The cool air whips at my face, tugging at my hair. I can see Seth Nott hovering below me, prepared to catch the Quaffle if need be. Scanning the pitch, I spot Scorpius Malfoy heading my way. This is it. Shooting forward, I gain momentum until I reach Scorpius who throws the Quaffle to me. Catching it with ease, I continue on towards the three hoops at the other end of the pitch. Charlotte Brookes and Rose Weasley are heading straight at me, their eyes focused on the Quaffle in my arm. Somehow avoiding the Bludgers that are smashed at me by the Higgs siblings, I make it to the hoops. Only Emily Edwards stands (or rather hovers) between me and another goal.
Then, without warning, a blur of red robes flashes passed me and the weight of the Quaffle in my arm vanishes. James Sirius Potter, you are so dead. Yanking my broom around, my eyes immediately fix on Potter and I race after him. The thrill of the chase is almost as exhilarating as scoring. Almost, but not quite. Of course, it does not take long before I am almost neck and neck with him. The prick has the audacity to smirk at me over his shoulder, costing him precious seconds to reach Jasper Nott and the Slytherin hoops.
“How does it feel? Losing?” he shouts over the wind and the roar of the crowed as he approaches the goal posts. I narrow my eyes at him, mentally picturing him flying straight into the posts. Not through. Into. Hopefully breaking his thick skull open. I smirk at the thought of his miniscule brain getting lost in the fragments of bone.
The crowd screeches as I lunge at him, my eyes fixed solely on the Quaffle in his arms. We are now flying with our bodies pressed against each other as I attempting to pry the Quaffle from him while also trying not to vomit at his proximity. At last, the Quaffle comes away and I turn sharply on my broom. Immediately, Scorpius and Seth are by my side, protecting me from Potter’s retaliation attack. This Quaffle is mine.
We soar through the air in arrow formation, the two Chasers either side of me and the Beaters beside them, fending of the blasted Bludgers. Needless to say, this time I score. Again. And no, that was not bragging, it was a fact.
The score was now 170 – 130 to Slytherin. In the moments it takes Edwards to collect the Quaffle and throw it back into play, I scan the pitch for the Seekers. Gryffindor vs. Slytherin is always an interesting match, not only is there the rivalry between me and the Scum as Captains, but there is also the sibling rivalry between the Scum’s younger siblings who both play Seeker. Personally, I cannot see how Lily survives in her family. Then again, she is tough. Or so she makes people believe.
I spot the Scum’s younger brother Albus first. He is flying hard, as if chasing something, his crimson robes whipping in the wind he is creating. Then I spot Lily. She is watching her brother with a faintly amused look.
The commentator is screaming into the microphone. Has Albus Potter seen the Snitch? Judging by Lily’s calm demeanour, I’m guess no. Before I can watch any more, my attention is called back to the Quaffle as Edwards finally throws it back in. Brookes catches it and throws it to Weasley who shoots down the pitch with it. Seth and I are quick off the mark, shooting after her. I pull ahead and catch up with her just as she throws to Potter. I intercede and the Quaffle is in Slytherin hands once more. Dodging around a Bludger, I pass the Quaffle to Seth who has finally caught up and he takes off back down the pitch with me following just behind.
Let’s make that 180 – 130 to Slytherin.
Before Edwards can throw it back into play again, the commentator goes crazy.
“And it looks like Potter has actually seen the Snitch this time, Albus I mean, he’s shooting after it with his sister close on his heels. This is going to be tight but will Albus catch the Snitch on time or will the Slytherin Seeker get there first? Gryffindor just need to catch the Snitch in order to win which puts the pressure on Slytherin. Will they be able to do? Is that- Is- No! Lily Potter has caught the Snitch right from under her brother’s fingers! That makes the score 360 – 130 to Slytherin! I still can’t believe it! Slytherin wins!” he screeches.
I think he might be bias.
The crowds practically drown out the rest of his speech as the Slytherin stalls erupt into cheers and the Gryffindors scream in protest. Tough luck little Gryffies, we won fair and square. I fly down to the ground to congratulate my team. Pete and Poppy White, the Beaters, reach me first, pulling me into a hug and screaming in my ear. Yeah, Slytherins aren’t cold hearted and stuck up anymore... Well, maybe not all. Lily Potter nods at me before heading into the changing rooms and she is closely followed by Jasper, who at least shouts ‘well done’ at us.
Scorpius and Seth join us and a few members of the Gryffindor team come over to congratulate us. Neither Weasley nor Albus Potter are present but I see their Beaters shake hands with ours and the older of the Higgs siblings, the girl, even ruffles Pete’s hair which causes his sister to snort and nudge him in the stomach. Brookes comes over to shake hands with Scorpius, Seth and myself and to my horror, the Scum decides to follow her lead.
