Chapter 11 : Snitch Catch
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How is Teddy? I miss him. I’ll be off till Wednesday. I’ll coach Quidditch teams and practice Animagi at Hogwarts, so I’ll be back to Grimmauld Place tomorrow evening.
“What are you going to do this morning?” asked Ron yawning over breakfast.
“After our mission and Sunday class of Animagi, I’m worn out,” said Ron.
“You’d better go back to bed. I did Cleaning Charm on the four- poster in the teacher’s room so please use it,” said Harry.
“Thanks, I will,” said Ron.
“What are you going to learn today, Ginny?” asked Harry.
“I have two classes in the morning, Potions and Transfiguration. Will you come?” said Ginny.
“Eh, well, I’ll practice Animagi in the classroom on the ground floor. McGonagall told me we could use the classroom to practice Animagi anytime. And she offered me to coach youth Quidditch teams after class. When is the practice of Gryffindor?” asked Harry.
“We’ll practice tomorrow afternoon at the Quidditch Pitch. Will you help us?” said Ginny.
“Sure, I will,” said Harry.
“How many classes do you have, Hermione?” said Ron. He yawned again.
“I have one, Ancient Runes in the morning, and D.A.D.A. and Magical Laws in the afternoon,” said Hermione.
“Oh, you have free time in the morning, second period?” asked Harry.
“Yes, I do,”
“I want to learn how to cast ‘Obliviate’ upon Muggles who witnessed our magical uses on our duty,” said Harry.
“Well, it’s different from letting them forget everything like I did upon Dolohov and Rowle. I explained Ron about it yesterday. You’d better think the other way. I mean you’ll learn how to revise their memories. I casted the same charms upon my parents before our hunting for…,” then Hermione halted talking when she noticed Ginny was listening to her.
“Well, I’ll teach you. I’ll go down to the classroom on the ground after Ancient Runes,” said Hermione.
Harry practiced Animagi in the classroom on the ground alone. He imagined his father’s Patronus, a stag but he couldn’t change himself into a stag. He sat down on the rock in the classroom and pulled out a book, ‘Suggestions about your Animagus Form’ from his moleskin pouch. In the book Dumbledore wrote,
“Almost wizards and witches change into the same animals as their Patronus. And when your Patronus changes, your Animagus form will also change…,” Harry closed the book and recalled the scene he kissed Ginny after tasting treacle tart. Then soon a silvery stag leapt out of his wand. So his Animagus form could be a stag. He repeated the same method as McGonagall taught on the previous day. He tried again and again for about an hour. But the reflection of the mirror was just Harry himself. Then Harry opened the book again and flipped through the pages. He found the following sentences:
When you couldn’t do Animagi for all your efforts, you must think the other way. What’s your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s Patronus?
Ginny’s Patronus was a horse. Harry swished his wand thinking of Ginny who stood on the ground of the Quidditch pitch like goddess, her hair was fluttering in the wind, Ginny whose face was smiling only for Harry, was beautiful like the blazing sun. Then he was very surprised to see his reflection on the mirror: A white horse was standing in the front of the mirror.
“Oh, Harry, you did it,” Hermione entered the classroom.
A white horse, Harry stared at his reflection. His eyes were dark green.
“Homorphus,” Hermione murmured swishing her wand.
Then Harry returned to former himself.
“Oh, Harry, I’ve thought you had a talent to do Animagi like your father but I had no idea you would be a horse! I’ve thought you’d be a stag,” said Hermione.
“Yeah, I’ve thought my Animagus form would be just the same as my father, too,” said Harry. He reopened the pages he found out and showed the pages to Hermione.
She read the pages for a while and said,
“It’s very interesting. Dumbledore said in this book:
When one’s feeling for his or her dearest people gets stronger, your inner magical power will make you do Animagi.” Hermione closed the book and said,
“You’d better register your Animagus form, Harry.”
“I will, if I could do this tomorrow again,” said Harry.
“Well, Hermione, how will you teach me Memory Charms?”
“Let’s go to the cabin of Hagrid. We’ll use Gnomes to practice,” said Hermione.
“Will we use Gnomes? Will we abuse Gnomes?” asked Harry.
“No, we won’t. We’ll just revise their memories. We usually grab them, spin them and throw them far away to protect our gardens or patches, but today we’ll revise their memories to keep them away from Hagrid’s pumpkin patch. Revising their memories is more considerate than throwing them away,” said Hermione.
“Oh, I see,” said Harry.
Harry and Hermione marched down the slope of the hill to Hagrid’s cabin.
“Harry, I’ve heard you’d a fight at the ruins o' Isle o' Skye. Did you fight alone while Ron had a concussion?” said Hagrid.
