Categories > Books > Harry Potter > The Potters and Dumbledore's Secret


by EmeraldStag 5 reviews

AU. Book 1 of the Stagverse series. Winter has come and along with it, the Hogwarts Quidditch season. Harry uncovers more clues but will they lead him in the right direction? And what's a chapt...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG - Genres: Fantasy - Characters: Cho,Harry,Snape,Tonks - Warnings: [!] [?] - Published: 2008-01-09 - Updated: 2008-01-09 - 5516 words

Author's Note: This one took awhile to produce and as a result is the longest chapter of this series to date.

Chapter Thirteen - Quidditch

Moving into November, life would get easier for Harry Potter. The rocky events of Halloween seemed to stir his legend even more as his heroics had somehow leaked to the Daily Prophet. It was one of the situations the Potters knew could be possible with Harry living at Hogwarts but they had inwardly wished it would never come to pass. As expected they weren't too happy about the press the troll incident was getting and tried to use the power of Potter Black, Inc. to focus the media's attention towards the intrusion of the troll, mostly unsuccessful attempts.

Harry's stay in the Hospital Wing ended up lasting less than one day, as he was released in time for dinner that night. James and Lily stayed the first few hours past his awakening, leaving only once they were satisfied that their son was going to be okay, which seemed evident when conversations turned towards Quidditch. Classes were cancelled for the entire day while the Hogwarts staff and Filch fixed up the areas of the castle torn up by the wayward troll. Harry benefited from the cleared schedules as his friends filtered in and out of the Hospital Wing throughout the day thanks to lightened restrictions from Madam Pomfrey as well.

Despite returning to classes the following day, Harry’s mind constantly strayed to the Hospital Wing Quidditch talk he had with his dad as the month of November signaled the start of the Hogwarts Quidditch season. Gryffindor and Slytherin faced off during the first weekend, and Harry -- along with the rest of the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs that showed up -- rooted for Gryffindor to come out with the victory. The Gryffindor team looked great outside of the play of their new Seeker, a shaky second-year who looked like they had just grabbed him off the stands. The Slytherin team liked to use brute force in their matches and used the Gryffindor Seeker’s inexperience to their advantage as their own Seeker, Terence Higgs, proceeded to constantly lure the second year player out of position. Every other facet of the match was dominated by the smooth playing Gryffindors, but when Higgs wrapped his hand around the Snitch to end the game, they had not racked up enough points to offset the catch, resulting in Slytherin winning 170-160. Snape was extremely boastful after that match.

Harry felt for Fred and George’s bad luck, but didn't dwell long on his friends’ loss, as his Ravenclaw Quidditch team was scheduled to play the very next Saturday, against Hufflepuff. With a win, Ravenclaw would take a significant step in the house championship standings because of the Gryffindor loss. No one outside of those involved with thee Ravenclaw Quidditch team had seen Harry play because both Professor Flitwick and the Ravenclaw Quidditch captain, David Sutcliffe, agreed that having the element of surprise would give them an early advantage in their first match.

Surprisingly only the Ravenclaws knew of Harry’s position as the team’s Chaser, even though news that Harry was somehow involved with the Quidditch team had quickly spread throughout Hogwarts. Rumors were rampant that Harry was the new Seeker; that Harry had bewitched Flitwick into letting him onto the team, or even that Flitwick was actually going to play and was planning to use Polyjuice Potion to look like Harry. Most of the crude rumors originated from the bitter Draco Malfoy and the Slytherins that took after their spiteful Head of House. Some of the rumors even made it into the Daily Prophet gossip section, which made Harry quite thankful he’d had the foresight to tell his family when he first joined the team.

The day before the match found Harry with limited options for company. The Gryffindors were still licking their wounds, the Slytherins stalked through the halls like they owned the castle and the Hufflepuffs had put on their game faces in anticipation for the weekend’s match. That is how he found himself sitting outside in the courtyard, sharing a blanket between Penelope Clearwater and Nym Black, who despite her house loyalty wouldn’t stay away from Harry. The cold weather had brought out the blanket, which Penelope was quick to add a warming charm to once it was in place over the unique threesome.

