Chapter 11 : The First Move
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"I'm too nervous to think of fun."
He brought her in close and she let herself melt into the kiss. Every distraction was welcome at this point. The world was just that little bit better after he pulled away. "See, you're not too anxious."
"Am too!" She stamped her foot in mock indignation. "Don't try distracting me from my worries, Potter!"
He laughed as his arms dropped to her waist. "I'll be there to watch every minute."
"You’re going!" she said in excitement.
"How can I miss my girlfriend's first ever game?" Ginny shrugged. "Exactly." He pointed out.
"I must be going," she said when it came time to leave. “We’re supposed to be there at least two hours before the game starts.”
He nodded knowingly, having been there himself. After one last kiss she removed her wand and Apparated into the Harpies team Apparition point. It was within the main stadium and free of obsessed fans. The building, however, reverberated from the sound of hundreds of witches and wizards trying to get into the stadium. Tension quickly became replaced by dread.
"How you feeling?" Katie’s bubbly voice chimed a second after the pop of her arrival. Ginny's first words came out in an incoherent jumble. "Know the feeling." The Chaser smiled. "Don't worry we've all been there. You'll do great."
"I've been told as much," Ginny finally managed to say clearly enough to be understood. "Still doesn't make it any easier to believe."
Another hand clapped her on the back. "First game jitters?" Gwenog asked. Ginny tried to laugh, it came out all wrong. "Just go up there and do what you're best at. When the whistle blows and the Snitch disappears nothing else matters."
"I hope you're right."
Ginny found her corner in the changing room. For a brief moment the world disappeared. Her first game jersey hung neatly. Unlike their practice outfits this one was the official dark green that was famous the magical world over. The golden talon, only found on actual Harpies jerseys, decorated the front. The date and the name of the opposition would be found stitched onto the left sleeve. She touched it in awe.
"The first one is always something special," Gwenog spoke from behind.
"It is something," Ginny whispered almost in disbelief.
"Well get dressed. I'm sure you've got some Seeker thing to go do." Ginny spun around. Gwenog winked before striding away to go talk to the other girls.
A few minutes later Ginny was flying lazy circles around the pitch. People, mostly dressed in Harpies green, stared up at her. She let her mind take it all in. "The more familiar it becomes now the less frightening it will be later." Cameras flashed and reporters were busy scribbling notes. Around the field commentators spoke into their wands. Their voices would be broadcast across the country and the world.
This was the last game of the round. The Chudley Cannons had won the opening game against Kenmore Kestrels a few days earlier. It had not been a convincing win, but a win nevertheless. The Cannon's new Seeker was no slouch, though his youth had cost him. The thought forced Ginny to focus, she hoped that she would overcome her inexperience.
Today it was Ginny's turn. This game would be no walkover. The Montrose Magpies were the most successful team in British Quidditch. They'd been second for the past two years and have always been a thorn in the side to most teams in the league.
Her mind drifted back to the present. People cheered loudly all around the stadium. Her eyes drifted across the supporters filling the stands and up into the official box where other celebrities and Ministry of Magic dignitaries sat. A familiar mop of black hair sat comfortably by himself in one of the seats. He wore a neutral white shirt and his usual pair of jeans. He smiled and waved discreetly up at her. She dared not wave back, but she did smile.
For the millionth time during the past two months she wondered what it was that she felt for him. No matter how many times or how hard she argued against the idea, she always reached the same answer and each time she felt more sure. She loved him and wanted to spend a life time with him. "I'll tell you after the game," she whispered to him. Of course he would not hear, but she spoke to him.
Feeling satisfied that she had taken in as much as she could, Ginny returned to the changing room. She’d received strict instructions on her way out that the team talk was not to be missed.
Slight static came over the wireless just before a voice boomed out loudly. "Why don't you give us a quick update on the past few games, Peter."
"With pleasure, Bobby." The sound of paper being unfolded sounded harsh across the wireless. "In Group A, the Appleby Arrows crushed the Falmouth Falcons 480-190 while also managing to catch the Snitch. The Ballycastle Bats were destroying the Caerphilly Catapults, but a marvellous catch by the Catapults Seeker allowed them to walk away with some pride. The Bats won the game comfortably 360-150."
"Imagine the long faces on the Catapult's fans if they had failed to catch the Snitch. Merlin, they would've lost 510-0."
