Chapter 19 : Guess It's Up To Us
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On another, slightly more irrelevant note, I was very excited to have just - when I say just, I mean in writing time, so the 23rd December 09 - to see a banner for an Oliver/OC where the OC was also Amanda Bynes! Obviously, there is probably no inspiration from this story, but still! Got me wondering how I would feel about seeing someone else do an Aliver... until I realised... I am so big headed I actually considered for a moment that people would consider it a ship outside of my work. Thank Godric my friend got me a mirror for Christmas, eh?
- Malcolm Gladwell
Well Hagrid’s back. It’s great, it’s fantastic -
“I didn’t even get a chance to say good bye,” I moaned.
“It’s not like you’ll never see Grubby-Plank again,” reassured Amy, but I knew she was just saying it. Hagrid was back and I was never going to get another safe Care of Magical Creatures lesson again. GRUBBBBYYYY!
Not a lot of people on my table seemed to agree with me. They were hugging him and greeting him warmly. Of course, I do like Hagrid - as a human being. Well, as a half human being. But as a Professor... I just have a lot of notes I wouldn’t mind handing over to him, that’s all I’ll say.
“Where’s Magda?” asked Bella. She had quickly grown tired of my ravings, and wanted more company to outweigh the pathetic. Well, fat chance so far, sunshine.
Amy looked at her wand. “Do you think I’ll need any of the defensive spells for Hagrid’s lesson?”
“Damn straight,” I replied with a tired expression.
Seamus passed by us, and all three of us looked down at our plate. He can be as grumpy as he wants, but he brought a lot of it on himself. I suppose he couldn’t exactly help his feelings for Amy, but kissing me and then telling Bella about it was bound to get him into trouble. If he didn’t see this coming, then I’m not sure if I want to be around someone with such a small IQ anyway.
“That’s the second time,” commented Amy.
“Third time’s the charm?” I suggested, but Bella snorted, so that was that question answered very quickly. I doubt, if Bella has her way, that we’ll ever speak with Seamus again. But I’m working on it. Or, at least, I will be working on it.
Magda rushed over to us and slumped down beside me, saying, “Did you hear about Fred, George and Harry -”
“Being banned from Quidditch?” I scowled. “Yeah, I did.”
“Well, now... there are tryouts! I want you to come with me.”
I had to blink for a second to fully take in what she was telling me. “Me?”
“You’re good on a broom,” stated Magda. “Besides, you’re off your ban on Oliver, so -”
“I don’t have a broom,” I pointed out. “I haven’t hurt a Slytherin yet.”
That’s right, I haven’t told them about that yet. “I haven’t got a broom,” I repeated.
Magda paused for a second, but obviously then decided that it was't worth asking. “You can borrow one. I’m sure Madam Hooch has loads.”
“Anne, you know you want to.”
“But I don’t know.”
“Yes, you do.”
“No, I don’t.”
“Harry’ll notice you.”
So there we were. Hooch had managed to fix us up with some brooms, but they were pretty much all third-rate and would lag after the others around me. Magda’s was just about the same level as mine, and she looked at it with quite a bit of loathing.
Angelina was surprised that I showed up. I suppose she didn’t suspect that I would be talented at anything. “What are you trying out for?”
“Seeker,” said Magda enthusiastically. They were going to eat her alive. Seriously. I will have to collect her entrails as it leads to a small opening in the Forbidden Forest, where I would finally discover her corpse.
“Beater,” I then said. I hadn’t really given it much thought, but I know that I hardly had the skill to catch a Snitch, but I certainly knew how to take a head injury, so I could deal with the Bludgers. Plus, I can be pretty angry, meaning I can do with actually being allowed to hit something. So Beater seemed like the best bet for me.
“Fine...” Angelina clearly wasn’t very impressed. You know, Pucey may be a snivelling git who deserves to be beaten until death, but he may just have a point on this one. Angelina was harbouring some kind of distain towards me, so maybe this was it. Maybe she was getting close to George and wanted me out of the picture. Well guess what, Angie? I’m still in the frame!
