“Do you need any assistance?” Giles glanced up from his journal where he was recording all the patrol details before he forgot them. With the end of Passions, Spike had left and the house had fallen into a peaceful quiet.
“No.” Severus quickly snapped although he was incredibly uncomfortable.
“Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure. What kind of question is that?”
Instead of answering, Giles returned to his writing. He had only gotten four more lines written when Severus cleared his throat. “What is it now?”
“If it’s not too much trouble,” Severus added enough scorn in his inflection to almost make Rupert guilty for ignoring his brother, “I need to use the loo.”
Giles bit back his instinctive answer that if Snape needed the restroom so much, he should have mentioned it five minutes ago. Instead, Giles got up from the table and wheeled the chair next to the sofa. He tried to be gentle as he lifted Severus into the chair, but he caught the left foot on the step.
“Bloody hell!” Severus shouted before regaining his composure. “The sooner I’m around proper wizards that don’t rely on such primitive contraptions the better.”
“I thought the sooner you were around proper wizards, the sooner you’d be dead.” Giles muttered, pushing Severus the few feet to the bathroom.
“Perhaps. But if that blasted Potter actually pulls this off, the aurors might actually let me see a mediwizard before the final AK. That, at least, would be humane.” Severus said as Giles helped him into the bathroom.
“Speaking of proper wizards,” Giles stepped out of the cramped room and turned away, trying to leave his brother as much dignity as possible. “We had an encounter with one during patrol.”
“And you’re just now mentioning it?”
“Well, you seemed so attached to the telly.” Giles snapped back.
Snape ignored Giles’ comment. “For Godric’s sake, I need a cleaning charm. Hand me my wand, will you?”
“I take it you’re through?”
“How very astute of you.”
Giles entered the bathroom again and pulled a box of wet wipes off the shelf. “Here, you can wipe your hands on this. It shouldn’t mess with your casts.” Severus looked skeptically at the box but helped himself to the top sheet. Giles lifted Severus back into the wheelchair, with a slight grunt. “I swear you must have gained sixty pounds since I last saw you. How much do we blame on the headmaster’s sweet tooth?”
“Whereas you’ve retained your boyish figure, I see.” Severus shot back. “So, this wizard you encountered. Did he recognize you?”
“I suppose so.”
“And did you recognize him.”
“I’m afraid not. I was rather incapacitated at the time.”
“How is that possible?”
“Oh, it’s quite simple really. Buffy found a kiss of vampires attacking a lone man in a graveyard. We rode to the rescue. I got hit on the head within the first moment of the scuffle and knocked out. It happens quite regularly.”
“Well, if you were incapacitated,” Severus’ lips twitched, and Rupert knew he wouldn’t hear the end of that for years to come. “How do you know you were dealing with a wizard?”
“The robe, for one, but I would say the wand waving gave it away. And, as if that weren’t enough, he splinched.”
“Really? How ghastly.”
“I’ve seen worse.”
“Undoubtedly you have. So what did this young wizard leave behind?”
“I didn’t say he was young. Even an experience wizard could have considerable trouble apparating on the Hellmouth. In fact, I’m rather sure he was experienced with apparitions as all he left behind was this.” Rupert wheeled the chair over to the kitchen table so that Severus could take a look at the shoe he had been describing in the Watcher’s Diary.
“Well, it’s better than nothing.”
“Not by much. I suppose we could brew Battlebrote’s Potion of Identity to try to find the owner.”
“I take it you don’t recognize the shoe then?”
“How should I know? It could be anyone.”
“That’s not true. For instance, it can’t be that half-giant of a groundskeeper, now could it? Much too small for that.” Giles suggested.
“I would assume if your slayer had run into Hagrid in a cemetery at night, she would have tried to attack him rather than saving him from vampires.”
“Still, the point is, you could narrow down the list considerably if you thought about it.”
“Well, I’m drawing a blank.” Severus set the shoe back down again. “It would be much simpler to draw up the potion.”
“I’m sure you would love to use a potion, but my kitchen is hardly equipped for dealing with Battlebrote’s potion. Besides, that takes a week to brew well.”
“Not if you use exuviate from the Cuban Magicicada as a catalyst. It can cut brewing time in half.”
“Right, and rare ingredients from Cuba are all so common in this country.” Giles rolled his eyes. “Come on, at least give my method a shot, we’ll try ruling people out sequentially. I think we could rule out Dumbledore. I would assume his shoes would have tassels or light up or some such nonsense.” Giles suggested.
