20 Gryffindor Vs. Slytherin
After Harry's conversation with Dumbledore, Madam Pomfrey ran one final check-up before discharging him from the infirmary.
Harry wondered around the school grounds aimlessly as he was thinking about his two months stay in this magical world. One thing that became clear to him today was that he has been on the negative spectrum of the emotions quite a lot. He had gone from grieving for his mother's death, getting stupidly angry to joking and flirting, to feeling happy and excites at new discoveries.
He was not joking when he had said to Dumbledore that his fight with the troll had truly opened his eyes. When he was smashed by that troll's punch, it seemed that it had knocked off his the reservations he had held about this world. He was no longer the old Harry Potter from his old world nor was he the original Harry Potter of this world. He was a combination of the two. He now understood that he needed to fully embrace his new identity.
With a calm mind and clear emotions, Harry made his way back to the Gryffindor Common Room while thinking about the lessons he had been taking. He had found Herbology as an interesting subject and had developed a fondness for it, however, not to the same extent as Charms, Transfiguration and Potions. Neville had become much more confident after a few interactions with Harry and had been able to shine much brighter after overcoming his initial shyness.
Harry's sessions with Flitwick had been advancing smoothly. Flitwick had been teaching Harry how to cancel out spells cast by opponents and they had been practicing with the Disarming Charm, Expelliarmous. Harry was expected to match the Mana Quantity of the opponent's spell with his own so they would for the cancellation of both spells to take place. Harry had been improving at a rapid pace and Flitwick had been increasing his Mana output at every session. The idea was for higher to hone his timing, judgement and mana output and for these three to become a reflex. This had been the first goal of Harry's training. The second goal was to control the mana in his body to cancel out affects of spells that affected his status such as the Disarming Charm, the Confundus Charm, Full-Body Bind Curse etc. Harry was still a little off, however, he felt that he would gain full proficiency over this aspect once he starts using the Room of Requirement and Dungeon Creation to further hone his skills.
Harry's training with Snape was also progressing very well as he was constantly forced to think outside the box with his views on magic. This had led Harry to start thinking of creating his own set of spells which he would be very proud of. Snape also had Harry learn Occlumency and Legilimency to which Harry was very appreciative about as it complemented his Sharingan a lot. Snape, at first, been reluctant about teaching Harry about potions, however, this soon changed when Harry's immense talent in Potions was seen by him. This was not an opportunity for Snape to pass as Harry's talent for Potions was in no way inferior, if not superior, to Snape's.
As Friday came closer and closer to an end and students started trickling out of their classrooms, Harry noticed he had missed out on the hottest topic after his battle with the troll; the Quidditch season talks. The games were being conversed about everywhere. Amongst all the talks, the position of Gryffindor Seeker was the highlight of the talks as Oliver Wood had kept it quite even from the reserve team. Also, as Harry had already shown his overwhelming performance and the fact that as Seeker he was not required to perform any teamwork, he was seen even less on the Quidditch pitch.
Harry remembered that Ron was able to get on the reserve team, and as fate would have it, his suitability lied with the Keeper position. Oliver Wood was clearly impressed by his performance and had declared him as his successor and he was included in the main squad's training regime. Harry was very happy for Ron as this meant that the red-head would have something of his own he can brag about and would no longer be the jealous side-kick of Harry anymore.
"Not training with the team, Ron?" asked Harry, sitting next to Hermione.
Harry had returned to the Gryffindor Common Room to find Ron and Hermione sitting at the comfy chairs.
"Fred and George are training them in their Phase One," replied Ron with a foolish grin. "And since I've already mastered that phase, I was excused."
"Hermione, you still mad that I was letting Daphne hug me for so long this morning?" asked Harry, looking at his favourite girl.
"Hn, hug her all you want, who cares?" snorted Hermione.
"Come now, Herms, you're still my number one girl," said Harry, putting an arm over her shoulder.
"Stop being a player," said Hermione, trying to shrug his arm off. "I clearly see you flirt with both of us."
"That's because I fancy you both," said Harry, smiling as he pulled her into his arms. "But you're still number one. I'll definitely marry you first as soon as soon as we graduate from Hogwarts."
"You're planning on having more than one wife?" asked Hermione, stunned.
"Of course," declared Harry with a sly smile. "Just you and Daphne though. No more, no less. And I expect you to take care of her as the first wife."
"Eeeek, get off me!" shrieked Hermione, furiously blushing. "Who will marry a player like you?"
"You and Daphne will," replied Harry, looking at the escaping Hermione. "And I'm not a player. I'm a seriously legit player."
"Hahaha, you sure like teasing her, Harry," laughed Ron. "Look at her escape."
"I was not teasing her!" declared Harry with a serious face. "I'm being deadly serious!"
"Whatever," said Ron, shrugging his shoulders.
"Anyway, I'm going to sleep now," said Harry, stretching. "I've got a new phase to tell you guys about in the morning."
Next morning Harry, Ron and Hermione woke up at dawn and made their way to the school grounds. They met Daphne at the front of the Great Hall.
