Chapter 10 : Confrontation
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Ridiculously awesome CI by SophieScarlette@tda
If there's one thing James Potter hates, above all else, it's losing.
It's something I learned on the first day I met him. You know, after he woke me up, threw me over his shoulder and carried me downstairs in my pajamas for all the world to see. We ate breakfast, with a furious look on my face, a smarmy one on his. Then he proposed the activity I hated most: quidditch. This put him instantly on my hate list.
"Come on lads!" he cried. The rest of the family traipsed behind him, not quite as enthusiastically.
"I'm not a lad!" Rose shouted after him.
"Could've fooled me," Hugo muttered. Rose responded by shoving him into a nearby rose bush, from which Hugo emerged covered in gnomes, yelling at the top of his lungs. I was slightly alarmed but everyone seemed to think nothing of it, and they all laughed at Hugo, who now had a grand total of five gnomes hanging off various parts of his anatomy.
"Right," James said, standing at the front of the pack with a clear look of a leader about him, "Teams! I'm team captain, obviously."
Clearly this was a given. Everyone else seemed to accept it, so I did too.
"Who else wants to be a team captain?" he asked.
Albus put his hand eagerly into the air and the two brothers promptly began choosing teams.
"I pick…" James narrowed his eyes, "Fred."
Fred went to his side, throwing me a brilliant white smile before he joined James.
Albus' eyes fixed on me, "Stella," he said.
He was just trying to make me feel welcome, but I appreciated the gesture all the same so I joined his side.
They picked the rest of the teams. Once we were all assembled we picked spots.
I was given the spot of keeper by default, being too shy to ask for any other position. Not that I wanted any other position. I was slowly beginning to dread this game.
"Right everyone!" James shouted over the masses, "Let's kick off!"
Everyone did as they were told, swinging their legs over their brooms and kicking off hard.
Nausea swept through me like a wave almost immediately. I clutched at my stomach as I flew to the goal posts, trying to keep my balance.
I reached the goal posts just as the game began.
"Hey, everyone!" James yelled. "Say hello to Stella! She's new and she can't really play but let's just be nice to her, OK?"
He laughed. The smaller additions to the Weasley family thought it would be funny to laugh along with him.
Rose glanced at me. In any other circumstance she would be yelling at James without hesitation, but she and I already knew that I was pretty good at the sport that James thought I 'couldn't really play'. So she kept her lips sealed, knowing I could defend myself.
The game started. James quickly grabbed the quaffle, gave a few gentle passes to one of his smaller cousins. She caught it happily and threw it back.
"Good job, Molly!" he grinned.
I started to relax. Clearly it was just a nice, friendly game.
Then, without warning, James was zooming towards me at top speed. He threw the quaffle hard towards my head.
It was like an instinct: my hands flew over my head and caught it.
The whole group looked surprised. Rose and Albus looked proud. Fred was impressed. But James was clearly annoyed.
"Good job, for a beginner," he said.
The game went on for a bit, before he tried again. He threw harder this time, from the side, which, after ignoring the rising queasiness, I caught easy-peasy.
James was beginning to look very disgruntled, "Lucky catch," he muttered.
I smirked to myself.
It wasn't long before he tried again. But I caught it with little difficulty.
After that the rest of the team hovered in mid air, doing nothing, while James tried time and time again to get past me. But to no avail.
"Hmm," I said, after his fifth failure to score a goal, "You know what? I quite like this game."
James was clearly not accustomed to losing. And he didn't like it either.
* * *
We landed an hour and a half later. James was hot and sweaty, and I was beginning to look like someone who had just run a marathon.
"OK, you're not a beginner," James said angrily, as soon as we were all on our feet.
"Good observation," I said coolly, brushing my long hair out of my eyes as I tried to catch my breath.
"Why did you say you were then?"
I frowned, looking to Rose, who mimicked my expression, "I don't think I said that, did I Rose?"
"No, don't think you did," Rose smirked.
James glared, before opening his mouth and uttering the words, "Mr. Potter, do you mind waking up your partner? She seems to have dozed off."
I frowned, "What?"
