The title should give it away.
This is a long one.
When all Quidditch team members (regardless of their house), were called to drop by the Quidditch field after lunch, rumors were already escalating amongst the student body. Some theorized that they'd be kicking some people out of the team, some expressed concerns about the Quidditch season possibly being canceled (this was met with negative yet concerned reactions by many). This did not seem to be the case though, because the team members were asked to bring their Quidditch gear for an unknown reason.
Needless to say, they had no inkling as to what they were supposed to do once they got there. What made it worse was the slowly rising tension between the teams from Gryffindor and Slytherin. Being more like enemies than mere rivals, prolonged contact between the two usually resulted in a fight breaking out.
Ron, the Gryffindor Keeper was growing impatient. "We've been waiting for ages, Harry. And we don't even know what the hell we're doing here. Not to mention my lunch was cut short," he whined.
The others silently agreed, even the Slytherins, who are usually the first to disagree with anything a Gryffindor said, remained silent.
Harry nodded wholeheartedly as he fiddled with his Firebolt's bristles with a bored expression.
Fred and George had long since dozed off; the two were lazily slumped against each other as they sat on the grass. They were snoring very loudly, and Harry was dully wondering whether the two troublemakers were actually sleeping or were only pretending so that they could irritate the rest of them with their fake snoring. He could already notice Malfoy giving the two dirty looks.
"Hmm, so all you brats are here, un."
The new arrival's voice caught them off-guard. Everyone's attentiveness was rather dulled because of the long wait they were forced to endure.
The man was young, no more than twenty surely. He was longhaired and blonde, his boyish face sporting a very mocking grin. Harry's eyes grew wide when he noticed the loose long-sleeved cloak, decorated with crimson clouds, that covered most of the male's body.
Fresh memories of his Defense Against the Dark Arts class with a certain Uchiha Itachi surfaced in his mind. This man, Harry realized, was wearing the same thing Professor Uchiha was wearing. He and Ron exchanged glances.
"That Hooch Lady was kind enough to give me an opportunity to meet you all today since I will be presiding over your next...flying match...thing, un," he said casually. His grin widened as he briefly glanced at the four teams with his single visible eye.
"Harry, it's another one of those Japanese substitutes..." Ron said with a hint of caution.
"Yeah, I hope he won't be as...unnerving as Uchiha..." he said softly back.
"I am Deidara. I'd like it if you addressed me with 'Master'," he gave a clearly-saracastic bow. It was similar to that which he remembered Itachi give them at the end of their class, but Harry could tell this was not at all sincere.
Deidara continued, "Now...your game's been already explained to me. I didn't find the constricting rules impressive. I understand you people are all fine with keeping everything safe, but I find it dull," he snorted.
Some rather angry mutterings were starting to break out. As Quidditch players, and clearly fans as well, it did not sit well with them that this foreigner was belittling the sport they were passionately dedicated to.
"You wizards call this sport of yours hardcore? There's not enough risk involved, I think. It is too safe, too...tame."
"Too tame? Bloody hell, this guy's--"
"I'm here to add a bit of creativity into your unimpressive game," Deidara said with confidence, his eye visibly narrowed. "I'll teach you brats how to have a real blast while zipping around the sky...un."
A boy from Ravenclaw plucked up the courage to politely interject, "But...you can't just change how we play Quidditch, professor. We've been playing it as it is for a--"
"Didn't you hear what I said earlier? I don't want any of this 'professor' crap. That's more of Itachi's style, the frigid fucker..." he made no effort to tone down his voice even as he bad-mouthed his comrade. Everyone's eyes widened a fraction, not at all used to a "professor" cursing so blatantly in class. "And actually, I can change how you play this...Quidditch. That's what I'm here for after all. Besides, change is a good thing. Permanence is disgusting and overrated. Your sport is ugly, and it will be my personal touch that will transform it into something beautiful."
By the end of his short yet passionately articulated speech, the students were more than a little confused.
Sometime after Deidara's first greetings, the Weasley twins joined their teammates in the realm of the awake.
