Hello :) this is just an idea that I've had floating around in my head for a while so I thought I'd get it down on paper (or computer :/) and see what happens and this is the result!
It's a bit different than other people's, concerning Lily and Quidditch and all but yeah.
It was always meant to be a one-shot and so that's what I have done – except I didn't realise how long it would be. Anyway, so it's quite long but I reckon well worth a read if you want a bit of a laugh…
I could hear the blood pounding in my ears; I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my body and I could sense that James Potter was about to say something to make me lose what little dignity I had left.
'Well – it's your bloody fault, Evans!'
I was right. Fuck's sake.
Turning slowly round, I heard him swallow audibly. 'What did you just say?' I hissed. Up until now I had managed to keep my cool by counting to ten, taking deep breaths or – my most recent attempt – getting as far away from him as possible. Unfortunately, he was intent on following me.
'I said it was your fault. You're the Captain!'
'How the hell does it make that my fault?' I seethed, continuing down the corridor. 'Yes, I'm the captain but you have to actually do it! I can't catch that fucking snitch for you, Potter!'
'Well, that's fine then! Because I did catch the snitch, didn't I Evans? Only, you seem to have forgotten that piece of information!' James shouted. 'I don't see what the big deal is – we won, ok? We W-O-N,' he said obnoxiously.
'The big deal is that we could have lost, if it wasn't for your stupid trick at the end!'
'Oh, I'm sorry that I managed to secure us a place in the final!' he exclaimed, his tone dripping with sarcasm. 'Next time I'll just let the other team win, ok? Is that what you want, Evans?'
'Oh, yeah Potter, that's exactly what I want.' I said with disdain. 'I want you to be a complete arse and lose us every match.' He scoffed. 'Of course not, you twazzock!'
'Evans, for the love of Merlin, I don't fucking understand! I won us the match, what else do you want?' James ran his hand through his hair frustratedly.
'What I want is for it not to be such a close call next time!' We reached the portrait hole, neither of us giving the password. 'Bloody hell, Potter, Montague was so close to that snitch, my heart skipped about a hundred beats!'
James stood there stonily. 'What a pity it had to start up again,' he muttered, before swiftly giving the password and entering the common room.
I opened and closed my mouth three times, until I came to and stalked after him. 'What the hell?' He didn't answer me. 'Potter, what is your problem?' I yanked his arm around to face me. As we entered the room, everyone started cheering on our success (if you want to call it that) in the match, but realised that Potter and Evans were off on another of their stupid fights and quickly dispersed out of our way. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Solène and Nadine lounging on the armchairs with butterbeers, watching in amusement. Long ago had I stopped trying to squeeze any sympathy out of them.
'You know, Evans,' he said loudly, ignoring my question. 'Instead of telling me off for "nearly losing", why don't you try and score a few more goals, huh?' I gasped and I could hear Black and Pettigrew cracking up. Man, I had always hated them. 'That way, if, for some insane reason I don't catch the snitch, well you would have nothing to worry about because you would actually have scored some points for once!'
'OI! You can't argue with statistics Potter – I have scored eight-eight percent of all goals since I started playing Quidditch, I'm a freaking natural!' I almost shrieked.
'Oh and I'm not, am I? I have lost one game – one – since I started playing Quidditch – which, I might add, was in my first year, as I was so good they just had to let me on the team!'
I glowered at him furiously, knowing he was right. Stupid black hair, stupid glasses, stupid – stupid tall person, I thought mutinously. James Potter thought he was the bee's fuckin' knees and all because he could catch a flying ball. Jackass. 'You know, you don't have to shout,' I muttered angrily, turning my back on him and making my way over to my friends who were practically wetting themselves.
'Oh my – you're impossible! You're such a hypocrite!'
I whirled around, knocking over a group of second years' game of exploding snap. 'Potter, do you WANT to be kicked off the team? Huh? I'm your Captain and I can find a replacement in seconds if I want to!' Ah, the joys of being superior to Potter.
'Oh – yeah, right,' he laughed scornfully. 'Like you would do that, Evans. There's no way Gryffindor could win without me – you know it and so does everyone else here,' he gestured around the room. 'That way, if you did kick me off, you'd have them to answer to because they would be furious that you got rid of our best player.'
Shit, he was right.
Actually, there was one thing he could go to hell on. 'Our best player?' I echoed in disbelief. 'Umm ok – they made me Captain, which makes me Gryffindor's best player. Alright?' I smiled sweetly and headed over to the dormitory stairs.
'Shut up!' I wasn't in the mood to argue any longer. If Potter wanted to get into a row, well that was his problem. I however, preferred to take a calmer, quieter approach, I thought as I made my way up the stairs.
I heard him sigh. 'Evans –'
'I just –'
' –wanted to say –'
' –that you –'
' –should probably –'
' –come down –'
' –stairs because –'
' –McGonagall –'
' –is –'
' –here –'
'Di –what?' I sprinted downstairs and, sure enough, Professor McGonagall was standing in the middle of the room, with a face that said 'do I have to tolerate this any longer?'
'Oh, err – hi, Professor…'
'Miss Evans, Mr Potter,' she started briskly, clearly deciding to ignore the fact that I was about to say the word 'dick' in front of her. 'The headmaster would like to see you both in his office. Now, please,' she barked when we did not respond.
'Why?' I blurted.
McGonagall looked at me coolly. 'You will find out when you get there.'
'Uh, okay –'
'Do we need to bring anything?' Bloody Potter, always interrupting everything.
I glared at him. 'Do you have to talk over me all the time?'
'Well, you never have anything interesting to say so yeah, I do,' he retorted hotly.
