September 14, 1991
“Again Neville, I’m really sorry you got dragged into all of that.”
Neville shrugged. “It’s okay. I could have said no.”
Ivy tilted her head and asked, “Well why didn’t you?”
“I need you to be my second in a duel tonight.”
Neville brain froze up at that. Ron wanted him to do what?
“Be my second in a duel.” Apparently Neville had spoken out loud. “You know, show up, and beat Malfoy if he cheats or something.”
What Neville wanted to say was something along the lines of: “Why would you do that? Why me? Don’t drag me into this. Why are you the way you are?”
What came out was altogether different. Actually, nothing really came out (which was part of the problem). There was a sort of squeaking sound that was unfortunately audible and he found himself quite involuntarily nodding his head. Merlin, he was screwed.
“Who is Malfoy’s second?” was the question he finally managed to get out.
“Potter,” was Ron’s reply.
Neville’s next thoughts included several words that he was fairly certain he was not supposed to know.
“Didn’t get a chance.”
Ivy nodded. “Yeah, I understand. Well sorry just the same.”
Neville just shrugged. It hadn’t ended up being so bad. And they hadn’t even gotten caught, unless you count the Weasley twins, but they had just laughed at Ron’s indignation and said that Malfoy probably didn’t show up because Ivy wasn’t an idiot and had likely made him stay in their common room. So with no worries that the twins were going to tell on them, Neville had gradually relaxed about the whole thing. This whole adventure thing was kind of exciting. Of course that didn’t mean he’d want to do it again. Well, maybe he would, but maybe the next one could be during the day. And not break any school rules.
“Oi, Gred. Looks like we got ourselves a snake in the lion’s den.”
Neville looked up to see the twins sitting down across from Ivy and him.
“What’s our favorite snake doing over here?”
“Just saying hi to Neville. And telling him sorry about the whole duel thing before.”
Neville went a little red. Couldn’t they keep it down? He really didn’t want anyone else hearing about this.
The twins just nodded.
“Yes, poor Neville…”
“Bravely following our dear, idiot baby brother…”
“Like the true friend he is.”
Neville went even more red. He could feel it. He must look like a tomato by now.
Ivy smiled. “Yeah, he is a good friend. Still wasn’t nice to drag him into it though,” she said, her smile changing to a frown as she spoke.
Nope, now he was a tomato. The twins had obviously noticed and were smirking at him. This was all horrible.
Finally the fates took pity on him.
“Well sorry we can’t stick around…”
“But we best be heading off.”
Ivy looked at both boys. “How come? It’s Saturday? And don’t say the library because I’m not sure I’d believe you.”
They pretended to look affronted at that.
“Hey, I’ll have you know that we spent plenty of time in the library…”
“The first week…”
“Of our first year.”
Neville and Ivy both laughed.
“But as it turns out…”
“Today is quidditch tryouts.”
Ivy sighed. “What is it with everyone and quidditch?”
Both twins gasped. How did they keep doing things like that so in sync?
“You can’t mean to say, Miss Potter…”
“That you don’t know about quidditch?”
Ivy rolled her eyes. “Of course I know about quidditch. I know plenty about quidditch. I just don’t get what the big deal is.”
With that the twins got up, leapt over the table to some mild protests by surrounding students and a very stern look from their head of house at the staff table, and both knelt on one knee on either side of Ivy. Neville was awkwardly in the way but there wasn’t anywhere to go so he just stayed put.
“Come with us, o fairest snake so we can demonstrate to you…”
“Just how amazing…”
“And absolutely brilliant quidditch is.”
Ivy rolled her eyes again. “I don’t think watching a bunch of students try out is going to change my mind at all.”
The twins gave her a quality puppy dog eyes look, and Ivy giggled. “Alright fine. I’ll come. Happy?”
The twins whooped and ran out of the great hall, completely ignoring Professor McGonagall’s protests from the head table.
Ivy turned to Neville. “Do you want to come?” she asked.
Neville shook his head no. “Sorry, I’ve got an essay I need to finish. Thanks though.”
Ivy just smiled and shrugged her shoulders. “That’s okay. I’ll make Draco go.”
For the briefest moment Neville pitied Malfoy. He recovered exceptionally quickly.
“So where are we going anyway?”
“Tryouts already happened, Ivy. Plus I thought you hated quidditch.”
Ivy huffed. “I don’t hate it, I just don’t see why everyone is so obsessed with it. And the Slytherin tryouts were yesterday.”
It took Draco a moment to understand the implications of that sentence. She knew tryouts were yesterday. So why…
“No, no, nonononono. No. We are NOT going to another house’s tryouts.”
“You lost the right to say no to me, Draco Malfoy.”
“Oh would you get over it already.”
“You dragged me into that stupid duel…”
“That I never intended on fighting.”
“…so you can let me drag you into this.”
Draco muttered that she had, quite literally, been the one doing all the dragging. Ivy ignored him in favor of continuing to drag him. Deciding that it was much more dignified to walk of his own accord than to be dragged through Hogwarts, Draco shrugged out of her grasp and began quickening his pace. Maybe people would think she was the one following him. That would be much better for his image. Truth is rather irrelevant when it comes to image, after all.
“At least tell me it’s Ravenclaw or something.”
