Laocoon's Children: The Fugitive from Azkaban
AU. When Sirius and Remus go looking for Peter Pettigrew, they make a wrong turn and someone else finds him first. Eight years later, Sirius owns a book store and Remus manages it for him. When Harry stumbles into the store and they find out the truth, they decide it's time to be Stealing Harry. (SB/RL slash relationship in later chapters.)
A/N: I am a BAD PERSON. I didn't even run this past my betas before posting. SORRY BETAS!
If Harry was struggling with unfairness in Defence class, Draco wasn't doing much better in his morning Potions class with Padma.
"These are," Snape said, looming over him, "without a doubt the most pathetically ill-shredded daisy roots I have ever had the misfortune of witnessing, Malfoy."
Draco's cheeks burned and he pulled the roots towards him, trying to imitate Padma's delicately-diced roots on the cutting mat next to him. Snape continued to stand there, intimidating him.
"I find it difficult to believe that even you can fail to adequately brew a Shrinking Solution, but you may yet prove it possible," Snape said as Draco wretchedly continued to cut up his roots. "Patil!"
"Yes, sir?" Padma asked.
"At the end of the lesson, you will sample Malfoy's Shrinking Solution."
"Me, sir?" Padma asked, looking horrifiedly at Draco, who seemed equally horrified.
"Yes, you! Are all Ravenclaws deaf?" Snape demanded, stalking back to the front of the classroom. On his way, he swept the pulpy remains of a shrivelfig from Morag MacDougal's table into his hand.
"This," he said acidly, "is not a skinned shrivelfig. It is a former shrivelfig, now made useless by Ms. MacDougal's clumsiness."
"At least it's not just you," Padma whispered to Draco.
"No, just mostly," Draco whispered back. "Help me! I don't want to poison you!"
"I don't want to be poisoned! Here, swap me roots," Padma said, trading with him and quickly helping him to dump her perfectly sliced roots into his cauldron. She efficiently re-cut his roots and threw them into her own cauldron, then turned to skinning her shrivelfig. Draco had already added his and was stirring it, a worried expression on his face.
"Is it supposed to be pink?" he asked.
"I don't know! I need a rat spleen," Padma said. She leaned forward and tapped Justin Finch-Fletchley on the shoulder. "Justin, got a spare spleen?"
"Take two, they're small!" he said, offering her two small, pinkish objects on the tip of his knife. She plucked one off, grimacing, and added it to her potion. It glowed neon green and she breathed a sigh of relief.
By the end of class, however, Draco's potion was still bright pink, no matter how much work he put into making it turn green, up to and including adding an enormous helping of parsley. The pink absorbed it all.
"Shall we, then?" Snape asked, ladling out a cupful of the horrible liquid. He offered it to Padma, who took it with a grimace. "If even Patil cannot teach you how to make a proper potion, Malfoy..."
But he stopped then, because Padma had already tipped her head back and downed the whole cupful in two long gulps. She set the cup down on the table and glared up at Snape defiantly.
Then, miraculously, she began to shrink. When she nearly slipped off the stool, Snape relented and offered her a small flask from his pocket. A sip restored her to normal size, and she held it out to return it to him, smirking.
"The next time," Snape growled, "it had better be the proper colour, Malfoy."
"Yes, sir," Draco said gratefully, bolting from the room. And, as it turned out, right into Neville.
"Wotcha!" Neville said. "Come on, let's get lunch and bugger off. Harry wants to sit outside."
"Fine by me," Padma said, sticking her tongue out. "That tasted foul, Draco."
"What did?" Neville inquired, leading them towards the Great Hall.
"Snape made me drink Draco's Shrinking Solution to make Draco feel bad about bollocksing it up," Padma said.
"LEECH JUICE!" Draco shouted, stopping suddenly. "That's what I forgot!"
Neville slapped his forehead. Padma shook her head despairingly.
They shoved sandwiches and a few pieces of fruit into their pockets and went in search of Harry, who was sitting on the steps of a side entrance that looked out over the Quidditch pitch.
"He's in a foul mood," Neville said as they approached. "We got to hex a boggart today – "
"Really?" Padma asked excitedly.
"Yeah, and Remus didn't let him have a go. Harry thinks Remus was coddling him."
"He was," Harry said resentfully, as the rest of them joined him on the steps. "It isn't fair, him treating me like I'm not big enough to face a Boggart on my own."
