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Tug Of War by platform 9 3_4
Chapter 3 : An Actual Tug of War
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 23


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Disclaimer: JKR owns everything. Well...not everything, just Harry Potter.

Anyway...








And here we have Rose Weasley


Gorgeous CI by shudder@tda
 






 

 

"And just like that?" Lexie stares at me, "You just...quit?"

"Yeah," I mutter monotonously, "Just like that."

"Wow," Lexie grins a little, "I'll be honest. I didn't think you had it in you."

Lexie is one of my dormmates. She's usually very sweet and kind, with these big brown eyes that are always full of compassion and love. Sometimes she uses them to get the last muffin at breakfast, or to get Rose to write the introduction to her essays. It's like her superpower.

"I didn't think I had it in me either," I admit.

"It was pretty funny actually," says Rose, chuckling a little as she flips over another page of yet another magazine.

I glare at her. Bitch.

"But why?" Lexie looks concerned.

Thank you! Finally someone who questions my current state of sanity. I'm pretty sure the state of my sanity was extremely damaged at the moment I quit the team.

"I don't know!" I whimper, "All of that running must have driven me crazy! Why the hell else would I quit?"

"Because you don't like quidditch?" Lexie reminds me.

"Because you're an idiot?" Rose offers.

Unfortunately I think I have to go with Rose's theory.

I do hate quidditch, but if I've survived four years of being on the team, then why the hell would I quit now? 

Because I'm a dumbass, that's why.

"So what do I do now?" I ask, leaning towards them in desperation.

"About the idiocy?" Rose grins cheekily, "I'd suggest therapy."

"Shut up," I mutter grumpily, "I hate you."

"I suppose you can get a free pass this time," says Rose, "Seeing as you're madly in love with the biggest git on the planet, besides Malfoy of course."

"We are all fools in love," Lexie adds wisely.

It disgusts me how true this is. James hasn't spoken to me since I stormed out, and I've been too terrified to confront him about it.

I really do Gryffindor justice, don't I?

I can't tell whether he's so angry that he never wants to speak to me again, or whether the fact that I quit means so little to him that I'm not even on his radar.

And I don't know which is more depressing.

"What are you ladies chatting about?" 

We all look up and see Cameron, leaning casually against the bookshelf.

"Stella's idiocy," Rose says.

"Can I join in?" he asks eagerly, sitting beside her.

I hate them.

Really, I do. In fact, I'm going to spend the next half an hour plotting terrible deaths for both of them.

OK, maybe I should consider the therapy.

Cameron swings an arm around Rose's shoulders.

"How've you been Rosie?" he grins seductively.

Oh good, I'm glad that Cameron's perpetual lust for Rose has distracted him long enough to change the subject.

"I'll be fine once you get your arm off me," she says calmly, smiling sweetly back at him.

He releases her but continues to grin.

"Oh, Rosie, you hurt my feelings!"

"It's Rose," she says, "Drop the Rosie."

"Have I told you how hot you look today?" he asks her.

"Yes, earlier at practice," she replies curtly, "I would think you'd remember seeing as James threatened to make sure you never saw daylight again."

"Well, you look great," he continues to grin like an idiot, putting a hand on her knee.

Merlin, this guy does not know when to stop.

"Oi! Perv! Get your hand off Rose," I smack him hard over the back over the head.

His hand immediately releases Rose and rubs the place where I hit him.

"Ouch Artois!" he cries out in pain. Rose looks satisfied.

Cameron has called  me Artois ever since I told him my real name. When I told him it was Stella he immediately started calling me Artois, which is apparently the name of a muggle beer. 

He thinks he's so clever. I'm pretty sure that it just makes him a potential alcoholic.

"Careful, Artois," Cameron turns to grin at me instead, "I might have to turn the charm on you."

Oh, shit. 

OK, do not make direct eye contact, do not make direct eye contact.

Cameron leans into me and I can smell his cologne. It smells really nice.

OK, stop breathing! I breathe in my last breath, and his smell fills my nostrils, and I feel instantly dizzy.

Merlin's beard no wonder Cameron manages to shag so many girls. 

I look up at him. Damn it! Now I've made eye contact. 

