"The Quidditch Queasies" by Immora
Author's Notes November 12 ~ December 22 2002 — This piece of fanfiction is set during the time of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and takes place over a school week in May (preceeding the third task of the Triwizard Tournament,) when nothing of note was happening in the book. Since this story references and contains mild spoilers for the events of the book, you should have read it first. The material is suitable for a general audience, but I don't recommend reading this if the thought of others getting sick makes you sick.
My enormous thanks to Shiro the Vampiric Ferret for his beta-reading and Amber Michelle for being my editor once again. It's not possible to catch all of my mistakes myself, so you both were a huge help to preparing this for release. Thank you! I also thank Marina Frants for writing the fabulous "Harry Potter and the Polka Dot Plague," which inspired me to write this.
This story is based on characters and situations created by J.K. Rowling and owned by herself, Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. It is a non-profit fan work; no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. The story itself belongs to me, but I did not create the characters or settings.
Harry never enjoyed Monday afternoons thanks to his Divinations class. Professor Trelawney went on and on about the terrible fate sure to befall him before next month's final task of the Triwizard Tournament. The heavy perfume and dim lighting in the overly-warm room made it difficult to stay awake.
He started to drift into a daze, but a peculiar lurch in his stomach interrupted it. Grimacing, he looked down at his belly as a wave of nausea passed over him. His stomach churned unpleasantly. Trying to ignore it and wishing Trelawney didn't insist on such strong incense, he laid his head down on the table.
It felt like a game of Quidditch was being played inside his stomach. He imagined what it would be like. Last year's Gryffindor and Slytherin teams furiously tossed the Quaffle, Slytherin nearly scoring after a few minutes. Oliver Wood made a last second save, and Harry actually felt a bit better. Then Slytherin stole the Quaffle and flew back for the goal posts, and the queasiness was stronger than before.
Trelawney turned in his direction, her bracelets jingling together when she gasped and raised her hands. He ducked to hide his face, but didn't move quickly enough to keep her from seeing it. "Oh dear, I fear your fate will come upon you sooner than I realized! Your face has the look of…"
Harry ignored the rest of her rambling. The visions of Quidditch hadn't stopped despite Trelawney's interruption. He tried to think about something else, focus on the class instead. Across the room, Parvati and Lavender gaped in horror as they listened to Trelawney. A few other girls whispered and pointed his way. Next to him, Ron shook off a daydream and frowned, then leaned over to poke Harry's arm.
Ron rolled his eyes, "She's sort of right for once— you do look bloody horrible. You feeling sick?"
Harry didn't respond, fighting to hold back his lunch. When Trelawney dismissed the class, Harry gladly fled the room before anyone else, keeping a hand over his mouth. Ron hurried after him, carrying their books. "Harry! Wait up! You going to be sick?"
Harry didn't think he could speak without losing his stomach's contents. He nodded once, but continued walking.
Hermione soon joined them in the hallway. "Arithmancy was wonderful, I earned ten points for identifying— Oh, Harry! Are you ill? Your face is green— you look absolutely awful! Has he been sick yet, Ron?"
The Quaffle headed down the pitch, Slytherin threw for a goal… Harry gulped and frantically looked for the nearest toilet. Hermione grabbed his arm and rushed him down the hallway, and Ron pushed the door open. As soon as Harry entered the first stall, Slytherin scored, and his stomach emptied. Hermione rubbed his back to soothe him, but kept her head turned away.
"Ugh! Harry!" Ron wrinkled his nose, staying well out of the way. "You should go to the infirmary, really!"
"No, just a little… stomach upset, that's all. I'll be… all right." Harry didn't want to visit Madam Pomfrey again if he could help it. He staggered over to a sink and gripped it to support his weight. The Slytherins in the crowd moved their arms and opened their mouths wide in cheers he couldn't hear.
Harry nearly banged his head against the mirror. Ron frowned and rested a steadying hand on Harry's shoulder.
"Really, Harry, you do look awfully sick." Hermione crossed her arms and looked Harry up and down. "Do you have any idea what caused it?"
"I don't know… I can't stop picturing… Quidditch. It's like someone's playing in my stomach, and I keep seeing the game going on and on, but I can't hear it."
Ron's eyes widened and he looked to Hermione, but she just frowned. "Do try to stop thinking about it, then."
"I'm trying!"
"You know," Ron said, "he might have… withdrawal symptoms or something, Fred and George said something like that before. Last time he played Quidditch was this summer at the Burrow, right? And it's been cancelled and all…"
"And he's not been on his broom since the first task. I don't know about withdrawal, but…" Hermione peered at Harry's pale face again. "Are you still seeing the game?"
"Gryffindor versus Slytherin, and whenever they have the Quaffle…" Harry briefly covered his mouth. "When they get near to scoring, it's horrible. I feel better when we have it."
"You definitely need to go to the infirmary--"
Ron interrupted her before she could continue, "Maybe he should just sleep."
"You already told him to go, too! He could at least get something to help with the nausea. How will he sleep if this keeps up?" Hermione scowled at Ron.
"No, I'll be fine." Harry turned the faucet on and cupped his hands, collecting some water. He rinsed the terrible taste out of his mouth. "I'll just be careful what I eat, that's all."
Hermione sighed loudly. "Make sure you don't eat dessert, then; the last thing you need is anything rich."



Harry was surprised he managed the walk to the Great Hall. He nearly fell against a Durmstrang's back when a Bludger whizzed by his imaginary head, then he tripped his way into his seat. Ron and Hermione kept a close watch on him as he picked at some bread and roast turkey, but he swallowed hardly any of it.
Malfoy called across the tables, "Feeling sick, Potter? Try to keep it to the toilets, will you? We wouldn't want you getting it on anyone else… unless it's your friends, eh?"
