Chapter 20 : Quidbumps
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Mortuus: Vincent Crabbe, Colin Creevey, James Potter
“We’ve put a twist on this round of the tournament,” Claudius went on. “Which will make it quite different from the others.”
From their helpless positions in the stands, Lily and Remus tensed. A twist?
“The memory you shall be trespassing in belongs to none other than our village founder, Cliodna. We are sending you to Cliodna’s Clock as it was in the fourteenth century, during our Quidbumps Cup. The two teams were named after the two islands in our community, as the Grotta was permitted to participate in the sport at that time and we played versus them every year. For the purposes of this Duel, however, we have tweaked the teams a little and they will be called Victus and Mortuus. Instead of seven players on each team, there will just be the six of you in total – three for each team.”
“We’re going to be playing Quidditch?” Colin interrupted without thinking.
Ptolemy smiled, wagging one finger. “Quidbumps,” he corrected, “which is our homegrown hodgepodge of Shuntbumps and Quidditch mixed together. We use a live Golden Snidget instead of a Golden Snitch, and players themselves act as human Quaffles.
“In Quidbumps, there are no specific Chasers, Beaters, Seekers, or Keepers. In its original form, the game of Shuntbumps consists of players knocking each other off their brooms, and whoever holds on the longest wins. We’ve incorporated that element into this game, but added a few additional surprises. Instead of falling off and staying out of the game, when a player is thrown from their broom and touches the ground, they will reappear soon after so that they can, in theory, be knocked off time and time again. This earns the attacker five points each time. When the Snidget is caught, the game ends. Winners for both teams are determined by your individual point counts. Whoever has the most accumulated points for Victus wins for that team, and whoever has the most accumulated points for Mortuus wins for that team, as well.
“You may be wondering who the losers will be. They will not necessarily be whoever is punted off of his or her broom the most frequently. We have decided that the winners – the people who attain the most points – will be granted the unprecedented choice to select the losers for the opposite team. The winner of Victus will choose who to eliminate from Mortuus, and vice versa, after the game has finished.”
“Oh my God,” Lily whispered, covering her mouth with her hands.
“And that’s not all.” Claudius grinned widely, his skin glinting scarlet from the reflecting sun. “Like in Quidditch, the match ends when the Snitch – or in this case, the Snidget – is caught. It will not be worth any points, but do not underestimate its value.” He stopped to clear his throat, waiting for his statement to sink in. “Whoever catches the Snidget is granted instant immunity from elimination in this round and cannot be chosen for disqualification by the winners. This can only be obtained by one person, of course. So while your goal is to stay firmly on top of your broom, all the while scoring points yourselves by catapulting anyone you possibly can off of their own brooms, it is advisable that you also keep an eye out for the Snidget. It just might mean your salvation.
“There are no Quaffles. There are no Bludgers. There are Beater’s bats, and everyone will be given one. They’ll be useful for trying to knock other players off their brooms. There are no rules about how you play the game, and there is no such thing as a foul. Absolutely anything goes.
“Of course, in a round such as this, it is necessary to make members of opposing teams visible to each other. Unlike in the other rounds, you will be fully engaged with each other, pitted both against your own team as well as the opposite. It is every man for himself, as they say, and the broomstick battle will continue until someone catches the Snidget. If anyone’s points are tied for winner when the Snidget is caught, the game will continue until the next score is made.”
He paused. “Any questions?”
It seemed as if they’d risen above the Pensieve rather than jumped into it; and had their surroundings not changed, and had they not found themselves bobbing around in a vivid blue sky, the contenders might not have believed that their circumstances had changed at all.
It was midwinter and the air was positively freezing. The landscape of Cliodna’s Clock was starkly different from present day. As James Potter searched the glacial waters with his eyes, he met snow-capped mountains, strings of active volcanoes, and triangular caves settled deep under cliffs that hung over the sea. City Center was tiny, the only familiar fixture being the Town Hall. A small, faraway speck gazing through the window of an oversized chess bishop could have been Salazar Slytherin, too cross with the world to properly watch the game from the stadium seats.
All around the six players on broomsticks in the oval stadium, rather than James’s wife and Tonks’s husband and all of their deceased friends, were the faces of strangers. They cheered in echoing shouts while waving pennants all about, seeing not Victus and Mortuus but the original players of Quidbumps from long ago, and Fred found it startling that he didn’t recognize many members of the audience.
They all must have perished in the Duel by now.