"Hear that, Fred? He's going to pretty up Quidditch," George whispered.
The other snickered in response, "Still though, it could be interesting. As much as I love Quidditch, it has been rather monotonous lately. All we do is swing our bats and fly around."
"Yes, all good fun of course, but it can't hurt to up the thrill a little. I'm all for seeing what blondie here has planned..."
Deidara reached into a small bag strapped to his waist. They caught a glimpse of what seemed like white clay when he pulled his hand out.
"Now...we're going to have a trial match today...un," he explained, "And since we have four teams, you'll just have to divide yourselves into two larger groups for now. Those in red and green will be one team, same goes for those in blue and yellow."
There was suddenly a very loud series of protests from the Slytherins and Gryffindors.
"You can't ask us to team up with them!"
"This isn't going to work, sir-"
"Of course, it won't. Not with your team slowing us down. Being the muggle-loving gits half your team ar--"
"Shut the hell up, Malfoy! Better muggle-loving than candidates for You-Know-Who's next batch of slimy--"
And then a pure-white bird fluttered discreetly in the middle of the two groups, exploding violently three seconds later.
There were various shouts as they were thrown off their feet.
"ARGH! What the bloody hell was that!"
The Ravenclaws and Hupplepuffs were stunned by the sudden explosion as well. Harry struggled to pull out his wand from his still disoriented state on the ground, thinking that someone from Malfoy's group had set off some kind of spell. Others thought so as well. Pretty soon, almost everyone had their wands drawn out.
"Which one of you assholes did that?" Draco snarled, his hair was not in its previously neatly gelled state ten seconds earlier. The point of his wand was shifting rapidly at either Harry or the Weasley twins.
Fred and George, for their part, were in this case innocent. Both had suffered their own embarrassing falls, and Fred was unlucky enough to land on his face. He was still spitting out dirt and blades of grass.
"We didn't do it, you little git," George retorted as he helped Fred up whilst keeping his own wand trained at the Slytherins.
"I'll be the judge of that!" he raised his wand, mouth already forming the words for the spell he had in mind. The others were quick to catch on, and began shouting their own spells as well.
Suddenly, the red and green-clad students each found themselves trapped in the white segmented coils of a giant centipede.
The victimized students froze in the middle of their spell-making, strangled shouts rang throughout the stadium.
"Well, well, that was fairly entertaining," Deidara said loudly, gaining everyone's attention. He was smiling with amusement. "I am sorely tempted to let you brats rip each other's throats out. I've been missing the sight of good old mangled body parts as of late..." he looked thoughtful for a moment, tapping his chin in an obviously mocking fashion. He met his student's flabbergasted stares. "Really though, when my little explosion failed to stun you into silence, I was fearing I'd lost my touch. Artistic perfection can only be achieved with practice, something that I've been lacking these days..."
"T-That was you?!" Draco raged, "You--Were you trying to blow our faces right off?!"
Harry had to admit that he shared his mortal enemy's sentiments. But unlike Draco, he decided to keep quiet and still. His centipede was expressing no desire to harm so far, merely to restrain, but he was not going to take any chances. Especially when concerning someone like this Deidara, who shared his craving for a show of blood earlier.
And there was still the matter of figuring out how their unpredictable temporary flying coach managed to cause explosions out of nowhere (he had no wand, as far as Harry could see), not to mention these centipedes...
Deidara gave Draco a decidedly mischievous smirk, "I would if I could. I'll tell you now that if you don't stop your yapping, I'm going to blast your body into fragments, and let your friends clean up your entrails," his tone turned slightly hostile. "My creations are not solely made to trap troublesome idiots like you. No, they are far more impressive when I make them explode."
The trapped students stilled. Harry suddenly felt like he had a ticking bomb strapped to his chest.
The Ravenclaws and Hupplepuffs remained frozen in their places, unsure as to what to do.
"S-Sir...I mean, Master Deidara," Cho Chang broke through the tense silence. "Our school prohibits using spells to punish students...You should let them go so we can start the trial match..." her voice was soft, wary of the foreigner.
