Part One: Chapter Three
-△⃒⃘- The Greengrass Contract -△⃒⃘-by ncronan
Chapter 3: The Scouts and Tryouts
Stepping up to the large painting of the Fat Lady, Harry sighed. "I'm really sorry, Mrs. Lady, but I wasn't here when they told us the password, and I'm in a very bad mood right now, and if you don't let me in I'll really regret hexing your portrait."
The Fat Lady looked on at him indignantly. "Mr. Potter, I -"
Harry looked up and glared, and she sighed. "I've seen that look before. Took them forever to get the color out of the frame . . ." and (after looking left and right) she swung open, revealing the warm and comforting room that he loved.
It was big, with red walls and gold, brown, and rusty carpets. Massive fluffy chair were in a semi-circle in front of the fireplace, and a large study table was in the corner, with wooden chairs in front of it. On the opposite side of the room was a stairwell that split into two branches, towards the girls' and boys' dormitories.
Sadly, it wasn't past curfew, and there were still around a dozen students out of bed, one of which was Ron. Harry paused for a second, shifting uncomfortably when all eyes turned on him. He was about to move on to his dormitory when Ron decided to call himself out. He was sitting at a chair in front of the fire, and Hermione was sitting in the chair next to him, but was obviously trying to ignore him.
"Well, Potter? Where were you? Kissing a teacher's arse?" Ron asked venomously. Fred and George (who in a corner, talking tot Angelina and Katie, looked sharply at him, but Harry silenced them with a glare before they could reprimand their brother. Tilting his head back slightly, Harry drawled, "Actually, it was Dumbledore's arse. And that's more action that you've gotten, Ronald."
The occupants in the room chuckled, and Ron turned red. "Shut up, Potter."
"I didn't start it, twat. But I'm surprised you were able to form words around all that food you stuffed in your mouth." Harry snorted, and it was true. Ron was, in fact, still eating the Treacle Tarts he had stashed in his robes. To add to the effect, Ron's fingers were sticky with the sweet. Ron glared at him, and abruptly changed the subject to another way he could exploit Harry.
"I expect you'll try to enter the tournament, then. But you don't have to, do you? Got money spilling from your arse." Ron shot at him. Harry rolled his eyes, expecting the weak argument.
"That's called shit, Ronald. It may look like bronze, but it's not a Knut, I assure you." Harry sighed, as though speaking with a child. The room laughed, and Ron reddened, ever closer to attacking Harry. "And no, I don't want to enter the tournament. I've got enough stuff on my mind. I've decided not to be an idiot anymore, and take my studies seriously. Not just food."
Ron stood up and brandished his fists (Fred and George did as well). "Since you're always complaining about being raised by Muggles, Potter, we might as well fight the Muggle way!" Ron snarled, raising his sticky fists. Harry rolled his eyes.
"Ronald, I've never complained, and you're as about as thick as a wand. Even if you were to attack me, your twin brothers would stop your stupid arse."
Ron hissed, "Why you -" and he lunged at his ex-best mate. Before he had taken two steps, his twin brothers had grabbed his arms and hauled him back into the chair. Harry walked over and knelt so that he was at the same height as the sitting redhead, and spoke quietly.
"Listen, you prat. I am taking no shit from Snape, Dumbledore, Malfoy, or your jealous arse any more. You have one chance to apologize; and not to me, to Hermione. I love her like a sister, but you obviously don't. So if you want to have at least one chance with any bird, much less one of the prettiest and smartest, you better change your goddamn attitude, or to stay the bloody hell away from me. I expect an apology to your only female friend by tomorrow."
Harry walked briskly past him and jogged up the stairs, into the boy's dormitory. After a minute's silence, Katie Bell smacked her own head. "Damn! I forgot to tell him about the inter-school Quidditch tournament! Tryouts are tomorrow!"
Angelina patted her shoulder, and then Parvarti Patil piped up. "Oh! You can tell him tomorrow morning! He's getting up early to do a run, and he says that anyone can come along, if they want."
Subconsciously, everyone thought about their own physical form and compared it to Harry's. Katie Bell sighed. "Not saying that anyone should pull Harry into a broom cupboard, but Harry has grown into a fine specimen of perfect boy this year."
As the girls nodded their agreement, Ron snarled and pushed his brothers' hands off of his shoulders. He left, grumbling something about, "Potter gets everything, even the birds,"
Angelina then said, "I have to start picking the team this year; I can't believe I was picked to be Captain! And since Alicia's arm is broken and won't heal in time, she can't be on it."
Katie smiled and calmed her down. "It's okay, I'll help, Ann. Fred, George, get your arses over here."
The twins hurried over to them, and Angelina went into a long speech.
"Alright, for the chasers, Katie and I are a given. Problem is, even though Gryffindor is by far the best, we have to include all the other houses at least once. Since Alicia's gone, we can slip in a different person – as much as I loath to say it, Marcus Flint is the next best, after Alicia, but we'll see at the tryouts. For beaters, I think it's Fred and George by a long shot. For keeper, Herbert Fleet is the best since Oli is gone. He's really spectacular. As for seeker, we'll see if Harry wants to play. If he does, he makes it on, automatically. If not, Diggory and Chang are the next best."
Fred and George stared at her for a second, and then shook their heads. "Sorry, but -"
" - we only listened -"
" - when you said -"
" - Gred and Forge."
Angelina snorted while Katie Bell rolled her eyes. "We'll talk to Harry in the morning. Who knows? Maybe he won't want to be Seeker this year?"
They laughed at that, and Padma cut in, "Harry'll be up at seven, he said. I'm going with him, with my sister. You can only do yoga so many times, right?"
They chuckled and agreed, while Seamus, on the other side of the room, drooled at the thought of the female twins doing yoga.
Harry yawned, stretching his arms above his head as he reached his toes. He had slept shirtless with his jogging pants on, and quickly used a cleaning spell on them to get rid of the smell. He did the same with his other, less visible pieces of clothing, and pulled on a tight sleeveless t-shirt. He then grabbed his favorite beanie hat that he had gotten custom made from Madam Malkins. It was black with a green stripe on it. Though plain, Harry had grown to like it, as it covered his messy hair, and kept his ears warm. He liked his ears warm.
He left the boy's dorm quietly, as to not wake anyone up. Stepping into the bright common room, he looked out the window at the already shining sun. From the schedule Harry had learned, the sun normally rose at 6:30, which meant he wouldn't have to worry about bumping into anything.
"Are you ready?" said a voice behind him. Harry turned and grinned at Parvarti.
"You got up? Good job. Most of the boys can't get out of their beds by half past seven."
Parvarti laughed. "So, what's the destination -"
Before she could finish, Katie and Angelina rushed down the stairs. "Wait up!" Katie said. "We're coming, too. We figure that this'll help with Quidditch. It'll help increase our stamina, and it'll be a warm up for the try-outs tonight."
Harry nodded. But, looking thoughtful, he said, "This is good for Chasers. Honestly, I don't recommend Seekers to run like this. I figured out that though my reflexes are faster, I am slightly slower in the air, and I'm a bit more clumsy. So this year, I've decided to go for Chaser."
Gesturing them to come along, Harry led them out of the common room and out into the hall, where he began running at a light jog as Katie and Angelina looked shocked.
"Are you serious, Harry?" Katie asked. "You aren't going to be Seeker?"
Harry shrugged. "Nah. I'm not as good as I was last year, but Cedric is in excellent form, I've heard. And Cho would be a good substitute. As for a reserve team, Ginny would be perfect as Chaser."
Angelina looked confused. "Reserve team?"
Harry led them up several stairs. "Yeah. You know, for the people who didn't make it onto the first team. They can sub in if anyone gets hurt."
Katie blinked. "That's an amazing idea, Harry! We can give some younger students a try, and pit them against the weaker school, Beauxbatons."
