Chapter 7 : Catch That Snitch
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Catch That Snitch
Abbie awoke on Friday morning because of the sun streaming through the uncovered windows. Abbie once again cursed the fact that there were no curtains in the girls’ dormitories. She rolled over onto her side – Lily’s bed was empty. That was to be expected. But hang on; it hadn’t even been slept in!
Then Abbie remembered that Lily now slept in the Heads’ Dorms. Abbie groaned and fell back into a deep slumber.
…Only to be woken what seemed like two minutes later by someone shouting in her ear.
“ABBIE GET OUT OF BED FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!” Abbie woke with a start and bolted upright.
“What da?” She slurred, looking round dizzily. Rachel stood there with her hands on her hips tapping her foot. She was already dressed in her uniform, whereas Abbie was still in her PJs. But there was nothing wrong with Pyjamas – pupils should just be allowed to wear their pyjamas to class, shouldn’t they?
“Abbie are you even listening to me?” Rachel moaned. Abbie shook her head numbly. She cried out in frustration. “Look, you need to get up because breakfast ends in like, fifteen minutes, I mean – I’m up and I’ve got a free period for Christ’s sake!”
Abbie rolled out of her bed onto the floor, moaning all the way.
“Oh very graceful. Incredibly ladylike. Now you’ve got DADA first – Will’s already waiting for you at breakfast and I am now leaving to go spend my free period with Andy. Adios!” And with that she turned on her heel and walked out the door. Abbie heard a giggle from behind her and saw Alice sitting on her own bed, also fully clothed.
“Come on, Abs. I’ll go down to breakfast with you if you hurry up.” Abbie thanked her and quickly got dressed.
Five minutes later, she was running a brush through her long blonde hair with Alice watching, admirably.
“I wish I had hair like that.” Abbie smiled and tied it up in a ponytail. “Although I guess I’ve said that plenty of times before.” Abbie pulled on her school shoes before linking arms with Alice and beginning to descend the spiral staircase. “You know, you should wear your hair down every so often. You’d be such a guy magnet with hair like that!” Alice giggled. Abbie blushed.
“I don’t really like it down – Will always says I should, but I don’t really want to. Besides… I don’t particularly want to be a ‘guy magnet’” She chuckled. Alice raised her eyebrows at her.
“You like someone, don’t you?” Abbie turned to her, mouth agape.
“How did you –“
“You forget, I really like someone too. In fact, I even think I may be in love.” Alice gushed and Abbie sniggered at her friend’s faraway expression.
“So how are things with Frank, anyway?”
“Oh, it’s brilliant. We’ve been going out for three years now – if he asked me to marry him I would most definitely say yes!”
The two girls giggled together until they reached the Great hall. Alice said her goodbyes before breaking away to sit next to Frank along the table, whereas Abbie wandered over to where Will and Lily were sitting. Well, where Will was sat and Lily had her face slammed down onto the table.
“What’s wrong Lils?” Abbie asked as she slid into a seat.
“What sort of time do you call this?” Will exclaimed, tapping his non existent watch. Abbie ignored him.
“I have to sit next to Potter, in DADA.” She said the name with such vehemence, Abbie had thought she was only spitting out phlegm. She chuckled at herself, but Lily mistook it for laughter at her.
“What’s so funny about that, Abbie? It’s torture I tell you, torture!”
“Ah, pfft.” Will waved his hand dismissively. “You just don’t like being beaten by him at DADA. Let’s face it; James and Sirius are beyond everyone’s skill levels when it comes to this lesson. Yes Lily, even you.”
“You’ve become very mouthy these days, Mr Crockford.” Abbie smirked.
“Meh.” Will shrugged. “Last year at Hogwarts – remember our vow to do everything we always wanted to do? Back chatting Lily was on that list.” Hr grinned and Abbie laughed, before biting into a slice of toast.
“Nuh uh, Abbie. No time for that.” Will plucked the piece of toast from her mouth.
