A/N [PLEASEREAD]: Okay I don't even know what to say to you, guys but I am SO SORRY!! I never meant to disappear for a whole year... Least to say my real life got extremely and utterly hectic and I just did not have the time or muse to write anymore. Sorry :( But here we go!! Chapter 13!! I'm back! And I'm determined to finish this novel!!
Firstly though I changed quite a few things about this story... I suggest you reread the other chapters since I've revised them all... BUT if you're not going to then I'll just give you two main pointers:
- Oliver and Keegan's bet is no longer veritaserum thing... it's still standing up in the Great Hall but it is to declare the other the better captain and praise them
- The Weasley twins' bet with Keegan is not really a bet but they've asked her to be judge on a series of challenges to determine the better twin by the end of the year... the first of which are the dates.
---Chapter 13 - Silver Lining---
This was it!
Now or never.
Tomorrow was the big day and I’ll blow a casket if I let that prat-faced prat beat me one more time!
Oliver Wood, tomorrow will be your reckoning! The day you cower to the almighty power and raw talent of Keegan Riddell! Tomorrow, you will bow down to your new Queen! Tomorrow…
“Keegan, what the hell are you doing?” Miranda asked.
I turned around to find her, Penny and Lucy staring at me peculiarly by the door. I had somehow in my daydreaming got up onto my bed and had my hands raised outwards towards the ceiling.
“You know what? I don’t want to know,” Miranda laughed before going over to her bed. Penny and Lucy both laughed as well and moved to their respective spaces.
“I wasn’t doing anything weird,” I grumbled, feeling a tad bit embarrassed.
“You were pretending that you had just beaten Oliver and he was now bowing down to you,” Miranda said off-handedly. “How close am I?”
I glared at her. “How’d you know that?”
“Honey, you’ve been dreaming about this for the past, oh let me think, say three something years?” Lucy pointed out with a smile.
“You’re beginning to talk about it as well in your sleep,” Penny informed. “I wanted to put a muzzle on you this week but Miranda wouldn’t let me.”
I threw a pillow at Penny’s head. “Not cool!”
“I didn’t do it, did I?” she scowled, chucking the pillow back at me but I easily ducked the offending object.
“I wish I did though,” she continued to mumble.
“It’s not my fault,” I tried to explain to them. “This is huge! This is… this is… I mean it’s our last year!”
“I know, I am on the team too, you know?” Miranda said with a roll of her eyes.
“Yeah but you’re not the one stuck in a flipping bet with him, are you?” I growled in the direction of the redhead. “Which I might is your fault in the first place.”
“Hey!” Miranda replied, putting up her hands in defence. “I only suggested it, I never said you had to go through with the bet.”
“Oh puh-lease, you know as well as I do I’d never back down in front of Wood.”
Miranda giggled and just shrugged her shoulders. She pulled her legs underneath her and leaned back against the headboard of her four-poster bed.
“So how are you feeling?” Lucy asked. She had just finished rifling through her wardrobe and was now making her way to sit beside me on my bed.
“Nervous,” I answered truthfully. “Excited. Nauseous.”
“You know you’ll be fine, right?” she patted me on the shoulder in what I think she hoped was a reassuring gesture but unfortunately, it did nothing to quell the nerves inside of me.
“Yeah well I hope we win, if not for the victory then for saving me from becoming Oliver’s slave for 48 sodding hours,” I muttered.
Lucy chuckled but then her eyes lit up like there was a huge light bulb right behind them that had just went ‘boop!’
“So if you do win tomorrow, Oliver’s your slave for 48 hours?”
“Well yes, Lucy, that is kind of how bets work,” Penny told her, also coming over to sit on my bed.
Lucy ignored the brunette and giggled maniacally. “I don’t think you guys realise the opportunity we have here!”
I wonder if dating a Slytherin has in fact made Lucy more psychotic—because if it has then good lord, save us all…
“I mean you get to make him do anything you want!”
“What are you getting at there, Montague?” Miranda said, eyeing the blonde. “You do realise Keegan has a boyfriend, right?”
“Oh pish posh, as if she really likes Justin,” Lucy blurted out but as soon as the words had left her, she quickly clamped her hands over her mouth. “Oh my god, I’m so sorry, Keegan! I didn’t mean that! He’s lovely!”
Did she really think that? That I didn’t even like my own boyfriend?
What the hell?
“Why would you say that then?” I snapped.
