Chapter 7 : In The Art Of Unity
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Do you know the enemy?
Do you know your enemy?
Well, gotta know the enemy...
- Know Your Enemy - Green Day
And this amazingness was one by misfit @tda!
Chapter 7: In The Art Of Unity
“At least we won, right?” Sarah Finnegan grinned.
“But it came at a price,” argued Albus, gesturing madly around him to the two beds. One contained a battered and bruised Sarah Finnegan (who was still grinning, by the way), and the other a slightly pained Nicholas Spinnet.
We all sat around the two beds. The team had finally changed out of their muddy Quidditch robes, and they all looked exhausted and worn out.
“Yeah but it got Peakes fired!” insisted Sarah.
Huh, I wish.
“Well…” sighed Potter, “We don’t know that for sure.”
“Oh come on!” cried Sarah, still grinning, “What exactly did McGonagall say to him?!”
“She said she was very disappointed in him…that he had shown the worst imaginable leadership qualities and should be ashamed of himself, etcetera,” said Albus.
“And Ding Dong! The Captain’s gone!” cried Sarah, looking even more pleased.
We all glared at her.
Her glass-is-half-full attitude was totally uncalled for.
Call me a pessimist but I mean, come on, McGonagall still hadn’t put me back on the team. Just how much was I going to have to do to work for it?
In order to get back on the team, Peakes would have to be fired.
Peakes hadn’t come to the hospital wing, of course. He had taken an extremely long shower, according to Albus, and then stormed out of the changing rooms, slamming the door behind him, like the valiant gentleman he is.
I looked from Sarah, who still remained annoyingly cheerful, to Nicholas Spinnet, who looked nervous. He spotted me looking at him and he looked a little terrified.
That bloody article was really going to help me make new friends.
The rest of the team began to talk amongst themselves, mostly debating as to whether or not Peakes would remain captain.
I drew my chair closer to Nicholas’ bed, and he sat up straight, looking a little more uncomfortable.
That’s right Spinnet. Be afraid.
Be very afraid.
“Relax,” I said, “I don't bite.”
He relaxed a little, but he still couldn’t manage a smile.
“No smile?” I said, “That’s fine, I’ll just talk and you can listen. And before you say anything, no I am not going to beat you to a pulp with my beater’s bat.”
“Actually,” he said, speaking up for the first time, “It’s my bat now.”
I raised my eyebrows. So he was a comedian.
He chuckled nervously.
“Too soon?” he asked, retreating under his bedcovers in fear.
“Much too soon,” I sighed, kicking my feet up on the end of his bed, laying them over where his legs were. He winced in pain.
“That hurts,” he said, grimacing slightly.
“I know,” I smiled politely, "that’s what you get, funny boy."
He surprised me by laughing slightly.
Then I even I started laughing a little. I moved my legs off the bed.
“Look I just want you to know that I don’t hate you. Despite what you read in the article, I’m not actually a horrible person. I’m not a terribly nice person, but hey, nobody's perfect.”
He nodded slowly.
“And you’re not the worst beater I’ve ever seen,” I added reluctantly, “Plus you seem all right as a person. Well Rose says you’re alright, and she’s usually an good judge of character.”
“Good to know you don’t hate me.”
“Great!” I grinned broadly at him, “Now that we’re pals, what can I call you? Can I call you Nicky?”
His gaze darkened. Clearly Nicky wasn’t an option.
“Don’t call me that,” he growled.
“Well what do you like?” I continued, ignoring his aggressive tone of voice, “Nick? Nicky?Nick-ster?”
Did I just say Nick-ster out loud?
“Did you just say Nick-ster?” he laughed.
Must keep straight face. Must keep straight face.
“Good. That's settled, I’ll call you Nick-ster from now on.”
“Please no,” he said, looking annoyed.
“Sorry, no can't do Nick-ster,” I grinned.
He looked so exasperated by this that I decided to cut him some slack.
“Ok, how about Nick?”
“Fine,” he said, “That’s what everyone calls me.”
“OK, and I’ll only call you Nick-ster when no one's around.”
His eyes widened in horror.
“I’m kidding!” I cried, “Wow kid, you need a sense of humour.”
“Hey, at least I have your spot on the team,” he laughed.
“Still too soon,” I said.
“Sorry,” he chuckled, “Just promise you won’t call me Nick-ster.”
“Pinky promise,” I grinned.
“Oi, Walker!” came Potter’s voice loudly from behind me, “It’s almost eight and we have detention.”
I turned around and glared at him.
