(let the drama-introducing, slightly quidditch-less chapters commence!)
see a/n at beginning of ch 1 for the basics! happy reading!
edit- july '13-- I've added a super new scene to this chapter that i'd written a few months back nut couldn't fit in... until now :D so read (or re-read) and enjoy!
CHAPTER SEVEN- TRANSFIGURATION AND TUTORS
For about a week or so after the match, my teammates and I were the most popular wizards in school. People were complimenting us in the hall, asking for autographs and play-by-play accounts of the match, and people that I’d never even talked to were insisting that I was their best friend. Quite an overwhelming process, in my opinion. Finn told me to get used to it. The side-effects of being a fabulous Quidditch player, he said.
“Two more minutes, students!” called Professor McGonagall. “If you do not succeed in Vanishing your frog, you will have to write an essay on the Vanishing theory for next class!”
“Evanesco!” Ryan cried, waving his wand wildly at the frog on his desk.
It croaked, as if to say, Really? You’re trying to Vanish me?
“You’re doing it all wrong!” I exclaimed, snatching his wand out of his hand. “Watch me.” I pointed my own wand at the frog and said calmly, “Evanesco.”
The frog disappeared in a flash of light.
Ryan gaped at me.
“Now you try.” I handed his wand back to him. “Make sure you get the wand motion right.”
He recited the incantation again. The frog vanished. Ryan leaned back in his chair in relief. “You’re a life saver. I really didn’t want to do that essay.”
“Class is over!” McGonagall called. My classmates hastily returned the remaining frogs to the tank and made a beeline for the exit. I fell into step with Finn.
“Did you get yours to Vanish?” I asked.
“Nah. Now I’ve got to write that essay on top of the mandatory practice! I hate O.W.L.s.”
“I did it,” Ryan gloated, zipping up his bag.
“With my help,” I reminded him.
“Miss Levine,” called Professor McGonagall as I was about to leave. I turned.
“May I speak to you for a moment?”
“Sure,” I replied, then turned back to my friends. “Don’t wait for me, just save me a seat in Herbology and tell Longbottom I’ll be late.” They nodded and left the classroom. McGonagall and I were alone.
I cautiously approached the headmistress’s desk.
“Miss Levine, you are rather gifted at Transfiguration, don’t you agree?”
I stared at my shoes to avoid her startling, hawk-like eyes. “I suppose so.”
“Is it true that you can complete human Transfiguration?”
I smiled weakly and tore my gaze away from the floor. “You heard about the teapot back at Quidditch tryouts?”
McGonagall nodded. “The boy you Transfigured is in my N.E.W.T. class. Miss Levine, human Transfiguration is no easy task. There’s a reason that it’s taught at the N.E.W.T. level. A fifth year being able to do that is quite impressive.”
“Thank you, professor.”
“Anyway, would you be interested in tutoring other students in Transfiguration? I’ve had quite a few students approach me about getting a tutor, and you would be perfect for the job.”
“You think so?”
“Oh, definitely. You’d get extra credit for doing it, too, not that you need it. The only other question is whether or not you’ll be able to fit it in with Quidditch. I’d hate to see Gryffindor lose to Ravenclaw in January,” she said with a smile.
“I think I could make it work,” I said. “Just let me know when I start.”
“What did McGonagall want?” asked Ryan at lunch that day.
I swallowed my mouthful of apple and peanut butter. “She wanted to know if I was interested in becoming a Transfiguration tutor. I said I’ll do it.”
“Sweet! Now you can help me Vanish all the frogs!” Ryan said.
“What’s this about you becoming a tutor?” Al asked, sitting down on my right. “It’s not going to mess with Quidditch, right?”
“Chillax, Al, I’ve got it worked out with McGonagall. I’ve got one person to tutor, and it’s only 1-2 nights a week. And McGonagall’s gonna schedule it so those nights don’t interfere with our practices.”
“Who are you tutoring?” Finn asked.
“Not sure.” I spread peanut butter on another apple slice.
“When do you start?” said Al.
“Oh, tomorrow, actually.”
