Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling, only Nia, Bella and anyone not in the books belong to me

A/N: Hello, hello! If you're new, welcome. If you're not, I've decided to embark upon a little rewriting mission. Nothing drastic at all, 'tidying up' would be the correct term so no plot changes or anything, anyway, continue! And review if you want to make me smile!

**Seeing the Unseen**

You know that match they were going to play tomorrow?
Already theirs. Already. Theirs.
No two ways about it.

James Potter’s voice bellowed the arrival of a five minute break to the rest of the Gryffindor quidditch team. Six relieved sighs could be made out after this pronouncement, making him roll his hazel eyes.

Flying over to a seat in the stands, followed closely by his best friend, he thought carefully about his team. They were the best. The Gryffindor quidditch team was notoriously impossible to get into, the newest members being Lily Evans and Aaron Johnson.
The label was misleading of course as both of them had been appointed some three years ago but such was the exclusivity of the team. And James was proud of it.
Miserable persons grumbled that Potter was a quidditch snob and inconveniently stubborn and would do better to allow a little change and refreshing to his line-up. These however were jealous, undesirable persons as James knew very well that his team was as perfect as a school team could get.
In fact he felt a little sorry for whomever would be captain next year (Cara Phillips, he reckoned, she had a good head for captaining) as all but two of the teammates were currently in their last year of Hogwarts. That and Lily Evans.
Poor Cara would never in a million years be able to find a seeker to match Lily Evans. His nursery buddy Nia Fletcher was of course a fantastic keeper, Sirius was a great beater, Aaron chased at league level and he of course was the best player in the school (it was widely said) but Lily Evans; finding another Lily would be her biggest challenge. 
“Hufflepuff are fucked tomorrow” Sirius said coolly, a devastating smirk on his handsome face.
It was contagious, James smiled proudly too “they are, aren’t they? I can’t wait, I can’t wait
The other boy laughed “steady on, we’ve not even finished practise yet”
“I know but…d’you know they’ve got a new seeker?” James asked.
Sirius whistled “you’re kidding? Bit of a risk, isn’t it? Got balls, that Everett”
“I know, that other seeker was nothing to Lily anyway and now they’ve got a baby one, they’ve got no chance”
They looked over at Lily Evans talking to her friend Nia who noticed and waved at them. Lily turned and looked and offered a polite smile.
“As I said: fucked” Sirius remarked.

“Team! Break’s over” James shouted, glancing at his watch and predictably, they all groaned. Once in the air, he gave them their orders.

The players scattered, each of them flying to their respective positions in the air. "Evans! Quicker!" James bellowed to his seeker, who only lagged behind a little. The girl spared him an uncharacteristically dirty look before zooming off to a suitable place.
As he had expected, they’d all performed their tasks as efficiently as he had wanted them to. Nia managed to make use of the move he’d explained to her the day before and Lily caught the snitch in three minutes despite it having the head start.
Once James had finished instructing Leighton on the last swing he’d made, he called his team to gather in the middle. Sirius, Jack, Cara and Aaron came flying towards him promptly but James frowned at noticing the last two were missing. 
He looked behind to see Lily and Nia conversing happily by the three hoops. Nia must’ve said something funny because at that moment, Lily threw her head back and laughed. 

Her laughter was unusual, it lilted and the sound swayed in the cold air and she looked breathtaking. Her cheeks flushed to a pretty peach shade. Her red hair lifted slightly by the light breeze that resided in the air and mirth and warmth danced elegantly in her eyes of emerald green.
James smiled and knew that everyone behind him smiled as well. Even if they didn’t see as he saw her just then, as he had never seen her before; you couldn’t help but smile at the sound of her laughter.
It became apparent to the two girls that there were no teammates floating around them any longer and they both glanced round to notice the congregation in the centre.

They looked at James and Nia said "oh sorry, are we gathering round?"

James looked at Nia and suddenly found his voice again "yes Nia, nice of you to notice, now get over here!" he commanded, the two girls joined the rest of the team.

"Sorry Potter" Lily said quietly, he stared at her for a moment before clearing his throat and looking to the rest of the team.
"Right then. Sirius, Leighton well done. Tomorrow, I want to see those Hufflepuffs pummelled! And Leighton remember, limit your wrists, try and it make it come from the forearm. Phillips, Johnson, you did well. Nia you’ll do fine but make sure your eyes don’t wander for a second!" he threatened and then he turned to Lily, who looked a little nervous, as if she’d done wrong.

