Harry had felt a bit put out by the way that he and Luna had left each other on Halloween so after giving her a couple of days to calm down he had sought her out in private. He had tried to explain calmly to her that sometime, like when you hear a strange voice shouting "rip tear kill," you need to drop what you're doing and go. Even if what you're doing is dancing with your extremely cute girlfriend.
She still hadn't taken this very well. She was calmer than before but thought that he was making up excuses and that if he wanted to leave, he didn't need to make up things to get away from her. Harry thoroughly confused had asked what she thought she was making up.
"If you don't know Harry then maybe we shouldn't be together."
Refusing to apologize for something he didn't know he done, Harry and Luna decided that maybe it was best if they didn't stay together. They agreed to stay friends but to steer clear for a few weeks to start with. Despite how unreasonable Harry thought Luna was being he kept quite calm and felt that the break up was amicable, not that he had much to compare it to.
He hadn't let the it get him down too much. His hormones had really started running wild over the last few weeks, not that he had done anything other than kiss with Luna, he didn't think they were old enough for that, but there were some really attractive girls at Hogwarts and since he had essentially been dating Luna from day one he hadn't really had much of a look before.
Sure he had had a good time with her. She was quirky and funny, not to mention cute, but she had been quite possessive and she had started to get on his nerves recently.
The news that they had broken up got all over the school very quickly, well the first and second years anyway, the seniors couldn't really care less about what two eleven year olds did even if one of them did happen to be The Boy Who Lived.
Harry suspected the portraits had something to do with the circulating rumors he had had a couple of them tell him various bits of gossip about some of the older students that he knew nothing about. He wasn't much of a gossip himself so he had said he would pass it on with no intention of doing so. However he resolved to remember that particular tidbit of information in case he ever needed to get a rumor spread quickly himself.
The response of the student body was different depending on who they were, Luna apparently had kept the Ravenclaws from getting angry at him which was nice of her, Harry thought, so there had been no outright animosity to deal with.
The boys whilst trying to put on an air of calm disinterest were peppering Harry with questions. He was apparently the first of the first years and among the first of the second years to actually have a girlfriend and convinced that now they weren't together that he'd give them all the juicy details, the boys had plugged him for all they were worth however all they got was a, "sorry gents, I don't kiss and tell."
This had of course led to questions such as "Oh so there was kissing, was there?" For his part Harry stuck to his guns and didn't talk about it anymore than this.
The girls however were something else, Harry was finding girls following him down corridors only to fly off when he caught their eye. His female housemates would find any excuse to sit next to him during meals or in the common room. Despite what looked to Harry, like quite a bit of room on their other side they always seemed to be shoulder to shoulder.
Harry was hardly oblivious to all this, he knew what they were thinking, quite literarily in fact as whenever he wasn't sure he'd take a look in their minds. However despite everyone's apparent intention to become the next Luna Lovegood, not a single one of them was prepared to make a move. Not really wanting another girlfriend, as such at the moment Harry left them to it and enjoyed the close contact when he could.
The first Tuesday in November found the Hufflepuff first years in charms class. They had been quite excited for this particular lesson as unlike the other practical classes Professor Flitwick had held off on the practical aspect until now. So for the first time today the class would be starting to make objects fly.
Harry of course had already finished the first year syllabus himself, however he was looking forward to getting the chance to show off a bit. That being said he had found some of Flitwicks's lectures extremely interesting.
Apparently when a spell is crafted the crafter will set out the weave of the charm and match it to wand movements and an incantation. Then using a complicated ritual which they could apparently study in sixth and seventh year the spell would be put into the ether. Then any witch or wizard knowing the details of the charm could cast it.
The degree of difficulty of the charm is centered around four things; how much power was used in the initial ritual, the amount the charm has been cast since its inception, how much power the charm has in use and how complicated the weave of magic is. The first three determine the power needed by the witch or wizard and the third determines the concentration needed to cast the charm.
For this class they had a similar mentor system to their potions classes. Harry had been paired up with a second year called Hermione Granger along with Oscar and Jessica. Granger was an odd looking girl, buck-toothed with frizzy hair and without even needing to peek in her mind, Harry could tell, a real know it all.
After giving the class the instruction on how to use the charm with the incantation wingardium leviosa and the wand motion which was a swish and flick, the professor preformed the charm himself and sent a dozen feathers flying through the air to the various students.
After a couple of minutes observing Harry decided to do the charm himself, he had already perfected this one before he came to Hogwarts however there were some questions that he did want to ask Flitwick about.
Hermione had busied herself with Jessica and Oscar, going between correcting the tiniest of mistakes in their punctuation and forcibly moving their hands in the swish and flick pattern. Neither of them had actually had a chance to attempt to do the spell for themselves yet.
