A/N: Haha…well, it's Sapphrine again! Missed me?

Lol, but you've got to admit, Kell was SOO good! I could never write like that…*longing sigh*

Chapter 3

In the last chapter…

[[Harry shoved a sodden rag in the sink and turned to go to the door when-

"Potter, a word with you, please."

Harry looked over his shoulder and froze. It was Malfoy, eyes smouldering and a cool smile etched on his face.]]

***

Harry's jaws suddenly felt as if they had been cemented together by one of Hagrid's treacle fudges.

"Um..ughh." He mumbled awkwardly.

"Pardon?" Malfoy let out what could not be mistaken as a snort of derision- encouragement enough for Harry to wrench his teeth apart. He suddenly felt nervous.

"What do you want?" Harry finally asked tightly.

"You enjoyed a nice ogle at me at the back-to-school banquet last night." Draco answered smoothly. "What the hell was that about, Potter?"

"I…er…" Harry was stuck. Whatever words he had wanted to say next seemed to have gotten lost on the way to this mouth.

"Well?" Malfoy crossed his arms and arched his eyebrows.

Harry had the childish urge to cry out, I was NOT!, but he stopped himself in time to blurt out something else. "You were looking…good."

Harry berated himself- what on earth had possessed him to…oh and now Malfoy had adopted that smug look.Great.

Whatever Draco had in mind, it was not this. His eyebrows almost threatened to disappear in his hair –those deliciously soft…

"And it only took you five years to notice. Well done, Potter." Draco threw an idle smirk at Harry.

Harry felt his cheeks burn.

"I didn't mean it like that!" he said hotly. "It's the Veela influence- you know nothing else could make looking at you enjoyable!"

"Enjoyable?" Draco was looking more gleeful every minute. He leaned against the wall towards Harry, and Harry instinctively pulled back.

"No! No! I meant…" Harry stuttered. "Malfoy- just sod off, alright?"

Harry suddenly noticed what an uncompromising position they were in- their bodies inches apart, Harry plastered against the dungeon wall with Draco leaning dangerously over him.

"But I don't want to sod off, Harry." With a start, Harry realised Malfoy had called him by his first name…something he hadn't done since…something he hadn't ever done.

"Go shag one of your fangirls, Malfoy." Harry said wearily.

"They don't interest me."

"What do you mean, they don't-" Harry paused. "You're saying you're…" He suddenly found himself hoping…hoping that…

Malfoy leant in towards Harry and his breath caressed Harry's right ear while wispy tendrils of his hair tickled Harry's collarbone. "I'm not a straight shooter, if that's what you mean." He told Harry- his whisper tinged with amusement. Harry's shoulders sagged with relief- If Draco wasn't interested in girls, he-

There was a delightful sensation as Draco Malfoy's lips left a trail of feather-light kisses down the side of Harry's neck. He planted a final kiss on the collarbone where his hair had been teasing Harry so mercilessly…

Then the intimacy was over, almost as soon as it began. Draco Malfoy stalked in the direction of his common room, leaving behind one very confused Harry Potter.

***

"Harry!" Ron said, when Harry stumbled into the common room. "What kept you? We were getting worried…"

"Huh?" Harry mumbled. "Oh no…I…I told you guys to leave…didn't I?"

"Er…yeah, you did…" Ron answered slowly. "And we did leave…but you didn't come back for…what…half an hour?"

"Er…"

"Harry!" Ron snapped. "Tell us what happened!"

"I just…just leave it, alright?" Harry replied crossly.

"No!" Ron insisted forcefully. "Tell us! We're here to help!"

"I don't need any help!" Harry spat. "Nothing's wrong!"

"Harry?" It was Hermione, speaking for the first time. "You're acting rather…odd…"

"I am not!" Harry answered, his voice getting louder and louder; many students were already looking their way.

"Harry," Hermione said timidly. "Harry! There's obviously something the matter…do tell us! We're your friends!"

"There's nothing…" Harry growled. "…that you can do! Now leave me be!"

Hermione opened her mouth to protest again, but Ron cut in.

