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Cassie dove for the Snitch, spinning out of the dive at the last possible second, the golden snitch clasped in her fingers. Dumbledore had finally abolished the ‘no brooms for first years’ rule, and Michael Flint had wasted no time in drafting her for the Slytherin Team. She was the only girl and by far the smallest. She was a good foot shorter than the shortest previous player and so thin, that they could have made two uniforms in her size out of the one that had been given to her. With Krystle and Vanessa’s help, she had finally managed to make it fit.
She loved the constant activity of the game and she won praise for her quick catches. Practice was finally over and she trudged over to the bleachers where Julie sat waiting patiently. “Sorry, Jules, but we are so going to crush you tomorrow. Did you see that dive? And Flint didn’t miss a single shot.”
“Gryffindor will take you down.”
Cassie whirled around to face smug, smirking, self-satisfied Potter. “Oh, yeah? I heard they made you seeker. Guess they’re focusing their energies on the House Cup this year rather than the Quidditch Cup.”
“I’ll have you know that I’m quite good. After all, my dad’s the best. Plays for England, didn’t you know?”
“As Uncle Harry sends me postcards, I figured it out, but nobody bests this Malfoy. Both Julie and I will totally crush you. Jules is just as good a seeker as I am.”
“We’ll see if you change your tune after the final match in the spring. Gryffindor vs. Slytherin. See you two around.”
Cassie swore in Latin, French, and Romanian as he strutted off. When she finally reached English in her litany, Julie put her hand over her twin’s mouth. “Don’t. You know one of the teachers will hear about it if you swear in English. Go kick his butt later in Uncle Severus’s class, okay?”
Cassie nodded and stepped back. “I need a shower, so I’ll meet you in the Great Hall for dinner.” Her twin shrugged and walked away chatting with Erica, so she disappeared into the locker room. Very quietly, she picked the lock to Derek’s locker and put some of Uncle Fred’s itching powder in Derek’s practice clothes. Then she wiped the surface of his locker clean and returned to her own locker as the rest of the team staggered in. “Flint, does Gryffindor have the pitch after dinner?”
“Yeah, do you want me to ask Snape for a pass so we can practice more instead?” the tall boy asked in confusion. Usually his team hated to practice.
“Oh, no. But make sure you all come down after dinner to watch the show. Bring your friends.”
A bare ghost of a smile flickered across Michael Flint’s face. “I can’t wait. I’ll bring Alexa and the rest of the Fourth Years.”
Rune dropped his bludger bat, and hugged her. “The First Years won’t miss it. Is it Potter? I saw you talking to him outside.”
She looked up at him innocently. “Is what Potter? You didn’t hear anything from me.” If they hadn’t just heard her invite them down, heck even though they had heard her, they couldn’t help half-believing her. Perfect.

Cassie stayed well above the game and out of the way of the bludgers. Julie waited down below the main action of the game. Cassie cheered when Flint scored yet another goal, after Rune took out the Keeper with a well-aimed bludger. They were ahead 170-30. One more goal and it wouldn’t matter whether or not she got the snitch, not that she would miss. Just because her opponent was her sister didn’t mean that she was going to give in, but she knew that Julie was good. Flint put the quaffle away a second time, and she dived after the tiny gold ball that she had been keeping an eye on and waiting for the score to go up or Julie to see it. The force of her dive almost threw her off the broom, but she gripped it tightly and forgot about everything but reaching the snitch. Julie had seen it as well and was heading up. They were each about ten feet away from the snitch . . . eight feet . . . six feet . . . and Julie veered just a little to the left. Cassie’s fingers closed around the struggling ball as a strangled cry of surprise left her. The Slytherins were cheering, but she threw the ball aside and wheeled around on her sister. “You let me win!”
Julie shook her head. “No, you had it. Congratulations.”
“It’s not a win, when you step aside. You could have tied it and we’d be even. You LET me win!” Cassie blinked back tears as her teammates surrounded her and started thumping her on the back. She pulled away. “It doesn’t count! She-“ The Slytherins didn’t care. She dove down, drawing a couple of screams from the stands as she waited until three feet from the ground to level out, and leapt off of the broom. She held onto her haughty and proud demeanor as she stalked off of the field, waiting until she was behind the stands to run down to the lake and the tiny cave behind the waterfall. Then she flung herself down on the large rock and cried for a long time.

When she woke up, someone was next to her but it was too dark to tell who it was. “Wake-up, Princess.”
“Daddy?” she whispered, even though she knew Draco was still stuck in Tokyo at a business meeting. It was why he had missed the game to begin with.
“No, come on.” The mystery person pulled her to her feet and wrapped an arm around her shoulders to guide her. “Let’s get you back up to the castle.” She couldn’t place the voice, was too tired and upset to do so.
“She let me win,” she whispered. “I can’t believe she did that to me.”
The arm left her shoulders and rubbed circles on her back to comfort her. “I know.”
“I could have beaten her. Anyway, she didn’t need to throw it away. I could have won on my own. Now I’ll never know for sure.”
“You would have. She was fighting gravity. You weren’t. Good choice to take the high ground.”
“Air,” she corrected sleepily. “High air. It’s played on brooms, silly.”
“Someone needs to go to bed,” the arm continued to guide her through the corridors now, and reaching the portrait, muttered softly. “Angelus Diabla.”
Cassie was suddenly standing in front of the girls’ dormitory staircase. “Thanks, Rune.” She stood on tiptoe to kiss his cheek, before starting up.
“No problem, Princess.”
She reached the top and collapsed into her bed only to sit up swiftly and stare at two of her three best friends. “Rune, never mind that this is the girls’ dormitory. How on earth did you beat me up the steps?”
Rune looked at her in confusion. “What are you talking about?”
“You came down to the lake and got me and brought me back.”
“I’ve been sitting with Vanessa since after dinner. Her father is in the hospital. He had a stroke.” As Rune spoke, he shifted the blonde girl slightly off him and carried her gently over to the vacant bed, before returning to the window seat.
“That’s awful, but if you didn’t, then who did?” Cassie looked up in confusion. “It had to have been a Slytherin. No one else knows our password.”
“It wasn’t a first year. The girls are all up here, and Brayden, Carlos, and Tristan were asleep when I left.”
“No one else knows that I go down there,” she said in confusion.
“Could it have been your sister? What about Potter?” That was even more ludicrous than the idea that her sister would have the audacity to come after her when Cassie was in a mood and it was Julie’s fault and she told Rune so. “Oh, come on, you know Potter’s crushing on you. All those fights.”
“Derek Potter has hated my guts since we were six years old. The feeling is entirely mutual. And even if a shred of humanity resides in that thick skull of his, which I doubt, there is no way he would be nice to me after I filled his uniform with itching powder. He got knocked off his broom by a bludger, for goodness sake.”
“Maybe he doesn’t know that it was you.”
“Potter knows it was me. The whole school knows it was me. He just can’t prove it,” Cassie smirked, and then with a sigh got out of bed. “I’ve got to go ask Fagin to change the password just in case.”
“I’ll do it on my way to bed. Just keep an eye on ‘Nessa.”
“Will do.”
A/N: Well, there are the first three chapters. I hope you like it.

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