-- (May 30, 1993; Great Hall) --
Minerva McGonagall sighed as she sat in the Head’s chair in the Great Hall. The atmosphere in the hall was a combination of great despair and open hostility. The despair mainly coming from the Gryffindor table and the hostility mainly directed at the Slytherin table. With the kidnapping of Ginny Weasley into the Chamber of Secrets, the Board of Governors had decided enough was enough. She was to make an announcement tonight that tomorrow, the students would be returning home early. This was truly the end of Hogwarts.
McGonagall sighed. There was no point in delaying the inevitable. She stood up and called out, “May I have your attention? I have an announcement to make.”
All eyes in the hall turned towards her. She opened her mouth to speak, when two bursts of flames appeared in the Great Hall. One of them was about ten feet above the tables, while the other was in between the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw tables.
A figure emerged from the flames in between the two tables and stood up. He was wearing a cloak with its hood shrouding his face in darkness.
The creature that had appeared above the tables swooped down and dropped a silver sword into the cloaked figures hand, before landing on his shoulder. They seemed to be conversing.
“Excuse me, but who the bloody hell are you?” screeched McGonagall, quite out of character and taking many people by surprise.
The creature, a phoenix McGonagall realized, took flight and flew out of the hall.
“Sorry, Minerva,” said the cloaked figure, sheathing his sword. “Can’t talk right now!” Then, right before their eyes, the figure quickly transformed into a panther and bolt after the phoenix.
The hall was silent for a whole ten seconds before all the students began trying to talk at once, creating a low roar. McGonagall ordered the other professor’s to keep the students under control and in the hall while she, Snape, and Flitwick went to go try to and find whoever had just appeared in the hall. The portraits pointed them in the direction of Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. When they reached the bathroom, they found the phoenix McGonagall now recognized as Fawkes guarding an opening in the floor. He wouldn’t allow them to go through no matter what.
-- (Five minutes earlier) --
Harry sprinted down the hall as a panther, making record time. He burst into Myrtle’s bathroom and transformed back to a human. Walking over to the sink, he hissed, Open
The sink and floor slid back to reveal the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets.
/Platform/, he hissed again.
A small, square stone slid out of the side of the tunnel and Harry stepped on to it.
The platform started to descend at a steady pace.
(Fawkes, wait here until I call you,) said Harry.
(Yes, my brother,) replied Fawkes.
The descent was rather quick. Once he reached the bottom, Harry got off the stone and began making his way through the tunnel that led to the Chamber itself. Harry had done a lot of exploring in the Chamber his sixth and seventh years. He had learned the secrets of how to get down the tunnel without getting filthy as well as many other things. If you went through the opening where the Basilisk came from, for example, you would find Salazar Slytherin’s secret study along with tons of books written in both English and Parseltongue.
As Harry reached the final door, his grip on the sword tightened.
Open he hissed.
He could hear the bolts on the door loudly unlocking. As soon as the door was open, Harry bolted straight towards the statue of Slytherin. He could see Ginny, lying motionless on the floor. However, his primary goal was to gain control of and kill the Basilisk before Tom ordered it to attack him. Harry really didn’t want to have to fight the bloody thing again.
“She won’t wake, you Know,” said the voice of sixteen year old Tom Riddle, but Harry ignored him.
Speak to me Salazar Slytherin! Harry hissed. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Tom’s shocked face.
/Obey no one but me/, Harry hissed triumphantly.
/Yessss massster/, came the reply from within.
“What are you doing!” shouted Tom.
/Come out slowly with your eyes closed/, ordered Harry.
“No!” Don’t listen to him! Realization as to what Harry was planning to do began to register with Tom.
The Basilisk slowly inched its way out, its eyes shut tightly.
/Open your mouth wide/, said Harry.
No! Don’t! He is trying to destroy you! cried out Tom, but the serpent ignored him and did as Harry told it.
Quickly, Harry plunged the sword upwards in the snake’s mouth stabbing it right through the brain. It roared in pain and jerked its head away, causing one of it’s fangs to be jammed into Harry’s arm.
“Aw, damn it!” Harry swore as he pulled the tooth out of his arm. "Not again,"
The serpent tossed and turned as it quickly bled out.
Tom watched in horrid fascination, not realizing Harry was walking right towards Ginny and the diary.
When Tom turned his attention back on Harry, he was just in time to see Harry thrust the sword into the diary before pulling it back out and walking over to Ginny.
