Chapter 2 : Quidditch Stars
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The dorm was darker than most of the others due to being buried in the center of the castle. They had some magic windows but they were showing a beautiful night scene, which didn’t provide a lot of extra light. Ron headed toward the entrance to the loo when his shins ran into something hard.
“Bloody hell!” He yelled falling over the object blocking his path.
Within seconds Neville was awake pointing his wand toward Ron who was now sprawled on the floor. “Ron what the hell happened?” The other boys were starting to stir. As more of them woke up the lights in the room started to brighten.
Ron finally got a look at what had caused him to trip. “When the hell did we get a sixth bed in here? There’s nobody else to move in.”
“Well the good news is we got an additional loo now.” Seamus jumped off his bed and went to the new door that was opposite the original one.
“So whose bed is this you think?” Dean asked examining the dark red curtains.
Draco looked around the room thoughtfully. There were now five beds with red curtains and one with green. He appreciated that he could keep his colors even with the Gryffindors. “Think logically guys. There is only one person who would need a seventh year bed with red curtains.”
“He’s right and that trunk certainly looks familiar.” Ron said looking over the box that was at the end of the bed. “What do you guys think, does it mean what Draco thinks it does?”
“I don’t think there’s any other explanation, Potter’s back.” Draco said not unpleasantly but not overly excited. He grabbed his towel from the end of his bed. “We’re all up now, may as well get a good breakfast before the match.”
Ron hurried quickly to get to the shower as well. He wanted to talk to Hermione before the match. And hopefully he could do so before Ginny got to the great hall.
Ginny came into the great hall for breakfast unusually early she had already talked to Harry and wanted to eat a good breakfast before the match. She saw Hermione sitting at the table near where the team would sit to eat. She was surprised to see her brother there already as well. The pair was whispering quietly and stopped as she sat down. Before they were interrupted she was sure Hermione said Harry’s name.
“What’s that about Harry?” She asked grabbing a piece of toast off a pile.
“Oh Ron was trying to guess if you had talked to him already this morning.” Hermione responded innocently.
Ginny eyed her brother carefully making him squirm a bit before answering. “Of course we did. He wished me good luck and told me to knock their knickers off.” Ron smirked at his sister. “In fact he seemed rather awake and refreshed for what is it there like three a.m.?
Hermione nodded not adding anything else to the conversation as more students started to filter in. Before long the rest of the Gryffindor team was at the table and Ron was animatedly discussing strategy before the match. They were using an untested seeker who had earned time on the pitch but still wanted to make sure that the chasers had complete control of the match. The Ravenclaw team looked absolutely terrified. They had improved through the course of the year but they were a distant last place in the standings. They could spoil the Gryffindor chances to take the cup with a significant victory but nobody liked their odds. Their captain silently wished for a quick relatively painless match.
Harry apparated into Hogsmeade with his friends after a wonderful breakfast had been served by Kreacher. The group walked along the main road and the Brazilians marveled at how similar the village looked to Cruzeiro del Sul. Harry was glad to see the stores were mostly full and even a few new ones had opened up. He made sure to stop into Honeydukes to pick up a bar of his favorite chocolate. He didn’t know if he’d have time to stop after the match so he took advantage of the time. Ana Paula loaded up with sweets as did Mariana. The others just got a few samples to try the British confections.
Harry pointed out the various sites of the village as they progressed toward the school. A few other people were making their way toward the gate and Harry swore he saw Dhruv Kalra the captain of the Tornados. The group passed the station where the train would arrive and came around the final turn in the road.
Harry strode up toward the open gate unaware that his friends had stopped walking. Elimar had a sugar quill sticking out of his mouth but it was clear he didn’t taste it. The girls all had similar wide eyed expressions as they looked at Hogwarts for the first time. After a few steps Harry realized he didn’t hear his friend’s footfalls and turned to look at them. He remembered all too well the first time he saw the castle and knew what they were feeling.
“Just wait until tonight. It is even more amazing then.”
The comment brought his friends back to the present. They followed Harry through the gates with the trickle of people who were here for the quidditch match. Professor McGonagall had given them seats away from the students so that Harry could keep his presence a surprise. He wasn’t sure she would agree to the request but when Harry said it could affect Ginny or Ron’s performance the former head of Gryffindor house relented. She was still extremely proud of her house’s quidditch performances.
