Chapter 23 : Epilogue: The Quidditch Cup
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“And O’Ryan just barely misses getting hit by a bludger!” Fred announced over the loudspeaker, his voice reverberating around the stadium. I felt myself let out the breath I’d been holding as cheers of relief swept throughout all of the Gryffindors after this statement.
Well, almost all of them.
“Fuck!” Molly shouted angrily, narrowing her eyes at the bludger. She then watched as Gryffin managed to reposition himself on his broom and smack the bludger at an unsuspecting Hufflepuff. “Bloody hell!”
“Molly, don’t worry,” Rose said, placing a hand on her shoulder. “Gryffin’s not going to get hit. He’ll be fine.”
Molly shrugged Rose’s hand off and then gave her a look as though she was crazy. “I’m not worried about him getting hit. I’m worried about him not getting hit. That idiot needs some sense knocked into him.”
Rose and I exchanged a look. I tried not to laugh.
“Are you two fighting?” I asked in response. Molly then shifted her ‘are you crazy’ look from Rose to me.
“No. Why would we be?”
I shrugged. “No reason…”
“And another risky move by Weasley! But it pays off as she scores 10 points to Gryffindor!”
We all watched as Dominique gave a satisfied smirk to the crowd, clearly proud of herself for getting a goal. Scorpius however seemed less than pleased, and he began shouting at her. She ignored him.
“Oh no,” Rose said, as she watched their exchange. “I do not want to be there when Scorpius brings this up. There will be blood.”
“Yeah, there will be blood,” Molly stated, narrowing her eyes at something else. We followed her gaze to look at Gryffin, who was now showing off and doing fancy flying moves in front of the pepsquad. All the girls, minus Lucy and Lily who ignored Gryffin, let out girly squeals. “That sodding tosser! I am going to kill him.” With that Molly stood up in the stands and began to shout. “OI! O’RYAN! IF YOU STILL WANT A GIRLFRIEND BY THE END OF THIS YOU BETTER GET YOUR FUCKING ARSE INTO GEAR!”
Gryffin, who was close enough to hear Molly’s threat, immediately stopped his flying in front of the pepsquad. He looked at Molly, blew her a kiss, and then began to fly on the opposite side of the field.
“And O’Ryan proves yet again how whipped he is!” Fred announced. Gryffin’s response was to flip Fred off, before whacking a bludger at him. Fred, knowing this would happen, ducked.
Scorpius began to shout at Gryffin for goofing off, but Gryffin whacked another bludger in Scorpius’ direction. Scorpius then flew at Gryffin, taking Gryffin’s beaters bat away from him and hitting him over the head with it.
“Finally!” Molly exclaimed, a smile gracing her features as Gryffin rubbed the back of his head, clearly in pain. “This game has suddenly gotten loads better.”
Scorpius and Gryffin began to argue with each other, as Scorpius refused to give Gryffin his bat back. During this time, Dom and the other Gryffindor chaser had gotten a hold of the quaffle and seemed to be playing a game of monkey in the middle, with the Hufflepuff chasers playing the monkeys.
I sighed, feeling frustrated. “Why is nobody taking this game seriously? What if we lose?”
Molly rolled her eyes. Rose smiled at me in her ‘isn’t that cute’ way.
“I think James is being serious enough for the entire team,” Molly said, gesturing to the field. James had his brows knitted together in concentration while he flew sharply, almost robotically, around the field in search of the snitch. His hair was flat against his forehead from the wind and I noted that it was just about too long. He’d need to get it trimmed soon.
“He should be,” was my response, because I had this feeling that everyone was taking this game for granted. I blamed it on the fact that Gryffindor had been on a winning streak ever since James had reclaimed his seeker position. “This is the game for the Quidditch Cup!”
“Tash, as cute as it is that James’ competitiveness has rubbed off on you, you need to stop worrying. There is no way James will not catch the snitch,” Rose said.
“There’s no way you can guarantee that,” I responded, giving Rose a dirty look. “What if the Hufflepuff seeker spots it before he does?”
“And James Potter has spotted the snitch!”
Guess I had spoken too soon.
