Hey guys! Thanks for checking out my story! I would just like to say that this chapter has a bit of Dumbledore's speech from OotP at the end, anything recognizable belongs to JKR but the OC's are a creation of my own imagination. Thanks again!
To Catch a Snitch
It was on the Hogwarts Express that he first caught a glimpse of her, although, he didn’t realize she was even a person. She was flying high above the scarlet train on her brand new Firebolt. She had absentmindedly lost track of time as she was wont to do, and ended up at Kings Cross Station a whole five minutes after the gates to Platform 9 ¾ had closed. Cursing her stupidity, and the fact that she couldn’t just apparate to Hogwarts, she shrunk her luggage and readied herself and her broom for the long journey ahead.
Andria Marie Sparrow was a forgetful girl of fifteen. She stood a proud 5’2” with dark brown hair, enticingly green eyes, freckles scattered across her nose and cheeks, and a small heart-shaped birthmark on the back of her neck, just under her hairline.
It was to be her first time at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as a transfer from the Salem School for Young Witches and Wizards. Andy, as she liked to be called, had been the youngest member of the Fitchburg Finches, and the American World Cup team, as reserve seeker for whenever their captain, Maximus Brankovitch III, fell ill. It happened far more often than Andy thought possible for a man to be sick. In her opinion, it was she who did most of the work to get them into the World Cup, and Brankovitch who took over when he felt like it, stealing all her recognition. She had been a part of the teams since she was thirteen. Brankovitch had come to Salem’s House Cup match the year before and saw her perfectly executed Wronski Feint leading him to exclaim that she would be a part of his team “so that those damn Texas hicks don’t have any chance.”
Two years later and here she was being signed over to the worst team in Europe in the past century, the Chudley Cannons. At least I get to be the full-time seeker here, she thought to herself as she sped along above the clouds being sure to keep the train in her sights.
“Can you believe it?” Ron Weasley exclaimed over the quidditch section of the Daily Prophet that had been published two weeks prior. “They’re just bloody getting rid of the entire team!”
“Don’t be so dramatic, Ronald. They’re just replacing two chasers and the seeker, and only because the ones who are being replaced are ‘retiring’. If you ask me, they’re just tired of losing all the time,” said Hermione Granger, who had just gotten back from changing into her robes.
“Well no one asked you, Hermione,” Ron retorted churlishly.
“Stop being such a child and let’s go to the Prefects meeting before we’re late, I have a few questions I need answered,” she replied as she stepped into the corridor. Ron grumbled and rolled his eyes at his best friend Harry, yes the Harry Potter, who just smiled and waved as they left.
Draco Malfoy sat in the Prefect compartment tuning out Granger’s incessant questions by staring at the clouds. He could just ask Pansy Parkinson for a recap once they were back with their friends. At one point, he thought he saw someone flying above the clouds, but, after trying to see it better, waved it off as a larger bird and returned to his cloud gazing.
Penelope Elizabeth Briggs reentered the compartment she was sitting in with her fellow fifth year Hufflepuffs after changing into her school robes. She was excited to start her fifth year at Hogwarts, especially since she had finally gotten her animagi license. She had mastered her animagus form, a calico cat with markings like her glasses, at the bright young age of thirteen, with the aid of Madam Wallaby’s School for Magic at every break from Hogwarts. Transfiguration was her specialty. She was eager to secretly roam the halls of Hogwarts after curfew just for fun.
Penelope was also excited for this term to start for another reason. She had gotten a letter from Professor Dumbledore over the summer telling her that she had become the Hufflepuff Quidditch captain and seeker. She had been on the team the three previous years as chaser and reserve seeker for Cedric Diggory. At 5’4”, Penelope was pleasantly plump, but made for a graceful seeker. Her brown hair was cut short to keep it out of her face while flying and her soft blue eyes could spot the snitch from opposite sides of the pitch in any weather.
Being the Hufflepuff captain also meant she got to use the Prefect’s bathroom any time she pleased. This thought made her smile to herself as she had developed a small crush on Ron Weasley and had heard he had made Gryffindor prefect. This year was starting off wonderfully for her.
It wasn’t long before darkness fell and with it, a nasty fog. Andy, who could easily keep track of the small golden snitch in the worst of weather conditions, was having an increasingly difficult time keeping the large scarlet engine in her sights. It was for that reason that she ended up losing the train near the end of the journey. It took her an extra half an hour to navigate to Hogsmeade station, and upon her arrival, saw that all the students had left their luggage. She took a few minutes to resize her own and to safely put her Firebolt into her trunk. After making sure her things were all safe, she quickly changed into her animagus form, and her namesake, and flew off in the direction of the castle that she had visited only once before.
Andy and two of her friends at Salem had been practicing and training their transformations into their animagi selves since their second year, allowing them to easily pass for their animagi licenses at fourteen. Andy’s heart-shaped birthmark could be seen on her feathers and if you looked close enough you could see freckle-like spots on her beak.
The castle grew larger as she flew towards it. She mentally cursed herself again, wishing she had the time to enjoy her view. The front doors opened just as she was as she was nearing them, and the caretaker, she assumed, stepped out to look around. Andy added an extra burst of speed and managed to make it through the doors just before they closed. The doors to the Great Hall were left ajar to her delight, and she flew through the opening there too. She had entered the hall as the last first year jumped off the stool to scurry to the Ravenclaw table.
Draco lazily clapped as the final first year scurried off to Ravenclaw’s table, wishing dinner would appear already as he hadn’t had a chance to eat anything on the train. When he had finally returned from that bloody Prefect meeting the snack trolley had already passed and Vincent Crabbe, Gregory Goyle, and Blaise Zabini had already finished off everything they had purchased. He turned to say something to Pansy but before he could get it out, he noticed a small bird fly in from the Entrance Hall.