Deidara looked at her skeptically. "I'm not using any of your spells."
Many of those present blinked in confusion. A select few realized that not all of them had the privilege of attending Uchiha Itachi's DADA class the day before, and so did not know of these muggles' strange inhuman abilities.
Noticing their questioning looks, and the frightened yet curious ones of those trapped by his clay centipedes, Deidara decided to indulge their curiosity.
He raised his hands, palms facing outward, and allowed them a wonderful view of his extra mouths. He deliberately stuck the tongues out for added shock-effect.
Sure enough, his students did not fail his expectations.
Deidara noted with amusement, that some actually screamed. A few of the Ravenclaws and Hupplepuffs stumbled backwards in shock, falling on their behinds. The Gryffindors and Slytherins would have surely done so as well, but currently rooted on their spots by centipedes, they were restrained to moving in sudden simultaneous jerks to compliment their shouts.
"Wicked. What the hell are those?! Are they real?" the Weasley twins sounded more amazed than shocked and disgusted. It wouldn't be above them to ask whether they could touch it.
Ron did not seem to share his brothers' enthusiasm. "Oh, God. That's...That's just...bugger. Bloody hell," he looked more than a little disturbed.
He was not the only one. The others had similar expressions, only with varying intensities. Needless to say, the spat between the Slytherins and Gryffindors was involuntarily pushed to the back of their minds. Their eyes were focused on Deidara's hands, and their minds could accommodate nothing else.
Rather than being put off by their reactions, Deidara seemed pleased.
"I make the most wondrous art with these. The most beautiful creations come out from these mouths," he said. They only stared, dumbfounded expressions in place, as a miniature version of the centipedes wrapped around their bodies popped out of one of the hand-mouths. There was a slight burping sound and a nice juicy squelch when it landed on the ground.
After a meaningful pause, Draco said, "Well that's charming," he sneered.
Deidara regarded him with amusement. "You know, you're exactly like a comrade of ours. Just make sure to curse whenever you speak, grow several more inches, and keep that arrogant sneer on your face. You and Hidan could pass off as twins. I can't wait to see you meet him in class,un."
Having no idea who this 'Hidan' person was, all Draco could do was remain silent. He settled for giving Deidara a fairly toned-down glare that the blonde ignored.
"Hmph. Stopping you brats and your petty fights is not at all enjoyable," he frowned, an irritated tone was apparent in his voice. "Just for wasting my time, and my clay, I'm not even going to give you the opportunity to prepare for this test match. You're just gonna have to dive right in," he made a strange gesture with his hands, and the students soon found themselves involuntarily coughing as the white creatures disappeared with a dramatic poof of white smoke.
"Get on your swishy broomsticks and get up the air. We're starting," Deidara said, tone not making room for anyone to argue.
"M-Master," a Hupplepuff dared to ask, "We still need to fetch the Quidditch balls from the-"
Deidara waved the boy off casually. "Like I said earlier, the game's going to be...re-sculpted. Leave that to me...un," the ill-meaning grin returned to his face. "Now, everybody up in the air. Keep to your team, and avoid acting out any urge to maim or impale your enemies for now. Otherwise, I won't hold back the next time I stop you," he said this in a way that sounded like he'd even prefer it that they disobey him, just so he could carry out his threat.
The Quidditch players launched into the air one after the other. A few were still giving out soft restrained coughs, giving challenging looks to either a green or red teammate near them.
From below them, Deidara grabbed a new fistful of clay from his supply.
"Now..." he raised his voice. They turned their attention towards him. "Let's begin!" they saw him toss what seemed like four white different-sized spheres up in the air. One was very small, barely the size of a fist. The largest was slightly larger than a human head. The remaining two, both the same size, were roughly the size of a small melon.
Just when they rose to the players' level, they distinctly heard Deidara shout an over-excited foreign-sounding word. Then another cloud of smoke was expelled and they realized that some of the balls were actually fat round clay animals.
