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Chapter 3 : Chapter the Third: Really Becoming the Game
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sweet CI by kaileena_sands
Puddlemere United recruitment trials are one of the toughest things that a witch or wizard could put themselves through, apart from the Annual Swedish Broom Race, defeating Dark wizards, or training and living with dragons. Being one of the best teams in the league and the World Cup Champions two years running, they expected nothing less than the few who managed to be spit out of their monster of all trials.
To date four wizards have died due to the intense trials. The first three perished back in the Middle Ages when the trials were still new and very barbaric. The most recent was in 1932, when a Keeper hopeful got bludgeoned to death by Bludgers (hence the name, and being made of iron certainly didn’t hurt) because his broom out of fear refused to press forward through a Bludger evasion course, leaving him a sitting duck. Needless to say he didn’t make the team.
Rose knew all of this, having read the books on it, and having Puddlemere’s lead Chaser as her older cousin. In her last three years as a reserve for the second worst team in the league he had boasted endlessly about how much better his team was than hers. In a loving brotherly way of course. Loving occasionally meaning something akin to dumping a bucket of sparkly goo that would cause her to turn, wait for it, Puddlemere blue; on days where there was big publicity for her games. She rather quickly would retaliate by doing something like hitting him with a leg-locker curse as he walked up to a podium for an endorsement deal.
Currently though, she was about to endure the final and most trying part of joining the Puddlemere team, the initiation practice.
Of her group of hopefuls, Rose was the only one to make it through the annual tryouts. The day before she had happily signed her contract, relieved to finally be done with the almost unbearable torture so that she could finally start practice. Then she entered the locker room for her first day of practice. Instead of being presented with a Puddlemere uniform that had her name on it, she was presented with a giant golden suit by the team’s Coach Oliver Wood.
“What is this supposed to be?” Rose asked the Coach, looking up from it to see the rest of the team gathering behind him. Of everything he and his best friend had told her, James had failed to mention anything about the golden suit.
“Sorry Weasley, but everyone has to do it to be on the team.” Coach Wood answered with a sympathetic smile, he gestured to the rest of the team; James, Scorpius, Coach Wood’s son Dirk, a short lady with short dark hair, a middle aged blonde bloke, and a very old but abrasive looking old man. Then he handed her the suit.
Rose looked to James as everyone went to their own lockers. He was grinning wildly, but took the suit, slung it over his shoulder and led her to a locker. The locker she was happy to see, had her last name WEASLEY emblazoned on it in a large bold print, right beside the one that said POTTER, which was beside MALFOY.
“So this’ll be yours. Sorry I couldn’t tell you anything about it Rosie, but we had to swear an oath. I am proud of you though.” James said handing her the suit.
She reluctantly took it, her nose wrinkling at the smell. “Ugh, this is horrid.”
“That is another part of the oath, to never ever wash the suit. It has only been replaced twice.” James smirked as he changed into his Puddlemere blues.
“Don’t worry Rosebud. We all did it. James turned purple from the smell when he put it on. Dress up.” Scorpius Malfoy said winking. It did nothing to comfort her, even if he was usually the nicer one.
“If you really don’t believe them, everyone who has ever been on the team has had their picture done in it. They are all on that wall.” Coach Wood said pointing to the wall that separated the two sides of the locker room.
Rose had shed her outer clothing and tossed it into her locker before she looked at the wall. It was covered from nearly the top to bottom in pictures of mostly young people the golden suit. It ranged from the most recent, Scorpius then James (both with goofy grins) in moving instant photo type pictures, to the old standard of small moving paintings.
It made her feel a bit better that others had to suffer through it, until she finally put the suit on. Once she zipped up the back, it immediately began to inflate until it took the shape of a giant Golden Snitch, with wings and all. At the surprise of it, Rose tried to move finding herself restricted to only bending knees and elbows, and her peripheral vision was limited.
“Who is up for another game of Snitch Snatch?” Called Coach Wood, as he made his way out to the pitch, motioning for the rest of the team to follow.
Snitch Snatch, as Rose would find out in a few minutes; is a Puddlemere tradition and secret game in which the newest team member (Rose) is stuffed into an ancient and giant Snitch suit. They are charmed into the air just like a real Snitch, sporadic movements and all. Then violently pursued by the rest of his or hers new team, until one of them usually a Chaser or Seeker could get a good enough of a hold on the suit to end the game.
It is a game that could last as long as an average Quidditch match, depending on how long the team wanted to let the new member suffer before ending it. Sometimes they had been known to go out for a spot of tea before coming back to catch the new teammate. New players have also been known to somehow take the suit off during the game, completely thrashed from being a Snitch. Those who did were ousted from the team before they managed to reach the ground.
