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Canis Major by atellam
Chapter 8 : 'The Incident'
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 15


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bellatrixx@TDA


Chapter VIII - 'The Incident'


“I didn’t hear the bell go…” I vaguely heard Professor Flitwick over the sound of the class packing up.

“It did, Sir. Just before,” someone from the front of the room called over the noise of everyone moving towards the door. I didn’t hear Flitwick’s reply as I was pushed out of the classroom in the shuffle towards lunch.

“I have no desire to write that essay. Not now, not ever.” I pulled a face as Alice laughed.

“True, although I might have to get it done on Saturday. I’m working on my Herbology until then,” she mused, as we made our way down the stairs towards the great hall.

I smirked at her, knowing she’d be spending the whole time with Frank. “Herbology? Or biology?”

“What’s biology?” Alice turned to me, confused.

“Don’t get my muggle joke, Al. That’s cool,” I said, slightly exasperated, knowing that Rae would have appreciated it. “Just let me look lame; no big deal.”

She raised an eyebrow at me. “You make no sense half the time, did you know that?”

“I should – you remind me often enough,” I teased and she grinned as we entered the hall.

I spied Caradoc Dearborn sitting at the table and we make a beeline for the empty seats around him.

“Great friends you’ve got.” Alice laughed as she let her bag fall to the floor.

“Oh, shut it. I was with Cresswell, but then he wandered off and left me alone.” He scowled slightly, but it only lasted a moment. “How are we both? Lots of schoolwork? How’s Frank?” He smirked at Alice, who turned brighter than the beetroot she’d just put on her plate.

“Fine, last time I spoke to him,” she mumbled, keeping her eyes down.

I laughed as Mel and Rae joined us, also complaining about the essay Flitwick had given us.

“Due Monday!” Reyna cried as she helped herself to some roast potatoes before pausing. “You eating, Keir?”

I looked down at my plate, which only had a small amount of the roast chicken on it. “Yeah, I’m just not that hungry,” I lied.

“Here.” Mel placed a large serving of couscous salad on my plate. "You'll need the carbs for Quidditch practice."

"But I'm not at Quidditch practice," I protested, shifting the large serving to the side of my plate with my fork.

"But you will be on Saturday," Mel continued, placing potatoes next to my chicken. "Protein. You need more protein," she murmured to herself as she went to grab me some more meat, getting sidetracked by the roast vegetables.

"No, really, I'm fine," I said, swinging my legs over the bench. "I'm not hungry. I'm going to go start on this essay; I'll see you all later."

"But you haven't eaten a thing yet, Nyx. You can't just skip meals like that," Caradoc pointed out.

"He's right," Alice agreed, nodding earnestly, but I felt Mel's eyes narrow at me and I knew she was about to say something.

"I'm fine. I'll pick something up later!" I called over my shoulder, quickly making my way down the aisle between the tables, conscious that Mel knew exactly what I was doing.

Deciding that the library was both the best place to avoid people and get my work done, I adjusted my course, running straight into something solid.

“Sorry,” I mumbled, without thinking.

“Woah! Hey there.” Arms snaked around my waist and I looked up to see Henry smiling down at me. “You haven’t finished lunch already, have you? I was just coming to see if you wanted to join us.”

“More like beg her to join us.” Anthony snorted from where he was standing behind my boyfriend.

“Oh, don’t pretend you weren’t desperate for my company as well now, King.” I smirked, avoiding Henry’s question.

“Come on, come and eat with us. Cattermole’s on his way, he just got caught up talking to Macdonald about some assignment,” Henry said, as he began to steer me back towards the Ravenclaw table.

My eyes caught Mel’s halfway down the Gryffindor table and my breathing became labored. She was staring at me with that ‘I-know-what-you’re-doing-and-it-won’t-work-with-me’ look on her face.

“No, really, I’m fine,” I said, repeating myself from before. “I’m not hungry and I want to get my work done. I’ll see you at dinner?”

