Chapter 2 : Chapter 2
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After returning to Hogwarts, the weeks flew by. Before I knew it, it was already the day of Quidditch tryouts.
This year would be no different than those before it, except for the fact that this year, the team captain would be the one and only, James Potter II.
On the morning of the tryouts, Dom and I were looking up and down the Gryffindor table looking for a spare place to sit and eat. After a moment, she grabbed me by the arm and pulled me over to sit down in front of James and Fred, despite my groans of protest. I could not wait to hear James' bragging about making team captain.
Fred offered us a grin as we sat down. He's actually pretty cool, except for the fact he happens to be best friends with the devil.
We all watched in amusement as James tried unsuccessfully to pour pumpkin juice from a large jug into his goblet. His hands shook so badly he ended up spilling it onto his lap. He swore loudly as he reached for the napkins in the middle of the table.
Innocently, I batted my eyelashes at him. "Nervous, Potter?" I asked. He scowled at me as he dabbed at his soaked white Quidditch trousers.
"Shouldn't you be nervous too, O'Connell?" He asked with raised eyebrows as he shoved away the soiled napkins and picked up a fresh bunch and resumed dabbing himself.
Rolling my eyes, I picked up my wand and murmured "Scourgify," as I pointed to Potter's trousers.
Once he found his trousers to be clean again, he looked up confusedly. When he saw my wand pointed at him, he furrowed his brow and scratched the side of his face. "Thanks." He muttered before taking a sip of the small amount of pumpkin juice he actually managed to pour.
Dom reached forward and grabbed a stack of pancakes and piled them on her plate. That was the one thing I envied her, the ability to eat whatever she pleased and remain as slim as a stick. The perks of being part Veela.
Taking a huge bite of her food, Dom spoke. "Why would she have anything to be nervous about? She's pretty much guaranteed a spot." Crumbs flew from her mouth as she spoke with a full mouth.
I raised my eyebrows as I spoke, "I wouldn't be so sure. You never know. Especially with the new captain this year." I said, eyeing Potter.
He gave me a distasteful look. "Shut up. You've been on the team since second year, and you're one of the best chasers I've ever seen. Of course the spot is practically guaranteed." He said as he took another sip of juice.
Whoa. Hold the phone. Was that a compliment?
"Excuse me?" I asked disbelievingly. Dom nodded in agreement as she shoved another mouthful of pancakes into her mouth.
Fred grinned. "But she isn't as good as me, is she, Jamesy?" James rolled his eyes and nodded.
In the beginning, people had questioned whether all the children from the Potter/Weasley family were only being given spots on the team because of their relation to Harry Potter, the man who saved the entire world from Voldemort. However, every single member of the family had proved all the skeptics wrong.
Lily, although only a third year, became one of the best seekers seen on Hogwarts grounds since that of her father and her grandfather. Fred had also proved himself to be one of the most talented beaters the Gryffindor team had seen in years, even though he only joined the team in fifth year. Even Lucy Weasley played as keeper for the Ravenclaw team. And as much as it pained me to admit it, James, a chaser like me, had shown that time and time again that he was definitely extremely talented.
Although James words were encouraging, I couldn't help but feel a little skeptical. What if this was all some big prank? What if he was lulling me into a false sense of security before throwing me into the mud? I must be careful about that.
"What?" Potter questioned, looking suspiciously at me. I realised I had been giving him a very strange look as I thought through all the possible scenarios in which he could one up me.
Acting nonchalant, I sighed, "Nothing."
Potter rejoined his conversation with Fred and I reached forward and to grab a banana from the middle of the table and glanced at Dom, who was on to her fourth pancake.
As much as I wanted to deny it, I was nervous. I had had no vision of today's events, at all. Even when I had tried to force myself into seeing the results of the tryouts.
I don't usually try and force my visions, because it usually ends in a very bad headache. However, more often than not, I can see what I'm trying to see. I can also prevent my visions for a while, but that, too, ends in a headache. I find it's best just to let them come when they please, which is usually when my mind is wandering. They come less frequently when I'm working or doing something thought-consuming.
As I watched Dominique and opened my mouth to take a bite of my banana, my vision clouded over into darkness.
As I blinked away the brief fog, I found myself sitting in the exact same position as I was. Dom was beside me (although the pile of pancakes were gone), Potter and Fred were across from me and the puddle of pumpkin juice was still on the table.
