TWELVE. The Game
I lay down on my bed staring at the ceiling, wide-awake and not even close to falling asleep. My mind was on hyper drive with thoughts flying in and out and memories replaying themselves over and over as if the rewind button in my head was broken.
My fingers tapped anxiously on my stomach as I watched the night slowly change into morning . . . the morning of the game.
I closed my eyes and bit my lip as more and more light escaped through the curtains, illuminating the dorm. Scorpius' voice echoed in my mind.
"See you at the game tomorrow."
I heard him say, with that familiar smirk plastered on his face. My face grew warmer as I remembered the events that transpired last night, how contrasting the emotions I felt with Timmy and with Malfoy.
I turned to lie down on my side, my fingers now playing with the edges of the blankets. As even more light shone threw the curtains, I was only reminded that the game was looming closer.
Normally, I wouldn't have given a bloody damn about a Quidditch match. I'd've spent my day inside reading a book, avoiding the unnecessarily loud screaming of deranged fans and the suffocating congestion of being seated in the bleachers. Today, however, I knew I was going to spend my day outside, actually watching the game and cheering for one side over the other.
But which side? Gryffindor . . . or Slytherin?
"Merlin," I growled to myself quietly, burrowing into my pillow.
I remained there, half suffocating myself into my pillow, until I finally noticed the other girls waking up. Beds rustled, and soft yawns and excited whispers could be heard. I glanced up and saw that the entire room was filled with sunshine – the game was soon . . . too soon.
Sophie rustled over to my bed and whispered excitedly. She was surprised to find me already wide-awake.
"Wow, you're up early," she commented.
"I didn't sleep," I told her.
Sophie's eyes widened and she laughed. "Too excited for the game?" She asked sarcastically.
"Anxious, more like," I responded.
Her eyebrows shot up. "Hold on, you're telling me you stayed up all night because of the game today?"
I nodded again.
"Bloody hell, I never thought I'd see the day Rose Weasley actually cared about a Quidditch match."
"Ugh." I buried myself back into my pillow.
Sophie peeled off my sheets in one fell swoop and nudged me up. "Get up, you lazy arse! You've got one hell of a day ahead waiting for you!"
Begrudgingly, I pushed myself off my bed and sat up. I glanced at Sophie and rolled my eyes – she was looking much too amused.
I dragged myself to the bathroom to get ready, my eyebrows furrowed in frustration as I brushed my teeth, washed my face, and put on the most boring set of clothes I could muster. I heaved out the occasional sigh here and there, just to remind Sophie, who was waiting outside, (and to an extent myself) that I was not excited for what was to come.
"Well you look . . . " Sophie pursed her lips.
"Don't even say it," I told her. "Just go get ready."
Sophie sniggered as she entered the bathroom. I plumped myself onto my bed, my feet tapping an anxious beat on the carpet.
"See you at the game tomorrow."
I heard Scorpius' voice echo in my head once again, and I involuntarily let out a loud, frustrated growl, and slammed my body back into my bed. I raked my hands through my hair and pulled on the strands angrily.
"Rose, are you alright?" I heard Sophie say as she exited the bathroom.
I sat up, and I could feel the negativity etched all over my face. "Honestly? No, I'm not."
"Do you want to –"
"No, I'm fine," I told her immediately. "Let's go get some breakfast."
Needless to say, I wasn't hungry, but if eating breakfast was going to distract me – as well as Sophie – from the blatant presence of my dilemma, then I was going to force feed myself spoonfuls.
There was an awkward silence between Sophie and me when we went down to the Great Hall, and it persisted as we ate our breakfast – the only sound that could be heard was the murmuring of other students around us, and the anxious chewing of food.
"Wotcher!" Albus said as he sat down beside me. I glanced at Sophie and smiled a little bit – she rolled her eyes at Albus' appearance, but the slight curl in her lips told me she had never been so happy to have our meal interrupted by him.
"I reckon you'll both be cheering for Slytherin today?" he grinned.
Sophie sniggered. "Of course . . . not. Rosie and I'll be cheering for Gryffindor today – as will the rest of the school," she said matter-of-factly.
As Sophie said that, I just so happened to choke on my pumpkin juice. Albus handed me a nearby napkin and patted my back gently.
"Alright there, Rosie?" Albus asked.
I nodded. "I'm not cheering for Gryffindor," I muttered under my breath.
"I beg your pardon?" Albus' jaw dropped. Sophie froze midway while eating a piece of toast.