A blinding flash of light, followed by a small shockwave, illuminated the entire Chamber for a brief moment before returning to its dim state. Ginny cracked open her eyes and blinked sleepily. When she realized where she was, she bolted up right; in the processes almost head-butting Harry who had been leaning over her. When she saw Harry was sitting next to her, she threw her arms around him and began crying.
“It was me, Harry,” she sobbed. “I opened the Chamber. I petrified Hermione and the twins and Percy and Ron and…and all the others. Oh, they’re all going to hate me now.”
“No they won’t Ginny,” Harry said in a soothing voice. “Far older and wiser people than you have been tricked by Voldemort.” Ginny flinched at the name and looked up at Harry.
“But…but it was Tom who…” Ginny began, however she was cut off by Harry.
“Tom Riddle is Voldemort’s real name. He changed it because he wanted nothing to do with his muggle relatives. Tom Marvolo Riddle is an anagram for ‘I am Lord Voldemort’.” Harry said before he suddenly winced in pain and grabbed his arm.
“Harry!” Ginny cried out. “You’re hurt!”
The Basilisk venom was starting to take affect. Fawkes quickly swooped down, startling Ginny, and began to cry into the wound. Ginny gasped as the wound began to heal itself.
“Thanks, Fawkes.” Harry said, stroking the phoenix.
(No thanks is required, my brother.)
“It’s over, Ginny.” Harry said, smilingly weakly. “It’s just a memory.”
They sat there for a few minutes, just holding each other. Unbeknownst to Ginny, it was helping Harry as much as it was helping her. Azkaban had really done a number on him. Even with his Occlumency shields all the way up, so many Dementors at such a close range for a long period of time broke them down pretty quickly. Forcing Harry to relive the moment his friends were harshly struck down. Staying in his panther form helped, but it couldn’t completely block out everything. Harry didn’t know how Sirius was still sane after all these years.
After what seemed like an eternity yet no more then seconds at the same time, Harry lifted Ginny to her feet. Harry picked up the diary and placed it in his pocket.
“Come on, Gin,” Harry said, pulling his hood over his head. “let’s go.”
Harry unconsciously slid his hand into hers as they began to make their way out of the Chamber. Harry took special care in making sure that the Chamber was sealed tight on the way out. He warded off the door to the Chamber itself so that only someone of Harry’s bloodline could open it without being inflicted with severe pain. When they were back in Myrtle’s bathroom, Harry looked around and was surprised to find no one there.
(They are waiting for you in the Headmaster’s office,) said Fawkes, swooping down to land on Harry’s shoulder.
(Who?) asked Harry, although he thought he already knew.
(Albus, Minerva, and young Ginny’s parents,) replied Fawkes.
Harry nodded in acknowledgement. “Your parents are here, Gin. They are probably worried sick,” said Harry.
Ginny looked scared at the prospect of seeing her parents, but resigned to the fact that it was better for them to at least know she was alright, and to face whatever yelling they threw at her.
When they reached the gargoyles, Harry spoke the password and they spring to life. The pair climbed what seemed to be a never ending staircase. As they reached the top, they could hear voices coming from within.
“The Governors will not be pleased to hear that you have returned when they had banished you from the castle, Dumbledore,” said the cold voice of Lucius Malfoy.
“The curious thing about that, Lucius,” came Dumbledore’s calm voice “is that the Governors seemed to have been under the impression that you would curse their families, if they did not agree to suspend me in the first place. When they learned that Arthur Weasley’s daughter was taken into the Chamber, they saw it fit to return me to the school.”
“And what have you done to save the girl since you have returned,” sneered Malfoy. “Your hesitation has undoubtedly sealed her fate. She is likely dead by now.”
Muffled sobs, most likely from Molly, emanated from the room. It was at this time, Harry, Ginny, and Fawkes made their entrance.
“Sorry we’re late,” said Harry, causing everyone to jump slightly. “Would have been here sooner if a bloody sixty foot snake hadn’t gotten in my way. I tell you, Basilisks are a right bugger to kill.”
The room was silent for a moment, completely shocked at the sudden appearance. Then, without warning, a blur of red rushed passed Harry and scooped up Ginny.
Harry walked over to a corner and leaned up against the wall to let the Weasley’s have their moment. While he did this, Harry causally surveyed the room.
