A/N: You guys are most definitely true Harry Potter fans. It kind of makes me laugh at how quickly you all are to point out my discrepancies from the book. Yes, I know Harry and Cho didn't actually kiss until Christmas. I'll admit, at 1:00 in the morning when I was writing the chapter it slipped my mind, but after re-reading my writing it's come to my attention that I never actually said that the two of them snogged. So I've easily worked it out so it's accurate for the rest of the story. So, all of you die-hard canon-loving readers don't have to worry, because that minor detail will remain canon :P
Good on all of you, though. You are all frighteningly quick with remembering the details. I'm usually pretty good, I'll admit, but I have made my share in errors. Of course, I hope you'll all forgive me because it's quite difficult to try and recall every detail from each of the seven books.
And so long as you're forgiving me, you can forgive me for the frighteningly long I made you sit through for this chapter. I know it's not the first time I've had to put this story on the backburner, but I want you all to know I fully intend to finish the story. I do not ever want to leave it hanging. So although I may disappear sometimes, I will be back again as soon as possible!
Thank you for all of the reviews! It's so nice to hear from new people. And it's great to keep getting feedback from those of you who have been sticking with this story for ages now!
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my character and my plotline. Everything you recognize, including characters, plot developments, settings, and certain scenes and lines from the Harry Potter series, belong to JK Rowling.
--- CHAPTER TEN ---
Slytherin Songs and Unwelcome Flashbacks
"So, did you wrestle it out of Harry?" I asked, only mildly interested. "Who was it he was grinning so madly about last night?"
"You're one to talk," Lee said with a roll of his eyes. "I'm surprised the two of you made it back to the tower at all last night."
I ignored him while Fred looked smug. I made a point of jabbing him in the side to get him to stop.
"He wouldn't say," George said with a thoughtful frown, "but I've got it on good authority it's the Chang girl that's got him fussed."
"Cho Chang?" I asked.
"Ginny reckons he fancies her," George answered. "Don't know how she figured that one out, but she has a knack for that sort of thing."
"He flat out denied snogging anyone," Fred informed. "Don't think he was lying, either…but I'd wager he snags her before the year is out."
"No way," Lee disagreed. "She looks like she'd put up more of a fight than that."
"You're forgetting he's Harry Potter," Fred pointed out. "Some girls will do anything for a bit of fame."
"That's why you're with Fred, right, Jules?" George joked.
"Oh yeah," I said sarcastically. "It's a blast being known as the girlfriend of the bloke who projectile vomits for a few measly sickles."
Fred flicked me in the temple with his forefinger. I winced and scowled at him.
"Two Galleons says Potter snogs Chang by year's end," he said as I elbowed him in the gut.
"You're on," Lee agreed heartily.
It was a wonder those boys hadn't already wagered their souls away with all of the gambling they did.
As the weeks went by it became difficult to focus on much other than school work. The professors were really hitting us hard with the homework—trying to cram as much knowledge into our heads as possible, I'm sure.
It was really starting to hit me that this would be my final year at Hogwarts. It felt as though the last six years had simply flown by, and it brought back many memories of what had happened throughout the years…
Harry Potter and You-Know-Who…the break in of Sirius Black…Ginny getting taken into the Chamber of Secrets…winning the Quidditch Cup…Cedric's death…
This castle held a lot of memories. Leaving all of them behind seemed terrifying.
Aside from school I was also juggling Quidditch and DA meetings. This was growing more and more difficult. It was even harder to keep Umbridge from getting suspicious. She was constantly on the lookout for anyone breaking one of her many decrees. We had to be careful not to let anything slip in front of her.
Although it was difficult to schedule meetings for the DA, we had been managing to meet about once a week. After our fourth meeting, Hermione introduced an ingenious way to send messages out to the members of Dumbledore's Army. She handed everyone a fake Galleon, explaining that the numerals around the edges would change to reflect the time and date of the next meeting. She had charmed them to get hot when the date changed to ensure we were all alerted.