'That's rich coming from you! All you and your friends talk about is Quidditch, Chelsea Gregory's breasts and what will happen if you put a niffler and a blast-ended skrewt in a cage together!'
'Err – we already know what happens –'
'Why am I not surprised?'
'Because we're not boring goody-two shoes, like –'
'Ahem.' I'd almost forgotten about our Deputy Head standing before us.
She gave us both a calculating look before turning to Potter. 'To answer your earlier question, Potter, you do not need to bring anything.'
We both nodded.
She went to leave but turned back at the last minute. 'Sometimes, Potter, I wonder…what it would be like if you were a 'goody-two-shoes', as you put it.' She gave him an appraising look before walking away.
'Ok, Professor,' James mumbled meekly. I just smirked.
Five minutes later found us standing in the Headmaster's office in front of McGonagall, Dumbledore himself and – I was still trying to get my head around it – Larry Wilt, the manager of Puddlemere United.
'Sorry, could you, err…' I felt slightly light-headed. 'Could you just repeat that, Sir?'
'We have two openings on the PU team. A chaser and a seeker. We would like,' Wilt said slowly, holding a clipboard in hand. 'to observe both your performances on the Quidditch pitch and assess whether or not you would be the right people for the positions.' He kept a neutral expression throughout; a real contrast from his robes, which were endowed with the PU colours: brilliant blue and sunny yellow. I guessed he must be in his early thirties and, as a manager for a team as successful as PU, this was quite an achievement.
I also noticed that he was not ugly-looking. Quite the opposite in fact.
'Oh my…' said James. 'Oh my…I mean, oh my…'
'Will you stop that?' I whispered irritably. 'How – I mean –' I cleared my voice. 'How did this…come about?'
'Yeah, who do we kiss and thank?' said James, grinning. I rolled my eyes.
'Ah, that would be me,' said Dumbledore, stepping forward. I snorted. 'Mr Wilt, here, contacted me with the openings and asked me whether I thought we had any suitable candidates for the positions. Of course, I replied with both your names and invited him to watch the game today; needless to say he approved of both your performances.'
'Wow…' I whispered.
'I knew it!' yelled James, punching the air. 'I knew I did a good job today!' He grinned triumphantly at me.
'Yes, I especially liked your trick at the end of the game – a spectacular catch, I thought,' said Wilt thoughtfully, looking down at his clipboard.
'Haha ahaha Evans, you thought I was craaaap! You thought I –'
'Potter!' snapped McGonagall.
'Mr Wilt, that isn't what happened at all,' I hastened, keen to not let Potter ruin my chance, which he would undoubtedly do at every opportunity he got. 'The…trick which you are referring to had not gone through me before the match – I was simply telling…Mr Potter here that it was irresponsible of him to do such a thing when we had not even mentioned it before hand, let alone practiced it with the rest of the team. You see – I'm the Captain of Gryffindor team,' I smiled graciously, placing my right hand over my heart. Potter snorted.
'Hmm, yes that isn't good…' Wilt said, noting something down. I smirked evilly at Potter who glared back. 'It's no matter though – nothing we can't fix.'
McGonagall cleared her throat. 'So…' she said, trying to steer the conversation back to normality.
'Yes, yes, well – I'm assuming that you are both interested?'
We nodded eagerly.
'Well then, what would happen is, over the next month I will sit in on your practices and observe you both; how you play, firstly, how you interact as a significant team member and if you would be suitable for our team. Then, I will observe the final match and from there I will decide if you meet the standards. How does that sound?'
'Very good, Sir,' said James.
'Yes,' I agreed. 'We have practice five times a week, Monday to Thursday at 7pm and Sunday mornings, 8am.'
'Well then,' said Wilt, leaning over to shake our hands. 'I look forward to seeing you there tomorrow, 8am.'
After that, it was game on.
I knew it. Potter knew it. I think even Wilt knew it, although he tried to overlook it.
By game on, I mean Potter and I trying to sabotage the other one's chances of getting onto the team as much as possible. At first it was small things like me pointing out all of James's tiny mistakes in practice or him trying to make me late. However, as final match grew closer and closer, the air between us got tenser and our determination to shoot the other one down got stronger. Until we had no more fight left in us. Until we could take it no more.
It started the minute we left Dumbledore's office that evening. My ecstasy at this amazing opportunity took hold of me and I almost ended up launching myself into James's arms, just for someone to hug. However, I caught myself just in time and settled for doing a little victory dance at the top of the spiral staircase exiting the office.
'Holy shit…' James still looked dazed.
'I know, it seems too good to be true, doesn't it?'
Potter suddenly snapped out of his reverie as if he had just realised we were on the verge of having a normal conversation and he couldn't handle it. And so, he said the words that changed my whole perspective on the situation.
'Oh, it is too good for you, Evans. You're going down,' he stated with that gleam in his eye that I always hated.
'Excuse me?' I spluttered. 'Who uses words like that nowadays? And anyway, this isn't a competition Potter; he could take on both of us if he wanted.'
'Evans, think about it. If we were both taken on…that would mean that, even after Hogwarts, you wouldn't be rid of me. We would be working together, for who knows how long?'
I thought about it. And I didn't like it. Holy shit, there would be no escaping him. The only good thing about leaving Hogwarts would have been never having to see Potter again, but if we were both taken on then I wouldn't even have that.
The prospect of working with Potter filled me with such revulsion that I immediately vowed to myself to do everything I could to stop him from getting that job (because there was no way I was going to give it up to him).
'God, you're right,' I whispered as we turned into the corridor. My eyes snapped to his. 'Don't look so smug, Potter,' I told his ever-growing smirk. 'You'll be lucky to get out of this alive.'
