Chapter Sixteen: Halloween
It was few days later that Harry's broomstick, a Nimbus 2000, arrived. Once Oliver Wood has seen it for himself he was very pleased that Harry was going to be on the team, however, after Harry's first practice with the rest of the team, Wood was practically skipping with excitement. Ron and Hermione had watched the practice too and had laughed at Oliver's mad glint and thanking their lucky stars that they weren't on the Quidditch team. Of course, one person who was not pleased that Harry had been sent his broomstick was Malfoy. He attempted to tell on Harry but had been rebuffed. It soon became very clear to Harry that Wood was completely obsessed with Quidditch, as he explained new formations to his Chasers, Angelina Johnson, Alicia Spinnet, who were in the same year as Fred and George, and Katie Bell, a second year. Fred and George tried to make Wood relax without any success as they made the odd joke to lighten the mood. Harry didn't mind that Wood was as dedicated as he was after all Harry's dad was just as Quidditch mad. Wood also decided that there would be practices three times a week.
On the morning of Halloween, Hermione went back to her dorm to dress after a morning run with Ron and Harry. Unfortunately for her, this morning, her two roommates were awake.
'Morning,' said Hermione, politely.
'Where have you been?' asked Lavender.
Hermione rolled her eyes as she was wearing jogging bottoms, a t-shirt, sweatshirt and trainers.
'I went for an early morning run with Ron and Harry,' she replied.
'Your bed hasn't been slept in,' said Lavender.
'Really?' asked Hermione, coolly.
'So where did you sleep last night, in fact where have you been sleeping since our first night?' asked Parvati.
'I know, in Harry Potter's bed!' said Lavender.
'Don't be ridiculous! Why would I sleep in Harry's bed?' Hermione retorted.
'Who else out of the boys would you share a bed with?' asked Lavender.
'Look, it's none of your business where I sleep, so butt out, okay?' said Hermione.
'It's got to be Harry; I mean you've known him for ages, haven't you?' Lavender stated.
'Yes, I've known Harry for ages, but I don't get into bed with him, not that it's any of your business …' Hermione answered.
'It might be Ron,' said Parvati.
'Ron? Yuck! He's not even good-looking! He eats like a pig!' said Lavender.
Hermione then walked up to Lavender and gave her an almighty slap around the face and said,
'Don't you ever talk about Ron like that again, you little bitch! He's my best friend in the whole world!'
Hermione then grabbed her uniform to change into and went into the bathroom slamming the door behind her as Lavender rubbed the side of face.
'I think you hit a nerve, Lavender,' said Parvati.
'She hit me!' said Lavender.
Hermione then came out of the bathroom and said, 'If you ever talk about Ron or Harry like that again, I'll use my wand, I know lots of nasty hexes that'll make your hair stand on end or just fall out, do you understand?'
Hermione looked so fierce and angry that both Lavender and Parvati just nodded at speed. Hermione then picked up her bag and left the room to join Ron and Harry for breakfast.
As she and her two friends walked to the Great Hall, Ron noticed that she was not very happy and so he asked what was wrong and so she told them. Ron appreciated the fact she stood up for him, and Harry was glad that Hermione slapped Lavender.
During lunch, Ron and Hermione noticed that Harry was a little subdued, and knowing the date, they did not need to ask why. Halloween was never celebrated at the Potters as it was the anniversary of Voldemort's attack on Harry and his family.
'We don't have to go to the feast tonight if you don't want to,' said Ron.
'What, and miss out on all that food?' said Harry.
'We can always grab a ton of it from the kitchen?' replied Ron.
'No, we'll go, but I won't stay for very long …' said Harry.
'Okay, we'll leave when you've had enough,' said Hermione, as she took Harry's hand.
'Thanks, guys, it means a lot,' Harry replied.
When the day was over, they walked back to Gryffindor tower to put their bags away before going down to the feast. The Great Hall was well decorated for the occasion with plenty of hollowed out pumpkins with a lit candle inside, spider webs and bats hung on the walls. There was plenty of food on the tables as everybody helped themselves. Even the teachers were getting into the spirit of the day, well, all except Snape as he was in his usual black and Professor Quirrell was not in the hall.
After half an hour, Harry decided he had enough and so he stood up to leave, telling Ron and Hermione he was going to bed. Ron and Hermione immediately got to their feet too and left the hall with Harry.
They began to climb the staircases up to Gryffindor tower, but as they reached the second floor, an awful stench hit their noses.
'Yuck, that's disgusting, whatever it is,' said Hermione.
'It smells worse than a Dungbomb,' said Ron.
