Chapter 2 : The Quidditch Captain
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Sorry the first chapter was a bit slow but it picks up from here, enjoy!
Thanks to laylacitababy @ TDA for the beautiful chapter image.
"A one legged, blind monkey would make a better Quidditch captain than you!” ~Tabitha Hart
“I just think you should know that there are other options out there for you. Options that are better suited to you.” Annie Moore said as she flicked through the pages of Witch Weekly. Tabitha looked up from the game of Wizard’s Chess she was playing with Natalie Cooper and raised her eyebrows in an amused sort of way.
“Better suited to me? Annie, I practically won the Quidditch Cup single handed last year. How could anything be better suited to me?” She asked.
“Hey!” Natalie exclaimed. “Single Handed?” She feigned a hurt look and pouted at Tabitha. Tabitha grinned.
“My apologies, Natalie and I won that match single handed…or should I say double handed? Never mind.” She turned back to Annie and gave her an expectant stare. Annie looked up from her magazine and sighed impatiently.
“All I meant was, Quidditch isn’t exactly the most…feminine pastime, now is it?” Natalie snorted, but covered it up quickly with a cough. Annie rolled her eyes and continued. “Even flying on its own isn’t really suited for girls. Those broomsticks are dreadfully uncomfortable and not at all practical in a skirt.” Tabitha cocked her head to one side, as though trying to visualise her friend’s line of logic.
“But Annie, we don’t wear skirts when we’re playing Quidditch.”
“My point exactly!” Annie gave a satisfied smile, as though she had clearly won the argument, and turned her attention back to the article on ’12 household beauty charms you’ve never thought to try.’ Tabitha shook her head as she watched her turn a page. Annie was exactly the sort of girl you would expect to see reading Witch Weekly. Her skin was flawless, thanks to her 45 minute daily skin care routine, leaving her features a beautiful shade of eggshell porcelain. Her striking blue eyes were framed with dangerously long eye lashes, which were used to help Annie get her own way (only when absolutely necessary of course). She had chestnut brown hair that fell in perfect waves over her shoulders and down her back. She absent-mindedly twirled a strand between her graceful fingers as she sat on the soft cushioned bench in the train compartment, her long graceful legs tucked beneath her.
“Checkmate.” Natalie chirped. Tabitha looked back down at the board, where her king was being pummelled by Natalie’s queen. To look at, Natalie was very different to Annie. She had short, straight, black hair that was currently pulled back into a ponytail. Her cheeks were dotted with a handful of light freckles, and her grey eyes were sparkling with glee at her win.
“No fair!” Tabitha pouted. “I was distracted by Princess Pretty over there.”
“A deal’s a deal.” Natalie crowed, scooping up her chessmen and dropping them back into their box. “You lose – you buy the sweets when the trolley comes around!”
“Fine.” Tabitha grumbled good naturedly. She put away her own chessmen, then sat, cross legged on the seat and gazed out the window. It was the sixth time she had made this journey from London to Hogsmeade. She smiled as she remembered her eleven year old self, sitting in a compartment just like this one. That was where she had first met Annie and Natalie. Despite their differences, they had bonded together as the train moved steadily northwards, and by the time they were sorted into Gryffindor house together, their friendship had been cemented. Tabitha could still visualise herself, that timid little girl, waving goodbye to her only living parent as she entered a whole new world. She hadn’t changed much in appearance since then. Her blonde hair still fell in messy curls around her face, except for when she was playing Quidditch when she would pull it back into an equally messy ponytail. Her deep brown eyes were the colour of dark chocolate, and like Annie’s, they were framed by thick eyelashes. She was slim, but not as tall as Annie, and both she and Natalie had strong, toned arms and legs: a result of many Quidditch practices.
“…can’t believe it’s our sixth year at Hogwarts. Sometimes it feels like everything the same as it was in first year." Natalie was musing as Tabitha pulled herself from her reminiscing and turned to smile at her friends.
“Well I for one think that there should be some changes this year.” Annie said, closing her magazine and looking at the other two.
“Changes? Like what?” Tabitha asked curiously.
“Well now that we’re older, and more responsible, I think we should be allowed more social activities.” Annie was picking up pace now, and the other girls realised this was something she had put a lot of thought into. “For example, the only time we really get to spend together socially is at a few feasts, Hogsmeade weekends or –” She sighed “Quidditch matches, which are hardly conducive for any decent social interaction.” Natalie bit back a smile and asked innocently,
“Well what would you propose then Annie?”
“Oh I’ve got loads of ideas.” Annie gushed. “Evening Hogsmeade visits for proper dates to begin with. I also think we should have some sort of Ball, at least for the sixth and seventh years.”
“Oh but Annie, think of all those young girls who would be so devastated when they realise I can’t take them all,” said a new voice. Three pairs of eyes looked up at the door to the compartment and met a pair of golden brown ones. A tall and somewhat handsome boy with scruffy black hair stood leaning against the door nonchalantly giving a cheeky grin to the three girls. Annie giggled at him in her girlish way.
“Oh James!” She twittered. The boy winked at Annie and she blushed slightly before giggling again.
“So Cooper, Hart, you ladies ready to be whipped into shape by the awesome new Gryffindor Quidditch captain?” James asked, walking into the compartment and sitting between Annie and the window.
