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Chapter 9 : Bacon and OTP's
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Sweat poured over Nikesh Sunrita’s face as he watched the sun rising over the Hogwarts grounds. Hearing the rhythmic thump-thump, thump-thump was comforting as his feet pounded the earth. His leg muscles ached for release, but he continued to push his legs forward again and again. He’d never really liked running. Actually, before last week he would have said that he hated it if somebody asked. Now, he thought that there was some liberating element to running that made all the pain and effort worth it. It was like therapy. Not physical therapy, though of course it was very physical, but a mental cleansing—a catharsis of sorts.
It was last Thursday when he first went for a morning run. He had been having problems sleeping the entire week. That morning, he’d decided that he’d had enough. If his mind wasn’t going to let him sleep, then his body would get up too. So, he’d put on his shoes and made his way through the castle with no plan where to go. In the end, he’d winded up at the Quidditch stadium. Instead of grabbing his broom though, he’d pounded a few labs around by foot, eventually leaving the Quidditch field to explore the rest of the grounds.
Now, he’d made the early morning run part of his routine. Wiping sweat off his brow, Nikesh slowed down to a jog as he approached the lake. He came to a stop at the edge of the lake and seriously considered jumping in just for the hell of it. Instead, he lifted his ankle, pulling it toward his backside to stretch his throbbing quadricep muscle. He repeated this with both legs and stretched out his arms, neck, and shoulders. He would have never thought of all the muscles that could hurt while running. It seemed to him that all you’d really have to use were your legs, but after the first day he ran, he couldn’t lift his head in class his neck hurt so bad.
While running gave him the temporary release of not thinking, stretching always pulled him back into the fresh realities of his mind.
It was after running that he could really collect and manage his thoughts. Of course, all his thoughts were really only on one subject…
Nikesh felt so stupid for even thinking her name. He shouldn’t be. He was done with her. She was done with him. He shouldn’t still care. But…gah, he’d been so stupid that night of the party. He’d completely overreacted. The things he’d said!
“God, why do you have to be such a dick, Nikesh?” She asked him coldly
“Oh, I don’t know. Probably because I spent two years of my life dating a slutty little bitch.”
Sitting on the dewy grass, he rubbed his hands on his face. Stupid. He’d been stupid… and maybe a little drunk. But only a little. He couldn’t even blame this on intoxication fairly. It was all on him.
Well, not all on him. She had been the one foolish enough to think that she could show up at a party with another guy, assuming that Nikesh wouldn’t see them or hear about it. She had been the one to keep secrets all summer. She had been the one who cheated.
Sluttly little bitch. That’s what he’d said. That’s what he’d called her.
It didn’t even make sense. He’d never sworn in front of Maddie. Not even once! It was something she’d told him she loved about him. Now, here he was calling her a two-timing whore to her face! He’d sounded like some douche on a Muggle soap opera. Who was he kidding? The entire fight was like a scene cut out from Days of Our Lives—that American television show his mother was obsessed with. Though in Days of Our Lives the plot would’ve probably included some time travel or a dead man coming back to life…He really needed to stop hanging around his mother during the summer.
What he said wasn’t even the worst part. No the worst part was that, after everything that he’d said, he still cared about her. You can’t just stop loving a person with the push of a button. There was the fact: He still loved Maddie. He hated her for what she did, but he hated himself more for loving her still.
Jumping up from the ground, he kicked a tree.
“Fuck!” he shouted, hopping up and down on his non-injured foot.
Cursing himself, he glanced up toward the Quidditch stadium. There was someone over there. Flying. Well, of course they were flying, that’s what you do on the Quidditch pitch. You fly. But who would be over there this early?
Hobbling on one foot, Nikesh made his way over to the pitch. It was a girl. She was swerving around near the goalposts, throwing shot after shot into the hoops. Her long brown hair was whooshing around her face in the wind, so he couldn’t make out a face. She wasn’t a bad flyer, he decided. Actually, she was a pretty good flyer. Damn good. He couldn’t recognize her from any of the House Quidditch teams though, and he was the Keeper of the Ravenclaw House team.
The girl, seeming to notice that someone was watching her, halted her movements. She turned to face him, brushing the hair out of her face.
“Mia?” he questioned, gazing up at the Gryffindor in surprise. “Is that you?” he yelled up at the floating figure.
