Chapter 1 : Quidditch, Bludgers and Cartwheels
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So I know a lot of you will just skip over this like I normally do but I just need you to STOP!
I'm new at this whole fanfic thing and I really like where I'm going with this story. Reviews would be awesome but as long as you read it, that's fine with me (but reviews are totally appreciated). Thanks and enjoy!
I breathed in, the familiar smell of grass and wood filling my nose. How I loved quidditch. It had been so many months since the last time I played. I shivered as a small breeze went by the pitch. Although it had been months since I had last played, it would feel like years on the pitch.
This year our captain, Carter Day, had insisted I be a beater with my best friend Charlotte Meaver. Though I'm usually seeker, a new boy, Tom Higgens, had performed just as well as I had at tryouts. But the selection for beaters after Charlotte's brother Max left last year, was just sad.
Carter coerced me into giving up my spot as seeker and trying out for beater instead. I didn't mind. Charlotte, or Charlie as she liked to be called, and I had always played as beaters together when I went to her house over vacation time. Though I was small and nimble, agile as seekers should be, her older brothers had always placed me on her team as a beater and taken the role as seeker for themselves. I loved quidditch too much to complain though. Whatever position I was in I always seemed to do well and have fun.
For a Ravenclaw that's almost unheard of. We don't usually find ourselves on the athletic side of extracurricular activities. I still do very well in class, better than most if I do say so myself, but a broomstick has always been what I yearned for. Not a new quill or great marks. I had always just wanted to fly.
My older sister Camilla told me I was stupid when we were younger, when I asked for a broomstick for Christmas unlike her practical gift: a new quill set along with new parchment. I told her that her long brown hair, that she coveted, was on fire. And it was, but of course, I would never had done that. What? I wouldn't! Well, maybe a little. At least, back when I still had her.
I shook my head and tried to stop the sadness from coming back. But as I looked out at the pitch, I felt a familiar weightlessness settle in. Carter called out the command to get in the air and I blasted off, the wind in my hair. Familiar blue robes draped over my arms and I was glad of their warmth. It was damn cold. Seeing the other blue clad figures rise up, I made my way over to Charlie.
Her short blonde bob was flying in the wind. She was always trying to tie it back but it was so short she never could. She always told me she envied my dark brown locks but Charlie's look was much sharper. With her striking blue eyes, she looked gorgeous.
Tossing the bat from my right to left hand, I gave her a smile and then yelled duck. She did so and I hit the bludger that was racing towards her so hard I felt the bat slip a little from my grasp. While I was a small girl, I could hit the buggers like even the strongest man. She flew back up to look me in the eye when the familiar sound of bat against bludger cracked around the pitch. I looked to where the sound had come from and saw red. Literally.
The red robes of the Gryffindor team were in a cluster near the far end of the pitch and I heard Carter sigh loudly as he flew over. I gave Charlie a look and we raced after him. Carter and James Potter, the captain of the Gryffindor team, had never really gotten along. Sure they weren't as bad as the Slytherins, but Carter nursed a hate for the Gryffindor team ever since the big loss two years ago that cost us the cup we rightfully should have had.
Their beater, Sirius Black, had 'accidentally' hit our keeper, Alexander Kingston, the only seventh year on the team this year, with a bludger he swore he had aimed at our chasers. Thankfully, Alex's muscled physique meant he wasn't quite as hurt but after the game I saw pain in his brown eyes that matched his hair.
I touched down a second after Carter, jumping off the broom.
Well, at least they were being pleasant.
"We have the pitch booked Potter. Flitwick booked it himself," Carter said in a restrained voice, his black hair a mirror of Potter's, but cropped short instead of shaggy, and actually combed.
Potter sighed. "Well Minnie told us it was ours." He sniffed. "And obviously, Flitwick probably forgot. You know how he is. Short-term memory and all." His hazel eyes danced with laughter at his cruel joke.
