chapter image by Schultz.@TDA!
What did I get myself into? I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I felt at a complete loss for words and for actions. My mind spun, but nothing made sense. I had thoughts filling ever crook of my brain, but they were all so loud that I couldn’t understand them. The words mixed together in the scream that wanted to escape my throat. My head was pounding from the mere force of all of the words in my brain. I couldn’t get rid of any of it. I couldn’t it stop. So what do I do?
I fly. It’s what I do best after all.
The wind whipped at my hair, sending it in a flame behind me. My gloves gripped my broomstick firmly, guiding it this way and that. My feet were hooked comfortably in their own small spots. My body was pressed against the broom, willing it to go faster. My eyes watered from the pressure put against them, but that didn’t stop me. I just kept flying. I looked up at the sky, the sun not even warming my skin. Nothing could make me feel less cold than I felt right now.
I came to a stop, looking out over the Falcon’s field. When I came to this team, I had been so set on becoming the player I needed to be. I had my goals set high and I had intended on reaching them. Nothing else had mattered to me. I had always had certain morals I always found it necessary to follow. Mostly like I didn’t need a personal life to be the Quidditch player I wanted to be. Quidditch was everything. Quidditch was what would ultimately make me happy. I needed to be remembered for something. I needed to be remembered for all the hard work and dedication I showed the game. Something in my life had to matter.
I heard a loud whistle come from the field below. I looked down to see Matt wrapped up in his winter jacket, waving at me to come down. As much as I wanted to stay in the air, I flew down, landing rather ungracefully in front of Matt. I took a deep breath, flipping my messy hair away from my face. Matt studied me for a second, his arms crossed in front of him. I couldn’t read his expression. That was the thing about Matt Hankin: he was a locked door that not even ‘alohomora’ could open. Matt would drink and play Quidditch, a good joke here and there, but never was one to discuss much more. To normal women, he probably looked hot and brooding. To me, he looked lost in his own world.
“What do you want?” I asked, though I found my tone a lot more biting than I intended. Matt didn’t look affronted by my actions in the least. It was like he was expecting it.
“What the bloody hell are you doing?” Matt asked me, his eyebrows furrowing at me.
“Flying?” I tried. He sighed deeply at me.
“Don’t you think all of this is a little over kill?” He gestured down at my broom.
“We are headed to the championship. I felt it was appropriate to practice a bit,” I informed him, feeling the cold finally begin to numb my fingers. Matt sighed.
For the last week and a half of the post season, the Falcons crushed all of their opponents. As we had ranked first in the league, we had gotten straight to the second round, defeating the Ballycastle Bats and then crushing the Wasps. In our last game of our division, we had skidded by the Arrows, who put up a very good fight. It went right to the last minute. Chris had barely caught the snitch. Yet in the end, we became victorious. So of course, going into the championship game, we were going to play the one team that I never wanted to have to see again….or should I say, the person I’d never want to see again. Tyler Gates and the Chudley Cannons.
“You’re avoiding everyone.” Matt crossed his arms, waiting for my response. It was true. I had been avoiding people. More importantly, I had been avoiding James. Ever since the whole…situation, I wasn’t sure how I was going to deal with it. With him. I told him he would talk, but somehow through all of the practicing and games and parties, I had easily dodged him. He didn’t seem all to concerned with my dodging. I think to him, he was chalking it up to the pressures of Quidditch.
“I am trying to be the best player I can be, Matt.” I grumbled, heading away from the pitch and towards the locker room. Matt followed.
“Do you realize it has been two weeks since you talked to Potter?” Matt questioned. Why did Matt have to know everything?
“I didn’t.” I lied, avoiding Matt’s knowing gaze. He put his arm into mine, making me fall into step with him.
“Heard you guys slept together….again.” I didn’t look at Matt as I felt my cheeks flushing.
“Who told you that?” I had to buy time to come up with a good excuse.
“James.” Matt stated. Great. Even better. “You can’t avoid him together.”
I wanted to tell Matt that I could. The thought of talking to James made me feel sick. I didn’t know what I was going to say and I didn’t know what I wanted from the two of us. I didn’t have time to concentrate on that. Flying needed my attention now. Then suddenly, I actually did feel sick. It wasn’t just the thought of James that made me sick, I was actually going to be sick. I quickly shoved into the locker rooms and stumbled to the bathroom, finding the nearest toilet just in time as I vomited breakfast. Matt had somehow managed to catch up just in time to see the croissant I had eaten.