“I would hope you could recognize Dumbledore at a distance, even if you’ve been hit on the head by a vampire. But, even with that, ruling out Dumbledore is hardly the same as determining the identity.”
“The list of wizards possibly out to find you can’t be infinite. At least we can rule some of them out.” Giles picked up the brown loafer and studied it carefully. “Don’t auror uniforms include black shoes?”
“Undoubtedly this would be an undercover operation, which wouldn’t require dress code. If they’re trying to blend in a muggle town, they’re more likely to wear tassels and sequins.” Severus scoffed. “But you’re right. This shoe can’t belong to just anybody.”
“For example, I can’t imagine Voldemort would fit a size… would you call that a eleven?”
“Of course not. It can’t be more than a 10 ½.” Severus retorted.
“Still, I would think he would wear a larger shoe.”
“Actually, he’s rather short, at least in his current form, but I doubt he would have any trouble apparating on the Hellmouth. But, since you mentioned it, I think this shoe could rule out a far more likely candidate and one of our dear friends.” Severus said with a relieved smile.
“We still have dear friends?”
“Not as such, but at least I know Lucius well enough to know he would never be caught dead in this shoe, even if it was Italian leather at one point, which I highly doubt.” Severus admired the scuff marks. “However, this could still fit several other Death Eaters. Pettigrew, for instance, could fit this shoe and is poor enough to wear it this thin.”
“Pettigrew? As in Peter Pettigrew? He’s a Death Eater? I thought he was dead.”
“He faked his death.”
“Voldemort must be extraordinarily desperate to rely on that sort of minion.” Giles commented.
“Sometimes the desperate animal is the most dangerous.” Severus said studying the shoe. “If this belongs to an auror, it’s no one I’m familiar with.”
“Alright, so we have on our list of possible suspects an unknown auror, unknown Death Eater, or Peter Pettigrew. Well that makes me feel considerably better.”
“Are you sure you can’t import anything from Cuba?”
“I’m a dead man.” Severus groaned.
“I suppose it’s all for the best then, as we’ll have to return to the hospital tomorrow.”
“You heard Spike. Something is happening at the hospital; something that sounds eerily like a mass obliviate.”
“Why does that mean we have to investigate? Surely you can send Buffy?”
“I’ve already asked her to look, but I don’t completely trust her to do a thorough job. She’s had several questionable run-ins at the hospital, and thus is likely to give it as short a visit as possible. You, on the other hand, have an excuse to stay there much longer, as you’ve got an appointment with the doctors.”
“Godric help me, if another one of them calls me Mr. Giles again, I won’t be held responsible for my actions.”
It had been three months since the study group had accepted Rupert back into their ranks. It had been one month since Rupert had proved his usefulness by having the answer to the DADA bonus question in his notes. It had been two weeks since the last Hogsmeade excursion. Today marked the fifth quidditch game of the year. Yet, through all that time Rupert had yet to discover a way out of Martha’s trap.
He had tried politely asking her to break up; she refused. He tried breaking up with her as loud as possible in public; she accused him of having a stress induced temper and sent him aromatherapy candles via her owl. He tried making her choose between him and her vicious owl; she insisted on the three of them spending more “quality time” together. He was beginning to believe that Severus was right. There was no way to separate a Slytherin woman from what she had her heart set on.
So here he found himself, the morning of the Slytherin-Ravenclaw game, offering Martha VanHaven a hand up into the Slytherin stands. “I expect this should be a good game.” Rupert offered amiably. He actually knew nothing about the teams, but assumed that the average witch or wizard felt that every quidditch game was a good game.
“I suppose.” Martha clenched his arm tightly resting her head on his shoulder. “The weather’s just lovely, don’t you think.”
“Ah, yes, it’s nice and balmy. Will these seats do?” He had learned that with a limpet attached to his arm, he was no longer allowed to sit just anywhere. He had to sit within a two person radius of Narcissa and her crew, just in case he said something absolutely adorable and Martha had to share with her club. It was a minor wonder he was still allowed out of the dorm room without an armed guard.
Martha carefully observed the surroundings. While directly beneath them were the rest of the fourth year boys, who were juvenile at best, Mafalda was to her right, so she would have someone to talk to in case it got boring. “I suppose.”
They sat down. Martha scooted towards Rupert. Rupert scooted away. Martha scooted again. Rupert responded, bumping into a fifth year girl. “I’m terribly sorry.” He apologized, before turning to Martha. “Is everything alright with your seat?”
