Chapter 4 : Full Of Surprises
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Full of Surprises
“Last night was hilarious!” Lily laughed at the table as I reached it. “Did you know I spent most of it talking to a sofa?”
“Yup. I tore you away from your beloved,” I told her, grabbing toast and sliding in next to her.
She giggled. “Oh, yeah.”
“Do you know when Al got back to his dorm? He was snogging Nyx outside at about midnight, but I didn’t see him after that...”
James and Fred jolted down opposite us, both looking a little hungover. They both reached for the coffee at the same time, and had a fight over it for a while which Lily and I were perfectly content placing bets on and watching for ten minutes.
Next to join us were a pale Al and loudly talking Will, who seemed to have the sole purpose of causing Al as much pain as possible.
“ARE YOU HUNGOVER, AL?” he shouted down Al’s ear, who tried to punch him.
“Were you drinking?” James asked, perking up after his coffee.
“Yeah. Things... got out of hand.”
“I thought you were looking after Lily?”
“Don’t worry, I talked to a sofa the whole night,” Lily waved away carelessly, yawning.
This announcement was met by silence as Rose had just joined us.
It’s a well known fact that, as most of our parents were Gryffindors, all Weasleys and Potters must congregate to this table if you wish to be with your relatives and Rose liked us so she was practically a permanent member.
I always had a sneaking suspicion that she liked Al because he was often with Scorpius, but it was only speculation.
“Should I ask?” she said after a moment, eyebrows raised.
“Probably not,” Lily said, pushing me over to make room for her. “How are you, Rosie?”
“Not hungover,” she smiled, looking at James, Fred and Al in amusement.
“Ooh, Miss Prefect Pants has to get all smart on us,” Fred joked, throwing a blueberry muffin at her head, which she deftly caught before it hit her face.
There’s been a rivalry, friendly but firmly there, between Fred and Rose since two years ago, when Rose joined the Ravenclaw Quidditch team as beater.
Fred had been selected as beater for Slytherin since third year, so he’d always assumed it was his own position and no one else’s. James told me once that he was jealous of Rose, as she was the only Weasley/Potter to have been chosen for Ravenclaw’s team. Louis, when he had been here, was crap at Quidditch, as was Dom and Lucy. They all were more intellectual, and while Rose was extremely clever, she’d also been practicing Quidditch with her younger brother Hugo since her eighth birthday.
She was a superb beater, and I don’t Fred has quite forgiven her for it.
Rose winked at him, and began to nibble on the muffin.
“How is everyone after last night?” Rose asked chirpily.
“I’m an Inferi now.”
“I don’t think my head will ever be the same.”
Lily was perfectly fine, but it didn’t surprise me. She probably had some kind of secret remedy for it, it the form of a potion.
“Lilster, why are you so happy?” whined James.
“Because I like goats.”
She had a habit of making strange announcements. I wish her head would tell her to shut up occasionally.
“Care to elaborate?” Rose asked.
“Bezoars, a stone found in the stomach of a goat, are a cure to most poisons.”
“And...” I said slowly.
“Alcohol, in essence, is a poison to humans- it’s just not often that we consume enough to kill us. One bezoar before alcohol consumption basically means no headache the morning after. I’m sure there’s something muggle sciency in there somewhere, but I can’t be arsed figuring it out,” Lily told us, smiling proudly.
Rose turned her body to face her. “What book did you read that in? I’ve looked at most of the books in the library, but I’ve rarely gone in the-“
“I didn’t read it,” Lily cut off, frowning. “I figured it out a few weeks ago, and thought Halloween would be the perfect opportunity to try it.”
Rose reached for some porridge. “Lily, I love you and everything, but you know too much about potions.”
“I know just the right amount, thank you,” Lily sniffed.
Did I mention in her free time she studies NEWT potions textbooks?
Yeah, it makes me sad too.
“Hey Professor Gardner!” grinned Lily.
Lily hates all teachers. Lily hates anyone that tries to be friends with her, and anyone who doesn’t like her. Gardner, on the other hand, our Professor of potions and head of Ravenclaw house, neither tries to be kind to anyone or shouts. Most of the time she assigns a potion, and lets us be. Hence, Lily likes her a lot.
“Hello, Miss Potter. Might I ask if you’ve completed your essay on the uses of dragon’s blood?”
“Erm, no, you may not.”
“Lily!” I hissed. “That was due a week ago!”
“Right you are, Miss Wood. Detention, Miss Potter, and if you don’t have it handed to me by eight o’clock tonight I will be forced to interrogate you about the whereabouts of the missing asphodel and Boomslang skin from my personal stores.”
Lily nodded solemnly, with a playful glint in her eye, until Gardner moved away and then turned to me with a crease between her eyebrows.
“I haven’t touched her stuff in months,” Lily frowned. “I order it all from the Apothecary now.”