Harry's eyes focused on the new snitch. It didn't seem too different from the golden snitch he was so used to capturing in his palm. It was the same size, and the ordinary snitch always had wings anyways. The small beak and hollow eyes could be effortlessly ignored. The new bludgers strangely resembled engorged spiders. The quaffle was the only one that seemed unchanged except for its color.
"Rules are the same, brats. Get the snitch, shoot the quaffle, and avoid the bludgers. The difficulty though, is an entirely new level. Think fast. It won't be my fault when you lose a limb or two, or your heads for that matter!" Deidara shouted from below. "Game...START!"
For a second, the modified Quidditch balls hovered in place.
And then the snitch and bludgers practically zoomed out of sight, and started attacking the players. Harry's eyes widened when he saw the small white ball-bird zip towards him. It was aiming for the center of his forehead, and sure enough, not three seconds later, Harry found himself dizzy and disoriented as the new snitch started hammering his skull.
"Argh! Get off!" he blindly launched upwards, trying to lose the small seemingly possessed snitch and stop it from beating his brain into a pulp.
The chasers were trying to catch the quaffle and attempt to shoot a goal. But this proved to be more difficult when the large ball had a habit of erupting into smoke whenever touched.
The beaters were kept busy by the bludger-turned-spiders alone. A Hupplepuff beater was making panicked circles because one spider was latched to the end of his broom. He was trying to shake this off but to no avail.
The first explosion startled everyone.
Fred's face was covered in soot, and his red hair was complimented by smoky wisps. His mouth was agape; he absolutely had no idea what just happened.
"What the hell happened?" George flew towards his twin. "Oi, Fred. You alright, man?"
"Y-Yeah...I think so..." he said with a dazed expression. "That...The bludger...I mean, the spider...It just went 'BAM!' straight at my face. I thought I was a goner, seriously."
"What? The bludger exploded?"
"I was trying to hit it when-"
"George! Fred! Look out!"
The spider-bludger, which was lurking unseen at Fred's back had apparently decided it had remained hidden for too long. It crept up Fred's shoulder, and before George could so much as blink at it, the spider leaped forward and hugged his face.
"ARGH! BLOODY FUCK!"
The others, too engrossed in the strange spectacle failed to notice the second bludger choose its own victim. Seeing an opportunity when the Hupplepuff beater stopped to stare, it scuttled along the length of the broom and jumped its own victim, Draco, who was hovering closest.
The Slytherin was busy snickering at the now-panicked Gryffindors. So he was very much unprepared when a blur of white suddenly launched itself at his chest.
Harry zoomed past, missing him by inches. The snitch was a foot or two behind him. He found the situation utterly ridiculous, he was supposed to catch the stupid thing, not fly around like crazy and trying to lose it.
Cho was trailing him, arm outstretched. Deidara had said that the rules were the same, so catching the little devil will end this insane match. She figured it was all in their best interest that this be over and done with as soon as possible.
"Harry! Stop! If we could just catch it, the game will end!"
Of course, Harry saw the logic in that assumption, but he also did not want to suffer from a possible concussion. He was fairly sure the snitch will continue its onslaught if he stopped. He had also seen that the bludgers were capable of exploding in your face, literally, and did not want to end up like Fred.
The quaffle had yet to experience being thrown into one of the goal posts. The chasers were ready to throw their broomsticks in fury. Their hands were sore with the quaffle's sudden teleportation explosions. The keepers, not having to defend their posts just hovered idly and watched.
"Crabbe! Goyle! Get this bloody thing off me!" Draco shouted. He held his broom tight with his knees and was trying to pry the spider off. His expression was panicked.
His friends obeyed. Draco's eyes widened when Goyle raised his bat.
"Hey, hey, hey! Wait-"
For a second, Draco expected to feel his ribs crack. Fortunately, Goyle's aim was poor and the bat missed his torso by inches. Though it did manage to snag the spider and this was enough to dislodge its grip. Draco still felt a bit faint afterwards.
But the spider would not be easily defeated. Shooting away from the Slytherins because of Goyle's bat, it found itself launching at an oblivious Ron.
