Disclaimer: Harry Potter is owned by JK Rowling. Star Wars is owned by Disney. I am neither a British woman nor an animated mouse. Thus I do not own nor do I claim ownership of either Harry Potter or Star Wars, and I am not profiting in any way through the writing and publication of this story.
Friday, July 31, 1992
You must always seek to constantly maintain your connection to the Living Force, the voice of the Holocron reverberated through Harry's mind, as such, you must keep your focus on the present, on the here and now.
"But what about maintaining an awareness of the Unifying Force?" Harry asked as he meditated in his place at the center of the swirling debris in his room. He never had learned to control his subconscious during his meditations. "Isn't that important too?"
Adherents to the view of the Unifying Force in Jedi philosophy were always few in number. It was agreed by most Jedi Masters that too much focus on visions of the future and the past leads to neglect of the present, and with it, neglect of a Jedi's duty and ultimately of the Force itself.
But the lesson was cut off as the Force screamed in warning around him. Harry's eyes flew open and he leapt to his feet. The image of Master Isu winked out and the Holocron flew to its hiding place while he called both his staff and his wand to his hands and readied to defend himself.
Not that he really knew any defensive spells, but he'd rather have his wand than not.
An instant later there was a barely audible pop and an odd creature appeared in his room.
It was short, the top of its head only coming up to Harry's navel. It had greenish skin and ears that were much too big for its head. Its large, green eyes were the size of tennis balls and they seemed to widen in fear when they took in Harry's stance.
"Oh no!" it cried, "Dobby is too late! Harry Potter is under attack already! Don't worry! Dobby will defend Harry Potter!"
The creature began frantically jumping around the room, looking for enemies, as the dirty pillow case it used for clothing whipped back and forth.
Harry relaxed his tensed muscles and straightened into a more comfortable stance as he realized that he couldn't feel any threats in the Force. He'd never get used to people Apparating close to him. He spent a moment watching the odd creature in confusion before speaking.
"Who are you?"
The little thing stopped and went completely still, regarding him with those huge green eyes.
"Harry Potter, asks Dobby who Dobby is? Harry Potter is truly a great wizard!"
Apparently the thing was a 'Dobby,' whatever that was.
It took in Harry's relaxed stance and cautiously looked around the room again.
"Is the danger gone, Harry Potter?"
"The danger was you. I felt you coming and I didn't know what was going on. Best to be prepared."
That seemed to confuse the little creature.
"Dobby is not a danger, Harry Potter. Dobby is an elf! Oh, but Dobby is a bad elf, trying to tell Master's secrets!"
The little elf jumped to the side and began to slam its head against the wall.
"Hey! Stop that!" Harry cried.
The creature obeyed, but seemed a little woozy as it came back to stand in front of him.
"Err… right. Um, why are you here, exactly?"
"Dobby has come to warn Harry Potter! Harry Potter must not return to Hogwarts! Terrible things are about to happen this year!"
And with that, Harry felt a grave disturbance spread through the Force. But the creature's voice brought him back to the present.
"Bad elf! Telling Master's secrets!"
Dobby dropped to his knees and smashed his face into the floor.
"I said stop that! Why do you keep hurting yourself like that?"
"Dobby tries to tell Master's secrets. Dobby must be punished."
"No more punishing yourself, then."
"Harry Potter is not Dobby's master. Dobby must do as Master says."
Harry sighed. He could tell that arguing wouldn't do him any good.
"What can you tell me about this danger at Hogwarts? I believe you. What can I do to be ready?"
"Harry Potter must not go back to Hogwarts!"
"But what about my friends? What about everyone else at the castle? I can't just leave them if there's something bad about to happen."
The elf wrung its hands, seemingly unsure of how to respond.
"What if I promise to be careful?"
"Harry Potter must not go back to Hogwarts!"
This was going to be a long conversation…
Wednesday, August 19, 1992
"Harry! Ron! Over here!" Hermione called out as she waved to her friends when she caught sight of them coming toward her in Diagon Alley.