Cameron uses his baby blue eyes to charm girls. If he's flirting with you, and you look into them, you're screwed. It's a bit like hypnosis.

He props his chin up on his elbow, flexing his biceps a little.

"Stop it!" I cry feebly.

"I don't know what you're on about, Artois," he says, saying the name as though its water, and he's really thirsty.

Bloody hell, this is like torture. He can keep the charm going as long as he wants, until I give in.

"Fine!" I cry loudly, "I'm sorry for hitting you!"

He relaxes his arm immediately and sits back in his chair happily, the charm completely turned off.

"Apology accepted, love," he grins.

Bloody git.

"Now, are you going to tell me why you quit the team?" he asks gently, but I can tell he's taking the piss.

"Because James was being an idiot," I whine, "But I think all that running impaired my judgement."

"You should have seen James' face after you walked out," he laughed, "It was like-"

His eyes grow so wide they might pop out of his head. 

Rose laughs as she recognizes the impression.

"What did he say afterwards?" I ask, trying to sound as casual as possible. Cameron still has no idea that I'm in love with James.

Or maybe he does, in which case my attempts to be some sort of subtle secret agent have been futile.

"Nothing," Cameron answers, "Just stared into space for a few seconds, and then started talking about tactics."

Oh. And here I was thinking me quitting the team would leave a lasting impression on him.

Well, I've just got shit for luck, haven't I?

"James doesn't talk about his feelings much," Rose tells me in an attempt to be comforting.

"It's true," Cameron adds wisely, "We think he might be dead inside."

"So..." I pause, "Should I go and talk to him?"

"No!" Rose cries immediately.

"Let him come to you," Cameron says. He winks at me like he knows my secret.

Bollocks.

I wonder if James has picked up on all this secrecy. If he has I might as well go and throw myself off the astronomy tower right now.

In every one of Rose's magazines they give advice on love. Its always, 'Ooh I've liked him for soooo long, but I don't know if he likes me back' and the answer is always 'Tell him how you feel. It's scary, but you'll feel much better once you do.' 

That is the biggest load of bullshit I've ever heard.

If I ever tell Potter how I feel, he'll laugh. 

Or maybe throw himself off the astronomy tower.

Yes, maybe I am being a little dramatic.

Besides, I don't need to find out how Potter feels about me. He makes his feelings towards me pretty clear.

Cameron gets up from his chair and smirks.

"Well, I hope you get back on the team soon," he says to me, "I'm off. I'm meeting someone in a few minutes."

This is code for him meeting someone for a quick shag. Cameron is such a creep.

"He disgusts me," Lexie mutters, watching him leave.

 

*      *      *

 

"Just so you know," Albus chuckles, "I'm not sorry you quit."

We're in potions. Albus and I have been partners since the beginning of the year. It was our professor's diabolical plan to pair Gryffindors with Slytherins so that we would all grow to hate each other even more.

Luckily I got paired with Albus and since Albus and I have been friends since first year Potions has turned out pretty well.

"Why?" I ask him as he begins slicing up a shrivelfig.

"Because you're a good keeper, and now we have a better chance at beating Gryffindor at the game."

"You almost make me want to rejoin," I say.

"But why did you quit?" he asks.

"Because your brother was being a barabaric dictator."

"Isn't he always?" Albus frowns.

"Yes," I admit, " But I guess I'd just had enough."

"Of the quidditch, or of James being a prat?" Al asks.

"Both," I say.

He pauses as he stirs the cauldron. It turns a perfect shade of pale pink. See, this is why I like being with Al for Potions. Al is great at potions, whereas I seem to have a knack for just blowing things up. Together we make a great team.

"It must be hard," Al says in a low voice, "Having the guy you're in love with be a total prat."

I immediately start coughing.

"W-what are you talking about?" I whimper unconvincingly. 

Pathetic. I might as well be wearing a t-shirt that says I Heart James Potter.

I think his fan club actually print t-shirts like that.

But that's just creepy.

Albus raises an eyebrow, "Give me some credit," he scoffs.

"I-I am not!" I stammer, "That is the stupidest, most ridiculous thing I've ever heard!"

"Well you're stupid if you think that the rest of us haven't noticed," Albus adds complacently.