After his stay in the Hospital Wing, it quickly became apparent to Harry that both Penelope and Nym were finding ways into his life on a daily basis. Not that Harry minded one bit, they did help take his mind off the pressures of secretly practicing with the Quidditch team and his studying went a lot quicker when he had two friends who’d already experienced a similar course load.

Penelope was currently going over her last Defense assignment that was due the following week, while Harry quietly read through Nym’s slightly battered copy of Quidditch Through the Ages. He had read it before hundreds of times already prior to Hogwarts, but it was the one thing he could do at the moment that came the closest to calming his nerves about the next day’s match. Nym had quite comfortably snuggled herself against Harry and followed along with the reading, adding her own commentary to every page and never failing to get Harry to at least crack a smile or roll his eyes.

The relaxed atmosphere Nym helped create lost some of its tranquility when into the courtyard stalked Severus Snape. His sneer was clearly visible even from across the courtyard where Harry sat, and as the Potions Master surveyed the group of students scattered around outside, the sneer grew larger. Snape's gaze lingered on Harry and his friends, his leer receiving three heated glares in return. The moment wouldn't end soon enough for the three students and they let out a collective sigh of relief once Snape's attention moved elsewhere.

The group watched warily as Snape turned and limped across the courtyard –- passing Percy Weasley who had oddly passed by their own location quite a few times already –- following where Snape’s path was leading. Harry noticed Ron and Hermione were who Snape was heading towards. The two Gryffindors huddled together trying to hide a bluish object behind their backs with the approaching professor nearing.

Harry knew that his Gryffindor friends were not going to get a moment of peace with Snape around. Apparently the Quidditch win over Gryffindor hadn't quenched Snape's thirst of Gryffindor misery. Trying to save his friends from a headache, Harry moved to yell in Snape’s direction when a soft hand clamped around his mouth, preventing any sound from getting out.

“Now that’s just looking for trouble, Harry,” answered Nym, her hand the one covering Harry’s lips.

Harry watched silently while Snape berated the two Gryffindors. If Ron turning redder by the second was any indication, the professor's remarks were more than simple platitudes. By the time Snape reached the end of his rant, Hermione was visibly restraining Ron from removing his hand –- and presumably his wand –- out of his pocket.

“Snape is Snape, Harry,” Nym said softly, looking closely at Harry as she moved her hand away from his mouth. “He's biased, and cruel. Why he is a professor when he can't stand being around students? I don't know. One thing I do know is that when it comes to Snape you’re not thinking with your head, Harry. And when you act without thinking, you’re letting him win. For the next seven years, you’re going to be here, and he’s going to be here, and that’s not going to change. I know you’re only eleven, and you shouldn’t have to be the mature person in this situation, but if you’re going to get back to having fun and not being in detention all the time you’re going to have to let Snape have his shots sometimes.”

Harry looked ready to object, but a stern glance from Penelope left Harry to only pout silently.

“That’s more like it, Harry,” laughed Nym. “Being prideful is important, but being smart and knowing when to fight your battles is even better. Keep that in mind and I won’t have to remind you that you’re supposed to be the Ravenclaw, not me, short stuff.”


The Ravenclaw common room was buzzing with anticipation later that evening. Penelope and most of Harry’s friends retired early, citing that the boisterous house wasn’t conducive to getting any work done and that they’d rather sleep than just sit around idly. That left Harry –- who couldn’t think of sleep with the way his stomach was fluttering with butterflies –- with a bunch of rowdy Quidditch fans that were in Ravenclaw, and the Ravenclaw Quidditch team, who seemed to enjoy the newfound attention that was rarely given to them due to being in a more study-oriented house. Harry had hoped to pass the time with Cho, who related better to him than the older Quidditch members –- she was only one year older than Harry –- but he hadn’t seen her all night.

