Chapter 2 : Lack of luck and the Flashback
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credits for the amazing chapter image go to legendson @tda :D
We stood there, glaring at each other, for Merlin knows how long, before she broke the icy tension by asking, “What in the name of Merlin are you doing here Potter?”
“You know that I could ask you the same question, Lewis?” I shot back at her.
“My Common Room happens to be right here” she hissed at me.
“It is?” I asked her, for a moment thrown aback, as I actually had no idea about the whereabouts of the Hufflepuff Common Room. In fact, it was the least known Common Room, and I’d like to think it was mainly due to the fact that people did not bother going to all that trouble of finding where the Puff’s lived.
Her eyes widened for a second when she realized she had probably given away information, but then immediately hardened as she spat at me, “Don’t try and change the subject Potter. What are you doing here this time of the night? I could report you for being out of bed and roaming around at one in the morning”
“Oh yeah?” I asked, raising one eyebrow at her cockily. “And how are you going to do that?”
“Well, it might have escaped your notice because of your overlarge head Potter, but I happen to be a Prefect” she said, fingering the silver badge pinned on her robes. Seriously? She wore her Prefect badge on top of her Quidditch Robes as well? Jesus, what a prude.
“Yeah, well, so am I” I replied with a small smirk. “So now what is your plan of action?”
I could see that I had stumped her, because her eyes had narrowed into slits and her lips were pursed into a thin line. My smirk widened as she remained silent, fuming over what I said.
“Weeeell” I drawled, “Since you don’t have any plans of reporting me, you might as well get back to your Common Room, or hole or wherever the hell badgers live”
“Don’t you take that tone with me” she shot at me.
“Really?” I asked,” And what is a Hufflepuff going to do about that?” I said, making Hufflepuff sound like a disgusting word (and really, who can blame me for that?)
“Well, you seemed to have forgotten pretty quickly about who kicked your arse out there in the Quidditch pitch this morning, Potter” she said, smirking right back at me.
That brought me up short. She had said the exact things I wanted to forget about, the exact things that bought me here in the first place. And I did not even have a comeback for that statement. It was my turn to fume silently as she continued to smirk widely at me.
Pathetic, to be shown up by a female Hufflepuff.
Really, where did all my Gryffindor pride go?
I knew Karma was a bitch, but did it have to come and bite me in my arse so quickly?
Seriously, hadn’t I been through enough for one day?
Apparently not, as she knew my discomfort and asked me, “What’s up Potter? Not able to talk about it? Does it still hurt that you were beaten by Hufflepuff? Where did all that fiery Gryffindor pride go now?” It was like she was picking up the words from my mind or something.
Her smirked widened even more, resembling a Cheshire cat. A very attractive cat at that.
What did I just think?
Brain, can you please explain what happened in the last few seconds to me?
Why Albus, you thought that Layla Lewis was attractive, came back the unhelpful reply.
I was just deprived of sleep.
Layla Lewis? Attractive? Pssshh! I scoffed at my brain.
“W-we-well” I stammered unhelpfully. Brain, this is the time to be your awesome self and come up with a sarcastic and scathing reply. Nothing. No little voice whispering good comebacks to me. Like I said, my brain is highly unhelpful.
“That explains soo much Potter” she retorted, “You can continue stammering all the way to your Common Room. Now, off you go” she said, making sarcastic little shooing motions with her hands.
I glowered at her and stalked off, trying desperately to save what was left of my dignity and self-esteem.
I rounded the end of the corridor and before I could even realize what was going on, I found myself sprawled on the floor, with my wand clutched tightly in my hand, and looked up directly to find Peeves peering at me.
Merlin, I had the shittiest luck in the entire world!
That poltergeist has been around from even before my Dad’s time. And he still comes up with the best pranks. The word is that, he is still following the orders of my dead Uncle Fred. Talk about loyalty to profession.
If only I had my Cloak with-
I turned around and saw my Cloak and Map exactly where I had left them.
In the shadows.
Please excuse me while I go and mentally kick myself for my extreme stupidity.
“Why it’s Potty’s not-so-little spawn!” Peeves cackled at me, gleeful at having caught me out of bed at this hour. I am starting to think that I would have done better to thrash around restlessly in my bed. This walk was Not a good idea. At all.
I glared at Peeves, and got up, brushing my clothes and turning around so that I could get the Cloak and Map. He swooped after me, his voice too loud for my liking, and said in a voice I immediately distrusted, “You shouldn’t be a-wandering around this late, Little Potty. I should report you, I should. It’s for your own good” and grinned at me wickedly.
I probably shouldn’t answer that, knowing Peeves’ nature, so I decided to keep my mouth shut. The best decision I made all night, if I do say so myself.
I stood there silently, while he continued to taunt me about various parts of my anatomy and my general manliness, with an indifferent expression to his teasing and threats. He finally got bored and blew a wet raspberry in my ear and swooped of, swearing at me.
I muttered colourful threats and pulled on my Cloak, consulted the Map and made my way to the Common Room, thankfully meeting nobody else on my way. Too exhausted to make it to my dorm, I collapsed on my favourite squashy armchair by the fire and closed my eyes, trying my best not to think about the face of a certain female whose smirking face seemed to be etched in my brain.
“You look like shit”
Wow. What a comforting thought to be heard the first thing in the morning.
I opened my eyes and found the faces of Lily, Hugo, Ian Cooper and Dana Robbins (my team) peering at me. I groggily felt around for my glasses and wore them and their faces shifted into focus. Which is when I realized that the statement was not directed at me alone. I sat up straighter in my armchair and saw James for the first time after the match. He really did look like shit.
“James, mate, did you eat or sleep last night?” asked Ian, James’ best friend. He and James were both a year ahead of us, and were fully exploiting the privilege of being sixth years. They also loved the attention of being the best-looking guys in the school. I am not kidding when I say they actually have their own fan clubs, and that did not help their already inflated egos.
