I personally have dealt with a lot in my life up until this point. Between the gripping memories of my past and uncertainty of my future I’ve always remained patient. Fate has a funny way of showing me any ounce of kindness but there are moments of happiness that still glimmer out in the darkness. Between the break-up and the quidditch match this past weekend it was nice to find some time to spend with my best mates. Even if I felt like the worst person in the universe, they both knew how to make any problem a little brighter. Every muscle in my body ached as we walked together over the hilltop nearing the castle after our last class for the day. I was mostly soar from the match but I also haven’t been sleeping well and my neck was stiff from my awful posture. Hermione reminisced on Ron’s valiant attempt to flirt with a group of younger students from earlier in Charms as Ron bashfully put aside his bitterness towards her for the evening. I smiled to myself feeling lucky, like always when it comes down to the bigger picture. Especially with the two of them, they always know how to make me feel like my problems aren’t an issue. I hardly heard the negative remarks students were shouting as they passed our trio.
“Way to blow the winning streak-”
“So much for the rest of the season-”
“Do you think Goodwin’s out for good-”
“It was just a silly match.” Hermione reminded as a few of our housemates booed me for not allowing Goodwin to play. “Honestly the way people can be after these games just baffles me.” She said aside to me as we continued towards the castle together.
“It’s something to get excited about.” I said bluntly as Ron straggled behind the both of us.
“A distraction.” Hermione agreed as Ron sighed out loudly when he neared us.
“Bloody hell, what a day!” He said heavily barreling into us. “I don’t know how you’re taking this so well Harry. I feel like everyone is pissed off.”
“Let them be, it’s just a silly match.” I repeated as Hermione smiled brightly at me.
“Just a silly match?” He mocked before rolling his eyes at us. “Bet Hermione put you up to say that.” He muttered quietly to me as Hermione shot him a nasty side eye.
“Ron…” I warned as he held his hands up to us.
“I’m just saying…I bet Goodwin didn’t think it was just a silly match!” Ron argued as I winced at the mention of her name.
“She could care less…I heard that she wasn’t even there.” Hermione said defensively as her statement sank deeply within me for some reason.
“She cares.” Ron chuckled haughtily as she rolled her eyes at him obviously. “She’ll most likely horde this over our bloody heads for the rest of the season.”
“I doubt it.” Hermione and Ron continued to bicker as we neared the paddock. “No one has really seen her this week.”
“More than likely embarrassed about the whole situation.” Ron commented heavily as I noticed his judging look in my direction.
“Well I’m sure the next match will be better. The Ravenclaws just got lucky!” I enjoyed Hermione’s optimistic closure as we passed a group of students. They looked at us judgingly before one of them spit on the ground as we walked by. “Real mature.”
“Don’t even acknowledge them Hermione.” I said reluctantly as they glared at us all the way to the castle doors.
“I’m sorry.” Hermione apologized as we went through the doors and into a large crowd of students gathering for dinner.
“Don’t be.” I said as casually as possible as we continued through.
“I recall that tonight’s dessert is going to be treacle tart!” Hermione said quickly trying to change the subject. It can be rather bothersome at times, but tonight I enjoyed it.
“Oy that’s your favorite mate!” Ron said agreeably as I felt a small twinge at the corner of my lips.
“Indeed.” I said agreeably as they noticed my quiet demeanor.
“There goes the worst captain in Hogwarts history-”
“They are saying that he kicked her off the team for good-”
“Goodwin was the only chance we had-”
“Oh Harry, it’s not your fault-” Hermione interrupted the chatter growing amongst the students as I tried to ignore their whispers. “Honestly, do you hear yourself?” She fussed at a few students conversing near us.
“You know what…I’m actually going to go wash up before dinner.” I stated feeling slightly overwhelmed as they both frowned at me.
“Harry don’t-” Hermione started but Ron touched her shoulder. She looked over to him and nodded as I thanked Ron silently. “Well, if you must at least use the Prefect bathroom.” Hermione pressed as I gave her a quizzical expression.
“Really?” I asked surprised as she blushed slightly.
“I can break the rules sometimes.” She stated in a very plain manner.
“But you never break the rules.” Ron said thickly as she rolled her eyes again at him. It made me smile slightly as she sighed in aggravation.
“Password is Khaki Kangaroos.”