Near curfew time that all changed when the common room portrait slid open to reveal a bedraggled looking and puffy-eyed Cho Chang. She stumbled into the common room unnoticed by most of the Ravenclaws still awake, except for Harry, who dropped the Quidditch gloves he was inspecting at the sight of his friend.

He quickly rose up from his cushy chair and grabbed Cho’s wrist, gently guiding her back to where he was sitting. She flopped onto the chair exhaustedly while Harry chose to perch on the armrest, giving his full attention to Cho.

“What happened?” asked Harry. “You look like you crossed paths with a Lethifold.”

Cho snorted pathetically at Harry’s comment, the sound emerging more like a sob. “I had the pleasure of Professor Snape assigning me detention for a potions accident I didn’t cause but did get covered in. And I just spent the last hour in the bathroom rinsing out my hair because he wouldn’t let me out without serving my detention. I wasn’t in any danger according to him … I just smelled like I went for a dip in a pool of Murtlap essence.” Despite the tears trickling down her wet cheeks, there was no hiding the anger Cho held for the Slytherin Head of House at the moment.

“Snape is a foul git,” replied Harry, as he handed Cho a handkerchief he kept in his pocket. “At least your detention is over with and you won’t miss the match tomorrow.”

Cho smiled gratefully and used the handkerchief to wipe her face. “It looks like all those detentions you’ve had already this year have shown you how to look for the positive side of things, Harry. And you are right. I can’t wait for tomorrow's match, I’ve been carrying my Omnioculars all day –-” Cho’s hand stopped in mid-wipe as she fell silent and went completely still.

“What’s wrong?” asked Harry. Concerned for Cho he pushed her hand away from her face, uncovering Cho's look of frustration.

“I can’t believe it!” she exclaimed, slamming her fist down on the chair’s only open armrest. “I was so stressed about detention that I forgot to repack my Omnioculars! My friend, Katie, wanted to look at the match I have recorded on it, so I brought it to class with me and now look at this mess. I don’t want to deal with Professor Snape again!” Cho sighed heavily and slouched further down into the chair in an attempt to escape reality.

“Are you sure you left it in the dungeons?” questioned Harry.

“Yeah,” Cho said quietly. Her gaze didn’t move from her hands where she held Harry’s Quidditch gloves. Grabbed in her frustration, she now held onto them like a lifeline.

Desperate to cheer up his friend, Harry took a chance. “I know what we can do, Cho. Just in case you missed it, how about you look inside the bathroom you used to rinse your hair, while I run down to the dungeons and see if I can sneak in and out without Snape even noticing I was there,” he offered.

“Would you really do that?” asked a visibly brightening Cho. “It’s so close to curfew though, I don’t know if you’d make it all the way down there and back without getting in trouble.”

“Let me worry about that, Cho,” said Harry confidently. “I know this castle like the back of my hand.” Harry then let out a shocked gasp as he turned over his hand, acting silly enough that Cho cracked a smile.

With Cho calmed down enough to check out the girls' bathroom, Harry set off in the direction of the staircases and his eventual destination, the dungeons. He only passed a handful of students on his journey, all older years that were in a hurry to get back to their own common rooms before curfew.

Finally reaching the potions classroom Harry found it to be empty and dark, save for a few candles that were just outside the door to Snape’s office. After giving a short courtesy knock and not getting any response, Harry checked both directions of the hallway for any witnesses before stepping inside the dark classroom. He wasted no time in heading towards the table where Cho told him she worked at. Reaching her chair, Harry immediately found Cho’s Omnioculars hanging off the back of it.

He quickly picked up the Omnioculars and rounded the table, heading back towards the classroom entrance. Passing by the door to Snape’s office, Harry could hear faint voices coming from the other side of it. Taking a closer look, he quickly noticed that the door was slightly ajar and that there were at least two distinct voices coming from within Snape’s office. With the time being so close to curfew, and the classroom so dark, Harry's conscience came into play. Whoever was in there didn't want anyone to know what they were up to. He decided to check out the situation and make sure it wasn’t someone trying to vandalize Snape’s office. The last thing Harry wanted was for Snape to have a reason to blame Cho or Ravenclaw House, especially with the upcoming match.