“Alright then,” he said, looking slightly hurt as I wormed my way out of his arms. “Do you want a hand, or will you be okay?”

I would have loved some help from Henry; I had no idea what I was doing with this essay, but at that moment, I just wanted to be away from people who kept telling me to eat. “Nah, I’ll be fine. You go eat.” I laughed, watching Melody out of the corner of my eye. “But I’ll see you at dinner, yeah? You can explain whatever I don’t get then?”

“Sure…” Henry frowned slightly as he turned to go and I felt a stab in my stomach at his expression.

“Hey,” I said grabbing his arm and turning him back to face me. “I’ll see you later.” I reached up and held his face between my hands before rising onto my tiptoes and kissing him soundly. “Dinner?” I breathed when I pulled away.

“Dinner.” He grinned, the frown gone now, as he pulled me back to kiss me again.

“Have fun there, mate. I’m going to see if some of that chicken gets rid of my sudden nausea,” Anthony mumbled as he made his way into the Great Hall.

I pulled away, laughing until I remembered that Mel would come looking for me as soon as she finished her own lunch and I was wasting my head start. Henry kissed the top of my hair quickly before leaving, and I turned and ran up the stairs towards the library, hoping to lose Mel amongst the shelves.

Weaving my way between the stacks, I made my way to the back of the library before I spied an empty table near a window seat. Please with myself for finding the hidden corner, I dropped my book bag and began sorting through my stuff for my quill.

"Oh! Keira, I wasn't expecting to see you here," a voice said from behind me. Spinning in my seat, I saw Remus Lupin with a crooked smile on his face. "Can I join you?"

Damn, had I taken his table?

"Course!" I said, slightly too quickly. "I haven't taken your spot or anything, have I?"

"It's where I usually sit, yeah, but I'd like your company." He smiled at me as he made his way around the table to sit opposite me. "What are you working on?"

I looked down at my blank piece of parchment and snorted. "If you could call it working. Flitwick's essay on turning vinegar into wine."

"Ah," Remus grinned, "then your next lesson should be an interesting one."

"Oh? Do explain."

"James and Sirius had an excellent time trying to out do the other’s vintage. James managed to turn his into some French one I couldn't pronounce. Sirius was getting lazy though, so he turned it back to vinegar while James wasn't watching. Prongs ended up spitting it out all over the desk. Poor Flitwick had no idea what was so funny."

I giggled as Lupin's smile grew, and the anxiety I'd begun to feel at lunch subsided.

"You've got some good stories, don't you?" I said a while later, twirling my quill in my fingers. I’d written a solid four sentences and decided it was time for a break.

Remus stretched in his seat. "I suppose. Although I just recount what James and Sirius have done. I wasn't part of it, so I don't know if they really count as my stories," he said thoughtfully.

"Were you there?" I asked, enjoying the conversation.

"Yeah."

"Then they're your stories too."

"In that case - yes, I have a lot of stories." I laughed as his face split into a smile while he reached for his parchment. "Do you want some help with the essay, or are you okay?"

"I'll be fine. I just need to actually do it, that's all." I scowled at the large amount of blank parchment below my lovely half a paragraph.

"Well let me know if you need a hand," he said as he continued with his own work.

Right - essay time. I dug my textbook out of my bag and began copying out relevant paragraphs.

I flipped through the book, as my essay got steadily longer. This was easier than I thought. I didn’t even think I had been in here that long, as I started my final passage.

"Have you got class now?" Remus asked, and I held up a hand to tell him to wait a second as I scribbled out the last of my sentence.

"Pardon?" I said as I blew on the ink to dry it.

"I asked if you had class now?" he repeated without annoyance.

It took me a moment to process the question. "Damn it to hell," I cried frantically stuffing everything in my bag. "Bye, Remus!" I called over my shoulder as I scrambled out of the library towards Defense, leaving him there, chuckling, as he continued with his work.

