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Fenella Campbell

Quidditch Through the Ages

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Fenella Campbell

Even though it was a chilly Saturday morning Fenella was happy to not be inside. For a big old castle it quite often felt stuffy and closed in and the first year was used to having the freedom of walking to the shops or down to the beach at home, this was just another adjustment she was having to make for magic school. But she was here now and needing to make the most of it, so she'd ventured out to the stadium where they played the flying game and had been rewarded by seeing tryouts for the house teams.

 

It was amazing to watch as people zigged and zagged around, flying this way and that. While she hadn't quite got the hang of flying just yet, Fenella was keen to learn more about magic sport. She'd checked out Quidditch Through the Ages from the library and had the book open infront of her, but it was hard to read with all the action going on around her. She was listening to other conversations too as a number of students were gathering to watch or wait until it was their turn for trying out.

 

To the left of her was a boy she recognised from class (@Dale McQueen-Trengrove) and she caught his eye. Damn now she would have to say something so she didn't look as awkward as she felt. What's worse is that she couldn't remember his name. Initiating conversation was not her forte but she also didn't want to appear stalker-like and weird for starting at him once their eyes had met.

 

"You trying out for the team?" 

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

It was a bloody chilly morning and he was not at all inclined to just sit out and wait. But of course there were other houses and some of them had to go first or whatever. Luckily though his size meant that he did not get cold that easily. But after sitting there for awhile waiting for everything to start even he was getting cold. He sat there as he crossed his arms over his burly chest and then noticed a girl his age talking to him. "Course I am," he replied. "Are you?" 

 

He wondered if there were people in the stands who were just going to watch all of them tryout. It was a little bit awkward to have other people watch them and other houses. They could kind of size the other teams up from that. 

 

But whatever. Perhaps the more people the better. "I've grown up playing," he said. Unlike with dueling, the quidditch he had played as a junior was at lot closer to the real thing. He figured there would be other people here who were in the same boat. It was going to be interesting to see the teams though given that Hogwarts hadn't played Quidditch in two years. 

 

Things like the Triwizard Tournament and stuff had taken place and Quidditch had been shunted to the sidelines. "Bloody, I wish we would start already," he muttered. 

Edited by Dale McQueen-Trengrove

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Fenella Campbell

Fenella shook her head. She hoped that one day she would be able to join the team as she'd always loved playing sports, but she definitely needed waaaayy more practise at flying before then. She lifted up the book in her lap so he could see the cover. "I'm still learning," she explained. 

 

She was impressed that he'd been playing for a while but it was clear that the two of them had had very different lives up to this point. She already felt she was at a massive disadvantage coming from a muggle background and never even seeing magic until arriving at Hogwarts, but even simple things like sport were different. She was behind in absolutely everything already. But talking to her classmates, as much as she wasn't keen on initiating conversation, was important to her learning and trying to avoid standing out for her lack of knowledge.

 

"What position do you play?"

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

"Oh." He figured from her response that she was a muggleborn. He couldn't imagine what it was like to be a muggleborn and having not grown up around magic. It seemed all foreign to him even though he had nothing against muggleborns like some of the purists in the house did. But those were rarer and rarer these days. Even during when Harry Potter had gone to school the purebloods had been growing less and less in number. 

 

There was so few of them left that in maybe another couple of generations or so almost everyone would be half-bloods and muggleborns. 

 

"Finding out anything interesting?" He had never read Quidditch Through the Ages himself (history books were kind of not his thing) but he wanted to know how it came across from a different perspective. 

 

"And I play beater." Really it was the only position for someone of his size and he was good at it. He was looking forward to finally showing Zach and Gabe what he was actually capable of. The broom race had been unfair in a way though Zach was clearly a really good flier. Probably better than him if he was being honest, but he would never admit that. But still, he was larger than Zach and therefore, slower. 

 

The broom race really said nothing about his skills on a broom. 

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Fenella Campbell

"It's ok I guess," she replied as she closed the book. "It's got a lot of history but I was hoping it would tell me the rules of the game." While they'd gone over it briefly in Flying class, it hadn't been enough for Fenella to really get a grasp on what each of the balls did and which players used which balls, and why they even needed more than one ball. So far all she could work out was one ball went through the hoops to score but the other balls didn't score going through the hoops.

