Sep 28 2008, 04:53 AM
Hogwarts life was proving increasingly difficult for the sixth year Gryffindor. To be completely honest it felt completely worthless at this point. If it weren’t for quidditch he might have just left right then and there in an attempt to avoid another dull History of Magic class or any more of the typical Hogwarts drama that everyone and their mother knew about. It was wearing down on him and as much as he loved the castle it was starting to become a drag. He knew he’d never do anything with history of magic which meant the class was practically pointless except for he needed to take it to pass. Plus he doubted he’d do much of anything with any of the “knowledge” he’d gained from any of his classes at the castle because honestly he sort of just wanted to do something with what he loved: quidditch. Of course that didn’t mean he was planning on playing professional quidditch because he wasn’t nearly good enough. But what he really wanted to do was work with a team and… just be around it.
However if you talked to his mother you would think he was planning on being homeless for the rest of his life. What with his father being a genius and doing little with that besides letting others stomp on him he supposed he could sort of understand his mother’s wanting for him to do well with his life. But let’s face it. At least his father was a genius. Alden on the other hand wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box nor was he the best at the entire magic thing. Potions exploded at his touch and outside of transfiguration he had never really had a strong grasp on magic. True he usually did well enough in classes when he actually attended them but things were always a struggle for him to learn which made many classes that much more miserable.
But really, what was the point of all of this? Alden personally had no idea. All he knew was that with only a little over a year left before he was forced to face the cruel reality of real life he had no direction in his life. The one thing he had any real desire to do was something that he had no idea how to make it work. He followed quidditch but had never actually investigated working with teams and now it felt too late. And it wasn’t as though he could suddenly become an auror or minister of magic or something else grand and impressive. He supposed he could do something with his history class but that didn’t sound altogether interesting or rewarding. Gah! It was just… frustrating.
Why was the future gradually becoming the present?
Sighing the boy continued to walk aimlessly through the castle letting his feet leading the way which meant he ended up in the one place a depressed child with no hopes for a future should never go, the trophy room. As if the child, yes child, didn’t already feel crappy enough now he was in a room devoted to the accomplishments of thousands of years of wizards and witches. Exhausted both mentally and physically the boy sat down and leaned back against a particularly large trophy devoted to some wizard from a century ago who had done something as incredible as every other name in this room and probably every other person in the dang world outside of Alden. Oh what was he going to do? Where was a bit of wisdom when you need it?
Oct 7 2008, 03:38 AM
Practice had been particularly intense in the last couple of days and weeks. The final match was coming up soon, and as of late, Ryu had found himself wandering more and more frequently towards the Trophy Room. Gryffindor, he had recently discovered, had not won the Quidditch Cup in twelve years. That was in 2004. He wasn't even two years old the last time his House had taken the Championship. It was horrible, and yet, at the same time, it was almost motivational. If they won the Cup now, they would go down in House history as the team that broke their dry spell, giving Gryffindor their first glory (on the Pitch, anyway) in over ten years. Every now and then, the Second Year would steal away to the Trophy Room, just to envision his name engraved on the golden trophy. If he were ever to describe something as beautiful, that would certainly be it.
As Ryu entered the Trophy Room, he immediately noticed one of his teammates almost slumped against one of the larger trophies, just across from the Quidditch case. In truth, the Second Year was surprised. Although Alden liked Quidditch as much as the next fellow, he hadn't really struck Ryu as the kind of guy who'd go up and eye the trophies before the game. That was more up Keira's alley. It was actually somewhat shocking that he hadn't run into her in his ventures in the room.
"Hey, Alden," the Gryffindor greeted. "Fancy seeing you here. Getting a good look at our trophy before they put our name on it?"
They were cocky words, and the fact that Ryu was somewhat cocky himself aside, the thirteen-year-old had every confidence that his team would be victorious this year. They were practicing ridiculously hard, and if it had any bearing on the outcome at all, he was pretty sure their team wanted it more than anyone else as well. And if he had anything to do it, Gryffindor was going to be carrying that trophy to their Common Room next weekend. He was sure of it.