He wondered if, in some distant Devil’s Duel in the future where memories were once again used for round settings, people might look at the face of Fred Weasley and not recognize him as anyone who’d lived there for years. The arena was huge – it was in the exact same location as the modern Quidditch pitch, but much bigger. The Quidbumps area could have devoured the Quidditch pitch twice. With only six people airborne, the pitch was much too long and wide for anyone’s comfort, and it looked lonely without any goal hoops on either end.
Tonks kept swiveling around, picking at the tail end of her broom, convinced that it had a preference for tipping to the left. Vincent was severely uncomfortable on his broom, holding on to it tightly with both hands and tilting his face upwards so that he wouldn’t have to see how high above the ground he was. Colin was excited, zipping around them all in curlicues and trying not to make himself go upside down. As a matter of fact, he couldn’t figure out how to brake…
And then, out of nowhere, someone collided with his side in a heavy blow. His breath was released in a cool fog, floating away from his lips on impact. Woozy, Colin spun off into a cartwheel while somehow still maintaining a firm grip on his broom handle, and turned around just in time to see –
Cedric. He was bending low against the wind, and his face was set in a determined, fierce expression. It was clear that as a Seeker, he was quite in his element.
“Hey!” Fred cried angrily, glancing from Colin to Cedric. “No one’s said to start the game yet.”
Cedric pointed to a huge billboard directly below them, its pulsing lights taking up a quarter of the pitch. It had a list of their names, along with six multicolored zeroes to signify that no one had yet made a score.
Still nettled, Fred swerved his broom over towards Colin to make sure that he was all right. “What’re you doing?” Vincent called out, agitated. “We’re all supposed to ram into each other, or weren’t you paying any attention?”
Fred flicked his wand at Vincent’s broom, igniting the tail twigs on fire. It only took a moment for Vincent to put it out, but he scowled nonetheless and set to looping around Fred, scouting for the best way to attack him.
All of the players seemed to hesitate, lingering up in the air while looking at each other and then at their medieval brooms that were as heavy as anvils and yet flew with brilliant speed, wondering how they were to accomplish scoring goals. How could they focus on dislodging other people from their brooms, all the while trying to find the Snidget? Tonks squinted, one hand raised over her forehead to dull the sunlight, but didn’t see a flying, feathery creature anywhere about.
There are no rules about how you play the game, and there is no such thing as a foul. Absolutely anything goes.
It echoed in their minds, first feebly and then with increasing volume, until their tense situation boiled before them in the atmosphere in ideas and emotions and malice. James glanced from Cedric to Vincent to Colin, beginning to panic. He didn’t want to attack young boys, not even Vincent, even though he didn’t care much for him. Fred wasn’t all that much older than they were… They were all so young, so child-like. He saw Harry in each one of those boys.
Vincent had no such qualms. “Imperio!” he cried, wand pointed at James, and James immediately jumped off of his broom and plunged to the earth of his own volition.
Tonks screamed, unable to help it, and she and Fred were both on the verge of saving James when it was too late; the rate of falling was much swifter here, somehow, and as he steadily descended, they braced themselves for the crunching of his body against soil. Arms splayed, he fell right through the grass rather than slamming against it. The ground absorbed his shoes and knees and shoulders, sucking him into it like a greedy gelatinous substance. With one final squelching noise, the unassuming grass had swallowed James Potter whole as if it was all a floor of quicksand, and his broom sank soon thereafter.
A buzzer rang, Vincent’s large ‘0’ fizzling into a ‘5’. He gazed around at everyone triumphantly, pleased with his success. Meanwhile, James Potter reappeared on his broom once more, completely unscathed, in the exact same position he’d found himself in when he first dropped into the Pensieve.
Fred’s eyes darkened, seizing each of his foes in turn. The steam of his breath mingled with the vista of mountains, the glare of the sun sparkling over an emerald valley. That, along with the cheering swarm of spectators, thinned into the heavens as he focused on the five players floating in various perches all around. Underneath him, a spiked bat was attached to his broomstick’s handle with a set of thick leather straps that matched his uniform. Everything about the game reeked of brutality, from their barbed helmets to the iron shells that gripped each shoulder to the obscenely-large Beater’s bats intended for bashing into the skulls of fellow players.
“All right,” he roared, withdrawing his bat from its casings and brandishing it in the air. “Let’s have at it!”
