Chapter 7 : Rush
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A/N : This chapter is dedicated to RoseParsons and naflower05 and to MaraudersForever101 for being such wonderful reviewers and favouriters ;)
You guys are the best :) xxx
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No matter how much I asked her to leave, Nora stubbornly stood there with me in the pouring rain not wanting to leave me behind. She was always the more mature one, always the one who sacrificed. If we were truly sisters, (I’ve forgotten how many times I had wished it) she’d be the older one. She was always watching over me and taking care of me.
After what seemed like eternity the rain stopped and we walked back to the castle, cold and drenched to the bone. Everyone was at dinner so the warm common room was empty. I looked at the spot where Sirius and I had been sitting just hours ago and it made my eyes sting again so I followed Nora up the staircase without a second glance.
A long hot shower made me feel generally better and I changed into a long sleeved t-shirt and a pair of pale blue pyjama pants. Nora sat on her bed next to mine. Her damp hair hung loose around her face and her favourite purple towel was draped around her shoulders as she sorted her new CDs. A tray of chicken drumsticks and sandwiches sat next to her.
“I called one of the house elves while you were in the shower” she explained.
I sat on my bed and dried my hair. Through the course of the sandwiches we had a session of Sirius-bashing. We both knew it was cheap but hey, it made me feel better and that’s all that mattered. Tired from the long day, we both went to sleep early before the rest of the girls arrived.
Over the course of my dreamless sleep my heart settled back into its regular beat. I let go of the past evening’s events and the hurt that I had felt. The next morning for once, I was up before Lily.
It was Sunday. Perfect. I had no choice but to run into the boys sooner or later.
Unless I camped in the library all day...
I shook my head vigorously.
No! No avoiding, no hiding, no pretention! Face it and get it over with.
Nora and Lily were up by the time I had dressed and was done brushing my hair which was frizzy thanks to the rain last night. I charmed it straight and pulled it back into the usual pony tail.
When I headed down to the common room I found James sitting there in his red crew shirt and jeans. He was trying out his new gloves from Quidditch Supplies.
“Hey James” I waved as I headed toward the Portrait hole thinking of picking out a book from the Library and maybe speding some time out in the grounds. I wasn’t hiding from him but I didn’t have to make sure to run into him.
“Capp, where are you going?” James asked me as I pushed the portrait open.
He stared at me as if I was missing something.
“What?” I stared back.
“Umm... Quidditch practice in half an hour? Hello?”
“Oh damn! I forgot!” I hit my forehead with the heel of my hand.
Well, to be honest 'Face it and get it over with' wasn’t a prospect I was looking forward to right now.
Half an hour later we were down at the Quidditch Pitch. The sky was lighter having shed all the rain the previous day and patches of sun had found the courage to peak thorough the thick clouds.
James was captain this year, devoid of surprises. James was born to be a leader, it was second nature to him and we all agreed the team was best served with him as captain.
As we gathered around him, he gave us his first pep talk which consisted mainly of how we were going to crush the Slytherins and win the cup! All about Gryffindor spirit.
We had a few new members this year. A new Chaser, a fourth year blonde haired doe-eyed girl named Abby Morrison, a new Beater, Harvey Parker who happened to be a sixth year, about a head shorter than our previous beater but much more muscular. And also a new Seeker named April Stormer who happened to be a third year. Tall for her age but with her slight build and quick grasp of flying haphazardly she had the perfect makings for a seeker.
Each of them had had a week or more of individual training and were now ready to train with the rest of the team.
The remaining members were the left-overs of our old team: James, Captain and Chaser, Andrew Harrier our Keeper, me, James' right hand guard and of course the infamous Sirius Black.
I stood at the end of the pitch with my broom while James instructed the new comers about the game plan.
Sirius walked over to me slowly shouldering his beaters bat and stood beside me. I remained silent watching James in the distance demonstrate flying strategies with his hands.
“Hey Capp, do you think that Harvey bloke can handle a bludger to the gut?”
Sirius pointed at the new beater with his chin.
I looked over at the boy. He was built but not as big as James or Sirius and not nealy as tall.
“Hope we win the coming match, or James will go berserk!”
He was right. James always took it personally when we didn’t do well in a match. Winning wasn’t enough for James, he had to have scoring lead.
It surprised me that I could stand next to Sirius and listen to his casual conversation without feeling angry or tortured. I supposed it was Quidditch. I never thought I would, but I loved flying. It gave me a rush I had never felt before in my life and it left all my worries and troubles on the ground below.
When James ordered the team to rise I mounted my Canon 260. It was a beautiful broom. A rich mahogany handle with gleaming polish and gently tapering tail twigs. Very fast.