"You didn't do very well with that Dementor on the train," Neville pointed out. The other three glared at him. "Well, it's true. And you know Remus, he's practically your dad, Harry. Ted'd be really uncomfortable seeing me mucking about with boggarts."
"It still isn't fair," Harry sulked.
"Well, don't dwell on it," Padma advised. "What've you got this afternoon, Charms?"
"Yeah," Harry said. "Hey, Draco, are you going to have extra Transfiguration again? Or can you break away long enough to bat some Bludgers around?"
"Today?" Draco asked, alarmed.
"When better? Tryouts are on Sunday," Harry said. "Towler said he'd give you some tips, too."
"It'll have to be after dinner," Draco replied.
"That's fine, Towler has class all afternoon anyway. I'll get the key to the ball trunk from Flint," Harry said, looking marginally happier now that they were talking about Quidditch. "We can play until it gets dark. It's dead easy, you'll get the hang of it in no time."
"Need to borrow a broomstick," Draco said.
"There's plenty in the shed, you can use one of the spares. If you get on the team you can give Sirius some money and he'll buy you one," Harry said. Draco gave him an uncertain look, but he didn't really object. He was good at hitting a ball with a stick, after all, and that ought to be useful somehow. Draco had the uneasy sense that he was not always as useful as he might be – oh, not with Harry and his friends, but in a general way. He had the dim idea that as a pureblood he was supposed to be safeguarding the heritage and defending the culture and all that. He just hadn't the faintest clue how.
"Moony? Moony, are you there?"
Sirius emerged from the Floo in Remus' rooms, dusting ash from his sleeves and waving a rolled up parchment scroll importantly. Remus ought to be in his rooms by now; dinner was long since over and he didn't have tutoring on Mondays. At first he didn't see him and wondered if some faculty business had distracted him, but then he saw the tall, slouching figure leaning against the frame of one of the wide windows that looked out on the Quidditch pitch.
"Come here," Remus said quietly, and Sirius obeyed, giving him a curious look. Remus pointed at a couple of kids throwing around Quidditch balls on the pitch and offered Sirius a pair of omnioculars. He took them and twisted the little brass rings until the kids came into sharper focus – not just any kids, but Harry and another Slytherin boy, Padma, Neville, Draco and one or two others in Hufflepuff yellow. All of them but Neville and one of the Hufflepuffs were on broomsticks, dodging and darting around the pitch. For a moment, Sirius felt a desperate squeeze of nostalgia on his heart. James had flown like that.
"How long have they been at it?" he asked, forgetting the scroll he'd hastily shoved in his pocket.
"About half an hour. As far as I can tell, Harry's giving a lesson."
"Really?" Sirius asked, focusing on Harry. It didn't look like he was snitch-chasing, that much was true. "Well, I expect nothing less."
Remus laughed. "I suppose so. See, he's got Neville and that other boy, Eric something, fielding Bludgers on the ground. Padma's throwing the Quaffle around with the other Hufflepuff and Harry and the Slytherin – Towler, he's a Slytherin Beater, I'm told – are showing Draco how to bat Bludgers."
"What does Harry know about batting Bludgers?"
"Not much, but he's practically an encyclopedia of flight dodges," Remus said. "Look at them go. Absolutely unafraid of death or dismemberment. When was the last time you saw professional Quidditch players play like that?"
"Never have done," Sirius replied, handing the omnioculars back to Remus. "They're a bit raw for the big leagues, Moony."
"Yes – but they're fearless. Reminds me of you and James," Remus said, peering through the omnioculars.
"Well, come on then, let's go say hullo," Sirius said. "Oh! Wait a second."
He dug the scroll out of his pocket and unrolled it. "Sign here," he said, pointing to a blank at the bottom. "It's the deed to the house."
Remus skimmed the document. "I suppose you had Llewellyn Payne draw up the contract?" he asked.
"Old bird made it as airtight as possible," Sirius said, summoning a quill. Remus took it and signed, neatly, adding the date. "Splendid. I've moved in already. I'm going to paint it tomorrow."
"No idle hands for you, hm?" Remus asked. Sirius put the scroll on the mantel above the fireplace. "Where are we going, again?"
"Down to the pitch! Come on, I'll go as Padfoot, there'll be no harm done," Sirius said, shoving Remus towards the door.
