Chapter 2 : Good Luck
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Shannyn Sossamon as Isabel Bennett
Logan Lerman as Albus Potter
Sean Biggerstaff as Oliver Wood
Cobi Jones as Robin Thomas
"Oi, Quaffle coming your way!"
Quick as a flash, Isabel's left hand lashed out reflexively and snatched the speeding missile out of the air, the Quaffle mere centimetres away from her perfectly mussed hair.
Oliver would've been well chuffed that she'd managed to avoid messing up her hair, to have said the least.
Quite calmly, Isabel eyed the Quaffle she had just palmed and turned to the boy who had called out to her earlier. "Looking for something?" she remarked rather coolly, as he flew toward the ground, and without preamble, she chucked it at him. To her utter surprise, he caught it without flinching.
Belatedly, she realised that if she was pretending to be Oliver, she probably should've let out a girlish squeal. But as it was a bit late for that sort of thing, she settled for groping her hair briefly and looking cool as mint.
Yes, she concluded, that was exactly what real men did. They caressed their hair like Ravenclaws nuzzled books and impersonated cucumbers. Or other cool things, like eskimos. And Greenland.
"Sorry about that," panted the boy, pushing his untidy black hair away from his forehead. He tossed the renegade Quaffle back to his airborne friend, who caught it and flew away, and turned back to Isabel. "We just lost control on the backspin and ― blimey," he breathed, his eyes widening. "Oliver Bennett, is that you?"
"Yeah, it ― I mean..." Isabel coughed hastily, lowering her voice and remembering to make a pass at her crotch. "Yeah, mate! Good to see you! Absolutely mega!"
The boy closed the gap between them, his Firebolt 2020 in hand, and pulled Isabel into what she could only assume was a one-armed man hug. Thanking Merlin the boy hadn't initiated a chest bump, she hid her grimace as he thumped her on the back.
"Blimey," the boy said again incredulously, grabbing her hand as they pulled away and playing with her fingers, which Isabel thought very odd, considering she hadn't bloody well chopped off all her hair to have her hands fondled by some strange boy. "I didn't know you were planning on trying out! You should've told me, I would've ― er, Ollie, what do you think you're doing?" asked the boy, looking at Isabel as though she had donned a kilt and was about to engage him in a Full Tulloch.
"Er," began Isabel perplexedly, prising her fingers from the boy's wandering hands, "I was just about to ask you the the same thing...."
The boy gave a loud, startling laugh, and Isabel felt a tiny prickle of recognition light up somewhere within her brain. "Don't tell me you've forgotten already, it's only been a year!"
Wondering exactly what it was Oliver could've forgotten, and desperately hoping it didn't have anything to do with secret, one-night hand-fondling trysts he had failed to mention, Isabel settled with "Er, right..."
"Come on, mate, " laughed the boy, swiping at Isabel's hand and failing to catch it. "Our secret handshake, don't you remember?"
Isabel, who had certainly been expecting something secret but much more steamy ― with Oliver, she never could tell; the son of a Snitch used hair potion, for Godric's sake ― blushed and stammered, "Oh, right! The, er, handshake. Of course I didn't forget...." Grinning uncertainly, she captured his hand and tried to follow his lead, but only ended up giving his palm a few good smacks. "Right, then...."
"You are so funny!" The boy chuckled, grinning widely at Isabel as he slapped her on the back. "You've still got that same quirky sense of humour, don't you?"
Isabel laughed nervously, but clapped a hand over her mouth when she realised she sounded less like a man and more like a pygmy puff.
The boy grinned, shouldering his broom. "Good to see you haven't changed, although I reckon your reflexes are a sight better than they were when I was in school...."
As the boy began walking off, still reminiscing aloud about the Hogwarts days, Isabel's eyes widened in sudden, dawning comprehension. "Holyhead Harpies," she breathed, face-palming for the first time in her life. The name Potter was stamped importantly across the back of the boy's robes.
