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Chapter Six
Joining the Quidditch Team

“ Again.”

“ Expecto Patronum.”

“ More forcefully.  Again.”

“ Expecto Patronum.”

“ Think happy thoughts.  Again.”

“ Yes, Peter Pan.  Expecto Patronum!”

“ This isn't working.  Try once more and if it doesn't work, I'll try something else.”


Harry shook his head in despair as Sev tried the spell for what seemed like the hundredth time.  They had been working on the Patronus charm for an hour, with little success, and Harry was starting to get a headache.  So far, his training of the younger Slytherin had gone rather well.  It was two weeks into the term and Sev was already getting good at basic wandless magic.  As he was the same age as Harry was when he learned the art, the older boy didn't think he would have the same problems as Dumbledore.  He expected the future Potions Master to be able to do most spells wandlessly by the end of the year.  Over the last two weeks, the boys had set up a sort of training schedule.  Sev would arrive at Harry's room at eight, where they would spend an hour working with weapons, an hour on advanced spells that the fifth year may need but wouldn't learn yet, and an hour preparing for Sev's animagus transformation.  He was progressing quickly in the animagus training, but he was finding the handling of weapons a little harder.  Harry told him it was because he needed to get in shape.  When the four time travellers had first started their training with the founders, they had been made to run laps of the lake every day to get fit.  Harry had decided the week before that Sev would need to do the same if he was to ever progress.  The younger boy had objected at first, but was now resigned to the fact that Harry wouldn't give up.

At the weekends, Harry had decided to have and extra two hours a day with the other Slytherin in his room.  He was teaching him advanced potions, which Sev was delighted about.  Harry could now see the glee on Sev's face when he was given a challenging potion to brew, and could easily see why he had grown up to be such a good Potions Master.  He had talent and an endless well of enthusiasm for the subject.  Luckily, it was a passion Harry shared, and they often spent their evenings discussing theories and reactions that most in their years wouldn't be able to follow.  Harry found it nice to have a like minded person to discuss such things with.

One thing Harry had vowed when he first started Sev's training was that he would avoid teaching him the Dark Arts as long as possible.  It wasn't that he didn't want to share his knowledge, or feared they would be misused.  It was more as a sign of respect to Dumbledore.  He knew the old headmaster would agree with him training a younger student, but thought he would object if he was teaching the Dark Arts.  While he tolerated Harry using them, he didn't think it would be wise to teach them to Sev, not without Dumbledore's approval.  Not only that, if he taught a fifth year Dark Magic, and the other Slytherins found out, he would be seen as one of the Death Eaters.  The news would soon spread around the school, and would eventually get back to the Marauders.  His friendship with them was still tentative, and he didn't want to jeapardise that in any way.  

After thinking over the spell he had been trying to teach his apprentice, which is what he classed Sev as, a small smirk spread over his face.  Sev, who was watching his teacher avidly, paled at the look and started to slowly back away.  Harry whirled around to face the retreating student, and waved his hand, muttering under his breath.  His robes immediately changed to cover his whole form and as he started to move towards a very confused Sev, the younger boy felt his insides freeze and voices start to appear in his head.  Backing up quickly, he soon found himself with his back against the wall.  Seeing no way out, he started to panic.  Lifting his wand and pointing it towards the advancing figure, he pictured in his mind the day Harry had told him he trusted him, and wanted to be his friend.  The memory firm in his mind, Sev flourished his wand and called out the spell as forcefully as he could.


With a burst of brilliant light, a figure leapt from the wand and advanced on the now retreating Harry.  With a wave of his enrobed hand, the Dementor façade disappeared and Harry stood before the trembling boy, a wide grin on his face.

“ You did it Sev!  I'm really proud of you.”

“ What in Merlin was that?”

“ That was a Dementor.”

“ You turned yourself into a Dementor?”

“ No, I just made it appear that way.  All I did was change my robes and reproduce the effect they have on people.  It was still me under there.  I just thought that over the last hour you haven't had the same motivation to get the spell right.  I just thought a little encouragement was in order.”

“ So you made me think you were a Dementor?!  Are you mental?”

“ No, I just thought that you needed a push in the right direction.  You could do it, and I knew you could do it, you just needed to be shown that you could do it.  Now, I think that's enough for tonight.”

“ But I haven't had my animagus training!”

“ I know, but that spell took a lot out of you, and you need your strength for tomorrow.”

“ Why, what happens tomorrow?”

“ We're joining the quidditch team.”

“ WHAT?!”

“ You heard me.”

