“The Veela’s performance was really good, and the Bulgarian National Team really brought great Mascots!!” roared Ludo Bagman’s voice, “But now, kindly put your wands in the air and welcome The Irish National Team Mascots!”
What seemed to be a great green-and-gold comet came zooming into the stadium.
It did one lap around the stadium, and then split into two smaller comets, each hurtling toward the goal posts.
A rainbow arched suddenly across the field, connecting the two balls of light.
The crowd oooohed and aaaaahed, as if watching fireworks.
At this time, the rainbow faded and the balls of light reunited and merged to form a huge, shimmering shamrock, which rose up into the sky and began to soar over the stands.
Something like golden rain seemed to be falling from it…
“Amazing!” yelled Ron, bending over and picking it up as if he were crazy.
The shamrock soared over them, and heavy gold coins rained from it, bouncing off their heads and seats.
Evan didn’t look at the gold coins. He knew they were all fake.
Even if they were real, he did not care.
For Evan, who mastered advanced Alchemy, gold was the most useless of things.
He looked up and carefully observed the shamrock in the sky, realizing that it was actually composed of thousands of tiny little bearded men in red vests, each carrying a minute lamp of gold or green.
“Irish leprechauns!” Sirius whispered.
They were very representative native creatures of Ireland, appearing in many fairy tales.
The history of the leprechaun can be traced back to a long time ago, when this magical animal lived in the ancient ruins scattered in the countryside.
Generally speaking, there are shamrocks around them that represent luck.
Some say that this is because leprechaun’s magic works. They make simple clothes out of shamrock leaves.
Among all the magical creatures known to date, the leprechauns are the ones to most enjoy attracting Muggle attention to themselves.
Therefore, they are heavily integrated into Muggle children’s stories.
They are very clever and speak the human language. More intelligent than the fairy and less malicious than the imp, the pixie, or the Doxy, the leprechaun is nevertheless mischievous.
Leprechauns produce a realistic gold-like substance that vanishes after a few hours, just because they have great amusement when they look at the amazed expressions of wizards or Muggles.
In the stadium, there was a tumultuous applause of the crowd, many of whom were still fighting and rummaging around under their chairs to retrieve the gold.
It’s unbelievable that so many greedy fools naively believed that the gold coins were real.
“There you go!” Ron yelled happily, stuffing a fistful of gold coins into Harry’s hands, “For the omnioculars! Now you’ve got to buy me a Christmas present, ha ha!”
A few minutes later, the great shamrock dissolved, the leprechauns drifted down onto the field on the opposite side from the Veela, and settled themselves cross-legged to watch the match.
“And now, ladies and gentlemen, kindly welcome the Bulgarian National Quidditch team! I will introduce to you, first of all, Dimitrov!” Ludo said loudly.
A scarlet-clad figure on a broomstick shot out onto the field from an entrance far below. He moved so fast it was blurred, winning the enthusiastic applause of the Bulgarian supporters.
With every Quidditch player entering the stadium, there were cheers from the Bulgarian supporters.
But when Ludo announced Viktor Krum, the entire venue was thunderous.
Whether it was a Bulgarian National Team player or not, most people were admirers of Krum.
This reminded Evan of Lockhart. In his opinion, both of them were too flashy, and only because of their false fame and rhetoric could they deceive girls.
“Look, that’s him, that’s him!” yelled Ron, following Krum with his Omnioculars.
Hearing his shouts, the others quickly focused their Omnioculars on him.
Long before the Veela came in, Evan secretly used magic. He did not need to use Omnioculars, and he could now see clearly.
Viktor Krum was thin, dark, and sallow-skinned, with a large curved nose and thick black eyebrows. He looked like an overgrown bird of prey. It was hard to believe he was only eighteen. (T/N: Yes, I know this is different from the movies, but this is how he was described in the books.)
He gave the impression that he was very strong, as if he often exercised outside and experienced the wind and the sun.
Compared to Evan, who was a thin, scroll-like guy, the two people were not in the same style at all.
“And now, please greet the Irish National Quidditch Team!” yelled Ludo Bagman. “Presenting… Connolly! Ryan! Troy! Mullet! Moran! Quigley! Aaaaaand… Lynch!”
Seven green blurs swept onto the field. They all rode “Firebolts.”
Upon their backs, their names were embroidered in silver.
“And here, all the way from Egypt, our referee, acclaimed Chairwizard of the International Association of Quidditch, Hassan Mostafa!”
A small and skinny wizard, wearing robes of pure gold to match the stadium, strode out onto the field. He was completely bald, but with a mustache to rival Uncle Vernon’s.
A silver whistle was protruding under the mustache, and he was carrying a large wooden crate under one arm, his broomstick under the other. He mounted his broomstick and kicked the crate open. Four balls suddenly burst into the air: the scarlet Quaffle, the two black Bludgers, and the miniscule, winged Golden Snitch.
With a sharp blast on his whistle, Mostafa shot into the air after the balls, and the match officially began!
This was indeed a world-class competition. The Quidditch players of both sides were of high standard and had great ornamental value.
They used enough difficult moves to make Evan, a layman, enjoy the game.
For the first time, he knew that Quidditch could be played like that.
Not to mention Harry, Ron and other Quidditch enthusiasts, who were completely immersed in the game.
The Irish team’s level was obviously higher than that of Bulgaria’s team. They made a “Hawkshead Attacking Formation” and passed Bulgaria’s national opponents with dazzling feints and quickly scored a goal.
The leprechauns watching the game on the sidelines rose into the air again, forming a huge sparkling shamrock again.
On the other side of the stadium, the Veela looked at them somberly.