"No one can score on Quinn Fabray."
It had been a long running statement of fact years before it became a punch line. Now it was almost a slogan for Ravenclaw/Gryffindor games.
Quinn pretended not to care.
Puck didn't really think it was funny, but he had a reputation to uphold, so he laughed and agreed anytime he heard it said. Unless Santana or Berry were around, then he would just shrug and put some sort of heavy book in front of his crotch so they wouldn't attack him.
He didn't have to worry at his own breakfast table though, and both Santana and Berry were at Slytherin's table making moon eyes at different people. He knew Santana was looking forlornly at the Hufflepuff table where Artie Abrams, Ravenclaw sixth year, was getting a little pre-game "good luck" from Brittany Pierce, Hufflepuff sixth year.
Berry though; he couldn't get a good bead on who she was mooning over. It could have been that dopey Finn Hudson guy in Hufflepuff. He was supposed to be a sixth year but got held back because he O.W.L.s were so terrible. Quidditch and eating were pretty much the only things he was good at, and Puck had heard from Mike Chang, sixth year Hufflepuff, that he had thrown a huge fit over Sam Evens, sixth year Hufflepuff, being mad Captain. The guy was nearly a squib and absolute proof that Hufflepuff had to take anyone that didn't fit in the other houses, he was the biggest asshole that Puck had ever met, and that was saying something, because not only did Puck pride himself on being a dick, but he had met Draco Malfoy once, and that guy was an asshole.
He was pretty sure Berry was way too smart and ambitious to go after a loser like Hudson. She could easily be staring at someone at the Ravenclaw table, but he had his back to them for the purpose of avoiding looking at Quinn.
Puck shrugged to himself and put more eggs in his mouth. He had a hard game ahead of him. Just because he was only one that score on Quinn Fabray didn't mean it was easy to do so. He would have to come up with a new shot pattern.
He looked down at his plate and completely missed Rachel Berry getting up from the Slytherin table and making her move.
"Good luck in the game today, Quinn." The blonde that had been addressed stiffened reflexively. She would recognize that voice anywhere, and it was exactly the one she hadn't wanted to hear that morning.
"Oh, thank-" Quinn looked up to thank the girl, who she had not been avoiding at all since their last encounter, hoping that she would just accept the thanks and then keep walking, but was stopped mid-plan by what the other girl was wearing. "What are you wearing?" Usually on casual days such as weekends and game days, Rachel would sport some sort of terrible sweater and skirt combo in horrid prints and patterns. It almost made it easier for Quinn to look at her when she was in her hideous casual fashion because it made her slightly less attractive. Now though, she was wearing tight, tight, denim trousers that Quinn knew were called jeans by the muggleborn kids, along with the Ravenclaw house Quidditch shirt from two years ago. It had a buff eagle caricature on it and the words Shake Your Tail Feathers in bronze ink. The back listed the names of the students on the Quidditch team and in the reserves. It had been Quinn's first year on the team as first string Keeper and it was therefore her favorite shirt.
"Do you like it? Tina lent it to me. I' m supporting Ravenclaw in the match today, but I found that I had nothing suitable to wear."
The blonde's brows drew together. "Yeah, it's great."
"She also taught me the Ravenclaw house song. I've always thought it sounded so elegant and haunting. It's certainly nothing like the Slytherin song. I confess that I prefer it actually."
"That's…nice." Quinn shifted uncomfortably in her seat, eyes darting around to avoid looking at Rachel's long legs and firm ass encased in those tight, tight jeans. She hated casual days for several reasons, not the least of which was Rachel's tendency to wear revealing clothing. She didn't want to think about Rachel singing either. Her voice was just one more of Quinn's many weaknesses when it came to the pint sized diva.
One would think that there wouldn't be much opportunity for singing at a school for magic, but Rachel somehow managed to bring up her talent and her future plans at least twice an hour, no matter the situation. A few weeks ago the girl had gone on a long rant about how the fumes from the potions in Potions Lab were likely highly detrimental to her future career as a Broadway star. Quinn had rolled her eyes with the rest of the class, but she hadn't jeered the girl like some of the Gryffindors had.
"I was wondering if we could talk about what happened the other night."
Quinn stiffened. That was the last thing she wanted to do. She and Rachel had been tiptoeing around each other for years. At first it was easy to treat her poorly. It was almost excusable to be mean and borderline violent to Slytherins that refused to join the DA. Then her excuse had been snatched away and a forced politeness took its place. That had evolved easily into a flirtatious relationship. Rachel was an observant girl. She had noticed the looks and the blushes and the subtle flirting, but every time she attempted to act on it the blonde would backtrack. It was like trying to get past a sphinx. "Actually, can we not?"
"Quinn, I don't mean to push you, but-"
"Look, Rachel, we can talk about it later if you want, but I need to focus on the game. I don't have time for any drama right now."
"I was just going to inquire about your-"
"Rachel, I'm serious. Not now." She tried to ignore the way that Rachel taking a step back and looking down like a scolded puppy made her feel like a complete ass. "Later, I promise."