“Wha?” Abbie protested. But Will grabbed her and Lily’s arms and dragged them both reluctantly from the Great Hall.
By the time they reached the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, most of the class was already in there. Holland noticed them sneaking into the classroom, unfortunately.
“Late, I see. Pity. Five points from Gryffindor. Each.” Abbie glared at him as she slid into her usual seat next to Katarina Parkinson. Who also happened to be extra sour towards Gryffindors after her humiliation earlier in the week.
“Morning, Mudblood.” She sneered under her breath. Abbie smirked, and not looking at her replied:
“Morning to you too, bitch. And I’m a half blood by the way – that insult doesn’t work on everyone.” Parkinson just sneered before turning back to face the front.
“Welcome to your third lesson of Defence Against the Dark Arts. As you know, last lesson you got through all of the work I set you -” There was a chorus or grumbles and groans at the thought of last lesson’s written work – identifying simple knock back jinxes such as flipendo. “ –you all completed the work I set you, and even claimed you could do better. So, I’ve decided to set you a quiz, and we’ll see how good you all are then.” There were more groans at the thought of a test. Abbie even slammed her head down onto the desk. Holland noticed.
“Five points from Gryffindor, Miss Riley. No need to show your enthusiasm for my class in such a manner.” Abbie scowled and huffed, turning the other way.
Test papers were levitated between the aisles, one dropping on every desk. In front of her, Alice started on her paper straight away, and Abbie opened it to the first page:
1. Write down three signs that identify a werewolf.
She sighed. This was going to be a long lesson.
Peri yawned as she got up from her seat in her Charms classroom. The class had just been dismissed from a particularly boring lesson – just a test with easy questions in it. Pretty much the same as what she’d done in the lesson previous, DADA. Having an aunt and uncle who were fully trained Aurors always helped in those kind of tests – but in charms, she preferred to just copy off of Lily when she got the chance.
She packed her books into her bag and slung it over her shoulder; in a rush to catch up to Will who had Herbology with her next.
“Hey, Will! Wait up!” She called down the corridor. He turned round, grinning, and took another glance at his non existent watch for the second time that morning. Peri playfully punched him on the arm when she reached him. “Shut up.”
“I didn’t say anything!” He exclaimed.
“But I could tell you were going to because I’m psychic – so there.” Peri stuck her tongue out at him and Will did the same. “Can we wait for Peter?” Will sighed.
“Yeah, sure. Just tell him to hurry up!”
“Oi Peter!” She cried down the corridor. “Get your legs into gear – we won’t wait forever!” Peter came scurrying outside the mob of students overtaking the corridor, and the three walked down to the entrance hall. As they walked down the marble staircase, Peri thought about what Sirius and Peter had told her about this place – apparently it was their prank arena. Maybe Peri would get to pull some pranks with them this year…
When they opened the great oak doors, they were met by the glorifying rays of sunshine in that cold winter morning. There was a chill wind whipping around, and they pulled their robes tighter around them as they took off into the cold.
Before long, they had reached the Herbology greenhouses and they marched into greenhouse four: NEWT students. As they stepped inside they heard the screeching of the Venomous Tentacula met their ears. That plant had always given Peri the creeps – it shot poison from it’s shoots! Although, now that she thought about it, quite a lot of plants did.
They moved over to a table on the far side of the greenhouse next to a particularly safe looking plant before Professor Sprout made her entrance.
In her arms she was carrying a large plant that looked a bit like a bluebell, but the part that would normally be a bright blue was a rather acidic green colour. Peri could almost see where this was going.
“What is it?” Peter whispered in her ear.
“I’m not sure,” She whispered back. “Sprout’ll probably tell us in a minute.” Peter nodded and leaned back in his seat.
“This plant, seventh years, is what I was telling you about on Monday. It’s called an Acidic Monotula, and why, say, would it be classes as a monotule plant? Miss Carltona?” Peri sat more upright.
