The Spy at Stoatshead Hill
Edie Filbert was a completely ordinary muggle girl, not that she would have understood what the word "muggle" meant, anyway. She had an older sister, a younger brother, an even younger sister, two boring but well-meaning parents, and a nice small house in Devon (just outside Ottery St. Catchpole, to be precise). There was absolutely nothing extraordinary about her at all, except perhaps for the fact that she was a light sleeper and was awakened one morning in mid August to the sound of people talking loudly outside.
"So how does everyone get there without all the muggles noticing?" someone asked.
Edie might have stayed in bed (she'd been having a very nice dream about that boy from her algebra class…) if she hadn't been intrigued by the word "muggle." Maybe it was a foreign language. She got up and staggered to her window. It had been such a dull summer. If these people were foreigners, and they were having trouble getting somewhere, then she'd be more than happy to help them along, if only for something novel to do.
"…organizational problem," another male voice was replying. "The trouble is, about a hundred thousand wizards turn up at the World Cup…"
Edie stuck her finger in her ear and twisted hard to get out the earwax. She was still half-asleep after all. Opening her window wider, she peered out at the strange passers-by. She could barely see them, the wind had to be carrying their voices, but they looked to be a party of nine or so, lugging heavy packs. Camping, maybe?
"… Apparate, of course, but we still have to set up safe points for them to appear, well away from Muggles. I believe there's a handy wood they're using as the Apparition point…"
Edie cleaned out her ears again, but it was a mere formality. There was that word again– "Muggles." And they kept talking about, what was it? Attrition? In the nearby wood? That didn't make any sense. Edie knew she was being incredibly nosy, but she was invested in this strange little group now, and she wanted to know what they were doing camping so early in the morning, and what was their odd dialect.
"… Potkeys placed at strategic points around Britain, and the nearest one to us is up at Stoatshead Hill, so that's where we're headed."
Stoatshead Hill! That wasn't far at all! Edie watched the group as they made their way quietly into the main village, clearly not wanting to be heard by the sleeping villagers… Muggles? It was strange, but Edie decided then and there that she was going to figure out what this strange World Cup they were talking about was. She pulled on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, grabbed her sweater, camera, notebook, and pen, and snuck downstairs.
Deciding it was safest that her parents didn't panic when they woke up and found she was gone, she wrote a quick note and stuck it to the refrigerator:
Looked like a good morning for a jog, might go to Gina's house after. Be back later. Love, Edie.
She grinned as she pulled on her sweater and ran out the door. It wasn't a lie. Edie would have to run if she wanted to catch those strangers on top of Stoatshead Hill, and if she found out anything interesting, she would most definitely tell her friend about it.
It had been such a dull summer.
Edie panted all the way up the hill– she wasn't quite as in shape as she should have been. She sighed happily as she crouched down in the brush to watch the nine strangers. Now that she was closer, Edie could see each person very clearly; there was a middle-aged man with vivid red hair, two stocky boys with red hair who looked like they might be twins, a taller boy with freckles (and the requisite fiery hair), a girl with long , straighter red hair, a somewhat older girl with thick, bushy brown hair, a boy with black hair and glasses, a taller, muscular boy, and another grown man clutching what looked to be a partially rotted leather boot.
"… but the best man won, I'm sure Harry'd say the same, wouldn't you, eh? One falls off his broom, one stays on, you don't need to be a genius to tell which one's the better flier!" they man with the boot was saying, grinning as he clutched the muscular boy's shoulder. The black-haired boy, who Edie took to be "Harry" due to his thoroughly miserable expression, looked down at the grown silently. Flying?
"Must be nearly time," said the other older man, likely the father of all the red-heads in the bunch. "Do you know whether we're waiting for any more, Amos?"
"No, the Lovegoods have been there for a week already and the Fawcetts couldn't get tickets," replied Amos, the one who'd been going on about broomsticks and flying and whatnot. Edie had to cover her mouth to stifle a gasp. She knew she'd heard the name Lovegood before… that was it! They lived near the village too, and her parents must have been talking about their property. Edie's dad was a surveyor and she was sure he had mentioned something about the Lovegood's house not being up to code.
The nine members of the strange party suddenly all began to crowd around the man, Amos, with the boot. The boy with the glasses looked around quickly, as though getting the idea that someone was watching (or fearing it was so), but Edi hardly had a chance to hide better. As the red-haired man began to count down to something, a light flashed and, for a moment, Edie swore she saw the group's feet lift from the ground as they began to spin around the center… the boot? Then, they were gone.
Edie ran to the place on the hill where they had been standing. Nothing. She rubbed her eyes. She knew they had been there. Hadn't she heard them talking? Grabbing a sharp stick from the ground, Edie poke herself in the leg.
"Ouch!" she cried, and muttered, "That was stupid," as a dot of red blood appeared through her jeans. She ripped out her journal from her pocket.
Nine people on Stoathead Hill grab a boot and disappear.
She pressed her finger to the blood spot on her jeans and then onto the paper so she could just see a faint red fingerprint. It was real, she wrote.