Got 99 Problems, But Is A Snitch One Of 'Em?
The next morning when I woke up, for a moment, I thought last night was a dream. I mean come on, a three-headed dog? I realized it really happened when Hermione was giving me the cold shoulder. I sighed and looked down where Tiger Lily was playing by my feet. She’ll have to get over it eventually, right? I thought as I rubbed behind her ears before I went to the bathroom to start getting ready. Ugh, we’ve got double potions today.
I met Nev when I went downstairs to the common room. He was sitting in one of the armchairs, gazing into the fire. “Morning,” I said as I walked up to him. He jumped a little, not expecting me to be there, but replied, “Morning.”
“How are you?” I asked as I sat beside him. “Fine, I - I guess.” I know he was thinking about what we saw last night hiding in the third floor corridor. “I wonder what it’s guarding.” I thought aloud as I joined him in gazing into the fire, watching the embers dance about. “I don’t care what it’s hiding as long as I don’t have to see it again!” He said with a slight tremble. I put my hand on his arm before standing up. “Just try to forget about it, Nev. Let’s go get some breakfast.” I said as I held out my hand to him. He grabbed it and together we made our way down to the Great Hall.
“Neville! Callie!” We heard someone shout as we climbed through the portrait hole. We turned around and saw Harry and Ron catching up to us. We were now in our second week at Hogwarts, and while we didn’t get lost, as much anyway, it was still better to walk around in groups. That and it helped to avoid run ins with Peeves and some of the older Slytherins that liked to pick on first years who roamed on their own.
“I just ran into Wood,” Harry told me. “and he wants to see us on the pitch after lunch.” I felt a ball of excitement bounce around in my chest at the news. I couldn’t wait. “At least that gives us something to look forward to.” I said happily. “Ugh, don’t remind me, I hate double potions.” Ron mumbled. Neville shivered at the thought of Snape. “Me too.” Nev agreed. “Let’s just hurry up to the Great Hall, yeah?” I said trying to pick up our pace a bit and change the subject. “Yeah, I’m starving!” I slightly shook my head, “You’re always starving, Ron.”
Seeing Malfoy’s face when we entered the Great Hall, shocked that we were still at Hogwarts, was completely worth it. Yeah, we’re not that easy to get rid of. I raised an eyebrow and mouthed the word “coward” in his direction. He glared daggers right back at me. I nonchalantly shrugged my shoulders as if to say, well, it’s true.
By the time we were done with breakfast, we were going to be late for potions if we didn’t get a move on. “Come on, Snape will have our heads if we’re late.” I said as I lightly tugged Nev’s sleeve, as he was sitting next to me. Potions went by normally, well normal by potion standards anyway. Snape droned, stalked and peered about the classroom as we tried to make a Herbicide potion. Luckily we didn’t have to go to the hospital wing after class this time.
When we got to the Quidditch pitch Wood was no where to be found. It seemed like a good day to fly. The sun was shining and there was a cool breeze brushing through my hair. I looked at the broom shed across the pitch then smirked at Harry. “Wanna play tag until Wood gets here?” Harry grinned back at me, “Yeah!” before breaking into a sprint towards the shed. “Hey!” I yelled as I ran after him. He made it to the shed first since he had a head start.
We each grabbed a broom from the cupboard. “Wand, sword, potion?” I said with my left hand facing palm up; he nodded and mirrored me. “Wand, sword, potion.” I cupped my right hand to draw potion and Harry drew wand, as I thought he would. Antidotes cure spells, I win. “Catch me if you can.” I taunted before I mounted my broom and took off.
The wind tousled my hair as I closed my eyes to the sun’s rays, this time losing myself into flying. I looked back to see Harry on my tail. I took a lap around the pitch before I weaved through the hoops. When I got into the last hoop I stuck out my hand to grab the part of the ring above me and used my hips to move the back of the broom to the right, to help me circle above the ring as Harry went through it before I dove towards the ground. Just after I pulled back on the broom to level the dive, I felt a tug on my robes. I slipped back off of the edge of the broom. Luckily it wasn’t that far off the ground as I crash landed.