“Why does he get special treatment all of a sudden?” I heard Ron argue with her as I started for the stairs towards the Prefect bathroom.
“GROUNDED GOODWIN, GROUNDED GOODWIN…” Rang throughout the hallways and corridors as I tried to ignore it again. It plagued me as I quickened my pace. Everyone was whispering as I passed and if they weren’t talking about me they were definitely staring at me. I felt my heart racing as the hallways became narrow and seemed distorted. As soon as I entered the bathroom I shut the door behind me and it silenced all of the chants and screams erupting throughout the castle. I pressed my back to the door and sighed out loud as the bathroom suddenly sprang to life. The mermaid sun bathing on the stained glass window gently brushed her hair away from her face as she sat on her rock gazing out into the blue waters. The faucets began to fill the tub with eucalyptus scented water as the steam began to surface. I began to take my clothes off heavily as I noticed the bruises around a few minor cuts on my arms. I winced remembering where Davies kicked my thigh as I took my pants off.
“Fuck!” I yelped touching my scarring wound stupidly. After taking the rest of my clothes off I climbed into the tub carefully letting the warm water rush over my aching muscles. I closed my eyes and breathed in the eucalyptus steam as I felt my entire body tremble in the tub. I soaked even lower and breathed out heavily as I ran my wet hand over my face. My mind started to play the match over in my head like a movie reel.
“GAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMEEEEE OOOOOOOOOONNNNNNN! ANDDDDDDD THAT’S THE FIRST GOAL OF THE SCHOOL YEAR! 50 POINTS TO GRYFFINDOR!!
I plunged myself underwater forcing myself to hold my breath for as long as I could. I hoped that maybe the deafening faucets would drown out the battle in my head.
“A TIME OUT HAS BEEN CALLED. WONDER WHAT THE BOY WHO LIVED WILL COOK UP WITH HIS GRIFFIE SQUAD? MAYBE AN APPEARNCE BY OUR CHARLIE CANNON??”
“GROUNDED GOODWIN, GROUNDED GOODWIN…”
I breathed out roughly before coming back to the surface. I shook my hair and wiped my eyes and mouth as my muscles tensed again. I leaned on the side of the tub before burying my head heavily into my arms.
“Honestly I’m doing the best I can. They’ve been practicing.”
“Are you okay?”
“What are you thinking Harry…what are you thinking?”
I slammed my fist onto the tile before splashing some water around me furiously trying to dispel the echoes of the stadium. I slumped back into my corner after my slight tantrum and sank lower into the tub before feeling a surging pain in my leg again. “Fuck!” I stammered again feeling completely pathetic.
“She said she wasn’t coming.” I suddenly felt my heart race into my throat as Ally’s voice echoed within me. “She wasn’t coming…” I groaned out in frustration as my guilt got the better of me. After a few moments of blaming myself and getting angry at how much I was blaming myself I was finally forced to finish up. I usually can’t stand to be alone with my own thoughts for more than a few moments especially when they can’t be silenced like this. I changed back into my clothes and glanced at the time realizing that I took longer than expected. If I was lucky I could grab a plate before the school began to close for curfew. As I rushed down I passed small clusters of remaining students who were retiring for the night. I could hear their gossip as I rushed past:
“I just don’t understand-”
“I mean the bloody bird is a chaser god-”
“It’s more likely due to Chang-”
I ran my hand through my hair in frustration as their echoes filled my senses again, but I tried to not let it deter me as I avoided them. Unfortunately by the time I made it to the Great Hall the doors were shut for the evening and I was forced to retire back to the Gryffindor tower, defeated on an empty stomach. It was rather depressing as I felt the pit of it gurgle in agony and protest. I cursed myself under my breath as my exhausted legs began to climb up the staircases again. It was a lonely, quiet climb back to the Gryffindor Tower. Moments were passing like hours and I felt like walking was taking so much more effort than really needed. The portrait was even surprised to see me when I approached her to enter the dark hallway leading to the dimly lit common room.
“It’s…late. What are you doing-”
“Ssshhhh.” I hushed the fat lady rudely as I messaged my temple. Her annoying, over dramatic voice suddenly gave me a headache as she angrily began to open. I felt the warm light flickering at the end of the hallway as my heavy eyes squinted. It was beckoning me and guiding me as my feet trudged along. When I finally entered the common room I saw the fire dying rapidly as the smell of warm apple cider and pumpkins filled my senses. I moved towards it letting the remains of the fire warm my muscles in hopes that it would thaw my tension allowing me to move more effortlessly. I sighed out loud feeling the weight of everything finally hit me. My mind started to race again as I pressed my forehead to the mantel. After a few moments I began to bang my head against the stone as I cursed myself once more.