Harry nodded as he stopped in front of a large wooden door, with a small knocker on the front. Reaching up and letting the girls catch their breath, he beat the knocker against the door, and the knocker animated, and said,
"If you have me, you want to share me, if you share me, you haven't got me. What am I?"
Harry suddenly blurted, "A pretty girl." The eagle knocker roared with laughter, and Katie and Angelina giggled, while Parvarti smirked and smacked Harry on the back of the head.
"'Tis true, ladies." Harry grumbled good-naturedly before looking back at the riddle. After a second, Harry smacked his head. "Oh! Damn, it's a secret. I'm an idiot."
The knocker laughed and told him to come again next time as it swung open. Harry did get inside, however, because there was already at least a dozen people there. They all looked up in shock. Padma suddenly appeared next to the door.
"Ah! Harry! Parvarti! I was just coming out! How'd you get the door open?" Padma said cheerily, hopping out. Harry was confused. "Why is everyone awake already?"
"Oh, we get up to study collectively every few days. Anyway, how'd you get in?" Padma asked, standing next to her sister. The Ravenclaws inside watched him warily as Harry closed the door. "I guessed the riddle correctly."
Padma blinked. "Oh."
Harry clutched his heart as the door closed. "I am hurt that you are shocked that I got a question right."
Padma chuckled and greeted the two other Gryffindors. Harry turned around. "Alright. Let's go. We're going around the lake twice."
Soon, they had jogged their way outside, into the cool morning air. The sky was gray with heavy clouds, but the sun peaked through holes. Harry breathed in deeply and sighed. "I love this weather."
The girls agreed, and soon they were running around the lake. Along they way, Harry gave them pointers, like to keep their elbows tucked in and their arms at their sides. Although Harry did notice that Padma and Parvarti looked extremely inviting, as they were wearing their yoga pants. Harry was thankful that he was in front of them, or he would surely make a fool of himself. Katie and Angelina were wearing what they normally wore under their Quidditch robes; skinny jogging pants, and all four of the girls were wearing loose tank-tops. After the twenty minutes of running, Harry congratulated them on jogging almost two miles, and then told them that it was time to go to the Great Hall. As there was no rule that you had to wear robes to breakfast, and only to classes and in between them, Harry decided that he could change after breakfast and before their first class, and the girls agreed.
When they reached the Great Hall, Harry found that it was already full of students, who had just woken up. Harry cast cleaning charms on his group and himself, and found that all the students were watching them, and he started walking down to the Hall, and several students began to lose interest in the arrivals. However, they stared again when Katie and Angelina kissed Harry on each cheek, and said, "Thanks, Harry. Fancy a run again tomorrow?"
Harry just nodded stupidly as the girls giggled and went to their respective spots next to their friends. Padma also kissed him on the cheek, and Harry sighed. "Please, no more! Are you trying to turn me red?" He cried, pretending to be distressed. Padma laughed and went to her own table. Harry smiled at Parvarti and gestured across from himself, where she sat. Lavender Brown quickly sat next to her and bombarded her with questions, while Harry sat next to Hermione across from them. Neville claimed his seat on his other side, and Ginny next to Neville. Neville wolf-whistled at Harry. "Harry, some action early in the year, mate? You're going straight in!"
People around him laughed, as did Harry. "I guess." Harry replied modestly. Grabbing some healthy breakfast, Harry looked across the Ravenclaw table to see Daphne Greengrass staring at him venomously. Harry shivered. The icy cold stare his betrothed gave him sent chills down his spine, but it was accompanied with a pleasurable sensation in his chest. What was wrong with him?
When they had finished, McGonagall went around, handing out schedules. Looking at it, Harry found that there was no Potions today; first double Charms, then DADA, and then Lunch. After that, they had the rest of the day free, due to the Quidditch tryouts. Harry smiled. Today would be very fun.
Harry stepped into the Charms classroom with Hermione, Parvarti, and Neville, and studied the new desk layout. The desks were in groups of three to a section, and Neville insisted that he could sit with Seamus and Dean. They walked in, and Neville did so. Harry sat with his two female friends. When Ron walked in, he gave Harry a look of pure loathing, and went to sit with Seamus and Dean, only to find that Neville had taken said seat. After glaring at him for a bit, Ron was forced to sit with a Hufflepuff.
Flitwick then walked into the classroom and squeaked, "Good morning, good morning, class! And welcome to your first class of the year! Today, we will be practicing the Summoning Charm. Does anyone know what it is?"
Hermione raised her hand immediately, wildly waving it in the air, and almost taking out Harry and the table. Flitwick smiled at her; he could always count on Granger to give a good answer. However, when she had raised her hand, Harry had grinned and put his hand, too, slowly into the air. Flitwick was surprised. Harry had almost never volunteered an answer in any of his class – but then again, even the teachers had noticed the change in the young Potter.
"The Summoning Charm is a charm that caused an object at a distance from the caster to fly into their arms. It was one of the oldest spells known to Wizarding society. It's incantation is 'Accio', and its most famous use was by the Accionites and their leader, Gideon Flatworthy. This Charm cannot be used on buildings, nor most living things. Though most things produced in Wizarding shops in the 21st century are charmed as to not be able to be Summoned, as to avoid theft. The wand movement is simply an upwards curve, starting at your right shoulder, and ending in front of your left, all the while your arm fully extended."
Flitwick was shocked. "Excellent description, Mr. Potter! Do you think you could take a shot at it?"
Harry blinked. "Er – I guess." Flicking out his wand and pointing it at the chair (one which Flitwick never uses, as he stands on top of a stack of books to teach), and stated, "Accio Filius' chair." Flicking his wand perfectly, the chair flew up over his professor's desk and at Harry at top speed. Harry stood and caught the chair, which was slightly smaller than the average one.
Flitwick (for lack of better term) squealed. "Excellent job, Mr. Potter! That was the most powerful Summoning Charm I've ever seen a student do! What did you do differently than most?"
Harry blinked. "Er – I read that the more fit you are, the more released your magic is. So that's why I run and exercise and stuff. It helps me put finesse on my spells, but it also expands my capabilities concerning such magic."
Flitwick clapped. "Excellent demonstration, Mr. Potter! I'll discuss your explanation with your Head of House and see what she thinks about it."
Harry smiled and nodded his acceptance of the praise. The rest of class went uneventfully, and Harry was asked to walk around and help out those who needed it.
Defense Against the Dark Arts was the class Harry was most excited for. He was determined to learn as much as he could from the ex-Auror.
Moody was tall and thick, with teak, wavy blonde hair. Scars marred his face, and his massive, fake blue eye constantly whizzed about, looking at each of them, and lingering on Harry.
"The only reason I am here is because Dumbledore asked me to. End of story. Now, when it comes to the Dark Arts, I believe in a practical approach. First! Which of you can tell me the three Unforgivable Curses."
"The Cruciatus." Neville blurted, his face reddened. Moody studied him.
"Yes – a Longbottom. Your parents were great people – great Aurors." After a moment of silence, Moody called on Hermione.
"The Imperious, sir." Hermione said. "It allows you complete control over the target."
Moody nodded. "Yes, the Ministry had some trouble with that one a couple years ago." After another silence, Harry raised his hand, and Moody looked on him. "Potter?"
"The Killing Curse." Harry said quietly. Moody nodded, watching Harry longer than normal.
"Now, the Unforgivable Curses are so name because . . .?"
"They are Unforgivable." Malfoy drawled from the back of the class. "They are the darkest form of magic possible – but Professor, I disagree."
Moody had a hint of a smile on his marred face. Inviting him to go on, Malfoy continued to drawl, "I think that there is no Dark or Light. After all, each of these curses can be used in a good way. The Imperius can be used to infiltrate enemy ranks, and the Cruciatus can be used to interrogate someone."
Harry grew angry. Obviously, these were words fed to Malfoy through his father, but they were just untrue. Malfoy Sr. just looked for excuses to execute such curses, and that made Harry even angrier.