Mia didn’t look too happy to see him. Or maybe she just didn’t want her practice to be interrupted or spied upon. “Who else could it be?” she yelled back at him snarkily.
“What are you doing up there?” Nikesh asked, still half in wonder to see one of his sister’s closest friends in the air on a broomstick.
“Quidditch. What does it look like, dipshit?” Yes, she was definitely not happy.
“I didn’t know you played.” He told her honestly, watching as she flew down to the ground, landing smoothly next to him.
She scowled at him and said, “Well, now you do. Don’t tell anyone else.”
“But you’re really good!” he told her earnestly. “It looks like you’ve been playing for years.”
“That’s because I have been,” Mia said, stalking over toward the locker rooms.
“Really? Why don’t you play on the team, then?” he asked her, curious. The Gryffindor team had been lacking dedicated players the past few years. Though James Potter was captain of the team and a great Chaser, he’d failed to round up a team that would win him the Cup the past two years. Last year, Nikesh and the Ravenclaw’s had slaughtered the Gryffindor team in the final due to the fact that Potter’s two beaters got into a spat in the middle of the match that had resulted in both of them, along with their budding captain, spending the night in the hospital wing due to head injuries.
She shrugged. “Guess it’s not my thing.”
“What do you mean? Clearly, Quidditch is your thing. You should try out.” Right after he’d said it, he bit his tongue. His teammates would castrate him if they heard what he was saying. They would most likely agree with him that telling an awesome Quidditch player to try out for the opposing team probably wasn’t the best idea he’d ever had.
Mia stopped midstride, turning around to face him. “Why would you say that?” she asked, staring up at him. Her blue eyes sparkled in the morning sunlight, causing her to squint.
“Because…” Nikesh trailed off, caught between thinking of his position on the Ravenclaw team and wanting to be a decent human being. “You should.” He finished lamely.
“Very convincing,” she nodded at him.
“No, really,” he said. “You need to go out. You’d make the team. You’re friends with the captain—”
“Why should that make a difference?” she demanded, stepping closer to him. “I don’t intend to be given anything merely because of whom I’m friends with.”
Recoiling under her ferocious glare, Nikesh said, “No, that’s not what I meant. I just mean that you’d clearly get on well with the team.”
Mia’s face relaxed. Heaving a great sigh, she took a seat on the ground. Nikesh sat down next to her, feeling the wet morning on his bare calves.
“Are you this edgy every morning?” Nikesh, against his best judgment, asked her. He stretched out on the field. “If so, I feel extremely sorry for your dorm mates. Putting that and my sister all in one room before seven a.m. would be excruciating.”
Thankfully, Mia cracked a half-smile at this, copying his posture by extending out her legs and facing the rising sun. “Shanti can put on quite the morning drama act, can’t she?”
“Since she was six.”
Mia chuckled. Then she said, “To answer your question, no. I am generally not this bitchy every morning.”
“I said edgy,” Nikesh pointed out, raising his index finger.
Mia copied him, by raising a finger of her own. “And I corrected you,” she said, making him laugh. She continued, “It’s just that...well, not many people know about me playing Quidditch. Or, well anybody.”
“Really?” Nikesh asked. “Not even your friends? Not even Shanti? Or Lily?”
Mia shook her head, “Nope.”
“Well, why not?”
Mia picked at the perfectly green grass. “Well, I guess I never really felt like they’d get it…why I like to play that is,” she said, correctly interpreting his confused facial expression, “Not a single one of those girls is what you’d call an athlete. I mean, I always played sport when I was growing up. It was how I made friends. I took a bus to the nearest park and just shot hoops or kicked a futball; maybe play a game if someone else showed up. They’re my best mates, but I just don’t think they’d understand why I’d ever want to get all hot and sweaty,” she trailed off. “Then there’s the problem that they’d ask why I didn’t go out for the team.” She huffed, grabbing clumps of dirt now along with the blades of grass.
After waiting for her to expand, Nikesh asked, “Why exactly do you not want to go out for the team?”
She looked at him and bit down on her lower lip. Nikesh waited. Looking like she was thinking of the best way to phrase things, Mia said, “I suppose, I just didn’t want other people to think that I’d just been given a spot on the team. I hate when people just assume because I’m a pureblood and have the last name that I don’t earn anything. I like to earn what I get. I don’t like to be given things.”
