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Chapter 1 : Prologue: Lily Luna Potter, Future Quidditch Star
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EDIT: Emma is an eejit and coding hates her, so she fixed it.
I'm not gonna lie. I'm really good at Quidditch. I'm pretty sure I'm the best in the entire year - probably the whole school! I'm so good that as soon as I finish Hogwarts, I'll get snapped up by a really famous team and then I'll win us the Quidditch world cup! The Holyhead Harpies are pretty good, but my mum was on the team so everyone would probably think I was only there because my mum was Ginny Weasley. And I, Lily Luna Potter, am far too good for some sort of pity acceptance. I've always supported Puddlemere United (Uncle Ron keeps trying to get me to support the Chudley Canons, but that's just silly - doesn't he know they haven't won anything in a bajillion jillion years?!), so I'll probably end up with them. We'll win every cup there is! My name will be legendary for years to come!
Yeah. I'm really good at Quidditch.
My brother doesn't seem to think so, though - I mean, just because he's on the Quidditch team already and I'm not because First Years hardly ever get on the Quidditch team (apart from Dad) and they only had one spot available (which was Keeper, and I'm no good at that) doesn't mean he has the right to brag. He's a Chaser, and you wouldn't believe how much he goes on about it. I mean, you'd think he was really good or something. But you know what? He's actually not that great. Not as good as me, anyway. That time when Albus threw an apple at his head, he dropped the Quaffle, and that time that Uncle Ron was guarding the goal posts, he didn't score. What sort of Chaser is that?
Anyway, so that's not really the point. James, I mean. Me being absolutely fantastically amazing at Quidditch is always a point. The point here, though (the other one) is that Saturday the fifteenth of March, 2020, started really badly. Someone had used up all the hot water (which I had previously thought impossible, though I suppose after only a few months of being at Hogwarts I really wasn't in a position to know that much), and I had to have a freezing cold shower. That's all fine and dandy in the middle of July, you know, but not in March. Not Scottish Marches.
We won't go into the fact that I got shampoo in my mouth and slipped and fell on my bum as I was walking out of the bathroom. That's just embarrassing.
And then, would you believe it, I got jam on my shirt at breakfast. It wasn't my fault - Beatrice thought it would be a good idea to shout 'Boo' really loudly in my ear, and what would you have done in the situation? The fact that my toast ended up stuck to my shirt, held there by copious amounts of strawberry jam, was not my fault. At all.
But after that, I figured it would go alright - it was Saturday, I didn't have that much homework (well, 'not much' being more like 'little enough that I could put it off until Sunday'), and I was planning on flying, even if I couldn't convince anyone to play a game of one-on-one Quidditch with me. Everyone else in my dorm had 'homework' and 'Gobstones Club'. Pfft, as if. They were just afraid of losing to me!
So I walked to the Quidditch Pitch alone, clutching Albus's broom because he had been kind enough to lend it to me and the school brooms are absolutely tragic. A flubberworm with flubrot could go faster than them - and let me tell you, sick flubberworms can't go very fast.
After a few laps around the pitch, getting my hair suitably messy (Aunt Audrey would kill me) and warming me up properly, I tried out the moves I'd been practising so I could get into the Quidditch team next year - I nearly had some of them down, too! Up, swerve, dive, duck the invisible bludger and Lily Luna Potter scores the winning goal, as the Snitch is caught seconds later and Gryffindor wins!
It was as I was zooming around the pitch in a victory lap for my imaginary game-win that things really got worse. I mean, I know what you're thinking - things couldn't get worse. But believe me, they did. First, other people came onto the pitch.
That wouldn't have been a problem usually (I don't have problems with performing in front of other people), but it was†Elias. If you don't know who Elias Olsen is, then I'm pretty sure you've been living in a cave. Or you're really, really, really unobservant. Either way, Elias is an absolute git of a Ravenclaw. Okay, so I'd only†heard†that, but why would people lie? He was obviously someone to get as far away from as possible, which is what I had been doing since September 2nd. And now he was here, on the Quidditch Pitch, getting a broom out of the broom shed and joining me in the sky.
Merlin help me.
He flew over, and I was too horrified to fly away from him - besides, I'd been taught good manners at some point...I think. James had obviously been absent for that lesson, but Mum and Dad had done a good job with me. When he was right next to me he stopped, pushed his brown hair back from his forehead (if his fringe was that long, why didn't he cut it?) and opened his mouth to talk to me.†Oh, Merlin, Morgana and...that other person, please, make him fly away,†I pleaded in my head, but I suspected it would only work if I could remember the right name - Circle wasn't right...
