Chapter 2 : Casey At the Bat
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"THE OUTLOOK WASN'T BRILLIANT FOR THE MUDVILLE NINE THAT DAY." She shouted loudly reciting the poem I'd told her when we first met. She said she loved poetry and I said I loved baseball. We found a medium. "THE SCORE STOOD FOUR TO TWO WITH BUT ONE INNING MORE TO PLAY! THEN WHEN COONEY DIED AT FIRST AND BARROWS DID THE SAME A SICKLY SILENCE FELL OVER THE PATRONS OF THE GAME!" We waited for the last game to echo, and for the only sounds to be the sound of our united breathing and heart beats.
"I can't believe you still know that poem." I told her. Breathing heavy as she wound up manually. I touched my hands to my blue beanie and pretended I was a major league player trying to make my hands stickier for the bat. I touched it against the home made home plate and pointed it out at the sky.
"I can't believe the Sirius Black asked you out." She said affronted. She didn't like his personality, but boy oh boy did she like his body. I shrugged as I stayed ready for the pitch that didn't come.
"Are you sure you don't know what you did?" She asked, she loved having a boyfriend. Rowina, as lovely and brilliant as she was had her shallow moments.
"Rowe, we've been over this. I didn't do anything. He just messed my life up that day, that's all." I sighed. She nodded.
"But are you sure?" I couldn't help it, I was exhasperated.
"Can you toss me a real one?" I asked changing the subject as nicely as I could. I wanted to hear the crack, to feel my arms shudder. She nodded and transfigured the ball of snow to a real baseball. I saw her finger the red stitching. I've taught her to pitch reasonably well. She wound up and I imagined myself standing on the diamond near my house with my brothers covering the bases. It was sunny instead of cloudy and snowing. I looked at my breath and felt my red arms shudder with excitement. I felt the crack before I heard it, gritting my teeth I swung as hard as I could feeling my abdomen tensing with my arms flexing. I could feel my shirt ride a little higher. But I didn't bother with that as I watched the ball sail unabridged through the center hoop in front of me. I leaned on my bat as I put it down on the snow. I felt the cold and turned for my jacket. Instead I got a stunned James Potter standing there with his robes on like they were ready for a game. Sirius Black stood behind him, Remus Lupin was at home for the holidays. Great. I was suddenly conscious of my shirt and I pulled it down as far as it would go while reaching for my jacket.
"You've got quite an arm there McGuire. Ever think of joining my team?" James asked still trying to see where the ball had landed. It wasn't in the stadium.
"She will absolutely not be joining the GRYFFINDOR quidditch team because she is a RAVENCLAW." Rowie shouted from her spot. I openly laughed.
"Sorry about her being rude. But I don't want to play quidditch, I don't like flying." I smiled and he shook his head.
"I feel kind of dumb for forgetting you're not in my house." He said rubbing his hair. James was modest, it was a refreshing thing to see.
I took in a few breaths ignoring Sirius's presence. "Don't worry about it," I smiled at them, I put my hands in my pockets. "So what are you guys doing out here?" I asked for the first time referencing BOTH of them. Sirius took his shot to answer.
"I'm helping James with some skills that he thinks he needs to work on, which is absolute rubbish." He said patting James on the back. "Nobody's better at my mate when it comes to..anything." He said giving James a nuggie just after he finished. They laughed about it.
"That's nice." I muttered and in a few moments Rowina was close to me.
"Hey kid, let's leave the Mudville Nine for tonight and head back in Rowina said linking her arms in mine and I nodded giving them a smile and wave good-bye. We turned our backs and for the next couple of seconds as we walked away trying not to look back, they were whisper fighting. James sighed defeated and I heard him shout.
"Hey Ladies, where you going so late." Well it's three in the afternoon. That's pathetic. But I didn't say that because it was rude.I heard them rush up behind us.
"Probably the library." I answered honestly. I didn't particularly mind them following us but it wasn't something I enjoyed either.
"The Library. God Sirius." He whispered into Sirius' ear. I heard it just the same.
