The Legendary Quiddich Match
Chapter 11: The Legendary Quiddich Match
"Well done, Wormtail."breathed the cruel, cold voice as his servant handed him an old, tattered book.
Peter Pettigrew looked into his face – which was covered by his black hood so well, that in the dim light of the run-down house they were in, it was impossible to see. Nevertheless the glowing red eyes were impossible to mistake.
"M...my Lord... there was trouble obtaining it from the Dark Repository. The building was in the end destroyed and Nott and Avery were..."
Wormtail´s explanation was cut short by his terrified gasp as the red eyes he was looking into flashed dangerously.
"I am well aware of it, Wormtail. That masked nuissance has meddled in once again. He hasn´t lost his touch I see."said Voldemort, growling at the very thought of the Masked Wizard.
"Never would I have thought, that someone could meddle in worse than Dumbledore."he thought as his eyes flashed again – that masked bastard had been a living nightmare to his plans eversince his return to full body three years prior.
Oh, how MUCH he would love to kill him. He was sure, that when he will claim control of the country one day, he would announce the day of the Masked Wizard´s death a National Holiday.
"This is why I need you most of all as we prepare our plan, Wormtail. You have a nice... ah, talent for escaping."
Wormtail smiled, taking his comment as praise.
"My Lord knows I am the best to execute his tasks..."he said, bowing deeply.
Voldemort resisted the urge to roll his eyes.
Reaching inside his robes, he produced a silver-colored glass orb and gave it to him.
"These are my instructions for the others – guard this with your very life, Wormtail. Make sure it gets into our headquarters."
Wormtail took it and bowed deeply, his head going up and down franticly.
"Of course, my Lord. I shall make sure it gets to the others safely..."
Voldemort sighed dispite himself – it was almost humiliating to be so dependant on this pathetic rat of a wizard once again. Though this time he could say, that he was better off than before... which was very good, since that masked bastard was around.
"One more thing, Wormtail. I shall give you a great mission – a most importaint task. The others will help you. I need you to pay a visit to one of our most devoted ones..."
Wormtail look of utter happiness at given an importaint mission was replaced by a look of complete terror.
"M...master... him...?! Go... there?!"he gasped as though he would go ANYWHERE rather than that place.
This time Voldemort indeed rolled his eyes – Wormtail was SUCH a coward.
"YES, Wormtail. THERE... my most faithfull one is not so easily accessable thistime around. Otherwise I would´ve already contacted him myself."
Wormtail gave a whimper... suddenly turning sulky – Voldemort almost rolled his eyes again.
"Yes, yes, Wormtail... you too are one of my most faithfull ones. In fact only YOU and HIM are the closest to me..."he said in a soothing, silky voice.
As Womrtail´s face erupted in pure delight and he bowed, Voldemort couldn´t surpress a smirk, very happy that it wasn´t visible under his hood – how easy it was for him to believe such a lie.
"Well... they say that you must stroke your rat if you want it to run the wheel for you... but seriously... he´s worse than Bella and Daphne sometimes... how on Earth were Potter, Black and Lupin able to stomach him all those years ago is beyond me."he thought with mild-amusement.
Still... Wormtail was perhaps more able than many, (including himself) gave him credit for – he certainly was able to worm his way out of many troubles, that his more able Death Eaters weren´t capable to – his innate cowardace becoming extremly helpfull in those situations. And with a little persuation, Wormtail could indeed be an element to change many things to his favor. He needed him to contact his most faithfull servant – one who remained so dispite his share of blame on the loss of one of his precious Horcruxes (truth be told, he himself was equally responsible for neglecting a certain fact regarding the matter). He was a strong, able wizard, cunning and intelligent and just the man he required if he were to return to power again.
"Torie..."breathed Draco, his eyes almost not daring to believe what he saw.
Smiling absolutely adorably, Torie beckoned him into the pool-like bathtub of the Prefect´s Bathroom, which was filled almost to burst by water, brightly colored bubbles the size of bowling balls flying all over the place.
"I am waiting, Dray..."she whispered, as she used her other hand to wipe the wet hair (oh, how he longed to do so himself) from her face, smiling slyly.
Draco thought his face might explode – he was blushing so much... he stood there positively frozen.
Astoria sighed and rolled her eyes, though the smile didn´t dissapear.
"Honestly, Dray... do I have to spell out it for you?"she asked as she produced her wand from under the water and pointed it at him, grinning like a maniac.
"Accio sweetheart"she called.
Draco felt pulled by Torie´s Summoning Charm and at once crashed into the water, fully in his student uniform, the charm pulling him straight into the girl´s waiting arms. Torie squeezed him so tightly, he thought she might break his ribs. But whatever pain of his robs was nothing compared to the powerfull thudding of his heart – it seemed as though the heart of this loving girl was calling his in the very same Summoning Charm – the two hearts beating against eachother. Raising her head, Torie looked into Draco´s eyes, all the love in the world shining in her eyes.
"I love you, Dray... there´s no one in the world that means so much to me..."she breathed dreamily and Draco though he might die of sheer happiness.
"Torie..."he breathed happily, as he ran his fingers on her cheek – Torie closing her eyes as though it was the best feeling in the world.
She used her own tiny hand to guide the two fingers to her lips, kissing them lovingly. Draco could not hold out any longer, he gently moved his fingers away and leaned forward to kiss her – Torie´s arms at once encircling his neck to hold him as close as possible as the passionate, beautifull kiss dragged on and on...
After what seemed like a century of neverending happiness, they separated but still remained in their embrace, their eyes searching one another´s. Draco was mesmerized, but suddenly gasped as he saw the tears rolling from Torie´s.
"Torie...?"he asked confusedly.
Astoria´s lips spread into the biggest smile he had EVER seen, as tears of pure joy ran from her eyes unshamedly. Her arms squeezed him tighter.