“Potter makes me sick sometimes too.” Matt was leaning against the wall. He was so used to people throwing up (mainly himself) that I was sure the sight of me vomiting didn’t disturb him. Once I felt like all of the contents of my stomach were gone, I leaned my head against the cold stone wall.
“The thought of having that talk with him is what makes me feel so sick.” I admitted. Matt put a hand on my lower back.
“Didn’t think you meant literally.” Matt joked. I sent him a cold glare. Sighing, he waved his wand and a damp towel was in his hand. He placed it on my forehead.
“Shut up.” I mumbled, but didn’t reject his kind gesture.
“Let’s get you home, Juliet.” Matt said, pulling me to my feet. I felt my stomach reject the movement and I immediately folded back into the toilet. Better the toilet than Matt’s sweater.
I wrapped myself into my blanket, folding up onto the couch. All I wanted was a bowl of tomato soup and some saltines crackers. I imagined dipping the saltines into the soup and watching them absorb all of the tomato-y goodness. Mmm. Tempting. Ever since throwing up in the locker room, I had felt achy and rather ill. This couldn’t be at a worse time. I had more important things to do than to be sick. There was more practicing and…more practicing.
There came a loud knock at the door. I moaned, ignoring it as I rolled onto my side, cuddling into a decorative pillow. The knock echoed in my ears again. It made my head pound and I felt my stomach churn again. No, I wasn’t going to throw up on my brand new area rug. It just wouldn’t happen. Closing my eyes, I tried to again ignore the pounding, but whoever it was, they were way too persistent. I mumbled profanities as I got to my feet, dragging myself towards the door. I pulled it open and was immediately greeted by the grinning faces of Gabby and Jenny. Joy.
“You look like hell.” Gabby said, frowning at me. I glared daggers, but didn’t bother to respond, going back to the couch as they followed me in.
“What happened to you?” Jenny asked, plopping down in the
arm chair opposite me. Gabby took a seat by my feet and tried to comfortingly rub my leg.
“Mm’sick.” I mumbled. Jenny and Gabby shared a worried look.
“Right before the championship?” Jenny asked. I nodded.
“I’ll be fine.” I reassured them. They didn’t look very reassured.
“You better play. We didn’t come all this way for nothing!” Jenny said. Gabby reached over and smacked her.
“Don’t you care for your little sister?” Gabby asked Jenny, who just shrugged. I couldn’t find the capacity to care, really.
“So going out tonight is out of the question?” Jenny asked, sighing as Gabby gave her another glare.
“Why don’t we have a healer look at you?” Gabby suggested. I groaned. I hated going to healers when I was sick. I barely liked doing it when I was hurt in Quidditch.
“I’ll be fine.” I repeated. Gabby got to her feet, walking around me and into the kitchen. I heard her going through cupboards.
“You don’t have soup?” Gabby called from the kitchen. Jenny smirked at me, putting her feet up on the coffee table. It was still so weird to me that Gabby and Jenny were opposites in every way possible. While Gabby was calm, loving and passive, Jenny was loud, boisterous, and aggressive. When I needed to talk about my feelings, I would easily go to Gabby. When I needed to have a good time, I went to Jenny. I still found it so impossible to believe that we were all related. So different, yet it was really easy to come together and be sisters.
“I don’t cook.” I called into the kitchen. Gabby peeked around the corner, holding a roll of crackers. She came in, tossing them onto my lap.
“I lived off of those when I was pregnant.” Jenny said nonchalantly, staring at her finger nails. I looked at her.
“That’s not funny.” I growled. She shrugged. I felt my stomach stir again as I tried to open the crackers. Instead, I threw the crackers and sprinted to the bathroom. I really wasn’t sure what I was throwing up anymore since I hadn’t eaten anything in a good day or so. I felt Gabby rubbing circles on my back as Jenny held my hair.
I felt pathetic, but I suppose I’d rather feel this way in front of my sisters than anyone else.
The doorbell rang through the flat again. I groaned, leaning my head against the cold bathtub next to me.
“I’ll get it.” Gabby mumbled, getting off the ground and leaving the bathroom.
“Who is it?” I asked Jenny in an exhausted voice.
