There's no reason to panic and I hope you enjoy the rest of our flight. By the way, does anybody know how to fly a plane?
The Slytherins would apparently go to any lengths to beat Gryffindor at Quidditch.
Or so it seemed when Harry Potter took to the air on the day of the last pre-cup game, turned upside down, and promptly vomited all over the pitch.
“Motion sickness,” he wheezed once Madam Hooch had called a time-out and his teammates were huddling around him in a corner of the field.
“But Harry, you never get motion sickness,” said Ginny.
“Malfoy!” crowed Ron exultantly. “Remember, Harry? I Predicted something like this would happen.”
Ginny glared at him. “It doesn’t take a Seer to predict that somebody would try and stop Harry from winning at Quidditch!”
“I’m sorry, Harry, but you don’t have to live with him—My Inner Eye this, My Inner Eye that—”
“Actually,” said Dean, speaking for Harry because Harry was looking puce-ish, “Harry does have to live with him. He’s not so bad—when we want him to shut up we just tell him he’s starting to sound like Percy.”
“See, Ginny?” said Ron, just before his smugness faded. “...I do not sound like Percy!”
Dean shrugged. Harry reeled and clutched his stomach ominously.
Hooch cursed under her breath and motioned for the Slytherin captain. Malfoy sauntered over, looking duly repugnant.
“Malfoy, if you’ve put any spells on Potter—”
“What do you mean, Professor?” asked Malfoy, not hiding his smirk. “My team hasn’t been near Potter. Go on. You won’t find any spells on him.”
“Finite Incantatem!” said Hooch, sounding a bit desperate. There was a pregnant moment in which nothing happened, and then Harry vomited all over Hooch’s shoes.
“There, you see?” Malfoy smiled beatifically.
“Great, bloody great, Harry,” fumed Ron. “What are we going to do?”
“I’ll just have to keep playing,” said Harry, gritting his teeth and glaring at Malfoy with his Determined Hero expression.
Malfoy snorted, and the others stared at Harry. Madam Hooch coughed nervously and continued cleaning her shoes.
“Harry, you can’t play, you’ll fall off your broom,” said Ginny, patting Harry’s shoulders, while making sure to stand behind him.
“I can too! I’ve played under worse conditions!” Harry crossed his arms and looked Defiant.
“Yes, but when you were near death and all you also weren’t vomiting all over the rest of us!” barked Ron. “This is just great, just bloody fantastic! We don’t have another Seeker, and we can’t forfeit!”
“Excuse me, the last time I checked I was a Seeker,” said Ginny.
“That was last season! You’re a Chaser!”
“You’ll still have two more!”
“Actually, the 1964 code revision of the National Quidditch Association states unequivocally that in the advent of another teammate’s being unable to play, no player shall switch positions in the middle of a game,” said Malfoy.
This time when Harry threw up he attempted to do it in Malfoy’s direction.
“You just made that rule up!” Ron shrieked, as Malfoy sidestepped the trajectory of mucus
“Did I?” Malfoy crossed his arms and smirked. “Accio Quidditch code!”
“Oh, for Godric’s sake!” Ron drew his wand and flung himself at Malfoy. Hooch groaned in a long-suffering way and threw up her hands.
“You know,” snapped Ginny as the two of them hit the ground, “it’s really not Malfoy’s fault.”
“Like hell it isn’t!” came Ron’s reply, which was somewhat muffled as it was being spoken around a mouthful of Slytherin robes.
“It isn’t, he just proved he wasn’t the one that made Harry sick!”
“Stop pawing at me, you idiot redheaded pillock!”
“If you’d just stop and think for a moment you’d realize taking it out on Malfoy is just a waste of time—”
“Stop sabotaging my teammates, you puny rodent! Shut up, Ginny! Pummeling Malfoy is never a waste of time—!”
“—And, if you were such a good Seer, you would have thought to plan ahead in the event of something happening to Harry!”
This did have an effect, and Ron’s head shot up from where it had been butting Malfoy’s repeatedly.
“I am an excellent Seer!” he said fiercely, a moment before Malfoy cuffed him and scrambled to his feet.
“Could we get back to me?” yelped Harry, before clamping his hands over his mouth and looking grotesquely ill.
“Excuse me,” said a quiet voice behind them. “I know something that would help that.”
Everyone turned. Luna Lovegood was standing watching them.
Malfoy laughed. “You? Right. Loony Lovegood to the rescue.” He began to cackle in a most maniacal fashion. Harry gave him a glare that said very plainly that if he weren’t preoccupied with trying not to be violently sick just at the moment, Malfoy would be a dead man.
The other Gryffindors continued to stare at Luna, who went on just as if no one had spoken at all. “My father says that if you tape two Muggle bandages behind your ears it makes the sickness go away.”
Harry’s face fell. Malfoy’s eyes widened in an expression of pure delight. “Oh. That’s rich. No, wait, it’s slobbering filthy rich. Have a nice game, Potter!”