"Drop it," he muttered. "He's being a git anyway…"

Harry glared at Ron, who glared back. Finally, giving a loud sigh, Harry trudged off to his dormitory, slamming the door. He sat on his bed, and all of a sudden, all his feelings on the past few days came bubbling up at once- being told of Malfoy's veela inheritance, his interlude with Malfoy and the way Draco responded…Ron and Hermione…they could be so annoying at times. Couldn't they see that he was having trouble and dind't want to talk?

With a yell of frustration, Harry gripped onto a bedpost and pulled the hangings so hard they all but fell into a crumpled heap on the floor. Harry felt powerful and slightly less annoyed, gazing at the hangings, a scarlet puddle on his dormitory floor. He sighed.

"Reparo."

***

Harry took care to sit with his back to the Slytherin table the next morning at breakfast, partly because he felt looking at Draco would bring back all the memories of what had happened the previous afternoon.

"Harry?"

It was Ron, pale under his freckles. "Look, mate, about last night. I really didn't mean to-"

"It's alright, Ron. Just forget it." Harry told himself the last thing he wanted was for Malfoy to be the wedge driven between him and his best friends. He managed an encouraging smile. "Where's Hermione?"

"She's in the library, finishing that essay for Potions. We've got until tomorrow for that! And we're getting this afternoon off, because we're having Astronomy lessons at midnight tonight."

Harry checked his timetable. "I suppose we could go down the Quidditch pitch and fly a bit after Lunch. The tryouts notice has been on the Gryffindor noticeboard since we came back on Monday- I hope we get some decent people try out. Kirke and Sloper are both staying on, so we won't need Beaters, unless they back out."

"Ginny's switched positions to Chaser, so we'll need two other Chasers. Blimey Harry, we're testing everyone today?"

"Yeah, we've got plenty of time. Apparently our year, third years and fourth years get this afternoon off, and I saw the application forms- all those trying out for Chaser are in those years. So we'll be able to start early. Besides, if we miss dinner, I'll scoot down to the Kitchens- you know the house elves."

Ron chuckled. "Alright then, we might as well make our way to Hagrid's hut then, double Care of Magical Creatures with the Slytherins."

Harry nodded as they got up and made their way outside down the sloping lawn towards Hagrid's wooden cabin. " We've faced Blast-Ended Skrewts; there really can't be anything worse- I'm looking forward to our lesson."

Hagrid was waiting for them with two large buckets of what looked like waxy green flowers and slimy grey seaweed. He had a pair of wellingtons on and in his pocket was tucked what looked like a misshapen teddy-bear made of sackcloth.

"Hullo Ron, 'Arry! I've got a bi' of a treat for yer class today." He greeted them. "Be'er wait fer ev'ryone , they won' want ter miss this! Ah..'ere comes 'Ermione!" Harry and Ron glanced at each other quickly. Last time Hagrid had told them he had a treat, the class were to look after Blast-Ended Skrewts. Harry looked over at the castle- Hermione was making her way towards them with the rest of the Gryffindors and Slytherins trailing behind her.

"Hi Harry! Look, Ron and I, we're sorry about-"

"He's forgiven us, 'Mione." Ron grinned and clapped Harry in the back.

"Really, Harry? I mean, I can-"

"It's alright, Hermione." Harry grinned.

"Oh, okay then." Hermione looked distinctly relieved.

Once everyone had arrived, Hagrid motioned for them to follow him, and they made their way down the lawn. Hagrid turned left at some Flutterby bushes and then everyone found themselves on a dirt path. Harry suddenly realised they were on the same path that had led them to the lake when they had been in First Years.

The narrow path had opened onto the edge of the lake. There was a willow tree leaning over the side of the lake, and a dark shape moving around a rotted log- Harry hoped it wasn't the treat Hagrid had promised them and focused his attention on the pale yellow thing. Then Harry noticed, in the shallow water close to them, half hidden by copious amount of reedmace and quillwort, was a…Harry didn't really know what it was. It was a pale gold colour with a greenish tinge and protuberant watery black eyes. It looked to be part horse and part fish, with fins along its spine and behind its ears were a ridge of bumps. Hanging loosely around its neck, Harry could see a very wet, rather chewed on pink bow. Harry decided it was very cute.

"Issa baby hippocampus." Hagrid told the class- Lavender Brown had gone into transports of delight at the sight of those watery, curious eyes. "One of the hippocampi down in the lake foaled the day yer came back ter 'Ogwarts. Thought tha' we could look af'er this tadfoal fer the semester. Now, can anyone tell me anything about the hippocampus?"