While Nikesh was slightly confused, he seemed to be able to get a grasp on what Mia was saying, “So…you don’t want to try out because you are worried that kids will assume that you were just given the spot…”
Nikesh remembered something and trailed off. According to Shanti, Mia’s family was very prominent among the pureblood Wizarding families. When he had asked her if it was like the Potter family or the Blacks, Shanti had laughed him off saying, “Trust me, Amelia Jones is much higher up in society than James Potter or Sirius Black. It’s not just about money, although they do have that too. I can’t tell you any more, so don’t ask!” The last sentence had been rushed as she hissed at him and turned to walk swiftly away.
Returning to the present, Nikesh asked, “Is it something to do with your family?”
Mia whipped her head around in surprise. There was a weird mix of emotion in her eyes that Nikesh tried to interpret, a bit of betrayal…and fear?
“Not that I know much!” he said swiftly. “It’s just, Shanti mentioned something that your family was high up on some Wizarding society totem pole thing…I don’t know…” he trailed off helplessly, watching for her reaction.
She still eyed him suspiciously, but on further observing his genuine reaction, she relaxed. Crossing her arms around her chest she said, “Yes. My family is rather…well, privileged…and I try really hard not to draw attention to that or myself.”
Nikesh was still confused. He asked, “Your family’s status isn’t something widely known though, is it? Or am I just an idiot who doesn’t know anything?”
“No, I suppose that is one thing. Not many here at Hogwarts are aware of the position my family holds in society. I told all my girlfriends. Then there are a few others that know simply because our families interact within the same circles. Other than that…I just don’t want it becoming common knowledge!” she shook her head worriedly. “Going out for the team would draw attention to myself, and I’m simply not interested in that.”
“But,” Nikesh countered, “its not like you’ve really shied away from attention before. You are, after all, close friends with the Marauders.”
“Yes, but, it’s always a group thing,” she protested, “and I’m almost always with my girls.”
Nikesh thought for a moment as Mia looked at him as if expecting some sort of profound solution. He spoke carefully, wanting to give her a good answer, “Quidditch is a team sport. You will always have six other people backing you up, no matter your family lineage. You know, sometimes you have to take a step out of your comfort zone. You might find something you’d really love.”
“More than that,” Nikesh expounded, “finding that you might belong on a team. Having close friends is great. Believe me, I know. But I honestly think that some amazing bonds are shaped when you come together to work with a group of people. There’s nothing quite like the bond of teammates. Sports bring people together.”
Nikesh smiled at Mia as he finished his arguments. He thought smugly that that had been pretty persuasive. Mia still looked slightly uncertain. After she didn’t say anything for a minute or so but continued picking out blades of grass, Nikesh got impatient. He bumped shoulders with her, smiling, and elbowed her a bit. Mia laughed.
“You really thing I should go out?” she finally asked, grinning despite herself.
“Noooo…I just wanted to waste all my morning talking you into it and then be late to class. I also missed out on my morning bacon. The most important meal of the day.”
“What!” Mia gasped. “Oh dear, what is the time?” she asked in a fret. Grabbing her broom, she dashed off towards the castle. Stopping abruptly, she dashed backward, chucking her broom into the girls’ locker room. Turning on heel, she made a mad run for the school.
Nikesh, laughing at Mia’s frenzy, managed to yell as he sprinted toward the castle in Mia’s wake, “Hold up! You’ll never make first bell anyway!” He grinned and hooted, “Did you just say ‘Oh dear, what is the time?’? Your family must be high up for you to already be speaking like the queen herself!” His laughter continued as Mia shot him a rather rude hand gester from ten feet in front of him.
“Rise and shine, sleeping beauty!”
“Ugh,” Megara Rivera groaned and shoved her head under her pillow.
“Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!” A perky voice cheeped in her ear.
“What shall we have for breakfast this morning? I’m feeling waffles!” Meg felt a plump as a large weight sat down at the edge of her bed.
“What the fuck?” she slurred into her pillow.
There was clapping.
“I hope there’s strawberries! Oh, I would love some strawberries right now. Strawberries and waffles! Ooo, ooo, ooo!” More clapping. “And bacon! Why are you still in bed silly? There is bacon to be eaten!” A very awake Claribel Collins was now bouncing up and down on Meg’s bed. Meg could feel her body shaking as Claribel sprang higher and higher on the springy mattress. She grabbed hold of the railings in front of her pillow to steady herself.
