Hogwarts and the Wolf in the Fold

Voldemort puts a spy into Hogwarts.
Set during the year of the Half-blood Prince.

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26. Quidditch and Questions

 Quidditch and Questions

It wasn’t long before everyone’s thoughts turned to the forthcoming quidditch match between Hufflepuff and Gryffindor. David was itching to have a go at playing himself and he asked Biggins if there was any chance that he could get involved somehow. Biggins made a few enquiries and it was arranged that he and a few other Hufflepuffs could go to training one night and make up a team for them to practice against.
David was overjoyed and on the day in question, he could hardly sit still as the butterflies danced around in his stomach.
That night he and Susan made their way with the other Hufflepuffs, to the quidditch stadium. David had borrowed a set of robes from Biggins, who had once played as a beater for the team but could no longer fit into them.
Madam Hooch had also allowed him to borrow one of the school brooms, a comet seventy. David had not flown a broom in real life, but his memory of flying as Davide were vivid in his mind and he had no fear or worries about getting it off the ground.
Susan left him to go and sit in the stands, but gave him a little peck on the cheek for luck first.
With trembling hands, David gripped the broom at its end and threw a leg over the steel. Then, without thought or hesitation he kicked off from the ground and zoomed into the air.
The feeling of freedom and speed was completely exhilarating. It was nothing like flying as a bird. Whenever he was inside Dusty, it was as if he were the passenger inside an unusual airplane. Here, he was in command of the whole situation.
He swooped around and looked down at the seven team players gathered at one end of the pitch, then at the six other players hovering around the other end.
With a whoop of joy, he leant forward and sped towards them, pulling out of the dive at the last moment and coming to a dead stop.
Ernie MacMillan was in charge of the players and he gave each one of them a position to play. Ernie was the reserve seeker for the real Hufflepuff team, so he would play that role. It would also give him the chance to observe the players and to report back to his captain if any of them might be good enough to try out for the team in the future.
“I was going to put you in as keeper, David.” He said.
“But after watching you fly just now, I think I’ll have you as a chaser. You take the left-hand position, Madge go central and Toby go right.” David nodded and a boy and girl, both older-looking than him, stepped forward.
The three of them shook hands and then shot into the air, stopping somewhere towards the centre of the pitch. They arranged themselves into as straight a line as they could, spaced out by twenty feet or so and at a height of about the same.
David turned and looked at Ernie, who pointed at the other players in turn and they each took up their allotted position. In front of him, the seven members of the real team were already in position and looking eager to begin.
The Hufflepuff captain was Zacharias Smith and he played in the centre of the three chasers. He edged forwards towards Madge, who looked at him with trepidation. Ernie threw up the quaffle and the game began.
Smith grabbed the quaffle and immediately threw it sideways to Cadwallader. He took off towards David, who turned to his left and forced the player to his outside. It was a good piece of blocking, but a speeding bludger aimed at David’s body forced him to pull up quickly and Cadwallader threw the quaffle back to Smith.
It was obvious that the beaters on David’s side were not very good, so Smith had no difficulty in flying straight towards the goal and scoring past what was also a hapless keeper.
The game continued for the rest of the hour in much the same manner. David’s team-mates were obviously poor fliers and he found himself chasing his opponents more than the quaffle.
He did his best to protect the left hand side of the pitch and on the one occasion that he managed to receive a pass from Madge, he had swerved past two chasers and a beater only to see his throw at goal saved by the keeper.
“Good swerving, mate” Said Cadwallader and gave David a ‘high five’.
David was having the time of his life, not caring that his team was getting flattened. He was just happy to be on a broomstick and to be putting in a pretty good performance.
The final score was four hundred and twenty to ten. In the last minute the opponents had let Madge fly past them all and throw the quaffle into an open goal. She had almost missed even then. The quaffle had hit the hoop itself, but had luckily bounced through.
There was laughing and joking as they made their way back to the castle. Zacharias was brimming with pleasure at the way in which the team had played and he had a few good words to say about David’s flying too.