'Ok, Evans,' he laughed sarcastically. 'You just repeat that to yourself when you're watching me win the World Cup next year, yeah? Should give you some comfort, I guess.'
'It's on.' I pointed to my eyes with two fingers and then to his. 'And I'm watching you, got it?'
'I already have it, Evans,' he replied smugly, running his fingers through his hair.
I scoffed and rolled my eyes. Whatever. That didn't even make sense.
We turned a corner and James took a sharp left. 'I if were you, I would be sleeping with one eye open,' his voice floated back to me. His pathetic, annoying, whiney voice.
'Well if I were you, Potter, I wouldn't sl…' But he was gone. Loser.
Oh, it was so on.
The next morning greeted me cruelly. I woke up, sneezing like hell, barely able to see through my watery eyes. Scrambling around for my watch, I squinted closely at the hands and noticed one pointing at the 9 and
the other at the 8.
Wait a minute…
'OH FUCK!' Seven forty-five, it was seven forty-five. Why the hell hadn't my alarm woken me up? Wrenching open my hangings, it was only when a light, soft object fell on top of me that I realised why my vision was impaired and why it was like a freaking waterfall out of my nose (gross, I know).
A lily. It was a lily flower that had fallen on me. 'What the…' Then I looked up and saw, to my horrified amazement, that my four-poster bed was completely overrun with the things. There were lilies winding their way up the posts, embedded into my sheets, dangling in my face from the hangings. It was like Chelsea bloody Flower Show in my bed.
And, ironically, I was allergic to lilies.
I know, I know. It's haunted me ever since I found out; you have no idea how much stick I get for it.
'What's going on?' Solène was peering bleary-eyed through her own hangings at the sight of a red-eyed human me surrounded by about a million white flower lilies. 'Why…are you all…' she gestured to my bed.
'I have – achoo! – absolutely no idea – achoo!' Wiping my nose, I remembered the time. 'Shit, I have to go –'
'Whoa, whoa, you're not going anywhere,' said Nadine, who emerged from the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her auburn strands, holding up her hands. 'Hey look, there's a note here.'
'Ooh, maybe they're from a secret admirer!' Solène squealed.
I laughed bitterly. 'I doubt that, most people know I'm allergic to these.' Although I couldn't help a bit of hope tingle in my fingers. 'Gimme that.'
I read out the note:
My dear Evans,
I thought, as a peace offering, I would send you these beautiful flowers
to pretty up your dormitory.
Now. Normally, I wouldn't send flowers to girls, but this morning I had the
sudden urge to serenade you with 219 'liliaceae's', to be exact.
Lots of flowery love,
Ps – I'll be waiting on the Quidditch pitch with a box of Kleenex, just for you.
What a fecking cheesedick.
'Fuck, fuck, fucking fuckety fucking fuck…' I whispered, running my fingers through my hair. 'I'm going to murder him. I –' I'd never felt so angry in my life.
Nadine and Solène stared at me whilst Heather and Wendy, the other two girls in our dorm just shook their heads tiredly and went back to sleep. I stared murderously back at my two friends for a split second, before shrieking, 'I'm going to fucking MURDER HIM IN HIS SLEEP!'
A voice wafted into our dorm. 'Oi keep it down!'
I stuck my head out the door furiously, and looked down the stairs into the common room. Sirius Black was there, a reproachful look on his face, with his hands over the ears of a frightened-looking eleven year old girl. 'There are first years down here – they don't want to be hearing your cussing on a Sunday morning.'
I growled back at him, knowing he didn't care one smidgeon what those first years heard – he was as involved with this stupid prank as Potter was.
'Sod off, Black,' I grumbled through my leaky eyes and slammed the door behind me.
Half an hour later I trudged onto the pitch, my broom in one hand and a tissue in the other, not to mention the rest of the pack that I had stuffed down my sleeve. Wiping my nose, I traipsed over to my team who were standing in a circle, chatting to Larry Wilt who seemed to be engaging them in hilarious conversation because everyone was cracking up.
I felt a pang of annoyance. Bloody Potter. First he makes me late, then ill, then feel left out. Well, to hell with him. I was going to get on that team if it killed me.
And, if how I was feeling was anything to go by, it might just well do that.
'Hi everyone, sorry I'm late,' I called, reaching the circle.
'Yeah, Evans where were you?' James rebuked, clicking his tongue. The glint in his eye sent a surge of irritation through me but I suppressed it, remembering Wilt.
I nodded at him. 'Hello Sir,' I looked around James, ignoring his comment. 'Good to see you again.'
'Lickarse,' James muttered under his breath.
'Good morning, Miss Evans.' Shit, I'd forgotten how hot he was. Strands of his messy dark hair fell into his eyes and he must have been six foot at least. Considering he was a former beater for various teams, I started imagining what was underneath his shirt, the flexing biceps, the defined 8-pack…
'Late, I see?' But his eyes sparkled.
'Umm yeah, I…am. Sorry,' I finished lamely. 'It has never happened before,' I bit out, glaring at James. He smiled angelically back.
'Of course not,' replied Wilt. 'Now, I have explained to your team what I am doing here, so I think we've all caught up – now all I have to do is watch you play. Over to you, Miss Evans.' He took a step back.
Whew. He didn't seem too mad that I was late. You're gonna have to work a bit harder than that, Potter! I thought triumphantly.
Merlin, I was so lame.
Oh well. On with the show! 'Ok, everyone; get in the air and we'll start with some basic drills to warm up.' As the team mounted their brooms and took off, I flashed Wilt a smile before he made his way over to the stands.
James looked at me, disgusted. 'Really, Evans? I should have known you would flirt your way to the team! It's disgusting, he's – what, fifty?'