Until I break up with him... ah, shoot...
Rising up into the air, we began to spin around for a while until finally we were up by position. By this point, I had already seen more of them fly, and they were pretty damn awful. Magda was good, but compared to Ginny Weasley, she had nothing. Angelina’s nod pretty much confirmed this, and I’m surprised that she saw this tryout to the end.
Then it was the Beaters’ turn. We all gathered up and shot into the sky again. I pretty much fell down within the first minute I was up there. Magda let out a squeal, but Angelina hardly even seemed surprised. “Too bad, Walters.”
Anne. Pulling myself up, I said, “It’s OK, just a touch of nerves. I can get back up.”
She was about to protest, but I came up before it was possible. Gryffindors were dropping out of the sky like flies, making me surprised that Madam Hooch didn’t put a stop to it. So far, I seemed to be in the clear and within ten minutes, there were only three of us left: me, Andrew Kirke, and Jack Sloper. There wasn’t a certain amount of clumsiness with us all, but finally one was shooting towards me. Holding onto my bat, it almost slid from my hands because of the sweat, but I managed to hit it away -
Right towards Jack Sloper. He sunk down and me and Andrew sat on our brooms, looking at each other aghast. We couldn’t actually believe that I had injured someone on purpose. Well he probably just thought that I was very dangerous to be around - there are people who already do - but I was still surprised at myself. What was more shocking was the reaction from the people as we landed.
They were actually congratulating me. Magda said that it was an amazing shot, but I didn’t really see it. All I did was hurt someone. Then again, this did mean something: I was on the Quidditch team.
I thought about it a little longer…
I was on the Quidditch team…
I had only gotten myself on the damn Quidditch team with a shit broom. Oh, SCORE! Harry Potter, eat your heart out! I hear wedding bells. I had known the man I now call husband, Harry Potter, for several years, but it was only when I made the Quidditch team as Beater that I became close to him. It almost seems hard to believe that, had it not been for that try out, I could not be married to the dashing Harry Potter with several Potter children, with a healthy sex life and a high flying career.
It was so weird, because it didn’t feel like anything had changed. But it had. I was a Quidditch player now. I was a sportsman. Oh, wait till Bella hears this. I’m an athlete! Well, I just actually fly about and hit stuff, but it's an essential part of the Quidditch frontier. I am a Beater! The defender of team mates, the attacker of enemies. Dare oppose me and you will be struck! Long live the Beater! Long live the Beater!
“Told you you’d enjoy it,” teased Magda.
“Yeah, well... yeah.” I beamed as we walked back, striding along the corridors. The Beater within me was proud and demanded heads to turn in my direction. The Beater will not be invisible and hidden away in a corner. Nobody would dare ignore the Beater. The Beater always makes an entrance. I wonder when they’d announce it...
“Oh, Galleon.” Magda pulled out the fake Galleon in her pocket and held it in her palm. I really should remember to take that thing around with me. It’s just sitting on my bedside table. But I really don’t want to lose it. Then again, if I don’t take it around with me, then what would be the point in it? “Looks like we have a meeting tonight,” she continued.
“Yes, I can strut my stuff in front of Harry.”
“What have you done about your dreams, by the way?”
I had really been hoping that she would’ve forgotten about that. Then again, everyone was seeing it first hand. “Just the same stuff, really.”
“You know, if you told us what they were about, maybe we could help.”
“Yes, because you lot are the leading experts in this field.”
“You don’t need to be so negative, Anne. We want to help you.”
Well maybe I don’t want your help. “It’s fine, really. They’ve been getting better, if anything.”
“We know that’s not true. You’ve been thrashing around in your sleep, Anne. Muttering stuff; though it’s weird, we can’t always make it out. It’s like your speaking another language.”
“Just goes to show that it’s utter nonsense then, doesn’t it?”
“Then tell us what you’ve been seeing,” demanded Magda, “if it means so little to you.”
