Disclaimer: The characters and settings in this story belong to J.K. Rowling and i'm not her
Chapter 15: Gryffindor vs. Slytherin
If Ron had been nervous at his first Quidditch practice, it was nothing compared to what he was now. Harry had a hard time sitting beside him at breakfast and an even harder time trying to calm him down with words alone, if he was like this during the game, then Harry would have to take action and calm him down with his empathy, the keeper could barely even function. Then Angelina called the team to head down to the locker rooms and Harry had to drag Ron out of the Great Hall while siphoning off some of the nervousness at the same time.
“Ron, you have to calm down, if you stay this nervous you won’t save anything. Trust me, you’ll do just fine if you just calm down.”
“How can you say that to me?” Ron croaked. “You’re my best mate; you’re supposed to tell me the truth.”
“I am telling you the truth, if you calm down you’ll be great.”
Ron didn’t believe him but Harry had taken enough of the edge off so that he was at least able to change into his Quidditch robes without any trouble. After a very short pep-talk from Angelina, the team left for the pitch to see that the Slytherins were already there and that Crabbe and Goyle were their new beaters. Harry locked eyes with Malfoy, the other boy was trying to stare him down, but he didn’t know how it was done so Harry showed him and cast a glare that even Malfoy had to step back from.
Go and stay with Ginny and Hermione Prongs, Harry commanded of his familiar before the call to mount was sounded.
Be careful, the sky fox said before he dashed off to join the two girls in the stands.
The snitch and both bludgers were released and at first he could sense him, but after closing himself off from the trio of sparks he could focus on looking to the sky and searching with his eyes like Malfoy was doing. The call to mount their brooms was given and Harry swung one leg over his firebolt and waited and the second the whistle blew he was in the air and soaring over the rest of his teammates as well as the Slytherins. After a deep breath of the cold air and a discrete heating charm to keep him from getting too cold he set to searching and as he scanned the crowd he spotted two familiar faces that distracted him and he smiled at his guardians and dove down to fly over the section of the crowd where they were to show that he had spotted them. Then the whistle came and he swerved to avoid one of the bludgers followed quickly by a dive to avoid the other. With Crabbe and Goyle aiming for him, Harry couldn’t afford to stay in one place and he started to fly laps around the pitch while always searching for the snitch and avoiding the bludgers that were intent on getting him off his broom. Fred and George did their best to protect him, but it was hard on them.
As he was flying behind the Gryffindor goal posts he spotted it, the glint of gold all the way down the pitch at the Slytherin posts and he turned and sped through the chasers, causing many to have to regain their balance as Harry flew past towards his own goal and then Malfoy was there, trying to do anything to stop Harry including grabbing at his broom, but it didn’t work. When the snitch jumped to life and flew off, Harry was right there following and even when the bludgers tried to stop him, he rolled and kept going and then he was there and he stretched his arm forward and folded his fingers around the flittering golden ball and he slowed and rose in the air with it in his fist.
He looked down at Sirius and Remus and he saw their smiles and felt their joy and the next thing he knew a crushing pain hit him in the chest and he flew back off his broom and then another crushing force slammed into the back of his left shoulder, making him spin in the air. Shock flooded over him and yet he pushed it away and the wand on his wrist found its way into his hand and he pointed it at the ground and he slowed down considerably but didn’t stop. With another flick his wand was away and Harry slapped the ground with his right hand and rolled on his right shoulder to his feet before taking his wand again and holding it in the air. “Accio firebolt!”
When his broom arrived at his side he grabbed it and jumped on to stand upright as he flew back up and moved the snitch to his right hand to hold it up in the air. Relief, it was everywhere, but Sirius and Remus weren’t convinced by his impressive display and when Harry reached the ground Prongs was there first, wrapped around his ankles and knowing that Harry wouldn’t be able to handle being climbed on just then. Then he was greeted by his teammates, they weren’t convinced of his health either.
“Harry, are you alright?” Angelina demanded.
With a smile at his approaching guardians Harry waited until they arrived before answering. “No Angelina, I’m not alright, I need to go to the hospital wing.”
“Where do you hurt Harry?” Sirius demanded.
