A/N: I am currently dissatisfied with some parts of my story. I am planning on taking what I have and reworking it. I do not plan on posting anything until I have at least the first book finished and the rest of the story line unknotted and figured out and set for what to do in later books. So what I plan on doing to appease the readers for now is to post what I have so far. So I apologies for any typing, grammatical, and spelling errors it may contain. Without further ado here is the story so far.
The rest of the next couple days of classes went fairly smoothly. Wednesday's Herbology and Charms did not see any more odd events or spectacular stunts. That afternoon's History of Magic, with the Ravenclaws, was a very boring class, despite having a ghost for a teacher. Professor Binns had been the History of Magic Professor for the last two centuries, having died only eighty years ago.
Professor Binns did nothing but stand at his podium and read his notes in a dull monotone. By the end of the first 15 minutes, almost everyone but a few Ravenclaws and Hermione were sleeping, despite it being the first class and wanting to make a good impression.
However, the nap in History of Magic was a blessing, for later after dinner the Gryffindors and Ravenclaws had Astronomy. The class was held up on the highest tower above the Hogwarts entrance. Class was not all that exciting but Harry without a doubt enjoyed the first class. They spent the first class sitting in beanbag chairs looking up at the stars as Professor Sinistra outlined the different constellations by shooting red sparks into the night sky. Harry found it oddly relaxing lying in his chair next to Tonks looking up at the night sky.
Thursday's Defense Against the Dark Arts was just as boring and uninteresting as it was on Tuesday, and Harry did not perform any stunts or odd feats in Transfiguration.
The week had gone enjoyably well until it came to Double Potions with the Slytherins. A whole day with the Slytherins. The class was held down in the Dungeons of the castle. So even though it was a warm late summer's day, the classroom had a disturbing chill.
When the class entered the dungeon, Professor Snape was carefully, poring a clear liquid in several glass bottle and placing them in a cupboard behind the teacher's desk. As the class sat down he locked the cupboard with a wave of his wand, added a drop of red liquid to the remaining potion, turned, and sat at his desk.
Professor Snape started class by calling the roll, when he got to Harry's name he paused and said, "Ah, Yes… The Harry Potter. Our new… Celebrity."
Many of the Slytherins sniggered behind their hands. Harry however did not care if they laughed or not. He had already got one over on all the Slytherins.
Professor Snape finished calling the roll and looked up at the class. His eyes scanned the students. When Snape's eyes scanned, they locked momentarily and Harry felt the pinch between his eyes and saw the pretty woman with red hair, just like last time he met Professor Snape eyes. Professor Snape did not keep contact for long. After he finished looking over his class, he started in with his opening speech in a condescending drawl one would use to confuse their listener.
"You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion making. There is little foolish wand waving here. I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses… I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even stopper death. If you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."
Snape's voice was barely a whisper, and the loathing that was so palpable that is was clear to everyone in the room that he hated every one of them.
When his voice got even colder, many of the Gryffindors shivered while the Slytherins smirked. "Potter! What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"
Hermione's hand shot up in the air while Harry smiled he had read this particular mixer just yesterday in his fourth year textbook. Harry hoped that answering this question would show that he was not a 'Dunderhead'. He said, "The Draught of Living Death, a class 2 potion that would put the drinker in a sleep so deep that one thinks the drinker dead. I also believe that it was this potion used in fake Romeo's death in Romeo and Juliet."
Snape's face was expressionless, "I asked for the name only. There is no need to show off in my class. I will not be awarding points for cockiness like the other teachers.
"Let's try again, Potter." Snape leveled his gaze at Harry. Harry met his gaze and looked into the emotionless pools of black that Snape called his eyes. "Where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?"
Harry was a bit angry at being called cocky. Refusing to break the staring competition the older man had started, Harry answered, "At an apothecary, unless you had a goat you were willing to kill to remove the stone from its stomach."
"5 point from Gryffindor. I will not tolerate cheek in my classroom, Potter."
Harry felt the pinch again. Harry did not care about the lose of points. This professor obviously hated him for some reason, so Harry was going to hate him right back.
"Last chance for a civilized answer, Potter. What is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?"
"10 points from Gryffindor for cheek Potter." Snape broke his gaze away from Harry and went on with his condescending lecture.
Things did not improve for the Gryffindors as class stretched on. After about a half hour of Snape telling them that he did not believe they had the skill or the brains to fully succeed in the class, he set them to task on making a potion Harry had read in his third year book, giving them no instructions other then the ingredients and the brewing recipe.
Snape swept around the room sneering and criticizing the Gryffindors' potions, while praising the Slytherins' poor attempts. Harry was spared any more interaction with the professor, as on Snape's first circuit of the room he could find no fault in Harry's work and certainly was not going to be receiving praise.
With less then an hour left in class, Harry was adding the last ingredient and had only to keep a constant slow stirring for the next ten minutes to be finished. When suddenly, Neville gave a frustrated grunt as his cauldron melted and the contents spilled out and ran across the floor. As the liquid approached Ron's cauldron that was bubbling an angry red Harry immediately realized what was going to happen.
"Everybody down!" he yelled to the class as he grabbed Tonks's shoulders and threw them both to the ground. Most of the class acted instinctually, for when someone says 'Everybody down!' you throw yourself at the ground. However, Ron and Neville were too stunned by Ron's melting cauldron, and a pair of incredibly stupid looking Slytherins directly behind them did not hit the floor.
As Ron's cauldron melted, the contents spilled out and mixed with Neville's concoction that was covering the floor and in a violent explosion, a sickly yellow mess sprayed the surrounding area covering the four boys in the muck.
Shrieks of pain followed from the boys, as they broke out in angry red boils wherever the muck made contact with their skin.
Thinking quickly Harry pulled his wand and vanished the offending concoction before it could do any more damage as Snape swept over. "You two take them to the Hospital wing." He snapped at Hermione and Tonks who were trying to calm and sooth Ron and Neville.
As the six student exited the class, Snape rounded on Harry, "10 points from Gryffindor. Tell me, Potter. You obviously knew what was going to happen so why did you let the fools mix the offending substance in the first place. Another 20 points from Gryffindor for failure to prevent your fellow house mated from harming others." Snape spun on his heals and marched to the front of the class.
This was so unfair. Harry opened his mouth to snap back at Snape when a hand grabbed his elbow. A dirty blond haired Gryffindor girl said to him, "It's bad enough already don't lose us anymore points."
An hour later after turning in his potion and exiting the dungeon. Harry was in a towering rage. 'How could one man be that big of a git? How was I supposed to know that Neville's cauldron would melt the two cauldrons and that the resulting mix would form bubotuber puss?'
Harry was in no mood to go exploring that night reading his textbooks, save his potions books.
When Tonks was too sleepy to stay up and read with Harry any more she stood, stretched and said, "Neville and Ron are, OK… Snape is a great git and there is nothing you can do about it so cheer up. We learn to fly tomorrow!"
"This is going to be so much fun," Ron said after breakfast the next morning while on the walk down to the Quidditch pitch. Ron and Neville had spent the night in hospital wing re-growing patches of skin that had been burned by the puss. However, this morning he was in a good mood because they were going to learn to fly brooms.
Harry was a little nervous about this. He wanted to learn how to fly a broom but was afraid to make a complete prat of himself in front of the rest of the first years. He was already a bit on the out with the Gryffindors for being apart of losing almost 50 points in one class after Fred and George had lost them 100 points earlier in the week.
Tonks was not all that into flying but still wanted to give it a shot. However, Neville and Hermione were in a state of panic. Hermione had spent the night reading any book she could find on flying, including Harry's book on magical travel, for any tips she could get on learning how to fly. She was now reciting all that she had gleaned the night before, while Neville listened trying to get any tips he could.
Harry and his group where the last to arrive. Everyone just hung around the thirty broomsticks on the ground and looked nervous while they waited for their teacher, Madam Hooch, to arrive.
When Madam Hooch finally arrive, it was very impressive. She swooped down on them from above coming in at an incredible speed to touch down and quickly walk over to her students as smoothly as could be.
Madam Hooch had short gray hair, and yellow eyes like a hawk. "Well what are you all waiting for? Stand by a broomstick, let's go, let's go, hurry up," she barked and everyone scrambled to get near a broom.