"Evans! Excellent practise! Play like you did today and the match will be in our hands" he said gruffly. 

He cleared his throat once again and the shy red headed girl looked back up at him. Her startling green eyes were wide and full of surprise. James’ own eyes widened once again and were blown off guard by meeting hers.

To everyone else, it was just a second which was needed to register the surprise they had all felt at hearing such untrammelled praise from their captain. It was perfectly normal for her to stare at him like that. Lily found her voice; she tucked her hair behind one ear, blushed and mumbled her thanks.

After finishing his talk, the team was dismissed and they each made their way to their respective changing rooms.

James showered and changed in silence as the other boys joked and discussed the impending match. 

It was only when Sirius mentioned Lily that James subconsciously lifted his head a little "did you see Lily today? How are we going to lose? It’s not possible"

"Too early to say that Black, anything could happen" said Jack, ever the optimist.

Sirius merely shrugged "anything could happen but Lily Evans losing the snitch out to someone else won’t, right James?" he looked over at this best friend.

James shook himself out of his thoughts and smiled "yeah, the girl’s got the best reflexes in the year, best find I’ve ever had, Lily Evans" he said.

The discussion continued. James left a little early to catch up with an old friend.

He saw Nia Fletcher stroll out of the changing room alone. "Where’s Lily?" he asked.

Nia turned to him in surprise and smiled "well I’m just fine too, thanks James!" she joked.

"Did I ever tell you you’re hilarious?" he said, rolling his eyes. She laughed and shook her head. 

"Sorry. No, she had to leave a little early, something about a forgotten essay, I don’t know, typical Lily" Nia explained, James nodded and then averted her gaze and looked straight ahead of him.

"Like your breakfast today?” the girl asked mischievously. James grunted recalling his nausea at the rotten milk she’d filled his cereal bowl with when he wasn’t looking, which set her off laughing again. 

"Oh don’t go all drama queen on me, it was just a prank, I daresay you’ve heard of one of those haven’t you?" she quipped in a ridiculous accent.

The sarcasm in her voice made James grin boyishly. "Might have done" he said with mock nonchalance.

They fell into a comfortable silence until Nia broke it with a question "are you and Lily on duty tonight?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Just wondered, needed her help for some Potions but I’ll ask her tomorrow" she mused.

“Um-speaking of Lily...” he started.

“Yeah?” Nia prompted, eyebrow arched already.

"Could you...maybe, I dunno-like, explain her to me?" he asked with a good attempt at indifference but his friend wasn’t fooled. She turned to look at him with raised eyebrows and a glimmer of a smile in her eyes. 

"Explain her to you? She’s not a case study" she teased, hiding a smile with great difficulty.

James shook his head vehemently "no, of course not! I mean, I was just wondering-"

"Oh? You’ve never been too interested in her before" she commented gravely but not quite managing it.

"Well, I mean, to be honest, it sort of occurred to me that maybe I should, you know, take an interest because like, it’ll make working together- on the Head thing, of course- so much easier, you know? If it was less awkward, if you get what I mean" he rambled hopelessly and eventually Nia cut him off.

"Oh give over! I saw you today, so you can stop lying for a start" Nia said.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"Captivated you, did she?" she said "very pretty, my Lily isn’t she?" she finished with a hint of pride, perhaps even bias.

James shrugged and thought about it "she’s alright I guess"

Nia rolled her eyes "alright James deny it all you want" she said.

"There’s nothing to deny! I was just wondering what she was like" he protested.

"How long have you known her? Can’t you tell what she’s like?"

"No, she’s not exactly the sharing type, is she?"

"I suppose you’re right. She’s just shy, Lily, very quiet, a little overlooked perhaps but not unnoticed" Nia elaborated.

"Yeah but what’s she like?" James persisted.

"Well she’s…quite proud if it comes to it. Generally likes to see the good in people, very fair minded of course. She’s got a lot fire-”
“Lily Evans?” James interrupted sceptically.
“Yes Lily Evans. Though the only place you’d ever see it is in lessons. But with us, she’s like that all the time”
The boy snorted slightly “what? With her two friends?” this witticism earned him a shove.

"Lily might not be very social but I’ll have you know that when you catch her at a good time, she can be quite charming, vivacious even" she defended.

James nodded and mulled over this new information "I suppose I’ve never caught her at a good time then"

"Are you serious? As if she’d ever be like that around you! You with your booming, gruff and -now don’t bite my head off- at times, conceited ways" she exclaimed.

