Chapter 9 : I Just Don't Understand
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Chapter Nine: I Just Don't Understand
“Damnit, Longbottom, I said loosen up!” Hope yelled from the other side of the pitch.
Dorothy looked down at her captain, startled, tossing the Quaffle she’d just blocked back and forth between her hands. “I’m still tense?”
Hope hopped on her broom and shot up next to Dorothy. “Yes. Sure, you block pretty much everything that comes near you, but you get faked too easily. Relax your body. Be one with the broom, blah, blah, blah. As soon as you miss something, you get even more rigid, which throws your whole mojo out of whack. Breathe, Dora. It’s a game.”
“But I want to be perfect,” Dorothy said. “I know all the calculations, all the possibilities…no one should be able to score on me!”
“Dora, Quidditch isn’t an Arithmancy project,” Hope said with a soft laugh. “It’s passion and reaction and dedication. You know the game backwards and forwards. But knowledge isn’t what will make you fantastic. That comes from your heart. When Quidditch changes from being stats in your record book to something you can actually enjoy rather than analyze…that’s when you’ll be unstoppable.”
Dorothy looked away from Hope and chucked the Quaffle over her head to Marcus. “I enjoy the game.”
Hope smiled. “You enjoy analyzing the game. Finding the flaws and orchestrating a well-oiled machine. You spend too much time correcting and not enough playing.”
Dorothy frowned and looked back at Hope. “I disagree.”
Hope smirked. “Not fun to be the one of the pages of your book, is it?”
Dorothy sighed. “Can’t we just get back to practice?”
“Honey, you’re in practice,” Hope said, laying down on her broomstick. “Our first match is in three days and Fi’s still trying to bulk Kyle up, Marcus and Jesse are still conditioning Greg, and I’m still trying to defrost my Keeper.”
Dorothy frowned. “I don’t like this.”
“What?” Hope asked. “Criticism or not being the one who gets to give it?”
“Both,” Dorothy pouted. Hope burst into laughter.
“FUCK! HEADS UP!” Fiona screeched. Dorothy and Hope turned their attention back to the pitch to see a Bludger barreling towards them. They yelped in surprise and simultaneously performed a Sloth Grip Roll, avoiding the Bludger as it looped around where their heads had been mere moments before and shot back down towards Fiona and Kyle.
Dorothy and Hope looked at each other and snickered. “Well, at least you’ve got that down. Greg still slips when he tries.”
“Hope, I’ve been able to do that since I was eight,” Dorothy said over Fiona’s shrieking as Kyle began rapidly performing pushups. “It’s not like I’ve never been on a broom before.”
Hope snorted. “Well, if we could get your Keeping to be as sassy as your attitude, we’d be in great shape for Thursday.”
“You could’ve killed someone!” Fiona screamed.
“Err, as long as Fi doesn’t wring Kyle’s neck, we’re already in great shape for our first match,” Dorothy informed her.
Hope shot Dorothy her famous glare. “That is not the point.”
“I hate Quidditch,” Dorothy groaned as she adjusted her head in Freddie’s lap. Gryffindors moved about their common room freely around them, everyone so accustomed to Dorothy’s presence in the Tower that no one even questioned it anymore. Freddie chuckled at Dorothy’s frustration, his dark callused hand running softly through the blonde strands splayed out over his legs. “I’m rubbish at it,” she continued.
“Bollocks,” Freddie said. “You’re fantastic.”
“You have to say that,” Dorothy said, laying her cheek against his stomach. “You’re my best friend.”
“That’s not how it works, Dor,” Freddie said, rolling his eyes.
“Shut up,” she demanded. “Either agree with me or don’t speak and just play with my hair, Weasley.”
Freddie chuckled, his laughter tossing her head around on his lap. She groaned. “Freddie!”
“Dorothy!” he teased. He lifted a small chunk of her hair up, letting it slide between his fingers, and fall back into his lap.
She pouted and closed her eyes. “You’re horrible.” Freddie chuckled and began attempting to braid strands of Dorothy’s hair, causing her to slap at his hands. “Fred, you’re going to get it all knotted.”
“Ooh, that sounds fun,” Freddie muttered eagerly.
The portrait hole slammed open and shut loudly, and the students inside the common room could hear the Fat Lady’s loud protests. Freddie dropped Dorothy’s hair as Dorothy sat up slightly out of his lap to see what the commotion was. What they saw was James.
“What the hell is she doing here?” he snapped, irritation obvious in his face and voice.
Dorothy’s eye brows hit her hairline and Freddie coughed on the breath he just took. “What?” Freddie asked.
