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Chapter 8 : Flying, Falling and Hospital Wings
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Yes, Kendra, slag extraordinaire, snores.
But back to Charlie. I told her not to talk to me for a little while. I was still livid. The marauders also gave me space but I always caught them staring at me. It was mostly Black so I usually just shot them the finger.
But now, it was match day. And Charlie was my partner in crime today and the marauders were the opposition. I held my bat in my right hand and adjusted my wand with my left. I had and anklet holster that held my wand underneath my robes so that I always had it on hand. Or, more accurately, on foot.
I was standing by the door, waiting for Charlie and Amelia Givens, the only other girl and only female chaser. When they were finally ready, we left the changing room and walked over to the boys' room. I knocked on the door and opened it a little bit.
"Is everyone decent?" I called and I heard murmurs of agreement.
Amelia, Charlie and I walked into the room, dropping onto one of the benches. This was our usual ritual before a game. The girls would get ready before the boys and everyone would hang out in the boys' changing room.
They were essentially the same room although they were mirror images and the boys' smelled about 100 times worse. As I looked around, I saw that all the boys were shirtless. As usual.
It always seemed strange to me that the boys took longer to get ready than we did, but as I got older, I realized they were doing that on purpose.
And I didn't mind. Not one bit.
Quidditch boys always had sculpted chests. And though I wasn't particularly attracted to any of them, I had to admit they were beautiful specimens.
Alexander was drying off his hair (I guess he had taken a shower), Carter was tying up the bottom half of his kit while simultaneously flexing, Jackson was standing in front of the mirror combing his hair and Tom, cute little Tom, was sitting down, fidgeting with the top half of his kit.
"Okay boys," Carter said and they all put on their kits. "Girls," he nodded at us, "time to go."
We all walked out and got into position, waiting for the pre-match commentary to start. Carter turned to us and started his pep talk.
"Okay then. This match is against Gryffindor. If we beat them, all we have to do is win against Slytherin and the Cup is ours. I saw the Hufflepuff team practice, and they are about as good as last year. So, Alexander…"
"Yup, watch the hoops, stay in the air, and be awesome like I always am."
Carter nodded. "Amelia, Jackson."
"We're doing the arrow formation today, right?" Amelia.
"No, I thought that we were doing the crisscross formation." Jackson.
Carter sighed. "We went over this at practice. Crisscross reverse arrow."
Amelia and Jackson nodded and Carter turned to Charlie and me.
"I protect the team and hit the bludgers to Charlie." Me.
"And I aim them at the Gryffindors. Notably the chasers." Charlie.
Carter nodded and turned to Tom. "Tom."
"I will stay on high ground for five to ten minutes then go to low ground for five to ten minutes. When I switch, I'll just find Lexi to make sure she hasn't seen the snitch yet."
Carter nodded. "Okay team. Let's show those lions how these eagles can fly."
We nodded and grabbed our brooms, waiting for Carlos Jordan to begin his, somewhat funny, commentary. We heard the microphone screech and all of us flinched. Then, Carlos Jordan's voice could be heard around the pitch.
"Hello, hello, fellow quidditch fans. Are you ready for an amazing match?"
Screams echoed around as Jordan tried to keep control of the crowd.
"Okay, okay. Now, let's get on with the show. First up, the Gryffindor team."
Cheers from the Gryffindor side of the pitch pounded against my ears.
"There goes Derek Wood, the keeper; Sirius Black, a beater; Anthony Shaklebolt, a chaser; Carl Spinn, the other beater; Theresa Ortega, another chaser, who looks very gorgeous today, maybe she might even let me take her to Hogsmeade in two weeks – Ouch! Sorry Professor."
Jackson was shaking at the comments about his sister. The twins had been split up in first year as Jackson had been put in Ravenclaw and Theresa had been sorted into Gryffindor.
But Theresa had grown up to be extremely attractive – and Jackson too, but let's not focus on that – and Jackson was still extremely protective of her.
But at the sound of what I assumed to be Professor McGonagall hitting Jordan in the back of his head, Jackson seemed a little more cheerful.
"Anyways, here comes James Potter, captain extraordinaire, and it looks like – yes! Captain James Potter is now chaser. The brilliant seeker has relinquished his position in favor of the last chaser position. And by gosh, the exquisite Callie O'Hara has been named seeker. The Ravenclaws surely haven't prepared for this."
And we hadn't. During the scrimmage we had played against them, Callie O'Hara had been the third chaser and Potter had been the seeker. Like last year. We had planned for that, not this rubbish. But I couldn't keep my mind on it. Jordan was already introducing us. I threw my leg over my broom, gripped my bat and took off as we set off.
