It is just before nine o’clock on the day of our match against Puddlemere, we have put hours of time into practicing and developing tactics for this match based on knowledge from what Oliver has said in the past and what we can expect. We also persuaded Katie to help us train. It has been some of the most intense exhausting training of my life but I do feel prepared for the match today. We are all currently stood outside the Puddlemere Practice Pitch.
“Come on lets show them how to play.” Emma says. We follow her through the front door and out on to the pitch. She spots the team and heads towards them, Oliver has them all stood in a line with their backs to the entrance as we get closer we can hear what Oliver is saying.
“So you all think your competition ready then. Well I don’t so I have asked a team who to come and play you today which they agreed to do. I have a commentator and there will be a simulated crowd to distract you.” Suddenly a voice from behind speaks.
“So do you think you can take them down a peg or two? Hi I’m David King I’m the owner of Puddlemere and I agree with Oliver these guys are far too cocky with an exception of the Seeker but he has played much longer than the rest of the team. So you ready to play?” We smile at each other before replying with and affirmative. The rest of the team is talking now and so I listen in.
“Come on Oliver who are we playing?”
“Are they any good?”
“Is it the second string cos it will just be embarrassing for them.”
“If you lot would shut up for five seconds I could introduce the team.” He waves us over. As we approach we can see the looks on their faces that say ‘aww look at this we’re going to destroy them!’ The team is made up of two girls and five guys. The two girls have that look that says ‘I’m a huge bitch’ they are both slender but their arms look strong they probably play either chaser or keeper. The rest of the team all fit the traditional build and are looking at us like we are a meal. The only exception is Callum Paley the seeker, who has been on the team for years, he just looks curious and a bit confused. The whole team is silent before one of the girls opens her mouth and says in a thick French accent
“Ollie is this some sort of joke?” the rest of the team joins in then
“We can’t play kids.”
“What do you think this will prove?”
“Come on Ollie you know we are ready to play a real team.” Oliver frowns at that comment before replying
“A real team. You guys aren’t ready to play any team never mind a ‘real’ team. And considering the fact none of you have ever got a shot past me I would shut up about being ready to play a ‘real’ team. These guys are far more of a team than you lot are. Now quit complaining. Especially as Mr King is watching this match from the commentator’s box. Ok just to reiterate, we are treating this like an official match I’m the ref, Nick Jorden is going to commentate and as I said earlier there will be a simulated crowd that will cheer, boo and distract you. You will start in the separate entrance tunnels and fly out when you name is called. Any questions?” everyone is silent “Ok to your tunnels.”
“Ok and welcome to this unexpected match of Puddlemere United vs the Gryffindor Lions! I’m your commentator for today Nick Jorden and I feel I should explain that while there are players with the same surname they all play different positions. Now let’s get the teams out. First the home team, Chasers HARDY, CLAY and BRODUR. Beaters KELLY and BRADY. Keeper ABLE and Seeker PALEY! This is a very fresh team and has never played a professional team. Now let’s bring out their competition! Chasers POTTER, WEASLEY and MALFOY. Beaters POTTER and WEASLEY. Keeper WOOD and Seeker POTTER! Yep this is gonna get complicated. And I’m sorry Oliver but for today you are officially called Ref. Now the bludgers and the snitch are away, the quaffle is released and the game begins! Immediately grabbed by Potter who passes to Malfoy to Weasley back to Malfoy to Weasley to Potter. Oh a great bludger form Weasley who has just stopped Kelly from hitting a bludger at Malfoy. And they are coming up to the hoops will Able save this? NO she will not, diving in completely the wrong direction there. Anyway she passes the quaffle to Clay who passes to Hardy but Weasley has stolen it passes to Potter who quickly shoots and SCORES. That makes it 0 – 20 to the lions. Ok now Brodeur has the quaffle she is making her way down the pitch not even attempting to pass. And a bludger from Potter causing her to drop the quaffle which is easily picked up by Malfoy. He passes to Potter, Weasley, Malfoy, Weasley, Potter, Weasley they’re at the goal she shooooots… and she scores one goal apiece for the lion’s chasers. Now Brodeur has the Quaffle again. Brodeur, Clay, Hardy, Clay, they finally seem to be gaining some ground annnd Brodeur shoots and it is saves by Wood. Bad luck.”
The game continued in much the same fashion with Al, Scorpius ad Rose scoring again and again. Fred and I were busy keeping the bludgers away from our chasers and stopping Puddlemere’s chasers from reaching Emma. Even when they did reach the goal Emma had been fantastic and had only let in four goals. Lily was still scouring the sky but hadn’t had any luck as of yet, at the moment the score is 40 – 220 to us and I almost feel bad for the other team, have become desperate and in doing so they have become sloppy making our jobs easier. As I watch Rose is making her way to the goal with the quaffle suddenly I see a flash of red as Lily drops from the sky closely followed by a blue streak. All the Puddlemere players stop to watch the two seekers, while Rose sweeps forward and shoots the quaffle through the left hoop. Lily shoots upwards missing the ground the Puddlemere seeker narrowly misses face planting the ground but catches the tail of his broom on the ground causing him to spin off and lose control for a few moments.
