March arrived, bringing with it slightly warmer weather, and I was once again rotating my life around Quidditch, everything else pushed aside or postponed temporarily. James was putting us through brutal training almost every night, even though his N.E.W.T exams were getting closer. He was far too competitive for his own good.
“This is getting out of hand” Al said one night, as we sat at a table out of James’ way doing homework. I was writing an essay on unicorns and drawing an amazing (that’s a lie, it looks like a cow with a cornetto on its forehead) picture of one. Al was still snickering at it.
“I know. I’m tired” I complained “And I need to take art classes”
“Well you got the art classes part right. I thought unicorns only had one horn”
“They do, that’s his ear” I replied, and he was trying not to laugh. I smiled at him. Damnit Al, stop being so cute.
“We’ll just have to win the cup. He’s not going to stop until we’ve won” Al said, and I sighed.
“Just a few weeks, one more match, and that’ll be it”
At least we weren’t taking any important exams like James himself was. He was currently sat on the couch surrounded by books, half actual work and the other half Quidditch strategy. He needs therapy. Nikita was there too, but I couldn’t actually see her over her books. I yawned.
“Right, I’m going to bed. Night Al” I said, and got up, kissing the top of his head like I usually did.
“Night Vida” He replied, and I left him to write his essays.
I met Emma on the way up the stairs, looking just as tired as I was.
"Hey Em; you back from Avatar training?" I asked, and she nodded.
"Yeah, its getting easier, but its still tough. I see you and Al are back to normal"
"We were never normal Em, but yeah I guess so. We're both forgetting it ever happened" I told her. She rolled her eyes and looked disappointed.
"You two are complete idiots" She told me, and then went straight to her bed without another word.
Over the next week, tension was running high. I was under a lot of pressure; Ravenclaw steamrolled Hufflepuff which meant that we had to win by over 100 points to get the cup, teachers were piling more and more work on me, Hattie was concerned because I kept showing up late and with Al constantly around me, it was hard to be oblivious to my feelings like I normally was. Since I nearly kissed him after bison riding I hadn’t invited him again, knowing that if I was alone in the air with him I would probably do something really out of character and stupid, and I knew that he knew I was avoiding him a little. Just a little. I didn’t dive into a broom cupboard once to avoid him, where would you get such silly ideas? Still, he knew something was up. I wasn't all that good at subtlety.
“Vida, are you alright? I’m a little worried” Al said one night, as I was curled up in the armchair (a one person seat so Al couldn’t sit next to me and distract me- how smart am I?), my nose buried in a book.
“I’m fine Al, just a little stressed is all. I’ll be better when I get this stuff done” I mumbled, trying to note down what I was reading, but realising I hadn’t really took in what was on the page, my mind just tuning it out completely. Oh spirits.
“That’s not due until next week Vida, calm down” He said soothingly, putting a hand on my arm to stop me from flicking through the book anxiously. That kind of just made it worse because my mind raced at the touch, and I hated being distracted by him so much. I was an air bender, for Aang’s sake- I was meant to be able to tune out the whole world without batting an eyelid! How has this boy gotten through all those defences?
“Vida? Did you hear me? I said you better go to bed” He repeated, and I nodded.
“Yeah, I probably should do that” I said distractedly, and he kissed the top of my head, and I cursed myself for being such a love-stuck teenager as I dragged my pitiful behind up the stairs.
Al wasn’t the only one to notice my strange behaviour, but he was the only one who didn’t know why I was acting in such a way. Lily and Rose ambushed me in my dorm about my feelings for Al and I just told them straight, making them go all squeaky and demand answers. Nikita happily told them about mine and Al’s drunken escapade, which Rose and Lily found oh so amusing and Emma just looked mildly disturbed. I didn’t blame her, the way Nikita described it- the girl elaborated, I swear!
“’Kita, please, please stop” I begged, as she sat on Rose’s bed, smirking. She was having far too much fun with this. I haven't seen this amount of joy on her face since we had a bonfire in my backyard and set half the field on fire.
“Why? I’m telling the truth” She replied. Rose and Lily were giggling whilst Emma was looking at them all as if they were mental.
“You are so elaborating!” I cried, covering Jinjin's ears. He was too young to hear this story.
“How do you know, you don’t remember! I’m telling you girls, Al just grabbed her, it was a split second thing, and Vida just threw his glasses halfway across the tent-
“Ugh, I really hate you right now” I grumbled. Nikita just laughed merrily and continued to ruin my life.
James and Fred found out about mine and Al’s drunken escapades in great detail from Nikita and Hugo was told too, and they all knew that I had fallen for my best mate. They all had something to say on the matter too.
“Go for it kid, it’s a fact that the Potter lads are good at-
“James Potter, if that’s an innuendo, I will set you on fire” Nikita warned.
