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Chapter 11 : Mess up, with Hufflepuff
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Chapter 11: Mess up, with Hufflepuff
“So I’ve been thinking.” Fred said out loud as we unpacked our stuff. We had gotten back to Hogwarts yesterday and finally decided that after classes today, it would probably be good to unpack our things.
“Never a good sign.” I said without looking up. I had just sat the gloves Sirius got me on my bed and pulled out my Quidditch bag so I could put them in there and use them for this afternoon’s practice.
“And well, we need symbol or something we stand for.” He continued on ignoring me. “I think I have a plan.”
“Great…” Sirius and I said together. We both looked up at each other and grinned.
Ever since Christmas, it seemed as if we had gotten closer. Not that we weren’t good friends before. It just seemed like something clicked after he met my Father. It was probably a stressful situation for him and I guess I kind of helped him over that. At least I hope I did. There’s only so much I could do.
During our break, after we were done snooping, Sirius and I talked about all the possibilities of who would go around attacking people, if they were not Death Eaters. So far we’ve come up with nothing. Well, not nothing, I mean there are plenty of people who have it out for the Malfoys, but there was other variables involved that we didn’t know. Thus, we had nothing.
So, in hopes that my Dad or Mum would let something slip if we talked to them, we retreated back downstairs.
In the end, I just asked my Dad to tell us old stories about before and after the war. This seemed to make Sirius happy for the most part. My Dad mostly talked about Sirius and Remus. He always seems to avoid talking about his sixth year with Dumbledore and his ‘seventh’ year, when they chased after Voldemort. In fact, he was always rather vague on those details. Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione seemed to leave that out too.
Sirius didn’t seem to mind. I suppose he liked to hear about Remus. It cheered him up exceptionally. Not that it helped Teddy’s mood. He just seemed to sit and glare at Victoire all through dinner. Maybe Sirius was right about them…or maybe Victoire is off her rocker and took Teddy with her. The latter is more likely in my head.
“You see, when Uncle Harry was telling stories about Remus, your Grandfather and Grandgodfather-” Sirius cut Fred off.
“Yeah, Sirius Black, anyways don’t interrupt me new Sirius.” Fred said waving his hand at ‘new Sirius.’
I choked, quietly, from laughing at the expression on Sirius’ face. It was a mix of loathing and humor.
“But those gents had the right idea. All we need is a name, and a motto.” Fred looked like he was enlightened by Merlin or something, when in reality he was just recycling the Marauders’ ideas.
“I think our motto should be, ‘Don’t strangle Fred before Dinner.’” Sirius muttered as he glared at Fred. I think Sirius was slightly peeved by being referred to as ‘Grandgodfather.’
I laughed out loud this time and rolled my eyes. Fred seemed to ignore both of us.
“I think we should keep the name ‘Marauders’ personally. What do you think Padfoot?” Fred turned to Sirius who nearly jumped out of his shoes at the name.
“Well you obviously have to be Padfoot since you are named Sirius!” Fred shouted impatiently.
“Wait, does that mean James is Prongs?” Sirius asked looking at me. I could tell he didn’t like where this was going. I’m not too sure I did either.
“And who are you then?” I asked him. “Moony or Wormtail?”
“Neither of course. I’m not named Remus or Peter. I’ll have a new name based off my Animagas form.” Fred told us like we were dumb.
Sirius raised an eyebrow. “Since when were you an Animagas?”
“Since I decided to become one just now.”
I rolled my eyes. Sirius and I made eye contact. “Fred this whole thing is a stupid idea.”
Fred gasped and looked hurt. “It is not!”
“Well, I’m hungry, we should unpack the rest later.” Sirius said finally now ignoring Fred. He turned to me. “Well come on, Prongs, Ginger Spice.”
“Who the bloody hell is ‘Ginger Spice,’ Padfoot?” Fred yelled at Sirius.
“You, of course.”
“That’s a stupid name!” Fred retorted.
“So are the names that you have given us.” Sirius frowned. I choked back a laugh. I don’t think he really thought they were stupid, but he was trying to prove a point.
