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Chapter Thirty-Five

Quidditch World Cup

As Draco flew around his grandmother's property on his Nimbus 2001, his mind was focused on one single upcoming event. As the Quidditch World Cup approached, he was, of course, excited to be going, but also concerned that history, or rather his history, would repeat itself and Death Eaters would attack the camp site after the game. He worried about his friends and their safety, though he honestly didn't know if Hermione would be attending or not. He had written her, asking if she would be going and she had responded that she didn't have any plans to. In his past life, Hermione had been a lot closer with Ron and Draco knew that it was the Weasley's father who had gotten the tickets. He supposed that the red-headed git didn't think enough of her to invite her. Actually, Draco was somewhat relieved to hear that she wouldn't be attending; this way even if Death Eaters did attack, he didn't have to worry about Hermione getting hurt.

For a short time, Draco was actually worried that he may not be able to attend himself; no one had heard from Lucius in weeks and he knew that his mother, while proud of his son for being so accomplished at the game, was never a huge fan of the sport and had no desire to attend. He had thought of going with Crabbe, but apparently his friend didn't live up to his father's deal and did something stupid enough to get him grounded for the remainder of the summer. Draco didn't ask for the details, but Crabbe said he would tell him more about it when they headed back to school in the fall.

Thankfully, Severus had been staying as his grandmother's guest for quite some time now, which had been convenient when the topic came up. Going with Severus would also allow Draco the opportunity to say 'hi' to Harry, if he happens to see them. While he knew Severus still wasn't fond of his relationship with Harry, he was, at this point, at least putting up with it, albeit grudgingly.

After a final lap around the property, Draco decided that he was hungry and getting a little tired as well, so after landing his broom he decided to head inside. As he entered the kitchen, he found his mother sitting at the table sipping on a cup of tea.

"Hello mum," he smiled, grabbing a cookie from a plate on the counter, then sitting down at the table next to Narcissa.

"Hello, sweetheart. Did you enjoying your flight?"

Draco nodded, taking a bite of the chocolate chip cookie. "Where's grand-mere and Severus?" he asked after swallowing his first bite.

"I'm not sure where you grandmother is, but Severus is running an errand for me."

"Hum, okay," he replied, taking another bite of his cookie.

Narcissa took a final sip of tea then letting out a long sigh, "Draco," She began placing her cup delicately on its saucer, "I heard from your father this morning, by floo."

Draco's gaze shot back to his mother's, her expression was difficult to read, but it was obvious that whatever she had to say was distressing her.

"What did he want?" he asked, nervously.

"That he wants you home after the World Cup, he… he wishes to spend some time with you before you head back to Hogwarts."

The young pureblood nodded and shrugged; he didn't really want to see his father, but it was only a week before the next term started so he could deal with it.

"Draco, I… I can't go home with you. I have some things that I need to attend to here."

Well that explains why she looked upset, he thought.

"Severus, however, will be heading back with you, so if you need anything, you can contact him, okay?"

"Sure Mom. Father probably will just take me to buy my school supplies, I'm sure it will be fine."

She gave her son a weak smile and nodded. More than likely nothing would happen and Draco will be perfectly safe; still with the way Lucius has been acting lately, without her being there to shield her son from it, she couldn't help but worry.

XXX

Harry grinned excitedly as he rushed up the steep hill towards the Portkey; Ron and Sirius following close behind. He was beyond excited to be going, he had never been to any sort of professional sport before muggle or wizard, so this was a first for him.

"Hold up Pronglet," Sirius wheezed, as he trudged up the embankment. He wasn't exactly in the prime of his life anymore, and spending over a decade in Azkaban certainly hadn't helped his stamina.

"Yea, Harry, it's not a race, mate," Ron added, trying to catch his breath as he caught up with his best friend.

Harry laughed and shrugged, "Sorry, I'm just excited. Outside of school, I've never been to a Quidditch game."

"It will be the first of many, Harry," Sirius said, finally reaching his godson, "I can promise you that."