“Did Ron tell you?” Harry flinched. He remembered the fear at the ruins.
“Yeh, he did. He told me he felt sorry fer you. He felt he was so worthless ter let you fight alone against Bellatrix’s husband,” said Hagrid. Hermione flinched to hear the name of Bellatrix.
“No, he didn’t have to feel sorry. I was worthless. I nearly let Ron die. I could cast only Shield Charm,” said Harry bitterly.
“Well, I remembered the time Tonks sometimes complained that she wanted ter quit an Auror job,” said Hagrid.
“Oh, did she?” Harry was surprised.
“When did she complain such a thing?” Harry asked.
“Before she got married ter Lupin. She seemed ter feel anxious when she thought about the situation o’ Lupin,” said Hagrid.
Harry remembered the time her Patronus changed.
“Well, you’ll be able ter feel more confident after you finished your training,” said Hagrid patting Harry’s shoulder.
“Hagrid, are Gnomes still in your pumpkin patch?” said Hermione.
“I think they are there,” said Hagrid.
Harry learned from Hermione how to revise the memories of Gnomes to use the same way when Harry encountered Muggles who witnessed his magical uses.
Harry went to the Quidditch pitch after lunch. There were first and second year students who announced to join the teams. Madam Hooch explained Harry,
“Terence Higgs made two youth teams. One, ‘Silvery Claws’ consists of players from Ravenclaws and Slytherin. The other, ‘Golden Furs’ consists of players from Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. He demonstrated how they should cooperate in the games, but it was not good enough because he has gone to St. Mungo's to check his father. So I’m very glad to hear you’ll help me to train them.”
“Well, I’m not sure how much I could help you. Shall we start?” said Harry.
“Yes, let’s,” said Madam Hooch and she stood up and shouted,
“Everyone, come here!”
All players gathered around them holding their brooms.
“Mr. Potter will coach you today. Please introduce yourselves. Start with the player at the far left,” said Madam Hooch.
“I’m John Davis, second year, Ravenclaws, Keeper, I’m very glad to see you,” John grinned at Harry.
“I’m Sandy Clearwater, first year, Ravenclaws, Chaser,” she blushed when Harry said, “Hi.” Harry wondered if she was a sister of Penelpe.
“Kinnon Pucey, second year, Chaser, Slytherin,” the dark- headed boy said.
Harry asked Kinnon,
“Do you have a brother?”
“Yes, I do. Adrian is my brother, he plays in Falmouth Falcons,” Kinnon answered coolly.
“Martin Harriers, second year, Ravenclaws, Chaser,” Martin smiled and added,
“Nice to see you, Mr. Potter. You are my hero.”
Harry said, “Thank you.”
“Simon Broadmoor, second year, Slytherin,Beater. Kevin and Karl Broadmoor who played for Falmouth Falcons were my ancestors,” said Simon defiantly.
“Oh, brilliant!” said Harry.
“Roderick Flint, second year, Slytherin, Beater,” Roderick said smirking. Harry reckoned he might be a relative of Marcus Flint.
Harry just said, “Hi,” to Roderick and told the boy next to Roderick,
He, whose hair was black, took a step and said,
“I’m Matthew Chang, first year, Ravenclaws , Seeker. Cho Chang is my cousin. She told me to say hello to you,” Matt beamed at Harry.
“OK. Golden Furs,” announced Madam Hooch.
“Eileen Smith, first year, Hufflepuff, Chaser,” Eileen said in a tense voice.
“I’m Graham Johnson, first year, Gryffindor, Chaser. My cousin Angelina said ‘hello’ to you, Mr. Potter,” he grinned at Harry. Harry grinned back.
“Harold McLaggen, second year, Gryffindor, Keeper,” a thick-set Harold spoke aloud.
“I want to be like my brother, a Hit Wizard.”
“I’m Josef Wood, first year, Gryffindor, Chaser. I was named after Josef Wronski but I’m not a Seeker,” the eyes of Josef were twinkling. The other Gryffindor players giggled.
“Eh, are you a relative of Oliver Wood?” asked Harry.
“Yes,sir. Oliver is my cousin. He told me he would like to recruit you as a Seeker of Puddlemere United,” Josef said.
“Oh, really?” said Harry.
“Will you join?” asked Josef.
“Eh, no, sorry, I’m a trainee Auror,” said Harry.
“Oh, yeah,” said Josef depressed.
“Charlie Sykes, Hufflepuff, second year, Beater. I love flying but I don’t like beating a Bludger, Terence chose me though,” said Charlie sheepishly.
“Alison O’Flaherty , Hufflepuff, second year, Seeker,” she said awkwardly.
“Andrew Peverell, second year, Gryffindor, Beater,” jet black-headed boy said.
