Chapter 90: 1st Quidditch Opponent
Although Evan said he trusted him, Hermione’s face was still as gloomy as the dark night sky. She could not believe that Professor Lupin actually would be a Werewolf, the news was simply too shocking!
“I tell you what, are we missing something here?” Ron looked suspiciously at Evan and Hermione.
Harry and Colin nodded along with him wanting answers.
Evan and Hermione looked at each other. Hermione was not sure if she should tell them that Professor Lupin was a Werewolf. Since both Dumbledore and Evan believed in him, she should also keep it secret. What’s more, Professor Lupin was particularly friendly, and nothing like the image of a vicious Werewolf.
Hermione quietly kicked Evan under the table and nodded so that he answers Ron’s question.
Evan didn’t have an idea on how to put it for his friends. Fortunately, he saw Oliver Wood coming over with an angry face and the Gryffindor Quidditch team gathered.
“Bad news, we won’t play against Slytherin tomorrow!” he said angrily. “Professor McGonagall just told me that our opponent tomorrow will be Hufflepuff.”
“Why?” the other players asked in one voice.
“Slytherin’s excuse is that their injured player’s arm is not healed yet.” Wood frowned, furiously panting. “But the purpose of this is obvious. They just don’t want to play in such weather and think it would destroy their chances to win.”
Hogwarts had been stormy in recent days. As Wood finished his words, everyone heard the rumbling of thunder outside the castle.
“Slytherin’s Seeker?” Angelina said in surprise.
“It is Draco Malfoy. His arm was injured in the Care of Magical Creatures class in the first week of school when he was attacked by Hagrid’s Buckbeak!” Ron whispered. “But that was exactly what he deserved. If I were Buckbeak, I would’ve given him a harder time.”
“Malfoy’s arm has nothing anymore!” said Harry furiously. “It’s completely healed!”
“I understand, but we can’t prove it,” Wood said bitterly. “They used this as an excuse when talking to professor Snape…”
“I knew it was him!” Harry and Ron shouted in disgust.
“The problem now is that we have been practicing for Slytherin and we are playing against the Hufflepuff team tomorrow. Their style is quite different. Even more troublesome is that this year, they have a new Captain and Seeker: Cedric Diggori.”
As soon as his voice fell, Angelina, Alicia, and Katie suddenly giggled.
“What are you laughing at?” Wood said curiously disapproving this carefree behavior.
“You mean that tall, handsome looking boy, right?” Angelina said.
“The strong, non-talkative one.” Katie added, “He’s really charming.”
They began to giggle again, and Wood and Fred looked very unhappy.
“He doesn’t talk often because he’s too stupid to say two words in a row” said Fred impatiently. “Oliver, I don’t understand why you should worry. The Hufflepuff team is an easy opponent. When we last played against them, Harry took the Golden Snitch in only five minutes. Don’t you remember?”
“We were in a completely different situation!” Wood shouted, his eyes slightly protruding. “Diggory organized a strong team. He is an excellent Seeker! Your thinking worries me. We must not underestimate the enemy! We must tackle the main issues. Slytherin wants to observe us on every step of the way looking for our mistakes. We must win this year!”
Wood’s voice was loud; loud enough to make most people in the auditorium turn his way curiously.
“Oliver, take it easy and don’t get angry.”
Fred panicked a little: “We will take Hufflepuff seriously, we are serious!”
“All team training, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, all the players should gather at the Quidditch stadium. We must come up with a set of coping strategies.”
No one spoke. Everyone nodded palely.
In their eyes, Evan saw the storm of thoughts within their minds. He silently prayed for these guys.
Evan could understand Wood’s mood. This year was his last year at Hogwarts. He had to get the Quidditch Cup. Since Harry joined the team, the Gryffindor team had clearly been the strongest in the school, but in the past two years, they had always encountered all kinds of accidents, and eventually missed the Quidditch Cup.
To be more precise, it was Harry who was really unreliable. Apart from being an outstanding Seeker, he had to get a career as a part-time hero! If Gryffindor would not get the Quidditch Cup this year because of him, there would be no need for Voldemort, because Wood would kill Harry himself.
Yeah, he had it in his eyes!
The sudden training continued until seven o’clock in the evening. Evan had just persuaded Hermione not to tell anybody that Professor Lupin was a Werewolf. Then, he saw the members of the team crawl into the common room looking exhausted. After a bit of talking, they went to the Dormitory and fell asleep.
The next day, about five o’clock in the morning, Evan woke up. He was awakened by the roaring winds outside the castle. He could hear the rumbling thunder in the air, the turmoil of the wind hitting the castle walls, and the sound of the trees in the Forbidden Forest.
He walked out of the bedroom with his sleepy eyes and saw that Harry had been dressed and took his light Nimbus 2000 quietly in front of the fireplace in the common room.
There was no light in the fireplace, and the entire public lounge was really dark.
“Oh, Harry! When did you get up?”
“Good morning, Evan!” Harry said with a worried voice. “About three o’clock, I was awakened by Peeves. He kept blowing air on my neck.”
“And then you have been sitting here all this time?!”
“Yeah, Crookshanks wanted to sneak into our dormitory. I sat on the stairs so that he wouldn’t get there. The guys needed to rest.”
“But you need to take a break, too!” said Evan in surprise. “In three hours, you’ll have to spend a whole day outside flying in such ghostly weather.”
“I’m not sleepy, Evan, I have an ominous hunch.” Harry waved his hand weakly. “The big black dog, the unknown… When I trained last night, I saw it in the direction of the Forbidden Forest. It was watching us in the woods.”
“It should be just a stray dog!” Evan couldn’t understand what Sirius would be doing in such a messy weather.
Any normal sane person would try to find shelter from the rain! However, judging from the current situation, Sirius Black was not normal.
“But this is the third time. I can’t be seeing the same stray dog all the time.” Harry sighed. “You know that Black is chasing me. If that means death, I’m afraid… …”
“You don’t have to worry about a stray dog. I have seen it many times.”
Harry’s words reminded Evan of what happened in the original story during the game. He looked out at the sky and added, “Harry, you need to save your strength for now. If there is anything you should worry about, I’m worried about the Dementors…”
“Dementors?!” Harry looked up and his face paled instantly.
“Yes, those guys are stationed not too far from the Quidditch field, and the happy atmosphere on the field should make a great feast for them. If they come, then ……” Evan paused, then said, “You need to prepare your wand, and be ready to cast the Patronus Charm”
“I’m not making any good progress with that spell!” Harry shook his head. “I don’t seem to have any happy memories to recall.”
For the next few hours, Evan practiced the Patronus spell several time with Harry. No matter how hard he tried, Harry’s wand could only emit a blur of white fog.
Evan sighed. Although this might not be able to drive away the Dementors, it was better than nothing. It should be enough to resist for a while, giving him enough time to land safely.
Besides, with Dumbledore watching the game, Evan didn’t really think that over hundred Dementors could do anything.