Disclaimer: If you recognize someone, they belong to JKR. The others are all creations of mine to fill the gaps. :) Plus, any similarities are accidental and completely unintentional.
A/N: I finally wrote something under 50,000 words...and of course it was an accident. :)
Funny story. I took a break after "HTaE" only to end up with three story ideas now fighting for my attention. So, since it's frustrating for me to have all these ideas floating around and not do anything about them, I forced myself one afternoon to sit and write whatever came to me first--that happened to be Dominique's story. What resulted was a couple of chapters; when I was done with those, I looked back over them and then consulted my story map. I quickly realized that something was off, and that something ended up being this superfluous chapter below. It just didn't work overall with the story, but at the same time, I liked it; I'd already written it and I didn't want to chuck it. But what to do with it?
Well, I decided to post it for all of you. :) My accidental one-shot. If you're a Dominique fan, you can catch a glimpse of her POV and check out a day in her fourth-year life. It'll give you a taste as to what's to come whenever her story gets itself written, I suppose.
*And if you're keeping tabs on chronology, this comes before "AYitL" or "The Spark".
Dominique Weasley upped her pace as she trekked across the Hogwarts grounds towards the Quidditch pitch, her broom over her shoulder and her bag of supplies thumping dully against her leg with each quick step she took.
"Nic," yelled the voice of her best friend and fellow fourth-year, Sarah Kirke, from several yards back. "Why are you practically running?"
She didn't answer; in fact, she started walking even faster now that the pitch was actually in sight. At this rate, if she sped up any further she'd actually be jogging.
"I'll be right back," Dominique heard Sarah say before the sound of running footsteps descended upon her. For a split second, Dominique toyed with the idea of actually running. She was definitely faster than Sarah was; there was no question about that. If she ran, Sarah wouldn't be able to catch her. Unfortunately, by the time she finished this thought, Sarah was now level in stride with her.
"What's your deal?" Sarah asked, mimicking Dominique's gigantic strides.
"You know what the deal is," Dominique muttered, not at all keeping her voice down. "I don't like her."
"What's she ever done to you?"
"She's existed," Dominique said, turning a glance over her shoulder to see Natalie Young—her undeniably irritating roommate—still lazily trailing behind them yards back. "She's probably the most annoying person I've ever met. Why'd you have to invite her along?"
"Because you'll be flying around and practicing and I didn't want to sit by myself," Sarah said obviously. "And she's honestly not that bad. She's quite sweet, really." She nudged Dominique playfully. "Perhaps you could take a lesson or two."
Dominique rolled her eyes. "She's a complete nitwit. She can barely tell the different between clockwise and counter-clockwise, and if she didn't go thirty seconds without mentioning clothes, makeup, or some boy and talking about how cute he is…well, I'd be shocked."
"I'm sure people could say the same thing about you," said Sarah, "except instead of makeup and boys, insert Quidditch and…" she paused thoughtfully, "making people cry."
"Oh, please…" Dominique muttered, "I haven't made anyone cry in ages." She turned once again to glance back at Natalie. "Don't tempt me, though."
"You know what I mean…" said Sarah, still doing her best to keep up with Dominique's lengthy strides—a rather impressive feat, considering Sarah was not exactly the athletic type. "You both have very particular personalities. There are things I can talk about with Natalie that you're not interested in, and vice versa."
"What can you talk about with her that you can't talk about with me?"
"Well, for starters," Sarah began, a smile playing at her face, "clothes, makeup, and boys…"
Dominique wrinkled her nose, though her first immediate thought was that she didn't dislike talking about boys; she just didn't like talking about them all the time—and at great, painstaking length—like most of the girls around her did. Perhaps she'd feel differently if there were any boys in the school worth talking about, but since there weren't—
"Where's the fire?" called Natalie suddenly from behind them, just as the entrance to the Quidditch pitch appeared. "Honestly, is there some sort of race I don't know about?"
"Yes!" Dominique called behind her, making no attempt to stop.
"Nic, come on," said Sarah, who had actually stopped walking and was now sounding exhausted by the entire situation.
Dominique took a take a large, overdramatic deep breath; making it purposely seem as if she was being terribly inconvenienced by all of this before she, too, stopped. "This is so stupid…"
"This is so stupid…" Sarah teased, forcing her voice to sound grouchy in imitation. She even stomped her foot, as if mimicking a tantrum.
Dominique's eyes narrowed on her. "I hate you."
"You do not," she quipped, smiling as Natalie finally caught up to the pair of them.