Harry and his friends found brooms near the back of the group. Harry looked at his broom. It was an old broom, it was missing clumps of twigs and its handle was well warn from use.
"Stick out your wand hand, over the broom, and say 'UP!'," Madam Hooch instructed.
"Up" was the collective cry from the students.
Harry's broom jumped from the ground, into his hand and vibrated as if eager to get into the air. Tonks's broom floated up to her hand easily. Ron's broom jumped with almost as much enthusiasm as Harry's broom. Hermione's made a odd twitching and rolled over. Neville's broom did nothing.
Madam hooch came around and helped those who had trouble getting their broom off the ground. Harry's broom simply twitched with excitement.
When everyone had their brooms off the ground, she showed them how to mount their broom properly. However, while Madam Hooch worked with a set of stubborn Ravenclaws at the front of the group, Neville managed to lift off the ground. Neville panicked, which was the worst thing he could do.
His broom shot up into the air. Neville's face was frozen in a silent scream as he tried to get his broom back to the ground, but he had no clue how to control this thing that seemed to want to take him on a aerial tour of Hogwarts castle.
With out thinking, and with the help of his all too willing broom, Harry shot up in the air to try and help Neville.
Neville had a death grip on his broom, which seemed to offend the broom as it dived and swerved in wide arks trying to dislodge its rider. As Harry approached Neville's wild ride, the broom made a fast dive at the side of the castle. This maneuver finally frightened Neville to the point that he let out a loud scream and released the broom to cover his face with his arms. This release was exactly what the broom was looking for as it made a sharp jump up wards and then quickly dove out from under Neville.
Harry was following behind Neville as close as he could since the broom had been making some very erratic moves. When Harry spotted the broom quickly flying away with out a rider he new he had to act quickly, for Neville was in a free falling ark that could only end in death for his friend.
Harry flattened himself on his broom in a steep dive that had him on a collision course with Neville as he fell from the sky. About ten feet from the ground, they collided. Harry was flying so that the impact would be to Harry's right side. Upon impact, Harry's arm clamped on to Neville as he pulled his broom to the side to fly parallel to the ground.
Neville was screaming in Harry's ear as he approached the group of first years that had watched the aerial excitement. About twenty feet from the group Harry released Neville and he landed on the ground and tumbled to the ground as Harry slowed and stopped a few feet later and dismounted from his broom.
Harry quickly rushed back to his friend. Neville righted himself and sat on the ground. He looked so relieved to be back on the ground again while clutching his wrist.
His heart sank faster than his dive. Professor McGonagall was running toward them as Madam Hooch landed next to them quickly crouching down to check Neville.
"Never… in all my time at Hogwarts…" Professor McGonagall was almost speechless, as she clutched her heart. "What… Why…"
"We had just mounted our brooms. Neville lost control of his broom and it took off with him on it. I just had to go and try to help," Harry quickly responded to her stuttered questions.
"Minerva, I have to take him to the hospital wing. Broken wrist." Madam Hooch said as she dragged Neville to his feet and led him off to the castle.
"Everyone stay here and do not touch an of the brooms. Any one else in the air will find them on themselves on the train, expelled from Hogwarts! Potter with me!" With that, Professor McGonagall swept back to the castle hardly giving him a second glance.
Professor McGonagall was moving along at such a pace that Harry had to jog to keep up with her. Harry's mind was a bit numb, he had just gotten off his broom after his first ride ever, during which he had to save a friend's life by basically throwing himself at the ground with the help of a broom. The adrenalin of the ride was starting to ware off, and he was starting to realize, '… that while the ride was scary. I was scared more of the fact that Neville was falling to his death."
As Professor McGonagall marched them up the steps and down a corridor, Harry noticed that he still had his broom in his hand. The broom still vibrated like it was itching to get back out and fly or was that him just wanting to get out there at go for a ride again.
Professor McGonagall stopped outside a classroom. She opened the door and stepped just inside the door. "Excuse me, Professor Flitwick, could I borrow Wood for a moment?"
'Wood? I can't be in trouble can I? I saved Neville's life. She isn't going to cane me is she?' Harry thought.
However, Wood turned out to be a person, a burly fifth year boy. Wood exited Professor Flitwick's class confused.
"Follow me, you two," said Professor McGonagall and they march on up the corridor, Wood looking curiously at Harry with the vibrating broom in his hand. "In here."
She slammed the door behind the two boys and turned to face them. "Potter, this is Oliver Wood. Wood… I have found a new Quidditch player for you."
Wood's face changed little. "Are you serious, Professor? He's a first year…"
"Absolutely," said Professor McGonagall abuzz with excitement. "He's a natural flier. And a daredevil on a broom. Was that your first time on a broom, Harry?"
Harry nodded silently. He had no clue what was going on and whole-heartedly wished someone would explain it to him.
"He caught Mr. Longbottom after he fell off his broom at about fifty feet. Mr. Longbottom suffered a broken wrist when he stumbled after Harry set him down on the ground."
Wood looked at Harry in wonder. "Ever seen a game of Quidditch, Potter?" he asked.
Harry shook his head.
"He's build like a Seeker but with moves like those he could be one darn good chaser." Wood was circling Harry sizing him up. "We'll have to get him a decent broom, a Nimbus Two Thousand or a Cleansweep Seven. Then I'll take him out and see what he can do and where he'll fit in."
"I shall speak to Professor Dumbledore and see if we can't bend the first year rule. Heaven knows, we need a better team than last year." Professor McGonagall peered sternly over her glasses at Harry.
"We should keep this quiet, spring it on the Slytherins in the first match."
"Your father would have been proud," she said. "Risking your life for a friend and while on a broom too. He was an excellent Quidditch player himself."
When Harry was finally released by Professor McGonagall and Wood, it was time for tea with Hagrid. Tonks and Harry approached Hagrid's hut. Tonks wasn't even surprised that Harry was going to be on the Quidditch team. She had quickly gotten used to Harry doing things a little differently then others to tremendously interesting results.
Hagrid lived in a small wooden house on the edge of the forbidden forest. A crossbow and a pair of galoshes were outside the front door.
When Harry knocked, they heard a frantic scrabbling from inside and several booming barks. Then Hagrid's voice yelling, "Back, Fang… Back."
Hagrid's big hairy face appeared in the crack as he pulled the door open.
Somehow, an enormous black boarhound forced the door open and leaped out the door onto Tonks knocking her to the ground.
The dog quickly sat down on top of her licking her face and drooling all over.
"Ok, Ok. Yea I love you too. Now get off of me!" Tonks splutter as she tried to get the Dog that was bigger than she was off of herself.
Hagrid quickly stepped out side, grabbed the Dog's collar, and pulled the dog back into the house with the two student joining him. "Fang's 'armless. Now make yerselves at home," Hagrid said letting go of Fang who bounded over to Tonks and tried to knock her to the ground again. Fortunately she fell into a chair and Fang resigned himself to only having his head in her lap as she scratched his ears while he drooled all over her robes.
"This is Tonks," Harry told Hagrid as he put the kettle on to make tea.
"Yea, Andi and Ted's lil girl," Hagrid said as he put a plate of rock cakes onto the table.
Harry and Tonks spent the time telling Hagrid about there first week at school. Hagrid was dead impressed when he heard Harry had changed into a Gryphon.
"… An' Filch don't trust them Weasley's no mo' after that flame up they did on the Slytherins. Spent hours cleanin' the ash up after that lot." To which Harry gave a wicked smile.
Harry told Hagrid about Snape's lesson. Hagrid, like lavender said the he should try his best not to lose any more points by just ignoring him.
"But he seemed to really hate me."
"Rubbish!" said Hagrid. "Why should he?"
Yet Harry could not help thinking that Hagrid didn't quite meet his eyes when he said that. Hagrid quickly told Harry that he wanted to show Harry his growing pumpkin patch.
As Harry and Hagrid stood up to go out side, Harry's eye caught a cutting from the Daily Prophet:
GRINGOTTS BREAK-IN LATEST
Investigation continues into the break-in at Gringotts on 31 July, widely believed to be work of Dark wizards or witches unknown. Gringotts goblins today insisted that nothing had been taken. The vault that was searched had in fact been emptied the same day.
