A second look, a second game, and a second chance.
Now for a chapter with a bit of everything, hopefully including quality!
(Fifteen days after the first game)
"Well, you won't have to worry about finishing fourth this year,
Snape's sarcastic voice oozed across the room as the other professors
took their seats for the meeting.
"This special faculty meeting shall come to order," proclaimed
Professor McGonagall. "During the discussion after yesterday's game,
it occurred to me that some of our rules have been just
understandings among ourselves, and that House Harem-" here she
nodded to Professor Trelawney, who nodded in return- "has not had a
chance to participate in them. Therefore, it seems that we ought to
set a few things straight."
During the meeting, the following decisions were reached:
McGonagall proposed a "mercy rule" with a maximum final point
differential of 500, with play stopping immediately if a team's lead
reached 650 (500 + 150 for catching the Snitch). Points would be
taken from the winning team's score to reach this final margin.
Snape was violently opposed, as was Flitwick... until Snape mentioned
the previous day's result once too often, at which juncture Flitwick
agreed if the rule were made retroactive. Sprout and Trelawney were
supportive from the start. Motion carried.
Sprout proposed a time limit on games, at least those involving House
Harem. Flitwick and Snape were both opposed again, as they felt time
limits violated "the spirit of the game." McGonagall asked about the
duration of the field's Illumination Charms. Flitwick didn't know
but would check. Motion withdrawn pending an answer.
Trelawney requested a coach to help her and her players understand
the game. McGonagall, Flitwick, Sprout, and Snape all refused to let
her contact any outside authorities or any of their
students. "You've set up as a separate house," McGonagall said,
speaking for the four of them, "so you can't very well poach on our
resources." Motion defeated.
Snape moved to make point differential the tiebreaker for the
Quidditch Cup, and to give half credit for a tie. Informed that
these provisions were already in effect by Professor McGonagall,
Snape responded that, "I was under the impression that this meeting
was to formalize the rules." McGonagall backed down. Motion carried.
Flitwick moved to make the British and Irish Quidditch League Rules
official in their entirety. Motion carried.
"The next game is Harem versus Slytherin a week from Saturday,"
McGonagall announced at the meeting's end. "Good luck to both teams."
Trelawney heard the unspoken rejoinder from the other professors...
"You'll need it!"
Sybil Trelwaney prided herself on not worrying about much, but three
days before the Slytherin game, she still had no coach and no way to
get one. She had never cared about Quidditch before, but since she
saw how important it was to Harry and the girls, she found herself
caring as well. Becoming Head of House was such a responsibility!
She was sitting and fretting up in her tower, when she noticed an owl
arriving in her window- something that almost never ordinarily
I know that you need a coach for House Harem. I watch Quidditch
whenever I can (during daylight hours, of course!) and was wondering
if I could be of assistance. Please let me know when you get a
Twenty minutes later, gasping for breath, Sybil had reached the
Astronomy Tower to find Professor Sinistra waiting for her.
Sinistra was a young witch, not yet thirty, with bright blue eyes, a
slender build, and an intense stare which she focused on the arriving
Head of House.
"Thanks for coming by so quickly," she said. Then she went straight
into her prepared speech.
"I've never been assigned to any house permanently. They just keep
putting it off and putting it off in those damnable meetings. I
can't get a word in edgewise. I keep getting bounced from one house
to another. I don't even know where I fit in now- no one bothers to
tell me these things! I love Quidditch but can't very well help any
team when three other Professors are waiting to jump down my throat
when I talk to any student about it. Could I please be part of House
There was only one thing Sybil could say in response:
Oh, sorry, she's still out of breath. Let's try again:
The day of the massacre... er, game arrived. Slytherins were annoyed
by the chance not to run up four or five figures on House Harem, but
Quidditch is Quidditch and winning is winning. Despite Aurora's best
efforts, no one on House Harem believed that anything much would go
And for the first six minutes, nothing did. While the Harem girls
had gotten enough practice to move in straight lines and even the
occasional gentle turn without falling, that skill set was a bit
inadequate against players five years older and twice their size.
Harry flew rather better, but the Snitch stayed out of sight.
Slytherin's seeker wasn't even looking; he was helping to score
goals and win the game as fast as possible.
As Slytherin put its tenth goal past Mandy, Hermione was gazing at
Harry and worrying... and then saw a tiny glint of gold. The Snitch
was cruising along right in front of the Harem bench, not ten feet in
front of her!
The Hermione of a couple of years earlier, or even of the previous
week, wouldn't have known what to do. But a little confidence from
Harry and a little study (OK, a lot of study) of the rules led her to
cast Sonorus and make a fateful announcement:
"HERMIONE GRANGER, NOW SEEKING FOR THE HAREM!"
She cruised out onto the pitch, let the Snitch fly into her right
hand, and tumbled off the broom- apparently a Harem tradition.
And in another Harem tradition, the game ended in total chaos.
The profanity, threats, and occasional hex from Snape and his players
that ensued for the next hour led to the following conclusions:
Yes, Hermione really did catch the Snitch.
Yes, she really was the Seeker- she said so, and that was what was
required by the rules.
Yes, Harem had eight players on the pitch for five seconds. The
penalty for that was one penalty shot- which Marcus Flint missed
because he was seeing red.
Yes, Marcus, you're suspended from the team for the year for
assaulting Professors Sinistra and Hooch.
"No, I can't do that, Severus, and I don't think it's anatomically
Meanwhile, in the winners' locker room, Hermione was trying out a new
spell she had read about. She waved her wand at the running shower
head for a few seconds to form a ball of water, and when it was big
enough, she flicked the ball in Harry's direction.
Harry felt the splash and looked around the room to see where it had
come from... and saw Hermione looking a bit too innocent.
Within a minute, every player and backup was running around the
shower area flicking water at each other with their wands, their
hands, and anything else that was available. The game soon escalated
to wrestling to ensure that no one got away with staying dry.
And that was the scene Sinistra and Trelawney returned to- eleven
partially dressed children in the showers, rolling around on top of
each other, deliriously happy.
That took a bit of explaining, too...
At midnight, Snape was in his office. He was hoping that a few
drinks would get his mind off of his anger at being House Harem's
first ever victims. Unfortunately, all that accomplished was making
him drunk AND angry.
And that's when Millicent Bulstrode made the mistake of knocking on
"What is it, kid?" snarled Snape.
"Please, sir, but Pansy's been teasing me again tonight and-"
"ENOUGH! Get out of here, you damned Mudblood!" And with that,
Snape caught up the first bottle he could reach and threw it at
Millicent to ease his frustration. Fortunately, Millicent had good
reflexes and shut the door before the bottle could hit her.
Millicent wept as she left the corridor. How could her Head of House
be so cruel? Why did she tell him her secret- which her Dad told
her never to tell to anyone when he learned she'd been accepted to
House Slytherin? Why did life have to be so unfair? She was as tall
as a couple of seventh-year girls, and much taller than any other
first year, but kept getting picked on. Snape had told her that he'd
expel her if she hit anyone, and she knew that he meant it.
Without her conscious intention, she had wandered to the plain door
that marked the entrance of House Harem. It was painted in orange
and black, but otherwise bore no signs of its occupants. Millicent
quietly knocked on the door.
"Who is it?"
"It's Millicent. Millie Bulstrode. Can I talk to you?"
The door opened to reveal Professor Trelawney wrapped up in her
nightgown; she'd been staying up to ensure that the events in the
locker room weren't repeated.
"How can I help you, Miss Bulstrode?"
"Can I be in your house? Please?"