"I had a breakthrough yesterday in my fight with the troll," said Harry staring at his friends. "It's a combination of the first four phases with an extra step. Its function is to create a thin layer of armour that cover your entire body. There's a requirements to achieving this feat - to solidify your Mana Network Lines to the point where they blend together and becomes one. The blending of your Mana Network Lines increases your Mana Reserve and if your body is not strong enough to handle that pressure, you will explode. I got lucky yesterday - very lucky - that I did not explode."
At this point, Ron and Hermione had pale faces as they absorb what Harry was saying.
"However, you don't have to worry too much," continued Harry. "As long as you strengthen your body so it can bear the pressure of the increased amount of Mana, you'll be fine. I would recommend that you absorb Mana Particles only after your Mana Reserve is empty. Ron, Hermione, you have both mastered Mana Absorption and Circulation with Movement. I will now teach you Mana Infusion."
"Ummm ... Harry, I've no idea what you're talking about," said Daphne with confusion. "What is it that I'm supposed to do?"
"For now I want you to train your body and I will teach you everything else after breakfast," said Harry. "First start running some laps to build your stamina. By then I'll be finished with Ron and Hermione and I'll teach you some hand-to-hand combat."
"Why do I need to learn hand-to-hand combat?" asked Daphne, perplexed.
"It helps with the style of training that I've come up with by focusing the your magic and gaining better control over it," explained Harry.
Harry spent the rest of the day and majority of Sunday guiding Ron, Hermione and Daphne in their respective trainings. Daphne's talent surprised Harry as she managed to sense Mana Particles in only one day and managed to master Phase two by Sunday evening. Harry still couldn't use magic yet as whatever he was absorbing was constantly being used by with the nourishment of his bones and muscles. What came as a surprise was that his muscles were getting stronger and leaner as he slowly recovered.
Harry took the entire week off from training and simply focused on his schoolwork, meditation and supervising the training of Ron, Hermione and Daphne. Fred and George also joined them as usual and Harry taught them Mana Infusion too. Harry went on to observe the Gryffindor team practicing on Friday, the day before match. He was greatly satisfied with their progress in their flying skills as well as their teamwork. Their moral was sky high and couldn't wait for the next to arrive.
By now, Harry had fully recovered from his Mana Deficiency and was brimming with vigour. He too was filled with excitement for his first game of Quidditch.
"Oliver, I swear to you right now, if you start another speech, not only will I break your broom but also give up on the Snitch" said Harry in a threatening voice. "I know you want to go Pro! I also know that from now until I graduate from Hogwarts, we will win every bloody match we play! So. Keep. It. Shut."
"Very well," said Oliver, grimly.
"Don't worry! I will not allow the Snitch to be caught until we are 200 points ahead," said Harry reassuringly.
"Thank you Harry," said Oliver.
It was Saturday morning and Harry was standing in front of the exit that lead to the Quidditch stadium, waiting for the announcement with the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
About a minute later, they heard the announcement for their team and everyone got on their brooms, ready to kick off.
Harry could feel the adrenaline coursing through him and his heartbeat getting faster and faster.
As they heard the announcement a second time, everyone kicked off into the air.
As he entered the pitch, he was hit by a huge cheer from the audience. Harry closed his eyes, relishing the feeling of being in the limelight, flying.
A few seconds later, the Slytherin team also entered the Quidditch pitch. Upon seeing both ready, Madam Hooch followed after and blew her whistle, starting the match.
Harry immediately flew up in the air smoothly at a safe height. He didn't wanted to chance himself getting attacked by the beaters.
Harry looked around and saw his opponent also settling at a similar height. Both were waiting for the Snitch to appear.
As the two teams started to struggle for the possession of the Quaffle, Harry was surprised to see the increased level of control the Gryffindor team had over their brooms.
"It seems like they've fully mastered their Mana Control," thought Harry. "Fred and George have done better jobs than I had expected."
Gryffindor had an overwhelming advantage with their keeper and beaters as Wood was arguably the best keeper and the Weasley twins were the best beaters. Fred and George's innate coordination and mischievous personalities were highly suited for their roles.
Where Angela Johnson and Alicia Spinnet lacked in experience, they more than made up with it in their broom control and could pull off better manoeuvres than the Slytherin teams. Once they had adjusted to the game, they quickly took control of the Quaffle and made the first score of the season.
Harry knew that once the team played all if their games this year and the training sessions that Oliver Wood was carrying out, they would have gained enough experience to easily become the number one team next year.
The game advanced and Gryffindor was able to maintain and further their lead thanks to the efforts of Oliver Wood. This reduced the pressure on the chasers who focused more and more on the offense.
"This is not good," thought Harry, frowning. "They're placing to much reliance on Oliver and forgetting on their defence. I'll have to talk to Oliver about this after the game."
At this point, an idea lit up in Harry's mind. He smiled slyly as he looked at the Slytherin Seeker and Keeper.
