chapter nine

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QUIDDITCH WAS FASCINATING TO AMBROSE. When he had first found out that he was a wizard--that had been both a relieving and disappointing day, as he had convinced himself that he was actually an x-man and finding out that there was a different reason for his abilities was heartbreaking. But that was a story for a different day--the last thing on his mind had been sports or anything of the sort. He supposed it only made sense that the Wizarding World would have their own sports, their own music, their own traditions.

Naturally, however, he had never played the sport. Growing up in the muggle world did not give one many opportunities to play a sport that involved broomsticks and balls that he had never even heard of before his first quidditch match in first year; seriously, a quaffle? a snitch? bludgers? Whoever had created the game had a lot of creativity, because those were some weird names, even if no one else seemed to think so.

Ambrose loved the energy around the matches. The friendly competition--well, mostly friendly--made Hogwarts a much more exciting place to be in. He was excited about this match in particular because it was Slytherin versus Gryffindor, and those matches were always intense.

When he walked into the Great Hall for breakfast, he wasn't surprised in the slightest that the Gryffindor table was more rowdy than normal. It always was an event for the houses when their Quidditch teams were competing. What was shocking was the lack of noise from the Slytherin house, whose members typically liked to scream ridicule to their competitors.

He looked around to see where empty seats were, spotting one next to Dean who waved at him. He smiled back and mouthed one second, waiting until he nodded in understanding before heading over to Lee Jordan.

"Hey, Lee!" Ambrose said excitedly as he slid into the empty space between Lee and Alicia, who smiled at him. He wished her luck in the match and she thanked him, quickly turning back to listen to Oliver Wood while Ambrose turned back to Lee. "How are you doing? Are you excited to commentate?"

Ambrose missed talking to Lee. They had gotten pretty close really quick, bonding over Lee snapping him out of his self-pity at the beginning of the year. Between classes, Ambrose's new study sessions with the Weasley Twins, and their separate extra-curricular activities, they didn't have very much time with each other. Ambrose hoped that this would change soon; they were only a month into the school year, surely they would find a way to work around their schedules?

"Yeah, I'm excited," Lee told him around a mouthful of pancake. "It'd be more interesting if we were playing Slytherin, but Malfoy's still being a git, so. . ." He trailed off, shooting a dark look over to the said table before going back to eating.

Ambrose, who was now thoroughly confused, raised an eyebrow at Lee while leaning forwards and stealing a piece of bacon off his plate. Lee sent a pointed look at his own plate and then to the platter of bacon, which was conveniently right in front of Ambrose, who pointedly ignored him.

"Okay, wait, I thought we were playing Slytherin? Isn't that what everyone has been talking about these past few days? I swear I've heard the words "quidditch" "Gryffindor" and "Slytherin" in the same sentence a thousand times."

"Well, yeah, everyone's been talking about us playing them because we aren't anymore. Draco Malfoy, you know him? Prat in third year, their seeker? He supposedly got badly injured during Hagrid's lesson?" When Ambrose just looked more confused than he had before, Lee sighed and leaned forwards more. "Seriously? Where have you been? All this has been the school's main source of entertainment for the last few weeks mate."

"Hey! I've been busy, let me catch a break," Ambrose pouted, making eye contact with a Ravenclaw girl who had helped him in charms last year and happily waving at her. The sound of snickering brought his attention back to Lee, who was not even attempting to pretend he wasn't laughing at him.

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