It was beginning to get frustrating, to hear everything from gossipping Ravenclaws, but Seda realized they were a reliable source in anything Potter or Chang. The class was waiting in front of the Charms classroom as usual when the girls began talking. Their tones were hushed and serious for once, and this caught Seda's attention.
"Chey-Lin was crying all night," whispered Grace Diaz. "They were together this morning, but something's up now."
"They probably had a little row," said Ruby. "All couples do and Chey-Lin is dramatic, after all. The first time they snogged she came back almost screaming, remember?"
"As annoying as the screaming was, it was less worrisome," said Bonnie. "You're right. You guys, they've been getting a bit rocky lately. I think they might've broken up."
The three girls were silent as they absorbed this theory.
"I doubt it," said Ruby slowly. "It's well known that Al's a whimp in dumping girlfriends."
A tap on the shoulder made Seda jump. She turned and faced Malachy who was peering at her curiously. She put her finger to her lips and hushed him. She turned back to eavesdropping.
"He gave me these." Bonnie pulled out a long tube full of multicolored sunflower seeds. "They're my favorite, it's really sweet that he remembered. But this means he weant to Honeyduke's last night, however he did that. When he does he always brings something back for Chey. She doesn't have a new box of chocolates."
"How d'you know Chey didn't get a box of chocolates?" asked Grace.
"'Cause she squeals to us all every time she gets one," replied Bonnie. "There was no screaming last night. Only crying."
Seda turned away and furrowed her brow. She wondered vaguely what they had fought about.... When she looked up at Malachy and gave him a tense smile, something else caught her eye. Albus Potter was walking up towards them...Chey-Lin was not by his side. That was definitely very strange.
"Hello, Al," said the girls rather shrilly.
"Hey," he said. "What's up? Bonnie Blue, nice pack of treats there, d'you like them all right?"
"Of course," said Bonnie a little too quickly.
Albus turned slowly to face Seda. They stared at each other for several moments; Albus's face was almost blazing. Seda wondered what expression she'd arranged her own face into.
"Well, it's true," he said almost weakly. "About you and Chey."
"Of course it's true," said Seda calmly. "Does that change anything?"
He shook his head. "No, I don't think so. It doesn't matter what sort of blood she's got or anything."
Malachy and the Ravenclaw girls both turned more suspicious at every word.
"Funny," drawled Seda and she crossed her arms, "You seemed to care about that for me, Potter."
For a moment Albus looked stunned. "What? No, I never did. Okay, Malfoy, yes, a lot, but not you."
Anger flared up inside Seda. Scorpius, more of a Slytherin than herself? Seda opened her mouth to retort but Albus cut across her.
"Look, you don't have to get insulted at every little thing, Zabini," he said harshly.
"I don't get insulted at every little thing!" said Seda, and her eyes narrowed dangerously. And suddenly Albus laughed.
For a moment it seemed that all Albus could do was laugh.
"What?" Seda prompted impatiently.
"Your face," Albus laughed. "Ha ha!"
At Seda's side, Malachy rose to the occasion. "Oi! What's your problem?"
"Oh, right." Albus's smile vanished in a second and his face became serious. He turned to Seda. "Seda - is it alright that I call you Seda? - she felt threatened by you."
Seda considered this for a moment. "She thought I liked you or something?"
Seda put her hand up to her chin and massaged it thoughtfully with her index finger and thumb. "Well, that's clearly not the case. But Scorp felt threatened too. Maybe we should follow through and kill 'em," she added in a quick joke and grinned.
Albus actually laughed. "Sounds like a plan to me."
"Albus!" squealed Bonnie. "Did you just joke about killing Chey-Lin?"
Albus turned his twinkling eyes on her vaguely. "Sure." He turned back to Seda. "But that would be quite impossible."
"Oh now you talk about impossible," Seda said, raising her hands and rolling her eyes to the heavens.
"Did you just tell me I'm impossible?" Albus asked, a smirk straining his lips.
"Why yes, and it's quite true."
"Ha, of course it is. Only, I am living and breathing which makes me possible. You, on the other hand are also impossible. Always picking a fight."
