Chapter 11 Vive La Resistance Passed the elegant gargoyle, and up a spiral staircase, and the four were led into Dumbledore’s roomy, and comfortable office. Its normal appearance had a much darker face that day, however, as the headmaster sat behind his desk, and stared at the boys before him. Remus and Peter, who had never seen the office, momentarily forgot their fear and enjoyed looking around. Sirius and James, on the other hand, had been called in many times on past occasions because of pranks that had gotten a bit out of hand. They knew the drill, so they directly took their seats in front of the headmaster’s desk. The other two boys followed their example and sat in the remaining chairs. “In trouble again, I see.” Sirius looked to the wall and scowled at the painting of Phineas Nigellas. “Oh, sod off,” he groaned, in no mood to deal with his great great grandfather. “Temper, temper,” the former headmaster tutted. “Maybe I’ll just pop by home and tell your mother that you’re dragging the family name through the mud once again.” Sirius hurled a paperweight from Dumbledore’s desk at the portrait and hit his ancestor straight in the middle of his forehead. Nigellas disappeared from view and Dumbledore was finally able to start talking to the boys. “Now boys, you may not be aware of it but I have had my eye on you for a while,” he said and his blue eyes pierced straight through them. “I’ve kept watch on your school activities and I must say that I’m very impressed with your work.” “What? Your impressed with our schoolwork?” James gaped in disbelief. He and the others had been expecting to be told off, not praised for doing well in their classes. “Yes, Mr. Potter. And your display in Defense Against the Dark Arts today was enough to make up my mind about you four,” said Dumbledore. “So that’s what you want,” Peter said. “We thought you were going to yell at us for what we do every mon-” Sirius punched his thick friend in the back of the head then smiled sheepishly at his headmaster. “Shut up,” he whispered to Peter out of the corner of his mouth. “Yes, we didn’t want any one to know, especially not you, but once a month, er... we make get well cards for Remus,” James said in a would-be-innocent voice. Dumbledore cocked an eyebrow at the boys and they could tell he was clearly doubtful. “And what, may I ask, is so wrong about making cards for one of your best friends?” “Well, since you’ve dragged it out, the thing is... oh I’m so ashamed... but we use school supplies to make them.” James buried his face in his hands and peeked out between his fingers to see if Dumbledore was buying it at all. He saw that the headmaster still looked doubtful. “Er... we also use the supplies to super charge dungbombs. It cheers Remus up to see them explode in a rainbow of stinky goodness.” Remus had looked up when his name had been brought up and when he heard James’ lie his jaw hung slack. When Dumbledore looked over to him, however, he grinned and tried to look ashamed. “Sorry, Headmaster. I know I shouldn’t encourage such behavior as a Prefect but what can I say... I just love watching the super dungbombs explode. They sparkle and whistle; it’s like a really smelly firework,” he lied then added, “Of course, I do make sure to clean them up right away. I wouldn’t want Madam Pomfrey to have to deal with it.” Dumbledore’s eyes continued to pierce the boys for a few more minutes then he seemed to think it was better to avoid further questioning. He cleared his throat and cleaned his half moon spectacles off on the sleeve of his cloak. “Yes, well... where was I?” he asked the friends with a kind smile. “You were just saying you were impressed with our work in school,” Sirius prompted, glad that Dumbledore had decided to drop the subject. “Ah yes, now we come to the point. I am starting a special defense class for a few specially selected pupils and I would like it if you four would accept my invitation to join this class,” Dumbledore said. “You want us to take up another class?” James asked, too surprised to say yes to Dumbledore’s offer. “What he means to say is, of course we’ll take this class,” Sirius said. “But if you don’t mind me asking Professor, why are you starting this new class?” Dumbledore’s face grew quite grave. “As you must know, Voldemort’s power has been increasing dramatically the past few years. There have been larger and bolder attacks on part of the Death Eaters and I fear they may even be trying to recruit students.” Remus felt uneasy at these last words. He thought for a moment about telling Dumbledore about what he and his friends had seen in the Forbidden Forest but quickly decided against it. Telling Dumbledore that would bring up a lot