He continued, "Clearly the theories of swelling solutions aren't enough to keep her attention."
"What are you talking about?" I asked more loudly, beginning to panic.
"Miss Wood! Miss Wood!"
I jolt awake. My entire potions class is staring at me, including the very unimpressed Professor Wilde, who's looking at me with a mixture of annoyance and suppressed glee.
"Now that we have your full attention Miss Wood," she smirks, "Would you be kind enough to enlighten us? What are the three fundamental ingredients of a swelling solution?"
"Er…" I mumble incoherently.
"Sorry, Miss Wood, that's incorrect. Ten points from Gryffindor for forgetting which hours of the day are allocated for sleeping. Hint, not these ones."
She goes back to the front of the classroom. I let my head fall back onto the desk.
"The funny thing is I was up all night revising for this lesson," I mutter.
Albus looks at me sympathetically, "Sorry. I would have woken you earlier, you just looked so peaceful."
I glare at him, "Thanks a lot."
I suddenly frown, "Wait, I looked peaceful?"
"You were smiling. Why? Were you having a nightmare?"
"I was remembering the first time I met James."
Albus smirks, "You really can't get away from the guy, can you? I don't remember that day, though."
"It was the day I realized that if I had to play quidditch, I would have to be keeper," I say, "It was the only time I beat James at quidditch."
"Ah, no wonder you were smiling then," Albus smirks, "Have you two had any more training sessions?"
"You mean since the one where we ended up yelling at each other and he stormed off? No, not since then. In fact I'm pretty sure he's been avoiding me."
I'm not exaggerating. Earlier this morning I was walking down the stairs to breakfast. James was on his way up. He actually jumped over the bannisters to avoid coming face to face with me.
He jumped. He risked breaking a bone just so he didn't have to talk to me.
Needless to say my self esteem has taken some severe blows.
I shudder, but decide to change the subject, "How is it going with Ray?"
Albus looks immediately sidetracked, a dreamy expression forming instantly on his face, "Better than I could have ever dreamed."
I snort, "Yeah, Ray is totally dreamy."
Albus glares, "OK, shut it. I think I love her, Okay?"
"Right," I mutter, "Sorry Alberta."
"You're not funny."
"Yes, I am."
"No, you're not."
The bell rings, cutting off what could have been a highly logical and well thought out argument.
"I'm going upstairs to the library," Albus says angrily, "To study with Ray."
"Have fun!" I say, "And remember, girls like Ray are only after one thing."
Albus frowns, "What are you talking about?"
I sigh, "Come on Alberta, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?"
Albus' gaze darkens, "OK, I'm going now."
"Just remember," I yell after him, "Inner beauty is what counts! Be yourself! Don't change for her! If she doesn't appreciate you then she's not worth it!"
"Shut up!" Albus roars over his shoulder.
People are beginning to stare. Understandable. If I'd just witnessed that conversation between two people who are supposed to be dating, I'd be a little confused myself.
"THERE YOU ARE!"
Suddenly I find myself attacked my a wild, red headed animal, hurtling at me through the air, grabbing my wrist sharply and dragging me through the corridor.
"Rose!" I gasp, running to keep up with her "What are you doing? Where are we going?"
"The quidditch pitch!" she cries.
I frown, "What? Why?"
"We have practice," she says, dragging me outside onto the front lawn, "And practice started ten minutes ago!"
I wrench my wrist out of her grip and frown even more darkly, "Is this some sort of joke? Why did I bother quitting the team, if none of you will ever leave me in peace?"
Rose rolls her eyes, "Calm down. I have practice. You're going to talk to James."
"Are you mad?" I scoff, "He's been avoiding me all week. There's no way he'll want to talk to me while he's training."
"Exactly, he can't run away this time," Rose says deviously, "Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide."
I raise an eyebrow, "You don't have to make it sound like we're hunting him down." I feel suddenly sulky at the idea of making the first move after our fight.
Rose looks at me kindly, "Come on Stel, you and James need to make up and start over."
I fold my arms sulkily. Rose is doing her best to be kind, but I feel like being difficult, "And I want you to tell me what happened between you and Scorpius, but that's not happening any time soon either."
