47.0 HGWTS, Your Quidditch News
“We tell it how it is. Except when we don’t.”
The aftermath of the troll chase came in three parts: points lost, points gained, and information.
The points lost by Harry, Hermione, and Ron for disobeying the order to return to their dormitories – while there was a troll stomping about, no less – added up to thirty house points lost. This was a disappointment, to say the least, but of course they were still glad they’d done it, as it was to save a friend.
The points won by all four of them for killing a troll added up to one hundred points won. This was a fantastic turn of events, to say the least, but they still resolved to never come within five miles of a troll ever again, unless it was to save a friend.
The information gained by Harry, Hermione, and Ron, and then told over to Calvin, concerned the forbidden third-floor corridor.
“I’m telling you, Snape was using the troll as a distraction to try to get to the Stone!” Ron was leaning almost all the way out of his armchair, whispering as loudly as possible. They’d been deemed fully recovered and let out of the Hospital Wing only an hour ago. “Why else would he have been heading to it while everyone else was on troll-watch?”
“I know you don’t like him, but that’s no reason Professor Snape would try to steal something that’s under Dumbledore’s protection!” said Hermione in exasperation.
“Hermione, I heard my dad say once that Snape used to work for You-Know-Who!” Ron hissed. “The Gringotts spokesgoblin said there was a Dark Wizard after whatever was in the vault, and my dad also says Snape’s in league with the Malfoys – who we all know are Dark as the inside of a dragon’s belly.”
“Okay, that’s…a better reason. Still-”
“Oooo, so he’s trying to steal it for Voldemort!” said Calvin, nodding.
“What? No, Voldemort’s dead, remember?” Harry reminded him.
“Oh, right. But what if the Stone can bring Voldemort back to life?”
“Stop saying the name!” Ron said urgently.
“That’s not…that’s not possible, is it, Hermione?” Harry turned to the bushy-haired witch, who was chewing the ends of her hair.
“I haven’t read about anything that can do that, but I also haven’t read anything about the Philosopher’s Stone, and we don’t know what it does. Still, I think that’s a little bit far-fetched. But we are forgetting one thing, guys – Dumbledore wouldn’t have hired Snape if he was still Dark!”
Ron slumped, mulling it over.
“Isn’t Dumbledore completely bonkers, though?” supplied Calvin.
“He’s the greatest wizard of the century!” Hermione exclaimed.
“Aaaaand, he’s also completely bonkers, as shown by last week’s incident, among others,” replied Harry. He turned to Calvin, who gestured for him to go on. “About a week ago, we were on our way to Herbology, and the Headmaster stopped us in the halls to challenge Calvin to a hacky-sack competition.”
Calvin nodded. “He walked in front of us, bent down and took off one of his socks – it was really fuzzy-looking – and threw it to the floor at our my feet. Told me that if I didn’t pick it up and accept the challenge, he would take away house points. And I’d already spent all my house points that week.”
“So did you do it?” asked Ron, both eyebrows raised.
“I think so.”
“What do you mean, you think?”
Calvin shrugged and said, “Well, he insisted on using his invisible set of hacky-sacks, so I essentially just acted out doing it.”
“The Headmaster pretended to play hacky-sack?”
“Meaning what, exactly?”
“Well, I thought he was doing the same thing as me, until a student passed by.”
“What happened?” said Hermione.
Harry laughed. “Dumbledore told the student to get ready, and mimed passing the hacky-sack to him. The guy didn’t really react, as there was clearly no hacky-sack in sight. Until, of course, the hacky-sack hit him in the stomach.”
“Right, so Dumbledore’s completely bonkers,” Ron reiterated.
“Oh right, that’s what we were talking about,” said Harry. “The Stone.”
“So what do we do?”
“We do nothing,” Hermione told them sternly. “If there’s a problem, Professor Dumbledore will-” she paused as everyone stared at her with raised eyebrows. “Fine, but there are other teachers besides the Headmaster.”
“Yeah, and one of them’s Snape!” said Harry. “Remember how Hagrid told us that each of the teachers helped with the security for the Stone? Snape already knows how to get past his own, he’s just got to figure out the others!”
“We have to let Hagrid know not to tell him how to deal with Fluffy!”
“It sounds like we’re talking about a bunny when you say that,” said Calvin. “A ferocious bunny who could tear you apart, yes, but it still sounds like the name of a bunny.”
Hermione glanced at the clock above the fireplace. It was only mid afternoon, so they had some time. “Let’s go see him now,” she proposed. The rest of them nodded, and they quickly left the common room.
“Professor Snape’d never try to steal the Stone,” Hagrid told them, taking a whistling kettle off the fire. “He’s even helpin’ protect it, after all.” The four of them shared a glance. Hagrid set the kettle down on the table, then plopped himself down into his massive chair.