“Alright Potter, don’t get your knickers in a twist. I was just having a nice little chat with Nick-ster.”
“You promised!” Nick cried from behind me.
“Well, I crossed my fingers,” I said, waving him off. Potter was looking at me, a look of amusement on his face. I scowled back at him.
“Hey I’m just trying to help,” he said, “McGonagall might be more inclined to putting you back on the team if you show up on time.”
“I know, I know,” I said, smiling as kindly as I could, “Having me off the team is hard Potter, but you’ll find a way to get over it. In the meantime, chin up!”
“Believe me I’d rather have Peakes,” he smirked.
Why is he still smirking?
“Ouch, that might have hurt if I thought you meant it.”
“Whatever,” he said, still looking amused which greatly annoyed me, “I’ll see you in detention Walker.”
He got up.
“See you at the party, team,” he continued, waving to everyone as he got up.
“Oi!” I cried, jumping up from my chair, “Don’t walk away when I’m arguing with you!”
“Take it easy Walker,” he grinned. I fumed.
He made his way out of the hospital wing. I glowered.
Who does that tosser think he is? Some sort of leaver who just…leaves in the middle of an argument?
My way with words really blows my mind.
“Take it easy,” I muttered childishly, “You take it easy.”
I marched out of the hospital wing. I heard the others laughing behind me.
Ah, my teammates. Complete tossers every last one.
“Potter!” I shouted after him. He was already half way up the stairs. He turned around, his facial expression one of boredom.
“Don’t you ‘what’ me!” I snapped. I rushed up the stairs to join him. He was really getting me riled up, and worse still, he was enjoying it.
“How can I be of assistance?” he smirked.
“Just wanted to congratulate you on that spectacular crash you had this afternoon.”
He scowled at me. Finally, I seemed to have hit a sore point.
“Must have hurt,” I continued, “Anyway, what I really wanted to say is that you did a pretty crap job at proving that you don’t need me up there to protect you.”
Potter started to walk up the stairs again. I followed him eagerly.
"Don't you have somewhere else to be?" Potter said, speeding up the pace at which he walked.
"I have detention with you, as you so kindly reminded me," I snapped.
Yep, that's right. I'm in for a fun night. It's just going to be me…and Potter…and Peakes. Hanging out.
Potter didn't respond. We remained in angry silence the rest of the way.
Once we reached McGonagall's office door Potter turned to me, his smirk back in place.
"Just try not to beg McGonagall for your spot back," he said, "It'll make the situation very embarrassing."
"I'll tell you what'll be embarrassing, it'll be embarrassing for you if I give you another black eye."
"Temper, Walker, temper," he smirked.
Don't hit, Charlie, don't hit....think happy, peaceful thoughts.
Like Potter getting hit in the face with a bludger (that may, or may not have been hit by me).
Wow, McGonagall was right. I am too violent.
Potter opened the door, revealing McGonagall's office. Peakes was already there but he didn’t look at us as we walked in.
"Good," said McGonagall, "You're all here. Your detention tonight will be to sort out the school attendance records, as some student thought it would be amusing to rearrange them."
I glanced at Potter suspiciously but he kept a straight face, so I couldn't tell if he was the culprit or not.
McGonagall brought out two large boxes from beneath her desk. They looked like large filing cabinet drawers.
“Miss Walker and Mr. Potter, you will each sort out one of these. If either of you find any of the records have been defaced please rewrite them on one of these blank c.ards I have left here," she said motioning to the end of her desk. "Mr. Peakes you'll be sorting out the head boy and girl records over there. No talking."
“Don’t worry, McGonagall,” said Potter, his face stony, “That won’t be a problem.”
“You will address me as Professor McGonagall, Potter, or I will give you a problem.”
I smirked in spite of myself.
“Before you begin,” she said, looking towards Peakes, “I have made a decision as to what to do with the quidditch team.”
I held my breath.
“Mr. Peakes,” she said sternly, “I am revoking your captain duties for the rest of the year.”
YES! YES! YES!
“What?” Peakes cried loudly, looking outraged.
“Why so surprised?” I muttered.
“Well who are you going to give it too?” cried Peakes, “Potter?”
“Mr. Peakes,” said McGonagall loudly, her frown line deepening, “If you don’t stop shouting I will forbid you from being on the team entirely.”
That shut him up.
Wait - she’s not kicking him off the team?
Oh god, she’s going to make Potter captain, isn’t she?