"Excuse me, you're the one who always provokes me on purpose. You just called me impossible, by the way, so your argument means nothing."
"Fine," Albus grinned, "You're maddening."
"You are vexatious!" said Seda triumphantly. She suddenly felt all eyes upon her.
Albus's green eyes twinkled at her. "Fancy synonym for maddening. Pathetic."
"Oh, I'm not losing this one, Potter," said Seda seriously.
"So now joking around is a competition too?" Albus contemplated for a moment. "You're overzealous, Seda. I never asked you, what do you want to do as a profession?"
Startled by the abrupt change of conversation, Seda shrugged. "I have no idea."
Albus looked blown away. "What? But you're so smart and you'll be able to succeed at anything you do, you'll just claw your way to the top."
"Oh, yes I will," said Seda waspishly.
"Okay, other than Quidditch..." Albus bit his lip. "I want to figure this out."
"Why do you have to figure me out?" Seda frowned.
Albus dropped the pondering pose and looked at her. His expression was unreadable. They simply looked at each other vaguely. Suddenly a sharp voice rang out. "Students! So sorry I am late!"
Seda hated Professor Flitwick for a moment.
"I can't believe we're playing Gryffindor again," said Lang in a hollow voice.
"This hasn't happened for about fifty years!" Tommy lamented.
"We finished in the same place," said Seda bitterly. "We play them in the finals now."
"Zabini," snapped Tommy, "I know."
"Well, we've already done it!" said Seda. "We crushed Gryffindor. Let's just do it again."
A whistle blew and the team, dressed in their bright green Quidditch robes, got to their feet and shouldered their broomsticks.
"Let's go," said Tommy.
Nerves jangling, the Slytherins walked onto the pitch, amid cheers and boos. The sun was weak but still there and the ground was soft. There was absolutely no wind to speak of, which was good for everybody.
"Captains shake hands," said Madam Pousse.
Seda watched Tommy and Albus shake hands. Albus's green eyes were visibly gleaming and he didn't spare Seda a glance as he mounted his broomstick. The others clambered of theirs too.
"On my whistle," said Madam Pousse. "Three- two- one-"
Seda kicked off and seized the Quaffle before anybody else knew what was happening. She weaved through the opposing team and shot in the other direction. She had a clear shot; she threw the Quaffle and - the Gryffindor Keeper came flying out of nowhere and caught the damned thing!
"Potter is now in possession of the Quaffle," said the commentator. "He throws it to Thomas - Thomas makes a nice pass to- wait, the Quaffle's already in Potter's hands? Blimey, Gryffindor's got the Quaffle going like the Irish."
Seda pelted down the field. "Let's go!" she yelled to her other Chasers. They were gaining on the Gryffindors. As Melissa Bloom threw the Quaffle, Seda made a great catch and caught the ball. She turned sharply, to find Ben Thomas blocking her. She feinted left and bolted to the right and passed to Hunter. Damn! Albus intercepted and soared back to the Slytherin posts. This time Seda and the others struggled to keep up.
A Bludger flew at Albus but he dodged it easily and now he didn't even have to pass. Still he passed it easily to Bloom and she shot and--
Within ten minutes, Slytherin was down fifty to ten. When Gryffindor scored one more goal, making it sixty-ten, Seda seized the Quaffle. She sped down the field, fire blazing in her eyes. Gryffindors tried to block her and Bludgers tried to hit her, but Seda dodged all of them and continued charging madly. She rammed her body into the Gryffindor Keeper and threw the Quaffle through the goal.
"You bitch!" screamed the Keeper; his mouth was bleeding freely.
Seda ignored him. However, a few minutes later Gryffindor scored two more goals. This was not happening! For each goal Slytherin made, Gryffindor made four.
A couple hours later, the score was one hundred and fifty to Gryffindor and fifty to Slytherin. It was like a horrible nightmare. Now it was down to whoever caught the snitch.
"Lily Potter has seen the Snitch!" said the commentator. Indeed, had Lily made a very neat dive. Lang followed her like a whirlwind. They were very close to the ground. Lily pulled up neatly and Lang struggled to regain his balance. Everybody became breathless as the Seekers came neck to neck. The whole stadium gasped as Lily slammed her shoulder into Lang and at the same time launched her body forward, took both hands off her broom and-
Madam Pousse's whistle sounded and the stadium exploded.
