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Chapter 17 : Chapter Sixteen
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I turned around curiously as the entrance of the Great Hall quietened down. My mouth dropped open when I saw her.
Cora walked slowly down the stairs a grin plastered across her face. She looked beautiful. No, she looked gorgeous. I couldn’t explain it. All I could do was marvel at her.
And stand there as my chest tightened when I realised her smile was directed at Krum. I clenched my fists tight.
It didn’t escape my notice that she wore red. Brilliant red, she screamed danger but I already knew she was. Why else would I be like this if she wasn’t? She’d done it on purpose I thought, why else would she wear red if not to direct my attention. She’d got it, if that was her intention, I definitely would not be forgetting her any time soon.
Her figure was glued into my head. If I thought she looked good in the towel, it was nothing to what she looked like now. She looked powerful, dangerous but even so all I could feel was envy. I was envious of Krum who now had her on his arm, it should have been me. That should be me.
I closed my eyes trying to calm myself down. I heard a “hm hm” from behind me. I turned quizzically and as I stood still. Midnight was there, she was here already. Holy shit. I forgot.
My eyes scanned her, she was in a crystal blue dress, and her hair was up in an eloquent bun. Her eyes were dancing around me in humour.
“She looks beautiful doesn’t she?” she asked smiling in Cora’s direction. It didn’t seem snide at all, but I knew better than to agree.
“Not as beautiful as you look” I lied. I couldn’t help it, no matter who I saw nobody would ever wipe Cora’s outfit tonight out of my head and honestly I don’t think I’d want them to.
She grinned at me as she offered me her hand. I helped her willingly down the steps.
“Should we?” I asked motioning to the Great Hall.
“Oui” she replied smiling happily.
The hall was incredible. The staff had out done themselves once again. They’d changed the starry night ceiling into replays of our performances, the highlights of each game just flashing above our heads. I saw myself up there, looking determined and happy. My eyes kept drifting up there distracted as we ate our meal.
We sat on round large white tables, quidditch goals as the centre piece. There were golden snitches buzzing around our heads every now and again. Every last detail was thought of, it really was incredible.
The stage was ready for Music is Might and the dance floor was black and white tiled. There was a light orchestra playing in the background, while we ate keeping us all at ease.
I couldn’t believe how they’d changed the great hall around, it didn’t even look recognisable.
“They should keep it like this all the time” Midnight said to me as she herself kept glancing around in marvel. It was weird thinking about it, she’d been here for a little over a month, and this was like her home too now. Probably not to our extent, but she was living here for the time being.
“They should. Look there’s you!” I laughed as I saw Midnight above scoring her finest goal of the season.
She blushed “I always stick my tongue out when I’m about to score” she laughed. I hadn’t noticed it, personally but now that’s all I focussed on as we watched the replay.
“Did you win that game?” I asked trying to remember, they were playing Perth’s team in that one, I recognised their black and red uniforms.
“Narrowly” she laughed “We won by ten points” Oh I remembered, Perth’s seeker Katarina Parkes caught the snitch, it was 340 to 330 I think, that game went on for years. Ok nine hours but still. I couldn’t imagine being up in the air for that long, the wooden stick between your legs, even with the new smoother models it would still be a pain in the arse, literally.
“The longest game of the season” I recalled.
She nodded “So far” she pointed out.
“Very true, here’s hoping I don’t have to stay up in the air that long” I laughed as I drank from the goblet in front of me. And the best part about the night? We got to drink butterbeer. I would have liked something a little stronger, but beggars can’t be choosers.
“What are you planning to do for the holiday?” Midnight asked changing the subject. I smiled Christmas was my favourite time of the year, by far. What? It’s great, you get to eat everything, get presents for no real reason and everybody is just happier around Christmas.
“We’re going to the burrow, my Nan and Granddad’s house” I told her realising she probably had no idea what the burrow was “it’s a family tradition” I added as an afterthought. “What about you?” I asked curiously. I knew a lot of the visitors were going home for Christmas, well especially the ones who’s been relegated from the competition. What, too soon? But the ones who remained were given the same option as the normal students; they could stay or go home. But most went for the going home because they’re already in a different country, they might as well spend Christmas with their families.
“I’m going home” she said happily “My sister has been badgering me about how much she misses me. She’s lying though, she’s just angry cause all the spotlight is on me being captain and representing the school”. It’s hard to forget that Midnight is a twin.
“How is Ashley?” I asked curiously. Midnight raised her eyebrow at me suggestively.