Oct 10 2008, 04:28 AM
Time alone was hard to come by in Hogwarts and the trophy room was no exception. Deep in his own thoughts he didn’t notice the entrance of Ryu until the boy spoke up. Glancing up with a frown it was strange how his mood was hardly improved with the mention of the quidditch cup. In fact, he didn’t even understand where the boy was coming from and so completely puzzled he spoke up with confusion etched into his voice. “Quidditch cup? What? Oh. Right. No, not exactly.” They hadn’t even won the cup so the thought of his actual name on the quidditch cup hadn’t exactly crossed his mind. Funny.
He wasn’t entirely sure what to say next. He imagined that he should explain his presence in the trophy room seeing as he’d only told Ryu what he wasn’t doing. But part of him didn’t even want to talk that much. If the younger boy was anything like his own brothers he’d only crack jokes about how Alden really had no future and stuff like that. Brothers. Lamesauce.
But… he spilled the beans. It sort of just rushed out. “Actually I just came here to think. Figured not many people would care about seeing a bunch of metal. Guess I was wrong,” he began before pausing for a moment, running his hand through his hair as had become habitual for the sixth year. “Have you ever thought about what you wanted to do with your life? Like… what you really wanted to do?” He wasn’t exactly talking to Ryu anymore. In fact he wasn’t even looking at him but instead staring straight ahead and an obnoxiously large trophy. He was really just voicing his thoughts because it felt good to ask the semi-rhetorical question out loud.
However, he quickly remembered that Ryu had no way to know this and he was probably wondering if Alden had forgotten that he was only thirteen or something. Looking up at the boy he followed up with, “But of course you haven’t. I sure as hell didn’t when I was a second year.” Then again, maybe some people liked to plan out their lives at younger ages. It would figure.
Oct 17 2008, 07:33 PM
The grin that Ryu had previously worn faded at bit, as he saw Alden seemed to be slightly depressed. It wasn't long before what was really bothering the older boy came tumbling out of his mouth. It was a sort of strange moment, as he and Alden weren't exactly tight friends, but they got along fairly well as a general rule. They were teammates, and said hello to each other in the hallway, and chatted during practice, but Ryu couldn't honestly say that he was on the list of people that he'd think to hang out with on some random weekend. Alden was significantly older than he, and had his own friends to carry on with, so the two had never really moved in the same circles. Still, he thought that Alden was a good guy, and he didn't mind listening to whatever was troubling him.
"I have, actually," Ryu piped up. "I'm going to fly for the Arrows one day. And then for England."
The goal was so firmly secured in the Gryffindor's mind, that there was simply no alternative. He would graduate from Hogwarts, play for Appleby, and then get called up to play for the National Team. That was simply how it would work. Quidditch was all he had thought about since he'd first seen a match when he was five. It was the one thing he was truly passionate about, and the thought of him ending up working behind a desk somewhere was almost laughable. He was meant to fly, and that was all there was to it. But of course, he knew that there were others who weren't nearly as sure as he was about what they wanted to do. For them, it depended on what they were good at in school, what they liked, and other such things that had no particular relevance to him.
"Why?" the teenager asked, rather unnecessarily. "You've got time to figure out whatever it is that you want to do. You still have a whole year and then some. Plus, you've already done OWLs and all that other stuff. You could really quit school right now if you wanted to."
It was all rather simple to Ryu. You do whatever it is that you like and that you're good at. It was Quidditch for him, and it was other things for other people. So why didn't they just do them instead of deliberating about it?
Oct 26 2008, 05:39 PM
Well it was official. Alden Stuart was unlearned, unprepared, and just unamazing over all. Yes. Unamazing. It could be a word. Ryu’s little dream sounded much more glamorous and awesome then Alden’s lack of one. The realization that even a second year knew what he wanted to do left Alden feeling more discouraged then encouraged. “Oh. Well never mind then. Good luck with that.” Ryu obviously had a hell of a lot more ambition then Alden did to hope for a chance to play for the national team. Sure the second year was good but… well that was a long way off. Anything could happen.
