Something smelt absolutely delicious. By now, I was used to waking up to James and Matt’s cooking, but it was never this good. It was like the cooking gods had come down and made me a fantastic hangover breakfast. When I’m hungover, I do the exact opposite of most hung over people: I eat. I’m not sure why, but it always settled my stomach.
I rolled over, waiting for James and Matt to come wake me up per usual. Except when I rolled over, there was a strange smell in the pillow. The comforter made a strange noise, too. The sheets were rougher than what I was used to. Something about my bed felt really really strange. That’s when I took the opportunity to actually open my eyes. I came to the realization that this wasn’t my bed. I sat up a little too fast, feeling my head spin. I grabbed onto the bedpost to steady the jumble that was my brain. I looked around and suddenly, the night’s events flooded my mind.
Way too much alcohol. James Potter. A lot of James Potter. Tangling of limbs. Kissing. The kitchen floor. Clothes in a pile off to the side. James Potter’s ten-pack (was that even possible?). His fingers tangling with my hair. My fingernails digging lightly into his shoulder. His moan against my neck. My moan in his ear.
Was I being too graphic? Good. I want to disgust you. That’s how I felt right now, too.
Should I feel ashamed? Should I feel as though I did something horrible? I really should. This was horrible. I had just done the dirty with a teammate. A teammate who’s supposed to be my boyfriend. Did that justify it just a little? Not really, considering he was a fake boyfriend. When had I actually had a real boyfriend anyways? Months? Years?
In all honesty, I didn’t like to think about it. Ever since I graduated Salem, I had vowed to leave that life behind me in every way possible. I was made a fool of and was looked at like a moron by all fellow classmates. I was lucky to make it out of there alive. I was lucky that I had even gotten onto a professional team.
I pushed the though from my mind as fast as I could. I was an adult now. I didn’t dwell on the past, I needed to focus on where I was right now. Where I was now was what was important. As horrible as it may be. And it was pretty horrible. I ran a hand over my face, trying to wipe some sense into me. I went to run a hand through my hair, but was met with a knotted mess.
Most of all, I found I was still stark naked. I wrapped a sheet around my body, trying to comb my fingers through my hair to make it look mildly presentable. I failed miserably. I moaned in protest, but pushed myself off of James’s rather soft bed. I didn’t recall how I made it there, but was rather fascinated in how I sunk right into the sheets. I let myself follow my nose into the kitchen.
I peeked around the corner, seeing James whistling to himself in front of the stove, cooking. He was already in his practicing uniform. I peered at the clock above the stove to see I was supposed to be at practice in an hour. I wondered if I could sneak out unnoticed by James. I could see my clothes sitting on the counter, folded rather neatly. I was just trying to avoid an awkward situation, but needless to say, I really couldn’t.
But you know me, I did try. I tried very hard to be as sneaky and quiet as I could. The large sheet caught itself beneath my feet and I went toppling over. Not only did I make a loud crashing noise and an “OOMPH!” noise as I hit the ground, the sheet was no longer covering me, leaving me in a naked heap on James’s floor. He turned, his eyes getting large as he noticed the awkward position my body was in (I’m sure he noticed my nakedness too).
I quickly rolled the blankt around me as James rushed forward to help me off the ground. There were a lot of “Are you alright?” and “I’m fine!” shouts coming from each of us. James managed to help me up to my feet, the sheet slipping a bit. I quickly pushed around James, gathering my clothes into my arms. James rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly, trying to find appropriate words. I was trying as well, but failing.
“I should get going.” I told him, not looking him in the eyes.
“But I made breakfast.” James said, but he didn’t seem all too concerned that I was leaving. He turned back towards the stove, turning it off. I felt weird, standing in the same spot we had had sex in the night before.
“We’ve got practice in an hour and I’m not exactly prepared.” I added a nervous laugh at the end for effect, but it made it even more awkward. James tried his own little chuckle, but that didn’t work either.
“See you later, then?” James asked, though he knew very well that he would be seeing me in less than an hour. I nodded and ran from his apartment as fast as I could.
I sighed once I was on the other side of the door, still wrapped in his sheet. I’d return that to him later, so that no one would find out what happened during practice. James and I could still do this, right? We were adults. We could handle this like adults. We’d be in the clear. Especially since no body knew what happened last night but me and James. That’s the way it was going to be kept.
“What the bloody hell are you doing, Gigi?” I heard. I looked to my right and saw Matt standing there, his eyebrows raised and his arms crossed. I looked down at my body, the sheet still wrapped securely around me.
“I can’t lie my way out of this one, can I?” I tried hopefully. Matt shook his head, awaiting my response. “Oh come on! Two guesses what happened last night.”
“You shagged James, yes?” Matt asked as though he was asking about the weather or our next game.
“I wouldn’t call it-“
“I’ll take that as a yes,” Matt said enthusiastically, clapping his hands together. He grinned at me, clapping me on the back.