"Oh, shit," Ron felt eight limbs wrap themselves around the back of his head. He froze, "Guys...guys...somebody get this thing..." Ron feared and hated spiders. Rabid exploding ones were worse. He could almost imagine his brain splattered all over the field, the surely carnivorous eight-legged freak would then feast on his organs.
Unfortunately, his own team was preoccupied with their own problems. Harry was still diving and looping around, snitch and Cho on his tail. Fred and George were dealing with their own spider, and the chasers were intent on at least grabbing the quaffle, only to be met with another coughing fit as it poofed away.
Deidara had his arms crossed, staring at the chaos caused by his precious creations. He looked very pleased and proud. But there were still too little explosions for his liking, and he was tired of limiting the strength and destructive radius of his explosions.
"Hmm...time to end this game, then. My creations win," he muttered to himself before increasing the volume of his voice, "Alright brats, you better make sure you're at least ten feet away from my pets. Because I'm going to make them explode in five seconds."
If it were any other teacher, they would've been doubtful of the truth behind his words. But as it is...
Deidara only smirked. "I'm gonna start counting now..." he said tauntingly, "Five!"
Ron turned white, the spider was still glued to his head. "Somebody freaking help me!"
Fred paused, wondering whether he should continue helping George or just turn tail and fly away as far as he can.
Harry put on a burst of speed and Cho abandoned her pursuit of the snitch, leaving Harry on his own.
The chasers left the disappearing quaffle and flew to the other side of the field. Teamwork was out of the question for now. The others too, made it their goal to put as much distance between themselves and those who had live bombs latched on their bodies. The students were a messy mix of red, blue, yellow, and green as they zipped across the field.
Harry had lost all sense of direction and did not realize that he was headed towards the gathered crowd who had noticed him fast approaching with the snitch not far behind. Their expressions became panicked, as the very thing they were flying away from launched towards them.
Ron and George were left to fend for themselves. The former almost felt like crying. George was left in the dark as to what was happening, his vision blocked by the spider's body.
"Fred? Oi, where are you?"
"Aaaand...ONE!" Deidara's voice was coated with glee and excitement.
A blur of black rushed towards George and Ron's direction before their entire area was consumed by a large ball of red-hot flames. The quaffle exploded a second later, nearly melting the goal posts nearby with its heat.
The players gaped in shock. A few thought with concern about what had become of Ron and George, but this was pushed out of their minds when Harry caught their attention. The snitch had also released its explosive power for them to see, and Harry was propelled forward by the blast's force. They also realized that they were apparently not outside its range. The same thought dominated their minds; We are going to die.
Mentally prepared to feel their skin melting, they were caught off-guard when a giant wave crashed behind them. The water engulfed their bodies, protecting them from the heat of the snitch's blast and depositing them non-too-kindly on the now muddy ground.
Deidara immediately realized just who had come to ruin his good fun and gritted his teeth. His grin had disappeared. "Tsk, great..." he said under his breath.
The poor students, dripping wet, and now also muddy, were scattered on the ground. Most were spitting out water, or coughing their lungs out.
Deidara looked at the towering figure that had jumped down from the bleachers. He rolled his eyes and sighed. "Hey, Kisame. Care to explain why you're interrupting our training session?"
Kisame grinned, displaying his full set of shark-like pointed teeth. "Don't blame me, Deidara. Itachi-san made me do it. I was fully enjoying myself watching you blast the kids to bits, honestly."
He snorted. "Why do you go around taking orders from him anyways? What are you, his bitc-"
"Deidara-san," the topic of their conversation made himself known. Deidara turned to face Itachi, and saw the Uchiha depositing a shocked-paralyzed Ron, and a gaping George, on the ground gently. "We are specifically ordered not to harm the students in any manner. It would displease Pain-sama if he learns of your blatant disregard of the rules he has lain down," he said this in a monotone.
"Yeah, yeah, I know all that, Itachi," Deidara said irritably. "God, you don't have to sound like a freaking textbook, you know. And I knew perfectly well what I was doing. I was just about to pull back the blast when you two started to butt in."