"Quite, right, but McKinley did a wonderful job at keeping calm under the onslaught. As it stands, the Arrows have 3 points and lead the log. The Bats, with a win but no Snitch, lie second with two points. The Catapults scrounge a point for catching the Snitch. The Falcons, sadly lie last. The last opening round game in this group is between the Harpies and Magpies."
"Sounds like this could be shaping up for another tense season. The Arrows seem to be fielding a strong team, Peter."
"They do seem to be the strongest team in this group so far, but with four more group games to go, anything is possible."
There was a slight pause. "Things also look exiting in Group B. The Kenmare Kestrels were struggling against the Pride of Portree, but managed to catch the Snitch to finish ahead at 150-80. Tutshill Tornadoes showed that they came from the second division when they lost scandalously to Puddlemere United 490-40. The closest game all week, however, was the Wimbourne Wasps' game against the Chudley Cannons. The Cannon's showed why they had won the League four years running despite Potter not playing. Their Chasers and Beaters worked well, ensuring their lead was enough to win them the game without catching the Snitch. They won the game comfortably at 400-300."
"I'm sure those Chudley fans would be pleased to see that their team can still win a game with no Potter there to catch the Snitch at the end of play."
"More worrying for the other teams, Bobby."
"Yes. As it stands Group B is jointly led by United and the Kestrels, who both managed three points. The Cannons are lying uncomfortably third with two points. The Wimbourne Wasps have a point, while last place is shared by Portree and the Tornadoes.
"While you were talking, Peter, I've been following up on some news I received a bit earlier. Ladies and gentleman. I have real treat lined up for you before the official start of play." A scuffling sound came over the wireless. "So for your pleasure I've managed to corner a very reclusive but well known and loved Quidditch player."
The voice went silent for a moment. "It's been a while since we've seen you, Mr. Potter."
"A pleasure to be here at the game, Bobby." Potter’s voice spoke confidently over the wireless. "It's been a tough few weeks knowing that I won't be out there playing this season. As my Chudley Cannon's fans know I'm sorry to not be representing their team this year."
"Yes, they have been thoroughly heartbroken. Any reasons that you can share with us at this time?"
"I felt like I needed a break, Bobby. I had a good run, but it was time for me to stop playing professionally."
"So you're not going to share anymore with us?"
"I'm afraid not. Perhaps one day I'll give an interview or write a book."
"I'm sure you'll make a lot of people very happy on the day you decide to share the story. But what brings you out here today? The name Harry Potter was the last I would've expected at the game. Especially since you were not at the Cannons game."
"I have a special interest in this game." Harry said.
"Another secret, Harry. When are you ever going to just let us know what's going on?"
Harry's laugh crackled through the wireless. "Perhaps the time is not that far away, Bobby. When I can I promise to give you an exclusive interview."
"Really?" Bobby's excited voice boomed through the speaker.
"Of course. But I think the game will be starting soon and I'm sure there are some other dignitaries around here for you to interview."
"Thank you for your time, Harry. I'm sure all the listeners out there enjoyed hearing the sound of your voice. Just one last question. Who’s going to win today?"
"Holyhead Harpies." Harry's voice sounded confident over the air.
"There you have it people. From the mouth of a man who's never lost a game, Harpies to win their opening game against the Magpies."
"Wait. There's some excitement coming from the crowd. I'm looking over the railing. Here we go people. The young Miss Weasley has just taken to the air. As you might have heard, the Harpies have signed this remarkable woman straight from Hogwarts."
A shuffling noise came of the speaker. "Sorry to bother again, Potter. But what do you make of this young player? Has old Gwenog lost her mind signing a girl so young?"
Potter coughed. "Time will tell. I actually went to watch a game of hers when she was still at Hogwarts. She's got talent. I can vouch for that."
"I hope you heard that listeners. If you are wondering what is happening and why the crowd has suddenly begun cheering it is because she is doing a very Potteresque pre-match routine."
"I take it she studied my flying a bit. But who knows what she's doing. If I were Gwenog I would've sent her out early. Get used to the crowd and being the centre of attention. It will help settle her nerves."
"Very astute comment there, Harry. But I'll leave you now."
"Harry Potter seems very aware of this young girl’s talent. It begs the question, listeners, had he been scouting her for the Cannons? I will be digging for more answers and hopefully I won't come out with more questions. With Potter I always seem to find more than is fair."
