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Chapter 3: The Cup
4th December 2020
That night, I dreamt of those eyes just like I had that morning. They were the only thing my mind could see, they consumed my thoughts and I found myself constantly searching for them in the crowd of students mulling through the corridors. Lorcan could tell there was something up but he never questioned me. I am not sure if he just did not want to pry or if he did not really want to know.
Sometimes, when I least expected it, I would spot someone with that same dark hair and shadowed features but when I looked harder, they were not the same features that surrounded those eyes. It was not until we were seated in the Great Hall for dinner that I was finally able to sink into that serene blueness. When our eyes locked, everything around us seemed to fade away. It was like someone had cast a silencing charm over the entire Great Hall. It was like no one existed but the two of us. My heart was hammering unreasonably in my chest. How was it possible for someone I had never spoken a single word to, to become such an anchor in my world so fast? I had fallen into his arms yesterday morning and here I was, searching out his eyes amongst the hundreds… He had become some sort of fixed point, some sort of gravitational centre.
“Witches and Wizards of Hogwarts,” Professor Osman, the headmaster, bellowed across the chatter of the students. Had the occasion not been so unusual, I probably would not have noticed, as it was however, we hardly ever heard from our headmaster before a feast unless it was the beginning or end of term. As it was neither, I was somewhat surprised and found myself forcing my gaze away from those blue eyes and towards our eccentric headmaster… but not before I caught Lorcan giving me an odd look.
“Not long ago, we witnessed the first two Quidditch matches of the year and we will shortly be able to enjoy the next…” he continued with a grin. As Captain of Ravenclaw Quidditch team, my attention was immediately grasped and thoughts of those serene eyes were pushed to the back of my mind. But not altogether forgotten. “However, this year, as well as the Inter-House Cup, we shall be witnesses – or in some cases, participants – to more of our beloved sport!”
A ripple of whispers echo across the crowded Hall. I glanced away briefly and my eyes skimmed the students. Some were whispering to their friends, other were perched on the edge of their bench waiting desperately for the headmaster to continue, some, like myself, were looking around the Hall to see if anyone else knew what the headmaster was talking about and one particular set of eyes, which I had absentmindedly returned my gaze too, was still fixed on me. My stomach lurched and I felt a blush crawl into my cheeks as I looked away in embarrassment. He was probably wondering why I was staring at him so much.
“It is my greatest pleasure to announce that Hogwarts will be participating and indeed hosting the first ever Quidditch Schools Cup,” Professor Osman beamed. My eyes widened and I turned to Lorcan.
“A Quidditch Schools Cup,” I hissed. He just gave me an amused smile as an answer and I returned my attention to the headmaster as he continues.
“The Quidditch Schools Cup is a new way for Magical Schools across the world to gather and play their favourite sport. It will consist of eight schools and shall be held here in March–” he was cut off by another round of whispers. I found myself imitating some of the other students by leaning towards the front of the Hall expectantly. “I shall be needing to speak to the Quidditch Captains, so if they could make their way to my office after dinner, that would be splendid. For more information, sheets have been posted in your common rooms but other than that, dig in,” he beamed again as food finally appeared on the tables. I, however, had lost my appetite.
“A Quidditch Tournament? At Hogwarts?” I gasped in amazement. Lorcan chuckled and shot him a threatening glare. “How are you not excited about this?” I hissed. “You do realise that this will mean we will have foreign students staying here, at Hogwarts?” That seemed to grab his attention as he looked up from his pumpkin juice.
“I wonder which schools will be participating,” Jen muttered to the table in general from her seat across from Lorcan.
“Dominique is Quidditch Captain,” Tamara stated somewhat darkly. It was no secret that she begrudged me that title. “We’ll just have to ask her when she comes back from Ossie’s office.”