What Harry found on the other side of the door was worse than he could've imagined. Inside the office were Snape and Filch, very alone and agitated. Snape’s robes were pulled up above his knees, revealing one leg that was covered in blood and looking slightly mangled. Filch was off to the side, handing Snape various sized bandages.

“Blasted mongrel,” snapped Snape. “Could this night get any worse? First I had to give detention to that silly Ravenclaw, and then that beast decides to have a snack. How in blazes is one supposed to watch all three heads at once?”

Harry quickly caught on that this was a conversation he shouldn't be listening to so he tried to skillfully, close the office door –- only to catch Cho’s Omnioculars between the door and the frame with a metal clang.


The caretaker's shout drew Harry's panicked gaze away from the Omnioculars. Filch’s snarling face was quickly joined by Snape’s agitated sneer as he quickly dropped his robes to conceal the leg injury.

Harry quickly jerked the Omnioculars away from the door and began to backpedal into the dark classroom. “I was just getting my friend’s Omnioculars. She had left it —”

“GET OUT!” Snape shouted, causing Harry to stumble backwards to the floor.

Harry quickly scrambled up and scampered out of the classroom never looking back once. He wanted to get out of their sight before Snape or Filch got any cruel ideas.

Several floors later, Harry caught up with Cho right in front of the entrance to the Ravenclaw common room. “Did you find it?” she asked.

Harry handed the Omnioculars over to Cho’s outstretched hand. “You bet I did. It was right where you thought it might be –- by your seat.”

“Oh! Thank you! Thank you!” shrieked a jubilant Cho, throwing her arms around Harry to thank him.

Harry’s glasses fogged up slightly from Cho's breath. “You’re welcome,” he stammered.

Cho pulled out of the hug but kept a hold of Harry’s arm as they made their way past the Ravenclaw portrait into their common room. Harry tried to enjoy the moment but he couldn’t forget what he saw in Snape’s office. With the remarks Snape made, Harry came to the conclusion that the Potions Master’s injury must have come at the hand –- or mouths –- of the three-headed guard dog dwelling in the forbidden corridor.


The following morning brought clear skies and a cold breeze. A sense of anticipation spread throughout the halls of Hogwarts, and when the time arrived for Ravenclaw’s match against Hufflepuff, it seemed as if the whole school came out to the stands surrounding the Quidditch pitch.

Nymphadora and Daphne showed up early –- pulling a slightly groggy Hannah along with them –- and grabbed spots as close to the field as they could get in the Hufflepuff section of the stands. The green from Daphne’s Slytherin outfit, and the blue tone of Nym’s hair caused the trio to stand out amongst the yellow throng of Hufflepuff and receive more than a few curious glances.

While the buzz from the crowd began to reach frenzy, Harry and the rest of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team were in their locker room, changing into their blue Quidditch robes.

Sutcliffe, having already finished dressing, was pacing in front of a dusty chalkboard.

“Okay, team,” he said as he slowed to a stop. “Today is when we set the expectations for Ravenclaw for the rest of the season. All of the other teams have a weak spot, but we got an upgrade.” Sutcliffe turned and gestured at Harry sitting on a bench. “With our new chaser, we get name recognition, and a talented player. Now let’s go out there and win!”

“Hear, hear!” chorused the entire team.

Sutcliffe pushed open the door and held it that way while the rest of the team followed him out –- Harry bringing up the rear. Besides being the youngest, Harry also happened to be the shortest player on the team. His fellow Chasers, fifth year Emma Jennings and third year Roger Davies, were on either side of him as they walked to the field. Emma was maturing into a young woman, and Roger had just hit a growth spurt recently, leaving a dramatic difference in size between them and the fresh faced Harry.

