Chapter 5 : Matchmaking or Matchmade
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The first Hogsmeade trip of the year was set to be on the day before Halloween, which fell on a Sunday, and as always it was the only thing on people’s mind. I was no exception as I was desperate to go to a Quidditch supply store and I needed to refill my stock on candy. I seemed to be the only one interested to go for the purchases because Valentine’s Day was coming early, atleast it felt so. Everywhere I went, girls would try to lure boys into asking them out, and even Lily had her eyes on a suitable date.
“Can’t you just randomly mention me?” She asked me Monday before the trip. We were sitting in the library finishing up our Transfiguration assignment due the next day.
“I could,” Lily looked at me hopeful “Except your name is quite difficult to include when you are telling someone to put more force into their hit,”
“I’m sure Matthew’s hit is forceful enough,” Lily said with a dreamy voice. I snorted.
“Can’t you fancy someone NOT on my Quidditch team?” My eyes searched around the library until they found a red curly haired guy sitting a few tables away, I nodded towards him “Like Ethan Meester,”
Lily followed my glance and frowned.
“What is wrong with him, he is cute,” I tried to mimic Lily’s dreamy voice but only received a slap in the face with a book.
“He’s a fifth year,” She reasoned as I nursed the spot Lily had just hit with her Transfiguration book. “Not to mention he has multiple allergies and the last time he spoke to you he shuttered so much it took 10 minutes for him to ask directions to the Hospital Wing,”
“I tend to do that to guys,” I joked while Lily rolled her eyes and continued on her assignment.
Ever since the episode in Potion a few weeks back, Lily and I had decided to ignore the rest of the school’s plotting against me and not include James or Sirius in our conversations. I knew how she felt about the matter, but after a few days without talking I felt like a loser and decided to apologize to her. We were back to our old routines, though we saw less of each other with her Head Girl duties and my practices.
“Maybe I should find a date as well,” I muttered after a while. Lily looked alarmed as she peeked up from her almost finished assignment, “What!?! I have dated before,”
“Yes, but did you not learn anything from those dates, such as you not being ‘the dating type of person’ – your words not mine,” She said whilst pointing her quill at me.
“Maybe I have changed,” I said defensive. Lily raised an eyebrow “Besides; I have only dated Quidditch players so maybe that’s the problem,”
“Slytherin or Quidditch Player, it is practically the same,” I said waving her off. Benjamin and I went out in 3rd year, but he kept comparing me to the knight stature on the 2nd floor. If you had seen the stature you would understand why that comment was insulting, as the knight had a crooked back and horns, but apparently it was my eyes that made us comparable.
“You already have someone in mind, don’t you?” She gave me a suspicious look.
I could feel the heat rushing to my cheeks, as she started naming guys who she thought it was. As I tried to ignore her, my eyes found a group of boys sitting at the table behind Lily. I immediately groaned loudly, catching Lily’s attention.
“James?” She asked without looking, when she saw me nodding she continued “Ignore him, it will save you a lot of trouble,”
Remus caught me looking over to their table and gave me a smile, before motioning me to join their table; I shook my head nodding towards James and Sirius.
“You like Remus!?!” Lily whispered surprised when she noticed who I was looking at. My face turned a bright red colour and Lily instantly started laughing. Ever since the beginning of the year I had been far more worried about Remus than I had been earlier, and when he had been the only one apart from lily who still spoke to me I had become closer to him.
“Will you be quiet, I do not want to get thrown out of the Library,” I hissed at Lily who closed her mouth, though she still smirked omnisciently. “We are just friends,”
“That is beside the point. Go ask him,” She urged me. I kicked her under the table, still trying to control my face colour.
“I can’t just go ask him,” Lily raised her eyebrow for the second time “What if he says no, or thinks I am asking him as a friend,”
Lily opened her mouth but I cut her off “I can’t ask him. If he did say yes he would be betraying his friends,” I pointed to the two buys glaring at me.
“I told you to ignore them,” She reminded me. Ignoring James Potter and Sirius Black was harder than it seemed. “If you don’t ask him, I’ll do it for you,”
“That would not be weird at all,” I said sarcastic. “And I’m not asking him out in front of his friends. Public humiliation is not my thing,”
“Just ask him, lure him away and ask him,” Lily said and reminded me of a hunter. Seek, chase and attack.
“Why am I even taken advice from a girl who wanted me to mention her name during a Quidditch Practice?”
Knowing that Lily always stood by her word, I decided to ask Remus if he wanted to go as a date with me to Hogsmeade, but catching him alone was even more impossible than it sounded. Remus was always sitting with James, Sirius or Peter in class, and outside of classes he was either with them or some of his other friends. The only time I had seen him alone, Christa Fletcher had dragged him away so he could help her with her Charms. I couldn’t help but wonder if she had been using her stupidity as an excuse to work her charms on him, see what I did there.
By Thursday evening I decided to stop stalking Remus, and try to set Lily up instead. Let me first mention that I had never done matchmaking in my entire life, so when I approached Matthew Cunningham after the practise I had no idea how to start a casual conversation with Lily in it.
“Hello,” I said nervously as I walked up to him, despite that I had already greeted him before the practise “You are a great player, who taught you?” I asked in the most casual tone I owned.
Matthew looked a bit perplexed at the question “My grandfather, I told you already, didn’t I?” Great start, Effie.
“I have N.E.W.Ts this year, they are stealing my memory,” I explained and mentally smacked my head. I thought I might have found out why I have never been asked to do matchmaking before, I’m rubbish at it.
“My friend Lily has N.E.W.Ts too this year, she’s Head Girl. Maybe you have seen her around, she the feisty one with the red hair. Normally she hangs out with me, but she does have other friends, though now she is Head Girl she doesn’t have much time to hang out with anyone …”
“You are rambling,” Matthew said amused, at least he wasn’t scared.
“I’m sorry, I don’t normally ramble,” I told him. Again, had I not been trying to set Lily up with the guy I wouldn’t have felt nervous. Boys do not make me nervous unless hormones are involved.
“Are you nervous?” He smirked.
“Me? No … well yes. Must be the match coming up,” I could feel my palms starting to sweat, how did I manoeuvre the topic back to Lily.
Matthew studied my expression for an awkward minute. I wondered if I should start talking until he did.
“Will you go to Hogsmeade with me?”
“What?” My jaw dropped. This was not the plan. This was so not the plan.
“You were going to ask me, weren’t you?” He looked serious as he said it, and I wondered what in my behaviour had given him the idea. I opened my mouth to reply but he cut me off “It’s a date then, I’ll meet you in the Common Room at 11.”
He ran over to his friends who was standing by the exit, and left me unsure of what had just occurred. I, Effie Pottinger, am rubbish at matchmaking and soon very dead.
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