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Chapter 5 : Chapter the Fifth: My Neighbor the Vampire
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sweet CI by windcriessarah@TDA!
Luckily for Rose, the practices since her initiation had not been the same hellish torture; they were a much different hellish torture. She wouldn’t choose any different though, it being the most exhausting yet fulfilling job in the world. The regular Puddlemere practices were four days a week for four straight hours or more depending on the coach’s mood. Each practice began with five laps around their pitch (running, not flying because anyone can fly), followed any and every flying drill imaginable, and numerous scrimmages of all kinds of plays. Anyone who passed Quidditch off as just a game and not work, was wrong.
After the sixth attempt at the Dragon Drop Defense, a play where chasers rise and fall, up and down, passing the quaffle between them as they flew toward the opposing teams goals, Coach Wood finally decided to call the team down to the grass.
“Alright lads…lassies. Saturday is our first match against of the season against the Chudley Cannons.”
“Boo!” The team shouted in response.
“Also, it is our first game with Weasley as a chaser.” Coach Wood continued, followed by several whistles and hollers.
“There isn’t another special ritual I’ll have to go through to play my old team is there?” Rose asked unsure whether she would have to go through something possibly worse than Snitch Snatch just to play her old team.
“No, no Snitch Snatch. Not unless you really want to. What you do get to do is lead us on to the pitch to show those brainless Cannons what a mistake they made.” Coach Wood said boastfully to the team, who cheered.
“Well that’s not so bad.” Rose agreed rather proud of herself, to get to lead the team.
“But I don’t want any showboating from you Weasley, nor the rest of you. You are on a team that knows quite well what it needs to do. Team, this will be an easy match as always. Their Seeker is a drunk loon, so the sooner you spot the Snitch Malfoy, the better. We can ease their loss. Now they do know how Weasley plays but its likely they will continue to underestimate her. The only way they can win is if they’ve replaced half their team with super chasers. “ Coach Wood lectured seriously.
Being a former star Quidditch player himself both in his time at Hogwarts and professionally for years, it was safe to say he knew what he was talking about; which made it all the harder to try to call him on anything. The majority of the team completely respected that, unless they were feeling particularly cocky, a common affliction among the younger all-star teammates wanting to challenge him. It was usually remedied by extra laps running around the pitch with bludgers sick’ed on them.
“How sweet.” Rose muttered under her breath.
“It was a compliment, however mean it came off.” Dirk leaned down to whisper in her ear.
“Oh- I knew that.” She whispered back sheepishly.
“I know you do.” Dirk replied with a wink.
“Oi, no chit-chat! You two just earned the whole team an extra two laps. That will cease your lady-like gossip I hope.” Coach Wood said breaking from his speech and interrupting their aside.
“Now I need you all to meet here at 8 o’clock sharp on Saturday morning to catch the portkey to the Cannon’s shoddy stadium, no offence Weasley. Any one late has to pay the fine. Now seven laps! Go!” he finished.
The team set off at a slow pace but quickly picked up when the coach shot sparks after them, but also increased their moaning. The oldest among the complainers, Boris Kiley the other Beater, tried to trip Rose and Dirk as they ran past; but settled for summoning his broom and finishing his laps at a leisurely pace. Coach Wood allowed it only because Kiley was nearly twenty years his senior, and had no issues cursing his coach. The others slugged along begrudgingly, as Scorpius and James treated it (like most things) as a game racing each other around the pitch lapping everyone else.
Rose moved along at a fast pace, trying not to let herself stop. The Cannon’s practice had never been quite so intense; mostly consisting of them hanging around the pitch for awhile and flying around aimlessly, exercise was something teammates could do on their own time. It really came across in their matches. It was something that Rose had taken for granted, only going on runs a few times a week.
Now after weeks of conditioning, this type of thing was at least normal for her; it certainly was not her favorite thing. She was just beginning her last lap, cursing her father and cousins for ever making Quidditch rather than girly things seem fun to her as a child; with out telling her that if she went pro that she would have to run so much. Nearly 30 seconds into her last lap, she almost jumped from her skin when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
“Rose, got a minute?” Dirk asked matching her pace easily.