I don’t think I can take all the smirking, the arrogance. I mean Potter’s ego is already too big; does she really have to make him more conceited than he already is?
“I am putting Miss Walker back onto the team,” she said, turning her gaze towards me.
YES! I restrained myself from hugging her.
The dream of captain is still intact!
“The spot of captain…” McGonagall said slowly, as if pausing for dramatic effect.
Merlin, just say it already! I heard Potter hold his breath.
You wish, Potter, that spot’s mine. MINE!
“Will be eliminated.”
“WHAT?” Potter and I cried in unison. McGonagall held up her hand to silence us.
“It has become clear to me that the Gryffindor Quidditch team seriously lacks teamwork,” she sighed, “You will have one extra team member, and no captain. You will have to learn how to work together as a team.”
“How are we supposed to practice with eight players?” demanded Potter.
“That’s an obstacle you will have to overcome,” she said, “as a team. You will all take turns in being reserve so that you may recognise and appreciate each others strengths.”
“So we’re never going to have a captain?” I asked.
“I will pick a new captain before your match against Ravenclaw. I will choose whoever is the biggest team player, whoever puts the team first, and not whoever has the most talent.”
Great, that means either Albus or Rose will get it, because they’re the most supportive people on the team. And they have talent. And they’re nice. Damn, it’ll make it so much harder for me to dislike them.
At least Peakes is out of the running. That guy only loves himself. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about teamwork.
I sighed in annoyance, and McGonagall handed me one of the boxes and indicated a table along one wall.
I sat down, Potter sitting down beside me.
We started sorting through them, occasionally correcting scribbles that had been made over the records.
Suddenly a piece of paper appeared in front of me.
Potter had scribbled something on it.
So what are we going to do about Peakes?
I glanced at him but he looked at the desk with indifference so I scribbled something back.
There is no ‘we’ Potter. Leave this to me.
I slid the paper over to his side of the table. He read it and wrote something.
No way Walker. I’m not letting you take all the credit.
I wrote back.
So I should let you take it, should I?
I’m suggesting we make this one a team effort.
Well maybe you should keep your suggestions to yourself, Potter.
Stop being childish, Walker.
Fine. What did you have in mind?
I don’t know. That’s why I asked you.
Potter doesn’t know? There’s a first.
Do you want to take down Peakes, or not?
Where’s the benefit? McGonagall would find out and then we’d lose out on the Captain spot.
The benefit would be in wiping that smug look off his face. It’s called revenge Walker.
Don’t get smart with me Potter, not unless you want my genius in on this.
Your genius? You wish.
Really? Then why did you ask for my help?
I didn’t ask for your help, Walker, I just thought we should combine our efforts in destroying Peakes.
Two’s a crowd.
Three’s a crowd, get it right. You know that if we combined our efforts Peakes would go down in flames.
Like I’m going to trust you Potter. I’m not stupid.
Look, you’re probably the least trustworthy person I could ask, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Desperate times? Bit dramatic.
For Merlin’s sake, Walker, you really want to work as a team with Peakes?
So are you in, or are you out?
Fine. I’m in.
I left the paper lying on the table and didn’t bother to pass it to him. The conversation was over.
“Time’s up,” said McGonagall, “Give me back the drawers and you may go.”
Finally. All this sitting next to Walker was really pissing me off. All night long, as we sorted through the boxes she had kept on elbowing me as she wrote. I knew it was accidental, but I elbowed her back angrily anyway. And then, of course, she felt the need to push me off my chair.
We gave her the drawers and made our way out of the office in silence.
As soon as the door was shut behind us Peakes rounded on us.
“I hope you both know that this is your fault ,” he snarled.
“No, this is your fault for being a world class jerk,” Walker snapped. Her fists clenched at her sides.
I really hope she doesn’t punch anyone. Especially not me.
I mean, not that I can’t take it. It stings a bit, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.
After all, I am the epitome of manliness.
“Make no mistake,” said Peakes, “I will make both of your lives as miserable as possible, whether or not I’m your captain.”
He spun on his heel and stormed away.
“What a prat,” I muttered.
Walker flicked her long hair over her shoulder and began to walk towards Gryffindor tower. I, unwittingly, followed.
“We’ve got to do something,” she muttered low under her breath.
“Yes, like I suggested,” I said.
“I don’t think I can take much more of his crap,” she exclaimed angrily.
“That’s why we are going to take him down,” I said.
We turned a corner and as we made our way up to the tower, faint music came to my ears. The victory party was clearly in full swing.
“Looks like they’ve started celebrating,” said Walker.