To no one's surprise, Hermione's hand shot straight up.

"'Yes, 'Ermione?"

"The Hippocampus is an aquatic horse which was originally bred by the Mer-people. It has the head and forequarters of a horse and the tail and hindquarters of a fish. Young hippocampi, or tadfoal, are not amphibious until they are full-grown; they can only breathe air because their gills have not yet developed sufficiently. The hippocampus enjoys a diet of starwort plant and fluxweed and their dung works as excellent fertilizer."

"Excellent, take ten points for Gryffindor. Now-"

Seamus Finnegan interrupted. "Hang on, were those hippocampi pulling the boats when we came here in First Year? I could feel something pulling us-wasn't sure if it was magic or not."

"Yeah, tha' was this young 'un's Mummy and the rest of the herd. Now, this tadfoal has a brother some'ere, you'll be spli'ing inter groups feeding them, alrigh'?" Hagrid stuck two fingers in his mouth and whistled. "Kelpie- c'mere!"

The dark shape that had been lurking near the dead log suddenly disappeared, and a pair of bright eyes appeared under a lilypad. Kelpie pulled himself along to his sister and Hagrid. Many of the students gasped- he looked nothing like his sister. He had dark green knobbly skin all over except for a buttery coloured patch over both eyes. He also had the fluffiest mane Harry had ever seen. Kelpie had his own ribbon, blue and ragged which also looked to have been chewed a bit. Kelpie turned to his sister and nibbled on her bow while she nibbled his. A few girls sighed.

"Oh, they're awfully cute, aren't they?" Parvati whispered.

"Alright now, ter feed them tadfoals, yer need to wade inter the shallows, so I suggest yer either put a Charm on you ter stay dry, or perform drying spells afterwa'ds. Oh, an' this is Bu'ermellow 'ere." Hagrid pointed affectionately at the pale yellow hippocampus before wading into the shallows.

Hermione turned to the rest of the Gryffindors. "Which tadfoal do we want?"

Harry and Ron shrugged, they were equally cute to him. "Whichever gets us less wet, I suppose."

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Honestly, an Impervious Charm'll keep you dry no matter whether you're in water up to your knees or up to your neck! I say we-"

"Oi, Gryffindors!" A voice cut in, it was Draco Malfoy and the Slytherins. "Which of these great lumps do you want?" he drawled.

Daphne Greengrass prodded Tracey Davis, "I say we have that dark green one- look that that fluffy mane!" The Slytherin girls chorused their assent.

"Alright, we don't let you choose. We're taking Kelpie." His eyes glittered and Harry turned his head away, painfully aware a blush was creeping up onto his cheeks. Since when had Malfoy ever been able to affect him so?

Cries of Impervious! were heard as the students took off their cloaks and cast their repelling charms. Hagrid had moved Buttermellow and Kelpie to oppposite ends of the shallow area so that the class would be able to move in the water comfortably.

Harry stuck his foot gingerly into the water- it was far warmer than he thought it would be. The Gryffindors waded in until they reached Buttermellow, tethered at a point where the water was up to their waists. Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnegan were last, dragging a large bucket of hippocampus fodder.

"Ooooohh…aren't you adorable?" Lavender cooed at Buttermellow, who batted her luscious eyelashes warily. Parvati was braiding Buttermellow's mane while Neville had decided to reparo the tadfoal's bow. Harry busied himself grabbing bits of the green flowery substance, which he assumed to be starwort and some of the fluxweed, which he had handled in his Second Year, for a Polyjuice potion. While he was doing this, he kept his back firmly to Draco and focused on unstaining his brilliantly pink cheeks.

Once he was satisfied his cheeks had resumed their normal colour, Harry turned to the rest of his group. "Umm…I suppose we just feed it to her then?" He asked.

"Yeah, I s'pose." Seamus Finnegan sunk his hands into the fluxweed and winced. "This stuff is too cold and slimy for my liking."

The Gryffindors busied themselves passing strands of fluxweed and starwort to Buttermellow, who had become slightly less tense than she had been before, and was wolfing down the food she was being offered. Parvati Patil plaited some fluxweed and offered it to her - Buttermellow slurped this down as one would do with a strand of spaghetti.

