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Chapter 13 : The One Where I Engage In Gossip
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It seemed that the entire school had come out to watch the Gryffindor and Slytherin Quidditch match. The chatter of the students moving around us to find seats in the stands was quite loud, it was amazing how many people we actually had at this school, it was not until moments like this that you realise just how many people there are.
“I might do,” I told her with a shrug. “I’ve got no reason to support Slytherin really, whereas you want to support Slytherin because of Ethan Richards.”
Michelle blushed at my words and shook her head at me, but I could see a smirk crossing her face. “There might be a small reason that I’m supporting Slytherin because I find Ethan Richards to be a little bit attractive.”
I gave a small scoff at her words; knowing that was not true, she knew that I knew as well as she gave a sigh. “You don’t find him just a little attractive, though, do you?”
“It is not my fault that he’s good looking, but I’m supporting Slytherin because they have a great team, they play very well together and I can’t find any flaws in their game work. I admire that in a team and if I had to chose a team other than my own to win the Quidditch house cup, I would choose Slytherin.”
“I don’t really follow whose winning; all I know is who catches the snitch and what the commentator yells out to us all,” I told Michelle, who was just slowly shaking her head at me.
“I can’t believe that we’re friends and you only know that,” Michelle stated in disbelief.
I gave a shrug. “Why should I know? When I know that you love telling me all about the rules and regulations and the game plays. I know that you enjoy telling me, so it is a good thing really, isn’t it?”
“I suppose it is, but maybe you will take more of an interest in it now that your fancy man is playing,” Michelle stated, looking out over the pitch. I wanted to scoff; I wondered how long this charade of a pleasant friendship would last.
“He’s not my fancy man; he’s just someone that I talk to now and again, although more now than I have done beforehand,” I told her with a shrug as students walked passed us to get to some free seats further up the bench. I hoped that would be the end of the discussion, but apparently not.
“It’s not just because of that,” Michelle said and I resisted the strong urge to groan loudly.
“I know your thoughts on the subject, Michelle,” I told her quickly, knowing that she was going to start going on about how James was only being my friend to gain something himself, that he was clearly up to something and that I was just too stupid to actually see it. I didn’t want to hear it today; I wanted to enjoy the game, even though I’m normally indifferent when it comes to Quidditch.
Michelle kept quiet, which was a great relief to me; I was sure she would attempt to continue. I still didn’t understand her behaviour with the whole situation, it had to come down to jealousy, she had to be worried that I would abandon her and want to spend all of my time with James.
“So, do you even know who the favourite to win this match is?” Michelle asked me, changing the subject back to Quidditch, which I was thankful for. I shook my head in reply.
“Slytherin are the favourites, they’ve got a stronger defence this year,” Michelle told me.
“Ah, but the Gryffindor's have been working on their attack, so they might surprise us all,” Sian’s voice interrupted us; I looked up at to see Sian and Isabella taking a seat in the space next to Michelle, joining in on our conversation.
“You say that now,” Michelle stated, turning to look at Sian so that they could talk Quidditch. I glanced up at Isabella who rolled her eyes before standing up and coming over to sit next to me.
“We’ve lost them both,” she told me as she looked over the edge of the stands and glanced onto the pitch. “These are really good seats, Abigail.”
“I know. Michelle always gets here early enough to get seats like this,” I answer her, which was true. I may hate getting here so early some times, but at least we didn’t have to fight for good seats.
“Are you excited about the match?” Isabella asked me quietly I gave a small smile and a shrug.
“As much as I am for any other match, I guess.”
Isabella gave me a knowing look, “Nothing to do with James, wearing his Quidditch uniform which makes him look pretty damn good looking?”
I felt myself blushing as I covered my face with my hands in slight embarrassment and Isabella gave a laugh, nudging me slightly. I was glad that Isabella was here with us, someone who I could joke around with and have a laugh with.
The match started pretty soon afterwards, commentated by a guy in the year below me called Malcolm Port. As soon as his voice was heard everyone began to cheer.