"Keeper: Alexander Kingston; chasers: Amelia Givens, Jackson Ortega, twin brother to the gorgeous Theresa, and newly appointed captain, Carter Day; beaters: Charlotte Meaver, and by gosh, another switch in the ranks. Brilliant mind and seeker Alexandra James is now beater! The new seeker, Tom Higgins, will have some big standards to reach today."
I saw Tom fly up and I knew he was going to be scanning the pitch as soon as the snitch was let out. I had been teaching him at every practice and was proud of how dedicated he was to getting better. He was now just about as good as I was my first year on the team.
I turned to see Charlie racing towards me, her short hair flying in the wind.
"Lexi, I'm sorry I didn't tell you about Lupin. Or Carter."
"CARTER?!" I screamed.
She blushed. "I was sort of dating him. But I didn't tell anyone because…"
"Because you didn't want people to think you had gotten on the quidditch team because you were dating," I said, understanding.
"See? You understand!"
I shook my head. "Are you kidding me? You didn't tell me you shagged Lupin, you didn't tell me you were preggers, and you didn't tell me about dating Carter?! Let's just get this match over with."
"Please, I'm trying to say I'm sorry for keeping everything from you."
"Yeah, well I don't care. Let's just get this game over with."
"Wait!" I had turned but looked over my shoulder now. "Lexi, I know I've been keeping secrets from you. But I really need my best friend right now."
I turned back around and glared at her. "Why?" I said harshly.
"Because, I think I'm in love with Carter."
So long story short, I laughed at her. Yes, I laughed. I am a horrible person. She herself had begun to giggle, so it's not that bad. I just couldn't think of Carter and Charlie together.
They usually bickered so much and never had they said anything remotely romantic or flirty to the other. When I had started laughing it was because I was thinking about their marriage vows if they wed.
'I, Charlotte Meaver, want this prat as my husband because he's got a nice bod.'
'I, Carter Day, need this woman to be my wife because I'm so grumpy no one else will take me.'
Yes, my imagination is very weird. But I also needed something to break the ice. I missed my best friend. So we concocted a plan while waiting for Madame Hooch to release the bludgers.
Potter and Carter had not been very cordial when she had them shake hands. But now it had been 20 minutes since the snitch had been let go and neither Tom nor I had seen it.
Neither had O'Hara, although that was a good thing. I had been racing around hitting bludgers away from our players and to Charlie who seemed unable to miss her targets.
The only reason no harsh injuries had occurred yet was because the Gryffindors seemed very capable of dodging bludgers, and their beaters seemed to have developed a similar tactic, though it didn't work as well. As I was zipping through the air, I brushed past Tom.
"Snitch," he whispered as he began a slow descent.
I knew what he was doing. He was pretending to circle around the pitch, but when he got too close to the snitch to pretend, he would zip after it. I raced towards Charlie and gave her the signal.
Actually, the signal is to say the word 'signal.' So not a very subtle signal. Aren't we Ravenclaws just brilliant? She nodded and she subtly followed him. Since I was the one who usually kept the bludgers from hitting our teammates, no one would realize Charlie was trailing Tom, since they would be waiting for me to protect him.
Yes. Aren't we Ravenclaw just brilliant? So as I chased after the bludgers, pounding them at any of the Gryffindor players except O'Hara (so as not to show them that Tom had caught sight of the snitch).
Just as I had blindly hit a bludger, aiming at a large red blob, I raced off to find my path cut off by none other than Black.
"Are you trying to kill me?" He yelled angrily. "Stop aiming at my head."
I scoffed. "I wasn't trying to do anything. I'm just playing the game!"
"Well, could you do it without trying to take my head off?"
"Stop being such a baby, Black."
"Oh, you mean like you Miss I-Don't-Care-If-A-Werewolf-Attacks-Me-But-If-You-S o-Much-As-Touch-Me-I-Will-Try-And-Kill-You."
"You pinched my arse! That is very inappropriate conduct!"
"Really, because I'm pretty sure staring at my arse is inappropriate too."
"Yeah, too bad I wasn't."
"Oh sure you weren't."
"And the two beaters, Black and James, are arguing over something on the pitch. Perhaps it might have something to do with the bludger James lobbed at Black's head? Whatever the case, there seems to be sexual tension between the two," said Jordan into the microphone.
I looked over at him and glared, though he probably couldn't see me, and looked back at Black. Somehow, during our argument, we had flown closer to each other and my left shoulder and knee were touching his, our faces too close for my comfort.
