Chapter 3 : Chapter Two
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"Don't be nervous, it's just a practice!"
"Yeah, easy for you to say!" snapped Angelina, throwing back the Quaffle to Katherine. They were practicing the reverse pass, which Angelina seemed to have trouble with.
"Again, you can't look back at me," responded Katherine, her hair in a tight bun, "because when you’re flying, if you do that, you'll crash!"
Angelina frowned. "Then how am I supposed to know when someone's there?"
Katherine sighed. "Look, you guys can have sign language, or, like I said, instinct... it's harder said than done." She threw the Quaffle back at Angelina and looked at her watch. "You still have an hour..."
Angelina looked down to see Lee walk onto the field with two redheads, both wearing their usually cheeky grins. "Do we land?" asked Katherine, tightening her grip on the broom.
Angelina shrugged. "Hey, we've been up here for hours, and I'm getting better, so how about we take a small break?" Even if Angelina hadn't given her a pleading look, Katherine knew better – she watched her roommate turn the broom handle and take towards the ground. She could feel her stomach churn as soon as she heard her name called.
"You'll freeze to death up there!"
Katherine turned towards the boys, who were waving, signaling her to come down. Sighing in defeat, Katherine decided to obey and began to slowly lower her height. She was dreading talking to the Weasleys – it just felt awkward after last night.
Fred and George watched as Katherine walked towards them; her brows were brought together as if in deep thought. "You better stop thinking, Kat," said George, smiling. "Too much of that can cause irreversible damage – "
"Funny," she said, raising her eyebrow. Crossing her arms over her chest, Katherine went on to say, "I still can't believe you two are Beaters, especially with all those detentions."
"Rules about being on the team only apply to grades," said Fred, lifting his club proudly as she rolled her eyes, walking past him. “Besides, without us Hogwarts wouldn't be half as fun!”
"Katherine, want to watch the practice?" asked George before she could think of a comeback for Fred.
"C'mon, stay! You can probably help me and Alicia with that move afterward too!" said Angelina, interrupting her conversation with Lee. Katherine shook her head and walked out of the pitch without an answer.
"I wonder what’s wrong with her?"
"You just don't get it!" snapped Angelina, turning to Fred. Lee and George stared, hoping to see what this would lead them to.
"She's depressed!" snapped Angelina, pointing at Fred's chest. "I mean, how would you feel if the only person who actually cared for you died?” George felt his heart drop as Angelina turned towards him. “And to top that, the only other family you had left was your pureblood fanatic father, who not only hates you, but actually has the courage to send you a letter telling you that he's thinking about sending you away for the next five summers?"
"What!" blurted out George, shocked to think anyone would have such thoughts about their own child. "He can't do that!"
Lee shook his head. "Mate, of course he can. He's probably one of those rich blokes - "
"Lee, he just can't!”
“ – who gives about all the galleons in the world!" Lee gave him a sympathetic look. George frowned; money wasn't everything.
"It's not that bad..." said Angelina, earning a glare from both of the shocked twins before adding, "If Katherine can prove to her father that she's talented... she can stay with him."
"So that's why she’s always reading these weird books," said Fred, turning to George, both wearing dazed looks. It was hard to think that someone could be so cruel; someone couldn't really hate their own flesh and blood... unless, of course, it was Percy.
"Damn, what's with the silence?"
"Alicia! Why, that is such lovely language." Fred was already back to his normal self, but George was still in thought.
"Nothing, Alicia. C'mon, let's go practice!" said Angelina, pulling Alicia away from the boys and walking towards the other side of the field.
"It's still shocking, isn't it?" said Lee, turning to George, who gave him a small nod.
"Guess it's why we should be thankful for Mum and Dad." He nodded again at Fred's comment.
"Oi! Fred! George! Come and get the crate!" called a crisp voice from the other end of the field.
"Coming, captain!" called back George, taking a deep breath. He and Fred turned, leaving Lee alone to find a place in the stands. Once inside Oliver's “office” (which was really just a tiny room), George broke the silence. "Weird, isn't it?"
"What's weird, George?" asked Fred as they carried the crate from inside the locker of Oliver's office.
"Parents hating their kids..."
"Stop thinking so much," said Fred, giving him a small smile; his brother gave him a chuckle.
"Fred! George! Bring it here!" Oliver Wood stood in the middle of a circle with his teammates. Angelina, Alicia, their Seeker, a third year boy by the name of Quincy, and a strange boy whose name no one seemed to know. He was taller than Quincy (who was the tallest person the twins had seen at Hogwarts).
