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Chapter 14 : chapter.fourteen - Dodge.
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“Why did I agree to this? Why, why, why?” Rose muttered frantically under her breath as we walked down the hallway. She was holding hands with Blondie and looked distinctly uncomfortable as she elbowed me continuously in the ribs.
“Rose, do me a favor and calm down,” I hissed, swatting her elbow aside and jabbing her in the stomach. She let out a loud yelp of pain and jumped backwards onto Blondie.
“You okay?” He murmured as he set her upright. She was blushing furiously, but nodded anyway.
I rolled my eyes. “Honestly Rose, you’re acting like a child. You’re only holding hands with him, for god’s sake.”
Rose blushed even deeper. “You know, I’m starting to think that maybe this wasn’t the best idea after all,” she said as she untangled her hand from Blondie. He let out an exasperated huff.
“Rose, this is now the eighth time in the past half hour that you’ve changed your mind.”
“Yes,” she responded. “But this time I actually mean it.”
“And that’s the eighth time you said that in the past half hour,” I pointed out. Rose shot me a sharp glare, and I smirked widely at her.
“Bloody Malfoy,” she said angrily. “This is all his fault! The stupid tosser – gah!” She quickly seized Blondie’s hand and hauled him towards her as someone with blonde hair started walking down the hallway towards us.
“You do that every time you see a blond person,” I said, amused. “That’s not even Scorpius, so you can – Scorpius!”
I grinned my most innocent smile as he waved and walked up to us, shooting me a wary look in the process.
Note to self: work on innocent smile.
“Hey love,” he said amicably, scooping me into a hug. I mussed up his hair as he pulled away, and he scowled before fixing it.
“You’re such a girl about your hair.”
“And you just completely lack femininity.”
“Hello, how long are you two going to keep this up?” Rose cut across loudly, looking irate.
I shrugged. “Depends. Sometimes we keep it up for hours.”
“It never gets old,” Scorpius agreed. He grinned widely at Rose, winking at her and then smirking as she turned bright red. Blondie cleared his throat loudly, and Scorpius’ eyes flitted over to him, and then down to their intertwined hands. The grin slid right off of his face.
“Well, I’ll see you later, Ariadne,” he said in a flat little voice, glancing at Rose oddly one more time (she was carefully studying the ceiling, looking as though she wished to be anywhere but here at the moment) before turning around and walking away quickly.
There was a short, awkward silence.
“Gee, that went well,” I said brightly.
“Are you kidding?” Rose squeaked. “That was horrible! Nick, this is not going to work for me at all –”
“Rose, just let him think you two are dating for a couple of days, alright?” I said. “You don’t have to walk down the hallway holding hands with Blondie if you don’t want to.”
Rose dropped his hand right away.
“Oi, I take offense to that,” Blondie said petulantly.
“I’m sorry,” Rose said sincerely. “It’s just – I – have to go.”
With that, she turned around and quite literally sprinted away from us.
“So, this isn’t awkward at all,” I announced happily, turning around to grin widely at a bemused-looking Blondie. He shook his head in exasperation.
“I’ll see you at practice later?” He asked as he was walking away.
“Yeah,” I called. “Make sure Blue Eyes looks good, alright?”
He turned around to walk backwards, looking at me in confusion. “Why?”
I grinned. “I’m bringing Emma.”
“Oh, come on!”
“You said you would come!”
“I never said I was going to come to practice with you.”
“Come on, it’ll be fun!”
“You’re coming with me.”
“Okay, what part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?”
I took a second to think about it.
“Pretty much all of it,” I said brightly. I grabbed Emma’s arm and started dragging her towards the portrait hole. “Now come on, I’m going to be late.”
“No!” She cried, struggling against my hold. “Ariadne, I’m not sure if my past history has told you anything at all, but I’m not good at mixing with people.”
“Just be yourself,” I said, pulling her out of the hole and slamming it shut, ignoring the Fat Lady as she called insults after me. “They’re going to like you no matter what – you’ll seem downright normal compared to me.”
“Okay,” Emma set her feet firmly on the ground and brought me to a screeching halt. “I refuse to go to your Quidditch practice.”
“Why?” I demanded angrily.
“Because – because –” Emma sighed in exasperation. “Because they’re all fit and gorgeous and popular and I’m not.”
I looked at her for a minute. “You’re kidding,” I said flatly. “That’s the only reason you don’t want to come?”
“Isn’t it reason enough?” She asked disbelievingly.