She looked to Miranda then to Penny and bit down on her bottom lip anxiously. I could tell instantly she was hiding something from me. Lucy may be a cunning little bint but she has the worst poker face of anyone I know.
“You guys all think that?”
“Well,” Penny started, looking extremely awkward. “I just… well he’s…”
“He’s not exactly right for you,” Miranda finished and sighed exasperatedly. “Look, Keegs, you’re my best friend in the whole entire world. I know you. And Justin is not who you’re supposed to end up with.”
“And pray tell, why the bloody hell not?” I scowled.
I don’t know if I feel more miffed at the fact that three of my closest friends have been lying to me or the fact that… I might know what they’re talking about.
“He’s sooo nice, Keegan!” Lucy wailed. “And you’re crazy! Oh don’t look at me like that, you know I mean that in the nicest possible way. I’m just saying you’re crazy and you need someone crazy because otherwise, you’ll just get bored!”
“Tell us you really see yourself two years down the road with Justin,” Penny challenged. “Because we can’t.”
“Well,” I struggled. “I don’t know! Who knows these things?”
“No one but I know that I want to end up with Elbie,” Miranda told me. “I mean as much as the future terrifies me, I know I want to. Do you want that with Justin?”
“I don’t know!” I cried out, throwing my hands up in the air. “I’m seventeen! Why do I have to think about the future?”
“You don’t, I guess,” Miranda answered with a smile. “But all we’re saying is what’s the point in being with someone that you don’t think there’s even a possible future with.”
I stared blankly at all three girls, wishing those words weren’t whirling around in my head, making me think far too seriously about my relationship with Justin.
“I think we should go to sleep now,” Penny said and began ushering the other two girls away from me. She threw me an apologetic smile before closing the curtains around my bed for me.
I do like Justin. I do.
He’s lovely and sweet. And sooo nice.
But did I want to be with someone who was always complacent to everything I did? Didn’t I want what Miranda and Elbie have? A relationship where they challenged each other on a daily basis, where they can argue and still be in love with each other.
Do I even want a relationship?
Merlin, what is happening to me? I’m not a romantic sort of girl!
Oh fuck this, I have more important things to think about.
Like how I’m going to kick Gryffindor’s high and almighty arse tomorrow.
“WELCOME LADIES AND GENTLEMEN AND ALL THOSE IN BETWEEN!” Lee Jordan announced into his microphone. “WE ARE FINALLY HERE. THE MOST ANTICIPATED MATCH OF THE YEAR! GRYFFINDOR VERSUS RAVENCLAW! WOOD VERSUS RIDDELL… WHO WILL COME OUT VICTORIOUS? AND WHO WILL GO HOME CRYING?”
Jordan is an annoying little bugger, isn’t he?
It’s not as if I’ve already got large angry flapping butterflies residing in the pit of my stomach but now he’s adding large angry hippogriffs to the mix as well.
The most anticipated match of the year? Really?
I hardly think Wood and mine’s rivalry is really that interesting. Actually to be honest, it is entirely exhausting.
“WE’VE ALL READ CLARKE’S ARTICLE BUT IS IT TRUE? THOUGHTS, FOLKS?” Jordan continued unabashedly. “DO WE THINK THERE IS SOMETHING MORE THAN JUST RIVALRY BETWEEN THESE TWO HOTSHOT CAPTAINS? OUCH! PROFESSOR! I HAVEN’T SWORN YET!”
I haven’t thought about that little wanker since summer. Come to think of it, I haven’t read a single article by him since summer. Ha! I hope he got kicked off the student newsletter for being a big dolt-head.
And serves Jordan right for bringing it up!
“You all right, Keegs?” Seamus asked me. We were all standing quietly by the entrance into the Quidditch pitch. I had shouted my voice hoarse in our pep talk and now, now I left my team to their thoughts.
“I’m… fine,” I admitted. “I just wish I could kick Jordan in the arse before we start but ah well.”
Seamus chortled delightedly. “Yeah well the kid has a point. People have been talking about this match for a long time.”
I looked at my teddy bear of a friend with a dark frown on my face. “You are not helping, O’Connor.”
“IT’S TIME, FOLKS! SO LET’S WELCOME THE RAVENCLAW QUIDDITCH TEAM! LED BY THE LOVELY AND SLIGHTLY INSANE CAPTAIN AND CHASER, KEEGAN RIDDELL!”
I walked confidently out onto the pitch and shot Jordan my most fierce-some glare. He laughed lightly into the microphone and winked back at me.