I stiffened as his team began to giggle. "Shut up Potter. Don't talk unless you have something intelligent to say."
He gave me a disdainful look. "Ah yes. New players. Is this why you have to train Day?"
I growled. "I'm not new you prat."
"Really?" Said Black, Potter's sidekick. "Because I've never seen such a scrawny looking girl play as beater. Sure you're up for it?" His shaggy black hair fell into his eyes. Merlin, he needed a haircut.
I tensed. He laughed because he thought it was because of what he said. But I could hear a familiar whistling in my ears. Turning quickly, I shoved Carter out of the way and took a swing at the bludger that would have crushed his skull. As I turned back around, I saw astonishment in their eyes. Well, except for Potter and Black's. They just seemed bored. Ticked off, I stepped closer as Potter took out a small snitch that he always carried and began to let it fly a little out of reach and then catch it.
"I'm not new. But I suggest if you want to keep those things you call eyes, you'll watch what you say about my appearance Black."
"Really? Because you look so unfamiliar it's uncanny," Potter sighed.
I quickly snatched the snitch just as he was about to grab it. "Seem familiar now Potter? Or have you blocked that event from your memory?"
Last year, the game versus Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, Potter had seen the snitch an instant before I had. Racing after it, he followed the damned thing as I quickly looped around the field and went the opposite direction. Coming closer to the snitch and Potter on his broom, I turned upside down and let my hand dangle until I felt cool metal in my palm. I had closed my hand, spun back around and lifted my hand high, proud that I had beaten the great James Potter at his own game. We still lost but I knew he was furious that I had snatched it right before his hand was there.
At my words though, his face lit up. "You're pimply Alexandra? That puny little seeker from last year? My, my. Merlin, you've definitely changed." His eyes traveled down my body and I felt a bit self-conscious.
I growled as he and Black sniggered. "Yes, Potter is it?" I said in his tone of voice. "Still after Lily Evans I hear. Can't even get a date from the girl who shags everyone." I knew it was a low blow, using Lily against him, and I know she was truly a nice girl and had never shagged anyone (that I knew of), but the look on his face made my day. "And you," I said turning towards Black, "Sirius Black. Still being a man-whore? Trying to make up for the love Mummy never gave you?" That was harsh. Everyone knew Sirius had been disowned by his family, but I couldn't stop myself, even with Carter telling me to shut it.
I turned and walked away, broom in one hand, bat in the other. But I heard a gasp and quickly dropped them both, turning with my wand in hand (when had I pulled that out?) and silently disarming the two boys who had been set to hex me.
"Come now boys. Try and be a little more subtle next time," I said, throwing their wands at their feet. "We really wouldn't want you to get hurt before quidditch season actually starts." My voice was sarcastically sweet and I gave them a smile. They growled and Black picked up his wand. Potter left his there and I sighed.
Black looked at me, anger in his grey eyes. "Yeah, wouldn't want to get a black eye like you now would I?" I automatically put a hand up to my eye. I thought it had healed. "Who did that? Your boyfriend?"
I flinched as the word boyfriend. "I- I-" But I couldn't come up with a response.
"I hit her with my bat. And that's ex-boyfriend you toss pot." Charlie to my rescue again.
"Lexi. Charlie. Stop." Carter muttered. "Fine Potter. How about this. Friendly game? Winner gets the field during Gryffindor and Ravenclaw practices for the next two weeks." He put out his hand to silence the Gryffindors and Potter sneered at it before finally grasping it and shaking.
I smiled. A game? Games always gave me a rush. Picking up the broom and bat I had let go of to pull out my wand, I quickly mounted the broom and looked at Charlie. She smiled and winked at me. Leaping off the ground on her broom, she flew forwards, knocking Sirius Black on the head with her bat that dangled aimlessly from her hand. I giggled and he glared at me.
Shrugging at him as if to say 'What are you going to do,' I sprang to the air and circled Potter and Carter who were laying out ground rules. Tuning out, I slowly scanned the pitch for the snitch we had let out earlier during practice.