Of course it was him. Oliver had warned her, and it only made sense ⎯ who better to take up the post of Captain than the Quidditch-crazed son of the Boy Who Lived? Still, he looked different ― something about his appearance had changed. His dark hair was as unruly as she remembered, but he seemed several inches taller and had apparently forgone his glasses in favour of contact lenses.
And if Isabel hadn't been salivating at his new Firebolt, she might have even noticed that he was quite the dish.
Pink blotches bloomed in the apples of her cheeks as she mentally scolded herself for forgetting all about Albus. Admittedly, she had always been a bit too preoccupied with sport in school to pay him any attention, but had she always been this oblivious to boys?
No. No, it couldn't be. Nothing escaped Isabel Bennett's sharp eyes.
Except perhaps Albus Potter.
"Ollie?" Albus had halted in his tracks, shooting Isabel a quizzical look. "What do you think you're doing? Come on!" Heaving a sigh of relief ⎯ that was twice now she had nearly given herself away, not counting her brief impression of a castrato and her hearty crotch grab ⎯ and set off after Albus, who was now trotting toward the pitch.
"Alright, you lot," yelled Albus, signaling for everyone to cluster around him. With a mixture of pride and slight indignance, Isabel noted that she was the only female in the stadium ― it seemed that not a single girl was willing to even show up to tryouts, if the rumours about Puddlemere were true.
She had heard that since they shot down Gwenog Jones ― the Gwenog Jones ― after a truly spectacular tryout (pre-Harpies), in which she scored twelve goals, broke three noses, and tamed a chimaera ― again, these were rumours ― no female had made it onto the team. However, according to Isabel's revised edition of Quidditch Through the Ages and her worn copy of the International Quidditch Association handbook, there were still no rules against gender discrimination, and each professional team within the leagues were perfectly in their own rights to accept whomever they chose, regardless of sex.
In other words, Isabel's drastic haircut would indeed be worth it if she made Puddlemere.
"Alright, settle down!" Albus shifted his broom to his left hand ― like the Ravenclaw she was, Isabel recalled his left-hand dominance from her strategising days, and a shot of relief coursed through her as she realised she had paid attention ― and surveyed the excited, primarily testosterone-filled crowd of players. "Before we get started ― er, well, if anyone's here for the wrong reason, I'm going to ask you to kindly scarper."
Immediately, Isabel felt the icy clutches of fear flood her heart ― did he know? Had she been too obvious? Was the crotch grab too much? ― but a moment later, her anxiety vanished when two twenty-somethings in practice robes were escorted off the pitch by the tall wizard with the parchment, yelling, "We love you, Albus! Potter party pals for life!"
Contrary to Isabel's expectations of his reaction, Albus remained distinctly unruffled, and she was forced to admit that he had apparently left his quiet, diffident phase behind since graduating Hogwarts over a year ago. Or perhaps, she surmised, he had always been this way. Sure, he had kept his mouth glued shut, averted his eyes, or done a runner whenever she had needed to talk to Oliver within Gryffindor territory, but despite her Ravenclaw pride, she acknowledged his innate affinity for Quidditch. Up in the air, he was an entirely different being ― confident, sharp, skilled, unstoppable ― and he had been a force to be reckoned with on the pitch ever since she began playing.
In short, she admired him, and if it hadn't been for her remarkably strong principles, there would have been a glossy poster of him in his well-fitted Puddlemere robes Spellotaped above her bed back in North Greenwich.
"Anyone else?" Albus's clear, quiet voice cut through her reverie. "If that's all, then, I'd like to ― oi, you there! Just how old are you?"
A specky boy who couldn't have been more than fourteen jutted his baby-soft chin forward defiantly. "Old enough!"
Albus sighed. "I'm sorry, but you're going to have to leave."
"Says who?" retorted the boy bravely, his voice cracking in his attempt to suddenly expedite puberty.
His calm demeanour never once wavering, Albus replied smoothly, "Says me, mate. I'm the captain of this team."