“Well I guess ‘mono’ because it only has one bud – but it would be a tule because it must squirt poison, or something similar like an acid that irritates the skin.”
“Very good, Miss Carltona. Five points to Gryffindor.” Peri beamed. “As Miss Carltona just stated, it squirts Typloson Pus, therefore I want everyone to put on there dragon skin gloves. Very good, very good. Now Typloson Pus has also many healing properties, as tule plants often possess, and it restores any who have been confunded almost instantly. So today, we will be working on extracting the Pus. It’s a long and complicated process…” Professor Sprout proceeded in explaining the instructions for their work that day and the Will went to get a plant for the three of them.
When he returned with one of the Acidic Monotulas in hand, they all got a closer look at the stem. Where in fact before Peri had assumed were some kind of hairs turned out to be little needles, where the Pus mainly came out from by the looks of it.
“It’s just our luck to make friends with a Herbology know-it-all, ay Crockford?” Peter chuckled.
“You can call me Will if I can call you Peter.” Will grinned.
“Real sweet, guys, but could you hand me one of the glass tubes?” Will laughed and handed her one of the glass tubes.
“Okay, so Peter – if you hold it down, Sprout said these liked to move a lot when you’re extracting the Pus, and Will can squeeze the needles each one by one and then I can pick them up in the tube. Clear?”
“Yessir, ma’am.” Peri raised her eyebrows at Peter before turning her attention back to the Acidic Monotula.
“Ready? Three, two, one – hold it!”
After several failed attempts, the trio managed to extract enough Typloson Pus to fill half of the glass tube, the limit Sprout had wanted them to achieve before they were allowed to leave for lunch. And so, being the first to finish, Peter, Peri and Will were allowed to leave slightly early – much to their relief, as they were all sporting rashes around their wrists where the Pus had managed to reach when their gloves weren’t pulled on tight enough.
The trio walked back out of the biting cold and back into the castle for lunch and had soon settled down at the table, before most other students got there.
“And did you see the one where Peter almost let go – I swear, it was going to use its acidic bud thinger to strangle me!” The three laughed at the exaggerated story just as Professor McGonagall marched up to them.
“Miss Carltona, Mr Pettigrew. Your detention will be held next Wednesday rather than tonight due to… well, I may want to punish you – but I still want my house to win the House Cup this year.” She handed Peter four slips (three for the other Marauders) and Peri one. On it, it read:
Teacher: Professor Minerva McGonagall
Reason: Hexing other students so that what they touched turned to animals
Date/Time of Punishment: Wednesday, 10th September, 8:00, Great Hall
Peri looked perplexed.
“What’s our detention got to do with the House Cup?” Will looked up from what he was munching on.
“Quidditch tryouts this evening. Cap’n Potter wants a good team this year and winning the Quidditch Cup could mean the House Cup too. McGonagall’s very supportive of James.” Peri nodded.
“You called?” James slid into his seat, closely followed by Sirius.
“Detention’s been rescheduled to Wednesday. 'Cause of quidditch tryouts.” Peri replied. James’ face lit up.
“Good ol’ Minnie – I knew she’d see sense. So you gonna tryout Peri?”
“No chance.” James’ face fell.
“You’d have a much better chance of getting on the team, being a close friend of the Captain y’know…” Peri shook her head.
“N.O. No way.” James gave in resignedly.
“Here comes Moony.” Sirius commented as Remus walked in talking to Rachel with Lily close behind.
“… So we’re patrolling next week then, not today?” She had been saying.
“Yeah, next week.” Remus sat down next to her at the table and began to eat. Rachel froze, although Remus didn’t seem to notice.
“Actually… I said I’d catch lunch with Andy. See you.” Rachel jumped up from her seat and practically ran to the Ravenclaw table, planting a kiss on Andy’s cheek before sitting down. Remus blinked, looking quite put out that Peri nearly laughed – he then slid up the bench to sit next to James.
“What’s up with her?” James shrugged, making no comment.
