Chapter 19 : The One With The Quidditch Match
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Authors Note - Oh! Hello there! Do I have any readers left? Sorry for the wait on this chapter, the wring bug took a leave of absence and I wondered whether I still liked writing…it turns out, I do. Once I started to work on this chapter, the bug came out of retirement and hopefully he’s around to stay for a while. Also, I struggle writing things all do with quidditch, probably shouldn’t have included it in the story but hey, I like challenges. Thanks for all your support, this probably wouldn’t have got done without you. Tell me what you think! Comments are always welcomed, whether they’re damning a character to hell (and keeping it 12+), fantasying about the future, (Pippa/Albus? What is this shenanigan?) or talking about how cuddly Scorpius is. Also tell me if I’ve messed up anyone’s quidditch positions, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned what position anyone played but you never know.
Please keep all reviews 12+, otherwise they will get deleted.
This chapter has bad language, don’t read if offended.
Please excuse the mistakes, this chapter has not been bete’ed and it’s the first thing I’ve wrote in over 3 months, so it may be rough. Also, it's 4am :)
Chapter Nineteen – .
The One With The Quidditch Match
“Why is an orange called an orange, but a grape not called a purple?” It was lunch time and Scorpius was pondering the questions of the universe. He held up the orange as if it would suddenly reveal all the answers. Cassie gave Scorpius a strange look as he eyed the orange suspiciously.
“Yep, he’s a crazy alright.” She muttered to herself as she shook her head.
“It is because unlike oranges, you can get two colours of grapes, duh.” I held up a green grape and a purple grape to show him before stuffing them both in my mouth.
“Okay then, why is an apple not called a green?” He challenged me.
“Red apples, green apples…” I shrugged. “It’s the same thing with the grapes.”
Scorpius thought about the next question for at least a minute, which for him, was a really long time. “Why is an orange called an orange, but a strawberry…” He stopped himself. “Oh crap, that’s got those little green dots in.” I snorted at Scorpius’ description. “I’ve got it.” He yelled loudly. People turned to give him odd looks but Scorpius was very well known for being strange and a little bit dumb. I glared at them all and they stopped playing us attention. “Why is an orange called an orange, but a banana not called a yellow?” He looked so pleased with himself.
“Just because that’s what they’re named.” Cassie poked Scorpius in the forehead. “No one cares why.”
“I care,” Scorpius sniffled.
“I know you do sweetie.” Cassie patted his head patronizingly but Scorpius saw it something she did lovingly. “Why are you asking Pippa anyway? Sometimes she’s dumber than you.” She smirked as me, before taking a sip of her orange juice.
“Hey!” I said, deeply offended. “I am not that stupid!” No one could be as stupid as Scorpius, it was impossible.
“You can be.” Scorpius agreed. “Sometimes you’re a bit slow on the uptake.”
“Meh.” I folded my arms across my chest grumpily as I glared at them both. I decided to change subjects from my occasional stupidity. I wasn’t the only person who suffered from stupidity sometimes, Cassie was guilty of it and Scorpius was the poster boy for stupidity. “Have you heard from Albus?” I inquired as Cassie raised her eyebrow at me which I just ignored. I was just curious after the chat I had with Albus a few days ago, Scorpius seemed happier but I wasn’t sure whether he was just ignoring his sadness and embracing his happiness.
“Oh yes!” Scorpius grinned happily. “We’ve sorted it.” He didn’t elaborate. I had hoped he would, part of me was curious whether Albus could mutter the sorry that Scorpius was looking for or had managed to wrangle himself out of the situation and into Scorpius good books again. I was disgusted at the curiosity I held. I should have no interest in the psycho but his secret still intrigued me. I hated myself for that. “I don’t feel like a sad panda any more.”
“Did he say what prompted him to make amends?” I wondered out loud.
Scorpius eyed me suspiciously. “Nope, he didn’t.” He took a bite out of his sandwich. “I suppose he just missed me.” Scorpius said happily, with his mouth full and I wondered whether I’d miss Scorpius if he went away.
Nope, I wouldn’t.
In fact, I’d probably feel relieved.
For at least a day.
Scorpius would never know I meddled in his affairs to ensure his happiness and I was perfectly fine with that. For the moment, this was Scorpius’ happily ever after and that’s all really mattered.
