Chapter 6 : Chapter Five: The Sign?
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The next two weeks pass by quickly and before I know it, Quidditch trials are here. I’ve played Quidditch since my second year. Dad threatened to disown me if I didn’t at least try for the team.
“Your mum can’t play Quidditch to save her life,” He said to me, “So I’ll understand if you don’t actually make it onto the team. But if you don’t even give it a shot—your best shot—I’m afraid I can’t call you a Wood. Let’s hope you’ve inherited my Quidditch genes.”
It just so happens that I did inherit Dad’s genes when it comes to Quidditch… and my temper… and well… a lot of things. But I’ve got Mum’s eyes and short stature! That counts for something, right?
However, the Quidditch genes only apply to the talent of the sport, not the obsession. Dad lives, breathes, and sleeps Quidditch. I, on the other hand, am just simply good at what I do and I enjoy watching if it’s my favorite teams: Puddlemere United, Chudley Cannons, and Holyhead Harpies. And the Kenmare Kestrals aren’t so bad either.
Anyway, I play Keeper for Gryffindor (the same position as Dad) and I’d like to think I do just fine at it. But that might just be my opinion.
After classes, I head down to the Quidditch pitch. I’m excited to be getting back on my broom. It seems like forever since I’ve flown, so hopefully I’m not too out of practice. Most of the same players will be back this year, with very few open slots to fill. There’s no telling how many hopefuls will be trying for the team, but I’m banking on a good number of them. Poor James will have a splendid time of deciding who gets to join. I would hate the job as Captain purely because of that. James loves being in charge though… and he looks good while doing it.
I sigh. Things are barely better than they were two weeks ago. Now that I can talk to Rose about my issue with James, I don’t feel like I’m losing my mind anymore. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve accepted feeling the way I do, nor have I even talked to James much since that night at Hagrid’s. I don’t think he’s avoiding me, so much as I’m avoiding him and that makes me feel better, knowing that I’m kind of in control of the situation.
As for the Scorpius ordeal, I’m pretty sure he’s still mortified by what happened in Defense Against the Dark Arts. If anyone is avoiding me, it’s him. On occasion, I’ll catch him looking at me, but he no longer makes moves like he did before. It’s really strange.
I suppose all of us are crazy in our own right.
It’s a foggy day, I notice. That’ll make it a little worse for the hopefuls… poor dears.
There’s a huge crowd gathered on the pitch, all sporting house colours and various broomsticks. The crowd is large, but not the largest I’ve seen. I join the gaggle of Gryffindors, immediately gravitating to Rose. Rose finally joined the team our third year after being pressured the other two years. We scope out the new kids.
“Look at that bloke,” She scoffs, “He looks absolutely terrified.”
I laugh, “what about blondie over there? She has to be malnourished. You can’t play Quidditch if you’re malnourished. You’ll shatter!”
I’m so glad I have Rose to talk to. Without her, I’d have no one… or James. And well, that just wouldn’t end well. I never really bonded closely to anyone else on the team.
“Oh look!” Rose exclaims, pointing to someone a few yards away. “Lily!”
“Lily?! Lily’s finally trying?!” She’ll make it. There’s no doubt about that. With Harry being the amazing player he was, and Ginny going professional for a while, there’s no way in Hell she won’t make it. It’s just taken her a year to get over broom fright, I suppose.
“Hey,” Lily smiles when she joins us on the pitch. Her cheeks are flushed from the long walk over in the chilly weather and her red hair is windblown. She’s already pretty at thirteen-years-old. I can’t even imagine what another year or two will do for her. James and Al will be hexing boys left and right to keep them away. It’s sickening at how the Potter and Weasley families have such amazing genetics. Even if one of them goes through an awkward ugly phase (like Molly did and Hugo is now), they grow out of it quickly and become the envy of the entire school.
“About time!” James walks over in his Quidditch attire and I melt just a little. He ruffles his sister’s hair then clonks a helmet over it, “Can’t have your brain on the pitch just yet. It’s only trials, after all.”
She rolls her eyes and tears the helmet off to fix her hair before properly putting it back on. “Funny, James. I suppose you know from personal experience, eh?”