of other questions he wasn’t ready to answer and he didn’t want to lose Dumbledore’s trust. This brought another thought to mind; one that had been plaguing him since the beginning of the week. “Professor Dumbledore,” he started slowly, “I think that you should expel me.” Dumbledore looked mildly surprised by this sudden assertion. “You should!” he screamed, jumping up from his chair and limping over to Dumbledore’s desk. “Have you been reading the papers?! Werewolves are attacking! And I’m a werewolf! I could flip out any minute! I could transform in the middle of a class or in the dorm when everyone’s sleeping! I’m a danger to everyone in this castle! You have to expel me! You have to get me as far away from you as possible! You must expel me NOW!” In a fit a passion, Remus slammed a clenched fist on the Headmaster’s desk, toppling a bottle full of quills. Dumbledore calmly replaced his quills back into their bottle, but he did not respond to Remus’ outburst. The others saw this as an opportunity to come to the defense of their friend. They leapt from their seats and began yelling all at once. “Don’t listen to him Professor!” “He doesn’t know what he’s saying!” “Peter must have hit him harder than we thought!” “He’s never hurt anyone!” “He’s never hurt us! He’s not a danger to anybody!” Dumbledore held up a hand and indicated that the four boys should be seated. He then turned his attention back to Remus. “What has brought you to that conclusion, Mr. Lupin?” he asked in his usual steady voice. “Well, as you said, Death Eaters are getting bolder. What if they somehow got onto school grounds? After seeing the reports in the newspapers about werewolves, I started to think I might be a threat to my classmates. If Death Eaters were to get to the school, what if they made me transform? Who’s to say what I might do... who I might hurt. That’s why I think you should expel me before I have a chance to injure or kill somebody,” Remus said in complete earnest. Dumbledore smiled and said, “I’m sorry to inform you Mr. Lupin, but I will not be expelling you today or any other day. And as for the Death Eaters, there is no proof so far that they are connected to the mysterious werewolf sightings.” “But what if something happens?” Remus asked. “Something could happen, which is why I need you here. You’ll be safest at Hogwarts and my defense class could also help prepare you for the unforeseen,” responded Dumbledore. “That goes for all of you. I will tell you at a later date when the first session will take place but you must not tell anyone that we had this meeting. But for now I believe you boys need to be getting off to lunch so that empty stomachs don’t distract you from the last class of the week.” The four boys left their seats and Dumbledore stood to watch them go. The boys started walking out of the headmaster’s office in a state of disbelief. They could never have expected the turn of events which had just taken place. Before they could travel back down the staircase, Dumbledore gave they one final piece of advice. “And boys, no more exploding dung bombs in the hospital wing, if you would be so kind. I don’t think it’s very sanitary.” They mumbled a few assurances that it wouldn’t happen again and went back out to the passage just outside of the office. They had only taken a few steps when James stopped, turned, and punched Remus in the face. Remus staggered back and rubbed his sore head. Sirius and Peter gaped at James in shock. “What was that for? I’ve all ready probably got a slight concussion from that spell Wormtail used on me,” Remus complained ruefully. “That’s for going and trying to get yourself expelled,” James responded. “Next time you could at least warn us so that we can blow something up and get ourselves expelled too.” Remus smirked and replied, “Maybe you could blow up some super dung bombs made with stolen school supplies.” James reddened with embarrassment and laughed along with the other boys. “Really, mate, that was a bloody awful lie,” Sirius chuckled. “It was the best I could think of on the spur of the moment and it’s really hard to think with Dumbledore staring you down,” James said in defense. “And I wouldn’t have had to lie at all if Wormtail hadn’t almost spilled the beans.” With their small fight forgotten, the boys made their way to the hospital wing to treat their injuries. The next day marked the beginning of the four week Quodpot tournament. The slightly altered Quidditch stadium was packed with students and teachers, eager to see their first real Quodpot game. Claire and Ande were waiting on the sidelines, dressed yet again in the Quidditch robes they had bought over the summer. When the two teams came out of the