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Chapter Thirty One

There was a brief struggle to reach the door inside the staffroom but eventually everyone made it out of the room and walked as quickly as they could to the front doors without actually resorting to running. When they opened the doors they looked out to the Quidditch pitch, where by the looks of things there was complete chaos. There were 28 people on brooms and various balls flying about through the air. Throughout it Anthony and Neville were cheering and commentating the game.

“And the Ravenclaws are coming up fast behind the Slytherins….” Anthony shouted.

“Nasty tackle by Flint on half the Hufflepuff team!”

“Duck, Cho!” There was a shout of horror from the fans as Cho Chang got a bludger to the face. The teachers quickly made their way up into the stands and watched the hectic match.

“The scores currently stand at Gryffindor in the lead with 140 points, Ravenclaw second with 120, Slytherin in third with 110 and Hufflepuff in last place with 90 points. If any of our four Seekers can catch the Snitch now then it’s all over!” Neville said to the crowds.

“Fantastic save by Weasley there!” Anthony said.

“Malfoy’s seen the Snitch!” Anthony and Neville cried at the same time and the other three Seekers soared after him through the sky and all four went into a spectacular dive.

“Watch out, Harry!” Neville shouted as the Slytherin beaters hit every Bludger in the air at the Seekers. The Seekers broke apart in their dive and scattered as five Bludgers flew straight at them. Malfoy didn’t and went straight for the Snitch, determined to beat Potter for once. They all hit him, one on the head, two on the back, one on each leg and one on his outstretched arm, breaking it instantly. Harry, Cho and Justin couldn’t help but grin as they flew after the Snitch once more. A stray bludger almost knocked Cho off her broom and she fell ten feet or so until one of her team caught her and Justin and Harry flew on after the tiny golden ball. Harry reached out as far as he could and felt the fluttering of its tiny wings on his fingertips and grabbed it, holding it tightly in his fist.

“GRYFFINDOR WINS!” Anthony shouted and there was a stupendous cheer from the crowd. As always Malfoy wasn’t pleased by this and, taking charge of one of the beaters bats, he hit three Bludgers straight after him in quick succession, none of them hitting and one of them flying straight at the teachers stand, where Professor McGonagall obliviated it and took 100 points from Slytherin. Overall, everyone was pleased by this new version of the popular game, which the teachers later discovered had been invented by Potter and Weasley in the Common room earlier that day.

“We won!” Ron said as he landed next to Hermione who smiled slightly and then an odd change came over her expression and she grabbed Ron’s face and kissed him before she came back to her senses and ran off with her face in her hands up the castle. Snape smirked from up in the teachers stands and made his way back down to the ground.

Malfoy collapsed onto his knees in the middle of the Quidditch pitch and Snape walked over to him to conjure him onto a stretcher. Remus grinned, and muttered the incantation for the Imperious curse and the Sonorus curse at Malfoy.

“Professor…” Malfoy said in the middle of the pitch, heard by all and producing from his pocket an onion ring from earlier that day. He grabbed his professor’s hand and said the words that no one had ever expected to hear. “Will you marry me?!” There was an eruption of laughter all around the stands and the people still in the air had to land quickly to prevent themselves from falling of their brooms. Snape stared at the boy horror-struck, and Malfoy stared at Snape as he fluttered his eyelashes.

“Well Professor?” Harry asked daringly as he walked over the pitch to him, “Will you marry him?” Snape leapt at him with an angry cry and for a moment it looked like he had him but Harry was still on his broom and flew up into the air just a few feet above Snape’s humiliated head.

“I’ll get you for this, Potter.” Snape muttered before marching off into the castle, leaving Draco still on his knees in the middle of the pitch. The rest of the school filed back into the building and into the Great Hall for tea.

Severus Snape was the first in the hall and had to endure even more time of his colleagues’ snide comments of the previous events. He glared across the room at Potter who noticed him looking and waved cheerily at him, to which Snape glowered at him even more darkly, causing the Gryffindors to laugh. I’ll get you for this Potter, no one humiliates Severus Snape and lives to tell the tale… He thought darkly and already plans of how best to get the boy were forming in his mind, after all if Draco couldn’t properly get Potter then he would just have to take matters into his own hands. The first thing he was going to do was to discover the location of Gryffindor tower.

