Chapter 9 : Chapter 9: New Year’s Aftermath and Quidditch with the Potters
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Friday we did nothing but relax, again according to our plan. Neither of us was very messy, so it didn’t take us long to pack our trunks to leave the next day. We packed them that morning and spent the rest of the day reading, talking, and playing games. It wasn’t until we went to bed that night that I actually started thinking about the upcoming train ride. I was hoping Al wouldn’t be awkward toward me like he was at the party. It would be nice to just go back to the way things were before then.
But then I realized that I can’t go back to the way it used to be. There were definite reasons he treated me the way he did that night and, although I understand where he’s coming from to a point, it still hurt a bit. I’ve spent the entire first term hanging out with Al and Rose and thinking I’ve finally made a couple of real friends, then in one night Al manages to make me feel like we really aren’t friends. I was really beginning to like him too. Well, I guess I’ll just have to see what happens on the train.
Waking up the morning we were heading back to Hogwarts was a bit difficult due to my inability to fall asleep the night before. I have a feeling I will be taking a nap on the train and am thankful it takes several hours to get to Hogwarts. I do my usual morning routine and head downstairs to breakfast with Rose.
Breakfast is absolutely wonderful! There are eggs, waffles, bacon, sausage, hash browns, toast, muffins, pumpkin juice, orange juice, and several other pastries on the table. I fill my plate and eat quite heartily before going to get my trunk so Rose’s Dad can place it in the car for me. We leave the house with plenty of time to spare and, before we know it, we are back on platform 9¾ saying our good-byes.
“Thank you so much for letting me stay with you. I had a wonderful time. I hope it wasn’t too much trouble.”
“Not at all, dear. We loved having you! You are most welcome to visit us anytime.” Hermione replied, smiling.
“You girls take care….and behave yourselves!!” Rose’s Dad said, giving each of us a hug.
After one more hug from Rose’s Mum, we were finally in a compartment on the train.
The last two days leading up to the train ride back to Hogwarts were pretty uneventful for me. On Friday, Dad went back to work and Mum decided to go run some errands which left James, Lily, and I at home. We were definitely old enough to look after ourselves for a few hours, so this wasn’t a big deal. A few minutes after Mum left James got a floo call from Fred asking him to come over, which he did. Then, not long after that Lily was invited to go over to her friend’s house, leaving me alone at home.
Normally I would welcome the peace and quiet, but I have too many things going on inside my head after New Year’s and after a bit my thoughts are beginning to drive me a bit wonky. I write a note to my parents telling them where each of us went and when I plan to be home, bundle up my coat, and head toward the library. I am once again enjoying 12+ hours of clear vision since I adjusted the spell to accommodate my vision change, and it is so nice. I just hope my vision takes a bit longer to worsen this time. I can only strengthen the spell once more and then there will be nothing else I can do with magic to correct my vision. I’m not going to worry about that now though. I have new things to discover in the many books at the library.
I find one book in particular that catches my eye. It is a book about language and covers in detail the many different languages of the world, both modern and ancient. I know that language is a big part of not only casting spells, but other classes at Hogwarts as well, such as Runes. I really want to take this book with me but, since I don’t have a library card, I can’t check it out the normal way. After secluding myself in a practically empty part of the library, I quietly and quickly slip the book into the pocket of my cloak and move on to browse another section so as to not bring any extra attention to myself.
After spending about an hour skimming several different books, I walk out the door and head for home. As soon as I arrive, I go up to my bedroom and close the door. I pull off my cloak and take the book out of the pocket. Using my wand, I cast a spell to replicate the book so I can have my own copy. I make sure the copy is readable and complete, then place it in my trunk so I don’t forget to pack it. I then put my wand away, return the book to my pocket, put on my cloak, and head back to the library to return the book. Once arriving at the library, I place the book in the Drop Box and quickly head for home.
