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Clark Dill, Seeker
Last time around
Tue Jan 24, 2017 21:12

Clark did not normally get nervous before Quidditch games these days. Even last time, coming back for potentially his final game after his first lost, and going against the same seeker who had beaten him the year before, he hadn't really been nervous. He'd felt some pressure to win, some pride to reclaim, some perfectionism raising up to fix the blemish that had appeared on his record, but he'd gone into the game with a plan and confidence, and an unspoken acceptance that if it was his final game, at least that would give him more time to study for his RATS.

Today was different. Today there was no silver lining to losing. Today there was no uncertainty. This was, absolutely, his last game at Sonora, his last game representing Aladren. He thought it was very likely that he would continue the sport into college - heck, he had a pending Seeking Scholarship to the University of Toronto if he decided to go there, which he very well might, if he won this game and the scouts in the audience today decided Clark was somebody they wanted on their team (he just assumed that they'd decide against him if he lost today). Because if he got the Seeker scholarship, that would be a full ride. His financial package to CalTech was decent, but not that good.

So he was here, and the Toronto people were here, and Clark's future was literally on the line. One way or another, this game would impact it. Was he going to become a Canadian or a Californian? Was he going to have twenty five years of debt, or come out of college with a positive balance in his bank account?

He supposed he could possibly even have the opportunity to go pro if this worked out in his favor, but he wasn't sure he wanted to even consider that boat yet. Science was obviously his long term plan, but pro Quidditch wasn't a retirement career. Just look at Coach Grase. He'd just have to try to time his retirement for before he took that debilitating bludger that ended his career for him and left him with a lot of health problems. (He wasn't sure that her current sick leave was related to her Quidditch injuries, but neither was he convinced that they weren't.) The coach was still young, still had plenty of time for another career if she chose that route.

But first he had to see how this game went, what the Toronto scouts thought about him. If it went in Crotalus' favor, all of that was gone in a puff of smoke and no longer on the table. CalTech's financial package was based on his grades and his dad being an alumnus, not on Clark's sporting extracurriculars. CalTech was more into Quadpot anyway and he wasn't sure if they even had a ranked Quidditch college team.

So, yeah, Clark was a bit nervous today. This Quidditch game actually mattered in a way none of his previous games ever had.

. . . And it was pouring rain. Lovely. Poor visibility. Strong winds likely to muck up everything from Quaffle tosses to flight patterns. As he got out to the pitch proper, he was at least relieved that the gusts were not favoring either House, as they were going crosswise rather than lengthwise and nobody was going to be flying directly into the wind on their way to the goals.

He'd been pre-warned about the need for drying charms, so his were already in place as his team gathered around him, and he offered and cast them on the younger players who still needed them as they arrived. One he had his full team present, he began his speech, keeping it short and simple in the hopes that being efficient would get the game started faster and therefore the game ended faster and therefore settle all of his future's uncertainties and get everyone out of the rain sooner.

"Good luck everyone. This is my last game as your captain, so I just want to say now that it has been a pleasure working with each and everyone of you. I'm proud of you all, regardless of how this game goes. That said, I'm sure you'll all do great. We're all Aladrens so we're smart and I won't belabor all the things we've been practicing for months." He didn't bother to mention that John was going to cover him, because this was the way they trained every single practice, John worked with Clark on his new and improved pattern. Louis, having been a talented Chaser himself, worked with the Chasers, helping them learn to work around bludgers in their game. Or something like that. Clark wasn't entirely sure what they did, honestly. He just knew John said Louis said they were coming along nicely. So he trusted they did whatever they did well and it worked for the four of them in the Chaser Unit. Lena, too, had her practices with both the Aladren Chaser Unit and her new group of Keeper friends, so Clark was confident she was as ready as she'd ever be for this final.

"I will just note the wind and the rain, and remind you all to take that into account with whatever balls you might be throwing or hitting," or catching in his own case, but he didn't really need to mention that to the rest of them as it wasn't pertinent to anyone but him, "and to watch that your brooms aren't drifting too much. The wind is pushing us sideways. The rain is pushing us down. Don't let it take you by surprise, and, if you can, use it to your advantage. We're clever. Play smart. John, I'll be using the back-up pattern. Go Aladren!"

After the cheer, he went to shake Alistair's hand, glad that his nerves did not demonstrate themselves in a shaky voice or trembling hand, just as a minor unsettled feeling in his stomach. He thought there might be a witty remark about the rain and keeping things clean, but he couldn't pull it together in time, so he just shook the Crotalus captain's hand with a more generic, "Good luck," that was traditional but not heartfelt. He truthfully was kind of hoping that all of Alistair's luck this game might be bad.

It was probably good he hadn't won that potion of Felix Felicis or he might have been sorely tempted to use a drop or two of it today, even though that had been expressly forbidden. He'd just have to trust to his own natural luck, which, admittedly, was generally pretty awesome most of the time.

Maybe that was his alien power. Just a constant, low-grade Felix Felicis in effect on him, all the time. Not as flashy as Superman, obviously, but a good power to have just the same. He'd take it. Especially today.

As he readied himself for take-off, Clark took a moment to mentally thank Jake again for the gift of his broom. He'd had most of a year practice with it, so at least he had no concerns on the broom front this game.

The whistle blew and he kicked off, launching immediately into a pattern that was designed with lower visibility in mind, so it involved more altitude changes than his normal one. This was a lesser practiced pattern, the one he called his 'back-up' and not one that came out in games very often. (And even when it did, the visibility was poor, so he wasn't sure how well anyone watching from the stands could tell that it was different to his normal one.) Of course, this was rain, not fog, so visibility wasn't that reduced this time around, but he didn't really want to take chances. The snitch was hard enough to see under normal circumstances.

