A/N: Again I apologize for the time it takes me to update this story. This is the one I have the hardest time with I swear I'm not as bad with any of my other stories...well except for one. But I hope that you like this chapter.
The Slugs and the Bug.
Harry spent the next few days avoiding Gilderoy Lockhart whenever possible, even dodging out of view when it came down to it. This however proved to be impossible with young Colin Creevey who delighted to take pictures of Harry at the most inopportune of moments. Even more difficult to shake was Gollum. The creature followed Harry everywhere the only times that the boy could find reprieve was when he would go outside with Ron and Hermione as Gollum shunned the "yellow face" at all costs whatever devotion he felt toward The-boy-who-lived ended where the sunlight began. Subsequently Harry was spending a great deal of time outside.
What concerned him even more was about the only dark time that Harry was "Gollumless" was at night. When the creature would disappear the moment that it thought Harry to be asleep. To where it went made the young wizard shudder. Though he had a nagging suspicion at least once where he had gotten off to as Hermione had awoken one morning with a freshly caught fish at her bedside. She didn't speak to Harry once that entire day.
With all this trauma occurring Harry relished the thought of the weekend when he could spend almost the entire day outside. Away from Gilderoy, Creevey, and Gollum, or the "Terrible Trio" as Ron called them. He had made plans with his best friend and Hermione to visit Hagrid and then spend sometime by the lake.
This plan was terribly interrupted when he was awoken before the crack of dawn by Oliver Wood. Harry's Quidditch team captain was hell-bent on practicing and drilling the team before any of the other teams could. Harry quickly glance to the side of his bed and saw that Gollum had disappeared again. The young wizard pulled on his robes as rapidly as possible. Hoping that if he could get out the Quidditch pitch before Gollum returned he could avoid seeing him in the entire day. The thought of not having a schizophrenic shadow for a day was enough for Harry to almost forget to leave a note for Ron and Hermione so they wouldn't worry about him. Once he left his room however he ran into a different but almost as annoying shadow.
"I heard someone saying your name on the stairs, Harry!" Colin Creevey blurted loudly, "Look what I've got here! I've had it developed, I wanted to show you-"
The young first year revealed a moving picture of Lockhart, Harry, and Gollum. Though only the arms of the latter pair could be seen. Lockhart was tugging intensely on Harry to pull him into the picture. Gollum's hands were trying to make their way to Lockhart's neck while at the same time trying to avoid being in the camera. Finally Lockhart gave up and slumped, panting against the white edge of the picture only to suddenly be pulled out of view by thin wiry hands.
Despite the amusement that he had at looking at the picture, Harry refused to sign it and hurried out to the Quidditch pitch with Colin following him shooting out a new question to Harry with every step that they took. Questions about Quidditch, about Gollum and Hogwarts. Harry began to explain to the first year the basics of his favorite sport, if only it did nothing but get him to shut up for a bit.
The-boy-who-lived was only able to lose his talkative shadow when he entered the Quidditch dressing rooms. Where he had to endure the mind-numbingly boring rantings of Oliver Wood, who had a peculiar gleam in his eyes every time he mentioned the words "Quidditch Cup". All the while Harry could only fantasize about having breakfast with his two friends and began to think about the many different things that could be eating at that very moment. Even one of Gollum's freshly caught fish sounded good at the moment. Fred and George looked every bit as bored as he, one of them even slumping his head on to Alicia's shoulder, only to be slapped away.
Finally after what seemed like hours, Wood finished his speeches, having exhausted every single play on his chalk board. He had the team break to enter the Quidditch Pitch. Each Gryffindor having to momentarily shield his or her eyes from the now brilliant sun. As Harry made his way to the field he could see both Ron and Hermione in the stands feasting upon toast and marmalade. Ron called out to ask if Harry was finished but looked dismayed when Harry told them that they hadn't even started.
Before Harry could take off on his broom Wood pulled him aside.
"One more thing, Potter." he said, "That house-elf that's been following you everywhere. Can we trust him? He has an ill favored look about him. He could be a Slytherin spy."