Prongs leapt to Sirius’s shoulder and whined as he leaned towards Harry, who reached out to scratch his ears with his good arm. With his guardians flanking him Harry walked off the pitch to the Hospital wing as his team followed a few paces back with Ginny and Hermione who had joined them. Madam Pomfrey was waiting for him when the large group arrived and he walked with her over to one of the beds closer to the middle of the wing with Sirius while Remus held everyone else back by the door.
“Well, let’s get all of these layers off and see what the damage is,” the mediwitch said as she and Sirius helped Harry to get his robes and shirts off.
Harry could hear the gasps from the girls at the doorway and he was sure it was well within reason with how his shoulder felt.
“Merlin’s shorts Harry how were you able to get up after being hit like that?” Fred asked.
Harry looked over his shoulder and smiled but didn’t say anything before looking back and watching Madam Pomfrey gather several jars from the cupboard before she returned to him and pulled out her wand. There was a light tingling sensation that Harry had always associated with the touch of a certain friend of his and some of the pain went away but it wasn’t enough. Then came the worst part and this time Harry was awake to experience it. Madam Pomfrey dipped her hand into the first cream and she started to rub it over Harry’s chest and despite her gentle touch the pain made him hiss but he didn’t move and Prongs curled up in his lap and whined. When his chest was thoroughly coated in the cold cream she moved to his shoulder and that made him gasp for breath it hurt so much, which in turn caused Madam Pomfrey to stop and pull out her wand again. She pointed it at his shoulder and the light tingling returned but the pain remained just as strong.
“You’ve lost weight again, and this one has earned you a night with me Mr. Potter; your shoulder blade has been shattered to pieces. I still have to put this cream on though so just keep still.”
Harry nodded and she started to rub the cream on his shoulder again and he grabbed hold of Sirius’s arm and held tight to reduce the pain, but it did very little for him. When it was over he was allowed to relax a bit but advised not to lean back on anything. Sirius helped Harry to pull on one of the Hospital Wing shirts and when he sat down and crossed his legs on one of the beds Prongs was there, curled in his lap.
That was not careful, he reprimanded. Harry only responded by stroking him like he usually did.
Remus allowed the Gryffindors that had gathered in the doorway to rush to his side, though no one tried to move Sirius from the edge of the bed.
“Harry, will you be alright?” Hermione demanded.
“Yeah, tomorrow I’ll be just fine.” Harry hid a yawn and smiled at everyone around him, making them feel reassured by his words so that he wouldn’t have to deal with their concern for once. “Don’t worry about me, Madam Pomfrey knows what she’s doing and when my shoulder is better I’ll be back to normal.”
“Don’t you worry about those Slytherins Harry,” Fred started.
“We’ll take care of them for you,” George finished.
“No, don’t do anything to them.”
“Why not?” most of the people around asked at once.
“Because, I don’t want a war to be started because of me, leave them alone, the professors will punish them.”
“But Harry –”
“No George, if you retaliate and get revenge for me then you’ll only get in trouble and I don’t want that, so just lay low and leave the Slytherins alone.”
“You know that they won’t take it, don’t you?” Alicia asked. “When Malfoy and Crabbe are punished they won’t lay low, they’ll blame you and try and get at you or anyone close to you.”
“I know, and if they hurt any of you they’ll regret it, trust me.”
Madam Pomfrey returned and shoed everyone away and Harry nodded that it was alright and reiterated with another covered yawn that made them give in and leave, though some said how amazing his stunt had been on their way. With numerous soft and squishy pillows positioned around him Harry was allowed to lay on his side to try and get some sleep and Sirius turned into his animagus dog form and curled up at the foot of the bed with his head on Harry’s legs as Prongs settled into his usual spot in the crook of Harry’s arm.
“Sleep well Harry,” Remus said as he stood from his chair, “we’ll be here when you wake up.”
Harry mumbled a response that couldn’t be made out and fell asleep quickly.
“Get out of here!”
Harry jumped at the sudden shout and forced himself to calm down when he recognized Sirius’s all too familiar protectiveness. He opened his eyes and remembered quickly why he was in the hospital wing as he reached forward with his right hand for his glasses. There was a dull ache in his chest and a noticeable pain in his left shoulder that he pushed aside for now so he could look and see what was happening in the doorway of the Hospital Wing. Sirius and Remus were there, of course, as was Dumbledore and for some reason Professor Umbridge was there as well, which explained why Sirius had shouted and why the man was so protective. Then he heard the deep growl at the end of the bed and found Prongs standing there, his hair on end and his ears flat against his skull with his sharp teeth bared.
