The Blood Sport was Diagon Alley's trendiest sports bar on match day, but at half two on this Wednesday afternoon, only two patrons sat amidst the swirling photographs and Quidditch scarves. One was a familiar face in the pub: Daffid Llewellyn-Jones, the Caerphilly Catapults' keeper, would have been swarmed by fans, were there any around at this hour. As for the other ...
"That's absolutely thrilling," Rita Skeeter cooed, running a scarlet nail along the rim of her sherry glass. "I always find Quidditch strategy fascinating … don't you?" Before her companion could answer, Rita added, "And I'm sure you've had no small part in turning the Catapults around this year."
("The handsome keeper blushed when asked about his part in leading the Catapults to their biggest victories in nearly fifty years," scribbled the Quick-Quill beside her. "His sea-green eyes grew distant, as if they could gaze back to the glory days of 1956, when Caerphilly defeated the Karasjok Kites in a momentous ...")
The quill sputtered on the parchment as Rita turned to see who had interrupted her thoughts. "Yes?"
"Rita Skeeter. Don't you recognize me?"
With a long, polished fingernail she lowered her bejewelled spectacles to give the young man a good once over, top to bottom. Or bottom to top, more accurately, since his scuffed loafers were the first things that caught her eye. Atop these were rumpled corduroy trousers, Muggle-style, and a threadbare homemade jumper on which she could just make out the letter "H." His face, like the rest of his body, was painfully thin, though his shoulders were broad enough. She guessed he was around eighteen years of age, although round eyeglasses made him look much younger. Unruly black hair completed the look, as if he'd just rised from bed amidst a frightful hurricane. He wasn't someone who most people would look at twice—more like one they'd stumble over as he lay drunk on some unnamed street corner—but Rita, who never forgot a face, studied him carefully.
"I'm sorry, should I?"
"I'm Harry Potter!" His voice held barely contained agitation, and his fists clenched and unclenched as he stood there. "Don't you know me? I defeated Voldemort!"
"Who?" Rita squinted at the strange name, then shook her blond curls dismissively. "I'm sorry, Mr ... Potter, is it? I'm in the middle of an interview, so if you'll just ..." Her words trailed off with the flick of her hand. Rita knew the boy hadn't moved, but she turned back to her companion with an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry, Daffid. You were saying ..."
A roar slowly grew, like the sound of a subway train emerging from a tunnel, bringing with it the splintering sound of liquor bottles exploding at the bar. Rita squealed as the Ogden's Old Firewhisky mirror shattered behind them, leaning into Daffid as he quickly covered her with his cloak. At any other time she'd be appreciating the athlete's finely toned body, but now all she could think of were the shards of glass raining down. She peered up just in time to see the bartender run over, wand drawn, forcing the young man to back toward the door. His protests rang throughout the empty pub:
"But I'm Harry Potter!!"