going before following Wood around the corner. The worst he can really do is lecture me on appropriate behavior for tryouts, which really is sort of pointless as I’m perfectly capable of acting civil and not scaring the second years.
I come around the corner to find Wood standing with his arms crossed, an annoyed look on his face. I plaster a very evidently fake smile on my face before asking, in the nicest tone I can manage, “So, captain, why are you wasting my dinner time?”
“What did I say about the sarcasm?” Wood answers me with a question, giving me an annoyed glare.
“I wasn’t using sarcasm, exactly…What do you want?” I ask, crossing my arms, almost mimicking his stance.
Wood glares at me for a minute before he starts talking. “I want to make sure we’re clear on what you’re supposed to be doing for tryouts tomorrow.”
“You told me and Angie when to be here. I don’t think I need more instructions than that,” I say, irritation bubbling under my skin even though I knew he was going to do something like this.
“Teizon, I would have to disagree. You always have to have more instruction then everyone else, otherwise you tend to find some way to screw things up,” Wood says, his tired look turning to his stern captain look.
“What are you saying? That I’m incapable of following simple directions?” I ask, venom seeping into my voice as I realize where he’s going with this.
“I’m just saying that you like to play by your own rules a little too much,” Wood replies, no air of teasing in his voice.
“Or I just don’t follow your rules the way you think I should,” I challenge, arms crossing and eyes narrowing.
“Teizon, why don’t I word things a little more simply for you,” he growls, voice low and irritated at my challenge. “At tryouts tomorrow, you are to do all of the drill you are told to do perfectly. Don’t mess around because this is serious.”
“When don’t I do my drills right?” I snap, finding his stabs at my flying ability more than a little irritating when I’ve got more flying ability than most seekers on the Hogwarts teams.
“Like I said, you do the drills by your own play book, and I don’t want any of it at tryouts,” Wood replies taking another step towards me.
I subconsciously take a step back and find my back pressed against the shed. I don’t know when exactly I ended up with my back to the shed, but it doesn’t matter as Wood takes another step towards me, his body pinning mine against the wall. I draw in a sharp breath, stunned and angered at his close proximity. He seems totally unfazed, his eyes glittering with his usual arrogant captaining air.
“You are to do all of the drills and plays by my book. No Teizon originals. If you decide to go against my instructions, then so help me, the team will end up without a seeker faster than you can think of some smart ass remark. Yes, that means I WILL kick you off of the team,” Wood says, his breath hot on my cheek.
Our eyes meet, and I feel like my eyes are being burned by his. I find with his close proximity that I can’t move to push him away or even open my mouth to say anything as my whole body has frozen. He’s only pushed and gotten in my face a small number of times, a couple times when I pushed things a little too far when Charlie was captain and then before some big games where he ‘didn’t like my attitude’ and thought I was taking the game as a joke.
“It would also be wise not to start one of your petty arguments during tryouts because that would be setting a bad example,” Wood says, hands coming to rest on either side of my body, boxing me and preventing any escape I could potentially make, if my body was cooperating with me.
The feelings of irritation and the need to prove Wood I was more than capable of handling tryouts fade quickly as borderline panic starts rising. I’m more than aware of the fact that I’m pinned here and the way his breath is hot on my face is making me feel a little more than uncomfortable. I’m not quite sure how’s he’s set him into this badass captain mode and I definitely don’t know how to break it as he’s typically only this bad right before the start of the game and it’s towards the entire, rather than just me.
He opens his mouth to say something more, but instead of his voice, I hear a different voice say, “So this is hatred behind the scenes?”
My eyes flicker off to my left side to find Fred and George standing about ten feet away Wood and I. Where they came from, I’m not sure but I sure as hell don’t care as my eyes flicker back to Wood to find that the cold hardness to his eyes has broken and his pupils aren’t nearly as dilated as they were. Relief floods my system as I notice his trance is broken and he takes a half step back from me, arms dropping back to his sides in an instant.
“Don’t question my authority again either,” He threatens lowly, before turning and stalking towards the castle.
I continue to stand with my back against the shed as I watch him go. I release a huge sigh of relief as he moves out of sight from the side of the broom shed. My heart is still thundering loudly in my ears and I can’t help but swipe at the hair that’s fallen in my face. A moment later, I’m acutely aware that I’m being watched before remember the words that broke Wood out of his trance.
So this is hatred behind the scenes.
I turn my head back to look at Fred and George. Fred has this suspicious look on his face, and George looks a bit confused and maybe even hurt. But any trace of being hurt he covers up pretty quickly with a blank expression.
“If behind the scenes is being assaulted, then yes, that was hatred behind the scenes,” I say, shifting away from the wall, as it seems to give me more room to breathe.
“What was that about anyways?” George asks me, his look concerned as I shift my stance and take a slow steady breathe.
“Him being a git?” I offer, glancing in the direction Wood disappeared in and then back at the twins.
“Sounds like Wood,” Fred says with a smirk, allowing me to not really answer the question. “Now let’s head to dinner, I’m starving.”
“Do you only think about your stomach?” George asks Fred, also leaving the question mostly unanswered.
