Chapter 3 : Flashback Contd...So does the Bad Luck
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credits to thalia @ tda!! <3
I could not believe that this was actually happening.
We all glared at the person who stood before us, oblivious to the fact that Rose was injured, and grinning happily like he couldn’t believe his luck.
James took a deep breath, and said to Coach, “We do have a replacement Coach. And he is here right now. Can you give us a few minutes to discuss?”
Coach Wood gave James a calculating look, like he knew what was going on James’ mind, and said, “You got two minutes Potter. I expect you lot to be up in the air by then” and left us.
“James, can I have a word with you?” Lily said, through clenched teeth. James looked warily at her and said, “But Lily, you heard the Coach-“
“Now” she said, and stalked away from the small depressed group that was us.
James gave me a quick look, and Lily glared at the pair of us, which is when I realized she wanted me to come as well. Sighing, we dragged ourselves to where she was waiting, tapping her foot impatiently. She resembled Mum too much for my liking. Don’t tell her I said that.
“What in the name of blazes are you thinking James?” she hissed, the moment we got within earshot of her.
“Look, Lily-“ he began, his voice guarded.
“Do you realize what the consequences of your actions are going to be? Do you even posses a brain? How can you accept that git when he just strutted like that into the pitch? He doesn’t even care about Rose being injured; all he wants is his chance! It’s McLaggen for Merlin’s sake!” Lily shrieked, working herself up into a temper.
James sensed that as well and he shot me a look that plainly said “Help me!”
I moved closer to Lily, and put an arm around her. She closed her eyes, and pinched the bridge of her nose.
“Lily” I began in a soothing voice, “We get it that you’re worried about Rose, love. We all are. But we are in the middle of the match right now and we have to finish this. He is the only chance we got, and you know that. You know Rose wouldn’t want us to forfeit the match. She’d be spitting mad if we did. Plus, she’s in the hospital wing now, and there isn’t much we can do for her other than win this thing, yeah? We don’t like this anymore than you do, we in fact hate the sodding idiot, but think of this as a necessary evil. James thinks so too, doesn’t he?” I gave James a pointed look and he cleared his throat and said, “Yeah. I hate the bloody git as well and you know that Lily. It’s only until the match gets over. I can’t afford to lose in my first year as Captain. Please” He finished, a look of desperation in his eyes.
“Fine” Lily huffed, and stomped off to the others.
James and I exchanged a look and James muttered “Thanks mucker” and I nodded to him. The others were waiting, looking like they wanted to strangle McLaggen, who was, of course, giving them all Quidditch tips.
“-so you really need to make sure we have the lead. I know we do, but you need to put in more effort. Robbins, be more fast, and Cooper and Weasley, you’re Bludgers are off-the-mark. You haven’t hit a target since-“ Mclaggen was rambling.
“Alright!” James said loudly, cutting off McLaggen.
“You guys all are doing great! I need you lot to keep up your spirits, this match is ours! Good luck!” he said, and the others moved off. James pulled McLaggen to the side as he started and said in a low, threatening voice, “Listen, you. The only reason you are in this match is because we had no other choice. So I need you to shut that gob of yours and play your game, and your game only. If you do anything else, God help me McLaggen, I will personally make sure you never see daylight again”
McLaggen gave a lazy grin and clapped James on the shoulder, “As you say, Captain. By the way, make your turns more sharp” and sauntered off to the middle of the pitch, where the teams had gathered.
James looked ready to murder him on the spot, and I gently nudged him, nodding toward the pitch. He took a deep breath and made his way.
“Alright teams! I want a clean game!” Coach Wood warned us, and blew his whistle.
“Alright you people, the teams are back in the air after the timeout! The Gryffindor Keeper Rose Weasley has been taken to the hospital wing on account of her injury, and James Potter has replaced her with the reserve Keeper Donald McLaggen. He is yet to prove his talent on the pitch. The Gryffindor Chaser Dana Robbins- excellent player, daughter of Demelza Robbins, and a new find of the Captain this year -moves forward to take the penalty on behalf of Gryffindor; well-deserved penalty after that outrageous bit of cheating by the Hufflepuff Beater-“
“Jordan!” came Professor McGonagall’s warning voice, along with the boos from the Hufflepuff end of the stadium.
“Sorry Professor! Anyway, Robbins in possession of the Quaffle and she shoots through the players effortlessly, and puts the Quaffle away, no problems there, and they resume play, Gryffindor in possession of the Quaffle”
Dana gave a quick grin and passed the Quaffle to James, who scored two more goals easily. The Hufflepuff players were beginning to get frustrated, and they soon got possession of the Quaffle.
“That’s Chaser Lewis of Hufflepuff in possession of the Quaffle, wow, I never noticed how attractive she was before! Her hair is quite-“
“Jordan!” warned Professor McGonagall, amid laughter.
“Just telling the truth Professor! So, Chaser Lewis with the Quaffle, heading toward the Gryffindor goal posts, and she scores! 10-60 to Hufflepuff! Where was the Gryffindor Keeper by the way? Wasn’t he supposed to guard the goal posts?” Luke commented, sounding puzzled.
James spun around mid-air, frustrated and looked around for McLaggen. It turned out that McLaggen was tailing Cooper, shouting advice to him about the various effective ways and angles at which the Bludger should be hit, almost hitting an oncoming Hugo in the mouth with the Beater bat.
“MCLAGGEN!” James yelled, “Get your arse back to the posts NOW!”
“Right you are, Captain” he said, zooming off to his position.