“Fuck you,” Meg said, still holding onto the hope that she might be allowed back into the bliss that was REM Sleep.
“She’s got such a lovely attitude in the morning. Don’t you think, Lily?” Claribel asked, turning to the Head Girl, who was already ready, wearing a red Gryffindor sweatshirt and a pair of fitted jeans.
Lily glanced at her dorm mates to see Meg, clinging to her bed, pillow over her head and hair spilling out everywhere, and Claribel, ponytail tied tight and bouncing with life each time she floated through the air and onto Meg’s waiting bed. She replied, “She’s nearly the sweetheart Shanti is in the bathroom before eight.”
“I heard that!” Shanti yelled from the bathroom, where she had been getting ready for the past thirty minutes.
Lily shrugged and said, “I’m going to head down early before tryouts and have a chat with Potter about when we should plan the first Hogsmeade of term.”
Claribel snorted, “Good luck with getting James to concentrate on anything besides Quidditch this morning. It’s all he’s been able to talk about for the entire week.”
Lily knew this fact and grinned, “All I need is for Potter to sign off that he agrees to this weekend. Amos and I already picked an acceptable date and a back up if Potter happens to be remotely interested in anything that isn’t on a broomstick this morning.”
“Lily Evans, you little minx,” Claribel accused, sprawling across Meg’s bed right on top of the girl’s body, “You planned a date with your new beau, and now you know James will agree to it because today is the day that his legacy as Gryffindor captain will go down in history due to the team that he puts together!”
Lily tucked a strand of red hair behind her ear, “Amos is hardly my new beau, and I doubt Potter and his Quidditch team will make history.”
“You’ve been with him all the time this past week,” Claribel said as she wiggled her petite body on top of the lump that was Meg.
“Yes, talking.” Lily told her. “That’s all.”
“Mmm-hmm, and his interest in the Hogsmead trip had nothing at all to do with taking you out on a date.” Claribel jostled some more, causing Meg to groan.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Lily said, “and now I must find Potter so that I can put in for a Hogsmeade trip two weeks from today.” Turning on que, Lily exited the dorm.
“No idea,” Claribel repeated once Lily was out of the room. “Yeah, right, girl should know that all Amos Diggory is looking for in her is a good snog. I thought… She. Had. More. Sense.” Claribel punctuated each word with a light pound on Meg’s head.
“Will you get the bloody fucking hell off me!” Meg shouted at Claribel, jumping up from her feigned slumber. This caused Claribel to grab onto he bed sheets, which sent both girls tumbling onto the floor.
“What is going on in here?” Shanti stormed into the room, curling iron in hand. She, like Lily, was sporting Gryffindor colors and was wearing a gold cardigan over a red tank top. This was combined with a pair of tight black jeans and red boots. Upon seeing her roommates tangled together on the floor, she rolled her eyes and flipped a lazy curl back behind her ear. “How old are we?”
“I am seventeen years of age!” Claribel called out from under a duvet. “Ow! That was my face, Meg!”
“Good, that’s what I was aiming for.” Meg emerged from the array of bedding, looking disheveled and furious. Picking herself up, she said, “Bitch wakes me up, and then gets mad when I hit her in the face.”
“People these days,” Shanti said as she moved toward her own four-poster.
“Tell me about it.”
Claribel humphed to herself, poking out of a ball of blankets. “You gals are just so delightful and easy to deal with in the morning.”
“Delightful is my middle name,” Meg said as she randomly pulled out articles of clothing from her trunk and began changing.
Shanti snorted. Meg glared at her. Claribel laughed and said, “Okay, we need to talk seriously for a moment.”
“Am I ever anything but?” Meg asked, brushing mascara through her eyelashes and picking up a tube of eyeliner.
Meg turned from her mirror to look at Claribel. “I am a camera.”
Sighing, Claribel began, “It’s about Lily.”
“Ah, and what about our dear Evans?” Shanti asked, taking a seat on Meg’s bed.
“It’s Diggory,” Claribel said, “I don’t trust him.”
“What’s wrong with Amos?” Shanti asked her, surprised.
“I don’t know!” Claribel exclaimed. “I can’t seem to put my foot on it. He just seems so…so…”
“Male,” suggested Meg.
