Chapter 8: Quidditch
Tradition called for a Quidditch match to be commenced with the blowing of a sliver whistle. However, in outer space there is no air to carry sound, plus, it would have been hard for Grand Muff Umbridge to put the whistle to her lips while she was wearing a glass bubble over the head. So instead, the chunky witch started the match by sending up green sparklers from her wand.
The Gold Squadron pounced on the quaffle. Chaser Angelina Johnson took it first, and after nicely using a block provided by Katie Bell, she dodged a bludger and raced for the Slytherin hoops. Miles Bletchley was blocking them expertly, so she flung the quaffle and the vent in the ground. The ball hit the rim, bounced back up, ricocheted off of Bletchley's broom and wobbled though the lowest hoop. Ten points to Gryffindor.
Harry was hovering nearby Wood. The Gryffindor captain touched bubbles with him and asked, "You know what to do, right?"
"Yeah," said Harry. "My job as seeker is to catch the golden snitch."
"NO! Exactly wrong! In any other game yes, but if in this game, you catch the snitch, the match is over, and the sensor officers go back to their stations. So don't catch the snitch and make sure that Malfoy doesn't catch it either!"
"Oh. Yeah. Right."
Alicia Spinnet stole the quaffle from Slytherin and made another drive on the goal. She faked a shot on the upper hoop and then pretended at she had lost control of the ball, sending it downwards. It bounced off a bludger that was streaking up to knock Alicia half off her broom, and then the quaffle bounced off Crabbe's massive forehead and went in. Twenty to nothing.
Harry turned to see Malfoy glaring at him, as if Gryffindor's twenty quick points were somehow Harry's fault. Then Malfoy's eyes grew wide in surprise and he suddenly accelerated. Harry turned to see the snitch just a few meters away. ("Don't catch the snitch and make sure that Malfoy doesn't catch it either!") Harry spun and flew quickly to put himself between the charging Slytherin seeker and the snitch, while the snitch put on a burst of speed and whined away.
Perhaps Malfoy saw where it went because he kept pursuing. Harry went after him. WHAM! A bludger had smashed Harry square in the face. As Harry's vision swam with pain, he noticed Gregory Goyle laughing triumphantly. The lumbering oaf bowed and then flew off.
Harry tried to get his bearings and/or tried to see where Malfoy had gone off to. But all he saw was Katie Bell failing in another attempt to knock the quaffle down the vent, with the rebound going through yet another hoop. Thirty to nothing.
Darth Snape flanked by Death Eaters was waiting for Grand Muff Umbridge when she returned to Hanger Bay 13 after starting the game. He waited until she had dissolved her glass bubble before speaking.
"We've been analyzing the attack of the team from Yavin. It is not as innocent as it might first appear. Their chasers have repeatedly attempted to drive the quaffle down a certain exhaust vent. It's one that leads down to our central reactor. If the ball goes down that vent, the reactor will overload, and this station will be destroyed."
"But there's no way to stop the game," said Grand Muff Umbridge. "Whistles, horns, even the sound of shouting cannot be heard in outer space. We have no way of communicating with our team."
"We've hit upon an idea which will be most effective in halting the game. I and these Death Eaters will fly among the Yavin team and use the 'Avada Kedavra' curse on them."
The Grand Muff nodded. "Yes, that would do it. Well, what are you waiting for?"
Fifty-to-nothing. Merlin's Beard! What was with these girls of the Gold Squadron? Wasn't there any way they could get the quaffle into the exhaust vent and not knock it through one of the hoops?
George tapped Harry on the shoulder and pointed. Far off across the surface of the Death Star and new group of broom riders was approaching. As they came closer, Harry recognized Darth Snape. He and the others had their wands out, and they looked as if they were ready to kill.
Harry touched bubbles with George. "They've figured out what we're trying to do! These guys are here to kill us! Quick, warn the others!"
Harry and George peeled away from each other, heading to other Gryffindors, touching bubbles, and shouting warnings.
In another few minutes, black amorphic curses were speeding from the newcomers' wands, smashing wildly into turrets, sensor towers, and maneuvering jets, exploding as they did so.
The Gryffindor team was in total disarray now, scrambling for their lives. Slytherin knocked the quaffle into an unguarded hoop. It was 50-10.
Katie Bell snatched up to loose quaffle and made a final drive on the exhaust vent. Explosions ripped to her left and her right. She ducked a bludger.
Then Malfoy crashed his shoulder into her, knocking the ball loose. He turned and hurled a curse at it. When it hit, the quaffle exploded into shreds and smoking pieces of rubber.
Darth Snape, followed by a formation of Death Eaters, was closing in on Harry now. Harry could see a triumphant sneer spread across Darth Snapes' features. Their wands came up, their tips glowing with dark-side power.
From seemingly out of nowhere, the flying car was there, crashing into the deadly formation, sending the Slytherins caroming in all directly.
Harry seized the door handle and hung on. He touched his bubble to the car window. "Ron, you came back!" he shouted gleefully.
"It wasn't me, mate," admitted Ron. "It's this bloody car! It's got a mind of its own!"
"Nevertheless," gasped Harry, "you saved me!"
"Not for very long. We saw what happened to the quaffle. It's gone, mate, blown into a billion pieces. We've nothing else to shoot down the exhaust vent."
"There's one more thing," replied Harry. "Drive over to the vent!"
"I'll try," said Ron turning the wheel. "Bloody car." He steered his way over.
Harry was thinking of that trick he did the first time he laid hands on his wand. It was (if he recalled correctly) swish and flick. As they passed over the exhaust port, Harry swished and flicked. A glowing white bolt of power shot out of the wand and disappeared down the vent. "Let's get out of here!"
Ron steered the car upwards and floored the pedal. The car climbed wildly.
Below them, the whole Death Star shook violently. Then it began ripping apart at the seams, with hellish flames shooting out. Another shutter, and then it blew apart, a brilliant ring of fire spreading out so intense that could be seen to the end of the universe.
Lord Voldemort's Death Star was no more.
The rebel alliance was aligned in military formations. On the dais in front of them, stood Princess Hermione, Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall.
Harry and Ron with Scabbers perched on his shoulder marched down the center aisle to the beat of a martial tune. Hermione presented the two boys with medals. Then she directed them to turn around and face the troops of the alliance.
The soldiers cheered.
Harry beamed with joy.
Ron grinned with triumph.
Scabbers swore revenge on behalf of his Dark Lord master.