"But we're not telling you what was in there, so keep your noses out if you know what's good for you said a Gringotts spokes-goblin this afternoon.
"It's a good thing you emptied that vault when you did, right Hagrid," Harry said pointing to the article.
Hagrid tried not to meet Harry's eye but for a split second he did and Harry got a flash of a room with a trap door in it as Hagrid turned away and said, "Yep" leading them out of the hut.
Harry and Tonks were treated to a tour through the massive pumpkin patch but did not stay long after that, since Tonks kept complaining she was hungry and it was time to for dinner.
On the way back up to the castle for dinner, the image of the room with a trap door in it was forgotten, as all Harry could thing about was Quidditch.
By the end of the second week of class, Harry had almost earned back all the points he had lost in Snape's class and those lost due to his prank on the Slytherins.
Fred and George took their lose of their pranksters duel well. Despite the week of detentions, they had to spend with Filch, who no longer thought them the saintly angles they weren't. The fact that Fred and George took their lose so well made Tonks a little paranoid. She believed that they were bound to seek some form a retaliation.
However, Harry was too preoccupied with his upcoming Quidditch tryout to be worrying about Fed and George, besides Fred and George were on the Gryffindor Quidditch team they wouldn't prank their own teammate, would they?
During breakfast on Friday with the arrival of the mail, everyone's attention was drawn to six large screech owls carrying a large package between them. The owls were following Hedwig as she circled looking for Harry. When she swooped down, they followed to deposit their delivery to Harry when Hedwig landed on Harry's shoulder presenting her leg for him to take her letter. When Harry removed the letter, she quickly jumped to sit on the package haughtily guarding it for her master.
Harry ripped open the letter first, realizing that he was supposed to read the letter first before opening the package.
DO NOT OPEN THE PARCEL AT THE TABLE.
It contains your new Nimbus Two Thousand. In keeping with the strategy of hiding our new Quidditch player, we do not want everybody knowing you've got a broomstick. Oliver Wood will meet you tonight on the Quidditch pitch at seven o'clock for your first training session.
A wide grin spread across his face as he read the note. He quickly handed the note to Tonks while he grabbed the package and headed back up to Gryffindor Tower to stow his new broom for later inspection before class, since Snape would be all to willing to dock Harry points for being late. Harry hid the package out of site under his bed before quickly turning and racing back down to the Great Hall to gather his things for potions.
The broom provided an extra distraction form Snape's spiteful comments to Harry all though potions class. Despite Snape hovering around Harry just looking for a reason to dock Harry points or disrupt his potions work, Harry managed to brew a perfect boil cure-potion, to replenish the schools stock that was depleted curing Ron, Neville, Crabbe, and Goyle.
As soon as class was dismissed, Harry raced up to Gryffindor to look at his new broom. A half hour after dinner after sneaking out of the tower and down to the Quidditch pitch with Ron and Tonks in tow, Harry was flying laps around the pitch on his new broom.
'This broom is vibrating as well. It must be the way brooms are,' Harry thought to himself as he did a barrel role into a free fall dive and pulled up at the last moment.
Little did Harry know but while Harry was 'flying', more like throwing himself at the ground and just happening to miss, Oliver Wood arrived at the pitch. He stood out of site and watched the daredevil of a first year do things on a broom no sane or even stunt flyer would try, let alone do just to have fun.
The whole while Wood was watching Harry he had a smile on his face. Suddenly his eyes widened with a bright idea. Putting down the large crate he had brought out to the pitch with him, he dug around in his pockets and brought out a quill. He quickly transfigured the quill into a small ball.
"Oi, Potter. Think fast," and with that he hurdled the ball as hard as he could down the pitch away from Harry.
Harry came to a stop in air, turn to see who had shouted at him. As he turned, he spotted the small ball flying through the air down the pitch. The shout instantly registered with him and flattened himself to his broom shooting off in the direction of the ball.
When the ball reached its apex and started falling Harry began his own quick descent trying to reach the ball before it reached the ground. Harry looked as if he was going to come up short as the ball was falling just a bit to fast for him.
Harry was about a foot away from the ball but if he didn't do something drastic he was not going to be able to catch it. Suddenly Harry jumped from his broom, giving himself that little extra boost he needed to get under the ball.
Once Harry closed his hand on the ball, he tucked into a ball himself and rolled onto the grass and stopped a few feet later. Harry quickly got his bearings and stood up as his broom drifted over to him while Oliver Wood came sauntering over clutching his sides in laughter.
"I should have known, McGonagall doesn't exaggerate but she really understated your daring on a broom. I don't know anyone that would jump from a moving broom after the dive you just pulled off," Oliver said with a big smile on his face.
"Why did you throw this?" Harry asked giving him back the ball he worked so hard to catch.
"Well I have been watching you a while. You fly like a crazed Seeker, so I had to see if you could catch like one."
"You've never seen a Quidditch game have you, Potter?" Harry just shook his head and Oliver led him over to the crate.
"There's no need to have you try out now. You will be our Seeker."
"What's a Seeker?" Harry asked.
"I'll explain that in a minute but first let me give you the other positions." Oliver kicked open the crate and inside were fore different sized balls.
"Quidditch is easy to follow. There are seven players on each side. Three of them are called Chasers. They play with this ball," Oliver took out a ball the size of a football. "This is called the Quaffle. The Chasers throw it to each other and try to get it through one of the hoops to score a goal." Oliver pointed the set of three hoops at each end.
"Sort of like basketball on broomsticks," Harry said with a chuckle.
"Then there is the Keeper, I'm Keeper for Gryffindor. The Keeper plays with the Quaffle as well. He guards the hoops and stops the other team from scoring."
"Like a Goalie," Harry said to himself.
"Now we have the Bludgers. They try to… Well I think their name says it for them. They try to bludgeon everyone."
Harry looked at Oliver with confusion.
"Here take this." Oliver said as he handed Harry a small club, a bit like a short baseball bat. "I think a practical demonstration is needed."
Oliver reached into the crate. Two iron balls the size of the Quaffle were struggling to get out of the straps that were holding them inside the box. "I'm going to let one of them out so you can see what they do."
Oliver undid the straps holding one of the balls in the crate and quickly dove out of the way as it shot out of the create and at his face. Narrowing missing Oliver, it shot at Harry who was standing behind him.
The Bludger came pelting at his face. Acting on instinct Harry swung the bat at the offending ball sending it zigzagging away. The ball zoomed around for a moment finding no one else to hit it came zooming back at Harry. Again, on instinct Harry raised the bat and with a chopping motion sent the ball careening into the ground at his feet.
With a mighty thump, the ball was driven a few inches into the ground. However, the ball just sat there in the ground.
"Umm, OK." Oliver said coming over to the immobile ball. "Did you kill it?"
Harry carefully poked at it with the bat. The ball twitched for a moment and then was still.
"I think you knocked it out," Oliver said. He quickly picked the ball back up and put back into its straps in the crate. "That is some skill with a Beaters Bat. It's usually the Weasley twins' job to handle the Bludgers. But I doubt that Bludger will ever come anywhere near you again," Oliver said with a chuckle.
"Lastly we have the Golden Snitch. This is the most important ball of the game." Oliver turned around holding a ball the size of a walnut. "The game doesn't end until a Seeker catches this ball. This little thing is fast. It is the Seekers job to weave in and out of all the other players and catch the Snitch. The Seeker that catches the Snitch earns their team an extra 150 points, which nearly always wins the game for their team.
Harry shook his head.
"It's to dark to practice with the Snitch so I think we will call it a night. I will tell you when we will have regular practices, so you can meet the rest of the team."
Oliver packed the Snitch back in the crate with the Quaffle and the Bludgers, one of them still unconscious.
"I'm going to stay out for a little while longer. Tonks and Ron want a go on my broom." Oliver carted the crate back up to the castle as Tonks and Ron came over.
An hour later, after Tonks and Ron had a go one Harry's broom the trio walked back up to the castle.
"Damn, it's past curfew," Ron said looking at his watch. "We have to get up to the tower before we are caught out after curfew."
