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Capt. Ali Johnson, Seeker
No, this is being distracted.
Fri Feb 3, 2017 13:39
109.146.114.10

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’ performances. It was a more noticeable question now that he was Seeker, because any sort of distraction could result in him missing the snitch. But at the same time, he could hardly give his teammates feedback if he didn't observe how they played during the game. And he was very interested in seeing how they developed as individuals, as well as looking for collective gaps that the whole team needed more work on. Alistair supposed that's why coaches and captains were two very different things in the real world of Quidditch. It was funny how much responsibility had been given to him since he was just a mere first year, but he could hardly begrudge it for the great opportunity it had provided him. He felt that he'd really developed as a coach over the years and was proud that it had really paid off this time. No one could pretend otherwise, now that Crotalus were actually in the finals.

Alistair didn't doubt himself, as a general rule. Anybody could see that without even needing to know him. But as he had matured over the years, he’d attained a lot more self-awareness and knew that not everyone held the appropriate amount of respect or admiration for him. He assumed that he wasn't overly popular with some of the Quidditch fanatics in the other houses but that made sense to some degree. To them he was a threat, because he was so good. But sometimes he felt as though members of his own team had been indifferent towards him. Perhaps it was just because they couldn't handle the hard work and effort he asked of them. Fortunately the Crotalus team had evolved and the newer players were much easier to coach. As much of an issue it could have presented, Alistair had secretly been glad to see the back of Uzume Shinohara. For some reason she'd always seemed more in league with the Reinhardts, even when they'd no longer been on the same team. Alistair supposed they was probably the reason that Arne was the way he was. But now that he no longer was forced to work alongside Liac Reinhardt and his weird silent henchman, Alistair really couldn't give them the time of day and he wasn't surprised that Arne wasn't going to let it go too. He was a Crotalus and if he was going to be captain of the team one day (which was a horrible thought, not because it was Arne, but because this was the team that Alistair had built all by himself and passing it over to anyone's hands meant he could no longer guide them to success and his work could be undone) then he needed to know where his loyalty lay. Admittedly the younger Crotalus had showed more enthusiasm towards the team this year than he had previously but he was a fool not to make the most out of being Alistair Johnson’s second in command.

One day that name would really mean something and then perhaps that would put the youngest Reinhardt in his place, not that it would even matter by then.

Alistair at least got to see Daniel snag he Quaffle before he found himself under attack. He knew that John Umland wouldn't be taking it easy under any circumstances but he hadn't overlooked the fact that this was the legendary Clark Dill’s last match either. No doubt he'd want to go out with a bang and reclaim his Seeking legacy so they'd be playing harder than ever to make this happen. But that didn't mean they wanted this win anymore that Alistair did. He needed this and he was going to give his all and more. Hopefully the rest of his team were also set out to give one hundred and ten percent. He expected nothing less from them. House pride existed in everyone, he was sure, whether they were interested in Quidditch or not. And Alistair was sure that his team were determined not to look like idiots in front of the entire school, which wasn't the reason he would've liked to be behind their effort but if it got the results he couldn't complain. He also believed that they would want to do him proud, and they quite rightly should.

Alistair knew that his team weren't the bunch of talented athletes he wished they were and no matter how hard he worked, the fifth year couldn't work miracles. So long as they did their best today, he would be happy with them. But he wouldn't be happy with himself if they didn't win. Alistair was so certain that he had it in him. He could beat Clark Dill, and he just needed to prove that now - to the crowd and to himself. If he was going to be a professional athlete one day, he needed to be able to rise to challenges like this and come out on top.

Évreux sent Umland’s bludger flying back towards Dill. From what he could tell, it wasn't the most powerful hit but it was a hit and it was in the right direction so it was a good start. Alistair would have been concerned if Sébastien had failed to defend him so early in the game but he shot him a “well done Évreux” nonetheless because he had come to understand the effect of positivity in more recent years. If his Seeker Beater was thinking positively, he would play positively. Alistair trusted that his and Arne’s work with the second year had paid off and, although he was of course still a long way off from Umland’s standards, the Crotalus captain had enough trust in his abilities to keep him in such a key position for what might well be their toughest match yet.

Dill dodged the bludger but then Alistair heart sped up because the Aladren Seeker did more than just dodge. He was diving down, and fast, and then he outstretched his arm... Alistair was straight off after him before he had even fully processed the other captain’s manoeuvres. There was a high chance that Dill was tricking him, especially since the snitch didn’t usually appear this early in the school games, but Alistair couldn’t risk overestimating the opposition’s tactics. That would be really foolish.

But as he dove down past the Chaser play, the Crotalus captain was distracted by one of his first years crying out upon taking a bludger to the shoulder. It was déjà vu.

Shock shot through Alistair’s body, the off-centre impact sending him back around to face the Teppalus hoops and throwing him forwards onto his broomstick, his face smashing into the broom handle and the Quaffle obviously relinquishing itself from his hold. The young Crotalus was momentarily lost for breath, the pain so agonizing where the bludger had struck his deltoid.

His worst nightmare might just have happened. Injuries were a part of playing the game but this hadn’t just been any old injury for him and the last thing Alistair wanted was for any one of his players to experience the same thing. On reflection, he’d played his own part in inflicting the pain when he’d been too impatient with the recovery process, but even so it had all been most excruciating even before that.

But then the bludger-ed first year regained possession of the Quaffle and passed it, which put Alistair a bit more at ease - although he too had played on back in his first year so that didn’t necessarily mean that all was okay. He noted that the unlucky kid was Simon Mordue and he was proud of him for continuing. That was the kind of spirit and perseverance he wanted to see more of from his team.

Alistair returned his attention to his own task and swore. He’d slowed down to watch the spectacle. How stupid could he get?! He knew it would have been a completely different story if it had been one of the older players getting hit, but a first year taking a blow to the shoulder was just history repeating itself. He wanted to forget it but perhaps there was something in the back of his mind insisting that he still wasn’t one hundred percent physically healed and he just refused to admit it.

The fifth year accelerated after Clark but, even with speed being one of his greatest strengths (and his broom being a top of the range racing broom), there was no way he was going to get there in time. But maybe it was just as well because Clark suddenly turned sharply, leaving it so late that he was pushing off the ground. He was clearly pulling out the stops and Alistair couldn’t help wondering if he had scouts he was trying to impress. He’d hadn’t considered it before, because Clark was clearly a nerd who would be interested in doing nerdy things with his future, but now that he did, it didn’t really sound that crazy. Clark Dill definitely had the talent.

The distance between Alistair and the opposing Seeker actually worked out in his favour, because it gave him time to respond to Clark’s sudden change in direction and save himself the risk of crashing into the ground. Alistair didn’t think he would have, but he had to hand it to Dill - the guy sure could pull of a Wronski Feint.

There was no let up from Umland and as he tried to regain some altitude, Alistair spotted another bludger coming his way. At this rate he’d be searching the skies for bludgers, rather than the snitch. He veered to one side and continued to climb, avoiding the aggressive bludger whilst trying to return to his Seeking pattern so that Évreux would be able to keep tabs on him more easily again.

  • 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
      • 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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