Ivy shook her head. “Gryffindor.”
Draco’s protest of “why me” did absolutely nothing to dissuade Ivy.
Ivy was enjoying herself. She had half expected the twins to do something amusing during the tryouts, because, well, it was them, and she wasn’t disappointed. The longer it took for the Gryffindor captain to run the prospects through trials, the more theatrical the twins became. Even Draco was entertained, though he did his best to hide it.
Both were also entertained by the Gryffindor captain’s growing frustration at the prospective seekers. He was trying to have them go up against each other, but none of them were good enough to actually do much. One kid had almost fallen off his broom, but had recovered in time. Two others had nearly crashed into each other in an attempt to catch the snitch, which had disappeared after that. Draco had burst out laughing at the sight, and the Gryffindors had turned to glare at the two Slytherins.
A moment later the Gryffindor captain flew over to where Ivy and Draco were sitting.
“What’re you two doing here?”
Ivy shrugged. “The twins invited us.”
“You,” Draco added unhelpfully.
“Us,” Ivy said again.
The Gryffindor had a pained look on his face. “Fred, George,” he bellowed. “Get your brooms over here.”
The redheads flew over with an entirely unnecessary number of loops and spins, to Ivy’s amusement, Draco’s annoyance, and their captain’s exasperation.
“Yes, oh cap-i-tan?” George asked.
“Why’d you invite a couple of snakes to tryouts? Don’t you know they’re just going to report back to Flint? What were you thinking?”
“Whoa, calm down there, Wood,” said Fred.
“See, we’re just trying to do our duty…”
“As the wonderful friends we are…”
“And introduce a couple of kids…”
“To the fantastic sport of quidditch.”
Ivy was fairly certain she saw Wood’s eye twitch. Why did people do that so often, anyway? Sure, she’d made it a game to see how often she could get Henry to do it, but she had no idea so many other people did it too.
“Right,” said Wood. He turned back towards Draco and Ivy. “So you two are new to quidditch then, hmm?”
Draco rolled his eyes and started to say that he was perfectly well acquainted to the sport, thank you very much, but Ivy interrupted the start of that particular rant.
“Oh I’m familiar with quidditch. I just don’t see what the big deal is.”
Wood’s eye twitched very clearly that time.
Ivy continued. “The seeker tryouts aren’t going so well though, are they. Do you need any help having them go up against someone? I could help if you wanted. Except I haven’t got a broom with me so I suppose that wouldn’t do much good.”
All four boys were staring at her.
“You play seeker and you didn’t tell me?” Draco asked, incensed.
Ivy rolled her eyes. “Yes I can play seeker. I’m pretty good at it I think. At least that’s what Henry says. And he’s really good so I guess that’s gotta be worth something.”
Wood had a very pained look on his face now.
Fred hopped off his broom and plopped down next to Ivy. “Here you go, princess,” he said, handing his broom to her. “Go help Wood. I’ll stay here and keep the grumpy dragon company.”
Draco protested that his name was not dragon and that he was not grumpy. Ivy personally thought his protest didn’t help his cause, but she just hopped on Fred’s broom and took off.
Oliver watched the Slytherin first year take off towards his tryouts on his player’s broom. He looked at both of the twins, but they each just shrugged, the one twin then turning and following after Potter.
Wondering why he couldn’t have just been handed a new seeker on a a golden platter, Oliver sighed and headed off towards the students still hoping for a spot on the team. If nothing else, it was unlikely that Potter was actually worse than some of the Gryffindors. That wasn’t a particularly comforting thought. No doubt if she was even halfway decent Flint would snatch her up next year.
When he arrived at the group of seeker wannabes he asked, “So where’s the snitch?”
None of the other students met his eye. Finally someone muttered, “We lost it.”
Oliver felt like crying. “Well then go find it. That’s why it’s called a seeker.”
“But we already tried that,” one student who was most definitely not making the team whined.
Forty minutes later, no one had even spotted the snitch. He glanced around. Potter and Weasley were sitting on their brooms, chatting away, the chasers who were on the team were on the ground, also chatting, his other beater was still in the stands, talking to the other Slytherin, the seeker hopefuls were still meandering around the pitch, and everyone else had left.
With a significant amount of willpower, Oliver turned towards the small first year near him. “Potter, think you can find the snitch?”
Potter stopped talking to Weasley and turned towards him, surprised. “Umm, sure? Why?”
Oliver gritted his teeth. “Because apparently we…lost it.”
“Oh, okay. On it.” And with that she took off cheerfully. Well the kid was definitely a natural on the broom. No doubt about that.
He turned towards Weasley, who had a stupid grin on his face. “Oh, shut up Weasley.”
“Didn’t say a thing…” Oliver glared and Weasley mimed zipping his lips shut.
Less than five minutes later Potter was back. With the snitch. “Here you go,” she said, handing it to him. “Sorry it took me so long.”
She was sorry it…took her so…
Oliver graciously accepted the snitch. That was it. It now was his desire, no, it was his duty to convince her that quidditch was brilliant. And that she should love it. And play it. Well, maybe not for Flint, but perhaps he could figure out a way to get her into quidditch without her ending up being the star of the Slytherin Quidditch Team for the next six years.