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Riley's Boy by a_star
Chapter 7 : Chapter 7
 
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 The next couple of days passed without incident, I'd put my mission out of my head for a while; James had been waiting around for Lily for six years now, a couple more weeks wouldn't be too hard for him now. I was spending my time getting to know my other three dorm-mates again, after all we had all changed since third year. Through a surprising turn of events I found that Lily and I actually had some stuff in common and were spending rather a lot of time together.

 

It took me six years but I was finally seeing the side to Lily Evans that James fell in love with all those years ago, but it didn't have quite the same effect on me; I wasn't that way inclined . When she wasn't glaring at you from across the room, or yelling at you for slacking off, or giving you detention for being out after curfew she was actually quite hilarious and really entertaining to be around. If I had known all of this I would have helped James to get her long ago, rather than letting my own feelings for him develop into the love I felt.

 

The only problem in our dorm was that Susie was still dating Frank, even though now we did all know about Alice's crush on him,

 

“But Riley, Alice likes him too.. it isn't fair for me to keep dating him when she likes him as well.” I rolled my eyes, that girl is far too nice sometimes,

 

“You and Frank are perfect together, you can't break up with him just because some other girl fancies him. It just doesn't work that way.”

 

“Yeah but she isn't just some other girl is she? She's one of our dorm-mates, I have to share a room with her for the rest of the year, and we've all just started to become friends again. I don't want to ruin that because of Frank.” I shook my head,

 

“I'm not going to let you break up with him because of this, it's a ridiculous idea and you'd be miserable, and Frank would be miserable and it wouldn't help anything, and even if you did break up with him there's no telling that he would even look at her so all three of you would be all miserable and depressed and you'd start to resent her and not want to be her friend anyway. Or what if she and Frank did get together, you'd be REALLY miserable and hate them both and not want to be her friend anyway.” Susie actually laughed at that,

 

“I don't think I've heard so many scenarios ending in me being miserable in one rant before, but when you put it like that I really don't want to break up with him.” I smiled a smug little smile and crossed my arms happily across my chest, I kept the position until she rolled her eyes and threw her pillow at me. I just grinned and tossed it back to her.

 

“I have quidditch practise, you coming out to watch? I think Gabby is planning on spending some time with Remus in the stands”, she started to turn me down, “And Lily, Alice and Dorcas will no doubt be down there.. so really you'll be the only one staying up here instead of being down there.. and I'd hate for you to miss out on something...” Susie rolled her eyes, knowing that I just didn't want to walk down to the pitch on my own,

 

“Miss out on James refusing to talk to you, getting a numb arse, and being freezing cold? Not to mention missing Gabby and Remus flirting, while Dorcas tries to interrupt them, and Lily sits pretending to read so she can watch James without people noticing? You're right, how could I even think about missing all that?!” I grinned,

 

“Exactly, and anyway are you or are you not a witch? Heating charm, cushioning charm, and I dunno, a good book?” Susie laughed again and grabbed the novel she'd been reading, along with her wand and followed me out of the dorm and down to the quidditch pitch.

 

We were almost at the pitch when I noticed that there were people in the air, “Suze, what time is it?” Susie frowned at me,

 

“Ten to seven, why?” I narrowed my eyes and responded in an angrier tone than she deserved,

 

“Because James started practise without me again.” this was the second time that week that James had done that, the last time he said that the Ravenclaw team had booked the pitch for eight o'clock so he changed the time and must have forgotten to mention it to me. I could only imagine what his excuse would be this time.

 

 

I got onto the pitch, kicked off into the air and flew straight over to James, “What the hell James?” he glared at me, something I still wasn't used to from him,

 

“Where have you been Hunt?”

 

“Up in the common room, it isn't even seven yet so I know I'm not late. Why did you start without me again?” James shrugged, he didn't even have the decency to come up with an excuse this time. I wasn't intending on saying anything to him, my plan was just to carry on with practise and be down at the pitch earlier next time so he wouldn't be able to start without me.

 

“Seriously James?” I saw Black open his mouth out of the corner of my eye, I turned my most intense glare on him, not in the mood for the 'Serious/ Sirius' joke that he so obviously wanted to tell, he snapped his mouth shut and turned just in time to smack the bludger back to his partner, “You can't just leave me out of practise because we had a stupid fight. You put me on this team, and even though I am a rather gifted chaser I still need to practise with you and Lesley if you want us to win on Saturday.” he didn't respond to me, just shouted instructions to the rest of the team to fly laps and try and beat their records.