“It’s not what it looks like!” I protested. Well, it really wasn’t. It wasn’t like we were dating and just had a casual, relationship rumble. No, it was bigger than that. Much bigger.
“Gigi, you can shag your boyfriend. There’s nothing wrong with that.” Matt said with a shrug. I moved out of his way, letting him go to open James’s door.
“What if he isn’t my boyfriend?” I asked him. I wasn’t sure what made me compelled to tell him. Maybe it was because out of all the people on the team, Matt was one of the people on the team that I felt I could confide in (it used to be James, as well). As weird as it sounds, chasers have to have a bond to be a good team. The chasers are at the center of the team. They get the most press, they get the most game time, and they get the most fans. Chasers are a machine. I was a machine with Matt and James.
“Did you two break up?” Matt asked. I sighed, shaking my head. “So what’s the problem?”
“We never dated.” I told him. He turned towards me and away from the door.
“What do you mean?” He asked, furrowing his eyebrows. I noticed his eyebrows were rather big, but didn’t comment on it.
“It was all fake, Matt. It was a publicity stunt.” I told him in a hushed tone, as though James was on the other side of the door listening in.
“So you shagged him on your own accord?” Matt proceeded to act as though nothing had happened.
“Yes—I mean no!” I felt my face flush with embarrassment. “Just please don’t tell anyone, okay?”
“Secret’s safe, Gigi.” Matt said, pretending to zip his lip. I noted his smirk as I turned and rushed into my own apartment.
“Just because you did well in exhibitions doesn’t mean that I’m going to let up on you, Jacobs!” Coach Smithson barked as I rounded my third lap. I was breathing extremely hard. Apparently Coach thought that I was throwing up because I was pregnant. Claimed I would run off my pregnancy if it was the last thing he did.
“I’m not pregnant!” I hissed at him as I ran past.
“You sure? You’re looking a little chunky!” Coach yelled. I stopped dead in my tracks, gasping loudly.
“I am not!” I shouted at him, turning and glaring at him. If there’s one thing that really irritates me it is when people call me fat in any way. I am not fat!
“Then keep bloody running!” He shouted. I turned with a huff, continuing around the pitch. I wasn’t fat!
I threw my shoulder back, shooting the ball towards Matt. We shot down the pitch, all moving in sync. I felt the air push through my hair and laughed a little as Matt shot the quaffle past Adam. Adam got a mouthful from Coach. Hey, at least it wasn’t me this time. That was until I received a pass from James and dropped it. I received a good yelling at. As much as I’d like to say I wasn’t affected by what happened between James and I was affected. Whenever I looked at him, I could feel his hands grazing over my bare skin.
It was a little disturbing that I liked it. A little too much.
“What are you doing, Jacobs?!” I heard Coach bark at me. Okay, so maybe it was the fifth time all practice that I dropped a pass from James. I might have made a few horrible passes to him as well. I felt his lips on mine every time I went to throw it to him.
“Coach, maybe we should call it a day. It’s getting dark.” Chris tried. He was right, the lights in the stadium were already going on, leaving an ominous glow cast over the stadium.
“Fine. Be back early tomorrow! We have our first match in just a week!” Coach barked as we all landed, way too exhausted. I rushed to the locker rooms to avoid the questions the team would surely grill me with if they remembered. I had just begun to change when the boys came in, shouting questions at James. I was used to the boys seeing me in my underwear, so I wasn’t all too worried about the comments. I’d gotten used to them.
“Did you shag yet?”
“Did you break up?”
”Can I shag her?”
“If they broke up, I get to shag her!”
“Shove off!” James shouted at the boys, glaring at each of them. He turned towards me, his face flushing red. I tugged a green wife beater over my head to hide the sweat dripping from my chest. Swoob-boob sweat. I began to pull my hair up into a ponytail when there was an audible gasp. They were all staring at me, godsmacked.
“What?” I asked, looking at myself. I didn’t see what they were all gasping at.
“Oh Gigi,” Adam tisked, coming over and slapping my neck. I squeaked, slapping him around the head in tern. “What’s that?!”
I turned towards a mirror and that’s when I saw it. I large, very purple hickey on my neck. I hadn’t noticed it was there when I had gotten ready this morning. I had even left my hair down during practice, so no one had seen it until now. I gasped myself upon seeing it. It was huge and very ugly. I turned, glaring in James’s direction. I was lucky I lived so far away from my family and that they couldn’t see this. The media was going to have a field day. I pulled my hair out of its pony, letting it fall over my shoulders.
“It was from one of the quaffle passes I missed.” I told them all. Barry was smirking at me from his spot leaning against the wall.
“And I’m the Minister of Magic.” Barry added, rolling his eyes.
“Do you want me to bow or something?” I asked him, grabbing my bag and slinging it over my shoulder.