As Abbie came to join them, the only person who seemed annoyed at how seating in the Great Hall had changed over the week was Lily. With Peri becoming fast friends with both the Marauders and the girls (and Will) the two groups ended up sitting together more often. Lily however seemed incredibly frustrated at having to sit near James and made a point of not even looking at him. James made a point of not attempting to strike up conversation, although it was obvious he wanted to – then again, it was pretty obvious that she wouldn’t reply in any case.
That evening, Sirius, James and Will made their way down to the quidditch pitch, leaving Remus and Peter to their own devices and Peri to take a stroll round the grounds with the other girls. James certainly had no qualms with her newfound friendship – he got see Lily a lot more often now, even if she wouldn’t speak to him.
They changed into their scarlet robes before making their way out to the quidditch pitch. Packed into one side of the stadium, were plenty of Gryffindors, all wanting to tryout for the team. In the stands were mainly girls – all there to watch Sirius and James play, no doubt. And standing near the broom shed looking bored (all dressed in scarlet) were the two other members of the Gryffindor team.
James played chaser, and the other two players in their unstoppable combo were Davidson and Lee. Tom “Duck” Davidson was a popular sixth year in his own right – he was almost a Marauder equivalent on his own, but not quite there. Jacque Lee was an Asian girl who was a very down to earth fifth year.
The keeper for the Gryffindors was Will, and he had been since his third year when he had been convinced to tryout by Abbie. Sirius was a beater (who was hanging onto being on the team by a thread) and the tryout positions left were one Beater and a Seeker. James grabbed his broom from the shed, an old Nimbus 1000 (now outdated by one model) and grabbed his clipboard from Jacque.
“Good to see you guys again.” James nodded, smiling and his fellow chasers, who nodded back. James then got onto his broom and kicked off into the air, closely followed by the rest of the team.
“All right you lot!” He shouted down at the chattering Gryffindors below. “The only free positions this year are one Seeker and one Beater. So if you don’t want either of them, then go home!” About a third of the crowd moaned and left, heading back up to the castle. “Those that are left, I want Beaters over there where Sirius is, and can the Seekers go sit in the stands ‘til your turn!” The crowd split in two.
“Mount your brooms – we’re just going for a few laps round the pitch, just to warm up and for me to get an idea of your flying ability. In the air on my whistle!” James blew his whistle and they took off into the air.
James began flying round the pitch, with the majority of the flyers on his tail. However, some hadn’t made it off the ground, others were veering off in completely the wrong direction and the rest obviously had no idea how to control a broom. After the sixth person to ram into one of the stands fell to the floor sporting a bleeding nose, James decided it was time to stop.
“Okay, now I can trust you all to know how well or not so well you did in that. If you can’t fly – learn, and come back next year!” A handful of students left and James sighed irritably. “Fine, I guess I’ll have to play bad Captain.” James flew to the ground and skidded when he landed, causing a few “ooohs” and “ahhhs” from the spectators. He walked amongst the crowd tapping people on the shoulder.
“You can’t fly. You keep going completely the wrong way. You can’t fly either. You – you, mate, couldn’t even get off the ground.” After James elimination, around fifteen vaguely promising Beaters remained.
“Oi! Beater wannabes - if you all look at me quickly,” Sirius called to the remaining students. “Yeah I know, pretty face, huh?”
“Sorry, Cap’n. Right so you all get three tries, and what I’m going to do is I’m gonna throw you a ball (not a bludger) and I want you to hit it back at me. The closer you are, the higher your score. Get me?”
“Ooooh anyday Sirius.” Came a girl from the crowd. He winked and turned back to the others.
“Alright groups of three now.”
There were several people that James knew had to be dismissed immediately. Most missed the ball completely – and a couple ended up near James and the other team, diminishing their score completely. Next, Sirius split them into different groups of three.
“Okay now I’m gonna throw a ball at your group, and I want you to hit it between each other. You get points for knocking another guy off of his broom – with the ball only – and you lose points for either hitting it in completely the wrong direction or you can all lose them by letting the ball touch the floor. First group up here please.”