It was an old habit but it always helped. Especially if I could quickly point it out to Tom. While I didn't doubt his ability, I still didn't know how capable he was.
A noise from behind me made me spin around and hit the bludger racing at me towards the closest blob of red. I smiled as Sirius Black's easy smirk vanished as he maneuvered away from the bloody ball. He scowled but I stuck my tongue out at him. Smooth Lexi, I told myself. Smooth.
I don't know why I hated the Gryffindors as much as I did. Actually, I don't hate the Gryffindors. I just hate the Marauders. In fourth year, Potter had knocked me off my broom and I woke up in the hospital wing three days later with a mild concussion.
No apology either but that wasn't completely it now.
Black had slept with the majority of the girls in our year, but then again, I was never really close to any of them. Remus scared me with his animalesque eyes and Peter was twitchy and was never really social but they had never done something bad to me. I had never felt such loathing for them before. I guess they just remind me of…
No. I can't go there. It's been a week. Best to let it go. I flew back into position as Carter and Potter stepped back. I touched down right beside Carter and he handed me the quaffle. I knew what I had to do. As everyone else lifted off, I stood grounded.
Taking my broomstick and mounting it, I put the bat under my left arm and held the quaffle in my right. Throwing the quaffle into the air, I whistled and took off myself. Blue and red were all over the field and I laughed gleefully as I swooped here and there, hitting a bludger every once in a while.
At one point though, it became obvious that the Gryffindor beaters were playing dirty. Aiming the bludger at players who weren't playing, such as our keeper and our seeker, they hit the ruddy balls when we had our backs turned. Amelia Givens, one of our chasers, was lucky to keep her skull intact as she dipped when the other Gryffindor beater, Carl Spinn, a lanky fourth year with white-blond hair and dark, stormy eyes, narrowly missed her with his bat. I ground my teeth together and looked at Charlie.
"I'll watch our backs," I said and she nodded, her blue eyes shining. "I'll pass them to you and you create havoc." She nodded again and we flew off. Spinn hit a bludger at Amelia and I quickly swooped in and hit it, seconds before it would have hit her. I saw it travel to Charlie who instantly smashed it towards the Gryffindor chasers, scattering them.
Amelia gave me a thankful look and blasted off towards Carter and Jackson Ortega, the third chaser, her long mane of red hair trailing behind her. Quickly, I raced over to where a bludger had been aimed towards Tom and redirected it back towards Charlie. I felt Tom fly by me, whispering 'Snitch' as he passed and I tensed.
Quickly, I sent a bludger towards Black and Potter who were conversing about some strategic plan they had. They scattered and glared at me. Black was just about to fly over and yell at me when I pointed up. Sure enough, their faces dropped and I whistled to signal the end of the game as I knew Tom had gotten the snitch. Turning I saw his face overrun with ecstasy and he flew down to hover beside me.
"I did it!" He cried and I hugged him as best I could even though we were flying. "I can't believe it. I thought for sure Carter had made a mistake picking me over you even if you are an amazing beater."
I laughed. "Tommy boy, you were excellent at tryouts. I bet I couldn't have done better today."
He beamed and flew down to where our screaming team danced on the pitch. I didn't know how many points there were when Tom caught the snitch, but evidently we had won. Sending a smirk in Potter and Black's direction, I swooped down to celebrate with my team. Carter came over and hugged me, evidently glad we had beaten Gryffindor. His blue eyes shone with giddiness. I had a huge smile on my face until I heard the snide voice of a sore loser.
"Just go celebrate with Diggory, cheat."
I spun, fire in my emerald eyes. "That's EX-boyfriend you arse."
Black's grey eyes bore into mine. "And what made you end it? The eye?" Snickering, he turned and my hand immediately flew up to touch my still bruised eye.