Not knowing any of this yet, Rose reluctantly followed her new teammates out on to the pitch. Ahead of her the team stopped and turned to face her, all with the same knowing smile. James had the look he always got when he knew he was on the winning team of a family snowball fight, or in an eating competition with her father. Scorpius at least had a sympathetic smile, if not with a hint of James’ competitive air.
Coach Wood approached her with his wand out.
“Alright Weasley, you get a 15 second head start. Then well, good luck.” He said for everyone to hear, then tapped his wand to the suit.
Rose wondered what she should be doing in those seconds, as running would be complicated. Her question was answered seconds later when the Snitch Suit suddenly began to shudder and hover above the ground. Rose looked at the rest of team in surprise, and in an instant the suit shot off into the sky above the pitch.
“What the- Ahhhhh!!!!!” Rose wailed.
The team had begun their countdown.
“Come ‘ere little birdie!” One of the Beaters shouted before she kicked off, a short stocky woman by the name of Nora Howard.
The team lifted off the ground, all calling taunts and whistling at Rose. None of which she really heard, as she was currently sailing to the far side of the pitch in a jagged zig-zag motion while screaming bloody murder. She had never experienced somthing mad like that before, and she had no way to stop it. Fantastic.
James and Scorpius flew along at the front of the pack. Naturally, two of the fastest players on the team being the Chaser and Seeker, it was easier for them to just circle the pitch and watch.
“Did you see the look on her face when the suit took off? If only we had one at Hogwarts, I would have made her wear it every practice.” James shouted with laughter over the wind.
“I almost feel bad about not warning her. Almost.” Scorpius chuckled in agreement.
The girl in question was zooming across the pitch towards the swarm of Quidditch players, causing them to peel away for cover. Eliciting from her high pitched screams at each turn towards a player as she tried to cover herself. After only a few minutes Rose felt as if she were a hummingbird, a particularly large and dizzy hummingbird who might upchuck her breakfast if her golden prison continued with it’s barrel rolling turns.
“Dammint! Someone catch meee! Ahhh!” Rose screamed as the suit dropped suddenly towards the ground.
The majority of the team stopped in the air above her; the more senior members of the team grouped up to chat while the younger and newer members to join their flock knocked the Snitch Suit before finally catching it and welcoming its prisoner to the team.
The more sporting members, James, Scorpius, Nora Howard, and the teams Keeper Dirk Wood stayed in pursuit of the screeching human snitch. Rose watched helplessly as she was thrown about. Now that she was part of the team (if she could survive the tradition), she would make sure that the atrocious practice was banned. It wasn’t the Middle Ages any more after all.
“Jamie, Score! Someone catch me already!!” Rose barked at them when she flew past the area they were hovering, waiting to see if the Snitch Suit would become predictable.
“We’d better catch her soon. I don’t need her holding a grudge over it later.” James said loudly.
“Not if I catch her first!” shouted another voice that wasn’t Scorpius, or the odd Beater lady who had taken a fancy to Rose.
It was the team’s prized Keeper, who took his fathers place on Puddlemere United, and perhaps became an even bigger star and heartthrob among the female and some male fans. Rose included. James and Scorpius thought he was a tosser.
“Don’t care! Just catch me!” Rose shouted back.
Wood shot past James and Scorpius chasing after the giant screaming Golden Snitch, followed by the Beater. Seeing that sparked the competitive sides in both of James and Scorpius, or all of James. Not that Rose cared. She was just glad that they were trying to catch her.
As Wood was quickly closing in on Rose, so was Scorpius. As the Seeker he naturally had the drive to beat out the other Seeker and win, or in Wood’s case Keeper, by catching the Snitch however big or noisy it was. He also had the faster broom.
Scorpius was able to match Wood’s speed when Rose made an involuntary sharp turn in the opposite direction. But Wood wasn’t giving in so easy.
“You won’t get her this time!” Wood shouted, and then elbowed Scorpius in the ribs.
Scorpius slammed back into him twice as hard, both swearing. But it caused Wood to wobble and veer off course, giving Scorpius the edge. Behind him was James, and bringing up the tail end was Nora Howard. James shouted something incoherent, but it looked as though he were waving him on.
He closed in on Rose, who was now spinning around quickly not to far off the ground, and trying to cover her mouth. Rose looked up to see that Scorpius was hovering above her. Her jaw dropped, and started willing the suit to move away when she realized what he was about to do. A move she had only seen him do back at Hogwarts, and once at a family game. That was the first and last time she’d ever seen Auntie Audrey play Quidditch.