Rose looks immediately terrified at the idea of being further interrogated, "Jelly legs jinx!"
My legs react almost immediately, jumping quickly out of the way of the spell, and it hits the grass. I stare at Rose, open mouthed, "You tried to jinx me!"
Rose looks alarmed, horrified at what she almost did, "I-I just want you to make up with him."
"Well, tell you what, I'll go down there and make up with him, if you spill the beans on Scorpius." I fold my arms, and stare her down.
Rose bites down on her lip nervously. "Fine!" she exclaims, giving in to my piercing gaze, "I'll tell you."
I stare at her in anticipation.
"We broke up," she says.
I frown, "I must have missed the memo saying you were together."
She corrects herself, looking even more flustered, "I mean, I broke everything off between us. I told him to stop talking to me, stop thinking about me, stop…everything. Everything that ever happened between us is forgotten. We'll act as if we don't even know each other."
I pause, contemplating what she's just told me, "That, Rose, is without a doubt the stupidest idea I have ever heard."
She rolls her eyes at me, "We've only ever caused each other pain and jealousy. It's just easier if we let that go, forget we ever met one another."
I scoff, "Rose, you and Scorpius will never, ever be able to do that."
"Well you're not giving me a fair chance if you make me continue to talk about him," she sulks, walking off down to the pitch.
I follow her, "You're sure this is what you want?"
"And you still think this will work?"
"It will if we stop talking about it, so that I can forget him for good."
"Fine, we'll stop."
"Good, so now you can make up with James."
I scowl. Somehow it doesn't feel like Rose is upholding her end of the bargain. I'm extremely disappointed with the truth about her and Scorpius.
But I follow her down to the pitch nevertheless, where Fred, Cameron and Eve are waiting for us.
"What's going on?" Rose asks the rest of them, glancing around, "Where's James?"
Fred smirks, "Behind the changing rooms, trying to shake that clingy Kathy Fawcett."
"What?" The word escapes my lips before I can stop it. Any mention of James and another girl makes me so jealous I can barely control my own thoughts. Merlin, I'm a mess.
"She followed him down here and now he can't get rid of her," Cameron is laughing to himself, "This is what you get for asking a girl to Hogsmede."
"At least James was a gentleman," Rose says scornfully, glaring at Fred and Cameron, "At least he asked her. Unlike some people, who don't even bother with first names."
Cameron, as pervy and inappropriate as ever, slings an arm around her, "Aw, Rosie, are you sad I didn't invite you to Hogsmede?"
"Fuck off," she shrugs his arm off her shoulder and moves away.
But it's my turn to glare at Cameron. He skillfully avoids my gaze, looking guilty. Bloody tool. One minute he claims he fancies Lexie, the next he's hitting on Rose as if nothing's changed.
"James couldn't have predicted that Kathy would turn out to be clingy," Rose says in his defence, "She seemed perfectly nice when they were walking around Hogsmede."
I rack my brains to remember who this Kathy is, but at that moment James comes around the corner from the changing rooms and my question is answered.
Ah, of course, Evil McBitchface, as I so eloquently named her. She's undeniably pretty, with nut brown hair that blows around in the wind, tall with long legs. Legs that are walking as far away from James as possible.
She doesn't look pleased as she storms off up to the castle, throwing James an occasional glare over her shoulder.
I can't help but smirk a little to myself.
James approaches us, looking thankful to be shot of her, before noticing me standing beside Rose, and his expression darkens.
"Wood," he says gruffly.
"Potter," I answer back, equally frosty.
Rose elbows me, but before I can open my mouth to make conversation with him, James has already tried to escape.
"Er, I forgot my…gloves," he mutters, stumbling off in the opposite direction.
There's a beat of silence, "What the hell was that?" Fred asks me.
"Who knows, Freddie?" I mutter, "Who the bloody hell knows?"
"Where are Roxanne and Archer?" Rose asks, looking around for the two missing teammates.
I can barely hear her. I'm focusing hard on the back of James' head. Bloody coward. I'm sick of him walking away, refusing to answer me when I ask him something, refusing to give me an explanation when I want one.