"Ah, here's another treat for you. Minister..."
Harry sat alone staring up at Ginny. She flew around slowly. With each loop her flying grew smoother and less ragged. The pregame flight was helping with her nerves as well as opening her mind to the world around. With about twenty minutes to the start, Ginny withdrew from the pitch.
Down below the officials gathered where each ball was being inspected. The Snitch, as always, was handled with careful gloved hands. The first skin to touch it would be the winning Seeker.
"Oi, Ron! Move your oversized feet."
"Yeah, we want to get there before the game starts!"
Harry's ears perked up at the mention of Ron.
"I'm moving, I'm moving." Another voice shouted back. It had to be Ron.
Harry slipped slightly lower in his seat, hoping they would pass him by.
"I've seen full sized dragons move about with more agility," another voice laughed. Harry did not need to turn his head to see a mass of oncoming people with red hair. He glanced to the right and cursed. The only empty seats were around him. "Bugger!" he muttered softly.
"Any spells to make him move quicker, Bill?" One of the first voices asked.
"Sorry, Fred. If only you asked me to ward him into the Burrow."
"Can you do that?"
"Leave him," a young feminine voice said sharply. "We would've been here an hour ago if all you single blokes hadn't been doing your hair in the bathroom."
"Oi, you never know what beauty might be prowling about the box."
"Agh," the girl growled. Harry noticed a bushy head of brown hair. It had to be Hermione, Ron's girlfriend. "Men."
"Boys," a much more motherly voice said loudly. "I thought you could behave yourselves."
"We are behaving, mum."
"Listen to your mother." An older fatherly voice spoke.
Harry cringed visibly as the loud group began to fill the seats around him.
"Mind shifting over one?" Ron asked Harry.
"No problem," he replied and moved across to the last seat in the block. Ron plonked down beside him.
"So what are the bookies saying, Fred?" Ron asked over his shoulder to the row of Weasleys behind him.
"Magpies 10-1..." He paused. "Wait... Apparently Harry Potter has just rated Ginny and the odds have dropped to 2-1 in the Magpies favour."
"Luckily I placed my bet earlier," Ron muttered.
"You're betting!" Mrs Weasley said in outrage. "I thought I raised you better."
"I've got to show my support," Ron protested.
"I think I'm liking this Potter bloke more," George said. "A man who stands by Ginny is good in my books."
"I've always said he's a great man." Ron said loudly.
"Oi, mate," Ron said turning to Harry. "What do you..."
"Crikey," he squeaked. "It's you!"
"Stop blabbering, Ron," Fred teased. "I thought you got over that during your OWLS."
"I... I'm Ron Weasley," he said holding out his hand.
"Harry," Harry replied shaking Ron's hand. "I assume you're family of Ginny Weasley."
"She's my little sister," Ron said proudly. "She's the best Seeker ever."
"She's good," Harry agreed. He noticed the entire Weasley family trying to listen in. "I watched her fly at Hogwarts last year. I've honestly never seen a more naturally talented flyer."
"No need to lie to us, Harry," George said clapping him on the back.
"Well I'm saying the same as what I said to the Wireless a few moments ago."
The group fell into silence. "You missed her earlier. She flew about a bit."
"Yeah," Ron said nodding. "She told me to expect something Potteresque. I wonder why she did it?"
Before Harry could answer trumpets blared and the two teams streamed out of the pavilion. Ginny right there in the middle of the group. She suddenly looked very small on her broom.
"Here they come listeners. The Magpies emerge in their famous black and white jerseys. Even from here those white Magpies on their chests seem threatening. They are one of the teams to beat this year."
"And here come the Harpies. Just listen to these locals shouting. Those dark green jerseys look like a well-oiled machine."
"They do, Bobby. Gwenog has been training them hard before the start of the season. There have also been rumours of a private training camp for their new Seeker."
"Yes, Peter. I spoke to Harry Potter a few minutes ago and he seems to rate her highly. What do think?"
"Neither of us have seen her fly. I did, however, manage to ask a few people who have and like Potter said they all agree that she is talented."
"But this level takes more than talent, doesn't it, Peter?"
"Yes. This league is brutal. What you listeners can't see is that the young Weasley is rather petite and I fear her ability to bully her way to Snitch."
