Disclaimer: all characters and the wizarding world belong to J.K. Rowling, of course. Thanks to Alex and KittyMonster for being my beta readers.

This fic was previously titled 'For the Love of Quidditch', but since that title sucked and didn't really have much to do with the story, it has been changed. Chapter 1 has had a bit of a rewrite since, but the rest of the chapters are the same.

Please review!

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Black Soul, White Heart
Chapter 1 - "The Letter"

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Harry was lying on his back on his bed, staring at the ceiling. He seemed to be doing nothing but that, since his return to Privet Drive a week ago - staring at the ceiling and replaying Sirius's death in his mind. Sometimes he tried to distract himself by reading or writing a letter, but it never worked for long. Books and parchment littered the floor from when he could no longer bottle up his emotions, throwing them around the room in frustration. He'd only showered once since his return from school, and that had only been because Petunia Dursley had literally thrown him into the bathroom and refused to let him out until he showered, screaming at him for smelling up the house.

He was a turmoil of emotions, anger, sadness, confusion, grief and bitterness, all spinning around inside him as if on a roller coaster ride. Harry's only comfort was the almost daily letters from Hermione and Ron. Despite their reassurance that it wasn't his fault Sirius was dead, Harry still couldn't shake the depression. Though, he thought, it was probably because he didn't believe a word of it. Harry blamed himself for Sirius's death, and nothing anyone could say could convince him otherwise. He would have to kill again too, if he wanted to live.

Next to Sirius, that was the thought that haunted him the most.

It wasn't that his friend's letters weren't appreciated, they just couldn't possibly comprehend what he was going through. Harry didn't feel like he would ever feel happiness again, even with the support of his friends. Sometimes, late at night, he would wish against all hope that he could disappear and never have to deal with the world again.

The Dursley's seemed quite pleased that he was depressed, mostly because it kept him out of their hair, since he spent almost all of his time in his room. This summer there was no sneaking below windows to hear the news, no sitting on swings in the park, no tormenting Dudley. Coupled with the pleasure of Harry's distinct absence, was the Dursley's sheer enjoyment at seeing Harry suffer. When Harry did see them - at mealtime - they either ignored him, or spent as much time as possible criticizing him. Harry actually preferred it this way, eating his meals in silence before promptly returning to his room. The Dursley's still yelled at him whenever they could, blamed him for all the things that went wrong in the household, but Harry didn't really care. Occasionally he would think to mention the warning his friends had given them at the train station at the end of the year, but he never did. A small part of him actually enjoyed being yelled at - feeling anger at the Dursley's was far better than the sinking hopelessness that surrounded him the rest of the time.

He didn't know if he would have actually told anyone had the Dursley's done something bad to him. He felt guilty enough for everything everyone had done for him, for all the special care and attention he didn't feel he deserved. And while he felt glad that he had so many close friends and allies, he didn't want to take advantage of them. He knew how busy everyone was with the Order of the Phoenix, especially now that the Ministry had admitted that Voldemort was back and the Dementors had left Azkaban. Moreover, Harry didn't want to put any of his friends in danger. The Death Eaters had already tortured and murdered a Ministry employee since the end of the school year, in an attempt to get information. That was another one dead from Voldemort's Death Eaters, just like Sirius... at least this time it hadn't been Harry's fault.

Harry rolled onto his side, facing the wall. He picked at the wallpaper, a ball of sadness and guilt rising in his throat. He scrunched up his eyes, refusing to cry. How could I have been so stupid? A voice emerged at the back of his mind, cursing him coldly.

"Crying again, baby?" Dudley mocked him, walking past the door. "Dinner is ready if you aren't too busy being a pansy." Harry turned and glared, his eyes cross with anger though they were blurred with tears, but Dudley was already gone. Harry could hear his heavy footsteps thumping down the stairs towards the kitchen. Grunting, he got up and followed.

Despite Dudley's previous ridiculing, dinner passed by much the same as usual. Occasionally, when Vernon and Petunia weren't looking, Dudley would taunt Harry, pretending he was crying, putting on a fake sad face and wiping his eyes. Normally this would get a rise out of Harry, but lately he just didn't have it in him to retaliate, and so he stared at his food, moving it around his plate with his fork, pushing his anger down within him. After a while, Dudley realized he wouldn't be getting the satisfaction of getting Harry in trouble, and so returned to his food, shoveling it in mouth, looking more pig-like than ever.

