Authors Note: So I had planned for this chapter to be Harry's first Quidditch match but, well... Charlie is a very protective mate and refused to spend another moment away from Harry! He tied me to a chair at threat of being eaten by a dragon and demanded that I write this chapter, that of course caused Harry to act up and well... Enjoy~! ^-^
A few short scenes but hey, if they got extended the chapter would never end. That and I didn't want to give too much away! ;) Keep the mystique as it were.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, if I did I would be the luckiest girl in the world!
Chapter 17: Enter the Dragon
The story about the troll attack spread like wildfire that night. It had begun with a simple inquiry as to the missing first years' locations and had quickly escalated from there. Somehow by the time morning came even those in Slytherin house, who should have had no incite, knew of what happened as much as any other student, though of course certain details had been left out.
For one, everyone seemed to be under the impression that four first year students had been able to defeat a fully grown mountain troll on their own!
Fluffy wasn't mentioned what-so-ever nor was the fact that the troll had been torn to shreds and had taken a decent portion of the charms corridor with it.
By the time morning came there was little evidence left to prove that a troll had gotten into the school at all, the corridor had been cleaned of all traces of blood and debris and the walls and floor were repaired.
Add together these factors and the fact that the four first years were forced to spend the night in the hospital wing for 'a minor case of shock' and they quickly became legends to the rest of the student body.
"Really now Severus, you could at least chuckle instead of just smirking into your coffee cup!" Minerva huffed in exasperation from her place beside him.
"Really Minerva," Filius began from her other side with a smile of his own, "You- Oh look! Poppy let them out after all! Oh dear, Potter looks awfully mad don't you think?"
It was true. Potter looked to be extremely upset as he quickly made his way through the surge of students who had risen up to greet the fours arrival. He even seemed to be ignoring the Granger girls attempts to stop him as he continued towards what appeared to be a pale and nervous looking Ravenclaw first year.
"I wonder what that's all about." Minerva murmured as they, along with the rest of the hall, watched the scene unfold before them.
Potter had finally come to a stop in front of an extremely pale and shaking Lisa Turpin who seemed to be cowering away from the angry Hufflepuff. Behind him the youngest Weasley and the Longbottom boy were also glaring at the girl while Granger simply stood behind the three and blushed.
"You're Lisa Turpin right?" Potter began his voice hard and his posture, despite him being far too small for his age, screaming danger.
"Y-Yes," She whimpered as she sunk back further into her seat.
"What do you think is going on?" Filius murmured absentmindedly, confusion coloring his voice.
"Do you have any idea what could have happened yesterday?" Potter continued, his voice hard and even yet oddly it was worse than if he had shouted. Impressive.
"N-No," Turpin stuttered before curling into herself further as Potters eyes narrowed dangerously.
"Then let me educate you," Potter continued with a smirk as he leaned back, his arms crossed and his hip jutted out to the side to make him look perfectly comfortable as though this were just another conversation with a good friend. As if to match his change in posture his voice changed as well as it went from the previous deadly calm to gentle and friendly. These changes made his next words all the more horrible.
"Hermione could have died. If what you said had been even remotely true, which it's not I assure you, and we didn't care for her like we do then she would have died. I know that you heard about what happened last night, everyone did. So let me ask you... How do you feel about that? You were the reason Hermione ran off, the reason she was alone, and you told no one. You did nothing. When Professor Quirrel came in with his warning about the troll you didn't tell anyone. You told no one that she wasn't there. Where you had last seen her. That she was in danger. You should count yourself lucky Lisa Turpin. Count yourself lucky that every single word you spoke yesterday were lies. Because if they weren't and we hadn't gone looking for Hermione then she could have been killed and the blame would lie solely with you."
With that Potter spun on his heal, slung one arm around Granger's waist and the four first years left the great hall behind in stunned silence.
Saturday morning and the school had finally calmed down again.
Dumbledore had given a spiel on how the troll getting in had been nothing but a one in a million fluke that had been since been remedied and classes went on as before, though the teachers did seem to have approved of Harry's... 'Conversation' with Lisa Turpin.
As the mail came in the four friends couldn't help but huddle that little bit closer in fear. Today they were all but guaranteed anxious letters from there loved ones. The only reason they didn't get any yesterday was because of the distance that the owls would need to travel added onto the original letter sent from Professor McGonagall on Halloween.
With every owl that swept through the air above them the feeling of despair grew.
"Please not another Howler," Harry whispered in fear as an owl swooped down and landed gracefully on the table. With a shaking hand Harry reached forward and untied the parchment from the owls leg.
Gathering his courage Harry opened the letter...
I am so glad that you are okay! I won't go into detail now, there's plenty of time for that later.
Anyways, I hope this gets to you in time but Mum, Dad, Bill, Sirius, Remus, Madame Longbottom, the Granger's and I are all coming to Hogwarts.