“Emma, you bloody idiot. You’re gorgeous. Now come on, Al is going to have my head if I’m any later than this –”
“I am not gorgeous,” Emma argued feebly as she finally submitted to my insistences and started walking by herself. She looked quite flattered, though.
“Yes, you are,” I said.
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you are.”
“No, I’m not.”
“I can keep this up all day, so just admit it now.”
Emma sighed heavily. “Are you always this annoying?”
“Yes,” I responded right away.
She sighed again. “What was I thinking?” She muttered under her breath, dodging quickly when I shot my hand out to smack her.
“You would’ve been really good at Quidditch,” I said, impressed more than anything else.
She shrugged. “Like I said, I don’t really like crowds. Love Quidditch, though.”
“How come all my friends are good at Quidditch and I’m the only one that sucks?” I asked sulkily.
“Because you have shit for luck.”
“Who asked you, anyway?” I hit her on the arm.
I stopped in the middle of the hallway, my head cocked to the side. “Did you hear that?”
“No, you’re just going crazy,” Emma said in soothing voice. “Don’t listen to the voices in your head, love, you’ll be okay.”
I rolled my eyes. “I’m serious.”
“Ariadne! Over here!”
“See? You heard that, didn’t you?” I demanded, whirling around in the hallway. Emma looked deeply perturbed.
“You know, I think just being around you makes people insane,” she said nervously.
“Don’t be ridiculous, insanity isn’t contagious,” I said dismissively.
“For Merlin’s sake, you sure are stupid.” Scorpius materialized in front of me, causing me to scream loudly and leap backwards onto Emma.
“Ow! What the bloody hell is wrong with you, you prat?” I asked, picking myself off of the floor and cuffing him violently over the head. Emma cursed loudly again and struggled to get up. Scorpius leaned down, grasping her hand and hauling her to her feet.
“Sorry love, are you okay?” I asked her, swatting Scorpius away and massaging her elbow, which she was clutching painfully.
“I feel like this is something I’m going to have to get used to,” Emma said resignedly.
I grimaced. “Yeah, you might.”
Scorpius was looking intently at Emma, noticing her straight, thick, dark hair and light blue, almost silvery eyes. Emma was better than pretty – she looked unique. She was the type of beautiful that you couldn’t find on anyone else, so when you looked at her once, you simply had to look again.
“I’m Scorpius. Scorpius Malfoy,” he said in a smooth voice, holding out a hand for Emma to shake. She looked flustered.
“Emma Summers,” she said, smiling nervously.
I stepped viciously on Scorpius’ foot, and his teeth gritted slightly. “What?” He hissed.
“Leave my friends alone,” I said loudly, pulling his hand away from Emma’s. “I don’t want you fucking up their lives, thank you very much. You’re such a typical arsehole bloke – you notice a pretty face and right away, you’re bloody interested –”
“Shut up, Ariadne,” he said tiredly. “I don’t see why I can’t introduce myself to a girl without you thinking I want to get in their pants. That’s not all I think about, you know.”
Emma was blushing wildly.
“Of course that’s all you think about,” I snapped impatiently. “You’ve probably already come up with about eight different scenarios that would make you seem all heroic and make her fall for you. Don’t think I don’t know what goes on in that devious little Slytherin head –”
“I already know what goes on in yours – nothing,” Scorpius said.
“Oh, good one.”
“Uh, gudun,” he imitated in a stupid voice.
“Uhgudun,” I shot back in the same voice.
“Apparently, insanity runs in your family,” Emma cut across, looking amused. We turned around to glare at her.
“Is someone paying you to make these little remarks?” I asked touchily. “Because I’d like to hex them to oblivion.”
“Yeah, I’ll help,” Scorpius volunteered enthusiastically. “I like hexing people – it’s loads of fun –”
“FUCK!” I suddenly screamed, looking at my watch. “I’m late to practice! Gottagobye!” I kissed Scorpius on the cheek, grabbed Emma’s hand, and started sprinting towards the pitch.
“Wait! I have to ask you a question!” Scorpius called after me.
“It can wait!”
“Is Rose really going out with Royce?”
“What’s it to you?” I screamed. A hand grabbed my shoulder and spun me around, right into Scorpius’ livid face.
“It’s important to me,” he snarled. Suddenly, I was pissed – who the hell does he think he is?
“Why do you care?” I asked angrily.
“Because I just do.”
I scoffed. “You can’t fuck around with a girl and then suddenly decide to care, Scorpius. Life doesn’t revolve around your needs and wishes.”