“I suppose he did.” I yawned; I was currently in another episode of my insomnia. I hadn’t slept in several days, not since that stupid chat actually. I was running on empty lately, my mind was buzzing but my body was growing weary. I needed to sleep for a week but I knew that sleep was impossible. The common room is looking especially clean and I labelled all Cassie t shirts. I even brushed PJ and Uggers last night. I don’t even like the things, but no sleep messes with my likes and dislikes.
Then Uggers bit me on the chin and I swore at it and poked PJ in the eye with the comb.
Cassie says I’m never allowed to brush them again and that I’d be a terrible mother.
She’s probably right though.
It was strange to think that I had done something good.
It made me want to vomit.
“Are you excited about later?” Cassie nibbled her nails. “I am buzzing.”
I looked at her oddly; I had no idea what the hell she was on about. No sleep tended to make me rather forgetful amongst other things. “Huh?” Cassie looked at me furiously. “I have no idea what you’re on about.”
“How could you!”
“For a good five minutes yesterday, I wondered whether I was a ghost.” It was odd experience. “You know no sleep doesn’t agree with me, so lay off.” It seemed that snappiness clearly did though.
“You haven’t slept.” Cassie hissed furiously like I just told her I used all her lipstick up. “This is a disaster, what are we going to do!”
I ran my fingers through my hair and yawned.
“You have a quidditch match later Pippa, against Gryffindor, you know, your brothers team.” Scorpius said as I blinked at him. “You’re playing seeker…it’s the reason you’ve been going to all those practices lately.”
“It’s like talking to a zombie, no wait…it’s like talking to an idiot.” Cassie sighed.
I shrugged like it was no big deal. “Don’t worry, it’ll be fine.” It was time to put my plan into action and I was nervous, amongst other emotions. I felt like I wanted to be sick again. “I have to use my eyes mostly and they’re fine.”
Cassie sighed angrily. “Just be on top form alright?”
I nodded, as the guilt seeped into my veins. “I promise I will be.” Cassie was satisfied with my lie, as I fiddled with the hem on my sleeve. I had always hated lying to Cassie. It always felt so deceitful. She had seen the mess I had been, she continued to put up with the mess I still was. Cassie didn’t deserve to be lied to but I lied to her anyway despite that.
I had never said I was a good friend.
Anyway, she would never find out, I would ensure that. I would lose but she wouldn’t blame me. One day she would leave me, but that wasn’t going to be anytime soon. She’d forgive me for losing, even though she loves quidditch, because I’d convince her that I tried my best and after all, no one can ask anything more from you than your very best.
I hummed softly to myself.
The anxiety didn’t subside.
So I welcomed it.
I don’t really remember the rest of the day, the conversations were too hazy and faraway for me to recall. I was focused on one thing; my plan. Cassie and Scorpius would be around tomorrow, but my chance wouldn’t be. I was in the quidditch locker rooms where I had got changed quickly and scooped my hair into a messy ponytail. My fingers traced my Slytherin badge that was stitch on my quidditch roads. Slytherin; born rotten from the start. Cassie sat on the bench as she stared into space.
Normally, I was already far away, waiting in the stands to watch her play so I had never witnessed this side of her. Quidditch knocked her normal impenetrable cool exterior.
“Don’t worry,” I said cheerily. “It’ll be fine.”
“We need to beat them.” She looked up at me. “We need to destroy Damien.” This wasn’t just a normal quidditch match; it was a mind field of personal issues. It was clear Cassie still hadn’t forgiven my brother for his Emilie betrayal. I hadn’t either, but I had a feeling I never would so I had to pretend like I did. Normal people are able to forgive people for mistakes, so I had to keep up my pretence.
I am not twisty.
I am normal.
“Still upset about Damien?” I questioned, as I picked up my broom, it felt heavier today.
“He’s a bastard.” She cussed, before sighing as she grabbed her broom. “Let’s go and see what Albus has to say as a motivational speech this time. Last time he just ended up calling us names and someone cried.” She went to walk off but stopped and turned to me. “And I know you are too, as much as you pretend you're not.” The tension lingered long enough for me to make a shitty joke.
“But I am Nott!” I jested.
Cassie laughed at me, a real laugh, not the fake one she used for other people. “You are so lame at times.” She turned away from me, quietly chuckling to herself as she strolled towards the team meeting and I gladly followed her.