Seconds later she felt herself being tackled into the grass of the pitch. It luckily wasn’t a painful landing, thanks to the suit being a buffer, but it was jarring. She wiped the hair from her face and looked up at him.
“You’ve just been Snatched.” Scorpius said with a smirk.
“What is that, a catchphrase? Get off me so I can throw up.” Rose scoffed and fidgeted.
She rolled over in the suit so that she was hands and knees on the ground, and so Scorpius was no longer on top of her. The rest of the team approached, many landing nearby. But she paid them no heed to buckle over and empty her stomach out on the grass.
“That is my cousin, always the perfect lady.” James announced, then went to go help Rose up to her feet.
Coach Wood came over to her with an old instant camera. Rose glared at it, while spitting the rest of the sick from her mouth.
“Say cheese.” Said Coach Wood, holding the camera at the ready.
Rose wiped the remainder of the mess off her mouth with a sleeve and looked up with a crude smile, “Cheese.”
There were plenty congratulations, and hearty slaps on the back as the team returned to the lockers after practice. Rose wasn’t paying attention, she was only thinking about getting the stifling suit off so that she could shower and then murder her cousin in cold blood, to be followed by his best friend. Clearly she handled being surprised well.
“Bloody unzip me! James!” Rose grumbled when she had unsuccessfully tried to reach the zipper on her back for countless minutes, leaving her flailing about like some muggle kids toy being used as muggle kid would.
“Hold on it is alright. I’ll get you.” Answered someone who wasn’t James.
She could feel the suit being unzipped and simultaneously deflate as he did so. Rose shrugged the annoyance from her shoulders and kicked it away. A throat clearing caused her to turn and see who had helped her, only to have her jaw drop for a second time that day. There stood Dirk Wood, freshly showered in only a pair of black boxers right before her. Instantly sending the blush from her cheeks down her equally undressed body.
“Thanks, you are…” Rose sputtered embarrassed.
“Dirk Wood.” He held his hand out for her to shake, “We didn’t get much of a chance for introductions earlier.”
“I know who you are. I was just about to say.” She smiled, shaking his hand while unable to remove her eyes from his toned chest.
“It is nice to finally have a beautiful girl on the team for a change.” Dirk replied.
“I can hear you, you know! I wanted to be the first one to flirt with the new girl!” Nora shouted from the opposite side of the lockers.
“Eh, well that is too flattering.” Rose turned away to try and hide her blush with her hair and by opening her locker.
“You are cute when you blush.” Dirk continued boldly, coming closer.
“Oi, that is about enough. Wood quit hitting on my little cousin. It’s sickening.” James spoke up from beside them.
“Jamie quit it. I am not 15, I can handle myself.” Rose hissed, and swatted at James arm.
“It’s alright, I get it. He is just playing the protective older cousin, I know the feeling. Perhaps we will have this conversation in a more suitable location.” Dirk said, nodding his head at her and giving a look she didn't understand to James, then went to his locker to continue getting dressed.
“I am going to hex you for that.” Rose threatened, pushing James against his locker.
“Not if you want to keep your hair that length.” James replied, grinning.
“He is only looking out for you.” Scorpius said grabbing up Rose’s wand before she could get it and turn her cousin into a coat hanger. “Wood has been known for being a love’em and leave’em type when it comes to the ladies. And he is a complete wanker.”
“And a tosser.” James added, releasing himself from Rose’s grasp and tying up his trainers.
“Aww, you figured out I’m a lady Score? How nice.” Rose said sweetly as she sauntered over to Scorpius.
“Is that all you got from that Rosie?” James remarked, rolling his eyes.
“Sometimes it is hard to tell, but I’ve always known little Rosebud.” Scorpius said suggestively with a wink continuing the jest as he waved her wand in front of her.
“Hey Scorpius, we’ve got dinner with the girls in 20 minutes. Hurry this up.” James interrupted.
Scorpius and Rose shrugged, breaking apart. Even though they weren’t related, they had grown closer over the years since he had become best friends with James in third year. All this time later he was almost as much family as James was. Though he didn’t look it.
“Right. Go shower Rose. You smell awful.” Scorpius said pushing her toward the shower.
“Gladly, pretty sure my skin would have sizzled if you touched me any longer.” Rose replied snatching her wand back and sticking her tongue out at the boys as they left.
*tiny edits 12-12-11*
A/N: Hi *waves*. Thank you for reading! Sorry for the wait, I've got a lot of stuff on my plate right now. I'm okay with this chapter, but are you? How doth thine like everyone's relationships with eachother? I'm a little iffy with it. But oh well. Please review, with any and all thoughts you have on it whatever they are, however bad. Thanks again! :D
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