James gave a shrug, not really answering the question. He looked around distractedly, hoping to change the topic somehow, and spotted Rose entering the Common Room just at that moment, with a stack of toast in her hand.
“Rosie!” he exclaimed, jumping up to hug her “Are you alright? When did you get out of the Hospital Wing? Does it still hurt? Did Madam Pomfrey say you’re gonna be alright? I swear, I’m gonna murder that-“
“Relax, Jamie. Breathe. I am perfectly alright, and Madam Pomfrey mended me in about a minute. She just kept me overnight for observation, that’s all. I’m fine, don’t get yourself worked up” she said, hugging him, and placing a soothing hand on his shoulder and guiding him back to the chair. She unwrapped the toast and passed them to James, who took one, and nibbled off the end of it. She smiled at me and gave me a bit of toast as well.
“Rosie-“ I began.
“Don’t you also start on me now, Al. You Potter boys are so protective. I’m Fine” she said, stressing the word. I smiled at her and started on the toast.
The team had settled around us, but they were being quiet, unsure of what to say. It was weird for us to be quiet at any point of time. Finally, Lily could stand it no longer.
“Jamie, are you sure you’re alright?” she asked him, concern showing in her voice. I always knew he was her favourite brother. I mean, I was also practically in the same state, and do you see her bothered about me?
“Hmph” I huffed silently, but as usual, Lily heard me and retorted, “You know why I haven’t spoken to you about this, Albus. Don’t start all over again”
I grinned at her; she knew us so well. James had to be given attention when he was down, otherwise he could end up blowing the problem into something worse, but I preferred if people leave me alone while I get over it by myself.
“Lily I am so sorry. I am sorry to all you guys” he said, his voice very small.
“You got nothing to be sorry about, mate. This was not your fault” Ian said.
“But if I had planned this better, we wouldn’t have ended up losing. I am such a bad Captain” he sounded so dejected, even I felt sorry for the guy.
“You’re not James“, said Dana
“Really, stop beating yourself up about this” said Hugo
“C’mon mucker, this was as much your fault as mine” brilliant me and my convincing talent.
“If I get hold of McLaggen-“ Rose, helpful as always.
James still looked a bit down so Lily kneeled in front of him, took his face in her hands, and looked into his eyes and said, “Jamie, you’re the best Captain we’ve ever had, and the best brother ever. Please, don’t be sad. You’ve ruined nothing, and we still have a chance of winning the Cup this year. So please cheer up”
It was her words that finally did it. James gave her that special smile he reserved for her and seemed to return a bit more to normal. The chat resumed to the usual tally of points to calculate our chances for winning the Cup.
As for me, my thoughts had gone back 24 hours in time, to what had exactly happened in the match.
The Quidditch Match:
“Aaannndd they’re off!” commented Luke Jordan, the son of legendary Hogwarts commentator Lee Jordan.
“The Gryffindors are already in possession of the Quaffle, and are swooping across the pitch. The Quaffle is in Captain Potter’s hands-“ loud shrieks from James’ fan club “- and is passed to the other Potter-“ cheers for Lily, she was too popular for her own good “- who passes it back to the Captain, who passes it to Robbins, ooh! Nice dodging that Bludger there, she rushes forward with the Quaffle, dodges yet another Bludger, and moves forward, almost ready there, the Keeper swerves to the left- Robbins passes it back to the Captain, who puts the Quaffle through the other ring! Gryffindor Score! 10-0 to Gryffindor!”
The stadium filled with the cheers of the crowd, and I grinned. I was higher up, circling the pitch for a flash of gold, and the Hufflepuff Seeker had taken up on tailing me. Irritating idiot.
I dodged a few Bludgers that came my way and kept out of trouble, while three more goals were scored, bringing the score up to 40-0 to the Gryffindors. The crowd was going mad, cheering for us, and I couldn’t help but do a couple of loop-the-loops to celebrate.
I spotted a bit of gold next to the Hufflepuff end of the stadium, and I turned in mid-air to follow it. The Hufflepuff Seeker followed me, and tried to block me. I put on a burst of speed and urged my broom forward, when there was a sickening crunch sound and the mad screams from the crowd. I heard Coach Wood’s whistle to signal time out and I turned, frustrated that I was pulled away when I was so near to the Snitch that I caught a sight of Rose, her face bloody and fallen to the ground near the goal post. I swore, and rushed to the ground to help her up. She did not look good. Apparently, that stupid Beater from the Hufflepuff team, Adam whats-his-face had hit the Bludger at Rose when the Quaffle wasn’t even near the Gryffindor goalpost. I turned to see him being told off by Coach Wood, all the while managing to shoot evil smirks at us. Git. He’ll get it from James after the match is over.
The school paramedics hurried an unconscious Rose off to the Hospital Wing in a stretcher, and we all looked worriedly after her. Coach Wood approached us and asked, “Well James, I’m very sorry to tell you that Gryffindor has to forfeit unless you get a replacement for your Keeper”
“No fricking way, Coach” said Hugo “You can’t do that to us! We can play and beat those suckers any day!”
“I like your enthusiasm Weasley, and I really don’t want Gryffindor to forfeit, but I’m afraid I have no other choice” he said. As our Coach, he is supposed to be impartial, but he can’t help favouring the Gryffindors more, seeing he was one when he was at school. Old habits die hard, I guess.
“Well, we do have a replacement-“ began James, and we all groaned. Loudly.
“Did I hear the word replacement?” said a voice, and all of us turned to look at a hugely built guy, with his broom over his shoulder and slightly out of breadth as he had run all the way to the huddle we had formed in the middle of the pitch.
This cannot be happening.
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