"You two really don't need to come. Trust me, it'll be more dangerous with you two coming along." Rowina said annoyed that they were following us and that James was unhappy about it.
"What are you talking about more dangerous?" James replied affronted to her.
"For as many people that love you, there are just as many who don't. The people who don't love you, are generally neutral towards us." She said trying to speed up. For all intensive purposes, Rowie was correct. We weren't on the Slytherin hit list, I was nice to everybody. I even had friends there, people who wouldn't mind sitting with me during classes. It would change very quickly if the world knew the Marauders thought we were best friends forever. I tried to match her pace, however I wasn't keen on simply kicking them out.
"Well, you shouldn't be hanging out with people that hate us." Sirius said lengthening his own strides. I looked to him for the first time, slightly enraged. Of course I kept as calm as possible when I said.
"We'll be with people we chose to be with."
"Just because people don't like you two, doesn't mean they're bad people. Maybe it's your fault." Rowina nearly shouted. She wasn't a fan of them. "Casey, let us," She moved her fingers between just the two of us as she spoke "go study. We have a lot of work to do." I nodded because she was angry and she could turn on me pretty quickly when I acted like a "goody, goody". She stormed off and I followed like I usually do.
"Hey Casey, I have to go to that detention." Rowina whispered. I'd fallen asleep on one of the desks in the common room. I nodded not registering what she had said. Her hand patted my back like a mother to her child. It was warm from clutching her quill for hours. Then I realized, she had chose to serve her detention over break so that she didn't have to miss weekends when school started up.
"Hey Rowe. I'll walk you there." I sprung up trying to catch her as she walked out the door. But I couldn't find her, and to enter our common room you have to answer a really annoying, hard question, and I generally get them wrong. It's stupid to be a house that you can't even get into. I thought mildly and started walking around. The sun hadn't set yet. I was a little chilly, I was still in my old sweat shirt and my jeans. I didn't know which hallway I was in right now. I knew I was near Gryffindor tower though. One of my friends had taken me with her up here once. I knew the portrait was The Fat Lady, and that all you had to do was remember a freaking word to get in. I didn't quite know where I should go, so I decided that I would explore. It's not something I normally do, but it's something I like to do. I don't enjoy being lost and frustrated, especially in a school I've lived in for seven years.
I turned when I came to a one eyed witch statue and looked behind it, nope, no secret passageways that I can see. But then again, the wouldn't be very secret would they, and this was an ample place for a secret passageway. Let's think, who would have created it. Slytherin or Gryffindor obviously. Slytherin would need the secret, but Gryffindor would probably use it for trouble, or evacuation routes. Gryffindors are fond of passwords, and hiding things in the open. Slytherins like concealment. Their common entrance is just a wall. I've been in there with a friend of Rowina's. I decided to stand in front of it and read the bottom, admittedly I should have done that first. I bent down listening to my knees crack as I did so. But as soon as I bent down, it started to move. I screamed and stood up my wand out as fast as I could get it.
"Merlin Padfoot, you didn't check the map did you?" James shouted inside it. I stopped screaming.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TWO DOING INSIDE OF A STATUE?" I shouted. Then as quickly as the words left me, a hand covered my mouth and dragged me into another secret passage. For exploratory purposes, I was doing alright. For karmic purposes? It's like I was a fifty year old murdering rapist. I swear, for all the good I've done, none of it's coming back my way. I heard quick footsteps and I knew James was running past this passage to another one because there wasn't much room for three in here. One's a lonely number, two's company, three is a party they couldn't afford to have at the moment.