The room shivered, and Moody laughed. "Can anyone provide a counter-argument?"
Harry raised his hand, and Moody nodded. "I agree with Malfoy; I don't believe there is Light or Dark magic."
The room gasped quietly, but Harry ignored it. "However, only one of those curses can truly only be used for something good thing. The Imperius can be used to control a drunk or suicidal person."
"What 'bout the others, Potter? A bit too close to home?" Malfoy sneered. Harry ignored him.
"However, the last two cannot be used for good in any way." Harry said firmly.
"Any justification, Potty? The Killing Curse can be used for someone in pain, wishing to be put out of their misery." Malfoy drawled inquired. Harry glared sharply back at him, with malice in his green gaze.
"The Killing and Cruciatus must be fueled by hate. You must really hate the person to be able to cast either of them. For example -"
Harry flicked his wand out, pointed it at Moody, and said calmly, "Avada Kedavra."
The class screamed, and desks were overturned, but Moody stood there with a massive smile on his face. Ronald had even lunged out of his desk and started to grab Harry, who pushed him off, and pointed his wand at him. Harry breathed heavily. "However, if I cast it on Weasley, I may get some reaction from the ssspell." The last word was hissed out, and Harry's Parseltongue crept in slightly. It wasn't enough for everyone to be aware, but it was enough for everyone to be reminded that Harry was a Parseltongue, and it sent shivers down their spines. Daphne, who sat in the back of the room, felt a strange sensation. It was a chill down her back, but a warmth that tingled in her chest. She shook it off as the class watched in horror, but Harry didn't do anything.
Moody let out a great barking laugh as Harry flicked his wand back into his holster. The students looked up and saw that their Professor was not dead, and they all began to calm down. Moody continued to laugh deeply. "Ha! – Mr. Potter! Ha! Ha! What a demonstration! Brilliant teaching skills. Ruddy brilliant."
Harry grabbed Ron by the collar of his robes and picked him up, and then pushed him back towards his own desk. Ron had a maniac gleam in his eye.
"You're going to Azkaban, Potter!" Ron snarled happily. "You cast the spell -"
"No I didn't, you idiot. I just said the words. After all, most people don't even call it the Killing Curse – they just refer to it as Avada Kedavra – and they don't get sent to jail, do they?"
Moody wiped tears of mirth out of his eye. "I think I like you, Potter. You got some heat. I like that."
For the rest of the class, the class were wary of Harry; even Parvarti and Hermione. They were both shocked, but both agreed that Harry had done nothing wrong. But as they left the class, Hermione said, "Harry, you have to control your temper. You really scared us back there – you sounded almost like a snake near the end."
Harry clenched his hands. "I know, and I'm sorry, 'Mione, but I'm not taking any crap from either Ronald or Mlafoy this year. They insult me, I burn them. They push me, I mortally wound them."
Parvarti giggled while Hermione sighed with a smirk on her face that she was trying to hold back. "Alright, Harry. Be careful next time. We don't want everyone thinking you're the next Dark Lord."
Harry shrugged, and they parted ways. Hermione and Parvarti went to go to the Quidditch Pitch to watch the try-outs after they ate, while Harry went to his dormitory to get on his Quidditch robes. When he had done so, he went to the Great Hall to eat a hurried lunch (it was nearly empty, since everyone had started to make their way to the Quidditch Pitch), and then went to the Pitch. Once there, he found about two dozen kids trying out for the team. Upon seeing Harry, Katie and Angelina went to him. The sun was bright, but the clouds covered it so that there wouldn't be any glare. In the stands were the Heads of Houses, about half the students, and a small group of wizards near the end of the stands. Harry wasn't sure who they were.
"Harry! Finally! You have to help us judge who's going on, since you were the best Seeker last year. Come on, we're testing them first."
So Harry watched as the aspiring young Seekers (around six of them in all, including Cedric Diggory, Cho Chang, Ginny Weasley, Malfoy, and a second year.) tried out for the team. Angelina released around ten snitches into the air for each person, and they had one minute to grab as many as possible. In the end, Ginny was picked to be the reserve, Cho Chang as one of the subs, and Cedric as the starter. Ginny was very good, but her broom was holding her back; if she had a Nimbus, she would fly as well as Cho, if not better (she made 6/10). Cho was very good as the initial flying, but failed to reach her top speed quick enough (she got 7/10). Cedric did very well in all aspects, and so made the team (he made 9/10). Malfoy failed the test, making only 3/10 catches. The second year did just as well as the Slytherin, who moaned and groaned about the selection being biased.
Next were beaters. The Weasleys and the two Slytherin beaters – Harry forgot their names – were tested next. Angelina released the two bludgers onto the pitch, and the two beaters would try to hit them into the hoops. The Weasleys made 16/20 (two each), and the Slytherins made 14/20.
There were only two Keepers trying out; Herbert Fleet, from Hufflepuff, and Grant Page, from Ravenclaw. For this, Angelina herself would try to score 10 times on them, and whoever saved more won. In the end, Grant Page won, for he saved 7/10, while Fleet saved 5/10.
Next were Chasers. Before they were sent out, Angelina stopped him and said, "Harry, do you really want to try it out?" Harry nodded firmly, and he zoomed out onto the pitch with his trusty Firebolt. The test was simple; Angelina would throw the Quaffle at the wannabe player, and he/she would try to score without going within 10 meters near the hoops, to make it fair. They would get 10 tries. Grant Page would be the Keeper for each one of them.
There were almost a dozen students trying out for Chaser, and 8 of them were quickly beat out, as they couldn't receive Angelina's expert, hard passes. The only people left was Harry, Katie, Roger Davies, captain of the Ravenclaw team, and Marcus Flint. Angeline used 'Sonorous' on her throat and called to everyone watching, "Alright, guys, there are only two spots available on the inter-house team. Do your best, and if you don't make it, be happy that you'll be either a sub or a part of the reserves." So the Chasers were called over to sit by her, so that there would be one at a time, and they could easily manage the scores.
Harry smirked as Katie was called up. Before she went out, Harry stood and gave her a hug. "Good luck, Katie." He said, and she smiled widely and pecked him on the cheek. Sitting back down, Angelina was watching him strangely, and Harry shrugged innocently. As Katie flew out to the center of the pitch, Harry asked Angelina, "Who are those people over there?"
Angelina peered over at them. "Hm? Oh, their – oh my Merlin -" She whispered.
"What." Harry said, nervous, and Angelina leaned in, "Those are scouts for the Quidditch international club teams. And the one in the front is the scout for the English National Team!"
Harry's eyes widened. "Oh."
But their attention was drawn away when Katie was ready. Angelina flew out to the pitch and threw the Quaffle, hard, at her friend. Katie was able to catch it, fly towards the hoops, and chuck it at the bottom right. However, the Ravenclaw Keeper expected it, and kicked it away. The next few throws went similarly, although Katie was able to make two. Thus they testing went on until she was on her final one; she had made an excellent 7/10, and Angelina threw her the ball. Katie was not ready for it, and when she reached at the last second, it bounced from her palm into her face, and she slid off, limp as a rag doll.
Angelina screamed, and took off after her, but her Cleansweep wasn't fast enough to reach for her, for the last throw was supposed to be thrown from long range. Harry immediately chucked his broom out in front of him and leapt off the stands, landing on the Firebolt. He zoomed towards the ground, under the falling Chaser, and several feet before hitting the ground, Harry leapt off his broom and broke Katie's fall with his arms, landing with an 'Oof!' on his stomach.
Harry groaned and got to his knees, lifting Katie in his arms to see if she was okay. She had a nasty bruise on her head, but that was it. Harry winced when he got to his feet, and Angelina landed next to him, in shock.
Harry winced. "Here, Anne – get my broom and put it under me. I'm going to fly up to Pomfrey."
