Chapter 27 : Serenity and Celebrations
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Chapter 27: Serenity and Celebrations
“So how are you feeling today?” Lily asked on the morning of the Ravenclaw game.
“Absolutely petrified,” admitted James, as he pushed his scrambled eggs around his plate.
“Well don’t let the team know,” she advised.
He pushed the plate away from him and nodded.
“Finish your food please,” she ordered.
“Yes mum,” he replied and a small smile crossed his lips. He shovelled the last few bites into his mouth and washed it down with his juice. He smacked his lips and said, “Guess I’d better go upstairs and get ready then.”
Lily stood and together they left the table. He had calmed down a lot over the previous week and Lily no longer worried he was losing the plot. Sirius and Jade had apologised for skipping practise and both had been suitably sentenced to catch drills and extra laps, something they both hated.
They reached the heads’ dormitory and James hurried into his room, emerging a few minutes later dressed in his Quidditch robes. As he entered the common room, Lily surprised herself by giving him a hug.
“Good luck,” she wished him, as he hugged her back tightly.
“Make sure you come down and watch this time,” he teased, holding her at arm’s length. Lily blushed and freed herself.
To make up for her absence last time, Lily headed down to the pitch a whole half an hour before the game was due to start. She found a seat with Remus and Anna who looked excited.
There was no way that Ravenclaw could win the Quidditch cup, having lost all of their previous games. If Gryffindor beat Ravenclaw by one hundred points then they would win the cup, any less and Hufflepuff would win for the first time in school history. It was common knowledge that Ravenclaw got along with Hufflepuff best out of the four houses and Ravenclaw were eager to deny Gryffindor the victory.
The teams flew onto the pitch to the obligatory chorus of cheers and boos. The whole school had turned up to watch and the noise was deafening. James flew in front of Lily’s seat and looked over. Lily grinned and blushed, then waved at him. Remus gave Lily a funny look but didn’t question her, for which she was grateful.
The match started badly, with Ravenclaw running rings around Gryffindor. Within ten minutes, Gryffindor was fifty points behind. Lily could see that James was getting more and more wound up. Even from the stands she could see his knuckles getting whiter and whiter as they gripped the broom handle.
James called a time out, which was unusual so early in the game, and Lily could hear people muttering. The general consensus was that Gryffindor had overcooked it, and all evidence on the pitch seemed to support this opinion.
As the whistle blew to signal the end of the time out, Lily distinctly heard James shouting a last bit of encouragement at his team. Lily crossed her fingers and murmured her own words of encouragement to James and the others. Remus gave her another funny look but again said nothing.
It seemed that James’ pep talk had worked, for the team suddenly began to unite and the tables were turned on Ravenclaw. During the next few hours the commentator barely took a breath as the Gryffindor players passed the ball rapidly to one another. Soon enough they took the lead and the red and gold supporters began to pray their seeker would find the snitch soon.
Exactly four hours into the game it ended. In all truth the final hour was boring, as the crowd knew a Gryffindor win was inevitable, and they just waited for the final whistle to confirm it.
As the team celebrated and lofted James, who was carrying the cup, onto their shoulders. Lily made her way onto the pitch, where she was greeted and hugged enthusiastically by the Gryffindor players.
The other houses soon lost interest in the celebrations and they left for the warmth of the castle. With promises of a party later that night in the Gryffindor tower, the Gryffindors followed them.
Lily and James had a quick dinner with the rest of the team, who were all eager to offer their own retellings of the match. Each was exaggerated more than the last. By the end of dinner, Lily was half tempted to believe that the first ten minutes of the match had never happened, that the team’s insistence that they were never in trouble and they were in control the whole time was true.
Sirius had procured a bottle of Firewhisky from somewhere and a table of food had been laid out. Even though they had all just eaten dinner, the buffet was quickly demolished with a speed that astonished Lily.
Anna and Lily gathered Jade and took over the sofa in front of the fire. Again they allowed Jade to recount the match.
“And then, kaboom! The cup was ours!” she said triumphantly.
“Yes, very good,” concurred Lily. “Now Anna, how are you and Remus?”
“Did you see the way the Ravenclaw team fell apart?” continued Jade.
The party continued late into the night, although Lily made her excuses shortly after curfew. She returned to her dormitory, where she found James.
“Thought you’d be making the most of a party,” she commented.
“I wanted a break from all the noise, I’m exhausted,” he replied. He moved up to make room for her to join him on the sofa.
“So what did you say to the team in your time out?” she asked. This had been bugging her since she left the stadium. Whatever James had said had clearly worked miracles.
James shifted his position and turned to face her. He grinned sheepishly, “I told them that I’d promised our head girl a win and I’d never forgive them if we failed.”
“Dear Merlin, so that’s why they all grabbed me after the match.”
“Yep, and it worked.”
“Well I had complete confidence in you,” she said untruthfully.
“Don’t lie,” he said, pushing her playfully on the shoulder.
She laughed and pushed him back. “I admit, my heart was in my mouth to start with.”
“And you said you didn’t care for Quidditch,” he teased.
“I never said that!” she protested, pushing him again.
He grabbed her wrist and pulled her over. “From now on, you are our lucky mascot.”
Lily leaned her head on his chest and he folded his arms around her. She lifted her chin to look at him. “You realise you just played the last game of your school career?”
She felt him stiffen and guessed he hadn’t considered this.
“I guess it was,” he said finally, “and probably the last of my life.” He left the enormity of this sink in for a second then he brightened, “But it was a damn good one wasn’t it?” He grinned down at her.
“It certainly was and you were a good player and a great captain.”
He gave her a squeeze and dropped his head to press his lips to her forehead. She closed her eyes and wrapped her arm around his waist.
“Lily,” he murmured. He lifted her chin and kissed her briefly on the lips. After a second she returned the kiss, harder this time.
The portrait hole opened and they broke apart violently. Sirius and Jade entered, both looking a little guilty. Lily sighed in frustration and excused herself. As she walked to her room she heard Sirius begin to apologise. Out of sight, she paused to listen.
“Mate, Jade and I want to apologise for skipping practise. I know we already said this but we just realised this was your last game and we feel a bit rubbish.”
“It’s fine, I mean we won didn’t we?”
“True. In other news, that Ravenclaw chaser, Isabella? She’s really something.”
Jade butted in, “I’ve heard she’s going to go pro when she leaves.”
“Really?” asked James, who sounded interested. Lily scowled to herself. Quidditch! Always cropping up at the wrong time.
Wondering if it would be awkward if she went returned, she thought back over what had happened. For some reason she did not feel surprised that she had kissed James. It felt like a natural progression of their relationship.
Lily got into bed and pulled the duvet up to her chin. She felt oddly calm and relaxed; satisfied in a way she had never felt before. As she probed the origin of this new serenity, only one conclusion came to mind; she liked James Potter.
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