“What?” James snapped, now looking directly at Dorothy. “You’ve got your own fucking common room, why’ve you got to be in ours all the bloody time?”
The common room was silent. Dorothy’s face was as scarlet as the tapestries hanging down the brick walls, her eyes flooded with salty tears. Freddie stood up from the couch violently, shoving Dorothy fully into a sitting position with his movement.
“Apologize,” he demanded, his voice low and shaky with rage. “Now.”
“What in Merlin’s name for?” James shot back. “She’s not in our house; she shouldn’t be taking up space here! There’s enough of us already!”
“You don’t fucking waltz in here and curse in Dorothy’s face!” Freddie roared. “Now apologize, James!”
“I just said exactly what everyone else was already thinking,” James spat.
“I don’t give a toad’s ass what you think you were doing, James!” Freddie replied. “Dorothy’s our mate!”
James scoffed. “Yeah, some mate she is to me, Weasley, all she does is fuck up my relationship!”
Freddie laughed harshly. “Oh, please, you don’t need Dorothy to fuck up your relationship, you’re pretty damn good at it without her!”
The portrait hole closed solidly. Freddie and James turned from each other, distracted, to look at the entryway, and then down at where Dorothy had been sitting moments before.
Freddie’s gaze snapped back to his cousin. “You’re real git. You know that, right?”
Freddie turned and ran from the common room after her. Luckily, she hadn’t gotten very far.
“Dor?” he said he said hesitantly from the top of the staircase she was sitting on.
She let out a loud sob that smashed Freddie’s heart into pieces. He hurried down the staircase and sat beside her, wrapping his arm tightly around her shoulders. She buried her face in his chest, her body shaking as she cried. “Why does he have so much power over me?” she choked out.
Freddie ran his hand over her hair, holding her close against him. “He’s a git, Dor.”
“J-just because he told his stu-stupid girlfriend th-that he wished sh-she was m-more like m-me, d-doesn’t make it m-my f-f-fault!” she cried, her voice muffled slightly against his chest.
“He did what?” Freddie asked.
Dorothy pushed herself out of Freddie’s grasp and nodded, wiping at her eyes with her hands. “That’s what Hope said she and Marcus overheard in Puddifoot’s.”
Dorothy could tell Freddie wanted to say more on the subject. She looked at him, tears in her eyes and snot threatening to drop out of her nose. Her face was red and blotchy. “It only makes sense,” he said, pulling her back towards him and she rubbed beneath her nose vigorously. “You’re the best, most beautiful girl I’ve ever met.”
“Oh, shut up, Freddie, I look horrendous,” she mumbled into his chest.
He smiled, rubbing her back in slow circles. “That’s impossible, Dor.”
“Is Freddie spending the night?” Fiona asked, her tone slightly sour as she and Hope entered the seventh year girls’ dormitory that night.
Dorothy’s face paled. “Is that a problem?”
Fiona’s brow furrowed. “No…has it ever been? It just means I’ve got to wear pants to bed tonight and I totally wasn’t planning on it.”
“Want an extra blanket?” Hope asked as she began rummaging through her trunk for her pajamas. “I don’t want to have to hear Freddie moaning about how Dora’s comforter is too short to cover his feet.”
Freddie grinned and sent Dorothy a saucy wink. “You know, I really love you Puffs.”
Dorothy woke up later than usual the next morning completely intertwined with Freddie’s broad and muscled frame. He was holding her tightly against him, their legs intertwined and her head on his chest. Her arm was across his stomach, holding him as tightly as he was holding her. Dorothy’s eyes fluttered open tiredly and she muttered, “Morning,” her voice deep with fatigue. She lifted her chin to look at him, and he was staring down at her, a stupid smile on his face.
“Morning, sleepy head,” he said softly.
“How long have you been up?” she asked as she decided that the strain in her neck from her head’s new position was not worth it and she snuggled her face back into his chest.
Freddie’s hand slid up her back to play with the end of her braid as he thoughtfully replied, “Oh, about an hour.”
“An hour?” she asked, letting out a small, high pitched yawn. “Why didn’t you wake me?”
Freddie shrugged. “Fiona and Hope wanted to because they were hungry, but I sent them down without us a couple minutes ago. You looked like you could use the sleep.”
Dorothy yawned and stretched her legs out, and then tightened her grip around her best friend. “Oh. Okay.”
Dorothy almost let herself fall back asleep, letting her eyes slip shut as she let the rising and falling of Freddie’s chest rock her back into relaxation. “Are you hungry?” she slurred sleepily.
“Eh, whatever,” Freddie responded nonchalantly.