Harry allowed himself a glance at the Slytherins. Kelpie's fishtail was being admired by Daphne Greengrass and Blaise Zabini, while Malfoy was patting Kelpie's head resignedly and Pansy was trying hard not to show her delight at the way Kelpie was nibbling her fingers. He felt Draco looking casually over at him and Harry quickly turned away.

The Care of Magical Creatures lesson came to an end quicker than most of the class wanted. Students clambered uncertainly out of the water and watched the water droplets promptly roll off their uniforms and wriggle their way back to the shallows. Parvati gave a longing look towards Buttermellow as the class exited the clearing and made their way back onto the dirt path which led onto the sloping lawn.

"You know, I loved that lesson! Hagrid's a decent teacher, when he doesn't get carried away bringing those foul creatures he used to bring." Lavender gushed. "I can't wait until Friday, we have a lesson last thing, and because we get Friday afternoons off, you know, I figured we could stay behind a little while with Buttermellow! And I want to have a closer look at Kelpie. He has horrid green skin, but isn't that fluffy mane positively sweet? And those eyes!"

Hermione checked her schedule. "Double Herbology with the Slytherins next. I'd rather our single Herbology lesson was with the Slytherins and our double was with the Hufflepuffs, don't you? They're so much more agreeable."

Harry forced himself to nod and chuckle wryly. "Yeah..yeah, they're a heap more agreeable." Harry's voice had sounded strained and he noticed Hermione and Ron had given him an odd look, so he quickly said something else. "Look, can we get a seat near the front? I don't want to be near Malfoy and his goons."

"Sure, mate. It's recess right now- we have about ten minutes to get some food and head down to the greenhouses." Ron made his way to the kitchens to get some biscuits while Harry and Hermione hurried up to the common room and slipped into their beige protective smocks. They were down the Charms corridor when Ron caught up with them. Harry passed him his smock.

"Engorgio." The white button sized plate enlarged to its original size and the trio helped themselves to vanilla cookies and pumpkin pasties.

"Thanks Ron." The three wandered down to the greenhouses, where Madam Sprout was waiting for them, her arms full of honking daffodils. "Greenhouse Two, chaps." She called out- Harry and Ron followed Hermione and entered the Greenhouse- a few Hufflepuff second years were watering bromeliads, but hurriedly shuffled out when they saw the sixth years approach.

When the rest of the class arrived, Professor Sprout hauled in an enormous tub what looked like silvery rope. "Alright, chaps, ever heard of Mooncalf dung?" She looked at Hermione, who shrugged bitterly…and Neville put this hand up. "Longbottom?"

"Well…Mooncalves are animals that live in burrows, they only come out during the full moon, to dance, you see." He glanced nervously at the Professor Sprout, who nodded. "They have enormous flat feet and their dung, if it's collected before the sun comes up, makes a really good fertilizer."

"Jolly good, ten points to Gryffindor." Neville blushed with pride. "Alright, here's what I collected from last week's full moon- I want your dragon hide gloves on and you can spread some of this around in the greenhouses and outside- second years were working on Mandrakes in Greenhouse Three yesterday, so spread some dung there too. Now, I only collect the dung during the holidays, so I'll provide you with trays to collect mooncalf dung for next full moon. The mooncalves live in the forest, but they come out to the lawn near Professor Hagrid's hut to dance. Alright, off you go then- don't forget those gloves."

The Gryffindors had come back to the castle sweaty but otherwise fine- the mooncalf dung had given off a scent of mango ice cream, which was perfectly bearable. Those in Harry's Astronomy class were all excited, having two afternoons off a week in return for star-gazing lessons at midnight on Wednesdays and Fridays.

"Alright, Chaser tryouts." Harry pulled off his Herbology smock and slipped into his red and gold quidditch robes. "Ron, we can throw balls to each other and ask them to intercept us; that won't be too hard. Then we'll suss out those who are decent on their brooms, we'll do a bit of vicious playing, and then the two who fare best will be paired with Ginny." Harry paused. "You know, this whole Quidditch captaining might not be too hard."

Ron grinned, admiring himself in the mirror. "Not for you, at any rate. Blimey, I know why girls love men in uniform now- these Quidditch robes reall-"

"Oi Ron, you two heading down the Quidditch pitch?" Dean Thomas chirped from behind his bed. "Seamus is trying for Chaser. I was going to, but I'm not that good, and I'm busy with my Art club."