Dinner ended and Harry left his seat before anyone else on their table and moments afterwards Snape left also in the same direction, something that Remus, Filius and Minerva found very suspicious.

“He’s going to get him, I know it.” Remus said, “And it wasn’t Harry that made Malfoy propose.”

“It was you!” Filius laughed.

“Harry can look after himself; he’s proven that numerous times.” Minerva said lightly, “Very good work on Malfoy though.”

Snape followed Harry through various passageways and onto many different floors until he realised that Harry must know he was following him and was intentionally leading him around the school on a wild goose chase. He watched as Harry turned round a blind corner and walked slowly after him, and then he stopped in shock when he realised that the place Potter had just entered was a dead-end. At the end of the corridor was a solid wall and he walked down to it, examining the walls on the way for any passageways out; he found none. He turned to go back the way he came but then on the other side he found a wall, he looked around quite shocked and walked down to the new wall that most certainly hadn’t been there before. There was a small noise behind him and the wall had got closer! Panic began to rise in his throat and he ran to the side on his left, hoping for a passageway to get him out of the mad area of the corridor… There was a creak behind him and he span round to catch the person who must have been controlling this and found a wall inches from his face. He whimpered slightly and fell back against the original wall. He heard laughter from nearby and recognised it instantly. Snape reached out to hammer on the wall infront of him and realised to his horror that it was not real… It was only a hologram. With as much dignity that he could have mustered under the circumstances he passed through the wall and into the corridor where he saw Lupin and Potter stood laughing at him, he turned back and saw that from this side the walls were translucent and he narrowed his eyes dangerously at the two who were determined to humiliate him as much as possible.

Reducto!” Snape shouted in a violent rage at Harry and the powerful spell sped towards Harry. Remus stepped forwards and blocked it with ease.

“Don’t let us do this again; it is not in your nature to make the same mistake twice, Severus.” Remus said in a quiet voice. Harry stood partly hidden by his guardian, watching Snape’s expression out of the corner of his eye, whilst his eyes stayed on his wand. Snape was not pleased – he had wanted to blast the arrogant boy into the wall and then march off as the victor, leaving the foolish wolf worrying over him. Unfortunately he had not seen this as one of the possible consequences of attempting to curse him, although he really should have known, after all, it was well known amongst the staff of the protectiveness of them over each other. He felt disgusted in the way that the rest of the staff thought it was so brilliant that Potter had a new guardian who ‘loved’ him and whom he ‘loved’ back… Hah! He knew it was utter nonsense and that they didn’t love each other any more than he loved Draco Malfoy, it was just a show, a show to irritate him; wasn’t that was Potter was made for? To be the bane of his life and now that he was dead his even more arrogant son had taken up the same role in his life.

He still didn’t know what to do… The last time he had dared to duel with Lupin had been in their last year at school and he had attempted to catch him unawares out in the grounds whilst he walked behind Black and Potter. Unfortunately for him, he hadn’t been to the duelling clubs that McGonagall has been running then and wasn’t aware that Lupin was by far the best at duelling in the student body… He didn’t know that the boy who looked so weak and pathetic was incredibly fast and could easily beat both his good friends at once, despite their being renowned for their intelligence and general excellence. He had aimed a hex at him and he had spun round quickly and blocked it, rebounding it back at him and then hitting him with a vast variety of curses, a lot of which didn’t wear off until almost a week later when the last of the wrinkling spell disappeared. That had been a long time ago, and he, Snape, had improved greatly at duelling during that time, but then he knew that Lupin would have done the same… But if he beat Lupin and Potter saw then he could have the fun of ruining his latest Guardian’s perfect image in the boy’s eyes. It was too much of an opportunity to miss, and there would only be Potter and Lupin to witness it, he would not lose infront of a large number of people.

Stupefy!” He cried and sent a bolt of red streaking towards Lupin’s chest. He deflected it easily and laughed.

“Is that the best you can do?” He mocked, “Your stubbornness hasn’t improved much, I see. Pride always comes first, although you must know that you will have very little of it left when I am done.” He didn’t like speaking in that manner in Harry’s presence and knew that it was a very bad example to set the boy but he would not step down from a challenge by Snape. He waved his wand over Harry and put the strongest charm of protection he could on him before he fired a spell back at him. “Diffindo!” Harry instantly remembered this as the spell he has used to cut Cedric’s bag open two years ago and watched as it cut across Snape’s chest, splitting his robes in a perfect line and blood slowly began to seep into his robes.