“I went ter Dumbledore, yesterday, you know, ter ask him why he thought it was a good idea ter put a bunch of firs’-years on the case of findin’ out who’s after the Stone.” The large man picked up his giant tea-cup and sipped it slowly, unaware that the four children in his hut were no longer breathing. He set the cup down with a clink and sighed. “He made a good argument fer it, though, and I trust his judgement.”
Calvin made a smothered choking sound deep in his throat, and then turned around and planted his face in the couch pillows.
“Oh yes,” said Harry, hiding his disbelief. “Dumbledore’s judgement, just the best thing in the world, mhmm.”
“Never met a man with judgement better than his, yessiree,” Ron agreed, taking a quick gulp of tea to quell his sudden coughing.
“Can’t go wrong trusting Professor Dumbledore, such a great wizard, such a great man,” added Hermione, hanging her head to hide behind her hair.
Hagrid was looking at them in confusion.
Calvin recovered enough to turn around, and cleared his throat. “All the same, Hagrid, we’d like you not to tell Snape anything about how to deal with Fluffy – for the sake of caution, you know. Can’t be too carefull.”
“Ha!” replied Hagrid, slapping his knee. “I don’t imagine Professor Snape’d know much about makin’ music, so ye don’t have ter worry about that.”
“Oh, yes, well I wasn’t sure what type of music it had to be,” said Calvin evenly.
“Any type of music, so long as it’s on tune,” the groundskeeper answered proudly. “It’ll put ‘im right ter sleep, it will. Only way to get past Fluffy.”
“That’s quite reassuring, Hagrid,” Calvin said, nodding. “Thank you for your cooperation.”
“Er, you’re welcome. Anything ter help the investigatin’. Here, have some more cakes,” Hagrid told them, placing a platter of lumpish rock cakes on the table. Calvin grabbed for one and started gnawing on it.
They talked a bit more, about classes and the terrifying troll chase, then hiked back up to the castle.
Harry bid them goodbye and headed off to another Quidditch practice – Wood was really working the team hard, as the first match was in exactly one week. Their opponents would be Slytherin, and the enthusiastic Gryffindor keeper couldn’t wait to take out his anger on them on the pitch. By blocking goals. On the occasion that the equally upset Gryffindor chasers would even let the quaffle get anywhere near him.
Calvin stopped short when they arrived back at the common room. A thought had occurred to him. “What is wrong with me!?”
“I’ve been wondering that for months, mate.”
He hastily scaled the stairs to the dormitory and pulled open the door. “How could I have forgotten-”
A bored tiger waved lazily from his bed. Calvin let out a shaky sigh of relief.
“Glad to see you got away in one piece, pineapple head.”
The spiky-haired wizard ran over and tackled the tiger, hugging him tightly. His saltwater glands may have been leaking a little bit. “I knew your survival instincts would get you out of there, buddy.”
Hobbes patted him on the back. “I always was an expert at running like heck.”
“Just like from rhinos, hm?” Calvin pulled back. “How did you get back here, anyway?”
“I wandered around a bit until a talking picture of a lady throwing slippers at a dragon got my attention. In between dodging blasts of flame, she tried directing me to the jungle. When I explained that I was actually trying to find Gryffindor tower, she told me how to get back here.” He yawned. “Then I fell asleep for a couple days.”
“You seem to be doing a lot of that, lately,” laughed Calvin. He told Hobbes what had happened after the initial appearance of the troll, and how they had finally finished it off, then what he’d learned about Snape.
“You sure showed that troll,” Hobbes said as he ended the tale.
“Showed him the bottom floor, that’s for sure. Up close and personal.”
“So Snape let the troll in as a distraction, huh?”
“Actually, Snape was at the Halloween feast when it got in.” Calvin leaned back and chuckled. “I missed the initial uproar in the Great Hall, but Ron told me what happened. Apparently Professor Quirrel came hurrying in, all out of breath and twisting around, shouted something about a troll in the dungeons, then ran into a wall and knocked himself out! I mean, talk about uncoordinated.”
Hobbes scratched his head. “I thought you said Snape was the only teacher weird enough to use the dungeons.”
“No, I said that he’s the only teacher crazy enough to use the dungeons. And it’s freezing down there,” Calvin said, shivering at the memory of the last Potions class. “It’s got to take some serious dedication to being scary to want to keep your classroom in the dungeons.”
“So what was Quirrel doing in the dungeons, then?”
Calvin opened his mouth, then realized he didn’t actually know. “Hey, you’re right. That’s pretty suspicious. Maybe they’re working together, and Quirrel let the troll in? Hmm, I have to tell everyone else.” He looked at his watch, then slid off the bed. “I’m going down for dinner, want me to bring you back something?”