"Yeah, well your face is stupid!" I retort. 

I'm pathetic. I have now resorted to 'your face' jokes as suitable comebacks.

"And he isn't that much of a prat," I add sadly.

"But you have to say that," Albus grins cheekily, "You're his stalker!"

I hit him hard on the arm.

"I do not stalk him," I utter angrily.

"Right, sorry, what do you girls call it these days? Observing from a distance?"

"It's not just girls who do it," I argue, "Your best mate was hiding under a library table the other day, 'observing Rose from a distance'."

Albus smirks, "I tried to warn her."

"Are you and Rose even talking?" I ask. Albus flinches a little at the question.

"She's being childish," he mutters, "Keeps saying something about how I always take Scorpius' side."

"You do," I say.

"Do not!" Al says, "The day Rose caught him with that girl I gave him a black eye."

"Yeah, and the day after you were back to being best mates," I remind him.

"Well, guys aren't like girls," Al argues, "Guys get the fight over and done with, and then they get over it."

"It's called fraternizing with the enemy," I snap, "That's at least how Rose sees it."

"Look, I'm still going to be friends with Scorpius because the only thing he did wrong was falling in love with the wrong girl."

"So you don't think that Scorpius and Rose are meant to be?" I ask, raising an eyebrow, "No more Scorp and Red forever!"

"Of course they are," Al says, "Rose just doesn't know it yet."

We work in silence for a while. Or rather, Al works and I observe. 

"So why do you have a thing for my older brother?" Al asks, changing the subject back, "I mean sure, he's good looking, and girls practically throw themselves at him..."

Ah yes, just a little more salt into the wound? Great, thanks.

"Do you have a thing for older guys in general?" Al asks, "Is that what it's about?"

"No!" I exclaim, "I don't know what it is..."

"It's not like you have anything in common," Al adds.

OK, seriously Al, just take that knife and stab me with it, why don't you? It'll be a little less painful.

"Plus he hates you."

Seriously, kill me now, kill me now.

"I know he bloody well hates me!" I snap.

"Is that what quitting was about?" Al asks, "To get his attention?"

"I don't even know," I whine tragically.

"He's been acting really weird the past few days," Al pauses to consider, "Really twitchy and angry with everyone. Cameron called it PMS, but Cameron's an idiot."

"Word," I add.

Oh merlin, was that my failed attempt to be gangster?

Please tell me Al did not hear that.

"Did you just say 'word'?" he laughs, staring at me incredulously.

"No!" I cry.

"MC Stella in the house," he continues to laugh.

I start hitting him hard on the arm until he stops.

"Shut up, bloody prat," I mutter.

"You'd be good for James," Al says suddenly. I look up at him quizzically.

"Just a minute ago you said we had nothing in common, and that he hated me."

"Yeah, well, James, dearest brother of mine that he is, is an idiot," Al explains, "He loves two things. Quidditch and...oh sorry make that one thing. He thinks too much of himself, takes quidditch too seriously and thinks that any girl that doesn't have an arse isn't worth his time."

"Are you describing James?" I ask, "Or every member of the male race?"

Albus ignores this. It's not like he has to. I mean, he's so sensitive he's practically female. 

Don't tell him I said that.

"I think you'd be good for him because, even though I should hit you over the head for this, you don't like quidditch."

"Great," I sigh, "Opposites attract and all that shit. What's your point?"

"You should argue back," Al suggests, "Don't just listen to his crap."

"Ah brotherly love," I say sweetly.

"Please," Al scoffs, "He's my brother, I love him, really, but I can still see that he can be an arse when he wants to be. He can be great during the holidays. He taught Roxy how to swim, and he spends his time teaching quidditch to Molly. He actually gives a crap about his family, but once he gets to school, it's like he doesn't give a crap about anyone but himself."

He teaches his little cousins how to swim and play quidditch? How cute is that?

It's insanely cute, that's what it is

"I'm just saying that you should argue with him a bit. Show him that not the whole world wants to obey his every command. Show him that not every girl is in love with him."

"Ahem," I point out, "Isn't that a little hypocritical? Considering that I am in love with him?"

"Yes," Al admits, "But, I mean, you yelled at him, and quit the team a few days ago. And ever since then he's been angry and tetchy just because someone disagreed with him."