Incendio!” Snape yelled and swirled his wand as he cast the spell, causing Remus to be engulfed in a circle of raging fire. Remus smiled slightly and cast a quick banishing charm on the fire, causing it to fly away from him in all directions, a large amount of it hitting Snape hard and making him stagger back. Remus turned quickly and glanced at Harry, when he cast the spell, hoping that he had come to no harm, he hadn’t and was watching them in amazement. Snape followed this quickly with a cry of “Incarcerous!” and vines shot from his wand at Remus, which were reduced to ashes by a well placed fire spell.

Impedimenta.” Remus said straight afterwards, so as not to allow Snape to get anymore double spells in before he could.

Locomotor Mortis” Snape said and with some satisfaction the curse hit. To his intense irritation Lupin didn’t fall over but managed to stay on his feet, despite his legs now being locked together.

Reducto!” Remus cried at the same time as Snape shouted “Serpensortia!” Snape was blown backwards by the curse that Remus put on him and hit the wall hard. A giant snake now made it’s way to Remus, who couldn’t move due to the leg locking charm Snape had put on him.

Leave him…” Harry said to the snake in parseltongue and Remus stared in amazement as the snake turned and went after Snape. Remus touched his legs with his wand and murmured “Finite” and his legs were under his control once more. He touched Harry and murmured the same curse and Harry suddenly felt very vulnerable from the side effects of the charm Remus had used and he moved instinctively closer to his guardian.

“Sorry, strong protective charm.” Remus said when Harry moved closer, “It’ll wear off soon.”

Harry walked over to where Snape lay and cast a quick colour changing spell on his hair, making it change between gold and red every ten seconds before an exasperated sigh from Remus caused him to turn around and smile. He honestly couldn’t believe that at one time he had thought himself capable of beating him in a duel, he really was incredible and Snape had never really had a chance. Seeing Snape duel like that also caused him to make a mental note not to push him to the point where he could easily end up duelling him. He wondered about the duelling club on Monday again and realised that the days in which the club was held didn’t coincide with any of the Gryffindor Quidditch training sessions and was at the same time as the Slytherin practices.

“What’s on your mind?” Remus asked Harry as they walked down to his office, which was three floors below as they were currently on the far West side of the fifth floor. Harry still clung to him but not as much as before.

“I thought I might be able to beat you before.” Harry grinned at him. He realised just how easy he must have been going on him to have kept their duels up for so long, Harry was quite surprised that he hadn’t got bored of his feeble duelling skills and simply cursed him repeatedly during the time it took Harry to cast two spells of his own.

“I reckon you can.” Remus said, “Anyway, it’s different duelling with you because your style is entirely different. Snape just casts as many spells as he can as quickly as possible and uses disabling charms where as you use ones like freezing charms and then use fire ones straight after or vice versa and make it difficult to defend against. You should try Serpensortia in duels, being a parselmouth it could be to your infinite advantage.” Remus said to him as they walked along together, Harry holding onto his arm as they went down the main staircase onto the third floor. “I’d love to see Snape duel with you.”

“What, so that you can see me get blasted through various walls?” Harry asked him.

“No, because he’s a Slytherin, and like all Slytherins he’s very proud of that.” Remus said, “So proud that he almost always uses a snake summoning spell in each of his duels, making him very predictable and very easy for you to beat.”

“I want to duel with someone now.” Harry said as they stepped into a passageway that would take them down to the second floor. “You’re a bad influence.”

“I know, terrible aren’t I?” Remus smiled. “I’ll see you later.”

“See you.” Harry said as Remus turned to enter his office, “You’re still coming tomorrow, right?” Remus looked at him in confusion and he had evidently forgotten that Neville would be entering Death the next day. “We’re following Neville and Dumbledore, remember?”

“Oh, sorry.” Remus smiled, “Of course I’m still coming, and I’ll meet you here in the morning.” Harry said goodbye and turned to go back up to the common room, unsure as to why he had walked all the way down to the second floor with Remus. As he walked through the fifth floor he hear Snape’s enraged yell as he came to consciousness and noticed the alternating colours of his hair. There was a scream of “POTTER!” and he wisely began to walk a little faster.

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