“Hey, isn’t that supposed to be my line?” I ask, smiling as I finally manage to push the panic to the back of my mind.
“Yeah, probably, but you were too slow,” George says, smiling after a moment’s hesitation back at me.
And suddenly, with George’s smile, my heart seems to go into overtime. “Well, if you would start thinking slower, there wouldn’t be a problem.”
“At least I’m not wasting valuable dinner time,” Fred says taking a step towards the castle.
I roll my eyes before saying, “Okay fine, let’s go to dinner. If we don’t, Fred could possible die.”
“Please don’t make me pretend to pass out,” Fred says sarcastically.
“I just might,” I reply, laughing.
“Yeah right, you’re not that mean,” Fred says.
“You wanna bet?” I reply, crossing my arms.
“If you two children would stop you’re bickering, we could go to dinner,” George says.
“Look who’s talking,” I say, smiling at George.
“Hey, I’m totally mature,” he replies.
“Yeah, in whose mind,” I laugh before the three of us start towards the castle.
As we walk, Fred gets ahead of George and I. We don’t attempt to catch up as we walk in silence, looking anywhere but each other as darkness floods the grounds.
When we’re about three quarters of the way to the castle (Fred having already disappeared inside), George breaks the silence. “So…uh, what did Wood want?”
You shrug, choosing to ignore the uncomfortable feeling in your gut at the thought. “Figured I needed ‘further instructions’ about tryouts tomorrow,” I reply, putting air quotes around further instructions.
“Oh…he didn’t hurt you or say anything overly nasty, did he?” George asks after a moment of silence.
I glance over at him before shaking my head. “No. Just being his usual friendly self, nothing to worry about.”
George nods, pulling open the oak front door and allow me in before him. He makes no further comment as we then slip into the Great Hall and join the rest of the team at the end of the table, with Wood sitting almost completely on the other end with some of his sixth year friends.
* * *
When breakfast is about over Saturday morning, Angie and I leave the Great Hall and wander toward the Quidditch pitch in silence. I’m dreading the whole occasion of having to survive tryouts with Wood, because I’m pretty sure I’ll get in trouble for something that honestly isn’t that big of an issue in the next couple hours. Which will lead to some insane, unfair punishment, I’m sure.
Which would probably include suicides and bleachers. Which would be fun. Because he makes me SPRINT every suicide. And if I don’t he adds more. Which is fantastic. Because then I really feel like dying.
….wait, why the hell am I talking to myself? Erg. No wonder why people think I’m mental. But am I really?
I start laughing out loud and Angie looks at me weirdly. “Sorry,” I say. “Talking to myself in my head.”
“Yeah you must be oh so entertaining,” a voice says from behind Angie and I.
“Yes, Wood, I am entertaining. Unlike others who don’t even know how to spell funny,” I say, as Angie and I turn to face him.
“I’d love to continue this pointless conversation but you two have about 2 minutes to get in the locker room, change and get your butts back out here or you’ll be sprinting 4 extra suicides in practice on Wednesday,” Wood says, totally in Quidditch captain mode.
“When’s the two minutes start?” Angie asks, trying to prevent me from making some smart ass remark.
“Now,” Wood says, looking at his watch.
Angie and I turn and hurry into the locker room. We change in silence, hurrying so Wood doesn’t find a reason to get mad at us. We walk out, fully ready, a minute later.
Wood, of course, already has everything out and ready for tryouts. He’s got color coded jerseys for each position so we can tell from a fair distance away who people are. There are also a number of brooms from the school stash of them, for those joining the Quidditch team without their own broom. The chest of Quidditch equipment is also out, and there are even a couple extra quaffles in the mix of his supplies.
“What’s warm up captain?” Angie asks as I retrieve both of our brooms from the bench that has two clip boards sitting on it.
“Fly 3 laps around the pitch, the do half pitch suicides. 3 of those as well,” Wood said, not looking up from his clip board as he’s making very specific looking notes on it.
I give Angie her broom and we both take off immediately. As I fly my laps, I keep thinking of ways not to start arguments with Wood. Of course, by thinking of ways not to start an argument, I start thinking of ways to start an argument. Not that I would necessarily use them, but that carried me through all of the half pitch suicides.
I finish a minute before Angie, but I wait for her so we can walk back to Wood together. By this time, a small group of students have gathered by the goal hoops. It was a little early for them to be here, but I figure none of them had wanted to be late, which I can’t blame them for.
After another five minutes, a group of about 24 students, including our three reserves, had collected around the goal hoops. Wood gets them separated based on what position they are trying out for and then hands Angie and I clip boards.
He instructs me to hand out the blue jerseys, which are for the Seekers, and to write down their names next to the jersey number they have on. Angie is told to do the Chasers, while Wood takes on doing the keepers and the Beaters.
As soon as everyone has a jersey, he tells them to take off and start making laps around the pitch. He instructs to do 3 slower laps followed by 5 fast ones repeatedly until he tells them to stop. He starts them off and then tells Angie and me to take notes on who is flying pretty well, and who isn’t.