“No! Well, of course,” Claribel said. “But that’s not what I meant. Doesn’t he just come off as a prat to you? Yes, that’s it!” she exclaimed. “A prat! A pompous prat!”
Meg and Shanti groaned.
“Oh, not this again!”
“I’m really sick of doing this every time Lily goes out on a date,” Shanti said to Claribel, twisting around a charm on her silver chain necklace. “It’s getting old.”
“What are you talking about?” Claribel asked, her tone a bit too innocent.
Shanti pointed her index finder at Claribel, “You have never ever approved of a single bloke Lily Evans has showed even the remotest interest in taking out.”
“True that,” Meg said in agreement, putting down her makeup and laying down on the nearest unoccupied bed. Shanti gesture her arm at Meg in a Thank you for proving my point kind of way.
“I’m totally serious though!” Claribel said indignantly.
“I find it difficult to take someone who just said totally very seriously,” Meg said, pulling some sheets over her and snuggling into the pillow. Claribel threw a pillow at her.
“Stay awake! It took me long enough to get you out of bed the first time.”
“Claire, I just don’t understand,” Shanti, ignoring the antics of her roommates, said, “what exactly is wrong with Amos Diggory?” When Claribel didn’t answer but looked at her nails, Shanti felt something click in her mind. Chuckling meekly to herself, Shanti said “Oh, I see what’s wrong with Diggory. He’s fit, tall, brunette, gorgeous, nice—”
“Of course you think he’s nice, he’s a Hufflepuff for goodness sake!”
“So’s Bianca Ledger,” Shanti pointed out.
“The bitch,” Meg’s voice emerged from the pile of blankets.
“Point taken, but—”
“Ah, ah, ah, no buts!” Shanti said, “I know why you don’t like Diggory. Is it because he doesn’t have crazy black hair, two striking hazel eyes, an obsession with Quidditch, and his name isn’t …James Potter?”
“No!” Claribel said, a little too quickly.
“AHA!” Shanti said triumphantly.
“Why so loud?” came the voice from under the blankets on the next bed. “Sleep.”
“You have to get up!”
“Back on the subject!” Shanti exclaimed, shoving Claribel.
“Ow!” Claribel slapped Shanti’s hand away.
Shanti’s eye’s widened, “You did not just hit me.”
“So what if I did?”
“Oh, it is on.”
In the scuffle that followed Claribel found herself flat on the bed, Shanti sitting on top of her, holding her wrists down.
“Admit it! You don’t like Amos or any other guy Lily wants to date because you want her to date James! Do you deny it?”
“What is this? The Spanish Inquisition?”
“Don’t joke!” Shanti said. “Or I’ll spit.” She waggled her tongue around her ruby red lips.
Claribel shrieked and squirmed. “No! Fine! Fine! I want Lily to be with James! I think that he loves her, and she loves him but is in denial. They should get together, get married, and have gorgeous little babies with dark hair and green eyes! I love them both! They are my OTP! Don’t spit! Please! Get off. I beg you.”
“Ha! I knew it,” Shanti declared, jumping off Claribel’s flinching body and brushing off her hands, victorious. Walking towards the full-length mirror, she checked her reflection and fluffed her hair, looking no worse for the wear. Claribel however, sitting up on Meg’s bed, had a crooked ponytail, askew eyeglasses, and a shirt with a dark spot that looked suspiciously like saliva. After straightening her glasses, Claribel looked over to Meg, who was breathing far to heavily for a person who was conscious mere minutes ago.
Leaping up, she picked up the pillow that covered Megara’s face and yelled, “MEG, GET OUT OF BED!” This caused Meg to jump and bonk her head on the bedpost.
“Fuuuuck,” Meg moaned, getting out of bed and rounding on Claribel. “I am going to kill you,” she said in a voice that was so low and deadbeat that Claribel, whose face had frozen in terror, leaped backward, tripping over some pillows and proceeding to hit her own head on the side the bedframe.
“Honestly, the two of you are like two-year olds,” Shanti said.
“I need to invest in a private room,” Meg said, still glowering at Claribel, who was making a face as she rubbed the back of her head gently.
“Do they even allow that?” Shanti asked her.
“I think Mia’s mum tried to get her one first year,” Claribel said, picking her off the ground for the second time this morning. “Something about exposing her young, impressionable daughter onto wild, underprivileged teenage girls. She thought we’d all be nut jobs or something!”
