'Captains, shake hands,' ordered the referee Madam Hooch, as Angelina and
Montague reached each other. Harry could tell that Montague was trying to crush
Angelina's fingers, though she did not wince. 'Mount your brooms:'
Madam Hooch placed her whistle in her mouth and blew.
The balls were released and the fourteen players shot upwards. Out of the
corner of his eye Harry saw Ron streak off towards the goalhoops. Harry zoomed
higher, dodging a Bludger, and set off on a wide lap of the pitch, gazing around
for a glint of gold; on the other side of the stadium, Draco Malfoy was doing
exactly the same.
'And it's Johnson -Johnson with the Quaffle, what a player that girl is,
I've been saying it for years but she still won't go out with me -'
'JORDAN!' yelled Professor McGonagall.
'- just a fun fact, Professor, adds a bit of interest - and she's ducked
Warrington, she's passed Montague, she's - ouch - been hit from behind by a
Bludger from Crabbe: Montague catches the Quaffle, Montague heading back up
the pitch and - nice Bludger there from George Weasley, that's a Bludger to
the head for Montague, he drops the Quaffle, caught by Katie Bell, Katie Bell
of Gryffindor reverse-passes to Alicia Spinnet and Spinnet's away -'
Lee Jordan's commentary rang through the stadium and Harry listened as hard
as he could through the wind whistling in his ears and the din of the crowd,
all yelling and booing and singing.
'- dodges Warrington, avoids a Bludger - close call, Alicia - and the crowd
are loving this, just listen to them, what's that they're singing?'
And as Lee paused to listen, the song rose loud and clear from the sea of
green and silver in the Slytherin section of the stands:
'Weasley cannot save a thing, He cannot block a single ring, That's why Slytherins
all sing: Weasley is our King.
'Weasley was born in a bin He always lets the Quaffle in Weasley will make
sure we win Weasley is our King.'
'- and Alicia passes back to Angelina!' Lee shouted, and as Harry swerved,
his insides boiling at what he had just heard, he knew Lee was trying to drown
out the words of the song. 'Come on now,
Angelina - looks like she's got just the Keeper to beat! - SHE SHOOTS - SHE
Bletchley, the Slytherin Keeper, had saved the goal; he threw the Quaffle
to Warrington who sped off with it, zig-zagging in between Alicia and Katie;
the singing from below grew louder and louder as he drew nearer and nearer Ron.
'Weasley is our King, Weasley is our King, He always lets the Quaffle in
Weasley is our King.'
Harry could not help himself: abandoning his search for the Snitch, he wheeled
around to watch Ron, a lone figure at the far end of the pitch, hovering before
the three goalhoops while the massive Warrington pelted towards him.
'- and it's Warrington with the Quaffle, Warrington heading for goal, he's
out of Bludger range with just the Keeper ahead -'
A great swell of song rose from the Slytherin stands below:
'Weasley cannot save a thing, He cannot block a single ring:"
'- so it's the first test for new Gryffindor Keeper Weasley, brother of Beaters
Fred and George, and a promising new talent on the team - come on, Ron!'
But the scream of delight came from the Slytherins' end: Ron had dived wildly,
his arms wide, and the Quaffle had soared between them straight through Ron's
'Slytherin score!' came Lee's voice amid the cheering and booing from the
crowds below, 'so that's ten-nil to Slytherin - bad luck, Ron.'
The Slytherins sang even louder:
'WEASLEY WAS BORN IN A BIN
HE ALWAYS LETS THE QUAFFLE IN:'
'- and Gryffindor back in possession and it's Katie Bell tanking up the pitch
-' cried Lee valiantly, though the singing was now so deafening that he could
hardly make himself heard above it.
'WEASLEY WILL MAKE SURE WE WIN WEASLEY IS OUR KING:'
'Harry, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?' screamed Angelina, soaring past him to keep
up with Katie. 'GET GOING!'