The boy's mouth formed an O as his face flushed as red as a hinkypunk's backside, and without another protest, he scampered off toward the changing rooms.
"Is that it, then?" Albus' question seemed more of a final statement, and when not a word was spoken and the silence rang in their ears like the dull roar of a newborn mandrake, he forged on. "Right. As you might've guessed, I'm Albus Potter, your new captain." Nervous chuckles filled the slight pause. "It's good to see all of you here; some faces I recognise, others are new, but it's brilliant to see so many lads interested in Puddlemere all the same."
A boy with dreadlocks next to Isabel grinned conspiratorially at her, his dusky face brightening.
"Now," continued Albus, "before we get started, I'd like to introduce you all to our team manager, Oliver Wood." The air was punctured with excited whispers as the tall wizard with the parchment stepped forward and nodded gruffly at all of them, raising a hand in acknowledgement before crossing his (nicely sculpted, Isabel couldn't help but notice) arms contentedly.
Admittedly, Isabel had to refrain from swooning and blushing furiously, considering ― aforementioned principles be darned ― she had a high-resolution poster of Oliver Wood (back in his extremely lush Keeper days, sans his newly acquired beard) hanging above her four-poster back in her flat.
Not that anyone needed to know.
Perhaps when this was all over, she could add that poster of Albus next to Oliver's.
Again, not that anyone needed to know.
"He and I will be evaluating your tryouts, usually when you least expect it," Albus ploughed on, as Isabel blinked her way back into listening, "and we'll be looking for players who can listen to instructions, take criticisms and fix them quickly, and give one-hundred percent every moment they're on the pitch."
Unconsciously, Isabel nodded along to what Albus was saying and found her respect for him had risen significantly due to his mathematically correct use of one-hundred percent. The Ravenclaw in her absolutely detested when athletes waffled on about giving one-hundred-and-ten percent, as it clearly made no sense.
"Now, not all of you will make the cut, but those of you who don't will hopefully leave here as better players and use this experience to improve yourselves. Those of you who do make the team ― well, let's just say you'll have a hard road ahead of you, but I promise you, every moment spent on this team will be worth it." His eyes passing over the motley crew of boys, Albus' magnetic gaze landed briefly on Isabel and then flickered away. "Anyhow, enough of my spiel. I can tell you lot are anxious to get out there and show me what you can do." This time, the laughs that rang throughout the circle were devoid of jittery apprehension, and as Albus smiled with them, Isabel felt heartened. "We'll begin with three laps around the stadium, and when you're done, take a moment to stretch, grab your brooms, and wait in the stands for your audition groups to be called. Off you go, then!"
The boys (and Isabel) didn't need telling twice. With a leap, bound, and brief crotch grab, Isabel took off around the pitch, her long legs easily carrying her past the rest of the jogging boys, save for the familiar-looking bloke with the dreadlocks and a wiry wisp of a boy, both of whom effortlessly headed the pack.
With the use of the new Fiendfyrefox app on her wiPhone ― otherwise known as the Wizernet, made accessible through the Wizarding World Wide Web ― Isabel was able to run a background check on Puddlemere's stadium prior to tryouts. Needless to say, it had taken a couple of months for her to condition herself, both physically and mentally, for the 114 by 75 yards that was Puddlemere's Quidditch pitch. However, days upon days of cardio, weight-lifting, and strict dieting had prepared Isabel for whatever Albus Potter threw at her in tryouts, as Puddlemere was known for taking only the fittest players (something Isabel's hormones hardly minded), and as it happened, she was in tip-top shape.
Narrowing her eyes in determination, Isabel fell into her runner's stride, her arms swinging at her sides in ninety-degree angles, her legs propelling her forward and past the boy with the dreadlocks. A slight breeze playfully nipped at her nose and ruffled her short hair, and her body relaxed, shifting into auto-pilot as she gradually continued round the pitch, marking the completion of her first lap. Not long after, she heard soft footfalls ― it had been silent for a few minutes, since the majority of the boys had disappeared, huffing and puffing, behind her ― and the quiet inhale and exhale of breath. Out of the corner of her eye, she spied Dreadlocks Boy, seamlessly matching her strides.