“What a crazy idea that would be,” Meg muttered. “So, I’m assuming she failed to acquire a private quarters for fair Amelia?”
“Yup,” Claribel said. “Dumbledore said that the social aspect of Hogwarts was just as important as the academic, and living in the dormitories is part of the experience.”
“Yeah, battling Shanti for the bathroom in the morning really is adding to my education,” Meg said.
“What’s an OTP?” Shanti asked Claribel suddenly, seeming uninterested in the fact that she had just been insulted.
“One True Pairing,” Claribel said slowly in a voice that suggested that the words obviously, are you daft? should have also been included.
Shanti held up her hands, “My bad. Now can we please go down for breakfast? If we don’t get down there soon we’ll miss tryouts.” Shanti was now at the door and yelling from the top of the staircase.
“Yes! I need bacon! If we don’t hurry, all that will be left is toast,” Claribel shivered. “Let’s go, Megara—OH. MY. MERLIN. GET. OUT. OF. BED!” She punctuated each word by whacking Meg’s head with a pillow.
“COLLINS! I AM GOING TO FUCKING MURDER YOU!”
“So many F-bombs, and it’s not even nine o’clock yet,” Shanti said.
Meg sprang from her bed and chased Claribel towards the doorway. The two crashed into Shanti, and all three landed in a heap. Then suddenly, they began to slide down the staircase, Shanti leading the way going headfirst. Claribel and Meg, still tangled together, followed her. After spinning round and round, the three girls came to a halt in the Gryffindor common room.
The blonde, the brunette, and the black haired beauty looked up in unison to see Remus Lupin smiling down at them. Remus’ blue eyes sparkled with a bit of mischief, and he was wearing a blue pullover that brought out his eyes quite nicely—at least in Claribel’s opinion. A tussled haired Peter Pettigrew was rushing up next to his friend.
“Was that you?” Claribel asked him, accepting his hand to help her up.
“Yup, I heard yelling. Something about beds, murders, and f-bombs.”
“Oh my,” Meg said scruffily, getting to her feet.
Shanti nodded at him, as she straightened her cardigan and fluffed out her curls. “That basically sums of our morning.”
“Don’t forget OTP’s!”
“Alright then,” Remus trailed off, gazing at his watch, “You girls ready for some bacon and Quidditch?”
“When it comes to bacon, you do not have to ask me twice,” Claribel said. She looked at the two boys as the group headed out the portrait hole and down the corridor, heading towards the Great Hall. “Where’s Sirius?”
Remus grinned, “He’s going to try out for the team.”
“No!” Claribel said, “James would never let him.”
“James doesn’t know yet.”
“Ooo,” Claribel cooed, “drama.”
“Yup,” Remus said. “Speaking of missing persons, where’s Mia?”
“Oh, she’s been up for hours,” Claribel told him, skipping the trick stair. “She always is. The girl wakes up ridiculously early, disappears, the shows up at class at about ten seconds to the bell. But…wait, doesn’t she usually sleep in on weekends? Meg? Do you know?”
Meg shook her head, glowering still at being forced to rise from her slumber. She glared at Claribel so fiercely that Claribel flinch, stepping on Remus’ foot. “Sorry,” she muttered to him, feeling the blood rush to her cheeks. “Um, Shanti? Do you know where Mia is?” She asked in attempt to regain her composure.
“No idea,” Shanti shrugged. “Do we ever know where Mia is? That girl is a mystery.”
“She likes her privacy. It’s understandable considering what she grew up with. After all, who—” Claribel broke off quickly after Shanti cleared her throat loudly.
“Who what?” Remus asked, as they all reached the entryway to the Great Hall.
“Nothing,” Shanti said quickly, glaring at Claribel, “it doesn’t matter. Now where are the waffles?” Shanti sat down at the long Gryffindor table, looking down it for some maple syrup. She glanced at the ceiling, which was a sunny blue. “Looks like conditions will be near perfect for tryouts. What time do they start Remus?”
“In about ten minutes, so eat what you can now. Then, grab and go. I am not missing James’ face when he sees Sirius with a broomstick.”
“He’s been a wreck all week,” Peter informed the girls in a squeaky voice.
“Tell me about it,” Shanti said with a wave of her hand, “Yesterday, when I asked him what the Transfiguration homework was all he did was mutter something about ‘Can’t lose again…bloody hospital…bloody head’.”
