Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.

'blah' means thoughts

"Of Quidditch and Fouls"

The game was in full swing with the quaffle being slammed through the air, the bludgers screaming after the players, and the golden snitch nowhere to be seen. The Gryffindors were in possession of the quaffle and were racing towards the hoops the Slytherins were defending.

The two seekers, high above the chaos, watched intently. The one in scarlet put a hand to his hair when his team;s shot was blocked. He took a moment to look over at the Gryffindor stands and located a certain redhead. The hand on top of his head started moving, unconsciously messing his already messy hair. He had a goofy grin on his face, which did not go unnoticed by the other seeker.

"Your hair is messy enough, Potter. Quit trying to impress Lily. It won't work," Severus sneered.

"At least I won't send grease flying when I chase the snitch."

"Lily likes guys who don't look like they just got off a broom."

James scowled. "Don't bring Lily into this!"

Severus grinned. He may not be able to physically beat Potter, but he knew what buttons to push to get him riled up and that was just as rewarding.

Below the seekers, Sirius Black took a moment to look up. He noticed James scowling and Snape grinning. He didn't like that grin. 'I'm gonna wipe that grin off of Snivellus's face.'

Suddenly, both seekers took off after a glint of gold. They were neck and neck, when all of a sudden...

CRACK!

Sirius hit a bludger in Snape's direction. Said bludger slammed with such force into Severus's broom that it propelled the seeker forward and off his broom. He hit the ground with a sickening thud. However, his right hand was closed around the snitch! Slytherin had won, but for the first time, the team wasn't that concerned about it. Severus had just fallen eighty feet.

Madame Pomphrey rushed over and checked to see if it was safe to move the injured Slytherin. Since his neck wasn't broken and there was a pulse, she levitated the student onto the stretcher that she had conjured. As Madame Pomphrey guided Severus back to the castle, Madame Hooch trotted up beside the stretcher. She gently pried the snitch out of the unconscious Slytherin's hand.

The flying instructor/Quidditch referee returned to the field. On her way, she passed the Slytherin Quidditch team, who were heading in the direction she had came from. Coming onto the pitch, Madame Hooch could hear Professor Minerva McGonagall's distinct Scottish accent, which was a little thicker.

"You just disgraced the house of Godric Gryffindor with your deplorable actions! The intentional use of school property to cause grave injury or even possible death of a student is inexcusable! You are suspended from playing Quidditch until next term! You are banned from Hogsmeade for three visits! You have lost 150 points and will serve detention tonight with Mr. Filch!"

"But, Professor!" Sirius exclaimed.

"But nothing, Mr. Black! I have never been more ashamed of a Gryffindor student! Be glad you are not being expelled for your show of poor sportsmanship!"

Madame Hooch placed the snitch in the Quidditch box and noticed that Professor Slughorn was talking to a distraught Lily Evans.

"Everything will be all right, Lily. He's with Madame Pomphrey, and she'll fix him right up."

"But he fell eighty feet, Professor!" Lily said between sobs. "Sev is hurt pretty badly!"

"I'll take you to the Hospital Wing, so Madame Pomphrey can tell you since you don't believe me."

"It's not that, Professor, but I know what I saw," Lily replied as Professor Slughorn led her away.

They reached the Hospital Wing in time to see the Slytherin Quidditch team sans seeker hurry out of there. They were grumbling about how it was their seeker who was injured and how Madame Pomphrey shouldn't have thrown them out.

"She may not let us in," Lily mentioned.

Professor Slughorn placed a hand on Lily's back and gently pushed her in. Slughorn followed Lily in. Madame Pomphrey's back was to them. As she worked on Severus, they could hear her muttering, "Broken left arm...a few broken ribs...fractured right ankle...minimal internal bleeding...superficial lacerations to his face and shoulders...good thing he's in a coma."

A loud sob caught her attention. She whirled around and saw a crying Lily Evans and a stunned Professor Slughorn.

"Why is it good that he's in a coma?" Professor Slughorn asked.

"If he wasn't, he'd be in crippling pain. His injuries are so horrible he probably passed out from the pain. In any case, he is in no condition for any visitors, so both of you should leave now."

"Alert me as soon as he's conscious," Slughorn said as he led Lily's out the doors.

Madame Pomphrey went back over to Severus's side, performing healing spells and spelling healing potions into his system, She had to go to her office to collect a couple more potions, and when she returned, she saw the Headmaster sitting in a chair near Severus's bed.