 

I turned to join them and fly my laps with the rest of the team but James cut me off, “Not you. You've been late for every practise since Halloween, it isn't acceptable. You're off the team.” my mouth dropped open in shock, the first game of the season was in two days and he was kicking me off the team. None of the rest of the team were flying their laps anymore, they'd all frozen when they heard James. At least they understood what he had just done; taken away their chance of winning. “What're you still doing here Hunt? You heard me, you're off my team. Get off the pitch.”

 

 

I turned my broom around and started towards the castle, I found the window I was looking for, the fifth floor Transfiguration corridor. I knocked on Joe's office window and waited until he came to the window. He was surprised to see me, obviously expecting it to be an owl, seeing as people generally used the door to visit him, “Uh Riley, why-” he didn't manage to finish his question because I flung myself into his arms and buried my face in his shoulder.

 

He rubbed circles on my back until I calmed down enough for him to detach me from his waist, “What's up Lee?” I smiled softly at the nickname he used for me whenever I was upset when we were kids.

 

“James kicked me off the team.” I felt like I was tattling on him; technically I was telling a teacher but at this moment, I was just telling my big brother because I was upset, and he would know how to make me feel better. Or he would tell me what to do to James to make me feel better.. either way I would feel better once I'd spoken to Joe.

 

Lucky for me Joe was in the mood to be helpful older brother at the moment, if he'd been in teacher mode he would have marched out onto the quidditch pitch and demand that James put me back on the team. Joe had finished his teacher training in my fifth year, last year he'd been working at a school in Bulgaria. Dumbledore asked him to come back for the year because McGonagall's daughter had given birth but something had gone wrong and she was now really sick, so Joe was standing in as Transfiguration professor and head of Gryffindor.

 

“What d'you mean he kicked you off the team? Why? You're a brilliant chaser!” I smiled lamely,

 

“I know that, everyone knows that but me and James had a huge fight right after Halloween and he hasn't spoken to me since, for the last couple of trainings he's been making excuses to start without me or changing the time and not telling me so that I don't go. He said that its been too many times now and that it isn't acceptable.. then he said I was off the team.” Joe angrily shoved himself up from his chair, wincing at the pain in his back from the fast movement,

 

“He can't do that! He's been changing things so that you don't make it, that isn't a justified reason to kick you off! I'm going to go and give that boy a piece of my mind, and maybe a few detentions, and maybe I'll revoke his captaincy.” I rolled my eyes at how over-dramatic he was being,

 

“Joey, don't bother. When they lose again to Hufflepuff he'll realise that they need me and he'll put me back on the team. There's no way he'll be able to find a chaser as good as me before the match so don't even worry about it. I have faith that it'll all work out. But for now d'you have anything I can do? Everyone's out at the pitch and I've already done all my homework.” He didn't look happy about it but nodded anyway and passed me some first year papers to mark. His students liked when I marked their papers because I was generally a little more lenient with the grades than he was, and I gave them more helpful tips than he did.

 

“You can grade these for me. But stop giving them all top marks, it takes away from those who actually deserve them.” I grinned and stuck my tongue out at him, after twenty minutes he looked over at what I was doing, “Stop writing the corrections for them, they're meant to research it better and hand it in next lesson but you make that a pointless exercise with your 'tips'.” I just grinned again and carried on with what I was doing, when he realised that he was having no effect on my marking he left me to it and went back to his sixth year stuff.

 

 

I stayed with Joe until dinner time, we didn't notice the time until both of our stomachs were rumbling loudly, after a glance at the clock I sprung out of my chair and almost ran to the door, only stopping because my brother was chuckling at my antics and eagerness to get to the food. He stood at a much slower pace, wincing again at the pain in his back “You know you could always go to the hospital wing to get a pain potion for that.” he shook his head and I rolled my eyes, he'd always been stubborn about that sort of thing. “Hide it better then. Or I'll tell mum you're still in pain.” I took notice of his glare and grinned in what I knew was a slightly evil way, and despite what my sister will tell you I did not spend a month practising that in the mirror one summer, before turning and running down the corridor with a slightly manic laugh, also not practised..