Harry pointed out various features of the castle as they made their way to the pitch. He knew he would have to give them a more satisfactory tour once they arrived for good. They made their way to the seats with ease and Harry again noticed the wizard who reminded him of the captain of the Tornados. In fact there were a few witches and wizards sitting around him that looked familiar.
“’Arry is that Gwenog Jones sitting in front of us?” Ana Paula tried to whisper but was too excited.
Harry took a moment to look at the witch in question. She was trying hard to keep a straight face but finally a smile cracked her thin lips. “I believe it is. I’d always heard she was famous around the world. Although in this country I think I’m a little more famous.” Harry was goading the witch on purpose. He knew he was succeeding when the small smile disappeared from her lips. She had a look that could rival McGonagall. “Now that I think about it, I’m probably more famous in your country too. After all Gwenog only plays quidditch.”
“Do you have something against quidditch player’s young man?” Gwenog stood up and turned to face him. She was a fairly tall witch with a beater’s build which made her rather intimidating.
Harry smiled and peered over his tinted glasses at her. He wanted her to see his eyes before he brushed back the transfigured bangs of his hair to expose the scar above his right eye. Gwenog smiled realizing who he was and nodded at him. “No Ms. Jones but I imagine that my friends would like an autograph and didn’t know how to ask.”
Leticia, Mariana, and Ana Paula looked on expectedly as Gwenog reached into her dark green robes. She pulled out what looked like a deck of muggle playing cards. She passed a card to each of the girls and even Elimar took one. “You can expand these to a full size poster. Would you like one…?”
“James… and yes please.” Harry provided.
She handed him one of the small cards that had her autograph and a message written on it. “You might need to start carrying stacks of these yourself.”
“You might be right, especially when I join the league next year.” If Gwenog was surprised she didn’t show it. She sat back in her seat. “I hope you’re here to scout Ginny.” Harry whispered in her ear as the teams came onto the pitch.
“Her and Madam Hooch as well, I want to see if I can convince her to lead our player development.”
“Is Madam Hooch really that good?”
“Harry with you and the two graduating Weasleys, Madam Hooch has produced seven world class quidditch players in the past ten years. That’s unheard of. In fact Quidditch Monthly is doing a cover story on her.”
“I never really thought about that.” Harry honestly answered. “Do you happen to know who is doing the story? I think I have something to contribute.” Harry had a stroke of inspiration from something he had once seen in a muggle magazine. Though he wasn’t sure where.
Gwenog nodded and handed Harry a piece of parchment as cheers erupted from the students. Ginny had scored her first goal.
“Ms. Jones, I know traditionally you send a letter to those you want to have tryout but would it be possible for you to meet here tomorrow morning after breakfast? It would mean a ton to Ginny to meet you and would probably help secure her spot as a Harpy.” Gwenog smiled and nodded before turning back to the game.
A while later, after Ginny had scored a few more goals the Harpies captain turned back to Harry. “So who are you planning to play for James? I heard about the seeker’s challenge last week that was impressive.”
“I’m only mildly surprised I never got another letter from you.” Harry blushed at the compliment. “I’m hoping to take Ron and join the Cannons. They offered both of us a spot if we joined together.” He barely whispered the second part.
“Both you and the keeper, you could turn that team around in a year or two. Especially with how famous you two are. It’s a shame that of all the stars Madam Hooch has turned out only one of them was a witch, too many wizards.”
They shared a smile. “Speaking of the Cannons, can you point me to Jason Kodysz? I wanted to ask the same favor of him I asked of you.” Gwenog pointed to a tall thin wizard sitting toward the front row of their section.
“I’m sure you’ll make him a very happy team president.”
“Thanks for the vote of confidence Ms…”
“James if you call me Ms. Jones one more time I’ll slap you. It makes me feel old. We’re going to be rivals. You can at least call me Gwen.”
“Sure Gwen. Thanks for all the help.”
She smiled kindly but she was nervous. The Cannons had been in the basement of the league for the past decade or more but with two young very promising players they were bound to attract attention from skilled, experienced veterans. Perhaps I should’ve sent that second letter. Gwenog thought to herself as the match progressed. She was pleased to hear that Ginny was interested in the Harpies. Although most young witches fantasized about her team, and very few had ever turned down a tryout offer.