Dumbledore was sitting behind his desk, the familiar twinkle lighting up his eyes. Fawkes had flown to his perch behind Dumbledore and to his right. McGonagall was to standing besides Dumbledore on his left. Directly in front of the desk, were Lucius Malfoy and a cowering Dobby. The Weasley’s, which Harry noticed this time around included Bill and Charlie, were gathered around the entrance stairs, apparently trying to prove that it was indeed possible to kill a person by hugging them. The other head of houses were present as well. Sprout and Flitwick were standing about ten feet away from him, near a window that overlooked the Quidditch pitch. Harry finally noticed that Snape was in the corner across from his, staring directly at him. He seemed to have been the only one who hadn’t forgotten Harry and was eyeing him suspiciously which made Harry realize that he still had his hood up. Harry felt a light brush of Legilimency against his shields. Harry smirked at Snape and prodded Snape’s own defense with double the force. Not expecting the sudden attack; Snape stumbled slightly, however quickly regained his stance before anyone noticed.
“You see, Lucius,” Dumbledore was saying. “Miss Weasley is perfectly fine.”
“Through no action of your own,” drawled Malfoy.
“How do you know that?” asked Harry, drawing everyone’s attention to him. “How do you know that the Headmaster didn’t hire me to go rescue Miss Weasley?”
“Oh, please. I don’t know who you are, but I have problems understanding why the Headmaster would hire you and not a team of Aurors,” sneered Malfoy.
With a blur of movement, Harry had crossed the room, drawn his wand, and grabbed Malfoy by the collar lifting off the ground slightly. When everyone had finally caught up with his quick action, they saw a wand pressed into Malfoy’s neck hard enough to draw blood.
“And I have problems trying to understand why anyone would give a cursed diary to an eleven-year-old girl, Death Eater,” hissed Harry in a chilling voice.
The room remained silent, no one making any effort to stop the cloaked figured. “Keep reaching for your wand, Malfoy. That’ll give me enough of a reason to blast your sorry ass into the next millennia,” the figure hissed. “Two words, Malfoy. Two words and its lights out for you.”
“You’d never get away with it,” shuddered Malfoy.
“Fudge owes me a shit load,” growled the figure, twisting his wand deeper into Malfoy’s throat causing it to start to bleed profusely. “At this point, I think I could get away with anything.”
Just then, the Floo belched out said person and roughly two dozen Aurors.
“WHERE IS HE!” shouted Fudge before he noticed the situation at hand.
Harry idly looked at Fudge with a bit of annoyance, wishing he could strike the fat, balding man down where he stood.
“Where is whom, Minister?” asked Dumbledore calmly, completely ignoring the fact that two people in his office were just seconds away from killing each other.
Fudge, having remembered why he came here began yelling again. “POTTER! THAT’S WHO! POTTER ESCAPED MINISTRY CUSTODY ALMOST A HALF HOUR AGO!”
“And let me guess, you just found out now.” said the cloaked figure, shaking his head. “You know that if he had been as dark as a wizard as you and the Prophet have been claiming, he could have penetrated and decimated the entire Ministry of Magic; not to mention half of London, and be in Australia by now. Slurping down a margarita, which doesn’t sound too bad at the moment now that I think about it. Talk about quick Auror response,” he finished sarcastically. Turning back to Malfoy, he said, “Now where was I? Oh, yeah! You are going to be sure that none of Lord Voldemort’s old school things wind up in innocent hands any more aren’t you, Lucius? Because the consequences for the one responsible would be most severe.”
“You can’t prove anything,” hissed Malfoy.
“Not with evidence that the Wizengamot would accept, no, but they also wouldn’t be able to pin anything on me if you were to… slip and hit your head the wrong way,” smirked the figure.
“You are threatening me in front of the-” began Malfoy before he was cut off.
“Minister of Monkeys; yeah, yeah, yeah. Like I give a rat’s ass,” said the figure. “He can’t do anything to me, can you Corndog?”
Fudge was turning a funny color due to his barely controlled rage “SEIZE-” began before a wave of stunners flew by him. Once again, Fudge found himself shaking as he turned around to see every one of his Aurors had been stunned.
“Him” squeaked Fudge, finishing his command lamely.
“It’s good to have you back,” smiled Dumbledore. “Harry.”
Harry removed his hood and smiled faintly, “It’s good to be back, sir.”
“POTTER?” shouted Fudge.
“Minister Corndog?” asked Harry, pleasantly.