Vincent grinned and Colin’s eyes widened to the circumference of saucers, his broom dropping several feet in height. Cedric immediately bolted after Colin, as he’d been wishing since the start of the tournament that he could have been given an opponent like small, skinny Creevey. Colin zipped away faster than he knew how to control his speed, his broom zigzagging from side to side and all over the place as he desperately fled a pursuing Diggory.
Fred narrowed his eyes at Tonks, who was scrutinizing James. He’d been wanting to get his hands on Tonks ever since she’d impersonated him in Round Two – thereby indirectly leading him to believe that he’d seen George. He flinched a moment later when the buzzer rang again – Cedric had leaned out with one hand and clutched onto Colin’s broom, giving it a rough shake and forcing Colin to slide off point-first, arms flailing as he, too, met the ground and was gulped into nonbeing.
As Cedric’s ‘0’ switched to a ‘5’ to rival Vincent’s score, Fred turned quickly back to Tonks, who was beginning to look frightened. Clearly, she hadn’t expected for anyone to begin the match with so much gusto. Now all of the others would be expected to fall into place or else risk falling behind.
Fred had been coping with death as best as he possibly could until Round Two, admirably adjusting to Cliodna’s Clock better than any of his peers. Although he of course experienced deep flashes of pain, he didn’t allow them to seep into every area of his consciousness. They settled into faded scars, pushed to the back of his mind. He told himself that as long as he focused intently on the Devil’s Duel and the wide-open window of opportunity to see his family again for twenty-four hours, he would survive.
He would make it, and he would be fine, and he should count himself lucky that he still existed at all, in whatever form. His naturally cheery disposition was not one that allowed for much wallowing in pity and misery – he was Fred Weasley, co-founder of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, and even when he’d died, he’d done it with a smile on his face.
But Tonks making herself look like Fred, which of course made her look just like George, was too much. It made life unbearable. George now walked in and out of Fred’s dreams, trying to speak to him in blurred language Fred didn’t always understand. I can’t manage the shop without you. Ginny’s in danger. Ron’s in danger.
There was always some sort of inevitable peril about to befall a member of his family, and Fred could be warned in advance but he could not help. And then there were dreams that George was enduring these same dreams, each overlapping each other in life and afterlife; Fred stumbled through George’s dreams while still in his own, crying out about the Devil’s Duel and how much he missed them all, replaying the scene of his death over and over before George’s tortured, bewildered eyes.
Maybe if he knocked Tonks off her broom enough times, those dreams would go away. He wanted peace for George and the absence of emotion for himself, but he felt like neither could be obtained if Tonks remained in the tournament.
“Slow down!” Colin was hollering at his broom. He had reappeared on the pitch, and upon seeing both Vincent and Cedric choosing him as an easy target, dove straight down again and back into the ground, disappearing. The five other players halted, watching with large eyes. Since he had not been shoved off of his broom by force, there was no new score. However, Fred stole the opportunity to catch Colin in the place where he knew the boy would soon drop into thin air, and was waiting for him when Colin materialized atop his broom, grinning.
“Flipendo!” An orange streak collided with Colin’s breastbone, causing him to keel backwards off his broom.
“Hypocrite!” Cedric shouted at Fred, who was watching Colin fall with a curious expression on his face. Moments later, Fred nose-dived in a spiral toward the ground.
“What the –” James muttered, mouth agape. Maybe Fred just wanted to see what it felt like to be sucked up into the grass? He seemed the type to try it… But no – oh! He’d seen it! The Golden Snidget!
Cedric peeled downward so rapidly that he nearly fell off his own broom, his hair blowing away from his face. His lips were parted in a grimace, revealing two rows of perfect white teeth clenched together.
Sensing a spy on his tail, Fred glanced briefly over one shoulder and caught sight of Cedric speeding after him. Fred’s design was not to catch the Snidget – for if he did, Cedric and Fred would both be tied. His aim was to make Cedric see the Snidget and try to catch it, but Fred would undoubtedly block him (he was a stunning flier, after all, and could manage it). His aim was to make Cedric remember the thirst for searching out an object so similar to a Snitch, and to make him preoccupied with it, distracted. Diggory was a Seeker, and the hunt was in his blood.
The Snidget soon vanished, out of both their grasps, and Cedric shot high into the air for a better vantage point. Fred smirked. Well done, he told himself. The buzzer rang in his ears; he looked wildly all around just in time to see Tonks popping into being several hundred feet above him, tiny as a speck, while James’s score of ‘0’ promptly turned into a ‘5’.