Ignore him, thought Isabel sternly. Focus on finishing your second lap, ignore him, ignore him, ignore ―
"Wotcher, Ollie," said Dreadlocks casually, his voice even.
Isabel very narrowly avoided stumbling over her feet as her breath caught in her throat, and she trained her eyes on the wiry boy all but sprinting ahead of them. Don't panic. He thinks you're Oliver, and you've seen him before, but where? Suddenly and fortuitously, a figurative lightbulb went off in Isabel's mind. Gryffindor on the team with Oliver, in Albus' year, Puddlemere's second-in-command Chaser, his name is ―
"Robin Thomas," Isabel managed to exhale, her legs pumping of their own accord into their third and final lap. "Excellent to see you, mate. How've you been?"
"Not bad," wheezed Robin, keeping up with Isabel. "Things have been good. How've you been, mucker? I haven't heard from you in ages."
Isabel laughed shakily, though whether from nerves or an oncoming bout of asthma, she wasn't sure. "Been busy sorting out stuff, you know, now that I've graduated." She desperately hoped this was vague enough to please Robin; there were only so many times she could grab her crotch in one day to appear manly.
Luckily, Robin didn't seem to notice anything out of the ordinary, and he nodded. "Congrats, mate. Always hoped you'd show up for Puddlemere tryouts."
"Yeah?" Isabel observed him nonchalantly as they legged it around the pitch.
Robin nodded, at a loss for breath. "Although, to tell you the truth, I half-expected your sister to turn up as well."
Isabel's heart stopped for a full second in terror, then returned with a rapidly thudding tattoo of beats. Of course, it was just a casual comment. An aside. He couldn't know. There was no way.
The perfunctory gears in her mind whirring at full tilt, Isabel forced out a light laugh. Thankfully, she had impersonated Oliver so many times prior to this moment that the laugh ended up sounding just like his, rather than that of an asthmatic banshee. "To be honest," Isabel replied breathlessly, "I thought she would, but she's decided to try her hand at Healing school in the fall."
"Noble of her," Robin managed to choke out, as he and Isabel sprinted the last few metres of their lap. When they had finished, they both slowed to a trot and walked a couple of yards, stretching their arms and panting as they went. "It's too bad, though."
Isabel sank to the grass, stretching out her legs and working on loosening them up. "What's too bad?"
Robin shrugged, dropping himself next to her and mirroring her stretches. "It's too bad your sister decided to take up Healing. She'd have made a bloody brilliant Chaser for Puddlemere. Nothing against you, mate, of course," he added apologetically, throwing Isabel a sidelong glance, "but that sister of yours is a spitfire."
Feeling extremely pleased with herself, Isabel simply "hmm"ed her agreement, bringing her legs adroitly into the butterfly position.
"Not to mention, she's extremely fit."
Isabel spluttered, nearly hacking up a lung. "Excuse me?"
"Sorry, sorry!" Robin held his palms up peacefully, his brown eyes wide. "I forgot how touchy you were about your sister...."
Slightly rattled, Isabel flicked her hair out of her eyes and gracefully stood up. "No worries, mate."
There was a moment of companionable silence, in which Isabel thought she might actually be able to get along with Robin Thomas if she were to remain a boy, comments about her levels of fitness aside. (Who's the dishy one now, eh, Oliver? she thought smugly.)
Perhaps they could be mates after all.
"D'you think she's single? Your sister, I mean?"
"What the hellebore, Robin!"
"Sorry, mate! Forget I said anything."
"I'll be hard pressed to forget something like that," muttered Isabel, grabbing her Firebolt from her rucksack (oh, the beauties of Undetectable Extension charms) and mounting it, soaring up to the stands. In all honesty, she didn't really mind Robin's comments that much ― well, save for the fact that she was enough of a feminist that she felt any man who took notice of her like that was objectifying her as a woman, if only slightly; she was a sodding Quidditch player, hang it all, not a girl chucking balls at men while riding a broom and all of those other innuendos that went along with that sort of thing ― but she had to admit, it was rather mollifying to be seen as attractive for the first time in her life.
