“No! I’m not wearing-“
“Yes. You are.”
“No, I’m honestly not!"
“You have to look better than Rose! I have to make sure he keeps his eyes in his sockets!”
I looked down at the outfit James has picked out of my closet. I was pretty sure I wore some of it as an inappropriate costume for an ex-boyfriend a few years back (everyone has done it, don’t give me that dirty look). The jean skirt looked like it would disappear up my butt if I didn’t keep an eye on it. The orange tank top felt two sizes too small and the black shawl that James had chosen to throw over it was so thin, I was sure I’d freeze. It didn't matter that it was late August, I'd still be cold. It didn’t help that he topped it all off with very high heels.
I looked like a stripper. Or worse: Amelia.
“I look like…like…” I couldn’t even think of a good comparison.
“Take your hair out of that ponytail.” James reached around my head and pulled my hair tie out of my hair, my black hair falling onto my shoulders. I groaned in protest. It probably was the size of Alaska at this point. I hated my hair. The rings were frizzy and the way it shone in the sun made it look greasy.It framed my face all wrong.
“James!” I cried. He smiled at me, looking very pleased with himself. I was tempted to smack the smirk off of his face.
“You look spectacular, Gigi. Going to have all the boys drooling over you. Hopefully Scorpius!” James clapped his hands in front of him, very proud of himself. “Let’s go!”
The Leaky Cauldron was a dingy kind of bar, something you would suspect of wizards in a muggle area. The bartender looked ready to cough up a lung and the people in it didn’t look much better. It was as though there was a layer of grime over the lights. I wasn't sure if the food was even edible. I think someone died, because it sure smelt like it. Wait, was that guy at the bar dead? No, he twitched; he was alive…for now.
Was Rose trying to get me and James knocked off before the date so we didn’t show up? This seemed very likely. They probably hired the whole place to intimidate us before the bartender did us off. I swore I saw half the bar eyeing me. It might be the outfit.
I think it was because they wanted to off us.
“This is your entire fault!” I hissed in James’s ear. He smirked at me.
“They’re staring because you’ve been all over our papers, love.” James whispered back. “And because you’re dressed like that.”
I felt my face flush. Was I actually a face in Britain now? The feeling made me squirm. I suppose it was what I had asked for, coming over here. I sort of wanted to be famous and be a name in England. Except, I didn't want to be remembered for being dressed like this. I was dressed like a prostitute and on a date with a teammate. Couldn’t get much worse.
“Hey guys I didn’t think—oh wow! Er…Gigi? You look…I mean.. I like your….er…necklace.” Rose mumbled, her eyes nearly popping out of their sockets. This is what I did when I looked in the mirror. I looked down at my bare chest. I wasn’t wearing a necklace.
I looked at the boy next to her and immediately grinned. Rose had good taste. The guy next to her was tall, about James’s height. He was a bit thinner, but it worked for him. He was shockingly pale, but his bright, blue eyes and bleach, blonde hair made him look very aristocratic. He had a pointed nose and amazing cheekbones. I was very envious upon inspecting them. It was pain-sakingly obvious he was a pureblood. Not that it mattered to me, but that could be why James didn't like him; I heard people in England cared about that sort of thing.
“Scorpius Malfoy.” He noticed me staring and extended his hand in a polite manner. I returned his smile and went to shake his extended hand, but James slapped my hand down.
“Ow!” I hissed at him. He didn't even glance at me.
“Gigi doesn’t touch filth,” James growled in a low voice at Scorpius. I smacked James on the back of the head as hard as I could.
“You do not speak for me, Potter.” I growled in tern. He winced, but put his arm around my waist, pulling me far too close to his chest. I felt as though I was going to suffocate in his cologne. Who the hell was he trying to impress?
“Let’s get going, shall we?” Rose said.
