The Black Sheep
Chapter Seven: Dumbledore's Army
Ethan was thrilled when Angelina gave him the news that Quidditch hadn't been canceled—she had gotten permission to reform the team. While the team practiced, he and a Bludger duked it out on the other end of the field. He was practicing his swings and hits, but it was such a redundant activity his mind began to wander.
Was Harry still going to attempt to start his club? He didn't doubt that Umbridge would wage full out war on the boy if she was given the incentive—after all, she was a ministry dog (or more accurately, pig). Everyone would be expelled for sure if they were caught.
He wondered why he wasn't more worried about that possibility than he was. His mother would probably come very close to killing him, if she didn't go through with it. His father, though Robert had never been able to get very involved with Hogwarts, would be disappointed. Even though he was a Muggle, he knew that Hogwarts was a good school.
He didn't have long to wait before he received notice from Hermione that they had found a place to practice. So on the designated day, he wandered down the corridor with Kati, Angelina, Mike, and Rover, looking left and right for this secret room they had found.
"Hermione said we had to need it to find it," Katie said helpfully.
"This is ridiculous. Are we being sent on a wild goose chase?" Ethan asked, narrowing his eyes at the nearest wall as if Harry were standing there.
"I don't think so," Angelina said slowly. Mike and Rover stood behind her, looking at the wall with her.
Katie and Ethan stopped when they realized Angelina was no longer with them. They turned to look at her, to find her staring at the wall. A wrought iron door stood there, but it hadn't been there before.
"I guess that's it," Katie said as she walked over to the door. She glanced back at Ethan before pushing it open.
As they entered the large, spacious room, the people that were already there turned to look at them. Ginny Weasley, Fred and George, Neville Longbottom, Cho Chang, and some other Gryffindors from Harry's year were already there. Harry, Ron, and Hermione stood in the front of the room in front of large bookshelves, lined with books on magical defense.
"Thanks for coming," Hermione said, smiling at them.
"Hey, Harry, what's this stuff?" one of the Gryffindor boys asked. He was in the back of the room were some Sneakoscopes and other objects were.
"Dark detectors," Harry replied. "Basically they show when Dark wizards or enemies are around, but you don't want to rely on them too much, they can be fooled…" He looked into the foggy glass behind him, and then suddenly turned his back on it as if he had seen something he didn't want to see.
Chicken, Ethan thought. He crossed his arms over his chest and waited for further instructions.
"Well, I've been thinking about the sort of stuff we ought to do first and—er—"
Hermione had her hand in the air, like a student in class. When Harry didn't continue speaking, she said, "I think we should elect a leader."
Cho looked around at Hermione like she thought the girl had gone daft. "Harry's the leader," she said as though it were the most obvious idea in the world.
"Yes," Hermione said with a sniff, "but I think we ought to vote on it properly. It makes it formal and it gives him authority. So—anyone who thinks Harry ought to be our leader?"
Everyone's hand went into the air, even though Ethan's and Zacharias Smith's went up reluctantly. It was Harry's group, after all. He would be the one teaching, wouldn't he?
After an awkward and short thank you speech from Harry, he turned back to Hermione. For being the leader, she was doing all the work.
"I also think we ought to have a name," she said brightly. "It would promote a feeling of team spirit and dignity, don't you think?"
"Can we be the Anti-Umbridge League?" Angelia asked hopefully. She elbowed Ethan in the side when he sniggered.
"Or the Ministry of Magic are Morons Group?" suggested Fred.
"I'd go with that," Ethan said with a smirk. Katie rolled her eyes at him.
Fred gave Ethan a high five. "One vote my way!"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "I was thinking more of a name that didn't tell everyone what we were up to, so we can refer to it safely outside meetings."
Cho timidly spoke up, "The Defense Association?" She went on a little more bravely when she noticed everyone was listening. "The DA for short, so nobody knows what we're talking about?"
"The DA sounds good," agreed Ginny. "Only let's make it stand for Dumbledore's Army, because that's the Ministry's worst fear, isn't it?"
Ethan quirked an eyebrow, feeling pretty keen on the name himself. There were other murmurs of appreciation and agreement.