My eyes, which had slid onto Rose as I spoke, immediately snapped back to James. He was barreling down to the ground at an alarming speed, and his eyes were narrowed, a frown pinching his forehead.
“Ow! Tash! You’re going to kill me!” Molly shouted, yanking her arm out of my grip. I hadn’t realized it, but I’d grabbed Molly’s arm for support as I watched James. There were now red finger marks on her arm from where I’d been squeezing her. “Who woulda fucking thought a beauty queen could have such a grip?”
“Sorry,” I said, brushing her off without sincerity, as I kept my eyes on James. The Hufflepuff seeker, Brandon Swighton, was closing the gap quickly. I bit my lip.
Catch it. Catch it. Catch it.
The entire Quidditch stadium began to fill up with shouts, the Gryffindors roaring loudly while the Hufflepuffs shouted at Swighton to fly faster. The snitch was now withing James’ grasp, and the pepsquad began to cheer excitedly, high pitch squeals emanating from the group. My ears were ringing with the sounds, everything growing fuzzy, as I kept my eyes trained on James, who reached forward to catch the snith.
Catch it. Catch it. Catch it.
I held my breath. James’ hand brushed the wings of the snitch. The air pulsed with anticipation.
Catch it. Catch it. Please Merlin, let him catch it.
“And Potter has caught the snitch! Sodding hell! GRYFFINDOR WINS THE QUIDDITCH CUP!”
I couldn’t even explain to you how loud the Gryffindor stands erupted at this announcement. It was so loud it was silent. My ears couldn’t even comprehend the overwhelming exclamation of the fact that it had happened…. Gryffindor had won.
Embarrassingly enough, my eyes began to water, and I smiled so wide my cheeks hurt.
“Oh my god!” Rose exclaimed, grabbing Molly and me and jumping up and down. “Oh my god! We won!”
“Oh no,” Molly said, not looking the least bit excited. “Gryffin is going to be such a pain in the arse tonight.”
“Shut up, Molly,” I stated, rolling my eyes. “He’s allowed to be an arse. We just won!”
Molly stared at me in shock as I spoke. She still wasn’t used to me voicing my thoughts, but I’d been trying to do it more lately. I already knew the miscommunication that could occur if you didn’t tell people how you felt.
Molly was about to open her mouth to respond, but before she could Rose let out another “Oh my god!” and pointed to the field in shock.
I followed to where she pointed and my own mouth opened in a wide ‘o’. Out on the field, as soon as the Gryffindor quidditch team had landed on the pitch, Scorpius ran over to Dom and kissed her right on the mouth. Dom looked taken aback at first, but eventually she smiled and grabbed a fistful of Scorpius’ quidditch jersey, pulling him closer to her.
“Fucking finally!” Molly exclaimed, finally seeming happy about the win. “Their sexual tension has been through the roof.”
My eyes, which had been trained on Dom and Scorpius, shifted over to James who had just gotten off his broom. He wiped his forehead with the back of his hand and I watched his eyes flicker over the stands, until they finally rested upon me. Once they did he let out a large grin that made my heart swell. He then nodded his head to the side at Scorpius and Dom who were still kissing, and I knew by his look he meant ‘it’s about time’. I giggled, scrunching up my nose in the process.
“We should go down and congratulate the team,” I said turning away from James to look at Molly and Rose. I now wanted to get to the field more than anything. Sometimes, I was convinced there was an invisible tie always pulling me towards James. I guess that’s what love did to people.
“Oh congratulate the team, eh?” Molly said, noticing that I was now back to looking at James. “How do you plan on congratulating them?”
“Molly, let’s just go down. Don’t you want to see Gryffin?” Rose cut in. I shot Rose a thankful look, while Molly sighed and muttered a fine.
As soon as we made it to the field, before I could even try and push through the mass of bodies that had congregated to celebrate the win, James appeared in front of me. He still had a slight smile on his face as he looked at me and this caused me to smile back.
“You won,” I stated. James however did not seem to care about responding back because before I knew it he had lifted me up and kissed, spinning me around as he did so. I let out an embarrassingly girly giggle when he put me down.
“We won,” James responded finally, reaching to grab my hand. His fingers laced through mine and he gave my hand a squeeze. “Couldn’t have done it without you.”
