OH MY GOSH! I'M SO SORRY FOR THE LONG WAIT! This chapter was bloody frustrating! And college was eating me up alive! I'm also in 'Romeo and Juliet' at the moment and as such, all of my free time that I usually spend writing this was taken over by rehearsals and performances...but fear not! I have FINALLY finished the next chapter and am so so SO HAPPY to FINALLY post it for you all! Hope you enjoy it!
Alexia couldn't stop grinning. The entire walk from the campsite to the arena was absolutely amazing. The pathway was lit by thousands of green and red lanterns, and crowds of fellow witches and wizards could be seen, and heard, scrambling about. Some could be heard cheering, others laughing; some were even singing! It might have been a twenty-minute walk, but Alexia didn't seem to care. She was having far too much fun. They soon arrived on the other side of the wooded path, and the small troupe of people around Alexia found themselves staring up at a huge stadium. Alexia couldn't see much of it from where she was standing, but from the little of the shimmering golden walls she could see, Alexia guessed that ten, maybe even twelve large churches could easily fit inside the massive structure. Harry also seemed awe-struck at the hugeness of everything around him. A mad grin was plastered on his face as his jaw dropped.
"Seats a hundred thousand," Mr. Weasley was saying to Harry as they made their way inside the arena. "The ministry has been working on it all year. They put up Muggle Repelling Charms everywhere to keep their prying eyes away. Heard that every time a Muggle got too close, they'd immediately think they were late for an appointment and dash away...bless them," he added with a bit of fondness in his voice, stopping at the large arched entrance.
"Prime seats!" the witch at the gate said, upon seeing the tickets in Mr. Weasley's hands. "Top Box! Straight upstairs, Arthur. As high as you can go!"
"Blimey, that's a lot of stairs," Fred muttered to himself as he looked up at the seemingly never-ending, purple carpeted, staircase.
"Better get a move-on then," Alexia teased to him and followed Hermione and Ron up the stairs.
After a while, Alexia and the others finally reached the top of the staircase and found themselves in a small box seat, located higher than the rest of them and built exactly in the middle, right in-between the two golden goal posts. Two rows of twenty purple chairs lined across the area, and Alexia followed Harry, Hermione and the rest of the Weasleys into the front row of the left side of the box, sliding in on the aisle seat next to Fred.
"Would you look at that view," Charlie, who had taken his seat next to George, grinned looking down at the huge crowd below them.
"You can see everything from up here!" Fred grinned, agreeing with his brother.
"Told you the climb up here would be worth it," Alexia poked Fred's arm and gazed down at the hundreds of thousands of wizards below all taking their seats around the oval shaped field. "It's brilliant."
"Wonder who else will be watching the game with us tonight?" George wondered aloud, glancing down at his twin and his best friend.
"Seeing as this is the Minister's box," Charlie, who had heard his brother talk, replied. "Probably a lot of important people."
Alexia turned around, suddenly very alert.
"The Minister's Box?" she gaped, suddenly reminded of that previous conversation with Draco.
Charlie nodded. Alexia held back a wince and she replied,
"Wonderful..." and slumped into her seat with a rather sour expression.
"You all right, Lex?" Fred asked, suddenly seeing Alexia mood change.
"Fine," Alexia muttered, annoyed by her rotten luck. "Except for the fact that I heard the Malfoys are joining us..."
"How'd you hear about that?" George asked.
"Uhm..." Alexia thought for a moment before coming up with a reply. "Over-heard Percy talking about it."
"Ha," Fred scoffed and rolled his eyes. "He would know something like that."
"Don't be so hard on him, Fred," Alexia sighed, glancing over at her best friend. "While I agree Percy's a total prat, it's probably thanks to him that your dad got such good tickets."
"Yeah," George chuckled. "Good point, Lex. Perce probably can get away with asking Fudge anything nowadays."
Alexia rolled her eyes as the Twins began joking about their brother, and she began to fiddle with her necklace chain again. She glanced down at the small memory stone in her hands and called out to Draco, warning him what was to come.
'We've got a problem.'
'What kind of problem?' Came Draco's reply.
'Our tickets,' she explained. 'We're in the Minister's Box.'
'What? Seriously?' Draco sounded surprised. 'How on Earth did Weasley's dad manage to buy the tickets?'
'He worked hard for them, Drake,' Alexia rolled her eyes, but then smirked a bit. 'Although,' she added as an after-thought. 'It probably doesn't hurt that Ron's brother Percy works for the Minister. He's practically Fudge's lapdog!'
'I see,' Alexia could hear the amusement in Draco's voice. But it then became serious again. 'This certainly changes things...'
'I'll say,' Alexia groaned. 'What are we going to do? One slip-up and we're done for!'