"After the game?"
Rachel nodded meekly and stepped away. "Good luck again Quinn."
Why in Merlin's name did I promise her?
Quinn shook her head and turned back to her breakfast and the parchment beside her plate. She had been in the process of formulating their game strategy when Rachel interrupted her. Not that it would do much good really, everyone with half a brain could figure out the Gryffindor game plan. Get the Quaffle to Puck and he would do the rest. Also catch the Snitch. The plan hadn't changed since Quinn had made Keeper and it wasn't likely to until she graduated.
Quinn wasn't one for long motivational speeches. She also wasn't the type to yell "LET'S KICK SOME ASS!" like Puck was doing in the locker room next door. The Gryffindors were cheering loudly, chanting their weird "DONUT" pep-chant, something the pureblood had never really understood, but had apparently been tradition for the last decade.
No, she was cool and calm and clinical. She gave precise direction and set marks. The main goal was to keep the Quaffle as far from Puck as possible and to put him out of commission if they could. Her beaters weren't the best (that honor belonged to Karofsky and Lopez in Slytherin), but they were the best she could get. Her team was highly trained and dedicated; all that they needed was a little bit of luck.
"Alright, boys, let's get on the pitch and shows those kittens what we're made of."
Her eagles cheered, much less violently than the lions next door, and they all trooped out to the Quidditch pitch to loud cheers from the Ravenclaw and Slytherin sections. The snakes always sided with whoever was playing against Gryffindor; theirs was a rivalry that would never be completely broken. She couldn't help the way she glanced through the Slytherins, hoping to catch a flash of blue in the green. She couldn't though, it was packed.
The Gryffindor's were already lined up on their side of the pitch, Puck forward as captain and the rest lined up straight across behind him. Quinn took up her position directly in front of him and gave him her best scowl. Coach Sylvester, the head of Slytherin and soul in charge of broom lessons and Quidditch refereeing, walked up with the trunk that held the balls and sat it down at their feet.
"Shake," she ordered without preamble, like she was talking to trained dogs.
Quinn and Noah shook hands, the blonde sneering at the boy's cocky smirk.
"Alright, mount your brooms, not each other," the older woman snarked when Puck didn't immediately let go of Quinn's hand. The younger blonde felt her face grow hot under the snickers of the Gryffindors behind their Captain. She forcefully removed her hand from Puck's and mounted her broom, a vintage Firebolt, and shot into the air again. The rest of her team followed and her Chasers moved into formation as she flew off to the goal posts. She saw her Seeker fly high into the sky and the Gryffindor Seeker do the same at the other end of the field.
The Gryffindors are chanting their song before the Quaffle is even released, and Quinn can't help but smile when she sees Puck and the other Gryffindor players get distracted by it.
In a western tower of Hogwarts
Is the house that I love best,
The home of the mighty lions
We always outshine the rest.
The chorus created a wave of motion over the stands when on every 'Hurrah' the Gryffindors would pump their fists into the air jubilantly.
Hurrah for the Gryffindor lions,
Hurrah for the red and gold!
Hurrah for the Gryffindor lions,
We fly to victory!
The Bludgers being released distracted them momentarily and she laughed loudly when Puck had to actually dodge one.
Whenever we are in a game
or wherever we may be
to fight for right with all our might
that is our victory!
The red and gold section of the audience finished of the song with one more rousing rendition of the chorus before breaking into loud cheers and various chants that were lost in the noise since they neglected to do them in sync. Quinn looked down at the pitch in time to see Sylvester release the Snitch. She barely saw the glint of gold escape her hand before she lost sight of the ball. Her Seeker, a tiny fourth year named Max, tracked it for several seconds more, sitting stationary on his broom and looking like a dog pulling at its chain. He was the second best Seeker at the school and the absolute best that Ravenclaw house had ever had.
The Quaffle was released just as the Ravenclaw supporters began the Eagle chant (E-E-E-A-G-L-L-L-E-S! E-A-G-L-E-S! GO EAGLES!) and Quinn took it as a sign of good fortune when Artie snatched up the red ball right away. The game was immediately taken to the Gryffindor side of the field and Artie was dodging the mark Puck had on him expertly, so Quinn had a little time to just observe. She dodged a stray Bludger and grinned at her Beater that came pelting after it.
Only a few minutes later that clang of a goal echoed over the pitch and there was a jubilant screech among the Ravenclaw spectators. Artie managed to maintain possession of the Quaffle for three more goals before Puck got it away from him. She thought she saw the larger boy plant his foot on Artie's chest when he wrestled the ball away, but she couldn't be sure from such a distance. Before too long, and with only a brief pause in the middle of the pitch to scuffle over possession, but it only lasted long enough to blink and then Quinn was fending off Puckerman.