“Maybe I have cared all along,” he shot back.
“Good job showing it.” I spared him one more glare, then turned around to run to practice.
Scorpius will get over it – he’s a big boy; he can handle some Ariadne-anger.
Ugh, I’ll go and apologize later, okay?
I panted heavily, leaning slightly on Emma to regain my breath. She looked fine, which slightly irked me, since I’ve been the poor tosser running bloody laps out here in order to get used to this sort of exercise.
“Sorry,” I huffed, wincing slightly at the scowl on Al’s face.
“You’re half an hour late,” he continued ominously.
“Whoops?” I tried weakly. His glare darkened. Okay, new tactic –
“It’s Scorpius’ fault!” I said quickly. “He abducted me to demand information about Rose and he wouldn’t let me go until I told him – right Emma?” I elbowed her swiftly in the ribs.
“Yeah,” she said unconvincingly. “The evil Slytherin did it.”
I nodded vigorously. “Exactly.”
Al’s gaze narrowed again before he sighed. “Fine. Just don’t let it happen again.”
I grinned, relieved. “I won’t. I’m really sorry.”
He let out a reluctant grin in response and nodded at Emma. “Who’s your friend?” He asked.
“This is Emma.” I shoved her from behind and she stumbled forward, a weak smile on her face. “She’s brilliant at Quidditch,” I continued. “Except she really doesn’t like crowds or attention, so she didn’t try out for the team, but she said she’d help me.”
“I never said I’d help her,” Emma interjected. “She dragged me to practice against my will.”
I smiled angelically and shrugged.
“Anyway,” I said loudly, sending an encouraging look to Emma, who looked slightly less nervous. “That’s Al –”
“The captain and Chaser,” Emma filled in for me. “I know, I pay attention to Quidditch.”
“Well, I like introducing people, so shh,” I told her. “That’s Burly, Blondie, The Dreamy One – or Dreamy – , Hugo, and Blue Eyes.”
She continued to look confused. “What –”
“What she means is I’m Scott, that’s Nick, Lysander, Hugo and Russell,” Burly intervened, smiling at her. I glanced at Blue Eyes, who was staring very intently at Emma.
“Yeah,” I said vaguely.
Emma shook her head, preferring not to comment on my madness. “Um, okay, I’m just going to accept the fact that she’s a total loon and not ask.”
“She nicknames everyone,” Hugo supplied anyway. “Except me and Al – which I think is because she’s known us forever –”
“Does anyone here really care?” I asked loudly, grinning when Hugo shot me the finger.
“I’m still getting back at you for the clown,” I told him threateningly. He beamed in pride.
“Best prank ever.”
“Your face is stupid.”
“Your mum is stupid!”
“Nuh-uh! Your mum is stupid!” Hugo retaliated. I opened my mouth to retort, but stopped to ponder the truth behind his words.
“You’re right, she is.”
“I’m always right,” Hugo said proudly.
“Shut up, or I’ll hex you.”
“So, Emma,” Al said loudly, before I could carry out my threat. “What are you really good at, Quidditch-wise?”
Emma bit her lip. “Well…I like Seeking.”
“Brilliant, she can take my spot!” I perked up. The team swiveled towards me as an entity, all with dry, annoyed looks on their faces.
What? It’s a good idea.
“I still don’t see why Emma just doesn’t take my spot!” I complained loudly to anyone who would listen (which happened to be no one).
“Whaa?” I shrieked and caught the ball right before it hit my chest. Then, upon realizing that ohmigawd, I actually caught the it, I promptly fell over onto my arse.
I embody the concept of debonair.
“Great!” Al said enthusiastically, standing over me with twitching lips. “Next time, try and stay upright, yeah?”
“Remind me again why I’m in love with you?” I muttered angrily under my breath.
“Nothing.” I smiled sweetly and pulled myself off of the ground. Al reached forward and dusted off my elbows, then gently detangled the ball from my grasp.
“We’re all going to throw these at you, alright?” he said. “And you’ve got to try and catch them.”
“You’re going to what?” I asked in a horrified voice. Al turned around to grin at me in his annoyingly sexy way.
“No way!” I said loudly. “No fucking way in hell are you guys going to – GAH!” I yelped and cowered under my arms as about fifty different people pelted balls at me from all angles.
Fine, it was more like seven, but still.
