Chapter 5 : Heathen Yells
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Rae is mine, though, and if you take her I will take your soul.
Rae's Point of View
"So I figured we might be able to study some after the game tonight, and you can come back to the Gryffindor common room. Sound good? Rae?"
I shook my head clear. "Sorry. That sounds good, but I haven't a clue where your common room is."
'I'll take you, no worries." Rose smiled and smoothed her headband back. "Are you nervous about the exam on Monday?"
I bit my lip. Rose was really nervous and I didn't want her to freak out and think she was over thinking. Panicking was not Rose's forte. "Yeah, loads. But if we don't go to lunch now, you may as well gag me with a spoon cause I won't be able to sit through the Quidditch match without it."
She laughed and I stood up. "I'll leave you here Rose, hurry."
She grabbed my sleeve and crammed books into her bag while she stood up and we ambled out of the library. "Alright, now in the homework, on page 47-"
Rose!" My heart started to accelerate. Stop it, I told it. Al sauntered up and wrapped an arm securely around her shoulders. "Just take a second and not study. Sound good?" He looked at me and my heart spun. "Hey Rae. You guys going to the game? The Ravens and the Gryffies?" He smiled, all white teeth.
I pulled my jacket close around me. "Yeah, are you?" I answered as the three of us fell in step together.
"Of course!" He replied, all the enthusiasm of a candy addicted five year old inside Honeydukes. "Couldn't miss a match like this. Even in the cold."
Rose nodded. "I almost want to skip it, the wind is freezing." She shook her head.
"I love it." They looked at me. "The cold? Autumn's my favorite."
"Maybe I'll sit with you guys at the game-combine body heat. Huddle like penguins." His laugh was deep.
We chuckled as he sprinted to the Slytherin table in the Great Hall and we settled at the end of the Gryffindor table. The clouds spread out like a sheet.
By the end of lunch, everyone was bundled with scarves looking like crazed snow people or maybe like we were going out into a blizzard as opposed to a match. I pulled my sleeves over my hands and tucked them in my pockets. My hair blew uncomfortably and I frowned.
"What's wrong?" Rose was carefully buttoning up her coat, walking fast. Ignoring my non-reply, she grabbed my elbow and pulled me ahead to run in front of everyone else. "We have to get good seats!" she shouted while we ran. We managed to sink down in the high rows near the middle of the pitch, after a bit of fighting and pushing and yelling like heathens. Well, in Rose's case, her heathen yell sounded like the graceful call of a lioness, but mine was a heathen yell. I'm surprised barbarians didn't hear it and come running. We slanted in the seats and the commentator, Sam Bronx, started up, yakking a mile a minute, like he was auctioning off the players as they came out.
Al joined us then, sitting on my right, with Rose on my left. She nudged me viciously and winked ridiculously when Justice Smith sauntered onto the field, strong jawed and clutching his broom.
"Shut your gob." I muttered, but smiled anyways. Inside jokes were things I rarely had.
About 10 minutes later, I'd lost the trail of the game and, while Al and Rose cheered insanely, I sat and wondered why Sam Bronx talked like it was going out of style.
"Lost, eh?" His breath tickled my ear.
I shook my head. "Um, so that number 6 guy with the funky hair on the Gryffindor posts let two goals go in and then the Ravenclaw number 12 ran into the number 19 Gryffindor so they got a penalty and then they uh, hit the one ball at the Ravenclaw post guy and he almost fell but then they got back up and everyone started cheering because they were charmed by the Gryffindors so they'd believe that the Gryffindors won when they were really distracted by the Ravenclaw keeper. And, quite possibly aliens were involved somewhere too." I tilted my head. "Mind you, that's just like, a guesstimation."
Al looked at me, his face breaking into a smile piece by piece. "Close, basically-" But then, everyone started screeching and we were pushed into standing up whilst people attacked each other with hugs and Rose wrapped her arms around me and yelled and then grabbed Al with her other arm and we were all smushed and oomfphed against each other in a kind of a mash of human joy. I heard Sam announcing Gryffindor's quick victory but my mind was on Al's chest right against my cheek.
