That following Saturday, you could practically feel the excitement on the Quidditch pitch. This was the day; the big battle of the sexes game, where the final roster would be decided for each house, although they wouldn’t find out who made it until the following day.
Despite the excitement, though, it seemed as if everyone wanted to get it over with. Students dragged themselves onto the pitch earlier than usual, probably due from lack of sleep. Laced with that excitement, though, there was nervousness.
“This is so exciting!” Hermione beamed, as they all made their way into the stands.
Ginny agreed. “Yeah, I’m nervous, though.”
“Don’t worry, if you don’t get the Seeker position, you’re bound to get something else.” Ron assured her.
“I just hope we all make it. It’ll be great is we get to play on the same team.” Ginny replied, thoughtfully.
“Don’t hold your breath.” A cold voice spat, coming from behind them. They all rolled their eyes this time.
Turning around, they spotted Malfoy grinning like an idiot behind them.
“Please go away, Malfoy, I feel my breakfast coming up.” Ron told him.
“The mud blood’s sitting next to you. Vomit on her. At least it’ll make some improvement.”
Hermione thrust out her chin in defiance. “That phrase is getting rather old, Malfoy, and it doesn’t continue to bother me anymore.”
“Why? Because Azura stuck up for you?”
“No, because it takes pure intelligence to be creatively insulting. You, I’m afraid, have used all of your ‘Mud Blood coupons’ and seem to recycle your insults. It really says a lot about your intelligence.”
Malfoy scowled as the others tried to stifle laughter. “You think you’re so clever, Granger, but you just wait. Julius won’t be around when term starts to back you up.”
“Yes, you’ve made this clear already. Good-Bye.”
A pair of steely blue eyes thrown in his direction cut off Malfoy’s retort. Azura’s steely blue eyes. He thought better not to respond. Huffing, he strode away, leaving victory grins on Hermione and Ron’s face. Harry and Ginny weren’t able to contain their laughter at all and almost rolled off the stadium seats.
“Good one, Hermione.” Ron told her.
Harry’s eyebrow shot up. Wow. Ron actually complemented her.
“Thanks. I’ve been waiting a long time to say that.”
“I wonder where Crabbe and Goyle are.” Harry pondered out loud, noticing for the first time they weren’t up Malfoy’s arse.
“Probably pigging out in the kitchen.” Ron answered. “You know those two. Where ever there’s food, there’s Lard Arse Squared.”
When the stands finally filled up, Madam Hooch blew her whistle, gaining everyone’s attention. Azura and Season stood on one side of her, while Wood and Ethan stood on the other.
“Sonorous!” she ordered, pointing her wand to her throat, creating a natural megaphone. “Now, let me explain to you how things are going to work. When I give the word, you will divide into two sides, boys and girls. Seven people will be assigned positions to start and throughout the game, we will be constantly be changing players in and out to play different spots, starting with the youngest players.
“Season, Azura, Oliver and Ethan will make their final decisions and on Sunday the roster will be announced.
“Now, as I call your names, please make your way to the pitch.”
She divvied up the students, and then began to read names from a list she conjured. The first few names Harry didn’t recognize. It wasn’t until a few changes later names started to sound familiar. The only thing that bothered him, though, was the fact that he had to play on the same team as Malfoy. At least he wasn’t picked to play Seeker against Ginny; Malfoy had the pleasure-and lost to her. He had fumes coming out of his ears as Ginny blew him a facetious kiss. He wasn’t sure whose side to be on for that one.
The boys were doing pretty good-until he and Cho Chang had to battle against each other as Seeker.
Harry gulped, as she threw him a look the Devil himself would run and hide from. She’s definitely prettier when she’s not being mean. He thought to himself. But then he also thought: I have to catch that snitch.
Madam Hooch blew her whistle and fourteen students kicked off the ground and flew into the air. Everything around Harry seemed to happen in a blur. Balls flew, points were scored; he almost caught a bludger to the head a few times.
Then he saw it; the snitch was hovering right over one of the goals on the boy’s side. Harry felt his stomach turn into knots, thinking only he had seen it, but he was wrong. Cho was right on his tail.
Ron, who was playing Keeper, wasn’t aware the two of them were soaring right for him.
Cho and Harry glanced competitively at each other as they drew closer and closer to the snitch. Ron saw them by this time and moved out of the way just in time for the girls to score another point.
But just when Malfoy yelled, “Weasley! You-" The snitch did a U-Turn and headed straight for him. Cho and Harry followed, and before he could move, the two of them collided right into him.
