Harry awoke the next morning to the sounds of rain outside his window. He lay in his bed, recalling the events of yesterday with a smile. He got up out of bed, showered, magically dried his hair, then tied it back once again with Ginny’s hair tie. He walked through to his kitchen, and picked up his Muggle post from the door mat. Phone bill, electricity bill, gas bill, Harry though, mentally deducting the money from his bank account. With his post was the Muggle newspaper The Times, which he read to keep up to date with the Muggle news.
Today he was planning to go and see Ron at home, and take him to a Quidditch match. He also had a ticket for Ginny, but had not told her it was happening yet. Because of the nature of Harry’s job, he would be sitting in the commentators’ room, watching the game from high above the normal spectator. His two guests would sit in the VIP box, along with several other journalists and the team affiliates.
Having eaten some breakfast, he made to get ready to go out. Being a July day, it was warm outside. British summers have never been renowned for their heat, and today was no exception to the rule. Hoping to please Hermione, Harry decided to get the train to Warwick to see Ron, and so it was that he found himself walking to Birmingham Snow Hill station to get the train. After Voldemort had been defeated, the Ministry had encouraged greater integration into Muggle society. To this end, many wizards were sending their children to Muggle primary schools. Hermione, along with Arthur, had been the one who had put forward these plans when she entered her job in the Ministry. Naturally, the original rules about concealing magic use were still strictly in place.
“Harry, hi!” said Ron, opening the door to his house.
“Hiya, Ron! Ready for the match later?” asked Harry, walking in.
“Just about. Hermione had to go to work this morning to help someone with a research project that their department is doing,” said Ron, moving through to the kitchen. “Coffee?”
“No thanks, Ron. Just had one. So, this could be the big comeback match for the Canons eh?” he said.
“It could be. Since they’ve completely reorganised their team. New coach and Captain. Should be interesting to see,” said Ron, still a vehement supporter of the Chudley Canons.
“Yea, but the Falcons have had the same Coach and same Captain for ten years at least, and they’re a world class team. Two players on the National team are from the Falcons,” Harry pointed out
“Well. Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best, eh?” Ron grinned. “Where is it?”
“On Anglesey,” said Harry. Anglesey is a small Island just off the North tip of Wales. It is only reachable by a road bridge and a rail bridge. It is an area with a small population, so an ideal place for one of the English Quidditch Stadiums.
“Ah, right,” Ron said, leaving Hermione a note on the kitchen table “Time?”
“11.05. We should leave. Starts at twelve and I’ve got to get ready,” Harry said, looking at his watch.
“What about Ginny?” said Ron
“Ah. Yes. Excuse me for a second,” said Harry, who remembered about the spare ticket, and Apparated to the Burrow.
“Hello?” said Harry, appearing in the living room in the Burrow, and rushing into the kitchen. There seemed to be no one around. He looked around the rest of the lower floor of the Burrow, then decided to head upstairs to Ginny’s room to find her. He knocked on the door.
“I’m busy, Mum,” came Ginny’s voice from inside.
“I’m not mum, I’m Harry.” He heard a scrambling behind the door, and a few seconds later the door opened.
“Sorry!” said Ginny, hugging him. “Mum’s been trying to make me research for jobs already! I just want a little break first.”
“Well, that’s a coincidence, because I wondered if you wanted to come to the Falcons/Cannons match,” he said.
“But that’s, what, half an hour from now?” said Ginny.
“I know. You coming?” asked Harry.
“Yeah, ok,” said Ginny, who went back into the room, grabbed a handbag and a coat, then came out again.
“That was quick,” said Harry.
“Thinking of ‘the girls take ages’ thing, eh?” said Ginny, heading downstairs. “Mum’s not in. She’s gone shopping in the village. I’ll just leave a note…Apparate to Ron’s. I’ll meet you there in a sec.”
“Ok. See you there,” Harry said, and then Apparated with a small ‘pop’ away from the Burrow. Ginny scribbled her note, and followed soon afterwards.
“Alright, Mr Potter?” said Joe, the security guard outside the reporters box.
“Yes, thanks, Joe. Should be an interesting match, this one,” he replied “Here’s the pass.”
Joe took the pass, and checked with a spell, then handed it back.
“All ok, Mr Potter. Enjoy the game,” he said with a smile.
“You too, Joe. See you later,” said Harry. Joe nodded in reply and opened the door for him.
Harry walked into the large windowed room, and took in the usual scene of desks littered with paper, memos flying in from other parts of the ground and outside the ground, the usual group from the WWSN (Wizarding Wireless Sport Network) speaking a pre-game commentary. Harry sat down at the desk that was marked out for him. It read: “For the use of Mr H. Potter – Sports Correspondent, Daily Prophet Sports.” He took the bag off his shoulder, sat down at the desk and removed three roles of parchment, the usual limit for a Quidditch Review, and two quills.
The Quidditch Review – Falmouth Falcons v. Chudley Cannons, Saturday 27th July 2002
Like all come back games, the Falmouth Falcons have been picked as the contenders for the come back team. This week, the team is the Chudley Cannons, a world renowned team for having the largest loss record of any league team. However, with the new Captain, Billius Tidbit, and the new Coach, Verelda Snork (formerly of the Falcons), the Cannons hope to be able to change their motto back to its original ‘We Shall Conquer’. Of course, the Falcons have a reputation of being a rather violent team, and a team to test the new skills of an old one. This is naturally the reason for the interesting match up of teams this fine Saturday afternoon.
A note on the pitch conditions – the weather is fine and sunny, a light easterly wind, with cloud forecast to follow later in the afternoon. The pitch is dry, so there will be a good kick off..
