The Easter holidays mark the beginning of pre-exam time. The castle grounds have flourished in the warm weather, but with the influx of homework from all the professors, Felicity barely has time to even daydream about going outside. Even Fred and George start joining her at a table with their own mountainous homework.
On top of the homework, Oliver has been insisting on practice every day; with only two weeks until the Quidditch final, it's become impossible to sit down without spending at least half an hour discussing tactics.
After every practice, Felicity sneaks back down to the edge of the Dark Forest to feed the black dog. Though his wiry hair is still matted and his ribs jut out under his skin, the dog waits for her every evening in the shadows of the forest, wagging his tail and licking at her hands when she comes.
With the approaching match, tensions begin to rise between the competing houses, Felicity, Fred and George earning a detention after a scuffle in the wake of a Slytherin 6th year trying to push Harry down the stairs. The anticipation for the match spills out into every aspect of Felicity's day. In retaliation of the Slytherins' attempts to sabotage Harry, she and the twins do their best to make the Slytherins as uncomfortable as possible. By the night before the match, the three had completely run out of dungbombs and firecrackers. They'd even managed to add to Filch's "Prohibited Items" list after their Ever-Bashing Boomerang knocked Pansy Parkinson clean off her feet, which, as Fred had pointed out when McGonagall mentioned it with a not-so subtle glare in their direction, was a first for them.
Felicity is so full of nervous energy that she can barely keep still, opting instead to conjure birds and run about the common room playing with them. Oliver sits in a corner with his scale model quidditch field and prods little figures about with his wand, muttering to himself.
"Team! Bed!" Oliver shouts suddenly, standing up from his spot and marching Harry, Fred and George up the winding stairs that lead to the boys' dormitories. Felicity falls into step with Angelina and Alicia, vanishing the little birds without looking back. That night, the young girl's sleep is fitful, occupied by an unusual dream of a black dog on a broomstick.
Felicity arrives in the common room last the next morning, her Firebolt slung over her shoulder. Flanked by Fred and George, Felicity follows Oliver and the rest of the team down to the Great Hall, where they're greeted by cheers spanning over three of the four tables. Try as she might, Felicity can barely bring herself to pick at her toast as waves of queasiness ruin her appetite.
Oliver, who looks even worse than Felicity feels, hurries the team from the hall before everyone else. The hall erupts into applause as the group leaves and, despite her nerves, Felicity smirks.
Oliver paces the pitch, his team following behind. Felicity, Alicia and Angelina huddle together to establish a plan. The sky is clear and the morning sun gleams over the pitch. In the changing rooms, nobody speaks. Even Oliver is too overcome with anxiety to speak. Felicity's nerves are worse than ever, hands shaking in anticipation as they walk onto the pitch to be greeted by deafening cheers. Gryffindors, Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs alike are all clad in red, holding "LIONS FOR THE CUP" banners and waving flags.
"Here come the Gryffindors!" Lee shouts, who, as usual, is sitting in the commentator's booth. "Potter, Black, Johnson, Spinnet, Weasley, Weasely and Wood. Widely acknowledged as the best team Hogwarts has seen in…"
Felicity doesn't catch the rest of Lee's comments as the 200 Slytherins erupt into howls of disapproval.
"Captain Flint of the Slytherin team seems to have adjusted his lineup, going for size rather than skill…"
Once again, Slytherins drown out Lee's words, though, as Felicity sneers over at the group, she can see what Lee means, Malfoy being considerably smaller than the rest of the brawny players. Flint and Oliver shake hands, Hooch's whistle blows and Felicity kicks off into the air, shooting past Warrington's hand and scooping up the quaffle. Felicity speeds towards the goals, but as Montague and Warrington close in on either side, she tosses the quaffle to Alicia, only to have Warrington knock it out of her hands. A bludger, courtesy of George, hurtles into Warrington's side and the quaffle slips from his grasp. Felicity is there in a flash, grabbing the quaffle and flattening herself against the Firebolt, turning sharply to avoid a bludger and shooting the quaffle into the goal.
"SHE SCORES! TEN-ZERO TO GRYFFINDOR" Lee cries into the mic as the crowd erupts into cheers. Felicity shouts triumphantly, doing a quick victory loop around the goals –
Whoosh! Flint knocks into Felicity. The Firebolt shudders sideways and Felicity loses grip on the handle. For a moment, panic gurgles in her throat as she slides on the broom without a grip, but recovers quickly, in time to see Fred hurl his club at Flint.
