For the next few weeks the Adema children took turns patrolling the corridors at night to watch out for trouble. The corridors were silent though. There were whispers about what had happened with Alecto and Collin that night. The Death Eater had shown up to her classes with deep cuts in her face that looked improperly healed. This had set off the rumors, which would have enticed would more disorder had it not been for the fact that she used the Cruciatus curse on about a quarter of her students the next day. This deterred most of those who thought of pulling more nighttime pranks.
Daniel found out from Sofia what Collin had been a few weeks later when they met in the library.
“He was planting a color bomb for Professor Snape,” she told him. “He overheard James walking about Splash and got the idea from that. I don’t know what happened to it though. If it did go off on Snape I’m sure he hushed it up.”
“Hey, little ones.”
James walked up behind them and sat down next to Daniel.
“What’s up, guys?” He asked.
“We were discussing the event with Collin Creevey a few weeks ago,” Daniel said. “I heard he got the idea of the color bomb from you.”
James smiled, looking mischievous.
“I may have let our little game slip to the members of the DA. I showed them how to make the color bombs and Ginny modified them a little bit. Growing up with the Weasley twins did a wonder on that girl.”
“What modifications?” Daniel asked.
“They’re bigger and stronger. They can explode on contact like normal or they can be exploded with a wand. She also is experimenting with some that give you nasty rashes and other horrid effects. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t want to be one of her test subjects.”
“She’ll probably test them on Slytherins before she tries them out on the Carrows,” Daniel noted in a sad tone. He liked most of his House mates, even if his cousins did not.
“Yeah, watch out for that,” James said with a laugh. “I think she would feel bad if she accidentally got you with one.”
“How’s she planning on distributing them anyway?” Daniel asked is cousin. “If she does it herself then the Carrows will know it’s her. She’ll be in so much trouble.”
James looked around, as if afraid of being overheard, even though they were the only ones in this section of the library.
“Peeves,” he whispered. “He hates the Carrows and Snape because they’ve been talking of expelling him from the grounds. Plus he was actually fond of Dumbledore, and cannot forgive Snape for killing him.”
“Most people can’t,” Sofia noted absentmindedly.
Daniel stared incredulously at his sister. No on in their right mind could forgive Snape for killing the greatest wizard of all times, the strong mentor to whom many people looked up to. He had betrayed and murdered the man who trusted him and gave him a second chance in life.
“What?” Sofia asked, noticing her brother’s glance.
“You said most people. Have you forgiven him?” Daniel demanded angrily. He had always been extremely fond of the former headmaster and had looked up to him.
James looked uncomfortably between the two of them and then stood up.
“Uh, I’ll leave you two alone,” he said awkwardly before hurrying away.
Daniel looked at Sofia expectantly as she watched James go, but she did not say anything.
“Well?” He demanded. “Have you forgiven Snape for killing Dumbledore?”
“Daniel, listen,” Sofia said quietly. She looked back over to him and then lowered her eyes. “There is a lot that you do not know. You, like many others, know only what you see or hear from rumors and gossip.”
“What could you possibly know that could ever make you forget that man?” Daniel said in frustration. “Did you not like Dumbledore? Did you want him dead too?”
“Of course not!” Sofia said defensively. “But there is another side that you do not understand.”
“If it leads to forgiving that piece of dung then I’m not sure I want to.”
He stood up quickly and grabbed his school bag. He threw his books into it hurriedly and threw it over his shoulder. Then he stormed away before Sofia could even protest.
How could his sister take Snape’s side? He worked for Voldemort, and she despised Voldemort. Or at least Daniel thought she did. Maybe his sister was a spy too. Maybe her loyalties had shifted.
No. Daniel forced these thoughts from his mind. His sister was the best person he knew. Her heart was pure, good and strong. Voldemort couldn’t turn her. No one could. She must have a viable reason for forgiving Snape. Whatever it was though, Daniel wasn’t sure that he wanted to know.
