“VIDA! SOMEONE GET HER NOW!” James ordered, too far away to do anything. I was dangling a good forty feet in the air, by one leg hooked over my broom and my collar bone sending searing pain across my chest. My damaged leg was hanging uselessly, aching horribly and I didn’t have the strength to lift it.
“And it seems that both seekers have abandoned their chase for the snitch, they’ve let it go to help our beater! I can almost hear the jealousy of our girls in the crowd, don’t blame them myself! And- oh, seems like we Griffies are definitely a beater down, Weasley will have his work cut out for the last few minutes of this game!” The commentator yelled, as my head spun and I almost passed out as two sets of arms pulled me down.
“What should we do?” A voice asked.
“One of us will have to catch the snitch so we can get her to the hospital wing”
“Al, go and catch it”
“Because I know your brother is absolutely mental and will kill you if you let us win. Not that we will if I catch the snitch, we’re already too many points down. And, because I know this crazy doofus actually got herself knocked out just to protect your arses, so you might as well make it worth her while. I’ve got her, go after the snitch”
I knew who that was. Only one person in my life called me a doofus.
“You know what Malfoy, maybe you aren’t so bad. You sure you’ve got her?”
“Yep, now go, brooms these days aren’t made for two people”
One pair of arms disappeared and the other supported me gently, pulling me onto another broomstick and tucking my head against his neck, lessening the pain in my collarbone.
“Seriously Vida, you are actually mental” Scorp said. I groaned.
“All part of the job” I muttered back.
“And the seekers seemed to have made some sort of agreement! That’s it, Slytherin are out, Malfoy has let Potter go after the snitch, not sure if that’s gentlemanly or stupid! At least you’ve won the hearts of the ladies in the crowd, Malfoy! As for our crazy beater; someone better get her fixed up quick, I can see that broken collar bone from here! Potter and Potter are both pulling out the stops, goals are flying everywhere! AND THE SNITCH HAS BEEN CAUGHT! GRYFFINDOR WIN!” The commentator yelled through the mic, and I heard cheers so loud my ears hurt. I didn't care about the match right now, or the cheers or anything. I was just trying not to pass out.
“Right, come on you, to the hospital wing you go- again. Maybe beating shouldn’t be a long term career for you” Scorp said gently, and flew in what I guessed was the direction of the castle. I breathed as deep as I could without adgitating my collar bone- which wasn't much- and kept my eyes firmly closed, feeling a little dizzy.
“Malfoy! Wait up!” Another voice called. Al had joined us.
“We better hurry; I’m not squeamish and that collar bone is looking pretty gruesome. What is it?” Scorp asked.
“Look- I know we’re not on the best of terms” Al began. I almost chuckled, but just moving sent jolts of pain through my limbs. It was alright though; Scorp laughed for me.
“That’s an understatement”
“Right. Well I wanted to maybe make those terms better. I thought you were an arse to be totally honest-
“I can be”
“Well yeah, alright, and I am too. Anyway. Vida tried to tell me that you were alright, I just never really listened to her. She is a bit naïve” Al said.
Well insert silent huffing here.
“Or maybe she’s just nice to people Al. I know our dads never particularly liked each other, which means that maybe you might hold some sort of grudge, but she never treated me like a Malfoy, she was just my friend” Scorp told him, and Al sighed.
“Sorry about that. There’s only so many times you hear the stories before you begin to judge the Malfoys. Vida was never told those stories as a kid, she's a muggleborn, she never had any reason to judge you. So I did it for her. Plus I was a little jealous” Al admitted. I was listening now, instead of just trying not to pass out. This was getting interesting. My eyes were still shut in hopes that it would block out the pain, so Al must’ve thought I was unconscious. So glad I wasn’t if I got to hear this little conversation.
“Jealous? Of me? Well, Al Potter, that is something else” Scorp said, and I could almost hear the smirk in his tone. Smug git.
“Shut up Malfoy. She’s been my best mate for six years and never once has she spent so much time with a lad that wasn’t somehow related to me, alright? Especially not ones that were notorious for breaking hearts” Al replied defensively.
“What, you thought that was what I would do? Nah. It might be stupid to admit this, but I was considering asking her out during the first few weeks of knowing her. Then I figured I couldn’t do it. Like I said, she’s too nice, and she just makes you feel good. After spending a few classes with her, I didn’t want to hurt her by going out with her and dumping her. I felt like I’d gone soft or something” Scorp said.
