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Old June 29th, 2011, 3:47 pm
Pokota  Undisclosed.gif Pokota is offline
Second Year
 
Join Date: 16th May 2011
Posts: 165
Re: Kingdom Of Magic [AU - Crossover with Hime-chan's Ribbon]

Ribbon and Stone
Chapter 8 - The More Things Change
Quote:
The following Thursday was the start of Flying lessons. The Gryffindors and Slytherins were to have their first lesson in the morning, and the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws were to have theirs in the afternoon. Harry didn't know why, but he was really looking forward to flying.

Not that his life would ever be straightforward like that or anything. Thursday at Breakfast, Draco was picking on Neville again. There was some bickering, and eventually Daichi pulled Ron away from Draco just in time for Professor Snape to arrive.

"Potter, Weasley, Kobayashi, what is going on here?" he asked, almost as though he was dreading the answer.

Daichi spoke up at once. "Longbottom was showing off his new toy and Draco got jealous."

Snape turned to Neville and looked him in the eyes. "'New toy', Longbottom?"

"I-it's just a r-remembrall, sir." Neville stammered as he fumbled the glass sphere.

Snape frowned. "Five points from Gryffindor for fighting, Weasley. Draco, I want you in my office after your next class."

"But Professor," whined Draco, "I've got Flying lessons right after-"

"I'll not have you flying at the same time as Weasley; between the house rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin, and the fact that you can't seem to keep your hands off of other people's stuff, you'd probably end up giving Gryffindor an ace seeker. Or would you rather I took ten points from Slytherin instead as your punishment?"

Draco looked like he was ready to explode. "Punishment! For WHAT?"

Snape smiled mirthlessly. "Theft, Draco, is something that has never been tolerated at Hogwarts. Now, off to class, all of you."

And so, after charms, defense, and lunch, Harry found himself with the rest of the first year Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws (plus one very disgruntled Slytherin) out on the Quidditch Pitch for his first flying lesson.

After Madam Hooch gave them all a broom and some instructions, they were allowed to try on their own. Several of the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws, Harry included, were able to fly fairly well already without having to have further instructions. Not one of them could keep up with Harry, however.

Except for Draco. Every turn Harry made, Draco made almost as well. Eventually, Harry turned around and shouted at Draco.

"You're not too bad, Draco!"

Draco's mouth twitched. "I'm a pureblood, Potter. I've been flying since I was old enough to ride a broom."

Harry laughed as he did a loop-the-loop. "Then what do you call this?"

"I'd call that 'almost good enough to keep up with me.'" Draco shot back.

"Oh really? Then lead on, MacDuff!" Harry yelled in return. "We'll see just how 'almost good enough' I am!"

And so, despite Draco's bewilderment at being called MacDuff, the two boys played a game of aerial tag while Madam Hooch instructed the rest of the students. Little did anyone know that Professor McGonagall was watching the proceedings with much interest. At the end of the lesson, she came out to the pitch and started to speak with Madam Hooch.

Everyone was excused to go back to whatever they were supposed to be doing next, except for Harry and Draco. McGonagall took those two aside separately and started to speak to them.

"Well boys, I hope you've had a lot of fun today. I haven't seen flying like that since the seventies; Regulus Black of Slytherin in a seeker's competition with Galvin Gudgeon of Ravenclaw back before his mishap." She sniffled fondly, and continued. "While first-years are typically not allowed their own brooms, nor do they typically play for the house Quidditch teams during their first year, the Headmaster has planned to add two more teams - an all-house team that's open to first-years, and a teachers-only team. And he's talking about separating the Quidditch cup from the House cup, which can only help inter-house relations. In any case, if the extra teams and games do fly, I expect to see you two trying out for the inter-house team. You are both excellent flyers. It's a shame I can't have either of you on the Gryffindor team."

Draco looked at Professor McGonagall. "Do you mean to say that I might be able to have my own personal broomstick during my first year?"