Itachi wordlessly stared at him.
"…I was just trying to scare them a bit--"
"To there deaths," Kisame interjected with a snort. Deidara shot him a glare.
"I advise that you dismiss them for now. They are in need of recovery," Itachi said reasonably. "Especially these two," he gestured towards Ron and George's direction.
"Who the hell do you think you are, ordering me arou--"
"Sasori-san will not be pleased if you make him wait any longer. He's waiting for you in Snape-san's office. We were on our way to fetch you, and were lucky enough to witness you harassing your subordinates."
"Harassing?" Deidara repeated with an incredulous tone.
"Sasori is waiting," Itachi pressed on, perfectly calm. "You know he hates that."
Deidara looked livid, and was clearly stopping himself from attacking Itachi on the spot. The other's unshakable composure had always irked him to no end. And there was the annoying fact that everything that Itachi said was right.
"...Fine," he eventually replied with gritted teeth. "I'll just dismiss the brats then."
Itachi nodded. "That is the best course of action."
"Whatever," Deidara muttered, still sore on having to bend to Itachi's suggestion. Not to mention that the black-haired man was the one to end his fun.
Itachi passed by him smoothly and positioned himself beside Kisame. Apparently, the two didn't seem to trust Deidara to just let the source of his entertainment escape his clutches so easily and planned on watching him dismiss the students personally.
George, who was eavesdropping without shame on the entire exchange, released a breath. "Wow. Who are they? Ron...oi, we're saved, you can stop imitating the dead now. And tell me, is that the guy you and Harry were talking about? The DADA substitute?"
It took Ron a few moments to speak up. "Y-Yeah..."
"I can't believe he got us out of that. Man, I can't wait to be in his class."
Unseen to the two Weasleys, Deidara gave George a dirty look. His dislike towards the Uchiha rose by a few notches.
"Tsk...Alright, you brats! We're just going to have to continue next time. Sasori-danna is calling for me, and he's not very patient, un."
The students, just regaining their bearings, felt their stomachs drop at the prospect of there being a 'next time'.
"Hopefully, your performance will improve by the time we have our next meeting. Because, by then," his eye seemed to give off a look that promised pain, and they noticed him look pointedly at the two new arrivals. "No one's going to interfere."
They stared at him, fear clear in their eyes and the subtle shake of their wet bodies.
"I will now dismiss you," Deidara said. A wave of relief washed through everyone. Sensing this, a grin spread across his face. He could not resist going out with one final display of his art.
"Don't look so happy. Remember; This, is what will happen when you can't fight off my creations next time," Deidara said. Under their confused stares, Deidara ate a mouthful of his clay. Moments later, his body started swelling and swelling. Deidara's eye bulged in its socket, and his cheeks puffed up. His limbs stuck out awkwardly from his now-round body, and they could see his sausage-like fingers poking out from his sleeves. His black cloak seemed ready to rip.
Deidara feasted on their unbelieving expressions for a moment before proclaiming, "Art...is a BLAST!"
And the Quidditch players watched their substitute coach explode.
"OH MY GOD!"
"Fuck! He...He's crazy! He killed himself!"
"Someone call a teacher!"
"Sirs...P-Professor Uchiha! Do something!"
The last was directed at Itachi and Kisame, who had watched Deidara explode without so much as blinking. Kisame was even sporting a grin.
Itachi settled his gaze at the still-dripping student that had addressed him. Harry Potter, he remembered the boy from his class. "Deidara is fine," he said, and turned to Kisame, ignoring Harry's stuttering. "Let's head to the Forbidden Forest now. I'm sure he is on his way to Sasori."
Kisame nodded, "Alright..." he looked at the large blackened circle where their comrade 'exploded', "Deidara sure likes his dramatic exits," he added.
His partner replied with a simple, "Yes. I know."
The two then vanished from the visible spectrum, leaving the poor confused students in the still-smoky Quidditch field to make sense of what had happened.