Circe! Circe, yes, please help--
"Do you like playing by yourself, or are you just a loner?"
I took great offence at that, as you can imagine. I mean, who was he to call†me, Lily Potter, a loner? Git. "I happen to quite like playing by myself! I'm Lily Potter," I added, "so I'm obviously not a loner."
He raised his eyebrows as if he didn't believe me, and I tried my best unlonerish expression. I had to look unlonerish in front of Elias Olsen, otherwise I would never live it down. And Puddlemere United doesn't pick rumoured loners, do they? I couldn't let Elias Olsen ruin my chances of a professional Quidditch career.
"Would you like an opponent?" he asked, and I really had no choice but to accept his offer. I'd really look like a loner if I told him to go away, wouldn't I?
"Okay," I replied, but I made sure not to look too enthusiastic about it. He started off with a ball he'd taken from the broom shed, and I hovered down my end of the Pitch, wondering if he was any good. He hadn't gotten on to the Ravenclaw team (I didn't think, anyway), but that didn't mean much. †They didn't have many positions open this year either, so maybe he just wasn't the Beater type.
And then all of a sudden he'd zoomed past me. What was this? I was the best Quidditch player ever! I raced after him, managing to swoop in front of the goal posts to catch the Quaffle. It was close, but I had won that round. Take that! I refrained from sticking my tongue out at him (it's not a very nice thing to do...and besides, I didn't want him to have fuel to tease me with later) and concentrated on getting to the other side of the pitch, musing as I did so that playing two-on-two Quidditch was a good sight easier.
I was this close - no, really I was†this close†- to scoring the first goal when he blocked the Quaffle, whacking it away from the right-hand hoop with the tail of his broom. Diving to get it, I was concentrating so much on the bright red ball that when Olsen shoved me sideways, it threw me completely off balance and he got the Quaffle while I was recovering. Wasn't that against the--well, no. I couldn't hide behind a set of rules! I was Lily Potter!
I tried to catch up, even though he was already halfway down the pitch, calling as I did so, "Oi! Olsen! You're not winning this, just so you know," but even as I said it, he scored. So he was winning. And it was†so†not cool.
"Actually, I'm pretty sure that means I am," he called back, even as he hovered above me to let me get the falling Quaffle. What was this? Surely he should be racing right alongside me? He was obviously getting cocky.
I took advantage of his over-confidence, grabbing the Quaffle before it had gone halfway down the goal hoops and ducking as he followed me, swerving just like I had been doing in the imaginary game I had played before he came along. He came up in front of me, faster because he'd been going in a straight line and waited in front of the hoops. I threw it as hard as I could, and it just brushed the end of his broom but I made it! Not that there was a chance of me not making it, or anything. It was pretty obvious I was going to get it in.
Letting out a cheer, I stuck my tongue out at him as I sped past him, giving him a taste of his own medicine as I shoved him as hard as I could. The Quaffle was mine once more, but he was ready this time. He went straight for me, and I'm not a chicken, but I'm not about to stand my ground when there's someone aiming straight for my heart with the front end of a Nimbus. I had to roll out of the way, dropping the Quaffle, and I swore (it was a word I'd learnt from Uncle Ron, but don't tell Mum that) as he caught it deftly in his left hand and turned around to face me when he wasn't even halfway down the pitch.
"Who's losing now, Potter?"
He was such a git. I know everyone already knew that, but he really was a complete and utter†git. "You will be soon!" I shouted, regaining my balance enough to catch up to him, though he'd already continued down to his end.
As the ball sailed through the middle hoop, he flashed me a grin. Elias Olsen was beating me in a game of Quidditch, and he knew it. It simply couldn't get worse now that I was losing a game to Elias Olsen, the biggest git in Hogwarts. Well, okay, he was only a Second Year so technically there could be a bigger git in the higher years, but whatever. When I finally caught up to him (I'm sure there was some sort of illegal charm on his broom that was helping him - there was no other explanation for him beating me. He wasn't better than me or anything), he decided to go underneath me and push me off my broom.
And, amazing at Quidditch though I am, I usually can't see that coming. And so I fell off my broom. I mean, yeah, we weren't actually that high up because he hadn't gone higher after catching the Quaffle, and it's not like I could have expected that - he had the Quaffle! I was supposed to be doing that to him, if anything.
But it hurt when I hit the ground.