Ron nodded. "You can come and cheer on Seamus if you want- he's improved a lot on his broom since First Year flying lessons."

"Cool." Dean grinned. Nah, I'll stay here and finish my Potions essay and work on that Conjuring Charm Flitwick wanted perfected- and read those books he set for reading."

"Yeah, alright then. I'll see you then." Ron and Harry made their way down the stairs and out the portrait hole.

There were seven people trying out for Chaser- Harry could see Seamus's sandy hair from the courtyard.

"Afternoon, I'm Harry Potter, captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. You people are trying out for Chasers, right? Alright…hang on." Ron pulled a piece of parchment out.

"Here are the list of names, Harry." Harry skimmed through the list.

Natalie MacDonald

Euan Abercrombie

Kyle Wiltershins

Seamus Finnegan

Artemis Lim

Mikaela Everton

Victoria Frobisher

Harry looked up. "Frobisher? Didn't you try out last year for Keeper?"

A blonde girl with her hair in plaits smiled. "Yeah, I did, but I was too involved with all my clubs to place Quidditch really high on my priority list. I've quit Charms Club now, and I'm only in the Astronomy society- I doubt that'll conflict with Quidditch, unless Quidditch really runs that late."

Harry nodded. "Alright then. Well, good luck to all you, how about you do a few warm-up laps of the pitch, Ron and I'll be with you in a moment.

The seven hurried along to the Quidditch Pitch while Ron and Harry followed them.

Harry suddenly stopped. "We forgot the crate. And we can't accio it, what if it knocks McGonagall's hat off on it's way here, or something? She'd turn us into Bertie Bott's beans or something!"

"McGonagall's teaching Ginny's class right now. Snape never leaves his dungeons, look, the teachers are probably all teaching right now. Filch can't do anything if he sees the crate, and Harry, it probably won't fly-it'll just drag along the floor, or something. Then Mrs Norris'd be in danger of being steamrolled, but…" Ron stopped for air, and the boys laughed.

"Accio crate!" Harry waved his wand. Ron and Harry paused to listen.

Sure enough,a clunk-clunk was soon heard, as the crate plunked itself down the stairs. Then it put on a burst of speed, and shot through the grass, stopping at Harry's feet.

Harry and Ron bent down to take the crate and walked onto the pitch. No one seemed have noticed that their captain and the team keeper had joined them- giving Harry the perfect opportunity to observe those flying.

"Artemis Lim's flying pretty well." Ron remarked. The boys watched as the fourth year did a few loop-de-loops in the air, then stared on in amazement when Vicky Frobisher intercepted her and forced her in the other direction. The girls looked as if they were playing on rival chasers in an invisible Quidditch game, Vicky Frobisher tailing Artemis and then blocking her off then jumping off her broom in a daredevil stunt to mimic grabbing a Quaffle. The tables turned- Artemis was hotly pursuing Vicky, who was now zigzaging across the pitch, heading straight for-

Seamus Finnegan shot up out of nowhere and startled Vicky into letting go off the quaffle. Artemis was floating above them when Seamus grabbed the invisible quaffle dived down towards the ground with Vicky tailing stubbornly, before switching direction so abruptly that Vicky had flown two broomlengths before she noticed he was heading the other direction…towards his goal!

Artemis and Vicky then apparently forgot they were on opposing teams and both headed towards Seamus, from opposite directions. There was a nasty crash between Artemis and Seamus and Vicky's broom spun wildly off-course as she struggled to regain control. It was during this tangle that Euan, Kyle and Mikaela seized possession of the "Quaffle", a foot from the ground and zoomed to the other side of the pitch, where Natalie MacDonald then scored five consecutive goals.

There was applause from the ground. "You can come down now!" Harry shouted, waving his arms to get the attention of the seven people on brooms. Seven brooms obediently flew down and landed on the lawn, Artemis still looking slightly dazed from the crash. Seamus's hair looked distinctly ruffled, but otherwise, he looked as he had been enjoying a relaxing bath when he had been called down.

"That was an excellent show, guys." Harry's eyes glinted. "All of you can fly well, but we're testing out whether you have the skills to fit the two remaining Chaser spots.