“Well, you seem to be a bit restless.” Rupert figured if he called her on it, perhaps she couldn’t persist with that tactic.
“Well, I might be a bit chilly.” She tried to snuggle up to him.
“Oh? Oh! If you’d like, I can run back to the castle and fetch your sweater.” Rupert offered, knowing that it would be impossible to stretch the errand out as long as he wished, but he was willing to give it a try.
“I could just use your sweater.” Martha did that eyelash thing that always made Rupert want to blink sympathetically. The first few times he had asked if something had flown into her eye, but that had turned out incredibly awkward, so he was content now to try and ignore the eye twitch.
“Oh.” Rupert sighed. “Alright.” He took off his sweater and offered it to her. From below him, he could clearly make out a few “baa’s” from the boys. The pseudo couple sat quietly for a few minutes, neither having anything to say to each other.
As the random bleats continued, Rupert knew the situation was getting desperate. He thought back on Severus’ comments. The way to rid himself of Martha once and for all was to convince her she wanted somebody else. “Rastaban is filling in as a chaser today.” He offered up the first name that came to him.
“I heard that.” Martha nodded.
“I think he’ll do a good job. He’s always smashing when we try to scrimmage.”
“Yes.” Rupert nodded. The conversation was dying a slow and painful death. Grasping at straws, he came up with, “By any chance, are you related to Rastaban?”
“Of course. My mother’s brother is married to his father’s cousin’s daughter Ariadne, on the Malfoy side.”
“Ah.” Rupert was silently doing the calculations in his head. “Why, you’re hardly related at all!”
“Well, not as much as some people. How about you?” Martha conceded.
“Oh. Strictly by marriage. My father’s wife’s father is a brother to Rastaban’s grandfather, on the Lestrange side.” Rupert rattled out. It had taken Severus nearly a month during their first year to train Rupert on how the Lestrange-Snape-Giles family tree fit into proper wizarding inbreeding; now, the answer was almost a reflex.
“Does that make you third cousins?”
“Once removed, I believe.”
“How fascinating. I didn’t realize you were so well connected.” She clung tighter to his arm.
“I just bet you didn’t.” Rupert muttered bitterly. “Ah look, the game is starting!” He said loudly, wishing he had Severus’ omnioculars so that he’d have an excuse for ignoring his limpet.
“I do hope Slytherin wins. I could use a party in the commons room tonight.”
“A party?” Rupert actually turned to stare at her. “It’s hardly the end of the season.”
“It is for our house. If we win, then we have a chance of taking first place in the quidditch cup as long as Hufflepuff wins against Gryffindor in the last game. If we lose, then we risk coming in either third or fourth, depending on the margin of victories these next two games of course.”
“Of course.” Rupert nodded his head weakly. It was probably a bad sign if the witches knew quidditch better than he did. “Oh look, they’re releasing the quaffle.”
“So, are you going to try out for quidditch next fall? It would be very impressive to be dating a quidditch player.” Martha said, watching Rupert more than the game.
“I’m afraid that would be a very bad idea. I take to brooms like a fish takes to land. I think our year will just have to be represented by Lucius, and now Rastaban. Oh, look, Ras actually got the quaffle!” Rupert got up to cheer along with the rest of his classmates as Rastaban made a good attempt at the left hoop.
“You mean, you don’t want to play quidditch?” Martha asked as they sat down. She clearly didn’t believe his earlier statement.
“Oh, I don’t mind the occasional pick up game. I make a fairly decent beater, but I’m no where near as good as these guys. I mean, just look at Rastaban. He has such great flying form. See how he can maneuver with just his knees? He’s really good. In fact, I’m rather surprised that he only got on as a reserve this year. I bet he’s strong enough to be on the team outright next year.”
“Definitely; he’s got a quidditch figure.” The couple lapsed into silence for a few minutes. “So…”
“I don’t suppose you want something to eat?” Rupert offered, knowing that a trip to the concession booth and the few knuts it would cost for a pumpkin juice would be worth the distraction.
“No, I’m fine.” Martha sighed, not releasing him. “So what’s your favorite quidditch team?”
“Slytherin, of course.” Rupert answered immediately.
“I meant professionally, silly.” Martha giggled.
“Oh, well…” For the life of him, Rupert couldn’t remember the name of a single team. “I rather like London.”
“There isn’t a London team.”
