Chapter 3 : Lily's Solution
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She was in the library. I returned my borrowed book and found her in “our spot,” a bookcase in the far left corner by the fiction novels. I let her know about the incident where I said a word without my stammer, and she broke down into tears.
Girls aren’t complicated, eh Freddie? Tell that to the girl crying into my robes.
“Er, Lily? What’s going on, love?” I ask her, stroking her hair.
She pulls from my arms and gives me her "cute smile" where one side of her lips turn up, “I think you should rejoin the quidditch team, Stewart.”
“What?” I ask. Did I miss something?
“Yeah, I think it’ll be good for you,” she nods her head in determination and leaves our bookcase, tugging me along behind her.
Well, I’m completely lost. I mean, Hugo and I were on the quidditch team for a couple of years, but I quit when Lily told me to last year. She was worried about my safety. I was still dragged to the practices by Freddie, just like I’m being dragged to the Gryffindor common room by Lily now. Lily waves at the captain of the team sitting next to the fire. He’s a sixth year boy named Roderick “Roddie” Finnegan.
“Hey Roddie, Stewart would like to try-out for the team!” Lily beams at the rather large boy.
He looks me up and down, raising an eyebrow, “Really? What position do you play?” he asks me.
I shrug my shoulders. This was not my idea.
Lily rolls her eyes at me and answers, “He can play whatever you need him to play, Rod.”
“Well, I have two positions open after Fred and Albus graduated last year, but have you seen that third year, Justin? He’s got a talent for flying and grabbing quaffles.”
“What’s the other position?” Lily pushes for more information.
Roddie frowns and scratches the back of his head, “Er, well, you know that Fred graduated and everything...”
Beater. The position open is beater, but Roxanne is the other beater on the team.
“Spill, Finnegan, you’re being horribly annoying,” Lily complains, folding her arms across her chest.
Roddie looks at me in apology and says, “Well, Stewart can be a beater.”
Lily’s face immediately falls and she shakes her head, “Absolutely not.”
“Well, if you don’t want ‘im to be a beater, he’ll have to try-out as a chaser this afternoon at four,” Roddie waves us off and returns to his quidditch magazine.
“That’s all right, Stewy,” Lily pushes me out of the portrait hole and leads me towards the grounds, “We can practice and beat Justin ‘what’s his face’ for the chaser position.”
I grab her arm and move her so that she’s facing me, “Lily, what is the p-p-point?”
“Quidditch is good. You’re not bad at it,” she starts.
I cut her off, “Yeah, but Lily, what’s the p-point?”
She looks around the corridor before grabbing me and pulling us into an empty classroom. She doesn’t turn to face me, instead she bites her bottom lip and stares at the ground, “I’ve been thinking about it, and maybe playing quidditch will help you become more able to defend yourself? I’m sorry I made you quit last year-”
“What?” I question, not fully understanding her words.
She sighs and looks up at me, “Maybe flying around, battling other teams to victory will help you break out of your shell.”
Oh, so all this confusion is about how I don’t have a backbone. My stomach drops at this realization and quick “stinging” sensation passes through my chest. If I have to rejoin the quidditch team for this girl, the least she can do is let me play my old position.
Lily’s eyebrows shoot up, “What?”
“I’ll d-do it, but I’m going to t-take the beat-ter p-p-”
“Position,” Lily finishes my sentence for me and I nod.
Freddie and I were beaters on the team and that’s how we became such great mates. When I was asked to step down, Roxy took my position, but she is a marvelous beater. The two siblings worked together in those games in ways that really impressed me. I’ve never been sore over leaving, because the team gained an even more talented member.
Lily grabs my hand and plays with it in her own, “Look Stewart, you know that isn’t such a good idea.”
“You want me to st-t-tand up-p for myself-”
“I do, but not like this,” she cuts me off, dropping my hand.
Why is she being so confusing?! I don’t understand, and it’s frustrating me.
“Hear me out, okay?” she states.
