That's What Friends Are For
By Lady Dien
Disclaimer and all that is to be found in Chapter One.
What has gone before: Valence Feye is a rabid Quidditch fan. Who'da thunk?
If you like this fic, please try my other ones. I adore reviews.
Chapter Six: Quidditch!
"And Ravenclaw Chaser Chan Chang makes a spectacular dive toward the goal-hoop and... yes! It's good! Ten points to the Ravenclaw team, setting the score at forty to thirty, Slytherin leading. Now that's what we call a Chimmy Chimmy Chang Chang--"
"Sorry, Professor. Oh, what's this-- Slytherin Seeker Malfoy is off, tearing up towards the north end of the pitch-- Ravenclaw's Cho Chang, Chan's younger (and quite attractive) sister is right behind him-- the question is, is this a genuine Snitch sighting, or merely Draco Malfoy playing mind games--"
"Other end of the field, Ravenclaw Chaser Boot dodges both Bludgers to get the Quaffle in past Slytherin's Keeper for another ten points! Well done, and the score is tied!"
Severus Snape grimaced as he ducked to keep one of the Bludgers from knocking his head clean off. Damned things. He shot a glance towards Draco, who was grinning like a fool as he returned to his favorite position somewhat above the rest of the game. Behind him, the Ravenclaw Seeker was looking furious. Her own fault, for falling for Draco's I-see-the-Snitch-let's-race-for-it game.
He shook his head slightly and returned to scanning the rest of the field. Some excellent work by the Slytherin Beaters, and Ravenclaw's Keeper was busy enough ducking out of the way that Morag MacDougal managed to score once more for Slytherin. "Well done," he murmured to himself, though he couldn't afford to let his gaze linger on any one section of the field. Still, even if he hadn't seen the Quaffle go through, he would have known Slytherin had just scored because of the very very loud cheer that went up from the Slytherin section of the stands. He winced a bit as Valence's voice, magnified by a hasty Sonorus charm, echoed around the stands in the traditional (thirty minutes old) 'Slytherin Scored' Song:
One, two, three for the SNAAAKES
One, two, three for the scoooore
Slytherin skill! Go in for the kill!
And we're comin' back for mooore!
The 'song' was compounded by the fact that Valence really was an awful, terrible, horrible singer. 'Off-key' was putting it kindly. The voice the Fates had given him was not suited for music in the least, and the man was tone-deaf as well. Severus shook his head grimly, his face (and everything else) thrown into stark shadow by the brilliant green and silver illusory fireworks erupting from Valence's wand.
He had other things than Valence's over-enthusiasm to occupy his mind. Namely, taking Millicent Bulstrode and Anthony Middleton off the field for trying to punch each other in the faces and break each other's broomsticks. A reserve player for each team was called onto the field, and play progressed-- with, of course, Feye's requisite comments. Again magnified by the charm.
"Come on ref! Whadda you think yer doin'! Our girl was getting' attacked by tha' Ravenclaw berk an' ye take them both off? Bloody sodding blind!"
Feye's accent become much more noticeable when he was excited.
Opinion in the stands seemed to be mixed about Valence Feye's ways of expressing his Quidditch loyalty. Some of the Gryffindors, it was obvious, were already planning to wear nothing but body paint to the next match their team was involved in, as they could now claim teacher precedent. The Hufflepuffs continued to look terrified of Feye, if the stricken glances thrown his way from the yellow-and-black section were any indication. Ravenclaws, formerly his fans, were throwing him dirty looks. Slytherins had stared in awe for the first quarter of the game. They were now whole-heartedly rallying behind the man, even the pure-bloods who normally despised him in the classroom.
All over the Slytherin section impromptu signs and placards were going up. At least ten of the students were joining in Valence's song every time Slytherin scored. From his position high above the chaos, Snape could see Blaise Zabini and Michael Fletcher stripping off their shirts and applying paint they must have recently obtained.
Wonderful. Valence had groupies.
By the rules of Quidditch, he was only allowed to interfere with activity in the stands if it actively intruded onto the pitch. Otherwise, it was up to the supervising official, in this case Minerva McGonagall, to curtail unruly fans. He cast a glance towards the booth where Lee Jordan provided commentary. The formidable Head of Gryffindor House was glaring down at an oblivious Feye as if she desperately wanted to stomp on him and grind his green-and-silver painted body into the dirt.
What in hell is stopping her, then? Snape wondered as he ducked another Bludger on his way down to one of the Ravenclaw goal-hoops, where he planned on letting one of the Ravenclaw Beaters know he had seen her hand twitching towards her wand, and she'd damn well better stop if she wanted to stay on the field.
