Chapter 2 : The Merlinforsaken Dive
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Here's chapter two! It's currently un-beta'd, but I'll get to that soon. Also, quick disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, Bonnie and Clyde, Romeo and Juliet or June and Johnny Cash :)
- Shannon L. Alder
I really envied my best friend. She was smart, funny, tall, tan... Basically everything I wasn't. She was also pretty and well aware of it. How could you not be aware of it when you have people telling you everyday? The only person who ever told me that I'm pretty was Potter, and he was clearly lying.
I had a theory that to Potter this was some kind of seven-year-long Cat and Mouse game. Of course he was only interested because I kept turning him down. Why else would he be interested in me? I'm not the kind of girl that boys fall for.
I stared at Jess and Sirius, not caring that I looked like a complete creeper. They were a cute couple, perfect for each other, really. The two of them were sitting at Sirius's table in the potions classroom, waiting for class to start. This was routine. Jess and Sirius would flirt and be cute at Sirius's table, Potter would get to class with minutes to spare and then decide to spend those minutes annoying me, then Slughorn would amble into the room as though he weren't late already and then he'd start the class. That's when Jess would come back to my table, and Potter would leave me alone.
"Hey, Red," Potter said brightly, dumping his books on the table next to me. I ignored him and stared straight ahead, trying to keep my teeth-grinding to a minimum. "Can you hear me?" he asked, sounding genuinely concerned and leaning his head across my line of vision.
"Hello, Potter," I sighed. He smiled with content. Apparently he'd decided to stare at me, rather than harass me with questions.
(Note my sarcasm.)
Slughorn strolled into the room, late as usual, and knocked over a glass vial on the way to the front. With a lazy flick of his wand, the shattered glass had rebuilt itself. Unfortunately, the liquid was not replaced; it remained in a bubbling puddle, eating away at the tiled floor. Slughorn actually concentrated this time and the potion vanished, too.
"Good morning class. I have something very special in store for you all today," Slughorn announced.
With panic, I looked over to see why Jessica wasn't coming over. She was deep in a whispered conversation with Sirius and wasn't paying attention to much else.
Slughorn scanned the class before nodding. "Hm, yes, these pairings will do, I think."
"Looks like it's you and me, Evans! Us against the world! I'll be the Clyde to your Bonnie, the Romeo to your Juliet, the Johnny Cash to your June, the-"
"Shut up," I interrupted, not even looking at him.
I pulled out my parchment and quill, scribbling rows of diamonds in the margin while Slughorn wrote on the board. Potter was flicking through his text book aimlessly, stopping on random potions before switching the page again. It sent little tufts of air at me at random intervals, and it was beyond annoying. I tried to ignore him but then a thought crossed my mind.
"How did you know that stuff?" I asked. "It's Muggle."
Potter's brow creased. "What stuff?"
"The June and Johnny Cash, Bonnie and Clyde, Romeo and Juliet. It's all Muggle stuff."
He shrugged. "I did my research. Now we can have an actual conversation about something other than my prattiness or your perfectness."
I rolled my eyes and decided to ignore him, turning back to my page. Running my finger down the list of ingredients, I made a mental note on which vials to grab from the cupboard and walked away from the desk. Taking care to be sure I'd measured the correct amounts of the ingredients, I pursed my lips and knelt down so I was close to the scales as I spooned crushed batwing fly into the little bowl on the scales.
"Need a hand?"
I jumped and crushed fly went all over the floor. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before turning around to glare at Potter. "Yes, actually. Clean this up and then leave, would you?"
He pursed his lips like he was fighting back a retort, but he did as I ordered anyway.
Why did I have to get stuck with him. Why could Jess not have moved to sit next to me? Why did Potter have to be so obsessed with me? Couldn't he have turned his attention on a poor, naive girl who would actually appreciate it? I can't even walk the halls anymore without some charmed flower materializing in front of me, or a first year appearing from behind a tapestry telling me that he had a message from 'Lord Potter'.
Maybe it was because I shoved his infatuation to the side. Because I didn't pay any attention to it or swoon and sigh like all the other idiots here would, perhaps I was some stupid quest or something. A game of Cat and Mouse, where he was a horribly annoying, determined stray and I was the poor, innocent little field mouse who was being chased for no reason other than because the cat could.
But the worst thing of all was that I had agreed to this stupid bet. If only I wasn't so competitive, I could have just walked away and spared myself this whole mess. I could have spent my nights reading a nice book in the best armchair the common room had to offer, rather than invisibly watching Potter like a professional stalker. It had always bothered me when those pathetic fourth years would follow Potter around the halls and take sneaky photographs by hiding their cameras in their shirts, the lens sneaking out from underneath their armpits or poking out of a button whole. Thanks to this bet, I was no better than they were, if not worse! Granted, I was doing this for a valid, reasonable cause.
I shoved Potter's hand away as he was about to sprinkle some UBP (unidentifiable black powder) into the cauldron. I sighed, fully aware that this would be a long potions lesson.
"Ready?" Jess asked, holding the diary at her chest, the front cover facing me. She was grinning and waving it in my general direction as though this was something I should be excited for.