Dorothy forced her eyes open and looked up at him again, nodding her head. “Let’s go to breakfast. I’ll sleep on you more later.”
“Brilliant,” Freddie said, shooting her a broad smile. “I’ve had to take a piss for about fifteen mintues.”
Dorothy rolled out of Freddie’s grasp so he could jump to his feet and head straight for the bathroom. Slowly, she pulled herself out of the warmth of her bed and went over to her dresser to change into her uniform. She cast her pajamas and dirty underwear aside and pulled on clean clothes. As she began buttoning her Oxford button down with one hand, she pulled the elastic off the bottom of her braid with the other and shook out the twist. Dorothy hung a black and yellow tie around her neck; not bothering to tie it as she tucked her shirt in, knowing Freddie would do a much better job.
“Almost ready?” Freddie asked as he came out of the bathroom, his own scarlet and gold tie loose around his neck.
Dorothy turned to him, a tired smile on her face. She spread her arms and cutely cried, “Tie me!”
Freddie chuckled and took the ends of the silk tie in his hands, quickly tying it into a classy Double Windsor knot. “Fancy,” she commented, allowing him to tighten it half way up her chest. She then threw her arms around him and took a deep breath. “Let’s go get waffles.”
“You are such an arse, James Potter!”
Dorothy looked up at Freddie, curiosity etched upon her face due to the screaming echoing out of the open doors of the Great Hall. “Was that—?”
Freddie looked down at her with a mischievous grin. “I bloody hope so.”
Dorothy grabbed Freddie’s hand and dragged him down the last bit of the corridor and into breakfast. Standing up by the Gryffindor table were Hope and Fiona, Hope glaring at James Potter and waiting for a response. Dorothy froze, watching the scene play out before her, holding Freddie back from joining in.
“Um, do I know you?” James asked, looking around at the people he was sitting with and laughing, tightening his arm around Jen’s near non-existent waist.
Hope smiled cruelly at him as Fiona watched with anticipation, obviously ready to step in if she had to. “You, Potter,” she spat, “are the most insensitive, entitled, arrogant toe rag to ever grace the halls of Hogwarts! You go around with a troll sized head on your shoulders with the idea of ‘I’m James Potter, everyone loves me’ and you never think about how what you do or say could affect someone else.”
“Hadn’t noticed,” James said, cutting a piece of pancake with his fork and shoving it in his mouth.
Hope snorted, her rage exploding from her in the form of laughter. Fiona’s smug expression flipped to one of surprise, for she knew nothing good came from Hope when she started the giggle. “Maybe you should dig your head out of your own arse and dislodge the shit from your ears and pay the fuck attention to the people who are supposed to be important to you,” Hope said in a low, dangerous voice.
“On the track you’re on right now, you’ll end up old and fat, still telling stories of the good ol’ days to the bottles of firewhiskey scattered across your flat.”
James dropped his fork and violently stood up from the table. “Who the bloody hell do you think you are, huh? I don’t even fucking know you!”
Hope grinned, her amber eyes burning. She stuck out her hand to him. “Jacobs. Hope Jacobs. Seventh year Hufflepuff, Captain of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, roommate and best friend of Fiona Little and Dorothy Longbottom. Maybe you’d know if you bothered to pay attention in the multiple classes we’ve had together through the years, too.”
Jen stiffened as Hope said Dorothy’s name and turned on the bench to look at Hope. “You’re a friend of Thee Longbottom?”
Hope looked around James at her. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t talking to you. It’s rude to eavesdrop.”
“Don’t talk to her like that!” James demanded.
Hope scoffed. “Oh, you’re one to talk.”
Jen stood, placing her arm on James’s shoulder and looking down at Hope condescendingly. “I really don’t appreciate the conversation that has gone on here this morning. I think you both should run back over to your little Hufflepuff table before the Gryffindors stop being so polite.”
“Well, I don’t really appreciate when people use cheap hair spells to become a ginger and make us real gingers look ridiculous,” Hope shot back.
Jen gasped. “I don’t use a spell!”
Fiona laughed. “So your roots are supposed to be blonde?”
“I think you should go,” James said firmly.
“I think she’s funny,” Roxy piped up from the other side of the table.
“No one asked you,” James snapped.
Hope smiled and pushed past James. “You’re, um…Roxy, right? Freddie’s sister?” Roxy nodded. Hope grinned. “Nice to meet you. I’m Hope. I haven’t gotten the briefing on all of you yet; Dorothy’s writing me biographies or something.”
“Hope!” Dorothy squeaked, now darting down the Great Hall towards the crowd of people making a scene over her, Freddie close on her heels.