Draco grinned happily as she ran a hand across his hair, caressing it lovingly.
"Draco... time to wake up, Dray..."she whispered gently.
Draco gave her a slightly confused look, but he moved closer for another kiss.
"DRACO MALFOY WAKE YOUR LAZY BUM UP RIGHT NOW! YOU HAVE A QUIDDICH MATCH TO PLAY!"
With a loud yelp, Draco opened his eyes and fell from his bed again, much to great hilarity of his best friend. Blaise also chortled a bit. Torie, fully-dressed and wand in hand, crossed her arms proudly, a smirk playing on her lips as she watched a red-faced Draco rise up from the ground. He glanced at the large clock on his bedside table – a birthday present from his mother, who knew very well of her only son´s sleeping habits.
"7:30?! Torie! Why did you have to wake me so soon?!"he exclaimed, but for some reason he couldn´t be angry with her right now.
"Because I want to make sure our House´s Quiddich Captain is prepared and in top-shape for the first match of the season."
"Like you care about Quiddich... you rarely even watch the matches..."suddenly he gasped, realizing something that made him go red in the face.
Torie smiled and turned to greet Naja and Harry.
"Just get up and get ready, Dray."she said smilingly, her cheeks blushing faintly before she came closer to Harry´s bed and stroked Naja´s head.
Harry shot his blushing best friend a grin and turned his sights back to his copy of Amazing World as Torie sat down on his bed.
"Interesting subject, Harry?"she asked brightly.
Harry nodded, not taking his eyes away from the article.
"One of the legends from Ancient times. Even Muggles had it coded in their records..."
Torie looked curiously into the article herself.
"The Infinity Gate? Sounds familiar."she said, her curiousity growing.
"It should. Fourth-year, History of Magic, Ancient times..."
Torie grinned dispite herself.
"Your favourite I might add."she said, winking at him.
Harry rolled his eyes but continued reading.
"Where´s Angus?"asked Draco as he pulled out his green Quiddich uniform and using his wand to conjure large screens, closing them tightly before he began stripping himself of his pyjamas, throwing them carelessly on his bed.
Torie couldn´t help but grumble a bit at the sight.
"At Hagrid´s...he went down at six am... said something about those Bolteels of theirs."said Harry.
Torie looked across the room at another early-riser of the room. Blaise had a chest open on his bed – out of the chest poking a large case with a mirror and many cosmetic accessories, that wouldn´t be out of place in a beauty parlor. She chaught whiffs of pleasant smells as Blaise applied some sort of cream to his face and hands.
"You know Blaise, its a Quiddich Match... not a night at the Opera."she giggled.
Blaise had certainly dressed himself so. Jet-black boots, flawless stylish robes in green and black colors, a Slytherin-mark on the side of his chest and his famous wooden cane was set neatly on his bed. Turning to them, he gave Harry and Torie a gentle smile.
"Its not for the match, Torie... I have a very urgent matter to settle before that."
The three friends coudn´t miss the happy, positive note to his voice. All three of them (Draco peeked from behind the screens) looked at eachother confusedly as Blaise closed the chest and picked up his cane.
"Well... onwards for me... have no fear though, Dray. I shall make sure not to miss your first premiere of the season."he said brightly as he took off, a slight happy jump included in the gracefull way he carried himself.
As Blaise closed the door behind himself, Torie and Draco shared another mystified look while Harry chaught the curious look Naja was giving him.
"Don´t look at me, Naja... I´m as puzzled as the rest of you."hissed Harry in Parseltongue before he returned his sights to the article.
" I thought you´d go for the Prefect´s bathroom before changing, Dray."commented Torie curiously as Draco vanished the screens, now fully clothed in his Quiddich uniform.
The very mention of the bathroom made Draco remember his dream. Torie looked curiously as Draco´s face turned tomato-red.
"I... I... I´m going to visit Professor before the match..."he mumbled, telling half-the-truth as he quickly dashed out of the room, leaving his Nimbus 2001 behind.
"What´s up with him?"asked a bewildered Torie as she looked at Harry and Naja, Harry scanning his magazine with extreme interest.
Shrugging, Torie got up from his bed. She looked at Draco´s bedside – an utter mess, clothes thrown all around in his haste to find his uniform and get dressed.
"Slob..."she muttered as she pointed her wand on his bed – at once the entire bedside started to rearrange itself, in seconds the bed was made and the clothes were neatly folded on it.
"Anyways... I´d best go prepare my stuff for the party. I´ll see you at breakfast, Harry."
Harry (and Naja too) couldn´t help but detect a small note of sulkiness in her voice before she exited the room, leaving Harry and Naja alone in it.
"Whatsssss wrong with Torie, Harry?"asked Naja, looking at her master puzzledly.
"Love."he answered without taking his eyes from the article, but a slight smile played on his lips.
"I guess its the same with Dray... but going to Professor for love advice...?"he smirked.
Naja also hissed in hilarity, knowing the professor in question.
"He will be delighted..."she hissed and Harry roared in laughter at Naja´s little joke.
"I bet he will... Now, Naja... there is something I would like you to do for me..."
The happy cobra nodded her head at once – she would do ANYTHING for her beloved master.