The next morning isn’t as chaotic as usual since Mum made us pack our trunks last night. We all wake up, eat breakfast, and are able to relax for a bit until it’s time to leave for King’s Cross Station. As I listen to James and Lily talk on the way there, I begin to wonder how everything is going to be on the train for me. I mean, will it be awkward for me because of the party, or will things seem to be the way they always have been? Instead of working myself up over what could end up being nothing, I stop thinking and just enjoy the ride.
As I enter platform 9¾, I see Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione saying good-bye to Hugo and waving at the train. I assume that Ary and Rose are already on the train, so now I have to decide if I want to sit with them or find another compartment to sit in. I decide to try to sit with them first. Rose and I have ridden to and from Hogwarts every trip and I don’t really want to break that tradition now.
It isn’t difficult finding the compartment Rose and Ary are in because there aren’t too many people on the train yet. I open the door and they both stop talking and look at me, which makes me feel a little uneasy.
“Um….hey girls…mind if I join you?”
Rose looks at Ary. “Up to you, Ary…you’re the one he blew off the other night.”
Ary looks sharply back at Rose, “Yes, thanks for reminding me as if I had forgotten.”
Then she turns to me, “Al, you’re welcome to sit here, but don’t think I’ve forgotten anything or that things can be as if last Wednesday night never happened.”
“I understand and I wouldn’t expect you to forget. Thanks for letting me sit here.” I sit down opposite the two girls who are now whispering to each other. Figuring this is how most of the ride is going to be; I take out one of my books and begin reading.
As Rose and I sit on the train we start talking about the upcoming term. When we get to the subject of Runes, however, she brings up Al.
“Isn’t he your table partner in that class? Are you going to be okay with that? I mean, he treated you like crap and still hasn’t apologized to you for any of it. If it were me I’d be quite miffed at him.”
“I’m not going to lie and say I’m not still a bit upset, but I believe he will come to me and we’ll talk and clear the air someday. It will be when he decides though, not me. After all, he’s the one who needs to apologize, not me. All I will promise to do is listen to him and respond when necessary, although he may not like what I have to say.”
“I hope you two work things out on some level. It’s hard being the one in between.”
“I know and I don’t want to do anything that will hurt you. You are the first real friend I’ve ever had and I won’t sacrifice our friendship because of Al. He is still your cousin and you two are very close. I couldn’t live with myself if that ever changed because of me. Besides, I like Al, even though he really needs to apologize for being a complete git to me.”
Rose giggles, gives me a hug, and says, “Yes he does and yes he was!” This makes me break out in giggles as well. We continue our ‘girl talk’ until we hear the door open. We look over to see Al standing in the doorway. He asks us if he can sit with us.
I’m not sure how I feel about this, but when Rose looks at me and tells me it’s my decision, I let him stay. I make sure he understands though that I have not forgotten nor will things be as they were before the party. He seems to understand and sits down across from us.
Then Rose starts whispering again, “Wow! You really told him! I really hope that’ll get him to open up and talk to you. Then maybe it can be the three of us again.”
“Maybe….we’ll just have to see what happens. I don’t want to talk about Al anymore; especially since he’s sitting right there…it’s kind of awkward.”
“Yeah….you’re right. C’mon, let’s get some reading done to get a good start for next term.”
I nod to Rose and take out my Potions book. The rest of the ride back to Hogwarts is a very quiet one.
It doesn’t take long for us to settle back into the usual routine. I made the decision on the train to not try and force anything with Al. I have a feeling he’ll come and talk to me when he’s ready to. I understand some of what he feels and it helps me to be patient with him. In the meantime, I go on talking about the usual stuff we talked about before break.
Rose is a rather quick study with ASL. I let her borrow one of my old books while I was staying at her house over break and she actually picked it up quicker than I thought anyone could. We spend quite a bit of time ‘talking’ in sign, which is actually very convenient during class, especially when we’re falling asleep in History of Magic. It’s a lot of fun, especially since no one else has the foggiest notion what we are doing. We just call it our ‘special code language’ so people think we made it up. Funnily enough, the people we go to school with are either gullible or ignorant enough to believe us. Either way, they leave us alone, which Rose and I prefer.