Boys had only ever tended to focus on the "Quidditch-playing" and "so-plucky-I-nearly-forgot-she-only-handled-Quaffles-and-didn't-have-a-pair-of-her-own" traits of Isabel in school.
If the lads of Hogwarts had found her vaguely attractive, they certainly never mentioned it ― although, this very well could have been due to Oliver's threats to hex anyone who so much as blinked at Isabel in the wrong way.
Or perhaps it was the stunning example set by Isabel, when she accidentally Impedimentaed Bert Spinelli into the nearest broom cupboard ― in graceful, back-arcing slow motion, mind ― out of shock after he asked her to Hogsmeade in fourth year, that discouraged any advances.
This was just something to be taken in consideration.
There was a muffled thwump, and Isabel, immersed in thought, was startled to see Robin land with his Firebolt and dismount into the stands. "You're not auditioning, are you?"
Robin laughed, plopping himself down on the seat next to her. "Nah. I'm here to help with the Chaser proceedings."
Inwardly, Isabel blanched.
Or, at least, she thought it had been inward, for Robin chuckled good-naturedly, slapping her on the back. "No worries, Ollie, you'll be fine. I've seen you play, and I'd say you've got a decent shot at the spot. If not that, you'll certainly make the reserve team."
That wouldn't be so bad, Isabel thought grimly. The reserve team was still part of Puddlemere United as a whole, and from there, she could work her way up to first string.
But she reckoned she would die trying to make that third Chaser spot in the starting lineup if it was the last thing she ever did.
The hopefuls for the Keeper spot were called first. While Oliver Wood had the boys ― most of them rather burly-looking blokes ― queue up and individually protect the three hoops, Albus and Robin flew at them and attacked on offence with the Quaffle in turns. Isabel wasn't sure what she had expected prior to tryouts, but whatever her lukewarm expectations had been, the men auditioning for Keeper far and beautifully exceeded them with defensive skills she hadn't seen since Cadmus Chilcott had originally taken the post six years ago, after Oliver Wood's retirement.
However, Albus and Robin were superb Chasers ― Albus had even been hailed as "Breakout Chaser of the Year" and "Youngest Captain of the Century" by Quidditch Quarterly just months ago, and he was only eighteen ― and despite the astonishing competence of the Keeper auditionees (what did she expect, anyway? It was Puddlemere; of course the people who showed up would be incredible), the Quaffle was still let in. It was a mark of how truly unstoppable Potter and Thomas were, that they fluently continued to find innovative ways of scoring against the Keepers like the powerhouse duo they were. At this rate, surmised Isabel, Puddlemere would never be able to choose a new Keeper. Yes, they were all amazing players, but there was nothing truly remarkable about any of them, for they all shared similar levels of talent.
Judging by the level of ability already in the Puddlemere starting lineup, which consisted mainly of younger players and a couple of older veterans, they needed a truly cosmic Keeper.
The trouble was, the auditionees seemed to be a few main-sequence stars short of stellar.
Yet Isabel found herself transfixed by the second-to-last Keeper of the lot. Moderately tall, stocky, and set ablaze with a shock of flaming red hair, Rowan Molloy flew swiftly and unassumingly to his post, settling into a slight crouch over his broom. Poised like a lion preparing to pounce on its airborne prey, Rowan hovered near the center of the hoops, his eyes never leaving Albus' as the raven-haired Chaser passed and weaved with Robin. When Albus finally reached the Keeper's zone, hurtling toward Rowan at an impossible speed, he faked to the far right goal and quickly pivot-spun to lob the Quaffle through the middle hoop, his armed hand mere inches away from the goal.