As he maneuvered his broom next to her, a flash of silver beard caught his eye. He glanced up to see Albus Dumbledore in the stands, a paternal, amused smile on his face as he watched the goings-on. Ah. That explained it. The Headmaster had told McGonagall to let it go, which accounted for why the woman was also shooting death-glares in Albus's direction as well.
Severus's anger at this... shenanigan of Dumbledore's probably made him remonstrate the Ravenclaw Beater a little more harshly than was strictly necessary. She paled admirably, nodded, and took her hand well away from her wand before nervously flying off. Snape snorted, and headed off for the other end of the field where the Slytherin Keeper was doing something-- he wasn't sure what, but it definitely required keeping an eye on.
Ravenclaw got another Quaffle through a hoop, and again Lee Jordan's commentary had to vie with Valence's to be heard.
"Bloody JEE-SUS CHRIST! You call that a goal!? Bloody HELL, That's not flying, that's... that's... aerial circumlocution! ELUSIVE, TRICKY, SOPHISTIC SONS-OF-- newts," Feye finished lamely, perhaps not that oblivious to McGonagall's patented Death Glare after all. A sigh of disappointment echoed through the stands. The students had really wanted to see the resulting confrontation.
Snape shook his head, ignoring Valence's continuing comments on 'how if HE was reffing, he wouldn't have let that pass, no sir, not one bit of it' and focused on the game.
Out of all the House matches, there were none worse to referee than a Slytherin versus Ravenclaw. On one hand, you had the House that Snape had to admit was the most likely to pull under-handed tricks, be sneaky, and all-around make attempts to cheat. On the other hand, you had Slytherin.
Alright, alright, that's not true, he forced himself to admit. But Ravenclaws did have a certain propensity for sneakiness, almost as great as Slytherins. And they were quite intelligent about it. When a Ravenclaw and a Slytherin got into a subtlety contest, woe be to him who had to arbitrate.
Normally, the House of Blue and Gold played fair, choosing to duel evenly (if condescendingly) with Gryffindors, whom they regarded as simplistic, and with Hufflepuffs, whom they regarded as even more simplistic. But when it came to Slytherins-- kid gloves came off on both sides of the pitch. Conflict with Slytherins seemed to bring out the worst in Ravenclaws, and conflict with Ravenclaws seemed to make Slytherins try and be four times as sneaky, in order to outsmart the supposedly smartest.
All in all, it made refereeing between the two absolute hell.
Snape grimaced, cursed under his breath, dodged another Bludger, and flew off to penalize two Chasers who thought they were being very subtle about hexing each other. Little twits.
It took a bit of time to sort out, but the two were both satisfactorily intimidated by the time he left them, turning back to the rest of the game-- just in time to see Draco Malfoy struggling to stay on his broom, Cho Chang smirking, and to hear Valence Feye outraged.
"BLOODY MERCIFUL BEARD OF SALAZAR HIMSELF!!!! ARE YOU BLIND! THAT LITTLE RAVENCHIT JUST ASSAULTED OUR SEEKER, MAN!!!!! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS SLYTHERIN, GET HER OFF THE FIELD! You blind, deaf, ignorant, sorry, squibbed excuse for a ref--"
"Alright, that is quite enough," Severus growled under his breath, and left the two Chasers to fly right up to the booth with Jordan and McGonagall. Without so much as a by-your-leave, he yanked the magical Resonator from a surprised Jordan's hands, and yelled into it, "Valence. So help me Circe, if you do not shut up, sit down, and let me get on with reffing WITHOUT your commentary, I will fly over there and personally strangle you with your own intestines. Are we clear?"
The players and students all froze as Snape's threat resounded through the suddenly quiet arena, every eye fixed on Valence, who had also frozen, mid-holler. Slowly, the DADA instructor began to turn red under his green and silver paint, and weakly grinned at everyone before sitting down. He murmured, "Clear. Sorry, Ref," the sheepish apology also carrying to every ear in the house, then sank down in his seat with a furious blush.
"Good," Severus snarled, shoved the Resonator back into Jordan's hands, then wheeled his broomstick around to get back to the field. "Resume play," he snapped to the still motionless players, and after a second or two, they awkwardly did so.
Severus forced himself to take deep breaths as he resumed reffing, aware of Albus Dumbledore's amused gaze on him. It was worth it, especially when MacDougal scored again and the cheers from Slytherin section were decidedly without any attempts at song.
"Gods, let this be over soon," Snape whispered to himself, then flew off to where the Ravenclaw Keeper was attempting an Invisible Impermeability charm on one of his hoops. He ducked another Bludger on the way, and resolved to give the Beaters from both teams detention for a week.