I'm alive! Have I mentioned before how much I hate homework? Well, I do. As it is uni will finish at the end of this week for the year (YAY!) so I should be free to write to my heart's content. I'm sorry that it took me so long to update this, but I haven't abandoned it. Let me know what you think of this chapter, it is slightly different to the others that I've written as I needed to add some different points of view in.


"Blah" talking

"Blah" Phoenix talking

Blah Twin bond

Blah Flashbacks/writing/thoughts/spells/etc.

Harry Potter: Chosen One

Chapter 17

Harry avoided Cedric the next morning. It wasn't that he was afraid of him, it was just…fear. He didn't want to have to hear Cedric say that he regretted taking him, or that he was disappointed in him. It was easier to simply avoid all the trouble. Living with the Dursleys had taught him that. Hayden thought he was being silly, but not even his twin could convince him to stop running.

Midnight and Jade kept him company, Jade in public and Midnight in private. Harry was still amazed that only a handful of people in Hogwarts knew that Midnight had bonded to him, despite the Shadow Phoenix popping up where ever he ended up being. Jade had almost demanded that she ride on his shoulders, rarely did she ever walk on the floor anymore. Midnight, when ever she wasn't with Harry, was either with Fawkes or looking for the "great danger" that would make itself known at Hogwarts this year. Both twins were even more worried when nothing was found.

"Quidditch Try-Outs are this Saturday," Hannah mentioned on the walk to their first class, History of Magic. "Anyone going to try out?"

"What positions are available?" Justin asked in reply. He was walking on the other side of Harry and had to talk over his head to reply to Hannah.

"Seeker and two Chaser positions," Harry explained quietly. The two students looked down to him. "Cedric has his heart set on a Chaser position, though he said he didn't mind being Seeker, it just isn't his first preference."

"Has he tried out before?" Hannah asked curiously.

"Last year," Harry confirmed. "And the year before. He's currently a reserve Seeker as he came second in those try-outs last year, and the year before he was a reserve Chaser. Our Seeker last year beat him by one snitch, she graduated last year though so the position is now vacant."

"Are you going to try-out?" Justin asked.

"Maybe," Harry admitted. "We'll see come Saturday."

The other two nodded, slightly surprised that he was even considering playing, but agreed to his wishes of not talking about it anymore. They strolled into the classroom, not surprised to see a few Ravenclaws already present, some with notes at the ready, others with cushioning charms or pillows. Harry merely sat down and pulled out a proper Defense book, working on the theory of the spells they were supposed to be learning so that he could do the practical later.

He and Hayden still hadn't found a place to practice in secret. Every second weekend they planned on looking from the fifth floor and up, as that was as far as they had gotten come last June. Harry knew that they would find something this year, he just didn't know when, or how he knew.

After lunch, which Harry, Justin and Hannah ate in the kitchens, the trio strolled towards the Greenhouses to continue working on Mandrakes and documenting the next stage of their cycle. Their study session after that was used to work on their assignments that they needed to complete and Harry managed to sneak away without anyone noticing so that he could work on his Defense spells. By the time he returned to the Common Room after dinner, he was slightly surprised and pleased with himself when he determined that he had avoided Cedric all day. He shut the curtains around his bed and locked them with a handy charm he had discovered that prevented anyone other than him from moving them.

The following day, Friday, Harry was gone before any of his classmates had woken. A quick breakfast later and he was waiting at the door to the Potion's classroom an entire hour early. Jade wasn't going to attend the Potion's class, but she was waiting in the shadows for Professor Snape to arrive before she went off on her own. Harry had had an idea a few days before, and it was only now that he had the opportunity to see if it would be successful.

Severus Snape had eaten in his own quarters that morning, so it was with little difficulty that he arrived at his classroom early to prepare for the day's lessons. He was, however, surprised to see the young Hufflepuff student, Harry Evans (now Diggory), who had occupied his thoughts for the majority of the previous year, waiting patiently for him. He opened his door suspiciously and allowed the child to enter, noticing as he did that the little red cat that followed him everywhere was leaving on her own.

"What brings you down here early Mr. Diggory?" Professor Snape asked curiously as he began magically writing the instructions on the board for the option that was to be completed that lesson.

"You're qualified to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts aren't you?" Harry asked, nervous about following his plan through.

"I am," Professor Snape confirmed curiously. "Why does it concern you?"

"Would you be willing to tutor a few students in Defense?" Harry asked quickly. Professor Snape turned away from the board and stared down at the Hufflepuff. Harry's shoulders were hunched forward and his head tilted down slightly while he arms were held straight against his sides. The boy gave the image of a child waiting to be hit.

