The Defiant — Chapter 7 — The Claw of the Eagle

The Defiant — Chapter 7 — The Claw of the Eagle

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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 7 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 — The Ravenclaw Team

Chapter 7 — The Claw of the Eagle

November, 1974

Well the practice for Quidditch was commencing nicely. After learning how to deal with bludgers, now Captain Davies made us improve the flying skills. Davies taught us from his experience as a beater about how to surround and attack an enemy. The chasers were also shaping up nicely. The practice for shapers was like this- one will have to take up the ball and try to score and the rest of the team - beaters, chasers and keeper will have to try and prevent him from scoring. This was done for all chasers. This way everyone got practice in the team. Soon a month of practice was over.

Now once after getting the basics right, Captain Davies began to prepare how to face Griffindor in the first match. Griffindor was a strong team under Prince's leadership. The new captain was Timothy, a chaser. According to Davies, he is a bossy character. But not much is known about this guy as he is a lesser known player. All the glory is taken by James Potter, who is famous for his seeking. The rest of the team includes George and David, two erratic chasers, Giffen, a fairly good keeper and according to Davies their beaters Joe Bludger and Johnson are formidable. Last year I remembered Davies getting hit more than once by Joe and John. Prince's absence surely left a huge hole in the team. Captain Davies plan was to score many points as possible as we have excellent chasers and put pressure on the opponent's seeker James. To keep James off the broom he needed me and Kingsley to do it.

'That Potter is fast and he somehow manages to squeak out of trouble even when we have him conored. So be very careful. This I would say is the most important match for us. If we win this match then we win the cup, come what may next.'

But I felt his analysis is correct. Griffindor is the strongest team but having chinks in its making. If we win against Griffindor then we can get quite a lot of confidence from it. Other team will also have a better chance against a demoralised Griffindor team. But all rest on how our seeker Peter Brooks performs. His terrible form in the last year is a cause of concern, but captain Davies has confidence in him. I too felt the pressure. This is my first match and stopping James Potter also is my responsibility. Kingsley is only too eager to confront James. He still haven't forgiven for his arrogant behavior last month or the defeat last year. But as the match drew closer, I had to cope up with a new problem. Whenever I or any one of Quidditch team mates entered the Great Hall or in the corridors, then there would be snide comments behind the back, most of them organised by that Potter's friends, in particularly Sirius.

'Want some one to hold a net below Peter'

'I really hope that Ravenclaw buys heavy protection - I heard Joe swearing to bludge all of them.'

Kinglsey was quite used to this and he paid them back.

'Tell Potter that I have sworn to crack his swollen head.'

'How dare?..'

The worst incident was that one such snide comment led to a wrestling match between a fifth year Griffindor and a fifth year Ravenclaw. Soon the big day came. I couldn't sleep well the previous night because it the first match of my life. Whatever practice that I had will be useless if I didn't apply it with a proper frame of mind. I read some of Prince's experience with Quidditch. Like other situation it was a positive distraction. Prince's tactic involved playing psychological games and sometimes resorting to quite illegal moves to dent the enemy.

November 30, 1974

I went along with the entire team to breakfast. (Captain Davies wanted to prevent possible sabotage of players by Griffindors). We received a king's welcome when we reached the Griffindor table. There were slogans of encouragement and support. I felt great pressure to perform. But keeping my friend or brother Prince in mind I calmly proceeded to eat some food. I exactly remembered Prince's calm and assuring face when I was worried. I wished he had been here to see this match. But you know we cannot get everything in life. After eating we went to the dressing room. Apart from royal blue robes we also had to put on some light leather protection to reduce pain from bludger blows. Keeping in mind all the strategies to perform, soon I went along with the team to the stadium. Kingsley looked at me being tensed.

'Scared?'

'No. Its okay.'

'Well I too was scared in my first match. But once you hit a couple of bludgers, you will get alright.'

The entire school had gathered in the elevated stands. There were about 10 elevated stands the rectangular ground. 4 on each of the longer side of the rectangular ground. One each on the shorter side served as a pavilion for the two teams. We looked out from our pavilion. It was fairly cloudy day. The temperature was pleasant and I could feel that it was quite humid. Two of the elevated stands on the eastern side was occupied by Ravenclaw supporters. They had a large royal blue flag with the insignia of a eagle. The other two elevated stands were sparsely populated by some Slytherin members. On the western side diagonal to Ravenclaw stands, was the Griffindor supporters. The other two stands were occupied by Hufflepuff of which some were supporting Griffindor. It was a common knowledge that Hufflepuff sort of hated Ravenclaw. The commentry was done by John Smith a Hufflepuff. The match was refereed by Madam Hooch, who joined Hogwarts this year as a flying classes teacher. She blew the whistle and we came out. Smith made quite an unenthusiastic introduction.