I am also happy that Rose is learning sign so that I’ll have someone who understands and ‘speaks’ my other language when the time comes that my hearing worsens to the point that I will no longer understand the spoken word. However, that is not something I’m going to worry about right now; I have to cheer Gryffindor to a Quidditch cup win. After Quidditch is over, intense revising for Final Exams will begin.
Second term started as any other for me. Ary and I didn’t talk much at first; but, as the weeks passed, we fell back into similar territory with regards to our friendship. It wasn’t quite like it was before, but at least we were talking again. I never really had a chance to actually ‘talk’ to her like I wanted to, but things were going well enough that I didn’t see the need to possibly make things worse again anyway. I figured when the time was right to actually talk, we would.
Quite a few of us stayed at school during Easter holiday, either to actually relax or get some uninterrupted study time in. I managed to finish my assignments in the first two days, leaving the rest of break to do as I pleased. Naturally, I spent most of it either flying or reading. I was really enjoying the language book I got out of the Muggle library. There were so many languages covered in there that I never even knew existed and it was fascinating learning about them. It did actually help me with Runes as well like I had hoped, which made my term a bit easier.
Easter holiday ends much too quickly for me as it is now time to focus on end-of-year exams. I really don’t mind studying and all, but it takes time away from my leisure reading and flying. The only flying I’m really going to get to do in the next few weeks will be during Quidditch practice in preparation for our upcoming match against Slytherin. I know we’re going to be practicing extra hard because this match will decide who wins the Quidditch cup, and James is determined to win it this year. I’m thankful that my vision spell is holding up okay since I adjusted it back in January. Not being able to see the snitch would hardly pass as an excuse for losing the Quidditch cup, and would also let my secret be known.
The week before the final match brings warm weather and, unfortunately, lots of homework and last minute practices. It seems like every Professor is afraid we aren’t working hard enough or something and James is just insane with Quidditch practice. I am so glad that it’s finally Friday, and I know I will be even happier when Quidditch is over after tomorrow’s match. I really like Quidditch and all, but I really need to concentrate on studying and exam revision.
I wake up Saturday morning feeling quite good. After getting showered and dressed, I head down to the Great Hall for breakfast with the team like we do every game day. It gives us a chance to discuss any last minute stuff before we go down to the Quidditch pitch to change into our uniforms and mentally prepare for the match. Today, however, James is unusually quiet and way too focused on his food.
I nudge him slightly. “Hey, Jamie….you okay?”
“Yeah…fine Al, just getting into the zone.”
“Okay. You just aren’t usually this quiet at breakfast, that’s all.”
“I really don’t have much to say today. We’ve had really great practices this week and I don’t think the team could be any more ready. I just hope I am.”
“You always do great though. Why would today be any different than the other matches this year?”
“Well, for one thing, our parents weren’t present for any of the others…”
“Wait a minute…Mum and Dad are coming here for the match?”
“Yeah…sorry I didn’t tell you earlier. They owled me last week and I was supposed to let you and Lily know they were coming. I completely forgot about it.”
“Meh, it’s okay. I just can’t believe they’re actually coming here. You know how much Dad hates being ambushed by ‘fans’.”
“I know. It must be really important to him to see us play. I’m sure Professor McGonagall has already made special arrangements for them to keep their visit as private as possible.”
“True…hadn’t thought about that.” I glance at the clock. “Hey, we need to be getting down to the pitch soon.”
James looks at the clock. “You’re right, Al.” He then addresses the others at the table. “Okay team; let’s head down to the changing rooms for our pre-game ritual. We’ve got a big one today!”
I follow James out the door with the rest of the team while finishing my last bit of toast.
I still can’t believe that my parents are actually coming to the match. I ponder this thought all the way down to the pitch. I have a pretty good idea why they told James they were coming and not me, and it is probably better that I just found out rather than stewing about it for days. I’m really hoping not many people find out they’re here though, because that can get pretty chaotic.