I tried to make sense of it in my head. That first comment sounded like a guess but the second comment about my eye made me shiver. He knew. But I never… Lily! I thought with a jolt. That tart Lily! I knew it! I felt a tear race down my cheek and I quickly wiped it away before my teammates saw.
Running towards the Ravenclaw change rooms, I let the tears run freely as my back was turned to everyone else on the pitch. Finally getting through the door or the girls change room, I found a corner and slumped down, sobbing.
"Amos! I told you! We are done. Over. We aren't together anymore. I'm done with your lies, your cheating, your drinking, your everything." My voice rang clear through the empty classroom as the blond, blue-eyed boy in front of me began to shake.
"Alexandra you knew that's how I was when we began dating. It's not my fault you can't let go once in a while."
I shrieked in annoyance. "This isn't about letting go Amos. This is about you wanting to sleep with me, me refusing, and you running off to go shag a random girl instead of me."
His blue eyes burned with anger and before I knew it, I was on the ground, searing pain blazing from my eye. Tears ran down my face but I made no noise. Amos, my Amos, hit me? I looked up at him and saw the pain and fear in my eyes reflected in his.
"Alexandra, I'm so sorry," he whispered. "I'm so sorry Alexandra. I don't know what came over me."
I scrambled back as he took a step towards me. Guilt flashed over his face. I got up slowly, my eyes on him the entire time. He took another step forward and I flinched. He stopped and I turned, running out of the room. He grabbed my arm and pulled me back into the classroom. I screamed, the sobs that should have come out when he hit me ringing in my ears.
I prepared myself for another hit when Amos went rigid and keeled over. I looked up and saw Lily Evans, her green eyes burning almost as brightly as her fiery red hair. Her wand was raised and she grasped my arm, pulling me towards her. She put her arms around me and let me cry. I was glad she was the one there.
She let me cry until I felt better, never lifting the spell off Amos until I was ready to be escorted to the hospital wing. Even then, she threatened to castrate him if he came near me again. Leaving him in the classroom, she brought me to Madame Pomfrey and her daughter Poppy to sort out my eye and my hysterics.
"Don't tell anyone," I whispered to her when Madame and Poppy had left me alone with her, letting me stay there until Professor Dumbledore showed up. She gave me an incredulous look. "I can't have them pitying me."
She nodded and stayed with me until Professor Dumbledore arrived. The next day she came up to me. "Alexandra, you really shouldn't keep it a secret," she said in a hushed voice.
"Keep what a secret? I got hit by my friend's beater bat," I said as I walked away.
"Alexandra!" Carter yelled and I ignored him. "Alexandra!" he yelled again.
I gripped my knees tighter from where I sat in the corner and screamed. "It's Lexi you ignorant arse!"
"Well sorry Lexi," he spat out my name as if it insulted him and I noted the obvious sarcasm, "but we still have practice. And for your antics before the game, you get to do 20 laps." I swore, very loudly. "Without your broom."
I said some choice words to him but I could hear his footsteps run off to the rest of the team. Standing up, I wiped my tears on my kit and did my best to seem composed before walking out of the changing room. Sighing, I stepped onto the worn out track around the pitch and began to run.
Although Carter thought it was a punishment, I loved to run. Of course, I wasn't very good at it, but I loved it. The wind in my hair and the small amount of effort it took to forget everything that surrounded me was truly the best thing after I got into an argument. Lapping the pitch already, I heard harsh laughter from where the Gryffindor changing rooms were. Ignoring them, I was set to run past when I saw Black take out his wand.
The hair on my arms and on the back of my neck stood up and I tensed. Then I smirked. He wanted to look good in front of his team? I'd make sure that didn't happen. Running past, I saw the small flick of his wand and deduced his jinx was aimed at my legs. He was probably trying to trip me. Cartwheeling, everything seemed to move slower as something whipped past the small hairs dangling down from my head and in between my arms that were supporting my weight.