“Please don’t call Osman ‘Ossie’ Tamara,” Lorcan sneered. If there was one person who Lorcan never seemed to get on with, it was Tamara Boot. I suppose they had clashing personalities to begin with but Lorcan seemed to be more offended by the fact she dislike me because I was Captain than I ever was.
“Why not?” she snarled.
“Because it is unbelievably childish,” he replied with the look of an adult dealing with a difficult child. “And because that is not his name.”
“Oh I’m sorry Mr High and Mighty,” Tamara snapped.
“Anyway…” Avery butted in. It was usually either Avery or myself that had to interrupt these little spats between Tamara and my best friend. “Has anyone got any ideas? We could place bets on it?”
“Miss Jones,” Lorcan sighed. “As a Prefect, I cannot condone such behaviour as betting.”
“You forget Mr Scamander that Jen here is a Prefect too,” Tamara practically growled.
“Indeed I had not forgotten but I doubt that Jenifer would condone such behaviour either so in this case, Miss Boot, your usual ally is on my side.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Tamara snorted. “Of course Jen is on my side.”
“Actually T, I’m with Lorcan on this one,” Jen shrugged sheepishly. It was dangerous ground, upsetting Tamara. Predictably, Tamara’s face turned a furious red colour and her hazel eyes lit up. However, instead of ranting at Jen about her loyalties, Tamara simply glared at her and turned to her food, jabbing at her potatoes in a way that made them squirm.
An awkward silence descended over our section of the table as we each turned to our food. It took only a second for my mind to go into overdrive. Hogwarts was hosting a Quidditch Schools Cup. Foreign schools would be sending students here. We would be putting forward a team.
“Do you reckon Durmstrang will be taking part?” Avery mused, pulling us from our thoughts.
“Probably, they have a record of being good a Quidditch,” Jen shrugged. “Why?”
“I have a pen pal who goes there… It would be cool if he came,” she explained.
“You mean Drake Krum?” Tamara asked, curiosity forcing her out of her massacre of the potatoes. “I would hardly call him your pen pal,” she smirked. “More like your se–” Avery cut her off with an elbow in the ribs. “Hey!” she protested.
“Maybe Beauxbatons will participate,” Jen suggested, steering the conversation away from what was clearly a private part of Avery’s life. “They have some nice looking boys, or so I’ve heard.”
“I thought this was about Quidditch, not finding a mate,” Lorcan muttered at his plate.
“A mate? We’re not cavemen anymore Lorcan,” Jen giggled. Lorcan just narrowed his eyes at her. She stuck her tongue out. They got on quite well. “What other schools though?” Jen turned the conversation back to the tournament. She was rather good at manipulating conversation.
“Probably some from out of Europe,” Avery returned to the conversation after whispering furiously to Tamara who was just smirking. “Maybe that one from Japan?”
“Isn’t there one in China too?” added Jen.
“There’s one in a lot of countries Jen,” Tamara rolled her eyes.
“Just trying to contribute,” Jen huffed.
By the time I had eaten all the food on my plate, the girls were still trying to figure out what schools would be participating. Although much to Lorcan’s disgust, they were more focused on whether the boys from those schools would be attractive then whether they would be good at Quidditch.
“I’ll see you later,” I murmured to Lorcan as I got up. He just nodded glumly, clearly unamused at being left alone with my gossiping dorm mates. Most days, I wondered how we even ended up sitting near them at all as it always managed to end up with Lorcan and Tamara bickering.
“Meet me in the common room,” he pleaded.
“You leaving Weasley?” Tamara asked. “I’ll be expecting a full account when you get back to the dorms… And please, we are more important than Loopy over here,” she gestured vaguely at Lorcan. I just rolled my eyes at Lorcan when she looked away and he chuckled into his goblet.
Before the Entrance to the Headmaster’s office, I could make out two figures. It was my cousin, James Potter, who was in his Sixth Year and Captain of the Gryffindor team and a girl named Quinn Sedgwick who was the Slytherin Captain. Compared to these two, Tamara and Lorcan were best friends.