In less than ten minutes, they arrived on the field, a big black dog chasing low-flying broomsticks and a brown-haired professor who hung back from the crowd, watching with detached interest – except when Harry cut things a little too fine. Then his fingers tightened into worried fists before forcibly relaxing again.
By the time Harry landed, Padma and Neville were lounging on the grass with Padfoot and the sun was well low on the horizon.
"Good flying," Remus offered as Harry trudged past him towards the storage shed.
"I'm still mad at you," Harry said over his shoulder, stomping off. Remus blinked and glanced at Padfoot, who blinked back and jerked his head in Harry's direction. Remus took the hint and followed Harry into the little shed they kept their broomsticks and equipment in.
"Care to explain why?" he asked, leaning against the doorway. The others brushed past him and went to put their broomsticks away; Harry dawdled and double-checked the lock on the game-ball trunk until they'd gone again.
"Man to man?" Harry asked. Remus fought down a smile.
"Sure. No Professor Lupin here, just Remus and Harry," he replied. "What'd I do?"
"You're a rotten Professor," Harry accused.
"You didn't enjoy the lesson today? Harry – "
"You didn't let me, did you? Cut me off before I could even get a crack at the Boggart," Harry exploded. "I didn't expect to be treated specially, but you're not my dad in class, you know. How am I supposed to learn anything if you don't let me try stuff?"
"Is that what this is about? You think I...spoiled you?" Remus asked, perplexed.
"Yeah! I wanted to try that spell!"
"Harry – " Remus rubbed his eyes. "Does that sound like me?"
"No! And that's why I think you're a rotten – "
"A rotten professor, right. Come on, Harry, it was one class and that's not why I did it."
"Then why?" Harry demanded. "Everyone'll say you're treating me special."
"Okay, okay." Remus made a calming gesture with his hands, palms down. "Right. Harry, I have no doubt that you can handle a Boggart and I'd be happy to have you give Riddikulus a try in private, okay? But you – have a lot in your past. I was concerned that your boggart would cause a panic."
At least Harry was quiet now, listening intently. Remus took a breath and continued.
"I don't pretend I know your mind as well as you do, you're growing up. I know that," he said. "But I've raised you with Sirius for the last five years. I know a little bit about what you think and feel. I assumed – maybe I'm wrong – that your Boggart would be Peter Pettigrew. Or, god forbid, Lord Voldemort. I couldn't risk the rest of the class panicking because of it, Harry. I should have warned you sooner, but it didn't occur to me until class had begun."
He saw Harry staring at him and crossed his arms, almost defensively. "I wasn't trying to spoil you, Harry. I was worried about how little you're spoiled, really."
"That's still a rotten reason," Harry said sullenly.
"Am I wrong?" Remus asked mildly.
"No – yes – well, I'll never know, will I?" Harry asked. "Nobody ran away when Neville had the Dementor."
"That's true, but most of them still don't recognise Dementors."
Harry glared at him. Remus sighed.
"I'm sorry, Harry. Do you want a private conference with a boggart?"
"'S the principle of the thing," Harry muttered. Remus waited, uncertain what to do next. Finally, Harry scowled and licked his hand, offering it to Remus. "Truce."
"Truce," Remus replied, gravely licking his palm and shaking Harry's hand. "Promise not to do it again."
"Better not," Harry said.
"We are a spitfire, aren't we? Are you always this catty with your professors?" Remus asked, wiping his hand on his sleeve as they left the shed.
"Only the ones that underestimate me."
"Low blow! I thought we called truce!"
Padfoot bounded across the grass and knocked Harry over before he could reply, but Harry's smile came pretty easily, so he resolved not to worry overmuch.
Something told him this was just the precursor to Harry's teenage years; from here out it would only get harder.
The day of Quidditch tryouts dawned early for Harry's foursome, with Draco up at dawn from nerves. It didn't go smoothly, either.
Sunday breakfast was a generally informal affair, carried out more or less all morning as late-sleepers wandered in and a few seventh-years had a snack before going to bed. Fewer people bothered about table rules, so as long as Percy and the Slytherin prefects weren't around – or weren't paying attention – Harry and Neville went mainly unmolested while breakfasting at the Hufflepuff table.
"Listen, can't we just – go do one last practice or something?" Draco said, fidgeting on the bench.
"Eat your toast," Padma commanded.
"The captains are probably already out there," Harry said. "It's a bit hopeless to practice now."
"But my forehand – "
"It's fine," Neville said. "Um. When you hit the ball, anyway."