“Really? One would think they would have enough wizards in the area to make it a popular location for a team.”
“You must be kidding me.” Martha groaned. “Everyone knows that London can’t have a quidditch team. Where would they put a pitch?”
“If they can hide Diagon Alley, surely a quidditch pitch wouldn’t be that out of the question. SCORE!” Rupert jumped up as Rastaban knocked the quaffle in. “Did you see that? Ras just got another one in!”
“Well, that’s hardly surprising. He’s the only one Ravenclaw hasn’t played against before. I doubt he’ll get that lucky in half an hour.” Martha predicted.
“If he scores enough before then, I don’t suppose it would much matter.” Rupert replied, keeping his eyes on Rastaban’s form. “You must admit, Lestrange is playing very well today.”
“I suppose.” Martha tugged on his sleeve. “But, you still haven’t answered my question. What’s your favorite quidditch team?”
“How should I know?” Rupert shot back, watching Lucius attempt to steal the quaffle in a move that Lucius had sworn was illegal when Rupert had tried it in the pick up game last week. “That lucky bastard.” He muttered, as Lucius got away with the penalty and the ball.
“That’s not an answer!” Martha huffed. “You don’t pay attention to me anymore!”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Rupert answered, wondering when he had ever paid her any attention.
“Oh!” Martha squealed but provided no further explanation.
“Hey Rupert,” Severus turned around, sensing his stepbrother
was in a bit of trouble. “Do you want anything from the concession stand?”
“Why, are you going already?”
“Well, the snitch is never found this early, and watching Malfoy get away with murder isn’t exactly my idea of a good time.” Severus shrugged.
“In that case, I’ll take a pumpkin juice and one of those apple tart things you had last time.” Rupert jumped on the chance to speak to anyone besides Martha, but then his good manners took over, “Would you like anything Martha?”
“A pumpkin juice would be nice.” Her eyelash twitch let Rupert know that everything was forgiven, even if he couldn’t figure out what had been wrong in the first place.
“Alright, here’s three sickles. If it’s more than that, I’ll pay you back?” Rupert handed Severus the change.
“Fine, I’ll be back in a few minutes.” Severus headed out the back of the Slytherin stand and towards concession booth.
Unfortunately, to reach the concession stand, Severus had to pass the Gryffindor stand, and a certain quartet of Gryffindors was just returning from their own trip to the concessions. “Lookey, lookey what we have here boys.” Severus halted at the sound of Sirius’ voice.
Severus briefly considered turning back and going the other way around the pitch, but realized that his back made a better target than his front, so he stood facing the foursome. “What do you want, Black?”
“Well, for starters, I want Peter here to hold my drink so I can get a better aim on you.” Pettigrew scuttled to obey Sirius, holding the boy’s snacks so that his hands were free to grab his wand. “Then, I want to teach you a very important lesson about territory. This is our territory,” he nodded up towards the red and gold stand, “and you’re not welcome here.”
Severus knew it was pointless trying to argue with the belligerent Black, so instead he tried to go around. “Hey, my friend was talking to you.” Potter stepped in his way.
“I’m not trying to get into your pathetic little stand; I’m just trying to get to the concessions. Now, kindly step aside.” Severus knew if Gran had said that, the boys would have scattered. Heck, if Sir Bradford had said that, the boys would be tripping on themselves to get out of the way. So, even though he used the same sort of inflection as those adults would, he couldn’t understand why the four boys started laughing at him.
“Kindly step aside? What century were you brought up in?” Potter laughed.
“That’s a good one.” Peter tittered.
“We don’t have to step aside. This is our turf.” Black insisted.
“Well, I guess there’s only one answer to this.” Severus slipped his wand into his hand.
Meanwhile, up in the Slytherin stands, Rupert was getting restless. “I think I should go check on Sev. He might have trouble carrying back all those drinks.” Rupert tried to extract himself from Martha.
“Should I come with you?” She offered.
“No, really, that’s quite alright. Why don’t you stay here and watch the game. Let me know if Lestrange does anything interesting when I get back, hmm?” He pried her fingers off his elbow and stood up.
“Well, I suppose….” She eyed him uneasily.
“Right then, see you soon.” Rupert dashed for the stairs leading down from the Slytherin stands, and was only too happy to be on his way to the concession booth. He was halfway around when he stopped short. In front of him, he could see Severus and Sirius Black in a stand-off, wands pointed at each other. Rupert ducked behind the corner of the Gryffindor stand to get a better view without being spotted.
