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Chapter 9 : Quidditch above Love
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“It doesn’t matter how fit our legs are, we will be on brooms the whole match,” he said after the remaining players had started running.
“Muggle exercises are good for all of you and we will have more energy,” I repeated what Lily had told me the day before when she told me how muggles would exercise. I hadn’t been able to contain my laughter for long when she informed me of gyms. As a pureblood the idea was absurd, but the running seemed to be effective so I had decided to try it out.
“More energy!?! We will be so tired that we won’t be able to stand up,” he argued.
“Then I suppose its good you won’t need to stand up, as you’ll be flying. Now, you have 3 seconds to start running or I’ll add another 5 rounds,”
Addens finally threw his broom in the pile of the others brooms, though reluctant. I followed his example after making sure I couldn’t out run him, the last thing I wanted was to run next to him.
The weather was getting colder and when I was by my 4th round my teeth started chattering. When I finished round 10 I had to fetch my wand to warm up my feet. I saw the rest of the team doing the same.
The unusual running had exhausted me and the first thing I did when I made it to the Gryffindor tower was collapse onto one of the couches.
“I thought you practised to get better, not to get worn-out,” Sirius remarked. He was sitting on the couch opposite with Remus and Peter; the last two were studying while Sirius was reading a magazine.
“If you need to practise so much, you must not be very good,” Peter said. It had become evident that while Sirius had forgiven me and Remus refused to pick side, Peter was supporting James and continuously commented my faults. In the beginning I had shot back but now I just found it bothersome and choose to ignore him.
“Will someone tell the midget that it is normal to increase the amount of practices before a match,” I stated and was quite pleased with myself when Peter let out a grunt and returned to his homework.
“How is practice?” Sirius asked.
“I wish people would stop asking,” I grumbled. Just this week 5 of my classmates had asked the same question, not to mention that Professor Slughorn and McGonagall who had both asked after their class the previous day.
Sirius apologized before asking another dreaded question, “Have you spoken to James?”
People seemed to think I should pluck up courage and have a nice tête-à-tête with James to solve our misunderstandings. I wasn’t entirely sure it would help on the situation so I hadn’t considered taking their advice. Lily and Sirius were the worst; they had made it their calling to make me apologize to James, which I wasn’t going to do.
“I told him to stop blocking the door before Charms yesterday,” I said humorous. Sirius gave me a stern frown that, though pretty strict for him, was no where near the frowns spotted on Professor McGonagall.
“I thought you would talk to him soon,”
“Well, I can’t help what you think, but I never agreed to speak to him. Why don’t you let it go?” I picked up one of Sirius’ magazines that he had piled up on the table.
“I wish I could, but he is in such a sullen mood lately. I think he misses you,” Both Remus and I chortled when we noticed Sirius honestly had thought I was the reason for James’ misery. “What?”
“James is not being sulky because of Effie,” Remus said omnisciently. “At least it is not the only reason,” Sirius looked puzzled.
“Haven’t you noticed Lily is going out with someone,” Remus continued.
“Not just anyone. Matthew Cunningham aka ‘The Jerk’” I finished, citing James’ own description of Matthew.
“Why didn’t I know they were going out?” Sirius asked. Remus rolled his eyes.
“Because your eyes have been elsewhere,” He clarified. “Some tall 6th year if I am correct,”
“Do you still fancy Catherine?” I asked astounded as he had had a thing for the chaser since 5th year, although the crush wasn’t comparable to James’ crush on Lily. Sirius had asked Catherine out last year but was turned down because she wanted to remain friends. His ego was deeply bruised by the rejection, and I had always been under the impression that he only wanted to date her to prove that he could get her.
“He has been eying her the past month. Not to mention stalking her,” Remus answered.
