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Chapter 5 : Overwhelmed
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---Chapter 5 - Overwhelmed---
I was frantic.
I was going absolutely bonkers. Mental. Psychotic.
I felt like I needed to be institutionalised. It was the week of the Ravenclaw versus Hufflepuff match and I was frantic!
Everything up until then had gone by quite smoothly. Training had been superb! All of our new plays have been running perfectly and the team are in top form. Justin had let up his pursuit of me for a bit, which meant I was no longer receiving threats from the peroxide blonde bimbo—not that they were really threats since I think she was actually terrified of me. No more bets were being made and Wood has even left me alone.
But now I’m frantic!
It’s the week of the bloody match and I have two papers in on Thursday, an exam on that Friday, and I have training set up for every single day till match day.
Did I mention I was slightly neurotic?
Yeah… well I am, which was why I was now heading to the Hufflepuff Dormitories in search of my brother. I needed to touch base with Edan. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the kid and I’ve missed him.
Plus he was the only person that could calm me down right now. I lied when I said I looked out for Edan, the kid didn’t need looking after no matter how much I try to deny this. He’s the one that takes care of me. Especially when I’m in this state.
I’m stood in front of the Hufflepuff entrance, hoping to Merlin that someone would go in or come out. Luckily for me, a small fourth or fifth year came bustling towards me.
“Oi! You!” I cried out. The kid jumped up in fright. Woops… “Sorry, sorry! Didn’t mean to frighten you. What’s your name?”
“E-Ernie… Ernie MacMillan!” he squeaked.
I smiled kindly at him. “Hi Ernie, I’m…”
“Keegan Riddell,” he finished for me. “You’re Edan’s sister and captain of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team.”
“Yeah, that I am,” I chuckled.
“You’re a brilliant Chaser,” he smiled shyly at me. “Oh, erm… do you want me to get Edan for you?”
“Yeah, that’d be grand, Ernie,” I said, still smiling at the boy.
He beamed back at me. “Okay, I’ll go get him!” He quickly whispered the password and was about to run inside when he turns towards me. “You’re also really pretty,” he yells before he disappears into the Hufflepuff common room.
I couldn’t help but feel flattered and happy. It’s always nice to be complimented, even if it was from a kid four or so years younger than me.
It only took a few minutes for Edan to emerge through the entrance. He looked tired, but still grinned from ear-to-ear at the sight of me. His dark hair flopped over his eyes, his hair obviously having grown out a bit now, making me realise that it’s been too long since I’ve properly seen him.
I quickly made my way towards him and slung my arms around my brother’s neck.
“Hi sis,” he laughed, hugging me back.
“I’m so sorry I haven’t been round to check up on you,” I said guiltily. “I’ve just been so busy with NEWTS and Quidditch and…”
“I know, I know,” Edan raised his hand to stop me. “I know you better than anyone so I get it.”
“You do,” I agreed. “Which is why I need you! I need you to slap the sense back into me!”
“Are you freaking out because of the match?” Edan asked, seeing straight through to the problem.
“Yes,” I sighed. “I’ve just been feeling like I’m off my bloody rockers, Edan! I feel like I have no control over what I do and that I’m going to mess this all up for the Ravenclaws and let my team down. It’s my last year playing Quidditch here and I just can’t mess up, you know? I just can’t!”
“Look, Keegs,” Edan put his hands on both of my shoulders. “You are one of the best Quidditch players out there and an amazing captain! Your team will be absolutely fine this week and you’re going to be absolutely fine!”
“How do you know?” I pouted childishly.
Edan rolled his eyes and steered me to a nearby step. We sat down before Edan turned to me.
“Because you’re my sister and you’re tough as nails. Plus Miranda has been complaining to me every chance she gets that you’ve gone all fascist Quidditch captain on her so I’m assuming that’s a good thing.”
I laughed at this. “She has?”
“Yeah,” Edan smiled. “Oh and Oliver told me about what happened.”
I froze. “Wha… what do you mean?”
Edan gave me that ‘don’t play dumb’ look. “That he tried to kiss you and you ran off?”
“He admitted to that?” I asked incredulously. “Wait, so he was trying to kiss me?”
“Sort of,” Edan laughed at my expression. “He admitted to how it must have looked, but he said he wasn’t exactly sure what happened and that if you came round to talk to me to tell you not to get your knickers in a twist over it.”
“HE SAID THAT?” I nearly bellowed. I was going to wring that git’s neck!
