“Oh, Merlin, E! What happened?” Dom shrieked a few days later when I entered the dorm after a particularly painful practice.
“A Sloth Grip Roll gone wrong, a ten foot drop, and a puddle of mud, that’s what,” I grouched, kicking off my mud-drenched shoes and attempting to peel off my white-turned-brown socks.
Ten minutes, a shower, and lots of mud-scrubbing later, I was gathering up my schoolwork to join Dom in the library until dinner. Sigh. If there’s one thing that girl loves more than organizing and listing rumors and bits of gossip, it’s organizing and listing notes and tactics for studying. She’s a strange one.
“Hey, Dom,” I whispered, plopping into the seat next to her.
“Hey! Have you done the Herbology essay on Venomous Tenacula yet?” Dom whispered back.
“Did you seriously ask that question? Of course I haven’t done it yet; I’m a professional procrastinator.”
“Sorry! I’ve been working with Rose lately since you have Quidditch so often, and she usually finishes everything weeks in advance,” she apologized. Rose Weasley is super smart and she’s one of Dom’s (millions of) cousins. She’s in our year and house, but I don’t really talk to her much outside of class since she spends a lot of her free time in the library.
“It’s fine,” I replied. “Let’s just write the dumb essay.”
Dom pulled out her color-coded notes (Seriously Dom? Color-coded?), and we set to work.
I was proudly admiring my title (and Dom was finishing her introduction), when my favorite teammate (don’t tell the other five of them…) flopped into the chair across from me.
“Finnie!” I exclaimed.
“Princess Ella!” he saluted. Finn reached across the table and we preformed our secret handshake that we mastered yesterday, which involves much slapping, clapping, spinning, and chanting. We received an icy glare from Dom and an angry hiss from Madame Pince for our performance. Tough crowd.
Finn pulled out work to do, but he clearly was a professional at procrastinating like me. So the two of us pushed our essays away and drew up diagrams of Quidditch plays we’d been practicing, threw wads of paper at unsuspecting study groups, and stacked teetering piles of books into unstable towers. All the while, Dom shot us death glares for distracting her from her essay, and Finn and I tried not to crack ribs during multiple completely silent fits of laughter.
Eventually I decided to actually do work. I was sitting there, thinking venomous thoughts about dumb Venomous Tenacula, when Finn began poking me.
Poke. Poke. Poke.
“Finn!” I hissed, finally fed up. “I’m actually attempting to write my essay!”
“But Ella,” he whined, “It’s super important and much more fun then poisonous plants!”
“Fine. What is it?” I grouched.
Finn grabbed my hand, dragged me to the window nearby, and pointed at something outside.
I squinted and was able to make out seven figures in canary yellow robes. The Hufflepuff Quidditch team.
“So what?” I asked. “It’s just the Hufflepuffs.”
“That’s what’s important, Ella!” Finn cried exasperatedly. “We’re playing them next week! This is the perfect opportunity to scout out the competition!”
“So basically you want me to sneak onto the Quidditch pitch with you and spy on the Hufflepuffs for an hour or so, giving us the upper hand in next week’s match?”
“I’m in.” I packed up my things. “I’ll meet you in the Entrance Hall in ten minutes, James Bond.”
“Righto, Bond Girl. See you there!”
“Bond Girl, you here?”
“Yes, James Bond. And I brought sandwiches.”
“You’re the best. Let’s go.”
We set out across the grounds, stealthily making our way towards the pitch. We had to get as close as possible without risking being caught by the Hufflepuffs. They’re particularly good finders, you know.
Finn and I picked out the perfect stakeout spot in the bleachers. We were perched on a beam in the rafters a few meters above the ground. We were hidden by a large Gryffindor banner draped across our section of bleachers, but from our high up hiding place we could peek underneath it to see the entire pitch. I unloaded our picnic of sandwiches and Finn pulled out a quill, inkwell, and pad of paper to jot down our observations.
“Ooh yes! PB&J! My favorite!” Finn cheered, sinking his teeth into the sandwich. “And it’s cut into triangles!”
“Shh!” I hissed. “They can still hear us even though we’re hidden!” I bit into a Nutella and banana sandwich, the best kind of sandwich on the face of the planet.
We listened intensely while we munched on delicious sandwiches. The two of us took turns taking notes. After about thirty minutes of super-secret-spying, we had a full page of fantastic observations:
Finn and Ella (aka James Bond and Bond Girl)`s
Fantastic Quidditch Observations! (Hufflepuff Edition)
The Lineup: Thomas Smith- captain + Chaser. Super bossy jerk!
