Chapter 7: The Surprising Talent of Eric Davison
The first few weeks passed by rather quickly after the whole Lewsley incident. James and I continued secretly hating him out of class, while he dwelled on our talents in class. It was easily our best subject, but our least favorite. I couldn’t decide if I preferred the assortment of Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor’s I got my first time at Hogwarts, or him. Honestly, they were both pretty bad.
Our favorite class was probably Herbology much to my amazement. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t really have much of a green thumb, but Neville was by far the best teacher we had.
Fred seemed the most amazed by my ‘advanced lessons’ that McGonagall was said to have given me before I came to school, while James just seemed to think that it was obvious that I was talented. The most annoying part, of dueling Lewsley is that I now have McGonagall breathing down my neck. She seemed to think more of my little slip, than Neville did. Neville actually thought what I did was brave and commendable. He gave me ten points to Gryffindor, which McGonagall negated with twenty points from Gryffindor, ‘just because.’
One of the oddest classes I’ve ever had was with Shookwick, the new Transfiguration teacher that replaced McGonagall after she became Headmistress. Shookwick was a quack of a young woman, who seems to ‘misplace’ her sanity every so often. While I would have to say she’s a decent Transfiguration Professor, I would have to give her a twelve or fifteen on the one to ten crazy scale. Twelve on the good days, fifteen on the bad. There’s not really one thing I can pinpoint to her constant changes in mood, or even how to describe her. However, I can say she is far more interesting than any of the other Professors. James, Fred and I even place bets on how many outburst she’ll have in class. None of us have guessed right yet or even gotten close.
During the first week, I heard all about James’ family, from both James and Fred. I felt a wave of relief with each story about Harry and was thrilled that he was doing so well. I even wondered if I could see him in the near future.
I also found out that Fred and James had a similar knack for trouble like the first James and I did. While James seems a little more refrained in his antics, Fred has on more than one occasion slipped Giggling Juice in Victoire’s and her friend’s Pumpkin Juice. While her friends were clueless as to what was happening, Victoire quickly caught on and was giggling as she tried to choke Fred. I honestly didn’t know if it was from the Juice or if she was just really happy to be strangling her cousin.
I, on the other hand, tried to behave and felt a respect suddenly for Remus when he practically had to babysit James and I the first time around. At least they were not as bad, yet…
While the similarities on the outside between the new and old James seemed uncanny, the two were actually very different when it came down to it. The first James was a boy at heart and had a sense for trouble like no one’s business. The second James seemed a little more mature. I don’t know if it’s because this James is the oldest brother and looks after his siblings or if Harry just taught him well. I haven’t even seen him hex any Slytherins yet, although the ones I’ve talked to seem more delightful than I remember. Maybe things really have changed.
Pretty soon two and a half months had pasted and everything was going fine. McGonagall told me I could stay for the holidays and I would probably have the dorm to myself. We had not sorted out what we would do during the summer but hopefully I wouldn’t have to stay here the whole time.
I just got the papers from her that evening when I was making my way back to the dorms. While I was with her she managed to give me books to study while I had a break. Apparently, retaking my first year at Hogwarts was not good enough for her and she wanted to expand my education father. Although I suppose I was supposed to look like a child prodigy with what happened with Lewsley.
I had already read through the history of the war and had a few chats with Neville to clear up most of my questions. There were some things that didn’t fit still but if I wanted those answers I would have to talk to Harry himself.
I turned around the corner on the fifth floor and found James slipping out of a broom cupboard, he was shoving something into his bag as he did and started for the staircase to the next floor.
“Oi! James!” I shouted after him.
He spun around looking extremely guilty when he saw me. However, he seemed relieved once he saw it was just me. For some reason his hair looked a little darker than normal. Instead of being a light brown with a tent of red, it seemed as if the red was almost all gone.
“Oh, Sirius. What are you doing here?” James closed his bag and swung it over his shoulder.
“I just got done sorting something out with McGonagall. What about you?” I eyed his bag suspiciously. “Why were you in the broom cupboard?”
“I thought I saw a Prefect and Fred just let off some fireworks in the dungeons.” James said smoothly. I almost believed him. Almost. “Didn’t want to get blamed.” James finished as he turned to head up the stairs once more.
This would normally seem like an innocent thing for James, however I had been catching him doing odd things all week. It all started shortly after the Lewsley incident this has been a normal occurrence. James would sneak off for a few hours in the evening and I wouldn’t know where he is. Later he would make up some excuses that I believed at first, until one was, ‘I was with Fred.’ I decided that it was time to suspect James was up to something considering I had spend the whole day with Fred.
I choose not to accuse him of anything yet, considering I didn’t know where he went or what he was doing. He was also acting really friendly toward the fourth year Eric Davison, but James was friendly with almost everyone, so I wrote that off as nothing.
