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Chapter 7 : Chapter Seven. Dapper.
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Needless to say, the night was a bit challenging, but by the time the sun was toward the middle of the sky, everyone was awake. Lys and Jennica were already gone, getting ready for their game today with Ravenclaw. Elsie was scowling, sitting up in bed, and, unlike the others, not getting ready.
I looked at her for a moment and when her eyes finally relocated and locked on mine, I asked, “What’s wrong?”
She sighed, looking down at the tangling of her blankets, “I don’t get to have any of my times today. Nine oh Nine, Eleven Fifteen, and Two Fifty Seven are all being replaced by the game and the feast afterwards. I hate game days!”
“Yeah, but you get to see him in the stands. You may even get to sit next to him and Remus if you hurry?” I suggested. Her eyes beamed up at me, obviously having not considered this before. I shook my head, laughing to myself, as she darted out of her covers and ran to the washroom.
I dressed warmly, trying to get ready for the temperatures that awaited us outside. I wrapped my striped Gryffindor scarf around my neck and walked into the common room, greeting several people along the way. Breakfast went by fast, without disturbance thanks to the marauders probably being at the pitch already.
Haley made comments about the statement George Jishop was making by wearing a Ravenclaw scarf despite being in Hufflepuff. She looped her arm through mine, and together we made our way to the pitch. My eyes felt a bit dry from the lack of sleep last night, but after I blinked a few times, they grew moister.
“Looks like it’s going to rain,” Haley mumbled. I nodded, looking up at the gray, cloudy sky. I had to squint, but managed to see a few birds flying around. The pitch was in view by now, the enormously tall stands looking almost ominous in their height. We continued walking, being passed by students more frenzied to get good seats. I didn’t understand the need to get front row seats, mostly because the players were usually above you, but whatever.
We went to the second Gryffindor stand and were ushered in by McGonagall, who was wearing a Sherlock Holmes style cap to cover the stern bun. Suddenly the gray sky was no longer visible as we passed under the broad doorway that allowed students into the stairwell. I sighed, at first looking down at my feet, but then gazing up at stair after stair, the winding passage up to the chairs. Haley and I exchanged a glance that expressed almost pathetically both of our dislike for how we get to our seats.
The journey passed quicker after Haley and I made up a challenge for skipping two at a time then going normal then changing again. An astonishing amount of students were squeezed into this small area, and we were staring around, trying to find a space for us on the benches. Just when I looked at Haley, conveying with my eyes the annoyance and regret of maybe having to switch stands, I heard a whistle and my name.
“Oi! Evans!” I turned to the sound and saw Sirius on his broom, just a few feet from the edge of the stands. In all our hassle, I’d not noticed the players be announced. He smirked and waved us over, “Need a place to place?”
“Excuse me?” Haley raised her eyebrows. I held up a hand.
“It’s derogatory. And yes, we do, actually,” I answered. He nodded and gestured to where Remus, Peter, and (who else) Elsie were sitting. Two fifth year boys were sitting next to Remus, but when Sirius talked to them, they abruptly stood and left. “What did you say to them?”
“Told em that I’d hex em if they didn’t vacate,” Sirius enunciated the last word, adding an exaggerated t at the end, and barked a laugh and then zoomed past the stands to join the lineup.
“He’s such a tool,” Haley cleared her throat and sat down on the bench. I sighed, looking around and finding random people I knew in the crowd on different stands. In the center of the pitch both teams were getting ready to play. I saw Lys and tried to get her attention, but she wouldn’t look over at me.
“I want a nice,” the flying instructor looked over at Sirius,” clean game. Now, get ready!”
The whistle blew and off they went. I looked at the players who were starting, their backups leaving to go await an injury.
“Holy shit!” I screamed. There was Lys, quaffle in hand, zooming past our stand towards the Ravenclaw keeper. My eyes followed her as she scored ten points for our house. I blinked rapidly for a few moments, taking in a wisp of cold air. Remus exhaled a laugh that sounded a bit hesitant.
I looked at him, unsure of whether or not I’d ever bothered to get to know him. Now wasn’t the time to overanalyze him, but I couldn’t help but observe how tentative his movements were, how careful he was. Was it simply his manner? Or had the overwhelming extraversion that both James and Sirius exuded canceled out any sociability Remus Lupin possessed.
“POTTER! GET YOUR BLOODY ARSE OVER TO THAT POST!” Remus hollered, making my last thought completely wrong. I stared at him, openmouthed for a moment or two, shocked and deaf. He smiled sheepishly at me, shrugging his shoulders.
