I managed to get to my dorm without bursting into tears. Why couldn't I have a stress-free, threat-free life? Why was I cursed like this?
I flung myself onto my bed and let the tears run down my face, smearing my eyeliner down my cheeks. Why was it always me?
I sat there for a few minutes, crying, until I realised that it was fifteen minutes until tryouts started and it took ten minutes to get down to the Quidditch pitch. I jumped up and began to scrub the make-up off my face.
"Zabini, where have you been? Tryouts started five minutes ago." When Scorpius was in Captain mode, he didn't call you by your first name, even if you were his friend and snog buddy. He called you by your last name, or if you were really in trouble, by your position. I wasn't in that much trouble yet, so I got Zabini instead of First Beater.
"Sorry, Captain, got caught up. I fucking hate Albus Potter." Everyone grunted in agreement.
"Fortunately for you, Zabini, we're still working through stage one. Get your flying robes on and get out there."
I trudged to the change rooms, which had been cleaned especially for the tryouts. You know, to give the new member of the Green and Silver Quidditch Squad of Domination and Awesomeness, known to the other less amazing houses as the Slytherin Quidditch Team. I threw open my locker and grabbed out my robes, which had the house emblem on the left breast and my name and number on the back. Zabini, 2. Scorpius, being the Captain and the only other person who'd been on the team as long as me, was 1. I closed my locker again and slid my robes on over my very stylish tight black outfit.
Time to find the next member of the best team in Hogwarts.
I grabbed my broom and flew out of the change rooms, blatantly ignoring every safety talk we'd ever gotten from Jasmine's older brother when he was Captain.
Stupid Kyle. Quidditch wasn't about safety, it was about smashing your foe's heads in and using them as Quaffles.
Okay, maybe less violent than that.
So much for that. We were half an hour in, had gone through a third of the people who'd shown up and only two had any talent, and it wasn't that much. Most of the girls had just screamed when Scorpius made eye contact with them, or brushed his hair out of his forehead, or breathed a little louder than usual. Fucking fangirls. The men had all bragged to their friends they were going to get the spot, and that after that, they'd ask girls out on dates and they would swoon at their feet. Then they'd actually gotten on a broom and hardly lifted off the ground.
The two who'd shown a little promise were a fourth-year named Pauline Montague who had a problem with acne and kept scratching her head, and a third-year who's name I couldn't remember who had probably never had a shower in her life.
The twelfth and thirteenth group lifted up into the air. Well, some of them. Half of them fell off their brooms before they even got off the ground. One of the kids seemed to know their way around a broom. I watched as he zoomed around, throwing the Quaffle to Duncan. Duncan passed it to Jason, who passed it to another kid. The kid dropped it, but before the Quaffle could fall more than a foot, the first boy had scooped it up and thrown it back to Jason. I looked at him closer. He had curly black hair which kept going into his eyes, and tanned skin. His eyes were grey.
Oh fuck no. Not him.
Scorpius summoned them down to the ground. "Okay, you, you, you and you leave. Sorry, but you guys have no talent whatsoever. You two, you can stay." The four second-years he'd sent off scampered off, much like rabbits. The remaining boy and girl, both fifth-years, looked at Scorpius. I tugged on his arm. "Captain, you can't possibly be considering him." Scorpius rolled his eyes. "Why not?"
"Because he's the brother that broke my arm in first-year. Remember him?"
My brother stepped forward. "So, when do I get my robes?"
Scorpius held up a hand. "Now, don't get hasty..."
"Ricky. My name's Ricky."
"Thank you, Ricky. You two still have two phases to go through first. Now, what's your name?"
The girl looked up from the ground, meeting Scorpius' eyes with - were those violet eyes? That was so not possible. "Lydia Pucey, sir. I hope I'm alright."
Scorpius smiled gently. "You're more than alright. You and Ricky are the only ones so far who've actually shown enough talent for me to work with. Now, you guys stay here until the other people finish up."
I mounted my broom and flew up to watch the last few groups try their best to get into the team.