"Thanks," Draco muttered. "But I can still back out, right? I mean, I don't put my name on any list until I get there, so if I wanted to..."
"Don't you want to play Quidditch?" Harry asked.
"Well..." Draco frowned. "I should, right?"
"Should?" Padma asked.
"Team glory and all that. And it'd be nice....Harry has friends in all the other classes because he plays. And I like hitting Bludgers, it's just...everyone'll be watching," he said, squirming in pre-emptive embarrassment.
"Short memories," Harry replied. "Do you remember all the stupid moves I made last year?"
"No," Draco said sullenly.
"But you remember that one brilliant dive, don't you?"
"Sure, I suppose..."
"There you are then. It'll be good for you. Show the school you're just as good as anyone. Because you are, really."
Draco was about to reply when one of the other Hufflepuffs at the table (most Hufflepuffs ate breakfast in a timely manner, regardless of the day) leaned across and offered him the Daily Prophet.
"Better read it," he said gruffly, without a hint of the malice that a Slytherin might have used. Draco picked it up even as Padma said, "See? Everyone's watching you anyway..."
Draco's fingers tightened on the newspaper. He laid it flat on the table so that the others could see.
MUGGLE REPORTS LUCIUS MALFOY NEAR HOGSMEADE
WP - A Muggle woman has reported seeing Lucius Malfoy yesterday evening near the magically shrouded village of Hogsmeade in Scotland. Unaware that the Azkaban fugitive is a wizard, she contacted a Muggle "hot line" which has been set up on the chance Muggles might encounter Malfoy.
The Muggle claims to have seen a 'filthy blond man in a bathrobe hiding in the trees' outside Iobair, a Muggle village located on the far side of the Forbidden Forest from Hogsmeade.
The Ministry of Magic was notified and has responded, although there is currently no evidence of Malfoy's supposed presence in or near the Forbidden Forest. Aurors say it is likely the woman heard a news report about the dangerous Dark wizard and imagined seeing him.
"The Forest is patrolled not only by Dementors by several creatures potentially even more dangerous to wizards," reports Kingsley Shacklebolt, who is spearheading the effort to locate Malfoy. "There is no need for alarm."
The Forbidden Forest encompasses much of the land south of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, dividing it from Hogsmeade. It also serves to protect Hogsmeade from Muggle settlements such as Iobair, which have cropped up to the east in the last three hundred years.
"I know Mr. Shacklebolt!" Padma exclaimed. "He gave the examination for my...well, you know. And he's really good, Draco, I'm sure if he says it, it must be true."
"Or he's trying not to cause a parental panic," Harry whispered to Neville.
Draco looked doubtful, but he hadn't heard the whisper -- and, in the grand thirteen-year-old scheme of things, the immediate trauma of Quidditch tryouts far overshadowed the vague, distant trauma of his father being mentioned in the newspaper.
"What time are tryouts again?" he asked, glancing at Harry.
"Nine o'clock. Come on, we might as well go," Harry said with a sigh.
Down on the field, the Captains were just setting out the practice pads and broomsticks for the hopeful applicants. Towler and Pucey were sitting in the stands, yawning and looking annoyed at having to be out of bed before noon.
Harry left Draco and the others sitting on a sideline bench and went to say hello to Marcus Flint, who was having a heated debate with the other Captains.
"Listen, we have the most players to recruit for, we should go first," Flint was saying as Harry approached.
"That's crap, you should go last so we can get ours out of the way," Oliver Wood replied. "Wotcha, Pipsqueak."
"Hi Oliver," Harry said.
"Good you're here, Potter, go keep Towler and Pucey awake," Marcus said. "Listen, I didn't come down here at eight oh-bloody-early-clock to wait around all day while you poufs piffle with your broomsticks."
"There's no need for that kind of language," said the Ravenclaw Captain, Ellen Dawlish.
"We could draw lots," suggested Cedric Diggory. "Luck of the draw."
"Why don't you double up?" Harry asked. All four of them turned to him, surprised.
"It speaks!" Ellen said, grinning. "What d'you mean, double-up, Pipsqueak?"
"Well, we've got to get the most players," Harry said. "You're only looking for a Chaser, and Hufflepuff needs new Beaters, right? And Oliver only wants a Seeker."
"One new Beater, one Chaser," Cedric corrected. "What's your point?"