Ginny grumbled grumpily as she tried NOT to listen to all the muttering in the Great Hall. The story of what happened during her and Harry´s first Relationship Counsil had been a complete secret – which at Hogwarts meant, that the ENTIRE school knows. She had already been interviewed by half of the female population of her House yesterday (she was under the impression that they waited for her in the Gryffindor Common Room specificly for this reason) – Parvati and Lavender in the lead and though she said little-to-nothing about the matter, wild rumors were invented in a matter of hours. Several had discribed the "new Dark-Lord" already showing his true colors. What made Ginny´s and Hermione´s blood boil, were the rumors describing Harry as a possesive maniac, who doesn´t want to let go of his new possession – Hermione didn´t even bother to tell Ginny off for hexing the stupid girl who said it. There were however a few people who saw Harry´s standing-up to the Ministry (for whatever reasons) an act of heroism. Few were very sorry, that Harry didn´t turn Athena Kellen and the Counsil into bats. Ron seemed to be very pleased about what he had heared – Harry´s action seemed to have gained his deep aprooval – the fact that he was standing up for his little sister so ferociously had gained Harry his respect. The ghosts were speaking to eachother about the matter as well – Nearly Headless Nick and the Bloody Baron had met her on the way to breakfast and told her in no uncertain terms, that they whole-heartedly aprooved of Harry´s action. The Bloody Baron was even looking extremly proud – it was common knowledge, that Harry and the rest of his squad are among the rare few students, whom Baron had come to deeply respect and admire. Harry has also been well known as the ONLY student in the school capable of sending Peeves flying away in terror – the poltergeist doesn´t DARE to mess with him. Teachers of course must´ve heared as well, but their leniency in the matter clearly shown, that they stand behind Harry on this. Though Professor Flitwick was absolutely stunned, when he came to repair the damage Harry had done on the room after the Counsil departed. When Ginny told him of the powerfull ordeal, he had assured her that Harry DIDN´T lose control at all – the magic outburst had been completly under his command – a testament to his skill and power. As Ginny pondered on that she saw Hannah and Neville approach the Gryffindor Table.
"Sit down, sweetheart."cooed Hannah quietly, sitting Neville down.
Ginny, Hermione and Ron gasped. Neville looked completly beat. He was pale, bleary-eyed and shaking slightly.
"What happened?"breathed Ginny – dispite the rows they had lately, she couldn´t help but worry for him.
Hannah also appeared to forget their quarrels for the moment.
"Nightmares... they keep getting worse."muttered Neville.
For some reason it was always the same one – the Battle of Hogwarts, the corridor, he himself twitching in agony under the Cruciatus Curse, manic mirthless laughter of Voldemort and then suddenly (accompanied by excruciating pain from his scar) a golden-colored, powerfull curse stricking, the sight of his body falling apart piece by painfull piece and the sight of a mysterious figure, green mask on his or her face before everything fading away.
"Maybe its the aftermath of that battle."muttered Ron – having a few nightmares about Nagini himself, though they have faded a few months ago.
"Its been four months though... "noted Hermione worriedly, trying to ponder on an answer to Neville´s problem.
Neville frowned, shaking his head.
"I don´t think its that, guys..."
"We have to go to Madam Pomfrey, Nev... this can´t go on. Something may be seriously wrong."said Hannah concernedly, running her hand on his shoulder.
Neville shook his head again.
"No love... I´ll be all right."he muttered, but at once he shuddered – an uncomfortable jolt of pain of exhaustion coursing trough him.
"You look horrible, Nev."sounded another voice behind Ron, Hermione and Ginny.
Ginny at once spun around to look happily at her fianceé.
Hannah held in her breath, but Neville looked up torn between pain and anger.
"What do YOU want?! Come to have a good gloat?!"he muttered angerly, glaring at his brother.
Harry didn´t seem to take offence.
"Hardly. I´ve been told that you´re not feeling well and seeing it for myself, I´ve brought you something."he said calmly, as he reached into his robes.
For the tiniest moment the Gryffindor Table tensed, expecting Harry to pull out his wand and curse him. But Harry pulled out a small bottle filled with some potion. Neville gasped, recodnizing it all too well. He looked disbelievingly at Harry as he reached over Ginny and placed the potion on the table infront of him.
"Y...you...? How...?"he stammered, genuilly shocked.
Harry´s lips gave a tiny twitch.
"I always keep a few handy potions in my trunk. Just in case. Anyway... this should help."
Hannah, Ron, Hermione and Ginny (hell, the entire Gryffindor Table) looked from Harry to Neville. After a moment, Neville gave a tiny, weak smile and took the potion, drinking it in one – Harry gave a small smile too.
"What´s that potion? What did you give him?!"asked Hannah, looking at Neville fearfully as though Neville would drop dead at any moment.
However Neville seemed to be gaining color back, suddenly he looked bright and fit as always.
"A Restorative Draught. When Voldemort returned, Neville´s scar was causing problems to him and my Mum often made it for him to ease the exhaustion from it."explained Harry, the name drawing gasps of fright – including Ron and Hannah.
Neville now looked at Harry as though struggling with some inner-battle. Finally his face turned into the tiniest of smiles.
"Thanks, Harry."he muttered as quietly as possible.
Harry waved it off as though it were a matter of no concern, before looking at Ginny.
Before he could say anything Lavender gave a gasp, looking at the door to the Great Hall. Everyone at the table looked as two figures entered shakily – Angus and Hagrid, both charred with their hair (and in Hagrid´s case beard too) spiked in all directions, smoke lightly rising from the pair of them. Behind them, clearly giggling madly was Susan.
Ron, Hermione, Ginny and also Torie at the Slytherin Table burst into laughter.
"What happened to them?"piped up Colin Creevy, too stunned to pick his camera up.
"Looks like an electricity problem to me..."said Harry in a calm but loud voice, raising his eyebrow at the charred pair.
The muggle-borns in the Hall roared with laughter and even some of the Professors were laughing – Hagrid had proudly shown the Greatbolt Eels to the school this week.
Ginny grinned at Harry appretiatively, taking his hand into hers. Ron and Hermione smiled at eachother happily and even Neville couldn´t help but grin thistime.
"Nice way of educating those who are not taking up Muggle Studies though... I think Hagrid and Angus have shown to all of us, WHAT happens when you stick your fingers in a plug."