"Come on you three," Mr. Weasley called out. "Grab a hold," he said pointing to a mangy old boot sitting in the grass.

Harry, Sirius, and Ron quickly took hold of the boot and just moments later they were whisked away in a whirl wind.

XXX

Severus had done a lot for the woman he loved over the past several months, including allowing her to cut his hair - though only because she had threaten to shave it all off while he slept if he didn't allow her to. As the day of the Quidditch World Cup emerged, he found himself once again giving into her whims, this time Severus had forgone his usual black teaching robes and dawned something a bit more casual. Still wizarding robes of course, and still black, but far more casual than his usual attire. When Draco had seen his godfather come out in the robes his mother had picked out for him he just couldn't help himself, he wolf-whistled. He just couldn't help himself.

Severus had scowled but then simply rolled his eyes before walking past him and into the kitchen where their Portkey was waiting. Moments later the two wizards landed gracefully just outside the main gates of the stadium. Unlike many visitors, Draco and Severus would not be camping overnight but would be apparating to a local wizarding hotel after the game where they would stay the night, and then take another portkey back to France in the morning.

It was as he remembered it: witches and wizards from all over the world, congregated to watch the most important wizarding sports event of the year. They made their way into the stadium, and toward the upper levels. The first time Draco and his father had been invited to attend the event they had been invited to sit in the Minister's box, but this time Draco chose seats at the very top level knowing that Harry would be there. He knew Severus would be more than a little annoyed when realizing they would be sitting near Harry not to mention, the Weasleys and Sirius Black. Yes, he had come to terms with the fact that the man was innocent, but that didn't mean that he liked him any more than he ever did.

"Tell me again why you decided to get nosebleed seats, Draco."

Draco snickered and shook his head as they continued to climb the hundreds of stairs leading to the top most level.

"Well, Severus, if you agreed to take me right when I asked you and didn't wait another two weeks for Mom to wear you down, I may have been able to get better seats."

The older wizard grumbled under his breath but said nothing further. In truth Draco probably could have gotten better seats; even if they were sold out, he was sure he could have found someone to sell him tickets for the right price, but that wasn't what he had in mind. He wouldn't have been able to see Harry if he was sitting in the Top Box seats.

As they reached the very top row and began to walk down the narrow walkway towards their seats, Draco instantly noticed a group of ginger heads with one dark mop of hair in between them.

"Is that… oh bloody hell." Severus groaned, stopping in the middle of the walk way and turning to his godson, "You did this on purpose."

Draco's adorable face transformed into a look of pure innocence, "Did what?" he asked truly sounding like he had no idea what Severus was talking about.

"That," he said, extending his arm pointing a long, pale finger at the group of redheads.

Draco craned his neck as if to get a better look at what Severus was talking about. "Oh look! It's the Weasleys and Harry. Let's go say hi, shall we?"

Draco scooted past Severus making his way over to Harry and the Weasleys.

"Hey guys," Draco said with a grin.

Harry, of course, grinned back, extending his hand to his Slytherin friend, "Draco, good to see you mate."

"What are you doing here?" Ron asked, "Shouldn't you be sitting with the Minister?" He honestly looked confused and while Lucius had been invited to sit with the Minister in his previous life, he hadn't this time, or if he had, his father for some reason had declined the invitation and he certainly hadn't told Draco about it.

"Why would you say that?" Draco asked, curious as to how he knew that.

The redhead shrugged and then replied, "My dad heard about it."

"You can trust Ministry gossip for reliable information," Sirius spoke up with a laugh. "They're almost as bad as the Daily Prophet."

Draco let out a hearty laugh, causing his older cousin to turn his gaze to the boy who cared for him for months while he was an escapee. "Hey there squirt, good to see you, present company excluded," He mumbled the last part, glancing over at Snape who was talking with a tall African wizard a few feet away.

"Hey there Iago," Draco said with a smirk.

Sirius rolled his eyes and snorted. "I still don't understand why you named me that."

"I didn't, Hermione did." Draco defended himself with a laugh.

"Yes, well, from what Harry says I'm sure you let Hermione do pretty much anything she wants to," He added waggling his eyebrows.

