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Old 12-04-2004, 09:57 PM   #542 (permalink)
r+h4ever1
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"You'd think that after his mum's death and his father's capture, he'd be humbled or less arrogant," Ron said as he, Harry and Ginny made their way to the pitch. In the distance, Seamus and Parvati entered the locker room, Natalie and Dennis a few yards behind them "But, noooo. He has to act like an even bigger as..."

"Look!" Harry called, pointing at Hagrid's hut as they passed.

Through the windows, it was dark, and everything was silent; not even Fang's snores could be heard from the tiny house. Harry sighed loudly. Grubbly-Plank had arrived just a week before and had not shown any sign of leaving the Care of Magical Creatures position. Harry exchanged a dark look with Ron, but said not a word.

He turned to do the same with Ginny, but she was hardly aware of anything at that moment. Her eyes were very round, her brow sprinkled with slight persperation, her gaze straight ahead. For a brief moment, Harry thought she was about to faint. He glanced at Ron, who shrugged, his expression concerned.

"D'you suppose everything's alright?" Ron asked.

"Dunno," Harry murmured.

They walked a few more minutes in silence. He could hear as hundreds of students made their way towards the pitch behind them. Harry inhaled deeply, smelling the air.

"You know, I think we could really win this game!" Harry exclaimed, trying to lighten the mood.

"You'll do great," Ron said weakly. "I can't promise that I..." Harry gave him a look, so he steered from the self-deprecation. "When Harry gave him a look, he changed courses away from his self-degration. "I just hope I have a first row seat to watch Michael Corner fall of his broom or embarrass himself," he said hopefully. "Little git..."

Harry snorted in agreement, glancing at Ginny -- Corner's former boyfriend -- and waited for her to play Hermione and scold them for their rudeness. But she remained curiously silent as they passed the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Harry eyed her; it was as if her feet carried her mindlessly, automatically. He frowned.

"We're going to lose," he said loudly, staring Ginny's way. "I mean, Ron, let's face it, mate, you're complete rubbish."

"Hey!" Ron protested, his ears inflamed with embarrassment and shock. "I mean, I know I'm not brilliant, but you're my best mate, and..."

"And Ginny, you can't shoot a goal if your life depended on it. Right, Gin?"

Ron looked at him, puzzled, but Harry continued to stare at Ginny.

"Right, Ginny?" he tried again.

Ron, realizing what Harry was doing, sighed in relief and turned to look at his sister too.

"Ginny?"

“Uh-huh,” she said absentmindedly, staring straight ahead, her face pale.

The boys stopped. Harry reached out and grasped her arm to keep her from going ahead of them. She started and turned to look at them.

“That’s it. What is with you? You’ve been acting so out of it lately.”

“Yeah,” Ron nodded. “Come to think of it, you've been acting very strange these past couple days. I mean, you're the best Chaser in the league, but your game has been a bit off."

"And it's like you don't even hear us when we talk," Harry added.

Ginny shrugged dispassionately. “I guess I’m just a little preoccupied, that’s all.”

"Mum's gonna be fine," Ron assured her.

"And, no offense, but this isn't the best time to be preoccupied," Harry reminded her.

“Yes, Harry,” she sighed, tiredly as Natalie and Dennis passed them with questioning looks. “But, to be fair, you have been off your game for the past month as well.”

“Yeah, well,” Harry sputtered, annoyed. “I’ve had things to think about, things to cope with at the moment.”

Ginny threw her hands up in exasperation. “If that’s not the most hypocritical thing I’ve ever heard…”

“Look, let’s not argue,” Ron said loudly as Harry opened his mouth to retort. It was an odd moment. Those words sounded strange on Ron's lips. Usually, it was harry who instructed for peace, not Ron, as he (and Hermione) was the problem most of the time. “We have to get the lockers. Ginny, if this is about the game…”[

It’s not about the game,” she said, making her way to the field. She tried to control herself. She had explained it enough times, but they hadn’t bothered to listen. Yes, she was excited, a little nervous for the game, but she had other things, more important things, to worry about at the moment. “Mum is about to give birth to my new sibling. I’m going to become an older sister for the first time in my life! You both are about to get a new brother or sister and all you can think about is the game. I’m not saying you shouldn’t think about the game, but that’s not all that’s happening.”

“Ginny...” Harry began.

“Don’t get me wrong,” Ginny said, ignoring him. “I’m pumped for this game! I love Quidditch, I love playing, I love the team. But today is a big day, and knowing that I won't be there for my own sibling's birth just bothers me."

“Sorry,” Harry muttered. “I guess I never saw it that way. I guess since I am not the one getting a new baby…”

“But you are,” Ron said, sounding surprised. “I mean, we all consider you a part of the family, you know that. Goodness knows Mum and Dad love you like the rest of us. Bill and Charlie like you, Fred and George respect the heck out of you, I’m your best mate, and Ginny doesn’t mind you." Ginny gave a small smile. "And Percy…well, no one really cares what Percy thinks, so…”

Harry smiled. “Aw. Thanks, mate. That...well, that means a lot..."

"Alright, don't go and get all spoony on me," Ron groaned. "It's not like I want to pick out curtains or anything."

Harry laughed as they entered the pitch. It was a beautiful March morning, not a cloud in the blue sky. They entered the locker room to change into their uniform robes with the rest of the team. All of them looked really excited, and that attitude was encouraging in itself. Hopefully that meant that Harry had some help with his pep talk. It made inspiring his troops easier if they were already inspired. After Parvati checked to make sure her mascara was applied satisfactorily, Harry led his team out into the radiant sunlight and spectacular cheers.

“Ready guys?” he shouted at them, a smile on his face. The smiled back and nodded, eying the booing Slytherins with a vicious fury behind the glint in their eyes. “Good. Just remember, we work our butts off to kick theirs!”

In a blur of red and gold, the Gryffindors bolted from the tunnel and into the sky, Dean shouting their names over the speaker as they went to warm up.

Ron was right on the money as he dove and lunged every which way to block impossible shots. Harry seemed faster than he had been in a long time. He turned an eye to catch sight of Ginny. Her shots were slow, her aim slightly off. Colin and Natalie glanced at each other and flew over to talk to her. Harry had no idea what was being said, but after a hug from her big brother, all of her shots were lightning speed and hit the bullseye every time. Soon, Quigley motioned them over the center of the field.

“Captains, shake hands.”

Harry reached over and shook Terry Boot’s gloved hand.

Terry smiled and nodded, laughing, “Watch your back, Potter."

Harry merely laughed and nodded back at him. Ginny and Michael Corner went to the middle as everyone took their positions, a loud rendition of WEASLEY IS OUR KING! starting up. Quigley blew her whistle, stepped back, threw up the Quaffle, and Harry’s final game of Quidditch began…
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Last edited by r+h4ever1; 07-18-2011 at 10:33 PM.
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