Minerva nodded. "Yes, Mister Malfoy, but only if you make the inter-house team. I believe Madam Hooch will be calling tryouts in the coming week. Now, off to whatever you two have next. Don't want the two of you being late."

Draco and Harry both nodded excitedly, relieved that the stern Deputy Headmistress hadn't scolded them. When McGonagall was out of eye- and earshot, Draco did a sort of victory dance.

"I can't believe it! I don't even have to smuggle in my own broom!"

Harry sighed. "Er, wouldn't you have to out-fly older students from all the houses to get on the inter-house team?"

Draco stopped in mid-leap, and scowled at Harry. "You just had to remember that, didn't you, Potter?"

"What, you don't think that one of the boys that impressed Professor McGonagall won't be able to out-fly enough people to get onto a Quidditch team?"

"I'm not worried about out-flying other people, Potter. There's only one position I'm interested in playing, and you fly almost better than I do. You're a shoe-in for Seeker." Draco said dejectedly. "If you don't think you can out-fly older students, I won't stand a chance at all."

Harry pondered this. On the one hand, the Seeker position did sound like something he would be interested in playing. On the other hand, Draco really wanted to play as Seeker. This would take someone with more wisdom to resolve.

----------

"Professor, I would like to ask you about some rumors I heard today."

In the isolation of the Headmaster's Office, Harry felt it easier to speak what was on his mind. Dumbledore looked at Harry, with a slight twinkling in the eyes.

After a moment's silence, Harry continued. "Will there be an inter-house Quidditch team open to first-years?"

Dumbledore nodded. "It's still a secret at the moment; it's supposed to be a surprise on next Thursday."

"Will there also be a Quidditch Team composed entirely of staff members?"

Dumbledore chuckled. "Your sources are very well informed, Harry. The professors and I gave it a lot of thought over the summer. By adding two teams without any house loyalties whatsoever, and by not adding the points from the Quidditch games in to the House cup points, it should reduce the discipline problems that occur when Slytherins and Gryffindors share classes."

Harry sat there, trying to wrap his head around the information that he was just given. "So, there are four House teams. In the past, the points scored in the Quidditch games have counted towards the House cup." He rubbed his forehead. "The Snitch is worth 150 points to the catching team, the game cannot end until the snitch is caught, and all points scored in a Quidditch game have gone towards the teams' house cup points. How many points do the brightest students in each house earn between Quidditch games?"

Dumbledore smiled. "And now you begin to understand why we have agreed that this is the best course of action. Until this year, the Quidditch games have had more influence on the House cup than good behavior and performance in classes. Seven people could potentially score more points in one Saturday than the brightest students could earn for their house in a month."

"What of first-year students?"

"What about them?"

Harry sighed, unsure of how to word what he wanted to say. "Well, sir, a friend of mine - another first year - really really wants to play seeker on the inter-house team so that he can have his own broomstick and not get in trouble about it, but he's afraid that he won't be able to out-fly the older students at the tryouts."

Dumbledore smiled again. "You are, I assume, speaking of Mister Malfoy?" Harry nodded, and Dumbledore chuckled. "When the tryouts for the inter-house team start, I think you'll be able to solve his problem."

Harry just nodded, not sure if he agreed with that or not. "Sir, I do have one last question to ask you."

"Ask away, Harry. I can't guarantee that I'll give you an answer, but if I do answer I will give you a complete one." Dumbledore closed his eyes, and there was a note of the inevitable in his voice.

"Sir, what exactly is a Remembrall?"

There was silence, except for the tinkling of a small instrument off to the side of the office. Then, Dumbledore started to laugh - actual laughter, not just chuckling or a twinkle in the eye.

"And here I was preparing for the worst! If you have forgotten something, grasping a Remembrall tightly will cause it to turn red. It's not very useful, since knowing that you have forgotten something does not mean that you know what it is that you have forgotten. Much like tying a string around your little finger in order to remember something and later forgetting why you did that." Harry nodded; this was a comparison he could understand. "Now, enough of this. Tell me about how things have gone since last we spoke..."