Then I looked at James. He was taking the quaffle over to the Ravenclaw goals and swiping by all of the bludgers that the beaters were throwing him. I watched in both amazement and worry—a newfound worry for the person I swore to loath—as he continued on. Ravenclaws were trying to get him, I saw them reaching out and trying to knock him off the broom. He hit the quaffle towards the hoop, and we all held our breath.
I groaned and Haley hit me on the arm. “What?” I spat.
“Are you seriously getting into the game? I’ve never seen you even take slight interest in quidditch,” Her tone was skeptical and I couldn’t help but feel a stab of guilt. I couldn’t very well explain why I’d taken a liking to Potter if I couldn’t explain the dream hopping.
Suddenly, Potter was hovering in front of me. He waved, “Wotcher, Evans.”
“You started Lys,” I was shocked and annoyingly grateful.
He nodded, his dark brown hair blowing into his eyes. He was wearing his glasses, with some strange sticking charm that he and Black invented last term. He smirked, but in an innocent way, “You wanted me to. Besides, she’s more than proved that she deserved the chance.”
I followed his eyes to the scoreboard, where Gryffindor was leading over a hundred points. When I looked back to him, he was gone.
I felt a nudge in my side and looked to see Haley raising her eyebrow at me. I gestured like I had no clue what she was on about. She scoffed, “What’s with the friendly shit with Potter? I thought you hated him?”
“Things change,” I dismissed. She laughed and shook her head, obviously not subscribing to the bull shit I was selling. I turned my eyes toward the game, but didn’t really pay much attention. There was a loud pop as Sirius swung a bludger over to some chaser on the Ravenclaw team and it hit his hand. Sirius smirked and then had to act like an innocent little lamb when the professor cast him a disapproving glance.
“Tool,” Haley shook her head, eying Black.
“He’s not as bad as I thought,” I told her, watching as Ravenclaw scored. She looked at me like I was completely mental. “What?”
“I don’t even know you anymore,” She said in a funny tone.
The game ended, obviously with Gryffindor winning 230 to 150. As students began to stand up and shuffle down the long staircase back to the ground, I saw Potter flying towards us, his eyes searching the crowd. After much protest I finally dragged Haley back down to the railing and greeted James.
“Nice game,” I gave him a friendly smile, okay, perhaps not so friendly. I noticed that the more I realized that I liked him, the more I wanted him to like me. The more I wanted to replay certain events over, putting the present me into the past situation. James flashed a triumphant smile, wiping some dirt off of his robes.
“Thanks,” he laughed. Sirius hovered over, talking to Remus. Peter was standing a bit too close to the railing for my liking, but I neglected to say anything. “So, that’s a big crowd. It’ll probably take you girls at least an hour to get back down.”
“Oh,” Haley turned back. I, on the other hand, knew what he was playing at.
“Perhaps you could lend us assistance?” I asked, resisting the urge to bat my eyelashes at him. He shrugged in that way that says, ‘I could, but do I really want to?’. I looked over at Sirius and saw that he was laughing silently, shaking his head.
“You know what,” Haley said. “Sirius, would you please fly me down? Carefully, without freaking me out?”
I looked at her, amazed that she would resort to asking for help from Sirius.
“I would be oh so very pleased to oblige my lady,” Sirius flew over the railing, setting down and letting Haley climb aboard. I watched in numb amusement as they started to fly away.
“Wanker,” James muttered. He flew over the railing, and I climbed onto the broom like I had the other night, with a little less grace. This time sitting behind him, gripping his shoulders.
“I didn’t even know Sirius knew how to say oblige,” I joked as James flew me down. He chuckled and nodded. I moved him hands from his shoulders to his waist, trying not to be too much of a creeper about it, but excited nonetheless. Damn teenage hormones.
“Do you want to dream hop tonight?” He asked abruptly.
I replied, “sure.”
Wasn’t that romantic? Not.
When we finally reached the ground, the plush green grass looking extremely tempting, he didn’t touch down right away. He seemed to hover. I looked around, not seeing Haley or Sirius or anyone for that matter.
“Why aren’t you letting me off?” I asked with humor in my voice, but seriousness in my head. I hated flying, hated it with a passion, and I was afraid if he didn’t let my feet make contact with the ground within twelve seconds, I would faint.
“Oh,” he said, like he’d forgotten where he was or something.
“What’s wrong with you?” I asked as my trainers met the soft, yet firm ground. It started to rain, sprinkling little droplets of water everywhere. I wipe my forehead, my mind vaguely going to my curly hair, but I refrained from worrying.
James got off the broom, his quidditch robes looking very appealing. He had taken off the padding, leaving just the cloth, and I mentally swooned. Using his wand, he acquired all of the instruments and balls from the game, locking them into a trunk and sending it to the storage room under the stands. He said plainly, “Nothing. We had a good game.”