Another roar of laughter swept trough the Great Hall – even Professor McGonnagal chuckled slightly as Hagrid limped to the Staff table and sat down. Ginny saw Albus give Harry an appretiative grin – to which he responded with a mischievous wink. Susan in the meantime sat Angus down at the Slytherin Table next to Astoria who was unable to contain her hilarious laughter. The Bloody Baron actually smacked his forehead in exaspiration, but the Slytherins (the population a bit thinned after last year) shot Angus grins, while shooting Harry looks of awe and respect. Ginny by now knew, that the Slytherin Squad had their House´s neverending respect and admiration.
"Wow... they´re really looking up to you guys, Harry."noted Hermione, most of the table looking at him as though they just noticed this.
"You must´ve done something really cool, mate."nodded Ron.
"Woah...What are you guys so famous for?"asked Colin, looking at Harry with bright curiosity – most of the Hall pondering on the very same question.
"Kicking."answered Harry simply.
The entire hall(the staff included) was silent and staring at him confusedly. Torie, Angus and the Slytherins all grinned like maniacs as Harry gave an "evil" grin.
"Kicking all the Death Eaters out of our poor little old House."
The Hall roared in laughter once again, the Dark Lord rumors along with many others were completly forgotten all of a sudden. Severus fixed his Godson a proud look, Remus and Minerva exchanging grins (he was truly his father´s son) and Albus was giving the green-eyed Slytherin his warmest smile.
"Perhaps the youngsters will stop listening to gossiping rumors and finally see him for what he is."he mused, though knowing well by now that Harry doesn´t give a hoot about his reputation, plus the fact that people have a habit to take rumors seriously.
At once the attention of the Hall was on the new arrival – Blaise (magnifiscent in his robes) smiling proudly arm-in-arm with Luna, who seemed to be dazed by happiness as they came to Harry and Ginny.
"What´s up?"she asked curiously as the boys exchanged radiant smiles (Harry understood something and Blaise confirmed it).
Luna seemed to be too happy for words. She raised her right hand and on it, gleaming brightly was a pure gold ring with two small serpents wrapped around a single diamond stone. Angus, Susan and Torie stood up at once and rushed towards them around the Slytherin table.
Ginny squealed in pure joy and in a single motion embraced Luna happily, Luna returning it completly beyond mundane joy. Blaise had asked her to marry him.
Ginny was still in a happy daze in the changing rooms – she was so happy for Luna. Dispite the circumstances with the Relationship Counsil and all, Blaise took the trouble to make a good and honest proposal to Luna in the Room of Requirement. Even the trouble of contacting Xenophilius Lovegood via the floo network in Severus´ office (learning the adress and other things about her father long before) in order to ask his aprooval as – Blaise noted "was the polite thing to do". Ginny whole-heartedly agreed with Luna´s statement that Blaise was one of the sweetest and politest boys on the planet. With a sigh she remembered, that SHE had another one of them. She gently raised her fingers to her lips, which were still slightly swollen from Harry´s "Good luck Charm" as he called it.
She wondered briefly how would today´s talk with her family go – she knew from Harry, that Albus had spoken to both their parents regarding the trouble with the Relationship Counsil. She was sure that they would be reasonable, but she was still slightly worried about the matter. Her Mum could be a bit difficult in cases like this, being a bit old-fashioned. But Ginny found, that the matter of marrying Harry was a very pleasurable thought dispite knowing him all-in-all for less than two weeks – she was never surer of anything in her life. She remembered, that Mum had once told her, that she known that Dad was THE ONE from the first time their eyes met. Surely she would understand... Dad would be nothing but understanding – she was sure of that... and her brothers... surely they´d understand as well... perhaps Percy would need some... persuation...
"Ginny... come here for a moment. I... I can´t believe this..."called Ron, who was standing at the door.
Puzzled, Ginny followed wondering what could be wrong. As soon as she came outside and looked where Ron was waving, she gasped. In the Gryffindor stands along with the students stood her entire family – Mum and Dad, Bill with Fleur, Charlie with Tammy, Fred, George with Angelina, even Percy with Audrey along with Hermione and beside them (she gave another gasp) stood Harry´s family – Lily, James and Alice ( The Lion Daddy and his daughter sporting large Gryffindor banners and flags that said "LIONS FOREVER") with Sirius Black with (was it really?) Amelia Bones, Remus and Tonks, Neville and Hannah, even Hagrid was present down besides the stand, sitting on the shoulders of his little half-brother Gwamp – all of them waving at them brightly. Ginny felt small tears in her eyes almost not daring to believe it... they all came here to watch the match?
"Brilliant, eh?"exclaimed Ron, looking at her happily.
Ginny nodded, waving all of them back grinningly. James waved at her enthusiasticly and Alice shouted at the top of her voice.
"Trash them, Ginny! Pulverize ´em! Lions for the win!"
Ginny giggled as she saw Lily giving those two an unmistakable glare, shutting them up at once – she knew by now from WHO her fianceé got his intimidating death-glare from.
"With support like this... we CAN´T lose, Ginny."said her grinning brother and Ginny nodded.
Though Ginny was a bit sad about the absence of one certain green-eyed, golden-hearted boy. It stung a bit, though she knew and respected his decidion.
"Sorry Ginny... I have a few things, that I am taking home with us to prepare. You wanted to know who our old advisor is and you will know today. ALL of our advisors in fact. This will be mine and Angus´ surprise to all of you lions in our families."she remembered him saying before giving her his passionate "Good luck" kiss – she couldn´t possibly be angry with him and was looking forward to this surprise very much.
Before she knew it, she and the Gryffindor team were walking towards the centre of the pitch, accompanied by ear-splitting applause and facing the Snakie Team led by Draco. At Madam Hooch´s call she watched Ron and Draco approach eachother, smiles on their faces.
"Here´s to a nice clean game, Ron?"said Draco, offering his hand.
Grinning from ear to ear, Ron took it.
"For a change. You sure about this, Dray?"