“THEIR TWO BEASTLY BEATERS, SEAMUS O’CONNOR AND ELBIE MAC’ONEILL!” Jordan continued, his voice rising by the second. “THEIR SPEEDY CHASERS, MIRANDA RICHARDSON AND ADAM NICHOLSON. KEEPER, LIZZIE LEE AND THEIR SEEKER, MARCUS WAINWRIGHT!”
The crowd erupted in cheers and whistles. I grinned happily at the Ravenclaw side and threw them all a little salute.
Here we go…
“AND NOW THE MOMENT WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR,” Jordan shouted excitedly.
“THE LIONS. THE MAROON AND GOLD. THE GRYFFINDORS! LED BY OUR HANDSOME, OUR DEBONAIR AND OUR TYRANNICAL CAPTAIN AND KEEPER, OLIVER WOOD!”
A chorus of high-pitched female screams sounded from every corner of the pitch, from Hufflepuffs to Slytherins. I guess Wood’s charm knows no bounds.
Too bad they don’t know just how much of a prat he really is.
I watched as Wood strutted out onto the pitch, waving and laughing, much to the delight of all of his female fans.
“FOLLOWED CLOSELY BEHIND ARE TWO GINGER BEATERS THAT HAVE STOLEN OUR HEARTS AND SOULS, PLEASE WELCOME FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY!”
Count on those two idiots to come somersaulting onto the pitch but as much as I wanted to remain indifferent, I couldn’t help laughing at their antics.
“THE WONDERFUL AND SEXY ALL-FEMALE CHASERS, ANGELINA JOHNSON, ALICIA SPINNETT AND KATIE BELL! AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, OUR YOUNG LITTLE HEARTTHROB SEEKER, HARRY POTTER!”
More shouting and screaming, and the excitement in the ground became so infection that my fingers even began to tingle.
Oh Merlin… Oh shit…
“Breathe, Keegan, you’ll do amazing!” Seamus nudged me in the shoulder.
I smiled at my friend but remained silent.
Madam Hooch came strolling out towards us and Oliver and I moved to meet her in the middle of the pitch.
“Now you two, I want a nice clean game, you hear?”
We both nodded and Oliver had the nerve to smirk arrogantly at me as we shook hands.
“Okay, on three,” she said to us. My heart was thumping faster and faster and if she didn’t release those damn balls soon I’m quite certain I’m going to die of an anxiety attack.
“One… two… THREE!” she yelled. “LET THE MATCH BEGIN!”
I bolted up in my broomstick, my eye only on the Quaffle.
Here we go!
I was exhausted to the bone.
My hands were numb from the cold and my face, I’m sure, was glistening with sweat but the match was nowhere close to being over.
We were tied with Gryffindor 120-120 and neither Marcus nor Harry have even spotted the Snitch yet.
“ALL RIGHT GUYS, TRIANGLE FORMATION!” I bellowed to my Chasers and Beaters.
Miranda and Adam nodded and flew into their positions. Seamus and Elbie quickly got the Bludgers away from Fred and George and began batting between them and circling around us. I flew to the top point of our triangle and Miranda and Adam trailed behind, weaving in and out and passing a Quaffle between them.
I flew forward, easing my broom forward to gain some momentum.
I turned around and easily caught the Quaffle from behind me and shot towards the right goal, catching Wood unaware.
He glared at me and I grinned smugly back at him.
Kiss on that, Wood!
But my victory was short-lived as Katie Bell scored on Lizzie ten minutes later, bringing the score to a tie once more.
We all needed the Seekers to find the Snitch soon. Both Gryffindors and Ravenclaws were losing energy and we were losing it fast.
I can already feel the bruise on my right thigh beginning to throb painfully from a Bludger Fred had sent my way.
I began flying below Miranda waiting for her to drop the Quaffle to me when two Bludgers came barrelling towards her knocking the Quaffle out of her hands and her off the broom. I watched horrified as my best friend and fellow Chaser went careening towards the ground.
“OI! WEASLEYS! WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?”
Fred and George both looked at me then at Wood and I flew towards the three of them as soon as I was sure Miranda had been levitated to safety.
“THAT WAS COMPLETELY UNCALLED FOR! A LOW MOVE EVEN FOR YOU, WOOD!”
“OH PLEASE, RIDDELL, YOU WOULD’VE DONE THE SAME!”
“I WOULD NOT HAVE SENT TWO BLUDGERS AFTER ONE OF YOUR CHASERS!”