“Here we have the long awaited match of Gryffindor and Slytherin. I know that you have all been excited to see this match being played, so let us hope that the teams are going to be giving us a good game to watch. First off we have the Gryffindor players,” Malcolm called from wherever it was that he was sat, his voice booming across the stadium and the cheers of my fellow students echoed around the stadium as well. I found myself clapping along with them whilst Michelle cheered next to me.
As indifferent as I was towards the matches before I got to the stadium, always wondering about whether or not I wanted to waste my day being here and watching the game, my attitude would change the minute I was in the stadium. The excitement of those around me was contagious and I did find myself getting involved in the match more, even at times I would be amazed by the moves that the players used, or the death defying and gravity defying flying that they would do, they had more courage and bravery them I had when it came to flying .
They were doing things that I would be too scared to do, flying up to great heights and then letting themselves drop down before zooming back up into the air on their brooms, almost giving me a heart attack in the process.
The closest I got to death defying flying was when I used Daryl’s broom at home and ended up flying fifteen feet into the air managing to fall off of the broom and to the ground below, breaking my arm in the process.
I couldn’t help but find it weird that witches and wizards are able to sit on a small and thin piece of wood and manage to stay on it, and also how they manage to stay on it for a long time without getting a numb bum or without feeling uncomfortable. When I asked Michelle about this one time that I was watching her practice or play a game, I couldn’t remember which one it was that she was doing and I was watching, but I asked her about it, wondering if she ever got pins and needles or the feeling of numbness in her bum. She told me that you learn quickly to use a cushioning charm, that way you would be able to stay on the broom for a lot longer.
I always wondered how professional Quidditch players could play games for a massive length of time and not have to come off of their brooms to have at least a walk around the pitch, their matches actually went on for days instead of just seeming to go on for days. Michelle had told me that during matches that long that the players would be able to have a few breaks from their brooms and be able to walk around to stretch their legs and have a break.
I would hate to watch a game that went on for days; would I actually stay in the stadium for all that time? Wouldn’t it make more sense to stop the match for the night and then resume it in the morning? Wouldn’t it make more sense to just stop the game after a certain time limit and whoever has scored the most in that time frame was the winner? When I had told Michelle my thoughts and ideas on the subject she just shook her head at me and told me that there was a reason that I wasn’t a Captain or Head of Quidditch with that attitude. Not that I even played Quidditch.
I gave a loud cheer as James’ name was called and he flew out onto the pitch, clapping my hands together as well as I watched him zoom across the field in almost a red blur. I heard Isabella cheering loudly next to me; I glanced at her and she gave me a wink in return.
It turned out to be a really good match, the two teams were both giving everything they could to win the match, but in the end Slytherin were the victorious ones.
“I am so glad that Slytherin won the match,” Michelle said happily from next to me as we walked back up to the castle with everyone else who had gone to watch the match.
“Well, it was quite a close race between both of the Seekers. I was hoping that James would catch the snitch though,” I stated. It was true, there were moments when I didn’t know just who was going to get the snitch in the end. I knew that James would feel bad that he didn’t manage to catch it and I made a mental note to ask him how he was feeling when I next saw him. I didn’t want to seek him out in case he was with his friends and didn’t want to be disturbed, I didn’t want him to feel like he had to talk to me.
“Did you see Ethan’s face when Slytherin won, though?” Michelle asked me, smiling dreamily. “He was so happy.”
I couldn’t help but grin along with her; it was good to see her so cheerful and I was happy for her.
“Maybe you should go and congratulate him?” I encouraged her, she shook her head.
“I’ll leave him to celebrate with his team, although I should probably go and find Lucien, talk some tactics about this match and see how it can help us improve.”
Michelle told me. “Do you want to come with me?”
“Oh, no that’s alright, I’ll just head up to the dormitory. I’ve got a few essays to finish,” I told her. I wasn’t sure if I would actually do the essays, but I would be hanging around in the dormitory.