David Sutcliffe, a sixth year who was the team captain and a Beater, led the way to the center of the pitch where Madam Hooch –- the referee for Hogwarts matches –- was waiting for them. Despite the gentle smile that had no trouble dazzling the girls of Hogwarts, Sutcliffe fit the typical Beater profile; he had great hand-eye coordination that helped dislodge opponents on the pitch. His fellow Beater, third year Thomas Hopkirk, was entering only his second year at the position and clearly didn’t have Sutcliffe’s talent. His slightly hefty frame added power to his swing when hitting Bludgers but Thomas was more known as the practical joker of the team, much to the chagrin of his older sister, the recently graduated Mafalda Hopkirk.

Lanky sixth year Mark Stevens played Seeker for Ravenclaw, and walking next to him was fourth year Anthony Adams, a dark-skinned lad who held down the Keeper spot. Anthony shot Harry a grin when he noticed the nervous Chaser glancing at the various teammates.

Once the team finally reached Madam Hooch and the awaiting Hufflepuff team, the stadium commentator announced the starting lineups. Madam Hooch opened her mouth to speak to give out last minute instructions when an overwhelming roar came from the crowd; Harry had just been introduced as a starting Chaser for Ravenclaw. Flashbulbs went off throughout the crowd, and girls shrieked. Even from his position on the pitch Harry could clearly hear a few girls shouting ‘I love you, Harry!’ He couldn’t help but turn slightly pink from all of the adoration. Roger and Emma -- who were standing right next to him -- shared a laugh at Harry’s display of discomfort.

It took a few minutes but once the crowd noise died down to a respectable level, Madam Hooch attempted her speech again. “It seems this place will always be full of excitement with you around, Potter.” She smirked at Harry before redirecting her attention to the rest of the players surrounding her. “I expect a fair game out there today.” The Hufflepuff team quietly snorted at her statement.

“It’s time to mount your brooms now.” Madam Hooch reached for the whistle hanging around her neck and gave out a loud blast.

Harry quickly climbed onto his Cleansweep Seven, and joined the rest of his team in rising high into the air in unison. The Quaffle was immediately grabbed by a Hufflepuff Chaser and everyone went to make chase.

The speed of the game hit Harry immediately as a slip in concentration left him at the back of the pack currently chasing down the Hufflepuff Chaser. Before he knew it, the Chaser had attempted a shot on goal and Anthony Adams had blocked it. The Quaffle was thrown to Roger Davies and Harry performed a quick flip, changing direction as Ravenclaw headed up the pitch.

Harry and Emma exchanged looks and began performing a planned play. Harry drove his broom into a dive across the field as Roger lazily lofted the Quaffle out to him. Harry snatched it out of the air, bringing the Quaffle to his chest securely before dipping under the nearby Hufflepuff Chaser and skillfully avoiding a Bludger hit in his direction. Harry's open path however quickly disappeared when the two remaining Hufflepuff Chasers closed in. Unfazed, Harry continued on towards the two Chasers seemingly intent to just barrel through the players. Inches away from collision Harry stopped abruptly, turning around with perfect timing to toss the Quaffle to Emma who was blazing across the other side of the pitch completely unguarded.

“And Potter throws the Quaffle to the side, to a WIDE OPEN EMMA JENNINGS!!” exclaimed Lee Jordan, the Gryffindor third year who had the privilege of announcing Hogwarts matches. “Jennings streaks down the pitch towards the goal posts –- she fakes left and shoots right –- GOAL RAVENCLAW!”

Harry quickly joined Roger in giving Emma a celebratory group hug. The entire stadium cheered at the scoring play, even the Hufflepuffs who gave their appreciation to the execution of the play performed by the Ravenclaw Chasers.

Nym, Daphne and Hannah were the most enthusiastic from the Hufflepuff section. As Harry flew by them -– having just discovered where they were sitting –- Hannah waved, Daphne cheered and Nym blew kisses in his direction. Harry laughed and waved, shaking his head amusedly for a moment before speeding back towards the middle of the field where his teammates were waiting for their opponents to approach.

