Chapter Seven - Crossroad
James looks somewhat listless as he goes over the tactics for the match, Katherine Wood has to correct him a couple of times which is made worse by the fact she is only our reserve Keeper as Rose is in detention today. Albus refuses to meet James’ eye… not that James ever looks his way. It has been two days since Vivian and Albus disappeared, Vivian has been confined to the hospital wing since she got back and I know for a fact that Albus spends as much time as possible with her… I will never understand what is going through that boy’s mind. He won’t talk about it though, not to anyone. He just sits by her bed, doing homework or reading or just sitting.
James pauses and I suddenly wonder if he knows… I mean, Scorpius managed to extract a confirmation from Albus that they were actually married… but I wonder if James knows too. How could he though? As far as I was aware, only Scorpius, me, Albus and Vivian were aware and I’m pretty sure none of us have told him seeing as Scorpius has never spoken to James, Albus hasn’t said anything to anyone, Vivian is still in the hospital wing, not speaking to anyone and well… I haven’t.
Max winks at me from across the changing room as Hugo stares at James with a blank expression on his face. Katherine is looking irritated at having to correct James all the time and Lily is looking from Albus to James and back, a worried frown on her delicate face.
“Right… are we all ready?” James asks blandly. At this rate, we are going to lose so badly. Both James and Albus need to play game for the next few hours, I can tell Katherine is thinking the same thing as we all grab our brooms and make our way to the doors.
“And here is the Gryffindor team!” Penelope Jordan bellows from the commentator box. “Our very own Golden Trio as Chasers – James, Albus and Lily Potter! Followed by Hugo Weasley and Max Jordan – the ugly git – as Beaters!” Penelope is Max’s brother in case you hadn’t figured. “Now, they’ve got a reserve Keeper as Rosie-Posy has landed herself in detention today… Katherine Wood! If she is anything like her dad, who played for Puddlemere, the Gryffindors have nothing o worry about. Lastly, the man- or woman of the match… Roxanne Weasley as Seeker!” the Gryffindor stalls burst into cheers as we take our positions on the pitch.
Across the way, the Slytherin doors have opened and their green robes team comes strutting onto the pitch.
“And now for the rivalling team… Slytherin!” an equally loud cheer rises from the green stalls although I think I can detect the use of a few Sonorous charms amongst the yelling. “Marcus Flint, Joe White and Miriam Smith make up the Chasers… Smith is the only woman on this team since George Davis replaced Vivian Nott as Beater for unknown reasons (personally I always thought she was the better Beater but there you go…) the other Beater being Darrel Davenport. Their Keeper, Josh Laybrooke, is looking might fine for a Slytherin-”
“He’s too old for you!” someone yells from the crowd causing a wave of laughter to pass through them.”
“- and their Seeker,” she continues as if no one had spoken. “Is Hogwarts very own Scorpius Malfoy! I must say, he’s been quite quiet on the lady-front, maybe the playboy has found himself a girl!” she teases and for some reason, I catch Scorpius’ eye and find myself bushing and swiftly turning my gaze to the muddy grass at my feet. “Well good luck, I think I know where my loyalties lie,” Penelope yells one last time to a roar from the Gryffindor stalls.
“Right… I want a nice, clean game,” Madame Bell gives a pointed look to the Slytherins. “Now, mount your brooms,” we all swing over legs over, “on my whistle…” her whistle sounds and we all leap into the air, the cool wind soothing my nerves. I look around to see Lily with the Quaffle (she really is the best Chaser, even when Albus and James are at their best).
“And Potter has the Quaffle – Lily Potter that is!” Penelope yells. “She passes it to Albus… who drops it! What the-” the Gryffindors let out a collective sigh. “Smith dives to catch it, passes to White who aims and… that was one lucky save from Wood there, well done!” Katherine throws the Quaffle back into play and I watch as Lily catches it and zooms across the pitch.
“And that’s a goal for Gryffindor!” Penelope screams over the cheers. “Come on boys, you can’t let little Lily do all the work!” Laybrooke passes it to Flint before winking at Penelope in the stands, causing her to fake a swoon and almost miss White throwing the Quaffle at Katherine. “Damn and Slytherin are right back in with a goal of their own!”
“Albus you half-breed!” Lily screams at her brother as he fails to catch the Quaffle once again. “Get your sodding act together before I get Hugo to send a Bludger at your head!” Twisting into a dive, she tactfully snatches the Quaffle back as White throws it to Flint. She throws it at James – who isn’t even looking – and it hits the back of his head. The Gryffindors let out an ‘oooh’ as Smith dives in to catch the falling Quaffle and send it soring into the Gryffindor goal posts while Katherine is too busy shouting at James. I suddenly wish for Rose – at least she could shout and save at the same time.
“Come on Potters! Lily can’t do everything! Pull yourselves together – I have ten galleons hanging on this match!” I watch in horror as Davenport smashes a Bludger in James’ direction, it misses him by a hairs width but manages to grab his attention. His entire face becomes determined as he chases after Smith with the Quaffle. “Looks like James has got a grip of himself as he snatched the Quaffle back and throws it to a waiting Lily… this is more like the Potters I know!” Lily sends the Quaffle soaring through the hoop. “Yes! Ten more points to Gryffindor!”
A flicker of gold catches my searching eye. There, just by the Slytherin goal posts, is the Snitch. I lazily drift towards it, spotting Malfoy on the other side of the pitch. When I am close enough, I shoot down ward in a dive.
