Keeper of Realites - Part 9 - Last part (wholly) in Hogwarts. Quidditch, fencing, and outta there! kind of.

Keeper of Realites - Part 9

Last part in Hogwarts

Recap: verb: to put a hat on someone once again after for some reason probably involving evil Refresh buttons it has blown off. Or perhaps something to do with the King of Ninevah. One never knows.

(Oh, and we're still at Hogwarts, but the time for the matches has finally come. Then we'll get the heck back to Middle Earth because that is, after all, what this story is - cough, kind of - all about. Right??)


Eight companions braced themselves back to back, each of them somehow managing to make a heavy branch appear more deadly than any war-hardened sword. Each of them was different - two men, four hobbits, an elf and a dwarf - yet from all of them radiated a sort of warning: these people were perilous. It was not so much their rugged look that any and all achieve after surviving in the wilderness for so long; nor was it their grim expressions and serious miens - heck, two of them were joking with each other. No, it was the way they seemed to fit together. These people would fight and die for any of their number; and that was a frightening thought.

Harry gulped and stared with trepidation at the heavy piece of wood clasped between his two shaking hands. He wished very much that he didn't look so much like an untrained teenager trying to figure out how to not get killed. Somehow, Harry doubted that anything could make him seem anything but a fool, now. Oh why had he agreed to fencing - and before the Quidditch match at that? Oh, yeah - he had been the one to point out that Quidditch didn't really have half-times, and one wouldn't work. Stupid, he thought. Why couldn't I have just kept my mouth shut? {I don't know. Maybe he ran out of peanut butter.}

Harry's arms were shaking from fatigue, as his muscles whole-heartedly resisted his will to hold up the branch. It was too much. Grinning in an effort to retain what appearance of size and bravery he had, Harry half-dropped, half-lowered the wood. It would have worked, had not his foot decided to get in the way at that very moment.

"Ow! Crikey, that hurt!" In the most dignified way possible, Harry hopped up and down holding his damaged toes, the unheeded weapon thumping to the ground. The Fellowship did their best to stifle their joint sigh (and the laughter of Pippin).

Finally killing his mangled pride, Harry flopped down. And the match hadn't even begun as yet! Oh, well. He wasn't the only fighter; maybe no one else had noticed his predicament.

"Yes, but I think they have a right to know!" exclaimed Hermione some distance away. Harry caught the words and, in his curiosity, strained to hear more. Know what? Is this what she went to the library for? He glanced behind him, and saw Hermione and Laurie standing a little way off, apparently in an argument.

Laurie was rather more cautious of eavesdroppers, and thought Harry strained, he could not hear her response. But Hermione did say something next which only further pricked Harry's wonder: "Are you telling me the universe would just collapse if I did?"

"Will those competing please make their way to the center of the Quidditch field!" Came a commanding voice magically over the loud-speaker. Harry groaned and made his way to the aforesaid location, dragging his "sword" along the ground behind him. When he looked back several seconds later, the conversation was over, and Hermione had disappeared. Laurie, on the other hand, was strolling in his direction. Harry wondered in momentary panic if she knew he had listened in.

"Is everyone prepared?" Laurie inquired, once in easier earshot of the Hogwarts' newly-formed fencing team. A chorus of groans me her: Harry had not been the only one to notice the Fellowship's state in contrast to their own. "Excellent," Laurie went on, her bright eyes shining perhaps more than usual. "Then I shall go over the rules before we begin."

"I was wrong" muttered the boy next to Harry. "The year she went to school here, I would have sworn Laurie had no sense of humour; she does. I wonder how old she is, anyway. I mean - " but he was cut off as Laurie continued.

"Each of you hold a stick which will serve as a sword for our purposes. You will be hurt. If you are too seriously injured, however, leave the fighting area. You will be done, and may see either Madam Pomfrey or myself for medical attention. Aside from that, there are no rules. However, I urge you all to recall your honor and obey it appropriately. Good luck, and please attempt not to die. That might cause some problems."

Harry stared at her. "If that's her sense of humour," he murmured. "I never want to see her rolling with laughter. Do you think she was serious about the dying part?"

"Don't know," the boy on his right answered. "Kind of hard to tell. But I have a nasty feeling the answer is `yes.'"

Aragorn watched the Hogwarts students approach skeptically. He was perfectly calm, of course. After fighting orcs, not much fazes you. He was certainly wary, but more of hurting these children than anything else. Yet they were wizards - if without staffs - and bound to be dangerous at least in that respect. That, and their sheer numbers - triple that of the Fellowship. Aragorn wished Gandalf were there - or at the very least Laurie!

