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Chapter 16 : I Just Feel The Pressure
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HOLY CRAP. I AM SO EXCITED.
It means so much to me that you guys like my story enough to review it, and being so close to 50 blows my mind. So, from author to reader, thank you. You have no idea how much your reviews brighten my day.
DISCLAIMER!!: You recognize it, you know it's not mine. I'm not THAT cool. Yet.
Chapter 16: I Just Feel The Pressure
Dorothy sat in the stands with Hope and Fiona, screaming at the match before them. She was clad in Freddie’s old Quidditch kit, while Hope and Fiona had simply donned red jumpers. Gryffindor was playing Slytherin, so the majority of the stands were wearing the classic scarlet.
Dorothy studied the team as she cheered, watching as Freddie struggled to reign in the Bludgers by himself since Finnegan had taken yet another break to flirt with a Ravenclaw in the stands.
“Oi!” James shouted. “Finnegan! Flirt after the match, yeah?”
Finnegan flushed a deep red and flew back into the action, slamming a Bludger directly at the Slytherin Chaser who had the Quaffle.
“About time you bloody did something,” Freddie grumbled. He turned to look at the stands, smiling as he saw Dorothy, Hope, and Fiona sitting with the part of his family that wasn’t playing, screaming, “Go, go, Gryffindor!” at the tops of their lungs.
Dorothy looked up and saw Freddie looking at her, and waved, modeling her shirt. He grinned and sent back a saucy wink. She burst into laughter, and Freddie chuckled, zooming back into the game.
“Weasley, leave me alone,” Fiona said irritably as Louis touched her again. “What are you doing here anyway? I thought I finally got rid of you when you graduated.”
“Am I not allowed to root for my little cousins?” he shot back. “Honestly, Little, you’re the one in the wrong section. This is where the Gryffindors sit. Scarlet’s just not your color.”
Fiona groaned and turned to Hope. “I’m going to the loo. I need a break.”
Hope laughed and rolled her eyes. “Alright. Don’t be too long!”
“It’s just the loo, how long can I take?” Fiona said laughing as she made her way to the aisle and out of the stands.
“You’re such a prat when Fiona’s around, Louis,” Dorothy said with a smile.
Louis shrugged, grinning. “It’s just so fun,” he said. “Speaking of, I think I’ll go—”
“Oh, won’t you just leave her alone for a minute?” Hope asked, laughing.
Louis smirked. “Where’s the fun in that?”
Hope and Dorothy watched him go after Fiona. “Merlin, I wish they would just date already!” Hope exclaimed.
“They would either be ridiculously happy, or kill each other within seconds,” Hugo said from his seat beside them.
“Why not both?” Hope joked.
“Fiona?” Louis hissed beneath the stands. “Fiona!”
A hand reached out from behind a wooden beam and grabbed his shirt, pulling him behind it. Before he could speak, another hand clamped over his mouth.
“Shut up, would you?” Fiona hissed. “Merlin, Louis.” Louis pressed his lips against the palm of her hand, causing her to smile. “Ouch!” she yelped, ripping her hand off his mouth. “You bit me!”
Louis grinned. “I did.”
“You’re going to regret that,” she said.
“I hope so,” he replied, taking her mouth with his own, pressing her back into the wooden beam. The kiss was hot and passionate as the two fought with lips, teeth, and tongues the way they had fought with words and hexes for so long. “Ow, fuck, Fiona!” he yelped, breaking the kiss to dab at the blood on his lip from where she’d bitten him.
She grinned. “Oops.”
He grinned back at her. “You little minx,” he said, grabbing her hips and pulling her flush against him. She whimpered as she felt his desire. “Merlin, I’ve missed you. When’s the next Hogsmeade weekend?” He placed his mouth beneath her ear lobe, sucking and nipping at her unblemished skin.
She leaned her head back into the wood, trying to focus. “Next weekend, the first weekend in December.”
“So long,” he groaned into her skin.
She nodded, tangling her hand into his long blonde hair. “Too long.”
“Better make this last then,” he said, taking her ear lobe between his teeth, grinning as she moaned softly.