I rolled my eyes and stood up on my tiptoes to give James a peck on the lips before responding with, “Of course you could have.”
James squeezed my hand tighter and gave me a serious look, the green in his eyes becoming prominent. “No, I couldn’t have.”
Even after four months of being my boyfriend, James never failed to make my heart feel like it was about to burst.
“OI! Lovebirds! Are you going to continue staring at each other all day or are you going to take a look at this amazing Quidditch Cup we just won?” Gryffin shouted. This caused me to blush while James remained unembarrassed because he was James and nothing embarrassed him.
James looked down at me. “You want to go over there?”
“We probably should,” I said reluctantly, and then we began to walk hand in hand over to the mass of scarlet that was the Gryffindor quidditch team and their supporters. The Quidditch Cup was in the middle of the mass, and Scorpius was holding onto it like it was the most important thing he’d ever held. Well, aside from Dom, if the way he had his other arm wound around her shoulder was anything to go by. I bit back a smile.
“Well you guys took your time,” Gryffin said, as soon as we walked up to the group. “James, I figured you’d be the most excited to see the cup. You’ve been practicing like crazy for this.”
James shrugged. “I didn’t practice to win.”
Gryffin rolled his eyes. So did Molly, who had Gryffin’s arms wrapped around her waist from behind, while he was hunched the slightest bit so his head could rest on her shoulder. I noticed her trying to elbow him off, but he just squeezed her tighter.
“So you’re saying you would’ve been fine if you lost?” Molly asked James, her voice full of skepticism.
“I’m saying it wasn’t the reason I played,” James responded. Molly and Gryffin exchanged a look with each other. They’d been doing that a lot since they’d started dating.
“Are we celebrating the win?” I asked, talking over Molly before she could badger James more. I didn’t know if James was annoyed at the badgering, but just in case I figured I’d shift the conversation.
After I spoke everyone’s heads snapped to me. Even Dom, Scorpius, Fred, and Rose, who had been having a separate conversation.
“What?” I asked, looking at James for an explanation. “What did I say?”
“Did you just suggest a party?” Dom asked, widening her eyes at me. “Tash are you okay? Is this actually you?”
“I didn’t suggest—”
“Yes you did!” Gryffin interrupted. “You can’t take it back now.”
“But I wasn’t—”
“PARTY IN THE GRYFFINDOR COMMON ROOM!” Fred shouted, before I could try and say anything more. The crowd of Gryffindors let out loud ‘whoops’ at this, and then people began to amble off the Quidditch pitch, clearly wanting to get ready for the party Fred was shouting about.
“Natasha, who gave you the right to throw a party?” Scorpius asked, turning to me with his eyebrows raised. “The captain needs to approve before you go announcing these things.”
I opened my mouth in surprise. “This was not my doing.”
“Yes it was; you made me announce it,” Freddy said, nodding his head as he smirked. I noticed Molly and Gryffin snickering to each other, and Dom who was biting back a smile. Rose was the only one who wasn’t laughing at me, which I appreciated.
“I didn’t make you do anything,” I defended again but James squeezed my hand causing me to look at him.
“They’re just joking, Natasha,” James said so that only I could hear, bringing me forward to kiss my forehead. And then he said louder, “Besides, if you need captain’s approval than I give my permission.”
Scorpius scoffed. “Are you trying to say I’m not captain?!”
James smirked. “You said it not me.”
“Does this mean I get to be captain next year?” Dom asked hopefully. This caused Scorpius to glare at her. She just smiled back. “We all know I’d be way better.”
“Sure you would,” Scorpius stated sarcastically. “You’d manage to injure everyone on the team before the first game.”
“At least I’d have a team to injure. Nobody will show up to tryouts if you’re captain again!”
“I think,” James began, trying to stop the argument before it occurred. He was a good placater, I realized, as Dom and Scorpius both snapped their heads to hear what he had to say. Everyone really valued his opinion. “That you should both be captains next year. Balance each other out.”
Scorpius and Dom looked at each other as he said this. I also think it’s important to point out that Scorpius’ arm was still around her shoulder. This coupled with the kiss definitely meant they were on their way to being together. And if they were both captains… well, it would be even more inevitable than it’d already been. I think as they looked at each other, they both had come to the same conclusion I had.