I pause. Had I really made that much of an effect on him? No, it was probably just Al trying to convince me to launch a war against him. 

"Why do you care so much?" I ask, "Don't you find it weird that one of your best friends is in love with your older brother?"

"Yeah, but I care about James. He needs to have someone who tells him what's what occasionally. That could be you."

"You understand that telling someone to challenge your brother is incredibly fucked up," I say.

"I do, yes," he answers, "But it's like ninety percent fucked up and ten percent pure genius."

"You really do give yourself too much credit," I mutter.

"Fine, if I'm so rubbish," Al smirks, "I'll just let you finish the potion, shall I?"

Oh, shit.

There's no way I can do that.

Time to suck up.

"No, no, that's fine, darling Albus, supreme ruler of all that is awesome," I simper kindly.

"That's more like it," he grins.

He gets up from his seat and starts pouring over the text book studiously.

"You're so smart and brilliant," I continue to drawl, "Really, you could be the next minister-"

"I'm doing the potion Stella, you can stop sucking up now," he grins.

"Right, OK," I smile cheerily.

Suddenly a dark shadow falls over the desk and I look up guiltily.

Professor Wilde stands above me, her arms folded, with her mouth drawn into a tight line.

Despite what her last name might tell you, Professor Wilde is a ruthless, strict spinster, who hates anyone who's not in Slytherin.

I know, why do all the Slytherin heads have to become Potion teachers? It's like the job is reserved just for them. Maybe it's the dungeons. Maybe that's what makes these Slytherins tick.

"Miss Wood," she glares at me, "I expect you have a reasonable explanation for why Mr. Potter here is doing all the work, while you sit here and do nothing."

OK, come on Stella, think. THINK.

"I just...wanted to give Albus a chance to have a go at making the potion."

Dear Brain,

You suck

Love and kisses, Stella.

"Miss Wood," Professor Wilde's expression darkens even more, "The purpose of this lesson is so that you learn."

Huh, could've fooled me.

"Five points from Gryffindor for laziness. Five points from Gryffindor for making your partner do all the work. And I won't deduct an additional five points if you can tell me the name of the potion Mr. Potter is making."

I stare at her. Dear God, how can I not even know that?

"Uhh...." I mutter.

"Five points from Gryffindor," she sneers, "From now on if I don't see you and Mr. Potter sharing an equal amount of the work, I will fail you."

She swoops away.

"It's a Deflating Draught, in case you were wondering," Al mutters nervously.

I bang my head down on the table.

"You have to help me," I cry desperately at him.

"What?" he looks a little afraid.

"Help me!" I cry with a little more force, shaking his shoulders, "You have to help me learn potions, otherwise we'll both fail."

"But she said she'd only fail you..." Al looks confused.

"But if we work together, I promise I will mess everything up, and you'll fail too!"

"Shit," he mutters, "Fine. I'll help, but you have to do something in return."

"Anything," I say eagerly, "Anything for you supreme ruler of all that is awesome."

Albus pauses to think, but then an idea comes to him.

"Can you talk to Ray for me?"

I bang my head down onto the table for a second time.

"Anything but that."

"Oh come on!" Al implores, "It's not that difficult!"

It actually is that difficult.

Rain, or Ray as she is more commonly known, is Cameron's half sister. Cameron's mum left, and his dad remarried a tree-hugging hippy named Willow. Hence, they had a daughter named Rain.

Now when I first heard her name was Rain, I expected her to go all Luna Lovegood on my arse and start babbling on about nargales and wrackspurts.

But, no. This could not be further from the truth.

She started off by making us call her Ray. And she said that, and I quote, If-you-don't-I-will eat-you-all-alive.

Ray is very similar to Cameron in looks. She's got bottle blonde hair that falls in soft waves and baby blue eyes. The picture of innocence.

Yeah, spawn of satan is more accurate.

The similarities between her and Cameron stop there. Cameron can be a bit thick, but Ray is sharp. She's brilliant, last year she got eight O's in her OWL's, without even lifting a finger.