If it were a fair fight, Rupert had no doubt Sev could hex the socks off that Gryffindor, but from the way Potter was also holding his wand, Rupert doubted it would be a fair fight. He knew he had to do something fast, before any curses were thrown. His options were limited. Even if he rushed in to help Sev, they were still outnumbered two to one. From this distance, a curse, hex, or jinx would not only lead to detention but probably miss the mark completely. What he needed was a distraction to give Severus the time to make an escape.
In a fit of pure stupidity, Rupert yanked off his shoes and hurled them at the backs of Potter and Pettigrew. His left shoe missed Potter by several feet, but his right shoe made contact with Pettigrew’s temple, knocking him out.
“Peter!” Lupin shouted, startled when the smallest of their group crumpled to the ground for no good reason. He rushed to his friend’s side and tried to help him up. “Come on guys, we have to get him to the infirmary.” He tried to drag Pettigrew, but the roly-poly fourth year was too much for wiry Remus.
Potter reluctantly lowered his wand and went to grab Peter’s other side. “Bloody hell, we’re going to have to cut him off his cauldron cakes soon. Damn git can’t just go and faint every time he sees a duel.” Potter groaned as he and Remus started carrying Peter away. He stopped and looked back. “Come on, Sirius, we can get Severus another time, when Peter’s not around.”
“This isn’t over, Snape.” Black growled, backing away from Snape, until he was out of cursing range. “When Peter wakes up, I get first crack at him.” Black muttered, helping his friends drag their fourth to the infirmary.
Severus didn’t lower his wand hand until Sirius had vanished around the corner. At that point he turned around. Rupert waved, walking barefoot towards him. “What are you doing here?”
“Just offering you a hand.” Rupert shrugged, picking up his shoes.
“Well, more of a shoe.” Rupert grinned, sitting down on the grass to put his shoes back on.
“A shoe? You threw a shoe at them?”
“Fabulous, wasn’t it?”
“I… I don’t know what to say.” Severus stuttered.
“How about, thank you? That was quite a scrape you were in.” Rupert suggested.
“Or how about, WHAT THE BLOODY HELL WERE YOU THINKING?” Severus screamed, drowned out by the roar of the quidditch crowd as Ravenclaw scored. “I was in the middle of a wizarding duel! That’s a sacred ritual of wizards! You can’t just throw shoes into a duel! That’s cheating. No worse, that’s stupid; what if you had hit me on the head? Don’t you ever think these things through?”
“Evidently not.” Rupert glared at his brother. “I saw you needed help, and that seemed like the best solution.”
“Well, you thought wrong. I don’t need your help! I don’t need everyone thinking that I can’t hold my own against Black. I don’t need my little brother to bail me out for everything. I don’t need you!” Severus yelled.
“Hey! Who are you calling little? I’m three weeks older than you.” Rupert stumbled back to his feet.
“That’s not the point.” Severus wiped his cheek, although he swore he wasn’t crying. “The point is that I can handle Black on my own, and if you and Lucius keep trying to step in, he’s never going to learn that, and it will just get worse. So just. Butt. Out.”
“Lucius? What does Lucius have to do with this?”
“Nothing. Just forget I said anything.” Severus turned and stomped off, heading towards the gates rather than the concession stand.
“No, I won’t forget. What does Lucius have to do with this?”
“I said nothing!”
“Yeah, well, you don’t sound too convincing.” Rupert followed after his step brother. “If you’re in some sort of trouble with Black, I can help you better than Lucius. You don’t have to take Malfoy’s attitude if you don’t want to.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Well, maybe I would if you told me about it.”
“Well, maybe I wouldn’t have to tell you about it if you were acting like a real wizard.”
“What does that mean?” Rupert rolled his eyes.
“What do you think it means?” Severus stomped off. Rupert watched, but knew better than to follow. With a sigh, Rupert reached into his pocket. He had just enough change left to get some snacks and head back to the stands. He headed off to the concession booth, his mind tied up with what Severus said. If Severus was in trouble, Rupert would have to write Gran for help, and that was the last thing he wanted to do this weekend.
Lost in his thoughts, he ran straight into Lily Evans, knocking her down. “Oh Merlin! I’m so sorry.”
“No, it’s my fault.” Lily stood up, picking up her box of chocolate frogs, which had thankfully stayed shut. “No harm, no foul; I should have been paying more attention to where I was going, but it sounded like Slytherin just scored again.”