“Fine,” they both said at the same time, pretending to look annoyed about it.
“Good, then it’s settled,” James said, nodding his head to close the situation. Everyone began to shift after this, standing up straighter and preparing to head off the field.
“Well, looks like we have a party to get to, thanks to Miss Teen Witch over here,” Gryffin stated.
“Hey! How many times do I have to tell you, I’m not Miss Teen Witch?” I argued back. And it was true. The runner up, Jennifer Corwin, had taken my place on the world tour the day I’d quit. I was half convinced Georgiana had had her on standby, knowing I wouldn’t go through with it.
“You’re right, we do have a party,” Molly began, ignoring my statement. “Tash better hope Georgiana doesn’t find out about this, because this is most definitely against her contract.”
“When are you going to let this go?” I asked.
“Never!” Molly and Gryffin chimed together. Molly, noticing how in sync they were, glared at Gryffin and shoved him away. “Ugh, you need to stop copying me.”
“Oh yes, I’m clearly the one copying you. It couldn’t possibly be the other way around.”
“You’re right. It couldn’t.”
“You guys!” Fred interrupted, before Gryffin could retort. “The party! Let’s go! They’ll definitely be wanting this to decorate.” And with that Fred pointed to the Quidditch cup, which Scorpius was still clutching in one of his hands.
“They will,” Dom agreed, nodding her head at Fred. “But seeing as I’m the best chaser this team has ever seen, I should carry it in.” And with that Dom snatched the cup out of Scorpius’ hand, and began to carry it over her head, bouncing as she walked.
“Oi! Give it back! You’re going to break it!” Scorpius shouted, chasing after her.
“Oh stop being such a ninny,” Dom called over her shoulder. “I’ll only give it back if you catch me.”
Dom then began to run up towards the castle, silver hair flying behind her. Scorpius pinched the bridge of his nose and swore, before running after her.
“Looks like this party’s going to get interesting,” Fred stated. “I bet anyone ten sickles that she breaks it.”
“I bet ten sickles Scorpius breaks it trying to take it from her,” Gryffin said.
“Well looks like we should go up to the party and see who’s right,” Molly commented.
Everyone mumbled in agreement at this, starting to make their way off of the field. I noticed James didn’t make a move to leave though, so I didn’t either.
“You two coming?” Rose asked, the last one on the field before us.
I looked at James for an answer. James shook his head. “Nah, we’re going to stay out here for a bit.”
Rose gave us a knowing look. “Alright then, you two have fun…” And then she walked away, catching up with the rest of the group, all of them rapidly becoming specks in the distance. I also noticed that the stands were completely empty, which I figured meant that everyone had decided to head to the party.
I arched an eyebrow at James. “What exactly are we staying here for a bit to do?”
James laughed. I loved his laugh. I also loved him. Oh god. That sounded really cheesy and embarrassing didn’t it?
Luckily, James couldn’t hear my thoughts, and his response was to wrap his arms tightly around me in a hug before he kissed me. It was slow and delicate and familiar. I had never kissed anyone before him, and I also knew that I’d never want to kiss anybody else. James began to pull away, but I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him towards me to stop him.
James still pulled away all too soon for me, and I frowned. James kissed my forehead before he laughed again.
“This isn’t the reason we’re staying behind, you know,” James said, hugging me extra tight. I buried my head in his shoulder.
“You sure?” I said into his Quidditch robes. “Because, I’m fine if it is.”
“So you’re saying you wouldn’t rather fly with me?” James asked, pulling away slightly so he could look down at me.
He had me there. We hadn’t been able to fly together for a solid month because of the preparation for the last game, and it was one of my favorite things for us to do together. I knew he knew how much I’d missed our flying sessions.
“I don’t have my broom with me though,” I trailed off, suddenly feeling a bit sad.
James looked at me like I wasn’t getting it. “We can share mine.”
I bit back a smile. “You know, I’m pretty sure the last time we did that was when you flew into the Owlry and demanded I get on.”
“I didn’t demand anything from you,” James said with a shrug. “It was a suggestion and you listened.”