Ray has never dated, or been interested in anyone in her whole life. It's not like she couldn't get someone. I mean, if she drops her books in the corridor, about six boys are always immediately there to pick them up for her. She's never bothered to flirt with anyone, unlike Cameron, and if anyone flirts with her it's probably for two reasons.

1. They were just hit in the head by a bludger, and have a severe concussion.

2. They have a death wish.

Thankfully Al has never been hit by a bludger, nor does he he have a death wish. So he steers clear of Ray. He just admires her from afar.

And he has the nerve to call me a stalker. At least I can work up the balls to talk to the object of my affection.

Albeit, it's usually received with a Go-away-you-quidditch-hating-bitch look.

Anyway, Al has yet to say a sentence to Ray. He's too bloody scared of her. And for good reason.

Even though she's sort of become our friend, we're all still nervous around her. She's like this constant ticking time bomb that might blow up at any moment.

"How do you honestly think that's going to go?" I ask him exhasperatedly.

"Well, you, Rose and Lexie all know her pretty well," he explains.

LIES.

"You could just slip something in casually about how nice, intelligent and good looking I am."

"You left out modest," I snorted, "And even if I do, it's not like she'll pay you any attention."

"So, what do you think I should do then?" he asks pathetically.

"How about liking someone who won't rip your throat out if you come within a few inches of her?"

"Please," Al whines, "I'll help you with potions. Anything you need to be the best in the class, I'll do it."

Shit, this boy really is a goner.

"Fine," I mutter, already regretting my decision.

 

* *   *

I wake up on Sunday morning at six a.m. I immediately crawl out of bed and absent mindedly start tying my hair back into a tight pony tail, ready for quidditch.

Rose emerges from the bathroom and stares at me.

"What are you doing?" she asks.

"Getting ready for practice, of course," I mutter sleepily.

"Except you quit the team, remember?" she reminds me, her tone sounding worried for my mental state. 

I'm a bit concerned about that too actually.

"Shit," I mutter, falling back into bed, half dressed, "I forgot about that."

The reality hits me. I have no quidditch practice anymore. I can sleep in. Do things in my free time. Hell, I'll actually have free time.

"I'll give James a kiss from you," Rose grins cheekily on her way out.

"You'd better not!" I hiss after her.

I try to go back to sleep, but I can't. I've been waking up at six on a Sunday for so long that there's no way I can go back to sleeping in.

I'm bored, so I get up and start walking around the room, muttering the alphabet song under my breath so as not to wake Lexie or Ray. 

"Now I've sung my ABC, next time won't you sing with me," I whisper the grande finale.

Now what do I do?

Now I have no quidditch to fill up my life, it feels strange and empty.

I could repeat the alphabet song...but that's getting a little repetetive, so instead I make my bed, shower, get dressed. I then start organizing my clothes in my wardrobe. 

After that I finish an overdue Transfiguration essay that was due last Thursday.

I sit on my bed twiddling my thumbs, growing more and more concerned for the state of my sanity now that I have no quidditch.

At around eight Lexie and Ray awaken to find me practicing the macarena. Which is more than a little embarrassing.

"You need quidditch," Lexie says wisely as she comes out of the bathroom a little later.

"No!" I argue, "I don't! I'm doing just fine!"

"You're reading Advanced Potion making for fun," Ray points out skeptically.

"I need to brush up on my potions," I explain, "Wilde is going to fail me otherwise."

"You'll need a hell of a lot more than a book," Lexie points out, "You're terrible at potions. Might as well start looking for a new brain."

Why am I friends with these people?

It can't be good for my self esteem.

"Albus is going to tutor me," I explain, ignoring the new brain comment.

I glance up at Ray. Apparently the mention of Albus's name has no effect on her whatsoever.

But hey, it's worth a shot.

"You know," I continue, making sure to make my voice loud and clear, "Because he's so kind and intelligent and-"

Ray interrupts my speech by marching into the bathroom and slamming the door behind her.

Lexie looks at me, clearly amused by my efforts.

"And if you're trying to make Ray interested in Al, then you should also start looking for a new brain for Ray."

She has a point. I've known Ray for just over five years, and she's still a complete mystery. No one really knows how she works, except Cameron. He seems to be able to read her like a book. It must be that whole sibling, bonded by blood thing.