The Slytherin team was sitting around Albus. He was the king and we were his soldiers. Cassie sat down and I remained standing, challenging the king who just dismissed my act of rebelliousness. I expected nothing less in front of an audience.
“I can’t be bothered to give a motivational speech, all that shit isn’t going to help anyway, but what is going to help us crush the gryffindors, is winning and how do we do that? By doing our worst and using the talents that we’ve been given.” Albus stared down the team, glaring at them. “Got that? I want to win.”
I yawned as everyone else just looked nervous.
Scorpius burst into the room. “How are you all?” He yelled happily as he ran over to me. “I just came to wish you luck before I have to do my commentating.” I gave him a weird look. “Oh! Did I forget to mention that? I’m the commentating this game!” I would have to listen to Scorpius voice for the whole game.
That wasn’t going to be distracting.
“Congrats, I suppose.” I muttered.
“I believe in you.” Scorpius smiled and I instantly wanted to hide. I managed to stand tall but inside I was a quivering unstable mess. He believed in me. He believed that I was here because I enjoyed quidditch. He believed that I wanted to win. Everything felt so very wrong. “I know you can do it.” If Scorpius was smarter, I would have believed that he was planting seeds of doubt on purpose. He was expecting me to be the heroine of this story. I was not a heroine of any story, not even my own. A real one wouldn’t be falling apart, stitch by stitch, becoming unsure of everything under Scorpius wide eyes.
I shook my head. The only option was to keep going, I was already in far too deep, and although I had sunk before, it was time to swim.
“Calm down Scorpius, it’s just a stupid quidditch game.” I snapped and Scorpius flinched like I had slapped him. Everything was seeping out, my wounds were oozing and I once again was trying to self sabotage. I felt Albus’ eyes on me but I chose to ignore them. I had something to do and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.
Cassie checked her watch. “It’s time.”
“I should go.” Scorpius mumbled at me. He didn’t give me chance to say anything because he just walked away, smiled at Albus and walked out of the room.
I walked behind Cassie as we walked slowly out of the changing rooms and onto the quidditch pitch. I stared at the floor because I was finding it hard to look any anyone. The gryffindor team were already there, waiting for us, waiting for the win that I was going to help them achieve.
I stood on the pitch feeling like an idiot, as I listened to the screaming crowds. It was understandable why people played quidditch. The fame, the glory, it’s tantalizing.
Fred stuck his tongue out at me; I had kept going to lessons with the younger chaser. I found he had a lot to offer and I secretly enjoyed them. I liked Fred’s company. He was happy without being irritating and he wasn’t stupid. I laughed at Fred before turning back to Cassie.
“I’m nervous.” She whispered.
Damien stood in the middle of his team looking very proud of himself. Damien didn’t look at me because this was business. On this field, he would treat me as the enemy and forget I was his sister. We were nothing to each other right now.
“I’m going to make him look like the shittiest keeper ever.” Cassie smiled at me and I had no doubt about it. Cassie was an excellent chaser; people were always surprised that she hadn’t been playing all her life.
“Who is the gryffindor seeker?” I questioned.
Cassie pointed to a tall, thin girl with sandy coloured hair. “Darcy Finnigan, bring her down.” Cassie spoke coldly and I nodded.
“Welcome to the first quidditch match of the season.” Scorpius cheery voice boomed into the stadium. “It is Gryffindor verses Slytherin!” There was a pause. “Oh! I’m Scorpius! Scorpius Malfoy and I’ll be giving you your commentary today!” He laughed into the microphone. “The Slytherin team is being lead by the one and only Albus Potter. Hi Albus!” He shouted and I saw Albus lips almost curve upwards. “And the gryffindor team is lead by Damien Nott! Hello my second favourite cousin!” He yelled. Damien didn’t even notice.
Madam Smith stepped into the middle of the field, the boxes containing the bludgers and the golden snitch were positioned on the floor in front of her and the quaffle was tucked underneath her arm. “Shake hands.” She ordered Damien and Albus. Both of them glared at each other before shaking each others hand. Albus pulled his hand away first and wiped it on his quidditch robes as if Damien had a disease. “Now play nicely.” Madam Smith said sternly.