'You're not wrong there,' said Harry.
'Shall we check it out?' asked Ron.
Harry and Hermione both agreed and so they walked along the second floor corridor and saw the cause of the nasty stench.
It was a troll.
A mountain troll standing at twelve feet tall equipped with a heavy club in one of its enormous hands.
'Oh, shit,' said Ron.
'What do we do?' asked Hermione.
Harry and Ron shared a look, but then the troll spotted them and went for them, swinging its heavy club.
Harry, Ron and Hermione moved out of the troll's reach before around the corner, as it followed them with heavy footfalls.
'What do we do?' Hermione asked again.
'The Reductor curse?' suggested Harry.
'No, not powerful enough, I'd say the Blasting curse,' said Ron.
'Confringo?' asked Hermione.
'Yeah, it was a good idea we learned all those advanced spells,' said Ron.
Before either of them could reply, the troll came around the corner and swung his club at them.
Ron forced Harry and Hermione to the floor but was caught by a glancing blow on the left shoulder. As the troll was gearing up to take another swing at them, they got to their feet and ran around the next corner before drawing their wands. Harry and Hermione took out their single wands while Ron took out the two he had.
'On three?' asked Harry.
He received two nods in reply before they moved back around the corner to face the troll before raising their wands, they each bellowed, 'One – two – three – CONFRINGO!'
The four blasts left their wands and they scored four direct hits on the troll whom exploded into hundreds of bits of skin, brain, blood, guts and bone, covering the entire corridor. Harry, Ron and Hermione had only been shielded from the debris by ducking back around the corner.
After a moment they looked to see what they had done.
'We should make like shepherds and get the flock out of here before Filch catches us,' said Ron.
Harry whipped out the Marauder's Map and they made their way back to Gryffindor tower. When they got there it was still empty but Harry saw on the map that Percy Weasley was leading the entire house up the staircases to the tower. Harry, Ron and Hermione ran up to their rooms to shower and change at the speed of light, discarding their foul-smelling robes into the wash baskets provided before showering. Ron, however, had a very nasty graze on his shoulder that he washed thoroughly with water as he used a cloth to stop the bleeding. As he was sitting there in his pyjama bottoms, Hermione came into the room all freshened up and began to help Ron treat his wound. Luckily, they had been taught a muggle and magical First Aid course back in the summer, so they were able to treat Ron's wound with the Dittany in the bathroom. Once they were sure that Ron was fine, Harry got into his bed while Ron and Hermione got into his. They bid each other a hasty goodnight before falling asleep.
The following morning at breakfast, Harry, Ron and Hermione were being regaled by the twins about what had happened after they had left the feast.
' … In came Quirrell running as if his life depended on it, and he screams at Dumbledore about a troll in the dungeons, this sent everyone into a panic before Dumbles told everyone to calm down,' said George.
'Well, it didn't help that bloody Quirrell fainted, did it?' said Fred.
'You're taking the piss!' said Ron, disbelievingly.
'Some Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher,' said Harry.
'Anyway, once Dumbledore told everyone what to do, he and the rest of the teachers went off to fight the troll, only …' said George.
'Only that they found it blown to smithereens on the second floor corridor near the girl's bathroom,' said Fred.
'The teachers dunno who did it though, but Filch isn't happy at all having to clean it up,' said George.
'Serves him right, the miserable old git,' said Fred.
Once breakfast was over, they made their way to class.
As they made their around the castle, they tried to see what was left of the damage they had caused but all they found was a caretaker in a bad mood, so they left the area well alone. One thing they did notice was that Snape was walking with a slight limp, but as he had been a total arse to them they did not pay him any attention. This was because the first Quidditch match of the season was fast approaching. All the training and practice Wood had been putting the team through would all be for nought if they did not defeat Slytherin.
When the day for the game against Slytherin arrived Harry was a little nervous. He knew all the attention would be on him as he was the youngest Seeker in a century and the famous Harry Potter. His parents had written to him saying that they would not be able to make the game as Charlus was not very well, but Harry was not all that fussed about his parents not being able to come, in fact it helped him to focus on the game he was about to play and did not need to be any more nervous than he already was. But then a voice called out to him.
Harry turned around to see his godfather had arrived as he made his way to them. When Sirius reached Harry, he gave him a hug and said hello to Ron and Hermione.
'Have you come to watch me play?' Harry asked.
'Yep, I wasn't going to miss this, pup,' replied Sirius.
Harry was glad that Sirius had come, and he knew that everything was going to be fine.
The game itself lasted about an hour until Harry caught the snitch for a Gryffindor victory.