“WHO IS IT?” Jenny shouted, her voice echoing off of the bathroom walls. I groaned, but didn’t bother protesting. There was silence and then Gabby peeked her head in the bathroom, her face slightly red.
“It’s Potter.” She whispered. I hadn’t gotten the chance to fill Gabby and Jenny in on anything that was James. They just had the tabloids to listen to and they always knew those were wrong.
“Tell him she’s sick.” Jenny told Gabby.
“Matt told him she was sick and wanted to check up on her.” Gabby explained. Jenny looked at me with raised eyebrows.
“Want us to send him away?” Jenny asked. I shook my head, pushing myself off of the ground.
“No, I’ve got to talk to him.” I told them. They both shared a worried look, but I didn’t even bother to wave it off. It was true. The championship game was around the corner and I hadn’t talked to James about our incident.
In truth, I didn’t know what I was going to say to him. The “incident” was a passionate mess. I hadn’t meant to do it, it had simply happened. Did I regret it? To a certain point I did. Not that I wasn’t fantastic, it always was, but I had made that vow when I came here to keep Quidditch at the front of my mind and with James and my relationship getting in the way of that, it made things a bit troublesome. If there was one thing I learned from my past, it was that the things that are going to carry you through life are yourself and Quidditch.
I couldn’t let anything or anyone stand in the way of Quidditch. Not even James Potter.
James was standing in the doorway when I emerged from the bathroom, wringing his hands nervously. He ran one of those hands through his hair, messing it up even more than it already was. This was the first time we were alone (other than my sisters in the bathroom) since the broom closet. I smiled sheepishly, though my stomach and muscles ached as I did this. James immediately stepped forward, worry etched on every inch of his face. I held up my hand to stop him. I didn’t need help.
“I’m fine.” I told him, though that was far from the truth. I saw him sigh, but nod all the same.
“Want to sit down?” He asked me. I nodded, going around the couch and taking my favorite cushion. He sat down next to me. There was a stretch of silence. I knew James would want me to talk first, but I couldn’t find the appropriate words.
“Are you sure you’re okay? My grandmum makes the most amazing cold soup-“ James started, but I shook my head to cut him off.
“I’m fine, James. Really.” I insisted. He looked at me, studying my face. Okay, so maybe fine wasn’t the right word to use, but it was all I could say.
“I was beginning to think you were avoiding me after a couple of weeks ago. Haven’t been alone together since then.” James explained. I felt a flush creep up my cheeks. I was avoiding him.
“Look James… I just-“ I felt myself beginning my speech. The “we should just be friends” speech, but James cut me off.
“Gigi, you need to figure out what you want. One minute you are telling me you don’t have feelings for me and the next you are shagging me in a broom closet. I need to know what you feel for me. I don’t want this speech about how Quidditch comes first, because we both know we could make it work if you were willing to. If you like me at all, Gigi, you need to tell me. If not, I would appreciate it if we stopped shagging.” James said this in practically one breath. I think he had practiced it a few times. I blinked, taken back by his words.
“Okay.” Was all I could say. He did a double take, furrowing his eyebrows at me.
“Okay?” he repeated, not quite sure I had said it.
“I”ll let you know. Before the championship game.” I told him. He nodded, still in a bit of a confused dazed, but knowing he was going to get what he wanted.
“Well, alright then.” He mumbled, getting to his feet. “I’ll see you at the meeting tonight, then.”
He left and didn’t glance back at me.
Before I had a second to register what the hell had just happened, Gabby and Jenny were in the room, staring at me, waiting for me to say anything. I couldn’t come up with a single word. Jenny pursed her lips and Gabby was at my side in a moment, wrapping her arms around my shoulder and putting her head on my arm. They both stared at the door with me, probably equally as confounded as I was. Jenny put a hand on my opposite shoulder, trying her best to be affectionate, but this was definitely not her strong suit.
“That was a bit awkward.” Jenny stated. I nodded. That it was.
“While you two were having your weird moment, we called the doctor and got you in! Half hour! Let’s go!” Gabby informed quickly, her arms already placed around me so that we were out the door the minute she said this.
They are smarter than they look.
“You could’ve at least let me changed!” I whined, pulling at my over-sized sweat shirt and grimacing as I ran my tongue over my teeth that I hadn’t gotten the opportunity to brush after throwing up.
“You wouldn’t have gone if we wouldn’t have taken you right away,” Jenny said, brushing passed a small boy who was whining to his mother about his stomach ache.