Sofia awoke on the morning of the first Quidditch match to find Natalie’s bed empty. She got up and dressed quickly, then went to find her friend. She did not have to go far. Natalie was sitting beside the empty fireplace in the common room reading the Daily Prophet. She looked up and smiled at Sofia.
“Hey, good luck today.”
“Thanks,” Sofia said, smiling back. “Will you be there?”
“Of course! I wouldn’t miss your first game for anything.”
Sitting down beside Natalie, Sofia was glad that her friend would finally be getting out. Though she looked sleep deprived, her eyes were not so red. Her hair was brushed back from her face, and she was wearing one of her nicer sets of robes. She was getting better, though Sofia would not go so far as to say she was doing well yet.
“Will you help me get caught up with all my work the next few days?” Natalie asked quietly.
“Are you really asking me that?” Sofia said with fake incredulous. “Of course I will! As long as you go down to breakfast with me this morning.”
Natalie let out a light laugh and stood up.
“Come on,” she said. “I’m starving.”
Sofia stood up and followed her friend down to breakfast, glad that her friend was making small steps towards recovery. They entered the Great Hall together, and were met by loud chaos and energy that had always preceded every Quidditch match since Sofia had entered Hogwarts.
For the moment, students remained at their own tables. Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws alike were sporting gold and scarlet banners, flags and scarves of the Gryffindors. Sofia caught sight of Luna Lovegood at the Ravenclaw table sporting her ridiculously enormous lion hat.
“Luna’s hat is absolutely outrageous,” Natalie giggled in Sofia’s ear as they took their seats across from Marcus and James, who both looked shocked to see Natalie. Neither of them made any comments about her presence though.
“I am so ready to kick my little siblings’ butts,” James said firmly. “If we lose they will never let me forget it.”
“Face it James,” Marcus said. “Whoever wins will never let the others forget.”
“How did you end up in Gryffindor when both of your brothers and your sister are in Slytherin?” Natalie asked James.
“The twins were always going to go to the same place. They’re inseparable. Ollie and Daniel have always been closer to brother than cousins. As for me, I’ve always been the independent one. I never liked for them to follow me. I always wanted them to pick their own paths.”
“Hey Sof,” Sofia looked down the table and saw Ginny staring at her. “Look now, I know you’re friends with Draco and all, but if you don’t knock him up real good then I’m going to kick your butt myself.”
“Don’t worry Ginny, he won’t be able to sit on his broom properly by the time I’m finished with him.”
The Gryffindors nearest roared with laughter and began to chant “GRYFFINDOR, GRYFFINDOR!”
Others began to take up the chant, and soon it echoed around the Great Hall.
“ENOUGH!” A voice roared from the back, and the entire hall fell silent instantly. It was Snape, and this was the first meal he had attended in over a month.
“I shall not have my students shouting in the Great Hall like a bunch of buffoons,” he roared angrily.
As he turned his back to leave, a voice called out from the Hufflepuff table.
“We’re not your students, we’re Dumbledore’s students.”
Snape whirled, whipping at his wand and stalking over to the Hufflupuff table. He grabbed a boy by his robes and dragged him from his seat. It was Justin Finch-Fletchy. Snape threw him onto the ground viciously.
“Mister Finch-Fletchy, a week worth of detention for you with the Carrows for your outburst,” he snarled so the entire hall could hear him. “And I will tell you this; anyone who questions my authority at this school questions the Dark Lord himself, and those who question the Dark Lord are subject to his punishments. Dumbledore is dead. Don’t forget it.”
Justin got to his feet and stared at Snape angrily, but did not say anything. A few seats down from Sofia, Neville stood up and shouted loud enough for everyone to hear.
“How can we forget when his killer is standing right in front of us?”
There was a flash and Neville fell to the ground, writhing in pain. Gasps of shock and fear spread through the hall. Neville was from the pain, but he refused to scream. That single act was his stand of defiance against the tyranny that Snape had brought to the school.