He lifted the branch easily, setting himself in a fighting stance, and began blocking students' blows. Left, right, ouch! Looks like that hurt. One down. Two. Three . . . Ten. Eleven . . .

It seemed any worry on Aragorn's part was de trop - they would have no problems, here. The Fellowship had just begun to break into a light sweat when the final student collapsed, bruised and moaning pitifully. Aragorn, followed by the other seven, stepped lightly over the groaning bodies, when -


Frodo gasped and doubled over. He was gagging, as unable to take a breath as a fish on shore. The hobbit fell to his knees, unable to control the rolls of laughter issuing from his diaphragm. There was nothing funny about it.

Aragorn looked behind himself and frowned. What was the Ringbearer doing, twitching on the ground. Wait: was he laughing? At that moment, several other students shot spells from their wands, hitting all of the Fellowship - and most multiple times. Frodo was lucky to be low down, and not so easy to hit.

Within a couple minutes, an `innocent' fencing match had twisted the beings of the Company. It was a revenge of sorts: we played your game, here's ours.

It wasn't very honorable. Laurie had specified they be virtuous in that respect. She became . . . slightly annoyed.

Eight strange looking figures struggling to their feet, tired but normal looking. The Fellowship of the Ring shook themselves out. That was odd . . . and frightening. None of them had previously experienced so open a magic. Yet everything seemed to be alright now.

The students looked confused, none of them had seen anyone performing counter-curses. In fact, what had happened was that after restoring the Company, twenty-four wands had their magical cores suddenly switched backwards - without the students' knowledge. All though they knew it pretty soon . . .

{Some students wonder what would happen if she were `rolling with laughter.' I wonder: truly angry. No one is perfect, but I have a feeling I wouldn't want to be there. For inside all of us, there is a creature not so beautiful as the one we show. Unless it's nose hair, which is the curse of all humanity.}


Fifteen minutes later, none of them were fully recovered. But it didn't really matter, because Quidditch was about to start. *Start creepy music here. I'm writing it.*

Gimli settled himself comfortably next to Hagrid to watch the match. He wasn't playing unless something went horribly wrong (a possibility looking more likely every minute: Sam didn't appear to be further confident than he was in practice - quite the reverse, in fact.

"Be careful, Mr. Frodo," Sam said. "These things are dangerous! Don't know how we got into flying in the first place. It's just not right for hobbits to be in the air!"

"Don't worry, Sam," Frodo responded. "I'll be fine. And in any case, you'll be with me!"

"That's what I'm worried about, Mr. Frodo, sir. I just we start soon: if I fall off, it'd as well be now as later."


Dave stared fearfully at the tip of Haldir's elven arrow, contemplating if he could outrun it. Somehow, the New Zealand Quidditch captain doubted it greatly. Was this Tobias's fault? If so, he would . . . he would . . . still take the other's help in this situation, because the elves didn't seem very friendly to strangers.

"Why have you come to Lórien?" Haldir asked Dave, not bothering to lower his bow.

"Er - where? Lórien? Never heard of it," Dave answered. "My companions and I are attempting to get to Hogwarts. This is Scotland, isn't it? Tobias said to go this way. He's our seeker. Have you seen him? Kind of ratty-looking boy. Small, thin, brown hair?"


"Um, not to be rude or anything - but do you have to point that in my face?"

Haldir seemed to notice his drawn bow for the first time. "You will come with us, please. I take it you are the leader?"

"I'm the captain, yes."

"Then we will blindfold you and the others and bring you before the Lady for judgement." Haldir motioned to the other elves hidden in the wood, lowering his own bow. "Come willingly and you will be unhurt."

"Who are you? What right do you have to blindfold travelers passing through?" Demanded one of the chasers. She tossed her head back disapprovingly. "All we asked for were directions! what's your problem? Sheesh! We can leave if you like; I'm sure it's not a bad fly."

"Now that you have entered the wood, you may not leave. If you were anything more than children with broomsticks of all things, we would have killed you already. As it is, consider yourself lucky."

Dave shook a little in anxiety, but let himself be bound. It wasn't supposed to go this way.


Pippin watched the Hogwarts' players ascend as Lee called their names: "Potter . . . Wood . . ." and grinned to himself. This was going to be fun. Poor Merry on a broomstick. Then came the Company: Aragorn, Legolas and Boromir as chasers, Sam and Merry as beaters, Laurie (who, as you know, was not technically part of the Fellowship, but for the sake of you all I'll stop specifying that now) as Keeper, and Frodo playing Seeker.

"Let the game begin!"