“Pity you don’t qualify to play for the team, David. We could use another decent reserve player.”
David’s smile was as wide as a dragon’s, as he walked hand in hand with Susan. They stopped in the great hall to pick up a couple of huge mugs of hot chocolate and a plateful of cookies, then passed though and down the corridor to their common room.
Inside, there was a buzz of excitement in the room and everyone was talking about Hufflepuff’s chances against Gryffindor. The two friends cuddled in front of the fire and then towards midnight, David kissed Susan good night and went off to bed.
That night he dreamed of flying a broom at Beauxbatons. He was racing against his friend Jonkers again.
The days passed quickly and the day of the big quidditch match arrived. David and Susan gobbled down their breakfasts, as the rest of the Hufflepuffs chattered noisily and looked over at the Gryffindor table.
The Gryffindors seemed a little subdued and this made the Hufflepuffs even more excited. Ernie and Smith said they had a good feeling about the match and the rest of the team was in good spirits too.
Down at the stadium, the crowd of students waved flags and banners and David could hardly hear himself speak to Susan at his side.
As the teams came onto the pitch, they all cheered and boo-ed in turn at their own and the opposing players.
David noticed that Harry Potter looked annoyed or distracted by something and that he kept looking over towards the stadium exit. When the teams mounted their broomsticks and got into the air, Potter still kept glancing over towards the castle from up on high.
The game began and David shouted along with the other Hufflepuffs. He didn’t watch the progress of the quaffle, but kept an eye on Harry Potter. The Gryffindor seeker kept stopping in mid-air, as if he couldn’t concentrate on the match.
David wondered if it was the commentator who was speaking to the crowd through a magical megaphone. He couldn’t see who was commentating, but whoever it was had never done it before. She didn’t know the players’ names and kept forgetting to tell the crowd what was happening in the game.
Then, much to David’s surprise, he saw Potter arguing with his own keeper. He was waving his arm and remonstrating with him, but the keeper was giving as good as he was getting. The Hufflepuffs laughed with glee as Potter moved back in the middle of the pitch, with a face like thunder.
Hufflepuff were playing well and were leading by seventy points to forty, when the most amazing thing of all happened. The Gryffindor keeper took hold of one of the beater’s bats and was swinging it around, as if showing his team-mate how to use it properly. Suddenly, he hit one of the bludgers and it flew straight into the face of Harry Potter, who had come over to see what was going on.
There were screams and cries of horror from the crowd of Gryffindors and of disbelief from the Hufflepuffs. Potter fell to the ground unconscious. Luckily he had been quite low to the ground when he fell, so he might not have been hurt any further.
After a long break, during which Harry Potter was carried away by several teachers, the game resumed. The Gryffindor team was in a shambles and Hufflepuff scored goal after goal. The crowd was going berserk and the humiliation of the Gryffindors only came to an end when the Hufflepuff seeker managed to grab the golden snitch.
David and the others grabbed each other and jumped up and down with delight at their team’s victory. They all rushed back to the Hufflepuff common room, where a huge party ensued. Professor Sprout provided food and drinks for them and they sang and danced into the night. Hufflepuff were in the leading position for the house quidditch trophy.
Before he jumped into bed, however, David had a sudden urge to sneak out and peek into the infirmary window and take a look at Harry Potter. He locked his room door and wasted no time in calling Dusty back inside. The familiar had been out in the dark and David wondered if he had been building a nest or something.
Once inside Dusty, David flew out of the window and towards the hospital wing. He perched on the windowsill and peered through the window of the room where he had seen Ron Weasley earlier in the week. The room was lit by a single lamp, from whose light David could see Harry Potter sitting up and talking to Ron Weasley.
Once again, he wished that he could hear what they were talking about, but the window was closed and the glass too thick to allow any sound to reach him. He could see Harry Potter talking animatedly and it was frustrating to wonder what was bothering him so much.
