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I’ve been walking around all day laughing
Think I’d be better of without you here
I bet you’re sweet and hard to get over
So I’ll cry and people will stop and stare
Now that’s OK, let them stop and stare

Delilah folded up the scrap of paper and tied it to the foot of one of the school owls. She was in the Owlery, dressed in her Quiddich robes and wondering why she felt the need to send Lucius her lyrics. Maybe to prove that she was writing them?

She’d written to her parents and asked them to have her guitar delivered to Hogwarts. She couldn’t remember why she decided to stop bringing it to school… She couldn’t remember when she’d stopped playing it. But she knew she was excited. She couldn’t wait to see how her words sounded to the music she had planned for them. It would be perfect. She knew it would be perfect. He’d see.

She lit a cigarette and watched the owl take off on it’s short journey around the castle. She perched herself on the edge of the battlements, smoking calmly and waiting for the owl to return to let her know Lucius had got her mail.

She wondered if he’d notice the slight jabs in her words. ‘Let them stop and stare’. He never did like people looking. ‘Better of without you here’ was an obvious one. She inhaled deeply and enjoyed the feeling of smoke seeping out between her lips.

She was Gryffindor and Muggleborn, those were things of shame for Lucius. Being Gryffindor was one of the things Sirius was so passionate about and he loved that she was Muggleborn; mostly because it would annoy his mum.

She reclined along the castle edge, allowing a leg to dangle over the fatal drop. When you took the time to think about it Lucius and Sirius had a lot of parallels. Both from important pureblood families, both with inheritances at risk, both fraternising with the ‘enemy’. Sirius had openly went against his family, he’d lost his inheritance- he’d told her so. He’d stood up for what he believed in. His brother barely spoke to him. He’d moved out and was living with the Potter’s. Lucius was hiding. Lucius was a coward.

Sirius had done what Lucius could not and Sirius had done it for himself, he hadn’t even had a girl’s heart to act for. The thought filled her with a certain rage. It was as though she always had a certain amount of anger twisting in her gut and Lucius brought it into sharp relief. She lay on the battlements with her blood beginning to simmer; getting ready to boil. It was less than an hour before the first Quiddich match of the year began. Gryffindor versus Slytherin. It could prove interesting.

Delilah finished her cigarette and flicked it off the castle. It tumbled to the grass below, blown out long before it hit the ground.

“The Halloween Ball has never stressed me so much before,” Lily told Remus and Peter as they settled into three seats high on the Quiddich stands. “I mean Delilah and I went shopping yesterday and I got a dress, but now she won’t show me hers and I’m panicking in case what I’ve got is too fancy. I never worried before… does James like fancy?”

“He likes you,” Remus said kindly, “He’ll like whatever you wear.”

“But this is our first real date,” Lily agonised, “It’s hard to date at school and this will be our first official ‘he asked me to the ball’ date!”

“You’ll be fine!” Remus patted her back awkwardly but reassuringly nonetheless.

“Yeah,” Pete nodded, “Don’t worry Lil’s, James is nervous too.”

Below them in the Gryffindor changing rooms James was indeed, extremely, nervous. He paced in front of his team, eyeing them beadily and sweating quite a bit. “We’ve got to pull it together people! We can not perform like we’ve been doing in practice! We can not lose to Slytherin? Do you hear me?” He turned on Jenkins’ who, rather than paying attention, was trying to set his fellow chaser Patterson’s robes on fire, “JENKIN’S DO YOU HEAR ME?” James shrieked and the boy jumped.

“Yes!” He yelped in response and Sirius snorted.

“Sirius! Please!” James turned pleading eyes on his friend, “There are seven people on that pitch who you can knock of their brooms. By all means, knock away! They are the ones in the green! Do not knock any of our team to the ground or I will suspend you! Do you hear me?”

“YES SIR!” Sirius barked laughing.

Back outside on the Slytherin side of the stands Narcissa Black was wrapped up from the late October chill in a huge, emerald scarf. “I love watching him play,” She told Andromeda who was looking unnecessarily anxious about the upcoming match, “He’s such an amazing seeker, far better than Potter.”

“Are you two dating now?” Andromeda asked but her eyes weren’t on her sister, rather they were squinted towards the changing rooms as she waited impatiently for the players to emerge.

“Well not quite yet,” Narcissa didn’t sound pleased, “He invited me to the ball but he hasn’t officially asked me out. It’s should only be a matter of time though… Are you sure you don’t know what that note means? Is it something you’ve been learning in NEWT level?” Narcissa had been disappointed when her sister had been unable to make sense of the strange note that never made it to Lucius. Andromeda had reprimanded her for taking it and then said that she quite simply had no idea what it might mean.

“I’ve been walking around all day thinking/ I think I have a problem I think I think too much/ I’ve been taught to hold back my tears and avoid them/ But you make pain into something I can touch,” Andromeda recited, “Yes actually, now that I think about it Narcissa, that does sound like something McGonagal was saying last Thursday!” Andromeda rolled her eyes, “It sounds like nothing more than a bad poem to me. Maybe it’s from home? Maybe it’s something he read as a child?” Andromeda was still staring steadily at the changing rooms. She actually had a pretty good idea of who might be sending Lucius such notes but she wasn’t about to tell Narcissa. After all Andromeda knew what it was like to like someone you shouldn’t… “Oh look, there’s Slytherin!” The end of Andromeda’s exclamation was drowned out by a deafening roar; the crowds surrounding the sisters exploded into a torrential avalanche of screaming and cheering. The boo’s from the other side of the pitch were barely audible, all Andromeda could hear was wild support and then Gryffindor flew out of their changing rooms and suddenly she was in the centre of an angry, yelling mob. She and Narcissa joined in, screaming and shouting abuse. Then, sometime amongst the noise, the captains shook hands and the game began.