I will be in disguise, both appearance and voice, but you should be able to figure out who I am through process of elimination. For the time being just call me Balaur, no need for the old goat to know who I am yet.
Love you my little dragon and see you soon,
Quickly reading through the short letter a second time to make sure that he had indeed read it right Harry could practically feel the happiness and dread warring within him.
"Um, you guys," Harry said nervously as they redirected their dread filled gazes from the owls above towards him. "You don't need to worry about an owl. Our families are coming..."
"What?" Hermione hissed as Ron snagged the letter and read through it before blanching.
"Bloody hell," He moaned as Neville and Hermione read through it together, "We're dead."
As though summoned by their horror the doors of the great hall banged open and hit the walls with a loud 'CRASH'.
There standing in the doorway were several familiar faces as well as three others. Molly and Arthur stood to one side of the doors next to a black robed man who's hood was up and obscured his features completely, Harry figured that was Charlie, sorry Balaur. Beside him stood two brunettes that Harry didn't know, one was an older woman who looked just like Hermione but with blue eyes and the other was a slightly taller man with short hair who had Hermione's warm chocolate brown eyes. Beside them stood Lady Longbottom, Sirius and Remus.
Within an instant the hooded figure swept down aisle way towards where Harry was seated and with a happy smile Harry stood and ran the rest of the way to meet his mate.
"Balaur!" Harry cried happily as he was swept into the mans warm embrace. Having to use a different name made little difference to Harry. This was Charlie! He was here and oh, his hugs were the best!
"Harry," Balaur said, his voice so unlike what Harry was used to he couldn't help but giggle. Instead of Charlie's usual warm timbre it now held a deep gravelly quality that was oddly chilling and warming at the same time. "I'm glad that you're safe."
"I am sorry but none of you have clearance to be inside the castle, least of all you mister... Balaur?" Dumbledore practically seethed as he stood from his place in the middle of the head table.
"I'm sorry," Balaur growled, his gravelly voice taking on an icy quality that seemed to act as knives directed straight at Dumbledore, "But you'll find I have just as much right to be here as those behind me. I share guardianship of Harry with Sirius Black in joint custody thus granting us as much permission as the others. You have no right to withhold our children from us. Not only do we have signed permission from the board of governors and the ministry, but also the Deputy Headmistress. Even if we had none of this paperwork we would still be within our rights to come here because this is Saturday and since there are no classes to interrupt you have no stance to see us thrown out as written within the Hogwarts Charter."
Silence reigned through the hall as Dumbledore spluttered in indignation, his mouth opening and closing as he obviously tried to figure out something that he could say without digging a deeper hole for himself.
"If you all would prefer," Professor McGonagall said as she too rose from her seat and began to make her way towards the group of parents fussing over their children in the middle of the aisle, "There is a chamber right over there where you can retire for the remainder of breakfast. Afterwards you are more than free to stay until dinner."
"Now see here Minerva-!" Dumbledore called in outrage as he was steadily ignored and the group was lead towards the chamber off to the side of the head table.
"I do see Albus," Professor McGonagall sniffed as she looked up at the headmaster through narrowed eyes, "I see that you have already overstepped your bounds. Now if you'll excuse me," With that the professor lead them through the doorway and quickly excused herself to give the families some privacy.
The moment the door was closed and privacy wards were erected the four first years and the other Weasley children found themselves being strangled in the embrace of various emotional adults.
Several long and assurance filled minutes later and the adults had finally calmed down enough for the group to sit down and for proper introductions to be made.
"You guys," Hermione said with a smile from her position between the two brunettes on one of the couches, "These are my parents Dan and Emma Granger. Mum, Dad, these are my best friends, Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Neville Longbottom. That's Fred, George and Percy Weasley, Ron's brothers who still attend Hogwarts and if I'm correct the man who was wearing the cloak is Charlie another brother of Ron's. These two are Molly and Arthur Weasley, Ron's parents, and finally Sirius Black and Remus Lupin and Lady Longbottom, Neville's grandmother."
"It's nice to meet you all," Dan said into the stunned silence as he, Emma and the three other first years chuckled, already used to Hermione.
"It's nice to meet you as well mister Granger," Neville said with a smile from his place beside his grandmother who seemed stunned at his easy and confident answer. It appeared his friendship with the others had indeed done wonders to his confidence levels.
"If I may ask," Emma began curiously as she looked at Charlie, "Why is it that you went by, what was it... Balaur? Yes, why is it that you went by Balaur when your name is Charlie?"
"Ah, right..." Charlie said with an embarrassed chuckle as he rubbed at the back of his neck with one hand and held Harry close with the other. "You see, witches and wizards have this thing called a 'Soul Mate'. Harry is mine. It basically means that we're meant to be together, though of course it is at his pace. The Headmaster is currently in some trouble with the government and looking to get sacked, as you were informed. The Headmaster especially tends to make it a habit to meddle in Harry's life. So, if he doesn't know who I really am then he can't try to mess with it."