It was wonderful to be so close to them again, to feel their presences so strongly in the Force. She'd missed that since they'd parted ways at Kings Cross.
"Hey, Hermione," Harry greeted.
"'Lo, 'Mione," Ron managed to say around whatever he was chewing on.
"How was your summer?" She asked.
"Ehh, alright," Ron replied. "Scabbers ran off as soon as we got back from the Express. Haven't seen him since. Probably finally got himself eaten."
"I'm sorry, Ron."
"No worries. He was kinda useless anyways."
"Harry?" she asked turning to her other friend.
"Boring mostly, just training."
"Do you ever do anything else besides work on the Force?" Ron asked.
"Sometimes," he answered. "Although I hope you both kept up over the summer too."
Hermione almost felt affronted that he would even ask her such a thing. As if she would neglect any of her studies!
"'Course I did!" Ron said. "Need to get good at the Force so I can dominate on the pitch!"
Hermione sighed but smiled. She was actually looking forward to Quidditch herself.
"I did have something interesting happen a little while ago," Harry stated as they turned and together headed down the street.
Harry related his strange story about the elf that had visited him with an ominous warning on his birthday.
"The weird part is, I think the little creature is right. Since that moment, I've felt a strong disturbance in the Force. I'm afraid that something terrible actually is going to happen at Hogwarts this year."
Hermione really didn't like the sound of that, and she felt the icy grip of fear start to take hold in her stomach. But she refused to let it, no dark side for her, thank you very much. She quickly gathered it up, and released it into the Force.
"Have either of you felt anything like that in the Force?" Harry asked.
Hermione closed her eyes as she walked, and calmly reached out. But it was Ron who answered first.
"No. But now that you mention it, yeah, I can feel a disturbance in the Force."
Hermione felt it too.
"What do we do?" she asked.
Harry shrugged his shoulders.
"Not much we can do, really. Just keep your awareness in the present and on the Living Force."
They quietly chatted and caught up with each other as their feet carried them down the alley. Finally, they stopped in front of one of the shop windows.
"Quality Quidditch Supplies, my home away from home!"
"Let's go in," Harry said with a grin, "I've got a surprise for you!"
They entered the shop and Harry marched right up to the counter.
"Err… excuse me?" he said to the shopkeeper, "I've got an order on hold here."
Hermione turned away and wandered over to stand next to Ron who was staring at the latest broom in the display case. The Nimbus 2001.
"She's beautiful," he whispered.
Hermione smiled. It was a nice broom. But she wasn't sure if she'd call it beautiful. Or refer to it as a 'she.'
Harry cleared his throat behind them.
Together, they turned to look at Harry, who was holding three broomsticks.
"Right," he said, looking a bit nervous. "These are for you." He then quickly shoved a broom at each of them.
"Bloody hell!" Ron shouted. "This is a Nimbus 2000!"
Hermione looked down at what she was holding. She could tell right away that it was a very well-made broom. And likely very expensive.
"You're the best mate a boy could ever ask for!" Ron exclaimed before throwing his arms around Harry.
"Harry, this is too much," Hermione finally said. "You shouldn't have done this. I can't accept something this expensive."
Harry's smile seemed to falter at her words. She felt horrible.
"Sure you can!" Ron argued.
"Ronald Weasley!" she shouted, "We certainly can't accept such expensive gifts from Harry! It's not right!"
"Yes you can," Harry finally said. "I can afford it. There's lots of money just sitting down in my vault just gathering dust."
Ron seemed a bit put out by that statement. But he didn't loosen his grip on the broom.
"Still—" she started to say.
"And besides," Harry continued over her protests, "if you don't accept it, I'm still buying it. I'll just donate it to the Gryffindor Quidditch team and you'll still have to use it when we make the team together."
"He's got a point there, Hermione," Ron offered. "It's really for Gryffindor."