"Yes, that has been a fear of mine as well. But the teams are lined up. The Snitch has been released and... The whistle blows.
The first few minutes of the game passed in relative calm. Harry's words to her kept playing through her mind. The stadium and the people were all there, but her mind was free to focus on what was important - finding the Snitch
"Ginny!" Victoria shouted in alarm.
Ginny turned just in time to see a Bludger coming at her head. She instinctively rolled into a dive. The thing came close enough to touch her jersey. If it hadn't been for Victoria’s shout her day would've ended a few minutes into the game.
The crowd did not sound pleased. "Thanks!" she shouted back at her teammates. She'd have to be more careful to watch for oncoming Bludgers during the game. The Magpies were obviously going to try and target her.
As if to prove her theory the opposing Seeker dove in front of her. She pulled hard on her broom and managed to avoid smashing into the bulky man. In clear air she adjusted her goggles and tried to refocus at the task at hand.
"Keep an eye out for the Snitch, the Bludger and the Seeker." She began to repeat the words like a mantra. "Snitch, Bludger, Seeker."
Down below the game proved as frantic as predicted. The Harpies and the Magpies were closely matched. The Magpies scored first and quickly added two more to their tally. The Harpies were down by thirty.
The second time the Bludger came for her, Ginny was much better prepared and easily dodged to the side. "They'll need to do better than that," Ginny huffed to herself.
The minutes ticked by. The Quaffle flew between players at a high rate of knots. Soon the score had stretched to 70-20 for the Magpies. Ginny needed to get the Snitch.
Trying her best to ignore the chaos below and the movements of the crowd she focused. "Snitch, Bludger, Seeker," she mumbled.
The third time the Bludger came towards her she was beginning to become really angry at the Magpies. She began a slow dive to avoid the thing. It was then that her senses began to scream that something was wrong. Instead of doing as it was supposed to the Bludger arced in an ever tighter trajectory. It came straight at her while gaining speed.
She dove faster and made for the two Harpies Beaters, Catherine and Samantha, and flew between them. The satisfying crack of bat against Bludger sounded from behind. She dared a glance over her shoulder. The ball flew in the opposite direction.
The score slowly moved on to 120-50. The Harpies were really beginning to suffer. Gwenog had been right, something that she made a point of being, the other teams smelled a trophy and they were hungry.
A gasp rang out from the crowd. Ginny reacted a little too slowly. Her left shoulder felt the brutal impact of a glancing blow from a Bludger. She bit back a cry of agony and focused on steadying her broom as it flew erratically.
Katie came up beside her. "The Bludger's been hexed," the Chaser spat out angrily.
Ginny shook her head in confusion. Deep down she’d known. No Bludger reacted like that, but something in her mind had not wanted to comprehend that it could have happened. "You sure?" she asked.
"That thing has got Weasley on its mind, Ginny."
Ginny clenched her teeth against the pain of her shoulder. "I'll get the Snitch and end this."
"You better hurry."
Katie disappeared into the maelstrom that was the game leaving Ginny to race around the pitch. "Snitch, Bludger, Seeker," she repeated to herself.
The game moved with agonising slowness from there. Every spare moment not looking for the Snitch had to be spent scanning the air for either the Bludger or the opposing Seeker.
Then as the Bludger began another law breaking curve towards her, Ginny caught a glimmer of gold in the corner of her eye. The Snitch was trying to race passed her. Adding a tentative loop she intercepted the path and reached out to feel the cold metal of the Snitch as her fist closed around the winged ball. The joy at winning the game, like it should have been, was not there. Her mind was on one item, the Bludger still bearing down on her.
Instinctively she rolled while completing her loop. The Bludger soared just beneath. The ball buffeted the air around her and she let out another small sigh, but her body remained as tense as ever. The movement would keep the crazed Bludger away for the next few minutes.
“You alright?” Victoria spoke next to her. Ginny managed a nod. “Don’t worry we’ll keep it off you ’til the bloody spell wears off.”
Ginny, Snitch still held tightly in her hand and all thoughts of the game out of her mind, lay low on her broom as she flew through the air at break neck speeds. Her body as close to the handle as possible in order to reduce drag. The Beaters behind her quickly fell back.
