The Pain, the Bat, and the Blood When You Beat Me
*~* The Pain, the Bat, and the Blood When You Beat Me *~*
"You should not be out here." Sirius whispered in her ear.
"Thank you for your opinion, Mr. Moody."
Sirius growled low in his throat. He didn't like this. She was out in the open. Snape leaned around both Tara and Willow to glare at him.
Willow put a hand on Severus's thigh. "Don't yourself, Cranky Pants."
"Listen, Little Red, he's giving himself away." Snape hissed.
"This is hardly the place for this discussion."
They were seated in the teachers' box on the quidditch pitch.
"I agree." Snape said in a clipped tone as some of the other teachers filled in the empty seats.
Severus rolled his eyes when Faith sat behind him. She was with Wesley and Giles. The annoying girl braced her foot on his seat right next to his hip. Anya and Remus followed McGonagall in. Tara raised an eyebrow at Anya's arm hooked through her father's. The two of them were talking animatedly, but in whispers no one could hear. She was quite surprised to see Spike come up as well. He took a seat down front next to McGonagall who was giving a little pep talk to the new announcer that was taking Lee Jordan's place since his graduation. A nervous little third year Hufflepuff named Laura Madley.
Several professors and students had wondered how this little mouse was going to rival Jordan's loud mouth. McGonagall had faith in her though, and that counted for a lot in Hogwarts.
Laura took in a great gulp of air. Then her voice rang out all across the pitch. Little Laura Madley had some force to her. She definitely knew about that getting more volume if you used your diaphragm thing.
"Hello and welcome to another season of quidditch at Hogwarts. For those of you a little slow on the uptake, Lee Jordan graduated last year, so you get me, Laura Madley."
The Hufflepuff section cheered loudly.
"Today's match is Slytherin versus Gryffindor. Slytherin is captained this year by chaser Aaron Montague who is joined by chasers Curt Warrington and Millicent Bulstrode, beaters Tracey Davis and Dawn Summers, seeker Draco Malfoy, and keeper Lily Rosenberg."
There was a loud cheer from the Slytherin section as the team took to the air on their brooms. It was sort of odd. This was the first year anyone could remember Slytherin having girls on their team. Three, in fact... if you wanted to count Millicent Bulstrode as a girl.
Snape clapped for his house. Several of the teachers clapped, but he knew who they clapped for, like him in his heart of hearts. He clapped for the new breed of snakes in the air today... Malfoy, Summers, and Rosenberg. Those three took being a Slytherin to whole other levels. Snape knew that Lily was planning some serious revenge on Parkinson for her snake trick at the Dueling Club. He just didn't know what the devious little redhead was planning. If she was anything like her counterpart, it would be something devilishly clever with emphasis on the 'devil'.
"And Gryffindor is being led this year by chaser Ron Weasley who is joined by chasers Dean Thomas and Natalie McDonald, beaters Ginny Weasley and Seamus Finnigan, seeker Harry Potter, and keeper Dennis Creevey."
"Oh good. I was afraid I'd missed something."
Snape turned to look at Oliver Wood as he flounced into the empty seat next to Faith. The potions professor had such a scowl on his face that Willow had to stifle her chuckle.
"I'm surprised you weren't camped out early this morning, Wood." Snape said drolly.
Faith died laughing. Giles leaned around Wesley to look at her. Oliver appeared perplexed. Willow was confused until she replayed Severus's comment in her head. Then she blushed darkly and was thinking... dear goddess don't let Sev ask....
"And what is so amusing, Miss Faith?"
Faith actually snorted. "You said morning wood."
Giles sighed heavily. Wesley made this strangled sound. Oliver turned so red Willow was certain every drop of blood in his body was in his face. Anya was grinning while Remus looked a bit horrified, and "Mad-Eye Moody" was laughing so hard he nearly unseated himself. Tara slapped at him several times.
"Merlin save me from perverts and pixies." Snape mumbled under his breath.
"What about perverted pixies?" Willow whispered in his ear while giving his thigh a gentle squeeze. She had not removed her hand earlier, and he had not even noticed.
He tried to remove it now that he had noticed. It wasn't proper. She would not be denied though. The little redhead held tight. Tara was smirking at him. That damned Malfoy smirk. His assistant, who had yet to assist him due to being in the infirmary most of the time, knew all too well how much Willow would not be denied when she truly wanted something.
But then everyone's attention was on the field.
"... the snitch, which is worth one hundred and fifty points and ends the game has been released along with the bludgers. The quaffle is up... and is taken by Ron Weasley. Who passes to Thomas. Thomas to Weasley to McDonald. Who throws and... oh! Denied by Rosenberg."
Harry and Draco were both hovered high about the pitch watching the action and looking for the snitch.
"Sort of weird, isn't it?"
Harry looked at Draco. "What's weird?"
