After half term a new subject was introduced, which really messed up our timetables so Care of Magical Creatures had to be moved to an hour on Saturday morning (THERE IS NO BLOODY WAY) rather than two separate half hours during the week.
Turns out it wasn’t just our year that had to have lessons on Saturday... Professor Mallum (AKA evil-bitch-hag-Umbridge-reincarnate) had seen how “Dire” the situation was in Hogwarts and how “Incompetent” we were when it came to manners and decided to hold a new class.
I am personally convinced that when she asked McGonagall for permission she used a Confundus Charm so McGonagall really had no idea what she was doing.
Did I mention Mallum is Latin for evil?
~ ~ ~
The week after half term, very first thing on Wednesday morning, Charla, Fred, Roisia and I trooped up to the third floor, where Mallum’s office had been magically extended to form a classroom.
None of us were really entirely sure what this class was called, on our timetables it had been given the name “Professor Mallum’s Lesson”, I think “Professor Bitch-Faces Torture Chamber” would have suited better, and none of us were really sure what we would be doing in this lesson.
However, none of us were really bothered.
We chatted and talked and made as much noise as possible, Sisi stood teasing Fred because he had a massive bruise over his eye from Quidditch practise yesterday where he successfully walloped his own head with his own beaters bat (Nice move Fred-ster!) and Charla leant against my arm, yawning widely and going over her Charms notes.
‘Hhe Hem,’ someone in the corner coughed, clearing their throat, the noise continued.
‘Hhe Heeeem!’ the person coughed a little louder. This caused a few heads to turn, but the conversations didn’t die down.
‘EXCUSE ME CLASS BUT THIS IS UTTERLY DISGRACEFUL!’ Professor Mallum’s voice rand clearly through the corridors, leaving the castle sounding oddly silent.
It was hard not to laugh at the Professors appearance, her cropped hair was hanging in a limp curtain around her podgy face, and a fat finger was raised in warning. Her clothes were hideous, pink and fluffy, clashing horrendously with a red, sparkly beret.
I shrank back into the line against the wall, and it was all I could do not to burst out laughing and earn myself even more detentions with her than I already had (in all fairness it was Dominique who was still being immature who flooded the Gryffindor Common Room, NOT me.)
‘This noise is DISPICABLE, you will enter my classroom in complete silence and not speak a word throughout the entire lesson.’
This was not easily done.
The moment we entered the class, babble started up again.
‘DO YOU CHILDREN NOT UNDERSTAND THE WORD SILENCE!’
We all turned to stare at our teacher, anger was boiling over; you could practically see steam curling up off her skin... ok maybe that was a slight exaggeration but I think you get the picture – she was furious with a capital F!
We learnt pretty quickly how to behave when we were around Professor Mallum; and by behave I mean that no matter how many detentions we received we would do all it took to drive her out of this school.
Her lessons consisted of lectures on perfect behaviour for perfect young adults, news flash to that woman that there’s no such thing as perfect (however I am so close it’s scary!):
She told us all about how we should talk without being too loud, but when she asked us to practise me and Freddie decided to have an argument across the classroom about who had a nicer nose. She tried to teach us how to dance, and when she did Char deliberately stepped on my toe sending me howling across the class and ending with Char and Roisia pulling me down the corridor to the Hospital Wing.
She also tried to teach us some manners but our manners were really good already so there wasn’t much to learn, instead we tried our very worst and made sure she knew we were a hopeless bunch.
‘Class,’ she said in a truly disappointed voice, ‘I’m truly disappointed. I thought you, of all years in Hogwarts may have some potential but you have proven yourself useless.’
We left class that day in pretty high spirits, something told us we were succeeding in our aim to make ourselves the most hated year by Mallum. However she did seem to hand out more detentions to me and Char and Fred and Sisi than the rest of the year... any ideas why?
~ ~ ~
The first Quidditch match of the season was delayed until the first week in November, this was because of the lack of teachers willing to Ref our game, which was unusual because Normally Madam Flitch, the Quidditch coach was quite happy to. However at the beginning of the year Madam Flitch had a flying accident and would not go close enough to the pitch to even make our which person had the Quaffle or what foul they had performed.
However as it turned out, McGonagall appointed Professor Delacour as Ref for this game in the end. I knew Professor Delacour as Tante Gabrielle, she was pretty good at Quidditch, when she visited the burrow during the holidays with her daughter Sophia, they both played with us. But I was a little concerned that Dominique may have told her the issues between us and she would favour the other team.
I stood by the doorway, again, of the Gryffindor changing rooms, the curtains sealing off several changing compartments were rustling, indicating a person was pulling on their robes behind and I was alone. Or not.
‘You ready Jam,’ Char was still so short, her head only just reached my shoulders, or maybe I was freakishly tall.
‘Of course Charlie, when have we ever lost a game to the Snakes?’ I knocked her gently in the shoulder and she grinned.
‘I heard Amili Zabini is playing,’ she winked. Zabini and I had dated, back in the day... actually it was only last year, fifth year. I don’t really even know if we liked each other, we certainly didn’t make a big deal over the break-up. But actually me and Zabini have stayed on pretty good terms – well we don’t curse each other in the corridors like some couples.
‘Yeah I know, she got captain spot this year.’
‘How’d you find that out?’ Char asked, as Sisi and Sophie joined us.
‘He heard from Scorpius,’ Fred said, as he stumbled out of a changing compartment uncoordinatedly. ‘Scorp and Albus, and Zabini’s brother Jacob are in the same year.’