“I guess, only if you can talk while you run. I don’t want to get in trouble again.” Rose said growing breathless.
“Don’t worry, my Dad is harmless.” Dirk replied.
“He may be harmless to you, but that doesn’t mean he wont give me a load of extra laps just for the fun of it.” Rose said defensively.
“We can worry about that if it comes to it.”
“I’m sure it will. I don’t think he likes me all that much.” Rose said unsure of his assurance. She always felt as if her coaches went hardest on her, because she wasn’t a Perfect Potter and nearly always the newest or youngest on the team.
“Nah, it’s only because you are still new and he hasn’t seen you in real action yet. After you prove yourself at the game he will ease up and just torture you the normal amount.” Dirk said, patting her on the shoulder.
“That’s reassuring.” Rose mumbled, rolling her eyes.
“If you’d rather, I could just tell him to be nice to you. He does listen to me.”
“You are his son, I would expect him to. But I don’t want any free passes not for this.” Rose huffed, determined. Half a lap left.
“Good, what about a free pass for dinner with me after practice?” Dirk asked with no hint of nerves, only a smug smile.
“Cheesy, but you know what?” Rose said, catching James’ eye from across the pitch, “ I’d love to.”
“Great, I’ll pick you up outside the locker room’s in 30 minutes.” He replied flashing a brilliant smile, then running ahead to finish his lap.
Rose slowed down as she approached the end of her lap glad she wasn’t the last. When she finally came to a stop, she bent over to finally catch her breath. Both Scorpius and James lay sprawled out in the grass, exhausted from having sprinted the full 7 laps around the pitch (twice the size of Hogwarts), and were still badgering each other over who was fastest. Nora finished just behind Rose, as she walked past she muttered something akin to ‘I don’t mind coming in last if I get to watch her behind’. Something, which Rose had just taken to ignoring.
She breathing in loudly, Rose collapsed to the ground like the others and looked up to the clouds in the sky. She mumbled the words of one of the few wandless spells that she knew; and suddenly the clouds sprang to life. They became animated creatures and frolicked across the sky in a private show for her teammates to enjoy.
“Make the dragon turn into a unicorn!” someone called out, Rose had a sneaking suspicion that it was Russell.
“That was a good practice everyone!” The coach said, breaking Rose’s concentration. “Howard, your aim is good but please remember NOT to aim at your teammates. I need them to be sane enough to be on a broom.”
“Then why is James on the team?” Rose asked.
“Shut your trap.” James yelled back.
“Now Potter, Weasley, don’t be afraid to take as much space between other players after catching a pass; they won’t be prepared for a wide formation if they always fly in a tight V. Dirk, if I have to tell you again I will turn your old room into a study, remember eyes are always on the quaffle no matter where over the pitch it is. Okay, all of you beasts hit the showers.” Coach Wood told them, contented in his team’s performance for the day.
The team hopped to their feet, and made their way back to the lockers. Rose quickly ran to her locker, shedding her sweats and tossing them at the bottom of the locker where the rest of her work out clothes from the week lay in a heap; probably growing a fungus for all she knew (luckily a charm placed on the lockers refreshed everything inside at the end of each week).
In only her skivvies Rose grabbed her pink robe, a towel, and her pink bag in which she kept spare clothes and rarely used girly things, then traipsed over to the showers. She was there first so she decided to get a single stall rather than use the community one across the way and share with all of the men and Nora, she had a little dignity though not much. It wasn’t that she was shy around men when undressed, but showering with a bunch of naked men, some of them quite old and some of them her cousin, Rose wasn’t so keen on that.
Rose showered quickly in the very steamy room knowing that she did actually have a time limit. When Rose had finished washing her hair, she put it up into a set of pink curlers Auntie Fleur had gotten her ages ago; that she never thought she would have an occasion to use them for. She set a drying charm on her hair, so she could busy herself with shaving and washing so that she would smell more like flowers than the inside of James’ shoe.