 

 

When I got down to dinner the girls were there waiting for me to fill them in on where I'd gone, what I'd been doing all afternoon and how I was going to get back onto the team, “To see Joey, marking first year papers, and I'm going to let Gryffindor lose.” Lily, Gabby and Susie's mouths dropped open either not believing what I was going to do or just not wanting to.

 

“But that only gives them four days to get used to working with another Chaser, you can't do that. The whole of Gryffindor will hate you if we lose because you didn't play!” I shook my head at Lily,

 

“It isn't my fault, James kicked me off the team and there were about twenty other people down at the pitch who heard and saw that, and that isn't including the team. So if they want to blame anyone then they can blame him.” the marauders chose that point to sit down opposite us; even though James now hated me the rest of them were still friends, except him and Lily which meant that I still had someone to talk to.

 

Once the rest of them were involved in a conversation Lily leaned closer to me so we could continue out conversation, “I'm sure if you just apologised for whatever it is you did he would let you back on the team in a heartbeat.” I shook my head sadly,

 

“I tried that straight away, this isn't going to go away so easily. I really don't know what to do to make him forgive me,” of course I already had a plan, but Lily couldn't know that, “Anyway, if he doesn't want to talk to me then that's fine. If they lost to Hufflepuff that's down to him.” after that last statement I pushed my still full plate away and left the hall.

 

 

In the dormitory that night our conversation continued again, “What if you didn't apologise but got Professor Hunt to speak to him? I'm sure he could get you back on the team, James is head boy so he wouldn't be able to go against a professor without the worry of that being revoked. And he wouldn't want that because he wouldn't have an excuse to spend time with Lily.” I chuckled at that comment, for one because I still found it bizarre that everyone referred to my big brother as 'Professor Hunt' and secondly because Gabby thought that James still needed an excuse to talk to Lily, she didn't realise that Lily wouldn't have a problem with spending time with James outside of their head duties.

 

“Joey did already suggest- well more like threaten- to speak to James but there's no point really. They'll lose an then James will come begging me to come back to the team! So just leave it alone guys, it'll be fine.” I knew none of them were happy about the arrangement but I hadn't given them much choice in the matter; nothing was going to be done about it and they knew that if they did anything there would be some sort of embarrassing consequence.

 

 

Saturday came around quickly and for the first time I walked down to the pitch on match-day with butterflies in my stomach. I had never felt nervous before a match because I always knew that I had some sort of control over the result but this time I would be sitting in the stands and wouldn't be able to do anything. It had occurred to me the day before that Gryffindor might actually win, then I would never get back on the team.. that really wasn't something I had considered before.

 

During the game I constantly found myself having to stop myself from cheering when Hufflepuff scored, my friends would understand but the rest of the house really wouldn't, they would consider me more of a traitor than they already did for not playing.

 

 

I felt horrible at the end of the match, I was relieved that we had lost but because of the relief I felt while everyone around me was so disappointed I felt like the most awful person in the house. I went back up to the common room with the girls, it was only the third time I could remember Gryffindor not celebrating after a quidditch match.

 

We found a table to sit at so we could do some of our homework so we could have the Sunday off. That didn't go exactly as planned. Almost as soon as we sat down the marauders arrived in the common room, I could hear them as soon as they came into the room. I sighed into my work and Susie gave me a funny look, “I'm going to kill her, its all her fault that we lost!”

 

“Sirius, please. Leave her alone, it isn't just her fault.”

 

“And what exactly is that supposed to mean Moony?” That made me feel even worse, I was worth them fighting about, Remus should have just let them yell at me or do whatever it was they wanted to.

 

“Nothing James, don't even worry about it. I just don't think you should be so hard on her about this. She hasn't exactly had an easy couple of weeks.” that made me frown, what was Remus talking about? I hadn't exactly had a difficult couple of weeks.

 

“Riley, what's wrong?” the girls were all looking at me weirdly now, then I realised that they couldn't hear the conversation going on across the other side of the room, I just shook my head and went back to the marauder's conversation.

 

“Stop defending her Moony! She didn't play and we lost. That makes this her fault. Who else's could it be?” Sirius didn't even give Remus time to respond, “And don't bother suggesting that Hufflepuff suddenly got good, they haven't beaten us since second year!” that was the last of that conversation before Sirius and James came storming across the common room with Peter right behind them and Remus trailing behind sending apologetic looks in my direction.

