Harry & Cho
Chapter Forty-Five: Double or Nothing
Cheryl Beauvais was used to getting what she wanted. Always got what she wanted. Always knew she would eventually get what she wanted. And, right now, she wanted Robert Philips back.
She glowered at him from her spot at the Ravenclaw table. It was lunchtime, and Robert was absorbed in a conversation with Rebecca and Marc Arrington. He did not even acknowledge her presence, despite her sitting a few seats down.
“Are you okay, Cheryl?” one of her friends asked.
Cheryl smiled. “Perfectly fine.”
She watched as Robert turned his head in the direction of the Gryffindor table, where Lily Potter, the resident Hogwarts bookworm was just taking her seat next to her brother, Trevor. Cheryl’s smile faded as Robert offered her a wave. She watched as Lily’s cheeks flushed slightly before Lily waved back.
Cheryl was never one to make rash judgments but at that particular moment, she hated the very ground Lily Potter walked on. She glowered in the general direction of the Gryffindor table until she saw Lily get up and walk away from the table. Ethan Finnigan appeared wistful and looked like he wanted to say something to Lily, but at the last minute he stopped and watched her walk away.
“Cheryl?” one of her friends said, nudging her shoulder.
“Hm?” Cheryl said, wrenching her eyes away from Lily Potter’s retreating figure.
“We’re going to go get our supplies for the last blocks of the day. You going to come?”
Cheryl blinked, and frowned as she tried to shake the feeling that someone was watching her. “No. I think I’ll finish off my lunch.”
Her friend shrugged and turned to leave with the rest of their cohorts.
Cheryl turned back to her plate, and pushed it aside in disgust. Her appetite lost completely. She was putting her belongings away into her bag, when an owl landed next to her, a piece of parchment in its beak. She looked up to see who had sent the owl, and noticed Andrew Rhiannon from the Slytherin table staring at her. Cheryl opened the letter and read the contents.
Hallway. Two minutes. – Andrew R.
She looked up in time to see Andrew excusing himself from the table. Slytherin Quidditch Captain, Paul laughed as Andrew leaned over to whisper something to him. Paul shook hands with Andrew before he booked it out of the Great Hall.
What could you possibly want with me, Andrew? Cheryl wondered as she gathered up her belongings and scurried down the aisle between the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw tables.
“Andrew,” she hissed, when she was standing in the hall.
Andrew stepped out of the shadows then. He began walking towards the stairs. “Not here. Follow.”
Feeling rather indignant at Andrew’s asinine assumption that she would just follow him caused fury to ebb in Cheryl’s veins. She was about to tell him where he could stick his comments when he turned and looked at her with a devilish twinkle.
“You can stand there and look dumbfounded, or you can follow me and listen to how I can guarantee Bookworm Potter gets hurt.”
That last thought piqued the malice she had for Lily, and begrudgingly she made her way up the stairs. Andrew smirked and continued walking when he was positive she would follow. He pulled her into a deserted corridor.
“Andrew Rhiannon,” she began, “why pull me into darkened corners? Is what you have planned really that vicious?”
He leaned back against the wall, crossing his arms across his broad chest. “I’ll let you be the judge of that.”
“Why me?”She sighed and ran a hand through her hair.
“Because you didn’t exactly keep your ire towards Miss. Head Girl that well hidden in the Hall earlier.”
She shrugged. “What does that have to do with anything?”
“You dated Robert Philips last year.”
“So?” she asked, her tone indicating that he should continue. “And better yet, how do you know that?”
He shrugged. “Word gets around. Ravenclaw girls are quite gossipy. Slytherin’s overhear. I saw the way you looked when he waved at Lily, and the way Lily blushed like a tomato just now.”
Cheryl let out a sigh of resignation. “What’s your plan?”
“Brian Avery,” he said simply.
She laughed then. “What about him? Come on, Andrew, I can do better than that. Besides, what does Brian Avery going out with me have to do with hurting Lily?”
This is where Andrew stifled the urge to laugh out loud. “I’m not asking you to date him. It’s just that Brian dated a certain bookworm in the summer until he made a deal with Paul.”
“The deal was ...”
“The deal was the Paul would give up his captain spot if Brian managed to make Lily fall in love with him, and then he would have to break her heart.” Andrew sighed. “The plan worked.”
A frown creased Cheryl’s brow. “But Paul is still captain.”
“I know. Paul never had any intention of giving up his spot. He just wanted to see how far Brian was willing to go to obtain something. Wasn’t that a beautiful plan?”
“I still don’t get where I come into play here.”
“It appears that Brian is a little bored and horny. I don’t really know why exactly. He should have better taste. But, besides that, bookworm Potter is not exactly giving Brian the time of day now, which makes it all that more interesting.”
