Hey! I'm back! Long time no see, sorry about that. Hope you appreciated the double update. But we're back for year Four of Harry and Draco's adventures and…. the return of the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Dun, dun duunn! What will happen? You'll just have to read to find out. Again, any and all reviews are appreciated, even flames! I need something to burn the homes of my enemies. *mad cackle* I mean - uh, what? *clears throat* I'm not canon Bellatrix, I swear! Anyways, back to the story before I make a complete fool of myself…

Oh, and special thanks to the two of you who reviewed last chapter (hylarts & titania2811). This chapter is especially for the two of you. NOW HERE HAVE SOME COOKIES

Chapter Sixteen: The Quidditch World Cup

Harry was rather eagerly anticipating the return to Hogwarts, but was also excited for the upcoming Quidditch World Cup, where his family would, of course, be sitting in the top box. Lucius had been rather "hush hush" about the whole ordeal, but Harry, in true Slytherin fashion, had quickly figured out what was going on, though he thought that was partly because his father wanted him and Draco to know.

He was currently writing down what he'd discovered in a book, so as to write everything down in one spot.

Over the summer, whilst my family and I were abroad in America, the Dark Lord has staged with his return, as the Chief (Merced's father) owed him a favor from when the two of them were much younger, when a young Tom Riddle saved the Chief's life when he was visiting Hogwarts to study the magic of the castle. This was through an ancient ritual to return a wandering soul to its owner's body.

However, since the Dark Lord had no body to return to, the Chief had to tamper a bit with the darker bits of magic in order to recreate the body of the Dark Lord from his prime, so around late twenties to early thirties. The Dark Lord is at full strength, but is too busy planning out how he wants this war (and there is war coming) to go, and also planning a dramatic re-introduction to the world. Of course, it is not up to me to judge his actions, but I personally think its a little much.

However, I know that he has the best interests of the purebloods at heart.

After all, the magical community cannot remain a secret forever, and he plans on finding a way to hide us away from the rest of the muggle world. Though our gifts would provide easy defeat over the muggles, they have the numbers, as well as weapons of mass destruction that we haven't studied yet. Therefore, we need to be hidden, and stay as secret as possible.

I know that the Dark Lord is looking into separating a community into a sort of separate reality, branched off from the dimension it is residing in. Most of the details fly over my head, but, that is to be expected, I'm focusing too much on the neutralizing of the Hogwarts wards to invest my time to study such a confusing matter much further. Anyways, branching off topic here.

The first coordinated Death Eater attack is scheduled to be on the night of the Quidditch World Cup final, and Father says that if Draco and I are well-behaved and actively work at our summer studies until then, we can be a part of the chaos, though we'll have emergency portkeys to ensure that we aren't caught. If all goes well, the Dark Lord might notice us, and, once we are under his radar, we'll soon be able to join his ranks….

"Harry, darling, do make sure that Dobby has prepared all of our things for our visit to the World Cup."

"Yes, mother. I assumed that Uncle Rodolphus, Uncle Rabastan, and Auntie Bella will be coming?"

"Of course, Harry, dear. And don't forget, your cousins will be coming, too. Little Marvolo will be starting at Hogwarts this year, after all."

"Really?" Harry and Draco both perked up at the prospect, as they hadn't seen their cousins, Rafael and Marvolo, in ages. Of course, that had mainly been because their aunts and uncles had been in hiding in America for a long time, while the Malfoys were hard at work clearing their names. Rafael was twenty years old, and was a graduate from Durmstrang (the only Lestrange to attend said school), and had spent the summer getting little Marvolo up to date on magic, which was why they hadn't accompanied them on their trip to America.

Rafael favored his father, Rodolphus, with well groomed short brown hair and olive eyes. Marvolo, however, looked more like his mother. He had fair skin, with curious hazel eyes, framed by long lashes, and a head full of curly black hair. The both of them were Quidditch enthusiasts, so it would make sense for them to attend the most anticipated Quidditch match of the year.

