Chapter no 11 – Quidditch

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

INTO November, the weather becomes very cold. The mountains surrounding the school turned gray with ice and the lake seemed to be frozen manure. Every morning the ground is covered with snow. Hagrid could be seen from the upper window snowing the brooms for the Quidditch match, wearing a long cloak of rat skin, gloves of rabbit fur, and large beaver skin boots.

Quidditch match time has begun. On Saturday, Harry will play in his first match after weeks of training. Gryffindor versus Slytherin. If Gryffindor wins, their ranking will rise to second place in the Inter-House Championship.

Almost no one had ever seen Harry play, because Wood had decided that, as their secret weapon, Harry had to, well, have to be kept secret. But the news that he would be playing Seeker had somehow leaked and Harry didn’t know which was worse – the children telling him he would play brilliantly, or them saying they would run under him holding onto the mattress.

It was fortunate that Harry was now friends with Hermione. He didn’t know how he was going to get all his homework done without Hermione, especially with Wood’s required last-minute Quidditch practice. Hermione had also lent him the book Quidditch from Time to Time , which turned out to be very interesting.

Harry learned that there were seven hundred ways to do stupid things in Quidditch and they all happened in the World Cup match in 1473; that Seekers are usually the smallest and most agile players, and that Quidditch’s most serious accidents seem to be suffered by them; that although people rarely die playing Quidditch, it can happen that referees simply disappear and are only found months later in the Sahara Desert.

Hermione had become less strict about breaking the rules since Harry and Ron had rescued her from the mountain troll, and her attitude had become much more pleasant as well. The day before Harry’s first Quidditch match, the three of them were in the frigid courtyard during recess and Hermione conjured a portable bright blue flame in a jam jar. They were standing with their backs to the fire, warming themselves, when Snape crossed the courtyard. Harry, Ron, and Hermione huddled together to block the fire from view. They believe conjuring fire is not permitted. Unfortunately, their guilty faces caught Snape’s eyes. He approached with a limp. He didn’t see the fire, but he seemed to be looking for an excuse to complain about them.

“What’s that you’re holding, Potter?”

Quidditch Books from Time to Time . Harry pointed it out.

“Library books are not to be taken out of school,” said Snape. “Give it to me. Five points deducted from Gryffindor.”

“Those rules are made up,” Harry muttered angrily as Snape limped away. “Why yes, his legs?”

“I don’t know, but I hope it hurts a lot,” said Ron fiercely.

The Gryffindor common room was very noisy that night. Harry, Ron, and Hermione sat together by the window. Hermione was checking Harry and Ron’s Charms homework. He wouldn’t let them copy his homework (“How will you study if you just copy?”), but by having Hermione check their homework, they got the answers right anyway.

Harry felt uneasy. He wanted the book Quidditch from Time to Time back to take his mind off tomorrow’s match. Why should he be afraid of Snape? As he got up, he said

Ron and Hermione he would ask Snape if he could ask for the book back.

“You’re on your own,” they said in unison, but Harry suspected Snape wouldn’t object if the other teachers were listening.

He headed to the teacher’s room and knocked. No answer. He knocked again. Still no answer.

Maybe Snape left the book inside? Worth investigating. Harry pushed open the door and peered inside – the sight he saw was truly terrifying.

Snape and Filch were inside, just the two of them. Snape lifted his robes above his knees. One of his legs was bleeding. Filch was bandaging him.

“Damn creature,” Snape cursed. “How can we watch three heads at once?”

Harry tried to close the door quietly, but… “POTTER!”

Snape’s face twisted in anger as he dropped his robes to hide his feet. Harry swallowed hard.

“I just want to know if I can take my book.” ”GET OUT! GET OUT!”

Harry left, before Snape could reduce Gryffindor’s points. He ran back upstairs.

“Succeed?” Ron asked as Harry rejoined them. “What is it?”

In a low whisper, Harry told them what he had seen.

“Do you know what this means?” he ended his story holding his breath. ”He tried to get past the three-headed dog on Hallowe’en night! That’s where he was when we saw him—he wanted to take who-knows-what the dog was guarding! And I’ll bet my broomstick he was the one who put the troll in, to divert attention!”

Hermione’s eyes widened.

“No—he wouldn’t,” said Hermione. “I know he’s not very pleasant, but he wouldn’t try to steal something Dumbledore was keeping.”

“Jesus Christ, Hermione, you think all teachers are saints or something,” said Ron. “I agree with Harry. I don’t believe Snape. But what is he after? What is the dog guarding?”