“Calm down, Keegs,” Edan said. “He was just messing! Or are you upset that he wasn’t trying to kiss you?”
“No, what? God no, I’m relieved,” I told him. “Seriously, Edan, don’t go getting any ideas. Too many people assume too many things about my love life.”
“So I hear,” Edan sighed. “Listen, forget about all that. Focus on yourself for this week. You’ve done all you can for the team and now it’s time to focus on you. It’ll help you calm down as well.”
I sighed. He was right. As always…
“Okay, I’ll try. Thanks, little bro,” I smiled and hugged him. “So how are you? Any luck with the blonde from King’s Cross?”
“Oh… Cameron,” Edan sighed. “She’s just not interested… and she’s so indifferent towards me.”
“So you mean she’s impervious to your charms?” I gasped mockingly. Edan punched me in the shoulder. “Ouch, okay! I joke! Look, if I win this Friday, bring her round. I know your House will just be moping after the loss and we will be having one epic victory party so tell her some cheesy line about being a good brother and ask if she wants to come.”
“Really?” Edan brightened up. “That’d be great! Thanks, Keegan!” And this time, he threw his arms around me.
I hugged my brother back tightly. “I got to go before I get caught for being out past curfew. Love you and see you soon, Edan!”
“Love you too, sis,” he smiled back. We parted ways and I swiftly and stealthily made my way back to the Ravenclaw Tower a lot happier and a lot lighter than when I had left it.
I was honestly trying to take Edan’s advice, but how was I supposed to focus on myself when I had so much to do?
I can’t, that’s how!
I was less frantic now but I wasn’t exactly sane either. I mean aside from everything that’s been taking up my time, I was also feeling extremely guilty about not having told Oliver about the threat yet.
I mean… Me being guilty over Oliver? That’s insanity right there. Loony bin, straight jackets and a mouse named Desperado. That is my future life.
I was currently sprinting up the staircases and towards the Ravenclaw Tower. I answered the riddle and jumped into the common room in a fashion that caused a group of first years to yelp and run back to their dormitory.
“Keegan? What the hell are you doing?” Adam asked curiously.
I turned towards his voice and found all of the seventh years minus Penny, who was probably off doing Head Girl things that only Head Girls know about, sitting by the fireplace. I raced over to them and threw myself onto Miranda’s lap.
“I’M DYING!” I wailed. “I’M SLOWLY DYING!”
“Err… what?” Adam sounded confused but I couldn’t tell. I had buried my head into Miranda’s lap while she soothingly stroked my hair.
“She said she’s dying, mate,” Elbie offered up, which earned him a smack from someone.
“Where’ve you been, love?” Miranda asked me. I moved my head so I could look up at her.
“Library,” I sighed. “I just finished my Charms paper and I was trying to finish up my Defence against the Dark Arts one as well but there were too many people and I had to run out.”
“Hun, you’ve done more than most people have, you’ll be fine,” Lucy cooed beside me. She had walked over to kneel in front of me.
“No I won’t,” I wailed again. “I’m going to fail and lose us the match and be the laughing stock of Hogwarts!”
“Keegan, Keegan,” Seamus had come round to kneel beside Lucy.
Awe, look at them They look so cute. It’s like beauty and the beast, except Seamus wasn’t ugly.
“We will not lose to Hufflepuff, their Keeper is weak like you told us. Their Seeker is slower than Marcus, and with you, Adam and Miranda up there, there’s nothing that can stop us.”
I sighed. “I suppose so.”
“No, no, you know so,” Seamus said, finishing his pep talk.
“You know what you need?” Adam piped up. We all turned to look at the blonde sitting cheekily on a lone armchair.
“No, I don’t need a ‘bloody good shag’,” I told him pointedly, imitating his voice at the end.
He crossed his arms huffily. “I totally don’t sound like that.”
“You kind of do, mate,” Elbie chipped in eagerly.
“Well, you’re kind of a turd!” Adam retorted oh-so-cleverly.
“Nah uh, you are!”
“OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SHUT THE HELL UP!” Miranda shouted with a glare directed at both idiots I for some reason call friends.
“Elbie, if you do not shut up, you will never be touching this,” Miranda gestured at her body, “again!”
Elbie’s eyes went wide and he quickly fell silent.
I couldn’t help but burst into fits of laughter at how whipped Elbie was. And apparently neither could Adam, Lucy, and Seamus.
Merlin, I loved my friends. They were all so ridiculous and absolutely up the whazoo on crazy pills but I loved them.
