velvetfiction: by sparklystuff (ravenclaw)
[personal profile] velvetfiction
Written for [ profile] bk03 in the Summer 2009 [ profile] clever_claws exchange.

Title: Of Quidditch and Dungeons and Dragons
Rating: PG
Spoilers/Warnings: AU of GoF
Characters/Ships: Harry/Lisa Turpin
Genre: Friendship/Pre-Romance
Summary: What if Hermione wasn't the only one to believe Harry when he said he didn't enter his name into the Goblet? What if some of the members of Ravenclaw applied their intellect and actually thought about the situation?
Length: 3603 words


In her three-plus years as a member of Ravenclaw, it never ceased to amaze Lisa Turpin how quickly the conversation in the common room of the supposedly "intellectual" house could degenerate into gossip sessions. They might all be above average in the classrooms, but outside of them, they were just like any other teenagers. Bitterly disappointing, really.

She was curled up on one of the window seats, half-heartedly reading her Arithmancy textbook and listening with one ear to the conversations around her. Unsurprisingly, most focused on the events of the Halloween feast, and one name in particular kept popping up.

". . . did you see Potter?"
"How do you think Potter did it?"
". . . I don't think anyone believes Potter when he says. . ."
". . . doesn't stand a chance. . ."

Lisa couldn't help but roll her eyes and tried to suppress a snort. Apparently she didn't succeed well enough, as the conversation nearest to her grew silent.

"What, Turpin? Don't tell me you actually believe Potter?" demanded Michael Corner. This time Lisa didn't bother to hide her eye roll.

"I believe, Corner, that if you actually applied that brain you keep bragging about, you'd realize there's no way Potter entered himself into the damn Tournament."

"What do you mean, Lis?" asked Mandy. Lisa gave a slight smile to her roommate. Corner would have just kept arguing with her pointlessly. By butting in, Mandy once again gave Lisa a chance to actually explain herself. Seeing that she now had the attention of most of the common room, Lisa closed her book with a sigh and sat up straight, causing the tight brown curls of her hair to bounce into her face. Irritated, she shoved them back behind her ears.

"Look, you guys. First, we know that the Headmaster himself warded the Goblet," she began, ticking off points on her fingers. "I know of underage students from every single house and both other schools who tried to get their names in. They all failed. What makes you think that a fourth-year student who has shown no exceptional talent except maybe in Defense would succeed? Second, you saw Potter's reaction when his name came out. Are you really going to tell me he's a good enough actor to fake that look of surprise and panic? And lastly, Granger believes him and she probably knows him better than anyone else in this school."

"Weasley doesn't believe him, though, and he's Potter's best friend. Did you hear about the fight they had?"

Lisa sighed audibly. "Who are you going to believe, Terry? Weasley, who gets mad and jealous if you look at him funny, or Granger, who actually occasionally applies that formidable brain of hers to something other than school work?" She shrugged. "I think he's just a kid like us who happens to be caught in a really crappy situation. Wouldn't be the first time, either."

With that final pronouncement, Lisa grabbed her book and stalked off to her room, letting the conversation swell again behind her. She hadn't been stretched out on her bed reading for very long when she heard the door open again and saw her roommate enter.

"So you really believe him?" asked Mandy.

"I do."

"You gonna tell him that? I bet he could use all the support he can get right now. Merlin only knows what Malfoy and his group are going to do with this."

"You know, I might just do that."


It took several days for Lisa to track down the elusive Harry Potter. He seemed to have mastered the ability of slipping out of class or the Great Hall, and vanishing into a crowd before anyone could speak to him. She finally caught up with him after lunch, in an empty corridor near the dungeons.

"Potter!" she called and the dark-haired boy turned to her with such a fierce scowl that she held up her hands to show she didn't have her wand out.

"What?" he bit off.

Lisa raised both delicate eyebrows and did not back down. "Just wanted to let you know that Granger isn't the only one who believes you. But since you obviously don't want to hear it. . . " She turned as if to go.

"Wait," Potter called after her, with a slight catch in his voice. "I'm sorry. Lisa, right? Lisa Turpin?"

"Ooooh, three years of Charms together and the great Harry Potter knows my name!" A slight quirk of the corner of her mouth softened the mocking tone. Potter stiffened at her words but then seemed to stop and collect himself. Lisa saw the slight lift of his mouth in an answering smile and allowed herself to relax.