Right now I just need to focus on catching the snitch and helping us win the Quidditch cup. If I don’t see Mum and Dad after the match, then I’ll just see them in a few weeks when I get home. I now focus my attention on James as he gives us the strategy for today’s match. Super…all I have to do is wait to catch the snitch until Gryffindor is at least 100 points ahead. That part is easy, it’s keeping the other Seeker from catching it while I’m waiting that’s hard. Oh well…James did say this is a big match, and I’m quite ready to go when I hear the announcer call our names.
I wake up later than usual on a Quidditch Saturday morning. Rose told me last night not to worry about waking up early to eat breakfast with her and she’d see me either at the pitch or in the Common Room after the match. I know that nerves were running high in the Common Room last night so I didn’t question her and just did as she said. Besides, I did get to sleep in after all.
I come down to the Common Room with plenty of time to stop by the Great Hall to grab a quick bite to eat before walking down to the pitch. As I enter the Common Room, I see Lily standing with two people I never thought I’d see in our Common Room. They must have heard me coming because they turn in my direction. I smile and wave at them.
“Hey Lily! Nice to see you again Mr. and Mrs. Potter.”
“Good to see you too, Ary, and please call me Harry,” Mr. Potter replies.
“And please call me Ginny.”
“Oh, right sorry….habit. I’m not used to calling adults by their first names.”
“It’s quite alright, we understand.” They both smile at me and give me a hug.
“Isn’t this great Ary! Mum and Dad are here to see James and Al play today!” Lily was squeezing her Dad tightly as she spoke.
“Wow! I didn’t know parents were allowed to attend school matches. Do they know you’re here?”
“We wrote to James about a week ago and told him we made arrangements with the Headmistress so we could see our boys play without causing too much of a ruckus,” Harry explained.
“Yep…James never told me they were coming but Professor McGonagall told me last night to make sure I was in the Common Room at precisely 9:30 to await my parents’ arrival by floo. So I did and here they are!” Lily is absolutely beaming with joy. I can tell she’s missed her parents while at school, especially her Dad. She truly is a ‘Daddy’s Girl’.
I really don’t want to intrude any more. “Well, it’s great to see you again! I hope you have a nice visit and enjoy the match. It should be a good one! I’m off to grab a quick bite of breakfast before heading down to watch Gryffindor crush Slytherin.” I smile and wave, then turn and start walking toward the portrait hole. I’m about to climb through when I hear…
I stop and turn around. Lily is running toward me.
“Why don’t you have breakfast up here with us? The house elves sent tons of food up here. Then you can come watch the match with us! Come on…it’ll be fun!”
I am humbled and thankful for the offer, but still don’t want to interfere. “Are you sure Lily? I don’t want to be in the way. I know how happy you are to see your Mum and Dad.”
“Of course I’m sure. We’re going to be sitting in a special booth to watch the match and it’ll be a lot more fun with a fellow Gryffindor who’s not so old to cheer with. If you come I won’t be the only kid there. Please? Mum and Dad want you to join us too.”
I look over and Harry and Ginny, who smile, nod their heads, and wave their arms in welcome.
“Okay, thanks! I’d love to!” I smile and hurry toward the breakfast table with Lily.
This could be a really interesting day.
As soon as our names are announced, we take off as a team, proudly flying one lap around the pitch. After that, James shakes hands with the Slytherin captain and we assume our positions for the match. I see the snitch when it is released, but quickly lose sight of it as usual and fly a bit higher to begin to look for it. I know that I can’t go after it until we are at least 100 points ahead, so I’m actually paying more attention to the actual match than I usually do.
I continue flying around listening for the score and looking for the snitch. Our team is flying brilliantly so far and already has a 50 point lead. ‘Halfway there…’ I think as I keep looking. The crowd roars as James scores another goal for Gryffindor giving us a 60 point lead. I look over at the Slytherin Seeker; it doesn’t look like he’s seen it either and I know he’d really like to catch it before we extend our lead much more.