"We'll form up teams and do a few mock matches. Slytherin versus all comers. That way we get a chance to go through all our prospectives, and – "
" – and show off," Oliver said.
"It's tryouts, who cares?" Harry asked. "And you lot get as much time as you need to pit your people against the current Cup champions."
He glanced at Marcus, hoping he wasn't overstepping his bounds, but the older boy seemed to at least be considering the idea.
"Well, it seems sensible enough to me," Dawlish said. Oliver nodded agreement. "Ced?"
"Fine by me," Cedric said. "Let's make the roll lists."
Harry caught Cedric's sleeve as the others wandered away. "Diggory, I need to talk with you."
Cedric smiled easily at him. "About your pal Malfoy, right? I'm not going to make him my new Beater just because he's your friend, Pipsqueak."
Harry had the sinking sensation he was never going to outlive the nickname they'd given him in first year. "I don't want you to pick him if he's not best. I just thought you should know if I were you, I'd take him. He's a good flyer. Watch his dodges."
"Okay, Potter. But I want you up in the stands, not helping him from the pitch."
"Sure," Harry said, retiring in triumph. He jogged over to the equipment shed and unlocked his broomstick from its stand, carrying it out to the pitch.
"Here," he said to Draco. "It's faster than the practice brooms. Couple of other students have their own broomsticks, you might as well use mine."
Draco looked at it as if it might bite him. "What if I crash it?"
Harry shrugged. "Then I'll get Sirius to buy me a Firebolt. TAKE IT, Malfoy, and stop cringing."
Fire flashed in Draco's eyes for just a second, but a second was all Harry was asking for. He grasped the Nimbus and reached for the pile of greaves nearby. Harry nodded curtly and gestured for Neville and Padma to come with him to the stands.
"Harry!" Towler waved him over, rolling his eyes at Pucey when Neville and Padma came too. "Come help us make fun of the losers."
"Little Cricket's going out for Chaser, isn't 'ee a snookum?" Pucey said, pointing to where Colin Creevey was putting on a pair of gloves much too huge for him.
"He'll never make it," Harry said. "He's too small, even for a Seeker. 'Nother few years, maybe."
"Malfoy all ready to knock them around?"
"I hope," Harry said truthfully.
"No more training with him once we start practice, mind," Towler said. "Can't go giving away all our secrets. Flint hasn't even mentioned a new playbook yet."
"There's still time," Harry said. "Ah, looks like it's starting..."
Other students were arriving in the stands as the prospective players kicked off from the ground, some with a bit more difficulty than others. Draco seemed startled at the speed with which the Nimbus rose, but he covered it well, tossing the bat from hand to hand while he waited for the signal to start.
"Oh god, he's going to drop the bat," Neville said.
"He's a sure hand," said a new voice, and they all twisted around to see Remus and Sirius standing in the row behind them, hands in their pockets, looking for all the world like well-grown seventh years.
"Sirius!" Harry said, startled. Sirius winked at him. "What're you doing here?"
"Came through the Floo. Seems a shame to spend the year in Hogsmeade and not see any Quidditch, and I thought Malfoy might like a friendly face," he said, sitting down. He offered his hand to the other Slytherin players, which probably took all the tact he had. "Sirius Black," he said.
"Adrian Pucey," Pucey replied, shaking his hand and looking faintly awed. "That's Towler."
"Martin Towler, sir," Towler said, equally wide-eyed. "I play your position."
"So I hear," Sirius said. Remus had wandered over to a knot of Gryffindors across the aisle and was pointing out one of the Gryffindor hopefuls. "Didn't think anyone would even remember I played at school."
"You nearly killed Hammerhead Gens in the seventy-five House Cup!" Towler exclaimed. Sirius looked rueful. "Knocked the snitch right out of his fingers, they had to have Kennilworthy Whisp himself mediate the call!"
"Who won?" Harry asked.
"Don't you even know?" Towler asked, surprised.
"I live with him," Harry said with a grin. "He's the guy who leaves his laundry on the sofa, not the Quidditch idol."
"Gryffindor won, but nobody was really satisfied," Sirius said. "I mean, we felt like it wasn't a fair win if people disagreed, and Ravenclaw felt like it wasn't a fair win at all anyway."
"So what'd you do?" Padma asked.
"Snuck out of dormitory after hours with pretty nearly the whole student body and had a second game," Sirius said, savouring the memory. "Dumbledore had to punish us – everyone involved, Detention was so big they had to hold it in the Great Hall – but he let us finish the match first. Gryffindor won fair the second time and we shook hands over it with Ravenclaw."