James preferred the new Nimbus 1000 and Sirius liked the more flashy and strong Razorbeam but to me riding the fast and swift Canon was the best feeling.
I gripped the handle tightly and kicked off from the grounds. The wind blew into my face welcoming me to my alternate reality as I rose thirty... forty feet into the air.
The cool breeze rushed through my hair making it fly behind me.
I felt exhilarated. I charged my broom forward and it quickly picked up speed. It too felt my need for the rush and the speed gathered with a fresh surge of excitement within me.
Diving back toward the pitch the strong winds made my robes flutter beside me. I raced toward the goal posts whizzing past the newbies Morrison and Stormer, took a turn around the posts and zigzagged through the House banners on the stands thrashing against the wind forcing them into a multicoloured blur.
I felt free and so blissfully happy from the adrenaline rush already pumping through my veins.
As I took the turn around a Ravenclaw banner I saw a shadow behind me. I swerved right while I pushed forward and looked over my shoulder to see Sirius racing after me.
Ha! I urged the broom forward again and with another forceful lurch it gathered more speed and left the sorry beater behind.
James’ whistle blasted and I slowed my broom coming to a halt in midair. Sirius slowed to a stop beside me and I saw he was grinning.
Quidditch was something that we had in common. Something both of us got a crazy high out of.
I grinned back. “Looser!”
“Ha ha! Don’t be so cocky”
I stuck my tongue out at him.
“Alright! Enough showing off you two, come on we need to practice” James called.
Through the next hour we helped to train the newcomers into shape as a team. James gave each of them tips on how to improve their flying and technique.
James and I were a good team. As Chasers we could read each other very well and knew what move the other was about to make.
Conner Davis had been our third chaser before, he had joined the team when James was in first year so obviously mixed in well with the team now it was upon us to teach Morrison who had taken the former 7th year’s place how to read our movements and play accordingly.
James and I had her fly between us and catch the Quaffle as it changed hands. She managed a few times but not as much as we would have liked. James didn’t say much probably because he feared he’d intimidate the girl, so for her benefit I stepped in to encourage her.
Sirius spent half an hour with Harvey doing what you and I would have seen as playing tennis with baseball bats, to train the new beater on how to focus attack on the bludgers.
It wasn’t as easy as it looked.
Our biggest concern however was Stormer. Though she was the best flyer out of those who showed up for tryouts she still wasn’t confidant enough on diving and wasn’t as quick as need be. We were especially concerned since they had Regulus Black as the Slytherin team Seeker who was both agile and very fast.
We had a lot of new members on our team and James trained us hard so we could get familiar with each other. It’s true what he said, it didn’t matter how good we trained outside if we don’t know our team, their technique and how to cooperate with each other.
Although it was tough work everyone stepped up to put in their best effort and we had a productive training day. James was at least satisfied.
When he called us all to the ground I was almost sad to leave the pitch. I had had a great start to the day and the awkward moment I feared with Sirius had passed hardly noticed.
I didn’t use the shower rooms unless I absolutely had to so I headed back to the castle and the girls followed behind me.
Tired from all the training, I spent the rest of the day in the common room reading and finishing up the leftover homework.
Lily had left most of her homework till the last minute which was very unlike her. She complained that it was because of the mounting prefect duties and hall patrols.
Nora and I finished our essays in front of the fire by late evening. Sirius joined us shortly and borrowed my Potions essay to add anything he was missing to his own. Nora looked at me for a reaction but I truthfully had none so I smiled at her letting her know I was ok and resumed my work.
Once I finished the Herbology essay I’d kept on hold I stuffed everything back into my bag and headed up the stairs to the dormitory.
It was raining again outside. The water splattered the windows softly as I listened.
Nora had a tutoring session with a third year for Ancient Runes and so she picked up her books and said she’ll see me at dinner and left for the library.
After a while I got bored so I decided to go for a walk. Believe it or not I ended up on the grounds again walking in the drizzling rain. I stepped though the soft wet grass along the grounds absent-mindedly toward the pitch.
The rain fell in soft sheets around me.
The cold water seeped into my hair and trickled down my spine making me shiver. My wet hair hung limp around my shoulders. Rain drops latched onto my eyelashes blurring the world around me. I held the collar of my shirt and pulled it up, covering my neck.
The twilight arrived enveloping the sky with darkening violet clouds. Soon the night was upon the grounds and yet I paced the wet grass looking down at my feet wondering why my mind had led me here.
Suddenly I collided with something hard and I was about to fall back when something strong grasped my arms and helped me regain my balance.