I start to follow him, then I pick up the pace and start to run.
"Potter!" I shout. He ignores me. "POTTER!" I yell after him.
He has clearly heard me because he flinches, yet he still continues to walk.
"Damn it, Potter! Don't walk away from me when I'm shouting at you!"
He stops. He turns around to face me.
I feel immediately aggravated, but I force myself to keep calm, "You've been avoiding me."
"Yes, I have," he says.
I'm a little surprised, expecting him to immediately deny it, "Glad we've cleared that up. Why have you been avoiding me?"
He turns his back again, and keeps walking toward the changing room. I follow him adamantly. He calls over his shoulder, "Isn't it obvious? I've been avoiding you because I don't want to talk to you."
He reaches the door to the changing rooms, but I stop him, putting a hand firmly on his outstretched arm.
"I really think we should talk," I say in a low voice, "About...what you said."
"Let's agree to disagree, shall we?" He offers me a cocky smirk.
He opens the door to the changing rooms.
I think about protesting again, but my voice immediately dies out because we both see Roxanne and Archer, their lips pressed tightly together, their hands in each other's hair. Suddenly, they jump apart so fast it's as though they were struck by a bolt of lightning. .
I feel a little struck dumb. After three years of Roxanne and Archer being my teammates, I never guessed that there was something going on between them.
Judging by the seething glare on James' face, he hasn't caught on yet either.
"Hey, Fred!" he roars over his shoulder, "Come over here!"
Roxanne gives James a pleading look, but it's too late.
"What?" Fred comes jogging over towards us.
He glances inside, sees Archer and Roxanne standing on opposite sides of the room. He visibly begins to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Fred may be stupid, but he isn't that stupid.
He flies across the threshold, collides with Archer, and immediately begins to pummel him. Archer puts up a good fight, but Fred is a good deal stronger.
Roxanne screams, bringing out her wand and pointing it between Fred and Archer. A loud bang forces them apart.
Fred is seething with anger, glaring murderously at Archer, "What the hell do you think you're doing with my little sister?"
"Stay out of this Fred," Roxanne says, "It's none of your business."
"Oh so it's none of my business that this bastard had his hands all over you, is it?"
"Hey!" Archer mutters as he tends to his bleeding lip, "You didn't even see, alright?"
"Believe me," Fred says aggressively, "You do not want to piss me off right now."
"Archer and I have been dating," Roxanne says defiantly, "There's nothing you can do about it, Fred."
Fred offers her a menacing look, before uttering threateningly, "We'll see about that, won't we?"
He storms out, slamming the door behind him. James follows, leaving me alone with Roxanne and Archer.
"Congratulations," I squeak, before running outside after James.
"Potter, what about our talk?" I shout after him.
"Little busy, Wood!" he shouts over his shoulder, before running after Fred who has already left the pitch in a fury.
Damn Roxanne and her raging hormones.
* * *
That afternoon I sit in the library studying with my boyfriend, and the girl my boyfriend is still in love with.
"So, what are the three main ingredients of a wit-sharpening potion?" Albus asks me.
"Ginger root, scarab beetles and armadillo bile," I answer like clockwork.
I grin and clap my hands together, "I think I'm really getting the hang of this potions thing."
"Just try not to fall asleep in class, and you should be fine," Albus smiles.
"Ha ha," I answer, scowling at him.
"Leave her be," Ray says gently to Albus.
Albus has begun to have a strange effect on Ray. When she's around him she's calm. She isn't sharp, rude or aggressive. In fact she's quite mild.
"I'm only teasing," Albus says, smiling at Ray.
Ray smiles warmly back at him.
And suddenly I've become the third wheel. How embarrassing.
My heart aches to see them looking at each other like that. Not because I don't want them to be happy, I do, but because the day James mans up and looks at me like that will be the day we can figure out our issues and just be straight with one another. And we all know that day's not coming any time soon.
Albus packs up his textbooks, "Gotta go. Prefect rounds," he says, getting out of his chair.
Ray looks reluctantly back to her text book. Albus kisses me once on the cheek for show, before leaving.