“Look, Magda, I just don’t see -”
Amy came running out, panting and sweating and positively mad. “ANNE WALTERS! GET YOUR ARSE OVER HERE!”
"You know!" I exclaimed. "I didn't think -"
"NOW!" Well someone's overly excited. “WE SAW -” spotting that we were close enough, Amy calmed down, “- we saw your owl - and he - he - had a package.”
My eyes became wide, and every part of me became numb for a second. “A package...?”
“Yes. But they took it.”
“TOOK IT!” I cried, feeling my own pulse in my forehead. “Who took it?”
“Who do you think?” she responded breathlessly. “The bastards. I think they’re inspecting it, or something.”
“But they can’t do that!” I exclaimed. “That’s my mail. I’m going to -”
“There’s not point, Anne. We - we - can’t beat them...”
“Amy, I’m really hating this cowardly rut you’re having.” This certainly took her by surprise. “We are going to get my letter. And we are going to get it now. Because we can beat them. Because I'm the bloody Beater!"
"I'll explain later," said Magda with a deep sigh. "Anne -"
“That’s my personal mail, I don’t see why -” I stopped in mid-sentence, completely overwhelmed with my new plan. “Drew...”
“Drew?” asked Amy in surprise.
“Drew will get it for me.”
I began to race forward, Magda and Amy soon following. Amy was trying to grip onto my arm, but I was one step ahead. “How’s Drew going to do it?”
"I'll explain later."
“Don’t worry about it,” I said as casually as possible to them. It’s brilliant. Drew can get past them easily. And they can’t give a detention to a squirrel - that would just about be the most preposterous thing I had ever heard of. This is brilliant. I am getting my letter back, and metaphorically slapping Umbridge in the face at the same time!
“But we have to go to DA,” interjected Magda.
“Fine.” With Drew working hard for me, I suppose I can wait a couple of hours to talk to him. We rushed along towards the Room of Requirement, when Amy then asked, “Am I going to see you over the Christmas holidays?”
“You better.” I then halted and wanted to strangle myself. I spent ages waiting for that letter, when I could've just waited a little longer and gone home to collect it. I'm not sure why it didn't cross my mind, but I'm going to blame Leslie for it.
Entering the Room of Requirement, I hesitantly looked around the room. Here's the agenda: get here, get Harry Potter to notice me, get out, get Drew, get the letter, get Oliver - if it hasn't worked out with Harry - ba da bing ba da boom. Of course, normally here's where I would interject with the fact that I'm dating George, but he now has me so tightly strung it's untrue. Where I stood, I could see him talking with Angelina, a broad grin plastered onto her face. Who did she think she was?
Sadly, when I made eye contact with George, he was stupid enough to misinterpret it as a beckoning call. Approaching me, he lightly commented, "Heard you made Beater." This was the first time we had spoken since the incident, and that's his opening line? Not even dramatically hailing the Beater, Defender of the Skies… I came up with a few more titles on the way.
As haughtily as I could, I lifted up my head and said, “I didn’t realise we were allowed to know each other’s business again.” I resisted the urge to smile with pride at the coolness of which I said it. I certainly was in top form.
“OK, so you’re still mad about that.”
“Come on, Anne. It was personal stuff, and -”
“Fred told me in a second.” George looked over at Fred, who slunk away into the crowd. I could already smell victory in the air. “Besides which, George, I’m your girlfriend. You should be able to talk to me about this kind of stuff, and not be so cold with me.”
“I get -”
“Stop bothering, Anne, George,” cooed Angelina. Oh, so now I'm Anne? But when George isn't around, then I'm demoted to Walters. Two faced cow.
“We’re fine,” I snapped to her. Momentarily taken aback, she turned to her partner and they continued.
“You don’t need to talk to her like that. She doesn’t think anything’s wrong.”
“Oh yes, defend her.”