Draco grinned mischievously.
"Positive. I´ve put an extraordinary team together thistime, Ron. May the best one win."
Nodding and agreeing whole-heartedly on the matter, Ron shook his hand.
The entire pitch was very aware of the fact, that they were seeing something that was unheared of for centuries, if EVER – Gryffindor and Slytherin Quiddich Teams facing eachother in a battle of mutual respect. Looking at the team Draco had put together, Ginny was sure that this match would be fun and challenging as well – in contrast with the ussual make-up she was accustumized to, each member of the Slytherin team seemed different. Each Chaser was differently built, the Beaters seemed to contrast with one another, the Keeper was a tiny second-year and finally there was Dray himself, whose team seemed to stand just as firmly behind him as the Gryffindors stood behind Ron – the Slytherin Team had NEVER looked better. Draco looked at her and winked.
"Don´t think I´ll go easy on you, Ginny. I´m determined to beat you."he warned, winking mischievously.
"You´re on, Dray. Do your worst."
"Don´t worry, Weasley. I WILL."
The teams mounted their brooms and took off, awaiting the whistle announcing the start of the match.
"Hey ho, everyone... the time has come for the first match of the season and we couldnt´ve asked for a better one indeed – Brave Lions versus Cunning Snakes..."announced the voice of the new Commentary – a voice that belonged to...
"Angus..."she breathed and looking into the Main Stand couldn´t help but laugh.
There among the teachers was Angus, drawing quite a few laughs from people, dressed in a Muggle tux and a large grey hat on his head – he looked like a Muggle journalist, flanked by Professor McGonnagal on the left side and his precious fianceé on the right. Susan was giggling like mad and Professor McGonnagal was fixing Angus a most fond smile (though a bit uncharacteristic of her, he was one of her most favourite students since he arrived) and seemed very happy about her new appointment.
"... aaaaand here comes Madam Hooch... everyone... countdown-to-combat in THREE... TWO... ONE..."
At the sound of Madam Hooch´s whistle the game was on. The manic battle for the Quaffle was instantly on. Passing trough Gryffindor hands, then Slytherin... then Gryffindor again... then Slytherin... then...
"BINGO! TEN – ZERO FOR SLYTHERIN!"announced Angus happily to general applause of the Slytherins along with their Head of House, who shot a smug look at James and Sirius, both repaying him with stuck-out tongues, much to Lily´s exaspiration.
"NICE WORK WITH THE QUAFFLE THERE... THE QUAFFLE IN DEMELZA ROBINS´ HANDS... RISKY DODGE THERE, VERY BRAVE LIONESS, THIS ONE... AND BOOOM! SHE SCORES! TEN TO TEN...NICE ONE, DEMELZA!"
Now it was the Gryffindor stand, roaring in applause. James and Sirius shooting Severus childish-mocking gestures, to which Severus responded with HIS stuck-out tongue (Lily slapped her forehead growling "boys" much to Molly´s and Hermione´s hilarity). Alice, Charlie, Fred and George waved the Gryffindor flags with all their might, joy radiating on their faces.
"THAT´S THE RIGHT WAY! EVERYONE GIVE IT YOUR BEST AND ALL! THE GAME´S FAR FROM OVER!"exclaimed Angus supportively and Susan couldn´t help but giggle along with McGonnagal – the wild boyish excitement rich in his voice and positively written all over his face – something which he seemed to be pumping the audience with –the applause rising once more.
Over the next thirty minutes it became very clear, that Angus was a very good and neutral-sided commentary, clearly happy about the sport itself and praising each and every player´s abilities. It also became very clear, WHAT a powerfull team had Draco put together – they were playing like real PROs... Slytherin was leading by a hundred points – the Chasers were cooperating in such combinations, that Ron had extreme difficulties. The Beaters also were incredible, acting absolutely in-tune with one another. However none of this seemed to dull the Gryffindor Team´s determination to beat them – the battle dispite the outcome would become legendary - for the teams´ technical play and the sheer and complete absence of fouls of any sort. Madam Hooch swore she never SEEN two teams face-off like this, so amazingly, so respectfully, so ... so discipilned – not a hint of foul play anywhere... many professional teams could learn from these youngsters, she was sure of it. In fact, most of the audience were absolutely sure, that they haven´t seen such a good match since the QuiddichWorld Cup.
In the meantime Ginny and Draco had many battles for the Snitch, each determined to best the other, but until now the ever-illusive Snitch evaded any and all capture.
"AAAAAND LET´S GO GUYS... YES! PROUDFOOT SCORES! A HUNDRED AND TEN TO TEN FOR SLYTHERIN!"announced Angus to general applause of most – Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff took to share Angus´ neutral-fandom and applaused along with the overjoyed Slytherins.
Albus (and a few others) took his eyes away from the match as someone came up towards the seat he reserved, hoping the young man would find his way here.
"Excellent. You made it."he said happily as the person sat down.
"Of course, Al."he muttered, his eyes searching the air for one player in particural.
In the Gryffindor stand, Lily just noticed the newcomer and elbowed her husband.
"I... I don´t believe it..."exclaimed James happily in absolute surprise as he saw WHO was sitting beside Albus – most of the Weasley family noticing too – Arthur and Bill looking at eachother with small smiles – everyone completly ignoring Angus´ announcement of another Slytherin goal.
"You´re kidding..."roared Sirius, also in happy surprise.
"Love works wonders, Padfoot."exclaimed Remus, elbowing him – his smile mirrored that of his pregnant wife who kissed his cheek with all the love in her heart.
With a bark-like laugh Sirius pressed a giggling Amelia to himself with his arm, kissing her cheek (Amelia giggled like a schoolgirl) before flashing a mischievous wink at his old friend.
"Don´t I know it, Moony... don´t I know it..."
Slytherin scored once again, the roar of joy going once again unnoticed by a rare few.