“She’s just endorsed a new makeup line, that’s why she’s a little pissed because everyone is taking notice of me instead. But she’s in a relationship if that’s what you were wondering about”
I spluttered. “No! I didn’t mean it like that” I said trying to clean up my mistake, honestly I was just making conversation; I didn’t need another girl to mix up in my mess.
“I’m joking” she cleared up as she started to laugh.
“Right” I said joining in on her laughter.
Thankfully I didn’t need to ease my way out of the awkward situation because Cora’s Dad did it for me. He chimed on his champagne flute with a fork; the whole hall went quiet, staring at him, waiting for him to talk.
I gulped. For some reason his eyes stayed on me for a second. I wonder if Cora told him anything. She wouldn’t I thought. Well, hoped.
“It’s lovely to see you all here!” he opened. Cora’s Dad: Marcus Greengrass was renowned for his facial hair, he had a dark thick beard and moustache, it wasn’t a scruffy one; it was freshly trimmed and barely came off his face. I actually know that he’s been voted one of the most attractive men in the Quidditch industry on several occasions. He had tanned skin and brown eyes. But it was Cora’s Mum where she got her looks from. She was sitting next to her husband, staring at him in admiration. She looked a lot like Cora, or is the other way round? She had long dark brown hair which was tied up tonight, similar to Midnight’s. Unlike Cora she had almost aqua green eyes, if that’s even an eye colour. And she definitely had Cora’s smile, the way she smiled when her husband spoke you could tell they were in love.
My Dad told me that he’d been invited tonight, but something came up at work. I wasn’t disappointed believe me. I’d never been so relieved. I planned to get drunk tonight, and that’s definitely something I didn’t want my Dad seeing.
I continued listening to Poppa Greengrass’ speech “Can I say how beautiful each and every one of you looks? You’ve definitely increased the standards from the last ball” there were some laughs from the audience, I glanced at Cora who was just shaking her head silently laughing at her Dad, it was a strange laugh like she was embarrassed. And trust me I know that laugh, we’ve all been there. I shuddered recalling the last time.
“Now I’m not going to bore you and repeat to you stuff you already know, because I was there once. You all know how well you’ve done in the competition. That you’ve played and tried your hardest, so I won’t tell you that. What I will do is congratulate you on your performances so far. During this competition I have seen some of the best games of quidditch, I have ever watched. And you are all of school age, no matter how you do in the competition, whether you’re going home tomorrow you still have to remember how well you have done, to even get here”.
“Each of your schools should be swelling with pride, like I am” his eyes glanced towards Cora who was smiling at him, struggling not to laugh.
“The competition will continue, after the Christmas holidays so I’d advise you all not to have too many mince pies and stay in good shape, as the first game will be on the 22nd of January” there were some whispers around the room but Greengrass continued to talk.
“I want to wish you all the best for your remaining time in the competition, as the next stage is going to get harder, again another ten will be dropped, so like this time there is all still left to play for” My heart kind of dropped then, I know we’re first but that can easily change, and by dropping another ten, there will be six left. Six and the competition will be over, that’s terrifying. “Anyway I’ll try not to scare you. I wish you all the best of luck and please enjoy the rest of tonight, and stay safe on your holiday!” The hall applauded him for his speech and we kind of just marvelled at the thought.
I thought back to the quidditch cup table, at the minute it stood Us, Durmstrang, Beuxbaton, Germany, Salem witches, Iceland… we would possibly be the six left. Which would mean New York’s, Italy, Sydney, China, and Perth, Florida state, Mahoutokora, Brazil and the French Boys would be out.
I looked around at the rest of students, they were coming to a similar conclusion and I knew that second Marcus was right; it would get harder, because now everybody had something bigger to play for.
“Right” McGonagall said standing up and smiling “Now we have all the speeches out of the way, I’d like to introduce Hogwarts’ very own Music is Might!” she pointed to the stage and the black curtains fell down, revealing the band. The lights switched off and Phoenix began to sing.
The student body screamed, and ran towards the dance floor. I couldn’t help but smile as I stood up and offered Midnight my hand as we made our own way over.
We were dancing for hours, my feet were aching. But neither of us showed any signs of stopping. And despite my previous fears I was actually enjoying myself.
We weren’t taking the dancing too serious; we were just jumping with the beat. Midnight had a permanent smile on her face and she looked radiant.
“I’M NOT YOUR TROPHY OR YOUR PRIZE” Midnight shouted at the top of her voice singing along with the band.
“Ah there’s your fault” I laughed jokingly.
“excusez-moi?” she asked laughing.