"You two are sweet," Ray says after Albus has left.
I frown suspiciously at her. I'm not sure if I like the new Ray. She's possibly even scarier than before. Now I live in fear, knowing she might lash out at any moment.
"I don't think so," I mutter.
Ray frowns, "What do you mean?"
From behind the shelf I see Albus looking at us tensely, nodding expectantly at me.
I sigh, "I'm thinking of breaking up with him," I tell Ray.
Her blue eyes widen, "What? Why? Did he do something?"
I remind myself, It's all part of the plan. It's all part of the plan.
"No!" I tell her, "Albus is lovely, he's been the perfect boyfriend. He's kind, caring, understanding …" I trail off, running out of flattering adjectives. From behind the bookshelf Albus gives me a big thumbs up.
"Why are you breaking up with him then?" Ray frowns, looking confused.
"It's me," I say dully. This was the part of the plan that I feel the most annoyed about. I reckon I would make a pretty good girlfriend...given the chance. But, then again, this was for Al's benefit, not mine. "I just…don't want a boyfriend right now."
"Oh," Ray says, looking sympathetic, "Understandable. Why do you think I've avoided one all this time? Boyfriends tie you down. None of them have pure intentions either. It's always so they can brag about you to their mates."
I'm not sure what to say to that. It's a typical response from Ray, but I'm sure it's one that Albus is unsatisfied with.
"Albus wasn't like that," I say.
"Not saying he was," Ray shrugs, "But a boyfriend is a boyfriend, no matter how amazing of a person he is."
"So, are you saying you don't want one at all? Not even if the right person came along?"
Ray raises an eyebrow, "That's the worst part! Actually having feelings, that means you could get hurt."
I can almost see her logic, but Albus is looking incredibly depressed from his hiding spot.
"Look," she continues, "I see all the girls that Cameron shags. I love my brother, but he's can be an absolute tool sometimes. And guys look up to him. I don't want to be one of those girls. They're desperate, and pitiable."
This rather sad statement has made Albus disappear. Clearly he doesn't care to hear to anymore of Ray's opinions on men.
"Stella? I was hoping we could talk."
I turn in my seat to look at the intruder.
Oh, it's my new friend Eve. Or, as I like to call her, the sweet, kind, beautiful, blonde pain in the backside.
She's not annoying, per say. No...she's extremely annoying. She's so bloody perfect. I'm pretty sure the birds from Cinderella fly in through her window to help her dress every morning.
Ray glances at Eve, before packing up her books, "It's fine. I've got to go anyway," she says, "Got to run to the owlery before dinner."
Eve smiles one of her perfect smiles, and sits in the now vacant seat.
"Sorry to bother you," she says apologetically, "I was hoping we could talk."
"Talk away," I reply, feeling less than enthused.
"Well, I know our last coaching session didn't go quite as we'd planned," she says tactfully. I shudder as I remember the details of that fated afternoon. "But I was hoping maybe you would consider giving me another shot."
I immediately shake my head, "Sorry," I reply, "I'm really not in any condition to fly again…Madame Pomfrey said I should wait."
This is an absolute lie. Madame Pomfrey said that I was as good as new, that was ready to fly at any moment I wanted to, provided I didn't go overboard. She'd even given me a few potions for motion sickness.
But Eve doesn't have to know that.
"Oh," Eve looks slightly disappointed, "I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't have asked, it's just-"
She stops herself from talking, looking suddenly self-conscious.
"Just…what?" I ask curiously.
"It's getting worse," she whispers.
"What?" I frown, "You being scared of the quaffle."
She nods frantically, "I can't practice the way you showed me, where you distracted me by asking me questions, because I can't ask the others to help me. If James found out he might kick me off the team."
I bite my lip, "I don't think he'd do that." Though in reality I'm not so sure.
"It's pathetic," she laughs softly, "A keeper afraid of the quaffle."
"Why are you so scared?" I ask her.
She gazes at me, then looks back down, looking abashed, "I wasn't always scared. See this?" She pushes back a long strand of blonde hair to reveal a thin scar that runs down her hairline. It's short, only about two centimeters long, but it's very prominent against her skull.