I sat in one of the private study rooms in the library, waiting for the person I was supposed to tutor. I wanted to get the tutoring session over with, since it was Saturday and I had practice at lunchtime. I drummed my fingers nervously on the table, checked my watch, and redid my ponytail. I’d gotten the time right, right?
There was a knock on the door, and they came in.
My eyes widened. Mother of Merlin. I had been expecting a small, nervous underclassman. Not Chase Davies. Chase Davies, the impossibly hot, popular Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain that almost every girl was in love with. I gulped, and inwardly cursed that I probably looked like a slob in my workout clothes.
“You’re Ella Levine? My tutor?” he seemed surprised that I was a year below him. I nodded, then remembered that I had a voice. “And you must be Chase Davies.” I held out my hand to shake. He took it.
Deep breaths Ella, you will not fangirl. I repeat, you will not fangirl. Focus. You’re here to teach him Transfiguration, not flirt or melt into a puddle of goo. You can do this.
“So, I’m assuming you’re in N.E.W.T. Transfiguration.” I said. Lame, but necessary. He nodded.
“But you haven’t even taken your O.W.L.s yet. How are you supposed to teach me N.E.W.T.?” Chase asked.
“Well, I taught myself human Transfiguration by accident in fourth year, and McGonagall lent me a copy of the textbook for your class.”
I sighed, quickly turned my hair bubblegum pink, and back to it’s usual caramel brown. Whoop-de-doo.
“All right. You’re hired. Can you help me with this worksheet?”
We set to work. I explained different theories and spells in the simplest terms possible, which really seemed to help Chase out. Throughout the lesson, I tried to come up with reasons why Chase wasn’t that perfect, to convince myself not to fangirl all over the place. He can be a bit bossy and competitive, and I’ve heard that he’s a bit of a player. His eyes are just brown not chocolaty brown. That flirtatious smirk is annoying (this one was a total lie). I almost had myself convinced. (Or so I told myself…)
“Is this one right?” Chase asked. I took the paper from his hands and reviewed his answer.
“Yep. Looks good, except the most popular color that people Transfigure their eyebrows is hot pink, not green.” I glanced at my watch and yelped. We’d been tutoring for over an hour. “I’ve got to go, I have Quidditch practice in ten minutes. Same time next week?” I quickly handed the paper back.
He shrugged. “Works for me. You play Quidditch?”
“Yeah, I’m Seeker for Gryffindor.” I said proudly.
“I’m Seeker for Ravenclaw.” Chase countered.
“Guess our match in January will be fun, then.”
“Definitely. See you around, Ella.”
“See you, Chase.”
I opened the door, walked a few paces, then broke into a run. Al would kill me if I was late.
I made it to the pitch just in time.
“How’d your tutoring go?” asked Ryan during our warm-up laps.
“It was good. I’m tutoring Chase Davies.”
“Ravenclaw’s Quidditch captain?” Finn interjected.
“That’s the one.”
I could practically see the James Bond and Bond Girl: Ravenclaw Edition schemes forming in his mind that centered on me personally knowing the captain. Great.
“Finn, no. Just no.”
“What? I wasn’t planning anything!”
I gave him the evil eye, then returned my attention to my feet pounding the muddy grass. The mud squelched and splattered me with little muddy specks with each step. Lovely.
After our laps we began work on the Porskoff Ploy. Freddy and Al were supposed to be feigning skyward then dropping the Quaffle down to Ryan while the rest of us played defense, but Ryan kept missing the catch. I highly suspected that his distractedness was due to a group of sixth year Gryffindor girls who had showed up to watch us play. The idiot.
“Ryan!” Al barked in his usual Master Commander Captain tone. “Put your eyes back in your head and catch the damn Quaffle!”
“Shut up,” I elbowed him in the side. “It’s not like you weren’t looking at those girls too.”
“Guilty as charged, madam.”
Ugh, these boys could be so annoying.
But you love them anyways, a voice in my head mused.
“Of course,” I muttered to myself.
“What?” Al asked, spinning past me, Quaffle in hand.
“Oh, nothing. Just talking to myself.”
He looked at me quizzically. “You’re a strange one, you know that?” he said. “Lovely, but strange.” He shrugged and flew off, leaving me mildly confused and embarrassed.
