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Chapter Thirty Nine

“And it’s the long awaited Ravenclaw Vs. Slytherin match and the first of this year!” Neville said above the noise of the crowd which was tremendous as the two teams flew onto the pitch. Ron was desperate for the Slytherins to win since he had bet 2 galleons on it during Christmas, although out of the school it was only he and the Slytherins that wanted that outcome, everyone else was rooting for Ravenclaw.

Harry wanted the Ravenclaws to win since they had lost to Hufflepuff and Gryffindor earlier in the year, as well as that, Slytherin would be in last place if they lost to them. He cheered along with everyone else as Cho lead her team out onto the pitch, although some of the Slytherins started aiming hexes at them, most of which never went near them and any that did hit had no effect due to the strong protection charms Professor Flitwick had put on them earlier. The staff were aware of how prone to cheating the Slytherins were and weren’t taking any precautions, all of them had their wands and all of them kept their eyes on Malfoy and Flint.

“Now the Slytherins have finally arrived let the match begin.” Anthony Goldstein said after Hermione put the Sonorus charm on him. Madam Hooch blew her whistle and both teams and the referee kicked off into the air.

“And that’s a penalty to Ravenclaw for an uncalled-for attack on their Keeper by Flint.” Neville said. The Slytherins made a point of shooting hexes and harmful spells of all kinds at any Ravenclaw that flew anywhere near them but Remus, having noticed this, quickly put a shield around the stand wherein all the troublesome Slytherins sat and laughed at their horrified cries as their spells ricocheted back on them.

Harry didn’t pay too much attention to the game, because although he loved Quidditch, it wasn’t played particularly well by the Ravenclaws on this particular occasion and he was more occupied with watching the Slytherins curse themselves repeatedly and then wonder why their spells bounced back at them.

“Chang’s got the Snitch!” Anthony shouted and everyone cheered, except the Slytherins who tried, stupidly, to curse their way through the shield and jinx Cho, needless to say it didn’t work and they all ended up cursed with a variety of interesting spells. Ron groaned and buried his head in his hands as his brothers appeared to the side of him asking for their money.

“I don’t have it yet; can’t you wait for a while?” Ron asked them unhappily.

“I’m afraid not my dear brother.” George said.

“But it’s my birthday in a couple of months.” Ron argued.

“Fine, we want it on your birthday or we break your legs.” Fred said and they turned away from him and left the stands. Harry would have offered to pay for him until he could pay it back but he knew that Ron was very touchy about his distinct lack of cash so he kept quiet.

Ron and Harry walked back up to the common room and threw themselves down on the sofa, everyone was talking about the match and Ron was no exception. He was outraged that he had lost some money but at the same time he was pleased that Slytherin were in last place in the position for the Quidditch cup, which made a nice change for all.

“I still can’t get this reversing charm right!” Harry complained as Ron knocked the cup off the table for him to reverse. He remembered watching Remus cast the same spell on a miniature dementor he had conjured what seemed forever ago when Harry had stayed with him over the summer. He had tried very hard to get it right and had asked Remus for help but he had been unable to help him so Harry was left attempting the spell repeatedly until he got it right. “Reverto” Harry said as he knocked a cup off the table and for a moment it was suspended in the air but then it fell to the floor with a clatter. Harry groaned and lay back on the sofa and scowled and nothing in particular.

“I wonder if we’ll be allowed to go back into Death any time soon.” Ron said as he cast a few charms over the chess board in front of him and the pieces complained as they were lifted into the air and began to change colour. “I’d like to go back, it was interesting.”

“I dunno.” Harry said, “Anyway if I go back then I’ll want to stay again. I don’t know whether or not I can take it.”

“I know what you mean.” Ron said, “Well when I say I know what you mean, I mean that I’ve heard it all from Neville who feels the same but he’s still here isn’t he? He goes every couple of weeks and he always comes back.” Harry looked at him steadily for a moment and remembered suddenly that he had completely forgotten to tell him about the prophecy and knew that at some point he really should do. He sighed sadly.

“Ron, there’s something I need to tell you.” Harry said and Ron watched him with interest, “Where’s Hermione?”

“Erm… She said she’d be along in a minute, she just went to the library.” Ron replied, “What is it?” Harry shook his head and a moment later Hermione walked through the portrait hole. After explaining to her that he needed to tell her something, Harry lead the way up to their dorm, followed by his two rather puzzled friends.

“You know when we were in the department of mysteries…” Harry said, “And we found that prophecy about me.” They both nodded, afraid of where this was going. “I found out what it said.”