'Just pretend we're at school,' Draco answered. 'We're good at hiding it there.'
'True,' Alexia sighed. 'But I'm still worried we'll get caught.'
'Hey,' Draco's voice assured her. 'It'll be fine. Trust me.'
'Trust you?' Alexia mused with a teasing smile. 'Hmm...I dunno...'
'I'm joking!' Alexia covered a giggle with her hand. 'I trust you, Drake.'
'Then everything will be all right, promise. I'll see you soon.'
'Yeah...'Alexia dropped her hand off the stone then, and her eyes began to wander, deciding to see what else was going on around her.
She caught glimpses of Mister Weasley shaking hands with other wizards that she could only assume were very important. Harry, Alexia noticed, was currently talking to what appeared to be a house elf, who, from what she gathered, didn't like heights very much, and was only up here because her master told her to save seats. Fred and George on the other hand, were practically shaking from hiding their laughter when Percy was being introduced. He kept popping up and down off his chair, like he was sitting on a porcupine, especially when the Minister himself showed up. He had given him a bow so low that his glasses had slid off his nose and landed in a shattered heap of glass on the floor. A snigger was heard from the twins as a very embarrassed Percy quickly repaired his glasses with his wand and sheepishly slid back into his seat, shooting jealous daggers at Harry as Fudge began talking with him like they were old friends. Alexia hadn't really been paying much attention to that small matter, for as they were talking, she caught a glimpse of three figures walking in behind the Minister, all with white-blonde hair. The Malfoys had finally arrived.
"Here goes nothing," she muttered to herself, and braced herself for what was to come.
She spotted Harry, Ron, and Hermione all turn around rather quickly at the sound of Fudge's voice welcoming the Malfoys. The trio, along with herself, watched as Lucius Malfoy, Draco, and a woman that Alexia knew had to be Draco's mother, made their way into the row behind them, right up to where Fudge and Mister Weasley were standing.
"Ah Lucius," Fudge was saying. "How good to see you."
"Likewise Fudge," Draco's father answered, holding out his hand to shake the Minister's. "I don't believe you've met my wife, Narcissa, or Draco, my son?"
"How do you do, lovely to meet you," Fudge said, smiling and gave Mrs. Malfoy a bow and acknowledged Draco with a small nod. "Lucius, you know Arthur Weasley, yes?"
"Uh oh," Alexia muttered, feeling the air grow tense around them as Draco's father swept his cold grey eyes over Mr. Weasley, and then at Alexia and the others in the row.
"Good Lord, Arthur," Alexia heard him whisper softly to Ron's father. "What did you have to sell to get seats in the Top Box? Surely your house wouldn't have gone for this much?"
Alexia shot fiery purple daggers at Draco's father, as she grasped the sides of her chair, glaring at him angrily. She calmed down slightly when Fred squeezed her shoulder, but the insults that she wanted to shout out at Draco's father were still screaming in her head.
'Oi, quiet down in there, will you?' Draco teased, rubbing his ear. 'I can hear all that, remember?'
'Sorry,' Alexia rolled her eyes. 'Your dad just makes me so bloody angry!' she let out a small sigh and shot a quick glance over to her friend. 'I'm so glad you're not like him.'
Alexia caught Draco smiling back at her as she said this and nodded in agreement.
She watched as the Malfoys took their seats and turned back around towards the field just in time to hear Ron mutter, 'slimy gits' to Harry and Hermione as they too turned their attention back to the Quidditch the same time, Fudge had been joined at the front of the box by a fellow, dressed in black and yellow Quidditch robes with an image of a wasp on the front, that Charlie pointed out was Ludo Bagman.
"He's commentating for the game tonight," Charlie explained. "He's the head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports down at the Ministry of Magic."
"Forget that," Fred rolled his eyes. "Bagman used to play for the Wimbourne Wasps!"
"Best beater England has ever had!" George added with a nod.
"Beater, eh?" Alexia grinned nudging the Twins. "No wonder you two like him," she teased.
"Naturally," both the Twins grinned.
"We actually ran into him earlier," George said.
"He's good friends with Dad, see," Fred explained. "He came by the tent to say hello 'round the same time George and I went to put our stuff away."
"He was betting with dad about who would win the match tonight," George grinned. "We did too."
"What?" Alexia gaped. "Oh boys, you didn't!"
"We did," Fred grinned. "thirty-seven Galleons."
"Fifteen sickles," George added.
"And three Knuts," the finished together.
"That Ireland would win," Fred went on.
"But Krum catches the Snitch." George finished.
"He gladly accepted, of course," Fred beamed.
"If your mum finds out you two were gambling..." Alexia muttered, but her voice was drowned out by Fudge's voice suddenly echoing out over the crowd.