Ron stood up and glared at Malfoy, brandishing a leg of turkey like a wand. When he opened his mouth to shout a spell, Hermione tugged him back into his seat. Malfoy laughed loudly, elbowing Crabbe and Goyle to join him since they hadn't understood what Ron did. Harry wished he could have seen the smirk wiped off Malfoy's face, but using a turkey leg wasn't a great way to cast a spell.
"I wouldn't do that, Weasley!" Malfoy grinned. "You could be saving it to help feed your family. Or maybe you could try to trick some gnomes into cooking for them, since you're too poor for a house elf!"
Harry grabbed the turkey leg from Ron and threw it, but in his weariness, he couldn't clear the distance to Malfoy. The turkey leg barely missed a Hufflepuff girl's head and streaked grease across the floor.
Malfoy roared, "What kind of a throw was that? I hope your aim isn't that bad when you're over the toilet!"
"Ignore it!" Hermione whispered. "Hurry up and finish eating, Ron. We need to leave."
Ron muttered angrily, pushing his unfinished plate away. "Let's just go. His face made me lose my appetite."
They helped Harry walk out and climb the stairs to Gryffindor Tower, and told the Fat Lady the password. No one else had returned from dinner; the common room was empty. They stopped at the foot of the stairs to the boys' dormitories.
"Malfoy wasn't in that corridor when you got sick," Hermione said with a frown. "I don't think anyone else really noticed to talk about it, and you didn't look that ill at dinner… So how did he know?"
"What do you mean?" Harry sank against the wall and closed his eyes.
"What I mean is Malfoy might have something to do with it. He hasn't tried casting any curses on you lately, has he?"
"I don't think so…" Harry put his hands on his belly and groaned. "He'd like to do this to me, though."
"It could just be people noticing him running and talking about it," Ron said. "Malfoy probably listens to anything people say about Harry."
Hermione nodded slowly. "That's true. Well… get some sleep, then. I'll see if I can find anything in the library tomorrow."
Ron practically dragged Harry upstairs to their dormitory, still grumbling about Malfoy as they climbed. Thankfully, imaginary Oliver Wood called for a time out not long after Harry dressed for bed. Grateful and exhausted, he went to sleep.



An echoing shout woke Harry up, and he bolted upright in his bed before realizing he hadn't actually heard it. Someone yelled as a Bludger nearly collided with a broomstick. He rubbed his eyes and reached for his glasses, then sank back into his pillows again. His sleep had no effect; he felt even sicker. The game continued with images more vivid than before, and now sounds accompanied them.
Not long after Harry woke up, Ron opened the bed curtains. "Still feeling awful, are you? Going to try for breakfast?"
At the thought of food, his Firebolt turned over and flipped his stomach upside down. Ron backed up. "I'll take the green face as a no! Don't get sick near my bed! You should see Madam Pomfrey instead of going to class. Professor Binns'll just bore you sicker, you'll only be thinking about your stomach!"
"I can't get it out of my head," Harry said weakly, closing his eyes. He just wanted to go back to sleep, but with the game going strong, he couldn't. "I don't think -anything- can distract me from it."
Ron slid a bucket close to Harry's bed. "Hermione had me bring it up in case you threw up again. It's an enchanted sick bucket— it'll empty itself so no one else has to smell it."
Harry nodded once, not wanting to open his mouth. The thought of using the sick bucket didn't help when Marcus Flint stole the Quaffle.



The hours passed very slowly, with only the awful game to think about. If Gryffindor could just clobber Slytherin, maybe it would be over! He couldn't bring himself to crawl out of bed; leaning for the sick bucket was difficult enough.
Ron returned early in the afternoon and opened the curtains again. Frowning, he tossed some clothes onto the bed. "Didn't even go see Madam Pomfrey, did you? You better get dressed. Hermione says you're going to the infirmary, and if you argue, she'll make sure McGonagall takes care of it."
It was difficult for Harry to change clothes with his belly spinning, but he managed it after several minutes of struggling. Ron took Harry's arm so they could go down to the common room, where Hermione grabbed Harry's other arm impatiently.
"I wish you had just gone to see her yesterday like I told you to!" Hermione said. She reprimanded Harry all the way to the infirmary.
Madam Pomfrey fussed when they led Harry in, saying he should have come sooner. She examined him, prodded his belly, and made him stick his tongue out. She asked just a few brief questions about how he felt. He kept mostly quiet, not wanting to mention his visions of Quidditch.
"I don't know what's wrong with you, but you must have some sort of stomach illness." Madam Pomfrey sighed, looking rather irritated at her inability to diagnose his condition. "Drink this potion. All of it, now. It's easy to swallow, don't worry."
Harry wasn't so sure about that. He thought he'd bring it back up again if he wasn't careful. Before he could lift the bottle, Gryffindor grabbed the Quaffle, they were racing across the pitch— a brilliant shot! The nausea suddenly cleared, and he almost let out a whoop of excitement. The cheering was louder than ever, but he didn't care, his stomach was better! It would be all right…
The game kept going, and the ball was back in Slytherin hands. The queasiness crept in again. Madam Pomfrey crossed her arms and waited. Harry sighed in disappointment and swallowed the potion, grimacing at the taste.
"You come right back here if you're having too much trouble. Get plenty of rest, and try to watch what you eat. Off you go, now. And don't miss classes tomorrow unless you're here in a bed! Even though champions are excused from exams, you have to keep up with your assignments."
Harry nodded to everything she said, just wanting to leave. He felt like he'd never get well. When would this game finally end? What if it didn't?
Hermione shook her head as Ron shut the door behind them. "You should have told her about your hallucinations, Harry, it might have helped her figure out what's wrong."
"Hermione, he'll just sound crazy if he says he's seeing things!" Ron rolled his eyes
"Not knowing what to do with himself doesn't help him much, does it?" Hermione turned to Harry again. "Is the potion helping at all?"