"Who exactly are we talking about?" he asked smoothly, his face an emotionless mask. Harry looked up in surprise, obviously not having expected him to even consider the proposal. He licked his lips nervously.

"Well, me for one," he said, his eyes returning to the ground. "I know that Hayden will want to participate, Hannah, Ernie and Susan maybe, and possibly a few Ravenclaws. I know the Slytherins are trained at home, but I'm sure that there would be more than a few who would jump at the chance to be taught by you."

"The Slytherins look to the older years to teach them what they're supposed to know, while I know the Ravenclaws have spoken with Professor Flitwick. He is a former Dueling Master and has suggested several readings for his students to learn before they consider doing the practical. Hayden Potter has been trained in Defense since he could hold a wand as his marks last year indicate, and I seriously doubt that any of your friends would like me to tutor them. I have heard all of the rumors concerning me, both in class and in the Halls."

Harry, who had looked up halfway through the explanation, witnessed a flash of emotion across the man's face when he stated the last sentence. It had come and gone before Harry knew what it was, but he was sure that it had been hurt, or sadness.

"It's not your fault that they don't pay attention," Harry said confidently. "Potions is a dangerous class and I know that you do your best to prevent serious injuries. A lot of what we need to know for your class is in the books you required us to buy so they have no excuse not to know it. As for no one wanting you to teach them, I want you to teach me."

Severus Snape stared down at the younger Potter child. He was amazed that anyone would actually ask him for help, never mind defending him and his teaching practices. He came to a decision relatively quickly after that.

"You have no classes this afternoon correct?" he asked. Harry nodded, eyes wide and hopeful. "You are to make your way here then. I will tutor you only, if your friends want to learn then you may teach them what I will teach you. Do you understand?"

"Yes sir," Harry said with a smile. He dropped his books onto his desk and opened up a connection to Hayden while also pulling out a potions book to read.

Hayden! Guess what just happened!

Harry…I'm not awake yet. No guessing games please, Hayden replied, exhaustion seeping into his mental "voice".

Professor Snape has agreed to tutor me in Defense! He won't tutor anyone else but he said that I could teach them what I learn.

That's great Harry, Hayden said, his "voice" slightly more awake. Nothing against the man, much, but I'm glad he didn't want to teach me. We dislike each other and nothing will change that, ever.

You are one of the best actors I have ever met, Harry said with a mental shake of his head. How you can't pick up another actor is beyond even me.

Snape isn't acting around me, Hayden replied. Because of what Dad did to him in the past, and then Mum turning against him, and then you being removed from our home, I'm not surprised that he's acting the way he is.

How profound.

Shut it Harry, Hayden muttered in embarrassment. Just know that unless something happens, Snape and I will not get along with each other. I respect him, which is all I'm willing to admit.

Harry mentally giggled and let Hayden get ready for his day. A smile graced his innocent features and Snape couldn't help but stare at him.

Ever since that first staff meeting the previous year Severus had been keeping a close eye on the child. The disaster of the troll incident over Halloween had nearly caused his heart to stop as he gazed upon the child's limp body. And then he felt concern when Cedric Diggory had had to take him to the Hospital Wing after a particularly violent nightmare. He knew exactly who the child was, but he didn't know what to do with that information. He was happy that Harry was blossoming under the Diggory's guardianship, and secretly he was thrilled that he could personally help the child grow at school.

The rest of the class slowly filled up and Severus Snape found himself in a good mood. He was in such a good mood that both Houses actually earned points. The news was spread all over the school before the end of lunch, and several students from the Upper Years had approached them to ask them what the true story was. By the time Transfiguration came around Harry was more than ready to disappear, both from his friends and the rest of the school.

Minerva McGonagall had no idea what had put her colleague in such a good mood, but after the Second Year Hufflepuffs walked into her classroom she had a pretty good idea what had done it. Young Harry Evans-Diggory looked like a startled animal ready to bolt at the first opportunity, and only seemed to hold himself in place because Hannah Abbot had attached herself to his arm to keep him next to her. She smiled to herself before beginning her lecture on the theory of transfiguring an animal into a goblet. Several students were taking notes, but there were several Gryffindors who looked bored and were playing with their wands. Frowning as she continued talking, Minerva wished that all her students would apply themselves even a little. Transfiguration, while not dangerous at the moment like Potions was, would become dangerous to the students when they attempted self-transfiguration in their Third Year.