“That bad?” Her voice startled me and caused me to jump before I quickly turned to face her. The candle lit hallway to the staircases illuminated Goodwin’s face.
“Charlotte.” I felt my voice barely say as she winced slightly. “I’m-I…what time is…” I trailed as I watched her face twist in confusion.
“Late.” She said honestly coming towards the couch near me. Her bare legs caught my attention immediately and I suddenly became embarrassed as I forced myself to look away. “It’s half past midnight.” I blinked rapidly trying to throw her tempting nature from my mind.
“I’m sure you’re here to gloat.” I said forcing myself to get a rise out of her. She sat on the arm of the couch and crossed her arms at me. She continued to quietly examine me as I waited for her reaction, but it never came. “Well go ahead…I’m waiting.”
“What would you like for me to say?” She asked calmly as I glanced at her over my shoulder.
“You decided to grace me with your presence, I can only assume-” I started defensively before she interrupted me.
“I can’t sleep. I wasn’t expecting anyone to be awake.” Her voice was honest as I stifled a sarcastic laugh tilting my head up in disbelief. “It’s true…you’re the last person I’d-”
“I highly doubt that. If anything you’d want to tell me how much of a prick I am or-or make some comment about how I ruined our winning streak-”
“Is that honestly what you would like me to say Potter?” Her tone frustrated me to no end as I sensed her stillness overcoming my anger. I groaned out in aggravation before turning to her fully.
“Just say it already Goodwin!” I shouted angrily as her eyes widened at me. “Tell me that I made a mistake. That I ruined your life…tell me that I was wrong!” She came to me suddenly and hushed me. I felt her fingers on my lips as I instinctively moved away from her in a rough gesture. The she grabbed my arm sternly to stop my childlike tantrum that started to boil over. I was surprised at her strength as she held onto me to stare me down.
“Are you mad?” She whispered hatefully at me. “You sound delusional and it’s the middle of the night!”
“Maybe...” I stated pathetically as her eyes met mine with even more confusion. “Maybe I have! I mean after all these years and with all of the constant tormenting-”
“Constant tormenting.” She mocked defensively in a hushed tone. “Oh that’s rich Potter, that’s rich! We all know who does the tormenting.” She snorted cynically at me as I finally got a bit of satisfaction from her rebuttal. “You do realize that you made me play with a broken arm once!”
“It was sprained and if I can remember correctly you begged me to play that match after I insisted you sit out.” I spat at her as she rolled her eyes at me.
“You’ve really lost your bloody head haven’t you?” She asked seriously holding her hand up to my forehead, pretending to check my temperature. I swatted her away gruffly before moving away from her finally.
“Don’t touch me!” I said rather childishly again.
“What’s the matter with you?” She asked in a very plain way. “I mean you’ve never been nice to me but you’re being so ridiculous right now.”
“There was a time that I was nice to you-”
“Really? I can’t even recall a bloody compliment from you. Not even one!” She crossed her arms at me again and her Chuddley Cannons sweatshirt moved in a way that exposed her glittering bare shoulder. It caused my eyes to wander down her neck and to her protruding collar bone.
“A compliment?” I gulped watching her thick curls shimmer in the moonlight as a few pieces fell around her pink cheeks. I felt my brain begin to wrack my memory of me giving her a compliment as I felt her judging stare penetrating me.
“We win with you on the team, you’re our best chaser...” She stated generically motioning her hands in a silly fashion as I looked at her stupidly.
“Here we go…you know I knew you came down here to…it’s absurd of you to think…really-that I’ve never complimented you.” I felt my thoughts firing rapidly as I tried to make sense of all of my emotions overwhelming me.
“It’s not absurd because it’s bloody true! You’ve never once made me believe that you are a decent person, let alone nice. You’re cruel to me and downright twisted at times-”
“I could say the same, only the other way around.” I said finally feeling my thoughts converge into one. “You’re constantly late, your brutish gloating does no one any favors …I mean my list is just as endless Charlotte-”
“I constantly fear that my entire day will unravel just because of a sodding practice with you-”
“You...I can’t-argh!” I breathed angrily as her eyes widened at me. “Why? Why are you doing this to me?” I asked myself before running my hand over my face and then through my hair.