Harry realised he had been stationary in midair for over a minute, watching
the progress of the match without sparing a thought for the whereabouts of the
Snitch; horrified, he went into a dive and started circling the pitch again,
staring around, trying to ignore the chorus now thundering through the stadium:
'WEASLEY IS OUR KINC, WEASLEY IS OUR KING:'
There was no sign of the Snitch anywhere he looked; Malfoy was still circling
the stadium just as he was. They passed one another midway around the pitch,
going in opposite directions, and Harry heard Malfoy singing loudly:
'WEASLEY WAS BORN IN A BIN:'
'- and it's Warrington again,' bellowed Lee, 'who passes to Pucey, Pucey's
off past Spinnet, come on now, Angelina, you can take him - turns out you can't
- but nice Bludger from Fred Weasley, I mean, George Weasley, oh, who cares,
one of them, anyway, and Warrington drops the Quaffle and Katie Bell - er -
drops it, too - so that's Montague with the Quaffle, Slytherin Captain Montague
takes the Quaffle and he's off up the pitch, come on now, Gryffindor, block
Harry zoomed around the end of the stadium behind the Slytherin goalhoops,
willing himself not to look at what was going on at Ron's end. As he sped past
the Slytherin Keeper, he heard Bletchley singing along with the crowd below:
'WEASLEY CANNOT SAVE A THING:"
'- and Pucey's dodged Alicia again and he's heading straight for goal, stop
Harry did not have to look to see what had happened: there was a terrible
groan from the Gryffindor end, coupled with fresh screams and applause from
the Slytherins. Looking down, Harry saw the pug-faced Pansy Parkinson right
at the front of the stands, her back to the pitch as she conducted the Slytherin
supporters who were roaring:
THAT'S WHY SLYTHERINS ALL SING WEASLEY IS OUR KING.'
But twenty-nil was nothing, there was still time for Gryffindor to catch
up or catch the Snitch. A few goals and they would be in the lead as usual,
Harry assured himself, bobbing and weaving through the other players in pursuit
of something shiny that turned out to be Montague's watchstrap.
But Ron let in two more goals. There was an edge of panic in Harry's desire
to find the Snitch now. If he could just get it soon and finish the game quickly.
'- and Katie Bell of Gryffindor dodges Pucey, ducks Montague, nice swerve,
Katie, and she throws to Johnson, Angelina Johnson takes the Quaffle, she's
past Warrington, she's heading for goal, come on now, Angelina - GRYFFINDOR
SCORE! It's forty-ten, forty-ten to Slytherin and Pucey has the Quaffle
Harry could hear Luna's ludicrous lion hat roaring amidst the Gryffindor
cheers and felt heartened; only thirty points in it, that was nothing, they
could pull back easily. Harry ducked a Bludger that Crabbe had sent rocketing
in his direction and resumed his frantic scouring of the pitch for the Snitch,
keeping one eye on Malfoy in case he showed signs of having spotted it, but
Malfoy, like him, was continuing to soar around the stadium, searching fruitlessly:
'- Pucey throws to Warrington, Warrington to Montague, Montague back to Pucey
-Johnson intervenes, Johnson takes the
Quaffle, Johnson to Bell, this looks good - I mean bad - Bells hit by a Bludger
from Goyle of Slytherin and it's Pucey in possession
'WEASLEY WAS BORN IN A BIN
HE ALWAYS LETS THE QUAFFLE IN ->.
WEASLEY WILL MAKE SURE WE WIN
But Harry had seen it at last: the tiny fluttering Golden Snitch was hovering
feet from the ground at the Slytherin end of the pitch.
In a matter of seconds, Malfoy was streaking out of the sky on Harry's left,
a green and silver blur lying flat on his broom:
The Snitch skirted the foot of one of the goalhoops and scooted off towards
the other side of the stands; its change of direction suited Malfoy, who was
nearer; Harry pulled his Firebolt around, he and Malfoy were now neck and neck:
Feet from the ground, Harry lifted his right hand from his broom, stretching
towards the Snitch: to his right, Malfoy's arm extended too, was reaching, groping:
It was over in two breathless, desperate, windswept seconds -Harry's fingers
closed around the tiny, struggling ball - Malfoy's fingernails scrabbled the
back of Harry's hand hopelessly - Harry pulled his broom upwards, holding the
struggling ball in his hand and the Gryffindor spectators screamed their approval:
They were saved, it did not matter that Ron had let in those goals, nobody
would remember as long as Gryffindor had won -
A Bludger hit Harry squarely in the small of the back and he flew forwards
off his broom. Luckily he was only five or six feet above the ground, having
dived so low to catch the Snitch, but he was winded all the same as he landed
flat on his back on the frozen pitch. He heard Madam Hooch's shrill whistle,
an uproar in the stands compounded of catcalls, angry yells and jeering, a thud,
then Angelinas frantic voice.