“I’m not even ginger.” Fred said ruffling his black hair with his red stripe, going down the side.
“No, but you have a little red you put in your hair. Plus I added the Spice.” Sirius gave Fred another look of loathing.
Fred crossed his arms and glared over at Sirius.
“Come on, Prongs.” Sirius forced.
I followed him out the dorm and into the Commons, leaving Fred in the dorm to mold over a new plan.
“What’s wrong Pads? Ginger Spice got you down?” I asked, finding this way too funny.
“Shut up!” Sirius growled.
“Come on, Fred is just being Fred. Besides, it’s not like we are the original Marauders or anything.” I lied.
“Cheer up Pads!” I said after an awkward silence. “It’s not like these stupid names are going to actually stick.”
Sirius rolled his eyes. “Don’t put it pass Fred…”
“You’re right…You could be known as Padfoot for the rest of your life.” I said gravely. Sirius’ head snapped to me, glaring. “In the history textbooks, it will read ‘Padfoot, Sirius Lee that’s his name. Seriously!’”
Sirius finally laughed and turned to me.
“You remind me of someone that I use to know.”
“Really? Who’s that Pads? I’ve known you since we started school.” I grinned at him.
“Just someone I knew in another life I guess.” Sirius grinned up at me. “You both killed my buzz a lot.”
I laughed, but then frowned when he wasn’t looking. So I was like him, the original James Potter.
“So do you have Quidditch practice this afternoon?” Sirius asked out of nowhere, clearly changing the subject.
“Yeah, I have it every day this week considering, that our match against Hufflepuff is Saturday.” I told Sirius, glad for the change in topic.
“What excuse are you going to give Fred this time?” Sirius asked.
“That’s a good question…” I hadn’t thought about that yet.
“Well it might look suspicious if you have another fake detention.” Sirius told me. “Maybe you should give Davison the Polyjuice Potion too.” Sirius suggested.
“That’s not a bad idea Sirius…” It was a good thing I kept him around.
“Do you have enough?” Sirius asked. “I mean you’ll need enough for about an hour and so will Davison. Plus practices this week and before the Ravenclaw match.”
I nodded. “I think I’ll have enough to give Davison two doses for both matches.”
I already have them separated by different hours, games and practices, I also have a little to spare. This was a pretty good idea.
“Well you better tell Davison as soon as possible.”
The rest of the day went by rather fast. It was nice having Sirius know my secret. He diverted Fred’s attention away from me while I had practice and also helped calm down Davison when he got out of hand. However, Davison’s new found popularity seemed to keep him happy for the most part.
I kind of wondered if he would expect me to do this next year too.
Hopefully, the team will write it off as him getting ready for the O.W.L.s and not look too much into it. I wanted a chance to shine, as well.
By the time practice was over and I reached my not-so-secret broom cupboard, that I always changed in, I realized I took too much potion. Our practice was shorter than normal.
Ashley had a study group for the N.E.W.T.s and Dany and Madison wanted to go to bed. Dany voiced this each time Ashley was within half a field of her, which was the whole practice, because she followed her around the whole time screaming at her. Dany apparently didn’t get enough sleep over break.
It was probably one of the least productive practices we have had. I kind of blame that fact that we won without catching the Snitch against Slytherin. Slytherin versus Gryffindor is always a big match and we flew circles around them. Everyone didn’t really think that Hufflepuff would be a threat. I had to agree, but I still wished that they would take practice seriously.
I looked at my watch. I still had about fifteen minutes until I changed back. I groaned and sat down on my bag. After a while I lit my wand and pulled the Marauders’ Map out from my bag. I only used it when I was alone now and typically that was when I was changing in the broom cupboard.
“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” I said pointing at the Map.
I flipped through the pages and found where I was. No one was around. I then found Fred Weasley in the Kitchens, and Professor Lowsley in his office with…Teddy Lupin? Why was Teddy with Lowsley?
I know he idealizes the man, but why would they be alone?
I drew my attention away from that and saw Goyle’s name. I laughed to myself when I saw him in the Hospital Wing in one spot. Maybe he lost another duel and landed himself there. The idea thrilled me to no end. I only wished it was my doing though.
