Quaffles and Broomsticks, Chapter 2


Relief. That's what he felt. Well, mostly. There was some embarrassment too. And a touch of shame. He did just get dumped, after all. But the dominant feeling was relief, and it confused him.

Cho had cornered him after Transfiguration to apologize for how their Valentine's date turned out. Hermione had already explained to him what he had done wrong, though he privately blamed her for part of the mess. What was Cho supposed to think when he dragged her to meet another girl on their date?

But it had gone wrong long before the meeting with Hermione. Even he knew that. After fifteen minutes of awkward conversation, he realized that they only had two things in common: quidditch, and her dead ex-boyfriend. Not exactly the foundation for a healthy relationship, especially when she continually asked him about Cedric's last moments. His answer wasn't going to change to something that comforted her, and that only increased his guilt.

He had persevered anyway. She was his first crush, and she was gorgeous. He hated to see her in pain. But there was nothing he could say or do to help. They had both tried to find something innocuous to discuss, yet Cedric's ghost loomed over them.

It was a mercy that she found the courage to break it off. She could have easily strung him along for months. He felt a pang of regret at the end of his first pseudo-relationship, but mostly he was relieved it was done. Wasn't he supposed to feel as if he had lost something?

There were too many other things to worry about, he supposed. Voldemort, Umbridge, the DA, occlumency lessons, the strange dreams, not to mention half the school still thinking him a liar. Adding romance to that cauldron threatened to make the whole thing explode.

Hermione could sense his mood. She looked ready to interrogate him again, so he grabbed his cloak and escaped the dorms before anyone could talk to him about his bloody feelings. He just wanted to fly.


She barreled toward the ground, performing the chaser's version of a Wronski Feint, then pulled up sharply. She tossed the quaffle to her waiting teammate and shot back into the sky, following her from below and waiting for the pass that would force their keeper to make a choice. The quaffle shot toward her position and she grabbed it. She could stare directly into the keeper's uncertain eyes from this distance. She jerked her broom to the right, forcing him to defend that goal, then tossed the quaffle straight through the center hoop, not even looking at it.

If only she could get a chance to do this at the pro level, they would all see what she was capable of.

But it might not happen. Another day had passed without mail. No teams had invited her to a summer tryout yet, and it was nearly March. Oliver Wood had received five such invitations by this point in his seventh year. If she didn't receive any in the next month, she likely wouldn't receive any at all. It left a hollow feeling in the pit of her stomach, and made her want to punch something in frustration.

Her bludgeoning curse at the last DA meeting had knocked Fred right on his arse, and it had felt fantastic. If only she could hex people during quidditch.

She was contemplating which move to practice next when he showed up. He was crossing her path more often than usual lately. She flew up next to him and smiled.

"That's three times this week, Harry. You're not getting sweet on me, are you? Because I don't want to break your heart."

"Don't get your hopes up. I'm told I make a terrible boyfriend."

"Well, damn. There go my plans for a torrid affair. What happened? Put your foot in it with Chang?"

"We're, er, not really together anymore. I'm not sure if we ever were."

Her eyebrows rose. "Managed to scare her away already?"

"I don't want to talk about it."

"Good, because I don't want to hear about it."

He glared at her, but there was no heat in it. "What are you doing today? Winning imaginary World Cups again?"

"I'll take what I can get right now. The real one is looking like a pipe dream. I might have to send an owl to the Cannons myself."

"So you want to play professionally?"

She stared at him for a long moment, wondering how he could be so oblivious. "What gave it away? Being outside at the arse end of winter?"

"Hey now. I thought you might just be letting off some steam. We all need it."

"Can't argue with that, I guess. You here to let me embarrass you again?"

"I figured you need the ego boost."

"I do. Get in the goal."

Harry spent the next hour facing an aggressive onslaught of quaffles. She attacked him from every angle, never even looking at any of the hoops. She always stared into his eyes as she approached, a mad grin on her face. It made him sympathetic to the poor bastards who had to defend against her. He felt as if they were playing some sort of violent poker.