Harry moved his wand in a discreet pattern and murmured the incantation under his breath, he saw the tendrils of magic run through his hand into his wand which stemmed the flow, then magic from around the wood blended with his own creating a vortex like effect before erupting at the end, the spell far more powerful than the tiny amount of magic coming from his hand. The vortex then split up and formed a perfectly shaped net which picked up the feather and left it hovering.
Despite how easily it came to him and how used to it he had gotten over the last couple of months, Harry still couldn't get enough of magic, it really was just fascinating.
"Oh now see here everyone Mr. Potter has done it." The squeaky voice of the professor exclaimed. Very good 10 points to Hufflepuff.
Harry was unsurprised to see a look of anger on Granger's face, a quick look showed him that she had been the first to get the spell in her first class and she hadn't wanted anyone else to be as good as her. Shaking his head slightly at this immaturity Harry went back to his feather which was still floating in front of him.
He already knew the various limitations of this spell, movements of the wand and thoughts would cause the feather to move similar to a broomstick. His first thought had been to try and get himself to fly however that had backfired spectacularly no matter what he did the charm wouldn't hold him, sometimes he would get a foot in the air before being dropped unceremoniously on the floor, other times it wouldn't pick him up at all, it was most frustrating.
Deciding to inspect this now he cancelled the charm on the feather and cast it again in mid-air. Difficult to do however it helped being able to see the magic. Playing around a bit with the strands using his hand he noticed the same side effects that he had experienced when trying to lift himself, sometimes his hand would go straight through the strands other times they would hold for a bit and then give way.
"What are you doing? You're supposed to be practicing the charm!" The Granger girl screeched at him.
"I am, I'm trying to figure out why it can't be used to pick up a person."
"You can't use the hover charm to hover a person!" she snapped.
"Yes, I know that, if you recall that's what I just said, what I'm trying to do is figure out why."
Granger actually looked stumped at that one, "I guess it's because it's not how the spell is crafted." She actually looked almost upset at having to give an answer that she hadn't looked up in a book first. Talk about your parrot learners Harry thought.
"Hmm," pondered Harry mainly to himself, "so either the spell crafter wanted to lift objects exclusively and they forgot to include humans. Or they deliberately omitted it for some reason."
"Interesting deductions Mr Potter," said Flitwick who had come up behind them, "actually the second theory is correct, Madame Austeria Laagan decided to prevent the spell picking up any type of living organism due to the vast speed that the spell correctly wielded can propel the objects at. 'Great weavers of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries' Chapter 5, Ms. Granger" he finished with a wink.
"So is there a charm that will lift a person?"
"Mobilicorpus," said Granger immediatly, "It's a 3rd year charm, wand movement is a swoop and spiral."
"Do you mind if I practice on you?" Harry asked,
"Didn't you hear me it's a third year charm, it's too hard to compose the net in your mind to safely pick up a human."
"Do you mind if I practice on you?" Harry asked Jessica this time, who had been watching the conversation unfold with interest.
"Sure Harry," she said with a giggle. Choosing to ignore the giggle he pointed his wand and preformed the charm, Granger was right, it was hard to get the net to flow around the person properly however he'd been preforming pretty complicated magic for several years now with no wand to assist and he managed to get it just fine.
Jessica rose gently into the air and started to bob around a little with Harry's wand movements. Harry was choosing to ignore Granger who was now spouting random rules in between sputtering demands for Professor Flitwick to come over and, "do something about this!"
"My, My, My, that is remarkable for a first year student, take another 30 points for Hufflepuff" Professor Flitwick said with delight after coming over to Granger's calls, before admonishing her. "No Ms. Granger I don't believe there is any need to punish Mr. Potter for getting a charm right in charms class."
This hadn't done anything to cheer Granger up and with her constant hissing which was beginning to make her sound like a kettle, as far as Harry was concerned the bell which rang three minutes later couldn't have come soon enough.
A couple of wet and miserable days later found Harry down at the quidditch locker rooms getting ready for training they were preparing for their first match of the year, it would be against Gryffindor who had already suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Slytherin.
Draco had gotten a spot on the Slytherin team as the seeker, he and the rest of the team had completely outclassed the Gryffindors, with the exception of their keeper Oliver Wood.
Ginny's brother Ron was the Gryffindor seeker and it was clear that he just wasn't up to the job, Draco had made him look like an idiot time and time again before swooping in to catch the snitch from right next to Ron's ear, for a 560 to 120 margin.