They have always been there for me and that’s what matters.
To me at least.
It was around midnight and I had only a couple hundred more words left to write for my Defence against the Dark Arts paper when Lucy snatched the quill away from my hand. She then began to dance happily around the room, snatching quills from Miranda and Penny as she went along.
The three of us sat up in our bed and scowled darkly at her. We were so intent on our evil scowls that if there was actual magical power in them, I was pretty sure Lucy would have blown up by now. Unfortunately, the bubbly blonde menace was just dancing around.
“Alright, I give, what do you want?” Miranda sighed, putting her parchment away as she spoke.
Penny and I looked at each other and followed suite. I guess there was no denying Lucy when it came to what she wanted. I told you… manipulative little minx.
“I want to play a game,” she smiled at us.
Penny fell down on her bed with a groan.
“What game Lucy?” Miranda asked her, ignoring Penny’s obvious distaste for Lucy’s ‘games’.
“Truth or truth!” Lucy exclaimed excitedly. She dropped the quills onto the one table we all shared and bounded over to my bed. She flopped down next to me, placing her head onto my leg.
“Excuse me?” Penny rolled over onto her side to look at us.
“Well it’s truth or dare without the dare,” Lucy said matter-of-factly. Penny was about to say something when Lucy kept on talking. “Okay fine, I just don’t like dares, okay? And it’s late. So truth or truth?”
Penny chuckled. “Works for me since I won’t have a moral dilemma when one of you gets dared into stealing someone’s underwear.”
I blushed a crimson red. It had been fourth year and I was dared to steal one of the older boys’ boxers. Oh, did I mention said boy was super fricking gorgeous to the extreme? Yeah. Well… he caught me and it was awkward. I squeaked like a mouse, threw the boxer up in the air, and made a run for it—except I promptly tripped over my foot and fell down the stairs. I broke my arm. It wasn’t pretty and my captain at the time, Roger Davies, wasn’t too pleased with me either.
“Right, yeah, I’m in too,” I mumbled, flustered.
“Sure,” Miranda chuckled.
“GREAT!” Lucy clapped her hands together and sat up on my bed. “I’ll go first! Miranda, truth or truth?”
“Do you really have to bloody ask?” she arched an eyebrow at Lucy. “Fine whatever, truth.”
“Have you ever gotten caught in a broom closet for snogging?”
“Is that a valid question?” I asked, sitting up too now. “Penny’s caught her and Elbie about five billion times now!”
“Three actually,” Miranda winked at Penny, who merely just grunted in annoyance.
“Your question sucked,” I complained.
“My turn,” Miranda said just as Lucy was about to retort. “Penny! Have you ever gotten caught in a broom closet snogging Percy?”
Penny went a bright red and that was all we needed to know before we burst out laughing. She frowned and swiftly threw a pillow at Miranda. Being that the girl was a Chaser, she easily dodged it.
“Ha ha, laugh it all up, you bitches,” Penny snarled. “MY turn! Keegan! Err… well…” she went red again before she sighed exasperatedly. “Okay, I can’t be as crude as you lot. Keegan, who was your first kiss?”
Miranda and Lucy groaned in disappointment at the question but I stopped breathing for a second. I never told anyone about that.
“It was Adam, wasn’t it?” Lucy asked me.
“Well… there was one other person,” I mumbled.
“WHO!” Miranda demanded. She jumped onto my bed causing Lucy and I to bounce up and down.
“Erm,” I didn’t want to tell them but I was cornered and I hated lying to the girls about anything. Plus it wasn’t that big of a deal… “Oliver Wood.”
I looked around the room at the shocked expression plastered on every single one of the girls’ faces.
Maybe I should have lied. Said it was Adam… or someone else.
“OLIVER?!” Lucy squealed. “OHMIGOD!! WHEN? WHERE? HOW? WHY?
“HOLY SHIT!” Miranda cried out.
“Wooooowwwwwww!” Penny whistled loudly.
“Keegan, tell us everything!” Lucy demanded, but in a softer decibel. I thanked my ears for that.
“It was nothing,” I sighed. “We were eleven, it was over Christmas when you lot had gone home. There was mistletoe and he kissed me. End of.”
“Wow! Why didn’t you tell us?” Miranda asked, a tinge of hurt in her voice.
“Miranda, it was nothing,” I quickly said. “I just wanted to forget it ever happened and I thought if I didn’t talk about it, it’d go away.”
“Why?” Lucy asked, scowling at me. “He’s beautiful!”