Seda zoomed down to the ground and stormed off the pitch. She had lost! Albus Potter had beaten her yet again! She sprinted into the changing room; her team followed.
"AAARGH!" Seda yelled. She ripped off her head gear and threw it with all her strength; it knocked down a lonely locker. Frustration, humiliation and anger swarmed through Seda like poison. "I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS!"
"Sed-" began Lachlan.
"WE LOST!" she shrieked at him. Her eyes were almost deranged; she looked as she had when she received her 'Poor' grade- perhaps even worse. "YOU!" she screamed at Tommy. "YOU SUCK!'
"SHUT UP!" Tommy roared and he slammed his broomstick on the floor.
Seda made up her frenzied mind: she was going to kill Albus Potter. That was it. Just rid him off the face of the earth! She drew her wand and stormed out of the locker room. However, there wasn't a soul in the stadium- the team had already been presented wit hthe Cup and the school had already reentered Hogwarts.
Seda screamed out a cry of her soul and it echoed around the eerily empty pitch.
It was a beautiful spring Sunday, but Seda's stormy mood was impervious to the nice weather. She stormed down the grounds to where Albus sat reading on his own.
"Can a guy be in peace for a bit?" he said, sounding annoyed. "Without being threatened with a wand?" he added as Seda thrust her wand into his face.
"Stand up and fight," Seda spat. Albus got to his feet but he didn't draw his wand.
"Seda, it's just Quidditch," he told her realistically.
"But you beat me," Seda snarled.
"So?" Albus snapped. "Everybody loses sometimes, Seda. Get used to it! Life isn't always what you want it to be, everyone but you knows that." When Seda still looked thunderous, he moved so fast that Seda didn't even see him raise his wand. All she knew was that hers shot out of her hand and spun into Albus's. He pocketed them both.
"Al," said Seda, annoyed. However, he surprised her by putting his arms around her and holding her tightly. Seda's heart rate soared and her stomach plummeted. She temporarily lost her train of thought and the ability to speak. All the fight and anger drained out of her at once.
"What?" she whispered.
"You're only angry because I beat you," Albus said. He was smirking at her. They were incredibly close.
"You always win," Seda complained.
"Most of the time, yes," Albus conceded with a cheeky grin.
"I never win," whispered Seda, hurt crossing her eyes.
But Albus was smiling. He became much more subdued and suddenly shy. "No, you won something."
"What?" said Seda a little sharply.
"It's corny to the extreme," said Albus, "but you won my heart, Seda. I don't know how or why. You're infuriating and ridiculous, but somehow I just really like you."
Seda's heart seemed to stand still and oxygen failed to pass to her brain. "I like you too," she breathed. "I don't know how either. At times I hate you, but...oh, Al...."
Seda made a slight movement to back away but remained still. Slowly Albus reached up and touched her face gingerly. They were close, nothing but the calm wind between them. Seda's heart was in her throat as in a small corner of her mind she was screaming -No! No!-...Albus' hand cupped her chin and he moved in slowly. He travelled to her inch by inch, his twinkling eyes, his enchanting and sparkling green eyes, firmly set on hers.
Seda closed her eyes and a moment later Albus' lips touched hers. They were soft and warm and gentle, innocently pressed to hers. It was so simple, so perfect, and neither of them tried to intensify anything. For the first time this wasn't a competition. It wasn't like kissing Scorpius, trying to please his hunger and being determined to do so...there was no fight in Seda and she let Albus kiss her quietly, and he held her as if her body was a fragile thing, held her in a way Seda had never been held before. For the first time, Seda surrendered herself completely and ultimately to another being, firmly placing her heart in his hands.
And it was the most wonderful feeling she had certainly ever experienced.
Sorry the chapter was so short guys! i just had to break it cuz it wouldnt have the same effect...and i didnt want to fill the text with boring, useless stuff. either way, REVIEWS ARE APPRECIATED. :)
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