“Four or five plates of meat ought to be enough,” the tiger replied.
In the Great Hall, Calvin found Dean and Seamus sitting with the twins, waiting to hear the whole story.
“Well?” said Fred expectantly.
“Come on then, tell us how you destroyed the dungeons!”
“Tell us how you caused more damage to Hogwarts than any student in decades!”
“Tell us the secrets of your destructive ways!”
“Tell us how you-”
“I’ll tell you guys if you let me,” said Calvin with a smile. He sat down, clearing his throat. “Now, listen closely, because I’m not going to say it twice. Hmm, maybe I should just write the story up on one of those pamphlets so I don’t have to waste time telling it over and over. In fact…” He stroked his chin contemplatively, then turned to the twins. “Could you cast that volume-enhancing charm on my voice? I’d use the microphone Dean got me, but it’s in my room. Gotta start carrying that thing around with me.”
“What do you have in mind?” asked Fred, getting out his wand.
Calvin told him. Fred had a suggestion. The twins beckoned over Lee Jordan. The three of them took to the tabletop.
“Attention all Hogwarts students!” announced Fred in the reverberating tone that was an effect of the voice-enhancing charm.
Calvin heard some people down the table say ‘Is it Monday already?’ and ‘I could’ve sworn it was Saturday when I woke up.’
“We don’t usually hog the airtime unless it’s Monday, but we’ve got something special for you tonight!”
“Breaking news about the Halloween troll debacle!”
“Get ready to hear how the dungeons were trashed, people!”
“I’m going to hand the spotlight over to our very own Jee Lordan for the interview.”
Lee Jordan smiled and waved at everyone. “Well folks, they’re here – the four first-years who saved our hides! But how? What happened? What went on in Hogwarts’ hallways Thursday night? You’re about to find out! Get on up here, you guys!”
Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Calvin stepped onto the table beside Lee Jordan.
“There are rumors flying every which way about the events that occurred on Halloween night,” he said to them, though his voice carried throughout the entire room. “People are saying you let in the troll yourselves, just to see if you could take it down! What do you say to these rumors?” He held his wand out like a microphone towards them.
Calvin leaned forward, clearing his throat. “Codswallop.” Then he stepped back, apparently finished.
“Anyone who thinks that is mad,” said Ron.
“We almost died,” said Hermione. “And there’s no way I would have gone through that for fun.”
“So, tell us then, how’d you end up almost getting killed?” asked Lee Jordan.
“They came looking for me,” Calvin answered.
“And where were you?”
“Wandering the many different time zones of Hogwarts, off being completely lost. The usual.”
“When we heard about the troll,” Harry explained, “we realized that Calvin wouldn’t have any idea about it, and went to find him.”
“At first, all we could find were demolished hallways and huge piles of rocks,” continued Ron, waving his hands for emphasis. “Then, we heard it.”
Lee Jordan leaned in theatrically. “What did you hear?”
“We also heard Calvin’s voice,” said Hermione, “and we knew he was in trouble, so we raced off to find him.”
“That’s when I entered the Cavern of Stairs!” Calvin exclaimed. “The troll was right behind me, and I’d just seen them coming up the staircase I was heading towards!”
“He leapt over our heads like a flying squirrel,” said Harry. “Shouting about evasive maneuvers. We changed directions in an instant, and when we’d gotten back to the bottom of the stairs, the troll jumped down onto the staircase.”
“It crumbled like a house of cards in the Gryffindor common room in Calvin’s line of sight,” said Ron with more hand motions. “Then Hermione led us into a narrow corridor and we all held our breaths as the troll stomped past us.”
“We thought we’d lost it,” Calvin cut in. “But we were wrong!”
“It burst through the wall ahead of us,” said Hermione. “I’d never been more scared in my life. Then they saved me from becoming flattened, all using the Hovering Charm on the troll’s club as he tried to smash me to bits!”
“You should have seen the beast’s face,” Ron laughed.
“We tried knocking the troll out with his own club, but it just made him even angrier.” said Harry. “Not the smartest idea. It gave chase, roaring in frustration! We ran right back the way we’d come, but we didn’t anticipate one thing.”
“What’s that?” prompted Lee Jordan, eyes wide.
“The staircase had been ruined by the troll! It was a dead end!”
“It was too late to double back, though, because the troll had appeared at the other end of the hallway, and he’d gone back for his club!”
“We were sure we were dead meat then.”
“We tried for the Hover Charm again, but it only delayed the troll for a bit, before he left his club behind and continued towards us.”
“It started thumping towards us, mean as anything.”