After about 45 minutes and a beautiful shot by Roxanne, Gryffindor is finally 100 points ahead; however, I still can’t find the stupid snitch. Fortunately, neither can the Slytherin Seeker, but I really don’t want Slytherin to actually score enough goals to put them within 100 points of us before I find it.
And that is exactly what happens…
Slytherin finally catches a break and scores three quick goals, bringing the score to 130-50, much to my dismay. I hear the cheers for Slytherin and glance toward our goal just after the quaffle went through the right hoop. Then I see something…
I see something shiny and gold-like flying close to the announcer’s table in the faculty booth. As I look closer, I also see my parents in the booth with Professor McGonagall, Lily, and…..Ary?? I wonder what she’s doing there. I guess Lily must have invited her. I’ll be sure to ask her later. I didn’t realize Ary and Lily had gotten so close.
I decide to use the fact that my family is sitting in the faculty booth to nonchalantly fly over in that direction while also confirming that it is the snitch I see. I only hope the other Seeker doesn’t actually see the snitch or the ploy won’t work.
I wave to my Mum and Dad hoping I’m convincing enough, and then confirm that it is the snitch hovering just above and to the left of the faculty booth. I hear that the score is now 140-50 in favor of Gryffindor and I’m beginning to grow impatient. ‘C’mon….just one more goal…You can do it! Hurry so I can catch this thing and end it.’ Meanwhile I continue to look distracted waving and gesturing to my parents without losing sight of the snitch, which has not moved at all.
Then I hear what I’ve been waiting for…
What a goal by Kimberly Jones!! Her Mum would be quite proud with that one! Gryffindor now leads Slytherin 150-50. I’m sure the two Seekers are getting anxious to catch the snitch now…
As soon as I hear the announcement, I glance over to the other Seeker who is still actively looking for the snitch yet doesn’t seem to have found it yet. I seize this opportunity and fly over to where the snitch is hovering, hoping I can snag it before it leaves.
Unfortunately, as I am about to wrap my fingers around it, it flies off, so I chase after it. Gryffindor has managed to hold the lead with no problem, leaving me to just focus on the snitch. The Slytherin Seeker now realizes I am chasing the snitch, and begins to follow me in pursuit.
I catch the snitch a few seconds before I am plowed into by the other Seeker and manage to get out of the way just in time to avoid a trip to the hospital wing. When I land on the ground I am swept up onto James’ shoulders and the entire team is cheering! It’s a great day to be a Gryffindor Quidditch player!!
I’m so glad Mum and Dad are here to see it as well. I just hope they stay for a bit so I can see them before they leave.
Breakfast in the common room with the Potters is a lot of fun. I really like Lily and hope we can be good friends. She’s almost like the little sister I always wanted but never had. When we aren’t eating, we’re talking about whatever comes to mind. I didn’t know 45 minutes could fly by so quickly. Just as we’re finishing, Professor McGonagall enters through the portrait hole. She looks a little surprised to see me, but is smiling at the Potters.
“I trust everything was to your satisfaction?”
“Everything was wonderful! Thank you so much for this, Minerva.”
“Not a problem at all Harry. You know you and Ginny are always welcome here at Hogwarts. I wish we could do this more often.” She looks at me. “Miss Porter, shouldn’t you be down at the pitch with your housemates?”
“I asked her to stay for breakfast and then sit with us Professor. I hope that’s alright. Mum and Dad already said okay.” Lily said, grabbing my hand.
“Of course it’s alright my dear. I must say I can’t blame you for wanting another student to sit with. We older folk tend to get boring after awhile I’m sure. Why don’t you two run upstairs, and grab whatever you need to take down to the pitch with you? We will be leaving in about five minutes.”
“Okay! Thanks Professor!!” Lily squeals and drags me up the stairs.
Lily and I each go into our respective dorms and grab a jacket and stuff to cheer with. Then make our way back down the stairs. I see Harry’s eyes light up when he sees his daughter and it makes me smile.
