Chapter 11 : In Which I Start a Fight
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Anyway, I promise things get more interesting from here, so thanks for bearing with me so far.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I'm not the goddess responsible for creating Harry Potter, or any related material. Also, there's an excerpt from the Fantastic Beasts book in this, and... Yeah, I don't own that, either.
In Which I Start A Fight
"'Gonna bloody kill bloody Jonathan Singer," Sarah grumbled as we made our way back to the Common Room, which was still bustling with people when we arrived.
I nodded sympathetically. "Call me if you need a hand, yeah?"
To be fair, he deserved it; He'd not only taken Amelia out by purposely targeting her, he'd also been a right prick about it after the game when we'd gone to check on her in the hospital wing. Fred had actually had a bit of a row with him over it, though Longbottom had stopped it before any punches or hexes were thrown... Damn shame, really. He could have kicked that 'Puff's scrawny arse.
"It'll be the perfect murder," Sarah gave me a solemn nod before we both started laughing.
I shook my head and grimaced at my sore limbs as I climbed into the portrait hole. Sarah, having noticed, offered an amused smirk. "Stand by your assertion that Quidditch is a sport from hell, then?"
I shivered and raised an eyebrow. I was positively soaked from the downpour that had started just as we started to file into the locker room, sporting more than a few bruises (and a slightly swollen nose), sore to the point of agony from sitting on a broom for so long, and my hair was so matted I thought actually might need to cut it.
"Godric, now more than ever," I confirmed.
Sarah shrugged, and I noted that she really wasn't much better off than me. "I think I'm starting to agree with you, actually."
We made a beeline for the stairs to our dorm after climbing through the portrait hole. "The Fat Lady didn't even glare at me," I noted, though I was still justifiably cautious as the portrait hole swung closed... Old habits die hard, I suppose.
Sarah scoffed. "She probably feels bad for us," She grumbled.
"Must we relive the nightmare?" I groaned in response, though in truth, it hadn't been so bad, just... mortifyingly frustrating.
Sarah shook her head and mumbled something about pouting in our dorm before trudging towards the stairs, which was beginning to sound like a really good idea.
We'd lost by ten points, but not even just that; We'd scored less than a second after Dawson caught the Snitch - It was so close that I maintain that if the ref wasn't out to get us, we would've tied the game, but kept that private, because I doubt many sympathized. Still, I couldn't even blame Potter, because the shot had gone in, just not soon enough to win. Still, I could do my best...
"Oi, Simmons!" Harvey hurried to my side, still damp from the rain, and considerably more bruised than me after his fall. Still, he could almost pull off the dirty, rugged Quidditch player look. I, on the other hand, could not.
I groaned, not quite willing to put forth the effort it took to say something insulting. After a beat of silence, I mumbled out a "What?", but it came out sounding more like a growl than a question.
"Y'know, most people like to look at each other when they talk," A snide voice chided, to which I scowled. Potter grinned as I turned to face him with both reluctance and murder in my eyes.
"Well, most people who talk don't passionately hate each other, either," I huffed.
Harvey looked about ready to whack both of us upside the head after enduring an entire practice of bickering. I wouldn't blame him if he did, honestly.
Potter just smirked at me. "Passionately?" His hair was even more of a disaster than usual, and his robes were still rain-soaked, but unfortunately, like Harvey, he managed to pull it off a hell of a lot better than me.
The scowl stayed firmly planted on my face, and I tried not to look embarrassed (unsuccessfully, of course)."Yes, arsehole," I snapped. "What do you want?"
Harvey glanced at James, noted the smirk on his face, and cut him off. "Just wanted to check that you know the practice schedule for next week, since Watts will probably be working us 'till we drop as punishment for this match."
I raised my eyebrows. "So Watts seriously still wants me on the team after that?"
I honestly hadn't expected my Quidditch season to extend beyond that match, and wasn't quite sure how I felt about finishing the season with them, though I'd probably feel better about it after a scalding, ridiculously long shower.