Fred was so rapt that he never noticed Cedric, who had dropped in height and now hovered just behind him, wand at his neck. “Levicorpus,” he said with an air of enormous satisfaction.
Fred was lifted from his broom, dangling upside-down with his arms waving. He’d managed to grip his broom in one hand just before it inched away, but Cedric was bouncing the tip of his wand along, forcing Fred to bounce along with it like a marionette. After some intense shaking on Cedric’s part, Fred deemed it necessary to let go of his broom before his brain could fall out of his mouth or something equally unpleasant, and waved a merry goodbye to Cedric before plummeting head-first.
It wasn’t an altogether disagreeable sensation, sliding into the ground. The falling bit wasn’t half bad, either, despite the miniscule flakes of snow rubbing alongside his flushed exposed skin. It felt rather like landing on a mattress that continued to sink even as you fell into it, collapsing into itself further and further until you were gone altogether, absorbed into its fabric.
The next thing he knew, he was right at home on his broomstick again, in the same position he’d found himself in after jumping into the Pensieve. His eyes scanned the giant scoreboard of lights, the numbers assembling and disassembling like fireflies dancing around. He’d hoped that voluntarily letting go of the broom wouldn’t cost him any points, like Colin’s deliberate plunge, but Cedric’s number had doubled to ‘10’ and he was looking mighty pleased with himself up there, buzzing around James like a hungry vulture.
James was so busy avoiding Cedric that he hardly noticed Vincent, who came zooming forth with his spiked Beater’s bat held out over his head. “Oh, no you don’t,” James seethed, withdrawing his own bat. The tips of their bats connected with an ear-splitting shriek; Vincent’s cracked all the way down to the handle, his fingers reverberating with scarlet pain, and James seized the moment by thrusting his wand out and yelling, “Ventus!”
Vincent was swiftly encased in a whirling cyclone of arctic blue wind, the helix spinning so fast around his ears that it tugged on the roots of his short hair and chafed his scalp. It expanded into a tornado that sucked up every fleck of snow in the vicinity, howling so shrilly that everyone else clapped their hands over their ears. Vincent screamed as the funnel cloud stretched itself out vertically, lowering its swirling blue-gray tip to the earth. Vincent shot down it as though through a vacuum chute, his screams only ceasing when he was out of sight.
“Stupefy!” Colin exclaimed, looking not altogether certain of what he was doing, but sticking his wand out, anyway. James’s eyebrows rose as he froze in place, incredulous. Having lost control of himself, he was thus knocked sideways off his broom.
The buzzer rang twice, granting James and Colin both five points each. When James Apparated in his usual spot, Fred was waiting for him. Tonks, however, was waiting for Fred. With Remus and Mad-Eye’s advice in mind, she mentally rather than verbally shouted, “Reducto!”
Fred’s broom shattered into a million infinitesimal pieces, each of them snagging in various whips of wind.
Fred snarled, grappling at the air. Before he could hit the ground, he twisted with a crack and then reappeared on the back of Tonks’s broom. Tonks swore loudly, veering off to the left without intending to. Fred grasped the broom handle in front of her, taking advantage of her panic, and swerved into a nosedive so steep that Tonks slid off the broom, just barely grabbing onto the broom’s tip in time. She glowered at him, brow furrowing with intense concentration as she hauled herself up the broom’s length and launched her shoe squarely into Fred’s chest, pushing him off.
The buzzer rang and Tonks released an exultant whoop.
Vincent, inspired by Fred’s tactics of Apparating and Disapparating around the pitch, tried it and landed, once again, behind Colin. It seemed that he was endlessly going after Colin, his only strategy being to attack the smallest opponent. He and Colin fought for control of the broom’s direction, the former attempting a nosedive like Fred’s while the latter wrestled against him, trying to resist.
“Get – off –”
Vincent overpowered him, leading the broom into a steady decline. He wasn’t a skilled flier – quite far from decent – and the broom wiggled madly, tossing about in the ferocious wind. Vincent Apparated sooner than he should have, accidentally ending up two feet shy from his goal: Tonks’s broom. Unprepared for this turn of events, he tumbled straight through the huge letter ‘o’ in Colin’s name on the scoreboard, feet kicking up behind him the whole way. Colin had miraculously coaxed his broom into a skyward-pointing position, achieving a Wronski Feint in the first (and would probably be the last) time in his life.