“Are you talking about a bet?”
Andrew smirked when she said ‘bet’. “Now you’re catching on.”
“You want to bet on whether or not Brian makes Lily fall for him again?”
“What’s in it for me?”
“For the sheer joy of watching bookworm Potter become crushed yet again.”
“All I want is Robert Philips back,” she whispered.
“Look at it this way. If Brian manages to get Lily to fall for him, you can get your claws so deep into Robert he will not even care about his roommate.”
She frowned. “You obviously don’t know Robert Philips all that well.”
“What’s to know?” Andrew shrugged, his eyes looked bored. “He’s a guy, and he obviously likes skirts, so what’s the problem?”
Cheryl opened her mouth to tell him off about his skirt comment, indignation etched into her features. Andrew put up his hands in a gesture of goodwill.
“Take it easy. All I meant was that, given the right girl in a skirt, I’m sure Robert would abandon bookworm.” He looked over Cheryl’s figure appreciatively. “Besides, you fill out a skirt quite nicely. If I may say so myself.”
She hesitated briefly. “I do don’t I?”
“Most definitely.” Andrew leaned his face in, crossing the distance separating them. “So,” he began, “you up to it?”
Cheryl chewed on her bottom lip as she pondered what Andrew was asking. “Eleven galleons.”
He smirked. “Double it and we have a deal.” To drive his point home, he blew softly on her ear.
She felt her knees go slack, but held her ground. Slytherin boys really were a potent breed. She was beginning to understand why they bedded so many girls like it was its own sport. Cheryl chanced a glance at Andrew and found herself staring into a pair of dark green eyes. “You propositioned me first. I don’t think you’re in the position to baulk on the deal,” she choked out.
He chuckled, and let his tongue flick over her ear. “I don’t recall setting a set price on the deal. This technically means I can set the price as high or as low as I want to.” Andrew stepped closer to her then, letting his hands lazily play with the ends of her hair. “You better make up your mind fast ... afternoon classes start soon, and I would hate to have other students see us in this very suggestive position.”
Every moral sense of right and wrong in her body was fighting with her. She knew Andrew Rhiannon was a pig - his actions right now showcased that quite well – but the sudden urge to hurt Lily for even thinking about catching Robert’s eye was overpowering her principles.
“I need an answer, Cheryl,” Andrew whispered, his breath tickling the fine hairs on her neck.
She gulped, and without thinking tilted her head up towards his, her lips parting slightly. “Deal.”
He dropped the strands of her hair, and stepped away from her. “I knew you’d see things my way.”
Andrew turned, tipped a hand to her, and started off down the hall. “Be seeing you, Beauvais.”
Cheryl blinked. What in Merlin’s name have I gone and done now? she thought. Before she could ponder this thought in more detail, the bell rang, signifying the end of lunch. She rushed down the hall, narrowly avoiding the steady stream of students who began making their way to their afternoon classes.
After lunch, was History of Magic, and Lily was desperately trying to stay awake, while Professor Thorne droned on and on about the fifteenth century persecutions of wizards and witches.
“Didn’t we learn this back in third year?” Lily whispered to Rebecca, as she tried to stifle a yawn.
Rebecca nodded. “Poor Thorne is losing his marbles.”
Lily smiled, before she busily copied down some dates that Thorne had written on the board. Rebecca did the same, before setting down her quill.
“How are things going with you and my brother?” Rebecca blurted out.
“What? I didn’t know that there was a ‘thing’ going on between us, why are you asking?”
“Just because he seemed to be preoccupied during Care of Magical Creatures, and he loves that class.”
Lily shrugged. “Well, I only really see him in classes. Besides, he always has Quidditch practice or homework.”
She really has no idea how he feels about her, Rebecca thought. She turned to look at Lily. We’re becoming friends, and she should know, but then again, Robert would kill me, and... I really don’t want Marc to know how I feel.” Rebecca gave her head a shake, determined to clear her head.
“You okay, Becca?” Lily asked; her face was filled with concern.
“I’m fine.” Rebecca had just finished her sentence, when Professor Thorne dismissed their class.
“See you later?” Rebecca asked, before turning to leave. “Oh, Lily... we don’t have Quidditch practice tonight, so talk to my brother tonight, okay?”
Lily gave Rebecca a confused look, but nodded.
“Great, see you,” and Rebecca took off.
Lily straightened her bag, and walked away from History of Magic. All her thoughts were jumbling in her brain, and it was making her frustrated! Other than the perplexing situation with Robert, was the ‘incident’ with Brian last night. Lily frowned; she knew that she had lost complete control. She had let Brian kiss her! And what was worse was that she realized that she wanted it.