“Then Calvin here had a brilliant plan.”
“He waited until the troll was right in front of us – I totally thought we were about to die – and then he and Hermione cast a spell!”
“What spell?” asked Lee Jordan obligingly.
“We cast the Summoning Charm…on the club!”
“As we all jumped out of the way, the club rocketed into the troll, flinging him off the balcony and down into the depths of the school!”
“And I’m pretty sure it broke his spine, too!”
“The rest is history.”
“Well, that part was history, too. But the rest is boring history.”
“Can I get a big round of applause for these heroes!” yelled Lee Jordan, his hands in the air. “Let’s hear it for the troll slayers!”
The next few days saw them mobbed with attention every time they walked through the halls between classes. People wanted to know what the troll looked like, how big it was, how they’d come up with the plan, how to fight a troll if it didn’t have a club, how to fight a werewolf, how to cast the Summoning Charm, how to make a paper crane – yes, many of the questions were completely unrelated to the event – and how much a piece of parchment with all four of their autographs would cost.
They had well-wishers and admirers, cynicists and stalkers. Everyone was telling Harry that if a troll showed up at the Quidditch match on Saturday, they were sure he could catch the snitch and then kill the troll, all in record time.
One night, when Calvin couldn’t fall asleep as scenes from the troll chase bombarded his mind, he tiptoed down to the common room. Curiously enough, the light was still on.
Harry whirled around, wand pointed at Calvin. His eyes were wide, tinged with red. He was breathing heavily.
“Are you…sweating? It’s two in the morning! What are you doing and why didn’t you tell me so that I could join in?” Calvin crossed his arms.
“I’m…never mind. I’m just going to take a shower and go to bed,” the black-haired boy told him, running the back of his hand across his forehead. “Goodnight.” He walked past Calvin, still breathing hard.
Huh. Calvin flopped onto the couch and stared at the ceiling until he fell asleep.
Following his post-flying-lesson Thursday night in the Hospital Wing, Calvin decided to head back to the dormitories instead of the Great Hall, since Madam Pomfrey had let him go early. When he stepped through the portrait hole, he saw Harry asleep in the armchair by the fireplace, which contained only dead embers. His glasses were on the table, and his hand, dangling over the arm of the chair, still held his wand.
“Uh, Harry,” said Calvin, giving his friend a poke. Harry didn’t respond. “Oh Haaaaaaarry.” He poked him again. Nothing. “HARRY HAD A LITTLE LAMB, LITTLE LAMB, LITTLE LAMB, HARRY HAD A LI- oh, you’re awake. ”
“What are you doing!?” Harry asked, looking around, clearly disoriented. “Why are we in the common room?”
“I am in the common room because I am on my way to the dormitory. You are here because you’re being all secretive and doing sinister magical rituals all night and tiring yourself out.”
“Wha- I’m not doing any rituals,” said Harry, running a hand through his messy hair. He stood up and pocketed his wand, starting for the stairs.
“Then what were you doing in the middle of the night?” asked Calvin. He followed Harry up the stairs, poking him in the back along the way. “And why won’t you tell me?”
“Stop poking me.”
“Only if you tell me,” sang Calvin, poking him twice more.
Harry stopped at the top of the stairs and turned around. His voice was hard as he spoke, and his eyes bore into Calvin’s.
“I’m making sure I won’t be helpless again,” Harry said slowly through gritted teeth, hands clenching into fists. “I’m making sure that if anything like what happened with the troll happens again, that I’ll be ready. That I’ll be able to protect my friends.” His shoulders were shaking, and the intensity in his eyes was enough to make Calvin flinch.
“H-Harry, you helped save Hermione just as much as the rest of us.”
Harry snorted angrily. “That was Ron’s idea, and it would’ve worked without me anyway. Then your plan was the one to kill the troll, and Hermione was part of that. I couldn’t help because I didn’t know the spell. All I could do was try to use Ron’s tactic of levitating the club again, and it didn’t do a thing.”
“If you hadn’t had us do that, I wouldn’t have been able to Summon the club to knock the troll off,” Calvin pointed out.
“You don’t have to try to make me feel better, Calvin,” Harry told him, sighing. “That’s not what this is about.” He sat down on the top step, hanging his head. “What would have happened if you hadn’t known the Summoning Charm? Or if the troll kept a hold on his club? Or if Ron hadn’t come up with his idea in the first place? Hermione would be…she’d be dead. We’d probably be dead. A million things could have gone wrong.”
“But they didn’t. We survived.”
“They could have!” shouted Harry. “I couldn’t do anything because I don’t know enough magic! So I’m training, and I’m practicing every night, and I’m going to be able to protect people when I need to!” He fell silent, chest heaving.