“Oh and a sly move from Potter there looks like she went for a Wronski Feint. Paley doesn’t seem to have any serious injuries but he is having trouble with his broom. I hope there isn’t too much damage. And the score is now 40 – 230 thanks to a sneaky goal from Weasley have to look out for her. But Potter is off again. I don’t know if she has seen some thing or if this is another trick but she is flying down the pitch. Potter has the Quaffle and is by Puddlemere’s goal again and shoots. Once again Able is not paying attention and allows him to score. And she dodges a bludger from Kelly by swinging around her broom! I’ve never seen anything like it Paley is gaining but not enough. Potter dives arm is out annnnnd. OH bludger to the wrist from Brady but that isn’t stopping her. She switches arms and yes she got it! It’s all over final score is 40 – 390 to the Gryffindor Lions! That was a great match I’ve been Nick Jorden thank you for listening.”
We won! The look on Puddlemere’s faces though, they look ready to kill us. I land and rush over to Lily in one hand she is holding the snitch and her broom while supporting her other wrist.
“Shit Lily I’m sorry I should have blocked that bludger!”
“James you were on the other side of the pitch there was nothing you could do.” She replies. Oliver walks over a frown on his face.
“Lily are you ok?”
“Yer I think my wrist is broken but otherwise I’m great.” she grins in response. I can’t help but laugh at Oliver’s face, he just looks so confused as to how she could have broken her wrist but be so happy.
“Okay, well the healers are over there. Go get your wrist fixed and cleaned up then I want everyone to meet in the stagy room in half an hour. I grin and head to the changing rooms.
We are all sat in a room with multiple benches for people to sit on and a huge chalk board at the front. Puddlemere united are all sat together looking murderous. David King is sat at the back of the room the rest of us are sat across from Puddlemere. Oliver is at the front of the room frowning. I don’t know if he expected us to win or if he thought would be fairly even but the fact that we obliterated them he doesn’t look happy about. He turns to the Puddlemere team.
“Ok guys today you played a match. A match which was a professional quidditch team against a team of fourteen to seventeen year old. And the outcome total annihilation. Now I don’t want excuses because you don’t have any. If I let you play another professional team we would be the laughing stock of England. Now I want to know from you why this team was managed to out play you so impressively.” This is met with silence as no one wants to be the first to say a fault. “Fine!” he turns to us. “Ok where do you think they were going wrong because when I tell them their issues they don’t listen.” We look at each other, silently asking who wants to go first then from within our group a voice says
“Well I can’t speak for the whole team but Callum was doing his job properly. True, I don’t think he took me seriously as competition but his only mistake I would say was when I attempted the Wronski Feint and even then he didn’t face plant. But he should have realised sooner that I hadn’t actually seen the snitch. I mean he did get level with me he should have known.” I can’t help the smirk that develops.
“Both the beaters need to be more vicious I mean I know we are younger but at the start of the match you only defended your players.” I say
“Well for most of the match I didn’t have much to do due to our beaters and chasers so I got a good view of the match. And well I agree with James your beaters could do so much more they don’t have to be there just to protect the team, they can be used in plays. One play we didn’t get to play today is for when the opposition has the quaffle. The beaters hit both bludgers in front of the chasers stopping them dead allowing our chasers to steal the quaffle. Also your chasers never even attempted to steal the quaffle. When they got an opportunity to shoot at me they seemed to favor one arm and in general they seemed to go for the easy play that if successful would make themselves look better rather than try to confuse me by quickly passing the quaffle to another team mate.” Emma blushed at the end of her speech and seemed to be waiting for someone to disagree. I looked at Fred to see him looking at Emma in awe, I turned to look at Oliver who was also looking at Emma but with a look of pride.
“The chasers always seemed to know each other’s mind without saying anything.” I quickly turned to see who had spoken, to see the Puddlemere players had also turned to look at Callum their seeker. He slowly walked to the front of the room and stood before us. “Now I know that we are supposed to be the professional team and therefore should have trounced this younger team. However a few years ago when Puddlemere won the Quidditch World Cup and I don’t think that that team would have been any more successful against this team than we were today. To begin with their chasers have one mind, I know I said that before but they were incredible. They changed to the situation easily and smoothly without any incident. Their beaters not only did their job but they also assisted goals they when they saw an opportunity for the chasers they gave it to them and the chasers where always there to get the quaffle. Emma you are every bit your fathers daughter, you never stopped watching the quaffle even when the snitch seemed to be insight you stayed focused. And finally Miss Potter I personally feel privileged to have played against you and I know that you are by far the superior seeker, I also know that I should have realised what you were doing when you attempted the Wronski Feint however I was concentrating on keeping up with you and that is my mistake. But when you actually saw the snitch I realised that there was no catching you and if you don’t become a professional seeker then this whole profession will have lost a fantastic seeker. That’s all I have to say now as my wife is nearly nine months pregnant. Does anyone have an issue with me heading home?” everyone was silent and Oliver smiles and nods Callum to the door. Callum heads out of the room while everyone watches. Once he has gone Oliver turns back to the room “Ok guys I think that’s enough for today go home get some rest I’ll see you tomorrow so we can disect the match play by play. Guys thank you were brilliant have a great holiday.”