Betting on Bludgers

A HariPo oneshot

by mew-tsubaki

Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. This pairing was discovered by me, so please gimme a little mention if you write them! Thanks! It is one of many of Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings, most of which you may find in the M&MWP forum. Check out and join the forum FUN! Read, review, and enjoy!

- ^-^3

"I'll bet my spot on the team that it'll never happen."

Ginny's eyes went wide at her friend, Demelza's, proclamation. "Demi…just because you don't see it doesn't mean that no one else does. And please don't joke about betting your spot on it. You're a really good Chaser—Gryffindor needs you, especially with all the trouble Harry's gotten himself into this year."

Demelza gave Ginny a look. Of course Ginny would bring that up. It wasn't hard enough on them that this was their fifth year—an important exam year—but Ginny just had to bring up Harry Potter. Demelza knew that Ginny loved him, as in really loved (poor Dean had never stood a chance), and she'd been more determined than ever to take care of the Gryffindor Quidditch team in Harry's frequent absence. So what Ginny was really telling her was, "Don't you even think of quitting on me when this is all I can do to lighten the load on his shoulders!"

Demelza was fairly certain Ginny would marry Harry someday. But that was beside the point.

"I just wish you'd stop this talk of boys," the brunette explained to the Weasley. She gathered up the Quidditch magazines with which they were done and made to return them to their place in the library, but Ginny stopped her.

"I'm not trying to be boy-obsessed," Ginny stated. "But Jimmy and Ritchie have gotten a lot showier during practice, Demelza. Just don't let the surprise nip you in the arse when Ritchie asks you out."

The girl with the braided ponytail scrunched her nose up. "Ginny—I know you like these kinds of things, but I'm not interested in romance. My focuses are tiered thusly: good marks in school, food, and Quidditch."

"What? Quidditch is last? Why?" Ginny looked horrified.

"Because without it I can hardly do well in a match. Speaking of which," Demelza continued, using her wand to return the magazines, "we have practice scheduled for after lunch, don't we? Why don't we head to the Great Hall now so we can eat earlier and be on the pitch sooner?"

Ginny huffed but conceded. "Fine…but I'll have you know that you'll have to bring your A-game today. I won't have you distracted on my pitch, but heavens know Peakes and Coote will try." She grunted as they exited the library and headed downstairs.

Down in the Great Hall, Ginny reminded the other members about practice, but then she and Demelza sat with Harry, Hermione, and Ron. Demelza jumped into the conversation where appropriate, but she knew she couldn't intrude on their foursome. Really, Harry, Hermione, and Ron were a trio, but it was hard to exclude Ginny sometimes, Demelza had observed. As for Demelza…well, she had Ginny's attention sometimes.

"Oi, Robins!"

Demelza turned in time to see Jimmy Peakes slide onto the bench beside her. Well, if Ginny was caught up in the Golden Trio, then Demelza supposed she could enjoy a conversation elsewhere. "Yeah, Jimmy?"

He grinned. "I was wondering if you were free after practice."

She shook her head. "I'm not. I'm actually going to be doing that essay that we have due for Snape tomorrow." She glanced behind him, where Ritchie Coote sat a few seats down. He waved. "You two should consider doing it, too," she finished with emphasis.

Jimmy rolled his eyes. "Oh, Demelza…" He held his head dramatically, as if he'd been physically pained. "Can't you see when a bloke's trying to ask you something important?"

Demelza blinked. Oh. Well, Ginny had been wrong before, about Ritchie. Apparently Jimmy was the boy who wanted to be Demelza's distraction. Demelza guessed she was flattered, but… "Sorry, Jimmy. I can't. I don't like you that way."

He gave her a look as if he'd misheard her, with his brow furrowed and his mouth hanging open, all in confusion. "Wait, Demelza—"

However, Ginny stood up then and tugged on Demelza's arm. "Come on, you lot. Jimmy, grab Ritchie and Dean. I want everyone on the field in ten minutes." She motioned for Harry and Ron to come once Hermione was done talking.

- ^-^3

Practice went okay, considering Ginny worked them for the entire free period.

"I thought Harry was Captain!" Jimmy wheezed when they'd all landed.

Ginny, Harry, and Ron exchanged a look, and Ron stepped forward. "Harry's…got a full plate," he said. He looked to Dean for help.

"Just be grateful you're on the team, Jimmy," the black boy said, and Ginny nodded her thanks.

Sometimes Demelza felt as though Ginny was one of the sixth years, and not a fifth year like Demelza, Jimmy, and Ritchie. It wasn't just the Golden Trio plus Ginny these days; it felt more and more like all of the sixth-year Gryffindor boys, plus Hermione and Ginny, and that whole lot that had comprised Dumbledore's Army last year.

