Chapter 7 : Quidditch Match
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At the moment Tom and Scott were eating breakfast. Scott was shoveling mouthful after mouthful as if eating faster would make the game come quicker.
"Hey Tom, what are ya doing for Christmas?" Scott asked between bites.
Tom shrugged. His father never had them celebrate anything before. He said that if you take the time to celebrate a holiday you are taking a dangerous break that gives your enemies the perfect opportunity to attack. On top of that he wasn't sure it was legal for him to go anywhere for Christmas break.
"I'm just going to stay here I guess," he told Scott.
"My parents wanted to know if you wanted to come over to my house for the holidays. I know it’s like two months away but they wanted to know so…" Scott said.
Tom sat back in his seat considering the request. It would be nice to have someone to spend break with and Scott was his best friend. "I'll have to clear it with Dumbledore. I'm not sure whether I'm aloud to leave the castle or not. Stuff with my father you see," Tom said.
Scott grinned, "I'm sure Dumbledore won't mind."
Tom nodded, Dumbledore wasn't really who he was worried about. Crouch on the other hand, he was the problem.
Scott went back to his normal ramblings about quidditch and how excited he was for the game. Before long the two were seated in the quidditch pitch waiting for the game to start. Scott was wide eyed as he watched Madame Hooch throw the quaffle into the air as the game started. Every few minutes a player would do something skilled, like ride their broom upside down, or hit a bluger with their broom, and Scott would point excitedly at the action and say, "Did you see that Tom," or "Wow that was soooo cool." The whole event reminded Tom of babysitting a five year old who had just taken in a boat load of caffeine. He didn't really mind though. Scott was too preoccupied with his own excitement to notice the sour mood that Tom was in.
About a half an hour into the game things went wrong. Harry Potter was on his broom in the sky and he spotted the snitch. The minute he tried to move his broom though, it started to shake violently. It was like it was trying to shake him off. If Potter fell from that height he would die. No broom did that on purpose, Potter was being cursed.
Tom scanned the crowd quickly and spotted Snape. He was muttering a spell that Tom recognized to be a counter animation curse. Most advanced wizards used their own counter curses and as far as Tom could tell Snape's was strong, but judging by the way the broom was trying to buck Potter, only a counter curse designed specifically for the one used on Potter could get rid of the broom's bucking completely. Snape's eyes quickly glanced at Tom's sending a silent message. Quirrell. Tom looked for the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher to find that he was muttering the animation curse under his breath while looking intently at Potter. He didn't stutter over one word.
Tom gritted his teeth and glanced at Scott. His best friend was babbling in a panic about Potter, "Scott," Tom said silencing his best friend, "I want you to pretend that you are listening to me tell you something private."
Now that the ordeal was over Scott looked over and gave Tom a questioning look, "Later," Tom told him. Now that Tom had no doubt in his mind about Quirrell, there would be no point in lying to Scott about it, so he would explain it all in detail. Scott quickly reverted back into the crazed fan version of himself now that the game was back underway. Gryffindor ended up winning when Potter caught the snitch in his mouth. Scott was on his feet screaming when he did it. Even Tom gave in a little and clapped for his house's win.
The rest of the day was a large party with a lot of gold and red. Scott had a blast, as he had a very in depth conversation with one of the other kids about the game. Tom found the party tolerable, which was a lot considering his aversion to large social gatherings and people in general. Everyone seemed to be turning a blind eye on the broom trying to throw Potter.
It wasn't until bed time that Scott questioned him further on the day’s events. Tom wasn't going to be the one to bring it up, and was just about to cast the mufiliato spell when Scott asked.
"So are you going to tell me what was going on today?" he asked.
