Harry walked confidently into the changing rooms where his team was already sitting, ready for their game and awaiting their captain. Katie was pacing the room, looking very nervous, Ron was scowling at the wall, Ginny was chatting tensely with Dean who was mostly mumbling responses to her. Lewis Thomas was inspecting his broom thoroughly, although Harry doubted whether he was doing that because he needed to or because he needed something to occupy his mind before the match and then there was Laura who was sat in the corner of the room, staring around at everyone else with wide and rather frightened looking eyes. “Ready?” Harry asked them as he walked into the room and they all looked up to him with expressions which quite clearly said ‘nope’. “Come on, let’s go then!” “Aren’t you going to give us a pre-match talk like Oliver and Angelina used to do?” Katie asked him interestedly. “I’m that confident we can beat those slime balls we don’t need one.” Harry grinned at them and they smiled. “Don’t be so nervous, if everything goes as well as it’s been doing in the training sessions then we should be alright.” Just as long as Ron doesn’t start any fights… he added as he led them out of the room and onto the Quidditch pitch where the Slytherins were already stood. “Captains, shake hands.” Madam Hooch said to them and Harry glared at Malfoy before gripping his hand and releasing it as quickly as he could. His gaze locked with his rivals for a moment and he tried not to think how badly they were likely to lose with the Slytherins all riding Firebolts. “And as the balls are released Laura Turner takes the Quaffle for Gryffindor!” Seamus shouted over the crowds assembled. He had officially become the commentator for the match since he had become lonely in the stands with Dean, Ron and Harry all playing Quidditch. “Those Firebolts might be fast but the Slytherins can’t handle them!” He laughed as Theodore Nott almost lost control and crashed into one of the Slytherin hoops trying to defend the goals. Remus glanced to the side of him in the stands at Sybil and Argus who were talking to each other. He was stood at the back of the staff stand with Minerva, Filius and Severus. They had arrived there late and now were having trouble seeing everything going on so Filius had levitated himself off the floor and was watching over the heads of those in front. “Gryffindor will win without a doubt.” He heard Sybil say to Argus who agreed. “Definitely, Harry’s got a really strong team together this year even if Ron is being a prat.” Argus replied. “Well he can be a prat but Harry’ll just kick him off the team.” Sybil told him. “Doubt it, their friendship’s buggered as it is, Harry doesn’t want to kick him off the team entirely.” Angus said. “I don’t see why not.” Said Sybil, “Harry’s dead popular – he could be friends with anyone.” Remus smiled slightly before turning back to the game. Fred and George were not very subtle when it came to pretending to be someone else but Dumbledore had allowed them into the school to see the game; it was just they that wanted to be in disguise. They were right though, from what he could tell Harry had assembled a very good team although Fred and George hadn’t heard the half of what trouble their brother had been causing for Harry and the others. Harry had finally decided that if he argued once more then he would have no choice but to try and find another Keeper for the team, even if they were abysmal; his idea was that enough training should make them good enough to stop a few goals until he could catch the snitch. “Nice dodging from Katie Bell there…” Said Seamus over the crowd as the chaser successfully dodged two Bludgers and still had a firm hold over the Quaffle as she flew straight towards the Slytherin goals, scoring a moment later. “And that puts Gryffindor at an early lead 10 – 0.” Remus’ gaze wandered up to Harry who was flying around the pitch ten metres higher than the main game and Malfoy was staying close on his tail, presumably so that he could taunt him and attempt to wind him up. “So do you think Weasley will last on the team?” Severus asked Minerva. “I doubt it.” She said coolly, “I told Harry that if he starts any more fights then he was to remove him from the team, best friend or not.” “They haven’t been very close as of late.” Filius commented, “I can’t help but wonder why not.” “Well it’s been since Harry started taking lots of extra lessons, I think.” Minerva said. “It’s because he doesn’t like not being as good as him anymore.” Severus said as he glanced back up at the game to see how well his team were doing. “Yeah but Harry’s pretty much always been better than Ron at things,” Sybil said to them, “and he’s never been that bothered before.” “Wasn’t he insanely jealous during their fourth year?” Filius asked him and Sybil looked exasperated. “Yes, but that wasn’t about Harry being better.” Argus said, “That was about Harry being famous and always in the spotlight and him being shoved to the side.” “But Harry doesn’t like being the centre of attention all the time.” Remus said. “That’s debatable.” Severus muttered. “We know that and seemingly everyone else but Ron knows that.” Sybil said, ignoring Severus completely. “Well Ron’s a crap friend then, isn’t he?” Argus said. “I wouldn’t go that far.” Remus said, feeling that their attack on their younger brother probably wasn’t justified and screams of delight and amazement came from the crowd. The staff and the twins at the back who had been absorbed in their conversation looked up suddenly to see that Gryffindor had just