James stared at her in disbelief “what’s that got to do with anything?”

"You’re exactly what’d set her running for cover, you can be very intimidating you know, I’ve just learnt to live with it"

This, however, James would not accept as he quite clearly showed when he barked "ha! I’d like to see the day when Nia Fletcher is intimidated by a human being"

She grinned "alright alright but Lily’s not like that at all, I mean she’s so…she’s very vulnerable at times" this made James turn and look at her again.

"How’d she get to be friends with someone like you then?" he asked bluntly.

"I don’t know, it just sort of happened" she replied and cast her mind back to the day.

Nia was following a prefect up from her sorting and was directed into a room with three four poster beds, behind another girl. Her dormitory. 

She paused in the doorway for a second, taking the room in while the other girl confidently strolled in and began delving through, presumably, her trunk. Nia followed her in and walked towards her own trunk.

A few more minutes saw another girl walk in and imitate Nia and the other girl’s actions. 

Five minutes passed in this fashion until the girl who had come in first sat herself down on her bed and spoke up "so! You’re my dorm mates are you?"

Nia and the third girl looked up and shrugged.

"Now what’s the point in shrugging, let’s start the introductions. And since you two seemed to be inclined to be a little quiet, I’ll start, what’s your name?" she said turning to Nia, who was trying to register her swift words. 

She shook her head and said with a friendly smile and a slight Northern burr "I’m Nia Fletcher"

"Nia Fletcher" the girl repeated "what a lovely name! I suppose I should say mine now, I’m Isabella Aldringham" she finished with a sigh. 

Nia and the other girl blinked again. But Isabella now turned to the third girl "and what about you?"

The girl looked at the other two with slightly scared eyes "I-I’m just, just Lily Evans" she said.

"Just Lily Evans! That’s just the kind of name I like!" she exclaimed.

Nia, exchanging a glance with Lily, said with her customary mischievous tone "a perfectly charming name I’m sure, but nothing to Isabella Aldringham, don’t you think?"

Lily’s eyes sparkled in amusement and she smiled widely, which transfigured her face. 

Isabella turned to Nia with an expression which spoke both protest and appreciation "now don’t make fun of me, I didn’t give myself such an awful name, you know!"

"Of course you didn’t!" Nia replied with a conciliating smile.

"I think Isabella’s a beautiful name" Lily voiced timidly.

"Yes, but hardly practical don’t you think? I prefer to be called Bella. I know people usually go for Izzie or something like that, but that’s for everyone to do and besides I couldn’t be an Izzie if I tried! That’s why I prefer Bella, am I talking too much?" she said suddenly, looking around at the other two.

Nia laughed "yes but it’s not a bad thing, I’m sure we can always count on you to get rid of awkward silences" she said kindly.

Bella sighed in relief "I’m glad you don’t mind it because I don’t mean to run on you know, it just happens. My mum’s always telling me to slow down or at least talk less. I just can’t help it. I think of one thing to say and then another and then another and then of course I just have to say it all!"

Lily laughed and was surprised to feel so comfortable "well of course you do! Better than me, I think of a dozen things and end up saying the most boring thing that had nothing to do with whatever I was thinking about in the first place" and she sat down at the little vanity table by the door to brush her hair out. 

Through the reflection she caught Bella gazing curiously at her hair.

She turned suddenly "what is it? Is there something wrong with my hair?" Lily asked.

Bella shook her head and smiled "no of course there isn’t, I was just thinking about how beautiful your hair is compared to mine" she mused.

Lily’s eyes took in the girl’s loose chestnut brown curls and raised her eyebrows questioningly "how could you possibly want my awful hair?" she wondered aloud.

Bella smiled and glanced at Nia’s dark braids "and yours too! It’s so much more interesting" she commented.

Nia shrugged and said with perfect confidence "well I think all three of us look nice” her tone spoke of no vanity, just truth.

And it certainly was true. All three girls were good looking or at least were destined to be so when they were older.

Bella, along with her chestnut curls, had classic features which leant towards the aristocratic. Her face was lean, her skin rosy, she had the perfect straight nose and eyes that were a clear grey. Her features on their own created a deceptively haughty effect.

She was only a tiny girl but to have had a remarkable height would have been wholly out of place with her smiling eyes and easy, unreserved manner.