"Oh, who's the third Chaser?" Natalie MacDonald asked.

"Ginny Weasley, my sister." Ron replied. "She was seeker last year, but changed positions to chasers, after…well, you know how Umbridge was."

"Yeah. Alright now," Harry kicked off off the ground and floated above them. "Ron and I will be throwing this Quaffle around," He pointed the reddish ball in the crate, "And in pairs, you'll come up, intercept up and try get the quaffle into your goalposts- over on the other side of the pitch, while we're going to try get the Quaffle towards our goalpost. Out of each pair, we'll choose whoever has better Chasing skills, and pair them up against each other, until we have the two Chasers. Anyway, I'll sort you into pairs. You, Artemis, go with Natalie. Vicky- you're with Mikaela. Seamus can go with Kyle. Alright, Euan, you can go against the three who emerge from this first round. Up now!"

Ron grabbed the Quaffle and rose up on his broom, Artemis Lim and Natalie MacDonald following him. Natalie must have had a bad case of nerves, because she seemed to shake violently on her broom, and when Artemis intercepted the quaffle and tossed it at her, Natalie dropped the Quaffle, and Ron scooped it up again. Artemis seemed to be sapping all of Natalie Macdonald's enthusiasm.

"Ok. Umm…Natalie, I'm sorry- Artemis will be going onto the next round. You seemed rather nervous today. Anything wrong?"

Natalie flushed. "I suppose I can play Quidditch, but not competitively. I'm horrible scared that someone'll knock me off- you know?"

Vicky and Mikaela were next, Mikaela was flying well, but she was too domineering and spent most of her time flying around with the Quaffle rather than throwing it back and forth to Vicky as they were supposed it. Vicky often had to hover under Mikaela's broom- Mikaela would drop the Quaffle every time Harry and Ron flew near, then snatch it up almost as quickly from Vicky afterwards. It came as a surprise to Vicky when she was the one who succeeded and was proceeding to the next round; Mikaela looked rather sulky.

Seamus was paired against Kyle, who turned out to be even more frightened of Harry and Ron charging towards him than Natalie had been; Kyle kept throwing the Quaffle back at Seamus for fear of being targetted by Harry and Ron. It came to no surprise that Kyle did not make it to the next round.

"Alright now, Natalie, Mikaela, Kyle, seeing you aren't proceeding," Mikaela threw a dark look at Harry and Ron,"You can either watch from the stands, or go enjoy some of your remaining spare time. Artemis, you'll be paired against Seamus, Vicky- you can go against Euan. Then whoever turns out better between Vicky and Euan will go against whoever did worse between Artemis and Seamus, understood? " It was hard to say who was more nervous, Artemis (she evidently had not forgotten her crash earlier on) or Vicky, who was sizing Euan up whilst cracking her knuckles repeatedly.

Artemis went against Seamus first. Ron managed to throw the Quaffle at Harry once, before Seamus seized the ball as he swept past them. Harry appeared on his right to block his view of the goalpost; Seamus threw the Quaffle at the ground where Artemis grabbed hold of it, dropped it, and then managed to do a fancy pass at Seamus, which Ron intercepted. Ron only had the ball for an instant before he threw it at Harry, and Seamus intercepted it again, and flew under Harry to score a goal. Seamus was pushed between Harry and Ron, when he was trying to score his second goal- he let go of the Quaffle, Artemis caught it, managed a goal, before Harry's hand came out of nowhere and grabbed it inches from her fingers. Seamus and Artemis both had a nasty glint in their eyes, when they both charged against Harry, and for the second time that day, Seamus and Artemis crashed- into Harry, who threw the ball seconds before his rival Chasers came together. Seamus was off in Ron's direction immediately, caught the Quaffle and was going to pass it to Artemis when "TIME'S UP!" The little clock that had been timing the "matches" shrieked shrilly.

Artemis was grinning at Seamus, they shook hands and laughed a lot while Harry and Ron discussed the outcome.

"I reckon Artemis and Seamus were both excellent. They work well as a team- Seamus seems to just…sense his fellow Chaser's moves before they make them and Artemis has the best reflexes, her aim's pretty good too- Seamus was a bit off. Hey…why can't they just be the two Chasers?" Ron protested.

