Time for some quidditch. and girls.
For the next three days Harry practiced occlumency frequently, it seemed to be working, but Harry wasn’t sure if it was just down to Voldemort being quiet or wanting to put Harry on edge.
Harry woke up earlier than he would have liked but it felt better to wake up early than at a blatantly unusual hour. He dressed quietly when he had exhausted all hope of going back to sleep. His dorm mates were still snoozing quietly as he closed the door. As he treaded slowly into the common room it appeared empty as he expected by the earliness of the hour. The fire had been out by some time judging by the coldness of the room. Harry’s eyes were still only half open as he flopped onto the sofa he then heard a muffled sound…of a person. Harry’s hands went instantly to his robe pockets, but no, his wand was still upstairs, in his room, he jumped up, thinking desperately of what he would do without it, muggle techniques such as punching an opponent, came to mind, as did the thought of his cousin, Dudley. As he did he looked back at his hand and saw his wand already in it.
He looked down and at a bewildered looking Ginny. She was lying out on the sofa, having been watching the long extinguished fire. She had probably been there for some time. She was wearing white pyjama bottoms which had moons and owls all over them and a vest top which had a picture of a green owl on it, Harry couldn’t help how his eyes lingered on the neckline of the top. He forced his eyes up to her face. She looked surprised to see him, and even more surprised having been sat on.
“Harry, you just wordlessly summoned your wand” She said quietly in awe.
Harry hadn’t expected that, maybe ‘Harry you just flopped on me’ or ‘Harry, ouch!’ or ‘Harry my face is up here’, he blushed as he thought of the last statement. Ginny was still staring in shock at him, clearly expecting an answer, what had she just asked again, he wondered, his mind blank, “Erm…Sorry?”
“You just wordlessly… and wandlessly summoned your wand.” She said slowly, carefully pronouncing each syllable as if talking to child.
“Oh.” Harry said lamely, not really sure what to do about that.
“Is that the first time you have wordlessly or wandlessly summoned something?” She asked, still lying on the sofa looking up at Harry who was still stood where landed after jumping.
“Erm, I think so, Erm last year when the dementors came and I lost my wand I said lumos and I lit up. Oh and I think I might have summoned my dressing gown the other day, now that I think about it.”
“Oh Harry that’s… great…amazing” Ginny said happily, whilst moving up so Harry could sit down next to her.
“Why are you down here?” Harry asked as he sat down.
“Oh, It doesn't matter” Ginny said distractedly.
Harry just raised his eyebrows not believing her, he lied so much he was quite an expert when it came to telling when some one else was, although he didn't know how much people believed him, he certainly hoped he was a better liar than she was.
“It’s… complicated, why are you down this early?” Ginny then asked, changing the subject but not looking him in the eye.
“It’s complicated” Harry said smoothly.
They were both quiet then, waiting for the other to speak. The sky was brightening a little now. The sun was now just rising over the hilltop, getting ready to banish the darkness for a few hours then continuing the repetitive cycle endlessly for the rest of time.
“I couldn’t sleep.” Ginny said in a whisper. Breaking the solid period of silence they had been enduring previously.
“You have had trouble sleeping a lot recently though, haven’t you?” Harry asked just as quietly. He was sure he heard a creak on the stairs coming from the girls’ staircase but when he turned around he couldn’t see anything.
Ginny looked up at him, her eyes looking straight into his. Brown eyes meeting green, “I know.”
She was quiet again. She then sighed and looked down at her hands on her lap. She then looked back at him. Harry was reminded of her in her second year; the vulnerability in her face was obvious. She seemed to be having an internal battle as to tell him or not “I’m just…it’s-”
A sudden noise came from the staircase leading to the girls’ dormitories. At that point Lavender ran down the portrait hole. Her hair was wild as she had only just got out of bed, but her face was wide awake. She seemed to also forgotten her dressing gown. Harry noticed she was wearing a red satin night dress.
“Harry!?” She said as she jumped onto the couch sitting in the small space between Harry and Ginny. Harry noticed she was leaning on him slightly. She looked up flirtatiously at him. Then turned around at looked at Ginny giving her a false smile.
Harry could sense some awkwardness in the air, and some harshness. The common room suddenly seemed a lot bigger. “Oh, hey Ginny?” She said in mock surprise. “Do you think you could give us a minute?” Lavender then asked nodding towards her and a surprised silent Harry; she then added a smile at Ginny and gave the fifth year girl a strange expression, which Ginny seemed to understand.
Ginny seemed to be thinking hard and discretely glanced over at Harry, who was shaking his head sideways when Lavender wasn’t looking, clearly telling Ginny to not leave. Inside Harry was aggravated slightly with Lavender, as he had been very close to finding out what ever was annoying or upsetting Ginny, but Lavender’s entrance had made Ginny stop what ever she was going to say.
Ginny looked back over at Harry and gave him an odd expression, was it pity? “I’m terribly sorry, Lavender, but we were in the middle of talking and we weren’t quite finished, you see, so if you could give us a minute it would be really great, thanks” Ginny said clearly so the other girl could not miss a single word. The way Ginny said ‘thanks’ was spoken harsher than the rest of the sentence. Lavender gave Ginny a weird look then turned around to look at Harry and then looked back at Ginny.
