My dear prospective reader,
Welcome to my newest gem, One of the Boys! This story chronicles the life and times of Ella Levine, the only female player on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Get excited.
As always, thanks a million to everyone who's read and reviewed this story so far-- i'm beyond grateful for all the feedback this story's received. thank you thank you thank you!
EDIT: so you're probably wondering... where did CONNOR SCHMIDT go? well... long story but it ends in a name change to RYAN GALLAGHER.
ANOTHER EDIT (3.19.13): rating changed to Mature- whaaa? can you handle this maturity? Hells yeah. It's just for occasional language. and its not even that bad, promise. nothing to worry about.
YET ANOTHER ADDITION-- THE BANNER. (sept 2013)
OH MY GOODNESS. IS THIS BANNER GORGEOUS OR WHAT!?! it took me seven months to figure out how to upload one, so... at last!!! bask in its glory! i edited/created/whatevered it myself, but i'd like to make a note about the illo of ella in the left corner. that's part of a drawing of Ginny Weasley that was made by the super talented Brigid Vaughn (one of my absolute favorite artists), who you can find on deviant art as burdgebug. she's on tumblr too. her art is perfect-- i love it to bits-- and she's got some awesome harry potter stuff. go check her out. she's great.
ONLY ONE MORE PS I SWEAR- BETAS (march 27 2014)
I've decided its high time to go through an editing stage for ootb. If you'd like to help me with some beta work or editing, please contact me through my tumblr (link in my bio) or drop a note in a review.
(By "beta" i mean i'd send you a chapter or two of this fic, and ask you to find any parts that sound awkward or any typos, and to let me know what else could be improved). If that sounds like too daunting a task, just remember that any review you leave helps me with this too! Please don't feel obligated to do this--its completely up to you-- but if you did decide to help beta i'd be eternally grateful. thank you thank you thank you in advance!
... YOU CAN READ THE ACTUAL STORY NOW.
“Are you sure you want to do this, Ella?” asked my best friend Dominique Weasley for the one hundredth time since breakfast as we walked down to the Quidditch pitch.
“Yes!” I cried exasperatedly. “I’ve been practicing since first year. I’m trying out for Seeker and that’s that!” To further prove my point, I straightened up my posture to fit that of a pretty little princess about to whip some major evil-stepmother butt. I was going to own that Quidditch pitch.
“Okay, okay!” Dom said, raising her hands in surrender.
Once we reached the pitch, she gave me a quick hug before climbing up into the stands to watch. “You’ll do great!” she called.
“Fingers crossed!” I yelled back, trying to keep up a positive, butt-kicking, I-can-do-anything attitude, because on the inside I was so nervous that I was practically vibrating. I pushed being nervous out of my mind. I’d been practicing a lot and I was ready. Now all I had to do was prove it.
“Seekers, here! Other hopefuls, there! Current team members, get over here!” barked a tall, raven-haired boy I recognized as Dom’s cousin, Albus Potter. Except Albus is kind of a stupid name, so everybody calls him Al. Al’s in my year, he plays Chaser, and he’s (obviously) been made captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. That’s about all that I know about him, since we don’t actually talk aside from things like “pass the bacon.” And those don’t count.
I obediently marched over to the designated Seeker area and inconspicuously sized up my competition-- a couple of terrified first years, a surly fourth year, and a tall, menacing seventh year that I knew by sight. The first three? Piece of cake. Hmmm, I love cake. Especially of the ice cream variety. Focus, Ella, Quidditch. Right. Anyway, I eat underclassmen for breakfast. The seventh year? He might be a problem, but nothing that I, Ella Levine, Seeker extraordinaire, couldn’t handle. Besides, I like challenges.
“All right, Seekers! Let’s see what you’ve got!” challenged Al. “First we’ll do some basic flying drills and a couple of dummy snitch catches with golf balls, and then I’ll release the Snitch. Whoever catches it will most likely make the team!”
This is it, I thought. I adjusted my lucky mint green crew socks, tightened my high ponytail, and mounted my Firebolt 360.
At the blow of the whistle, the five of us kicked off into the air. My assumptions were spot on: the first years crash-landed within a few seconds, the fourth year was okay, and the seventh year was good. Nothing I couldn’t handle.
Relax, Ella. I told myself, as we flew around the pitch. Just focus on your flying. Deep breaths. You earned this. You can do this.
Al tossed golf balls into the air at a rapid pace, trying to see who’d catch the most. I got 23.
Beat that, bitches, I thought.
Then the 7th year got 24.
“I’m releasing the Snitch!” shouted Al.
It’s go time.
My senses sharpened as I hunted the Snitch. Look for the Snitch, check your form, look for the Snitch, check your opponent, look for the Snitch… I repeated over and over again. The fourth year had taken to circling hundreds of feet above the rest of us like a hawk. The seventh year was tailing me, mimicking my every move and taunting me as he went.
“Hey, princess! Step aside and let the real Seeker show you how it’s done!”
