The Defiant — Chapter 10 — A Change in Fortunes

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Andrew Samuels is my fictional self in Hogwarts school. I wrote fanfiction in notebooks when I was supposed to be studying every night for school and occasionally during my undergraduate days. This fanfiction is set in the pre Howarts era when James Potter and Sirius were at school. This is Chapter 10 of the series.

Andrew Samuels is my fictional self in Hogwarts school. I wrote fanfiction in notebooks when I was supposed to be studying every night for school and occasionally during my undergraduate days. This fanfiction is set in the pre Howarts era when James Potter and Sirius were at school. Andrew Samuels is a muggle who lost his parents and also his adopted wizard family and lives in an muggle orphanage during summer. This fanfiction is incomplete because the first four chapters was written in a notebook. This was written about 10-15 years ago when I rarely used the internet and computers didn't dominate every aspect of my work. Also, the fanfiction wasn't completed. Only a tiny part of the originally planned fiction was written. I had couple of other fanfictions before this, but they were much too inferior to this, had way too many characters, hence I didn't save the notebooks in which I wrote them.

The story now centers around Quidditch matches that takes place when Andrew Samuels was a beater in the Ravenclaw Quidditch team during his third year. The story will appear broken because of missing chapters, but I hope that you will find the three Quiddich matches enjoyable.

See previous chapter — Camp Samuels

Chapter 10 — A Change in Fortunes

Welcome back to Hogwarts. Looking back the previous year, I felt that it was full of bitterness- loss of Prince and the only family I had. I hoped that this would be a better year. But after the departure of Prince, some good things consolatory happened. My place in the Quidditch team and of course getting close to my room mates, especially Kingsley. Well, I when I first met him after the holidays I had a lot to say.

'How did it go for you Andrew?'

'Well, great. It was simply awesome.'

Kingsley looked on jealously when I began to say about Camp Samuels and the Rochester district of Kent. He particularly enjoyed my description of the Roschester castle and the cathedral. Just then Parthiban Patel came into the room.

'Hi Parthiban, how did your holidays go?'

'Fine, Andrews. It was great'

'hey, I saw your dad Mr.Sameer Patel.'

'What and where?'

I told them all about Sameer Patel and my stint with martial arts. I even exhibited some of the moves I had learnt. Kingsley thought it funny for a wizard to learn all those things. I argued that physical fitness from karate could be very useful for quidditch. but he did not agree.

January 8, 1975

Soon, the preparations for the second match of the season was underway. After the classes got over, I went out with Kingsley to the grounds with my broom(which had to be dusted because it was not used for a month). When the team fully assembled, Captain Davies gave a pep talk.

'Now I want every one of you to listen here. We did really well against Griffindor in the last match. All the chasers were good, the beaters were magnificient and the keeper and seeker were awesome too. But let us not forget that it was won under dubious circumstances.'

I had a slightly uncomfortable feeling about this. But who cares? anyway we at lead now.

'But neverthless, we have a lead of 100 points from the Slytherin, 250 from Hufflepuff and 300 from Griffindor. But let us not forget that this. The greatest enemy we would fight at this circumstances is our own complacency. The Hufflepuff are not to be underestimated. They may appear to be a mediocre team, but they badly want to make up for their last match defeat against Slytherin. So let us now start this session as if the last match did not exist.'

Captain Davies got some warm up sessions to get our bodies back on track. It was quite successful though. We were made to do the basic flying exercises followed by some heavy exercises for chasers where one chaser has to try and get past the rest of the team. The beaters, that is me and kingsley were given exercises to single handedly fight off chasers. After my karate classes, I found that quiddtich was physically less taxing. I was having more energy in my body. Peter our seeker was shaping up well. There was difference in him than compared to the time before the last match. He was doing more and more tough flying techniques and his snitch catching ability was awesome. Captain Davies, who acted as the opposing seeker for Peter, got nowhere near the snitch.

Hufflepuff should be easy for our team. They were moderate at the best. According to information from a few people whom we hired to spy over the Hufflepuff practice sessions, only their keeper was good. The rest of the team was mediocre. They shouldn't be a problem.

There were quite a few problems for me though. Whenever bludgers came from below, I would feel uneasy and my shot wouldn't be perfect. I attributed it to the last match's injury. The aftermath of it has left me being overcautious with my right arm. Already I was less confident with my backhand stroke. The combination of these two made me quite unsettled. I told about this to Kingsley.

'It will be alright, Andrew. We have got time to practice.'

'Of course. But this time I feel like a malfunctioning engine.'

Kingsley looked at me strangely at the word 'engine.' But it quickly changed to a look of warning.

'Be careful Andrews. Don't let the victory of the last match enter into your head. This is a very dangerous thing in Quidditch. You need to concentrate.'

This one thing that I don't like about Kingsley. He sometimes sounds like a captain.

'I know. I'll be careful.'

Captain Davies made me and Kingsley practice a new Quidditch tatic- Dopplebeat bludger. In this move, both the beaters will have to beat the bludger at the same time to give it some extra power to the bludger. But it was a total fiasco. I and Kingsley were not able to co-ordinate our strike on the bludger. Mostly one of us ended hitting the bludger earlier. Sometimes one of us ended striking the other's arm. Captain Davies wasn't annoyed though. He asked us to keep practicing.