“Ah, best not continue then” James said with a smirk. I tried not to look too embarrassed and Nikita rolled her eyes.
“Just tell him Vida, stop dancing around the subject. He was the one who kissed you at the party” She said, as if this was the most obvious thing to do. I couldn’t just tell him! That seemed like the worst possible thing to do, was she mad?! He’d probably run away screaming and then what would I do?
Hugo didn’t have advice; just mocking comments, here and there, and truckloads of witty remarks when Al and I sat together. At some points I just wanted to ram whatever I was holding down his throat to shut him up, and lately it was often either a beaters bat, a broomstick or a quill. At least two of those things came with enough suggestive jokes to match James and Fred, and believe me, that was a hard task.
By the time the Quidditch final came around, I was sure that people saw me as the mad lady who owned too many cats and cried about tuna brands in the middle of supermarkets. I was just on edge all the time, even Peeves had steered clear, but Al? Oh no, he was as persistent as ever, and on the day of the match, after two weeks of Easter holidays, I may have word vomited from all the stress. It wasn't my best move.
“Vida for Merlin’s sake, would you stand still for five minutes, I’m not diseased!” Al called, grabbing my arm to stop me from speeding down the corridor. I gasped as he spun me around easily, as I had strictly avoided looking at his face as it was just too pretty to admire in such a fragile state. God damn, I had actually lost it. My brain had packed its bags and caught the train out, given up on this hopeless case and gone on a permanent holiday.
“Al, let me go” I whined, and he scowled, looking me dead in the eye and refusing to drop his gaze. I felt a little trapped to be honest, because I couldn’t look away. I was just stupidly staring at him, worried at how angry he looked; amost a little hurt. Had I done that? I really hope not.
“No. not until you tell me what’s wrong. You’ve been off since we flew Fluffy” He said, and I felt panicked- confronted and cornered for information that I didn’t want to give in fear of rejection.
“I’m scared” I admitted. His face softened a little, and his grip on my arm loosened.
“Why? Why’re you scared?” He asked. And there it goes; that part of your brain that tells you not to say things because they’re wrong. It shut down, and my mouth moved of its own accord.
“Because you- every time I’m near you I feel like I’ve been given an adrenaline boost and I can’t concentrate when you talk to me, with your damn dimples and your shiny eyes that don’t ever seem to look the same- like ever. Every time I see you I get stupid birds in my stomach and it makes me scared and want to run because I’m an air bender, I can meditate my stress away but you- you wormed your way in and I can’t get you out!” I gushed, and backed away, very much like a badger mole in the sunlight as I watched Al’s jaw drop, and his eyes go wide. That’s when I bolted; I actually turned and ran, as far away from him as possible, feeling very much like the biggest idiot in the world. You could find me in the Guinness world book of records for this, I am completely certain.
I slammed into Emma in my haste, as she and the team were leaving the hall.
“Vida where have you been?! The game is starting in half an hour!” James scolded.
“Vida? What’s wrong?” Emma asked, holding me steady. I just looked at her, trying not to look too tired from running.
“I told him. Then I ran” I wheezed. She understood of course; Emma always knew what I was talking about, and she hugged me.
“It’ll be alright Vida, just get through the game and then take it from there” She said, and I nodded. James split us up and ordered us into the changing rooms, stalking away to find Al. I changed into my Quidditch gear and began meditating, relieving some of my stress- yet still, even as I sat and let go of everything, I could still see Al in my mind, and it worried me; aren’t air benders supposed to be able to let go of everything, no matter what it is? I’ll have to ask grandpa, he’ll know for sure.
“Okay guys; it’s time. Do me proud” James said, and we got up, me in my thoughtless state with only the mission of keeping bludgers from my team. I’m ready for this.
As usual, the roars of the packed stands were nothing but crashing waves, and not very distracting. James led the way to the middle of the pitch and shook the hand of the Ravenclaw captain, and we mounted our brooms.
For the first five minutes of the game chaos erupted. Bludgers were flying everywhere, and Fred and I were on our usual tactic; I defend the team, he attacks the opponents. We had our work cut out. The Ravenclaw beaters were skilled and quick, diverting a bludger’s course before we knew where it was going. All I could do was fly every which way and hope to God that I was right.
James and Jamie were the main targets. As they were the main scorers (Emma got the ball across the pitch and set up the shots), they were being attacked fiercely. Whilst they were near the Ravenclaw goal, Fred was a blur of red, gold, and orange, beating away the bludger that was repeatedly aimed at them. I was stopping Al and Emma from being pounded too. Only our keeper, Danny, was safe enough to be left, because a bludger could only be aimed at him when the quaffle was in the scoring area. Until then, he was fine. I blocked bludgers from right across the pitch, wondering if the amount of beaters and bludgers had suddenly been raised and there were ten of them on the pitch right now. I’m not kidding; I block one, I blink, and along comes another.