Traditionally, Rafael would have been the one to inherit the Black family title, since Andromeda had been disowned, but the magical community hadn't exactly been aware of his existence, seeing as his parents were fugitives at the time and in hiding, so the title had gone over to Harry. Thankfully, there was no bad blood between the cousins, and they got along swimmingly.

Draco and Harry found themselves in rather heated debates with their friends over who would win.

"It's bound to be Bulgaria!" argued Nott, while Zabini nodded fervently from besides him. "They've got Krum! He's the best Seeker in the league!"

"I understand that Krum is the best Seeker," snapped Harry, his grey eyes flashing obsidian for a moment, "but just having a superb Seeker won't make Bulgaria the best team. Ireland has by far the best offensive and defensive strategies, whilst the Bulgarians tend towards brute strength. While that can work, a team on the calibre of the Irish National Team won't be fooled by their tactics, and won't be scared away by them. Trust me, I've studied the plays and know them by heart. If anyone wins, it'll be the Irish. But Krum'll have caught the Snitch."

Nott and Zabini were goggling at him, and even Draco's eyebrow was raised.

"He's crazy, we've gone over this before." Harry stifled an unsophisticated snort at his brother's words, but they had the effect desired, and the mood was calmed and the four friends continued on as per usual, discussing their summers.

"It's a shame the girls won't be attending the match," Harry mentioned conversationally to his brother later that evening, as they were preparing to retire for the night. "Lady Greengrass and Lady Nott will be taking them to France for the Young Women of High-Society's Dinner." Draco, however, to Harry's surprise, looked rather relieved.

"Daphne's great company, but Anastasia's become a bit clingy and whiny, like a young Parkinson, now that I've gotten to know her. I'll tell Father that I'm still considering who to court, but I won't have to make a decision 'till 'Hunting Season', anyways."

"Really? I wouldn't have figured, since Theo is such great company. I suppose I shouldn't have judged his sister based on what I knew about him, of course." Hunting Season was the long standing wizarding pureblood tradition held during the year an heir or heiress came of age.

It was the time in which the heirs and heiresses searched or 'hunted' for the perfect husband or wife. Anything went, really, so long as the future partner fit the requirements set by the current Lord of the House. Harry already had Daphne lined up (though he would still court her in the traditional ways when Hunting Season came) though, if she was unpleased with him, then she could chose to pursue a relationship with another, though Harry was fairly confident that would not be an issue.

The conversation mellowed back down to comfortable silence as the two continued on with what they had been doing previously.

The days rolled by rather quickly leading up to the finale of the Quidditch World Cup, and, while Harry and Draco did their best to not be overcome by the hype that engulfed the wizarding world, they were teenage boys, still. Even though they'd been training from as far back as they could remember to be ruthless members of society under the rule of a Dark Lord, they still managed to act childishly on occasion. A day or two before the match, however, an article popped up in the Daily Prophet that was quite the shocker.

Ravenclaw Line Rediscovered!

It has come to attention of the magical community very recently that there is a remaining descendant to the Ravenclaw line, and, better yet, they've been hiding under our noses this entire time! One Lily Evans Potter - previously only Lily Evans - was long thought to be merely a very magically gifted muggleborn, while, in fact, as it turns out, she was adopted.

While we cannot uncover the truth about her parentage, it is certain that the heiress of the Ravenclaw line is she. Lily Evans Potter is no longer just a muggleborn, but a pureblood with heritage reaching back to the times of the founders! This will give the Potter family an avalanche of additional power, what with their claims to the Peverell line as well, and young James Jr. and Rosaline will want for nothing!

"What?!" Narcissa let out a rather unladylike screech when the headline finally caught her attention, falling backwards onto one of the lounge chairs in shock. "Lily Evans? A pureblood? And a Ravenclaw, no less? I think I might faint."