Once she was infinitely more feminine than before, Rose stepped out of the tiled shower and quickly wrapped the towel around herself to dry off. Most of the others were just beginning their showers, filling the rooms with the loud echoes of their guffawing. She put on a new bra and pair of panties that had been stashed away in her girly bag, then wrapped her robe around her to stay warm on the way back to her locker to get dressed.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” An annoying voice said as she reached her locker.
“What?” She asked anxiously, turning around to see James and Scorpius fresh from the showers with towels tied around their waists.
“Who are you, and what have you done with my never liked playing dress up cousin. Seriously, what is with the curlers?” James asked.
“Yeah, doesn’t your hair get curly on its own?” Scorpius added.
Rose could feel the heat rising in her cheeks. It was true, though she did have older female cousins, she preferred rough-housing with the boys and getting dirty to playing dress up and acting delicate. Still, having them see her in a state of unpreparedness was embarrassing.
“Can I not wear pink? Honestly! I’m going on a date and I want to look nice for once. And no Scorpius, my hair is just wavy I lucked out. If I want it to curl I have to use these.” Rose exclaimed all at once. She noticed in the opposite corner of the lockers Dirk had the hint of a smile on his face which made her feel better.
“You are going on a date? With who?” James asked with all the hints of a protective older brother in his voice.
“Yes, I am and I don’t see why it is any of your business.” Rose replied haughtily. She did not want to be told who to date.
“I just want to look out for you.” James replied, though he didn’t exactly come of as sincere.
“You’re right. I know that and all, but I am a grown up I can make these choices on my own.” Rose said shrugging off the robe and hanging it in her locker.
“Dear Merlin Rosie! No one needs to see that, get dressed would you!” James exclaimed shielding his eyes from her state of undress, as he left for his locker muttering curses.
“Scorpius, you can go now too.” Rose said her cheeks growing pink seeing Scorpius just staring at her.
He shook himself from the stupor. “Right.”
After that awkward moment, Rose began her search through the girly bag for something to wear for her ‘date’. There were several fancy dresses inside, but she felt they would be to fancy or misleading for an impromptu date after quidditch practice. Then again she couldn’t really just go in the tracksuit she came in. Eventually she gave up and went with a fancy blue shirt and a pair of black jeans.
“Ahem,” Dirk said approaching her, “Are you ready to go?” He asked.
“Oh yes.” Rose replied surprised. She figured that she was ready to go until she saw herself in her lockers mirror as she was about to shut it, and realized that he curlers were still in.
“Wait! One minute!” Rose quickly ducked down to take the curlers out, with out trying to make a fool of herself. “Sorry about that, I never use them so I just forgot that they were in.” she chuckled.
“It’s quite alright. But you might think that you would notice being so big and tugging on your hair like that. I could never wear them.” Dirk answered smugly, taking her by the arm.
“That’s good. It would be terribly awkward to see a guy like you wearing curlers, now James I might expect it from. So Sir, where are you taking me?” Rose asked, glaring back and sticking her tongue out at James and Scorpius who were watching her crossly as she departed.
“I was thinking Dardroll’s Delicatessen so we can have a nice dinner but not have to apparate so far as London.” Dirk informed.
He was dressed very nice, in a sport coat and slacks almost making Rose feel underdressed. But she knew that Dirk was one of those guys who just always looked the epitome of perfect, especially when he graced the covers of gossip magazines or was the topic of witches celebrity talk shows (yes, wizarding society had adopted that invention from the muggles and made it their own). Thus was the life of a Keeper Playboy legacy. At least she was a part of that world now, having been featured in a few articles since she started playing professionally.
“I actually heard that place was quite nice.” Rose replied. Dirk took her hand an held on tight to apparate them away.