Harvey shrugged, but was cut off by Potter. "Not so much that as we haven't got any other options," He assured me, the ever-present smirk still on his face.
"Of course," I rolled my eyes.
Harvey sighed, and tried not to look too impatient. "So, have you got the dates, then?"
I nodded. I didn't actually know the dates, of course, but I figured I could just ask Sarah later.
Harvey looked relieved that he could leave. "Great," He paused before going. "And I know we lost and all, but there's not much we could have done, so good game."
I snorted. "I'm not the one who dove off my broom to catch the Quaffle, but thanks."
Harvey grinned and then hurried off, probably just glad to escape Potter and my bickering. To be honest, a break from the fighting could have done me good, too, but I wasn't about to back down, so I turned back to Potter and waited for a provocation.
"Well? What've you got to say about my playing, then?" I asked after a beat of silence.
Potter shrugged. "Could've played better, but then, all of us could have."
"... Come again?"
He rolled his eyes at me. "You're bloody impossible, you know that?" He paused. "Anyway, the only reason you didn't do something like fall to your death was that you listened to Harvey and I," He smirked.
"I'll have you know I was a perfectly competent Chaser before being bloody tutored by you two," I huffed.
Potter snickered. "You realize I played with you last year? I know better."
I scowled at him. "I hope you're the next one to get sodding hit by a Bludger!" After Jonathan Singer, of course...
"See, but then, there'd be less people there to keep you from mucking things up."
I glowered and turned toward the stairs to the dorms. "And less potential murder victims," I muttered.
I heard a laugh behind me and narrowed my eyes, but continued on my way. I only reacted when there was a call of "See you next practice, then!", and that was to send James a rather rude hand gesture, so it didn't take up too much of my sulking time.
. . .
I woke up the next morning in an understandably bad mood, and listened grumpily.
The wind rattled the windows and a few muffled voices drifted up from the common room. The rustling of fabric could barely be heard coming from the bed next to mine (which happened to be Sarah's, and I doubted she was actually awake), and a few springs creaked, but otherwise, everything was... Quiet. I didn't think I'd ever been awake early enough to experience a quiet dorm before.
I did my best to burrow deeper into my nest of blankets and bask in the cozy warmth and quiet and closed my eyes.
"THERE'S A SPIDER IN MY BED!" Tara's shriek pierced the quiet of the room, accompanied by a flurry of frantic rustling (and muttered curses from my other roommates).
I was about ready to kill something. Understandably.
I tore open the curtains, stomped over to Tara's bed, and just about ripped the curtains off of the damn thing. Tara had retreated to the back corner of her bed, and was staring at her pillow in horror.
"What?" I demanded, probably more harshly than was strictly necessary.
I groaned, and dragged her out of her bed. She clung to me and pulled me in front of her before motioning wildly towards her pillow. "There's a spider!"
"I can't even see it, love," I sighed, and then leaned in to inspect her pillow.
Sarah and Bailey approached, looking about as irritated as I was, which is to say very. Sarah glared at Tara, who shrunk back. "It's a bloody spider! They've got eight legs and creepy features, but that doesn't justify waking me up at bloody six o'clock on a weekend!"
I whipped Tara's pillow at her. "IT'S - A - SODDING - PIECE - OF - LINT!" I whacked her with the pillow between each word, and Tara did her best to screech out an apology.
Sarah dissolved into a fit of laughter at Tara's ineffective attempts at justifying our wake up call, and Bailey did what she could to keep Tara alive. The rest of the morning saw me starting a sword fight with brushes with Sarah, getting dressed as slowly as possible, and moping until breakfast was served.
Breakfast was incredibly subdued compared to the earlier part of the morning (though that isn't saying much), and afterwards we joined in the frenzy to get out of the castle and leave for Hogsmeade.
If I've failed to mention it, I apologize, but the Hogsmeade rush is scary.