Harry quickly called over his mother's personal elf, Loopsy, to attend to her needs. After a wet towel was placed on Narcissa's forehead, she began to calm down.

"She was considered to be the brightest witch of her age, and Rosaline Potter was sorted into Ravenclaw."

"Smart girl, that Rosaline Potter. I heard she's had a falling out with her family, something about reading borderline dark magic textbooks. She's got a glimmer of potential, that one." A sour mood lingered in the Malfoy household for the rest of the day, surely because now they actually had a formidable opponent in the realm of money, and the Potters were not mentioned.

Soon the time arrived for the actual match.

The morning of, Harry and Draco had awoken long before the first rays of sunshine began creeping over the horizon, and thus, had woken up a rather disgruntled Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy.

Not wanting to have to deal with their excess enthusiasm for long, they made their way to the field near the stadium, their tent having already been pitched by their house elves. Very elegant, of course, with some of the family peacocks tethered up on leads at the front. It practically screamed 'Malfoy'.

"Oh thank Merlin you finally decided to arrive." The Lestrange tent was pitched next to theirs, Marvalo's whippet Jester chasing his tail in circles, barking happily. Bellatrix was standing there, arms crossed, tapping her foot impatiently, looking rather frazzled. "Marvalo decided it'd be a good idea to drag his father, uncle, and I here at one in the bloody morning, he was so excited. He's been driving poor Rafael insane with his twitterings about Quidditch."

Harry grinned as the eleven year old in question came barreling out of the tent at a speed mimicking Jester, nearly tackling Harry and Draco to the ground with the force of his bear hug. Unlike Harry and Draco, who had been raised to restrict their childish urges, Marvalo was free from those restrictions, seeing as it would be his older brother who would inherit the Lestrange legacy.

"Harry! Draco! You would not believe the things Mumma and Da have taught me! It's amazing! And then Mumma also started telling me about the things that you're learning and about Rafy's training and I wanna be like you when I grow up! And Quidditch! Merlin the match is going to be exciting! I wonder if we'll be able to meet some of the players and-" All of this was rushing out of the little boy's mouth without him pausing to take a breath, and it was Rafael who stepped in to make sure that he remembered to breathe.

"Calm down there, you little rascal." Rafael, who usually seemed cold and distant, only ever warmed up when he was around family, especially his little brother. He offered Harry and Draco a dashing smile, flashing all of his teeth.

"Nice to see you, cousins." Harry laughed while Draco wrinkled his nose at the older boy.

"Merlin, Rafael, you don't need to shoot your award-winning smile at us. We're your family. Best save it for all of the helpless pureblood bachelors who swoon at your feet." Rafael laughed a booming laugh, ruffling Draco's hair.

"No need to fear, little cousin, I've given up my playboy ways in favor of settling down."

"Oh?" this time it was Narcissa who spoke. "And who might the lucky young man be?" While most purebloods would have been horrified at the very prospect of a homosexual heir, Bellatrix and Rodolphus had hardly batted an eye, seeing as the younger of the Lestrange brothers, Rabastan, also preferred men. And, what with blood adoption rituals, Rafael and any partner he chose would be able to procure a proper heir.

"A wonderful young man by the name of Andrew Langster, an American pureblood. He is nineteen years of age and currently attending wizarding college at Salem University in America."

"Oh, isn't that lovely! You'll have to bring him round to Britain to meet the family, of course. And he isn't opposed to our views?"

"Not at all! I was rather surprised myself. You see, his younger brother was adopted as a ward of the Langster family, a young orphaned pureblood from the Applesmith line who was being abused by his muggle 'caretakers'. Needless to say, Andrew has a deep loathing for muggles and lesser magicals."

"The poor boy, how old is he now?"

"Thirteen, and attending Salem Prep. He'll probably tag along with Andrew should I ever bring them to meet you, and I'm sure he, Harry, and Draco would get along swimmingly." Marvalo nodded rapidly to emphasize the point.