“Yeah,” I agreed. “You were amazing.”
He looked up, his hazel eyes meeting mine. He definitely seemed a little hormonal or something, not normal. “What time are you doing the dream thing?”
“Whenever,” I dismissed it. For a moment, I’d almost forgotten about that. I’d forgotten that I was abnormal and that there was a life outside of this. I felt completely normal, boy and girl normal. I amended, “Whenever you want.”
“All right. Well, I should change,” he smirked, although I wasn’t sure why. I waved my fingers and started to walk away, feeling the rain get heavier and heavier, imagining James running after me as I was almost out of his reach. I imagined him stroking my hair behind my cheek, straightening it or something, sweetly. And then he would smile, like he was so happy to be there, with me. Finally, after that sweet torment, his lips would crash onto mine in a mixture of tenderness and need.
But in real life, that doesn’t happen I suppose, because it didn’t. I continued walking, looking behind me more than once when I thought maybe I’d heard footsteps. I adjusted my scarf and breathed in deep the lovable smell of rain.
When I finally reached the castle, I was looking around for Haley. That little tart left me. I didn’t see her anywhere, but I did find Grigg trying to serenade some Hufflepuff with a musical rendition of “Have you ever been to the quidditch pitch?” I rolled my eyes. Of course that girl has been, there was a game today.
Dinner was delicious. I ate with Elsie, who oohed and awed about Peter like she always did. She recounted her favorite moments of the game—not the players, but rather what her almost lover had done. She sighed dreamily, “When I spilled the butterbeer I’d snuck in, he laughed at me.”
“He laughed at you?” I asked, surprised and outlandishly sympathetic. She giggled and nodded vigorously, making me want to cry almost. The poor kid.
Haley sat down in front of me, looking frightened. “Let me begin my four part apology by just telling you that you are a wonderful human being—“
“Save it, Hale,” I cut her off. “You completely deserted me.”
“Sirius said that you would want me just to leave you alone with Potter. And at first, I was like ‘are you mental?’ but then he explained that you two had been hanging out all the time lately, and I realized that I hadn’t actually heard you complain about the bloke in ages…” She trailed off, spooning food onto her plate.
I looked at her, saddened that somehow my best friend was estranged from me.
“Why,” she looked astonished suddenly. “The chicken is very dry tonight. Do you think it’s a statement for how—“
I tuned her out until dinner finished and I was sitting in our dorm. I ran a hand through my hair and decided to change. Putting on the most comfortable clothes I could find, I put my hair in a ponytail and looked in the mirror. I didn’t look glamorous in the least, but I was comfortable as fuck.
I walked down the stone stairs, this time with my slippers, and saw the crowded common room. Sirius was with James in the corner, by the window. I made my way over, steadily, hoping no one was already asleep. By the time I finally was within earshot of it, I heard James contribute to the conversation, “Nah, mate, I’m actually pretty tired.”
“Yeah, game was brutal,” Sirius nodded, looking out the window.
“Where’s Remus and Peter?” I asked when I reached them. James pointed to a chess set and I saw them in heated battle yet again. When I turned back, James was standing and right in front of me. Before I could talk, he grabbed my arm and pulled me to the side, where there weren’t any students.
“Lil, I don’t think that,” he swallowed. “I dunno that I can do it tonight anymore.”
“It’s okay,” I laughed. “You didn’t make a commitment or anything.”
“I just feel like I’m letting you down or something,” he shrugged. He ran a hand through his hair.
“Don’t worry about it,” I smiled. I walked up to my dorm and grabbed a book, returning with a blanket as well. If I was going to get any sleep tonight, which I needed rather desparately, I would not be able to sleep in the dorm.
I made Sirius and James move from the window seat, where I set up camp. I conjured a throw pillow for my back, and then placed the blanket over my legs, settling into the nook. I opened the cover of ‘Of Two Thoughts’, a magical romance novel that I’d picked up a while ago, but never bothered to read.
It wasn’t long before my vision began to fade, not from sleep though. This was a dream.
I was in a small room, and it was quiet. Peaceful. I looked around, spotting the dreamer as my pulse simultaneously sped up. “James?”
“What do you think of my new trick?” he smirked. I raised an eyebrow, not sure what he was on about.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“Nothing,” he shrugged, but he moved closer.
I looked around again, noticing several things at once. How the room was extremely comfortable despite having no furniture. How we were completely alone. How adorable he looked. How good I felt.
And then many things happened at once. James scooted closer, the light changed in the room, I took a short breath, and then we pounced at each other.
Yes, that is, by definition, a cliff hanger.Why is it there? Because Petey didn't feel like writing any more of this chapter. haha. Yeah, sad, but true. I hope you enjoyed this chapter!
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