Lily was not pretty per se but had presence, to put it simply. She was a very tall girl for her eleven years, her body belonging to the ballerina she’d hoped to become.

Nia was tall too but not quite as tall as Lily. Her hair fell to the middle of her back in black braids. Her dark skin was flawless and her eyes were a very murky brown, like someone wasn’t sure whether they should be brown or grey and looked always as though she was laughing at you, even when she wasn’t.

Her high cheekbones and pouty mouth gave her eleven year old face a strange look, and had the appearance of someone who needed time to grow into her features.

The girls got changed, brushed their teeth and got into bed where Bella started conversation once again. 

"I’m not tired, is anyone else?" she asked frankly. The other girls shook their heads.

"So where are you all from? Your families I mean, muggleborn, pureblood, halfblood?"

"I’m a muggleborn" Lily recited, remembering her conversations with Severus. 

"I’m sort of halfblood. That is, I’m not a muggleborn or a pureblood because my grandmother was a muggleborn" she then looked at Bella archly "I know who you are of course"

"Do you?" Bella answered resignedly.

Nia nodded and enlightened them "you’re a pureblood. An Aldringham, one of the oldest lot around aren’t you?"

Bella shrugged "well that’s what they say anyway. Are you the Fletchers who are friends with the Potters? The Fletchers on the education board?"

Nia smiled and attested to it and they launched into a conversation littered with mutual acquaintances and the old women they hated and whose kids were brats and who had been sent to Beauxbatons instead of Hogwarts (“shockingly”), leaving Lily feeling very left out. 

When the conversation had been exhausted, she voiced a growing concern of hers.

"Oh I’m going to be terrible at this, magic I mean. You two seem to know so much, I don’t know anything!" she exclaimed.

"Oh don’t say that. You aren’t allowed to do magic outside of school until you’re seventeen anyway so the only advantage we really have is that we’ve seen more of it which isn’t exactly a good thing because it means that you’ll probably work harder" Bella reassured.

This made Lily feel much better but her spirits took another dive with Nia’s next question "so do you have brothers and sisters?"

Bella was first to answer. "Yep, three of them. Leo, Annie (they’re twins) and Fred" this coerced Lily’s humorous side out again.

"Leo, Annie and Fred? But they sound like perfectly normal names"

Bella smiled at this and nodded "they do, don’t they? Actually they’re called Leonora, Marianne and Fred for Frederic obviously. He’s in third year"

But Nia hadn’t heard anything since she’d heard the names of the Aldringham children. "Frederic, Isabella, Leonora and Marianne? Good Lord!" she cried.

"I know, isn’t it ridiculous? That’s why we’ve shortened them so much; Nan wasn’t pleased at all when she’d worked so hard to come up with them. She was even more upset when Leo and Annie chose those for nicknames, she’d have preferred Nora and Maria but if you met them, you’d know there was never two girls more unsuited to Nora and Maria so she had to give up in the end" she explained.

"Bit old fashioned your Nan, is she?" Lily asked.

"Oh well, I suppose. What old person isn’t? But she’s lovely really, just a little afraid of being an Aldringham"

And so the lively conversation continued. And the three girls discussed their families and backgrounds and likes and dislikes, hopes and fears and such until the excitement of the day began to pall on them.

Bella grinned and looked closely at Nia and Lily. "I’m glad there are only three of us in here, I like you two" she stated frankly “I think we’ll be great together”  

"We don’t have a choice, do we?" Nia said.

Lily’s more confident side emerged again when she said "are we going to become the Gryffindor trio or something stupid like that?" 

Bella laughed and the girls said goodnight and shut their hangings.


Seven years had passed to that day and changes had taken places though not as many as might have been supposed.

Bella matured a little and talked a lot still but less than before and had become with her classic, regal face, the prettiest girl in the year. Nia was pretty too though in quite a different way, all curves, cheekbones and pouting mouth. Both the girls were popular and made it difficult for many to understand why Lily was their friend.

Lily had grown into a very tall, statuesque girl. The tallest in their year in fact, finishing up at 5’11 to her dismay. But she had not grown into a beauty by any means.
Her hair, as red hair often does, had darkened over the years, her freckles had faded slightly and her nose leant (tragically, to her mind) towards the aquiline. She was not, like her friends, pretty in any particularly remarkable way but she was definitely out of the ordinary. 

She was noticed only because she was Head Girl, an excellent seeker and terribly perceptible.