"How is our young friend?"

"Broken left arm, a few broken ribs, fractured right ankle, minimal internal bleeding, superficial lacerations to his face and shoulders, and he's in a coma. I've stopped the internal bleeding, healed his ribs, his arm, and his ankle. These potions are salves for his face and shoulders, but there's no telling how long the coma will last."

"I'm sure he will heal under your excellent care, Poppy."

"I get more students injured playing that sport than anything else!"

"Incidents such as this are unfortunate and thankfully rare. The one responsible for Severus's condition has been dealt with."

"Hopefully, this sort of thing doesn't happen ever again. Now, Headmaster, you need to leave. My patient is in no condition for visitors."

"You are right, Poppy." Dumbledore stood and left the Hospital Wing. Madame Pomphrey watched the doors, fully expecting someone else to come in. When the doors remained closed, she sighed. She then turned and proceeded to put the salve on Severus's lacerations.

%%% THREE WEEKS LATER

After classes were over, Lily walked into the Hospital Wing again. Lily sat down next to Severus's bed as she had been doing for the past three weeks. Madame Pomphrey barely gave Lily a glance. She remembered when the girl started talking to the unconscious boy, claiming it would do some good. The medi-witch highly doubted it, but didn't deny the girl the chance to talk to her friend. She moved around the Hospital Wing, keeping an ear out for any sounds that were unusual.

"Potions is boring without you to talk to, Sev. Sirius is sulking, because there is a Hogsmeade visit coming up next week, and he's still banned. Professor McGonagall definitely knew what punishments to dish out. He hates missing out on Quidditch and Hogsmeade."

"Serves him right," croaked a voice. Lily gasped. Severus slowly opened his eyes and smiled slightly. "Lily, hi."

"Madame Pomphrey! He's awake!" Lily called out. "Oh, Sev. You gave us such a scare. I'm glad you're okay!"

"Me too, though I'm far from okay."

"Miss Evans, alert Professor Slughorn."

Lily hurried out of the Hospital Wing, knowing the faster she found Professor Slughorn the faster she'd be back to find out exactly how Severus was. The Gryffindor found Slughorn in his office talking to one of the Slytherin Quidditch players. "Professor! Sev's awake!"

"He is? Great. Let's go, Lily." Slughorn waved his hand at the Slytherin, effectively dismissing him, and got up to follow Lily. The Slytherin Quidditch player ran back to the dorm to tell the rest of the team of their seeker's status.

%%% THE HOSPITAL WING

Madame Pomphrey ran diagnostic charms over Severus and was mostly satisfied. "You'll have to have a week of physical therapy to get your legs back to where they were." Severus nodded and his eyes landed on a pile of parchment on the table next to his bed. "Miss Evans brought all the homework that you've missed so far, and she'll probably continue to do so until you are back in classes."

Severus sighed and reached out with his right hand to grab the parchment when the Hospital Wing's doors opened, admitting Lily and Professor Slughorn.

"Severus! So glad to see you're awake, my boy!"

"Thank you, Professor."

"How bad is it, Sev?" Lily asked.

"Aside from my left arm being sore, I need physical therapy."

"What's the physical therapy for?"

"My legs. Being in bed for three weeks didn't do them any good."

"All right. Now that you've talked to him, you can leave. I'd like to start the therapy soon," Madame Pomphrey stated.

Lily and Professor Slughorn left. Madame Pomphrey pulled the sheet back off Severus's legs. Surprisingly, Madame Pomphrey started massaging his legs, starting with his ankles and ending mid-thigh. "Wha-what are you doing?"

"Relax, Mr. Snape. I've been doing this at least twice a day since you were brought here. Massaging the legs prevents the blood clots that could form from long periods of inactivity." She moved to the other leg. "After I finish this, we'll start the physical therapy."

%%% HOURS LATER

Severus finished his physical therapy as well as his Charms homework. He was about halfway through with his Herbology homework, when the Slytherin Quidditch Captain came in.

"Good to see you're awake and catching up with your homework, Severus. Once you're out of here, we'll get you back to kicking Gryffindor arse!"

"I'll be kicking Gryffindor arse as you put it, but it won't be on a broom," Severus declared, continuing to write his essay.

"How are you supposed to play Quidditch if you're not on a broom?"