Angeline just nodded and did so. Harry then tried to attempt a stance that some professionals did; he wrapped one of his legs around his broom normally, but with his other foot, he put on top of his broom, to steer the best he could. He used Katie's body as a counterweight, and slowly but surely floated up towards the teacher's stands.
When he reached them, the group of wizards – or the scouts – took Katie from him and placed her on a conjured mattress. Pomfrey was mumbling, "Damn sport – too dangerous for kids -"
Harry sighed when the weight was lifted from him and he leaned against the fence, breathing heavily. There was a sharp pain in his side, and he clenched it lightly.
One of the wizards went up to him. "Are you alright, son?"
Harry breathed out slowly and shrugged. "I think I might have cracked a rib."
The man nodded and took out his wand, pressing it lightly against Harry's stomach and murmuring a couple of words. "That was some good flying out there, son. Where do you play?"
Harry blinked as the pain suddenly vanished. "Er – thanks. Last year, I was a Seeker, but this year I'm trying for Chaser."
The man grinned and nodded. "We could tell. That was a Wronksi Feint if I ever saw one."
Harry smiled and shrugged. The man turned and gestured towards someone. He came over, and Harry found that he was a tall young man, with broad shoulders and cheery smile.
"Forgive me, son, I'm George Harde, and this is Keaton Flitney. He plays as Chaser for the ENQT." Harry raised an eyebrow.
"The English National Quidditch Team." Flitney clarified. "It's a pleasure to meet you. What's your name?"
Harry smiled and shook his hand firmly. "Harry Potter."
Flitney blinked. "Really?" while Harde's mouth dropped open. "How old are you, Harry?"
"14, sir." Harry said, and Harde grinned.
"Son, we're going to watch you try out, and if we think you do well, we'll get you a spot on our Under 17 squad."
Harry gaped. "Really? Thanks, sir!"
Harde laughed. "No, if this works, we'll be thanking you, son. If you make it now, when you turn 17, you'll be guaranteed a spot on the National team."
Harry smiled and laughed heartily. "Thanks so much!"
Harde grinned, too. "You don't have it yet, son. You still have to make it."
Harry was still smiling. "I'll try not to screw up. Anyway, if you're hear for the National team, then who are the other guys representing?"
"There're the Ballycastle Bats, the Chudley Cannons, Puddlmere United, the Vratsa Vultures, and the Holyhead Harpies here right now, but there'll be more when the actual inter-school matches start going."
Harry whistled. "Which one is Viktor Krum at? I'd love to play with him someday. His flying technique is flawless."
Flitney grinned at him. "You have a good eye for flying, kid. Right now, Krum is at the Vratsa Vultures. They're at the top of the league right now, but I heard that Krum is going out on a transfer soon, to either the Cannons or Puddlmere."
Harry whistled. "How many teams are there in all, in the league?"
Harde tilted his head. "Exactly forty. The teams here are currently in the top five in the league, but they've come here to start scouting some new talents."
They were about to continue talking when Angelina called to him, "Oi! Harry! You're up next!"
Harry looked apologetically at the scout, but quickly hopped on his broom and floated away.
When he reached Angelina, he asked, "How many did Flint get?"
"He got 7/10." She answered, and Harry whistled. "I'm ready. And Angelina -" Harry stopped her when she started to float away. "Don't hold back."
She smirked. "I wasn't planning to, Potter."
Harry grinned in response and went out to the middle of the field. The Gryffindors in the stands were cheering his name, and before she began, Angelina was confronted by Lee Jordan. He seemed to be begging something, and it looked like Angelina relented. Jordan ran up to the teacher's stands, grabbed his microphone, and turned it on.
"Ladies and gentledorks, the final tryout of the day will be Gryffindor's Harry Potter!" Cheers from the crowd. "The only reason I'm doing this for Harry is because, sadly, we don't believe that Katie will continue; please give a respectful round of applause for one of Gryffindor's best Chasers." The audience clapped respectfully.
Harry focused in on Angelina as she flew out, a sack of Quaffles tied to the end of her broom. Taking one out, Harry focused on only the Quaffle, and the hoop he intended it to pass through.
"Harry gets ready to receive the pass – Angelina draws her arm back, and hurtles at Harry – Harry catches, spins, and the ball flies through the far left hoop! In from bouncing off the bottom half of the circle! What a shot!"
Harry grins as it bounces upwards through the metal hoop, and it gives a satisfying hum. Jordan's commentary continues as Angelina flies from her spot upwards, and drops it almost from on top of him. Harry puts his broom under the falling ball, the ball pops up several feet, and Harry spins and smashed the Quaffle with the back of his broom. The ball hurtles past the Keeper's hands and into the middle post.
"That's two for Potter; he is on fire! Oi! Scouts! Did you see that! Yeah! Potter's a monster!" Jordan yelled to the scouts, who chuckled and resumed watching Harry.
Angelina throws another ball, and Harry catches this one in his palm, flies forward at full speed, and releases it, twisting his hand at the last second.
"Ah – this looks like the first miss for – NO! It curls its way around the Keeper and passes cleanly through the bottom right hoop! This is the best Chasing we've ever seen -"
Harry smirks to himself as Angelina proceeds with the next three, Harry making every one. On his sixth try, Angelina circles around one of the stands, and in, turning at the last minute, but sending a reverse pass towards Harry.
"That is some tricky play from Angelina , but no! Harry expects it and throws it, full power! The Keeper got a touch in, but it only deflected in – Grant Page is putting up an excellent fight."
And for the next three, Harry continues to beat the Keeper until Angelina reaches for the last Quaffle.
"Harry Potter has already secured himself a place on the team, beating Marcus Flint's score already – but if he makes this shot, he is surely one of the best ever at this school."
Angelina gets out the last Quaffle and flies underneath Harry. Jordan's voice gets higher with excitement. "And now it looks like Angelina is going to copy an in-game play called the Reverse Porskoff Plow, in which a Chaser flies down and throws upwards to the Chaser above."
Harry looks down at Angelina, and she throws it upwards towards him. When she does, Harry catches it between his feet, flips over, flicking the ball above him, rights himself, catches it, and tosses the ball into the air.
"What's Harry going to do – amazing footwork from Harry, flicks it up, throws into the air, and - I DON't BELIEVE IT! HE'S GOING FOR THE DIONYSUS DIVE!"
And so he was; as the ball comes back down to him, Harry stands on his broom, and leaps forward into open air, punching the Quaffle as hard as he can towards the hoops. The Keeper, not expecting it at all, goes to block it, but is too late – it's already past his hands -
"HARRY IS CAUGHT BY ANGELINA – PAGE REACHES FOR IT – NO! It bounces off the circle, hitting him in the back – AND IT GOES IN! HARRY POTTER GETS 10/10 IN THE INTER-HOUSE TRYOUTS!"
Harry sighs with relief when the Quaffle bounces off Page's back and into the hoop. Looking around, he found that he was just behind Angelina, on her broom. He smiles and murmurs in her ear, "I guess that you can say that I've – fallen for you."
Angelina chuckles, and steers him down towards the grass, where the Gryffindors began hugging him and cheering for him. Floating above the crowd, Anglina turns and kisses him on the lips. Harry is shocked, but kisses back. It isn't a snog, just a closed mouth kiss that lasted about 10 seconds, but Harry decided that it was the best first kiss a guy could have. Whilst doing so, she pushed him backwards, off the broom, and into the hands of the crowd.
Little did he know, a certain Slytherin girl was glaring murderously at them, planning what she would do to her betrothed.
Harry let himself be dropped down to the ground, landing on his feet among his fellow Gryffindors. The fiasco in DADA all but forgotten, he was congratulated on making the team and winning the bird. Harry blushed when they mentioned the latter.
