Wood smiled crookedly and nodded.  “I won’t.  I…I can’t believe it.  You are you!”


Piper’s brow furrowed in a mixture of thinly veiled humor and confusion.  “I am me?  Yes.  I am Piper.  Who the ruddy hell else would I be?”


He shook his head again and stuttered.  “N-no.  I mean you, Piper Prewett are really Piper James.  You’ve been hiding who you are for the entirety of our schooling.”  He looked perplexed.


She smiled ruefully.  “Yeah, pretty damn shocking.”


“Why?  If you don’t mind me asking?”


Piper seemed to struggle with her thoughts for a moment.  “Its easier this way,” she answered simply.


She started towards the House, and not wanting to cut short what was sure to be an interesting conversation, Oliver followed.  He was a little confused by two things. 


First off, he was talking to Prewett.  No, make that PJ James.  Prewett.  James.  Bloody hell. 


Secondly, why wouldn’t you want to claim Thomas James, the best coach ever, as your dad?  Admittedly, he wasn’t the nicest person, and seemed a bit harsh on her, but come on.  He was Thomas sodding James!


He decided to start the conversation.  “How’s that?  You could have whatever you want!”


She pursed her lips and peered at him.  Deeming him trustworthy, she spoke.  “It’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.  I have almost every possession I could ask for.  Brooms, money, parties; doesn’t matter.  Family and friends matter.”  She paused.  “Popularity is a crock.  An empty experience.  I don’t’ want to be known just because I’m a ‘James’.  I want people to like me for me.  Piper.  Not because I could get them tickets to any game in the League, or because of who my dad is.”  She sighed heavily, losing steam.  “Sorry.”  She tucked a long section of hair behind her ear and looked at him nervously.


Oliver grabbed the cold door handle of the Main House and turned to look at her.  “Why?”


Piper shrugged uncomfortably.  “I get a little worked up over it.”


He chuckled huskily, thinking about all the times he had to defend his Quidditch obsession.  “No worries.  I understand.”  He pushed open the door and held it open for her, allowing her to pass.  “So how was it to grow up in the most famous Quidditch dynasty in Britain?”


Piper stopped in front of the fridge with a disgusted scowl dancing across her face.  “Don’t tell me you read that piece of rubbish.  What an idiot.”  She tossed him a bottle of water.


He caught it deftly, being a keeper and all, and grinned cheekily.  “You don’t like him?”


Piper glared jokingly.  “What tipped you off?  No, I can’t stand him.  He was here over the summer and was an ass.  He ignored me until he figured out who I was, and then he wouldn’t leave me alone.  Bloody pedophile.”  She shivered think of the fat, balding git who could have been her father.


The two talked pleasantly for a few minutes, before Oliver had his first training session.  He bounded outside excitedly, while Piper decided to go see her brother Jensen.  Since he was a Beater, he was excused from having to help the Keeper training. 


Piper was close to each of her brothers in a different way.  Jason was more joking, so their relationship was more like friends.  He’d tease her, but it was all in good fun. 


Jensen was far more subdued than his brother; not nearly as hot tempered as her father.  In a way, they had more of what Piper considered a father-daughter relationship.  Jensen sure had seemed like a second dad to her growing up.  Piper got sick, or injured, and Jensen was there.  The connection was more mature.  Personally, Piper looked up to Jensen for who he was and how he acted, while she only looked up to her father for what he had achieved in his life.


Jensen was ensconced in lavender tulle when Piper found him.  His five year old Maddie had decided that 9 in the morning was a wonderful time for a tea party.  Piper smiled tenderly.


There is nothing like a man who is good with kids.  She loved children, and to see someone taking such joy out of humoring his daughter warmed her heart.  Standing in the doorway unnoticed, Piper watched the proceedings with a soft heart.  Maddie poured the tea into a small porcelain tea cup from the set that Piper had bought her for Christmas.  Jensen, muscles rippling beneath his shawl of tulle, thanked her and complimented her on her exquisite taste in tea.  Maddie beamed, revealing a gap toothed smile. Jensen drank the tea, smartly hiding his grimace at its flavor.  He leaned over to smooth her hair and dropped a loving kiss on her soft blonde curls.  He then dropped his mouth to whisper something into her ear.


“Aunt Pipey!  Aunt Pipey!”  A five year old bundle of energy slammed into Piper, who swung her up into a crushing bear hug.  “I missed you so much.”


Piper laughed heartily.  Setting her down, Piper patted her head.  “Muffin, you just saw me on Christmas!  Like three days ago.”


Maddie dramatically smacked a small hand to her forehead.  “Holy snitch.  I forgetted.”


Piper crooked an eyebrow.  “Holy snitch?”  She turned her look pointedly to Jensen.


He smiled apologetically.  “It was the best we could come up with.”  He shrugged.


Maddie had gone through the phase, just like every other kid does, of repeating everything they heard.  Growing up around professional Quidditch players, some of whom swore like muggle sailors, had rubbed off terribly on her.  Piper vividly remembered the time when Maddie was two, and told Piper that “if Piper didn’t get her fat ass off the couch and make her some damn cookies, she was going to bean her upside the head with the fucking Quaffle”.   That was courtesy of Jensen’s fellow Beater, Samson Holmes.  Now, the family had to come up with very creative ways to curse around her.


A tugging on her hand brought Piper back into the world.  “What is it?”  She smiled and bent over to look Maddie in the eye.