"This is your new partner," said Oliver proudly, smiling at Angelina and Alicia. The boy had short brown hair, a long nose, and thin lips. "Wesley Addison." The boy gave them a curt nod as he took each of their hands.
"Well, Oliver, this is a surprise," said Quincy, with a look of distaste on his face.
"He's a good player, Quincy, even if you don't like him," snapped Oliver, who barely came up to Quincy's shoulder. Fred and George glanced at each other as they watched Oliver glare up at his Seeker.
"Yeah, Quin, take it easy!"
Wesley smiled as Quincy suddenly stormed away, without a word, over to the crate. "I'll have a talk with him later." Oliver dismissed the matter with a wave of his hands. "You just go ahead and practice with the girls, Fred – and George. Just one Bludger this time." The twins nodded and turned away, walking over to the crate.
"I guess they've got issues..."
"You said it." The boys released the Bludger and proceeded to their usual training, though there was tension in the air. Quincy couldn't keep his eyes off Wesley, which almost caused him to crash into George, earning them both a shouting match with a very disgruntled Oliver.
"He almost crashed into me!"
"I don't give a damn!" Oliver turned to Quincy, who was already arguing with Wesley. The girls looked from one side to the other, unsure of what to do. Wesley suddenly cracked a smile, and in seconds, Quincy had pounced on him.
Oliver pulled Wesley away, and Fred and George grabbed onto Quincy.
George clenched his jaw. If this was the new Gryffindor team, they might as well start worshiping the Slytherins.
The next day, the Great Hall was filled with gossip, and within a week and five days the Slytherins wore sly smiles, while the Gryffindor wore nasty looks.
They were still a player short.
“I can't believe this!” yelled Alicia, exhausted, as she walked in the dormitories. Angelina trailed behind quietly, taking a seat on her bed.
Katherine looked up from her thick book, throwing it aside. “Still at it?” she asked. The girls nodded.
“We'll have to quit unless we can find a chaser by tomorrow!”
Angelina nodded, though she wore a smile. “Though, Alicia, I think we have the solution to our problems.” Her friend laughed.
“What, hexing the whole Slytherin team?” Katherine chuckled. “I could help!”
“No.” She twirled a braid in her hand. “My solution has a name: Katherine Lyra Rowle.” Alicia frowned, turning towards Katherine, who shook her head.
“No, I – I – you're joking!”
“Oh, c'mon! You're really good!” began Angelina, clasping her hands together as if begging. “You can do a reverse pass with your eyes closed!”
Alicia gasped. “Really? Whoa!” She stood up as if her bum had been set on fire. “I'll go tell Oliver!”
The raven-haired girl stood up. “NO! I – I'm not – ”
“C'mon – do it for House pride!” said Angelina.
Alicia had left the room already. “You don't want Slytherin to massacre us, do you?” Katherine stared at the girl, who gave her a pleading look.
She is right... besides, it'll be nice to play Quidditch again… she thought, running her hands through her hair. Katherine sighed. “Fine, I'll play...” Excited, the tall girl pushed her out of the room and into the common room, where Alicia stood talking to a handsome boy who turned towards them, wearing a tired smile.
“Well, well!” he said in a thick Scottish accent. “I guess Flint will have to eat his words, won't he?” Katherine nodded, not knowing what the hell he was talking about.
“Well?” asked Alicia in a pushy way as Oliver walked around Katherine, who blushed.
“She's light… better off as a Seeker... but I guess she'll do, if all that you're telling me is true...”
“Whatever! Just go talk to Madam Hooch and tell her that those snakes are going to have play us!”
“Well then,” the boy smiled, taking her hand and giving it a good shake, “welcome aboard.”
Wonderful.. .I probably won't make it out alive...
He snorted loudly, earning a glare from a couple of people nearby. “Oliver, you're kidding,” said Fred, while George nodded.
“She's a bit small.”
Oliver looked up from his breakfast. “But I'm captain; besides, it's either that or give the game over to Slytherin.” He took a bite out of his toast. “Now that you mention it,” added their captain, “don't go mentioning it – ”
“Too late,” piped up Lee. “Whole House knows.”
George nodded. “I heard a couple of Ravenclaws talking about it already.”