"Hey, there he goes!" Neville said, pointing to the pitch. Draco was dodging in and out of a complicated play, riding wing on a Ravenclaw would-be Chaser who was being dogged by a Bludger. He leaned forward, took both hands off the broomstick, swung forehand and smacked it straight into a knot of Seekers following the Snitch. Harry and Sirius cheered loudly.
"How's he doing?" Remus asked, strolling back over to sit with Sirius behind the others.
"Brilliantly, really," Sirius said. "What were you up to?"
"Making illegal bets with students over who's going to be Gryffindor Seeker," Remus replied easily. "My money's on Ginevra Weasley, personally."
"Little Ginny? The girl who used to pour paint in Harry's hair?" Sirius asked. "Is that her out there?"
"Yep. She's only a second-year, but she's clever and she hasn't any bad habits yet. Weasleys are practically born on broomsticks anyway, you remember Charlie Weasley. Wood's a fool if he doesn't pick her."
"Betting with students," Harry tsked. "Bad form."
"Well, if I win they have to write me a paper each on magical ethics, and if they win I've got to deliver a lecture on sex magic for any interested fourth-years and above," Remus said complacently. "Either way, they learn something."
"Sex magic?" asked Towler and Pucey in unison. Sirius sniggered. "Will that be allowed?" Pucey continued.
"Oh, I imagine I'll have to get parental permit slips from anyone who wants to attend, but I don't see why it shouldn't be. If you're allowed to dissect birds in Divination and rats in Potions, I don't think sex ought to be off limits. Besides, I'm sure Ginny will get the spot."
"Oof, there goes Cedric," Harry said, pointing to where the Hufflepuff Captain had grabbed his own broom and taken off to break up a nasty scrum between a couple of Chasers.
"He's rather good looking, isn't he?" Padma asked, leaning on the railing.
"Too old for you," Harry replied. "And too tall to be a really great Seeker anyway."
"There's more to people than Quidditch positions, Harry," Padma said.
"News to me," Sirius teased.
Just then, Draco darted between two other Hufflepuffs, who were both angling for a Bludger that was coming in a high, easy arc towards one goal. He cut close past Cedric and looked like he was going to collide with Ginny for a split second.
They heard him shout "Keep going!" at Ginny, who leaned forward on her broomstick and stretched out her left hand. Draco passed just above and to her left, pulled the Nimbus into a flat 180 spin, and brought his bat up just as the Bludger the others had already hit would have collided with her.
The impact of the spin, combined with the speed of the ball, knocked him backwards and he flailed, hooking his knee and one hand around the end of the Nimbus. Cedric blew a whistle loud and everyone stopped; even the Bludgers dropped flat to the ground.
In the silence, Ginny shouted "I got it!", holding up the Snitch triumphantly. Draco was still grappling with his broomstick. Cedric rose fast, grasping the collar of the other boy's robes and pulling him up onto the hovering Nimbus again. He patted Draco on the back, said something the spectators in the stands couldn't hear, and descended slowly to speak with Oliver Wood. When he'd touched down, he blew the whistle again and the Bludgers immediately rose, play resuming as before.
"Damn," Harry said, as Draco drifted out of play and slowly over to the stands. "He must have kicked him off."
"Stupid," Sirius said. "That was a bloody good play. He knew where the Bludger was going to be before it was even there."
Draco was almost level with the stands now, his face blank, hands white-knuckle gripping his broomstick.
"What'd he say?" Harry asked hesitantly. Draco gave him an empty look.
"He said I'm in," he told them, as if he himself didn't believe it. "He said, good play. You're in."
Sure enough, the rest of the Hufflepuff Beater hopefuls were dropping to the grass as Cedric called them down one by one. Harry and Padma helped Draco off his broomstick and over the edge of the stands, Harry pulling the Nimbus after him. Sirius slapped him on the back in congratulations.
"Now you get to do that," Harry said, pointing at the still-scrimmaging players, "Every week!"
"Well, hopefully not the falling-off-your-broomstick part," Neville added.
"Brilliant, Draco!" Padma said. Even Towler nodded professionally to Draco as one Beater to another.
It took Draco five or six minutes to come down from the adrenaline rush, but when he did, a huge grin split his face.
"I'm in!" he said triumphantly.
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