Three bodies rolled on the ground and the stands grew silent, waiting to see who caught the snitch.
Both Harry and Cho shook away delirium and raised their hands in the air. Looking at each other, they weren’t sure how to react.
Ginny scowled. “That bitch stole my move!”
The girls won by only a few points, but the boys still took it as a real loss.
“If only Weasley saved that last goal!” Malfoy spat, as they headed for the showers.
“Oh, I’m so sorry. Next time, I’ll stand right in the line of fire and get my head knocked off!” He returned, evenly.
“One last Weasley to worry about.”
Ron focused his eyes on the new bruise Malfoy sported on his forehead. “You know, if I had a bruise in the shape of Uranus on my head, I’d be cranky too.”
Malfoy scowled. He and Hermione were getting way too quick in the tongue for his liking.
By the next day, Harry had forgotten all about his Sirius sighting and he actually slept well for the first time in a few nights. He was just excited about the roster announcement.
Everyone had gathered in the stands by house. The coaches had made their decision and handed Madam Hooch the roster parchments for her to announce them.
Azura and Wood stood in-between Season and Ethan, probably to keep them from sparring at each other. The girls had stone cold faces and were barely moving. Ethan looked pissed off and Wood was trying his best not to sneak glances at Azura.
“What’s up with those four?” Ginny asked, as Madam Hooch pointed her wand to her throat.
Harry didn’t respond. He knew Wood’s situation. As for the other two, well, the reason they fought was unclear to everyone.
“Now has come the time you all have been waiting for. The roster announcements!” Madam Hooch began. After the excited cheering died down, she continued. “The coaches have assured me everyone has done their best and just because you didn’t make it does not mean you aren’t any good.”
“Merlin! Get on with it!” Ron hissed, barely above a whisper.
“The rosters are as follows: For Hufflepuff: Your Beaters will be Tuesday Haze and Justin Flinch-Flechy. Your Chasers are Lyndon Lillard, Miguel Leviosa and Gwen Saturn. Your Keeper is Ernie McMillan and your Seeker is Goldilocks, a.k.a. Hannah Abbot.” Madam Hooch threw Ethan an amused side-glance as cheers erupted from the Hufflepuff side.
“For Ravenclaw,” it was suddenly quiet again. “Your beaters are Croix Valiant and Seattle Nimbus. Your Chasers are Padma Patil, Elijah Bleu, and Gavin Sundae. Your Keeper is Luna Lovegood and your Seeker is Cho Chang.”
Luna Lovegood? Harry thought to himself. He glanced over to the Ravenclaw side and noticed the spacey Luna staring into the distance as her teammates cheers. Hmmm. Interesting. Wonder what Azura has up her sleeve…
Madam Hooch continued. “For Slytherin: Your Beaters are Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. Your Chasers are Pansy Parkinson, Xander Knyle and Stevo…no last name..? Stevo! Your Keeper is Millicent Bulstrode and your Seeker is Draco Malfoy.”
That’s not surprising. Harry thought to himself. Malfoy gave a satisfying nod in direction as if saying Ha. I got it and you won’t.
Harry just smiled as Madam Hooch read the Gryffindor roster.
“The Beaters are Colin and Dennis Creevy. Your Chasers are Ginny Weasley, Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnegan. Your Keeper is Ron Weasley and your Seeker is Harry Potter.”
The Gryffindor side let out a tremendous roar. Ginny hugged her brother and kissed Harry’s cheek. “We get to play together, can you believe it?!”
Harry grinned, and as he looked down at the pitch, he caught Wood’s eye.
Wood returned Harry’s grin. Duh, Potter, why wouldn’t you get it?
Draco scowled and mouthed out the words, you’re going to die.
Hmm. Harry thought to himself. Speaking of which, I wonder how Trelwany is doing.
“Can you believe our Beaters?” Dean asked. “The Creevy brothers?”
“I know!” Ron agreed. “Two people couldn’t get anymore annoying.”
“Tell me about it.” Harry replied, rolling his eyes, recalling his second year where Colin wouldn’t stop taking pictures of him.
“But they’re good.” Seamus reminded them. “And that’s what counts. They probably practiced their little hides off getting there, but they did it. People are definitely going to be surprised; it’s going to throw them off.”
The boys agreed.
“I hate to admit it, but the bloke’s right.” Ron said.
Harry paused, then took a breath. “You know something? I don’t think Gryffindor is going to be the only good team. I honestly think the other three are going to be really hard to beat.”
“That’s right.” Seamus agreed. “These are professional Quidditch players. I think the whole school is going to be surprised.”
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