After that day Harry could not help but feel excited. He
was looking forward to next term when the Defense Association would
begin. He was a little sad that he would not be running it as he had
the first time around, but that thought did not dampen his excitement
After that day, teachers looked at him a little weirdly. It was to be expected. What first year had ever found the room of requirement before and made such a good suggestion to a teacher? Few if any, Harry guessed. Nonetheless he went on as per usual.
The main change that happened after that didn't even come from his showing the room of requirement to the teachers. This was Ron's attitude. It become slightly better towards Harry, Neville, and Hermione. Oh, he was still the same immature boy, but he didn't go out of his way to insult them anymore. Harry wouldn't say they were on in completely friendly terms necessarily, but they were no longer on hostile terms either.
The day after the whole room of requirement thing, Harry also received his first letter from Ginny. She seemed hesitant, which was to be expected, but Harry knew he could help her to come out of her shell more and help her relax. He quickly wrote back, making sure to ask her questions about herself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~NTTMP~~~~~~~~~~~~
It was not long before the first Quidditch match of the year came around. That morning Harry woke up, and it took him a moment figure out why he felt so weird. Then he remembered, today would be the first Quidditch match since his fifth year that Gryffindor would be playing, but he would not be, that he would be attending.
It was surreal to him. To think that this Quidditch match would be different from the first time it happened. He would not be flying, therefore Quirrel would not curse his broom, and he would not end up almost choking on the snitch. He wondered how the match would play out without him playing seeker. Well, the only way to find out would be to get up from his bed, and go see.
He walked down to the Quidditch pitch with Neville and Hermione. He, like three quarters of the school, was wearing Gryffindor colors. After two months of wearing nothing but black and yellow, it was kind of comforting to be back in the familiar Gryffindor red and gold.
On the way to the pitch, they walked past a small group of Slytherins. Harry shouldn't have been surprised, but he was when one very familiar Slytherin turned and shouted, “Hey Potter! I thought you had some sense after turning that Weasley's friendship down but now I see you wearing Griffin dork colors?! HAH! They are going down!”
“Hello Draco.” Said Harry calmly. “It's good to see you. Looking forward to a good game? I certainly am. Being raised by muggles, I have never actually been to a Quidditch match before, and I am quite looking forward to it. I have heard it is an excellent game.
Yes, I'm supporting Gryffindor, but that is mainly because I'm good friends with Neville here. He's in Gryffindor you see. Though I hear that their seeker is just dreadful. That's a shame. I don't truly care who wins. I hear the Slytherin team is quite excellent. If they win then good for them. I am just here to watch a good match.” Finished Harry.
Draco looked stunned after that, clearly unexpected pronouncement. He clearly thought that just because Harry was wearing red and gold that he, like pretty much everybody else wearing red and gold, would like to see the Slytherins go down in the most spectacular manner that was possible. He did not expect Harry to just be wearing red and gold to support his friend, and truly not care who won.
The three friends left Draco standing there with his mouth hanging wide open, as if to catch flies. They walked quickly up into the rapidly filling stands, and found a seat in the Raven claw section near some roommates of Hermione.
The game began just as it had in the previous timeline, with Madam Hooch coming out on the field to referee. Very soon the teams were announced with everyone the same except for some fourth year that Harry didn't know playing seeker.
Once again Madam Hooch started out with, “Now, I want a nice fair game, all of you,”. The Slytherins looked just as a huge and untrustworthy as they had the first time. They, in fact, looked even more brutish than before, but that might just be because Harry knew exactly how much like a troll Marcus Flint was.
He remembered how many times he had acted first and thought later. This had in fact gotten him killed when he, as a Death Eater, led a raid into battle with some order members without Voldemort's approval. He had survived that battle, but many of the death eaters with him had not. So, Voldemort had killed him for disobeying him. Marcus was a little bit like a Gryffindor in that respect.
And with a loud blast of Madam Hooch's whistle, the game began. The Quaffle was taken once again by Angelina Johnson. Lee Jordan was commentating once again. How Harry had missed the way Lee commentated. His comments had always been so hilariously funny.
It was a shame that he had died rather early in the war, when Voldemort had gotten tired of his comments over the radio and had then hunted him down personally to kill him, and kill him he had. What little was left of him had been found not far from George's movable radio tent. George had been devastated. First he had lost his brother, and then his good friend.
The match went almost as Harry remembered it going, with the Gryffindors scoring occasionally as the Slytherins were committing fouls. The only main difference was that this time, the Gryffindor seeker was crap. He did not look for the snitch at all.
When he wasn't stopped in midair clearly following the game, if his cheers and boos were anything to go by, then he was shadowing the Slytherin seeker, Terrence Higgs around. Oliver tried to correct this by calling a time out and yelling at his seeker, but it didn't seem to be working. The seeker went back to exactly what he was doing before. Oliver was also clearly very angry about it.
About a half hour into the game, they heard a, “Budge up there, move along.”
It was Hagrid come to join them in watching the game as he had joined Ron and Hermione the first time.
“Been watchin' from me hut.” Said Hagrid, patting a large pair of binoculars around his neck, “But it isn't the same as bein' in the crowd.”
They watched the game for a bit together. It was clearly going to be a very long game. Neither team's seekers were all that good, and the game couldn't end until one of them had caught the snitch. Maybe one of them would get lucky and it would just fly into their hand. ' Yeah right.' Thought Harry. It was then that he caught something out of the corner of his eye.
Harry asked to borrow Hagrid's binoculars. He focused them on the teacher's stand where he had seen the movement. Quirrel was waving his wand slightly and looking towards the Quidditch pitch, but what could he be doing? It's not like Harry was on the Quidditch pitch. He tried to read Quirrel's lips, a skill he had picked up out of necessity after he had been cursed from afar one too many times.