I was late, yes, but it was hard to regret it when it meant that my essay had been finished. I had the weekend free now, and I grinned as I pushed open the classroom door.

The smile dropped instantly as Professor Grimstone raised an eyebrow at me.

“Miss Nyx.”

“Professor.” I gulped, still standing in the doorway.

“If you aren’t going to disrupt my lesson any further, I would appreciate you taking a seat.” His eyes travelled to the empty one next to Mel.

I stepped forward hurriedly, but then paused as Mel met my eye. There was no way I was ready to talk to her about lunchtime now. Not now that I felt like sinking through the floor as everyone still stared at me. But realising that I didn’t have a choice, I sunk into the chair.

“Now, as I was saying – “ Grimstone turned back to the board and circled something I assumed to be important.

“You can’t avoid me forever,” Mel said under her breath as she resumed copying things down.

I didn’t answer her and I rummaged through my bag for the inkpot I’d put away only minutes before.

“Keira, I mean it,” she hissed at me as I tried to push down the pressure in my chest. Confrontation made me feel sick. The argument that was sure to come made my insides squirm and my breathing hard. I hated fighting with my friends. I hated fighting with anyone, and normally forgave far too easily just so I could avoid the whole thing.

There was no way Melody Andrews was going to let me avoid this one.

Her Mother-Hen instinct was out and clucking.

“Has everybody got all that?” Grimstone asked, as he moved behind his desk.

There was a chorus of confirmation, and he proceeded to tell us to partner up before looking out the window absently.
He really was a strange character.

“You have to eat!” Mel turned her chair to face me. I still didn’t say anything as I copied the notes I’d missed off the board. “You can’t starve yourself. It just doesn’t work.” I felt tears sting my eyes, as I didn’t look up from my parchment. “Damnit, Keira. We’re worried about you,” she said, pulling my work out from under my arm and replacing it with hers, before scribbling the stuff off the board a second time. She didn’t say anything but I felt the tension radiating off her in waves.

That same pressure in my chest was back with a vengeance, and this time guilt accompanied it. I’d really made her upset.

Reyna caught my eye, and guilt worked its way to the top at the sad smile she gave me. Alice was more encouraging from next to her, but that just made me feel worse.

I didn’t want to apologise – it had nothing to do with them – but I knew I couldn’t have them angry with me. Despite that, I still packed up my bag without a word when class ended, before hurrying out the door.

*

“You alright?” Henry looked down at me while I played with the food on my plate. I’d taken it hoping it would make Mel happy, but now I was so anxious about her being angry with me that I couldn’t eat it.
The irony didn’t escape me.

“Fine. Not hungry, that’s all.”

I knew he didn’t believe me, but I was grateful he didn’t say anything. Reginald Cattermole was chatting to Anthony about maintenance spells, and I had to remind myself that his father had been a builder. The Beater seemed more interested in if they’d work on his broom.

Losing interest in their conversation, I saw Marlene Spencer further down the Ravenclaw table, her nose buried in a book, while some bloke from my year tried to chat her up. I snorted in amusement. He could sit there for days, but he clearly wasn’t going to get anywhere.

Henry shifted beside me, attracting my attention.

“Come on.” He offered me his hand as he stood, and I rose to my feet. “You’re clearly not happy. Let’s go.” I rested my head against him, as he tucked me under his arm, walking both of us out of the Great Hall.

Mel frowned as we left, but I don’t think she was angry anymore, just disappointed in me. I felt sick at the thought.

I felt sick for the next few days actually. It was largely due to the fact that Mel, Alice, and Reyna only talked to me when they had to. We’d talk in the dormitory and when we were partnered in classes, but it was forced and I could tell they wanted to bring it up. Caradoc and Benjy would stare me down – in a way I would have found funny in any other situation – during meals as I sat off to the side, not including myself in the conversation. Frank just sighed, not saying anything on the subject, and for that I was grateful.