“HEY!” Elbie came flying towards the Weasley twins who were hovering just by Wood, looking both guilty and defiant. “YOU COULD’VE FUCKING KILLED HER!”
He collided with Fred quite aggressively and I figured quite intentionally as well.
“She didn’t!” Fred retorted, the defiance coming out now. “It’s a bloody Quidditch match! People get hurt!”
“But that was a dirty move and you both know it!” Elbie growled and I can see the anger growing ten-folds.
“It wasn’t illegal!” Wood yelled at him. “So you two need to get off your high horses and get back to the match at hand!”
“My high horse?” I snapped incredulous at his bloody nerve. “Wood, if we weren’t so high up in the air right now, I would fucking punch you!”
“Oh, would you now? Go for it, do it, Riddell, I dare you!”
He shouldn’t have dared me! He shouldn’t have bloody dared me!
I flew straight at him and punched him in the face, my hand colliding hard against his cheekbone.
Oh flipping fuck! Punching someone hurt!
“YOU PUNCHED ME!”
“YOU DARED ME TO!”
“I DIDN’T THINK YOU’D DO IT!
“WELL YOU DON’T KNOW ME VERY WELL, DO YOU?”
“WOOD, RIDDELL, STOP THAT THIS INSTANT!” bellowed Professor McGonagall, having hijacked Jordan’s microphone from him.
“HE STARTED IT, PROFESSOR!” I tattled.
Oh so what? It’s true!
Wood was just about to respond when an eruption of cheers sounded from somewhere far away. Wood and I both turned towards the noise and my heart dropped to my feet.
There Potter was, his hand held high in the air and the Snitch visibly fighting against his hold.
I can’t believe they won…
“I hope you’re happy,” I shot at him and flew down. I threw the broom to the ground and stormed off to the changing rooms, the anger fuelling my body till it felt like I was burning from the inside out.
I hate him. I hate him so fucking much!
I don’t think I’ve ever hated a person as much as I hated Oliver Wood.
“Guys, I’m fine,” Miranda chuckled from her cot in the Hospital Wing. “Honest to Merlin, I just had a broken arm and a few bruised ribs. Nothing Madam Pomfrey couldn’t heal.”
“I’m glad you are, baby,” Elbie said to his girlfriend as he kissed her on the lips. “I’m going to kill those ginger twats though!”
“Oh get over it, Elbie,” Miranda snorted with a roll of her eyes. “It was a match. They’re not horrible people. You’ve sent people off their brooms before.”
“Yeah but that’s different!”
“How? Because none of them were your girlfriend?” Miranda laughed. “You guys need to get over it.” She looked pointedly at me. “Seriously. It’s done now. We lost. Get over it.”
“I’ll never forgive Wood,” I muttered under my breath.
Miranda shot me a stern look and I quickly forced on a bright smile for her.
“We should leave you to get some rest,” I said, ignoring her look. The rest of the Quidditch team nodded solemnly.
We all hugged Miranda goodbye and began our depressing and completely silent journey back to the Ravenclaw Tower. I was drained. I just wanted a nice hot shower and to sleep until graduation and forget all about Quidditch because now that Gryffindor beat us, our only chance of getting into the House Cup Final was if we beat Slytherin.
And that was going to be incredibly hard.
And even then, the three of us would be tied for the final. We’d have to beat them by a lot to get through.
I sighed loudly causing Adam to throw his arm around me and hug me into his side. I appreciated the comforting gesture but nothing was going to cheer me up tonight.
As we made our way onto the fifth floor, we all gaped at the sight before us. In front of the spiral staircase that led to the Ravenclaw Tower stood Fred and George Weasley, holding an array of brightly coloured balloons. A huge banner was tacked to the wall with the words, ‘We’re Sorry!’ on them and they both held out a box of chocolates each.
Fred grinned sheepishly. “Sorry about the… cheese. But we don’t really know the protocol on how to apologise to a Quidditch team so we just went with what we’re used to. But we are really sorry about what happened.”
“We never meant to hurt Miranda, we swear,” George added.
“We really hope you guys can forgive us because over the past few months, we’ve really come to think of all of you as our friends,” Fred finished.
“We might have overreacted,” Elbie conceded as he took a step forward. “We’re sorry also.”
“Does that mean we’re friends again?” George quipped happily.
“Yeah I guess so,” Elbie shrugged with a small tilt of his lips.
“Oh thank god!” Adam exhaled loudly. “I hated all of this tension!”
Fred laughed. “Us too!”