Harry controlled the broom core as he shot towards the Slytherin keeper. Higgs also shot straight after him thinking Harry had found the Snitch. As he couldn't catch up to to Harry due to the speed difference of their brooms, Higgs barked at his team's beaters to knock Harry off his broom.
Not needing to look around as he could sense the Mana fluctuation in the air, Harry slowed slightly to allow the Bludger to catch up to him.
Harry willed his broom to take a sharp right as the Bludger shot past him and hit the Slytherin Keeper straight in the stomach, taking him out of commission. Higgs swore at the smirking Harry.
"Don't blame me, stupid Higgs," said Harry, laughing. "That Bludger was aimed at me, remember? I simply dodged."
Harry, at this point flew back up to a safe height and continued watching out for the Golden Snitch while he also kept an eye out on the game. After having their Keeper taken out, the Slytherin couldn't block out the Gryffindor chasers from scoring anymore. Not long after, the Gryffindor team was leading the game with a score of 250:40.
The Gryffindor team's morale had taken a great boost once they saw the Slytherin Keeper being taken out. They became bolder with their gameplay as they were able to score more often.
"That's good enough," said Harry to himself, smiling. "It's time for me to end the game."
Harry extended out his Mana Sense and quickly found the Golden Snitch. Not bothering with Higgs anymore, he shot like a bullet, heading straight for the ground. The Snitch was hovering a metre above the ground.
The audience were cheering loudly as they saw Harry's daring yet dangerous vertical dive. Many had their hearts in their mouths at Harry's nose dive. Harry on the other hand wasn't worried as he had the highest level of control over his broom and could change its direction at a moment's notice.
Harry opened his mouth and quickly pulled back up into the air. The Snitch had folded its wings as soon as Harry's lips had touched it and Harry quickly moved it into his mouth. Once he was high enough in the air, Harry noticed that both teams had stopped their play and were looking at him with stunned faces. Never in their lives had they ever seen a first year pulling off such a risky manoeuvre.
There was a pin-drop silence all around the stadium as both the students and teachers looking at Harry as if he was some sort of a monster.
Harry smile grew from one ear to snotber as he took out the Snitch from his mouth and held it up, high in the air. A deafening cheer almost blew Harry off his broom as Gryffindor's victory was announced.
The Gryffindor team came together as Fred and George grabbed Harry and placed him on their shoulders as they enjoyed the overwhelming support and cheers they received.
"Why hasn't Quirrell acted up yet?" thought Harry as he was waving at the cheering crowd. "Not that I'm complaining, but I've even had a Mana Barrier erected around me. Did he somehow noticed?"
Harry turned his gaze towards the teachers stand and felt a two strong Mana Fluctuations where one was constantly cancelling out the other.
"I guess I was too focused on the match to notice Snape and Quirrell's silent battle," thought Harry.
"Hey guys, I think that's enough bathing in the limelight," said Harry to his teammates. "Let's get down."
"As you say since you're the star today, Harry," said Oliver happily. "But you'll have to teach us how you managed to pull off that Wronski Feint!"
"Yeah, Harry, that was the most perfect Wronski Feint I've ever see," said Fred and George in unison.
"That Mana Fluctuation looks a bit too strong for my taste," thought Harry as his team landed on the ground. "My Mana Shield may be able to absorb some of that force, but I don't want to be on its receiving end yet. Maybe in my fourth year when Voldemort comes back, but not yet."
Once all of the Gryffindor House students had returned back to their Common Room, Fred and George threw a massive party to celebrate their first victory of the season and looked forward to winning the remaining matches and then the Quidditch Cup. Oliver was extra happy as that meant that his dream of joining the Professional Quidditch League would become more realistic and he would have a better chance of getting scouted.
The whole team were beaming with excitement and earnestly thanked Harry for his contribution to the team; not just for his part in winning the match, but also for having Fred and George helping them with their broom control.
Harry had a warm feeling brimming up in his heart. He asked them to keep it a secret as he does not want everyone to know about it. They reassured him that his secret would be safe with them as they know just how powerful of a flier it could make someone.
The party went on for a very long time. Even McGonagall joined them, beaming with excitement and happiness and heavily congratulated the team, especially Harry, for their win.
"Now I can hold my head high and proud in front of Snape," said McGonagall to Harry happily. "I won't have to deal with his gloating face anymore!"
As the party was coming to an end, McGonagall left and everyone started to trickle away to sleep. Harry asked his teammates with Ron, Hermione and Daphne to stay behind.
"Guys, since we've worked so hard to win the match, I have decided to take us somewhere nice tomorrow," said Harry once everyone was gone.
"Where do you have in mind?" asked Angela curiously.
"How does Hogsmeade sound?" asked Harry with a grin.
"But Harry, anyone below third year isn't allowed," said Alicia. "And even for third years and above, they can only go on select weekends."
"Worry not, my pretty Chaser," said Harry, placing hands on his hips. "Yours Truly has received permission from the Headmaster himself to go on any weekend I choose and take a select few friends with me. Don't ask me how or why, but I think it may be on the count of my awesomeness!"