Harry paled slightly. He would not dare, would he? It seemed he would. He was trying to use a complex spell to break the enchantment on the bludgers, and pull a Dobby on him. That was exceedingly dangerous, not to mention a very overt sort of an action. It was clear to Harry that Quirrel, and more importantly Voldemort, would do anything to get him.
There was no time to waste. He told Hermione, Neville, and Hagrid he had to use the bathroom, and left. He snuck behind the stands much as Hermione had done the first time around and came to Quirrel's robes. He muttered the same spell that Hermione had in order to catch his robes on fire, and catch on fire they did. However, it was just a bit too late.
The spell, that was impossible to see unless you were looking for it, shot off just as someone bumped into Quirrel, making the spell go wide and miss the bludgers, it did however hit a little golden ball that had up to that point been absent from the game. Said ball stopped its current path and turned towards the teacher's stand, under which Harry still crouched.
'Oh crap.' thought Harry. The golden snitch was not nearly so dangerous as the bludger that was true, but it could go exceedingly fast. If it were to impact him at the speeds that it usually went then it would hurt a lot. It might not break as many bones as a bludger, but it could possible break a few ribs or crack his arm or something like that.
Harry ran as fast as he could out from under the stands. He could hear the shouts of the people as the snitch veered underneath the teachers and out of site. He ran as fast as he could go until he left the stands and turned to face the snitch, opening his mouth as he did so to shout a spell.
He gagged as the snitch forced its way down his throat, chocking him. Without a second to lose, he silently cast an expelling charm and then an incedio to blow the snitch up. He spent a few minutes coughing, just trying to get his breath back. After a few minutes, he finally did. He then returned to the stands to see what was going on.
What he saw was a bit of chaos as everyone tried to figure out what had happened. Dumbledore had just finished talking to Quirrel, and was now on his way to talk to Madam Hooch. The game itself had been paused. The two teams were on the ground talking strategy.
After about twenty minutes, it was determined, and announced that somehow the snitch had been tampered with and had gone rogue. They had no idea where it had gone and so were just going release a new snitch.
The rest of the game was fairly uneventful though it took just as long as expected. In the end Gryffindor won, if only barely. They were down 220 to 80 in the Slytherin's favor when the snitch hit the Gryffindor seeker in the back of the head. He turned around just in time to catch it before it flew off.
The three friends and Hagrid left the stands quickly. Hagrid invited them down to his hut to talk about the game and have a cup of tea. They accepted. Neville wanted to spend time with his friends more than the rest of the Gryffindors anyway. Not to mention that he had heard that the parties in Gryffindor tower lasted a long time and so would probably still be going on when he got back there.
They settled in around Hagrid's table and he soon had the kettle on. They started talking about what had happened. Harry was silent.
“Harry why are you so quiet?” asked Hermione suspiciously.
Harry had known that he would have to come clean about what had just happened, he had just hoped that it would be later rather than sooner. Sometimes, he cursed Hermione and her observational skills.
“Well, you see I noticed that Quirrel was moving his wand towards the quidditch pitch, and I thought that suspicious, so I decided to check it out.” started Harry.
“You lied to us about where you were going!” shouted Hermione.
“Yes I did, and I am sorry Hermione, I just didn't want to seem stupid if I was wrong about something going on.”
Hermione seemed satisfied with that answer.
Harry continued, “Anyway, So I got there and he was muttering something under his breath, and it didn't sound like anything pleasant so I sort of um... set his robes on fire.” Harry said a bit sheepishly.
“You did what!” exploded Hermione. Neville and Hagrid both looked stunned as well.
“Well I had to stop him.” said Harry. “I know he is a teacher, but I don't trust him Hermione. If you wait until I finish telling you what happened then I will tell you why.”
They accepted that for the moment and Harry went on to tell them about how the spell missed and hit the snitch and how he was forced to blow the snitch up.
At the end of the story, the others were still a bit stunned. Finally Hermione came out of it and asked him to explain why he didn't trust Quirrel.
“I know it sounds sort of silly, but my scar hurts around him Hermione, my curse scar that Voldemort left when he tried to kill me as a baby. It only hurts around Quirrel.” Harry explained.
“Now wait a momen'. Quirrel's a teacher. Why would he do somethin' like that?” Hagrid asked
Harry, during all his post Halloween activities, had forgotten to tell his friends what had happened between Quirrel and Snape. So now he told them his 'suspicions' about Quirrel trying to get past the three-headed dog on Halloween and how Snape had tried to stop him.”
“How do you know about Fluffy?” asked Hagrid
“Fluffy?” asked Hermione incredulously.
“Yeah-he's mine-bought him off a Greek chappie I met in the pub las' year- I lent him to Dumbledore to guard the-”
“Yes?” asked Harry pretending to not know what Hagrid was talking about.
“Now, don't ask me anymore,” said Hagrid gruffly. “That's top secret, that is. Forget about Fluffy and what he's guarding. That's between Professor Dumbledore an' Nicolas Flamel-”
“Aha! So a Nicolas Flamel is involved in this too!” said Hermione.
Hagrid looked furious with himself and refused to say anymore. ~~~~~~~~~~~~NTTMP~~~~~~~~~~~~
The three friends returned to their separate common rooms. Harry was not unhappy with how the day had gone, though he should have really seen that thing with Quirrel coming. It was not like Voldemort to do nothing after all.
The best part of the day was when they got Hagrid to mention Nicolas Flamel. Hopefully, Hermione would figure it out sooner rather than later. Harry would try to help her along, but he would stick with his plan to let Neville and Hermione figure it out. He just hoped that she wouldn't force him to do research like last time. Oh well. If she did, then he would just point her towards the correct book, and be done with it.