Chapter 4 : Quidditch Fun
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Reference Cast List:
Elsa Yaxley - Rachel Leigh Cook
Cordelia Crouch - Eliza Dushku
Sirius Black - Jared Padalecki
James Potter - Gespard Ulliel
(chapter image by Camila @ TDA)
The quiet of the library brought solace as Elsa sat with her Transfiguration textbook as she slowly jotted down the important points of the chapter she was reading. It was not unusual to find Elsa sitting alone with a book in front of her, or for her to have ink stains on her finger tips and chin. While everyone else was out enjoying the last warm rays of sunshine, Elsa was content to sit studying in the seclusion of the library, much to the disappointment of her friends. Though she promised to spend all weekend with Vera, Cordelia and Tabitha, she had managed to slip away from them quite easily.
Flipping the page of her book, Elsa looked around to see if anyone had joined her amongst the shelves. Satisfied that she was still alone, she returned to her notes. She could vaguely hear the sounds of laughter from outside as friends enjoyed the calmness of the weekends. It took everything she had to keep her attention on her Transfiguration notes rather than slamming the book shut and rushing off to join her friends. It did surprise her, however, to find that they hadn’t come after her. Almost as soon as she thought it, Cordelia rushed into the library with Vera behind her.
“There you are!” Cordelia screeched snatching Elsa’s textbook from her.
“You promised you’d spend the weekend with us!” Vera chided her with a light laugh in her voice. “Come on! Potter is challenging some Second years to a mock game of Quidditch and somehow he’s even convinced the new referee to watch the match!”
Elsa scowled in disapproval of James and Sirius humiliating the Second years that were foolish enough to believe they could win against them. While she enjoyed a good game of Quidditch like anyone else, she did not agree with the tactics some of the students used to beat their opponents. Shaking her head in disapproval, Elsa followed after her friends all the same, if for nothing else than to get her Transfiguration textbook back from Cordelia.
As they arrived at the pitch, she could hear the excited chatter of the students who had gathered to watch the mock game of Quidditch. The Quidditch season wasn’t supposed to start for another month, giving the houses enough time to find replacements for those who had left the year before. Elsa knew that there were three spots open on the Ravenclaw team alone and tryouts were in less than a week.
“You should join them,” Vera muttered quietly. “You know Black and Potter better than anyone else. You could help the second years win.”
“Don’t be foolish Vera. You know I don’t play Quidditch,” Elsa said rolling her eyes.
Robert Lebrun had been trying for two years to get her to join the Ravenclaw house team since he had seen her practicing with Sirius. He had felt horrible after a game the Gryffindor’s had lost to Hufflepuff because he hadn’t been able to catch the quaffle that had put Hufflepuff ahead even with the snitch being caught by James. So she had promised to help Sirius practice by playing chaser long enough to score four goals and Sirius stopped the half dozen other shots. But Robert didn’t see it like that. He saw Elsa as wasting a talent that was better spent on the Pitch than off it. It didn’t matter that Dominic played beater and Damon played Chaser for Slytherin. No, Elsa was simply wasting her talent by avoiding her brother and his friend.
“You found her!” James said, jogging over to them. “You’ll fill our chaser spot won’t you?” Sirius says. “You’re pretty good.”
“No, I won’t,” Elsa grumbled and crossed her arms over her chest. “Do I look like I’m prepared to play Quidditch?”
“That’s easily fixed,” Sirius said .
Vera pulled out a pair of trousers, knee high leather Quidditch boots and a long blue t-shirt with the Ravenclaw crest on it from her book bag and tossed them at Elsa. A quick change and she was indeed ready to play Quidditch according to the boys. However, she was not in the mood to play with them.
“I’ll play,” She said a moment later, “against you.”
Sirius looked at her dumbfounded, his mouth hanging in disbelief. James laughed and punched Sirius in the arm, before they both mounted their brooms and flew off. Elsa stood there a moment wonder what she had just agreed to and then groaned when Vera and Cordelia laughed at her.
