As the owls flooded into the Great Hall as usual, everyone’s attention was caught by two long, thin packages carried by twelve large owls. I couldn’t believe it when they soared down and dropped them right in front of Harry and I, knocking Harry’s bacon on the floor but he didn’t seem to care.
As they flew away, another owl dropped a letter on top of the two parcels.
“I bet it’s a broom,” Fred said.
“I second that,” Ron said.
“It’s obvious here. These are two brooms no doubt,” George said, grinning.
I opened the letter and read it with Harry next to me. We got lucky we didn’t open the parcel because it said:
DO NOT OPEN THE PARCEL AT THE TABLE.
It contains your new Nimbus Two Thousands, but I don’t want everybody knowing the two of you got broomsticks or they’ll all want one. Oliver Wood will meet you two tonight on the Quidditch field at seven o’clock for your first training session.
Professor M. McGonagall
Harry, Ron, and I left the hall quickly, wanting to unwrap the broomsticks in private before our first class, but halfway across the entrance hall we found the way upstairs blocked by Crabbe and Goyle. Figures. Malfoy grabbed my package and felt it.
“That’s a broomstick,” he said, throwing it back to me with jealousy written all over him. “You’ll be in for it this time, first years aren’t allowed to have them.”
Ron just couldn’t resist.
”It’s not any old broomstick,” he said, “it’s a Nimbus Two Thousand. What did you say you’ve got at home, Malfoy, a Comet Two Sixty?” Ron grinned at Harry and I. “Comets look flashy, but they’re not in the same league as the Nimbus.”
“What would you know about it, Weasley? You couldn’t afford half the handle,” Malfoy snapped back. “I suppose you and your brothers have to save up twig by twig.”
Before Ron could answer, Professor Flitwick appeared at Malfoy’s elbow.
“Not arguing, I hope?” Professor Flitwick squeaked.
“Potter and Carter have been sent broomsticks Professor,” Malfoy said quickly.
“Professor McGonagall told me all about the special circumstances. And what model is it?” Professor Flitwick asked us.
“A Nimbus Two Thousand sir,” Harry said.
“And it’s really thanks to Malfoy here that we’ve got them,” I added with a smirk.
The three of us then headed upstairs trying not to laugh at a raging Malfoy.
Around half past six, Harry and I gathered our brooms and made our way to the Quidditch pitch.
I was too eager to fly again to wait for Wood so I mounted my broomstick and kicked off the ground. Harry seemed to feel the same cause he started flying and took a few laps in the air until Wood finally showed up.
“Hey, Potter, Carter, come down!” Wood yelled.
He was carrying a large wooden crate under his arm. Harry and I landed on each side of him.
“Very nice,” Wood said, his eyes glinting. “I see what McGonagall meant… you two really are a natural. I’m just going to be teaching the rules this evening, then you’ll be joining team practice three times a week.”
Wood opened the crate. Inside were the four different-sized balls. Harry’s eyes widened while I grinned.
“Now, Quidditch is easy enough to understand, even if it’s not too easy to play,” Wood said. “Now, Carter, I’m sure that you’ve already heard all of this from the Weasley boys but I’m still gonna go over all of it to help Harry. There are seven players on each side. Three of them are called Chasers. Mads is going to be one.”
Harry grinned to me, “Three Chasers. Got it.”
“We’re in charge of the quaffle,” I said. “We throw it to each other and try to score a goal by chucking it into one of the hoops. Each goal scores us ten points.”
“So－that’s sort of like basketball on broomsticks with six hoops, isn’t it?” Harry said.
“What’s basketball?” Wood and I asked.
“Nevermind,” Harry said quickly. “I’ll tell you later.”
“Right,” Wood said uncertainly. “Now there’s another player on each side called the Keeper－I’m the Keeper for Gryffindor. I have to fly around our hoops and try to stop the other team from scoring.”