"Wow," said Natalie, her chest heaving as she worked to catch her breath. "That was...a…workout."
Sarah nodded to show she agreed, while Dominique bit her tongue and turned on the spot to enter into the Quidditch arena. Soon enough, she'd be up on her broom…She'd be up where she much preferred to be and not down here on the ground dealing with Natalie. Soon enough…
"I'm so glad you talked me into this," Natalie said, obviously to Sarah because Dominique couldn't imagine why she'd be talking to her. "It really is a lovely day. Not too cold…"
"It was the first day in ages where it wasn't freezing out," Sarah said as Dominique detected both girls following her through the tunnels that led out to the pitch. "I'd take any excuse to get out and about after this winter."
Natalie said something in return, though Dominique was no longer paying attention. She had instead been distracted by the sight that had met her eyes upon reaching the pitch. What she had been anticipating was an empty sky greeting her as she waited for the rest of her Gryffindor teammates to join her for their practice session. What she got was another team flying overhead, looking as if they had already booked the pitch.
"I thought Gryffindor had the pitch?" Sarah said, asking the same question Dominique was already asking herself. "Why's Ravenclaw up there?"
"I have no idea…"
"Maybe you're early," Natalie suggested, glancing up towards the stands, where other groups of people had clearly gotten the same idea Sarah had to spend the first cool day in months outside. Many were laughing and rough housing, while others were lounging and seemingly soaking up every minute of being outside.
Dominique screwed up her face in confusion. What the hell…? This was her time to practice.
"Shall we sit and wait?" Sarah asked.
Dominique didn't answer her. She had already taken to the stairwell that led up the bleachers after she'd spotted someone who she knew would have some sort of answer for her as to why Ravenclaw was flying over head…or at least, he better have one.
"Durrin!" she yelled the moment she was within earshot of the lanky, copper-haired boy who was sitting with one of the groups of people on a front bleacher. When he turned to see who calling his name, she noticed that was half dressed in his Keeper's equipment. Clearly, if the Captain of her team had come prepared to practice, she wasn't mental in thinking they should be out there.
"Yes?" Durrin called back, just as several of his friends turned to see who he was talking to.
Dominique pointed directly up into the air. "What is this?"
"The sky?" he offered.
She stared back at him, her expression begging to ask him if he was really that thick. "Don't be smart, you're not good at it."
"They're almost done," said Durrin calmly. "Don't get your knickers in a twist...again."
"You can leave my knickers out of this, thanks," Dominique muttered. "And why is it that you always let Ravenclaw get away with taking up the pitch longer than they're supposed to? You know damn well when Harper and Hufflepuff get out here later, they'll have no problem booting us out."
"Nicki," Durrin said, his voice now sounding tired. "A lot of good practice will do us right now when it's just you and me out here." He gestured around. "We're missing five other people."
"Yeah, but think of the 'good' Ravenclaw is getting because they're collecting more and more minutes of practice on our time."
"Gee, Durr," said a pretty Ravenclaw girl who happened to be sitting next to Durrin, "look at you getting told." She smiled at him. "Who exactly is the Captain here?"
"Now, that's an excellent question," snapped Dominique. She turned around the spot, but shouted back, "Tell you what, Durrin. When you pull your head out of your arse and decide you need people to play on your Quidditch team, you just let me know when you need me."
"I'll tell you right now that I'm going to need you to fly about fifty laps," Durrin shouted back.
"At least I'd be doing something!" Dominique yelled, just as she almost ran straight into where Sarah and Natalie were still standing in the aisle, watching the entire display.
"Well, then…" said Sarah, avoiding the path of her clearly annoyed friend.
"He's being a royal prat," Dominique spat, taking to the rest of the stairs that led to the upper levels of bleachers. "Making me fly fifty laps…Who does he think he is?"
"The Captain?" Natalie offered.
"Oh, no one asked you," Dominique muttered, now marching up the stairs.
"You did just attempt undermine his authority as Captain in front of his friends," Sarah said, trudging up the stairs after her with Natalie in tow. "Can you really blame him?"
"Undermine his authority!?" Dominique asked, stopping to turn and see if Sarah was being serious. When her expression appeared to say she, in fact, was, Dominique was close to lecturing her on the way Durrin should be acting as a proper Captain. However, she instead blinked and gaped at the sheer lack of understanding Sarah had for her side of the argument. She turned back around and continuing her march up the stairs. "He's an idiot. They're all idiots. This is why Ravenclaw beat us earlier in the year."