When the school noticed how good she was at quidditch, she had, rather predictably, rejected any claims to popularity and continued her obscure existence besides her much more interesting (as was invariably thought) friends.

"How was practise?" Bella asked, not looking up from the book she was reading as Lily entered their dormitory.

The addressed girl promptly fell into the nearest bed and sighed "it was okay"

Bella looked up. "What’s wrong? Did you do badly? That’s not like you at all!" but Lily shook her head.

"No I did fine, James even complimented me"

"High praise! Because Nia says James is a really tough captain" she said meditatively.

"He is"

"So what’s the matter? And don’t go all monosyllabic on me, I won’t have it Lily, so you can just stop that" she said shortly. 

Lily got herself up and went to hug her best friend "practise was fine! Everything was fine, I’m just really tired. James worked us really hard and I’ve got rounds with him tonight and he’ll probably just go over all the match strategies again, that’s all" she explained.

"Oh! If that’s it…well if you’re going to come in and sigh like that, what was I supposed to think?" Bella said.

Lily just smiled "why do you worry about me so much?" she replied.

The other girl rolled her eyes "If we didn’t worry about you, who will? And you darling, will always need someone to worry about you I’m afraid"

"If you say so" Lily rolled her eyes, they both knew perfectly well who needed looking after and it had never been Lily.

Not long after, Nia strode into the dormitory, soliciting another enquiring look from Bella "and where have you been?"

"In a bush with Sirius Black" Nia replied, not missing a beat. But the sharp sarcasm which might have silenced others had no effect on Bella.

"Well for all I know you might have been!" she said.

"I’ve only been talking to James" Nia replied with a smile as she fished some clothes out of their cupboard. "Where’s Lily?"

"In the shower"

"Well she’s in for an interesting time tonight" Nia muttered pulling out a rolling stones t-shirt but Bella seemed not to have heard her.

It was a heavy heart that Lily went with which to meet James for their weekly night rounds. Mentally preparing herself for the incessant Quidditch talk, all strategy and technique the whole night through as she did so.

She took a deep breath as she turned the corner and spotted a tall, raven haired boy standing at the end of the corridor, waiting patiently. 

"Hello James" she said politely as she approached him and then glanced at her watch "I’m not late am I?" she asked in her quiet way.

He shook his head and replied jokingly "Lily Evans late? Never! ‘Course you’re not late, I’m just a little early"

Lily, unable to find an adequate response, merely granted him an unintentional raising of the eyebrows which he perceived appreciatively.

"I know, odd isn’t it? Me, early. But here I am" he ploughed on.

Lily smiled dutifully but not the stupidest person in the world would have mistaken it for a sincere one "should we get started?"

James nodded, his friendly efforts being blighted by her cold good manners. A little further on as Lily turned her head round from inspecting a dark corner, he remarked "not the conversationalist, are you Lily?"

"I don’t know, that depends on the company" she answered abstractedly, peering into a nearby classroom.

He repressed a grin "I see, I’ll say no more then" he replied with mock solemnity. 

Her large eyes flew to his face, rather disconcerted at understanding the implications of her own comment.

"Oh! I’m so sorry. That’s not what I meant. What I meant was that- I…when I’m with-" she attempted but he cut her apologies short.

"I was kidding. Calm down, I know what you meant or didn’t mean" he assured.

Lily looking into his handsome face, currently grinning at her stupidity couldn’t help letting a little smile come to her face as well, however temporary. 

However intimidating he was, he did know how to make you laugh.

James, an astute observer, didn’t miss this unlikely behaviour. "Heaven help me, Lily Evans smiles and here I was thinking you were all stone and ice" he quipped but this promptly wiped the smile off of his partner’s face. James said no more for a while.

Lily had, up until then, been surprised to think that this round might not be as awful as she’d originally thought it to be. Now however, it was destined to become like all the other rounds. Quiet and cold and curt.

But James wasn’t so easily silenced "so you never finished, when do you talk?" he asked.

"‘When I’m with someone I want to talk to" she said truthfully but directing a fleeting mischievous glance at James. 

He didn’t see this, he was torn between whether the remark was made for banter or whether it was a warning for him to shut up and back off. Never one to accept defeat, he bravely carried on.

"So I’m not someone you want to talk to, am I?" he joked. Lily continued to search their surroundings as she thought of a response. 