"Mhmm. Marco's fun, he helped me with schoolwork preparation while Rafy was busy with Drew." Harry stifled a laugh as his mother continued to gush over Rafael, the cooing only intensifying when Bellatrix deemed it fit to show her sister pictures of Rafael with the rather dashing brunette boy.

The cousins spent a good amount of time catching up, though Caelum, who was now the size of a small bear, seemed rather perturbed at the excitable magical whippet bouncing all over him. Regulus preferred to view the spectacle from a safe distance up on a tree, Char curled up next to him, covered protectively by the giant snake's soft wings.

"So, cousins, what did you learn over the summer?"

"Lot's of things, actually. Merced made sure to focus on physical aspects of fighting, as well as starting practice on wandless magic, channeling our magic from our core to spread throughout our entire body." Harry faded from reality for a moment as he began to remember.

"Breathe in and out slowly, pay attention only to your own breaths, your heartbeat, and my voice." Merced's soothing voice began humming a sweet tune, bringing Harry and Draco, as well as the other boys, into a trance-like meditative state.

"Look into yourself, deeper and deeper, until you find your core." Harry did as he was told, looking within himself until he came across his magical core, a large ball of pure magical energy, pulsating a bright electric green, the exact shade of the killing curse.

"Now, push against the core. Break the protective barrier around your magic, keeping it in one place. Let it spread throughout your entire body, where it will be more accessible, free from the restrictions that you European wizards have built over centuries."

After a few moments of prodding, the green, plasma like energy burst from his center like water after a breaking dam, flooding through his body. With a gasp, his eyes snapped open, platinum grey flashing Avada Kedavra green. Merced was smiling at him reassuringly.

"Well done." He felt more connected to his magic, could practically feel it crawling through his body. He and his magic were one, and he felt more powerful than ever before.

"Miko helped with the physical aspect plenty, too," Draco pitched in. "He's a master at the defensive arts, and helped teach us how to use our familiars to our advantage. His is a Hungarian Horntail, quite amazing, really, once you stop and think about it." Harry nodded, smirking when he saw Marvalo's gaping jaw.

"And Merced's younger brother, Yuma, helped us learn how to fight with swords."

The boy was their age, maybe a year or two older, with shaggy black hair covering the majority of his tanned face, hiding sharp golden eyes. He grinned animalistically at the pale boys in front of him. While Harry and Draco worked out, Theo and Blaise usually didn't. And, even with the small edge Harry and Draco had, Yuma basically ate them alive.

Finding a sword that was the right balance was difficult enough, but then having to transfigure your own wand into a magically infused blade was extremely taxing. And then came the actual fighting.

Yuma was everywhere, blocking, jabbing, slicing, and making the Brits look like complete fools. He was completely at ease on the battlefield, moving from side to side as if engaged in an elaborate dance. Graceful, but completely deadly. Combined with his acrobatic skills, he was a real force to be reckoned with.

The end of the session found all four Brits panting, bodies gleaming with sweat, shirts off. Daphne shot an appreciative glance at Harry's already toned body and smirked when he blushed slightly.

"Come back again every day until you can hold your own against me." Yuma grinned at the groans of his new pupils, and laughed when they began complaining about aching arms.

"Sounds like you two had fun," laughed Rafael as Harry and Draco animatedly recalled their summer adventures, "especially you, Harrison." Harry pulled a face at the use of his full name, and Rafael grinned and ruffled the perturbed metamorphmagus' hair.

"Daphne sounds like a great catch, it's a shame she couldn't be here for me to tease you mercilessly."

"Yeah…" Harry trailed off, a rather gooey expression plastered on his face, to which Draco sniggered at. "Unfortunately, she our other female companions are stuck attending the Young Women of High-Society's Dinner."
"Speaking of your friends, are Nott and Zabini here?"