"Did you just say you weren't cheering for Gryffindor?" Sophie said, softly so no one but Albus and I could hear, but loudly enough so I could hear the incredulity in her voice.
"So you're cheering for Slytherin?" Albus said, a grin a mile wide spreading across his face.
I shook my head.
Both Albus' and Sophie's brows furrowed.
"I haven't decided yet," I told them.
"Well you better decide soon," Albus said as several of the students stood up from their seats and rushed out of the Great Hall. "Looks like the match is about to start."
"Oh no," I said, heaving out another long and heavy sigh. I stood up from the table slowly.
"Rosie, faster!" I heard Albus say. He was bouncing up and down; clearly getting into that frenzy zone all Quidditch fans enter when there's a match. I could see the same thing was happening to Sophie, but she was containing it.
As soon as I took one step away from the Ravenclaw table, both Albus and Sophie grabbed me by the arms and dragged me out of the Great Hall. All three of us were on our toes, nearly flying all the way to the Quidditch pitch.
We fought through the dense crowd of students trying to find seats for the game. Zachary and Hugo were already seated in the bleachers, donning the familiar – and rather ridiculous – Quidditch fan attire. My dearest little brother had half his face painted red, and the other half painted gold, as well as what looked like three scarfs wrapped around his entire torso. Zachary was much tamer, and had on a Slytherin scarf Albus probably forced him to wear, and a small S painted on his cheek – probably also Albus' doing.
Albus nearly carried us up to where the two had saved us seats.
"Well I'll be," Hugo said. "Never thought I'd see the day you'd come out here to watch a game." He smirked at me.
"Love makes us do crazy things," Zachary teased.
"On the contrary," Albus piped. "Rosie here isn't cheering for Gryffindor today."
Both Hugo and Zachary sported the all too familiar look of astonishment upon hearing that shocking piece of information. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.
"I haven't decided who I'm cheering for today," I told them both.
"Why is there even a choice?" Hugo asked. "You've got family in Gryffindor!"
"She's got family in Slytherin too, thank-you-very-much," Albus interjected.
Hugo brushed him off. "You aren't even playing. Besides, we've got Honda –"
Hugo's argument was cut off by the sudden loud cheering of the students all around as, signalling the entrance of the players. I mindlessly fought my way to the front, hanging onto the edges of the bleachers as I watched the players fly in. The first player I saw was Lysander, who was milking all the attention and waving at as many people as humanly possible. He was hugging his bat and continuously flashed his pearly whites. I saw James soon after, who despite possessing the usual mischievous grin, was clearly concentrated on only one thing the Gryffindor Captain naturally would – victory.
Eventually, my eyes found Timmy as he slowly circled the pitch. He looked our direction and for a moment we locked eyes. He gave me a little wave before zooming toward the goals.
I bit my lip as I made a move to return back to my seat, when Scorpius caught my eye. Unlike Timmy, his eyes were intense, and he looked about ready to murder someone. Unlike Timmy, he didn't stare at me, he stared right into me, as if he could see my thoughts. I could feel chills running through my spine, and my heart rate increase. He didn't smile, nor did he wave, before he turned away.
Suddenly, as the whistle signalled the beginning of the game, I felt my breathing grow spasmodic. There were screams around me as Zabini lunged forward and grabbed the quaffle, nearly body slamming into all three of the Gryffindor Chasers. Both Timmy and Scorpius were positioned by the goals – their expressions told me there was no backing down.
James had procured the quaffle from Zabini and bolted through the Slytherin Chasers. He faked a turn and dived down, momentarily confusing the Slytherin Beaters. Scorpius was already positioning himself for defence as James flew higher towards the goals.
I was on my toes. Merlin, I couldn't breathe. Never in my life had I been so excited for a Quidditch match – never.
James flew right at incredible speed – and so did Scorpius, when at the last minute James dipped again, and then flew left, shooting the quaffle clean into one of the goals. Scorpius balled his fist as James flew victoriously back to the other side.
I relaxed and sat down on one of the benches. I could still hear my heart beat.
"Finally decided to cheer for Gryffindor?" Hugo whispered to me.
"I'm not sure," I told him honestly. "But after seeing James, I think I'm leaning towards red and gold."
Hugo let out a soft "Yes!" before turning his attention back to the game. After recollecting my thoughts, I stood up again to resume watching the game.