As we made it into Diagon Alley (apparently it was their magical market place) and to the small café we were going to eat supper at, I felt as though everyone’s eyes had fallen upon me at some point. I was never one to wear such revealing clothes and felt completely out of place. I felt like my boobs would fall out of the tank top at any time. What a way to start a reputation, hey?
Apparently I was already starting a reputation. People knew me from photos in the papers (which I don’t recall seeing) and now that I was showing myself in public, they would think I was a classic Quidditch-bimbo who had screwed her way onto the team. They would especially think this because I was on a date with James Potter.
It wasn’t even a date! I was being tactical! Tactical Gigi, I swear. I needed that center position if I wanted more than a year contract. My whole reason for coming to Britain was to play Quidditch and that was it. I didn’t have a hidden agenda. I didn’t want to be sponsored by Quidditch Weekly or Witch Weekly. I didn’t want to be going on a date with James Potter. I didn’t want to be helping Adam Freeman with his playbook. I especially didn’t want to be doing strenuous weight lifting.
But alas, here I was.
I flexed my arm slightly and smirked when the muscle flexed with it. It felt good.
James and Scorpius both jumped up to grab us drinks and to order the food. I fumbled with the bottom of my skirt, scared that the guy a few tables over could see up it. I think he could. I glanced across at Rose who was staring down at the table.
“Look, can I borrow your sweater?” I asked her, rubbing my arms. “I’m freezing and frankly very uncomfortable in what your cousin dressed me up in.”
”Oh thank Merlin!” Rose’s face lit up. She quickly took off her jacket, handing it over to me, leaving her in a green blouse. “I really thought you dressed like that for a while.”
I snorted very unattractively. “You’re kidding me, right? I’m not a stripper.” I told her. She laughed at my comment, looking very relieved and a lot more relaxed.
“Good. Now I can admire you completely, not just for your Quidditch Skills.” Rose told me. I felt my face flush with embarrassment.
It wasn’t that I hadn’t had anyone tell me I had Quidditch skill, it was just the first time that people were emphasizing on it so much. I suppose since England was more into Quidditch than America was, I would be getting more compliments here. I never considered myself a celebrity in America (it was mainly the Quad players that were stars over there), but would that be different here?
I hope not. I just loved the sport; I didn’t need to be in the spotlight so much.
“Here you are, ladies.” Scorpius said, handing me a butterbeer and placing the rest in the respective spots. James came over to the table, attempting to balance four plates in his arms. He had two resting in the upper crooks, while two were in each hand. I had to admit, I was slightly impressed. Until he dropped all four onto the floor.
“Bollocks!” James shouted.
“I really hope that one is mine.” I pointed to the only one that hadn’t landed on the floor and was somehow upright on its plate. James glared down at it before kicking it, causing the contents to spill on the floor.
“No....that was mine.” Scorpius sighed, glancing at Rose who looked ready to blow.
“Breathe, Rose.” Scorpius whispered to her. Rose took a deep breath, actually turning back to her normal pale color.
Well, I’ll be damned. When I’m angry like that, no one can calm me down. I smiled at the pair. I may not be a romantic type of person, but those two were just cute. I may not understand why James was playing the protective cousin, but even if I had a grudge against the guy, I couldn’t try to break them apart.
“I’ll help you this time.” Rose said through gritted teeth. She pushed herself away from the table a little too aggressively and stomped past James.
“If you don’t mind me saying…you’re a bloody good chaser.” I heard Scorpius say. I looked across the table to see him staring down into his glass, his face turning red.
“Thanks.” I told him, smiling.
“It’s different being around James because I’ve known him throughout school, but I feel like I’m in the presence of a celebrity, you know?” Scorpius looked up at me. I frowned.
“I wouldn’t consider myself a celebrity…yet. Just wait until the Magpie exhibition game.” I winked at him and he grinned, obviously thinking the same as me. Or I hoped. I hoped I wouldn’t make a fool of myself.
I really better not.
“So what are your intentions with Rose?” I asked, an attempt at conversation. I couldn’t hold a decent conversation ever, it was my downfall.