The game progressed as expected with Ginny calling plays for the chasers and opening a commanding lead over Ravenclaw. Ron was brilliant in goal and directed the beaters to build a stifling defense. The match trudged along as the snitch remained stubbornly out of sight to the seekers on the pitch. Harry and Ana Paula had spotted it a few times and discussed tactics on approaching it without letting your opponent know. They conversed in Portuguese when it came to tactics. Harry didn’t want Gwen to learn his abilities too well.
Gryffindor had opened a two-hundred point lead in the three hours they had been playing when finally the seekers took off after the snitch. Harry didn’t recognize either of them and watched intently as they dove and chased the tiny golden ball. Finally with a quick turn and roll the Ravenclaw seeker got her hand on the ball. Gryffindor had won the match and the cup even though their opponents had caught the snitch.
Harry made his way toward the front of the stands to talk to Jason Kodysz about meeting with him and Ron in person. As he left Gwenog turned to Ana Paula. “I saw you last week at the seeker’s challenge too. You have a lot of potential. Keep working hard and you might hear from me next year.” She left without another word and Ana Paula was blushing mightily when Harry returned to their seats.
“What was that all about?” Harry asked as he returned.
“I guess I need a new broom ‘Arry.” She was excited but looked downcast. “Gwenog saw the seeker’s challenge and said I had potential.”
“She’s right you do. Let me talk to Mariana’s dad. He might be able to get an older model firebolt at a deal.” She smiled as he led them back toward the castle’s gates.
They hadn’t gone far when a voice cut through the air. Professor McGonagall announced the traditional quidditch cup presentation would take place the following morning after breakfast. Harry was already planning on showing up at breakfast and now he had even more reason. Elimar though made a comment that brought him back to reality.
“I don’t know who that red-head was but man she can play. She was pretty hot too.” He said offhandedly.
“Be careful Elimar. She’s taken and her man is pretty strong.” Mari spoke up. “Not to mention she has six older brothers, including the keeper.”
“Brothers I can sweet talk.” He folded his hands behind his back nonchalantly as he walked.
“Let me run down the brothers for you Elimar.” Harry cut in. “The eldest was head boy, became a curse breaker in Egypt, married a half veela and got mauled by a werewolf. The second eldest played seeker for England you might remember him from the match last summer.” The group all nodded. “When not playing quidditch he is a dragon handler in Romania. The third is another head boy an assistant to the Minister and probable Minister in the future. After that you have the twins, one of them didn’t survive the war unfortunately but they created everything you saw in that joke shop yesterday. They know more about charms than just about anybody I ever met. I’ve also never seen a pair of beaters who work together as good as them. The last one, the keeper is my best friend. He followed me through everything including destroying Riddle. Oh and I hear he has his own chocolate frog card too.”
Elimar still didn’t seem too concerned. Ana Paula on the other hand was impressed. “That’s all one family ‘Arry?” Ana Paula asked since the others had met them.
“Yea, they are an amazing group.” Harry agreed.
“Well like I said. I can sweet talk the brothers. And I’m more than willing to hex the boyfriend.”
The next instant he was hanging upside down by his ankle. Mariana giggled at her friend. “I forgot to mention ‘Arry would be the jealous boyfriend.” Elimar paled at the site of Harry holding a wand and looking him over.
“I swear I didn’t mean it ‘Arry.” The younger wizard didn’t know how upset Harry was.
With a light flick of the wand Harry released the spell. As Elimar picked himself up off the ground Harry greeted him with a smile. “No worries, I don’t blame ya. She is a hot little witch. But she could hex you faster than any of her brothers. And don’t make me tell Sabrina what you said.” Harry smiled as they continued toward the village.
Elimar walked behind Harry as they journeyed back into Hogsmeade. “Is she really that strong?” He asked no one in particular.
“Yea, last year on ‘Arry’s birthday she nearly cursed him and Luciana for that matter. And none of her brothers were willing to stand in her way.” Mariana explained. “She held her own at the battle that was here last year from what I hear.”
“They wouldn’t stand in her way because they thought Harry needed to be cursed Mari. You know that.” Leticia added. Everyone laughed and they passed out of the school grounds.
The group fell silent as they entered the village. Elimar had forgotten about the battle the castle had seen. Now that he was reminded he looked at the castle in a new light. Some of the stones didn’t seem to have the same shade. The windows were the same way. He then noticed the Marble tomb on the far side of the lake. He saw the school and students with new respect. They had gone through hell and somehow resumed some form of normalcy.