Harry was in charge of the meeting times, naturally. When he changed the time on his coin, everyone else's changed to mimic his. Hermione's handiwork certainly was impressive. The fake Galleons ensure no one had to run around chatting up members of other houses during meal times. That was an especially risky thing to do with Umbridge watching our every move.
Our DA meetings were put on hold as the first Quidditch match of the season grew nearer. This was due to Angelina's wishes. She insisted on having us practice almost daily to prepare for the game against Slytherin. I had the suspicion she was trying to get Ron as prepared as possible before allowing him into a real match. I had my doubts about it doing him any good.
It seemed everyone was getting into the spirit of the game as the date grew nearer. Professor McGonagall had even refrained from dishing out homework in the week prior to the match. Apparently she had told Harry she dreaded the thought of handing the cup over to Snape (a fear equally held by the entire Gryffindor house) and told us to use the extra time to get our team ready.
Snape, on the other hand, was making things extremely difficult for Gyffindor. He was overbooking the Quidditch pitch to ensure we had minimal time to practice, and also ignored the blatant abuse the Slytherin house was putting the Gryffindors through. They were quite obviously attempting to sabotage us before the game. Their most successful attempt came when the Slytherin Keeper, Miles Bletchley, jinxed me with a Hair-thickening Charm while my back was turned. My eyebrows were so bushy that Fred, George and Lee didn't stop laughing for seven hours straight. Even Katie, Ginny, and Neville Longbottom managed to have a go at me.
That was slightly depressing. Even after Madam Pomfrey put me right they were still cracking jokes.
Fortunately for me my face was put right again just in time for the game. It would have been quite the task trying to see past all of that hair while on a broomstick.
The morning of the first Quidditch match of the season was bleak. Over the course of the start of term, Ron had not managed to improve much as Keeper. He was still a nervous wreck, which didn't bode well for Gryffindor's chances of success against Slytherin.
Fred and George managed to keep a positive outlook on the match, despite the fact that they had little faith in their younger brother's abilities. In fact, they were probably the only reason why I didn't retch in horror when I made it down to breakfast that morning.
The Great Hall was filled with excited chatter when the lot of us headed downstairs. This was a usual occurrence for Quidditch. The entire school came out to cheer on the players, and students and faculty alike tended to get quite into it. The horrible part was the Slytherins. The group of them were insufferable on the best of days, but during a Quidditch match, they were downright evil. In this case, when we entered the Great Hall, every single student in the Slytherin house was sporting a silver crown-shaped badge that read "Weasley is our King".
I almost winced when I saw it.
Ron's severely lacking Keeper skills wasn't exactly a well-kept secret in Hogwarts. The Slytherin team had made a point of spreading the news of Ron's inadequacy…it seemed they had decided to promote the poor bloke's habit of dropping the Quaffle as their own personal triumph.
"Ohhh, poor Ron," I groaned, staring round at the disturbing spectacle.
Fred grimaced as he scanned the Gryffindor table for his little brother. Fortunately, he was nowhere in sight. I wondered if he had made it down to breakfast already…perhaps he hadn't even left the tower yet.
"It could be worse," George said hopefully. "At least it's only the Slytherins who are wearing them."
"Way to find the silver lining, George," I said with a frown. "I have a feeling this match is going to be pretty harsh."
"Weasley is our King," Lee muttered with a roll of his eyes. "Classy, that is. The only way those ugly buggers could manage to win a game is if you lot were struck blind, dumb and deaf all at once. Of course they'll prey on Ron. It's their best chance of getting ahead."
"Sad thing is they scare him stiff," I said with a shake of my head. "He really lets the smarmy letches get to him."
"Come on," George said, making a beeline for the Gryffindor table. "Let's hurry up and eat something so we can head down to the pitch."
"What are the chances Ron won't see these?" Fred asked, gesturing toward the now jeering Slytherins. They had clearly spotted us, and were making a point of throwing us the best of their stupid insults.