He shakes Scorpius’ hand first, then Seth’s before reaching me.
“What was that you were saying about losing?” I smile innocently and flutter my eyelashes. He just smirks and attempts to ruffle my hair. He has been trying to do that ever since Second Year when he saw me punch Pete for doing exactly that. That boy is a masochist, I swear. I glare at him and he backs off… Wise move scumbag.
Eventually, Pete, Poppy, Seth, Scorpius and I follow Jasper and Lily back into the changing rooms while the Gryffindors go off to theirs. As I suspected, Jasper is in the showers and Lily is nowhere to be seen.
“So our next match is against Ravenclaw right?” Scorpius asks as we make our way back to the castle.
“Yeah, we can check out their tactics in their game against Hufflepuff first though,” I explain. “Their weakness is their Keeper, they just can’t seem to find one to stick – last year they went through four of them. So if we can get the Quaffle up to the hoops, scoring shouldn’t be a problem.”
“But what about their Chasers? They’re pretty good,” he frowned.
“Well, Tamara Boot and Dominique Weasley and pretty good but they’ll have to get a replacement for McCoy, which means they’ll still be adjusting. Their Beaters are the ones to watch out for.”
“What? Fred Weasley and that Jordan girl?”
“Yeah, they can be lethal; I’ve heard they’ve been practicing all summer.”
“And their Seeker’s pretty good.”
“Ava Night may be one of the best… But Lily is better,” I wink as we approach the entrance to the common room. “Newts eye,” I mutter and the wall melts away to reveal a narrow stone passageway. When we emerge on the other side, Scorpius takes his leave and I head towards one of the low-backed, leather armchairs.
Most people find the thought of being half submerged by the Black Lake repulsive, but ever since I was a child, I have loved water and the calming swishing sound it makes outside my dorm window at night is like a perfect lullaby. The grand fireplace at one end of the common room does little to heat the place, especially now that winter is well and truly on its way (even if the first snow hasn’t actually fallen yet), so blankets and rugs are littered across the sofas and armchairs for the students to use.
“Good game?” murmurs a voice from behind me as Rosamund Selwyn comes to join me. She perches daintily on the edge of the sofa to my right as Blake Hugh takes the seat on her other side. Rosa has been my closest friend since First Year despite our differences. Where she has long, curled, blonde hair, mine is brown and shortly cropped; her dark blues eyes are always passive and approachable whereas my brown ones are all too often alive with fury; only in our build do we look similar – tall and slender (me from endless Quidditch practice and her because she has a blissfully high metabolism).
While Quidditch is practically my life, Rosa will only come and watch it in the summer months when it is not raining. I think in total, she has come to a grand total of three Quidditch matches in seven years. All Slytherin of course. She excels in in Charms and History of Magic while I prefer Potions and Care of Magical Creatures – I’m a hands on person.
Our backgrounds are also dissimilar. She is descended from a long line of purebloods on both sides, her mother is an heiress and her father was a Death Eater. I on the other hand, am the daughter of a Squib and his muggle wife. My father was disowned by his family at aged eleven and entirely cut off when he married a muggle. In Fourth Year, Rosa and I discovered we were actually second cousins.
The boy (or man I should really say) sitting beside Rosa is Blake Hugh. Rosa and Blake have been dating since Third Year and are the envy of almost everyone in the school, certainly all the Slytherins at any rate. They are the perfect couple: she is the beautiful blonde, he is the tall, dark, handsome stranger… Minus the stranger part if you actually knew him.
“Hey Rose, Blake,” I nod at them. “Wasn’t too bad… We won, obviously,” I laugh, indicating to where Scorpius and Seth had roped in Lukas Nott, Seth’s older brother and Scorpius’ best friend, to enchant small, emerald orbs to float around and singing… I think the song is something about how Slytherin are unbeatable and Gryffindor are, well… such words should probably not be repeated. Rosa just glances at them with pursed lips while Blake snorts quietly.
“You seem to be losing your edge though Sedgwick,” Blake returns his attention to me. “Potter just took it right out of your grasp.” There is a twinkle of mischief in his eye that I am all too familiar with. Blake Hugh is one of the very few people who dares to tease me and boy does he enjoy it. He knows exactly how to get under my skin and rile me.
“Don’t talk to me about that mindless toe rag,” I growl, unwillingly falling to Blake’s attempts. He just chuckles and leans back onto the sofa. Allow me to explain this little rivalry between myself and that Potter Scum… not that there is all that much explaining to be done. We hate each other. It is as simple as that. No one really remembers why, just that it started in First Year and has become progressively worse… To a point where I threw a cauldron full of boiling Draught of Living Death over him at the end of last year. Needless to say, I have only just finished serving detentions for that. And I cannot even remember what he did.