Quickly, I was pushed along with the crowd into the castle, along the yellow brick road, and through a portrait hole into a red and gold bannered, loud, warm room. People were cheering, sloshing beverages, music was playing so loudly it made your ears burn. But it was magnificent, at least until I lost Rose's arm looped through mine and I was completely alone in the room full of yelling people. I clutched my butterbeer, that one of Rose's cousins had pushed into my hands with a painted face. The Spells' biggest hit blasted on and I cringed. People scrambled for the makeshift dance floor and I was pushed onto a staircase. I didn't know where it led but I did know this: it was quiet, no one was probably there, and my head could stop spinning. I sped up in, then wondered why I was running. Who's eyes were on me anyway?
They were dorms, numbered by year. I entered Year 5, hoping maybe I could sit on Rose's bed and read. I pushed the knob and was met by the sights of beds covered in clothes and shoes and books. It smelled slightly raunchy and I turned around in a circle, away from the bathroom. The boys' dorm. How lovely. Oh well. It was deserted and as good a place as ever to rest where you couldn't hear the horrid heap of voices known as the Spells.
A picture of Rose caught my eye. Rose, in a coat, with her brother and a few random family members I could never remember the names of, stumbling among trees and fallen leaves. It was pinned against the bed board of the 3rd bed. I stepped closer and sat on the edge of the bed. An array of pictures were tacked on the wall, with numberless faces grinning and twirling and laughing. Al's face beamed at me from a bustling dining room, a green Quidditch pitch, and various other Sentimental Places. I smiled a little when I saw him standing a few feet behind Rose, giving her bunny ears. It was so retro that none but Al could still look Hip and Cool whilst doing it.
I moved the curtain by the window back and the rain blew against the window and the pane was cool to the touch. I pulled open the window, letting the moist wind blow against my neck. I was burning up. My eyes were drawn toward a picture of four boys I'd never seen before but one looked vaguely familiar. Messy black hair, glasses, arms thrown around three of his friends who laughed together. It couldn't be Al's father could it..?
"Why do you have the window open? It's freezing in here." I jumped higher than a bunny on steroids.
"Al, you scared the…" I turned around and he stood a few feet away, with his hair waving in a billion different directions, a bottle in his hands, and, thankfully, no girl hanging off his shoulder. It was just him.
"What are you looking at? That one's my favorite, personally." He sat down beside me on the bed and laid his fingers against a photo of him locking Rose in a noogie when they were younger. Some things never change. I smiled.
"Oh, this one," I pointed lightly, "who are they?"
He cleared his throat. "That's my grandfather and his friends. Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and-" His voice was harder now.
"Peter Pettigrew." I finished for him. The facts turned over and over in my mind-Peter the man who betrayed James and Lily Potter to Voldemort and caused them to…And there he was, smiling right beside him. I turned my head away from the picture, and onto Al's face. He was looking at the lamp.
My fingers brushed his and I hesitantly lay them on top of his. I bit my lip. This was totally Unknown Territory. . I didn't know how to do this. I'm not a Flirt With Guys type of girl.
He brushed his fingers back over mine.
"Success with what?" His eyebrows moved together.
Whoops. "Uh, I just want to make you feel better?" It wasn't meant to come out as a question but it did anyway.
His smile slowly grew and it took up his face. "You always make me feel better, Rae." He leaned back against the back of his bed. "You don't even have to try."
Really? "Uh…cool." What was I supposed to say? F'sho, yo! I was totally out of my comfort zone.
"Are you sure you're okay?" I asked instead.
He leaned in to me. "Yeah, I'm just…I've got a headache. Everyone downstairs, you know."
I laughed. "Yeah, I know. Plus the Spells that they're constantly playing. I mean, ugh."
He threw his head back. His fingers were still on mine. They were tracing circles. "You're great, you know? And the only girl I've met who doesn't like them. Well, besides Rose. She doesn't much like music."
I cleared my throat. He was kind of close to my face. "Where is she, by the way?"
"Actually, I think she left the party to study." He rolled his eyes.
"I better go find her."
I stood up. What did I say now? I felt like apologizing.
Sorry for being a total suck-bummer-drag. See ya!
"Bye." I mumbled instead and wandered down the stairs, threw the pulsing crowd, and outside. I sighed. What was it about fifth year?
"Rae? Rae, did you hear me?"