“You aren’t, that’s just what Vida’s like. I don’t know what it is; people don’t want to hurt her, because she just gives you this lift- you feel great around her. I didn’t want her anywhere near you, and when I hurt her feelings weeks ago- the look she gave me; Merlin, I didn’t know guilt could actually be physically painful”
Scorp chuckled, and I sighed slightly. I didn't understand what I did that everyone found so uplifting, all I did was be myself- but I could see where they were coming from. I'd cheered just about everyone up, even Moaning Myrtle to an extent (but lets be honest, she is beyond even my cheering expertise), just by being myself. Al being protective- well, that was nothing new. I think he just did it subconciously, despite knowing how much I can protect myself physically if I need to. Maybe, right at this moment, with a broken collar bone and possible fractured wrist, his protectiveness was understandable.
“Well, I guess we’re on the same team then. Truce?” Scorp asked.
“Go on then, yeah. And as a first step, you should come up to the common room tonight; no doubt it’ll be a party” Al offered. I almost smiled; my friends were friends, what could be better? I felt the shift of the air that meant we had gotten inside, and I groaned as my heavy head slipped from Scorp's shoulder, shooting pains exploding across my chest.
"Careful, its alright; we got you" Al's voice soothed, and a gentle hand helped guide my head back to its previous, more comfortable position. I was going to breathe out a thank you before I blacked out a little, coming around moments later feeling very much confused.
“Good heavens, again?! Who let her on the Quidditch team? I’ll be having words!” A voice barked. Ah, the soothing tones of Madame Mason. Scorp put me down on the bed and she got to work, fixing me up. I could feel the spells she was casting working immediately, draining my fatigue and lightening my limbs. My collarbone repaired with a sudden, jolting snap that sent my flying upright in shock, eyes wide.
“Spirits above! I feel like I’ve come back from the dead!” I cried dramatically, hand reaching to run my fingers across the repaired bone. It felt as good as new, which I was relieved about.
“One of these days you might be! The injuries you get from that silly game! I’ve got mostly everything, but this arm; it’ll have to be in a sling for a week at least, and rested. You’ve really overworked it” She scolded. I grinned sheepishly.
“Yeah, the Slytherin beaters play a mean game” I said, and she rolled her eyes. She bandaged my arm up and put it in a sling, and I was free to go, which was great, because if Madame Pomfrey had still been here she would have kept me in overnight and that simply wouldn't do. Scorp and Al smiled as I joined them outside the hospital wing, the red and the green, each giving me a one armed hug as we walked. They were careful not to squish my damaged arm, which was very nice of them. I could almost sense the bitter jealousy of the majority of the school toward me at this moment.
“You daft cow, what are you getting yourself injured for?” Scorp asked loudly, looking at me with disapproving affection, as he often did when I did something ridiculous.
“It’s my job to protect my team. Trust me, James would go spare if any of them got hurt” I said.
“But you got hurt” Al pointed out. I shrugged.
“Eh, it’s not so bad. Madame Mason fixed me up fine. At least I don’t have to do any writing now” I told them, pointing to my bandaged arm “Score!”
Al and Scorp chuckled, and Al threw his arm over my shoulders. I tried not to turn into a tomato and just smiled, letting him tuck me into his chest and walk along happily. Scorp smirked knowingly but said nothing, and I was grateful- if it was Hugo I would never hear the end of it.
“Right, so does that mean you have more free time to annoy Professor Chancey?” Scorp asked eventually. I nodded.
“Oh definitely, she won’t know what hit her; she's already convinced she's going mental because I convinced her that Emma and I were twins” I confirmed.
“Sometimes I wish I’d took muggle studies but then at times like this I realise that maybe I made the right choice with Astronomy” Al piped up, and I giggled.
“You’d love our muggle studies; it’s a right laugh, isn’t it Scorp?” I asked.
“Yep, the amount of wit in that room when Vida and I get started is hilarious” He agreed, and I nodded smugly, whilst Al just shook his head and probably wondered where on earth he found me at age eleven. The answer to that is on the floor, after attempting to be cool on a moving train. We'd been best friends ever since.
When we’d reached the portrait of the fat lady, I could hear the sounds of a house celebrating victory through the wall, muted by the stone but still very obvious. The fat lady grumbled and I smiled sympathetically.
“Sorry ma’am. You should invite Violet over, I’m sure she’ll distract you from us noisy lot” I suggested. The fat lady wailed.