“ But…why?”

“ Because I like quidditch.  And it's a good way of keeping in shape, and you need to get in shape fast.  It'll do you good.”

“ But…Potter plays quidditch…”

“ So?”

“ He'll make fun of me…”

“ And if he does, hex him.  Sev, you need to learn to stand up for yourself.  I know you can do it.  Believe me, if anyone can take care of themselves, it's you.  You just need to believe in yourself some more.  You can do it, with a little time, effort and patience.  Trust me.”

“ I do, Harry.”

“ I know.”

“ How do you know?”

“ Because a person's Patronus takes the form of the thing they associate most with protection,” Harry said, gesturing to the glowing silver winged snow leopard prowling around the room.


The next day found Harry and Sev standing on the quidditch pitch waiting for the rest of the Slytherin team to arrive.  Some of the other House teams were already assembling for the tryouts, but the Slytherins were the last to arrive.  While they were waiting, Harry had an idea.  Tugging on Sev's sleeve to get his attention, he nodded for him to follow and started to head to a specific are of the pitch.  Sev followed, confused, until they stopped in front of a piece of grass.

“ Sev, I want to show you something that very few people know about.”

“ What?”

“ This,” Harry said, waving his hand over the ground and muttering a password.  A slab of black onyx began to appear in the grass, with words materialising across it.  Sev gasped in surprise.

“ What is it?”

“ It's a dedication.  It's written in English, Anglo-Saxon and elvish.”

Sev looked at the part of the message that he could understand.

To Gallatea Ravenclaw
A special gift for a special friend. I will remember you always.
From Harry Potter

“ Wow.  Wait a minute, you mean this was written by one of Potter's ancestors?”

“ Yes, it was.  Nearly a thousand years ago.  Gallatea was the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw, and was in love with Harry Potter.”

“ Why is it written in English?  I mean, modern English?”

“ Alas, a question I cannot yet answer.  I will tell you when you are older.”

“ You sound like Dumbledore.”

“ I learned from the best.”

“ What does the other inscription say?”

“ In loving memory of Gallatea Ravenclaw.  Mother, friend and beloved daughter.”

“ You can read that?  What language is it?”

“ The elven tongue.”

“ You know that?!”

“ I never said that.  Just because I know what it says doesn't necessarily mean I can read it.”

“ True.  Why did you show me this?”

“ Lets just say I may mention it in the future, and when I do you'll know what I'm talking about.”

Harry started to head back to where the quidditch team was gathering, leaving a very confused Sev to follow behind him.


Once all of the teams and prospective players had gathered, Madame Hooch officially announced the start of the tryouts.  While the captains were speaking to the prospective players, James sauntered over from the Gryffindor area and made a bee line for Severus, a smirk on his face.  Harry noticed his approach and nudged his friend.

“ Do you want me to handle this?”

“ No, you were right with what you said yesterday.  I have to learn to stand up for myself.  I'll handle it.”

“ Good, but if he hurts you, or you need help, don't hesitate to ask.”

“ Thanks, Harry.”

By this time James had nearly reached them, and when he came to a stop in front of the pair, he nodded to Harry in greeting before turning to glare at Sev.

“ So, Snape, you're trying out for the team.  If you get on it'll be nice to know that Gryffindor will be winning the cup.”

“ I wouldn't be so sure of their chances, Potter.  After all, they have you on the team,” Sev drawled, a scowl on his face.  Harry watched in amusement as he recognised a budding potions teacher.

“ Ohh, the little Slytherin's grown a backbone.  I'm really scared.”

“ You should be.  Delitrius Lingua.”

The spell hit James right in the stomach, and he bent over, grasping his midriff.  When he straightened up and tried to reciprocate, his eyes widened in horror and he slapped his hand over his mouth.  Harry was trying hard to keep a straight face, but it was a losing battle.  When James removed his hand and tried to yell at Sev, but ended up making only vague gurgling sounds, he couldn't control himself any more.  Bursting out laughing, he fell to the floor clutching his stomach.  James gave him a betrayed look and stormed back over to his teammates.  When Harry finally got himself under control, he turned to his apprentice, face beaming in pride.

“ That was brilliant, Sev.  But did you really have to remove his tongue?”

“ Of course.  He can't hex me, and he can't tell on me.  I figured the silencing spell had already been tried, so this would be the next best thing.  Anyway, he can get it put back if he goes to the hospital wing.”

“ You do know the assistant medic is his mother, right?”