Not wanting to give away their secret passages unless they had to Tonks and Harry followed Ron up the main stares. Everything was fine until suddenly they heard it.
"Mrs. Norris," Harry said looking up in the direction the noise came. Sitting at the top of the stares to the next floor sat Mrs. Norris. And where you find Mrs. Norris, you find Filch not far behind. "This way!" Harry quickly led Ron down the adjacent corridor to one of the secret passage that led up to the sixth floor.
The moment they opened the door and started into the passage they heard pounding feet. Just their luck, the only passage with in running distance and Filch is using it to cut them off.
"Run!" Tonks shouted.
Turning around and fleeing the passageway. They couldn't head back the way they had come and the other way was a dead end. Thinking quickly Ron wrenched open the door across the way from where they had just exited. The trio quickly piled in and closed the door.
"We've got to get past Filch and Mrs. Norris," Ron said with his ear pressed against the door.
"Thank you Captain Obvious, you have saved the day again. How can we ever repay you," Tonks said waspishly.
"Guys!" Harry said but Ron and Tonks were to busy arguing to listen.
"Shh Tonks, Filch will hear us," Ron said.
"How long do you think we have to wait before it's safe to go back out into the hall?" Tonks asked.
Suddenly there was an incredible booming bark behind them the pair of arguing students. Tonks and Ron turned on their heals so quickly that they resemble a pair of tops. The first bark was followed quickly by two quick barks just as loud as the first and the sound of loud sniffing noises.
Tonks and Ron tried to back up quickly but came in contact with the door they had come through. Tonks tried to scream but her voice was frozen with fear by the site of two large black dogs, almost twice as big as Fang, both with three heads, one of which was growling viciously at the other as the other stood with its back to the duo.
Before either Tonks's or Ron's brains engaged, the dog with its back to them let out a quick bark. The other prowled closer to the pair, gave an almighty sniff, and then let out a happy bark. At the sign of approval, the second dog came over and one of its heads tilted down and gave Tonks a playful lick with its massive tongue that lifted her off her feet.
"What is it with me and dogs? I mean come on," Tonks said as the first dog ran across the large room.
"Uh… Tonks where's Harry?" Ron said nervously. "I know he came in here. He was the first one to enter the room.
The second dog let out a happy bark and playfully head butted Ron with its middle head as its left head continued to lick and drool all over Tonks.
The Fist dog quickly returned with a Quaffle sized ball in one of its mouths and a length of rope in another. It quickly dropped the chew toy in front of the other dog and the ball in front of Ron.
The second dog stopped drooling on Tonks, attacked the rope with two of its three heads while the first dog jumped up, and put its massive paws on Ron's shoulders driving him to his knees and let out a short bark.
"I think it wants to play Ron," Tonks said. "Why don't you play fetch with the thing while I look for Harry?"
"Hu huk fo mu? Um rugh hur," Harry said. He then spit out the rope in his mouth and said. "Why look for me? I'm right here. He wants to play Ron he hasn't had anyone to play fetch with in a while. Just through the ball for him."
"Right," Ron said looking confused but throwing the ball to the other side of the room.
"So you were the other dog?" Tonks said.
"Yea, and I can see why Fang likes you. It sure is fun to drool over you," Harry said with a smile.
"So what is this dog doing here?"
"I don't know," Harry said as he watched Ron get bowled over by the dog returning the thrown ball. "When we showed up he growled at me, 'None shall pass!'. When I turned into a dog like him he asked me if I was sent by Hagrid and I told him we were friends of Hagrid so he sniffed you and said something about Fang and ran off to get his ball."
"I wonder what he is doing in here it can't be fun being stuck in side with no one to play with."
Suddenly there was a loud meow at the door. Tonks and Harry froze. Filch's voice could be heard through the door. "Don't worry, my sweet. If the brats went in there that filthy beast will eat them and good riddance to nasty students."
The trio stood on the other side of the door holding their breath hoping Filch would just go away. As time moved on and the door never moved they had to assume that Filch moved on to check other part of the school for students out of bed to yell at.
"Well let's explore this room a little while Ron play's with the dog," Tonks said after a while.
"Fluffy," Harry said.
"What?" Ron and Tonks said together.
"The dog's name is Fluffy. I saw it on his collar when I first saw him."
"Fluffy, who names a dog like that Fluffy?" Ron asked.
"I don't know. But I really want to know what he's doing in here."
The room gave away no clues all that it contained was the dog, its bed, some dog toys, a large bowl of water and food, and some old issues of the Daily Prophet lay out on the floor in one of the corners. Ron went and played with Fluffy while Harry and Tonks explored the room but finding nothing.
After playing with the dog of a while Ron, Tonks, and Harry left promising the dog to come back and play some time. This time they did not run into Filch on their return to Gryffindor tower. Exhausted from the Quidditch and their escape the trio said good night and went to bed. Harry lost in his thoughts of why Fluffy was in the castle and not out side with Fang and Hagrid.
It turns out Ron took a real shine to Fluffy. Where Ron's rat was fat and lazy and did nothing but sleep at the foot of his bed under the blankets, Fluffy was a young excited dog that was starved for attention which Ron was all to happy to give. It was a regular occurrence that Ron would sneak out of the common room at night to go play with Fluffy for a few hours before bed.
This incensed Hermione the night she caught Ron on his way out the door. Ron and Hermione rowed for a half hour when Ron refused to tell the noisy girl what was so important that we would risk losing points. Neither Ron nor Harry and Tonks were able to sneak out that night as Hermione sat up in the common room watching the door well into the night.
As a result of Hermione's nightly vigils in the common room, Ron was not able to get out and play with Fluffy. Hence, a week before Hallowe'en after Transfiguration Ron found Harry to ask him for a favor.
"Harry mate," Ron said catching up to Harry and Tonks as they exited the classroom. "I need to ask you a favor."
"What do you need Ron," Harry said casually.
"Not here," Ron said leading Harry and Tonks to an out of the way niche and lowering his voice. "I need help with Fluffy."
"I am not cleaning up after him. A Dog that size must leave quite a mess," Tonks said plugging her nose.
"No. Nothing like that. I want to take Fluffy outside so he can get some fresh air and really run around."
"So what do you need from me? If you want to sneak him out I know a couple of hidden passages that might help you out," Harry offered.
"No. Well… the passages will help but I need a stand in and since you can turn into a dog like him I was hoping you could stay there in case anyone decides to check on him or something."
"Good thinking. When were you planning on taking him out?"
"I was thinking tonight. We could hide out in the library and say we were working on Snape's essay. That should keep the know-it-all off our backs."
"Ok I'm in. There's no Quidditch practice tonight so I am free."
"Tonks can you help me get Fluffy out of the castle tonight? I know you and Harry know all the short cut around here. It will really help," Ron asked with a pleading look to Tonks.
"Fine, but no drooling on Tonks. These are my only pair of clean robes. Fang drooled all over me the other day," Tonks said as she hit Harry for laughing at the memory of Tonks getting bowled over by a drooling Fang.
That evening Harry, Ron, and Tonks sat in the library pretending to work on their Potion's essays. They waited until the library had closed and the torches were lit to sneak to the third floor and into Fluffy's room. Upon entering Fluffy gave an excited bark and scrambled over to Ron knocking him down and licking his face.
"Yea, boy I missed you to," Ron laughed as he tried to push Fluffy off. When Ron finally got to his feet he started scratching behind the ears of two of the heads and saying, "We are going to go outside tonight. You want to go outside? Let's go outside."
After a few more moments of giving each head plenty of attention, Ron turned to Harry and said, "Are you ready?"
Harry instantly turned into his three headed dog form and leaning into Tonks. Tonks just rolled her eyes and scratched behind the ears of the closest head. While Tonks scratched Harry's back leg wagged, as all properly scratched dogs do. "Big baby!" Tonks said with a roll of her eyes when she spotted his leg.
"Come on Ron, the safest rout is going to be to go down to the second floor and then use the secret passage that comes out into the entrance hall. We'll be back in about an hour," Tonks said to Harry as they left.
Harry looked around the room. There really wasn't much to do in here. It was no wonder that Ron wanted to take Fluffy outside.