She sighed and looked at Harry. She reached out with her feelings and took in the green-eyed boy's presence in the Force.
For all his words, it was easy to tell that he hadn't bought the brooms for Gryffindor. He'd bought them for her and Ron. Because they were friends. Because… he'd never had friends before them.
Hermione's eyes went wide at that realization.
Harry was nervous that she wouldn't accept the gift, worried that he'd done something wrong, and afraid that he'd damaged their friendship and that she'd reject him…
She couldn't let him think that.
"Thank you, Harry," she finally said as she reached out to hug him. She felt his surprise but didn't comment on it. "It's a lovely broom, and you really shouldn't have, but I'll be sure to make good use of it."
Harry's joy was palpable in the Force.
"We'll all make good use of them," Ron added. "Slytherin doesn't know what's coming!"
Back at the Burrow that evening, Ron lovingly placed his new Nimbus 2000 in his school trunk. He wasn't worried about the twins messing with it, even they wouldn't go so far as to mess with such a beautiful broom. Some things were just sacred.
He shuddered when he recalled his mother's reaction to Harry's gift. She'd nearly forced him to give it back. But Harry's line about just donating it to the Gryffindor team where Ron would get to use it anyways finally swayed her.
He closed the trunk and turned to head down for dinner. With the Nimbus out of his sight, he was more able to focus on the world around him.
Need to concentrate, he told himself. Harry said to be wary of the disturbance in the Force. And I need the Force if I'm going to make the team…
He stretched out with his feelings, and ran right into the disturbance they'd talked about. It felt stronger than it had in Diagon Alley. Almost as if…
As if it was at the Burrow.
He instantly went on full alert. His senses thrummed as he closed his eyes and tried to locate the center of the disturbance. With his eyes still closed, he left his room and turned to go down the stairs, trusting the Force more than his eyes. He passed Ginny's open door and then paused, backing up to stand right outside her room. He stepped inside, and drifted over to the corner by her cluttered desk.
"Ron!" Ginny shouted. "Get out of my room!"
He opened his eyes to see his baby sister lying on her bed, reading an old issue of Witch Weekly.
He ignored her, instead focusing on the cauldron filled with secondhand books from Flourish and Blotts. He reached down and started searching through the stack.
"What are you doing?!" Ginny cried. He could sense that she was getting angry, but this was more important.
He paused in his search when he came across a thin, black volume.
The Force screamed at him.
"Ginny," he said, "where did you get this?"
"They're my schoolbooks, you git! Where do you think I got them?"
"Not those," he replied. "This one. The black leather one. That's not a textbook."
"What are you on about?"
Ginny got up and looked at what Ron was pointing at.
"I don't know," she finally said. "Mum must've got it for me."
"Mum didn't get that. I can feel… Go get dad, Ginny."
"Stop being a git and get out of my room, Ron."
"Fine!" he shouted. "I'll go get him myself! Don't touch that book!"
Ginny just rolled her eyes and went back to her magazine as Ron turned to the door.
A few minutes later he was back with his father in tow.
"You really brought dad up here?" Ginny asked in surprise.
"Okay, Ron," Arthur Weasley calmly asked, "what's got you so worried?"
"That black, leather book," he answered while pointing to the offending object around which the disturbance in the Force was hovering. "It doesn't feel right."
"Well, I'll have a look then and put your mind at ease."
Arthur took out his wand and quickly tapped the book.
His eyebrows furrowed before he tapped it again.
"Specialis Revelio!" he incanted after another moment and with a complicated swish of his wand.
"My word!" he shouted before jumping backwards.
"Ronald! Ginny! Go downstairs right now!"
By now Ginny looked more than a little scared.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"You need to get away from this thing right now! Go!"
They didn't need telling a third time. As they hurried down the steps, Ron heard his father call out behind him.
"Molly! Floo the Auror Office! No, better Floo the Headmaster himself!"
And then, despite the tension and fear that he could feel from his family, Ron felt the great disturbance in the Force simply melt away.