George raised his eyebrow. “Anne, what -”
Harry called all of our attention as he stood, proud in the centre of the room. “OK, I thought this evening we should just go over the thing’s we’ve done so far, because it’s the last meeting before the holidays -” Don’t remind me, “- and there’s no point in starting anything new right before a three-week break.” [J.K Rowling, OoTP, Pg 401 - British Edition] You can’t really call it a break, anyway. I’m going to be spending most of it avoiding Leslie and doing work for my OWLs.
"Magda, you ready?" I quickly demanded, pulling her away.
"Yeah," she replied, loosely holding onto her wand and following me with a bewildered expression. She opened her mouth to speak, but soon closed it again and said, "Is this it, then?"
"Blimey, Anne, you could wait for a more private location."
"Just do the spell," I ordered. Why couldn't she be happy about the fact that George and I finally seemed to be falling apart? Or at least pretend to until I was feeling better about this. Oh, it was so stupid. I want to dump George, but I want him in my life. Maybe it's his status as a friend that's making me somewhat resistant to all of this. Oh, I don't know, it's all jumbled up. Maybe I could do a mindmap…
“Impedimenta!” It was so weird being frozen. I spent the entire time worrying how my facial expression was, and whether or not I was accidentally showing something I shouldn’t. Not that Harry would care anyway. As the sessions went on, it became more apparent to me that I wasn’t getting his attention quite as much as I would’ve hoped. It seemed that Cho was his best student, though I couldn’t honestly see why, after the Yule Ball.
I unfroze, shaking my body around as I did. “Well done,” I said, smiling at Magda. Magda seemed to finally be getting her aim right, considering she actually froze Neville the first time we practised this. She seemed to be pleased as well, before quickly shifting to a suitable pose for her freeze frame. Damn, I should’ve thought of that.
Once I had frozen Magda, George quickly approached me. “What was that about? Getting on Angelina's case like that?"
I could just tell from Magda's eyes that she thought this was the worst possible time to be frozen in a location. What was worse was that I agreed. Trying to calm myself a little before continuing, I answered, "I just don't appreciate the way she gets some kind of favouritism."
"She's one of my best friends."
"Girlfriend." I pointed at myself for the extra emphasis. "I am your girlfriend."
"And that means that you can say anything you want to my friends?"
"I means that I'm not second rate."
"You're not second rate, Anne; you never have been."
My stomach fluttered. Why did it have to do that? We were going in such a good direction, and then he had to go and make my stomach flutter. Feeling my composure slipping, I turned away. "Let's talk about this later."
"No, let's talk about this now. Let's talk about what's wrong with you."
"What's wrong with me?"
At this point, Fred had seen it as a good idea to intervene, pulling George back slightly. "Come on now, brother dearest. We're not here to act like fools -"
"Look - "
At first, I was sure George was going to say no. He was going to insist on sorting this out, and I would have to be faced with this terrible dilemma. But he didn't. Swiftly leaving with Fred, he abandoned me and a now unfrozen Magda, silently looking at each other for a few moments. Finally, Magda raised her wand. "My turn."
The rest of the lesson was spent completely ignoring him. First he shuns me, then he tries to return - without an immediate apology, and then he defends Angelina, just to top it all off with making it out that I was the one with a problem. What is wrong with him? This seemed like just about the perfect moment to get rid of him.
When it came around to the end of the session, I wished Harry a Merry Christmas, which he reciprocated (score), and marched out of the room. Magda came out and asked, “So, is this it? The end?”
“I think so.” But when I looked around, he had already gone. At least I could say that the wheels were in motion, though I really didn't want to say that it was because of Angelina Johnson; then again, I doubt George would want to hear that it was because of Oliver.
"I'm going to go find Drew."
I could faintly hear Magda ask, "Who in Merlin's name is Drew?" but I kept walking on. George and I were practically over, and now I could put my efforts back into getting Oliver. I felt brilliant. It was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I now had a new freedom, a new power I couldn't explain.
As soon I approached Drew in front of his common room, he said, "You look like shit." So much for denial, then.
"Shut up. We've got work to do."
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