His lips took her mouth again, but rather than a raw heat, it was warmth that spread through their bodies all the way to the tips of their fingers and toes. Fiona draped both arms around his shoulders, pulling him closer to her, her hand tugging on his blonde locks. His thickly muscled arms wrapped tightly around her middle, one hand splayed across her shoulder toying with the ends of her long dark hair, the other across the small of her back, dangerously close to the curve of her arse.
His lower hand slid downwards, squeezing the soft, round flesh. She arched against him in surprise, laughing in the kiss. “Cheeky git,” she muttered, rubbing against him.
“You know you love it,” he responded.
She nibbled on his bottom lip, letting one of her hands slide to his arse and squeezed. He jumped, laughing. “Yeah, I guess.”
“There you two are!” Hope said as Louis and Fiona returned to their seats. “I thought I was going to have to send out a search party for your dead bodies.”
“I can’t believe you let him come find me,” Fiona said, throwing Louis a dirty look.
“Didn’t want you to miss me,” he responded with a smirk.
“Trust me, I don’t,” Fiona shot back.
“Your letters say differently,” he teased.
Fiona’s eyes flashed dangerously. “You two still write?” Hope asked.
“Yes,” Fiona said, glaring at Louis. “Every day I get a piece of parchment filled with poorly thought out insults. Honestly, you can do better.”
“I’ll have to take that into consideration,” he said.
“Look, Albus has spotted the Snitch!” Hugo cried as David Humble began rapidly calling out what was happening from the announcer’s box.
Dorothy saw it before Freddie. A Bludger was propelling forward towards Albus’s outstretched arm. “Freddie!” Dorothy screamed, even though she knew he couldn’t hear her.
Freddie saw it from the other side of the field not even a second later. He zoomed forward. “Finnegan!” he bellowed, trying to get his partner’s attention back in the game.
It was too late. The Bludger came in contact with Albus’s arm, easily breaking it. He cried out in pain, immediately retracting his arm and loosing focus on his dive. Mathias Zabini, the Slytherin Seeker and Captain swooped beneath him and closed his hand around the Snitch.
“And…Slytherin wins,” David’s voice echoed, disappointment evident. “220-210, Slytherin.”
Dorothy pushed her way through the crowd by the Quidditch lockers, managing to stumble into the room with Hope, Fiona, and Louis behind her. Louis and Fiona pushed against the door, locking it against the raging crowd of Slytherins and Gryffindors. They stole a glance at each other and grinned.
The small moment ended as Hope frantically said, “Where are they?”
Louis spoke up, leaving Fiona against the door. “The after game meeting is always in the back room since the crowd barricades the doors. The shouting always interrupted the debrief.”
“I knew we kept you around for something,” Fiona grumbled, swiftly walking past him. “Let’s go.”
“This isn’t a good idea,” Louis called as she hurried after the girls. “Gryffindors are crazy when it comes to Quidditch. James will be pissed if you guys interrupt.”
“Trust me, Lou,” Dorothy said as she wrapped her hand around the handle to the back room. “It’s not James I’m worried about.”
Dorothy wrenched the door open, breaking the Silencing charm that had been cast over the room. “I cannot believe that you let that Bludger pass right by your bloody fucking face!” James roared, his face less than three inches away from Eóin’s. “Not only did your incompetence manage to lose us the game and shatter Al’s arm, but you destroyed years of Gryffindor victories over Slytherin! Do you have any idea the last time Gryffindor lost to Slytherin?!”
Eóin looked ghostly pale. “Uh, no, sir?”
“1991,” Dorothy said flatly. “The year before Harry Potter joined the team as a first year.”
“Exactly!” James exploded. Eóin flinched as spit landed on his face due to James’s rage. “Wait,” he said, turning towards the door. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“Making sure you don’t kill anyone,” Hope said matter-of-factly.
James shot her a venomous glare. “I don’t need the fucking Hufflepuff Captain to come in here and tell me how to run and discipline my team!”
“James,” Dorothy pleaded softly.
“Dor,” Freddie said, his eyes flashing in warning. “You guys should really just leave.”