Hey, toerag! Shut up and let me shove my broomstick up your arrogant—
Whoa, El. Take a chill pill. Let’s not transform into a crazy, ranting, lunatic. Focus on the Snitch. Yeah. Quidditch.
I turned, swerved, and dived, trying to throw the annoying seventh year off. But he was sticking to me like Stinksap.
Then I saw it. The little golden ball was flittering down below us, about five feet above the ground. I felt the usual adrenaline rush that comes with spotting the Snitch. All I had to do was catch it and I’d make the team! In this dreamlike, invincible state I leaned forward and eased my broom into a dive. So did the seventh year.
Ack, I’d forgotten about that bitch.
I snapped out of super-dreamland and went into full out ninja-warrior-Seeker mode. Eyes narrowed, I pressed myself flat onto my broom so I was as aerodynamic as possible. I was not going to let this dumb old seventh year beat me. No way. I was Ella Levine! I’d been training for this moment for the past five years! And I would not loose my spot on this team to an obnoxious boy who called me a princess!
I was in the lead as we sped closer and closer to the Snitch.
Fifteen feet. I pulled back on my dive a little.
Ten feet. I brought my broom to a height level to the Snitch.
Five feet. I lifted my left hand off of the broom and reached for the elusive Snitch with outstretched fingers.
The Snitch was within my grasp when, all of a sudden, I felt a sharp tug at the tail-end of my broom.
I lost my balance and snatched wildly at the Snitch, my broom flying out from under me. As I somersaulted off of the broom, I snatched a glimpse of that dumb seventh year grinning triumphantly, the end of my broom clutched in his hands. That no-good, lousy, nasty, cheating skunkbag had yanked my broom out from under me!
I fell to the ground with a splat, feet first. (thankfully- landing on my butt would’ve been mortifying.) I barely registered the fact that I had somehow caught the Snitch mid-somersault. I shoved the walnut-sized ball into Al Potter’s hand, ignoring the incredulous look of shock etched across his face. There was only one thought on my mind—hex that pathetic excuse of a seventh year into oblivion.
“Hey, Asshole!” I screamed at him. The smug look vanished off of that idiot’s face faster than you could say ‘sabotage.’
I stormed right up to him, my wand clenched in my left hand. I curled my right hand into a fist, arched back my arm, and punched him in the nose as hard as I could. Before he had a chance to retaliate, I had Transfigured him into a teapot.
That’ll show him. I thought, picking up my Firebolt 360 and the idiot-boy-turned-teapot.
Then I noticed that everyone was staring at me, marveling at my sudden outburst of aggression. One of the boys on the Quidditch team wolf-whistled in awe. A few of the others clapped. I bowed jokingly, handed one of them the idiot-teapot, and turned my back on the team, walking quickly over towards Dominique. She was sitting in the stands, mouth wide open in a comical ‘O’.
“But…why… teapot…?” she stammered.
“C’mon,” I hissed. “Let’s leave before they all process what happened.” I seized her wrist and started dragging her away.
We were almost at the edge of the pitch when someone shouted, “Wait!”
I spun around. Al had run over to talk to me. “Your name is…” he trailed off.
“Ella Levine.” I supplied. Not like we’ve been in all the same classes since we were 11 or anything.
“All right Ella. Our first practice is next Saturday, at 9 am sharp. Welcome to the team,” With that, he gave me a green-eyed wink, turned around, and jogged back to his teammates.
I waited until Dom and I reached Gryffindor Tower before preforming my victory dance.
“The one thing I still don’t get,” Dom said at lunch that weekend, “is why you Transfigured him into a teapot of all things!”
“Shh!” I whispered half-heartedly, trying to stop the tale of my teapot Transfiguration episode from spreading throughout the whole school. It’s funny; the weirder the news is the faster it travels at Hogwarts.
“I guess I just turned him into a teapot since teapots are relatively harmless. If I had turned him into a squirrel or something living he could’ve attacked me viciously.”
“Touché, my friend,” said Dominique wisely.
We ate our grilled cheese in silence for a moment.
“So, are you excited for Quidditch practice tomorrow?” Dom asked.
“Yeah, I suppose,” I said. “I just hope that my teammates aren’t stereotypical jerky jocks who don’t care about anything besides Quidditch and girls.”
“Hey! My cousins’ are on that team.”
“Sorry. Besides them.”
“Have you picked out what you’re wearing to practice yet?”
I snorted and nearly spit out my pumpkin juice. That was such a classic Dom thing to say. She’s the crazy, girly one, whereas I’m the crazy, Quidditch-obsessed one. We sort of balanced out the crazy in each other.
“Why would I plan my outfit to wear to Quidditch practice? It’s just a sports practice, not the Yule ball!” I replied.
“Sorry if I am concerned that my best friend is going to make a worse first impression that an old warlock in a nightgown in Muggle London.”
I laughed. And people wonder why we’re friends.
(in case you didn't notice... EDITSZSZZ! woo-hoo! did you like the new stuff!?!)
thanks for reading and please oh pretty please remember to leave a review!!!