“Andrew? Why are you here, I’ve thought you passed Gryffindor team tryouts as a Seeker,” inquired Harry.
“Well, I just wanted to try another position to improve my Quidditch skills when I knew Terence Higgs made teams for first and second years,” said Andrew shrugging.
“All right, everyone, take your position after a warm-up,” said Madam Hooch.
Harry joined their warm-up and hovered in the air taking his position to survey all younger players. Then Madam Hooch whistled, now a mini Quidditch game started. Harry thought all Chasers of both teams were very good. They were cooperative each other and their shooting skills were accurate. But speaking of Beaters, there seemed to be room for Harry to give them advice. Harry shouted,
“Charlie, your flying is very good. So just keep hovering for a few more seconds, and beat a Bludger accurately. If you don’t hit a Bludger, Silvery Claws will get more points.
Simon, I know you are a talented Beater but let Roderick do his job. And..,” Harry flew up to the same height of Andrew and stared at his eyes and said,
“What are you up to? You don’t need beating a Bludger so often to Roderick, Kinnon and Simon.”
“Well, I just did my job,” Andrew shrugged. Harry frowned at Andrew and said,
“If you’re up to revenge or something by beating a Bludger randomly to Slytherins, it’s our job to capture Dark wizards. They are students, Andrew,” Harry admonished him.
“Yes, sir,” said Andrew giving a salute to Harry and flew away.
Harry went back to the Entrance Hall from the Quidditch pitch. He recognized a fourth-year girl who competed with Andrew in position of a Seeker at Gryffindor tryouts, approached him.
“Mr.Potter, I delivered this from Professor Slughorn,” she held out a scroll of parchment tied with violet ribbon, her cheek turned shade of pink. Harry unrolled it. It was an invitation:
I would be delighted if you would join me for dinner on Wednesday night at my office.
Please bring your charming girlfriend. I’ll surprise her.
Sincerely, Professor H.E.F. Slughorn
Next morning Harry went down to the classroom on the ground to practice Animagi. Ron went back to George’s joke shop to help him. Harry was not sure that he could do Animagi again so he tried to cast the spell. It worked. He saw his own Animagi reflection, a white horse on the mirror of the classroom. He chanted ‘Finite’ in his heart then he returned to his former figure. He wondered if Ginny could do her Animagus form if possible, a mare, they would gallop together on the seashore in the Isle of Skye. Harry startled to notice he recalled the seashore of the Isle of Skye. He didn’t recall the fear of the fight in the ruins at all when he imagined he and Ginny were galloping together there. It was a beautiful place. Harry wanted to take Ginny to the Isle of Skye. Then Ginny entered the classroom.
“Harry, I heard from Hermione, you did Animagi. Please show me,” said Ginny.
“OK,” said Harry and he closed his eyes, he casted the incantation thinking of Ginny.
Soon Harry transformed into a white horse. Ginny took a step closer to Harry like she was mesmerized and she touched his horse body. Harry felt a swooping sensation when she touched his horse body.
“Oh, Harry, I don’t know what to say. It’s so handsome,” she even shed tears.
Harry chanted “Finite” in his mind and went back to his figure and said,
“Ginny, do Animagi,”
“No, I can’t. I can’t do Animagi,”
“Yes, you can. Think of me. I could do this when I thought about you,” said Harry.
“You could do your Animagi when you thought of me?” said Ginny.
“Yes, I did,”
Ginny closed her eyes and mumbled the incantation, but she couldn’t do.
“Harry, I can’t. Maybe my magic isn’t strong enough,” said Ginny disappointed.
“No, you don’t have to be disappointed. McGonagall told us we need more practices,” said Harry.
“Well, eh, I must go. I have next class,” said Ginny.
“What class?” asked Harry.
“D.A. Will you join?”
“Well, what are you going to learn?”
“Last week, Professor Scrimgeour told us we would learn Intruder Charm,”
“Really? It’s a very advanced one. We have not learned the spell yet at our training!”
“Well, Professor Scrimgeour was an Auror. And we’re seventh years, you know?” Ginny said shrugging.
“Will you come?”
“Of course, I will,” said Harry.
The Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom was four floors below the Gryfindor common room. Curtains had been drawn over the windows, was lit by candlelight instead of sunshine.
“When your future husband or your wife came back home stealthily late at night after his or her wild party, this charm would have an effect,” said Scrimgeour with a blank look. Students in the class seemed to be puzzled whether to laugh or not.
“I’ll teach you ‘Caterwauling Charm’. This charm has an effect only during night,” said Scrimgeur. Then he casted the charm and soon they heard a scream that tore at every nerve of their bodies. Harry held his head with his both hands and managed to bear the screaming sound. Scrimgeur chanted ‘Finite’ then the sound stopped. Harry and Hermione exchanged their glances recalling their hiding at Hogsmeade where they barely escaped from the Death Eaters who casted the same Intruder Charm.