I nod my head for her to continue.
“You’ve just...changed this year and I think it’s because I made you leave quidditch,” she attempts to explain.
I stare at her. Flabbergasted.
“Oh come on,” Lily waves her hands at me, “Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed! You hardly even attempt to speak anymore to me or to anyone. Oh and you’ve gone off and become great friends with your bully of six years. Stewart,” she puts her hands on my shoulders, “I just want you to be the best that you can be.”
I gently move her hands off my shoulders and back away from her. I understand why she’s concerned, but...no, I don’t want to deal with this rubbish right now.
I attempt to speak to her, but my emotions increase my stammer exponentially, “L-l-l-” Nope, that word won’t work.
“W-w-w-w,” that one won’t do it either.
“P-p-p-p-p-p-p-” I don’t know why I even bothered with that word.
I stop trying and turn away from her, staring at the wall in front of me. I can hear her moving around impatiently behind me, and I quickly try the stupid tongue movements. I get frustrated, seeing red in my blurred vision.
I shush her. I can get this.
I try again, “L-l-l-l-, DAMN IT!”
I kick the wall in front of me and fall to the floor, crying like a two year old. I’m ashamed and I don’t want Lily to see it, “GET OUT!” I yell at her. My voice is somewhat muffled by my arms that my head is rested on.
I hear her soft footsteps leave the classroom. I’ve probably frightened her. It’s not everyday that I yell.
As I sobbed into my arms, I listened to my own breathing. It’s strange to say, but I didn’t feel like the one crying next to the wall with a buggered up foot. I felt as though I was listening in on someone else having a meltdown. Heck, I even felt pity for this person and I briefly thought of ways to comfort him/her until I felt the hot tears roll down my own neck.
I get up after what felt like five minutes, but could have easily been an hour, and performed the necessary charms on my face to remove the tear stains and redness. After some necessary deep breathes, I leave the classroom and find Roddie on the field.
“Wotcher Stewart, you’ve come to try-out?” he asks me.
I shake my head, “I’ll t-take that b-beater p-p-position.”
His eyes widen in surprise, “Er, really? Not saying you’re bad or anything, in fact I remember you being quite the excellent beater, but-”
“It’s my decision,” I stammer, cutting him off.
He smiles and nods his head in comprehension, “Welcome back. Now I’m going to have to ask you to run fifteen laps while I tell these prospective beaters to bugger off. Tardiness is never acceptable.”
I laugh and strip off some layers before jogging onto the field to do my laps. Roxy catches my eye as I pass her and I smile at her. I hear Hugo cheering from his keeper spot as I pass underneath him. Well, this year will be interesting to say the least.
As I wait for Stewart to finish talking to Roddie after our practice, Roxy comes up to me, complete surprise evident on her face.
“What the hell, Hugo,” she whispers loudly, “did you know this would happen?”
I shake my head and shrug my shoulders, “No, he’s just full of surprises, isn’t he?”
“I guess,” she allows, frowning.
Stewart walks back to us, smiling to himself.
“Oi, so how’d it feel, getting back behind the bat?” I ask him, ignoring the stares I was getting from Roxy.
He shrugs at me, signaling that he was indifferent to it, and turns to Roxy.
“Looks like we’ll have to w-work t-t-t-together,” he smiles at her.
I watch as her face transitions from confusion to complete embarrassment, “Er, yeah.”
“Awesome,” I interject, watching the two.
Roxanne kicks me, hard and I hold onto my obviously fractured shin bone as Stewart walks away, waving at us.
“Hugo, you are treading on thin ice,” she hisses at me before walking into changing room.
I stare after her. Geez, at this rate I’m all for Stewart and Lily, even if Lily is acting strange. Seriously, I’ll take her hexes over Roxy any day.
I hear Stewart’s voice call for me and I leave to find him.
He’s got some serious explaining to do, even if that means I have to force him to write it all down.
A/N-Another short one for you guys! If you have the time, leave a review of your thoughts :)