"Not yet, but they'll be arriving later. They weren't able to snag Top Box seats, but they'll still be situated near us, and their tents are supposed to be pitched a couple of yards down from ours…"

True to his word, Nott and Zabini soon arrived, looking very excited. Nott was wearing the deep burgundy of Bulgaria, while Zabini was wearing the bright green of Ireland. They both looked rather disappointed when they saw that Harry and Draco weren't wearing the colors of either team.

"I just want to watch a good game," said Draco earnestly, smirking, "and you've already heard Harry's insane prediction."

"Which would be…?" Rafael, ever the Quidditch fanatic, enquired.

"He thinks that Ireland will win, but Krum'll catch the snitch," Theo informed him matter-of-factly. Rafael cocked an eyebrow and hummed thoughtfully, lips pursed ever so slightly.

"You know, that actually makes sense." Draco groaned dramatically and playfully fell into a rather surprised Theo's arms.

"Another member of the family has succumbed to madness. Of their rockers, the two of them." Harry growled and playfully shoved his brother, but Lucius interfered before they could actually start roughhousing.

"Ah-ah-ah, boys. Wouldn't want to mess up your hair before the game, now, would we?" Harry grinned cheekily at his father, pushing his luck, and responded:

"Not really, metamorphmagus powers and all." Lucius barely suppressed a smile, and ruffled Harry's hair as if to spite him.

"Whatever you say, little brat."

The boys continued their banter playfully, joking around and just having an overall good time. When the time of the match finally arrived, they were practically bouncing with excitement. Theo and Blaise nodded and waved.

"See you afterwards, eh?"

"Of course!"

And with that, the Malfoy/Lestrange Clan made their way up to the top box, and Lucius wrinkled his nose when he saw who was already there. The Potters were guests of the Top Box, apparently, and had dragged the Weasley scum along with them, as well as Lardbottom. Much to Harry's surprise, Rose Potter let out a sigh of relief when she saw the aristocratic purebloods entering.

"-ah, and here's Lucius."

"Ah, Fudge," said Luciu smoothly, shaking hands with the Minister of Magic. "How are you? I don't think you've had the pleasure of meeting my sister-in-law, Bellatrix, or her family?"

"Unfortunately, no," said Fudge jovially as he greeted Bellatrix, Rabastan, Rodolphus, and Rafael. He smiled widely when little Marvalo solemnly shook his head like a proper little pureblood heir, for an eleven year old, the boy was very petite. Lardbottom's face was pink with unbridled rage, and Harry recalled that one of his aunt and uncle's charges had been the attempted murder of the Longbottom family, which had unfortunately (or fortunately, as if it had been successful, the Lestranges would've been locked up in Azkaban) been unsuccessful.

"How do you do, how do you do?" for a lower class pureblood, Fudge sure knew his manners well in the presence of his betters. "And allow me to introduce you to Mr. Oblansk - Obalonsk - Mr. - well, he's the Bulgarian Minister of Magic, and he can't understand a word I'm saying anyway, so never mind. And let's see who else - you know the Weasleys and the Potters, I daresay?"

Lucius seized the opportunity to lock eyes with Arthur Weasley, and Harry and Draco exchanged matching smirks.

"Good lord, Arthur," he said softly. "What did you have to sell to get seats in the Top Box? Surely your house wouldn't have fetched this much?

Fudge, who wasn't listening - or rather, chose to ignore - said, "Lucius here has just given a very generous contribution to St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, Arthur. He's here as my guest."

"How - how nice," said Mr. Weasley, with a very strained smile. Lucius turned and seemed to notice the Mudblood at the same time as Harry and Draco, and their lips all curled in distaste at the same time, but Hermione stared back defiantly.

"Ah, Harry, Draco, my lads, come here," Fudge beckoned at the two warmly as a rather perturbed looking girl entered the Top Box, "come meet my niece, Samantha Frost." Harry's eyebrow raised as he took in the girl's appearance. Her hair was shock white, and her skin pale and smooth, and her eyes a bright crystal blue. Breathing in deeply, as if to taste her magical signature, as Merced had taught him, Harry smiled as he found the cause of her strange ornate beauty.