Alden liked how Ryu thought. Or, he kind of did. At least it was positive reinforcement and it wasn’t the usual, ‘figure out your life’ that he usually heard from his mum or the pressure he was receiving from fellow classmates who appeared to have everything in their life in line. Discouraging was an understatement. But, the frown become a little less frownish as the corners of his lips began to turn upwards. “Well, it sounds easy when you put it that way. But…“ But what? But he’d screwed up OWLs and therefore only had history to fall back on? And history was the most boring piece of crap subject he’d ever taken. He’d rather live with his mum for the rest of his life then read or talk about history. Goblin wars were not his cup of tea. The word ‘war’ was very misleading.
“But, it’s a bit more difficult when your one OWL is history which is awful. Don’t know if you’ve realized that by now.” But it was an easy OWL. That was for sure. “And my mum would probably kill me if I left school,” he chuckled, unable to prevent himself from laughing softly at the thought of his mother throwing a hissy fit in the living room upon hearing the news. She’d probably track him down and march him right back to school. She was controlling. And mildly evil.
But what else was there to say? “The only thing I’ve really got going for me right now is quidditch and I’m not even that good at it. Mediocre at best I’d bet,” Okay, maybe slightly over mediocre. But not much more. He’d only made the team because they’d needed a sub back in second year. Woot for subs!
Nov 8 2008, 10:51 PM
"History, ouch," Ryu winced.
Alden did have a point. If Ryu were to get one OWL, History of Magic would not have been his first choice. Although, it was likely that doing well in the subject would open up a few career choices. If you were good at history, there was always a career in looking into the history of something inane that no one at all really cared about, for example, the history of flobberworm migration patterns from 1800-1400. The Gryffindor was about to suggest this to Alden, when the older boy continued to explain that his mother would also pitch a fit if he tried to quit school, which Ryu at least empathized with. He, after all, only went to school to hang out with Phoebus and Miles and to play Quidditch. Education was somewhat secondary. But if he ever even mentioned leaving school once he'd finished the mandatory five years, he was quite sure that his mother would have him strung up and fed to the crows. Because, as lovely as she was, at times she was downright scary.
"You aren't mediocre," Ryu said, quickly.
Alden wasn't brilliantly awesome, but he could hold his own. True, he likely wasn't good enough to get on a top league team---especially considering he wasn't on the lineup for the last match. Of course, he still had a whole year's worth of games next year to impress the recruiters, but they really started to pay attention during a player's Fifth or Sixth Year. If you didn't have them then, the odds that you suddenly became amazing in Seventh Year were pretty low, and this upcoming game would be one where at least a few scouts would keep their eyes on some players. The 13-year-old would be making sure to fly his best, not just to win for Gryffindor, but maybe even to catch the eye of a team scout, even though he was several years away from even being eligible. Still, if it was Quidditch that Alden liked, there were a few possibilities.
"There're things you can do with Quidditch, even if it's not necessarily on the Pitch," he shrugged. "If you're good at history, you could probably learn to run numbers for a team, figure out their playing styles, patterns, how they've moved in the past several years, and things like that. Although, I guess that's more statistics and less history, but it's at least better than the history of Bogart the Bloody Bogey, or something stupid like that. You could commentate matches too, I guess, but they usually look for people with more experience in the game, so I dunno if that'd work."
What else was there? Whenever he thought about Quidditch, he always thought about playing it, being out there, diving for a Snitch. But for Alden, that was less possible. And also kind of weird. What would it be like to want to play Quidditch--and not be able to? The possibility had never occurred to Ryu, and yet, here stood someone who was in that exact situation. In a funny way, it made him determined not to become like his teammate, and to be the very best, come his Sixth and Seventh Years.
"Oh, you could write, too," he added. "For the Prophet---they've got a load of duffers writing columns this year, in my opinion. Or maybe even a magazine, or something."
Nov 25 2008, 05:06 AM
Yes, ‘ouch’ was the best kind-of-word to describe history with Oswald. Though, surprisingly this year the terms interesting, dangerous, and at some points psychotic could also be used. Oswald hadn’t failed to keep Alden and his fellow sixth years on their toes but despite all that Alden could honestly say he hadn’t learned anything of use in the class unless you count learning that Alden did not have a future as a pirate. Then again that had never been one of his career options so that lesson was still altogether useless. “Ouch basically sums it up. Literally. He had some pirate lesson and… just don’t take History after fifth year.” He winced as he remembered that horrible pirate ship and the bruises he was still feeling on his knees, hands, and practically every other body part.