Saturday, November 7, 1992
"Right you three," Oliver Wood started in on them as he continued his pregame speech, "I took a big gamble putting you on the roster. Three second-years starting at chaser! I've taken a lot of grief from the other captains about this. Not to mention that Angelina and Alicia still won't speak to me!"
Harry glanced over at Katie Bell, the only member of the Gryffindor chaser line from the year before that was still on the starting roster. Not that she was a chaser anymore, she'd been moved to seeker. She looked like she was still a little angry, but not nearly as angry as the other displaced chasers. More than once, a warning from the Force had been all that had saved Harry and his friends from a 'harmless' prank. To say that Angelina and Alicia were not taking their removal from the team well would be quite the understatement.
"You've been amazing in practice, so make sure you don't choke out there! Gryffindor will skin me alive if you don't play up to what you're capable of. And they'll probably skin you too…"
Oliver Wood really knew how to inspire his team before a match.
Harry looked at Hermione and Ron. They were all decked out in their Quidditch robes and holding their Nimbus 2000s. They looked nervous. He made sure he had their attention before he nodded to them and then closed his eyes. He knew they'd get the message.
He reached out into the Force and invited it to flow into him. He let the Energy inundate him and wash away his anxiety. Next to him, he felt Hermione and Ron do the same. He let time quickly pass him by.
"Alright! We're up!" Wood eventually called out. "Fly out as they call your name!"
Harry would not be nervous. He had the Force.
He was still a little nervous…
"And now for Gryffindor!" Lee Jordan's enchanted voice reverberated through the pitch. "First up we have the brand-new chaser line for the lions, Hermione Granger! Ron Weasley! And Harry Potter!"
The cheers that the three friends met as they flew out of the tunnel were much more subdued than what Harry remembered hearing the previous year. Especially from his own housemates. But he wasn't worried, they'd be cheering soon enough.
"Team Captain Oliver Wood made quite the drastic change to his line-up following tryouts this year when he benched the second highest-scoring chaser line of last season in favor of these fresh-faced second years. Can they live up to expectations? I certainly hope not! Or else Angelina will never get her spot on the roster back and she'll definitely never go out with me!"
"Jordan!" McGonagall's voice cried out.
"Sorry, Professor. And now come the beaters, Fred and George Weasley! Followed by seeker Katie Bell and the infamous keeper and team captain Oliver Wood!"
Several students from the Gryffindor stands actually booed at Wood's name.
Harry quickly circled the pitch before taking his place to watch Wood and the Slytherin captain Marcus Flint listen to Madam Hooch's instructions. Harry was almost certain that Flint had some troll blood in him. He glanced up to look at the other players in green. Each and every one of them was larger and more imposing that Harry and his two friends. And the Slytherins were known for playing a very physical, punishing game. If they got their way, Harry, Hermione, and Ron would surely regret making the team.
They'd just have to make sure that the Slytherins didn't get their way.
He saw the two captains shake hands, and once again Harry embraced the Force and let himself be filled with its Energy. He invited it to guide him, to direct his every move. And he could feel Hermione and Ron doing the same.
Harry sat on his broom, feeling like a coiled spring, ready to burst into motion.
"Here we go!" Jordan cried out. "The start of the 1992 Hogwarts Quidditch Season is just a moment away!"
Madam Hooch released the snitch and the bludgers, and took hold of the quaffle. She started the toss, and Harry was already in motion, following the bidding of the Force, willing to go wherever it invited him.
"Madam Hooch releases the quaffle," Jordan recounted the action, "and Potter's already all over it! He quickly passes to Weasley, who passes to Granger. Granger dodges a bludger and sprints down the pitch, and spins right under Flint! What a move! The Slytherin captain surely thought he had her there! She passes to Weasley, who passes to Potter. Potter shoots! He scores! Ten – nothing Gryffindor! And we're underway!"
"Bletchley inbounds… only to have the pass stolen by Granger! She quickly scores! Putting the good guys up by twenty!"