Maybe I should send flowers to Goyle? I thought smugly.
But then I realized something, Fred was in the Kitchens…alone.
I looked over the Map.
Where’s Sirius? Where is he?
By the time I found him I didn’t have much time. The door to the cupboard flew open and I shoved the Map into my bag without clearing it.
Sirius gave me an odd look. “What where you doing?”
“J-just waiting to change back…y-you scared me.” My heart was pounding as he shut the door.
“Oh? Sorry, I found out you were done when I saw Dany and Madison crawling through the portrait hole.” Sirius told me. “They said they got done early.”
“Yeah, just a bit.” I told him shrugging. I shifted and zipped my bag up.
“What were you doing before I got here? You looked a little panicked.” He told me.
Oh, you know, hiding the Marauder’s Map so you don’t find out I know who you are.
“Just sitting.” I lied.
Sirius’ eyes narrowed.
“What? You don’t believe me?” I asked.
“Nope.” He told me.
I don’t blame you…
“Well, it’s true.” I lied again.
I rolled my eyes now and discreetly changed the topic. “Anyways, how much do I still look like Davison?”
Sirius gave me an appraising look. “Hair is a bit dark, but you’ll do if you want to head back up to the dorms.”
“Yeah, I don’t think I fancy sitting here all night.”
“I think Fred might send you a message about getting some Butterbeer from the Kitchens.” Sirius told me. I gave him a confused look as I got up and threw my bag on my shoulder. He saw my expression and held up a Gold Galleon. “On these.”
I looked at it and gasped. “Where did you get that?”
“Fred gave it to me for Christmas. He said that you, Albus and Teddy have one as well.” Sirius flipped his and put it back in his pocket as he opened the door for me to leave the cupboard. “Although, the mirrors are probably handier for us, if we need to communicate with each other that is.”
I started to walk up the stairs and grinned. “We typically used the coin when we snuck out at night and met at Grimmauld Place.”
Sirius’ head snapped to me. “Grimmauld Place?”
“Yes, my Dad owns it and it’s like our second house.” I felt stupid for explaining this to Sirius. It was his house after all. “Fred, Albus and I would go there using the Floo Network, we would practice flying from the roof, since there are magical barriers around the house so Muggles can’t see us, and sometimes Kreacher will make us Hot Chocolate while Fred and I schemed what prank to pull on Hugo.”
“K-Kreacher?” Sirius asked.
“Our house elf.” If I remember correctly Sirius actually left Kreacher to Harry. The shock that crossed his face was priceless. “He’s fairly old, but some House Elves have a life expectancy of living to two hundred. So if you compare him to that he’s middle-aged…almost.”
Sirius nodded, looking like he saw a ghost. “I see…”
“Aunt Hermione likes to rant about how we should free him, but Dad insists that Kreacher is happier this way.” I told him. Sirius nodded looking at his shoes as we walked to the Gryffindor tower.
Sirius nodded, his expression looked grave. I wondered why he was so worried. It’s not like Kreacher would recognize him, right? Or would he? Sirius grew up with Kreacher I suppose, so Kreacher would know what he looked like before he went to Azkaban.
“Anyways, I think it’s awesome that we all have a way of communicating now. Fred might get jealous if he knows about the mirrors, so I would keep that a secret from him, but if we ever need each other these are perfect.” I babbled on, Sirius seemed to relax a little bit, but his eyes were hard.
“Yeah, they do come in handy.” Sirius nodded. “Oh! Before Fred gets back, I should tell you, he was talking about trying to make a ‘New and improved Marauder’s Map.’”
I laughed. “What? Really?”
Sirius nodded. “It’s not too far along; he drew a crappy picture of Hogwarts on his Potion’s essay and scribbled something that looks like a maze…”
I rolled my eyes. “He was supposed to finish his essay so I could copy it…I let him do that for me last time…”
“You can copy mine, I finished while he chased down the whole dorm asking them to write their full names on his essay.” Sirius shook his head.
“Why was he doing that?” I asked, although it seemed like a Fred thing to do, I couldn’t quite figure out why.