It took a few good shoves to get through the crowd, and we nearly lost Tara along the way, but we eventually made it out of the castle (relatively) in one piece. After establishing that we'd all meet up at Honeyduke's later in the day, we sent Sarah off to find Fred with more than a few warnings against having "Too much fun". I was starting to develop bruises as a result, but I figured watching Sarah squirm was worth it.
Tara shook her head as we saw her off. "They grow up so fast," She murmured, trying to hide a grin.
I nodded in agreement. "Too fast - Oi!"
Tara and I whirled around to glare at Bailey, who was shaking her head at our antics. "You know that if she hears you, she'll do a lot worse than whack you upside the head. Anyway, aren't we supposed to be supportive?"
I rubbed the back of my head and glared.
Tara held up her hands defensively."Only supportive friends are supposed to be supportive. Sarah knows we're not supportive friends, so we're allowed to be totally loony, jealous friends."
Bailey raised an eyebrow. "Jealous of Sarah for having a boyfriend, or jealous of Fred for spending time with Sarah?"
"Maybe I'm jealous of Fred for having a girlfriend," Tara shrugged as she grinned at us.
Bailey snorted. "Well, you would be."
Tara stuck out her tongue, but denied nothing. I shook my head at the two of them and hurried ahead down the path. The air was cool, and I almost pouted when I realized that I was enjoying the last of the autumn weather for that year. Leaves still littered the ground, but most of the trees were already almost bare.
We managed to shove our way through the crowd that typically flooded Hogsmeade on visiting weekends, and fled into the warmth of the Three Broomsticks gratefully. The inside of the building was nothing special to look at, although the owner prided himself that the interior had been rebuilt almost exactly the same as it had been prior to the war.
"So, who's ready to drink their weight in butterbeer?" Bailey grinned as she draped her coat over a chair.
I scoffed. "Give me firewhiskey or give me death."
I was met with an icy glare. "I swear to Merlin, if I have to deal with either drunk or hungover Charlie again before the end of the year, I'll do my best to establish a prohibition law in Wizarding London."
Tara gasped. "You wouldn't dare." She pulled out her chair, and we all winced at the grating noise it made as it scraped against the floor. Bailey looked behind me and groaned.
I whirled around an echoed her. "Nott, Finnegan," I greeted without enthusiasm.
Sean saluted. "Simmons." He pulled up a chair, and Eoin shortly followed suite.
"Argh, what do you want?" I moaned, probably sounding considerably less hostile and more whiney than I intended. Sean turned to face me, seemingly oblivious of the death glare I was sending him. I'd have to work on that...
He shrugged. "We were bored."
There were three sighs, all with varying levels of exasperation, from Tara, Bailey, and I. "Well, go bother someone else!" Bailey ordered, doing her best to shoo them away.
Eoin grinned and shrugged. "Nah."
I narrowed my eyes, having finally noticed the suspicious lack of Potter. "Where's the rest of your bloody band of misfits?"
"Well," Sean grinned, "I honestly don't want to know what Fred and Sara are doing, James is doing his best to spy on Fred, and Aaron's doing his best to stop James from getting his head blown off by Sarah's Beater bat."
Tara giggled. "Are Aaron and Bailey the same person in different universes or something?"
Eoin grinned and shouted something that sounded an awful lot like, "Conspiracy!"
After she gave up on glaring, Bailey rolled her eyes and held up a menu. She sighed in resignation, and I almost killed her for what she said next. "I'll order a few butterbeers, then," She relented.
Merlin, I thought she was supposed to be the smart one.
Tara glanced up. "Ooh, if you're getting up, would you get m-"
We all jumped as the door banged against the wall after being thrown open. I looked up grumpily for the source of my near heart attack and can't even say that I was surprised to see Potter frantically pushing his way through the crowd, Aaron in tow.
I groaned. "What do -"
Potter cut me off, much to my chagrin, but I didn't have much time to worry about that. "Freddie got in a fight with that Singer prat," He explained hurriedly to the group, and then turned to Sean and Eoin. "We... May need your help tearing them apart."