"Bletchley inbounds again to Flint. Flint passes to Montague, who dodges a bludger, he passes to Pucey— but it's stolen again! This time by Weasley! He passes to Potter, who throws it right back to Weasley! He shoots, no he faints, then goes left. He scores! Red is up thirty to nothing! Green has yet to get the quaffle out of their end of the pitch!"
"Bletchley on the inbound— and it's stolen by Potter for another quick ten points! Unbelievable! Where did these kids learn how to fly?!"
Harry pulled his broom around casually dipped under a bludger that came up from behind him to let it pass by. He headed for the right side of the pitch, and then started to climb. The noise from the crowd was deafening, but Harry was ensconced in a little zone of peace as he flew with the Force.
"Flint sprints down the pitch, looking like he's just going to barrel through any opposition. He dodges a bludger from Weasley, only to have Weasley sneak up and pop the quaffle right out of his arms! It's picked up by Granger, who passes to Potter. Potter to Weasley, back to Potter, to Granger, she shoots! Bletchley makes the block! But Weasley's all over the rebound! He scores! Forty - nil Gryffindor! Never in all my days have I seen Quidditch like this!"
"Bletchley on the inbound to Pucey. Pucey to Flint, Flint to Montague— but Potter intercepts! He passes to Weasley. But he bobbles it. No! He drops it right to Granger who was below and behind him! How'd he do that?! She fakes the pass to Potter and shoots! She scores!"
"Flint is motioning for a time out, and I think he's smart to do so. This is turning into a rout. Slytherin has yet to get the quaffle out of their zone and they're already down fifty to nothing!"
Harry flew down to the bench to join his teammates.
"Good work, you three!" Wood exclaimed. Harry glanced at his friends. Hermione looked rather silly with her hair a windswept mess, frizzing out in all directions, but she had a bright smile on her face. Ron looked like he was in the midst of ecstasy, like his every dream was coming true right then and there. Which was likely the case, now that Harry thought about it.
"Keep it up," Wood continued. "Keep the pressure on them and we've got this in the bag. Fred, George, keep the bludgers off them so they can focus on their scoring."
Hermione raised her hand.
Wood actually did a double take seeing her do that.
"Umm… yes, Hermione?" the captain asked.
"If I may, might I suggest that Fred and George focus on disrupting the Slytherin chasers instead?"
"Harry, Ron, and I can handle the bludgers. Honestly, they haven't been much of a bother so far."
"Not much of a bother, she says," Fred said with a smile.
"She can handle them, she says," George added.
"Hear that Oliver? This one might be after your captain's badge!" Fred declared.
"Better start hiding it under your bed during classes!" George finished.
"If she keeps playing like she is," Wood replied, "I'll pin it on her myself!"
Hermione turned bright pink at that.
"Right, Hooch is about to blow the whistle. Weasleys, do as Hermione says for now, but keep your eyes open in case our chasers get into trouble."
"Yes, sir!" the twins both barked at once.
"Let's get back out there!"
"Malfoy and Bell are neck and neck racing after the snitch!" Jordan's voice resounded through the stands. "She reaches, but comes up short as the snitch zips to the left. Malfoy checks her right, and then speeds after it, he's got the angle, and he snatches it right out of the air! Malfoy catches the snitch and that's the game folks! Little good does it do him, however, as the final score is Gryffindor 480 over Slytherin 150! The Guys in Green never even managed to get the quaffle out of their own end! That's got to be some kind of record! I bet the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw captains are in a panic trying to think of some way to counter these Gryffindor chaser prodigies! Any doubts about Wood's sanity have certainly been dispelled!"
Harry flew down to the ground where he was quickly wrapped in a hug by Ron and then Hermione.
"That was bloody amazing!" Ron cheered.
"Language!" Hermione laughingly admonished. "But I have to agree! It was quite fun! I've never been good at a sport before! I like it!"