I swore at him and took off, sending a bludger Jordan's way as I flew. Just as I stopped at one end of the pitch to turn and survey it, I turned and saw a bludger headed directly towards me. I put my hands up to shield my face but I felt a sharp pain in each arm as it hit me.
I was falling. The wind whipped at my hair and I could hear my name being screamed as I felt the dead weight that was me fall faster and faster. Then my eyes snapped open. I pulled my wand out of the anklet-holder and brandished it, pointing at my broom.
"ACCIO!" I shrieked.
As it came whizzing towards me, I stuck a hand out and barely grabbed it as it went by. I tried to pull myself up but the wand in my hand made it difficult. I was barely aware of Jordan's commentary about how someone should really help me out. Suddenly, I was aware of someone's hands on my waist. I looked over my shoulder to see Black trying to help me onto my broom. I kicked out at him.
"Don't touch me," I hissed and pulled myself up by myself.
I vaguely registered the cheers coming from the crowd and Jordan's comment on my not so subtle rejection of Black's efforts to help me as I summoned my bat and took to the air.
I saw Charlie trying to keep the bludgers from Tom, but Spinn had realized that Tom had seen the snitch and had begun trying to take him out every chance he got. O'Hara had been notified and now she flew after him.
I swore loud enough for Jordan to comment on it – 'And the beautiful beater should have her mouth washed out with soap!' – and raced around, trying to get the right angle. Finally, I put myself into position just as O'Hara caught up to Tom, both of them speeding along.
"Charlie!" I yelled and she looked at me.
Nodding, she flew off, leaving the area clear. I swung at a bludger that was coming at me and the crack from the bat echoed around the pitch as everyone went silent.
Both seekers had their arms outstretched but as the bludger flew towards them, it hit the end of O'Hara's broom.
Her broom keeled backwards and she did backward flips while Carter edged forward, chasing the tiny golden ball. I watched, completely enthralled in his attempt to catch the snitch. But then, I heard Jordan, screaming into the microphone.
"AND BEATER SIRIUS BLACK BLASTS A BLUDGER AT THE RAVENCLAW SEEKER. WILL TOM HIGGINS BE ABLE TO DODGE THE FAST APPROACHING MISSILE? OR WILL THIS FURTHER CONTINUE THIS GAME?"
I gasped and saw the bludger Jordan was talking about racing towards Tom. I quickly started flying through the air, racing towards Tom as the bludger closed in. But my bat was slowing me down.
I had noticed a while ago that the bat added a bit of weight to the broom and I was faster without it. So I threw it to the side and lowered myself, letting the broom go faster. Tom was getting closer and closer as I had looped around to fly at him instead of trying to catch up with him.
I raced past him just as he stretched his arm out a little further to try and catch the snitch, angling myself just right. I stopped my broom and tried to shield myself. But, the bludger hit me, again. And I went down, again.
My eyes fluttered open. It was dark. Really dark. But I could hear murmurs from somewhere. I waited, lying in an uncomfortable bed, my head aching. I put my hand up on my head and felt bandages. My eyes widened and I strained to hear what the voices were saying.
"But Albus, I'm not comfortable doing this. I've done as much reconstruction as I can but the healers at St. Mungo's will have to do the rest. I can't work on someone with a skull fragment lodged in her brain. It's a miracle she's not dead."
"Oh Poppy, I realize the risks. But are you completely sure there is nothing more you can do for her?"
"I'm sorry headmaster."
With that, I heard tiny clicks as Madame Pomfrey walked away. I assumed Dumbledore was still there as I heard no other movement. Finally, the drapes around my bed moved and Dumbledore's head peeked through, the light that was hidden from me before rushing through and hurting my eyes.
"Ah! Miss James. It is nice to see you awake. You must have heard Poppy's concern, did you not?"
I nodded slightly and winced as a sharp pain raced through my head. Dumbledore seemed regretful as he walked to the edge of my bed.
"Oh dear. Your head is it?"
"Yes, sir," I said, not chancing another head jerk.
"Yes, well, unfortunately, I will be sending you off to St. Mungo's. It will only be for a week," he said as I looked at him in alarm, "and then you may come back, hopefully completely healed. But while you are at St. Mungo's, I believe that your sister wouldn't mind getting a visit. You haven't seen her since…"
I sighed. "Since July, sir."
He smiled at me. "Then it's settled. You will leave tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, you will have to be side-along apparated, but consider it practice for next year."