“YOU WILL RESPECT ME!” shouted Fudge, furiously. “I AM THE MINISTER OF MAGIC! I-”
“HAD AN INNOCENT KID IMPRISONED FOR EIGHT MONTHS!” roared Harry, stowing away his wand and advancing on Fudge. “YOU REFUSED TO LISTEN TO REASON! EVEN WHEN THE ATTACKS CONTINUED, YOU DIDN’T RELEASE ME. AND LET’S NOT FORGET THE MOST OBVIOUS FLAW FOR ME BEING BEHIND THE ATTACKS, I’M THE HEIR OF GODRIC GRYFFINDOR FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!”
“All evidence pointed towards you at the time,” seethed Fudge through gritted teeth.
“That gives you no excuse for locking a twelve-year-old in Azkaban without a trial,” seethed Harry in a harsh whisper so only Fudge could hear. “Boy-Who-Lived; Locked in Azkaban! I think it’s a catchy headline, how about you?”
Fudge was about to respond, when an Auror appeared from the fire and gestured for Fudge to come over. Harry tapped into his panther hearing so he could listen in on there hushed conversation.
“- are ready to perform ‘the Kiss’ on Black. They’re awaiting your orders, Minister.” Harry heard the Auror say.
“Very good, proceed immediately. I don’t want anyone to question my administration,” said Fudge in reply.
“And how will we explain this?” asked the Auror.
“We’ll just say Black tried to escape,” said Fudge with a shrug. The Auror nodded and disappeared again through the flames.
Harry’s eyes widened and he whipped out his wand, “Communi Patronum!” he shouted. A stag erupted from the tip of his wand and trotted over to his caster. Harry quickly whispered a message to it. When he was done, he said, “Go, Prongs! Go tell Padfoot!” The stag galloped towards the window, before it began to move so fast that it became a streak of light, heading north-east.
“What was that?” asked Sprout, curiously. Flitwick knew immediately and began clapping his hands in sheer surprise and joy.
“A Communications Patronus! Oh very good, Mr. Potter, very good! Those are hard to produce! Beyond N.E.W.T. level, actually. Two hundred and fifty points to Gryffindor!” praised Flitwick, still clapping his hands.
“Thanks, Professor,” replied Harry humbly. ‘I just hope it makes it there in time,’ he thought to himself.
Harry turned to Dumbledore and said, “Professor, I would like to go check up on my friends now, if I may.”
“Certainly, Mr. Potter, Madam Pomfrey should be administering the antidote about now. The victims should be awake by the time you get there.”
“NOW SEE HERE DUMBLEDORE!” started Fudge, but he was interrupted by the Auror who had just left, reappearing.
“Black has escaped!” gasped the Auror, now supporting a nasty looking bruise.
“WHAT!” shouted Fudge. “HOW?”
“We don’t know. There was a flash of light, then he drew a wand and began hexing everyone. A Patronus charged down any Dementor that tried to attack him. We don’t think it was his though. We have down on record that his Patronus is a dog. This Patronus was a stag.”
All eyes turned to a smirking Harry. “Having trouble keeping prisoners in their cells, Minister?” Harry asked, sarcastically. “That’s two in less than an hour.”
“POTTER! YOU’RE UNDERARREST TO SETTING FREE A CONVICTED DEATH EATER!” yelled Fudge triumphantly.
“Convicted Death Eater, really? Then why was he supposed to be moved to a Ministry holding cell to await a trial he never was given in the first place?” asked Harry. “You do know that it is illegal to sentence someone to ‘the Kiss’ when they haven’t had a trial, don’t you Minister?”
Fudge deflated and instantly paled.
“Besides,” continued Harry. “I’d like to see the proof that I had anything to due with the escape of Sirius Black.”
“He has a point, Cornelius,” said Dumbledore, eyeing Harry curiously.
Fudge looked like he was ready to explode when Malfoy decided it was time to leave. Kicking Dobby, he made his way towards the door. Harry frowned.
“Lucius!” Harry shouted, walking towards the elder Malfoy.
Malfoy stopped and turned to glare at Harry.
“Show respect to your elders, boy!” snarled Malfoy, fingering his wand.
“Just because you’re an old greaser, doesn’t mean you deserve my respect,” Harry glared back, subtly drawing his own wand.
“What do you want, Potter?” asked Malfoy exasperatedly, moving his hand away from his concealed cane-wand.
“Dobby, your house-elf,” stated Harry.
Everyone in the room stared at Harry in various states of shock.
“What!?!” shouted Malfoy in disbelief, clearly thinking he had heard Harry wrong.
“Your house-elf,” repeated Harry. “I want him.”