I raised my head as a slow clapping rang through out the Quidditch pitch. I saw Wood smirking as he walked closer, obviously having seen the show of our game of cat and mouse. I grinned at Harry to show that they’re were no hard feelings.
“Mcgonagall was right. We have to work on your landing Callie, but you two are naturals in the air.” Wood said with a smile. “Have you ever seen a Quidditch game before?”
“Uncle Algie took Nev and I one time with tickets he won in a game of wizard chess. I made him take us or threatened that I’d tell Gran about the time he...well, that’s a completely different story. Anyway, he took us and we almost got hit by a stray bludger. Well, it skimmed my ear, I still have the scar. See?” I said as I tucked my hair behind my right ear. “Gran was furious when we came home. ‘It’s barbaric,’ she said and that she never understood why my father loved Quidditch so much. But I understood. The excitement, the adrenaline, I loved it. Needless to say, after that Gran tried to keep us away from Quidditch and other ‘harmful activities’” I rolled my eyes. “After that, I always wondered what it would feel like to be on a broom.” Harry and Wood gave small smiles as if a part of them they knew what I meant.
“I’d dream about being a bird sometimes,” Harry said softly as he looked off into the distance. “That I could fly far, far away. That I could go wherever I wanted.” Harry cast his eyes downward.
Wood opened a box that was at his feet. “Well, I’ll explain anyway.” He said as he unlocked the box. “Quidditch is easy enough to understand. Each team has seven players. Three chasers, two beaters, one keeper, and the seeker; that’s you, Harry.” There were two medium sized brown balls locked up on each side surrounding a bigger red ball that Wood grabbed before he quickly passed it to me. “There are three kinds of balls. This one’s called a quaffle. The chaser’s handle the quaffle and try to put it through one of those three hoops. The keeper, that’s me, defends the hoops. With me so far?” I nodded and passed the quaffle to Harry, who caught it before he twisted it into the air and caught it again. “I think so. What are those?” He asked referring to the two balls that were being restrained on either side of where the quaffle was held.
Wood bent down and held a bat outstretched in his hands, “You better hold this.” I grabbed it and he pressed a small button that released the balls from their metal chains. It immediately soared high into the air. “Be careful, it’s coming back.” Wood stated. The ball kept coming closer and closer. I pulled my arm back and swung with all my strength. The bludger soared through one of the hoops. “Not bad, Longbottom. You’d make a fair beater.” Wood said slightly surprised. “Uh oh.” He took a few steps backwards to catch it.
“What was that?” Harry asked in a bit of awe. “That’s a bludger.” I said as Wood struggled to get the bludger back where it belonged. “Nasty little buggers,” he mumbled to himself before he looked up at Harry. “But, you are a seeker.” He opened a little compartment in the top of the box and pulled out a small golden ball. “The only thing I want you to worry about, is this. The golden snitch.” He said as he handed it to Harry. “I like this ball.” Harry said smiling softly to himself. “Ha! You like it now.” Wood laughed. “Just wait. It’s wicked fast and damned near impossible to see.” Harry turned it slightly in his hand, “What do I do with it?” he asked. “You catch it, before the other team’s seeker. You catch this and the game is over. You catch this, Potter, and we win.”
Harry laid the snitch flat in his hand as he stared at it. The wings of the snitch expanded before taking off into the air, darting into different directions. “Now, the first actual practice of the season starts on Monday next week. We practice three times a week. I just wanted to introduce you two to the rules of quidditch, but since I already scheduled the pitch why don’t you two practice your flying and chase down the snitch. Then once it’d caught we’ll head in for dinner.” Me and Harry looked at each other before we both took off on our brooms. Needless to say, Harry caught the snitch, but it was still really fun anyway. I couldn’t wait to start Quidditch practice, I thought as we walked to dinner.
After dinner Nev and I grabbed a table in the corner of the common room to write a letter to Gran and played a game of wizard’s chess and watched Ty chase Scabbers around the common room before we made our separate trips to our dormitories.