“Catch the Snitch and end this,” Katie called out to Ginny who tried to open her mouth to say she’d already caught it. The attempt to open her palm failed. The Snitch remained caught in a death grip. Instead she kept on flying. It was the only thing she could get her body to do. She needed help. Her shoulder had gone numb and the demented Bludger was still trying to kill her.
Harry sat muttering to himself in the box. Malfoy had to have found out that he was seeing Ginny. But how? Harry went pale, why had he allowed himself to entangle Ginny in his past. Gwenog and he had been foolish to think they could keep his life away from them. But how could he keep himself away from Ginny?
The game was going badly for the Harpies as the Magpie Chasers flew almost unopposed around the field. Both Harpies Beaters were too busy trying to keep the single Bludger away from their new Seeker, while also trying to protect their Chasers. It was almost a rout at 200-90.
“That thing is cursed!” Ron shouted from beside Harry. “Someone do something!” The crowd quickly began to understand the gravity of the situation. A rogue Bludger was hunting down and trying to maim or kill the Harpies new talent.
Harry glanced at the match officials. They were talking frantically to one another. Gwenog was down there as well. Her arms flailed about as she shouted at someone to stop the game. Harry understood the confusion. A professional Quidditch Bludger had never been tampered with. No rules existed to account for the act. Officially they could do nothing until the game finished. “Catch the Snitch, Ginny,” Harry pleaded quietly. His hands were white from clutching the armrests.
Around him the other people in the box were beginning to grow more and more agitated. With each passing moment the situation became increasingly dire. Ginny performed a breath taking backwards roll and the Bludger missed her back by an inch. The two Beaters swirled around much less elegantly. Even in danger her flying still took his breath away, but he could see her becoming ragged. The earlier blow from the Bludger was starting to hurt badly.
“Hermione?” Ron called out. “What do the rules say? Can’t they stop this game?”
Hermione seemed perplexed. “I haven’t read the rules, Ron.” She looked ashamed as the words left her mouth.
“The only bloody book you’ve not read!” He threw his arms up in frustration. Harry felt bad for Hermione, but he understood Ron’s concern.
Over the pitch, Ginny lay as flat against her broom as Harry had ever seen and her one hand clutched the broom awkwardly. This was not the way this game should’ve turned out. He closed his jaw angrily. Consequences be damned, he was not just going to sit here and watch her being rammed into the ground by the cheating bastard Malfoy.
Closing his eyes he began the chant that would summon his broom. “Accio,” he muttered softly. “Accio.” He knew he only needed to say it once, but he drew confidence from his words. It helped him ignore the cries of horror coming from the spectators.
“Oi, stop chanting like zat!” A French voice cried out from behind him. He’d heard her speaking earlier. It had to be Fleur.
Harry stood, but could not stop himself from whispering. He needed his broom to help Ginny.
“Listen here, Potter! I know an incantation when I hear one.” The voice was strong and very angry. Harry opened his eyes to stare into the hard eyes of Bill Weasley.
“What does it matter to you if I’m chanting!” Harry shouted out in frustration. He needed to vent his growing agitation and worry over Ginny.
“That’s my sister out there and it sounds like you’re the one calling the shots.” Bill drew back his arm and swung before Harry could fathom what the man was talking about. The fist struck Harry. The sound of bone and cartilage breaking was all too familiar. Harry stumbled backwards only to ram into another person. Blood spurted from his nose, covering his white shirt. He touched his pocket and grunted. His wand had fallen out. At least his broom was still coming. He hoped so at least.
“You bloody cheat!” Ron cried out and a shoe struck Harry against the side. At least this time Harry was prepared. He managed to tense his muscles allowing his ribs survive the powerful strike, but his side would be feeling it soon.
Harry raised a hand and blasted Ron away from him. Bill and another red haired man, Charlie, came rushing towards him. They had murder in their eyes. Harry summoned some more strength and managed to stand. The world spun around him and his ears still rang from the first blow.
“So you won all those championships by cheating!” Charlie spat. Harry blocked his punch and struck out with his other fist. Bill slammed into him with his entire body. Harry’s smaller form stood little chance against the powerfully built and taller Weasley. They collided against a wall. The frame behind Harry shattered causing glass to fly in all directions.
Resorting to magic, Harry bludgeoned the man aside. In the distance his keen eyes saw the oncoming broom. Time was running out. All around him the Weasleys were homing in. There was pure anger and loathing in their eyes. Their wands were drawn now.
