Chapter 6- The Flomping Kelpie
Oliver's quidditch match had finally arrived and it's a grey day, cold but on the dry side. Still the teams don't seem to notice much around them anyway, from my spot at the Ravenclaw table I can see the captain attempting to shove breakfast down Potter's throat, the third year looks like he might throw up, but then he always looks a bit on the edgy side if you ask me.
"They need to win by over two hundred points, poor kid can't catch the snitch until they're fifty up," Damon shakes his head at them.
"Wood'll have looked up every evasion and diversion tactic ever created by seekers, and Malfoy's stupid enough to just follow Potter all the time," as long as the Gryffindor's keep their cool this match should be theirs, this is the best team they've had since I started Hogwarts.
"No doubt, but Flint plays so dirty it'll come down to penalties."
"It always does with Slytherin," the Slytherins are on the far side of the room, huddled in their own pep talk at the end of the table.
"Are we going to the match?" Lisette joins in.
"Yes, of course," Damon looks at her incredulously.
"What?" she defends, "It's a bit cold, I was maybe going to just go down to the library and start my revision."
"It's the last quidditch final you'll ever see at Hogwarts and you're going to start revising instead?" I think Damon couldn't get more confused. He's a quieter, less forceful version of Oliver, completely demented by quidditch, but it's a fact that most people haven't really realised.
"I have to agree, it's probably going to be the best match all year. Slytherin are going to be flattened, come on you eejit," I get up, pulling her with me.
"Penalties," the beater sing songs as he leaves his empty plate and heads over to the rest of the Ravenclaw quidditch boys. They're waiting for him and Eddy by the hall entrance and I keep my grip on Lis' arm and look to Cammy and Velma.
"You two coming?" Lisette looks pleading, "She'll be so engrossed, I'll be bored stupid on my own."
I huff but can't answer, they gossip through quidditch matches and I ignore them, call it tradition.
"I'm freezing," Lis moans, hunching her shoulders and burying her hands in her classic Ravenclaw scarf.
"It's not that cold," I roll my eyes, it actually isn't, Lisette is just making a production because she doesn't really like quidditch.
"Is Flint going pro then?" Velma asks as we watch the giant Slytherin bash into Angelina Johnson just because she scored a goal.
"I think he got an offer from the Falcons," Lisette replies and we all wince when Fred Weasley chucks his beaters bat at the back of the trolls head in retaliation.
"How'd you know that?" Lisette with quidditch gossip I haven't heard?
"Think Antony mentioned it in herbology," I raise my eyebrows but she ignores me.
"Falcons suits him," Velma replies as he smashes the quaffle at Wood with more speed and strength than most teenagers.
Wood, amazingly, has managed to save but the game continues in the same style, the Slytherin's are playing beyond their usual aggressiveness and everyone bar those in the silver and green stand stamp their feet in anger when Montague grabs poor Katie Bell's head instead of the quaffle. When the great sloth throws his hands up innocently at Hooch's whistle, the stands boo his obvious foul. The resulting penalty puts the Gryffindors thirty to nil but there's another outcry of booing when Flint manages to get one past Wood. The Scot looks traumatised at missing and I can see him berating himself under his breath from here.
"Come on girls," Cammy cheers as the three chasers in red whizz across the pitch infront of us. "Oh my god, dirty rotten-!" Velma pulls her back down into her seat as she suddenly shouts at Bole, the sixth year beater, who has just hit Alicia Spinnet over the head with his beaters bat.
All four of us groan when George Weasley elbows him straight in the face, there's an ongoing fight with Hooch yelling herself hoarse at the Slytherins.
"Is he actually saying he thought she was a bludger?" Lisette is outraged as we try to hear what they're saying.
"You're awful concerned for someone who hates quidditch," her responding glare is enough to make me laugh.
I hold my breath as they line up for penalties again but Gryffindor are playing well and they score while Oliver saves Flint's heavy handed try.
"Talk about a fast game, they've only been out about an hour," Velma is even looking interested as Bell scores again.
"I bet Flint is wishing the dementors would make an entrance again."
