Chapter 3 : The Detrimental Effects of Gravity
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I watched, without enthusiasm, as Colette sliced a tray full of ingredients on the wooden cutting board situated in the middle of our table. Chewing on the end of a sugar quill that I had acquired from Roxy, I briefly thought back to the discussion we had at breakfast that morning.
“So I’m just spitballing here, but my social senses are tingling,” I twirled the quill around my fingers and dropped down onto a seat. “From what I gathered this morning Freddy is un-dateable.”
Colette glanced up, swiping a piece of hair out of her eyes and tucking it behind her ear. “It all depends.”
I raised an eyebrow unsure of how it could depend. Colette grinned. “You could date him, but your life expectancy would drop by seventy years--at least.”
“Now that’s commitment,” I slipped my sugar quill back into my bag and picked up where Colette left off.
“Or suicide. I guess it depends on who you ask.”
We made eye contact, a poor choice. The two of us erupted into giggles, trying to stifle the noise with our hands.
“Was that just to quench your curiosity or are you interested?” I stopped the methodic movement of my knife along the cutting board and looked up.
I stared at her, open mouthed, until I realized that she was serious. “He’s good looking, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not really sure if I want to put my eggs in that basket.”
Colette stared at me for a moment before she burst out laughing.
My eyes grew wide. Shit.“Okay, that came out really badly.” Colette’s face was flushed as she bent over, her hands clutching her stomach.
“Not those eggs!” I hissed, pointing the tip of my knife in her general direction; the action, however, only seemed to make her laugh harder.
Colette was laughing so hard that it was getting to the point where the entire class was staring at us, most likely musing over which of us had more sanity - the one holding the knife or the one who sounded as though she had been hexed.
To avoid being pinned as a homicidal sixteen year old, I placed the knife on the table. As Colette regained her ability to breathe normally, and the class returned it’s attention to whatever they had been doing before we interrupted the studious air of the classroom.
Colette flopped down into the seat I had previously been occupying. She began incorporating our perfectly sliced ingredients into her cauldron whilst I began working on the next part of the instructions. For whatever reason deemed necessary by
Professor Nott, the class was trying to brew Draught of Living Death; the name itself made me want to keel over.
I could not think of any situation that would require me to know how to create a Draught of Living Death. I guess you never know until the time comes, though.
Out of everything that had to be done, the sopophorous bean was, by far, giving me the most difficulties. The damn bean did not want to be cut. It got to the point where my palms were slick with sweat and my frustration was getting the best of me. I placed the knife on the table so I could wipe my hands on the material of my tights.
I curled my fists together, trying to rid myself of the vexation I held towards the lifeless bean. After a few more attempts it became apparent that I was not going to succeed. A new wave of annoyance swept over me; simultaneously the knife spun out of control. It lurched from my grasp and onto the table where it began to spin in circles. It slid across the table towards Colette, and before it could harm her I slammed my palm onto the rotating piece of metal.
A small pain resounded through my hand as the blade sliced my palm. Blood trickled onto the wooden table top, staining the wood a dark red. I bit my lip nervously, hoping the knife would sit still when I removed my hand.
When I lifted my eyes from the desk twenty pair of eyes were glued to my face. Color flooded my cheeks and I lifted my hand from the knife. To avoid eye contact with the rest of my class I studied the gash on the palm of my hand.
It looked deep but not deep enough to leave a permanent scar. Blood curled around my knuckles and in between my fingers. I heard a sharp intake of breath, and Colette’s fingers curled softly around my other hand.
Heavy footsteps approached our desk. I looked up and my eyes met Professor Nott’s unfathomably dark eyes. “Sir, my knife. It spun out of control. I don’t know what happened.”
His face was a mask of unreadable emotions. Whether he believed me or not, I had no idea.
“Miss Ashfurd, if you would please take Miss Grey to the hospital wing, please.” Nott waved his hand towards the door.
Scooping up my bag with my uninjured hand, I allowed Colette to lead me out of the classroom and into the corridor. My fingers were curled upwards in an attempt to keep the blood from dripping onto the stone floor.
“What happened back there?” Colette looked at me with worried eyes.
I shrugged my shoulders. “I--the knife slipped from my hands I guess.”
If she had any doubts, Colette kept them to herself. She only nodded her head and guided me to the hospital wing, which was on the opposite side of the castle.
The matron of the Hospital Wing was a young women who looked to be around her early twenties. When the sunshine flickered through the windows, shining on her head, flecks of red became apparent in her otherwise golden hair.