I nodded and Dumbledore smiled. Giving me a small pat on the arm, he turned to leave but stopped.
"And Mister Black, perhaps you should not hide yourself. To give Miss James a surprise, considering her medical state at this moment, might not be the best idea," he said.
I sat straight up as he said this and looked around, my movements jerking the bandages on my head, which brought pain shooting up my spine and stopping at my head. As Dumbledore left, I saw a shimmering to my right and I scooted back against the bed as it revealed Black, holding a strange cloak.
He seemed nervous and ran a hand through his hair. I had pulled the covers up to my neck, even if I knew I had something on underneath.
"Hey," he said and I glared at him.
"What are you doing?" I hissed. "One, you aren't supposed to be up at this time of night, and two, I don't like you."
"I'm sorry," he blurted.
"I'm sorry. I was the one who hit those bludgers. I'm the reason you're in here."
I sighed and rubbed my temples. "You hit those bloody bludgers at me? You're the reason I have to miss a week of school and spend that week in St. Mungo's of all places?"
He smiled sheepishly and nodded. I growled and searched around for my wand.
"I will jinx you until you are a slug that can only talk in Hungarian. You won't be able to bend over to touch your knees because you won't have any knees to touch. I will –"
"Your wand is in that drawer," he pointed to the one on the bedside dresser. "But I don't suggest using it as it will draw Madame Pomfrey over and she dotes on you when you're unconscious as if you're a baby bird. Imagine the horror of her fawning over your poor self when you're awake."
I sighed grumpily and crossed my arms. He gave me a smile and sat down on the bed next to me. I scooted as far away from him as I could, but he still grabbed my hand and held onto it with both of his.
"Just promise me you'll come back the same person." I gave him an incredulous look and he smiled sheepishly. "I still need to get the Ravenclaws and the Gryffindors together for that big party."
I rolled my eyes but I did give him a small smile. Perhaps it was the potions Madame Pomfrey had given me in my unconscious state, but my head was getting a little funny. As Black got off the bed, he pulled the cloak over himself and disappeared.
I gasped. It was a veritable invisibility cloak. I had only ever read about them in books and heard about them in class. But before the shimmering space of air that I assumed was Black left, I felt a hand covered in fabric take mine, and a pair of lips covered in fabric kiss it.
I was happy he completely closed the drapes as he left so he couldn't see how red my cheeks got. But just as I was about to lie back down, I heard a chuckle from where I had just seen him disappear. I rolled my eyes and held up my middle finger.
"If I could move without this intense pain in my head and I could actually see where you were, I would slap you, you prick," I said nastily, but only half-heartedly.
I heard his chuckle and lay down as the drapes moved again. But just to be sure, I stuck my hand out in front of me.
"Black? Are you still there? Sirius?"
There was no answer, so I let my hand fall and closed my eyes. I fell asleep quickly, the sleeping draft Madame Pomfrey had given me (I saw the empty bottle on the bedside dresser) making my eyelids heavy and my head drowsy.
Sirius' Point Of View
She had fallen asleep quickly. I had stayed, though she didn't know. As soon as her breathing had settled I had taken my hand and smoothed down some of her hair that had fallen into her face. The brown strands had obscured her face from my view.
This girl intrigued me. She wasn't the first to reject me, the amazing Sirius Black, but she was the first to stick to her decision.
She was head-strong, she had constant mood swings, she seemed internally injured (although not that coughing bit – I had Madame Pomfrey sort that out as soon as she was brought to the Hospital Wing), she called me out on things no one would dare call me out on, and she wasn't interested in me.
Well, she wasn't interested in playboy Sirius Black, the most eligible bachelor of Hogwarts. She seemed interested in the real me though; that immature boy with a real sense of the world that made appearance whenever I was with her.
Maybe not in that sense – yet – but in the sense that she really, truly, would have a fine time if we hung out together. But when I left, I had to go past Remus' bed. And he wasn't too pleased.
"Padfoot!" He whispered angrily (if that's possible when your voice cracks like a pubescent teenage boy).
I had sighed and walked over to his hospital bed. He had smirked as I sat down in the chair next to his bed.
"You really like her, don't you?" He asked, raising his eyebrows.
"Sorry. You seem very fascinated by her."
I smiled sheepishly and felt a strange blush creep to my cheeks. "She's not like any of the other girls in this blasted school. She has substance, morals. She likes quidditch, she's smart, she's not afraid to stand up to anyone."
Remus smiled. "In short, she's everything you wish you could be."
