by Calvina

There is a ripple on the green grass of the Quidditch pitch. High above in the sky, the game is a whirl of emerald and yellow shapes.


The match is nothing special. Of course, the season nears its end and speculations are running high over the outcome of the Cup. However, voices sound dull and commentaries are somewhat uninspired. It seems that a collective effort is put into pretending that Quidditch is still the one big event of the school year.

And that the ongoing war is nothing but a discomforting rumour in the background.

No one is fooled, though.

There's still a ghost of the old enthusiasm hovering in the public. Flags are waving heartily, just a little slower than usual. The players are focused on their game. The commentator rambles on.

Unnoticed among the crowd, someone feels nauseous.

The emotion that goes up from his stomach to his throat is not exactly disgust. There are several layers to it, all mixed up and gnawing suspiciously like guilt.

There is a slight acceleration in the pace of the game. As he watches, four Hufflepuff players suddenly bear down on the Slytherin Chaser holding the Quaffle.

There is a moment of hesitation on the Chaser's part.


He looks away.

His gaze falls on Potter's little band of heroes. Longbottom is running after something that turns out to be his toad. It bounces down the terraces and unto the grass. For an instant, there's a tiny shadow on the field before it disappears into greenness.

Then there's a growing flapping noise that makes some of the less Quidditch-addicted wizards and witches look up.

What they see is a myriad of colours against the clouds, going from the purest white to the dirtiest brown. The owls have flown out of the West Tower.

He is reminded that animals are supposed to sense upcoming disasters well before humans. As he thinks this and wipes away the sweat from his forehead, it seems to him that he can glimpse the outline of a great dog shadowed on the grass.


There is some sort of signal. The Slytherin players swiftly draw out their wands and stun their opponents. Yellow figures drop out of the sky.

There is a rush of shouting and trampling about. He notices the black and white shapes methodically invading the pitch. On the terrace below, a couple of Ravenclaws have engaged in a debate that seems rather hastier than usual.

'Maybe I can –' mumbles the keen student, holding out a small vial of potion.

'This is no time for interrogation etiquette, you idiot!' snaps his interlocutor.

A Cruciatus Curse is haphazardly thrown at a fellow classmate, as the discarded bottle of Veritaserum crashes to the ground.

He stands, unmoved and unmoving. The realization creeps upon him that he is partly responsible for this. Over the previous weeks, the Death Eaters have carefully planned their attack. They needed an insider, and he was the perfect boy for the job.

Pureblood, yet middle-class. Hostile to the Dark Lord's enemies, yet not openly so. The Imperius has only been a slight push to his resolution. As the Death Eater's voice said do it, another inner voice echoed do it, coward. He was just too ashamed to admit that it was his own.

And now he lives to see the result. He feels no surge of horror, no grim satisfaction. Nothing but blood pounding to his ears and an urge to vomit.

The Death Eaters are approaching and he stands rooted to the ground.


As he falls, he thinks: this is the end. At least I won't humiliate myself by retching on their shoes.

He thinks that he will be remembered as a number, be it proudly announced at a Death Eater reunion or studiously written down in Binns' class.

He bites down on a mélange of earth, dust and bits of wood. He opens his eyes only to meet the inappropriate sight of a pair of feet strapped in high heels, probably belonging to some vain Muggle-born witch. He thinks, bitterly: you won't run away on these.

A flash of green light, any moment now –


There is a ripple on the green grass of the Quidditch pitch. Down on the ground, there are patches of dried blood under grey heavens.


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