"I like that name," Katie said out loud. Ethan just nodded at her.
"All right then, all in favor of the DA?" asked Hermione. "That's a majority—motion passed!"
Ethan pfft'd at the fake pretense of a town council or something or another. Katie gave him one of her looks and he immediately sobered up into an innocent smile.
Hermione took the piece of parchment that had all their signatures on it and pinned it to the wall. With a quill, she wrote "DUMBLEDORE'S ARMY" in big letters across the top.
"Right, shall we get to practicing then?" Harry asked. "I was thinking, the first thing we should is Expelliarmus, you know, the Disarming Charm. I know it's pretty basic but I've found it really useful—"
"Oh, please," Zaharias Smith spoke up. "I don't think Expelliarmus is exactly going to help us against You-Know-Who, do you?"
"I've used it against him," Harry said quietly. "It saved my life in June."
No one said anything. Zacharias opened his mouth to respond, but no sound came out and he was left looking like a fish out of water. Ethan stared at Harry, focused on his eyes. Harry could have told him how he fought You-Know-Who a thousand times and he wouldn't have believed him, not unless he had the look in his eyes that he did now. He felt a shiver run down his spine, and to his dismay, he was starting to think that there was something of credit to this Harry Potter.
"But if you think it's beneath you," Harry continued levelly, "then you can leave." When nobody made a move to leave, he continued. "Okay. I reckon we should all divide into pairs and practice."
Ethan paired with Katie, and everyone began to practice the Disarming Charm immediately. He was able to disarm Katie three times in a row, so on the fourth time he purposely delayed the spell just long enough to give Katie the leg up. His wand flew out of his hand and he made a show of watching it land behind him after bouncing off the wall.
"Wow! Good job, Katie!" Ethan called as he went to retrieve his wand. He straightened up and turned to look at her, and nearly fell on his arse in fear.
"Expelliarmus!" Katie called and he flew back against the wall, sliding down until he was sitting on the floor.
He looked up at her with an appalled face. "Why did you do that?"
Katie pointed her wand in his face, her other fist on her hip. "Don't you dare let me disarm you again, Ethan Gage."
Ethan's mouth opened and closed over and over again, but no words came out, so he just looked pretty dumb.
The sound of a whistle blowing caught their attention, and that of everybody else's. They turned to see Harry with a whistle. Once everyone had stopped calling spells, he said, "That wasn't bad, all, but we've overrun. Same time, same place next week?"
Angelina immediately stood up straight, hands on her hips. "The Quidditch Season's about to start! We need team practices too!"
"How about next Wednesday night then?" Harry amended. "Right. We can decide on additional meetings then." He then pulled out a map and tapped it with his wand. Ethan watched curiously, but said nothing, as everyone was instructed to leave in pairs and in threes, but not all at once. He left with Katie and Angelina in tow.
Katie wrapped her arm around Ethan's as they headed back toward the common room. "That was fun!" she said with a hop and a huge grin.
x x x
After what seemed like forever to Ethan, the first Quidditch match of the season had finally arrived. Because of his excitement, Ethan was up an hour earlier than normal and beat everyone to the Great Hall for breakfast. He was almost done with his first serving of eggs, bacon, and toast when Katie sat next to him, looking a bit bewildered.
"Wow, you're up early," she said with a little smirk. "What's going on?"
"First match of the season!"
Katie rolled her eyes as she began to fill her plate with delicious breakfast foods. "You act like a kid in a candy store every year at this time."
Ethan shrugged and glanced down the Gryffindor table. He noticed Harry and Hermione trying to coax some food into a rather green looking Ron Weasley. He nudged Katie with his elbow and jerked his head in Ron's direction.
"Looks like someone isn't nearly as excited as you," Katie observed as she bit into a piece of toast, watching the group down the table. "Poor Ron. Do you think he's seen the Slytherins' badges yet?"
Ethan looked over at her and raised an eyebrow. "Badges?"
In lieu of an answer, Katie pointed over to the Slytherin table. Ethan obediently looked in that direction. All of the Slytherins were wearing badges in their house colors that read Weasley is our King. Feeling disgusted, Ethan was tempted to stand and go rip one of the badges off and make the slimy snake eat it.