It wasn’t just bludgers doing damage; this was dirtiest game I had ever been in. Elbows were being used, knees, arms; I could knock away every bludger that came near us and still someone was getting knocked out. A Ravenclaw beater actually hit me with his bat, so I elbowed him in the face. Who got the penalty? That cheating git. If I could throw, this bat would be in his face. My arm throbbed, not serious, but I was still annoyed.
I occasionally caught the score. After a full hour with no sign of the snitch, it was 100- 120 to Ravenclaw. We had to catch the snitch, otherwise they had the cup, and I would spend seventh year hiding in a broom cupboard from them. Ravenclaws gloated more than we did. It was really annoying as they tended to win everything.
After another half an hour, I almost went looking for the snitch myself. More fouls, more injuries; now we’d tired more bludgers were getting through. Ravenclaw called for a timeout, and we gratefully flew down to the floor.
“Okay guys, this is it; Al, you have to catch the snitch, as soon as possible. Danny, no matter what you do, do not let another goal in. Emma, you keep setting up those shots, and you two; just keep going. We need you” James said, and we nodded, me and Fred nursing our shoulders and out of breath. Hitting bludgers was brutal on your arm. I think my fingers were numb. I took a swig of water that James had conjured up and we were back in the air, with a bit of energy after a rest. We all saw that look in James’ eyes. He wanted this more than anything, and he would carry on for it. So would we.
It wasn’t long before Al was chasing the snitch, bluffing left and right every few moments to throw off the Ravenclaw seeker. It was working. I could see them every so often; the blue blur following the red blur’s every move. I concentrated on hitting bludgers. And then suddenly, I heard the crowd. I heard the commentator yelling in his mic the amazing wonderful victory, which Al Potter had only just caught the snitch out of Ravenclaw’s grasp and we won.
“WE WON THE CUP WE WON THE CUP WE WON THE BLOODY CUP!” Fred yelled, flying over to me, who was closest. I was beaming. Finally, after horrible practices and yelling, it was over and we won. I felt so relaxed and happy. I decided to join in the team hug that was going on, Al in the middle.
“YOU FREAKIN’ AMAZING TEAM, WE DID IT!” James yelled, almost strangling his star seeker. I was chanting ‘we won the cup we won the cup we won the bloody cup’ with Fred, and we slowly sunk down to earth. From there, we were embraced by more Gryffindors, and old Professor McGonagall, the head of Gryffindor house, handed the cup to James, who was lifted onto the crowd’s shoulders. So were the rest of us, random people taking my bat and broom and cheering as they carried us to the castle. James was holding the cup above his head like a hero, and I was pretty sure he hadn’t stopped yelling.
The fat lady didn’t ask for a password when we got to her; she just smiled and let us in, warning us who were on the shoulders of people to duck. The team were set down and people started celebrating, putting on music and cheering. Nikita ran up to James and kissed him forcefully, making the cup get ignored and passed onto Danny. I wolf-whistled and laughed as neither of them noticed, too busy with each other.
“You were amazing!” She told him, and he grinned. At least he wasn’t ‘captain crazy’ anymore. Thank the Spirits for that.
The cup was passed around the team first, me hugging it tight before giving it to a house mate. I then went to look for my bat and broom, to find some first years playing with them.
“Guys can I have those? I don’t want you beating each other senseless” I said, and they handed them back happily, both giving me a hug before disappearing. I headed back to the centre of the celebrations, still smiling from ear to ear. I was dodging around random people, saying ‘hi’ occasionally, before finding myself face to face with Al. He was still holding the snitch in one hand, broom in the other, and he had a strange look on his face that I couldn’t read. I turned redder than my Quidditch robes. I took a deep breath.
I didn’t get a chance to finish. He’d suddenly surged forward, letting go of his broom and the snitch and reached for me instead, pulling me in. The room suddenly became very windy when he kissed me, and my broom and bat lay forgotten too, my hands tangling in his messy black hair automatically. The birds in my tummy were soaring triumphantly, Al’s arms were strong and I could feel him smiling, which made me smile too. Somehow, that knotting feeling that I got when thinking about being anchored, falling for someone; it was all gone. The knotting was replaced with pure joy, all I could think of was Al’s lips against my own and his arms around me. It was warm and better than anything I had imagined.
“GET A ROOM!” Someone yelled with a laugh, and one of Al’s hands let go of me for a moment, and I was sure he’d just made a rude hand gesture at whoever had spoken. I heard more laughing. Al pulled away, leaning his forehead on mine.
“Why didn’t you say so, you daft cow, I felt the same way you know” He said. I gaped.
“What? Since when?” I demanded. He went a little red.