Harry decided he would make the best of it and see what it really was like to be a dog. He proceeded to play with the chew toys. He immensely enjoyed the tug of wars he could have between his heads. After while he moved on to the ball. He found it the most fun if he tried to pounce on the ball and try to flatten it and chasing after it when it squirted out from under his paws.
After about a good half hour of playing with the toys and such he was tired and decided to have a lie down and wait for his friends return. Harry sat in Fluffy's bed of blankets. However, no matter how Harry tried to lie down he couldn't get comfortable. There was something under his blankets that was preventing him from getting comfortable.
After a few minutes of trying to ignore the offending object, Harry got up and started routing around the blankets. When he found what it was Harry gave out a small bark that sounded a little like a laugh.
It was a stuffed animal, a used and abused stuffed bear. It was obvious that this bear was loved by how warn and covered in drool it was. Harry moved the bear off to the side and tried to get comfortable.
However, there was still something under the blankets. Harry went back to exploring the blankets. This time he found it, a metal ring of a trap door.
'This seems familiar from somewhere,' Harry thought to himself.
Letting his curiosity get the better of him he tried to get the door open. But no matter how he tried he could not get his mouth on the ring to pull it open, and he was not about to change back. He decided that he would have to wait until Tonks, Ron, and Fluffy came back. So he left the blankets alone and laid down by the door waiting for his friends return.
About ten minutes later the door banged open. Tonks, Ron, and Fluffy came flying through the door.
"There's no time to explain change back we got to get out of here, NOW!" Tonks yelled.
Harry knowing when not to argue, quickly changed back and followed his friends out the door, slamming it behind him, and up the secret passage across the hall.
Tonks and Ron were not stopping. They did not stop until they had reached the Gryffindor common room.
Ron threw himself in the nearest chair breathing heavily, as Tonks stood doubled over clutching her sides gasping for air.
After letting his friends catch their breath he finally asked, "Is someone going to tell me what's going on?"
"Well… We were down by the forest letting Fluffy do his thing…" Tonks started.
"Yea, running around peeing on trees. You know the things dog like to do." Ron interrupted. "I was playing fetch with Fluffy and I threw the stick a little too far…"
"Too far? You threw it in the lake!"
"Okay. I threw the stick in the lake, and Fluffy, like the dog he is, went running after it."
"He made the biggest splash I have ever seen. And well… The noise from Fluffy banging around in the water was quite loud."
"Yea… Tonks saw it first. The light came on in Hagrid's hut, so she got my attention and we ran for the castle."
"Luckily, Fluffy saw us running for the castle and came running after us. When we got inside I headed for that the passage behind tapestry of the singing werewolves, the one that leads to the fifth floor. We hid there for a moment but we heard foot steps approaching."
"That's when I realized that Fluffy was all wet and dripping all over the floor, leaving a path behind us. I tried to cast the drying charm but couldn't but Tonks saw what I was trying to do and pulled out her wand and did it for me."
"The charm is simple when you have Wonder Boy over there as your personal tutor. But anyway we took off up the passage and I led them as fast as I could back to you. Then we got the heck out of there, because I think Hagrid was coming to check up on Fluffy."
"Sounds like you had a lot of fun tonight," Harry said with a smirk.
"Yea it was a lot of fun wasn't it Ron. Sneaking out at night getting chased around the castle by our loveable school giant," Tonks said with a big smile on her face.
"Fun you call that fun?" Ron said indignantly.
"My night wasn't half as fun as your's was. All I found was a trap door under Fluffy's blankets. I think he is a guard dog or something."
Then it hit him. The flash of a trap door he saw went he was talking to Hagrid about the break in at Gringotts. 'Hadn't Hagrid said that Gringotts was the safest place next to Hogwarts? So what if Hagrid had hidden what ever it was that he took out of Gringotts under that trap door, and then put Fluffy there to guard it.'
"What if Hagrid put that package from that vault that got broken into at Gringotts in there," Harry said, voicing his thoughts.
"Maybe…" Tonks said, "But what would be so important that you would need to hide it at Hogwarts?"
"I don't know. Anyway, I'm tired. Thanks you guys for helping me with Fluffy," Ron said as he got up and headed to the boys' dorm.
"Yea me to. Getting chased around Hogwarts will ware a girl out," Tonks said as she headed to the girls dorm.
Seeing no reason to stay up any longer, Harry followed Ron up to the first year dorm. However, sleep was not easy to come by as he tossed and turned trying to think of what could be so important that Hagrid would have to hide it under a hidden trap door with a three headed dog as a guard.
Harry was not able to devote much of his waking time to the trap door in Fluffy's room. Since, Harry had taken to helping his friends with the practical portion on their classes.
Ron was okay at Charms and Defense, decent in Transfiguration and Herbology, and horribly dreadful at Potions. Neville was a natural at Herbology, decent in Charms and Defense, struggled with Transfiguration, and was so scared of Snape that he regularly melted a cauldron every other week. Tonks was brilliant in Transfiguration once Harry related the subject her metamorphmagus abilities, skilled in Defense, okay in Charms, hated Potion but was able to do the work, and could care less about Herbology after being attacked by 'Ivy', as Harry called the plant.
Hermione and Harry were both top in all their classes. Hermione performed better on theoretical work only because Harry refused to do anything other than what was assigned. Hermione consistently wrote a foot more then what was necessary on her homework, where Harry wrote to the exact length assigned, no more, no less. Harry, however, was happy with his small victory of always being the fist to complete their in class task earning Gryffindor house points.
The two had developed a friendly game, where every once and a while Hermione would present Harry with a new spell to see who could master it first. Harry enjoyed this game since it infuriated Hermione, since he always won, and Hermione enjoyed it because it pushed her to learn more magic.
His classes were not the only way in which Harry was busy. It turned out that Oliver Wood was manic when it came to Quidditch. Every night after dinner Harry could be found on the Quidditch pitch until well after his curfew.
Fortunately, due to this training the Gryffindor Quidditch team was playing like they had been playing together for years. Harry's insane flying was at the centre of their strategy. Harry would fly into the path of the Chasers preventing them from getting clean shots, or he would fly at the Keeper distracting him for the Chasers to get better shots off, and his ability to lead Bludgers at player only to swerve at the last moment letting the Bludger hit the other player instead. All while keeping an eye out for the Snitch. Suffice to say the Slytherins didn't know what was going to hit them.
All these distractions prevented Harry from realizing exactly what day it was until he walked into the Great Hall Hallowe'en morning. It was fully decorated for the feast later that evening. The customary candles were replaced with glowing faced Jack-o'-Lanterns hovering over the tables. Oliver had change practice time to be right after the last class of the day and end right before the feast.
They were playing a mock game of Quidditch were everyone was free game for Fred and George. Harry was on his second go with the snitch and running interference for Oliver. Harry had just distracted Angelina Johnson, a third year girl, breaking up a Porskoff Ploy. Harry was moving in to distract Katie Bell, a second year, when he saw the snitch flying around near George. He gave up on Katie and pelted after the Snitch.
Fred saw Harry move. Fred sent a Bludger into Harry's path trying to distract him long enough for the Snitch to move. However, Harry had been screening Fred's view of George so when Harry dove chasing after the fleeing Snitch the Bludger crashed into the George smashing into George's face breaking his nose.
Play halted as everyone landed and made sure George was okay and sent him off to the hospital wing to get his nose fixed. An hour later, Harry exited the shower room and headed up to the Great Hall for the start of the feast.
The night was a little chilly, so Harry wrapped his cloak a little tighter around himself as he made his way back up to the castle for the feast. As Harry passed through the entrance hall he passed a pack of giggling third year girls. Harry ignored them and turned to toward the Great Hall.
Harry missed the laughter from Slytherin table. Finding a spot at the Gryffindor table and saved a seat for Tonks who was up in the library working on homework.
He sat watching the door waiting for Tonks. Most everyone was present since the feast would start in a few minutes. Tonks entered the Great Hall just minutes before the start of the feast. Harry's eyes widened in shock, horror, and embarrassment for his friend.
Tonks had just entered the Great Hall in nothing more then her underclothes. Harry had to do something since it was apparent that either Tonks had gone insane or did not know that she was so under clothed.