“I’m sorry I was screaming, Calvin. I just- I can’t stand the thought of something happening to you guys because I just stood there, unable to do anything.”
“Okay, no, you’re right. And it’s awesome that you’re practicing so hard to learn more magic, beyond what we just do in class.” He caught Harry’s eye and gave him a smile. “But don’t you think it’s a little crazy to stay up all night doing it? Being exhausted won’t do you any good in a fight. Or anywhere. And speaking of which, you’ve been doing this in addition to the crazy practices Wood’s been holding?”
Harry nodded mutely.
“You’re insane! And that’s saying something, coming from me. You can’t keep this up if you want to be able to kick Slytherin’s heinies on Saturday.”
“I know, I know. But I-”
“No butts! Or any other body parts! The only thing I want to hear is ‘Yes Sir, Calvin, I will get a full night’s sleep tonight!'”
Harry rolled his eyes. “Okay. Fine.”
“I said, the only thing I want to hear is ‘Yes Sir, Calvin, I will get a full night’s sleep tonight!'”
“And I said yes, now just-”
“I said, the only thing I want to hear is-”
This time Harry was the one who interrupted. “Yes Sir, Calvin, I will get a full night’s sleep tonight!'”
“Yes you will, maggot! Now get your rear in gear and get dressed! We’ve got a Potions class to attend, and the Slavemaster of Suffering isn’t going to annoy himself!” Calvin declared, poking Harry in the chest as he stood up.
“Sir, yes sir!” Harry saluted.
“Abooouuuuut FACE!” They both pivoted. “Forwaaaaard MARCH!” They entered the dormitory.
“Shuuuuuuut UP!” yelled Ron from beneath his pillow.
Potions class was exciting as always, which meant that Draco tried to sabotage Harry’s and Ron’s potions, and Calvin tried to annoy the living daylights out of Draco and Snape.
This time, Calvin’s potion instructions were rather long, as he was in a generous mood.
Step 1: Plant roses.
Step 1.5: Plant violets
Step 2: Water the roses.
Step 2.5: Water the violets.
Step 3: Water them both every day – don’t forget or they will die.
Step 4: Wait a while, however long it takes for roses and violets to grow.
Step 5: Knit something for your grandmother while you wait.
Step 6: Maybe write a song.
Step 7: Learn a second language or something, this is going to take a while.
Step 8: Now look at the flowers you have grown.
Step 9: Reflect upon the beauty of Mother Nature.
Step 10: Resolve to be a nicer person.
Step 11: Rescue a kitty from a tree.
Step 12: Say the word ‘kitty’ over and over until it doesn’t even sound like a real word anymore.
Step 13: Look at the flowers again.
Step 14: Notice their lovely hues.
Step 15: The roses are red.
Step 16: The violets are blue.
Step 17: This step is pointless.
Step 18: And so are you.
Step 19: Have a terrible day.
– Calvin, Boy of Destiny, Student of Your Nightmares, You Know Which Ones I am Talking About, Yes, Those, Those Nightmares, You Know They Haunt You, We Both Know It, Don’t Deny It, Embrace it, Embrace the Madness, Embrace the Terror, Welcome the Fear, Cry Yourself to Sleep at Night Knowing There is Nothing You Can Do About it, Nothing at All, Ha, Ha, Ha, I Laugh at Your Pain, Ha, Ha, Ha
It only cost him half of the points he’d earned that week. Totally worth it.
“Umm, Calvin, I thought you said Hobbes was going to paint a lion’s head roaring,” said Dean, holding the banner.
Calvin shrugged apologetically. “He said he would, but when he called me over to say he’d finished, well…”
The banner depicted a ferocious tiger devouring an entire village of people dressed in green. Beneath the picture were the words, ‘SLYTHERIN JUST CANNOT WIN, THEY SURELY WILL BE CREAMED, ‘CUZ SLYTHEROUT WITHOUT A DOUBT IS WORSE THAN OUR TEAM.’
“Don’t get me wrong,” Dean told him, “I think this is awesome. But I also think we should maybe have a banner with the Gryffindor lion on it.”
“Fine, but someone should still hold this one up at the match.”
Dean’s artistic skills produced a magnificent lion, mouth open, teeth barred. At their suggestion, Hermione had enchanted the painting – the mane flowed as if in a breeze, and the mouth opened and closed menacingly. Calvin wanted to know if there was a way to make it roar.
The morning of the match, the Great Hall buzzed with anticipation.
“How am I supposed to eat when I’m about to go up against Slytherin in my first Quidditch match ever!” Harry said after Hermione told him he should eat something.