The last groups had no one who had enough talent to get into phase two, so it was skipped and we moved straight on to phase three. Jasmine and I were circling while Duncan, Jason, Ricky and Lydia threw to each other. A solitary Bludger zoomed around the pitch, doing its best to knock everyone off their brooms. It had almost got me a few minutes ago, but I managed to dodge. None of the potential Chasers had been knocked of yet, and Ricky was getting quite a few goals. Scorpius flew over to me, doing a barrel roll to avoid the Bludger. I hit it towards Ricky. Stupid prat dodged it and winked at me. Scorpius glanced at me.
"I think we should pick Ricky."
I stared at him. "Ricky? Really? He's a masochistic twat who likes to break people's arms and burn ants for fun. Do you really think he's best for this team?"
Scorpius rolled his eyes. "It was probably an accident. He's the best person for this team. His flying style fits in well with all of us. Lydia can be reserve Chaser, Merlin knows we need one of them."
I grumbled and flew over to the Chaser group. "Ricky, you're in. Lydia, reserve. That means if Duncan, Jason or Ricky get sick, injured, die or leave us for another team, you'll be playing."
Ricky chuckled. "If we get sick, injured, die or leave? I don't plan on doing any of those things, sister dearest."
I flipped him off. Fucking arm breaker. I couldn't fly for two whole months because of him.
The team floated down to the ground. Jasmine brushed a wild copper curl out of her eyes and rested her club on her shoulder. "We done here? Who got in?"
Scorpius nodded. "Zabini got in. We're going to have to figure out how it'll work, having two Zabini's on the team. Could get confusing."
Duncan smiled a little. "That's an understatement. One Zabini is confusing enough." I punched him lightly on the shoulder.
Ricky smirked. "You could just call me R.Z. That'll work, right?"
Scorpius grunted, which usually meant okay. Duncan and Jason looked at each other, nodded once and grabbed Ricky from the waist, carrying him into the change rooms. Scorpius ran after them, shouting something about not hurting him. Jasmine, Lydia and I exchanged a look and started to run after them.
Men. If women weren't around they'd all be killing each other and putting forks in toasters trying to get bagels out.
Within ten minutes of us all going into the lockers, it was dirty again. There was grass all over the floor and chalk dust covered the walls from where the boys had drawn inappropriate pictures all over the walls and Scorpius had wiped them away. We were sitting on some emerald and silver cushions while Scorpius drew tactics on the board. Ricky was charming his name onto his new robes: R. Zabini, 7. I was putting a T onto my own robes, all the while glaring at my brother.
Stupid twat. Didn't even have that much talent. Probably used performance-enhancing potions.
Scorpius coughed at us delicately, the way you do when you want to get someone's attention. "Okay, ladies, gentlemen and Duncan." Duncan flipped him off. Scorpius ignored it and continued. "I'd like to welcome our new Chaser Ricky Zabini, and our reserve, Lydia Pucey!"
There was applause. Lydia blushed, curling a bit of chocolate brown hair around her finger and looking away. Ricky, on the other hand, stood and bowed, conjuring a bouquet of flowers to hand to Scorpius.
Maybe I wasn't the only Zabini who liked amateur dramatics. Hmm.
Scorpius changed the flowers into confetti and threw it up into the air. "Okay, that's basically all the celebrations we're going to have. Now, we have to get down to business. First off, team rules. Show up for every practice, unless you have detention or are critically ill. Colds don't count, and never do throat tickles. Try not to get detentions. There's a team meeting two months before every game, and we've already had our first one. The second one is in two weeks, before the Gryffindor game. That's basically it. Okay, you can pack up now!"
I yawned and turned to Jasmine. "No celebrations? What is this, Ravenclaw?"
Jasmine smiled wickedly. "Maybe we should throw our own party. You up to it?"
"Tomorrow night, eight o'clock, in the dorm. I'll bring the drinks and food, you get decorations."
We bumped fists and went to our lockers to clean up.
Two hours after the tryouts ended, I was pacing my dorm room trying to make a flock of birds appear from my wand. Fucking Transfiguration, fucking Avis charm. I tried again and made...a single yellow feather.
Fucking hell. How much effort did it take to make a fucking bird?
Apparently a fair fucking bit.
I waved my wand again, thinking the spell as hard as I could. They just had to make it nonverbal as well. Thanks a fucking lot.
A single chirp sounded and a few feathers floated out of my wand. I threw myself onto my bed.