“I can’t, she’s having her canvas cleaned! And who’s that? He’s not a Gryffindor!” She accused, pointing at Scorp.
“He’s invited” I supplied. She huffed.
“As if it isn’t noisy enough already. Fine. Password?”
“Gob stones” Al said. The portrait swung open and we were hit by a wall of noise, and several hands dragged us in. Al kept a hold of me, and I grabbed Scorp’s arm with my good hand so he wasn’t left outside. There was music coming from somewhere, but so many people were cheering I could hardly hear it, just feel the thudding base in my ribcage.
“Ah, there they are! Come here you two!” James yelled over the Gryffindors, barging between Al and I and putting an arm over our shoulders. I laughed at his crazier than usual hair, which had obviously had had a pair of hands running through them (and not his own), and his slightly dazed grin, which could only mean that Nikita had ambushed him and he hadn't quite recovered.
“The whole team is here!” He announced, and the Gryffindors cheered again, the music got louder and Fred began passing out what looked like custard creams, but I knew better than to assume that’s what they were. A first year took a bite and there was a small explosion of feathers; he’d turned into a giant canary. I would never accept food from Fred again, no matter what it was.
“What’s he doing here?” James asked sharply, as he spotted Scorp. Both Al and I put on our defensive faces.
“We invited him. He did help us win after all” Al said.
“I guess he did. But we don’t need help winning, we could’ve done it ourselves” James replied haughtily, and I huffed.
“Fine, he stopped your favourite air bender falling off her broom to her death, is that a good enough reason to stop being an arse?” I scolded, and he considered.
“I guess. There’s firewhiskey around here somewhere Malfoy, feel free to have some” James said.
“Thanks James. Uh, what’s an air bender?” He asked.
“Oh nothing, just a stupid joke we’ve got going. You should find Rose, stop her from studying. Aang knows she needs to have some fun” I told him, and he nodded, slipping into the crowd of Gryffindors in search for his girlfriend. I turned to Al.
“We won!” I squealed. He laughed.
“You’re just realising that?”
“Well I was half unconcious when it happened. We’re one step closer to being free of James’ obsessive Quidditch practices!” I told him. He smiled.
“I know!” He said, and even though he was trying to hide it, I could hear some of the excitement in his voice.
We had at least another game until the final. The Quidditch final was always on the first Saturday after the Easter holidays, and this year they were very early April. It all depended on who won between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, and by how much. We’d won our match by a landslide so we’d be playing in the final, which meant that the cup was in our reach, and so was the sweet freedom that we’d craved for months. After that we’d have the rest of the year to stop worrying about points and goals and concentrate on relaxing, as we didn’t have exams this year. That was a big relief, as we’d had OWLs last year and NEWTs the next, and this was a much needed break between the two.
“Oi you two, I hope you’re not drinking after last time!” Nikita called, appearing out of the crowd with a huge ‘I know something you don’t’ grin on her face, and I almost blushed, though I'm not sure why.
“Definitely not, why? What happened last time?” I asked, as Al turned roughly the colour of his Quidditch robes. That is to say, a very dark red. That might not be a good sign. Nikita laughed.
“I think you better ask Al! He can tell you!” She said, and disappeared again, still laughing as if she was the funniest person on the planet. I rounded on Al, who looked like his mum had just caught him sneaking firewhiskey out of the cupboard.
“What does she mean, you’d know? Did something happen at the Christmas party?” I demanded. He rubbed the back of his neck; he was nervous.
“You could say that” He mumbled.
“Tell me!” I ordered “I thought you said that nothing important happened? You know I can’t remember those three days to save my life!”
“It was kind of my fault, I stated it” He began. Oh no. He had a fight. He was fighting. Jeez, could he not go to any party without brawling?
“Who were you fighting with?” I demanded, trying to cross my arms and then getting them tangled in the sling. Awkward. So much for looking intimidating enough for him to tell me what happened. Now I just looked ridiculous. My arms were stuck. I hope he didn’t notice me struggling to try and free them.
“I wasn’t fighting!” He said defensively, taking one look at my arms and sighing, untangling them easily, before returning to his defensive pose.
“Then what did you do?” I asked. I was curious now; nothing made Al go as red as this. Damn, I wish I remembered what it was so I could tease him with it for the rest of his life.
“I- um, well I was drunk, so it wasn’t-
“Oh my GOD, just spit it out you tool” I said.
“I kissed you” He blurted. I blinked. Okay, play it cool Vida, you can do this. Just breathe, process it, do not say anything weird-
“Great, so we’re even!”