“Three Chasers, one Keeper, and they play with the Quaffle,” Harry said. “Okay got it. So what are they for?” He pointed at the three balls left inside the box.
“I’ll show you now,” said Wood. “Take this.”
He handed Harry and I a small club, a bit like a short baseball bat.
“These two are the Bludgers. I’m going to show you what they do” Wood said.
Wood took one out and it soared straight up into the air. As it came back down I hit it forcefully and sent it zigzagging in the air, then it shot at Wood, who dived on top of it and managed to pin it into the ground.
“See?” Wood panted, forcing the struggling Bludger back into the crate and strapped it down safely. “The Bludgers rocket around, trying to knock players off their brooms. That’s why you have two Beaters on each team－the Weasley twins are ours－ it’s their job to protect their side from the Bludgers and try to knock them toward the other team. Got all that?”
“Yeah,” Harry said. “Have the Bludgers ever killed someone?”
“Never at Hogwarts,” Wood said, which made Harry gulp. “We’ve had a couple broken jaws but nothing worse than that.”
Harry looked at me and winced, making me laugh and pat his shoulder.
“Now the last member of the team is the Seeker. That’s you. And you don’t have to worry about the Quaffle or the Bludgers－”
“－unless they crack my head open,” Harry said quickly.
“Don’t worry, the Weasleys are more than a match for the Bludgers－I mean, they’re like a pair of human Bludgers, themselves,” Wood said and I grinned.
Wood reached into the crate and took out the Golden Snitch and handed it to Harry.
“This is the Golden Snitch,” he said. “It’s the most important ball out of all these here. It’s very hard to catch due to its speed and it being so small. Your job is to catch it. You’ll be needing to weave in and out of Chasers, Beaters, Bludgers, and Quaffle to get it before the other team’s Seeker because whichever Seeker catches the Snitch wins his team an extra hundred and fifty points, so they nearly always win. That’s why Seekers get fouled so much. A game of Quidditch can only end when the Snitch is caught, which means that some can go on for ages.”
“I think Charlie said the record is three months,” I said.
“Three months?” Harry asked, his voice slightly high pitched. “But how－”
“They kept bringing in substitutes to let the players sleep,” I said.
“Wow,” Harry said.
“Well, that’s it－any questions?” Wood asked.
Harry shook his head.
“We won’t practice with the Snitch yet,” said Wood carefully shutting it back inside the crate. “It’s too dark, we might lose it. Let’s try you out with a few of these.”
He pulled out a bag of ordinary golf balls out of his pocket and a few minutes later, we were all up in the air. Harry didn’t miss a single one and would then toss them to me as I flew around, returning the golf balls to Wood. The three of us practiced until it was too dark to continue.
“That Quidditch cup will have our name on it this year,” said Wood happily as we walked back up to the Castle.
“Now don’t forget that nice wrist movement we’ve been practicing!” squeaked Professor Flitwick, perched on top of his pile of books as usual. “Swish and Flick, remember, swish and flick. And saying the magic words properly is very important too－never forget Wizard Baruffio, who said ‘s’ instead of ‘f’ and found himself on the floor with a buffalo on his chest.”
I concentrated hard and was able to hold onto my feather for a little before it fell back down on my desk. Ron, at the table next to me, wasn’t that lucky.
“Wingardium Leviosa!” he shouted, waving his long arms like a windmill.
“You’re saying it wrong,” I heard Hermione snap. “It’s Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the ‘gar’ nice and long.”
“You do it then, if you’re so clever,” Ron said.
Hermione rolled up her sleeves and flicked her wand saying, “Wingardium Leviosa!”
The feather rose off the desk and hovered about four feet above their heads.
“Oh, well done!” cried Professor Flitwick, clapping. “Everyone see here, Miss Granger’s done it!”
Everyone began to clap, however Ron was in a very bad mood at the end of class.
“It’s a wonder no one can stand her. She’s a nightmare, honestly,” Ron said.