Sofia walked out onto the Quidditch pitch, feeling slightly anxious. She mounted her broom and kicked off, rising into the air and taking her place across from Draco. He nodded curtly at her, but gave her a look that said their friendship would not mean he would let her win. She gave him the same calm stare back.
She could see Daniel in front of the goal posts opposite from her. He looked extremely calm and comfortable and in the air, more comfortable than Sofia felt. Ollie, Lauren and Julius were side by side a few yards below Draco, staring at Ginny, Dean and Demelza. Marcus took his place in front of the rings behind Sofia and James and Peaks lined up across from Crabbe and Goyle.
Sofia looked out across the crowded stands. She could see the immense sea of gold and maroon that covered it, except for one small section of green and silver. Looking up at the teacher section, Sofia noticed that Snape was absent.
She was too busy surveying the crowd that she did not notice the Quaffle being launched into the air and the blowing of the whistle that signaled the start of the game. As a flash of green robes flashed by her she jerked herself back into focus and took off through the sky.
She climbed high into the air and began to circle the pitch slowly, keeping half of her mind searching for the Snitch and the other half watching the rest of the game. Ginny, Dean, and Demelza were really good and worked well together, but they were up against three siblings who had grown up playing Quidditch together. The Gryffindor chasers could weave in and out of the Slythierin ones easily, but if they lost the Quaffle it was next to impossible for them to get it back before a shot was taken. Ollie and the twins could weave and move together in a way that showed they knew each other as much more than school mates. They knew every move each other made, every dive, every pass, every dodge and every zigzag. The three were truly a beautiful thing to watch.
Marcus was the only thing that kept his cousins from scoring. His keeper skills were superb. He stopped every shot the three would make as though he knew ahead of time where they were aiming.
A Bludger came soaring towards Sofia’s head and she ducked out of the way. She looked up in time to see another one headed her way. She dove aside and her hands nearly slipped from her broom. She looked around and saw Crabbe and Goyle both staring at her and pointing from across the pitch, beaters bats in hand.
James flew up next to Sofia.
“I’m going to kill them,” he shouted to her angrily.
Sofia smiled and veered off away from him, continuing her circling of the pitch. Every few minutes Bludgers would come flying at her from the Slytherin beaters and she would have to alter her course to dodge and devastating hit. Occasionally she would look around to Draco to make sure he had not caught sight of something that she had not.
About thirty minutes into the match, the score still zero to zero, Sofia caught sight of a flash of gold on the far side of the pitch. She took off after it so quickly that she nearly fell forward off her broom. She steadied herself and sped off towards the Snitch. She heard gasps from the crowd as they realized that she had seen it.
The Snitch began to rise high into the air, with Sofia in pursuit. A few moments later she heard Draco behind her. They climbed higher and higher, until they were lost in the clouds above the pitch. Sofia struggled to keep her eyes on the Snitch, and almost missed it when it began to dive again. She pulled to a stop and dove after it, but her hesitation had given Draco a chance to catch up to her. They were now racing shoulder to shoulder towards the ground in pursuit of the Snitch.
He veered off slightly from her and then came back and slammed her hard. She held tight to her broom and bumped him back, though not as viciously. She kept her shoulder against his, pushing him with constant pressure to try and force him off course. She could hear cheers rising up from the Slytherin supporters. Her cousins must have scored.
The Snitch leveled out suddenly about thirty meters from the ground. Sofia pulled up on her broom to stay behind it, but Draco was too slow. By the time he had pulled up Sofia was already several meters in front of him. She followed the Snitch as it wove back and forth, side to side. She was inches from it now. She reached out and felt her fingers closing around the small golden ball.
Just as she caught it she felt an enormous object hit her from above. It knocked her from her broom and she fell thirty meters to the ground, landing with a sickening thud.
She tried to sit up but her head was spinning. She could make out the figure of Crabbe flying over her, circling her menacingly. Then another blonde headed figure flew into her vision field and ran straight into Crabbe, nearly knocking him off. That was the last thing Sofia remembered before she passed out.