"Unlikely," I muttered, staring around at the abundance of badges, whilst ignoring the calls of the Slytherins. The tossers seemed to be pretty proud of themselves and their newest Gryffindor-bashing development.
"I would have thought they'd come up with something cleverer," Lee commented, sounding almost bored. "They did the badges last year. Remember? Potter Stinks."
"How could I forget?" I mumbled. Images of the badges in question flashed in my head…along with memories of the Triwizard Tournament…and Cedric Diggory.
I tried to clear my head. I certainly didn't need to be dwelling on those bad memories now…not with the match dwelling so close.
"I can't wait to knock the smarmy grins off of their faces," George muttered menacingly as we all claimed our seats.
"Likewise," Fred agreed.
We were met by a string of cheers and applause when we settled down at the Gryffindor table, although not everyone had arrived for breakfast yet. Angelina, Katie, Harry and Ron were not yet there, although we were a bit early. Angelina had told us to meet her down at the pitch. When I left the dormitory she was practicing some sort of yoga-ritual. I told her she was mental for getting so worked up about a game and she nearly snapped my neck. It seemed she was nearly as serious about Quidditch as Oliver had been.
That was a scary thought.
The Gryffindor students were all adorned in their usual game attire—Gryffindor scarves, hats, gloves, pins and the like—but there were some who had gone above and beyond. Luna Lovegood, although a Ravenclaw student, had created an almost life-sized lion head that she had situated on her shoulders. It was a rather shocking sight, but it certainly got the point across.
"Good luck today!" she chirped as she walked by.
The boys exchanged wide-eyed expressions with me.
"I don't think I've met a more barmy bird than that one," George said with a shake of his head.
"Her heart's in the right place, though," Lee said with a laugh.
"Yeah," Fred agreed. "She may be stark-raving mad, but at least she's on our side."
When we had finished breakfast, we bade farewell to Lee—who took off to 'prepare his vocals' for the match—and headed down to the dressing room to change.
The sky was looking clear and the air was crisp. Weather-wise, we were looking at near perfect conditions to play Quidditch. It was a small comfort, but a comfort nonetheless.
The twins were feeling fairly confident, despite Ron's mediocre Keeper abilities and the constant taunts of the Slytherin house. If we focussed our efforts properly, we could easily pull out a win for Gryffindor. Harry was a superb Seeker. If he could catch the Snitch early enough, Ron wouldn't have to worry about saving many goals. And until Harry managed to catch the Snitch, Angelina, Katie and I would simply have to ensure we stayed ahead of the Slytherins in goals. It was definitely feasible.
When the others made it down to the change room Fred, George and I were already dressed and tossing a Quaffle around the room. Angelina and Katie changed quickly, and Harry and Ron showed up last…Ron looking as though he might vomit up everything he had eaten in his entire life.
The twins and I continued our little game of catch as Harry and Ron dressed silently. After several minutes of watching Ron attempt to dress himself back-to-front I dropped the Quaffle and helped him lace up his uniform. I'm sure he would have been embarrassed had he not been so terrified and sickly looking.
"Don't go vomiting on my shoes, Ron," I warned him light-heartedly. "And try not to look so terrified. You'll do fine."
I smiled encouragingly at him and squeezed his shoulder, but received only a grimace from him in return.
"Seriously, Ron, you're ready for this," I ensured him.
Okay, so, I was lying.
The babble of the growing crowd outside was growing steadily louder when Angelina stepped out of the captain's quarters. She looked anxious, but focused as she began to address us.
"Okay, I've only just found out the final line-up for Slytherin," she said, staring down at a piece of parchment. "Last year's Beaters, Derrick and Bole, have left, but it looks as though Montague's replaced them with the usual gorillas, rather than anyone who can particularly fly well. They're two blokes called Crabbe and Goyle, I don't know much about them—"
"We do," Harry and Ron said together.
"Well they don't look bright enough to tell one end of a broom from the other," Angelina said, pocketing the bit of parchment, "but then I was always surprised Derrick and Bole managed to find their way onto the pitch without signposts."