“Quidditch! That is all you people ever think of!” Annie huffed, the sweet, girlish smile gone from her lips. She snapped open her magazine and proceeded to read again, turning her back on the other three. Tabitha didn’t hear any of this though. She was staring at James, her eyes jumping from his self-satisfied smirk to something small and silver, glinting as he held it between his fingers.
“You?” She asked, her voice a hoarse whisper. James’ smirk widened and he held up the captain’s badge for her to see properly.
“Oh well done!” Natalie beamed at him, although an angry glare from Tabitha caused her to find the inspection of her fingernails an irresistible task. Tabitha turned back to the dark haired boy sitting across from her.
“You! How could they make you Quidditch captain! A one legged, blind monkey would make a better Quidditch captain than you!” She snapped, her voice now loud and strong. Her eyes were blazing with anger, which only intensified as James’ continued to smile at her, clearly amused by her outburst. The compartment door suddenly slid open again, and another sixth year boy with dirty blonde hair, hazel eyes and a cheeky smile appeared in the opening.
“I see you told her then.” He chuckled. “Great Merlin’s beard Hart, they could hear you in the next carriage! Pipe it down a bit would you?” Tabitha didn’t respond, but continued to glare at James, infuriated by his smile. How could they make him captain! She fumed. He’s such a self-satisfied, stuck up, pretty boy! How are we going to win with him as our ‘fearless’ leader?
James and Tabitha continued their silent staring match: he smirking, she glaring. The sandy-haired boy sat next to Natalie, who had given up on the fingernails ruse. They both watched their friends eagerly, waiting to see who would crack first. Even Annie forgot about her disinterest in sports long enough to look up from her reading.
It was James who brought an end to their silent battle.
“Well Hart, you will just have to live with it won’t you.” He stood. “That is assuming, of course, that you make the team.” He turned as though to leave, but Tabitha shot to her feet and stood, blocking his way. Her hand crept to the pocket of her jeans where she had stowed her wand.
“If I make the team?” She glowered. “You know for a fact that I am the best chaser that this school has seen in a very long time, probably since your own mother!”
“Well, well, don’t we have a big head?” James laughed. Tabitha gripped her wand tighter and found herself resisting the urge to put the jellylegs jinx on him.
“Big head or not, you know it’s true.” She hissed. “You had better hope I’m on the team or Gryffindor won’t even make it through their first practice.” The smile still hadn’t faded from James’ lips.
“Well we’ll see about that.” He said, and pushed past Tabitha to open the door. “Coming Rowan?” He asked the sandy haired boy before ducking out into the corridor. Rowan stood, and with one last grin to the compartment at large, he followed James, pulling the door closed behind him. Tabitha stared at the door, still angry at what had just happened.
“Can you believe him?” She asked, throwing herself back on to the seat. “Captain. Captain! And all that nonsense about if you make the team. Honestly, what was Professor Longbottom thinking!” Natalie smiled gently at her friend.
“You know he’s just saying those things to get under your skin Tabby. He knows he can get a rise out of you so he has to try.” She said. “He may be a bit full of himself, but James Potter is not stupid enough to make you try out for the Quidditch team. He likes winning too much!” Tabitha stared out the window as she listened to Natalie’s reasoning. She knew her friend was right, especially about James getting under her skin. He always had been able to annoy her, from the first time they’d spoken.
It had been on that very first journey on the Hogwarts Express. The three girls were bonding happily with chocolate frogs and cauldron cakes strewn on the seats between them. James had wandered in, and struck up a conversation. Tabitha smiled, remembering how even then, eleven year old Annie had been enamoured with him, the son of the great Harry Potter. Of course, Tabitha had only just heard of Harry Potter and didn’t realise that he and James were even related. He’d been spouting off about being sorted, when he said the words that would make him a fast enemy.
“Of course I suppose, if I had to, I wouldn’t mind being a Ravenclaw. But could you imagine being made a Hufflepuff? Oh and if the sorting hat even tries to put me in Slyth…” James’ voice had trailed off as Tabitha jumped to her feet in anger.
“What did you say?” She hissed.
“I…um…what?” James had looked around, confused at this sudden reaction from the blonde girl with the pretty brown eyes.
“What did you say about Hufflepuff?” She growled.
“Well only that…oh well I mean there’s nothing wrong with being a Hufflepuff…it’s just that…” He trailed off, not sure how to finish the sentence.
“You bet there’s nothing wrong with Hufflepuff! My mum was a Hufflepuff and she was a fantastic witch!” And with that, she sat back down again and crossed her arms firmly, determined never to be friends with such a stuck-up boy. Of course, when she herself was sorted into Gryffindor, it had come as something of a surprise. But with time, Tabitha had come to realise her strengths lay in a different place to her mother’s. Unfortunately, being in Gryffindor meant that she had to put up with being around James, especially once they both made the Quidditch team in their third year; but she managed most of the time.
“…don’t really think it would be right for a girl to be Quidditch captain anyway. You get so muddy out there.” Annie was saying, looking at Tabitha with what she assumed was supposed to be a look of comfort and understanding. Tabitha smiled at her friends, her anger now subdued.
“You’re right.” She said to Natalie. “He’s a moron, but even he’s not that stupid.”
“That’s the spirit!” Natalie grinned. For the third time in the last half an hour, the compartment door slid open again, but this time a friendly faced witch with a mauve apron stood there.
“Anything from the trolley dears?” She asked. Tabitha gave a dramatically exaggerated sigh as she stood and fished some money out of her pocket.
“I guess it’s my shout then.”
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