His hand was still around my mouth, which was good because I would probably be shouting right now. I should have stayed in the common room.Then, I became all too aware of the fact that he was leaning me up against a stone wall, his left arm keeping him up stationed to the side of my head. His breath was hitting my cheek, and I could smell the chocolate that he'd eaten and the butterbeer. He'd been in Hogsmead obviously. His hand lifted off my mouth a few minutes later and he quietly shushed me. He mouthed "Filch." And I knew, I was screwed. I was stuck, looking quite promiscuous mind you, in a minuscule passageway with Sirius Black. Not only did every girl know about his reputation with tiny passageways, but the Professors did as well. I have a reputation you know. A very good one, one that is respectable. I’ve never been caught doing things I shouldn’t be because I simply just don’t do them. Well that’s gone to hell now. I tried to calm myself by closing my eyes and being as quiet as I could. Maybe he wouldn’t find us, would Sirius really risk us being found? He wouldn’t have risked going into a well known passage would he? Did he want us to get caught so it would look like I was just another notch in his bedpost? A whore with little or no scruples? DID HE WANT THAT FROM ME?
I tried to will this not to be happening right now. I would sacrifice my favorite pair of shoes to appease the karma spirit. I swear, Merlin, as soon as we get back to the common room unharmed my favorite blue suede pair of Mary Jane pumps will be scraps. I super promise. I pleaded while rubbing my fingers against the wall. It was a nervous habit I had, not rubbing my finger against a stone wall in a secret passageway with boys of course, but rubbing things in general. I rubbed my thumb against my forefinger when I didn’t have anything else, it generally just looked funny, but I would also put my fingers in my pocket so not many people noticed. Rowina always noticed because I would only put my fingers in my pockets when I was nervous, like about an hour ago when I put my hands in my jacket outside in front of these two. That’s how Rowe knew to come get me and bring me back to the castle. I say stupid things when I’m nervous. I’m only composed for so long. Right now, I was equivalent to a ticking time bomb. Words were hanging on my tongue, I could feel them itching their way out. I wanted to talk, to hear a voice tell me all was not lost. That we would not be caught. I was slightly unhinged.
I rubbed a little quicker and my slender fingers were close to scratching. I scrunched my face up in pure fear and then I felt the hand that had been on the wall, grab my hand to stop it from rubbing. I started with the other hand. I could feel his smirk, it burned into my skin, he grabbed my other hand and it seemed quite natural for him, it terrified me. I rubbed my ankle up and down my calf in a desperate attempt to relieve the stress. Now looking back, that was probably the worst thing I could’ve done. He grabbed both my legs in between his and I ceased all movement. I’m sure my heart stopped, my brain stopped and my body stopped. It all halted. I don’t think I was alive any longer. I decided to wait, and hold everything in as long as possible. I heard a ruffling of paper and I decided against looking down as his hands unclasped mine.Then, the ruffling started again and the paper was back in his pocket. I’d felt relief for a while because I was rubbing my fingers together. I felt him shake with a small bout of laughter. His hands clasped mine.
I’m glad you think this is funny Sirius Black. I’m glad you think the end of my distinguished reputation, the end of the world is funny. I’m so freaking pleased about this. You’re such a great guy. Then I heard footsteps shuffling outside and I knew this was it. I wormed my hands a small bit so I could return the clasp onto his hands. I didn’t care who this was anymore, I was so far beyond terrified. How many detentions would I earn for being alone in a corridor with this boy? Ten trillion? Good-bye life.The pressure returned on my hands and I buried my face into him. Maybe if my face couldn’t be seen then they wouldn’t know it was me. I could say that I had been stuck to him with a charm. It could work, couldn’t it?
“Padfoot?” James whispered hurriedly.
“Yeah?” He whispered over my head. My head sprang back, I narrowly avoided hitting the back wall.
“Coast’s clear.” Were his only words before I heard the footprints scuffle out as quietly as they’d come. We stood there for a second.
“Thanks.” I whispered before I detached myself from him and checked behind the curtain we’d entered. Nobody was there. I opened it and left, not once looking back.
A/N: Every wonderful thing in this story you recognize belongs to the immesurably talented J.K Rowling the author and creator of this fantastic universe. The rest is all me:D
Anway, my apologies for it being so late. I guess life happens right? Right? Okay, only for people with lives does it happen to. I don't really have a life, I'm a homebody. Anyway tell me you love it, or if you hate it. Criticism is an author's best friend. I'm not quite sure how I feel about this chapter, I liked the first one wayy better.
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