"Elemental magic." The girl grinned widely when he figured it out, nodding her approval.

"You Malfoys aren't too bad, I suppose. Call me Ski."

"Why so glum about being in the Top Box?" enquired Draco, smirking slightly. "This is all rather exciting."

"More so upset that England isn't playing, but it was to be expected, seeing as they all played like shit. Except for my brother dearest, of course."

"Wait, your brother is Jack Frost?" Potter's obnoxious voice cut into their conversation, and Ski huffed at him, rather annoyed.

"Yes, but nobody asked you to join this conversation, you impeccable. Now go play with your fellow blood traitors and the mudblood before I freeze a rather vital piece of male anatomy. Wouldn't want the Potter legacy to die off, now, would we?" Potter paled slightly and retreated, but not before shooting harsh glares at Harry and Draco, who batted them off as if he was nothing but a petulant child - which he was.

The soft sound of someone sitting next to them alerted them to the presence of one Rose Potter, who was ignoring the shocked and disgusted looks her family and family friends were shooting her.

"Sorry about my brother, he's a prick. Mind if I join you?"

"Not at all," said Ski, smiling at the other girl.

"Won't your parents be upset at you associating with the Malfoys?" asked Harry, a tad perplexed. Rose rolled her eyes and shot him a look.

"Obviously. But quite frankly, I don't give a damn. I'm untouchable."


"Since my mother dearest wasn't thoughtful enough to trace her heritage, she is past the age of which she could claim the title of Ravenclaw heiress. So, she and father brought Jamie and I to Gringotts to see which one of us would be the heir. They were expecting it to be Jamie of course, but, as it turns out, I'm much more powerful than that idiot. And, of course, I'm in Ravenclaw. They were furious. But now that I'm guaranteed the Ravenclaw fortune and ¼ of Hogwarts, I just wanted to say that I am appalled at how the Potter house has succumbed to association with blood traitors and mudbloods. If you ever need a mind, you can always borrow mine." She shot a disdainful look at her family.

"Honestly, they should strive to be more like your family. Malfoys know how to act properly." She winked at Draco, whose ears turned slightly pink. "And I've heard you've been having issues with picking a future wife. Don't leave us Ravenclaws out of consideration, alright?" And without even giving the others a chance to respond, she walked back to her family.

"Strange girl."

"You've no idea."

But their attention was quickly caught as the match begab.

"Ladies and gentlemen… welcome! Welcome to the final of the four hundred and twenty-second Quidditch World Cup!" The spectators screamed and clapped. Thousand of flags waved, adding their discordant national anthems to the racket. The huge blackboard opposite them was wiped clear of its last message (Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans - A Rush With Every Mouthful!) and was now showed BULGARIA: 0, IRELAND: 0.

"And now, without further ado, allow me to introduce… the Bulgarian National Team Mascots!"

The right-hand side of the stands, which was a solid block of scarlet, roared its approval.

A hundred veela were now gliding out onto the field, and Harry couldn't help but smirk as the Potters and Weasleys already began to lose their composure. They were by far some of the most beautiful women anyone had ever seen, but Harry was already more than satisfied with Daphne (who was actually half veela herself). When the veela started to dance, the majority of the males in the audience tripped over themselves in an effort to get closer to the exquisite angel-like beings.

"And now," roared Ludo Bagman's voice, "kindly put your wands in the air… for the Irish National Team Mascots!"

Next moment, what seemed to be a great green and gold comet came zooming into the stadium. It did once circuit of the stadium, then split into two smaller comets, each hurtling toward the goal posts. A rainbow arched suddenly across the field, connecting the two balls of light. The crowd oooohed and aaaahed, as though at a fireworks display. Now the rainbow faded and the balls of light reunited and merged' they had formed a great shimmering shamrock, which rose into the sky and began to soar over the stands. Something like golden rain seemed to be falling from it -

"Excellent!" yelled Weasley, so loud that not even Harry and Draco could ignore him. He didn't seem to realize that the gold coins raining down from the sky was only Leprechaun gold, and was making quite the fool out of himself. The Leprechauns in question were landing on the ground, having fallen gracefully alongside the coins, and where each carrying a minute lamp of gold or green.