"My girlfriend defending you. Yours defending me."
"I reckon it is."
Draco noticed something odd down on the field. Tracey Davis had just hit a bludger at Lily. Blood pounded in his ears as she took the hit. He hadn't even had time to warn her. She was nearly unseated from her broom. But even stranger still was Seamus Finnigan whirling about and steadying the Slytherin keeper with a glare and a sending of that bludger towards Davis. Draco blinked. He'd never seen Finnigan so mad.
Their captain grabbed Tracey by a handful of his quidditch robes and roared in his face. Draco couldn't hear because a bludger whizzed past his head. It was followed closely by Dawn who darted in between the thing and Montague. Unfortunately she batted it right at Harry's head. He had to duck quickly to avoid it. The girl had one hell of a swing. Dawn smiled at him sheepishly.
Meanwhile, Ron was just about killing them with the quaffle. He was getting a little angry, too. He couldn't get the dang thing past Lily. She was holding up rather well.
Oliver was just about dancing in his seat.
Faith looked at him. "Explain."
"You'll be sorry you asked that... to him." Willow called over her shoulder before jumping to her feet and cheering. "Yay Ron!"
He had managed to get past Lily because Ginny had chased her down with a bludger. The first goal of the game had been scored. Finally. Lily was looking daggers at Ron and Ginny. Ginny shivered. She definitely didn't like Lily's dagger look.
In short order Montague, who was a bit pissed now, managed to score. Poor little third year Dennis was no match for the power of Montague's seventh year arm... especially with the Slytherin captain being so ticked.
In was two goals for Gryffindor and three for Slytherin later that Ron and Aaron Montague got into a fist fight that nearly toppled both of them out of the air. Dawn and Ginny were the ones to break it off. Madam Hooch awarded both teams a penalty shot. Ron took his, but was blocked by Lily. Once again Montague managed to get past Dennis Creevey. Ron was seething. He was also seething because after she had scored a goal, Tracey Davis had hit Natalie McDonald with a bludger at such close range the poor girl couldn't fly straight any longer.
The game was starting to get ugly very quickly. People were starting to forget they were friends or more. Especially when Ginny hit that bludger at Draco that almost gave him a new haircut. He glared at her for it. Someone wasn't getting smoochies tonight for trying to decapitate her boyfriend.
Harry knew he needed to spot the snitch soon, or no one would be speaking by tonight. Slytherin and Gryffindor matches were always a bit ugly, but this was really harsh. Probably because he actually liked a few people on the team this year. Then it happened. A flash of gold caught his eye. Harry dove. Malfoy joined him, having spotted the thing as well. Suddenly something went crashing into the side of Harry that Malfoy was not on. He went smashing into Draco.
Harry reached out and closed his hand around the snitch as he lost control of his Firebolt for a second. Draco was trying to keep them from crashing into the pitch. Something was pushing them over. Malfoy's hand was fisted, his arm out. His dragonhide gloves were skidding across the pitch. He was gritting his teeth and sort of yelling behind them.
It was the scream that caught him.
Harry turned a bit. Dawn was dangling by one hand off the back of his broom. How in the heck had she managed that? Tracey Davis was trying to knock her loose with the damn beater's club. Ginny was trying to stop him. Millicent Bulstrode kept flying into Harry's side trying to force him and Malfoy to crash into the side of the pitch. Ron and Dean were hurtling under Dawn trying to catch her. Warrington was making that difficult, and Montague was trying to stop him.
Seamus darted down quickly and grabbed Dawn around her waist. Harry wasn't sure how he managed it, but he was grateful to Seamus nonetheless.
Then Tracey Davis did something unthinkable. He threw his beater's club at them. It hit Seamus in the back of his head, and he and Dawn tumbled off his broom to the ground. He'd been traveling down anyway, so Dawn hit at an angle and rolled. Harry was so shocked that Millicent managed to get in a good shot. He went crashing into Draco, and the blonde's arm seemed to fold under the weight. Malfoy screamed in pain as he was sandwiched between the pitch and Harry. The two of them bounced, and the next thing Harry knew he was crashing into the grass. Hard. So hard his glasses flew off his face.
"You SON OF A BITCH!"
The last was Dawn. Harry managed to get his glasses back on just in time to see her as she ran and took a flying leap at Davis as he landed on the grass. In no time she had him pinned and was making his face bloody as she swung both fists with a force and grace not unlike her older sister's.
Strong arms wrapped around her from behind, and Dawn was lifted in the air kicking and screaming.
She stopped. How had Spike gotten down here so fast? Dawn took in the scene. Madam Hooch blew the whistle when she noticed the snitch in Harry's hand. She gasped when she noticed Draco cradling his left arm to his body. It was bent oddly. She didn't have to be Madam Pomfrey to know it was broken.