Harry shook his head. "I felt better when we scored, but when we lost the Quaffle again, it came back."
Hermione shot a glare at Ron. "If she had all the information, she could figure out what it is and make him feel better."
"If you think it's fine that he'll seem out of his mind!" Ron glared back at her.
"Maybe we can determine what it is, then. I meant to go to the library during break, but I wanted to finish my assignments early so I'd have more time to read. Come with me, we need to ask least try to find something about it."
Hermione took off for the nearest staircase, leaving the two hurrying to catch up to her as fast as Harry could manage.



The library was relatively quiet, but the occasional whisper and high-pitched laughter behind a bookshelf revealed a group of girls lying in wait for Viktor Krum. Hermione pulled a chair out for Harry at a table far from the giggling girls, then led Ron to the shelves.
Harry rested his head on his folded arms and shut his eyes. He heard Hermione and Ron walking back, and the thud of books dropping on the table.
"Let's see, Modern Magical Maladies might have something," Hermione said. Pages rustled every few moments. Ron muttered about not finding anything and leaving it to Hermione. "Oh, try to find something! Here's a book on potions, see if there's anything that causes those symptoms…"
Harry squeezed his eyes tighter. Malfoy sped alongside him; neither of them had seen the Snitch yet. Their broomsticks practically crashed together, but they quickly turned away from each other when a Bludger came their way. It was a very close call, both of them barely dodging it in time. Harry flinched and sat up, looking around.
Krum stepped into the library and walked towards their table. Ron nudged Harry's arm, whispering, "Maybe you should ask Krum? He might've had withdrawal before."
Harry shook his head; the thought of asking the Bulgarian champion about Quidditch withdrawal symptoms was too embarrassing. Krum probably never missed playing the game enough to get sick over it.
"Why not? He's coming right here!"
"I'm not asking him that!"
Krum stopped next to Hermione's seat, but she barely glanced up from the books even when he spoke. "Something is wrong?"
"Just doing a bit of research, trying to figure out what's the matter with Harry."
"Oh. At dinner, ve could tell he vas sick. His color is not looking good." Krum studied Harry's face a bit.
"No, it isn't…" Hermione flipped the pages and furrowed her brow. "I'm really busy, Viktor, I can't talk right now."
Nodding and glancing at Harry, Krum slouched off to a corner table, and was soon swarmed by the waiting girls. Harry finally breathed again. "Let's just try the books, Ron. I don't need to ask him."
Unfortunately, the books were no help. Hermione gathered most of the books on illnesses and magical conditions, but by dinnertime, even she gave up for the night and put them all back on the shelves. "I can't find anything that sounds like what you're experiencing. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong ones..."
"Could someone be… trying to sabotage the tournament?" Harry asked. He did wish his name hadn't been put in the goblet, but after completing two tasks, he wanted to reach the end.
"A month before the task?" Hermione shook her head. "It doesn't seem too smart for someone to try now, when there's plenty of time for you to get well. If someone— like Malfoy— did cause this, it's probably just out of spite. We're finished here for the night, are you coming to dinner?"
"I'll just go back upstairs. I don't think I can eat." Harry walked towards the staircases without them.
"Do you want us to bring back anything?" Hermione called after him. "Some water and toast?"
"I guess."
Harry slowly climbed the stairs, and collapsed on his bed when he reached it. The match progressed badly. Neither team gained an edge; not long after one team pulled ahead, the other grabbed the lead again.
An hour later, Ron brought Harry a plate of toast and a glass of water. Harry managed to force them down, but try as he might, he couldn't get to sleep. He thought the chance came when Gryffindor made a goal and his stomach felt normal for several minutes, but the game continued. He remained awake with it, reaching for the bucket whenever Slytherin celebrated another goal.



"Didn't you sleep at all, Harry?" Ron, already dressed, looked exasperated when he saw Harry's obvious exhaustion.
Harry slowly shook his head, feeling like the brief movement used up enough energy to keep him in bed for the next few hours. He forced himself to sit up and put on his glasses, before flopping onto his back again.
Ron complained so much about being hungry that he went on to breakfast, not that Harry minded. He couldn't have eaten much, anyway.
After nearly half an hour, Harry was finally ready for class. He had Charms this morning, and he decided to take his chances there rather than lay in a bed with Madam Pomfrey fussing over him. He just hoped he could survive the trip downstairs. The trick step nearly caught his foot before he clutched the railing to keep himself upright.
Hermione was waiting with Ron outside the Charms classroom, holding several pieces of napkin-wrapped toast. Harry nibbled them in his seat while they waited for the lesson to start.
Professor Flitwick climbed the stack of books on his chair and addressed the class. "We'll be practicing a simple banishing charm today! Now, everyone take out your wands, the words are…"
Harry fumbled for his wand, vision blurred by lack of rest. Listening to Flitwick was difficult, in fact…
The crowd roared, and Lee Jordan yelled, "Marcus Flint elbows Angelina Johnson and takes the Quaffle, that rotten--"
Bolting for the door, Harry didn't notice the rest of the class turning to stare at him. Ron caught Harry's wand before it could hit the floor. The toilets, where were the toilets? He couldn't seem to remember the way… ah, there. Harry stumbled a few times, then shoved the door open, dropping to his knees in a stall.
Slytherin scored. Harry vomited.



Harry felt some relief when Gryffindor successfully blocked Slytherin and stole the Quaffle. His stomach still dived quite often, but at least Slytherin found it difficult to get near the goal posts again. He somehow made it through the day without throwing up again.
When he joined Hermione and Ron outside the library to walk to dinner, he felt hungry for a decent meal.
"You were as green as a Slytherin, Harry!" Ron looked rather impressed.
"Honestly, Ron, that isn't a good sign!" Hermione huffed as she clutched a book to her chest. "I read in Old Wives on New Ailments that the worse his hallucinations and illness get, the less chance he has to recover! I don't know how accurate this is, but we certainly should worry. I still need to read up on potions and curses. You haven't been much help!"