Shaking off her shock, Elsa turned and walked towards the second years that were going to play against Sirius, James and the rest of the Gryffindor team. Standing there she took in the sort she had just agreed to help. While she had no doubt that they knew how to play Quidditch, there was a difference in knowing and having played, especially against a bunch of sixth years that had been on their house team for three years or longer. It only helped that she had been watching them play for just as long, and if she could exploit their weaknesses the way they would their opponents then she could have a slight chance to win, though that was as likely as taming a dragon for a pet.
“You there,” she pointed to a small boy with short sandy blond hair and big bright brown eyes. “You ever played before?”
“I played with my dad last summer. He wants me to join Hufflepuff this year,” He answered. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to play Keeper. Names Edmond Danvers.”
“That’ll work Edmond. How about you?” Elsa asked a redheaded, freckled girl who looked far too excited to be of any use.
“I’d prefer seeker, I’ve got a great eye for catching small things,” she muttered, watching James and Sirius more than paying attention to Elsa and the others around her.
“Adele’s good,” Edmond said, “I’ve seen her pluck a fly out of the air and then release it. She’d be a good Seeker.”
“Against Potter, she better be. He’s a great Seeker for a Chaser. Think you can handle it?” Elsa asked.
“Yes ma’am, I can.”
“Good. Now, we’ll need two more chasers,” Elsa looked at two tall boys who were trying to look like they hadn’t heard her. “Oi! You there, you two can play Chaser with me.”
“Do we have to?” one whined and the other followed. “They’re going to pulverize us.”
“Not if I can help it,” Elsa said, as she summoned a broom to use. “I’ve watched them play for three years. They have weaknesses just like everyone else. We can beat them if you believe we can and if we try our hardest and don’t give in. Potter’s their Seeker, he’s going to be paying attention to finding the snitch, that means he will only have to deal with Adele. Black’s their keeper, he favours his right side, so shoot for his left. Hocker, Wilde, and Burke are good chasers, but they are cocky and fall for the same tricks. Keep them guessing and we can win this.”
“What should we watch out for with them?”
“Hocker is arrogant; he’ll ignore the other two if he gets the quaffle, which makes stealing it difficult. So let’s make sure he doesn’t get his hands on it. Wilde is quick on the throw; he can miss his shots because he hasn’t calculated right. That should make it easy on you Edmond. If he flanks left, he’ll shoot right. Watch his patterns, he never changes them. If you see an opening to take a shot, then do so, but watch where their Keeper is, he’ll be watching us. Trying to find our patterns, try to mix things up,” Elsa explained and smiled. “And even if we lose, remember, we tried hard, and we had fun. Quidditch is about fun, even against Potter and Black.”
She smiled at the second years before she mounted her broomstick and kicked off. Flying was something she enjoyed when she got over the initial fear that she was going to fall, but once she was up in the air Elsa could enjoy the beauty of the world from an entirely different point of view. Below her, she could see a crowd growing to watch them play. It wasn’t a game that would count towards anything. Most of the kids on her team were from Hufflepuff and Gryffindor, while they were playing against almost all of the Gryffindor House team. It was going to be an interesting game to say the least, and she was going to enjoy it regardless of the outcome. It had been far too long since she had let herself enjoy playing a game of Quidditch.
Madam Hooch took to the pitch followed by the rest of the second years. Elsa looked at her team behind her, and smiled reassuringly at them. This was going to be interesting, and she was going to let them have fun at it. As Hooch explained the rules of the game to everyone, making sure there would be no cheating and the like, Elsa watched as her opponents took their places. The only thing missing from their game were Beaters, but this was about fun, not about beating the tar out of their opponents with bludgers.
The quaffle was tossed in the air, and Wilde grabbed it before Elsa could and zipped off towards the goal posts. He was quick on a broomstick, but so were the two boys she had selected to play chaser with her. As she flew after the Gryffindor Chasers, Elsa watched as Hayden knocked the Quaffle from Wilde’s hands and Jayce caught it before it fell too far out of reach. They flew off together towards Sirius, ignoring the hooting and hollering from the crowd watching them.