And I was eating, thank you very much. By breakfast the next morning I’d tried eating something proper, but I felt so sick with the idea of all my friends disappointed me that I felt physically ill. Why I just didn’t admit that I was sorry and that they were right, and forget about the whole thing, I had no idea. But by Saturday, when Potter was yelling at me across the Quidditch Pitch, I was ready to burst unceremoniously into tears, fifteen meters in the air or not.

“Good. Again!” He called from above me, dividing his attention between shouting at me and shouting at Mel who was training with Archie Holloway, while Heath Chapman looked about to lose it if Fenwick or Dearborn tried to fly through the goal hoops again.

I rolled again on my broom, coming back upright without falling off.

“Keep going!” James urged when he saw I was just sitting there, waiting for more instructions. “I can’t have you injured during a match. You’re a good flyer on your own, but with Bludgers, distracting cheers, and hunting for the Snitch, you’re going to need to work on your broom handling skills. Anyway, keep practising until I get back,” he called over his shoulder as he flew over to where Archie was dodging the Bludgers Mel was aiming at him. Last time I’d checked, that had been Benjy and Caradoc’s job, but whatever. They took pride in being professional Chapman annoyers.

Was that even a word? I wondered as I swung upside down on my broom, before righting myself. I continued to muse it over, still rolling and righting myself, rolling and righting myself, until it became a sickening pattern. Deciding that perhaps rolling the other way might help, I paused before swinging to my left this time.

It didn’t help.

The Pitch looked just as bad, if not worse, as I restored myself, right way up, on my broom.

I’d been rolling this way and that for over twenty minutes and my stomach wasn’t having it anymore. I leaned over the side of my broom, not to roll, but to empty my stomach as I vomited.

The few seconds it took for my stomach contents to reach the ground fifteen meters below were some of the worst of my life, to the point where I vomited again. Although the second time I screwed my eyes shut, determined not to witness the sight of falling vomit a second time.

“Merlin’s sock! Are you alright, Nyx?” I looked up to see three Chasers speeding towards me. Paranoid that they wouldn’t be able to stop in time, I began to panic until Archie and James came to an abrupt stop about a meter in front of me.

Mel, on the other hand, slammed into me, arms around my waist, while her momentum pushed us backwards a few meters. If something like this hadn’t been such a regular occurrence during the games of Quidditch I played with her and Jack over the summer, I probably would have toppled off my broom.

“I can’t deal with this anymore!” I swore she was sobbing into my hair.

“I can’t watch you getting sick and vomiting and not eating and distancing yourself and being quiet and going to bed early and –“

The only way I can think to describe what happened as Mel cried into my hair, James Potter looking on with horror at a crying girl, was that my chest exploded. It didn’t, not really, but the emotion I felt as Melody paused to take a shuddering breath probably could have caused a black hole in my stomach, it was so big. It caused tears at any rate, because I hugged her back viciously.

“I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have put you through that, and I’ve been trying to eat for days but knowing that you were angry with me made me feel sick and I couldn’t, and – Mel stop crying!” I choked out the words, pulling away from her as best I could as were both sitting in the air.

When she started hitting me, however, Caradoc and Benjy – who had been watching our breakdown from a safe distance – intervened.

“Don’t – you – ever – put – me – through – anything – like – the – last – few – days – GET OFF ME – ever – again!” She punctuated each word with a whack at my arm as the two boys tried to hold her back.

“I won’t! I’m sorry! Stop hitting me!” I cried, before rolling and hanging upside down from my broom to stay out of her reach.

Archie started laughing and I went to glare at him before realising that meant looking at him upside down. My stomach churned and I shut my eyes, deciding he could laugh as much as he wanted as long as I didn’t throw up again.

“Okay! I don’t even want to know what the hell has been going on between the two of you, but I think now that – Andrews! Stop beating up my Beaters! – What was I saying?” Potter ran his hands through his hair in exasperation looking at the team before him.