 

"Beater ..." she trailed off, thinking for a moment. Beater. Beater. Beater. She turned her head to see what was happening on the pitch. There were a number of players throwing the big ball back and forth, others just doing flying sprints, and a couple that were using metal bats similar size to a rounders bat but looking more like a mini baseball bat. Oooh they were it surely! "They have the bats, don't they?" she asked, because she wasn't actually surely of anything.

 

Even though the sun was now peeking through the clouds, it was the wind chill factor that made it so cold. Fenella pulled her beaning down a little further over hear head and crossed her arms to keep some warmth in her jacked. It was cool to see everyone flying about, no care in the world. She wished that she could be like that too.

 

"Are you nervous about trying out? Flying makes me nervous," she confided in Derrick. Dave? Dale? Dale! That was it, his name was Dale. 

"But then again I suppose you're used to it, right Dale?" 

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

"Yeah think you have to read a rulebook if you want to know the rules of the game." He had never read the rulebook himself - way too long and boring in his opinion. In his opinion, you learned better by doing. Besides in his junior days he always had a coach telling him what to do and he figured with captains in Quidditch, it was going to be the same. 

 

Beater wasn't even really that hard, all he basically had to do was swing his bat at the bludgers and direct them to the opposite team. He was big, strong and good at that and had never really bothered to learn the other positions knowing that there was no way he was going to be put in those spots anyways. Though he was a decent keeper because his size made it difficult for anyone to get the quaffle through the pitch and he had good reflexes. 

 

He nodded. "Yup, we hold the bats. Beater is the fun position. At least in terms of playing." The chasers and the seekers usually got the attention of the crowd and the glory, but the beaters played a vital role in their success. 

 

"Me nervous? Nah," he lied. He didn't have any physical symptoms of nerves, but in reality his brain was running through a million thoughts of how much he wanted to make it even though he was only a first year. But he knew it would be difficult. And there were better fliers than he was trying out among the first years. He knew as much because he had raced one of them and figured his brother had to be just as good. And both of them were undoubtedly trying out for this. 

 

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Fenella Campbell

“Well I was looking for a rule book, but I guess I’m not used to libraries,” Fenella confided. She’d only managed to find Quidditch Through The Ages as it was sitting on the trolley waiting to be returned to the shelves. Libraries were hard and like a giant Google you had to work for, which defeats the purpose of Google. Stupid library.

 

So from her basic knowledge and what he had already told her Dale used the bat to hit the psycho balls. She then turned to the team currently trying out to confirm. Yes. But fun?

”Do you ever worry that you hit someone and they could be like really badly hurt? Or that you could get really badly hurt if one hits you?”

 

From her still very limited knowledge of magic she understood that everything about it was dangerous - even the sport it seemed! I mean a sprained ankle was no laughing matter (she’d had a couple so she knew) but it wasn’t an injury likely to occur every time she played. In this game, who really knew?

 

”Sorry, I shouldn’t be bothering you with questions.” Not only because she was sure it was annoying but also because it showed just how vulnerable she was coming from a background with no magic knowledge at all. But then did you really need a magic background to talk sports? Sport was like an international language - no matter what you spoke, people understood it, kind of like maths or music. Fenella decided to try a different line of questions, one that didn’t make her feel so ... lost.

 

“Even if you’re not nervous I’m sure you’ve got to prepare, right? Like some pre-game ritual?”

 

 

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

He snorted. “Guess you’re not a nerd then which means maybe you’re ok Campbell.” He hated going to the library himself — perhaps that was why he was behind some of his peers when it came to learning new spells. But he really didn’t want to bother with the library either. He only wanted to go there when he had to. 

 

“Uh . . . no?” He replied to her. “I mean I guess someone could get really injured, but I haven’t seen that happen ever.” It helped that in the junior Quidditch leagues the bludgers weren’t quite as fast (or as hard) as they were in real Quidditch. Now, however, if he got on the team, he’d be using the same bludgers as the pros. But there were beaters on both teams and largely they were supposed to help protect their own team. 