"The Slytherin's aren't playing bad but the dirty tactics end up doing more harm than good, most of the Gryf's lead is penalties alone," it doesn't help that Oliver's team have been practicing every day for at least the last week.
"The two uglies have the bludgers," Camilla points two the Slytherin beaters who, true enough, are beating their way up the pitch.
"Have they ever looked so in tune before?" I'm amazed at their elegance, Derrick and Bole normally bash around like trolls.
The Weasleys are panicking, trying to catch up and intercept but it's one of those lucky one offs, where the bludgers are going exactly where they're being beaten too. The moment is tense as we all watch, the whole place can see they're heading for Wood but he's concentrating on the chasers flying up the pitch towards him and doesn't catch on to the two bludgers being aimed his way.
"I can't watch," I'm in agreement with Lis, my heart's in my mouth as we watch Oliver get slammed in the stomach by both bludgers, the Slytherin beaters have never managed hits like it before.
"He's managed to stay on," Cammy lets out a sigh of relief as we watch the poor keeper slump forward on his broom clutching his stomach.
Hooch is whistling for a penalty already and when Johnson scores no one can miss Harry finally jump into action, he's stopped flying around aimlessly and instead searches purposefully.
"They're 70-10, Harry needs to catch the snitch before they lose the advantage."
"Or the chasers burn out, Flint's not letting up on the girls," Velma replies.
"Harry's seen something!" Cammy points up excited after ages of watching Potter and Malfoy fly around empty handed, and true enough the little seeker's in a dive.
Malfoy isn't far behind but that firebolt is something, just as it looks like Harry's nearly there Malfoy does the unthinkable.
"Did he seriously grab Potter's broom?" Velma is angry enough that her faux drawl has slipped.
"Yup," Lisette replies, my heart sinks when Katie Bell misses the resulting penalty.
Velma sighes when Montague scores in the next ten minutes, "What'd I say Piper, the chasers are tiring."
The match gruels on with a bit of a stalemate, Velma's gone off to gossip with some Hufflepuff's in the stand beside us and Lisette is reading her 'Charms Today' subscription. Cammy keeps sighing every now and then, I think she's getting as bored as Lisette and we cheer half-hearted as Angelina scores. The action picks up as Malfoy plummets into a dive, Harry isn't far behind and the firebolt is easily the quicker broom, what I would do for one of those. Catching up with Malfoy they're suddenly at a dead race but the firebolt handles far better and before we know it Harry has caught the snitch with both hands outstretched.
"Thank god, is it over?" Lisette puts the paper in her satchel.
"Yup, Gryffindor wins the cup," I pull a face at her, still a Ravenclaw at heart.
"Meh, let's go get lunch," Cammy's gone over to find Velma so we wander over to the stairs and wait to file down with the crowd.
After Lunch I head to McGonagall's office to hand her a copy of the assignment, she wanted to read them over before we all present them on Monday. There's an air of excitement when I head into the common room after, Lisette rushes over with a smile, "We're all heading out tonight."
"How come, we didn't win the cup?" I follow her up to the dormitory where the other two are rifling through old Witch Weeklies on Velma's bed.
"Apparently the 7th year Gryffindor's want to go to that new dance hall in Diagon Alley after the Tower's party," she replies as I flop down onto my own duvet.
"How are we getting out though?" believe it or not we've never snuck out during term time before.
"We've to meet them at some statue which supposedly will take us to Hogsmeade," she shrugs, pulling the 'Charms Today' out again.
"A statue?" I wonder how that works then.
The four of us are huddled beside the ugliest statue I've ever seen, it's so ugly I'm surprised I've never noticed it before, Eddy and Damon are leaning on it and I shiver in my only decent dress. At 10pm it's a dark, cloudy night but the corridor is lit up by Lionel's wand as he wanders down with Oliver, Benny, Josiah and the two Gryffindor girls.
"Finn's babysitting the kid," Colleen reassures Velma, "There's no way she'd get in."
Eddy's already eying the redheads figure hugging crimpoline dress as she joins us with Amanda.