“’He’ is sitting right here,” Sirius pointed to himself “Besides, I’m not stalking her, just making sure she is not hexed by Slytherins,”
I had known Catherine since she joined the Quidditch team in her 3rd year and she was the last person on earth to need protection. She stood 5’9’’ and the combination of her duel talents, Quidditch skills and ill temper made most run for their lives. Even I was scared of her, which was reasonable as I only stood 5’3’’ and had absolutely no skills in duelling unless it involved Slytherins or first years. I preferred the latter as they couldn’t fight back. I explained this to Sirius who didn’t look convinced.
“They are learning darker magic, no girl should walk around alone,” I looked at him dumbstruck.
“But I’m a girl,” I emphasized “Why don’t you protect me, I need it more than her,”
“Sirius can’t be everywhere, love,” He gave me a wink, to which I stuck out my tongue and threw the magazine I had been holding onto at him. He let out a cry as the magazine collided with his nose. The many years as Chaser on a Quidditch team seemed to have advances off the pitch as well as on.
“Well, Don Juan. I have some bad news if you are planning on making a pass on her,” Remus said and nodded towards the entrance where Catherine and Addens had just entered, hand in hand. I sat upright and let my jaw fall as Addens gave Catherine a peck on the cheek before going up separate stair cases.
“I may vomit,” I said. Maybe Addens wasn’t the most unattractive guy at school, but as I may have mentioned his ego was bigger than the moon and he was an endless annoyance. Catherine was the complete opposite and why these two people decided to hook up was a bit of a mystery.
“As a girl, Effie, what does he have that I don’t?” Sirius enquired.
I shook my head, “I have no idea. In fact, I’m sure there is a love potion involved,”
“Fred is the worst potion-master ever, he would not be capable of brewing anything without it exploding,” Peter snorted and brought back horrible memories of second year when Professor Slughorn made Addens and I partners for the entire year. I admit being bad at potion and I had come to terms with it, but Addens was not just bad, he was dreadful, awful and terrible, and he didn’t want to admit it. The last lesson of the school year he had blown up our shared cauldron, landing the entire class in the Hospital Wing with green boils all over our bodies, most of us wasn’t able to get rid of it before mid July. “Maybe Morgan brewed it?”
I felt three pairs of eyes resting on me, all hoping that I, as a girl, could enlighten them on why any girl would brew a love potion and give it to Addens. Unless the girl was deaf and blind, I saw no reason for dating Addens. Catherine was neither deaf nor blind, atleast I didn’t think so, she could be good at hiding it but seeing as she played Quidditch it was highly undoubtedly.
“Oh crap,” I exclaimed as realization of the current situation became clear. Sirius raised an eyebrow, “Lily is dating Matthew and Addens is dating Catherine. If one of the couples break up on bad terms it could cause even more tension on the team, as I set Lily and Matthew up and obviously both Addens and Catherine are on the team … oh no,”
I hid my head in my hands and almost expected Lily to run in and tell me she and Matthew had broken up, but only silence followed.
“Not very optimistic are we?” Sirius asked with a crooked smile.
“How can I? I need to make sure they don’t break up, atleast not until the end of the season,”
“What? You are aware that we have been trying to set up James and Lily for the past 2 years, we were hoping for a result this year,” Sirius said, obviously amused by my panic attack.
“Some things are more important than playing with poor Lily’s feelings …” I was interrupted.
“Are you saying that Quidditch is more important than the happiness of your two best friends?” Unlike our other arguments, Sirius was finding this one comical.
“Wh … no … well, yes” I struggled “Lily and James have the rest of their lives to realize they are meant to be – if they are meant to be. I have one season to prove myself,” It had sounded less selfish in my head.
“You do understand the meaning of school sport, right? We are not professionals … “
“But our professional careers start at school. Just as Remus takes classes serious, I take Quidditch serious, because my future depends on it,” I nodded towards Remus who was shifting his attention from us to his assignment every 15 seconds.
Sirius heaved a sigh and leaned back, “You both need to relax,”
“Or, you need to study,” Remus smirked and threw a book at Sirius who caught it just before it hit his nose.
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