After a warm introduction where I learned she was yet another Weasley/Potter offspring, I was given an ointment that would heal the gash in a matter of hours. For the time being, however, I was required to wear a heavy bandage over the injured hand in order to keep the cut clean.
Since the class period was almost over, and Dom Weasley had taken a liking to Colette and I, we were given some biscuits and tea to pass the time until our next class.
If the boys over here were the same as they were at home, which I assumed they were, I could imagine flocks of hormonal teenagers getting injured just to take a trip to the hospital wing. As if to prove my assumption correct, three boys stumbled into the Hospital Wing. The trio looked as though they had accidentally gotten themselves caught in the middle of a gang fight.
Not particularly good-looking, the boys were sporting black eyes and multiple cuts on their faces and arms.
“How long do you think it took them to plan that one out?” I mumbled to Colette over the edge of my tea cup.
Colette smirked, brushing biscuit crumbs off of her tights. “What gave them away?”
“Probably the fact that all three of them have a black eye and cuts in all of the same places.”
“Poor Dom,” Colette stated sympathetically. “She’s in for quite a year. I hope they trained her to deal with the hormones of teenage boys,”
I shook my head and finished off the last of my tea.
“We should probably get going,” I beckoned Colette over towards the door and we waved goodbye to a very preoccupied Dom.
Bandage wound tightly around my hand, I immersed myself into the middle of a rather large throng of people. At lunch I had - yet again - made a fool of myself by admitting to the fact that I had never in my life seen a real game of Quidditch.
Of course I knew what the sport was. I had read about it on countless occasions, but it had never really caught on in America. After much pleading, I had been coerced into watching what the boys called a “trial version” of the game. I would have arrived quickly, right as the last bell of the school day rang; however, finding the Quidditch Pitch was an adventure within itself.
Several stubbed toes and choice words later, I found myself standing on the edge of a large grassy stadium that looked like nothing I had ever seen in my entire life. The vast expanse of land made me feel uncannily small.
“Perri,” My eyes flicked over to where Roxy was standing on the other side of the field.
She waved, and I made my way across the grass.
The day was much more pleasant than it had been when I arrived. Though the sun was tucked behind ominous clouds that promised rain, the air was warm.
“Howdy, Freckles,” Freddy greeted, a grin plastered to his face as he crossed the field.
“Freckles?” I placed my hands on my hips.
He leaned in towards my face. “Did you know you’ve got hundreds of tiny freckles sprinkled across your nose.” He whispered, his nose inches away from mine.
My fingers fluttered mindlessly to my nose. Freddy’s eyes found the thick bandage wrapped around my palm. With a quick, reassuring smile I waved away the worry from his eyes.
“So how much longer until my socks are blown off?” I asked, glancing around the pitch.
“Don’t try and create a diversion.”
I tucked my hands behind my back. “I don’t know what you’re speaking of.”
Freddy shook his head, but he didn’t push the matter. “Do you fly?”
I raised my brows. “Do you breathe?”
His deep laugh resounded across the Quidditch Pitch, entwining with Roxy’s softer laugh.
“Come with me,” Roxy grabbed me by the hand and pulled me across the Pitch.
Five minutes later I emerged wearing a long sleeved t-shirt and a pair of shorts. Shoes left behind in the locker room, I let the soft ground hug my feet. The mud and water soaked grass squelched with each of my steps.
“What’s up my bitches!” Finn clattered out onto the field, his broom tucked under one arm.
Roxy snorted from beside me. “Since when do you refer to us as your bitches?”
Finn shrugged his shoulders. “It just seemed like an appropriate time.”
“I don’t think its ever an appropriate time to use pimp language, Finny,” I laughed, grabbing Fred’s extra broomstick.
He hit his chest with both hands and flashed me some gang signs. At least I’m pretty sure they were gang signs. I guess they could have been sign language, but I have no comprehension of either.
While Freddy and Finn exchanged some extravagant bro handshake that consisted of a lot of grunts and hand movements too intricate for me to follow, I mounted my broom. It was strange not having the broom recognize my touch. I was so used to riding my own broom that I had forgotten the discomfort of riding someone else’s.
“Watch and learn, Freckles,” Freddy grinned as he mounted his own broom.
I sat back and watched as Freddy, Finn, and Roxy circled around the field. They were soon joined by an entourage of people that I had never seen before. The game moved quickly, and there were so many things going on all at once that my eyes were constantly flitting from person to person.
As my eyes became accustom to the fast pace of the game, I began to decipher who played which positions. Freddy and Finn were the beaters, which would explain their fit physiques. James, taking after his father, was a brilliant seeker. From all the shouting I gathered that a boy named Travis Corner was the keeper.