Harry quickly jumped up and headed over to his friend. "Tonks! What is the mater with you?" He said while he rushed over to where Tonks stopped when she heard Harry yell her name.
All the heads of those sitting at the Slytherin and Ravenclaw table turned to look at Harry. Then laughter and pointing broke out as they noticed Tonks.
"What!" Tonks said. Her face adopting a scow when the students started pointing and laughing at her.
"Tonks… Your not wearing any clothes." Harry said lowering his voice now that he was standing next to his half naked friend.
"What are you talking about?" Tonks said looking down at herself. "I have my school uniform on like always."
"Trust me Tonks you aren't wearing anything. All I can see is you standing here in you skivvies."
Harry quickly undid his cloak to take it off and wrap it around his friend to get her out of the hall and save her some embarrassment. When Harry pulled it off his shoulders, Tonks let out a gasp.
"Harry…" Tonks said with wide eyes.
Harry quickly wrapped the cloak around Tonks and led her out of the Great Hall.
"Uhm, Harry… You aren't wearing any clothes. You only have your boxers on."
"What?" Harry said and looked down at himself. She was right. Harry only had his boxers on. He remembered putting on his clothes on after Quidditch practice. He was the first one out of the locker room. Oliver was busy putting away all the equipment and Fred was getting ready to jump in the shower.
Suddenly it hit him. "Fred and George!" Harry said. He turned to Tonks and asked, "Have you had a run in with Fred or George since the end of class today?"
"Yea, just before I came down for the feast. I saw one of them in the library we talked for a minute and then I came down here."
"Those gits. I think they just got their revenge on us. They either made our cloths invisible or made them disappear." Tonks opened the cloak Harry had wrapped around her and looked down at herself again. This time she couldn't see her clothes. Her eyes started welling up with tears in embarrassment.
Just then a group of Slytherin first year girls led by Pansy Parkinson, a black haired girl with a flat pug face, came out of the Great Hall and into the entrance hall near Harry and Tonks. "Oh if it isn't Potter and his nymph. If you are going two are going to make out and have sex then can you at least do it in private so we don't have to be disgusted by your ugly bodies?"
Pansy's words were the final straw. Tonks burst out crying then took off running off to the Dungeons, presumable to find a place to cry.
Harry could careless what the cow Pansy said, he was out to find Fred and George. He quickly turned back to the Great Hall. The whole hall had already seen him in his boxers what was the difference if they got another look, he had a set of twins he needed to kill.
Harry stomped back into the Great Hall and made his way over to the Gryffindor table. Fred and George were sitting at the table laughing their heads off watching Harry walk over. Harry wanted to punch them in the face for making Tonks cry, but he new that he wouldn't stand a chance against Fred and George in a fight. Harry pulled his wand and took aim at Fred and with a flash of red light from his wand Fred fell backwards off his seat out cold. Harry quickly aimed at George and said, "Gits!" With another flash of red light from his wand George joined his twin on the floor out cold.
The hall was silent. Everyone was stunned by this first year that had just knocked the twins out cold with two quick stunners, a hex no first year should know.
"Harry, why are you standing in the Great Hall in only your underwear? And why did you just stun Fred and George?" Hermione asked from a spot a little farther down the table.
"Those gits hexed Tonks and my clothes so we would walk around in only our underwear and not even know it. Tonks went running off toward the dungeons crying. I hexed them because they made Tonks cry."
"So they deserved it, is what you are saying?" Ron said after a few minute of silence.
"Yep. Hermione can you go check on Tonks for me. She ran off toward the dungeons," Harry said. Hermione quickly got up and ran out of the Great Hall.
"Potter," an oily voice spat from behind Harry. "Why are you not dressed properly? 10 points from Gryffindor for being out of uniform."
Harry's eyes narrowed. Just as Harry opened his mouth to respond to the greasy git, the doors to the Great Hall banged open and Professor Quirrell staggered in looking ashen faced and ready to faint. "Th-th-there's a… a… a… T-T-T-T-T-T-roll in th-th-th-the dungeon! A troll in the dungeon!" He screamed in a heavy stutter and promptly fainted.
Professor Dumbledore quickly got to his feet, "Prefects, escort your fellow class mates to your common rooms, immediately!"
Snape instantly swept off to the Slytherin table and began to organize his house.
Upon hearing 'in the dungeon' Harry ran out of the hall. He knew Tonks and Hermione would be down in the dungeon. He had to do something. Harry ran full tilt to the dungeons. He was not going to let anything happen to his friends, especially his Tonks.
'A crying girl… Where is she going to run off to? In primary school they always ran to the bathroom.' Not wasting a moments more he turned to the nearest girls bathroom. 'Thank Merlin Tonks and I explored these dungeons.'
Suddenly there was a loud scream coming from the girls' bathroom Harry was approaching. Harry picked up his pace and burst threw the door. Standing in the middle of the room was a hulking shape of the troll. It was twelve feet tall, with skin a dull gray, and the smelled like a public toilet. In its left hand was a wooden club dragging on the floor. In its right hand was…
'The troll has Tonks!' Harry screamed inside his head.
As Harry tried to get his wits about him, the troll opened its maw. Its jagged uneven teeth barred as it lifted its right arm bringing Tonks closer to its mouth.
'Its going to try and eat Tonks.'
Harry just reacted. He changed shape to that of Fluffy and lept at the troll sinking the teeth of all three heads into different parts its body. One head had a hold of a leg, another had the troll's left arm, and the final head had a hold of the troll's buttocks. Which Harry would latter regret, as it took him days to get rid of the horrible taste of troll butt out of his mouth.
The troll yelled in pain and frustration dropping Tonks and turning to try and pry off the dog fastened to the left side of his body. Tonks crashed to the floor in a heap.
While Harry was furiously fighting the troll who had managed to get a hold of one of the dogs legs, Hermione came darting out of the corner of the bathroom, she was huddled in, to drag Tonks away from the vicious fight.
The troll finally managed to pry off the dog but Harry managed to do a good bit of damage first. Blood was flowing heavily from the spots where the dog had sunk in his teeth. When the troll pulled Harry off him it let out a mighty roar and flung Harry into the bathroom stalls. Harry was thrown so hard he decimated the stalls he crashed into. Harry, however, ignored his injuries. 'Nothing threatens my friends and gets away.'
Harry was running on rage that this beast was going to eat Tonks. Harry knew that his Fluffy form was no match for this troll, 'Let's see what you make of another troll.' Instantly the dog was replaced with a giant green troll only slightly smaller then the one already present.
Harry ran at the troll and tackled it around the middle letting out a great roar of anger. Since Harry had momentum on his side the pair was flung out the doors of the bathroom and into the hall. The first troll hit the ground with a grunt as Harry landed on top of him. Harry consumed with anger and a drive to protect his friend started to punch and hit the troll, drawing on all the times that Harry himself was on the receiving end of a beating by Dudley.
Soon the troll stopped moving and Harry got off the troll. He looked up, down the hall were Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, and Snape. To Harry's right Hermione came out of the bathroom supporting a limping Tonks.
"Stand back girls. That is a dangerous creature." Snape said upon seeing Hermione and Tonks exit the bathroom.
"What… Harry a dangerous creature?" Hermione responded.
"Well… I certainly wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that temper. I mean did you see him beat that thing up," Tonks said with a bit of a smile. "You know he is my knight in… well now it is troll amour. But you know what I mean."
Hermione rolled her eyes at Tonks attempt to make a joke of the situation.
"Would you ladies care to explain what you are talking about?" Dumbledore said serenely.
"Harry would you just turn back and get this over with. My foot hurts and I am hungry." Tonks said turning towards the standing troll.
"You are always hungry, Tonks," Harry said after turning back into his normal form.
"Mr. Potter?" Professor McGonagall shrieked as Harry appeared and walked over to Tonks.
"I think her ankle might be broken," Hermione said.
"Well hope on my back. I will give you a ride to the hospital wing and we can deal with them there two." Harry said to Tonks as he turned around and faced away from Tonks.
"Ohh, a piggy back ride." Tonks squealed as Harry hunched down so Tonks could get on his back.
Harry proceeded to carry Tonks off to the hospital wing ignoring the look of shock on Professor McGonagall's face, the pensive look on Professor Dumbledore's face, and the discussed looks Snape was shooting his way.