Harry began to run. His wand lay somewhere on the floor, but a line of red haired men stood between it and him. His side ached and his nose still bled. Outside the broom rushed towards him. It soared over the opposite stand coming straight towards them. There was one alternative left. Harry stepped onto the last row of seats and launched himself into the air.
The railing passed beneath him and then there was nothing but a fifty foot drop to the hard ground below. He could see Gwenog staring up at him. Nearly every person in the crowd not looking at Ginny was watching him in astonishment. Somewhere in the back of his mind he heard the commentator shouting something about him as he began to plummet to the ground. Everything happened so slowly.
His body twisted. The broom barely visible as his hand shot towards it. The grainy wood had never felt so good before. The thought vanished as his entire body jerked, but luckily the broom gave a little and so he did not hear or feel the agony of a dislocated shoulder. A broken nose was damage enough. It took only moments before he heaved himself onto the broom and began to speed off towards Ginny.
“Keep that thing away from her!” Harry called out to the two Beaters as he raced past them.
“We’ll keep her safe!” they called out. Then took a double take as they realised who was flying between them. He had never been more grateful for being famous.
Ginny veered hard to her left and the Bludger grazed her broom on passing. The broom wobbled for a little bit, but then she corrected again like the natural she was. “Why do you have to be so fast, Ginny?” Harry muttered to himself.
Ginny sped past the box where her brothers and parents were standing. A second later he passed them as well. Their wands were drawn and curses flew from the tips, but each was deflected off the magical shield surrounding the pitch. Jinxed Bludgers might have been uncommon, but not crazed fans that felt like doing bodily harm to their failed team. Harry would know, the Cannons had the most advanced system in the league. The Harpies a close second, thankfully.
“Ginny!” he called out. “It’s me. I’m here.” His voice must have travelled as she eased up slightly and allowed him to come closer. “You’re doing great, Ginny,” Harry said as he pulled up next to her. “Just keep flying like you’re doing and we’ll stop the Bludger.”
“Ha... rry,” she barely managed to say and he could see the pain in her expression. This close, he could clearly see the tear in her jersey and the red beneath. Her hand twitched towards him, but then she veered off suddenly as the Bludger dove between them. It missed Harry by a margin he would rather not remember.
Harry cursed loudly and sped after her again. It took an entire lap to gain on her. “Slow down, Ginny,” Harry cried out. “Give your team a chance to protect you.”
She complied slightly. The two Beaters managed to close on her flank forming an arrow formation. Harry dove down to fly behind the three of them. He glanced over his shoulder and watched as the Bludger came nearer.
Down below the officials were still arguing. A small woman jumped up and down beside them. It looked like she was trying hard to get their attention. The golden pin on her blouse named her the Snitch match official. Harry’s eyes widened. He cursed again. “They’ll never step in now.”
He shouted out in frustration and halted his broom in mid-air. He raised his hands and channeled his magic through raised palms. He stared unblinking at the Bludger coming straight towards him. The world erupted in a bright blue as he raised a shield before the ball. A blinding light flashed as it struck the blue film.
Harry blinked, first at the brightness and then in surprise moments before the Bludger slammed into his body. This time his ribs did not survive the impact intact. His legs, clamped around the broom, ensured that he was not blown off the handle. When his vision cleared he was dangling upside down thirty feet from the ground. Ginny still raced around the field.
Grunting in agony he clambered painfully atop his broom again. Lying down against the handle he shot after the Bludger. The crowd cheered, but the sound meant almost nothing to him.
The Bludger tumbled through the air chaotically now. It was the first time in minutes that Harry felt any form of hope. Cutting across the field he fell in with the group again.
“You look like...” Katie shouted at Harry. “What’s going?”
“She’s got the Snitch, Katie!” Harry shouted in return. “Go tell them that she’s got the Snitch.”
“What!” the Harpy shouted. “When?”
“Just tell them!” he ordered. The girl’s eyes widened at his tone and then she disappeared behind him as she flew down towards the officials. Harry closed on Ginny. “Just keep hold of that Snitch and keep that Bludger off your back and you’ll be fine.”
Harry felt rather than saw the magical wards around the stadium collapse. “They’ll stop the Bludger now, Ginny. Just keep flying.”
