Mary McDonald was running as fast as her short legs could carry her. Her boots fell heavily on the stone floor as she made her way through the castle, her breathing coming in sharp gasps from the effort of moving so quickly. Finally she skidded to a halt just as a pretty redheaded girl with vibrant green eyes rounded the corner.
"Hello Lily." Mary greeted nervously. Panting exhaustedly, she turned to walk alongside her friend in the corridor. "What’re you up to?"
"I’m going down to the Quiddich pitch." Lily answered. "The game, remember? It starts in a only few minutes."
"Oh! Well actually Lily, I er, thought maybe we could go back to the common room and er… study." Mary finished lamely.
Lily stopped to stare at her. "Study?"
"Yes." Mary confirmed, fiddling with the end of her red and gold scarf.
"Why on earth would you want to go study? You hate studying." The redhead said suspiciously.
"No!" The petite blonde squeaked. "W-what makes you think that! I love studying, always have and er… I have a test coming up in Astronomy I really need you to help me with."
Lily ogled at her. "Firstly, you do hate studying, you’ve made that perfectly clear over the years. Second, we took that exam yesterday, and you passed with flying colors."
"Oh!" Mary laughed anxiously. "Did I say Astronomy? I meant Arithmancy."
"You don’t take Arithmancy Mary, I do." Lily pronounced slowly, as if talking to a child.
"Yes! That’s what I meant! I want you to teach me. Come on Lils." Mary said, taking Lily by the hand and yanking her in the opposite direction.
Lily pulled her hand away. "Hold on a moment, you’re not making any sense! You’re the one who wanted me to go to the match in the first place!"
"Yes well…" Mary stuttered.
"What ever happened to Bradley?" Lily questioned. "Wonderful, beautiful Bradley who wanted to sit with you at the game, and you told me I just had to come because you couldn’t possible sit with him by yourself?"
Mary laughed uneasily and tried to sound unconcerned. "Bradley shmadley, I want to know more about those magic numbers!"
"Alright, something’s up." Lily spoke crossly.
"I just… don’t think he wants to spend time with me anymore is all." Mary invented.
"Nonsense." Lily spouted brusquely. "He couldn’t stop talking about you in Charms, he was so excited that he had a date for the match."
Mary froze mid step. "He said that?" She chirped in surprise. "He said date?"
Mary squealed with joy at the news that Bradley considered their meeting an official date, but snapped out of her rejoicing in an instant the moment she saw her friend continuing on, quick paced down the corridor.
"I mean uh…" She fumbled, catching up. "I don’t want to see him."
"What do you mean you don’t want to see him! You just had a giggle fit because he thinks it’s a real date! And last week all you did was pester me nonstop begging me to go to the game with you. I didn’t even want to go, but you talked me into it, and now you would much rather study Arithmancy?"
"Yes, see, you didn’t want to go, so now I’m not going to make you! Lets go back-"
"No, I kind of want to go to the game now. I’ve finished all of my schoolwork and it’s something to do. Now come on, we’ll be late to the game if we don’t get a move on, and I’m sure Bradley is wondering where you are."
"But, but, but-"
Mary continued to babble fretfully as the two girls made their way out of the school and across the snowy grounds of Hogwarts. Winter had come early this year, but the nipping cold did not deter the students from their fun. The stadium was in an uproar, as it always was before a game. A sea of students from various houses, bundled in colors of blue, red, yellow, and green, flooded the stands. They whooped and cheered at the top of their lungs, rooting for their favorite team. The noise reached Lily and Mary’s ears long before they reached the pitch.
They met Bradley at the stand entrance.
"Hullo Mary." Bradley smiled warmly at Mary, his blue eyes bright. Then his face seemed to fall a bit. "Hullo Lily."
Lily nodded in his direction, her hands deep in her pockets, shielded from the cold. "Bradley."
"Nice to see you here." He said awkwardly, throwing a skeptical glance at Mary, who gave him a peculiar look in return. The exchange didn’t escape Lily’s notice.
"What?" She asked accusingly.
"Nothing." Bradley and Mary chorused, answering a little too quickly. They looked at each other again, sharing similar faces of alarm.
"Whatever." Lily said testily. "Can we just get to our seats?" And she started to work her way through the crowds and up into the stands.
"No Lily! Uh, wouldn’t you rather go study some Herbology!?!" Bradley shouted after her. Mary elbowed him in the ribs.
"Arithmancy!" She whispered harshly.
"I mean, er, Arithmancy!?!"
"Honestly, I don’t understand what could possibly drive the pair of you to-"
Her words broke off as she laid eyes on the pitch. Huge scarlet letters were written across the Quiddich field as if it was a giant piece of parchment.
OWL EVANS FOR A GOOD TIME
Lily stood shocked and trembling with rage at the sight of her surname scrawled in magic letters against the grass.
"I’m sorry." Mary piped up from behind in an attempt to apologize. "Tried to warn you… sort of…"
"Ya would have found out anyway." Bradley mumbled dejectedly. "What with the mail you’re going to get tomorrow."
Suddenly, a boy on a broomstick decked out in red robes and Quiddich gear stopped within a safe distance of the furious redhead. He ran a hand through his unruly raven hair and winked in her direction.
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