As the group began hitting the ball between each other, it hit the ground almost immediately and after putting Duck in charge of picking up the ball and throwing it back to them, Sirius flew over to James to give him some feedback.
“Okay now I’ve seen four, maybe five, who I think could actually make it on this team.” Sirius pointed them out and James put small ticks next to their names.
“All right, I’ll keep them then. Oh and Sirius,” He called as Sirius made to shoot back to the students. He turned. “I’m glad you’re on the team.” Sirius grinned before flying back over to the smaller Gryffindors.
“Okay!” James shouted to get their attention. “The last people we wanna see are Andrew Curtis, Lilly Gordon, Harry Smith, Marcus Johnson and Tina Benson.” The remaining scowled and threw brooms to the ground before they walked off.
The five Gryffindors that walked over all had nervous grins on their faces and James smiled warmly.
“Right, so you guys are going to be working with the real bludgers. You’re going to be put into a real game… ish. We’re going to have Duck and Jacque trying to score against Will and I want you to work with Sirius to see how close you can get to them. However, I would prefer that most of my team make it out of this practice alive so just try and restrain yourselves a little. Okay, Benson up first then.”
Tina Benson did pretty well, but her arm just didn’t quite hold the strength when she was hitting the real thing. Smith was okay, but comparing him to Curtis just shoved him out of the running. Curtis was easily the best, a burly fourth year boy but his attitude didn’t impress James at all. He tended to try and tell the other players how to do their jobs, and James didn’t like that. Will didn’t like that either. So James reluctantly decided that his talent could wait until another year, if next year’s Captain decided to take him on. He decided to choose between Gordon and Johnson and after a few more runs of this activity had decided on his final player.
“Over here!” He called, and the players flew over to James. “Okay I’ve decided that this year’s new beater to be working with Sirius is…” He paused for suspense.
“Just hurry up and tell us, Potter.” Snapped Curtis.
“… Marcus Johnson!” Marcus gasped and cheered, making James smile, but by far the best part of this announcement was watching the smug smile fall from Curtis’ face.
“But I played way better than him!” he cried in outrage. James shook his head.
“Sort out your attitude problem, mate, and come back next year.” Curtis narrowed his eyes before storming away. “Welcome to the team, Marcus.” Marcus was a fifth year boy with curly black hair and a toothy grin. He took James’ outstretched hand.
“My mates call me MJ. You know, Marcus Johnson?” James nodded and left MJ to the rest of the team.
“Okay! Seekers over here then, please.” The seeking process wasn’t nearly as long as the beating and soon James (with the help of Jacque) had narrowed it down to five players.
“Now, when I narrow it down to this point I usually start you off with the real thing. However, due to an… incident involving Katarina Parkinson and a now empty box of snitches, we need to use an alternative before a new one can be made for us. So, I’m just going to let go some snidgets that Duck here caught for me, and we can see how you go with those.
The snidgets were small, fat yellow coloured birds that were roughly the same size as a snitch. The only downside to James’ plan, though, was the fact that Duck had forgotten to jinx the snidgets to stay within the stadium and the tryout soon became all about recapturing them – still a good test of the players’ skill but not very practical.
The final snidget took off out of the stadium and James still didn’t feel like he’d found his seeker. He shook his head and thought he’d wait until the last tryout.
“Brown, you’re snidget is flying off.” Brown hung his head, sheepishly.
“My brooms a bit old – it’s my brothers old one. I’ll never catch anything on this!” He shook his head. James looked at him: he was small, light – the perfect build for a seeker.
“Use Sirius’. I’m following you on this.” Brown took Sirius’ Cleansweep Four from his gaping form and took off into the air.
James just laughed and kicked off after him. Brown was certainly a good flyer, although James could estimate that he was only just a second year. On the Cleansweep he looked quite at home and James chuckled at what he thought Sirius’ remark would be if he told him that.