The team line ups:
As mentioned earlier, the Captain and Coach of the Chudley Cannons have changed since the last season. This was as a result of pressure from the owners of the club to try and get a win. The new line up is as follows:
Captain: Billius Tidbit (2001 - )
Coach: Verelda Snork (2001 - )
Seeker: Galvin Gudgeon (1992 - )
Chasers: Val and Ken Doderidge (1999 - ) and Katie Harper (1998 - )
Beaters: Joey Jenkins (1994 - ) and William Long (1996 - )
Keeper: Dean Murphey (1991 - )
The Falmouth Falcons celebrated last year when the two sons of the 1959 Beaters, Kevin and Karl Broadmoor were accepted on to the team as the beaters. The team line up remains the same since last year:
Captain: Randolph Parker (1978 - )
Coach: Gavin Breaker (1999 - )
Seeker: Ramni Willston (1992 - )
Chasers: Perry Cowes (1998 - ), Wilma Parry (1997 - ) and Geoff Knight (1998 - )
Beaters: Dan and Dave Broadmoor (2001 - )
Keeper: Duncan Roster (2000 - )
A relatively young team for the Falcons has proven successful in the past. The long lived Seeker, Willston has had a success rate of 220 catches to 14 losses. The Falcons are a force to be reckoned with, but from rumours on the practice grapevine, the Cannons have really pulled their socks up with the new coach, so this should be an interesting match to see.
The game got off to a good start. The Referee, Weldon Parvis (1995 - ), started the game at exactly 12.00pm. The kick off put the Cannons at an immediate advantage. Their players have been weak on kick-offs in the past, so it is clear that the training has been going into sorting this fault. The Seeker is using the shadowing tactic, whereby he flies around the top of the game, keeping his eyes peeled. Both teams seem to be avoiding direct following, due to the new League by-law preventing this action. The first score was surprisingly by the Cannons, where Doderidge and Nad completed a perfect “one-two” pass along the field. The Beaters, Jenkins and Long are giving the Broadmoor brothers a run for their money. A lot of training has clearly gone into this team. The score was equalised after the first hour of play. The score being ten-ten, with ferocious defence from both teams. The Cannons really are proving to be that force to be reckoned with. As play continues, the clouds bring shadow over the stadium and a light wind picks up. The score has now risen to 30-20 to the Falcons. Goals scored by Nad for the Cannons, and Cowes and Knight for the Falcons. At 14.43, Gudgeon performs a perfect Wronski Feint. The plan works, as the Falcons Seeker Willston follows the move. Both remained unscathed, however, and play continues, with the Broadmoor’s becoming more desperate. The score has lifted to 40-30 to the Cannons, the Cannons taking the distraction as an advantage. The game now flows into a stale mate, with the defense and attack of each team proving to be equally good. At 16.23, Dave Broadmoor of the Falcons manages to damage Nad’s broom, causing the Cannons to play down with only two chasers. A penalty was awarded, which was scored by Val Doderidge. The end of play came at 17.48, after five hours and forty-eight minutes of play. The Snitch was caught by the Cannons Seeker, Gudgeon, which makes this day the first victory the Cannons have had since 1892.
The quality of play in this match was outstanding by both teams. We congratulate the Cannons on their excellent victory against the Falcons. An excellent comeback for a once floundering team. Tactical Comment from this match will be supplied by Ron Weasley in Monday’s edition of the Daily Prophet
Harry Potter, Sports Correspondent, Holyhead, Anglesey.
Harry set down his quill. He picked up the two scrolls of parchment which made up the review, and tied them to the post owl, that was waiting to send it off to London to be published in the Evening Prophet.
He got up off his desk. That was the twenty-eighth review for Quidditch that he had written in his time as correspondent, and it was certainly the most interesting match that he had seen in a long time.
Needless to say, Ron was ecstatic. He and Ginny had been sitting in the VIP box, and Ginny had apparently had a hard time trying to calm Ron down at the end of the match. Due to Harry’s connections in the Quidditch World, Ginny and he had privately decided to take him to the Cannons training ground on his birthday. This had been Ron’s dream from all those years ago when he first became a fan of the team.
“What a game, eh?” said Joe, as Harry exited the reporters box.
“Quite something. Didn’t expect it, though,” Harry replied “I expected the Falcons to win, but by a narrow margin.”
“Something of sorts, Mr Potter. See you at the next game?” said Joe.
“Indeed. Bye, Joe. Take care,” said Harry, shaking Joe’s hand, and then taking the stairs down to the bottom of the tower.
“HARRY!!! WE WON!!! WE WON!!!! WE WON!!!!” said Ron, jumping up and down with excitement.
“Well, we didn’t, but the Cannons did,” said Harry. Ron looked confused for a minute, shrugged, and carried on walking out of the ground towards the apparating point. Ginny walked up to Harry and put an arm around his waist. He returned the gesture, and together they walked into the gradually setting summer sun, with Ron making a fool of himself just ahead of them.
Many thanks for the reviews! To explain a few comments, Harry has taken a job at the Prophet despite his past experiences with it. I think he would have the good grace to forgive them for their mistakes. He’s reporting on something that he loves. If I were Harry, I would want a break between saving the world and protecting it again, thus he does not go straight out of Hogwarts to Auror College.
I can see Ron wanting to tinker with Muggle things. This is partly because of Hermione’s influence in marriage. I think also that he has taken some of his father’s fascination for all things Muggle.
Thanks as ever to Jen, the most wonderfullest beta ever!