He swung a leg over his broom and took off back to the other Slytherins, who were doubled over as a group laughing hysterically. The sounds of his giggles carried to the Gryffindors across the field. Even Hooch, who had finally gotten the stains off her shoes, looked sorry for them.
Luna blinked at the Gryffindors, clearly wondering why none of them were running for a first-aid kit. Ginny tried to smile at her and just wound up looking faintly repulsed. Ron looked as if he might cry.
“Er, thanks, Luna,” Harry opened his mouth to say in a deflated way, but the moment the words left his lips he found himself on his knees barfing instead.
“Oh, that’s okay,” said Luna pleasantly, watching him hurl on her shoes. “I have three more pairs just like them.”
“A forfeit,” sighed Ron. “A forfeit. I can’t believe it.”
“You’ve been disbelieving it for the last four hours, Ron,” said Hermione wearily. “Give it a rest. Harry probably feels awful enough as it is.”
“Of course he feels awful!” Ron answered exasperatedly. “He’s just used up his fifth barf bucket!”
“It’ll be okay, Harry,” said Hermione soothingly. Harry nodded weakly and stuck his head in the latest bucket.
“Let’s be reasonable, Hermione,” said Ron in a low voice, though not so low Harry couldn’t hear every word. “Pomfrey gave up and said he was just going to have to suffer through it. For all we know, he may do this for the rest of his life!”
“I’m sure Harry would appreciate it if you quit indulging in dramatics, Ron,” Hermione responded in her ‘One Of Us Must Be Sensible’ tone of voice. “Pomfrey didn’t know how to cure Harry because she doesn’t know what to cure.”
“Oh, and you do?”
“I don’t—yet. But I will, as soon as the sample of labwork I did on Harry’s expulsion of phlegm is done with the extraction phase and I can cross-check it for any major potion ingredients that would contribute to a sudden decrease in bodily fluids.”
“Granted, that’s provided you and I can steal the key to Snape’s potions storehouse and see what’s been taken from his shelves recently, but using the Hogwarts teaching schedule database and running it through Durpling’s Magical Possibility Script combined with a probability factor of negative 2 that Snape spends more than one hour a day on personal hygiene, I was able to discover that between the hours of 8 and 9 at night he is most likely to be away from the dungeons, with an 80% chance of him being in another wing of the castle entirely.”
Ron, still gaping, said blankly, “Or you could just check the Marauder’s Map to see whether or not he’s in his rooms.”
Hermione sighed in exasperation. “You lack long-term vision, Ron! Given the potential of the possibility script to deduce the whereabouts of—”
“Hermione,” inserted Harry, who had just finished cautiously wiping his mouth, “We need to find you a hobby. Like t.v. You own a television, don’t you?”
“Oh, yes, of course!” said Hermione. “I find the forensics files absolutely riveting!”
Ron sighed. Harry groaned, and promptly threw up in the bucket.
“It’s a what?”
“It’s a thrice-hexed potion,” repeated Hermione, squirming with excitement. “It’s absolutely ingenious. Each of the potion ingredients were enchanted separately and then mixed together, then enchanted again, and finally, brewed for their original purpose. It’s a simply brilliant way of doing it—you think you’re drinking one potion that looks like a regular potion, but in actuality the ingredients have been spelled to do something completely different. And if you’re the potion-maker, by the time you’re done mixing the potion there’s nothing to incriminate you because all the potion ingredients which were spelled to begin with have been brewed together and there’s no trace of the original spells that were used to cast them. That’s why Pomfrey and Hooch couldn’t find anything to finite. Don’t you see?”
Harry and Ron blinked at her.
“So in order to fix you, Harry, you have to imbibe each of the enchanted ingredients separately and then have finitecast on you for each individual ingredient used in the potion.”
“But that could take days!”
“Not using Gobblestrong’s Curse-Detective 3.0,” said Hermione smugly. “I ran Harry’s lab sample through it and it came up with thirteen different herb extracts, each with an individual curse placed on them.”
“Thirteen?” squeaked Harry.
“Right. Obviously there’s only one person who’d go to the trouble of siphoning out thirteen different ingredients and hexing every one just to see Harry make a fool of himself at Quidditch.”
“Malfoy,” said Harry and Ron together, with a satisfied look at one another.
“Don’t be silly,” said Hermione distractedly, flipping through the giant volume of spells on her lap. “Not Malfoy—Colin Creevey.”
“Well, didn’t it strike you as a little creepy, no pun intended, the way he was so eerily calm when Harry smashed his brand-new Spectral-Vision camera last month? And he just seemed to be a little too okay with the whole toilet-dunking thing.”
Harry and Ron stared at her. Hermione pursed her lips. “To be quite honest, I was rather expecting something of this sort to happen. Just not at such an obvious level of diabolical cunning.”
They continued to stare. Hermione ruffled through spell notes unconcernedly until, at just the right moment, she looked up.
“Incidentally, Harry,” she said sweetly, “I think you’re about to need another bucket.”
“That stupid, stupid, stupid rule!” said Ginny, throwing the National Quidditch Association Code Revision of 1964 across the room in a huff. “It was supposed to be my turn to be the star! Mine!”
