“Gryffindor wins! 160-50!” Madame Hooch announced over the intercom as I blocked the final attempt to score from Slytherin. Immediately after she said that, my team burst out in excitement and wizard’s hats went up in the air from the stands. Man, it felt great. To have won the first game of the year at Hogwarts. Considering this year was my final year at Hogwarts, the victory was bittersweet. The best years of my life were truly at this school and being on the Quidditch team made it a million times better. All of my teammates – especially Fred and George Weasley – held special places in my heart and I hoped that we would remain friends even after Hogwarts.
I made my way down to ground level, my heart pounding with the feeling of victory. I was enjoying the moment, watching the hats seem to soar higher and higher with each throw in the air, when a pair of hands lifted me off my feet.
“And here’s the girl that made it all happen!” Fred said, lifting me onto his shoulders.
“Oh, shut up, Weasley! I didn’t do all the work.”
“True,” he replied. “But you were pretty amazing out there today. Did you see Malfoy’s face when you scored on Bletchley?”
I laughed at his comment. He was right. I was fairly great at Quidditch. It was almost an obsession. Not quite as close to Oliver’s, but still…it was up there with oxygen. After all, I was known as Gryffindor’s best Chaser they had ever had…perhaps even better than Angelina. Some had told me in secret that they thought I was better, but they would never speak of it in front of her for fear of getting an earful plus a brutal beating during practice. I looked back at Fred as he kept me on his shoulders. I couldn’t help but love him. He was like a brother to me. I would never do anything to hurt him or our friendship. I wouldn’t be able to bear it.
“Hurry up, you two!” George said, running past. “You’re going to be late for the Victory Party!”
The Victory Party! I had almost forgot. Even though there was no guarantee that I would have won today’s game, Oliver let his cockiness get to him and have Angelina and Katie arrange a party in honor of our victory. There was one every year for the Gryffindor Team, whether they won or lost. But this one would be extra special, considering the victory I had won just now.
I hopped off of Fred’s shoulders, as he sped off immediately afterward. We raced to the lockers and I was actually winning until a blonde figure stepped in my way.
“Well, well, if it isn’t the little prick that ruined us the game today,” Malfoy said as he towered over me.
“What do you want, Malfoy?” I asked impatiently.
“What do you think I want, Blakely?” he smirked while moving closer to me. I turned around, rolling my eyes. Only, when I did, I realized I was up against the wall. I turned back to him, looking him straight in the eyes. I was going to say something, but before I could say it, he tossed me up against the wall and threw his tongue down my throat. I couldn’t move. I wanted to run but my reflexes weren’t cooperating with my mind. I could barely breathe. I began moaning with terror, praying that there was some way of escape or at least a breath of air. I started to get light-headed and began panicking. Suddenly, I heard someone.
“Let her go, Malfoy,” a Scottish accent said.
Malfoy recoiled his tongue and let me fall to the ground. I held onto my neck, coughing as I tried to regain some breath. I looked up to see Oliver standing not that far a distance from Malfoy, wand in aim.
“My, my, the Quidditch Captain has come to save the day again, has he?” Malfoy said smirking. I saw him place his hand on his wand. I began to get nervous again, not wanting a fight to break out.
“I’m going to say this once, and only once, Draco. Get out of here and leave her alone.” I saw pure fire and anger in his eyes as he said this. Draco finally, after a while of silence, turned and left, smirking as he departed.
“Are you alright?” Oliver asked, turning his attention to me as I continued to clench my neck.
“Yes,” I managed to say. “I’m fine.”
“Are you sure? I can’t have you hurt.” I saw that there was concern in his eyes. This came as a surprise to me. I had always liked Oliver so much more than a friend. I was one of the few people who actually got to see his soft side and it was because of this that made me fall for him in our first few years at Hogwarts. When he said that he couldn’t have you hurt, I tried not to overthink it...but at the same time, I couldn't help but wonder what those words exactly meant. I had always played it cool around him. Nothing more than friends I'd say to myself. However, what if he was feeling the same way? No. Impossible. Oliver Wood going for a girl like me? Ha. Never.... Right?
“Why did you do that?” I asked. “Why did you tell Draco to bug off?”
“Well, I couldn’t let him get away with my best Quidditch player!” Of course. I should have known it had something to do with Quidditch. He looked at me like it was a joke so I gave him a fake smile as he chuckled. I shared an awkward silence with him.
“Well, thanks,” I said after a while. “I should get back. Got to get ready for the Victory Party and all –”
“Of course, right,” he said interrupting me. I shared another awkward pause.
“Well, see ya’,” I said, leaving.
“Ah, Emma?” he called out to me. I stopped with one foot in the air and walked back to him backwards.
“And what would be on your mind now, my dear Oliver,” I said grinning at him. He smiled at this.
“I was actually wondering…ah…who you were going to the Victory Party with?” I was unprepared by this and didn’t know how to answer really.
“Ah…well…” I struggled for the words. “Fred and George actually.”
“BOTH?!” he asked with a scared expression on his face.
“Well, as friends, yes,” I clarified. There was a brief pause before we both started laughing.
“Right, of course, sorry. How stupid of me.”
“Now, hold on a minute there. Mr. Wood, you are by far one of the most intelligent, bright boys I have ever met in my life. You are by far not stupid at all, but quite brilliant in most circumstances,” I assured him.
“This just happens not to be one of those circumstances,” he said smiling at himself.