Dorothy nodded, leading the way out of the back room and letting the door fall shut behind them. “I told you it wasn’t a good idea,” Louis said softly. “What happens in the Gryffindor locker room, stays in the Gryffindor locker room.”
“That’s stupid,” Fiona snapped.
“Like what goes on with the Hufflepuff team isn’t secret?” Louis shot back.
Fiona frowned, realizing he was right. “I’m heading back up to the castle. This was a stupid idea.”
“I’m going to stay,” Dorothy said. “Wait for them to finish up. I’ll talk to him after.”
“Who?” Fiona spat. “James or Freddie?”
Dorothy looked at her, her face filled with concealed emotion. “Whoever comes to me first.”
“I’ll stay with you,” Hope said softly. “I owe James an apology, Captain to Captain.”
Fiona nodded. “I’ll see you both in the dormitory later.”
“Let’s find a way out of here,” Little,” Louis said flatly.
Fiona looked over at him and scowled. “Great.”
Hope and Dorothy sat on the wooden benches beside each other as they watched Louis and Fiona leave the locker room by one of the side doors.
“She’s right, you know,” Dorothy said softly.
“About this being a stupid idea?” Hope asked, letting out a cynical laugh. “We knew that going into this.”
“No,” Dorothy said, her gaze intense on her wringing hands. “About James and Freddie.” She paused, the pulling of her fingers becoming more violent with each passing second. “I can’t make both of them happy. Either James ends up heartbroken, or Freddie will think I’ve lied to him for almost a month, and he’ll never approve. Not after everything.”
Hope didn’t say anything. Dorothy continued, “I just wish there was a way I could go back to when we were five years old, running around back behind the Burrow. When we were all just friends.” Dorothy looked up, the movement not ceasing, and studied the lockers on the far wall. “Things were easier then.”
“How was I supposed to know she didn’t know about the letters?” Louis snapped as he walked alongside Fiona on the outskirts of the grounds by the Forbidden Forest.
“Oh, I dunno, Lou,” Fiona shot back. “Maybe by using your bloody brain?! After what we told everyone happened at last Hogsmeade weekend, why would we still be writing?”
Louis groaned. “I don’t know, Fi, I said I was sorry, can’t you just let it go?”
“Let it go?” she exclaimed, stopping to face him. “Are you mad? You almost blew the secret with your fat mouth!”
“Well, I don’t like this being a secret anyway!” he said, obviously exasperated.
“We don’t even know what this is!”
“Well, maybe we should talk about it!”
“Well, go bloody ahead, you wanker!” Fiona shouted. “What do you want to talk about first, how infuriating you are, or how bloody incompatible we seem to be? We’ve been together for, what, three hours, and we’re already to rip each other’s throats out!”
Louis pushed her backwards into the forest and up against a tree trunk. “How about how bloody beautiful you look when you’re angry with me? Or how even when you’re shouting at me like the crazy bint you are, I still can’t stop thinking about how much I fancy you?”
Fiona looked up into his clouded blue eyes and her tongue darted out of her mouth, moistening her lips. “I’m still mad at you,” she said weakly, her hands rising to wrap around his thick biceps as his arms wrapped around her.
“I don’t really want to talk anymore, Fiona,” he growled, his gaze firmly planted on her plump lips.
She nodded. “Well, at least you’re not completely dense.” He laughed throatily as he swooped down and took her lips with his own in a heated and angry kiss.
Both Dorothy and Hope’s heads snapped up towards the door as it opened. Freddie slid out of the room, looking ferociously angry. Dorothy stood quickly. “Fred,” she started.
“I honestly can’t believe you sometimes, Dor,” Freddie snapped. Dorothy took a step back, surprise evident on her features. “What the hell were you thinking, barging in there like that, pissing James of even more than he already was?” Dorothy’s eyes welled up with tears, and she couldn’t manage an answer. Freddie slammed his locker shut. “Well?”
“I—I wanted to make sure you were okay,” she choked out.
Freddie turned from his pile of clothes to see Dorothy standing there, tears falling down her face. “Oh, hell,” he muttered.
“I’m sorry,” she managed. “I didn’t mean to make things worse, I just—”
“You just what, Dor?” Freddie demanded.