It was time to mount out brooms because the game I had been waiting ages to start was about to begin. I was a bag of nerves and I wasn’t sure how my legs were still supporting me because they felt like jelly.
Madam Smith released the bludgers first. I was relying on Albus to save to keep me protected from them.
Someone save me from this hell.
The golden snitch was released and I watched it flutter away.
Then she chucked the quaffle into the air and we all kicked off.
My flying was wobbly as I got to grip with my broom.
“Holmes has the quaffle, she’s a nifty flyer that girl! And she narrowly misses a bludger. Potter! Do your job.” He ordered. “And Holmes scores! Better luck next time Nott D I guess.” Cassie was smirking and Damien was cussing. “It’s ten-nil to Slytherin.”
I was just flying around in circles, keeping my eye on Darcy and avoiding the other players. It was a lot harder than it looked.
“Lowsley throws the quaffle to Weasley, who throws it back Lowsley.” Scorpius commentated. “This is like pace the parcel! Oh wait, Weasley just scored. Both teams have scored ten points which puts them on equal footing, oh wait, King has scored. Slytherin now have twenty points, to Gryffindors ten.” The slytherin team cheered and the gryffindors booed. “Holmes attempts to score but she is blocked by Nott D. Oh by the way Nott D is Damien Nott, since we’ve got Pippa Nott playing too and I thought that was the easier way to do it as I was told I’m not supposed to use first names. I have no idea why.” He was probably pouting right now.
I decided to play a few games with Darcy because this was quickly boring me. I dived pretended I had spotted something and Darcy quickly followed me.
“Has Nott P spotted anything? Finnigan is quickly on her tail.” I stopped my broom and just floated in midair to confuse her. She was no expecting that as she had to dive underneath me to stop her crashing into me. I flew to the opposite way that I was flying, casually. “I guess not then.”
I whistled to myself as Darcy glared.
“Weasley attempts to score, but he is blocked by Burnsnall.” Gryffindor booed. “King is in position of the quaffle who passes it to Holmes, who attempts to score but it is blocked by Nott D. and Potter has confused the Gryffindor beaters by putting off a perfect bludger backbeat! He’s rather good at those.”
I managed to narrowly miss a bludger that was flying towards me.
This game is really dangerous.
“Holmes had just performed an excellent sloth grip roll to avoid a flying bludger.” Scorpius cheered. “That girl is rather good. Lowsley is in possession of the quaffle and manages to score! Both teams have twenty points!” Gryffindor cheered. “Wilde has the quaffle who passes it to King to throws it to Holmes, who scores!”
I tuned out of Scorpius’ voice then. The game was still in session, players were doing their best and scoring goals, but I made no interest to which team scored. I hovered on my broom, missing bludgers when I had too, for at least half an hour but I couldn’t spot this damn snitch.
Eventually, it appeared. I spotted it first but Darcy was only seconds behind me. I whizzed for it. It was going towards the floor and we were both diving for it.
For some reason, I wanted the fame and glory.
I wanted to catch it.
I leaned out to grab it as I went to hit the floor, it hung near my hand, taunting me. The fingers were just about to grasp it...
...when Darcy grabbed it.
Both of us hit the floor with a terrible thud and the audience gasped. I groaned slightly as I rolled over and Darcy held up the golden snitch for everyone to see.
“Finnigan has caught the snitch! Gryffindor wins! Three hundred and forty points to slytherins three hundred and thirty.” Scorpius sighed. “Gryffindor wins, but it was a close one.”
I had lost.
I had won.
Albus’ face was full with anguish and fury, Cassie threw her broom to the floor in a fit of anger and I knew I had disappointed Scorpius. I could hear the cheers of the gryffindors and I saw my brother laughing with Fred. Instead of euphoria, all I felt was disgust and regret. The guilt was too heavy for me to carry but I had no one to turn to. I only had myself and she was bitch.
I wasn’t expecting to feel like this.
I was expecting happiness.
Instead I just felt empty.
I couldn’t take it anymore.
I ran as fast as my legs would carry me.
I needed to escape, from the situation and myself.
For some reason, I ended up in the astronomy tower. I knew it was usually empty unless classes were in session. I breathed in as I walked slowly towards the edge.
I threw up over the side.
I threw up until there was nothing left.