"I don't know what to look for!"
"You should just look after Harry while I read, then. Harry, have you been… hearing anything?"
The last time Harry was "hearing things," a basilisk petrified his fellow students. At least he knew this was just in his head and not slithering through the plumbing. "Yes, the crowd's cheering, and Lee's announcing. And sometimes, Malfoy taunts me."
"Ugh!" Ron wrinkled his nose as they stepped into the Great Hall. "It's bad enough that you're throwing up without having to hear him!"
Harry drew a breath to voice agreement, then gasped when he saw a Bludger coming his way. Where were the Weasley twins to hit it away? He looked around in confusion. They sat down at the Gryffindor table… no, they flew by him…
Harry yelped in surprised as the Bludger hit the back of his broomstick, and he collapsed on the floor. Everyone leaned over or stood up for a look at him. The real Malfoy laughed loudly, then stopped short when he fell forward onto his full dinner plate.
Harry stared at the Slytherin table after he stood up with Ron's help. The Slytherin and Durmstrang students muttered and looked away from Harry. Crabbe and Goyle, open-mouthed in surprise, looking even stupider than usual. They didn't do anything to help Malfoy.
"Wicked, Harry!" Ron grinned and thumped Harry's back, nearly knocking him over again.
Malfoy had fallen into his dinner at the same moment imaginary Malfoy's back was brushed with a Bludger, hit his way by imaginary George. It must be a coincidence, but… Malfoy stood up, food still clinging to his face and robes.
"Potter!" Malfoy reached for his wand, then stopped, looking up to the long table where the professors sat watching and speaking softly to each other. He slowly sat down again, still glaring at Harry. Snape glared as well, no doubt wondering if he could take points for it. The other students went back to their meals.
Hermione stared at Harry from across the table when he finally sat down. "Harry, did anything… happen when Malfoy landed in his food?"
"Bludger to the back. Why?"
She bit her lower lip and shook her head. "That's very bad, Harry. Very. If other people are being affected by it… well, the book may not be right on it, but I still think that's not a good sign. Maybe you should stay in the infirmary?"
"No." Harry picked up his fork and poked at the roast pork. "It feels a bit better, it really does. They haven't scored in awhile now."
"And what happens if they do score again? This isn't good for your health."
"What about his mind?" Ron mumbled around a mouthful of food. "Seeing Slytherin in his head for days, that could drive anyone loony!"
Harry stabbed at the pork again much harder than necessary. "I'm not going loony! It'll… it'll go away, I'm sure it will."
Hermione clearly didn't agree with him, but she said nothing more, eating in silence. She left as soon as she finished, and they didn't see her again that night.



With his Charms homework finally finished, Harry tried relaxing in bed, but Slytherin moved into the lead. Maybe Hermione was right; another sleepless night would be awful enough, but if this continued…
"OUCH!" Harry winced and grabbed his elbow. Neville looked between his curtains to see what was the matter, ducking back inside when Harry just smiled nervously.
"Penalty to Gryffindor!" Lee Jordan shouted. "That was low, trying to attack the Seeker!"
Though his elbow throbbed, he felt relieved. He sank back into his pillows and closed his eyes, falling asleep quickly.



Harry's elbow throbbed when he woke up, and he wasn't surprised to see a dark bruise covering it. He didn't feel the slightest bit of nausea; Gryffindor kept possession of the Quaffle. Enormously thankful, he dressed quickly and walked to Ron's bedside.
"Go 'way, s'not morning yet." Ron didn't open his eyes even when shaken by Harry.
"Come on, Ron! It is morning!"
"Saturday…"
"No, Thursday. Come on, I'm starving!"
Ron rubbed his eyes and yawned loudly. "What, you feeling all right now?"
"Hurry up and get dressed!" Harry didn't want to talk about his elbow, or about the game still in his head. He wanted to enjoy not feeling sick.
When they went downstairs, they saw Hermione reading in a chair. She looked up at Harry with surprise. "You don't look so pale today. Is it over yet?"
Ron started to speak, but Harry cut him off. "I'm going to eat while I have the appetite. I hope it lasts so McGonagall doesn't notice I haven't been well. She'd send me straight to Madam Pomfrey."
Hermione didn't look at all surprised anymore.



Breakfast and Transfiguration passed quickly, without any incident. Harry felt sure he was finally getting better. He even started enjoying the game now, watching Slytherin's score slip farther and farther behind. When McGonagall wasn't looking, he updated Hermione and Ron on the points. Ron was glad Gryffindor was winning even if it wasn't real, but Hermione seemed more distressed than before.
Harry ate a hearty lunch and never felt like he'd lose it. He overheard some whispering about whether he really was well or would recover before the Tournament, much of it hopeful he'd stay sick so Cedric could win. Ron snorted whenever he heard any of it, thumping Harry's back a few times and saying loudly how great Harry felt today. Hermione hardly spoke and kept casting troubled looks at Harry.
When they sat down for Defense Against the Dark Arts, his good mood sank. His nausea returned as Slytherin took the Quaffle, and Moody was sure to notice something was wrong.
Harry jumped when he heard the thump of Moody's false leg. The noise of the game had been so loud, it covered up the real sounds around him.
Moody stared from the front of the room, his false eye fixing on Harry's stomach. "I've noticed you aren't feeling too well lately, Potter. You're looking off color."
"No, I'm feeling better… a bit. It's not that bad now. Really."
Hermione looked like her eyes would roll as much as Moody's false one.
Moody was not convinced. "What's it feel like?"
The rest of the class stared at Harry. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair and didn't answer, and ducked slightly to dodge a Bludger before remembering it wasn't really going to hit him. But if it hit him in his imagination, would he topple over again…?