Suddenly, the cheering mass of kids was split open by a grinning George Harde. Going up next to Harry and slinging an arm around his shoulders. "My boy, that was the best Chasing I've seen in a long time, and you're not even 15! So let me offer you a proposition, son: I'll get you onto the Under 17 squad. The adult World Cup was this summer, but the Under 17 is actually going on right now, but England hasn't had a qualifying match. So, what do you say?"
Harry was speechless, and the Gryffindors all cheered him on, telling him to take the offer. Harry was still speechless, and Harde laughed and slapped his shoulder. "If it's wages you're worried about, the Under 17 squad gets around 500 galleons per month."
Harry's mouth dropped even wider. The students around him laughed, and then Angelina landed her broom next to him and stood next to Harry, grabbing his hand. Harde smiled at her. "You were very good too, Angelina, was it? I was going to talk to you afterwords; from what I've seen, you could easily make it onto the reserve squad for the adult's World Cup; since you missed it, you can wait until next year; if you improve enough, you can make it onto the subs, too. Are you Harry's girlfriend?"
Harry lost all of his cool and stammered, "Erm – well -"
Angelina rolled her eyes and squeezed his hand. "Yes."
Harde chuckled. "So, do you agree? 500 galleons a month? We have practices once a week, and the first match is actually this weekend. If you want to participate as a sub in it, you can come to the practice tomorrow and see what it's like. But, as of now, I am hiring you to be on the squad. We'll get all of the contract jazz done in the castle later today, if you like. What do you say?"
Harry found his voice. "That is the best thing I've ever heard. I accept – thank you so much."
Harde grinned. "I know. Of course you did. Once you've finished celebrating with your friends, I'll meet you in the castle's Dining Hall for you to sign the contract. Meanwhile, I'll be talking to your head of house. Capisce?"
Harry grinned and nodded, and Harde slapped his shoulder. "See you soon, kid."
As the scout left, Harry turned to Angelina and thanked her. "Thanks for covering for me back there."
Angelina smirked. "That wasn't the only reason I kissed you, Potter." With that, she pulled him in for another kiss, to the sighs of the crowd, and the jealous glances of many girls and boys alike.
"Come on. I think that there's a very nice broom closet – I mean, common room that we can celebrate in." The crowd chuckled as Harry and Angeline walked, hand in hand towards the castle.
As they walked towards the castle, Harry couldn't help but feel elated, but saddened that he was going to miss this. Sure, this was great fun, but there wouldn't be any lasting relationship to come, considering Harry's position with Daphne. But Harry decided that Angelina didn't expect this to last either; most likely, she'll just want this to be a little fun that would last a half a year.
Saying the password for him, Angelina led him inside the common room and into the corner to the left of the door portrait. This was the corner where couples would often go to have a good snog; there were red curtains around a booth with a table in front of it. It was supposed to be used for 'private studying', but the students found that there were many other more . . . recreational uses to be had from it.
Pulling him in, her lips locked with his as they sat down on the seat next to each other, and someone closed the curtains behind them. After a good minute of this, Harry broke off. "Er – Angelina, not to be rude, but why are you doing this?" He inquired quietly.
Angelina smiled at him. "Several reasons. One: you're hot now. Two: You're going to be a Quidditch star. Three: you're a really nice guy. Four: You saved my friend from an untimely demise. Is that enough for you?"
Harry grinned. "I guess, but I don't expect this to last. After all, Fred has a crush on you, and I have some shit going on that really sucks."
Angelina smiled again, and laughed a bit. "I like Fred too, but I'm going to wait until I leave Hogwarts to get to know him better. And let me guess; the shit that's going on is a marriage contract."
Harry blinked. "How did you know?"
Angelina laughed. "I didn't, but now I do. I assumed that because you're the only male child in a powerful male line. I won't ask who it is, since you'll probably only come out when you want to. But let's just try to make this work for the time being, okay, Harry? At least halfway into the year. Plus -" She went in for another kiss. "I can teach you some things. If you're contracted to someone, I expect that it's a pureblood, and she'll have high expectations of you. So I'll coach you in kissing and some other stuff."
Seeing her waggle her eyebrows, Harry shifted uncomfortably, causing her to laugh. "It's okay, Angelina – I know all about parking the hot rod in the garage."
Angelina let out a louder laugh. "Is that what you call it? That's cute, but don't worry; I won't come down on you like that. I'm going to wait until I'm older."
Harry grinned and agreed. "I don't want any annoying little shits running around calling me daddy."
Angelina laughed again and pulled him in for another kiss. After several minutes of this, Harry pulled apart and said, "Any tips, Professor Smooch?"
Angelina grinned and pecked him again. "Open your mouth more. I can't force your mouth open with my tongue. Also, tilt your head more, or I'll get a crick in my neck. Also, even though some girls like it, don't run your fingers in my hair. I might do that to you, but that's because your hair always looks like pile of shit. You can keep your hands on my hips instead. Other than that, you're on the road to being very good at this."
Harry grinned and pecked her again. Angelina smiled and scooted her butt towards Harry. "Come one, Potter. Let's make you a Quidditch star."
It was supper, anyway, and when Angelina and Harry reached the Great Hall, almost half the students were there already. When Harry had asked, Angelina had decided that they should make their relationship known, so that it wouldn't be as awkward when they were caught in broom closets. Which, Angelina had said, would happen often, if she had any say in it.
Thus, they held hands as they walked into the Great Hall. The tables were covered in food, and Harry noticed that there were several extra chairs at the staff table. In one, to the left of McGonagall, was George Harde, and to the left of her were two different wizards wearing different color robes; one of them blue and the other bright orange. Harry smiled and waved up at Harde, who grinned and waved back, before continuing his conversation with McGonagall. In fact, they were having a four-way discussion, including the new wizards.
Harry sat at the table next to Hermione, Angelina at his side. Across the table was Neville and Ginny as usual, and a little was down was Ron, who thankfully hadn't said much during the day. Across from Angelina, one of her friends, Patricia Stimpson, sat down and greeted Angelina. Next to Angelina came George, and across her came Fred.
"Well, Harry. Looks like you got a very nice bird, indeed." Neville mused across the table. He had become very confident in the past day, and Harry wondered why. His thoughts were answered when Ginny smacked his shoulder, but then rested her hand on Neville's.
"Look who's talking, Nev." Harry smirked, Ginny and Neville reddening.
"Congrats, you two." Angelina chuckled. "Treat him nice, Ginny, or he'll stick one of his plants up your arse."
Harry chuckled and added, "Except it won't be a plant." The girls and boys in Angelina's year laughed at this, while the new couple looked utterly lost. Hermione obviously understood, but covered her mouth at the last minute, but couldn't overcome the smirk that reached her eyes.
Once they had finished eating, Hermione excused herself to go study, and Neville and Ginny followed her, not wanting to interrupt anything between Angelina and Harry. When they had left, the food magically disappeared and Fred and George moved to the other side of the table, across from Angelina and Harry, to discuss what had happened.
"Congrats, mate!" Fred said.
"We can't believe -" George continued.
"- that our ickle Harry -" Fred went on.
"Is going to be an international Quidditch star!" George finished.
Harry shifted in his seat but managed a grin, too. "Yeah, well – it's not that big of a deal."
There was a guffaw behind him, and a big hand landed on his shoulder. "M'boy, this is a big deal!" Saying this, Mr. Harde sat next to him, a roll of parchment in his hand. "I've got the contract ready, Potter. I've discussed it with your head of house, and she says that you can go to our games and practices and the like. Almost as big of a Quidditch fanatic as me."
Rolling out the parchment, it read,
Quidditch Contract | Under 17 | English National Team
I, _ _ _, agree to play and practice with the U17 ENQT for a wage of _ galleons a month. This wage can be discussed and changed as seen fit by the signee. I agree to be put in the care of the Quidditch Healers if injuries occur, and accept responsibilities for such injuries (don't sue us). Please fill out the questionnaire below.