“I don’t know!” she cried. “What do you expect? Not everything I do is thought out, and this was stupid! I was just…worried, I guess!”
“About me, or about James?” he snapped.
“Am I not allowed to be worried about you both?” Dorothy asked. “Since when has it been an ‘or?’ You’re both my friends!”
Freddie closed his eyes, shaking his head slowly. “Whatever you say, Dor.” He shoved his clothes into a bag and turned to leave the locker room. “I’ll talk to you later, once I’ve cooled off.”
“Freddie!” Dorothy called after him. She turned her head to Hope, a desperate look on her face.
“Go,” Hope said. “I’ll tell James.”
“Thanks,” she gushed, chasing after Freddie.
“Freddie!” she called as she sprinted across the grass after him.
He turned and looked over her shoulder. “Dor?”
She caught up to him, panting. “Who else?”
“I thought you’d wait for James,” he confessed.
Guilt struck Dorothy hard in the chest. “Freddie,” she said. “You’re my best friend. No one is more important to me than you. Not even James.”
Freddie looked at her, as if trying to detect a falsehood in her statement. Sighing, he started walking again. “He’s especially mad that you were right about Finnegan.”
Smiling, Dorothy caught up with Freddie and allowed her footsteps to fall in time with his. “Oh?”
“Sure, he’s furious we lost the match. Last grudge match, y’know? But he feels really stupid. So he’s even more out of control.”
Dorothy looked over at Freddie, her face soft with sincerity. “I’m really sorry you lost, Freddie.”
Freddie nodded. “Me too.”
Hope sat in the locker room, counting players as Albus, Rose, Roxanne, and Lily filed out of the back room, leaving just James and Eóin. After a while, even a shaking Eóin made his way out. Taking a deep breath, Hope knocked on the door to the back room.
“What?” a venomous voice hissed through the wood.
Hope took a deep breath and pushed the door open slightly. James was sitting against the wall, staring at the door. His eyes rose to see Hope and his angry face became even more intense. “What the bloody hell could you possibly want?”
She bit down on her lip, then softly said, “I wanted to apologize.”
“I don’t want your fucking pity, Jacobs,” James snapped as he rose to his feet. “It’s just a match.”
“I wasn’t talking about the match, Potter,” she tossed back. “And you know as well as I do it’s not just a match, don’t you dare give me that crap.”
“Don’t act like you know me just because you’re friends with Dorothy,” he shouted. “Because you don’t!”
“Know you or not, this is more than a damn game to you,” Hope replied, her temper flaring. “It’s your life. It’s your pride and your joy and your identity. Losing this game makes you question yourself as a player, as a Captain, and as a person. The constant questioning of whether or not you’re good enough and the doubt of every move you make—”
“SHUT UP!” James roared. Hope blinked, shocked. “I don’t need some soul searching lecture from a bloody Hufflepuff right now! I don’t need anything! I just need to be left alone!”
“Just because I’m in Hufflepuff, doesn’t mean I can’t empathize with you!”
“Oh, yeah,” he scoffed. “You don’t have anywhere near the amount of pressure on you to succeed!”
“What’s that supposed to mean?!”
“It means that the second that blasted hat shouts Gryffindor, they all expect greatness. Everyone’s eyes on you, waiting to see what you’ll do, what difference you’ll make. You screw up once, and everyone questions that decision.” He looked over at Hope again and let out a harsh laugh. “But in Hufflepuff? No one expects anything more out of you than they do any person they pass on the bloody street.”
“No one can decide your fate for you, James,” Hope snapped. “I don’t care what your house is or what your name is or any of that shit. Your fate is up to you, and if you want to let your buggered up views on what people expect out of you ruin your life, then go right ahead. Because I don’t expect anything out of you.”
James stared at her blankly as she wrenched the door open. She paused, and said, “Sorry for interrupting your meeting. It wasn’t my place.” She then slammed the door behind her.
I promised drama, did I not? BAM! So much just happened, I don't even know what to write here. Just, review and tell me what you think. I'm dying to know your thoughts!!! :D
Peace, Love, and Potter,
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