“The play resumes after that entertaining show of anger from the Gryffindor Captain, with Hufflepuff in possession of the Quaffle again. It’s Chaser Lewis once more folks, and she does an amazing job, having successfully made her way through the Gryffindor Chasers, scoring through yet again an unguarded goal. It’s 20-60 to Hufflepuff” Luke groaned. The air filled with cheers and shouts for Hufflepuff and groans from the Gryffindors. McLaggen had rushed behind Dana this time, explaining about how she should have intercepted the Quaffle when she had the chance.
“MCLAGGEN!” James thundered, “Will you STOP telling other people what to do and DO YOUR OWN FUCKING JOB?”
“Aye aye Captain” McLaggen smirked, and went back to the goal posts.
“It looks like Captain Potter is losing his patience with his Keeper, and really, who can blame him? It Hufflepuff in possession again”
It was no good. Hufflepuff had taken the lead and it was Layla who scored every goal. She was an amazing player, and no matter what the other Chasers did, she held on to that bloody Quaffle. It was turning into of the worst matches in the history of Gryffindor. McLaggen, meanwhile kept shouting advices at others from his position in front of the goal-posts. He even once advised Luke on how to improve his commentary. It was definitely not good at all.
Needless to say, the pressure to catch the snitch to end the match kept mounting, and I kept frantically searching, but my luck backed out as well. I simply could not spot that tiny ball of gold that will put us out of our misery.
“And that’s another goal for Hufflepuff. Scores stand 210-60, Hufflepuff in the lead.” The roars from the other end of the stadium were deafening, and the Gryffindor end was so quiet you’d have thought somebody had died. I kept looking for the snitch, they were just 150 points in the lead, if we caught the snitch now; the match will end as a draw. My heart was pounding in my chest, and suddenly quickened, as I spotted a streak of gold near the ground, for the second time that day. I dropped to the ground in a steep dive, the Hufflepuff Seeker –big, blundering idiot he was, dunno how they made him Captain- too late in realizing what was happening (see what I mean? Complete idiot). I closed in quickly and took my hands off my broom and trapped that fluttering ball in my hands. As I rose out of my dive with the Snitch held triumphantly in my fist and a grin on my face, I noticed something strange. The crowd at the Gryffindor end was mad, shaking their fists at the ground near the goal-posts. My grin slid off my face and I moved in closer, to find McLaggen on the ground, surrounded by most of the team, who were shouting their heads off at him. As I looked around, confused as to what was happening I heard Luke “The match is at an end, with Chaser Lewis having scored the final goal while the Gryffindor Keeper was otherwise occupied. The scores are 220-210. Hufflepuff win”
The horrible truth crashed down on me. We had lost the match. In spite of our best efforts we had lost. In spite of me catching the snitch. I could hear people telling that McLaggen had been shouting advice to me on how to capture the Snitch when Layla shot that last goal. Before I knew it, fury rolled over me, and I pulled out my wand, pointed it at McLaggen and shouted the first curse that entered my mind “Furnunculus!”
He erupted in boils and was writhing on the ground in pain, when I realized I wasn’t the only one who had hexed him. I turned to see James stalking off angrily in the direction of the changing rooms, his wand clutched in his hand, his face murderous.
The team had managed to cheer me up, though it was Rose’s suggestions of torture methods and her ideas on how to kill McLaggen that finally did it. She managed to make even James smile, and that in itself was a miracle. James can be a sore loser. He tends to sulk endlessly.
We got cleaned up, and decided to take the day off. Dana had class, but the rest of us; me, Lily, James, Rose, Hugo and Ian sat around and chatted about all unimportant stuff. We were all laughing at a joke Hugo said, when a person approached us. We stooped immediately, our smiles slipping off our faces faster than Stinksap.
“Look, guys, I just wanted to apologize for the fiasco yesterday” began McLaggen, and I could tell it took all of James’ self-control not to strangle or Avada Donald. As for me, I tend to be non-violent, except for my rare displays of anger. And no, I am not a wuss like James and Lily seem to think.
We said nothing, staring at him, and he paused, looking around uncomfortably, and sighed “I knew I was not talented enough to make it into the team. I just wanted to help you guys, you seemed so miserable when Rose was hurt. I’m really sorry I screwed up bad, and I hope we can get over this. I know it’s hard for you lot to do that, and I don’t really blame you, I’d react the same way if I were in your position as well. I know we cannot be friends, but I don’t want to be enemies. I’m sorry” he said.
Whoa. This is something I did not expect.
Who ever thought McLaggen would have the decency to apologize?
I knew we did not like making amends, but we had to accept his apology when he was nice enough to do that.
Curse our mothers for instilling us with good manners.
“Yeah, McLaggen. Alright” said James “We accept your apology”
“Thanks. That’s all I can ask for, I guess. I hope you feel better now, Rose” he said, and went off.
“Wow, that was awkward” said Hugo.
“Thank you, Captain Obvious” retorted Lily, and he stuck her tongue out at her.
The group dissolved into small talk but I kept quiet, not saying a word. Donald’s apology made me think of my confrontation with Layla last night. I hadn’t told anyone about that yet, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to as well.
I made an excuse of homework and went to the library, hoping that Rose or Lily hadn’t noticed how uncomfortable and restless I was.
I wasn’t looking where I was going, and I bumped into someone. Books spilled from their hands and I bent down to pick it up. As I straightened up, I found myself gazing into the sea blue eyes of Layla Lewis.
Fuck my life.
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