Grumbling, Fred went up to the stands just as magenta fireworks faded from the sky, looking for an empty spot. He found one next to a sulking Bell.
'Seat taken?' he asked, plopping down without waiting for an answer.
She looked at him for a second, and then said, 'No.'
Fred watched Angelina bitterly. Bemused commentary floated over the air.
'Did Lovegood just say that Gwifflers were affecting the outcome of the game?' Katie said suddenly. Just as he thought of some morose comment, he looked at her and smiled.
'They do spread love, you know.'
Katie blushed and looked away, and got up to use the restroom.
The game began again.
George breezed around in the sky, winking every next second at a clueless Angelina.
‘Why are you acting love-sick?’ An angry Angelina hissed into his ear as she flew past him to catch a Quaffle deftly. ‘Weren’t you saying just now that winking is for wimps?’
‘I did?’ George shot a killer glance at his twin and looked back at Angelina. ‘You look pretty when you’re angry.’
‘Some of Umbridge’s love-potion seems to have found its way into you,’ Angelina muttered.
George looked offended.
‘I’ll stop being so nice to your team, then,’ he whispered. ‘And maybe save my winking for Perkins.’
Angelina was left behind, her mouth slightly open.
* * *
Meanwhile, that certain Perkins was in a frenzy. Frantically aiming Bludgers at the opposite team (save Michael; of course), she was simply hoping the game would end soon and she could curl up with Michael in his common room.
All of the sudden, a sharp weight hit her. She doubled over in pain, but a strong arm caught her.
‘Cormac?’ she asked breathlessly.
‘Michael hit you,’ he replied.
‘He hit me?’ Perkins gasped. The jerk!
‘Oh, he is going to pay!’ she fumed.
Cormac laughed and helped her back onto her broom. ‘Just take it easy, okay?’ he cautioned. ‘I don't want to see you getting hurt.’ He sped back towards the goal posts.
‘Okay,’ Perkins breathed. Cormac had saved her! From Michael--who was supposed to be her boyfriend! She turned just in time to see a Bludger speeding right towards her and smacked it as hard as she could.
It hit Michael straight in the back. ‘OW! What was that for?’ he asked angrily.
‘Payback,’ Sarah-Ashley smirked, flying away, her thoughts on the gorgeous boy who had saved her.
‘You okay?’ Lisa asked hurriedly as she glanced at her teammate.
‘Yeah,’ Michael said, even though he felt like Hippogriff dung. He was suddenly struck by how pretty Lisa was. ‘Hey, do you like me?’
Lisa blushed, and nodded, causing the opposite team to score.
‘That’s okay,’ Michael told her, when the captain started yelling at her for missing. ‘You want to go to Hogsmeade with me?’
Lisa grinned broadly and nodded.
He was much more adorable than Aster anyways.
Aster flew ahead of Greengrass, readying himself for the pass. She swerved under Chambers, her brown hair flashing in the sun. He caught himself just in time to catch the Quaffle she threw.
Shoving, he got past Jennifer Chambers, dodged a Bludger, and was just about to score when he saw something.
Lisa was talking to Corner. Talking. Blushing. Aster froze. What was his girlfriend doing talking to Corner?
As he was distracted, he didn't see Warrington barrelling towards him. The Quaffle was knocked forcefully out of his grasp and whisked off towards the other end of the Pitch.
Daphne yelled. She flew over to Warrington.
‘What were you doing?’ she demanded. ‘He could’ve been hurt! That move is dangerous!’
‘Would you relax, Greengrass? He’s only a Hufflepuff,’ Warrington sneered.
‘Only a Hufflepuff?’ Daphne shrieked. She flew over to Warren and jabbed him in the chest.
‘I’m tired of all your insults! That Hufflepuff is at least a hundred times smarter and braver than you’ll ever be!’
‘Then why don’t you date him?!’ Warrington said angrily.
‘Maybe I will!’ she yelled back.
‘Fine!’ he bellowed.
‘We’re over, Warrington! You’re nothing but a worthless pig!’ she screamed.
Jonathan fumed and tried to throw the first Quaffle that made its way into his hands at Daphne. She ducked, and it hit Harry instead. Harry turned around to see Cho flying away with a smirk on her face.
‘What was that for?’ he screamed at her.
‘What was what?’
‘In case you didn’t know, the Quaffle's meant to be hit at HOOPS! Not HEADS! What were you doing with it anyway?’
‘Now you’re teaching me how to play, are you?’
‘You sure do need some lessons.’
Cho glared at him. ‘We’re over, Harry,’ she said as Harry zoomed away.
‘Watch it, Cho,’ Roger said, swiftly hitting a Bludger away from her.
‘Thanks,’ Cho said. ‘But I’m on the opposite team, you know.’
Roger shrugged. ‘You’re pretty. It’s Valentine’s Day. Put two and two together.’
Cho did, and added three as she asked, ‘Will you go out with me?’
Roger laughed. ‘I’m glad I didn’t have to ask this time. Of course!’
Jennifer was fuming as she saw her boyfriend flying off with that... prat. Jonathan flew beside her, and passed her the Quaffle.
‘Daphne ditched me for Zeller!’
‘You want to be with me, then? I’m single too.’
Dumbledore had to hide a smile. His plans for a romantic Valentine's Day match were going perfectly! The players were starting to find the right people for them AND Dolores Umbridge was currently making a fool of herself by trying to climb all over the rather irritated Potions professor. But there were two people who were still unhappy…
Fred was thoroughly unhappy. George and finally won Angelina mid-air and he was alone and benched.
‘Fred!’ Katie limped over to Fred on the bench and gave him a hug.
‘How’d you know it was me?’ Fred asked.
‘I always know!’
Fred grinned half-heartedly.
‘What’s wrong?’ Katie asked.
‘What, can you tell when I’m upset, too?’
‘No, but your smile isn’t as cheeky as usual.’
Fred chuckled dryly. ‘George kindly took my girlfriend from me.’
Katie gaped. ‘Why?’
‘’Cause he was sick of sharing her.’
Katie rolled her eyes.
‘Well,’ she said. ‘If you’re up to it, I know someone else who could use a partner.’
‘Me, you twit.’
Fred considered this. ‘Okay.’
‘Yeah. You’re pretty, and don’t get confused when two boys try and share you.’