"The Quaffle is taken immediately by Flint of Slytherin who takes it down - passes it to Bell who - scores! 10 points for Hogwarts!" Lee Jordan passed the magic-mich. to Pippin once M.E. gained possession.

"Legolas takes the Quaffle, and is intercepted by - what's his name?"


"Flint! no, he manages to pass it to Aragorn - no, he is hit by a bludger."

"A rather nice his by beater - "

"Ha! he's hit by another Bludger - nice one, Merry!" Merry waved from his broomstick, then nearly fell off, rolling into Frodo.

"Don't you do that Mr. Merry," Sam scolded. "You could've hurt him! Are you all right, Mr. Frodo?"

"I'm fine, Sam," answered Frodo, smiling. He circled higher (trying not to look down, because that was a long way.) Where was that snitch? Hobbits were good at catching things, and better at throwing them, but even he couldn't spot the Snitch on this sunny day. Not yet, at least.

"The score is now 50-10, Hogwarts!"

"Yes, but now Boromir has the Quaffle!"

No one ever really names Bludgers. Who would? They don't have parents, and the players just call them Bludgers - if you don't include some rather rude and unnecessary words, that is. In any case, one of these nameless Bludgers took it into his head - well, piece of magicked insides, that is - that it would like to go after Frodo.

Stupid Bludger. Didn't it remember what Sam had done to it during practice? Don't you hurt my Mr. Frodo!

"The score is 70-10, Hogwarts!"

"Not for long! Middle-earth gains the Quaffle!"

"Then loses it to Hogwarts."

"Who is hit by a Bludger - nice one Sam - looks like it hurt!"

"Ooh! Sam is nearly taken out by another one!"

"That's Merry."


"Flint in possession of the Quaffle!"

"That's Flint - that's Bell."

"Oh. Well, Legolas has it now, anyway."

"Not anymore - Bell regains and shoots . . . Twain blocks it in an excellent move."

"You know her name."

"Yes, well, she used to go to Hogwarts."



"Boys, continue with the commentating or let me to it!"

"Sorry, professor."

"Oh, sorry - professor?"

"It is a school."

"Jordan! Took!"



"Boromir in possession, he shoots - "

"And misses. Nice interception by Wood."

"Barns takes it down to the other end - is intercepted by a Bludger!"

"But manages to pass it to - no, Aragorn gets it!"

"He's hit by a bludger and - not down? Wow, he's tough."

"He is a ranger. But now Flint has it again."

"No sign of the snitch, Potter - "

"And Baggins."

"And Baggins - are still looking."

"Legolas scores! Wonderful elvish shot. Pity they don't have any hobbits."

"What are you talking about?"

"You know - "

"Jordan! Took!"

"Right. Anyway, Bell now has the Quaffle."

"She misses! Twain throws it to Aragorn who takes it down again."

"He scores!"

The Bludger forgot about hurting Frodo, in favor of another: why not hurt the one who had ruined its brother?

If Bludgers had been alive, this one might have been thinking very carefully, and taking aim, shooting forward - toward Sam! And stopping. And turning. And writing sentence fragments. (Which is the worst of all crimes, save, perhaps, run-ons.)

And disappearing.


Sam, who had noticed the Bludger's sudden evanescence, turned to his master. "Mr. Frodo?" he asked. "Frodo? Frodo?!"

Frodo had been fingering the golden Ring in his pocket. It had been getting heavier, almost to the point where it had been before the jump to Hogwarts. He must be very close, again. It was pulling, whispering to him: nork-izish mokh . . . take me home.

Shaking his head, the Ringbearer forced himself to look for the snitch. Perhaps it was neither Fate nor chance, but pure need that gave him the ability to see that small golden ball, but he did. Feeling surprisingly cool, Frodo sped down toward the snitch, batting a Bludger out of the way as he went. He reached one hand out.

You cannot put your hand through a Ring in any way but one.

Frodo didn't really need to even open his eyes. He listened intently for a moment, then sped toward a small golden blip in the grey spirit world. Reaching out, the hobbit clasped it in one hand, and - pop - !


And none of it had ever happened. Then it had. Then the readers called for an explanation that they will get. Soon. In the next part. (ha!)


Author's Notes:

Ha, ha. Guess who won? Bet you want to know . . . too bad, wait on it.

Um, um: sorry this took so long. I know it's been awhile - but Writer's Block! Aussies! Veggie Tales! (an excellent place to read fan-fiction)! Weddings! Etc! Well, for those of you reading my other stories, I've started on Angel, but Frolijah's going to be a little bit. I can't work (much) faster!

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