Moody slowly made his way over to the desks. Hermione pulled a library book from her backpack, the Old Wives book she'd mentioned before. She flipped through the pages, then turned it to face Moody. His good eye looked down to read it, the other still watching Harry.
"These are the same symptoms, Professor. This might not be real, but it does describe exactly how he says he's feeling."
Hermione hadn't shown the book to Harry yet. He wondered if she'd found what he was experiencing.
Moody shut the book himself, both eyes watching Harry. "Never heard of it, but it doesn't sound good. Stand up, Potter."
Harry carefully stood, swaying a bit with dizziness as in his head, he dove towards the stands to trick Malfoy. His cheeks burned with embarrassment as his classmates stared at him, whispering to each other.
"Last night at dinner, did you slip on something?" Moody asked.
"Y-er… no, I didn't," Harry said quietly. Maybe Moody knew what could cause this, if it had something to do with the Dark Arts. As mortifying as it was to have everyone watching him, he did want it solved.
Moody slowly paced the front of the room. He stopped to draw his wand and pointed it towards Harry. "Someone could have cursed you to sabotage the tournament by keeping you too sick to compete."
"But it's not for another month--"
"A curse can linger for awhile. It might even be a potion slipped into your food. You should be more careful what you eat. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!" The class jumped. "You could start feeling even worse."
Harry doubted a potion caused this; the house elves surely wouldn't let someone walk in and poison someone's meal. But if he was a house elf, wouldn't he be scared if someone like Snape stalked into the kitchen and demanded to see someone's plate?
A spell hit his stomach and jerked him from his thoughts, leaving him gasping for breath. Moody muttered, then aimed the wand again. Harry barely heard the spells cast on him; the images and accompanying sounds were so vivid. He lost sense of the real world, caught up in the game.
Harry blinked up at the ceiling. He lay sprawled on his back, and Moody stood nearby. Ron and Hermione popped into his vision, both very concerned. "What? How'd I get on the floor?"
"You tipped over backwards on the last one," Moody said. "It doesn't look like a curse. You might want to ask Madam Pomfrey for some antidotes."
"We already took him to see her," Hermione said. "She couldn't tell what was wrong with him, either."
Harry mumbled a thanks to Moody, getting back into a seat with Ron's assistance. It lately seemed like he only moved with his friends' help. As grateful as he was that Moody had tried to cure him, Harry felt worse for it; now he ached from falling.
Harry barely noticed the lesson, though he tried to pay attention. Even Ron's nudging hardly brought him back to reality.
After class ended, Ron and Hermione led Harry into the hallway, where he slumped against a wall. They spoke quietly after the rest of the students and Moody left for dinner.
"If it's not a curse, could Malfoy still have done it?" Ron glanced at Harry.
Hermione folded her arms and considered. "Well, if it was him, he might have brewed a potion. Snape would probably let him have the ingredients if they weren't too rare."
"Yeah, I bet he would, especially if he knew it'd make Harry sick. Might've even done it himself. You think anyone else would have done it?"
"I don't think so… The only other people that would really have a reason to make Harry sick are Karkaroff and Madam Maxine. But I think someone would have noticed if they tried… There's no evidence someone intentionally did this, something else must have caused it. Should we take him to Hagrid?"
"Naw, if Hagrid tried to feed him now, he'd REALLY be sick."



Harry didn't remember how he ended up in the common room, but he must have eaten dinner, judging from the fullness he felt. A group of chairs surrounded him, and he was sitting in the most comfortable. Ron and Hermione watched nervously from their seats when he blinked a few times before focusing on them.
"You haven't spoken at all since class," said Hermione. "Even with Malfoy calling across the tables, you didn't react."
"What?" Harry looked around, but he could only see the Quidditch stands instead of walls, and players zoomed around him. He turned his head from side to side and watched them.
"Harry! Come on! Don't make me hit you!" Ron grabbed Harry's shoulders.
Blinking, Harry returned to reality. Several people stared at him with concern. Fred and George walked over to the cluster of chairs.
"What's the matter with you, Harry?" Fred asked.
George said, "You've been sick for days. Everyone's talking about it. You eat something bad?"
Harry shrugged and shook his head. He couldn't find any words. Ron spoke for him, "We don't know what it is… but you remember saying something about withdrawal from Quidditch?"
"Sure," George said. "It's supposed to be horrible."
Fred nodded. "Wood wrote us about it this summer, said he thought he was dying. Didn't say much more, though. I guess he got better. Think that's what's wrong with Harry?"
"Maybe," Ron said. "No one's figured it out yet."
"I really think you should go back to the infirmary, Harry," said Hermione. "We can't do anything else…"
Her voice faded into the roaring crowd. Katie Bell tried to pass the Quaffle to Alicia Spinnet, but it was intercepted. Fred swung to knock a Bludger out of the way, but the other was coming right for him--
A yell startled Harry and brought him out of the game. Fred crumpled over on the floor, clutching his midsection. Several people rushed over to his side. George poked Fred's shoulder. "Fred! You all right there? What's wrong?"
Winded, Fred couldn't speak. He looked awfully shocked and pained.
Hermione turned to give Harry a look that clearly said "I told you so!" She pointed for Harry to leave, just as he had a wild urge to run up to the dormitory. Maybe if he took out his Firebolt and went after the Snitch, it would all be over!
Harry raced upstairs without listening to Ron and Hermione's shouts. Ron dashed up a few steps behind, but Harry kept running. He threw open his trunk and began unwrapping his broomstick. Ron slapped Harry's hands away from it. The Firebolt fell back into the trunk, and Ron slammed the lid shut.
"You really are going mad! How's that going to help?!" Ron scowled and crossed his arms. "You have to do something about it!"
Harry didn’t care if Malfoy ended up wearing dinner, but when a friend was hurt… Fred might be badly injured... "What am I supposed to do? Madam Pomfrey has no idea what it is, Moody says it isn't a curse… Do I ask Snape for an antidote? Is that it? Of course I want this to go away, but nobody can do anything!"