"Well it’s just that, I don’t know you very well, do I? If ever we talk, it’s always about Quidditch or some such thing. And after a while…You’ll probably think I’m stupid. You’re my team captain but that’s about it, isn’t it? Apart from Quidditch, there’s nothing else we can talk about" she said in a rare burst of candour.

He looked at her with an odd expression on his face; the force of her words had struck him.
For six, going on seven years, they’d been in the same house and very similar classes, for almost three years they’d been on the same Quidditch team and for a whole month they’d been meeting every other day to perform one or other of their duties.

Surely with all the time they’d known each other, they must have something else to talk about. But they didn’t nor did they know each other very well.

It was no one’s fault really. Neither of them had made the least push to get to know each other better due to unchangeable circumstances. 

To her, he was the loud, intimidating James Potter who had nothing in common with her. She tolerated him because her best friends were close to him but she really had no interest in befriending him. 

To him, she was quiet reserved seeker Lily Evans who was shy and indistinguishable besides her far more distinctive friends. He saw her every day but then that was because she, Nia and Bella were always together.

Although he didn’t reply, his thoughts couldn’t help gravitating around his counterpart. He was compelled to admit that Nia might have been right, there was more to Lily than met the eye. Undoubtedly there was.

Lily returned to her dormitory some forty five minutes later to find Nia propped up on her bed head, indifferently flicking through a magazine. She had waited up for Lily, as was her custom. 

The head girl got ready for bed wordlessly. Her friend looked over as Lily peeled back her covers.

"So how were your rounds? Did James grill you on the strategies and trick tactics?" she asked.

"Surprisingly, no" Lily replied.

"Were you bored?"

"No, in fact I had an alright time I guess. Better than most rounds anyway"

Nia gasped theatrically and exclaimed "can it be? Y-you had fun? Surely not!"
"Shut up!" Lily cried, the corners of her mouth twitching ever so slightly.

Nia ducked as a pillow came flying her way and then glanced cautiously at Bella’s sleeping silhouette before whispering "did you and James get a chance to talk?"

"About what?" Lily asked absent-mindedly as she summoned her pillow back.

Her friend shrugged and looked convincingly insouciant. "Oh I don’t know, about anything really"

"Not particularly. We talked a bit but just small talk, here and there kind of thing" she answered.

"Don’t you think maybe you should get to know him a little better?" Nia suggested warily.

"I don’t see why I should, we’re alright just the way we are" at her friend’s dubious expression, she continued "in the sense that the way we are is perfect for team mates and Heads and all that"

"If you say so Lily. But just so you know, he’s a really great guy" the other girl vouched.

"I never said he wasn’t!" Lily retorted defensively "I’m sure he’s really nice and everything but…"

"All your life Lily Evans, all your life" Nia finished and turned over to get some sleep.

The next day began with a regular breakfast, Nia and Lily having participated in far too many games over the years to feel more than an ordinary level of anxiety and knowing that even if they did attempt to skip breakfast, they would incur the much feared wrath of Isabella Aldringham.

The hall was buzzing with the chatter of their fellow students. Friendly bets were being placed all around them and the first years were full to the brim with excitement at viewing the first game of the season. 

The Hufflepuff Quidditch team were all gathered in the centre of their table, no doubt going over their strategies one last time.

The Gryffindor team seemed much more relaxed. At one end, Aaron and Jack were discussing the Hufflepuff team’s line up. 

Near the middle, Sirius and James were joking and laughing and planning the after party. A little further on, chaser Cara could be seen happily chatting with her sixth year friends and nearby Nia and Lily were enjoying a good breakfast. 

Every once in a while the teammates would look over at their opponents and exchange smiling glances with each other. Hufflepuff’s evident nerves were not going to be of any use to them.

Soon it was time for the teams to leave and as they got up and exited, cheers erupted from the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff tables in support. Though this did nothing to alleviate the Hufflepuff team’s anxiety, the Gryffindor team could not help smiling and James Potter turning around to wave to them all as he stepped out.

"Okay, everyone ready?" James asked once his teammates had changed into their uniforms. Six faces nodded back at him. He took a deep breath.

"Right. Well you know what to do. We’ve been over it and over it and over it again. We can beat them, no problem. On top of having the best team in the school two years running, we won the cup last year and Hufflepuff won’t forget it coming into this match, which of course will be of no help. 

"Also, we have the advantage of experience. Hufflepuff have four new players and well…you saw what they were like at breakfast’ and he paused to look at the others again.