"I suppose I deserved that," he replied, running his hand through his hair in a nervous gesture that Lisa had seen from afar many times. "You, um, you really mean it? You believe me?"

"I do," she said firmly. "Your reaction in the Great Hall was genuine; sorry, but I don't think you're that good an actor. Granger believes you. I can't come up with any reason for you to lie about this. I believe you, Potter. And I'm not the only one."

"Thanks. I - I really appreciate it. I wasn't looking forward to being the villain of the school again this year. And my friends call me Harry," he said, extending his hand to her.

"Well then, Harry," Lisa said as she took his hand, "tell me. Do you follow professional Quidditch at all?"


After a quick glance at her watch, Lisa casually led Harry through the halls until they got to one of the many unused classrooms. Entering quickly, Lisa spoke to the six occupants of the room.

"Hey, folks! I think I found someone to take over the last team!" She reached back through the door and pulled Harry in.

"Potter? You sure?" asked one of the people sitting around a cluster of desks that had been pushed together.

"Yes, Tony. I'm sure," Lisa replied with a growl. "I already explained my reasons."

The three students wearing blue and bronze ties looked at each other and shrugged. "We heard you. Good enough for us."

"We heard about your little rant," another student chuckled. "No need to repeat it. Ced believes him too. We're all fine."

Lisa smiled brightly and turned to Harry. "I think you already know Tony and Cho," she said to him, indicating two of the Ravenclaw students. "The third 'claw is Eddie Charmichael, he's also a year ahead of us. The two 'puffs are Erik Stebbins, a seventh year, and Wayne Hopkins, who is a year below us." When she felt Harry tense slightly as she got to the last member of the group, she lowered her voice and hissed at him. "Relax, Harry, she's just a little girl. Not all Slytherins are evil. No more than all Gryffies are hot-headed idiots." In a normal tone, she continued as if she hadn't interrupted herself. "And last but not least, the little blonde pixie over there is Astoria Greengrass, our resident statistics expert."

"Statistics expert?" Harry asked weakly, somewhat bewildered.

"She's one of those people who has a head for stats," Erik explained. "She's got near-perfect recall of players' stats going back a ridiculous way. So if you were to mention, for example, Basil Horton -"

"One of the best Keepers of all time, had a save rate of .974 and only allowed three goals ever in post-season matches," piped up the young girl.

"Q.E.D.," Cho said wryly. "Have a seat, Harry, and welcome to Hogwarts fantasy Quidditch league."


"So, um, how exactly does this work?" Harry asked, taking one of the empty seats.

"Think of it this way," Lisa started to explain. "If you could make a team using any of the players in the British league, who would you pick?"

"Denton, Shafer and Fallwell as Chasers. . . Lynch as Seeker of course, McCormack at Keeper," Harry replied thoughtfully, "and Els and Shelley Jones as Beaters."

"That's the essence of it," Eddie continued the explanation. "We each choose teams out of players in the league and keep track of their stats throughout the season. You get a full starting team, and a couple of reserve slots that can be any position. You decide each week who is going to be on your 'starting' team and you get the stats from those players for that week."

"So, for instance, I have McCormack as the Keeper on my team," Astoria gloated with a grin. "Let's say she makes forty saves in a game one week. Those forty saves get added to my total saves for the whole season. At the end of each week, we look at all the totals. The person with the most stats in a particular category gets eight points for that category, the person with the second most gets seven, and so on. We total up all the points from all the categories to determine the overall standings."

"We play a so-called 'keeper' league, because we keep the same basic team year after year, rather than redoing the whole thing each time. Last year, we had two seventh-years with us, but obviously, they can't play anymore. You'll be taking over one team," Lisa said to Harry, handing him a sheet of paper with a list of names on it, "and Astoria is taking over the other."

"Cool. So how do we get the stats?"

"Your team roster is charmed to display the stats for your players," Tony replied. "And we'll get Flitwick to charm the blackboard in this room again. That way, you'll be able to see other people's stats - very important if you want to think about trading one of your players for someone else's - and the overall standings."

"We usually end up hanging out here on Sunday afternoons. We bring homework and work on that or just chat about Quidditch and other things. You're welcome to join us, if you'd like," Lisa said with a smile. "There are a few more rules and other things you can do with your team, like dropping players and picking up new ones, and we can tell you about that. How's that sound?"

"Sounds brilliant," Harry replied with the most genuine smile Lisa had ever seen from him.