"Maybe you're just asking the wrong people! I don't know, Dumbledore might know something, or even— Snuffles! Tell him what's going on! He needs to know, anyways!"
The fourth day of this, and Harry still hadn't written Sirius about it. He couldn't believe he hadn't thought to write before! He nodded to Ron, and opened his trunk again to take out parchment and a quill. Ron grumbled and left Harry alone to write. He wrote as much as he remembered of the game, and what happened in reality that seemed to reflect it.
Nearly half an hour later, he finally finished. Ron came upstairs to dress for bed just as Harry sealed the letter.
"I need to send this tonight." Harry searched his trunk for his invisibility cloak. He needed to reach to the owlery without anyone noticing… find an owl he'd never sent before…
"You can't sneak out while you're sick, you could… bowl over Filch or something!"
"I think it only hits other players, and he needs to get this--"
"Send it in the morning! Who'll blame you for missing class again, feeling like this?" Ron shut the trunk once again. "You better skip Potions too, Snape'll jump to take points if Malfoy gets knocked around again."
Harry fell silent, nodding even though he disagreed. He could just wait until everyone else slept, then slip out on his own to send the letter. Maybe even fly it himself… No, he couldn't take his broomstick out, Ron was right.
Ron and the other fourth years fell asleep quickly, and Harry stayed awake with the sick bucket. He waited a couple hours to make sure the rest of Gryffindor dozed off. It wouldn't take long, he'd just send the owl and be back before anyone noticed. It was easy.
He ended up in the owlery without realizing he'd walked there— and he wasn't wearing his invisibility cloak. He blinked at the letter in his hands, then at the open door behind him. Aside from the owls, no one else was in the room. Had he really walked all the way up here with no one noticing, and without even knowing he'd done it?
His toes felt like they'd been stubbed a few times. The somersaults in his stomach were a sure sign the game wasn't stopping any time soon. Stifling a groan, Harry tied the letter to the nearest owl, and it soared off from the school.
Harry didn't think he could make it back to the dormitory without attracting Filch's attention, but how could he keep himself from wandering off again? He shut the door just in case, but he'd surely have no trouble opening it again, consciously aware of it or not.
His stomach slowly settled down. Someone called a time out…



Harry regained his senses when a voice urged him to wake up. Looking around, he realized he lay on the floor of the Gryffindor common room. Early morning light shone faintly through the windows. Hermione, fully dressed, tapped her foot next to his head. "Really, Harry, if you're going to leave your dormitory at night, you could at least be sensible and go to Madam Pomfrey."
"What? How'd I… But I didn't…" So he'd left the owlery after all. Thank goodness no one caught him! Or if they did, he couldn't remember losing points and being sent on his way.
"You better go upstairs and get dressed before anyone else sees you down here. It's a good thing I woke up early. Do you think you went out wandering, or just stayed on the floor?"
Harry rubbed the back of his head where it felt tender from falling in Moody's class. "I think… I remember sending a letter to Sirius, but that's all."
"You're walking around without knowing you're doing it, in the middle of the night?! Who knows what you could have done or said! You might be in trouble and not even remember— oh, go on and get ready, and make sure Ron helps you walk back down in case you go out of your head again!"
Harry grumbled as he walked upstairs, trying to focus on his feet instead of Quidditch. As soon as he'd entered the dormitory, an owl landed on the ledge outside the window. He hurried to open it before the owl woke anyone by tapping on the glass. It hooted softly when he grabbed the letter, and soared back into the sky before he finished closing the window.
He hid the letter under his bedcovers. As badly as he wanted to read it, he couldn't risk anyone seeing it— except Ron and Hermione, of course. He dressed quietly, then lay down and waited for everyone to rise.
When Ron woke up, he yawned and walked over to Harry's bed. Harry lifted his blanket and pointed to the folded letter. They waited for the others to go downstairs for breakfast, before taking it down to the common room. Hermione stood next to them while they all read it silently.
Harry—
Why didn't you write sooner? It's dangerous for you and those around you to leave this unattended. Please let me know right away when anything is wrong.
Your father suffered from something like this before, and I helped him get better. I've forgotten the name of the condition; it's very rare. As far as I know, only serious and dedicated Quidditch players experience it— not people that only play casually.
If you have this condition, it's responsible for your magic going a bit haywire and knocking your fellow players around. Ron was right— it can be caused by not playing Quidditch for a long time. Being off your broomstick this long might contribute to it. As severe as your symptoms are now, flying wouldn't have made much of a difference, but you might have done better if you saw a flying instructor instead of Madam Pomfrey… As distracting as it is, I'm not surprised you've been walking around without knowing what you're doing.
I have something for you to try that worked for your father. Don't worry, everything will be back to normal once you get yourself cured— but you need to act soon!
CATCH THE SNITCH. Don't let the game keep controlling you like this. You can control what happens instead of just watching it. Catch the Snitch, and it should all be over.
(Of course, if your opponent catches it, that will end the game as well— but you could be stuck in the hospital wing for quite a long time, with your stomach feeling worse than ever.)
You need to go to class today. I know it feels awful and you'd rather just stay in bed, but having people around you will help you get into the game. They're your audience, after all; you don't play Quidditch without spectators! You need to try focusing on the game when you can, though. Your professors won't like it, but they'll be more angry if you're knocking other players over because you were concentrating on the lesson instead.
You'll be well soon, Harry! Just concentrate on winning!
— Sirius

"Easy for him to say!" Ron looked at the letter in disbelief. "Going to class but not paying attention? Of course someone'll notice!"
"It's the best advice I have," Harry said. "And if it's what my father had, Sirius knows what to do about it. Come on, we'll go to breakfast."