Harry sat stiffly next to Hannah, taking notes and prompting his twin to also take notes. Hayden was doodling on a spare sheet of parchment and playing hangman with Ron, not knowing or not caring that their teacher had been staring at them all lesson. Harry felt like throwing a scrunched up piece of parchment at him but didn't want to waste it.

So, Harry, you going to let me watch your lesson with Snape? Hayden asked mentally as he crossed out another name in victory against Ron.

You're going to anyway, Harry replied. But sure, you can watch as long as you don't insult him throughout the whole lesson.

I think I can control myself, Hayden stated with a smile. After all, Snape won't know that I'm there and I'm sure it'll be interesting to see how he acts around a student he favors.

He doesn't favor me, Harry explained with a frown.

That's not why I heard.

What have you heard? Hayden?

Harry didn't get a reply so he turned to the Gryffindor twin with a glare. Hayden grinned back at him innocently only to jump as he noticed their teacher standing in front of him.

"Something amusing, Mr. Potter?" Professor McGonagall asked frostily. Hayden shook his head.

"No Ma'am," he muttered.

"No? Then maybe you could reiterate for the class how many times one must tap their animal and why?"

"In preparation ma'am," Hayden said instantly. "The magic needs to focus because it is a living object being turned into an inanimate object. Not enough concentration or preparation could result in the premature death of the animal being used."

"Very good Mr. Potter," Professor McGonagall approved. "Five points to Gryffindor. Now kindly put away your…hangman…and take out some clean parchment to record today's homework on."

Hermione was glaring at Hayden but she didn't say anything, only recorded down their homework. Ron, on the other hand, was grinning broadly and whispering under his breath questions about how Hayden had known the answer having not listened the entire lesson. Hayden could hardly tell him that he had nicked the information from Harry's willing mind, so he just whispered that he had read it in a book, much to Ron's disgust and Hermione's approval.

Once class was over, Harry once again snuck away from his friends in order to escape down to the dungeons. Hayden had helped slightly by making a spectacle of his conversation with his friends, drawing the attention of every student in his vicinity, so no one noticed Harry's disappearance. By the time they all remembered him, Harry was gone.

Harry walked into the Potion's Classroom as silently as possible and spotted his new Defence Teacher waiting for him by his desk. The man didn't say a word, just motioned for the Second Year to follow him through his office at the back of the classroom. Harry scurried along behind him and found himself in a very bare office, complete with a desk, a chair, a book shelf and a smaller table off to the side of the room. There were no potions ingredients in any corner of the room, though the books on the bookshelf were all categorized under Potions and Defence. Not pausing to look for too long at the books, Harry stood in the centre of the room to listen to his first instructions.

Professor Snape stood in front of his desk and magically locked the door so that there would be no interruptions with their lesson. Harry could hear Hayden in his mind gulping, and feel his nervousness at the thought of being locked in a room, in the dungeons of the school, with the most hated teacher students had to learn from.

"I understand that you have been reading about what spells you are supposed to be learning, correct?"

"Yes Professor," Harry replied politely.

"What spells have you read up on?"

"Mainly the disarming charm and the theory behind a level five shield."

"Elaborate," Professor Snape ordered.

"The disarming charm is good against inexperienced duelers as the spell doesn't cause harm and it signifies the end of a duel if the spell works. A little known fact about the spell is that, if used correctly, can change the owner of the wand that has been disarmed. Much like in duels in the Medieval Era, the victor of a duel is entitled to a prize, whether it is the opponent's house, sword, money, titles, whatever was agreed on at the start of the duel. In a magical duel, however, magic itself determines whether or not the wand is to change owners."

"You've done your research," Professor Snape congratulated. "And the shield charm?"

"Shields are classified under five different categories. A level five shield is the easiest to cast and protects the caster against most basic spells. A level four shield is slightly more difficult to cast but with enough intent a Second Year would be able to cast and hold it. It protects the caster from all basic spells as well as some slightly stronger ones like reducto, bombarda, and Confringo. Level three and level two shield spells draw solely on the magical powers of the caster and draw that power directly from the core. It is an impenetrable shield against all but the Unforgivables and serious Dark Magic. The only difference between the two is how long the shield will hold for and how much magic is being drawn from the caster's core. The final level, level one, is the hardest to cast, but also the strongest and most dangerous. It drains the caster at a much faster rate but it can weaken the hold of the Imperious Curse and filter the effects of the Cruciatus Curse enough that the caster can get out of the way."

"Which ones are taught at Hogwarts?"

"Levels five to three, though level three shields are only taught in Seventh Year due to the dangers involved."

"I am impressed," Professor Snape said after a moment. "You certainly don't do our research by half. We will move onto performing the spells as I believe you have covered the theory accurately."