I snort, which makes James look over at me. My eyes quickly dart away before I can start drooling. “Careful, Lil. Don’t want to insult the captain if you plan on making the team.”
“At least you’re giving me fair treatment.” She shrugs. I swear I love that girl. She would be such a good little sister…
Too far…. Don’t start that.
“Alright, folks!” It’s a loud voice; a loud, all-too-familiar voice. I whip around to the center of the field.
“Oh er… hello, Quinn.” Dad is standing in the middle of the field, holding his wand to his throat. He’s using the sonorous charm, which means what he just said echoes throughout the entire crowd. “Surprise!” He laughs awkwardly.
Everyone laughs. Not with me, at me.
Except Rose and Lily. They seem as equally mortified as I am.
This is not okay.
“How could you not tell me?!” I’m flailing my arms wildly at Dad, and feeling just about the same as I did the night I lost control on James. “Do you realise how embarrassing that was for me?!”
“NO!” I interrupt him, still uncontrollably flapping. I may take off flying at any minute.
“NO, DAD! Had you have told me before today, I would have understood. I would have been okay with it! But you had to surprise me in front of everyone, including new players that I need to respect me! Thanks to that scene out there, however, none of them will! Why didn’t you tell me?!”
“I could have died, I was so embarrassed! What were you th—“
“Pippa Quinn Wood, sit down now!”
I sit. I don’t even aim for a chair; I just collapse to the floor and stare nervously at Dad. It’s his turn to rant. “You listen to me, no interruptions! Understand?” I nod, afraid to even speak. He’s furious and shaking, so I’m not even about to test him. “I didn’t want to tell you because I wanted to surprise you. It didn’t go quite how I had hoped and I’m sorry about that. Besides, I found out I got the job only three days ago. Not much thinking went into it. I just figured you’d be happy to see me and I didn’t want to tell you beforehand. So here’s the bottom line: I needed a job, Hogwarts needed a coach. I’m not quitting, unless you plan on supporting yourself.”
I’m still afraid to talk, so I hang my head. I feel bad for getting angry and I understand his reasoning, but that doesn’t change the fact that today was probably one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. He squats beside me, “Look at me.” I do. I hate when parents do that. “Are we clear?”
I half-smile, “yeah. I’m sorry for getting so angry.”
“All forgiven?” He grins and holds out a hand for me to shake.
I grasp it, “All’s forgiven.” We laugh a little and catch up on everything—well, not everything—he’s missed since I’ve been away.
“I made the team!” That squeal and several ones similar are heard during Saturday morning’s breakfast. The whole week consisted of trials and I’m exhausted from having to play with and against them in order to test their abilities. Some of them had no idea what they were doing, making it hard on the ones like Rose, James, and I to play them. Rose now has a nasty bruise on her leg where the nervous bloke we gossiped about missed beating a Bludger. It collided with Rose and almost unseated her.
Lily comes running down to Rose and I, “I made it! I made it!” She looks happier than I’ve seen her in ages.
“I knew you would,” I smile tiredly, “How about a toast?”
The three of us grab cups of pumpkin juice and gently clink them together, “To Lily!” And we drink.
Today is a trip to Hogsmeade right after breakfast, but I almost don’t want to go. If it weren’t for Rose I wouldn’t be. She has to get a couple Christmas presents and needs someone to walk with her, since her injury slows her down. We finish eating and head out with the rest of the groups to the village.
“Oh, Rose, what about this?!” I hold up a lollipop the size of my head that spins on its own and promises to change the color of the mouth that eats it for a whole two days. We’re in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes trying to find some gag gifts for Gryffindor’s Secret Santa game.
She limps over, “Brilliant! I think that’s a yes.” I add it to our basket.
I glance over at a shelf of teacups. Just as I’m wondering what they do, a younger student picks one up. When she moves it near her face, it transforms and she screams in terror. It had turned into porcelain denture-like teeth at the brim of the cup and attempted to bite her nose. I can’t help but think what a beneficial gift it could be for James. Maybe it could bite his nose so hard it’d come right off and then I wouldn’t have to worry about how attractive he is.
“Interesting, aren’t they?” That isn’t Rose’s voice…
“Scorpius!” Oh dear. “Hey, what are you doing in here? I mean, obviously you’re shopping. That was a dumb question. I’m going to stop now… er, hi.”