Harry wasn't able to eat anything; his stomach raced around inside him, faster than his Firebolt could fly. He tried hard to pay attention to the game instead of the people around him. He thought he saw a flash of gold, but wasn't sure if it was in front of him or just in his mind.
Ron and Hermione helped him walk to History of Magic. Professor Binns' usual droning made it easy to turn his attention inward to Quidditch. Harry frantically looked for the Snitch, but saw no sign of it. He felt someone leading him by his arms, but he kept thinking about the game. There was another flash of gold, too quick to follow, and what seemed like just a few minutes later, another one.
Blinking, Harry returned to reality in the Great Hall, shaking his head to clear it. He'd gone through Charms without coming out of the game. Ron and Hermione exchanged glances, and both shook their heads. They helped Harry into a seat and ate their lunches, while he sat following the plays. Another flash of gold…
It was the ornament in Parvati Patil's hair! She stood up to leave, and the end of her plait caught the light. Of course, it was the Snitch!
He scrambled to his feet and started to follow Parvati, but slid to a stop when Malfoy stepped in his way. Then, Malfoy was on his broomstick, racing side by side to catch the Snitch… McGonagall walked towards them…
Harry didn't know where he was, standing indoors or flying outside. Malfoy's voice brought him back into the Hall. "Fleeing the room, eh, Potter? Going to be sick again?"
"Out of the way, Malfoy--"
McGonagall stepped between them. "Gentlemen, perhaps you should be going to your next class instead of arguing about Potter's illness. I doubt Professor Snape will appreciate it if you're late." She turned and walked away from them.
Malfoy smirked at Harry's horrified expression and left as well.
Not Potions! How could he get well during Snape's class? There wasn't a chance of getting better with Snape snarling and taking points off every time Harry stopped working.
Ron and Hermione joined him and offered their arms, though he declined help this time, and the three walked to class. Hermione looked very worried, putting a hand on Harry's forehead when they stopped outside the door to Snape's dungeon room. "Oh, Harry, you're starting to get feverish!"
"Just what I need," Harry muttered. "I don't think I'll be fixing this in Snape's class. If I stop listening for a moment he starts taking points."
"Well, I do hope you get this fixed soon! Maybe Snape won't notice-"
"I won't notice what, Miss Granger?" Snape materialized out of the shadows and startled them, his voice low and terribly calm. "What could you three be plotting now? If you're intending to disrupt my class again…"
Ron looked ready to bolt, but Hermione managed to speak, "No, it's just that… well…"
"That I'm not feeling well," Harry said.
"How could anyone not notice Potter collapsing at dinner? I'm sure you were very amused by Malfoy's accident following it. Perhaps you were responsible for that?"
"I didn't do anything to him! I wasn't anywhere near him! I didn't— that's not it!"
Snape lifted his eyebrows, turning to enter the classroom. "Five points from Gryffindor for lying, Potter. I'm sure those are only the first I will take today."
Ron fumed when they sat down, not bothering to keep his voice low. Luckily, Snape was busy in the storeroom. "I can't BELIEVE he did that! And saying you'll lose more--! Should put his big nose in someone else's face! I bet HE'S the one that--"
"Sit down, Weasley, and be quiet." Snape set several bottles on his desk, then crossed his arms as he examined the students. "You will be attempting— and likely failing— to brew a solution that cures many common ailments, including headaches, sore throats, and nausea. I believe Potter will benefit if he somehow manages to mix it correctly. Perhaps it will keep him from fleeing the room as he's done in previous classes."
The Slytherins turned to laugh at Harry while he sank lower in his seat. Malfoy imitated getting violently ill in his cauldron.
Snape continued with a list of the ingredients and the instructions, then turned to write them on the blackboard as a reminder. Harry barely noticed. The shouting of the crowd grew too loud, and the green and red blurring around him was too distracting. Slytherin caught the Quaffle, then Gryffindor took it, back into Slytherin hands, they were moving towards the goal posts…
Harry bolted for the door. He couldn't get sick in here, not with Malfoy and Snape watching. Snape shouted something, but Harry didn't understand it. There was Malfoy in green Quidditch robes, then Malfoy in his black school robes, and the Quaffle soared through a goal post…
"UGH!"
"Look what Harry did!"
"Gross!"
"He threw up on Malfoy!"
"Fifteen points from Gryffindor, Potter! Get back in your seat! Come here, Malfoy!" Snape waved his wand and cleaned Malfoy off, and they both glared at Harry.
Harry staggered back towards his cauldron, barely registering that he'd gotten sick all over Malfoy. He nearly made it, when gold sparkled past his face. There it was!
Turning his broomstick, Harry rushed after the Snitch, which sped up as soon as he turned its way. It kept dodging and cornering quickly, then flying back the same direction. He heard screaming in front of him, and it didn't sound as loud as the crowd, but he didn't pay it much attention. The Snitch zipped out of his reach— he had to catch it! Someone yelled loudly at him, and he thought someone else grabbed his shoulder before he pulled away and kept flying. The Snitch was within reach, so close… He let go of his broomstick and dove forward, clutching with both hands, tumbling to the ground with the Snitch tight in his grasp, a shrill scream piercing his ears.
The yelling reached greater volumes, but he heard some cheering and laughter as well. He released his grip and rolled onto his back, looking towards the sky as it morphed into a ceiling. Black robes swished past his eyes, and then everything went dark.



Harry felt terribly groggy when he opened his eyes and saw the too-familiar ceiling of the infirmary. His glasses were still on, and when he turned his head, he saw Malfoy in a nearby bed, leaning over a sick basin.
Madam Pomfrey spoke with a furious Snape. "Professor, I don't see how he could have anything to do with it if he passed out--"
"He was running around, chasing Miss Patil, disrupting my classroom. He must have pushed Malfoy into that cauldron."
"But you said Malfoy fell afterwards--"
"Does the timing really matter?! Of course Potter did it!"