I broke off at a cough. I looked up and saw Scorpius, which surprised me enough to sit straight up and gasp extremely quietly.
"Scorpius? How did you get in? Who brought you here?"
He shrugged awkwardly. "Sarah. She just brought me up here and then bolted. Probably knew she'd get hexed."
"Why would I hex her?"
"Because you don't want to see me, that's why." That caught my attention. I stood up and looked him straight in his eyes, green meeting grey.
"What would give you that idea, Scorpius?"
He raised a brow. "Maybe the fact you keep avoiding me, and whenever I ask you what it is, you clam up. You don't want us to be snog buddies, do you?"
I took an involuntary step back, hands raised. "I never said that! It's nothing to do with you, I swear!"
"Oh yeah? Then why are you looking so nervous right now?"
"Look, it has nothing to do with you. So just leave it, please."
Scorpius stepped forward, making me step back into the alcove where I usually read a little before I went to bed each night. "No, I won't leave it. You're my...honestly, I don't know what you are anymore, but I like you a lot. As a friend and as something more, so don't fucking shut me out of your life!"
I pressed myself against the window as he moved even closer. "I have been your friend for six years. I have liked you for two of those years, and it has only taken a week for you to decide that I am no longer someone you can go to with your problems. What is wrong, Taylor? Why won't you tell me what is fucking wrong?!"
We were inches away from each other by now, me pressed up against the window very uncomfortably, and him staring at me with steely eyes. I did the only thing I could think off to get me out of it.
I kissed him.
He stiffened for a few seconds before actually snogging me back, hands on my waist. He pressed me further into the window while I slid my hands into his shirt. He groaned and leant into my roving hands, letting me trace his abs one by one.
I broke off. "You're right. I don't want to be snog buddies. I want to be your girlfriend, and I don't want it to be a secret." Scorpius looked into my eyes again, and something in their depths softened.
"I am in no way opposed to that idea. But, can we have, you know, a test run? Like, a week of it and then go public?"
I shrugged. "Sure, why not? I mean, we'll still be boyfriend and girlfriend, right?"
He smiled and nodded. "Course, just it'll still be secret."
I giggled and kissed him again. I was Scorpius Malfoy's girlfriend. I was his girlfriend.
He was my boyfriend.
The next day was amazing. The glow that had been there ever since I forgave Duncan was ten times stronger. I didn't get a single question wrong in any of my classes, and I even managed to make three birds appear in Transfiguration. Scorpius and I had spent half of lunchtime snogging in the common room, and it was even better than usual. I hadn't seen Albus, which was unusual, but good. I'd gotten all the things for the party tonight, with little argument from Winky.
I had gotten a few suspicious looks from her and Evelyn though. Better keep an eye on that.
The party was set up by half past seven, so I did a little on my Herbology assignment on Mimbulus Mimbletonia and its defence mechanism, Stinksap. Ugh. Who cared about a stupid plant that sprayed you with icky gung whenever you poked it?
Apparently Professor Longbotton. He had one on his desk, which was weird.
It was ten to eight when Scorpius arrived. He took one look around the streamer and balloon covered room and turned to me. "What the fuck is going on?"
I smiled wickedly. "Party for the new Chasers. Did you think we were going to pass up an excuse to party?"
He smiled at me and Jasmine. "Should've known you two would do this. I'll go and get ready."
He walked over to the boys dorm. I looked down at my own clothes. Grey sweatpants and a tatty old Falmouth Falcons shirt. Not cool.
I looked at Jasmine, who was already in party gear. "I'm gonna change too. Be back in fifteen minutes."
She nodded once, a small smirk playing at the corner of her lips. I ran into my dorm room and started to rummage through my trunk for a good party outfit.
School robes, nope.
Tank top with pony on it from when I was still into horse riding? Definitely a no.
Purple one-sleeved dress? Looks good.
I threw it onto the bed and started rummaging through shoes, trying to find a pair of black pumps with green bows on the toes.
Aha! There they were. I pulled them out. Perfect.
Off with the old clothes, on with the party outfit. I grabbed a pair of silver hoop earrings and checked myself in the mirror.
Shit, make up. Almost forgot.
