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Chapter 15 : The Fifteenth.
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Maia was in the bathroom with me. It was early in the morning and we were just heading down to the great hall to eat breakfast with the team before going to the changing rooms. The moment she had mentioned food I ran to the bathroom.
I was not ready for this. What if I couldn’t play at all but I was just the best alternative they could find? What if I fell off my broom in the middle of a match. That would be so much more embarrassing than it was last time. although this time there was less of a chance that Remus would catch my eye and hold me gaze.
I told the team that I was fine after falling off my broom. A two day nap was just the thing I needed to clear my head. Honestly, I was terrified. If I fell off this time, there was a good chance my wounds would open up thanks to my patchy spell work and I would have a pretty tough time explaining what happened. I had to tell myself repeatedly that I was not going to fall off my broom.
Once I had finished with my miniature nervous breakdown, Maia once again suggested we get something to eat. I would need something to keep me going during the match. I went for toast. Toast was simple. Not to mention the fact that I was not in the mood for greasy bacon or sausages. Toast would suit me fine.
We went out to the changing rooms followed by cheers from the Ravenclaw table. It felt good to have people supporting the team but it felt horrible at the same time to have people dependent upon a win. I didn’t want to disappoint.
I knew I was not the most important player on the team, most people would be cheering the chasers on. They had the fastest action pace. The next person to be cheered was the seeker, the big point earner. We were the ones who got booed by the opposing team. Their booing was our equivalent of cheers.
“Spencer?” I asked nervously.
“Is something wrong?” He asked, clearly worried by my tone.
“How nervous were you before your first match?”
I felt silly and childish asking him this. But I just needed the assurance that I was acting normally. Maia seemed completely fine and I did not want to be the nervous one.
“I was terrified.” He admitted with a smile. “Do you not remember me moaning at you for weeks before the match about how worried I was?”
“I remember now,” I told him, “and thanks, for making me feel better. I was worried I’d fall off my broom with an audience this time.”
“The last time you fell off was only because I hit a bludger at you. I’m too good a beater.” He laughed.
“Yeah, thanks for that. I don’t really fancy another stint in the hospital wing.”
“Good because everyone was tired of sitting next to you. Especially Remus, the poor guy had bags under his eyes.”
“Really? Remus was there? None of you had to sit next to me. I was completely fine.”
“Well we wanted to make sure you were fine. Remus was there practically twenty four hours a day.” He said, thankfully not registering the motives behind my question about Remus. My heart fluttered, I hadn’t known Remus had been sitting beside me and from the sounds of things he had been sitting beside me a lot.
“Thanks. Anyway we’d better get going, the match is away to start.”
The team walked out together onto the pitch. First Tom, then Maia, Charles and Amber after them were me and Spencer and then Derek. There was a huge cheer from the stands. Even the Hufflepuffs cheered. They were extremely good sports. The Slytherins jeered but that was to be expected. They jeered every team, even their own sometimes.
I was desperately searching the stands for Remus, hoping not to see him with Camilla. I hadn’t gotten over him yet and I wasn’t sure why. He was just a boy, I told myself this I tried to clear my head before the match. He is nothing more than a boy. Unfortunately he was with Camilla. God I hated her and I didn’t know why. Well I knew why I just couldn’t justify it in my head. Not that I cared about the justification.
I had however, accepted the fact that Camilla was in it for the long haul, even if her intentions were to annoy as many people as she could, she was not going to relinquish her grasp on Remus and he was unlikely to leave her. Apart from Peter, Remus had had the least amount of luck with girls. He never seemed to be interested in getting too close. Something which was unfortunately in a lot of my own thoughts.
When I was finally up in the air, I was facing the Hufflepuff beater, Cresswell. He was the smaller of the two beaters, a sixth year but still larger than me. I had to trust that my accuracy and speed would make up for my lack of strength. I was gripping on to my bat much too tightly when the starting whistle was blown. I had to calm down and trust I could do it.
I tailed the bludger, occasionally hitting it away from my teammates but not hitting it too hard. I wasn’t going to give it away to Cresswell anytime soon. I had one objective which I shared with Spencer. Take out the seeker, that way the only way to end the game would be on Ravenclaw terms. It sounds easy enough of course but the seeker was the fastest player on the team, rivaling the speed of the snitch.
“Ten points to Ravenclaw! Hawk scores!” The commentator was shouting even though his voice was being amplified by his wand which was pointed at his neck. I rejoiced in Maia’s score briefly before returning to the bludger.
I had spotted the Hufflepuff seeker and the bludger which I was tailing. Now all I had to do was figure out a flight path as well as estimate the force and direction necessary to hit him. Wether or not I had the strength to un-mount him was another thing.