"Good evening everyone!" his voice boomed. "As Minister for Magic, it gives me great pleasure to welcome each and every one of you to the final of the four-hundred and twenty-second Quidditch World Cup! Let the match, begin!"
With a roaring applause, both teams soared onto the Quidditch pitch.
"Welcome everyone!" Ludo Bagman's voice echoed. "I'm Ludo Bagman and I'll be your commentator tonight! Good luck to Bulgaria and Ireland! May the best team win!"
With a shrill tweet of the whistle, the quaffle was released into the air and blurs of red and green uniforms suddenly began to dash about across the sky.
"And they're off!" Bagman screamed. "And it's Mullet! Troy! Moran! Dimitrov! Back to Mullet!"
Alexia's head was spinning. The Chasers were tossing the quaffle between one another so fast that Bagman barely had time to say the player's names. Her omnioculars were pressed against her face, her fingers fiddling around with the dials on the sides, trying to settle on a setting.
"This is impossible!" she screamed with a laugh. "I can't keep up with them!"
"TROY SCORES!" Bagman roared suddenly and the stadium shuddered with a thunderous applause. "Ten to zero, Ireland!"
"YES!" The Twins cheered as Troy did a victory lap around the field.
"The Irish chasers are brilliant!" Harry cried, a grin on his face.
"I'll say!" Alexia called back. "Their formations are spot on!"
Within ten minutes, Ireland scored another 20 points, gaining another thunderous applause to the green-clad fans.
"Thirty to zero!" Bagman called out the score as another flash of green and red clashed against the brightly-lit scoreboard.
The match became faster after that, and more brutal. Volkov and Vulchanov, the Beaters for Bulgaria, were whacking the bludgers as hard as possible at the Irish Chasers and as such, they had to break their formations and scatter as not to get plowed. And then, finally, Ivanna, one of the Bulgarian chasers, was able to break through the Irish ranks, dodged past Ryan, the Keeper, and score Bulgaria's first goal, leaving them to have possession of the quaffle again.
"Dimitrov! Leviski! Back to Dimitrov! Ivanova-oh I say!" roared Bagman as the stadium gasped.
Krum and Lynch, the two seekers, had just plummeted through the center of the Chasers.
"They are going to crash!" Hermione cried.
She was half-right.
At the last second, Krum had thrust his broom up and was able to prevent landing head-first into the dust below. Lynch, however, wasn't so lucky. He hit the ground with a dull thud and groans could be heard from the Irish fans.
"Idiot," Alexia heard Draco mutter behind her. "The snitch wasn't even there."
"He was feinting?" Alexia muttered back.
"Looks like it," Draco answered, leaning back to his chair.
"It's a time-out!" yelled Bagman's voice as mediwizards rushed onto the field.
"Will he be alright?" Ginny wondered out-loud as she looked over the side of the box, horror-struck.
"He'll be okay, he only got ploughed." Charlie reassured his sister. "Which is what Krum was going for, of course."
Alexia, as well as Harry and the others, pressed the replay and the play-by-play buttons on their omnioculars, trying to figure out what had saw Lynch and Krum dive again in slow motion. WRONSKI DEFENSIVE FEINT-DANGEROUS SEEK DIVERSION was written in shiny purple letters across the lenses.
"So he didn't even see the Snitch?" Harry said. "It was all just a diversion?"
"Seems so," Alexia replied as she lowered her omnioculars back into her lap and glanced down at the field.
The mediwizards were reviving Lynch; Krum hovering above.
"Is he-" Hermione wondered. "Is Krum looking for the Snitch?"
"He is!" Ron replied still glancing through his omnioculars. "I can see his eyes darting around!"
"Smart, that one," George said.
"Mm," Fred agreed with his Twin. "Trying to take advantage of the time out."
Soon, the whistle could be heard Lynch was suddenly on his feet again, earning a loud cheer from the fans. With a kick off the ground, the seeker was back on his firebolt and flying through the air once more. The match had fifteen minutes of face-paced and furious action, Ireland pulled ahead by scoring another ten goals, leading the match one-hundred and thirty points to ten. The game was getting more intense and faster. The quaffle changed hands so fast that Alexia didn't catch most of it, apart from Moran scoring another goal for Ireland. The match recommenced immediately, Levski holding the quaffle, then Dimitrov-
Quigley, one of Ireland's Beaters, suddenly swung heavily at a passing Bludger and hit it as hard as possible, sending the metal ball right towards Krum. He didn't duck quickly enough, however, and got hit full on in the was a loud groan from the crowd, especially from the Bulgarian side when the referee didn't call a foul.
"Time out!" Ron cried, obviously a bit upset they didn't call a foul. "Ah, c'mon! He can't play like that, look at him!"