“Woo hoo!” Colin cheered while waving one hand in a fist of triumph, his too-large helmet askew over one sparkling eye. “I did it! Did you see that? Did anyone see that?” He flew over James, feeling exhilarated with himself. James’s helmet had fallen off and his mop of black hair was even messier than usual, tousled in the wintry gales flowing over the mountains in a transparent flood. Colin watched as the man below him blew away in a somersault from the force of Tonks’s spell, followed by a sickening loud buzz that meant five points for Mrs. Lupin. Tonks sped off to lap the pitch in circuits, looking like no more than a diminutive sprite aboard a flying tree branch.
Crabbe repeatedly rammed his broom into Colin from all directions, twirling around and around upside down as he did so because he couldn’t maintain a fixed position. Visibility was becoming blurry. It was raining in Cliodna’s Clock, lashing against the surface of the Pensieve and making everything smear together in disorienting streaks of snow and brooms and leather-clad opponents. Six players chased each other in dizzying circles, each of them beginning to feel sick. “Accio Potter’s glasses!” one of them crowed, and James was left almost blind as he tore across the increasingly hazy pitch.
He bumped into Cedric without meaning to, his ankle bone splintering against Cedric’s bat, which was currently stowed in its straps under his broom. That bat was so heavy that none of them wielded it unless they felt it absolutely necessary, as the weight caused tremendous strain on their muscles. “Sorry,” James mumbled out of habit, instinctually reaching out to touch Cedric’s shoulder to ensure that he was okay. Cedric swerved his head, piercing him with an odd expression. James winced, his ankle electrified with pain, and from below him, someone was preparing to jinx.
It was Cedric.
James reeled back in shock and confusion, staring from the Cedric on his left to the Cedric suspended beneath him.
“Wotcher,” the second Cedric replied with a jovial wave. “Confringo!”
The Cedric below blasted both James and the other Cedric off their brooms, and when the buzzer rang, Tonks Lupin was awarded an additional ten points for a double score.
Fred growled, charging at the impostor Cedric, who hastily morphed into the form of Vincent. The real Vincent, who was restlessly tailing Colin, stopped for a moment, mouth popping open. James Potter materialized behind him and reached over, snatching his stolen glasses back.
Colin just so happened to whiz by, sticking out one arm, and thunked Vincent right in the throat. The latter boy plopped off his broom, spinning around and around until he vanished with a snap of Apparition and reappeared just inches from the fake Vincent a minute later, reaching underneath his broom with five bone-white fingers to extract the thorny Beater’s bat…
The bat made an awful crunching noise when it met his doppelganger’s temple. The fake Vincent’s eyelids fluttered, only the whites of his eyes visible, as he changed appearances from Colin to Cedric to James at lightning speed – as though his wiring had gotten damaged – and then it was Tonks again, and then Lily Potter, and then Remus, and then all of Remus’s brown hair shrank back into his skull as fluffy red curls emerged, her face lined with the soft grooves of Molly Weasley’s face.
As she fell, Fred twirled his wand in her direction with a surge of Aresto Momentum.
He knew it wasn’t his mother – not really, even though Tonks had captured her identity perfectly – but he couldn’t watch her plummet so helplessly, so fast. The ground chewed up Tonks and spit her back out into the air, good as new, although she was rather woozy now. Vincent’s score rose to a vibrant yellow ‘10’, putting him in the lead for his team against Colin and James, who were both slumming along with a measly five points each. On the opposite team, Tonks was ahead at twenty points versus Cedric’s ten and Fred’s five.
“Best Beater Gryffindor ever saw, eh?” Cedric called to Fred, soaring from above him to Fred’s left, and then underneath him, and finally to his right. “I seem to recall you saying that, mate, but it seems that you’ve really lost your touch.”
Fred swatted his wand at him halfheartedly, emitting some foul-smelling sparks, but Cedric had already skimmed over to James. James’s broom was reflecting the sunlight strangely, igniting it with a flash of gold…
Suddenly, Fred knew exactly what Cedric had seen perched on the tail of James’s broom, unbeknownst to him. It smeared with the rain pelting out of present-day Cliodna’s Clock, pitting ripples in the air and stretching everything into grotesque shapes. The gold spot seemed to melt from the interfering rain, washing off to the right until it met Tonks’s broom and settled there. The Snidget was fluttering from broom to broom, finding a nice spot to roost.
Tonks gaped at the two young men diving at her at top speed, shielding her face with one arm. “Wait!” Colin cried. “Don’t hurt it!” Not listening, Fred and Cedric smacked right into each other, creating a domino effect that sideswiped Colin and swept him neatly off his broom. Colin hugged the air, drawing something close to his chest while one elbow made contact with Tonks’s broom, jarring her line of flight and pitching Tonks into a sharp tailspin.