“I’m glad you asked and not him.” He gestured over towards James who seemed to be shouting at the cashier rather animatedly. “I like Rose a lot. She means a lot to me….but I know I won’t be accepted by her family. The Weasleys and the Malfoys don’t get along. It’s a rivalry that goes back centuries. After the war, we thought everything had changed…at least I thought it did. Rose apparently too, since she’s with me and all. People like Rose’s Dad and James and even my father are the reason why these grudges still exist when they shouldn’t.”
I remembered the War that had happened when my parents were my age. It hadn’t affected America as much as it had Britain. I remembered learning about it in History of Magic. It was why James was a little more famous than the rest of the Quidditch World.
“Well, it’s time you kiss ass then, isn’t it?” I told him, taking a sip of my butterbeer. He laughed at me and nodded in response.
“That’s why we’re here, isn’t it?” Scorpius said. I nodded in tern, watching as Rose and James came back with our plates. I immediately dug in.
“Gigi…aren’t you hot? Why don’t you take that off.” James tried. Like I didn’t know what he was doing.
“Nope, I’m fine, thanks.” I told him through a mouthful of lasagna. He frowned, his jaw immediately clenching.
“So Malfoy…kill any muggleborns lately?” James asked nonchalantly.
I spit my butterbeer across the table, covering Rose in it. She gasped, dropping her scolding hot clam chowder into her lap. She leaped back in surprise, spilling Scorpius’s butterbeer over the table. I leapt up to grab a napkin to clean the mess, but ended up elbowing James in the face. James shrieked (like a girl, might I add) and fell backwards off of his chair. I shouted so many apologies at James, kneeling down to see if he was alright.
When my skirt split wide open.
Not even subtly. There was a loud ripping noise and the fabric nearly tore all the way up.
There was silence throughout the whole café. Then suddenly, there was a flash of light.
And even another.
I glanced behind me to see a man standing with a camera and taking pictures vigorously. I’m pretty sure he even got one of my bottom. I felt my face flush as I promptly sat down on it so that I wasn’t showing my underwear to the whole café.
“Sod off!” Rose shouted at the camera man. He snickered at all of us.
“Got all I needed!” he said in a chipper voice, practically skipping out of the café. I groaned, slapping my head into my hands. To say I was embarrassed would be an understatement. I really wasn’t sure if I should cry or crawl back to America. I had a horrible feeling that my butt would on the front page of Witch Weekly come tomorrow morning.
“Let’s get you two out of here, shall we?” Scorpius said, helping James off the ground, who was now supporting a bloody nose. Rose stood behind me, blocking anyone from seeing my butt. The damage was already done, Rose.
“What the hell is this?!” Sally yelled at me. I rolled over in bed and groaned. I had been waiting for this. I had even left my door unlocked so that Sally could storm right in without knocking ridiculously at the door.
I opened one eye, seeing my red underweared-bottom staring at me. It then went from my underwear to my reddened face and James laying next to me, clutching his nose. The title red “NEW FALCON, NEW MESS?” I’m sure the article went to describe how I’m secretly a stripper and not seriously a Quidditch Player.
I moaned again, shoving the pillow over my face.
“Get that away.” I whined. Sally ripped the pillow away from my face and slapped my forehead with the magazine.
“This is not okay! Your first game is tomorrow! How do you plan to be taken seriously with something like this?!” Her voice really was annoying in the morning.
“Well, I’d hope my playing would be the answers to your prayers.” I mumbled sarcastically, forgetting sleep and pushing myself out of bed.
“Your sarcasm surely won’t save us!” Sally hissed. I stretched, feeling my back crack against the strain. It felt amazing.
“I thought this was about me. Not you.” I said, but of course it was about Sally. Everything was about Sally.
“Don’t be ridiculous, Genevieve.” I didn’t bother to correct her. It was too early for that. “I had to do some serious damage control this morning!”