Even before I came to Hogwarts, I had heard all about Quinn Sedgwick from my cousin’s endless rants about her. Personally, I never understood why he hated her so much. I mean, she was a Slytherin, but she wasn’t a bad Slytherin. Sure, she pulled pranks on Gryffindors all the time and on the Quidditch pitch, you did not want to get near her. But other than that, I had never seen her do anything spiteful or cruel. In fact, I had noticed that she was one of the few people James’ sister, Lily, ever spoke to.
Lily Potter had been the second and last of us Weasley cousins to be sorted into Slytherin, the first being Lucy Weasley, and had taken it the least well. She had become isolated and introvert and in my eyes, someone like Quinn Sedgwick, who looked after her, was a good person.
However, James thought otherwise and had no inhibitions about making this known to the world. It was not uncommon to find them trying to kill the other in the hallways. In fact, it was far more uncommon to see them in the same place without trying to take the other down. So you can understand my surprise when I realised that the two of them were sitting on either side of the hallway outside Osman’s office, in silence. Both looking anywhere but at the other.
“Hello James,” I murmured when I felt it would be impolite not to make my presence known.
“Dominique,” he nodded, looking up at me. “You alright?” he asked as I sat down on the floor beside him.
“Adequate,” I replied, trying to ignore the tension hovering in the air. “Yourself?” I asked out of politeness, certain that whatever his response would be, it would not be the truth judging by the fact that Quinn Sedgwick was sitting across from us. Thankfully, he was spared having to making up a reply by the arrival of the Hufflepuff Captain, Arabella Rivers.
“Why am I the only male Captain,” James muttered quietly as Arabella bounded over to us. She was an enthusiastic little thing that, like me, had become Captain last year despite having older members in her team (namely her older, twin brothers who played as Beaters).
“Hello Arabella,” I smiled and she grinned back, waving despite the fact I was only a meter away from her. “Excited?” I asked, causing James to snort.
“Of course! Aren’t you? A Quidditch Schools Cup! And it’s being held here!” she squealed. Her statement was followed by a momentary silence that, had it not been interrupted by Professor Osman, could have become rather awkward as Quinn Sedgwick had not even glanced up since my arrival and Arabella seemed unaware of the tension in the air.
“Ah,” Professor Osman bellowed. “My Captains I see! Come in! Come in!” he gestured to the ugly stone gargoyle that was the entrance to his office. “Jitterbug,” he sang happily and the gargoyle came alive. “Come on, come on, we don’t have all day,” he laughed and hurried us into his office. As always, the spectacular view that greeted us took my breath away for a moment.
The headmaster’s office was constantly changing and altering but the one constant, hiding the ceiling from view, was a remarkable silk web that housed a collection of floating glass orbs that were lit from inside as well as a host of tiny, giggling fairies. It was a truly magnificent sight.
“So I’m sure you are all bursting with curiosity,” he chuckled. “Please, take a seat,” he gestured wildly with his hands and we all looked around for a seat in the clutter that had taken up residence in his office. I finally found a rickety old stool under a couple of books, Arabella sunk into what appeared to be a beanbag of sorts, leaving James and Quinn Sedgwick to sit awkwardly on the uncomfortably small leather sofa to my right. I could not decide who looked more uncomfortable. Or more embarrassed.
“Osman,” a woman grinned as she appeared in the doorway.
“Ah, Alicia my dear,” he beamed in response. “You all know Madame Jordan?” Osman asked, somewhat unnecessarily, she was after all, our flying instructor and Quidditch referee. “Madame Jordan shall be assisting us with this event, which she is delighted about,” he beamed again. “Anyway, she can explain things much better than I can so I’ll leave it to her.”
“Right,” Madame Jordan began. “The Quidditch Schools Cup is basically just a Quidditch tournament between eight Wizarding Schools. Hogwarts will be hosting but the other schools will be sending their teams to stay for the duration and portkeys will be organized for some of their other students to come and watch the matches.