Lily hurried off down the hall towards Arithmancy, muttering, “Stupid Slytherin prat!”
Ethan rushed out of Transfiguration, and raced up the stairs towards the Gryffindor dorm.
“Hey, Ethan, wait up!” yelled Trevor, as he tore down the hall.
“Hi, but I can’t stop and talk. Bella kept the whole class in! And I am so dead. We’ve got practice in ten minutes!” he yelled behind him, as Trevor ran to catch up.
“Would you calm down? Practice doesn’t officially start until you show up!” Trevor pointed out, he was gasping for breath.
Ethan stopped in front of the Gryffindor portrait.
“Password?” the portrait prompted.
Ethan caught his breath before muttering, “Strawberry Stars Toffee.”
The portrait swung open and Ethan raced through the common room and up the stairs to the boys’ dorm. Trevor hurried in after him, knocking over a stack of books that were piled up on a table.
“Hey, watch it!” yelled a second year student.
Trevor turned. “Sorry,” and then he raced up the stairs towards the fifth year’s dorm.
The door to the changing room banged open, and seven very sweaty and exhausted Gryffindor Quidditch team members trouped in.
“That was probably one of the most exhausting practices ever!” said beater, Orlando Richardson.
“You’re telling me!” said Trevor, as he leaned against a bench.
“Hey, Potter, where was your sister? Shouldn’t she be attending practices, seeing as how she’s backup Seeker?” asked Chaser, Toby Wellington.
Trevor shrugged. “I don’t know my sister’s schedule,” he said, as he splashed some water on his face.
Second beater, Claude Davis laughed. “While we’re on the subject of Potter’s sister, I got to say that she is quite easy on the eyes. I’d drop everything for a quickie with her.” At this comment, laughter broke out amongst the guys.
“I second that thought,” said Toby, as he gave Claude a high-five.
“Would you stop talking about my sister when I am in the room?” Trevor said, through gritted teeth. At that moment, Ethan walked in to the changing room.
“Well, let’s ask our captain’s opinion,” Claude turned his head towards Ethan. “Finnigan, were having a debate on how many of us would like to shag Lily Potter.”
Ethan’s face turned red. “Why does my opinion matter?”
“Well, you are best friends with her. Unless, of course you have already been with her,” Claude started to button up his shirt.
“I do not think it is any of your business, whether or not I have done anything with Lily.” The anger was rising in Ethan’s voice. Still, Claude pressed on.
“Come on, Finnigan. Work with us on this one! In all honesty, how do you think she’d be?”
“That’s enough,” Trevor said, his anger rising as well.
Claude glared at Trevor. “We can count your opinion out, seeing as how you are related.” He turned back to Ethan, who was removing his Quidditch practice gloves.
“I still stand by my earlier point that it really is no-one’s business about what I have or have not done with Lily.”
“I think that comment speaks volumes,” Toby commented, glancing at Claude.
“I think it does indeed,” Claude returned, finishing buttoning up his shirt. He crossed the floor and wrapped an arm around Ethan’s shoulder. “I really cannot say I blame you for not doing anything with Lily. I can’t imagine she would be any good.”
That earned Claude a round of whistles and muttered comments that had Trevor plug his ears with his robes.
“Would you all just drop it!” he moaned.
“All right, all right,” Claude said, “subject is dropped.” He smirked and before he let Ethan go, he whispered so that Ethan was the only one who could hear, “I bet you, Finnigan, that shagging Lily would be like taking a bath with all your clothes on.”
That was enough; Ethan’s eyes flickered with unexpected hatred and fury. He wrenched Claude’s arm off his shoulders, grasping it in his hand before he brought his left fist up to connect with Claude’s jaw. Everyone else in the change room backed away, as Ethan lifted Claude up and pinned him against the wall. Claude slumped to the ground, and Ethan turned his back and began walking away.
Claude coughed, before glaring at Ethan’s retreating figure. “You’ll pay for that one, Finnigan,” he hissed, and then he tackled Ethan.
Ethan hit the ground and struggled, as Claude landed a punch on his cheek. Ethan felt pain shoot through his cheek, but he ignored it and swung at Claude. Ethan’s fist connected with Claude’s lip, causing Claude to roll off, and wipe the blood away from his cut lip. Ethan got to his feet, and turned to face Claude.
“Do not ever talk about Lily like that, you understand?” Ethan yelled. “Next time I hear it, I won’t hesitate to break every bone in your body. And, as of this moment, consider your position on the team revoked.”
Claude narrowed his eyes at Ethan, but Ethan had turned his back on him and was walking towards the changing room doors.
