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Chapter 3: Try me
Try-outs were scheduled two weeks after we came back, and by then Professor McGonagall had already approached me 3 times to let me know that many students had signed up and told me that she had high expectations for this year’s team. James was not talking to me, he was annoyed that I wouldn’t let him on the team and he had dragged Sirius with him in his ‘hate on Effie’. However, both were trying out, as well as the rest of the remaining team – some of which I hoped to replace.
“Good morning captain,” Fred Addens said as I joined the Gryffindor table for breakfast on the day of the try-outs, “nice day for try-outs, don’t you recon?” He gave me a wink.
Fred Addens was the biggest prick gracing our planet, he had been a beater on the Quidditch team since his 3rd year, but only made it because his brother was a chaser and best friends with the captain. Addens was one of those guys who thought women loved to hear about his heroic tales and how he was the one sending a bludger into the Slytherin seeker so he lost concentration and James caught the snitch. The episode happened in the beginning of last year but he still told it, even though Gryffindor lost the Quidditch Cup to Ravenclaw.
I groaned a hello to Addens and turned my attention to Lily who had promised to help me with the try-outs.
“How many are trying out?” I asked her as she wrote the final name on a piece of paper. Lily, being a muggleborn, liked to do things by hand – I never understood why.
“4 are trying out for keeper, 5 are trying out for beater, 7 are trying out for chaser and 2 are trying out for seeker,” I could see James smirk at the last announcement and I wondered if he had something to do with the limited candidates.
“Who is trying out for seeker?”
“Miranda Turpin,” Lily told me as she found the name on her list, when she saw my confusion she continued “She’s the small 4th year who had purple hair last year after an accident in Potion,”
I sniggered at the memory, “Oh yes that was funny,”
I hated to admit it, but Addens had been correct when he said it was a nice day for try-outs. It was the middle of September but I had to take off my Quidditch sweater as soon as I arrived to the pitch with Lily next to me.
“Okay people,” I exclaimed to the group of aspiring players, half of them looked nervous while the rest tried to hide their nervousness. The ones who had been on the team last year all looked quite relaxed, Adden even smiled.
“I would like to make it quite clear that just because you were on the team before, it doesn’t mean you are promised a spot on this year’s team,” I had my eyes on Addens the entire time and couldn’t help but smirk when he suddenly looked as nervous as the first group.
The crowd of players started spreading out in groups as I told them to start out by flying around the pitch for 10 minutes.
Miranda Turpin immediately stood out from the other, despise her hair colour had returned to its natural blonde colour, and I was pleased when she a few times seemed to be as fast and steady on a broom as James. She seemed quite carefree and even took time to do a few stunts before I called everyone down.
The Chasers were the first to be picked, and seeing as I was a Chaser as well, I only needed two more. Catherine Morgan had been on last year’s team and it was obvious that she had practised over the summer because she had never flown better. When I called out her name she ran up to me and gave me a high five, before sitting down on the bench next to Lily.
Gareth Wallace, a sixth year with broad shoulder and a boyish face, was the second and final chaser. He looked relieved when I picked him and gave his friend who had also tried out an apologizing look. He marched up to me and shook my hand with such force that I wondered if I needed to go to the hospital wing.
“I won’t let you down, captain,” he gave me a wink before joining Lily and Catherine. Not the same arrogant wink that Addens had given me at breakfast, this one was more sincere.
The next to be picked was the keeper. Sirius had tough competition in the form of Griselda Anderson, who saved nearly all quaffles thrown by Catherine and Gareth, but in the end I decided Sirius was the best player. He gave James a clap on the shoulder as he walked over to the bench. Griselda was made reserve keeper.
I wanted so badly to throw Addens off the team, but when the Beaters tried out he was by far the best player. It took an extra 20 minutes for me to decide, I was hoping that Addens would screw up so I had an excuse to pick someone else, but he flew steadier than the rest and his hit was the most precise.
“Addens, you are on the team,” I groaned as he strode towards me.
“Nice to be back on the team,”
I wanted to hit him and his attitude so far into hell.
Behind me, Lily straightened her back when I called Matthew Cunningham’s name, announcing him as the second beater. Lily had a crush on Matthew, which I understood as soon as I saw him flip his hair casually away from his eyes. He had the bluest eyes known to man and a smile which could melt any girl, including me. As long as practices were not done shirtless I hoped I would be okay.
When he sat down next to Lily, she dropped her quill, which he then handed to her while smiling.
James had seen it and when I returned my attention to the remaining two players, he looked ready to kill.
“James Potter, you’re up,” I yelled at him, breaking his attention from the scene behind me.
I always knew James was a brilliant Seeker, and the try-out was no exception, he managed to catch all golf balls thrown into the air except for 2. The only reason why he missed those two was because Lily had started giggling at something Matthew had said. Wait. Lily. Giggling?
Miranda Turpin turned out to be just as good, she caught every single ball thrown in less time and for a second I thought she was whistling.
I was quick to approach Miranda when she landed firmly on the ground after her try-out.
“That was bloody amazing, why haven’t you tried out before?” I asked her with my mouth hanging open.
The blonde girl blushed slightly “First year the seeker position have had a try-out,”
“Well, you are on the team, so congratulation,” I shook her hand and turned my attention to a crestfallen James.
“You can always get the reserve position,” I offered, but he just cursed me under his breath and made sure to accidentally hit my shoulder as he marched past me.
“James has been on the on the team as long as you, remember?” Sirius had gotten up from his seat and was now standing right in front of me.
“Did you close your eyes, this girl is amazing,” I nodded towards Miranda who looked embarrassed to be in the spotlight.
“The Slytherins will destroy her,”
“Not if the Beaters do their job. Maybe you should just worry about your job as keeper as well,” I said raising my voice. I felt a sudden déjà-vu when Lily tried to shut us up, but this time Sirius ignored her.
“I am not sure I want to be part of this team if you are being such a bitch,”
I wanted to scream at him when he said the last word, but refrained from doing so because I knew it would just end in one of us getting seriously hurt. Besides, with the Head Girl standing next to us, we would sure end in detention if we started hexing each other. Instead I took a deep breath.
“Fine,” I stated and turned to Griselda “You are the new keeper, congratulation,”
Dramatically I heading towards the exit before Sirius could respond, or Lily could object.