David watched, fascinated at the scene before him, when suddenly three small figures appeared in the room out of thin air. It was a pair of house-elves who were fighting and tussling with each other, and the poltergeist that David had encountered once before.
The poltergeist appeared to be egging on the elves, who were having a good old ding-dong. A semblance of order was resumed when Harry Potter cast a spell at Peeves, the poltergeist, who then zoomed off. The two elves then stopped fighting and started talking to Potter.
It wasn’t clear what Potter might be saying to them, but the elves were nodding and seemingly agreeing to whatever was being asked of them. David had no clue if the elves belonged to Potter or to Weasley and he was desperate to try and find out.
He watched until the two elves suddenly disappeared and the two students finally turned off their lamp. ‘What on earth was all that about?’ David asked himself.
He flew back to his room in a state of confusion. He had so many questions and strange incidents to recall, but no answers or ideas about what was going on at Hogwarts. He only knew that Harry Potter was up to no good and that the Dark Lord needed to know.
It was time to talk to Voldemort again and to tell him about the elves.
The next morning, however, David had thought more about what he had seen and he decided that it wasn’t important enough to bother the Dark Lord with. He would wait until he had gathered more information on Potter first.
 So, from then on, David tried his best to hang around in the general vicinity of Harry Potter whenever he was able. This meant working as near to him as possible in herbology classes and making excuses to walk behind Potter and his friends, whenever Susan was with him.
Susan never showed any sign that she thought that David was behaving oddly. She would put her arm through his and walk alongside him, chatting about the lesson and any other subject that came to her.
Susan liked to talk a lot, but it never annoyed David. She had lots of stories about witches and wizards that she had met through her parents when they were alive. Her aunt had also been high up in the ministry and when she had taken Susan into work for a visit, she had met the minister for magic Cornelius Fudge.
Susan told him about the magical creatures that interested her the most, her plans to work in the ministry when she had finished her NEWTs and even what she planned to eat for breakfast the next day.
David nodded and smiled, throwing in an occasional ‘yeah’ when he realised that she was waiting for him to say something, but he also kept an ear open for anything that Potter might be saying to his friends.
The only odd bits that David overheard were something about Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle hanging around somewhere and something about a conversation with a girl called ‘moaning Myrtle’.
David wondered whether Potter and his friends might be a bit duller than he had imagined.
One particular weekend, the school had organised extra lessons in apparition down in Hogsmeade. Susan wanted to go and get more practice in, but David said he would give it a miss for once.
“Well, if you fail the test in a few weeks it’s your own fault.” She told him.
She gave him a passionate kiss in the hallway and then waited in line with the others, as Filch wandered up and down the line poking them with his secrecy sensor.
David watched her go, with a slight sense of shame about lying to her. He wanted to spend the day following Potter, because he had heard him telling Ron Weasley that he too wouldn’t be going to Hogsmeade.
Back in his room, David called Dusty over and once again took possession of the bird’s body.
He didn’t know where Potter was going to be, so he intended to take a look through the window of the Gryffindor tower. First of all though, he was going to fly over the top of Susan and get a view of her from above.
This was a lucky decision, because unknown to David, Harry Potter was examining the Marauder’s Map at that time. The map showed everyone in Hogwarts and although David was in the guise of a bird, Harry only saw the name and a dot appear to be moving along the path that led to Hogsmeade.
It didn’t even occur to Harry Potter that the dot was labelled as David Pryce and not Davide Bertillon. After all, Harry didn’t know the name of every student at Hogwarts.
By the time that David had done his fly-by and had returned to the castle, Harry had already left the tower under his invisibility cloak and was heading off to the seventh floor corridor and the room of requirement.
David was quite enjoying his flight out in the sun. The weather was bright and warm and the wind under his wings felt totally refreshing. He closed his eyes and let himself glide downwards, only opening them at the last minute when he suddenly remembered that he might be attacked again.