Taking advantage of this situation, Claude attacked Ethan, causing Ethan to stumble, Ethan fell to the ground, and the last thing any of them heard was the sickening snap of breaking bones.
Lily walked down the stairs towards the hall. She passed a group of seventh year Gryffindor girls and managed to catch a few snippets of their conversation.
“Did you hear about what happened at Quidditch practice?” said one girl.
“No, what happened?” asked another Gryffindor student.
“Well, I heard from Toby that a fight broke out between Claude and Ethan.”
“Really? How are they?”
“Claude’s fine, bruised lip, but Ethan’s in the hospital wing, his ankle is broken.” Lily stopped dead.
“Ethan is in the hospital wing?”she whispered. Without thinking twice, she hurried down the steps and raced towards the hospital wing.
She reached the hospital wing, and saw Ethan sitting in one of the beds. He looked miserable, and Lily felt pangs of guilt tug at her heart. She realized that the past two weeks without talking to him had been unbearable; she just hoped he would be able to forgive her. Lily walked over towards Ethan’s bed, being careful to not be too loud. Ethan looked up, upon hearing a shuffling noise.
“Lily,” he said, not looking away from her.
“I heard about Quidditch practice.”
Ethan gave a little snort. “Humph, served him right.”
“Claude was being a pig. He had no right to insult you like that!” Ethan declared.
Lily crinkled her brow. “I’m confused; you hit him because he insulted me?”
“If you heard what he said, you would have hit him too!”
She arched an eyebrow at Ethan. “What did he say?”
Ethan turned his attention to his bandaged ankle, but he started telling Lily what happened at Quidditch practice. By the end of his explanation, Lily’s mouth was hanging open.
“He actually said that?” embarrassment was written on her face.
Ethan simply nodded, and an awkward silence fell on the room. “Um, are you going to be at our first game?”
“Of course, I would not miss it,” Lily shifted her weight to her left foot. “I ... um, I know we haven’t been talking lately, and —”
“Lily, don’t apologize. I know that I should not have kissed you, since I know you had a rough summer, but I am just going to say that I am willing to wait.”
Lily looked up; her eyes were filling with tears. She ran to Ethan and wrapped her arms around his neck. “I missed you,” she whispered, “but ... I can’t promise you anything, at least not now.”
Ethan brushed Lily’s hair out of her face, “I understand.” He smiled. “I am just glad that we’re talking.” Lily’s face broke out in a smile, and she and Ethan hugged. Finally, they pulled away, and it was like the two weeks of silence between them had never happened.
Ginny set her quill down, and surveyed what she had written to her daughter. She sighed, and rolled the parchment up and tied it with some string. As she whistled for the family owl, she twirled her quill in her hands. The Potter family owl arrived and waited until Ginny had finished tying the letter to its leg.
“Take this to Lily,” Ginny said, as she petted the owl’s head. Their owl nodded its gray head before swopping out the open window. Ginny watched the owl until it was out of sight.
“I hope I did the right thing,” she murmured, before looking back at her desk, which was covered in sheets of parchment.
Elsewhere in London, someone else had just added a postscript to a letter. It was Aileana Weasley. Aileana stretched and yawned before tying her finished letter to her owl’s leg.
“Give this to Ethan,” Aileana told their owl. She watched as the owl flew out of the window and into the night. “I hope you have not done anything I wouldn’t do Ethan,” Aileana stated, gazing to her desk.
“Aileana, honey, you should really consider going to bed,” Lavender said from her daughter’s door.
“I am going right now.” Aileana stood up before crawling into bed. She turned, and muttered “Nox.” Immediately the room darkened.
Cho had finished her letter, and quickly scanned through it, checking to make sure she had said everything she could. A tawny coloured owl swopped down and held out its leg. Cho tied her letter to the leg and told the owl who to deliver the letter to. The owl gave Cho a quick affectionate nip before flitting out of the window.
David stopped at the door and looked in at his wife. David could not help but feel sympathy for her; after all, that letter had taken her forever to write. Sighing, he walked away from the door and down the hall, leaving Cho sitting in her darkened room.
Author’s Note: Andrew is such a man-whore (laughs). Er, so yeah, slight change with the whole Andrew-Brian dynamic from the original. But, I was not quite done with Cheryl, and believe me, I have this scenario all planned out in my brain.
Also, yeah, the scene with the Gryffindor team members in the change room was to mimic boy’s locker room talk. I think I succeeded.
I hope to have one more update out this week, because I am heading off for a two week holiday and will be unable to update, but not too sure at the moment.
Thank you for the reviews!
Nox - night
Romanian Longhorn - To learn more about the Longhorn, it is found in the book: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them