“Point taken.” I mumbled. We approached the receptionist who looked like she had swallowed two hippogriffs and wasn’t sure which end she was supposed to force them out of. She grimaced upon seeing someone approaching her, but put the fake smile on her face nonetheless.
“Can I help you?” She drawled, looking at us over her spectacles.
“Appointment for my sister here, Gigi Jacobs.” Jenny told her, giving me a swift pat on the shoulder. I moaned at the ache that caused me.
“Head back to room 412.” She looked down at her paperwork in front of us, not giving a second glance. I just shrugged, letting myself be dragged down the corridor by the girls. We passed pictures who didn’t seem worried that Gigi Jacobs was walking their halls. They looked at me like I was a normal person. For once. Hmm. Maybe healers weren’t all that bad.
I sighed, pushing open the door.
The room was like any old exam room. There was a sterilized bed with white sheets that I knew had to be changed every time a new patient was on it, but I still felt like I was going to come down with dragon pox if I sat on it. The rooms were bright white, so bright that I got a headache looking at it. The room was so painful to be in that I felt even sicker. The gloves were lined perfectly on the wall and the lights made the room have a certain temperature to it that made a small sweat break on my forehead.
“I hate healer visits.” I mumbled, sitting in one of the chairs lining the opposite wall.
“If you want to be better for the championship, you’ll suck it up.” Jenny said, sitting down next to me and kicking her feet up on the bed. Gabby rolled her eyes, sitting on the edge of the bed, facing us. Gabby grabbed a magazine from a rack and began to flip through the pages.
“He can fix me, right?” I grumbled. I felt like a spoiled child, but I hated being sick.
“We can find out my abilities together.” I heard from the door and saw a middle aged man standing in the doorway, a large grin on his face. If he wasn’t middle aged and a healer, I would have found him attractive.
“Hello!” Jenny said, putting a hand on my arm. “My dear sister here is sick and needs our healing abilities.”
“Let’s see what I can do, then.” He said, smiling at Jenny and waving his wand, a chair with wheels appearing in front of me. He sat down on it, pursing his lips as he studied my pale face for a bit and then put his wand to my forehead. There was a small beep and I felt a cold rush fall over me.
“What was that?” I asked him. He pulled his wand away from my forehead.
“Just a precaution.” He said, leaning back and folding his hands into his lap. “So what brings you here, Ms. Jacobs?”
“My sisters.” I told him. He chuckled when Gabby shot me a dirty glare.
“That’s normally the only way I get athletes in here.” The Healer stated, twirling his wand in his hands.
“She’s got this nasty bug or something. Throwing up everywhere.” Gabby explained.
“I’m sure I’d be fine with just a bit of sleep.” I tried, but the Healer seemed to ignore me, spinning around in his chair.
“You’re the player that dated Potter, right?” The Healer asked me, continuing his spinning.
“Yes.” I grumbled. I felt my stomach spin again. I was glad there was no more vomit left in me.
“Sexually active, I presume?” He questioned.
“Isn’t that a bit personal?” Jenny asked. I felt my face flush.
“Yes.” I answered him shortly, ignoring Jenny’s comments. He nodded again, going back to his spinning.
“Have you been in contact with anyone who has had dragon pox or spattergroit?” The Healer asked. Isn’t he supposed to just know what’s wrong with me? Isn’t he supposed to just fix me and make everything better?
“I’m not sure,” I answered him, feeling the irritability crawl up my skin.
“Well, let’s run a few tests and while those are getting analyzed, why don’t you two make Gigi choke down some tea and a cup of onion soup, no matter how much she protests. Once that is down, then feel free to come back and I can fix you all up!”
“I don’t like onions.” I protested, but Gabby had already hopped off the bed and had gotten me to my feet.
“To the cafeteria!” Jenny chanted, grabbing my other arm and skipping out of the exam room.
Though my nose was a little stuffy, the soup smelled horrible. It smelled like old Quidditch socks and Freddie Weasley’s boxers. Not that I remembered how that smelled. Ew. I cringed, looking up at Gabby and Jenny, hoping they would suddenly tell me that I didn’t have to eat this and we could be on our merry way. No dice as they both glared at me. I felt a whimper escape my throat as I took a small spoonful and nearly vomited all over again.
“This is torture!” I whined at them.