She mumbled something in reply, but her eyes never left the world before her. Down below the officials raised their wands and fired spells up at the hexed ball. “Thanks,” Ginny’s tired and disorientated voice called from her broom. She must have seen the officials.
Harry glanced back again. The Bludger continued to come closer, none of the spells stopped the thing. “Whatever happens, keep flying.” She nodded in reply, the fight returning to her eyes.
Harry whirled around again and began to methodically place repeated shields between him and the Bludger. They were too weak to do much now, but they helped to break some of the balls energy. It proved too little too late as the Bludger slammed into his leg. The crushing blow sent him flying from the broom, the handle splintered. Around him the stadium hummed as the full power of the Harpies wards activated again to keep spells as well spectators out. If he tried his stunt of earlier now he would be seriously rebuffed by the wards. No one could enter or leave the pitch. But all he could think of was the pain coursing through his body as he tumbled through the air. He barely heard someone call his name as he blacked out.
Ginny watched in horror as Harry fell from his broom. Something in her mind clicked back into place and she dove instinctively after him. “Harry!” she cried out as she rocketed downwards. A Wronski Feint to catch a man, easy.
His heavy body slammed into hers as she half caught half crashed into him. Their combined weight made it impossible for her to pull out of the dive. She barely managed to slow down. The green grass of the pitch, so wondrous a few weeks before, came rapidly closer. Her handle dug into the soft soil beneath and catapulted them across the field. She tumbled and rolled. Then stopped.
The grass felt cool and moist. The lack of air rushing across her face made the world oddly still. She coughed. Warm blood trickled down her face. She pushed the pain aside and tried to stand up, but her body refused to comply. It was over. The Bludger had disintegrated, along with Harry’s broom, upon striking him.
Her face rolled slightly to the side. He lay a few feet from her, his body strangely contorted. “Ginny, can you hear me?” Gwenog called to her.
“I’ummmm’l right,” Ginny slurred. “Harryyyy,” she mumbled.
“Nurse!” Gwenog called across at someone. “Get over here!” Her voice came nearer. “I’m going to Harry.” Even in her daze, Ginny could hear the woman’s voice break slightly. Ginny wanted to go to him, but a potion forced down her throat ended any conscious thoughts.
"Wandless magic people!” Bobby's excited voice crackled over the wireless. "Potter dove head first from the top box grabbed his broom out of thin air with one hand and now he raised three consecutive wandless Protego shields. Is there anything the man cannot do?"
"Wait. Merlin's beard the Bludger is still going straight for him!” Static came from the radio.
"His brooms shattered! There's nothing but a forty foot drop to the pitch."
"Wait! Merlin's soggy socks. Weasley is diving after him. She'll never...” The wireless emitted nothing but noise. "... They're down! She caught him but they're lying in a tangled mess of limbs. Gwenog's there. She's talking to Ginny... wait... She's alive people I wouldn't have believed… That was some flying."
"A Wronski feint to catch a falling Potter. The extra weight was her undoing. Merlin! That is what I call a game of Quidditch... Wait... There's more coming through from the pitch..."
The radio crackled loudly and the distant cheer of the crowd filtered through. "It's been confirmed. Ginny Weasley caught the Snitch. Can you believe it?"
"How did we miss it?"
"I don't know, but so much has been going on!"
"Harry's been led off by a stretcher. That was some heroic flying from Potter. The man just continues to prove that he is a formidable Quidditch player."
"There's more coming from the pitch...”
"Amazing. It appears that Harry knew she'd caught the Snitch. He'd known the game was officially over. No rules were broken and the Harpies win will stand."
"That man must have the eyes of a phoenix. A true legend in the flesh."
"Well that's it for the night, listeners. The Harpies win their opening game against the Magpies. It's been nail biting stuff. Debuts, cursed Bludgers and amazing feats of flying from both Weasley and Potter."
"From what I've seen tonight the Harpies have themselves a future star in Weasley."
"Agreed. If only we could see a game between Potter and Weasley."
"So what can are listeners look forward to?"
"This was the last game in the first round. The teams will have a few weeks to nurse their injuries before the October round begins."
"Until October then. Wishing you a good night, from me Bobby."
"And me Peter."
Thank you for reading.
So, Ginny had her first game. Let me know what you thought.
I hope to have the next chapter up in a few days so that you can read about the aftermath of what happened.
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