I looked up to see what it was I had collided into.
“Hi again” A soft voice said.
Something about those green eyes that I couldn’t look away from made me smile. I couldn’t help it.
“Hey” I replied looking down embarrassed at having walked right into him.
“Lemme guess, you’re doing a weather report?” he asked me with a mocking smile.
“Something like that” I smiled wider.
The lamps came on around the grounds and I saw him more clearly.
Jason’s dark brown hair was wet and fell in across his bright green eyes.
His blue robes were splattered in mud and drenched in the rain. The wet robes clung to well-built arms and shoulders. I looked up again into his eyes and found he was still looking into mine.
“What?” he asked of my analysing eyes.
“Nothing” I said quietly, blushing slightly under his gaze. “I didn’t know you played Quidditch”
“You wouldn’t, I just joined the team” he replied.
His team mates passed us on their way to the showers. Some of them threw furtive glances at us.
“You coming Jason?” one of them called barely suppressing his snicker.
“In a minute” he said still looking at me. I suddenly became aware that my wet clothes were sticking to my body and tied to inconspicuously pull the end of my shirt down.
“So, if you want an inside scoop for your report I can tell you we have a high chance of muddy puddles tomorrow!” he said leaning forward.
I chuckled softly. “You’re funny”
We walked quietly side by side across the grounds back to the castle. When we reached the Entrance Hall however I sneezed clapping my hands over my nose.
“Oh dear” he said turning to look at me “how long were you out there in the rain?”
“A while” I admitted with a sheepish grin.
He smiled. “Let’s get you to the hospital wing for a Pepper Up Potion.”
“Oh no it’s ok, I can go by myself”
You idiot! Shut up, he’s coming with you!
“I’m sure you can, but all the same” he led me up the marble staircase toward the Hospital Wing. I smiled to myself unnoticed by him.
We sat beside each other on a white clothed bed, talking for a long time while we tried to swallow small sips of steaming Pepper up Potion. Each gulp burned my throat and warmed me up instantly.
Madam Pomfrey fussed around us clucking her tongue at our soaked state. She had our hair dried magically and gave each of us a hot water bottle as she brought us a plate of ham sandwiches since we were too late for dinner. For the second night in a row I snacked on the sandwiches.
He picked up the last one and offered it to me. I smiled and took it tearing it in half and handing him the bigger piece.
I melted a little when he reached for my other hand and took the smaller one. Those eyes missed nothing.
Once we were done with our mugs of potion, which admittedly made me feel a lot more warm and better in general we decided to head back to our dormitories. Jason being the gentlemen, whether truly so in nature or to make a good impression I don’t know, walked me to Gryffindor Tower.
“So what position do you play?” I said as we were walking along the corridor to the Fat lady’s Portrait.
“Chaser” he said with another small smirk playing on his lips. If I read it well I could tell he knew I was a Chaser too.
“Guess we’ll see a lot of each other then” I smiled. He turned to look at me and I blushed again.
I had the feeling I couldn’t look at him without doing so.
“I guess so, Goodnight Capri” his smile was gorgeous and I couldn’t help but feel warm inside.
“Goodnight Jason” I said politely and watched him head off to the Ravenclaw common room.
I sighed, recited the password (Gillyweed) and walked in through the portrait hole. The common room was deserted except for a few seventh years, all busy with their homework.
I headed up the stairs realising how late it was to get some much needed sleep. The dormitory was dark and all the girls were asleep in their beds.
I pulled off my clothes which I had dried magically and slipped into a pair of pyjama pants and a t shirt from my trunk and collapsed onto my bed too tired for anything else.
I closed my eyes. Jason’s winning charm and gorgeous smile swam around in my head and I smiled into my pillow.
The lamps lit up in the dormitory and the darkness behind my eyelids vanished. My eyes snapped open!
Four girls sat around my bed in their pyjamas, all eyes on me.
I propped myself up on my elbows looking at their curious faces “What?!”
“We heard all about it!” said Lily.
“You did?” I questioned confused.
“Oh yeah, you went out alone and came back with a date!” Emma exclaimed.
“Well!??” All four of them pressed for my lack of response.
“He wasn’t a date!” I said sitting up on my bed but I gave myself away as the familiar blush returned “we just hung out” I shrugged.
Emma sat cross-legged at the end of my bed while Lily seated herself on my carpet with her elbows on my bed, her hands cupping her face.
Nora and Kate were on their bellies on the bed next to mine. Each pair of curious eyes were on my face expectant grins on their faces.
“Ok! Details!” Emma said now that they were settled.
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