scored two goals. “Crabbe and Goyle are out cold!” Seamus laughed along with the Gryffindors. Glancing down at the ground, Remus saw two figures lying there with brooms at the side of them and Malfoy landed there after calling a timeout. “How the hell did they both get knocked out?” Minerva asked and those that had been in conversation with her merely shrugged. Thomadius Vector turned around to them and quickly explained what happened for their benefit. “You are kidding me.” Severus said in disbelief. “I wouldn’t have thought that even those two could be so moronic.” “Tell me about it.” The Arithmancy teacher said with a light smile. Remus smiled slightly in return. He liked Thomadius, although they didn’t often speak; Thomadius was more often in his own company than that of the other teachers since Severus was almost always rude to him and the other staff had generally been there long enough to have taught him. Although Remus had no problem with socialising with those whom he had once seen as authority figures, Thomadius didn’t seem comfortable without someone of his own age around him. Remus wasn’t far from his age, he was around five or six years younger than his colleague and he resolved to get to know him at least a little better. Remus’ eyes went down to the Slytherins who were all on the ground shouting and swearing at the top of their voices now. He couldn’t blame them, after all if their beaters were stupid enough to knock each other out by flying directly into each other then so be it. The whistle was blown and both teams went to the ground. “And it looks like the Slytherins are back in the air without their beaters.” Seamus told the crowd, “That’ll teach Malfoy to have reserves next time!” The game was more heated than ever; the Slytherins were constantly avoiding the Bludgers and Harry had little worries of being hit by it and carried on circling the sky from above, occasionally flying lower to talk to Ron by the goalposts. Malfoy on the other hand was acting as a beater and so was one of their chasers, Cavian McNair. Harry was pleased with the way things were going for the Slytherins. They were almost certainly going to win with both their Beaters out and Malfoy keeping his eyes on the Bludgers instead of keeping a look out for the Snitch which is what he should have been doing. A golden glint caught his eye and he turned around to see the Snitch flying downwards at a leisurely pace. Harry shot after it and the Snitch immediately sped up. “Potter’s seen the Snitch!” Seamus said over the cheers and screams from the Gryffindors as Harry raced after the tiny golden ball. Remus smiled as he watched his godson daringly whip around the players, dodging Bludgers and people alike. Remus felt his heart flutter; he always felt this strange sense of excitement when he watched him and he was so close to it too. “And Malfoy’s forgotten that he’s the Slytherin Seeker!” Seamus said and the staff smirked as they watched Malfoy hit a Bludger after Harry and stare around him for the Slytherin seeker. Only at Seamus’ words did he realise that it was he who was meant to be beating Potter to the Snitch. He cried out in frustration and raced after him. Their brooms were equal in speed but Harry was the better flyer and much closer to the Snitch as well. Harry reached out and felt the fluttering of wings as he caught the Snitch in his hand and held it tightly. The noise from the crowd was tumultuous as Ginny, Dean, Lewis, Laura, Katie and Ron all flew over to him and wrapped him in a strange sort of group hug as they flew back down to the floor. “I can’t believe it!” Ginny was laughing as they landed, Dean grabbed her wrists and the two started dancing around together, much to Ron’s disapproval. Laura and Katie embraced Harry tightly whilst Lewis stood behind him, avoiding the attention as best he could. Gryffindors swarmed onto the pitch and soon the team was surrounded. Up in the air Malfoy was furious and was laying the blame on all his team-mates but himself. “If you had actually gone for the Snitch…” Said one of them and Malfoy turned to glare at him. “DO YOU WANT TO BE SMASHED IN THE FACE WITH THIS?!” He yelled, brandishing the Beaters’ bat at him. A stray bludger flew towards him and Malfoy glared at the Gryffindors below and aimed the Bludger straight at Potter’s head. “MY LEG!” Screamed Katie as the Bludger smashed into her right knee. She was on the floor in a moment and Ron leapt on the Bludger, pinning it to the ground before Madam Hooch arrived on the scene to put the Bludger back in it’s box and conjure a stretcher for Katie to go to the hospital wing. The Gryffindors and now the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs who had joined them all stared up at the Slytherin with cold looks on their faces and half of them started to shout up at Malfoy in outrage. “Let’s get out of here!” Lewis said to Harry and the two of them quickly left with Katie on a stretcher, heading towards the hospital wing with the rest of the team in tow. “Don’t tell me.” Madam Pomfrey sighed as they walked in, “Quidditch.” “Yup.” Harry said as she quickly got Katie onto a bed and examined her leg. “Shattered knee.” She said matter-of-factly. “You’re going to be in here for the rest of the day at least.” She told Katie and glanced at the rest of the team to see if they were going to leave but it became apparent that they were not about to leave her. Madam Pomfrey turned from them and walked over to her desk to get out some painkilling potion for her as Minerva walked into the room. “I ask you to leave, Minerva.” Poppy