I was unable to say anything. I couldn't control my movements. In all of my visions, it was like I was trapped in my own body as my future self did everything I had no control over.
Future-me glanced down at my watch, and I saw it was exactly half past nine. I looked up to Dominique and reached up to pat down a piece of stray blond hair sticking out of the top of her head and she looked at me in confusion.
Why was I fixing Dominique's hair?
My question was soon answered as I saw Kyle Pennyworth, one of the hottest guys in all of Hogwarts, approach us over Dom's shoulder. Future-me cleared my throat and gave Dominique a pointed look and casually picked up a slice of toast and took a bite, as though I hadn't noticed Kyle walking over.
Dom flipped her long blond hair over her shoulder and licked her lips as Kyle reached our table and tapped her on the shoulder. "Kyle! Hi!" She exclaimed, turning around.
He gave her his trademark dazzling smile. "Hey." He said coolly as he flicked his head to the side.
I fought back a sigh of longing as I watched his silky golden hair fall into a perfect swoop over his forehead, and Dom seemed to be having the same reaction. She was seemingly stunned for a moment, so future-me kicked her ankle harshly under the table and she jumped in surprise, knocked out of her daze.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw James and Fred watching us, Fred sarcastically looking up to heaven and clutching his hands to his chest as if he, too, were swooning over Kyle Pennyworth. James was just watching silently with a stony expression on his face.
Dominique coughed and tucked her hair behind her ear. "So... what's up, Kyle?" She asked, shooting him her 'dude magnet' smile. (The one she practises in the mirror practically every night. She even tried to teach me, once, but I just ended up looking like I was in pain.)
He grinned back at her and leaned forward. "I was just wondering if you accompany me to Hogsmeade next weekend." Dom began to stutter out a reply and future-me grinned.
"Uh- me? Yeah, I guess. I mean yes. Please. Er- thank you?"
Kyle released another dazzling smile and picked up her hand, planting a kiss on her knuckles. "I will see you then, Miss Weasley."
As he turned and strutted away, the scene in front of me began blurring around the edges before returning to darkness completely.
I blinked and realised I had returned to the present. Looking around me, I saw Dom was still chewing away on her pancakes.
"See anything interesting?" She joked through a mouthful of food. Rolling my eyes, I looked over to Potter and Fred were still chatting, oblivious to momentary trance.
I looked down at my watch. It was twenty past nine, with only approximately ten minutes until my vision began. I reached over to Dom and picked up her plate laden with pancakes and moved them further down the table out of reach.
"Hey!" She cried, reaching for them like an infant reaching for toys. I smacked her hand away and glared at her.
"Trust me, you do not want to have your mouth full right now." I advised as I dabbed at her mouth with a napkin. "Put on some lip gloss."
Dom looked confused but reached into her satchel for her small tube of glittery lip gloss that she carried everywhere with her.
"Why?" She asked as she spread the gloop over her lips, but I shook my head. I prefer not tell people what's coming, if I happen to predict something. I think it's always best just to let things play out without any interference.
"You'll see." I said as I sat back.
As I waited for half-past nine to strike, we all discussed how Potter was planning on trying everyone out today. He wouldn't tell us, though, merely tapping the side of his nose and claiming we would find out soon enough.
As I looked down at my watch for the millionth time, I was delighted when I saw the hand had hit half-past nine. I looked excitedly over to Dominique and reached over to smooth out the hair on the top of her head.
After a moment, I noticed Kyle stand up and start walking towards us. Just as I had seen it happen, Kyle introduced himself and asked Dom out to Hogsmeade.
Once he turned to walk away, Dom and I both gripped the edge of the table and leaned back in out seats, craning our necks, to catch a glimpse of Kyle's bum as he walked away. Needless to say, we were not disappointed.
"You lucky thing," I let out a long sigh, as we both continued to gaze after him.
Dom practically squealed with excitement. "I know!" She banged a quick beat on the table in excitement.
James snorted. "Oh, please. You fancy him?" I turned to face James stare. All was silent for a second, both Dominique and I scoffed. "Yeah."
James glared at me but Fred laughed. "Do you blame them? He's sooo dreamy" Fred joked, twirling his short, dark hair with his index finger. James frowned and crossed his arms. "No he isn't. He's so full of himself!"
Dom and I looked at each other for a moment before bursting out laughing. "Sounds like somebody's jealous of Kyle." I grinned.
