Chapter 1 : Preface - Quidditch Quarterly
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Preface - Quidditch Quarterly
Every muscle of my body was screaming in pain.
The flat was dark as I opened the door and stiffly entered, tossing my Quidditch bag just to the side. Glancing at the clock on the wall, I noted how late it was - almost eleven. This meant that I was alone in the flat for at least another hour or two before my girlfriend, Julia, got home from work. To some, the absence of their significant other would be disappointing. To me, it was a relief.
Wincing all the way there, I ambled my way to the couch and gingerly sat down. It felt so nice to be off my feet after the practice from hell I had just been through. With a sigh, I knew I would have to run an ice bath if I had any hope of movement the next day. What was most disappointing was the fact that practice hadn’t helped one bit.
The Falmouth Falcons still sucked.
It wasn’t that the team consisted of bad players, our players were actually quite brilliant. It was the team as one that sucked, but it wasn’t until I joined the team that we started to go downhill. The other team members couldn’t quite come to grips with the fact the son of the Wizarding world’s savior was on their team. Ever since, everyone constantly bickered, butted heads and tried to be the center of attention. Oh, and did I mention that our Seeker quit?
Quite frankly, if they wanted my “fame” for the blood that ran in my veins, they could have it. All I wanted to do was play the sport I loved. If we had any chance of getting to the League Cup this year so we were in the running for the World Cup, our team had to pull their heads out of their arses and start acting like a team.
I put my feet up on the table, dislodging a few of the papers and magazines there. But there is one magazine logo I recognized instantly even if it is just the corner of it, one I distinctly told Julia I never wanted in the flat. She must’ve brought it one day when she was here by herself and forgot it.
It is the most recent volume of Quidditch Quarterly. And gracing this issue’s cover was a girl I hadn’t seen or spoken to since I graduated Hogwart’s. She was just as beautiful as the last time I saw her. The picture, like all other magical photographs, moved. It started with her holding her broom across the back of her shoulders, staring straight at the camera with her chin up defiantly. A flash, and the broom is in front of her tilted away, her hands around the handle. Another flash and she’s holding the broom horizontally out in front of her.
What I didn’t understand was why she was on the cover of Quidditch Quarterly because from what my brother Albus told me (because he was best friends with her), she was a Racer. Then I remembered Julia trying to tell me about a girl who was making an attempt to join the Quidditch Gaming World, and not as a part of the Women’s League. From what Julia has told me, she was gaining quite a following in her efforts and soon the Department of Magical Games and Sports would have no choice but to grant her what she wanted.
Why did it never occur to me that it might be her? She loved Quidditch almost as much or more than I did and she always did say that if she couldn’t play with the “big boys” she wouldn’t play at all. When we were in school, she had even gone as far as to --
No, James don’t think about that. It’s in the past.
It may have been in the past, but that didn’t mean it hurt any less. She had lied to me, betrayed my trust, betrayed the team and the people who had become her friends. And if there were two things I valued it was trust and friendship. She didn’t mean any more to me than she did walking off the Hogwart’s Quidditch Pitch the day I found out what she had done and who she really was.
But if that was true, then why did it make my heart double in rhythm when I saw her face again, even if it was just a picture?
Out of curiosity, I opened the magazine flipping to the designated page where her interview was. The first picture was a two page spread of her laying on her broom wearing what was possibly the tightest pair of jeans I’d ever seen, a skimpy bustier, and a pair of high heels. In short, she looked amazing, holding the camera captivated with her come hither smile. The title of the article was Quidditch Revolution: One Witch’s Movement.
I took a deep, steadying breath as I prepared to let a woman I kicked out of my life five years ago, back into it.
The Ministry of Magic’s Department of Magical Games and Sports has had their hands full with Vesper Haddox. If the name sounds familiar to you, it is probably because you know her for her Broom Racing career. For the past four years, Vesper has had fans captivated with her speed and control on a broomstick, winning race after race and cup after cup, unsurpassed by veteran racers twice her age. And now, at the age of 21, Vesper is ready to expand her horizons and skill with a broomstick to the world of Quidditch.
But if you’re thinking she’s going to be joining the WQL, you’d be wrong. For the past ten months, Vesper has been leading a crusade in the Quidditch community to allow women to play alongside the men. Having raised enough hell, she’s almost got her wish. Just this week, Vesper filed an injunction with the Department of Magical Games and Sports saying that dividing the leagues into men’s and women’s was sexist and that if a woman wanted to try out for a men’s team she should have every right. “The way I see it,” Vesper told a group of reporters at a press conference, “is that if a woman can give birth, she can certainly take a bludger that has been hit by a male Beater. Have you ever seen a women’s Quidditch game? They are just as entertaining, fast paced, and brutal as the men’s, if not more so.”