For one shining moment, it seemed as though Albus would succeed in scoring on the first try yet again, but at the last second, Rowan, who hadn't fallen for the trap, mirrored Albus' movements and blocked the Quaffle, literally stopping it before it even left Albus' hand.
The silence around the pitch that ensued was deafening.
Albus Potter had just been packed like a suitcase.
Unfazed, Rowan gallantly handed the Quaffle back to a gobsmacked Albus, who, after rousing himself, narrowed his eyes and took the Quaffle, zooming off on his Firebolt to the center of the pitch to restart the drill with Robin.
The next four shots were a blur, with Albus' moves becoming crazier and more determined, and yet, for the first time in his year of captaining Puddlemere United, every one of his shots was blocked.
When the final Keeper, a straw-haired boy who blocked three of the five shots, had gone, Albus and Oliver conferred in midair for a moment, their voices hushed and urgent. After glimpsing the uncharacteristically steely look in Albus' eyes after Rowan had blocked the first shot, Isabel knew there would be no other choice for the starting Keeper. If anything, the shrewd narrowing of Albus' eyes delineated his admiration for Rowan's dexterity and sheer cheek, and young captain though he may have been, Albus would never have sacrificed a Keeper like Rowan for his own pride.
True to her conjectures, Albus, after nodding vigorously and reaching a decision with Oliver, flew forth with his clipboard in hand, smiling at the lot of sweaty Keepers hovering in midair. "Keepers, thank you for all of your hard work. At this time, we'd like to welcome Luca Armstrong onto the reserve team ― " a particularly fast twenty-something with sandy hair and magnetic hands inclined his head, grinning " ― and Rowan Molloy onto the first team. Congratulations, lads."
Isabel stole a glance at Rowan, who had bowed his head humbly, his eyes shining as the boy next to him cuffed him excitedly on the back.
Well, she honestly couldn't blame him. Were she to make the first team, she'd be well and truly shiny-eyed, too.
"Well done, well done," said Albus heartily, grinning broadly. "And now I'd like to see the Chasers. If you could all queue up at center pitch, we'll start by running some drills."
As if she needed to be told twice.
Adrenaline coursing through her like a sugar quill rush, Isabel hopped onto her broom and left the stands, soaring out to center pitch along with the other Chasers.
It seemed to be the most popular of the positions, as there were nearly twice as many people trying out for Chaser than there had been for Keeper. However, Isabel didn't allow that to deter her for a moment ― she just needed to beat out roughly thirty other blokes, and she was nothing if not confident that she could do just that.
Ravenclaws honestly weren't meant to be all that humble.
"Alright," called Albus, meeting the impatient boys in midair, "let's begin with a passing drill. I want you to pair off in threes ― " Really, Albus, pair off in threes? thought Isabel exasperatedly. Because that math makes loads of sense " ― and work the Quaffle toward the hoops in a three-man weave. The objective is for you and your teammates to score, but right now, we're particularly looking at teamwork and ball-handling skills. Of course, we also want you to show us what you can do. So, three lines ― chop, chop!"
After the boys had assembled into three separate (and long, Isabel observed with a sinking feeling) queues, with Isabel heading the center line, Albus tossed a Quaffle to her, shooting her a small smile, and the moment the Quaffle touched her fingertips, she shot off like a bullet.
Heck, she didn't even wait for the Quaffle to reach her ― she simply lurched forward, plucking it from thin air, and began the drill.
Patience had never really been her strongest suit.
Tucking the Quaffle securely under her right arm, Isabel continued forward, her eyes scanning the pitch. The short, wiry boy who led the pack in warm-up laps earlier hovered on her far right, while a lad who looked like he'd just stepped out of a WonderWitch™ advert for a Patented Daydream Charm flanked her left. Gritting her teeth, Isabel sent the Quaffle flying to the wiry boy, who caught it easily, and she trailed after him, weaving around him as he threw the Quaffle to the Fabio-esque boy on the left, continuing the weave.
