Another faculty meeting, the Ravenclaw game, and we get more letters.
compliments, and suggestions. They will be taken into account to the greatest
degree possible. A couple of them will be seen in this chapter.
The faculty meeting one week before the Harem-Ravenclaw match had been
a lively one.
Over the past few weeks, many younger students in "The Original Four"
Houses had complained that Harem's first year team had been able to
compete while they hadn't even been able to try out. Yes, the ban on
first-year broom ownership was gone, but too late for the students to
try out for House teams. And several older students were saying that
they would transfer to House Harem unless they had a chance to actually
play, which many couldn't because they were trapped behind entrenched
It was Sprout who had the suggestion first- establish a Junior League
for the younger players from each House. The eligibility requirements
for the Junior League were quickly agreed upon, with students being
elibigle to play in the Junior League for two years, and no students
above third year eligible, barring some exceptional hardship claim. A
Junior League Cup was to be commissioned, and points would be awarded
for wins, ties, and the Cup at half the rate for the varsity teams.
These suggestions all found general agreement.
House Harem was offered the opportunity to play in the Junior League or
to continue to play against the varsity teams. Trelawney made it clear
that Harem fully expected to continue to play the big boys and girls,
and left open the possibility of starting a JL team in the future if
and when the size of the Harem student body made it possible. This
resulted in the schedule for all Quidditch games being extended to
sixteen games (10 varsity, 6 Junior), which would result in there being
basically a game every other Saturday throughout the school year.
Flitwick had renewed the Illumination Charms on the field. They would
now be good for at least six hours' continuous use, which would seem to
place a time limit on games at six hours past sundown- no earlier than
9 pm in January, and as late as 3 am in May. More detailed discussion
of time limits was put off for another day.
The day of the Harem-Ravenclaw match had finally arrived. During the
morning, the skies had grown steadily darker with rolling thunder and
the promise of heavy rain.
"I don't really know how to give pep talks," Coach/ Professor Sinistra
said in the Harem locker room. "All I can say is that you'd better win
this one quickly, because I don't want to get wet."
Sadly, this wasn't the case. At half past noon, the skies opened up
and a hard, cold rain began to fall. To that point, House Harem had
take advantage of its new, faster brooms to establish an early lead.
But the Snitch was nowhere to be seen.
As the afternoon wore on, the rain continued to come down and the sky
kept getting darker. At two-thirty, the coaches agreed to a timeout
and to turn the Illumination Charms on. Harem still held a fifty-point
lead, 200 to 150, but Ravenclaw's superior experience was beginning to
The afternoon continued. Fans began to head up to the castle. This
normally rare event occurred because they found the Warming Charms
inadequate to completely protect them from the terrible weather. By
six o'clock, sleet had begun to mix with the rain; at about the same
time, Ravenclaw took its first lead of the game, 370 to 360. There was
still no sign of the Snitch.
Both teams started to empty the benches at that point, which pointed in
Ravenclaw's favor even further due to its superior depth. However, the
faster brooms that the Harem had kept them from getting blown away. At
eight o'clock, when Hermione Granger came in as the last reserve for
either team, the Ravenclaw lead stood at forty, 500 to 460.
Just a couple of minutes later, Hermione saw a glint of gold at ten
o'clock low. She tapped her throat with her wand, said "Sonorus,"
And then realized that thanks to the rule change, her maneuver wouldn't
work any more.
"Penalty shot to Ravenclaw!" announced Hooch.
The only good news was that by the time either Harry or Ravenclaw's
second-year reserve seeker arrived, the Snitch was once again lost in
Hermione did provide the Harem with one last burst of energy. At 8:30,
the score stood at 550 to 540, Ravenclaw... and at that point, the
players thought they saw the field get a bit dimmer. Sinistra called a
"The Illumination Charm is wearing off, Filius! Can we call the game a
draw? I think we've proven our point."
"Nonsense, Aurora. We're still winning, and the Snitch is still out
there for our Seeker to find. Let's play on!"
Aurora thought she heard some grumbling from the Ravenclaw players
about that. She asked her players for just a few minutes' more effort.