Maddie smiled brightly and told her.  “Your boyfriend is sooo cute.  We should keep him and bake him cupcakes all day long.”


Piper hugged her brother who had walked over to the two.   “My boyfriend?  Who in the bloo-ming onion have you been listening to?”


“Uncle J.”


Jason was so dead tomorrow.  Piper took Maddie’s hand, relishing in the way that Maddie’s hand seemed to cling to hers.  “Muffin, Aunt Piper doesn’t have a boyfriend.”


“Then who is that lad you were talking to after Grandpa yelled at you?”


Walking down the stairs to the main family room, Piper silently cursed her spying brothers and Maddie.  “He’s just…a friend?  Not my boy friend.  But just a boy, who happens to be a friend.”  Piper flushed profusely, briefly wondering why she was acting the way she was.


“Alrighty, Maddie-love.  Leave Aunt Piper alone.  How about you go find your Quidditch kit that Grandma got you?”  Jensen ushered her out the door, locking it after she left.  He turned to his kid sister.  “So, how pissed are you at me?  Or us?”


Piper cocked her head.  “What are you talking about?  What did you do?”  Piper’s mind raced over the last few days.


Jensen pulled nervously at his collar.  “Do you want the list?  Well, there is the argument with Dad in front of all of those guys this morning.  Or causing Dad to ‘out’ you to Wood.  And spying on you with Maddie.”  He ended somewhat awkwardly.


Piper shook her head.  “I can’t be mad at you guys.  He never would have given me the chance otherwise.  As for the Wood thing…he would have found out sooner or later.  Honestly,” she cut off his yet to be vocalized interruption.  “He would have.  One week at my house when I’m here, is way to long for someone, including myself, not to slip up.  Don’t blame yourself.”  She plopped onto the couch across from the fire, sending a fire starting charm across the room. 


Jensen slid next to her and dropped a kiss onto the top of her head.  “I won’t, but I know that you wanted to stay ‘Prewett’.  Will he keep your secret?”


Piper thought on that.  “I think so.  He seemed to understand.  I know I’ve never been too keen on him or anything, but Percy says he’s a nice kid.  Seems nice enough.  Hard-working.”  Endearing. Cute.  Where the hell did that come from?


Jensen laughed.  “You sound just like Dad.”


Piper glared and playfully punched him in the arm.  “Do you think we could use some of my drills for tomorrow’s skill session?


Jensen shrugged.  “Sure, yours are as good as anyone else’s.”




Deciding on what drills to use, the siblings parted ways.  Jensen went outside to help with Training and Piper to her House in search of a damn cupcake.



“You have to pull out sooner!  Give it to her, and then get the hell outta Dodge!”


Piper burst out laughing at her dad.  Who flattened her with a simmering glare.  Obviously, his mind didn’t automatically swerve into the gutter like most of the other people around her, who were cleverly hiding their smirks behind coughs and hands. 


The participants of the Training Camp had spent the last half an hour doing laps, and had just moved on to skill drills.   Piper’s skill drills.  She had an incredible set.  Difficult dives, complicated catches, and speed were the key.  Most of the men were doing alright; a few were excelling quickly.  Piper looked down at her clipboard and smiled wickedly when she saw the next drill.  The whistle rang out shrilly, halting all of the guys in the air.


“Everybody off your brooms and get your butts down here!”  Piper yelled a little too enthusiastically.  


Jason dismounted and sauntered over to Piper with their dad.  “Oh shite boys.   The demonic look on PJ’s face can only mean one thing.”  He locked frightened gazes with Jensen.  They spoke together.


“Piper Elizabeth James’ hour of cruel and unusual punishment.” 


Piper rolled her eyes and Thomas snorted.  “Cruel and unusual punishment?  Is she rigging everyone up to wood planks and tightening the thumbscrews?”  He laughed condescendingly.


Piper narrowed her eyes at her father.  Raising an eyebrow, she smirked.  “You man enough Dad?”



Thomas blustered about huffily.  “Course.”  He turned towards Jason and gruffly added, “Jason- you call it out.  PJ  can’t.  These guys won’t take it from her.   She’ll do the drills with us.”  He sent another withering glare to Piper.


Whose face was contorted into an identical withering glare.  How dare he?  She wasn’t going to run her drills?  That is completely mental!  Didn’t she just whip all of the Seekers yesterday?  Hell yes.  Apparently that didn’t count for anything to her dad.  Figures.


Oliver touched down and noticed the completely hostile glare-fest that was occurring between Prewett-James and Coach James.  He pondered what it was about, and then decided it was none of his business.  Stowing his broom with everyone else, he strolled over to stand next to Piper.  Who shifted her dangerous scowl to him.  He smiled weakly, absolutely sure that it came out more like a grimace.


She shook off her glare and smiled warily at him.  Sort of.  Stupid sodding Dad.  Can’t take it out on Wood though.  He’d be pissed if I scared Wood away before Training Camp was over.  Maybe I’ll dazzle him with my brilliant smile.  She snorted, receiving a confused look from said boy, and decided.  Guess I’ll be dazzling him with my athletic skills.


They locked competitive gazes and nodded.


Game on.



AN:  I’m pretty excited for the rest of the story.  Please Review!  Or leave a suggestion.  How can I make it better if no one tells me what to fix?  Thanks!       - Amanda

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