Preferred formation(s): _
(discuss with scout): Preferred broom (circle option): Cleansweep CO | Nimbus CO | Firebolt CO | other/highest bidder |
Printed name on uniform (initials accepted): _
(discuss with scout): Clothing brand: _
(discuss with scout): Desired roll in club (circle option): Crucial 1rst Team Player | Substitute/Sporadic/Future Team Player | Reserve |
We hope you enjoy your time with the U17 ENQT. Sign: _ _
Harry whistled, and began filling out the form as Mr. Harde began talking to the Weasleys and Angelina. Accepting Mr. Harde's magical pen, he filled out his full name, and 500 in the wage line. For position, he put Chaser, and then thought about the preferred formation. He only ever knew the Hogwarts formation, which was the standard in most teams. It was a 1-1-2-3, a Seeker, A Keeper, two Beaters, and three Chasers, but there were several different formations, in which chasers could fall back and not push forward as much, and so on and so forth. Filling in 1-1-2-3, he skipped over the preferred broom for the moment, and studied the printed name on uniform line.
After several moments of contemplation, he put in 'H. J. Potter', since he didn't like his name just as 'Harry Potter'. He decided that with a new mentality should come a new title, and so remembered to think about legally changing his name to Harry-James. He quite liked the sound of that, actually.
Skipping over the last two lines, Harry looked up at Mr. Harde. "Finished. Now what about the preferred broom and things?"
"Ah. This is where it gets tricky Harry. Sponsorship is a major roll in Quidditch; companies will pay you to wear their stuff, or use their brooms. For the preferred broom, do you prefer any companies?"
Harry shook his head. "Not necessarily. I guess I'll ride what's best."
Mr. Harde nodded, studying Harry closely. "I'm guessing you don't prefer any clothing, either, since you've only ever worn your Hogwarts robes. Let me tell you, Harry: Within the next to months, or two matches, if you make a name for yourself, the companies will be falling over each other to give you their stuff, and to pay you for it. I know for a fact that Firebolt CO pays you around 10,000 galleons every game you use their broom, and they come out with new models often. Once you get famous enough, we'll worry about that. For now, just circle other/highest bidder, and put N/A for clothing brands. For the last one, we'll wait on it. I know for a fact that you're just as good as one 16 year old Chasers; the problem is, if you aren't as good as him, we'd circle the second option: you'd be a sub, sporadic (someone who goes in every few games), or a someone who will be on the first team in the future. If you're better, which you might just be, we'd circle the crucial first team player. So there, put the second, just in case. If you beat him, you can re-fill it out and circle the first one. Capisce?"
Harry nodded, and signed with a flourish. Excitement coursed through him when the other two wizards came and sat next to Fred and George. They both introduced themselves as Joseph Goode (the one in blue) and Harley Moren (the one in orange).
"This must be young Harry! Pleasure to meet you; Joseph Goode, scout for Puddlmere United, at your service." The man reached out his hand, and Harry took it. The other said, "An honor to meet such an esteemed person; I'm Harley Moren, scout for the Chudley Cannons."
Harry blinked as he shook the hand of Mr. Moren. "Pleasure to meet you both. Why are you here?"
The two grinned. "I think you know why, Harry." Mr. Goode said. "We're both here because we were scouting for our respective teams, and we're interested."
Mr. Moren nodded. "And you must be his lovely girlfriend, Angelina. How do you do."
Angelina blushed and took his hand. Mr. Moren addressed only Angelina now: "Ms. Johnson, your leadership skills and technique in the air are excellent, but could use a bit of improvement. Which is why I'm here to offer you a contract to play as a substitute at the Cannons."
Angelina blinked, and Harry grinned and squeezed her hand. "I – me? I'm much too young, don't you think?"
Mr. Moren laughed. "The age limit is no younger than 15, young lady. And I think that you can improve greatly if you go with the Cannons."
Angelina half-laughed, half cried. "But – why not Harry? He's a bit better than me -"
Mr. Moren shook his head. "He may be, but that's Mr. Goode's job. Unfortunately, Mr. Potter is under age, and if he weren't, I'm sorry to say that we wouldn't have sufficient wages to cover such a valuable player. After all, we are fifth in the league, but we think that this is just a short run in good form; normally, we're in ninth, and thus aren't the best. At the moment, The Vultures are the best, but they won't be for long. Rumor has it Viktor Krum is transferring somewhere else. Although some think it's the Cannons, we do not have funds high enough to snatch Krum. He earns almost 10,000 galleons a month, and is in high demand from all the teams."
Harry blushed as Mr. Moren took out a rolled up piece of parchment from his robes, and when he opened it found that it was almost identical to Harry's previous one. Angelina excitedly filled it out. Mr. Goode began talking to Harry. "I regret to say, Harry, that you are too young to earn a spot on a Puddlemere United; but if you weren't you'd immediately make it as a sporadic player."
Harry thought about it. "Actually, sir, I might be of age. My godfather, Sirius Black, died recently, and if I'm correct, he named me his heir, and thus I am of age and Head of House Black."
Mr. Goode and Moren's jaws dropped. Moren sighed while Goode rummaged excitedly for his things. "Well, although the Cannons would very much like to have Harry on their team, I believe that Puddlemere would find that the Cannons were too late." Goode said, still rummaging through his things. Harry stopped him quickly.
"I'd wait, sir. I can go to Gringotts over the Winter Holidays and get myself checked, if you like, since the league season's over, and won't start until this summer in June."
Goode nodded understandingly and took his hand out of his bag.
After Angelina had finished filling out her contract, Moren said, "Ah – young lady – before you sign, I must warn you. The training is hard, and it will take up much of your school time. Will you risk it?"
Angelina nodded. "Absolutely. I've always dreamed of this." Harry smiled and squeezed her hand. "And what of my wages?"
Mr. Moren sighed. "Unfortunately, Angelina, it is not as much as your friend's; it is around 250 galleons a week, give or take 10 galleons depending on how well you play."
Angelina laughed. "Unfortunately? That a bloody fortune, thank you very much!" The people at the table laughed.
After several seconds, Harry asked, "What about the Beaters at the tryouts? Stellar, weren't they?"
Fred and George gave Harry an amazed, yet thankful look. When the three scouts turned to look at them, they grinned. "Sorry, my boy-scouts -" Fred began
"- unfortunately, we have set a future of pranks ahead of us -"
"- and we would find it difficult to play for the international or club teams -"
"- whilst managing our business. Although -"
"- we wouldn't say no -"
"- to a reserve spot on the Cannons -"
"- if you were so interested." Fred finished. The scouts looked at each other, and then the twins.
"How do you do that?" Mr. Moren asked. George grinned.
"Magic, my boy-scout. Now, if you're thinking about now hiring us because you can't waste any more of your budget -"
"- you needn't worry about that, for -"
"- we'd settle for a meager -"
"- 100 galleons a week, each." Fred finished. Mr. Moren studied both of them.
"You drive a hard bargain, boys. You two did decently out there, and one of our beaters is leaving the club, and you ask for little wage – you know what? The Cannons will wait until the actual inter-school matches to decide. Is that okay with you boys?"
Fred and George nodded together, and then the three scouts stood to go. The four Quidditch players stood with them, and shook each of their hands. "See you tomorrow, Potter." Harde smirked, before the three left the Great Hall, talking amongst themselves.
Immediately, Fred and George hopped over the table and smothered Harry in a brotherly, three-man hug.
"Er – guys – gerroff -" Harry protested as Angelina howled with laughter.
" - Bloody -"
"- Potter -"
"Just about made us professional Beaters for the Cannons."
"Thanks so much, ickle Harry."
"You are now a part of the family, officially."
After another round of thank-you's, the twins left, and Angelina found themselves to be in a deserted Great Hall, the students having left already. There were only several teachers left, but they were deep in discussion. That is, except one other student; Patricia Stimpson looked at both of them like a frightened deer before sprinting away at full speed, practically screaming, "I've got to tell EVERYONE!"