Show off, Hayden thought fondly, though even he was impressed by the sheer amount of knowledge involved with the simple shield charm. Even with all his early training he doubted that he had heard of the different levels, or if someone had mentioned them he hadn't been listening.

Harry grinned and pulled out his wand waiting for instructions. Professor Snape also pulled out his wand and walked into the middle of the room so that they wouldn't hit anything important. The first thing they would work on was the shield charm, level five. Professor Snape would cast harmless spells at Harry's shield until it broke and then they would start again until Professor Snape was satisfied with the progress.

The first time they tried it Harry could barely block two spells before he was tap dancing across the floor. The second time they lasted a little longer but the end result was the same. It wasn't until Harry could hold his shield for several minutes without it falling that Professor Snape stopped his barge of spells and nodded in satisfaction.

When they moved onto the disarming spell Professor Snape conjured up a series of dummies holding various weapons magical and muggle. Harry was to disarm them all in the fastest time possible and with almost flawless accuracy.

The entire time that Harry exhausted himself, Hayden was watching in the background, completely ignoring the homework that he had placed in front of himself to look like he was doing something. Some of his friends looked at him curiously, but his slightly vacant expression and the fact that he was doodling over his work prevented them from saying anything. Hermione frowned at him as she worked on her own homework but mentally noted that she wouldn't help Hayden when he was drowning in his homework later on.

Harry worked himself to exhaustion, but by the time he was finished two hours later he felt good, like he had achieved something. Professor Snape conjured a chair for him and ordered a house elf to bring some food to them so that Harry could replenish his strength before returning to his dorm room. Harry was grateful, particularly when he noticed that the house elves had made some peanut butter cookies that he loved.

While they ate, Professor Snape briefly explained the homework that he was assigning, an essay regarding the appropriate application of each shield level and the most effective use of a disarming charm. Harry nodded his understanding and promised that he would hand it in during their next lesson. By the time they had finished eating Harry was fully replenished and Hayden had returned to paying attention to what he was supposed to be doing. Harry bid the Potions Professor farewell before retreating out of the classroom and back to the Hufflepuff Common Room. He had someone he needed to talk to.

Professor Snape watched him go with a blank expression on his face. Once the door closed he allowed a smile to break out on his face and contemplated on the lesson he had just taught. He found that he quite enjoyed teaching the youngest Potter child, just as he had told Minerva the previous year. He was a delight to teach in Potions, but there was something so rewarding when your student achieved the goal of the lesson without worrying about others in the classroom that did their best to wreck havoc at every opportunity.

Yes, Severus Snape was happy with his new duty. He couldn't wait for the next lesson.

Cedric was waiting for him in the Common Room when he returned.

Harry gulped slightly but gathered up what little courage he had and walked over to him, sitting in the chair beside him. Cedric looked down at him and didn't speak, waiting for Harry to break the silence. But Harry had learnt a lot about keeping one's silence in the face of danger. He said nothing but looked at his knees. Jade disappeared into his Dorm Room to leave them a little privacy. Eventually, Cedric sighed and broke the silence.

"You've been avoiding me," he stated. Harry nodded, not opening his mouth. "Why?"

This time Harry did open his mouth, but no words came out. He settled for shrugging even though he knew perfectly well why he was avoiding the older boy.

"Harry, look at me."

Harry did as ordered and looked into Cedric's warm brown eyes. He saw no anger, only worry and concern, and it was because of that that he was able to attempt to speak again.

"Do you still want me to live with you?" he asked softly. His answer was to be pulled into a hug and reassurances to be whispered in his ear.

"There is nothing that you can do that would make me want to get rid of you," Cedric told him firmly. "Nothing. There may be times that I'm mad at you for doing something stupid or running off without telling anyone where you've gone, but I will never want to get rid of you."

"You promise?" Harry asked softly. Cedric's arms went around him comfortingly.

"Of course," was the promise. "It's the job of an older sibling to take care of the younger ones. But just so you know, if you ever want to go into the forest again, please let me know so that I know where you are at all times."

Harry smiled, a weight lifting off his shoulders. Cedric's demand wasn't that surprising given the circumstances or hard to obey. He was happy at least that Cedric still wanted him as a brother, he didn't know what he'd feel if he was no longer wanted.

"So, where were you just then?" Cedric asked after a moment's silence. Harry happily told him. He explained all about the lessons that he had arranged with Professor Snape and the idea of Harry teaching his classmates what he was learning so that they wouldn't be too far behind where they were supposed to be. Cedric listened with wide eyes and admitted that he'd never thought of asking a teaching for assistance in Defence as the teacher who was supposed to teach them was often incompetent or impossible to understand.

