It would have been so much better, if it had been a nice day. But it wasn’t. I guess it could have been worse after all it wasn’t raining but the air was dull, grey and humid; not in any means did it put a dampener on the event. The aura of euphoria, warmth and zeal caused the weather to subside; autumn had definitely made its mark, winter creeping from the side-lines. It was only September!
Tents had been pitched all around the grounds, they mirrored little wigwams. People had decorated their tents to indicate their chosen team. Green shamrocks, leprechaun hats and Irish flags; along with red and black woollen scarves, posters of Viktor Krum and Bulgarian flags. I found it ever so fascinating, not being a sport person myself I felt a sudden wave of patriotism and excitement.
“Nicole, Slow down! I can’t keep up with you when you walk fast.” I cried realising in my time stopping to admire the scenery Nicole had paraded ahead. She pretended not hear me and tutted running ahead, so I ran after her managing to keep up her pace. “It’s okay, just ignore me!” I snapped she looked at me screwing up her nose and blanked me out.
“Sorry I’m looking for something…” She trailed off, something? What the hell could she be looking for and how would she expect to find it in this crowd? Before I could reply I noticed a lady selling shamrock earrings and I stopped to look at them, I picked a pair up and looked at them. All the jewellery was made out of real shamrocks, shamrock chains, shamrock earrings even headbands.
“Hello.” The lady said in a very Irish voice.
“Don’t the Shamrock leaves die?” I asked her very directly, she simply gave a hearty laugh.
“Oh no dearie, I covered them in a special preservation potion so they last a forever.” She explained, “a” forever? Why “a” forever. I picked up the bracelet and smiled down at it, it was very pretty especially if it lasted a forever whatever that meant.
“How much?” I asked she looked up at me with a quizzical look as if I had just spoken a foreign language. “Romany is it?” She asked, surprised I nodded but how did she know my name?
“Yes but…” I began.
“Ah, I know everything.” She said tapping the side of her nose with a finger. “It’s a lucky thing is a shamrock.” She said, what was she going on about? All I asked was how much was the bracelet, not to have my fortune told.
“You need it more than I do take it.” She said, before I could open my mouth to protest she shook her head vigorously, pushing the bracelet into my hands then closing my hand into a fist. “Watch where you’re walking now it’s very easy to bump into people.” She said winking at me. I simply nodded remaining silent and walking away from the table…How strange.
I put the bracelet on looking down to admire it, it was very pretty. I began playing with it and twisting it around my wrist perhaps it –
I walked into something, and with a crash I fell to the ground something landing on top of me. I banged my head on the ground, giving me whiplash. I rubbed the back of my head groaning.
“Ow!” I heard someone groan, I opened my eyes my vision delayed. It seems I had walked into a boy and he had fallen on me, he peered down at me as if trying to decipher what I was. His grey eyes seemed unfocused, I gazed up at him my mouth gawped open which must have been unattractive, because he was…Bloody hell he was fit! He caught me staring at him and I looked away blushing, he got up off of me and laughed holding his hand out to help me up; I accepted a shiver of electricity running down my spine as my hand touched his. “You okay?” He asked, he had brown hair and was rather tall I assumed he was older than me his skin was rather pale although he looked a bit flushed.
“I-I-I’m fine I think, I’m sorry should have been looking where I was walking.” I mumbled, staring at my feet.
“Likewise, I wasn’t exactly paying to best of attention.” He laughed, I looked up my cheeks still pink, I only managed to simper a sort of agreeing sound in reply. I flushed darker because he started staring at me funny. “I’m sorry…do I know you?” He asked.
“Maybe, I appear and disappear a lot; never stay in the same place for long.” I managed to reply glancing over my shoulder, to seem aloof and not like an obsessed little school girl.
“I’m Cedric, Cedric Diggory.” He added, He waited expecting me to introduce myself. Causing me to panic, I opened and closed my mouth like a goldfish
“I’m Romany.” I nodded, pursing my lips into a firm line, “just Romany.” I added clutching my wrist with my other hand and rocking back and forth.
“My mother said never trust random handsome strangers.” I said, I felt like fist pumping the air. Good one Romany! Good one, good save!