Tom glanced over at Scott who was sitting up in his bed gazing over at him, "Yeah sure so the reason that Harry Potter's broom was trying to get rid of him was because someone had cast an animation spell on it. All animation spells are different so I don't know which one was used, but basically it is a spell that causes objects, which are usually inanimate, to start moving. When I saw that happening, I also saw Professor Snape in the teacher's booth chanting the counter spell. Professor Quirrell was the one casting the actual spell. There are two ways to stop a spell like that. The first is to distract the person casting the spell. They need to have their full concentration for it to work. The second is to cast a counter spell. Counter animation spells are usually specialized because all animation spells are different. That means that my spell is different than Snape's. I didn't think that I could distract Quirrell from where we were, so I started to caste mine hoping it would be more effective than Snape's. I'm not allowed to be casting spells on other people though. No one would have been mad if they knew what I was doing, but from a distance it’s kind of hard to tell the distance between helping and hurting. That's why I covered my mouth and pretended to be talking to you. Luckily, someone else distracted Quirrell before he killed Potter," Tom explained simply.
Scott looked somewhere in between amazed, unhappy, and confused, "Why would Quirrell want to hurt Harry?" he asked.
"I think he's a death eater," Tom said bluntly. Scott opened his mouth to start to protest but Tom cut him off, "You know when he came in and warned every one about the troll. He was up to something that way too. I warned Snape that day when I saw the signs and he went to go find Quirrell. He ended up with an oversized bite mark on his leg. Harry Potter was also conveniently missing at the pitch while we waited for the troll to be cleared out. He had went to go save to Granger girl. If Quirrell studied Potter enough he could have easily known that he was going to go after Granger. It would have been simple enough then to get a troll and plant it in the building to distract everyone while he went on a Potter hunt. Snape stopped him though. Then today he was trying to kill Potter during the game. I know for a fact there isn't a death eater alive who doesn't want Potter dead. He was the reason the Dark Lord fell after all."
Scott pulled his legs to his chest and looked at his feet, "How though? Quirrell is supposed to be our teacher. I mean don't they put people through some type of interview or something first? I mean Dumbledore wouldn't have hired a death eater, especially the year Harry Potter came to Hogwarts." Tom thought briefly of Snape and how Dumbledore had hired a death eater knowingly. He was about to say something about it, but then he looked at Scott who was wearing his conflicted emotions clearly on his face. The idea of a death eater, an evil wizard, being in such a close proximity seemed to really take a toll on him. It was more than that though, Scott was so innocent, and he trusted everyone regardless, always looking for the best in people. Scott had put his trust in every one of the teachers at Hogwarts and the idea that one of them had betrayed him must be hard on him.
Not everyone in this world is good Tom. Jonathan's words echoed in Tom's head. Scott wasn't so different from Tom prior to his brother's death. Not so different from him now actually. Jonathan used to get so frustrated at him when he defended his father. He would try and try to convince Tom that the man was inherently evil. Tom never listened always defending the man who raised him. Even now he didn't really believe the crimes that he had supposedly admitted to. Their conversations were always relatively calm though. They would argue about it during the night when their father was asleep in hushed whispers. It wasn't until that night that Tom realized how passionate his brother was on the subject. That night was the first time his brother had ever yelled at him.
Now as Tom watched his best friend struggle with the knowledge that this man, who he barely knew, could be bad, he understood why Jonathan never actually lost his temper with Tom until that night. Innocence is bliss and Jonathan didn't have the heart to take that away from Tom, just as Tom couldn't sit there and watch as Scott fought with himself over whether Quirrell was bad or not.
"Don't worry if Dumbledore didn't know he knows now. Anyway there are countless other wizards here that are just as powerful as Quirrell. If he tries anything again someone will stop him," Tom said quietly trying to be as reassuring as possible.
Scott nodded, immediately taking Tom's words as correct, "Yeah your right. Anyways you seem to know enough that you could probably take him on and you’re just a first year. Imagine what the seventh years can do and the other teachers. Dumbledore is supposed to be the best wizard in the world right?" Scott said brightly his smile returning to his face.
Tom nodded and gave Scott a small smile. An extremely small one. Seeing that Scott seemed to get even peppier being that that was probably the first smile Tom had given anyone in five years.
"Night Tom," Scott said, plopping himself backward into a laying position. Tom didn't reply and just laid down to fall asleep for his awaiting night mare. He didn't have one that night though. Instead he was awakened by beams of sunlight coming through the window on the Sunday morning. It was the first night in a long time that he didn't wake up to the sound of his own screams.
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