"Drake!" Dawn wriggled herself out of Spike's grasp and ran to him.
Montague was crouched down next to Draco looking with venom at most of his team. Dawn dropped on her knees with them.
"You all right, Dawn?" Aaron Montague asked as he brushed a bit of hair off her forehead.
"Dawn!" Lily was running at full speed towards them with her broom in her hands.
"No..." Dawn whispered when she realized.
Lily swung the broom hard. Tracey's legs were taken from under him just as he was getting to his feet again. He crashed to the grass hard, winded. Lily didn't even break stride. She skidded in the grass next to them.
Ron and Dean were helping a wavering Seamus to his feet. Madam Pomfrey was suddenly there ordering people onto stretchers.
The crowd was silent. No one knew what to think. About any of it. It was surely one of the roughest matches Hogwarts had ever seen.
Gryffindor had won, but it didn't feel like a victory to Harry.
The silence continued into the hospital wing.
Seamus ended up with a knot the size of Hagrid's fist on the back of his head. Dawn was all scratched up. Her knuckles were a bit raw. Tracey Davis was just bruised up. When his nose finally stopped bleeding, Madam Pomfrey had sent him on his way. She treated the cut above Harry's eyebrow. He didn't even know how he'd gotten it.
Draco's arm was broken in two places. Dawn and Lily refused to leave him. Madam Pomfrey gave up arguing. Aaron seemed to want to hang around. His hands kept ruffling through his short black hair as if he just couldn't make sense of it all. So many people came by.
Soon it was just the Slytherin Three and Seamus Finnigan resting easy in the infirmary. Spike was guarding the door. He and Dawn had spoken quietly about it with lots of meaningful glances that were not lost on Draco. They were worried about him.
Sometime around nine that night Gutterflower managed to get into the wing.
Seamus Finnigan was snoring softly. Madam Pomfrey was finally convinced it was just a knot on his head and that he didn't have a concussion. She'd even gotten the size of it down a bit, and now Seamus was fast away in dreamland.
Dawn and Lily had somehow managed to get into the tiny bed Draco was in with him. He had a girl curled into each side. Dawn was being very mindful of his broken arm. Madam Pomfrey had given him a potion to mend the bones and charmed a cast on his arm so that he couldn't move it until the mending was complete. His arm was resting on his chest and Dawn's hand rested atop the cast lightly, as if to hold his arm there. Lily was in the crook of his right arm with her head rested on his shoulder. Draco started a bit when Gutterflower finally managed to get on the bed with them. She made herself comfortable by curling up on Draco's stomach.
Madam Pomfrey would have had a heart attack when she saw them.
Draco awoke to squeaking in his ear.
He shifted and a dull ache reverberated through his arm. Gutterflower was pulling at the shell of his ear trying to wake him. If he didn't love Dawn so much, the little tuft of tawny fur would have been batted across the room by now. The damn ferret was ruining his evil bastard image.
Well, actually he was ruining his evil bastard image. He'd been ruining it the second he started seeing the Ginny and not the Weasley in a redheaded girl.
He sat up slowly trying not to disturb... Dawn? She had been curled up into his side and had drooled on him. Gross! He loved Dawn. He did, but there was a limit to what he would take. He was, after all, still a Malfoy.
"Bloody hell, Summers!"
"Wha?!" Dawn jerked and nearly toppled out of the bed.
Draco grabbed her with his good arm. Gutterflower was running all over and squeaking.
"You drooled on me." He sounded scandalized.
Lily started laughing. That's when Dawn and Draco realized she was no longer in the bed with them. Not that there had been room for the three of the anyhow. Lily was propped up on her side next to Seamus Finnigan. In the bed with him! The Gryffindor boy was still sleeping soundly.
"Lily, get out of there." Draco hissed.
She laid her head on the pillow next to Seamus's. "He's sort of cute, isn't he?"
"Never really though about it. Now get up."
Lily ignored him. "Dawnie?"
Dawn scampered over. She was looking a bit wrinkled. Likely because of the whole sleeping in her clothes thing. Hell, she, Lily, and Draco were still about half in their quidditch robes. Why hadn't Madam Pomfrey made them leave or change or something? That was a bit unusual.
"He's nice on the eyes. And you know Seamus is kinda funny. Good sense of humor is always a plus."
Draco made this snorting noise. "Are the two of you just going to talk about him while hanging over his prone form? That's a bit of the creepy there."
"You're just jealous."
"Of Finnigan?" Draco laughed. Loudly. "Yeah, I'm so jealous of the wanker who used to singe his eyebrows off every other day our first year."
"Shut up." Lily snapped.
"Listen, Miss Popular, it's true. You're in like with a wanker pillock who used to alight his eyebrows."
"Wanker? Pillock?" Dawn said with a smirk on her face. "Who's related to Spike?"
