Harry felt a tap on his occlumency shields, and a glance to the side showed that Snape was lurking in the shadow of the bleachers, ready to leap out and take points from any Potters that happened to be present.
"Now everyone slowly raise your brooms up in the air before gently pulling back on the handle," Madame Hooch instructed.
The students slowly rose in the air, some slower than others, not really comfortable being off the ground, much less doing so on a broom.
After a few minutes of gently circling the field Harry caught Draco's eye and nodded.
Draco smirked and gave a signal to Crabbe... and then did it again several seconds later.
Crabbe didn't notice as he was concentrating on flying.
With a sigh Draco caught Goyle's eye and signaled him.
Goyle nodded and rammed into Crabbe, knocking them both off their brooms. The two crashed into the ground in a tangle of limbs and curses. Goyle got to his feet holding his right arm close to his body as Madame Hooch arrived. "I think it's broken," he said before she could say anything.
"You two come with me to the infirmary," the flying instructor said before turning to the class. "Everyone down, if anyone gets both feet off the ground before I get back, I'll see them expelled."
The entire class settled to the ground and Draco gave Harry a nervous look.
"It's a bluff," Harry assured him. "We'll wait until she's entered the castle and do it."
"Do what?" Hermione asked, concerned.
"A simple contest between me and Malfoy," Harry said formally.
"Yes, we have a small bet on who is the better seeker," Draco spoke up, recognizing his cue and beginning to grin. He'd trained like crazy with Harry in the early hours of the morning before the castle woke up and he wasn't abought to let a week's worth of lost beauty sleep go to waste!
Harry pulled a golden snitch out of his pocket. "First one to catch it?" he suggested. "It's in professional mode."
"That would be a decent test of skills," Malfoy agreed.
"Hooch said she'd expel anyone caught flying," Ron pointed out.
"Then we'll have to be quick," Harry said, flicking the snitch into the air.
The small golden ball immediately sped off, quickly vanishing from sight even as everyone tried to track it.
"Jeez, that's fast," Dean said.
"Ready, Malfoy?" Harry asked.
"Of course," Draco replied, before the two shot off the ground.
"He better not get expelled," Hermione worried.
"If they expelled him, they'd have to expel Malfoy as well," Neville pointed out, "so that's not likely."
"What do you mean?" Dean asked.
"Potter and Malfoy are both powerful names in politics," Ron explained. "Potter is part of the progressive faction while Malfoy is part of the… darker elements who want to turn back the clock a hundred years, to when muggle baiting was allowed and you could curse anyone who came on your property. While Potter would probably accept that his son was kicked out for breaking the rules, Malfoy would definitely cause problems."
"Malfoy doesn't seem that bad," Hermione said with a frown. "Draco I mean," she clarified.
"He's not," Ron agreed. "He's actually been a pretty decent bloke."
"Well, Harry did pick him to lead Slytherin," Lavender pointed out, "and he seems to have done a decent job."
"He's been a moderating influence," Blaise said thoughtfully.
"He's put in a lot more work than I expected," Tracey offered.
"I do at least half of it," Greengrass reminded them, "but yes he's set a higher standard for behavior than I expected from him."
"They've spotted the snitch," Dean said, excitement in his voice.
The two seekers were at opposite ends of the field when they spotted the snitch and shot towards the center, gaining altitude as the snitch shot up. They'd both nearly reached it when it dove towards the ground and they followed it.
"Damn me, but they're good," Ron said.
Hermione was too worried to even correct him on his language.
The snitch pulled out of its dive six feet above the ground and shot off towards the goals furthest away from the castle.
The wind of their passing ruffled everyone's hair.
The two squeezed together, shooting through the center hoop before following the snitch over the top of the stands and out of sight.
"They must have forgot to set the boundaries on the snitch," Ron complained.
"Don't bother chasing after them," Blaise said, "the snitch will return to the field or they'll have caught it before we can reach the other side of the bleachers and I'm not about to fly after them, my family's name doesn't carry that much weight in England."
It was only a few seconds later when the pair reappeared chasing the snitch. The first years watched as the two matched each other stunt for stunt as if they were one person, performing dives that pulled up just a few feet off the ground and turns that required them to kick off the stands at one point.