dressing rooms, they did not look pleased. Last weekend when the teams had been formed the girls had assigned them to either team one or two, but passed seeing if they were on the same team as their friends most people hadn’t really seen who they were with. Now that they had met up with their teammates many people were disappointed with how things had turned out. Remus and Sirius were okay with their team for the most part because there were mostly girls on the team (including Lily, Ande’s roommate Samantha Simmons and, much to Sirius’ displeasure, Bellatrix). The other players were two Hufflepuff girls, a Slytherin boy, and three other Ravenclaws- only one of whom was a boy. They were dressed in the Hufflepuff Quidditch uniforms, which had been slightly modified to depict a gopher instead of a badger. Team two, was dressed in the green Slytherin uniforms (which now displayed a dancing amphibian instead of a serpent). James was complaining loudly about his team. He had no problem with his cousins’ dorm mates, Melissa and June, or with the Hufflepuff boy and the Ravenclaw girl, but the remaining six players were- “Slytherins?! More than half my team are Slytherins!!” James shouted angrily in the twins’ faces. “Sirius and Remus get a team full of pretty girls and I get stuck with a bunch of sodding Slytherins!?!” “It’s not like we’re thrilled to be teamed with you Potter,” Lucius drawled, in his usual ‘I’m better than all of you’ attitude. Crabbe and Goyle sniggered stupidly at their leader’s comment and Snape glared daggers at his despised foe. “And what have you done to our uniforms? I refuse to be seen playing Quidditch with a frog on my robes.” “Everyone will be too distracted by your stinky playing to notice the fact that you’ve got a frog on your chest,” James laughed. Lucius’ face turned livid and he pulled out his wand. Before anyone could do anything a high-pitched whistle sounded. Everyone turned to see Claire and Ande looking irate. “Look, we’re sorry if you’re not pleased with your teams-” Team number two started yelling again but Ande held up her wand and continued, “But the teams were created randomly. So if you have anything more to say on that matter, tough. I suggest you learn to get along with your teammates because you will need to cooperate if you want to win. As for the uniforms, they will restored to their former conditions once the Quodpot tournament is complete.” “Why exactly do they have a frog and a gopher on them though?” Lily asked. “Those are your mascots,” Ande answered. “Yeah,” Claire said, “You guys are the Golden Gophers and the other team are the Funky Frogs.” Another tirade burst out and this one was harder to silence than the first. “Did she say Funky Frogs?” “I refuse to play.” “I feel ridiculous!” “Did she say Funky Frogs?!” “I think we should speak to the headmaster.” “These teams are wretched.” “Did she say Funky Frogs?!?” Claire and Ande watched their fellow students yell at them for a few more seconds then they had had enough. Claire raised her wand above her head and released a small explosion. This was enough to get the attention of the irritably Quodpot players and they held their tongues because Claire looked near murderous in her Wigtown Wanderers robes. “Thank you,” she said, with a nerve twitching in her eye. “We’re sorry about team names but it’s been a hectic week and those were the only ones we could come up with. Now stop being such babies and go play Quodpot!” “And have fun!” Ande called after them with a placating smile as they flew into position above the enchanted pitch. The twenty two players from the two teams flew into position. Sirius and James were face to face at the center of the stadium and Ande was above them with the starting ball. From the sidelines, Claire blew her whistle and Ande dropped the Quod then quickly flew to the sidelines. The stands erupted with cheering as the game began. Sirius managed to grab the Quod before James and flew away as fast as he could. He quickly ran into a wall of Slytherins. When he tried to turn he saw that he was surrounded on all sides. “Sirius, I’m open!” he heard Lily’s voice call from somewhere ahead of him. He left it to luck since he couldn’t see beyond Crabbe and Goyle and he threw the ball as hard as he could in front of him. “Black passes to Evans and... Goyle moves in to intercept but Evans makes the catch,” Professor Bloom announced. The girls had talked to him many times after class for advice on the care of their Hippogriffs (which also happened to be what they were studying in class) and they had found out he was actually a Quodpot fan. Since both of the sisters were needed to act as referees, they had asked him to be commentator for