As we wait for Vesper to meet us at the studio for the photoshoot and interview, she is fifteen minutes late. Her twin sister and agent, Quinn Haddox is pacing, clearly frustrated. Finally, Vesper shows up striding in wearing a pair of worn and holed jeans and a leather jacket. “You’re late!” Quinn tells her, but Vesper seems unfazed. Instead, she rolls her eyes and approaches us, outstretching a slender hand with a smile. “I’m sorry I’m late,” she says. “I’m Vesper.” As soon as she takes the seat across from us, make-up artists swarm around her and begin working for the photoshoot. Vesper looks annoyed, but she takes it in stride. “All in a day’s work I guess,” she jokes.
When we ask Vesper if her Quidditch fascination is something fairly new, she scoffs and tells us that it is not. Vesper followed Quidditch from a young age and always thought there was an injustice in the way women were separated from men in the league. She even played during her school days telling us, “The only time I really enjoyed Quidditch and felt equal on the pitch was when I was playing with the guys, proving to them and myself that I was just as tough and just as good as them.”
There is no official rule saying that women cannot play alongside men, but then again, there is not a rule saying that they can. This is something Vesper wishes to change. Since there is no such rule saying women can play on a man’s team, everyone assumes they cannot, so Vesper was surprised when she went to her first Quidditch try-out, she was turned away for being a woman. “I was shocked to say the least,” she admits, refusing to name the team she tried out for. “The only thing I can say about their coach is that he’s going to regret not having me on his team when I get my way because I will make sure the team I play for crushes his.”
“I’m truly proud of what Vesper is trying to do and stand behind her one hundred percent,” says Ginny Potter, former Holyhead Harpies Chaser. “I’m actually kind of jealous that I didn’t think of it when I played.” That seems to be the consensus of opinion among the female Quidditch players of the world. They see Vesper as a guiding light to a new world in the gaming community. “There’s no doubt in my mind that Vesper will get what she wants; she’s really good at that sort of thing,” her sister Quinn tells us with a laugh. Well, she certainly seems close. Over the past few weeks, Vesper has been meeting with various team owners and their coaches discussing what to do if she gets her way. There are still some teams who are refusing to give Vesper a trial because of her fairer sex, but others are more than willing. “I’m eternally grateful to the few teams who are willing to give me the opportunity to try-out for their teams, it gives me a renewed faith. And I don’t hold a grudge against those who aren’t either because they weren’t rude about it, I understand that people fear change and this is a big one that people are going to have to get used to,” Vesper says.
Just as the make-up artists finish with Vesper’s make-up, we ask if she has anything to say to those who doubt her. She adjusts herself and thinks for a moment. Licking her lips, she says, “Anyone that doubts me doesn’t have the right to until they see me play. People are always going to talk, so you might as well give them something to talk about, right?”
One thing is definitely for sure, whether Vesper Haddox gets her wish and is able to play alongside men in The International Association of Quidditch, she has awakened something that can never go back to sleep. “If Vesper fails, I can almost guarantee there will be others to take her place,” says Domino Dacre of Q.U.A.B.B.L.E (Quidditch Union for the Administration and Betterment of the British League and its Endeavors ). “The amount of mail we’ve received about her and what she’s attempting to do is astounding whether it is positive or negative. She has certainly struck a chord with Quidditch fans all over the world.”
Although I was impressed that Vesper had managed to go through the entire interview without the use of one swear word, when I finished the article, I realized that I started hyperventilating. I could hear my blood rushing in my ears and my cheeks were flushed. As I turned my gaze to the last photograph of Vesper wearing a skimpier, more revealing version of a Quidditch kit as she posed rather suggestively once again with her broom, my eye caught something. As Vesper turned her head, the neckline moved aside and there, hung around her throat was a silver necklace with a miniature silver snitch. How did I know it was silver when that particular photograph was in black and white?
Because I was the one who had given it to her.
I've had this idea rolling around in my brain for awhile now and I'd just thought I'd post it to see what everyone thought! This story is not going to be updated quite as frequently as Fragile Things since that story is my baby.
Obviously this story is going to be a James S. Potter/OC story. For everyone's information, James is 22, Vesper (my OC) is 21. They were a year apart in Hogwart's. For the use of my story, I've split the professional quidditch teams into men's and women's kind of like basketball. Even though I think they already are (I can't find my copy of Quidditch Through The Ages to double check).
What caused them to not see or speak to one another for five years? Hmm. You're just going to have to read and find out! :)