Archie Holloway was close to falling off his broom from laughter, Caradoc and Benjy both held one of Mel’s arms while she glared at them furiously, Heath Chapman was sitting quietly off to the side, mild amusement on his face, and I was still hanging upside down from my broom, my face a lovely red shade, realising now that without the momentum I lacked the abdominal muscle to haul my self the right way up.

I didn’t blame him for looking like he was about to lose it. We were the biggest mess of a team ever.

And totally screwed.

We all sat there for half a moment, not moving a muscle, not entirely sure what our Captain was going to do next, before he snapped and I remembered to breath.

“Dearborn, Fenwick - let Andrews go and fetch your bats. Chapman - back over to the hoops. Holloway, you and I are doing to do some passes with Mel and I. Nyx – get up the right way for a start, and then I want you chasing after us. It’ll help work on your speed and dodging, and while it has nothing to do with a Snitch, it’ll be good for Holloway to have someone resembling an opponent to intercept passes. That, and I think you’ve proven you can stay on your broom during a roll,” he added as an afterthought. When none of us moved, all still watching him as he watched us, James threw his hands in the air. “What do you all want? Laps? Get moving!”

“Righto.” Heath shrugged, making his way back over to the goal hoops, while Archie focused on evening out his breathing.

Mel shot the two Beaters such a dirty look I’m surprised they didn’t drop dead, but they quickly let go of her, before heading off towards the stands to grab their bats.

“I don’t know why I have two girls on my team. I hate girls; they’re the most bloody confusing things on the planet.” James shuddered before swinging his broom around and making his way back to where Archie was waiting with the Quaffle.

“You don’t hate Evans,” Mel muttered, scowling at the back of his head.

“No, I don’t. But she’s the most confusing of the lot,” James grumbled, just loud enough for us to hear.

Mel poked her tongue out at him before turning to me, a curious expression passing over her face. “Why are you still upside down?”

And just like that, she had forgiven me. From almost knocking me off my broom, to crying, to attacking me, to acting like the past few days hadn’t happened at all.

Bloody Melody Andrews. At this rate, I’d have grey hair before I was thirty.

“I – um – may or may not be able to get myself back up…” I mumbled, giving her an awkward smile.

NYX, WHY IN GODRIC’S NAME ARE YOU STILL HANGING FROM YOU BROOM?

“GIVE HER A MINUTE, POTTER!” Mel shouted back, before making her way over and grabbing my hand, hauling me the right way up.

I didn’t realise how much the effort had hurt my calves until they weren’t the only things holding me in the air. Dear Merlin, that was a beautiful feeling.

“You okay?” Mel smiled at me, and I knew everything was back to normal between us. It was even better than the relief in my calves.

“Yeah,” I breathed. “I’m good.”

“Let’s go then.” She laughed as she flew off towards James, but I gave myself a second, letting the blood drain back out of my head, before chasing after her.

We ran drills for a while, James deciding half way through a pass that we were staying late due to the time we lost thanks to ‘The Incident’. That’s what he’d decided to call my vomiting, Mel’s attack and everything in between.

The Incident.

I think it was because crying girls made him nervous.

“Alright, one more set, then you lot can go and – WILL YOU STOP SENDING THOSE BLUDGERS AT ME?” James roared at his Beaters, who shrugged innocently. They’d been aiming them at him since he’d told us we were staying back. Heath chuckled slightly from the goal hoops. I think he was glad that Caradoc and Benjy had taken a break from directing them at him.

“As I was saying,” James glared at the two of them, “one more set and then you lot can go and shower.”

The Beaters groaned, Chapman’s smile instantly dropped, Mel rolled her eyes and Archie shrugged. I was with Archie; it was our first training session with the team, and we weren’t about to complain. Besides, I felt I’d already caused enough trouble with The Incident before. James didn’t seem to regret putting me on his team yet, although I wasn’t about to give him a reason to, either. I just swung my broom around and flew back to my position, chucking the ball to Holloway.