“ Really?  That cute witch?  What's her name?  Minh or something…”

“ Yeah, Minh.  She's a good friend of mine.  But I assure you, she'll see the funny side.  So will his father.  He's a good friend of mine, as well.  They were both pranksters in their time at Hogwarts, back in the forties.  They were the first generation of Marauders, you know?”

“ Really?  

“ Yeah.  They'll see the funny side.  After all, when I told them about the silencing spell, they thought it was hilarious how it was pinned on them.”

“ You mean they didn't do it?  Who did then?”

“ Well, I make a pretty good prankster myself.”
“ You did that?

“ Uhuh.  I thought it was ingenious how I got them into trouble for it.  They got detention, and I got the last laugh.”

“ I can't believe it!  You pulled a school wide prank, and you didn't even get in trouble.  How Slytherin of you.”

“ I'll take that as a compliment.  You want an example of what I like to do.”

“ Yeah, sure.”

Harry turned to the other side of the pitch, where the Gryffindor team and their new potential players were flying warm up laps.  With a wave of his hand, they suddenly found themselves flying around on vacuum cleaners.  Sev took one look and burst out laughing, gaining him some strange looks from his fellow Slytherins.  In explanation, he simply pointed to the now yelling Gryffindors, causing his Housemates to fall on the ground in merriment.


By the end of the tryouts, Harry and Sev had both made the team.  Harry was the new Seeker, and Sev was a Chaser.  They had thoroughly enjoyed themselves, usually at the Gryffindors' expense, and Sev was warming up to the idea of playing the sport.  As they were about to head up to the castle, a familiar figure sauntered up to them, sending a shiver down Sev's spine.  Harry simply stood his ground, staring blankly at the advancing seventh year.

“ So, I hear you both made the team.  We're guaranteed to lose now.”

“ Hello, Lucius, nice to see you again,” Harry said in a bored tone.  Malfoy glared at him.

“ Nice prank on the Gryffindors.  Are your loyalties starting to shift at last?  Or are you still supporting the losing side?”

“ Are you trying to get a rise out of me, Lucius?”

“ Yes, I am.  When are you going to stop acting like a noble Hufflepuff and start acting like a real Slytherin?”

“ Whatever do you mean?”

“ Like taking a weaker student under your wing.  That's more of a Hufflepuff trait, don't you think.  And we all know how weak the Hufflepuffs are…”

“ Are you calling me weak?” Harry demanded, and Sev spotted a rather disturbing glint in his eye.

“ Anyone who opposes the Dark Lord is weak.  And you've already said what side you're one.  So yes, I'm calling you weak.”

Harry was starting to get angry.  What right did Lucius Malfoy have to judge him?  To call him weak?  Harry wasn't weak, far from it.  And he was determined to prove his point.

“ Well, let us see who is weak.  You and me.  Right now.  Light warrior against Death Eater.  We'll see how weak I am.”

“ Are you proposing a duel?” Lucius smirked, taking out his wand.

“ Indeed.  An official wizard's duel, with these people here as witnesses,” Harry answered, gesturing to the growing crowd.

“ So be it.”

Both lifted their wands and took ten paced back, getting into their proper duelling positions.  One of the Hufflepuffs in the crowd ran to get the teachers as the rest stood back to avoid any stray curses.  Sev watched nervously as the pair slightly inclined their heads to each other, neither breaking eye contact.  In his lessons, Sev had seen some of what Harry was capable of, and knew he never wanted to face him in a duel.

It was Lucius Malfoy who threw the first curse, a tormenter.  It was classed as Dark, but not punishable by an Azkaban sentence.  Harry simply waved his wand and the spell dissipated.  For the duel, he had vowed not to use wandless magic unless it could go unnoticed, as he didn't want to give his secret away to the enemy, as he knew whatever Lucius saw would be reported back to Voldemort.  Raising an invisible but powerful shield with an unnoticeable gesture of his hand, the only wandless magic he was prepared to use, he sent a Dark hex back at the smirking blond.  When it hit, his left arm parted from his body and fell to the floor, leaving the vain aristocrat gaping in horror.

“ Are you regretting calling me weak, Lucius?”

“ Never.  Impedimenta.”

The spell hit the shield and dissipated, and before he had chance to recover, Harry sent another Dark curse back at him, which caused his stomach to cramp in pain.  Grabbing his middle, Lucius put up no resistance as Harry quickly disarmed him.  From his position on the floor, Lucius looked up at the victorious boy, a look of fear in his eyes.  But when Harry looked closer, he could see a clear calculating look veiled behind the fear.  Lucius was up to something.

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