Malfoy stared at Harry as if he was crazy and said, “Fine, he’s a useless piece of trash anyway. Dobby! I hereby relinquish ownership of you to the Potter line. You’re his problem now, you filthy animal.” Malfoy gave Harry one last glare, before briskly walking out the door.
Harry didn’t think Dobby could look any happier if he was a kid who had been told that everyday would be Christmas for now on.
“Harry Potter is truly the greatest wizard alive!” gushed Dobby, much to Snape’s annoyance.
“Dobby,” said Harry. “I have a special job for you.” Harry learned down and whispered something into Dobby’s ear. The house-elf looked confused for a moment before nodding his head.
“Yes, sir. At once, sir,” replied Dobby before disappearing with a pop.
Harry walked over to Arthur and asked, “Is the Ministry still doing those random raids, sir?”
Arthur looked at Harry curiously, before slowly nodding his head.
“If you go to Malfoy Manor, beneath the rug in the Drawing Room is a trap door. There should be a whole room full of Dark Artifacts, as well as a list with every item that is in the room, was in the room, and where Lucius sent it, sold, ect. if it isn’t there. Also there should be a list of known associates of Lucius whom he has bought from and sold artifacts to in the past,” explained Harry.
“How do you know this?” asked Arthur, curiously.
“Draco has a big mouth,” said Harry with a smirk.
Harry turned towards Dumbledore, “If you need me, I’ll be in the Hospital Wing,” he said before walking out of the office, closely followed by the Weasley’s.
When they made it to the Hospital Wing, they saw that all the victims had been revived. Harry’s eyes instantly sought out his sister. As soon as he saw her, Harry sprinted towards her and she to him. They met half way and enveloped each other in a bone-crushing hug.
“I thought I had lost you,” whispered Harry, tears streaming down his face. Hermione just hugged him harder. “I love you, sis. I don’t know what I would do without you.”
For the next hour; Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys’ all talked about what had happened over the past eight months. At some point, Neville and Luna showed up to fill in where Harry couldn’t. Everyone was pleasantly surprised with Gryffindor’s newest edition, something which made Luna extremely grateful.
After they had all caught up with what had been happening, Harry having not told them where he really had been, Dobby appeared before Harry which surprised everyone sitting near him.
“Harry Potter, sir!” said Dobby. “The big doggy sends his thanks to you for the heads up and will be waiting for you at the FOUR founder’s Privet ‘summer home’.”
“Thanks, Dobby. You did great,” smiled Harry. “Watch out for that mangy hound, will yah?”
“Yes, sir!” said Dobby, giving Harry a mock salute before disappearing again.
“I’m sorry, but I have to go talk with Dumbledore,” said Harry, excusing himself. Harry made his way to the office and was climbing the stairs when he heard the professor’s talking.
“-is give the students some sense of normalcy. Especially after the last twenty-four hours.” McGonagall was saying.
“What can we do, though?” asked Flitwick.
“I have a suggestion,” said Harry, alerting everyone to his presence.
“Go on, Harry,” encouraged Dumbledore.
“Well, I can’t think of anything more normal to Hogwarts then Quidditch. Why not have the Quidditch Cup?” asked Harry.
“Because, Potter,” drawled Snape. “There were only three games this season before we cancelled because of the attacks. Slytherin vs. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff vs. Ravenclaw, and Slytherin vs. Hufflepuff.”
“Well, Hufflepuff has played twice and Slytherin has played twice. Why not have Gryffindor play Ravenclaw, then take the two teams with the best records and play them in the cup?” asked Harry.
“Because no matter who wins or loses, the second seat will be a tie,” argued Snape. “Ravenclaw and Gryffindor are tied for first with one win and zero losses. Slytherin is second with one win and one loss. Hufflepuff is last with zero wins and two losses. If Ravenclaw wins, they’ll have two wins and zero losses while Gryffindor and Slytherin will be tied, vice versa if Gryffindor wins.”
“Then, if there is a tie, take the team whose house has the most house points,” replied Harry.
“A most excellent idea, Mr. Potter!” proclaimed Flitwick.
“Sounds good to me,” said McGonagall with her patent thin smile.
“I have no problems with this arrangement,” sneered Snape.
“I’m guessing I have no say in this matter? Do I?” pouted Sprout.
“Not really, no.” smirked Snape.
“I guess its’ alright with me, then,” sighed Sprout.
“Then it’s settled. This Saturday, Gryffindor will play against Ravenclaw. The winner will play against the team with the most house points. Can we determine who that might be at this point?” asked Dumbledore.