Harry and Angelina smiled at her antics, and then turned towards each other, and Angelina took him in for a big hug. "Thank you so much, Harry." Angelina almost cried. "You've basically secured me a spot at the Cannons. Thanks so much -"
"No, thank you." Harry murmured, rocking her side to side lightly. She mumbled, "For what?"
"For an amazing kiss you now owe me." Harry murmured in her air. With that, Angelina lifted her head and their lips connected in a long, passionate kiss. After what seemed like hours, there was an ahem from behind Harry, and he pulled away from Angelina faster than you could blink and had cried, "Ermergerd!"
Standing in front of an embarrassed Angelina was a stern Professor McGonagall. Up at the staff table, Professor Sprout was shaking with silent laughter while Professor Flitwick was rolling on the ground laughing.
"Mr. Potter, I just wanted to congratulate both you and Ms. Johnson on going pro in Quidditch." McGonagall smiled widely suddenly, and Harry smiled with her. "We're hardly professional yet, but if I get an exclusive interview, I'll be mentioning you. After all, you're the one that got me into the sport in the first place."
McGonagall's eyes shined, and she left without another word. Harry stretched and looked down at his watch. "Shit! It's a quarter to six already! I've got to see the girl I won't tell you about. By the way, can you hang out unseen in the library for around an hour? For a cover-up."
Angelina smiled and hugged him. "But then you owe me later. Go get 'er, tiger."
Within ten minutes, Harry had changed, brushed his teeth, tried (unsuccessfully) to comb his hair, and had run to the designated meeting place in front of the ugly statue of Gregory of Swarmy. Harry had also grabbed the Marauder's' Map and his invisibility cloak; how else were they to speak from the castle unnoticed?
Harry, upon arriving, found that Daphne had also done her hair, and was wearing slim Muggle jeans and a nice top. Harry also found that Daphne had dyed long, brown streaks into her wavy hair, which he liked. Upon seeing Harry, she stopped fiddling with her hair and crossed her arms.
"Well, Potter? You were almost late. Care to explain where we're going?"
Harry sighed, not in the mood to get mad. "Look, I'm no happier about this than you are, but the only way we won't be miserable is if we start somewhere. Let's drop the last names and start talking to each other normally."
Daphne's icy mask dropped suddenly, revealing a sad, frustrated girl on the pretty face. "I know, Harry. It's just that you being with that Chaser riled me up a bit."
Harry nodded apologetically. "I get it, Daphne. But we'll talk more when we're ready; that is, once we're in Hogsmeade."
"Hogsmeade?" Daphne said in disbelief, raising an eyebrow as Harry took out his tightly folded cloak. Her eyes widened. "Is that -?"
"Yep. An invisibility cloak." Harry confirmed. Daphne narrowed her eyes.
"If that's real than are all the other stories real?" She asked, and Harry shrugged.
"Depends on the stories." Harry said. Nodding towards the statue, he continued, "That's a tunnel that leads straight to the Hog's Head. We cab get a bite and discuss some things."
Daphne watched Harry spread the cloak out so that it would be large enough to encompass them both. "Come on, Daphne, I don't bite."
"No, but you snog." Daphne grumbled as she took part of the cloak and covered herself, her hip pressing against Harry's upper thigh. Then, Harry tapped the statue with his wand and said, "Move your fat arse, Greg."
The statue slid over, revealing a narrow tunnel with torches and stone walls and floors. When Daphne asked why the tunnel was so nice and why they needed to wear the cloak, Harry led her in and explained, "The house-elves use this tunnel when they don't feel like Apparating. When we're halfway through, we can take it off."
Indeed, they almost stumbled upon an elf, but the cloak, but the cloak hid them from his/her sight. Around five minutes later, Harry said that they could take the cloak off, and they did. After another five minutes, Harry stopped and looked up. There was an old trap door, and voices and stamping could be heard from above. Harry knocked twice, and after several seconds it opened up and out and hands reached down. Harry gestured to the hands, do Daphne took them and let herself be pulled up. Harry went next, and he and his betrothed found themselves in the corner of a busy pub filled with older wizards.
Looking at the man who had helped them, Harry thanked him, and exclaimed, "You look like Dumbledore!"
And indeed he did; though this man's beard was grey rather than white, and he seemed stockier and stronger. "Aye! I am one! Aberforth Dumbledore, at your service." They shook hands, with Daphne, too.
"Is there any room? Do you work here?" Harry asked.
"Aye, and aye, kid, there's some room for you and your lady friend."
"Excellent." Harry said without missing a beat. Several minutes later, they were seated a couple's table, ordering drinks; Daphne, Butterbeer, and Harry, Firewhiskey, which he had grown to stand and enjoy.
"So, Harry. Let's start at First Year. Fill me in on your adventures."
So for the next half an hour, Harry went through his life at school. When he'd reached Third Year, Daphne exclaimed, "Sirius Black is innocent? AND your godfather? Are you serious?" To which Harry had nodded and joked weakly, "No, he was."
Daphne laughed a light, tinkling laugh. "Where is he now? In hiding?"
Harry's gaze darkened, and he looked out at the darkening sky. "We helped him escape, but the dementors I had fought off came back and killed him."
Daphne's eyes widened, and she placed her hand on Harry's while he took another swig of his drink. "I'm sorry, Harry.", and after a minute, Harry shrugged it off.
"Yeah, well, shit happens. You just have to – erm – flush it down the toilet, I guess." He finished awkwardly, and Daphne laughed weakly. "What a master of analogies." She said, and Harry cracked a smile.
When he had finally finished his story up to the present, it was a quarter to seven, and they both decided that they were tired. Before leaving, Harry bought several more flasks of Firewhiskey to share with friends. So they said goodbye to 'Abe', and left back down the tunnel, which took them ten minutes to finally get back to the school.
Before they parted ways, Daphne stopped him and said, "Harry, thanks. I learned a lot and really enjoyed myself tonight."
Harry shrugged and looked away, saying, "I enjoyed myself, too."
Whilst he was looking away, he felt warm lips press against his cheek. When the lips receded, Harry turned back and watched her strangely.
"What? You earned it, Potter. You really know how to make a woman want to laugh and cry at the same time."
When she turned to go, Harry stopped her. "Wait – Daphne. I just wanted to say sorry about me and Angelina."
"It's . . . fine, Harry -" Daphne started sadly, but Harry shook her shoulder.
"No. It's not fine. I'm being selfish whenever I hang out with her. It's just that – last year, I heard you went out with someone. Me? I've barely touched a girl in my life since this year. It's just – I feel that it's unfair that I haven't lived my life yet. But I have a proposition."
Daphne raised her eyebrow, but she had a small smile on her face from her betrothed's apology. "Oh? This Slytherin is listening."
"I'll keep going out with Angelina until school ends, or however long it lasts – and in return, we can go together to the Ball that's bound to happen after Christmas. Deal?"
Daphne beamed. "Deal, Harry." They shook hands, and they both turned to go. By the time they were on opposite sides of the hallway, Harry called back to her, "Oi! Daphne!"
She turned, and Harry asked, "Same time next week?"
Daphne's laugh echoed around the hall. "You bet your arse, Potter. But next time, I'll pick where we're going. No more Firewhiskey for you."
Harry then happily made his way to the library to meet up with Angela, and thank her for covering for him. Once he had found her among the bookshelves, he tapped her shoulder. But before he could say anything, the female Chaser pulled him into the row of books and snogged him, hard, for a full five minutes. Remembering her advice, Harry allowed her to run her hands through his hair, whilst he lowered his hands so that they were at the small of her back. Suddenly, his hands were full of his girlfriend's arse as she stood on her toes to kiss his nose. Lowering herself gently, she basically told Harry that her arse was officially free territory.