“What did you have to sort out with McGonagall?” James asked, worried.
“Oh nothing big. I just had to get some papers, approving that I could stay here over break.” I showed him the paperwork in my hand.
James froze. “You don’t have anywhere to go over the holiday?”
I stopped and looked at him. “Not really, I like it here enough anyways so I thought I would just stay and catch up on the reading McGonagall has assigned me.” I held up the books she gave me.
James frowned and started walking with me again. We were almost to the seventh floor when he spoke up again.
“You could always come home with me for the holidays.” James said quietly.
This time I froze. I looked at James again.
“James, I-” I started to say but James interrupted me.
“Look Sirius, I have plenty of room at our house and I’m sure my Mum and Dad wouldn’t mind. I’ll write my Mum tonight. She’ll get everything sorted and fuss over what kind of gift to give you. Don’t even worry about it.” James said. “So…what do you say?”
I looked at James for a moment longer and grinned. “Can’t wait, I’ll tell McGonagall when you get a response from your Mum and Dad.”
James grinned too. “Great.”
We continued walking and just as we got to our dorm I said, “Thanks James.”
He nodded as he opened the door.
The only one in there right now was Fred. He jumped up from his bed and gave us a stern look.
where have you two been?”
“No time to explain Freddy, we have to go to the Owlery before its lights out.” James said as he through his bag on his bed. “Come on if you don’t want to be left here.”
James grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled something before folding it up putting it into an envelope.
Fred skipped across the room and saw who the letter was addressed to.
“Why are you writing Aunt Ginny?” Fred asked following us down to the Commons.
“Sirius is going to spend the holidays at my house. I figured Mum need a heads up so she doesn’t fuss too much.”
“Yes!” Fred exclaimed when we reached the portrait of the Fat Lady. “You’ll get to meet the whole family Sirius. They are completely insane! Except us, of course.”
I rolled my eyes at Fred. “I bet.”
“There’s Al and Lily, but I’m sure Jamie has told you all about them. You’ll get to meet my sister Roxy, but I’ll warn you now not to mess with her hair. Oh and Vicky’s sister Dom, you better tell her she’s pretty at least once a day or she’ll make you. She does it to all of the family friends. Then there’s Rose, she looks like her Mum, and-” Fred chatted all the way down to the Owlery. He told me about all their cousins and distant relatives and friends that always come over for Christmas. Harry and Ginny host the family gatherings most of the time, because their house is the biggest. By the time we got to the Owlery Fred was talking about his Grandmother’s cooking and if I remember Molly’s cooking, it was something to talk about.
James quickly found his Owl and sent his short letter to his Mum.
Fred briefly stopped as we reached the grounds again. He stopped and stared at the Forest and I took this time to ask James a question as we kept walking ahead.
“What did your letter say?”
James smiled. “Mum, remember the boy who fell on me on the Platform? I invited him home for the holidays. Hope that’s okay. Love, James.”
“Don’t you think you should have sent something longer?” I grinned.
“Naw, she’ll say yes, regardless of the length. She already knows about you. This hopefully won’t come as a surprise; she already invited you to come stay part of the summer with us.” James told me. “That is if you want to.”
“I would love to.” I stated.
“Well we better get back to the dorm, we only have about thirty minutes until curfew.” James said looking around. “Where did Fred go?”
I looked back and saw that he was still looking at the Forbidden Forest. We walked back to him and stood beside him. He just seemed to be concentrating really hard.
“Umm, Fred we need to head back to the castle now.” I said to him.
“I thought I saw something.” Fred said.
“What was it?” James asked now looking too.
“I’m not too sure, it caught my eye because it was bright and I could still see it despite it being dark now.” Fred continued to look. “I’ve never been in there.”
, I could see where this was heading. During my first-first year at Hogwarts I had said the same thing. Except I didn’t need to see anything to grab my interest.
“Come on, we need to get back to the castle.” I repeated the same words Remus had said to James and me. I had never thought I would find myself in his shoes.
“We have time. Why don’t we look around?” James said the exact same words the first James said.
I glared. I could see exactly where this was going to put us, and sure enough, one conversation later we found ourselves on the outer rims of the Forbidden Forest, adventuring further in. I silently curse myself and the first James for making Remus’ life one heart attack away from dying. I only hoped we don’t run into the Centaurs like I did last time. That one was kind of hard to explain to McGonagall then. I could only imagine the sense of déjà vu it would give her. She might really kill me this time around.
“What way do you think it went?” James asked.
Fred shrugged. “Not sure. I think it was red and gold though.”
Well at least it wasn’t a Centaur.
James stopped and bent down.
“What’s this?” James asked picking up the bright red feather for closer examination. At once I knew exactly what it was.