"Did we lose that match?" Natalie asked, just as Dominique finally chose a row and plopped herself down in a seat. "I don't remember…"
"Well, yeah…" Sarah said hesitantly. "It wasn't pretty."
"Oh, wait, that's the match where they killed us? The score was really unbalanced, right? Something like 500 to 120?"
Sarah took the seat next to Dominique and threw Natalie a silencing look before quickly looking back at Dominique. With a now optimistic grin plastered across her face, she muttered, "There's always next year. I mean, it wasn't that bad…"
"Save your pity," she said, staring up at the Ravenclaw players as they circled overhead. The last thing she wanted to talk about what that travesty of a match against Ravenclaw last October; easily the most embarrassing match she'd ever participated in. "And can we just drop it? It's the last thing I want to talk…" She trailed off. "It's not as if I can change the past, so "
"Now that's the spirit!" Sarah said cheerfully. "Let's just forget it ever happened."
Dominique threw her a lofty look, wondering where this ever present good mood kept coming from today. Sure, Sarah was generally the optimist between the two of them, but today—with the defending of Natalie, the inviting her along, the random bouts of cheerfulness, and the constant smile on her face—she was acting almost loony.
Sarah grinned when she noticed she was being stared at. "What?"
"Why are you so damn cheerful?" asked Dominique.
"I'm just having a good day," Sarah said as she began bouncing her knees up and down. "Is that allowed?"
"Is it because Robbie talked to you earlier…?" Natalie asked in an obnoxiously sing-song sort of way. She was practically bursting with girlish, giggly excitement as she spoke. There was very little that Dominique found more annoying than the tone in a girl's voice when they hit their peak of girlish, giggly excitement…and Natalie spoke like that 75% of the time.
Sarah shrugged coolly, though she didn't deny it. Her smile sure did seemed a lot more fitting now that it all but screamed that this was the exact reason she was in a good mood.
"Robbie who?" Dominique asked, her annoyance from earlier now slowly calming. She knew the question always got a rise out of Sarah every time she asked it, so she continued to do it even weeks after the fact. The first time she had asked, she'd been seriously inquiring about whom this boy Sarah seemed to fancy was—since it wasn't her fault she barely paid attention to random boys in other houses. Of course, Sarah had seemed downright shocked at the idea that Dominique hadn't immediately known who he was; her argument being that he was in their year in Slytherin and had sat right next to them in Defense Against the Dark Arts for four years now. Regardless, even though Dominique was now well aware of Robbie's identity, it still never stopped her from asking the question.
Natalie sighed, though Sarah threw Dominique a look that seemed to say she was well onto what she was doing at this point and wasn't going to play anymore. "You know exactly who Robbie is."
"Ohhh, you mean the one you won't stop talking about…?" Dominique asked, pretending as if she'd just made a startling revelation. "Right. Who could forget…?"
"Ignore her," Natalie said, patting Sarah's knee excited. "What did he say?"
"Oh, Merlin beard," Dominique mumbled, "are we honestly going to dissect everything this boy ever says every time he says it? You don't see the ridiculousness in this?"
Sarah stared at her. The best part about Sarah was that she was usually very sensible and rational—it was why she and Dominique were such good friends—but there was no denying that there were times she felt like being girly and giggly with the rest of them. This seemed to be one of those times…
"You are currently on ignore," Sarah said, reaching out to press Dominique on the shoulder, as if she was pushing some sort of button. She quickly smiled and turned back towards Natalie. "So, this is what happened, and tell me if I'm mad, but—"
"You're mad," Dominique interrupted. "We don't even need to hear the story, you're absolutely, barking mad."
Sarah swung back around and began poking Dominique's shoulder in the same push-button manner as before, only this time she did it about ten times. "Now you're on mute!"
"Ow!" Dominique laughed, though she immediately scooted herself about three feet down the bench from the other girls—and far from Sarah's pointy finger. As she now sat rubbing her shoulder, she shouted, "Tell you what. You just tell me when you've decided to reclaim your sanity and I'll come back down there."
"You are aware of what mute means, aren't you?" Sarah called back.
"Sar, you're about this close to getting kicked," Dominique retorted.