Unfortunately, the deal worked both ways, for as they finished, Angelina grabbed his southern cheeks. They then left the shelves and sat at a fluffy chair in the corner of the library, Angelina on his lap as she idly played with his messy hair. Raising his watch to his nose, Harry's eyes widened. "Merlin's saggy ball sack, Ann – we were snogging for almost twenty minutes!"
And so they had, for there was still forty-five minutes before eight, or curfew. Angelina smiled. "Brilliant. Now, what should we do for more than half an hour? By the way, you tasted good; what have you been drinking?" In answer, Harry pulled out a small flask of some extra of what he had drunk during his date. Angelina chuckled. "Already drinking some good ole Firewhiskey? How much have you drunk, and how much do you have left?"
In answer, Harry pulled out one more empty flask, and then four full ones. Angelina cackled. "I feel sorry for you, baby. You'll be regretting it tomorrow morning."
Harry shrugged, but suddenly snapped his fingers. "I've an idea!" Letting the empty flask drop to the floor but stuffing the full ones back into this pocket, he stood.
With that, he scooped his girlfriend out of his lap like a baby and jogged out of the library, his destination the Quidditch Pitch. On the way, through the locker rooms, Harry grabbed his Firebolt. The setting sun went long shadows across the Pitch, and the cool air woke up the couple and heightened their senses. However, there were already students above the grass. The group consisted of the entire reserve team from the inter-school tryouts, and most of the substitute students. Upon seeing the two best Chasers, Ginny Weasley flew down from the squad, and explained to Angelina that she and the reserves wanted to practice a little extra, and Angelina understood, saying that she'd watch the mock–matches.
Harry then got onto his Firebolt and sat Angelina in front of himself, facing away from him, and flew up into the now orange and purple sky. He and his girlfriend shared a long, passionate kiss before settling to watch the sun set. When the sun finally went below the horizon, and the air began to get icy, their Head of House came out and ordered them all to their common rooms for the night. Thus, Harry and Angelina did so.
However, they didn't go to sleep. Instead, in the joy of being picked to go pro in Quidditch, they sat in the love seat in front of the fire as the rest of the Gryffindors threw a party around them. Together, they finished off the last four flasks of Firewhiskey until they passed out in one another's arms.
Harry woke up with a massive, pounding migraine, with his throat feeling dry and sticky at the same time. However, the means in which he woke up were even worse; he had woken to an 'Aguamenti" to the face. He and his girlfriend both threw themselves forward onto the floor, with three girls behind them laughing their hearts out.
Harry stumbled to his feet to see the Patil twins and Katie Bell (in jogging clothes) watching them brightly. "Wake up, love-birds! Let's go do some running!" Katie said excitedly. Harry groaned, and helped his girlfriend up, saying, "Listen, Katie, I'm glad you're okay, but this is cruel."
Katie smiled wider as Angelina was helped to her feet. "By the way, thanks for saving me, Harry. I owe you." and she kissed him on the cheek. Harry barely reacted, as he was in the middle of his massive hangover. Angela mumbled, "'S okay, Harry, I've got some Potions for this in my dorm. I'll get 'em."
Harry nodded, but when he did, he noticed that the cold water had risen a reaction from his girlfriend; her nipples could be seen as nubs through he shirt. Harry flushed and said quickly, "Thanks, Ann – you're the breasts. I mean - best! Be right back!"
Harry sprinted away to his dorm while the girls laughed. Looking down, Angelina snickered. "Poor Harry. As punishment for looking at mah boobs, he will not get any Potion until we deem him fit." The girls all agreed with choruses of laughter.
Half an hour after a smack upside the head and a playful scolding about not looking at Angelina's breasts, they had finished their run, but had not yet given Harry the Potion, and so he was moaning in pain by the time they were at the Great Hall. When they sat down at their same spots as yesterday, Hermione patted Harry on the shoulder sadly. "What's wrong, Harry?"
"Head hurts." Harry grumbled, putting his elbows on the table and rubbing his palms into his eyes. Angelina snickered again. "Harry and I drank an arseload of Firewhiskey last night. We haven't given him so much as a Pepper-Up Potion yet."
Hermione giggled. "Serves you right, Harry, for drinking that vile stuff."
Harry just moaned louder, "It tastes so good but hurts so bad. My throat burns, too." Harry rubbed his eyes harder, watching the interesting patterns flit under his eyelids.
"Don't rub your eyes, Harry. It's bad for you." Katie admonished evilly. Harry grumbled in return, "So is not taking a bloody hangover potion when I've drunk a little more than a couple bloody flasks of Firewhiskey. Must I remind you I have practice today, and may need that by lunch?"
Katie looked confused. "What practice?"
Angelina quickly filled her in on what she had missed with a cracked head. Katie was ecstatic. "Congratulations, guys! What are you gonna tell the coach when you meet him, Harry?"
"That my head hurts, my throat burns and my friends hate me." Harry groaned, crossing his arms and putting them flat on the table, resting his head in between.
"Should you give it to him, now?" Hermione asked uncertainly as Katie laughed. "I think he's had enough . . ."
Angela tapped her chin thoughtfully before musing, "Nah. Methinks he needs around half an hour to finish his punishment. Remember, Katie and Parvarti? Young Harry here looked at mah boobs when I got some water on me."
Hermione gasped and smacked Harry in the back of the head repeatedly. "Harry James Potter! You should know better!"
Not moving, Harry moaned back, his voice muffled, "I couldn't help myself, 'Mione. I saw the nipples, too. Thought you should know."
The girls howled with laughter as Hermione picked up her thick book and started whacking Harry on the head over and over again. After a minute, she was interrupted from her rage when Professor McGonagall approached them, saying, "Ms. Granger, before you continue, may I ask as to why Mr. Potter is seemingly laying dead on the table, and why you are trying to smash his brains out with Standard Book of Spells: Year 4?" McGonagall asked sternly. The entire Great Hall turned to watch. Hermione blushed beet red under the attention, but was saved when Harry grumbled into the table, "She's mad that I've seen the boobs of Angelina."
McGonagall blinked as the students close to Harry burst out laughing. "Excuse me, Mr. Potter?"
Harry picked his head up in his hands. "I said I drank a lot of F – er, Butterbeer last night, and my head hurst because I drank too much."
The Hall laughed as McGonagall sighed audibly. "Are you sure you didn't mean Firewhiskey, Mr. Potter? I wasn't aware that Butterbeer had any alcohol content."
The Hall laughed in louder at Harry's response: "Oh, it doesn't, but I drank so bloody much of it. So much bloody Butterbeer." He moaned pitifully. McGonagall tried to keep a smirk off her face as she went on, "Then why was there a flask Firewhiskey found in the library, in the spot where you and Ms. Johnson sat?"
The students leaned in to here Harry's answer, "I don't know, Professor. I don't never believe I wasn't not never going to not drink Firewhiskey. I mean, Butterbeer. Or Firewhiskey?"
This time, the Professor couldn't keep the smile off her face as everyone laughed. "Care to repeat that, Mr. Potter?"
"Don't think I could, Professor. You see, my head hurts."
McGonagall smiled, and amidst the laughter, said, "Ladies, please give Mr. Potter some of your potion. Ms. Granger, please stop violating Mr. Potter with your book. Ten points from Ms. Johnson and Mr. Potter for drinking illegal substances on the grounds. However, 20 points to each of you for becoming the youngest professional Quidditch players Hogwarts has ever taught."
Harry didn't react at all to the discussion until he downed the sickly green potion, and grimaced as he tasted it. "Eugh. Tastes like Firewhiskey."
With his last statement, McGonagall left as the students and teachers laughed and applauded at Harry's performance. When they audience's attention went back to their food, Angelina said loudly, "I could kiss you right now."
The Hall still quiet, Harry made as how of tasting the inside of his mouth. "I wouldn't go for it, Ann. Unless you'd fancy one last dose of the finest Wizarding whiskey around."
As the Great Hall had this last laugh, Angelina pulled Harry in for a kiss.