“I just introduced myself; I’d hardly call myself a random handsome stranger.” He replied, I shook my head and began walking forwards surprised when he followed beside me.
“Oh yes, very random. Only random people are intrigued by strange girls.”
“I wouldn’t exactly describe you as strange.”
“Then you obviously are a stranger.”
He stopped talking then, his expression confused. I simply smirked not even glancing in his direction, surprised at how well I was doing.
“So as a random handsome stranger, perhaps I should walk along with you. After all I can protect you from other random strangers.” He finally said.
“Perhaps…” I trailed off.
“I’m just saying because girls like you shouldn’t be walking through busy crowds alone…you are alone aren’t you?” He asked gazing around.
“What exactly is a girl like me?”
“Apart from strange? Well you’re…I mean you’re…very…Well you could say you were…” He babbled.
“What?” I laughed, stopping walking and turning to face him. It was his turn to do the goldfish motion then; What was he trying to say? He averted my gaze which disappointed me, I bit hard on my lip and flushed again. “Oh.” I sighed, maybe the conversation wasn’t going as good as I thought it was.
“No!” He protested I couldn’t see his expression I was hiding behind my hair. “You’re very…Interesting.”
“Some might say.” I replied looking back up at him, we both paused in silence for a moment. It wasn’t an awkward silence it was a more of a suspension of conversation than a silence.
“Cedric!” Two voices called almost simultaneously, Nicole had called my name scurried up beside me shaking her head at me. Then she caught sight of Cedric and gave me a quizzical glance, and she began the goldfish game as well. Now it was an awkward silence.
Then a small man appeared and grabbed Cedric’s arm.
“Boy, what an earth are you doing? I stop to talk to The Weasley’s and you feel the need to wander off.” He scolded, I assumed they were related.
“I was talking to Just Romany.” He said smiling at me.
“What an earth is one of those?” The man asked, Cedric signalled towards me; I could then tell straight away this man was his father because he had one of those “mum/dad don’t embarrass me” expressions. Cedric’s dad turned to look at me, and plastered on a smile. “Oh, nice to meet you.” He said not sounding to very sure. “Come on we must go!” The man said pulling Cedric away, Cedric shrugged his shoulders as if to say “well I don’t really know” so I waved at him and turned to Nicole, who was having a little fit. Dancing as if she needed the toilet.
“What?” I cried she was really pushing my buttons today.
“He’s still looking at you.” She said, before I could see she grabbed my shoulders. “No! Don’t turn around! He’s looking at you, still looking, now he’s gone round the corner…Wait he came back round the corner to look at you again…Okay its safe you can look now.” She sung, I shook my head well why would I want to look now if he was gone?
“Why do you look like there’s a pin a stuck up your arse.” I asked she stopped dancing like an idiot and tutted. “Leave me alone I’m fangirling.” She snapped.
“Your whatting?” I cried, exasperated? She hadn’t made an inch of sense all day and now she was freaking me out! She grabbed my shoulders and looked at me like you would a slightly stupid person, speaking really slowly.
“Do you even know who you were just speaking to?” She yelled slowly.
“Nicole I’m oblivious, not deaf or stupid!” I mocked.
“You were only speaking to Cedric Diggory, any girl would kill to get him to give them the time of day, usually he just acts aloof and tries to avoid them politely. Just then it seemed roles had reversed for a second, he was obsessed!” Nicole seemed to be more shocked than a man who had just passed a pregnancy test.
“I wouldn’t exactly say obsessed, we were just having banter.” I replied, she was too idealistic; if this Cedric Diggory was as difficult as she suggested, and girls were always throwing themselves at him. It was just possible he enjoyed that fact he could have semi-normal banter with a girl that was it! He probably just enjoyed my non-flirtatious company. I explained this concept to Nicole, who began ranting at me about the birds and the bees, chemistry and something about some romance novel she’d read. I particularly enjoyed the bit where the girl dies at the end; it seems she had high hopes for our non-existent relationship.
To tune her interesting explanation of the birds and the bees, I began focusing on The Beatles. I wonder what wise words John Lenon would have about this situation, if he had experienced this would he write a song about it? After all he wrote a lot of songs about a lot of things.