"How d'you get that?" I ask her, staring at it.
"When I was thirteen," she murmurs, "I was in a car accident. Both my parents are muggles. We were driving around one afternoon and all of a sudden this motorbike came out of nowhere. It hit the front windscreen and it shattered everywhere. A shard of glass flew right here," she ran her finger along her scar, "it sliced me right open. They stitched us up, and none of us were properly injured. But after that I get terrified any time something flies towards me."
I'm silent for a while.
"So…if you're scared, how have you managed to be on the team this whole time?"
"I love quidditch," she says, "Sometimes, if I focus properly, I can forget that the quaffle might come flying at me at any moment, and I just focus on flying."
I pause, contemplating her for a moment. I hate that I've suddenly become her confidante. My track record of keeping secrets is not a very good one.
But what she's saying is intriguing. It's difficult, but she wants to zone out her fear so she can do what she loves. My motion sickness isn't something I can control, but maybe my problem is that I associated it too much with the sport. Maybe I actually like quidditch, but hate the nausea. It's certainly an interesting thought.
"Anyway," she sighs, "Never mind. It was silly of me to ask."
I feel guilty again, but before I can open my mouth and change my mind, she changes the subject.
"I hear things with you and James aren't exactly going swimmingly."
"Oh no," I protest, the tone of sarcasm promenant in my voice, "He's just being an egomaniac. Other than that things are right as rain."
"It must be hard, having all these feelings for him."
I feel my whole body tense up at the mention of feelings.
"Sometimes I'm sure I hate him. But then he just…ruins it."
Eve smiles gently, "You have to call him on his crap. If you want him to respect you. Not that he doesn't. I'm pretty sure he respects you more than any other quidditch player he's met."
"How do you know that?"
"James won't stick around to fight with someone he doesn't respect," Eve laughs. Her smile drops, and she looks momentarily horrified, "Oh God."
"What?" I frown, but her outburst is quickly explained.
Fred appears out of nowhere, grinning from ear to ear. A change from this morning, when he had his hands around Archer Daniel's neck.
"Well, hello ladies. Fancy seeing you here!"
Eve does her best to ignore him, shuffling around inside her bag for some unknown item, but Fred isn't fazed.
"Are you lost, Fred?" I ask.
"I have been to the library before, Stella."
"Really? Are you sure you're not just here to look up horrible spells which you can use to curse Roxanne's new boyfriend."
"He's not her boyfriend," Fred snaps quickly, "He's a perv."
I smile gently, "They like each other Fred!"
"He had his hands all over her," Fred whines
"She had her hands all over him!" I laugh
Fred grimaces, "Gross! That's my little sister!"
"You're being immature."
Fred ignores me, and focuses on Eve, "Well, aren't you a sight for sore eyes?"
Eve raises an eyebrow at him, "I'm wearing my uniform."
"Fred, go away, you're disgusting," I snap.
"No I'm not, I'm awesome. Eve thinks so, don't you Eve?"
She frowns, "I really don't."
He shrugs, oozing self confidence, "I think I'm pretty gangster."
I snort, "Fred, you are quite possibly the least gangster person-"
He puts a finger to my lips, "Hush, vanilla."
He sits down casually, swinging both his legs over the table, leaning back in his chair in a way which he clearly thinks makes him look desirable.
"So...Eve," he says, "You and I should go out some time."
Eve looks flustered, something which Fred mistakes for seduced.
"Thought so," he grins, "How about next Hogsmede trip? Next one's in a few weeks and-"
"Thanks Fred, but I'm busy," she says.
"None of your business."
"Come on," he grins, "Go out with me."
"Thank you for the offer," Eve says calmly, although I can tell her patience is running thin, "but I'm really not interested."
Fred grins, "You know you want to."
"And how the hell do you know what I want?" Eve snaps.
"Trust me love, I'm an expert on women. I know what you all want, and it's me."
I almost vomit internally. Eve looks thoroughly unimpressed.
"Well I'm a woman, and I don't want you. How d'you explain that?"
But despite Eve's obvious disinterest, Fred still looks unfazed, "Nothing says 'I'm a woman' like shagging me."