Just minutes into the match, it became clear that Hufflepuff was paying more attention to Harry on defense compared to the other Ravenclaw chasers. Sutcliffe had expected that strategy to be used when preparing the team for the match, so Ravenclaw exploited the tendency by having Harry create open opportunities for his fellow Chasers instead of trying to be a scoring option.

After deflecting that first shot on goal to start off the match, Anthony did not face many more offensive attacks from Hufflepuff the rest of the day. Sutcliffe and Hopkirk quickly got into a rhythm and their aim with the Bludgers was keeping the Hufflepuff Chasers off balance anytime they made it past their Ravenclaw counterparts.

The Snitch had yet to make an appearance but Stevens kept the Hufflepuff Seeker on her toes, not letting her focus on the pitch to search for the elusive golden prize. Her frustration continued to build until she let out a series of shouts that left Stevens quite embarrassed.

“I wouldn’t want to be in Stevens’ shoes right now,” announced Lee Jordan as he surveyed the pitch. “I heard he and Simms went to Hogsmeade together a few times last year. It seems like she doesn't feel the same way this year!”

Harry laughed along with the crowd at his teammate's mid-air love quarrel, but the winds blowing around the pitch prevented anyone else from noticing. The jovial atmosphere and great preparation did wonders in calming Harry's nerves. The match was fast paced and time flew quickly for the players. Nearly one hour into the match, Harry had taken only two shots on goal, with one of them getting by the Hufflepuff Keeper for a score. The rest of the goals scored by Ravenclaw were off decoy plays where Harry had passed the Quaffle to a wide open Emma or Roger, who proceeded to score. Ravenclaw was winning one hundred and thirty to fifty; however with the Golden Snitch still up for grabs, they could not let up the intensity for fear of the game-ending catch not going in their favor.

Diving away from a Bludger, Harry found himself in front of the Ravenclaw section of the stands. Taking a quick glance, Harry located where Penelope was sitting in the stands –- next to an anxious-looking Cho –- and after giving a wave, was heading back towards the action when his broom gave off a sudden lurch.

Harry nearly lost his balance, staying aboard by clutching tightly to his broom with his gloved hands and padded knees. In all of his years of flying, he’d never had a broom buck on him like a rogue bronco before. If there was one taboo in Quidditch, it was the bewitching of a broomstick; the sport was dangerous enough without tampering the ride. Harry found it slightly distracting that his proximity to the stands let him clearly hear panicked yells and girls shrieking in fright as he struggled to hold onto the jerking broomstick.

He tried his hardest to pull the broom in any one direction but it was completely unresponsive, leaving him stranded high in the air. The whole Quidditch match stopped for a moment, completely mystified by the actions of Harry and the Cleansweep Seven he was riding. The Hufflepuff Chasers who were in possession of the Quaffle seemed to hesitate before realizing their advantage and moving forward to try a scoring attempt.

Emma and Roger were torn between attempting to aid Harry and helping defend the oncoming Hufflepuff Chasers. Sutcliffe made the decision for them, directing the two Chasers to stay on their opponents while he and Hopkirk went to help Harry.

During those few moments of indecision the uncontrollable broom started performing rolls and seemingly impossible twists before giving a lurch so wild that Harry was swung right off the broom. Only his quick reflexes kept Harry from falling as he reached out and gained a grip on the wayward Cleansweep Seven; leaving Harry dangling from the broom while only his glasses fell rapidly to the pitch below.

The frightening scene above was all Harry's friends needed to jump into action and look for a solution before it was too late. Nym dashed through the stands in an effort to get closer towards Harry's location while Daphne and Hannah scanned the stands for any possible reason for Harry's predicament. It looked like the young girls' search was going to end unsuccessful when a gasp from Daphne drew Hannah's attention.

“What is it?” she asked, moving to Daphne's side. “Did you find who it is?”

“I don't believe it,” Daphne muttered softly, pointing in the direction of the Slytherin box. Severus Snape was standing at the railing of the stands and seemed to be chanting something while staring at Harry hanging from the broom.

