Harry was sat in the stand with Lily and the other Gryffindor third years. Marlene was hiding behind her scarf. Sirius had almost been hit by a bludger at least three times and although she'd never admit it she was really worried about him. She still had a bit of a crush on him not that anything would ever happen between them, "what's happening?" She asked, peeking over the top of her scarf.
"Not much," Frank replied. "It's time out."
Lily sighed, she was absolutely soaked and she was pretty sure that she wasn't going to be moving for at least another hour possibly longer. "I wish he'd hurry up and catch that bloody snitch," Lily snarled.
"It's not that easy you know," Alice replied, half angry, half amused.
"I know. I know. It's just, I'm cold and wet and," Lily complained.
"Try being cold, wet and on a broomstick avoiding bludgers," Remus laughed.
"I guess," Lily frowned.
Harry noticed that they were mounting their brooms seconds before he heard the commentator, "and they're off again. Hopefully Potter will catch the snitch and we can all go in for a nice cuppa." The commentator was slightly quieter than normal and Harry struggled to hear him over the wind. "Of course we're used to seeing Potter playing chaser but it looks like he has some pretty good seeking skills to match those awesome scoring skills. Of course we're not just talking about his skills on the pitch – everyone knows that he has a fanclub of girls following him around…"
"Sorry Professor!" Harry laughed, as the sudden apology reminded him of Lee Jordan's commentaries. He had always been apologising to Professor McGonagall for saying inappropriate things and swearing and being ever so slightly prejudiced. Harry watched as his father flew across the pitch with what appeared relative ease. Harry knew however, that his father's graceful flying was taking more effort than anyone would really appreciate. You had to be strong to control a broom at all in this weather but to be able to make it look easy… Harry wondered if he'd ever be able to fly like his father, so gracefully, so precise, every single movement thought out, nothing was wasted – every movement had purpose. It was incredible to watch. Lily huffed beside him. He took his eyes off his father to see his mother glaring at the boy that would one day be her husband. "Look at him – he's just flying up there not doing anything… he could at least look for it!"
Lily's friends laughed but Harry desperately wanted to correct her, to defend his father but even if he tried she would never hear him. Harry's eyes returned to his father. James was now doing laps of the pitch as his eyes searched for the snitch. His face a mask of deep concentration. Lily smiled; I've never seen him look so serious… like the game actually matters. The commentator recounted the score; Gryffindor 90: Hufflepuff 60. Remus began to whisper under his breath, "come on James… come on James… you need to get the snitch."
"Moresby is looking particularly fine tonight," the commentator said, "Holly – how about a date?"
The stands erupted in laughter. "I was serious," the commentator told the laughing crowd, "Keeney has the quaffle, passes to Arteage who passes to the new chaser 7th year Michael Paling. Paling scores."
"Diggory's got an interesting team this year. Most girls except for himself and beater Brian Braden. Another interesting factor is that at least half the team is made up of Sirius Black's ex-girlfriends. Interesting captaining tactic… Mitchell with the snitch… passes to Humphries (a girl Black has yet to date), who passes to Redford (can't say the same about Lisa Redford… I'm pretty sure they had a thing in first year)… Redford shoots but Moresby blocks the quaffle beautifully."
"Braden has randomly hit a bludger at Potter, but misses as Potter smoothly dodges it. It's no wonder you girls absolutely love Potter. He's got Quidditch star in the making written all over him."
Harry laughed as his mother held onto the railing in front of her tightly, holding her breath as she watched James avoid the bludger by mere centimetres.
"Diggory seems to have taken to following Potter around the pitch. Come on man, I thought it was only stupid people like Lockhart who resolve themselves to such lazy tactics. Britney Simon blocks Arteage's quaffle but no worries Gryffindor are in possession again. Paling to Arteage. What the…"
"Arteage has been hit by Maxine Macavoy's bludger. Man that girl has a serious amount of force behind her bludgers. Arteage would be on the ground right now if it weren't for Potter catching her! Come on Potter – you're meant to be catching the snitch not the girls."
"And Gryffindor call another time out," the commentator complained, "we might be here all night guys."
