The Men's Alumni day match report, by the one and only Tom Carver:
Harry woke groggily, his head roaring in pain, the scar on his head throbbing. He hated this feeling - Dumbledore had told him that after Voldemort was gone the headaches would stop. What Dumbledore hadn’t taken into account was the numerous fireVisKeys and butterbeers that Harry had consumed last night in The Three Wahoosticks.
“Bloody legend”, Harry whispered to himself.
On the bed above him Nor stirred, and Harry realised he had passed out on the floor in his drunken state. He looked around to find his glasses, and after some effort found them lodged under his makeshift pile-of-clothes bed, mangled and useless.
With considerable effort, Harry struggled to his feet and attempted to raise Nor from his slumber. Nor was clearly feeling the effects of the numerous fireVisKeys however (one of which was standing on his nightstand), but Harry shook him up anyway.
“Come on mate, we’ve got to go play.”
“F*!# off pal, I’m sleeping.”
Harry persisted, “It’s the big game Nor, we’ve got to get up. Look, I’ll go and get Dobby to make some eggs or some s#!?, but we’ve
really got to get cracking. Those Slytherin muppets are probably already warming up.”
It was the day of the annual Gryffindor vs Slytherin quidditch match. Held once a year, this had a reputation for being one of the most brutal games of the season. He really shouldn’t have drunk so much last night.
“Bloody legend”, he whispered again. “Hurry the f*!? up Nor!” he bellowed to the still-immobile figure of his best friend.
Half an hour later, Harry, Nor, and the rag-tag bunch of new Gryffindor players had limped their way to the pitch and begun to warm up. The morning was cold and wet, and no amount of impervius charms could keep their faces dry.
“Funny looking b#$!#?&$ aren’t they” he heard Nor utter at his ear.
Harry took a look over at the Slytherin team and couldn’t help but agree - it looked like Gryffindor was going to get well and truly muggled. Although some of the players looked fairly normal, there were some odd characters.
“Is that a Goblin?” Nor asked incredulously, as one late-comer arrived.
Harry recognised him and muffled a laugh.
“You’re not too far wrong - he does actually work at Gringotts. But no, that’s Michael Davis - he’s got a temper on him. I heard that he fed one of Filches old cats to a hippogriff after Filch called him ‘little man’.”
“Crikey. And is that one of Hagrid’s kids?”
“Nope, that’s Dominic Hewitt. Bit of a tragic story that one: he was cursed during a duel and despite Madame Pomfrey’s best efforts has had terrible chat ever since. Poor bloke. Not at all related to Hagrid though.”
Harry and Nor went on like this, identifying players and trying to get some sense of the game ahead.
“Oi, you two, shut up and get to the line-up!” Gryffindor’s first European captain in two decades had spotted them dawdling. Rumoured to be half-dutch, half-giant, Oliver Wood was gentle in nature but firm of tone and jaw line, and tolerated no b*!!$#!?at his games or practices.
Stifling a small Orange and Mango burp, Harry lined up for the opening whistle. Madame Hooch’s nephew, Matt ‘Jammy’ Hooch, lined up the players and issued the opening instructions.
“Now I expect a good, clean game from all of you -” he was interrupted by sniggers from the Slytherin side. “That means you Mr Prescott!”. Prescott, the notorious political activist, had just been released from his spell in Azkaban (where he had been put after an attempted coup on the Ministry of Magic), and clearly wanted to take out some of his political angst. Harry gritted his teeth; this game would be a struggle.
In the distance, the melodic tones of Nearly Headless Nick and the school’s ghost choir (‘The Moaning Myrtles’) could be heard in a rendition of ‘Jerusalem’. Harry mounted his broom and waited for the opening whistle, eyeing up the mad-eyed Prescott in front of him.
“Hey, good luck mate”, he offered up hopefully. No response.
The whistle was blown, and the quaffle was in the air - quidditch!
Right from the off Harry knew something was wrong - his broomstick wasn’t performing as he expected, someone had tampered with it! Looking up to the Slytherin chasers, he saw several players laughing and pointing at him as he struggled.