Then I curled up on the cold, hard concrete floor and lay there, in a tiny ball hoping the world would swallow me up again and never spit me out. I started sobbing softly to myself.
I tried to never cry, no matter how bad I was feeling because crying in a weakness but I was never really that strong, I was always the weak one, so I’m just going to lie in a ball on the floor sobbing to myself. My emotions had exploded, each one slipped out with each tear. I was a giant ball. My emotions recycled themselves, hate, loathing, guilt, disgust. I felt each one, over and over again. It was torture, but I deserved nothing less. I had betrayed Cassie. I had hurt Scorpius.
I was exhausted trying to keep up my pretence. I felt like I had lived a thousand lives through my wary sixteen years. I was a faker. I was a realist. None of them felt right. The roles I had carefully carved out for myself didn’t fit right, the idealist, the pessimist, the jaded lover, even the damsel in distress wasn’t me. I didn’t want to live like this but I was trapped. This was my nature. I had been condemned to this life.
I wanted to grow, I want to be happy but I just keep stumbling on to the wrong paths that take me further into my misery. I want to blossom and bloom into a fully functioning adult that was well adjusted to the world and one slight imbalance doesn’t make everything turn to shit. The filth and bitterness are roots that keep me firmly in the mud, I stare at the ground because I fear the sun will be too powerful and wilt me to nothing. I am nothing without my sadness, other than Scorpius, it was the only other constant thing in my life.
Truthfully, I can’t really remember what it was like not to feel like this.
I couldn’t do this anymore. There was only so much pressure glass can take before it breaks.
I closed my eyes and when I opened them, Albus Potter was there. He stared at me like I was this horrible fascinating creature that was insane.
“Fucking hell, Nott.” He ran his fingers through his hair. It was like he was seeing me as a human for the first time “You’re a mess.” There were never any truer words said. I put all my effort into building myself back up, block by block, only for something to crash into it horrifically and cause my downfall.
I had crumbled but this wasn’t the end. I was just a tad fragile at the moment; it’d be so easy if our hearts were made of stone, minds made up of steel and bodies made up of metal. Perhaps we’d all be a little less breakable. Eventually I’d learn to destroy what destroyed me, it’s just today was not that day. I had a feeing that day would never come.
“Give me five minutes,” I whispered. “I’ll be okay.” I suppose I would have been more convincing if I wasn’t sobbing.
“Five minutes? You need a century to sort of whatever the hell is going on inside that tiny brain of yours.” There was no malice in his words, just truthfulness.
“My brain isn’t tiny.” I tried to find the fire that kept me fighting him but I couldn’t. “Will you just leave me alone?” Albus was witnessing me crying. He clearly needed to not exist anymore.
“No.” He stated simply. “Is this all because you didn’t catch the snitch? I mean, yeah, you’ve made me look like an idiot in front of my parents, my mom was a professional quidditch player, my dad was on the team from first year and their fucking son can’t even lead a team that can win the quidditch cup but we only lost by ten points, so we can easily more points and take the cup. I still wanted to beat Nott though.” The bitterness was evident. “And Cassie is a little bit angry; she’s punched your brother by the way.” Cassie had punched Damien? For some reason, this made me giggle. I was clearly growing delirious, I was giggling. “But it’s only a game at the end of the day, I guess, it’s nothing to be crying like a baby about.”
“It’s not that.” I whispered. “It’s everything else.” My walls had crumbled. There was nothing left to lose anymore. I hurt people until they leave me. He had killed anything good inside. Not that there was much to begin with, but he hurt me so bad and I was lost to the bitterness.
Albus looked at me with something I understood straight away; understanding but I despised him for that. I was expecting a snotty remark on how shit of a person I was, but it never came. Albus just stood there staring at me.
“I can’t escape myself.” The tears had dried up slightly and I would try my hardest to make sure they never returned. “These thoughts won’t shut the fuck up. They started off as little whispers now they’re screaming at me.” I was revealing how I truly felt sometime and it was like having the layers pulled off inch by inch, slowly.
“Kill them, ignore them or learn to live with them.” Albus bluntly told me. “It’s your only options.”
“I can’t.” I protested. I didn’t know how, I didn’t even know where to begin.
“Yes you can, Nott.” He pulled me up off the floor. “Stand on your own two feet and fight your damn demons.” I almost laughed. This was so hypocritical.
