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In the Name of the Game by Heartplague
Chapter 12 : Birthdays part 1
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 4


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A week later, the recent break-up of Hufflepuff seeker Colin Kinclair and a girl from Ravenclaw had overshadowed the hatred towards me. I didn’t blame anyone for finding the break-up much more alluring, because it had happened during lunch while everyone was presence – and they hadn’t exactly been quiet. The girl – whose name I couldn’t remember – had heard from one of her friends (who had heard it from another girl whose best friend had dated someone who … whatever) that he was thinking of dumping her because of the upcoming match between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, so she decided to confront him while he was going over strategies with Mark Morris who had been captain in nearly 4 years. Kinclair then accused her of espionage and that was where it started to get interesting, because apparently she had been going out with Aron Wood earlier and was still on speaking terms with him. To make a long story short, Kinclair and … Amy Brown (According to Lily) aren’t dating anymore and will most likely be avoiding each other the next couple of weeks. Who knew Quidditch could be so dramatic.

While the break-up was a tragic event for the two involved, I saw it as an opportunity to get some people off my back and celebrate my 18th birthday in peace. At least that was my plan when I woke up the 6th of December, a depressing and windy Monday to everyone else, but a day which I saw as the day I was no longer just of age, but actually an adult.  Some might argue that before you can call yourself an adult, you would have to act as one, but at least people who had never met me and the society now saw me as an adult.

“What are you so cheerful about?” Sirius asked after I almost euphorically sat down next to him and immediately filled my plate with whatever my heart desired. “Oh, it’s the 6th aren’t it,”

I could only nod while trying to chew my breakfast as an adult would.

“Happy birthday then, do you wish for your song here on in a much more crowded place?”

I choked on a piece of bread but still managed to glare threatening at him and only when I felt safe to speak without spitting out my breakfast did I answer, “you wouldn’t dare …” but it was too late.

“EXCUSE ME. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN …” Sirius had stood up on the bench and had pulled his wand up to his throat to make sure no one missed the annual ‘make-Effie-embarrassed’-birthday song, which had started back in 1st year.

“Please Sirius, not this year … I just lost people’s attention,”

“IT’S THE TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN!”

“I beg you,” I started pulling his leg, hoping he would at least fall down and break something.

“IT’S TIME FOR ….”

“I’ll do anything,”

“… SEVERUS SNAPE TO TAKE HIS ANNUAL BATH. ENJOY THE PLEASANT SMELL BEFORE IT WEARS OFF. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME,” Sirius sat back down to a hall filled with laughter, “anything?”

“To a certain limit, yes,” I said, hoping he would come up with something which would destroy what little social status I had left at Hogwarts.  Just before I was about to find out, Lily arrived with a package under her arm which she handed to me oblivious to the blackmailing going on.

“Happy Birthday Effie, did you have a good morning so far?” I was too busy ripping the paper off the gift to answer, so she continued to talk. “I had absolutely no idea what to give you; I didn’t want to give you any Quidditch items, because you have so many …”

“So you gave me a book,” I said skeptical and opened it, hoping to find a secret room for keeping snitches or other valuable items.

“It’s a classic muggle book, it’s really good,”

Pride and Prejudice, what a stupid title,” I threw the book on the table and returned to my breakfast.

“The whole point of the book is not to judge a book by its cover,” Lily said crossly.

“Then I don’t have to read it, you just spoiled it for me,”


“Just read it,” Lily said and gave up, “We have Transfiguration first, are you coming?”

 





 

I spent the evening laying on the most comfortable couch I could find in the heads’ common room with the newest issue of Which Broomstick in my hands while Lily was fussing over the Potion assignment due that Friday. I had refused to study on my birthday so instead enjoyed the occasional outbursts from Lily who wasn’t too pleased with my decision.

“If you aren’t going to do anything, shouldn’t you read your birthday letters, you haven’t touched one of them,” She said and referred to the colourful envelopes which I had spread over the table – all unopened.

“Nah, they are all the same,”

“Your aunt sent you a letter,” She held up a red envelope and with a loud sigh I took the letter.

Dear Effie-Pocket,

Happy Birthday! I wish I could have been there but the Arrows have been practicing quite intensely the past month, haven’t even bought you a gift. Okay, that’s not true, but I will hand it to you when we see eachother at Christmas.

Oh, Silly me. Your father and you are spending Christmas at my place this year, because we need to put some sense into that man’s head. So operation ‘Bring back Golden Pot’ begins on the 24th December and ends on the 27th, so please don’t make any plans those days.

Aunty Ruby

Ruby Pottinger had like the rest of the Pottinger-clan chose career within the world of Quidditch. My grandfather was a Quidditch Journalist and wrote a number of bestselling Quidditch books and had been captain on several professional teams in his youth – he even broke a few records. Even my grandmother played Quidditch in school as did many of my other forefathers. My aunt Ruby got the seeker position on the Appleby Arrows’ reserve team immediately after graduating, and was moved to the primary team after only one year. Much to my grandmother’s dismay, she never married and now lived alone in a small flat above a shop in Diagon Alley.

“Aren’t you going to reply?” Lily asked without looking up, I had automatically thrown the letter on the table to the other unopened letters after reading it.

“I will, as soon as I have finished reading this article,”

I could hear Lily sigh before she got up and started packing away her things.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“I told you five times, I have a prefect meeting I have to attend,” I tried to recall when Lily mentioned anything about a prefect meeting, but only weakly did I remember a sentence with the words ‘prefect’ and ‘Potter’ in it – I assumed the real sentence had went something like: ‘I have to attend a prefect meeting tonight, if Potter is being stupid I am going to kill him’, she might have used another words. “You are welcome to stay here,”

“Hadn’t planned on leaving,” I said with a smirk and waved goodbye to Lily who rolled her eyes as she left the room. Only then did I realize how silent a common room could be, Gryffindor common room was always buzzing with students and it was impossible to be alone unless you came down in the middle of the night – even then some students were still studying.

Normally a birthday should be spent around friends and family, not with your nose buried in a magazine reading an analysis of a match that happened 50 years ago, but the only friend who wouldn’t be going behind someone’s back to be with me was Lily. What a pathetic life I had.

“JAMES!”

And it just got worse.

“He’s not here,” I told Sirius without looking up.  

“Where is he, we were supposed to meet here to plan a prank on Snape,” He searched the room with his eyes and then came over to my couch and sat down – on my legs. “Why are you alone?”

“Because Lily had a meeting with the prefect and the head boy, which also answered your question,” I finished the article and threw the magazine on the table; Sirius followed it with his eyes and saw my birthday letters.

“You didn’t read my letter?”

“No, did it say anything original,”

“Can’t say it did, but I called you my favourite girl,” He winked seductively.

“I feel proud,” I replied sarcastic and stuck out my tongue.

The few minutes neither of us said anything, when I started to get worried about Sirius’ sanity (he normally couldn’t go 10 seconds without speaking) I noticed something new about him - he was thinking!?!

“Sirius,” I whispered and waved my hand in front of his face, he snapped out of it and turned his face towards me. “My legs are sleeping,” He lifted his ... behind a few centimetres so I pull my legs out and sat back up.

“Effie, I have a proposal to make,” He said and leaned back, before I had a chance to reply he continued “Since you obviously have nothing better to do, why don’t you join me for a party of our own?”

“EW! NO!” I screamed and slapped him hard.

“Silly head, not that! Although if you want ... just kidding!” he added after I had starting hitting him aggressively with my abandoned magazine.

“What then?”

Without answering me, Sirius got up and offered his hand which I simply stared at.


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