“Al, is Uncle Harry really coming to give a talk on the Dark Arts next Monday?” Freddy asked, flying upwards. I flew after him, eager to interfere with the pass.
Al groaned. “Yeah. He sent me an owl this morning. Kill me now.”
“Oh, the Chosen One talks?” I added, swatting Freddy’s drop to Ryan to the side. “Those are the best! I can’t believe he did all that stuff, and he was our age! Someone should write a book about it.”
“They did—his biography came out a few years after he beat that Voldemort guy. It was a bestseller; he mentions it at every presentation. I’m just tired of the Chosen One stuff, since he’s my dad and all.” Al replied.
I’d forgotten about that. Al’s last name is Potter, duh. Stupid Ella. “But that’s so cool!”
“Not really. People are always coming by the house, and I’ve heard the story a million times: Dad, Uncle Ron, and Aunt Hermione save something each school year, drop out and camp out for a year hunting Horklumps or something, my dad kills the bad guy, saves the world, blah, blah, blah.” Al grumbled. “Not that big of a deal, really. He’s just a normal dad.”
Having the savior of the Wizarding World as your father is a pretty big deal, actually, I thought. But I decided not to press the subject.
I told Dominique all about my tutoring session once practice was over and I was relatively mud free. No offense to my team, but Dom was a way better listener, and I could tell her about my thoughts on Chase with minimal teasing.
“You actually get to tutor Chase Davies?” she squealed.
I nodded. “I’ve told you that five times already.”
“He’s perfect,” she continued. “Hot, athletic, smart, popular—perfect, just perfect. And you get to be with him once a week!”
“He’s not perfect,” I said unconvincingly. “Remember last year when he totally let Rosalind Winters on only to stamp on her heart and make out with Phoebe Stark? That was such a jerk-ass player move. Plus his eyes aren’t chocolaty brown. Just plain brown. I checked.”
“That may be true,” Dom mused, “but you’re only saying that to convince yourself that you don’t like him, but you totally do.”
“No—I—bu—pfft—gah—maybe,” I spluttered. “But nothings going to happen. He’s an acquaintance. I’m just tutoring him.”
“Besides, if I liked him it would just make things more awkward than they already are.”
“How could you possibly find it awkward to be around boys if you spend most of your time with an all boys +1 sports-obsessed girl Quidditch team?”
“I don’t know…he’s different than my teammates and harder to talk to. I think it’s because his older, popular, and attractive-- it’s like he’s a level above me and I should be groveling at his feet, not interacting with him,” I answered.
Dominique pondered my response for a moment. “Well…” the queen of advice began, “Obviously, you like him,” she held up her hand when I tried to protest and continued. “but I think that you should just treat him as a normal acquaintance. However if Chase decides that he wants to be friends or even more than that, then totally go for it.”
“I hate Mondays.” I grumbled, slumping into the Great Hall with Dominique and Nick.
“Same, dude. Monday can just go die.” Nick agreed.
“C’mon, they’re not that bad!” Dominique piped up as she tried to minimize the damage that my Monday self had done to my appearance. She adjusted my uniform oxford’s collar, tied my shoe, and attempted to wrangle my bedhead into a ponytail while I attempted to fall asleep standing up.
“Why are you even bothering?” I droned.
“Because my best friend can’t go around looking like a slob! I do have a reputation to uphold, you know.”
I moaned in indifference.
“Ella, there’s pancakes today.” Nick remarked.
I perked up. “Where?”
Dominique raised her eyebrows at Nick. How did you do that? She mouthed.
He shrugged. “I like pancakes. I’m a boy. Ella’s practically a boy.”
Three cheers for my astounding femininity.
As promised, there were pancakes. Of the chocolate chip variety.
I piled my golden plate high, drowned it in maple syrup, and was lifting a bite to my mouth in when someone tapped my shoulder.
Who dares to interrupt my pancake eating!?! I turned about to face the offender, reciting my best breakfast-food-related jinxes in my head. My anger died in my throat.
Chase Davies smiled down at me, gorgeous as ever. I said a silent thank you to Dominique for making my appearance less troll-like.