“Yeah, but he’s a git!”
I don’t know what it was… maybe it was the tone of my voice but the girls dropped it and soon after, we all ended up drifting off to sleep. I was the last one to fall asleep though. My mind was consumed with that memory and something else, something else wanting to break free but I pushed it back.
I didn’t need to relive that.
“Hey Wood! Wait up,” I called out despite my desperate desire to run away right now. After an endless hour of nagging from Miranda in Charms, I finally agreed to go find Oliver and tell him about Flint’s threat.
Yeah, I know. It’s been weeks and I should have told him ages ago, but hey, it’s not like speaking to the git was my top priority, was it?
So it slipped my mind, hex me!
Oliver turned around at the sound of his name and looked intriguingly at me. He looked as if he wasn’t sure whether this was a trap or not. I guess I deserved that, considering I never ever initiate a conversation with him.
Well, why would I? His sole goal in life besides being a crazy Quidditch player is to annoy me to hell and back.
“Riddell,” he smiled. “What’s up?”
“Right, so I should probably have told you this last month but I got caught up with work and Quidditch and well I just forgot,” I rambled quickly. “Well you see, Flint came up to me and wanted me to… well… err, he wanted me to get Quidditch plans out of you, but of course, I said hell no! Then I told him to shove it! And he was all like, ‘look Keegan, you’re an idiot’ and so he threatened to throw me off my broom and then break your arm or something.”
I gasped for air. Wow… that took a lot out of me!
Oliver stared at me for a couple seconds, the silence looming over us and I felt incredibly awkward standing there. Suddenly, his eyes narrowed and a throaty growl began deep in his throat.
“He threatened to throw you off your broom?”
“Er, yes, I said that,” I cocked my head to the side, wondering if he was deaf.
“That’s not the point, he threatened to break your arm in your upcoming match!”
“Yeah, yeah, I can handle myself with Flint,” Oliver waved that away. “But you have to be careful if he’s threatening you like that. Flint may look like a dolt but he has his ways of injuring even the most careful of players.”
“I know, Wood,” I rolled my eyes. “I’m a captain too, you know! And what makes you think I can’t take on Flint? He’s just an arrogant idiot. Yeah, he’s stronger than me, but I’m much faster than him.”
“Well, you should still be careful at this week’s match, he might try something,” Oliver said seriously.
My eyes widened before I could stop myself. “You think he’d try something on Friday?”
“I wouldn’t put it past him,” Oliver told me. “But like you said, you’re a tough girl, you can handle it.” He winked at me.
I punched his shoulder. “Stop mocking me!”
“I’m not,” he laughed now. I punched him again. “Ow! Okay, I’m sorry! Jeez, why do you hate me so much? That hurts!”
I shrugged and grinned. “Because you’re irritating.”
“Actually, why do you hate me so much, Riddell?”
Uhh… That totally threw me off guard.
“I… I… well… you’re… I don’t know,” I stuttered incoherently.
He arched an eyebrow. “Is that really the answer you’re going to give me? After years of being horrible to me?”
“Me? Horrible? To you?” I exclaimed. “You’re the one that’s always trying to rile me up! You always have to push my buttons and just piss me off to no end!”
“I thought we were just having a laugh,” he chuckled. “I didn’t think you’d take it to heart.”
“I don’t!” I crossed my arms in a huff.
“We used to be mates,” he said softly.
I felt my chest tighten and the memory of that summer flooded into the forefront of my mind despite my resistance. I remembered that time all too well now. Probably a bit differently than him. It was the summer before Hogwarts and the summer… the summer my mum left us.
Six years ago.
“What house do you think we’ll be in?” I turned over onto my side to look at Oliver’s face. He was staring up at the clouds but then he broke out into a grin. I felt a giddiness erupt inside of me at the sight.
“Gryffindor, of course,” he said confidently.
“Both of us?” I asked. It was a fear that had been burdening me all throughout summer and now that it was coming to an end, I couldn’t hold that fear inside me any longer.
Oliver rolled over to look at me causing me to blush and look away.
“Of course, Keegan! You’re just as brave as anyone I know, loyal and kind.”
“But what if… what if we get separated?” I cried out, tears springing to my eyes. “I mean you’ll go off with your friends and… oh God, we won’t even play Quidditch together!”
“Look, if we do get separated, we’ll still be friends,” he chuckled. “You’ll always be one of my best mates and we’ll always play Quidditch together over summer.”