"And I'll just kick you right back," Sarah said, throwing her one last smile before turning back to Natalie. "ANYWAY…"
Dominique smirked at the exchange, though soon exhaled heavily as she let herself slump down in her seat and stare up at the Ravenclaw players over head. She hated the Ravenclaw team…well, she hated Hufflepuff team and the Slytherin team too, but she especially hated Ravenclaw. They were so smarmy and cocky; they thought they were sooooo special because they were only undefeated team at the moment. Not to mention that they were all such know-it-alls…
She laughed to herself. If they only knew half the stories she'd heard about the collection of them…well, that would shut them up a bit. They may be undefeated, but they weren't without some scandal. And while it was true that she may not be have been into much of the topics that the girls around her liked to talk about, she definitely enjoyed her fair share of gossip and gossiping. That, she would never tire of.
Above her, the Ravenclaw Chasers were all lobbing the Quaffle to one another—two boys and a girl. Every so often, they'd break from the pack and head towards the Keeper, who in turn had to stop his discussion with the Beaters to actually tend to his hoops. How did they keep winning so many matches!? They looked so sloppy—
"Okay, we're done!" Sarah called down to her casually. "You may now rejoin the realm sane people."
"Oh, I think you're the one who has to do some rejoining," said Dominique as she stood herself back up and walked back down to take her previous seat. Before she sat, however, she shoved her hands into her pockets and stared down at Sarah. "Do tell me, though. Over the course of your conversation, did you dissect the way Robbie pronounced the word 'hello' and then analyze how his inflection upon a particular syllable determined exactly how much he fancies you?"
"That's exactly what we talked about," Sarah said, making her voice sound blatantly sarcastic. "How did you know?!"
"Oh, I have my ways of—" she stopped and looked around conspicuously, as if making sure no one else was around to hear them. She lowered her voice to a whisper. "Do you really want to know?"
Sarah sat up straight and folded her hands across her lap, as if pretending to eagerly anticipate the news. "I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight if you don't tell me."
"Well…" Dominique whispered as she leaned in closer "It's because…" She suddenly pulled away, threw her arms in the air, and yelled at the top of her lungs, "I POSSES THE INNER EYE!"
Almost immediately after screaming it, Dominique and Sarah both lost themselves to a fit of giggles. Several of the people who were sitting down below stopped what they were doing and turned to see what the commotion was all about; most had looks of bewilderment and confusion on their faces, but no one's expression was currently better than Natalie's. For whatever reason, she looked utterly mortified.
"You don't say?" said Sarah, struggling to regain her composure between bouts of laughter. "Well, I happen to think your inner eye is much nicer than any of your outer ones."
"I get that a lot," Dominique said coolly, throwing the Ravenclaw girls who were still looking in her direction a little wave as she plopped back down next to Sarah. With a causal glance down the bench, she noticed Natalie was still looking completely embarrassed at the display.
"Come on, Natalie, it was a joke," Dominique said. "Calm down."
"I just didn't think it was funny," Natalie said, sounding defensive all of the sudden.
"Really?" Dominique asked, her tone suddenly charged as she was all too quickly reminded of why she wasn't fond of Natalie. "Because you know what I think? I think you just don't like looking anything less than perfectly 'cool'," she made air quotes with her fingers, "in front of the 'cool'," she again made air quotes with her fingers, "fifth and sixth-years down there."
"That's…not…" She turned away from Dominique, her voice disappearing as she did.
Sarah threw Dominique a smirk before mouthing, "Stop it."
"I didn't do anything," Dominique said, not at all trying to keep her voice down. "She should learn to stop caring about what other people think so much."
Sarah mouthed, "Stop it," a little more forcefully this time.
"I don't care as much as you think I do," Natalie said, swinging back around to face her.
Dominique blinked. Well, this was a new turn of events. Natalie never did anything but lie down and take things, but here she was showing a little life. Even Sarah looked surprised by the reaction, but Dominique couldn't have been more pleased. She'd been hoping Natalie would show any signs of being more than just a vapid sheep since the day she'd met her…This could be promising.
"Right, sure, of course…" said Dominique, deciding to see how far she could push this. "It's not as if you don't live and breathe what those girls," she pointed down to the group below, "think of you. It's all you care about."
"You think you know everything," Natalie said coldly.
"Yeah, well at least I think, period," Dominique muttered. "You should try it some time."
It was then that Sarah swatted her in the arm, the playfulness in her expression gone. "Bitch, much?"
Dominique threw Sarah a look that said, "You know damn well that the poor girl is as dumb as toast," but Sarah's face remained cross. At times like this, having Sarah around made Dominique feel like she had a second mother telling her to play nice in the sandbox. Still, with a resolute sigh, Dominique leaned forward to look around Sarah, and caught Natalie's eye. "Fine. I'm a bitch. You know this. What do I know? Ignore me."