"That makes sense," Emma said with a smile before her gaze landed on Harry who was currently curled into Charlies side. "If I may, you two do make a very lovely couple."
"So what exactly is happening with the family accounts?" Harry said as he and Charlie, once again cloaked and hidden from view, walked around the lake holding hands in the slightly chilly air.
"The goblins are working on it as we speak," Came the gravelly voice that belonged to Balaur, "They think that it should be settled come Christmas. In fact, since they played such a key role before goblin relations have really taken a turn for the better."
"That's great!" Harry said happily as he moved so that he was facing Charlie while walking backwards. "Oh, I have a request."
"What is it?"
"Okay well, something is wrong with Cedric. It's not just him being creepy it's... Well, whenever I'm in the equation he's completely different. A little too different, you know? One moment he could be joking and happy and then he sees me and it's suddenly like he's a puppy and I'm it's master. It's weird and his friends have noticed it too. We think something might have been done to him but we don't know what. Do you think you could, I don't know, run a scan or something?" Harry babbled as they made their way back towards the front doors of the school.
"Of course, I believe that you wanted to see if I could take a tour of your common room anyways?"
"Yep!" Harry chirped happily as he moved back to Charlies side and cuddled his arm as they continued to move. "Professor Sprout should be in her office right now, it's around the time that she takes a break from the greenhouses."
"I'll see you soon then Harry," Charlie rumbled as he bent down and kissed Harry of the forehead. "I will make sure those results get to the right person as well. I'm sorry that I couldn't figure out what was wrong with him but we will figure it out. Oh and remember, Sirius, Remus, and I will be coming on the twenty third to see your first match! The others wanted to come as well but... Well you know."
"I'll remember and it's okay," Harry said with a smile as he hugged Charlie and pulled away. "I've got to go, dinner will be starting soon. You'll still write to me?"
"But of course," Charlie rumbled as he kissed Harry quickly, a mere brush of the lips that left Harry blushing deeply and causing Charlie to chuckle.
With that he left and Harry remained to watch him for a moment, neither aware of the gaze burning into them...
As November continued on the temperature continued to grow colder. It became a completely normal sight to see Hagrid defrosting the school broomsticks in the early morning air, yet another point of proof for how truly old and in need of replacement the schools broomsticks were.
Along with the change in temperature there was also a major change in atmosphere. Finally, the Quidditch season had begun!
Hufflepuff wouldn't be playing until the second game of the season but that just meant they, along with Ravenclaw, had more time to prepare. As Harry was forced to listen to the Twins' complaints on their captain, Oliver Wood's, obsession he couldn't help but feel even happier.
Of course talk of Quidditch was rare between Harry and the Twins any more, not because of the fact that they were on rival teams, but because they were instead focusing on other aspects. Like the fact that Harry was a legacy Marauder.
That had been a fun discovery for the Twins.
Ever since, whenever they had seen Harry they would bow at the waist, sometimes full out drop to the floor, and welcome their 'Lord, King of the Pranksters'.
Harry had taken to ignoring them...
The morning of the Quidditch match the weather was perfect. The air had a slight nip to it but no greater than requiring a light jacket and scarf, the sky clear and the sun shining bright. Perfect for Seekers, the added light would make it that much easier for them to catch sight of the gling of gold that was the snitch.
By eleven what seemed to be the entire population of the school were gathered in the stands that surrounded the Quidditch pitch. Many of the students were even sporting pairs of binoculars in an effort to be greater able to watch the match.
Harry, who was sitting between his group of friend and the Hufflepuff Quidditch team could practically feel the excitement in the air.
The match was grueling in the fact that both teams were relatively even. Gryffindor's chasers worked amazingly well together and you could do no better than the twins for beaters, Oliver Wood was also an amazing keeper. The Gryffindor seeker however left much to be desired and the Slytherin's made up for the Gryffindor's strengths with dirty tricks and sneak plays.
Within five minutes the Gryffindor seeker had been hit by three bludgers, each only clipping him but obviously causing a great deal of pain if his reactions were anything to go by.
Within ten minutes Fred and George were forced to begin circling him in an effort to keep him alive.
By the time the Slytherin Seeker had finally caught the snitch the Gryffindor chasers had proved beyond a doubt that they were to be feared.
The game ended with a score of 230-210. Slytherin won the game by 20 measly points.
Authors Note: Next chapter is dear Harry's first Quidditch match! ^-^
Yes, this chapter is a little different but oh well. :) Still works.
Some of you may be wondering why Molly didn't get to yell at Dumbles, well the answer is simple! Molly is a proud Mommy! :3