It was eight o’clock in the evening when Harry returned to the gates of Hogwarts. Professor McGonagall had left him an owl with Madam Rosmerta at the Three Broomsticks. She wanted to discuss the plans for his magic demonstration the following day. Harry quickly agreed thinking it was better than winging it and sent the owl back quickly. Additionally he asked the Headmistress to deliver Dumbledore’s pensieve to Arthur Weasley’s office. She sent a patronus back assuring him everything was set and he could meet Hagrid at the gates.
Harry stood waiting still disguised as James as he waited for the first magical friend he had ever made. Before long the large frame was silhouetted against the school that shone brightly. Hagrid stepped close enough for Harry to see his usual smile shining through his bushy beard. He took a long look at Harry as he opened the gates. His smile disappeared as he beckoned the young wizard through the entrance.
“Whats wrong Hagrid. You don’t seem very cheerful.” Harry asked kindly.
“I’m sorry. I was expecting someone else.” He tried to force a smile. “The Headmistress said a special friend was at the gates and needed to be brought straight to her office. I thought you were someone else. What is your name by the way, you seem very familiar.”
Rather than answer directly Harry undid the transformation of his hair. “It’s good to see you again my friend.” Harry patted his friend’s elbow. He still couldn’t reach higher.”
“’Arry bloody hell it’s good to see you.” Hagrid’s smile returned genuinely. He crushed Harry with a hug. “Why didn’t you say something sooner?”
Harry smiled sheepishly as he recast the spells on his hair. “I’m trying to keep it a little bit of a secret until tomorrow. I hope you won’t spoil the surprise.” Hagrid smiled almost as mischievously as a Weasley. “And you seemed so disappointed I just had to tell you.”
“I can keep quiet ‘Arry I promise. Now let’s get you to the Headmistress.”
They walked in silence until they reached the statue blocking the entrance to Professor McGonagall’s office. “Home” Hagrid gave the password and the statue leapt aside.
“Enter Hagrid.” The headmistress spoke before they could even knock. “It’s good to see you again Harry. Did you enjoy the game today?” He nodded as he conjured an overstuffed chair like Dumbledore favored. He preferred them to the hard-backed chairs the Headmistress had in her office. Harry swore Dumbledore smiled in his frame overlooking the group.
“Very much so, I look forward to attending the ceremony after breakfast and seeing Ginny and Ron hoist the cup. After that I need the use of a classroom.” Harry then explained what he planned for the following morning. The professor was not at all surprised by his revelations about Ron and Ginny’s future and agreed to let him use one of the classrooms after the cup was presented to Gryffindor.
“Now Harry I think tomorrow we should start with some magical creatures.” Harry nodded. “That is why I had Hagrid bring you here. He can arrange to have Buckbeak there along with some other creatures that students can learn about. Can Fawkes be present as well?”
“I think he would be. I think maybe we can have a griffin present too that you and Hagrid could teach about.” Harry gave a sly wink to his professor.
“I’m not sure that would be safe Professor.” Hagrid was troubled for once. “I could keep a Griffin myself but I wouldn’t want to risk the children.”
“Do not worry Professor. Harry is speaking of a very special creature that will not harm anyone.”
“I also think that a demonstration of your animagus would make a nice opening to get the young kids attention. Much like you did our first year.”
“I agree, I was actually disappointed that I didn’t get to show that this year. Then after the creatures we can move to charms. Professor Flitwick is most excited to see what you can do.”
“Actually professor I think we should start with transfiguration.” Harry argued. “Charms are amazing but not as visual. At N.E.W.T. level transfiguration is much more impressive looking. I think it will help catch their attention.”
“You make a good point so what do you have in mind?” Harry explained his thoughts to his Professor. Even though he had only had a day to think about it he had thought of quite a few spells that could be entertaining and show his skill. Of course he kept some of the plans quiet hoping to surprise even McGonagall when the time came.
They hammered out some additional details and then swapped stories of the past year. Harry found he loved talking about his experiences at Amazonis. Finally he excused himself and left the office. He checked his watch as he went. It was nearly ten o’clock. Perfect timing, he thought as he proceeded to the first floor office for his next meeting.
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