The snidget was within sight, and Brown shot forward with a burst of speed. It was just skimming along the lake and suddenly swerved to the right, Brown following, who shouted with exhilaration. James noted how he also seemed to enjoy the sport – always a good point. It flew round the beech tree and James realised too late that there may be some people sitting there. There were. Just his luck, Lily was there too. As he and Brown flew over Lily, Abbie, Rachel and Peri’s heads he heard a scream from behind him.
“JAMES POTTER I AM GOING TO BLOODY -” but she was cut off by the wind whistling in his ears.
As they flew back up into the clouds, the snidget wondered where to go with its’ newfound freedom and hesitated just for a second. That was all Brown needed. His hand shot out and his fist clenched around the snidget with a whoop of delight. James laughed and the boy jumped as he noticed James hovering there next to him. He grinned sheepishly.
“I’m sure Black probably wants his broom back.” James nodded his head with satisfaction
“And may I present the final member of Gryffindor Squad 1977/78, Tam Brown!” There were plenty of claps and cheers.
“THAT’S IT!” Sirius suddenly shouted.
“Okay, what?” Duck snickered.
“We met you at the feast, didn’t we Brown – er – Tam?” Tam nodded, bewildered.
“I’m surprised you’d remember that.” James nodded too.
“Yeah and you had your brother, Carl, wasn’t it? He looked just like me and he said you were trying out for the team this year.” Tam shrugged.
“Hope he hasn’t spread too many stories about me by now,” he laughed nervously. “Anyway, thanks er, Captain. But I gotta run now, I’ve got detention with Flitwick!” Sirius barked with laughter before the small boy ran off.
“Nice catch, Prongs. Nice catch.”
The remainder of the team, after getting changed, made their way back up to the castle where they met McGonagall in the entrance hall.
“Professor, good to see you – er, waiting… for us.”
“This can’t be good, can it Prongs? Can it be good?”
“No, I don’t believe it can be good, Padfoot. What do you think Professor, can it be good?” McGonagall sighed irritably.
“You got a team Potter?”
“A good team?”
“Of course Professor.”
“Then I guess it can be good, then, can’t it Potter?” She smiled briefly before walking past them into the Great Hall.
“Well we’ve missed dinner – wanna get something from the kitchens later?” Sirius shrugged.
“I guess. I’m gonna go find Moony and Wormtail quick and see if they reserved something for us.”
“While you’re there, tell Will first practice is next Thursday and tell Frank that he owes me a chocolate frog.”
“He’ll no what I mean. But, Pads, before you tell him you better say something like ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ or he might just hex you. See ya.” And James took a passage in a tapestry up to the Heads’ Dorms, leaving Sirius standing there bewildered.
“Unity.” James stated to the Portrait of the Roaring Lion. It swung open and he stepped inside into the Dorms. On the couch, next to the fire (which may have been going a few minutes ago but had now completely gone out), Lily lay there peacefully an open book on her lap. She was fast asleep and James smiled. There weren’t many occasions when he could be so close to her and not have her face contorted with rage. He took off his jacket and laid it across her so she wouldn’t catch a cold.
“Oh, Lils. If only you knew.” He sighed. Lily slept on peacefully. “Lily, I just want you to know…” He brushed a strand of auburn hair out of her eyes. “It… it hurts. I don’t know how much more my heart can take before I break.” He choked on the last sentence, before getting to his feet again.
“Goodnight, Evans.” He smiled sadly before making his way quietly to his bedroom. Once the door was shut James backed up against it before sliding down onto the floor, burying his face in his arms.
So that's chapter seven! How was it - too cliche with the seeker bit? I dunno - but be prepared for some serious drama next chappie, along with Peri's famed detention. There are four special thanks to moonbaby11, Belle_Beau, Gimpel and sugarquills5 who added this story to their favorites :3 But more than just doing that I WOULD REALLY LOVE SOME REVIEWS - you know, give me feedback and what I can improve on? It only makes my writing better!
Thanks for reading!
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