"Crabbe and Goyle are in the same mould," Harry assured her.
The voices outside were definitely getting louder now and I could vaguely make out people singing. Angelina glanced around at all of us, stony-faced.
"It's time," she said, glancing down at her watch. "C'mon everyone…good luck."
We all rose, shouldering our brooms, and marched out the door in single file. I followed behind Katie with George right behind me. We were met by a roar of cheering and wailing from the crowd, and I swallowed a lump that was slowly growing in my throat. For some reason, pictures of Cedric were once again floating in and out of my head. It was unnerving. I was worried it would throw me off of my game.
When we reached the middle of the pitch the Slytherin team were already there waiting for us. The sneers on their faces were probably supposed to be intimidating. I wondered if they realized how stupid they looked. Each and every one of them was sporting a Weasley badge, and Crabbe and Goyle were swinging brand new Beaters' bats.
"Captains, shake hands," Madam Hooch instructed and Angelina and Montague reached for each other. I was near positive Montague was attempting to crush Angelina's fingers, but she didn't so much as wince. It was impressive.
"Mount your brooms…" Hooch ordered.
I glanced down the team line and caught Fred winking at me. I grinned back at him, positive I knew what he was thinking. He couldn't wait to get a good shot at the Slytherin morons who were tormenting Ron. Although he would never admit he cared, Fred had one hell of a protective streak in him.
Hooch placed the whistle in her mouth and blew and my head snapped back into game mode.
The balls were released at once, and everyone shot up toward the sky. I chanced a glance at Ron and immediately wished I hadn't. He was looking even more startled and sick than he had been on the ground.
I looked around to get my bearings and felt my stomach drop inexplicably. It took me a moment to realize what was bothering me, and even when I had it didn't make sense. Last year's Triwizard Tournament was once again flashing in my head. Scenes of Cedric battling a dragon—just as he had done on this very pitch…the memory of running through the maze in desperation…
My heart was pounding and I was already starting to sweat. Why was this happening now?
I tried desperately to focus on the present. I could hear Lee's voice over the crowd's yells and I clung to it in hopes of banishing the terrible thoughts that were once again plaguing my mind.
"And it's Johnson—Johnson with the Quaffle, what a player that girl is, I've been saying it for years but she still won't go out with me—"
Lee was joking. I tried to find the humour, but was so bothered by the inexplicable return of my nightmares that I couldn't.
"…and she's ducked Warrington, she's passed Montague, she's—ouch—been hit from behind by a Bludger from Crabbe…"
I turned around to see Angelina fumble and drop the Quaffle upon impact. She recovered quickly, but we had already lost possession.
"…Montague catches the Quaffle, Montague heading back up the pitch and—nice Bludger there from George Weasley, that's a Bludger to the head for Montague, he drops the Quaffle, caught by Katie Bell…"
Katie was in my line of sight, directly in front of me. I realized only just in time that she was passing the Quaffle to me, and I just barely caught hold of it. I desperately needed to get my head in the game.
"Katie Bell of Gryffindor reverse-passes to Juliet Christie and Christie's away—"
I pushed myself through the chaos of the playing field, heading toward the goal. I could still hear Lee's voice over the madness, and I tried to hold onto it. Maybe if I concentrated on him I would be able to stay focused.
"…Christie dodges Warrington, avoids a Bludger—close call, Juliet—and the crowd are loving this, just listen to them, what's that they're singing?"
I hadn't realized it, but the spectators were indeed singing something. As Lee quieted to listen, it suddenly became clear over the cheering.
"Weasley cannot save a thing,
He cannot block a single ring,
That's why Slytherins all sing:
Weasley is our King."
"Weasley was born in a bin,
He always let's the Quaffle in.
Weasley will make sure we win.
Weasley is our King."
"—and Juliet passes back to Angelina!" Lee shouted, once again drowning out the crowd. It took a minute for the lyrics to settle in, but I was certain they were having a terrible effect on Ron. He wasn't used to the Slytherin jabs and jeers like the rest of us were. Ignoring them was second nature to us now. For Ron, it was a different story entirely.