"I'm not going to play Quidditch. I'm handing in my resignation."

"Being indoors has muddled your thoughts. You'll think clearer once you are out of the Hospital Wing. We'll talk then." The captain walked out.

Severus shook his head. He wasn't going to play Quidditch. 'One near death experience is enough.' He sighed as he finished his essay. He grabbed his Potions text and more parchment. The hours ticked by, and Severus found himself finishing not only his Potions homework, but his DADA and his Transfigurations, before Madame Pomphrey interrupted with supper (soup) and more physical therapy.

%%% ONE WEEK LATER – FRIDAY NIGHT

"Please, Madame Pomphrey, can I go to the feast?"

"Your left arm is still a little sore."

"If you let me go, I'll wear the sling until my arm feels better."

The school nurse thought about it and had to agree. "As long as you wear the sling, and I will know if you don't, Mr. Snape."

"Yes, ma'am!" Severus changed into his school uniform, and Madam Pomphrey helped him put the sling on. Severus hurried out of the Hospital Wing and towards the Great Hall, where the last of the students were walking in. Unfortunately, it was the Marauders, and they spotted him.

"I see you're out of the Hospital Wing, Snivellus," Potter called out.

Severus wasn't in the mood to deal with Potter and his cohorts. He just kept walking.

"Don't ignore him, grease stain," Black growled.

Before Sirius could go after the Slytherin, Remus caught the back of his robe. "Easy, Padfoot. You don't need to get into more trouble. Tonight's the full moon."

"You're right, Moony. He's not worth it tonight."

As he walked into the Great Hall, Severus's eyes fell onto the Gryffindor table, onto the ecstatic face of Lily Evans. She gave a small but no less enthusiastic wave. Severus gave her a half-smile and small nod. He turned towards the Slytherin table and noticed that the Quidditch team saved him a place. He sighed and resigned himself to listening to his ability to kick Quidditch arse all through dinner.

After dinner, the Slytherins gathered in their Common Room, listening to their Quidditch Captain. He was pumping up the house for their next match, which was in two months.

"We're the best team this house, no, this school has ever seen! We're unbeatable! Even when our seeker is injured, we still win!"

The whole house cheered and clapped. The whole house, except for Severus. He shook his head. Why couldn't the captain get it through his head? He didn't want to play Quidditch anymore. He didn't want to experience any more near death situations.

"Severus, come here and make a speech," the captain called out.

"Speech, speech, speech," the house chanted. Severus stood up, and the house chanted again, "Speech, speech, speech."

He walked over to where the captain stood. He held up his right hand, and the Common Room fell silent.

"I officially hand in my resignation as seeker."

It took about 30 seconds for this to sink in. Once it did, outrage and shock descended upon the entire house. Cries of "What?!" and "You can't!" ran though the group.

"Don't tell me you're going to let those Gryffindor dogs ruin you!" the Quidditch captain shouted.

"I'm not being ruined! It's just-" Severus began, but was cut off by more angry shouting and threats.

The captain took a couple steps back, drew and raised his wand, pointed it right between Severus's eyes, and said, "Severus, take back your resignation or I will curse you."

Severus's eyes widened slightly. The emphasis the captain put of the word curse made him think that he meant some Dark Arts curse or even one of the Unforgivables. The raven-haired Slytherin's mind started racing. 'I don't want to get cursed, but I can't play Quidditch.'

Severus was about to give in, knowing that if he got cursed, they would still force him to play, when someone entered the Common Room.

"What in the name of Salazar Slytherin is going on here?!" Professor Slughorn demanded, eyeing Severus and the captain. The silence that permeated the Common Room was deafening. Slughorn leveled his gaze at the captain. "Explain now."

"Severus handed in his resignation as seeker."

"And you were going to curse him unless he rejoined the team," Slughorn assumed.

"Yes, Professor."

"100 points off Slytherin, and I do NOT ever want to hear of anyone threatening another student, especially from your own house." He turned to Severus. "Come with me, Severus, m' boy."

Slughorn placed a hand on the Slytherin's shoulder and led him out of the Common Room and into his office. Severus sunk into a chair in front of his teacher's desk, while said teacher sat behind the desk.

"Are you all right, Severus?"

"Yes."

Slughorn leaned forward, uncertain if Severus was truly all right. He was startled to see the deep psychological trauma the fall had caused and wondered if Severus would ever get on a broom again.

END