And today was his last game and there were people to impress and his future to win. No reason not to pull out all of the stops. Besides, it wasn't as ingrained, so he'd be watching to make sure he hit his marks rather than flying on autopilot. With this wind today, that was probably a good thing.

  • Championship Game: Aladren vs. Crotalus!Substitute Prof. Isis Carter , Fri Jan 20 15:19
    Isis sighed. She had been so happy when the school had acquired a Quidditch coach, but the poor woman’s health was just not cooperating with the game schedule. Or just… cooperating, it seemed, as... more
    • You were warned.Capt. Ali Johnson, Seeker, Sun Feb 12 10:16
      Alistair didn’t allow his mind to dwell on the fact that he’d been tricked by Dill and he continued his search for the golden snitch. The elements were certainly against him finding it but he... more
    • In it to win it.Daniel Fintoc, Chaser , Sun Jan 29 06:37
      Daniel had been far happier than he could’ve imagined when they actually won their last game. It had felt like Crotalus were the underdogs for a long time now, always struggling to make the numbers,... more
      • You can say that again.Arne Reinhardt, Beater, Wed Feb 1 16:45
        Spirit Club consisted of a few things which Arne thought was a bit silly but there were a few aspects of it which he could appreciate the first being the parties they threw and the second being the... more
        • Making my debut.Amelia Layne semi-Chaser, Thu Feb 2 13:34
          Before the first match, Amelia had been bouncing with enthusiasm even though she had known she was not going to play. Before the second match, she was frozen with terror because she had been informed ... more
          • Nothing like winning your first match!Louis Valois, Beater, Thu Feb 2 14:55
            Louis shook his head as released his hair from his towel before running a hand through it to make sure it looked messy but artistic. He didn’t just let it lie any old way! In nothing but his boxers,... more
            • I enjoyed it very much.Simon Mordue, Chaser, Fri Feb 3 12:08
              Simon saw the rain on the windows as soon as he’d woken up, but for a while, he had managed to mostly deny its reality. Maybe, he had thought, it had just been an illusion on their windows; he’d... more
              • So did I!Winston Pierce, Chaser, Fri Feb 3 13:53
                Winston saw the rain on his window that morning and decided, in spite of previous experience to the contrary, that this was Arizona, and a dessert, so it would surely stop before the game began. He... more
                • Let's enjoy this one, lads.Daniel Fintoc, Chaser, Fri Feb 3 14:39
                  Daniel was pleased when his pass landed safely in Crotalus hands but he then winced as Simon got hit by a bludger. Arne had just saved him from the same harassment and could hardly be everywhere at... more
                  • A very big step would be needed Lena, Keeper , Fri Feb 3 15:55
                    Things were not looking good so far as chasing was concerned. Crotalus started with possesion, which Lena wasn’t too worried about. She had an eye on the bright red robes of the opposing team... more
          • Determined to not be phased Lena W., Keeper , Thu Feb 2 14:17
            Lena was nervous. There was no other word for it. Playing Quidditch for the Aladren team had been more exciting and enjoyable than she had thought it could be third year when she had given the sport... more
    • Last time around — Clark Dill, Seeker, Tue Jan 24 21:12
      • It won't be like old times.Capt. Ali Johnson, Seeker, Sun Jan 29 05:57
        Winning had felt amazing. It had meant a lot to the whole team, after years (for some of the players at least) of hard work, to finally get that reward they’d been striving for. But it had also felt... more
        • All you targets look pretty much the same to me.John Umland, Beater, Wed Feb 1 15:12
          Toronto was not, in the grand scheme of things, a place John had ever thought about much. His maternal grandparents lived there, but he rarely saw them. His mom was from there, but had completed her... more
          • Yeah, well your face doesn't look pretty to meSébastien Évreux, Beater, Thu Feb 2 15:00
            For the first time since Sébastien had started playing Quidditch – and apparently also longer than that – Crotalus had made it to the final. Sébastien hadn’t yet decided if this was a good thing. On... more
            • I'm feeling feintCaptain Clark Dill, Seeker, Fri Feb 3 12:00
              Clark saw that Alistair was keeping some distance from him for now. Good. That was the way he liked it. Granted, he had a good broom now, so it wasn't a matter of needing a head start now, though... more
              • I'm feeling slightly distracted.John Umland, Beater, Fri Feb 3 12:42
                John supposed it meant he was getting a little cocky, but he was mildly surprised when the little Crotalus Beater, the one who was not a Reinhardt, managed to intercept the Bludger and send it back... more
                • No, this is being distracted.Capt. Ali Johnson, Seeker, Fri Feb 3 13:39
                  The downside of being such a committed coach for the Crotalus team was that, when it came to matches, Alistair found it could be difficult to pay the right attention to the other players’... more
                  • And this is, hopefully, being distractingSébastien Évreux, Beater, Fri Feb 3 15:15
                    Sébastien was disappointed when Clark dived, missing his carefully aimed bludger. Having moving targets really didn’t making beating easier! Still, at least it meant Dill had needed to change... more
                    • Out of time but posting anywayClark Dill, Fri Feb 3 15:32
                      Upon looking around, Clark smiled at what he found - Alistair was below the altitude of the Chasers which meant he had followed, at least for a little while, and the bludger was heading his way.... more
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