Lee continued to try to drown out the words as another surge of sickness washed over me. I could feel myself getting dizzy. The ground below me started to spin, and Cedric's face once more flashed before my eyes. I yelled out in surprise—no one could hear me over the noise of the game—and tried to regain my composure. The last thing I wanted was to fall in the middle of a match.
I didn't notice as Angelina attempted to get the Quaffle past the Slytherin Keeper, but I heard as the Slytherin song grew louder. Warrington was approaching Ron with the Quaffle.
I closed my eyes, feeling nauseous due to my spinning head, and took off in the direction of Warrington. I knew it was futile. He had already reached Ron, and by the time I had wrenched my eyes back open he had put the Quaffle straight through the centre hoop.
"Slytherin score!" Lee announced over the cheers of the Slytherins and boos from the remainder of the school. "That's ten-nil to Slytherin—bad luck, Ron."
The crowd's yells were almost deafening now.
"WEASLEY WAS BORN IN A BIN! HE ALWAYS LET'S THE QUAFFLE IN!"
"—and Gryffindor back in possession and it's Katie Bell heading up the pitch—"
"WEASLEY WILL MAKE SURE WE WIN! WEASLEY IS OUR KING!"
I hadn't realized I had been stationary until I heard Fred call my name. I turned in time to see him bat a Bludger away from me in the direction of Montague.
"What are you doing?!" he yelled.
I didn't answer, but turned and sped back into action. Warrington had just passed the Quaffle to Pucey, and he was headed in my direction. I hurried towards him in an attempt to cut him off. He dodged me easily, however, and continued down the pitch.
"Pucey's off past Christie, come on now, Angelina, you can take him—turns out you can't—but nice Bludger from Fred Weasley, I mean George Weasley, oh, who cares, one of them, anyway, and Warrington drops the Quaffle and Katie Bell—er-drops it, too—so that's Montague with the Quaffle, Slytherin Captian Montague takes the Quaffle and he's off up the pitch, come on now, Gryffindor, block him!"
Montague handed the Quaffle off to Pucey, and my second attempt at blocking him failed.
"—and Pucey's dodged Juliet again and he's heading straight for the goal, stop it, Ron!"
I felt my stomach drop again at the sight of the Quaffle soaring through our goal. Ron was looking red in the face and embarrassed. Looking at him only brought my spirits lower. Thoughts of Cedric once again swarmed in my head.
Why was this happening? Was it because this is the exact place where Cedric had died? Even that didn't make much sense to me. After all, it wasn't the first time I had been back on the pitch. I had been attending practices for nearly two months and nothing like this had occurred.
My head was swimming, and I could feel myself growing short of breath. I was beginning to panic, uncertain as to why this was happening to me. The stress of the game coupled with the fear of not knowing what was going on was having a horrid effect on me.
While I was distracted, the Slytherins managed to score twice more. The team was struggling. Not only was Ron performing poorly, but I was now just as useless as he was.
"—and Katie Bell of Gryffindor dodges Pucey, ducks Montague, nice swerve, Katie, and she throws to Johnson, Angelina Johnson takes the Quaffle, she's past Warrington, she's heading for the goal, come on now, Angelina—GRYFFINDOR SCORE! It's forty-ten, forty-ten to Slytherin and Pucey has the Quaffle."
I was uncertain what brought my head back into the game…whether it was Gryffindor finally making it onto the scoreboard…the distant sound of Luna's ludicrous lion hat roaring on the sidelines…or the fact that Fred jabbed me in the head with his Beater's bat and started yelling at me in concern. In any case, I could feel the dreadful sensation beginning to lift and my thoughts beginning to clear.
"Juliet, what is wrong with you?!" Fred hollered. He sounded angry, but his expression told me he was worried. I wondered how long I had been zoned out. "That's the third time you've almost been knocked out by a Bludger! What are you doing?"
