James was growing more and more tired as May continued. The combination of Quidditch practice and homework was becoming exhausting. James was working well into the night most nights. Sirius and Cynthia had already tried to force him to go to bed. The Quidditch match was in the morning. Harry was sat opposite his father at a small table in the common room. James had his head bent as he leant over his paper. A Chimaera is a type of hybrid animal native to Greece. The Chimaera is a vicious, bloodthirsty creature with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a dragon's tail. They are considered very dangerous (XXXXX) by the Ministry of Magic and their eggs are classified as Class A Non-Tradeable Materials… Harry watched as his father's eyes drooped and soon he was fast asleep with his face in his essay. The common room was empty and so there was no one to wake him and send him to bed. Everyone had gone to bed early so that they would be fresh for the morning's Quidditch match. Lily just so happened to walk into the common room. She had been at the library with Severus until curfew and had walked back to tower slowly as she wanted to prolong her time with her best friend. They had talked about the dementor attack. Lily had asked him to promise that he wouldn't get involved in any more of the Slytherins vicious plots. He had agreed reluctantly. She was now making her way towards the stairs to the girls' dormitory when she happened upon James asleep. She sighed, "James – wake up."
He didn't respond.
"Come on James – you need to get to bed," she shook his shoulder gently.
He grabbed her hand with his own in his sleep, snuggling into it. "Wake up Potter!"
That snapped him out of it. He woke with a start, "Evans… what are you…"
"I'm waking you up – I want a victory tomorrow and I doubt we'll get it if you hurt your back asleep here."
"Oh… ok," James stood up and yarned, stretching.
Lily giggled, "You look hilarious!"
"Excuse me?" James looked slightly offended.
"You have ink all over your face… I wonder if I could read your essay off your face… A Chimaera is a type of hybrid animal native…"
"Ok you made your point," James grumbled.
"Some ones tired," Lily commented, teasing him gently, "It's easily legible – only backwards. How is the actual essay?"
"Well it was finished – I'll have to re-write it now though…"
"Oh no! Let me have a look – I might know a spell for fixing ones handwriting!"
"Why would you… you have excellent handwriting!"
"Yes but Sev doesn't," Lily explained carefully.
"I see," James couldn't completely keep the bitterness out of his voice.
"Right – all better," Lily handed him his essay, "do you want me to fix your face?"
"No, its fine – I'll just wash it off," James laughed.
Lily smiled at him, "make sure you win us that cup Potter!"
"I'll do my best," he ran a nervous hand through his hair.
"I'm sure it will be enough… Now bed – or we're going to have a very sleepy seeker in the morning."
"I thought you hated Quidditch Evans," James replied before moving.
"I may have changed my mind."
"Why?" James was bewildered.
She smiled again, "You," she said before practically running up the stairs.
The following morning the Gryffindor table was chaotic. The team looked nervous whilst the rest of the table merely looked excited. The rest of the school had thrown off their usual house colours to wear the Gryffindor colours. Only Slytherin remained in their green. Cynthia appeared to be right about the team. They each looked angry. James noticed one player actually looked like he was going to eat his fork at the breakfast table. The Slytherin captain, Emma Vanity was the only person on the team who wasn't in their final year at the school. She was also the smallest by far, she was perfectly proportioned for her position as seeker. Efrain McGlothlin, the keeper was giving James evils. His elder brother had recently been sent to Azkaban. McGlothlin, Narcissa Black and Lucius Malfoy made their way over to the Gryffindor table. They walked straight up to Potter, "I'm going to get you Potter… I might not be able to do it myself but I promise yer, my team are going to pummel you. You're gonna be lucky if yer walking after this match. Ain't that right, Malfoy?"
"Too bloody right it is," Lucius smiled, "I'm beater you see… I'm going to keep hitting you with bludger after bludger until you've got permanent brain damage…"
"And then I'm going to score the winning goal," Narcissa added coolly.
"Is that everything – because I was hoping to eat my breakfast in peace," James replied briskly.
"Yer going pay Potter – that dad of yours is going to be so sorry fer putting my brother in Azkaban."
"I doubt that, if you're anything to go by," James muttered before turning back around to face his friends.
"Have any of you seen Alice?" Lily asked.
"No – she wasn't in bed when I got up this morning," Kate answered.
"That's strange…" Lily frowned.
The friends quickly made their way down to the pitch. They were very excited about the final match of the season. James couldn't wait to hold the cup. He was certain they would win, even if they lost the match surely they'd get the cup. He could hear his classmates in the stands above as he got ready in the locker room. Cynthia smiled at the team; "Right – we're the best team this school has. We've won both matches we've played this year… 280 to 60… 230 to 10… we're in the lead… 510 points… Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw are back in the three hundreds… Slytherin don't stand a chance. That cup is ours! But don't get cocky – do you hear my Sirius? – they are bound to play dirty, especially after breakfast. This isn't just Quidditch for them, it's revenge. So let's show them that Quidditch isn't about revenge, Quidditch isn't about vendettas, Quidditch is about winning! Quidditch is about being the best! We are the best and we deserve to be acknowledged as the best!"