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Chapter 10 : In Which Quidditch Is Played
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Luckily Scor’s love for Quidditch overrides his hatred for Gryffindors, meaning in the run up to the Slytherin/Ravenclaw match his bad mood was down to stress about the match rather than down to being angry with me. It suited me just fine.
“This isn’t just Quidditch,” Scor said, pacing up and down in the changing room as we waited for the match to start. I’d painted green and silver stripes across his face and he’d charmed his hair green with a silver streak to match. Slytherin are good at displays of house loyalty.
“I’m confused,” Oz said, scratching his head and yawning. “What is it, then?”
Scor glared at him.
“Seems to me,” Joe said, lounging against Oz while I painted his face to match Scor’s. “That Quidditch is exactly what this is.”
“It’s like you read my mind, Joey,” Oz said, putting his arms around Joe’s chest to give him a cuddle.
“Shut up!” Scor was looking a bit red faced for a Malfoy, and Joe and Oz seemed to realise that it was probably in their interests not to annoy him.
I finished painting Joe’s face and put my paints down. I’d already done my own face and Oz’s, and the rest of the team had done their own, streaking war paint across their cheeks rather than going for a full face of make up like I did. I get overexcited with face paint and like to use as much as possible.
Joe wrapped his arms around my tummy and leaned his cheek against my back, probably smudging paint across my Quidditch robes. I tensed but didn’t move away. There’s no point trying to stop Joe being affectionate. It just confuses him.
“Right,” Scor said. “This match is important. Ravenclaw are a much better team than Hufflepuff. You saw their match against Gryffindor. Their Seeker might have just got lucky, but their Chasers are good. Toby, you’re going to have your work cut out.”
Toby Carter, our keeper, gave a sullen nod from the corner of the room. He’s a very talented keeper but he’s always sulking and doesn’t really contribute charisma to the team. Scor quite likes him, though. Scor likes grumpy people.
Scor kept talking and I closed my eyes. I was much too sleepy for Quidditch. I’d been awake since some ungodly hour because Scor liked to go flying early in the morning before matches. He said it helped him assess the conditions, or something. I was still feeling like a terrible friend so it was easy for him to pressurise me into going with him.
I yawned and let my head loll back onto Joe’s shoulder. Joe leaned further back into Oz so that the three of us were all in some kind of strange cuddle. He likes things like that. Weirdo.
Joe absentmindedly tugged on a strand of my hair that was coming loose from my ponytail. I wriggled away to stop him and he held onto me more tightly.
Behind us, Oz had started snoring.
“CHASERS. Dammit. We have a Quidditch Match in TWENTY THREE AND HALF MINUTES! Why are you NAPPING?”
I opened one eye and narrowed it at Scor. He had a weird pulsing vein in his forehead. Attractive.
“Sozzles, Cap’n,” Oz said through a yawn. Behind me, Joe was shaking with restrained laughter.
“Have you been listening to anything I’ve said? What have I been telling you do, Ollie?” Scor glared at me.
I sat up, pulling myself out of Joe’s arms, and looked sleepily up at Scor.
“Um. Win?” I grinned at him hopefully.
“Yeah. You better,” he said. He was still glaring but his voice was softer. “Get lots of goals, you three.”
“We always do,” I said with another yawn.
“Yep. Goals are kind of our speciality,” Joe said.
“Alright,” Scor said, looking suspicious. “Well, realistically, Gryffindor are our main threat for the cup. True, they lost to Ravenclaw last term, but talent wise they’re a stronger team. Ravenclaw just got lucky for the snitch. That means the main aim for today’s match is to win by a wide enough margin to prepare ourselves for our Gryffindor match next term. Gryffindor will probably flatten Hufflepuff so we need to make sure our total points are higher than theirs before we have to play them.”
“We can beat the Gryffies any day,” Derek Rider, one of our Beaters said with a shrug. “Half their team are girls.”
“Hey now, let’s not say things we might regret,” I said, turning quickly to face him and trying to look intimidating, which was somewhat difficult when my eyes were pretty much glued closed with sleepiness and my face was coated with paint.