Harry would have laughed if he didn't understand where the team captain was coming from. But Gollum's hatred for Malfoy was obvious, so Harry reassured Wood that there was nothing to fear and promptly took off on his broomstick. Relishing the wind blowing through his hair.
Harry scanned the near empty stadium, spotting Colin furiously snapping pictures at him, and Ron and Hermione waving as he passed. Yet what worried him was there was still no sign of Gollum. The creature had never taken so much time in locating Harry in the morning. Although Harry didn't really mind not having him there, the lack of his presence was still...disconcerting.
Wood flew next to him and began to ask with even more paranoia if Colin was a spy too. Harry could just roll his eyes, answer no and ascend even higher to avoid more questions, not wanting to get anything in the way of his favorite past time. It was then that Harry noticed, along with his teammates, several green robed figures entering the field, each appearing more bulkier, brutish and trollish than the next. By the time Harry had landed, Wood was already demanding to know what was going on.
"Flint!" the Gryffindor Captain demanded. "This is our practice time! We got up specially! You can clear off now!"
Flint merely responded in a smug manner. Appearing like a troll that had figured out a riddle after spending a whole night of pondering.
"But I booked the field!" Wood spitted, "I booked it!"
"Ah," said Flint, "But I got a specially signed note here from Professor Snape."
The Gryffindor's read the note that gave the Slytherin team the Quidditch field, in order to train their new Seeker. Upon asking who it was, Wood and the rest of the team was greeted with the leering face of Draco Malfoy, and the new Nimbus Two Thousand and One's that Draco's father had donated to the team. The Griffyndor's were aghast and Draco's smirk looked like it would consume his very ears.
"What's happening?" Ron suddenly asked, him and Hermione having coming over to see what the commotion was all about. "Why aren't you playing? And what's he doing here?"
"I'm the new Slytherin Seeker, Weasley," Malfoy smirked. "Everyone's just been admiring the brooms my father's bought our team." encouraged by Ron's opened mouth gap the sinister Slytherin continued. " Good aren't they? But perhaps the Gryffindor team will be able to raise some gold and get new brooms, too. You could raffle off those Cleansweep Fives; I expect a museum would bid for them."
"Well at least no one on the Gryffindor team had to buy their way in," Hermione said, wiping the smirk off of Malfoy's face, "They got in on pure talent."
"No one asked your opinion, you filthy little Mudblood," he spat.
Harry didn't know what Malfoy had said but it's effect was obvious, chaos erupted as Wood had to stop Fred and George from pouncing on the smug wizard, Alicia was shrieking "How dare you!" and Ron whipped out his wand,
"You'll pay for that one Malfoy" he hollered firing the wand only to fall to the ground as the spell reverberated back onto himself. Even as Hermione squealed after her fallen friend and the Slytherin team was paralyzed with laughter when Ron coughed up a large slug, Harry could feel himself clutching his wand more than a few curses he had learned the previous year buzzing in his head. It was then that the air was rent with another sound. A horrible wail that made everyone turn and look, except for Ron who was coughing up another slug.
"PRECIOUS!" it came, Harry threw his hand over his face not wanting to watch as he knew who the voice came from.
Gollum suddenly crashed out of the equipment room, one of his large feet caught in a bucket, chasing nothing less than the golden Snitch. "Come back Precious!" he hollered "Why doesn't it wants to be with us Precious? Why?"
The Slytherin's were laughing even harder now as they all knew who the creature belonged to. Malfoy who had been on all fours pounding the ground with his fists when Ron had his accident, was now leaning on his broomstick and looking as if he was going to fall over yet again. That is he was, until the snitch veered straight toward him...as did Gollum. Malfoy's eyes widened about to the size of quaffles, holding his hands and broomstick in front of him as Gollum pounced at his direction.
WHAM! CRASH! SNAP! Went the pair, rolling a couple of feet as the snitch flittered upward toward the sun. Ron belched up another slug. And the two teams gathered around the heap of arms and legs that was now Gollum and Malfoy.