"Who we waiting on?" Lionel's glancing up and down the corridor, "We don't have much of a window before the teachers come back down here."
"Did you ask any of them Hufflepuff girls?" Benny's groaning.
Amanda glares at him, "No Benny, don't worry, you're safe from the big, bad Puffs."
Glaring back he just slouches against the wall, hands in the pockets of his muggle jeans.
"I invited Emilia, but I don't think there's anyone else," I reply and as if on cue she comes running down the corridor.
"Quick, I think Filch is behind me," gasping she reaches us and Oliver and Lionel jump into action.
Lionel taps the hunched back of the hag and it slides open to reveal a passage, the Gryffindor motions to us girls and hurriedly we all file down into the damp tunnel.
"Shit, that was close," I think Oliver mutters as the boys clamber in last, the passageway sealing behind them.
"I saw the damn cat come around corner, thought we were done for," Lionel replies with a laugh.
"Right just keep going girls, according to the twins this should take us out at Honeydukes," obediently enough we start to clamber in the dark, "Oh and I've been told that if anyone else hears about this secret passage, they will rain Weasley terror down on all of us."
"Nice dress," Emilia tells me as we wait for the rest to climb into the dusty storeroom of Honeydukes basement.
I smooth the cotton red polka dotted fabric, "Thanks, it's supposed to be muggle mod, I think. That's what my muggle cousin called it at Christmas anyway."
"Cool, I don't have any muggle dresses with me but my muggle aunt bought me this at Christmas. Talk about handy, my mother would never think I'd need muggle fashion, not that she ever was a muggle or anything," Emilia rolls her eyes, she's wearing a cute drop waisted playsuit and with her carefully styled hair she's easily the prettiest girl here.
"You're both so lucky," Lis joins us, "my mother doesn't let me wear muggle girls clothes. She says they're not proper," she rolls her eyes, "I had to borrow this off Vel."
"Ah, you pureblood?" Emilia asks, "My father's a halfblood but my mother seems to have forgotten she was part of the muggle world at one point. She wasn't happy at how short this is."
"Yea, we're the purest Scottish family left as she likes to remind me, she'd throw a fit at Vel's dresses," laughing she points at her short hemline.
"I told you Lis, the sleeves balance it out," Velma shakes her head at Lis, we've already been over how scandalous Velma's clothing is.
"I like it," Benny adds, wrapping an arm around Lis, sighing she shakes him off and we follow the rest out into the street.
"Right, everyone can apparate yeah?" Lionel looks around and we all nod.
"We're going to The Flomping Kelpie," Oliver adds before disappearing with a pop.
The Flomping Kelpie is technically a dance hall, but to think of it as a place to sip punch and dance a jive would be entirely wrong. Sure there are a few halls too improper for the pureblood old guard to deign to attend, frequented instead by young professionals, ministry clerks and healers in training. Still classier than anything the lot of us can afford, most muggleborns and halfbloods have muggle friends or relations so we end up going out in muggle London. My cousin Frankie and her friends talk about muggle clubs and over the Summer I got dragged along, it was a session sneaking me out past my mum. Who would have had a fit if she found out were we went, we spent all night dancing to this weird music and drinking sickening cocktails of unnatural colours.
The Flomping Kelpie was in a seedy area, not quite Diagon Alley and more like two streets into Knockturn. The outside is a dive, the street we've apparated into narrow and dank, smelling like the bins scattered about at entrance.
A curl of smoke adds to the murky fog and I look beside me to see Velma lighting one of her roll ups.
"How do you smoke those stinking things?" Lisette curls her nose up from my other side.
"Did you ever try to add the Euphoria elixir to it?" The cigarettes she smokes are muggle but we'd talked about lacing them with certain potions and stuff to see if they made a difference.
"Yeah, put a batch in this packet of tobacco. Way better than the old muggle nicotine on its own, we should trying selling these things, we'd make a killing," she hands the cigarette out to me to try but I shake my head.