“Hogwarts will be putting forward one team,” she explained. “A Captain will be selected and they will be responsible for selecting a team of Hogwarts’ finest. I will be able to help and assist your training session etcetera but at the end of the day, it is Hogwarts’ team, not mine.
“The rules are the same as usual but due to safety regulations, the team must compromise of students in Fifth Year or above–”
“What?” Quinn Sedgwick interjected. “Some of our best players are younger than that!” I know immediately she is referring to Lily, who is the Slytherin Seeker but only a Second Year.
“I’m sorry,” Madame Jordan replied sadly. “Those are the rules. Now clearly, as you four are all Chasers, one of you will not be able to be on the actual team but I suggest that you elect that person to be Captain as they will already be experienced.” I looked around at the others, I had not thought about that and clearly neither had they. “Players do not necessarily have to come from the House teams but it would be my suggestion that they are as they will already be familiar with playing for an audience. I’ve scheduled try-out for Saturday morning and I expect you all to be there, hopefully with a Captain already selected, and we have set up a common room of sort for you and the eventual team to discuss things rather than in the changing rooms. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask,” she smiled.
“Which schools are participating,” Quinn Sedgwick and I asked simultaneously. Osman and Madame Jordan both chuckled.
“Durmstrang, Beauxbatons, Salem, Mahoutokoro, El Dorado, Madagascar and St Petersburg,” she said the last one with a slight grimace. “There’s more information in these files,” she pulled out four identical files and handed them to us. I flicked through to find it contains the rules, participating schools and the schedule for games. “Now I’ll let you get back to your Houses which are probably full of questions and I’ll see you tomorrow for try-outs and then I’ll be able to show the entire team to your new common room, I’ll send you a message about time and place but for now, that is it,” she smiled again and I could tell she was almost as excited about this Cup as the students were.
“So…” Lorcan began. We had escaped the havoc of the Ravenclaw common room once I had answered all their questions and were currently sitting in our favourite alcove in a deserted corridor.
“So…?” I repeated when he did not continue.
“Any idea who will be Captain?” he asked at last, although I do not think that was what was originally on his mind.
“No idea,” I shrugged. “It’ll either be me, James, Sedgwick or Arabella.”
“My bets are on Arabella. If it is either James or Sedgwick then there is no point in even entering as they will constantly be at each other’s throats and you are too good a Chaser not to play,” he teased.
“Arabella is good too,” I argued but knew it was pointless. Once Lorcan had decided on something it would take an awful lot to change his mind. “And surely if neither James nor Sedgwick is Captain that will mean they are both going to be on the team?”
“Yes but that might give them more incentive to cooperate than if one of them is bossing the other round,” Lorcan argued. “Besides, they are both so good it would be a waste not to have them on the team.”
“I wonder who else will be on the team then.”
“Well try-outs are tomorrow so it’s not like you have long to wait,” he chuckled.
“Are you going to try out?” While Lorcan wasn’t a part of the House team, I had seen him play Quidditch countless times at family get-togethers over the years and knew he had a wicked Beater’s arm.
“Against the River twins? Certainly not!” he laughed. Arabella’s brothers where, in all honesty, the best Beaters Hogwarts had seen since the War. “Besides, I would rather watch.”
“You’ll come to the try-outs tomorrow?”
5th December 2020
As I had predicted, the first snow fell two days ago. However, it was not until late last night that the snow really began to build and make up for lost time. There was a thick white blanket on the ground which I had to trudge through to get to the Quidditch pitch and the snow was making orientation somewhat difficult. Lorcan had kept to his word and was braving the cold to come and watch the try-outs but I could tell he was already regretting his decision as he pulled the collar of his cloak up against the biting wind.
I could see several other people fighting against the still falling snow but their figures were too distorted to be able to tell who they were. Today was the big day. Today was the selection of the Hogwarts School Team. The very first Hogwarts School Team. I must confess, I was a little underwhelmed as the snow was greatly detracting from the enjoyment.