"They obviously think Ron is going to be a bad Keeper," Katie said with a small sigh. "I hope his nerves don't make that come true!" She finished off her breakfast quickly and then pecked Ethan on the cheek. "I'm going to head on down to the changing rooms. Don't forget to cheer for me!" she said with a bright smile before bouncing out of the Great Hall.
Ethan grumbled. He'd be much more cheerful if he could actually be playing with her. He stuck a piece of toast in his mouth and stood, deciding to head down to the pitch early. A few people were already heading that way so he wanted to make sure he got the perfect seat, which was one that was good enough to see everything, and close to the stairs in case Gryffindor needed their back up Beater. He met Mike and Rover along the way, Mike as eager as ever for the first match.
The air was dry and cold, stinging Ethan's throat as he made his way into the stands. The dew had frozen on the grass and it crunched as the students walked over it. Luckily, there was no wind and the sky was clear. There wasn't a cloud or piece of fog to be seen—perfect visibility. If Ron does trip up, at least Harry will be able to see without any problem and he can get the Snitch to end the game before Slytherin can get ahead.
Before long, Madam Hooch was on the field with the two teams. The crowds were already up to their usual volume of roaring, cheering, whistling, and shouts for their teams—and against the other team. They only got louder as the players kicked off from the ground and the game began.
Ron immediately took off towards the goalposts while Harry began scoping the field. As per his usual technique, he flew up above the game and hovered there, his eyes scanning the Pitch over multiple times for any glint of gold. When this proved fruitless, he began making laps of the field. Draco Malfoy was doing the exact same.
He just copies Harry, always has, Ethan thought bitterly as he watched the blond shoot around the field.
"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—"
Ethan jumped as McGonagall's voice boomed through the megaphone Lee always used. He just refused to use the voice enhancing charm.
"…and she's ducked Warrington, she's passed Montague, she's—ouch—been hit from behind by a Bludger from Crabbe"—at this Ethan cringed—"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"—Ethan cheered loudly, feeling a sudden surge of affection for his girlfriend—"Katie Bell of Gryffindor reverse-passes to Alicia Spinnet and Spinnet's away—"
It was almost impossible to hear Lee's voice over the din of the crowd. The cheering, booing, shouts and singing drowned it out. Wait—singing?
Ethan strained his ears towards the Slytherins, who were all joined together as they sang:
"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 lets the Quaffle in
Weasley will make sure we win
Weasley is our King."
Mike growled. "Why those snob-nosed, slime-loving little gits—"
"—and Alicia passes back to Angelina!" Lee spoke loudly into his microphone, obviously trying hard to drown out the words of the Slytherins' song. But they just continued to sing more loudly and more obnoxiously than before. "Come on now, Angelina—looks like she's got just the Keeper to beat!—SHE SHOOTS—SHE—aaaah…"
"Oh come on, Angelina! You can do better than that!" Ethan yelled as she flew by, her face purple with rage at the Slytherin Keeper blocking her shot. She shot Ethan a mean look as she zipped by. Alicia and Katie immediately went after Warrington who had the Quaffle. He was arrogantly flying right between them with a sick grin on his face.
"Weasley is our King,
Weasley is our King,
He always lets the Quaffle in
Weasley is our King."
Throughout the entire game the Slytherins sang their song as loudly as they could, and unfortunately it was starting to affect the Gryffindor team. More than once Harry stopped looking for the Snitch to turn to look at his friend, who as hovering in front of the goal posts looking much like a puppy that had been kicked by its master. Slytherin was leading by twenty with Gryffindor without a single point, but Ethan's faith held out. There was plenty of time—Harry could catch the Snitch and they would win.
When Ron let two more goals past him, Ethan almost felt tempted to yell at him, but he stopped. The boy was already freaking out enough, and Angelina would surely beat him with a broom if he psyched out his own team.