At that moment, two Slytherin Chasers were heading straight for Timmy – one of them had the quaffle firmly in his grasp. In my peripheral, I could see one of the Slytherin beaters hit the bludger so it was flying, along with Chasers, in Timmy's direction. Lysander and the other Chasers were forming a defence, but the Slytherin arsenal was moving too fast.
I was tempted to close my eyes, but I couldn't. I had to watch this play out.
The Slytherin Chasers started manoeuvring in the air, throwing the quaffle back and forth between them. The bludger was fast approaching along with them.
My heart was beating at such an incredible speed I was afraid it would beat right out of my chest.
Finally, one of the Slytherin Chasers attempted to score a goal. Timmy successfully blocked it, but with a price. Right as he caught the quaffle, the bludger slammed right into his arm.
"No!" I shouted.
Timmy's was still holding onto the quaffle, but his shoulder looked dislocated. His face was twisted in pain. The whistle signalled a time out and the entire Gryffindor team helped lower Timmy to the ground for the mediwizards.
I could feel the tears forming in the corner of my eyes as I sat back down on the bench.
"He'll be okay, Rosie," Hugo put his arm around me.
"The mediwizards will fix him right up," Sophie added.
For a few moments, the crowd was completely silent as they awaited Timmy's fate. When the whistle finally blew, I rushed to the edge of the bleachers and let out a sigh of relief as Timmy flew to the goals, a newfound determination emanating from him. There were bandages around his shoulder, but he seemed fully functional.
"Thank god," I muttered.
The game resumed. Both teams seemed to be flying with more intensity than before. The Chasers were pushing their brooms to the limits, and bludgers were flying back and forth the pitch like pingpong balls.
For what seemed like ages, nobody was scoring. Scorpius was using every inch of his body to block all advances, and Timmy hardly stayed in one spot. They were blocking the goals with their life. Gryffindor and Slytherin seemed tied – that is, until Zabini aimed the quaffle right at Timmy's injury. He recoiled in pain as the quaffle bounced off his shoulder and into the centre goal. All around me I could hear the crowd boo.
"That was a cheap shot," I heard someone mutter. I turned and was surprised to find Albus shaking his head disappointedly.
I glanced at the Slytherin goalposts and saw Scorpius' expression change for a split second – what that meant, I wasn't sure, he was too far for me to see exactly how he reacted to all this.
James was angry – I could see it in his face, and even more in his actions. As soon as the quaffle came back into play, he slammed his body into as many of the Slytherin players as he could as he zoomed to the opposite side, and threw the quaffle into the goal so quickly Scorpius couldn't even move.
As the game continued, I saw each side grow more and more competitive with every second. I also saw their emotions slowly affecting their gameplay, because their movements were becoming angrier and more reckless. The Beaters' aim was becoming less precise, and the Chasers were putting as much effort into knocking each other off their brooms as they were into scoring goals.
Slytherin and Gryffindor were neck-and-neck, and as the game continued, I was growing more and more unsure about which team I wanted to win today.
Minutes passed, Slytherin was in the lead now. I looked to the goals and Timmy was breathing heavily, his other hand discreetly massaging his shoulder. His injury was catching up to him.
The points were racking up, to Slytherin's advantage. The score was now 160-100.
Just as Zabini looked about ready to score another goal, the Gryffindor Seeker suddenly dashed through the pitch and dove. He'd spotted the Snitch.
The Slytherin Seeker followed suit, forcing his broom to go as fast as it could. For a moment even the players themselves were watching the two Seekers go neck and neck, before one of the Gryffindor Chasers stole the quaffle from Zabini and made a move toward the goals.
I didn't tear my eyes away from the Seekers. I watched as they flew, almost entirely separated from their brooms, following the Snitch's trail. As the Snitch flew upward, both Seekers jumped from their brooms and reached out for the Snitch, their fingers equally as close to the golden ball.
I saw the Snitch disappear into one of their palms as both players fell to the ground in a crumpled heap. The whistle was blown, signalling the end of the game. The winner had been decided.
But who caught the Snitch?
First of all, I'm so so so sorry this took so long! I've been so caught up with the last of my senior year, and then college, that I just couldn't find the time to write this one out.
Anyway, after the extremely long wait, here it is! The long awaited Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherin! This is the first I'd ever written for a Quidditch match, so I'm sorry about that, but I tried!
So tell me what you guys think, and also who you think caught that Snitch! And also, thank you to those who reviewed and continued to ask me to continue this story - you're what inspired me to continue writing it, despite such a long hiatus.
I can't promise I'll have the next chapter up by next week, but I will try to have it up as soon as possible :)