“He thinks that was how the Marauder’s did it.” Sirius grinned. I figured out from his face that this wasn’t their method.
“How did they do it?” I asked him without thinking. “I wonder…” I added quickly to the end hoping he didn’t think the question was directed at him.
“Umm, I-I’m not too sure…” He lied. “It wasn’t that way though, because I mean, if that was their method then the only names that would show up would be the ones they collected all those years ago. According to you guys, your Fathers used it and if their names were on the Map then Fred’s method clearly isn’t right.”
I nodded. His reasoning made since, but I still wanted to push for farther information. I gave up though as we reached Fat Lady Portrait.
When we reached our room we were the only ones there. Fred, was probably still in the Kitchens harassing the House Elves to feed him again and the others were either studying or enjoying their afternoon. Sirius was the first to talk.
“How was practice?” He asked.
“Lazy, Dany didn’t even do anything besides complain the whole time. Cooper fell off his broom when he flew into a goal post though.” I frowned.
“Isn’t Cooper the Seeker?” Sirius asked.
“Yeah…He isn’t as bad as you think, he’s just taken a few Bludgers to the head recently and his confidence is kind of low after our last game.” I actually felt a little bad for the guy. “As long as Hufflepuff doesn’t have pro Chasers, we should be good. I just can’t wait for Albus to be on the team next year.”
“You know first years are not allowed on the team, right?” Sirius grinned at me. “You’re just the exception. You know, since you’re crazy.”
“Well, hopefully they will see how good I fly; I’ll inform them I have a brother, who is an excellent Seeker, and next thing you know you’ll be cheering for two Potters at the first match against Slytherin.” I winked at him. “Also Madison might be easier to reason with than Ashley. Ashley is great and all, but since Madison loves my mother she’ll be more likely to listen to me.”
“You know this is a good plan…in theory.” Sirius flopped over on his bed.
“What do you mean by that?” I asked, frowning at him.
He rolled over to look at me. “Well, your plan is banking on a few key things.”
“Which are?” I urged him on.
“First, that you are going to be on the team next year and not Davison.” Sirius pointed out.
“I will be, Davison has O.W.L.s anyways, it makes sense for him to withdraw and let me actually play.” I told him. “Plus I’ll be out of Polyjuice Potion by then and I doubt Slughorn will leave his storage room open for me to steal more.”
“True, but you also have to make the team. Although, unless the Gryffindors at tryouts are the Holyhead Harpies I think you’re good there.” Sirius shrugged.
“Which means that I’ll be on the team next year. What’s your next point?” I asked still frowning.
“Well how do you know that Madison is going to be Caption?” He asked.
“It’s assumed.” I told him. “She’s been there since her second year.
“What about Cooper?” Sirius pointed out. “He’s a sixth year, is he not and hasn’t he been there since his second year? That’s what Victoire and Teddy told me last match after Slytherin caught the Snitch. Doesn’t he have seniority over Madison?”
I froze. “I suppose so…but Madison is better.”
“In your eyes, yes, but you have to look at the Headmistresses choice.” Sirius told me. “It’s up to her, not you.”
I glared. “I guess you’re right...”
Sirius smiled and rolled back over. “I didn’t even get to my last point.”
I rolled my eyes. “Which was?”
“Albus might not even be in Gryffindor.” Sirius told me.
I laughed. “Please, Sirius. Out of all the things you just said, that one is a sure thing. I would be more likely to not make the team than Albus being put in another House.”
Sirius smiled and sat up. “You’re right. He’s a Potter after all. I think that name is in the definition of what a Gryffindor is.”
I continued to laugh. “I guess so, ‘Gryffindors, where dwell the brave of heart and the Potters!’” I said holding up my imaginary sword.
Sirius laughed too and held up his imaginary sword. “To the Potters!”
On Saturday, I got up early and grabbed my Quidditch bag from underneath my bed. I then carefully opened my drawer by my bed where I kept the flasks of Polyjuice Potion. I took two as I heard rustling in the bed next to mine.