“Looks like Weasley’s seen the Snitch… Look at that girl go! I can now see why my brother fancies her so bad!” Dammit, shut up Penelope, now I’ve lost it. I can feel a change in the wind at my feet and glancing over my shoulder, I spot Malfoy grinning at me. Even though the Snitch has vanished, I press myself even flatter against my broom and urge it forwards… He has managed to creep up so he is almost level with me.
The wind twists my hair loose from its ponytail and it whips around my face. Malfoy is so close, I can feel his robes brushing against my back as he flies over me. Twisting around, I launch myself higher, sending him a challenging smile as I do so. He pushes forward and I follow, overtaking him…
“Looks like Malfoy has caught up with her, they seem to be about even… Come on!” Penelope screeches, unaware that we’re not actually chasing the Snitch. There is a fire in the pit of my stomach as I fly, the wind becoming one with my broom and I, I have always loved flying… up here, you feel so free, so completely detached to your worries below. “And Smith scores for Slytherin once again! Come on Weasley, catch that Snitch!” Malfoy is beside me, grinning – not his usual smirk but a wide, open grin full of the contentment I feel. “And Lily’s come right back with another goal for Gryffindor! Albus is still being a bit useless but it’s good to see James back on form. The score is now thirty – twenty to Slytherin… Oh no, make that thirty all as James sends that Quaffle gliding through the hoop… sorry Joshy,” Penelope sticks her tongue out at the Slytherin Keeper.
Scorpius is level with me now; his face in line with mine as we soar passed the Hufflepuff stands. The cheering becomes dimmer as we fly higher and higher, I can feel the wisps of a cloud dampen my cheek. Scorpius keeps urging his broom forward and I do the same. A cheer rises up to us as someone scores… I cannot make out who and I hardly care.
The cold air rushes past us and the fire in my stomach explodes, warming it from the inside out as Scorpius and I continue to fly circles around each other. He suddenly drops into a dive and I follow a fraction of a second behind him. We spin downwards, out of the clouds, past the stalls… I skim the ground with my fingertips as I pull up from the dive…
“Well that was an impressive Wronski Feint if I’ve very seen one… Malfoy and Weasley are really on fire today. I’ve never seen them fly so in sync either… If only Albus could fly like their Seeker then-” she is cut off by a deafening cheer. “And Lily has scored again! That girl deserves a medal!”
Scorpius drifts away a little and I swerve to catch him again, he grins over his shoulder. Urging my broom forward, I come up level with him. He nods ahead and I follow his gaze to a tiny, barely visible golden glint: the Snitch. How gallant of him to point it out to me.
Simultaneously, we push our brooms forward.
“And that’s another ten points to Gryffindor… looks like Albus has finally got his head out of the clouds – at last! That makes the score sixty – thirty to Gryffindor… I am liking the look of this!” A huge sigh resounds from the stall on my left as Malfoy and I continue to circle each other… faster and faster… “Darn it! Looks like it’s sixty – forty to Gryffindor thanks to that charming Smith girl! Come on Weasley! Catch the bloody Snitch already! This isn’t a dancing contest! No one cares how well you and Malfoy can fly… just catch the bloody Snitch!”
As Penelope’s words echo around the stadium, I push my broom to go faster. Malfoy does the same. I flash him one final grin of victory before shooting forward and enclosing my fingers around the small golden orb.
“Has she-? Yes! Roxanne Weasley has caught the Snitch – at last – and that’s a Gryffindor win with two-hundred and ten point to Gryffindor and forty to Slytherin… if you need a shoulder to cry on Laybrooke, I’m right here!” Penelope finishes with a flourish as the teams return to the ground. Hugo and Max come charging at me, Max lifting me clean of the ground and spinning me around, planting a sloppy kiss on my cheek. I shove him away as Lily and Katherine join the hug. Albus and James have already vanished.
As more and more Gryffindors poor on to the pitch, I manage to slip away. As much as I love them all, I need space to think… to think about what the hell just happened on the pitch. In a daze, I escape across the grounds toward the Black Lake. The fire in my stomach is still burning strongly and my chest feels like it might burst. The tension between Malfoy and I on that pitch had been almost tangible… but it wasn’t the sort of tension I was used to. Normally, the tension between Malfoy and I is one of rivalry… sometimes even a physical tension. This was different. It had little to do with the game.
Standing on the shore line, I am hit with a terrifying realisation: I don’t hate Malfoy. I suddenly wonder if I ever have. Was I just so afraid of what I felt that I labelled it ‘hate’? Am I actually in-
“Roxanne…?” a voice interrupts my thoughts. It is the husky voice that I was longing to hear… the voice am I terrified to listen to. I turn around.
“Scorpius…” his name slips from my lips in a near whisper. We stand, frozen for what seems like an eternity. At last – I am not sure who moves first or if we move together – I am in his arms. He brings his lips down to mine. They are soft and gentle. Questioning rather than demanding. My heart bursts from my chest and I respond to his kiss, kissing him back with such force, it terrifies me. All my pent up anger and frustration overflows, turning into tiny tear drop that roll down my face as I kiss him. Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy: the only person capable of making me see red… the only person in whose arms I feel complete.
So... what did you think? She finally realised she doesn't actually hate him anymore. Let me know your thoughts and thanks for reading,