I grabbed my eyeliner and carefully brushed it onto my eyes. Golden eye shadow was always good, so I put that onto my eyelids. Red lipstick, looks great with everything. I grabbed the tube and puckered my lips, sliding the lipstick onto them. Mascara next. I brushed it onto my lashes, air-kissed the mirror and checked the time. I'd managed to get ready in under twenty minutes.
That was definitely a personal best.
I slipped on the pumps and strolled out of the dorm and into the party.
In the time I'd been getting ready, everyone had turned up. And I mean everyone. All the Slytherins who were cool were here. James, Fred, Roxanne, Rose and even Lily were here. Kaitlin was here, with a tall brunette boy. There were even a few Hufflepuffs.
Only a few, though. Hufflepuffs were rare in the Cave of Emerald Splendour. Also known as the Slytherin common room.
I walked up to Roxanne, who was chatting with a freckled boy only just taller than her. I snagged a drink from the table next to her and took a sip. Mmm, strawberry margarita. I tapped her on the shoulder, grinning. She smiled at the freckled kid and spun around.
Holy shit, was she drinking Firewhiskey this early?
"Hey Taylor. Nice outfit." I grinned and eyed her copper knee-length dress. "You're not too shabby yourself. Having fun?"
"Well, it's only around eight, so it should take a while before it actually gets interesting." She winked at me.
The winking was starting to grow on me.
Roxanne rushed off to catch up with someone while I took another sip of the margarita. Luckily, Jasmine came over before I could look like a complete loner.
"Taylor! Where's your brother? It's his party, after all."
I raised a hand. "It's Lydia's party too, don't forget. Speaking of which, there she is!"
There was a group of fifth-years by the fire, most of them holding Butterbeers. Our girl was standing in the middle, drinking a virgin pina colada. Really? A virgin pina colada? When I was in fifth-year, I was already drinking Firewhiskey and tequila shots.
Not combined. That was a death wish.
Trust me, I'd seen people who'd tried, and they were a mess.
Jasmine smirked at me and grabbed my hand, walking over to our reserve. I was tugged along like one of those toy Nifflers on a string. She parted through the crowd of fifteen year olds, who gave her a few scared looks.
Don't blame them. Jasmine can be scary. Seriously, she's huge, like six foot.
Lydia noticed the people around her melting away and turned. She jumped back a little and put a hand to her chest.
"You guys scared me. Um, not to be rude or anything, but what do you want?"
I laughed. A little wickedly, baring my teeth and everything. Lydia baulked a little at that. I don't blame her. I was feeling pretty fearsome.
"Well, we just wanted to welcome you to the team. Our way."
Jasmine grinned just as wickedly as me. "This way, girly. The way we welcome newcomers is with a little...contest." I grabbed her right elbow, Jasmine grabbed her left, and we marched her over to a little table I'd set up earlier. Lydia looked over it briefly.
"What's with the tequila and shot glasses? Guys?"
I grabbed the bottle and poured three shots. "This is team hazing. If you get down more than five shots, we respect you. Because you're a reserve, it's six. Drink up."
I passed Jasmine and Lydia a shot glass each and grabbed my own. "Bottoms up!"
Jasmine downed hers, letting out a whoop. I let mine slide down my throat, leaving a fiery trail wherever it touched. Lydia paused for a second before carefully swallowing hers. She gasped, coughing and clutching her throat.
"That...what the hell? It's so hot..."
I grinned, already feeling a little dizzy. "Don't worry, darling, just an after effect. It'll wear off when you have another shot."
I poured out another shot for each of us. Jasmine grabbed hers and gulped it down, followed by me. It was still fiery, but now it was numbing as well. Lydia hardly hesitated before she downed the second shot, wiping her lips.
"That one was better, I guess." She was slurring a little. Novice drinker.
I grinned, lightheaded from the liquor. "They get better the more you have. Luckily for you, there's still four more."
It turned out Lydia was able to hold a fair bit more liquor than we'd expected. It took seven more shots before she finally called it quits. A few minutes earlier, a shout had gone up on the other side of the common room which meant Ricky had completed the challenge with all the guys.
The other side of the common room had stretched away to about five light years to the right of me. Or the left. I wasn't sure anymore.
Jasmine had left me about half an hour ago to find a cute boy to snog or shag, depending on how drunk he was. Lydia had stumbled over to her friends again, and they were currently having a mini contest of their own.
