A matter of points

Oliver Wood was not really happy. In fact, he wasn’t happy at all. He had spent some time again in the lobby to look at the four Houses’ hourglasses before heading to the last banquet of the year, just in case there had been some unhoped-for last minute change that would make this year’s end at little less gloomy.

But the hourglasses just looked the same as the previous night and the last time he came to see. So, he was now sitting in the Great Hall between Angelina Johnson and Peter Blake, a friend of his year, and was nervoulsy tapping his fingers against his for-now-empty plate, looking absent and dour.

Five years in Hogwarts, and they all ended in the same way:under the silver and green colors of these little rats of Slytherin, shamelessly favored by a scheming and biased househead.

And yet, he had really believed Gryffindor would make it this year. But in one single night, Gryffindor had lost 150 points because of these three first year idiots. A loss impossible to make for at this point… If at least, Gryffindor had won the Quidditch Cup ! The last game still stuck in his throat. Maybe if Potter had been able to play… He turned to the other members of the team : the Weasley twins were already plotting with Lee Jordan about how they could make Slytherin lose points next year, Alicia Spinnet and Angelina Johnson were listening to the twins and giggled at their suggestions while Katie Bell, the youngest of the chasers was silent beside her two older friends, and finally the last but not least of them all, Harry Potter who had finally come back after a few days in infirmary and about whom the craziest rumors could be heard about why he had been sent there in the first place. He had come directly to sit between the youngest Weasley and that Granger girl whom, Oliver was told, was the most brilliant first year of the school, Ravenclaws included. Just like Oliver himself, Harry did not look very happy with the room’s decoration.

Wood sighed. He still had two years ahead of him in Hogwarts. His team was young, clearly the youngest of all the Houses : they would win next year. After all, Wood could not imagine leaving Hogwarts living seven years of Slytherin success. Their luck would finally change at some point. Or maybe not. But after all, he tried to reason, it was only a story of points.

Professor Dumbledore stood then and asked the Slytherin who were cheerfully shouting in victory, to fall silent. Oliver listened to the headmaster as he gave dozens of points after dozens of points to Gryffindor and he could not quite believe what he was hearing. Gaping, he turned to the three flushing first years who had just allowed Gryffindor to come back to a tie with Slytherin, and in the deafening racket that his fellow students were making, he hardly heard Dumbledore resuming his speech. Beside him, the twins were more exited than ever – which was saying something – while Percy Weasly was yelling to whoever still ignored it – which meant nobody – that Ron was his younger brother.

When some little calm came back in the room, Dumbledore finally offered ten last points to another Gryffindor, ten last points meaning that Gryffindor was winning the House Cup, ten last points to a first year Wood had never noticed before. He watched the shy and tubby boy – Neville he thought he remembered – whom everyone was now looking at. He saw the emotion on his face, a mix of astonishment, wonder and a little deeper, pride. Oliver smiled in his turn then. After all, maybe there was more to this than just a story of points.