As if on cue, Hermione hurried past us with tears in her eyes.
“I think she heard you,” Harry said quietly.
“So?” Ron snapped. “She must’ve noticed she’s got no friends.”
“It was still an awful thing to say,” I said coldly, leaving the boys to go searching for Hermione who I found in a deserted corridor.
“Hermione,” I said softly.
“I’m fine. Go away,” she said quickly.
“No you’re not Hermione. What’s wrong?” I said.
“I’m not doing it on purpose,” she cried. “He doesn’t understand how glad I am to be here, in a world of magic! It’s not my fault, I’m just trying to help. It’s not my fault that I want to succeed. I’m an oddball here and I need to prove myself…”
I sat down next to her and wrapped my arms around her.
“He can understand that, believe it or not,” I said. “He’s always trying to live up to his brother’s legacies. He’s just a silly boy, Hermione. Who cares what they say? You’re brilliant and you’re going to succeed.”
She wiped her tears again as the bell rang.
“I don’t want to go to class,” she mumbled.
“I’ll stay with you,” I said. “Just let me go tell someone where I’ll be in case our Professor asks.”
I got up slowly and left my books there so Hermione knew I wouldn’t abandon her. As I walked down the corridor I noticed that Harry was standing alone looking at me as I walked up to him.
“Hey, can you tell Professor Binns that I won’t be in class? If he ask just tell him I’m helping out a friend?” I asked him.
He nodded, “I talked to Ron. I think he feels bad.”
“He should, he needs to watch his mouth and not judge someone before he gets to know them. Thanks for talking to him Harry,” I said.
“No problem. I should head back to class and I’ll let Professor Binns know,” he said before hugging me and heading to class.
I returned to Hermione, “Hey, do you wanna go to the common room? It’s more comfortable there.”
“Yes,” she replied.
By dinner Hermione was feeling a lot better however she still insisted that she didn’t want to see Ron, so we went to the bathroom near the Great Hall to clean up our faces.
“You’ll need to see him eventually Hermione,” I said.
“Not today though,” she said. “But when I see him－I’m going to snap at him for what he said.”
“That’s my girl!” I agreed. “Let him know he can’t talk about you like that.”
There was a low growl, and Hermione and I suddenly looked up. A troll was standing by the doorway, slowly walking towards us but it didn’t look like it had seen us yet.
“Stay calm, stay calm,” I whispered. “Don’t make a sound, move that way….when he passes we’ll run out.”
But instead Hermione let out a loud scream and the troll looked up, now knowing that we were there.
I scrambled up, with Hermione clutching my arm, and we ran to the end of the bathroom. The troll began to come toward us, knocking down the sink with its club.
Then suddenly, Harry and Ron were behind the troll.
The troll turned and growled, now walking towards Harry.
“MOVE!” he yelled at us. I tried to drag Hermione away from the wall but she was too stiff.
The shouting and the echoes seemed to be driving the troll crazy. It roared again and started toward Ron, who was nearest and had no escape.
Harry took a great running jump and managed to fasten his arms around the troll’s neck from behind. I noticed that Harry’s wand had gone straight up the troll’s nose.
Howling with pain, the troll twisted and flailed its club with Harry hanging on for dear life.
I let go of Hermione who was now sitting on the floor in fright and said the first spell that came to my head, “Wingardium Leviosa!”
The club flew out of the troll’s hand, rose high into the air, and then dropped onto the troll’s head. The troll swayed to a stop and fell with a thud that made the whole room tremble.
“Harry, are you hurt?” I cried.
“I’m fine,” he said. Ron walked over, holding Harry’s wand, which was now covered in troll boogers.
“That’s disgusting,” I said.
Then the door burst open and Snape, McGonagall, and Quirrel walked in.
McGonagall moved her mouth but no sound came out, while Quirrel took one look at the troll and let out a small whimper. Her lips were white, and she looked furious.