I’m not a fan of our Beaters. Derek Rider and Alex Arram are both in fifth year, and demonstrate the side of Slytherin I’d rather not see. I keep telling Scor to kick them off the team but he seems to think they’re a valuable asset.
“Go easy on the sexist comments, Rider. I won’t hold Ollie back if she decides to hex you,” Scor said, looking frustrated. “Anyway, the fact one of their Beaters is a girl didn’t stop Gryffindor keeping control of both bludgers for 75% of our match against them last year.”
“That was only because of Freddie Weasley,” Alex said sulkily.
“Most of their direct contact hits came from Leila Spinnet, actually,” Scor said. “So there goes that theory.”
“Yeah. Take your misogyny elsewhere, Beaters,” Oz said, lounging back in his seat. “Spinnet could take you any day. You’re an embarrassment to the team.”
Derek stood up abruptly, looking furious. “You’ll regret that, King.”
Oz pulled Joe in front of him. “Don’t hurt me. Take Joey instead. He’s less pretty.”
“You think this is funny?” Alex clenched his fists, standing up next to Derek.
“Reckon he needs us to wipe that smile off his face,” Derek said.
“Why? Are you finding it distressingly attractive?” Oz widened his grin.
“Looks like it,” Joe said, throwing an arm around Oz’s shoulder and messing up his hair.
“You saying I’m gay?” Derek pulled his wand out of his robes.
Oz raised his eyebrows. “So what if I am? You look pretty close with Alex here.”
Alex pulled out his wand as well. “How dare you…”
Oz made no movement to get out his own wand, and instead quite happily smacked a kiss onto Joe’s cheek. I wasn’t really sure what he was trying to achieve by winding up Alex and Derek, but also wasn’t that bothered. They hadn’t even sat their OWLs yet. There was no way they were going to win if they actually tried to hurt Ozzy.
Scor was jumping up and down looking agitated, obviously unsure how he was going to go about breaking up a fight between his Beaters and Chasers.
“Oh, for Merlin’s sake, shut up.”
Everyone turned around, shocked at Toby’s voice. He was still sitting in his corner, but it was definitely him that had spoken.
“Don’t we have a Quidditch match to play?” Toby said quietly.
Scor turned bright red. I think he might genuinely have forgotten that we were about to play Ravenclaw.
“Right. Yes. Thank you, Toby. Everyone sit down,” Scor said. “Um, okay, we’ve got seven minutes. So, erm…”
He looked like he was panicking. He probably was. Scor puts a lot of thought into his pre-match speeches, and he wouldn’t have been prepared for the interruptions.
“You were saying we need as big a point margin as possible,” I said, nodding towards him. Oz and Joe sat back down next to me.
“Yeah. I was. Right. So, like Ollie said, we want to win this by as many points as we can. That way we’ll have more leeway when it comes to the Gryffindor match next term. Ideally I’d like to win this one by 300 points,” Scor said, returning to his business like captain voice.
“Three hundred? You’re insane,” Oz said, crossing his arms. “Come on, we’re good but we can’t score thirty goals. Look at what we’re working with! We’ve got Ollie as a chaser.”
“You say that like I didn’t score five goals more than you in the Hufflepuff match,” I said, pulling a face at Oz.
He laughed and reached across Joe to ruffle my hair. “We wanted to let you feel special.”
“Stop getting distracted, all of you,” Scor said, frowning at his watch. “We have five and half minutes. I’m not insane. And you're an idiot. I’m not asking you to score thirty goals. I’m asking you to score at least fifteen more than the Claws so I can catch the snitch.”
“Hmm, you make an interesting point,” Oz said. “Fifteen goals, you say?”
“Fifteen more than the Claws,” Scor said with a nod. “And then I catch the snitch.”
“And what if you don’t catch the snitch?” Alex still looked cross.
“I will catch the snitch.”
“But what if you don’t? What if they get there first?”
“They won’t,” Scor said confidently. “Okay team. Let’s do this.”
“Win by 300 points, then party in the Common Room,” Oz said, pulling himself up off the bench. “Piece of cake.”
“It’s not a piece of cake. I have to keep you lot fifteen goals ahead,” Toby said. “Stop acting like this is going to be easy.”