“I know you’re not even listening to me!” Nicole retorted.
“What makes you say that?” I asked.
“I can hear you singing Yellow Submarine under your breath.” Nicole replied I couldn’t argue with that, because I probably was. “Oh look!” Nicole cried excitedly. I didn’t know what I was looking at so I just waited for Nicole to clarify, when she realised she pointed to a group of girls. Who I assumed she knew, immediately she bounded over towards them.
“Hi Ivory!” She said to one girl, Ivory pushed her glasses up on her nose to frame her icy-blue eyes; she smiled tucking her raven, black her behind her ears.
“Oh, Hello Nicole; It’s nice to see you again, how are your charms coming along?” Ivory asked.
“So much better after you tutored me last year, I haven’t had one accident since then. Romany this is Ivory, she goes to Hogwarts she’s a Ravenclaw, Ivory this is Romany she’s starting this year.” Ivory and I shook hands.
“I love new kids! What school did you go to previous?” Ivory asked.
“Beauxbatons.” I groaned, Ivory screwed her nose up.
“I see…Never have been fond of those girls. However you don’t seem so bad.” Her tone changed to slightly patronising but I didn’t mind; I could understand her trepidation, some of the slags an Beauxbatons.
“Romany, Ivory is in the year above us; she’s super clever, and I believe you made the Quidditch team again last year?” Nicole added.
“Yes chaser, we had a good team last year! Shame we didn’t win, but Harry is such a damn good seeker.” Ivory sighed, I could tell by her expression she was passionate about Quidditch. “Too bad he fell off his broom against Hufflepuff, or I think he might have just beat Cedric to the snitch.” Ivory explained, Cedric? He was on the Quidditch team? “Romany why have you gone that distressing pink colour?” Ivory asked.
“Her and Cedric had interesting encounter this morning, she still has whiplash.” Nicole taunted.
“I do not.” I squeaked, Nicole giggled and Ivory rolled her eyes.
“I wouldn’t bother Romany, he’s barely interested in the girls in his year never mind two years below. Not to be blunt but I’d hardly say and as a once-fellow prefect; I know him well enough to say the only infatuation he has is with himself.” Ivory sighed.
I don’t think Ivory liked Cedric.
“Really Ivory there is no need, Nicole is being silly. We merely had a conversation, polite banter really.” I replied, slightly defensively, Ivory smiled and nodded.
“I like you your sensible; never know we might be seeing more of each other as I could see you being Ravenclaw material, do you play Quidditch Romany?”
I shook my head.
“Shame, we need a new seeker ours simply isn’t fast enough. Well I better go see you soon girls, remember what I said Romany.” Ivory warned before walking off.
“She seemed a nice, a little bit pretentious though.”
“Romany she’s a Ravenclaw, but you can’t fault her hearts in the right place.” Nicole explained.
“I don’t think I can handle going any higher.” Nicole wheezed, her face was paler than usual as she looked down at the staircase below. Lucius sashayed in front while I put my arm around Nicole, you could tell she was feeling badly and I feared she might throw up. It was obvious she didn’t do well with heights.
“Not far now.” Draco replied, as if to try and reassure Nicole; I smiled at him but he merely nodded following along with his father.
The buzz of people, around the stadium was immense, everyone rushing to get to their seats. A few times I had been bumped into or stumbled out of someone’s way. I’d never really dealt with heights before so as not to find out that I did rather terribly, I continuously clutched my shamrock bracelet and counted to ten in my head. I found that I was okay with heights; I wasn’t a very panaphobic person I only really had two phobias: water and thunder and lightning storms.
“Fred stop standing on the back of my shoes on purpose!” I heard a voice say above everyone else, I looked up to see a tall, gangly red headed boy, with his large family also red-heads surrounding him. Weasley’s I assumed, along with them were two people who didn’t quite fit in the trend. A girl with bushy, honey coloured hair she was of an average build and her eyebrows were also slightly untamed but she was still pretty, I could tell. Then a boy with moon face glasses and wild black hair, but I think it was meant to be like that. Lucius looked up at the rabble of people.
