Chapter 7 : Practice makes perfect
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“Now team, this is a new year and a new captain. We will retain the title of House Champions this year, and we will do it well.” James bellowed above the howling winds.
The weather couldn’t be any more different from the try-outs, which had only been held a week ago. The wind was fast and tempestuous with a biting chill, rain was beating down in sheets and the clouds had gathered and were looking dark and menacing.
“I know it’s not the best weather for our first practice!” he shouted over a particularly loud gust of wind.
The five other team members round me were soaked already, and we had been outside for only a few minutes.
“We will start off with a warm up, round the pitch a couple of times, then I’ll let them out!” James shouted, his voice echoing off the walls of the castle.
I got on my broom and rose high into the choppy air. Fred took the lead, speeding off round the pitch, his hair a faint flash of red. I followed after him, keeping up easily.
“READY!” shouted James from the ground just as he let out the bludgers and the snitch. He grabbed the quaffle under his arm and zoomed up to join me.
“Catch!” he said, trying to catch me off guard. But James was becoming rather predictable now, so I caught it in one hand.
James threw the two beaters bats at the two new beaters; Jack Jones (Fenna’s younger brother) and Andrew McLaggen. They were both rather bulky guys who would probably have played rugby if they were muggles. Jack had a short pony tail of hair at the nape of his neck that was tied with a piece of leather. For some reason, people like James’s cousin Rose, found this dreamy and made him sexy. Though, I didn’t really understand why. Andrew had neat short brown hair that was clipped closely to his head.
Within seconds of them receiving their bats, the sound of wood on bludger resounded across the pitch. I zoomed off towards the goal hoops, quaffle under my arm and goggles stuck to my face.
I noticed Trevor on my left flank and tossed the red object towards him, only for it to be intercepted by James.
“Closer Edgley, don’t want the Slytherins slipping in between you!” he shouted, trying not to laugh.
I stuck my tongue out at him and caught the ball as he threw it back to me.
“Eyes on the game Edgley!” James shouted again after I narrowly missed a bludger.
The wind had started to ease off and the rain had all but stopped now. The team was progressively getting better and we had seemed to of gelled a little.
“Nice bit of wood you got between your legs there!” shouted Fred. The cheeky git, innuendos were not a thing I had to deal with normally. He rolled away on his broom, trying not to laugh, he face going bright red.
“You only wish it was you!” I shouted back, feeling that my retort was rather well calculated.
“No, that’s James!” he shouted back.
Suddenly the air felt tense and Fred realised what he had said a little too late. James shot Fred a deathly glair and then descended to the grass.
“Practice is over!” he called from the ground, pointing his wand at the bludgers and guiding them towards the box, in a rather forceful manner.
“Hey, what’s red, white and black?” shouted Trevor, sensing the tension.
“Dunno!” called back Jack, who had jumped from his broom about ten feet from the ground and was now smoothing his hair out.
“A shot penguin!” he laughed out.
Jack chuckled and so did most of the team, the sense of tension eased and I put it to the back of my mind.
“A good first practice, well done.” James said, trying to force a smile on his grey face.
What was with him? It was only a joke; even I could take that type of joke.
Fred let out a loud cheer and the rest of the team followed suit.
We had all landed now and were starting to stretch out a bit, “Hit the showers.”
James said, picking up his broom and throwing it over his shoulders.
“Umm...Fred wait, I need a chat with you.” James said as we all started to move slowly towards the changing rooms.
Being the only female on the team has its perks. For a start I have the changing rooms to myself and secondly I get ‘special treatment’ when I have my ‘female problems’. The team, behind my back of course, had agreed to not be too harsh on me on those days.
I stripped off my damp clothing, leaving on my underwear, and walked to the shower cubicles.
The warm water caused steam to rise and then condense on the cold tiles. The feeling of the jet of warm water was all that I could ask for, it washed away all traces of the aches and pains and the rain water.
I lathered up with my trusty shampoo and let my red-brown shoulder length hair roll down my back. My hair always looked so much better when it was wet, it was darker but when you looked closely you could see that it looked more like a treacle colour.
So much better than my usual brown looking hair.
I was reluctant to get out of the shower, but I knew that James and probably Fred would be waiting for me. Since being put in the team with Fred a week ago, I had sort of bonded with him, which was nice. I sighed knowing that I had to get out now, or I never would.
Turning the tap I grabbed my towel and wrapped it round my body, the fluffy loops of the towel caressing my body. They were like hundreds of tiny little hugs.
I rummaged around for my wand, not wanting to actually make effort to dry myself. I found it and dried myself with a gush of warm air. I was in my pants and was just about to do up my bra when James burst in.
“How long...!” James said loudly, before realising that I was only in my bra and pants.
Quickly he put his hands up to cover his eyes, but I could have sworn that he was staring at me behind his hands.
“James, for Merlin’s sake you’ve seen me in a bikini. I in my bra and pants isn’t any different.” I said still trying to do up my catches.
“James can you come help me please?” I asked my arms were too tired to be able to bend backwards and hook the catches.
At first he looked a little shocked, but then he slowly made his way over to me. I turned round, flicking my hair round over my shoulder.
His fingers were soft and warm as they brushed against my skin. For a boy who had never had girlfriends he was very good at doing bras up. I turned round and eyed him.
“You’ve done this before, haven’t you?” I asked, looking at James in a new light.
I always was under the assumption that James was rather inexperienced in that department, rather like me.
“Only once or twice,” he said looking shiftily at his feet.
“James Potter, you little hussy!” I said, my words echoing round the empty room.
I turned back to my pile of clothing, “Give me five and I’ll be ready,” this was his signal to leave, which he did so.
Quickly I shoved on my shorts and t-shirt, bungling everything else into my new kit bag. Of course I tried to squeeze as much water out of my training kit as possible, before shoving it in the bag.
“Ready!” I announced as I emerged, fresh and clean from the changing rooms.
“Come on then,” Fred said a little smirk on his freckled face. Either he was up to something or there was something that was rather comic about this current situation.
Either way I didn’t want to know
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