“All set pumpkin?”
“Yes Dad. Let’s go!”
Professor McGonagall leads us out of the common room and down a series of hallways I don’t recognize. I figure there must be some secret passageway I don’t know about, but will soon. Finally, we encounter a painting of what appears to be a Quidditch match from around the 17th Century. It even has a snitch moving about the canvas. Professor McGonagall touches the snitch with her finger and the frame separates from the wall like a door, revealing a passageway.
“Wow Minerva…I don’t even think this passage is on the Marauder’s Map. Where exactly does it lead?” Harry asks.
“You are quite right. It isn’t on the Marauder’s Map because it is a relatively new addition to the castle.”
“Just how new is it?”
“It was created a few years ago to make it easier for the Professors or any other VIP attending to get to and from a match without the bother of crowds, etc. This passage will take us directly to the Faculty Booth.”
“This is brilliant! It will be nice to just be here as a parent and not a celebrity. Thank you so much Minerva.”
“Really Harry…it is no problem at all. I’m glad you and Ginny both could be free on the same weekend so you can watch your sons play. They really are quite good.”
“Well, they’ve had good teachers I guess, although Al never really showed much interest until this year. I’m glad he isn’t secluding himself this year like he has the past two.”
“Well, I think Ary here has helped that a bit. She’s the only one I’ve ever seen him with other than his family.”
Now I’m blushing as I see them all look my direction. “In a way he’s helped me too. I didn’t really have much of a chance to make friends last year since I was so busy trying to catch up in my studies, so I secluded myself as well. I guess we kind of helped each other.” I shrug.
“Well, I for one am glad you have become friends with two of our children, Ary, and I hope we will see you during the summer holidays.”
“I’d like that sir. Thank you.”
We reach the end of the tunnel, which has what looks like a Muggle elevator. With a wave of Professor McGonagall’s wand, the doors open and we step inside to be whooshed up to the faculty booth. By the time we get there, the match seems to have just started. I’m glad we didn’t miss much.
The faculty booth is amazing! The seats are up higher than even the top row of the stands the students sit in. We’re sitting basically at the same level as the players. I’m almost afraid that a stray bludger might accidentally fly our way. I’m having a great time with Lily and her parents are amazing!
The score is now 120-20 in favor of Gryffindor. James, Roxanne, and Kimberly are totally in sync with each other today and Trevor on fire, not letting any goals through. Gryffindor scores again and I see Al begin desperately hunting for the snitch, as though he was waiting for a certain lead before he got serious about catching the thing. Lily and I start cheering for Al, but I can’t help but wonder…
“Hey, Lily, why did Al wait so long to actually begin looking for the snitch? Doesn’t he usually try to catch it as early as possible?”
“I’m guessing James told him to wait until they were 100 points ahead first. Gryffindor must need at least 250 points more than Slytherin to win the Quidditch cup.”
“You mean it isn’t just about winning the matches?”
“No. The Quidditch cup is won by the house that accumulates the most total points during their games and has won at least 2 matches. Gryffindor and Slytherin have both won 2 matches and Slytherin has more total points than Gryffindor going into this match. Since there are no more matches, Gryffindor must make up the point difference in this match in order to win the cup.”
“Oh, now I understand. That makes sense I guess. Oh crap…”
“Look…Slytherin just scored two goals back to back. Make that three. Al has stopped looking so frantic to find the snitch. I’d say your guess was right.”
Lily smiles, “Let’s just hope he’s passively looking for it this time so he isn’t so panicked…although it is a bit entertaining.” We both giggle a bit.
“Now Lily, you shouldn’t talk about your brother that way. You know how sensitive and self-conscious he is.” Ginny said in a semi-scolding manner.
“Sorry Mum, but you know it’s true. Besides, it’s not like he can hear me or anything and Ary already knows what he’s like.”
Ginny laughs and gives us both a squeeze while Harry just looks at us, shakes his head, and mutters, “Girls…” which only makes us laugh harder.