I rolled my eyes. 'Potter, he's thirty-two –' I researched it last night '–which is fine. And don't think I'm going to play nice – I'm working just as hard as you. I know who put those lilies there, I'm not an idiot.'
'Could have fooled me.' He started to mount his broom.
I laughed sarcastically. 'You know, I'm impressed. How long did it take to research what Kleenex was, eh? A year's worth of muggle studies?' I took off before he could reply.
We started off in a circle, just passing the Quaffle between us and working on our reflexes. I chose this drill specifically; it was the one that James had the most trouble with. As a seeker he had no need to be handy with the Quaffle and always ended up making mistakes. Of course, this wouldn't great in front of Wilt, I thought cunningly.
'Ooh, just missed that one, Potter,' I said loudly, as he lunged and missed yet again for the Quaffle which I had thrown with a certain spin to it.
He appeared level with the circle once more, flushing furiously. 'Will you stop that, Evans? You're ruining my chances!' He hissed angrily, flinging the Quaffle at Nina Costello who had to practically launch herself off her broom to reach the ball that was a metre to the left of her.
I smirked amusedly as Nina past it to Stebbins, Stebbins to McKinnon, Mckinnon to me and, once again I quickly flicked it to Potter and watched him plummet.
I was having too much fun, I thought. I need to stop.
But then Potter and his face appeared again and his expression was so hilarious, I was tempted into another few rounds. I eyed Wilt in the stands, frantically scribbling on his clipboard and held back a guffaw.
We finally finished and I regretfully called a new game. Everyone took their positions and I released the snitch and the bludgers, catching Potters eye as he smirked at me. This was where he was most comfortable; he and I both knew it. I also knew that he probably wouldn't pass up an opportunity to make me look bad. I just had to promise myself that I would never provide that opportunity to him in the first place.
The game started amicably enough, with Mckinnon, Nina and me tossing the Quaffle between us, and getting as many goals as possible. All the while I was keeping my eye on Potter, but he seemed very focused on finding that snitch.
Maybe I can relax, I thought. Then I remembered Wilt observing me and, just as Nina passed me the ball, I chucked it under my arm and backwards, through the centre hoop. Wrey.
Looking down, I saw Wilt smiling and nodding. Yes! That should get me some points – hopefully in front of bloody Potter.
Talking of Potter, he was…
'Look!' Mckinnon was pointing at him. I followed his line of vision and –
And there he was, my worst enemy, pulling out of a spectacular spin-dive from underneath Georgina, snitch in hand. What a load of bollocks.
The team started whooping and clapping. Don't encourage him! I thought, fuming and was just about to say it out loud when I realised Wilt was joining in. He was actually on his feet, slapping his hands together and laughing at some bollocky, un-funny comment Potter had just made.
It had to be fake. There was no other explanation; no-one in their right mind would try and inflate Potter's head even more – there would be no room for anything else on the earth! Yes, that was it – either Wilt was insane (unlikely, I thought grudgingly) or he was pretending, in case Potter transfigured him into a blast-ended skrewt like he did with Sev that time in Potions when I leaned over his cauldron and apparently Sev was looking down my shirt.
Ah well, I thought reluctantly, I guess Potter has to look good once in a while or it'll just seem weird.
The rest of the match carried on in much the same way, Potter and I taking it in turns (I know, how polite!) to perform some remarkable trick on our brooms, trying to out-do the other.
Well, Wilt seemed happy at the end.
And so, the month carried on. We had practice five times a week, Wilt sat in on every one of them, and Potter and I continued to either physically or mentally damage the other in some way - whichever worked first to be honest.
I got him back for the lilies. You see, he isn't the only one who can pull off a prank. When you have the motivation, in some way or another you will gain the tools and skills.
One day, there was a boy called Potter, who was deathly afraid of badgers.
I am not lying. It is quite possibly the most brilliant fact I have discovered ever and, when I did discover it, I immediately started constructing a cunning plan in my head. And how did I know this wonderful piece of information?
Well, I – I just asked Sirius, of course. And he was more than willing to give away the information. Some friend!
But I don't care. Because it helped me get Potter back and oh, did I get him back alright, by means of the most cunningly wicked and deceitfully clever plan that has ever been invented!
Ok. When I say cunning and clever I basically mean that I snuck into his dormitory and conjured up a load of badgers to just – well be there, in his room, surrounding his bed – basically scaring the hell out of him. Also, if he crapped himself in the process, well that would just be a nice bonus.
Of course I videoed the whole thing and played it for the entire school to see at breakfast, so that he would walk in from one terrible ordeal and straight into another.
Now, as I look back on the prank, I realise that it didn't, in any way, jeopardize Potter's chances of getting that seeker position. And I did get a weeks' worth of detentions for it. But it made him look like a total custard which is good enough for me.
After that, Potter and I both upped the ante.
He stole my broom. So I stole his legs.
Literally. It was so bad but so hilarious. Basically I was all prepared for practice one evening – apart from my broomstick. I could not find it anywhere, which meant I had to borrow one of the crappy school ones which meant I played really badly which meant that Wilt was not impressed. So not what I needed.
So…one Saturday night (or rather Sunday at 4am) I snuck into Potter's dormitory (again – why do I keep doing that?) and –
Well, I transfigured his legs right off. It was a complex spell, one that I had been practicing for a while and I was still miles ahead of all my peers. Therefore, neither Potter, Black, Lupin nor Pettigrew knew how to transfigure them back and as a result, he completely missed practice. And – the objective from the beginning – Wilt was most certainly not impressed.
Then, he confunded me. So I cursed him off his broom.