“James?” I heard Sirius’ voice muffle through his pillow.
I closed the drawer and pulled back his drape around his bed. Sirius’ head was buried into his pillow and his hair was sticking in every direction possible.
“Morning beautiful, I see you stayed up late with Freddie dearest.” I grinned at him. I had to put a sound charm around my bed in the middle of the night, because Fred had gotten the wonderful idea of inviting ‘a better version’ of Exploding Snaps. I could see burn marks on Sirius blankets from probably trying to put out the fires.
Sirius groaned into his pillow. “Kick Huffleclaw’s ass today, James…”
“You mean Hufflepuff?”
“Whatever.” Sirius lifted his head and gave me a half-hearted thumbs up as he rolled over and went back to sleep.
As I closed the drape around his bed, I started to hear him snoring again as I crossed the room to the door. I exited the room quietly and headed up the stairs to the fourth year dorm. I opened it and snuck over to Davison’s bed.
“Muffliato.” I said waving my wand around his bed. I pulled back the drape. “Davison!”
He shot up quickly, and turned around quickly to see me.
“James?” Horror crossed his face.
“Hush, I brought the Polyjuice Potion for you, go downstairs to my bed if you want to sleep, I put extra in yours so it should last you from now until about eleven. You should excuse yourself about fifteen minutes before then and find a private place to change.” I handed him the vile and turned around to leave.
“Thank you James.” Davison said quietly as I was taking down the sound charm.
I looked at him and nodded.
I walked down to the Kitchens and asked the House Elves politely for some breakfast. After I quickly ate the toast they prepared for me I headed to the Quidditch field and went into the changing rooms. It was already six thirty, but no one would be here until right before nine when the game started, which gave me about two hours to myself. I changed into my Quidditch uniform. Fortunately, Davison and I were about the same size. That was one of the reasons I picked him, that way I wouldn’t have to adjust to a different body type.
I tucked the Polyjuice Potion in my breast pocket and grabbed my broom. As I grabbed it, my bag fell off the bench I placed it on and some of my things spilled out. I groaned and turned to shove them back in. One of the things that fell out was the Marauders Map. I hadn’t used it since before earlier that week and one of the first things I noticed was it was still active. I had quickly shoved it in my bag last time when I saw Sirius coming. I didn’t have a chance to wipe it and forgot until now.
Just as I was about to wipe it I saw a few of the pages that were open. One happened to be the Hogwarts grounds and I saw my name along with one other traveling to the changing room, Ashley Pewitt.
“Mischief Managed!” I nearly screamed at the Map. I shoved it back into my bag and zipped it up and shoved it into a cubby.
I ran to the boys showers and shut the door. Maybe, she would leave in a few minutes.
“Eric?” I heard her from the outside the showers. “Are you getting ready? I’m just checking to see if you’re here.”
Of course, she was wondering where I was. She was the caption, she need to make sure all her team members were up and ready for action. I should have had Davison go down and sit with them until it was time to come down here.
“Eric?” Ashley said again.
“Yeah I’m here.” I said.
“What’s wrong with your voice?” Ashley was too observant for her own good, or mine for that matter.
“Just a little cold.” I lied. Leave. Please leave!
“Oh, I hope you are okay.” She said worried about her star Chaser, Eric, not me. I, on the other hand, was currently having a panic attack. “Do you want to fly around before the game and get warmed up? The rest of the team should be here soon.”
Perfect. Just bloody perfect…
“Yeah, just give me a moment.” I almost groaned.
I heard her leave and I looked in the mirror next to me. James Potter, no matter how you looked at me, I was James Potter. I sighed and took out my Polyjuice Potion for the game. I looked down at it.
Three hours, this will get me through three hours. It was almost seven. If I took this now I would last until ten. Giving me an hour to play. Last game went on for about two hours, but that was also against Slytherin.
I swallowed hard and opened the bottle.
“Let’s do this.”
The game was about to start and I was a nervous wreck. I thought about asking Sirius for help with the mirrors, but I didn’t know how he would sneak away from Fred long enough to give it to me. Plus I didn’t trust Davison alone with Fred. If Fred started talking about family stuff than I’m sure that Davison will screw up. Sirius has to step in and save him if Fred starts talking about anything that Davison wouldn’t know about.