 

Plus the pros knew how to avoid bludgers well enough. 

 

Even if someone did get seriously injured, magic usually put things back right. Most of the time anyways. 

 

Dale’s thoughts about her question were momentarily distracting him and he lost himself a little in those thoughts when she asked him about a pre-game ritual. “Don’t have that either." He usually just went out and played. But the more she talked to him, the more that he was starting to grow nervous and thus he was wondering if he was going to have to start coming up with a pre-game ritual. On the other hand though, he figured that his nerves would clam down once he was finally on the pitch and actually playing. 

 

The momentary rush of adrenaline only lasted so long. 

Edited by Dale McQueen-Trengrove

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Fenella Campbell

"Uh thanks," Fenella replied. 'Ok' was better than 'nerd' and that was better than the quiet shy girl who didn't speak, so therefore it wasn't all that bad. Although it wasn't all that great either. She shrugged her shoulders, it would do for now.

 

As soon as she asked the question she felt it had been silly. Why worry about hurting others when that was the aim of the game, or at least the position? She took a moment to watch the players currently trying out, and noticed that those with the bats, like Dale, were rather stocky. Fenella took comfort in the fact that if she ever tried out for the Hufflepuff team in the future her slight build was not the right for being a Beater. Before she could consider any other position though she really needed to get the hang of flying.

 

But he bought her back from her thoughts with the his lack of pre-game activities. "You don't have a ritual?" she asked, surprised.

"It doesn't have to be something you do right before the game. Like I always wear the same socks on game day."

Perhaps the ritual was just a 'Fenella-ism'? She thought about it for a moment, no there were definitely others at her school that had superstitions too.

"Hannah, my friend from home, has to brush her teeth before playing. And my cousin Robbie has a playlist he has to listen too before a game."

 

She was genuinely curious about the answer, but didn't want to throw her classmate off his game by worrying him about something he didn't necessarily need (though she thought it wise). "We don't play Quidditch though, maybe it's not a thing in magic sports?"

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Dale McQueen-Trengrove

"I guess I eat the same meal," he admitted. He had his usual eggs and toast. Normally breakfast for him was steak and eggs but he did have to go a bit lighter on game day for fear of nerves doing something to his stomach though he never really had that delicate of a stomach. "So I suppose that could be my ritual." 

 

He snorted with her comments about other people's rituals. "Hope everyone brushes their teeth before playing. Unless you mean like he has to brush right before. But I mean I would hope people would brush their teeth after breakfast." The playlist thing was a much better ritual. He could see the value in that. 

 

"Nah," he said. "I'm sure some of my soon-to-be teammates will have all sorts of rituals. It's not just a muggle thing." Literally everyone who ever played sorts probably had some kind of ritual. He just never had called it that or thought about it until today. 

 

But now that he was thinking about it, his breakfast was definitely his. Naturally. 

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Fenella Campbell

Fenella nodded in encouragement. As long as it was a different breakfast from his regular breakfast then it totally was a pre game or game day ritual. She seemed to have forgotten that Dale wasn't actually playing today, and possible game day rituals didn't count when trying out but oh well. She looked to the pitch and noticed that the current team were starting to wrap things up.

 

The Hufflepuff turned back to her housemate. "She!" Fenella laughed. "And yes she has to brush them within 10 minutes of the game starting or .. well ... you know." No, not you know, that sounded too ominous right before a try out. "Uh bad breath."

 

She hoped he would skip over that last bit, she didn't want to make him nervous before trying out. Come to think of it, maybe she shouldn't have even spoken to him at all. If the roles were reversed she was sure this conversation wouldn't be helping her nerves. But then again, Dale seemed pretty confident. "So it's more like a sport thing then? Interesting..." 

 

Fenella wanted to ask more. It was one of the first conversations since starting at Hogwarts where her muggle born background actually didn't make her feel lost. But by now people in the stands were moving about and a new group of students were making their way down to the pitch.

 

"Well I guess this means it's your turn," she smiled at him as those around them began to move. "Good luck!"

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