“He must have been thinking about last year’s final match against Ravenclaw,” Remus said with a grimace.
Claribel shivered, “That was scary. Not to mention an ugly match.”
“Yeah, James is really feeling the pressure to win it all this year. It’s his last chance to prove himself as captain.” Remus said, slathering some toast with butter. As he stacked up his toast on a plate with bacon, Shanti lathered her waffles with syrup and butter, and Claribel made a giant plate of bacon.
“All right,” said Remus, brushing crumbs off his hands, “ready to go down?” He grabbed his toast and headed for the door. The Shanti, Claribel, and Peter followed in his wake, Meg chugging some orange juice before slumping away after them. Together, they crossed the lawn, Remus saying, “James will be held up in the locker room until the exact moment tryouts begin. It’s his routine, and he doesn’t want people have any advantage by showing up early.”
“Even though he himself was there at a quarter to six in the morning when he first tried out second year?” Claribel asked.
Remus chuckled, “Yup, he’s insane.”
“But that’s why we love him,” Claribel nodded. “Merlin, Gryffindor needs to win the cup this year! We haven’t since third year. It’s embarrassing. I pray to Merlin that James finds some good players this year.”
“I pray that he finds some players that won’t get into a shouting match minutes into the final,” Remus said.
“A team with the right chemistry,” Claribel said.
Meg huffed, “Jeeze, you two love Quidditch so much. You should just go out for the team yourselves.”
“No!” Claribel said, and Remus shook his head. “Commentating is so much more fun. Besides, we suck at flying.”
“Remus is especially horrible. Can’t even get on a broom.”
“Hey! I find that insulting. I can get on a broom.”
“If it’s on the ground.”
“You two make me sick,” Meg said.
“Well,” Claribel said, flaring up, “if we make you so sick, why don’t you just go stand by somebody else.”
“With pleasure,” Meg said, stalking off with purpose.
“Well, that was dramatic,” Remus commented.
“You weren’t in our dorm this morning. She’s so damn negative.”
“Isn’t she always?”
“It was just especially irritating this morning, combined with the fact that she wouldn’t get out of bed.”
“You couldn’t have just left her there to sleep?” Remus rose his eyebrows.
Claribel opened her mouth the answer, shut it again, and then said, “Why didn’t we just leave her in bed?”
“We?” asked Shanti, who had been listening to the babble with little interest. “Don’t you mean you woke her up?”
“Me, you, we: What’s the difference?” Claribel asked, as the remaining foursome found a spot in the stands.
Remus shook his head. “Someone did not do well in primary school,” he said, earning himself a shove from Claribel. She turned to look at the growing number of students with brooms.
“Oh, here he comes!” she yelled, spotting James emerges from the locker rooms.
“Where’s Sirius?” asked Remus. “Has he spotted him yet?”
“I can’t see him! Those two huge guys are blocking everyone besides that girl in front! Who are they?”
“The McDuffie twins. Sixth years, but massive,” Shanti said.
“Bet they’re trying out for Beaters,” Claribel said.
“Will they even fit on brooms?” Peter wondered.
“Oh my God!” Remus suddenly said. “Oh my God!” he repeated.
“Has James spotted Sirius?” Claribel asked.
“No! But look who the girl in the front is!”
“Oh sweet Merlin,” Claribel whispered, “is she serious? No way. That is so cool.”
They were silent, watching as James made his way across the pitch, holding a clipboard and looking down, not even glancing at his friends, who were staring at him with such intensity there was a possibility that he would be able to feel needles poking into the back of his head. He walked with a determination, coming to a halt at the front of the line of potential players. When he finally looked up, the group held their breath.
“What are you doing here?”
Author’s Note: It’s been so long, but it’s great to be back. Forgive me for my absence readers, and I thank you for still sticking with this stories. Things are just getting underway, and I hope to get the next couple chapters out more quickly. This is a relative term, just in case! I also hope to work on editting and revising the first few chapters quite a bit more!
Anyhoo, I hoped you enjoyed ready the chapter. For some reason, it was one of my favorites to write. But leave a review telling me what you thought! Who’s your favorite character? Favorite shipping? Who do you want to see more of? Anything interesting you picked up in the chapter? Who’s gunna make the Quidditch team? REVIEW PLEASE! They make my day J
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