Other Chasers- Maggie O’Flaherty + Alex Andrews. The two of them work well together. They have (almost) the same telepathy levels as Al, Freddy, and Ryan.
Beaters- Jackson Finch-Fletchley-Fisher (weird name..) + Marley Brown.
They’re huge and strong. Yikes. Be prepared Nick + Sam!
Keeper- Peter Mayer. He`s pretty good. I guess. Nothing I can’t handle.
Seeker- Lauren Summerby. She’s tiny and agile.
By the minute (ish) observations!
4:47- Chasers rock at hawkshead formation.
4:50- Beaters have good aim. like really good.
4:51- Finn discovers the deliciousness of Nutella and banana sandwiches.
4:55- Smith is Mr. Bossypants. He likes to yell at his team.
4:57- Summerby is working on the Wronski Feint.
^^Note to self: she likes this move…
5:00- Mayer is 17 for 20 so far this practice.
5:02- Chaser favorites-Porskoff Ploy, Hawkshead formation, Woollongong Shimmy. Woollongong is the stupidest name I’ve ever heard.
5:06- Finch-Fletchley-Fisher and Brown are practicing Dopplebeater Defense. That bludger was a black blur.
5:10- We have a major problem- we’ve run out of sandwiches.
5:13- A giant argument is happening atm (Smith vs. the rest of the team)
5:16- still arguing.. get back to Quidditch so we can spy on you!!!
5:18- Quidditch is back on. Mayer is perfecting the Double Eight Loop.
5:21- Sitting on a wooden beam for 30 min. is really uncomfortable.
“This is getting boring!” I mumbled after another twenty minutes of spying and note-taking. “And my butt hurts!”
“I agree. Plus we ran out of sandwiches half an hour ago. I need more Nutella and banana goodness! Do you think we got enough stuff for the match?” Finn replied.
“Yeah, I think so. When--?” I was cut short by another deafening argument from the Hufflepuffs. Thomas Smith was on a ranting rampage. “What the—“
“Beep!” Finn hissed, blocking out the cuss word with a smirk. He shook his head and mouthed, naughty, naughty.
“was that? You can’t just—”
“-ing go around smacking every—“
“thing that flies your way! You are such a—“
“And you! You—“
“Okay enough with the ‘Beep!’ing! Let’s walk away from Mr. Pottymouth McBossypants and his Quidditch team now!” I said loudly.
Finn and I froze.
Smith paused mid-rant. “What the fuck?”
Finn didn’t even bother blocking that one out.
“Did anyone just hear that?"
“I think it came from over there, by the Gryffindor banner.” Mayer suggested.
We had about five seconds before the Hufflepuffs would hunt us down. I locked my hazel eyes with Finn’s blue ones, trying to telepathically communicate my thoughts. SOS! Merlin’s pants! Let’s move. Now.
“Let’s move. Now.” he whispered. I nodded, officially the master of telepathy. “Ready, set, go!”
Finn grabbed my hand, and together we jumped from the rafters.
“That was close!” I gasped five minutes later. We’d sprinted out from under the bleachers to escape the wrath of the Badgers, and had only stopped when we were safe in front of the Fat Lady.
“I know! But at least we got—the notes! And aperire sesama!” Finn panted.
The Fat Lady swung open, and the two of us plopped onto the couch.
“As I was saying before we almost got hunted down by the Hufflepuffs, when are we going to share these with the rest of the team?” I asked.
“Share what?” asked Al, sitting down next to us.
“Ella and I went and spied on the Hufflepuffs during their practice this afternoon—” Finn began.
“And we have 1½ pages of observations from our stakeout!” I finished proudly, waving the papers in Al’s face.
“Cool! Can I see them?” he snatched at the papers, but I whisked them away before he could read them.
“No. We’re sharing them with the whole team tomorrow in Hogsmeade.” I folded the notes up carefully and tucked them into my coat pocket.
“Fine.” Al stuck out his tongue at me. I mimicked him. Real mature, I know.
“Hi Al, Finn, Princess!” Freddy appeared in front of us. “You guys wanna head down to dinner? I heard it’s chicken fajita day!”
Al elbowed me in the side, knowing that chicken fajitas are my favorite. No elbowing was necessary. I’ll do anything for chicken fajitas.
I forgot all about the Nutella and banana sandwiches Finn and I had just eaten and jumped up from the couch. “Count me in! Let’s go!”
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