"Remember I don’t want this match to be good, I want it to be spectacular! I want to start the season with a bit of a bang, show those other teams what we’re made of! If they were scared of us last year, I want them to be terrified by the end of this match! Understand?" James asked.

"Yes" they replied in unison.

James sighed "right then! Let’s go out there and play!" the team cheered and walked out to be announced.

"And here comes the Gryffindor team! Captain, Potter, Johnson, Phillips, Fletcher, Black, Leighton and Evans!" called Charlie Reynolds, a fourth year who gave the commentary. The Gryffindor crowd cheered and whistled for their team.

"And here come the Hufflepuff team! Captain, Everett, Smith, Summers, Anderson, Clarke, Finley and Weston!"

Conditions were good. It was a clear, dry morning. If it was a little cold, it was nothing out of the ordinary for an October day in the far north. 

Madam Hooch was conversing with the two captains, they shook each other’s hand, the whistle was blown and the fourteen players darted through the air to assume their positions swiftly.

As the quaffle was thrown up, Reynolds’ voice could be heard again.

"And the game starts with Johnson taking the quaffle. Gryffindor’s back with the same excellent line up while Hufflepuff have several new additions. In fact, there’s their new beater Clarke coming at Johnson now! 

"Johnson passes the quaffle to Phillips and Gryffindor are still in possession. Phillips’ making her way down, passes to Potter. 

"Woah, where did Johnson come from? Johnson’s got the quaffle, he’s coming up to the hoops, he’s going to the right no wait, it’s the left and HE SCORES! Ten points to Gryffindor and an excellent start to the season! Not so great for Hufflepuff obviously"

Lily punched the air as Aaron threw the quaffle through the left hoop. She laughed at hearing the tumultuous cheering and applauding from the Gryffindor stands. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed her counterpart hovering nearby.

The young girl smiled at her nervously. Lily, heeding James’ advice, merely gave her a dirty look, the girl now looked terrified.

It was her first match and she had to contend with a seventh year of Amazonian proportions who was surprisingly agile for her height, was an excellent flyer and often made superb use of her dancing skills by creating an extremely distracting show of rolls and loops and twirls.

What other seeker wouldn’t be intimidated?

Gryffindor scored another twenty points until finally Lily saw a yellow clothed person weave in and out of the other players and score a goal. She sighed and looked over at James who, unsuprisingly, was looking severely unimpressed. 

Gryffindor got right back in it and the match went on. After their first goal, the Gryffindor chasers and Nia did their utmost from letting Hufflepuff score again and for the most part they succeeded.

Some fifteen minutes later as Lily heard Reynolds shout "and James Potter scores again, excellent set up by Johnson and Phillips there!" she noticed a glimmer of gold near one of the hoops up Gryffindor’s end. Taking advantage of the other seeker’s turned back, Lily sped through the air before she had the time to notice.

A moment later she could tell the young girl was on her tail, Lily made a sharp turn, looped through a hoop, just grazed the edge and sent her opponent flying smack into the rim.

She had no time to witness her counterpart’s descent, Lily slowly let go of her broomstick and stretched out her hands to quickly scoop up the snitch. 

She weaved in out of the hoops and then did a double loop in celebration as Charlie Reynolds could be heard saying "oooh bad crash for poor Weston there but excellent diversion from Evans but where is she? She’s…she’s got the snitch! Lily Evans catches the snitch for Gryffindor! Gryffindor win 220 to forty!"

Lily landed on the ground with the snitch still in her hands.

Nia was the first to throw her arms around her; soon the rest of the team had joined them, followed closely by the rest of their house.

Lily could just see the Hufflepuff players bent over what must’ve been the seeker, Weston. Shebroke away from the team and made her way over. 

Looking down at the girl, she felt moved to say "I am so sorry! I didn’t think you’d crash into the hoop; I was just trying to confuse you. Are you alright? Samantha, is it?"

The girl looked slightly dazed but managed a smile. "Yeah, it’s okay I was just a bit surprised, it didn’t hurt that much. It was an excellent trick though"

"Thanks, listen I’m sorry I had to be so nasty in the match, Captain’s orders"

"It’s okay, I get it-" but Samantha was cut off by the arrival of Nia, who dragged Lily up by the elbow and smiled kindly at the Hufflepuffs.

"Great match guys, Lily come on! Party in the common room"

A/N: Right well as you can I’ve attempted, for the first time ever, to write a Quidditch match into one of my stories. I hope it was alright. Please read and review.


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