said to her curtly, “You are not welcome in here.” “I am visiting one member of my Quidditch team, Poppy.” She said venomously, “You cannot deny me that when there are six muddily clad people stood by the side of her.” She did not wait for a response but marched past her and over to Harry. “Excellent catch, Mr Potter.” She said to him, “Very unfortunate about your knee, Miss Bell.” “Unfortunate nothing, if Malfoy wasn’t such a bad loser…” Harry muttered under his breath but Minerva heard it. “Don’t despair, Mr Malfoy will be punished.” She said coolly. Poppy came over and pushed past Minerva to get to Katie, forcing potion down her throat which instantly relieved the pain in her leg. “I must ask that you leave.” Poppy said to them, “My patient needs her rest.” Harry looked between Poppy and Minerva who appeared to be having some kind of staring contest, which was surprising; he would never have dared to try to stare out McGonagall. Poppy eventually dropped her gaze and Minerva smirked slightly before leaving the room, the rest of the Quidditch team in tow as Poppy herded them out of the room. Once they were nearing the door Harry turned around and went to Madam Pomfrey. “Madam Pomfrey…?” Harry asked her once everyone else had left the room. “Yes, Mr Potter?” “Would it be possible…? I mean would you…?” He started, “Would you teach me healing magic?” She raised an eyebrow slightly as she surveyed him. “Why do you wish to learn?” She asked him. She was very cautious of a boy who was the godson of Remus Lupin who only the day before had filled all her potions with spiders. “I don’t really know…” He replied truthfully, “I just think it would be a useful skill to have.” She was still not sure of him. What if he was only there as some sort of spy for the others, whether or not their war had ended? He had never seemed that bad before though. She supposed that she could put him on trial and see how he went; she could always refuse to teach him. “Very well, Mr Potter.” She said to him, “But I am a busy woman. I will teach you Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings between seven and nine.” She nodded to him and ushered him out of the room. “Thanks!” He called to her before she shut the doors and she smiled slightly as he left. “What was that about?” Ron asked when Harry caught up with him outside the common room but was saved from answering as they stepped inside and the noise of their entire house cheering filled their ears. Harry stepped through into Gryffindor Tower to see that most of their house was assembled there, cheering and ready for a party. “What are you doing here?” Harry asked Fred who was stood by the doorway. George was on the other side of the room talking to some seventh years. “Couldn’t miss the opportunity to advertise, could we?” Fred grinned at him before walking over to some third and fourth years, pulling out a Skiving Snackbox from his robes as he did so. Harry shook his head slightly in disbelief and walked over to the chairs besides the fire where Hermione was sat talking to Ginny. “You were brilliant in the match, Harry.” Hermione congratulated him as he sat down near them. “Yeah, but it’s not as if Malfoy was any competition.” Harry grinned. “What an idiot, even when he saw you going for the Snitch he carried on being a Beater.” Ginny told him and Harry laughed. “I did wonder where he was but I didn’t really notice.” Harry told them truthfully. “Good job Ron didn’t start a fight with anyone…” Ginny muttered, glancing over her shoulder just to check that Ron was nowhere near her. “He can’t really be that bad, can he?” Hermione asked her and Harry and Ginny shared a glance which clearly said that he could be. “Two training sessions ago he managed to start a fight with every single member of the team.” Harry told her. “Including Harry.” Ginny added. “Well if he starts anymore fights then you’ll have to kick him off the team.” Hermione said. “I know, that’s what McGonagall told me as well and even Remus has been hinting in that direction.” Harry sighed. “Good, you know that they wouldn’t steer you wrongly.” Hermione said. “But it’s Ron!’ Harry argued, “If I kick him off the team he probably won’t speak to me again!” “Because you’ve been having really good conversations recently.” Ginny said and Harry had to admit that she was right; recently they had been arguing a lot, to the point where Harry was trying to avoid him a lot of the time so that he wouldn’t have to start an argument with him. “Trust me, if you kick him off the team and he falls out with you then he wasn’t a good friend to begin with.” Hermione told him wisely. “But he was a good friend…” Harry said. “At the moment he’s being a complete git.” Ginny said, “And I’m his sister. If you fall out with him first then there’s loads of other people who you’re friends with.” “Ron will come crawling straight back to you.” Hermione said, “He’ll regret being such an idiot in Quidditch.” “I’ll wait and see if he makes any more problems in training and if he does then I’ll kick him off the team.” Harry said, “Alright?” “I’d kick him off now before he can start more fights.” George said, coming over to them. “And start looking for a new Keeper right now.” Fred added. Harry felt slightly uneasy with the fact that three of Ron’s siblings were telling him that they should ditch him and get a new Keeper and from the way that Ginny had been phrasing things, a new best friend as well. “Look, I know you don’t want to do this Harry…” Hermione said calmly, “But it would really teach him that just because you’re meant to be