I sighed and turned away from him. I couldn’t bear to look at those dark brown eyes of his anymore. They were so sincere and genuine that it hurt me to look into them when I couldn’t find myself to believe in his words.
“I guess so.”
It hurt even more that I would always be his mate. That’s what I’ll always be to him and it hurt. It had taken me all summer to realise why it hurt, but even then, it was hard to believe that I had developed a crush on my best friend. It was even harder to believe that anything more would happen from this crush.
“Keegan, don’t look like that,” Oliver said softly me, his voice making my body hum with happiness. Whenever Oliver used that tone with me, it always made me feel like I was the only person in the world that he cared about. Stupid, I know. “I hate when you look upset.”
“Sorry,” I grinned for him.
He rolled his eyes and slid his arm around my shoulder, pulling me tightly to him. “Hey, you know I love you, right?”
My heart thumped in my chest, but I knew that’s not what he meant. As a friend, Keegan, only that.
“Yeah of course, and I love you too,” I said back, almost robotically.
“Good.” I didn’t have to look at him to know he was smiling and that made me feel happier too.
“KEEGAN,” my little brother came running out of the house, screaming his lungs out. I’d normally be annoyed, but something about his voice pained me inside.
I shot up from my spot to look at the ten year old in front of me, tears streaming down his face. “Edan? Edan! What’s wrong, love?”
“She’s gone, Keegan! She’s gone!” Edan cried out, his voice breaking every so often. “All her stuff’s gone! Everything! She left us!”
I stared wordlessly at my brother, my heart having shattered into a million pieces inside of me. It felt as if every broken shard had pierced through another part of my body, leaving me completely tattered inside.
How could she leave me? How could she just walk out on us? I knew they had problems, but what about her children?
Edan was only nine! I was about to go to Hogwarts!
Everything around me turned into white noise as I ran into the house. I had to see it for myself. I had to…
See that everything was gone. My mother was gone.
“That’s till you lied to me,” I told him.
It had been so long since I remembered why I hated Oliver in the first place. I’ve forgotten how painful it was to remember that summer.
“What are you talking about, Keegan?” he asked me, his brown eyes wide.
“You lied to me,” I cried out, louder this time. “You said we’d be in Gryffindor and then you left me, I was all alone, Oliver! And with everything that happened, I just…”
“You know that’s not my fault, Keegs!”
“I know! I was just so mad at everyone!” I felt my heart clench tightly inside of me, burning with an anger and pain that I forgot was there. “I was so angry that you never even bothered with me.”
“Keegan, it wasn’t…”
“Shut up, Oliver, just shut up, okay?” I snapped. “When you got sorted into Gryffindor, I was actually so happy for you and I wasn’t even bitter when I went to Ravenclaw. I guess I always knew but… but you left me. You had your new mates and you forgot about me. You left me when I needed you most. She left me, Oliver! You know how much that killed me inside? And you went and did the same thing. I was eleven. I didn’t need two people I loved to walk out on me!”
Tears threatened to spill over but I haven’t cried in front of anyone in a long time and I was going to start now. Especially in front of him.
“Keegan, I’m so sorry,” he said softly. The effect that voice had on me those many years ago were now long gone.
“Then at that… Christmas banquet,” I continued, unable to stop the words tumbling out of my mouth. I seriously had an issue with keeping my mouth shut. “You and that mistletoe.” I closed my eyes, willing the memory away. “You stole my first kiss and you still went about like we were good mates after all you did… or didn’t do.”
He stared wordlessly at me. I didn’t need him to say anything. I just wanted to forget this conversation ever happened.
Merlin, I had forgotten those things for a bloody reason!
I never wanted to feel that way again, to feel so alone and helpless and lost. To feel so dependant on Oliver… on my mum.
“Oliver,” I said gently, the anger dissipating from my body. It took a lot of energy to be angry and I was just exhausted now. “Please can we forget this conversation ever happened? I just want to go back to hating you for mindlessly stupid reasons. I want to go back to our relationship just being about wanting to beat the other, okay?”
He looked at me. I knew he wanted to protest but he nodded.
“Thank you,” I smiled before turning around and walking in the opposite direction to the Ravenclaw Tower. “Wood,” I added over my shoulder.
A/N: gotta love this fast queue, eh?? again, i have yet to properly comb it out for grammatical mistakes, etc. so be kind :) anyway, WAAHHH! whaddaayaaa think?? oliver and keegan's past? keegan's mum? what do you think of the characters thus far?? do tell me, i love reviews! xxx
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