A friendly game of Quidditch between Slytherins.

What do Slytherins do over the summer? They get together and play Quidditch. I'm invited to watch today. If you can't tell, Crabbe and I don't get along very well. Enjoy the game!

Marcus Flint looked around grouchily, then spotted me sitting in the bleachers. In fact, I was the only one sitting in the bleachers at this point. The others had gone off together for whatever reason, mentioning they'd be back later.

"Oy, you there? Ever played Beater?" I shook my head. He didn't expect me to play Quidditch did he? "Well, today's your lucky day. Get your broom and get over here."

"She's far too small for Beater, Marcus." Draco called to him, flying across the field from his team's huddle.

"If we're short a Beater, you'll have to drop one of yours. You want to make the decision on which one?" He motioned to the two brutish Beaters on Draco's team. One of them happened to be Sean Derrick, one of Slytherin team's real Beaters, the other was a very wild looking Crabbe (I think he's still mad at me). Derrick was wafting toward the conversation, trying to pick up what was going on. Draco eyed him. It was obvious he was contemplating the situation.

I grabbed my broom. They don't think I can do it. Then perhaps I should find out if I can prove them wrong on that. Worst I can do is fail. Gee, what an inviting prospect. I steeled myself and walked toward the field. God, there are a lot of the real Slytherin team out there.

"Hold on there, not with that. Accio broom." Sean called a spare broom he'd brought from the sidelines. He floated up next to me. "Try it out on a broom fit for a Beater. Not as fast and sleek as a racing broom, but sturdier and strong."

I took it from him and mounted. Draco's eyes never left me; I wonder what he's thinking. Derrick's broom felt so much different from the racing broom Draco had lent me. Instead of a seat, the invisible cushioning felt more like a saddle. The handle was thicker, and the bristling was shorter and wider. It was responsive, not with the feather touch like the other, but it handled stoutly. As I took off, I could feel the force of it pushing me along. This was a magnificent broom, really. I liked the brawny feel of it. Flint threw me a Beater club.

"Look, take this, and hit those," he pointed to the Bludgers, still constrained in their case, "away from us and at them. Can you do that?"

"I can try." He nodded and motioned Derrick to release the Bludgers.

"Lets see it then." He gave an ugly lopsided grin. Let's see it then, huh? I leaned into my broom and followed after a Bludger. Coming round on it from the other side, I walloped it with all my might straight at Marcus. He barely dodged in time, and had a nasty scowl on his face for me. I looked to Draco and Sean; they were both beaming with pride. "Right then, let's play."

I heard him mumble something about 'little wench' under his breath, and I could see by the look on Draco's face that he did too, but we let it slide (for now).

The Quaffle was up, the Snitch was released. Draco was on it right way, the other Seeker on his tale. Why am I playing against him? The Bludger was between us, and I knew that I had to bat it at him. But I don't want to hit him! I approached the cannon-like ball, hoping that Draco would lose the Snitch. No such luck. I pulled back and hit it, aiming it where I hoped would just sweep in front of him. To my luck, that's exactly what it did, until it was actually in front of him. He pulled back to avoid it, but it changed direction for him. He dipped low and zoomed away. Our Seeker was still on the Snitch. I cheered him on. Crabbe was on the runaway Bludger that was still lazily chasing Draco. He whacked it right at me.

I froze. The big black ball was heading straight toward me with Crabbe size force. If I hit that, my arm will rip off! The Chasers whipped underneath me in their frenzy for the Quaffle. I dipped and put one of the opposing members between myself and the Bludger. Crabbe swore, and Derrick arrived just in the knick of time to save him. Thankfully, he'd been thrown off guard enough that he miss-aimed and they lost possession.

Warrington and Montague, actual Slytherin team Chasers, just happened to be on Draco's team. How did all the guys I got along with end up as my opponents? They eagerly chased Flint and our two other Chaser's across the field. We scored. Bole, another of Slytherin team and our other Beater, came up beside me. He didn't say anything but looked down at his giant fists grasping the Beater club. He wanted me to mimic is grip. I followed suit.

Warrington was in possession now. Flint ducked a wild Bludger sent his way by Crabbe. Malfoy sniggered below him and gave an approving nod to the Beater. The Chasers were dodging madly about the field in their finely orchestrated Quidditch dance. Goyle, our Keeper, took the Quaffle to his gut, but managed to keep it from making a goal.

The Quaffle switched back and forth, falling and jumping about the field from friendly hand to enemy. Montague seized it from our players and made for the goal. Flint came in at him like some honking football player and nearly tackled him off his broom. Warrington was livid. He and the other two Chasers flew in a tight pack, discussing their tactics. They broke apart in a sweeping display of organization and ambushed one of our Chaser's on his way toward the goal. They managed to gain the Quaffle and scored on Goyle, who was busy dodging two Bludgers.

Montague tried to feign left and drop the ball to his other Chaser below him, but one of ours was ready on their tail and snatched it from them. He sped toward the goal. It was dizzying watching the Chasers throw the ball about as they wove in and out of each other and our rivals, who were desperately trying to retrieve it. We scored again.

Things continued on like that. The Chasers were doing their jobs well, the Beaters (myself included) were battling fiercely, the Keepers were sharp, and the Seekers were on the prowl. Both teams scored numerous times before the Snitch was spotted again.

The Seekers dove suddenly, distracting a couple of the players. I took the moment to punch a Bludger at an opposing Chaser who wasn't so easily unfocused. It hit him square in the back, causing him to drop the Quaffle, and nearly fall off his broom. The Snitch disappeared before it was caught, and Draco's cursing could be heard throughout the pitch.

I think steam may have begun to issue forth from Crabbe's ears. His face was red. Frankly, he looked like a big angry gorilla. I spent the next ten minutes dodging and redirecting the Bludgers that he struck my way. Then the Seekers were onto the Snitch again. Crabbe belted a Bludger at our Seeker with such clout as I wouldn't have thought possible. My partner was on the other side of the pitch occupying Derrick. I was the only thing that stood a chance at saving my Seeker from what seemed like certain death.

The Bludger was hurtling towards him with immense force. I took a deep breath and chased after it. I knew I couldn't hit it, not with the intensity it was traveling; there was no way. Instead I caught up to it and made it chase me instead of pursuing its former course. It took the bait, wobbling after me at near light speed. I lead it away from the Seekers. It was on me and closing fast. Just when I thought it was sure to hit me, I dodge to one side and swung my broom about face. With everything I could muster I slammed my club into it in one fell swoop, using motion and body weight to throw more power into it.

I thought my shoulder must have shattered. It broke into searing pain and I dropped my club with a cry, letting my broom sink toward the grass of the pitch. I heard a giant thump and a yelp. A large body fell out of the sky in front of me and hit the ground with a sickening thud.

Crabbe lay on the field in an unconscious heap. Draco was standing, not far away, holding the golden Snitch triumphantly above his head. We'd lost.