We’re so busy laughing in fact that we don’t notice that Al has flown over to where we’re sitting and seems to be waving at us. Lily and I wave back, wondering why Al is paying more attention to us and not the game. I really hope that me being here with his family hasn’t ruined the match for him. I’ll never forgive myself if Gryffindor loses the match or the cup and I’m partly to blame.
I just now realize that I’ve been watching Al more than anyone else this whole match. I can’t seem to help it. It’s like I feel this connection with him even though he keeps me at a personal distance. I really hope he’ll let me get to know him better, and I hope that happens before I can’t hear him speak anymore. He has such a nice voice. I could listen to him talk all day. And those brilliant green eyes...
Then, the announcer states that Gryffindor is now ahead 150-50. Mere seconds after the announcement is made, Al disappears in a flash and then I see it…the snitch.
Now I understand why he was ‘hanging’ over here with us. He was watching the snitch that must have been hovering over by the booth without letting the Slytherin Seeker know he’d found it.
It doesn’t take long for the other Seeker to catch on once Al starts chasing the snitch however. Fortunately, Al manages to grab the snitch and get out of the way just in time. My heart is still pounding because I was sure he was going to get unintentionally body slammed off his broom.
I see Al land and get swept up my James and the rest of the Quidditch team.
Gryffindor has won the match and the Quidditch Cup!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen Al so happy! It makes me feel good as well. I know there is going to be a huge party in the common room tonight! I’m about to ask Lily if she’s ready for a party when I hear Mr. Potter speak.
“Minerva, is there any way we can get together with the boys privately as well? I’d like to offer my congratulations and let them know how proud I am of them without a spectacle.”
“Of course Harry. I will have them come to my office and you can spend as much time as you like with them there. If you would like to dine there as well, that will be okay. Just call for Elsie and she will bring whatever you need. If you would, send a patronus to me when you are ready to depart so I may say farewell.”
“That sounds perfect. We will leave before it gets too late. Thank you so much!”
“You are quite welcome dear.”
As we are walking to the Headmistress’s office, I suddenly feel very out of place and need to let this wonderful family have some time together without an outsider.
I stop walking. Lily stops with me looking at me strangely, so I say, “Well, thank you very much for inviting me to sit with you for the match. I had a great time! It was nice to see you again, Harry and Ginny.”
Now Lily speaks…“You mean you’re not coming?”
“Nah… I’ve got some homework I need to finish and you should enjoy your Mum and Dad being here with your family.”
“Well, if you’re sure,” Lily says, giving me a hug.
“I’m quite sure. See you later?”
“You bet! See you!”
Lily turns and runs to catch up with her parents while I head back to the common room to start on my homework.
As soon as I reach the portrait of the Fat Lady, I know the party has already started. I hang out for a few minutes with Rose, but I feel my homework calling me, so I grab a plate and fill it with sandwiches and cauldron cakes. Then I grab a couple bottles of butterbeer and head upstairs to the dorm to do my homework. Overall it has been a really fun day for me and I’d like it to continue, but unfortunately the work has to get done too. I really can’t wait for summer!
I am quite happy to finally be changing out of my Quidditch uniform. For awhile I didn’t think James was ever going to put me down, although I will admit it felt really good. I still can’t believe we actually won the Quidditch cup and that I am part of the team that did it.
While I’m changing, a cat patronus appears and begins talking to me in Professor McGonagall’s voice.
“Mr. Potter, please report to my office as soon as possible. The password is Quidditch Cup.”
I sit there for a minute as the silvery mist dissipates wondering why the Headmistress wants to see me. I do know that she doesn’t like to be kept waiting, so I finish quickly and head back up toward the castle. Upon reaching the gargoyle statues guarding the Headmistress’s office, I speak the password, climb the spiral staircase, and knock on the door.
The door opens and I am suddenly being squeezed to death by someone. It all happened so fast I don’t even know who it is. Then their grip loosens a bit and they speak.