Draco also noticed the newcomer in the Main stand, grinning in spite of himself – understanding whole-heartedly as he saw another person he didn´t really expect to come arrive in the Slytherin stand and make her way beside Professor Snape – Severus wrapping an arm around her shoulders affectionately as she called at the top of her lungs.
"GO DRAY, GOOOOO!"
Draco felt manic joy erupt in the very core of his being. As he swooped around happily, there he saw it – the Golden Snitch gliding near the Ravenclaw stands.
Ginny looked around for the Snitch too, but suddenly saw something that made her stop in mid-air and her heart race a mile-a- minute. There... in the Main stand, sitting beside Albus was... Harry... her Harry... cheering and clapping as he looked at her smilingly... but he NEVER comes to Quiddich matches... and yet... Tears of happiness threatened to spill from her eyes as she instantly knew WHY he had come. Suddenly she spied Draco going after the Snitch, the tiny golden ball trying desperately to evade capture.
"GO, GINNY! YOU CAN DO IT!"roared Harry, using a Sonorus Charm to make sure she heared him – nevermind the entire pitch.
Needless to say, that none of the teachers OR the Heamaster himself even bothered to tell him off for this. At the Gryffindor stand the Potter family (non-blood relatives-of-sort included) sported overjoyed grins, Arthur and Bill smiled broadly (their innitial suspitions proven true) and Molly sported a happily-surprised smile (more evidence of what she had heared from Ginny´s letter and Albus´ explanation). Fred, George and Charlie also shared astounded, but happy smiles.
Hearing his roar of support, Ginny had her mind set – she would catch the Snitch...
"For you, my Harry..."she breathed passionately, as a hard blazing, determined look took form on her face and she sped downward towards Draco and the Snitch.
The Snitch fluttered right and left as Ginny chaught up with Draco. Catching eyes with his, they seemed to have come to an instant non-verbal agreement – may the best one win.
Close to eachother, they reached out, attempting to catch the Snitch. It darted upwards and the two followed, circling closely around eachother like two snakes, grabbing franticly for the tiny golden ball... raching out, attempting to grab it first... until...
"YES!"roared Ginny as her fingers enclosed on the golden ball.
"Damn."breathed Draco, though he wasn´t able to feel anything remotely close to anger right now – the close match could only have ONE winner and by all means, Ginny was faster.
The pitch at once erupted in roars of applause.
"SHE´S GOT IT! SHE´S GOT IT! GRYFFINDOR´S SEEKER, GINNY WEASLEY HAS THE SNITCH! GRYFFINDOR WINS A HUNDRED AND SIXTY TO A HUNDRED AND THIRTY!"announced Angus.
In the Main stand, Albus couldn´t help but chuckle – Ginny´s "power-up" of sorts VERY obvious to him.
"Quite a turn in the match´s tide, wouldn´t you say Harry?... Harry?..."
Albus looked around for Harry, but saw that Harry was already hurrying down from the Main stand – Albus chuckled dispite himself.
"Ah... should´ve guessed...Young love... a power greater than any in the world..."he mused happily as he looked downward – sure enough, Harry had ran out of there.
Ginny sped her broom towards the Main stand as soon as she saw Harry exiting the Main stand´s watching post. She pulled the broom as low as it could go as she sped to meet him, gradually getting off of it in mid-flight, switching to a mad dash towards him – the broom falling to the ground, for at the moment it meant absolutely NOTHING to her – and with a giant leap she landed in his outstretched arms, Harry spinning her wildly, both of them laughing happily, the Snitch still flapping its wings in her hand.
"Harry... you... I thought..."she breathed excitedly as they came to a halt.
Harry gave her his most adorable "little-boy" smile.
"I couldn´t miss this, Ginny... not for the world... you were amazing, sweetheart..."he breathed excitedly – he knew he would enjoy Quiddich matches immensly, so long as they had HER in them.
Alight with happiness, Ginny had shown him the Snitch in her hand.
"I chaught it for you, Harry... for YOU, my green-eyed mystery..."
The petname warmed his heart as he looked into her brown eyes lovingly – he was clearly touched... his FIRST ever Quiddich match... and his girl... his precious girl, won it for HIM?!
"I love you too, my brown-eyed fireball."he breathed passionately before he chaught her lips in a passionate, soul-melting kiss.
As soon as they separated they saw, that the members of both teams had encircled them, still on their brooms.
"There my team, is the secret to our Seeker´s success."said Ron happily, fixing the pair his happiest grin.
Ginny giggled as she smirked at her youngest brother.
"I wasn´t aware of keeping THIS a secret, brother dearest."she giggled, ruffling Harry´s hair – much to Harry´s delight.
"You know, Harry... some might consider this as betrayal."noted Draco, though his happy grin suggested the opposite.
Harry gave him an innocent look.
"I don´t know what you´re talking about, Dray."he said to obvious hilarity.
"GINNY, HARRY!"rang a voice and all of them saw the Potters and Weasleys rushing out to meet them along with Hermione, Hagrid and Gwamp.
The pair at once found themselfs in the warm, overjoyed embrace of James Potter.
"You were outstanding, Ginny... absolutely amazing... oh, Harry... I think Holyhead Harpies have a sure-fire winner right here..."exclaimed James excitedly.
Ginny felt her cheeks glow red as she shot a shy grin at her future father-in-law.
"Don´t I know it, Dad."said Harry happily, kissing Ginny´s forehead lovingly – Ginny hugging him, besides herself with joy.
"Now boys... let the poor girl breathe..."said Lily in a mock-scold, her smile fixed on Ginny.
Grinningly, James and Harry let go of her, instantly she felt herself wrapped in Lily´s warm hug.
"I´m no Quiddich expert, Ginny. But I think the boys are quite right. You were magnifiscent."she whispered happily, Ginny returning the hug happily.