"Trust me, I do," Natalie said without looking at her.
With that, Dominique leaned back and threw Sarah a look that silently asked, "Happy?"
Sarah smiled and looked up towards the sky, though her eyes quickly began travelling back down towards the ground. When Dominique turned to see what she was staring at, she noticed that the Ravenclaw team was one by one descending from the sky and landing on various spots around the pitch. Almost immediately, the group of people who had been sitting and watching the practice below began to stand and clamor down to greet the players.
"Ravenclaw, by far, has the best looking players," Natalie said absently, already sounding as if she'd moved on and forgotten about moments earlier—which wasn't surprising considering she had the attention span of a puppy.
"By far," Sarah agreed. "Well, the boys are at least."
"Well, obviously," Natalie said. "But who's talking about the girls?"
Dominique squinted down towards the pitch, where the players—two girls and five boys—were now dismounting their brooms and stopping to talk to the people who had come to join them. "You really think so?"
"Yes," said both girls in unison, with Natalie adding another, "Obviously."
"Wait, this is because of Reynolds, isn't it?" Dominique asked.
Sarah began to stupidly grin, while Natalie's gaze suddenly looked glazed over. It was as if some fantasy she'd concocted in her mind was now visibly playing across her face to everyone who bothered to look. To top it off, Dominique was almost positive she'd detected an actual swoon coming from one of them.
"Even you can't deny how gorgeous Stuart Reynolds is," Sarah added.
"Watch me," Dominique said. "He does nothing for me."
"She's blind," Sarah said to Natalie.
"Clearly," Natalie agreed almost immediately. "I mean, Nicki, he's perfect. Look at him."
"Well, then I guess I'm broken, because…" Dominique gestured to down to where the tall, well-built, perfect cheekbones, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Reynolds stood wrapping his arms around the pretty brunette who had been sitting next to Durrin earlier. "Look at him. He's…" she made a face, "too pretty. I don't want a guy who's prettier than I am."
"You know," Sarah said, suddenly sounding earnest, "you could easily be prettier than he is if you wanted to be. I mean, I've told you time and time again that I think you're prettier than Victoire, and you know practically everyone here goes around saying how she's one of the best looking girls in school."
Dominique cringed, not at all in the mood to listen to any of this. "You're missing the point…"
"No, I get the point," Sarah said, glancing back at her, "I was just commenting on your comment."
"You're mad if you don't think he's cute," Natalie said, still looking as she was mentally planning her and Stuart's wedding.
"No, I just have different tastes," said Dominique as she stared down at Reynolds in an attempt to figure out why it was that this boy had so many girls ready to drop their knickers at a moment's notice. It wasn't that she couldn't wrap her head around why so many girls dug him, it was more that she couldn't understand why he did nothing—absolutely nothing—for her.
"I would kill to be Elizabeth Cole," Natalie added, sighing loudly.
"She's definitely lucky," Sarah said, sitting up a little straighter and finally looking as if she'd snapped out of fantasy land at the mere mention of Reynolds's very real girlfriend. "She gets to snog that whenever she wants."
"And she's practically the nicest person ever," Natalie muttered, finally tearing her eyes away from the pitch for a half a second to glance at Sarah. "I honestly wish she was a bitch like Colleen so I can properly hate her, but she's like the friendliest person in the universe." She turned back to the sight below, where Cole was playfully teasing Reynolds about something. "And she's so pretty, isn't she?"
"She's really pretty," Sarah agreed.
Natalie crossed her arms across her chest. "Uggg, I hate her."
"Yes, because Merlin forbid that a nice, sweet, smart girl gets to date your make-believe boyfriend," Dominique joked.
"Oh, wait a tic," Sarah said suddenly, her eyes focusing on something else entirely. "I've now changed my mind. Nat, you can have Reynolds, I'll take Thorpe."
Natalie smiled, seemingly now taking notice of what Sarah had clearly detected first and what Dominique was also just now witnessing. Down below, David Thorpe, another pretty-boy sort—who also happened to be her sister's boyfriend—had taken off his shirt. This act was something Dominique had noticed he did quite often around the Quidditch pitch—or at least he had after Ravenclaw had beaten Gryffindor earlier in the year. That thought alone made her pull a face. If he liked pulling off his shirt so much, she couldn't help but wonder how often he pulled it—and other things—off around her sister.
"Is he mental?" Dominique said. "It's not exactly warm out. Why's he got his shirt off?"