----------

On his way back to the Hufflepuff Common Room, Harry ran into the Weasley Twins, Fred and George. They were heavily laden with food, and Harry offered to help carry it all.

"Say, Harry." One of the twins started.

"We were thinking of asking you to help us with something." The other continued.

"You see, we want to know what's in the forbidden door in the third floor."

"But every time we try to get in, we get caught by Snape or Quirrel."

"So, we were wondering if you could be a lookout for us."

Harry started to laugh at how the twins took turns speaking. "I've been Dudley's lookout when he wanted to steal cookies. Just make sure you tell me what's in that doorway."

Snacking on the filched foods, the Twins led Harry through secret passages. Occasionally, they'd stop and consult a piece of parchment, and decide to go in a completely different direction. After a few minutes, they arrived at the Charms Corridor.

One of the twins (Harry figured it was Fred) handed Harry the Parchment, and showed Harry where they were on the Marauder's Map (for it was indeed the map).

"Harry, this is the secret to our success. Please keep it that way. Here's you, " he pointed to the Harry-dot, "and here we are, " he pointed to the George-dot, "and if anyone comes close to this corridor, tap the parchment with your wand and say 'Mischief Managed' as loud as you can."

Harry looked from George to who he thought was George. "What will that do?"

"It'll wipe the map clean and tell us that someone's coming."

And with that, the twins ducked into the forbidden door. Harry heard the sound of three dogs barking and growling, and the Dumbledore, Snape, and Quirrel dots left the Great Hall and started to move towards the Charms corridor.

"MISCHIEF MANAGED!" Harry shouted as Fred and George escaped from the forbidden doorway. Fred grabbed Harry and the map, and the three of them disappeared into a secret passage.

Panting with adrenaline, Fred and George started to laugh. "I can't believe it."

"For once, Dumbledore has a good reason for keeping something off-limits!"

"He wasn't kidding when he said that people entering the forbidden area do so at the risk of their own lives."

Harry took a custard and asked "What was in there?"

The twins shuddered. "Big dog."

"Three heads."

"Was sleeping until we woke it up."

"I wouldn't want to get on that thing's bad side."

"We should get this lot up to the Common Room before it gets eaten, Gred."

"Right you are, Forge."

"Harry, are you done for the day or would you like to help us further?"

Harry blinked. "More being a lookout?"

Forge shook his head. "No, just carrying sweets up to Gryffindor Tower."

"Tonight's a good night for a party."

Harry laughed. "Teach me about that map?"

The twins looked at each other, nodded, and said at the same time "Of course we won't."

"Ah well, it was worth a shot."

And so the three of them trundled off to Gryffindor Tower, through secret paths almost forgotten.

----------

Dumbledore and Snape were standing outside of the Forbidden Room in the Charms Corridor.

"Someone tried to get past the Cerberus just now." Dumbledore said. "I felt the wards being breached."

Snape spat. "I'll bet it was Potter; somehow the Books insist on becoming true despite what we've tried to prevent."

Dumbledore stood there, chin in hand. He looked to be deep in thought. "Severus, I wonder if trying to force changes won't make the universe fight back."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, let's say we took a picture of the first year Gryffindors and their pets, and submitted that to the Daily Prophet under a new column 'Life At Hogwarts'. We would hear about a breakout from Azkaban shortly after, would we not?"

Snape nodded. "But in the books, the only person that could have connected Ron Weasley to Sirius Black was Sirius Black, and that was because he recognized Wormtail."

Dumbledore nodded. "And because of the timing, everyone thought he was after Harry."

Snape snorted. "What are you suggesting?"

Dumbledore smiled. "I want to try an experiment. Let this year resolve itself, since Harry and the rest of the students are only really in trouble if Riddle gets hold of the Stone, and Harry will do whatever he can to prevent that. Next year, we interfere like there's no tomorrow since the Students would be in direct danger."

"And if the universe collapses as a result?"

"I'm sure we'll have another visit from one of the Plutos before we break things too badly, Severus."


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