“It appears to be a Phoenix feather…” I looked around for the owner but it didn’t appear anywhere in sight.
James looked at it and smiled. I then saw him slip it into his pocket.
I ignored this for now and turned to Fred. “You saw a Phoenix. It’s very rare and I didn’t even know that there was one in these woods.”
“Maybe it was Dumbledore’s?” James said. “My Dad said that his left after he died. Maybe it came back into these woods?”
I considered this for a moment and then turned to Fred. “We aren’t going to find it. Wild Phoenix’s only present themselves to someone they find worthy.”
“Worthy of what?” James asked as Fred turned around.
“Of whatever wisdom they have to offer.” I told them. “It left a feather telling us that is all it has to offer us for now. We won’t find it.”
“How do you know all of this?” Fred asked.
“I read about it.” I lied. Truth was Dumbledore told us this first year when James and I had the pleasure of visiting his office. James asked how he found Fawkes and Dumbledore merely said it was because Fawkes though he was worthy or him. Dumbledore continued on to say that he thought Fawkes made a mistake but he didn’t want to give up Fawkes.
James nodded and Fred looked a little disappointed but agreed to go back to the castle finally.
When we arrived at the castle we had exactly five minutes left until the Prefects started handing out detentions. When we opened up the doors we froze as we saw an older girl student already standing watch.
“What are you three doing out so late?” She glared at us.
“I was sending a letter to my Mum.” James piped up quickly.
“Why so late?” She asked.
“He was asking if I could spend the holidays with them Miss.” I answered for James who was now staring at his shoes and in no condition to talk.
“That doesn’t explain why you three are out so late, you could have done that tomorrow morning or-” She was suddenly cut off by someone who just exited the Great Hall.
“I see you are already terrorizing the small children Amber, and it’s not even curfew-James?” The three of us now looked to the person who was brave enough to cut off the girl in front of us. I felt like we were saved when I saw it was Teddy Lupin.
“James, Fred, Sirius? What are you three doing here?” Teddy asked.
“Teddy!” James exclaimed. “We were just on the way back to the dorm, I swear!”
Teddy nodded. “Well I see nothing wrong with that Amber.”
“It’s after curfew now Teddy!” Amber retorted.
“Only because you stopped and questioned them. I’m more than sure they would have made it if they weren’t stopped by you.” Teddy told her.
She glared. “You’re just being bias because they are from your house.”
“No, if I’m being bias about anything it’s because James Potter is practically my brother, but we are getting off topic.” Teddy glared back. “I will personally punish them if they were up to anything and James and Fred both know that.”
“Well it’s already after curfew!” Amber huffed.
“Which is why I will escort them to the dorm. After all it’s your fault they are out late now.” Teddy turned to us. “Come on boys.”
We now followed Teddy quickly, before Amber could say anything else.
“Sorry about that. She’s just mad because I beat her on our Charms, Transfiguration and Potions practice test. We even worked together on the Charms one but we disagreed on one question so our answers were different. I was right.” Teddy grinned. “She’s not always this mean…well, okay she is, but it’s normally after curfew.”
We all nodded as he took a secret passageway up to the sixth floor.
“By the way are you boys excited for the first Quidditch game of the year tomorrow?” Teddy grinned at us. “Slytherin versus Gryffindor, always an excellent match.”
I vaguely remember about Fred yelling about this earlier today. I grinned and nodded.
“Gryffindor is going to smash Slytherin to the ground! I wonder who the new player is and if there is anyone else new?” Fred said.
“Ashley is keeping it quiet. She said that she doesn’t want too many people to know. I think she threaten the team not to tell a soul.” Teddy said.
“Well, don’t the other teams know? I mean I’m sure they have spies.” I asked remembering when James the first was made a Chaser his second year. He was the laughing stock for a while and the Slytherins made fun of him, until he scored ten goals in a row. After that they took him seriously.
“No, McGonagall has made a rule against that and the schedules are secret. Only the Captions know what time their team practices. If they are caught down there any other time then their team forfeits that match. McGonagall says it prevents cheating, a little.” Teddy informed me.
“So how about it James are you excited?” Teddy asked.
“I…I can’t go tomorrow.” James said.
We had just reached the sixth floor and we all stopped and looked at him.
“What?” Fred looked like he just got hit by a Bludger.
“I-I have a detention with Shookwick…” James said with a frown. He ruffled his red –brown hair and looked down as we started walking again.
“Really? What for?” I asked just as shocked at Fred and Teddy. James seemed to love Quidditch. I mean he even snuck his broom here in hopes of making the team.
“I turned in my essay late and she gave me a detention. I think she was kind of unfair about it but I didn’t want to make her even crazier.” James explained.
“Tough break Jamie.” Teddy said as we reached the Fat Lady. “Well I’m leaving you three. See you later.”