“He didn’t say it was going to be easy. He said piece of cake,” Joe said.
“Yeah. Because there will be cake at the party in the Common Room,” Oz said, nodding and pulling what I’m sure he thought was a wise face.
“For the love of Salazar, shut up,” Scor said from the door. “Get out here right now. Merlin, I don’t know how you all ended up on the team. Come on, Ollie.”
I picked up my broom and hurried over to him, gently leaning into him for a second.
“It’ll be alright, Scor. Breathe.”
“Just…get lots of points, okay?” He spoke to me in an undertone, obviously having given up on trying to get the others to take things seriously.
“Course I will. You too,” I said with a grin, following him out the door.
And here come the Slytherins. Captained by Scorpius Malfoy, this is the team currently in the lead for the cup. After a huge win last term against Hufflepuff, I’m sure I’m not the only one excited to see them play again.
Lucy Weasley’s chirpy voice rang out from the Commentator’s box. I was glad it was her. She’s usually pretty good about remaining unbiased, unless we’re playing Gryffindor, in which case the talons come straight out. Other commentators are more likely to bring their dislike for Scor (and Slytherin in general) into their commentary.
So let’s hear it for the Slytherin Team! Carter, Arram, Rider, Montague, King, Bell, aaannnd Malfoy!
Lucy waited for the cheers from the Slytherin section of the stands to fade away. The other three quarters of the crowd had obviously decided to support Ravenclaw.
And from the other side we have the RAVENCLAWS! After their success last team against, erm, well, Gryffindor, who were just having a bad day, the Ravenclaw team are currently looking at second place! This is sure to be a good match. Both teams will be anxious to maintain their winning streak.
So that’s Quigley, Marlow, Marlow, Davies, Bryce, Peakes, aaaannnd Bones! This is Captain and Keeper Aimee Quigley’s last year at Hogwarts, so we can guarantee that she’s looking to win today!
Scor stepped forward to shake the Ravenclaw captain’s hand. I don’t think he realises he does it, but he has a different walk when he’s captaining the team. Usually he’s very straight-backed and elegant, but on the Quidditch pitch he has more of a swagger. Cassie pointed it out to me after the first match he captained, and after that it was impossible not to notice.
And the players launch into the air. Montague and King are having a bit of a cuddle. Apparently it’s one of their good luck rituals. And now their Captain’s looking pretty angry so I think that, yes, they’ve now moved apart to get ready.
Bell and Davies fly to the centre, ready for Madam Chang to release the balls. They’ve both been playing for years now, of course, so this isn’t the first time they’ve come face to face in this position.
AND THE BALLS ARE RELEASED! The Quaffle’s been thrown up, looks like Davies, no, BELL with the quaffle. Bell passes backwards to Montague, who sends it straight back to her, and Merlin, look at that girl fly. You can’t fault her technique. It’s moments like this that it’s not hard to see how she’s related to Gryffindor captain Jason Wood. Both of them look more comfortable in the sky than on the ground. And Marlow, Clovis Marlow, that is, is going in for a bludger. He’s hit it towards his sister…interesting tactics, okay, and Cecily Marlow has now hit it. That’s clever! Passing the bludger to your teammate. Look out, Bell!
The bludger smacked into my ribcage with a dull thud, and I dropped the Quaffle, cursing.
“You okay, Ollie?” Scor was immediately by my side. It’s kind of scary how quickly he can move when he’s on a broom.
“Yeah, think so,” I said, my voice coming out in a bit of a gasp.
“No broken ribs?” He looked concerned. For a moment I felt touched, and then I remembered this was Scorpius-Malfoy-Quidditch-Captain, not Scorpius-Malfoy-Best-Friend. If he was concerned it was because he was counting on us scoring fifteen more goals than Gryffindor and didn’t want any injuries to prevent that.
“Nah, pretty sure it’s just going to be a nasty bruise.” I pressed down on my side to make sure it felt normal, and gave Scor a reassuring nod.
And that’s Bryce of Ravenclaw with the Quaffle, Bryce with the Quaffle. And Montague tries to intercept her pass to Peakes but has to swerve to avoid an EXCELLENT bludger hit by Clovis Marlow, and Peakes has the Quaffle. Peakes in possession, Peakes in possession, and he shoots…AND CARTER SAVES IT!
