Chapter 26: Flight
Erela yawned and stretched out in her bed before she kicked the covers off. Then was immediately slapped by the autumn temperature and pulled the covers over her head. Dammit . . . too cold. Even after years of growing up in Europe, she never got used to the autumn and winter season. She was more of a spring and summer girl after all. Michael actually made a joke about "a robot" not liking the cold season if she was just as lifeless.
She took a peek under her covers and saw that she was completely alone. It must have been the evening, perhaps four. The match was in an hour. Erela quickly jumped out of bed and bundled herself up in her skinnies over her thermals, boots, a red long sleeved top, coat, and raveled a red scarf around her neck. Since it was bloody cold out, she left her hair down to keep her warmth, which gave it a gentle wavy curl to her hair from her hair being up in a braid in her sleep. Eleven Celsius wasn't her favorite degree. Perhaps she inherited her mother's Californian genes.
The tall lanky girl crawled out of the girls' room and slipped into yellow fingerless gloves when she saw Landon and Stacee in the common room. "There you are, brown eyes," Landon started. "We were beginning to think you woke up earlier."
"You know I'm not a morning person," she yawned.
"Lets get something fast and get to the stadium, we might not get the spot we want," Stacee started and turned to the exit.
Landon and Erela looked at each other with a restrained look on their face, they knew that wasn't the reason Stacee wanted to hurry to the stadium. The three of them ate their lunch quickly before running off to the stadium with the rest of the students. Just like the Quidditch World Cup they experienced in the summer, it was crowded. Everyone was pushing and yelling over each other in excitement as they entered the stadium that appeared miniature to Erela now ever since the summer event. The three of them slowly walked to the far end of the stadium where they knew Laila would be flying on her broom in front of the three golden hoops.
Stacee was their beaker to know where they were going, as usual. Once they had all made it to their seats, the Slytherins and Gryffindors flew out of their waiting rooms and positioned themselves around the stadium high above the audience. Everyone cheered and called of the names of the players they knew. Laila flew in position and had an intense look in her eyes once the Quaffle was thrown and the Bludger and Snitch were released.
The game was intense as always. Especially since it was against the lions and the snakes, the most well known enemies since the school was founded. Their matches were always the fiercest ones the year. The Slytherins had always been tough and tried to cheat and get away with it, but they were obviously far more brutal against the Gryffindors. One of the Beaters, in fact, actually tried to knock Laila off her broom a couple times. But the girl managed to dodge them with ease.
Within an hour of play, a Slytherin Chaser actually jumped off their broom with a Quaffle in their arms and threw themselves toward one of the hoops. Laila tried to cover the hoop, but was knocked off her broom and through the hoop as they fell to the ground, just moments before the Gryffindor Seeker caught the Snitch.
The moment they saw Laila knocked off her broom, Stacee bolted out of his spot. Erela and Landon chased after him for the Gryffindor's side to go and check on the Keeper. Since she was the first to hit the ground, she ended up with a broken shoulder and would have to stay in the Hospital Wing for the night for her shoulder to go back into place with potion work that could have her back up within two days.
"I think I'll stick around here guys, I'll see you tonight," Stacee started.
Erela and Landon didn't object and left the Hospital Wing. "You think that Chaser is going to get in trouble?"
"No," Landon rolled his eyes. "Slytherins and Gryffindors get away with everything."
"But wasn't that too risky? He injured someone!"
"People get injured in Quidditch all the time, it's not an uncommon thing."
"I know, but . . ." Erela started and pinched the bridge of her nose and unraveled her scarf and tied it around her waist.
Landon shoved his hands in his jacket pocket and looked up at the ceiling as they walked down the corridors. "Hey, I have an idea that we can do," he started.
"Yeah?" she looked up at him.
"You're going to hate me though," he laughed.
"It can't be that bad," Erela rolled her eyes.
Landon looked down at the girl with a big smirk on his face. "Want to try flying?"
Her expression dropped within a split second. "You remember how bad I was at flying, right?"
"Yeah," he laughed. "How you managed to pass that class is beyond me."
"And hence why I haven't picked up a broom ever since," she sighed.
"That's why we're giving it a try again," Landon started and bolted for the broom closet.
"Landon!" she hissed and chased after him. "Landon, we're going to get in trouble."
"No we're not," Landon rolled his eyes and took two rather old Nimbus 2000s and ran out of the castle. "Hurry up!"
Erela looked back behind them for any sight of professors or snitching students before she ran out just behind the tall werewolf boy. They ran through the bridge, down the trail and toward the Black Lake, far away from any onlookers. And with it being so dark, they were perfectly well hidden.
Erela pursed her lips and rubbed her fingers uncomfortably before Landon tossed her one of the brooms. "Here."