The three of them moved so quickly and seamlessly together, in such a smooth whirl of speeding missiles, that in one more pass, they had already reached the Keeper's zone. Without thinking, Isabel caught the Quaffle on its final leg, just as she was sweeping by the center hoop, and while both she and the Quaffle remained in motion, she circled it from her right hand to her left, swiftly tossing it behind her back and into the goal.
So maybe the behind-the-back bit had been a tad flashy, but if she was going to be the one who scored, she may as well have shown Albus just what she could do.
Plus, she had to admit, it looked pretty blimmin' cool.
After she had retrieved the Quaffle, Isabel sent it careening back to the center line with a crisp, one-handed outlet pass. Evidently, her arm was stronger than it appeared, as the bloke who caught it flinched unmistakably. However, he shrugged it off and started the drill again, this time with two other Chasers as Isabel, Wiry Boy, and Fabio ― how did he get his hair that silky? Must be manticore extract, Isabel concluded ― made their ways back to the end of the queue.
The drill continued like this for a few more rounds, until Albus called all of the Chasers to the middle of the pitch again; this time, however, he made his first cuts to the auditionees, leaving only twelve of the Chasers to proceed to the next trial.
To her utter relief, Isabel was one of those who made it to the next round. After all, she hadn't cut all of her hair off only to make it this far.
Once the eliminated Chasers had either left the pitch or settled into the stands to watch the rest of the tryouts, Albus divided the remaining Chasers into four groups of three and informed them that a brief, full-pitch game of three-on-three would ensue.
Converging with her group, Isabel decided to be the brave one and introduced herself first with a smile. "Isa ― Oliver Bennett."
Clearly, this would take some getting used to.
At least she hadn't had to transfigure any body parts.
"Sam Kent," offered the wiry boy with whom she had begun the passing drill, holding out his hand for both Isabel and the other boy to shake.
The third bloke cleared his throat gruffly. "Liam Doyle."
Isabel nodded at the two of them, discreetly eyeing them up. While most girls her age would've been admiring their nicely formed muscles and fairly striking faces, Isabel had been making mental notes about them ― as well as the other nine Chasers left ― throughout the entirety of the first drill. Liam, for instance, was able to barrel his way to the hoops, but tended to gravitate toward the far-right goal every time. Sam, on the other hand, was quick, as were his passes and shots, but his defencive and flying skills weren't up to par ― one reason why he overcompensated with his offensive playing.
"Alright, then," said Isabel finally, adopting her logical, Ravenclaw game face. "How about we try man-to-man defence, but whomever gets back to the hoops first plays Keeper?"
Sam grinned at her. "Sounds good to me."
Liam merely grunted, which Isabel took to be his assent.
"Fab!" she concluded brightly, which earned her a strange look from both men. "Er, I mean...excellent." Isabel cleared her throat. "Yeah. Let's do this, men!" she added enthusiastically.
And it was only day one.
"Groups one and two," said Albus loudly, wielding his clipboard in one hand and his broom in the other, "center pitch. Groups three and four, in the stands, please."
Once the two groups had circled together at the heart of the pitch, Albus floating in the midst of them with the Quaffle, he surveyed the six of them, his eyes again lingering on Isabel. With one last look around, Albus cried, "Brooms up!" and tossed the Quaffle high into the air.
Author's Note: What is that? Can it be...an update? Yep, it's true. An update on a Tuesday night after a long day of classes. Granted, that's not much of a treat for you, dearest readers, as I've taken my sweet time in updating this shindig (my apologies!), but if you're still reading, thank you for your utmost patience and for sticking with this thing! It's a bit choppy and unedited, since I hammered this thing out in an hour-long fit of inspiration, so bear with me. Thoughts? Comments? Concerns? I'll take 'em all. To be honest, a lot of this chapter is actually based on my ten years of experience in organised sports, as well as my experience in playing college Quidditch (co-captain this year, baby!), so some of the terms may be wonky, but they are legit.
Also, the title for this chapter was taken from the song "Good Luck" by Sondre Lerche, which you should give a listen. Anyway, thank you for reading! :D
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