The Quaffle was passed back and forth several times between the two boys before they reached the goal posts. If they scored, Elsa knew they’d never hear the end of it from Sirius. Of course, both boys were Gryffindors and scoring against one of their own outweighed any house loyalty they held. Jayce feinted left and Sirius followed, as the Quaffle soared through the air towards Hayden who took the shot and scored.
The game continued on for what seemed like an eternity, each team scoring on the other. The screeching of the crowd giving Elsa an adrenaline rush she had never quite felt before. The thrill of the game had her racing off to catch the Quaffle before Hocker could take the shot he was lining up for, a shot their Keeper had been counting on and blocked. Edmond passed her the quaffle and she shot off down the pitch in the opposite direction. Sirius knew her all too well, and that was half the reason she had been avoiding taking a shot on him. Flanked by Wilde and Burke, Elsa drew them in before plummeting her broomstick towards the ground and darting out of reach of the boys. She flew around the goal posts waiting for Sirius to give her that perfect shot she had been holding back. Ducking and dodging out of the way of the Gryffindor team proved difficult, but as soon as Sirius was occupied with watching what she was going to do next, Elsa took her shot, whipping the quaffle over his head as he dodged left to catch her feinted shot.
The crowd roared as the snitch was finally spotted, James and Adele raced after it as the game continued down below them. If Adele caught it, the second years would win. Elsa silently prayed that the young girl was as good as she said she was. Everything around her seemed to speed up as the excitement gave them all an extra boost, sending them flying after each other faster and harder than they had before. It was now a race to score as many points as they could before the snitch was caught. If they could score enough that if the other team caught the snitch they might still win.
Elsa passed the quaffle to Hayden who flew off towards Sirius, scoring just as Adele caught the snitch in a dramatic race. Just as James almost had his fingers wrapped around the snitch, Adele flew in knocking him out of the way and taking the glory for the second years’ team.
The second years landed and began congratulating each other, while Elsa watched them from above, a smile on her face. They had done fantastically and she couldn’t have been prouder. They believed in themselves and in the end they had prevailed against the better team.
“You really should play,” Sirius said, flying to watch the team below them.
“Not you too,” Elsa groaned and waved down at Adele who was displaying her snitch for all to see.
“I think we’d have a harder time beating Ravenclaw if you did play,” he added as James joined them, pouting that he hadn’t caught the snitch. “You alright Prongs?”
“That girl is insane,” James said nodding towards Adele. “She’ll make an amazing seeker if she joins her house team.”
“Hayden and Jayce could fill your reserve spots on Gryffindor though, if they passed your tryouts,” Elsa suggested. “They are pretty good; they scored a bunch of shots off Sirius.”
“I let those through,” Sirius said and Elsa rolled her eyes.
“Justify it however you want to Sirius, they bested you more than once today. Hopefully your egos aren’t too bruised for the first game next month. I hear it’s supposed to be against Slytherin.”
“We have to fill our empty spots first,” James said. “Do you know any good beaters Padfoot?”
“Nope, but we’ll find them. Tryouts are next week aren’t they?”
Elsa listened to them chatter on about Quidditch for what seemed like an eternity before she landed beside Cordelia and Vera who had gone and grabbed Robert to watch the game. Of course, she shouldn’t have been surprised that Robert would watch her play. He’d wanted her on the team and the game had only given him another reason to bug her about it.
“Don’t ask. The answer is still the same. I am not playing for Ravenclaw,” Elsa said and went to put her broom away.
“Come on Yaxley, you were great, even Black thinks so. You should join us. We could use you. We haven’t won against Gryffindor in four years. Please?” Robert pleaded with her.