"WEASLEY WAS BORN IN A BIN
HE ALWAYS LETS THE QUAFFLE IN
WEASLEY WILL MAKE SURE WE WIN…"
At last, Harry saw the Snitch. Ethan knew it as soon as he made a dive with such determination and precision that there was no mistaking it. Within moments, Malfoy was on his tail. The two Seekers were blurs of their uniform colors as they raced for the golden Snitch. Every now and then even Ethan could catch a glimpse of it when the light hit it just right.
They were only feet from the ground now. Ethan was out of his chair, his fists clenched tightly as he hoped with all his might that Harry would catch it. He and Malfoy were neck in neck. Harry reached out his arm for the Snitch and Malfoy did the same until finally—
Harry caught the Snitch! Malfoy snatched at nothing but cold, winter air.
Gryffindor had won! It no longer mattered that Ron had let those goals in. The stands erupted with cheers. Everyone cheered, even the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs, all except the Slytherins, whose song was dead on their tongues.
Ethan saw it before anyone else. "HARRY! WATCH OUT!" he yelled as loudly as he could, but it was no use. A Bludger slammed right into the small of his back, knocking him forward off his broom.
Madam Hooch's whistle's shrill cry pierced through the crowd as they began to boo and jeer angrily. Everyone landed around him to see if he was all right. He stood up and brushed himself off, waving away everyone's concern. Ethan was already making his way onto the Pitch. He was almost to Katie's side when he heard Draco Malfoy.
"Saved Weasley's neck, haven't you?" he said with a sneer. He couldn't hide his fury at being defeated, however. "I've never seen a worse Keeper…but then he was born in a bin…did you like my lyrics, Potter?"
Harry gallantly tried to ignore Draco. He turned his back on the blond and watched as Ron glumly made his way towards the changing rooms all alone.
"Wanted to write a few more verses, we did!" Draco continued. "But we couldn't find rhymes for fat and ugly—we wanted to sing about his mother, see…" The boy didn't quit, and Ethan could almost see the hair standing up on the Gryffindor team. Everyone was itching to beat him to a pulp, but tried to ignore him instead. "We couldn't fit useless loser in either, you see…for his father…"
Fred and George stiffened, staring at Draco with murder in their eyes. Katie glanced at Ethan with a fearful expression. She could see what was coming too.
"Leave it!" Angelina tried to take Fred by the arm to pull him back. "He's just a jumped up little—"
"—but you like the Weasleys, don't you, Potter?" Malfoy continued. "Spend holidays and everything there, don't you? Can't see how you stand the stink, but I suppose when you've been dragged up by Muggles, even the Weasley's hovel smells okay—"
Harry grabbed George's arm as he moved forward. Ethan had to join Angelina to hold Fred back; he was straining against them like a pit bull ready for a fight. Katie called to Madam Hooch, but she was too busy berating Crabbe, who had sent the illegal Bludger at Harry.
"Or perhaps you can remember what your mother's house stank like, Potter, and Weasley's pigsty reminds you of it—"
Ethan could have sworn he heard the last nerve snap in two.
"HARRY! GEORGE! NO!" Angelina and Katie chorused together in fear, but it was too late. Harry and George had launched themselves at Malfoy, determined to rip his snotty nose off.
Ethan moved forward eagerly, knowing that getting a punch in on Malfoy would be sweeter than Christmas candy, but Katie grabbed him by the back of the shirt and hauled him back with all her might.
"Impedimenta!" Madam Hooch called and Harry and George were thrown back onto their arses.
"What do you think you're doing?" Madam Hooch screeched. "I've never seen behavior like it—back up to the castle, both of you, and straight to your Head of House's office! Go! Now!"
The two marched off the Pitch towards the castle, not even bothering to change out of their uniforms first. The rest of the team stood there in shocked horror.
"C'mon, we need to clear this up and I need to get up there. I'm sure McGonagall will want to see me before long," Angelina said.
No one replied, but silently headed back to the changing rooms. Ethan waited outside for Katie, and walked with her and Angelina back up to the castle. They sat in front of the fire in the common room to wait. Mike and Rover joined them, and they filled them in on everything that Malfoy had said to get Harry and George so riled up. Eventually, McGonagall appeared to call Angelina away to her office.
x x x