Alden was finding Ryu’s company more and more beneficiary especially after Ryu said that the sixth year wasn’t mediocre. Was Ryu looking for a new best friend? Because if you’re going to spout of compliments like that ever day Alden’ll definitely drag along. Forget Miles, right? No? Shame. They could have been such pals. “Well, not mediocre. Just seems like the stuff I like or am at least decent at won’t get me too far.” Which was true. His interests and skills didn’t entirely match up that well. Rather, they matched up but one had to be superb at quidditch to make it anywhere and while he was decent, perhaps a little above decent, he was not superb.
But seriously Ryu. Can we be best friends? Because you’re so smart <3
The Gryffindor was blown away by what the second year was saying. Perhaps it was because he wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box but he hadn’t even considered a more behind-the-scenes role with quidditch. It was the best of both worlds after all. You get to be absorbed in the game but you don’t have to be a superb quidditch player. Already Alden’s face was brightening as he considered the many options Ryu had touched on. “I’ve never thought about all that stuff. I guess you don’t really think about all the background stuff.” It was funny that a second year was giving a sixth year career advice but that’s just how it happened sometimes? It would seem so.
Alden was now even nodding as Ryu mentioned the journalism aspect. There was a whole other realm of possibilities out there for the boy, possibilities he hadn’t even thought about until now. And as much as Alden loved actually playing quidditch he was definitely thinking that he could fit in more doing these ‘desk’ jobs that might not be as glamorous but, hey, you’d get to meet all the famous people, right? He could interview star chasers and the like. And then he could get their autograph and sell it for billions and build his own island. Ryu! You are a genius!
He was only slightly carried away.
“You know, those ideas are brilliant. You should give career advice rather then those hags who don’t know a damn thing about anything other then aurors and healers.” Seriously, if you asked the people who advised about quidditch professions they’d probably just laugh and inform you that being an auror or a healer would be much more rewarding. Rewarding his tush. Alden wasn’t ‘rewarded’ by having chunks of his face missing or unwrapping and rewrapping bandages all day thank you very much.
Dec 4 2008, 01:29 AM
"Yeah?" Ryu asked, amused. He knew of a certain someone who would take immense joy in a pirate lesson. "Sounds like a great time." Why did Flying Lessons only last through First Year? The thirteen-year-old would not mind an hour strictly devoted to flying, per day. Even though their practices were getting tough towards the final game, he still found that he wanted more. He would fly all day, every day, if he was only allowed to. There was nothing compared to the feeling of soaring through the air coupled with the smell of broomstick polish. The Gryffindor could say, quite literally, that Quidditch was his life. No one else seemed to really love the game as much as he did--well, almost no one. Miles was an exception. And perhaps Keira. She was a bit Quidditch mad as well. "Glad I could help," replied the younger Gryffindor. "And you're right about the Auror and Healer stuff, too. Seems like there's not much else people want to do around here but hunt down Dark Wizards and get waist deep in bubotuber pus. That or sit behind a desk and rot until they die." He rolled his eyes. He'd rather be taken behind that uninhabited hut on the grounds and shot than sit at a desk in the Ministry like a good little boy. He wanted his life to be fast-paced, exciting, and on a broomstick. He'd be on the cover of every Quidditch magazine worldwide and go down in history as the best Seeker that the game had ever seen. But first he had to convince Keira and Jade that he was worth his salt when it came to Seeking, seeing as they kept handing him a Beaters' Bat.
Of course, Healing wasn't that bad. His Dad did it, after all, and even though most of the stuff he did seemed to Muggle-oriented, it didn't seem to be that boring. At least sometimes the got to cut people open. Healing was a lot of work though. And the requirements for becoming a Healer were ridiculous. Just to get into the school alone, you had to have O's in Potions, Charms, and lots of other absurd things. And if there was any career that involved him getting an O in Transfiguration, that was pretty much out. Ugh. It was irritating just to think about. Quidditch was simple, and simple was the way he liked things.
"You eaten dinner yet? I'm starving," Ryu offered to the older boy. Alden nodded, and the two headed down to the Great Hall. All this talking about the future had given him an appetite.
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