"I'm finished." Harry said blankly, as he rose from his seat. No one paid attention to him as he put his dish by the sink and went back upstairs to his room.

On the way to his bed, he picked up a book, figuring he should try and do some of his mandatory summer reading. He flopped on his mattress on his stomach, lay the book out in front of him and propped himself up on his elbows. He flipped through the pages, finally settling on a chapter he hadn't read yet. He stared at the words, but couldn't concentrate. He'd read same sentence five times before he gave up entirely, threw the book onto the floor with the others and settled back down on the bed. His thoughts immediately drifted back to Sirius.

Why hadn't he listened to Dumbledore and taken Occlumency seriously? Why hadn't he listened to Hermione who said his dream of Sirius was just Voldemort manipulating him? Why hadn't he opened Sirius's birthday present for him - the two-way mirror - and then he wouldn't have had to use Umbridge's fire and he would have known Sirius was fine? Why? WHY? He screamed at himself internally for the hundredth time that week.

Just then, a tap at the window interrupted his thoughts. It was Hedwig, a brown parchment envelope tied to her leg. Harry got up and let her in, and untied the letter.

"Good girl, Hedwig." He said affectionately, patting her. Hedwig chirruped, and then hopped over to her cage in the corner. She leered at it and looked at Harry reproachfully, clearly disgusted by the pile of droppings that Harry still hadn't cleaned out even though it was starting to stink up the room. Instead she flew to his bed, where she perched on the footboard, tucked her head under her wing, and went to sleep.

Harry looked at the envelope, his name scrawled across the front in Ron's messy handwriting. He tore it open and two pieces of parchment fell out. He picked up the first - it was Ron's letter.

CHECK THIS OUT! Dad brought it home for me. Now we won't have to wait until school to play Quidditch! Tryouts are in a week. Ginny and I are both going to try out. You have to too! Mom said you could stay here the whole time if Dumbledore says it's okay.

Write back soon,
Ron


Harry's heart quickened. Tryouts for Quidditch in summer? Did that mean… He grabbed the second sheet of parchment and unfolded it excitedly. It was a poster that looked like it had been taken off a signboard. In very large letters it read:

SUMMER YOUTH QUIDDITCH LEAGUE

AGES 14 TO 18
TRYOUTS SATURDAY, JULY 20 FROM 10AM-2PM
AT LONGTOAD'S FIELD
(PORTKEYS AVAILABLE BY REQUEST; SEND OWL TO COACH PILFICK)


Below the words were three chasers, flying around a pitch and passing a quaffle to one another. Harry's heart jumped. A summer league! It had been so long since he had played Quidditch, having been kicked off the team last year, that he felt a surge of elation run through him. He smiled in spite of himself. Despite everything, Quidditch was one thing he could still get excited over. And now he was going to get the chance to play and compete for the entire summer! He wasn't sure about returning to The Burrow, facing everyone again, being bombarded by questions and constantly being reminded about Sirius (not that he didn't remind himself all the time anyway), but for Quidditch he could put up with all that. And besides, it was better than being at the Dursleys'!

Harry sprinted across the room to his desk, crashing to a halt in front of it, nearly knocking over his inkbottle. He took out a sheet of parchment and his quill and wrote back to Ron.

Of course I'll come you git! It's QUIDDITCH!! Write back when you get word from Dumbledore.

Can't wait to see you and everyone else,
Harry


He folded the letter and went over to Hedwig. She looked slightly annoyed that Harry had disturbed her nap, but stuck out her leg so he could tie the note to it.

"Sorry, girl. This is very important to get to Ron as soon as possible." He patted her and then she took off out the window. Harry smiled to himself. Quidditch all summer, it was really true!

That night Harry sat on his bed polishing his Firebolt, humming Gryffindor's version of "Weasley is Our King" to himself, and, for the first time in weeks, thought about nothing related to Sirius or Voldemort.

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AN: Chapter 2 will come shortly! Oh, and i know that Ginny isn't in the first chapter, but i promise you, this will turn out to be a Ginny/Harry fic ^_^ Please please review!