“I’m not doing anything-”
“Stop Charlotte, just listen to me for one second. Please!” I begged as I heard her inhale sharply. “You…you are my biggest opponent on that field.” I said helplessly as she suddenly fell silent. We stared at one another for a few moments as I listened to her breathe heavily. I could tell that she had been crying for some time…maybe even days as her bloodshot eyes glazed over at me.
“I obeyed your command Harry.” Her voice was shaky as I gulped heavily. “I finally did what you’ve been asking me to do but yet here we are and it’s still somehow my fault that you lost this weekend.” I heard her gasp quietly as she paused, I could tell that she was holding back tears as she shook her head in confusion. “I don’t know what to do…or say anymore to you-”
“Can you please instruct me on how to communicate with you in a more favorable fashion-”
“It’s not…” She looked down as I felt a guilty twinge in the pit of my stomach. “It’s not your fault.” I finally admitted.
“I’m sorry?” She asked as our eyes met again.
“It’s not your fault, it’s mine.” I felt a frown start to form around the corners of my mouth as she looked at me seriously. “I-I don’t know why…but I can’t trust you and it’s causing this...” I motioned between the two of us as she came closer to me. She took my hand sincerely as my heart began to race. I felt my senses heightened temporarily as the temptation between us continued to build. I could smell her intoxicating perfume expelling from her oversized sweater as we hovered next to one another. I wasn’t expecting our next encounter to go smoothly…but why does she confuse me so much?
“Please trust me.” She pleaded almost breathlessly as my mind continued to play tricks on me. “I want you to trust me. I want you to believe in me…I’m on your team for merlin’s sake.”
“You’re our best chaser and we win with you on the team.” I stated generically as she bit down on her bottom lip. It made my eyes flicker down to her plump lips against her white smile and I felt myself lick my lips hungrily. She was even closer to me now as I realized her hand still holding mine affectionately. I envisioned pulling her into me. Allowing her to engulf my senses in her intoxicating aroma, letting her quiet breaths drown out my battling conscious but I pulled myself away from her before my weakened state overcame me. I literally had to force myself to move from her and stop this nonsense occurring between us. She must be sensing my attraction to her, she has to know.
“I’m sorry.” I heard her say lightly as my mind played even more cruel tricks on me. “I never meant for any of this to affect the outcome of our season.”
“I know.” I managed to say as her tempting nature kept alluring me back. “Me either. I’m sorry that…that I hurt you. Or if I ever made you doubt yourself.”
“Thanks, that means a lot.” She smiled again at me and it made my knees quiver. “Especially from you.” I could only smile as my response while I enjoyed the last few moments of the night with her. “Good night Harry.” She said slowly as her eyes examined me one last time. I opened my mouth to speak but nothing came out. I was annoyed with my inability to control my more primal urges as she turned and started towards the staircase. I admired her bare legs again as she walked. My deceiving eyes then traced up her fit legs to her little shorts which barely contained her voluptuousness as she began to climb away. It was like I was hypnotized and I couldn’t tear myself away from her. “Oh…by the way. Ally said that…” She paused by the staircase before I watched her run her hand through her curls exposing her bare shoulder more. “Did you really think I was going-”
“To show up on the pitch?” I interjected trying to keep myself calm. “Yeah…I actually did.” We chuckled together and stared at one another for a moment as the night set around us even more.
“I mean…I almost did.” She admitted stepping back down from the first step of the staircase. “I wanted to.”
“I want you.” I said absent mindedly as she noticed my sudden change in tone. I cleared my throat quickly and stuttered. “To-too-I wanted you to too.” She chuckled at me as I suddenly felt my cheeks begin to blush. “It’s late…we should-I mean…night Charlie.” I managed to say before I did anything that I would regret. She nodded at me before disappearing from my view. That’s when I collapsed onto the couch while blowing a raspberry out between my lips. I ran my hand over my face stupidly as I tried to shake our encounter off, but I couldn’t throw her curves from my mind.
“Ruddy chaser.” I whispered to myself. Damn that girl and her wicked mind-games of trickery on me.
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