Lexie pulls a grey jumper over her head, which fits nicely over her skinny jeans. She takes a little eyeshadow on her fingertips and begins to blend it into her eyelid.

"And where are you off to?" I ask her.

"Nowhere," she says, "I'm just doing some tutoring."

"Is that Lexie code for a date?"

She stares at me, "No! Why would you say that?"

"Well, I doubt the first years you're tutoring are the ones who you want to impress."

"I'm not trying to impress anyone," she frowns funnily at me, and leaves the dormitory.

Ray emerges from the bathroom and starts putting on her clothes. They're all very simple: blue jeans and a grey t-shirt. Ray doesn't dress to impress. And yet, somehow, guys still drool over her.

That takes some serious skill.

"So, like I was saying," I make one last desperate attempt, "Albus is tutoring me in potions. He's so kind to help me, don't you think?"

"Ugh, just date him already," Ray sighs, putting a few things in her bag before she leaves.

I stare at her in horror.

"What?" I splutter.

"You like him," she says, as though it's obvious, "so date him. All this 'will he, won't he' stuff drives me insane. Please just save us the drama and date him, if you like him."

Oh, no no no no no no no.

She thinks I like Albus?

Albus? As in Albus Potter? One of my best friends, whose older brother I'm madly in love with?

Oh shit, no. 

"I'm off," Ray says, almost cheerily.

"No wait!" I cry, "I don't like Al! He's just a friend!"

"Yeah, that's what they all say," she sighs grumpily, shutting the dormitory door behind her.

I fall back onto the bed and start beating myself over the head with Advanced Potion Making.

Albus is going to kill me.

 

*        *         *

 

An hour later I'm sitting on my bed. Quidditch practice finished about fifteen minutes ago, so I would normally start doing normal things by now. 

But I still feel hollow, bored and completely useless.

I decide to write a letter to my dad, explaining to him that I've quit.

It might go something like

Dear Dad,

Last week I decided to crush your hopes and dreams, so I quit the quidditch team.

Your loving daughter, 

Stella

Yeah, no.

However, it seems that I can't come up with anything better. I write letter after letter, wasting more and more parchment. Each time I give up, roll the parchment into a tiny ball and launch it towards the bin.

I miss every time. There is now a large pile of rumpled bits of parchment littered around the floor.

"Well, it's a good thing you're not a chaser."

I spin around in shock.

James is standing there, dressed in ordinary clothes, leaning against our doorframe, with a typical self-satisfied smirk on his face.

"What are you doing here?" I try not to squeek.

"You missed practice," James said, coming into the room properly and folding his arms in a authoritative way, "So I assumed that you were either dead, or dying. I see now, that you're neither. So you'd better have a better explanation than 'I thought it would be fun to practice my aim'."

Maybe I should be more concerned for his state of mind, rather than mine. Clearly he has short term memory loss.

"I...quit," I remind him tentatively. Does he even remember that happening?

"I remember that Wood, I'm not thick," he says sharply.

Now I'm even more confused.

"Hence, I didn't show up for practice. Since I'm no longer a part of the team."

"You don't expect me to take you seriously, do you?" he frowns, his eyebrows knitting together in a mixture of confusion and anger.

He looks SO hot.

Seriously, it's a wonder I'm not jumping him right now.

But despite my overpowering feelings of lust I feel anger. A pure, raging rush of anger. And it's directed straight at him.

"Well usually, I quit means...I quit," I explain slowly.

He grows visibly more irritated.

But then something weird happens.

I start enjoying it. Watching him bristle in front of my eyes, watching my words get under his skin, makes me even more pleased than just staring at him adoringly while he goes on a rant.

"Please," he scoffs, "I know you wouldn't quit just like that."

"Well, I did," I snap, "Isn't this what you've been practically begging me to do since I joined? I would have thought you'd be over the moon. But apparently you'd rather waste your time by coming up here and yelling at me."

"It's my duty as captain to make sure all teammates show up for practice," he says.

OK, clearly he isn't getting the message.

"I quit!" I insist again, "Quit usually means you stop doing something! Means I don't have to listen to you, I don't have to go anywhere near the quidditch pitch, and I don't have to go anywhere near you either!"

Fine, the last part saddens me a little, but he doesn't need to know that.