“Eat up, darling.” Gabby said. Jenny seemed to be enjoying herself as she watched my tortured expressions.
“You’re a sadist, you know that?” I glared at Jenny, who continued to smirk at me.
“That’s saying a lot coming from you,” I heard a voice say behind me. I didn’t have the energy to spin around, but I let the person take the seat next to me. I smiled when I saw Rose Weasley sit next to me, wearing a healer’s jacket.
“I didn’t know you were a healer!” I exclaimed.
“I’m just in training.” She explained. “What brings you here? Sick?”
“We had to force her to come. Wasn’t going to make it to the championship game like this,” Gabby explained.
“I’m fine.” I repeated for what felt like the millionth time today.
“And I’m the Minister of Magic,” Jenny said sarcastically. I stuck my tongue out at her, putting my face near the top of my tea cup, letting the heat warm my cheeks. It felt nice.
“Can I have some chips instead of this?” I asked, pushing the soup away from me.
“Chips? Really? You can’t even keep down crackers and you want chips?” Jenny raised her eyebrows at me. Well, chips just sounded good right now.
“Who’s your healer?” Rose asked, taking a rather large bite of her sandwich.
“Healer Wellins.” Gabby answered for me.
“He’s good. Should fix you up really well. You’ll be better in no time!” Rose said, smiling at me. I hadn’t seen Rose in a while so it was strange to me how comfortable she felt.
“Speaking of which, let’s go check if the results are back yet. Come on, Jen.” Gabby got up, grabbing Jenny’s arm and pulling her along with her. I think Jenny enjoyed watching me try to force the soup down my throat more than she should have.
“Your sisters?” Rose questioned, gesturing towards the retreating backs of Gabby and Jenny.
“Yeah, they’re in for the championship game.” I told her. It still felt weird talking to Rose, since I still wasn’t sure what I was doing about James. James Potter. He will be the death of me.
“They do have to make sure you’re well. You’ve got internationals after your championship game and England cannot afford you being ill.” Rose lectured, grinning at me the whole time. “Think you could score me some tickets? I have to see you lead them to the World Cup.”
“You do realize you have your own Quidditch star right in your family, right? Don’t let him hear you praising me,” I teased, finding myself smiling into my tea for the first genuine time in a good while.
“Speaking of which….mind telling me why James was jumping off the wall a week or so ago and now he seems ready to go to war?” Rose asked. She had strange analogies.
“It’s a long story.” I tried, but she didn’t seem ready to give up. She would protect James the same way he protected her.
“I’ve got a bit of time before I have to go back to work.” Rose countered. I dipped my tea bag a few times, trying to buy myself a few moments.
“Gigi? Your results are back,” Gabby said, placing a hand on my shoulder as she came up behind us. I wanted to kiss Gabby on the spot for saving me, but just found myself jumping to my feet as quickly as possible.
“We can talk later, Rose!” I called as I ran from the cafeteria.
“I’ve got good news and bad news.” The Healer informed us. I felt like I was about to be sentenced to Azkaban the way he was talking. “Which would you like first?”
“The good.” I informed him. I always pushed off the bad things until later.
“Well, we have figured out the problem!” He exclaimed. Great.
“And what is the problem?” I asked him.
“That’s the bad news.” He began, sighing as he looked down at the charts in his hands. I glanced down, but couldn’t see what his scribbled writing was. “I’m sorry to say that you’ll be out of Quidditch for a good year.”
I felt my stomach drop to my feet in a matter of seconds. He couldn’t be serious. That was a lie. Was this some type of horrible prank? Was this a joke? Where were my teammates? Surely they had put him up to this. They wanted to scare me right before the big game. That sounded like an Adam and Barry prank. Very funny, boys. I wasn’t laughing. Sadly, neither was the Healer. I looked at Jenny and Gabby, hoping to see them ready to crack a joke, knowing that it was a lie. It had to be. Quidditch was my world.
“And why’s that?” Jenny asked the question we all wanted to hear. He swallowed, handing the clipboard over to me. I barely recognized any of the words on it, but then he pointed one of his slim fingers at the bottom of the page. I froze, unable to register what I saw.
“Those are your test results.” He explained.
I immediately began to cry for the first time in a long time.
Author's Note: OH MY GOD IS GIGI DYING?!?! Sorry for the long wait and the cliff hanger...did you expect any different?
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