“I only want a quick word actually so-” Lavender didn’t seem to want to give up.
“So you can speak to him another time then” Ginny said more forcefully. Ginny had dropped any attempt at feigning friendship.
“Ok, I will then” Lavender said, giving Ginny daggers. Each girl seemed to have forgotten about Harry, they were both standing. Lavender then winked at Harry noticeably before she left for the stairs.
“Wow I have to hand it to her; she’s pushy, although, I think she needs to work a bit on the art of discretion.” Ginny said cheerfully, “I have to admit, that was enjoyable.”
Harry knew now wasn’t a good time to ask her to continue what she was previously going to say; what was upsetting her.
The sun had now risen nicely and students could be heard crashing about as they got ready for the day to come. Ginny went and stood over by the window and looked out as Harry sat on the sofa. Hermione was next downstairs.
“I could have sworn I heard Lavender plotting your death as I left the dorm room Ginny” She said as she sat next to Harry.
Ginny just plastered a look of surprise on her face as she then announced she was going to get changed, as she left Harry could have sworn as smiled merrily at him she winked.
“Shall I even ask?” Hermione said, simultaneously getting out her arithmancy text book.
“Long story” Harry replied.
The Friday morning meant at breakfast everyone was tired and the only thought on most people’s minds were the thought of quidditch tryouts which Harry had scheduled for after dinner that evening.
“I think… I am going… to try out for Keeper” Ron said quietly as they sat around the table, Hermione was tactfully pretending not to listen to the conversation. Ron seemed to be watching Harry carefully to comprehend his friend’s reaction at the news. “Yeah, I think you’ll be good” Harry said as quietly, trying not to give too much away, Ron smiled and then started eating his breakfast. Secretly Harry wasn’t sure if Ron was able to do it; his friend had skill, you couldn’t deny that, only he lacked vital confidence.
Harry felt a lot of pressure on himself to get a good team, as he didn’t even know if he would be alive long enough to see next year. A part of him couldn’t help but remember what Ron saw in the mirror of Erised in their second year; Harry hoped his friend wasn’t hiding resentment for Harry becoming captain.
Everyone day seemed even more aware of Harry than normal, an act he thought impossible. As he had arrived in the hall, many hopeful house mates waved at him, Harry had the suspicion they thought he would let friends in, so they were trying their luck. The slytherins were watching him with hate filled states. Harry had the impression Malfoy wanted him to choke on his porridge. Catching his eyes, Malfoy came over to the table, Harry saw in the corner of his eyes the teachers at the head table look intently at them as if debating to stop them so they could stop a fight before it had even started. What Harry wouldn’t do to fight Malfoy in a proper battle.
“Potter, I have to say I am quite happy you made captain; it’ll be fun to watch when the whole of Gryffindor house blame you for their losing again, aren’t you all a little used to it by now, I mean how many times do you want to lose the cup anyway?”
“I see you didn’t make captain, Malfoy, obviously Snape doesn’t think you good enough, have to say I agree.” Harry said easily, the hall had gone noticeably quiet.
“You dare-” Malfoy spat moving more towards Harry, his hand moving towards his wand. Hermione and Ron looked like they didn’t know whether to get their wands or tell Harry to ignore him. Hermione’s eyes flickered quickly over to the head table- McGonagall looked ready to pounce at any point, forgetting to fake little interest.
Harry interrupted Draco, he felt another flare of hatred at the person before him, “Yes, I dare, what are you going to do? Tell Daddy off me, I have to say he has been looking rather worse for wear recently hasn’t he? Voldemort has a habit of-”
At that point McGonagall came over and sent Malfoy back to his table and gave Harry a warning stare, her lips impossibly thin. However, not before Malfoy completely lost his glare and surprise layered his face. Harry knew he probably shouldn’t have said that, ok, he definitely shouldn’t have said that. Giving Draco the smallest hint that Harry had an idea of what was going on could be very bad for their side. Hermione gave him a warning stare as well, but Ron just gave him an ‘easy mistake to make’ face.
The school day passed quite quickly considering that he had to put up with double transfiguration. Harry knew his professor was very disappointed with him after the breakfast incident.
The thought of Quidditch tryouts kept him going.
Harry was the only original people left. So he had a lot of work to do. Angelina hadn’t been offered the position of captain even though she was older and had been on for longer, but she told Harry previously that there where no hard feelings and that she would have declined it anyway as she had a lot of work to do because she was in her final, newt year and so then said she felt she would have to not be in the team this year as she had too much on. This meant that a lot of positions needed filling.
That evening at the table at dinner. Everyone’s eyes were once again on him. As he got up to leave all other hopeful Gryffindor audition-ees rose too.
Harry felt a warm sense of relief as he steeped out onto the quidditch field. It seemed like forever since he had been here, but it had hardly changed at all. A lot more people came than he expected; it seemed most of the house had turned up. Including some surprising candidates such as Lavender, the Creevey brothers (both of whom gave Harry thumbs up), Parvati, a boy called Cormac McLaggen and many more.