That was an AMAZING save by Slytherin’s Toby Carter. Pity for Carter that there aren’t scouts here today, or he’d probably be set for a try out for next year.
I sped away from Scor, to about halfway down the pitch, waving to Toby. He winked, raised his arm as if to pass the Quaffle to Oz, and then sent it soaring towards me.
It smacked into my side where the bludger had hit, making me wince, but I tucked it under my arm and was headed back towards the Ravenclaw goals before their chasers even realised the Quaffle hadn’t gone to Oz.
And that’s Bell in possession again, looks like that hit didn’t affect her determination! Peakes is trying to catch up, but there’s a big gap there. And Bell aims, she shoots…And Bell scores! That’s 10 points to Slytherin! Slytherin are in the lead, 10-0.
I punched the air and spun around to grin at Scor. He gave me a nod of approval. Joe was hand jiving at the other end of the pitch.
Quigley looks pretty cross, she passes to Bryce. Bryce passes straight to Davies, but KING intercepts. And now King with the Quaffle. King. Montague. King. Montague. King. Man, it’s like these two can read each other’s minds. King aims, he shoots…he, wait, he passes to Montague, who SCORES! Brilliant tactic, whoever came up with that one. Feigning shooting and then passing so your fellow chaser can score. Some intense planning has gone into both teams’ game plans today. So that’s 20-0 to Slytherin!
The match was easier than I’d expected it to be. Toby played a fantastic game, only letting in two goals, and one of them was an impressive penalty he couldn’t possibly have saved. Something wasn’t hanging together properly in the Ravenclaw team. Although their Beaters weren’t prejudiced idiots, and their Chasers were all very good individual players, they didn’t work together like we did, and after an hour we were winning 160 points to 20.
And that’s King with the Quaffle. King is now flying backwards and waving at Davies. Davies, erm, doesn’t look very happy, probably understandably. And King throws the Quaffle over his shoulder…what? Not sure why…and, wow, Montague catches it. I swear these two have some kind of telepathic connection. it’s like they’re brothers. Or soul mates or something.
Joe blew a kiss to Lucy Weasley and tossed the Quaffle to me. I caught it and flew sharply upwards, ready to drop it to Oz when he reached me.
And Bones of Ravenclaw looks like he’s seen the snitch! He’s DIVING. THE SNITCH HAS BEEN SIGHTED. If Ravenclaw catches the snitch now, they’ll win by ten points. Malfoy’s there right behind Bones, though, and we all know how fast he can fly.
All the players had paused in the air to watch the seekers’ dive. If Scor didn’t manage to catch it, we’d lose the match. If he did catch it, we’d win by 290 points. Something about that irritated me. Scor wanted to win by 300.
I glanced over at Quigley, who was hovering by the left goal hoop and watching the seekers, both hands splayed over her eyes so she could watch nervously through the gaps between her fingers.
I looked down at Oz. He wasn’t watching the seekers, and was instead looking straight at me. When I made eye contact with him, he gave me a slow, deliberate wink.
I shrugged and threw the Quaffle, watching it sail across a third of the pitch and fly neatly through the middle hoop.
Woah! Unexpected move there from Olivia Bell! But what a throw! Thats 170-20 to Slytherin.
Scor noticeably sped up, reaching out in front of Bones. Scor’s arms were longer, and he veered slightly to the right, grabbed at the air in front of him, and then threw both arms up into the air.
And Scorpius Malfoy has caught the snitch! Slytherin win by 300 points! What an amazing game. I don’t think we were expecting that result today. It’s going to be hard for Ravenclaw to maintain second place in the cup after this performance.
Oz darted upwards and grabbed the top of my broom, pulling me behind him towards the ground. I stopped listening to Lucy Weasley, and instead focussed on Scor’s smile.
“You did it, Ollie! I knew you would. Eight goals by yourself!” Scor grabbed me in a quick hug as soon as I landed. I winced as he squeezed my bruised ribs, but he let go of me quickly and turned to congratulate Toby.