Harry went to bed with his head full of the same questions. Neville was snoring loudly, but Harry couldn’t sleep. He tried to clear his mind—he needed to sleep, he needed to sleep, in a few hours he would be playing in his first Quidditch match—but the look on Snape’s face when Harry looked at his feet was not easily forgotten.

In the morning the air was very clear and cold. The Great Hall was filled with the delicious smell of fried sausages and the cheerful chatter of children who were looking forward to watching an exciting Quidditch match.

“You should have breakfast.”

“I don’t want to eat.”

“Just a piece of bread,” Hermione coaxed.

Harry fidgeted. In an hour he will walk onto the field.

“Harry, you need your strength,” said Seamus Finnigan. “Seeker is always the target of attacks by the opposing team.”

“Thank you, Seamus,” said Harry as he watched Seamus put a generous layer of tomato sauce on his sausage.

By eleven o’clock, the entire school seemed to have filled the high seats around the Quidditch pitch. Many children brought binoculars. The seat is very high, but sometimes it is still difficult to see what is going on.

Ron and Hermione joined Neville, Seamus and West Ham fan Dean in the top row. As a surprise for Harry, they had made a large banner out of the sheets that Scabbers had shredded. It said Potter for President and Dean, who was good at drawing, had painted a large Gryffindor lion beneath it. Then Hermione enchanted it a little, so that the paint glowed colorfully.

Meanwhile, in the changing room, Harry and the rest of the team were wearing their red Quidditch robes (Slytherin would play in green uniforms).

Wood cleared his throat, asking his members to be quiet. “Okay, man ,” he said.

“Dan women ,” kata Angelina Johnson si Chaser.

“And women ,” Wood agreed. “This time.” “An important moment,” said Fred Weasley.

“The one we’ve all been waiting for a long time,” said George.

“We’ve memorized Oliver’s speech,” Fred told Harry. ”We already made the team last year.”

“Shut up, both of you,” said Wood. “This is the best team Gryffindor has had in recent years. We will win. I’m certain.”

He glared at them all, as if to say, “Otherwise, watch out!”

“That’s right. It is time. Good luck.”

Harry followed Fred and George out of the dressing rooms and, hoping his knees wouldn’t buckle, entered the pitch to a roar of cheers.

Madam Hooch was the referee. He stood in the middle of the field, waiting for the two teams, with a broom in his hand.

“I want fair play, boys,” he said, after they had all gathered around him. Harry noticed that Madam Hooch seemed to be speaking specifically to the Slytherin captain, Marcus Flint, the fifth year. It seemed to Harry that Flint had troll blood. Out of the corner of his eye Harry saw a banner flying above the crowd, it read Potter for President . His heart was pounding. He felt braver.

“Please get on your brooms.”

Harry climbed into his Two Thousand Nimbus.

Madam Hooch blew her silver whistle loudly.

Fifteen broomsticks shot upwards, getting higher and higher.

Battle begin.

“And the Quaffle was immediately caught by Angelina Johnson from Gryffindor—what an extraordinary Chaser this girl is, quite attractive, again…”


“Sorry, Professor.”

The Weasley twins’ best friend, Lee Jordan, is the commentator for this match. He was watched closely by Professor McGonagall.

“And Angelina was really quick on top, a perfect throw to Alicia Spinnet, a great new discovery by Oliver Wood, last year was just a backup—back to Angelina and—no, Slytherin got the Quaffle, Slytherin captain, Marcus Flint, got the Quaffle and swooped away—Flint was flying like an eagle up there—he was about to score—no, stopped by the great movement of the Gryffindor Keeper, Wood, and Gryffindor again holding the Quaffle—it was Gryffindor’s Chaser Katie Bell, swooping sweetly around Flint, up again and— OUCH—it must have hurt a lot, the back of his head was hit by a Bludger—Quaffle was taken by Slytherin—Adrian Pucey darted towards goal, but he was blocked by a second Bludger—thrown at him by Fred or George Weasley, couldn’t tell which—which was clearly a good move from Gryffindor beater, and Angelina has the ball again, there’s no obstacle in front of her and she’s flying—literally flying—avoiding a Bludger speeding towards her—goal in front of her—come on, come on, Angelina—Keeper Bletchley dives—gets away—GOAL FOR GRYFFINDOR !”

The cheers of the Gryffindors rang through the cold air, accompanied by the screams of regret and wails of the Slytherins.

”Move it a little.” “Hagrid!”