"Because Vicky and Euan have yet to go. Vicky's really good as well, and I was watching Euan, he's alright on his broom, but he lacks confidence. Vicky's equally as good as Artemis and Seamus. It's a pity we can't have four chasers. What do you say, Ron? Artemis's offed?"

"Yeah, I guess so. I think Vicky and she will have an interesting round- Euan's bound to lose."

Artemis didn't look half as sad as Harry had expected her to look when she was told the news.

"It's alright." She grinned. "Seamus is really great, I'm glad that if I didn't make it, I didn't make it becaue of him. He'll be a real asset to the team."

"Oh, Artemis!" Seamus chuckled. "There's still two rounds to go. You can still make it if you beat the winner of the next round." He smiled. "You're really good- I'm glad you're in Gryffindor."

Artemis positively glowed at the sincerity of his words. "I might try out for Beater, if Kirke or Sloper resign. It'll serve nicely as a way to let out all my stress. I used to do kickboxing- but that was before I came to Hogwarts."

"Kickboxing?" Vicky asked in interest.

"It's a Muggle thing, you bash up a punchbag and well…yeah." Artemis giggled. "Good luck, Vicky, Euan."

The match between Vicky Frobisher and Euan Abercrombie was as predicted- Euan seemed to forget he had arms and just stared at Quaffle when it was thrown at him and-

SMACK. Euan Abercrombie was screeching when he opened his eyes and found the Quaffle had almost knocked him off his broom- he was clutching onto the broom with one hand…

Harry and Ron flew in and pulled Euan's broom towards the ground.

"Euan..do you want to continue with…?"

"No, let Vicky win, she was good, I can't fly." He whimpered, flushing.

"Are you sure that-"

"Let her win. Please. I don't want to play Quidditch anymore." Euan blubbered.

Harry nodded. It was unusual for a Quaffle to knock someone off their broom, Euan must've been lighter and more unprepared than he had thought.

"Alright, Vicky, you and Artemis now." Harry said brusquely. The two girls rose into the air on their brooms. Vicky would undeniably be a better Chaser than Artemis, thought Harry as he missed the Quaffle, which had been plucked from his vision by Vicky for the fourth time. Artemis was looking slightly nervous, but her flying hadn't been affected, Harry was glad to see. When the timer went off to signal the end of the round, Ron was the one who told the girls.

"You and Vicky are both really, really excellent. I'm sure Seamus and Harry will agree with me. Thing is, Artemis, we think Vicky's more suited to Chasing than you are. You've got excellent aim, which would put you above everyone else if these had been Beater tryouts, but your Chasing skills aren't in the same league as Vicky's." Ron seemed to slump as he said this.

Artemis nodded. "I'll try out for Beater if one of your current Beaters resign then. Merlin knows I've wanted to play Quidditch for Gryffindor ever since I came here. Congratulations for making it, Seamus, Vicky. You guys'll make Gryffindor proud!"

A bell chimed at that exact instant. A few people were making their way towards them, while several others hurried about the courtyard.

Ginny arrived first. "The new chasers? I'm Ginny – I'm looking forward to flying with you guys, I was watching you during Transfiguration, you must be really good- all the people trying out seemed so."

Kirke and Sloper introduced themselves. Harry nodded. "Alright then, we'll have a practise on Saturday morning, is that alright with you? Alright then, I'll see you later."

Harry was making his way out of the pitch when he saw a red and gold someone in the stands. They seemed to be beckoning to him.

"Hermione! Just got out of class?"

"Yeah." She smiled as Ron lumbered past them, and waved.

"So how was it?"

She blinked. "How was what?" she asked.

"Erm…lessons…" Ron said slowly. "How were your classes?"

"Oh…erm…great," Hermione said distractedly. "Er…listen…Harry, can I talk to you?"

"Yeah…sure, Hermione," Harry answered, sounding confused.

"Alone," Hermione suddenly growled, as Ron made to follow them.

Ron stopped in his steps, startled. This did not seem like the Hermione he knew…

His eyebrows rose as he saw the pair in the distance, with Hermione putting her hand on Harry's arm.

***

A/N: HAHA…ANOTHER CLIFFIE!!

Oh…and just letting you guys know, this chapter was, like, ALL KELL again!! Geez…I wrote, like, two sentences…*_*

*sigh*

I'm hopeless…

-Rine