When he was done explaining Harry realised that he had an audience of his classmates and some of the older years. Hannah was the first to ask for help and Harry happily agreed to set up a time to instruct his friends. The others mentioned that they would be there before all but dragging Harry to the Great Hall to eat. It was Justin's comment that he needed his strength up if he wanted to try out for a place on the Quidditch Team.

That prompted a reply from Cedric, who while knowing that Harry was a natural flier, hadn't known about his interest in joining the Quidditch Team. Harry explained that he was interested in trying out for the position of Seeker so that Cedric could focus on the Chaser position. That, and the Seeker didn't have to do much other than catch the snitch and depending on the Captain, maybe also disrupt the other team's plays. Cedric was happy and promised, if he got on the team, that he'd help him out with some of the tactics.

Harry was grateful, and when he went to bed that night he still had a smile on his face. Quidditch Trials were the following day.

James Potter paced around his study furiously. On his desk was one solitary photo, taken shortly before Halloween on showed two loving parents and their darling children. It was the last happy family photo that had been taken.

Shortly after that Halloween Dumbledore had started asking questions about the twins and their magical capabilities. James remembered the vague description of a prophecy he had been told about while Lily was pregnant, and he knew what Dumbledore wanted to know. He wanted to know who the Chosen One was.

It had been Lily who came up with the idea to lie. The two of them knew that Harry was powerful, they had seen his magic at work even before Halloween. Hayden had power, and he was extra protective of Harry so they knew that it would work out alright.

They told Dumbledore that Hayden was the Chosen One.

After that Dumbledore had suggested separating the twins. To divert his attention from the twins they started to ignore their youngest. At least that way they had been able to see them both everyday. Lily had cried herself to sleep every night but James would take out his Invisibility Cloak and watch his sons sleep. The House-Elves had been told what they were doing so they took it upon themselves to make sure that Harry survived. With that taken care of James and Lily were able to deny Dumbledore's wishes.

Until Harry went missing.

The weeks prior to his disappearance had Albus Dumbledore coming over a lot, encouraging them to separate the twins for the "Greater Good" even more than normal. It was like he was tired of their refusals, yet still each and every time James had refused. They had already done as he had asked and ignored Harry while he was awake and they saw no need to do anything else. Dumbledore had suggested living relatives, orphanages, adoption agencies, and even sending him to another country.

They still refused.

Their argument was that they would have both boys trained the way they decided to, and Dumbledore wouldn't get a say in what they taught them. There had been a slightly threatening twinkle in the old man's eyes, but the Potter parents had kept to their decision. They wanted their children together.

The wards had frozen that night, blocking the floo momentarily but it had returned minutes later. Being late at night, James ad shrugged it off as a glitch in the wards and gone to bed. The next morning the House-Elves told him that "Young Master Harry" was gone. It was the worst Halloween that they had experienced since 1981. Hayden had cried a lot and locked himself in his room, refusing to even look at James.

Albus Dumbledore had turned up that afternoon and forbid them from looking for their youngest child. His eyes, twinkling like mad, had caused them to flinch when he told them that Harry had run away. "It was for the best" he had said. James, not willing to let it go at the time, had angrily declared he was going to look for his son, until Dumbledore had told him he, and Lily, would be brought up on child abuse charges if they did anything. To add even more to their fear, he ordered them to act like nothing was wrong in public or not only would they go to prison, Hayden would be handed over into Dumbledore's custody and Harry would never see the light of day again.

So they didn't look. They broke off contact with their friends to prevent Dumbledore from using them against them. They created the persona they used in public, arrogant purebloods accustomed to fame, and stopped saying Harry's name outside of the privacy of their bedroom.

In the back corner of their bedroom, James had hidden everything that reminded them of Harry. Photos, toys, blankets and even some of his clothes…all hidden away so that no one would be able to learn about him without their knowledge.

Hayden had been furious for years, his pranks against them had been embarrassing and humiliating, and had become more imaginative around his birthday and Christmas. James let him get away with it as he believed that he deserved it. Sirius only visited to play with Hayden, and Remus had left the country. Even Professor McGonagall had turned them aside coldly, only coming over to tutor Hayden in any way that Dumbledore decreed necessary. James, under the guise of doing his job, had kept on the lookout for Harry.

Orphanages had been subtly searched, various adoption agencies, and James had even looked to where Remus was, hoping that he had found Harry. He had used tracking spells, scrying spells, blood magic…anything he could think of...both legal and questionable.