He managed to stop some of her shots, but most got through. He had to admit to himself that he wasn't much of a keeper. But it was difficult to focus when he was on a terrible broom and had other things on his mind. Training with her wasn't quite the same as a relaxing flight.

She finally called it when he blocked a quaffle with his face, nearly knocking him off his broom.

"Oy, you've got hands, Harry! Use them!"

She flew up beside him and looked him over.

"What's got into you? You looked like you were daydreaming on that last shot," she said.

He rubbed the welt on his cheek and winced. "Just a bit distracted today, I guess."

"Well, don't come up here unless you're ready to play. I might take your bloody head off. Make up with Chang or pull one of your other girls into a broom closet if you need it."

"What girls?"

She laughed. "Take your pick. Hermione. Ginny, if you're willing to brave the Weasleys. Parvati is always molesting you with her eyes. You could have a go with that crazy Ravenclaw in the DA—what's her name?"

"Luna," he said curtly.

She held up her hands. "Come on—she's a nice girl, but she's weird. Don't pretend she isn't."

"Maybe she is. I'm still not going to 'have a go' with her or anyone else."

"Suit yourself. But you better not have your head up your arse next time. I don't want them to toss me in Azkaban for killing you."

"They might give you a medal."

"Chin up, Harry. Forget about Chang. You don't want to be with a quidditch girl anyway. We're all crazy."

"I won't argue with that."

He turned grumpily and flew toward the locker rooms. She followed, still laughing at him.


Angelina pulled off her robes and dropped them on the floor. It wasn't even raining outside and they were still wet. There was so much cold moisture in the air that it might as well have been pouring. Even her underclothes were damp and clinging to her body.

She peeled off her t-shirt and added it to the pile. The House Elves would deal with the mess, thank Merlin. Her shorts came off next, leaving her in knickers and bra.

Harry had been so quiet since they entered that she had almost forgotten he was there, still sitting in his wet robes and staring at his locker. But she could feel his gaze on her now.

She could always feel it. Boys were so lacking in subtlety. It was like they forgot she had peripheral vision, and hers was better than most. She glanced down at her chest. Her bra was clinging to her, her nipples poking visibly against the fabric. Harry was getting quite a show.

She had never minded the casual glance in the locker room. If she were honest, she liked it. A little harmless admiration now and then was good for the self-esteem, as long as no one harassed her. She knew she had quite a body. She was proud of it, even if it wasn't as soft as those of other girls.

She had certainly cast quite a few appreciative glances of her own over the years, especially at Oliver. That boy was made out of muscle. The twins weren't much to look at without their shirts, but they were her friends, and they were close enough that it didn't feel awkward to look at them. Especially when they posed goofily, almost demanding attention.

Harry was a different story. He had been a firstie when he joined the team. A little moppet. Four foot nothing and made entirely of hair and glasses. By unspoken rule nobody teased him in the locker room, lest he feel out of place among his older teammates. But she had watched him grow up and fill out. He was no longer a little boy. He was a determined fifth-year with a smart mouth, and just enough remaining innocence to be amusing.

She had caught him staring several times at the start of the year, and each time pretended not to notice. Every time she glanced in his direction he would hurriedly look away. He had the subtlety of a troll, but it was sweet.

On a whim, she picked up her wet t-shirt and tossed it at him. It flew across the room, and his hand shot out and caught it on instinct. He stared at it in surprise, as if it were something from another planet.

She laughed. "Nice catch. Guess your skills aren't too rusty."

He snorted and tossed it back to her, and she dropped it on the floor. She grabbed her towel from her locker, and could sense him staring at her again. Merlin, what an easy target. This was getting silly.

She faced him fully and crossed her arms under her chest, aware of the show she was giving him. Or would be, if he hadn't looked away again. She could feel how hard her nipples were, and her knickers were clinging to her tightly.

"We've got the DA tomorrow night, but did you want to run some more drills on Friday afternoon?" she asked casually.

"Er, yeah, I'll be free after herbology if you want."

"I would appreciate it. You're the only one willing to fly in the cold."

"Sure thing," he said, his eyes remaining on his locker.

She almost laughed. With everything else going so wrong, her seeker's awkwardness with girls was a welcome diversion. "So…how 'bout those Cannons?"