“If you want, you’re more than welcome to come to our party,” George offered. “I know it’s a bit cheeky to ask considering… well… we won.”
“It’s okay,” Seamus laughed. “We understand.”
“We might as well show our faces, you know?” Adam suggested excitedly.
“You just want to get with Gryffindor girls,” Lizzie laughed. “But sorry, I’m knackered so I’m going to head to bed.”
“Okay fine, spoil sport,” Adam stuck out his tongue at her then looked to the rest of us. “You guys?”
“I’m up for it!” Seamus nodded. Elbie shrugged and Marcus smiled eagerly as well.
“I’m going to sleep too,” I said.
“Awe Keegan,” Adam whined.
“No,” I said sternly. I just wasn’t in the mood. “I’m tired. I’m going to sleep.”
Fred and George looked at each other then back to me with a wary expression on their faces.
“We’re sorry, Keegan,” George told me.
“You’re forgiven. I don’t blame you two.”
“Ollie’s sorry too,” Fred added as well.
I snorted at this. “If he is then why doesn’t he tell me that himself?”
But before either twin could utter another word, I put up my hand to stop them.
“No just don’t make excuses for him. Actually, tell him to go to hell. I’m going to bed.”
I couldn’t sleep…
I couldn’t stop thinking about the match, about how angry I had gotten, about how angry Wood had gotten as well.
I don’t know.
Maybe I thought that despite the bantering and the arguments, we would eventually be friends again one day—but today, today, I realised that I couldn’t be friends with someone who could make me that angry.
How was I supposed to? I would just end up killing him!
Oliver Wood was an egotistical selfish prat, who will do anything to win. He’s hot headed and reckless and… and he drives me insane!
And not in the good way! No, he drives me insane in the worst way!
I mean why would I want to be friends with someone that brings out the worst in me? Why would I want to be friends with someone who argues with me at every possible opportunity he has? A person who only cares about Quidditch. A person who has the galls to hurt my best friend. A person who makes me so infuriatingly mad.
Why? Why would I do that to myself?
Merlin, I needed to talk to someone…
I quickly pulled on a jumper and snuck out of the common room, tip-toeing my way down the stairs, taking two at a time. The castle was chilly this evening, more so than usual but then again, it was the beginning of December and the season of shitty weather was coming to a start.
I crossed my arms across my body, trying to preserve the warmth as I made my way swiftly towards the basement. I stopped just outside the Hufflepuff common room.
Okay, now what? How the bloody hell do I get in?
I know there’s a barrel you have to tap but honestly, I don’t really remember which one or the rhythm you’re supposed to tap it in.
Merlin’s sake, Keegan… what were you honestly expecting at this hour? For him to suddenly sense your presence and just come outside?
I’m an idiot. I can’t wait out here in the cold all night and it’s two in the morning, no one was going to be coming out of the common room any time soon now, were they?
I sighed heavily, feeling let down by what had seemed like a brilliant idea not more than ten minutes ago.
I was just about to walk away when I heard a tap tapping of shoes clinking on the concrete floor and quickly ducked behind a suit of armour. I watched as two Hufflepuff girls I vaguely recognised as seventh years came drunkenly giggling towards me. The blonde one laughed at something the other said and then tapped on one of the barrels. The lid swung open and the two stumbled in through it.
I quickly jumped from my hiding spot and practically had to throw myself through the door before it swung close.
The common room, thankfully, was empty and I could just hear the soft echoing of the two girls walking down one of the corridors leading away from the round room.
So this is the Hufflepuff common room… Very… yellow…
I stood there for a good few minutes, taking in the copper furniture and yellow furnishings. It was a really cosy common room and probably was quite gorgeous during the summer days when the light filtered in from the windows.
Shaking my head and focusing back on the mission at hand, I turned and located the door that led towards the boys’ dormitories and swiftly made my way down it.
Ah… here it is…
I gingerly opened the door and peered inside. Bollocks, it was completely pitch black! I can’t even say a simple lumos because that would surely garner attention from someone in the room…
Okay… Come on, Keegan. You’re a Ravenclaw. Use your brain!
After much deliberation, I dropped on all fours and began crawling across the room, checking each trunk at the foot of the beds for recognition. As luck would have it (as in I had zero at the moment), I found his bed at the far end of the room. I stood up quietly and opened the curtains just to make sure it was him.
I nudged his shoulder. No response. Okay… How about if I poked him? Nothing…
I clamped his nose shut and watched as his eyes flew open.