'Here comes the Ravenclaw team - Davies, Barbara, Sampson their chasers and Marshall Speed their Keeper, Kingsley and Andrew Samuels their new Beater and Peter their seeker.'

There was a loud cheering from the Ravenclaw stands and booing from the Griffindor stands. My heart was beating heavily. Thinking about the calm and comforting face of Prince, I flew along with my teammates for that customary fly around the ground. Getting cheers from the blue clad crowd and boos from the red clad crowd, we came to standstill in the top of our goal posts. Smith made and enthusiastic intro.

'Here comes the Griffindor team: Timothy, the captain, George, David their chasers, Giffen their keeper, Joe Bludger and Johnson their chasers aaand………. JAMES POTTER'

There was a loud cheering from Griffindor when Potter's name was called out. Griffindor tea m flew once around the ground. I had a nice look at the team. Their chasers seemed quite unimpressive compared to ours, but their beaters looked good. Joe Bludger was quite massive and he seemed competent. Johnson was similar to my build.

Madam Hooch soon came over. There was the box in the ground which had all the four balls. She released the Quaffle and the game began. All the chasers charged for the ball and Captain Davies got there first. He grabbed the ball and went straight for the Griffindor goal post. Before I could see more, the bludgers were released. I went straight for the one coming near me and Kingsley went for the other. The bludger I went to hit seemed to sense me and arched towards me. Since it was coming from below, I had to bent and hit out at it. The shot was nice and from middle of the bat. Although it was a parry, I felt satisfied and all the tension and nervousness I had disappeared. I didn't see the snitch being released though. Meanwhile Davies and co. had gone past the Griffindor's defenses and were harassing the chasers and keepers there. One bludger was attacking Davies though. I hurried to defend it. But Davies merely dodged the bludger and getting the ball from Barbara, put it past Giffen through one of the hoops. Cheers erupted from the Ravenclaw stand. For the first time I heard the commentry.

'Ten points from Ravenclaw. Davies the scorer.'

Both James Potter and Peter were scanning the space for the elusive snitch. I saw Joe hit a bludger towards me from my left. I turned around and bringing my right hand to play hit the bludger at Timothy who was midway to Ravenclaw's Goal hoops. The shot was good and it forced him to stop impulsively. From the other side Kingsley shot the next bludger and it got Timothy on his chest when he stopped avoid my bludger. Davies utilized this to take the ball of Timothy's hands and Ravenclaw has control again. I gave a thumps up to Kingsley who returned it back.

'Timothy gets a blow in his chest and Griffindor in possession.'

One of the bludgers flew to knock down Barbara, but Kingsley parried it. Davies had gone near the Griffindor goal posts. He passed the ball to Sampson. George their chaser tried to wrench the ball from him, but in ended in a collision that left him rattled due to Sampson's superior mass. Joe Bludger was waiting for the other bludger to come on to him. But I flew in front of him and hit the in coming bludger towards Giffen, just when Sampson threw the Quaffle at the hoops. My bludger distracted Giffen enough to let the Quaffle through.

'Another point to Ravenclaw. Twenty-zero. I'm quite surprised that Ravenclaw has chosen someone like Andrew for a beater. You need muscles to be a beater and he seemed to have none.'

I chose to ignore this one.

'New one eh? Lets see how you catch me'

It was that Big Head James Potter. Before I could respond, he zoomed away. Everything went right for the next 15 minutes. Griffindor's chasers and defense was no match for the mighty Ravenclaw chasers. This combined with some good performance for me and Kingsley really put Ravenclaw nicely at 70-20. Captain Davies scored 30, Samson 20 and Barbara 30. The Griffindor chasers got some scorching bludger blows from me and Kingsley. This is in contrast with our chasers hardly troubled by the bludgers from the supposed good Griffindor Beaters. Of course, Captain Davies got two painful blows, but our chasers were far better than theirs. I and Kingsley combined well and made some really good distractions for the chasers and saved about 50 points. If only we can push the lead beyond 150, we are safe. I looked around for Peter. He was still wandering around, searching for the snitch, occasionally looking whether to see James has found it. Well, it it is quite irritating for a beater to think that the fate of the match still lies on how well one player performs and what others do is just supportive. So having a moderate seeker compared to the opponent is not nice. But make no mistake, I am not angry at Peter Brooks. He has earnestly tried to improve this year. Hitting a bludger at Timothy, I watched as Ravenclaw progressed to 80-20 by a nice throw from Sampson. But Griffindor scored another point to make it 80-30. I looked at James Potter. He was far above me and looked slightly worried. Perhaps Ravenclaw's lead is making him quite uncomfortable. Griffindor under Prince rarely faces situation like this one.