“What on earth were you thinking of?” she finally said, with fury in her voice. “You’re lucky you weren’t killed. Why aren’t you in your dormitory?”
“Please, Professor McGonagall－they were looking for me,” Hermione said, quietly.
“Miss Granger!” said Professor McGonagall.
“I went looking for the troll because I－I thought I could deal with it on my own－you know, because I’ve read all about them.” she said. “If they hadn’t found me, I’d be dead now. It was about to finish me off when they arrived.”
I didn’t understand why Hermione didn't tell the truth. There wasn’t anything wrong with saying that we were in the bathroom and unaware about a troll being in the castle. Ron on the other hand dropped his wand.
“Well－in that case… Miss Granger, you foolish girl, how could you think of tackling a mountain troll on your own? Five points will be taken from Gryffindor for this. I’m very disappointed in you,” said Professor McGonagall. “If you’re not hurt at all, you’d better get off to Gryffindor tower. Students are finishing the feast in their houses.”
Hermione walked out, and Professor McGonagall turned to us.
“Well, I still say you were lucky, not many first years could have taken on a full-grown mountain troll. You each win Gryffindor five points. Professor Dumbledore will be informed of this. You three may go,” she said.
We hurried out of the chamber and didn’t say anything until we couldn’t hear the smell of the troll.
“We should’ve gotten more than fifteen points,” Ron grumbled.
“Ten, you mean, once she’s taken off Hermione’s,” Harry said.
“Good of her to get us out of trouble like that,” Ron admitted. “Mind you, we did save her.”
“None of this would’ve happened Ron if you had just stopped acting stupid and listened to her when she was trying to help you in Charms,” I snapped, making him shut up
We reached the portrait of the Fat Lady and entered the common room. Hermione was standing alone by the door waiting for us. While Ron apologized to Hermione and heard her out, Harry and I went to get some food.
“Thank you for coming to save us, you didn’t have to…” I said, quietly.
“I wasn’t gonna let you and Hermione face that thing on your own. Besides I wanted to make sure you were okay,” Harry said.
“That was sweet of you. Thanks Harry,” I said, smiling.
“Anytime,” he said, smiling back at me.
“You’ve got to eat something.”
“I don’t want anything.”
“Just a bit of toast,” pleaded Hermione.
“I’m not hungry.”
“Harry, you really need to eat something,” I said.
“Harry, you need your strength,” said Seamus Finnigan. “Seekers are always the ones who get clobbered by the other team.”
“Thanks Seamus,” Harry mumbled.
By eleven o’clock the whole school seemed to be out in the stands around the Quidditch pitch.
“Okay men,” Oliver Wood said.
“And women,” said Angelina Johnson, another Chaser.
“And women,” Wood agreed. “This is it.”
“The big one,” said Fred.
“The one we’ve all been waiting for,” George added.
“We know Oliver’s speech by heart,” Fred told Harry and I.
“Shut up, you two,” said Wood. “We’re going to win. I know it.”
Then he glared at us.
“Right. It’s time. Good luck, all of you,” he said.
We stepped out into the bright light and I used my hand to cover my eyes, trying to prevent myself from becoming blind.
I wasn’t nervous. I knew what to do. I’d wanted this since Charlie taught me how to ride a broom. Harry on the other hand, looked like he was about to faint.
“It’s going to be fine,” I whispered to him as Madam Hooch ordered us to mount our brooms.
He gave me a small smile and I grinned, turning to face the Slytherin team.
The whistle was blown and I shot up into the air with the other thirteen people on the field.
“And the Quaffle is taken immediately by Angelina Johnson of Gryffindor,” Lee Jordan said. “What an excellent Chaser that girl is, and rather attractive too－”
“JORDAN!” Professor McGonagall snapped.
“Sorry Professor,” he said.