Confunded me! Right in the middle of practice and I had absolutely no idea what was going on. Wilt thought I'd gone mental, or had just suddenly forgotten how to play Quidditch. Honestly.
After a while, Georgina clocked on that I was confunded and very kindly charmed me right again. I was so angry I drew my wand and yelled 'Stupefy!' And he just dropped like a rock and hit the ground with a sickening crunch.
I think that Wilt was so stunned that he was more impressed than annoyed.
After Potter had recovered from his fall (Madame Pomfrey managed to fix all seventeen broken bones surprisingly quickly) he didn't attack me like a madman immediately after like I thought he would. Instead, he hardly spared me a glance.
The first time I saw him after he was let out, he emerged at the Gryffindor dinner table a week before the deciding match. The way he swaggered in with that self-righteous smirk on his face instantly started doing my head in and without thinking about it (because it was basically second nature to get him riled up), I yelled over, 'Feeling better, Potter?'
But, instead of the usual sarcastic laugh and witty comeback, all I got was a half-hearted chuckle and…that was it.
I frowned, thrown by his lack of aggression because that wasn't what I wanted from him. I wanted him to look me directly in the eye focus all the attention on me. I wanted him to forget what he was doing because he was so focused on…me.
However, as I peered bewilderedly over at him and his mates I noticed that he was leaning over the table and smiling reassuringly at Nina Costello, of all people, who had simpered pathetically at him when she asked how he was feeling.
Out of nowhere, jealously boiled up inside of me and I suddenly wanted to rub stupid Nina Costello's face in my mash potato. Spoiled bitch, I thought furiously. Everyone knows that Potter and I are meant to be fighting right now, not – Potter chatting up some random slag like I don't even exist and me just…just sat by myself.
I vaguely realised that I wasn't actually by myself, what with Solène and Nadine right next to me – but that was how it felt. I didn't have anyone to devote their undivided attention to me. My best girlfriends were wonderful but they both had their respective boyfriends sat next to them right now, feeding them bits of chocolate pie or making them feel…special. What did I have? A plate of mash potato, which I didn't even want.
Caught out by my sudden depression I scanned the great hall for any single guys that might want me. Bernie Stollocks? Hmm, nah. I'd probably accidently say bollocks one day and then that'd be it. Felix Drayson? Cute, but a player. Ah, one of them, hear you say. Yes, yes. But I'd always had this unfortunate habit of getting emotionally involved with a guy, even if all I wanted was a light fling. So, no. Stewart Lock? Possibly. I knew that he had always had a thing for me but had been too shy to do anything about it. I had never approached him because he'd always seemed quite dull.
Isn't that awful?
Well…I'd think about it.
I started craning my neck now, searching for anyone vaguely possible. My eyes landed on the Marauders. Potter was standing up and doing an impression of Professor Grubbly-Plank, the poor woman. Everyone knew who it was because of the nose he had transfigured for himself. And yet…and yet he still managed to look stunningly hands –
Gah. I'm not allowed to say things like that! I thought to myself. This was war. A vicious war between myself and Po – him. But…and I sneaked another, more furtive glance at him. There was a time when…when Potter used to…fancy me? I'm not sure if that was the right word. More like: wanted-to-get-in-my-pants. Or something. Anyway, he would ask me out, day and night for the best part of fifth year…shit, I had almost forgotten about that, what with all the fighting. Like it had been hiding at the back of my brain, and now it was emerging tentatively, dusting itself off and saying, 'what took you so long?'
Oh man. This was not the time to start having romantic feelings for Potter. I was supposed to be hating him, not – not crushing on him. Eugh. I hated that word, although it suitably described nearly every girl in the older half of the school.
What to do, what to do…Well, there was always the option of asking him out. No! I couldn't – could I? He would probably stare at me like I had three heads and then sprint away screaming at the top of his lungs. I guess that would be one good thing if he turned me down – it would make Potter scream like a girl.
See – that's what I mean! One minute I think I fancy the guy and the next minute I'm fantasising about the best way to humiliate him in front of the entire school! Merlin, this was hard.
I stole another glance at him and – holy shit; he was still talking to friggin' Nina Costello! It wasn't fair, he was supposed to be talking to meee!
Ok. I guess I fancy him then.
Why. Whyyyyyy did I have to fancy him? This was just so…so…so inconvenient. Yes, that was the word. I was trying to secure myself a fantastic job and... he had to go and ruin it.
Before I knew what I was doing, I had sprung out of my seat, grabbed my mash potato, stormed over to Costello and – you guessed it – smeared the plate into her grizzly face. She screamed and starting yelling profanities at me, clawing at the potato which had gotten in her eye, ahahahaha.
It was satisfaction like you've never felt.
Locking eyes with Potter, I gave him one passionate, searing and disdainful look to his bewildered expression and flung myself into the entrance hall, starting down a corridor. I could still hear the entire Great Hall cackling with laughter.
Woah. Where did that come from? Hearing footsteps behind me, I sped up because I knew who it was. However, he was faster than I thought and I felt myself being wrenched into an empty classroom.
I turned to face him, looking at my shoes. 'Listen Potter, I umm…I don't really know what –'
'Evans,' he interjected (typical! I thought). 'Why'd you do that?'
I squirmed where I stood, not wanting to tell him the truth. I opened my mouth to say – well, something…but then realised that actually, examining my shoe laces in silence really was more fun.
Suddenly, I hoped my make-up was still there and that I hadn't turned into a complete hippogriff.
'Ev-ans,' he enunciated in a stupid sing-song voice. I glared up at him, ready to defend myself in any way possible, before I realised that the look on his face was one of amusement and not irritation for smearing mash potato onto his girlfriend's face.
'Why are you laughing?' I asked dumbly.
