I got to the pitch just as they were finishing a warm up lap. Heather was right in there, not like that said anything at all, but it was a good start.
“Yo James!” a male voice yelled from the sky.
I smiled as they all dived, racing to get to me first.
Heather was second only to Lily, our seeker.
I internally nodded in approval – they weren’t lying.
“How’re you feeling?”
“We’ve been practicing!”
“When can you come back?”
That last was from Heather and she seemed genuinely concerned. She was making this so much easier for me.
I smiled bigger, “While don’t let me hold you up,” I said kindly, “Now get back up there!” I said in my ‘captain voice’ but added a wink at the end to show I appreciated this.
“Yes Sir!” Derek said saluting me then turned abruptly and marched forward.
They laughed and followed him up.
Two drills later I got tired of watching them from the ground and left to the storage room to get a broom. Just so I could get closer to the action. I wasn’t going to do anything stupid. My shoulder is fine.
I hadn’t taken a dozen steps out into the clearing before they were all around me protectively with their arms crossed.
“James, James, James,” Derek said shaking his head.
“What? What? What?”
Christien sighed, “As replacement captain I cannot allow you to get on that broom.”
I sighed, “Yeah well as real captain, I say screw you.”
“Look guys, I just want to get closer to the action, I’m not going to do anything stupid, my shoulder’s fine really.”
Chelsea looked at me with amusement, oh how many times has she heard that?
“James,” she said with a chuckle, “You know that-”
“If I hurt myself I’ll buy you all ice cream?”
“I’m down with that!” Derek said quickly smiling.
“Yeah!” the rest of the team agreed readily.
Christien and Lily sighed. “Just be careful.”
I rolled my eyes and pushed off. And it was better than I remembered; the wind through my…face… the invincible feeling, the freedom. Ohh there was no friken way they were going to keep me off, even a pathetic as broom as this one for over a month.
I turned and slowly made my way back to the other end of the field to watch the chasers practice. And even as the practice came to a couple hours later I wasn’t sure if I was ecstatic or depressed. Heather was an amazing player – a better sub then I could’ve imagined. They’ll do just fine without me. They don’t need me.
As I closed my preplanned congrats speech I convinced myself that I should be happy. And damn I played a damn good happy. I really should get into acting.
But by the time I got back to the castle I was thoroughly depressed, I’m not ready to give up Quidditch.
“Long Day,” Moony said, rather than asked as I plopped down on the chair across him.
“You have no idea,” I muttered shaking my head, “no idea.”
Mhmm and here comes the look.
Damn I forgot I wasn’t telling them anything… I really should’ve sat across Wormtail rather than beside.
“How’d it go with the team?” Padfoot asked before taking a gulp of pumpkin juice.
“How’d you think?”
“Not good eh?”
“No that’s just it – it went great,” I mumbled depressed.
Screw it I need them.
“How is that bad?” Wormtail asked genuinely curious.
Yet they can’t pull through. Maybe if I shut up now they’ll forget I ever spoke.
I clamped my mouth shut.
“Heather’s good isn’t she? Good enough to beat Slytherin. And you’re worried that they won’t need you anymore,” Moony said adding the hideously annoying look on at the end just to annoy me more.
Oh how I wish I was that shallow.
“She’s really good,” I agreed painfully.
“James, you’re being silly, of course the team will want you when you’re better – fuck they want you now. They were practically crying when they came back.”
“Well things have changed.” Erm. “They have Heather now,” I said continuing the out they gave me, but not without pain. Do they really think I’m that shallow?
Padfoot let his fork drop, “James, you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to this team. You’re amazing on and off the field. The best captain they’ve ever had. They respect you like none other.
What the fuck happened to you? I’ve never seen you like this! I miss the old you. Seriously, did you keep your personality in your hair? ‘Cause with it gone I barely know you! The old you would’ve joined in the conversations upstairs. The old you would’ve been pumped that Lily so much as smiled at you, let alone talk to you on purpose, yet you barely seemed to notice. The old you would’ve-”
“I pushed my chair away and stood up in record speed. “It’s amazing what near death experiences coupled with weeks in isolation can do to a man,” I snapped before storming down the aisle.