“I believe it will be Slytherin, barring any unseen events. They are in the lead with house points out of the three possible finalists,” said McGonagall, smirking at Snape.
Several minutes later, a grinning Harry walked into the Gryffindor Common Room. Everyone was laughing and having a good time, trying to catch up on what they had missed.
“Sonorus!” Harry said as he got up on to a table. “Hey, everyone! Quiet down you lot, I have some great news!”
“Are they sacking all the Slytherins? Cause if they aren’t we don’t want to hear it,” someone yelled out causing everyone to laugh.
“Unfortunately, no!” smiled Harry. “However, in two days Quidditch will start back up with Gryffindor against Ravenclaw. If we win WE’RE GOING TO THE CUP!” The Gryffindors erupted in cheers. “AND WE GET A SHOT AT SHOVING THE CUP IN THE SLYTHERIN’S FACE AND UP SNAPE’S ASS!” All of the Gryffindors cheered even louder!
“This calls for a celebration!” yelled Fred.
“Let’s party!” shouted George.
“WE’RE GOING TO PULL AN All NIGHTER!” shouted Katie.
“We most certainly will not!” argued Percy.
“Don’t be a buzz kill, Perce,” said Harry. “Why don’t you go snog Clearwater!”
Everyone started laughing and the twins grinned evilly. Percy opened his mouth as if to respond before closing it and appearing to be contemplating something. Then he smiled.
“You know what, Harry?” he said. “That doesn’t sound like a bad idea. See-yah later!” Just about every jaw in the room dropped as Percy hurried towards the portrait hole.
He reached it just as McGonagall was walking in. She was about to say something to him, but he cut her off. “Sorry, Professor. I gotta go snog my girlfriend!”
McGonagall seemed so flustered by his statement that she stared out into the corridor where he had disappeared for about five minutes before leaving herself, having apparently forgotten why she had come in the first place.
-- (Sunday June 2, 1993) --
It had been a close match between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw with Gryffindor only winning by twenty points, excluding the one-hundred and fifty points Harry received for catching the snitch. It was a victory, none the less. The whole school had been psyched for the game today. No one had been more so then Gryffindors and Slytherins. Things, however, weren’t going to well for the Lions.
The Slytherins were being particularly vicious today; sending Bludgers hurling at Gryffindor players and ramming them when they could get away with it.
Harry nearly fell off his broom as a Bludger almost took off his head. He looked up in time to see Fred get knocked of his broom when one of the Slytherin Chasers rammed him while Madam Hooch’s back was turned.
“TIMEOUT! TIMEOUT!” Harry yelled out to Madam Hooch. That was the second person taken out of the game in the last five minutes. They were down two Chasers and a Beater.
Hooch blew her whistle signaling the timeout. As the remnants of the team gathered, Harry noticed someone was missing.
“Where the hell is Wood?” he asked. The team looked out on the pitch to see Fred and Oliver both being carried off, towards the castle. They figured he must have been hit before the timeout was called.
“Oh great! Now we need a Keeper, too,” Harry grumbled as he took flight towards the Gryffindor stands until he spotted who he was looking for. Gryffindors liked to play against each other often to make sure they had the best players on the pitch so he knew who the best in the house was.
“RON! GINNY! NEVILLE! HERMIONE!” Harry called out. “Get to the locker room, we need you lot to suit up.”
“Ms. Weasley is a first year, Potter,” drawled Snape’s voice behind him. “She can’t play.”
Harry looked to see that McGonagall, Snape, and Hooch had come over to see what Harry was doing.
“Listen to me you slimy snake,” growled Harry. “Since we started this game, your players seem to have made it their mission to systematically wipe out our players. Katie, Alicia, Oliver, and Fred are all in the Hospital Wing because of it. That’s over half our starters! So, you’re going to go sit your greasy ass down and let us play a first year if we want to bloody well play a first year. Got it Snivellus. Or are you afraid that Ginny will embarrass the hell out of your sixth year Chasers?”
Snape face looked livid as he hissed, “Play the stupid girl if you want. It won’t help you at all. This game is over, anyway. Your team is down by nearly five hundred points. There’s no possible way you could win. Least of all with over half your players under third year.” Snape then stalked back towards the teachers seats.
“Mr. Potter,” said McGonagall. “I do not like the way you just talked to a teacher.” Harry rolled his eyes. “That being said, I want you lot to kick some Slytherin arse. Give them back whatever they throw at you. Just don’t get caught,” smirked McGonagall, before abruptly turning to leave four shocked Gryffindors and a smirking Harry behind.