'Huh?' James looked genuinely confused.
'Why are you laughing?' I repeated. 'You know, cause I just…' I waved my hand in the air. 'You know, w-with the…mash potato…' I finished lamely.
'Oh that,' James snorted and leaned casually against the door behind him, putting his hands in his pockets. 'Yeah – that was hysterical, Evans! I never knew you were capable of such an act.'
I crossed my arms indignantly. 'I cursed you off your broomstick, Potter, and you think I can't do something as insignificant as an attack of mash potato?'
He watched me thoughtfully for a while. Every time I thought he was going to speak he exhaled and 'thought' a bit more. I was in the middle of deciding whether to hex him or just shout when he suddenly spoke. His tone of voice had changed and he sounded deeper, more serious.
'Well –' he started. 'I suppose…anyone could perform an act like that…if a certain person had the right motivation.'
I stared hard at him, wondering where he was going with this. 'And…what motivation would that be?'
'Oh, I dunno,' he exhaled heavily. 'Maybe…hypothetically of course…maybe…jealousy?'
Oh, he so knew. But wait, how could he know? I didn't know myself until twenty minutes ago. But maybe…another chilling thought occurred to me. Maybe he had guessed. I mean – this was Potter; girls hit on him all the time so it wouldn't have taken him long to figure out that I was no better than the rest of them.
As I stared at his face, I thought…would it be so bad? It's only Potter – I've been dealing with him for years. And, if he did know, well…that would be fine. I think. I could just make a joke out of it and he'd probably insult me and then we'd be right back to where we started. Yay.
Or I could just jump his bones. Mmm.
Anyway – if I didn't care then I could play this game, too.
'Ah,' I nodded my head thoughtfully. 'And what would this…person…be jealous of?'
'Hypothetically?' He checked.
'Right, well…maybe this person –' he coughed '– had just had a sudden…I dunno… realization.'
'Mmm…' I murmured noncommittally. 'Go on.'
'A realization that instead of the hate and the detestation that they thought they felt towards…another certain person…was actually…something akin to…affection.'
'Well, quite,' I replied. 'So that would mean that the p-person would have motivation to smash…something…into another person's face, if they were talking to…the second person…' I was confusing myself now.
'Exactly,' he murmured, nodding slowly. 'Because they were jealous of that person…no?'
I glanced at him and laughed slightly. 'Aha…why are you making it into a question?'
His eyes widened and then he smiled. 'I'm not. Because I am purely talking hypothetically.'
'Well of course.'
He locked eyes with me and I found I couldn't look away. The hazel in his eyes seemed to shine suspiciously with – excitement? Or maybe just curiosity. I wasn't that vain in thinking that he would have the same feelings as me. I mean, maybe once upon a time I could have declared my undying love and he would have been like the cat that got the cream. Now…well, I knew he loathed me, for sure.
As I stared back – probably looking as gormless as a troll – his expression seemed to change, soften slightly from the usual smirk that normally occupied his mouth. Suddenly, he wasn't just looking at me, he was… gazing desperately, and I stared hard back, trying to work out what this new shift in our…relationship …was.
Oh, who was I kidding? He knew, I knew, everyone knew.
Now it was just a question of did he like me back?
Of that, I wasn't so sure.
The day of the final and deciding match dawned bright and clear. And it could not have matched my mood any less right then.
'Right then' was nine o'clock in the morning on the Quidditch pitch in my robes. I had awoken at precisely 6:23am and, because of my nerves, there was no chance of getting any more sleep so I decided to shower, dress and prepare for the match. I had arrived on the pitch by seven and had gone through a couple of drills but now I just sat at the edge of the pitch, metaphorically tearing my hair out.
How in Merlin's name did I think that I could have a chance at getting on to Puddlemere United? They were so so good and I – well, I played average at best. For Hogwarts I was pretty good I guess, but nowhere near the standard of a professional player. What was I thinking – no, scratch that, what was Dumbledore thinking? He was the one who put me up for this!
I could hear the whole school from the Great Hall, chatting animatedly over breakfast and wished I could feel that care-free right then.
My nerves were shot to pieces and I didn't have any more energy left in me to be scared. I just had to go out there and do my best and if Wilt wanted me then that would be a bonus! If he didn't, well – I guess I could always wear a short skirt and bend over or something. Yeah. Haha – that was the one thing Potter couldn't do – whoop whoop.
Speaking of Potter…
'Oh. Hi.' I looked up and put my hand out to shade my eyes from the sun. I then made the mistake of looking at Potter – then I was screwed.
He looked so good. So sexy. How had I never noticed before? Oh yeah, I was too busy insulting him. But the way the sun shone behind him, lit up his face and made his smile even more mesmerizing and I couldn't look away.
Not to mention the fact that it was fuckin' awkward because we hadn't spoken about 'the talk' in the classroom and we hadn't made real eye-contact since it happened. And now here he was. I'm not going to lie – when I didn't hear from him after four days I just hoped that we'd finish the match, leave Hogwarts and never have to see each other again. It was now a week and a half later and this was the first time I'd been alone with him.
'Do you wanna sit down?' I gestured to the space next to me and he nodded and complied.
We sat in silence for a good ten minutes, just letting the light breeze dance across our faces, before he spoke. 'Evans, I'm not going to waste any time –' I rolled my eyes '– that conversation we had in the classroom…' I immediately felt myself tense up. 'Were we really speaking hypothetically?'
I exhaled quietly. 'Potter, you're a smart boy. You should know that it's up to you.'
He was silent for a minute and when I looked up, I noticed that it was an incredulous silence.
'Evans…'he breathed, his voice barely above a whisper. He shook his head slightly. 'Evans, you are so wrong. It's all up to you. It's all your choice.'