When Harry reached the hospital wing walked off to one of the beds to deposit Tonks as Professor Dumbledore went to fetch Madam Pomfrey from her office.
Moments later Madam Pomfrey was buzzing around Tonks working on her ankle. Professor Dumbledore turned to Harry and said, "Mr. Potter could you please explain why you were down in the dungeon and why you were fighting the troll when we showed up, also why you are not properly dressed?"
Harry looked down, and sure enough he was still only in his boxers. Professor Dumbledore gave a quick wave of his wand and handed Harry a cloak to wrap around himself.
"Well Professor… You see Tonks and I were pranked. We thought we were wearing our close but it turned out we were not and when Tonks found out, while standing in the Great Hall, she started to cry and then some Slytherin girls made a nasty comment and she went running off toward the dungeons. I went back into the Great Hall and yelled at the twins and Hermione went off to talk with Tonks. When Professor Quirrell came in and said there was a troll in the dungeon I knew the girls were in trouble so I went to warn them. When I found them, the troll was about to eat Tonks and I just reacted and attacked it, first as a dog and then as a troll. I kind of lost it, I was so angry at the thing for trying to eat Tonks."
"I think you deserve some points for bravery and nerve, taking down a full-grown mountain troll to save your friends, an act truly worthy of Gryffindor himself. 50 points to Gryffindor. When Madam Pomfrey is finished fixing up young Miss Tonks there, you are to go get dressed and join the rest of the school back at the feast." Professor Dumbledore said to Harry, he then turned to address Professors McGonagall and Snape, "I think now that the troll has been dealt with we can continue the feast. I will alert the rest of the professors."
A half an hour later Harry, Tonks, and Hermione could be found surrounded at the Gryffindor table recounting their adventure to there fellow house. Someone had revived Fred and George and they had apologized again and again for their prank being a bit to mean. Harry and Tonks accepted the apology but were each working on a way to get back at the twins.
With the onset of November, the weather turned bitter cold. With November came the start of the Quidditch season. Harry would be playing in his first Quidditch game the second week of November. With the start of the season approaching Wood became even more manic about practice, which none of the Gryffindor team thought was possible.
Wood had added to their already extensive practices at night with a morning team fly. Every morning Harry would wake before the sunrise and drag himself out to the Quidditch pitch for two hours of team drills.
Thursday morning a week before their first game, Gryffindor versus Slytherin, the Gryffindor team had an uninvited guest. Slytherin spies.
Fortunately, Wood had anticipated spies, which is why the team only did flying drills in the morning and had real practices in secret in the evenings.
Alicia Spinnet was the first to spot the Slytherin spies. They had taken to hiding on the edge of the forest. One of the spies had a pair of golden binoculars that they were using to follow Harry around the pitch. Alicia tipped off the rest of the team to their interlopers.
The plan was simple Harry would purposely fly like he did not know what he was doing. He continually crashed into Fred and George, and once even managed to crash into Katie and 'fall' off his broom managing to hang on to the broom with one hand until Wood helped him back on to his broom.
When the team landed after their morning fly twins started yelling at Wood.
"Why is McGonagall making us put Potter on the team?" George started.
"He's horrible," Fred responded.
"I can't do anything about it. I have talked to McGonagall. She said he had to be on the team."
The arguing continued all the way up to the castle as Harry lagged behind looking dejected. The arguing stopped and the group returned to their common room the twins and the girls with angry looks on their faces.
Upon entering the common room though, everything changed. The twins fell to the floor a fit of laughter and the girls fell into chairs with tears rolling down their faces. Oliver was doubled over with a hand on Harry's shoulder keeping him from falling over.
After a while when the laughter died down Wood was able to catch his breath and manage to spit out, "Excellent plan Potter. Fight Slytherins by thinking like a Slytherin. Make them think you were dreadful and underestimate us. You keep playing like you do and thinking up brilliant things like that and you'll be captain when I leave school."
A few more minutes of laughter and they finally broke up to get ready for class.
The next day before Potions the class was gathered in the hall waiting for Snape to let them in and start class. Harry was at the back of the group with Tonks and Hermione. Hermione and Harry were reading books while Tonks just stood by waiting for Snape. Hermione was reading a book she had found in the library about magical fire and its uses. Harry had was reading Quidditch Through the Age.
A few minutes before class Snape came limping up the gathered students and snapped at Harry, "What's that you've got there, Potter?"
"A book sir."
"I can see that, give it here. 5 points from Gryffindor. I will not tolerate your cheek. Now everyone inside," Snape barked and limped in after the students. "Class will begin in a few moments." And with that Snape limped into his office and shut the door behind him.
When Snape returned his limp was considerably smaller but Harry could tell that what ever Snape had done to his leg still bothered him. Snape was in a fowler mood then usual and when class was dismissed none of the students wasted any time packing their things and leaving the class room.
It wasn't until Harry had reached the common room that he remembered that the book Snape had confiscated was due to be returned to the library. He turned to Tonks and said, "I forgot, I need to return that book Snape has to the library. Can you go ask him for it and return it while I go to Quidditch practice? If he won't give it to you I'll have to ask him after practice."
"Fine but you owe for making me go find the giant bat," Tonks said as she turn and exited the common room. Harry shot a thank you over his shoulder as he went up to his dorm to get his Quidditch things.
When Harry returned after practice, it was to find Tonks in a towering rage yelling about Snape taking point and being a total git.
"… took two hundred points, just 'cause I saw him bleeding, GREASY SLIMY GIT," Tonks yelled.
"What happened?" Harry asked after Tonks rage settled a little.
"The want-a-be Bat took two hundred points from Gryffindor."
"I went looking for him to get your book back. I couldn't find him. I looked for him in his office, in the Great Hall, and the staff lounge. I couldn't find the git. I finally found him in the hospital wing. He was putting some kind of ointment he got from Madam Pomfrey on a very viscous bite on his leg. He said he got if from 'that demon dog'. I think he meant Fluffy. I sure hope Fluffy doesn't get sick off eating greasy food. After Madam Pomfrey went back to her office, I went in and asked him about the book. That's when he yelled at me taking two hundred points and threw some bandages at me and told me to get out."
Tonks went on cursing and threatening all types of torture upon Snape for the next ten minutes. Many seventh year students sitting in the corner were laughing at her while the Weasley twins started to take notes, Harry new to just let her get her anger out. When Tonks had finally calmed down a bit she was able to hold a conversation with out flying off and cursing Snape.
"But what I would like to know is why he was doing around Fluffy in the first place," Harry said in a conspiratorial tone.
"Why don't we just ask Fluffy?" Tonks said.
"Yea, how about tonight?"
"Sure." Tonks and Harry proceeded to make plans for sneaking out and talking with Fluffy.
Around midnight found Tonks and Harry hidden in the shadows down the third floor corridor were Fluffy's room was. Just as Harry was about to fade Tonks and himself out of the shadows, the door knob turned and the door opened and Snape rushed out the door.
Even though Tonks and Harry were invisible in the shadows, Harry froze. Snape with his customary sneer on his face closed the door behind him and waved his wand. With his robes billowing behind him he walked away with a slight limp, to which Tonks gave a snort inside the shadow.
Harry and Tonks waited outside the room a few minutes after Snape left to be sure he wasn't coming back. Harry faded out of the shadows and they quickly rushed into Fluffy's room. As soon as the door closed behind them they could hear a scrabbling of claws on stone. Tonks didn't even get time to react as she was knocked down by a charging three headed dog.
Fluffy proceeded to give Tonks a bath in drool. Harry quickly changed forms and barked at Fluffy who stopped drooling on Tonks and barked back. A quick exchange of barks and a growl form Fluffy and Harry returned to normal.
"What did he say?" Tonks asked.
"Well he told me that Snape was trying to get past him and into his trap door. I asked him what was in there and he said he didn't know and was told not to let anyone past him and then he growled at me. I think he thought I wanted to get past him. I told him we were just curious. Now I really want to know what is in behind that trap door if Snape wants in."
Tonks had no answer. After Harry and Tonks promised to come back to visit and maybe even take him out side again they quickly returned back to Gryffindor tower in case Snape decided to make another attempt at getting past Fluffy tonight.