Flint's nose smacks against his broom with a crunch and begins to bleed. Madam Hooch skids to a halt between them, shrieking. "Penalty shot to Gryffindor for an unprovoked attack on their Chaser! Penalty shot to Slytherin for deliberate damage to their chaser!"
"Come off it!" Felicity cries out, glaring viciously at Flint, who smirks. Hooch blows her whistle and Angelina flies forward to take their penalty. The crowd is quiet as the teams gather around to watch her take the penalty with baited breath. With a surprising amount of ease, Angelina swerves around the keeper and lands the quaffle in the hoop. Felicity screams, reaching over to give Angelina a hi-five as they turn to watch Flint face off with Oliver. Keen as a hawk, Oliver repels the quaffle with his broomstick.
The match begins to descend into a dirty game as Gryffindor score their way into the lead. Alicia's head is grabbed by Montague, who very nearly rips her from her broom as he attempts to dislodge it from her neck. Angelina takes the penalty, and Lee, getting caught up in the tension, begins to shout, "THIRT-ZERO! TAKE THAT, DIRTY, CHEATING-"
McGonagall is quick to interrupt, but Felicity is distracted as she sees Harry shooting towards the Slytherin end, Malfoy quick on his heels. Felicity is so busy watching that she's too late to try and steal the quaffle from Flint, who scores. Lee swears, loudly.
Next, Alicia is hit in the head with Bole's club, and Felicity, in a rage, uses her broom like a jousting pole and rams into Bole's side. Both teams are awarded penalties, Wood once again saving, and Felicity easily out-manoeuvring the Slytherin keeper to add another ten points to Gryffindor. The game resumes and Felicity takes possession again, scoring quickly. Fred and George swoop around her with their clubs raised, just in case Slytherin try to take out their frustration again. The Slytherin beaters use the opportunity to send both bludgers hurtling into Wood, one after the other. Felicity hares over to Oliver, propping the winded keeper up while he catches his breath while Madam Hooch shrieks at Bole and Derrick. Felicity has to resist the urge to take Fred's club and beat them with it. Angelina scores.
Warrington takes the quaffle, but Fred is quick to knock it from his hands with a bludger. Alicia takes the quaffle and scores. Felicity screams, looping around her protectively while she cheers, being careful to keep her distance from the Slytherins, who all bear expressions with varying degrees of malice.
Sixty points in the lead, Felicity's confidence begins to soar, all they needed now is for Harry to catch the snitch. Felicity sees Harry burst upwards and cheers, ducking in front of Flint to cut him off from the goal.
That's when she sees it. Malfoy has launched himself forward on his broom, holding on to the bristle end of Harry's Firebolt with a glinting grin.
"Penalty! Penalty to Gryffindor!" Hooch screeches, Felicity circles around Malfoy like a shark size up its prey, but refrains from hitting, choosing instead to yell.
"YOU FILTHY TWAT. WATCH YOUR FUCKING BACK, MALFOY!" she screams at the sneering Malfoy. Even McGonagall is too enraged to rein in Lee, who is screaming obscenities over his microphone. Alicia takes the penalty, but is so furious she misses the goals completely.
Felicity circles the other players, the Firebolt vibrating under her tense hands. Montague scores next, but Felicity takes the ball and leaves her teammates behind, leaning low on the broom and skirting ahead of the Slytherins, who are all closing in on her. She pulls up sharply, above the keeper and lobs the quaffle through a goal.
"SHE SCORES! Gryffindor leads by eighty – twenty!"
Harry, who had flanked Felicity through her whole flight to keep the Slytherins at bay, turns sharply into a dive, hurtling after Malfoy, who is closing in on a golden glint.
"GO HARRY!" Felicity screams, looping on her broom and pelting down the pitch to block Montague again, one eye still on Harry as he dives, reaching Malfoy, knocking his hand aside and clamping his hand shut around the snitch.
The pitch explodes and Felicity dives lower, thumping into Harry for a hug, closely followed by Wood, who is crying freely into Harry's robes. Fred, George, Alicia and Angelina land soon after, shouting, "We won! We won the cup!"
Students stream onto the pitch in a sea of red and the team are hoisted onto the shoulders of the crowd. Percy is jumping up and down, all restraint forgotten as he shouts. Hagrid is there, his coat entirely covered in red rosettes and McGonagall is crying even more hysterically than Oliver, clutching at an enormous Gryffindor flag to dab her tears with.
Felicity's face is stained with tear tracks as they reach Dumbledore in the stands, who hands Oliver the huge Quidditch Cup, who, crying even harder than before, passes it to Harry. He hoists into the air and the crowd erupts. Finally, they'd won.