It had been a very nice date, though they focused more on the food than real conversation. Rose had found that though he was very good at talking up ladies and was very handsome, there wasn’t much more to him than being a Keeper and being in the public eye. She felt herself lucky that he even wanted to talk to her. He wasn’t exactly ‘boyfriend’ material per say, but who said she needed one? She was twenty and perfectly happy to have a very hot friend with benefits and no real strings attached. Well, if it came to that, she hadn’t even kissed him yet.
Rose finished off her pasta with a loud sigh, and sat back in her chair feeling like she was ready to fall asleep. Dirk looked up from his plate, looking quite satiated as well. The restaurant had emptied a while ago, and now the waiters were just waiting for them to leave so they could lock up.
“It’s nearly ten, are you ready to go?” Dirk asked, standing up from his chair and going over to help her up.
“Most definitely. I can’t believe I ate all of that.” Rose replied.
Dirk laced his fingers with hers as they walked to the door together. Rose noticed but didn’t say anything, just leaning her head on his shoulder. He chuckled lightly.
“The portions weren’t that large, but it was very good.” Dirk said, leading her to an alley where they could apparate from. “You live in James and Scorpius’ building right?”
“Hold on.” He whispered, and they were transported into the lobby of her building.
“So…” she began nervously.
“I’ll see you to your room,” He announced still holding her hand and moving them towards the stairs.
“Such a gentleman.” Rose replied giggling, the wine from their dinner kicking in.
She led him up the stairs to her floor, and down the hall until they reached her door.
“So…” she said again, this time looking down at her feet nervously not wanting to embarrass herself further that night by trying to jump his bones when he was just trying to let her down easily.
“So we could say good night now…”
“Oh,” Rose mumbled quietly.
“Or I could say good bye after break-, Oof!” Dirk began with a smirk, before Rose threw her arms around him and kissing him hard on the lips with no abandon.
Immediately, Dirk responded by picking her up with one arm and pressing her against the door, his other arm wrapping itself around her and tangling his hand in her hair. Rose was surprised at the positive reaction to her spur-of-the-moment choice. She squeaked happily, pulling herself closer to him as he began to kiss down her neck. She tried not to imagine what James would say if he caught them now.
There was a loud creaking noise when the next door over opened. The two of them sprang apart, as if they had been caught stealing the Sorcerer’s Stone. A man exited the door way dressed as though he were going to a ball. He was pale, had long dark hair tied neatly behind his head, and an almost creepy gleam in his eye.
“Good evening Miss Rose. Enjoying your evening I presume?” The odd man asked with an Italian accent.
“Yes…uh” Rose replied at a loss for her neighbor’s name when he clearly knew hers.
“Lucian.” He offered with a knowing grin.
“Yes, Dirk this is my neighbor Lucian, Lucian this is my –er my friend Dirk. How is your evening so far?” Rose asked trying to seem the good neighbor while her face went red from embarrassment.
“Rather well. I’m off to go in search of some new blood if I may be so bold. I’ll have to bid you adieu. Have a good night.” Lucian said, excusing himself and disappearing down the hallway.
“Did he say blood?” Dirk asked.
“Yup. I’ve only seen him go in and out at night. I think he is a vampire.” Rose replied bluntly, then looked up at Dirk and started giggling again as she tried to find her key.
She quickly found the key and put it in the lock, letting them both into her flat.
“So what say we make me a bit more than a friend?” Dirk asked before taking Rose in his arms again and shutting the door behind them.
A/N: Super duper sorry for the long wait! Real life quite honestly hit me like a brick and I've been dealing with that. This chapter took way longer than I wanted or expected, and thus may reflect that, so I do apologize for that. On to the good news! I have the story outlined almost to chapter 40ish, and big things will happen, and there will be ScoRose! ... I just have to write the actual chapters... Still, I wanna know all of what you think about it! What is it lacking? What is there too much of? How do you like Dirk? All that jazz. If you even had the slightest opinion of it, you should review; because if you don't I'll know and then you will feel guilty and we don't want that. ;D Thanks for reading!
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