“Ah, such a lovely family.” Lucius cackled, he was so rude! I ignored what was going on and paid most of my attention to Nicole who was looking worse than two minutes ago. After a tiny heated argument I started to become impatient.
“Lucius! Draco!” I snapped Nicole shuddered under my grasp. “Whatever this is don’t you think this is best done at another time?” I asked.
I looked back up at the Weasley’s, remembering Draco’s spiteful words. Then it registered in my Brain, the bushy haired girl must be Hermione Granger and the boy must be…Harry Potter. For a moment I think I went even paler than Nicole and I wasn’t the only one startled because he was staring down at me. I attempted a smile, but Draco grabbed my arm and dragged me away before any exchanges could begin.
That was my first glance of Harry Potter.
He was so normal.
Not that I was expecting him to be, weird or extravagant but I expected something a little more. After all I could walk past him in the street every day and not know any different, he was one of those familiar faces. I sat down in my seat at the match, I was about to let out a sigh of relief that Harry Potter was gone but I felt a presence behind us.
It was a tense moment, I could hear someone greeting Harry behind us and I turned to see Cornelius fudge himself shaking his hand. Please don’t come over here…Please!
“Ah Lucius!” Cornelius said his voice pleasant and merry; Lucius put on his formal smile also known as his fake one and shook hands with Cornelius. “Hello, I’d like you to meet my Son Draco Malfoy, my niece Nicole Malfoy and their friend Romany Riddle.” There was a silence as my last name was pronounced, Lucius smiled evily at Harry and I felt as if though I might cry, it was sick Lucius took pleasure in this. Everyone looked at me as if they expected me to say something or kill someone.
“It’s nice to meet all of you.” I gulped; hoping people might possibly accept my existence. Harry was still looking at me I ignored him; I don’t understand why he bothered me so much. After all I’d met too many wonderful people today to let one awkward situation ruin it all.
“I’d heard rumours I had no idea you actually existed, well it’s nice to final meet you.” Cornelius said holding out his hand I took it, he had a firm shake and he smiled down at me with warmth and I could tell it was genuine.
“Not many people would greet me so kindly Mr Fudge, so thank you.”
“Such people are foolish; you are clearly a harmless, polite young lady.” Mr Fudge said. I didn’t notice the black man next to Cornelius, until he noticed Harry’s scar and started babbling in his language, everyone looked puzzled. “I’m no great shakes at languages I need Barty Crouch for that kind of thing.” Cornelius laughed, I stared at the man intently, and I’d never tried to read a foreign person before…maybe I should try. I discovered it was very much the same; you see the brain doesn’t speak a human language like we do it sends off a series of waves and signals.
“He said. Holy Lord I can’t believe it’s Harry Potter, the boy who lived.” I said out loud.
“You speak Bulgarian?” One of the ginger twins asked.
“Something like that.” I replied, I knew I was too nosy for my own good afterall what other kids invaded on others businesses.
That was then a chance for everyone to greet each other and shake hands; I stood on the outskirts of all the greetings and eventually sat back down in my chair, enjoying my own company. Although I was curious to what Harry was thinking; actually I needed to know what Harry was thinking. Because he wasn’t revealing much his stare wasn’t a glare but it didn’t look positive either but I couldn’t read into him, his brain was too complicated for me to access without knowing him first.
“You seem distracted Harry are you okay?” Hermione whispered to him, little did they know I could hear them. It took a lot of strain but I managed to access Hermione’s thought wave, so I could access her hearing.
“I didn’t know he had a daughter.” Harry replied.
“It’s all very odd isn’t it?” She replied, she was trying to look at me inconspicuously; she was wondering how old I was, what I was like, why I was so quiet. “I wonder if she’s like him.”
“I doubt it.” Harry said abruptly.
“What makes you think that?”
“If she was Lucius wouldn’t just name drop her like that and Draco wouldn’t be so comfortable around her. Look at her expression she looked like she was about to cry a second ago and she still looks terrified even now.”
“There’s only one way to find out you need to-“ I broke the connection between Hermione and I so all I could see now was her lips moving, completely mute. I never usually attempted that level of access for a starter it was rude and secondly it was hard and it hurt. Even more so when I strained to read Hermione in the first place, it was just beyond a stretch and I don’t know how I managed it.