They were good little prodigies. That word was so weird. Prodigies. It sounded like a type of porridge, but yucky.
The room was spinning at a fairly fast rate. They shouldn't allow spinning rooms. Should be against rules.
At some stage, I'd gotten another margarita, but I think someone had put a lot more tequila in than I was used to. Like, five times the amount.
Or maybe I was still completely smashed from the contest.
The couch sank down next to me. I tried to turn, but the room started to spin faster then, so I just glanced over with my eyes. It was Albus Potter, the asshat.
"Whaddya want, Potter. I'm busy at the moment."
He laughed and took a sip of his girly lemon drink. Wuss. "Busy being drunk off your ass and drooling on the couch? Sounds pretty time-consuming."
I groaned and rolled over. "I don't wanna talk to you, Potter. So just go away."
He ignored me and stole my margarita, draining it. Maybe he wasn't such a wuss after all.
Wait, he grimaced. Still a wuss.
"Well, I need to talk to you, Taylor. Please, just give me a chance to explain. I promise I'll tell you everything."
I sat up at that. Whoa, huge mistake. The room was spinning much faster now. I shook my head to try and stop the spinning, failed, and turned back to Albus. "When, where, why - wait, no, not that."
Albus raised a brow. "You are beyond incredibly drunk, Taylor. Tomorrow, four o'clock in the kitchens."
I squinted at him. "Why the kitchens?"
"Family thing. Uncle Ron taught us all about how willing the house-elfs are to hand out food."
I shook my head. You learnt so much when you were completely drunk.
Albus smiled and brushed away a little bit of hair that had found its way into my eyes. "See you tomorrow, Taylor."
He faded away into the crowd of people. I couldn't distinguish faces anymore. Someone was going up to me, looking concerned. "Taylor? Are you alright?"
I groaned. "Who are you again? I'm sorry, my eyes don't seem to be working very well at the moment, dearie."
The person raised two brows. Wait, no, just one. Wait, was it three? "It's Sarah. You are really drunk. Come on, we have to get you upstairs, right now. Get up, come on." She put her arm around my shoulders and lifted me up off the couch.
Weird, the room was spinning faster again. Why does it do that?
Sarah dragged me across what seemed like an endless amount of space, but I suppose it was just to the dorm room. She opened the door and hauled me through it and onto my bed. Someone else was in the room. I squinted at the figure. Black hair, blue eyes, pale skin, oh, it was Evelyn. I lay back into my pillows and smiled.
"Thank you, Sarah." The sober side of me grimaced at the sweet little kid voice I put on. The drunk side of me, which was in control, thought it was a perfectly normal voice.
Sarah looked at Evelyn sternly. "Make sure she doesn't go anywhere. I'm going back down to try and find Jason. Odds are he's like this as well."
Evelyn mock-saluted. "Yes, ma'am."
Sarah smiled a little and walked out of the dorm. I rolled over to the best of my ability and looked straight in Evelyn's left eye. "So, why are you here, instead of celebrating with everyone else?"
She coughed. "You wouldn't understand."
I scoffed and rolled back so I was staring up at the canopy of my bed. "Oh yeah? How do you know if you don't tell me?"
She squirmed a little. At least, I think she did. Could have been the room slightly spinning. "I can't talk about it just yet."
"Come on, it won't hurt you to talk."
Evelyn sighed softly and turned towards me. "Okay, you know James Potter?"
I blinked. "James Potter, captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, black hair, brown eyes, seventh year?"
Evelyn coughed. "Yes, him. I...I may or may not have a rather large crush on him."
I sat up really quickly. Too quickly. "No way. What are you waiting for, go get him girl! Go on, go down there, grab him and snog him. I think he's down there. Go!"
Evelyn stood up hesitantly. I waved my hands at her urgently. "Go, go!"
She paused and bolted through the door. I lay down on my pillows. Ladies and gentlemen, my work here is complete.
And...cue the blackout.
Holy. Merlin. This sucker is over 4000 words long. I am so proud of myself.
Anyway, any thoughts on drunk Taylor? Ricky? Lydia? Evelyn's surprise crush?
If you have any thoughts at all, share them in a new, nifty litle contraption someone made called the 'review box'.