Harry's initial impressions about the snitch being unfairly weighted turned out not to be completely justified. It appeared that in the majority of matches the score margins were high enough that 150 points either way wouldn't necessarily decide the match. Also the school competition was played to a points system so it was actually the team with the highest overall winning margin at the end of the year that got the cup, not a finals system.
Today Cedric had asked them all to stick around before heading out considering the war the rain was waging on the land outside the whole Hufflepuff team had only been too eager to oblige.
"Right team, I've got some very interesting news, Professor Sprout has told me that the Gryffindor captain Oliver Wood has organized some professional quidditch scouts to come down and have a look at the game."
This drew some excited murmuring from the team.
"Now I don't know if you know, when the scouts come to these games they look at everyone playing not just the person who organized it so it's a great opportunity. Even if you've still got quite a few years of school left it's great to get noticed now as they'll remember when you're looking for a job. So with that in mind I want to see triple effort moving forward!"
Harry took Cedric to his word and went like a cut cat. He still hadn't given up his thoughts on fortune and grandeur and this was the first real opportunity to come up since arriving at Hogwarts. If quidditch was anything like muggle sports professionals got paid a lot. If this could be his ticket away from the Dursleys and the poor life for good well he'd go for it.
The next three practices flew by, Harry was flying like a madman. After a while the team had stopped getting worried when he got hit by a bludger or did something so risky on his broom that he narrowly missed falling a hundred and fifty feet to his death. It was just how Harry flew and quite frankly they loved him for it.
Throw a pass in his direction he'd get it, get in the open in front of goals, he'd get the quaffle to you, be on a bludgers war path while you were taking a shot, Harry would come in and take the hit for you. Not only was he brilliant skill wise, he was such a team player. The only thing that wasn't going great for Harry with quidditch was his broom.
He was still using one of the school ones, he simply couldn't afford to buy one himself and even if he could the first year rule prohibited it. As a result his flying suffered. Whilst the maneuverability of it was fine, the strait line speed and acceleration wasn't even half of his teammates brooms. None of them were on professional brooms either but the advancements made since the school brooms were purchased were incredible.
"Professor Sprout, can I have a word please?"
"Of course Mr. Diggory, how can I help?"
"Well it's Harry Potter professor, you of course know that our big game is on Sunday?" Professor Sprout nodded, "well he still doesn't have his own broom, he's flying on the school ones and we're going to be at such a disadvantage."
"Well I can speak to Dumbledore about getting the first year rule bent a little, after all it's not every century that you have a first year playing on the house team but… He'll still have to buy it of course."
"That's just the thing professor," said Cedric running his hand through his hair nervously, "he can't afford it, there's no school fund or anything? Just for something slightly better like a Cleansweep 4 or a Comet 160? Anything other than those blasted Moonbeams?"
"Language Mr. Diggory," Sprout admonished, "unfortunately a broom is a luxury item and it's not something the school fund can cover for a single student. The Headmaster and the board will see it that way too I'm afraid." Sprout's face softened, "besides if what you tell me is true, Mr. Potter is good enough that it should present too much of a problem."
Cedric had caught up with Harry at breakfast on Saturday before the match and told him about his conversation with Professor Sprout, Harry hadn't been surprised, brooms were expensive, even the cheap second hand ones cost nearly as much as a wand. He had reassured Cedric not to worry and that he'd still do the team proud on the school broom.
Cedric hadn't exactly looked reassured however he couldn't do more than he'd done so he left Harry to his coffee and toast.
Draco had also wanted a word to Harry that morning.
"Potter, Harry," Draco tried again shaking his head for calling Harry by his surname, "sorry about that Harry I haven't spoken to you much outside of potions and old habits die hard."
Harry waved off the apology. "What's up?"
"Well there's this party on in the Slytherin common room tonight, thought if you were interested…" He tailed off.
"Sure," said Harry, "someone's birthday or something? Do I need to bring anything?"
"It's one of the seniors, Marcus Flint, do you know him,"
"Big guy, your quidditch captain, not a bad chaser,"
"Yeah that's the one, anyway him and a couple of the other seniors are going to try and drink the whole night then rock up to your game tomorrow still drunk!" Draco said with a grin. "Obviously the rest of us won't be doing that but should still be a good night. You don't really have to bring anything, like no presents or wimpy stuff like that Flint would kill you. But if you could sneak in some booze or something it'd certainly earn you a bit of respect."
"Sounds great," Harry said, "I'll see you there."
"Oh and Draco,"
"Great catch the other week, that Roonil or whatever Weasly he is hasn't got anything on you,"
"Just call them all Weasly Harry," Draco said with a grin. "And cheers mate, I'll see you tonight! Dungeons are easy to find, the password is 'Pureblood.'"