"No," I deadpanned.
She sighed but the smile still lingered on her face. "Oh come on! I tested it earlier and it was fine."
I furrowed my eyebrows. "Wait, when did you test it?"
"While I was 'getting ingredients from the potions cupboard'. I was standing right behind you and you had absolutely no idea."
I raised an eyebrow but brushed it off. "Pfft, no you weren't. I would have known somehow."
"Bonnie and Clyde," she stated, as though this proved her point... which it sort of did. "You got to hand it to Remus- he's good."
I groaned and slumped forward. "Fine. Let's just get this over with."
Jessica squeaked excitedly and set the journal on the floor of the dorm. With a flick of her wand, she locked the door so no-one could come in and try to steal or break into the journal while we were inside.
"Ready?" she asked again, pointing her wand at the little padlock binding the leather cover closed.
I sighed. "As I'll ever be."
The second she had muttered the incantation, the journal burst open. The pages flipped of their own accord as though some wild gust of wind was blowing through the dormitory. It stopped and the book fell flat, directly in the blank center pages.
The paper was thick and yellowed and old, like this diary was from years and years ago. I could picture ink blots and linked words hastily scribbled, T's uncrossed and I's undotted. Jess and I watched it with baited breath, waiting for something to happen. The book just sat there, empty and blank.
"Maybe it's faulty?" I suggested, leaning closer to it warily. My heart thumping nervously, (I wasn't sure if it would explode or something,) I pressed my fingertips to the left page as Jess did the same to the right. It felt just like normal, old paper.
At the same time, Jess and I ripped our hands away as though the paper burned. Black ink appeared on the page like it was soaking through from the other side. Slowly, in old-fashioned print, it formed the words:
Enter, Lily Evans and Jessica Maynard.
I shot Jess a suspicious glare which she mirrored, before gently placing my hand on the paper again. Much to my surprise, it slipped right through.
It felt incredibly strange, like there was a thin film around my wrist where the paper should have been. I groped around with my hand, but felt nothing. It felt a cool breeze on my hand, that did not come from the dorm, and I gulped, slightly afraid of what I was getting myself into.
With a deep breath, I squeezed my eyes closed and shoved my arms into the paper, followed by the rest of my body.
To he completely honest, going head-first was probably not the best idea. At least I knew for the next time.
I landed flat on my back, blades of grass poking the back of my neck. I pushed myself onto my elbows just in time to be flattened again. Jess fell from what was apparently the sky, landing directly on top of me with an "Oof!" I groaned and shoved her off me, looking around.
Of course we were on the Quidditch Pitch. Where else would we have been? After all, Quidditch had always been Potter's thing, so we shouldn't had been surprised.
I turned to glare at Jess, my hands firmly planted on my hips. "Are you kidding me? We could have just joined the fanclub instead!" I cried, pointing at a couple of irritating fourth years on the bleachers. "But instead we had to turn ourselves invisible and fall from the sky."
She rolled her eyes. "It's more fun this way, Lily, and you know it!"
I ignored her and marched towards the bleachers, my arms folded across my chest. Slumping against the next level, I glared at her as she approached.
"And what do you think you're doing?" she asked, amusement on her face.
I scowled at her. "Watching Potter train the newbie like I'm supposed to."
"Nuh-uh; we're taking advantage off this invisibility and untouchable thing," she told me, pulling me up again. "We're going to get the best seats in the house."
Trying not to roll my eyes, I followed Jessica to where Potter and the new member of the team had landed on the grassy bottom of the pitch.
"The only thing you need to work on is your speed, so we'll do a couple of laps of the pitch, yeah? Your throwing is pretty good and your reflexes can be worked on in practice tomorrow night. All you need to do, is keep up with me," Potter instructed.
"Quickly, get on!" Jess commanded as Potter and the new Chaser mounted their brooms. Jess climbed on behind Savannah Reed, the Chaser in training. I gaped at her, not knowing what else to do.
"Hurry up!" she hissed.
Swallowing my pride, I climbed onto the back of Potter's broom (something I never wish to do again) a moment before he kicked off.
The feeling of flying was incredible. Terrifying, but incredible. Cool wind whipped at my hair as we swooped and swerved, chasing Savannah and Jess across the pitch.
"Are you ready for the real round now?" Potter called to Savannah, shouting to be heard over the air whooshing past our ears.
"What do you mean 'real round'? I thought this was-"
Before Savannah could finish her sentence, Potter tilted the point of the broom ever so slightly downward so the broom was completely horizontal, and we were speeding away faster than I thought possible.
I threw my arms tightly around Potter, hanging on for dear life, and somewhere in the back of my mind I marveled over the fact that he had absolutely no idea that I was here.
I wondered what he'd do of he knew I was here?
I wondered what he'd do if Remus' charm wore off by mistake and I suddenly materialized on the back of his broomstick?
I'd have a lot of questions to answer, that's for sure.
Savannah did a great job of sticking to Potter's tail; she swerved and summersaulted and rolled and dipped. She was almost always directly behind him until the dive.
The merlinforsaken dive.
