Queen Takes King
“Bishop to G-Six.” Nothing happened.
Ronald Weasley sighed in frustration. “No,” he said. “You can’t move that bishop there. Bishops can only move on a diagonal, not a straight line!”
Lavender Brown, seated across the board from him, blushed. “Oh.” She studied the board again, reanalyzing her strategy. She quietly corrected her faux pas move. “Pawn to G-Four.” The pawn stalked forward one space further into Ron’s scattered army.
Ron sipped from his pumpkin juice as he thought about his next move. He pointed to her pieces. “The castles are the ones that can move in a line, Lav.” He grinned at her. “Like this: Castle to G-Four.” His castle piece charged ahead and demolished her small pawn in that space.
“Oh, no! Why did you do that?”
“Because it’s Wizard Chess!” he exclaimed. “You won’t learn unless you get beaten a few times, you know!”
Lavender pursed her lips in agitation. Within seconds she snarled her next move. “Bishop to G-Four.” Her Queen-side bishop slid along the diagonal to Ron’s previously victorious castle and removed it viciously from the board. Knowing that the removal of a piece was a good thing, she grinned and then looked to Ron for his next move. Her smile vanished when she saw him frowning down at the board. “Did I move wrong again?”
Ron offered her a feeble grin. “No. It was…an alright move.”
Lavender thought it was more than an alright move, but she didn’t correct him. As he took his time with his next move, she looked around the Gryffindor Common Room and noticed to her growing embarrassment that their heated chess match had gotten the attention of a number of their Housemates. Probably waiting to see me lose, she thought. The novice against the master.
“You know that when I was a First Year, I helped Harry stop You-Know-Who from stealing the Sorcerer’s Stone in a real Wizard’s Chess Match. It was wicked! We were there, down in the dungeons on a huge chessboard—”
“We all know that story!” Ginny, Ron’s younger sister, shouted from somewhere in the Common Room.
“Shut up, Ginny!” Ron shouted back. He turned back to Lavender. “Did everyone who knows the story so well tell you that I was the reason we won the match?” He called out his next move before she could respond.
Lavender didn’t even look at the carnage that usually occurred between moves. She stared at her boyfriend, her head held up by her hand, her elbow propped on the table. “No,” she said, enchanted. “But I’m sure you were brilliant!” she stated, passionately.
While Ron met her eyes and grinned at her awe of him, Lavender quietly made her next move. He leaned back in his seat, relaxed, confident. “I was brilliant. Won fifty points for that match,” he boasted. “Helped Gryffindor win the House Cup that first year from Slytherin, too!”
Lavender squealed and excitedly patted Ron’s knee. “That’s my brilliant Won-Won!” She focused her attention on him with fierce intensity. “I want to hear every detail!”
Basking in the retelling of his heroism, Ron told her the tale, slightly embellished here and there, of the Chess Match from First Year stopping between sentences to both make their next moves in the current game. Ron described the climactic moment of his sacrifice so that Harry could check the King. He was so deep in the reliving of his tale to Lavender, that he barely focused on the match currently going on. He did notice the crowd growing around him as he told the story, minus Harry, Hermione, and Ginny. The three of them were looking at him with unimpressed expressions. Ron wasn’t going to let them ruin this moment. He quickly made his next move before moving on to describe his victory when he was awarded fifty points for Gryffindor at the end of the year feast.
“Hey, Ron!” called Seamus Finnegan.
“Gryffindor wins the House Cup!” Ron shouted, imitating Headmaster Dumbledore from the conclusion of that historic feast.
Seamus laughed then pointed at the chess board. “You didn’t win the House Cup this time, Ron.”
“What?” Ron followed Seamus’s extended finger to truly look at the board. He stared in mortified shock. “How the bloody hell—”
Lavender smiled wickedly at him as she tapped the last piece she’d ordered to move. “Queen takes King, Won-Won.”