Quidditch is really not my type of thing. As you can see right now, I'm doing quite poorly. No, that is an understatement. I am purposely humiliating myself in front of everyone in my fifth year quidditch training class, including our instructor: Oliver Wood.
I hear from people that he graduated from Hogwarts 3 years ago. He is supposedly the best quidditch keeper Hogwarts have ever had. This just makes the humiliating situation even more humiliating. Apparently, landing on my butt before even getting an inch off the ground is not helping this any much.
"I think you should get up before Wood sees you." A male voice whispered in my ear.
I do so, but with dignity. The boy's advice isn't life altering, but it is worth listening to. I turn to tell him that whether or not my butt is touching the ground isn't any of his business when my eyes meet up with a pair of light hazel ones. They belonged to the class instructor. His face stays blank, but his eyes are playful. I quickly straighten up, removing all sense of irritation from my face. "Sorry, Professor." I bend over and pick up my broom.
Finally, his face turns to match his eyes. Smiling, he says, "I'm new at this and I don't think I quite qualify for the term Professor yet. Oliver would be fine." Continuing to smile, he walks away.
That guy has some very nice teeth. I wonder what kind of toothpaste he uses. I lick my teeth, imagining its yellow hue, and cringed at the disgusting thought. Better keep my mouth shut.
"Oh my god, he is so cute! You're so lucky. He actually smiled at you!" Mary-Jane Hawthorne gushed.
"He's our teacher." I pointed out.
"He's so hot!" she continued.
"He's our professor." I said with emphasis.
"Ugh, you're no fun." Mary-Jane turned away and walked back to her group of friends.
I guess they're only here to check out our teacher. I never wanted to be here. I don't even know why I am here myself. I remember one thing: Dad saying that if I didn't give a little more, I'm going to end up with nothing in my life. That's just great to encourage your child to join a club. Well, this isn't a club. It's to help me make it in quidditch. It's a little late for me but as Dad says it, "It's better late than never."
I turn to look at our instructor. He's helping a boy steady himself on the broom while throwing a quaffle. I can see that he's not bad looking. Nice too, I guess, but nothing that stands out to me. He's just a guy. What makes him so special?
I climb back onto the broomstick and kick off hard. I shoot up into the air. Oh shit. I grip hard on the handle, trying not to plunge to my death. I look down and I see I am at least 15 feet high. This isn't good. I can't even fly. What am I doing up here? This is such a bad idea. Ok, let's just calm down and land back on the ground. I like the ground. I like the firmness of it. I know he told us something about landing. What is it? Leaning forward?
I try that but instead I fall forward and am hanging on for dear life with my feeble hands. Oh god, what have I gotten myself into? I scream for help with all my might. I look down to see if anyone hears me but it makes me feel nauseous. Great, now I'm going to throw up from 15 feet high onto the quidditch pitch in front of my fellow fifth years. A new thing to add to my list of humiliating things I've done in the past 10 minutes. How exciting!
No, no, this is not the time for sarcasm. I take a deep breath and start to scream again but a voice stops me.
"I heard you the first time. You alright?"
And what do you know? The 'Professor', yet again, gets to save me.
"Do I look alright to you?" Seriously, cut the sarcasm.
He crosses his arms in front of him and gives me a watch-your-mouth look. "I may appear young, which might translate into a pushover for you, but that's not what I am."
"You can yell at me when my butt is once again touching the ground." I am so getting detention!
He continues to glare at me.
"Okay, sorry. My hands are kind of slipping. Can you help me now?" I look pleadingly at him.
"Alright, just let go and I'll catch you." He instructs, holding out his arms in a ready position.
I laugh dryly. "You're kidding right?"
He gives me an impatient look. "Trust me. Just close your eyes and let go and I'll be right here to catch you. I promise I won't let anything happen to you." He reassures.
I look at him skeptically and think it over. Ok, well maybe I don't have time to think it over. I let go.
I am screaming. And I can't stop.
"Luna! Luna! Luna!"
"Huh?" I croak with my sore throat.
Before I can register whether it is the truth, I feel the wave of nausea wash over me again. "I think I'm going to be sick." I groan.
"Oh no. Ok, hold on. I'm heading down right now. I'll go slowly." He sooths.
I close my eyes and settle my head on his shoulder, breathing in the slight breeze passing us. "I should have never joined this."
"Oh come on," Mr. Wood said cheerfully, "it wasn't that bad."
I open my eyes to stare at him. "You're not serious are you? Do you spend a lot of time saving people like that? 'Cause I don't spend much time with these near-death incidents and I'll like it to stay that way."
Mr. Wood looks down at me. He seems to be sizing me up. Gradually, a small smile forms on his lips. "Funny," he mutters.
"What?" I ask.
He doesn't reply.
"You think I'm weird don't you? I knew it. Everyone knows it. I'm Loony Lovegood." My anger begins to rise in my voice. Next thing I know, I feel my feet touch the ground. I quickly stand up and walk away from him, putting as much space between us as I can.
"Class dismissed!" He shouts to the others.
I turn to leave with them but he stops me. I look at him annoyed.
"I don't." Oliver Wood says simply and walks off towards the boy's changing room.