“Really?” Ron asked him, “What does it say? When did you find out?”

“It’s not good, is it?” Hermione said quietly, seeing the look on Harry’s face.

“Not at all.” Harry said quietly. He repeated the prophecy to them and for a moment Ron sat there comprehending what had just been said and Hermione gasped in horror and buried her face in her hands.

“I can’t believe it.” Ron managed. “You’re the only one who can. That’s why he’s been after you all these years.” Harry nodded and next to them Hermione started to cry. Ron moved instinctively towards her and wrapped his arm around her. Harry smiled sadly; at least they would have each other…

“I don’t want anything bad to happen to you, Harry.” Hermione choked out through her sobs.

“Bad stuff already happens to me.” Harry said to her, “It doesn’t matter what I do to try and stop it.” He sat and watched the two of them tentatively for a few moments and then decided he should leave. He turned back to look at them from the doorway as they watched him leave and now even Ron looked like he was going to cry. He smiled at them before he left and turned down into the common room. Around the fire sat the Quidditch team, except for himself and Ron and he walked over to them. He sat down between Andrew and Magadi and joined in the argument that was raging about the Slytherin Quidditch team.

“Well if they bring back Flint then why shouldn’t we bring back the Weasley twins or something for the beaters?” Luke asked, acknowledging that he was not as good a beater as the two redheads who had left the day before term commenced once more.

“Because then we’ll be just as bad as they are. We need to prove that even if they cheat we can still beat them.” Dean said.

“Yeah but if they cheat no one will think any less of us if we do the same,” Andrew said.

“No they won’t, but they’ll think more of us if we win without bringing people back.” Magadi said.

“Unless we had no choice, if people got injured and there were no replacements then we could bring people back then.” Harry said thoughtfully.

“So all we have to do is jump off our brooms about 20 feet from the floor and invite the rest of the team back.” Luke said and everyone rolled their eyes.

“I’m not jumping off my broom.” Magadi told him. “We’re not bringing anyone back anyway. We have a perfectly good team here.” And everyone nodded in approval.

“I’ll see you all later.” Harry said and turned away from them and walked out of the common room, meaning to make his way down to Remus’ office. He got halfway there and remembered that it was the full moon and wouldn’t be too pleased by his waking him whilst he slept through the day in an attempt to save his strength for his transformation. After getting all the way down to the fourth floor he changed his mind and turned to go back up to the common room, meeting Cho on the way who challenged him to a game of Quidditch against Ravenclaw, who although had just played their match against Slytherin some couple of hours ago, were invigorated by their win and wanted to try their skill against the Gryffindors. Harry agreed, knowing that the team that sat up in the common room, discussing the match would much rather play against one of the teams in question, than just discuss their skill in the match. Even Ron agreed to play after he had got over the initial shock of the information Harry had given him and soon fourteen people in red and blue Quidditch robes made their way onto the pitch, flanked by various other people from both houses and some from the Hufflepuffs who were eager to see the outcome of their game.


***


They had played a tough game but in the end Ravenclaw had triumphed and Ron put it down to the fact that they had just beaten the Slytherins and had more confidence. Harry put it down to Luke almost hitting him with a bludger as he and Cho raced after the Snitch. He wasn’t bitter about their loss, he knew that Ravenclaw had become a lot better since they had last faced each other and he was relieved that they had already beaten them in a real match instead of just a friendly game.

Harry lay back against the sofa as he chatted to Remus about it later on. He had been forced to wait around the school to see his guardian earlier since there had been an Order meeting in the room, since they had taken to moving the locations of the meetings around the school and eventually Molly, Arthur, Fred, George, Bill, Charlie, Dumbledore, Minerva, Snape, Hagrid and Kingsley had all left in that order.

Remus looked down gloomily at the smoking potion in front of him that he knew he would have to drink. He was happy to have Harry’s company that evening; he took his mind from his impending agony which would occur later that evening and he reached out to the potion on his desk and drank it as quickly as he could. Harry watched him despondently as Remus emptied the contents of the vial down his throat and pulled a face. Harry reached out and offered him a cup of tea, just as the clock struck five and Remus reached out to take it. They stared at each other in horror for a millisecond as they felt an all too familiar pull around their navels and they disappeared from his office.

Sirius leapt up in horror from his seat next to Harry and Lily did the same. For a moment they stood transfixed in horror as the things they had just witnessed hit them and they began to wonder where they both could have gone before Lily realised it

Outside in the corridor there was a quiet laugh as someone turned and walked away from the office, confident that their work was done.

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