But he hadn't even considered the Dursleys.

James snarled in anger and threw a glass snow-globe at the wall. It shattered loudly. James sat in the nearest chair and dropped his head into his hands, his elbows resting on his knees. The Dursleys should have been the first place he looked, but until Hayden had told him that that was where Harry had been, he hadn't even remembered that he had a sister-in-law.

Lily ran into the room in alarm, her wand in her hand. She looked at her husband in his chair and immediately dropped to the floor next to him. James looked at her with tears in his eyes and pulled her into a hug. He asked her about her sister.

"Sister? What are you-?" she began in confusion before her expression changed to one of shock and horror. "Petunia! Why couldn't I remember her? Am I really that cold-hearted? What is wrong with me?"

"Lily," James began slowly. "Harry was sent to Petunia's that night. I forgot about her too."

"But Petunia hates us," Lily said, tears in her own eyes now. "Harry would have been dead within a week."

"He's alive Lils," James stated, falling to his knees before his wife. "And Hayden knows where he is, what he's been through."


"The twin bond. We forgot about it but it explains so much. Hayden never forgave us, nor forgot about Harry, and I think I know what happened."

"He's at Hogwarts isn't he?" Lily asked in excitement. "My baby is at Hogwarts, safe?"

"Lily, Hayden believes that I was the one who took Harry to Petunia. I believe that the last time Harry thinks he saw me was when I was abandoning him."

"But you would never!"

"It could have been Polyjuice, it could have been a glamour charm, maybe I was memory wiped, but I don't know for sure. I do know that my own children hate me though."

Lily looked at her husband and wrapped her arms around him as he cried. Tears fell down her own cheeks but the horror of what James was telling her had ignited her need to care for him, take his pain away. They sat there together for a long time. When James pulled back there was determination in his eyes. He said that he would be visiting his sister-in-law and her family, Lily merely nodded.

With a swish of his robes and a hastily applied glamour charm, James stalked out of the room to get beyond the wards. He had an appointment with his extended family.

Harry woke up the morning of the Quidditch Trials excited. He bid morning to Jade and Midnight before getting dressed in some of his more comfortable clothing and waiting in the Common Room for Cedric so that they could go to breakfast together. Jade settled down next to him and appeared to wait patiently while he pulled out a book to read. This one was a children's novel that he had found in the library, The Tales of Beetle the Bard. It was interesting to finally read stories that wizarding children were exposed to from birth. He had never actually read the stories, or had them read to him. If he was read to prior to Halloween '81 then he couldn't remember, and Hayden hadn't spoken to either of his parents since they had abandoned Harry.

"Good morning little brother," Cedric announced sleepily, not bothering to collapse in the chair as he knew that he wouldn't get off it again if he did. He grabbed Harry's arm and ignored Jade's protest as the book they were reading was taken away from her line of sight. Harry smiled at her before returning Cedric's greeting and hurrying along to breakfast while asking questions about what he could expect at the trials. Cedric answered patiently but with the enthusiasm of a die-hard Quidditch fan. By the time they got to the Great Hall they were in the midst of a discussion about the most effective way to train Keepers.

The two were joined by one of the Chasers on the team, Adeline Highmore, a Forth Year and one of Cedric's friends. She had a bubbly personality and a petite figure, something that Harry couldn't understand when she piled her plate high with toast, bacon, eggs and pancakes. He wrinkled his nose slightly at the conflicting foods and turned away completely when she poured a liberal amount of maple syrup over the top. Adeline had been on the team the year before and her talent as a Chaser was undisputable. When the current Quidditch Captain, Trent Adams, graduated at the end of the school year, Adeline was seen as a potential Captain to replace him.

By the time eight o'clock came around, Harry was well and truly ready to begin the Try-Outs. What appeared to be half of the Hufflepuff House had turned out on the Quidditch Pitch to Try-Out, while the other half was there to watch and cheer on the hopefuls. Hannah and Susan were sitting in the watchers, while Sally-Ann, Justin and Ernie were lined up beside Harry. Zach was standing around some of the older students who were trying out and all of the First Years were sitting on the grass looking excited. Harry spotted Celeste near Hannah and smiled slightly, Celeste certainly wasn't shy about stating her opinions. She would say whatever was on her mind no matter who was listening.

Trent appeared not long after and waited until everyone was quiet before he began speaking. His voice easily carried over the hopeful applicants and reached the audience. Trent could see that there were several who were nervous, some afraid, others overly confident, and some just eagerly expectant. He smiled to himself as he stared at them.