He snorted softly. "You know, if you keep inviting me to look, I'm going to look."

"Oh, yeah?"


When she didn't reply, he stood and faced her. She looked ready to burst out laughing.

He narrowed his eyes at her expression and let his eyes travel slowly south, for the first time taking in every inch of her. Her skin looked soft, but it concealed hard muscle everywhere. Her thighs were powerful, courtesy of spending countless hours on a broom. Her abs were pulled so taut they almost rippled every time she breathed.

He took a breath and dared to look at her chest. Dark nipples poked hard against her bra. It was so damp and snug that it was almost translucent, revealing the contours of her breasts clearly.

He glanced up at her eyes and this time she did laugh. "Oh, Merlin, your face."

He raised an eyebrow, not quite certain how to take her laughter. "You did dare me to look."

"And it's about damn time you did. I thought you were going to hurt your neck. I don't mind if you take a peek sometimes, Harry. We're friends, and I've seen that new six pack you're sporting. Just don't be a sleaze about it, okay?"

He nodded as the tension of the moment released. "Okay."

She threw her towel over her shoulder, then headed toward the girls' showers. She stopped just before she entered and looked over her shoulder, catching him staring at her ass.

"Perv," she said, and her laughter echoed off the walls of the shower.


The next DA meeting was interesting.

Angelina showed up with the twins and Alicia Spinnett, and gave no more than her usual acknowledgment to Harry. He had half-expected her to mock him in front of the whole room.

She might have, if she had known of his dreams the night before. He had relived the entire locker room moment, except this time the green bra and knickers—both firmly etched in his memory—had disappeared. She had stood in front of him totally nude and invited him to look.

Harry shook his head, trying to focus on his task as the others filtered in. He decided that he liked leading the DA. He had resented it at first. But it was fulfilling to organize the chaos and see people improve right before his eyes. He liked the expectant looks they gave him before he demonstrated a spell that even the seventh years hadn't fully mastered. It was one of the few bright spots in his life right now.

He had talked Hermione out of teaching the protego maxima charm. While it would be useful to know how to form an impenetrable shield, it required three casters and three complex spells, all of which were NEWT level.

Instead they were learning levicorpus, a spell that suspended the victim in the air by the ankle. It took only one demonstration to realize that they needed to teach the counter spell first. Otherwise the victim either stayed suspended indefinitely or crashed to the ground on their head.

Needless to say, the spell was a huge hit with the Weasley twins. It was less of a hit with the girls who were wearing skirts under their robes. Sticking charms soon became fashionable.

Harry roamed the room, watching people cast the spell at their friends. Everyone seemed to like this one, if the laughter was any indication. He watched Angelina out of the corner of his eye. She seemed to take great delight in leaving Katie Bell dangling until her face was bright red.

It warmed his heart to see it. He thought he understood now why she was practicing so intensely in the freezing cold, and why she had been so irate with him and the twins. This season was her last chance to showcase her skills, and their lack of self-control had ruined it. He felt a bit thick for not realizing it earlier, but he hadn't yet begun thinking of his post-Hogwarts life. That seemed an eternity away. Hers started in four months.

He watched as Angelina performed liberacorpus on Katie and lowered her gently to the ground. Angelina turned her head and caught him staring at her. She smiled but rolled her eyes and turned her attention back to their teammate. It left him both relieved and strangely disappointed.

She had just been teasing him yesterday, he concluded. Gently mocking him to take his mind off things, as she had done when she raced him around the pitch. Or perhaps just trying to make things more comfortable between them, if she had been aware of his stolen glances. How could it be otherwise?

And yet he couldn't get the vision of her body out of his mind. If her intention had been to help him relax in the locker room, she had certainly failed. He didn't think he could look at her body as casually as she put it on display. It was just too majestic for that.

At the very least she had succeeded in taking his mind off Cho.

He tried to put her out of his mind and focus his attention on the others. He had more important things to worry about than his quidditch captain's body.


A/N: New chapters should be out every 10 days or so. Any and all feedback is welcome. Thanks for reading.