Vivid colors of sunlight streaked over Colin’s heart in an ‘X’, molten gold feathers clutched gently in his fingers like a precious treasure, while six simmering pops tinkled through the atmosphere as everyone was unexpectedly sucked from Cliodna’s memory.
“As the Round Three winner for Mortuus, you are granted the extraordinary choice of eliminating one member of the opposite team,” Claudius said to the boy. Vincent was still wrapped in a wool blanket, his body going through shock like all the others from abrupt fluctuations in temperature. The cold mountains and seaside of a medieval Cliodna’s Clock were gone, replaced with an almost disgustingly-hot modern summer. Fred’s teeth chattered, his hands clammy, and he wondered for a dark space of time if Cliodna had arranged this on purpose.
Vincent stared from Tonks to Cedric to Fred, his three options, with an air of important deliberation. The three remaining members of Victus scowled at him, entirely at his mercy. It didn’t matter how well any of them had performed in the past three rounds if they were going to be thrown out by a moron like Crabbe.
“Hmm,” Vincent announced thoughtfully, relishing his time in the spotlight. His eyes locked on Tonks, narrowing vindictively. Her hands curled into knots, her stomach clenching. Her fate, her goodbye letters to Teddy, and her sanity rested on the shoulders of a boy who’d died in a wave of Fiendfyre created by none other than himself.
“Diggory,” he finally replied, smirking.
There was a pause, with Tonks’s heart lurching and Fred’s eyebrows shooting up into his fringe. Cedric’s jaw dropped, face contorting with rage. “That’s not fair!” he shouted indignantly, stepping forward and dropping the blanket that had been shrouding him. “This is ridiculous. Why should he be allowed to –”
“Silence!” Claudius boomed, holding up a hand. His skin was too flat, his palms void of any depressions or curves. He glanced uneasily at Cliodna, who didn’t stir, before turning to Vincent. “Diggory it is. That will be all from you.”
Vincent strode off to the front row, apparently under the impression that he didn’t need to stick around anymore, and began to appraise the rows of Grotta residents, searching for a familiar face.
“Nymphadora Lupin is the winner of Victus with twenty points,” Claudius prattled on. “Congratulations, Mrs. Lupin, you get to choose which contender to disqualify from Mortuus. Since Mr. Creevey caught the Golden Snidget, he has immunity and cannot be eliminated – so your selection is confined to Mr. Potter and Mr. Crabbe.” His mouth twitched, eyes darting to Vincent in a sidelong smirk. “Might not want to travel too far out of earshot, son.”
Vincent had located his father in the stands, and had stopped listening. The minutes before the start of each round and the minutes immediately after were the most important to him. At that moment, all he cared about was the image of his father, here with him, if only for a short period of time.
The completely horrible, brutally delightful option to hand-pick her eventual competition was ripe on the tip of her tongue, tangible in her fingertips. Who should stay and who should go? Tonks surveyed both men, both of whom were gazing elsewhere. Tonks’s eyes traveled along James’s path of vision, which led to Lily. Remus watched Tonks as Tonks watched Lily, and Lily pressed two fingers to her white lips in a silent plea.
“James,” Tonks whispered, feeling suddenly winded.
“Mr. Potter?” Ptolemy repeated, blinking. A moment later, he had collected himself and declared loud enough for everyone to hear, “Mr. Potter!” James’s face went peculiarly blank while Lily shrieked with joy. Forgetting everyone else in the stadium, she leapt to her feet and hopped down each bench, throwing herself into her husband’s arms with such force that she almost toppled him over.
“Thank God, thank God, thank God,” she murmured over and over. James belatedly slid his arms around her, still shocked, as Lily lifted her eyes over his shoulder to meet Tonks’s frigid gaze.
“You are not to enter ever again,” Tonks said in a deadpan voice. “You will not compete in the Devil’s Duel anymore.”
Lily froze, stunned; when Tonks didn’t move or renege on her orders, Lily simply nodded, so appreciative with Tonks’s gift of sparing James’s life that she could not have dreamed of arguing.
A/N: I was going to write about a Quidditch World Cup, but I was torn between that and Shuntbumps, so I just decided to mix the two together and add in a few things. I hope you enjoyed it! If you have time, please leave a review. One sentence of feedback can make a world of difference. :)
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