Harry started by making all people fly around the circuit in small groups. From watching that he eliminated many people, some of whom he doubted had ever properly flew in their lives.
He started by auditioning hopeful chasers. There were meant to be three Chasers per team so Harry needed a centre chaser and two outside chasers. The job of a Chaser is to control the Quaffle and attempt to get it through the goal hoops past the Keeper. So Harry put them into several groups and made them try to get a quaffle into the goal hoops as many times as they could whilst they were defended by wannabe keepers, this meant Ron.
Ron and Cormac were the best keepers. Cormac was slightly better but seemed to be easily distracted by the female opponents which made Harry happy as he could give the position to his best friend. Out of the chasers Ginny was undoubtedly the best which made Harry similarly happy as he didn’t particularly say no to her. Demelza Robins and Katie Bell were second best, Harry thought.
The team also needed two beaters. Harry doubted they would ever find anyone as good as Fred and George. A beaters job is to keep the bludgers away from the team and at the same time try and aim the bludgers towards the opposite team. Beaters also needed to have good balance as they would required to take both hands off their broomstick at some points during matches. Two boys called Jimmy Peakes and Ritchie Coote seemed to have the most potential.
“Thanks everyone for trying out, keeper- Ron Weasley, Centre chaser- Ginny Weasley, outside chasers- Demelza Robins and Katie Bell, and Beaters- Jimmy Peakes and Ritchie Coote.” Harry yelled over the noise of the many people. Dean Thomas who had also tried out for centre chaser seemed a bit put out and stormed off. Cormac looked as if he wanted to come over and argue with Harry, but as Ron was standing right next to him, Harry didn’t exactly want to talk to him now. Come on it’s getting dark we should head back.
Hermione and Ginny caught up with them, Ginny launched herself on Harry who stumbled backwards a step at the sudden weight, and Ron had to place a hand on his back to help him.
“Thanks Harry” Ginny said as she kissed him on the cheek.
“Erm… no problem, you were the best out of all the chasers there.” Harry said truthfully.
“Congratulations Ron. You were great.” Hermione said proudly. Harry noticed how Ron’s chest puffed out a bit. Harry and Ginny exchanged smirks. As they headed back up to their separate beds Harry noticed how dark it had become. They had to leave last as Harry had to pack away the equipment. The moon could be seen from behind a cloud; it was a last quarter moon and was rather bright. The castle was brightly lit and Filch was standing by the main door and told them to ‘get to bed, now or else’ and then went off talking about various methods of torture he wished he could use, like in the ‘good old days’. They didn’t meet anyone else on the way up to the castle.
As Harry lay in bed that night getting ready to thinking about happy memories he found himself exceptionally tired and had grown tired of the same nightly ritual. So instead he got out of bed and went into his trunk which was at the foot of the bed, he was looking for something before he even knew he was looking for it. In Harry’s first year Hagrid had given Harry a photo album containing different photos of his parents. After some rummaging Harry found it, he had also pulled out his marauders map, he was about to stuff it back in his trunk when his curiosity grew. He hadn’t looked on the map for ages so it seemed. “I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good” Harry whispered, so his sleeping friends wouldn’t wake.
The whole of Hogwarts seemed to be asleep. Every hallway was empty. Ever child was in their bed asleep, all teachers were in their quarters or in the staff room, Dumbledore was pacing his study, Snape was in his potions lab. Harry was about to close his map when something caught his eye. In the hospital ward of the school he saw madam Pomfrey moving around tending to a student who Harry recognised as one of the Gryffindors who fell of their broomsticks earlier and he also saw Desdemona in the corner of the ward. That was the first time he had ever known the professor to leave his office. Desdemona then exited the hospital ward and then left for his office walking so quickly Harry could have sworn the teacher was running. In fact, Harry knew the map better than anyone having escaped a lot of danger encounters and knew the professor must have ran the whole way back. Why? As Harry considered the reasons for this, he could vaguely feel his eyes drooping and then almost instantaneously fell asleep, map in his hand and glasses still on, not remembering he hadn’t practiced his occlumency.
A.N. - Hoped you liked it. The first chapter has had 182 views now, I feel so happy: D. would really like another review though. It took me while to do this chapter; in the books I love the quidditch parts but I am not very good at the ins and outs, in case anyone noticed yes I know I didn’t write about reserve teams but I really have writers block. Do you remember how I said I have to separate big parts with other stuff? While this was my other stuff and the next chapter is going to be good, hopefully. Well does night time exploring, informative Voldemort dreams and the new mysterious professor getting even stranger sound good? Opps now it if does it’s a lot of pressure. I have been doing a chapter everyday ish so far, but I have a maths revision class at school (yes the embarrassing depths I will sink to to get an A) and I am going the cinema, So I may not update until Thursday. Sorry. Hope you like it, I don’t really know if you do, or if you 60 loyal (totally awesome ) readers, who read the last chapter, are just reading it to get my hopes up. Claire xxx
*Update- next chapter more like this Sunday as you may have noticed it's already been Thursday , Sorry i went shopping instead of typing*