The Gryffindor team had learned long ago that only Puck could score on her and only if he came up with a shot sequence that got her confused enough. This required that he have time to shoot multiple goals without losing possession. His Chasers and Beaters are left in charge of taking Artie and the other two Ravenclaw Chasers out of the game.
Puck only got four attempts at the goal before Artie broke away and distracted him. It was back and forth for over an hour after that, and Puck managed to make two goals, to Quinn's consternation. Happily though, Artie and her other chasers made five in that time and Ravenclaw was ahead.
The bespectacled boy was closing in for another goal when Puck intercepted him.
Puck felt bad. He really did. But his promise to Santana and his obligation to Kurt was more important than morals. He would make it look good. He would make it look like an accident. He would make himself look like a hero while also allowing Artie to fall.
The ends justified the means.
And then he planted his foot on Artie's chest, grabbed the boy's broom by the handle under the folds of his robes with one hand and hooked the Quaffle under his free arm, and pushed.
Quinn felt like her heart had flown up into her throat as she watched the boy's decent. Puck had noticed too and dropped the Quaffle; breaking into a dive with his arm outstretched so he could catch one of Artie's flailing hands. Their hands connected a few times but Puck couldn't get a tight hold. Quinn's hands moved to her throat and then to her eyes, but she couldn't blind herself completely. She peeked between her fingers as Artie plummeted with Puck on his tail, flat over his broomstick. The mohawked boy finally grabbed Artie's hand firmly, but it was too late. Puck didn't have time to pull his broom back up and so Artie hit the ground hard on his back, head and legs slamming down afterward and then Puck followed, nearly landing right on top of the boy. His broom clattered away, apparently undamaged.
A rare timeout was called and the Seekers had to hit the pitch along with Quinn and the Quaffle. The other players stayed hovering in the air and the Beaters kept the Bludgers from attacking.
Artie was a mess but he was alive and, according to the nurse, 'fixable.' Sylvester gave Puck, who was only sore and badly bruised, a proper reaming and awarded a penalty shot to Ravenclaw. Quinn had to call in her reserve Chaser. When they got back in the air for the shot, after Artie had been carried away on a floating stretcher, Puck gave a signal to his keeper and the boy kept well out of the way of the shot. Ten more points to Ravenclaw.
In the end, Max caught the Snitch for a decisive Ravenclaw victory. It hardly mattered that her reserve Chaser wasn't near Artie's caliber, Puck didn't even try for more goals. Quinn assumed he felt guilty, but his taking it easy on them just pissed her off instead of making her feel vindicated.
Quinn didn't feel much like celebrating. She just wanted to go to the hospital wing and check on Artie, but she mounted her broom and led the victory laps like a good captain, smiling a little at the haunting sound of the Ravenclaw house song drifting over the pitch.
Dear old Ravenclaw house,
Grand old Ravenclaw house,
Champion house in all Hogwarts.
We're loyal just to you,
Faithful and true blue,
We always will uphold you as the best.
House of Eagle fame,
Winners of the game,
fly right through to victory.
Fight right to the end,
And when we've won it then,
Three cheers for grand old Ravenclaw!
As the last verse died down, Quinn led her team to the ground and then to the locker rooms. They were all subdued, and it was agreed that they would go to the hospital wing before they joined the quiet celebration that Ravenclaw's Quidditch fans would be putting on for them.
When she exited the locker room first, in an effort to get some alone time and fresh air before they all trudged up to the castle, she immediately wished she had waited.
Rachel was waiting, her borrowed t-shirt and scarf making her nearly unrecognizable for a moment.
Quinn found herself speaking automatically, her brain-to-mouth filter going on the fritz just like it always did when she was around the brunette. "You look good in blue."
Rachel might have blushed, and she did bite her bottom lip and look down at the grass. "I look better in green, but thank you." She paused. "Congratulations, by the way."
"I don't really feel like celebrating." She shrugged.
"Do you feel like talking?"
Quinn sighed. "I know I said we would, but I need to go with the others to see Artie." The Slytherin nodded in understanding, looking disappointed just the same. "Rain check?"
Quinn stepped forward, still not thinking clearly. "You should come to the party."
Brown eyes snapped up to meet shining hazel. "Really?"
Quinn ducked her head and pulled on the end of Rachel's blue and bronze scarf. "Yeah, you're one of us today."
Rachel beamed and Quinn had to look away before the expression made her heart beat right out of her chest. "Ok, um, I'll see you there?"
"Yeah, do you know where the dorm is?"
"Eastern tower, spiral staircase."
The door to the locker room opened and a few of Quinn's teammates stepped out. She motioned for them to wait for her and turned back to the brunette. "Maybe we can talk at the party. Maybe."
Rachel nodded. "You should go. Give Artie my regards."
Quinn nodded and walked backwards to her players, only reluctantly taking her eyes off the Slytherin when she reached them. She sighed.
It's going to be a long night.
I know I said there was only going to be three chapters of this...I was wrong. There's at least one more, and this might turn into something bigger. Hope you like it. Please tell me if you do in a review...