“Fred! Hey, Fred!” Harry tried to get the attention of the other captain, identical twin Fred (George had transferred to Frogwarts last year - Hogwarts’ bitter and inferior rivals). But Fred was having his own problems - his broom clearly had been tampered with as well. Classic Slytherin tactics. Harry had no choice but to sub himself off and try to reverse the curse on his broom, and Fred had to do the same.
With two of their top players off the field, Slytherin quickly took the lead. A nifty goal from the Captain of Ghana’s Lacrosse team (rumoured to cast engorgement charms on his posterior to enhance his performance) put the opposition up 1-0. Harry could only watch in frustration as Slytherin’s most obnoxious player imitated a basilisk in an horrendous goal celebration.
Casting his attention to his broom, Harry quickly noticed a small bit of wire wrapped around the middle that had been fiddling with the response times. Stripping it off, the broom steadied itself immediately, and Harry quickly subbed off Gyffindor’s resident poet (who had been reciting Rita Skeeta limericks to himself all game in an attempt to throw off the opposition). With their self-proclaimed top player (Harry had abandoned his year abroad at Durhmstrang where he definitely would have been captain of the quidditch team) back on the field, Gryffindor quickly stole back the lead. Nor and Fred were on fire - confusing the simple-minded Slytherin defence by wearing the same numbered robe (a tactic that was technically illegal by SEMQA rules, but Matty Hooch apparently didn’t know that), and slotting in several goals in a short period.
Their run was short lived however. The Slytherin keeper (renowned butterbeer maker and mature student Gregg Irwin) started to get his eye in, pulling off several spectacular saves. The Slytherin side was also bolstered by the arrival of Tommy Clohessey - the only man that the sorting hat ever put in Slytherin by mistake (he came from 16 generations of Hufflepuffs, a lovely bloke, lovely family). On the back of this, and a couple of goals from their obnoxious chaser, Slytherin pulled it right back and tied up the score at 6 a piece.
Things started to get a little vicious as time went on. The Slytherin side, encouraged by the blatant fouls of Mikey Davies, the straight up obnoxiousness of Dom Hewitt, and the fact that they were being beaten by a team they viewed as inferior, started to get chippy. It was all that Matty Hooch could do to keep the game in order. His assistant referee, Gilderoy Lockhart, had showed up to the game late (having spent the morning ‘assisting’ the women’s quidditch team) and flustered, but even between the two of them they struggled to keep the game in check.
Trading goals back and forth continued for a while - Slytherin’s Wintle took a break from telling everyone how he had slipped Pansy Parkinson a love potion last night and got some action (though how much he had got was very much debatable) and decided to play some quidditch, flying straight through the Gryffindor defence and beating the otherwise stellar keeping efforts of the Lion’s keeper.
In his fragile state, Harry saw the game go past in a daze. He was unable to perform his usual star duties of top-points scorer, and although his broom had been fixed, it seemed still to just fly to the right, whatever direction he originally pointed it. Admittedly, he still wasn’t the only one with broom problems - Slytherin’s house-elf/human hybrid T. Phillips’ broom just seemed to be flying in very large circles around the Gryffindor scoring hoops.
With only 3 minutes left in regulation time, Slytherin finally broke through the deadlock. The man they only referred to mysteriously as ‘Mr International’ managed to slot a crafty goal past the Gryffindor keeper. The quality and speed of the shot however left many of the spectators crying for an investigation - surely the keeper had been hexed with a confundus charm! How did such a s#*! shot go in? Regardless, Matty Hooch (rightly) counted the goal, and the result stood.
“This would never have happened at Durhmstrang” Harry cursed under his breath. Disgusted with his team’s performance, Harry reached for the nearest butterbeer as the Slytherin team dismounted their brooms and congratulated each other on yet another win.
“What was the final score then?” Nor had appeared at his elbow.
“9-8 I think. Absolute b*!!*?#$. Can someone tell that one who does all the celebrations that he needs to grow up?”
“We’ve been doing that for years” said Nor. “There’s no hope left at this point”.
Men's Blues - Saturday 1st October 2016 - Alumni Day