“I’ll see you at dinner,” she said to me, before leaving and heading in the direction of the greenhouses, where we had seen Lucien heading off to.
I looked around me as I slowed my walk, seeing if I could spot Sian or Isabella, but they had probably already gone into the castle. My gaze did fall on William, who was walking with Rebecca, although he didn’t look too happy about it. I looked away before they could spot me and hurried on my way to the castle; there was no sign of James with them, which might be why William seemed so annoyed.
I hoped that James wasn’t too upset about losing the match.
“Did you hear about Louis Weasley?” Isabella asked as she walked into the dormitory later that night. I was lying on my bed, trying to finish my essay for Transfiguration, which was hard because I really wanted to procrastinate. I didn’t know how badly I wanted to do everything else until I had to finish homework.
Michelle had been gone for quite some time now, as had Isabella. Sian had joined me in the dormitory not long after I had arrived, both of us failing at doing much of our homework, instead engaging in small talk until Isabella had arrived.
“No, what about him?” Sian asked and I looked up at them both, waiting for Isabella to tell us about James’ cousin.
“He asked Freya Jackson to be his girlfriend.” She seemed quite excited about this fact as she took a seat on the edge of Sian’s bed. I had only ever spoken to Louis a few times, mainly polite greetings when we’ve passed in the corridor, or if we’d been in the same room and made eye contact, but he seemed like a nice guy.
“Aw, that’s so cute,” Sian responded, and I admit that it was kind of sweet that those two had become an item; they did have that date to Hogsmeade.
“I wonder how Horatio feels about it, though,” Isabella pondered.
“What do you mean?” I asked her, wondering why Horatio would have a probably with his best friend asking Freya to be his girlfriend.
“Well, he must be a little jealous; every time I see Horatio he’s always with Louis as though the two are joined at the hip. I wonder how he’ll feel knowing that pretty soon Louis will be off with Freya all the time.”
“I don’t think Louis will abandon his friend now that he’s going out with Freya,” I stated. I could never imagine abandoning my friends if I ever began to date someone. Well, I didn’t have that many friends to begin with, but I wouldn’t abandon them. “Horatio must have other friends or people he can hang around with if Louis or Freya need to be alone?”
“I really don’t think he does,” Sian told me honestly, “He only has Louis and I’ve never seen him with anyone else, or talking to anyone else.”
“That’s mostly because he’s a mouthy little shit at times,” Isabella scoffed, shaking her head as she spread her legs out in front of her on Sian’s bed, getting more comfortable.
“It must run in his family. Remember Nikolos?”
Sian and Isabella seemed to swoon slightly, knowing grins on their faces.
“Oh yes, how can we forget him?” Isabella said, sighing dreamily.
“It’s a pity that he left halfway through his seventh year.”
I remembered the gossip that went around when Nikolos Demarcus had left; no one had known that he was leaving until we all came back from Easter holidays and he just didn’t show up. Horatio had seemed pretty tense and angry about the whole thing and no one had been brave enough to ask him why Nikolos didn’t return.
To this day no one knew why Nikolos had up and left, although there were many rumours; some of the ones I had heard were that he had married a girl he impregnated; another was that he was now some sort of crime lord. They were each more ridiculous then the ones before and I learnt to not pay attention to them.
“Now he was one fine Slytherin. Dominique Weasley was a very lucky girl.” Isabella sounded slightly jealous.
“Even luckier when she started dating Kieron Not. Why are there so many handsome guys in Slytherin?” Sian asked us both; I gave a shrug, not knowing how to answer her.
“I thought that they were just friends?” Isabella asked, looking from me to Sian.
“Not from what I heard.”
I found it amazing just how much they both knew about other people’s lives, merely through gossip. It made me worried that there was gossip out there about me. I wasn’t sure if I would ever want to hear any of it.
“They do have a very nice looking family, though, the Weasley’s,” Isabella stated, and I had to agree with her. That family had some good genes.
“It must be the Veela in their blood?” Sian offered, shifting on her bed and leaning her head back to rest on the headboard behind her.