Malfoy interrupted them by opening his mouth and groaning miserably before... Harry plugged his ears and closed his eyes so he wouldn't have to think about it. He'd done enough of that himself the past several days.
Madam Pomfrey gently tugged Harry's hands from his ears a few minutes later. She pressed a cold washcloth against his forehead. "How are you feeling now? Are you any better?"
Harry considered it a moment, putting his hands to his stomach. No sounds filled his head, and no one flew around on broomsticks. His stomach sat still and empty from lack of lunch. He couldn't help grinning at Madam Pomfrey when he nodded.
"Are you proud of yourself, Potter?!" Snape stormed over to Harry's bed. "You are responsible for Malfoy's condition!"
"What? What did I do…?" Harry wasn't surprised at being blamed for it, but he wanted to know what "it" was.
Snape bared his teeth and pointed at Malfoy. "His potion wasn't complete when he fell against his cauldron. The mixture spilled all over him. Unfortunately for him, contact with the skin is enough to cause a reaction. An incomplete potion of that nature has a reverse effect!"
"So Malfoy's sick then?" Harry barely kept his delight out of his voice.
"YES, Potter, and it's because of you--"
"There's no need to berate Harry for it, Severus." Snape whirled around; Professor Dumbledore stepped into the infirmary, his voice calm and pleasant. "I don't think he is entirely aware of what happened in class today."
Snape pressed his lips together tightly, his black eyes flashing with anger, but he didn't respond.
When Dumbledore stopped to ask how Malfoy was feeling, Malfoy just glared in response before slumping over the basin again. Madam Pomfrey hurried over to tend to him. Dumbledore walked past the silently seething Snape to Harry's bedside. "Harry, can you tell us how you've felt this week?"
"I've… I kept feeling sick to my stomach, and… throwing up. It seemed tied to, um… Quidditch. Against Slytherin."
"Ah! You have been picturing it, then? With sounds?" Dumbledore smiled slightly when Harry nodded in reply to both questions. "I see. It sounds to me like Harry has been experiencing the Quidditch Queasies, a very unfortunate and debilitating condition that once struck his father. I believe Harry didn't know of his own actions in the end. It is the end, I hope?"
"Well I… I caught the Snitch. And now I feel fine."
Snape sneered. "He chased Miss Patil around the room before leaping at her and grabbing her hair. She seems to have suffered no injuries, but he certainly terrified her."
Harry looked up at Dumbledore, voice quiet with embarrassment, "I guess I thought her hair ornament was the Snitch. I didn't mean to scare her. I just wanted it over with."
"You should apologize to her, then," Dumbledore said, "even though you didn't realize it was her you chased. As for Mr. Malfoy… I do believe you inadvertently threw him against his cauldron when you caught the Snitch. You see, when you won for Gryffindor, your magic went a bit out of control one last time, and any opposing players nearby would have felt the backlash of it. You weren't truly responsible for it. Will Mr. Malfoy be well soon, Severus?"
"I can't be certain," Snape said, a vein twitching in his forehead. "Until I determine which ingredients he already mixed, any cure he drinks could just make his condition worse."
"Most unfortunate… But I'm sure you will find an appropriate solution for him. As for Harry… If I'd realized any of our students were at risk for Quidditch Queasies, I would have made sure they had the chance to get out on their broomsticks. Don't worry, Harry; now that you've experienced it, you shouldn't be bothered by it again. In fact…" Dumbledore's eyes twinkled. "For successfully curing yourself of Quidditch Queasies, I award twenty-five points to Gryffindor."
Snape turned an ugly shade of red and stalked out of the room, slamming the door behind him.
"Can I leave the infirmary now?" Harry really wanted to see Ron and Hermione, and hear from them what he'd done in class.
"Poppy?" Dumbledore looked to Madam Pomfrey, and she nodded. "Well then! You should hurry down to dinner. I think you'll find yourself ready to make up for the meals you've missed lately."
Harry threw off the bedcovers and leapt to his feet. His stomach stayed in place, then let out a mighty rumble of hunger.
As he rushed out, he heard Dumbledore speaking to Malfoy, "… Unfinished curative potions tend to have quite bothersome symptoms, perhaps even worse than those of the Quidditch Queasies. You will have to stay here until you are well. I trust Professor Snape's skills, but it may take some time…"
After Harry dropped into his seat for dinner, Ron and Hermione described how he'd run all over Snape's room, causing most of the Slytherins ruined their potions. The Gryffindors were thrilled by Malfoy's accident, of course.
Harry told them in a rush everything he remembered about the finale of the game. "I woke up in the infirmary, and Malfoy was there, too. He was really sick, and Snape didn't stop yelling until Dumbledore came to talk with me. Malfoy isn't the one that caused it. Snuffles was right, it's the same as my father, something called Quidditch Queasies."
"I knew it!" Hermione triumphantly handed him the book she'd shown Moody. She indicated a page filled with narrow text and a drawing of an ill-looking Quidditch player hanging off their broomstick. "I was sure this was it, but I didn't want you worrying about it if I was wrong. The letter didn't mention it, but people have died from it when they were fouled or hit too hard with Bludgers. It's terrible!"
"So it is withdrawal; I was right, too!" Ron looked a bit smug. "And you were wrong about Malfoy."
"It was just a possibility, Ron. Malfoy hardly notices anything, even when it's right on top of him. He must have seen Harry getting sick after all. I wonder what will happen to him, though?" Hermione tapped her chin thoughtfully. "He looked ready to kill you when that cauldron poured all over him— until he doubled over and got sick, that is."
"Apparently, that sort of potion is terrible unfinished," Harry said. "If Dumbledore's right, Snape's going to have quite a time fixing Malfoy. He's going to be even sicker than I was."
Ron grinned broadly. "Brilliant, Harry. Absolutely brilliant."
Harry couldn't agree more.