Once we reached the dorm James sat by his bed and took some stuff out of his bag he had with him earlier. I couldn’t see everything but I noticed some clothes here and there. The other boys that shared the dorm with us seemed to be in the Commons still because we were the only ones in the dorm.
“It’s a shame you can’t make it tomorrow Jamie.” Fred said lying back on his bed. “I can’t believe Shookwick gave you detention. Caddy old bat!”
“It’s fine, I’ll make it to the next one.” He said bending down by his bed. I looked over without him noticing and saw that he was tying the Phoenix feather, he had pocketed earlier, to the handle of his broom. I rolled my eyes seeing what he wished he would be doing tomorrow.
After a game or two of Exploding Snaps the other first year boys came into the dorm and we kept it a little more quiet for them.
James fell asleep before both Fred and I and was gone before we got up for his detention with Professor Shookwick.
Fred and I had already made plans last night to grab some food from the kitchens before the match. I found out from him that his dads did this just like James and I did. This time though, just so we wouldn’t jinx it, we talked to the House Elves asking them if we could have them deliver the food to the Commons, directly after the game was over and only if Gryffindor won. The Elves all seemed excited by their new job we just bestowed upon them and they got to work at once. Fred told them to deliver it to our dorm if we lost.
“Don’t want it to go to waste. They seem thrilled they have to cook more.” Fred informed me when I questioned him.
When Fred and I finally got to the field, there was already a big crowd and the teams had not even got out on the field yet. Slytherin versus Gryffindor was still a big game.
“That old bat!” Fred said pointing toward the other side of the stadium in the bleachers.
There next to a group of Hufflepuffs was Professor Shookwick.
“How the bloody hell can she force James to do a detention when she isn’t there to suffer with him.” Fred sent an unfriendly gesture toward Shookwick.
“I know…” Shookwick should be administrating James’ detention. From all the detentions I have served I have never had a teacher leave me alone to go watch a Quidditch game. Does that mean James lied to us? If so why would he have to lie? What could possibly be so important to miss a Quidditch match and have to lie about why he can’t go in the process.
I must have been getting rusty because so far I came up with nothing.
I didn’t get much time to think about it though because the game was about to start. The crowd started to get louder and Fred seemed to forget about James and his hatred for Shookwick because he was now cheering as the announcer called attention to the field.
First the announcer went through the Slytherin team and Fred was booing the whole time. Teddy, who just got there with Victoire, flicked him in the ear and shook his head. None of the names stood out to me as they all circled around the field. Soon after, the announcer now introduced the Gryffindor team. As the names were called out, I only recognized one, Davison. I now paid attention to the red and gold uniform that just circled the field.
It was in fact Eric Davison. Maybe this was why James was talking to him over the past few weeks. He was on the Quidditch team and he must have wanted to know more about the team for next year.
I looked over to Teddy and Victoire who both looked surprised. I had a horrible feeling for some reason.
“What’s wrong?” I asked Teddy and Victoire. Fred was too busy yelling as the remaining names were called.
Victoire was the first to speak up. “Eric was never on the team before now. Honestly, I didn’t even know that he could play. I heard he failed Flying Class completely his first year.”
Teddy nodded in agreement. “I saw him in the Hospital Wing because he fell.”
I now watched Davison circle the field perfectly, like he has been doing this all of his life. I raise an eyebrow. This didn’t look like someone who couldn’t fly. In fact, he looked better than some of the older members of the team.
Madam Hooch now called attention to the center of the field and released the Snitch and Bludgers. The teams got into position and Hooch through the Quaffle into the air. Davison swooped in and grabbed it from the fingertips of one of the Slytherin Chasers. He then proceeded to make a goal rather quickly. Cheers erupted from all around me and I joined in. My attention never fell from Davison as he continued to make goal after goal.
Perhaps he just got really good over the summer. It could happen. I didn’t know what else to say that could tribute to his excellent Quidditch skills. He was flawless and did plays that some of the other Chasers couldn’t even dream of doing. The games went on longer than most do and Davison was racking up the points for Gryffindor which gave them a terrific lead.
I kept watching Davison as he made continued to goal after goal; it appeared Slytherin just couldn’t keep up with Davison and the other Chasers on Gryffindor’s team. This made Davison a common target for Bludgers, but he neatly dodged all of them. Fred was cheering so loudly that he completely forgot that James wasn’t here because of his detention and Teddy and Victoire looked amazing at Davison’s new found skill. As the game continued I notice something flapping around on the handle of Davison’s broom.
I squinted my eyes and couldn’t believe what I saw.
There on the handle of the broom Davison was on, was the bright red Phoenix feather that James tied to his broom last night.
Just as I realize how Eric Davison became such an amazing Chaser over night, Madam Hooch blew the whistle. Slytherin’s Seeker had caught the Snitch.
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