Travis had sandy blonde hair and a perpetual smirk hung off his lips as if he was keeping a hilarious secret from the rest of the world. His build was similar to that of James and co. , but he was rather short for a boy his age.
Roxy and two girls I didn’t recognize were the chasers. Their slender frames made them agile and fast. I felt the air move beside me as a red headed girl fluttered up next to me. Though I had never set eyes on her before I had an inkling that was a Weasley.
“You must be Perri,” She smiled at me, “I’m Lily Potter.”
“You’re the only red head I’ve met whose not a Weasley,” I stated bluntly.
I felt a small blush creep onto my cheeks, slightly horrified at my lack of social graces.
“Sorry,” I apologized, “That was one of those comments that escaped my filter. Those kind of comments usually stay up here,” I tapped my temple.
To my surprise she burst into laughter, her fiery head thrown back. A rush of relief spread throughout my body. I silently thanked Merlin that this Weasley/Potter clan had an exceptional sense of humor.
“Rox was right. You are funny.”
I shook my head. “I think socially tactless would be more appropriate.”
A sudden scream made my heart jolt to a stop. At first I thought it had been Lily. She had opened her mouth to speak simultaneously with whoever screamed from across the pitch. We both whipped our heads to the right.
We both saw the quaffle barreling towards her at the same time, but there was no time to swerve out of the way. It had to be, at most, a second away. Without thinking I jumped off my broom, catching the quaffle in my hands just as it was about to collide with the side of Lily’s head.
The effects of gravity were immediate. I fell towards the ground, bringing Lily and her broom along with me. We landed in a pile of limbs. I couldn’t even decipher if I was facing the ground or the sky because I had my eyes squeezed closed.
“What happened?” Lily gasped in between deep breaths.
“Gravity happened.” I choked out, my arms still clutching the quaffle.
The sound of heavy footfalls greeted my ears. James threw himself onto the ground, taking Lily’s chin into his hands. He began examining her face.
“Are you hurt?” Lily swatted his hands away from her face.
“I’m fine, James,” She fixed the pieces of hair that were sticking up. “Perri saved my neck. Pun intended.”
James’s eyes slid down to the quaffle on my lap. “You caught that?”
His eyes grew to the size of saucers. Squeezing my head in between his hands, he placed a kiss on the center of my forehead. I felt a clap on my back, nearly knocking the wind out of me for a second time.
“I’ve never seen anyone move that fast,” Roxy breathed, her face still regaining its color.
“I’ve never moved that fast,” I admitted, allowing the quaffle to roll off my lap and onto the soggy grass.
I looked down at my hands and noticed a small amount of blood had seeped through my bandage. The impact of the quaffle hitting my hand had reopened my healing cut. A small sigh escaped from my lips.
“Are you going to tell us what happened to your hand, or are we going to have to leave the details to our imagination?” Freddy asked, a small smile playing at his lips.
“Just a minor knife wound,” I stated, curling my fingers around my palm.
Freddy’s eyebrows raised up towards his hairline. “Oh right, I forgot about the high crime rate at Hogwarts.”
I rolled my eyes. “The dungeons are filled with all kinds convicts. I had a bit of a skirmish with a sopophorous bean.”
“I presume I can safely bet that you were not victorious,” Freddy looked mildly amused.
I held up my now bloody bandage. “You should see the other guy,” I grinned.
“Here,” Roxy offered me her hand before Freddy could formulate a witty response.
“Let’s go get you re-bandaged.”
With the help from several people Lily and I managed to get to our feet. Stained with mud and water we began the trek back to the school.
“I’ve come to a conclusion,” Finn announced as we neared the looming figure of the castle.
We all looked over at him. He was staring up at the sky, looking lost somewhere in the depths of his own mind. “You’re going to try out for the position of keeper,” Finn received a high five from Freddy.
I laughed. “Thanks but--”
Finn cut me off. “Oh, that wasn’t a suggestion. This is a non-negotiable matter.”
“I’ll chain myself to my bed,” I announced.
“Kinky,” He stuffed his hands into his back pockets, a smirk dangling from his lips. “But regardless of how appealing that sounds, I shall not cave. You will be there no matter the circumstances.”
“I’m going to pretend that I do not feel utterly violated and that I did not hear that last statement.”
He winked at me. “You wish I was kidding.”
A/N: Hello, lovelies! How did you like the chapter? Do you have any favorite characters? Dislike any characters?
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