140 Faithful Stick
Arth, Hermione, And Ron all decided to visit Harry in the hospital wing after the Quidditch match.
When they arrived, however, they couldn't get to Harry as there were already people there
The Gryffindor Quidditch team, spattered with mud from head to foot, was gathered around his bed.
"Lucky there was a sensible dementor."
"I thought he was dead for sure."
"But he didn't even break his glasses."
Harry was in the bed with his eyes fluttering as if he was about to wake up.
"That was the scariest thing I've ever seen in my life."
Harry's eyes snapped open.
"Harry!" said Fred, who looked extremely white underneath the mud. "How're you feeling?"
"What happened?" Harry asked, sitting up so suddenly they all gasped.
"You fell off," said Fred. "Must've been — what — fifty feet?"
"I don't care about that. What about the match," said Harry. "What happened? Are we doing a replay?"
No one said anything.
"We didn't — lose?"
"Diggory got the Snitch," said George. "Just after you fell. He didn't realize what had happened. When he looked back and saw you on the ground, he tried to call it off. Wanted a rematch. But they won fair and square... even Wood admits it."
"Where is Wood?" said Harry, suddenly realizing he wasn't there.
"Still in the showers," said Fred. "We think he's trying to drown himself."
Harry put his face to his knees, his hands gripping his hair. Fred grabbed his shoulder and shook it roughly.
"C' mon, Harry, you've never missed the Snitch before."
"There had to be one time you didn't get it," said George.
"It's not over yet," said Fred. "We lost by a hundred points, right? So if Hufflepuff loses to Ravenclaw and we beat Ravenclaw and Slytherin..."
"Hufflepuff'll have to lose by at least two hundred points," said George. "But if they beat Ravenclaw..."
"No way, Ravenclaw is too good. But if Slytherin loses against Hufflepuff..."
"It all depends on the points — a margin of a hundred either way —"
Harry lay there, not saying a word.
After ten minutes or so, Madam Pomfrey came over to tell the team to leave him in peace.
"We'll come and see you later," Fred told him. "Don't beat yourself up, Harry, you're still the best Seeker we've ever had."
The team trooped out, trailing mud behind them. Madam Pomfrey shut the door behind them, looking disapproving. Arth, Ron, and Hermione moved nearer to Harry's bed.
Arth sighed before sitting on Harry's bed and patted Harry on the back.
"You good man? You feeling ok?"
"At least you didn't die, that's a definite plus."
"Dumbledore was really angry," Hermione said in a quaking voice. "I've never seen him like that before. He was furious they'd come onto the grounds. We heard him -"
"Then he magicked you onto a stretcher," said Ron. "And walked up to school with you floating on it. Everyone thought you were . . ."
"And there was this really badass looking dementor who seemed different from the others," added Arth feeling a bit cheeky. "He came in and caused the remaining dementors to back off. He even saved you and rested you onto the floor."
However, Harry wasn't listening.
"Did someone get my Nimbus?"
Arthur, Ron, and Hermione looked quickly at each other.
"What?" said Harry, looking from one to the other.
"Well... when you fell off, it got blown away," said Hermione hesitantly.
"And it hit — it hit — oh, Harry — it hit the Whomping Willow."
"And?" he said with a pale face.
"Well, you know the Whomping Willow," said Ron. "It — it doesn't like being hit."
Arth tried to be helpful by pretending as though he was decimating a very long stick.
However, it didn't work and Harry went even paler.
"Professor Flitwick brought it back just before you came around," said Hermione in a very small voice.
Slowly, she reached down for a bag at her feet, turned it upside down, and tipped a dozen bits of splintered wood and twig onto the bed, the only remains of Harry's faithful, finally beaten broomstick.