"Nah, those things are deadly, according to my cousin Frankie anyway. Maybe we should just neck the Euphoria instead, skip all the rubbish."
Velma shrugs, "Yeah but then we'll end up twitchers like those Hufflepuffs Eddy hangs around with."
Too much Euphoria and you turn yellow and twitch like crazy, some kids ended up in St. Mungos last year for taking it, amongst other things.
"Ready or what?" Oliver nods his head to the club. A giant of a man (perhaps half) is standing in front of the door, a strange thick smoke is curling up from under the threshold.
As we approach the half giant slowly unfolds like a gargoyle, "Of age?"
We all nod and a smile creeps onto his face, "Be warned, the door knows."
Then he steps aside and returns to his uninterested stance as we all troop through the door which has now swung open.
"Well, everyone's in unscathed," Lis murmurs as a blast of music assaults me. There is no band or speakers like in a muggle club so the owners must have rigged something up to play on magic rather than electricity.
"We managed to reserve a table," Lionel shouts over to us and points to the booths which line the far wall. We cross the dancefloor, and pass what I'm nearly sure looks like a hag, Lionel taps the end of one of the booths with his wand before the rope which is draped across the entrance to the small space whizzes open and we can all scoot in.
Once everyone's settled Lionel shouts about drinks, "Do you girls just want us to get you something?"
Lis looks at me and so I hand her my few remaining galleons, scrounged from the end of the world stash at the bottom of my trunk.
The blonde hands Lionel some of our money, "Me and Lena, whatever's on offer."
"Ooh, this place is so cool, about time Diagon Alley had somewhere half decent to go to," Lis looks around from our little booth.
Little would be the appropriate word, I'm hanging onto the end just to stay seated while Lis is pressed against Eddy. Colleen's beside him in the corner and the rest of the girls, Damon and Benny and Josiah fill up the back bench and opposite side. The room is full of swirling coloured smoke and random strobe lighting, the witches and wizards out on the dance floor flash in and out of sight amongst the haze.
"I wanna dance, but I need to be far more blocked than this. Where'd those two get too?"
Lis nods, "I'm far too sober to dance, at least there's a smoke spell. No one will be able to see our acrobatics too closely."
Just on time Oliver and Lionel appear back through the crowd, they're each floating a tray of drinks in front of them. I look at Lis as we take in the strange arrangement of glasses on the table, some are issuing smoke of various colours while a few look like they're on fire. Oliver squeezes in beside me, I try to budge up a bit but there's literally no room so I consign myself to being pressed against him. My life is such hard work.
Lionel has resigned to sitting on the low table and is passing out change while pushing drinks in everyone's direction. Two of the curiously on fire glasses are pushed at Lis and me, alongside two luminous blue pint glasses.
"What are these?" I ask Oliver as he downs his own concoction.
"I think those are just lit fire whiskey, but the blue things could be anything. They were only a half galleon each and a whole pint so…" his brown eyes crinkle with laughter at the look I know is on my face.
Gingerly I lift the fire whiskey, Lis picks her ups and nods at me.
"Best to just down it if you don't normally drink fire whiskey," Lionel shouts at us over the music.
Wrinkling my nose I lift it to my mouth and sigh before gulping it down, the burn is immediate. The fire is actually cool instead of hot like I'd expected and helps to a degree but the whiskey still burns the roof off my mouth as I finish the glass determinedly. Waste not, want not and all that.
"That was awful," Lis is gasping a bit.
Oliver hands me the blue pint, "Wash it down."
I take a sip and grimace as the fruity taste clashes with the aftertaste of whiskey, "That didn't help."
Laughing he swings an arm around my shoulders and presses closer, "I'm seriously going to fall out in a minute."
Lionel pouts at us, "Oh yea, you get all snuggled up Wood. I'll just sit here on my lonesome," he sniffs, putting his nose in the air as we laugh at him.
"Aww, come dance with me. I'm suitably liquored now," Lis winks at me as she gets up and he helps her climb over the table, pint in hand, as I scoot into her spot.
So not quite as long as the last chapter but a little more quidditch action, :)