 

“I hope you're happy now Hunt, you could have just lost us the cup!” I rolled my eyes at the over dramatic boy in front of me,

 

“It was the first match of the season, and they didn't even win by much so the cup could still be ours. We just need to win all the other matches.” James narrowed his eyes at me and took his turn to speak,

 

We found a table to sit at so we could do some of our homework so we could have the Sunday off. That didn't go exactly as planned. Almost as soon as we sat down the marauders arrived in the common room, I could hear them as soon as they came into the room. I sighed into my work and Susie gave me a funny look, “I'm going to kill her, its all her fault that we lost!”

 

“Sirius, please. Leave her alone, it isn't just her fault.”

 

“And what exactly is that supposed to mean Moony?” That made me feel even worse, I was worth them fighting about, Remus should have just let them yell at me or do whatever it was they wanted to.

 

“Nothing James, don't even worry about it. I just don't think you should be so hard on her about this. She hasn't exactly had an easy couple of weeks.” that made me frown, what was Remus talking about? I hadn't exactly had a difficult couple of weeks.

 

“Riley, what's wrong?” the girls were all looking at me weirdly now, then I realised that they couldn't hear the conversation going on across the other side of the room, I just shook my head and went back to the marauder's conversation.

 

“Stop defending her Moony! She didn't play and we lost. That makes this her fault. Who else's could it be?” Sirius didn't even give Remus time to respond, “And don't bother suggesting that Hufflepuff suddenly got good, they haven't beaten us since second year!” that was the last of that conversation before Sirius and James came storming across the common room with Peter right behind them and Remus trailing behind sending apologetic looks in my direction.

 

“I hope you're happy now Hunt, you could have just lost us the cup!” I rolled my eyes at the over dramatic boy in front of me,

 

“It was the first match of the season, and they didn't even win by much so the cup could still be ours. We just need to win all the other matches.” James narrowed his eyes at me and took his turn to speak,

 

“What d'you mean 'we'? Surely you don't think I'm going to put you back on the team after this?! I saw you in the stands having to actually stop yourself from cheering whenever Hufflepuff scored against us!” I opened and closed my mouth a couple of times, making James smirk and me look a fool.

 

“No, that's not what I meant. I'm part of the house too, and the cup isn't just awarded to the quidditch team it's for the whole house.” James just stood and smirked some more but Sirius actually let out a bark of laughter,

 

“You did, you actually thought that if we lost everything would be forgiven and you would be back on the team and Prongs would forgive you for everything you did. Well news flash sweetheart it ain't that easy. You won't be playing for Gryffindor ever again so get used to it.”

 

“I didn't want the team to lose and I wasn't expecting to be put back on the team just like that. I had hoped that you would reconsider but I can see that isn't going to happen to whatever. Just make sure you train your new chaser better, we don't need to lose another game because of you Potter.” James narrowed his eyes again and smirk fell off his face, he started to respond with Sirius beat him to it,

 

“Our new chaser is going to be ten times the chaser you ever were. Prongs only suggested that you join the team in second year because you didn't have anyone else and he felt sorry for you. You think too highly of yourself if you think that you're irreplaceable. We are going to win the quidditch cup and you aren't going to be helping.”

 

I turned back to my table of friends and grabbed my wand, “I'm going to go for a walk.. see you guys later.” I turned back to leave and saw Sirius smirking at me, clearly thinking he'd won, it was something I sorely wished to wipe off his face, but I just didn't have the energy to stand and continue to fight with him.

 

 

As I was leaving through the portrait hole I realised that I had gone wandering off alone almost every day of the year so far, that probably wasn't a good thing. I decided not to go outside this time, instead I wandered to the astronomy tower, so that I could see the grounds but still be inside and warm.

 

It turned out that my friends were getting better at finding me because I was sitting there for less than an hour before someone came to find me. I was surprised to find it was Remus this time, I had been expecting Susie, Gabby, or Lily it hadn't occurred to me that Remus would leave his friends to find me. “Are you okay Riley?” I shook my head,

 

“I just don't understand why Black hates me so much, I've never done anything to him.. nothing that would make him hate me this much anyway.” Remus looked at me with a sad look on his face and started to explain it to me.

 

 

 

 

 

(AN: sorry about the wait.. had slight writers block and I really had no idea where I was going with this chapter. But hopefully the slightly longer length makes up for the wait a little bit? You were so close to finding out why Sirius hates her.. but noo :( you have to have some sort of incentive to come back again :)

 

Hopefully it won't be too long before the next update..

 

Star :D )


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