With a surge of panic, he fled towards the cover of the castle walls and skimmed the ground until he reached the Gryffindor tower. He then flitted upwards until he reached the level of the common room.
This time, he had a wonderful view inside the room. All of the curtains were open and sunlight lit the interior. Sadly, the room was completely empty.
‘Damn!’ Cursed David and he racked his brains as to where Potter might be.
It was a big castle and there were dozens of places that a student might spend his time at the weekend.
There was nothing for it, but to look in at the most likely places.
The first place that David checked was the school library. The windows there were very small and the room was badly lit inside. There were a few studious types lurking around the shelves and sitting at the study benches, but no Harry Potter.
The same was true of the great hall and the herbology greenhouses. It wouldn’t be possible to check every classroom, corridor and bathroom, so David decided to give it up and take a look for Malfoy instead.
He then realised that he had no idea where the Slytherin common room was and that the only place he had seen Malfoy before, was the corridor on the seventh floor.
With a shrug of his feathers, David flew up to the window where he had seen Malfoy enter the hidden room.
The corridor was deserted, or so it seemed. From the far end, a young woman was walking slowly towards him. All of a sudden, Harry Potter appeared from nowhere. It looked as if he had fallen out of the wall.
The woman looked down at him in surprise and said something. Potter hadn’t been inside the room at all. David could now see that he had been wearing an invisibility cloak. The amazing object was flowing in Potter’s hands like a shimmering river of water.
Whatever it covered, just disappeared from view. It was hard to make out the actual shape of it, as Potter folded it up and stuffed it inside his robes.
‘It must be incredibly thin.’ Thought David and he wished that he could have a go with it himself. ‘What couldn’t I do with something like that!’
Potter was now chatting with the woman, who David suddenly recognised as the woman who he had bumped into when he had got off the train on his arrival at Hogwarts. Her hair was a different colour though now.
The conversation didn’t last long and the woman left Potter and carried on walking towards David and the stairs going down.
After a moment, Potter pulled out the invisibility cloak and swung it over his head, disappearing instantly.
David’s heart thumped. He now had the proof that Potter did indeed possess a cloak of invisibility. This was good news, but on the down side he now saw that he had no way of following Potter if he was wearing the cloak.
Still, the Dark Lord would surely be interested to know that Harry Potter was spying on Draco Malfoy, but whether or not it was on Dumbledore’s orders remained a mystery.
He needed to find out what Dumbledore was doing when nobody else was around to see him. That would be more difficult to find out.
David then began to wonder about the young woman who had met Potter. She hadn’t been overly shocked or amazed to see Potter suddenly appear like that. She must have known him, but how?
He also didn’t recall seeing the woman about the castle since that first day. ‘I suppose she could be a teacher.’ He told himself. ‘There are quite a few Professors who stay in their own rooms during the day and then make a one-off appearance, like that Burbage woman.’
Feeling that maybe the day hadn’t been wasted after all, David flew back around the castle and back through the ground-floor window and into his room.
He landed on the windowsill with a jolt and a silent shout of surprise. There, in the room, was Pinky the house-elf and she was stood at the side of his body and patting his hand.
“Wake up, Master David.” Said Pinky, picking up the lifeless hand and stroking it gently.
She hadn’t heard David landing lightly in the window and he took the opportunity to return to his body as quickly as he could.
Dusty gave a ‘caw’, which distracted Pinky for a moment and then he flew back outside, leaving David alone with Pinky.
He opened his eyes and a huge grin erupted on his face.
“Pinky!”
He sat up and pulled the elf towards him, giving her a long and tight hug. She squeaked in joy at David’s delight and hugged him back. Her tiny little arms hardly reaching all the way around him.
“Master David has grown even since Pinky last saw him.” She said with a smile.
“It’s great to see you again.” Said David.
“What brings you here to Hogwarts? How did you get here?”
“House-elves can apparate when they needs to.” She replied.
“Pinky has been told to give Master David this.” She said and handed David a small package.