“Gigi and James, sitting in a treeee! S-H-A-G-G-I-NG!” Adam sang, clasping James on the shoulder. James’s face just got as red as Rose’s hair. He huffed something angrily, changing just as quickly as I had.
“Those are too many letters,” Chris told Adam. Adam’s face went blank as I was sure he tried to mentally count the letters.
“She’s my girlfriend, so what does it matter if we shag or not?” James asked the rest of the team. I felt my face grow hot as I made my way towards the exit.
“So you shagged her?” Adam asked.
“I thought we already went over that, Adam.” I said, leaving the locker rooms.
“Alright, so I’ve got the tickets sent to your family; they should be here in a few days. I’ve set up a hotel for them as well. You’ve got an interview set up next Friday and a shoot next Thursday. Do not forget the Quidditch Opening Banquet -“ Sally ranted off. She normally reminded me the day before events that something was going on. Most times, she even picked out my clothing….just because I had a horrible fashion sense.
“Just get out!” I heard a shout from the hallway. Sally frowned at the door as though they could see her disapproval.
“Just ignore that, Gigi. We need to get you ready for your first game!” Sally went back to telling me about the week’s schedule, but I had already tuned her out.
“I’m just trying to help you!” Someone shouted back at the first voice.
“I don’t need your help!” The first voice shouted. I recognized the voice as James’s. I got up and opened the door a crack. Peeking out, I saw James standing in his doorway, absolutely fuming. His face was contorted in so much anger, I didn’t believe it was even him. He was glaring at his father who looked almost as angry as James did.
“You’re just being stubborn.” Mr. Potter hissed, lowering his voice. Neither of them noticed I was watching.
“And you’re being big-headed. Wonder where I got it from.” James said sarcastically. Mr. Potter sighed, shaking his head at James.
“She’s a wonderful girl, you know.” Mr. Potter said, his voice losing the mean tone. James was still glaring.
“I’m aware.” He said, still defensive.
“So it wouldn’t kill you to actually be serious about her!” Mr. Potter was heating up again.
“I wasn’t aware it was your business.”
“It is when it concerns my children.”
“I’m just fine, thank you,”
“Albus is getting engaged and Lily has been dating the same bloke for two years. It’s time for you to settle down, too.”
“I’m not taking Grandma’s bloody ring!” James hissed. Mr. Potter sighed, pocketing whatever was in his head.
“Well, consider it, James. Your mother and I would like to see you married before we die, you know.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” James said sarcastically. With a pop, Mr. Potter was gone. I pushed the door open further, revealing myself to James. James took to punching viciously at the wall, leaving a very big hole in it. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do.
“James?” I tried. James quickly turned towards me, his eyes on fire. I saw him start to relax as he sighed, rubbing his eyes.
“How much of that did you hear?” He asked me, but I could tell he already knew the answer.
“All of it.” I answered truthfully. He groaned, easing down the wall to his bottom. I eased down the wall on the opposite side of the hallway.
“He just-“ he sighed, running a hand through his hair and making it messier than usual, “-he thinks I need to settle down and start a family. I don’t need a bloody family, you know? I’m twenty-two, not thirty-two! He acts as though I’ve done nothing with my life! I’m a bloody Quidditch star! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, right?”
“No there’s not.” I answered him. Why did parents always find the need to push their children into marriage and to have kids? My mother had already been questioning me about my life here and if I had found a “potential husband”. I wanted to play Quidditch, was that too much to ask?
“I think you’re the only person who understands, Gigi,” James mumbled, kicking angrily at the ground. He brought his knees up, resting his elbows on them.
“It’s because I can relate,” I told him. He glanced at me with a quizzical look. “My mom is just like that. Sent me a letter asking if I found a potential husband.”
James’s face cracked into a grin at this. “So did you tell them about me, then?” He asked, a smirk forming on his face. I was glad he was in a better mood and that we weren’t as awkward, but I still sent him a glare.
“You’d be the last person I’d be telling my parents about when speaking of potential husbands,” I told him. His laughter rang through the hallway and I let a smile fall easily to my face.
“So you’d tell them about Freddie?” He asked.
“Hell no!” I barked. James doubled over in laughter. James had that contagious laugh that you had to laugh along with. I found myself laughing as well, for whatever reason it was.
As the laughter died down, James was in a much better mood. He even repaired the hole he had made in the wall. James ruffled his hair with a sigh, now on his feet. I followed suit, running a hand over the spot on the wall where the hole used to be. Magic can do some amazing things. Where was it when I was trying to cover up burning Mom’s favorite quilt? It would’ve been very helpful.
“So, when am I going to meet them?” James asked, leaning against the wall in a ‘yes, I am cool’ way. I frowned, crossing my arms.
“Meet who?” I asked him.
“Your family. I’m your boyfriend, remember?” James reminded me. Oh, fuck. I sort of forgot about that small detail. We’re utterly screwed.