Chapter: Chapter Nineteen - Elf Tails
Brief summary of scene: Luna does the commentary for the Gryffindor vs. Hufflepuff Quidditch match
Disclaimer: This excerpt from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. This material is presented for the purposes of review and critique only.
'And that's Smith of Hufflepuff with the Quaffle,' said a dreamy voice, echoing over the grounds. 'He did the commentary last time, of course, and Ginny Weasley flew into him, I think probably on purpose, it looked like it. Smith was being quite rude about Gryffindor, I expect he regrets that now he's playing them - oh, look, he's lost the Quaffle, Ginny took it from him, I do like her, she's very nice...'
Harry stared down at the commentator's podium. Surely nobody in their right mind would have let Luna Lovegood commentate? But even from above there was no mistaking that long, dirty-blonde hair, nor the necklace of butterbeer corks ... Beside Luna, Professor McGonagall was looking slightly uncomfortable, as though she was indeed having second thoughts about this appointment.
'... but now that big Hufflepuff player's got the Quaffle from her, I can't remember his name, it's something like Bibble — no, Buggins —'
"It's Cadwallader!" said Professor McGonagall loudly from beside Luna. The crowd laughed.
Harry stared around for the Snitch; there was no sign of it. Moments later, Cadwallader scored. McLaggen had been shouting criticism at Ginny for allowing the Quaffle out of her possession, with the result that he had not noticed the large red ball soaring past his right ear.
'McLaggen, will you pay attention to what you're supposed to be doing and leave everyone else alone!' bellowed Harry, wheeling around to face his Keeper.
'You're not setting a great example!' McLaggen shouted back, red-faced and furious.
'And Harry Potter's now having an argument with his Keeper,' said Luna serenely, while both Hufflepuffs and Slytherins below in the crowd cheered and jeered. 'I don't think that'll help him find the Snitch, but maybe it's a clever ruse...'
Swearing angrily, Harry spun round and set off around the pitch again, scanning the skies for some sign of the tiny, winged golden ball.
Ginny and Demelza scored a goal apiece, giving the red-and-gold-clad supporters below something to cheer about. Then Cadwallader scored again, making things level, but Luna did not seem to have noticed; she appeared singularly uninterested in such mundane things as the score, and kept attempting to draw the crowd's attention to such things as interestingly shaped clouds and the possibility that Zacharias Smith, who had so far failed to maintain possession of the Quaffle for longer than a minute, was suffering from something called 'Loser's Lurgy'.
'Seventy-forty to Hufflepuff!' barked Professor McGonagall into Luna's megaphone.
'Is it, already?" said Luna vaguely. 'Oh, look! The Gryffindor Keeper's got hold of one of the Beater's bats.'
Harry spun around in midair. Sure enough, McLaggen, for reasons best known to himself, had pulled Peakes's bat from him and appeared to be demonstrating how to hit a Bludger toward an oncoming Cadwallader.
'Will you give him back his bat and get back to the goal posts!' roared Harry, pelting toward McLaggen just as McLaggen took a ferocious swipe at the Bludger and mis-hit it.
A blinding, sickening pain ... a flash of light ... distant screams ... and the sensation of falling down a long tunnel...