"Nothing says I'm a pig like you," Eve quips.
Fred laughs, "Feisty. I like that in a woman."
Eve rolls her eyes, "I'm not going out with you Fred, so just shut up about it will you?"
"You'll cave. I know you will," he smirks, "But now the reason I actually came over here: Stella."
He turns to me and I find myself slightly dismayed, wondering what Fred could want to talk to me about.
"What?" I ask nervously.
Fred sighs dramatically, "This feud with Jamesie has gone on long enough. Cameron is all for locking you two in a broom cupboard together. But I've decided to take a more mature approach. It's high time you and James let bygones be bygones."
"I've tried," I reply indignantly, "It's not my fault if James is an immature prick who won't even try talking to me. I've tried. It's him you should be talking to."
"And he's perfectly open to the idea!" Fred says optimistically, "There's just one small problem..."
"That he shuts up every time you mention my name?" I predict.
"Yes!" Fred exclaims, "See? With our minds as in sync as this, we can fix any problem."
"How about you stay out of it?" I roll my eyes, and begin to pack my textbooks back into my bag.
"I told you a broom cupboard would be easier," Cameron remarks, coming out from behind the bookshelf.
"Would everyone please stay out of this?" I ask in frustration, "It's got nothing to do with any of you."
"Ah, but see it does, Artois" Cameron tapped the side of his nose, "See, when you and James aren't talking, which these days is most of the time, James tends to get a little…"
"Horrible? Angry? Mean? Douchy?" Fred runs down a list of extremely unflattering attributes, "Pick any of them."
"He schedules practices at 5 in the morning," Cameron adds, "And he makes us run laps for an hour before we even kick off."
"Sounds like not much has changed," I remark.
"It's worse," Eve, Fred and Cameron insist in unison.
I sigh in frustration, "Fine! I'll try talking to him again. But you'll have to be the ones who find, trap and gag him."
"Ah, now that's already done and dusted," Fred smiles proudly. He points over my shoulder, "Look."
I glance in the direction of his finger. James is sitting in a chair, staring out the window with an extremely disgruntled expression on his face.
I frown, "Did you-"
"Stunned him from the shoulders down," Cameron grins, "He can't move."
"I see Lexie's been teaching you well," I reply in a low voice, making him blush fiercely.
"Go on then!" Fred exclaims with excitement, "What are you waiting for?"
I sigh, "I blame all of you for this."
"We're OK with that," Fred says, "Run along now."
I growl with frustration, before getting up and marching over to James.
He doesn't look pleased to see me.
"You mind telling me what the hell is going on?" he asks me angrily.
I sigh, "Fred and Cameron were born, and seventeen years later, here you are, stunned to a chair."
"Well are you going to do the counter curse, or not?"
I got out my wand and promptly whispered the counter curse.
James began to stretch out his limbs, "So why have I been trapped to a chair?" he asks grumpily.
"I think they want us to talk," I reply.
"You already know."
He sighs, "Why do we have to talk about it?"
"Because you told me you never wanted me to quit the team," I murmur, "After you spent years giving me shit because I wouldn't. Don't you think I deserve an explanation?"
"It's not a big deal, Wood," he sighs, "I don't know why you're acting like this."
Something inside me snaps.
"You're immature," I say, "You're pathetic and immature."
"I'm what?" James laughs, almost in outrage.
"Don't laugh at me," I snap, "You're pathetic and immature and a jerk."
"What has gotten into you?" he stares.
"Maybe I'm just tired of waiting around for you to decide how you feel about me. How about you come talk to me when you grow up?"
I storm off, grabbing my bag from the table.
"That was fast," Fred remarks.
I ignore him, slinging my bag over my shoulder, and walking straight towards the door of the library.
* * *
"I'm proud of you," Rose says, "He completely deserved it."
"Whatever," I reply, "Unless he's ready to explain himself, I've had enough of him and his mind games."
"Good for you," Rose smiles. Suddenly her smile evaporates into thin air and she ducks, "Shit!"
I look ahead to see Scorpius coming towards us.