Between classes, homework and keeping up with her Quidditch team, November flew by before Lisa could turn around twice. Before she knew it, the day of the Hogsmeade visit was upon them, and she hoped to run into Harry sometime during the day. Luck, however, did not seem to be with her, and she not only had to endure her own disappointment, but Mandy's teasing.

She was a bit surprised, then, the next afternoon, when Harry came stumbling into the Quidditch League room, looking a bit wild around the eyes.

"Harry? Harry, are you okay?" she asked, and laid one hand on his shoulder in concern. Her touch seemed to snap him out of his daze, for he shook his head slightly and his eyes darted around the room before landing on one of the other occupants.

"Cho, do you know where Cedric is?" he asked with urgency.

"Ah - yeah - he said he'd be in the library this afternoon. How did you know -"

"Never mind that," Harry said impatiently. "Could you get him and bring him down here? It's really important that I talk to him. And I think I'm going to need all of your help, too. Please," he added, and something of the desperation that Lisa could hear in his voice must have communicated itself to Cho as well, for the older girl took off like a shot.

Lisa gently gripped Harry's arm and led him to a vacant chair.

"What's wrong, mate?" Tony asked.

Harry just shook his head. "Wait 'til Cedric gets here. I only want to explain this once."

"Speaking of Cedric," Wayne asked with some amusement, "how did you know he and Cho were dating? He just asked her out yesterday."

"I'm not as clueless as I look," Harry replied with a half smile. "Besides, Alicia spotted them by the lake this morning when she and Angie were out flying." The three students chuckled briefly, but a tense silence soon settled over the room.

Everyone in the room jumped when the door opened, but sank back into their seats when it proved to be only the other Hufflepuff, Erik.

"What's going on in here?" he asked curiously.

"Waiting for Cho and Ced, will explain then," Harry replied tersely, and began pacing around the room.

Erik raised his eyebrows, but Lisa motioned to him to drop it. With a shrug he did so, and settled himself next to his housemate.

Minutes seemed to stretch into hours, and Lisa found herself listening for footsteps. Finally, just when she thought she couldn't take it any more, the sound of two sets of running feet echoed through the corridor and moments later, Cho burst through the door, with Cedric hot on her heels.

"What's going on, Harry?" Cedric asked between gasps for breath. "Cho said you needed to talk to me and that it sounded really important."

"It is," Harry said quietly, sinking into the chair he had abandoned. "Have a seat, this is quite the story. It started yesterday when Hagrid asked me to sneak down and meet him after curfew. . ."

When Harry finished telling his tale, the silence in the room was almost palpable.

"Dragons?" Cho finally squeaked. "They're going to make you fight a dragon?"

"Maybe not fight," Wayne reminded her reasonably, though he too looked shaken. "Harry said the dragon-keeper thought the champions might only have to retrieve something?"

"Only," Lisa muttered. "What are they thinking?"

"Well, let's start brain storming. If we make a list of all the different spells that might work against a dragon and all the different tactics that might work, surly Harry and Cedric can come up with something they can use," the ever-logical Tony declared, pulling out a blank piece of parchment and a quill.

Cedric glanced at Harry. "Are you sure this is okay to do? I, um, don't want to get disqualified or anything. . ."

"I won't tell if you won't. And I don't think anyone else here will, either," Harry replied with a shrug, and there was a general murmur of agreement. "Besides, I get the feeling that cheating is sort of part of this Tournament. Like I said, both Madame Maxine and Karkaroff saw the dragons too, so I'm sure they're helping their champions."

"All right, then, we have forty-eight hours to come up with a way for these two guys to kick some dragon arse. Let's get to it," Lisa ordered. She nearly glowed at the grateful smile Harry gave her as they all bent over the parchment where Tony was keeping track of the suggestions.


Two days later, Lisa sat white-knuckled in the stands, squashed in between Mandy and an equally nervous Cho. She barely registered the booming voice, announcing over the roar of the crowd that Cedric would be going first and Harry, last.

The abstract concept of dragons had been bad enough, but seeing the reality was far worse. In the stadium below, the blue-grey form of a Swedish Short-Snout paced restlessly around a large nest. In the middle of the creamy white dragon eggs lay an interloper, a golden egg glinting in the sun, clearly the target of this First Task. The knowledge that they had guessed correctly, that Harry and Cedric were both well prepared to retrieve something that a dragon was guarding, did little to ease the icy knot of fear that had been steadily growing in her stomach.