“You can’t sing for shit” I told her still laughing, my tone light.
She feigned offence “Well we can’t have it all” and she was right, she was beautiful could play quidditch, it only made sense that she wasn’t good at the arts.
“Can you sing?”
“Hell no” I laughed. She was laughing as I swirled her around. I could dance though, Mum made us take lessons for all the minister balls. But if you tell anyone, Uncle Bill taught me several different ways in how to kill a man… I’m joking… maybe.
I saw Andie running towards; she had a crazy smile plastered across her face. “JAMES! JAMES! JAMES!” she shouted. I heard Midnight aww at how adorable she looked, her yellow dress was pretty, and it flowed out and showed her ankles, she blonde hair was down and wavy from the plaits earlier.
“Well don’t you look beautiful” I commented, she blushed.
“The teams having a picture taken, we need you!” she burst out.
“Where?” I questioned.
She pointed over to the long line of people. “There’s a photo booth!” she said happily.
A photo booth? Why do I feel so excited, I jumped eagerly about to follow her before realising I had a date. I turned around and looked at Midnight who was looking at me in amusement “would you mind?” I questioned.
“Not at all” she laughed “I need time to rest my feet anyway” I couldn’t help it I glanced down at them, my feet hurt in these tailored shoes I couldn’t imagine what she was going through in bloody heels.
I grinned at her “I’ll see you in a sec then”.
I ran with Andie to the queue, the whole team was there, nearly at the front. It was a small black box.
“How are we all going to fit in there?” I asked curiously.
“It’s bigger on the inside” Cora answered smiling. I gulped. She looked even better up close.
“Just like something else I know” Freddie said while Al simultaneously high fived him.
“You two are disgusting” Roxanne said as she slapped both of them over the head.
“I didn’t even say anything!” Al protested.
“Yeah well you’re a pig anyway” She responded sticking her tongue out at him.
“Really mature” he shot back giving her the bitch please look.
Andie tugged on my suit. “I don’t get it” she said innocently looking at the pair of them. I smiled at her fighting back my laugh. “You will one day” as I patted her hair condescendingly, she only shot me daggers in response.
“What’s the plan for the pictures?” Scorpius asked.
“Tallest at the back, smallest at the front” Cora said instinctively.
“Why do I always have to go at the front?” Andie complained.
“You can go on my back if you want?” Freddie offered.
“Can I?” Andie shouted, asking Cora like she was her Mum. Cora smiled before nodding at her request.
With the girls in heels, there was actually much height difference at all. Cora was standing in front of me now and I could only just see above her head. Roxanne was now the same size as Freddie. And Al was still his small arsed self. Ok he’s 5”8 but he still has my Dad’s short genes and no he’s not wearing heels. He has before though, it was a dare. They were Lily’s and the best part is, I still have the picture, somewhere…
The group before us just went in. I got a glimpse of the green room in side.
“It lets you pick your own background” Scorpius told us as he read the sign on the box.
“What are we having as the background then?” Al asked.
“Out of space” both Cora and me shouted out at the same time. She smiled at me her eyes crinkling.
“Yes!” Freddie said “We can pretend we’re floating!”
“Sounds good” Roxanne laughed.
The group exited. And without even waiting a second we piled in. My hand hovered on Cora’s back guiding her in, I felt her stiffen but she didn’t tell me to remove it.
She walked to the front and set the picture out. The green screen went black on the screen and thousands of stars appeared.
“Ready?” she asked.
We had a serious one first, all of us standing together smiling, Cora stood next to me and I had my arm around her waist. I unintentionally smiled at her not the camera.
The next one we separated each pulling funny faces, Andie got on Freddie’s back for this one. Even with the starry background his suit looked horrid. I was laughing so much on the third picture at him. He’s definitely a one of a kind, just like that suit. At least he now has photo proof he wore it.
And in the last photo, Al charmed us all to float. As we still pulled funny faces at the camera. When the flash went off, we floated down.
Cora went back to the machine and got our pictures as the rest of us left. One by one she handed them to us. I couldn’t help but laugh at them.
“This is going on my wall!” Andie said happily as she held it close to her chest.
“Mine too” Roxanne laughed as she put it in her purse or is it a clutch? Yeah I’m definitely spending too much time with Lily.
I put mine in my pocket, Cora was looking at the first picture. I gulped as she looked up at me. I saw how the picture looked. I was staring at her with the sincerest smile I had. She opened her mouth to say something but stopped herself as she looked a head and smiled.