‘That’s convenient,’ Char shrugged.
‘Where the bloody hell are Lily and Albus,’ I said, finishing a quick headcount and realising my two least reliable players were missing.
‘Relax,’ Sisi laughed, ‘Lily forgot her lucky bra, she’ll be back just now.’
‘That’s disturbing,’ I muttered.
‘And,’ Sisi continued, looking at me pointedly, ‘Albus is right behind you.’
‘Ah,’ I replied.
‘Yeah whatever, don’t even notice your own flesh and blood right behind you, the whole time. Idiot.’ Albus grinned.
‘I didn’t really think you’d turn up.’ I admitted sheepishly.
‘I wasn’t going to.’ He declared, then lifted up his wrist where a thick string of rope was wrapped around cleverly, and tied to a post.
‘Lily?’ I asked. He nodded.
It didn’t take much to untie him, a quick flick of Char’s wand, and I wandered why he hadn’t done it himself. But deep down I do think he secretly loves playing Seeker.
‘Let’s Roll,’ Lily declared, finally making her way back, we mounted and flew single file into the stadium, listening to the roars from the stand erupt.
Somewhere in the stands, Lorcan and Lysander were commentating together, apparently Dad recommended them and it was a good choice because they make the other team laugh so hard they don’t concentrate. However Gryffie’s are immune to distraction... mostly.
I could already see Fred rolling around clutching his side, hysterical as Lorcan introduced Amili as Amili Baloney – apparently it’s a muggle meat that tastes gross.
‘Captains,’ Professor Delacour waved us both forward. ‘Shake hands.’
I took up Zabini’s tiny hand in mine and shook it gently, thankful she didn’t use the old technique of trying to break the other Captains hand.
‘I’d like a clean game today,’ Auntie Gabrielle said to both of us, but I noticed a hint of a smile so didn’t take that as a bad sign.
We took our positions up in the air and when Auntie Gabrielle saw that we looked pretty much ready (though Sisi had to thump Fred on the back of the head to bring him back to his senses) she tossed up the Quaffle and released the bludgers.
Lily performed her favourite trick of diving to grab the Quaffle once it had been released before the other players had even realised they could go – which wasn’t technically supposed to be done but it wasn’t registered as a foul or a cheat – while Albus shot off upwards to get a clearer view of the pitch, and hopefully the Snitch.
But before his attention turned our eyes locked and we shared the same silent agreement, Unless it means losing, don’t catch the Snitch until we have a considerable lead.
Charla and I took either side of Lily, passing back and forwards between us until we were locked into a corner of the pitch, then Lily dived under the other players, again, and found herself by the goal, where she scored easily because the Snakes Keeper is crap.
‘Yes LILY!’ I scream anyway, I see her stick her tongue out at the opposite Keeper quickly and then we’re playing again, tossing the Quaffle across the pitch.
I scored the next few goals (obviously because I’m amazing) and Charlie scored a few more, and we were ninety to nil before the Snakes got a chance to score; Amili had the Quaffle and whizzed towards the goal.
Come on Weston, I urged, Show them your stuff.
Obviously Sophie did not fail us, she’d been bored throughout the game because our play was so good, and now she caught the Quaffle with one hand and chucked it ten meters towards Charla.
There were two similar situations, and then the Snakes finally got themselves a point. But we were still in the lead, 100 – 10.
Seeing the time fit, because Surely the Slytherins were going to want to end the game soon, I nodded to Albus, who rightfully took it as a sign to catch the Snitch already.
‘And,’ Lysander yelled into the Megaphone, ‘GRYFINDOR WINS!’
A roar erupted, sounding strangely like a lion, and we landed on the floor, with hugs and high fives and whatever.
‘Well done Lillers,’ I kissed her head, and she wrapped her tiny arms around her waist.
‘Nice job captain,’ she answered.
‘Yeah,’ Fred said loudly, ‘Nice work James!’
Everyone on the team agreed, even Amili came over to shake hands again, ‘your team played well!’ she said with a smile, ‘keep it up.’
I have to say the Snakes have learnt more manners, by the sounds of it, since my dad’s time. Don’t tell him or Uncle Ron I ever said so but they aren’t all bad, ok there’s a few tough nuts, but could be worse.
I wasn’t the last one in the Changing room this time; I instead drew up more plans on the blackboard and waited for Charla to get back into her normal clothes until my hands began to numb over with cold, and I shoved them into my jacket pockets.
Charla was singing quietly to herself, some song by the Weird Sisters, even though she hates them. I guess it’s better than the songs Grandma Molly listens too!
She came out of the changing room, completely unfazed by me standing watching her shiver uncontrollably in the almost-winter air.
‘Hey,’ she grinned, rubbing her hands together.
‘Someone’s cold!’ I laughed, sliding my hands through hers.
‘Yeah,’ she muttered, ‘I left my jumper back in the castle.’ Instantly I took off mine and wrapped it around her shoulders.
‘And no,’ I said before she could protest, ‘I’m not going to take it back if you’re cold.’ And I began to leave, but before I passed through the door, she linked her fingers through mine again.
‘Well done for today Captain.’
Yes this is a bit of a filler chapter, which I hate but I needed to show a little bit of Quidditch, Lily and Al, and the Umbridge-Reincarnate. The next chapter should be a little more interesting and as usual, JK Rowling is the creator of Harry Potter and anything recognisable isn’t mine!