Ron and Hermione squeezed together to make enough room for Hagrid to join them.

“I’ve been watching from my hut,” said Hagrid, stroking the large binoculars hanging from his neck. “But it’s not as exciting as it would be here. Can’t you see the Snitch yet?”

“Not yet,” said Ron. “Harry hasn’t had much to do.”

“Just dodging attacks, but that’s hard too,” said Hagrid, raising his binoculars and looking skyward at the spot that was none other than Harry.

High above them, Harry hovered above the rest of the players, straining his eyes for the Snitch. This was part of his game plan with Wood.

“Get out of the way before you see the Snitch,” said Wood. “We don’t want you to be attacked prematurely.”

When Angelina scored, Harry did two somersaults to release his feelings. Now he was looking for the Snitch again. Once he saw a flash of gold, but it turned out to be the reflection of the watch of one of the Weasley twins. Once a Bludger came flying at him, but Harry managed to dodge it and Fred then chased the ball.

“All right up there, Harry?” Fred still had time to scream when he hit the Bludger hard at Marcus Flint.

”Slytherin held the ball,” said Lee Jordan. “Chaser Pucey ducked out of the way of two Bludgers, two Weasleys, and Chaser Bell, and launched himself towards—wait—was that the Snitch?”

Murmurs spread among the crowd when Adrian Pucey dropped the Quaffle, too busy turning his head to look at the flash of gold that had just passed his left ear.

Harry saw it. Excitedly he dived towards the golden flash. Slytherin Seeker Terence Higgs had also seen it. In unison they launched themselves towards the Snitch—all the Chasers seemed to have forgotten their assignments as they hovered in the air to watch.

Harry was faster than Higgs—he could see the little round ball, with flapping wings, gliding up. Harry picked up speed.

BROKE! Angry growls came from the Gryffindors below. Marcus Flint accidentally bumped into Harry and Harry’s broom veered off course, Harry held on tightly so as not to fall.

“Cheating!” shouted the Gryffindor children.

Madam Hooch scolds Flint and gives Gryffindor a penalty throw. But in the chaos of course the Snitch had disappeared again.

In his seat, Dean Thomas shouted: “Get him out. Referee!

Red card!”

“This isn’t football, Dean,” Ron reminded him. “You can’t send a player off in Quidditch—and what is a red card?”

But Hagrid stood up for Dean.

“They should change the rules. Flint could make Harry fall from above.” It’s hard for Lee Jordan not to take sides.

“So—after that annoying and obvious ruse just now…”

“Jordan!” Professor McGonagall scolded.

“I mean, after such blatant and disgusting cheating…”

“Jordan, I’m warning you…”

”Okay, okay. Flint almost killed the Gryffindor Seeker, this could have happened to anyone, I’m sure, so the penalty for Gryffindor, taken by Spinnet, and thrown straight back, no problem, the match is still on, Gryffindor still has the ball.”

As Harry dodged another Bludger that was hurtling towards him, his broom suddenly took a terrible dive. For a second Harry thought he was going to fall. He held the broom tightly with both hands, and also clamped it with his knees. He had never experienced anything like this.

It happens again. It was as if the broom wanted to blow him away. But the Nimbus Two Thousand didn’t suddenly want to drop its passengers. Harry tried to make his way to the Gryffindor goal post again, he thought about suggesting to Wood that he take a short break – and suddenly he realized that he had lost control of his broom. He couldn’t deflect it. He couldn’t even control it at all. The broom flew zigzagging through the air and made repeated swishing movements that almost made Harry fall.

Lee is still commentating.

“The ball in Slytherin’s hand—Flint holding the Quaffle—passed through the Spinnet

—past Bell—Flint gets hit in the face by a Bludger, hopefully his nose is broken—just kidding, Professor—Slytherin scores—oh, nooo….”

The Slytherins cheered. No one seemed to notice that Harry’s broom was acting strangely. The broom slowly carried Harry higher and higher, away from the game, jerking and twisting.

“What’s Harry doing?” muttered Hagrid. He looked through his binoculars. “If I didn’t know him, I’d say he lost control of his broom… but how could that be…”

Suddenly children all over the stands were pointing at Harry. The broom was rolling, Harry could only hold on to keep from falling. Then everyone in the audience held their breath. Harry’s broom jerked wildly and

Harry shot out from above him. Now he only hangs on with one hand.

”Did something happen when Flint blocked it?” Seamus whispered.