"LOOK AT LYNCH!" Harry yelled suddenly, pointing out to the stand.
By this time, Alexia, the trio, and practically everyone else in her row had stood to lean over the railing to see what Harry was pointing at. Alexia even noticed Draco leaning forward in his seat to see what had happened.
Lynch had suddenly gone into a dive, and this time, it was no Wronski Feint. This was the real thing.
"He's seen the Snitch!" Harry exclaimed with a shout. "Look at him go!"
Half of the crowd seemed to have seen what was happening; the Irish supporters all rose from their seats and began cheering Lynch on. But Krum was hot on his tail. Alexia gaped.
"There's blood flying everywhere!" she marveled. "How can he see anything?"
"Best Seeker in the world, love!" Fred poked her shoulder as Lynch and Krum were level and they hurtled towards the ground again.
"They're going to crash!" Hermione shrieked again.
"They're not!" Ron shouted back.
"Lynch is!" Harry yelled.
"NO!" Alexia and Ginny both cried as Harry was right for the second time.
Lynch had hit the ground with a tremendous force, sending a round of groans and cheers from the stands.
"The Snitch! Where's the Snitch?" Charlie bellowed, leaning over the railing, trying to see.
"Krum's got it!" Alexia cried the same time Harry screamed "It's over!"
Krum, red robes shining with blood from his nose, rose from the ground and held his fist high, a glint of gold shining through his clenched fingers.
The scoreboard flashed with the final score: Bulgaria: 160 Ireland: 170. The Irish, slowly realizing what happened, erupted with cheers, growing louder and louder until the deafening screams filled the stands.
"YES!" Alexia cheered, jumping up from her seat in excitement.
As she looked around, her eye caught Draco's and they both shared a smile.
"Ireland wins!" Bagman had shouted, just as surprised as everyone else. "Krum catches the Snitch, but Ireland wins! Good lord, I don't think anyone here saw that coming!"
"What did he catch the Snitch for?" Ron moaned, clearly annoyed at Krum's decision. "He ended it when Ireland were a hundred and sixty points ahead, the idiot!"
"He knew they were never going to catch up!" shouted Harry back over all the noise, cheering loudly as well.
"He was very brave, wasn't he?" Hermione said suddenly, leaning forward to watch Krum land as a swarm of mediwizards rushed over towards him. "He looks a terrible mess."
Alexia looked over at Hermione, eye wide. A small chuckle escaped her as she noticed Hermione's concerned face. The smile turned curious however, at the sight of Fred, who, for a fleeting second, almost appeared saddened at the look in Hermione's eyes as she watched Krum. But when Alexia blinked, the look disappeared and Fred went back to cheering with his Twin, reveling in the fact that they had both won the bet against Bagman.
"Why that face?" Draco was able to ask Alexia; thanks to the roaring applause all around them no one seemed to notice them talking.
"Nothing," Alexia had replied back, but added as a second thought. "I think Hermione's got a crush."
Draco's eyes had widened and tried not to laugh as he scoffed
Alexia's eyes trailed over to where all the blazing lights from the camera flashes could be seen at the head of the box. Draco's eyes had followed and landed on Krum. Draco right out laughed, a wicked smirk on his face.
"Oh good luck, Granger," he muttered to himself, amused. "Good luck."
Alexia rolled her eyes and focused her attention back to where the Minister had taken his place as Aidan Lynch, who was being supported by Moran and Connolly, made his way over to him; the second crash had seemed to have dazed him and his eyes were a bit unfocused. But he grinned happily as Troy and Quigley lifted the Cup into the air and the crowd below thundered in approval; Alexia's cheers louder than anyone else's in the box.
At last, when the Irish team had left, Bagman finally stepped down from his place in the box, muttered 'Quietus' with his wand as his voice went back to normal. He didn't get very far though. For not five minutes later, Fred and George had scrambled over the backs of their seats and stood in front of him; identical grins broad and hands outstretched, Alexia shaking with amused laughter.
Whoo...long chapter. And so much filler! Argh! I HATE filler chapters! I'm so happy the next chapter is gonna get some plot going. *grins* I'm super excited. Oh, and yes...in case you didn't catch it, I'm a Fremione shipper (Jo herself was actually gonna have Fred and Hermione be a couple, but changed it to Ron instead...meh...), and since it's my fanfiction and I can do whatever the bloody hell I want, I'm gonna eventually gonna have it be Fremione. *nods* Oh, and I'm also gonna have Loony/Holey (Luna/George) eventually too...*grins* Just an fyi for ya'lls. I know some of you are dead-set with Ron/Hermione as your One True Pairing...and I respect that...but I like what I'm doing...so yeah.
Anyhoo, that being said, hope you liked the chapter! Review!