“Isn’t he like an eighth Veela? Does that even count?” I asked them, not sure how Veela blood would even work if it was that diluted down.
Sian shrugged. “Probably not. Freya is very lucky, Louis seems so sweet and nice, although have you noticed that he’s quite shy and doesn’t really speak to many people?”
“Probably because the rest of his family is so loud.” Isabella laughed and I had to agree with that, too.
“But good looks seriously run in that family. I mean, take James for example, he looks great.”
I looked at Sian without meaning to and she caught my eye, giving me a friendly smile.
“You think so as well, don’t you?” she asked me and I was wary, although I shouldn’t have been; it wasn’t a trap, she wasn’t fishing for information out of me. She was merely having a friendly conversation and wanted to include me.
I gave a small non committal shrug in answer.
“Oh come on, Abigail. It’s just us girls, you can tell us if you think James is good looking or not,” Sian encouraged me.
“If it makes you feel any better, I had a small crush on Horatio. It was ages ago,” Isabella muttered, waving her hand as though it wasn’t important. Sian just shook her head and laughed.
“It wasn’t ages ago, it was in September. You specifically told me that you thought that Horatio had gotten, in your words, ‘freaking hot’ over the summer.”
“I was being sarcastic.”
“You were drooling,” Sian countered. Isabella hit her with a pillow, which caused Sian to laugh and snatch it from her hands.
Isabella rolled her eyes. “Be that as it may, this doesn’t answer the question of whether or not James is good looking. I say that he is.”
“I really like him,” I stated simply and quietly, maybe in the hopes that they wouldn’t hear me.
They both smiled at me. “I knew you did.”
“He’s really funny,” I told them, moving closer to Sian’s bed, Sian moved over and tapped the space next to her so that I could sit down. “And we have a lot in common. Something which I thought would never happen.”
“He seems like he really likes you,”
I shook my head. “No, he’s being nice.”
“James is nice to everyone,” Isabella told me, “But with you he’s different, it’s like he wants to be around you all the time. I’ve caught him staring at you a few times in the Great Hall when he knows you’re not looking at him.”
I wanted to believe her, in fact, my heart was beginning to swell in happiness. “We’re just friends.”
“Maybe he wants to be more?”
“I don’t think he does, what about that Rebecca girl?”
Sian gave a frown as Isabella said, “Rebecca Sweeney? Who hasn’t she set her sights on?”
“James wouldn’t be interested in her.” Sian shook her head and scrunched up her nose as though the very thought was crazy.
“He seemed pretty interested in her at Halloween,” I muttered quietly, but they heard me.
“What do you mean?” Sian asked me.
“Well, when I was walking with James out of the lesson, she appeared and was talking to him about how great his costume was. They were talking and I felt a bit awkward around them, so I said that I was leaving,” I told them, remembering the look that Rebecca had given me, one that clearly told me that I wasn’t welcome.
“What did James say?”
I ran a hand over my face, wondering why I had even mentioned it. “He offered to walk me back.”
“See, he would have rather have been with you,” Isabella told me, looking at Sian for confirmation and I could see her nodding.
“He was just being polite. I told him that I was fine and left quickly, I didn’t want to interrupt either of them.”
“I can assure you that James isn’t interested in Rebecca,” Sian told me.
I just gave her a tight smile in return. I wanted to believe her, I really did.
It wasn’t long before they began talking about boys again and I sat and listened to them, not sure what else I could contribute to the conversation, but it was nice that they were involving me.
Their words about James were encouraging; it was nice to pretend that he liked me more than he actually did. Maybe one day it would actually be true?
A/N: Notice any characters from my other stories? :P See what I did there?
As always Kieron Nott belongs to TheHeirOfSlytherin (My amazing beta!), I have lovingly borrowed him from her. :D
Let me know what you all think! :D I love hearing your reviews and I'm trying to update as quickly as I can for you all. Although I would like to apologise for the lack of James in this chapter, he will be in the next one, I promise.
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