“I always knew there was a reason I loved Madame Jordan,” Lorcan muttered beside me and I glanced up in surprise to see what he was talking about. In front of us, the Quidditch pitch gleamed bright and green. There was not a flake of snow falling within it and for several hundred meters above it as far as I could tell. She had enchanted the atmosphere to that it was nothing but a slightly crispy autumn day. I could not help but agree with Lorcan.
Inside, the stadium was alive with spectators as well as potential players. I could make out red robes, yellow robes, blue robes and even a selection of green robes. I bid goodbye to Lorcan who tried to ruffle my hair and wished me luck before heading over to where my cousin was engaged in a shouting match with Slytherin’s Captain. I knew their unusual silence from yesterday would not last long.
“Dominique!” a voice called and I looked over to see Arabella bounding over to me.
“Hello,” I nodded.
“Hey, I’ve decided that I want to be Captain,” she beamed. I stared at her blankly. “I mean I know Potter and Sedgwick think that one of them should be Captain but to be honest, they are both so good and so are you and well, I think I would get too nervous with so many people watching, I would much rather just be a Captain. I promise I will listen to all your suggestions of course,” she grinned.
“Uh… okay,” I stuttered in shock. I had not been expecting that.
“Thanks,” she grinned before turning to the other two House Captains. “Oi, you two,” she shouted. “Stop bickering and listen to your Captain!” she ordered and they both immediately stopped arguing to stare at her. I could not help but think that she was going to make a rather good Captain.
“What?” James asked dumbly after a moment of silence.
“Arabella has offered to be Captain,” I explained.
“Oh,” frowned Sedgwick, glancing at James with an unreadable expression.
“Yes, I have,” Arabella practically shouted. She was rather authoritative considering both James and Sedgwick were in the year above her. “And now that you two will be working together as a team,” she stressed. “I expect you to stop arguing or whatever the minute you set foot on this pitch.”
“Oh,” they said simultaneously, clearly taken aback by being bossed around by a Fifth Year. “Okay.” I had to supress a snort as they both looked at each other in horror. They almost sounded like twins the way they spoke in time.
“So have you four decided on a Captain?” Madame Jordan joined us.
“Arabella,” I nodded at the eager Hufflepuff.
“Oh good,” Madame Jordan looked somewhat relieved. “Well Miss Rivers, shall we get this try-out started?” Arabella nodded and turned to the ever growing crowd.
“Right!” she shouted over the noise. “If you’re just here to watch, please go to the stalls!” Over half of the crowd dispersed into stands while the others timidly shuffled towards Arabella. Well, some more timidly than others. “Now I’m really sorry but the Chaser positions have been filled by our Captains,” she informed them and was received with a slight groan as several people shuffled away. I can still remember Tamara’s face when I told her. She had been livid.
“Now if you are trying out for Seeker, stand over there,” Arabella gestured in the direction of the Gryffindor stands. “If you’re trying out for Beaters, stand over there,” she pointed to the Ravenclaw stands. “And potential Keepers, over there,” she indicated at the yellow hangings of the Hufflepuff stands. “Seekers and Beaters, take a seat, I want to find my Keeper first,” she called.
As the crowd by the Hufflepuff stands shuffled on their feet and my eyes were drawn to a figure standing calmly at the back of the group. He was tall and well built; his hair was dark and when my eyes finally moved to his face, my heart twisted almost painfully. There were those all too familiar yet unidentified serene blue eyes. And they were trying out for Keeper.
Hello there, sorry about the wait. So here it is, the second chapter, it lays the groundwork for the majority of the rest of the story and you get to see some new (or not so new if you've read my other stories) faces. Hope you enjoyed it and I love hearing your thoughts in a little review. Thanks for reading and if you're interested you can visit my blog, there is a link on my author's page. Thank again,