“The Dark Lord told me to tell you that it may come in useful for you.”
“You saw the Dark Lord?” David asked.
Pinky shivered and blinked her eyes, staring directly into those of David.
“Yes. Pinky was very scared of him. The Dark Lord gives me the gold that I sends to you using an owl, but owls cannot get through the magical protection that is around the Hogwarts castle, so Pinky has brought it in person herself.” She beamed happily.
“Thank you, Pinky. You’re so kind.”
David put his hand on hers and gave it a quick squeeze.
“The Dark Lord also tells Pinky to say that he has been told that Albus Dumbledore is leaving the castle for days at a time and so he wants you to find out why.”
“I also has more gold for you, from the Dark Lord.” She said and pulled out a clinking pouch from under the pillowcase that she was wearing.
“I was just about to go for dinner in the Great Hall. Do you want to come with me? My friend Susan would love to meet you. I’ve told her all about you.”
A slight frown fell over Pinky’s face, but then she recovered herself and put on another smile.
“Pinky would love to do that, but is not allowed.”
David sighed.
“Maybe I can get some food and drink and bring it back here for us?” He suggested.
“Master David has no need to do that. Pinky can go to the kitchens herself and ask her cousin Winky to bring food here.” She said.
“Brilliant!” Said David and he jumped up and started to clear the writing table.
Pinky winked at David and raised one hand in the air. With a ‘snap’ of the fingers she disappeared.
Half an hour later, there was another ‘snap’ and Pinky re-appeared carrying a large silver salver. At her side was another elf who looked vaguely similar in size and shape, but with more of a tomato-shaped nose. She was also carrying a heavy salver.
She looked at David in a furtive way, as if unsure about him, then whispered something to Pinky. Pinky immediately flushed and rolled her eyes up, to look at David very meekly.
Winky then giggled loudly and with one hand over her mouth to try to hide it, she placed down the salver, then turned around and disappeared with a loud ‘crack’.
“Pinky is very sorry for taking so long to bring the food, but her cousin Winky had lots of news to tell me.” Pinky apologised.
“No problem.” Said David.
“I bet she was thrilled to meet you.”
Pinky beamed with pleasure.
“Winky was pleased to see Pinky again. She has been very upset since her Master was killed and she is only just getting used to her new home.”
David nodded and eyed up the salvers.
Pinky grinned at him and ‘tut-ted’.
“Always as hungry as a hippogriff.”
The two friends laughed and Pinky removed the lids from the salvers. A cloud of steam arose and the aroma of stew and dumplings filled the air.
There was a jug of pumpkin juice, a bowl of trifle and all the knives, forks and dishes that they needed. Pinky served up the food and they tucked in.
They chatted together as they ate. Pinky told David about goings-on at the Maison and David recalled everything that he could about Hogwarts and the lessons he was taking. He played down his friendship with Susan and concentrated more on the Creavey brothers.
Pinky was interested in everything that David had done since he had left her in the summer. David, meanwhile, was enjoying Pinky’s stories about Ralf and Igor. Apparently, a strong wind had broken another branch on the whomping willow and Ralf had been given the task of trying to repair it.
David actually cried with laughter at Pinky’s impersonation of Ralf creeping up to the tree in the middle of the night and then of him flying through the air after he had been hit like a golf ball. The poor elf had landed in a pond and swallowed a large amount of dirty water.
Pinky assured David that Ralf had soon recovered and that the broken branch had eventually been hurled off the tree, as it flailed them around in anger.
The branch in question had then gone crashing through a bay window and Igor had to replace the glass later.
Pinky stayed for a couple of hours before she reluctantly had to return home. There was a tear in her eye, as David gave her another warm hug and a small kiss on her cheek. Her face glowed as red as a fire engine and she began to hiccup.
“Bye, Pinky. See you soon.” Said David.
“Goodbye, Master David.”
With a ‘crack’, the house-elf disappeared. David looked at the spot where she had been standing and smiled happily.

 

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