We received glares from just about every patron of the Three Broomsticks as six chairs screeched against the floor, but didn't pay that much mind. I managed to stay behind some of the others, so I wasn't jostled too much by the crowd, but I vaguely remember leaving a trail of angry Slytherins in our wake as we shoved our way through the crowd.
"Where the hell -!" Sean demanded as we followed the two off the main road of Hogsmeade.
"Shrieking Shack," Was the panted response, and we hurried down the path.
I vaguely remember cursing the fact that I was already winded from the run, and I think I caught my foot on at least two branches on the way there. We rounded the last turn and a crowd could already be seen, which was never a good sign.
I was practically dragged into the throng, and shoved my way into the inner circle of students in search of Sarah.
I spun to see Bailey and Tara struggling to keep Sarah out of the fight, and hurried over to help restrain her. I received a good elbow to the face in the process, but hey, sometimes our friendship was like that. We kept each other out of trouble and nearly got throttled in the process.
By the time I got a handle on Sarah, Singer was nowhere to be seen. In the middle of the circle of students, Fred was splayed out on the ground with blood gushing from his nose and an already slightly swollen face. I winced, and loosened my grip on Sarah as James rushed over to Fred, and the rest of the lot did their best to shoo away the crowd.
I whirled to face Sarah. "What the bloody hell happened?"
"I've got no sodding clue," She muttered darkly.
. . .
I narrowed my eyes, and forced myself to focus on the book in front of me. I'd spent the entire week trying to get through it to stay ahead of my work, and wasn't about to let those gits ruin it for me. 'The International Confederation of Wizards argued the matter out at their famous summit meeting of 1692. No fewer than - ' *
More whispering, followed by a few snickers.
I took a deep breath and refused to look up. 'No fewer than seven weeks of sometimes acrimonious discussion - ' *
"I swear to Godric, if you don't shut the hell up, I will shove this book so far up your arse you'll cough it up!" I snapped.
There was a vicious "Shush!" from the librarian.
Fred looked affronted. I noted for the first time that his face was starting to look better, but he still sported a nasty bruise on the side of his face. "Bloody hell, Simmons; We weren't even being that loud!"
I narrowed my eyes. "You're right; You were whispering, and I'm about ready to rip your vocal chords out of your throats and mince them because of it."
Sean stared at me. "Godric, how do you come up with these?"
I glowered. "Maybe I speak from experience," I threatened.
Sean nodded, and moved further away from me. "That's what I'm afraid of!"
I huffed, and closed the book. I'd been trying to get through the same paragraph for the past half hour, so I figured by that point that I wasn't getting anywhere.
Sarah noted my admission of defeat and grinned. "Resigned to the inevitable, then?"
I groaned and nodded. "If I don't drop out of Hogwarts by the time break comes, I'll have failed out," I sighed and rubbed my eyes.
She nodded. "I'll be right there with you on the streets, then."
"How sweet," I deadpanned.
Fred glanced between the two of us. "Is this all you two talk about?"
We both exchanged a glance and shrugged. "Wishful thinking, I guess," Sarah nodded. We all winced as a pointed "Shh!" was once again aimed at us. Merlin, were people protective of that library.
I ducked my head and did my best to keep my voice lower, though I honestly didn't have a quiet setting. "Bailey," I muttered as I poked her side.
The girl in question just "Hmm?"-ed without looking up from her book.
"Baileeey," I moaned.
This time, I elicited a resigned "What?" from Bailey, and she glanced up at me.
"Help me make my essay sound semi-competent?" She sighed. "Please?"
James snorted. "Merlin, Simmons, that's pathetic."
I didn't want to risk the wrath of the librarian again, so I did the mature thing; I stuck my tongue out at him and continued to pester Bailey, who eventually gave in and helped me with my introduction paragraph. With a halfway decent start, I actually started working, honest. I was truly, actually working on something relatively productive when I heard a groan from Sarah and we all turned our attention to where she was staring with distaste.
Fred visibly darkened, while I like to think I only scowled.
"Singer," Sean spat.
