A/N: Bit of an awkward ending, but it was important that I get over this block. I know where to take the story from here, which is generally helpful to writing it. Enjoy! :)
Oliver's face showed confusion. "But… your dad was a good bloke, right?"
"Of course he was," Teddy responded, somewhat affronted. "Not all people with furry little problems are malicious beasts like Greyback." The trio was sitting in the stands of the Quidditch pitch. They'd chosen something of an awkward angle for viewing purposes, but Teddy had agreed that Oliver should know, especially since he was Muggle-born and probably didn't have the pre-established stigma against werewolves.
"Right," he said slowly. "So… if you have an FLP, you're only dangerous on… that one day, and even then you can take a potion keep your regular mind… right?" he asked, turning to Julia-the-potions-expert.
Julia smiled and nodded curtly. "Right."
Oliver's eyes narrowed. "But you don't have an FLP, just aspects of those with an FLP, and so while you get sick on… on that one day, you don't need a potion and are essentially a safe bloke."
Teddy smiled grimly. "I hope."
Oliver nodded for a long time. "Sometimes I wonder if this whole wizard thing is just an elaborate hallucination and I'm actually just sick with malaria in the Muggle world," he said lightly.
Teddy smiled with amusement. "Believe me, it's a lot to absorb even when you've been in the world all your life," he admitted.
Oliver opened his mouth to respond, but the crowd stood suddenly and began cheering as fourteen figures in scarlet and blue walked out onto the pitch. Madam Hooch instructed the captains to shake hands; finally she blew the whistle, and fifteen coloured streaks launched into the air.
"Go Winnie!" shouted Teddy and Oliver simultaneously from their position behind the Gryffindor goal. The small girl did a quick lap around the goals as the Quaffle fell into Gryffindor hands and grinned nervously at the trio before hovering in front of the centre goal and paying better attention to the game.
As the game went on, Teddy had to note that Winnie was extremely good at playing Keeper. She was unsteady on her broom, but had reflexes like nothing he'd seen short of professional. "Winnie's quite good, isn't she?" Teddy asked.
"She ought to be," came a voice from behind them. "I gather she's breathed nothing but Quidditch since birth."
Teddy, Julia, and Oliver turned to regard the pair behind them. Teddy recognized the girl who spoke as a Hogwarts student, but the woman beside her looked to be about Harry's age or older. "You lot must be Win's posse."
Oliver cocked an eyebrow. "I don't know if we're her posse, per se."
"Little group of smart-ass friends, whatever," said the blonde, tossing her hair back. The woman beside her paid no attention to the trio, instead opting to watch the game attentively. "You must be Oliver, I can see why you and the brat get along so well."
Oliver smirked. "You must be Frieda."
The blonde nodded with a smirk that matched Oliver's. "Glad she's mentioned me. Mum, these are Winnie's friends that she never shuts up about."
"Frieda," said her mother distractedly, "I'm watching the game."
Frieda rolled her eyes. "Sor-ry." She leaned forward. "I'm the deviant of the family. Mum's always been an avid fan, and then of course there's dad…"
"Winnie's dad plays Quidditch, doesn't he?" Teddy asked suddenly, remembering what Julia had told him—something about how she lived up to her name?
Frieda nodded. "He played professionally. Winnie worships him… got his old robes hanging in her room." Frieda shook her head. "I kinda get the hero-worship thing, but I can't say I get Quidditch. But it's as you say, she's got something of a knack for the game. Do what you love and love what you do. That's what dad did, anyway." She smiled at the trio and leaned back beside her mother, who was still deeply immersed in the game.
Teddy found it a bit odd that Frieda was speaking in the past-tense – it was as though she assumed the group of friends knew something that they didn't. However, the conversation was obviously over, so Teddy, Julia, and Oliver turned back to watch the game.
Gryffindor was tied 30-30, which was actually quite good considering the extent to which they were being outplayed. The Ravenclaw Chasers kept possession of the ball more often than not. While Winnie was doing backflips to keep the Quaffle from going through the Gryffindor hoops, the Gryffindor beaters seemed to be having a time of hitting the Bludgers toward Ravenclaws rather than toward their own teammates. After Winnie gave the Quaffle a great kick toward the Ravenclaw end, Teddy was able to catch a glimpse of her face as she repositioned herself in front of the centre hoop. She looked quite angry and, judging by her gesticulations, seemed to be talking to herself.
"What are those ruddy Chasers doing?" wondered Mrs Wood indignantly. "The blonde's all right, but the other two seem to think this is a holiday. They're barely playing at all."
"They look new," Frieda commented. "I know Sam, she's a year ahead of me and the captain, but most of the team either graduated or quit after the last year-end match against Slytherin. I'd have quit, too," she added frankly. "It was brutal. Pleased I'm not in Gryffindor, that's all I've got to say."