“No, not even! I mean really kissed you, several times, not just some little thing I- Jeez, Vida don’t you remember?” He asked. I was trying so hard not to bolt. I wasn’t good at this. Heck how would I know if I was good at this or not- this had never happened before! Apparently, finding out you'd been kissing your best friend was not the best of converations to involve me in, as I was feeling very much like I needed to do a quick air bender escape and hide in the nearest broom cupboard.
“Well no, I thought we’d established that I wasn’t good with alcohol. Al, you need to stop blushing before you blend in with the common room like some weird chameleon” I told him. Seriously, this common room was decorated red; I wouldn’t be able to see him in a minute! Maybe that was his goal. He’d sneak away and I wouldn’t notice because he looked the same as the rest of the room and I’d end up talking to thin air.
“What- you’re not freaking out about this?” He asked. I laughed nervously.
“Um, its hard to freak out about something you can’t remember doing. Wait- what did I do?” I asked. This was a very important question I thought; Al looked like I’d given him a death sentence or something.
“W-why would you want to know that?” He asked.
“Curiosity” I said easily “Well? What did I do?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, when you kissed me, did I kiss you back? Don’t look at me like that, I want to know!”
“Science!” I cried. Let’s not improvise answers anymore. Science? Really? Vida, you need to be a little more convincing than that!
“Sci- you’re mental” He said, and I huffed. If I wasn’t wearing a sling, I would be shaking his shoulders to emphasise my point.
“Stop changing the subject Al Potter, and tell me!” I cried, mentally shaking his shoulders since I couldn’t do it myself.
“Yes, you did” He said. Aha, progress! Now, very important that you don’t sound too interested.
“Good. So, what was it like?” I asked. He looked at me like I had dropped from space. Damn, I wasn’t good at question asking at all.
“Vida!” He cried. I almost laughed at his expression. He looks adorable when he was embarrassed like that, which was a very good reason to just carry on. I could see a few curious people watching quietly, and I pulled him over to the boy’s staircase, sitting down and forcing him onto the step below me.
“You seem real eager for details” He pointed out. I was sure it was my turn to go a little red.
“Wouldn’t you be? I mean, I can’t remember this, and I think it’s important to know the details about me snogging my best mate. Several times. You’re my source of information” I said, throwing in a shrug for good measure. I hated alcohol; it had wiped my mind of what I was certain would be a good memory to have. He sighed.
“You may be right, I just feel weird telling you about me kissing you”
“Well then, pretend it was someone else” I suggested. He looked at me, outraged. I don’t know why that was so offensive.
“Ugh, you’re so pushy, so fine. I can’t remember why I did it the first time; we’d just been dancing, and we’d moved to the edge of the tent to get away from the crowd. I think we were talking; everything is a bit blurry, and then I just kissed you”
“And then what? I just said ‘what the hell’ and went with it?” I asked. He laughed, leaning back on the wall of the staircase.
“Well you didn’t pull back! We were both as bad as each other. You, you bloody monster, started trying to unbutton my shirt-
“Hey, established alcohol lightweight!” I squeaked defensively, trying to hide the heat rising in my cheeks by paying with my shoes “You probably weren’t any better” I accused.
“No, I wasn’t” He admitted. I sighed.
“So we should lay off alcohol when we’re together, this should be acknowledged” I said. Yeah, and then maybe he’d kiss me when we were sober instead. Did I really just think that? I pray to to Merlin that I didn’t say that out loud!
“Yeah, maybe” He muttered, still blushing under his glasses.
“Al, stop worrying, I’m quite glad you told me”
“Yeah! It must have been horrible to know what happened when I didn’t”
“It was. I pray to Merlin that this isn’t one of those ‘friendship ruining’ things” He told me. I chuckled. I was certain it probably was one of those ‘friendship ruining’ things. I however, wasn’t going to help it along.
“Me too. Now how about we join in this party, and then tomorrow morning we can take a break and go and visit Fluffy”
“Fluffy? Who’s Fluffy?” Al asked. I’d completely forgotten to tell him that I owned a giant bison that lived in the forbidden forest. Oops.
“You’ll see! Now come on!” I sung, pulling him up and re-joining the party. We danced and laughed with the residents of Gryffindor tower, refusing to touch a drop of firewhiskey, and basking in the euphoria that came from winning a match. The month was looking up.
Aaaand, there's the next chapter! Leave a review and tell me what you think!