I’m pretty sure he was thinking along the same lines as I was with the what-can-you-do shrug he gave me, catching the large, red ball easily, and positioning himself to run through the last of our drills.

“And… go!

I darted away from where I’d been and quickly gained on Archie. Mel was off to his left, while Potter was protecting his right, and I glanced back and forth between them, looking for an opening.

Suddenly, Mel went wide and I saw Archie prepare to throw to her. I raced towards the gap, hoping to intercept paths with the Quaffle, but was stopped short as James Potter was suddenly in front of me. He’d ducked under Archie and reformed their close nit triangle, passing the ball along to Melody without giving me room to get between them.

Damn.

I rolled perfectly – it better be perfect after all the ones I’d been forced to do earlier – and narrowly missed a Bludger that shot through the air I’d been occupying a moment before.

Silently cursing Benjy and Caradoc for being good at their job, I began to panic slightly as we approached the goal hoops. I needed to intercept the Quaffle before they got there.

I saw Archie’s hand twitch slightly, and I smirked as he went wide, instantly filling the space and catching the large ball off a surprised Mel.

“Well done. You’re learning to read the players, Nyx.” James laughed at Archie’s shocked expression at the exact same time Heath shouted from the goal hoops.

“Andrews! Watch – “

But the Bludger had already collided with her arm.

I watched, almost as if in slow motion, as her broom spun wildly off to the side, her arm flailing at an angle it certainly shouldn’t be.

James swore, but before any of us could move, she’d gotten the broom back under control. Well, as best she could with one arm.

We all landed quickly, and I stumbled on the grass on my way over to my best friend. No one could beat Benjy or Caradoc to her though as they seemed to have a never ending list of apologies coming out of their mouth.

She laughed, waving them away with her good hand.

She had a broken arm and she was laughing?

But as I neared I could tell it was forced.

“Hospital Wing,” James said, pointing back towards the castle as he got within earshot of Melody.

“I’ll be fi –“ she started, but I glared at her.

“You’re going to the Hospital Wing, even if I have to carry you the whole way there,” I said, staring at her pointedly.

“Mel, you head off with Keir. Holloway can go with you, because he’s big and scary and will make sure the blokes keep their hands off you while we aren’t there, and I’ll stick your stuff away. We’ll meet you up there when we’re done, okay?” Benjy smiled encouragingly, looking queasy every time he glanced at her awkwardly positioned arm.

The blonde opened her mouth to reply, but James just looked at her. “I’m Head Boy, Quidditch Captain, and will personally carry you up there if you don’t go yourself. Which is it, Andrews?”

“I’m going! I’m going! Sheesh,” Mel muttered as I gently began to steer her across the pitch.

“That looks bloody painful,” I murmured to her, biting the inside of my mouth so she didn’t see how worried I was. “It’s okay to admit it hurts.”

“I’m fine, really.” She ran her other arm through her hair, pulling at it distractedly.

I knew she wasn’t going to admit to the pain, so I didn’t say anything else, just gestured for Archie to hurry up as we neared the steps to the castle.

I glanced up when I heard someone call out.

"Have you seen Jam - what happened to Andrews?" Sirius asked, scratching the back of his neck from his spot in the doorway. He moved aside, his brow furrowed in concern when I offered no explanation.

"Bludger," Archie explained as Mel and I made our way across the hall.

Sirius tagged along as we made our way up the stairs towards the Hospital Wing, falling easily into step with Holloway. "Where's James?" he asked after winking at a fifth year Ravenclaw girl who had blushed furiously and dropped her books.

"He stayed back with the others to drop the gear off in the locker rooms. They shouldn't be too far behind us," Archie replied.