"Welcome everyone!" he began. "Today we are looking for two Chasers and a Seeker, though should I feel anyone could best last year's teammates, then those positions will be open too. I know there are many of you who hope to get these positions, but as it is I will only be selecting those I think can handle the pressure. If you are given a reserve position you should still learn all our plays as should anything happen to any of the players you would be expected to take over from them. Are there any questions?"

Absolute silence greeted his question. The current members of the Quidditch Team, Adeline, Travis Hunter (Beater) and Brooke Marshall (Keeper) grinned at each other. Brooke was a Sixth Year, heavily built girl who rivaled Oliver Wood in the Keeper position. Few knew that it was actually because they had grown up together and learnt how to fly together. Ever since she was little Brooke had been teased by the other kids her age due to her size, but after Oliver had spotted her practicing her Keeper skills on the ground he offered for her to join him and they'd been friends ever since.

Travis was a tall Seventh Year and would be graduating come June, but he and Trent were the best Beaters Hufflepuff had ever had. Nothing like the Weasley twins who were often speculated to be human sized bludgers with identical minds, but Trent and Travis had their own rhythm that benefitted the team. All three of the other members had been forced to participate in the Try-Outs as Trent didn't think that it would be fair if the same students automatically got the position because they had been on the team the year before. It was a fair method of selecting new teammates and no one complained about it.

"Let's get started then!" Trent declared. He had all applicants break off into groups according to their year level and had them fly around the pitch a few times. With Zach, Justin and Ernie around him, Harry took to the air and flew around the pitch as fast as he could. He could hear Zach behind him trying to keep up, as well as Ernie's warnings to be careful and Justin's protests that he wanted an older brother to teach him too.

The process was completed several times for each Year until the number of potential members had dropped from around forty to ten. Harry and Justin were still in from their year level, one Third Year had gotten through, Cedric and Adeline were remaining from the Forth Year group, there were two Fifth Years, Brooke was the only remaining member from Sixth Year, and in Seventh Year were Travis and one of his friends. Those who hadn't made it to that level went to sit with the rest of their House and watch how the rest of the Try-Outs were to be organised.

Trent separated those who wanted to try out for the Seeker position, those who wanted to be Chasers and those who wanted to try out for both positions. Brooke and Travis walked off to where the Beaters and Keepers would be, but as they were the only two to go there, their position on the team was guaranteed.

Harry and the Third Year, Josh Kayton, were all who wanted to have the Seeker position; Justin, Adeline and the two Fifth Years, Natasha Crox and Simon Trail, wanted the Chaser positions; and in the middle of the two was Cedric and Michael Lowe, Travis' friend. Due to their wish to try out for both positions, Cedric and Michael had to fly with both groups. The Chasers went first.

Trent had the group break up into groups of three. Cedric, Adeline and Simon were in one group while in the other was Natasha, Justin and Michael. A Quaffle was given to each group and they had to pass it to each other while flying up and down the field. Once Trent was confident they could handle it he took away one Quaffle and started a mock game where the Chasers were to aim for their own goals. Brooke and Travis stood on the ground with Trent and they spoke of who they believed had potential to be on the team. When Trent arrived at his decision he called them down and sent the Seekers up in their place. Cedric and Michael had a quick drink before flying up again for the next round. As there were only four of them, Trent conjured a bucket of golf balls and a baseball bat. One by one he hit the balls up into the air to observe each applicant's reflexes. Josh and Michael ended up missing ball after ball, Michael even head-butting one when he missed it. Harry and Cedric, on the other hand, didn't miss a single one.

Knowing that they wouldn't be picked, Josh and Michael returned to the ground to watch and wait for the outcome of the Chaser Try-Outs which had yet to be announced. With only two players left on the field, Trent released five golden snitches and told the two still in the air that whoever caught the most would be declared the winner.

Harry was gone in the blink of an eye.

Cursing slightly at his brother's take-off, Cedric rushed off after him to catch as many little snitches as possible. Harry ignored what Cedric was doing and instead darted around after the winged balls. He ignored the fact that he had an audience, that Cedric was following him, and focused entirely on the chase. After he caught the first ball, he stuck it in his pocket and altered his flight path to go after another one. From the corner of his eye he noticed that Cedric had already caught one and was also looking for his second one. Near the goal posts on the opposite side of the field, Harry saw a flash of gold and rushed off after it. Minutes later it was in his hand. Cedric smiled at him across the field to let him know that he had another one and the two of them looked for the last snitch floating around.