“I don’t understand why you won’t let me see the injuries that you claim Mr. Potter sustained. As High Inquisitor I have the right to see them.”
“And as Harry’s guardians we have the right to tell you no,” Remus’s calm voice said. “You may be High Inquisitor, and you may be here to protect the students, but we are here to protect Harry.”
“You’re neither wanted nor needed, so get out,” Sirius growled.
“I must agree with Sirius and Remus Dolores, Harry needs his rest and there really is no reason for you to remain here,” Dumbledore said. “Draco Malfoy and Vincent Crabbe will be removed from playing Quidditch for the rest of the year as punishment for their own actions.”
“That’s it?” Sirius demanded. “Removed from Quidditch?”
“They will also receive a week of detention with Mr. Filch for intentionally causing harm to another student. They should consider themselves lucky, when I was a student and something like this happened; the offending student would receive the same injuries as the ones they inflicted. I doubt seriously if either boy could handle such pain the way Harry can.”
Umbridge wasn’t happy about that but she left and Harry sat up and watched the three men talk quietly for a minute before Dumbledore spotted him and smiled. Sirius and Remus turned around and were at Harry’s bedside faster than Harry could blink and they were fussing as they always did.
“You shouldn’t be sitting up Harry, why don’t you lay back down,” Remus suggested.
“Remus don’t push him on his back, that’ll hurt his shoulder, he needs to lie on his side.”
“Hey!” Harry stopped the two from trying to get him back into bed and they let him go and he was able to sit up straight again. “I don’t need to lie down just now; it’ll be alright if I sit up for a while.” Prongs crawled into his lap and he started stroking him again.
“How do you feel kiddo?”
“My chest is fine, I can barely feel any pain, but my shoulder is still giving me a lot of trouble.”
“I can imagine, with a crushed shoulder blade Poppy said it will take at least a week for it to heal properly and fully, even with every potion she can think of,” Remus explained.
“Well, a week isn’t too bad I suppose; do you think she’ll let me out before I’m healed? I can’t afford to miss a week of classes.”
“You’ll probably have to stay until Monday, if you want, we can take you to the Tower and help you get some homework though,” Remus suggested.
“That would be great; I still have a potions essay to finish and some work on charms and transfiguration to get done.”
“Stay put then, we’ll get Madam Pomfrey to give you the okay,” Sirius said as he ran off to find the Hogwarts mediwitch.
Harry shared a look with Remus and shook his head as they waited. The two entered the wing a minute later and rushed over to Harry. Sirius sat at the foot of the bed and Madam Pomfrey took a look at Harry’s shoulder, had him take a potion, put some cream on the back of his shoulder and conjured a sling to help keep it still. Finally, after she was satisfied that he would be alright for a trip to his dorm and back, Harry was released and Remus decided to walk on Harry’s left since Sirius had a tendency to put a hand on Harry’s shoulder when they walked, though with Prongs riding on the man he didn’t seem to have that need.
Since it was a Sunday at lunch, most students were in their common rooms or the library or the Great Hall so the trio didn’t come across anyone until they reached their destination. Nearly half of the upper year Gryffindors were in the common room and most of them jumped up and rushed over when Harry entered, but Sirius stopped them before they could reach him. Hermione stepped around the animagus and gave Harry a gentle and well placed hug so as to avoid his shoulder and Ginny did the same and Harry was tempted not to let the little red head go but he did.
“How are you feeling Harry?” Ginny asked, she was concerned and Harry was happy about that.
“I’m alright, I’m only getting a few of my things before I have to be back at the Hospital Wing, Madam Pomfrey is going to keep me another night to make sure I’m healing right, but I’m not going to sleep the weekend away, I need to get some homework done before Monday.”
“But you will be alright, won’t you?”
“Yeah, by next week I’ll be good as new.”
“Next week?” Ron asked.
“That’s right; it takes a while to heal a shattered shoulder blade, even with magic. But like I said, by next week I’ll be good as new.”
