Chapter 20: Game Day
Erela noticed something very odd while everyone was on their way to the arena. She always knew that Stacee was quiet and reserved and only became a little more talkative around people he was comfortable around. Stacee had become a little more talkative with Erela and shared more conversations than they did when they started the study group back in the last weeks of their fifth year. But that wasn't what was weird.
What was weird was that whenever Stacee talked to his parents or his sister, his social skills completely shrunk back like a turtle hiding in its shell.
It was rather uncomfortable to bring it up when there were ears around. Not only that, it was a bit personal to bring up, especially when the boys started considering Erela a friend recently. She shouldn't pry just yet.
The group followed the stream of on-goers in a loud ruckus and all took small steps toward the stadium in the traffic jam. "The stadium is pretty small," Erela's mum said.
Landon snickered at the comment and Erela raised her brows at him quizzically. She had been to a Quidditch game back in Hogwarts and the field was rather small compared to the stadium they were about to go into. So she wasn't entirely sure what he was giggling about.
By the time they went inside, Erela and her mum's eyes widened and their jaws dropped to the floor. From the outside, they only saw the surface. Inside, the stadium went underground. Unlike muggle stadiums, there weren't steps that went closer and closer toward the field in form of stairs. With that Quidditch stadium, the steps were among the ramps to keep the audience away from the players, for safety reasons. No stairs, the whole game required everyone to be on their feet.
And the stadium was huge! Bigger than a football field, freakishly tall to the point that the idea of falling off your broom to the bottom of the stadium would snap your back on impact with the ground. A part of Erela was glad she wasn't good enough to be in Quidditch, let alone fly on a broom.
"Ela!" a voice called out.
Erela looked up and was tackled with a hug by dark hair and grey eyes. The girl was picked up off the ground and thrown over the boy's shoulder as if she was a sack of flour. "Don't drop me! Don't drop me! Don't drop me!" Erela said quickly as she clinged to the boy to keep herself from getting near the edge.
"How long have you been here?" Michael asked.
"About two days I think?" the girl answered as Michael put her down.
"Why didn't you tell me you were coming?"
"It just . . . happened," she shrugged.
"Hey, snake," Landon greeted bitterly and hugged Erela. The hell? He was claiming Erela as his prize or something?
"Oh look, you're taking the dog out for a walk . . ." Michael said in the same tone and looked at Erela. "I think it's illegal to have animals off the leash. They might attack if you're not watching them."
"Whatever fag, why don't you go flirt with someone on your own team?" Landon growled at the Slytherin boy.
Erela's eyes widened and shot a look up at the freckled boy. Going that far as to use that term was a bit much, in her opinion.
"Flirting? Did someone slip something in your doggie treats?" Michael snickered and furrowed his brows at the young werewolf.
Landon rolled his eyes at his comeback. "You are so bloody full of yourself."
"One of us has to be," Michael shrugged with a smug look on his face. "And having you around strokes my ego."
"You must be pretty pathetic if you need to pick on me to make you feel better. That's like boasting you taller than goblin."
"Boys! Be nice," Erela sighed and pulled Landon off of her. "Merlin's pants, it's like you two enjoy pissing contests," the girl said in an exasperated sigh. Landon just rolled his eyes and walked away to catch up with their group. Good thing they were in the back or else they would have seen the small fight. "You do that a lot."
"I'm not crazy about him."
"I know you aren't. But he's my friend too."
"You're practically begging to get yourself killed," Michael snarled.
"I think I'm capable of handling it," Erela countered.
"You THINK you are," he emphasized. "You're with him because he's single so you can sweep in and take him—"
"I am NOT!" she hissed and quickly looked back at Landon. Thank god it was too loud and crowed for him to hear their conversation. "I'm doing no such thing . . ."
"You want to though."
"I don't . . ." Erela sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. She shook her head and looked up at him. "That isn't important," she waved it off. "I'm only asking not to be such an ass to him."
"I will if he does," he rolled his eyes.
"No discrimination, right?" she eyed him.
Michael huffed and tapped his finger against his arm. "He's dangerous . . ." he commented.
"Just awesome . . ." the girl sighed.
"Ela, I love you. I don't want to hear about a classmate ripping apart a friend I really cherish . . ." Michael saved.
Erela exhaled a breath and puffed her loose bangs from her eye. "I know . . ." she nodded.
Michael awkwardly scratched his head and looked away from her. "I'm sorry, Ela."
"It's okay," Erela reassured him.
"I'll see you around and we spend some time together after the game?"
"Yeah," the girl nodded in a slight smile.
Michael pulled her in in a hug and pet her hair. "See you around, robot."
"You're such a snake," she rolled her eyes and let go. Afterward, she ran off and met with the rest of the group.
The game was fast and extreme. It was hard to describe it to be more than jaw-dropping amazing. The players were going at one another in such a fast pace, blinking would result in missing everything. Whenever Germany scored, the Americans fought back and would "attack" far more brutally than socially acceptable. Germany would do the same thing, adding to the ruthlessness of the game. Mrs. Harris would cry out whenever she witnessed a Bludger hit one of the players and get knocked off their broom. The Chasers would jump off their brooms and steal the Quaffle from the opposing team and land back on their abandoned broom seconds afterward. There were even moments that the Chasers would do some kind of circus act offensive tactic to score. Sometimes the tactic would result in thirty additional points.
Both teams made it to the finals for a reason.
It was a close game, but the Germans won. It was a tie up until the Germans caught the Snitch, leaving some pretty disappointed American fans to mope in their tents. "Pay up," Landon said with pride to Stacee.
Stacee rolled his eyes at him and paid the bet amount of galleons and sickles as they were on their way to their tent.
"I'll catch up with you all later. I'm going to go and hang out with Michael for a little while," Erela said.
"Alright. See you soon sweetie," her mum waved her off. Stacee nodded and Landon merely ignored her and kept walking.
Erela wandered around from tent to tent looking for any sign of Michael. Maybe a symbol of his family crest that he had worn around his wrist on a leather cuff the past couple of years. There were still a ton of German fans celebrating by setting off fireworks and waving flags everywhere as Erela dodged the happily drunk fans.
The Hufflepuff girl saw a black flag with Michael's family crest on it, a sword with a snake wrapped around it just over a large green tent. Fitting for an all Slytherin family. Erela approached the tent when she heard mutters inside. When she was about to go inside, some classmates from their class came out and eyed the girl. She immediately recognized them from the Slytherin house.
After a small group of Slytherin house left, Erela let herself in and saw Michael sitting at one of the tables going through some books. "Your other friends don't seem to like me much," she said to indicate that she was around.
Michael looked up and closed his books. "Yeah, they're prejudice pricks when it comes to anyone outside of Slytherin house. They're a handful of my clubmates that I disappear to see from time to time," he pointed out.
"When are you going to tell me what it is your club does?" she asked and scratched her forehead.
"Soon . . ." he lightly smiled.