Smirking again, I gave him the finger when I landed it and kept running. Not looking back, I felt proud that finally someone had stuck it to him. I saw Carter looking down at me from the air, not too far away. He gave me a thumbs up and I smiled. Speeding up, I felt a rush of adrenaline and kept going, the memory of the shocked look on the Gryffindors faces pushing away any thoughts of Amos.
The next morning, I woke to the familiar blue drapes that surrounded my four poster bed. Groaning, I sat up and opened the curtains to see that my roommates still weren't up. I walked like the dead towards the bathroom and gathered my things. Getting in the shower, I washed off all the grime from last night's practice. After the 20 laps, Carter had seen fit that I never took such liberties talking to his rivals. "I'm the captain," he had reminded me and I had rolled my eyes.
Carter Day was so sweet, he wouldn't have been able to say half the things I had said. Sure he was a tough captain and was more than ready to say blunt things when you really needed sympathy and not facts, but he was sweet. Rivalry just wasn't really him. Even in quidditch he was nice to everyone.
Well, as nice as his 'I'm team captain and I'm harsh and mean and all the other teams suck and should sod off because we're going to win' attitude let him. But last night he had really taken the piss and demanded I do the most strenuous exercises he could think of. Blast him!
I was so tired that I barely had enough time to change into my pajamas until I fell on my bed, asleep. And now my linens probably smelled horrid. I was beginning to regret my outburst from yesterday as I was shampooing my hair but then I remembered the smirks they'd given me when I was running and my blood boiled. Perhaps I wasn't as over it as I thought. I sighed and rinsed my brown locks of the shampoo I had stolen from Charlie. It was her fault actually. If she didn't buy such nice smelling products I wouldn't have to steal them.
When I got out of the shower I had to wipe the mirror as it had steamed up. Putting on mascara, I quickly left the bathroom to my groggy roommates and got dressed in my uniform as quickly as possible. Running down to the common room, I saw a large bronze clock on one of the mantels and was alarmed that it was seven in the morning.
Usually, I never got out of bed until eight and now, here I was, up and ready to start the day at seven in the morning. Sighing, I walked out of the common room, and down the long winding staircase. Ravenclaw Tower was so high up, it took a little while to get to the Great Hall. I walked quickly, my stomach growling. Hopefully there would be bacon. I liked bacon. More than I liked most people.
As I skipped down the final steps to my much wanted breakfast, I noticed a few other people enjoying the early morning food. Professor Dumbledore was one of them, but Dumbledore had always been at the head table from the moment the food appeared to the moment it vanished. I always found it strange but at this moment, it felt right.
Only a few other people were at the tables. There were no Slytherins, a second year Hufflepuff eating while simultaneously finishing what I could only assume was his overdue assignment, three Gryffindor girls that seemed as if they were in fourth year following Remus Lupin, another one of the marauders, who was sitting at table, reading, and none other than Amos Diggory.
I froze in the doorway but as I heard a tiny cough, I looked up to see Dumbledore, his blue eyes twinkling, beckoning me. I started to walk to the head table stiffly. I saw Remus Lupin look up from his book, his eyes following every move I made. When I was finally in front of Dumbledore, he smiled.
"Miss James, I distinctly remember you telling me that you would not go looking for trouble after the Mr. Diggory mishap. And now I hear you've been a bad girl on the quidditch pitch," he said and if I didn't know any better, I could have sworn he sounded disappointed.
"It's actually Lexi, Professor. Or Alexandra. Anything but James. And I was provoked."
"Well I'm sorry Miss Lexi. And provoked? Perhaps you should keep your emotions in check my dear. Showing weakness is never a good thing." He smiled. "And may I ask why the change in name Miss Lexi?"
I took a deep breath in and then exhaled. "I think I need a change, sir. I need to distance myself from certain people." His shocking blue eyes traveled over to Lupin. "My father." I explained and his eyes widened in concern.
"Yes your Aunt wrote to me asking if you wanted to come home the day they were going to his grave. I assumed you went. Your Professors told me that you hadn't been to class. But Miss Lexi, that was at the beginning of term. Surely this isn't what it's about."