Joe and Oz were doing some kind of victory handshake that ended in a giant hug. Both of them looked overjoyed, and I realised with a small pang of sadness that Oz only had one more Quidditch match with us before he graduated.
I smiled at the team, and watched Scorpius turn to shake Quigley’s hand. She looked disappointed but she gave him a small smile and said well done. They’re okay, really, Ravenclaws. Gryffindors would be trying to say we’d cheated.
Scor looked as though he was going to come back and talk to me, but his gaze stopped on a point in the crowd instead. I walked over to him and looked in the direction he was staring.
Two wizards in auror robes and a witch were striding towards us, stony faced and serious looking.
I recognised one of the wizards as Teddy Lupin, whose face was familiar to most of the wizarding world (his parents were war heroes and he's Harry Potter's godson. Fame comes with the territory). It was strange to see him without his blue hair and casual smile. The witch was one of the idiots who’d questioned Scor and I about Cassie. Clementine or something. Her hair was carefully curled and, unlike the aurors, she was smiling.
Scor was shaking next to me, and I put a hand on his arm, trying to reassure him. The whole school was still in the stands from the match, and it would be the wrong time for him to show how much the presence of Law Enforcement officers bothered him. He had enough rubbish spread about him as it was.
The aurors kept walking, looking straight at us, which I thought was strange. Professor McGonagall was hurrying behind them, talking furiously and looking frustrated. As they came closer we could make out some of her words.
“Now, really, was it quite necessary for you to take him straight from the pitch?.”
Scor’s shaking intensified and I held his hand.
“It’ll be okay, Scor. They’re not here for you,” I said, trying to make my voice soothing. “It’s nothing to worry about. You’ve not done anything wrong. You don’t have to talk to them.”
It seemed I was wrong, though. Teddy Lupin stopped next to us, looking slightly awkward.
“Erm, Scorpius Malfoy?” He looked at Scor with an apologetic expression. They’re cousins, and although their families aren’t exactly close it was obviously a strange situation for Teddy.
“You know that’s me,” Scor said, his voice wavering. He held onto me more tightly.
“Mr Malfoy,” Clementine said with a smile. Her voice was full of all the fake friendliness I’d noticed in her before. “Lovely to see you again. Would you follow us please?”
“What? Why?” Scor sounded terrified.
I pulled his hand to let him stand a little way behind me.
“Just come with us, yeah? Let’s not cause a scene,” Teddy said. He had a few strands of blue in his hair, and I guessed he’d had to quickly change into a more professional look and hadn’t properly looked in a mirror.
“I…why?” Scor was squeezing my fingers uncomfortably tightly. It hurt more than the bludger hit had.
“Please, mate,” Teddy said. He looked embarrassed.
“It’s alright, Scor,” I said, leaning into him to show him more support. “I’ll come with you, kay?”
“I’m afraid that won’t be possible,” the other male auror said with a disdainful glance down at me. His mouth was a thin line across his face and his voice was completely expressionless.
“Why not? He wants me there,” I said, offering the auror one of my best glares.
“Can’t do it,” Teddy said with a wince. “He’s a suspect. We need to take him in by himself.”
“Mr Malfoy, would you kindly follow us without complaint? I can assure you, this will be a lot more difficult if you continue to object.” The serious faced auror was pulling what he obviously thought was a professional expression, but he looked mean.
“But you haven’t told me WHY,” Scor said, his voice rising with his panic.
I could feel other students staring at us, trying to figure out what was happening. Behind us, the rest of the Quidditch team was listening closely to the conversation.
The serious faced auror looked almost surprised by Scor’s anger, and gave a small incline of his head, as if he was giving in to something.
“Scorpius Malfoy. You’re wanted for questioning about your whereabouts on 2nd and 3rd January. You may appoint a lawyer for the meeting if you so wish,” he said.
“Why would I need a lawyer? Why do you care where I was?”
“We have new evidence that has shown it is necessary to question you in relation to the disappearance and suspected abduction of Miss Cassandra Selwyn.”
Scor turned chalk white.
He let go of my hand.
I felt myself sway on the spot, and then Scor had stepped away from me and towards Teddy Lupin.
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