I wasn't sure how to answer that question. My mouth gaped open and his eyebrows scrunched into a confused line.
"Are you okay?"
I swallowed hard and gripped my broomstick tightly.
"I'm fine!" I yelled back, looping around him and heading back into the game.
The Slytherins were once again in possession, with Katie and Angelina hot on their tails. It seemed neither of them had had any time to notice my departure from the game. I felt guilty and stupid…I had been of little help for my team.
Swerving to avoid a Bludger from Goyle, I caught sight of Harry diving on the far side of the pitch. I felt relieved and disappointed at the same time. I was starting to feel normal again, and it seemed the game was already over. The first match of the season and I proved to be useless.
Harry pulled out of the dive holding the fluttering golden Snitch and the crowd roared in approval. Moments later he was struck by a Bludger and launched off of his broom. Luckily he was only a few feet off of the ground. He landed on the frozen field with a thud, and the rest of the team zoomed towards him to ensure he was alright.
I landed just as Angelina was helping him off of the ground.
"It was that thug Crabbe," Angelina said angrily, "he whacked the Bludger at you the moment he saw you get the Snitch—but we won, Harry, we won!"
I moved forward to congratulate Harry just as Draco Malfoy landed behind him.
"Saved Weasley's neck, haven't you?" he said menacingly to Harry. "I've never seen a worse Keeper…but then he was born in a bin…did you like my lyrics, Potter?"
Harry ignored him, and turned toward the rest of the team who had begun to land around us. I didn't get much time to celebrate. Mere moments after Fred had landed, he grabbed hold of my elbow and jerked me backwards away from the group.
"What the bloody hell was that?" He asked incredulously. His eyes were wide in confusion and worry. Thankfully, everyone else was cheering with excitement. It seemed no one else had taken any notice of my mental absence from the game. Too bad Fred was so much more attentive when it came to my well-being.
"Nothing," I said under my breath, plastering a smile on my face as everyone began to celebrate.
"Bullocks," he said, holding onto me forcefully. He looked me in the eye sternly. "What the hell was going on with you? You looked like you were going to fall off of your broom!"
"I wasn't going to fall," I said, although the spinning feeling I had felt seemed to contradict my statement.
"You need to tell me what's going on," he said firmly. There was an edge to his voice that told me he was frightened. My behaviour had clearly scared him. It made me feel guilty, although I had no explanation for why it had occurred.
"Nothing's going on, Fred," I lied, reaching out to squeeze his hand. "Thanks for saving my arse on the field."
Although I knew something bizarre had happened to me in the air, I wasn't exactly willing to bring it up to Fred. Cedric wasn't only a touchy subject for me, but talking about him stirred up a lot of frightening emotions with Fred as well. We had spent the majority of the past school year in a row, and a lot of it centred around Cedric Diggory. I had no desire to bring up the past now, especially when things between Fred and me were going so well. And I certainly didn't want to dwell on his death any longer…although I was positive it was something I was going to carry with me for the rest of my life.
"Don't be like that," he said, refusing to let go of my hand. He pulled me towards him, staring down at me intensely. "Please."
The frightened look in his eyes made me cave immediately, despite my better judgement. I couldn't say no to him now…not after everything we had been through…and definitely not when he was so worried about my well being.
"I'll tell you later," I told him truthfully. "Now's not the time." I gestured to where the rest of the team was huddled around Harry.
Fred looked around as if just realizing where we were and nodded.
"Yeah," he said. "Yeah, you're right. But we're going to talk later."
"I promise," I said.
He leaned forward to plant a kiss on my lips as George reached out and pulled me backwards toward the main group, away from Fred. I forced a grin and tugged Fred along with me, joining the rest of the team.
Katie and Angelina were leaping all over each other with excitement. George slapped me hard on the back. Fred—his grin once again intact—gave Katie an enthusiastic high-five. The only one who didn't seem happy with the win was Ron, who was wandering back to the change room alone, his head hanging low.