I lined up next to Madison and Dany. Madison nodded to me and Dany winked.
I could hear my heart beating in my ear and that wasn’t helping anything. I felt sick and I just wanted to start this game and have Cooper catch the Snitch. Hell, at this point I would catch the Snitch for him if it mean that I wouldn’t get caught changing back into myself. I could just picture the look on Ashley’s face as she choked me to death.
Madam Hooch opened the box and released the Bludgers and the Snitch. She then shouted her typically spill before she threw the Quaffle up in the air.
I grabbed it and raced down the field. Dany and Madison flanked me. There was a Bludger coming in from above and I passed the Quaffle to Madison while Dany and I flew in the opposite direction. Madison dove in for a goal and threw it past there Keeper. YES!
My nerves went down significantly. This was just another game. Nothing was wrong.
Hufflepuff’s Chasers weren’t much better than Slytherin’s. I’m sure that they were decent compare to most standards, but I pretty much trained Dany and Madison on what to look for and how to fly circles around the other team. The perks of having a Quidditch driven family was endless.
The game continued on and I lost myself in making goal after goal along with Dany and Madison. Those two have improved since we last played and were keeping up with me easily.
I checked the score every once and a while to check our lead. I was completely at ease until I saw a gold speck shoot past my ear, after I just made a goal, and I wasn’t the only one who saw it. The Hufflepuff Seeker shot across the field after it.
“COOPER!” I yelled. His head turned to me and I pointed at the Hufflepuff player, now chasing the Snitch. He was about to make a break for it and I thought that it would be over soon. Cooper was closer and he would get it. That’s when a Bludger came out of nowhere and knocked Cooper in the chest. He was thrown off course, but he managed to stay on his broom.
The Hufflepuff Seeker had the lead now.
I looked down the field and realized that I stopped after I saw the Snitch. Hufflepuff had just score and was now one-hundred and seventy to forty. If Hufflepuff caught the Snitch, they would win.
Down at the other end of the field, Madison passed the ball to Dany and she took off toward me. This was bad. I saw The Hufflepuff Seeker diving for the Snitch now and our own Seeker, Cooper, still disorientated by a Bludger to the chest, was too far behind him.
I was already within scoring zone when Dany came within range.
“DANY!” I yelled, catching her attention
She faked out the Chaser following her and threw the Quaffle to me. I chucked it from where I was and made it into the center ring. Just as it passed through Madam Hooch blew her whistle.
I froze and looked up at the score. I was too afraid to look behind me to see if Cooper caught up. I saw in horror that Hufflepuff had gained an extra hundred and fifty points. I felt like screaming.
Just as I decided that I would jump off my broom and end this, Dany and Madison reached me.
“It’s okay!” Dany hugged me. “You did it, we tied.”
I looked back at the score and noticed the crowd was silent. As I looked at Gryffindors score I saw that it was 180, same as Hufflepuffs. My goal counted. I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Wait…” I turned to Madison who looked kind of confused. “What does that mean?”
“I think…if we beat Ravenclaw, since they already beat Hufflepuff and if Slytherin doesn’t lose to Hufflepuff…I think, I think we win?” She didn’t sound sure and I didn’t blame her. I don’t think a tie happens very often in Quidditch.
I nodded. I saw Ashley on her way over to us and that’s when Dany gasped. I looked at her and she was staring at me with a horrified expression on her face.
“What?” I asked, worried about what had her panties in a knot.
“J-James Potter?” She pointed at me.
I gave her a confused expression wondering what she was going on about when I suddenly remembered where I was and who I was.
I looked at my watch, my hour is up.
So right now, in the middle of the damn Quidditch field, as my whole team gathered around me to congratulate me on my last goal, was supposed to be Eric Davison. Instead I hovered there as myself, James Potter. The Polyjuice Potion wore off. I now looked like myself again and I could tell you, as my Team Caption saw me, I would rather be anyone else in the whole world. This day could not get any worst.
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