“Like this,” replied Calvin, skewering a piece of egg and moving it towards Harry’s face. “Say ‘ah,’ here comes the flying broomstick- wait, what sound do broomsticks make?”
“Whoosh?” suggested Ron.
“Stop it, Calvin, seriously. I can’t eat right now.”
“But what if a Slytherin knocks into you in midair?”
Harry turned to him. “That can happen regardless of whether or not I eat.”
“Sure,” grinned Calvin. “But don’t you want to be able to puke on him as you collide? You know,” he continued, oblivious to everyone around him making exaggerated gagging sounds, “there’s a frog that holds water in its mouth all the time, just waiting for enemies to approach, and when they do, he spits out- Hey, where’s everyone going? Wait up!”
Calvin quickly shoveled the rest of his breakfast into his mouth, then ran to catch up with his friends. Harry had to go early to prepare with the rest of the team, so he, Ron, Hermione, Dean, and Seamus headed to the entrance to the stands.
In the corridor that led to the stands, they found Professor Quirrel.
“Are…are you all right, Professor?” asked Hermione, looking concerned. Professor Quirrel was jerking to and fro like a ragdoll in a tornado, ever so slowly making progress down the hall.
“Do you want some help?” offered Dean, moving towards the man.
“N-n-no!” Quirrel did a sort of pirouette in the opposite direction, down the hall, away from the stands. Then he took a few shuffling hops back in their direction. “I n-n-n-need t-to g-g-get a-w-w-w-w-ARGH!”
He skipped angrily forward, putting himself in front of them, then abruptly bent backward at the waist. He was now staring at them upside down, hands propping himself up. “P-p-p-please st-st-sto-sto-STAND me up!”
Calvin stepped forward, but Quirrel grunted loudly and flipped into a handstand.
“N-n-n-never, d-d-don’t, g-g-get, a-w-w-w-w-w-wastebasket!”
“O-okay, we’re just going to go now,” said Dean, sidestepping away. They passed Professor Quirrel, who was doing some sort of jig with his legs in the air, and exited the hallway.
“Well folks,” said Calvin, starting up the stairs to the stands. “You heard it from our very own Defense Against the Dark Arts professor: ‘Never don’t get a wastebasket!'”
“I remember not a getting wastebasket, once, though,” Seamus commented.
Dean and Calvin converged on him, eyes wide. “Bad juju!” they chorused, then clapped their hands and danced around like monkeys.
“Oh, it’s okay now, we dispelled the effects,” replied Dean, patting him on the shoulder. “Come on, I see some open seats!”
The teachers had prepared one entire side of the stands for Gryffindors and people supporting the Gryffindor team, and the other side for those in or supporting Slytherin. They knew how easy it was for fights to break out in this sort of situation.
“Aren’t you commentating for this match?” asked Ron, looking for open seats.
“Oh right! You and Dean too! Come on!”
“Wha-? No, I didn’t-”
They dragged Ron down with them, then went to the commentator’s podium. Professor McGonagall was standing there, looking at them with one eyebrow raised.
“I am aware that you have never before announced for a Quidditch math before – let me tell you now that blatant favoritism will not be tolerated, and hate towards the Slytherin likewise.”
They all nodded, then took the magical microphone from her.
“Bpbpbpbpbpb,” said Calvin into the microphone, lips flapping. “Bdba, bdba, bdba.”
“What are you doing?” asked Ron.
“Getting my voice ready.” He cleared his throat. “The arsonist had oddly shaped feet. The arsonist had oddly shaped feet.”
“Okay, now you’re just saying nonsense.”
“The human torch was denied a bank loan.”
“Calvin, start already.”
“Ahem. In the event of an emergency, please panic as chaotically as possible and run like your life depends on it, making sure to trample as many of your fellow students as possible. Thank you.”
Are you quite finished, Mr. Calvin?” said Professor McGonagall. “The teams are about to fly out, after you announce each one. Here are the team rosters, so you know who’s who.”
“Wait, so they only come out when I announce them?” asked Calvin, a wicked gleam in his eye.
“That is correct, so you should do so now.”
“Oh no, he’s doing that low chuckle thing,” said Ron, hiding behind Dean. “He’s doing the low chuckle.”
“The Gryffindor team captain, the man behind their late nights and unfinished homework, he’s certainly a keeper, he’s the keeper, he’s OLIVER WOOD!”
Wood flew out onto the pitch, smiling, but also confused as to why he was the only one of his team to be announced.
“The three lovely chasers, proving that yes, it is possible to be both beautiful and amazing at Quidditch, ANGELINA JOHNSON, KATIE BELL, and ALICIA SPINNET!”
The three bemused Gryffindor chasers took to the air, smiling and waving.