I was very much aware of thousands of eyes watching my retreating back. Some with humor some with pity some with sympathy most with confusion, all unwanted.
“Hey Prongs?” Wormtail’s quite voice echoed up to me as I was nearing the front door, “Want company?”
I faltered; he is good company. I’d do something stupid alone. I have to rant.
“Yeah you can come.”
I felt his smile and the thump of his heavy footsteps as he ran to catch up.
Once outside I continued past our usual tree, the comfy bench, Hagrid’s cabin, and all the way to my rock on the other side of the lake.
By the time I stopped to sit, Wormtail was red faced and sweaty. I smiled sympathetically; well I did in my head – my face refused a smile of any kind.
We sat in silence for awhile. He knew I’d talk when I was ready – I knew I wasn’t ready.
“I don’t want this.”
He waited patiently for me to continue.
“Any of it.”
He nodded a fraction.
“I wish… I wasn’t a Potter, that I could be free to make my own decisions without judgment.” I paused. “I don’t want the life cut out for me.”
“Make your own path,” he whispered once it was clear I was done.
We fell into an immeasurable amount of silence.
“I don’t want to be – I don’t want to fight… I mean I do – but NO. It’s not what I want… I don’t want to be my dad. I don’t want to kill people to survive… But I mean…” What do I mean? “I don’t have a choice?” I didn’t mean for that to sound like a question but it did, it really did.
“Prongs, you can do anything you want. You always have a choice.”
I smiled. I needed to hear just that from this last group – my peers.
We were silent for another immeasurable amount of time starring at what must’ve been a beautiful sunset without actually seeing it.
I sighed, “I’m not going to play next year. I’m injured and Heather earned her spot.” I may not be ready, but I’m done being selfish.
He nodded slowly, “I didn’t think your – I didn’t think you were that shallow.”
At least he doesn’t think I am.
Another immeasurable length of silence passed us by.
Sitting out here, everything that had seemed to close, so prominent, just didn’t. It was like all my fears and worries were from another life, for another life.
I subconsciously repositioned.
My shoulder however, was very much a part of this life.
“We should go in,” Wormtail said firmly.
And with those four simple words my lives crashed together and beat the shit out of the shit that’s already been beaten out of me.
“Yeah, we should go in,” I said purposely avoiding his question, “I should’ve drunken that shit at supper.”
He rolled his eyes, “Leave it to you to forget on the first day.”
Rolled my eyes and grudgingly slipped off the rock.
The moment my feet hit the ground I was overly aware at how dark it was. We couldn’t have been out that long, could we? We left half way through supper, but by the position of the nearly full moon it was already half past midnight. My frozen and asleep ass readily agreed with my estimate.
Great, that’s just what I need; to get in shit by a stupid perfect.
Thankfully our usual shortened path to the tower was completely empty. I made a mental note to thank McGonagall as we passed Timmy’s usual hiding spot.
Maybe I was just overreacting – they do seem to genuinely care about me; especially Wormtail. I’m really glad I let him come. He really is the perfect company for me right now.
I can’t believe I never took the time to get to know him earlier, Fuck, Lily was right – I really was a prat.
I can’t believe how long he stayed. With my luck you’d think he’d leave then I’d need him.
“Yeah Prongs?” He whispered.
“For what?” I didn’t look over at him but I was sure he had his confused face on.
His smile literally radiated off him and I found myself smiling as well.
“You’re welcome,” he said after a moment.
You know this might not be all that bad. Not fun or anything… but not horrible.
As long as I got Wormtail with me, it’ll be okay.
I’ll be okay.
"Prongs?" Wormtail asked as we climbed up to our dorm.
He stopped walking. "Are you okay?"
"I will be. I will be."
He smiled, "Good."
I was definitely overreacting.
It's me again with a friendly reminder to review...
SO REVIEW!! grr!
lol just kidding, just kidding! : )
Though I would really appreciate it
Thanks soo much and hope you enjoyed it : )
Write a Review Prongs' Tail: The Last Confirmation