"He's clearly hot," said Natalie.
"Very hot…" Sarah said, smirking at Dominique. "Shhh, don't tell him it's cold out or else he might put it back on."
Dominique could feel her eyes roll into the back of her head. "Is this the part where I get to hear about how much you two hate Victoire for dating him?"
"No, I love Victoire," Sarah said, shaking her head. "I think she's a very lucky girl."
"Right…" Dominique said, her tone now sounding bored. "She lives a charmed, charmed life."
"Oh, stop it," Sarah said, swatting her playfully in the leg at the same time Dominique happened to notice her brother, Louis, and his friends, Jack Ians and Flynn Taggart, appear down below at the entrance to the stadium.
She immediately stood up in the hopes that perhaps they'd look up and notice her and the others sitting up here. Given the current topic of conversation, she actually couldn't be happier to see them. With boys around, they could all talk about things other than…boys.
"Who do you think is cute, then, Nicki?" Natalie asked, not yet noticing what Dominique had. "You're making fun of me and Sarah, but you go on and put someone out there."
"I would if there was anyone in this school who I found at all attractive," said Dominique before immediately following with, "Louis!"
Her brother, still hovering around the bottom of the stairs with Jack and Flynn, turned to look up. She waved down to him and he waved back, which made her then beckon for him to join them. From beside her, Natalie immediately sat up at attention.
"Wonder what they're all doing out here?" Sarah asked, watching as Louis, Jack, and Flynn climbed the stairs towards them.
"Maybe you should ask them," Dominique said obviously.
"Maybe I will…"
"Maybe you should…"
"Maybe…" She stopped and suddenly yelled to the boys, who were now within reasonable earshot, "What are guys doing out here!!?" before quickly turning back to Dominique. "I did…"
"Nice," Dominique laughed, just as all three boys congregated around them. She grinned at each one. "Well, hello, gentlemen."
"Ladies," Louis said, nodding at all of them. Sarah threw him a lazy nod hello while Natalie now appeared to be taking turns between sneaking looks at his face and then quickly looking away. She couldn't seem to stop doing this.
"What's going on?" Jack asked, taking a seat two rows down from the group and throwing his Beater's equipment down beside him. "I thought I was late for practice, but—?"
"Durrin's being a prick and has essentially decided to throw in the towel this season," said Dominique flatly.
Jack blinked. "Say that again?"
"Her and Durrin had a bit of an argument," Sarah said.
"Practice hasn't even started yet and you've managed to set people off?" asked Louis, who had taken the moment to walk over and stand near his sister. "How do you do it?"
Dominique shrugged. "It's a talent."
"It sure is," Louis muttered, who was still standing for some odd reason. He was now glancing between her and Sarah, seemingly trying to figure something.
"Would you sit," Dominique said, glaring at her brother. "You're making me nervous just standing there."
"I'm trying to work out which of you is more comfortable."
"I don't even know what that means," Dominique said shortly, "but I promise you the answer is not me."
"I don't think it's me, either," Sarah said. "Comfortable is not one of words I'd generally use to describe myself." She grinned and pretended to hold her hand out to have it invisibly shaken. "Hi, I'm Sarah, and I'm comfortable."
"It kind of sounds like you're saying you're easy," said Flynn.
Sarah shot him a sharp look. "How are comfortable and easy in any way the same thing?"
"No, I see where he's coming from," said Louis, who as he spoke had decided to take the seat directly below Sarah and, in turn, now use her legs as a back rest. "You've heard of loose women, right?"
"I'm not sure I like where this is going…" said Dominique.
"Hear me out," Louis said, leaning his head back into Sarah's lap to look up at her upside down. "And then there are loose clothes, right? Loose clothes tend to be more comfortable than tight ones, so by default…"
"Exactly!" Flynn said, nodding at Louis. "See, he gets it."
Dominique and Sarah exchanged looks that all but screamed, "What the hell is he talking about?" before Dominique muttered, "My twin brother, everyone. Apparently the cleverest boy in our year, and this what you get when he opens his mouth…"
"'My twin brother everyone…'" Louis mocked, making his voice sound pitchy and obnoxious. Dominique kicked him with the side of her shoe.
"So, wait, wait, wait," Sarah said, her expression now pensive. She was staring at the back of Louis's head, though she met his eyes the second he let his head fall back again into her lap again to look up at her. "You're saying comfortable and loose are synonyms?"
"I'm saying I can see it," he said.
"And that loose and easy are synonyms?"