"And now, ladies and gentlemen, kindly welcome - the Bulgarian National Quidditch Team! I give you - Dimitrov! Iovana! Zograf! Kevski! Vulchanov! Volkov! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand - Krum!" Cheers erupted from all of those doning scarlet robes, and when they finally settled down, Bagman continued.

"And now, please greet - the Irish National Quidditch Team!" he yelled. "Presenting, Connolly! Ryan! Troy! Mullet! Moran! Quigly! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand - Lynch!" Several green blurs swept onto the field and Harry found himself cheering alongside the crowd.

"And here, all the way from Egypt, our referee, acclaimed Chairwizard of the International Association of Quidditch, Hassan Mostafa!"

A small and skinny wizard, completely bald but with a mustache to rival any man's, wearing robes of pure gold to match the stadium, strode out onto the field. A silver whistle was protruding from under the mustache, and he was carrying a large wooden crate under one arm, his broomstick in the other. Harry and Draco watched in eager anticipation as he mounted his broomstick and kicked the crate open = four balls burst into the air: the scarlet Quaffle, the two black Bludgers, and the miniscule, winged Golden Snitch. With a sharp blast on his whistle, Mostafa shot into the air after the balls.

"Theeeeeeeeeeey're OFF!" screamed Bagman. "And it's Mullet! Troy! Moran! Dimitrov! Back to Mullet! Troy! Levski! Moran!" It was Quidditch, but on a much more professional level than Harry and Draco were at. The plays were elegant and smooth, much like an elaborate dance. The Chasers were throwing the Quaffle to one another so fast that Bagman only had time to say their names. Harry zoomed in on the Omnioculars he was using to watch play-by-play action.

Hawkshead Attacking Formation, he read as he watched the three Irish Chasers zoom closely together, Troy in the center, slightly ahead of Mullet and Moran, bearing down upon the Bulgarians. Proskoff Ploy flashed up next, as Troy made as though to dart upward with the Quaffle, drawing away Bulgarian chaser Ivanova, and dropping the Quaffle to Moran. One of the Bulgarian Beaters, Volkov, swung hard at a passing Bludger with his small club, knocking it into Moran's path; Moran ducked to avoid the Bludger and dropped the Quaffle; and Levski, soaring beneath, caught it - he paused and reverted it back into normal time, just in time to see Ireland score.

"TROY SCORES!" roared Bagman, and the stadium shuddered with a roar of applause and cheers. "Ten zero to Ireland!" Within ten minutes, Ireland had scored twice more, bringing their lead to thirty-zero and causing a thunderous tide of roars and applause from the green-clad supporters.

The math became still faster, but more brutal. Volkov and Vulchanov, the Bulgarian Beaters, were whacking the Bludgers as fiercely as possible at the Irish Chasers, and were starting to prevent them from using some of their best moves; twice they were forced to scatter, and then, finally, Ivanova managed to break through their ranks, dodge the Keeper, Ryan; and score Bulgaria's first goal.

Harry rolled his eyes at the lack of restraint as the Veela danced furiously, and kept his eyes trained on the game. His eyes paid special attention to the Irish Chasers and Krum, fingers internally crossed that his prediction would come true. Then finally, after a long period of some of the fastest Quaffle handling Harry had seen in quite some time, Krum made a dive for the ground and -

"KRUM GETS THE SNITCH - BUT IRELAND WINS - good lord, I don't think any of us were expecting that!"

Harry shot a smirk at a gaping Draco, who reluctantly handed over a money pouch filled with his month's allowance (not that he needed it).