“Have you fought yours yet?” I looked up into his eyes.
“That’s none of your business; this is about you, not me.” He looked me up and down. “I’m not the one on the floor sobbing.”
“Fuck off Potter.” I said, but not really meaning it. I wasn’t sure why.
Albus nostrils flared. “This is the fucking problem, we’re too fucking alike, Scorpius is right, we will never be able to get on, too bitter, too fucked up.” There was a spark in his eyes. I knew he would use that spark to set me on fire and watch me burn up.
“I am not fucked up.” I yelled at him, my sadness had been replaced with anger. “And I’m not nothing like you.” I screamed as I went in for the kill. He took hold of my arms to try and calm me down and stop me from hitting him, I squirmed against him and I fought, but he wouldn’t let go, his grip burned me. I didn’t need a verbal punch bag anymore, I needed a physical one.
He pulled me so I was staring him directly in the face, his fury was evident. “You’re a fuck up.” He yelled at me as green eyes starred into mine and I was frozen. “Just like me.” I shook my head furiously. “It only takes one person to fuck you up.” I could feel his breath on my face. I wanted to headbutt him but something stopped me. For the longest moment, we just stood there, staring at each other, a loathing understanding. We didn’t want to understand each other, but we did because we’re cut from the same branch. As much as I tried to deny it, the truth screamed at me. My ignorance in this matter was bliss. I felt nervous as my throat grew dry. His eyes possessed my attention, for the first time I saw the hidden pain amongst the façade.
I almost felt alive.
Darkness surrounded us both and we both continued to drown, time and time again, unable to swim. Sometimes we were the cause of own darkness.
“We’re monsters.” I whispered and in that single moment, I felt close to Albus Potter. His touch felt human against my warm skin. Finally seeing each other for what we were and I was finally seeing myself for what I was, no mask or fakery.
“Possibly.” He shrugged, he still hadn’t let go. He clearly didn’t trust me not to try and hit him again. “But if you hide it well, no one really notices.” He smirked at me. This was true, people still attempted to get close to Albus, even knowing that he was a bit moody and would be a friend that was a handful. Girls attempted to give him love even though he couldn’t offer anything in return.
“I want to be fixed.”
“Don’t wish that.” He laughed. “Then you’ll just be like everyone else.” And that was sort of more terrifying than remaining broken for the rest of my life. At least this way, I can't be called ordinary. “Pain let’s you know you’re still alive somehow, despite everything.” I couldn’t really argue with that. “Now can I let go or are you going to turn into a raving madwoman again?” He questioned.
“I’m okay.” I told him, my temper had wilted, leaving numbness in its wake. He slowly let go but he braced himself for an attack, but it never came as emptiness came and I died all over again.
I sank to the floor and lay down. I stared up at the ceiling wishing my life was different. I wish that I had never met him. I would have never became this if I hadn’t. Albus lay down next to me, I wasn’t sure why nor did I want to question it. He was close enough to touch but the closeness I felt a minute ago had disappeared and was replaced with a cold feeling. I was so tired. I was so tired of everything. My life had changed since I started fighting with Albus; it was stupid to deny it. I knew that this was a terrible thing and if I could go back to that day, I’d just walk on by and never get involved.
The room was silent. I could hear his heart beating and I guess he could hear mine too.
“Potter?” I refused to look at him.
“Yes?” Albus answered wearily.
“Do you ever wish you could start over?” I spoke so quietly that I wondered whether he had heard it.
Albus took the longest moment to answer me before he sighed. “Sometimes."
I closed my eyes, I was feeling so sleepy. I was shutting down and I hoped I wouldn’t wake up for a while.
It was a long while before we spoke to each other again because words were running dry and Albus couldn’t be bothered to try to make conversation.
“I still hate you.” I told him, not opening my eyes. He understood something about me, I hated him for that, he was similar to me, I hated that, he was a twat, I hated that too, he witnessed my most human side, I hated him the most for that.
I heard him chuckle softly to himself. “Don’t worry, I still hate you too.”
And I believed him.
Those words comforted me because that meant that nothing was changing.
Tomorrow I would wake up amongst the familiar.
It was at that moment, that my body and mind finally gave up and I succumbed to sleep on the cold floor of the astronomy tower, next to Albus Potter.
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