“Aurors do Caterwauling Charm to capture culprits who are hiding at night,” said Scrimgeur. Then he taught them the knack of casting the charm and let them do one by one. Only three of them, Harry, Hermione and Ginny succeeded. Ernie Macmillan said bitterly,
“I wish I could do this. I was also in your D.A. class, Harry.”
Harry grinned at him and turned around to Scrimgeur and said,
“Professor, are there other Intruder Charms? I mean how do we cast an Intruder Charm during a day?”
“The charm is more advanced. You’ll learn it at the training session of Auror Headquarters,” said Scrimgeur.
Harry and Ginny went down to the Quidditch pitch after class in the afternoon.
Ginny and other Chasers practiced shooting the Quaffle into the three goal hoops when a Keeper tried to save. Harry hovered in the air with Andrew and Harry played a role of a Seeker of the other team.
“The knack of Seeker, you must look around the pitch and memorize the view and concentrate not to miss the flapping sound of Snitch,” Harry told Andrew.
“Yes, sir,” Andrew said jokingly.
Harry raised his brow.
“Eh, Mr. Potter, are you going out with Ginny?” said Andrew abruptly.
“What? Eh, yes, I am,” Harry answered.
“Why do you ask such a question?”
“Well, eh, she’s a stunning Chaser, isn’t she?” said Andrew, whose look was intense.
“Yes, she is,” said Harry looking at Ginny’s move. She was now scoring fifth shot.
“I’ve never met such a beautiful woman,” said Andrew.
Harry sensed Andrew had a crush on Ginny and he lost his words. Then he heard the flapping sound of the wing and descended down in the air. Andrew followed him. Harry had thought he would let Andrew get the Snitch at first but he changed his mind. He determined to beat Andrew after sensing Andrew’s crush on Ginny. Harry accelerated and hurtled towards the ground and caught the Snitch and swerved up in the air. Andrew nearly crashed.
“No! Andrew,” shouted Ginny. She descended down to the ground swiftly and rushed to Andrew who fell out of his broom to the ground.
Harry also descended down again to the ground.
“Andrew, are you all right?” said Harry and he helped Andrew to his feet.
“Harry, you didn’t have to put your whole strength,” whispered Ginny.
“Well, I just wanted to show him Gryffindor Seeker’s spirit,” said Harry.
After practice at the pitch Harry went back to the Grimmauld Place by Floo Network.
“Oh, Harry I was missing you,” said Andromeda and she hugged Harry. Harry wondered Andromeda was really a sister of Bellatrix and Narcissa. She resembled her sisters in her eyelids but her eyes were so kind. Harry smiled and asked,
“Is Teddy sleeping?”
“Yes, he is. Have you eaten dinner?”
“Not yet,” said Harry.
Harry and Andromeda had a quiet and peaceful dinner served by Kreacher. Harry wondered if his mother was alive he would eat dinner with her like this.
Next morning Harry remembered he had Malfoy’s hawthorn wand and he took it out of his drawer of the desk and shoved it in his pocket of his jeans. Then he descended down to the kitchen. Andromeda was struggling with Teddy who had been crying out loud. Teddy’s hair turned to vivid turquoise. Harry just stood at the entrance of the kitchen not knowing what to do.
“He seems to need more sleep,” said Andromeda and she began to sing the same beautiful Gaelic lullaby Harry had listened to before. Soon Teddy stopped to cry and began to sleep. His hair changed into light brown. Harry said good-bye to Andromeda after breakfast then went back to Hogwarts by using Floo Powder.
When he stepped out of the hearth of Head mistress’s office Slughorn spoke to Harry,
“Good morning, my boy. I haven’t gotten your reply yet. Will you and your charming girlfriend , Ginerva Weasly come to my dinner party tonight?”
“Eh..,” Harry hesitated to say yes brushing soot.
Then McGonagall said,
“You’d better take your girlfriend to his dinner. I’ll introduce you Gwenog Jones. She is a coach of Holyhead Harpies. She will be present at his dinner party.”
Harry was stunned to notice that he was surrounded by Quidditch celebrities. Gwenog, Oliver Wood and a man whom Harry didn’t know, were smiling at Harry.
Dark brown-headed witch grinned at Harry and held out her hand and they shook hands.
“I asked Professor Slughorn to arrange the meeting with you. This is my fiancé, Michael O’Hara. He is a coach of Puddlemere United,” said Gwenog.
Harry and Michael shook hands, too. And Oliver Wood took a step closer to Harry and hugged him and said,
“We came here to recruit you, Harry.”
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