“And she’s really belting up there, a neat pass to Katie Bell, pass to Madison Carter, back to Johnson－no the Slytherins have taken the Quaffle, Slytherin Captain Marcus Flint gains the Quaffle and off he goes… Flint flying like an eagle up there－Excellent move by Gryffindor Keeper Wood. The Gryffindors take the Quaffle, that’s Chaser Katie Bell of Gryffindor there, nice pass to Madison Carter, nice dice around Flint, up on the field and－OUCH－that must’ve hurt….”
I felt my shoulder vibrating after one of the Slytherin’s Beaters aimed a Bludger right at me.
“－Quaffle taken by the Slytherins, that’s Adrian Pucey speeding off towards the goal posts, but he’s blocked by a second Bludger－sent his way by Fred or George Weasley, can’t tell which－nice play by the Gryffindor Beater anyway, and Johnson back in possession of the Quaffle, a clear field ahead and off she goes－she’s really flying－dodges a speeding Bludger－the goal posts are ahead－come on now, Angelina－Keeper Bletchley dives－misses－GRYFFINDORS SCORE!”
I cheered loudly with the rest of the Gryffindors, high fiving Angelina as she passed me.
“－Pucey in possession of the Quaffle now, speeding down the pitch, ducks two bludgers, two Weasleys, Chaser Bell, and speeds toward the－wait a moment－was that the Snitch?”
I didn’t have time to check because it gave me a clear shot to score.
“GRYFFINDOR SCORE!” Lee screamed. “Amazing goal by the first year, Madison Carter! Twenty nil Gryffindor!”
As Bletchley passed Pucey the Quaffle I turned to see Harry was racing Slytherin’s Seeker for the Snitch. Then suddenly, Marcus Flint dove right in front of Harry, and Harry’s broom spun off course, nearly knocking him off.
“That’s a foul!” I yelled, along with the other Gryffindors.
Madam Hooch spoke to Flint and then ordered a free shot at the goal posts for Gryffindor. Angelina took it, scoring, making it thirty nil Gryffindor. Lee Jordan on the other hand was having a hard time not picking sides.
“So－after that obvious and disgusting bit of cheating－”
“Jordan!” growled Professor McGonagall.
“I mean, after that open and revolting foul－”
“Jordan, I’m warning you－”
“All right, all right. Flint nearly kills the Gryffindor Seeker, which could happen to anyone, I’m sure, so a penalty to Gryffindor, taken by Bell, who puts it away with no trouble, and we continue to play, Gryffindor still in possession.”
I caught the Quaffle as Angelina threw it and successfully dodged Flint, who seemed determined to knock me off my broom. I swerved passed one of their Chasers, about to throw and probably score when out of nowhere a Bludger slammed into my side and made me drop the Quaffle, hurting my shoulder even more.
“Slytherin in possession－Flint with the Quaffle－passes Johnson－passes Bell－hit hard in the face by a Bludger, hope it broke his nose－only joking, Professor－Slytherin scores－oh no….”
I whipped around and saw Harry was dangling from his broom, holding it with his one arm.
There was a loud yelp and I turned to the stands to see Snape standing up on one of the bleacher seats, fire on his robes. Harry was able to jump up onto his broom.
Suddenly, Harry was speeding toward the ground and clapped his hand to his mouth looking like he was about to be sick.
“He’s got the Snitch!” Lee roared into the microphone.
“Harry you’re supposed to catch it with your hands, not swallow it,” I said laughing as I helped him back up.
I hugged him once he had gained his balance while everyone began to celebrate except the Slytherins.
“You did really good,” I said to him.
“I couldn’t have done it without my best friend,” He said with a smile. “We should get you to the Hospital Wing. It looks like your shoulder is dislocated. Can’t have our future star Chaser getting injured”
Despite me telling him that I was fine, we made our way back to the castle with Harry’s arm around my shoulder.
All credit and for original characters and original plot goes to J.K. Rowling. I own only my OCs and select scenes that are not from the original series. Thank you, J.K. Rowling for writing this series and changing so many lives. Thank you all, for reading.
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