"Landon, I can't—"
"Yeah you can," he chuckled and easily kicked off, levitation was one of his strong points so it seemed. "I'll be right here to instruct you and make sure you won't fall off your ass. At least as less as possible."
"That's reassuring . . ." she said grimly and carefully swung her leg over the broom. The last time she rode a broom she was eleven. She was convinced flying wasn't her thing and was meant to have her feet planted to the ground. She huffed and weakly kicked the broom.
"A little harder, brown eyes."
Erela blew her hair out of her eyes and kicked harder, the Nimbus 2000 levitated off the ground and Erela became stiff from the feel of her feet off the ground. She was shaky, which the broom was reacting too and was vibrating underneath her. "This is a bad idea," she started.
"Geez, relax," the boy laughed.
"Too much to ask," Erela shook her head.
"How about you start off with loosening your death grip around the neck," he suggested and flew a little closer. "You're not going to die from falling a foot off the ground."
"You never know . . ." she said sarcastically.
"Just do it you dweeb." Erela huffed and stiffly loosened her hands around the neck of the broom. "Haven't you ever ridden a bike?"
"Yes, but the difference between a bike and a broom is that one of them has wheels and gravity applies."
"Balancing is the same thing. Just imagine you're on a bike," he shrugged. Erela blinked at him and looked at the tip, trying so hard to stay still and find some balance. The vibration calmed down and her shaking had ceased. "Okay, now try levitating a couple more feet."
"I think I'm okay with being a foot off the ground . . ."
"Come on," he laughed and lightly raised the tip of her broom upward, which raised her up a little bit more. Erela squealed and became stiff again as she rose five more feet. "Relax. You're doing fine."
"I get the feeling you're trying to get me killed . . ." she started grimly.
"Wow, can't believe you figured out my diabolical plan," he rolled his eyes.
"You and Stacee really love sarcasm . . ." she started and lightly pushed the tip down which moved her downward. Erela kept skidding to a stop, in fear she was flying too fast and she couldn't help but notice Landon laughing at her. She blushed dark red as she carefully touched the ground with her foot. Erela hopped off her broom and looked up at the werewolf boy that was easily gliding down to her.
"At least you didn't crash into a tree," he chuckled and swung one leg over on one side and cruised the old fashioned, yet "elegant" way of flying a broom. He then moved back and fell back, which scared Erela and cried out in surprise, but easily caught himself with his legs and hung upside down from his broom. "Chill, brown eyes," he laughed.
"Sorry for caring . . ." she rolled her eyes.
Landon smiled at her and propped himself up again and stood on the footing off the old broom, pulled it upright so he stood up and leaned toward the girl, making the broom glide over with his weight. "You know what?"
"What . . .?"
"It's okay if you're not good at some things," he chuckled. Erela was about to object, but he interrupted her, "You're still amazing."
Erela pursed her lips and looked away to hide her blushing red face. Good thing it was dark out. Unless Landon could see in the dark too given that werewolves were nocturnal creatures. "You're saying weird things again."
"Erela . . ." Landon's fingers slid up her jawline and pulled her face to look at him and pressed his forehead to hers. She immediately felt how hot he felt. Unless that was really her from the sudden touch and was about to pass out due to an emotional heatstroke. "Do you like anyone?" Her heart skipped a beat, definitely within Landon's hearing as well as was capable of hearing her breath quickening. She pursed her lips and swallowed that giant lump in her throat that threatened to choke her. Erela let out a shallow breath and nodded. "Do you want to share?"
She shook her head. He was teasing her . . . of course he was teasing her. That was his kind of character. Landon loved to make friendly fun of Erela due to her social awkwardness. It was just another game to her that she was going to go along with.
"Have you figured out what I was thinking about a couple days ago?"
Erela thought about it, but her mind always went to that same conclusion. That he liked her. But it was too good to be true. "Not exactly figured out . . . just a guess . . ."
She swallowed the large lump in her throat again and inaudibly muttered, "You like me." Erela immediately assumed she said it too quietly for him to hear. But—
"You're right . . ."
She quickly looked up at him, which lead him to let go of the broom, took her face, and kissed her deeply. Erela had frozen for a moment before her fingers snaked up his face and through his hair. Landon pulled her closer to him, deepening their kiss after he felt how she responded in an almost bruising and desperate manner.
Her heart raced, their faces radiated intense heat of blush, and embraced one another ever so tightly. Erela swore she could hear her heart in her ears and knew for a fact that he could hear it all. They loosen their hold around one another and breathed heavily for the first time for what felt like a lifetime. A big smile was forming upon Erela's harshly pink lips that screamed from the kiss and tried to hide her happiness.
"You have no idea how long I've wanted to kiss you . . ." Landon sighed.