All of a sudden James sped up. He had seen the snitch! Below him Peter to sped up to catch up with him. A bludger from Joe barely missed him. Another bludger from Kingsley aimed for Potter missed him by a mile. James Potter was really a good flier. He wove through many obstacles and was gaining on the snitch. When he passed the Griffindor crowd going after the snitch, the crowd cheered. I hoped this would not end as another defeat for Ravenclaw. I frantically looked around for bludgers. Captain Davis called out.

'Andrew! Bludger!'

All I could do was to avoid the bludger as it came from my left and I wasn't confident about my left after receiving a blow from Johnson. Davies wasn't happy at all. James Potter was near the Griffindor goal post and Kingsley was too far off to stop him. I knew that I was the only one who could stop him. I ventured closely to The Griffindor goal post. Potter was looping around the goal posts. He was excruciatingly close to the snitch; only a palm's reach. Peter was at his back, but of no use. Thankfully, another bludger made its mind to get me. It came from my right towards me and Potter was to my front flying to my left. I hit with all my might and focus towards him. The shot was perfect. Joe made a vain attempt to stop it. The bludger made Potter do a awkward dance to avoid the bludger when he was an instant from catching the snitch. The snitch disappeared. Potter vented his frustration by punching at the air and this was followed by a roar of frustration from the Griffindor crowd that had to bear the agony of watching the Ravenclaw chasers tearing Griffindor apart. I felt relieved to have stopped a major tragedy. But….

'GET HIM!'

Potter ordered his beaters after me. Until now I had hardly realised that I was surrounded by the two beaters of Griffindor. Joe Bludger vented his anger by hitting a bludger at me. It was too fast to hit and I barely dodged it. I felt a nasty blow in my back. The bludger was hit again from my behind by Johnson. The padding in my back prevented some damage. I fled towards the nearest post where some Slytherins were sitting. I was trailed by a bludger and the two beaters who soon swarmed me. I was surrounded by the mad beaters. They repeatedly made me jump around by hitting the bludger alternatingly. at the corner of my eye I saw Madam Hooch rushing over and Kingsley hitting the other bludger at one of the Griffindor chasers. At one point I came too close to Joe Bludger trying to avoid the bludger from Johnson. As Joe raised his bat to hit the bludger at me, I had only one choice. I swung my bat impulsively at the direction which he was hitting. The bludger hit by him was sent back and Joe had no time to react. He was hit in his stomach and was slammed against the elevated stand behind him. I turned around to face Johnson. He looked shocked. Out of madness and the fury of this unproved attacked against me, I rushed at him like a bullet. He tried to avoid me, but I arced and slammed against him. He was pushed for a mile.

'Enough of this! Penalty for Ravenclaw for physical attack and penalty for Griffindor for unprovoked attack on Ravenclaw's beater.'

Sampson took Ravenclaw's penalty and he scored. 110-40. Griffindor failed to score the penalty.

'Nice one Andrews.'

It was Samson. I gave him thumbs up. The aftermath of the collision with Johnson left me with at sore feeling at the right shoulder. But as time went by the feeling went off. Both Joe and Johnson looked rattled by my counter attack. I felt that it was more of psychological. I was quite worried about the pain in my shoulder, but I had more pressing things to attend. Griffindor's performance worsened after this one. This is because both Johnson and Joe Bludger performed poorly and the bludger was mostly let in mine and Kingsley's control. Timothy wasn't happy at all. But our chasers made full use of it and ripped through the already shaky Griffindor defenses. In no time Davies, Sampson and Barbara lifted the score from 110-40 to 180-50 with the lead of 130. Griffindor was now mostly looking to defend and hope that James Potter catches the snitch. They were under immense pressure now. Ravenclaw was only a whistle away from winning - in another 5 minutes the lead will be pushed past 150 and no matter what Griffindor does after that its going to be a win. The score became 190-50 But…..

I looked at James Potter. He was in the center of the pitch and was closely followed by Peter and they both were after the snitch! James was in a better position. Peter was trying to nudge him, but James was too good. I was near the Ravenclaw post after defending an Griffindor attack. Kingsley from the Griffindor half sent a bludger but Potter dodged it. Both the seekers were following the snitch which was zooming upward. Tension mounted as Potter began to get closer to the snitch. Peter was not even level with him to challenge him. I travelled upward to confront James or do something. The snitch suddenly changed direction and flew towards my direction, so did the two seekers. Griffindor still has a chance if Potter catches this one. I looked around for bludgers desperately. I was having my eyes too much on the snitch chase so that……….