“Stop!” I shrieked as balls bounced off of my body, effectively turning me into a patchwork of bruises. “STOP IT NOW, OTHERWISE I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL HURT EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU IN WAYS THAT YOU CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO FATHOM!”
Damn right, bitches. Be afraid of the big bad Ariadne.
I stood in the middle of the circle made of the psychopaths that I had unwittingly called ‘friends’, breathing heavily, my hands curling up at my sides.
“Are you okay?” Emma finally broke the uneasy silence.
“Not particularly.” I glared at her. “Traitor.” I added.
“Ariadne, the concept of this is for you to catch or dodge these balls,” Blondie explained. “You managed to get hit with every single one of them.”
“But I’m the Seeker! I’m just supposed to be catching the snitch, for god’s sake!”
“You also need to dodge bludgers,” Hugo said. “And you sort of have to learn to, you know, catch.”
I glared at him. “Hugo, stop talking.”
“Okay,” he said meekly.
“Look, just don’t think about it too much, alright?” Al said. “Let your body take over, and you might even surprise yourself.”
“Usually when that happens, I find myself with my face pressed against the ground.”
“Alright, we’ll start at the count of three!” Al announced cheerfully, completely disregarding my last comment. My eyes grew.
“No, wait, hold on –”
“I’m not –”
“I’m serious, please –”
“NOOO!” I yelled, ducking for cover as they all pelted their balls at me.
I bet they’re enjoying this.
Keeping up a constant stream of loud swearwords, I attempted to dodge the balls – more like injury-inducing grenades – as best as I could. I was even able to swat a couple out of my way, which is pretty amazing in my books.
A couple meaning one or two. The rest came flying right at me.
“Fuck!” I hit one with my hand and it went careening away. “Shit!” I dove out of the way of three different balls. “CRAP!” I caught one with my right hand – “Bloody hell, I caught it! AUGH!” I fell to the ground as three more hit me in the stomach, effectively knocking the breath clear out of my lungs.
“Fucking shit, damn it, bloody hell –” I wheezed, standing up and letting out a loud squeal as I was forced to twirl around like a demented ballerina to avoid eight different balls.
Yes, eight. Because they were all throwing balls with both of their hands at this point, and Burly had actually progressed to the point where he was using his wand to propel about four or five towards me at a time.
Burly is going to Hell. If he doesn’t, I swear I will march up to Hades and demand a refund on life.
“I hate you! All of you – I hate you with my whole freaking heart, and I hope you all die as miserable old lonely men and women in your case, you little bitch –” I screamed at them as I continued to dodge balls. I was pleased to note that only about three-fourths of the balls were managing to hit their mark. I was able to fully dodge a fourth of them. Plus I caught three.
That’s right. Three. Be proud.
BE PROUD, DAMN IT.
“That’s it!” I screamed as two balls bounced off of my skull. “I quit!”
There was a loud silence as I shot a scathing glare towards them, and then turned around to march towards the castle with the last remaining remnants of my shattered pride.
Then, with a loud war-cry from Blue of, “GET HER!!”, I found myself suddenly pursued by a bunch of Quidditch-driven boys and one extremely gleeful Emma Summers.
I decided that this called for drastic measures. And ran the hell out of my legs. Screw pride; at this point, I’m fearing for my life.
Ironically enough, it was Burly who caught up to me first (honestly – how could someone lugging that body around manage to run so bloody fast?), and he dived at my legs and sent me tumbling to the ground. Just as I managed to scramble to my feet, Al slammed into me, grabbing me around the middle and pulling me on top of him as he fell onto his back. I was screaming, kicking at the air and writhing around like a hysterical toddler, but he managed to hold onto me, locking his arms around my stomach and trying to spit out clumps of my sweaty hair that had managed to find their way into his mouth.
I hope he chokes on my hair.
And needs mouth-to-mouth.
Blondie, laughing like the deranged maniac that he is, dived on top of the two of us next, closely followed by Hugo, Dreamy, Blue Eyes, then, finally, Emma, who decided last minute to screw it all and just join the pile of screaming Quidditch players.
Both Blondie and Hugo found it necessary to hug me around the middle as well (I tried not to die of happiness at actually lying on top of Al), and were currently giggling into my very ticklish stomach, which made me chuckle up a storm as well.
“You,” Al panted in my ear, “are not quitting.”
“Okay.” I’d agree to just about anything in this predicament, to be honest. Especially something along the lines of ‘kiss-me-now-Ariadne’.
“And that’s final,” Burly barked up in agreement. “Now will you please get your smelly feet off of my face?”
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