The game was definitely starting now, as the crowd began to roar; I tried to blend in and clapped my hands. Like I said I didn’t know much about Quidditch I knew the positions, the basic aims of the game and that was it. I didn’t know any fouls, or anything about particular players or teams.
“Are we all ready?” Ludo Bagman asked, his face lighting up like my house at Christmas. That was saying something, my mother was a sucker for a celebration she celebrated anything there was to celebrate. She celebrated Diwali and Holi for god’s sake and we were barely Christian never mind Hindu. This meant my mum always went overboard at Christmas and climbed various ladders to hang up tacky Christmas decorations.
All for no reason as we all went to my muggle Auntie Georgiana’s for Christmas, my Auntie was a squib and despite my granddad being a wizard never developed any magical abilities. Although my Aunt was never sour about it she was in fact happy. “Always one thing or other going on in that wizardy world, not to mention you don’t know which way is up and which way is down.” She’d always say.
I loved my Auntie Georgiana very much. “Sonorous!” Ludo Bagman called directing his wand at his own throat, his voice was now loud enough to echo over the crowd. I say that was very clever I’d have to remember that one for the future, it saves a lot of time setting up a microphone to a PA system and remembering where the male and female ends go in the microphone.
Yes in a PA system the microphone wire has a male and female end and they fit together…I know what you’re thinking. Dirty people. “Ladies and gentlemen… welcome! Welcome to the final of the four hundred and twenty second! Quidditch World Cup!”
The crowd roared even louder if that was possible and one side of the stand became a block of red and the other a block of green. “And now without further ado, allow me to introduce … The Bulgarian team mascots!”
Immediately, a swarm of vela cascaded onto the pitch. They’re perfection entrancing everyone, I just created a block on my brain, sighing at the doe eyed people in the stadium. I didn’t care for feelings of fascination, I just smiled as the Veela danced. Everyone began booing and crying when the Veela left, remaining thoroughly amused I waited for the next Irish mascot. “Now we have the Irish tem mascots.”
A thousand fireworks shot into the black sky, filling I up until it transformed into a glittering rainbow. Leprachauns! Gold began to rain from the sky and people desperately began to grab it; I managed to grab one and put it in my pocket.
I ignored when Ludo span off all the names of the players, but I did notice when Viktor Krums name was announced everyone began to have a fit. It seems he was much loved among his subjects. He was a large thin boy his head was half shaven but he had jet black eyebrows, his skin was sickly pale! I'd heard of him from girls around Beauxbatons, he was only 18 and went to Dumstrang institute. Every Beauxbaton girl swooned over him like he was Jesus on a broom, no doubt he probably was Jesus on a broom, but off a broom I'd heard he was a rather morbid, sombre creature.
It was a nasty game, Ireland had pulled miles ahead of the Bulgarian team, and they made it look easy. Although I'd say the Bulgarians played with too much ferocity, whereas Ireland was just pure skill. I turned to Nicole to whisper to her about one of the Irish chasers but she was sat motionless in her chair, not making a sound. I waved my hand in front of her face she was unresponsive and she had turned a slight shade of green.
"Erm Nicole!" I cried, she didn't respond. I think she had frozen because of the height...I had to get her out of there. "Draco!" I snapped flicking him in the ear when I noticed he was transfixed by dancing Veela.
"Ow what the heck Romany." I flicked him in the ear again. "Why that one?" He cried
"Don't curse!" I snapped, he simply glared at me. heck was a mixture of hell and fuck, although maybe I was a little hypocritical. Do as I say not as I do. "I need to take Nicole back down she's frozen to the spot!" Draco glanced over to Nicole.
"Okay you take her I'll explain to everyone."
"Thanks Draco, enjoy the rest of the game." I got out of my seat and pulled Nicole up so I could prop her against my shoulder. "Nicole I'm going to take you back to the campsite and get you a drink is that okay?" Nicole groaned in response so I took it as a yes to help her down the stairs.
"I think I'm going to puke, hold my hair please!" She wheezed, I grabbed her hair and she did indeed throw up.
My first quidditch experience and it included holding my friends hair back while she puked. How fun!