"When it comes to describing a particular sort of person, sure."
"And would you say you've found a comfortable spot now that you're sitting here crushing my legs?"
Louis smirked. "I know where this is going."
"Because if you did," Sarah continued matter-of-factly, as if she was presenting some sort of case in front of the entire Wizengamot, "would I be wrong in assuming that you find me comfortable?"
"I think that's what he's saying," Dominique chirped in.
"Which," she smirked down at Louis, "and this is all according your and Flynn's world of crackpot theories, you're saying that makes me…"
"I didn't say that," Louis interrupted before she could finish; though as soon as he finished speaking, he just as quickly started to laugh. "But, you have to admit, all this talk of you being comfortable and yet, look how close I am to getting between your legs…"
Both Dominique and Sarah groaned before the latter of the two flicked Louis in the side of the head and pushed him away. From several seats down, Jack was trying to hide his grin, though Flynn wasn't even bothering to do the same.
"Well, I hope you treasured your time there, Louis," Sarah muttered, "because I can safely say that's as close as you'll ever get to that destination again."
"It was very special," Louis joked, glancing over an oddly silent Natalie. Truth be told, Dominique had almost forgotten she was still there given how little she'd spoken since the boys had arrived. She rather liked this silent Natalie.
"Hi there," Louis said slowly, as if playfully prompting her to speak. It seemed Dominique wasn't the only one noticing her unusual lack of chatter.
"Hi, Louis," she said with a small smile, though Dominique definitely detected some color rising in her cheeks as she spoke…and she really didn't like the look of those pink cheeks and what that rising color probably meant.
"Natalie, do you ever shut up?" Flynn joked.
"Eh, can you blame her?" Louis asked as he took to the seat beside her and smiled. "Who can ever get a word in edgewise between these two?" He gestured to Dominique and Sarah.
"Oh, I don't want to hear it," said Dominique. "Not even five minutes ago, I could barely get her and Sarah to shut up about wanting to marry Reynolds and Thorpe down there."
Natalie closed her eyes, her cheeks now much redder than before and even redder than they'd been after Dominique's earlier outburst; Sarah, however, shrugged as if she wasn't afraid to own up to the fact. "They're cute, what do you want?"
"Why does Thorpe have his shirt off when it's cold out?" Louis asked.
"How about you do us a favor and not remind him of that little detail?" Sarah asked, looking over at him. "Because if he puts it back on and I'm stuck looking at you three instead…"
"Nic," Louis said, learning around Natalie and Sarah to catch her eye. "I think we need to have a little chat with Victoire about this boyfriend of hers."
"As if she'd listen to anything we'd have to say."
"Still…" Louis muttered.
"He's actually a really nice bloke," Jack said, glancing down at the pitch. "If you get to talking to him, he's really laid-back."
"Jack is like Durrin," Dominique said, now pointing to where Durrin was chatting with several of the Ravenclaw players as he put on the rest of his Keeper's gear. "He likes to make friends with the enemy. Always trying to be chummy, even though most of them will turn around and knock you straight off your broom if you give them the chance."
"It's good sportsmanship," said Jack, throwing her a very purposeful look. "You should try it sometime. Just because they play on another team, doesn't mean they're bad people."
"So you say," Dominique said, gesturing to the rest of the Ravenclaw team down below. "Don't act like Thorpe and Reynolds aren't real pricks sometimes. Reynolds can get really mean if he thinks a call is unfair, and I've watched Thorpe break a broom or two after loses…"
"That no worse than any of the others out there," Jack muttered. "No worse than anyone on our team."
"No worse than you…" Louis added, though Dominique ignored this comment.
"Oh, don't me wrong," Dominique continued, "no, the others are certainly worse. Griffin Giggleswick, for example, is the definition of a piss poor sport. Honestly, the excuses he makes and the things he says…" She wrinkled her nose in disgust. "He's also what happens when a troll decides to mate with a monkey…"
A few people, and even Jack, snorted a laugh at that, though Jack immediately added—as diplomatically as possible, "He sometimes can be a bit much…"
"And Melanie Filterwich," Dominique continued, "is a dirty whore-faced cheat."
"Gee, Nic," Sarah muttered, "how do you really feel about her?"
"Wait, how can one be whore-faced, exactly?" Natalie asked.
Dominique stood up and pointed down below. "Go look at Melanie Filterwich and find out! Penelope Shears is also another prime example of this."
"Yeah, but at least Shears is attractive," Louis mumbled. "Filterwich looks like…"
"A foot?" Flynn offered.