Hope’s head snapped to Dorothy and Freddie and waved. “Morning! I thought you two would never untangle yourselves from each other.”
Dorothy’s face managed to become an even darker shade of scarlet than it had been from just listening to the confrontation. Freddie coughed, choking on the breath he’d just taken. James turned to both of them, a mixture of betrayal and confusion on his face.
“Thee,” Jen said, a sickening sweetness dripping from her voice. “What’s up?”
“Just coming to breakfast,” she said hesitantly. “You know.”
“What the hell’s going on, Dorothy?” James demanded. “Sending in your little Hufflepuff army to harass me while you and Freddie shag?”
Dorothy felt tears well up in her eyes. “Get over yourself, James.” She paused momentarily, studying the cocky, unaffected reaction on his face. “And my name is Thee.”
“You’re going to be bloody fantastic,” Freddie told Dorothy, his hands gripping her padded shoulders tightly. “I’m going to miss you in the stands, but I’ve already had Creevey set up his camera so you can study it later tonight.”
Dorothy let out the breath she was holding and nodded. “Okay. Are you sitting with James?”
Freddie shook his head, his brow furrowed with his irritation towards his cousin. “He’s sitting with Jen in Ravenclaw. Rox, Lil, Al, Hugh, and I are all in Hufflepuff’s support section, like true lions.”
Dorothy nodded. “Has he talked to you?” she asked quietly.
“Dor,” Freddie said, his voice tired. “Stop thinking about him.”
“I can’t help it,” she said, looking up at Freddie and frowning. “He’s your best mate…and I thought he was mine, too…”
Freddie took her chin and forced their eyes to meet. “You’re my best mate. And I’m yours. And neither of us are going anywhere, and that’s all that matters.”
Dorothy bit her lip, trying to hide her smile. “I know.”
Freddie smiled sadly back at her. “He hasn’t. Not like I’ve seen him, really. I’m either down in Hufflepuff with you or he’s in Ravenclaw with her.”
Dorothy nodded, her face drawn in thought. “I still can’t believe he said we shagged.”
Freddie snorted softly, in almost a sad way. “I know. How long have we been spending the night in the other’s dormitory?”
Dorothy allowed her smile to grow a bit larger. “I don’t even know anymore. I’m just nervous for this damn match…”
Freddie took her head in his large hands and pressed his lips to her forehead. “You’ll be great,” he whispered.
Dorothy leaned her body towards him and hugged him. “You’re wonderful to me. Are you alright?”
Freddie chuckled this time, and she hugged him tighter as his arms wrapped around her head and shoulders. “I’m with you, aren’t I?”
“Oh, shut up. I’m being serious.”
Freddie nodded. “I’m fine, Dor. Don’t worry about me.”
Nodding, she let her eyes slip closed. “Whatever you say, Freddie.”
“C’mon,” Freddie said, allowing her to lean her head back and look at him. “You’ve got a game to win. And if you let those snakes win, I might just cry.”
Dorothy hovered in front of the goal posts, her heart pounding. She’d let a couple slip past her, and knew that she was tensing up. She needed something to distract her a little bit, to get her mind off of making a mistake.
She scanned the crowd, looking for Freddie’s face. She found him, his face streaked with yellow, screaming amidst his cousins as Hufflepuff scored on Slytherin’s Keeper. Smiling, she turned back to the pitch, her eyes focused on the Quaffle now back in play. The Slytherins were working their way up the pitch, obviously nervous considering they were now sixty points behind Hufflepuff.
Dorothy took a breath, tightening her grip on her broom, ready to keep the score just the way it was. "C'mon, Longbottom! You got it!" a familiar voice shouted from the crowd, right as the Slytherin Chaser took his shot. She nearly leapt off of her broom, swatting it away from the goal post and into Marcus's waiting grasp with the tips of her fingers. Marcus, Jesse, and Greg took a smooth and practiced trip down the pitch, scoring quickly. Immediately after, Hope's hand closed around the Snitch right before the Slytherin Seeker’s could.
As Dorothy flew to the ground to join the screaming huddle of her teammates, something clicked in her mind. She stopped walking and turned around, staring into the crowd. That voice right before her final save hadn't been Freddie's. Her eyes caught James's, and he smiled, giving her two thumbs up.
"Oi, Longbottom, get in here already!" Fiona shouted, grabbing Dorothy's hand and dragging her into team.
BOOM. Lot's of Dorothy/Freddie!! What's going on with James? How about Jen? What'd you think of Hope and Fiona standing up to James? Thanks for reading!! Please Rate and Review! Each review I read (good or bad) is like a piece of cake for me! And dude, who doesn't like cake?
Peace, Love, and Potter,
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