“We need to agree on terms,” I said quickly.
“I’m sorry, terms?” she raised both eyebrows disbelievingly.
“If we’re going to make this a team effort, we need to agree on some things.”
She nodded slowly, and then said,
“Once a plan is finalised, no last minute changes without letting the other know,” I continued.
“Cease-fire,” she said.
I stopped in surprise.
Charlie Walker wanted a cease-fire? I’d sooner see Voldemort announce that he’s seeing a therapist about his power-hunger issues.
“Stop gaping,” she snapped. I closed my mouth and cleared my throat.
“You want a cease-fire?” I repeated.
“Yes,” she said, “A cease fire between us. For your benefit, I don’t think you’ll be able to handle bringing down two people at once.”
“Oh shut up,” I snapped, “Fine, while we get rid of Peakes, there will be a cease-fire.”
“This doesn’t make us friends, buddies, comrades in arms, partners in crime or anything in the friendship or criminology department,” she continued.
“Absolutely not,” I agreed, “We're just enemies with a common goal.”
“Password?” came a sharp interruption.
We both looked up and found that we’d already reached the portrait hole.
“Hippogriff hoof,” said Walker.
The portrait hole swung open to reveal the common room where loud music was playing and everyone was cheering.
We stepped inside and saw that Gryffindor banners and colourful lights covered the walls.
“IT’S POTTER!” someone roared, “EVERYONE, GIVE IT UP FOR THE KEEPER!”
I grinned as everyone broke into loud, raucous cheers.
I pushed my way through the crowd and saw Owen on the other side chatting up some girl. As soon as he saw me he came up and clapped me hard on the back.
“How was detention?” he slurred.
“How much did you drink?” I laughed.
“A little,” he used his fingers to demonstrate.
He threw an arm around my shoulders.
“Congratulations, buddy,” he roared in my ear.
“Er, thanks,” I said, “Where’s Freddie?”
“He’s arguing with that fit veela girl,” Owen slurred.
I grinned. Arguing was something that Freddie and Max often did. I mean, obviously Freddie was crazy about her, but it always took a lot of alcohol to get him to admit that.
We got him really drunk a few moths ago, and he finally admitted that Max Duchamp was ‘alright looking.’ That’s Freddie’s way of saying that he was in love.
I spotted Zach making his way over to us.
“Congrats,” he said. I could tell that he hadn't drunk much and was highly amused by Owen who was still hanging off my shoulder.
“Thanks,” I said, “So what are Freddie and Max arguing about?”
“It was that paper,” said Zach, “You know that gossip section that no one ever reads?”
“Well in they were named as a possible couple. Something about how their arguing could be seen as sexual tension. Anyway, point is, she thinks that he put that in there, or at least he’s the reason that it’s there. They’re off somewhere arguing about it.”
I grinned and took a drink that Owen offered me. Suddenly he turned to Zach and shouted.
“STOP STARING AT HER!”
Zach jumped, and looked at him in surprise and embarrassment. I saw Alex sitting alone over by the window. She wasn’t drinking anything either.
Zach was so love struck it was sickening.
“Maybe she needs someone to talk to,” he sighed, his enraptured gaze turning back to Alex, who had a book open in her lap. At a bloody party no less.
Her and Zach will be very happy together, and they’ll probably have lots of very intelligent children who only read when they attend social occasions too.
That is if she notices his existence any time soon.
“Seriously…dude,” Owen slurred, “She’s a nerd. Plus she doesn’t even know you exist.”
“Hey!” Zach snapped, “She’s not a nerd. And she does know I exist. I asked her a question last week at dinner and she answered.”
“And what question was that?” I asked, eyebrows raised.
He lowered his head.
“I asked her to pass the salt,” he muttered, “And she passed it.”
Owen burst out into laughter whilst Zach turned bright red.
“Dude,” he said, clapping a hand on his shoulder, “Just stop stalking the know-it-all and get a life.”
“Don’t call her that!” Zach snapped angrily, “She’s just intelligent, unlike some people.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”exclaimed Owen suddenly. He was drawn up to his full height, which was surprisingly tall.
They were glaring at each other and fists were clenching.
“Okay guys,” I said, stepping in between each other, “Calm down.”
“If you’ve got something to say, Wood,” snarled Owen, the aggressive effects of the alcohol were kicking in, “Just say it.”
“Okay,” Zach hissed, “Why would I listen to the word of someone who drinks so much he can't even see straight?”
Owen lunged for him.
My friends are gits.