"I stayed in bed. Five years and I stayed in bed," I said my eyes watering. "He reminded me of Cami and Mum and then with Amos," I said, my voice cracking, "Amos reminded me of him. And I need to stop thinking of them. I need to feel different from them. I can't stay stuck in the past like Cami did or I'll go mad. So I don't think using that name will help my cause."
Dumbledore chuckled. "I'm sure that it will. But Miss Lexi, please remember that name is also the name of a very nice, intelligent person living in these walls. And the name of yet another who has passed on."
I turned and glared at Lupin who had been doing the like to me. "I don't quite see the appeal in having the same name as one of them," I said viciously. Then, turning, I looked up at him in confusion. "But the other?"
"Oh not James Potter. Though I enjoy the pranks he pulls, I would hardly call him intelligent." He laughed at that and I giggled. "I meant you dear Miss Lexi. That is your name and though it was also your father's and your sister's, it is still yours. And it was once your mother's. Will you be willing to give up part of you, and in a sense, part of your mother, just to let go of the horrible things associated with that name that happened in the past?" I shook my head. "Just remember Miss Lexi, good memories and bad memories are associated with almost any name."
"I bet no bad memories are associated with your name." I mumbled so quietly I was surprised when he reacted.
"Oh dear Miss Lexi, there are more bad memories associated with my name than with most any name. But there are far more good ones and that is what counts I believe. A particular memory with your name involves an automobile if I'm not mistaken."
I giggled. "Thank you, Funny Bearded Man."
His eyes twinkled and I turned, slamming into someone's chest. I looked up to see Amos looking down at me. Stepping back quickly, I saw guilt flash over his face before I pushed past him and walked away.
"Alexandra!" He yelled.
"Mr. Diggory, I urge you to leave Miss Lexi alone for the time being. I am aware of the circumstances of your relationship at the moment and I think it best if you tread carefully for the time being." I heard Dumbledore say and my heart swelled. He really was the best headmaster to ever walk these corridors.
Running out of the Great Hall, I slammed into another person and fell. Looking up I saw Charlie rolling her eyes at me. I gave her a weak smile and she helped me up and guided me back to the Ravenclaw table. She obviously saw something was wrong and didn't push me. I was glad this magnificent person was my best friend.
We ate, but I could feel his eyes glowering at my back. When I looked up at Charlie though, I saw Lupin's eyebrows creased in confusion. I subconsciously gave him the finger and he got up and left to the dismay of the fourth years. I rolled my eyes and Charlie caught on. She looked over to see him leave the Great Hall and then sighed.
"That slag Lily told them."
Her eyes widened. "That bitch! I saw her walking down a few minutes before you ran into me muttering about talking to someone so I assume she'll be to breakfast at any time."
I sniffed. "Eat your toast. Quickly, I might add. I need to talk to her."
Charlie nodded and shoved her breakfast in her mouth. Very attractive Charlie. We got up, our robes billowing around us, and left the Great Hall. Walking up the stairs, Charlie began lecturing me about taking her shampoo again but I was ignoring her as I saw bouncing red curls skip down the stairs in a decidedly delightful way.
"Evans!" I cried and she looked up shocked.
"Don't even pretend Evans. You told the poor sap trailing at your heels what happened with Diggory. And his insufferable friends. I thought you were nice Evans. But obviously you don't get that I didn't want to make a big deal of this. It's my business what happened and I don't need you opening your larger than average mouth and spreading things. Your legs do most of that anyways." Again, I felt horrible about basically saying Lily was a slag, but I was too mad to even think properly. "So why don't you just shut up and stay away from me. Stay out of my life, stay out of my sight and stay out of my relationships."
With that I slapped her and her face was so shocked I ran up the stairs, racing for our common room, not registering her cries. She obviously had to say something but I wasn't going to let her become a bigger part of my life. I ran off, Charlie at my heels.