The game went on for a while. Soon the score was 70-60 for Ravenclaw. Winnie was sweating profusely, despite the crisp fall air. At one point after Gryffindor committed a foul, Sam flew immediately over to Winnie and began chatting with her. Winnie seemed to be explaining something quite angrily to Sam – Teddy could hear her shout all the way from the stands – and Sam nodded, clapping a hand on her shoulder consolingly and getting out of the way so Ravenclaw could take their penalty shot. Winnie sighed heavily, then pulled off an excellent save from the penalty shot and kicked the Quaffle back to Sam.
Suddenly, two figures swerving above Winnie on their brooms took a sudden dive. Even from his distant position, Teddy could see that the figures were racing for the Golden Snitch, hovering just above Winnie's head. He could also tell that Winnie was concentrating so fiercely on Sam's swerves and dives on her way to the Ravenclaw net that she had no idea that two witches roughly twice her size were racing toward her head from above.
Julia realized what was bound to happen at the same time Teddy did. She clung to Teddy's arm and looked desperately at the boys beside her, who were both transfixed, waiting for the collision, not knowing what to do. Mrs Wood was muttering, "oh, dear, no," and even Frieda seemed to understand that this probably wasn't going to end well. As the crowd burst into elation at Sam's successful single-handed campaign to the goal, the Seekers reached out their hands and began shouting at Winnie to get out of the way…
It happened very quickly. The Ravenclaw Seeker caught hold of the Snitch and pulled out of the dive just as Winnie looked up. The Gryffindor Seeker closed her hand around Winnie's wind-swept hair and, unable to stop herself, ripped Winnie from her broom. The surprise weight brought the Seeker off her own broom as well, and the two of them hurled toward the ground, flailing their arms madly…
Teddy was suddenly aware that he had gotten to his feet and was running around the edge of the stadium toward where the Professors were seated together. He heard Mrs Wood squeal behind him, but he kept running. He had to get to someone, to bring their attention to the falling pair – but as he ran, the crowd was becoming quite aware of what was happening. Through the cheers of triumph came screams as people pointed at the pair of scarlet robes twisting madly in an attempt to right themselves before they hit the ground head-first.
Someone was sprinting out onto the field. He shouted a couple of words, and Winnie and the Seeker seemed to fall the remaining ten feet in slow motion. Teddy skidded to a halt and leant closer to see who had slowed down the fall. Professor Everard watched as the girls hit the Quidditch pitch with a sickening crunch, then rushed forward and knelt over them as Madam Hooch dismounted her broom a short way away and hurried over.
Oliver, Julia, Frieda, and Mrs Wood had hurried after Teddy and now crowded around him. "Is Winnifred all right?" squealed Mrs Wood, her hand covering her mouth in apprehension.
Teddy didn't respond. Professor McGonagall had now joined Professor Everard and Madam Hooch, and the three of them blocked the girls from view altogether. Sam the captain came over and hesitantly spoke to McGonagall, but McGonagall must have replied sharply, because Sam raised her hands in the air and backed away. Finally the trio seemed to reach a consensus; they stood erect. Everard and McGonagall conjured stretchers and levitated the girls onto them. Mrs Wood groaned woefully; neither Winnie nor the Seeker was moving, but the extent of their injuries was not obvious from so high in the stands.
Professor McGonagall marched forward into the middle of the pitch as Everard took floated the stretchers out of sight toward the castle. The crowd was now entirely silent, peering apprehensively after the fallen pair of Gryffindors. "Ravenclaw have won the match. You are dismissed," she said pointedly, eyebrows raised. Somewhat reluctantly, the crowd began to file out of the stands, the rumble of conversation quite loud. McGonagall followed Everard in a half-run.
"Come on," Teddy mumbled to the others, tearing down the corridor in an attempt to beat the crowd up to the castle. The other four hurried behind him, no one bothering to ask where he was going. He wove his way through the crowd and finally burst through, tearing up the stairs, through the Clock Tower, and into the fourth-floor corridor which led to the Hospital Wing.
"Professor," said Teddy breathlessly. McGonagall was about to open the door to the Hospital Wing and turned around to regard Teddy.
"Lupin," she said, not without exasperation. "It should not come as a surprise to you that you cannot come in."
"Why not?" Teddy asked innocently, still quite short of breath. Oliver, Julia, and Frieda had now caught up with Teddy; Mrs Wood trailed not a far way behind.
"Minerva!" she cried as she approached. "Minerva, is she all right?"
McGonagall's face softened immediately. "I don't know," she said finally. "Mr Lupin here is preventing me from finding out. Come in," she said brusquely, opening the door to the ward. "Not you," she clarified sternly to Teddy, Oliver, and Julia.
"What about me, Professor? She's my sister," Frieda implored.
"I'm sorry, Ms Wood. No students." McGonagall and Mrs Wood disappeared behind the large wooden door, which magically locked itself behind them.