'Are you all right?'
'Course I am,' said Harry grimly, taking her hand and allowing her to pull
him to his feet. Madam Hooch was zooming towards one of the Slytherin players
above him, though he could not see who it was from this angle.
'It was that thug Crabbe,' said Angelina angrily, 'he whacked the Bludger
at you the moment he saw you'd got the Snitch - but we won, Harry, we won!'
Harry heard a snort from behind him and turned around, still holding the
Snitch tightly in his hand: Draco Malfoy had landed close by. White-faced with
fury, he was still managing to sneer.
'Saved Weasley's neck, haven't you?' he said to Harry. 'I've never seen a
worse Keeper: but then he was born in a bin: did you like my lyrics, Potter?'
Harry didn't answer. He turned away to meet the rest of the team who were
now landing one by one, yelling and punching the air in triumph; all except
Ron, who had dismounted from his broom over by the goalposts and seemed to be
making his way slowly back to the changing rooms alone.
'We wanted to write another couple of verses!' Malfoy called, as Katie and
Alicia hugged Harry. 'But we couldn't find rhymes for fat and ugly - we wanted
to sing about his mother, see -'
Talk about sour grapes,' said Angelina, casting Malfoy a disgusted look.
'- we couldn't fit in useless loser either - for his father, you know -'
Fred and George had realised what Malfoy was talking about. Halfway through
shaking Harry's hand, they stiffened, looking round at Malfoy.
'Leave it!' said Angelina at once, taking Fred by the arm. 'Leave it, Fred,
let him yell, he's just sore he lost, the jumped-up little -'
'- but you like the Weasleys, don't you, Potter?' said Malfoy, sneering.
'Spend holidays there and everything, don't you? Can't see how you stand the
stink, but I suppose when you've been dragged up by Muggles, even the Weasleys'
hovel smells OK -'
Harry grabbed hold of George. Meanwhile, it was taking the combined efforts
of Angelina, Alicia and Katie to stop Fred leaping on Malfoy, who was laughing
openly. Harry looked around for
Madam Hooch, but she was still berating Crabbe for his illegal Sludger attack.
'Or perhaps,' said Malfoy, leering as he backed away, 'you can remember what
your mother's house stank like, Potter, and Weasleys pigsty reminds you of it
Harry was not aware of releasing George, all he knew was that a second later
both of them were sprinting towards Malfoy. He had completely forgotten that
all the teachers were watching: all he wanted to do was cause Malfoy as much
pain as possible; with no time to draw out his wand, he merely drew back the
fist clutching the Snitch and sank it as hard as he could into Malfoys stomach
'Harry! HARRY! GEORGE! NO!'
He could hear girls' voices screaming, Malfoy yelling, George swearing, a
whistle blowing and the bellowing of the crowd around him, but he did not care.
Not until somebody in the vicinity yelled 'Impedimenta!' and he was knocked
over backwards by the force of the spell, did he abandon the attempt to punch
every inch of Malfoy he could reach.
'What do you think you're doing?' screamed Madam Hooch, as Harry leapt to
his feet. It seemed to have been her who had hit him with the Impediment Jinx;
she was holding her whistle in one hand and a wand in the other; her broom lay
abandoned several feet away. Malfoy was curled up on the ground, whimpering
and moaning, his nose bloody; George was sporting a swollen lip; Fred was still
being forcibly restrained by the three Chasers, and Crabbe was cackling in the
background. 'I've never seen behaviour like it - back up to the castle, both
of you, and straight to your Head of House's office! Go! Now.''
Harry and George turned on their heels and marched off the pitch, both panting,
neither saying a word to the other. The howling and jeering of the crowd grew
fainter and fainter until they reached the Entrance Hall, where they could hear
nothing except the sound of their own footsteps. Harry became aware that something
was still struggling in his right hand, the knuckles of which he had bruised
against Malfoy's jaw. Looking down, he saw the Snitch's silver wings protruding
from between his fingers, struggling for release.
They had barely reached the door of Professor McGonagall's office when she
came marching along the corridor behind them. She was wearing a Gryffindor scarf,
but tore it from her throat with shaking hands as she strode towards them, looking
'In!' she said furiously, pointing to the door. Harry and George entered.
She strode around behind her desk and faced them, quivering with rage as she
threw the Gryffindor scarf aside on to the floor.