I wished to transform. I loved the feeling of power I had when I was a leopard. I felt stronger, better. I knew it was something else but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. The darker cat was much more fun and appealing to me, to be in power. I always thought of the animal as something else, something that was not me.
I was just chasing the bludger at this point. I managed to catch Remus’ eye as I flew past the Gryffindor stands. Only briefly but still, I could sense he was watching me rather than the action of the match. I could also see that Camilla was trying to flaunt him. Even when I was playing. He didn’t seem to enjoy being flaunted. To be honest he barely looked as though he enjoyed her company.
I remember getting angry at her, at him at anyone who knew I liked Remus. I never gave away secrets yet I had offered that one willingly to anyone who had asked because I thought it would make it better somehow. Now I was stuck watching him with the skank who was probably only in it for his looks.
I was equally amazed to see that my anger in the match affected me in the same way it had during the fight. I could feel myself getting stronger, not by vast amount like I had as the animal but sure enough, I knew it. The muscles in my arms tightened as my darker side took over.
I swung the bat as hard as I could at the bludger, not bothering to aim properly. It sped off like a nimbus. It felt fantastic to release all the pent up anger. But I liked the feeling of being strong. I looked to see if the bludger had hit. It had. One of the Hufflepuff chasers was now tottering around on the pitch. I was proud of myself despite the booing which came from the Hufflepuff stands. It was a bloody good hit.
Sure I hadn’t got the seeker, but one of the chasers being down was definitely not a bad thing. I received a flying high five from Spencer as he congratulated me on the hit. I also heard Sirius laughing and cheering, he had never believed I had the strength for a beater. Well, I didn’t, the animal did but I was happy to have it control me. I looked around the stands to try and find Camilla so I could get angry again. I might as well use this to my advantage.
“Another ten points to Ravenclaw now that Jackson is out of the game.”
I smiled at the sound of another goal, I wished briefly that I could watch the action but realised how much more fun it was to be a part of it. I kept looking round the stands as I flew. I saw Snape cheering as he caught my eye. I had been talking to him more and he wasn’t as weird as the marauders said. They’re bullying of him was quite unfair I decided. Unfortunately this thought did not get me angry, more disappointed in my friends behavior. I needed a better emotion if I was going to unseat anyone else.
I saw Camilla which gave me a glimmer of hope that I could get my strength back. She didn’t have her arm draped round Remus, she wasn’t laughing or talking in her annoying voice. She was just sitting, reasonably quietly watching the match as Remus watched with his friends. Damn. I guess that was my fill of anger for the day. I even tried to anger myself with this thought but nothing happened. Maybe the anger wasn’t a part of the strength after all.
I continued for the rest of the match flying around aimlessly hitting the bludger away from our team every so often. I barely listened as Ravenclaw scored another two hoops and Hufflepuff scored one. It was fifty-ten and the match pace was slowing as the players got tired. I willed Derek to catch the snitch quickly, it was the only way we would win. I knew he could to it. Between you and me, the Hufflepuff seeker only got on the team because his dad used to play for the wasps. He wasn’t very good himself.
I heard an outburst from the crowd as I slammed my bat into the bludger again. Happy cheers this time. Not booing or sneers. I knew my bludger wasn’t going to hit anything. I just needed something, anything to do. I looked around and saw that Derek had caught the snitch. Little Derek who had been so nervous the past few months was pounding his fist in the air, the snitch inside.
I left the changing rooms last, waiting before heading up to Ravenclaw tower. I would go later, when it wasn’t as noisy. I just wanted to take my time and not rush my way there.
“Good game, Warrender.” I heard from behind me, “that was a fantastic hit.”
“Thanks Snape.” I said turning round to face him, I had no idea why he was even talking to me but I wasn’t going to be rude.
“You managed to use your anger well.”
What? Was it that obvious I was angry at the time? I would have to learn to control my facial expressions so people didn’t think I was a psycho. Maybe Snape was just observant. He walked away before I could even reply.
I buried all thoughts of animagi, of weirdo Snape saying weirdo things and most importantly of Remus. I should be able to allow myself one party in the common room without feeling disappointed that Remus wouldn’t be able to attend. Heck, I should be allowed to spend as much time as I want not thinking about him. Shame the only thing I ever do is think about him.
A/N: Quidditch :) And no, this isn't a world cup tribute although it is well timed to be ;) A nice little break for the action for you, it was fun to write. And yay, the queue is shorter, hopefully I'll get the chapters up quicker too! Thanks for reading :D Alex.
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