"You didn't quit," he smirks, "Not really. Admit it, the only reason you're up here right now, is because you're bored and you have nothing else to do!"

"For your information," I say angrily, annoyed by the fact that he's got me spot on, "I was writing a letter to my dad, telling him I quit. Maybe I should write you one too, put it in writing?"

I march over to the desk and snatch up some more parchment. I grab my quill and dip it violently into the inkwell.

"Wood," James sighs in boredom.

"Dear dipshit," I interrupt him, saying my words out loud as I scribble them, "I quit. Hasta la vista. Stella Wood."

"Stop it," he mutters angrily.

When I don't stop, he aggressively grabs my fist and tries to wrestle the quill out of it. I hold on to it tightly.

"Give me the quill," he growls.

"No," I snap.

I'm forced to stand back from the desk, and we're now caught in some sort of bizarre tug of war, each clinging onto the quill as though our lives depend on it.

I'm actually surprised at my strength. Usually James vs. Stella would have the same outcome as James vs. Chocolate Chip cookie.

Damn, now I really want a chocolate chip cookie.

But my gargling intestines are besides the point. My quill is about to tear in two. 

"This is pathetic, Wood," James holds on tighter to the feather.

"Really?" I utter with the last of my strength, "Then what do you call coming up to our dormitory to beg me to come back?"

"It wasn't begging," He starts to grimace with the effort.

I don't know where all this superhuman strength is coming from.

You know how they say that sometimes people get inexplicable bursts of energy, when someone they love is in danger? Like when a mum can lift heavy things if their baby is stuck underneath something.

Maybe that's it. Except, what is James in danger of? A quill?

That would look great on an obituary. James Potter. Death by quill.

Maybe it's the fact that I'm enjoying arguing with him so much. I mean these feelings of rage and annoyance could have possibly accumulated to make Stella, the new superhero with superhuman strength.

Yeah, that's probably it. Screw the laws of physics.

"Let. Go. Of. The. Quill," he utters angrily at me, still clinging on for dear life.

He's right. This is pathetic.

"If you do, I'll let you back onto the team."

This statement surprises me so much that I let the quill go for a millisecond.

Unfortunately the laws of physics mean that he goes flying backwards, and the last bit of the quill that remains between my fingertips jerks me violently forwards, and towards the floor.

I land heavily, but the floor isn't stone like I'd thought. Maybe it's charmed to feel softer when you land.

It's warm too...what kind of charm is this?

"Wood, would you be so kind as to get off me?"

Shit, never mind.

I scramble clumsily off him, my fingers still burning with the remembrance that they just touched James Potter's chest. I just touched his chest! A fully clothed chest, but a chest nonetheless!

I could die right now, and I would die content.

OK, maybe that's a little sad. Don't judge. You haven't seen his abs. I swear they were sculpted by the greek gods themselves.

He picks himself up off the floor, and brushes himself off.

"What did you mean, you'll let me back onto the team?" I hiss, "It kind of defeats the purpose of quitting doesn't it?"

"Well, you obviously weren't in your right mind," he says.

"Obviously?" I fold my arms in annoyance, "Face it Potter. I don't want to be on your quidditch team anymore."

He starts smirking in that really irritating way that he does, even though I also think it's drool-worthy. 

Hormones. I swear they're going to ruin my life.

"Fine," he says, making his way out of the dormitory, "But you know you'll come crawling back to me eventually."

"By eventually do you mean when hell freezes over?" I snap.

James lifts his hands to his biceps and pretends to shiver.

"Ooh, hell's getting a little chilly."

I give him a withering look, and he responds with another smirk.

"Well, when you change your mind, I'll be waiting."

Before he shuts the door he says,

"Just admit it, Wood. You miss being on the team."

He shuts the door with a click. 

I throw my copy of Advanced Potion Making across the room. Mostly because I know he's right. 

 











Authors Note: So? Reviews? I like favourite quotes, favourite characters, favourite scenes. I also like rainbows and ice cream, but that's beside the point.

Anyway hope you enjoyed! Next chapter will be up as soon as I can figure out what to do with Stella. She's a bit of a lost cause really, but I'll see what I can do.

I love you all for reading :) byeee!


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