Had Ron not been spitting slugs, Harry might have laughed. Somehow the bucket that was on Gollum's foot had been wedged onto Malfoy's head, the young wizard screaming for help. Gollum was crying out for his "Precious", jumping in the air, completely oblivious that he was standing on top of the spoiled wizard, and Malfoy's Nimbus two thousand and one was now a pile of splinters. Hermione took this distraction to help Ron to his feet, calling for Harry to help. Gollum then only had time to scream and run as Crabbe and Goyle began swinging at him and firing spells at his direction. The creature was only saved by his nimble dodges, and by throwing a stone directly at the pair, which they managed to dodge but, a second hit it's intended target.
Lucky for Malfoy the bucket was still lodged onto his head, and the rock did little more than make an audible clang on the metal, but prompting another scream from the terrified boy. Harry could only watch Gollum disappear toward the school, being chased by Malfoy's goons, and seeing Flint trying to pry the bucket from Malfoy's head. Ron belched a slug and Hermione gave him a serious look, directing them toward Hagrid's cabin.
"Why doesn't it shut up Smeagol?" Gollum growled.
"We are scared Precious!" the other personality defended.
The creature began to wail slightly as it thought of Malfoy's gang that had chased him to the castle. In desperation Gollum had dove into a bathroom and hid in a stall, the ruse seemed to have worked because the pair didn't follow him. Now he was alone to have a conversation.
"Cruel wizards wants to hurts us. Mean wizards wants to hurt the Precious!"
"The Precious! Mean blonde wizard hates it, calls it names."
"Yes the Precious!"
"Calls the Precious names!?"
"We hears it before we found the Precious! It calls pretty Precious cruel name that we doesn't know, makes it cry."
"Yes, Precious Hermione!"
Gollum rolled his eyes at himself. "Why, my love?" he sighed. "Why is you so stupid! Can hairy girl be as good as the Precious? Can stupid girl help us catch fish? Or sneak us about and make us invisible?"
Gollum slapped his head at this answer.
"You doesn't understand." he said, "the red head boy, Master, and hairy headed girl are just like the hobbitses and the nasty wizards and elveses. They will lie to us, hurt us, and then they will take the Precious away from us when we find it."
"Not if she doesn't wants to be taken away Precious."
"NOT THAT PRECIOUS, MY PRECIOUS, THE PRECIOUS!"
"Oh," Smeagol responded, "not Hermione, not Master. They are our friends. Red headed boy doesn't likes us but we doesn't likes him."
"They will hurt us and kill us." Gollum argued. "Remember our friend Deagol? He tried to hurt us, he tried to take the Precious from us. Remember my love, our birthday present? We can't let them do that."
Smeagol seemed to be taken by this argument as a memory of the murder of his friend played back and he remembered putting the Ring on for the first time. "We needs it!" he suddenly growled sounding like Gollum. "We needs to make the wizards find the hobbitses. It's ours and we needs to take it!"
"Yesss, Precious! And we will, and we will kill anyone who tries to stop us. We have already spoken to him, in the dark forest with the nasty trees. He will help us. He will make the wizards tell us where the Baggins is and if they don't...they won't leave. Then we will have the Precious!"
"Yes! The Precious and precious Hermione will be ours!"
It was then that Gollum realized that he was not alone in the bathroom, giggly voices erupted around him and the stall door was flung open to reveal a troop of girls, having heard his whole conversation.
"Isn't that cute." one of them cooed, sinisterly "He fancies Hermione Granger."
"We know just what to do with him, don't we Pavarati?" said one.
"Sure do Lavander." the other responded.
Gollum shrieked and dove to run away, but was literally stopped in his tracks when he heard one of them call out "Imobulous!" the former hobbit could only scream inwardly as the shadows of the girls loomed over him ominously.
Next time: What is to become of Gollum now that he is in the clutches of the evil girlses of Hogwarts? That question and more answered in the next update.