“Alright,” said Harry, grinning madly. “Let’s get you guys suited up.
Once everyone was dressed, Harry gathered them together on the pitch to give them what he hoped would be a fiery pep talk.
“Listen to me. They’re killing us out there while we’re playing with our heads up our ass. Did you think it would be easy?” Harry asked, growing angrier and more impatient by the minute. “Did you think they would just roll over and hand us the Cup? Well I got news for you: THEY WON’T!” he shouted. “They are going to do everything possible to make sure we won’t win. HELL! They’d kill us if they thought they could get away with it!”
Everyone was looking at the ground, not daring to meet Harry’s furious gaze.
“For you rookies, let me make this clear. If I see you lot slacking off at any point for the rest of this game, I’ll make it my personal mission to see to it that you never play Quidditch here at Hogwarts ever again,” he growled. His friends looked up sharply at him and instantly knew he was dead serious.
“Now, we are going to go out there and play like our lives depend on it because the way the Slytherins are playing, it may very well be if we aren’t careful. We are going to beat those damn serpents and we are going to bring the Cup back to the Lion’s Den. ARE YOU READY!” asked Harry.
The team shouted in approval.
“Lions on three,” said Harry putting his hand out. The others placed there hands on top of Harry’s. “One, two, three.”
“LIONS!” the team shouted together, raising there hands into the air.
The match lasted for another three hours, with Gryffindor slowly making a come back until they were only down by two hundred points. However, Harry knew they were tiring fast and being roughed up quite a bit. Ginny and Hermione, being inexperienced with flying in formation with Angelina, kept losing the quaffle and were being pummeled by bludgers.
That’s why when Harry saw the quick moving glint of gold; he, rather reluctantly, gave chase and caught it within a few minutes. Slytherin ended up beating Gryffindor eight hundred and forty to eight hundred and ten.
Even as disappointed in the loss as Harry was, he knew that was about as good as they would get. While Neville was certainly better than Harry ever remembered Jack Sloper to be, he was still no Fred Weasley. While Hermione and Ginny were good Chasers, they weren’t used to the flying patterns often practiced by the Gryffindor Chasers. They had been on the offensive climb and it appeared to be only a matter of minutes before they over came the Slytherin’s when their opponents had regrouped and began to match them just about point to point.
Harry was the last member of the team to enter the locker room. He cast a silencing charm to block out the Slytherin’s celebratory cheers and chants. He didn’t notice that he wasn’t the last one to enter the room, period, though. McGonagall and another man had followed him inside.
Harry looked up and saw his team slowly peeling off their gear, looking at the ground miserably. He knew they were hurting, both physically as well as emotionally. He also knew they needed someone to lead them through this.
“What the hell do you lot think you’re doing?” he asked quietly, causing everyone to abruptly look up at him in curiosity.
“Hold your heads up high,” Harry said, surprising everyone. “You rooks just lasted three hours against first string Slytherin. Do you realize that other than Malfoy, their entire team is virtually made up of Sixth years? Look around. We have only three starters remaining.”
The younger players looked towards Angelina and George who were so tired after playing for the last five hours, that they were leaning against each other for support, just to stay up right. George’s eyes were starting to droop and Angelina was shivering from her wet clothes.
“You all played your hearts out and I am very proud of you,” said Harry, passionately. “I think that our older teammates will be happy to hear that we have a great group of people to replace them once they are gone.”
“It’s t-true,” stuttered Angelina as her teeth chattered due to her cold clothes. “H-Hermione and G-Ginny could use some improvement, b-but otherwise I c-can’t think of anyone b-better to take over for m-me and Alicia in three y-years.” Harry and George nodded in agreement
Neville, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny all smiled at this.
“Bloody hell, Hermione!” Ron blurted out all of a suddenly. “Where’d you learn to fly like that?”
Hermione blushed before saying, “I’ve had Harry teaching me privately, considering how badly I did during our flying lessons. He’s been teaching me whenever he could these last two years.”
“When?” ogled Neville.
“When else?” smirked Harry. “Night flying is kick ass, if I do say so myself,” he then turned serious. “We’ve learned a lot from this match. One being that we should start training a second string of players in the event of injuries,” Harry turned to Hermione and Ginny. “You girls played brilliantly. I can’t even imagine what things might have been like if you hadn’t practiced with the team all year long.” Hermione and Ginny blushed at his words. “Ron, I’m sure that after hearing how well you did, Wood is going to make it mandatory for you to practice with us, if you intend to have the starting position, once he graduates next year,” Ron perked up at this. “Neville… what can I say about you except that if you build up a little more upper body strength, you’ll be unstoppable.” Neville nodded at him. “Alright. I want you all to hit showers and return to Gryffindor Tower. Tonight, we’re celebrating an excellent season. Well done, all of you. Lions on three. One, two, three.”