A burning anger grew in the normally shy and calm Hufflepuff. Hannah let out a low growl and sped through the stands towards Snape, not waiting for Daphne to follow. Once in range of the greasy professor, Hannah whipped out her wand and sent a flame charm – originally taught to start a small log fire – at Snape's robes, creating chaos in the stands.

Hannah's interference did the trick though as Harry easily climbed back onto his now still broom. The rest of the Quidditch players were distracted by the panic below. Snape’s flailed his arms about to and fro, fighting to get his robes off and the nearby students scattered to avoid catching fire. Everyone in the stands grabbed a hold of their seats as the stands began to rock back and forth with the amount of students scrambling around. Throughout the ruckus Stevens was one of the few to keep his eye on the pitch and was rewarded by a flash of gold. He quickly made a dive and moments later Ravenclaw had snatched victory in the crazy match, two hundred and eighty to sixty.

A loud cheer from the Ravenclaw section quickly broke through the noise and celebrations began to take place in the stands instead. Once Harry escaped from the rowdy Ravenclaw locker room, he was intercepted by his friends and thoroughly smothered and congratulated. Once Harry had eased the worries of the girls – Penelope in particular had a hard time letting him out of her embrace – he noticed the slightly pouty look on Daphne along with the irritated one on Hannah. He was able to convince the girls to make a stop at Hagrid's Hut for a cup of tea to soothe everyone's nerves.

Hagrid eagerly welcomed the group into his home and praised Harry for his play in such an 'odd match'. Everyone did their best to fit in the small hut and squeezed together in some places. Despite the cozy atmosphere, there was still a tension in the air between the girls. Hannah seemed to be staring at her cup of tea with an intensity Harry couldn't remember ever seeing on the blonde Hufflepuff. Daphne stared absentmindedly out the window while petting Fang. Nym and Penelope didn't seem to have much on their minds but worry as they kept close to Harry – sitting on either side of him in fact.

Harry had barely taken a sip of his tea when Daphne blurted, “It was Snape.”

Penelope raised an eyebrow. “What was Snape?”

“He was what caused Harry's broom trouble,” replied Hannah. “Daphne pointed him out and I set his robes on fire to distract him.”

Harry's eyes widened and Nym spat her tea all over the front of her robes. “You caused that mess in the stands?!” she asked incredulously, a touch of admiration in her voice.

Hannah blushed wildly but was saved from replying when Hagrid denied Snape's involvement.

“I just don't understand it,” said Daphne, turning her head from the window to gaze at Harry. “You might not be on his favorite list, Harry, but I didn't think he'd actually resort to attacking you. Especially in public, that's not very Slytherin of him.”

“Slytherin of him? He's a teacher!” shouted Penelope. “How can we be safe in school if we can't even trust our professors?”

Harry raised his hand to quell the emotions before they got out of hand. “Besides what he thinks of me and my family, Snape isn't squeaky clean. I think he got injured trying to get past that three-headed dog on Halloween. His leg was in a bad way the other night.”

“Three-headed dog?” asked a shocked Penelope. The arm she had around Harry loosened its grip so she could shift and face Harry more easily. “Where in Hogwarts would you see such a thing? I would think I'd have seen it.”

“In the Forbidden Corridor,” answered Harry timidly.

Surprised by the admission, the room reacted accordingly. Nym and Daphne choked on their tea; Hannah and Penelope exchanged looks of disbelief, and Hagrid dropped his teapot.

“How do you know about Fluffy?” asked Hagrid.

“Fluffy?” repeated Daphne.

“He’s mine,” answered Hagrid. “I bought him off a bloke last year. I lent him to Dumbledore to guard the …” Hagrid's speech trailed off suddenly and the half-giant tried to busy himself with refilling everyone’s cups.

“The …” Nym gestured with her hands, imploring Hagrid to continue.

“’nuff of that rubbish,” said Hagrid, keeping his gaze away from Harry’s suddenly eager green eyes. “That’s between Professor Dumbledore an’ Nicholas Flamel.”

“Alright, Hagrid,” agreed Harry, a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. “Then who’s Nicholas Flamel?”
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