"Fuck me," Seamus said in awe.
"I can't watch," Hermione whimpered, but couldn't look away.
The two vanished into the sky, following the glint of speeding gold.
"What's going on here?!" McGonagall demanded as she entered the pitch, Snape quickly joining her from wherever he'd been lurking.
The students all shot nervous glances at their angry transfiguration professor but not one spoke up.
The two professors spun around at the gasps of the students to see Harry and Draco in a spiral dance around the snitch as they headed straight for the ground.
Snape and McGonagall drew their wands in an instant just as the two boys pulled up, the bristles of their brooms brushing the turf as they both lunged forward, right hands slapping together.
Their brooms tumbled away as their feet impacted the ground, knees bending slightly to diminish the shock, leaving them standing with their right hands clasped as if they had just introduced themselves. They gave a firm shake and unclasped hands letting the golden snitch flutter off.
"Rematch?" Draco asked casually, just before the professors exploded.
"I can't believe you got away with that," Ron said as they entered the Gryffindor common room.
"Got away with?" Hermione asked, confused.
"Well it's obvious they planned all that," Ron replied.
"Not to us it isn't," Seamus said.
"Planned what?" Hermione demanded.
Harry grinned and waved for Ron to explain.
"Snape just happened to be there and they both went past McGonagall's classroom window by accident?" Ron pointed out. "No, Draco had to have said something to Snape to get him to show up, maybe telling him he was going to trick Harry into breaking the rules, and they intentionally buzzed McGonagall's classroom, knowing she would go after them. It's a well-known fact that we need a seeker and that Slytherin's isn't all that hot, so the two got together and figured out a way to get McGonagall and Snape together to watch them play. Snape and McGonagall couldn't take the chance that the other would get a talented seeker so they had to pick them right there."
Harry clapped. "Well done, Ron. See? This is why no one beats him at chess, it's all about strategy."
"Except you, because you cheat," Lavender said with a giggle.
Harry shrugged. "If the rules of the game lead to ruin… change the rules."
"But, it's like you got rewarded for breaking the rules," Hermione complained.
Harry nodded. "The rules aren't really the rules."
"I'm confused," Neville complained.
"So am I," Hermione agreed. "Harry?" she asked.
"Remember when I pointed out we have a ton of stupid laws?" Harry asked her.
"Yes, but since this is a much smaller institution, I'd think they'd regularly go over the rules and keep them sensible and up to date," Hermione replied.
"Nah, the school rules are almost as bad as the wizarding world's laws," Harry said. "Don't cause too much trouble and avoid hurting anyone and the Professors are pretty lenient."
"Except Snape," Ron added.
"Only when non-Slytherins are involved," Dean added.
"Or when the name Potter is mentioned," Seamus agreed.
"Basically… life's unfair, use every advantage you can, but try not to be a twat about it," Harry summed up.
"Rules to live by," Fred said, having waited for them to come in.
"Except when they aren't," George added.
"That's anarchy," Hermione complained.
"Don't break the rules unless you have a good reason to," Harry suggested, "and when you do, completely shatter them."
"Works for me," Lavender said.
"At least it's not complete chaos," Hermione said with a sigh.
"Sadly," George said.
"But enough about that," Fred said. "I hear we have a new seeker. Wood was over the moon."
"Taking him out of class wasn't exactly subtle," George added.
"It's not a secret," Harry assured them, "Slytherin's got a new one as well."
"Are they pretending not to have heard everything that was just said?" Lavender asked Ron.
"Yes, as well as Harry telling us he planned it last week before telling us where to find better brooms for the school which pushed back your flying class so he could pull it off," Fred said cheerfully.
"We're off script," George complained.
"The joke we were planning isn't as funny as the prank Harry just pulled off, causing us to help him get Malfoy on the Slytherin quidditch team," Fred pointed out.
George nodded. "Quite right, brother mine."
"You're responsible for the school getting brooms that aren't death traps?" Katie Bell asked from the couch where she'd been studying.
"In a roundabout way," Harry said. "I couldn't let one of my first years get injured by faulty brooms after all."
"Except Crabbe and Goyle," Parvati added.
"That was faked," Ron said. "I saw Malfoy signal them to do that."