He is proud, arrogant and obnoxious; he thinks the whole world revolves around him just because of who is father is; he is lazy and conceited, rarely doing any class work and preferring to just doodle and plan pranks with his right hand man, Drew Thomas. The tragedy is that Thomas is actually a decent human being who as been corrupted by Potter’s poisonous ways. Rosa thinks our hatred is childish and that Potter is really ‘not that bad’. When she told me, I didn’t speak to her for three weeks. Blake on the other hand, thinks it is hysterical, which in some ways is even more irritating than what Rosa thinks.
“Quinn!” Seth shouts from across the room. “Come and check this out, you’ll love it,” he laughs, waving what appears to be a banner with some crude drawings on it. Reluctantly pushing myself up from my comfortable seat, I make my way over to the three boys.
“Isn’t is amazing,” chuckles Scorpius as I get closer. It is indeed a banner. With drawings on it. Beautiful drawings. Drawings of Potter (and the rest of the Gryffindor team) on broomsticks, looking like they are just learning to fly. I can make out the White twins smashing Bludgers repeatedly at the players and besides Potter, there is a rather dodgy representation of me… smacking him over the head with my broom.
“It’s fantastic,” I breathe. “Where are you going to hang it?”
“We were thinking about the Great Hall,” Scorpius smirks.
“Right above the Gryffindor table,” adds Lukas, grinning wickedly.
“Down at the end where Potter sits,” Seth winks. I love these boys. “What do you think?”
“Perfect,” I grin back at them.
Lily Luna Potter. The Scum’s youngest sibling. A Slytherin. Most people have already written Lily off as a hopeless case. She is unapproachable and vicious; her fuse is shorter than anyone else’s and her temper unmatchable. When Lily is angry, most people run. I can think of only six that don’t: her brothers, her cousin Rose, Scorpius, Seth and myself. But we don’t run for different reasons. Her brothers stay because they feel they have to, they think they know her best and feel responsible for her; Rose stays because she understands Lily most; I stay because she is my team mate and I need to make sure she doesn’t injure herself or get herself in any major detentions that might interfere with Quidditch practice, I also think she needs someone to be there for her; Scorpius stays because he is her best friend and Seth… Well Seth stays to taunt her.
Only very rarely however, is there an occasion where all six of us are present at the same time. Of course, this is not actually that surprising as she kicked off in the Entrance Hall just as we were all going to dinner. It was Seth’s fault, it usually is.
“Lily please,” Potter begs, trying to retain the vicious thirteen year old from launching herself at Seth. “Lily calm down,” he practically shouts.
“Shouting is not going to help the situation, Potter,” I sneer. He looks over his shoulder at me and there is a look of desperation in his eyes as Lily stamps on his foot. The Entrance Hall has been cleared out of students and as usual, the Professors are turning a blind eye to Lily’s antics. The rest of us are standing in a sort of semicircle around them, unsure what to do.
“Come on Lilykins,” Seth smirks. “Is Pottywotty too strong for you? Are you just a little pathetic baby?” he taunts. As much as I love Seth, that boy has either got some kind of death wish or he is really just incredibly stupid. His taunts only make Lily struggle harder against her brother.
“Seth, shut up,” Scorpius snaps, glaring at him. “Just go back and eat or Potter will let her go and you can deal with her yourself,” he threatens and Seth turns slightly pale before shooting one last sneer at Lily and vanishing into the Great Hall. I shall be having words with him later… not that that ever does much to help.
Potter is still struggling to refrain Lily who is now trying to bite her way free. Rose is just sitting on the bottom step of the Grand Staircase with Albus beside her, Scorpius is trying in vain to reason with Lily and I am just standing here, feeling a bit pointless.
“Sedgwick,” Potter begs. “Could you please just do something?”
“Like what Potter?” I snap, hating the feeling of being helpless.
“Quinn,” Scorpius mutters in his ‘warning tone’. I can tell he doesn’t want Potter and myself to kick off as well because in the state Lily is in, I don’t think he would be able to handle her by himself.
“Anything… You’re her housemate, and a girl… Surely you know something that might calm her the fuck down!” My brain goes into over drive trying to think of things I do when I’m angry. Eat. She doesn’t look like she could digest anything in the same room as Seth. Draw. She is really not that kind of girl. Fly. Well I can’t exactly take her flying right now…
I flick my wand and wait for a minute until two brooms come floating down the corridor. Grabbing them both, I approach Lily, who is still practically foaming at the mouth. Potter gives me a look as if I’ve gone insane. I ignore him.
“Lily,” I snap to get her attention. She glances briefly at me before returning to trying to struggle out of her brother’s apparently vice like grip. “Lily Luna Potter!” I shout. “Listen to me right now!” She turns to stare at me. I hold out her broom. “Get on.”