And then they started pummeling each other.
I crossed the room and saw Dan. She was laughing with some guy who was practically drooling on her. She saw me and hurried over.
“How was detention?” she asked.
“Fine,” I said, “McGonagall put me back on the team.”
“That’s great!” she cried, hugging me.
“So, where’s Max? And Alex?” I asked.
“Alex is over there, reading,” Dan raised an eyebrow as she pointed over to a window sill where Alex sat in her own little world, “And Max is off yelling at Freddie Weasley.”
As usual. When Max wasn’t listening to me rant about Potter, she was busy ranting about Weasley. Apparently it went way back, even before I came here. Someone pushed someone in the lake on their boat ride to the castle, and it all went off from there.
“She found some article in that newspaper,” continued Dan, “It said they were ‘an item’. She was really mad. Don’t know why though. I mean, Fred is hot.”
“Max doesn’t seem to think so,” I sighed.
“I know!” she exclaimed wildly, “She’s crazy right? And he’s crazy about her! And she doesn’t realise! God if he wasn’t into her I would totally-”
“Woah, down girl,” I laughed.
Dan is slightly boy mad. Okay she’s very boy mad, but I still respect her because she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about her.
“Please go upstairs and change out of your uniform into a dress?” she whines.
“Ugh,” I groan, “No.”
“Pretty please?” she whines, “You’ll look so pretty!”
“I don’t own a dress,” I sigh.
“Borrow one of mine!” she cries.
Dan had always been desperate to change my image. When I wasn’t in uniform I wore baggy jeans or sweats and my brother’s old muggle band t-shirts. Dan always complained that I looked like I didn’t care. So I told her that I didn’t. She practically shoved her clothes down my throat to try to get me to wear them but I always flatly refused.
If I let them give me a makeover...
a) The result would be disappointing. I wouldn’t end up as some gorgeous supermodel, because I don’t have supermodel looks.
b) Everyone would mock me. And by everyone I mean Potter.
c) The sweats are comfortable. Get over it.
“You could be so gorgeous if you just wore something I bit more…fitted,” she said desperately.
“No,” I said.
I pushed past her to get to the stairs.
“At least think about it!” she cried after me.
“I will,” I called behind me.
* * *
Inside the dormitory I could tell that they’d all gone into party-mode. Whenever there was a party Dan and Max went crazy. They pulled out all their clothes, trying on one top after another, doing each other’s makeup. Alex and I always watched and rolled our eyes. Alex never dressed to impress. She kept all her clothes folded and ironed perfectly in her wardrobe. She’s such a neat freak.
There were clothes strewn over Max and Dan’s beds, a curling wand lay on the table and makeup was everywhere. The scent of the flowery perfume still hung in the air.
I opened my wardrobe and pulled out the first clothes that came into view. A pair of baggy jeans and a ‘guns and roses’ t-shirt. I quickly slipped out of my uniform and pulled on the clothes.
I sighed because, as I caught a glance of myself in the mirror, I saw that I had no shape. The jeans hung off my legs and the shirt covered everything up to my neck. If I had boobs the shirt effortlessly concealed them from the world.
I mean, I wouldn’t mind showing my boobs…a little bit.
Oh, shut up, not in a slutty way.
Just so that people are aware that my gender is in fact female.
If it weren’t for the hair I could have easily been mistaken for a boy.
Oh god, no wonder Potter thinks I don’t count as a real girl.
I opened Dan’s wardrobe, which stood beside mine. It was a sudden burst of brightness. packed with shirts and dresses of every colour of the rainbow. Below the railing stood a long line of shoes.
I sighed because Dan always looked so beautiful, so confident in these clothes.
For a moment I imagined what I would look like in those clothes.
Attractive? No. Ridiculous? Yes.
No, I couldn’t be distracted with pretty clothes that I normally should have been repulsed by. I had a plan to formulate.
A plan to destroy Peakes once and for all, so that he never shows his gitful face on the quidditch pitch again.
He shall learn to fear the wrath of Charlie Walker.
And along with Potter, who I must admit is not the most terrible troublemaker, I shall be unstoppable.
Except I’ll have to share my glory with James bloody Potter. My enemy.
My enemy who hates my guts.
My enemy, who I’ve just made a very risky deal with.
Oh god, what have I done?
A/N: So? Thoughts? Let me know what you thought about everything! :) I'm really sorry for the long wait! The next chapter is already underway, so hopefully I'll put it up soonish :) I'm gonna try to be quicker with updates in future!
Review please! x
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