“It’s nine o’clock. What damage control could you have done?” I slipped my feet into my insanely fuzzy slippers and yawned. I wasn’t ready to take Sally seriously yet. It was too early.
“Well, I got you an interview for one-“
”Sally! I hate interviews!” I wanted to climb back into bed and bury myself beneath the covers at the sound of an interview.
“Genevieve, everyone here interviews with someone before a game. At least the big names do. Do you not want to be a big name?” Sally seemed to be testing me.
“Of course I do, but-“
“Then you will go to this interview. Quidditch Weekly is still your ally. Witch Weekly posted that article about you. I’m thinking of ordering you new shorts.” Sally had pulled out her planner again and was checking things off on it.
“I thought you said you couldn’t.” I told her, grabbing a towel and walking towards my bathroom.
“I can do anything, darling.” I slammed the door so I didn’t have to respond.
“Are you confident in your team for tomorrow’s game?” Stanley Pinpike asked me. I felt uncomfortable in the large plush chair. I felt as though I should feel the opposite; this chair was built to make someone feel comfortable. I pulled myself further up on it.
“Yes, I am. I feel that we have a steady team and are in great position to take the Cup again this year.” I told him, feeling rehearsed. The quick note quill above his head scribbled down my answer. He was staring at me intently from over his glasses. I shifted under his gaze.
“And how do you feel about taking Harley Chilton’s spot? He was an amazing chaser.” Stanley asked, blinking at me for an answer. I shifted yet again.
“Yes, he was brilliant, but I feel as though I’m doing a great job at filling that hole in the team.” Stanley pursed his lips. Wrong answer.
“You are trying to say you’re doing a good job at filling his shoes?”
“Er…no, I mean…with every new…” I paused, letting out a deep sigh, trying to compose my thoughts. I could do this. Harley Chilton could have. “What I mean to say is that without one person, a team isn’t the same…it’s like whenever you get a new player, you form a new team. It’s like starting over from scratch. All the Falcons are amazing players and I’m so pleased to be among them.”
I smiled at my answer. He pursed his lips again, but didn’t bother questioning me further. I tugged on the corners of my sleeves, wanting to sink into them. I really hated interviews. I felt as though I was trying to impress someone…which technically I was. Damn it. I just hate interviews.
“So…let’s talk about that picture on the front cover of Witch Weekly, shall we?” he looked like he had been waiting a while to ask me this question.
“What about it?” I asked him, dropping my gaze to my hands. I was tempted to answer Yes, my underwear is red and no, I do not always wear granny panties like that. But I refrained.
“Do you normally wear clothing like that? You don’t seem to be right now. You were on a date with James Potter, I presume?” He threw the questions at me. I felt my face flush with nervousness. I just wanted to play Quidditch. I moaned in my head.
“Uhm…I don’t normally wear clothing like that…it was a little joke, actually…And no, I wasn’t on a date with James. His cousin just got a new boyfriend and he needed someone to tag along and scope out the guy. Nothing serious.” I smiled at my answer again. I felt accomplished for setting the record straight.
“Odd? How’s it odd?” I asked, watching him grab the quill and scribble out some notes. My face immediately fell.
“That’s not what James Potter said in his interview with us.” Stanley told me, now scribbling side notes on the notepad.
“What did he tell you, exactly?” I asked with raised eyebrows.I felt my heart rate speed up. This got Stanley’s attention and he looked up at me with a wide smirk. This wasn’t going to be good.
“He told me you two went on a date.” He said. I’m sure he was waiting for my facial expression to be shocked, which it completely was. I was horrified. Why in the world would James say we went out on a date?! Was he trying to send me to an early grave? I was nearly there, let me tell you.
“I can assure you that we-“ I went to sent the record straight, but saw Sally jumping up and down behind Stanley. My eyebrows furrowed together as she was making obnoxious gestures to get me to stop talking.
“What’s that, Ms. Jacobs?” Stanley asked, leaning forward with pad and quill in hand.