"Well, I was trying not to be mean, but…" Louis shrugged.
"No, a foot sounds about right," Dominique said. "A cheating, whore of a foot…"
"The things that come out of your mouth," Louis said, grinning and shaking his head at his sister.
"Yeah, I'm sort of curious to see what else she's got to say about people," Flynn said, smirking up at Dominique's little display.
"Oh, Nicki's knows everyone's business," Sarah said. "She'll air everyone's secrets, especially if she doesn't like you."
"Okay," Flynn continued, "What about…?"
"John Turnabout," Natalie said, gesturing to the seventh-year Ravenclaw Captain down below.
"Screams like a girl if a Bludger is so much hit in his direction," Dominique said. "Cries like one if he gets hit."
"He does scream a lot," Jack said.
"Kirkwood Wiggs?" Flynn asked.
"Says some of the nastiest things about women that I've ever heard."
"Really?" asked Sarah.
Dominique nodded. "Tell everyone you know not to date him, because he will explicitly describe parts of your body to anyone who will listen. I know more about Abberly Hendle and Marlene Shuman than I've ever wanted to know.
Natalie's jaw dropped, while Sarah just looked outright disgusted.
"Nancy Harp," Louis said, pointing to one of Ravenclaw's Chasers.
Dominique hummed, as if she had to think about this one. "As a player, she's fairly harmless. Though she is in love with Stuart Reynolds and secretly hates Elizabeth Cole, even though they're supposed to be good friends. Finds backhanded ways to put her down constantly. Even though the girl clearly doesn't have a shot in hell, you sure have to give it to her for trying…"
"Yeah, I don't think Elizabeth has anything to worry about when it comes to Nancy," said Flynn, his face twisted into mock-horror.
"Do you really think she's that pretty?" Natalie asked, making her question sound as general as possible, though looking at Louis as she asked it.
"Yes," said Jack and Louis together, while Flynn turned to look at Natalie as if she were mad for asking.
Natalie rolled her eyes. "She's not that pretty…"
From beside Dominique, Sarah leaned into her and mumbled under her breath, "Wasn't she the one who was just going on about how pretty she was now five minutes ago? Didn't we just have this discussion?"
"But see," Dominique whispered back. "It's only true if one of the boys say it. Our opinions don't count."
Sarah tried not to laugh. "Right, silly me for thinking otherwise."
"You're a girl, you should be thinking at all," Dominique whispered. "Now get back in the kitchen and make these boys some cauldron cakes!"
Sarah snorted a laugh, but immediately covered her mouth as everyone around looked curiously in her direction. This alone seemed to make Sarah laugh harder, so she buried her face in her lap.
"What's so funny?" asked Flynn.
"She got a good look at your face, Flynn," Dominique said. "That's what so funny."
"Ha-ha…" he muttered.
"So, wait, Nic," Louis said, glancing back down at his sister, "you never did tell us how in the hell you find out all of this dirt about these people."
"Because everyone in Quidditch talks about everyone," Dominique said, glancing at Jack to back up her claim. When he half-nodded in agreement, she added, "It's like a weird, fucked up sort of club. If you're keen enough to listen, you'll hear everything about everyone through the grapevine."
"Wait, you forgot Henry Davies," Natalie said, gesturing to the one remaining player on the Ravenclaw team that Dominique had yet to out something about. Currently, he was sitting off to the side examining his broom on his own, his dark hair matted to his head in sweat.
Dominique stared at him for a moment. She honestly knew next to nothing about Davies since he was newer to the team, having only replaced their last Chaser when he'd gotten caught stealing from the Potions supplies to make illegal mood enhancing potions. She'd never actually even played against him because he had just joined after the Gryffindor match this year.
"I don't know," she said, still staring down at him as she got her first real good look at him. "He's newer. Give him time, though. I'm sure he's somehow a mess like the rest of them."
"Like you?" Louis joked.
Dominique reached over the girls sitting in between her and Louis and attempted to swat at her brother's head.
"Wow," said Sarah, struggling to keep out of the way of Dominique as she went after Louis. "I'm actually shocked you've got no opinion on Davies. That's a first…"
But Dominique hadn't heard her. At that moment, Louis had taken off running through the bleachers to escape his sister, and she had just as quickly chased after him—completely oblivious to the future weight that very statement would one day have on her. Of course unbeknownst to her then, but this was one of the last few instances in which she would not have a very strong opinion on Henry Davies.