This is actually a bit more difficult than it sounds, because I’ve got to keep track of the 8 people in blue, and try to read their numbers from the ground. For the most part, they don’t fly too high, but on the far side of the pitch it’s hard to catch numbers. Although, it’s very evident that three of them are out already because they narrowly avoid falling off their brooms numerous by the time Wood blows the whistle.
Upon the whistle blow, everyone trying out lands and forms a semi-circle around Wood, Angie and I. He then starts with introductions.
“I’m Oliver Wood. Keeper and Captain of Gryffindor Quidditch team. I work hard every year to get the house cup, and am determined to win it this year, as it’s my final year. Those of you trying out today have to show that you will lead us to victory shall one of the member already on the team be unable to play. You, as reserves, are just as important as the team and will take part in team meetings and practices,” Wood explains to all of the people.
“With me today are two of the members of this team. Hailey Teizon and Angelina Johnson,” Wood says, pointing to us when he says our names.
I send a weird glance at him, because I’ve never EVER before heard him use my first name. Okay, he has before, but it’s not typically when he’s actually speaking to me directly.
“Hailey, could you please tell them what position you play, and what positions you have played in the past,” Wood says, turning his attention to me.
I hesitate a second before nodding my head and stepping forward. “I’m Hailey Teizon. I am currently a 6th year and Seeker on the team. I was Seeker last year as well. Before that, I was Reserve Seeker and have also played once or twice as a Chaser at one point or another.”
I take a step back and look at Wood. For once, he seems pleased with how I acted. Ha, shows him that I’m not always a smart mouth.
“Angelina,” he says, signaling for her to move forward.
Angelina hesitates for a moment, but steps forward just as I had. “I’m Angelina Johnson. I am currently a 5th year and I am one of the three Chasers on the team. I was a Reserve Chaser the first year I joined.”
She stepped back next to me. Wood came back in front and then split the player depending on what position they were trying out for. Then the tryouts began.
“We will have the results up for the reserve team by Tuesday, and whoever makes the team will be participating in practice on Wednesday. The results will be on the Gryffindor bulletin board. Thank you all for coming and trying out,” I hear Wood announce as I struggle to get the bludger we used for tryouts back in the crate.
I latch it into place and put the bat back into the case before closing it and locking it. I get to my feet, breathing heavily still from my fight with the bludger. Angie drops her broom next to mine and helps me pick up the crate with the balls in it.
We head towards Wood and I ask, “Captain, where do you want the crate?”
“Umm, put it in the ref’s quarters next to the locker room. Here’s the key,” He says as he throws the key in Angie’s direction. She catches it and we carry the crate to the ref’s quarters. We put it in the corner of the room and leave, locking the door behind us.
We return to the field to find Wood still cleaning up some of the things from tryouts. I can tell by the way he keeps looking in our direction that he’s gonna give me crap for some of the dives or something from today. It’s just a given.
We arrive back in front of him, and Angie asks, “Do you need anything else from us Captain, or are we good?”
“No, you did a good job today Johnson. Go hit the shower. I want a word, Teizon,” Wood says, accepting the key back from her before pocketing it.
I roll my eyes, not even mildly surprised. I wasn’t even going to start the ‘that’s not fair’ argument either, because it’s just not worth it at this point. I’m hungry and the only way I’ll escape Wood’s presence is to let him get torturing me out of my system.
Angie looks at me, giving me her motherly ‘behave yourself’ look, before walking to the locker room. Wood waits until the door closes behind her to start talking.
“You can actually behave yourself, can’t you Teizon. Well, at least you can control your mouth,” he starts.
I don’t say anything. I just watch him, and wait for him to say more.
“But you didn’t follow the play book like you were supposed to,” Wood says.
“How did I not follow the play book? I did every drill, every dive, every maneuver how I was taught,” I reply calmly.
“Are you trying to scare the reserves? Your dives sometimes went way to low. And do you even know how to hold the Beater bat?”
“First, the point of a dive, is to get close to the ground and catch the Snitch. Second, I am not a Beater, nor have I ever had a real attempt to hit the bludger with a bat before,” I point out, voice shaking a little with my strain to keep my voice steady.
“Some of the second years were doing the dives better then you,” Wood comments.
“What the hell? Seriously Wood, are you just trying to piss me off? I know how to do dives. I’ve been Seeker for as long as I’ve played Quidditch,” I snap, trying not to let my voice rise with my tempter.
“So just because you’ve always played Seeker, you’re the best?” Wood asks, raising an eyebrow
“What the hell, Wood? I didn’t even say that!” I reply. I can feel my temper rising and know I really need to get away from him. Him twisting my words gets me every time, and he knows it does.
“It sounded like you did,” Wood says.
“You’re putting words in my mouth,” I say crossing my arms as the anger bubbles in me.
“If you weren’t such an arrogant Seeker, there wouldn’t be much of a problem there,” Wood says.
“Well, maybe if you weren’t such an arrogant asshole of a captain that can’t manage running a team without making personal attacks on the most important player, it wouldn’t be so much of an issue,” you lash out, voice raising in volume.
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