“Come on everyone, Harry needs to get back to the Hospital Wing,” Remus said in such an obvious hint it was worthy of coming from Sirius’s mouth.
The crowd parted and Harry, Ron, and Hermione started towards the fifth year boys’ dormitory with Sirius and Remus right behind them. But standing at the bottom of the stairs were Fred and George.
“We’re sorry Harry,” they said at once.
“What for, you didn’t know they were going to attack after the game had ended.”
“Yeah, but we could have done more to protect you…”
“…it’s just that whenever we tried to cover you they would hit it at the others.”
“I understand, really I do, and it’s not a big deal, it’s Quidditch, if people didn’t get hurt then it would no longer be Quidditch, right?”
Harry didn’t give them a chance to argue, he wove around them and started up the stairs to get his things with his best friends and guardians following suit and the twins just shrugged and found seats in the common room to put their heads together for their joke shop.
Sirius picked up everything that Harry tried to grab and Ron and Hermione sat on his bed and watched the funny sight. Every time Harry would go for a book or a piece of clothing Sirius would jump forward and grab it before his godson could, the only reason Harry kept trying to pick things up was because he thought it was funny too. Finally he reached for his bag and Sirius grabbed it up.
“Just put everything in the bag Sirius, I can carry it myself that way.”
“This is a wizard space bag?” Sirius asked.
“Yeah, remember, I got it over the summer,” he said in a subtle hint.
“Oh yeah, I remember now.”
Sirius opened the bag and the objects in his hands danced right in and the bag closed itself and hung still in Sirius’s hands. Harry grabbed the bag and put it over his right shoulder before his godfather could object and stepped out of his reach.
“I’m ready to go back now.”
Remus shook his head but walked over to the door with Prongs, who had abandoned Sirius the moment Harry had started gathering his things. Sirius joined him after two failed attempts at getting the bag and Harry turned to his best friends.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be back Monday morning, stay out of trouble until then and watch for Slytherins.”
“We will Harry, just take care of yourself.”
Harry left with Sirius and Remus and they returned to the hospital wing where Remus helped Harry to spread out some of his books for his homework.
“Do you need anything else kiddo?”
“No, I don’t think so. I’m sorry I worried you over this, and why didn’t you tell me you were coming to the match?”
“We wanted to surprise you, turned out you surprised us. You’re a great seeker Harry, we’re proud of you.”
“Am I really that good?”
“You have to ask? Most of your bloodline on your dad’s side consists of seekers and I think you’re the best so far. And you’ve still got time to get even better.”
“But dad was a chaser.”
“He liked the action of it, he was a good seeker too when he wanted to be,” Remus explained.
“Oh, well I don’t want to get better at Quidditch. If I wanted to get better, I would use my empathy to find the snitch, it has a signature as well, and so do bludgers, but using my empathy to feel them seems like cheating, so I block myself off just enough so I don’t feel them. I didn’t open myself back up after the game so I didn’t feel those two coming.”
“Do the snitch and bludgers have emotions?”
“Sort of, I can’t say they have actual emotions, though at first I thought they did, more they have so much magic on them that it seems like they do. I’m beginning to notice that the more my empathy matures the more I feel actual magic, it’s not nearly as powerful a feeling as emotions and I barely notice it most of the time, but if I concentrate, then I can feel raw magic. I’m learning to tone down emotions and bring out magic, but it’s hard to do, I can control the emotions I feel just fine, but magic is harder to concentrate on. I think after a few more months it will be easier, but it may take a few years for all I know.”
“That’s very impressive Harry; I never knew empaths could feel magic.”
“I’ll do a little research on it later; maybe I can find something about blood gifts here in the library.”
“I doubt it Harry, that sort of thing isn’t covered at Hogwarts.”
“You never know until you try, it can’t hurt to look.”
“No, I suppose it can’t. I’m afraid we can’t stay Harry, we’re needed elsewhere, will you be alright if we leave now?”
“Yeah, I wish you could stay longer, but if you have to go then I understand. I’ll see you soon.”
Sirius pulled Harry in a well placed hug and Harry returned it as best he could and watched his two favorite people leave yet again. Prongs whined at his side and Harry rested a hand on his head, “I know, I’m going to miss them too.”