Hilda Hexenmeister
Beating this tryout
Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:16

The Quidditch tryouts were today! Hilda could not begin to contain her excitement. She wanted to get on the team so bad, but she was concerned that her age and lack of English were going to work against her. Especially as a beater, being bigger helped. Hilda was tall for her age, being only just a half inch shy of her older brother who was himself about average height for a thirteen year old, so she was by no means tiny as an eleven year old. But she was up against two sixth years. Two second years, too, but Hilda wasn’t too concerned about them. She felt confident in her ability to compete against twelve year olds.

With luck, the one sixth year would get Chaser, as he had signed up for both, but the other was, like her, signed up strictly as a Beater. Luckily, Quidditch needed two, so she didn’t need to best both sixteen year olds, just one of them.

She arrived early to the Pitch, to show her dedication, and dragged her brother along behind her so she didn’t miss any early words of English the coach might offer to the first arrivals. She started stretching immediately, not wanting to get a cramp or anything during the tryout. She scowled at Heinrich until he joined her. No brother of hers was going to just be sitting around when he could be demonstrating their strong Quidditch background to the coach.

Finally, finally, enough people showed up for the coach to get things started. Yes! A foot race! An excellent opportunity to show she could keep up with the bigger students! She took off.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take her long to realize the others weren’t running like it was a race. Still, she kept running hard, no longer trying to win, but rather to stay even with the lead group, which was probably all she’d manage anyway, but at least it would feel less like losing if she wasn’t trying to claim the lead spot. Regardless, it would surely still look good, keeping up with the older kids.

She was out of breath when she reached the end of the lap, sweating profusely, but she’d managed her goal, and the worst of her excess of excitement had been burned off. She was totally ready to buck down and get serious now.

But the Coach started leading stretches first. She’d already done hers - and a good thing, too, or that run might have done her in - but she followed along anyway, not understanding any of the coach’s English, but you didn’t need words to see you were supposed to copy what he was doing.

After a little bit, Heinrich collapsed onto the ground next to her and she gave him a dirty look for failing her as a translator and a brother. Instead of trying to improve the Hexenmeister name by participating with everyone else, he just flopped down on his stomach and didn’t move. The out of shape ninny. At least he’d done some stretches earlier and probably didn’t need to repeat them, though a cool down probably would have been good for him.

He redeemed himself as a translator if not a brother by telling her about the three broom laps, and she took off. She was not able to win. She tried her best and did well enough, but she did not win. But that was okay. Beaters were rarely as speedy as Chasers or Seekers.

Heinrich’s racing was not impressive. She raised an eyebrow at him, wondering just what exactly he’d been doing the last two years to get so slow. He used to at least be able to keep up with her. It did not occur to her that it was she who got faster rather than him who got slower.

But before she could comment on his speed deterioration, the Coach started talking, and Heinrich started translating, and she was actually really impressed by her brother’s command of the foreign language. He was able to talk and listen at the same time. She didn’t think she could do that even if both parts were in German.

Unfortunately, agility was her weakness on a broom. She had pretty decent speed, but try as she might, tight maneuvers eluded her nearly as much as English did.

Still, she wasn’t going to let the skill test defeat her. She held the Quaffle close, its size feeling large and awkward in her arm, put her head down and barreled through the course. The poles she weaved around without too much loss of speed - they weren’t moving so she could ready herself for them ahead of time. The boxes moved about randomly and she tried to avoid them when she could do it without giving up too much momentum, but they were lighter than she was, so she just as often set her shoulder just so and slammed right into it.

The hoops were her bane. She hated the hoops. They required a level of precision the poles hadn’t, and they weren’t just a barrier to power through like the boxes were.

Hilda cut her losses, picked a course where she could pass through three of them without too much tight maneuvering and just ignored the rest. She’d probably lose some points for that, but she hoped it looked better than her floundering at a snail’s pace to get through all of them.

At the end, she tossed the Quaffle toward the middle hoop, but it went wide. As big as she was for her age, she had always gotten assigned beater, so that was what she had always trained in. She wasn’t used to throwing balls, just hitting them.

Just like she did with the Quaffle that came flying back at her, more out of reflex than intent. She saw something coming at her. Her instinct was to bat it away. She didn’t have her bat, so she used her forearm. She expected it to hurt but it was an inflated ball not a metal one and it bounced harmlessly right off her.

She collected a bat and came back through the course, the familiar weight giving her more confidence. The poles went about the same as before, but this time she whacked her way through the boxes, clearing her way through violently. And on this side the hoops were arranged somewhat more forgivingly - or maybe her confidence was just higher after defeating the boxes - and this time she laid out a path that caught five of the hoops instead of only three.

Then a bludger came at her and she grinned victoriously as she smacked it easily through the center goal.

She joined Heinrich who had finished just ahead of her, and waited for everyone else to finish. Then Heinrich did his translation magic and she waved at Johana Leonie as her friend was told how to be the helper she’d signed up to be.

Then she and Heinrich were splitting up. She was armed with a bat and Heinrich’s explanation of what she was supposed to be doing, which was to hit bludgers at dummies and each other - but sensibly and safely, though she honestly wasn’t sure if that last part was the Coach’s instruction or Heinrich’s. In any case, hitting things with bludgers was a thing she could do, so she sought out a bludger and decided to start with the dummies while she gauged from watching everyone else how violent they were supposed to get with each other.

The dummies were moving which would make hitting them somewhat harder than just batting the bludger through a stationary goal, but the dummies weren’t going super fast (yet, that might change as the tryout progressed) and she had little trouble anticipating where they were going (which might also change later). She did not anticipate too much trouble at this level of difficulty. She swung and the bat met her bludger with a loud CRACK. The metal ball flew off into direction she had aimed it and smacked very satisfyingly into her intended target, with fine aim and plenty of oomph. “Ha!” she laughed at it.

Okay. Just keep doing that, she guessed? Heinrich hadn’t said how many targets to hit before they could stop, so she assumed they’d be told to stop when the Coach had seen enough. She went to find another bludger.

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