“Last year, actually, but I was too scared to say” He admitted. Last year. Last year?! Bloody hell, he did a good job at hiding that!
“I’m sorry I ignored you” I told him, and he smiled brightly.
“As long as you never do that again, I’m fine” He said, and kissed me once more. If I had to go through weeks of madness to be kissed like this again, I definitely would. Totally worth it. 10/10, would recommend.
“Well, I’d hate to break up this little scene, but as her dad isn’t here I’m obliged to tell you on his behalf that if your hands move any lower, Albus Potter, you will lose them” Nikita said, and I burst out laughing as Al jumped, raising his hands in surrender. She winked at me and grinned.
“Good job Vida” She said, and I smiled. She waggled her finger at Al.
“Remember Potter, I know where you live!” She warned playfully, and returned to James and her friends. Al rolled his eyes.
We re-joined our team and the party got started, with drinks being passed around and celebrations going on until very early in the morning, until Professor McGonagall burst in and yelled at us all for waking half the castle up. We didn’t stop when she left; we just put silencing charms around the room so she wouldn’t hear us yelling and dancing. Al and I refused drinks when we were offered them; I was smart enough not to risk the massive hangover that came with them. Plus I’d spotted Fred pouring something in them, and I was keeping to my promise of not consuming anything that Fred had made. Since we weren’t drinking and we had nothing to keep us energised, Al and I tired at around six in the morning. Half the house was on the girl’s staircase, seeing if any of the boys could run up the stone slide that used to be the stairs, so I decided to just sleep in Al’s dorm with him, following him up the stairs in a sleepy daze as if it was the normal thing to do. I was used to sleeping around Al, but not in a bed; normally we took naps on couches or something. This was something new.
"Do you want a shirt?" Al whispered, handing me one when I nodded and waiting as I went into the bathroom to change, returning to find him dressed in one of his shirts and some old pyjama pants. I crawled into the bed and Al pulled me in, wrapping his arms around me and pulling the heated covers over us both. I could hear his hearbeat against my back, steady and constant, and I drifted off immediately.
School seemed to get easier after that. Quidditch was finished and I found it easier to get things done, my grades springing back to the A’s and E’s they were before. News about Al and I spread throughout the entire school in days, and slowly, Rose and Scorpius began stepping into the limelight too, Rose announcing to her cousins that she’d fell head over heels for the Slytherin. I kept Al in check, and Nikita dealt with James, as they were both pretty riled up. Emma punched Hugo for trying to attack the poor lad, which I found far too funny and had to leave for several minutes to calm down since I wasn’t helping the situation.
April passed into May and brought with it the first signs of Spring to make up for the dreary days we’d seen lately, and June got even better. There was barely a single Saturday afternoon that Al and I hadn’t taken Fluffy and Jinjin flying, and on Sundays the whole gang would sit by the lake, basking in the nice weather. Al and I would sneak off sometimes too, to study. We learned the trick from James and Nikita, who definitely did not study when they went off somewhere together. After a while, neither did we. After being surrounded by people all day it was nice to just have the two of us alone for a while, sat in the library or a classroom without someone smirking at us and saying 'I called this ages ago'. By the sounds of it, everyone thought we were going to be together since third year.
“So, you’re not training this summer, are you? I’ll be able to come over?” Al asked on one sunny afternoon as we sat on the grass outside, his head on my lap whilst I made daisy chains. I smiled and took the daisy he was offering me.
“Grandpa and I will experimenting with magic and bending, but you can come over anyway. I’ll have to tell my dad that I’ve gotten myself a boyfriend at some point, I’d rather have you there when I do” I said absentmindedly, pushing the daisy through the stem and admiring my work. I was rather good at daisy chains, even if the other plants did want to kill me. Al chuckled and straightened out a few petals, and I happily put the chain around his head like a crown. I’m all for making Al look as manly as possible in an outdoor public setting. I’m sure he loved it too.
“I’d rather not be there, your dad is a mean overprotective-
“Now now Al, leave it out” I scolded lightly, and he smiled, before sitting up and kissing me, taking off the daisy chain and putting on my head instead without pulling away. I knew my dad wouldn’t like this new development, but I didn’t really care. I was extraordinarily happy at the moment, and he wasn’t going to sulk it all away. No way was I letting him separate Al and I this summer.
Bring it on dad; summer is mine.
Aaaaaand that's it! Finito, and what a feeling! I've never completed a story before, so I'm really proud to say that this one is finished. I was thinking of a sequel as I have a plot that I didn't put in this story, and I thought it was pretty interesting; so if you're up for reading that please leave a review! Thank you to all you lovely people who review and the absolute stars who review every chapter- you are the best kind of people. Tell me what you think, whether its the whole thing overall, this chapter, favourite lines or characters- I would be delighted to hear it! Thank you again, and I really hoped you enjoyed it!