“As if I’d have said no.”
“So then you don’t want to fly together?”
“Course I do,” I responded, leaning in to kiss James’ cheek.
“Good,” James said once I’d pulled away. He then walked over to where he had set his broom after the game and picked it up, before walking back to me. He let the broom hover over the ground, gesturing to me to get on first.
“Hold on,” I said, holding up a hand as I grabbed my cell phone out of my pocket. It had just vibrated with a new text from my mum. After we’d gotten everything sorted out, I had confessed to her that my cell phone wasn’t actually broken at school like she’d thought. “My mum’s just texted me.”
How’s the game going? I’m wearing the Gryffindor scarf you gave me and wishing Gryffindor lots of luck, Mum.
We won! Love you and thanks for your support, Nata.
Once I was done responding to my mum, I closed my phone and put it back into my pocket. When I looked up, I noticed James had been studying me.
“Nothing,” James said, although I could make out a small smile on his face. “Just happy.”
“I like it when you’re happy,” I stated, smiling softly. And then because I knew he’d been thinking about it ever since he caught the snitch: “He’d be really proud of you, James.”
James didn’t need to ask me who I was talking about. He already knew.
“I know,” James said, putting an arm around my shoulder so he could kiss the top of my head. “I also know he would have loved you.”
I inhaled a breath. This was probably one of the nicest things James had ever said to me. I don’t even think he was aware how flattered I was by this. “I wish I got to meet him.”
“Sometimes I feel like you have,” James said. I looked at him in confusion so he continued. “I still write letters to him. Even though he can’t read them, it makes things easier. I write a lot about you.”
“Really?” I said, tilting my head to the side. I suddenly recounted various times I had seen James writing on pieces of parchment in the mornings and it all made sense. “What have you said?”
“Everything,” James said.
James leaned forward so his mouth was right next to my ear. “I think you know.”
And I did know. That was the thing about James and I. We didn’t have to say everything out loud.
“Right, well,” I said, feeling flustered. It was amazing how easily James could make me nervous. “We should get to flying shouldn’t we?”
Before James could respond I climbed onto the broom and gestured for him to do the same. He complied, wrapping his hands around my waist as he did so.
“You sure you’re okay with being the one in control?” James asked, pointing out the fact that I was at the front.
Long ago, this idea would’ve scared me. But things were different now. I was different now. So I responded with an answer I probably wouldn’t have given four months ago.
“Yeah, I’m sure,” I said, looking over my shoulder at James who was smiling at me. His eyes were bright with happiness. And pride. Like he understood just how far I’d come. Which he did. He knew more than anyone else.
I kicked off the ground, the broom rising steadily into the air, and then we began to fly. And flying was definitely becoming one of my favorite feelings in the world. The weightlessness. The way the wind rushed through my hair. It also didn’t hurt that I had James’ hands around my waist, prepared to keep me steady if I needed.
But my favorite part about flying, was knowing that there was this vast expanse of sky ahead of me, full of nothing but possibilities. I could do anything I wanted. Be anything I wanted.
And this type of freedom, well... to put it bluntly:
It was pretty fucking great.
(Molly would be so proud.)
A/N: Thank you. Thank you all so so much for reading, reviewing, and taking a chance on this story. Without you guys, I would be nothing. Seriously.
I've been getting some questions about a possible sequel, and that's a definite no for this story. There is nothing left for me to tell about James and Tash, and I hope you like where I left things with them. I do have a potential novella/oneshot spin off about Molly and Gryffin that I've been toying with, but I'm not sure if I'll ever finish or post it.
I also couldn't figure out a way to fit this into the epilogue but I just thought it'd be cute to let you know that I imagine Lucy and Lily's boyfriends that they mentioned in the last chapter to be Lorcan and Lysander.
As for any other writing for hpff... I don't have anything in the works right now. I think I'm just going to enjoy the fact that I've managed to complete two novel length stories on here, because before that I'd never ever finished anything I'd started.
Anyways, I really really am so thankful for you guys and your amazing support. Please review if you'd like and let me know your thoughts on the end of this story. Or shoot me some questions at my Meet the Author's page, because I have one and it's pretty chill.
Love you guys so much XX