Few other members were also having problems also. Keeper Marshall Speed has suffered a broken arm during the holidays and now he was just recovering from a bout of flu. Also, Captain Davies' vulnerability to bludgers was more pronounced this time. He frequently got hits from me and kingsley. But overall we had a good session. We continued this practise for three weeks until the first week of February.

February 8, 1975

Soon, day for the second match arrived. It was rather a gloomy day though. The sky was dull and dreary, overcast with clouds. The wind was biting cold that smited the bone marrow. But shaking off these bad omens, I went along with my team mates. We were greeted as usual by the cheers of the ravenclaw crowd. Griffindor were supporting Hufflepuff. The little number of slytherins present in the field did not support Ravenclaw. Rather I was sure they were present to jeer the players of both sides. The commentatory was taken over by the Hufflepuff John Smith.

Our team flew out to the center of the team. This time when I stood face to face with the opposing team, I was not nervous. I was quite confident. I even took off some time analyzing the opposing team. They had three scrawny looking chasers whom I was sure would be outmatched by our superior chasers. I looked at the beaters. They were burly and strongly built, but I thought they looked extremely stupid. Their keeper seemed okay and their seeker was quite nervous looking.

'Hello and welcome to the third match of the season: Hufflepuff versus Ravenclaw! I am John Smith your commentator.'

Soon the Quaffle was out. Followed by the bludgers and the snitch. I went right for one of the bludgers. Having an eye on a skinny hufflepuff chaser who had the quaffle and was flying towards me, I shot the bludger at him. The power given was quite nice, but shocking, I did not notice Captain Davies come to confront him. The bludger brushed against Davies' sides and then smacked the chaser, forcing him to drop the ball. Since Davies had the ball, the reprimand came from Kingsley.

'Watch it Andrew!'

I watched Captain Davies maneuver the through the Hufflepuff defenses and reach the Hufflepuff half of the ground. One of their beater hit the ball towards Captain Davies. The shot was surprisingly accurate and powerful. Kingsley who had closely followed Captain Davies made a futile attempt to stop it. But the bludger hit Davies squarely on the chest, stunning him instantaneously. The beaters were not as stupid as they looked. The Hufflepuff chasers, being smaller, were able to negotiate anything that came their way. I sent two bludgers, one of them missed by a league. The next nearly hit Samson on his chest. He avoided it awkwardly, which unfortunately gave the Hufflepuff upper hand and they scored the first point of the day. Cheers erupted from the Griffindor crowd.

I looked at the seekers. They were in a chase! Both Peter and the other seeker were neck to neck in chasing the snitch. I watched a Hufflepuff chaser get close to the chase. I went closer too. Soon a bludger came in my way. I was positioned in a way to attack the Hufflepuff seeker. But there was danger of hitting Peter too. But weighing the risk, I sent a bludger at their seeker. But their beater came and riposed the attack back to me. It was powerfully hit and I reacted too late and I got a blow in my side. I fled to the Griffindor goal posts. Marshall Speed called out.

'You alright?'

'Yes. No problem. Its just…."

'Watch out!'

I wheeled around and parried the bludger blindly. Unfortunately, it hit Barbara on her back. The blow was not powerful, but it was a distraction. What is happening to me? Why is all my shots going for the wrong person? But soon, it was not I alone who was having problems. Barbara was hit when she did not catch a pass from Samson properly. Hufflepuff climbed from 10-0 to 60-10. It hit me as a shock when I saw the scoreboard. Griffindor crowd was gleeful at our team's plight.

The wind was beginning to get into me. My hands were numb and I couldn't hold the bat nicely. Soon another snitch chase was on. This time, I was better. I guided a bludger nicely to act as a barrier for their seeker, who was forced to stop as the bludger came exactly in the direction and altitude of his flight. Peter now was clear to chase. I watched him gain on the snitch slowly. But he was thwarted by another powerfully aimed bludger from Hufflepuff. The score was now 80-20. I wondered what was happening to our team.

But things began to detoriarate furthur. Kingsley's bludger intended for a Hufflepuff chaser hit Marshall and it gave a clear way for Hufflepuff. It looked like some evil spirit was possessing our team. I managed to thwart the Hufflepuff chaser once again. But I hit Captain Davies on his back quite painfully. Samson was erratic today and had not yet scored. Only Barbara seemed unaffected by any evil spirt and she scored 40 points to take our team to 60-160. They were 100 up now. If they catch the snitch, it would be worse. But it was Kingsley and me who captitulated our team.

Yet another snitch was on. This time Kinsley was in a position to attack the Hufflepuff seeker. But the seeker dodged it and it hit Peter on the small of his back. I hit another bludger and it broke Peter's broom at the side and it made his flying erratic. In all this confusion, their seeker caught the snich. Hufflepuff and a vengentful Griffindor were ectastic. The match was well and truly lost. 80-320 the final score. Captain Davies looked speechless in shock. Having played Quidditch with the aim of winning the cup, I think that it would have been a very bad blow. We slumped out of the field, completely at a loss to say to one another.

The common room that day was as silent as a morgue. In a match that we were expected to win handsomely, we were beaten black and blue. I knew that it was my fault. I did not practise hard to improve my technique. Also, I was responsible for the loss of peter's broom in the end. I looked around. Kingsley was by the fire, wearing weary expression. Captain Davies looked out of the snowy field, his expression hollow. The guilt of my mistakes was overburdening me. I found nothing to comfort me, except the warm fire in the fireplace.

Continued in the next chapter — The Eve of the Final Battle

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