Teddy, Oliver, Frieda, and Julia stood staring at the door for a few moments. Then Oliver gave a light-hearted sigh and fished a small ball of skin-coloured dough from his pocket. "Well!" he said pleasantly, then flung the ball out, exposing the full length of the Extendable Ear. But, it seemed, McGonagall had seen this coming; neither Oliver, Frieda, Julia, or Teddy were able to overhear anything being said in the ward.
"Nothing to be done, I suppose," reasoned Frieda, pale-faced. "Come on, you three. McGonagall's sure to tell us when we can see her."
Oliver and Julia nodded and turned away with Frieda with a last glance at the door to the Hospital Wing. Teddy lingered for a moment, torn between his mad plots to get in and the voice of reason which was telling him to go with Frieda. In the end, much to Teddy's dismay, the voice of reason won. He trudged down to the Great Hall with a profound sense of worry settled deeply in his stomach.
It was several hours later by the time Teddy heard anything about how Winnie was doing. Frieda chased after them after dinner, a smile across her face.
"Winnie's okay!" she exclaimed. Teddy felt the relief wash over him as he exchanged grins with Julia and Oliver. "I'm just off to visit her now, I thought you'd want to come."
They found Winnie quite well. She was sitting up in bed eating her dinner eagerly. Her mother sat by her side, apparently torn between amusement and worry. Madam Pomfrey rushed between her and the only other girl in the ward – the Gryffindor Seeker, who was also looking well and was chatting animatedly with Winnie and her mother.
"Hey, you lot!" Winnie said cheerfully as she caught sight of them. "Wondered where you were."
"McGonagall wouldn't let us in. Are you okay?" asked Teddy immediately.
"Good as new, Teds. Madam Pomfrey insists that I stay here for another few hours to make sure all my bones have mended properly…" Teddy frowned and opened his mouth, but Winnie waved a hand. "Pur-lease. I'm fine. Aren't I fine, mummy?"
"She's fine," Mrs Wood confirmed, smiling. As her smile faded, however, a dark look of concern replaced itself on her face.
"Honestly, I'm more choked about the game than the fall. Demzella, mum, and I were just discussing the invariably poor tactics executed by our dear Bludgers and Chasers."
"Dreadful," Demzella confirmed beside her.
"Don't know when I've been so angry," Winnie said thickly through a spoonful of chocolate pudding.
"We noticed you fussing a bit," Oliver said, beaming now that he could see for himself that Winnie was in good health. "The captain came and had a chat with you to calm you down a bit…"
"Calm me down? She was angrier than I was! We just sort of decided to take the game into our own hands, forget what we'd practiced, and let Demzella do her job and catch the Snitch."
"I'm so sorry," Demzella said immediately in a low voice, looking at Winnie with an expression of profound guilt. Teddy got the impression that she had already apologized to Winnie several times, because Winnie waved it off and gave her a stern look.
"Sam's already been in, she said she had a row with the rest of the team once we'd gone off," Winnie continued. "She said they're either going to have to shape up or she's going to have to form a new team. Bloody dreadful flying. She came in all pale, concerned that her only two decent players were out of commission for the season. But she needn't have worried. You know," she said slowly to Teddy, "if she does hold another set of tryouts, you should try out for the other positions. Beater and Chaser, I mean. You'd stand a fair chance, I would think."
Teddy's heart lightened at the prospect, but he gave a modest shrug. "I don't know. Seeker's my position, really."
"You never know," said Mrs Wood suddenly. "I thought I was a decent Seeker, but I played better as Chaser once I had a bit of training under me."
Teddy raised his eyebrows. "You play Quidditch?"
Mrs Wood smiled sadly. "Played," she clarified. "Haven't picked up a broom in years. Not since…" She trailed off and looked sadly at the floor. Winnie suddenly looked a bit alarmed and dug into her pudding rather intently, but Mrs Wood shook her head and didn't express her thought. "Played with your godfather here at Hogwarts, actually. Now there was a natural-built Seeker. He could have played for England."
Winnie looked at her mother curiously as Teddy's eyebrows shot up with surprise. "You knew Harry at school?"
"Oh, yes." Winnie's jaw dropped; this tidbit of information was obviously news to her. "He was only a year below me. Started playing Quidditch the same year I did. Cracking captain, too. But he had a destiny to follow, I suppose."
"Mother!" hissed Winnie behind her. "Why did you never tell me you played Quidditch with Harry Potter?"
"I rather thought you'd have gotten the gist!" Mrs Wood said scoldingly. "You knew your father played with Harry, and you knew I played with your father, so –"
Winnie's eyes looked to the ceiling as she mentally overlapped the timelines. Her face slowly lit up as she beamed at her mother.
"I can't believe it!" she breathed. "Tell me everything!"
Laughing, the visitors pulled up chairs and listened to Katie Wood tell hours of anecdotes about Harry's Quidditch days.