Sighing she looked at the Captain of the Ravenclaw team. He was as fanatical about Quidditch as half the school was, but there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do to win, including resorting to spying on the other teams. It had bothered Elsa that on more than one occasion Robert had tried to convince her that spying on Gryffindor’s practices would make them a better team. The problem wasn’t that they couldn’t win; it was that Robert asked the impossible from his teammates and Quidditch lost its joy. Half the team went through the motions for the sake of playing.
“Not so long as you are Captain,” Elsa said coldly, put her broom away and pushed passed him.
Cordelia and Vera were waiting for her when she left the broom locker. She scowled at her friends, snatching her book bag from Vera and walked off. So much for spending the weekend with them, Elsa mused and stormed off.
Several hours later, Elsa threw her Transfiguration textbook on the top of her trunk. Still upset about Robert waylaying her the way he had, she had hoped that immersing herself in school work would help her forget. It didn’t matter to her that she was good at playing Quidditch, was it not her choice on whether or not she joined the house team? Watching Quidditch was fun enough for her.
Deciding that sitting in her room sulking wasn’t doing her any good; Elsa tucked her school books into her trunk and went in search of something to do. She had promised Vera, Tabitha and Cordelia she would spend the weekend with them.
She found them downstairs in the common room; Cordelia with her back to the wall, Vera with her nose in a book, and Tabitha reading Witch Weekly, by the fire. It was a wonder how they were all even friends. Each girl was strikingly different than the other, but she wouldn't give that up for the world.
Tabitha flipped the page of her magazine as Elsa stood there watching them from the dormitory stairs. Listening carefully she could hear the tutting of her friend as she disagreed with something in the article she now read. It was only when Elsa turned her attention to Cordelia that she realized something was the matter. Vera and Tabitha were fighting again. That wasn't unusual but it was disturbing.
"Would you two please stop this?" Cordelia groaned, standing up a minute later. "This is childish! If Elsa doesn't want to spend the weekend with us that's her choice, but you two are acting immature!"
"If you and Vera didn't embarrass her in the first place none of this would have happened," Tabitha snapped, tossing her magazine onto the table in front of her. "You had to find Robert didn't you? You had to make Elsa's fun game of Quidditch into something more? Why couldn't you just leave well enough alone?"
"Tabby, you're being ridiculous. All we were trying to do was help Elsa realize she needs a bit of fun in her life. She's always worrying about school or her brother, she needs to do something other than that," Vera said with a shrug, not so much as looking up from her book.
Clearing her throat, Elsa walked over to her friends. "Am I interrupting your argument?" she asked, watching them carefully. They didn't need to know how much she had overheard, or that she had been eavesdropping in the first place. No, as far as she was concerned, they didn't need to know in the slightest.
"Sorry," the muttered together and looked at her expectantly.
"So am I," Elsa replied, snatching Vera's book from her and placing it gently on the table. "So, what's the plan for this afternoon?"
"You aren't mad are you?" Cordelia asked hesitantly.
"Fuming, but I'll get over it," Elsa said with a smile. "Besides, you're right, I do need a bit of fun in my life. Quidditch just isn't it. I enjoy it but I wouldn't want to play it all the time. It'd be too stressful on top of school work. You know how horrible I am with managing stress."
"Like last year," Cordelia laughed remembering how badly Elsa looked by the end of term.
"Let’s just forget you involved Robert into the match earlier, and I'll forgive you guys."
"Why don't we go stalk some cute boys?" Tabitha said a moment later.
"Do we look like those crazy Gryffindor girls?" Vera asked.
"Umm....no, but it would be fun."
"I'd rather not. How about we spend the afternoon by the lake? It's too nice outside to spend it indoors. We could watch the boys from there." Elsa suggested.
After the girls all agreed, they packed up their things, changed into something a little cooler, and left the common room behind. Watching her friends forget about their troubles, Elsa realized that she wouldn’t give them up for the world. No matter how many times they fought over the silliest thing, she knew that in the end they would forgive each other.
Author's Note: Beta'ed by the fantabulous Kaityb. Thank you so much for beat'ing this. I hope you all enjoy this latest update. Please leave me a review and let me know what you thought.
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