I bit my lip, but Gardner had already set us a potion, so I retrieved the ingredients from the shelves quickly.
Lily looked at them, turning things over and inspecting them.
“We don’t need this, but we do need a sprig of peppermint.”
She’d decided we didn’t need one of the key ingredients to successfully make the Drought of Peace.
Most people would think I’m mad, but I accepted it and brought her what she needed.
“Miss Potter and Miss Wood, perfect as usual,” Gardner said, sweeping past our cauldron. “Although it is curious as to how you are finished, as you need to leave it for an hour to add the valerian root.”
Lily flashed a smile at her, and I sank in my seat a little. I had no idea what Lily had done and why, so if Gardner found out I’d get zero marks.
Considering I’m supposedly an Outstanding student, I knew that would be bad.
“Ellie suggested we exchange the hellebore with peppermint after allowing the potion to simmer for the seven minutes, and this let us add the valerian root an hour early.”
Gardner shook her head at me, smiling. “Miss Wood? Is this correct?”
“Actually, it was Lily who figured out we could add the root early. I just believed leaving the hellebore out would reduce the chances of it becoming poisonous.”
Behind her back, Lily gave me a sly thumbs-up.
“Full marks, both of you,” Gardner said.
“You haven’t marked it yet,” I reminded her.
“Miss Wood, if I ever doubted your ability to get full marks on a potion I would be forced to reconsider whether it would be appropriate for this class.”
I... think that was a compliment...?
Defence Against the Dark Arts is hilarious.
With Teddy Lupin as our teacher (he insists everyone calls him Teddy, as most of the Potters and Weasleys do anyway) it can only be fun, and I’m actually better at this than Lily. Yay!
“Lily, please disarm me,” Teddy sighed.
My wand flew out of my hand.
“How are you the child of the saviour of the wizarding world?” I demanded incredulously as I scooped it up from three metres away.
“Shut it, Wood,” she said, glaring to the point where it was squinting.
“Lilster, accept it. You’re shit at duels and always will be.”
“You’re not fantastic yourself.”
“I know, but I’m better than you.”
She gave me the finger, and Teddy turned away quickly to avoid seeing it.
Yes, Teddy Lupin is an extremely biased past-Gryffindor who hates taking points away from his house.
“Are you done?” he called over his shoulder.
He turned back, and tried to explain to her how to aim her spells whilst I absentmindedly made random Hufflepuffs cartwheel in the air.
Sitting at lunch, munching on my food and listening to the Weasley/Potter clan talking about first kisses.
Yes, relatives of each other want to know about first kisses.
Trust me, it can get A LOT weirder.
“I don’t know who,” James shrugged. “Some girl at a party. Don’t know her name.”
Scorpius blushed lightly. “Lily.”
“Lily?” asked James slowly.
“What?” demanded Al, looking from one of his best mates to his little sister in quick succession.
“I was in second year,” Lily sniffed, “and asked him if older boys were better at kissing. They weren’t.”
“I’ll have you know I’m a good kisser!” he said crossly. “Much better than I used to be.”
She winked at him.
“Who was yours, Lily?”
“Darren Black, in reception.”
She hasn’t had a real boyfriend, though. I don’t think she wants one.
I shrugged. “Haven’t met my Darren Black yet.”
Lily kicked me.
“Ouch,” I winced, rubbing my shin. She’s a sadistic bitch, is my Lily.
“You’ve never kissed anyone?” Al asked, looking surprised.
“That’s what I said.”
Rose squeezed my hand under the table. “Neither have I, actually. Anyway, we live with too many boys to be ever attracted to them as a species,” she said haughtily, and they turned to badger Fred.
I squeezed her hand back, and she smiled at me.
How had such a beautiful girl like Rose not been kissed, and was it okay that I hadn’t either?
“QUIDDITCH TEAM!” roared Al, storming into the Gryffindor common room. “EMERGENCY PRACTICE, NOW!”
Someone was pissed.
“Everyone, we’re all going to be learning new moves today,” Al announced within the first five minutes of practice, after going through the routine warm-ups.
“As in... new stuff?” James asked doubtfully. “Shouldn’t we have done this earlier? The game is in two weeks, Al.”
Al looked murderously at him. “I know,” he said through gritted teeth. “But Dom just gave me a tip-off that the Slytherins have been spying on us since the beginning of term and I caught the bugger setting up twenty minutes ago. We have two weeks to completely shock them with a whole different strategy.”
Our surprise was initially on being spied on. Were they really so pathetic that they had resorted to cheap levels like that?
“But I only just learned the Reverse Pass,” Lily, a chaser, whined.
“I know,” Al sighed. “We’ll use it against the Ravenclaws. You and James will be mastering the Porskoff Ploy instead. Essentially, one of you flies above the other as if escaping a Bludger or the chasers on the opposing team, but you actually pass it to the other who’s several feet below you. It’s difficult, but I reckon you’ll get it.”