“LIONS!” the team shouted in unison.
Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione and Neville all came out of the locker room together once they had finished showering and getting dressed. It had stopped raining by then although it was still overcast out. Professor McGonagall and two other men Harry only vaguely recognized, but couldn’t place, were waiting by the schools entrance door.
“Mr. Potter,” said McGonagall “will you follow me please?”
Harry shrugged at the curious looks his friends and replied, “Of course, Professor.” Harry told his friends that he would meet them back in the Common Room and followed his Head of House to her office. Once inside, McGonagall told them all to take a seat and summoned a house-elf to bring them up some tea.
“Potter, this is Roger O’Donnell. O’Donnell is a scout for the Kenmare Kestrels, the International Quidditch Team.
Harry’s eyes furrowed in confusion to why he was meeting the man as he shook O’Donnell’s hand.
“It is very good to meet you, Mr. Potter,” O’Donnell spoke with a thick Irish accent much the same as Seamus did.
“It’s good to meet you as well, sir,” replied Harry, confusion still etched onto his face.
“I was sent here to look for some possible recruits for the team. Even if they were a little young. We want to keep an eye out for talented players so we can offer them a spot once they have graduated,” explained O’Donnell. Harry nodded his head. This, after all, made perfect sense. Keep an eye on them as they grow and improve. A tactic that most International teams employed.
“You see, though, the last Seeker I picked up couldn’t handle the stress that came with being a celebrity. I’m in an awkward situation since I vouched for the lad. Said he could handle it when it turned out he couldn’t. That, and he took one too many bludgers to the head. He quit on us after only two years. This, thus, puts you in a rather unique position. Mr. Potter, we need a seeker. One who is new to the League. Who is strong and young. Something to bring back the determination and drive we used to have. I believe that person is you,” said O’Donnell with a smile.
“Me?” asked Harry, completely flabbergasted.
“Yes,” smiled O’Donnell “you. It will take a little convincing on my part and we’ll need to pull a few strings with the League, but I think it can be done. You have startling potential. You, being the youngest starting player on the team, took it upon yourself to motivate and rally your team when you were down and defeat looked imminent. You commanded a team made up of two fourth years, three second years, and a first year to the point where you nearly won. Had your players had a little more experience, you would be holding the Cup right now. As if that wasn’t enough, you made sure your teammates didn’t become depressed with their loss. I heard your speech after the game and for a moment there, I forgot you were only twelve-years-old. The way you spoke so highly of your team’s performance, explained their mistakes, and got them to the point where they were all smiling and feeling good about themselves is exactly the kind of thing a couch strives to obtain from his players, but most of all; his captains.”
“It’s true, Potter,” said McGonagall. “if you keep it up, you may just earn the captaincy in your fourth year.”
Harry knew that wouldn’t happen, due to the Tri-Wizard Tournament, but it was still an honor to hear her say it.
“The question is: Will you come and play for us, if we can get everything squared away?” asked O’Donnell.
“Hmm… let me think about it?” said Harry mockingly. “Why would any twelve-year-old want to play on a Professional Quidditch team? Well, Mr. O’Donnell, I’ve made my decision. My answer is: Of course I’ll bloody well play!”
O’Donnell chuckled, “Excellent! I should get back to you in about a week, regardless of what we decide. If you’re accepted, practices will begin for you in two weeks. Our first game will be July 10 against the Cairo Basilisks.”
“Alright, sir. I’ll be waiting for the word,” Harry turned to McGonagall and said, “Would you mind keeping this between us? I’d kinda like to surprise my friends. Course, no point getting their hopes up just in case I don’t make it.”
McGonagall agreed and Harry bid fare well to both of them. As soon as he was out the door, he leaped into the air and shouted, “YES!” at the top of his lungs.
He sprinted off towards Gryffindor Tower and the end-of-the-season celebration a smile as broad as the Nile.
It seemed like Glaux was more than making up for his year of hell at Azkaban. This summer was going to be great. Even if he didn’t make the team, he had Padfoot to hang out with. Harry glanced out the windows as he raced down the corridor. The clouds were beginning to lift and the sun was coming out. It was going to be a beautiful day.