“Listen, Ella, I can’t do tutoring tomorrow—I have practice and I can’t get it rescheduled. Can we do Friday instead?”
“Works for me!”
“Great. See you then.” And with that, he stole the fork and pancake from my hand, ate my precious bit of breakfast, and sauntered away, twirling my fork between his fingers.
Chase Davies came to talk to me. Chase Davies ate my food. That means Chase Davies just flirted with me. Oh Merlin.
“Wizard god, he’s attractive,” whispered Dom. I nodded in agreement.
“You guys are so stupid,” Nick snorted, and he continued to wolf down his pancakes.
Al Potter threw his backpack to the ground, plunked onto the bench next to me, and proceeded to murder some innocent mashed potatoes.
I shielded my own lunch with my arms. “Calm down, Incredible Hulk! What’s the matter?”
Al’s fork fell to the table with a clatter. “My dad’s the problem! He’s giving that stupid speech about how he defeated Voldemort again after lunch and I’m just so sick and tired of going to it! And the whole time everyone’s looking at me like they’re expecting me to break out some kick-ass Dark Lord defeating moves since I’m his son and just—ARGH!” he viciously stabbed the poor potatoes again. “I just don’t want to do it anymore. But I have to go.”
I thought for a moment, slightly shocked to see Al upset about something unrelated to Quidditch, then said tentatively, “We could skip it…?” it sounded more like a question than a cunning plan.
Al perked up. “You’d skip the speech with me?”
“Just said so.”
“You’re the best, princess.”
So they say.
Al and I waited until Headmistress McGonagall gave the announcement to depart for the speech. In the general tumult of 500 crazy students leaving the Great Hall, Al and I casually slid off of our bench and hid under the table.
“Check this out,” he whispered, pulling something out of his backpack. It was an old folded square of fabric. Yippee.
“Al, now’s not the best time to be trying on new outfits.”
“Shh, you idiot, it’s an invisibility cloak! It’s been in my family for generations.”
“I solemnly swear that I’m telling the truth.”
Al threw the cloak over us. I felt like I was wearing a bed-sheet, ghost style. I held out my hand in front of me, and, sure enough, it was invisible. If I could see Al right now, I’m sure he’d be smirking at me.
“This is freaking awesome.”
We crept invisibly out from under the table and into the hallway. Nobody saw us, not even the old caretaker’s cat, Mrs. Norris Jr. I kicked her. It felt good.
By the time we reached Gryffindor Tower, I officially wanted an invisibility cloak. Why didn’t I have any cool magical heirlooms? Stupid Muggle parents.
“Where are we going?” I asked. Invisible Al said nothing.
We stopped in front of a wooden door with the number five on it.
“No. There is no way I’m going in there.”
“That’s the boys’ dormitory.”
“It’s not that bad.” Al dragged me in before I could protest further.
I’ll have to admit, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Sure, the floor was littered with discarded clothing and Quidditch gear, but as far as I could tell there wasn’t any moldy food or decaying dead animals. E for Exceeds Expectations, boys.
Al whipped off the cloak with a flourish and jumped onto his bed. I perched uncertainly on the edge of Finn’s.
“So, princess, what do you want to do for the next hour or so?”
“Besides booby trap Finn and Ryan’s stuff?”
“Excellent idea.” His bright green eyes glittered evilly.
We set to work; Al suggesting fabulous jinxes that his older brother had taught him. My personal favorite was the one that would turn Finn purple when he touched his toothbrush. It was fun to spend time with Al and do things totally unrelated to Quidditch, and to know that there was a silly side to the team Captain.
“You know, Al, you’re almost as good of a partner-in-crime as Finn. And that’s saying something.” I said, sitting down cross-legged on his bed.
“Almost? Ella, I’m hurt,” he pouted.
“Shut up, you drama queen.”
“Speaking of drama, how’s your tutoring going with Chase ‘Mr. Sexy’ Davies?” Al asked, air quoting Dom’s nickname for Chase. He sat down across from me.
I rolled my eyes. “How much has Dom told you?”
“Only that you have a huge crush on him.”