"No." I looked away from the snowy window to Rose and her vibrant hair, out of place among the dusty books. "What'd you say?"
"Were you even listening?" She opened a book with a condescending gaze and dust billowed out into a cloud.
"It's practically winter break, mon cherie. I haven't been listening to much at all lately." I answered, tapping my quill against my nose.
"We've got one more day! And if I know Professor McGonagell, she's sure to give us tons of homework for break."
"That old Trelawney fraud could have predicted that." I said.
Rose rolled her eyes and scribbled something on her parchment. "Anyways, I was just wondering whether or not you'd asked your parents about you staying with me over Christmas break."
Oh, that. I still hadn't told Rose about my lack of parents. There were too many reactions she'd give off and I didn't like any of them. Example:
Sympathetic: Oh my God! You don't have any parents, I'm so sorry! *squeals, hugs*
Condescending: *snort* Wow, your parents abandoned you? No surprise…
Jealous: Oh my God, that's like so cool! You don't have to take crap from anyone! I wish I was alone and deemed homeless when I turn 18!
Snobby: Oh, I'm sorry about that. Really I am. But on a totally different note, don't you think it's time we stop hanging out so much? Like cut down on the chilling…like completely.
So you must understand my dilemma. I didn't want pity or anything. It's better to avoid her questions and not bring it up. I could listen to tales and woes from her about her parents for ages and ages and never ever get bored but one question, one "what about yours?", and I'm frozen, shut up like a clam. I didn't lie. I just didn't tell her the whole story. It was like propaganda, like we learned in History of Magic. Also, something about a vampire and werewolf war? Or was that something I saw in London? Oh well. They're both terribly irrelevant.
When Rose first asked me to spend Christmas break with her, I was shocked and flattered and worried. I was awkward and at best I could be possibly mistaken for charming. But how was I supposed to act around her parents? They were famous, celebrated, renowned. And apparently, they had a Christmas party and the entire clan, army, family was coming out. That meant Harry and Ginny Potter. The saver of the wizarding world. That's enough to make anyone shake with fear, uncertainty, and I-am-not-worthy-ness, right? But with Harry Potter, you get Al Potter too.
Butterflies? Just add Al.
One thing about me-I hate having crushes on people. They're pointless and useless and shouldn't even be allowed, unless the person you have a crush on has a crush on you and they're willing to let you know how they feel so you admit your feelings and then they'll realize that it's okay to love a loser like you.
But that's just my opinion.
Anyways, I wrote the caretaker, Mrs. Phan, that I wouldn't be around this year, and I was staying with a friend. I wasn't missing much. Reheated chicken nuggets on Christmas eve and pancakes Christmas morning, after praying that Santa really was real and would leave presents under the plastic, ages old Christmas tree in the den, even though you're 15. When you woke up, all that was under there was some hope and a card from Mrs. Phan and, sometimes, if you were lucky, there'd be an invitation to a couple wanting to meet you prior to adopting you. I never got one. I wasn't the oldest at the orphanage, but I had been there the longest. The little kids came and went, the preteens blinked their way through interviews and the few teens that had been older than me quickly turned 18 and were free. They weren't property of the government anymore.
I remembered hugging Al at the match, his sweater against my hair. If a Quidditch match was something to celebrate, wouldn't Christmas be a reason to hug me? Isn't that a friendly-buddy-pal-hey kind of thing?
I thought of him at a party.
In a button down.
In a suit.
I bit my lip and looked at the snow.
Should I learn how to dance?
"Rae, what about dancing? What did your parents say?" Rose nudged me with her quill.
"I can come. And I know how to dance already anyways."
"Really?" She had a smile on her face but her eyebrows were pulled together in disbelief.
"Yeah, I do a wicked sprinkler."
Hey y'all. Sorry, it's been so long, I'm a horrid person, I know I know. I've been working on this for a while, which is a real shame since it isn't very good. I apologize. I just need you, HPFF and my lovely lovely shagadelic radical reviewers! Mwah! Peace. -Casey
Also, I probably will not be posting a new chapter in November, because I'm doing nanowrimo, which is TOTALLY AWESOME and if you don't know what it is, check it out. It's totally pudding and if you've done it before, tell me about it and give me tips! This is my first year ;) Thank you lovies! -Case