As I stared at him in disbelief he moved his face forward a fraction. My breath caught.
'It's all about you, Evans. It always has been.'
'Captains, shake hands.' I winced as I felt Montague crush half the bones in my fingers and I tried and failed to do the same.
Stepping back, I caught eyes with James and he nodded and smiled slightly. I returned it, aware that this was the first time I actually wished for him to secure the job. How strange.
My eyes clapped on Wilt in the box with Dumbledore, McGonagall and the commentator, Dazza Jordan. He had his notebook at the ready, quill poised and that was the moment when the butterflies in my stomach stopped. Not sure why – I just know that if I had fretted anymore I would have had a nervous breakdown because there was nothing I wanted more than this job. To fly, actually play Quidditch for a living was more than I could have dreamed and this was my chance to make it come true. However, I knew that if I went on like I had been for the past 48 hours I would start literally tearing my hair out.
Madame Hooch instructed us to mount our brooms. '3…2…1…' Toot!
I kicked off from the ground and felt the familiar rush of liberty soar in my veins before I returned my focus to the match at hand. Reaching out, I snatched the Quaffle out of the air and suddenly I was off, down towards the three shining hoops. Spotting Costello (that bitch!) on my right I passed underarm to her and then tried to momentarily lose my spotter from the Slytherin team, Belby, although to no avail. I was close to the hoops now, and as Costello passed me back the Quaffle I had to lunge for it, what with Belby following my every move. I managed to secure it on the tips of my fingers and bring it tightly to my chest as Belby's hands whistled past my face. In a second I clocked the nearest golden hoop to me, measured how far away I was and, therefore, how forceful my throw would have to be, shot the ball from my hands and prayed hard.
'She shoots…SHE SCORES! TEN POINTS TO GRYFFINDOR!'
Yes! My eyes immediately sought out James's and as we both grinned at each other, one thought and one thought only flowed between us.
We're going to win.
'Marvellous flying, just marvellous… I especially liked the use of the sloth grip roll in the second half, Miss Evans…quite spectacular, yays…and Mr Potter…an excellent catch at the end…a bit risky for me perhaps but I'm sure you had it all figured out, yays…yays, I thought the match was well rounded…just the right length of time…my heart did skip a beat when Slytherin, is it? Yays, when Slytherin were 20 points ahead…but I'm sure that was all part of the plan, yays…yays, Miss Evans?'
'What? Oh, umm yays – er yes, yes it was, Sir,' I stammered smoothly, not really having a clue what he was banging on about. I was distracted by all the yays's.
Dumbledore, Potter, Wilt and I were all in the head masters office and the moment of truth was upon us. I tried to catch Dumbledore's eye to get him to secretly mouth Wilt's verdict to me but he wasn't co-operating with me. Typical.
Wilt consulted his notes for a few more minutes, while I tried desperately not to look at Potter and I'll tell you for why.
Just as the Potter swooped down and snatched the snitch (wow that's hard to say) out of the air, my mind went blank. I mean, so did everyone else's as the whole of the school apart from Slytherin were screaming and crying and smiling hysterically, but my mind went so blank that I…well I…
Ok. I jumped off my broom, sprinted over to Potter, flung my arms around his neck and snogged him on the mouth.
Why, why? Don't get me wrong – it was very nice and I don't regret the actual kiss – but what I do regret is doing it in front of the entire school, teachers – even Filch and Mrs Norris got an eyeful. So now James and I am the subject of gossip, especially since, the minute it was over, I didn't say anything but instead ran to the changing rooms and didn't meet up with him again until now. Bloody hell. At least now I know that he has the same feelings as me – judging by the ear splitting grin on his face, even if he doesn't get this job and he doesn't see me ever again, I think he will die a happy man. Honestly.
Anyway, back to the scene at hand.
Wilt's scribbling and crazy muttering finally came to an end and he looked up to James and I.
'After a month of observing, scrutinizing and assessing,' he started. 'I have reached the decision that…'
I held my breath and my hand found James's automatically. He squeezed mine tightly.
'…I would like to offer you both the position of seeker and chaser!'
'Yes! YES, COME ONNNN!' James started manically dancing around the Dumbledore's office like a wild monkey, whooping and yelling, while I stood stock-still, paralysed by shock.
'R-really?' I finally managed to croak out.
'Really.' Wilt smiled in confirmation. 'Your intuition and the ability to think on your feet on the pitch was something that could not be ignored. And as for you, Mr Potter…if you would just stop doing the can-can…'
James finally came to a stand-still, panting heavily. 'You-you really mean it, Sir?'
'I do. Your talent was more…obvious than Miss Evans but, yet again, something that I could not over-look. I look forward to having both of you on my team.' He picked up his clip-board and waved his wand once so that it and his belongings vanished, presumably to his office in…Puddlemere? Hmm, maybe not.
As he reached the door he turned around. 'I shall send you both letters of important dates and other essential information. When the term ends you can begin training.' With one last nod he exited the room.
James and I turned back around to face Dumbledore in a daze. Did all that really just happen? Am I going to be a chaser for Puddlemere United? 'You can begin training.' I turned that phrase round and round in my head, unable to take in the concept of the words; it all just seemed too unreal.
It was a while before I could focus on what Dumbledore was saying and I knew James was probably having the same issue.
'…once again, congratulations to you both. Now, I trust you would like to return to your common room so you can join in the festivities which I am sure are taking place at this moment.' His eyes twinkled. He wasn't wrong – if I had to guess, Nadine was probably flat-out unconscious right now and Solène was getting off with Sirius Black.