"I only speak the truth... Bit." Draco smirked back. "The daft little mick is an accidental pyro."
"Dawn." Lily said in a very even tone. "Let's get him."
The next thing Draco knew Dawn and Lily had tackled him very gently to the floor. They were being careful of his arm, but he was being tickled mercilessly. Dawn was holding him down. She was freakishly strong for a girl of her thinness.
"NO! AH!" He was gasping for breath.
"Take it back, Malfoy!"
"Take it back, Drake!"
Gutterflower was running around them in a circle squeaking madly and hopping in the air every so often. Draco managed to get his good arm away from Dawn and started tickling her.
"No! Ahahahahahahaha! Draco! Stop!" Dawn was trying to squirm away. "You'll make me pee!"
"Take it back, Draco!"
"I'll... ahahahahahahaha! I'll pee on you, Drake, I swear to the goddess of the toilet I will!"
He started laughing then. The goddess of the toilet. Oh hell. Draco Malfoy had not felt this light in a long time. The three of them were cackling like hyenas. Draco finally managed to get Dawn on her stomach on the floor. He sat on the small of her back and would not be dislodged.
"All right, Rosenberg. Your boyfriend's not a wanking pillock of a mick who likes to burn himself."
"Thank you." Lily said sitting up and tucking a lock of black hair behind her ear with the rest of the red that was already there. "And he's not my boyfriend."
"Yet." Dawn added from underneath Draco. She had propped her elbows up on the floor and set her chin in her hands - accepting her fate.
"You know, I may not be like you two and go for a Gryff. There are some pretty nice looking Ravenclaws."
Draco snorted telling her exactly what he thought about that idea.
"And some cute Hufflepuffs."
He snorted again.
"Name a good-looking Hufflepuff."
Draco snorted again in a very derisive manner.
"Lily, my darling, you'd eat Finch-Fletchley alive in a day if you didn't get bored of him first."
"That's a nice thing to say, Draco Malfoy."
"Rude but true." Dawn added.
Draco rolled his eyes. "Besides he has a big head."
"Justin is not egotistical."
"No, no, I didn't mean figuratively. I meant literally. The boy's noggin is not in proportion to the rest of his body. I'm surprised his neck can support that melon."
Dawn started giggling which caused Draco to jiggle about as he was still using her for a chair.
"You two are not funny."
"I'll have you know the two of us are VERY funny." Draco said as he bounced a bit.
Dawn grunted. "Get off of me. Your ass is heavy, and I have to go to the bathroom."
Draco bounced again. "Don't pee."
"Get up, fatty!"
He bounced. "Don't pee."
Lily got to her feet. "You two are so mature."
"This from Miss You-call-your-butthole-a-howler." Draco said as he bounced again. "Don't pee, Dawnie. Don't pee."
"I'm SO gonna kick your ass!"
"If you can get out from under it." He bounced. "Don't pee."
Dawn screamed in frustration. "Gutterflower! Get him!"
Draco barely had time to register what was going on. One second he was bouncing, the next Gutterflower had run up his chest and bitten his ear. Not hard enough to draw blood, but it still freaked him out. Draco let out a very unmanly and hitch-pitched squeal as he hopped off of Dawn and made a grab for the ferret.
"I do hope we aren't interrupting." Ron Weasley said with a huge grin on his face.
He was standing just inside the infirmary with the whole Gryffindor quidditch team behind him plus Granger. They all had the oddest looks on their faces. Draco was certain they'd witnessed quite a bit of his and Dawn's floor routine.
The oddness of the situation was compounded when Finnigan opened his eyes to Lily hovering over him.
"Mornin', cutie. I have the strangest urge to lick the freckles off your face, but I think I'll just do this instead."
Everyone gaped as Lily leaned down and gave new meaning to the words 'planting one' with Seamus.
"Mmm. Nummy. You taste like chocolate. I like. And thanks for keeping me on my broom yesterday. I appreciate it. So... wanna go to Hogsmeade with me next weekend?"
Seamus Finnigan had turned as red as his quidditch robes. "Yes."
Lily beamed. "Wicked."
Dawn and Draco exchanged a look. Gutterflower was now nestled nicely in Draco's arm. She was nibbling on his finger affectionately.
That's when Draco noticed Harry was looking at him with... jealously? Over Dawn? Surely not. Didn't Potter realize? First, he was just mad for Ginny. And second, Dawn was just mad for Harry.
But then Draco noticed Ginny wasn't exactly looking happy either. Didn't they realize that Dawn was his best friend? You rolled around on the floor and giggled with your best friend. It happened. And it did not mean anything else.
Didn't they know?
Then again, jealousy was a fickle beast who could strike in the oddest moments. Plus, he was still a little irritated about Ginny trying to scalp him with that bludger yesterday.
So he would not reassure her... yet.