Jonathon Singer had sauntered into the library, flanked by about eight of his semi-evil cronies.
James stared with disdain. "Maybe if we ignore it, it'll go away."
Singer noticed us and sneered.
James sighed. "Guess not."
"Fancy seeing you here, Fred; I'd have thought you'd still be in the Hospital Wing." The group collectively tensed as Singer continued to survey us, determined not to do anything we'd regret.
We'd all finally gotten most of the story of the fight from Fred after he'd gotten himself decently cleaned up after the fight (although he'd still been lectured by the Fat Lady for trying to get into the common room and get his nose blood on everything). Singer, per usual, had been an arsehole to Fred, which hadn't surprised anyone. Apparently, though, when push came to shove, Fred could take him in a fight and knew it... Apparently he just had more trouble when Singer unexpectedly started throwing hexes.
Still, we'd all already known he was an arsehole.
Singer narrowed his eyes, and Sarah did her best to keep Fred from doing something he'd regret.
Bailey glared, attention finally away from her book. "It's a surprise to see you here, too; I didn't know you even knew we had a library."
Singer looked unimpressed, and Fred clenched his fists, but said nothing. I kept my mouth firmly closed, keeping in mind the fact that I'd received detentions for fighting on more than one occasion already that year.
"So now you're letting the resident nerd serve as your attack dog?" Singer sneered.
Tara tensed up next to me, while Bailey continued to glower.
"At least we've got some brains in our group," Aaron spat.
One of Singer's cronies stepped forward. "A lot of good that did Weasley and your Seeker bitch."
Fred's chair clattered against the ground as he stood up, and Sarah, James, and Eoin grabbed him at the same time.
Fred abandoned his attempt at breaking free of their hold and settled on glaring. I eyed the burly-looking sixth year boy I knew to be the Hufflepuff Seeker. "And a lot of good it'd do your Seeker bitch," I spat back.
I'm still quite proud of that one, but... Upon reflection, I need to think about consequences a bit before speaking.
Singer turned his gaze on me, cutting off Big-Burly-and-Angry-At-Charlie-Seeker Boy. He sneered, and I could only gulp, silently curse my big mouth, and repeat 'I will not make this any worse' like a mantra in my head.
"I didn't know that Potter liked his whores so feisty," He jeered.
Note to self: It's pretty damn hard to stick to resolutions when you're seeing red.
I heard the crack of my fist against his face, but in a far off, removed sort of way. Everything seemed muffled and slow as I watched it happen, but none of it could have lasted more than a second.
Several more chairs scraped violently against the floor behind me as Singer stumbled back, and then rounded on me. "Gryffindor bitch," he spat. Strangely enough, I didn't take much offense.
I had just enough time to see Fred and James launch themselves at Singer and his cronies before Singer shoved me into a bookshelf. I felt something crack against my back as I slammed into the shelf, and went crashing down with the whole thing. I swore under my breath, not quite sure if the crack had been a bone or a shelf.
Sarah had lunged at the Seeker, and looked like she was having a grand time of it, too. Eoin was in the process of being punched by someone nearly twice his size - granted, he was pretty small - and Sean had taken on a tall but skinny Ravenclaw I'd seen around a few times.
I remember being vaguely surprised that someone from the only smart House had seen fit to fight a bunch of Gryffindors, but looking back, that probably shouldn't have been one of my top priorities.
Things got out of hand quickly.
The rest of the students involved were trying to tear the others apart, but ended up on the receiving end of more than a few thrown elbows in the process.
I got shakily and painfully to my feet, and immediately received a backhand from some Hufflepuff goon as retribution, and crashed into another shelf, though I managed to stay on my feet. I'm not sure who was responsible, but Crawley's hand was being eaten by some carnivorous book, the Seeker was being held in a headlock by James, and Ravenclaw Goon Number One was splayed out on top of a table by Fred.
I stumbled out of the way of Singer, who flew past me and knocked over a shelf after a hard hit from Fred. The crash of the shelf falling was almost morbidly satisfying, and I probably would have smirked had I not been in one of the scariest situations of my life.