I turned nervously. Midnight was there smiling at me “Do you want to go in the booth?” she asked. I nodded, she was my escape route from having to explain myself. She was still smiling as we joined the back of the queue.
I walked back over to Eylan the picture still in my hand. I kept glancing down at it. It didn’t make any sense. The way he was looking at me. That’s the way my Mum looks at my Dad. It looked like he cared.
Eylan smiled as I got closer. “Let’s have a look” he said motioning to the picture. We’d been gone twenty minutes in total from when we first started queuing.
“Sorry about the wait” I told him as I handed him the picture.
I sat next to him and watched his face change as he looked at the pictures. “Why is he here with Lore, when he’s looking like that at you?” he eventually said, looking at me with concern.
“I don’t know” I said slowly. A wave of sadness came over me, I bit my lip holding down whatever emotion that was trying to escape.
“He’s a prat” Eylan said. A laugh bubbled in my throat.
“A pompous prat” I finished for him laughing.
“Want me to have some words with him?” Eylan asked handing me back the photo hesitantly.
“Only if your beaters bat is the words” I grinned at him.
“That can be arranged” he stroked a stray piece of hair from my face. I smiled at him sweetly. I would say the world would be an easier place if he was straight, but there would still be the weirdness of him being my best friend.
“You two are so cute together!” Becky Walker exclaimed from behind. We turned to face her. “Can I have a picture please? It’s for the newspaper” we nodded. Eylan put his arm around my side and looked ahead at the camera “OK SMILE!” she said as she’d already let off the flash.
“Brilliant! Thank you!” she left eagerly looking for the next couple to pursue.
“Did she say what newspaper she was taking pictures for?” he asked.
“Nope” I said putting a popping sound on the P. “Maybe she’s not and she’s got a stash of photos under her bed” I laughed.
“Eurgh that’s just creepy” he shuddered.
We ended up dancing for the rest of the night. The last song was a slow one and Eylan pulled me tight. I whispered into his ear “You’re going to have to at least pretend to be rubbish at dancing, or you might give it away” I felt his chest vibrate as he chuckled.
“We can’t have that no can we?” He span me out roughly and tugged me back in. I was laughing so hard I could barely see.
“Don’t pull my arm out of my socket” I said through gasps.
He grinned at me “be grateful I’m not stepping on your toes”
“You wouldn’t dare!” I said in horror, scared for the future of my little piggies.
“Of course not! I’ve been on the other end of one of your punches remember?”
“You deserved that!” I argued back. He did, at one of my first quidditch camps he replaced my shower gel with hair removing cream. It wasn’t pretty. I decided not to use my wand and went for the muggle punishment, it was quite effective. I broke his nose in two places. And from that a beautiful friendship was born. Aww, look at me being all sentimental.
With the last song over, the room lightened and everyone began walking back to their common rooms.
Eylan being the gentleman he was decided it would be best to walk me back to my common room. I could only agree.
“My feet are killing me” I complained for the fourteenth thousand time, he still hadn’t got the hint.
“My. Feet. Are. Killing. Me” I stood still and watched as he continued down the hall, oblivious to my actions. I sat down on the floor undoing my shoes.
“You’re insufferable, do you know that?” he muttered walking back up to me. I grinned as he helped me up.
“On the count of three o-” I jumped on his back and he had no other option but to catch me. With my shoes in hand we plodded back to the Slytherin common room. As much as I was dreading it, I have to say tonight had been brilliant.
AN: I don't own anything that you recognise, the reference of bigger on the inside was of course to Doctor Who, so well done you BBC on that. The rest is obviously J.K's and then mine!
Yeah so new chapter!!! I know a lot of you don't like the Ball idea and that, but it was necessary for some character development later on... but you'll be happy to know that after a smallish christmas holiday chapter, it will be quidditch, quidditch, quidditch!
But for now, tell me what you think!! do you like the swapping between P.O.V or should I just keep one chapter for one person? Who's inner monologue do you prefer, James or Cora's? come on help me shape the next chapters.
What about James and Cora?? wink wink. I was going to have a big blow up, but I changed my mind... for now mwhahahahaah
BUT YEAH TELL ME WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THIS CHAPTER, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR IT, GOOD OR BAD.
I am going to go through them all eventually and sort out my terrible grammar, so again just bear with me.
All my (3) exams will be over by the 6TH june so after that I'm all yours, i'll try and update before then but no promises... so make nice and leave me a little review
This is getting longer than the actual chapter, so i'll stop.
THANK YOU READING AND HOPEFULLY REVIEWING!!! :)
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