His face is twisted into a look of confusion and shock and humour all at once. “Right, er, well… yes, I am shopping. You’re doing the same?” He kind of laughs. I think it’s to make me feel better as opposed to I’m just funny or something. Cool… pity laughs. Just what I need.
I frown, “Yeah…” Well, this is awkward. But on a positive note, he didn’t freak out like James did when I made a fool out of myself. “Christmas coming up and all. It’s sort of a must. I really didn’t want to come, but Rose.” I nod over to her. She’s sitting down on the staircase and rubbing her leg.
“Oh, yeah I bet that’s a bit of a bother.” Scorpius nods.
“A bother? What are you insinuating?”
“What? Nothing I—Er, I—“
“Are you trying to say my friend is a burden, because if that’s the case—“
Oh, here we go…. Someone call St. Mungo’s and tell them to clear a spot in the psych ward. Here comes crazy!
“You get away from me, right now, Scorpius Malfoy! Before I—“
“Quinn, do you want to get some Butterbeer with me today!?”
I freeze immediately and stare at him. I’m in shock; utterly dumfounded. “What?”
“Do you want… to go with me… to The Three Broomsticks… and have some Butterbeer?”
I nod, still thoroughly confused. I didn’t feel crazy anymore, just simply discombobulated.
“Good. Around 12 then?” Scorpius is beaming.
I nod again. I think I’ve made his day, to be honest. Me, though? Ew… why?
“Right,” He’s happier than I’ve ever seen him, but there’s a hint of worry that I haven’t done anything but nod. “See you in an hour!” He walks off, a new spring to his step. Usually he has a quite demanding pace, but now it seems much lighter.
Rose. I have to tell Rose.
“Er, Quinn,” Rose is suddenly beside me. How’d she do that? “What just happened with Scorpius?”
I love how smart she is. It’s like she already knew I needed to tell her what happened before I had to rush over to her. Maybe she can read my mind…
Or maybe she saw Scorpius talking to you?
Yeah, that’s a possibility too.
“He asked me to have a drink with him for lunch today.”
“Shit. You said no, didn’t you?”
I shake my head, still sort of dazed. “I said yes.”
Her eyes fly wide and her jaw nearly hits the ground. “What?! Quinn, what about—“
“James!” I yell his name in that “inconspicuous” way when you’re talking about someone and they walk up to the conversation when his name is about to be dropped. Equipped with fake smile and all.
Rose’s mouth closes as James walks up behind her. Her face has a complete “oh shit” look on it. It’s kind of hilarious. So what do I do? I laugh. James is looking at me like I’m crazy… again, “Something funny?”
“Well, we are in a joke shop,” I retort, “So yeah, one would assume something is funny.”
He smirks with almost… approval? What does that even mean?
Oh yeah, that’s a grand idea. Let’s analyse every little thing just like a typical female.
I’m starting to wonder if Smart Quinn is a man. I hope not.
“I was going to see what you two lovely ladies are doing for lunch?” He throws an arm around either of us. You would think Rose would be the one to stumble underneath his arm, but no… it’s me. My knees go a little weak when I smell that fresh spearmint scent again.
I catch myself, both physically and emotionally. “I, er, I actually have plans.”
James laughs disbelievingly. “Yeah, with who?”
The anger building up inside of me is a great bit of ammo against James and those pesky stomach fairies. I shrug out of his reach and look him dead in the eyes. With a smirk playing on my lips, I answer, “Scorpius Malfoy.”
I see the little muscle in his jaw start throbbing. His eyes are stern for a flash of time. It was noticeable, but only if you were looking at him. That means something. It has to. His character switches to something different, “That should be lovely. Hope your lips aren’t too chapped.”
He walks away. I watch him the whole way out. Right at the door he rakes his hand through his already messy black hair and turns just enough to glance back out of the corners of his eyes.
Something about that last move gives me hope.
That’s always a sign, right? I mean, in those sappy shows my mum watches, turning at the last moment signifies the character has feelings for the obvious love interest. So what does that mean? Does James Potter have feelings for me too?!
Eh… a girl can wish.
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