"Relax," Mandy hissed, taking one of her hands. "They haven't even started yet."

"I know," Lisa hissed back. "That's part of the problem. I just hate being stuck up here, helpless."

Cho mustered a weak smile of understanding and took Lisa's other hand.

The crowd roared, signaling Cedric's appearance, and Cho's grip became even tighter as she watched her new boyfriend face off with an angry, overgrown lizard.

Ten minutes later, Cho relaxed marginally and Lisa was surprised she still had feeling in that hand. Cedric's ploy had been largely successful. Deciding to play to his strengths, he had chosen to Transfigure other targets for his dragon to go after, hopefully leaving him free to grab whatever he was supposed to collect. Originally, he had thought of Transfiguring a rock into a dog, but Erik had pointed out that multiple targets might be a better idea.

So Lisa had watched as her friend had deftly Transfigured an assortment of rocks and branches into a snarling pack of wolves and set them on the dragon, while he crept around to the nest to snag the golden egg. By the time he was making his way back to the exit, the dragon had dispatched his wolves and then turned on the only other moving thing in her range. But fortunately, the fire-retarding spell that Tony had come up with had done the trick, and Cedric had escaped with only minor singeing.

"He's probably in Madame Pomfrey's tent now," Lisa murmured to Cho, under the roar of the crowd. "Go see him. Say congratulations for us too. We'll find you guys after Harry's finished." Cho nodded distractedly and began threading her way through the stands.

Consumed by her own nerves, now, Lisa barely registered the two foreign champions taking their turns. The icy feeling in her stomach seemed to double in size as the huge, black form of the Hungarian Horntail, with its spiked tail lashing angrily, was put into position.

"You really like him, don't you?" Mandy asked with a sideways look at her friend.

"Yeah, yeah, I guess I do," Lisa replied distractedly. "Come on, Harry, just get on your damn broom and it'll all be fine."

For Harry, too, had decided to play to his greatest strength - flying. A few hours of practice Summoning pillows had convinced them all that Harry's best bet was to get his hands on his broom with a quick Accio. A brief conversation with Granger later that evening had enlisted her help, as she would carry Harry's shrunken-down Firebolt with her to the event.

As if he had heard her, Harry emerged from the tent, raised his wand and shouted, "Accio Firebolt!" There was a tense moment when nothing happened, and then the miniature broom burst through the crowd. Harry deftly grabbed it out of the air and tapped it once with his wand, restoring it to its proper size. Then he mounted and was off and Lisa found she could breathe again.

Except for a brief moment of panic when Harry misjudged slightly and got grazed in the arm by the Horntail's spiked tail, the task went as smoothly as Lisa could have hoped.

"That was amazing!" Mandy cheered as everyone rose to their feet in appreciation. "I knew he was a good flyer but that was incredible. Lisa are you-" But Lisa had already vanished. Running through the crowd as fast as she could go, Lisa was oblivious to the fact that Mandy began following after her at a more sedate pace.

She flew towards the mediwitch's tent, dodging and swerving around objects and people in her way. She barely paused at the entrance and then flung her arms around Harry's neck.

"You were amazing, Harry!" she cheered into his shoulder. "I knew you could do it!"

She felt him stiffen slightly but then - wonder of wonders - she felt his good arm wrap around her as he returned the hug as best he could. "Thank you," he said sincerely, although his voice was laced with pain. "I don't think Ced and I would have done half so well without you guys."

Lisa beamed up at him, and then moved to his good side to allow Madam Pomfrey to heal his lacerated arm. Much to her delight, Harry did not remove his good arm from around her waist, even after Granger appeared in the tent, dragging a sheepish Weasley behind her. Mandy appeared shortly thereafter, and soon Cedric and Cho stuck their heads in to say that Harry's scores were about to be announced.

"You know," Lisa said quietly to Harry as they followed their friends back out to the stadium, "I think inviting you to join our Quidditch League was the best decision I've made all year."

"You're only saying that because I traded Maddington to you when your Keeper got knocked out for the season," he replied with a grin.

"Naw, that's just an added bonus. It's really because you're beating the pants off of Wayne, who was insufferable when he won the league last year."

The two teens looked at each other for a moment and burst out laughing.

Yes, definitely one of the best decisions I made, Lisa decided as she walked arm and arm with Harry towards the waiting crowd, not caring who saw them.


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