"Sirius," Harry grumbled, "you promised not to say anything."

Sirius just let out a hearty laugh, while Draco ducked his head to hide his blushing cheeks.

"Actually, I believe Miss. Granger made an excellent choice in choosing that name." All eyes suddenly rose to Severus who was now standing just behind Draco, his thin lips turned into a menacing smirk, his arms crossed over his chest. "Shakespeare's Iago was a devious character who purposely wreaked havoc on the others lives with no ulterior purpose other than his own enjoyment. Personally I think it fits Black quite nicely."

While Sirius did nothing more than roll his eyes, Harry gave his Godfather a curious look. "Sirius, why would Professor Snape say that?" He knew Sirius was a bit of a free spirit and a prankster, along with the rest of the Marauders, but Snape made it sound like he had been mean just because he thought it was funny, but Sirius wouldn't have done that; his godfather hadn't really been a bully, had he?

Sirius glared at Snape, annoyed at him for provoking such questions from Harry; besides, it wasn't like Snape hadn't deserved what he got. At the time he was a slimy Slytherin, a future Death Eater, and despite the fact that he had taken care of him when he was in his Animagus form, for all he knew he was still just as evil, if not more so.

Harry continued to stare at his godfather, waiting, hoping for him to explain that Snape was lying, or at least exaggerating. Sirius however, had a temporary reprieve from trying to explain his past behavior as the sound of the voice of Ludo Bagman rang suddenly through the air. "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome. Welcome to the final of the Four hundred and twenty-second Quidditch World Cup!"

It was just as Draco remembered, they started by introducing the mascots for each International team, next the players and referees. A moment later the whistle was blown and the game began. Of course Draco already knew how it ended: Bulgaria catches the snitch but Ireland wins leading 170 to 160.

As the game ended he noticed the Weasley twins were standing in front of Bagman with large grins on their faces. A story Hermione once told him in his past life suddenly sprang to mind. Bagman had paid Fred and George the money he owed them for losing the bet on the outcome of the game, but he had paid them with fake gold.

"Um, you might want to check that," Draco said to the boys. As much as Severus couldn't stand them, he had always thought of them as funny, and that they had come up with some amazing pranks and joke products. Though after the war he never purchased anything from their joke shop personally, he had done a lot of mail ordering under a false name and then had one of his house elves pick it up. "I've heard that he pays off his loses with Leprechaun gold."

The twins looked momentarily confused, but as they took his Bagman's shocked expression they knew Draco was onto something. "Mr. Bagman, you wouldn't," George gasped clutching his hand to his chest.

"Oh by the look on his face," Fred added in, "I think he would, dear brother."

The former Quidditch player stuttered, shaking his head before finally spitting out. "I-I, you two are too young to be gambling anyway, either leave me alone or I will report you."

"I don't think so Bagman," a deep voice spoke up from behind.

"Professor Snape." George said, though it sounded more like a question.

"You had better not be trying to take advantage of children, not only by placing a bet with them in the first place, which is bad enough but then attempt to escape payment by such devious methods. I think perhaps you're the one that should be reported."

Bagman started to stutter again, but then, and without a word, reached into his money pouch, pulled out real gold and handed it to the boys. He then hastily left. Fred and George turned to their dreaded Potions Professor, a look of utter awe in their eyes.

"Don't!" Snape snapped. "And if you tell a single soul I helped you, you will be spending every Saturday for the rest of your educational careers cleaning off my dungeon floors with your toothbrushes." And then in a very Snape like manner, he turned on his heel, and whooshed away, his cloak billowing dramatically behind him.

Draco had only been able to give a quick wave goodbye to Harry before his godfather called after him. They rather quickly ascended the stadium stairs, and once reaching outside its grounds, apparated to their hotel.

XXX

It was the next morning, as Draco read through the Daily Prophet, that he found out what happened out after the game. It read much like he remembered, but with two major differences: one, a muggle had been killed, and two, they caught the wizard who had done it. That wizard was Lucius Malfoy.