Colin shushed her, cradling her in his twiggy arms and smoothing her hair. “Patience,” he said soothingly, “patience, my love. Our time will come.”
“At least no one suspects the truth,” said Ginny, eyes glinting. “As long as no one bothers to try out Loony Lovegood’s ridiculous little remedy, there’s nothing to stop us from turning Harry Potter into the Boy Who Upchucked—permanently.”
Their peals of laughter rang throughout the night.
Well into the wee hours of the morning, Harry was finally done ingesting weeds and herbs and ridding himself of the cyclicus vomitus awfulus terriblus curse one painful de-hexing at a time.
His intention, upon falling into bed, was to sleep for the next twenty years.
This plan was abruptly interrupted when Draco Malfoy flew in wearing a white dress and tried to stick tape on his ears.
“Who are you?” asked Harry.
“I’m the Band-Aid fairy,” responded Malfoy mistily.
“Oh,” said Harry. The Band-Aid fairy smoothed the hem of his robe and sat down on him. Harry let him.
“That tickles,” he said with a yawn.
“It’s supposed to,” said Luna Lovegood, who was suddenly standing beside the bed. She was holding a glowing wand that looked a lot like a sparkler that never went out.
“Oh,” said Harry again. Malfoy crouched forward and licked his ear.
“So is that,” said Luna cheerfully.
“Harry, you look terrible,” said Ginny bluntly.
“Didn’t you get any sleep last night?” said Hermione, plastering a hand to his forehead.
“Don’t ask,” said Harry wearily.
“Leave him alone, he might throw up again!” said Ron.
“Gee, Harry, tough luck with you getting sick yesterday and all,” crooned Colin sweetly from the end of the table.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione exchanged Looks.
Fortunately for Colin, at that moment Peeves flew over the Gryffindor table shrieking “Pukey Potter, Pukey Potter!” and dumping the remnants of some poor Hufflepuff’s oatmeal onto their heads.
“Harry, don’t stare at Malfoy like that,” said Hermione later when they were spelling one another clean. “We’ve already established he wasn’t the one who hexed you, but you don’t want to give him another reason to try something on you, which, if you keep staring, is just what’s likely to happen.”
“Hermione,” said Harry abruptly, “do you know where I could find some Band-Aids?”
“Unbelievable,” said Hermione in a soft, awed voice. “Unbelievable!”
“We’ve established that the crummy bandage things work, Potter, now could you take me off this thing?”
Malfoy’s voice was a shrill squeak compared to its usual bellicose tone, but it was still enough to carry from the top of the ceiling of the Great Hall, where Hermione, Harry, and Luna had levitated him and stuck him on the rung of a candelabrum, which they had then enchanted to rotate at various speeds until it was well-established that Luna’s remedy for motion sickness was effective.
“I mean, normally I wouldn’t condone this kind of thing, even if it is Malfoy, but just having the chance to conduct such a fascinating experiment with a live subject more than makes up for the risks involved,” Hermione babbled.
“Also, it’s fun to watch him spin around,” said Luna.
“Yes, there is that,” Hermione replied.
“Maybe after Harry gets done spinning Malfoy he could spin you too,” Luna continued brightly. "That way I can watch you." She smiled and took Hermione's hand.
Hermione colored. “Harry,” she said quickly, “don’t you think you ought to be taking him down from there soon?”
“He’s like a really big, ugly bird, isn’t he,” said Harry admiringly.
“So help me, Potter—!” shrieked the bird.
“Why aren’t we doing this to Colin, again, Harry?” said Hermione, squirming a little as Luna petted her arm with a fond expression.
“It’s just a test run,” said Harry, still gazing skyward.
“I’m going to tear you, Potter!”
“Hey, Malfoy, what’s the difference between you and a great big gigantic flying pain in the ass?” called Harry delightedly.
“I think we ought to leave them to themselves,” said Luna.
“I just can’t believe it worked,” answered Hermione in a tone of vague awe.
“It’s not that hard to believe in, really,” said Luna. “Not if you already believe in magic.”
“I guess you’re right,” said Harry, still staring up.
“What possessed you to try it out after all, Harry?” asked Hermione.
“I had a vision,” Harry replied dreamily, wearing a very odd expression.
“A vision,” repeated Hermione flatly.
“Dressed all in white. With a little pink tongue.”
“Dreams can be very portentous,” said Luna solemnly.
“It made me a believer.”
“Do you believe enough to put me the bloody hell down?” came a squawk from the strata.
Harry, still wearing the odd expression, said happily, “Actually, I think I’ll come up there.”
Atop the chandelier, the flailing ceased for a moment. “You’re… what?” came the hushed, wary reply.
Harry had already straddled aboard his broom, and was sailing, motion-sickness free, up towards the ceiling.
Hermione scoffed and threw up the hand Luna wasn’t holding. “Boys are so silly,” she said exasperatedly.
Luna looked at her. “I think girls are too,” she said. "But I don't care much."
And she smiled and tugged her away.