them. The crowd winced in unison when Crabbe and Goyle suddenly joined forces and collided head on with Lily. Ande blew her whistle loudly and was about to award the Golden Gophers a penalty shot when James flew in. Even though the Slytherins were technically his teammates, James wasn’t about to sit back and allow such a thing to happen to Lily. He flew in immediately and tried to attack the two boys. He quickly regretted the decision, though, because not only was he outnumbered, but the boys were also older, stronger, and at least twice as big as he was. “An odd move on Potter’s part,” Bloom said, “He turned against his own team and now they have gone against him as well.” “Stop!!” Ande shouted from the midst of the fight. “Your not supposed to attack each other!” The boys ignored her and things quickly got much worse. “Black seems to have forgotten the rules as well. He has flown in to help Potter... but now Black attacks Black- that would be Narcissa- and she is helped by Black- er, that would be Bellatrix- and now Black, Black, and Black are all fighting each other. Malfoy joins the fray and jumps Black but Lupin attacks him and Black pulls his hair, leaving Black in the hands of Malfoy... Ah! This is getting confusing! I give up!!” Bloom shouted in exasperation. Soon all twenty two players had been pulled into the fray. Claire and Ande watched helplessly from the sidelines. If they didn’t stop things soon, Dumbledore would undoubtedly cancel the rest of the tournament. “Stop the madness!!” Claire yelled. No one even looked in her direction so Claire turned to her sister. “I don’t think we have a choice.” “Desperate times call for desperate measures,” Ande agreed. She turned in place and pulled her wand out of her robes. She pointed it toward the sidelines and said, “Accio Quod crate.” A box full of the explosive red balls flew into the air and toward the two girls. Ande muttered a quick “Wingardium Leviosa,” and the box was levitated above the mob. Claire then pulled out her wand and aimed it at the crate, which the players had still not noticed. She said, “Dele Pilae” and the entire box of Quods exploded. Nearly half the players were blown off their brooms and bounced on the bewitched ground. This was definitely enough to get the attention of the remaining players. They looked at the two girls- most of them with blackened faces and some were still clutching the robes of someone they had been fighting with. “There’s more where that came from,” Claire warned them. “Yes, so it may be a good idea to finish playing the game like sane people,” Ande said, a hint of a threat in her voice as she spoke. The remaining players- eight in green and six in yellow- dusted themselves off and returned to their starting positions. Before the game could begin, the girls flew over to Crabbe and Goyle. “You two, out,” Claire commanded. “You started all of this and it’s only fair that both teams have equal numbers.” James sniggered as the Slytherins skulked over to the sidelines but shut up when Ande rounded on him. “You’re this close to being thrown off yourself, James, so watch it.” After what they had read in the Weekly Watchdog the day before, Claire and Ande were not in very good moods. They had been cheered up by Quodpot at first, but the fight had tested their patience. The players seemed to sense this and decided to do as they were told. After a short time out, during which the girls fetched more balls, the game resumed. The remaining Gophers leapt into action. Lily, Remus, and Samantha had formed a fairly strong team of their own and had scored two goals before the Frogs could even blink. Those who had been dismissed were cheering on the ground, mostly in support of fellow house members rather than teammates. And those in the stands cheered louder every time another student bounced off the pitch. Yellow and green flashed through the air, dodging and twisting, to the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ of the spectators. Remus, Lily, Bellatrix, and Samantha stared down their four opponents, James, Snape, Melissa, and June. “And there’s an intense face off as Andrea brings another Quod onto the field,” continued Bloom. “But they’re off once again! Lupin, Evans, and Simmons have again teamed up and it seems no one can stop- oh wait! And Shorn steals! The Gophers have to watch out for that Ravenclaw captain!” Melissa had given up on Snape, who other than growling didn’t contribute to their effort, and James, who would only try to hog the spotlight, so she paired up with June. The two girls passed the Quod over the heads of their opponents and dashed toward the bubbling cauldron. “And it’s another point for the Funky Frogs!” Bloom