“Albus! You were wonderful out there!! I’m so proud of you baby! You really do have your Dad’s talent as a Seeker. I’m so glad I got to see you really play!!”
Now I know who is hugging me so fiercely. “Thanks Mum. I’m so glad you and Dad could make it to the match. I know how busy you both are and how Dad hates coming here because of all the attention he gets.”
She pulls away and looks me in the eye. “There is nothing more important to your Dad and me than our family, Albus Severus Potter. You know that. We would be here for every match if we could. And, just so you know, your Dad has dealt with unwanted attention all his life, so that in itself would never keep him from you kids.”
Now I feel stupid because I already know this. I have no idea why I even said anything. I mean, this is my moment, right? Well, the team’s moment really, but still. Why am I dwelling on my Dad’s fame during my moment? Can’t I just enjoy time with my family? It seems like everyone else can.
With tears welling up in my eyes, I hug my Mum again. “I’m sorry Mum. Sometimes I don’t know why I say what I do. I just don’t think I guess. Please forgive me.”
“Honey, there’s nothing to forgive. Come on now, this is supposed to be a family celebration. Let’s go join the others.”
Mum and I walk over to where Dad is talking to James and Lily. Lily looks like she is attached to Dad as they are both listening intently to James’s recap of the match from his point of view. As I walk up to them, the talking stops and they all look at me.
“Albus! Great catch son! You really are a chip off the old block, eh?” Dad says, pulling me into a hug.
“Yeah Dad….I guess I learned more from you than we both thought.” I smile and return the hug.
“Well, I’m glad you’re enjoying Quidditch, son. Some of my best memories of Hogwarts involve playing Quidditch.”
Mum snickers. “Which ones hon? The time when you were being chased by a cursed bludger? Or maybe it was when the Dementors made you fall off your broom? No wait…I know. The best one was when McLaggen hit you with that bludger and cracked your skull, right?” Now she is in a full laughing fit at my Dad’s expense.
I could see Dad’s face reddening with each incident Mum was reminding him of and I’ll admit it did make me smile. She always knew just which buttons to push and how much to push them when it came to Dad. I have to admit, it is quite entertaining since she’s the only one who can really get away with it.
Dad sighs, “Okay Gin, I get it. That wasn’t what I was talking about though. I was referring to the thrill of the game, catching the snitch, the rush of adrenaline during the chase, the good friends I made on the team. You know, stuff like that.”
Mum rolls her eyes, “Oh you mean those memories. Yeah, those were pretty good times.”
“So, how long are you here for? Are we eating dinner in the Great Hall or right here?” I just now realize I’m beginning to get hungry. Breakfast was quite awhile ago.
“Minerva said we could stay as long as we wanted and we will be eating up here so we can have some family time together, if that’s okay with you guys.” Dad replies with a hopeful smile on his face.
All three of us nod our heads excitedly, and then Lily speaks up. “Yes Dad! That would be brilliant! I’ve missed you so much!”
Dad calls for some elf named Elsie who appears, then disappears, and quickly reappears with a tableful of food. We all sit down and tuck in. I’m positive this food is even better than what we get at the start-of-term feast, yet I didn’t know that was possible. It also seems that we are eating all of Dad’s favorite foods. I always knew Professor McGonagall had a soft spot for Dad. She is like an adopted Grandma to us Potter kids as well.
The evening passes by very quickly and was very enjoyable. I am really looking forward to exams being over and going home to peace and quiet. About an hour after dinner, Dad sends his Stag patronus to Professor McGonagall letting her know they will be leaving soon. She arrives in her office just as Mum and Dad are giving us our last hugs and telling us to behave ourselves and study hard. Then after a quick farewell to the Professor, they disappear through the floo.
We arrive back in the common room where the party is still going strong. James and I get pulled into the center of the room with the rest of the team and have a butterbeer shoved in our hand. The celebration goes on quite late into the night, but even Professor McGonagall doesn’t seem to care. In fact, nobody ever comes to break up the party, even at 2:00 am. This has definitely been one of the best days of my life!
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