“I have to pee.” I told him, standing up and scurrying behind him.
“Now look, before you talk, let me explain-“ I cut her off immediately.
“What the hell is she saying about James saying we went on a date?! We did not go on a date!” I hissed at her.
That’s when I noticed the short stubby man behind her. I wouldn’t have noticed if he wasn’t so wide compared to Sally. He was supporting a bulldog-like face and a green top hat. His grin was wide upon spotting me, but it didn’t look as pleasant as I wanted it to be.
“Who are you?” I asked rudely. There was no time for pleasantries.
“He’s my manager.” James side-stepped around the stubby man. I glared fiercely at him, advancing forward. Sally stepped in front of me before I had the chance to get near him.
“Now listen to us, Genevieve!” Sally hissed.
“For the last fucking time, it’s Gigi!” I growled. She sighed, grabbing me by the forearm and taking me out of view of Stanley and his office.
“I told you I was doing damage control this morning, didn’t I?” She asked me. I took not the respond.
“Ms. Jacobs, I take blame for this.” The stubby man said. He took his hat off to reveal a balding head. I felt as though I had to be nice to him; he looked so cute. “When your and James’ picture came up in the paper, I had to do some damage control myself…”
“So he came to me. We came up with the most brilliant plan!” Sally seemed far too excited for this. James shuffled his feet nervously.
“You two just looked fantastic together on the front cover of Witch Weekly and James has been asked multiple times about the two of you-“
“To make the story short and sweet, we set it up so the two of you are fake-dating…oh don’t give me that look, Gigi, it’s not like you go on real dates anyways!” Sally hissed at me when I looked up-fronted.
I couldn’t believe this. Honestly, I couldn’t. What were we, pieces of meat? Were we here just to be flaunted around or something? Was I in some reality TV show? Was I being Punk’d? Being punk’d would be totally better than all of this.
“It’s for more publicity. The more they interview you, the more money you get. The more money you get, the more you get noticed. You want that, don’t you?” Sally asked me.
She caught me there. I needed to be noticed. If I wanted to make it onto an International team by mid-season, I had to do something to stand out. I couldn’t just be an amazing player. Even if I could, we had an extremely tough schedule and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to play to my fullest.
“This is not a good idea. I can’t lie!” It was true, I was a horrible liar. I tried to convince my headmaster at Salem that I wasn’t the one who jinxed LeRoy Brown to sing the school’s anthem whenever he opened his mouth….I had two months worth of detention after that. One for doing it and the other for being such a horrible liar.
“Gigi?” James peeked around Sally and shot me a sheepish grin. “I know it sounds horrible and everything, but look at the plus side: you’ll get loads of more money, more publicity, people will adore you for dating me, and the more we can do to get the team attention, the better…plus, I really don’t want to look pathetic if you go telling the reporter that we didn’t have a date.”
Shit. He was right. No matter what, I needed to get noticed. No, I didn’t want more money or publicity, but I needed to get noticed. The way to get noticed was to get the team noticed. James Potter was the key to get noticed. Damn it all.
“Fine…but we break up at the end of the season!” I told him. They all smiled at one another.
“Perfect! Not too long to where people think it is serious, but not too short where they think it’s a fling!” James’s manager chimed. I glared at all of them.
I better make the International Team for this.
Author's Note: Thank you so much for the reviews! I love them. So, what do you think? Good? Bad? Horrible? Please, let me know. It really helps me with the future chapters! I have the next few chapters written of this, so no need to worry about me. Just keep reviewing and keep reading.
Also, let me know who your favorite Falcon is! Here's the list and a brief description if you need it: Gigi Jacobs-chaser-main character; James Potter-chaser-future captain; Matt Hankin-chaser-slight drinker; Adam Freeman-keeper-lady's man; Chris Piette-seeker-married-french; Barry Williams-beater-jokster; Scott Williams-beater-married-jokster