AN: I got this idea after listening to the "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" by The Script. It's an awesome song. :]
Back to the day when I first saw you...
He'd had a smudge of dirt on his nose, one that even Harry, with his disinterest in keeping up appearances, was itching to rub off. But he didn't. Because he had only just met this easily-excited, red-headed wizard. One who had lived his life as a wizard from the day he was born, had he realized it or not. One who was Harry's age, and, like him, didn't really know any useful spells. One who could teach him more about non-Muggles and whatever else he had never been told. Why cause such an such an awkward moment, and ruin that on the first day?
So he stifled the urge, and surreptitiously slid his hands into his pockets, choosing simply to listen as Ron spoke at length about his family. Harry looked at the scenery whizzing past the window and smiled.
The field was a complete mess. With the mud, it looked more like a marsh, a vast pool of brown sludge, rather than the grassy expanse it had been before the rain had inundated the area. The team, all wearing their typical red and gold uniforms, trudged onto the field. Harry felt his boots sink into the thick sludge and wobbled, losing his balance. He stuck out a hand to stop his face from hitting the ground but was jerked back up by a hand on his elbow.
He followed the long arm that had darted out to stop his fall and found Ron's grim countenance. Harry shot him a quick smile of thanks, but Ron barely pulled off a strained grimace before they reached the center of the pitch. Harry looked beyond Madam Hooch to their opponents, and momentarily put Ron's stress out of his mind to shake hands with the Ravenclaw captain. Moments later, the snitch was released and the game was on.
It was brutal. The wind constantly veered their brooms off course, sending more than one player rolling into the stands or smashing into the barricades. The rain pelted them relentlessly, lowering visibility to practically zero, cutting through their robes and soaking their skin.
Harry was shivering minutes into the game. He had already caught sight of the snitch, but it had disappeared almost instantly, so swiftly that it might not even have been there. He squinted through the sheets of rain, pushing back his dripping hair so it wouldn't block his view, and looked toward the goalposts. He could barely make out Ron's hunched form darting back and forth across the hoops, trying to block the shots aimed at him. Harry hoped the rain and the match weren't psyching him out as much as they usually did. He had tried to get Ron's confidence up, practicing blocking and defending, and even playing one-on-one during their free periods. Harry thought it had been helping a bit, but he couldn't be sure if it was an actual improvement or if it was simply wishful thinking on his part. What was certain was that they needed this win to make it to the finals.
Suddenly, he caught a glimpse of gold in the lower left side of the field, a couple feet off the ground, and shot towards it, hoping it wasn't another false alarm. He saw Ravenclaw's seeker up ahead coming at the snitch from the right, much closer to the snitch than Harry was, and leaned lower over his broom, willing it to go faster. His hands were sweaty and slick with rainwater, making it difficult to hold onto his broom. About a hundred feet before his target, he saw the other seeker lose his balance, and pull up. He felt a surge of hope and urged his broom to go faster, but it was too late. Harry saw the other seeker lift his arm in victory. He could barely make out the white fluttering wings batting against the seeker's closed fist.
Harry drifted to a stop as the whistle sounded. The rain pounded in his ears, blocking out all sound. He was shivering so hard that it seemed his broom was vibrating. He hovered inches off the field, staring at a point in the distance. How could this have happened? They had practiced, they had run drills, they had prepared. There was no way they could have lost. But it isn't the team's fault, a voice in his head pointed out, It's yours. And he knew the voice was right. The team had flown well, It was Harry who had messed up. He had failed them,
He pulled up to the goalposts, and slipped off his broom, still thinking furiously. How could he have let his team down? He saw his team members' faces as they passed him. They patted him on the shoulder, similar expressions of glum disbelief on their faces. They filed past him and walked back through the tunnel to the locker rooms. Some were still shaking their heads. He knew exactly how they felt.
He leaned against the bright yellow goal post, letting his temple meet the cold metal brusquely, and closed his eyes. The spectators had all left the stadium, hurrying back inside the castle to the warmth of their dormitories. Ravenclaws would most likely be celebrating for the rest of the night.
He sighed, listening to the patter of raindrops as they bounced off his robes and the ground around him. After a couple minutes of silence, he heard the squelch of large, wet footsteps, and lifted his head.
"Ron?" said Harry dubiously, his voice slightly subdued. The red-head walked slowly over to where Harry was standing. "I thought you had gone inside with the rest of the team."
He shrugged, letting his shoulders drop tiredly. "Didn't really feel like being inside."
Harry nodded, understanding, and watched the other boy's face as he looked toward the castle. Five years hadn't changed him much.
Ron turned back to look at Harry, who had spoken, but continued to stare resolutely at the imprint his boot had left in the mud. "I've never missed the snitch. Especially by such a huge margin. Ever."
Ron was silent for a couple seconds, considering that fact. "There's a first time for everything, mate." Harry looked up once again, staring into the other boy's face.
"Yeah, I guess there is." He paused, thinking hard, and took an uncertain step toward Ron who straightened up as well, not sure what to expect. Then, finally, Harry relaxed.
"What is it?"
Harry let the smallest of smiles grace his features. "You've got a bit or dirt on your nose."
He took his sleeve between his thumb and forefinger, and lifted it to Ron's face. He paused, his hand mere millimeters from Ron's nose, and looked into his eyes for any sign of uneasiness. When he found none, he gently wiped the smudge away, quietly releasing a breath he hadn't realized he had been holding.
Ron stared down at Harry, and a small smile of his own graced his features. "Reckon it's about time we get inside? They'll probably be wondering where we are."
Harry dropped his arm to his side and nodded, grinning easily. "Let's not keep them waiting then."