Quincy laughed. “Remember, Oliver, nothing in Hogwarts is ever secret!” He stood up. “Well, lads, I've got class with Snape... and he hates when I'm late.”
Fred snickered. “Bloke probably misses you already, mate.”
“Yeah, of course.”
Katherine played with her eggs, not bothering to open her book. “Oh, Katherine, take it easy – the game's tomorrow and so far nothing has happened!” said Angelina soothingly; Alicia nodded.
“'Sides, we won't let anyone do anything.” The frizzy-haired girl nodded nervously. I can't believe I agreed to this... those boys are troll-sized! They'll kill me the minute I mount my broom.
A piece of parchment landed in front of her. Frowning, Katherine opened it. She hoped it wasn't her father, and held her breath until she read the familiar writing.
You're nervous, right? Cheer up, we'll win – you'll see. On the bright side, meet me today at seven at the usual spot. Can't wait to see you.
“What's that?” asked Alicia before she could try and read it Katherine stuffed it in her pocket.
“A letter from Father... he says he's pleased with my grades.”
“That's great,” said Angelina with a smile. “Have you told him about the Quidditch – “
“No,” answered Katherine, looking down, and before Angelina could go on, she responded, “Dad doesn't think it’s something worthy of his notice... he would be furious if he ever knew I was playing Quidditch at Hogwarts...”
They remained silent until Angelina suggested they go to class unless they wanted to be late.
From afar, George watched them leave with a smile.
George stretched as he and his twin left the Charms classroom behind them. The afternoon had flown by with the usual mischief from the twins and the threats from Filch: Detention, disembowelment, and whatever else occurred to him at the moment.
“Finally, dinner time,” said Lee, catching up to the redheads.
“Ah, Lee, it's our favourite time of the day – isn't it, brother?”
“Of course!” said George as they walked down the stairs. He began to look for Katherine – after all, she probably wouldn't go to dinner. She rarely did.
“Look – if it isn't the Gryffindor Chaser!” they heard a group of Slytherins yell as Katherine walked up the stairs, blushing furiously.
“If I were you, I wouldn't play,” yelled their Keeper, laughing. “You just might get hurt!” She didn't look back; instead, she clutched her books tightly and looked up at the twins and Lee with a pleading look.
“C'mon, Katherine, they don't know what they're saying,” said Lee, while Fred nodded.
“Remember, they won't be as happy when they lose.” He patted her back as she walked past them. George turned, watching her as she walked away; he could hear the Slytherins from a distance.
“Oh, sod off!” spat George, earning a surprised look from Lee.
He followed Katherine, and behind him he heard his brother tell Lee they'd meet him at dinner. “George, wait!” called his twin; he slowed down only to see the black-haired girl turn at the end of the corridor.
“What, Fred?” asked George, exasperated, as he watched her disappear.
“What's wrong with you? You've been hiding something from me, haven't you?” asked Fred, frowning, his ears turning red. The twins never hid anything from each other... ever, no matter what.
“What – no!” George felt himself flush; if he told Fred, his twin might laugh... or take it the wrong way...
“Do fancy her?”
George shook his head and sighed. “Fine. If you must know....” Think, George, something Fred might believe… “Katherine's my tutor,” he blurted out, embarrassed. He wasn't one to admit he actually cared about his grades, but for the sake of his reputation – and Katherine's, of course – they wouldn't let anyone know about their meetings.
“Just tell me!” she said with a frown; it had already been an hour of guessing. “C'mon, you're Fred, right?”
Katherine sighed as George smiled. “I'm actually the giant squid.” The girl rolled her eyes.
“Really, I don't even understand why I spend time with you.” She closed her Charms book as the redhead put his ink bottle away.
“Because I'm not only attractive, I'm funny, and not to mention – ”
“Immature and obnoxious,” said Katherine, with a small smile, “but you're a good friend.”
George tilted his head; she rarely said something that honest.
“Is that a compliment, my cheeky queen?” He felt himself smile as she nodded.
“But don't get used to it, redhead... it's a one-time thing.” They shouldered their bags and headed towards the door. “And above all, remember – ”
“This is our little secret,” finished George, winking. “Don't worry, Kit.”
Fred blinked a couple of times and took a couple steps back before bursting into laughter. “A tutor, George?” he said. “Rowle of all girls, George! You're completely – ”
“Nuts, I know,” said George with a smile, relieved to see that his brother bought his lie, though he knew sooner or later the truth would be known.
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