Note to self: swear Dominique Weasley to secrecy next time you tell her something like that. Learn how to make an Unbreakable Vow.
I picked at the hem of my uniform skirt. “Not huge crush, more like whenever I tutor him my thought process is like: Oh my God you’re so attractive! Then, focus, Ella. Transfiguration. Then, please stop being so perfect!”
“Why am I even telling you this?” I sighed in exasperation.
He shrugged. “Because I’m one of your best friends.” He paused. “…so huge crush.”
“You love him.”
“Don’t say that.”
“You’re not denying it.”
“I’m not confirming it either.”
“Ella Levine loves Chase Davies,” he smirked.
“Shut up, Al!”
He cupped his hands to his mouth and shouted, “ELLA LEVINE LOVES—“
“AAAARRGGGHHHH!” I shrieked, pouncing on Al, prepared to jinx him into next week.
“Whoa. Are they—“
“I think they are.”
“Oh my God shield your eyes!”
I whipped my head towards the voices. Finn and Ryan stood in the doorway to the dormitory, their faces conflicting between surprise, confusion, and horror.
“Where you just—“ Ryan’s voice died in his throat.
I was confused. What was so weird? Al and I were just talking.
No, I thought, comprehension dawning on me. I was just tackling Al.
I looked down. I was practically straddling Al, my hand halfway to my wand, prepared to strike. We were in his bed. His bed.
Oh shit. This was gonna take some explaining.
I locked eyes with Al. He seemed to understand what Finn and Ryan were thinking as well. “Oh no,” he whispered.
I sprang off the bed. Al backed away from me. “This isn’t what it looks like.” I said timidly. I felt the color rise in my cheeks.
“Really?” asked Ryan. He looked like he wanted to throw up. “’Cause it looks like—like—ugh it’s so horrible I can’t even say it.”
Al and I tried to explain at the same time.
“we just skipped the lecture—“
“—came up here”
“—he was killing innocent potatoes—“
“just talking, honest—”
“—thinks Chase Davies is hot—“
“—shouldn’t have told you that—“
“said I loved him but I don’t”
“she totally does—“
“—so I tackled him because—“
“—WE WEREN’T HAVING SEX!”
“—IT’S NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!”
Finn and Ryan still seemed skeptical.
“Please believe us!” I pleaded. “Al’s just my friend. I don’t like him, or either of you, or anyone like that—“
“You like Chase Davies…”
“But seriously guys,” Al continued. “We weren’t. Ella was just trying to beat me up for teasing her. Nothing happened.”
“What he said.”
There was a long awkward silence.
Finally, Finn broke it. “I believe you two.”
“Me too,” Ryan added.
I breathed a sigh of relief. “Phew! Merlin, I can’t believe that you actually thought—“ I shuddered. “That’s just—“
“Revolting,” interrupted Al. “I definitely don’t like Ella.”
Love you too, Al.
“Remember to keep it PG at practice kids!”
I glared at Finn. “Why would you tell Nick and Sam about you-know-what?”
“Because it was funny.” He replied with a smile. “I told Freddy too.”
“No it wasn’t funny! It was awkward and embarrassing.” So of course the whole team knows. Lovely.
“It was funny in the end, once you got over the initial horror.”
“All right, team!” Al shouted from the other end of the field. “Good job practicing today! And I’d like to remind everyone—“ he glared pointedly at Nick and Sam, who snickered “—that Ella and I are not lovers. Next practice is on Sunday.”
We trooped back up to the castle, joking around as always.
“Hey,” said Al, falling into step with me.
“Wish they’d stop talking about what happened yesterday, don’t you?”
“Yeah, but they’ll forget about it soon,”
Up ahead, Nick and Sam were composing an original song called, “The Dorm Room Incident.”
“Or not.” Al said.
(The review-provoking question of the week (err chapter): Chase Davies. what do you think of him? first impressions? what do you think's going to go down with him in upcoming chapters? let me know your thoughts on him, the chapter, or the story in general. I love hearing what you have to say!)
another review provoker
if handsome quidditch captains aren't your style-- thoughts on the newly added scene?!? thanks in advance for reviewing! love you man!