The trio was quickly surrounded by their other teammates, and then by a sea of red and gold. A few moments later, they found themselves hoisted up upon their housemates' shoulders.
"What did I tell you?" Ron cried to his two friends over the loudly celebrating Gryffindors. "This year is going to be awesome!"
Harry wasn't sure if it was the Force speaking to him or not, but he couldn't help but think that his friend was absolutely right.
Saturday, June 12, 1993
Ron shoved another large piece of his pork chop into his mouth before quickly following it with a fork-full of applesauce. The farewell feast was just as delicious as it had been the year before. Especially since the Great Hall was once again decked out in Gryffindor red and gold. Ron's prediction had come true – it had been an awesome year.
No one could keep up with the unstoppable Gryffindor chaser line – they'd totally dominated the entire season and easily won the Quidditch cup. The only points that had been scored against them had been because Slytherin and Ravenclaw had both caught the snitch, but by the time they did it had hardly mattered. Ron, Harry, and Hermione had racked up so many points by then that the snitch simply signaled the end of the game. Their third and final match against Hufflepuff had been even more of a blowout. Oliver Wood had decided to abandon his useless position simply floating in front of their hoops in favor of harassing the opposing team's seeker. What good was a keeper when the other team couldn't even get the quaffle out of their own zone? Gryffindor had won that game 860 to nothing.
"Do either of you have any plans for the summer?" Hermione asked.
"Nah," Ron said before swallowing his mouthful of food, "Mum'll probly just have me working around the Burrow."
"Don't look at me," Harry added, "the Dursleys would never let me in on anything fun they had planned."
"Well, I might be going to Paris in July," Hermione stated. "Mum and dad were talking about it in their last letter. It'll be wonderful to see all those museums, I can't wait to see the Louvre…"
"You guys think the professors ever go on vacations?" Harry asked as he looked at the head table.
"I can't really see Snape taking time off," Ron said. "He's probably afraid some fun would make him almost human."
"I'm sure that they must find something to do during the summer," Hermione added. "I mean, with no students around, I'm certain that they don't just hang around the empty castle."
"I bet Hagrid does," Harry said. "Probably just takes care of his creatures."
"I wonder what Dumbledore does during the summers," Ron mused. "Although, I also kinda wonder what he does all year long…"
"I bet he travels," Hermione said, "he probably tries to attend as many academic functions and gatherings as possible. Like the 865th Annual Assembly of Alchemists that's set to open this August in Leuven."
"I bet he and McGonagall just hang out at the beach all summer," Harry said with a grin.
"Oh that's just ridiculous!" Hermione responded. "Honestly! Can you picture them in bathing suits?"
"I am now!" Ron said with a shudder. "Thanks for that mental image!"
Harry was now wearing a devilish grin.
"I bet Snape goes with them, brings lots of Sun Tan Potion. Probably wears one of those skimpy Speedo suits too."
"Eww… Harry!" Hermione exclaimed. "That's disgusting!"
"My eyes!" Ron said over-dramatically. "My poor innocent eyes!"
They shared a brief laugh together before going back to their food. Summer would come and go quickly, and Ron was hoping that third year would be just awesome as second had been.
The Force was with them, after all.
AN: I can't help but think that this really is how a Quidditch game would go if one side had three Force-adept chasers. How could you possibly defend against that? What do you think? Am I right, or did I go overboard? Let me know in a review.
Apologies if you left a review or sent me a PM and I did not respond to it. FFN has been pretty glitchy over the past couple of weeks and I did not receive several alerts. Hopefully that's all worked out now or will be soon.
Special thanks to ashez2ashes from the HPFanfiction subreddit for his/her help with the final scene!
Updates might not be quite so regular over the next few weeks. I'm going to be doing a lot of holiday traveling, and I'm not sure how much time I'm going to have to work on this. So, just take this as fair warning – maybe I'll have time to update, maybe I won't. Things should get back to normal sometime in mid-January though.
Thanks for your reviews, and thanks for reading!