“Do you really want to argue with me, Oliver?” I was known at Hogwarts for my strong-will and that I always won when it came to an argument over something. I even got past some of the teachers because of my wit and quickness. He smiled at this.
“Well,” he began. “I’m not sure I can win over an argument with you.”
‘That’s right,’ I thought to myself. ‘No one ever beats Emma Blakely at her own game.’
“Unless,” he started again. “I so happen to convince you that your Quidditch skills are far more impressive than my smarts any day.” I laughed at this.
“However, my dear friend, we wouldn’t have the record nor the victory we have managed to receive if it weren’t for your completely brilliant plays and strategies that you have come up with or the decisions you had to make when our plays got bombarded by some screw up in the middle of a game,” I argued. He smirked at me to which I smiled.
“Alright, alright. We’re even,” he said smiling. I laughed at his expression and how I had won at yet another argument. He got closer to me, so close that he could just touch my waist and his hands wouldn’t be very far from his own body. Which is exactly what he did. I looked down at his muscular hands, feeling uncomfortable yet so secure. I looked slightly up to him and saw he was looking at me too.
“Well, almost…” he said moving in towards your face. Our eyes met and I got that uncomfortable feeling inside again.
“I…I should probably get going,” I said breaking away from his hold.
“Oh…uh, yeah, me too,” he replied. There was another awkward moment between us two.
“I guess I’ll see you tonight, then?” I asked as I turned to leave.
“Yeah, definitely,” he answered.
And with that I went straight to my dormitory to change and get ready for the night that awaited for Fred, George, and I.
* * * * *
I ran straight to my dorm to get ready for the Victory Party. I opened the door to find that everyone had already gone downstairs. The clock read 6:00 pm. There was no way I would be ready on time. The party started at sunset, 7, and I was meeting my friends at 6:45 down in the Common Room.
‘Well, not a minute to spare,’ I thought to myself.
I hopped in the shower, shortening it to about 7 minutes rather than 15. When I came out, I put on a gold sequin tank top and some coated black leggings. I put on some deodorant and a pair of black Jimmy Choo heels that made me just a few inches taller. I blow-dried my hair and then curled it, giving it lots of volume and sexiness. My make up consisted of the smoky eye with lots of eyeliner and lip gloss, and to make my look 100% complete, I put on the gold bracelet my dad had given me before coming to Hogwarts six years ago.
‘Well,’ I thought, examining myself in the mirror. ‘At least I tried.’
When I got to the common room, waiting for me was Fred, George, Angelina, Harry, Oliver and Katie.
“Wow,” Fred and George said in unison as I entered the room.
“Guys, it’s the same stuff I wear every day,” I said, laughing.
“Well, I must say you look really hot tonight,” Fred said. I hit him in the arm playfully and told him to shut up.
“You do look quite good, mate,” Oliver added. I smiled when he said that. I couldn’t help but feel tiny butterflies in my stomach. Okay, yes, it was true. I did have a small crush on Oliver Wood. Alright, it was a big crush. A crush that had developed over years of being on the team with Oliver, beginning in my third year. But, honestly, who didn’t?! He was perfect in every way – athletic, charming, gorgeous, and, unlike some of his other admirers, Oliver and I had a friendship that made me laugh…and I could trust him with anything. But that was the problem. It was a friendship. Nothing more, nothing less. And because he had so many other female “options” within the Hogwarts walls, I had accepted that I would just simply be friend-zoned forever. Still, a compliment – or even just a smirk or a smile from that gorgeous face – made my insides dance.
“Thanks,” I answered.
“Oh, c’mon now! Why doesn’t he get a blugger in the arm?” Fred whined.
“Would you like another one?” I threatened narrowing my eyes.
“You know, you’re quite good at making one shut up when you want them to,” Fred said, supposedly complimenting me, but all in all just trying to change the subject. Everyone just laughed and I did, in fact, hit him in the arm again.
“Well, we best be going if we’re going to get to the party in time,” Harry said looking at his watch. Everyone agreed and I left, walking next to Oliver. I was about to exit the room when I heard my name.
“Oy, Emma?” Fred called. I turned to him. “C’mere.” He motioned for me to come near him. I did as he said and noticed that he kept looking around the room like mad, playing with his fingers. He was fidgeting – which was not at all like him.
“You ok?” I said noticing this.
“Uh, yeah, I’m fine. Just…fine,” he said avoiding eye contact with me.
“What do you need then?” I asked.
“I –“ he started, turning his head to me. He looked to me and our eyes met. I forgot how big and beautiful his eyes were. So bold and green. I could almost get lost in his eyes. They took me to a different world. I loved that about them. I almost did get lost until he turned away.
“Nothing,” he finished. “Nothing, just…nevermind. It wasn’t that important.”
“You sure?” I asked. He kept fidgeting and it was bothering me a whole lot now. I knew he wasn’t ok, that something was on his mind. I hated not knowing.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. You go on down. I’ll meet you there,” he said.
“Aren’t you coming?” I wondered.
“Yeah, ‘course,” he said. “Just gonna stay up here for a little while, k?” I was still concerned and he must have seen it in me or something.
“I’m fine,” he reassured me. “Now go before they wonder what’s taking so long.” I wasn’t convinced but I let it go.
‘He said it wasn’t that big of a deal anyway,’ I told myself as I left. ‘He’s ok.’ However, before I disappeared completely, I looked back from the doorway and saw him standing there, still fidgeting.
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