Fourteen players shot into the air, a blur of crimson and emerald.

“Isn’t he fabulous?” Narcissa squealed pointing at Lucius as he automatically shot high above the rest of the players and began scouring the air for the Golden Snitch. James Potter was doing the same but on the other side of the pitch. The real game was high above the Quaffle and Bludger.

“AND THEY’RE OFF!” The commentators voice boomed throughout the stands causing Andromeda to jump. “SLYTHERIN IN IMMEDIATE POSSESSION!” The Slytherin crowd roared their approval as their chasers passed the Quaffle back and forth, back and forth with practised precision. The argumentative Gryffindor chaser’s weren’t getting a look in. “OH AND A CLOSE CALL FOR GRYFFINDOR! TROTSKY MISSES BUT BARELY! GOOD SAVE BY ABBOT!” The Slytherin crowd groaned and jeered in distaste but that was nothing compared to what was coming, “TROTSKY IS OFF HIS BROOM! TROTSKY HAS BEEN KNOCKED OFF HIS BROOM CURTESY OF BLACK! WHAT A BEATER HE IS!” Trotsky tumbled to the ground like a broken doll, the bludger had winded and unseated him, it was the hard ground bellow that knocked him unconscious. “SLYTHERIN ARE ONE PLAYER DOWN! THIS DOES NOT LOOK GOOD FOR THE BOYS IN GREEN!”

Sirius was doing a victory lap past the Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw stands as they chanted his name. A bludger from Thornton, a burly looking Slytherin beater, missed the handsome boys head by mere inches. Sirius face was a picture of menace as he turned towards the boy. He swept forward, seeking revenge, but Delilah had him covered. She flew past Thornton, lent so low on her broom that she was barely more than a blur then, with perfected precision, smashed his face with her bat. The Slytherin crowd disapproved.

Up in the Gryffindor stands Lily screamed, “She‘ll get disqualified!”

“Naw she won’t!” Pete shrieked as he applauded, “Hooch didn’t see a thing!”

The beginning of the game really set the tone for what was to come. It was one of the most violent games Hogwarts had ever seen. Delilah Tyler, especially, seemed to have taken personal offence to the Slytherin team and was doing her very best to not only dislodge them from their brooms but to cause them some permanent damage.

“OH THAT HAS GOT TO HURT!” Screamed the commentator as Delilah used both arms to smack a bludger at the, until then, only uninjured chaser of the Slytherin team. The bludger smashed into Richwood’s left arm and from the way it was now sitting it was clear it had broken.

Lily was peeking out at the game through her fingers, “It’s so horrible!” She whispered but the rest of the crimson stand disagreed.

There were Gryffindor casualties too, one chaser was now in the hospital wing and Sirius had a nasty cut above his eye, blood was oozing along his cheek as he pulled up next to Delilah. “They’ve gone after James.” He pointed and sure enough James was now completely distracted from his snitch quest as he now had more important things to worry about, like avoiding a full on Slytherin offensive. “I’m going to help him out, you make sure Malfoy doesn’t get near the snitch,”

Delilah’s eyes widened a touch but she nodded, slapped Sirius’ hand then flew off wondering how it would feel to hit Lucius with a bludger.


But Delilah didn’t make it that far. Richwood had abandoned any dreams of scoring a goal and was now shooting towards Delilah, murder in his tiny eyes.

The commentator was screaming in excitement, “RICHWOOD IS GAINING ON TYLER! HE DOESN’T LOOK HAPPY! AND SHE DUCKS A VERY BADLY AIMED PUNCH- OH RICHWOOD THAT’S GOT TO HURT!” Delilah’s beaters bat was lunged into Richwood’s gut and he doubled over, he’d used his good arm to swing the punch and now dislodged himself. He slipped from his broom. “IS HE OUT?” Cried the commentator and the crowd watched on as Richwood was loaded onto a stretcher, “TWO SLYTHERIN CHASERS DOWN! THE GAME IS ON MALFOY’S SHOULDERS NOW!” Barely a second passed then, “AND HE’S SPOTTED THE SNITCH! LUCIUS MALFOY HAS SPOTTED THE SNITCH!”

Delilah turned to chase but realised she didn’t have to. Lucius was hurtling towards her, his eyes narrowed in concentration, his arm outstretched. A brief flick of her eyes showed the snitch floating just to the right of her face.


There wasn’t enough time. She didn’t want to hit him. She didn’t want him to win. So much she didn‘t want to do. Oh well, there wasn’t any time. Without really thinking Delilah simply moved her broom, she moved in front of the snitch. Lucius hand snatched at her face rather than around the golden ball, there was a slight second during which she had time to feel his nails slice her cheek and then they collided.

“DELILAH!” Lily’s scream was lost amongst the crowd. She watched in horror as blood flew from Delilah’s sliced cheek in a graceful arc and then she and the Slytherin seeker plummeted towards the ground in a grotesque, gravitational embrace.

Sirius hurtled towards the falling pair knowing that he’d never make it. He lent lower on his broom, his wand dug against his chest.

Delilah’s bones jarred. Her entire body screamed in protest and she knew she, they, were falling. She could feel him against her, she would hit the ground and he would hit… her. Falling from that height, then being crushed by a large male; even with magical aftercare her chances didn’t look so good. She had the fleeting thought that maybe she should have just let him win the game… She could hear the crowd screaming, smell the comforting tang of Lucius, feel her body seizing up… Then she heard the commentator yell, “POTTER’S GOT THE SNI-,”

Lyrics taken from Maria Mena 'Free'

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