The next day brought the first Quidditch game of the season. Harry new he could fly and was confident in his abilities but that didn't stop the stomach form turning. At breakfast, Tonks had to force Harry to eat some toast and drink some pumpkin juice.
"Come on team lets get to the locker room," Wood said waving at the team to follow him out of the Great Hall and down to the pitch.
When they reached the locker room, Harry quickly changed and sat on the bench next to George.
Harry sat for ten minutes calming his nerves. Fred and George helped with their constant stream of jokes. Finally Wood turned to his team and said, "Okay team,"
"This is it…" Fred brook in.
"The big one…" George continued.
"We know this speech. It's speech number three."
"We've been on the team for two years. He stole it from Charlie."
The girls laughed at the twins.
"Yeah, well then. You know what to do. WIN!" Wood said in a huff. At that the twins slung their brooms over their shoulder and exited the locker room.
Harry followed Wood out of the locker room and on to the pitch. Madam Hooch was refereeing the match. She stood in the middle of the pitch, next to the chest containing the balls, waiting for the two teems.
"Now, I want a nice fair game." She said once they were gathered around her. "Shake hands." Harry watched as Wood and the Slytherin Captain, Marcus Flint, tried to crush each others hand.
"Mount your brooms!"
Harry clambered onto his Nimbus Two Thousand hovering closed to the ground near Madam Hooch while the rest of the players got into position. Madam Hooch gave a loud blast on her silver whistle, kicked open the chest containing the balls, and tossed the Quaffle into play.
Harry's strategy was to chase the Snitch hard and fast from the off, if he lost the Snitch then he was to get into the match breaking up plays and helping the rest of the team. So when the Snitch flew out of the chest Harry was in hot pursuit.
The Snitch instantly flew off trying to shake Harry. The Snitch dogged and weaved heading straight into the rest of the players. Harry was right behind it the Snitch just out of his reach.
Harry was impressed with the speed of the little golden ball. Harry was flying as fast as he could and still be able to make some of the hairpin turns the Snitch was doing in its attempt to lose its follower.
It was a good thirty seconds into the match before the Slytherin Seeker, Terence Higgs, realized Harry was already in pursuit of the game winning ball.
Higgs gave chase. Higgs flying skills were no were near as good as Harry's so he had no choice but to follow behind the daredevil seeker.
Still in pursuit almost two minutes latter the Slytherins were desperate to get the Gryffindor Seeker off the Snitches tail. The Snitch had just made another attempt at losing its pursuer in the crowed of other players. Harry not giving up was not far behind.
Harry had just dived under Angelina and Adrian Pucey, one of the Slytherin Chasers, when Harry was suddenly thrown forward on his broom as his broom jerked underneath him. In the slit second distraction the Snitch dove out of site and was lost.
Seconds after Harry lost the Snitch he realized play had stopped and Madam Hooch was approaching him with the Quaffle. "Penalty shot!" She barked.
"What I didn't do anything?" Harry said as Madam Hooch got closer.
"No, you take a penalty shot. Pucey grabbed your broom."
"That's why I lost the Snitch? Someone grabbed my broom?"
Madam Hooch did not respond she handed him the Quaffle and blew her whistle. Wood and the girls had worked with him during practice. Wood had informed him that with the strategy they were going to use that Harry might draw a few penalties and that it would be good for him to have a little skill as a chaser. The thing Wood hadn't expected is that Harry would be just as good at Chasing as he was at Seeking.
Harry took the Quaffle and flew at top speed toward the Slytherin Keeper with the Quaffle tucked under his arm. Harry was aimed straight at the Keeper. It looked as if Harry was going to collide with the keeper but at the last instant Harry pulled left and let the Quaffle fly at the hoop. The Keeper was caught flat foot not being able to react out of fear that Harry was going to hit him.
Flint instantly flew over to Madam Hooch and started to scream that Harry should be called for Blatching. Harry argued back that he never intended to hit the Keeper which should be obvious by his swerving to the left before the collision could occur. Madam Hooch agreed with Harry and play continued.
The second part of their Quidditch strategy commenced. Harry flew in the middle of the fray of Chasers aggravating the Slytherins and assisting with at least five goals and two blocks by the Gryffindor team. The Slytherin Beaters quickly oriented their attacks on Harry leading to two broken noses on Slytherin players.
The play was near the Slytherin stands when Harry had done it again. He had flown in front of Flint causing his pass to be intercepted by Katie, when it happened. His broom gave a jerk just as a Bludger aimed at his head when flying over him and toward the stands. As Harry was thrown forward on his broom he kept going and fell off his broom. The crowd gave a gasp as some of the Slytherin fan gave a yell of triumph. Harry tumbled towards the ground the wind whipping his hair and robes. Just ten feet from the ground Harry's broom came soaring back to him and he landed.
When a loud gong sounded everyone was shocked. As heads swiveled to find the Slytherin Seeker Harry raised his hand and held up the Snitch.
Fred and George where the first to reach Harry, which he regretted seconds latter as they tackled him to the ground, Angelina, Alicia, and Katie were not far behind. Wood stood off to the side with Madam Hooch and Flint. "He wasn't on his broom at the time! It wasn't a valid catch!" Flint was yelling.
"What about the 'Starfish without Stick' that's a valid move. This is just a new move called 'The Potters Catch'," Wood fired back.
"The catch stands! Gryffindor 320! Slytherin 50" Madam Hooch said as she flicked her wand to summon the Bludgers back to the chest.
With a whoop Wood ran over to his team still dog piled on the pick and dove on top. Moments later they were joined by a good portion of the Gryffindor House.
A half hour later as Hagrid pulled a nearly squashed Harry from the bottom of a pile of Gryffindor quidditch players. When Harry got to his feet Hagrid tried to help Harry dust himself off and only proceeded to knock Harry off his feet again.
"Looks like yer need a cup o' tea and some rest after the stunt you pulled in today's game," Hagrid chuckled. Most of the Gryffindors had gone back up to the castle leaving the team to head to the locker room to change.
Harry was lead off by Hagrid and Tonks to have a strong cup of tea and to recover from his near fatal crushing.
"Yes, Yes. I love you. You can't fit in my lap. No. Sit on the floor you won't fit on my lap."
"Fang! Down! Leave Dora alone," Hagrid said as he pulled Fang off of Tonks.
"Who was it that grabbed my broom the last time? Was it Flint?" Harry asked taking a sip of the tea Hagrid had made while pushing the rock cakes away.
"No one, Harry. No one was close enough to be able to grab your broom," Tonks replied.
"Well some thing happened to my broom then. Because it jerked like the first time so I just jumped off the broom and went for the Snitch."
"You mean you jumped off you broom on purpose?"
"Yea, I wasn't in danger or anything. If I had to I would have just turned into an owl or something and landed," Harry said coolly.
"Yea well I'm just glad your okay and we won. I bet Snape will be in a fowl mood. Though he can't be any worse then yesterday after Fluffy bit him."
"What Fluffy bit someone… Wait how do you know about Fluffy," Hagrid said as he dropped the teapot.
Harry could tell that they were going to have to explain a few things.
"Well we have been taking Fluffy for walks. You see…"
"…He's bored in that room with no one to play with. So every once in a while Ron will go play with him and sometimes we'll take him for a walk at night," Tonks added.
"He's not s'pose to be out of that room. He's a guard dog," Hagrid said
"I know that's why when Ron and Tonks take him out side I pull guard duty for him. He told me all about not letting anyone in the trap door. What is he guarding any way?"
"Tha's between Professor Dumbledore an' Nicolas Flamel. An' what you mean you been pulling guard duty?"
"Well when Tonks and Ron take him out side I stand in for him as a three headed dog."
"Yea and by the way, He needs a bath. There is only so much you can do with freshening charms," Tonks said.
Harry seeing that Hagrid wasn't really angry said, "Yea, we don't have classes tomorrow. I could play guard dog tonight and while you toss the stinky thing in the lake."
"We'll 'ave ta talk ta Professor Dumbledore about that," Hagrid said with a scowl on his face. The two could tell that Hagrid was not happy that they had been playing with Fluffy but still wanted to take care of Fluffy.