best friends doesn’t mean that he can do whatever he wants in your team.” Harry nodded and glanced around the room to see where Ron was. He was talking to Laura and from the expression on her face he could see that she wasn’t impressed by him. Lewis had just left his company, clearly irritated by Ron and he came and joined them on a chair near the fire. “Do I really want to know what Ron’s been saying now?” Harry asked him, looking rather tired of his friend. “Probably not.” Lewis replied. Harry motioned for him to continue, “Basically he’s told Laura and I that if we don’t fit in with the team –” “And by team he means himself.” Ginny scowled before letting him continue. “Well yeah, he said that if we didn’t fit in with the team then we wouldn’t be playing for Gryffindor for long and after that I left but Laura challenged him about it; she wants to know why he thinks he can get away with anything.” Lewis said quietly – it was clear that he was not used to speaking to groups of people, let alone people who were mostly related to the person he wasn’t exactly being complementary about. “His head’s become so big he’ll have trouble getting through the door.” Fred said as he glanced from Ron to the Common Room door and then back to Ron, as if sizing them up. “We could deflate it somewhat...” Fred suggested. “Yes, a good sharp knitting needle should do the job.” George agreed. “Trelawney Tart anyone?” Fred asked the group around them offhandedly and all refused. “I DON’T KNOW WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE BUT JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE HARRY’S BEST FRIEND DOESN’T MEAN THAT YOU CAN DO WHATEVER THE HELL YOU LIKE!” Laura yelled at Ron across the room and Ron’s ears turned a violent shade of red but before he had chance to respond Laura had marched over to them and thrown herself onto the floor in front of the fire. “What’s he done now?” Harry groaned and Laura fixed him with a cool glare, as if it had been he who had argued with her. “He thinks he can do whatever he wants and talk to anyone the way he wants just because he’s your best friend.” She said to him and narrowed her eyes, “What are you going to do about him? He fights with everyone on the team, even Lewis!” It was becoming well known that Lewis would rather run from any form of confrontation and hide in the library than actually face anyone. The previously unknown Gryffindor was becoming rather more known as time went by and he was seen more and more as one of the new Beaters for the team, along with Dean. “You said that if he caused any more problems then you’d ditch him and get a new Keeper.” Ginny reminded him and Harry nodded and got to his feet amid wishes of good luck from his team mates and friends. “Oh and Harry?” Hermione said as he turned to walk over to Ron, “Be tactful for god’s sake!” Harry nodded and turned away from her. Harry walked across the common room towards Ron who was standing sulkily on his own and didn’t appear to want anything to do with him, Hermione or any of his siblings. “What do you want?” Ron asked him coolly as he approached, “Finished talking about me, have you?” Harry stared at him; this was so unlike the person he had known before it was almost frightening. He knew that it was his jealousy of him being Quidditch captain probably talking, after all he had been saying rather loudly that morning to Hermione that he still thought he should have been Quidditch captain. “I have actually.” Harry said in the same cool manner, determined that he wasn’t going to lose his temper as he had done so many times in the past. “I just want you to know that you’re off the team.” Ron’s mouth fell open. “You can’t kick me off the team!” He almost shouted at him, “I’m the best Keeper in this house!” “I’m sure there are other people willing to put in the effort to become a Keeper, Ron.” Harry said and turned to walk away. “Petrificus Totalus!” Ron yelled as his anger at being kicked off the team finally got to him. Harry span round quickly and flung up a strong shield using his wand which he had pulled from his pocket just in time. His first instinct had been to just use wandless magic but he wasn’t sure about how strong his shield would have been and besides that he didn’t want anyone to know he was a wandless magician just yet, except for his friends, of course. Ron narrowed his eyes at him before marching away and up to the boys’ dormitories leaving a rather shocked crowd of people behind him. Harry had a strange feeling of anxiety in his stomach, he just realised how much Ron knew about him and his extracurricular activities and just how much he could tell everyone about him. He sighed and returned to his friends sat by the fireplace. A/N: Hope you liked this chapter because I did. Ron isn't going to be a complete prat for long but I'm not sure whether or not he's coming back to the team any time soon. What do you think of my OCs? I don't think they're that bad and they don't seem too Mary Sueish (or Gary Stu in the case of Lewis) but I do want to be shouted at if they turn all perfect and irritating. I dunno what's coming in the next chapter because I've not written it yet, not any of it and it could be a good few days before it's up since I have an art exam on monday and I'm going to be spending a lot of my spare time until then working on that so I'll try and get it written Monday night and I'll post on Tuesday. A long time for me, I know but obviously exams come first :o) I look forward to seeing your responses to this chapter!
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