"Thanks... Mum..."she breathed happily, giving her a wink (mirrored by the older redhead) as they seaprated.
"Ginny..."exclaimed Fred and Ginny instantly ran to her family, exchanging happy greetings and hugs with all of them.
"I´m so happy you have a girl like her, Harry."breathed Lily quietly as she took her precious boy into her arms.
"Believe me, Mum... you can´t possibly be happier than I am."he whispered as he squeezed his mother to himself – Lily returning the hug just as powerfully.
"Harry, kiddo... I´m happy for ya..."exclaimed Sirius as Harry and Lily seaprated.
"Thanks, Padfoot."grinned Harry, as he embraced his Dad´s best friend.
Exchanging warm embraces with Nymphadora, Remus and a friendly hug with Amelia he looked at another person who was hugging his Mum happily.
"Well, Sev... we fought bravely, no one can doubt that."he said adressing his Godfather.
Severus gave a small smirk.
"Until you decided to give the Gryffindor Seeker a power-boost..."
Harry gave him an innocent look, pointing his index finger at himself.
"Would I do that?"
The entire group roared with laughter, the Weasleys included as Arthur and Molly approached with Ginny.
"Harry... this is my Dad and Mum."said Ginny proudly.
Harry fixed them a bright smile as he offered his hand to Arthur.
"A great pleasure, Mr and Mrs Weasley..."he said politely.
Arthur fixed him with a bright smile as he took his hand.
"Arthur, m´boy... I´m very happy to meet you."he said in a happy voice.
As the two let go of their hands, Molly took him into her embrace.
"Molly, dear."she breathed – seeing the passionate exchange between him and Ginny affirmed her in her decidion, Parselmouth or not...
The affirmation was only magnified as she felt the boy return the hug with equal emotion - many unsaid things in it – this was no Dark Lord, that was sure – she could tell as much from this single hug...
Alice hung in the back. Seeing Harry´s support of Ginny and now the happy exchanges made her feel conflicted about many things she had learnt since yesterday.
"We may have been very wrong, Alice."said Neville, who hung behind along with Hannah.
"You think so, Nev?"she whispered quietly, her heart wishing with all her might to believe it.
Neville looked at the ground, a guilty look crossed his face.
"Let´s... let´s give him a chance..."
Alice looked at him, torn between agreement and doubt.
"You sure, Nev...? I mean... I couldn´t bare if... him... becoming evil... you remember Riddle... what if... what if he´s taken in by his power just like him? He´s strong... what if he becomes...?"
Neville frowned. Indeed there were many similarities between Harry Potter and Tom Marvolo Riddle. However there was ONE big difference – one that Dumbledore always told him could make all the difference in the world – one that he´d seen with Harry and Ginny.
"He loves her, Alice... THAT makes all the difference... let´s give him that chance. And..."he almost shed tears at the memory of this morning when he caringly gave him the potion, and the way he had treated him for almost five years – not to mention the incident from a week ago when he used the Impediment Jinx to separate him from his first kiss with his fianceé.
"...he loves US too, Alice... I´m sure of it. Let´s... let´s drop this pointless... let´s just give him a chance..."he whispered, recodnizing that they should´ve done this years ago.
Alice felt her lips shake, desperate NOT to let the tears fall. She thought about the Weasleys – the siblings stick together no matter what... all of them asked her countless times WHY she hated Harry... her parents TOLD her too many times to count, not to judge him so harshly... Dumbledore, McGonnagal and Sev told her how he fought against the Junior Death Eaters, how many brave deeds he had done in order to bring them down (she DID feel jealous when she heared how much he and his mates had done). And finally Sirius added the greatest bit just yesterday.
"I´ve once been JUST like you, Alice... I hated my younger brother, simply based on his House in school... I never once saw him for what he was. When he joined the Death Eaters, I even longed to be the one the stop him. But only this year I found out, that he had joined in to take Voldemort on from the inside – Dumbledore ha shown me the letter he left in Voldemort´s locket - God knows why - but it MUST´VE been importaint... he (actuall tears sprung from Sirius´ eyes)... Alice, he... he got in only to take Voldemort down... and he suceeded... Dumbledore said, that he discovered his greatest secret and only thanks to him were he and Neville able to finally bring him down. Alice, I´ve never been so ashamed in my life... my own brother and I shunned him... not knowing what he was, not BOTHERING to find out... (a miserable sob of pure pain escaped her beloved Godfather and Alice at once hugged him and felt him hug back) Alice... kiddo... NEVER make that mistake.(He looked deeply into her eyes with his own tear-filled ones) Harry – dispite your suspitions – is a good kid. DON´T make my stupid mistakes... TRUST him... trust your brother... I know how you three were as little kids... love him, Alice... believe me... you´ll only regret it later on if you don´t..."
The words kept her from sleeping all night long – all the replaying of several key scenes of the second war with Voldemort... all the times she thought of him... all the times when she pointed fingers at him, sure that he was a Death Eater – it made her sick to her stomach...
"What HAVE I done?!"she thought a milion times until daybreak.
She felt disgusted with herself for all the things that she said and done since the Chamber of Secrets incident – she now saw a clear pattern with her and Aunt Petunia (Mum´s Muggle elder sister) and all that Mum had told her about her. Hadn´t SHE – a witch – treated her own little wizard brother in JUST the same way for being different?! Hadn´t Mum and Dad express their sadness about it SO many times?! And Harry... her own little brother... wasn´t HE forced to shoulder that prejudgice from HER – he shown so many times he didn´t care about other people, but she saw, whenever she spoke against him (no matter how he tried to conceal it) the hurt in his eyes so many times...
His voice brought her out of her thought... Harry was standing in front of her, a look of puzzlement on his face – but still keeping his distance, guardedly (Alice bit her lip, knowing the reason why).
