“Blimey! You trying to bleeding kill me, O’Reilly?”
“I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry!” he babbled, waving his arms in an attempt to get her out into the open air and gesticulate at the same time. “I wasn’t trying to sneak up on you or anything.”
“What are you doing here? ” she demanded, rubbing her sore head and glaring at him.
“Well, I was going to grab my broom and practice on the pitch for a while, but since I ran into you, I figure I’ll apologize instead. What I said to you on the train was stupid.”
“Then why’d you say it?”
“Because I’M stupid! … wow, walked right into that one, didn’t I?”
“I barely had to do any of the work.”
“You…” he paused, tentative. “You don’t sound all that mad.”
“I’m not mad.”
“Shawn, that was like a jillion years ago. You think I’d hold a grudge because of some petty offhanded insult you made?”
“Okay, NOW you sound mad.”
“I’m not mad, I’m annoyed.”
“I’ll take what I can get. … so, you want to go dodge some Bludgers?”
Sam tapped her chin. “Gee, as fun as wildly trying to escape projectiles you hit at me, I think I’ll have to decline.”
“I… what do you want to do, then?” he asked, tossing his Beater’s bat from hand to hand haphazardly.
She blinked. “If you were gonna practice, I don’t want to-”
“No, it’s cool. I’d rather spend time with you any day,” he offered gallantly.
She fought the urge to raise an eyebrow. “All right. Come take a walk with me.”
After a few minutes the awkward silence became easy conversation. The two wandered across the grounds and meandered through the hallways hand in hand, with no particular destination in mind.
As they approached a doorway, however, Sam got an idea.
“I want to show you something,” she laughed, dragging him into the Trophy Room. After a few seconds of scanning the room, she grinned, and led him to a case in the far corner, which held an old Quidditch Cup and a team photograph.
“That’s my dad,” she said, pointing at one of the Chasers.
“No way!” he laughed, and leaned down to read the inscription. “Alexander Monkshood. Cool!”
“His nickname was ‘Alexander the Great’. He took that team and made them Cup champions every year he was a member. Y’know, no one’d ever done that before, or since. He taught me everything I know about the game.”
Shawn was silent for a moment. “I’m learning.”
“See, that was a perfect opportunity to make a pricky comment, like, ‘Well he must not have known much about Quidditch then.’ Notice how I refrained from insulting you.”
She snorted. “Oh, yeah. You’re learning loads.”