Harry saw it first, hovering near the ground, and flew off after it, noticing that Cedric was also flying after it. The snitch altered its course and flew straight up. Harry and Cedric, who would have crashed if they had both pulled up at the same time, spun around each other before spiraling upwards like two intertwining ribbons. Fortunately for Harry, due to his lightweight, he was able to push the broom to its fastest capabilities and reach out, a full body length in front of Cedric, and snag the final snitch.

They returned to the ground to a thunderous applause.

Trent was smiling so broadly that Harry feared he would split his face in half, while the other members of the team were cheering about winning the Quidditch Cup. Cedric landed beside him and ruffled his hair with a grin.

"You've been practicing," he stated.

"Maybe," Harry replied. He walked off to stand with all the other finalists to find out who would become a starting player and who was a reserve. Trent conferred quickly with the other two team members who didn't have any competition before turning to the assembled group. He smiled broadly.

"I am confident that we will win this year's Quidditch Cup," he began. Cheers sprang up from all the Hufflepuffs assembled. "So without any more delay, I congratulate Adeline Highmore, Cedric Diggory and Natasha Crox who will be our starting Chasers. Michael Lowe, you have the reserve position so I expect you to work with the team to learn the moves in case you are needed on the field. For the Seeker position, I congratulate young Harry Evans-Diggory on starting position, and Cedric I would like you as the Seeker reserve as well. You two are the best Seekers here; therefore, I will also award a second reserve position to Justin Finch-Fletchley. Justin, as you are a second reserve you are not expected to be as devoted as the others but I still want you here to learn with the others. Everyone else, you did well and we look forward to having you cheer us on during the first match of the season."

The group on the Quidditch Pitch cheered again before they started to go back inside. Trent told the new teammates to watch for when they would begin training, and that if they didn't pull their weight they would be kicked off the team and someone else would take their spot. Cedric was almost jumping on the way back to the castle, ecstatic that he had finally received a starting position. He told Harry that the second they got back to the Common Room they would be writing a letter to their parents to let them know what had happened and when their first match would be so that they could come and watch.

Hayden? What are you doing? Harry asked as he nodded at Cedric with a broad smile on his face.

I am currently contemplating burning my potions homework, Hayden replied instantly. You know much about antidotes?

Depends on what antidote, Harry stated as his friends crowded around him, offering their congratulations and wishing him luck.

The various antidotes to unintentional hair growth, Hayden supplied hopefully. I didn't realise that there were so many. Hermione's not helping me and I couldn't find you in the library to ask you.

I was at Quidditch Try-Outs.

Quidditch Try-Outs? I missed them! How'd you go? Are they over now? Did you get in? What position are you playing? Is Cedric playing too? Are we against each other in our first match?

Harry started to laugh at the rapid firing of questions. As his friends were laughing and having fun around him at the same time, no one thought anything of it.

Yes, Quidditch Try-Outs. You missed them because I didn't tell you. I went great. They are over now. I got in. I'm playing Seeker. Cedric got the Chaser position. I don't know the match timetable yet. How much of your homework have you done?

Harry answered every question in order with a smile on his face as he and the rest of Hufflepuff arrived in the Great Hall. Hayden grumbled unintelligibly in his mind before Harry "heard" him declare that he was hungry and was going to eat lunch in the Great Hall. Harry ignored his brother after that as it was obvious that Hayden was trying to avoid what was in front of him.

"Harry, I'm going to go to the Common Room to shower and change," Cedric stated just inside the Great Hall. "After that I'm going to write to mum and dad. You want to come?"

Harry looked inside the Hall before nodding. He bid goodbye to his friends and ran off, challenging a race to Cedric over his shoulder. The older boy protested at the head start before running as well. Unfortunately for Cedric, Harry had had years of practice running from his cousin and his friends, as such he was light on his feet. He easily won the race and ducked into the Second Year bathrooms with a laugh.

Aside from the disastrous Defence Against the Dark Arts class, Harry's first week had been excellent. He only hoped that it would continue for the rest of the year.

Dearest Hayden,

Something has come up and your father and I would like to talk with you about something. You're not in trouble but it seems that only you have the answers to our dilemma. We will be in Hogsmeade this coming weekend and have already spoken to Professor McGonagall about you being out of the castle for a day. Please greet us at the entrance at 9am on Sunday. There is much to discuss.

Your loving mother

Ta da! It's a little different but it's still an update! I'd love to know your thoughts, see if any come close to my plans for what should happen next. How much should the Potter reveal to Hayden and how much should Hayden reveal to them, if anything at all? Did you like Defence Teacher Snape? When do you think Cedric should find out about the Potter secret? Questions, questions, questions...what answers do you want?