"And speaking of death traps-" Harry began and then frowned. "Nah, that can wait until near the end of October." He quickly rushed up the stairs before anyone could ask him to explain.
"I'm a little worried now," Ron decided. "Anyone else?"
Everyone's hands went up.
"I hope that's not another project," Hermione complained. "I just finished researching the animagus transformation for him yesterday."
Ron stared at Hermione and shook his head. "You need to get your priorities in order."
Hermione just shrugged. When she'd first started at Hogwarts that would have bothered her, but since she had made friends with her roommates and been made Harry's second in command, comments like that barely phased her anymore.
"Umm… you'll tell us if Harry starts having you research death traps, right?" Ron asked hopefully.
"Unless he asked me not to," Hermione said with a smile, before quickly going up the girl's stairs so he wouldn't hear her laughter.
"She was kidding, right?" Ron asked nervously.
Lavender and Parvati exchanged glances. They knew she was kidding and Hermione's comments were payback for his crack at her, but they wanted to get in one of their own as well.
"She's his second in command," Parvati pointed out.
"And they're really close," Lavender added.
"And it looks like I need to go research death traps in the library," Ron said with a groan. "I know this is probably a part of a plot to get me to study more... But I can't take that chance."
"I'll go with you," Neville decided. "Sounds more fun than rechecking my homework."
"Count me in," Seamus said.
"Better safe than sorry," Dean agreed.
The first years quickly cleared out of the common room, either going to their room or joining Ron in searching for information on death traps.
Fred and George looked at one another.
"It's a bit disturbing how good his pranks are," Fred said.
"Indeed," George agreed. "We need to get him on our side."
Harry came downstairs only to find Snape sitting with his family and each of them taking turns looking through a pair of omnioculars.
"Harry!" Connie squealed, his youngest sister spotting him first and running over to hug him.
He was shortly buried in red heads once more, not that he minded.
James came over and looked down at his son who wasn't even trying to regain his feet on the bottom of the pile. "McGonagall sent us a howler and a permission slip."
"She sent you a howler?" Harry asked, surprised.
"She sent James one," Lily offered, as she watched what Snape's omnioculars had recorded. "I received the permission slip."
"She blames me for teaching you how to fly," James explained. "Son… that was practically professional level. How did you get so skilled?" He was honestly confused. Harry had been skilled, but nowhere near where he was now.
"Practice… and mastering two simple charms," Harry said with a grin before falling silent.
"You aren't going to tell us what they are, are you?" James asked.
"And give away my secret?" Harry asked.
"Will you tell me?" Ginny asked hopefully.
"Later," Harry whispered out of the side of his mouth, making her giggle.
"It looked incredibly dangerous," Lily complained.
"The softening charm is one of the spells I mastered," Harry admitted, not wanting to worry her.
"You learned to cast it wandlessly making it safe to pull off moves that might cause you to crash," James realized.
"Pretty much," Harry agreed as Evie and Dawn got up, bored with playing dogpile and wanting to see Harry fly again.
"I can't believe the effect you've had on Draco," Snape said, "he used to be a smaller version of his father and much of the time he still is, however if one of his fellow first years is having trouble he steps up to assist. He's become a lot more tolerable than I expected."
"He just needed proper adult supervision and encouragement," Harry said.
Connie got up and joined her younger sisters on the couch since no one else was trying to get out of the pile leaving Harry lying on the floor with a sister on each arm, neither of which looked like they planned on moving.
"Well, you are more mature than James and Sirius," Snape offered.
"Only when needed," Harry replied.
James stuck out his tongue at Snape. "I can't believe my son is going to be the youngest seeker in a century," he said proudly.
"Draco was born June fifth, so even with him becoming a seeker that'll still be true," Snape agreed, "and by putting him on the team, Lucius will owe me a favor." Snape looked over at Harry. "I owe you one for that."
"You helped me set all this up by taking the bait Draco dangled in front of you," Harry reminded him, "we're even."
Snape shrugged, obviously disagreeing, but did not bother to argue about it.
"So, youngest seeker in a century," Lily said with a smile, now that she wasn't worried about him getting injured while playing, "have anything else planned?"
"Depends," Harry replied, "have you taken the animagus revealing potion before?"
Typing by: fyrewolf5