Katie gave Harry a tight hug, and Fred threw his arm around my neck, tugging me toward him so he could place a sloppy kiss on my cheek.
"Are you okay?" he asked quietly.
"Of course," I said. It wasn't altogether true, but we would discuss it later.
"Okay," he accepted, and smiled brightly. "And you're welcome…for saving your arse on the field, that is."
I grinned in earnest and snaked my arms around his waist as the team celebrated around us.
"We wanted to write another couple of verses!" Malfoy called over our cheering. I had been too focussed on Fred…but I now realized he was still standing around, yelling at the group of us. "But we couldn't find rhymes for fat and ugly—we wanted to sing about his mother, see—"
I frowned, my eyes snapping up to see him still lingering behind Harry with an evil smirk on his face.
"—we couldn't fit in useless loser either—for his father, you know—"
George was halfway through shaking Harry's hand when his shoulders tensed. Fred's arm went rigid around my neck, and his jaw clenched. They both turned slowly to look at Malfoy. I grabbed a fistful of Fred's Quidditch robes in my hand to restrain him ahead of time.
"Leave it!" Angelina yelled at once, sticking her arm out in front of Fred. "Leave it, Fred, let him yell, he's just sore he's lost, the jumped-up little—"
"—but you like the Weasleys, don't you, Potter?" Malfoy sneered. "Spend holidays there and everything, don't you? Can't see how you stand the stink, but I suppose when you've been dragged up by Muggles, even the Weasleys' hovel smells OK—"
Fred had released me from his grip, and it was taking the combined efforts of myself, Angelina, and Katie, to keep him from leaping on Malfoy. Harry had a hold of George who was glaring daggers at the vile boy.
Malfoy laughed openly and continued. "Lucky for me your little girlfriend is there to keep you off of me, eh?" he sneered at Fred. "Wouldn't want that stench anywhere near me, no matter what you people put up with. Or perhaps you can remember what your mother's house stank like, Potter, and Weasley's pigsty reminds you of it—"
Harry had released George, and in an instant the two of them were on top of Malfoy.
"Harry!" Angelina screeched. "HARRY! GEORGE! NO!"
Katie and I joined in yelling at the boys to stop, but had to work hard to keep Fred restrained so he wouldn't join in on pounding Malfoy to a pulp.
"Fred, stop!" I yelled, clinging to his arm as he fought against the three of us. "He's a ruddy idiot, don't!"
Fred was swearing profusely, struggling against us with a positively livid expression on his face.
"I'll KILL HIM!" Fred yelled. "JULIET, LET GO!"
It wasn't until Madam Hooch intervened that George and Harry ceased ripping Malfoy to shreds…and even then they had to be forced off of him.
"What do you think you're doing?" she demanded. She looked furious. Malfoy was bleeding from the nose and cowering in a ball on the ground. George had managed to gain himself a swollen lip, and Harry seemed to have taken a hit to the side of his face. The three of us were still holding onto Fred tightly, as he looked as though he'd tear into Malfoy if I released him, despite the fact that Madam Pomfrey was now present.
Crabbe was cackling maliciously in the background.
"I've never seen behaviour like it!" Madam Hooch yelled. "Back up to the castle, both of you, and straight to your Head of House's office! Now!"
George and Harry said nothing, but turned on their heels and marched angrily back up to the castle. Madam Hooch dealt with Malfoy, demanding he get up and return to the castle as well. It wasn't until he was scampering away that the three of us let our grip on Fred lessen.
The atmosphere had instantly changed. Everyone was tense and awkward, unwilling to break the silence first.
"You may return to your change room," Madam Hooch said in a stern voice, her eyes glowing with anger.
Not one of us spoke as we made our way back to the dressing room. Katie motioned for me to talk Fred down. As I made a move to do so he threw open the dressing room door, bursting through so forcefully that the wood nearly splintered and cracked.
"I think I'll have a go at it later," I mumbled.
Angelina and Katie nodded in agreement.
…it was probably the worst Quidditch game I have ever experienced…and the sad part is…we won.