I would have scrambled back up, jumped on my broom and beaten him so badly at Quidditch that he wouldn't know what hit him, but at this point I was beginning to think that all those illegal charms and blatant disregard for the rules meant that he would beat me if I tried that. And then that would just be even more embarrassing.
The other reason was that I was pretty winded from falling off my broom. But, you know, I wouldn't admit that if Olsen asked.
"I scored, by the way," he said as he came back to hover above me. I'd seen him do it. Git. "Are you alright?"
"Perfectly fine," I replied, though I didn't get up off my back. Note to self: don't fall off a broom again.
"You don't look like it," he said after a minute, though he made no move to help me at all. Not that I'd want him to help me, or anything...but never mind.
"Yeah, well - your face!" I was getting a little desperate.
I finally moved, wiggling my toes and my fingers to make sure I still had them all, then discovering that I did have lungs after all, and they did actually bring in oxygen. Sitting up, I look around for my broom, which had fallen about ten feet away from where I was. Olsen still hovered above me, smiling. Why the heck was he smiling?
"I think we should call the game over," he said as I stood, wincing, and slowly walked over to my broom. Okay, so maybe I'd fallen a little harder than I thought. That didn't mean I wasn't the best Quidditch player ever!
"No!" If we called the game over, he would win. I'm pretty sure he knew it, and he'd planned everything. That was just ridiculous.
"Really, I think we should - you look like that fall hurt."
"No it didn't," I said stubbornly, completely ignoring the fact that he could see I was limping slightly. "You're just afraid that I'll beat you!"
"I'm winning," he pointed out, and I rolled my eyes.
"Exactly! If we stop now, your victory's in the bag. But if we keep going, then I'll probably win."
He didn't look convinced. Really, I have no idea why - surely he'd heard by now that I was the best Quidditch player ever? It was just that he was breaking the rules and being a git and that did hinder my awesomeness just a tiny bit.
"Okay. If you can make an entire lap around the pitch without wincing, cringing or otherwise showing that you're in pain, then we'll continue," he offered, and I couldn't help but think there was some sort of catch to that. I mean, I wasn't even that hurt - as soon as I stopping limping, and that bruise on my ribs stopped hurting every time I took in a breath...
"I didn't think so," he said, having flown down to the ground and walked towards me, studying my crestfallen expression.
"It was just a game, after all. Perhaps if you practise harder you won't lose so badly next time."
"If you followed the rules, I would've won!" I protested.
"Ah, but I didn't break any rules. Where does it say that I'm not allowed to shove you? It's your fault you fell off your broom. Besides, it's one-on-one Quidditch - I don't think there are any actual rules."
I could very well see why all the rumours about him were true by now - how anyone but his mother could stand him, I had no idea.
"No!" I wasn't backing down. I was the best Quidditch player the world had ever seen!
"Okay, well, I'll do you a deal," he said slowly, and I frowned. Deals weren't good. "We race back to the castle, and whoever wins that wins the Quidditch match."
As far as deals went, it wasn't that bad - I mean, I had longer legs than he did. (He was technically taller than me, but that's just because he had a really long...neck, or something.) And so obviously, me being the best Quidditch player in Hogwarts and being taller than him, I was going to win.
He smirked (I probably should have realised that was a bad sign) and turned towards the castle, waiting for me to pick up my broom and join him. Feet lined up (though as I looked I did notice he was left-handed, or footed), he said, "Ready, set, go!"
And then he started running.
I was running too, obviously, but I was sort of limping still and I don't even know what caused that bruise on my chest but Merlin, he could run. Not that i'm admiring him or anything. That's ridiculous. And I was winning for the first bit, I swear! But then I wasn't, and he was way ahead of me, and then he touched the doors of the castle and I lost.
He was smiling when I got there (not too long after he did, I'll have you know), and I glared back. Git! He knew I was limping!
"Well, Potter, it does look like I won fair and square, doesn't it?"
"I was hurt!" I protested, trying not to remember that it was a horribly weak argument.
"But you agreed, so I still win." His smile was more of a smirk as he said it, and he looked far too proud of himself.
I glared some more, muttering, "Fine," and pushing past him as I opened the door, limping towards the Hospital Wing so James wouldn't tease me about doing something stupid.
I'd show Elias Olsen one day - I'd become Puddlemere United's best Chaser, and he'd be stuck in some desk job somewhere, probably selling tickets to the games I would win. Oh, yes.† And then who would be the better Quidditch player then?
Me, of course.
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