Harry watched as James flew Renee Arteage back down to the ground. "What happened to her broom?" Lily asked.
None of the Gryffindor had an answer for her, "it was probably taken by the wind – could be anywhere…" Remus remarked. Harry remembered what had happened to his own broom in a match with very similar conditions to this one. He'd never look at the Womping Willow the same ever again.
"Their back in the air. Sadly it looks like Arteage is out of the match. In her place we have Benjamin Treacy; a Gryffindor fifth year with a pretty mean broomstick. He's flying the newest nimbus model; the nimbus 1001. A beautiful broom – there isn't anything that compares. Even last year's Nimbus 1000 isn't anywhere near the standard of the 1001. Although as my father would say it's not the broom that matters, it's the person riding it. That was what made Potter such a superb chaser. Not only did he have a fantastic broom but he had the skill to match it. Paling has the quaffle, passes to Keeney who passes to Treacy… he's going for the goal. Will he score? YES! He scores. Gryffindor 110: Hufflepuff 60."
"I really hope Potter gets the snitch soon – this rain doesn't look like it's going to let up any time soon. Treacy has the quaffle again. He passes to Keeney, who scores. There are rumours that Keeney and Calloway might be getting together. I hope not. It would be dreadful if Keeney were off the market…"
It was getting darker. The rain was heavier than ever and there was a distant rumble of thunder. "Of course Quidditch has been known to last for days but we're hoping that this match will be over soon. If Potter get's the snitch then this game is going to significantly help the Gryffindor team win the tournament – as they will come away with over two hundred points – a fantastic way to start the season. Hufflepuff are in possession, Mitchell to Humphries who passes Redford who… misses… What a shame. Gryffindor back with the quaffle… Keeney scores! Simon doesn't seem to be keeping those Hufflepuff goals very well…"
"Hufflepuff have possession. Mitchell to Redford, who passes back to Mitchell. Mitchell to Humphries but Black has hit her with a bludger. Shame – that looked painful. Ah… I think it might be broken. Hufflepuff have called for time out. Bloody hell – this game has had a lot of breaks…"
"Lewis!" McGonagall told the commentator off.
"Sorry professor… looks like Humphries is out with a broken arm. Joseph Wallace – sixth year has taken her place."
Harry watched as his father searched the pitch for the snitch. The commentator began to shout excitably, "I think Diggory has seen the snitch! Bloody hell why isn't Potter following him… Come on Potter!" Diggory was diving across the pitch.
"What's James doing?" Remus and Frank frowned.
Alice laughed, "Diggory is just trying to distract him and tire him out. He hasn't seen it." Harry had to agree with her. There was no hint of gold in front of Diggory. Diggory soon realised he'd wasted energy trying to get James to follow him and pulled out of his dive. As he did James flew across the pitch in the opposite direction, flying high into the sky.
"What's going on?" Lewis, the commentator asked suddenly perplexed. "Has Potter seen the snitch?"
Harry watched as Diggory took after James, trying his best to catch up but he was too far away. "Braden and Macavoy aim bludgers at Potter – he dodges them both… Bloody hell that boy has skill!"
He was flying faster than he'd ever flown before. He was drawing in on the snitch. Harry watched as his father's hand closed around the snitch just as Macavoy hit him with a bludger straight to the chest. "I – I think Potter might have the snitch but… shit… he's going to fall…"
Lily was watching with wide eyes, praying silently. Alice and Marlene however, weren't silent. "Crap, Crap!"
Harry watched as James' lost the grip he had on his broom. He had been hanging off the broom by his hand but now he was falling through the air; the snitch in his hand. Harry could hear his mother screaming, "JAMES!"
James hit the ground with a thud. He'd been too high up. Harry had a bad feeling as he followed the Gryffindor third years down onto the pitch. A fall from that height could very easily be fatal. Madam Pomfrey was already beside him on the pitch. A crowd was gathering, "Move out of the way – go back to your common rooms. The match is over. He caught the snitch," Madam Hooch told them, "Gryffindor win!"
Madam Pomfrey levitated the unconscious boy and began the walk up to the castle. The third years following closely behind her. When they reached the hospital wing, Madam Pomfrey made them wait outside.