"But that's just it," I said, leaning back in the chair. "I don't want to be like her. She has constant mood swings, she has an unruly temper, she's headstrong, and she feels compelled to stick to her first impressions of people. Who would ever want to be like that?"
Remus guffawed. "That sounds exactly like you, Padfoot. Honestly, everything you like about her, sorry, everything that fascinates you about this girl, is everything you wish you were. And everything that makes you take a step back is everything you have in common."
I opened and closed my mouth like a goldfish as his words sunk in. He smirked in the dim lighting and I swatted his arm.
"You, my friend, are a horrible therapist."
"Dr. Moony in the house," he laughed and I couldn't help laughing as well.
I was at the portrait of the fat lady, but just as I was about to say the password, I stopped and turned, squinting to see the painting across the (for lack of a better word) stair gap thingy.
The painting depicted a pair of brass binoculars that were quite familiar to me. Smiling, I turned to the Fat Lady and uttered the password.
She gave me a slight smile but the portrait swung open and I climbed into the Gryffindor common room. There was no one but a small redhead sitting on one of the couches.
I smiled and tiptoed over. It didn't seem like she had noticed I had entered the common room, so I used that to my advantage. As soon as I was behind her, I put my hands over her eyes and felt her stiffen.
"Little redheaded girl all alone in the common room. Maybe little redheaded girl should be more observant," I hissed in her ear.
"Black," she said in a bored tone, "stop being creepy. How would Potter like it if he knew you were whispering in my ear?"
I laughed and took my hands off her eyes, jumping over the edge of the couch and sitting down beside her.
"What's up Evans? Late night studying?"
"Yeah. Runes suck."
"Don't I know it! Why'd you take it if you hate it?"
"I don't hate it," she scoffed. "I just don't quite understand it."
"Well, let's see the problem."
She gave me a look. "You understand runes?"
"Not completely. But two heads are always better than one, right?"
She nodded and five minutes later she had finished all her translations.
"Wow! You're really smart Sirius," she said, putting her parchment, quill and ink bottle into her book bag.
"Well, I am the genius of Gryffindor house," I teased, pushing her a small bit.
She giggled and put her head on my shoulder. "You shouldn't be doing what you're doing."
I tensed. "Yeah, you're right. So let's do this right. James is the genius of Gryffindor house. He is so fit. I've seen him changing for quidditch and stuff and you should snatch him up now Evans. A fit boy like that will eventually get tired of your rejections."
"Oh Merlin, you're so stupid," she sighed.
"I meant with Al – Lexi. She doesn't deserve that crap. And right after that prat Diggory? If she ends up developing feelings for you, you'll crush her!"
"Well why don't you just tell her? That way, you can be sure that I won't 'crush' her."
Lily sighed. "I want to, but Potter made sure I couldn't."
"Oh! It's because you don't want everyone to know your secret obsession with his lips."
Lily stiffened and immediately moved away from me. She gave me an accusing glare.
"He told you?"
"Merlin! That prat!" She stood up and grabbed her book bag forcefully. Her green eyes flashing, she turned on me. "Well you can tell Potter that if he comes within five feet from me, I will personally make sure his beautiful hair will fall out and never grow back again!"
As she stomped towards the girls' stairs, I stood up and put the invisibility cloak over my arm.
"Hey, Evans," I yelled at her. She didn't bother turning, but stopped nevertheless. "You just said his hair was beautiful."
She began stomping up the stairs again, screaming "Go to hell, Black!"
I laughed and made my way up the boys' stairs, busting through the six year boys' door, still laughing. Jumping into my bed, I heard rustling from James' bed and before I knew it, he had flopped down next to me.
"Why you laughing you tosser?" He said groggily.
"Well Prongs, it seems as if you've landed quite a keeper."
"Keeper?" He yawned. "Lily's not a keeper. That's Wood's job."
I laughed as he went to sleep beside me. Turning the other way, I saw Remus' empty bed and Peter's form in his own four-poster. While girls would come and go, these three boys were my best mates. I closed my eyes, surrendering to dreams about the next great prank we would pull.
A.N.: So next chapter will be the Gryffindor party according to Sirius Black, and the next will be (most likely) according to Remus Lupin. Although you sort of know what the stories will go like, it will definitely be a breath of fresh air to me, writing these stories through the eyes of the boys. And hopefully, will be the same for you. Now, if you have any ideas for how their night might go, I am more than happy to accommodate those ideas. And, as last time, if you want to do a sort of vote for who Charlie should end up with, I'm getting a better idea of who I want her with, but other people's point of view might help me decide for sure. Thanks! Keep reading 'cause it gets better!
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