announced. After being shunned by his teammates, Snape decided to take matters into his own hands. He pulled his wand out from his robes and tried to blast anyone in sight; he didn’t even discriminate between friend and foe. Samantha was blown off her broom by one of the curses and Melissa failed to turn in time before she was blasted in the back. The crowd booed angrily and Bloom protested loudest of all with his magically intensified voice. “Oh come on ref! Take him down!” he shouted “We’re working on it,” Ande said as she and Claire tried to get to Snape. This was no simple task. Curses and jinxes were flying in every directions and other players had also started to retaliate with their own spells. Ande had finally had enough and attempted to calm the situation by expelling Snape from the pitch. But when the Slytherin shot Ande in the chest in anger, Claire went on the offensive like no one thought she would. Physically seizing him in a headlock, she dragged him off the pitch and threw him onto a bench with his teammates. But being out of the game didn’t stop James from blasting Snape off the seats as soon as he sat down. Claire’s eyes bugged out and she bore down upon her cousin. “OUT!!” she screamed. “What?” James asked innocently. Claire seemed at a loss for words in her anger. Ande flew to her side, slightly recovered from the blow she had received, and spoke for her sister, “First of all, you’re not supposed to attack your teammates. Secondly, you’re not supposed to use your wand. And finally, you are not supposed to attack players who are not even in the game any more!” James reluctantly left the pitch, mumbling things under his breath about the girls making up the rules as they go along. With the Gophers up two players, the rodents were quickly able to out fly the amphibious Funky Frogs. When Claire and Ande finally whistled to end the game, the students erupted into applause. The teachers were not nearly as amused and quickly hurried their pupils out of the stadium, eager to get them back to the school before the Quodpot chaos made its way into the rest of the school. The two teams limped and hobbled off of the pitch, anxious to either get to the hospital wing or take a hot bath. Students filed out of the stadium in high spirits, Quod explosions still ringing in their ears. As James trudged through the grass up to the castle, he spotted Lily walking at his side. She appeared to not have noticed him and for that reason he concluded that she had not thought to run away yet. She gingerly touched her jaw which had been elbowed by Crabbe during the match. “Are you all right?” he asked. “I don’t know-” Lily cut herself short when she realized who had spoken so softly to her. Beneath her dirt-smudged face, her green eyes studied him closely. It was the first civil question he had ever asked her, and her expression darkened. She suddenly knew beyond a doubt that he was merely trying to swoon her again. “Why do you even care, James?” Lily snapped sharply. James took a step away and glared at her, “Fine. Sorry for being concerned. Next time I’ll-” Before James could finish speaking, he bumped into the person in front of him. Looking around, he suddenly realized that everyone had stopped moving. After a moment of stunned silence, whispers started to spread like wild fire. James craned his head to try to see what was wrong, but there were too many people in front of him. He was stuck in front of the main doors while everyone crowded around something in the Entrance Hall. “Everyone, please go to your dormitories immediately,” Dumbledore commanded. No one dared question his authority and they automatically did as they were told. As the students slowly filtered into the schools and down the separate corridors, James was able to catch his first glance of the disturbance. Teachers were huddled together, looking high above them, with worry written on their faces. Floating in the air where everyone could see it was a message. Someone had been in the school while the faculty and students were watching Quodpot and had magically written something in fiery green letters. The acidic words dripped as blood upon the marble floors, leaving nothing untouched. James dared a closer look so that he could read what it said. The message read: THE DARK LORD HAS YOU IN HIS COILS. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT BOW TO HIS POWER, HIS FANGS WILL STRIKE DOWN UPON THE MOST IMPURE... Authors\' notes: Whew! We skipped any homwork we had just to get this wonderful chapter to you. And as the message says above, our fangs will strike down all those who do not review us... we swear that\'s what it said...
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