Still, I was a Gryffindor, and we practically live off adrenaline.
I spun to face Singer and held my ground, albeit more out of desperation than anything else. I almost threw an elbow backwards when I felt someone grab my side, but realized I was being spun out of the way.
When I stubbornly turned back around, James stood in between me and Singer.
"Bloody Gryffindor prat," I muttered, but didn't press it any further.
Granted, I'm not sure what I could have done, anyway. Singer staggered forward after dragging himself up, and tensed up before launching -
"NOT IN MY BLOODY LIBRARY!"
There were a few final clatters and thumps before everyone froze, and everything went eerily silent as Madam Pince approached us. She was a little old lady, probably more ancient than the castle itself, with a mean-looking face and godawful glasses, and walked toward us leaning heavily on a cane.
I had never seen a group of Gryffindors look so scared.
James glanced at Fred, and without moving muttered, "You think we can make a run for it?"
Fred surveyed Madam Pince. "Not a chance, mate."
. . .
"What the bloody hell is a retrograde, anyway?" I demanded, crumpling another draft of my Astronomy assignment.
It was just after dinner, so the sun had barely set and the stars could barely be seen through the dirty window in our dorm, but all of us had managed to document some nonsense about the planetary statuses of Venus and Mars, so all was well.
There was a chorus of groans and Bailey rolled her eyes before tossing me her copy of the Astronomy Textbook.
I fumbled to catch the book, and glared at Bailey. "How many times have you lot lectured me on throwing books? This is hypocrisy; It's an outrage!" I insisted, grumpily picking up the book. "Especially now that books are the currency of the realm," I added as an afterthought.
Sarah paused briefly as a small thump came from somewhere in the room, and then rolled her eyes. "You're being so dramatic about this," She complained, glancing up.
"Am not," I huffed, flipping through the pages of the book rather pointlessly. Another marginally louder thump elicited from the corner of the room, but we'd learned not to care too much, for risk of letting it drive us insane (again). "Pretty soon we'll run clean out of resources!" I persisted.
Bailey rolled her eyes. "You're being ridiculous, love; they'll probably forget about it, anyway."
I raised an eyebrow at her.
We'd been banned from the library. The bloody library.
Granted, it was on account of starting a fistfight, but still - the library!
It's not like we didn't deserve punishment, but we hadn't really been the ones to start... Well, it wasn't our bloody fault, anyway, and we'd still ended up with revoked library privileges and three weeks of cleaning bedpans in the Hospital Wing after classes. Of course, the very last thing I needed was more weeks of detention, but I figured that fact alone wasn't quite enough to get me out of it. Oh, the joys of delinquency.
"Alright, so they won't forget, but no one died, so I reckon things'll settle a little," Bailey backtracked.
I shrugged, and Tara grinned, clearly not too horribly scarred from the fight. "Until then, who needs books when we've got Bailey, anyway?"
Sarah scoffed. "Charlie, apparently."
Bloody hell; They were turning against me.
Bailey raised an eyebrow at my admittedly pouty glance, likely knowing that I'd never swallow my pride long enough to actually ask where to find it.
"Page 241, love."
I sent her a grudgingly thankful nod in acknowledgement and hurriedly flipped through the pages. I stared at the book for a few moments, and the room was peacefully silent.
"You haven't actually read any of that, have you?" Tara asked, though she probably already knew the answer.
"Godric, no," I moaned.
* Taken from Fantastic Beasts, pages 15 and 16 :)
A/N: Anyone else feel like there's suddenly a lot of caps lock in this story? Just me? haha Expect even more next chapter ;)
Anyway, thanks for reading! I'm sorry it's been so long - It was that damn Hogsmeade scene that took so long to write, and I don't even know why :/ Anyway, I absolutely adore reviews, so please feel free to tell me what you think, and how you like where everything's going, because things are going to get a little crazy from here on out. Thank you! :)
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