When play resumed, the Harem girls passed the Quaffle to Hermione, who
plugged up the field. She passed right between two Ravenclaw Chasers,
neither of which seemed to have seen her. Both Beaters had Bludgers
ready to fire, but both were off by a good thirty degrees. The Keeper
was in position to cut off Hermione's angle, but went after a seemingly
poor fake, allowing Hermione to score from very short range.
The Ravenclaw Chasers retrieved the Quaffle, but spent the next several
minutes passing it among themselves, making no effort to get into
scoring range. That was fine with the Harem team, which made no
attempt to press on defense as the light from the field continued to
fade and the ice continued to fall.
"NOW can we call it a draw, Filius?" Aurora queried.
Sighing, Flitwick decided that was a reasonable request.
After the first two games, the Harem team was boisterous and
celebrating. But tonight, they were too tired to do anything but
change and head to Harry's bed. Several girls didn't quite make it,
and had to be carried by Sinistra and Trelawney.
Harem's second draw of the season made them the first team in over 200
years to have two draws in one year. It also placed them in control of
their own destiny- a victory over Gryffindor would give them the
Quidditch Cup. And Gryffindor's team, except for Captain Oliver Wood,
was nearly as inexperienced as they were.
On March 1st, two pieces of mail came to Harry- a copy of the new
Quibbler with two notes, and another letter from Bathilda Bagshot.
The note attached to the Quibbler announced that, thanks in large part
to the Bagshot interview, the paper had seen its best sales since the
announcement of the discovery of Crumple-Horned Snorkacks in 1983. As
a result, Harry was made an honorary subscriber, and urged to contact
Xeno and Luna Lovegood directly if he had any news to share. Luna
added a brief note of her own, expressing her hope that she would be
sorted into House Harem that fall.
Bathilda's letter was more personal. It seemed that she had jumbled
some events in her previous letter to him. "You'll find yourself doing
the same when you get older," she cautioned, "though I hope that for
you, it's a very long time from now."
She had, in fact, seen him in the front yard of the Dursleys' house in
the spring of 1983; it was there that she saw him counting on his
fingers rather than with James and Lily. It turned out that Arabella
Figg, a Squib who had been living in the area, was asked to move to
Privet Drive on Dumbledore's request. While she had lived there, she
had actually made part of her home into a modest tourist attraction,
allowing curious witches and wizards to see the house where the Boy-Who-
Lived, er, lived. Visitors had to be carefully vetted and to wear
muggle outfits that would pass muster in the neighborhood. The
resulting income helped Figg defray the expenses of her move and
provided a little extra money for better cat food. Tourists had come
by at a decent clip in 1982, but as Harry was allowed outside less and
less often, visits tailed off in 1983 and stopped altogether by early
This letter brought another shock to Harry. He remembered Mrs. Figg
from his childhood, and not favorably. She had been mean to him on a
few occasions when he had visited. She made him look at pictures of
her cats for hours on end. And now to find out that not only was she
acting on Dumbledore's orders, but actually profiting off of his
"Everyone gets exploited, Harry."
Professor Trelawney sidled beside him, as sad as anyone had ever seen
her. The rest of House Harem gathered around.
"My great-great-grandma Cassandra had the Sight. As with her namesake,
it was more a curse than a blessing. She couldn't go anywhere without
someone trying to ask her who'd win the next Quidditch game, or which
company would make the next great magical breakthrough. The incessant
questions drove her mad, sent her to St. Mungo's. After that, we
started... developing eccentricities. Made people think we weren't all
there so we wouldn't be bothered. I did too. Call it protective
"That's why great Seers are so rare. It takes a rare mind to not only
See, but to prophesy and bear the weight of the world's expectations
without losing her mind. I'm no great Seer. I make so few predictions
because I fear what the rest of society will demand. I don't know if I
have good reason to fear... but I've chosen not to find out."
Harry didn't know how to respond. He simply hugged his Head of House,
a hug shared by the rest of House Harem. If it really was them against
the world, at least there were a dozen people they could trust.