“What?” she splutters.
“Get on or you are off the team,” I threaten, narrowing my eyes. Yes, I am a Slytherin for a reason. She continues to stare at me wide eyed. “NOW!” I bellow in my Quidditch Captain voice., causing Albus and Rose, who are still seated on the stairs doing nothing, to jump. Lily hurriedly reaches for her broom and mounts it right in the middle of the Hall. Oh well. I do the same, much to Scorpius and Potter’s astonishment, and kick off, flying straight at the enormous oak doors which magically swing open as we approach.
Without a word, I accelerate as we come out into the open air. Lily follows close behind as we fly up and up into the night sky. The world looks beautiful from a broom. I can see the stars sprinkled across the sky right until the horizon, the mountains that surround the castle loom around us like overgrown shadows and the Back Lake resembles a flawless mirror that reflects the night’s sky. We fly up to the top of the castle, twisting and turning as we weave through the towers and turrets, Lily always close on my heels.
With the wind tugging at my hair and robes, I feel like I am truly free and I suspect Lily feels the same. The motion of the broom is soothing, calming. When you fly like this, you remember exactly why you love to fly. The ground falls away below us as we climb higher and higher. I hear Lily laugh into the wind. The sound echoes across the valley, happy and carefree.
Finally, I come to rest on the topmost battlement of the castle, a place I found in my Third Year after Potter called me a filthy piece of nothing and said I would never make it as a professional Quidditch player. I cried for a whole hour. Ever since, this is the place that I come when I am mad, or need to think, or just generally want a break from reality. You cannot get here any other way than by broom and I have never told anyone else about it.
We dismount in silence. Lily drops to the floor, exhausted.
“What is this place?” she breathes after a while.
“I found it in Third Year, I come here to think,” I explain.
“It’s beautiful,” she smiles. We sit in silence, both staring into the stars. She is right, it is beautiful up here. You feel like if you could just stretch your fingertips a little further, you would be able to touch heaven. It is peaceful here too. “Why does he do it? Make me so mad?” she frowns.
“Seth? I have no idea… Maybe because you let him,” I shrug. I have one younger sibling, a brother, but he is only four so I have never really had to have this kind of conversation with anyone before.
“I don’t mean to… He just knows exactly how to get under my skin,” she sighs in frustration. “And the worst part is, I can never remember what he said that made me mad in the first place.” I snort quietly to myself, knowing exactly how she feels. “I just don’t understand why he hates me so much,” her whisper is so quiet I barely hear it. It must have taken her a lot to confess that.
“He doesn’t hate you Lily,” I sigh, not entirely sure if the words are actually true. “He’s just thirteen year old boy who doesn’t get how to talk to girls yet.”
“He talks to loads of girls… He’s even got a girlfriend…” she trails off, obviously lost in thought.
“He’ll grow out of it Lily,” I smile reassuringly.
“But he’s been like this since my first day at Hogwarts. I can’t even remember what I did! What if we turn out like you and James? What if we’re worse than you and James!”
“I don’t think you can get worse than me and scumface,” I chuckle. “And don’t worry, if you do, I’ll got plenty of tips on how to get revenge… We’re Slytherins remember. Just Owl me if you need me.”
“But by the time we’re in Seventh Year, you’ll be, what, 21, 22… You probably won’t even remember me,” her ever present frown deepens.
“Of course I will, I’ll even give you free tickets to see my games when I’m a famous Quidditch player,” I wink and she gives a half smile… which I suppose is as good as it gets from Lily Potter. I watch her as she returns her gaze to the stars. It is not very often that Lily opens up like this. Flying does that to people. It’s like a drug, your own, personal high. It makes you feel on top of the world, like nothing could come between you and your dreams, perfection… But like everything, he feeling fades and I can see Lily’s customary blank mask come falling back down on her pretty, young features and I know it is time to fly back down to reality. As we mount our brooms, Lily turns to me and I see a glimmer of the real Lily in her eyes, the Lily she always tries to hide.
“Thank you,” she murmurs. “Thank you for showing me this place.” I nod and know she has understood.
As we come to land on the front steps, I see a figure watching us from the shadows. I know at once who it is but for some reason, I don’t have the compulsive urge to insult him. I think the feeling flying gave me is still lingering in my bloodstream. He juts nods as Lily makes it safely (and calmly) into the castle, I don’t think she even noticed he was there, and I follow her someway behind, hopeful that someone has saved me some food.
So here it is, the first chapter. I know it's a bit choppy in places but it is really just setting the scene and introducing you so some of the main characters. I would love to hear your thoughts, positive or negative, I don't really mind. Thank you for reading,