“I guess.” Rupert shrugged.
“You’re not the world’s biggest quidditch fan, either?” Lily grinned.
“Can’t say that I am. I guess that’s why I was heading for the concession booth in the first place.”
“What’s on your mind, Ru? You look a hundred miles away.” Lily frowned, seeing the look of worry on her friend’s face.
“It’s about Sev.” Rupert ignored Lily’s shiver. “He got into a snit with Black and his gang. They had their wands drawn, but before they could fire a shot, I broke it up.”
“You broke it up?”
“Actually, I threw my shoe at Pettigrew and knocked him over. He went down,” Rupert snapped, “like that. It was hilarious.”
“I just bet it was.” Lily smirked. “I should probably be mad at you for knocking him down, but I’ve wanted to knock that bumbling idiot over a few times myself.”
“Anyway, Black went off to take Pettigrew to the infirmary, so I thought everything was fine, but then Severus gets all bent out of shape about it.”
“He said, and I quote, that throwing shoes at a wizarding duel was cheating.”
“Since when have Slytherins cared about cheating?” Lily smirked.
“I’m sorry, but you have to admit I have a point.”
“True. In fact, it may be my point too. Since when have Slytherins cared about cheating? Sev should be happy I got him out of that fight, not mad at me for throwing my shoe in.”
“Well, my own personal opinion, and I may be completely off here, but I think he’s still mad about last week.”
“Last week? What happened last week?”
“Surely you heard? It was all over Gryffindor.”
“During dueling class, Snape and Black exchanged a few words, and somehow, Black’s hex managed to turn Snape into a girl. I heard he was a pretty ugly one at that. Black was in the process of hexing Snape’s clothes off on top of that, when Malfoy’s hex turned Black into a halibut. At that point, Dumbledore had to intervene to turn them back, and both Sirius and Malfoy got into trouble using dark curses at Hogwarts.”
“What’s so dark about a halibut?”
“Well, fish out of water…” Lily shrugged. “The point is, the Gryffs in dueling say the Slyths were giving Severus a hard time after class about Malfoy having to save the damsel in distress.”
“Oh, how awful!” Rupert groaned. “I can’t believe he didn’t tell me about that.”
“Would you tell him if someone turned you into a girl during choir?”
“I suspect most of the Slyths think I do turn into a girl during choir.” Rupert answered. “But, you’re right, as usual. Damn. I need to go talk to Sev.”
“I guess so, but isn’t there a certain ball and chain you have to take care of first.” Lily cast an unamused glance at the path. Sure enough, Martha had left her post at the Slytherin stands and was heading right towards them. “I’ll catch up to you later.” Lily left before Martha VanHaven could catch up to them.
“RUPERT GILES!” Martha yelled, clearly unhappy with him.
“Where have you been? I sent you after pumpkin juice fifteen minutes ago!”
“I’m sorry, I got caught up with…”
“Yes I saw you getting ‘caught up’ with that Gryffindor tramp. We could miss the catching of the golden snitch because of your ‘catching up’, have you ever thought what that might mean? Hmm?”
“Its just a game.” Rupert rolled his eyes.
“Just a game?!” Martha glared, and Rupert could swear he could hear the whoosh of his life pass before him.
“Yes I….” Rupert had just an instant to come to the realization that it wasn’t his life he was hearing but the golden snitch, whizzing away from the stadium for one of its many disappearances. Unfortunately, the golden snitch hadn’t counted on spectators outside of the stands, and took advantage of Rupert’s startled state, to fly straight into his mouth.
“Did you just…?”
“Umphglpf.” Rupert started gagging. He had felt butterflies in his stomach before, but it was nothing compared to a golden snitch in his throat.
“Spit it out! Spit it out! Help! Help!” Martha’s shrieking attracted the attention of a everyone standing near the concession stands as well the two seekers, who had lost the trail of the snitch a few minutes earlier.
“He’s turning blue! Someone get Pomphrey!” Rupert heard as he started feeling light headed.
Nurse Pomphrey appeared from nowhere and quickly slapped Rupert on the back. The snitch went flying up to his mouth. One more slap, and the snitch flew out of his mouth, into the nurse’s hand. Just as he collapsed from lightheadedness, he heard over the speaker “And a first in quidditch history, it appears that Nurse Pomphrey has captured the Golden Snitch! Everyone, let’s give a round of applause to Nurse Pomphrey.”