Demelza shook the thought from her head and headed to the showers. "Come on, Ginny, we've got Charms next."

"Yeah, I'll catch up with you in a sec," the redhead replied. And yet again, Ginny was in a world separate from Demelza's.

The brunette glared at her friend's back, because she was finally starting to feel rather fed up with Ginny's behavior. She stormed away from her and hastily showered and changed, returning to the castle before Ginny could even give anything non-trio-related a thought.

Ritchie was the first one after her, leaving Jimmy behind to put the equipment away. He ran after Demelza, but he had to grab her arm to get her to stop. "Hey, Demelza!"

"What, Ritchie?" She pushed her braid over her shoulder. "Can you be quick? I've got work to do."

His cheeks darkened with a flush. "I just, uh, wanted to say about Jimmy earlier—"

Demelza blinked. "Oh… Yeah, sorry about that. I guess I was a bit rude to him, wasn't I?" She sighed. "I didn't mean to be that way, but I don't really have time for boys, you know?"

He frowned, but he nodded, at least seeming to understand where she was coming from. "You know what? Don't worry about it. It was nothing."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah." He grinned. "I'll see you at dinner."

"Right. Bye, Ritchie."

He waved to her and turned back the way of the pitch, but Demelza was hesitant to continue to her break. Eventually the necessity to finish her essay won out, and Demelza hurried along the corridors.

- ^-^3

Thankfully, Ginny somewhat gave up on the boy talk with Demelza. Demelza was grateful for that, because it allowed for her and Ginny to talk about other things, a nice thing since she didn't speak very much with their roommates. Vicky Frobisher was kind, but she was absorbed in her various clubs. Demelza knew Vicky had tried out for Quidditch before and, like Demelza, put it last on her list of priorities, but Vicky put nearly everything else last on her list, too, so it was hard to be friends with her. Likewise, their two other roommates had better things to do than make friends within their House.

Still, for all that Ginny said nothing, Demelza had to wonder. Even Jimmy had stopped hitting on her, it seemed. And even Ritchie had stopped bugging her about Jimmy.

All in all, things weren't too bad, she supposed. Classes carried on as usual—Jimmy messed up his potion and Ritchie zoned out during Transfiguration and Ginny doodled "Ginevra Molly Potter" in her History of Magic notes—and practices were just the same—Ginny and Harry doing fabulously and the others making it by okay. Things were…back to normal. In fact, about a week passed, and Demelza had almost forgotten about Ginny butting into her "love life." Another week flew by, and Demelza dutifully split her time between getting a head start on studying for her O.W.L.s and working on her Chasing skills.

So she wasn't expecting the taboo topic to rear its ugly head again.

In a way, it didn't. All that happened was that Ritchie approached her towards the beginning of practice on a rainy Thursday afternoon. He flew up to her as she hovered high above the hoops, and he was smiling even in the rain. She didn't get that, how he could always smile.

"Looking like a drowned rat, I see," Ritchie joked.

"We look the same. We're all out in this rain," Demelza pointed out.

His expression faltered a second, but then he recovered. "Right, right. Say—"

"Ritchie, should you really be chatting?" She motioned to Harry, who was busy groaning at Ron's "skills." "Harry really is trying to keep us in shape."

"I know, I know," Ritchie rushed. "But—I've got an idea." He came up some more so that he hovered eye-to-eye with her.

She'd never noticed before, but Ritchie had really girly eyelashes. Like, really. Even in the rain, his hair was frizzier than hers, too, and he had a very feminine mouth. Actually, she realized, he was rather pretty. The thought made her self-conscious and feel as though she was a boy before him.

"For every Bludger that Jimmy and I hit through the hoops—"

Demelza snapped back to reality. "What? Why would you even do that? Bludgers don't go through—"

He groaned and rolled his eyes, but she stopped. "For every Bludger we hit through the hoops, I get a minute of your time. What do you say?" Ritchie eyed her expectantly.

Hmm. Demelza supposed it wasn't all that bad. No harm could come of it, she guessed… She held out her hand, and they shook on it. "Fine. Deal."

His face lit up, and she smirked just slightly to herself. She didn't mind the occasional bet.

Practice felt more like waiting around for something to happen. Ginny, Demelza, and Dean tossed the Quaffle around while Harry reenacted some of Oliver Wood's best tactics for Ron hopefully to imitate. Jimmy and Ritchie practiced their swings, and Jimmy got caught in the side of the head by one of the Bludgers. He fell from his broom, but he was all right and refused to see Madam Pomfrey anyway.