'Thank you Sir,' we both murmured pathetically and closed the door behind us. James immediately started down the spiral staircase but I stayed where I was.
'What's up, Evans?'
I felt a twinge. So, after all that, it was still 'Evans'? I wasn't sure what to do; I hadn't been alone with him since I had launched myself onto his lips and the memory hung awkwardly in the air between us. Man, I had never felt so confused in my whole life! (Including the time when the Marauders hexed the Gryffindor common room and dormitories so that everything was back-to-front. I kept walking up the boys' staircase and, needless to say, the boys kept walking up the girls' staircase. And into their dormitories. And still didn't leave). The feeling of wanting to sabotage James and every chance I got was still fresh in my mind and yet…I didn't feel that anymore. I just wanted him to be happy. Wow, that took a lot of getting used to.
James was watching my indecisiveness with an amused expression. With a sigh, he came to the top step and sat down, gesturing at me to imitate him. I lowered myself down next to him nervously, wondering what he was going to say.
'Look, Evans. I'm just gonna ask you straight out – and judging from that kiss I already know the answer – but just answer me honestly. Do you like me?'
I gulped and tried not to meet his expectant expression. For a second my feelings battled with my instinct to immediately insult him, but in the end my feelings won. It was right thing to do and…well he already knew anyway.
I looked him dead in the eye. 'Yes. Yes, I…do.'
He nodded thoughtfully and stared ahead of him for a while. Just as I thought I could take it no longer, he spoke. 'Well, I guess it all works out then because…I like you too.'
Huh. I mean, I already knew that but…it was nice to hear it confirmed. Mmm, very nice actually.
I smiled at him and he smiled back and after a while I started laughing.
James looked at me and started laughing slightly at me laughing. 'Aha…why are you laughing?'
'It's just…so strange. So strange. You know, how everything just suddenly turned.' I looked at him to see if he understood.
'Yeah…' he replied. 'It's all very new. You know, people are going to be very freaked out and confused.'
'Yeah, I know,' I sighed. 'My friends will be happy though.' At his questioning look I elaborated. 'They always said that I should have just said yes to you that first time you asked me out in fifth year.'
'Really? That's…funny actually. My friends said the opposite – that I should never have asked you out in the first place.' He started laughing again.
I didn't. 'Aha…why, exactly?'
'Oh, you know,' he said, oblivious to my indignation. 'They always said 'just let her go, she's never going to come around, it's been years now…' etc etc…'
I spotted the flaw there immediately. 'Just one year, James.'
'Just – just one year.' He still looked confused. 'You know…you said 'years' and…and it was just fifth year…wasn't it…' I trailed off at his sad face. 'What?'
'Evans.' He shook his head and pulled his fingers through his hair in agitation. 'Evans, it wasn't just that year. It was…it was a lot of years.'
I stared at him. 'How many years?' I whispered.
'Well,' he started cautiously. 'There was, um, fifth year…sixth year…and, um. Well, seventh year.'
I looked in front of me, my eyes glazed over in disbelief. 'Oh.' I said hollowly. 'Right. Right. Oh.'
'Evans please say something other than right and oh.'
'Yeah, ok,' I said flustered.
He rolled his eyes. 'Much better.'
I frowned. 'But you – but you hated me.' He was already shaking his head.
'No. No, I never did.' I started to interrupt but he carried on. 'I know it seemed like it but…like I said before: it's always been you, Evans.'
I scowled. 'So why d'you keep calling me Evans?'
He suddenly smiled easily. 'You'll always be Evans. Even when you're Mrs Potter, you'll still be Evans.'
I blanched. 'Fuck,' I muttered.
'Unless…unless you like Lily…' James brought his hand up to tuck a strand of hair behind my ear. My heart-rate automatically increased.
'I do like you calling me that,' I admitted, only then realising it.
'Okay then…Lily,' he murmured, running his hand through more of my hair, making me shiver.
'It's still strange though,' I mused out-loud. 'I have all these new feelings running around. I don't know what to do with them.' I laughed, looking at him.
James smiled and leaned in slightly. 'I have an idea…'
His lips brushed mine ever so softly before moving deeper. My eyes fluttered closed and I brought hand up to his hair, running my fingers through it and tugging slightly when his tongue traced my lower lip. He moaned softly and I opened my mouth, deepening the kiss. He slipped an arm around my waist, pulling me closer, I sighed softly, tilting my head, his lips started to move down my neck –
'Fuck!' Without thinking, I jumped up, pulling out my wand and pointing it at our visitor…when I realised it was Dumbledore.
'Oh! Sir, I'm sorry,' I breathed, leaning against the wall, my hand against my chest. James stood up slowly, looking suitably embarrassed. I looked back to Dumbledore's amused expression. 'I, er…I thought you were a Slytherin or something…' James snickered.
'I'm sure you did, Miss Evans,' said the Headmaster pleasantly. 'Well, if you'll excuse me.' He smiled at us one last time before moving down the spiral staircase and out of sight.
'Shit.' I buried my face in my hands.
'No, this is a good thing.' James took my hands and I met his eyes.
'How is this a good thing?'
'Well,' he said, taking my hand as we started down the staircase. 'Look at it this way. If we start off our relationship by kissing in front of our Headmaster, then things can only get better!'
Well. I guess.
By the way, don't worry, I realise Lily is a complete, self-righteous bitch at the beginning of this :L
Also, it became clear to me as I was writing this that I cannot write fluff. Anything like that I just end up making a joke so this one-shot is NOT supposed to be all emotional and teary or make you cry in any way, it is light–hearted and fun (I hope!...)
Sooooo don't be afraid of that lil' review button, lemme know what ya think because I'd love to hear anything you have to say :) Thank you for taking the time to read this,