James crossed his arms. "I am not jealous of Pennyworth," he insisted.
I giggled some more. "Sure, you aren't."
Dominique sighed happily and rested her elbows on the table. "Do you remember Jack Finnigan? Now he was hot." Dom stared into space as she remembered her first boyfriend. I had to agree with her. Jack had been gorgeous, but had graduated last year.
"Okay, what about Professor Lupin?" I asked, casually eyeing up our attractive defence against the dark arts teacher, who was sitting up on the top table speaking to Hagrid. Today his hair was a vibrant shade of blue, making him stand out among the monotone figures around him.
James scoffed. "Teddy? Seriously?" I nodded, but Dom shook her head, in agreement with James. "He's like family to me, it'd be too weird. Plus he's with my sister." She shuddered.
I shrugged. "Whatever. I would totally let his basilisk into my chamber of secrets." I said with a wink, referring to the story I had heard about Dom's uncle, Harry.
Fred looked around the Great Hall and nudged James, who was glaring at me. "What about Jessica Vane?" He subtly pointed at the curly-haired Gryffindor sitting at the end of the table. James' frown turned to a grin as he nudged Fred right back. "Absolutely."
My light mood changed suddenly. With a scowl, I turned around to look behind me. "Jessica Vane?" I looked back at James who was wearing a smug smirk.
"Oh, yeah," he said.
My frown deepened. "She's a bitch."
James and Fred cackled together. I crossed my arms. "Shouldn't you be setting up for tryouts by now?" I asked in annoyance.
James stopped laughing immediately and turned very pale. "Shit, I forgot." Quickly, he stood and dashed out of the Great Hall to the chorus of our laughs.
Fred and I walked onto the Quidditch pitch among the gaggle of Hogwarts students. I waved up at Dominique, who was watching us from her place in the Quidditch stands. She sat as far away as she could from the many young (ahem, female) members of James' fanclub who had gathered to fawn over James and his perfect hair and perfect abs.
She waved back at me, grimacing and rolling her eyes towards the giggling girls, who for some reason, were practically all wearing pink.
Just before I looked away, she gave me small wink of good luck. Even though she claimed to hate Quidditch, she attends all the matches and tryouts. She says she's being "supportive", but honestly I think she just wants a chance to ogle all the guy's legs.
Who could blame her?
We all lined up beside one another and looked at James, who stood in the middle of the field. It was hard to tell if his confident expression was genuine. If I had not seen the lad spill pumpkin juice down his trousers earlier, I would probably have no idea he was worried at all.
James cleared his throat.
"Everyone trying out for Seeker, stand over there." He pointed to the right. "Everyone trying out for Beater, go to the other end of the pitch. Someone bring the trunk" He pointed to the box containing the Bludgers. "Keepers and Chasers, in the air." He pointed upwards.
The crowd began to disperse. I pulled a face at Dom before kicking off the ground and flying upwards.
All was silent for a moment as I closed my eyes and felt the wind whipping around me. This was the first time I had ridden my broom since before the summer, and it still felt exactly the same. I was never more at peace as I was in the air.
I opened my eyes and looked around me. I waved at Sinnita, a girl in my year, who was hovering a few metres away from me. She waved back and looked down at the groups on the ground. I watched as James said something to the group of Seekers before he released the Snitch and hopped on his broom and flew to the Beaters on the other end of the pitch.
I could see him say something to them before he released the Bludgers from the trunk. I noticed him give Fred a quick pat on the back before he hopped on his broom and flew up to us.
"Okay. Keepers to the goal posts, Chasers, follow me." Our group split in two as we flew in different directions. The Keepers lined up beside the three large hoops and James arranged us Chasers into a line. I did a quick head count silently. There were eleven people trying out for Chaser. Not including James.
That meant there were only two spots open.
I tried extremely hard not be intimidated by the very large guys I would be up against. Tried.
My nerves were definitely setting in now.
"Chasers, try and get the Quaffle past the Keepers into the goal posts. I'll be watching."
And with that, James flew away to watch the Seekers, who were flying around desperately trying to prove themselves by being the first to catch the Snitch.
By the time it was my turn to take a shot at the goal posts, seven people had already gone and none of them had yet gotten the Quaffle past a Keeper.
For my shot, I saw it was Jessica Vane who would be the possible Keeper I was up against.