“The scourge of the skies, the Duo of Doom, the Twins of Terror, the Pair of-“
“Calvin!” shouted Professor McGonagall.
“-The Gryffinor beaters, GRED AND FORGE!”
The redheaded twins flew out, weaving and crisscrossing, beaming at the crowd. They waved their beaters bats in the air, then tossed them to each other and caught them behind their backs.
“Weighing in at far less than anyone else on the team, with eyes the color of a field of summer grass, he’s the youngest seeker in a century, he’s the one you’ve all been waiting for, he’s probably wishing I hurried this up so he can just get out here, he’s HARRY FREAKING POTTER!”
Harry shot through the air, reaching the rest of his team and executing a masterful stop, slowing down completely within only a few feet. To say that the crowd went wild would be to say that Calvin was mildly unhinged, that magic was slightly interesting, or that Hagrid’s size was merely above average. To say that the applause sounded like a tidal wave bashing through a screen door would be- well, completely preposterous – what kind of sound does that even make.
“Calvin, the introductions are not meant to take this long,” Professor McGonagall told him as the clapping and hollering quieted down. “Do speed it up a bit.”
Calvin gave a hearty sigh. “Well, if you insist, Professor.”
“Introducing the entire Slytherin Quidditch team, please give a cold, heartless welcome-“
The Slytherin side wasn’t sure whether to ‘boo’ at his introduction or applaud the entry of their team, resulting in a hesitant, half-hearted combination of the two that quickly devolved into the awkwardest of silences.
As the players from both teams took their places, Madam Hooch rose up in the middle and said something about a fair match with ‘little to no’ casualties, then blew her whistle while tossing the quaffle up.
“And it’s one of the Slytherin chasers with the waffle, I have no idea which on he is, but he just lost possession anyway so I doubt it matters-“
“That was Montague,” Professor McGonagall told him.
“-And now Katie Bell has a hold of the waffle, heading down-field-“
“It’s the quaffle!”
“-if you can even call it a field when they’re in the air. What does that make it, an airfield? Wait, that’s for airplanes. But most of you don’t even know what airplanes are anyways, so I guess- And Gryffindor scores! That’s one point to-“
“It’s ten points, each goal is ten!” yelled the Transfiguration Professor. “Do you even know any of the rules of Quidditch?”
“Not even a little bit, Professor. Anyway, Gryffindor’s in the lead after that fantastic bit of teamwork.”
“AND THERE SHE GOES AGAIN!” shouted Dean, taking over. “Bell with the ball- sorry, the quaffle. She’s heading up the airfield, passes to Spinnet, back to Bell, to Johnson, she’s going for the- ouch, and a nasty hit by a bludger from Dowden, that guy who looks like a constipated gorilla about to throw a tantrum.”
“Dean Thomas, not another word!”
Ron nervously took the microphone that Calvin offered him.
“Um, Slytherin has possession, and that’s- that’s Flint, I think, with the quaffle, he’s taking it up, dodges a bludger, loses the quaffle as he’s hit by the bludger that came in right behind the first one. Nice one, Fred.”
“I’m George!” yelled the redheaded beater.
“Joking, I am Fred!”
“Go fly into a goalpost, Fred.”
“Mr. Weasley, kindly forfeit your hold on the microphone to Mr. Calvin,” Professor McGonagall said crossly. He did so, blushing a deep crimson.
“So apparently Slytherin’s scored two goals and Gryffindor’s gotten another one as well, which would make it a tie game! Everybody put on your ties! That was a terrible joke, why am I still holding the microphone. Oh, and there’s Wood with a B-E-A-U-tifull save! We love you, Olly – can I call you Olly? No? He’s shaking his fist, is that a no or a ‘heck yes,’ I can’t tell.
“Harry seems to be just hanging around up there, flying back and forth, I don’t think he’s caught sight of the Easter Egg- what? Right, the snitch, that’s what I meant. Anyways, back to the game. Blake just lost his beaters bat to a bludger hit by one of the- by Gred, let’s say. Fifty-percent chance, right? Flint slams into Alicia in a terrible display of sportsmanship, grabbing the waffle as she reigns in her spinning broom.
“Luckily, he drops it while dodging another twin-propelled bludger hit by, again, we’re just going to say it was Gred. Sorry Forge. Actually, it’s going to be Forge from here on out. Gryffindor scores! The score is now one number to a smaller number, what a surprise! And- what’s happening? Is that…has Harry made some headway in the Egg Hunt? He’s spotted something, either that or some massive weights have just materialized in his pockets, he’s diving for all he’s worth, and- oh come on, that was the most blatant foul I’ve ever seen. There are fouls in this game, right, that’s a thing? It looks like Harry’s lost the weights, folks. Flint – you, sir, are a party pooper.