Did I mention all three Potters are our chasers? They were last year too, and they almost know what each other are thinking, so they’re brilliant. Before their first match, the then-Captain Nicola Cross had been given a huge amount of ridicule of it.
Of course, then we won the first match 420 points to 30, and there was a huge reduce in teasing.
Odd, isn’t it?
It was Scorpius’ first game, poor guy, and looked a little bit worried, but managed to keep it together. I’d been seeker in the term of last year when Nicola had been injured in practice last minute, and Al asked me to try out this year.
Riley Cole, a broad guy in our year, and Louise Rowd, a small blonde third year, were the beaters. It had been Al’s turn to get grief about choice of players with her, as she was frail-looking and didn’t seem to have much power.
Give her a beater’s bat and it’s a whole other story; she knocked Lily clean off her broom in our second practice. From then on, she had our approval, including Lily’s, who thought she was invincible until she face-planted the floor. She’d only been six feet in the air, fortunately, but she still broke her nose and three ribs from the bludger.
Lesson: Louise is scary. Don’t mess with her.
“Riley and Lou, I need you to go over the Dopplebeater Defence I taught you a while ago. Scorpius-“
As the other began to shoot off on various brooms, he jogged over.
“You really need to learn the Double Eight Loop. You can read about it in here,” al said, handing over a thick, moss coloured book. “Look for Chapter Ten.”
Scorpius wandered off, and Al turned to me, taking a deep breath.
“I know you were going to do a lot of Sloth Grip Rolls, Ellie, but it’ll be better if you don’t in case they aim bludgers below your broom or something dangerous like that. I want to teach you a particular move, but it’s very advanced and this will be only your second game-“
“What is it, Al?”
“The Wronski Feint.”
I glanced up at him, then shrugged. “Sure. I tried it a few times the holidays, and managed to get quite close to the ground.”
“You tried the Wronski Feint without supervision?!” Al challenged incredulously. “Are you mad?”
“I wasn’t alone, actually. Harry was helping me.”
Al paused for a moment, then groaned.
“Get on your broom.”
“I’m doing this until I get it right,” I insisted, swiping Al’s hand off my arm. “Go away if you’re bored.”
At first, it was fine. I got steadily and steadily lower, until it hit the twenty yard mark, and then I was erratic. Sometimes I’d veer off at fifteen feet, and sometimes at five. Once, I felt my feet touch the ground as I came out of my dive.
Ground + Ellie = hospital wing for several weeks = bad.
“Ellie, you’re exhausted. You need to rest, or you’ll end up breaking every bone in your body.”
The rest of the team were the showers, all having mastered their moves. I would finish mine.
“Even my thigh? That bone is actually as strong as concrete.”
Al frowned. “What the hell’s concrete?”
He flew closer to me, trying to get within grabbing distance, I could tell.
I edged away.
“Come on, Ellie!” he said frustratedly.
“You’ll have to get me!” I sang, seeing I was the perfect height. I dived.
Down, down, down, getting faster, okay, the ground’s close, quite close, pulling out... NOW!
I yanked up at the perfect second: ten feet from the floor.
“YES!” I whooped, punching the air.
Out of nowhere, Al was at my side.
“You idiot!” he exclaimed, grabbing the front of my broom and leading me forcibly to the ground. “You can’t start dangerous moves in the frame of mind of a joke, Ellie; you could have really hurt yourself then, bloody hell!”
“But I did it right,” I said slowly, dismounting and yanking my broom out of his hand.
He may be my captain but he’s certainly not in control of me.
“So? Ellie, a Quidditch move is not worth your life, whatever James or Fred might tell you-“
“Oh, chill, Al,” I said, rolling my eyes and heading over to the changing rooms. “I’ll see you in the common room.”
“Eliana-“ he yanked me from behind. His eyes were blazing with anger and he pulled me close, forcing me to look into his eyes. I was too close for comfort, and tried to pull away.
“If you do that move in the match, you’re off the team. Have you got it?” he breathed.
I was outraged. He wanted me to practice the damn thing in the first place!
“One, Albus fucking Potter, you do not own me. Second, I’m the seeker. Who the hell are you going to replace me with? Three, you’re a hypocrite,” I told him, shoving him abruptly in the chest with my hands and stalking off to the changing rooms to complain to Lily.
He really was an arse.
A/N Not much to say, except this doesn’t seem it but it’s a really important chapter... later. Right now, it seems like a filler, but trust me, it explains a lot later on. J Review please? Do you want to see James in a relationship, or not?
Of course, I know what’s going to happen, but I’m curious about you lot.
Ooh, look, Floo Powder!
*GingerGenower disappears into a fireplace*
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