'WATCH OUT!!'

I didn't know who shouted, but it was a bludger.It was incoming from below. Desperate to stop James who was above me, I made a mad scoop at the bludger. Next movement everything blacked out and there was excruciating pain in my right shoulder. There was nothing but pain. I hardly noticed anything. Little time later, I vaguely realised some gigantic grip over me and I came to rest at some crowded area. I saw two familiar faces Michael and Parthiban Patel. The pain was still there. There was a huge roar of triumph from the nearby crowd which I realised it as Ravenclaw crowd………

'Case of minor dislocation of shoulder. I need some time to mend it. Everyone clear out.'

I slowly opened my eyes. The matron Madam Pomfrey standing over me. In the corner of my eye I saw my team mates clearing out. The excruciating pain was still in my right shoulder.

'Awake eh? I need to put you to sleep to get your right.'

'Deenervate.'

zzzzzz…….

'Hope he is alright.'

Once again I slowly opened my eyes. I could hardly think. The seducing charm was still having some effect. I was in the hospital wing. I was surrounded by my team mates who looked both anxious and delighted.

'You alright?'

I noticed that the pain in the arm had decreased considerably.

'Yeah…… What happened?'

'We won… by 300 points.'

The vagueness in Barbara's answer intrigued me.

'What happened exactly?'

Kingsley answered first.

'Well… I sent a bludger to you. You know you were near Potter. You tried to hit it upward and it hit you in your right shoulder. Then….' Kingsley hesitated a bit.

'Well?'

'Eh…. The bat slipped out of your hand and it hit Potter on his swollen head…..'

There was laughter.

'Well, it distracted him and Peter went after the snitch and he did some really good seeking and caught the snitch. You lost control and Sampson caught you before you'

I was completely at a loss to say anything. So was my team mates. Am I a hero? or a villan?

'Well I must say that you really did well.'

The seducive spell made my mind too hard to process more information. Every one congratulated me, but were unsure how excatly to react. Madam Pomfrey shooed them all away.

'OUT! He needs to sleep. He needs two more days to fully recover.'

After they all went, she turned at me.

'You! Sleep now…… Quidditch! The nasty game. Always results in damaged bones.'

Muttering to herself, she went to her office. I needed no further telling……..

When I came around again, I found myself in the company of Kingsley. He was watching over me as a hen would watch its chickens. It was 8 in the night. He told the story in detail and I understood it better. 'You should have seen the look on Potter's face when Peter caught the snitch. Quite satisfying it was.'

Kingsley looked most satisfied because of this win.

'Well, is he injured?'

'Nah. The blow left him stunned for a while, by which Peter got ahead of him and caught the snitch in a minute.'

I vaguely remembered the cheering crowd before passing out.

'Well Madam Hooch was in a complete state of confusion at what to say when the bat hit Potter. The Griffindor team stubbornly tried to force Madam Hooch for a rematch, but she ended by saying that it was an accident and no one could do anything.'

I imagined the proud Griffindor team pleading with Madam Hooch. I got Some sort of vengentful pleasure. After all the snide comments, I think this was a fitting reply. All of a sudden I got the answer about why my right shoulder was so painful. The aftermath of the collision withe Johnson had already left me with a sore shoulder and the bludger blow further worsened it.

' You better be careful though. I heard Potter fuming around. I think that he wants to somehow get back at you. Also Griffindor is quite hostile towards us now.'

I was visited once again by the team members, then by my room mates Michael and Parthiban Patel. Captain Davies was quite happy with the victory. But he warned against complacency and asked me to concentrate on getting fit for the next match. I wasn't very sure what my feelings were in this match, whether happy or the guiltiness of winning by not quite honest path. But the feeling of winning the first ever match of my life by a huge margin of 300 points was quite satisfying.

The good thing out of this incident is that the events of this days further strengthened the friendship between me and Kingsley. Somehow I felt that he liked me too. As I became close to him, I began to notice that he had some characteristics that Prince had. For example, he was almost the replica of Prince in the Quidditch field. Like Prince's father his father too was an auror. Kingsley values his friendship and he will do anything for his friends. Once when Parthiban Patel was ill, he bunked and entire day's class to stay with him at the hospital wing.

In the match between Slytherin and Hufflepuff that occurred the following week, Slytherin won by 200 points. Hufflepuff as always was mediocre in that match. Their chasers were pedestrian and their seeker was downright bad. Meanwhile, slytherin's chasers were deadly in that match. They the move that they employed was deadly. They used the Hawkhead flying formation wherein all the three seekers fly in an arrowhead formation towards the opposition. The hawkhead formation was effective against the mediocre Hufflepuff.

Continued in the next chapter — Christmas Bells

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