Grinning inwardly but keeping a serious expression of fierce determination on my face, I bounced the Quaffle from one hand to the other. I looked at Jessica, who mirrored my expression.
I noticed some movement out of the corner of my eye. James had flown up to my far right to see me take the shot. Okay. No pressure.
In the distance I heard Dom yell out a random, "Yoo-hoooo!"
I took in a deep breath and closed my eyes. I can do this.
I ignored James and his annoying stare. (I bet he was only watching so closely to make me feel nervous, the twat.) I ignored all of the other possible Chasers who were watching me and probably willing me to fail. I ignored everything. I shut it all out.
I opened my eyes, puffed out the breath I had been holding and let my focus centre in on Jessica Vane and the three large hoops she was defending.
I nodded to myself and started off on my broom. I swerved from left to right, making it impossible for Jessica to know which hoop I was aiming for. I chanced a quick glance to the right hoop, the one she was slowly inching away from. Changing my stare to look purposefully at the left hoop, I saw her swerve to guard it.
As quickly as I could, I threw the Quaffle high up into the air. I didn't look at anyone, letting the red Quaffle take up all of my focus. As I returned to me, I swiftly jerked my broom to the side, the Quaffle hitting the end of my broom with a satisfying thwack.
The ball went soaring to the right hoop. Jessica, realising my bluff, tried to fly towards the right hoop as fast as she could.
But she wasn't fast enough.
The Quaffle went soaring straight through the hoop with absolutely no interference.
I let out a whoop and rode my broom around in circles of celebration. I heard Dominique shouting and cat-calling at my victory, as well as the line of Keepers who looked very pleased that one of them had failed. I rode back to the line of Chasers, who all looked pretty heartbroken.
I looked over at James to see he was sitting on his broom and clapping.
"Now, that is what I want to see!" He yelled.
He gave me nod and flew off down to the group of Beaters.
Where did that come from?
The tryouts ended after about three hours of various strength and agility trials. By the end of them I was sweaty and covered in dirt, desperately craving a shower.
I pulled my hair out of the tight ponytail it was in as I walked back up towards the castle. I was moving slowly, trying to ignore the strain I could already feel developing on my muscles. I should have spent more time doing proper exercise over the summer.
Overall, I thought the tryout had gone well for me, but James hadn't given me any signs of praise other than when I made that first goal. He had been quick and mean, commanding us to keep up our pace rigorously. Quite a few of the guys I had felt to inferior beside had quit halfway through.
I almost snorted as I kept walking up toward the castle.
"O'Connell!" I heard a voice I recognised call from behind me.
I couldn't work up the energy to turn my head, so I just shouted, "What do you want, Potter?"
If he was here to gloat or give out about something, so help me, I would smack him.
He jogged to a stop beside me and matched my pace. "Congratulations."
I tilted my head to the side and cracked my neck. "On what?"
He grinned at me. "On making the team."
I stopped suddenly. No way.
"Are you shitting me?"
My smile grew wider when he replied, "Nope. You did good."
My grin faded to a suspicious glance at him. Why was he being so nice? I don't think we'd ever had a civilised conversation before, and now here we were having two in a row.
Before I could contemplate it further, he bent down, running two fingers through the mud. I was about to ask what the hell he thought he was doing, when he stood back up suddenly and smeared his muddy fingers across my forehead.
I shrieked and smacked at him, but he just cackled and started sprinting towards the castle. Not bothered to waste my energy on chasing after him, I simply yelled out. "You're an arse!"
I heard him laugh again. "You're an arse!" He imitated in a high-pitched voice with a very badly faked Irish accent.
Huffing to myself, I wiped a sleeve across my filthy forehead. Same old Potter.
I watched his retreating form as he continued to race back toward the castle. As I did, my vision went slightly blurry. Blinking quickly to clear my eyes, I continued walking. I reached up to touch my forehead again. As soon as I laid my hand across it, a picture exploded in front of my eyes. I saw James, a heart-broken expression on his face.
I blinked again and the picture was gone. Shaking my head and shuddering against the cold, foreboding feeling I felt wash over me, I made my way into the castle, trying to ignore the feeling of unease the picture had brought over me.
A/N: Ooh... what could this mean? I'd love to hear what you guys are thinking. I'm sorry that I don't update fast enough, but your reviews are what inspire me to keep going with my stories :D
Thanks for reading!