I didn't say anything. Largely because I didn't have anything to say, but at the same time, it was also because I was far more interested in getting Mel's arm looked at than chatting to Sirius Black, who seemed to be along for the ride because he had nothing better to do. It was convenient in some respects though; people moved out of the way when they saw him coming. The girls stepped aside with a blush, while the boys either glared at him, or nodded in respect. Either way, when Mel's mask began to crumble and you could see how much pain she was in, everyone quickly moved aside. They had that effect, Sirius and Melody did.

I'd had issues getting things to move in Charms with the help of magic; there was no way I could move a crowd with a facial expression alone. So I just steered her gently through the corridors, against the tie of students heading to the Great Hall for dinner, with my eyes down and an overwhelming urge to stop having people looking at the four of us, no matter how strange of a party we appeared to be.

Sirius reached the Hospital Wing first, pushing open both of the double doors with a bang. He looked far too please with himself as pushed past with Mel, rolling my eyes. Archie grinned up at him before following us over to the chair where I’d placed Melody.

"I'll go grab Madam Pomf -" but Archie's sentence was cut short as the Matron came bustling out of her office.

"Ah! I should have known it was you with an entry like that one," she said, rolling her eyes at Sirius's smirk as she made her way over to us. "Now - Oh, that's a nasty break, my dear. A Bludger, I suppose?" Madam Pomfrey asked as she inspected Mel's left arm. "If I’ve said it once, I've said it a thousand times - Quidditch is the only reason I have a job at this school. That and students bickering in the corridors, giving each other welts and fur."

She pulled her wand out of her apron and looked Mel sternly in the eye as she spoke. "This will hurt, but only for a moment." Melody nodded weakly, her face unusually pale, and before anything else could happen, the Matron had realigned her arm. I think it was all Mel could do to stop herself from screaming as she gripped my hand so tight I thought my fingers would snap off, a long stream of curses flying out of her mouth. Madam Pomfrey tapped her wand lightly on the spot above the broken bone, muttering something under her breath.

I jumped so high I swore I'd been shot when James burst through the door with the rest of the Quidditch team. Of course he had to barge through the double doors, simply opening one and slipping in was nowhere near dramatic enough for the Quidditch Captain.

"All fixed. But you won't be able to play Quidditch again for another four weeks; the bone may be healed, but it's still weak. I can make it heal faster, but I can't make it instantaneous unfortunately." The Matron frowned, her lips forming a thin line.

"What?" Mel started, distracted by James' entrance. "Hang on, I can't not play for four weeks! We've got out first match in at the beginning of November!"

I sat there quietly, but glanced at James, who seemed to be processing this new piece of information at a very fast rate. "Sirius," he said, talking to his best friend for the first time since he'd arrived, "you'll fill in for Andrews, won't you?"

Black ran his hands through his hair with a short, sharp laugh. "No."

"Why not?" piped up Caradoc, Benjy nodding in agreement from the bed he'd positioned himself on. "You're a great Chaser. Why won't you play?"

"Ask Simmons or someone else, yeah? I'm not doing it." And I could tell from Sirius' tone that it was final.

James scowled, but let it go now that he had the option of asking Rebecca. She'd been on the team before after all. It was just one game. It wasn't going to have her failing her N.E.W.T.s.

It'd be fine.

Of course it would, I thought, trying to ignore the queasy feeling I now had in my stomach.



Author's Note:
This is the new, beta'd version thanks to luvinpadfoot. A special shout-out to Elenia and Susurrous - the former being the only reason this chapter was finished, and the latter for leaving me such inspiring reviews. Thank you, both of you. :)

Anyway, this was a bit of a filler I suppose, but it sets stuff up for later chapters. I have chapter ten, eleven and twelve written already, so once I get nine done, then those next updates will be quicker. (Do I hear a hooray?) I had so many requests for more Sirius, so he made an appearance here at the end, but I'll try and have him more a focus in the next chapter. Chapters ten, eleven and twelve are fairly Sirius heavy, (particularly ten) so hopefully that will help curb your cravings! :P

Remember, reviews are better than that after exam feeling!
- Adele :)


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