"Are you all right?"he asked, everyone (including Neville and Hannah) behind them.
Alice was now well aware of the tears rolling down her cheeks as she looked at her brother.
Her hazel eyes locked with his emerald green and she instantly felt him prob her mind gently (WHY on Earth was he so gentle with her?!), desperate (she felt) to find the source of her distress.
She remembered their childhood days... the carefree times... the times he hugged her so lovingly... then the times his curiosity brought the very first fight between them... the Sorting Hat, atop of his head screaming "SLYTHERIN" and the pure shock she felt then... the confrontation with him for using Parseltongue to stop a venomous viper attacking Angus... him bursting into the Hospital Wing in panic after Neville touched the Triwizard Cup and You-Know-Who returning to power... him with Daphne Greengrass, the girl holding his arm with manic obsession while he himself looked as though he´d rather be ANYHERE else... him blasting away Fenrir Greyback after using a powerfull Cruciatus Curse on him (throwing the damn werewolf up and down like a rag-doll) for DARING to try and sink his bloodthirsty fangs into his sister as she lay on the stone-cold floor of a Hogwarts corridor during the Battle of Hogwarts... and... and...
"I really wish, that you would stop seeing me as a slimy snake and start to realize, that unlike a certain Chosen One, you also have a blood-brother."
The image of her boggart... the tiny-innocent Harry, turned into a Dark Lord... Arthur had wisely told her, that she was risking making it all happen by not believing in him, by seeing him as an enemy, by... by...
Alice came back to reality, seeing her brother´s eyes sporting tears as well – she knew he was enough of an Legilimens to know what she thought of by now.
She remembered another powerfull memory of yesterday – her talk with her former Headmaster before he exited their Cottage and returned to Hogwarts.
"Alice... I know... both Arthur and your father have told me of your greatest fears... but bear in mind, that you have a strong and capable brother... he is capable of something, which your greatest fear would ALWAYS be too cowardly to do... I think you know very well, what that is... I also know, that you are perhaps afraid to face up to this mistake of yours... but Alice... when I was your age, younger in fact... I too had made a terrible mistake – MORE terrible than yours. I implore you... it is still not too late... I lost my chance before I could... MY OWN sister was dead before I could tell her how sorry I was... how I love her...(the aged-old wizard broke away, tears in his eyes)"Alice knew right there, that he needn´t say anymore.
She shuddered at the thought of Harry being dead before she could... she could tell him, that... that (it only took a night of pure painfull torture to realize it) she HAD BEEN WRONG!
"Alice... sis..."he breathed as though he didn´t DARE to believe, that she sported feelings of guilt at what she done to him.
In a swift motion, she threw her arms around him, bursting into tears.
"Harry... I...I´m sorry, I´m sorry... I... I..."
"Sis..."Harry breathed as he wrapped his arms around her – the gesture only prompting MORE tears from her.
"I´m sorry, Harry..."she whispered again, tears pouring from her eyes like waterfalls.
"Alice..."breathed Harry, seeing the memories flash in her mind – each sending powerfull waves of emotion over him – he knew she was truly sorry.
Gently, he separated her from himself, but still held her shoulders as their eyes locked again – Alice saw the lovable, little boy she longed for all these years in that watery, earnest look.
"That´s ... th... those three words... Sis... THAT´S all I EVER needed to hear..."muttered Harry, shaking all over from the sheer emotion, tears flowing unshamedly from his eyes – he didn´t give a damn WHO saw them.
This was too much for Alice. With a wild howl, she craddled her little brother (it was pure relief to call him that once more) in her crushing embrace as she cried into his shoulder, Harry in turn bursting into tears into her. Neville also couldn´t help his emotions, coming closer he grabbed the two of them – the Potter siblings grabbing him in turn as the three cried in relief over being truly and really together for the first time in years – the childhood picture of the three of them, tiny happy and giggling was painfully alive in their memories as they cried.
No one around could help the emotion – even Draco, who looked at them happily trough his tears - his best friend´s worst pain had been put to rest at long last, Angus burst into tears (definitely NOT what one would expect from someone so powerfully built) in the Main stand´s viewing podium and fell right into Susan´s arms – she too was crying, Blaise sobbed into his pure-white handkerchief - Luna gripping onto him saying "See, Blaise... everything turned out for the best.", Torie, who was nearby ran into Draco´s arms howling with happy tears – Draco holding her dearly, Ginny saw Hermione lean into Ron - both of them were smiling and the Professors were in states of their own (Sprout and Flitwick had actually embraced eachother as they burst into moved tears, McGonnagal was wiping tears from her eyes sobbing, Hagrid and Gwamp hugging howling something about sibling love and even Severus - YES, SEVERUS SNAPE HIMSELF couldn´t help the tears falling). The Weasley siblings smiled tearfully at the exchange, but none of them could match Fred´s tears for his beloved Alice and her regained happiness – he and Ginny hugged eachother happily, no one could be more happy for their significant others. Molly and Arthur also embraced, happy at what they were witnessing – to Molly, it seemed that the boy-turned Dark Lord had been vanquished by this VERY exchange. Suddenly however Lily and James ran up to the threesome, joining in the circle. Albus Dumbledore stared down at them, tears rolling down his eyes at the sight. The five Potters cried freely in sheer relief – the last enemy had been beaten, the nightmare was over at long last.
"It seems that I have been able to stop the tragedy from repeating, Ariana...But... oh my beloved little sister...how much I long to be in their place right now..."he thought as he burst into tears at the sight of the Potters´ reunion, still – forever crying for the life he could´ve had if he hadn´t been so STUPID all those years ago... Instantly he felt deeply indebted to Harry for helping him truly and really settle the matter with Ab after all these years.
It was VERY clear to Harry (and almost everyone included down on the pitch), that the first ever Quiddich game he even attended would go down in Hogwarts history – for more reasons than ONE.