“Look at that,” he said, pointing at the bird, his friends turning to see. It quickly made its way towards where Professor McGonagall was still standing with the Sorting Hat. In the short amount of time for it to get about halfway to the Transfiguration professor it had gotten the attention of the entire hall, and, as if realizing this, stopped moving forward and changed into a teenage girl.
All of the students and most of the teachers were surprised by her sudden appearance. Professor Dumbledore merely smiled and stood up. “Ah, I had begun to think you’d forgotten what day it was,” he said to her. To everyone else he said, “This year we have an exchange student from America’s Salem School for Young Witches and Wizards. She will be enrolled in fifth year courses. I hope you shall all treat her as you would hope she would treat you if you were new to her school.”
“Sparrow, Andria I presume?” McGonagall said. The girl nodded and said “Yeah.” She looked around nervously as McGonagall motioned for her to take a seat on the stool.
Andy walked to the stool in the front of the hall. As she sat on the stool she glanced at the students, more than a few of which were looking at her with awe. She gave a small smile to them as the Sorting hat was placed on her head. The hat was large and sat low on her forehead; she could only imagine what those tiny eleven year olds looked like with this thing on. Smiling at the mental picture of the hat halfway down their faces, she was startled when the hat started talking to her. She almost fell off the stool, earning a few laughs from her fellow students, but not many as most were remembering when the hat first spoke to them.
“Ah, a new student eh? Where to put you…” the hat said in her ear. I wanna be in a house that I can excel in. Possibly make the quidditch team? she thought wistfully. The hat gave a small chuckle. “I see you have high ambitions, plenty brave, and definitely loyal, one of the sharper hats on the shelf to be sure, and I see you are cunning enough to make things happen the way you want… hmm… I believe you would do best in SLYTHERIN!”
Andy hopped off the stool, handing the hat back to the professor and walked over to the table wearing green. All the tables were clapping politely, the first year Slytherins cheering like they had been cheered for. Andy noticed one bespectacled girl about her age from the Hufflepuff table look a tad disappointed, and Andy made a note to herself to talk to the girl, if they had any classes together. She waved at her new housemates as she sat down across from a pretty cute blonde haired guy that she guessed to be her age and a tiny first year who waved back.
Professor Dumbledore stood back up and said, “To our newcomers, welcome! To our old hands – welcome back! There is a time for speech making, but this is not it. Tuck in!”
A burst of laughter escaped Andy’s lips as the headmaster sat back down. When she turned to look at the table she noticed the food had appeared out of nowhere. “Dude, that is awesome,” she stated to no one in particular. The first year next to her shook his head in agreement as he grabbed food from every plate in his reach. As he was stuffing his face he suddenly turned to her saying, “I’m Timothy Laurence Vaisey… um but you can just call me Tim though.” He looked at the table, embarrassed.
Andy giggled and said, “I’m Andria Marie Sparrow but everyone calls me Andy.” This cheered up Timothy it seemed, as he smiled at her and continued to fill himself up. Andy laughed again as she put more food on her plate.
Throughout the rest of the feast, Andy made small talk with the others, learning their names, listening to Draco tell a lot of funny stories, and telling a few of her own, with Tim listening to everything in awe. When the feast had ended, Dumbledore stood up once again.
“Well, now that we are all digesting another magnificent feat, I beg a few moments of your attention for the usual start-of-term notices. New students ought to know that the forest in the grounds is out of bounds to students – and a few of our older students ought to know by now too.
“Mr. Filch, our caretaker, has asked me, for what he tells me is the four hundred and sixty-second time, to remind you all that magic is not permitted in corridors between classes, nor are a number of other things, all of which can be checked on the extensive list now fastened to Mr. Filch’s office door.
“We have had two changes in staffing this year. We are very pleased to welcome back Professor Grubbly-Plank, who will be taking Care of Magical Creatures lessons; we are also delighted to introduce Professor Umbridge, our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.”
Andy politely applauded along with the rest of the hall. Dumbledore continued, “Tryouts for the House Quidditch teams will take place on the –“
“Hem hem,” Professor Umbridge interrupted the headmaster, who momentarily looked taken aback but quickly sat down ready to listen to whatever the short witch had to say. Andy however couldn’t care less to what she had to say and by the looks of it neither did most of the students after the first few minutes. She turned her attention back to her new friends, starting up their conversation where it had ended. She hadn’t realized Umbridge had finished and Dumbledore had both resumed and ended his speech until they noticed everyone else getting up from the tables to leave. Draco quickly stood up and shouted, “Oi, First years!”
Pansy Parkinson also stood up saying, “This way First years, follow us if you want to get to the common room.” Draco motioned for Andy to follow them as well, as she was new to Hogwarts. She quietly followed the two prefects and the group of first years on their way to the dungeons, where the Slytherin common room was stationed, taking in her surroundings and hopefully remembering how to get back to the Great Hall the next morning.
After learning the password, Ophiuchus, Andy followed Pansy up to the fifth year girl’s dorm where she saw her belongings at the end of one of the four-poster beds. She happily made her way to her new bed, introducing herself to her new dorm mates as she changed into her pajamas. Bidding good night to her roommates, Andy pulled her green curtains closed slipped under her covers and fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow. Her last thought conscious thought was of the excitement this year would hopefully bring.
Hope you liked it! Chapter 2 is in the works as you read this message. Don't forget to show your love (or dislike or other feelings/comments) via review.