“Oh, good, Madam Hooch called him on it. What’s happening now? A what, Professor? I’m being told that what we are now witnessing is called a penalty shot, which has nothing to do with shooting anybody, unfortunately. Talk about a letdown. Alicia takes the waffle across the airfield – I guess we’re calling it that now, it’s much cooler than ‘pitch’ – and hovers in front of the many goal posts. There are one, two, three – okay, yes, there are indeed three of them. Seemed like more before I counted. She makes the shot, Gryffindor extends its wonderful lead!
“What, that wasn’t biased, Professor, it’s objectively wonderful- wait, Harry’s seen it again! He’s speeding off to the corner of the airfield, he dodges a bludger, Forge comes up from beneath to deflect another, why in the world are the Slytherin chasers all chasing Harry instead of the waffle!? Harry swerves up, he swerves left, he’s after something that obviously only he can see, he doubles back OH NOW THAT’S JUST- one of the Slytherin chasers has grabbed the end of Harry’s broom just as he was passing! Are you kidding me? You should not be allowed to send five-year olds to Hogwarts just because they weigh as much as- no, Professor McGonagall, I am not sorry, were you even watching!?
“Oh, yes, there is another penalty shot, this one being taken by Angelina. She scores! This just in, the Slytherin keeper cannot save a thing – and that’s just an observation, Professor. Anyways, way to go, Bletchley. You da man. The Slytherin beaters are now completely focusing their violent, insatiable blood lust on Harry, not giving him even a moment’s peace to resume the Egg Hunt. The twins are now running interference on the bludgers, forcing the Slytherin beaters to take a break and defend their teammates. Speaking of which, the Gryffindor chasers are absolutely dominating, their opponents just cannot keep up, except for the occasional, legally questionable grapple resulting in Flint holding the waffle.
“That son of a mantis, he’s done it again. What, Professor? How is that insulting, preying mantis are wicked cool, they even have saws on their arms! There goes the Slytherin mantis, in possession once more, I hope his eventual wife eats his head. That’s just a fun fact about preying mantis, Professor – this is a school, right? Don’t you promote education even on the airfield? It’s got to be at least ten billion to nothing in Gryffindor’s favor by now – oh, it’s ninety to thirty. Eh, close enough.
“Once again, Harry is making a bee-line for something no one else can see! I sure hope he’s not just imagining things, wouldn’t that be embarrassing. The entire Slytherin team including the keeper is now trying to obstruct Harry’s flight path! He does a loop back around and heads across the airfield upside down, righting himself as he flies. I’m not sure what he’s flying towards anymore, because he’s going in the complete opposite direction from his inital dive.
“Meanwhile, the Gryffindor chasers are using the opportunity to score a frankly ridiculous amount of goals – can you even do that, just hover there and pass it back and forth? The Slytherin team is still occupied with trying to stop Harry from going wherever he’s going, though it’s unclear if he even has any idea where the golden eggball is anymore – he’s still looking determined and is crouched low over his broom, though, so he might actually still be after it.
“At this point, Harry, you should really let the Slytherin seeker get the egg as a consolation of sorts – Gryffindor is now literally ahead by two-hundred and seventy points and counting- Oh, it looks like the Slytherins just noticed that Harry has been faking it the entire time in order to give his team’s chasers this very opportunity! Too late, guys, even if you catch the golden egg now, you lose.
And Harry’s gone into another dive just as the Slytherin team scatters, heading back to their places! He’s rapidly approaching the ground, it looks like an extremely powerful tractor beam’s got him. He’s pulling up right before impact, pointing his broom almost straight up- he’s- Harry is jumping from his broom! His hand is outstretched, he’s in the air and his momentum is almost gone- he’s pulled his hand in, WHAT DOES IT MEAN!? He’s hit the ground now, a picture perfect execution of the classic cannonball, someone ought to remind him that’s supposed to be done in water only- IT’S THE GOLDEN EGG, HE’S GOT THE- sorry, Professor, yes, I know it’s the snitch.
“Harry has caught the snitch and Gryffindor wins, four hundred and seventy to a pitiful thirty points! HA! Oh, man, that was great. Nice flying, Harry. Great game of catch, Katie, Alicia, and Angelina. Fantastic game of Protect Harry and Break the Slytherins’ Noses With Bludgers, Gred and Forge. Incredible keeping, Wood. Just a wonderful job all around, everyone, give yourselves a pat on the back.
“Up next, an interview with the dreadfully ashamed Slytherin Quidditch team- wait, Professor, I’m not finished- no, I don’t want- no, no, no, noooooooooooo-“
If you would like to leave a review, please visit the fic on ff.net. Thanks for reading.