We'd been cruising at a speed where the trees on the edge of the forest had all turned into on big blur of green and brown. I could occasionally catch a glimpse of a person or two in the stands watching Savannah's training and I wondered what they would do if they could see me. While I was busy thinking about what would happen if Potter lost control of the broom and careened into the bleachers or commentators box, I should have been mentally preparing myself for the next move Potter was about to make.
I'd seen him do this before in the multiple Quidditch matches Jess had dragged me along to, yet I'd never have excepted it to feel like this. We were going on a nice, steady (albeit a little fast) horizontal path, when suddenly- and with no warning at all!- Potter tilts the broom forward into a perfect nosedive.
I screamed as we barreled towards the ground. Potter's knuckles where white as he gripped the broomstick and my arms were wrapped around his torso with the force of an iron-vice grip. Jaw clenched, one eye peeking open, I awaited my death with my heart in my throat.
If we were to crash or I were to fall off the broom right now, would I be injured like Potter would? I mean, I know I'm still me and not a ghost or anything, but I'm still inside a charmed book, so technically, I don't even know if I'm really here or it's all just an illusion.
It was like Potter was daring Savannah to pull out of the nose-dive. Like a game of Chicken- the first person to back out loses. He was challenging her to stay in the nose-dive but we both knew she would pull up before he did.
About ten feet from the ground, Savannah glanced between the pitch and Potter a few times before shaking her head and yanking the handle of the broomstick up before she hit the ground. As a result of the sharp motion, she and Jess were thrown off the broom.
Just as the tip of Potter's broom was about to make contact with the sandy pitch ground, he yanked it upwards with more control than Savannah, narrowly avoiding a gruesome, splattery death. The toes of my shoes dragged through the sand as Potter glided to where Savannah sat in the sand.
"Nice job. Just hold it a little longer next time," he suggested to her.
Savannah gaped at him. "Are you kidding? You nearly just killed yourself when- I mean, yes Captain."
He eased up on his I'm-The-Leader glare and motioned for her to follow him into the locker room.
"We can't follow them in there! We're not on the team!" I hissed to Jess.
She rolled her eyes and followed them anyway.
"What if they're gong to snog!" I tried, grabbing her arm.
She shot me a skeptical look. "Yeah, not while you're alive."
I rolled my eyes and followed her into the locker room, checking over my shoulder every now and then as though someone would catch us. Jess had to keep reminding me that we were invisible.
The stench of the locker rooms hit me like a forcefield. It was like walking into a hot oven full of dirty socks, aftershave and body odor. I gagged and Jess rolled her eyes at me.
Potter stopped at the chalk board on the wall and turned to Savannah, who was seated by the lockers. He briefly explained some points to her and drew a couple of diagrams on the board. Basically, I didn't listen to what he was saying because I lost interest after about thirty seconds.
After the boring explanation, Savannah smiled and stood up to leave, grabbing her bag out of the locker behind her. I vaguely wondered how she was still awake, but I let it pass. I was about to suggest to Jess that we go back to our dorm and get out of this diary, but then Sirius appeared, seemingly out of nowhere.
As in, he literally just materialized in front of us like he'd taken off some sort of concealment charm.
"She any good?" he asked.
Potter shrugged and I averted my eyes awkwardly as he pulled his sweaty shirt off.
"She's a strong flier. With a bit of training, she'll be great," Potter answered. I heard a locker door close and I peeked up, assuming he was fully clothed.
Sirius nodded in agreement, leaning against the lockers with his hands in the pockets of his robe. After a few minutes of quiet, Potter picked up his Quidditch bag and slung it over his shoulder.
"Are we going to go to Hogsmeade tonight?" Sirius asked and I frowned dissaprovingly. Not only did they break the rules, but they did it with a blatant disregard for all authority.
Potter shook his head and I raised my eyebrows at his rare use of common sense. "I can't. I'm watching Evans."
I stopped mid-step and turned to stare at the both of then.
Sirius frowned slightly. "C'mon Prongs, you know she's not going to like that."
Yes, Potter. Listen to your friend.
"No but she wants me to. See, she's sort of like the other girls, but she's different."
"How so?" Sirius asked, pushing the door of the locker rooms open.
"She's different because she's, well... Evans. But she's going to come begging soon enough, just like they all do."
Sirius shot Potter a look before continuing up the path back to the castle, but it wasn't going to be that easy.
I pulled my wand out of my pocket and pointed it at Potter, but Jess quickly grabbed my wrist.
"What are you doing?!" she cried angrily.
"Let go of me so I can hex the bastard!"
"No!" she snapped. "You know how wrong it is to hex someone who can't defend themselves."
I glared at her, knowing she was right, but not willing to admit it.
"Get me out of here," I ordered, and she did.
With a muttered incantation, we were thrown (rather violently) from the pages of the diary. It slammed shut and the leather cover locked itself again.
I walked into the bathroom, muttering about how Potter is stupid and arrogant and downright annoying. From back in the dorm, I heard Jess sigh and collapse onto her bed.
When she spoke, her voice was muffled by her pillow. "Bloody Potter. If he keeps this up, I'm never going to win the bet."
Damn right, you won't.