Demelza wondered when Ritchie and Jimmy were going to start the bet, and when she saw Ritchie aim for the tallest hoop, she broke away from Ginny and Dean and flew up and up. When the Bludger tried passing through the hoop, she hit it back with the tail of her broom, and Ritchie gaped at her.

"Well," she shouted, "you never said anything about me making it easy for you, did you?"

That grin of his returned, and he tried harder. He worked well with Jimmy, and Demelza finally saw that they'd probably been trying their hardest since their last match, for they'd improved the most on the team. Ritchie got one in on the shortest post, and then Jimmy got two through the medium-sized one. Demelza almost blocked one for every one the boys got in, but flying around like a Keeper drained her faster than Chasing did, so it soon became clear that Ritchie would win the bet. By the time their little game was over, Ritchie and Jimmy had sent the Bludgers through the goalposts a total of twelve times, and Demelza had blocked an additional nine.

Harry ended practice early, either giving up on Ron or having someplace else to be. He flagged Demelza down, though. "You know, you wouldn't be a bad Keeper stand-in, if we ever needed one," he told her, and it was high praise coming from not the Boy-Who-Lived but their Captain who seemed to have a hard time focusing solely on Quidditch this year. It was nearly flattering.

Demelza wanted to head for the showers immediately, but Jimmy and Ritchie landed by her, and Ritchie slung an arm around her shoulders. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, Demelza!" Ritchie whistled. "A bet's a bet, right?"

"Yes, but can't it wait until after—" the witch tried.

Ritchie held a finger up to her lips, ignoring what she'd said. He waved Jimmy on. "Hey, thanks, mate. We'll catch up in a bit."

"Yeah, I'll cover you guys for Herbology," Jimmy said, and he went on ahead as though this was a natural occurrence.

Demelza twisted around and looked up at Ritchie. She pushed his hand away from her face. "All right, so you've got twelve minutes. But why did you want them so badly?"

Ritchie raised his eyebrows and took her hand, leading her to the stands where they could sit down and enjoy the view. "I thought it'd be nice for you to, well, break your routine."

Her cheeks grew warm. "There's nothing wrong with routine." After an odd beat, she added softly, "You've got eleven minutes left."

He chuckled. "I just wanted to talk with you, without pressure from anything going on around us."

She felt a little happy at the sentiment. At the same time… "While I appreciate the gesture, I've got to say you've got poor timing. We'll be late to class."

"I know." He stared at her for a while, and it made her uncomfortable enough that she looked away. "But it's nice to slow down every once in a while and think about the things you usually don't."

It was then that she remembered the nagging he and their friends had done the past few weeks, and she was glad she hadn't really bet her spot on the team that Ginny was wrong. Plainly, Ritchie was leading up to asking her out. "Eight m-minutes," she stammered.

Ritchie shrugged. "Eight, twelve, two—any time at all is fine with me. Hey, what would you say is most important to you here?"

"School, food, and Quidditch," Demelza informed him just as she had informed her best mate weeks ago—but, of course, Ginny had flipped out.

Ritchie instead grinned that erasable grin. "Yeah, we all know boys aren't on your priorities."

She blushed and sent him a little glare. "No, they're not."

"Good. Because I'd like to be the only one on your list."

Crimson from the neck up, Demelza opened her mouth to speak, but Ritchie held up a finger to her lips again.

"Ah, ah, ah—I've still got about six minutes left." He leaned forward a little.

"Five," she breathed before his lips met hers, but as he leaned into her and their mouths moved together like a Quidditch player catching the perfect winds for flying, she felt inclined to give him that extra minute.

When they finally broke apart, Ritchie cradled her head in his hands. "Go to Hogsmeade with me when the time comes," he mumbled, his words a gentle air kiss across her nose.

"I can't believe you really asked me out. Godric, Ginny was right…"

"No, I'm not asking, Dem. I'm just politely ordering."

She could feel his smile against her cheeks despite her eyes being closed. Perhaps it was okay to let love enter her priorities. "Well, it's a 'yes' either way."

"That's great!"

"But first things first—you've got two minutes left, Coote, and I expect you to use them."

"Sure thing, Robins," he whispered and he kissed her once more.

- ^-^3

:D Well, I originally began this almost a year ago (May 2012) and had the first five pages done, but I got stuck in trying to finish it. Lo and behold, a January evening a year later, I finally figured them out. That was mainly thanks to Ritchie's charm. -w- So thanks, Ritchie Coote! XDDD I mean, I usually ship Demi in femslash, but now I think that my het Demi OTP is DemiRitchie… I almost want to continue this, but I also like how this ended… It's a little different, a little more straight-laced than I usually write her, so it was a breath of fresh air. :3

Thanks for reading, and please do review!

-mew-tsubaki :}