“That’s impossible,” said Hagrid, his voice shaking. “Nothing but powerful Dark Magic can affect that broom—no child could do that to the Nimbus Two Thousand.”

Hearing this Hermione grabbed Hagrid’s binoculars, but instead of looking at Harry, she frantically pointed them at the audience.

“What are you doing?” groaned Ron, his face pale.

“As I thought,” Hermione gasped in shock. “Snape—look.”

Ron grabbed the binoculars. Snape was in the middle, in the row of seats opposite them. His eyes were fixed on Harry and his mouth was muttering non-stop.

“He’s doing something—conjuring Harry’s broom,” said Hermione. “What should we do?”

”Just leave it to me.”

Before Ron could say a word, Hermione was gone. Ron pointed the binoculars at Harry again. His broom shook so violently that it was almost impossible for him to hang on any longer. Everyone in the audience stood, watching anxiously as the Weasley twins flew upwards, trying to save Harry by pulling him onto one of their brooms, but it was no use—every time they got close, Harry’s broom would jump even higher. They swooped down and circled beneath him, apparently hoping to catch Harry if he fell. Marcus Flint grabbed the Quaffle and scored five times without anyone noticing.

“Come on, Hermione,” Ron muttered desperately.

Hermione had struggled to get to the row of seats where Snape had been standing and was now running along the row behind him. He didn’t even stop to apologize when he bumped into Professor Quirrell and fell into the row in front of him. Arriving at Snape’s quarters, Hermione crouched down, drew her wand, and whispered a few choice words. Blue flame shot from the tip of his wand, catching the hem of Snape’s robes.

It took Snape about thirty seconds to realize that his robes were on fire. His sudden scream was enough to let Hermione know he had done his job. He took the fire from Snape’s robes and put it in a small bottle in his pocket, then he walked back along the row of seats he had passed earlier—Snape would never know what had happened.

But that’s enough. In the sky, Harry was suddenly able to climb back onto his broom.

“Neville, you can look now!” Ron said. For the last five minutes Neville had been sobbing hiding his face in Hagrid’s jacket.

Harry was sliding down when the audience saw him put his hand to his mouth, as if he was going to vomit—he landed on the pitch on his hands and feet—coughing—and something golden fell into his hand.

”I managed to catch the Snitch!” he shouted as he waved the Snitch above his head, and the game ended in a flurry of confusion.

“He didn’t catch it, he almost swallowed it,” Flint was still fuming twenty minutes later, but it was no use—Harry had broken no rules, and Lee Jordan was still happily echoing his comments—Gryffindor won with a score of one hundred and seventy to six tens. Harry didn’t hear any of this though. He was having a cup of strong tea in Hagrid’s hut, accompanied by Ron and Hermione.

“Snape did it,” Ron explained. “Hermione and I saw it. He cursed your broom incessantly, never taking his eyes off you.”

“Nonsense,” said Hagrid, who had no idea what was happening next to him in the arena. “Why would Snape do something like that?”

Harry, Ron, and Hermione looked at each other, confused about how to explain it. Harry decided to come clean.

“I accidentally found out something about him,” he said to Hagrid. ”He tried to get past the three-headed dog on Hallowe’en night. The dog bit him. We suspect he wanted to steal who-knows-what the dog was guarding.”

The teapot that Hagrid was holding fell.

“How did you guys know about Fluffy?” he said. ”Fluffy?”

“Yeah – he’s my dog ​​- I bought him from a Greek guy who met me in a teahouse last year – I lent him to Dumbledore to look after …”

“Yes?” Harry’s fishing rod was full of enthusiasm.

“Don’t ask any more questions,” said Hagrid sharply. “That’s a big secret.” “But Snape wanted to steal it.”

“Nonsense,” said Hagrid again. “Hogwarts master Snape, he wouldn’t do that.”

“Then why would he want to kill Harry?” Hermione exclaimed.

The events of that afternoon had apparently changed Hermione’s assessment of Snape.

“I can spot bad guys, Hagrid, I’ve read a lot about that. We had to maintain eye contact, and Snape didn’t blink at all. I see it!”

“I tell you, you are mistaken!” Hagrid said hotly. “I don’t know why Harry’s broom was acting like that, but Snape wouldn’t try to kill a student! Now, listen to me, you three—you’re meddling in things that don’t concern you. That is dangerous. Forget about the dog, and forget what it is guarding, that is Professor Dumbledore and Nicolas Flamel’s business…”

”Ah!” said Harry. “So someone named Nicolas Flamel was involved, right?”

Hagrid looked very angry with himself.

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