"Rose," I hiss, "I though you two were just going to pretend nothing ever happened."
"Yeah, but I hardly want to bump into him in the corridor, do I?" she snaps, "I'm going back to the common room."
"Yeah, seems your flawless plan isn't so flawless."
"Shut up," she growls, running back through the crowd.
Scorpius reaches me, "Was that Rose?" he mutters.
"Yeah," I sigh.
"She's avoiding me, isn't she?
"So much for pretending it never happened," he mutters angrily, "Oh, whoops. Wasn't supposed to tell you."
I pat him comfortingly on the shoulder, "She told me everything."
Scorpius looks surprised, "Everything?"
"Yeah. Just so you know, I think you're both making the right decision."
Scorpius spluttered, "Yeah, sure."
I frown, "Was it Rose's idea?"
"It was all Rose's-" he pauses, staring at me in amazement, "She didn't tell you the whole truth."
"What?" I stare, "Of course she did!"
"Oh really?" Scorpius raises his eyebrows, "Did she tell you what happened before she came up with our little agreement?"
Dread begins to fill up inside me, "No, What happened?"
Scorpius keeps silent, but I can tell rage is bubbling up inside him.
"Scorpius, what happened?" I insist urgently.
"We snogged, okay?" Scorpius cries, "She dragged me out behind the Three broomsticks to yell at me for going on a date with Harriet, then she changed her mind, and snogged me instead. And when she was done she said it was all a mistake, and asked me to pretend we'd never met."
I'm left speechless. Rose certainly left out that part of the story.
"Scorpius-" I begin.
He brushes past me, "I'm tired of Rose's mind games, Stella. I would confront her about that, but according to the agreement I don't even know her."
And with that Scorpius walks away, probably to some distant corner to sulk his way through Herbology.
Rose has some serious explaining to do.
"What was that about?"
I turn, and see James, standing there looking slightly sheepish.
Immediately turning around, I walk away from him.
"Wood!" I hear his voice shouting after me, but I don't stop. I've decided to savor the sound of his voice saying my name.
"Wood, would you stop?"
He grabs my wrist and swings me around to face him.
"What do you want Potter?" I ask, wrenching my wrist from his grip.
He sighs, "OK, fine, I'll talk."
I fold my arms and wait for him to continue.
"I'm sorry I've been a jerk," he says awkwardly, "I've been a jerk, no other way around it. I didn't want you to quit the team because you're a good player. You're damn annoying, but you're a good player. I guess I wanted you to quit because it was annoying me that you didn't take the team seriously. Well, I thought you didn't take it seriously. And then I found out it was all to do with nausea, and that's why you hate it, and then I got confused. I'm rambling, I'm sorry. What?"
I'm incredibly surprised to find that I'm smiling from ear to ear. And I'm laughing.
"What's so funny?" he frowns, looking very embarrassed.
I stop laughing, but I'm still grinning.
"Thanks for the apology, Potter."
He smiles. He actually smiles at me.
"I get very confused around you," he says, without elaboration, "I don't like confrontation. It's probably why I can act like a jerk, sometimes."
"Sometimes? Understatement of the century," I say.
"Will you just accept the apology?" he asks, "I'm embarrassed enough."
He nods, "OK."
There's a long, awkward pause.
"So…" I say, "I'll be going now."
"I've been thinking," he interrupts me, "I had an idea of how you can work through your quidditch fear."
The smile drops off my face, "Potter, if you're talking about another screaming match with you, count me out. I'm-"
"This idea is different," he insists.
"How is it different?"
He smiles, a knowing smile, "Because this time you don't have to leave the ground."
A/N: Just realized it's been about 3 months since I updated...for which I am very, very sorry! I've been so incredibly busy, but I won't bore you with the details
Please let me know what you thought! James has made his apologies, but stormy skies are still ahead. And now the truth about Rose and Scorpius is out, how will everyone react? Does Albus still stand a chance with Ray? And, most importantly, do you think Fred could make it as a gangster? Make your predictions/bets/I don't cares in that review box below!
I'll try and update asap, but for the moment I can't make any promises :(
Reviews may or may not speed up the process...just saying.
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